Monthly Archives: December 2010

Road Kill: Warriors 93 Atlanta 103 + Vacation Open Thread

A lot of things annoyed me about how Keith Smart went about business in this Warriors loss to the Hawks. And I’m annoyed in general at how he goes about business against the “better” teams of the league. I do not accept the notion that this was a game the Warriors couldn’t win.

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Pre-Game Jitters: Sixers at Warriors

The Warriors’ prolonged skid may have opened up another betting opportunity. I can’t make sense of their -3 line in this game, even with Biedrins out. They should make mincemeat out of this Sixers squad, playing on a road back-to-back.

A Nellieball Christmas: Warriors 109 Blazers 102 + Heat 96 Lakers 80 + Magic 86 Celtics 78

Two late great Warriors wins in a row, what a wonderful feeling after these long weeks of teeth-grinding misery. And this one against a former Western Conference powerhouse, a team that the Warriors are going to be competing with for that 8 seed, if Monta Ellis’ prediction comes true. I say former because Brandan Roy’s bone on bone career is currently in doubt, and trade rumors are swirling around Andre Miller.

I’m going to get to this great Warriors win. But first, in honor of Christmas — which is my favorite holiday on a spiritual level, and now also on an NBA basketball level as well, thanks to the decidedly unspiritual David Stern — and also in honor of Don Nelson, whose style of basketball was greatly honored today — I’m going to gift-wrap you some bonus coverage.

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Vladdy!: Warriors 117 Kings 109

As the third quarter came to a close, I wasn’t planning on recapping this game. The Warriors trailed by 14, and if they had gone on to lose, I was just going to write one line in the comments to the last post:

I think Don Nelson could have solved the puzzle of this game.

But surprise to end all surprises, Keith Smart stepped up and solved it himself. The key to beating the Kings in this game was to go small, with David Lee at center, and Vlad Rad at power forward. On offense, spread the floor and let your great slashers and shooters work. On defense, use your quicker players to deny King’s penetration, and when you get the rebound off of that inevitable Tyreke Evans brick, RUN.

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Who Do? Rockets 121 Warriors 112

Udoh!

Warriors fans enjoyed their first extended Nightmare of the season, as Ekpe Udoh delivered an amazing all-around performance off the bench that electrified the Oracle.  The highlight sequence of the night, of course, began with his soaring, left-handed putback slam at 9:35 of the 4th Q. As the Oracle went beserk, the Rockets kept their head, and quickly inbounded the ball and connected over the top to a streaking Courtney Lee, who beat the Warriors defense, and… there was Udoh again, soaring to block Lee’s layup from behind. Wow.

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A Win in the Worst Way: Warriors 108 Twolves 99

Whew. Props to Bob Fitzgerald for never panicking in this game. After that 17 point first quarter performance, I have to admit I had my doubts that the Warriors would win.

It’s not usually my way to nitpick after wins. But it’s also never been my way to put on false optimism, or sugarcoat what I’m seeing. I write about what I see. And I’m seeing a lot more negatives than positives on the court right now.

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Congratulations, Joe Lacob: Heat 106 Warriors 84

“We know our best offense is before the defense gets set. You can’t teach speed, you can’t get back on speed.” — Lebron James, two nights ago, after beating the Jazz in Utah.

“We didn’t want to play half-court offense against a defense that good.” — Andre Miller, last night, on pushing the tempo to beat the Magic.

“The Warriors have to stay away from half-court offense. They need to learn how to run.” — Jim Barnett, tonight, pre-game show.

Keith Smart apparently doesn’t agree with Lebron and Miller and Barnett. Keith Smart apparently believes that the Warriors, quite possibly the fastest team end-to-end in the league, should walk the ball up the court on every possession.           Continue reading

Welcome to my Nightmare

“Welcome to my nightmare/I think you’re gonna like it.” – Alice Cooper

My twitter feed is aflame with the news that Ekpe Friday “The Nightmare” Udoh will take the court tomorrow against the Miami Heat.  Udoh practiced with the team and looked ready to multiple observers.  Marcus Thompson tweets: “Ekpe looks ready. He’s blocking shots, dunking, even making midrange jumpers.” Matt Steinmetz tweets: “Asked Reggie Williams to tell me something about Udoh. He said: ‘He’s long, and he blocks everything.'”

I haven’t been this interested and excited in a Warriors rookie debut since…, well since last year’s clear-cut — but defrauded by media ignorance — Rookie of the Year, Stephen Curry. But before that, you’d have to go back to Chris Webber.                                                    Continue reading

Small Ball Storms: Warriors 109 Thunder 114

The newly big Warriors were thrashed by small ball in this game. If you don’t know already that the Thunder are a quintessential small ball team, let me explain.  Forget about Nenad Krstic at center. Many of Nellie’s best teams had non-scoring defensive anchors at center. Andris Biedrins, for one. Shawn Bradley for another, who came within a Nowitzki knee injury in game 3 of the 2003 Conference Finals of winning a title. (Can you imagine the consternation of snake-oil salesmen like John Hollinger and Dave Berri if Shawn Bradley had won a title?)                           Continue reading

Pre-Game Jitters: Warriors at OKC Thunder

Warriors are +5.5 at OKC tonight. The key to this game, in my opinion, is the way Smart chooses to guard Russell Westbrook, who has emerged as a true beast. It seems obvious to me that Monta should be assigned to him, and Curry to the offensively challenged Sefelosha and Harden. The Thunder are unaccustomed to running their offense through their two-guards, and if they want to attack Curry in that matchup it would force their offense into an uncomfortable direction. And Curry on Westbrook would be a disaster. Immediate foul trouble. This is obvious, right? Unfortunately, nothing has been obvious to Coach Smart lately.                         Continue reading