Things to Chew On: Warriors 132 Clippers 102

1) Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: the Clippers showed up to this game already on vacation.  In other words, they didn’t show up.

2) I was a huge fan of Baron Davis when he was with the Warriors.

3) I am SO happy now that the Warriors did not re-sign him.  His game was heavily dependent on athleticism, and his athleticism is gone. His legs are shot. He is a shadow of himself.

4) How good is Stephen Curry?  I will avoid maudlin gushing and simply repeat what I have been saying since the start of the season: Better than Steve Nash was in his third NBA season.          

5) Who can Stephen Curry be compared to as a point guard?  Steve Nash, and no other.  Same size, same weight.  Same great handle, with both hands. Same incredible balance on pull-ups. Same quick release. Same great teardrop. Same ability to finish left-handed, high off the glass. Same ungodly shooting percentages, from three, from two, from the line.  Same incredible court vision. Same unselfishness. Same leadership.

I would bet a lot of money that Curry has watched hundreds of hours of Nash on tape.

OK, I didn’t avoid the maudlin gushing.

6) Curry’s critics have been quick to point out how many of his points he gets in garbage time. 2 of Curry’s 6 turnovers occurred in garbage time.  I will lay 100-1 that no one mentions that but me.

7) The Warriors got their first miracle finish of the season.  It occurred when Curry secured his 10th rebound with no time left, for the first Warriors triple-double by a rookie since Chris Webber.

It was great to see how happy his teammates were for him.

8) Don Nelson stole the draft.

9) Tyreke Evans’ cheeks just got a little tighter.

10) Anthony Morrow is a small forward.  That’s where he belongs.  He looks more and more like Chris Mullin to me under the basket.  That’s the place where cleverness begins to outweigh athleticism in importance.  Bird was a great rebounder at 6-9, without being able to jump.  Mullin was a great rebounder at 6-7, without being able to jump.  And Morrow is a pretty good rebounder at 6-5. Without being able to jump.

Morrow also did a pretty good job defensively.  On defense, he is much, much better closer to the rim than out on the floor.

11) In Anthony Tolliver, Don Nelson FINALLY has a stretch 4 who can rebound and defend.  For the first time since he took the job as the Warriors’ coach.  Nellie all but said as much post-game.  Tolliver is here next year, guaranteed.

And about those threes.  The D-league three is the same distance as the NBA three.  The man hit it in the D-league, he will hit it here.  Lay off the booing.

12)  Biedrins and Turiaf looked positively fresh.  And Turiaf had incredible chemistry with Curry on the pick and roll.  THAT is what feltbot has been waiting for, since the beginning of the season.  THAT is the play that can make this team unstoppable in the half-court.

13) Nellie noted post-game that Morrow’s presence on the court was instrumental in opening the pick and roll up in the paint.

14) Many of the questions to Nellie post-game had to do with whether the Warriors play better and more unselfishly on offense without Monta and Maggette on the court.  Nellie deflected this line, stating that Monta and Curry are learning to play well together, and have exceeded all expectations as a backcourt.  That is my take also.

But this will be the next theme of the Bay Area sportswriters.  Book it.

UPDATE: Oops, it already happened. The main-stream media is so predictable. Hope you sold some newspapers behind that, Rusty.

15)  Chris Hunter had a three-pointer go in and out.  If he had hit it, Nellie would have given him a 5-year contract on the spot.

40 Responses to Things to Chew On: Warriors 132 Clippers 102

  1. thought you were done man. couldnt resist huh?

    only one game, but it was a nice team game. love to see the ball moving around…

  2. I don’t think any of us know Ellis. This is a poker face, right Feltbot? He has every reason to see himself as the major player of the team, a major player in the league. And he has every reason to see himself as the team leader. There was no reason for him to turn the reins over to a rookie who hasn’t proven himself — and maybe Curry is starting to do so?

    I didn’t follow the Warriors the last few years. Has Ellis made strides this year in passes, in assists? My guess is yes. What will he do now that he has seen some promise with the system, the players? Do we have any reason to think he doesn’t want to win?

    We are creating the division, not Ellis.

    Compare the match-ups last night, compare their records. Why did one team play its heart out?

    The Warriors are special.

    There’s nothing wrong with gushing. It just has to be deserved.

  3. Clips on vacation, yeah right, the W’s are just that much better without Monta. Curry needs to run the Show, you know it Felt. Time to get on the Punt Monta Train…CHOOCHOOO

  4. Someone want to interpret this?

    “I had the ball in my hands a lot more, and it allowed me to make plays for my teammates and for myself,” Curry said. “Monta needs the ball in his hands to be productive, and, when he is out, everybody feels like they have to pitch in and work together.”

