Thoughts on Game No. 24: Nuggets 123, Warriors 105Filed under: News; Tagged as: Anthony Morrow, Brandan Wright, Chauncey Billups, Corey Maggette, DeMarcus Nelson, Don Nelson, J.R. Smith, Jamal Crawford, Kenyon Martin, Manny Pacquiao, Marcus Williams, Michael Marks, Monta Ellis, Nene, Oscar De La Hoya, Rob Kurz, Robert Rowell, Ronny Turiaf, Stephen Jackson
By Geoff Lepper
At a Warriors practice last week, Golden State captain Stephen Jackson stood on the sideline talked for roughly 10 minutes with team president Robert Rowell and minority owner Michael Marks.
I have no idea what the gist of the conversation was, but Rowell needs to have another meeting with Jackson, with one simple message:
Sit down until you’re healthy.
Like Oscar De La Hoya’s cornermen after watching him get pummeled for eight rounds at the hands of Manny Pacquiao last week, someone has to step in and say it, because Jackson refuses to admit what’s obvious to everyone — that his injured left hand is crippling his effectiveness on the floor right now.
Jackson showed reporters this week how his middle finger is misaligned, and said that the ligaments had been pushed out of place when he originally incurred the injury against Boston on Nov. 26 (his hand got caught in a Celtic’s jersey as Jackson tried to fight through a screen). Nevertheless, he steadfastly refuses to ask off the floor in games, even after he takes a shot and can clearly be seen between plays rubbing the hand to try and ease the pain.
The team has not given any indication that Jackson needs anything other than rest to get better. If that’s the case, then the rest should start immediately.
Jackson was 1-for-13 from the floor in the Warriors’ 123-105 loss to the Nuggets on Saturday. Teams are overplaying his right hand now, knowing that he can’t get anything going on a dribble with his left.
That’s bad enough, but let’s be honest: Even if Jackson had been playing at his 2007-08 level against the Nuggets on Saturday, does anyone really think that would have turned the tide? On a night where Don Nelson’s top three possibilities at power forward — Corey Maggette, Brandan Wright and Ronny Turiaf — are all off the floor? Maybe an 18-point defeat becomes an eight-point margin. But there’s not much more to it than that.
The only way the Warriors are going to make the playoffs — assuming you’re not joining the Tank Brigade after a quarter of the season — is if they win a stunning proportion of the games once Monta Ellis comes back. We’re talking a 65, 70, 75 percent proportion.
Running Jackson out for 31 minutes on back-to-back nights in games where the Warriors already have next to no hope because of their myriad other injuries is time he could be spending recovering. And getting ready so that when Ellis returns, it’s with a full-strength Jackson alongside.
Jamal Crawford may or may not be the reason why the Warriors’ defense went from “merely poor” to “catastrophically bad” in the past few weeks. But there’s no reason whatsoever why he should stand around near halfcourt and watch, dumbstruck, while Kenyon Martin streaks past him to set up a breakaway dunk after Chauncey Billups collects a missed 3-pointer and launches a lead pass. At least give an effort. Act like you care. . . . I’m going to search through the tape later today with an eye on Rob Kurz’s performance. I will stipulate that he was one of only two Warriors that could hit any kind of shot, but this no-mistake defense I keep hearing about was belied by two plays that jumped out on the first viewing: Kurz got pushed down the lane by Nene on the very first play of the game, which allowed Kurz’s cover, Martin, to cram home a dunk. (Thankfully, Kurz turned away at the last second, otherwise Martin would’ve given him the full Frederic Weis treatment.) Then, 90 seconds into the second half, Kurz came from the right block all the way across the lane to try to provide C.J. Watson help covering Anthony on the left wing. Except all that did was leave Martin open to tap home Anthony’s alley-oop pass. . . . Given that he couldn’t even get into a 25-point blowout until the final 3:02, it’s pretty clear that third-year guard Marcus Williams is the leader in the clubhouse in terms of being the player the Warriors to shed after Monta Ellis’ suspension ends on Dec. 17. Barring a very poor showing by DeMarcus Nelson on Wednesday while he fills in for Watson (who will be attending a family funeral), the only question would seem to be whether the Warriors can salvage a second-round pick for Williams, or just have to cut him loose with no compensation at all. . . . Anthony Morrow needs to learn to stay home when matched up with a 3-point gunner such as J.R. Smith.
The Lineup Project
Once again, no real chance to go big without Turiaf and Wright in the building.
Lineup GS DEN Time
Large 0 0 0:00
Turiaf-Biedrins 0 0 0:00
Medium 41 49 18:56
Small 64 74 29:04
Here’s a season-long update, per 48 minutes
Lineup GS OPP +/-
Large 99.7 92.5 +7.2
Turiaf-Biedrins 107.1 97.4 +9.7
Medium 103.6 109.6 -6.0
Small 107.3 116.6 -9.3
Without Monta. . .
