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Poor Elton

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Elton Brand is one of my favorite people in the league. He is such a down-to-earth and sincere cat. Really nice guy. So he’s one of the last people I want to see something like this happen to.
Nonetheless, this is a break the Warriors need. Brand and the Clippers were on a mission to hunt down the Warriors. I was in their locker room the night the Warriors eliminated them. They couldn’t believe they were beat out for the eighth seed by the lowly Warriors. Brand, who was upset about his role and kept it all in to avoid more distraction, gave me one of those it ain’t over looks, you know, like the villain gives the good guy while the police arrest him and take him to jail.
If Mike Dunleavy is worth his weight, he would realize that Corey Maggette is a beast and Elton Brand is the focus of the offense, and the Clippers would’ve been a better team. That’s not good news for the Warriors.
Now that Brand is out until February, you can count the Clippers out. No way they survive in the West going six months without their best player – especially not with Sam Cassell (who is sure to miss 30 games) as the starting point guard. Stick a fork in the Clippers now.
That’s good news for the Warriors because that’s one less team they have to worry about.

Marcus Thompson

  • Andrew Rosenblum

    I share your admiration for EB — such a great player and a nice guy. And even though I’m glad the Ws don’t have to worry about the Clips anymore (Livingston and Brand out, what terrible, terrible luck), I feel bad for the team. That one great season two years ago really had Los Angeles re-considering its basketball loyalties. But this year with the Clips mediocre again, everyone went back to thinking Lakers all the time. The Clippers window of opportunity seems to have closed. Maybe in 2009, with Brand back, and Livingston possibly back…

  • itsagreattimeout

    Do you think the Warriors van profit from this? Maybe Sarunas and Lasme for Cassell?

  • commish

    If Brand is back at full speed by Feb I’ll eat my ticket stubs. By that I mean he may be on the bench, but there is no way he’ll be playing at his usually high and aggressive level. This injury is very hard to heal and rehab. I wish him luck; and you sure have to feel badly about the Clips losing two starters for at least part of the upcoming season. Still, there are no guarantees we can beat the Clippers. At least in the past, they have sure had a number.

  • john

    I share your thoughts. Brand is a class guy who plays hard and takes every loss to heart. Although he couldn’t believe the lowly Warriors beat them to the 8th spot, he should now realize they were the better team down the stretch, but only by one game. Of course the game I’m referring to is the Kings/Clippers game in L.A. where only Brand and Maggette showed up to play. Now, unless they pull off a big trade to get another low post study, I also agree most likely you won’t see Clippers in the playoffs. And, what’s more, rehabbing an achilles is a long term project that will take months and months. For an athlete like Brand, his season is over.

  • JC

    Blog question: Marcus, with the signing of Barnes, the Warriors’ roster appears to be set. However, I don’t see much of an improvement from last season’s roster. As a matter of fact, the roster might have regressed with the subtraction of Richardson. (The only major addition being the 2 rookies and nobody knows how they will turn out) Last season, Warriors needed that incredible run at the end just to barely made the playoffs. Inspite of much optimism from the fans this year, I see the Warriors struggling to make the playoffs again, let alone leapfrog any of playoffs teams from last season. Chances are the Hornets (and the Clippers before Brand got hurt) is a better team than the Warriors. My question is do you think the Warriors should make another move?

  • JustPuked

    This hasn’t been the huge splash off-season many of us were hoping for, but it was still a very good off season for the Warriors. Without re-capping all the financial benefits, suffice to say the Warriors have drastically improved their financial outlook. Concentrating solely on the roster, there’s a lot to be happy about.

    Last Year’s No Injury, Post-Trade, Final Run and Playoffs Rotation:

    Starters:
    PG Baron Davis,
    SG Jason Richardon,
    SG Stephen Jackson,
    PF Matt Barnes
    C Al Harrington

    Bench:
    Monta Ellis
    Mickael Pietrus
    Andris Biedrins

    That’s it. Everyone in the rotation played and everyone started at some point or another, but not much depth or size at the power positions.

