The Suns Also Rise: Suns 112 Warriors 88

I’m sick as a dog, so I’m going to dog it.  No recap, sorry.  Just some quick impressions:

I think the Denver win showed what this Warriors team can be, and I’m not concerned with the Phoenix blowouts.  Phoenix is a nightmare matchup for the Warriors, and I think they’re going to be blowing a lot of teams out in similar fashion. They are incredibly skilled and incredibly deep.  So many different pieces, and a brilliant coach who knows exactly what to do with them.  They had the best record in the West in the second half of last year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they came close to that this year.  They might wind up the 5 seed, if they stay healthy. 

As for the Warriors, Phoenix’s style of play and depth on the bench completely exposed the Warriors bench.  Consider this fact:  6 of the Warriors players cannot shoot a jumpshot:  Biedrins, Amundson, BWright, Bell, Law and Lin.  Yes, that’s right, three GUARDS that can’t shoot. That is a joke, and needs desperately to be fixed.

Phoenix signed 6-7″ Jared Dudley to a 5 year deal, and let the 6-9″ “fan favorite” Lou Amundson go pound sand.  Why?

Jeremy Lin?  Go back and take a look at that elbow jumper he threw up.  I’m sorry, but that right-ear release is not an NBA shot.  And Jeremy Lin will never be an NBA player until he completely remakes it.

Joe Lacob’s first two personnel moves were disastrous for the Warriors playoff chances.  Let’s hope he gets it right at the trading deadline.

Now I’m going to mix some Nyquil into my Lagavulin, and dream a little Nightmare dream….

22 Responses to The Suns Also Rise: Suns 112 Warriors 88

  1. FB – I think you were the first to say that the Nightmare could be a significant player. That call is looking good. Lin makes Biedrins look like a shooter… Have you ever seen a worse nba shot can’t think of one right here… He must have had all lay ups in the D league. It will be a real test of ego to see how Lacob resolves the fates of these two additions… So one question – you think the Suns are just a horrible match up for the dubs, but then why do they shoot so poorly?

  2. Actually seven Dubs cannot hit a shot and we all could beatem at horse. You forgot Gadzurick! Wont get into the boys they leg go, but Deavan Ge0rge we l0ved you last year! Where are you????????????

  3. JW right or wrong I’m giving DGadz credit for a jumper. At least he takes them.

  4. buckaroo — the Phx coaches probably look at video and distill the good and bad tendencies of the main GS scoring threats. And they have the smart vet players to encourage Ellis and Wright to do more of the bad. (Curry or Lee more inclined to look around for options and pass ).

  5. Not that it would have made a difference, but they knew they needed to score and that they would be tired. I don’t know why they didn’t turn Curry and Reggie loose first half, both of whom would have been fresher, especially Curry, since they didn’t play so many minutes the night before. Each only took nine shots, and I’m assuming this wasn’t their decision. Especially when it was obvious Ellis didn’t have it–understandably! If Ellis can’t spark the offense, turn it over to Curry. This is why you have two PG/SGs.

  6. @ rggblog: Phoenix ignored the non-shooters to close up on Curry, et. al., who didn’t get many uncontested shots. So we saw things like Biedrins taking the longest shot of his career last night (top of the key), because the Suns weren’t willing to give the shooters anything. Great defense from the Suns last night. They totally got into the Warriors’ heads.

  7. Felty: The Warriors didn’t match up with Phoenix because the Warriors started Beidrins and D. Lee against Lopez and Frye. If the Warriors had started Udoh and B. Wright, Phoenix would not have scored 32 points in the first and 33 points in the second.

    With Udoh and B.Wright playing significant minutes in the second half, the Warriors held Phoenix to 22 points scoring in the third, and 25 points in the third. And Phoenix only scored so many points because Smart had his guards cheat-in leaving,Phoenix perimeter players wide-open. With Udoh and B. Wright on the court, there is no need to have guards not guard the perimeter, as Udoh and B.Wright can protect the interior. The same cannot be said for Biedrins and D. Lee.

