That game got ugly fast. The Warriors had no answer for Yao. So once Artest and Rafer got going from the perimeter, it was a wrap for the Warriors. I was thinking the losing streak would reach 10. Tonight vs. the Spurs will make nine straight, then OKC. I was saying that, but then the Thunder won at Memphis. That knocked out one of my components, which was the Thunders’ hunger. If they came into the game having lost close to 20 straight, they would’ve been famished and the Warriors would’ve looked like rare prey instead of a daunting predator. They still might, as the Thunders’ chances for victory won’t come very often this season. The Warriors are a team OKC might look at as a chance to get a win. Plus the Warriors’ are prone to give up runs and a big game. Kevin Durant might go off.
Anyway, back to Houston’s game:
*I can’t believe Artest’s dunk over Ronny made the top 10 on ESPN, but not Randolph’s dunk over Yao. It was nasty, the first one I mean. Randolph said he screamed at Yao after the sedcond one (drawing a technical foul) because he was irritated that Yao was throwing bows and had busted Randolph’s lip. He was releasing some frustration and got caught up in the moment.
To a man, his teammates loved it, so much no one minded the tech so much.
Jackson: “The tech? You got to live with those because that was an aggressive play. We don’t want him to get in the habit of getting technical fouls because that ain’t the way to go. … Let me get the techs.”
* I noticed something interesting after Nellie got ejected. Guess who the first player off the bench was? Brandan Wright. Yes, the same Wright who hadn’t played all game. Also, when the Warriors needed points, Keith Smart went to Anthony Morrow with no hesitation. Think there was a sublimenal message in that?
* Ronny Turiaf should be playing more. There’s just no excuse. This small ball lineup is not the Warriors best team. Turiaf needs to be on the court, and he needs to be next to Biedrins. Not only does he take the defensive pressure off of Biedrins, he adds a toughness and energy to the lineup that the Warriors need. He gets their break going because he can block shots (though Jackson or Maggette will almost assuredly kill the break with their sauntering up the court).
Don’t gimmie that offense pitch, either. It’s not that much of a sacrifice, plus the last several games have shown you can’t win without playing a little bit of defense.
And don’t gimmie that youngsters stuff, either. Ronny can still get minutes and the youngsters get action. Why can’t Ronny start at the 4, backed up by Randoph, and Biedrins start at the 5 backed up by Wright? If you think Wright can’t play 5, then Ronny can go to 5 when Biedrins comes out of the game and Wright can play the 4.
Why is it always feast or famine with the youngsters? They either play 30 minutes or 3. Set a rotation!
When Monta comes back, then you can go small. But I wouldn’t be opposed to having Crawford and Ellis in the backcourt with Jackson, Turiaf and Biedrins on the frontline. Then you have Maggette and Azubuike coming off the bench.
Yes, Maggette can come off the bench. So what he got a $50 million.
Simply, there’s no reason Turiaf has to rot on the bench unless the Warriors are playing a really big team. You can play the most ready player and still get the youngster’s minutes. It would be best for them anyway if they had a regular pattern for getting in the game and playing.
* The Warriors played pretty well Friday night, just didn’t have enough in the end. They always say they can compete with anybody, and it seems they play good teams well. So, the question begs: should the Warriors be a better team, or is this about right? I go back and forth. Sometimes I think they should be somewhere between 8-11 and 11-8. Then sometimes, most times, I think they are this bad and I was right to think 25-30 wins. Which one is it? Are they playing down to bad competition or playing up to the good teams?