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Postgame Tidbits (at Milwaukee)

Sorry these are late. I had to go to sleep. Early flight. Consider these the Post-postgame Tidbits. …

* After the game, Nellie had a good line. I asked him if he expected fight from his team after the last game. He said that his players fought last game, the few players he had.
“Did you miss my line? We were in a gun fight with a knife.”

So, tonight you had your guns?

“Well (pause, smile) we had two knives.”


* Belinelli is not the best shooter on the team. He’s too streaky, and he drives me crazy every time he pump fakes himself out of a shot and dribbles into trouble. That being said, his shot-making ability is sometimes jaw-dropping. In the Bulls game, he hit this shot from about 22 feet out and he was fading to his right. Such a difficult shot, and he drilled it like it was a lay-up. That shot he hit at the end of the third quarter last night — dribbling to his right, fading away from the basket, hand in his face, 25-feet out — was ridiculous.
Maybe because I’ve tried those shots so many times and failed miserably (trying to imitate Reggie Miller) that I sincerely appreciate the difficulty of those shots and the ease with which he makes them.

* Nelson went to Jermareo Davidson in the third quarter, and he gave Nellie exactly what the Warriors needed – energy and rebounding. Davidson’s length and bounce came in handy as the Warriors pounded the glass well enough to stay close. He had six rebounds in 10 minutes, two offensive. That tied him for the team lead through three quarters (Randolph had 6 rebeounds in 18 minutes). The Warriors held a 33-31 rebounding advantage after three quarters.
The Warriors, once again, may have found a nice little pick up in Davidson. At first I was like, “Why let Hendrix go to pick up Davidson?” But Davidson can bring something in spot minutes. He can be a good third center. He’s got legitimate size and length, and his offensive game is more advanced than Hendrix’s. He doesn’t seem to be as good protecting the rim as Turiaf or Randolph, so he probably won’t be getting too many minutes. But the last game was perfect – 10 minutes, bring some energy, establish a presence, sit back down. Do that a couple times a game, consistently, he might’ve been worth keeping around for the whole season.

* Why I like CJ Watson: I went up to him after he played seven minutes and asked him why he thinks he isn’t playing much lately.
Watson: “I’m not playing too well. I wouldn’t put me in either.”

* In the fourth quarter, the Warriors were down 114-111 after a Richard Jefferson lay-up. The inbounder, I think Turiaf, passed the ball in to Jackson. Jax started dribbling the ball up court. Crawford started screaming for the ball from Jackson, who at the time had 42 minutes and seven turnovers under his belt. At about half court, Jackson heard Crawford and gave up the ball.
Finally.
One glaring intangible lost with Baron Davis was the confidence the team had in the fourth quarter. You can live with bad shots, though you don’t prefer them. But nothing is as debilitating down the stretch as turnovers. You knew Davis wasn’t going to turn the ball over. Most times, he would get the shot he wanted (though it wasn’t always high percentage). The Warriors need that bad.
If Crawford is going to be the point guard (since I don’t think he’s opting out and walking away from $20 million), he needs to control the game down the stretch. He needs to facilitate who gets the ball and when. Put all those handles to use. Jax DOES NOT need to be bringing the ball up down the stretch of a tight game. Neither does Maggette. The Warriors need a point guard to run the show, make the decisions down the stretch.
They won’t all be good decisions. But that’s what you work on in March of a lost season. So next year, that role is defined and not on a game-by-game basis.
Crawford, of course, gets the ball from Jax and seconds later throws up a heat-check of a 3-pointer. A terrible shot and a costly miss, as the Bucks followed with five straight points to take a 119-111 lead. He also had two untimely turnovers in the fourth quarter.
But he’s got to learn. If he’s going to be here, if he’s going to be the point guard, he’s got to learn. To his defense, he’s never played point guard before. He’s always been a two guard who can run the point, but never a point guard. This is the time he needs to work on that. None of that meek, submissive stuff. Demand the ball. Make sure everybody is in the right position. Make sure the right guy has the ball in the best position for him to succeed. Make sure mismatches are exploited. Manage the clock properly. That’s what the Warriors need.
The reality is, Crawford is the closest thing the Warriors have got to that. He has the dribbling ability, he has the shot-making ability, he has the experience and unselfishness that his teammates can respect. The last part of the season should be to see if he can be that guy.
Crawford: “I’mma be more vocal. A lot of people who say they miss certain guys (read: Baron), they were emotional leaders. At first, I didn’t want to step on any toes. But I’ve been here for four months.”

* The word “spoiler” was dropped a couple times in the Warriors’ locker room on Saturday night.

* Some teams around the league still give media a courtside seat. Milwaukee is one of them. I was on the front row baseline, right next to the Warriors’ bench. There was this little boy, had to be like 7 or something, who was just shy of harrassing Turiaf. He asked for his shoes, and Turiaf said he would give them to him. The boy kept asking. There was still time left on the clock. Eventually, Ronny said, politely, “I can’t give them to you now. I may have to go back in the game.”
After the final horn sounded, Turiaf immediately unlaced his shoes, took them off, gave them to the boy, and walked to the locker room in his socks.

