Warriors point guard Stephen Curry won’t be headed to Orlando. He is skipping the All-Star Weekend festivities, including Saturday’s Skills Challenge, to rest his ailing right foot, which he injured in Wednesday’a win at Phoenix.
Young said the decision was much more precautionary and the strained tendon in his foot has nothing to do with the right ankle that’s already cost Curry nine games.
“Doctors told him he needs to stay off it as much as possible,” Young said in a phone interview Thursday. “He feels like it will be fine in three or four days. He’s very optimistic he will play in Indianapolis.” Read the rest of this entry »
PHOENIX — As usual, the ball was in the hands of Monta Ellis with the game on the line. But this time, Ellis was matched up against his nemesis, Phoenix small forward Grant Hill.
Ellis dribbled hard down the right side of the lane, pivoted away from the basket and pulled up for a turn-around fade-away over Hill. Nailed it.
Ellis’ game-winner lifted Golden State to a 106-104 win at Phoenix, saving the Warriors from another heart-breaking defeat as they blew a 21-point lead. Ellis’ game-winner, the most timely of several clutch baskets late, was the highlight of the night. But the Warriors won the game thanks to defense, grit and a stubborn refusal to lose.
Down the stretch, the Warriors were without point guard Stephen Curry, who left the game after playing just 10 minutes thanks to a right foot injury. They also didn’t have big man Ekpe Udoh, who banged his left knee again and was limited enough for coach Mark Jackson to keep him on the bench.
Still, the Warriors hung on. Even after their lead dwindled to nine, to five, to two, and eventually to a 98-96 deficit, the Warriors hung on.
“If I had to design a win,“ Jackson said, “I would have designed it this way. Itw as much better for our future to grind out a win. … We buckled and were disciplined enough on both sides of the basketball to come out of here with a win. It was a great victory, absolutely a great victory.”
How long before Andris Biedrins is pulled out the game?
Warriors coach Mark Jackson announced today that he would start Biedrins tonight against Phoenix. Ekpe Udoh, who started and was impressive in Monday’s win over the Los Angeles Clippers, will stay in his role as the back-up. That is disappointing news to many a Warriors fan, who were drooling at the sight of a productive center.
Jackson has his reasons for starting Biedrins – keep the second-unit strong, Biedrins is a better rebounder, Biedrins is mentally fragile and may go in the tank if he’s benched. But the fact that it was a debate means that he really believes Ekpe is the better player. Jackson has adamantly stuck by his starters all season, even when a couple were struggling mightily early. He wouldn’t even consider sitting a starter unless it was a no-brainer.
So, what time will Biedrins come out? It’s usually around the six-minute mark. It may be sooner tonight, especially if Gortat gets going early for Phoenix.
Grant Hill vs. Monta Ellis: Grant Hill really does a number on Monta, especially in Phoenix. In Ellis’ last four games at the Suns, he’s averaged 13.3 points on 33.9 percent shooting. The taller, longer, stronger Hill has just the right combination of size, athleticism and intelligence to make it rough for Monta.
In his last nine games against Phoenix, Monta has scored 20 or more four times, all at Oracle. This season, in two games against the Suns, Monta has totaled 36 points on 11-for-36 shooting.
Can the Warriors figure out how to get Monta going against Hill? The trick is to get in transition. A half-court setting plays to Ellis’ strengths. Another thing the Warriors should do more of, and not just against Phoenix, is create offense for Monta without the ball in his hands. And when he gets it, he shouldn’t hold it, but work off the ball to create the opening so when he gets it, he fires it.
Just my two cents.
Warriors second-year big man Ekpe Udoh started at center against the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. And after the way he played, many Golden State fans will be hoping it’s permanent.
With the usual starter Andris Biedrins out with flu-like symptoms, Udoh registered a career-high 17 points in a career-high tying 39 minutes as the Warriors beat the Clippers 104-97. He made on 9 of 14 shots to go with eight rebounds (including a career-high six offensive boards) and two blocks as Golden State snapped a three-game losing streak.
“He was great. Absolutely great,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “He had an opportunity tonight and truly took advantage of it. … The way he‘s played the last month or so has been great and (Monday night) was the icing on the cake.”
MEMPHIS– It seems whenever the Warriors are in a nail biter, the question is not whether they’ll lose, but how. Saturday, a failed block out and an offensive foul secured a 104-103 loss at the Memphis Grizzlies.
Golden State(11-17) has lost three straight. The Warriors now have nine losses after being within a point in the final 90 seconds. If they’d won four of those, they’d be right there in the race for a playoff spot instead of flailing at the bottom of the Western Conference.
Warriors coach Mark Jackson has repeatedly said learning how to win is a process. But this process seems to be taking forever.
“We don’t have a timetable for it,” forward David Lee said, “but certainly that’s been the reason that our record isn’t as good as we want it to be. We’ve lost a lot of close ones. The positive is that we’re not far off. The negative is we’ve let a lot of them slip away and it’s put us in a tough spot.”
OKLAHOMA CITY– Perhaps it was a good thing the Warriors started one of their roughest stretches of the season against arguably the best team in the league. Getting blown out by the Oklahoma City Thunder 110-87 on Friday may be the message the hot and cold Warriors’ needed.
“It’s a wake-up call for how we need to play in games,” point guard Stephen Curry said. “We understand the situation. It’s not like we’re going through the motions, not knowing how important each night is. We’re creeping backwards now from the playoff chase.”
If that message doesn’t sink in, the thumping at the hands of the Thunder may turn out to be the first in several road beat downs. Golden State (11-16) has lost two straight. Saturday’s game at Memphis is the second of three straight against teams currently in the top eight of the Western Conference.
Oklahoma City marked the first of a stretch in which the Warriors play eight of nine on the road. Six of those nine games are against winning teams. The last four of that stretch is played over six days.
If the Warriors are to turn around their season, it’s going to take better plan than they’ve displayed the last two games. Friday against Oklahoma City, Golden State lost control of the game by allowing 38 points in the second quarter. The Thunder, led by 23 points, 10 rebounds and six assists from Kevin Durant, never looked back.
Thunder sixth man James Harden scored 15 of his 25 points in the second quarter. He scored eight during a 20-9 Oklahoma City run that turned the Warriors’ 30-24 lead into a 44-39 hole.
The Warriors gave up 37 second-quarter points in Wednesday’s improbable home loss to a short-handed and fatigued Portland squad.
“Second straight game the second quarter hurt us,”Jackson said.