There wasn’t much need for Fred Hoiberg to show the clinic put on by the Golden State Warriors against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Cavs’ building Monday night.
The satisfaction Hoiberg felt stemming from his team’s ball movement in the Bulls’ win in Detroit was quelled when he looked at the stat line through three quarters of the Warriors’ domination.
“The ball was moving. We had 28 assists last night, which I thought was great until I saw that Golden State had 28 assists through three quarters in their game,” he said. “We got off to a slow start in Detroit, but I thought those last three quarters were really good. Really locked in.”
Three quarters against the champs won’t get it done. Four quarters of the Bulls’ best basketball won’t even guarantee a win against arguably one of the best teams the NBA has seen in recent memory—and going against the best shooter the league has probably ever seen, a notion becoming less and less arguable by the day.
“He's the best shooter ever to play this game,” said Hoiberg flatly when queried about a former teammate being the best shooter ever, a guy named Reggie Miller.
[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]
The Warriors once led by 43 points after leading by 30 in the first half, a testament to not only their greatness but laser-like focus and ability to embarrass a quality opponent at any time, at any place.
“Yeah, they’re very unique. They’ve got arguably the two best shooters (Curry, Klay Thompson) in the game on their team and guys that can heat up in such a hurry,” Hoiberg said. “You look at other guys on that team. [Andre] Iguodala leads them in three-point percentage, Harrison Barnes is the one that really hurt us in the last game. [Andrew] Bogut is really good at making plays, and Draymond Green, again another guy you can argue is the best power forward in the game as versatile as he is. Triple-doubles, a guy that can shoot the three, handle the ball, initiate offense, and they’re an excellent defensive team as well. So yeah, they pose a lot of problems and that’s why they’ve only lost a couple games this year I guess.”
The Warriors are a game off the pace of the record-setting 1996 Bulls team that won 72 games and Friday night in Detroit was the first time the entire Warriors team was present for a loss this season. Curry, Green and Thompson each missed games which resulted in a loss, so the champions have reason to be supremely confident headed into any environment.
“Yeah, you have to notice it because they’re winning at home and winning on the road,” Jimmy Butler said. “Even the losses that they took, they were down some guys. They still gave themselves a chance to win. It’s really impressive. They’re going to keep winning games because they play basketball the right way. But hopefully, they don’t win this one come tomorrow.”