8

Dallas Wants it More

I knew this wasn’t going to be a good game for the Warriors. Everything was against them coming into Dallas and winning Wednesday.
For starters, two days of partying didn’t help. Plus, pulling out the first two games on the road trip took away the urgency.
Add to that, it’s Dallas – a team they’ve owned. The Warriors have already conquered Maverick Mountain. There’s no real need to get up for that again. This game means much more to Dallas than it does to the Warriors.
The Mavericks want this game bad. If they lose to the Warriors again, they will keep having to hear about the Warriors’ dominance the rest of the year. They’re going to hear it anyway, because this is just regular season. But to go 2-0 against their nemesis would do a little bit to change the subject.
The Warriors, on the other hand, lose little. If they go down today (the lead is only 11 right now), they walk away from a three-game road trip 2-1. That’s great. And they still have the postseason upset to hang their hats on when it comes to Dallas.
Just looking at the first half, they aren’t playing with the same hunger and urgency that they usually show against this team, that they showed at Denver and Houston.
But, then again, they waited until the 4th quarter to do so. Don’t look now, the Warriors are down just 8 at the half.

Marcus Thompson

  • http://www.futurewebstudios.com Justin W.

    Yeah, Marcus – I agree that the Dallas wanted this one more and that it didn’t mean as much to the Warriors because of all their recent successes. Nonetheless, I’m more upset with the Warriors than I’ve been at any point this season for two reasons. Reason one, the W’s where within 4 points at the start of the 4th and bumbled it all way within the blink of an eye! I can still hear the fear ebbing from the Mavericks home crowd now; it would have been perfect to break them all right then and there. The Warriors were in fact beaten fairly and squarely, but they also gave the game way, which is embarrassing.

    Reason two, I thought the W’s had reached the point of having ‘killer-instinct’ and a loss like that shows that they may not have it yet… When you are in someone’s head and you own them, you’ve got to keep owning them with severe and merciless beatings. I would’ve like to have seen a hard foul or two mixed in with some more junk talk to keep them out of their games. Now it will be that much harder to discipline the Mavs the next time. Dirk was allowed to get too much of his confidence back.

    BTW, we know Baron had a bad game tonight but what’s up with Biedrins? He’s been dropping passes and somewhat unaware when the ball is swinging toward him; when he does catch it, it sits in his hands for too long. He’s still good of course but I’ve noticed a performance drop from him.

  • JustPuked

    First time is a LOOOONG time I’ve hollered at the TV to get Jackson OUT of a game. He was a black hole for huge portions of the first and second. It seemed like Jerry Stackhouse’s comments were in his head.

    He came back strong in the second half but with Baron MIA all game long and Monta not being as aggressive as usual, there was just no chance to get back into it.

    The lack of a bench has been a popular topic but yet again, as soon as Nellie went past the usual eight, with Mbenga, he immediately fouled someone and gave up two shots at the free throw line. This bench, past the core eight, just isn’t there.

    Let’s hope they can get fired up for New Orleans. We’re in the hunt with them, a win would be huge.

  • Mavs Fan

    Dallas has absolutely owned the GS Thugs this year. I’m just waiting for B-Diddy’s back to go out again. And it’s only a matter of time before Stephen Jackson caps a stripper at a night club.

    Go Mavs!

  • EJ

    marcus,

    reason 83 you can’t give monta a max deal:

    he cannot play anyone who is anywhere near as quick as he is. for the few times he was on harris, he couldn’t stay with him. 32 year old iverson was able to contain him and ellis wasn’t able to do anything off the dribble. he’s becoming more of a liability when his game isn’t on or when the matchup doesn’t favor him. that happens to guys, but he doesn’t offer much else other than transition buckets when he stuggles.

    there was a sequence in the first quarter where he drove in on harris and picked up his dribble 15 feet from the hoop. he was looking to pass the whole time. problem was, pietrus, the guy he was looking to pass to was covered the whole time. what happens? he tries to squeeze it between two mavs at point blank range; turnover.

