This is going to be the key to the series, if you ask me. If the Warriors can make life hard for Boozer, they win in five. But who can they use to get it done?
They’ve used Harrington in the past, and he’s done a fair job. They could start Andris on Boozer, but then you risk getting Biedrins in foul trouble early. Either solution leaves Stephen Jackson on Mehmet Okur. Fortunately for the Warriors, he has no intention of going inside.
I would start with Andris on Boozer simply because I would rather Harrington work himself back into a rhythm. If he starts Game 1 and struggles, you may lose him for the series. Even if it means Andris gets two quick fouls, I’d take that risk. Al can come off the bench and guard Boozer, and it wouldn’t be something brand new. He’s done it before. If necessary, I would send help, like they did with Dirk, but it can’t be from Okur or Deron’s defender. I would send whoever is guarding Kirilenko and Fisher. They both have struggled from the outside.
But that’s only if Andris doesn’t work. I think his length and athleticism could bother Boozer, and Harrington is a good Plan B.
Archive for May, 2007
This is going to be the key to the series, if you ask me. If the Warriors can make life hard for Boozer, they win in five. But who can they use to get it done?
“I read your CC Times article on the Lakers needing a major fix with Kobe beginning to age out and his general frustration, and of course we saw the significant limitations of the Rockets in their loss to Utah. It prompted this question (between playoff frenzy blogging): What roster do you see the Warriors having next year? In answering this question, could you be specific in terms of whether we keep Powell and POB. In addition, I did two trade machine scenarios to try to get KG to the Oracle. Both trades worked: AB, Monta, Harrington and Foyle for KG and the other with the same players except I substituted J-Rich for Harrington. Would you make either of those trade scenarios and in your opinion, do you think KG would rather come to the Warriors or the Lakers?” – commish
First off, for any KG trade, it doesn’t matter who the Warriors are willing to give up. It matters what the T’Wolves want. It doesn’t even matter where KG wants to go. He doesn’t have a say. Minnesota can trade him to Atlanta if they want to. KG can pout, not report, etc. But he still has to go or hold out, or somehow convince the Hawks to move him.
Personally, I wouldn’t give up Andris and Monta unless I manage to get a top five draft pick (maybe top 10, if someone I really want will be there). Otherwise, Andris or Monta and the pick — Richardson or Harrington, depending on which youngster they want.
As far as the Warriors roster, Patrick O’Bryant is guaranteed through next season. The only way he doesn’t come back is if they trade him. But who wants him? Sarunas has a player option for $4 million. No way he walks away from that. But he could be used to make the numbers match in a trade. I think they keep Kelenna for the minimum. There’s a chance Powell can come back for the minimum, too, but it depends on where they are luxury tax wise. If they are in the tax, Powell is a goner. I think the re-sign Barnes. I think Pietrus is gone unless they get him for dirt cheap.
Most of it depends on whatever piece they add, assuming they add a piece. If they go out and get a four, no need for Powell. He’s never going to play. If they get another perimeter player who can create, Kelenna becomes redundant.
Zarko’s a goner. And I still think there’s a good chance Richardson is moved. If Mullin’s smart, he knows they have to add a piece, preferrably a power forward. The best way to get someone significant who can help them challenge Phoenix and San Antonio right now is to use Richardson as bait, or give up Andris and Monta.
This is the Warriors’ first bad break in long time, in my opinion. The more I think about it, the more I fear the Jazz if I’m the Warriors.
The Houston Rockets are tailored to the Warriors strengths. They are slow. They struggle to score. They lack depth.
Utah, on the other hand, have quite a bit of offensive weapons. They can get up and down the court some. They are great at home (31 wins). They are also tough and physical, particularly Harpring and Paul Millsap.
Can the Warriors beat Utah? Sure. But, from where I sit, going through Salt Lake City is a much tougher road than through Houston. The Warriors don’t have as many match-up advantages.
*Don Nelson doesn’t have as much of an advantage on the chalkboard against Jerry Sloan as he would have against Jeff Van Gundy
*Baron Davis doesn’t have as much of an advantage over Deron Williams as he would have against Rafer Alston
*Carlos Boozer, unlike Yao Ming, is athletic and the Warriors won’t be able to use the uptempo style of play to take him out of the game as they could’ve done with Yao.
*Houston is horrible offensively. If Yao and McGrady average 30 in the series, that’s still only 60 points. Houston doesn’t have a consistent, or even capable, third scorer. Utah, on the other hand, have three guys who can go for 25 (Boozer, Deron, Okur; four if you count Fisher) and they ranked seventh in the league in scoring (101.48).
*I won’t have much to do in Utah. In Houston, I had plenty of options. Any suggestions for Salt Lake City activities, restaurants, etc.?
