The Warriors are +14.5 in this game. I think that’s probably low. The Warriors will be dressing 8 players, but Raja Bell will not be playing except in case of emergency. He has decided to have the wrist surgery he has been postponing and will likely be lost to the Warriors for the year. CJ Watson is out with the flu.
With Stephen Jackson gone, the skeleton-crew Warriors are at Lebron’s mercy. I think we’ll see a lot of zone in this game. What we’ll also probably see a lot of is Rad Vlad jacking up threes. On demand. No waiting. Enjoy!
The good news, if you want to call it that, is that it appears that I was correct in my prediction that Monta Ellis is going to follow Stephen Jackson out the door. Why do I think this is good news? Let me count the ways:
1) Monta Ellis is not Monta Ellis anymore. For whatever reason, he has not displayed the same quickness, burst or elevation since coming back from his moped accident.
2) Monta Ellis is not a leader. Anyone who watched him explode at the drafting of Stephen Curry, and then proceed to freeze Curry out in the early going, knows everything they need to know about the character of Monta Ellis. He has also been freezing out Anthony Morrow and Anthony Randolph, if my eyes don’t deceive me. And if you read between the lines of many of the lockerroom quotes this year, there appears to be quite a rift between Ellis and Randolph.
3) Monta Ellis is not a point guard. This is closely related to the failures already mentioned. But there is no indication that Ellis, even in a situation where he is happy, has the inclination or the basketball IQ to be a point guard.
4) Monta Ellis is a cancer. Like Stephen Jackson, Ellis has a beef with Warriors management that goes far beyond his problems with Nelson and the team. While Jackson was furious with the Warriors for dismantling the We Believe team, Monta’s beef is far more selfish. He has been furious with them ever since his suspension following the moped accident. There is no cure for this. He needs to go.
5) Trading Monta Ellis might bring some much needed balance to this roster. Like some of the “beef” we were promised by Riley.
6) The next Steve Nash is waiting in the wings. I know this sounds like hyperbole, but what I have seen of Stephen Curry has convinced me this is true. I cannot wait for Stephen Curry to be handed the keys to the Warriors’ franchise.
And based on my reading of the comments he has been making lately, neither can Don Nelson.