It seems every time the Warriors play Phoenix in Oakland, someone gets dunked on.
Last time, Monta Ellis posterized Leandro Barbosa. Thursday, Andris threw one down on Amare Stoudemire — after jumping over Steve Nash. It was the signature moment in an otherwise quiet night for Biedrins, who followed the dunk with a demoralizing block of Boris Diaw’s putback.
The best part was that Andris had the ball out beyond the 3-point line and took it off the dribble to the rack once he saw an opening. Just another sign that his awareness amd skill level is steadily improving. And who deserves a Top 10 more the Andris, the Warriors’ dirty work champion?
Archive for March, 2007
It seems every time the Warriors play Phoenix in Oakland, someone gets dunked on.
That foul call on Andris Biedrins, defending Amare Stoudemire’s jumper, was unbelievable, and the perfect example of what I was talking about earlier.
Biedrins not only didn’t foul him, he didn’t touch him. It was a phantom foul. Have you ever seen that happen, so blatantly, in the Warriors favor?
He said J-Rich was due, and he went out and dropped 19 in the first quarter. It was an easy 19 too. He was 5-for-6 from the 3-point line — which tied a record set by Joe Hassett in 1981 — a couple of turnarounds of the post, nothing special. Raja Bell couldn’t do nothing with him.
In the second quarter, he even created off the dribble, spinning through a double team to drop in five-footer.
That’s a good sign, especially if the Warriors make the playoffs. Nellie and the new players needed to know, the rest of teh league needed to be reminded, that Jason can go off for 35 or 40 points.
Now, he may only end up with 30, but threat is there. Phoenix has to guard him. At one point, they’ve already had Shawn Marion and Boris Diaw take a turn guarding him, which opens things up for everyone else.
“So the question everyone is asking, when we are just getting pounded on the boards, is why isn’t Powell playing more? The kid’s got some game and brings energy and enthusiasm. Hasn’t Nellie seen enough of the opposition’s taller players picking off rebounds over our 6’6” small ball team?” – Commish, Danville
The fact is, especially at this point in the season, you have to go with your best players, and Josh Powell isn’t one of them. You have to run with your best seven or eight guys and live with their shortcomings as well as feed off of their strengths.
Who do you sit on the bench in favor of Powell? Harrington? Jackson?
Nelson can put in Powell to help with rebounding, but he loses out in other areas. Then the question would be, “Why is Powell in the game and we can’t score? Al Harrington is shooting 45 percent from 3-point range. Why won’t Nellie put him in so we can score more?”
You have to run with your horses. Nellie knows the Warriors have rebounding issues. But all you can hope for is that your strengths outshines the other team’s, and that you can exploit their weaknesses better than they can exploit yours. The Warriors have been getting killed on the boards since the trade. But they offset their weaknesses with the 3-point shot and by creating turnovers. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Phoenix doesn’t play great defense, but they score like crazy to offset their defense. D’Antoni’s not going to play Jalen Rose because they need better rebounding and Rose is a better rebounder than Nash or Raja Bell. You run with your horses and try as best you can to maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses.
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Since Richardson is in the rumor mill (the Chicago Tribune reported he’s telling his friends he expects to be traded, and he’s hoping to Detroit or Chicago), I’ve got a trade scenario that might help the Warriors.
I wouldn’t want to trade with either of those teams if I’m Mullin. What is Chicago willing to part with that the Warriors would want? If they weren’t giving up Luol Deng or Ben Gordon for Pau Gasol, I don’t think they would for Richardson.
Anyway, if they are going to ship J.R., they should do it to Orlando for Darko Milicic and Carlos Arroyo. Milicic is a restricted free agent coming up, so it would have to be a sign-and-trade.
Orlando gets a proven scorer as a two-guard, taking pressure off Dwight Howard. The Warriors get a rebounding power forward (well, not a dominant rebounder — he’s at 5.6 this season, not too impressive for a 7-footer) and a back-up point guard. I wouldn’t mind if Arroyo wasn’t in the deal, especially if the Warriors are committed to grooming Ellis into a point guard.
I know. I know. Doesn’t sound like an even trade. But I doubt if the Warriors can get full value, or at least what the Warriors community perceive as full value, for Richardson — especially coming off an injury plagued season in which he sets a career low in scoring. If they can convince the Magic to throw in their first-round pick, they’d be doing really well.
The Warriors clearly haven’t recovered from Sunday’s heart-breaker in Los Angeles. They are playing with no life, no desperation. They still can’t buy a 3-pointer (currently 2-for-13) and they are allowing the Spurs to shoot 62 percent.
They aren’t sharing the ball (nine assists through the first 31 minutes). If not for Monta’s 7-for-11 shooting, they’d be in the 30s for field goal percentage. Say they beat the Lakers on Sunday, this would be a different game.
Instead, they’re down by 27 with four minutes left in the third.
It looks as if they hotness has warn off, or playing against better teams’ best is showing them how far from good they really are. They’re going to be two games back with 10 left. Safe to say it’s over?
Not only are they 1 1/2 games behind the Clippers, who appear to be getting things together.
Not only did they drop to 4-10 in the Pacific (division record is the second tie-breaker, after head-up, and the Clippers are 4-7).
Not only do they have to complete the back-to-back by hosting San Antonio.
But this one hurts because it’s demoralizing. This is the Lakers. The hated Lakers. Beating the Warriors again.
An amazing tenant in Warriors basketball is the lack of love from the referees. How many times does Baron go to the rack and not get the call? How many times is Monta bumped in mid-air and hear no whistle?
Maybe not. The Warriors have committed 48 more personal fouls than their opponents. They have taken 166 fewer free throws. Assuredly, its partly because they have taken 174 more 3-pointers.
Am I seeing things, or do other teams get exponentially more touch fouls and three-point play opportunities than the Warriors?
One thing you don’t have to worry about is Nelson losing a game for the Warriors. You don’t have to worry about his ego getting in t he way, or his desire to prove he’s right costing the Warriors a chance to win.
In the third quarter, the Warriors doubled Kobe almost every time. Yup, they swallowed their pride, conceded they can’t guard him, and double0-teamed him. Make Smush Parker beat you. Make Kwame Brown touch the ball and make a decision. No chance of going Toronto and leaving one man on him!
The Lakers had 20 points in the fourth quarter as the Warriors chased Bryant out of scoring opportunities. I would do the same thing all fourth quarter, because this is when Kobe shines. Don’t be surprised if Nellie agrees.
This has been quite a turnaround. Don’t know what Don Nelson said, but their defense suddenly has life. Makes you wonder where the intensity was to start such an important game.
One thing that stands out is Monta Ellis’ quickness, especially on defense. The Warriors have to create turnovers to win. So they have to pressure the ball, and that blindside trap — when a the point guard creeps up from behind to double team — produces so many steals. Baron does it well because he has such quick hands. Ellis is so quick, he covers so much ground, he can be in the right spot in a flash. It works to perfection when they don’t foul.
It’s tough to ask Baron to keep up such pressure all game, and do what he does on offense. That means Monta really has to bring the energy on defense, which is becoming an increasingly difficult task considering his importance on offense.
Smush Parker and Sasha Vujacic are vulnerable, so if the Warriors can keep up the pressure in the second half, they can win this game, and perhaps save the season. If Parker and Sasha keep coughing the ball up, it will force Kobe to bring the rock up, which is not only tiring, but allows the Warriors to trap him early and make scoring tougher for him.
They have to keep the pressure up. Can they do it and have juice left in the fourth quarter, without the home crowd to energize them?