Notes from shootaround

Some tidbits from the Warriors’ shootaround this morning at Oracle.

It looks like the team will once again dress less than 10 players. Corey Maggette (head contusion) was not at shootaround as he was being checked out by a physician Monday morning. He will be a game-time decision. Andris Biedrins (left ankle) said he would like to play again this season, but it looks like he’ll be out for at least one more week. According to Biedrins, Don Nelson has told him that there’s no reason to rush back if there’s a chance he could make the injury worse.

Same goes for Brandan Wright (left shoulder), who went to see a doctor after shootaround. Hopefully, we’ll have an update on him just before tonight’s game. Marco Belinelli (right ankle) also saw his doctor Monday afternoon.  

Monta Ellis had cold-like symptoms earlier today and was not at the shootaround, but he is expected to play tonight.


Jackson done for year

Just a few quick notes before tonight’s game at the Pepsi Center.

Stephen Jackson will have season-ending surgery on his left big toe on Tuesday in Houston to remove bone fragments. The operation will be performed by Rockets team doctor Thomas Clanton. The rehab schedule for Jackson, one of seven Warriors out of action tonight, will be determined after the surgery.

As expected, Jamal Crawford will play tonight after being out of action for the last six games.

As mentioned yesterday, Brandan Wright is out tonight with a sore left shoulder, the same shoulder that he seperated against the Lakers on Jan. 7. He hurt it against the Spurs and played with it against the Mavs. Wright will have it looked at once the team returns to Oakland and talking to him before the game, Wright said there is no clear timetable for his return. It appears he and the team aren’t looking to rush things.

Not much else to update right now. I’ll post something after the game.

– Curtis Pashelka


And then there were eight…

Hey everyone. Just filling in for Marcus while he begins his five-day “vacation.” Of course, he went ahead and broke all kinds of rules with a blog post this morning. Just shows his level of dedication. 

Many of you probably saw this Stephen Jackson video yesterday on hoopshype.com, where he basically said that it’s time to “shut it down and get (his toe fracture) fixed” and begin the process of getting ready for next season. According to a Warriors’ spokesperson, Jackson is seeing a specialist today. An update on how that appointment went may be forthcoming later on.

Corey Maggette (head contusion) has returned to the Bay Area, joining Andris Biedrins and Marco Belinelli. Brandan Wright (left shoulder pain) will not play against the Nuggets on Saturday. The team also reported Friday morning that Jermareo Davidson had successful surgery to repair the stress fracture in his left foot. He’ll be immobilized for the next month.

In case you’re counting, that leaves eight players available for Saturday’s game (Azubuike, Crawford, Ellis, Kurz, Morrow, Randolph, Turiaf, Watson). Should be a great time.


Corey Maggette – Stay or Go?

His start with the Warriors was rocky, with many considering him a bad signing. But since his move to the bench, he seems to have become much more liked by fans. The Warriors couldn’t move him by the trade deadline, but he should be easier to trade in the offseason with one less year on his contract. But do you want him out, or should the Warriors hang on to him? I’ll make the case. You decide.


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Postgame Tidbits (at Dallas)

* Morrow is ridiculous. He needs to get the rock more. Period.

* Funny moment. In the first quarter, the Warriors had the ball and Monta was driving. Monta had a collision with a player, and the sideline ref, I think it was Mark Wunderlich, was gearing up to call a blocking fouled. Before he could get his hands to his hips, the signal for a blocking foul, his colleague called an offensive foul on Ellis. Ronny, as any player would, contested to the referee who was going to call the block. The ref denied it.
Ronny, every the debater, spent a brief moment talking with the ref. His expressions looked as if he were telling the ref “are you serious right now? you really going to say you didn’t make the block.” Eventually, Ronny walked off smiling. It was so funny because the ref clearly was getting ready to call the block. He was more than halfway into the signal. Why would he deny it? He could have just said the other ref saw something I didn’t see. Instead, he was like the kid claiming he didn’t eat the cookie with crumbs all on his mouth. He straight acted like he was about to make a different gesture, but it was nothing like what he actually did. Just one of those funny things you rarely see.

* Check out this quote from Jackson. He was asked about the Warriors’ third-quarter run to get back into the game, cutting it to four:
“I guess we did. I really wasn’t paying too much attention. They did what they needed to do to win the game. They’re trying to get a playoff spot and the played like it tonight.”

That’s all I got. It’s my turn for furlough, starting Friday. I’ll holla when I get back. Look out for a Stay or Go, though.


Postgame Tidbits (at San Antonio)

* Nellie’s decision to not call a timeout got all the attention after last night’s game. I didn’t have a problem with it. He wanted to push it and catch the Spurs off guard. OK. I would’ve called a timeout, nonetheless, but I understand why he did it. Monta pulled up with nearly two seconds on the clock. If he takes a couple more dribbles, he probably would’ve gotten a better shot and the decision would’ve looked better.

Nellie: “If you’re wondering why I didn’t take a time out there at the end with just 5 seconds left it’s because I thought we could forced them to keep their big center in the game. But then I thought we shot the ball a little quickly for that situation. With five seconds left I thought we could at least try and get a little penetration and a higher percentage shot, but that is what he decided to do in that situation.”

