Notes from Courtside

Disappointing game from the Warriors last night.  But I’m not too upset about it, because I think Smart coached a good game, and I also think it was clear that the Warriors are going to be able to play with this very good Suns team, very soon. It was simply a case of every Warriors shooter going cold at the same time.  

This Suns team, now starting to put it together after a blockbuster trade, is good. They’re on a 9-4 roll right now, including wins over the Knicks, Blazers, Hornets and a crushing victory against the Celtics. They present ridiculous matchup problems for everyone, not just the Warriors. This was a difficult night for David Lee in particular, as he was asked to guard Channing Frye out at the three point line.  An impossible task for Lee. But not just for him. It was impossible for Kevin Garnett recently too. And it was impossible for Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs in last years playoffs as well.

The Suns are also much better defensively than they’ve ever been, with the additions of Gortat in the middle, and Pietrus on the wings.  With Frye playing the four, and Dudley at utility, they are long, fast and very, very skilled.  It is highly possible that they’re once again going to be one of the best teams in the league in the second half.

I think Smart did a great job trying to make things uncomfortable for them. Cross-matching Monta and DWright on Hill and Carter, recognizing he needed to go small quickly and for long stretches, going to zone in the second half.  That zone got the Warriors back in the game, and if someone, anyone, could have stepped up and hit a shot, this game might have had a different outcome.

The Warriors were 2-18 from three in the game.  The Suns, 13-30.

Next Case.

Notes from Courtside:

I knew I was in for a special evening virtually as soon as I entered the Oracle. I descended the staircase into the “VIP lounge” (I’m messing up the names of these fabulous hidden places, sorry), and headed down a hallway to…. and there was Al Attles, shooting the breeze with a couple guys.  I was still saying “Hey, that’s Al Attles!” to myself, as I turned the corner into the tunnel that lead to the floor, and found myself face to face with Larry Riley, coming the other way. All by himself, just me and him.  I choked miserably in the clutch, and just smiled and walked by.  I then emerged onto the Oracle floor, and there was… Tim Kawakami.  Standing by himself, friendless, with a frown on his face. (Did he just get stiff-armed by Riley?)

Yes? No. It wasn’t the right time. I was there to enjoy myself! I just walked on by without introducing myself, or asking him why I’m banned from commenting on his blog.

Still not completely sure (or believing) where my seat was, I handed my ticket to an usher courtside.  He walked me onto the hardwood, and pointed me to a seat at halfcourt.  And there I met my charming host for the evening.

So that’s where I watched this game. With my feet resting on the hardwood at half-court, in quite literally the best seat in the house.  Better even than Joe Lacob’s seat.  He was around 8 seats from me, down by the free throw line, among the hoi polloi…

Wow!  It’s too hard for me to describe all my impressions from the game, other than it was a great, once in a lifetime experience for this Warriors fan.  Let me just offer a visual:

If you rewind your game tape to 7:42 4Q,  just after The Nightmare sent Jared Dudley crashing to the floor with another epic block, you will see a carried-away feltbot giving Dudley the Mutumbo finger-wag from center court.

I think that sums it up better than I can put into words.

Giant shout-out to gswfan30, for kindly bringing me along for the ride. Thanks, Robert!

30 Responses to Notes from Courtside

  1. Talking about Udoh, his defensive prowess is starting to get some recognition (nod to gswfan30):

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/britt_robson/02/08/power.rankings/index.html#ixzz1DOXyEZR3

    Keith Smart said post-game that he took Udoh out because he was gassed. So I guess his conditioning is still an issue.

  2. I am disappointed, FB. You had Riley all to yourself and you didn’t grill him?

  3. Felty: This game was not the result of the Warriors going cold. They shot the same FG% as Pheonix although Phoenix got off to an early good start.
    The Warriors are much better the Pheonix if only Smart would play Udoh more, and have his players guard the perimeter when he is on the court.

    Udoh played 16 minutes. During this period Pheonix scored just 24 points. Let’s say that he played 32 minutes and gave an eqivalent performance. Such would have resulted in Pheonix scoring 48 points thru 2/3rds of the game. If they had scored 35 points in the remaining 16 minutes with Udoh off the court, the would have scored 73 points for the game, resulting in a Warriors win. His play was not an aberation as he has shut down the opponents in many games.

    The Warriors have a dominating center that our coach not only does not start, but limits his playing time to 16 minutes. Even if gassed, rest him on the bench for a minute or two and put him back-in.

  4. Felty: When are you going to come around to placing Udoh in the starting line-up? Do you really think Smart should have started D. Lee last night and have him guard Frye? Do you really think Smart did the right thing by not substituting early when the Warriors were down 12 points after five minutes of play? Did you like our non-pressing defense that resulted in only 6 Pheonix turnovers? You are being too kind to Smart.
    for the game?

  5. DORRELL WRIGHT MAKES THREE-POINT CONTEST!

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/The-NBA-s-Three-Point-contest-is-set;_ylt=AmGA7tPuW53YdSUJHbtA2Aq8vLYF?urn=nba-318576

    So now that’s two Warriors players participating in All Star weekend festivities. Steph playing the Rookie/Sophmore game, right?

