Pax Jaxicana: Bobcats 121 Warriors 110

Steven Jackson showed his love for coach Don Nelson and his former teammates with hugs and smiles before tipoff last night, right before burying them with a dominant performance before the booing ignorant in Oracle arena. That’s who Stephen Jackson is, and that’s what he does on the basketball court.

In his comments both before and after the game, Jackson stressed that his actions in forcing a trade from the Warriors had absolutely nothing to do with Don Nelson or his teammates.  About Nelson, he said “I have a lot of respect and love for Don Nelson.” And he was equally effusive in his praise and affection for his teammates.  The reason why Jackson wanted off the Warriors was because of the ownership.  He wants to play for ownership that wants to win, and he doesn’t believe that’s the case with the Warriors’ owner.  I think he’s right about that, and I don’t blame him one bit.

Go in peace, Stephen Jackson.

I just got around to watching the game on tape, and was again depressed by the let down in effort that the Warriors are currently going through.  It appears to be contagious, because my energy level is suffering along with the Warriors, particularly after a long hard night battling over the green felt.  So if you’re looking for an insightful recap, I’m going to pass the ball to the consistently excellent Mike Massa at the Examiner.  He hit this nail on the head.

7 Responses to Pax Jaxicana: Bobcats 121 Warriors 110

  1. Feltbot–

    I literally just posted in the Pre-Game Jitters the second you posted this. If you’re in the mood, tell me if I’m right anywhere. I want to learn something.

  2. Nivrag – thanks for the recap and the apt quote from Hamlet. My malaise is not dissimilar to that of the Dark Prince.

    Why don’t you go ahead and repost it here where people can find it, and I will join in the comments.

  3. By popular demand, with one more note. I feel like I’ve seen the same game three times in a row, and fear will see it again.

    ‘Tis bitter cold/And I am sick at heart.

    –Hamlet

    Wow, that game was painful. Worse, it was boring. It’s the excitement the team shows that keeps me coming back, and when they lose that I don’t know what’s left. Defense, rebounding, fatigue, injuries, etc. — but I want to argue that the Bobcats had a better team with everyone involved. Jackson didn’t have to carry the team, but rather only find his openings. We relied on two players — Curry’s points don’t count, as he scored about a half of them after the game was decided.

    OK, I’ve given respect to Nelson. But I really wonder what is going on. (Put questions marks after each sentence that follows — I don’t know what I’m talking about.)

    First half OK, though they slipped the last few minutes. Second half they went into what seems to be the plan, spread the offense, let Monta and Maggette take over. One shot and done, one and done, one and done, as they ratcheted themselves gradually into a deep hole. Maggette or Monta gets the ball, drives or shoots, except on the few occasions they kick the ball out for the three point shot (but only once or twice to Curry) by guys who don’t shoot that well. From the arc, Vlad, the D-leaguers, George, and Watson were 1 of 10. Monta was 0 of 5 himself. That’s 15 possessions.

    The plan is utterly predictable, and Charlotte was usually ready.

    It puts a load on Monta and Maggette, puts them in a position where they have to force the action, making it hard for them and the team to get into a rhythm.

    It takes the other players out of offensive rebounding range.

    It doesn’t place the other players in a spot where they might be more effective on offense.

    Why not at least add a third offensive threat, who in this case is Curry, pass to him, set some screens, etc.? He is currently the best three point shooter on the team. And maybe keep trying to get the bigs involved? And keep moving the ball?

    It is especially hard for me to watch Curry standing in the wings. They need energy, and he is a high energy player. I watched many of the Davidson games, and he was always in constant motion, moving through screens, setting screens, running back door — anything to keep the game moving and open things up.

    Keith Smart’s interview was sobering and maybe telling. He said they were holding Curry back, getting him to play point. But he’s not playing point, he’s bringing the ball up and passing to Maggette or Monta, then standing outside the action.

    Feltbot or somebody: tell me where I’m wrong. Or at least cheer me up.

  4. I was wondering whether you had the heart or energy to find another angle to explore what happened in a woeful game. I think you did great by passing on to Mike Massa. That couldn’t have been easy for him to write either, but he did a great job.

    I’ve pretty much run out of excuses for this team. From now on, they are going to have to show me…if that makes any sense.

  5. Guys, I’m feelin’ it too. This dark and damp cloud of gloom drifting overhead. It seems closer and closer after every game. I’m getting depressed.

    “It’s the excitement the team shows that keeps me coming back”. I feel the same way. But what’s happening? Where’s the drive? The passion? The WINS?

    Okay, gotta put it in perspective. It’s the injuries. It’s gotta be. Seriously. And that’s not an excuse, it’s the REASON. So many good players out that it takes three D-leaguers to fill the minutes. And now there’s a fourth on the way:

    ” Golden State is expected to announce the signing of guard Coby Karl today, and he should join the team in time for tonight’s game at Oklahoma City.”

    Now I’m even doubting they can get Nelly enough wins this year for the record. What if by end of season he’s like one win away? Wouldn’t that be a bummer.

    Looking on the bright side of a disasterous season:

    Monte is a legit superstar.
    Curry is forced to grow before our eyes.
    Now there’s a darned good chance for the number one draft pick.

    So why am I still so depressed?

  6. Nivrag – I agree with you that the Warriors half-court offensive game plan has suffered greatly lately. It is designed around the dominance of Monta Ellis to intitiate the offence to a large degree, and to a lesser degree around the dominance of Maggette. When neither is dominant, due to injury, fatigue or an off game, the Warriors will simply not be competitive.

    The second phase of the Warriors offense is the kick-out to shooters. With Azubuike gone, Morrow out, and Watson and Vlad Rad erratic this phase has been all but invisible.

    The third option, if you will is pick and roll with the centers. I don’t need to discuss with you the current state of that.

    But the very best option for the Warriors’ half-court offense is to simply not have to play it. This is a team that is designed to run. But because of injury, the team can’t play D, can’t rebound, and can’t run. That’s the chief problem here.

    Obviously, the system you describe would make Curry more effective. But I don’t think it would make the team better. This team has a system designed for the type of players it has. To scrap it in the face of injuries would simply create more havoc, imo.

  7. Feltbot,

    Thanks, and that of course makes sense. I think my main concern is how long Ellis and Maggette can keep it up, that the team won’t have to explore more options as the season grinds down. Ellis and Maggette’s play was off last week and I saw some long faces. This is the Alamo, and we need to get guns in every hand, my only point.

    Not a pleasant comparison. . . .

    It’s Nelson’s problem: He has to play to win, but can only choose between the 35% option vs. the 32% option, etc.

    I still wonder, idly, if they can’t mix it up more second half of the game. It was their play the three games without Ellis that got me thinking. And maybe if more players got involved in offense, it might charge them to play better defense? I see guys looking lost, maybe falling asleep.

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