25

Game 36 (11-25): Cavaliers 117, Warriors 114

Looking at the replay, Monta Ellis got the rebound from Lebron’s missed J with 6.4 seconds left. He looked over to the bench and signaled timeout, but was told by coach Don Nelson to push the ball. Ellis got started up court with 5.4 seconds left, and he proceeded as if he were confused about what to do next. The rest, you know what happened.

The fact that Ellis wanted to call a timeout, and actually did kinda based on video replay, shows the miscommunication in the final minutes that may have cost the Warriors the game. With five seconds left, gotta believe they could’ve gotten a better shot than Stephen Curry’s 34-foot shot put.

NELSON: “We said in the huddle that we wanted to push the ball and I’ll inform the team tomorrow that I can always call the timeout. I can go to the referee. Coaches now can call a timeout. What they need to do is think in terms of getting the ball, pushing it up. I really like the open court with 6, 7 seconds left, even 5, better than the half court when you need a three. So we lost a couple seconds there that probably would’ve got a better shot.”

Ellis said he either didn’t hear or didn’t remember that Nellie said don’t call a timeout, just push it. Nelson and Curry said Nellie said that in the previous timeout, which occurred at 57.9 seconds after Ellis’ 3 from the right corner.

More important, it is obvious Ellis doesn’t understand Nellie’s philosophy of what to do in those situations. So Monday’s loss to Cleveland should serve as a teaching opportunity. If Ellis knows that Nellie’s preference is to just push it, he won’t have to hesitate. Certainly, though, Ellis should be much more aware of what to do. Whose carries that responsibility is open for debate.

ELLIS: “Naw, I didn’t hear it. That’s why I looked over to the bench. But we still came down, had a chance to win. I didn’t really want to take that off-balance shot. But… I mean… hey, we left it all out there.”

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Stephen Curry couldn’t do anything but laugh when recalling his ridiculous foul on Shaquille O’Neal. Curry tried to foul Shaq from behind on a break away. Shaq got the dunk and the foul. Curry got a stare from Shaq and a spot on the highlights.

SHAQ: “Yeah, I did because that wasn’t a smart foul. I kind of waited for him because I knew it would be on the highlights tonight. So that was for you, Del.”

Curry acknowledged it was stupid foul and he wasn’t offended by Shaq’s reaction.

CURRY: “I’ve seen him do that plenty of times before so I didn’t take too seriously. That was a dumb play for me to try to go knock him down. That’s the last guy in the NBA that you try to do that to. I probably won’t do that again.

“I don’t know if he waited on me or that’s how long it takes for him to get to the basket or whatever, but it did look kinda nasty. I’m trying to knock his arm out, knock the ball away, and he’s acting like I’m a fly and batting me off and going to do dunk it. He’s the Diesel.”

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Guard Anthony Morrow had 3 points on 1-for-1 shooting in 12 minutes. Just to illustrate how far he’s falling out of the rotation, D-League call-up Cartier Martin was 2-for-6 in 19+ minutes.

NELLIE: “They have to understand that when we get bigger at the 3, then we have four guards. And there’s not a lot of minutes there when Monta’s playing 40-something… leading the league. There will be some time cut there.”

“There will be match-up times when I can get away with that. But the bigger 3s are hard for us to guard. We don’t defend the low post that well. Morrow has trouble down there. All of our small guys, you wouldn’t expect they could guard the big 3s.”

Nellie has said on several occasions that Morrow is too good a shooter to not get shots. But he’s seemed to have left Morrow and his teammates up to their own devices. Morrow still passing up shots. His teammates not looking for him. And he’s just not a factor lately. What happened to running plays for him where he comes off a few screens, or posting him up? Oddly enough, the big shot he hit against Sacramento was a designed play (Ellis drive towards Morrow’s man, sucking in Morrow’s man, so Ellis can kick it out to Morrow). And it worked. Are they really going to wait until Morrow figures out how to create his own shot?

Since Morrow can’t defend SFs, he will be primarily a shooting guard. That leaves him looking for minutes behind Ellis and Curry. So unless Cartier is terrible, Morrow’s probably going to get a lot of bench time over the next 18 days, and maybe beyond. And don’t let Martin be able to knock down the 3 with any consistency.

Marcus Thompson

  • Scotty

    I think pushing it up the court makes all kind of sense when you have an option of going for a 2, but when you need a 3, I’m not so sure it’s a good plan. It’s not like Monta can drive and kick in that scenario because no one has to honor the drive. I think you’re better off drawing up a play in that situation. Just call timeout and advance the ball with 5.4 seconds. It takes a couple seconds just to dribble the ball up the court, and just like that Monta can either chuck up an off balance 3 or drop it back to Curry. Nellie gets paid $6 million a year, shouldn’t he be able to draw up some kind of play?

    The Cavs might of been instructed to just foul before the shot in the timeout seeing as how they were up 3, but maybe they would of accidentally fouled someone shooting a 3. It’s definitely debatable what the thing to do is there. Regardless, it’s a tough way to lose.

    Shouldn’t the refs of just given the timeout once Monta signals for it anyway? He definitely did.

  • some guy

    Monta missed a wide open Vlad (who was on the opposite side with Morrow & 1 defender). He also missed an open Maggette in the corner right in front of him. Why he chose to throw it backwards to Curry is beyond me – either he has almost no court vision or he was planning to force up the last shot instead of hitting an open teammate and got stuck up in the air, panicked, then threw it back to Curry.

  • fillmoe mike

    This team is so young its not even funny…these mistakes are bound to happen

  • Jeremy

    Had Curry made it that shot they probably wouldn’t have covered the spread in OT, so this was a good thing. The Warriors should just try to be over .500 vs the spread since they have no shot at actually competing in the NBA

  • Bleep

    Jeremy, that is the single most incomprehensible comment I’ve ever seen.

