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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.

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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.”

Wednesday, Bell decided to hit the court one more time. Not only did he want to help out the team, which was finishing out a back-to-back with a depleted roster, he also wanted to test out his wrist one more time. The last time he played was Saturday vs. Portland, after he which he told the Bobcats trainers that it wasn’t working out (him playing through the injury) and that he thought he would have to have surgery.

Of course, since then, he was traded to the Warriors and he had three days of rest and thinking.

BELL: “First, it’s hard to sit there and watch when you know a team is as undermanned as we are. Secondly, I was hoping to get out there and [the injury] would be okay. Part of me in the back of my mind had a lot of high hopes for it.”

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After the game, Bell sat with a huge bag of ice on his left wrist. It was obvious to him he still needed the surgery. Shooting wasn’t a problem. Bell was 4-for-6 from the field. He knocked down all three of this 3-pointers, all from the corner with ease.

But there were too many other things he couldn’t do. He couldn’t stick his hand in the mix to go for steals or strips. He couldn’t use his left forearm for leverage while playing defense or to steer his man the way he wanted to go. He couldn’t rebound like he wanted to (once he went up with his right hand, his left hand he kept down, strapped to his hip).

Still, his teammates were impressed.

MORROW: “That meant a lot for me. That shows a lot right now. He wanted to be with his teammates. It’s a reflection of the kind of person he is, a ride or die kind of guy. We definitely need that. Everybody kind of needs to rally around each other and play hard for each other, show a lot of heart, a lot of courage, lot of character. I appreciated that.”

RANDOLPH: “He’s a real team player. He’s been cheering us on, and just to be able to come out there and play knowing we need extra bodies out there and not sit there on the bench even though you have an excuse, that shows a lot of character. To have a guy who just got here to show that he wants to be that much of a teammate, that means a lot.”

Even Monta, who said he didn’t know about Raja when he heard the Warriors had acquired him.

ELLIS: “That surprised the mess out of me. I saw him sitting down. Then to see him take his uniform off and go in the game, it was like, ‘Heeeey.’ He went out and did a great job actually. He knocked down a couple shots. Rebounded. Defended well. For him to go out and do that, that says a lot. That’s a great vet. Once he gets going and gets healthy, ain’t no telling what we can do.”

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Talked with Ray Allen before the game about Anthony Morrow, the league’s latest hot young shooter. Nelson said before the game that he compares Morrow to Ray Allen.

NELLIE: “He doesn’t have Ray’s other attributes yet, but he’s working hard at them. I’d like to see them shoot a game of HORSE or 21 or something.”

Safe to say Shuttlesworth wasn’t impress. He made some good points. I’m sure he’s heard it all about shooters who come into the league and being compared to him. He took a wait and see approach.

RAY ALLEN: “It’s hard to really put the stamp down on any body (as the real deal) in this league. Even myself. Comparisons are always done based on how well you’ve done it and how long you’ve done it. Because there is a lot of talent in the league. But when you see somebody doing it every day, night in and night out, that’s when the stamp of approval is given.”

“People used to always tell me when I was young, ‘Stay healthy. Take care of yourself.’ I think that’s the true understanding of whether somebody’s going to be really legitimate.”

I asked Ray if he thought it was impressive that a rookie finished the season with the best 3-point percentage. He said, after a long pause, not really.

What is impressive to Ray is a shooter who can keep it up. He said percentages are often dictated by outside things like how your team plays (or whether you’re a rookie no one knows who gets a lot of open shots because defenses leave you alone). In other words, Morrow can’t be in the conversation until he shows how he handles adversity.

Already, Morrow is finding it harder to get off his shot. Partly because opposing defenses know who he is and are closing out on him or not leaving him. As a result, Morrow is pump-faking a lot because he isn’t getting the looks he once did (and also because he’s eager to show that he’s improved that area of his game).

Allen said that is the mark of a true shooter. How he handles being on the NBA scouting report.

ALLEN: “That’s a moment everybody has. When the league figures you out and you have to find a counter move, they start talkinga bout your weaknesses. When you’re young, you don’t have a weakness because you don’t have a strength. Once they know know who you are, they take away things and you’ve got to find something else to be effective. Getting to the basket. Scoring in transition. Simple plays. Scoring sometimes without your play getting called.”

“Most of the best shooters I’ve seen became effective shooting the ball in a tight space, shooting the ball with a hand in your face. You’re more likely to have a hand in your face than not. So most of the best shooters in the league shoot great with somebody in their face and the open shots, the ones where you have too much time, those are the ones that seem to throw you off. That’s what end up having to learn to adjust to.”

