Dominance links Bama football and Golden State Warriors
9:34 AM
Art Spander in Alfonzo McKinnie, Klay Thompson, Warriors, articles, basketball

By Art Spander

OAKLAND, Calif. — The idea is interesting. The college football writer of the New York Times, Marc Tracy, contends that Alabama’s football team has in effect become the Warriors.

Yes, the NBA Warriors, the team that both astonishes, because of its success, and to the big boys in the Eastern time zone irritates, because the Dubs' home games end at around 1 a.m. in New York and Boston.

It's rare when a California team, in any sport, becomes the benchmark. But there was the headline in Monday morning’s Times and Tracy writing about Bama, “They are so dominant that their best player, quarterback Tea Tagovailoa, usually sits out the fourth quarter, much as Stephen Curry, the Warriors' otherworldly star, frequently does.”

Can’t blame Tracy for trying. Or the Warriors or Bama for winning.

Curry didn’t sit it out on Monday night, literally, although he did virtually, playing only 1 minute 52 seconds of a period the Warriors entered leading by 19 points after one of their trademark third-quarter bursts.

Eventually, the Dubs would win, 117-101, over the Memphis Grizzlies to push their record for the young season to 10-1.

Bama, in case you’re interested, is 9-0, and headed for another championship. As apparently are the Warriors.

Golden State — maybe we change the name to Gold Standard — was far from perfect. Curry missed six of his first seven shots, although he made 5 of his last 10, scoring 19 points. And at the close of one of those Warrior-esque third quarters, when the Gold Standard outscored the Grizz, 34-15, Steph blocked Wayne Selden’s layup attempt.”\

The Warriors played the Grizzlies grind-it-out, hold-the-ball style early on. And had a spate of turnovers. Probably because Draymond Green, the boss man out there, got hurt, a foot contusion that would keep him out the entire second half. He had no points, four rebounds and no assists. He had no broken bones either, an X-ray showed.

Then, as Kevin Durant said, “We used our physicality and started to play our game.” Durant had 22 points.

“A lot of times he’ll have the ball in his hands anyway,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of Durant, “but we do occasionally design stuff where he can handle the ball and distribute. With Draymond out in the second half, the ball just naturally gravitated to KD more, and this was a typical Kevin night where he doesn’t have to shoot a whole lot. He might not even be interested in shooting a whole lot”.

Durant took only 11 shots, making 7. For this game the shooter was Klay Thompson, 11 of 21, 27 points. “Klay has gotten better with his ball handling and with his passing,” said Kerr. “He’s just expanding, and his game is growing.”

Thompson wanted to talk about others, especially Durant. “He was doing everything out there,” Thompson said of Durant. “When he gets to mid-range he is clearly impossible to stop. Our defense was also really impressive. A mixture of those two things, I think, spurred that run.”

Alfonzo McKinnie, who played his way on to the team during the summer league, had another big game, 14 points off the bench.

“It’s unbelievable,” Thompson said of McKinnie. “I don’t want to jinx him, but he makes his first shot every time he comes into the game. Since the preseason I’ve been seeing him play. He’s so efficient, and he fills a great role for us, as far as his defensive versatility, his ability to rebound and his ability to knock down jumpers.

“He’s a great athlete, and I cannot believe the guy hasn’t been in the NBA for years now. He took a crazy path, and he deserves everything he’s doing.”

McKinnie, street tough — both arms are full of tattoos — said he isn’t surprised by what he’s been able to do. What has surprised him is the ovation from the Oracle Arena sellout crowds. ”Oh, man,” said McKinnie, “the atmosphere is crazy. I’ve never seen anything like that.”

What Memphis coach J.B, Bickerstaff saw Monday night was hardly unexpected. “First and foremost, they (the Warriors) are good. They know who why are.”

So does the U. of Alabama, to one writer at least the Warriors of college football.

Article originally appeared on Art Spander (http://artspander.com/).
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