Warriors fell 52 points shy of their point total the previous game. That’s a pretty big drop off. Is Indiana at home that much tougher an opponent than the T’wolves at home? Certainly, the Warriors return to selfish ball had something to do with it.
Swingman Stephen Jackson came out gunning, taking five shots in five minutes, missing four. Monta was chucking, too. Azubuike, coming off a 31-point game, wasn’t moving the ball either. And you know Anthony Morrow, who started (more on that), was looking for his shot.
Jackson played 17:56 in the loss to Indiana, where he once played before putting them in the very same situation the Warriors are in now. Jax sat the entire second and fourth quarters. This is a weird situation all around. Here’s how it went down.
Nellie said before the game that Jackson’s hip was bothering him (he also said Corey Maggette’s hamstring was going to keep him out of the lineup. Maggette said after the game his hamstring almost did keep him out). So when Jackson plays just the first 5:56 of the game and sits the rest of the half, the reason was obvious. The hip.
So, I ran into Jackson in the tunnel during halftime.
You’re hip is bothering you?
No? (confused look on his face) Why would you say my hip is bothering me?
Nellie said before the game that your hip is bothering you. That’s not why you were sitting?
JACKSON: (the confused look turns to a smirk) “Ain’t nothing wrong with my hip.”
Jackson plays all of the third quarter. When the quarter ends, he plops on the bench. He looks at Rusty Simmons and I and says (I’m reading his lips because I can’t hear) “Do I look hurt?”
After the game, the question comes to Nellie.
Was Jackson not playing well? Is that why you didn’t play him much?
NELLIE: “He’s got a sore back or something. I didn’t think he was moving very well. I didn’t think he moved very well in practice this morning. So I didn’t expect that he was going to give me very much. But he gave me what he had.”
So, the next obvious question is directed towards Jackson.
Did you feel limited at all out there?
JACKSON: “Limited minutes, yeah.”
Is your back bothering you?
JACKSON: “I’m fine. I’ve got a scratch. That’s all it is. My back is not sore at all.”
Is it disappointing not to get to play much in a place where you used to play?
JACKSON: “Regardless of where I’m at, I want to play. I have no control over that, but I want to play, regardless of if I’m in Africa or wherever. I know I could have done more than I did tonight. … Everybody know what the situation is. I know a lot of people expected to see me blow up when he took me out the game earlier. For what? It is what it is. Like I said, I’m going to always respect coach. I’m just going to do my job until things change.”
Not sure Nellie’s motives. Maybe he just didn’t want to say Jax was playing poorly, so as not to set him off. Certainly, news of a back injury won’t help his trade value.
Curry has been demoted from the starting lineup.
Nellie said he wanted more size in the game. Curry said Nellie’s reason was that Morrow had been playing well and the team showed Monday it can move the ball without him in the lineup.
NELLIE: “If I’m small at center, then I’m small at (shooting) guard, there are too many holes. He’s been struggling for the last three or four games for whatever reason. So I thought maybe just let him relax, come off the bench and play. He was pretty good, especially in the fourth quarter.”
CURRY: “Anthony Morrow, coach told me, is playing very well and he wants him in the starting lineup, especially based on last game when they were moving the ball very well without me in there. So he thought that would be a better lineup to start. I’m guessing it’ll be for a couple of games, maybe, to see how it works. I don’t expect to start next game. Just put it that way.”
“It’s tough when you sit on the bench. Lot of thoughts run through your head. You’ve just got to stay focused. Stay in the game. Not really get down on yourself because you’re not in the game.”