There’s a reason why James Harden’s style of play is hit with the prevalent cliché known as the ‘old man’s game’. He plays below the rim (except when he dunks of course), already has a stockroom full of up fakes and pivot moves for any situation (comes in use on a crowded subway), and sports a smooth mid-range jumper (insert corny Keith Stone joke). His mechanics on the court add an element to quantum theory that is yet to be discovered as he somehow manages to fill up the box score without breaking a sweat.
Harden has the 6th man of the year award locked up with Brandon Rush in a distant second. Brandon Rush is in a distant second, not because he’s bad, Harden is just that good.
I flipped the tube on early in the 2nd quarter of the Warriors versus Grizzlies game just in time to catch Rush skying through the paint to complete a tip-in. His forearm easily cleared the rim. Rush doesn’t deliver a flurry of up fakes like Harden but brings the same poise and poker face to the game as Harden.
When Mark Jackson got to the Bay Area, he rented 15 fire trucks in order to hose down the Warriors running game and then made each player volunteer for the dunk booth at the county fair just to make sure it was extinguished.
The Warriors hung with the Grizzlies only when they were running the ball and getting kick-out threes on the break. Unfortunately, these breaks created some turnovers, which prompted timeouts. During these timeouts, I can imagine Mark was screaming at the Warriors to “simma down now” .
The Warriors staff may need to figure out how to take the good with the bad when they consider their assets. Which scenario is uglier? Klay Thompson overthrowing a pass occasionally on the fast break or a series of missed contested 17 footers? The Warriors are young, don’t have a true center (Andris who?), and NEED to run the ball. It puts the opposing defense on their heels, increases the intensity of the game, and forces the other team to adjust creating some hysteria for them. Once the Warriors slowed down the game, they got murdered in the half court set due to a disadvantage in size, not speed, and watched the game slip away.
At one point, I nearly convinced myself that Marc Gasol’s dome piece is actually bigger than David Lee’s torso but somehow David Lee was trying to guard Gasol in the post. Lee was just 3-9 from the field. Monta is reportedly being shopped for Dwight Howard (yes, you can’t read a sports piece without some mention of Dwight being traded). The Warriors are well aware of their entire rosters’ lack of size and how it hinders their ability to guard many teams in a half court set.
There’s a lot of talent on the roster and this year’s attempt to make the playoffs is circling the drain for the Warriors. Whether it’s going to be Def Leppard, Fatboy Slim or Ronald Reagan, somebody has to challenge management to tear this roster down and build it into something that doesn’t have such glaring pitfalls.
About the Author
Written by Chris Mosca
Basketball lover for years. I blog for the Golden State Warriors. I am happy to serve the fans with my reports and insights. Follow me on twitter, @cwmosca