  6. How in blazes do they leave Curry out of the 3-point contest when he finished a strong second to Pierce last year? So much for the interesting rivalry of young guy versus vet.

  7. Thanks for sharing your dream evening with us, your envious supplicants. Hoi Polloi? I love that phrase although does it mean Upper Crust or Commoners? I’ve seen the term–and used it– for both(!) And as for you swallowing your tongue when looking Al Attles in the face, I have that knack as well; although my shocked silence (basketball version) was Wilt Chamberlain. (I think that tops your Al Attles in the missed opportunity department.) Also, nice you kept your perspective and didn’t allow a clinker of a game to overshadow a special time for yourself.

  8. Holy shinola, Steve; you gave me a fright. Thanks for the definition of hoi polloi, you can see my confusion. But a whole list of Brian’s Errors? Seeing as my real name is Brian, I about keeled over!

  9. OG (Brian), my pleasure (not that I gave you a “fright” LOL).

    Speaking of “hoi polloi”, here are 3 of the original “hoi polloiers”, who BTW, can be found on a regular basis blogging at Kawakami’s Blog for the Hoi Polloiers. (Hint: They’re constantly changing usernames and make up approx 95% of the blogs posted)

  10. Warriors and Nene?

    —————————————————

    When Golden State hosts Denver Wednesday, the Warriors will get a nice look at a player who could fill a need for them. According to multiple sources, the Warriors have inquired about Nene, a 6-foot-11, 250-pound center from Brazil. But the Nuggets would have to agree to trade him, and Nene would have to agree to a contract extension because he is a pending free agent. So he remains a relative dream. “We have to look at what we have,” Warriors coach Keith Smart said. “We can’t wish and hope for something we don’t have.” Nene, who is averaging 15.3 points per game on an NBA-best 64.4 percent shooting, would seem to quench the Warriors’ thirst for inside scoring.

    San Jose Mercury News

  11. I’m hearing Monta Ellis trade rumblings now. I’m wondering if those haven’t reached him, and affected him. There was something curious about his play in the Milwaukee game…

  12. Felty: We are both huge Ellis fans, but don’t you think our trading him to Denver along with Biedrins, and obtaining Nene and Billups, and buying out Billups 414 million dollar contract for next year for $3 million is worth it, as it would give us a talented center in Nene and free up Biedrins $10 million dollars to obtain a real good SG in free agency?

  13. Frank, I think that trade would probably improve the Warriors in the near term, while capping how good they could become long term. It would also immediately take the Warriors out of their current style of play, and set them on the path to walk-it-up basketball, which as you know I abhor, and also think would be a great disservice to the talents of Stephen Curry.

    I like Lacob’s idea of waiting until the off-season and hunting centers in free agency. Why give up a superstar in return for a merely above-average center, when you can pick up centers in free-agency? I think that if the Warriors can keep this core intact and add a running, shotblocking piece (like Chandler, Jordan, you name it) they have a chance to be GREAT.

  14. A philosopher once said, “Create a concept and reality leaves the room.”

    So Frank, you’ve created this concept of trading Monta to Denver and going through salary maneuvers “to obtain a real good SG in free agency.” Would you mind adding the cold reality of exactly which SGs will be available after this season, who else would be competing for them, what it might cost, and what the odds are that the Warriors could obtain a player who would make us forget about Monta?

  15. Felty: I’m totally frustrated by Smart not starting and playing Udoh significant minutes to see if can provide adequate protection to the rest of the starters who are not particularly good defenders.

    I do want to see the Warrior move Biedrins as quick as possible and if we have to trade Ellis along with Biedrins to get Nene, Billups, and Lawson , I think the Warriors should seriously consider it. I am willing to trade Ellis for inside scoring big man who can block shots, and to obtain a fast back-up point guard.

    I agree that with the loss of Ellis and the addition of Billups, our offense will slow-up. But we are not likely to make the play-offs nor winning the NBA championship this year.

    Since we would be a little light trading Ellis and Biedrins for Nene and Billups, maybe we can get Denver to throw in Lawson, and if need be, we can offer other other players (Law and B.Wright) to get him. This would allow us to run, but would require Curry would to play some off-guard, along with R.Williams.

    If we obtained Nene and Lawson, and rid ourselves of Biedrins contract at the end of the year, does that change your mind with regard to letting Ellis leave?

    The Warriors should buy out Billups contract for next year for $3 million, and since we will be free of Biedrins salary, this would free up over $20 million dollars at the end of the year, plus we will have additional millions from Gadzuric and Radman’s expiring contracts, to sign some free agents.

    With the addition of Nene, I’m not sure we need another center for we will also have Udoh, whose defensive stats that shows that he can shut down an opponents offense, amply demonstates that he is a big time defender. It may well be that with the addition of Nene,that Udoh moves to PF.

    Another move the Warriors should consider making is trading D.Lee since his defense is quite poor, I prefer the Warriors trading him this year, if possible, for Josh Smith, to further strengthen our interior defense, or if the Warriors have faith in Udoh playing PF, trading D. Lee for a big time SF or SG, that is quick afoot.

