…Uh huh, Uh huh, I like it. — KC & The Sunshine Band
This was the best win of the Warriors’ season. I say that first of all because it came against a very tough team, the Los Angeles Clippers. Don’t scoff. This isn’t your Daddy’s Clippers team. This is the Clippers team of Blake Griffin, who only needs continued health to erase all memory of Karl Malone. (Yes, I said that.) This is a Clippers team with Eric Gordon, who is rapidly becoming a bonafide star. And with Baron Davis. A healthier, slimmed down, motivated, gleam-in-his-eye Baron Davis, who has finally been freed from the half-court swamp of The Kamanosaurus by the emergence of DeAndre Jordan at center. Continue reading
A lot of things annoyed me about how Keith Smart went about business in this Warriors loss to the Hawks. And I’m annoyed in general at how he goes about business against the “better” teams of the league. I do not accept the notion that this was a game the Warriors couldn’t win.
Two late great Warriors wins in a row, what a wonderful feeling after these long weeks of teeth-grinding misery. And this one against a former Western Conference powerhouse, a team that the Warriors are going to be competing with for that 8 seed, if Monta Ellis’ prediction comes true. I say former because Brandan Roy’s bone on bone career is currently in doubt, and trade rumors are swirling around Andre Miller.
I’m going to get to this great Warriors win. But first, in honor of Christmas — which is my favorite holiday on a spiritual level, and now also on an NBA basketball level as well, thanks to the decidedly unspiritual David Stern — and also in honor of Don Nelson, whose style of basketball was greatly honored today — I’m going to gift-wrap you some bonus coverage.
Posted in Don Nelson, Golden State Warriors, Keith Smart, Recaps
Tagged David Lee, Don Nelson, Ekpe Udoh, Golden State Warriors, Keith Smart, Monta Ellis, Recap, Stephen Curry, Vladimir Radmanovich
As the third quarter came to a close, I wasn’t planning on recapping this game. The Warriors trailed by 14, and if they had gone on to lose, I was just going to write one line in the comments to the last post:
I think Don Nelson could have solved the puzzle of this game.
But surprise to end all surprises, Keith Smart stepped up and solved it himself. The key to beating the Kings in this game was to go small, with David Lee at center, and Vlad Rad at power forward. On offense, spread the floor and let your great slashers and shooters work. On defense, use your quicker players to deny King’s penetration, and when you get the rebound off of that inevitable Tyreke Evans brick, RUN.
Warriors fans enjoyed their first extended Nightmare of the season, as Ekpe Udoh delivered an amazing all-around performance off the bench that electrified the Oracle. The highlight sequence of the night, of course, began with his soaring, left-handed putback slam at 9:35 of the 4th Q. As the Oracle went beserk, the Rockets kept their head, and quickly inbounded the ball and connected over the top to a streaking Courtney Lee, who beat the Warriors defense, and… there was Udoh again, soaring to block Lee’s layup from behind. Wow.
Whew. Props to Bob Fitzgerald for never panicking in this game. After that 17 point first quarter performance, I have to admit I had my doubts that the Warriors would win.
It’s not usually my way to nitpick after wins. But it’s also never been my way to put on false optimism, or sugarcoat what I’m seeing. I write about what I see. And I’m seeing a lot more negatives than positives on the court right now.
Posted in Golden State Warriors, Joe Lacob, Keith Smart, Recaps
Tagged Acie Law, Ekpe Udoh, Golden State Warriors, Joe Lacob, Keith Smart, Monta Ellis, Recap, Reggie Williams
The newly big Warriors were thrashed by small ball in this game. If you don’t know already that the Thunder are a quintessential small ball team, let me explain. Forget about Nenad Krstic at center. Many of Nellie’s best teams had non-scoring defensive anchors at center. Andris Biedrins, for one. Shawn Bradley for another, who came within a Nowitzki knee injury in game 3 of the 2003 Conference Finals of winning a title. (Can you imagine the consternation of snake-oil salesmen like John Hollinger and Dave Berri if Shawn Bradley had won a title?) Continue reading
Posted in Don Nelson, Golden State Warriors, Keith Smart, Recaps
Tagged David Lee, Dorell Wright, Golden State Warriors, Kevin Durant, Monta Ellis, OKC Thunder, Recap, Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry
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.
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.
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.