    I notice that you were silent on B. Wright’s outstanding play last night. And while you might not like his play, you should not have lumped with other Warriors as being a bad jump shot shooter as last night he hit three jumpers and missed only one. He did go 5-7 from the field.

    B. Wright is more then an adequate back -up PF to D.Lee, and if he had been given playing time that would have given him time to improve, I would not be surprised if he ultimately surpassed D. Lee on both ends of the court. He did have two steals and 2 blocks last night.

    I think history will show that Smart kept the Warriors from being successful by not playing both Udoh and B.Wright 25 minutes per game. It’s also shameful that Smart has not integrated Udoh into the offense, and that we had to wait till last night for him to take 12 shots. He made 8. He should be a starter right now.

  8. I agree with you about one thing, Frank. If Smart wants to beat the Suns, he needs to change the starting lineup. He needs to play small, from the start, and get all his shooters on the floor. Nellie beat a better Suns team last year by starting Anthony Morrow on Channing Frye. A 7 man rotation of Lee, VR, RW, DW, Udoh, Curry and Ellis would have a chance. If you want to play Biedrins, you can’t play Lee next to him. You have to match up small on Channing Frye, and RUN.

    Brandan Wright played OK last night, which is good in the event he’s being showcased. As for him making jumpers, please direct me to time and quarter. I only remember him making 5 ft. jump hooks.

    I agree with WH’s comment that Phoenix’s defense was quite good. The character of this Phoenix team has changed radically with the big boys in the middle. Pietrus and Dudley and Hill are really starting to pressure the shooters, and they had a good game plan to choke off Ellis’ drives. Of course, Smart compounded the problem by having too many non-shooters on the floor at all times. Phoenix never has a non-shooter on the floor. Never.

    And I agree with rgg that the Warriors had to attack Nash as a game plan. Smart has shown an unwillingess to let Curry go for 30, which I think is hurting the Warriors.

    And by the way, Curry’s foul trouble against the Nuggets? It was on Smart. Why did he put Curry on the ultra-quick Lawson, and Monta on the third option Afflalo? It totally doesn’t make sense, unless Smart feels he has to save Monta for offense. But that doesn’t make sense either, because Curry can take over a game just as well as Monta can.

    By making matchup decisions like this, Smart is at best simply shifting Curry’s offensive production to Monta. Smart does not seem comfortable with Curry taking a Monta-size role this season. He seems intent on making Monta the man. And I think that hurts Curry, and the Warriors.

  9. Felty: Saying you want the Warriors to start small in order to obtain an offensive advantage makes no sense given that Udoh shot 8-12 last night, and B.Wright shot 5-7 from the field.

    You really wanted Radman in the rotation last night? I think he shot 1-3 from the field. D. Lee should have been coming off the bench when Frye was not on the court.

    I would rather have a two-way players on the court especially given the Warriors’ porous defense. B.Wright has always shot 55% from the field.

    We both love Nelson. He only played small because he didn’t have two way players. I think he would started Udoh and B.Wright.

    There is a time and place for small ball, but the beginning of last night’s game was not it.

    BW made a 7 foot, an 8 foot ,and 9 foot jump shot. See ESPN scores for last night, and click on play by play, and then click all, which reveals all the shots taken last night.

  10. FB, et al.,

    For example, compare the lineups and scoring in this game last year against Phoenix:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore;_ylt=AoSC_eWRFkl_fuN1BkgceXukvLYF?gid=2010032209

    Note the balanced scoring, the number of franchise players on our team. (Who’s that Tolliver guy?)

  11. Are you forgetting this game, rgg? Quite obviously, Don Nelson could beat Phoenix with our current roster.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/200912260GSW.html

    (by the way, curious how you find old boxes on yahoo?)

  12. AR at center that game — and he scored! I figured it was an anomaly.

    Pick a player who played last year (e.g. Curry) under the “Players” tab, main page (or from any box score), hit his name, then check the game log tab and go back to desired year.

  13. Felty: The Warriors did not entirely play small ball in that game last year. As Nellie started A. Randolph in that game.