  • JustPuked

    EJ, ouch. Monta has been off his game ever since his 35 point explosion against the T-Wolves. His finger is still iffy from getting sprained against the Nuggets. Not sure how much of a factor that is, shouldn’t be too much, but it’s part of the picture. I wouldn’t caulk it ALL up to the “amazing defensive” of Iverson and Harris and some innate weakness in Monta’s game.

    Teams are now game planning for Monta as one of the Dubs primary scorers. He’s used to attacking the seams in the defense and being treated as a secondary/niche player. It’s a sign of respect but it’s definitely harder on him now that teams are specifically tasked with being aware of him and taking away his favorite spots. It’s an adjustment he’ll need to make as he continues to develop.

    He’s also one of the favorite targets for opposing teams to attack on defense. It’s not just being a combo guard playing shooting guard; He’s the weakest wing defender on the Warriors. No surprise teams look to pick on him instead of Davis or Jackson, two stand out defenders. Kid Flash has a lot on his plate, despite a few down games; overall I think he’s done a pretty remarkable job.

    But your point is valid. Monta is not a max contract player. I’m not sure anyone thought he was though. The general consensus has been he’s due a contract somewhere in the range of Kevin Martin’s in Sacramento and the very same Devin Harris’s in Dallas. That’s a definite step or two below a max contract.

  • EJ

    justPuked, i get what you’re saying. the great things he’s doing this year were pretty much what he was doing last year, but on a more consistent basis now. he’s still only 22, but i’d like to have seen him add something to his game this year. the quickness, the 15 foot j, and ability to finish around the rim we’ve seen since last year.

    now how about some ball handling? how about controlling the pace on penetration? how about developing some kind of 3 point shot? i know his strength is from 20 feet in, but a guard whos getting paid 10mil per year better be knocking down some 3′s. martin is at 39% from 3, harris at 34%, and monta at 21%. both martin and harris handle the ball extremely well. both are capable of getting to the link and knocking those down. i just can’t say the same for ellis. i’m just hoping his success is not just a product of nellie’s hectic offense.

  • JustPuked

    I see what you’re saying. Adding a three point shot and improving his handles would be big pluses for Monta’s game. It would definitely make him worth a bigger contract. I think labeling the improvement in his jump shot as just being more consistent is selling it short. He’s become close to unstoppable on most nights. Granted, the last few have been stinkers but I’m taking the season long view. In many ways he’s more consistent than Jax, Davis and especially Harrington. In general, the Warriors tend to score in bunches but Monta just seems a bit steadier from game to game and quarter to quarter.

    In comparing the three players, they’re all asked to do very different things for their teams. Devin is a point in the Parker mold. Control the rock, dish on occasion and drive. He’s added a nice outside shot this year to improve his scoring. Martin is expected to be Option One on offense and carry the team with his scoring For the most part he has. Monta is asked to help, but not shoulder the ball handling chores and provide scoring and penetration. He’s turned into a hell of a combo guard. That bears out in their statistics.

    Martin 24.5ppg, 2.1apg
    Ellis 16.9ppg, 3.4apg
    Harris 14ppg, 5.4apg

    Considering how differently each team uses them it’s kind of amazing to use them as comparables for contract purposes. Besides being quick and young, they’re very different players.

  • EJ

    i just feel that, at this point in each of their careers, martin and harris are more capable of contributing to other aspects of the game than ellis. all were proven scorers prior to their arrival in the nba. but what happens when shots aren’t falling? martin and harris are much better ball handlers than ellis. both are better passers than ellis (by better passing i don’t mean assist numbers). both can knock down free throws and 3′s. both can bring the ball up the floor against pressure. how many times have you seen ellis dribble the ball off his foot?

    what it comes down to is that, right now, ellis is a role player (scorer). one hell of a role player, at that. there’s no telling whether he’ll devolop a handle, a 3, or passing skills in the next few years. j-rich had been working on it since he came into the league and he still hasn’t gotten it.

    so do you give $10mil a year to a role player? it made sense to give jason that amount considering he had a decent jumper, could shoot the 3, and provided a low-post game the warriors were lacking. getting him 10mil per was a steal with the numbers he put up as opposed to the money the cavs are paying larry hughes.