Once again the Warriors were dismembered by a veteran team currently playing great basketball. No need to freak when they lose to a team like the Hornets, who are currently on a 10-0 run.
But there were a couple things to be disturbed about. Beginning with Biedrins, of course. This loss began with him. It is clear that he will never again be the player he was, whether it’s because of chronic injury problems, as I suspect, or something mental. Whichever it is, the Warriors again found themselves playing 4 on 5 for most of the game.
Which is why I believe that this loss ended with Keith Smart. Is it fair to ask whether Smart’s close personal friendship with Biedrins is hurting the Warriors? Beans’ play in this game should not have been tolerated for more than a minute each half. And Lou Amundson’s play should not have been tolerated at all. By playing Biedrins and Amundson so many minutes, Keith Smart failed to ask these important questions of the Hornets: Can David West guard Vlad Rad out at the 3 point line? Can Emeka Okafor guard David Lee out to 18 feet? Can Okafor guard Monta and Curry with Lee in the pick and roll? Can the Hornets deny penetration to Monta Ellis with West and Okafor pulled out of the lane?
Given the current construction of this Warriors team, these are the kinds of questions that must be asked whenever the Warriors match up with a frontline squad, if the Warriors hope to have a chance to win. And I don’t have to tell you that Don Nelson, and George Karl, and Mike D’Antoni, and Alvin Gentry, and Greg Popovich would have asked them.
A lot was made of the Warriors 23 TO’s in this game. But no one really pointed to the reason why the Warriors are committing so many TOs against good defensive teams this season. The reason is that Keith Smart is willing to play 4 on 5, and even 3 on 5, for long stretches of time. The reason is that NOTHING IS OPEN.
Some comparisons were made between Chris Paul and Stephen Curry in this game. I say that comparison is unfair. Try making the comparison in a game in which Chris Paul doesn’t have a center to play pick and roll with, and Curry does. In a game in which Paul is playing 4 on 5, and Curry 5 on 4.
I’ll end with Udoh. If you are not willing to play Lee at center and Vlad Rad at 4 — which I cannot understand — then you simply must start playing Udoh in place of Biedrins and Amundson. MUST. Udoh may still be out of condition. He may still be confused on some sets. He may still be too light and too weak after months of zero weight work. But the Warriors are desperate to have a center on the floor who can put the ball in the hoop. They are desperate to have a center on the floor who MUST BE GUARDED.
It is time for the Biedrins nightmare to end, and the real Nightmare to begin.