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B. Diddy Wants Back In?

According to Stephen Jackson, who spent Saturday with his friend Baron Davis, the former Warriors guard wouldn’t mind being traded back to Golden State. Jackson has already launched the campaign to get Davis back to Oakland.
“That’s all we talked about,” Jackson said. “I went to his house, spent some time with his mom and his grandmother. He wants to come back. And if he wants to come back, I want him back.”
Obviously, things haven’t gone well in Los Angeles. The Clippers are 8-21 after getting smoked by Dallas at home on Sunday afternoon. But Davis has said all along he didn’t want to leave. Get this: Clippers owner Donald Sterling is a huge fan of Corey Maggette and didn’t want him to go. Maggette plus one could get the deal done. Jackson’s already started lobbying.
“I think that would be great for us,” Jackson said. “Coach loves him. Him and (guard) Monta (Ellis) have good chemistry. If they could work that out, that would be great for the organization.”
So, would you want Baron Davis back? For who? Let’s hear it …

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Post-game Tidbits (at Miami)

This is rant night. Bare with me.

* Down six, 29.8 seconds left, the other team’s missed 11 of 25 free throws. What do you do? Most would foul. The NBA is notorious for extending the game with intentional fouls, if for nothing other than to keep up appearances.
But tonight, Nellie was in total whatever mode. He chose not to foul, letting Wade dribble away the Warriors’ remote chance at victory. Good move? Bad move? What do you think?
Part of me feels him. It’s the end of a long road trip, Christmas eve is on the horizon (and two days off), and you know Wade is going to pull it out for Miami. He’s right, too. They weren’t going to win. Why mess around with appearances?
But while I get his logic, it’s still a bad move, IMHO. It’s such the wrong message to send to the youngsters you’re trying to teach. How are you going to tell them to close out hard on a shooter when you won’t do everything you can to win? How does it help their confidence when the coach is saying “no use, we’re going to lose anyway” (figuratively and literally). A veteran team, OK. I get you. They understand how the game goes. But a group of youngsters scrapping hard out there trying not to get embarrased, giving it all they got, and you throw in the towel for them? Ain’t there some Yogi Berra cliche you’re supposed to throw at them? Some slogan from one of those cheesy posters at the gym you’re supposed to spot.
It wouldn’t be so bad, but it’s an recurring theme. He said playoffs are out. He’s always talking about how they’re not going to win games. He pulls the starters faster than any coach in the league (and I’ve talked to players in the locker room about how soon he’s willing to throw in the towel, and they’re amazed). He just forked over part of his duties to the assistants. Now he’s giving up hope prematurely.
This gives credence to those who say he’s not the right coach for such a young team.

* Andris played like he was jealous that all the other veterans got to sit out and he had to play. I felt bad for him. That should’ve been Wright or Randolph out there instead of him, though he did have five steals.

* I know, I know. I’m crazy. But how does Marcus Williams not play this game??? The dude is a point guard who can score and pass, he can make plays on offense. I don’t care if he can’t play defense. When you’re shooting below 40 percent and have more turnovers than assists, you need a playmaker on offense. Run him out there, let him get comfortable, get his confidence up. I would much rather him with the ball in his hands trying to make something happen than Azubuike or Nelson or Morrow. It just befuddles me. OK, he doesn’t defend. What, are the Warriors suddenly the Spurs? Hello! Opponents are shooting 50 percent every night.
I’m not saying he should be starting or should be the back-up or anything like that. I’m just saying it is unreasonable to think you can’t use him. You can use Rob Kurz in certain situations. You can use DeMarcus Nelson in certain situations. Ditto for Williams. Tonight was one of those situations.

* One player the new drive-and-kick offense is hurting is Kelenna Azubuike. It is forcing him away from his strength. He is handling the ball a lot, but not in the spots/situations he’s used to. He flourishes in transition, in the post, and isolations with space. Now, the Warriors are playing half-court, motion offense. He hardly ever has room to operate. He doesn’t get to post up at all. And the Warriors’ fast break is flat-lined, so that part of his game goes unused. The result is turnovers, tough shots and a lack of a rhythm. Tonight he was 6-for-19 with 4 TOs. It’s because he’s not a playmaker yet. He’s a scorer. But, especially with the injuries, he’s being forced to be a playmaker. But I guess if he’s ever going to learn, now is the time.

* Something impressed me tonight. And it’s odd that it came up since I just asked Jackson about this. Crawford, who missed Tuesday’s game, didn’t have a blazer, which is required to sit on the bench for those not in uniform. He said he’s been living out of his trunk and before the road trip he just grabbed some gear, stuffed it in a suit case and took off. Now, he’s not hurting for money, so he could have bought a blazer. But he can hardly walk (still could’ve sent someone to purchase him a blazer) and he came to the arena hoping against hope he would be able to play tonight after treatment.
Anyway, he didn’t have a blazer so he would’ve had to sit in the locker room and watch the game. Instead, he wore CJ’s blazer. The sleeves were noticably short, as his french cuffs were hanging out. Plus, it didn’t match his brown-and-pink get-up (a small thing for us, but we are talking about millionaire athletes). Still, there he was, in an ever-so-young blazer, so he could sit on the bench with his teammates.

* Rob Kurz got a DNP-CD

* Randolph matched up with No. 2 overall pick Michael Beasley a bit tonight. The Warriors’ rookie came away the victor. He finished with 10 points on 2-for-9 shooting, six rebounds, two blocks a steal and 3 TOs in 21 minutes. Beasley had 5 points on 2-for-7 shooting, two rebounds, two turnovers and a block in 13 minutes.
The highlights of their head-to-head included Randolph swatting a Beasley shot into the backboard and Randolph soaring past Beasley, who didn’t block out, for a two-hand tip dunk.

