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Exhibition #4: Ws vs. Suns

The news of the day is obviously the Stephen Jackson suspension. The Warriors aren’t saying much about what Jackson did or what it means to his status with the Warriors. Of course, silence is just as well of an indicator.
Here is what I’ve heard:

Nellie pulled Jackson from the game after he picked up his fifth foul Friday in the first quarter. Jackson was clearly upset/frustrated/emotional. He was in a mano-y-mano with Kobe and he wasn’t happy with the way the refs were calling it.
Jackson’s tirade continued on the bench. Eventually, Nelson sent Jackson to the locker room to “cool off” one team source told me. Jack never came out for the second half. Not sure if that was Nellie’s decision or Jackson’s decision. I also heard he got into with an assistant coach. That rumor was disputed.
I don’t know what happened once he left the bench, as Nelson isn’t talking and Jackson isn’t available. But it must’ve been serious because it forced Nelson into a first.

NELLIE: “I will say that in my 30, whatever it is I’ve been coaching, 30 some-odd years, I have never suspended a player before,” Nelson said. “Maybe I should have a couple of times, but I never have. I try to stay away from doing anything that will cost the players a lot of money. I hate to take big money from guys.”

My man Geoff Lepper, and his diligent research, discovered Nelson was at least mistaken when he said he’s never suspended a player.

I asked Riley if this situation forced him to ramp up the efforts to move Jackson.

RILEY: “I’m not going to comment on that.”

****************

Stephen Curry got hiss first start tonight. He matched up against Steve Nash while Monta Ellis matched up against former Warrior Jason Richardson. Azubuike started at small forward.
He overcame some struggles — forced some things on offense and forgot to get back on defense a couple times — to have a solid night: 16 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 turnovers.
Curry said he wasn’t too worried about shooting outside. An avid golfer, he was already analyzing the wind like he was plotting a tee shot. He said he feels like his jumper is coming around. He did shoot an airball though.

CURRY (with smile): “Wind gust.”

****************

Monta Ellis was allowed, for this game only, to wear a long-sleeve shirt under his uniform. Ditto for Anthony Morrow and Corey Maggette.

**************

Morrow is clearly not impacted by the outside conditions. He was 6-for-10 from the field at the half. A few of his 3-pointers were of the net-didn’t-move variety.
He caught fire in the fourth quarter. He scored 13. He was creating his own shot off the dribble. His pull-up, mid-range looked good. The dude can shoot like nobody’s business.
He finished 11-for-21 with 30 points to go with six rebounds. Everyone else shot 39.7 percent from the field.

CURRY: “Anytime he gets any kind of open look, you expect it to go in.”

MORROW: “You can’t really tell you’re outside. Such great weather. It’s warm. Not a lot of wind. … I work on my game every day. Not just catch and shoot.”

**************

Randolph v. Stoudemire: advantage Randolph.
Amare looked and sounded like he was getting frustrated with that pesky, skinny dude he’s matched up against.
Randolph gave Stoudemire fits with his length and endless hustle. And you could see Randolph’s confidence growing. Too much on some occasions.
Here are the stat lines:

Randolph 15 points on 3-for-9 shooting with 13 rebounds, 1 block and 2 TOs in 27 minutes
Amare S. 13 points on 5-for-10 shooting with 5 rebounds, 0 blocks and 3 TOs in 29 minutes

******************

Channing Frye got the best of center Andris Biedrins, though. Frye, who starts at center for Phoenix, lives on the perimeter and he was stroking it on Saturday. Well, for a big man, anyway.
Biedrins seemed to have little impact on the game (though that doesn’t necessarily mean he didn’t play well as Biedrins is often a quiet workhorse). With that said, Biedrins still seemed to be in preseason form. He’s not getting touches, for sure. But he’s also not making things happen the way he’s known to (as I type, he came out of nowhere to tip-in a missed Morrow lay-up). He missed a lay-up on a beautiful entry bounce pass from Speedy Claxton. Remember Biedrins practically never missed?
Frye, on the other hand, was hurting the Warriors inside and out. They are two different type of players, no doubt. but that’s a match-up Biedrins didn’t like. It’s something to look out for. Biedrins, for all his strengths, have a hard time guarding players who pull him away from the basket, like Frye. Brian Cook from the Lakers used to hurt the Warriors in the same way. That’s why Mikki Moore started the second half instead of Biedrins.
Biedrins wound up getting his, finishing with 8 points, 15 rebounds and 3 blocks. He had a big fourth quarter, grabbing 9 rebounds and converted a critical dunk off a screen-and-roll from Curry. But all of that was with Frye on the bench, which allowed Biedrins to stay in his habitat.
It’s not a big enough deal to worry about as few teams have a center who can hurt the Ws from the perimeter like that. Of the ones that do, few have a PF Biedrins has a hard-time guarding. (Otherwise, Nelson could just put Randolph on the perimeter-oriented big man and put Biedrins on the low-post dwelling PF.) Just one of those match-up things.

