26

Where is Jax?

In the two biggest games of the year, at San Antonio and Dallas, Jackson was no where to be found.
Not only did he not produce his usual production, but he was awful – on both ends of the court. He was a hindrance with his jump shooting habit, and he failed to make up for his offensive woes in other areas.
True, several Warriors played poorly. Ellis was terrible in San Antonio. He was a little bit better in Dallas, but his trigger-happy ways hurt the Warriors. Al Harrington has been off, but he has his sprained thumb as a cover.
The one guy who did show up, who – say what you will about him – always shows up, was Baron Davis. While everyone else was chucking jumpers, he was forcing himself to the basket 1-on-2 and 1-on-3. (Let that be a lesson for those who say let BD walk and give the team to Monta. He’s doing so well because he’s playing next to Baron.)
The Warriors can afford bad games from Ellis, because they have Kelenna Azubuike (who is ballin’ lately). They can afford bad games from Harrington because they can go with Biedrins or Barnes or Pietrus when he’s healthy.
The Warriors CANNOT afford awful performances from Jackson when the stakes are so high. Maybe he can play a less-than-steller game, or a below-the-averages game. But he can’t be a downright liability on both ends of the court. Not with the playoffs hanging in the balance.
Jackson has to find a way to produce even on bad nights. If his jumper isn’t falling, if he’s not getting the calls, if he’s not feeling well, he still has to find a way to produce. He has to.
The fact that he disappeared is a huge concern, and exposes perhaps the flaw that will keep the Warriors out of the postseason: this team is not as good when Stephen Jackson is the second-best player. Forget his temper, which he’s controlled. Forget his lack of rebounding, or his propensityf or turnovers. Can the Warriors rely on a player who literally lives and dies by the jumper?
Maybe I’m overreacting. I like Jackson, as a person and a player. I think he’s really good. But I think these last two games exposed him.

Marcus Thompson

  • Gary

    I hate it when Jack gets stubborn and tries to pound the ball on the post up too!! Marcus, any inside information if Jack has another injury?

  • beau

    If you look at the schedules now of all 3 teams, it looks like both Den and Dal have a good shot at 51 wins. That means the W’s need to go 7-0 to get in. At NO? At Pho? The losses to Atl, Chi, Minnesota , 0-6 start, are just killers now.

  • Baller

    I think that you have to drive the ball to the basket and not expect a foul to be called. Jackson expects a foul called each time and gets frustrated and out of his game when no whistle.

    Marcus, looking back do you think that trading Richardson was a good move? Considering that he was another offensive option when Jackson or someone is not producing?

    Wright is great but he cannot help much during the playoffs this year.

  • MM

    Jackson has his off moments during games, but usually has at least one good/great quarter (so dependable in the fourth quarter!). It’s strange to see him AWFUL for four quarters in a row, let alone eigth quarters in two games!!! He’s not right, either injured or sick. The Warriors go nowhere without him coming back to at least average. Monta and Baron can take it from there.

  • Wilson

    Ellis was a little better tonight? He was 12/19 for 27 points and was getting an open shot anytime he wanted and consistently hitting them. In my opinion, the Warriors should have fed him over and over until the Mavericks made adjustments.

    Baron was good offensively but had only one assist to 3 for Ellis and 17 for Jason Kidd. Bad Warrior ball movement, they didn’t get back on defense, awful Stephen Jackson, and no energy.

  • Steve in Concord

    Warriors really need to resign Azubuike now that Barnes, Pietrus, and Croshere have shown themselves to be unreliable options. They should consider ex-Warrior Josh Powell at PF since his contract with the Clippers will expire after this season.

  • Rob W

    What a dismal effort by the W’s. The two biggest games of the year and they play defense like they don’t care. They simply got outhustled.

    Ellis had a great offensive game, but his defense is consistently poor. Jack takes his time getting back on D as well.

    The fire seemed to disappear during the Phoenix game a month ago. It’s not been the same team since. The W’s were sitting pretty after the Florida road trip, but have not put together great games (ex-Lakers in LA) since.

