22

Monta Ellis’ Back; David Lee’s Souvernir Tooth; Bloody Curry & Randolph’s Revenge

Warriors guard Monta Ellis dribbled the ball through his legs a few times, right in front of the New York Knicks bench, giving his teammates time to clear out the right side of the court.

Knicks forward Danilo Gallinari was in front of him, but before he could squat into something remotely similar to a defensive position, Ellis had blown right by him. As he took off towards the rim, Knicks big man Amar’e Stoudemire hustled over to try to get a block. But Ellis kind of twisted right around Stoudemire, and gently dropped in a reverse finger roll over the front rim.

What back injury?

ELLIS: “I don’t think about it. I think about it after the game. When I’m out there, I just play basketball.”

If you ask me, Ellis shouldn’t have played. Back injuries are too serious and rest is the best medicine. But, then again, the Warriors don’t pay me $11 million a year. Nobody does.

So when Ellis said he could play, which he started telling to members of the organization first thing Wednesday morning, they certainly wasn’t going to tell him no. And he proved himself right, finishing with 22 points, six assists and four steals in 40:30 of action. No, he wasn’t his normal explosive self. He was 7-for-16 largely because he didn’t have quite the same lift on his jumper. But even at less than 100 percent, Ellis is quick and fast enough to get where he wants to on the court, and it helped him get to the free throw line 11 times.

STEPHEN CURRY: “It shows what we’re trying to do here. He sacrificed his body and his health. I’m sure if it were too bad, he would’ve been smart about it. But if he had any chance to play, he would push through it. He gave us great effort tonight. Hopefully, there won’t be any (ramifications)  from coming back too soon. But he’s smart and he’s been through a lot, so he was ready.”

Ellis received treatment before the game. He had a heating pad and some massaging when he was on the bench. And he will likely rest and get treatment leading up to Thursday’s game at Chicago.

JEREMY LIN: “The heart that he plays with and his dedication to the team, we’re all thankful that he played.”

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Once again, the Warriors came out balling in the third quarter. That was really the difference tonight. I highly doubt they withstand the Knicks’ rally had they not got up by as much as 19 points. The Warriors opened the half with a 25-10 run to take an 85-66 lead. Ellis scored nine points during the run.

The Warriors seem to have the third quarter figured out, at least the start of the third quarter. The lead was eventually down to eight by the start of the fourth quarter — NY got as close as four before Ellis and Reggie Williams closed the half with baskets — and eventually took the lead. But they had to do a lot of work to get back because the Warriors got out so far ahead. Everybody in the NBA makes a run. But the Warriors have learned to seize control of the game by attacking to start the third quarter.

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With 2:09 left in the third, Lee grabbed a rebound and the inside of his left elbow caught Wilson Chandler in the mouth, knocking out Chandler’s front tooth. It dug a gash so deep in Lee’s arm, he had three layers of tape wrapped around his elbow and blow was still showing through. He got stitches after the game.

LEE: “Well I got the rebound and he was diving in to get the offensive rebound and his tooth dug in and sliced it open pretty good. I could actually see the bone coming out a little bit. So it probably requires a few stitches and I got to deal with the Knicks medical staff. I just wanted to hang out with them a little bit more. I haven’t seen them in a while.”

David Lee played the entire fourth quarter with his elbow wrapped with tape, three layers he said. But the blood was coming through like he was Curt Schilling or something.

CURRY: “David’s over there, still has a tooth in his elbow.”

Curry’s talking, but he was a bloody mess, too. They had to stop the game twice to stop his bleeding. The first time, Curry took a blow to the nose, turning on his scarlet faucet. The blood had dripped all on his chest and jersey and had to be cleaned off before he could return.

CURRY: “I tried to literally stick my nose in for an offensive rebound. I played for two minutes with it dripping.”

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Judging by the stat sheet, forward Dorell Wright didn’t have a spectacular night. He had 15 points and 7 rebounds. Not bad. He was 5-for-11 shooting. Not terrible. But he had a huge impact on the win.

