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Knicks 125, Warriors 119 - Golden State of Mind Linkage + The Andris Biedrins Effect

Last night’s heartbreaker, not of the Mariah Carey variety, is captured by Golden State of Mind’s IQofaWarrior’s post-game linkage. A tough loss in a game the Warriors clearly could have won and the Warriors seem to know it by the way they talked about it (Warriors.com via Golden State of Mind Linkage):

Dorell Wright On Playing Better In The Second Half:
"We had a sense of urgency. We were playing well. Reggie (Williams) came in big for us and hit some big shots. Steph (Curry) hit some big shots and things like that. We were getting stops but at the end we were trading baskets. In key moments in the game when we needed to get stops we were trading baskets and we will never win like that. We know we’re a good second-half team but it starts in the first quarter. Guys have to come in ready, play with some toughness and put our nose on the ball. I think they won every 50/50 ball. We just have to get a little more aggressive and get to the free-throw line."

Height (and skill) clearly hurt the Warriors and it could be seen in the stat-line for those that weren’t watching the game. Andris Biedrins had the best +/- at +8. Although limited by fouls, Biedrins had 5 offensive rebounds alone. His backups in Dan Gadzuric and Jeff Adrien, combined, played 27 minutes but only grabbed 4 rebounds. They’re +/- were -9 and -10, respectively.

I’m not blaming them for this loss. Adrien is a rookie who is still learning what it means to play at the professional level and that means having nights like this after having a night where he played 16 minutes and had a +/- of +16. But Adrien mishandled a beautiful pass from Monta Ellis that could have been an easy dunk, which he should have slammed home no question.

But besides rebounding abilities, Biedrins shot an efficient 4-5 from the field, showing patience with his post moves. On several occasions, Biedrins caught the ball on the block, backed up Amar’e and spun to the baseline throwing up a soft baby hook. This is much improved over the last few games with Biedrins posting up on the right block, spinning into traffic, only to get blocked by two defenders. Granted, Ama’re isn’t a great defender at all. But these small steps in Biedrins offensive comfortability is huge.