Here’s the part you may find most encouraging. I told Morrow what Ray Allen said. He pretty much agreed with Allen, who is Morrow’s basketball idol. In no way does Morrow think he’s arrived. He was almost happy to hear Ray Allen’s perspective.

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

You may have noticed rookie guard Stephen Curry with his right wrist bandaged. He said he hurt it in Tuesday’s game. It was still sore Wednesday, so he had it taped.

He said it wasn’t the reason for his game-high six turnovers. That he credited to Boston’s length and activeness on defense. He did say it was bothering his shot, which is why he took it off to start the third quarter.

Curry finished 4 of 10 for  13 points. He made 1 of 4 from 3-point range.

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

Radmanovic had a whirlwind last two games. He fits right in with the Warriors. He likes to shoot, he doesn’t play much defense (see how easy KG scored on him) and he’s prone to turnovers.

Vlad played 63 minutes over two games. He was 9-for-20 from the field (and that is after knocking down his first three shots as a Warrior), including 2-for-9 from 3-poing range. He also had 10 rebounds and seven turnovers.

It figures he’ll be better when he gets some practice time under his belt, which won’t get until after Friday’s game vs. Portland. He fills one of Nellie’s two needs: he can shoot, which spreads the floor; and he’s big, which means he can at least get in the way inside.

Not sure I am convinced he should be starting over Anthony Randolph, but I’ll wait and see first. If he can knock down shots and not turn the ball over, that would be enough at this point.

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

Forgot about this gem of contradiction.

NELLIE: “I can forgive my young guys for making some turnovers. You know, they’re going to have to learn and they’re going to make some errors. I understand that. The veteran turnovers, the unforced turnovers – that, I have a hard time with – certainly not a rookie or second year guy making a turnover.”

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

Also forgot to mention the third quarter sputter. The Warriors got outplayed in the third again. This time, they were outscored 31-19.

In the Warriors eight losses, they have been outscored 248-172 in the third quarter, an average of 31-21.5.

NELL: “We’ve been terrible all year. Very few games do we come out in the third quarter like we do at the beginning of the game. And I don’t have an answer for you why. But we’ve got to get better in the third quarter. We were right there the whole game if we just play in the third quarter.”


Marcus Thompson

  • Paul

    Nellie has definitely earned the right to be questioned about his rotation moves, but I’ve finally reached the boiling point with AR, too.
    For someone that athletic, he is awfully inactive around the glass and gets outworked by way too many people. Slow to rotate, and he mopes for a play whenever things don’t go his way.
    At some point, he just needs to grow up.
    I also take umbrage with his tendency to be finesse near the rim instead of finishing stronger, but that should come over time.
    But right now, he’s so much more of a detriment in the lineup than he is a positive. He seems to have lost the edge he played with in summer league and at times as a rookie.

  • AlamedaTechie

    Bell’s surprise play alone is worth the Jax trade. Now that is a teammate!

  • http://www.ibabuzz.com/warriors/2009/11/19/game-11-3-8-celtics-109-warriors-95/ zgoddbap

    .u.K ray allen

  • deano

    Raja Bell just made his first move to become the leader of this leaderless team. It will also be his last move, unless he can resume playing this season. But if he can come back soon after surgery, then the other players will look for him to become their leader. And if that happens, the Jackson trade will have been a success on mutiple levels.

  • kobe24

    Okay they look much better as team now.

    Still need to get healthy to show full potential.

    Jax was a total ass but I think Nellie still needs to go.
    Rowell is also the another person that needs to go.

  • some guy

    Vlad is by no means a defensive stopper, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by his play. He boxes out (which has greatly helped push up their rebounding rate defensively), he shows well on ball-screen and – for a guy who just got here – it looks like he’s only had a few assignment miscues defensively.

    To be honest, I expected him to be a complete liability the way Morrow is. Maybe he’s just fresher because he didn’t play all that much in Charlotte.

    I know he got a couple of buckets, but for the most part KG did not destroy them (6-12 for 12 points). Perkins actually hurt them a lot more inside (5-8 for 15 pts and 3 offensive rebounds).

  • earl monroe

    Ship Ellis out……

  • John Starks

    Encouraging. The team’s performance and team play against the Cavs and the Celts highlights just how divisive Jax was to this team.

  • commish

    This was a really good post Marcus. Very substantive, especially the discussion with Ray Allen.

