13

That Was a Really Good Win for the Warriors

Gotta tip the cap to Monta Ellis. He went from awful to great faster than he can get down court. I don’t know what happened to turn it around for him, but suddenly he was unstoppable.

To post 12 points and 6 assists in the fourth quarter is special alone. To do it after struggling so mightily the first three quarters (4-for-17 shooting, two assists) showed some mental fortitude.

JACKSON: “I thought he really showed his toughness, his will and what a great player he is. Great players respond in the face of adversity. He puts us on his back and brought us home. People don?t want to talk about it, but he?s going through a lot. Losing a loved one is tough, but he?s been there for his team and still been as strong vocally. He hung in there and carried us to a victory.”

With no Stephen Curry, Ellis settled for a lot of jumpers early, seemingly unwilling to be patient against a Knicks defense that was shading toward him. But down the stretch, Ellis finally started using his penetration and getting inside the Knicks defense. When he didn’t have the shot, he found guys. When he did, he converted.

Once he got a rhythm, it was on, capped by a 3-pointer right in front of the Knicks’ bench.

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That Brandon Rush pick-up is turning out to be a genius move.

Rush almost single-handedly revived the Warriors last night. He came up with key blocks, he made several big shots in the third quarter and he brought the energy level up several notches.

JACKSON: “He was outstanding again, rebounding, scoring and taking advantage of matchups. I thing I love about him most is that he’ll never put himself in a position to make a mistake offensively. He knows exactly who he is and plays to his strengths.”

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Safe to say Andris Biedrins outplayed Tyson Chandler? Certainly, neither was much of a factor. But just in the one-on-one match-up, it seems Biedrins got the edge.

He played just under 14 minutes, totaling 2 points, 7 rebounds and a block.

Chandler played more than 21 minutes, totaling 2 points, 5 rebounds and a turnover.

I know it’s early, but it seems Chandler would have had a much bigger role had he played in Golden State. Either he is smart enough to know a bigger role would probably set him up to fail, or he values winning more than his own success. Either way, I can respect it.

CHANDLER: “I was probably about 24 hours from letting him know I was going to come here before the Knicks called last minute.”

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If Dominic McGuire does just what he did Wednesday, he’d be a genius pick-up, too. I kept waiting for Carmelo to take over. McGuire & Co. would not let him.

He stayed up and in Melo’s chest, got a hand up on every shot, and crashed the boards hard.  If he can just come in situationally and do his thing, he’d be a great weapon for Mark Jackson.

Remember, McGuire’s contract is just shy of a $1 million and non-guaranteed. He is hungry and has something to prove, and he plays like it. He’s not going to take over a game offensively, or give you 30 minutes of brilliance. Be he and Rush and Kwame Brown bring that edge the Warriors need to be halfway decent on defense. The question is can they stay in their lanes and do it consistently, and without the advantage of the home crowd cheering them on.

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Ish Smith’s play was nothing short of impressive. Who knew he would have such an impact on the game?

The second-year point guard from Wake Forest responded by scoring 11 points with four assists. He grabbed a career-high six rebounds to go with two steals in 29 minutes.

JACKSON: “Ish is a guy that was on the streets a week ago looking for a job, and here he is playing, being counted on to make plays. He did an outstanding job. … He really gave us some quality minutes and gave us a chance to win this game.”

Smith’s speed and quickness was evident and impactful from the start. Smith wasn’t passive, deferring to the veterans and playing the part of distributor. He was arguably the most active player on the court – creating action off the dribble, pushing the tempo, chasing down rebounds, pressuring the ball.

SMITH: “It was just the flow of the game. The biggest thing was taking what the defense did. Once they started realizing I could score the defense changed and those shots weren’t coming as easy as they were in the first half. I just felt like we needed some energy coming out and that was the pulse I picked up. I tried to score when it was there and tried to create some offense off my penetrations and steals. Those were the plays that were there.”

Smith said he should have made more of those floaters. Except the one he shot over the top of the backboard. He claims Mike Bibby hit his elbow.

SMITH: “C’mon. You think I would shoot it way over the backboard?”

Marcus Thompson

  • AP

    I thought bibby tipped the ball or something. Getting hit on the elbow does explain it. Happens a lot with lesser ball players in pickup games, you get hit a little bit n try to force it up harder cuz your natural motion got effected.

  • Dave

    Great game from Monta in the fourth.

    Great team defense.

    Great, understated game from Lee. He single-handedly took Chandler out of the game. Behind the Knicks bench you could hear Chandler complaining about him at times. Lee was gassed at the end of the game though, and you could see it on the FT line. And for those who noticed, the Knicks defense was so, so chaotic in the 4th because of their missing anchor which helped Monta. Thank you, David.

  • chezshoppa

    Hey where’s Marcus Thompson? The sky was falling on Sunday. This was the same old warriors you wrote. Same old roster. Now your writing about the wins. We just won back to back games against 2 playoff teams a season ago an would have won Sunday if not for the 4th quarter breakdown. The w’s are winning gritty against gritty and highly touted teams. So don’t judge the season off the first game of the season. This is a new warrior squad with a new mentality. Write about that Marcus!

