* The Warriors’ best lineup was obvious Wednesday night, and it featured Stephen Jackson at point guard. Nelson went to Jax, Azubuike, Maggette, Harrington and Biedrines less than three minutes into the game. He rode that five (Andris and Ronny Turiaf were fairly close to splitting the minutes at center) hard in the opener. Jackson played all 48. Al and Kelenna logged 42 and Maggette would’ve had 40+ if not for foul trouble.
There is no way Nellie can do that on a consistent basis. Jax likes to say he plays the whole game, but there is a huge difference between 40 minutes and 48 minutes. He did it last night guarding Chris Paul AND David West, as the Warriors switched on the pick and rolls.
Nellie said before the game that Al can play 7 minutes hard before getting tired, and he doesn’t play well tired. We saw some of that as he forced some bad shots and missed some obvious rotations. Brandan Wright didn’t play at all, but that can’t keep up. Harrington needs to be down to 33-35 minutes. Maggette was a monster, but no telling how long his body can hold up playing that hard and physically. His performance last night was on a sore right hammy.
“The issue with Maggette is how many games can he play,” Nellie said. “Much like Baron, he doesn’t practice very much. I’m concerned about it a little bit.”
Nellie may have found his best lineup, but it won’t do him any good to run it into the ground. They were aided by the crowd and opening night adrenaline.
* DeMarcus Nelson looked pretty good, sans the near turnover in the final seconds. He is indeed a competitor and he is so physical. That bucket in the lane over Tyson Chandler was Baron-esque the way he used his strength to brush off Chandler’s hack. When I talked to him before the game, he was so excited to be making his debut in Oakland. But he didn’t look like he was trying to do too much for the most part. That says something.
“I made some positive plays,” DeMarcus said, “so we’ll build on that and move forward.”
* After all that talk about wanting more action, Al has to perform better. He wasn’t awful, especially when you factor in his seven rebounds and three steals. But his shot selection wasn’t good and he has to finish better. The spotlight is on him now. He needs to perform better than 13 points on 5 for 17 shooting.
* Interesting stat: the Warriors had 18 assists, not bad (20 is a good night). But they were spread out. Jack led the way with 5. That shows good ball movement
* With Baron in LA, JR in Charlotte and MP in Orlando, did you ever think the Warriors would still be losing games at the free throw line? C’mon.