  • commish

    Hello?? Where have you been all season? Good grief, we live and die by outside perimeter shooting and I guess what you would call a scambling defence based on causing turnovers to create fast breaks. Albeit Nellie has been very successful with his small ball, we are no match for the bigger teams in the West with legit defences and an offense not built on mis-matches. The “mad” scientist’s experiment is wearing very thin and frankly I don’t care if we make the playoffs with such a flawed team and team concept. I come to bury Nelson, not to praise him. Let’s “Get Smart” (as in Keith) and move on whether we make the playoffs or not. Hey, Jax missed the first seven games of the season, why not the last seven. Will it really matter in the long run for Nellie’s brand of basketball?

    All that being said, thanks for some great memories and some great slogans like “We Beieve” and “Where Amazing Happens” which now the NBA has picked up. And for the best fans in the league and two great Dub writers from the CC Times. Hey, let’s go A’s…..

  • manhattanproj

    ellis is playing well because of baron. i agree and i’ve been saying that all along. he’s getting abused on the defensive end and shows no effort whatsoever in trying to play defense. sure he score 20 some points but he gives up just as many. on offensive end, when his jumpers are falling all is well. when it’s not, he doesnt have the handle to drive and score the way AI can. he just doesnt have the skills to carry the team. sure he has potential but will it ever be realized?

    food for thoughts: with arenas possibly becoming a FA (hopefully is knee is fully healed and back to his old self), would you spend the money on arenas or ellis to team with baron?

    if w’s want to win now, i say go for arenas.

    another note is the w’s just doesnt look as hungry as they were this time last season. late last year, they came out swinging regardless of opponents. they were hustling on defense, making the extra passes and really running up and down. right now, they look really lethargic. it looks like they dont really care. they arent getting back on defense, no rotation, and just playing really bad. on offense, too many 1-on-1 and long jumpers, esp. jackson. bad time to be playing possibly the worst bball of the season.

  • Marcus

    Commish,

    I don’t think it’s totally accurate to say they have been living and dying by the jumper all season. Know how you can tell? Free throws. The Warriors have three players in the top 40 in attempts: Baron (25th), Ellis (27th) and Jackson (40th). All three have long since eclipsed last year’s free throw totals with seven games to go. Baron’s 401 free throw attempts is a career high. Jackson is eight off of his career high. Harrington is at his highest total since leaving Atlanta.
    What does this mean? They’ve been driving to the basket, too. The Warriors do shoot a lot of jumpers. But Nellie’s system uses that threat to set up penetration. And, you may remember from Montgomery, penetration is the substitute for no big man (albeit a much harder way to get the ball inside).
    There are other stats — points in the paint, assists , fast-break points — that let you know the Warriors have done more than shoot jumpers. They are among the top in the league in all categories.
    But lately, they have been awful in all those categories. They totaled 18 assists at San Antonio and Dallas. They average 22.2, which is 10th in the league. They shot 37.9 percent combined in Texas. That dropped them to 12th in the league in field goal percentage (45.9).
    Make no mistake, the basketball they played in San Antonio and Dallas was not Warriors basketball, at least not this year’s version.

  • Ray

    Let Baron walk if you get Agent Zero. Why wouldn’t you want to do that.

  • commish

    Hey Marcus: I didn’t say or imply the Warriors are not better this year than last. They might win 50 games. But just as the powers that be decided to move J-Rich for both money and that he had hit his “ceiling” in terms of potential, I say that time has come for Nellie. We know what Nelson can bring and what he can’t. As long as he stays on as the coach, he will insist on small ball and mis-matches, overplay his two or three vets and team leaders, not develop his rookies, change his lineup at the drop of a dime, etc. etc. etc. and so on. Whether we pull it together and or get lucky enough to make the playoffs, we are going to be so outclassed in the first or second round that what is the point. We are a flawed team playing inside a flawed system and although on any given night we can pull off magical wins, we can also play with no energy or purpose. I could end up being really sorry if post Nellie we dropped back into an endless playoff drought again, but right now we do not rate to make the playoffs anyway. Last year was magicial but it seems the magic is gone. I’m beginning to not believe anymore. What about you?

