Thoughts on the Laker Game

Stephen Curry: Is going to become the best pick and roll guard in the NBA since Nash and Paul.  His work last night with Chris Hunter was incredible.  If Curry can find the seams against the best defense in the league, working with a D-leaguer, what can’t he do?

In the pre-season, I wrote that Curry bore a startling resemblance to Steve Nash in style and talent.  Now the Nash comparison is on the lips of everyone around the league.  Don Nelson, Keith Smart, Jeff van Gundy, Mike Woodson. Mark Jackson said that Curry was the best player on the court last night.

Monta Ellis: Turned Kobe Bryant over how many times?  Could OJ Mayo, at 6-4″, have done to Kobe what Monta Ellis did, at 6-3″?  That trade proposal was a sick joke.  The rumor that Nellie would have done it is even sicker. Never, ever, ever.

I thought last nights’ 5-23 performance was one of Monta’s best of the year. Seriously.  Some nights your shot just doesn’t fall.  But if you are your team’s best player, you have to keep taking them. There was barely a single shot I thought Monta shouldn’t have taken.

And he balanced his own attempts beautifully with creating for others. 11 assists. How many times in his career has Kobe Bryant gotten that many assists?

Monta is assuming the mantle of leadership on this team.  He is working hard at getting it.  And he is getting it. 1 turnover, against the best defense in the league? Something is happening on the Warriors offense.  Monta and the rook have found their roles, and are settling into them. The game is getting easier.

A very special backcourt is taking wing.

Chris Hunter: How fast has this mid-season D-league call-up picked up the NBA game?  How fast has he learned Nellie’s schemes?  Two straight great games from Hunter, this one against the biggest baddest front line in basketball.  Hmmm.

Anthony Tolliver: Finally starting to get his 3 pointer in gear.  I hope he finds his way onto the Warriors bench next year along with Hunter.  These guys can really do some good things, and boy are they cheap.

Devean George: A true professional.  That’s what I think when I watch him play. Defensive minded.  Smart. Incredibly efficient.

He probably wasn’t supposed to get off the bench this year.  But virtually every time he has, he’s delivered.  On one leg.

The last play of the game: The first in a long time to be executed perfectly.  A coincidence that it was also the first one ever called for Stephen Curry?

More reasons that Don Nelson should be fired:

  • He can’t develop big men: Chris Hunter and Anthony Tolliver being perfect examples.
  • He doesn’t play rookies: Stephen Curry the latest to be thrown under the bus.
  • He alienates his players: Demonstrated by the way Monta Ellis has quit on this season.  Not to mention Maggette, Biedrins, Turiaf.
  • He got lucky in the draft: The same way he got lucky with Moncrief, Pressey, Richmond, Hardaway, Sprewell, Nowitzki, and Howard. The same way he got lucky when he traded for Steve Nash, and picked Avery Johnson and CJ Watson up off the trash heap. He’s the luckiest GM in league history.
  • The Marco Belinelli trade.

That’s all I got.

20 Responses to Thoughts on the Laker Game

  1. WheresMyChippy

    You know, they can’t fine YOU for talking about the officiating.

    13 – 42. That’s 29 more free throws for the Lakers.

    Maggette shot 0 free throws. The man who gets to the line at a higher rate than Dwight Howard or Lebron James.

    The Warriors did EVERYTHING right. They deserved it. The amount of non-calls down the stretch when Warriors were repeatedly being clobbered in the lane was ridiculous, particularly for CJ and Maggette.

  2. Curry/Ellis is going to be the Don Nelson special next year. Never thought I would see a game in which Monta shot so horribly, and say in the end he had one of his best games. I didn’t think he had the ability to do that. Baron did, Curry does, now you can add Monta to the list. His defense was game changing and he did it against the absolute best. Though opinions vary widely, at least Monta thinks he can go mano e mano with the best. I look forward to watching him blossom with Curry right next to him. You can tell those two are getting warmed up to each other. Something to hang your hat on folks! Haven’t had that in a while.

  3. “I think that was our best game this season.”

    —Monta Ellis, on Monday’s narrow home loss to the Lakers.

    from Yahoo Sports

  4. I would like to note for those readers who have a difficult time detecting sarcasm in a blog, the reasons to fire Nelson were all sarcastic.

    What a great game. A very bizarre discrepancy in the number of free throws shot by each team 42-Lakers to 13-Warriors have me suspecting a fix. But when my scoreboard watching is almost exclusively hoping the teams with marginally better records screw up in their tanking and actually win, the game was perfect!

    Also, the Warriors had fewer rebounds than assists with the Lakers more than doubling theim there and the real equalizer for all those bad things was the number of turnovers: Lakers 24, Warriors 5. Outstanding!

  5. Feltbot,

    I just noticed somebody is posting with my initials on other blogs, so I’m going to change my name to
    ET.

  6. Yes, we’re getting the second pick and we’re drafting Evan Turner.

  7. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/basketball/nba/warriors/2010-03-15-rookie-stephen-curry_N.htm

    Better than Steve Nash was in his third year? Yes.

    “Everything I dreamed of what he’d be in three years, he’s doing now,” coach Don Nelson said.

  8. The only thing that was disappointing about Monday’s game (other than the loss) was the fact that yet again Anthony Morrow was MIA for most of the night. How many shots did he take all night? THREE! In 17 minutes, arguably the purest shooter on this team takes 3 shots. And especially on a night when Monta is ice from start to finish.

