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Game #21 (7-14): Warriors 105, Nets 89

Gotta tip your cap to Anthony Randolph.

He played just over 20 minutes and put together a solid line: 11 points, 4-for-7 shooting, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks and 0 turnovers.

Considering he was fresh off a family emergency, that Keith Smart said he’s steal dealing with emotionally, it wasn’t a bad performance. Hadn’t been with the team since the end of the OKC game. He stayed back to fly to Arkansas on Tuesday morning. He flew back to New Jersey on Wednesday. But he didn’t meet up with the team until pre-game. While the team had shootaround and hung out in NYC before heading to the IZOD Center, Randolph rested in a New Jersey hotel.

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He played under control. He avoided mistakes. He banged down low. Got abused by Brook Lopez, but he’s not a center (though Nellie is determined to make him one). Randolph seemed dialed down emotionally, which probably was a product of the emergency he had to deal with (and it probably helped him stay under control).

SMART: “I thought he was good. He had good energy in the first half. I thought he came back and put together a solid game defensively. He rebounded the basketball. He was kind of a little bit off. I think he traveled in today, so that kind of caught up with him in the second half. But overall I though he played well, with good intensity – the kind of intensity you need for a guy who’s coming off the bench or if he’s going to be a good player in our league.”

 

Randolph had a much better impact on the game than guard Anthony Morrow, who was in his first game back since returning from a family funeral, which led to him missing two games.

Morrow had 6 points on 2-for-7 shooting with two rebounds and five turnovers in 41 minutes. He did have a block and two steals. But his contribution was primarily the intangible of having a reputed shooter in the game.

 

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SMART: “The lanes open up because he’s on the floor. He’s not shooting it well. He’s been away from the team. And a guy like him, who’s a rhythm shooter and a rhythm player, when he gets out of rhythm for a couple of days, he’s going to struggle a little bit. Hopefully, after a couple days back, he’ll get back into a rhythm. But the fact that he’s on the floor, it opens up so many other things for our guys to make plays.”

 

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Through most of 3 quarters, rookie Stephen Curry had 14 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 3 turnovers in 29 minutes.

But with 2:44 left in the third quarter, Curry dished one of his nonchalant passes – which are becoming fairly common — that was picked off. The Warriors got a stop, so it didn’t hurt them too bad. But some 30 seconds later, he was taken out of the game. He didn’t check back in until 16.6 seconds left in the game, to get Ellis off the court.

Curry was aggressive most of the game, which forced the Nets to have to guard him, and that helps the Warriors offense. But down the stretch, Smart is going with C.J. Watson instead of Curry. Part of the reason is Curry’s propensity for making what looks like the wrong kind of pass at an inopportune time.

He’s good for the one-hand-off-the-dribble pass or the sneaky tap pass or a no-look. But those things are getting deflected and picked off way too much for comfort. Only problem is, when it works, it’s fairly jaw-dropping. That touch pass on the two-man fast break with Watson was nothing short of pretty.

Until he figures out how to cut out those bad passes, I don’t think he’ll get many fourth-quarter minutes in a tight game, especially when the full roster is back. But right now, they feel safer with C.J. Watson even though Curry is a better passer (which is why, if anything, you’ll see he and Watson together with Ellis at SF).

Curry will continue to start, I think, especially because they need him to promote the ball movement they want.

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C.J. finished with 18 points on 8-for-14 shooting with two assists in 30 minutes off the bench. That gives him 37 points on 15-for-22 shooting combined against New York Metro Area teams.

WATSON: “I just like playing in New York. I know it’s the Mecca of basketball.”

Watson also had five steals. The Warriors finished with 17 steals (Ellis had 4 and Curry 3) and forced 22 turnovers. They now average 10.4 steals per game and force 18.6 turnovers per game. Both are tops in the NBA. 

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MONTA ELLIS: “I loved it tonight. We’ve been hitting that quite some time this season and it really hasn’t been successful. But tonight, he really came through.”

 

Ellis was talking about Mikki Moore, and how this time when he dumped the ball off inside, Moore caught it and finished it. A few times.

I think it was the second quarter Monday in Oklahoma City when Ellis drove, got caught in the air (as usual) and found Mikki at the last second. But Mikki fumbled the pass and wasn’t able to convert.

Ellis, fuming, turned away and waved his arms in frustration. Afterward, Moore asked Ellis to be patient with him. It’s been a while since Moore’s been in the mix regularly, and he hasn’t played on a team where the guards look for him since his days in New Jersey when Jason Kidd was running the point.

So, Wednesday, after he caught and flushed a few of Ellis’ passes, Mikki did what any good teammate would do. He gave the credit to his team’s star player.

MOORE: “The difference is I didn’t drop any of his passes tonight.”

ELLIS: “I thought he was playing by himself for a minute how he was dunking the ball. That was great that we got that from him tonight, the energy. Not only that, his rebounding and defense.”

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Vladimir Radmanovic was asked to rebound, and he has been, at a pace that exceeds his career average. He had 9 boards Wednesday, and he’s averaging 7.3 rebounds over his last nine games. He’s gotten fewer than six just twice during that span.

The 9th year vet came to the Warriors averaging 4.05 rebounds for his career.

Maggette and Randolph also had nine, as the Warriors outrebounded the Nets 46-44. Golden State is the worst-rebounding team in the league at 37.76 per game. New Jersey is tied for 25th (with the Knicks) at 40.45 per game.

