30

The Murphleavy Trade in (2+ Years of) Hindsight

In January 2007, the Warriors shipped Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy, Ike Diogu and Keith McLeod in exchange for Stephen Jackson, Al Harrington, Josh Powell and Sarunas Jasikevicius.

The Pacers still have Murphy and Dunleavy. Both are starters.The Warriors have … Vladimir Radmanovic, injured Raja Bell and absent Speedy Claxton.

But, Golden State did get a historic playoff run and a 48-win season out of the pair, and they freed themselves from Murphleavy’s contracts. And the Pacers haven’t won more than 36 games since the trade. Still, the Pacers have solid veterans to bank on (at least when Dunleavy’s healthy), haven’t had nearly as much drama and turmoil, and they appear to be closer to turning things around than the Warriors.

So, looking back on that deal, who got the better end of the trade? Was renting Harrington and Jackson worth it in the long haul?

29

Game #14 (5-9): Spurs 118, Warriors 104

Monta Ellis can make scoring look effortless sometimes. When his shot is falling, especially. Get him a better handle, and he’d be Dwyane Wade, a lighter version anyway.

No matter the circumstances, 42 points on 25 shots is good. But when you throw in the fact that Ellis came into the game having played 48 minutes in consecutive games, and he was staring at 48 minutes in San Antonio, 42 points on 25 shots is really impressive.

ELLIS: “Hey, I’ll play 48 minutes whenever I need to play it.”

That being said, Wednesday’s game had some obvious revelations. While Ellis is a beast, the way he played Wednesday is not conducive to the Warriors’ long-term success. It should be encouraging for Warriors fans to see Ellis resolved to put the Warriors on his back against a team that has owned the Warriors. But this game clearly showed that the Warriors can’t afford to play the sit back and watch Monta offense.

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27

Game #13 (5-8): Warriors 111, Mavericks 103

It is obvious that something positive is going on in Warriors land. And the turning point, though it sounds too simple, was the departure of swingman Stephen Jackson.

Since they traded him to Charlotte last Monday, the Warriors nearly upset the Cavaliers in Cleveland, played the Celtics tough in Boston, handled Portland in Oakland, and  beat the Mavericks in Dallas. They’ve done it while short on players. They’ve done it against heavy odds. They’ve done it against some of the league’s best teams.

Sure, Cleveland wasn’t playing great. Boston played around until stepping on the gas again. The Blazers have struggled in Oakland for a while now. And Dallas is banged up.

But even with those qualifiers, it’s hard to argue against the strides the Warriors have made lately.

MONTA ELLIS: “We’ve been playing great ball these last five games. Some of them we didn’t win, but we took a lot from them. We play together and anybody can get beaten. We usually have (Dallas’) number and they don’t have any shot blockers so our game plan was to really attack the basket, and that’s what we did.”

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11

Nellie “Sick as a Dog”

The way it sounds, he won’t be on the bench for the Los Angeles Lakers game, and the Monday game against the Indiana Pacers or Tuesday’s game at Denver isn’t a lock.

Pneumonia is nothing to play with on its own. But Nelson is 69 with a lifestyle closer to a rock star’s, which means the recovery time may be a little longer. He will certainly miss tonight and Wednesday’s game in Texas. Members of the organization said he looks really sick, including profuse sweating.

LARRY RILEY: “He’s sick as a dog. He wasn’t doing well when we were playing Portland. He is really sick. He wanted to make the trip, but they didn’t want to let him go. Of all the trips he would want to make, this would be one of them.”


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34

Game #11 (3-8): Celtics 109, Warriors 95

Raja Bell stunned everybody when he checked into the game on Wednesday. Even Nellie had no idea until he asked Nellie if he could play. He had 11 points and 3 assists in 23 minutes.

Yes, he’s still having surgery.

Yes, he still could be out for the year.

No, we won’t know until he has surgery.

BELL: “That wasn’t done for any other reason than I wanted to try and help and see what my hand was going to do one last time before I made a decision. I came into the league with a lot of vets. You played through an injury if you could. (Wednesday night), I felt like I had a responsibility to try to help.”

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31

Game #10 (3-7): Cavaliers 114, Warriors 108

The Warriors clawed and scrapped and executed well enough for 45 minutes to have a chance to win. Considering they had just seven players, one new to the team, is that encouraging? Or does the fact they choked down the stretch, turning the ball over three times to kill their chances, override the fact that they were in the game?

Oddly enough, or not, it was Maggette, the 11-year veteran, who made two of the crucial turnovers. The other was a dribbling oops by Steph Curry, which led to a jump ball with LeBron James.

In the Warriors locker room, though, most of the focus was on the fact that they were in the game at all, which seemed to come as a surprise to the Warriors. They gave a spirited effort against a Cavs team that was sleep-walking and without Shaq.

Tonight, they have to do the same thing at Boston. But the Celtics have lost two straight and should be hungry.

“Did you have to remind me of that,” Monta Ellis said jokingly. Continue Reading

94

Monta Ellis Doesn’t Sound Happy

Here is Ellis’ take on the Stephen Jackson trade situation. Interesting to say the least.

What did you think when you found out?

“(laughs) It was amazing to me. I couldn’t believe it at first. It is what it is, man. I’m gonna miss him. We gonna miss him. I went to see him before he left. It seemed like he was happy. As long as he’s happy, I’m happy.”

How tough will it be to lose one of your best players?

“It was tough when we had him. (laughs) Losing him, it’s going to be tough.  But we’ve got to find a way to get through it, man. I wish him the best. Now, it’s on us. That’s what they wanted, so they got it.”

Will you have to do more to make up for the loss?

“I’m not (going to) put no more on my back. Somebody else gonna have to step up. I’m not gonna do more, somebody else gonna have to step up and take on the role that Jack had and be that player. But I’m not putting no more extra on my back.”

Do you feel a need to be more vocal?

“Nope. Uh, uh. Not at all”

What do you guys lose with Jack gone?
 

“No. 1, besides his scoring and the ability to make the extra pass. What we’ve been emphasizing the whole time is defense. That’s one of our best defenders on the team. And we’re trying to get better as a defensive team. And now, who we got now that’s going to play defense? We got me. And who else?”

Raja Bell is a good defender

“I don’t know too much about dude. I mean (pause) it’s crazy, man.”

Jack was your best friend on the team. Will you bond with another teammate?

“I’m close to all my teammates. I’m still gonna do what we do. We’re going to hang out the way we’ve been hanging out. It ain’t going to be no different. We lost one of our close friends. That’s it. But, hey, life goes on. I’mma talk to him every day. He’s going to talk to me every day. Still going to be like he’s here. So I’m not tripping. Like I said, as long as he’s happy, I’m happy.”

So you’re happy. OK. Cool.

“I’m happy that he’s happy, yeah.”


But you’re not happy?

Yeah. I just said I’m happy that he’s happy. (Laughs)


What’s going to be the key going forward?

“Our young guys gotta pay more attention and learn the game more. They probably need to watch more film and sit back and really evaluate the game more, and better.”