    Here is my dilemma: although I hate all the injuries, it is probably the ONLY way the rooks will get playing time and Nelson is running out of small ball options. Of course you saw how the game deteriorated once Nelson defaulted to Maggette at PF. Nelson just can’t get out of his way. The team has no chance if he remains in charge. I am hoping Nelson is planning on getting out as the coach once he gets his wins.

    How Cohan and Rowell (forget about Riley) can stand by and let Nelson destroy the team again is simply unimaginable. But I am sure you are shocked by this as the rest of us.

  • 808SPacific

    #1. I agree that AR has not played well either. But in defense to him, it sure doesn’t help a 20 year old watch Monta and Mags play defense either. Those two are a HORRIBLE example on how to play “D”. Morrow is a weak defender as well.

    Don’t put to much into Summer Scrimmage league either. Morrow put up good numbers as well, but whats he averaging in PPG right now?

  • PhilB

    It speaks volumes about Warriors management that they’d be more interested in Raja Bell’s expiring contract than using him as a defensive stopper, and tremendous locker room presence…

  • Gizzm

    Has Morrow regressed a bit? League catching up with him?
    I thought for sure, once Jax was traded, that he would get 20 shots per.

  • TheGuru

    Go get Josh Childress out of Greece. He would help. Good team player.

  • Harp’s Dubs

    Any word on what the meeting with Monta’s agent will be about? Will he ask to be traded also?
    I hope we just blow this whole team up – no one is untouchable anymore!!!
    If we can get Chris Paul, we do that at any cost! I know he’s a BYC player, making it tough to trade him – something about taking only half the amount that he’s making that year.
    If we can get Chris Paul, we have a chance to lure Bosh or Boozer this off-season because every great big man in the league wants a dominant PG that can get them the ball and take pressure off of them when needed. If we get a CP3-approved coach and hopefully new owner, we can truly start building a real team.

  • dubfan

    Who would not want Chris Paul? On the other hand, it’s going to take Monta+ who knows to get him…and then what? 2 point guards, the tallest one 6’3″? How about Monta and Curry and Randolph for Paul and David West?

  • http://feltbot.com/ feltbot

    Nice interview with Ray Allen. He’s got one of the highest and quickest releases in the game, very difficult to challenge his shot. I find it hard to believe Anthony Morrow will ever approach him as a player.

  • Harp’s Dubs

    @Dubfan – I do that trade in a heartbeat, but the numbers don’t match up, plus the Hornets aren’t going to give up both all-stars for Monta and two unproven talents.

    New thought if CP3 isn’t available at all:

    1) Sign Allen Iverson now.
    2) Trade Biedrins, Speedy and Randolph for Bosh now.
    3) Trade Monta, Corey and Raja Bell on 1/16/10 (when Bell can be traded) for McGrady.

    Our line-up:
    PG – Curry/Watson
    SG – Iverson/Morrow (Azubuike when healthy)
    SF – McGrady/George
    PF – Bosh/Radmanovic (Wright when healthy)
    C – Turiaf/Moore

    If Bosh does opt out, we have all kinds of salary cap space (McGrady, Watson, Moore, Watson, George, Iverson, Morrow). If he decides to stay, we still have a ton of money to throw at whoever he wants as a sidekick and some extra for good, solid basketball playing role players.

  • jscrilla

    Trades that make sense? Lets not kid ourselves. This is Cohan’s world. Monta will be sent to New Jersey for Yi Jianlian in Cohan’s last ditch effort to sell tickets. Of course his thinking will be to exploit the Chinese American community for ticket sales…something he kicked around with Mullin about Yao a few years back. This is Cohan’s world always 5 years behind.

  • Perry

    “Harp’s Dubs’” head is in the right place as usual…great suggestions.

    “Dubfan”……West and Paul are the types of impact players that make a difference on a squad, better than any player on our current squad, no question….that would be great!

    3 way deal:

    Denver gets:

    1. Corey Maggette
    2. Andris Biedrins

    Toronto gets:

    1. Nene
    2. Anthony Randolph
    3. Monta Ellis

    Golden State gets:

    1. Chris Bosh
    2. J.R. Smith
    3. Reggie Evans

    Denver goes with:

    1. Billups
    2. Aflalo
    3. Anthony
    4. Martin
    5. Biedrins

    Pros: Corey would flourish as a 6th man in the Denver offense, as good a scorer as J.R. Smith and gets to the line more freguently.

    Cons: They lose some of their front court presence with Nene leaving.

