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.”

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Pregame Tidbits (at Milwaukee)

(Including postgame tidbits from the Detroit game last night)

* Buike is out again. That’s three straight. Mid-back strain. Everybody else was playing (save for Biedrins and Ellis, of course). Randolph started in place of Buike.

* Jamal Crawford, as of the Detroit game, still was rockin’ the tie-belt. Sure, he could have bought a belt. But Crawford has a ritual. He stays in his hotel on the road.

Crawford: “Maybe five times in my career I’ve gone somewhere, to a mall or something.”

So, you really don’t leave your hotel?

“For what? What am I going to leave my room for? For food? I can just order room service. I’m a creature of habit.”

So, Mr. Creature of Habit. You can’t send someone to pick you up a belt?

“Naw. Why would I do that? I’ve got my own fashion sense.”

* Nelson said Randolph was all over the place on Friday. With a laugh, he called his performance “Good, bad and ugly.” Randolph was indeed all over the place. But little questioned his effort and energy. He goes all out when he’s on the court.
Ronny Turiaf, who knows something about playing with energy, said he’s always in Randolph’s ear about bringing it ever play. He said Randolph “made me happy tonight.”
Turiaf: “He’s going to make bonehead mistakes. But what matters is that he brings energy and effort, he’s going to do fine.”


Nellie Issued Crawford Ultimatum

So, the latest from behind the blue-and-orange velvet rope (I know some of you will hate the soap opera element of this blog post. Sorry). More details about Tim Kawakami’s post from early Friday.

Warriors coach Don Nelson — according to multiple team sources — in a meeting the day after the road loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Feb. 23, told guard Jamal Crawford that if he doesn’t opt out at the end of the year, the Warriors are going to trade him this offseason.

Yes, he actually told him that.

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Pregame Tidbits (at Detroit)

The starting lineup for tonight:

G Jamal Crawford
G Marco Belinelli
F Anthony Randolph
F Rob Kurz
C Ronny Turiaf

* Serious. That’s the starting line-up. Swingman Kelenna Azubuike is out with his mid-back strain. Corey Maggette is out with a sprained right ankle. He injured it when he took out that Bulls cheerleader on the baseline Wednesday. Swingman Stephen Jackson is out with a strained right hamstring that he re-aggravated Wednesday. I’m told it’s something he’s been playing through.
With Ellis, Biedrins, Brandan Wright and Marcus Williams not with the team, the Warriors’ bench is depleted like never before. Anthony Morrow, C.J. Watson and Jermareo Davidson is all the re-enforcement they have.

* On a lighter note, Dave Cowens, an assistant with the Pistons, gave Nellie some photos before the game. Nellie showed them to me. They were those old school pictures, color, but that old school stuff. Remember the old pictures with the white border, on that thick photo paper. Straight nostalgia.
Anyway, they were pictures of Nellie years ago when he was working a camp. In one of them, Nellie had his shirt off, showing his bronze skin and flat stomach, and some navy blue panties. They weren’t really panties, but the tightest Dockers shorts you ever saw. It was like they painted his groin area blue. Hilarious.

* On a serious note, the Pistons announced today that Hall of Fame coach Chuck Daly has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He has begun treatment.


Monta Ellis’ Departure in Protest?

Monta Ellis won’t be playing on this road trip. He won’t be rejoining the team until Sunday, which is when he’s schedule to fly back to Oakland, according to his agent, Jeff Fried.
But members of the organization aren’t convinced Monta’s only reason for leaving was the family matter he had to tend to. According to team sources, some believe Ellis’ sudden departure was partly a gesture of his unhappiness. Here are the reasons given by the various sources:

* He skipped the team photo shoot, which took place on Friday before the game (those type of things are always pet peeves of management)

* When Monta left, he took a lot of luggage. So much that some thought he had planned to be gone much longer than a few days.

* Ellis has been showing several signs of discontent lately. He, at times hasn’t taken part in huddles. He’s been late to shootarounds and practices without so much as an excuse. He’s been known to mumble – during moments of frustration on the court, like when he was taken out late in the fourth quarter against Oklahoma City and didn’t return – that the Warriors need to trade him.