  14. felt, I totally agree with your last 3 paragraphs in your second post about Curry, Smart and Ellis. Smart’s misguided strategy has marginalized Curry while enabling Ellis to totally slack on defensive effort for the first 3 quarters of every game with no ramifications whatsoever. It’s pathetic coaching, just like his loyalty to Biedrins despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    Frank is correct about Udoh and BWright, by the way.

  15. Frank, I don’t think there’s another person in the universe who would agree with you that Anthony Randolph at center and Corey Maggette at PF is not small ball :>

    If you’re interested in how Nellie actually got that win, I went into it in depth in my recap: http://www.goldenstateofmind.com/2009/12/27/1220678/recap-warriors-132-suns-127-big#storyjump

    As for BWright we’re going to have to agree to disagree. I will point out though, that those shots you referred me to were NOT jumpers. They were jump hooks. Those are what BW shoots well. He cannot spread the floor, and will never be able to spread the floor, even to 12 feet.

    (thanks, rgg.)

  16. Ok, I just got done watching Phoenix blow out the Jazz on a road back-to-back, on the Jazz’s home floor, in the emotional game following Jerry Sloan’s “retirement.”

    This Phoenix team is really, really good.

    I still think the Warriors can play with them, but to do it, Smart will have to think outside the box.

  17. Felty: I guess it’s how you define small ball. If Randolph being on the court is in your mind playing small ball, then, B. Wright should be considered small. You also designated Biedrins, Radman, Udoh, and D.Wright, part of your 7-man small ball rotation. That’s not playing small ball.

    I find it perplexing that would write after the Phoenix game that you would have included Biedrins in the rotation against Phoenix, especially since Phoenix shot an astounding 53% from the field, which Biedrins was, in part, responsible for.

    Last year, when the Warriors beat Phoenix, we had Maggette, Tolliver, R.Williams, Morrow and Watson, and most of them played out of their minds that game, especially Maggette. This year we have only R.Williams and D.Wright.

    With regard to B. Wright, it’s good to see that you will on occassion disagree with Don Nelson who thought B.Wright was his best player coming out of camp last year. Your saying that you don’t like him because he can’t spread the court leaves me scratching my head. What does spreading the court have to do with B.Wright being on the court? I want a player on the court who can score. B.Wright can do that. He’s shot 55% from the field in his limited career and 59% this year.

    I know we disagree, but I’ve seen him shoot ok 16 feet from the basket. He can also drive from there, but he’ strength shooting is within 9 feet of the basket. Who cares if he shoots a jump or hook shot. As long as he keeps shooting 55% from the field, he presently is at 59%. Regardless, a good coach can make sure the court is spread with B.Wright on the court. He can keep Biedrins or Udoh on other side of the court.

    Spreading the court is for me a non-issue. I want a guy on the court who can shoot, drive, get to the foul-line, alter and block shots. B.Wright can do all those things. Unfortunately, Smart has agreed to you and as a result the Warriors have not had as much success as they should have.

    Your saying that B.Wright is not going to be with the Warriors much longer is probably true. It appears to me such is written to underscore your point that he is not a good player. In my mind both you and management are being short sighted in your evaluation of B.Wright.

  18. I see Curry/Ellis/Wright getting smothered on offense. Opponents will be able to play U and B loose, neither has Lee’s passing ability, neither can pull bigs out because neither can shoot midrange +. (Though am optimistic about U.)

  19. As I predicted earlier this season, there is no way that DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans can coexist on the same team. Cousins threw a fit after Evans aborted Westphal’s play to jack a horrible 3 attempt at the end of the OKC game, and got suspended by the team as a result.

    Tyreke Evans is a selfish player, whose worst tendencies were set aflame by management in their push to get him the rookie of the year (and sell tickets). Now they’re reaping the harvest.

  20. FB —
    If you’re writing this one up, I ‘d be curious to hear an assessment of the OKC game plan–it looked like they were conceding offensive rebounds to cover shooters.
    Nice win, of course.