But I do have to knocks on Nellie from last night:
1. After Mason’s shot, there was 23.8 seconds remaining and the Warriors trailed by one. The Warriors called a timeout and the mastermind went to work. They came out of the timeout, inbounded the ball and … MONTA DRIBBLED AWAY 10 SECONDS!
Why is he letting seconds tick off and they are losing? That reminded me of Baron a few years ago with Monty at the helm. Remember, against the Clippers at home. The Warriors were down, but Baron dribbled out the clock, trying to get the dramatic game-winner. He wound up dribbling the ball of his foot and the Warriors ended up with some ridiculous attempt at the buzzer. The lesson there was clear: WHEN YOU’RE DOWN, YOU DON’T WAIT.
There is no way Monta should’ve waited. And once the Warriors saw him killing time at the top, they should’ve been screaming for him to go. They weren’t. Not only did Monta waste time, he passed up an open attempt with 11 seconds left.

Ellis: “I really thought we were going to go for the last shot. Then he came and set the screen so early. I was wide open when I went off the screen, but I thought we were waiting for the last shot.”

The fact that Monta did not understand what was going on falls on the lap of the coaches. They know he’s a young point guard in training. They have to spell it out. And they certainly shouldn’t have told him to wait.
Monta eventually pulls up a 21-footer under pressure. The Spurs get the rebound and the foul is committed with 5.5 seconds left. Now, imagine if Monta didn’t wait and missed. Now they whole intentional foul charade begins with 18 seconds left, not 5.
The only time you let the seconds tick off is if the game is tied or you’re up and need one more basket to put the game away. That’s it.

2. The other problem I had was with the play. Seriously, all they could muster was a pick-and-roll? I admit, that was better than isolating Jackson on Bruce Bowen at the top of the key. But this is the Spurs. You don’t think they can defend a pick-and-roll with the game on the line?
There was the opportunity for Nellie to earn his money, pull out some of that creativity he’s known for. How about let someone else handle, run Monta off a couple of screens and get him the ball that way, use movement to create an opening. Run a back pick off the ball to free up Morrow. Do something other than the most predictable play you’ve got.

* Anthony Randolph is a beast. Tony Parker is the best finishing small guard in the league. He’s made a career off embarrassing would-be shot blockers. Randolph pinned him to the glass twice.
He went at Duncan, he mixed it up with Mason, he dunked on Ime Udoka — all with a tender groin.

* Morrow is separating/has separated himself from Belinelli, I think. Poor Marco. Because he’s injured, he’s slowly fading into forgotten status. Morrow is getting better on both ends, and he is money when he takes smart shots. He hit some big buckets last night. It’s amazing he only got four shots. Especially in games when people are struggling to score — Jackson 7-17, Maggette 1-8, Randolph 5-12, even Ellis’ 12-26 wasn’t great — why don’t they look more for the best shooter on the team?

* Azubuike is in the conversation, too. He hit some clutch shots last night, and has done so quite a bit this season. He isn’t a closer, but he spreads the floor and he can create his own shot. Now if he can just get better at creating for others and get less predictable with his moves, he’ll be a pretty good threat down the stretch

* Nellie on Ellis’ ankle: “I don’t even think about it. I used to always worry about it. Now I’m completely confident that he’s over it.”


Jax Going on the Shelf

Ever wonder why Jackson, who is right-handed, almost always jumps off his right foot (which is what a left-handed shooter does)? It’s because his left big toe has been killing for more than two years now.
And he’s fed up with it.
His toe has been giving him pain all season. It actually started in March 2007. He first injured the toe, then in late April had an MRI that said it was fractured. A few days later, the Warriors changed their statement, saying there was no fracture and Jackson had turf toe. (I’m not sure Jackson ever stopped believing it was fractured.)
He’s been playing on it ever since. Rest hasn’t worked, but he hasn’t looked deeper into what was wrong with it. He just kept playing.
But now he has an appointment in Houston on Friday to get his toe checked out. He’ll play Wednesday night in Dallas (you know he’s not missing a showdown with Dirk) and then he’s going get his toe examined by the Houston Rockets doctor.
Why now? Because it’s getting worse and the Warriors aren’t playing for anything. After the New Orleans game, he was noticeably limping. Then Tim Duncan stepped on it tonight.

Jackson: “It’s been hurting for so long that I’ve learned how to somewhat block it out. But if I can put up these numbers, imagine what I can do without this pain.”

He said he’s going to stay in Houston until it’s figured out. He is dead set on making sure he comes into training camp with this behind him. I would not be surprised if he’s done for the season. From the impression I got, he’s going to do whatever it takes. Surgery. Rest. Ballet. He’s just tired of the pain.

Jackson: “I wanted to wait until the end of the season. But everybody is noticing it’s getting worse. It’s time I take a good look at it. We’re not going to be in this position next season. We’re going to need everybody healthy and I don’t want to go into next year not worrying about my toe.”

Jackson said he’s already missed too many games (13) for his liking and didn’t want to sit out anymore. But he’s got designs on a playoff run next season, and he plans to have an even bigger season. Nelson sounded as if he was fine with the decision to get his toe checked out. He’s been looking to sit guys anyway, right? This bails him out from having to answer more questions about resting healthy veterans.

Nellie: “He’s played in pain. Back-to-backs have been hard for him. It’s time to take a look at it, then we’ll see what happens.”