    (from that SFGate article)

    Curry, I am positive, is not asking to take over the club. That’s not in his genes. Is he promoting a system that Nelson has been trying persuade Ellis to accept all season?

  5. WheresMyChippy

    Curry = Point Guard
    Monta = Shooting Guard

    This distinction needs to become more clear on the court and wins will follow. All-Star games for BOTH will follow.

    Next year the Warriors will have the best backcourt in the league, and people beside Bob Fitzgerald will know it.

  6. If Monta wants to have a long career, it seems to me he would be glad to share the ball. He won’t last long if he continues to take the pounding he has this season.

    Glad you nailed the Chronicle’s pathetic attempt to create a Monta controversy. Simmons has shown signs of sipping the TK venom. Be careful what you drink, Rusty.

  7. No GM wants Monta anyway, that seems to be the conventional wisdom around the NBA. The Warriors are not going to trade him for nothing, so Monta is going nowhere.

    He needs to learn how the be a shooting guard, he needs to give the ball up to Curry when bringing the ball down and he needs to learn how to run the baseline effectively to get himself open. If he can do these things, I agree, he will have an all star season next year. His numbers may be down, but his team will win, his turnovers will be minimal and his efficiency will go through the roof.

    I agree with Nellie, it really helps to have Morrow out there stretching the D. This leaves Maggette the odd man out. Too bad no one wants him either. It may be worth giving him up for a salary dump so that we can make room for Morrow and Buke.

  8. Perhaps Maggette will go back to being the 6th man?

    One of the interesting things about this game was how stretched the floor was. Defenses react to Monta and Maggette the same way: Pack the Paint!

    A very interesting puzzle for Nellie.

  9. The media is all about sensationalism. I guess the Lakers need to get rid of Kobe and Bynum because the Lakers have won 3 straight w/out them. Get Real!

  10. Give Rusty a break, it’s his first year.
    I agree with MTII’s blog posting, the ball needs to be in Curry’s hands a bit more. A bit more complicated, though because one of the reasons Monta is bringing up the ball is that teams were denying him.

    It’s going to be a very interesting second half of the season, especially when Bell gets healthy.

  11. Fitz made a good point on the radio last week. People always complain about them blowing up the We Believe team. Who would you rather have at this point in their career:

    Curry or Baron
    Monta or JRich
    Magette or Jax
    Azubuike or Barnes/Pietrus
    Randolph/BWright or Harrington

    Factor in contact and its not even close. The Warriors have progressed since ’07. They just need to stay healthy.

  12. Curry, Monta, Azubuike, and …

    Jax.

  13. Thanks Rod, for the Fitz backing…Glad to see it.

  14. Also you forgot to mention the record following the only 2 winning seasons.. The dubs have shown real progression…I’m just saying lets keep the win in context, they beat the Clippers after a Back-to Back and before the All-Star break… Curry played great, team moved the ball, but as such don’t put much into what Fitz says because he is paid to say it about the Warriors and cover up their inept organization.

  15. Nash + Pistol Pete + CP3= Steph Curry

  16. WOW..APE are you serious? Pretty lofty judgement to heap on the kid right now. Lets check back in 2 more years and then do those comparisons..

  17. Let me elaborate. Sees the floor like Nash, makes the pass and the shots. Passes like Pistol Pete-behind the back, dribble skills like mad, has the character and poise of Chris Paul.

  18. Ridiculous stat time:

    What was the total payroll on the floor last night? (Vlad doesn’t count.)

    Does any team provide more bang for the buck?

    I’m preparing myself for reality next week. . . .

  19. Wow, this my first time reading this blog and I have to say the blind optimism caught me off guard. I didn’t realize this still exisited in warriorland. It’s a flashback for me….

    … Remember when Larry Hughes came to town and Antawn was injured. All we had to do was get healthy and we would be playoff contenders with a pair of perrennial all stars.

    … or when when Gilbert showed signs of being an all star and we had a solid young core w/ Gilbert, J Rich, and T Murphy. All we needed was for this young team to develop!

    I have to say, i’m almost jealous. Those were the days!

    One day you will realize that is all for not. Not until Cohan sells.

  20. Thank you Pboss for that…Blind optimism=Ok with more of the same, which should not be the case for this franchise.
    Sorry nivrag, but if your ok with bang for the buck theory it then means your ok with the way this organization has been run into the ground by Cohan and Rowell. Which means your part of the problem and not part of the solution. Unless your on the dubs payroll at which point your getting paid to be optimistic and getting paid to push “A Great Time-out” & entertainment value versus having a winning basketball organization and tradition.

    Don’t know if you are but I’m just saying that is how it might be perceived.

  21. I’m beginning to get the feeling that there will definitely be a lockout next season. It seems like every club that’s not contending for a championship is a seller right now, not just the Warriors.

