By Marcus Thompson
Saturday, December 19th, 2009 at 12:00 am in Uncategorized.
Two summers ago, the Warriors threw the farm at Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas after Baron Davis opted out of his contract. More than $100 million. But he turned it down, and Warriors fans breathed a sigh of relief as they realized they dodged a bullet.
Arenas played two games the following season. And since he’s been back this season, he’s hardly looked like Agent Zero the Warriors were hoping to land as the fall-back plan for Baron’s departure.
But Friday, Arenas reminded Warriors fans up close just how good he can be.
I was just happy that somebody else wanted me. It was so, like, they didn’t even think about the knee, so here you go. I was like, well, should I go back to Oakland.
[talked to your dad?] He was like, it’s flattering, but you and Abe Pollin, you guys are like a family.
Actually, it was about an hour, until I got the call from Mr. Pollin and then it was from when I finished packing and I got to airport and Mr. Pollin called me. I said, ‘Alright Mr. P. No problem.’
Arenas is averaging 29.2 points in his career against the Warriors, a nine-game span. The only team he averages more against was 29.3 points against the Wizards, in three meetings when he was with the Warriors. He averages 29.1 against the Lakers, a state bolstered by his 60-point effort a while back.
Arenas also had 13 assists. He still doesn’t look as explosive, but he had enough to one-up Ellis, the Warriors frontline star. Gilbert had 45 on 25 shots because he got to the free throw line 16 times. He had 14 in the fourth quarter, when Ellis was matched up against him.
Gilbert had nice things to say about Ellis afterward.
ARENAS: “I think he is the face of the team. He should be an All-Star this year. His play is exciting and I think he can continue to carry this team like he has.”
When he walked off the court and through the tunnel after the game, he held up a sign for the camera. It said “This is Gilbert’s Arena.” Of course, the sponsor on the flyer was ContraCostaTimes.com. LOL
Curry had 27 points and 8 rebounds — both career-highs. Most of it was the product of a hot start. In the fourth quarter, Curry didn’t look as fluid as he had the whole game. He was 1-for-4, all threes, with 3 points, an assist and a turnover (almost had two) and three rebounds. He wasn’t bad down the stretch, but he was a rookie.
Not sure you can get down on him about his finish, though. He gave the Warriors something they needed badly, especially with Morrow still struggling — a second option. Ellis didn’t have to expend much energy scoring against two and three defenders early, which left him some spring late. Ellis had 10 points in the fourth and nearly matched Arenas blow-for-blow.
ELLIS: “He started the game off pretty aggressive. Down the stretch, he can do a little better. I know he’s young. All of us went through it. It’s something you’ve got to build from and learn from. Other than that, he played great.”
Morrow was 2-for-8 from the field, one of his threes coming in garbage time. I think that qualifies as a slump.
Vlad played just 16 minutes, totaling 4 points and 3 rebounds. Randolph had 36 minutes. Has Randolph supplanted Radmanovic in the rotation?
ARENAS ON THE WARRIORS’ OFFER: “I was just happy that somebody else wanted me. It was so, like, they didn’t even think about the knee. ‘So here you go.’ I was like, ‘Well, should I go back to Oakland?’ … (My dad) was like, ‘It’s flattering, but you and Abe Pollin, you guys are like a family.’ Actually, it was about an hour until I got the call from Mr. Pollin … ‘Alright Mr. P. No problem.’ “