  • gswbandwagon

    Baron Davis did not show up. He was awful. He played absolutely no defense. He wasn’t even pretending to try on that end most of the time. He left Andris trying to guard 2 or 3 guys by himself repeatedly. Baron didn’t close out on shooters. He got backed down by smaller players. He didn’t even think about fighting through a screen and didn’t switch defenders once screened, instead he just kind of stood there. When Dallas spent the first half out-Warrior-ing the Warriors, running us into submission (though submission apparently happened on the plane to Texas), how often did Baron run back to prevent the break?

    Jackson sucked. He was atrocious. His sucking is made even worse by the fact that he gets frustrated easily on offense and lets it affect everything else he should be doing. But he alone didn’t cause that catastrophe. The 3 captains led the way. Barnes did nothing useful, just like the prior 70something games. Baron mailed it in on defense and tried sporadically on offense. And Jackson made people long for Belinelli.

  • Andrew Rosenblum

    Chin up Warriors fans! These were two discouraging losses — but they were to two good teams on the road. And as Marcus noted, Stephen Jackson was having uncharacteristically bad games.

    Due to the tiebreaker problem, the Warriors are in effect 2 games behind — that’s a tough deficit to make up, but it’s hardly unsurmountable with about 7 games left.

    Man, I know we’re scarred by all the years of losing, but let’s have some confidence, people!

    This team plays best with its back against the wall.

  • wg

    one thing to note is that the big 3 have logged a lot of minutes over the course of the season. given the mental toughness that we’ve seen out of jackson the past couple of years, i’d be inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt and to think that he’s simply gassed (to explain his poor performance the last couple of games).

  • Le

    They were awful! Not a single player on the W’s played any defense. They could have used Pietrus’s energy of the bench. Credit the Mavs for hustling and making their jumpers. They also had the emotional lift of their star player coming back early from injury. I think that was the last bad game of the year for the W’s. They will come home and take their anger out on their next opponents. Unfortunatly, losses to the 2 teams they are competing for a playoff spot against is going to be improbable to overcome, especially with being on the short-end of a tie breaker. They basically have very little margin for error. They need to be almost flawless the rest of the season with a lot of help from some of the poor/mediocre teams in the west.
    Andrew – really appreciate your optimism, we need it!

  • jim back from fishing

    The Warriors looked bad in two games. Bad timing, but it seems to happen to all teams. I thought this was a break through year where the Warriors really became relevant. Having said that I still think the NBA and the media want to have a glamour league and have big market teams dominate. They like the Warriors as a circus as long as we stay a decent but flawed team. I just hope the Warriors management has a plan to develop and not just settle for the extreme version of Nellie ball we seem to get this year.

  • joe moma

    Who ever say’s “let BD walk and hand the team over to Monta” is a idiot. That is no slap to Monta… BD is a superstar!

  • Gary

    Well, well, well…..Sac just beat Denver. we have a pulse!!

  • jumper

    The Ws just ran out of gas this year. BD, Jax, Harrington… Without Pietrus or a JRich, not enough offense down the stretch.

    Nuggets and Mavs can keep loosing but GS must get a win which they have not to stay competitive in playoff race.

    We need some depth and tough defenders next year. Relying on the draft is 50-50.

    Lights out.

  • Andy

    Holy s***! Denver lost in 2OT against Seattle! GS and Denver are tied once again!

  • JustPuked

    Great, with Denver’s assistance the Warriors can lose their way into the playoffs…

  • goingforthemoney.com

    The last two games didn’t expose jackson as a liability. It shed light on the fact that jackson has been rode into the ground with the extended minutes and has finally hit the wall, albiet at the worst possible time during a playoff run. Check out all the other contending teams. They find the time within a game to rest their key players. No one should even be looking for the flaw in the player at this juncture. The liability falls squarely on Don Nelsons poor use of his bench to give his best player ample rest.

  • mj

    <:(

  • mj

    ^:(
    <:)
    -:)

  • mj

    :-P