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Postgame Tidbits (at New Orleans)

* This Crawford-Nellie story takes another odd twist. New Orleans media members kept asking me why he wasn’t playing. Each person I told had this look on heir face like I just tried to explain to why compound interest works the way it does.
So, Crawford sat out Sunday’s game though his Nellie-imposed vacation was done. He’s saying he needs to practice, which is the reason he sat out Friday’s game. The Warriors’ only practices are Monday and Thursday. So, as it turns out, Crawford won’t play until after that second practice, which puts him back in the lineup for Saturday. He’ll have three practices then, because the Warriors have two off days between Wednesday at Dallas and Saturday at Denver.
Whose buying the practice line? Not me.

Everybody knows the NBA is not a practice league. Even when they do practice, they rarely REALLY practice. Maybe guys who are coming off of injury NEED a couple of practices. But the guy is healthy. He can get his legs under him in the first quarter.
I think he’s sticking it back to Nellie. I think this is his way of taking control back, letting Nellie know he can’t just yo-yo with him like that.

* The Warriors went with the lineup of Ellis, Jackson, Azubuike, Wright and Turiaf. The only difference between this lineup and the one Nelson says he wants to use next season is Andris Biedrins starting in place of Turiaf. Nelson said this lineup is better because the Warriors have a better chance of holding their position instead of going small and being exposed to mismatches.
So that makes the defensive assignments odd: Ellis guarded Rasual Butler and Jackson guarded Chris Paul. If Ellis is the point guard of the future, should he defend Paul? How will he ever be able to defend his position if everyone else does it for him. I say put him on Paul and if he gets abused, he gets abused. It would be good experience, anyway, as he should be learning from his mistakes, watching film, working to get better.

UPDATE: I forgot to change this part of the post before I published it. My bad. After the game, I asked Keith Smart why Ellis wasn’t on Paul. The reason Ellis was guarding Rasual Butler was not because the Warriors were keeping him from being abused by Paul. The Hornets like to run a pick-and-roll with Paul and David West. They put Jackson on Paul so when the screen comes — and the Warriors’ defensive style is to switch — Monta won’t be stuck trying to guard David West. By starting with Jackson on Paul, at worst the Warriors end up with Jackson on West and the PF, which could be Brandan Wright or Kelenna Azubuike, on Paul. Smart said if the Warriors were playing straight up, meaning no switching, or the Hornets didn’t rely so heavily on the P&R, then Ellis would no doubt be matched up with Paul.

* You see the piece in the Boston Globe. My man Marc Spears wrote that the Clippers are considering ousting Mike Dunleavy Sr. as GM. Guess whose name is coming up as a replacement? Jerry West. If he is available, should the Warriors be putting in a call?

* The Warriors’ need for a point guard was never more present than in the final minute on Sunday. They had the lead down to nine, had a 3-on-1 break the other way. But the ball wound up in Jackson’s hands and he, of course, pulled up for 3 from the left wing. Missed it. I don’t begrudge Jax for taking that shot. While it’s a bad shot, and he knows it’s a bad shot, his strength is not that part of the game. No use asking him to go beyond his capabilities or create new ones at age 30.
But a point guard, a good point guard, would’ve known not to give him the ball in that situation. It was so predictable that’s what he was going to do. A good point guard would know Jax’s M.O., would understand the clock and situation, would have noticed a better shooter open on he right side in Morrow. A 3-pointer in that situation, while it would’ve been huge, only cuts the lead to 6. The risk significantly outweighed the reward in that situation. A lay-up would have done the same damage – put more fear into the Hornets, gave the Warriors more confidence and momentum – and was the higher percentage option.
At the very least, a good point guard would gave Jax some words after he takes a shot like that, killing the Warriors’ slimmest chance of stealing a win. As it turned out, only Keith Smart said something. He winced and gestured for Jax to drive to the basket.
Again, if the Warriors’ are waiting for Jackson to get that type of understanding down, they are wasting their team. He’s a scorer with a killer instinct. He is ALWAYS going to go for the dagger. That’s fine. You just need a point guard to manage the game, understand the characters on the floor and know the situation.

* Monta Ellis flashed some of that crazy athleticism of his. Jackson threw a lob in the third quarter. It was high and wide, but Monta snatched it out of the air and threw it down with one hand. The pass was actually for Maggette, which is why it was high and wide. It was probably the highest Ellis has jumped since returning from his ankle injury.

Ellis said with a smile: “That was a showcase, let y’all know I ain’t lost nothing.”

Jax chimed in: “That was off the bad ankle, too.”

