Game #23 (7-16): Pistons 104, Warriors 95

When the Warriors hung close against Cleveland and Boston, and even for a while against San Antonio, it was just shy of admirable. Even though they eventually lost those games, by double-digit deficits at Boston and San Antonio, it certainly brought some positive vibes to the locker room.

But does coming close and losing in the end to Chicago, to Detroit, come with the same we’re-almost-there sentiments? Are they motivational near-misses? Or are they demoralizing?

I’m leaning heavily towards the latter.

Losing at Chicago and Detroit, in games they could’ve won, isn’t quite the moral victory they once enjoyed. Chicago and Detroit are both bad teams with injury problems, too. Neither Chicago nor Detroit won because they switched gears and pulled away from the Warriors, a la Boston or Cleveland, instead took advantage of the Warriors lack of clutchness.

CURRY: “To be in the game and play well enough to win is encouraging, but, at some point, we have to figure out how to make those plays that put you over the top. We haven’t figured that out.”

MAGGETTE: “It’s frustrating because we’re starting to play better, but lapses cost us. It’s hard to swallow, because we’re working as hard as we can to get a win. We’re doing a lot of good things, but we’re getting hurt in the end.”


Offensively, the Warriors have faltered lately as they struggle to find consistent help for Monta Ellis. The Dubs have failed to a reach a hundred three times on this road trip and are averaging just 94.8 points their last four games.

They are shooting 44.3 percent during this road trip, dropping their seaosn percentage to 47.1 Also, they’ve averaged 18 assists in the same span, which is below the 20-assist goal they set for every game and dropped their season average to 21.3. The assists are low because they haven’t made shots and they have gone stretches without ball movement.

Mind you, these stats include their win over the lowly Nets, in which they shot 49.4 percent and dished 23 assists.

SMART: “We’ve been good offensively over the past years because we’ve had a team with a bunch of players that could make plays at that time. We are a banged up team right now and just don’t have enough guys and we are dealing with a young roster right now. We had guys that were specialists that made plays, could handle the ball in many positions, were good size, and that just isn’t our team right now. There is occasions that when our team is together and intact that we are going to have good offensive outputs, but right now we are dealing with a smaller roster, guys are playing a lot of minutes, and we just don’t have that team that we need to have to be such an offensive team.”



Morrow said he was fine after Saturday’s game. But he’s been way out of it lately.

The same guy who made 98 of 112 3-pointers in practice is now 6 of his last 25, including 5 of 16 from 3-point range, his last three games.

MORROW (after Chicago game): “It was just an off night. Those are shots that I’ll usually make. I’m not affected by it. My confidence is not lost.”

His playing time was lost, however, last night in Detroit. He played the first eight minutes, missed the two shots he took, and Smart sat him down for a long stretch. He wound up playing just 18 minutes Saturday, going 0-for-3. It was the fewest he played all season, the previous low being 21 minutes at Milwaukee on Nov. 14, which was Jackson’s last game.

Smart went with C.J. Watson and Curry in the backcourt, moving Ellis to small forward, instead of playing Morrow. Certainly, Morrow can bust out at any time. But until he does, he’s little use. He’s not even rebounding as well as he has, which is the one other thing he does well at this point. He has 10 the last three games.

Morrow said he expects his shot to return. He’s not even worried about it. In the meantime, he’s focused on improving defensively. He had no chance against Luol Deng on Friday, and he had a tough time against Jonas Jerebko from Detroit, a bigger, wiry, energy type.

SMART: “We all know he’s a great shooter. He doesn’t have shooting nights like this or (Wednesday) night. Plus teams know he’s a hot guy, so they’re going to get to him pretty quick.”



Monta Ellis had 1 turnover in 48 minutes, the first time he’s done that all season. He had 1 turnover in 47 minutes vs. Memphis on Nov. 4.

Ellis, who is leading the league with 4.5 turnovers per game, had been averaging 5.8 turnovers per in the previous nine games he played 45 minutes or more.