It’s obvious to me what this is about. Ellis is still upset that the Warriors are hanging the contract termination over his head even after fining him $3 million. Add to that things haven’t been going so easy on the court. His numbers are down. Nellie’s got a quicker trigger with him. His ankle stiffens up. IMHO, Ellis has a lot to be unhappy about. How he handles it, though, will be key to his growth as a player and a leader.


Stephen Jackson – Stay or Go?

Debuting a new feature here. The Warriors are going to take inventory this offseason, see what moves they need to make and how they can get better. Over the next few weeks, we are going to do some evaluating ourselves. Here is your chance to give them your opinion (yes, they do read this blog). I will make the best case I can as to why a player should stay or go this offseason. Then you sound off.
Who better to start with than Stephen Jackson.

Thanks due to Tony.psd for the hot graphic


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Postgame Tidbits (at Chicago)

* Center Andris Biedrins had to return to the Bay Area to deal with a “family” matter. He will not play at Detroit. It is uncertain whether he will make it back with the team in time to play Saturday against Detroit. I am assuming that Ronny Turiaf will start in his place.

* Randolph, after the game, sat at his locker with an ice pack on his left inner thigh. He strained his groin Wednesday. I think it happened on offense when he went up against Tyrus Thomas. That’s when I first saw him limping.
He said he wasn’t sure if he would play on Friday. He’ll get treatment and rest today (the Warriors aren’t practicing) and see how it looks on Friday.

* More dumping on Belinelli. One sequence midway through the third, Belinelli – as he does too often, IMHO – fakes himself out of an open shot. He dribbled the ball to the post-up area and was trapped, kicking the ball back out to Crawford way at the top. And there was one second left on the shot clock. On the ensuing Bulls fast break. Belinelli didn’t stop the ball, allowing Derrick Rose an easy lay-up. Nellie popped off the bench and called a timeout, and commensed to screaming something at Belinelli while pointing at his own temple, as if to tell Belinelli to use his head.

* With just less than 8 minutes left and the Warriors down 18, Nellie brought Jax and Crawford back in the game. Why? I get it. He was trying to salvage something, get something going, foster some kind of hope for a disappointing night. But who cares about winning at Chicago? That seemed like the perfect opportunity to get the youngsters some playing time. Keep Belinelli on the court. Keep Morrow on the court. Keep Randolph on the court (though he was bothered by that groing). Keep Davidson on the court, even. Isn’t that the point of the whole bench-a-vet thing?

* The Warriors have shot 40 percent or lower three times in the 32 games. They shot 40 percent tonight. 36.8 percent in the 24-point loss at Dallas. They shot 37.1 percent at Miami on Nov. 23, a 96-88 loss in which they were missing Jax, Maggette, Crawford and, of course, Monta.

* That first-quarter block Randolph had on Tyrus Thomas was nasty. He met him at the rim, and rejected him so hard that Thomas’ arm never made it forward.
Thomas got his revenge though, not long after, driving to the basket and dunking over a helping Randolph. This time, Thomas went up with two hands instead of trying to be cute and tomahawk it.
Randolph just smiled when I brought it up.

* The Warriors aren’t the only ones with injury drama. Luol Deng and the Bulls are at odds over his shin injury. Deng seems to think it’ a stress fracture. The Bulls have been saying it’s a bruise and pretty much telling Deng to suck it up, however disguised in PR jargon.

* One more thing. Funny locker room story I gotta tell you. I was talking to C.J. Watson and he was like, “How do you like Mal’s belt?” I looked and Crawford was using a tie as a belt. He literally pulled it through the belt loops and tied it in the front, holding his jeans up.
“That’s corny,” Jackson said, shaking his head in disgust like an unproud big brother. “You off the hook.”
Crawford said he forgot his belt. His pants were too baggy to not have something.
“I had to improvise,” Crawford said. “I’ve used shoe strings before.”