Marcus Thompson

  • earl monroe

    Curry started off the season making very clean passes, then as he got more comfortable he started to make passes of the dribble, the bad ones are mostly
    with his left hand, I think he’s watching too much Nash video.
    He is better off playing it simple for now. He’s got great vision though

  • some guy

    Mikki Moore? CJ Watson? Are these guys even going to be here in 2 years?

    As usual, Nellie/Smart just doesn’t get it. This team isn’t a playoff team – they should be playing Curry & Randolph more to get them as much experience as possible.

    Yes, players develop off the court (primarily in the offseason), but they gain experience on the court. and that experience is invaluable.

    OKC’s staff understood this and are reaping the benefits now. Sac’s staff understands this and will someday reap the benefits of the extensive PT they’ve extended their youth last year & this year. Meanwhile the W’s staff continues to waste PT on guys who won’t be here in a year or two. All in the effort to eek out a few more wins. Thus ensuring that they have a lower draft pick. As Charlie Brown would say, “Good Grief”.

  • kookaburra

    I have to agree with Some Guy. It just doesn’t seem like this team is dedicated to the youth as it should be. We’ve seen the model: Oklahoma City. Now it’s Nellie’s/Smart’s responsibility to follow through.

  • mwlx

    #2 and #3: What games are you guys watching?

  • DW

    Hey Some Guy & Kookaburra,
    Do you realize they are trying to get Nellie is record? After that let’s see how much time the Vets get.

  • Jeremy

    Lots of positives to take away, which is important b/c if you can’t dominate the (arguably) worst team in basketball… you ARE the worst team in basketball.

    My only issue is why Anthony Randolph played so little. Doesnt see the floor in Q1, Q2 he dominates with 7 points, 6 boards, 4 assists, and 2 blocks… then can’t get back on the floor till only a few minutes remained in Q3! Why do you take the single most effective player in the game off the floor for 10 minutes while the Nets go on a big run?

    Otherwise…

    Moore looked good offensively, but finished as the only player with a negative +/-. It was only -1, but when he was on the floor, the Nets made their runs.

    Vlad looked as good as he can look. Shooting, rebounding… the Warriors are the perfect fit for him.

    Watson was dominant in the passing lanes. Great game from CJ and what I’d like to see every game from him.

    Curry looked terrific, but Watson was getting more turnover/fastbreaks so it was tough to get him on the floor. He continues to improve in all facets of the game.

    Morrow and Monta looked bad… but at least Monta was getting in the lanes. Monta had a very good 2nd half all around but was a nightmare in the first.

    Let’s see if they can duplicate this vs better opponents. The Nets are REALLY bad.

  • http://feltbot.com/ feltbot

    Nice recap, Marcus.

  • WarriorD

    I think that there are pluses and minuses for playing young players. If Curry/Randolph are turning the ball over and continue to do so, but you keep playing them to give them “experience” and they throw away games that the Team has a chance of winning you can kill their confidence. Maybe teams stop looking to pass it to them at key times in games and they get shunned.

    Blowing a play in key time of the game may make the better the next time, or it may not put them in the position next time because they’re scared they can turn it over again.

    You have to play them in positions to succeed for the team. Especially this early in the season.

    We know they’re far from Playoff contenders, but I’m glad Monta is talking about the need to win games to keep them in the hunt.

    As far fetched as it sounds to the fans, would you rather him say, “Forget winning this year we need to focus on getting our youngs up to speed for next year.”

    I think we see as much of Curry as we should be seeing. It’s little things that he needs to work on, not major. When he shows he’s better than CJ he’ll be playing. When he proves he can lead us he’ll be playing and not CJ.

    We do need more Randolph though…he doesn’t seem as much a liability as last year. Just wish he would shoot less from the perimeter and take it in. Unfortunately his jumper is hitting a little more often which will keep him from trying to take it in more.

  • TripleThreat

    “Keith Smart said he’s steal dealing with emotionally…”

    Reading that and your recent use of “soley” for “solely,” it its clear how you need an editor to correct for your poor writing ability.

    There’s no one to help you on your blog? Perhaps you can take a class at UC Extension on how to write. Just how did you get your job?

    And there are many, many other examples of just what a poor writer you truly are.

  • alwaysafan

    I would play more of Hunter. Although Mikki seems like a good guy, from what I have seen of Hunter he deserves to be in the young talent discussion group. Additionally, does anyone know what happened to Jamerio Davidson, I would have played him in most games this season. Hire Byron Scott!

  • Marques8

    Regarding Maggette: Seems to me the boos mainly come in regard to him taking jump shots and these boos have been cultivated by the Warriors broadcasting crew.

    He’s not my favorite player, but what contender wouldn’t want a guy who could get them to the foul line consistently at crunch time. The thing is it’s probably not to his advantage to go to the hole that often with the Ws. He’s getting some age, he has a history of injuries, he’s trying to stay in the rotation when the Ws don’t have many players.

    The guy the fans have to get on is Monta. When he distributes, the Ws have a chance. He’s a much more important distributor than Maggete, whose role is to shoot. I am not saying boo Monta. God no. The problem is everyone takes his or her views on ownership on the least favorite coach or player of the moment. It’s not making GS a more desirable destination for players any more than the Monta fine did. It’s just Cohan and his Pips (and that little heart-breaker TK) doing all they can to keep a good franchise down.