Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Your Bay Area Warriors!
As part of my birthday present this past December, my wife got me tickets to last night’s Warriors game versus the Houston Rockets. Perfect gift since the Warriors are one of my favorite teams (still love them Knicks though), Houston’s Tracy McGrady is definitely my favorite player, and I wanted to see Yao Ming play in person. Yao looks so much bigger than everyone else, even from where we were sitting his size difference was much more pronounced live than on TV.
The Rockets were coming in RED HOT, scoring massive points and downing some of the hottest teams around. Even with the Baron Davis trade, the Warriors have become only slightly better thus far, so I wasn’t holding my breath for a close game.
What I saw last night was nothing less than real hope for the future of Golden State.
As expected, Houston was playing mostly top level ball, really crisp passes, good open looks at the basket, etc. And TMac, oh baby, too smooth man, too smooth. He’s like a jungle cat pouncing at will.
For most of the night, the Rockets were up by double digits, the biggest margin being 18 points. The Warriors would edge to within 9 or 8, thanks mostly to Mickael Pietrus (21 points), Troy Murphy (24 points), and Zarko Cabarkapa (26 points), but Houston would quickly lengthen their lead. The big surprise was second year man Zarko Cabarkapa, who came from Phoenix in a very low key trade. This guy really got the crowd into it, especially me. I would yell stuff like “That’s the way to do it man!” or “That kid has got some heart!”
The team’s three biggest stars, Derek Fisher (0 points), Jason Richardson (13 points), and Baron Davis (8 points), were not very effective so it was up to the supporting cast to try to pull off the upset. It was down to the fourth quarter, Houston’s lead to cut to 9, then to 6, now to just 4 points! I’m jumping up and down at this point, hooting and yelling. OMG, a big 3 point shot by Pietrus and he got fouled too! He makes the extra shot and the game is TIED! The Rockets stay cool and rally back and extend the lead to 3 with less than five seconds on the clock. They hand it to Pietrus for a desperate 3, but…no good. Game over.
Despite the result, it was a hell of a game. Watching the highlights later than night (yes, I like to watch the highlights even though I saw the entire game), NBA analysts repeated what I was thinking in my head, the Warriors are playoff bound next year. A great young team with an owner who is making shrewd moves. Fantastic.
Posted by Wataru Maruyama at 9:27 AM