Then Crawford: “What bad ankle?”

* One night after scoring a career-high 25 points on 10-for-13 shooting, Brandan Wright had four points on 2 of 6 shooting in 26 minutes. He had 15 first-half minutes and didn’t come back in the game until early in the fourth quarter, with the Warriors down 80-60.

Marcus Thompson

  • Boner Stabone

    - Hell ya give Jerry West a call, if Dubs can land West; Im not so bitter that Mullin is leaving.

    - Jackson has been pulling up for that shot all season long. I know that Nellie’s system is based on spacing. But Jax with that egregious shot, has been robbing the team out of victories all season long.

    -Bottom line, Jax needs to go.

  • commish

    Nice job Marcus. By the way, how do you like covering the Dubs this year? Has it been a great time out. Whatever clue Nelson once had about coaching has gone up in a vapor or smoke or whatever. It is virtually impossible to watch how bad his coaching has become.

  • rcg

    Good post. I missed the game but you made it come alive for me with a lot of different angles on what happened. I’m glad I went to the gym instead. I love Jack but that three attempt would have put me in a dark mood.

    On the other hand, close and competitive losses are probably the right outcome for the remainder of the Warriors games this season.

  • Ryan

    No way West works for Cohan or Sterling.

  • http://?? Jerry

    Nice article Marcus, I agree with you 100%. The only problem is how do we get JAX off the court or better than that get NELLIE to sit JAX down and tell him how he should play. The young players are not going to speak-up because it’s not their place to do that. If NELLIE had any balls he would sit JAX when he screws-up as he does a lot, but NELLIE loves JAX and he’s not going to do anything about his screw-ups. Thats why we need a new coach and I don’t know if Keith Smart is a strong enough personality to deal with JAX.. As long as we have NELLIE and JAX the team will be in the same position every game. The larger problem is JAX thinks he’s as good as Kobee or Lebron and should get the same calls as they do, when he doesn’t he pouts and arguews with the Ref’s and blows up the next few plays. When JAX is on he’s very good for the team but he just doesn’t trust the other guys often enough, he just wants to be SUPERMAN all the time. It’s to bad because I believe that his heart is in the right place but his head is stuck up his ass..We need someone like Baron to keep JAX in place otherwise he will just take the ball and keep doing the same thing again and again.

  • justafan

    It’s Ricky R or trade the pick and remember sports fans ” Boycott the Warriors until Chris Cohan sells the team!!!

  • Valr

    Nellie IS the GM aka GOD. Aren’t you guys paying attention?

  • DW

    Hey great article today Marcus, do you think the W’s would be interested in Ty Lawson or the kid from Maryland? I think his nae is Vasquez. I think we have to draft a point in this draft.

  • Marcus Thompson

    DW,

    I think the Warriors should trade the pick, along with someone, and get someone who can ball right now. I’d even rather sign and trade for Steve Nash.

  • richard jenkins

    lousy coach and owner.. AR and ME should leave as well as JC

  • Elgin Baylor

    Tomorrow night’s game against San Antonio will show us how far we still have to go before we are a legitimate NBA team………….

    I invite Warrior fans to pay attention to the Spurs team, their coaches and their players during the game, the way they interact, the way they play as a team, the way they hold each other accountable and then come and tell me what a real NBA team should be.

    Tomorrow, we will be playing a team that is the exact oppposite of us. Direction as oppposed to mis-direction, philosophy as opposed to bullshit, accountabillity as opposed to aloofness.

    Spurs vs. Warriors.

    I agree with Marcus about getting an established NBA player like Nash, for example, right now.

    Fuck these rookies, Blake Griffin, Ricky Rubio, we will just be shooting ourselves in the foot……..forget building on more young talent, we now need a proven NBA star player who is established in the league.

  • MRFJG_SON

    Marcus good read again. I would love if the Warriors were able to get Jerry West as our GM. I have been hoping for that ever since he left memphis. I would even venture to say that he would probably be able to reign in Nellie and give the club the push in the right direction they need. Imagine, I think the aura of West would be able to overshadow the power of Nellie and actually cause for the development of a great coach/gm relationship. Obviously i know this would probably never happen b/c COHAN has no foresight but if it did…ohhhhh man.

  • Jeremy

    Marcus, I agree, I’m all for trading the pick. They have enough potential and young dudes. I think they should look at Earl Watson, Kirk Hinrich, Jason Kidd or Ramon Sessions.

    Also what do you think of this trade?

    Wright, Belinelli, Crawford and the first rounder for Chris Bosh.

