Tuesday, Nellie said he was starting Chris Hunter to get the Warriors ready for the big lineup they will play when centers Andris Biedrins and Ronny Turiaf return.
Well, that plan is out the window for now.
Small ball is back tonight in New Orleans. Three guards on the perimeter, two small forwards in the front court. Here’s the lineup tonight (the player they are guarding in parenthesis).
PG Stephen Curry (Chris Paul)
SG Monta Ellis (Devin Brown)
SF C.J. Watson (Peja Stojakovic)
PF Corey Maggette (David West)
C Vladimir Radmanovic Anthony Randolph (Emeka Okafor) … the starting lineups handed out were wrong
Nellie said he felt like the size of New Orleans wasn’t as intimidating, so he could “get away with” not having to play a big center.
Nellie kind of went at Morrow in his pre-game talk.
NELLIE: “He hasn’t made his share of open shots when we do get it to him, that’s for sure. Problem is he hasn’t made up the difference on defense. If he’s not scoring and he’s not guarding, and he’s small at his position at 3, there’s a big problem there. If he’s making his shots and he’s a factor offensively, you can kind of put up with a little of the other stuff. He was very poor defensively last several games. He’s got to guard his guy better. He’s just got to do a better job.”
“I don’t think its ever effort with him, maybe technique or maybe he just doesn’t have the ability to guard like you’d want. So far, he hasn’t been a good perimeter defender and he hasn’t been a good post-up defender. It’s very hard to play him at 3 if he’s not either one of those.”
He went at Vlad, too:
NELLIE: “Now he’s reluctant to shoot at all. That’s not good. If you’re in a slump, I understand being conservative. He’s trying to do some other things, and I can respect that. But we can’t have one player just be a total zero on offense. We can’t score enough. … But if he can find a way to just get nine or 10 points a game, it would really help us.”
Why is he starting over Randolph again?
Ellis gets a night off defensively, kind of. Instead of having to guard Chris Paul, he’s guarding Devin Brown. Nellie said he wants to keep Ellis on shooting guards as much as he can. Plus he’s giving Curry the trial by fire lesson of defending his position in the NBA. Tonight, Curry gets Chris Paul. Saturday he gets Steve Nash. Sunday he gets Rajon Rondo.
CURRY: “That’s what this league is all about, right?”