Carlos Boozer Doesn’t Believe (Utah 115, Golden State 101)

Posted by: Avinash on Monday, May 14th, 2007

We all felt this collapse would be coming. Lots of missed, quick jumpers, only sporadic slashing to the hoop, plenty of great interior defense from Utah to contest every layup, a general tightness that we hadn’t seen from Golden State before with every jumper they took–the incoming barrage seemed inevitable. The Utah Jazz rolled past the Warriors with a 40 point 4th quarter to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinals and will in all likelihood close matters in Game 5.

Why do we think Golden State is done? To be honest, the team looked gassed for the first time in the series, especially Davis and Richardson, who were quiet most of the night and really never found the point to pick it up, settling for plenty of long jumpers and 3s. Their frustration fouls against Fisher and Okur might end up costing them Game 5 with suspensions looming from the league office, most likely for Davis for his clear cheap shot in Fisher. The rest of the team seemed to follow their lackadaisical attitude, settling for the long quick jumper that immediately became a rebound, and then a layup at the other end.

On the flip side, no one has been able to stop Carlos Boozer. He could score 50 in the next game and we wouldn’t be surprised–Golden State’s weakness has always been defending the low post, and with the general centers buried in the bench and Nellie refusing to compromise the team’s playing style, they’re not likely to see action Tuesday night. Also more physical play by the Jazz sent the Warriors sprawling–they slowed the pace down, ran their set offense, then made Deron Williams drive to the hoop or pound the ball into Boozer, forcing a double team, kicking out to the open man, or running pick and roll sets. That’s fundamental Sloan basketball. Respectful and utterly boring. How does Jazz-Spurs sound to you?

Perhaps the bigger thing is for the first time, the Warriors played as if this was a must-win. That never was the case earlier in this playoffs–for their first nine games the Bay Area darlings just romped through Dallas and Utah playing their exciting Nellie-ball. But it’s a symptom of Nellie-ball that when the jumpers don’t fall, the team goes down. And that’s what happened last night. And we expect it to happen at least once in the next three games, which will be the end. The odds are very long for them.

That hasn’t stopped them before though. Game 5 is Tuesday night.

Edit: One thing I noticed was how quiet the crowd was in Game 4. Bill Simmons did too and found out the reason why from one of his emailers

“Heard conflicting reports on the Oakland crowd last night, but just from watching Game 4 on TV, the crowd paled in comparison to the crowds from the Dallas series, which made me wonder if the “renaissance” of Warriors basketball had inevitably caused the stands to be filled by bandwagon fans and rich a-holes who always end up ruining these sorts of things because they don’t care who wins or know how to affect the games … they just want to be there because it’s the place to be. I hate when this happens. Anyway, Will from Oakland sent me an interesting e-mail:

“I have been a Warriors fan since age 3 and attended every home playoff game this year at different locations — Warrior fans in the first round were worthy of the praise bestowed upon them by the media (you included). Last night, I was disgusted to be at the Oracle. The Dallas series was packed with REAL fans, a raucous arena full of people who had really been waiting 15 years. Once we upset the Mavericks though, we became obscenely trendy. Now, rich suburban families who couldn’t name half our roster decided it would be fun to take the family to a game, and prices went up to $250 a seat for the lower bowl. Goodbye real fans, hello normal NBA crowd. The arena was subpar in the Game 3 win, but was absolutely SILENT in Game 4. I got in fights with fans around me after screaming at them to make noise. It’s a sad day for Bay Area basketball. The fans get credit for the wins, we deserve the blame for this loss.””

Boozer Lifts Jazz to Game 4 Victory [NBA]
(Image from Yahoo/AP)

Related Articles
    None Found

Comments are closed.