    There have been countless games this season when Morrow renders himself useless because of his introverted nature as an offensive player. He HAS to move without the ball more, and he needs to vocally let his teammates know that he is open and wants the ball. Against the Lakers there were numerous times when he just stood passively in one corner while the rest of the offense was taking place on the other side of the court. And to be fair, his teammates need to look for him more often. They (other than Curry) often seem oblivious to his presence. On Monta’s last second effort to tie the game, Morrow was standing about 15 feet to Monta’s left, behind the 3 point line, and totally unguarded. And yes, there was enough time left to throw him the ball.

    Morrow has obviously worked hard on his game. His all around game has improved greatly from last season. But he simply has to become more aggressive as an offensive force. And to not be afraid to continue to shoot even if he starts out cold. He should watch the great scorers in the NBA. The one thing they’re not is shy when it comes to shooting the basketball.

    I like Morrow a lot. He seems like a great kid, and from all I’ve read, he’s one of the Warriors’ hardest workers. But he, and the rest of the coaches and players have to realize that when your best shooter barely touches the ball on any given night, your chances of winning are greatly reduced.

  9. At the end of the game, after they lost, after he missed his shot, Ellis was smiling, uncharacteristically. Why? But it was a genuine smile of joy.

    “I think that was our best game this season.”

    He said, and I’m sure sincerely. What does this mean? It was one of his worst offensive performances of the season.

    Perhaps he was satisfied with the way he stood up to Kobe, but it has to be some kind of statement about his belief in the team, his relationship to it.

    Let’s see where this goes.

  10. Others ascribe all kinds of perverse motives for Nelson’s staying on — money, most wins, ego, etc. — though they may be revealing more their own perversions and insecurities. I suspect Nelson’s largest motive instead is to put together a good basketball team. This, after all, is what he’s been trying to do for the past thirty years.

    I think the major story of the season is his battle to do this, the problems endured by two recalcitrant players, one who left, one who may be coming around; by all the new players, their uncertainties and resistance; and most, of course, by all those injuries.

    And maybe he’s starting to win the battle.

    Keep him and let’s see where this goes.

    But let’s not criticize his demeanor. At 70, he’s not going to say whoop-de-do.

  11. I’m all for a Curry Ellis backcourt, but think that they would have to compensate for the size disadvantage with a bigger, defensive 3 at least. I’m not sure Maggette really fits the bill, as much as I admire his game this year. Maybe Azabuike, or Bell if he resigns. Where does that leave Mags? Back to a 6th man?

  12. Reasons why Nelson should be fired: You left out some of the tripe written by you-know-who last week: He can’t coach defense; he’s burned out; he’s a lame duck; his “cheap” history.

    Hey, it was in my copy of the Tribune, and I had to read it to re-confirm how utterly desperate and stupid you-know-who is. I promise not to do it again!

  13. Nivrag, I agree completely. Monta saying “that was OUR best game of the season” means the TEAM. They had everything to be proud of, playing the best team in the NBA and being on the wrong side of lopsided refereeing and committing only 5 turnovers.

    I also think he answered a lot of questions as to whether he and Curry can be effective playing together. Yes. They. Can.

    (It would be great if we could finally put to rest all the chatter about Monta saying’ no way’ he and Curry can play together. Young people express opinions all the time that turn out to be wrong. People, let it go.)

    Nivrag, I agree with your Nelson comments, too.

  14. Monta may have been right – a good team effort kept the Ws in the game. And it’s no shame to lose to the world champs.

    Still, I read the comments on this blog and I can only think: Guys, you’re cheering another loss. That’s the NINTH STRAIGHT LOSS TO THE LAKERS!!!

    Any other coach with Nellie’s recent record would have been history by January. Nellieball is supposed to be “entertaining,” though, so they keep him around to sell tickets for his lousy team.

    How about if we quit making excuses for our losers, and hold our cheers for a team that plays to win.

    It was a good game, but a team congratulating themselves for showing up doesn’t cut it.

  15. Anybody have any ideas what the ceiling is on Tolliver? How much more he can develop? I saw some new stuff tonight, moves to the basket.

    Or Hunter, for that matter?

  16. White Hat, we aren’t cheering just another loss, something that we didn’t do for any of the previous 40+ losses. No, we know that scaring the shinola out of the Lakers means the Dubs can KICK the shinola out of the more mortal teams down the stretch. The cheering is in anticipation of New Orleans and others running into a spinning buzzsaw.

  17. @ Oregonguy: O, I quit watching the NO game at halftime because what I saw from the Ws was casual, chaotic defense and stupid one-on-5 isolation offense. I read this morning that Nelson pulled Maggette in the second half and the Ws turned it around at the end by bombing 3s.

    Though all of the above can obviously lead to a win, no part of it is actually a winning strategy, as in “likely to win more often than losing.” It is what makes the Ws losers.

    They say the first step is to admit a problem. The problem remains the coaching. Happy to help, O, don’t thank me.

  18. WH I would say that running the other team ragged and stacking the team with three point shooters IS a strategy that lead to this one win. The problem is the injuries.

  19. WheresMyChippy

    Defense and ball movement was the reason for the come back last night, not “bombing threes.”

    All those threes were open because the offense was moving beautifully.

    If you’re going to add some analysis you should actually watch the game.

    Another contributing factor to the win: the sixth man, which I was lucky enough to be a part of in the 3rd row! I think the loudest the place got was when Peterson had those 3 free throws and missed all three. Boy were we letting him hear it after the first two.

  20. More on our up-tight, burned-out, player-alienating coach:

    “Coach (Don) Nelson wants us to push it and if there’s an open shot just to take it,” said Williams after the Warriors’ biggest comeback in more than two years. “You have jitterbugs coming into it but coach gives everybody the green light and you just go from there. He works the nervousness out of you and lets you play.”

    from the Yahoo recap

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