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Game #4: Clippers 118, Warriors 90

UPDATE: I’m hearing too that Charlotte has shown interest in trading for Jackson, but there is nothing serious, not yet anyway. The Bobcats haven’t presented an offer that the Warriors really like. The Bobcats have not offered Boris Diaw, which is probably the player the Warriors would be most interested in. I know from Jackson’s camp that Charlotte is not a place Jackson wants to go. If those talks persist, don’t be surprised if Jackson tries to scare the Bobcats away from a deal before they sign on for a trade.

Monta Ellis — hunched over in his seat, trying to contain his frustration — summed up Friday night’s game in a way that gives this debacle complete justice.

ELLIS: “We all should be embarrassed. This is a terrible game, terrible performance. We looked like we didn’t know what we were doing out there. We looked like a high school team. We didn’t do anything. … I couldn’t tell you what it was. I just know that’s not how I want to play basketball.”

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It was so bad, Ellis called it the worst game he’s played in during his four-plus seasons as with the Warriors. It was so bad, Nellie admitted he was embarrassed after the game. It was so bad, guard C.J. Watson questioned the direction of his life.

quietstorm_32: “Just realized my life has taken a 360 spiral downward. LOL. Don’t know what I did but, man, not looking so good. LOL. Back to the drawing board.”


It was so bad, swingman Stephen Jackson seemed to enjoy some sort of I-told-you-so moment. Technically, he declined to say “I told you so.” When asked if this is what he was worried about, he backed off and said he wasn’t going to say that. But his body language and his message screamed “I told you so.”

Jackson: “A lot of things went wrong. I’m going to leave it up to the coaches. I’m not going to stress myself out over this, you know what I mean? I’m not. Just got to go out there and do my job and do my work out there. I’m not going to get beat up by it. I know a couple years ago, when we had Baron and all those guys, I would upset right now losing by 30. Right now, it’s not bothering me. … I leave that up to the people who make the changes. I mean, everybody sees how we’re playing. Everybody sees the team. I’m not the one to make the decisions. Everybody knows how I feel. I’m just going to go out there and do my job, try to be as positive as I can. As I can. And right now I think I’m doing a good job. I don’t have any techs — yet. I’m in a good mood right now after getting beat by 60. So hey, I’m doing good for myself right now.”

It was so bad, Monta subconsciously conceded the Warriors were lottery bound again.

ELLIS: “We’ve got 79 more, 78 however many more we’ve got.”

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It’s hard to pinpoint what went wrong. First and foremost, the defense was downright offensive.
Especially in the second half, Baron and Chris Kaman had their way with the Warriors. In the first half, Eric Gordon was scoring like he was playing against a 7th grade CYO squad.
The Clippers wound up shooting 57.9 percent for the game.

ELLIS: “It’s an NBA team. They’ve got NBA players. They’ve got players who can make plays. They’re not trash. They probably had a couple bad games.”

But nobody ever expected the Warriors to be good defensively. The expectation was that they would be able to score. But this offense is so out of sync, if not incapable.
Stephen Jackson missed at least four WIDE OPEN people. Azubuike was all alone behind the defense and prime for a lob. Jax didn’t lob it, instead pulled up for 3. Once, he was getting double teamed on the left low block (actually he dribbled into a trap). He drove towards the top and the double team followed him, leaving Morrow all alone in the corner. Jax forced a drive to the middle instead of kicking to Morrow.
Another time, he dribbled middle and the weakside helper followed him, leaving Randolph all alone for a sure dunk. Jax didn’t get him the ball. Then, one one of his hard drives to the left, he had Morrow all alone in the corner. Instead, Jax kept going to the rack and wound up unsuccessfuly trying to draw a foul.
Then there’s Maggette, who really let his hot shooting in the preseason go to his head. It’s unbelievable how he’s making a habit out of abandoning the part of his game that makes him worthwhile. He was 2-for-7 tonight. The two came on drives to the basket. He took four shots from 20 feet or deeper, all bricks.
Then there is Ellis. His head-down-into-traffic drives are tolerable and expected. But getting ripped twice at half court is unacceptable.
Nelson has gone small, making the Warriors vulnerable to defense, so the Warriors can be better at ball movement and more explosive offensively. Save for the easy time they had against Memphis, perhaps the second-worst defense in basketball, the Warriors offense has looked pained at best.

