Memphis is Pretty Terrible

If you think the Warriors don’t play any defense, try catching a Grizzlies game. At least the Warriors force turnovers and rack up steals. Memphis doesn’t even do that.
You should’ve seen Juan Carlos Navarro and Damon Stoudamire trying to guard Baron Davis and Monta Ellis. Actually, the numbers tell you all you need to know.

Baron/Monta: 45 points, 17-for-33 shooting, 11 assists, 9 rebounds, 3 steals, 4 turnovers
Damon/Juan: 25 points, 11-for-26 shooting, 9 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, 3 turnovers

Aside from Rudy Gay, and I guess Pau Gasol, who I’ve never been a big fan of, this team leaves a lot to be desired. I really thought they were going to contend for the eighth spot. What was I thinking?

And what were you all thinking, everyone who wanted the Warriors to sign Darko Milicic? Boy were you guys off base!


This Was Ugly

For some reason, the Warriors didn’t come to play. They were really sluggish and uninspired. They chucked jumpers on offense and reached on defense.

Check out these lines:
Baron Davis 2 points, 1-for-8 FGs, 1 assist, 3 turnovers
Monta Ellis 8 points, 2-for-5 FGs, 3 assists, 0 turnovers
Al Harrington 7 points, 3-for-7 FGs, 1 rebound, 1 assists
Stephen Jackson 13 points, 6-for-12 FGs, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 4 turnovers

Conversely, they were getting shredded on offense. Baron gave up 19 points to Billups, 11 of which came at the FT line. Prince, guarded mostly by Jackson, had 23 points on 8-for-14 shooting. McDyess outplayed Harrington, finishing with 14 points on 7-for-9 shooting and 11 rebounds. Hamilton schooled Monta for 13 points and six assists on 6-for-11 shooting.

Jax was upset after this one. He went on a rant as if they were in a five-game losing streak (maybe he sees something coming):

Q: One good thing was that the starters got rest, right?
“I don’t need (any) rest. We got our butt kicked. We weren’t ready to play and that’s terrible. That’s terrible to say when you start the road trip off getting blasted like this. You’ve got to be ready to play. This is definitely uncalled for. We’re a professional team and we’ve got to be ready to play. There’s no excuse for us to come out and get blown like that, to start a road trip off like that. That’s terrible.”

What’s the reason for this?
“Just not ready to play. I don’t know why. We’ve got a great job. Everybody’s healthy enough to play. I don’t know why we weren’t ready to play. I can’t answer that question.”

“As a team, some guys came ready to play, certain guys came in not ready to play, and we can’t be like that. We’ve got to be on the same page to win games. We’re not a great team. We haven’t done anything yet. We still have a lot of work to do and we’ve got to continue to keep that underdog attitude. Once we get too confident, games like this happen. That’s not the team we’ve got to be. We’ve got to be the team that continues to go out there and respect other teams and feel like we still have a lot to prove. We haven’t done anything yet, and we’ve got to go out there and continue to play like it.”

You worried about the offense?
“Offense is not our problem. We’re going to score points. It’s our defense and competing. We’re a soft team. We’re not being aggressive on defense. We’re not being a scrappy team. It’s a defensive thing. Guys not ready to play. Offensively, we’ve got so many guys who can score, I don’t guys should come in the game worrying about scoring. We need to play defense. That’s how we’re going to be the team we needed to be.”

Last time you guys were here, you all played great spirited basketball. Did you …
“We had J-Rich, too.”

Did you expect to play that same way coming here again?
“We should’ve come in here and felt like that. This is the first game of our road trip. We should’ve came in here with a little swagger, kind of how we played last year. We won by 30 points here last year. I came in here feeling good about it. It’s not about me. We’ve got to do it as a team.”

Good leadership or overreacting? What do you think?


No Respect from Lakers

“C’mon. I’ve seen so much, man. I’ve seen like real rivalries. This regular season stuff … this is child’s play. This is like slap boxing.” – Kobe Bryant after Friday’s loss to the Warriors

Slap bloxing? That’s cold, Kobe.

He played the Warriors for an irritating little stepbrothers. He brushed off Golden State’s emotional victory like an uncle dismisses his nephew’s lucky win in Scrabble.

It’s not hard to see how low the Lakers regard the Warriors. Even Laker fans, who were nearly as deep as Warrior fans Friday, were in Oracle with their chests out, resting their feet on the Warriors’ coffee table.

