If I squinted my eyes really hard, I thought I could see some remnants of Don Nelson basketball in this Warriors win over the Jazz….
I’m not going to make too much out of this win. The Jazz were on the road on a back-to-back, and their three top backcourt players were out of action. And even when the Jazz are at full strength, they’re a team I think the Warriors should run out of the gym virtually every time they play.
The Warriors are way too quick and way too skilled for the Jazz, when they actually play
Don Nelson, errr… Warriors basketball. Pushing the tempo, spreading the floor. Pick and roll, with three of the most gifted offensive basketball players on the planet. Creating.
This was a great game to watch not because it was a great win, but simply because it was one of the rare games in the last two years when the Warriors were actually allowed to play the way
Don Nelson, errr… Larry Riley designed them to play.
Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry: Can we stop with the carping about these two players? I mean seriously, sometimes it seems as if Warriors fans have no memory. They have no memory of Monta Ellis shooting 60% in a month for Don Nelson. No memory of him carrying 6 man Warriors teams for three months. No memory of his spectacular assist games. No memory of him checking Durant and Roy, turning over Kobe Bryant 7 times, or absolutely devouring Derrick Rose.
No memory of Stephen Curry averaging 21 – 7 – 5 in the second half of his rookie season, while shooting 46-43-88. Numbers that only a handful of NBA players in history have achieved. Put up in his rookie year, playing with a D-league front line.
Are these guys really only as good as their last game? Only as good as they appear to be while playing in the WRONG system, for rookie coaches, at a drastically slowed pace?
Nonsense. Complete and utter nonsense. Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry, when healthy, when allowed to play in the system for which God created them, and when given the proper support, are two of the very best players
In. The. League.
David Lee: Did you notice the difference between Lee’s 2-12 first half and his 7-11 second half?
Obviously, Lee was cold in the first half. But he was also being played in the WRONG SYSTEM. The Warriors walked the ball up the court, and posted Lee up. WRONG.
In the second half, Mark Jackson got it right, finally, when Biedrins left the court. Pick and roll after pick and roll. That is what David Lee is designed for. That, and beating his man down court, which he did as well.
There is a current meme among Warriors fans that David Lee is “soft.” That he only gets easy rebounds, never “clutch” rebounds. This is one of the most absurd things I’ve ever heard. There is simply no such thing as a soft player averaging 12 rebounds a game at the center position, as Lee did for the Knicks, nor averaging 10 while playing out of position at power forward, as he has for the Warriors. No such thing.
And isn’t David Lee the guy who almost single-handledly beat the good Knicks team (pre-Melo), in Madison Square Garden, with a filthy Wilson Chandler fang lodged in his elbow?
Any memory of that, Warriors fans?
Beans: Dre is kryptonite for Al Jefferson. Has been his entire career. Not just too long and quick for him, but too smart. Never goes for any of his multiple pump fakes. Positions himself perfectly, challenges the shot without jumping, and beats him to the rebound.
A huge contrast to the two mentally-challenged jumping beans on the overrated Clippers front line, whom Jefferson absolutely tortured yesterday. I watched the game.
The Nightmare: Did you see that 20 footer? Udoh is now shooting the shot that Nellie would have had him shooting since day one. Why? Because win, lose or draw, that is the shot that opens the floor for David Lee in the pick and roll. As we saw.
And we also saw that Udoh can hit that shot. Repeatedly.
7 points on 3-5, 4 rb, 1 assist, 1 stl, 3 BS. Not quite a winning fantasy basketball line. But very, very close.
Can we get him, say, 28 minutes instead of 18?
The Injury Miracle that ended the Kwame Brown Era just may turn out to be the key to this Warriors season. If The Nightmare keeps coming.
Jeremy Tyler: Although I can see what attracted Joe Lacob to Tyler — he’s a heck of an athlete for his size — I have several problems with playing him in an NBA basketball game.
Because he’s not even close to being an NBA basketball player. He literally has no idea what’s going on on the court. This kid belongs in the D-league, along with Anthony Randolph.
I’m sure the rationale for playing Tyler is that the Warriors need to develop him now, because they’re going to need him later in the season. And also, Joe Lacob needs to demonstrate to the assembled media that he didn’t leave the Warriors bare-assed naked at center. For the second straight year.
These rationales are bad. First of all, because no matter how many second quarter minutes Jackson spoonfeeds Tyler this season, he will never be ready for first quarter or third quarter minutes, let alone fourth quarter minutes. This is a multi-year project, at best.
And second, because he is killing the Warriors’ second-quarter unit. Since the second injury miracle that brought Nate Robinson to the team, the Warriors actually have a very deep small ball bench. And that is exactly how the bench has been lighting up opposing teams. By running. With small ball.
But since Tyler has been added to the second quarter unit, this running has turned to a crawl. This needs to end, if the Warriors want to compete with good teams.
To win against big front lines, the Warriors shouldn’t be trying to match up big. They should be running these teams off the court.
You know, the way George Karl did to the Kings a couple of nights ago. (That’s how you get 90 points in the paint, Bob Fitzgerald.) Or the way George Karl did to the Clippers tonight, 112-91, in Staples Center.
Or the way Mark Jackson did to the Jazz in the second half tonight, mirabile dictu.
Mark Jackson: Beyond the second half adjustment to running and pick and roll, one other major adjustment caught my eye:
At the end of the second half and again at the end of the third quarter, it was Curry who had the ball in his hands, not Monta Ellis. Curry hit a clever 12 foot leaner to close the half. To close the third Q, Curry ran pick and roll with Lee. Lee’s pass was disrupted, but on the ensuing inbounds, Curry set up Monta for a three with a beautiful behind the back pass.
I really, really like this adjustment.
And I really, really liked the sarcasm that Jackson unleashed in the post-game presser, in response to a question about the great play of Ellis and Curry:
Too small, can’t handle the rock, can’t play together….
If Jackson gets the right lineups on the floor and gets the Warriors out and running and gets Udoh out firing on the wing and gets David Lee at center in the pick and roll… then we’ll just see about that, Matt Steinmetz.