Just as the story of the Denver game could be read from the three point line, the story of this Warriors loss in Houston can be read from the free-throw line. The Rockets received an amazing 51 attempts at the charity stripe, to the Warriors 18.
Whom do you blame for this incredible disparity? If you say the refs, you will get no agreement from feltbot. I have a different theory.
You don’t have to look much further than the two teams’ lines from three to understand what happened in this game: the Nuggets were on fire at 12-21, and the Warriors ice-cold at 6-26. A lot of people (starting with the fingernails on chalkboard Bob Fitzgerald) might find fault with the Warriors shooting that many threes. I don’t. The Warriors are a great three-point shooting team, and because the Nuggets were completely ignoring Andris Biedrins and Dan Gadzuric in order to zone up and pack the paint against the depredations of Monta Ellis, the three is what was wide open in this game. The Warriors missed their open shots, the Nuggets didn’t. If it had been the other way around, the Warriors could easily have buried the Nuggets in the first half. Continue reading
I guess things were going too well for the Warriors 7 games into the season, what with only two major injuries so far. That Monta Ellis injury looked scary. I’m going to put the Warriors fan hair-pulling on hold for now. I just hope he’s ok.
If it weren’t for that injury, I would have been beyond pleased with this win. Monta Ellis had a beautiful game on both sides of the ball, and his efficient offense — 28 points on 10-17 — was largely the reason the Warriors surged to a 19 point lead in the third quarter. And Stephen Curry’s extraordinary playmaking ability and supernatural clutchness down the stretch sealed the win. His rustiness showed in some bad turnovers. His bad ankles showed in his matador defense on Jarret Jack, who abused him for 24 points on 7-13. But Curry’s ability to pour in 34 points on 12-21 shooting, 16 of which came in the fourth quarter when it counted the most, while playing hurt is… I mean what can you really say about it? You just have to watch. Curry scored in the fourth quarter in almost every fashion imaginable, spot up threes, pull back Js off the dribble, crafty slow-motion forays into the lane. On one leg.
A game like this doesn’t deserve a full recap. I’ll keep my remarks to a pointed minimum:
One game after heaping praise on Keith Smart, I’m going to take some back. First the disclaimer: There is not a team in the league that should be able to beat these Lakers except the Miami Heat. Once they picked up Matt Barnes and Steve Blake, their last remaining weaknesses disappeared. It is unfair how great they are. The Warriors as presently constituted should NEVER beat them.
That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try to beat them. Continue reading
Unlike the first game, there was a lot to like in this Warriors win. Let me start with what I liked the most: Keith Smart, the Warriors’ coach. This single game instilled a lot of confidence in me that Keith Smart gets it — that he has absorbed a lot of the lessons that he learned under Don Nelson, that he understands what he has in his roster, and that he knows how to get the most out of it. My concern that he might be one of the many coaches who insist on pounding square pegs into round holes is all but gone.
So what did I see that suddenly filled me with confidence? Let’s go down the list:
“You are doing the defense a favor when you post up Lee or Biedrins.” — Mark Jackson
I couldn’t agree with Mark Jackson more. We were told by the commentators to last night’s game that Keith Smart and his staff were raving about David Lee’s “surprising” abilities in the low post. (Surprising to whom? Matt Steinmetz et al? They weren’t surprising to feltbot.) Jackson went on to explain that despite Lee’s talent in the post, he is one of the greatest pick and roll players in the league, and that is how the Warriors should deploy him. I couldn’t agree more, as readers of this blog know.
And yet last night we were treated by Keith Smart to four quarters of watching the Warriors trying to post up Lee and Biedrins in the heart of the Lakers defense. Why? For well over three quarters, Smart ran literally no pick and rolls with Lee that were designed to get him a shot. Instead Andris Biedrins was used almost exclusively to set the high picks, with Lee standing uselessly on the wings waiting for the ball that never came. Why?
Posted in Golden State Warriors, Keith Smart, Player Analysis, Predictions, Recaps, Wagers
Tagged Andris Biedrins, Brandan Wright, David Lee, Golden State Warriors, Jeremy Lin, Keith Smart, Monta Ellis, Vladimir Radmanovich
“It’s the smart move….”
— Michael Corleone, on being betrayed.
I. Joe Lacob
We’ve heard a lot of different explanations and insinuations why Don Nelson is no longer coaching the Warriors. I’ve sifted through the lot of it — “pitchforked” would probably be a better word — and think in the end it really comes down to this:
There can be only one Godfather.