But the last two games, Ellis has spent more time off the ball. The Warriors have set it up so he’s attacking from the wings on the weak side instead of facing down the entire set defense from the top of the key.

The put Ellis on one side and start the play on the other, hoping to reverse the ball with a couple of passes and get Ellis vs. a shifting defense.

SMART: “As opposed to being the point of attack for the defense, now he’s getting it when the defense has to move and rotate. … Anytime the ball moves three times in the NBA, the percentage goes up. So I think that’s what he’s good at.”

Marcus Thompson

  • earl monroe

    I saw an article stating that Maggette was not selfish, maybe he’s not but he is definitely a black hole.

    If the Warriors are going to play Curry, then why not just let him handle it most of the time? Instead of doing point guard by committee? This may benefit Ellis the most. Lets stop this insanity of having whomever is closest to the ball dribble it up then make bad decisions, the most guilty of this is Morrow followed closely by Randolph and them Maggette, and I doubt its their fault since they are being coached to do this, the last four games the knicks have slowed downed their games and have looked better and won, maybe it time to settle down a bit and work the ball, might be good for the legs too.
    But I think this makes too much sense.

    Its coaching ego ruling the day.

  • some guy

    they should probably shift towards a Suns/Hornets type offense where the PG dribbles around probing for openings. right now instead of running the 50% of the play, somebody decides to hoist up a jumper early in the set.

    according to Hollinger, PG’s make the biggest leap of any player from yr 1 to yr 2 (along with the yr 3 jump that most players have) and tend to improve statistically for the longest period of time (whereas most players are who they are by yr 3-4). the caveat is those who don’t play early or don’t get touches.

    on this team, if any young player other than Monta is going to be a multi-dimensional offensive threat it’s Curry. and early signs look like he’ll be more of the kind that makes his teammates better. part of me wants to use him in a trade package to get some help for Monta, but it’s hard to get a feel for what kind of player he is. will he end up being in the Calderon range? the Bibby range? Cassell range? Nash range? or could he end up only being a Kenny Smith type?

  • Curry continues to suck heinously while CJ outplays him consistently and convincingly.

    Not a peep.

  • earl monroe

    Hey Chris,
    Who would you rather have long term Curry or Watson?

  • Randolph has a better A/TO ratio than Curry in December. By a TON. Curry DEAD LAST amongh rookie “point” guard in A/TO for December and the team attacks Monta Ellis.

    Textbook, Marcus. Textbook.

  • samuraaaaiiiiiii

    So what do you think Marcus? Is there a trade sooner rather than later because December 15th is in a few days and way more players are available to be moved? Or are we more likely to be looking at a deadline trade because teams will be more desperate then?

    I can’t imagine this team, even with a healthy Andris and Turiaf, being the same one we end the season with. It has nothing to do with win totals, but I bet Cohan would like some new blood to make a big PR push and sell some more tickets. 48 minutes of Monta Ellis and 20 minutes of Anthony Randolph just isn’t enough to get people to go to the games.

  • Earl, I’d rather have Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, Eric Maynor, Ty Lawson, or Jeff Teague longterm over either and Ellis over all of them.

    Thorpe’s rookie upside top-10 had all of those other PGs listed and no Curry.

    All of those PGs ARE ACTUALLY PGs and were all taken after the pretty boy ticket sales draw (not anymore as he sucks too much and gets benched but not dragged through the mud publicl like Randolph, et al).

  • I ran the rookie assists numbers for December and Curry don’t look good. He’s DEAD LAST among rookie “point” guards in AST/TO in December, Randolph destroying him in that stat and also averaging more PTS and AST/48min than Curry. Randolph averaging 6.3 PF/48min. So he could play 40 and not foul out, theoretically, and his upside is a BILLION times higher than the little famous-before-playing combo guard hotdog.