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Randolph didn’t do himself any favors this night. Certainly, part of the reason is because he has no idea how long he’s going to play or which mistakes he can make. He’s caught between trying to do enough to prove he belongs out there, all the while trying not to make mistakes.
He’s not doing that good of job at the task.

JACKSON: “We have different line-ups every night, guys don’t know how many minutes they’re going to play, when they’re coming out… There’s stuff we’ve got to get more concrete. It’s not anybody to blame. You’ve just got to figure it out as a team from top to bottom. … It’s going to be hard when you have a whole bunch of young guys, because they’re trying to figure their game out, let alone what their role is”

His offense looks uncoordinated at best. He is committing a lot of fouls on defense and he’s getting ridiculous with the goal-tending. But he is rebounding better of late and he drew five charges Friday.
Was asking around and several are saying this latest rift between Randolph and Nellie isn’t Nellie’s fault. Randolph’s attitude and lack of humility is keeping him from excelling on the court.
Randolph has vowed to keep his mouth shut and he’s trying hard not to say the wrong thing. But even that is on a defiant tip. And Nellie, with his fare share of ego, isn’t going to take any attitude from some second-year player who has talent but still needs a lot of work.
But, from what I was told, Randolph is acting as if he’s arrived, like the summer league and first part of preseason earned him a starting spot, big minutes and some leniency. The moment he realizes he’s got to grind like he was this summer, and be coachable, he’s going to take off, insiders tell me.
There is a risk that the relationship deteriorates to the point of irreconcilable. We are talking about two extremely proud men, here.

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Curry fouled out without having much impact. Gordon and Baron posted him up. They ran him off screens, played him physically. The scouting report on Curry is definitely making the rounds. Expect teams to try to pound him in submission.

CURRY: “In four or five years, I’m going to be looking at the rookie, saying ‘go at him until he proves himself.’ So I take it as a challenge, to work hard. I think I gave a great effort out there. Just calls didn’t go my way. Kind of got exploited down low.”

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The machine that is TK transcribed the postgame interviews. It is great reading.

Marcus Thompson

  • A’s in 2010

    When is the media gonna put the heat on Larry Riley?

    -He traded Jamal Crawford for nothing.
    -Traded Marco Belinelli for nothing.
    -Refused to trade CJ Watson for a 1st round pick
    -Traded away a 2012 1st round pick with little protection(plus a 2nd round pick) to New Jersey so we can get our heavily protected 2011 1st rounder back. A move that still boggles my mind.
    -Signed Mikki Moore.

    Larry Riley had an awful offseason. I complained after each one of those moves at the time but was told those moves were inconsequential. But as a whole, c’mon… it looks really bad.

  • A Little Frustration Sensation

    this team is so dysfunctional any wins we get will be by accident, not by design or intent.

    re: jack, i’m happy his attitude is in check, but geeze i want him less emotionally volatile not passively apathetic.

    maggette performs really well when he’s on the bench.

  • Marques8

    Marcus,

    It’s a pretty awful start for everyone but you. You are doing some of your best reporting in years. I was a severe critic last year because I thought you had drunk too much TK juice and a stable of papers only needs one of him, if that. You are balancing that perfectly by writing about the games–even when they are bad–like you know something about basketball and are sharing it. You are making me a fan.

  • Ws need help

    They played like an awful High School team last night.
    Gotta have some pride and self respect.

    There has to be a three pass minimum per play. The ball seem to stall with Jackson and Ellis. There is no continuity.

    Curry passes the ball and then gets stuck with Jackson. He makes plays but most of the time, forces things. It kills team dynamics and the flow of the game.

