Game #39 (12-27): Warriors 114, Bulls 97

How about this for a change of pace: the Warriors didn’t fall apart in the third quarter and pulled away in the fourth.

Warriors won the third quarter and outscored Chicago 60-44 in the second half, a detour from the trend of hot starts and third quarter meltdowns. And they did it all with virtually six players: Ellis, Maggette, Curry, Biedrins and D-Leaguers Cartier Martin and Anthony Tollilver (Devean George started and played 5:39, and Chris Hunter played 8:51 off the bench). Ellis/Maggette/Curry combined for 94 points on 34-for-71 shooting.

NELLIE: “So here we are, limited. Just about 7 and a half players, but we found a way. That’s good. As you guys know, we’ve actually been playing decently. Usually have had pretty good first halves and then the third quarter has been a problem for us. But tonight we won the third quarter and we had a big fourth quarter. So a very good game for us.”

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Nelson to miss 5-game trip; Morrow out Saturday

Warriors coach Don Nelson, still feeling the effects of pneumonia, was advised not to go on the upcoming five-game road trip that begins Monday at Oklahoma City.

“The last thing you want is a setback,” Nelson said after practice Friday. “I have to take the advice from the guys who know more than I do.”

In addition, the Warriors will be without guard Anthony Morrow on Saturday night’s game against Orlando. Morrow will miss the game due to a death in his family. He will rejoin the team for practice on Sunday and won’t miss any games on the road trip.

Nelson, who will coach the Warriors game Saturday, was “strongly advised” by the team doctors and general manager Larry Riley to not make the trip. He coached Thursday night’s loss to Houston, his first game back since being diagnosed with pnuemonia – which kept him out of action for five games.

But Nelson reported dizziness, excessive warmth and perspiration Thursday night and Friday morning. Because of that, plus Nelson’s penchant for not always adhering to medical advice, Riley decided to have a long talk with Nelson about sitting out the trip.

Riley emphasized the urging was solely out of concern for Nelson’s health.

“It’s about his health and it’s about the fact this is a difficult trip,” Riley said, latter adding, “I want him back. I want him to take this time while we are on this trip. We come back sometime after the middle of December. By that period of time, I expect him to be fully recovered.”

Assistant coach Keith Smart will once again assume the role of acting head coach during the road trip.


When Will Nellie Break the Record?

Sure, you have the added insight of the first six games. Still, let’s see who has real predictability chops.
Nellie is 22 wins shy of breaking Lenny Wilkens’ record for the most wins in NBA coaching history.
So, the challenge: pick the game Nelson will break the record.
I’m going with March 17 vs. New Orleans. The Warriors will be 24-43 after pulling off the upset, and Nellie will have the record.
That’s my date.
Which game do you think will be the record-breaking win? When he breaks the record, I will go back and see who the champion prognosticator is and shower him or her or them with relentless praise.


Riley Working Magic with Watson?

First, he made an offer to C.J. Watson, one that the Warriors would even agree is a bit of a bargain, though still fair.
Then, he put the word out that the Warriors would match any offer sheet Watson signs in the ballpark. A team would have to jump high, perhaps more than they think Watson is worth, to scare off the Warriors. If they did sign Watson to an offer sheet, that salary cap space is frozen for a maximum of seven days, all so the Warriors can decide to match in the end anyway. So, why would another team sign Watson to an offer sheet?

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Notes from shootaround

Some tidbits from the Warriors’ shootaround this morning at Oracle.

It looks like the team will once again dress less than 10 players. Corey Maggette (head contusion) was not at shootaround as he was being checked out by a physician Monday morning. He will be a game-time decision. Andris Biedrins (left ankle) said he would like to play again this season, but it looks like he’ll be out for at least one more week. According to Biedrins, Don Nelson has told him that there’s no reason to rush back if there’s a chance he could make the injury worse.

Same goes for Brandan Wright (left shoulder), who went to see a doctor after shootaround. Hopefully, we’ll have an update on him just before tonight’s game. Marco Belinelli (right ankle) also saw his doctor Monday afternoon.  

Monta Ellis had cold-like symptoms earlier today and was not at the shootaround, but he is expected to play tonight.


Stephen Jackson – Stay or Go?

Debuting a new feature here. The Warriors are going to take inventory this offseason, see what moves they need to make and how they can get better. Over the next few weeks, we are going to do some evaluating ourselves. Here is your chance to give them your opinion (yes, they do read this blog). I will make the best case I can as to why a player should stay or go this offseason. Then you sound off.
Who better to start with than Stephen Jackson.

Thanks due to Tony.psd for the hot graphic


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Was Morrow Jobbed?

The Warriors rookie guard was left off the roster for the 3-point shootout. But check out who made it. I put their 3-point percentages in parenthesis:

Mike Bibby, Atlanta (114-279, 40.9)
Daequan Cook, Miami (105-256, 41.0)
Danny Granger, Indiana (120-299, 40.1)
Jason Kapono, Toronto (52-124, 41.9)
Rashard Lewis, Orlando (137-327, 41.9)
Roger Mason, San Antonio (103-229, 45.0)
Anthony Morrow, Warriors (42-84, 40.050.0)

Should he have made it, or has he not taken enough?

By the way, how about Azubuike? He’s 53-118 (44.9 percent) before he knocked down four in the first quarter tonight. He’s got a strong argument, too.