Golden State is different this season. You can see it in the 6-3 record, you can see it in better effort — well, any effort — on defense.
But coach Keith Smart told KNBR in San Francisco (via Sports Radio Interviews) that the biggest difference has been in rebounding — the Warriors are one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the league this season (grabbing 29 percent of their missed shots, third best in the Association).
Our team is so different from last year. We have two guys that can rebound the ball. We had to get tough rebounds and we couldn’t do that last year. We couldn’t do that at all last year. When you have Andres Biedrins back, you acquire David Lee, and you have Dorell Wright’s toughness, rebounding is toughness. The rebounds don’t just come to you, you have to go and get a rebound. Those guys brought that. I think because our team can do that, that’s why we’re able to hang on to a game like last night’s game or have a chance to compete with a team like Utah because you can rebound with them and you can limit those good teams or teams that can score second or third chance opportunities. We gave up so much of that last year. That’s why our team is different compared to last year.
Dwight Howard pushes Al Horford, gets technical, later ejected for hanging on rim
It ended up working out for Atlanta — the Hawks went on a 22-11 run after Dwight Howard was ejected, then hung on for a comfortable win 114-98.
Still, Howard found a way to get tossed. He did it two separate technical fouls in the third quarter. The first came when he shoved Al Horford after the Celtic big fouled Howard under the basket (always a smart move rather than give up a dunk).
The next came a few minutes later when Howard slammed then pulled himself up like a pull-up on the rim, an automatic tech every time.
With Kyle Lowry out until around the start of the playoffs, a lot is going to be asked of DeMar DeRozan. Monday night at Madison Square Garden, he delivered.
The Raptors needed a bucket as time ran down, not only got the ball to DeRozan but got the switch so Derrick Rose was guarding him, and that allowed the Raptors star to get to his spot, rise up and bury the midrange jumper for the win.
It capped off an impressive 37-point night for DeRozan — he’s going to need to do more of this in the coming weeks.
Kevin Hart rings bell before start of Sixers game vs. Warriors
Michael Beasley was getting back up court to try and defend a LeBron James drive to the basket early in the clock Monday night when he took an awkward step and appears to hyperextend his knee. You can see the video above. He tried to leave the floor under his own power but had to be helped back to the locker room by teammates.
Beasley has been solid off the bench for the Bucks this season, averaging 9.7 points a game with a and with a PER of 17.6 (above the league average). They would miss him in the rotation as they try to make a playoff push if he has to miss any time.