  • earl monroe

    That was pathetic, this is a very selfish team, Nelson has inbred a culture that cannot be changed, he has these guys (Ellis, Jackson and Magette) believing that anything they do is okay, until this changes the team cannot change.
    Jackson has toned down but only because his heart is not in it, Ellis and Magette have gotten worse.
    Ellis will be embarrassed a lot more, and as long as he does tone down his offensive game is going to be a problem, icing Curry out is not a solution, the solution is to have the ball in Curry’s hands as much as possible.

    That was really painful for me last night as a fan. Nelson should be embarrassed by his performance, and no Keith Smart is not the solution, we need a clean start.

  • Livermore Joe

    On Randolph, since when has humility been a requirement for NBA players? Athletes are not exactly known as humble types.

    He has talent. He should be playing. Period.

    Stephen Jackson has a point: the players have no defined roles. There is a new starting lineup every night and no consistent set of rules they can follow that will keep them in Nelson’s good graces.

  • some guy

    “He has talent. He should be playing. Period.”

    Sean Williams has talent. Darko Milicic has talent. Stromile Swift has talent. Tyrus Thomas has talent. Sebastian Telfair has talent. DeAndre Jordan has talent. Andray Blatche has talent. Javale McGee has talent. Darius Miles has talent.

    Give me guys who know how to play basketball. Jamarcus Russell arguably has as much natural talent at the QB spot as anyone, but he’s the worst starting QB in the NFL.

    It’s obvious that Randolph is at best a pseudo-star much like Rudy Gay or Al Jefferson or Danny Granger. Make someone like that a focal point and you’ll be doomed to 20 win seasons.

  • Mountain Jim

    The humility referred to is the willingness to listen to someone who knows what you need to do to get better rather than believing you already know it all. Watching Randolph play it’s VERY clear that he does not know what he’s doing half the time. If he doesn’t start listening he’s going to pretty much waste his talent.

  • TimTom

    Some Guy,

    It’s all part of Nelson’s plan. He knows so much about developing rookies! He’s got a great track record: Hated Dirk, hated Nash, hated Webber, hated Ewing, hated Randolph. He doesn’t play rookies, he doesn’t play second year players. He doesn’t do anything that makes sense to any other coach who has ever coached basketball. Every other coach knows that rebounding, defense, and playing players in proper positions are keys to winning. Not Nelson, who only likes offense, and has players on offense who aren’t even good at offense.

    Develop the rooks and youngsters, and get out of Nelson, Rowell, and Cohan’s ownership.

  • Oregonguy

    Really nice reporting, Marcus. Insightful and worthwhile.

  • John Starks

    It’s not suprising that another cellar-dweller team had a great night against the W’s – teams frequently do. Somebody always breaks out of a slump or has a career night against them. So watching the Clips of all teams come to Oracle and do this was not surprising. Defense? We don’t need no steenking defense!

    What is surprising is that a team specifically designed from top to bottom to score lots of points was completely ineffective at doing just that. The final score of any Warrior game should be in the region of 130-125. Run, run, run, remember? specifically Unfortunately, sometimes you have to run halfcourt sets in the NBA and then the W’s get in trouble. I don’t need to tell you their halfcourt deficiencies – they are well known.

    You just have to wonder whose idea it was to go for a small team and why? You MAKE DUE with a small team, you don’t build one through trades and drafting. No disrespect to the players because I actually do think there is plenty of talent. But they’ve been put in an almost impossible situation. I just hope they don’t quit after 4 games, especially after a hometown ass-beating like that. That’s like getting your ass kicked on your own front yard with your mother watching from the window.

  • GregC

    “Stephen Jackson missed at least four WIDE OPEN people. Azubuike was all alone behind the defense and prime for a lob. Jax didn’t lob it, instead pulled up for 3. Once, he was getting double teamed on the left low block”

    Note to Jackson. It is you!

  • SorryMissJackson

    #6 Some Guy,

    I would take Rudy Gay, Al Jefferson, or Danny Granger over anyone on our roster. Randolph doesn’t need to be the “focal point” however he should be getting more significant minutes than Mikkie “The Snake” Moore. Giving Randolph consistent minutes isn’t going to make us playoff bound but will at least give him opportunity to develop.

