I normally only do these for road games, but there was too much happening not to post something.
** The first thing that stood out was how Stephen Jackson blasted Nellie. We asked him after the game if he was tired. Here was his response:
“I was definitely tired, coming off of this break. And at the end of the third, end of the fourth, I was definitely tired. Some of my shots were a little short. It kind of showed. He gave me a blow at the wrong time. I could’ve used a blow a little earlier. But you know, I did what I could. I was definitely tired, though.”
Jackson was clearly winded. During one fourth quarter timeout, he took a long time to even walk to the bench. He stayed under the basket by Lakers bench doubled over, trying to catch his breath. Not only was he trying get his offense going (he took 24 shots), but he also had to defend Kobe. He wasn’t going to ask out, but he didn’t hide his feelings that the coach should have pulled him.
“No, that’s not me. That’s not my personality. That’s not who I am. I was trying to find a way to get through it in the timeouts and stuff. Coming out of that break took a little toll on me. Normally I can play these minutes no problem. But tonight it kind of got me to a little bit.”
“Yeah, I think I could’ve come out when he came out. He got a lot of rest. I think the best thing to do was to take me out when he came out of the game. Obviously, I didn’t want to come out at all. But I think for the most part I played great “D” on him. I made him take a lot of tough shots.”
It’s about time somebody in the organization called Nellie on it. You mean putting Belinelli or Morrow in the game in the first half would’ve killed the Warriors chances of winning? I don’t buy it. In trying to squeeze out every win, he ends up costing the Warriors’ wins. When the Lakers started to gain the momentum in the third quarter, Jackson was exhausted and had nothing left. That turned out to be crunch time. If Jackson had more than the 30 seconds of rest at the end of the second quarter, he might’ve had more energy at what turned out to be the most crucial moment in the game.
** Monta didn’t look good down the stretch. Nellie put the ball in his hands in the fourth quarter. He had a rough final five minutes.
4:04 He missed a finger roll a the rim. Ariza, who had hit a 3-pointer before Ellis’ missed, wound up open again after Ellis’ miss, and he nailed it. The Warriors trailed 111-109 just 41 seconfs after they led by four
2:47 He committed a silly reach in foul on Odom inside. Of course, Odom made the basket. The three-point play put the Warriors down 116-112
2:05 The Warriors next offensive possession after his missed 3-pointer, he gets caught in the air and tries to make a pass from the left wing to the top of the key whille off balance. Not only does Odom intercept the pass, by Maggette fouls him. It was called a clear-path foul and Odom got two free throws, which he made and put the Lakers up 120-112
1:31 The next offensive possession, with the Warriors’ desperately needing a bucket, Ellis put his head down and went to the basket. He wound up taking some wild flip shot over with his back to the basket. Kobe came down and nailed a fade-away to seal it.
Oddly enough, Kobe had some noted praise for Ellis after the game:
“He’s phenomenal. He’s one of my favorites in the league to watch,” Bryant said of Ellis. “He’s explosive. He’s still explosive. I don’t care what people say up here. They’re not guarding him. He is quick. He can elevate, finish at the rim and he can shoot. I’m really excited to see him develop as his career goes on.”
** So, Jackson took 24 shots, missed 14. Ellis took 18 shots, missed 11. Randolph took 13 shots, Maggette 16. Crawford, who made his first five baskets, was 6-for-10? Turiaf was 6-for-7? What ever happened to feeding the hot man?
Crawford had 14 in the first quarter. He was feeling it. Nellie pulled him 30 seconds into the second quarter and didn’t bring him back until 3:59 left. He got iced by his own coach!
** Jackson picked up another technical foul. That’s 15, though only 14 counts toward the suspension count. Two more, and he gets an automatic one-game suspension. Jackson, who normally earns his techs, said he didn’t think he earned the T tonight.
“I have said a lot of things to referees to get techs. I just think my reputation gives them a quick whistle. I definitely don’t think I deserved that one tonight. Because I didn’t use any profanity and I didn’t direct anything toward him. I play with a lot of emotion and a lot of refs that have watched me play know I play with a lot of emotion. And as everyone knows in this game, I know how to get technical fouls. That one today, I don’t think I deserved it. But it is what it is. I’ve got to be more cautious so I don’t get suspended.
“I’ve been trying my best, but you know… I play with a lot of emotion. When I feel like I’m not getting a fair shot, obviously, my emotions flare up. But I have been channeling myself not to say any profanity or direct anything towards the ref in order to get a tech. I don’t think I gave enough disrespect to that one today, but it is what it is. I’ve got to deal with it.”
** Randolph looked special tonight. No one on the team brings the combination of intensity and athleticism that he brings. He goes all out and he’s physically spectacular.
I asked Odom after the game about Randolph. He was impressed by Randolph’s follow dunk early in the game.
“He’s got way more athleticism than I’ve ever had. That tip-dunk, my head was right here,” Odom said, pointing to his waist. “I would love to work out with him.”
“It’s like looking in the mirror a little. He’s also 6-11, he’s left-handed and he can put the ball on the floor. He’s two times as athletic as I was at that age. He should set his goals high. He has All-Star potential, Hall of Fame potential, with that size, his ability to put the ball on the floor, he can shoot the three, he can pass. If he stays focused, the sky is the limit for him.”
There were no shortage of times where Randolph crashed the offensive glass or took a shot inside, then hustle all the way down court and came up with a block, or nearly hurt himself trying. He can impact both ends of the court, and because of his athleticism, he produces almost by default.
Even when Andris gets back, there’s no reason for him to not be on the court. Even when Brandan Wright comes back, Nellie still as to get Randolph on the court. From what I’m told, that message is being sent down from the executive suites.
“I was just trying to come out and play hard like I have been the last couple of games. I’m just trying to keep good on faith with coach and hopefully he’ll put me in the game. I just have to keep working hard and just remember how it was in the beginning of the season. I just have to keep on working. Hopefully things will look up and we’ll win some more games.”
** Belinelli, in his first game back, made both his 3-pointers, had four assists and a steal in 15 minutes tonight.