I was so frustrated after learning that Vinny was going to cave into Nellieball and start his own mad scientist lineup (seriously: Rose/Gordon/Hughes/Sefolosha/Gooden) that I didn't watch the game.
Only after seeing the Bulls won did I half-watch the tape, and I'm glad I knew the ultimate result because I would've likely been beside myself most of the contest.
Granted, a lot of this has to do with the way the Warriors play. It's rarely going to be a 'normal' game against them. But I wish our rookie coach didn't make so many rookie mistakes, one being the thought that he could out-coach Don Nelson by 'matching up'.
But, it ultimately worked out, and any circus road trip victory is technically a good one. Yet ugly...and quite lucky.
Larry Hughes had a tremendous game, and that's...rarely going to happen. Lindsey Hunter was 4-6 from the field. Drew Gooden was able to take advantage of a night where he was one of the bigger players on the court.
Since neither team was playing organized on either end of the floor, it was a game where the players alternated taking over streches: Hughes early, Gordon for a bit in the 2nd quarter (overall a poor game from him), and then Derrick Rose with a phenomenal second half, which saved Vinny from himself...
Beyond the odd starting lineup, and giving a DNP to Noah, Vinny was also made the questionable decision to bring Nocioni back in the last 3 minutes to guard Stephen Jackson (there was a stretch where he was attempting to guard Biedrins too), even though he proved he couldn't do that, and he was having an overall terrible game, even getting to the level where his histrionics were causing issues with the referees. Yet there he was, playing the role of trusted veteran...even though he's one of the least trustable players on the roster. Just found it curious that going into a game Vinny was so desperate to 'match up', yet at the end he went with Noc even though it was a terrible matchup.
Now in a game like this one, that sorta didn't count, these types of moves didn't ultimately cost the game. But there aren't many games where you don't have to really coach, and just let the guys (and one very special guy) talent win it for you. If anything, this game is making me set the bar even lower for Vinny: he may turn into a real pro coach, but it hasn't happened yet.
One player who had a great game that we can actually take some meaning from is Thabo Sefolosha. His shot looked good, and he had a very efficient offensive game. I think the forward position (maybe not starting PF like tonight, but...) was always his best shot at being a contributor, and he quietly filled up the boxscore tonight, which was nice to see as it was his first real action in several games, and in the past when he'd sit for a long time he'd be lost for a couple months.
In fact, Thabo should've gotten the starting SF role when Deng was hurt in Portland, but it went to Hughes...and after 40 (while, again, mostly great) minutes of Hughes tonight, it's a real worry that Vinny thinks this guy can play. Now, if the Knicks trades Friday proved anything, it's that teams can still be somewhat suckered by hollow numbers...so maybe that's the plan here. But Hughes isn't nearly as good as Randolph, and not even as good as Crawford...so maybe we should end the showcase right here and send tapes of Friday night around the league.