Pre-Game Jitters

The Warriors are stunning +8 home dogs to Portland tonight.  The line no doubt reflects the loss of Biedrins, Turiaf and Azubuike, and the fact that the Warriors will be playing only seven players. But I think it also reflects something more. This is a team Don Nelson and the Warriors have traditionally given a lot of trouble to, short handed or no.  I think this line reflects the absence of Stephen Jackson.  Jackson has done a  terrific job guarding Portland superstar Brandon Roy over the years, and with him gone, and no Azubuike or Bell, the Warriors simply have no one to guard him.

Roy has moved to small forward this year, so Corey Maggette will get first crack at him.  This is a bad matchup for Maggette, who has always struggled guarding the quicker small forwards and guards in the league.  I think we’re going to get a good close-up look at the reason Nellie prefers to play Maggette at back-up power forward.

Difficult as it will be to guard Roy with Maggette, the Warriors problems will only get worse when Anthony Morrow comes into the game.  Morrow’s only hope to be effective is to outscore him.

Breakfast Links: Jared Cowley, who writes an excellent Warriors blog for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, has responded to my recent comments on why the Warriors may be better off without Monta Ellis.  Here is Jared’s rebuttal.

Bobcat’s Update: The Bobcats are 2-0 ATS (against the spread) since Stephen Jackson joined them, 1-0 ATS since I began betting them. In the first game, they played at Orlando, and lost a close game in the final minute.  In the second, they played at Philadelphia, and the same thing happened.  The Bobcats lost Tyson Chandler to back spasms in that game, but nevertheless played well enough to have  a 3 point lead in the final minute of play.  At the end of the game, with the score tied, the Bobcats had an open Diaw three that should have been the last shot of the game.  But the backcourt inexplicably let the long rebound go for a layup.  As Jackson gets better integrated into the team, mistakes like that should disappear.  But the team is already beating the lines.

The Bobcats’ difficult road trip continues tonight in Milwaukee.  They may have caught a break in that Bogut is out. Charlotte is +4.5.  I’m still on the Bobtrain.

4 Responses to Pre-Game Jitters

  1. One big, probably Aldridge, but maybe Oden, will have a season-high (maybe career-high for Oden) game tonight. However, I don’t think Portland will have an easy game. They’ve lost some players and cohesiveness so far this year and are winning ugly. And hopefully the game will not be officiated the same way it invariably is when GS plays in Portland: incredibly lopsided in favor of the richest owner (in all of sports?) Paul Allen. By the way, real sorry to hear he has cancer, I wish him the best.

  2. high dribble dribble

    Feltbot: I’m sure you heard DN’s KNBR interview yesterday – sounded to me like unless AR gets better fast that he’ll be on the bench when AB & RT come back.

    Do you support that?

    It’s pretty clear he makes lot of mistakes on the court right now but i think it’s also clear that the more he plays, the better he gets (witness end of last year). Further, when you factor in how the Ws are unlikely to be a play-off contender this year and the fact that DN’s stated goal is to make this team competitive in 1-2 years, it seems crazy to not play him at least 18-24 minutes every game.

    Don’t the Ws have to play him to at least see how he improves? It’s really hard for me to imagine any other franchise in a similar situation not playing him.

    BTW: AR is currently 9th in the NBA in rebounds per minute.

  3. HDD: What I support is a coach and a team that values team play over individual play. And as a fan, I want a coach who will play the players who have those values, and bench the players that don’t.

    Randolph has had no bigger supporter of his talent than myself in the last two years. I was incredibly excited to see him take the court this season, which you can see if you take a look at my pre-season posts. But if he continues to play with boneheaded and selfish abandon, with no regard for his teammates or his coaches, then I support benching him for however long it takes to get through to him.

    Having said that, I expect AR to average at least 18-24 minutes a game regardless of whether Biedrins and Turiaf are healthy.

    And beware of statistical analysis. Rebounds per minute is a useless stat except when comparing players who play exactly the same number of minutes. It is easy for a role player of limited minutes to get more rb/min than a starter who plays all game.

  4. Post game: Well I was right about a big having a career game; who knew it would be Chris Hunter. LOL. And if there was anything lopsided about the officiating it was WAY in favor of the dubs. Well I guess turn-about is fair play. A very nice win.

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