Hey, here's a couple of news flashes for you: on Wednesday night the Warriors won, on the road, by holding a fourth-quarter lead.
That's right, the team's road losing streak of eight games is over after a less-than-convincing 96-95 escape in Boston. Baron Davis carried the Warriors with 31 points and 8 assists, but the Warriors did everything they could to give the game back; it was really an assist from Celtics coach Doc Rivers that gave the Warriors the game. With 24 seconds remaining, timeouts in hand, down by one point, and with the ball, Rivers elected not to call a timeout. Instead, the Celtics ran the only play in their playbook: give it to Paul Pierce and hope for the best. Pierce is a great player, but everybody in the building knew he was going to get the ball, including the five Warriors on the court. They surrounded him and forced a jump ball with just 0.6 seconds left. Game over baby.
So that puts a tiny band-aid on the 1-3 road trip and slightly daubs the road bleeding this year (2-9), but it does nothing to address the Warriors number one problem: REBOUNDING!
It could be a whole new ball game for the Warriors if they'd quit with the little-man's complex and play some size to get rebounds. Graphic from Atarimuseum.com.
This team is getting killed on the boards and it's making every game against every opponent an uphill battle. The Warriors are 24th in the league in rebounding, pulling down a paltry 39.6 boards a game. With opponents averaging 46.3 rebounds per game (rpg), their rebounding differential is by far the worst in the league at -6.7. It's so bad, the next closest team to them in rebounding differential is the Milwaukee Bucks at -5.1. (Side note, the Bucks outribbied the Warriors by 10 boards and won the game when the two teams met earlier this month.) Last year, the Warriors were fifth in the league in boards, collecting 42.3 rpg. They still had an operating deficit, but it was only -2.2 rpg
It gets worse. In losses, the War's are getting out-glassed by almost 8 rips a game; in wins, by nearly 6 per. In December, opponents have averaged 8 boards more per game. Against the Houston Rockets on December 14 in the O-rena, a game they won at the buzzer, the Warriors were outboarded 53-33. Do you think if maybe they had a couple of extra possessions in that game by virtue of a few more rebounds, they mightn't have had to rely on a last-second jumper for the win? Ya' think? On their current road trip, the team has been outrebounded 200-162 and has not grabbed more rebounds than their opponents in a game yet. A 1-3 road trip and 4-7 record for the month are no coincidence.