The second returns for the All-Star balloting are in and after checking them out, I couldn’t help but ask myself: Do Warriors fans vote, or do they just vote for other players?
Check out the West centers tally. Yao Ming (1,411,923); Amaré Stoudemire (485,642); Erick Dampier (218,833); Mehmet Okur (153,601); Marcus Camby (117,606); Chris Kaman (61,202); Brad Miller (59,859); Tyson Chandler (56,874); Chris Mihm (55,583); Francisco Elson (54,442).
Notice whose missing? Andris Biedrins.
The guy is having a career season. One of the brightest spots for the Warriors. How does Francisco Elson and Brad Miller and Tyson Chandler have more votes? Where are all the Warriors homers? Or are Bay Area fans extremely just with their selections and can’t bring themselves to pick Andris over Yao?
With the year Baron Davis is having, why does Jason Terry, Manu Ginobili and Jerry Stackhouse have more votes?
C’mon, Warriors fans. Explain yourselves.
Just when things seem to be coming together, just when they put themselves in a position to make a run, something knocks them back down to Warriordom.
Losing by 30 points in Sacramento just shows this team isn’t consistent enough to be serious playoff contenders. Jason Richardson breaking his hand is just another sign that this season is doomed.
Yes, they’re still in it. Yes, they still haven’t had the entire team together. But at this point, it’s tough to imagine things will ever click, everyone will be healthy together.
The worst part is that the excuse is built in. The we-never-had-everyone-together explanation is fully supported by the rash of injuries and ripe for the using if Mullin can’t retool this roster by next season.
It’s normally embarrassing to have a crowd chanting for the coach to play you. If you need the crowd to help get you in the game, cahnces are you aren’t pretty good. A perennial bench rider myself, I know firsthand that you would just as soon be forgotten than to get sympathy minutes.
But Doc Rivers did the right thing Friday, caving in to chants of “We Want Powe” by the Oracle Arena crowd. The standing ovation he received when he got off the bench and when his name was called, the loud cheer he received when he scored his first basket — that could go a long way to boosting his confidence.
Talking to Leon yesterday, he couldn’t wait to get here. He couldn’t wait to play in front of his home crowd as an NBA player. With the rookie trials he endured, he could use the positive energy. He’s fighting for minutes, struggling with the schemes and suffering through the Boston winter. He had a family and friends gathering at his house today and got to see some familiar faces he desperately needed to see. He had such a good time, he didn’t even stay in his S.F. hotel room last night. And to top it off, he had five points and four rebounds in three minutes — giving his home crowd a chance to support their jewel.
After spanking on terrible Philadelphia, the Warriors seem like they’ve got too much for the Paul Pierceless Celtics. That’s puts them one game over .500.
Tomorrow night, they play the scrubby Kings in Sacramento (the Kings are just 8-7 at Arco) before visiting the Chris Paul-less Hornets and the worst-in-the-West Grizzlies. After that, they host beatable Seattle.
Even with the Warriors road struggles, they should win at least three of the next four games, and could win all four. If they do, that’s a six-game win streak and they’re four games over .500.
It could happen. Right?
It had better happen, or come close to happening. Because after Seattle is at Phoenix, vs. Orlando and Miami at home, a home-and-home with the Clippers (who own the Warriors), a home date with King James and a road game at the Lakers. They could lose at least five of those games (they’ll at least beat the Magic and Cavaliers at home), which would drop them back around .500.
See why this stretch is important? If they blow these games, they’re looking at five or six games under .500.
I’ve been pretty down on the Warriors lately. I just have this “Same ‘Ol Warriors” feeling in my gut. But some of you guys keep bombarding my pessimism with your inexplicable naïveté.
It’s wearing off.
You’re right. As it stands now, the Warriors – currently up by 10 in the first quarter – are sitting in the eighth spot in the West. As it stands now, the Warriors – despite the wealth of injuries – are just a game under .500 with several winninable games coming up on the calendar (home vs. Philly and Boston, at Sacramento, the Hornets and Memphis). With Houston headed for the tank, the Clippers struggling to gain their footing and Sacramento heading for the lottery, you can’t help but wonder ‘Why the Warriors?’
Sure, Troy Murphy is still out and Monta Ellis is hurting. Sure, Jason Richardson and Ike Diogu have a ways to go before they’re in midseason form. Sure, Andris Biedrins, in his third season, has finally hit the rookie wall.
But it’s not all bad. Right?
It looks as if the Warriors, who can’t seem to get a road win even in the embarrassing Atlantic Division, are done for this season. They’ve blown a season’s-worth of fourth-quarter leads already and the injury bug they’ve gotten clearly isn’t the 24-hour one. Nevertheless, you could make a case that they have time to rebound. There is plenty season left and they’ll be better with a healthy Jason Richardson, Ike Diogu and Troy Murphy.
BUUUUUUUT, the Western Conference has gotten even tougher now that Allen Iverson is on the left side (a.k.a. the best side).
As I posted before, pretty much five of the eight Western Conference playoff spots are all but taken: San Antonio, Dallas, Phoenix, the Northwest Divison winner (Utah) and the Clippers (I still believe they’ll get it together, but feel free to swap the Clippers with Houston, because they’re in).
That leaves three spots, and here are the teams competing for those spots: Houston (or the Clippers), the Lakers, Denver and the Hornets. That’s four teams fighting for three spots, and I haven’t mentioned the Warriors yet.
Now, you could’ve made the case that the Warriors are better than Denver and the Hornets. But with Iverson joining Carmelo and J.R. Smith in George Karl’s uptempo offense, Denver has moved much closer to the Lakers and Houston than to the Hornets and Warriors.
The Nuggets are already the second-highest scoring team in the league. Now they’ll have the league’s two highest-scoring players. They probably won’t be strong enough to knock off Dallas or San Antonio, but they are good enough to hurt the Warriors chances.
The Phoenix loss was understandable, inspiring even considering the resolve they showed. But then how in the world do you explain losing to Toronto with Chris Bosh on the bench in street clothes?
This just goes to show how mediocre the Warriors team are. They are not playoff contenders because they can’t bring it every night. They are 1-8 on the road. When this is all said and done, they could be 1-12 and 12-17 overall. That would be a terrible way to head into Christmas.