Yo, Adrien: Warriors 72 Bucks 79

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.

Random Thoughts:

  • 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.

Yo, Adrien!

28 Responses to Yo, Adrien: Warriors 72 Bucks 79

  1. Have you noticed that sometimes when a Warrior player attempts to drive to the hoop, there’s another Warriors player partially blocking the way to the hoop? The one I remember was in the 1st half, when Reggie attempted to drive to the hoop, Gadz was in the way, forcing Reggie to take a sideways shot. Do you think that a problem with Smart’s offensive system? Or are the players simply not figuring out when to move out of the way and create the driving lane for a teammate?

    Also, Adrien had a really nice game today, but he was too slow to guard Gooden. Gooden worked around Adrien twice starting from near the perimeter.

    Furthermore, I think the Warriors did a pretty good job at guarding Jennings from going left. I noticed whoever was guarding him was always angled to stop the left hand drive. I wonder if you noticed that.

    Finally, what does it say about BWright when the training camp invitee Jeff Adrien comes in and shows more energy and hustle than the roster guy on a contract year?

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  3. Painful loss for the W’s last night. I’m drinking your cool aide, Felty, that Brandan Wright is not an NBA player. Adrien showed that he deserves BWright’s minutes. Also, where was Beans offensively last night? Smart needs to understand that he must set up his players to succeed when injuries knock the usual player out of place. Biedrins rebounded well, but I can’t recall more than 2 plays for him, all game long.
    Also, teams are now looking at the Warriors as a perimeter-only team. All the help defense for M-Bam (love it) and Jennings was to stop the Warrior penetration. We could have used some sort of inside out game last night, but our bigs were not utilized in that capacity at all.
    Loved Monta’s competitiveness and the fade-away 3 at the half.

  4. Here’s the deal for me: I found something else to do early in the first half, checking in sporadically to see whether there was any reason to devote attention to it. Jeff Adrien provided a glimmer late, but at 79-72 there were more fun things for me to do.

    I lay that at the feet of Lacob. Nelson would have done something to give the fans an entertaining evening. Possibly not a win, but a ‘100 point game and see whether that’s good enough’ would have had me tuned in all the way.

    I tell you I was depressed at the new owners listening to the shrill idiocy of the blogosphere regarding Nelson. Some of the spark is now missing from this season.

  5. This is the second game in a row the Warriors played helter-skelter basketball. That would not have happened in a Nelson coached team.

    Hope Smart learns his lesson regarding having Gadzuric and Biedrens in the starting line-up at the beggining of each half. Ouch!.

    Although Ellis scored he played somewhat out of control on offense and had seven turnovers. Smart has to say something during time-outs.

    D. Wright is just not a starting SF. He is inconsistent and his field goal shooting is plummeting. At best, he’s at best a fourth or fifth option.

    I agree that B. Wright’s defense is horrible, not his offense. It seems he shouldn’t be playing PF at all, and should be used at SF where his main responsibility would not be playing interior defense. He can score inside, run the court, and is effective on pick and rolls. I do think he is a NBA worthy player even though lately he has not shown it defensively.

  6. “Do you think that a problem with Smart’s offensive system?” I don’t know if it’s the system, so much as the players he wants to put on the court to play the system. If there are 2 non-shooters on the floor, spacing becomes very difficult. Even with one its difficult, if the non-shooter is not a part of the pick and roll.

  7. Felt: LOVE WATCH: 21 and 17 yesterday. Too bad he can’t shoot and score, eh? You’re off on your evaluation of him. Better take another look.

  8. Rggblog: Haha! Shoot 55% from three point range and make 22. I agree, that will beat the Lakers most nights.

  9. Our Team: You’re off in your evaluation of my evaluation.
    Love’s problems are on the defensive end. Get back to me when the TWolves are winning more than 38% of their games.

    Rgg, I noticed that. And I didn’t have Channing Frye activated in either of my fantasy leagues…

  10. Have to feed the Thaiblonde steak tonight, so my recap will be a day late…

  11. “The Warriors are now counting on Ellis to help keep the team afloat until Lee returns in a couple weeks.”

    COUPLE OF WEEKS???!!! Can anyone confirm this?

  12. Perhaps Lacob should have installed Juanika Ellis as Director of Basketball Operations instead of his son?

  13. Felt, My only point is that Love, while similar to David Lee, is a little better in key areas like rebounding and outside shooting. Plus, he’s younger. Both players need to improve their defense. I’d love to watch Love play with Curry. The court would explode with BBall IQ (and outlet passes).

  14. Byrtex–

    I saw a report that Friday’s game might be possibility. I hope they wait until he stops bleeding.

    Beating the Lakers:

    We got 3-point shooters. Best to pick the plan that plays to our strengths and has some chance instead of none.

  15. Just learned from Marcus Thompson’s Twitter that Keith Smart is coaching under a “2 year deal, with the second year being the team’s option.”

    In other words, a one year deal.

    Draw your own conclusions.

  16. “Draw your own conclusions”

    Which means Smart is going to be under pressure all year, that he has to listen to word from upstairs, that he will not take chances or experiment, that he will not return unless he gets x wins regardless of circumstances (e.g. injuries), that we may have another coach next year who may or may not know how to work with the talent we have, that unless they got someone special in the wings we’re getting ready to go through a succession of coaches the next 5 years plus?

    Maybe I’m going overboard, but I don’t like this at all. Regardless of the criticism of Smart that has appeared here, he has a special closeness with the team and has shown abilities. And now I’m wondering if he’s been allowed the freedom to coach the way he might want to.

  17. Also this from MT, who was covering Lacob and Guber’s press conference introducing themselves as the new owners: Kirk Lacob, Lacob’s son, has been appointed “Director of Basketball Operations.”

    Altho his position was described as 4th on the totem pole, and Kirk himself joked that his job was “to take orders from Larry Riley,” I think it’s clear that Riley’s job just became even more intolerable. He is already playing Little Donnie Nelson to Joe Lacob’s Mark Cuban. And now he’s being asked to train his replacement.

    Just as Don Nelson put the franchise back on the path to excellence, it’s now once again in danger of becoming a laughingstock.

  18. Interesting take feltbot, except for your last statement. To wit, clause 1: for someone with an obviously keen eye for detail, this is simplistic and controversial. As for clause 2, we’re already a laughingstock.

  19. And please hurry up with your pre-game jitters, us warriors blog junkies need a fix

  20. Lacob thinks this is profound. Owners who think they understand the game make me nervous:

    -LACOB: I think the defensive philosophy is greater than it was. I think we’re clearly a better rebounding team than we were. That’s actually the No. 1 goal. You know, we’ve got great guards here. But how many years has it been since we could rebound the ball?

    You can be fast, you can run fast, all that stuff, go down the court and do all the stuff the previous coach wanted to do, but if you can’t get the ball, what good is it?

    Our No. 1 focus in the off-season, and I had an impact on it, was getting some rebounding in here. Obviously we wanted to change the defensive philosophy and become more of a defensive team as well.

    We need some big bodies, ultimately. Big bangers. We need some more beef inside. I call it beef. We need some more beef inside at some point.

  21. Great effort for the warriors tonight they sure started this new ownership on a good note!

  22. I mistrust this stat, but the +/- number on Adrien is intriguing.

    Anybody know the deal on all those fouls? Is Detroit just that good at drawing them or did our guys just get sloppy? It was not pretty basketball.

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