He closed out hard on Knicks’ shooters down the stretch, preventing what would have been wide-open looks down the stretch. Gallinari missed two open 3-pointers that would’ve really hurt and, if I remember correctly, Wright was the one putting a hand in his face. Also, Wright scored 10 in the fourth quarter, including a clutch 3-pointer to give the Warriors the lead back, 114-113, and kill the Knicks rally, and a minute later hustling for a put-back on Reggie Williams’ blocked fast-break layup.

SMART: “I thought Dorell Wright did an incredible job during one of the timeouts. He simply just spoke up real strong to our guys and said it’s going to happen on this end, the defensive end.”

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Chatted with Anthony Randolph before the game. He said he was happy and was looking forward to playing against the Warriors. He didn’t say it, but he suggested he was about to ball on the Warriors. He only had one regret.
RANDOLPH: “It’s just too bad that somebody else isn’t sitting on their bench.”
Unfortunately for Randolph, Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni thwarted his plans for revenge. Randolph went scoreless in more than seven minutes off the bench. He missed his only two FG attempts, grabbed three rebounds and recorded one assist.
Knicks center Ronny Turiaf, another former Warrior, didn’t play because of a sprained left knee.
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The Warriors haven’t won back-to-back games since April 2009. They won at Sacramento on April 5. Then, after five days off, they won at Utah. They went all last year without winning back-to-back road games.
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The Warriors’ defense gave up 117 points on 46.8 percent shooting. They lost the rebound battle (41-36) and were spanked in second-chance points (18-6). So how did they manage enough defense to win? Two reasons. No. 1: they created turnovers. The Knicks had 21. Lee and Ellis each had four steals, and Curry had two.
MIKE D’ANTONI: “The turnovers I thought hurt us by far. They got 30 points on turnovers. We are really tentative and we are not really comfortable. We have a lot of work to do.”
The Warriors also guarded the 3-point line well. The Knicks finished 7-for-31 from 3. That’s 22.6 percent. In the second half, New York missed 14 of 17 from 3-point range. The Knicks came in averaging 34.7 percent from 3-point range.

Marcus Thompson

  • dan

    Randolph has been a joke and still is.

  • HoopsFan

    By now it’s clear that the David Lee trade was very favorable.

  • Monta the BO$$

    You should have mentioned the NBA rigged this game! Can you believe all those BS phantom calls at the end. Donaghy… the truth is out there David Stern!

    Poor AR not having a good year :( with the way the Knicks are sucking, I see him getting more pt at the 4 or 5 with Stoudemire…

  • http://feltbot.com/ feltbot

    Great work Marcus, thanks.

    Clear from D’Antoni’s recent quotes that Nelson was right about Randolph. And his comment to you indicates that his head may never be screwed on straight.

  • haastheman

    The baseball hangover is still going. I’m excited. this start is just what the team needed. The favorable schedule doesn’t hurt either. With a new, and young team, confidence is just what the doctor ordered. This team is gonna start believing in themselves, and then they will really be scarry. Watching the games, the team doesn’t jump out at you and scream contender, but they are doing the little things, and doing the little things can win you ball games.

  • jaxfor3

    By the time Randolph becomes a good rotation player; his rookie deal will have ended. Maybe the Warriors can look him up then.

  • http://www.jayshealthycoffee.com Jay

    Don Nelson is a great coach. Nelson has the most wins in NBA history, he saw that Anthony Randolph was all smoke and mirrors, and he believed Keith Smart would be a great coach. Truth is, he had a rebuilding team, a LOT of injuries, and a knucklehead named Anthony Randolph.

  • http://Yahoo Petey B

    Thanks Marcus!
    I’m glad the W’s didn’t hand over the Knicks a win like they did the Pistons. The starters are solid but they are thin on the bench. I can only trust Reggie Williams and Dan Gadzuric right now. Later this season we need to get a couple of players for our expirings. Can’t wait to see what we get in trade for Gadzuric/VladRad’s expiring contracts and/or Brandan Wright!!! Soon, I hope we don’t have to wait until February though!