“Why is monta struggling in the playoffs?” – manhattanproj
I think it was a combination of three things. 1) He’s young. No mater how much swagger he displays, he’s still very young and immature when it comes to experience; 2) He didn’t have a decided quickness advantage. Because Devin Harris was so quick, and the Mavs frontline was so long, it was much harder for Monta to make stuff happen. His pull-ups were contested. His layups were contested. His defense was suspect because he couldn’t stay in front of Harris; 3) His handles need work. In the playoffs, your flaws get exposed. The Warriors played quite a bit of halfcourt ball, and they needed people to create. Monta had a hard time getting to the basket because they were forcing him left. If he could dribble better, he would’ve taken advantage of that better.
This is all good news because Rafer Alston and the rest of the old head Rockets are two steps slower than Monta. And he’ll have a series under his belt, so he will be better in the nerves department.
Last night, after experiencing Game 6 live, I got home at about 1 a.m. I had my wife DVR the game for me so I could dissect it Friday. But before I knew it, I was on the edge of my seat at 3 a.m., watching Jax drop in 3-pointers like socks in a hamper.
That was the most surreal experience I’ve ever had in basketball. I am just totally befuddle at how the Warriors just made the Mavericks look like CYO consolation champions.
I was so drooling over the Mavericks this year. I thought they had the most complete team in the league. I was such a huge fan of what Dirk had become and how he’d lifted that team. Josh Howard was, to me, one of the most underrated players in the league. I like the kind of guy Avery is. I love Cuban’s persona and craziness. I mean, that was a team I could get behind.
And the Warriors just chumped them!
The crazy part is that the Warriors got nothing from Al Harrington, very little from Monta, and much less from Jason Richardson they they’re used to getting. Anyway, he’res a recap of the series from one reporters perspective:
BEST MOVE: Nellie sitting Al Harrington and starting Andris Biedrins — We all knew how the Warriors would play. Nellie kept saying that he had his eight guys and he were going to play how they play. So after Avery reponds to small ball by going big, Nellie countered with Andris. They had no answer for him, when you think about it. He limited how much Diop hurt the Warriors (and he was hurting the Warriors) and he took the pressure off Baron and others to finish their own drives – which is what they were forced to do in the first couple of games. Andris is their best finisher, and his energy, coupled with the crowd, was way too high voltage for the Mavs.
WORST MOVE: Avery starting with the small lineup in Game 1. That was checkmate right there. He changed the entire tenor of the series by chasing Nellie.
BEST PLAYER: Baron Davis. No doubt. He deserves mention among the game’s most clutch players.
WORST PLAYER: Jason Terry. I know, everyone is thinking Dirk. But I think Dirk at least kept the attention of the Warriors. He kept the Warriors honest on defense and lured two or three defenders to his area. Those other defenders were focused on Josh Howard. That should’ve opened it up for Terry to have a big series. When he’s not scoring, he’s not contributing anything, not even drawing the attention of the defense to open up things for his teammates.
BEST GAME: I have to go with Game 5, even though the Warriors lost. That was such a riveting game. So many peaks and valleys. Up 21. Down 9. 15-0 run to close the game. The Warriors were knocking down threes left and right. Dirk stepped up. There was the Jax ejection, the Richardson incident. That game was just chilling.
WORST GAME: Game 2. The Warriors meltdown, with Baron and Jax getting ejected, really tainted the game. That wasn’t playoff basketball.
BEST ROLE PLAYER: Matt Barnes. He did everything. Defended. Rebounded. Scored. Ran point. Committed hard fouls. Got in the Mavericks head. Dunks on Dirk after getting blocked by Dirk. He was awesome.
WORST ROLE PLAYER: Greg Buckner. They bought him in to defend. He couldn’t guard anybody. And he didn’t bring anything on offense.
BEST RUN: The Warriors third quarter surge during Game 6 was so dominant. They just took the life out of the Mavericks, who had fought so hard to get back in the series, in one fell swoop. The crowd was as loud as you’d ever heard. Even Carlos Santana and Snoop got hyphy.
WORST RUN: The Warriors’ scoreless drought to end Game 5. There’s no excuse for going 3 minutes, 20 seconds without scoring, especially when one basket at the right time wins the game and ends the series.
Houston or Utah? The Rockets or Jazz? Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming or Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer?
The Warriors can run circles around the Rockets, who don’t have the offense to keep up with the Warriors. But you can never count out players such as T-Mac and Yao over a series. You have to assume they’ll figure out how to counter the Warriors’ scheme.
Utah are not a very good road team and they won’t stand a chance of winning in Oakland. They don’t have the mismatch advantage the Rockets have. Like Dallas, they are all guardable.