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Last season, the first of the outdoor games featuring Phoenix and Denver, drew a sell-out crowd of 16,236. The attendance for Saturday: 14,979.

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Marcus Thompson

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  • The Nature Boy

    Quick hits -

    Marcus, I really enjoy reading your stuff. Good insight, to the point, and with a dose of humor – w/o a lot of the self-indulgent speak found on some other blogs.

    After watching a couple of games now, Curry definitely has what it takes to be a point guard. He has tremendous court vision, almost to a fault. He tries to force too many passes which aren’t quite there. Once he gets used to the hand speed at this level, he’ll adjust.

    Jackson will become a cancer sooner than later. It’s going to be a shame that the W’s will basically have to give him away if he continues this behavior. But they’ve given away players before…

    There was one play that has me slightly concerned about Monta. Check out 7:32 in the 3rd quarter when Randolph draws a foul. Monta wanted the ball on the wing and when AR didn’t deliver he threw a mini-hissy fit in the middle of the play and it was very noticeable – at least to me. I don’t recall seeing that before, at least not in recent memory. Could be nothing, but I sure noticed it…

  • colonel

    PHO is a good matchup for the W’s, but nice to see them play well. Morrow is the man. Curry on the court in crunch time, 7 reb, 7 assist. Randolph 13 reb and 9-10 FT. I would’ve thought Channing Frye s/b good match for AB, but Frye was +16.

  • Jax’s Brain Surgeon

    Thanks for this, Marcus. I would have loved to have been at that game!

  • A’s in 2010

    I’m not sold on Phoenix as the 8th seed, how about you Marcus? They have no depth, after Barbosa there’s nothing on that bench. One injury and they could lose 50 games.

  • GregC

    Kobe Bryant is a methaphor and symbol of what Steven Jackson wants and wishes.He is the Bizzaro Kobe if you will.

    Kobe works for the most respected and storied franchises in the league.
    Steven works for, well, the Warriors.

    Kobe gets the benefit of all close foul calls. Steven gets T-d up for breathing hard

    Kobe’s employers manage to get Paul Gasol, Ron Artest, Shaq, etc. The Warrior can never see to get that elusive big man.

    I can see how would be frustrated.

  • clearwater

    yeh you are totally right GregC. There is just one problem with your analogy. Kobe Bryant is one of the best basketball players of this era. Steven Jackson is a very mediocre, turnover prone, unathletic malcontent who for some reason thinks he is a way better player than he truly is.

  • feltbot

    Marcus neglects to mention the rebound edge Biedrins had over Frye, the great help defense, and the fact that Frye basically fouled out in one half. And Biedrins anchored the Warriors’ 4th Q small ball unit that got the win.

  • Mike in Atl

    Marcus,

    This was my first time seeing Curry outside of summer league and Monta after last season. I must admit things are looking much better for the home team.

    First, Curry can flat out ball. He is not too slow or too weak to play point in this league. It shouldn’t take more than one game to figure that out. And his game is SOLID. PASS, BB IQ, SHOT, this dude is a baller, regardless of his game to game stats.

    Monta still has his speed and he works too hard to not have a great mid range jumper so he will at least be the same as pre-injury.

    Now if we just get rid of management and Captian J-a$$ we will going somewhere…

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  • http://Yahoo! PeteyB

    Mike in ATL – True dat, Curry is a baller. Curry, Morrow, and Randolph. Those three I’d build around.

  • Jacksonsucks

    Somebody just please give away Jackson for free. This bastard needs to go. He is a dog that bites the hand that feeds it. I am embarassed to be in the same city and same sport. Another punk that needs to be banned from the NBA.

  • GregC

    Clearwater.

    Totally agree with your points. My intent was to see the perspective of Jackson, however dellusional it may be. :o )

  • robo

    Just some thoughts:

    In addition to Stephen Jackson not playing, where were Devean George and Acie Law? I couldn’t see them anywhere, so I’m thinking the trade for Zydrunas Ilgauskas is now moving. Is it?

    Thank God, the Warriors didn’t pull the trigger on a trade for Amar’e Stoudemire! Anthony Randolph and Andris Biedrins are each better now in their career’s.

