Anyone else sense a little momentum building for this too small, too soft to win Warriors team? A few quick thoughts on the Phoenix game:
— The play of the game for me was Ekpe Udoh’s decision to take his own shot (left hook off the dribble) in crunch time rather than pass back to Ellis. The first time we’ve seen that kind of confidence from Udoh, and an indication that he now considers himself a full-fledged member of the finishing unit. A huge development for the team.
— Words can’t describe how bad a decision Mark Jackson made when he called timeout with the Warriors on a runout with two Suns completely out of the play. I of course startled the Thaiblonde out of her blankets with some regrettable epithets, and then Jim Barnett followed up by subtly questioning the decision a few plays later. Thank you, Jim Barnett.
It is idiotic to take your team out of a fast break simply because you think it’s time to slow the tempo. Especially when it really isn’t the time to slow the tempo, with a full 3:55 left in the game and only a 5 to 7 point lead against the Phoenix Suns.
The one mitigating factor is that Jackson was desperate to get Nate Robinson off the floor, and I really can’t blame him for feeling that way. But it was still a terrible, over-controlling rookie decision. In the middle of a two man advantage, you have to trust your players. Even Nate Robinson.
— We saw the good Nate last night, until that last TO. I continue to feel that Nate’s difficulties are emotional in nature. He’s always looking for the homerun instead of the single. He needs the crowds’ love and attention more than he needs a win.
— Markieff Morris has been really up and down lately, as have been his minutes. Gentry is playing him with the finishing unit though, and we saw flashes of the reasons why in this game. He spreads the floor and can also get you a jump hook in the paint. He did a much better job staying in front of David Lee than the Suns other bigs.
I’m wondering if his recent struggles have anything to do with those heavy wraps on his knees? We may not know the full story there.
— If Klay Thompson truly is a two-way player — and he looked pretty good in this game, albeit against terrible opposing guards — then there will no longer be any debate about the draft pick. He’s going to be elite at his position offensively. As I have predicted — for those of you who think I’m a hater — from day one.
— I liked Mark Jackson’s creativity with his lineups last night. One note: When you’re going small, with say DWright on Channing Frye, and Gentry is trying to make you pay for it with post-ups, then FLIP THE SWITCH: Make Gentry pay for it on the other end with DWright iso face-ups. Frye can’t guard that, as we saw on the exactly one play that was called for Wright, which he finished for the And One.
— Amnesty David Lee? Mark Jackson recently stated in a post-game that Biedrins is the Warriors’ only “legitimate” center. Does that mean that Bill Russell (6-9″ 215 lbs) — whom Ekpe Udoh increasingly resembles, in defense if not in rebounding — was not legitimate? How about the guy who ripped out Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s heart in the 1974 Finals, Dave Cowens (6-9″, 230)? Was two-time champion Dave Cowens — of whom David Lee is the living, breathing reincarnation — a legitimate center?
I wonder how long the Warriors brass will stick with this line if the team that Don Nelson built continues to gel.
I can guess: right up until the moment Joe Lacob renders the question moot by trading Monta Ellis.