    This year’s No Injury, Rotation:

    Starters:
    PG Baron Davis
    SG Monta Ellis
    SF Stephen Jackson (Barnes starts first 7 games)
    PF Al Harrington
    C Andris Biedrins

    Bench:
    Matt Barnes (sixth man of the year candidate)
    Marco Belinelli
    Kelenna Azubuike
    Brandan Wright
    Austin Croshere

    Kosta Perovic will have a shot to make the rotation as well.
    Mickael Pietrus could re-sign and bump Azubuike, walk in which case we probably sign Lasme who won’t make the rotation, or a s/t for a player that may or may not make the rotation. Too many what if’s really.

    Back to this year’s rotation, it’s a much deeper team. It’s particularly deeper, bigger and taller at the power forward and center positions. Golden State needs a deep and versatile team to continue to run Nelson’s offense and more importantly, to continue their ball denial, style of defense. A deeper team wouldn’t have faded down the stretch against the Jazz for instance. This roster also gives the Warriors breathing room when Baron has his annual injury.

    A step back, no. It’s a very positive step forward. Sure, Kevin Garnett would have been one hell of a sexy splash but who knows exactly what that would have cost? As to making other moves, I’d be happy to see Mullin let Pietrus walk and sign Lasme. Either way, that leaves the team with a fat trade exception, as well as Jasikevicius and POB’s expiring contracts (MP’s as well if he re-signs) to play deal maker if the right situation comes up. Now that’s a damn good off-season. You wanna compare that to any of the off season’s over the previous decade or so?

  • JC

    Sorry, but i just don’t see the team’s off season needs being addressed at all. Essentially, this is the same team as last year with the exception of Croshere and a couple of rookies.
    First off, the rebounding/interior defense need hasn’t been dealt with. Croshere hardly fulfills the team’s need for rebounding and/or interior defense. As for Wright, he looks like he needs to bulk up in order to be an effective PF in this league. As a matter of fact, the rebounding is probably worse off than last year. With the departure of Richardson, and if Pietrus does not return, that’s roughly 10 boards per game right there out of the window. (Statistically, they were 2 of the better rebounding guards in the league, and that will be hard to replace.)
    Plus the W’s still haven’t addressed the other need this off season: a back-up PG. Looking at the present roster being at its max, an acquisition for a back-up PG is probably out of the question.

  • EJ

    Jasikevicious for Earl Watson, straight up.

    back pg problem solved!

    (ha! if it were only so easy.)

  • TPG

    The off-season is still far from over and I’m hoping for at least one more move from the Warriors i.e. trade Jasikevicius, O’Bryant, and either Pietrus or Barnes for the Heat’s Jason Williams. Most of Miami’s salary is already committed to Shaq, Dwayne Wade, Antoine Walker, and Udonis Haslem for at least 2 more years. And this year that’s about $55M, so they can’t accept any more high or mid priced free agents except through trade. In Jasikevicius, the Heat get a backup point guard to Smush Parker and who knows, Sarunas may be the better PG in the Heat’s half court style of play. With either Pietrus or Barnes, they get a replacement for Jason Kapono; albeit a slight drop-off in 3 point shooting, but by far a better defensive player to go along with Penny Hardaway. Trading O’Bryant allows the salaries to simply match-up, though Patrick should also be able to learn something from Shaq, Mourning, and company.

    In Jason Williams, the Warriors get a veteran backup for Baron Davis, whose style should be perfect for Nellie’s system. A brilliant passer, who can still see the entire court; Jason Williams is also fearless when it’s time to shoot. Nellie should be able get him into running shape, much like he did with Baron. And if Jason Williams doesn’t workout for the Warriors, his contract expires this year and the Warriors will have more cap space to re-sign players next year and pursue the Maverick’s Devin Harris. (The Mavericks should have about $60M committed next year to Nowitzki, Dampier, Howard, Terry, and Stackhouse). Now that Monta Ellis and Devin Harris are both on the USA Select Team, it should be real interesting to see what this young, explosive backcourt can do. The Select Team meets the National Team soon, 8/22 – 9/3 in Las Vegas.

  • 30yearsofWatchingWarriors

    I beleive that Wright will be the best player on the Warriors in 3 years; or at least the best Big for them in 15. I have never seen a draftee with such an upside since I don’t know when.

    30yearsofWatchingWarriors