Sacramental Offerings: Kings 120 Warriors 107

There are two things wrong with the Warriors.  Two very simple things without which they cannot be competitive in the NBA.

1) They have no frontline. Turiaf is out indefinitely.  Biedrins gamely tried to play this game, but was at half speed at best.  And then he reinjured himself in the third quarter. Looking at how he started this season, one wonders if this back problem hasn’t been bothering him since the pre-season.  Randolph also hurt his back in the pre-season, and whether because of that or because of  his inexperience and immaturity has been a losing player so far. It took him 13 minutes to get a rebound in this game.  Mikki Moore is Mikki Moore.

Biedrins and Turiaf are the defensive anchors of this Warriors team. They have no replacements on the bench. Unless and until they return at full speed, the Warriors will continue to lose, and lose badly.

2) Monta Ellis is not a star. I cannot emphasize this enough.  He is not quick.  He is so not quick that Beno Udrih was quicker than he was this game.  He is running straight into the chests of big men in the lane.  When he does manage to get free on a drive, he has no elevation.  And his jumper is no longer falling.

What is falling is his confidence.  He no longer feels he can take his man.  He no longer feels he can take over a game. He is no longer the player he used to be.

And, of course, the new Monta Ellis is a lousy point guard.  Before I got a good look at his physical limitations, I didn’t think Monta’s poor point guard skills would be a problem.  Tony Parker has poor point guard skills.  So does Devin Harris.  So did Allen Iverson and Gilbert Arenas in their primes.  But because those players are (were) so dominant offensively, they are (were) among the top point guards in the league.

That is the type of player Monta Ellis looked like he was about to become two years ago.  He is not that type of player now.

The truth of it is, he’s not a good player at all right now.  He is a losing player.  If what we are seeing now is all he’s got left after his ankle injury, this Warriors team will not be good even after the return of their big men.

This is as far as you need to go to understand what’s going on with the Warriors right now. But if you want one more reason for the Warriors’ struggles I will come back to this: starting Stephen Curry in the backcourt with Ellis.  The defensive problems are obvious.  Tyreke Evans got 20 points in the first half going against Ellis and Morrow.  And because of the offensive inefficiency of Monta Ellis, Curry’s offensive abilities are getting completely wasted.  When he was pulled 7 minutes into this game, Curry had attempted no shots, and had no assists.

In the third quarter, Maggette replaced Curry in the starting lineup.  And briefly, until Monta fell apart and Biedrins reinjured himself, the Warriors looked like they might make a run.  Nellie switched Stephen Jackson onto Evans, and the effect was obvious.  Evans got 20 in the first half, 3 in the second half.  The Warriors closed to 6.

And then Monta Ellis started getting outplayed by Beno Udrih.

14 Responses to Sacramental Offerings: Kings 120 Warriors 107

  1. They are very, very, very (did I say very yet) bad right now, and I do not see much likelihood of them improving very much at all…I think they have a slew of talented players who cannot/will not EVER play as a team that has a prayer of being successful…and believe me, I am a diehard Warrior’s fan who wants them to be good, and have deluded myself many times in the past that they can, or would be good, but this team, as presently constructed is bad, bad, bad (did I say bad yet). It is sad but true…those who predicted doom and gloom look like they are right.

  2. Nice recap, feltbot. The Warriors do have a lot of problems and it’s hard to see any kind of quick fix.

    I think Biedrins will battle this injury all season, and without him, the Warriors have no real post players. Turiaf could help, but he might have the same injury consistency this season as Biedrins. Randolph seems too young and inconsistent.

    I am beginning to agree that Monta and Curry can’t work in the backcourt. But I think Monta should come off the bench as a volume scorer, instead of sending Curry there. Ellis can still play 30 minutes a game, but he’ll have a role similar to Barbosa in Phoenix.

    I think Curry is the better point guard and so I think he should start at point. I think a lineup of Curry, Jax, Maggette (or Azubuike, but I prefer Maggette because this lineup needs a scorer), Randolph and Biedrins/Turiaf/Moore (whichever is healthy) with Ellis as the sixth man has better balance than if Monta is trying to masquerade as a point guard.

    However, does that lineup improve the Warriors’ chances at winning? I don’t know.

  3. If this is what Monta has left, Jared, then you are right, Curry is the future at point guard, and Monta’s best role would be off the bench. However, there is not a chance that Monta would agree to that.

    He needs to be traded. But who would take him now? Our current situation couldn’t look any bleaker.