    Speaking of Randolph; he needs a nickname. I’m thinking it should be ‘Magic Carpet’; because if he’s not flying to the hoop, he looks perfectly fine all flat out on the floor. Either that or ‘Welcome Mat’, or ‘The Rug’. Just kidding! But, if you take the Magic Carpet name; shorten it, and change his number to 10, he can be MAC 10.

    Anthony ‘MAC 10’ Randolph – I like it!

    To the non-fans of a Zydrunas Ilgasukas trade; Big Z would be cap space for the Warriors and that’s a good thing. Stephen Jackson would get a chance to earn another ring with the Cavs; and he deserves it. The current Warriors don’t have that option; they may not even make the playoffs. Say what you want about the ‘Captain’, but you can’t deny that he has been an excellent teammate. And together with Baron, Al Harrington, and Chris Mullin – they resurrected this franchise, period. Not Chris Cohan, not little Bobby Rowell.

  • robo

    Oh, one more thing. Way to go TNT! Not listing Rick, Brent, Drew, Jon, and Scooter Barry as the greatest NBA father and son combo was a major oversight. And, if you want to know what a top-notch announcing team should look and sound like, take a look/listen at the Warriors broadcast team of Jim Barnett, Bob Fitzgerald, and Tim Roye. Excuse me, but Marv Albert and Mike Fratello’s 5 minutes of fame were over, years ago.

  • Harp’s Dubs

    Jackson, Claxton and Wright to the Cavs for Ilgauskas and Boobie Gibson.
    Cavs do it for wing help (Jackson), cap relief (Claxton) and young, cheap potential (Wright).
    Monta, Law and Azubuike to the Jazz for Kirilenko.
    Jazz do it for Monta/DWill backcourt – very similar to the Baron/Monta backcourt that worked so well. Azubuike’s a great bench player and Law’s contract expires after this year.

    Warriors do it to rid themselves of Jackass and his sidekick Monta, while taking on a lot less long-term money.
    09-10 Warriors:
    PG – Ellis/Gibson/Watson
    SG – Morrow/Maggette/Gibson
    SF – Kirilenko/Maggette
    PF – Randolph/Moore/Pruitt
    C – Biedrins/Turiaf/Ilgauskas

    This team wins maybe 30 games this year, but has a lot more financial flexibility in the future and no more cancerous malcontents.
    How about the big line-up of Ellis, Kirilenko, Randolph, Turiaf and Biedrins?

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  • Dub Fan

    Uh, Harp’s, it’s going to be a little difficult to have Ellis in any Warrior’s lineup if you would have him traded to the Jazz (and I don’t like this trade anyhow). Don’t like any trade of Monte this year…maybe next year.

  • The Underling

    I was sitting in the corner seat next to the court and saw the whole Jackson thing perfectly. Really quickly…Jackson was complaining to the refs that Kobe was pushing on him with his bent arm’s forearm. Jackson seemed to say it wasn’t legal. Kobe and Jackson started jawing. It seemed to drop for a second but Kobe seemed to get a little mad. Shortly after Jackson was called for an offensive foul. Later, at the time out. Jackson talked to the ref by the scorer’s table. Jackson looked as if he was explaining to the replacement ref and at some point Jackson (and I think I read this right) “Then you don’t know the f—ing rules!” At that point he was teed up. At the huddle Nelson seemed to tell Jackson in an irritated manner to calm down. Jackson then sat down and Nelson stood over his head and seemed to chew Jackson out. Almost, if you don’t like it you can leave kind of thing. Shortly after ( a few seconds later) Jackson did. All the while the crowd including myself was calling him a baby etc.

  • The Underling

    Sorry about the poor grammar. Way late and way tired. But the key points seemed to be Jackson’s disdain for the replacement refs, Kobe getting under his skin and Don having NO patience for him.

  • Mano de Nada

    Harp’s Dubs pulls off the most awesomest forum trade EVER, by somehow both swapping Ellis and keeping him. Wonder how that will work on ESPN’s trade machine?

  • Harp’s Dubs

    Oops – substitute Curry’s name for Ellis – my bad.

  • Perry

    “Nature Boy”…….saw the same thing on the pouting play with Monta in the corner upset that Randolph didn’t defer…that was the most energy Monta expended in this game………he has to learn how to be aggressive game in and game out…….not just against the Lakers.

    A. Morrow did not defer down the stretch in the 4th quarter. He had a good game, but he seems to think that Pre-Season NBA Basketball qualifies him as a 4th quarter go to guy in his 2nd season as an undrafted walk on.

