Don’t you know
You better run, run, run, run, run,
run, run, run, run, run, run, run
Oh I said, you better
Run, run, run, run, run, run, run,
run, run, run, run, run. — Tracy Chapman
This comes straight from the playbook of Don Nelson, who back in the day when we believed, stole a game from the formidable Chris Paul – David West – Tyson Chandler Hornets, in New Orleans, like this:
In the fourth quarter, Nellie sprung one of his patented defensive traps: he put Stephen Jackson on Chris Paul, and Andris Biedrins on David West, and denied the pick and roll. Jackson was just too long for Paul to comfortably throw the over-the-top pass against. He turned Paul over more than once. And Biedrins was too long for West to comfortably shoot over. Nor could West bully Biedrins, nor could he get around him.
This should work even better for this Golden State Warriors team. In the fourth quarter, shift Dorell Wright onto Chris Paul. Wright is even longer than Stephen Jackson, and just as quick. Put Biedrins (or Udoh, if he’s strong enough) on Blake Griffin. And deny the entry. Deny the lob.
This will force the Clippers to swing the ball to their wings, Caron Butler and Chauncey Billups. Even Stephen Curry can stick with Billups. Butler will be a test for Monta Ellis, but one he can well handle for a quarter.
Or four minutes…. Because this plan will work best if Mark Jackson uses his best wing defender off the bench — Brandon Rush — for eight fourth quarter minutes against Butler. Four minutes subbing for Monta, four minutes subbing for Curry.
And leaving four minutes for two of the best closers in the NBA, Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry, to bring this game home.
This Warriors team can beat the Clippers.
Oh, and lest I forget… Does this Warriors team have fresher, younger, and healthier legs than Chris Paul, Caron Butler and Chauncey Billups? Can Curry, Ellis and Wright beat Paul, Butler and Billups up and down the court?
Yes they do, and yes they can.
RUN! Leave Kwame on the bench and run, run, run, run, run.
The Warriors are +5 home dogs to the Clippers. [Edit: The line has moved to +5.5] Seriously? On Opening Day? In our house? Even though I know what’s going on, that line made me look twice. If you ever want to see a line that reflects millions of excited fans betting strictly on one side, this is it. The Hoops Nation is on fire for Lob City.
Regular readers know what’s coming next: I’m going to jump into the breach, and help the bookies balance their books. I don’t care if Stephen Curry isn’t playing, this line is just crazy talk. Haven’t these fools heard of Monta Ellis?
A case of Fat Tire on the Warriors.
And wishing everyone a happy hoops-filled holidays. Let’s Go Warriors!