Monta Ellis described it as a bad night. He said it wasn’t because of the way the Clippers defended him. He just felt from the beginning it wouldn’t be his night.
ELLIS: “It was just one of those days. I know when my day is going to be good and when my day is going to be bad.”
Since when is 15 points and 11 assists bad?
I mean, it ain’t 46 points on 18-for-24 shooting. But Ellis still notched his 14th career double-double.
More important, once again, he stayed within the flow of the game. He wasn’t hogging, wasn’t forcing shots, wasn’t just looking for his. That’s two games in a row Ellis has been under control and in the flow.
DORELL WRIGHT: “I’m glad he’s tough on himself like that. That’s a good night for a lot of players. If he feels that was a tough game, then that’s a good thing.”
Stephen Curry quietly got dressed as the media waited to grill him. He had on all black everything – black shirt, black jeans, all black every thing – so the white cast he had on his ankle stood out. It wasn’t a cast, it was just enough tape to make it look like a cast at first glance.
Curry seemed to be thinking with his head and not his heart on the matter. Almost assuredly, he wants to try to play Sunday. It’s the Lakers. It’s in LA. You know he wants to play. But he said the wise thing to do might be to sit.
CURRY: “A lot of guys gave me advice about how long the season is and making sure its 100 percent. Since we don’t play until Wednesday, maybe that would be a smart thing to miss Sunday and have almost a full week and get it right before our long road trip out east. So it all depends on how I feel (Saturday) and go from there.”
If Curry can’t play, that leaves head coach Keith Smart with a point guard by committee approach. My guess is that Ellis will start at point guard and Reggie Williams will start at shooting guard. And Dorell Wright will run some at shooting guard. I doubt if anyone else gets a crack. Maybe Charlie Bell.
SMART: “Reggie for sure. Monta slides over. We’ll try Point-Dorell. Point-Biedrens, then we’ll move on down the list. We can only play who we’ve got.”
Seriously doubt if Smart throws Jeremy Lin out there against one of the league’s best defenses on the road. Although he did say Lin was making progress in practice, and thought he did well in his late-game minutes Friday, his NBA debut.
One bit of growth Smart pointed out was that Lin is to the point where he is calling the plays on his own and not looking to Smart to tell him what play to call. That shows a command of the playbook and increasing confidence.
SMART: “We’re baby spooning him.”
Wright was 6-for-7 from 3-point range, tying his career high. He was finding his spots on the floor and he didn’t miss when he got the looks. He finished with 24 points, a game-high, on 9-for-12 shooting.
WRIGHT: “I was open. I had to capitalize.”
Smart said he wants Wright to do even more, including post-up and pass out of the post. Wright said he knows it’s in his game. It’s just a matter of dusting off the cob webs, since he hasn’t used other parts of his game in so long.
WRIGHT: “I’m very comfortable. … I’m loving it. I’m glad I’m not second-guessing myself like I used to. It’s not that I don’t have it, I’ve just got to remember how to do it. It’s been a long time.”
Ellis said the Warriors have a bone to pick with the Lakers, and they look forward to Sunday’s game.
ELLIS: “We owe them one for that preseason game.”
Ellis is speaking of the preseason finale in which the Lakers edged the Warriors in overtime. Golden State did not have Stephen Curry, who had sprained his ankle the previous night. And Ellis played 53 minutes, and Reggie Williams played like 49.
It might be déjà vu all over again.
David Lee shut down Blake Griffin. What was that about he can’t play defense?
OK, Lee is hardly ready to be named All-Defense third team. But he gets credit for the job he did on Blake Griffin. Many expected Griffin to dominate, and after the first quarter (7 points, five rebounds) it looked as if he would.
But Griffin went scoreless in the second and third quarters (he hardly played in the second quarter). He needed 14 shots for his 14 points. His 10 rebounds weren’t enough to keep the Warriors from winning the battle of the boards by 6.
Lee stuck to the game plan, which was to push Griffin out of the key and make him get all his buckets out of post-ups. When he’s finishing and in transition and racking up putbacks, he is much more dangerous. Griffin doesn’t have a dangerous post-game yet, and his midrange jumper needs work.
LEE: “My number one thing was — if he scored a couple of times in the post, you give him credit – stopping him in transition and from killing us on the offensive glass. We were able to do that tonight.”