    **Missing Larry Smth**

  • Livermore Joe

    I think Nelson just needs some players with humility. Players like Stephen Jackson and Amare Stoudemire.

  • http://feltbot.com/ feltbot

    Excellent recap, nice balance. I think lacking Biedrins and Turiaf exposed the Warriors’ weaknesses in ways they wouldn’t normally be. The Warriors just can’t be competitive with both those guys out.

    But don’t underrate this Clippers team. They’ve had a slow start due to an untimely sprained ankle for Baron Davis. But I think they’re going to roll.

  • http://kenstuart.blogspot.com Ken

    At this point, if they can trade Jackson for a stale candy bar with the same salary as Jackson, it would be a huge plus for the Warriors.

    The TV commentators have consistently pointed out that Jackson makes roughly one unforced turnover for every bucket he scores. And, as you point out, he consistently fails to pass the ball to the open man.

    Against Memphis, Ellis and Maggette showed that they are capable of learning from the mistakes of the second game. Jackson clearly shows he is not interested.

    Given the Warriors’ lack of depth in large players (as opposed to tall ones), any journeyman 250 lb NBA player that they can get for Jackson, should be the sole focus of the Warriors staff this weekend.

    I am not worried about Curry at all, he has turned out to be an outstanding pick. Why? Because he has about 20 IQ points over most NBA players. He’ll have all the standard NBA tricks figured out in short order.

  • Dub Fan

    One word assessment so far…oy!

  • sartre

    Excellent analysis Marcus. Your focus on performance actually helps readers gain some real sense of what is not working on the court itself. But you also give us valuable insights about player-coach dynamics without belaboring the point and recycling the same old recriminations. We all know the front office is the architect of a team that has been poorly constructed (with a limited ability to re-fashion it), but of interest to fans is what this team that we’re pretty much stuck with is doing wrong and how coaching decisions and players are contributing to the misfiring.

    I don’t buy the notion that Randolph’s poor shooting efficiency comes about because of uncertainty about minutes or playing at the 5. These things don’t help in a general sense. These factors didn’t stop him from rebounding well and doing some nice work in defense so why should they selectively effect his shooting of relatively easy close to the hoop shots? This is down to a remaining area of weakness as a player. He isn’t yet an efficient shooter (most of the time).

  • samuraaaaiiiiiii

    Marcus,

    Is there any chance of a deal for Jackson going down before December? I don’t think I can watch this go on for another month. There were rumors about Charlotte being interested, but I can imagine that they don’t want to give up Diaw easily… I think trading Jackson would at least make the season tolerable, even though the team will probably still be pretty bad.

  • disgutedWfan

    Monta emarrassed? He should be, he seems to only want to to pass the ball to Jax.
    Nellie wants to have Monta a point guard? What a joke.

    Every time Monta or Morrow try to handle the ball at half court makes you CRINGE!!

    Honestly you really think Jax is playing like he wants to be here? What a way to show other teams that he is a team player. But luckily, someone will want him.

    Nice job of coaching Nellie! Go join Al Davis you fat slob!
    Nellie orchestrates the half court Warrior offense like that of the Raiders offense. Suckyyyyyy!
    The most stagnant unproductive half court offense I’ve ever seen.

    Amare seen it right. Why the hell would he wanna play for this W team.

    Fans should have been refunded their money back last night.

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  • foxblows

    Good Analysis Marcus, but Jackson did hit the 3 where Azibuke was open under the basket. And he has also had some nice passes for assists. Morrow did not play well and did not do a good job moving without the ball.

    Many NBA teams are off to a disappointing start (Jazz, Hornets, Spurs, Blazers, Knicks et al), we can hope that the sad loss will bring a more focused team in the future.

    Randolph cannot hit a mid range shot with consistency. He handles way too much But he is an exciting player when focused.

