Big City? Important audition? Or did Don Nelson catch Private Stephen Jackson’s attention with his benching in Indiana? For whatever reason, Jack was back playing full bore last night. Certainly Nellie communicated strongly that he won’t leave Jack on the floor when he’s hurting the team. And if Jack wants a trade sooner rather than later, he knows he’ll need to play hard.
There are so many positive story lines to this victory I don’t know where to begin.
I’ll start with the most important: How many times in your life have you seen an NBA team go with a lineup of a center and four point guards? At the start of the fourth quarter, the Warriors stepped out with Anthony Randolph, Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry and… Acie Law and CJ Watson. And dominated the garbage time. Thank you, Don Nelson.
You see, that’s one of the things I love about Don Nelson. Something all those anhedonic haters out there will never get. If you let him, he will entertain you. He will make you laugh. He’s crazy!
Hey, the Warriors are on the board in ’09. We can all breathe out now.
A large part of the credit for this win goes to Don Nelson. His central conception of attacking Zach Randolph with Stephen Jackson and Corey Maggette was the difference in this game. When Memphis went away from Randolph offensively in the second half, they were left with nothing but a terrible defender. That’s how mismatches can win games. That’s classic Don Nelson small-ball.
Posted in Golden State Warriors, Recaps
Tagged Andris Biedrins, Anthony Morrow, anthony randolph, azubuike, corey maggette, Don Nelson, Golden State Warriors, Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, stephen jackson
It’s three games into the season, and the Warriors are still looking for their first win. The media and the fans are rumbling at the terrible play they’ve witnessed in the first two games, and if it continues into this game, at home against the woeful Grizzlies, that rumble will start growing into a roar. It already feels like the Warriors are playing for something significant.
Through the first two games, the Warriors have looked pretty crappy. I’m not going to rehash everything I’ve already posted about that. Here’s Private Jackson with a pithy summation: “I just think, like Coach said earlier, the first two games, we look like a team (on which) everyone’s playing for a contract and we’re not playing like a team. That’s all I can see.”
You can apply this statement to everyone on the team, if you like. “Everyone must look at himself in the mirror,” and so on. Certainly Corey Maggette has had a couple of stinkers. But the Warriors don’t look to CM to do anything on the offensive end but score. That’s his role. To me, Jackson’s statement rests squarely on the shoulders of Monta Ellis. He’s the player who’s had the ball in his hands the most often. He’s the player who has taken the most shots. He’s the player who has done an absolutely terrible job creating for his teammates. He barely even looks at them. And he’s the player who, when Curry has left the game and he has had sole responsibility at the point, has been leading the team over a cliff. Monta Ellis is the biggest culprit for the Warriors’ obvious lack of chemistry.
What can Don Nelson do about this? After some thought, I have decided that the solution lies in the lineups. Nellie has a lot of pieces on this team, and he has been doing a lot of experimenting with how they should fit together. I don’t think he’s found the right lineups yet. My simple prescription for fixing the Warriors’ chemistry is this:
Unfortunately, my Pre-Game Jitters pretty much captured the story of this game. This was a nightmare matchup for the Warriors. It is not easy for a team that is searching for its identity to face one of the best defensive teams in the league in their first game of the season. And that is what this Houston team is. They executed a beautiful defensive game plan, which caught the Warriors in its snare in a disastrous third quarter. On offense, their undersized front-line proved a Don Nelson axiom: Very talented power forwards will almost always beat less-talented centers. And Trevor Ariza went unguarded much of the night and nearly matched his career high for points. Continue reading
Posted in Golden State Warriors, Recaps
Tagged Andris Biedrins, Anthony Morrow, anthony randolph, azubuike, Don Nelson, Golden State Warriors, Monta Ellis, Rony Turiaf, Stephen Curry, stephen jackson
I missed the game. When your girlfriend is taking you out to a fine restaurant on your birthday, it’s pretty tough to say, “But honey, it’s a pre-season game against the Clippers!”
A couple of things stand out from the box score: Continue reading
Not quite a recap, as I couldn’t watch the game, but listened on radio. Still found a few things worth noting.
Turiaf not available, sore knee.
As I predicted, Azubuike starts at the 2, not Morrow or Curry, despite the looks Nellie is giving them in training camp.
And right out of the gate, Buike draws a charge on Baron Davis. Barnett: “According to Keith Smart, KA has been one of the two top defenders in training camp.” Continue reading
To say the success of this season begins and ends with the play of Monta Ellis would not be an exaggeration. The Monta Ellis we saw pre-moped had the makings of a very special player in the league. The blazing quickness, and ability to penetrate and finish after absorbing contact reminded many of Allen Iverson. Coupling his quickness with an uncanny ability to rise up on a dime and bury the mid-range jumper, he was an unstoppable offensive force, capable of putting up 30 pts. with ease. He was mesmerizing to watch, but what was really startling was the efficiency with which he operated. His shooting percentages were among the best ever seen in this league for a guard. Did he really shoot over 60% for a month? Everyone around the league was watching Ellis with their mouths open, including Kobe Bryant, who stated he was his favorite NBA player. It was only a matter of time until Ellis became an all-star. A very short time.
And then, tragedy. Continue reading