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Pre-Game Tidbits (at Miami)

* Crawford, who is out for tonight’s game, has on a shirt, tie and sweater, but the league requires a blazer when sitting on the bench. So, Crawford, who is 6-foot-5, is going to wear the blazer of teammate C.J. Watson, who is 6-foot-2. Crawford tried it on. Let’s just say he needed to pull his wrists up.

* Check out this starting five: C Biedrins, PF Wright, SF Azubuike, SG Belinelli, PG Watson. So, that means Belinelli is guarding Dwyane Wade? Here’s to hoping C.J. Watson takes wade and Belinelli takes point guard Mario Chalmers, though I’m not sure if that will make much of a difference.

* Forward Brandan Wright said he’s determined to not get in foul trouble early tonight. The last two games, he’s combined for 5 fouls in the first nine minutes.
“I don’t know, maybe I was too aggressive,” Wright said. “Getting in foul trouble like that just throws your rhythm off.”

* What’s the over-under on how much they lose by tonight?

1

UPDATE: Crawford Out

The Warriors guard confirmed a strained groin will keep him out of the lineup tonight. He said he sustained the injury during warm-ups at Orlando. He was too overzealous during a stretching exercise and felt it immediately.
“I’m never trying that stretch again,” Crawford said. “Coach (Keith) Smart said he hurt himself doing the same stretch (in his playing career). I don’t think it helped to play on it because I felt it before the game.”
Crawford said he doesn’t know how long he’ll be out. He said he’s hoping to play on Friday against visiting Boston. He was waiting for “the guys who are playing” to finish getting treatment before he could have his turn in the training room. He expected then to find out more about the severity of the injury or if he needs an MRI.
Crawford said he played Monday because he was concerned about the reaction from the locker room had he sat out.
“I didn’t want people to think, ‘Oh, he had 50 and now he’s not playing,’” said Crawford, who sprained his ankle pretty bad at San Antonio on Dec. 6, but played through it because Stephen Jackson and Corey Maggette was hurt. “I care about what my teammates think.”
Crawford is known as the Heat killer. He’s hat some big games against Miami, including 52 in January of 2007 at Madison Square Garden (in which he made 16 straight shots) and 40 in Oakland earlier this season. Against Miami, he’s averaging 34.5 points and 5.5 assists this season.
“We’re well aware of the history he’s had against us,” Erik Spoelstra said pre-game.

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Crawford Maybe Out Tonight at Miami

Add guard Jamal Crawford will likely join the list of Warriors wounded stars. A strained left groin has his availability tonight in serious jeopardy. Crawford, according to a team source, sustained the injury just before Monday’s game in Orlando but played anyway. He may not be able to play through it tonight. He’s been receiving treatment all day and is a game-time decision.
There is a very real chance the Warriors could play tonight down three starters, which hurts their chances of stealing a game this road trip. Going 2-3 would look much better than 1-4.

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Pre-game (Rather, Maybe-I-Should-Stop-Calling-It-Pregame) Tidbits

* So, at shootaround today, Nelson got a little irritated with answering questions about Brandan Wright’s minutes. He said “I’m tired of answering questions about that.”
Guess who started? Yup. Brandan Wright. Again, he had a poor start. Two fouls in two minutes. First guy off the bench? No, not Anthony Randolph. Nor Ronny Turiaf. But Rob Kurz.

* Mickael Pietrus is back, but he’s coming off the bench now. I have a feeling he’s going to have a big game. Anyway, I was thinking … Azubuike is pretty much playing MPs position (since Maggette is an entrenched starter). Who wouold you rather have, MP or Azubuike?

* Jackson said his hand is improving, but he still doesn’t know if it will be OK by the Boston game. He was out tonight. And he’s on the bench this game. Last game, he was in the locker room. I asked him why does he sometimes watch games in the locker room. He said he does when he doesn’t have a blazer. Really? Seems like he could buy a blazer.
He said the games are much better from the bench than the locker room. He watched Crawford’s 50 from the locker room, but was on the bench from Atlanta, often the first one to greet Marco.

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Pre-Game (rather, Game-Has-Already-Started) Tidbits

* The starting PF tonight is … (drum roll) … Brandan Wright. Kurz is back to the bench after going scoreless on four shots in 13 minutes (two rebounds and two assists, though).
How is this for a comedy: Wright played five minutes, missing all three shots and picking up three fouls, before being yanked.

* And guess who replaced Wright? No, not Kurz, but Anthony Randolph. Yes, there was an Anthony Randolph citing. Before tonight, he had two straight DNP-CDs, which were preceded by a two-minute stint vs. Orlando and a 10-minute stint at Denver.

* Belinelli: 3-for-3 for 7 points with two assists in nine minutes. What has gotten into this dude? He can even dribble against pressure now. (For all those Belinelli loves out there, stay humble. Because his man, Raja Bell, had 10 points in 9 minutes.)

*Let me go on record saying I would not mind at all having Gerald Wallace as the power forward of the Warriors. If you’re going to go small, you might as well have a guy who can defend and rebound and score. Sure, he doesn’t shoot well enough to stretch the defense, as Nellie wants from 4s. But that’s a sacrifice worth making in exchange for Wallace’s athleticism, hustle and defense. He averages two steals and nearly a block a game to go with 7.8 rebounds. Plus he can finish strong and he’s a 78 percent FT shooter.