Don Nelson: Can we just take a moment to admire what Don Nelson did in his management of Hunter and Tolliver’s minutes? Rather than match up conventionally, Nellie used Tolliver at center to start the game, pulling Okafor out of the lane. If you want a reason why Tolliver scored 30 points, its because Nellie made him a focus of the offense going at Okafor, not David West.
Nellie brought Chris Hunter in to play against Darius Songaila, a matchup that he simply dominated. Could he have dominated Okafor in the same fashion? No. Which is why Nellie, unlike 99% of other NBA coaches, found another direction.
Why did Omeka Okefor get only 18 minutes in this game? Because Don Nelson rendered him useless and ran him off the court.
Anthony Tolliver: Earlier this season I posed the question: Is Anthony Tolliver a more NBA-ready power forward than Anthony Randolph? This performance throws a few more coals on that fire. What I love about Tolliver is his intelligence. His basketball IQ appears off the charts, which is reflected in his assists and steals. But also in the simple fact of the speed at which he has learned to play two different positions for Don Nelson. Unfortunately, Tolliver seems light-years ahead of both Randolph and Wright in this regard.
All of those who were begging Tolliver to stop throwing up threes earlier in the season raise your hand. Still feel the same way? His ability to spread the floor is going to keep him in the league.
But how about those authoritative drives? Now that teams are no longer daring him to shoot, this was a very effective addition to his arsenal.
His rebounding totals are a little low, but last night he played much of the game on an island at center.
Chris Hunter: He is big and strong in a way the Warriors have not had in a long time. He also has an incredible jump shot and stellar free throw shooting. And unlike 90% of NBA big men, he has a good left hand, as he demonstrated last night. He has great hands, which enables Nellie to use him in the pick and roll. I am scratching my head: what was it that kept Hunter out of the league?
He also has a pretty good basketball IQ. Nellie set him the task of finishing better a couple of weeks ago, as we knew from a sly post-game dig. What happened? Three straight games of intense focus on finishing. Using the pump fake. Getting it done.
If only Brandan Wright and Anthony Randolph responded so quickly to coaching.
Reggie Williams: He’s beaten Anthony Morrow out. There it is, the cold hard truth. How do the Warriors keep him? Do they?
Its obvious that Nellie loves this kid, by the way he came up after the game to congratulate him, and praised him more effusively than Tolliver and Hunter in his post-game interview. And it is obvious why. Williams is a multi-faceted offensive player, who besides being an out-of-this-world scorer (you don’t lead the nation in scoring two straight years by accident), also has an ability to see the floor well and create for others. Unlike Anthony Morrow, who turned the ball over twice trying to initiate offense (he was only credited with one), when Williams assumes the triple-threat position, the triple-threat is real.
In other words, Williams is the point-forward — or at least the third player who can take the point — that Nellie craves in his offense.
Is OJ Mayo a better player than Reggie Williams?
Monta Ellis: Is it fair to say that Monta Ellis dominated his matchup with Darren Collison? I think it is. 8 TO’s to 3. That’s the difference. Ellis did a great job keeping Collison out of the lane, and limiting his damage.
Monta Ellis will never be a point guard? The naysayers have to deal with performances like this one. Monta seemed to know where all his shooters were in this game. He even ran the pick and roll well. Two straight double digit assist nights. He is continuing to grow as a player under the tutelage of Don Nelson.
I would love to see Ellis and Curry play together with a dominant big man who demands attention inside. With the Warriors three-point shooters posted outside, I think they would be absolute murder. Murder. This team is oh so close to being seriously nasty. One piece.
Unfortunately, Scott Ostler’s new article throws some cold water on the idea that Monta is now willing to play with Curry. Judge for yourselves.
Here’s a seriously subversive question: Does Reggie Williams make Monta Ellis expendable? What if Monta brought David Lee?
Devean George: Anyone still wish we had Marco Belinelli?