33

Game #2: Suns 123, Warriors 101

If I had a dollar for every time I heard a member of the organization talk about how good they are on offense, I’d have that Luis Vutton leather interior in my car.
The Warriors like to point out their plethora of 20-point scorers, and how they aren’t worried about offense. But two games into the season, it is clear the Warriors aren’t so good on that side of the ball. They look disjointed, unorganized and confused.

JACKSON: “We don’t move the ball as well as we have in past years, but it’s the second game of the season, so hopefully it will get better. The chemistry we have is not even close to what we used to have. but I think it’s up to the coaches to figure out what guys to have out there and get that chemistry back.”

The Warriors like to talk about how they need to get it together on defense. But that is always the case. More troubling should be these offensive woes, which is hardly a cold shooting stretch. At best, the Warriors can hope to force sone turnovers, block some shots and get timely shots. That’s how the 2007 team did it. But they need the offensive prowess to a) stay in the game; b) capitalize off those rare occasions they play D, and c) to recapture that psychological advantage they once had.
In past Warriors-Suns clashes, GSW would give Phoenix all it wanted, occassionally outscoring the Suns. Last night, the Warriors’s offense never looked formidable. They turned the ball over 22 times, which led to 31 Suns points. The Suns turned the ball over 23 times, which led to 22 Warriors points. They had 16 assists on 36 baskets. They managed just 11 second chance points off 9 offensive rebounds. They were 20-for-37 in the paint.
And that was against the Suns, hardly a defensive juggernaut.
Why are they struggling? Largely because they are a collection of guys going for self. Monta, Jackson and Maggette are trying to single-handedly dominate, though Monta is the least to blame (as he’s the only one who can dominate game without killing the offense, because his game is higher percentage and promotes the uptempo style the Warriors want to play). Since Nellie refuses to control his vets, things just run amuck.
The players have other reasons. Steph Curry said they aren’t running the offense:

CURRY: “Not really sure. Not executing the plays very well. Transition we were fine, I think. Got the shots we wanted, just didn’t make a lot of shots. Got to the basket, didn’t get any foul calls, but that’s how its going to be sometimes. Other than that, I think it was just not being able to run the plays that we wanted to and getting the shots we wanted to. And we were kind of scrambling all night. That’s what inept means to me, I guess.”
 

“We’re all young. I guess most of us haven’t played together for more than two years. The chemistry still has to grow a little bit. I think it starts in practice, trying to get the play calls down. And even in games, I think we gotta stop, I guess in transition, in dead spots, we don’t really know what to do, always looking to the sidelines. I think a free-flowing offense should just be able to go and run itself kind of thing. So that’s just going to take time. We’re only game two. I’m not really worried about the offensive part. It’s the defensively we’ve got tostep it up a little bit next game.”

Kelenna Azubuike said they just made too many errors.

BUIKE: “We just made some mental mistakes, really. Our offense wasn’t clicking like it usually is. Lot of turnovers. We just can’t have that, unforced turnovers. … Just got to go back to the drawing board and get everything right.”

Ex-Capt’n Jack had a simpler explanation.

JACKSON: “It’s a new team, so guys have to figure out how I want the ball.”

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

Big man Ronny Turiaf tweaked his left knee a minute into the 4th quarter and never returned. Nelson said a while back that Ronny had torn cartilage in that knee, which kept him out most of the preseason. Definitely looking into this.

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

Curry got schooled by Steve Nash. No shame in that, though. Nash was at the top of his game: 18 points, 20 assists, 6 rebounds. He dragged Curry through screens, he weaved him all over the court as he toyed with the Warriors defense.

CURRY: “He’s one of the best PGs I’ve played against. 20 assists, that’s hard to do. He was always in the right position to set his teammates up. Didn’t really force anything. Made the shot when he ahd to take them. That’s how he plays. That’s why he’s one of the best point guards in the game.
 

Steph, learn anything?
 
CURRY: “Not in the moment, really. You’re focused on your own game plan and what you’re trying to do. Especially when things are going bad, you gotta try to go back to the drawing board during timeouts and try to figure out what’s going to work. But I’m definitelty going to look at this film and study how he manages the game and try to pick some things from that. But during the game it’s just trying to get yourself going.”

***********

Maggette’s is 5-for-21 from the field so far this season.

***********

C.J. Watson made his season debut, as did Mikkie Moore. Last active player left to get in is Acie Law.

***********

Didn’t get a chance to talk to Randolph after the game. He dipped out before I ask him how he feels about being jerked around in the rotation.
Friday, he played the first 7 minutes, then sat the rest of the half. He started the third quarter, played the first 5:29 and didn’t return until the start of the fourth, when the Warriors were down 19 and Nellie resigned to defeat.
He finished with 12 points on 2-for-9 shooting with 7 rebounds, a block, an assist and a turnover in 25 minutes.
Nelson said after the game he didn’t think Randolph was getting it done.
He was certainly helter skelter. He doesn’t appear to have the confidence he once seemed to have gained. He is steady looking at the bench, and he’s got that look on his face, the one from last year. Not the fired up and hungry look. That worried and frustrated look.

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

According to an NBA Fanhouse tweet, Suns coach Alvin Gentry saw the Warriors roster and said: “Speedy Claxton?! I thought he was dead!”

Sent from my iPhone

Marcus Thompson