Tag Archives: Keith Smart

Bad Things Come in Threes: Nuggets 106 Warriors 89

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

Piston Trouble: Pistons 97 Warriors 101

Fueled by a superstar 21 point first quarter performance from Monta Ellis, the Warriors roared to a 32 point lead in this game, before suffering engine failure down the stretch and almost giving the game away.  There are a lot of ways to look at this near-disaster without casting responsibility for it onto Keith Smart.  It can be very difficult to play with a big lead in the NBA, as the Miami Heat discovered recently against Utah.  You can give the game away by keeping the pedal to the metal, or you can give it away by trying to run clock.  Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry both got in foul trouble, which complicated matters further. And on top of that, the Warriors don’t have a backup point guard, nor enough shooters behind Ellis and Curry.  But where is the fun in belaboring these points? Let’s pick a bone with the coach.

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Yo, Adrien: Warriors 72 Bucks 79

My favorite Adrien is not Rocky’s, but B-movie queen Adrienne Barbeau, who some of you older guys might remember. And I’m afraid she will always be my favorite. Too much history together. But the number two slot is open, and with this 8 rebound, 2 blocked shots, +10 performance in 19 minutes, Jeff Adrien became a contender for the job. It’s a pity the Warriors probably won’t have a slot for him when their three missing big men return. It is fun to watch an old-school power forward — a power forward who knows he’s a power forward — do his job.

It’s too bad Adrien’s performance was wasted in a game that was botched from the start.                                                    Continue reading

B Wright Stuffed: Warriors 90 Bulls 120

No sense in recapping this game, so I’m just going to use this space to exorcise a couple pet peeves.  Beginning with the biggest pet among my peeves, who goes by the name of Brandan Wright.

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Add Curry and Stir: Warriors 109 Raptors 102

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.

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Pre-Game Jitters: Jazz at Warriors

This is a new Jazz team, and a new Warriors team.  Let’s take a look at how they match up.

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Playoff Bound: Warriors 115 Grizzlies 109

It’s silly, I know.  A home win against Memphis.  But when you’re ready, you’re ready.  And I’m ready, four games into the season, to make my call. This Warriors team — picked by virtually all the pundits to finish last or next to last in the Pacific — is going to the playoffs.

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Smart is as Smart does: Warriors 109 Clippers 91

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:

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Opening Salvo: Golden State Warriors 132 Houston Rockets 128

I am a firm believer that there is nothing wrong with an ugly win.  That belief was tested a bit in this game, in which I was unable to discern many signs of cohesive team play on either side of the ball.  In my eyes, this game was won by the extraordinary individual efforts of a few very talented Warriors players.  I think you know who.  But it was a win.

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Pre-Game Jitters: Rockets at Warriors

Finally.  Am I the only one who feels like it’s been two years since last season?

The Warriors open the season as -3.5 favorites against the visiting Houston Rockets. Really, favorites?  This line is quite mysterious to me. Maybe it’s because the Warriors are suiting up more than six players, and the bookies don’t know how to handicap that!

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