    Toronto goes with:

    1. Calderon
    2. Ellis
    3. Turkoglu
    4. Bargnani
    5. Nene

    Pros: Makes them a very deep squad, able to bring DeRozan, Belinelli and Randolph on that 2nd unit.

    Cons: Lose their franchise player.

    We go with:

    1. Curry
    2. J.R. Smith
    3. Azubuike when healthy/Radmanovic
    4. Bosh
    5. Wright when healthy/Turiaf

    Pros: Gives us our “go to” option that we’ve been coveting for so many years, not to mention, he is a 4 who can score in bundles and rebound.

    Cons: If things don’t go as planned, there could be chemistry issues and dissention.

    All in all, I think Denver loses the most in this deal but still stays a 50 win playoff squad, that team revolves around Billups and Anthony.

    Toronto improves greatly, should have about 50 wins.

    Golden State should get close to 50 wins. Maybe struggle in the beginning, but eventually develoop into a good squad.

    Only thing is, we would have to get rid of Don Nelson, he would be a detriment to a team like that. Bring in B. Scott or let Keith Smart take the reigns. I don’t think Van Gundy would leave his cushy job on ESPN where he bull-shits his way through a telecast…..but who knows? Maybe Avery Johnson?

  • Mike

    With Azubuike out for the year and Bell to have surgery, are the Warriors looking at any free agent wings?

  • Jeremy

    How about this one? (Works on Trade Machine)

    Philidelphia gets: Monta Ellis, Corey Maggette
    Golden State gets: Elton Brand, Thaddeus Young, Jrue Holliday

    Philly does it b/c Brand is slowing them down from running and they’re winning more with him out of the lineup. They significantly improve their scoring, the players fit their style, they’re ready to help them win now, and are signed to multiple years. This would bump Philly up to just behind the elite in the East.

    GSW does it to get rid of a malcontent and two guys who have been black holes on offense and could use a change of scenery. Jrue Holliday can be the big G to pair with Curry in the backcourt who is already an impressive defender. Young is versatile young SF who does everything fairly well and plugs a big hole on the team with Azubuike out and a FA at the end of the year. Elton Brand is the interior scoring presence the team has lacked since Webber.

  • meir34

    19 nice complicated fantasy trade scenario. Even if one wanted to do that, getting the other teams to go along would seem to me to be greater than a million to one against. Much greater, actually. And that apart from Bosh being a free agent come this summer and Wright not lasting over three weeks in two years and not having made anyone’s expectations when fine. He’s “exercised” for trade purposes.

    But let’s play your many sided game for a moment.

    A real question is why should we hold onto about 10=12 mill in cap moneys for the summer when 1) Cohan has never spent much, in his fifteen years the only fa’s of even minor note that I recall were Fisher for 6mill and Turiaf for 4 mill. 2) There happen to be several teams with much more moneys wanting to play first the LeBron sweeps (and I don’t think he’s going anywhere) and then Bosh is #2 on the list. Tell me how much do you think it will take to keep Bosh? 16-22 mill, I’d guess. Now, how many W’s in 15 years have earned even the minimum figure (which I don’t think is realistic even)? Hint, it’s less than 1. :)

    So we’d be no center, no star guard, and as we vie for last place in the league, that fight depends on the health and skills of Turiaf and Wright, in your scenario.

    And for now we’d have to be going with a rookie pg, who is currently ranked 4th of the rookie pgs, as our quaterback. What’s the matter his four turnovers in his first four touches against Boston weren’t enough for you? :)

    He may well become a good pg, but not his rookie year learning the position, the system and the league. And the second time around the league is much tougher for rookies, and the infamous rookie wall as the higher number of games than they’ve ever seen in a season wears down the best of them, would have to be conquered. BTW, given the lack of speed that he’s shown so far, the poor long passing, the poor driving (making sometimes, and kicking out to the wing others) that he’s shown so far–have to at least raise some questions about whether he will become a top notch NBA pg. Maybe. He’s good. But maybe not. This isn’t a “I think so” board game. It’s the big time and you have to show stuff, that he well may do soon, or if you are honest, that he may well not also.

    If he turns out to be a good guard, but only able to perform at the level needed for this team, with another speedier, better driving guard alongside him, we are effed. Because you’ve also trade that guy away in your 1 season rental of Bosh that likely got us near but not quite making the playoffs. And total disaster the second year.

    DING!

  • meir34

    Now I ask you does this sound like the words of a guy demanding to get out of here?