  16. Lawson and Curry in the backcourt?

    (I first thought Lawson was the pg out of the 2008 draft–and this guy hasn’t had a chance yet.)

  17. OT: Dallas is on a run and in the midst of another winning season in Big D yet Cuban said “phooey” with their TV analyst, Bob Ortegel, in mid-season. Fitz, just be thankful the Warriors don’t have an owner like Cuban calling the shots…………..YIKES!

    http://mavsblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/02/bob-ortegel-will-still-bleed-maverick-bl.html

  18. Great win. I’ll be saving my ammunition until after the game at Phoenix, so this thread is still open.

    It will be very interesting to me to see how the Warriors respond tomorrow.

  19. My son just sent me this, and remember, you saw it on Feltbot’s Warriors Blog first:

    http://www.twitvid.com/4CEJZ

  20. After watching Nene’s lack of defense last night, no way do I want to see the Warrriors trade for him. The Warriros shot 51% from the field. He did hit 6 of 7 shots, but virtually all were dunks. Didn’t see any low-post moves.

  21. I woudn’t trade Ellis for Nene. I don’t think a starting front court of Nene and Lee is a winning front court in the west. Nene has low post skills and as he showed last night, a better than average passer. However, he just doesn’t have the length and defensive ability to pair with Lee. It would be an upgrade from Biedrins, just not enough of an upgrade to transform the Warriors into contenders. It certainly wouldn’t be enough of an upgrade to lose your best scorer in the process. For those who want us to trade Lee you can forget about that. He’s a base year compensation player. So the Warriors can only take back in salary what he made last year while the other team needs to be able to absorb what he is making this year. Making a trade very difficult. Besides I don’t think trading Lee is the answer. He does a lot of nice things like hit open 17 footers, rotates the ball, etc. He needs to be paired with a long athletic center who is a great rebounder, shot blocker and low post scorer. Not easy to find I know, but that’s were their focus should be.

  22. The Biedrins problem;

    The problem for the Warriors going into the off season without making any moves is they will be pretty much hamstrung with their options. It’s easy to say keep the team intact, let the expirings expire and shop for the center you need in free agency. The problem is under that scenerio the Warriors will only be roughly 7 million under the cap and they will lose their mid level exception. This under the current CBA mind you. If all they have to spend is 7 million, they won’t have enough to pry the player they covet from their current team or prospective other teams who may be a more attractive destination. It just won’t be enough. Plus they will have other holes to fill like a third guard, another wing player and front court depth. Plus Reggie and Jeremy are free agents and I think they want both of them back. I’ve said that getting rid of Biedrins contract is what they should do. then I backed off that when he started showing glimpses of that player from 2 seasons ago. I think to improve the team however, they need to come to grips that they aren’t going to make the playoffs this year and shouldn’t make a marginal move this year to try and get there. Instead they should clear as much cap space as necessary. Which means Biedrins must go. Either try and tie Bell’s contract with Biedrins for straight cap relief (Murphy), or try and get back a rotation player and cap relief like Mohammed & Livingston. The Murphy deal for example would give the Warriors roughly 22 million next year to shop with. If the new CBA requires a hard cap there could be multiple teams selling off talent with the Warriors being buyers. There are centers out their next year in free agency that the Warriors could make a run at if they have the money to spend as well. They won’t if they do nothing.

  23. It looks like Jerry Sloan “wasn’t the right guy to coach this [Jazz] team.”

  24. It’s funny, the guys who liked Nene coming into this game soured on him, while I, who argued against trading Monta for him, actually would love the Warriors to get him. A few points: Nene is a GREAT passer, as we saw last night. Runs well. Fits perfectly in this team. Second, Nene’s value as a defender is against BIG players. He is actually quite a good defender.

    If Lacob is willing to go over the cap to get him, a Nene/Biedrins tandem in the middle, with this core, would make the Warrriors contenders. Period.

  25. Watching Jerry Sloan’s press conference. He’s going out with real class.

  26. Denver Coach George Karl had this to say about the Ellis-Curry backcourt, in today’s Chron:

    “Curry’s got some Steve Nash cuteness to him, in that he can operate and get the game going both passing it and scoring it. The speed, quickness and the amount of time that they’re attacking you is… pretty amazing.”

    People who want to trade either one of these guys are fools.

  27. Felty: I take it you like Nene over Chandler and Jordan.

    I can’t believe you are for retaining Biedrins after all you have said about him.

    I agree with J-Walk that Biedrins must be traded, hopefully for an expiring contract. If we can trade him for Nene that would also be good. I’m glad Nene only has a contract that runs thru next year. He is not very quick afoot on defense.

    Aren’t both Chandler and Jordan better interior defenders? I agree that Nene is better offensively.

    D.Lee needs a lot of protection. Maybe Nene and Udoh could provide that protection. Next year, I can see Udoh getting a lot of playing time at C and at PF.

    I would also offer Radman or Gadzuric and C.Bell to Denver for Billups, and then buy out Billups contract, and either sign a free agent or Billups at a much lower salary. Billups could really help us this year even though we don’t have much chance of making the playoffs.

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