    Strange times to be a basketball fan. It’s more about business than ball.

  22. UC dubs fan,

    I was not serious but rather was giving myself a chance to be excited about these guys, at least for a day or so. Bang-for-buck is obviously a dumb statistic, though we have to take what we can get this year. It’s impossible to enjoy watching these guys and think about the FO at the same time.

    But consider the implications of this:

    I’ve heard so much talk about Ellison buying and throwing endless bucks into this team. If other owners do this — that Russian mogul taking over the Nets, for example — what that means, with the bidding, is that the price of players will only go higher, not only of the superstars, but also of the good and only so-so players, the players we might in fact end up getting. Look at the salaries of our centers and Maggette. And it will also lead to longer contracts, more teams getting stuck with players who don’t pan out, wasted money. I don’t know how the new CBA cap will work, but if it does go into effect, it might be possible that it will raise the salaries for mid-range and lower players as owners now compete for these lesser players to make the cap?

    Our desire to have a championship team no matter what the cost makes it harder to have a good team.

    No one’s defending Cohan here, though.

    I see this accusation all over the blogs, that those who support the team are on the payroll. The thinking here baffles me, and we can be certain that this organization is too cheap to do so. I can be corrupted, however, and will consider any offer. I’m not cheap, though.

  23. And let’s face it: we are a mid-market team. I suspect even Ellison would have to look at balance sheets.

    I was a huge fan of the A’s a few years back. What they did was remarkable and I loved to watch them. Billy Beane is a wizard, and I haven’t given up on him or the team yet. But I wonder if he would be as good in his decisions if he had tons of money to spend. Economy leads to intelligent choices.

    $10 million for Sheets?

  24. Pboss — optimism, yes; blind, no. For the musings of those who see only negatives in the current situation, feel free to read other blogs.

  25. CURSE OF MULLIN

    felt: By the way, Morrow has big time hops, which helps his rebounding. His problem, as you have pointed out before, is that he’s slow as molasses.

    So–is Nellie now going to do what seems so obviously necessary for this team to begin moving to the next level: Put the ball in Curry’s hands and have him run the offense, even in Q4? Or are we going to continue to see a bunch of iso’s to Ellis and Magette, mixed in with a bit of Curry running the point?

    That’s my “million dollar question” to you, felt.

  26. COM — what interests me first is whether Nellie now gives Monta more rest. If this game demonstrated anything, it was that Curry Beans and Turiaf are now ready to run plays without Monta on the floor.

    As for your question, are you ready to completely scrap isos for Monta and Maggette? Why not work in everything?

  27. Im too much of a Raider fan to be Rod ‘RaiderHater’ Brooks.

    Im not saying we have a great team. I just get tired of guys crying about the dismantling of the WE Believe team. Teams change get over it.
    Do you honestly wish we still had JRich, Baron Davis and Al Harrington.

    Felt, I did love Jax and wish we could have kept him, but that was out of their control. Dude went frickin crazy.

  28. MWLX,

    This team is 13-34. Third worst record in the league. Last year, 28 wins. missed the playoffs 16 out of 17 years in a league where more than half the teams make it. I live in Seattle, and trust me, there is no bigger W’s fan in the Pac NW than me. But, C’mon, this organization is an absolute joke to everyone else in the country. I have no doubt that the warriors have a lot of talent on the team righ now, but I have serious doubts if any of them will fulfill that talent in Golden State. The track record speaks for itself.

    Nivrag- why are you talking about a mid market team? the NBA has a salary cap, it doesn’t matter what your payroll is. In fact, we have as big a payroll as anyone. It only matters if players want to play for your organization. Are we a smaller market than San Antonio? Of course not, but they’ve made the playoffs 19 out of 20 years. It starts at the top!

    The definition of insanity is to do the same things over and over again, expecting the same results.

    No one hating on the W’s now is wishing the “we believe” team was not taken apart. We’re only wishing that there was a clear direction and plan coming from the front office. Mullin was the only decent basketball mind in the front office and he was kicked out for whatever reason (I’ll leave the conspiracy theory’s to TK’s blog, however if it was strictly performance based than Rowell and Nellie would have been canned a while ago.) If Mullin had kept control, the We Believe team would have still been dismantled, but in favor of competent and healthy players that would have made the team better or at least competitive.

    It’s time to be tired of the status quo. It’s time to no longer be ok with “wait till next year”. It’s time to no longer make excuses for this miserable franchise. It is now time to demand that we have a winner and something to cheer for.

    Boycott this team until Cohan Sells! This is the only chance for real change in W’s land!