    “ELLIS: “That surprised the mess out of me. I saw him sitting down. Then to see him take his uniform off and go in the game, it was like, ‘Heeeey.’ He went out and did a great job actually. He knocked down a couple shots. Rebounded. Defended well. For him to go out and do that, that says a lot. That’s a great vet. Once he gets going and gets healthy, ain’t no telling what we can do.””"

    Add this to his absolute denial and statements that he wants to remain a warrior, could this be #342 of Tim K’s made up but never happens rumors? Even throwing darts one can do better.

    My dart, btw, tells me that since we won’t be able to match the NYK’s and other players for LeBron, then the next best avaialbe, and so forth, that keeping our 12 mill in expiring contract players until Summer,sacrificing this year altogether, makes no sense. Not that such is any predictor of Warrior front office moves. But my dart landed on a “move using expiring contracts and BW’s contract to get two useful players, soon.”

    Don’t know how the dart works in comparison with the little birdie that seems to be telling everyone so many wild rumors, but we’ll see.

  • meir34

    18 Yi is injured right now, but if he gets better, you might not be so far off; not for Monta, that would be too stupid even for Rowell. (well, sorry, nothing I guess is too stupid for him as he tries to fulfill his mission of getting rid of ltc players for Cohan). But I could see us using some of our expiring player moneys’ and/or BW for Yi, whose value has surely plummeted.

  • earl monroe

    The implication being that chinese people have money to spend even on a bad product? not likely my friend

  • Harp’s Dubs

    Nice job, Perry! What do we need to do to get Riley’s ear and flood him with any number of deals that could actually benefit the Warriors as well as other teams?

  • deano

    M34 @ 22: I agree with you about Monta’s change of attitude. Along with Randolph and Morrow, Monta also praised Raja’s show of team spirit in putting himself into the game against Boston. Ellis sees the trade’s benefits to the team, and he has quickly dumped whatever loyalty he had to Jack.

    I think everyone should hold off on trade mania for a few games. I’d like to see how this team evolves, especially once Biedrins and/or Turiaf get back on the court. I am sure that roster changes will be needed; but dumping Ellis is no longer an immediate need, or even the obvious move.

  • meir34

    13, I’d guess he has a contract that might make that costly or impossible. Otherwise I’d go along with your idea here. Josh is no superstar but his style of play one would think would fit with Nellie’s use of a lp guy and anyone with some skills down low would make us a better team. I’m guessing he’d take about mid level moneys, at the least and without a trade of our expiring contract guys, which wouldn’t happen in this case, it would be a stretch to imagine Cohan going along with it. But given the emergency, it might be possible, if his contract has an out. One other possible problem, does anyone know if Atlanta retains the rights to Josh?

  • monsta

    Where’s Adam’s blog? The biggest news of the year, and no Lauridsen? No Fast Break? What’s going on here?

  • meir34

    11-where have you been, on a Nellie hating vacation island? The W’s would LOVE to have Bell play. They talked him into going in against Boston and maybe tonight. But he’s having surgery, imminently according to reports–his choice. And he’s an expiring contract, meaning he’s a f.a. and if he waited to have his surgery after the season ended, he’d be 34 and unable to play and negotiating a new contract.

    If he intends not to retire, only an abject idiot would put off the surgery. And he’s not that. On the other hand if he was thinking of retiring and wanted to get into coaching, we could offer at worst an assistant coaching job to him if he held off the surgery at least until we’ve gotten some other bodies back. Even a player-coach with some kind of security. But this is a longshot and I really don’t know his wishes on retirement and coaching. Otherwise he’s under the knife and it will be his choice not our wishes. Not everything in the world can be blamed on Nellie, even though many here seem to like to believe it can.

  • meir34

    With the problems figuring out the SJM blogger changes, it’s revealing which posters this morning have been able to figure out how to get here. :)

  • deano

    M34 @29: Some of us have been here all along. MT II is the best source of information and analysis about the Warriors. Hopefully, this site will not become as overwhelmed/polluted as Adam’s.

  • petaluman

    Marcus,

    Any chance the Warriors retain Chris Hunter when CJ returns, and release a non-productive player (George or Claxton)?

  • http://www.DavidTapper.com David Tap Tapper

    Marcus, please don’t forget to make a comment on how well the W’s played the other day against Portland.

    Not only did we move the ball well, play D, but most important the players looked like were having fun!

    Ellis stepped up and played like the leader the W’s and their players and fans have waited for.

    Good writing Bro.

    Tap