  • Son of Ahmed

    Nice wrap-up. I’m really enjoying the new format, Marcus.

    You glossed over one of the great storylines in the game though (Maybe you highlighted in your print article though), and that was the battle between Lee and Stoudemire. Both played well. Great battle and great “homecoming” by Lee. Game ball to him.

    The game highlighted how both of these guys are good offensive players, but poor defenders.

  • Yoda

    That wasn’t D’Antoni thwarting Randolph’s plans. It was Randolph’s inability to play the game of basketball.

  • Mike Aucksbigg

    Footage of this game should be Exhibit A in a case supporting ref bookmaking. Some of those calls were blatantly incorrect, especially down the stretch. The refs did everything they could to hand this game over to the Knicks.

    Yet and still, the Dubs overcame every effort the refs made to take the game away from them. This may be the most satisfying win in a long time because of the calls they overcame late in the game.

    The Warriors have been getting hosed for years by bad officiating. Everybody on this board knows that. In the past, they would have recognized the inequity and pretty much stopped playing. Now, they fight through it because they know they’re good enough to win on any given night. Damn the officials, these guys can play.

    So gratifying. You have no idea.

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  • http://chriscohansucks.blogspot.com/ Chris Cohan

    When does the sale close?
    And when do the Warriors play a legit team?

    Nice ot run everyone hurt for that crucial win in New York. Glad petty small time agendas are gone forever in Rowellville, Warriorland.

  • Bill

    Liked a lot of the comments today about the Knicks…even about Randolph who was always inconsistent….basketball is more than being able to jump through the gym roof and he doesn’t know or hasn’t learned that…like someone else here I can’t wait to see what we can get for Radmanovic, Wright etc., and can Bell slip any further down Smart’s bench? Also, I am pretty vocal watching the games and I agree this one smells like gamblers spoke to the refs…mystery phantom calls, b.s. ticky tack stuff to put Amare the Fool on the line more than our whole team at one point…20 mil for that clown? welcome to it, New York…..D’Antoni let go or fired by end of the year and they’ll Still be rebuilding…at least we now have a coach who communicates with the players and has some dignity

  • deano

    CC: Utah is legit (they beat Miami and Orlando on the road in consecutive games). The Warriors played Utah, and beat them. My math says GSW is legit.

  • http://chriscohansucks.blogspot.com/ Chris Cohan

    Utah was not legit to start. At all. Two very good games in a row though. Slow out of the gates it seems.

  • BayAreafanatic

    I didn’t know how this team was going to play this year. Too many questions. Would Beidrens play better than last year? Wright, I wasn’t too familiar with him. Lee? One thing these guys have from the start is chemistry. The ball is flowing right now. Defensively they are just good enough. But they are rebounding and they are scoring right now….. Fun to watch.

  • Earl Monroe

    Hi Eeyore,

  • Steven R

    Lee is not the answer for the Warriors, they need to trade him once he’s eligible to be traded for Josh Smith.

  • http://chriscohansucks.blogspot.com/ Chris Cohan

    Uh huh.

  • Tim1234

    When Nelson gave minutes to Randolf in proportion to his readiness Nelson was said to be messing with his head. Now that he gets few minutes in NY…? Smart reminds me of Avery Johnson. Avery had a great year-after Nelson built the team in Dallas and left, then declined every year after that as Nelson’s aura faded. It will be interesting to see how Keith does as the offensive dynamo Nellie created fades into memory and running game slows down. However, he is in the sweet spot as Lee was added and AB who missed most of the season came back. And not to mention the Curry is more ready every game and ME is going to get a lot of All Star votes and may get the whistle which will really help. Still nellie won a lot of games last year with D players. Smart has a long way to go before he has anything to crow about.

  • You’re nuts

    Nelson didn’t build this team. Wright and Lee came in this season, and Curry was only there for one Nelson year. And Monta was playing some pretty awful ball last year. This team has a touch of nellie in it, with two short guards taking a lot of shots, but it’s not playing real nellie-ball. Players are passing, rebounding, and even playing D sometimes. And the pace is down.