  • Jeremy

    it was a joke…

    But seriously the 8 guys still standing have no hope to compete for a playoff spot.

  • pete blunt

    hey does anyone want to trade Curry now!!

  • Optimus

    It was more miraculous that they even had an opportunity to tie it in the end.

    “So that was for you, Del” – Shaq is hillarious.

  • danikil49

    when I first saw Curry I thought he would be a good player. Now I think he can be REALLY GOOD.This kid is all b-ball, great draft pick.

  • pogi

    Curry is starting to figure out how to get to the rim now….and his shot is looking better too. I would NOT trade him.

  • Paul

    Monta is the best scorer on this team and they’d struggle exponentially more without him.
    But time and again, he seems to panic in clutch situations. Hopefully he grows out of it as he gains more experience in these postions, but it’s been painful to watch his decision-making and tentativeness come the final 2 minutes of games this season.

  • PhillyJ

    I like Steph’s attitude. He’s humble and shows respect to his elders. He’s going to be a star.

  • http://ksjs.org Michael Wright

    RIDICULOUS! This team needs a consistent rotation!

    Nellie gave 33+ minutes to Monta, Curry, Maggette, and Vlad, but only gave 15 or less minutes to 6 other guys he played.

    Hey Marcus,
    When is Biedrins going to start playing more than 20 mpg? Is his conditioning the problem?

  • dubfan

    Whatever you think of the Warriors…just be glad you’re not a Timberwolves or a Nets fan!

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  • petaluman

    From MT’s official article:

    Guard Raja Bell, who had surgery Dec. 3 to repair ligament damage in his left wrist, will begin rehabilitation in the near future, a team spokesman said. After the surgery, the team said Bell’s wrist would be immobilized for six weeks.

    Marcus, any word on an anticipated return date for Raja? I’m assuming he was able to keep his legs in shape, and possibly even continue to shoot (isn’t he right handed?), so it seems like he’d just need a couple weeks to recover strength in the one wrist.

  • Jeremy

    @ Michael Wright

    If you saw the Cavs game you would know why Beidrins didnt play much. Besides his 5 fouls in the minimal time on the court, he hardly looked like he should be in the NBA. I don’t know if the injury is still lingering or what… but he is a shell of his former self these days.

  • warriornab

    will the games still sell out when we’re 15-40? lol…stop going to the games you idiots!!

  • kobe24

    Crawford is doing well with the Hawks… WOW, what a surprise, right Nellie!
    Didn’t we need him the last couple games?

    How come all these ex-Nelson players does so well after they have a fallen out with the old fart?
    Man, can’t upper management see this crap????
    Is this the Al Davis theory at work here.
    My way or the highway thing…

    This small ball crap would work only if they played scrappy defense but they can’t always do that against big teams.

    I say get rid of Nellie now and find a coach that will preach defense as well as offense.
    Or else this team will strangle one another because of the Nellie thing.

  • Jeremy

    I find it funny that a guy with the name “kobe24″ is dropping “we’s” about the warriors.

    Jamal Crawford is only needed on this team now because everyone else is hurt. He excels in a 6th man, come in and provide a scoring spark role, which is the role Maggette is supposed to be playing and IMO he’s much much better than Crawford.

    Problem is they traded Crawford for pennies on the dollar. But I agree… Nelson should have been gone loooong ago. Give me Byron Scott or Avery Johnson at least. Too bad Cohan can’t be fired too…

  • 808S.Pacific

    We lose Bellinelli, and we get guys like Claxton and George.

    We just signed Cartier and he comes off the bench before George. Great job Riley!

    If A.B. can’t put at least 10 points and 10 rebounds consisitently, is he worth keeping? A.B. may have put up those numbers last night, but I would not know. I turned the TV off by halftime.

    Some may say Randolph is a “Bonehead”, but I enjoyed watching him with his 13-15 points a game, blocking shots, and getting some rebounds.

    I hope in the future we get to see Wright and AR together. If we lose them, I quit!! Can’t stand the thought of watching Radmonovich and Biedrins show.
    Booooring!!!!

  • kobe24

    My bad… I’m a Laker fan living in the area so the Dubs are the only thing to watch and poke fun of these days.

    Crawford can shoot but can’t play defense but he is a prolific scorer.
    3 x 50+ points on 3 different teams

    Not long ago I heard Nellie say his perfect Power Forward was someone like Al Harrington.
    He said this way after they traded him.
    So WTF is going through his head with a statement like that.
    It wasn’t long ago the Dubs had him so he treated him like crap and traded him away for Crawford.

    The main issue is that upper management has lost this team to Nellie since they fired Mullie.
    Nellie throughout his career had problems with his players getting all the props.
    To him it is all about Nellie’s World.
    F the rest of them.

    You will never find this kind of crap with the Lakers or any storied franchise.

    Just Dubs and Clips only.

  • cliff

    not related to this article, but i just looked at the article about monta’s trick shot. WHY IS THAT EVEN IN THE PAPER? playing a game of horse is not newsworthy. the reporters should focus more on what the warriors and how monta could be a better leader, etc.

    warriors are a joke! monta is a whiner! and now the merc has stooped to new lows in reporting–you guys are the butt of the joke now!

  • Jeremy

    No write up on the heat game? I guess everyone who watched knows there is nothing good to say about that game.

    When will the Warriors have a player who gets calls like Wade does? Is there a team that commits weaker fouls than the Warriors? If you’re going to foul, foul em hard

  • jweezy

    #23, warriors are a joke. monta’s an arrogant little loser. he cant win, so the warriors cant win.