  • Lufty455

    Good post Marcus. As the world of Nellie turns again… fire Nellie now! This guys reminds me of a drunk old fool out there. We need a new leader folks. Start from scratch now because you know that old guy won’t make it through the year next year. He is gonna take the money and run. If he doesn’t get it. He will sue Cohen just like Cuban a few years ago. That might be a good thing though….

  • Elgin Baylor

    I knew we were going to lose this game……..who, in their right mind would believe that we can beat a tough playoff team on the road?……..No chance in hell Warrior fans…tomorrow night as well, expect an absolute destruction of our young Golden State squad in the Alamo (better known as San Antonio)

    These are the kinds of teams that we will never, ever, ever, ever be able to beat on the road unless we make some major changes……on the defensive end as well as finding a confident, star scorer who can score in the 4th quarter.

    Until then, we will be the losers of the Western Conference, getting excited about beating shitty teams like the 76ers and Minnesota.

  • Elgin Baylor

    I think we will struggle to win 5 more games for the remainder of the season……………5 more wins would put us at 30 wins…..absolutely deplorable win total for this team I had such high hopes for, even when BD went to L.A.

    This is FAR worse than what I expected, even when Monta went down. This organization has serious internal problems and dissention.

    I think we will struggle to win 5 more games folks, …….I think we will barely scratch 30 wins this season………..we should be ashamed of our team….we are an absolute terrible NBA franchise.

    There are a lot of young teams in the league, a lot of teams have had injury problems this year…….look at New Orleans……Peja hasn’t been healthy all year, Tyson Chandler has the toe problems, Morris Peterson in and out, ……look at the Lakers…..Bynum all year pretty much……..look at the Jazz……Boozer injury…the Rockets without T-Mac and when he’s healthy, their usually without Y. Ming……….

    Portland is a young team too………look at what their doing.

    Point is, I’m tired of the excuses…….we just do not have the NBA talent needed to compete in the Western Conference…..period.

  • James Worthy

    Well said Elgin Baylor…….well said……

    Do you guys realize that we don’t have 1 single player that srikes fear in opponent’s hearts, on our team?

    I mean, even though most teams scout us to focus on Stephen Jackson in the 4th quarter,…..most of the time, Stephen is not even double teamed in the 4th quarter and a lot of times opponenets give him his quick jumpers, gambling, letting him take those shots.

    Again, no player that strikes fear in the opponent means that they are never worried when trailing the Warriors, going into the 4th quarter.

    Instead, we have to shit our pants in the 4th quarter because of guys like # 24, B. Roy, D. Nowzitzki, C. Paul, T. Duncan, M. Ginobilii, T-Mac, Yao Ming, D. Williams, C. Boozer and J. Terry.

    We don’t have anyone on our team to make opponents shit their pants.

  • Sleepy

    Crawford is one of the best 4th quarter players in the league and has hit 11 game winners .The problem to me is he needs a structured offense and set plays to be his most effective .I think people see his fancy dribbling and thinks he wants to go one on one all the time but I think if we ran him off screens and found him looks via ball movement he could be that 4th quarter guy.

    Our main problem is jack and then Nelsons handling of jack.

    Jack has gone from the 3rd or 4th option to the first option and his ego has blown up. Instead of Nelson tweaking his system and focusing on ball movement and team play with all the injuries .He chose to allow jack and Corey to do whatever they want and now I doubt he can break those habits with this current roster. Nelson has allowed jack to think hes bigger than the team and it showing.

  • http://www.arboright.com dbstarkey

    A lot has gone wrong for the W’s this season. But my sense is all the adversity is going to serve this team in the long run. One example being that many of the younger players have gotten to develop and play some important minutes which would not have happened otherwise.

    I would submit that the turnovers and ragged play will be long forgotten by the first few weeks of the season if there are no further significant injuries.

    I have seen this team COMPETE and play well with only one starter on the floor the rest un-drafted and D-league players. This team has had more starting line-ups than any other team in the league. Again they will become significantly better, these guys are YOUNG.

    Leave Nelly alone.

    I predict Jack will flourish next year as some of the pressure to do more than he should is taken up by his teammates. And as he gets comfortable he will not miss that pass to Morrow in the corner. I am surprised how many folks are down on this team as I see an incredible amount of upside.

    Again, as long as management does not screw-up this team, I see a bright future for the Warriors and us fans.

  • OptimusPrime

    I dont mind trading Crawford. Its just a problem when the entie league know you are desperately trying to part ways w/ him. I was suprose they go so much value for Harington considering that he was in the same situation.