Warriors Trying to Combat Slow Starts

Warriors head coach Keith Smart said he operates under an assumption that every player is already up to play. He hasn’t spent time trying to get guys ready because he is of the mind that the excitement and energy of getting ready to play an NBA game is enough to get his players going.

But after the Warriors struggled again to get off to a good start, he sounded open to changing that mindset. He may even use some of his halftime speeches, which seem to work so well, in his pregame talk.

SMART: “I always assume that any man alive loves to get ready for a game. I wouldn’t think you need it to start a game. Maybe I have to try that and see what happens. There’s no adjustments you can make to start the game. You’ve got to wait until the game takes place.”

The Warriors have scored 20 points or fewer in the first five times. They have given up at least 30 in the first quarter five times. They have trailed entering the second quarter five times, three of those times they ended up down double-digits at the half and went on to lose.

For one, Monta Ellis doesn’t like it. He said he would study to film and see what’s up. He’s drawn a conclusion.

ELLIS: “I don’t think we’re tuned into the game. I think we have to really be down or coach has to get into us before we reallyu start playing., so what we’ve got to do is we’ve got to approach the game now like we’re down 20 when its 0-0 so we can come out with the same defensive mentality and the same energy we get in the third and fourth quarter.”

Smart pointed out that when the Warriors are going well, it’s usually because they are in attack mode from the beginning. He said a lot of that has to do with his point guard, Stephen Curry. Curry was aggressive against the Knicks, he just missed a lot of shots early.

When the Warriors don’t make shots early, it usually doesn’t bode well from their rhythm and they end up relying on Ellis. Of course, the end result is Ellis being tired at the end of the game from having to carry the Warriors the first three quarters.

On defense, Smart said they need to be more aggressive as well.

SMART: “The games we didn’t start off well, we were really passive on our heels on both sides of the ball. Other games, like against Detroit, we started off very, very fast, and that starts with our pg. Steph came in the game pushing the ball real fast being an aggressive player, being for himself or a pass for a teammate. We were kind of on our heels last night we weren’t aggressive tryinhg to make plays to start the game. Monta made plays, but we weren’t aggressive as an overall unit. So we’ve got to get everybody firing the same cylinders to start games off.”

Marcus Thompson

  • Greg

    We really miss Lee right now! I was really pleasantly surprised how well they played to begin the season and you can just see how much they need him, his energy is whats lacking to begin the game, sorry but Vlad and Gazurwhatever his name don’t get me up! YES!!!! (Gary Radnich drop)

  • Sleepy Floyd

    There was a beautiful young blonde female signing autographs for kids directly behind the scorers bench after the Warriors – Knicks game. Does anyone know who she was?

  • slamdunk

    Sorry to say that although they have gotten off to a surprising start, this team totally relies on Ellis/Curry way too much and they have no depth on the bench. No way these 2 can carry the team without more scoring from the frontcourt, and without a backup point guard. They looked like Nelson’s small ball team against the Knicks, and Lee is all they have up front, so when he goes down, they look like the 26 win team from last year. Why are charlie bell, radmanovich, and the always hurt Brandon Wrong still on the team? They may have new ownership, but the front office, and the team still look too much like Cohan’s Warriors.

  • lowpostgame

    Let’s be realistic. Warrior fans need to understand that without David Lee, they once again look much like the old warriors with new players. Without any type of low post option, they end up a jumpshooting team hoping to beat you with that style in close ball games. Brandan Wright is the guy that needs to be used to show his low post game. You can’t display your game if you don’t get minutes. It has nothing to do with energy and skill because during the times he was in for significant minutes he scored down low and got rebounds….yes it might not have been much….but it is way more than any other low post big man they have. Getting back Amundson and Udoh should greatly help with the low post play as far put backs and toughness down low. Amundson definitely has shown in phoenix that he can score down low in the pain with put back dunks and such.

  • jclay09

    As bad as this bench is, they really need Lee back. Amundson can’t get back fast enough either.

  • Bill

    udoh for president

  • player

    the problem here is with andris biedrins in the game there is no offensive threat in the paint whatsoever. this then bring us back to the old warriors that just have shooters out on the floor. this is why we go rid of nelson…wake up organization. the only person that has potential to score and have moves down low to loosen up a defense from smothering our guards is brandan wright….smart has to play him now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • jimbo

    We are watching the impact of andris biedrins. This guy is supposed to be the second best player on the team by paying him 9 million per year. He is a complete non factor down in the paint. Yes every once and a blue moon he gets a put back or dunk, but doesn’t every tall player in the nba eventually score??? Teams can just sag sag sag on and give up the middle of the paint at the end of game because they certainly know that a 20 percent free throw shooter in biedrins will not see the ball. It’s really pathetic to see that the major flaw the warriors have had for years still haunts them as lee remains sidelined. Look at every team in the leagues. Their big guy or low post guy at least poses a threat to score. Biedrins is definitely not this guy for us. Please someone out there tell warrior fans if you can find any center that is 6’11 or power forward that tall that only averages 6pts per game and shoots 20 percent from the free throw line . Oh I forgot to mention he gets paid 9 mil per year……I guarantee you that there is nobody that makes that much on any other team with those pathetic numbers

  • Wait, when will they start trying?