    I’d rather get the ball to a guy who can create his own shot better down the stretch:

    1. Ellis
    2. Curry
    3. Maggette

    Nelson jumped all over Curry for not coming to meet Morrow to take the ball and control the possession……Hey Nellie, “How about Anthony pass the ball?”

    Curry’s line was fantastic, there was a 3 play barrage where he scored on the left side of the basket on a take to the basket, then had a beautiful look to Andris cutting and diving to the basket, followed by another look to either Andris or another cut, I can’t remember….

    Stepen C. should establish himself offensively, first by going to the basket….then letting his perimeter game and range develop off of that.

    Like that 2nd half unit with Maggette and Andris…….both were active, both looked for each other on cuts, Corey got to the line….it was a much more active unit….

    I get the sense that S. Curry has a quiet confidence and swagger that’s very subtle, but obvious. I like that in a young player but I think it rubs Monta and Anthony Morrow the wrong way.

    Curry knows he can play at this level……

    He has that same quiet confidence that Gilbert Arenas had in his 2nd year with Golden State when he began to get playing time.

    Randolph looks like he’s taken that step to becoming a consistent double-double guy in this league. I expect him to average nothing less than 14ppg and 10rpg.

    Randolph’s first 3 field goal attempts were awful……..they included a 12 foot fadeway from the baseline and a weak 16 footer. He made some poor decisions with the ball in his hand but all in all ended with 2 turnovers. Still a lot of room for improvement with basic basketball IQ and winning games, for young Anthony.

    Nice, steady win for this young squad, nothing spectacular……they held Phoenix’s offense somewhat at bay,….not allowing for a very large scoring burst.

    It’s hard to take much away from these last 2 games, especially with all the questions surrounding personnel…….but we are getting a chance to look at some of the personnel that may be here for a while, young talent that is pretty good.

    The problem is that Warrior fans have been through this same cycle before, many times and to no avail……..that’s why it’s so tough to get the Nay-Sayers back on board.

    Patience is not the right word to use with this organization and it’s fans……it’s long past patience…….it’s desperation………

  • jsl

    Real nice post, MT. Especially good on AR and Goose’s games — tho I thot Goose’s Q4 was terrific (even if Frye, who was hot, didn’t play much then).

    In a peculiar twist — since I think Nelson’s been an execrable coach for over two years now — this was, I thought, a well-coached game by the Fat Man. True, it was made much easier by the fact that (1) Jack was gone and (2) we didn’t have to waste 40 minutes on that loony tune; but Nelson played the kids, stuck with them even thru rough patches, and used ‘em at the end, when they just overran the Suns.

    Maybe he’s finally starting to get it. And, as Daffy Duck would say — “I-RO-NY” (i.e. that Jack’s flight into cloud-cuckoo-land would afford Nelson the opportunity to actually do some solid coaching). But let’s see if he can keep up playing the kids and using a much broader rotation (e.g. giving Curry a nice blow in the second half meant he was fresh to do his damage at the end).

    Sure, Phoenix wasn’t trying too hard and, apart from Frye, was surprisingly sluggish. But the Warriors took advantage, and never let a stronger team dominate — as they came back and closed gaps time and again.

    Final point: It’s so much nicer having AM in during Q4, taking sharp passes from Curry or setting up down low, than running your offense through Dead Man Jack, who’d just throw up dreck shots on O and ignore D altogether.

    Once again, terrific write-up, here, Marcus.

  • OptimusPrime aka Rod Brooks

    Very cool watching the game outside.

    I dont know what they are going to do about Jax. They cant allow him to be cancer that torpedos this team. They have too many young, hungry and impressionable young players to allow that. Look @ how Jax attitude has rubbed off on Monta.

    Good to see that they were able to win the last two games w/out Jax.

  • Dub Fan

    Heard some rumor, probably quite unsubstantiated, about the Warrior’s making a move for Bosh, and involving Beidrins. If true, I’d go for Beidrins, Wright and any one, or two of Acie Law, Speedy Claxton and C.J. Watson for Bosh. Don’t know if this works salary wise, though I bet it does, and might be enough for Toronto to bite. I’d love to have Bosh, and would give up Beidrins and Wright to get him.

  • Harp’s Dubs

    Perry, as always, nice post. Now, how about some other trade ideas, considering ESPN’s report that the Raps and Dubs are talking…

    Jackson, Monta, Wright and Claxton for McGrady and Carl Landry.
    Biedrins, Maggette and a future unprotected first rounder to Toronto for Bosh and Antoine Wright.

    09-10 Warriors
    PG – Curry/Watson/Law
    SG – Morrow/Azubuike
    SF – McGrady/A.Wright
    PF – Randolph/Landry/Moore
    C – Bosh/Turiaf