  • I’ve settled on Curry’s rookie nickname:

    GQ Hotdog

  • If you look at Curry’s stats next to Jennings they are very comparable, even in assist/to ratio. The main difference being, of course, that Jennings gets close to twice as many shots/game. Jennings gets only 1.3 more assists/ game (6 to 4.7), which is not great, considering how much more he has the ball in his hands.

    Curry has had a much tougher time finding his role alongside Monta Ellis. He’s already starting to assert a statistical superiority to Jennings (45% shooting to 42%). I expect that, and his assist/to ratio to only get better as the season progresses.

    Curry and Evans were the two best guards in the draft.

  • btw, Marcus in his live chat with Curry compared Curry to Andre Miller. Curry was polite about it, but that is a completely off comparison. Andre Miller has absolutely no outside shot, and never has. He is also a physical player, Curry is not. There is no resemblance between the two players.

    The only player Curry can be compared to is Steve Nash. I’m not saying he’s in his class yet(although he’s WAY ahead of where Nash was in even his THIRD year in the league, which I watched). But he’s the same type of player. Same height, same build, same marginal athleticism, same great ability to shoot outside, dribble and score with either hand, incredible offensive creativity. And of course, the unbelievable basketball IQ, and passing ability. And Curry has something Nash never had, the potential to be a decent defensive player,and one day lead the league in steals.

    Nash is the bar I’ve set Curry against. And from what I’ve seen so far, it’s not crazy to believe he’ll get there.

  • A’s in 2010

    Our 7th pick is currently the 3rd most productive rookie behind Jennings/Evans. After drafting some busts like POB, Ike.. can’t anybody just be happy we got someone good? After the draft I was just relieved we didn’t draft Jordan Hill or Terrence Williams(guys we were rumored to take). Imagine if we drafted those duds….

  • GSWFan24

    No you didnt say Jrue Holiday, have you seen him play this year, he’s terrible! Chris your nuts

  • :)

    @ Chris
    Why are you letting curry’s assist to turnover ratio in the first two weeks of December have so much weight in your evaluation of him? And is it his fault he carried unknown davidson in the NCAA tourney and began receiving so much media coverage?
    Im not saying he’s a lock to be an NBA star, but it’s way too early to say he was a bad pick at 7.

  • samuraaaaiiiiiii

    Chris Cohan forgot to mention that Monta Ellis has an assist/turnover ratio of .97 in December, which happens to be less than CJ Watson’s, Stephen Curry’s, and Anthony Randolph’s.

  • Hey, got the homers to look at stats!
    Maybe they’ll watch a game next!

  • earl monroe

    Wow, just asked you a question Chris, such vitriolic criticism, deep stuff you are spewing out. Perhaps you should compare Curry’s stats to those of other point guards of the past in their first few months of their rookie seasons?

  • Not vitriolic at all, dweebo.

    Folks are just starting to think about Curry a bit after lapping up the talk points and nat’l hype (spare me the Elite 8 story… long time ago now). It’s fine. You’ll get it like you did on Belinelli and Jackson.

    S–twings is as s–twings do.

  • Jeremy

    I’m shocked anyone would be upset with what they’ve seen from Curry so far. He looks like a more creative version of Sam Cassell but nice. Curry consistently puts himself in position to make a play for himself or get open looks for others… isnt that exactly what they want him to do?

    He works extremely hard, has a natural feel for the game, and WANTS to get better. Steph Curry will be a very good player in the NBA, possibly an All-Star.

  • deano

    12,14,19: I agree that it is too early to pan GSW’s pick of Curry. He shows a lot of potential as a leader; a guy who can help Randolph know where to be, for instance. At the time of the draft, I thought the Warriors should select Lawson. Lawson is having a great year, but in part because he is on a much better team than the Warriors. In three years, I think that Curry will probably be appreicably better than Lawson.

  • earl monroe

    Chris-I love it when you call me names-I think it means you care-ha ha ha……
    how did you know my nickname was dwebo?

  • Perry

    In my book, Curry is Devin Harris at his best….

    Nash is too clever around the basket, he knows his way around the basket much better than Curry…..

