5

Where’s the Chef?

The S.F. Chronicle’s Janny Hu brought up a good point in garbage time Wednesday. Why not play Patrick O’Bryant?
Ever the Warriors apologist (so some of you think), I didn’t have an answer. They were down big, they were showing no life and no fight. Why not play Pattie, let him get some burn against Andrew Bogut?
What was even more perplexing was when Nellie called down for Adonal Foyle to check into the game, for the first time, with the game out of reach. What was that for?
Nellie has Barnes, Azubuike and Josh Powell on the floor with Sarunas and Foyle. I get why the really youngsters were out there. I get why Sarunas is out there (don’t want Monta to get an injury in garbage time). But why is Foyle out there? What’s with the charity minutes for the seasoned vet? Isn’t $8.5 million enough of a consolation prize?

2

Is that the Season?

So, the Warriors enter the fourth quarter down 23 points to the Bucks — the worst team on the five-game trip.
Assuming they’re going to lose (how dare I?), that puts them six games below .500. Chalking up Wednesday’s game as another loss — they’re 1-14 in the second night of back-to-backs — that’s seven-game under .500.
Let’s give them the Knicks game. For the sake of the anyone who argues they still have a shot at the playoffs (wait, hasn’t that been me?), let’s just concede that they’ll beat New York, even though the Knicks are playing well. That puts them six games below. After that is Washington and Detroit. Two of the East’s best teams. They’ll likely lose both, which drops them to eight games under .500.
Will it be, at that point, safe to say the season is over?

1

Poor Shaun

I feel so bad for Shaun Livingston. I have never seen anything like that on a basketball court. He might be done. He tore all three ligaments in his knee and it could be career threatening. At teh very least, he’s missing next year (they say he’s out at least a year.
The worst part, he was due for a contract extension, and was going to get something fat. The Clippers clearly valued him. They passed on the chance to get Allen Iverson and Vince Carter, according to published reports, because they didn’t want to give up Shaun.
He’ll get the $4.4M he’s due next season. He’s going to have to prove he can play again before he gets another nickel. I imagine he’ll have to do what Jay Williams did, get into somebody’s camp and try to prove he’s healthy and ready. Fortunately, he’s only 21.

Anyone who hasn’t seen it, here is the YouTube link. WARNING: It’s pretty nasty.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6Ghupxbj9g

4

Warriors Shopping Richardson?

Chris Mullin said on the record that Richardson is off the table. He told my colleague Tim Kawakami such not too long ago. However, I’ve read in three places that they have been offering J.R. to everyone.
What’s up with that?
Part of me doesn’t believe it. But part of me believes that Mullin is reaching, trying to land a mega star. Then, another part of me believes that he’s just trying to get rid of Foyle, using Richardson to make Adonal more attractive.
Either way, it won’t work. No one loves JR like the Warriors, so Mullin is never going to get the value they think they deserve for him. Who wants to give up too much for a guard with some $50 million left?

7

This Was a Season Saver

Warriors fans can thank Monta for his fourth-quarter performance. Without it, the Warriors would have assuredly lost, potentially starting a funk that could doom the season.
Thanks to Ellis going 4-for-6 from the floor en route to nine points in overtime, the Warriors have some momentum to start the seocnd half. If they can somehow pull out a win at the Clippers, then come home and beat the hated Lakers in what is sure to be an emotional affiar, they can take some pressure off of the coming six-game road trip.
The Clippers are certainly beatable, and the Lakers — who lost at home to Portland tonight — are reeling. Even without Baron, the Warriors can win those games (though the Clippers have had their number).
But those would be must-win games practically if they lose to Memphis at home, souring the taste in everyone’s mouth. Thank Monta (22 points, 8-for-16 FGs, seven rebounds, six assists) for that.

1

Biedrins is Killing Gasol

Check out these numbers with 2:50 left in the game:

Biedrins 21 points, 10-for-15 shooting, 13 rebounds, 36 minutes
P. Gasol 16 points, 6-for-15 shooting, 12 rebounds, 37 minutes

The Warriors are even dumping it down to Biedrins against Gasol. Andris, with Pau on his back, dribbled to the middle, faked baseline, faked back to the middle, then went back to the baseline for an easy layup on Pau. Gasol was toast.
I’ll tell you what. I wouldn’t trade for Pau. For Nellie’s system, Biedrins is better and cheaper. He runs the floor better, he doesn’t need as many touches (though he should get more with that field goal percentage) to have an impact on the game. Did I say he was cheaper?
This dude Andris contines to impress me. If his offensive game continues to progress as it is, this dude will be a beast.

2

This is What the Warriors Missed

Richardson had been struggling mighty with his shot. Which was expected considering how long he was out. But he willed himself to have an impact on this game. What’s more, he made timely plays out of sheer energy, passion and hustle.
That’s how you fight of losses, with will. That’s how you avoid droughts, with determination.
Richardson was 4-for-16, but he had 7 rebounds and five assists. He was hustling all over the court and trying defensively. And when the Warriors needed, he hit a big three, and ran the floor hard to get free for a dunk.
Sometimes, you just have to not want to lose bad enough. The Warriors have the talent, but sometimes you have to question their resolve. They settle so much and relen so much, you have to wonder how bad do they want it.
Many of the Warriors need to have it rolling in order to impact the game positively. And if they don’t have it rolling, they negatively influence the team. But to see Richardson out there, in a relatively bad game based on the Richardson we knew from last year, still finding away to make it happen is refreshing.