The Warriors need to practice catching passes with their hands and not their faces.
On two occasions in the second half, Warrior inbound passes ricocheted off the backs or side of the face of the intended Warrior player. These miscues led to easy buckets for the Pistons, extending the lead anytime the Warriors began to narrow gap.
On one particular play, Andris Biedrins intended to send a pass to Monta Ellis except that the ball ended up hitting the side of David Lee’s face who so happened to be running between them at the wrong time. But if that wasn’t bad enough, David Lee, surprised, turned around and shot Biedrins a look of frustration instead of retrieving the loose ball. With Warriors standing around in bewilderment at what just happened (in front of their bench no less), the Pistons rushed to ball and brought it in for an uncontested layup.
In the fourth quarter, Vladimir Radmanovic did the same thing throwing an ill-advised in-bound pass to a non-looking Monta Ellis, picked off and in for an easy score for Charlie Villanueva.
Turnovers were the difference maker as the Warriors went on stretches during the third and fourth quarter without getting a shot up at all. Stephen Curry picked up two offensive fouls, one on a push off, the same one he was called for against the Utah Jazz. David Lee was called for travelling and then threw a cross-court pass that was intercepted for an easy breakaway layup.
But turnovers alone didn’t cost them the game. The Pistons big men who played solid defense, sent away shots at a much higher clip than the first half. With momentum shifting in the favor of the Pistons, Charlie Villanueva blocked one of Curry’s drives, proving that he wasn’t the most “cancerous player on his team and the league.” Tayshaun Prince also blocked David Lee spinning through the lane in the 4th quarter. Lee has struggled finishing in the paint so far this season and the trend continues on the road, even as he battles against mediocre, yet bigger and possibly more athletic front court players.
The Pistons backcourt as well proved to be a challenge, defensively, for Curry particularly. Rodney Stuckey took control in the 4th quarter, powering himself into the lane on several occasions, drawing fouls and getting to the line. He finished the game with 21 points on 9 assists. Curry also struggled to defend Ben Gordon who, in the second half, easily drove by for a few buckets.
Curry scored 6 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter, but shot 3-12 from the field. Ellis led the Warriors with 24 points, but missed all 5 of his 3 point attempts.
The Warriors sloppy play was costly, but the Pistons won the battle of the matchups in the backcourt and the frontcourt was equally as detrimental to the Warriors down the stretch.
Game notes: During half-time as teammates were warming up, Tracy McGrady, stayed in his warmups, and chatted courtside with some women…Austin Daye’s shooting shirt was tucked way too deep into his warm pants…Unlike the Warrior Girls, the Pistons’ dancers did not make any wardrobe changes…unlike the typical Jock Jams fare of the Oracle Arena, Pistons fans apparently prefer Taylor Swift at key junctures of the game as well as Village Peoples’ YMCA.