    But the way Devin Harris creates his mid-range game and pull-ups off his dribble, his overall range and his size and weight are exactly comparable to Stephen Curry.

    So far, Curry has created from mid range more than he’s gotten to the basket. Guys like Nash and Parker are constantly in the paint, around the basket….

    Curry, so far, with his takes, has either thrown up some errant shots or turned the ball over ……nothing great so far around the basket…no memorable “And Ones” or anything……….but that should change…

    More so, both Devin Harris and Stephen Curry are really hybrid guards more than anything. However, I think that Curry’s court vision and PG acumen is superior to Devin’s.

    But all in all, games are very similar.

    Most posters have failed to mention that the best PG in the draft probably hasn’t even played a single NBA minute……….that’s Ricky Rubio….

    Rubio fit the mold of PG as good if not better than any other player drafted including Tyreke Evans.

    Evans, Lawson are fantastic young players, no question about it.

    Jennings is a scorer, plain and simple, that’s what he is.

    But I don’t think we’ve lost anything with Curry. If Curry reaches his full development, we’re looking at Devin Harris, 22-23 ppg, 6-8 apg….at his best.

    One thing that Teague, Maynor, Lawson and Jennings have is that they play for good teams. In the cases of Teague and Lawson, they each play for some of the best teams in the league. Mike Woodson will often play Mike Bibby and Jeff Teague together,……allowing his young player to feel more comfortable with his minutes rather than worrying about his PT.

    The nice thing is that all of these guys are playing consistently and are big parts of their prospective team’s rotations.

    I mean Ty Lawson is making a legitimate case for a 6th man position with that Denver squad. He’s getting to the basket, he’s scoring, he’s attacking.

    Jennings is starting, Curry’s starting, Evans is starting, all these guys are getting their fair shake.

    That’s the nice part about it, is that we see these guys getting an opportunity.

    Funny how Curry is the only rookie that Nelson has given consistent PT to since he’s been here. Not AR, not BW, not POB, not Belinelli,…none of them, only Stephen Curry.

    Because he realizes what most people already know is that Curry is the best offensive facilitator that this Golden State team has. For all his faults so far, his turnovers, his lack of scoring……he will eventually develop into a Devin Harris type player. A guy who can create for teammates, but a guy who’s not scared to call his own number at the right time.

  • So um, Curry vs. Holiday suckers?

    Uh huh.

  • Harp’s Dubs

    Monta and Randoplh to the Kings for Kevin Martin and Jason Thompson.
    Maggette, Turiaf, Raja and Speedy to Houston for McGrady.

    Both Sac and the Dubs backcourts that work better than the current ones in Monta/Tyreke and Curry/Martin (back in a few weeks from wrist surgery). Sac gets Randolph, who’s a better complement to Hawes than Thompson (different body types and skill sets) and Warriors get Thompson to play along Biedrins (same scenario for us).

    Trade with Houston nets the Rockets a center this year and a great backup when Yao returns next in Turiaf and provides them with a scorer off the bench in Maggette, while saving $10 million from Raja and Speedy this summer. Warriors get McGrady (who feels he has a lot to prove) for the rest of the year and MAJOR cap room this summer – hello Joe Johnson!

    PG – Curry/Watson
    SG – Martin/Morrow
    SF – McGrady/George (Buike on IR)
    PF – Thompson/Radmanovic (Wright in IR)
    C – Biedrins/Moore/Hunter

    PG – Evans/Udrih/Rodriguez
    SG – Ellis/Garcia/Udoka
    SF – Nocioni/Casspi/Greene
    PF – Randolph/Brockman/Thomas
    C – Hawes/May

    PG – Brooks/Lowry (Claxton on IR)
    SG – Ariza/Maggette (Bell on IR)
    SF – Battier/Budinger
    PF – Scola/Landry/Dorsey
    C – Turiaf/Hayes/Andersen (Yao on IR)

  • Hoo boy.
    And we’re back.

    2007 was a blast.
    We Be-left.