  • GSWlifer

    Quite possibly the strangest Warriors game I’ve ever seen live. Terrible, terrible first half to watch in terms of smooth offense. Inspired play on the defensive end in the 2nd half that leads to offense. Craziness.

  • kay thuy

    how a win can erase ellis’ terrible game. even in 4th he looked terrible. he couldn’t handle the ball and was lucky toney douglas wasn’t trying to steal the ball. toney douglas is terrible btw.

    ellis is too one dimensional.

    i wonder if smith was in there instead of ellis during the 4th, that the result would be any different? the game was won and controlled by rush’s amazing game along with great help from wright, mcquire. udoh and brown.

    ellis has got to go. personally, id like to see ellis get traded for a guy coming off the books + a high first round pick.

  • Joshua

    Kay Thuy just shut up. Please don’t give your 2 cents on this post because you sound like a real idiot. 12 points and 7 assists in one quarter to secure a win, thats what great players are capable of.

    Warriors, and basketball itself, would be better if you kept your mouth shut for a month or two.

  • CTom

    Ellis turned an otherwise horrible performance into one that led them to a win, he was able to make necessary adjustments, stopped taking ill-advised shots, penetrated and facilitated at all the right times. Not to discredit Smith because he played great but the element of surprise is always a factor when it comes to undrafted rookies. To say that he would have put on a 4th quarter performance such as Ellis, (who, all teams know by now, is the #1 scoring option for the Warriors) is insulting. To have the mental fortitude to make in-game corrections and succeding after losing a family member is a sign that Ellis is maturing as a player.

  • Niners in 2012

    DLee deserves credit for fouling out Chandler, I saw him draw atleast 3 fouls+tech on TC, it could have been more. Besides that, DLee was awful. Biedrins didn’t outplay anyone, he was non-existant, forgot he was on the team last night. Ellis was terrible terrible terrible the first 3 quarters, maybe sitting on the bench and seeing those bench players play the right way switched the light on. I’m not seeing it with Ish. Nice stat line and all but I wasn’t impressed. He can dribble anywhere he wants to but he doesn’t always know what he’s going to do. Ends up in no mans land alot. We need Curry back asap, the offense is dreadful w/o him.

  • rio kid

    Kay Thui: I agree with you on Monta; that he was terrible but that is actually what made that performance so formidable. He was awful in the first half and in the 4th he looked terrible, awkward handling the ball, teetering on the brink at all times on the brink of loss and despair yet he made it happen.It was not pretty but inspiring nonetheless and in a results driven world he brough home the bacon. Great numbers 12 pts 7 asst and a huge W. This is what big time players do. This is the NBA. I am very sorry but we all know in our hearts that while he did a great job Mr. Smith does not win the game for the Warriors not in a million years.

  • Dubfan

    Defense will keep the dubs in games all year long. Spectacular offense will happen every so often and in those games they will dominate if the defense holds forth. Teams that play good defense can do it every night, but sometimes shots are not falling. Ths is exciting. I hope I think the sane thing a month from now. When they hit the road we’ll have a better idea on if this team is truly transformed.

    Brandon Rush should start over dorell. Let Dorell cone off the bench to light it up from distance for 15-20 minutes a game, but Rush’s game is mire complete. He can create shots. Dorell cannot.

  • Young

    Rio Kid,

    Ish Smith won’t win the game, you can say that again…A million times.

    Ish Smith is no ones earl boykyn’s. And Monta Ellis IS the best player on the Golden State Warriors. I love Stephen Curry but Monta was the 8th leading scorer in the NBA. The dude can put the ball in the basket…

    I see him as a scorer who scores 3 ways
    1. mid range game is incredible
    2. gets to the basket at will
    3. one of the best transition scorers in the game

    Mark jackson is working on developing his post up game. to me, he is multidimensional…

  • wolfman

    These guys they got off the wire waiver, Ish Smith and Dominic McGuire, were total steals. They fit in perfectly with what Warriors needed. Quality role players is something Warriors lacked last year, this cost the Warriors a lot. You’ve got to have guys coming off the bench who can put in quality minutes. Brandon Rush? Another steal, we got a big SG who can shoot AND defend for a song. Got to give Larry Riley credit here, he is very skilled as a talent evaluator, so is Jerry West,obviously, and Travis Schlenk too. These guys in the short run will cost Klay Thompson and Charles Jenkins minutes, but that’s okay. “W”‘s are more important than giving the rooks minutes at the end of the day, Jenkins and Thompson will get minutes at a later date. It’s important Warriors get off to fast start, which they appear to be doing. Go Warriors!

  • Marquee Jackson

    Game flow was weird along with lots of substitutions?? But bottom line is they won and continue to win… Lets see if they can sustain and plow through the NBA elite teams.