  4. Who says Monta has to agree to it? Isn’t Nelson the coach? Isn’t that his decision?

  5. high dribble dribble

    feltbot:

    i respect what you’re writing, but open up your eyes — this goes way beyond not having the horses

    At best the veterans who are playing are completely selfish in their play and at worst, they’re just going through the motions — there is absolutely no comprehension by SJ, CM, and ME that this a team game — even the passes by these guys are making are only to try and build up assist stats

    there was a very telling play in the first half when AB was battling for a board and then the ball became loose and he looked back toward the Kings basket only to see SJ flat-footed about 6 feet away watching instead of trying to help out — AB’s look of disbelief on his face said it all

    Blame DN and/or blame the players’ behavior but to describe this simply as “the players are not good enough” is missing the story

    They’re at least good enough to lose respectably to a Kings team w/out Martin after playing in Utah the night before. Please!

  6. Hope this will let us fire the coach.

  7. hdd: the guys you mention are without a doubt all forcing their offense, but it comes back to having a chance to win. Desperate teams, teams with no chance, play badly and selfishly. To me, it makes little sense to look at chemistry issues when you simply don’t have the personnel to compete. First things first.

    I do think moving Curry to the second unit would improve the chemistry. But without Beans and Turiaf, and the old Monta Elllis, that’s simply putting on a raincoat in a tsunami.

    • Wow. Feltie, I don’t know what game you saw, but I saw Jax being a drag on the offense and innsosictent on D. His shot selection was terrible. He held the ball too much. He made numerous bad passes and was lucky to have only 2 turnovers.Monta was Monta a 1-on-5 scoring threat and MIA on defense. After all that talk about team D and making him a 1, it’s surprising to see him come back this year still so one-dimensional.You were right about Andris. He was intentionally banged a lot to push him out of his comfort zone. Euro b-ball doesn’t prepare him for NBA low-post warfare. Maybe he’ll re-acclimatize.Azubuike was awesome as a sparkplug, but watching him play you wonder sometimes if he’s ever met his teammates. Ozzy always finishes a lot better than Maggette, though. Corey showed it all last night speed, power, heart, smarts but he needs to focus more on getting the ball down the hole because his clown act around the rim isn’t going down with the refs anymore. Re the coaching, what’s the point of having backup bigs if you don’t play them when they’re needed? With AB and Rony in foul trouble, why didn’t AR and MM get more time? Randolph didn’t score much in his limited minutes, but he had a huge impact. Too bad he was the only Warrior playing defense during his time on the floor. The other guys seem to ease up when they know he’s got their back.And a final note: In every preseason game the Ws won, Morrow had a big game. Last night, the Rockets didn’t take Morrow out of the game, his teammates did. Starting with Jackson. Someone needs to sit down with Cap’n Jacka$$ and discuss stats, teamwork, and the limited role that his skills should permit him to attempt.

  8. Hey Feltbot,

    On a different note, I want to ask you a question regarding TK.

    Why do you think he hates Nelson so much? It seems it is more than just basketball… He is trying sooo hard to get him fired, as if Nellie did something to him… As long as you’ve been reading him, what do you think the root of it is?

    I figured I’d ask you in your blog before all the TK Homers get mad at me…

    Let me clarify… I think Nelson has lost this team and it is time for a change… so that argument is valid, but he takes it to a whole new level… just curious…

  9. POB, I speculated on the reasons for it in my Thoughts on Kawakami piece on this blog. http://feltbot.com/2009/09/30/thoughts-on-tim-kawakami/

  10. Back to your blog…

    I think Curry is trying to hard to be a passer/playmaker–maybe because he’s not trying to step on the veterans toe and is trying to lead by example. But…. He has to start shooting and make his defender work harder. That worse that can happen is he misses–heck no one else is hitting anyway so he might as well work on that part of his game…

    I think that Jack is not playing 100%. How could he? He doesn’t have passion for this team… Kinda like Harrington playing horribly last season and then all the sudden plays to his potential when he gets with the Knicks.

    They just need to sit Jack down and not risk him getting hurt and damage his trade value. Everyone knows what he can do anyways… Maybe just make an annoucement that they are shutting him down and they’re going with the youngsters.

    Monta Ellis is not the same player… I won’t ellaborate any more on this.

    Randolph is horrible offensively. No jump shot, no go to move, no post up. He should just play like Beidrins and take high percentage shot. He needs to work on his offensive game and not let all the TK homers affect his ego and make him think that he is better than what he is…

    This roster needs a major shake up. Keep Curry, Randolph, Morrow, Turiaf, Beidrins, Wright. These are the only guys who believe in team concept. Everybody else can go. I’m “iffy” on Ellis. He used to be my favorite player, but it seems like Jackson’s cancer has spread on him….

  11. new western conference predictions?

  12. Well, I think its safe to replace the Warriors with the team of your choice. The Suns look great now, but I can’t forget that their success hangs entirely on the health of Steve Nash.

    I do regret leaving Houston out of the equation, as I remarked earlier.

  13. Feltbot- drop us a line at goldenstwarriorsATgmailDOTcom when you get a chance. Thanks!