But Utah is gritty. They are a great rebounding team. They are physical. They are tough. That’s the formula for slowing down a fast team.
So, who do you want? I’m looking forward to see what you think, because it is kind of a toss-up.
I say Houston. But I admit. I’m biased. I have a lot of family in Houston.
Funny (or not so funny) story involving Stephen Jackson last night. He was walking to the team bus after the game. On the route he took, he walked past this bar inside of American Airlines Center. The bar, the front of which was floor-to-ceiling windows, was packed with Mavericks fans who, when they seen Jackson, started pounded on the glass and jeering him.
Jackson slows down and flashes a smile to the fans in jest as he walks by, soaking it in. He holds up his iced-out medallion to the people in the bar, as if be stealing the Dave Chappelle line “I’m Rich …”
Just in case they didn’t get the message, Jackson stopped, pulled out a fat wad of cash and taunted the crowd with it.
“I’m an (#%&)hole,” Jackson said as he walked away. “That’s how I got here.”
Stephen Jackson already shot back at Barkley for saying the Warriors going to get swept. Jackson teased Barkley for not having a ring by reminding Barkley that he has one. So, after Chuck continued dissing the Warriors, Jackson continued rebutting. Here’s what he said today:
“Chuck, I’ve been watching your T-Mobile commercials, and I see that Dwyane is really having trouble figuring out why he can’t get in your five. And I’ve figured it out — D-Wade, I hope you’re watching. The reason why you can’t get in Chuck’s five is because his five is full, and I did some investigating and I figured out who’s in his top five.
You’ve got five people in front of you: McDonald’s, Domino’s, Burger King, it was Subway, but he pushed them out for Cinnabon, and Krispy Kreme is last on his list. So, D-Wade, I mean, if you open a restaurant or something, maybe you can get in his top five, but until then, just keep shooting the commercials and hopefully you can slide in there. But Chuck’s a big eater.”
Jackson said he’s ready for whatever Barkley has to say in response. In fact, Jackson said he has three comebacks waiting. He was sure to point out it’s all in good fun:
“Chuck’s having some fun with us; we’re going to have some fun with him. Chuck, I’m happy for you, do your thing. . . . We love the motivation you’re giving us. Just be ready to put on that Warriors jersey and take that Mavericks jersey off.”
“With all this weird discussion about next year going on in your blog and some in the GSoM blog, like trading for KG and so on, I might as well ask: In general, in your opinion, who has a greater trade value (in general), Monta or AB? And who would the Warriors miss more?” — commish
This is a tough one, because both players are the types that make coaches and GMs salivate. Size and scoring are the two most desired commodities in the league. Andris has size, Monta has the knack for scoring. In the end, I’d have to say Monta has the greater value because he has the more recognizable name.
You get paid in the NBA based on potential. Monta’s potential is tangible, enticing. You can see Ellis molding into the next Gilbert Arenas, Allen Iverson. You can see Biedrins molding into the next … you just don’t know.
You can’t really put a finger on how good Andris could be, and you can’t overlook the fact that this maybe who he’s going to be — an energy player. Because of that, I think Monta might be more attractive.
But then again, Andris is 6-11 and can rebound. That’s enticing, too, and what the Warriors would miss most.
“It’s still early to think about next season, but do you think the warriors can replicate the same type of success next season? last yr, the clippers were pretty good too, but they fail to make the playoffs this year.”
I think the Warriors have to upgrade the roster this summer, otherwise they will be the Clippers. Maybe not miss the playoffs, but make it as a 7 or 8 seed when they’re expected to be a 4 or 5.
The fact is, the NBA is too good — the coaching, the scouting, the players — to stand pat. You have to upgrade the roster, either by the current players getting better or by getting better players.
Every roster has holes. Every team has weaknesses. The more time elapses, the more likely someone will figure out how to exploit them.
The Warriors can’t go into next season with this exact same roster and expect better results. Who says Baron can hold up under a season of this? Can Harrington be effective as a center over the course of a season? Can the Warriors survive with a turnover-prone, score-first back-up point guard?
The Warriors would be silly to think they don’t need any changes. Dallas didn’t make any significant upgrades. Neither did Miami. Neither did the Lakers or Clippers.
But Phoenix did (getting Stoudemire back). San Antonio did (adding Elson and playing Oberto more, which made them more athletic). Detroit did (signing Webber). Chicago did (adding Ben Wallace, Tyrus Thomas) Utah did (getting a healthy Boozer, and Deron improved). Houston did (by getting T-Mac and Yao on the court together more often).
The only players who you can expect to improve significantly is Monta and Andris. But will their strides be enough? I doubt it. They won’t cover up the significant rebound advantage, for starters.
The Warriors have to improve this roster to take the next step. Or they will be the Clippers.