4

ANDRIS the GREAT

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?

2

Where’s the Foul II?

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?

2

EJ Called It!

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.

4

Blog Question

“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.

FYI: Since the Q&A is no longer, I am answering questions on the blog. I’m not getting very many, so I will re-state the plan, and add a tweaking for your convenience. If you have a question for me, send me an email at mthompson2@cctimes.com and write “blog question” in the subject line. I will post your question and my answer. Or, tack on a question in your comment. Denote it as “blog question” and I will post it and answer it.
Sorry if this process isn’t as thorough and expedient as the Q&A, but I’m open to suggestions as to how I can best answer your questions through the medium available to me.

7

J-Rich Trade Rumor

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.

5

L.A. Hangover

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?

7

This One Hurts

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.