By Marcus Thompson
Wednesday, December 30th, 2009 at 1:19 am in Uncategorized.
Nothing takes the attention from a relatively impressive showing by the Warriors like an Anthony Randolph watch.
Some will say it’s nitpicking, or going negative. But to each his own. I, personally, can’t help but notice that Randolph played 18 minutes (if you take away the final 40 seconds he played when the game was over). Only seven of those minutes came in the second half, none – save for those 40 seconds – came in the fourth quarter.
I especially couldn’t help but wonder “Where’s Randolph?” when Lamar Odom converts a crucial putback late. So why did Randolph only get 19 minutes, including garbage time work?
Only Anthony Morrow played fewer minutes. Didn’t get to ask Nelson after the game, but based on the past occurrences where a similar question has been asked, the answer is either match-ups, his mistakes (turnovers and poor shots) or foul trouble.
Check out Randolph’s line Tuesday: 6 points on 3-for-5 shooting, six rebounds, five blocks, five assists, one turnover, one foul.
That leads me to believe it was match-ups. Since the Warriors really can’t match up with the Lakers in the size category, Nelson presumably wanted to create an advantage on offense by going with either Maggette, who can score on the drive, or Radmanovic, who stretches the floor with his outside shot. Randolph isn’t as good an option as either player based on those given purposes. But there is a purpose Randolph is better at than both: defense.
Randolph declined to comment. I think he was the first player dressed and out (he’s from Los Angeles, so he probably had people waiting for him). But he didn’t leave before having a talk with Turiaf. I have no idea about what. (But I wonder if Turiaf was giving advice about patience and sacrifice to a player frustrated about lack of minutes?)
Stephen Curry only played eight second-half minutes, all but but some 30 seconds in the third quarter. His long stint on the bench was a little bit more explainable.
Curry, despite having a team-high 13 points on 5-for-8 shooting at the half, doomed himself with turnovers. Careless turnovers.
In the third quarter, he tried a one-hand pass off the dribble — with his left hand – from toe top to the left wing. Odom picked it off easily. Later in the third, with 51.9 seconds left, he was trying to hand off a pass (I think, my view was blocked by the Laker girls). It looked like he tried to tap the pass and Jordan Farmar picked it off. Certainly, the turnover had Nellie throwing his hands up in there.
Then seconds later, Curry got the ball at the top, and just stood there while Farmar and Vujacic came over to trap him. It wound up being a jump ball with 12.3 seconds left (the Warriors won it as Curry tapped it to C.J. who tracked it down before falling out of bounds and saving it to Turiaf for a dunk).
Curry is the best passer on the team, and his shot seems to be coming around (he averaged 13.4 points in December and shot 40.4 percent from 3). But his solid play is sometimes outshined by his propensity to make an untimely, unnecessary turnover.
Morrow certainly looks back. He took only three 3-pointers, making one. But he looked aggressive and decisive. His other four baskets were off the dribble and shots he created.
Don’t look now, but Maggette is on a ridiculous tear. He had 25 Tuesday on 7-for-11 shooting. That is at least 20 in eight of his last nine. During that stretch, he’s averaging 23.2 points on 65.4 percent shooting. He’s attempted 85 free throws during that stretch, which suggests he’s pushed away from the jumper buffet (sign the boos worked?). He’s also averaging 5.8 rebounds.
If he keeps at this rate, another team might be willing to take on his contract, which has three years and just more than $30 million remaining after this season.