  29. CURSE OF MULLIN

    Felt: Not totally scrap the isos, but I’d like the mainstay of the offense, including the Q4 offense, to be initiated by Curry with the ball in his hand and players using picks and cuts to get open and have Curry find them or create off the dribble. The first half of the game Ellis got hurt in featured much better ball movement and offensive balance than previously. Let Curry go off in the first and third quaters while his legs are fresh and his shot’s dropping, then get him some rest while you go with some Ellis/Maggette iso’s in the 2d and early 4th quarters. However, then I hope Nellie then puts the ball in Curry’s hands the last 6-8 minutes of games and lets him distribute.

  30. That seems like a reasonable plan. I am very dissatisfied with Monta’s end of the quarter/crunch time performances. I would like to see the ball in Curry’s hands at the end of quarters as well.

  31. Curry is going to face tougher defenses. . . .

    Wasn’t this Nelson’s plan at the beginning of the season and the reason Curry was drafted in the first place? Only now can the plan be put in place. So many things have slowed its development — Jackson chaos, loss of the bigs, loss of power forwards, loss of the guards even, and of course the time needed for Curry to develop.

    The problem with all these arguments is that we can’t really point to significant results. Go for the more certain odds, keep the isolation — and what? We win two more games than otherwise? Or if we had let Curry run the team all season then what? We only win twelve games halfway through? I’m of the opinion for the rest of the season that we need to run an offense that will best develop the abilities of all the players.

    If you want to see an example of an offense where Curry will not thrive, look at a replay of the rookie challenge last night. (I wasn’t impressed with Jennings at all. And I assume Westbrook was aware no one was guarding him.)

    I feel like I have watched 7-8 different seasons this year, each entirely separate from the other, thus not providing continuity and development, each with its on special headaches.

    Pboss: I did a quick estimate. The Lakers payroll is over $20 million greater than ours. And I assume the organization has much greater revenues from tickets sales, tv rights, etc. We are a mid-market team. If pleas for boycotting on the blogs results in some kind of change, I say fire away. I just want to watch the games.

  32. Pboss:

    And it looks like San Antonio is spending $20 million more as well. I don’t know about the market or how they cover costs. What both teams have in common, too, is that they were able to latch onto and pay two of a handful of the most dominant players of the decade, Kobe and Duncan. Odds are good that if we got a rich owner and dumped money into the club, we’d still have a status quo team — or worse. My only point here is that I’m getting tired of Wizard of Oz speculations. But yes, I wouldn’t mind seeing a change of ownership and a good front office. This isn’t easy to do either, however, not even with lots of bucks.

  33. Magic Johnson weighs in on controversial coach:

    “Nellie has been great for the game. He has changed the game by going to three guards and spreading out the defense.”

    (from SF Chron)

  34. Feltbot,

    Just catching up. Couldn’t agree more with 2) and 3). And this only year 2 of a 5 year deal for Baron.

    It’s hard to remember now but he was the guy who used to take it strong and finish or throw an unbelievable pass (that Foyle would drop!)
    Not anymore. And now he’s shooting worse than ever.

    I miss watching the Baron that Mullin traded for. This older, slower version couldn’t help the Warriors.

  35. Nice piece on Nelson here:

    http://www.contracostatimes.com/warriors/ci_14401972

    Excerpt:

    Nelson’s reaction has been to censor himself. His once entertaining, give-and-take sessions with the media now are brief, dreary affairs.
    “I didn’t used to be like this, but the press has totally changed,” he said. “Everybody is looking for sensationalism, big headlines and clicks on their Web sites. Everything is blown out of proportion. No matter what you say, everybody takes it as a negative. You’re better off not saying as much.”

  36. Thanks for the post Nivrag (are you ‘Garvin’ with a left-right issue? LOL)

    How refreshing to read an article that is balanced without the hysterical tone that caters to the half-unhinged crowd.

  37. No, I just like the handle Nivrag. Say it. Catchy, huh? (Are you really from Oregon? Don’t tell me.)

    I wish someone would give a balanced, objective view of Nelson so we can, in fact, criticize him where needed. His point about having limited tools is worth some thought.

  38. How about this for unbiased:

    14-37 at the all star break

    28-52 last year

    You can make all the excuses you want, but that is terrible. Changes need to be made, but they won’t.

    WE BELIEVE!

  39. WheresMyChippy

    Using the records of this and last year as any evidence against Nelson doesn’t make sense.

    These past two seasons have seen injuries like no team has ever experienced… ever.

  40. Chippy,

    Have you noticed the Blazers this year? How about the Rockets last year when they lost their two best players, but still gave the Lakers all they could handle in the play offs.

    The injury card has been played. A winning team would have turned the expiring deals and a disgruntled Sjax into healthy bodies early in the year when it was clear injuries were going to be an issue. Instead, they picked up a guy who was getting ready for season ending wrist surgery.

    Terrible… simply terrible, and it will not stop until there are changes from Cohan down to Nelson.