On top of the fact that the Warriors are getting ran outta the gym, it looks like center Andris Biedrins’ back injury is more serious than he thought. Him playing on Sunday might have even made it worse.
NELLIE: “He’s not doing very well. I probably shouldn’t have even played him, but we wanted to have another big guy if we possibly could. He couldn’t do very much when he was out there and he has re-injured himself. So that was a bad decision on my part.”
Biedrins started and played 22 minutes. But he had to leave midway through the third quarter. He went to the locker room as his back was obviously hurting. He never returned.
After the game, he was grabbing his backpack off the shelf above his locker. Just doing that caused him obvious pain, as it was written on his face. I asked him how he was doing, he made a face as if to say “not good.” I asked him if he thinks he should’ve rested instead.
“Now?” he asked before answering his own question. “Yeah.”
He took a few, slow steps, slightly hunched favoring his ailing back, before setting the backpack on the ground and going back to the training room. Next thing I know, he was gone.
That means Mikki Moore will be starting against Al Jefferson on Monday. Since Moore simply is just not a 30-35 minute guy at this stage in his career, and Jefferson is, that means Randolph will probably get a crack at Jefferson, too.
With that said, the guy the Warriors need to be most-worried about is Ryan Gomes. He always plays well against the Warriors (career averages vs. GSW: 14.5 points on 50 percent shooting with 5.4 rebounds) and, as the T’wolves leading rebounder, could have a field day against the physically inferior Warriors.
UPDATE: I can’t believe I forgot this gem. (Thanks Earl Monroe)
MAGGETTE: “He’s a veteran player and he has to determine what is best for his game. The guy with the ball is the boss. We have to live with what he decides.”
Not sure I have ever heard such logic, but this is how Nellie feels about vets. He trusts them to a fault and he let’s them control the show. It works when he has trustworthy vets, like Nash. But when you have got Maggette, who inexplicably takes 22-footers with regularity.
This also would explain why Nellie is so hard on young players, if he indeed feels like he has no control over vets and are powerless to stop them.
One email I got brought up an interesting point: “Is this Nellie sticking it to management for giving him this roster?
For some reason, Jackson doesn’t like Kings rookie Omri Casspi. That got just gets under Jax’s skin. It started in the preseason match-up and it continued Sunday. Check out this exchange:
Q: What do you think of Casspi?
Casspi? No. 18 off the bench, talking?
“Don’t ask me no questions about him. Ask me questions about somebody who’s going to be a factor in this league.”
I asked Nellie if he can afford to start Curry, who has struggled in consecutive games. Nellie said he’s going to keep the same lineup, specifically the four perimeter players (Jax, Ellis, Curry, Buike) and whichever big man is healthy.
Curry hasn’t been much of a factor on offense and hasn’t played as much as he did the first three games of the season. He’s been struggling mightily on defense, picking up fouls and overall getting schooled (despite his honest effort), so Nellie has had to sit him for long stretches. Jackson, for what its worth, doesn’t think the answer is to sit Curry.
JACKSON: “Curry’s a smart kid. So there’s not too much you need to teach him. He just needs to get a feel for the NBA game. He knows how to play offense. He knows how to play defense. The biggest thing for him is just to continue to get reps and he’ll be all right.”
Curry had hard time guarding Beno Udrih tonight, which should be a little unnerving because Udrih is defendable. He’s certainly more crafty on offense than Curry is on defense. But Udrih should’ve been a night for Curry to get well after getting bullied by the Clippers guards.
Tonight he gets Jonny Flynn, who is quick and strong, and likely Ramon Sessions, too. After that, he gets T.J. Ford. Then Chris Duhon. Then Brandon Jennings. Then Rodney Stuckey (and Will Bynum). Then Mo Williams. Then Rajon Rondo.
I think part of the problem is that Curry has been reduced to a floor general on offense. I think it helps his confidence when he is putting the ball in the hole. Plus, he’s much easier to guard when he’s in full-on pass mode. He needs to make his make work on defense like his man is making him work on defense.
CURRY: “Right now, I’m very disappointed in the performance but, for me, it’s my first year and I’m not really used to losing like this. I think for me it’s an opportunity to get just keep getting better every day.”
Jax’s agent, Mark Stevens, ramped up his efforts to get Jackson traded by ripping Nellie to Chris Broussard. (Some of you will assuredly say this is me focusing on negative things and drama; but I am sure even the Marcus-Is-Mean-To-Warriors crew will admit the negatives are impossible to ignore right now.) Not sure how this helps move Jax, but here are the most inflammatory comments:
STEVENS: “No one trusts Don Nelson. When Nelson was in Milwaukee, Wayne Embry trusted him and brought him in, and he betrayed Embry. In Dallas, Mark Cuban took damn good care of him and his son [Donnie Nelson Jr.], and he betrayed Cuban. In Golden State, Chris Mullin hired him and trusted him and Nelson backstabbed him by reaching out to president Robert Rowell and blaming Mullin for everything that was going wrong with the Warriors.”
“I just want (Jackson) out of there now. It doesn’t matter where. At this stage, something has to be done. It can’t get any worse.”
“I’m disgusted with the quality of Nelson’s coaching and with the lack of trust his players have in him. Nelson is the winningest coach in NBA history to never have coached in the NBA Finals, let alone won a championship. Yet he keeps getting jobs despite being 69 years old.”
The reality is that Jackson is hard to move. Teams are dumping salary. Teams are storing up cap space so they can be in position to make a play on a key free agent. Why in the world would a team take on Jackson’s contract at this point?
The likelihood is that nothing will happen until December anyway (though if I were a betting man, which I am not, I would say February). First off, the pool of players who would be available will increase on Dec. 15, when free agents who signed this offseason are available to be traded.
Secondly, teams are still trying to figure out what they have. It is way too early for any team to say, “OK, we need to make a move because this ain’t working.”
Thirdly, the Warriors don’t have to make a trade. They already knew this would be a tough year. They’ve been saying how they’re “rebuilding” and “going with the youngsters” since the offseason. It’s not like they were expecting to be good and now they are panicking. They knew this one would be a struggle. There is no extra pressure to move Jax than there was when he first demanded the trade.
All they are getting now is teams trying to fleece them, and Golden State already has in its mind what it wants in exchange for Jackson: 1) a player they would be happy to get in the offseason; 2) young talent without ridiculous money; 3) contacts that come off soon, if not expiring.
With Jackson in biting-his-tongue mode, knowing that a slip-up will cost him big money, the Warriors will weather the storm until an offer that fits what they want comes in. I am thinking that is in February, when good teams not looking to sign free agents (other than their own next offseason) like Cleveland or New Orleans or Toronto or even Orlando, start getting desperate for instant help.
Anyone else think it’s funny that Jackson and Ellis were at the R. Kelly concert at the Paramount on Saturday night?