    Face it Curry does have a high basketball IQ, and he is fun to watch. However when you are missing defensive help like Biedrins and Turiaf, guess what? He will get posted down low ESPECIALLY by players like Davis, and Gordon.

    Nellie too is a brilliant coach, but he sucked on Friday. Kaman needs to be doubled down low every other time he gets the ball. No pressure, and he will school Moore, and for that matter Biedrins. So the coaches gave up too, on Friday.

    Let’s hope the team takes a time to reflect, and that some other NBA team in a moment of their respective roster frustration, gives us someone for Stack Jack, as he clearly is on balance not a positive factor.

    To be continued…Kings beat the Jazz last night without Kmart so there is ALWAYS hope!

  • Deftoned40oz

    @ Foxblows:

    The Kings can do that because they play as a team. How does that provide hope for the Warriors? I am a Warriors fan…grew up in the Bay but now live in Lodi and that puts me in their market so I watched their game. They are pretty much the anti-Warriors. Passion, teamwork, unselfish, a coach and players who actually cared. Kings will beat the $H!T out the Warriors tonight and so will the Jazz whenever they meet.

  • http://feltbot.com/ feltbot

    Regarding all these trade rumors: no one will off the Warriors a serious deal for Jackson until the trade deadline, and then it will be only the contenders who are interested.

    We might as well relax until then.

  • Wander7

    Even the players are starting to hint a revolt about “management”. Now that is what I call a bad sign… This team is badly assembled. Sigh.

    Also, I don’t think Randolph will become a star. His character issues might hold him back; you can already tell he thinks he know it all (just like the beginning of the first year when he didn’t practice hard). Even if he gets consistent playing time, he won’t succeed right now because he thinks he can out jump everyone ALL THE TIME; he doesn’t even have a go-to move. He hasn’t even gone to his short range jump shot this season (Ok, I remember him taking 1 that he missed). All he’s done is do a spin move from the post to the middle of the lane and jump as high as he can and float the ball off the glass and pray that it goes it (I don’t remember him making one yet).
    By the way he is playing and when Monta yelling at him for missing defensive assignments, he doesn’t look like he prepares or practice for the game.

  • Brothaplease09

    Talk about funny lol, after the 07′ season, managed talked arrogantly to the public about how they wanted to make this franchise a contender…dismissed there teams success as a flash in the pan and reiterated the need to build toward the future of yearly playoff contention…lol, How foolish of them to get so ahead of themselves and break up a team that proved to be decent? Bets on who gets fired first? I’m going with Nellie as the first one out the door, Riley shortly after

  • disgutedWfan

    Deftoned40,
    GReaaaaat call. I just turned the F***N TV Off. Sac embarrassed us.

    Not worth going deep in to detail on this blog about the W’s.
    I like Morrow, but kind of see why he was not a #1 pick? Poor guy cannot create for himself, does not know how to get open, poor defender and ball handler.

    Whole team sucks on defense. Trade most of them along with the Mgt. and Coach!

  • Ws need help

    No ball movement again. Ball stops with Ellis and Jackson and the bleeding continues.

  • WarriorD

    Anyone see the shouting between Monta and Randolph on Friday? I was hoping to read something about it. Pretty sure Randolph wasn’t where he was supposed to be and Ellis didn’t appreciate it. They yelled at each other about it back and fourth up and down the court. Ellis was facing where I was sitting at the end and I heard him yell “Just get out of the fu**in way” Randolph’s face looking like he wants to cry all the time doesn’t help the situation. But 2 supposed cornerstones need to find a better way to communicate with one another…this is the reason we’re doomed. Everyone on the team thinks they’re the Go-To Guy: Monta, Randolph, Stack and Maggette, and it seems like they have never had conversations with each other ever. If these 4 guys can figure out a hierarchy and play roles around it this could be a good team…but with Nellie not putting any structure and letting them run wild there’s no chance. It’s like a pickup game out there when they play.

  • Annie

    I’m so glad jax is gone!if monta does’nt behave let him go too! And Don Nelson is a joke!