My favorite Adrien is not Rocky’s, but B-movie queen Adrienne Barbeau, who some of you older guys might remember. And I’m afraid she will always be my favorite. Too much history together. But the number two slot is open, and with this 8 rebound, 2 blocked shots, +10 performance in 19 minutes, Jeff Adrien became a contender for the job. It’s a pity the Warriors probably won’t have a slot for him when their three missing big men return. It is fun to watch an old-school power forward — a power forward who knows he’s a power forward — do his job.
It’s too bad Adrien’s performance was wasted in a game that was botched from the start.
When Keith Smart opened the game with the twin tower look of Biedrins and Gadzuric, my first thought was: “He’s conceding the game before it’s even begun.” Smart was trying to match up with the Bucks, on their terms, instead of forcing the Bucks to match up with the Warriors, on the Warriors’ terms. We all know what Don Nelson thought about that.
Do you think that Golden State’s 16 point first quarter was an accident? A simple case of players gone cold on the road? That’s letting Smart off the hook too easy. Smart’s lineup made it easy for the Bucks to match up with the Warriors skill players. Easy to cross-match MBam on Monta. Easy for Jennings to stay glued to Curry. Easy to pack the lane and deny penetration.
We all know what Don Nelson would have done. He would have started Vlad Rad at the four. Or he would have started Dorell Wright at the four, and Reggie Williams at the three.
And the floor would have opened up for Monta and Curry like the parting of the Red Sea.
But could Vlad Rad or Dorell Wright guard Drew Gooden? Could they rebound? Those are interesting questions. But what about these questions: Could Drew Gooden guard Vlad Rad or Dorell Wright out at the three point line? Could the Milwaukee Bucks rebound with Drew Gooden out guarding the three point line? Those are the questions that Don Nelson would have asked of the Milwaukee Bucks. Those are the questions that Keith Smart failed to ask, and that is why this game was over before it began.
Without David Lee, what is the Warriors edge against opposing teams? It is the extraordinary speed, skill and shooting ability of Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, Dorell Wright and Reggie Williams in the open court. Keith Smart will need to recognize that if the Warriors are to get through the next two or three weeks with a decent record.
Maybe he does recognize that. Maybe it’s just more important to him to add this 79 point Buck’s performance to his defensive resume, than it is to win. Maybe it’s more important to him that he demonstrate to Joe Lacob his commitment to playing big, and slowing the game down with motion offense, than it is to win.
I sure hope not. I’m used to better.
- I wonder if Don Nelson ever coached a 79-72 ballgame? If he did, I can guarantee you it wasn’t in a loss.
- Jim Barnett: “If you want to play half-court offense against this defense, Scott Skiles will win. They need to get shots in the open court and transition.” Amen, brother. Another example of why you are the best. Speak truth to power.
- The Warriors are 26th in the league in turnovers, playing at a slowed-down pace. Last season, with a rookie point guard, 7 man squads of D-leaguers, and playing at the fastest pace in the league, they were 4th. Why is this Warriors team of highly skilled veterans turning the ball over so much more than last year’s D-Leaguers? Think about that for a minute. Here’s a hint: Undo the loco motion.
- Can not turning the ball over be considered a form of defense? It was in the wily mind of Don Nelson.
- Monta Ellis gave a hell of a defensive effort in this game.
- Stephen Curry is obviously not right. But even when healthy, he should never be forced to guard super-fast guards like Jennings or Rose. Monta Ellis should guard them. Who should Curry have guarded in this game? MBam, with DWright on Salmons. Would Scott Skiles want to run his offense through MBam to punish Curry? Another question Don Nelson would have asked, that Keith Smart never got around to.
- Reggie Williams was freed in this game. He just didn’t get it done.
- I love Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. I love the way his name rolls off the tongue. I love his nickname M-Bam. I love that a man who’s an actual prince in his home country (Cameroon) could have such an appetite for dirty work. I love his freakish ability to guard Monta Ellis, at 6-8″, even as he’s killing my Golden State Warriors.
- The Milwaukee Bucks are a blue collar team in a blue collar town.
- Rodney Carney’s Low-IQ Moment: The bailout foul at 7:00 of the 2nd Q.
- Vlad Rad’s Brain Fart: The pick and roll with Monta at 4:25 of the 3rd Q, where he forgot what the roller is for. He wouldn’t have seen the pass coming if Monta bounced it off his head.
- Jim Barnett after Brandan Wright blew a rebound: “Just grab that ball!” Barnett couldn’t help himself. I love Jim Barnett. Have I mentioned that?
Let’s end with the good stuff. Beautiful Jeff Adrien moment number one: Before he capped Drew Gooden at 9:00 of the 4th Q, Adrien bodied him off his dribble and forced him to fade away. Ever seen Brandan Wright do that?
Moments number two, three, four and five: Boxing out 7′ 300 lb. Andrew Bogut. (Do you buy that 260 lb. listing?)
Moment number six: That point blank jump hook, in crunch time (1:35), over Drew Gooden. The difference between a Jeff Adrien jump hook and a Brandan Wright jump hook? It’s not pretty, but he can get it off with a body on him.