The Warriors and their fans certainly circle the Laker game on the calendar and relish any time their team can “Beat L.A.” Oracle went pretty crazy as the Warriors closed the game with a 14-4 run to steal a victory, snapping their nine-game skid to the Lakers. There was confetti. Leaping celebrations. An ovation. The crowd hasn’t been that ecstatic since the playoff series against Dallas. As a matter of fact, the crowd hasn’t been that large since the playoff series against Dallas. Friday’s attendance (20,705) set the record for largest crowd to witness a game in Cali.

To be sure, it was a big win for the Warriors. They moved to three games above .500 (13-10), which was vital heading into a five-game road trip starting Sunday. Plus, they got a win over one of their bullies, as the Lake Show has won 14 of the last 15 meeting before Friday.

Though playing the Lakers is the most anticipated game of the Warriors season, especially from the fans perspective, the Warriors don’t rate so high on the Lakers radar.

Why else would coach Phil Jackson pulled Kobe Bryant with 1:27 left in the game and the Lakers ahead 104-103? He brought him back in just over a minute later, but the Laker lead was now a four-point advantage. Jackson said it was because Bryant sustained a quad injury (some five minutes earlier). Seriously? If the Lakers were playing San Antonio or Phoenix, Bryant would finish the game with a splint trapped to his leg and no shoes.

Bryant tweaked his thigh some five minutes earlier. Jackson said he noticed Bryant was too hobbled to defend, but not for offense. So he took Kobe out.

That was a straight slap in the face to the Warriors, who Jackson thought that either a) the Lakers could win without Kobe, or b) wasn’t phased by a loss to the Warriors. Remember, Jackson held out starting small forward Luke Walton when the teams met in L.A. Sunday, so Walton can get an extra day of rest before facing San Antonio.

If Phil didn’t get the “Warriors who?” message across, Kobe did.

“(This loss) doesn’t hurt at all,” Bryant said. “Not one bit. … They played extremely well in the second half, made a lot of big shots. But we still had a lot of opportunities to win the basketball game. We feel very good about this game. This loss didn’t do anything for us.”


Lakers Jinx

Once again, the Warriors are up to their old tricks against the Lakers. They’re getting caught up in the hype and intensity and doing too much. They Warriors scored just 17 first quarter points. They were 10-for-30 with 9:21 left in the second quarter. They have already taken 11 threes, making 2. Not only are they jacking up crazy shots and not sharing the ball, they are regularly getting lost on defense.
They always play this outta control, no discipline ball against the Lakers.


Blog Question

Mind giving some insights on why or what aspects Belinelli is struggling? From summer league, I know he’s not ready defensively, but on offense, he looks NBA ready. How come he’s not even active for a lot of the games? – manhattanproj

First off, let me start by saying that it’s OK, probably even a good thing, that Belinelli isn’t playing yet. Matt Steinmetz, Fox Sports sideline reporter, made a good point a while ago: rookies don’t play for the league’s best teams. And it’s true. Which rookie plays any significant minutes for San Antonio, Phoenix, Dallas, Boston, Detroit or Utah? If you need a rookie to play, you’re not that good of a team. So it’s a good thing that the Warriors don’t need to run Marco out there.
As far as his struggles, Belinelli is simply a one-trick pony right now. He can shoot the ball. Other than that, he can’t bring anything more – at least not as much as Monta Ellis, Kelenna Azubuike or Mickael Pietrus, who play the same position.
Marco is fraile, which hurts him on defense. He’s not a good rebounder, which guards in this system need to be. He is a better passer and creator than most know, but he needs time to develop. This is just a higher level than he’s played before.


Boom Dizzle Televizzle

Reebok Entertainment is debuting a new television show called Framed. It airs Friday night at 7:30 on the Independent Film Channel (Comcast 503, Direct TV 559, Dish Network 331). And guess who’s starring in the premiere episode?

That’s right. B. Diddy.

“Framed” is documentary top show that pairs two celebrities — an athlete and an entertainer — and one creates a 30-minute short film on the other. Rapper Nelly will do a short film on Allen Iverson. Actress Regina King (Cuba Gooding Jr.’s wife in Jerry Maguire) will do one on Vince Young. International soccer star Thierry Henry will be “framed” by actress Paz Vega (the housekeeper on Spanglish).

For the first debut eoisode, Baron is teaming up with Emmanuelle Chriqui (Sloan, Eric’s girl, in the HBO show Entourage). She spent two days kicking it with and filming Baron around Las Vegas and Los Angeles. She captured Baron in a whole different funkadelic light.

The trailer is pretty funny. Baron is really on skates in some tight shorts and a young tanktop.