Marcus Thompson

  • Pat Burke

    On the radio show, Nellie actually talked a lot about Crawford, and how he would fit. Basically he said that he didn’t know yet how it would work because Crawford and Ellis haven’t played enough together yet. Also he reiterated he thinks Ellis should be the point eventually if he wanted to be a special player. Otherwise he is just a good, undersized 2.

    Crawford and Ellis together also cause defensive problems, because neither of them can guard a big 2, like Baron used to. But even after identifying these problems, Nelson didn’t rule it out, just said they needed to play more together before the end of the season to figure it out.

  • Norm

    That’s an excellent post Marcus.

  • lavalover

    Marcus, thank you, Crawford will not opt out, lets NOT mess with him and keep him at 2. Monta is obviously done for the year, lets somehowhow trade him fora pick and package both for RUBIO (pistol pete in a pint guards body). lets geta four through FA_ Bass,blah blah ( i’m not naming the 6-8 pfFa’s) they need a four and a point guard. the Dubs will win faster if they have a “Real”-good- point guard and an above average Power forward. again, keep updating marcus I check everyday.
    I don’t care about the banner but how about a pix of you>>>>

  • Doctorben

    Great post MT! Ronny Turiaf is truly unique — when you consider that this has become a game of selfish prima donnas and Stupor-Stars — you really appreciate a man like Turiaf. Thank you for reporting that.

  • rcg

    MT, Thanks for all the words about Crawford…but really, what is up with the pink elephant in the room? You said not a word about the real problem, which is that Crawford plays very little defense and therefore cannot fit in a back court with Monta, who plays very little defense. Same thing recently with Ralph and Tom on KNBR. They did a whole interview with Crawford and never asked the straight question: Jamal, you are tall and quick and in your prime. WTF don’t you play D???

  • ryder

    Monta>Crawful at anything resembling PG duties

  • Sleepy

    Crawfords defense is not that bad. Its decent when he is locked in and being aggressive.From what Ive seen hes the type of player that needs to be on the attack but he seems to take a bunch of plays off.

    AS for the PG duties hes the best on the team by far but the reality is that Jack and Maggette will never allow anyone to take the ball out of their hands now that they get to dominate the ball. Its their time to shine and thats what theyve done since camp and they dont want to change it.

    When Crawford arrived he distributed nicely and moved the ball but soon came to realize that you cant play PG effectively when players like jack and Maggette do whatever they want whenever they want. If they are not committed to executing the plays even when its not for them then its up to Nelson and he has given no indication that he wants it to change .

    I do agree about going away from jack and maggette and going to a execution style uptempo game. Our execution as a team is so bad at times and you simply cannot play small and then not execute .The turnovers the execution regardless of what our record is should be a major focus .

  • http://deleted Mike W.

    Informative post, Marcus. I agree that JC is the closest thing we have to a legit point guard, with a lot of PG skills. It appears he’s making a concerted effort to lead the team more and play better defense. The thing is, both of those areas require effort, which I hope he can learn and provide. The great skills he has can’t be learned. And the mock drafts say it’s a slim year for PGs coming out of college. I’d really like to see Jamal put in the work to be a complete, consistent player next season. He seems like a great guy and worth rooting for.

  • http://chriscohansucks.blogspot.com/ Chris Cohan

    Unfortunately, Crawford is being told to opt out!
    Or we’ll trade him! Or… just “emotional” back and forth and Marcus is stirring up stuff?

    feltMike, you’re funnier when you play a-hole.

  • Kinglear

    Sleepy
    I agree with your assessment of Jackson and Maggette. Since DN can’t control them, will another coach be able to? Will a real point guard be able to function with Jackson playing? I doubt it.

    Maggette bring the ability to go to the basket and get a foul better than any other player. W’s have to keep him.

    W’s need a coach who can teach the players how to in bound the ball.

  • Marcus Thompson

    Reg,

    Hardly avoiding an elephant in the room. I think it’s borderline shady to knock a guy for defense in a system that couldn’t care less about it. If the Warriors are going to start choosing guys for defense, half the team is gone. This team is about offense. Waiting for Crawford, or anyone else, to become lock down defenders is an exercise in futility. Even Nellie says the way to make your team better defensively is to go out and get better defenders.

  • Marcus Thompson

    Sorry. Rcg is who I meant to address.

  • sartre

    “Sorry. Rcg is who I meant to address.”

    Got to work harder on your D, Marcus.

  • feltbot

    excellent post. would love to have more of this, and less of the TK inspired garbage.

  • rcg

    “Even Nellie says the way to make your team better defensively is to go out and get better defenders.”

    Exactly! Which is why Crawford should never have been brought to this team. I am definitely not waiting for him to improve his D at this point. Still, I wonder why he doesn’t play it. Don’t you?

    PS– Half the team gone? Now that’s a bit of an overstatement…maybe not…no D, no ring, ever.

  • justafan

    Boycott the Warriors until Chris Cohan sells the team!!!!!

  • DEANO

    Great post Marcus. I am excited by the play of Randolph and Davidson. They could be next season’s starter and sub at power forward.

    As for next year’s point guard, I am not hopeful that Crawford will show enough in the remaining games to persuade management (whoever that is) that point guard is not the #1 off-season priority.

    Coincidentally, Shaun Livingston will soon start playing for the Tulsa 66ers of the NBDL. He should be worth watching.