Pre-Game Jitters

Whew!  Can’t we just take a couple of days off, and let that last win soak in for a while? Can’t we just lay back and bathe in our impressions of an inspired team playing beautiful Don Nelson run and gun basketball?  Nope.   Tonight the Warriors get the lovely treat of playing in San Antonio on a back-to-back.  That’s the brutal reality of the NBA.

The good news for this game is that I expect the Warriors to play 9 players rather than 6.  Chris Hunter will be pressed into service. Corey Maggette will make a miraculous recovery from his sore hammy.  And CJ Watson is expected to be available after recovering from the swine flu.  I’m not exactly hearing the sound of bugles as the cavalry reinforcements pour down the hill, but it’s still welcome help.

The game plan against the Spurs, obviously, will be to run, run, run.  The old legs of the Spurs have appeared even more vulnerable than usual against running teams this year. But will the Warriors have anything left in the tank after last night’s extraordinary effort?

The Warriors will be helped by the injury absence of Manu Ginobili.  But George Hill is playing very well in his place.  It was Hill who had primary responsibility for guarding Brandon Jennings in the Spurs’ last game, and he did a heck of a job.

Which brings us to the key matchup of the game.  Obviously, as Monta Ellis goes, so go the Warriors.  So all eyes will be on him going up against Hill.  Also look for the Spurs to apply zone principles against Monta to keep him from driving the lane.  Against Jennings, the Spurs actually used three players to defend the high pick and roll.  The two guarding the pick and roll, and a third defender flashing out to keep him bottled up.  Jennings was unable to punish this defense with the pass. I expect Monta to face the same sort of defense.  Will he be able to penetrate its seams with the pass?  The Warriors have been unsuccessful this year in games in which Monta has been unable to drive.  On played out legs, and facing a clever Spurs defense, Monta is going to have to find another way to lead the Warriors tonight.

The Warriors are +13.5 point dogs in this game.  They are 4-0 ATS since the Jackson trade, the hottest team in the league ATS.  The bookies are clearly behind the curve on the Warriors.  On the other hand, how would you like to be one of Monta Ellis’ calves right about now?  If you know how to handicap this game, you have my respect.

Breakfast Link: An absolutely shameful piece by Bruce Jenkins in today’s Chronicle.  When was it that sportswriters actually became proud of losing their humanity?  Like Ray Ratto, Jenkins has been simply mailing it in lately.  The idea of thinking  about who engineered the last two victories would never occur to him.  And the idea of actually enjoying those wins in print would be blasphemy.

5 Responses to Pre-Game Jitters

  1. Between that article and other stuff I’ve read, I guess the pretzel logic works like this…DN is not at all responsible for the improved play in Cleveland and Boston or the win against Portland when he was on the bench, but his absence is repsonsible for the improved play and win in Dallas. Therefore, he should never return.

    Am I misstating anything?

  2. There wasn’t anything shameful about that article. From what I have read so far, you love Nellie, which is great but that doesn’t mean that at his current age and the grind that the NBA takes on ones mental and physical health that the question of Nellie staying on as coach and instead should hang em up is a fair one.

    I mean nellie has said that he isn’t coaching the players any more and I think we posted about it last time w/ the assistants getting more time w/ the players is becoming a more normal occurence in the NBA. At that same point it is fair for jenkins to ask the question especially when there are a lot of Dubs fans that do want nellie to get his W’s and hang it up & pass the torch.

    No doubt Nellie has had a hand, in the current turn around but if Smart is the person that is actually making the team go in practice on D and O then all credit should go to him b/c he is getting through to the players on a personal level a lot better than nellie has been able too.

    Love fest for nellie aside, jenkins has a point & that point does hit at the core of what many Dubs fans, that I talk to, are feeling about nellie & when he should hang it up. But just to say the piece is shameful is a little bit of hyperbole considering Jenkins does address the issues of our horrible FO & how those also play a role in him maybe stepping aside, after the Wins of course.

    We will definitely have to wait and see how this situation plays out with Nellie & whether or not he can actually last for the duration of the contract.

  3. @UC You are nicer than the man you are defending, and a better writer to boot.

  4. Excuse my ignorance but what is ATS??

  5. Against the spread.