7-19, here they come. Only two games remain, and both of them, like the Denver game, were predicted to be defeats.
15 Responses to “Thoughts on Game No. 24: Nuggets 123, Warriors 105”
i may have missed this from an earlier post, but i had a question for you… What’s the lineup that makes the large category in your lineup project?
(I would assume that would be Turiaf-Biedrins, but that’s a separate category)
Thanks for the continued analysis!
Jack’s a man. He gives this team everything he’s got, even stuff he ain’t got. Nellie’s a prick for overplaying him when he refuses to coach for wins anyway.
Jack is my idol. He can’t do anything wrong.
I hate Corey Maggette and Anthony Morrow. Brandan Wright sucks.
Geoff Lepper December 14th, 2008 at 4:08 pm
John: Large = 3 bigs, with the bigs being Biedrins, Turiaf, Randolph, Wright, Kurz and (when he was here) Harrington.
ajbry, why do you hate Anthony Morrow?? The guy is producing much more for what’s he paid for
David E December 14th, 2008 at 5:35 pm
I like it better when you analyze than when you coach. I know you have a bog to fill, but I would like a little winning streak just so you guys would stop whining. Maybe you can retitle your blog “The Great Kurz Project.” He had a good night. Give him a break. Do you make any money at this or is this a hobby?
commish December 14th, 2008 at 6:01 pm
Geoff, don’t let these knuckheads dis you at all. You do a spectacular job in both analysing and commenting. In fact, I would rather you be more critical and less objective but I guess that is our job, eh.
What a joke Nelson is as a coach, not getting Jax out of the line up and healed–among many other reasons I’ve ranted on about. People are saying he quit coaching sometime last year. Do you agree with that? I guess Baron made him look better than he really was with Jax and others as supporting actors.
I hope we keep losing to get people to see how bad Nelson is and then he gets booted or gives up (not likely). And let all of this come back on Rowell for sticking his nose into basketball matters of which he knows nothing about.
The longer Jax and Maggette are out of the lineup, the happier I am going to be. Both are just way overpaid for what they have been contributing and that too goes back on Rowell. Mully at least has quite a bit of plausable deniability and may get another job without the tarnish of Nellie and Rowell to hinder him.
um. that’s how they were guarding Anthony, w/ either Kurz or AB lying in wait. it’s up to the guard to come down and prevent the pass to Kurz’s man. you give up the pass to the top in order to prevent the big guy’s man from catching when he flashes.
sheesh. besides, no one is saying Kurz doesn’t make mistakes. he’s like Shaun Hill and AR & BW are Alex Smith & JTO. why don’t you mention how lost Marco looked in our zone scheme? when you’re busy looking for a couple of Kurz mistakes, you can get a sheet of paper to count all the overhyped young guys mistakes b/c you’ll never be able to count it on your fingers.
media are always overhyping these super athletic guys who have no feel for the game like Darius Miles or Tyrus Thomas.
Morrow is a flash in the pan. Jack is the Truth.
Don’t get the Kurtz scope Geoff. He’s shown he can score(as has BA) and are you saying Nene wouldn’t have pushed Brandan and AR down the lane? Kurtz does have about 30 pounds on each of them. And last time I checked, both AR and BW had played in many more games and had more minutes this season than Kurtz. They are all young players,BW out sick, why not give Kurtz an opportunity. I think he showed he can contribute.
commish December 15th, 2008 at 11:44 am
Why not sit Jax down on injured reserve and bring a real NBA body type up from Bakersfield for some PT.
M.squared December 15th, 2008 at 12:14 pm
are these comments serious or are you doing this as sarcasim? I’m not sure I can tell at this point.
Check out Jack’s season stats. He is not playing well and is obviously in a role (#1 scorer/passer) that he simply is just not able to fulfill. Jack is good on the Ws of 2 years ago where he can slide in and be the 3rd scorer. Maybe if Monta can get back and someone else can be like a #2, jack can play that role and be effective once again.
David E- Pretty critical. Enlighten us on your take of the next game so we can see what it’s all about.
JustPuked December 15th, 2008 at 2:58 pm
Geoff, the Monta countdown assumes he’s going to be healthy and ready to play to play in three games, no? Any word on his progress?
Jamal Crawford 2000-2001 to 2007-2008, played on the Bulls and Knicks. None of his teams made the playoffs. The combined win lose of those teams 201W 455L 0.44Pct.
The Bulls were last place (8th) 3 of 4 times and 6th place their best season. These were horrible teams.
The Knicks twice finishe din last place in the Atlantic Division and 2nd to last twice. We recall how dysfunction those teams were.
I expect Crawford will accept losing and not make much of an effort to try once he sees the first signs of a collapse.
Geoff Lepper December 15th, 2008 at 9:28 pm
Hmmmmm: I’m saying that he needed to get out of the way of a rolling screen. And I’m not saying that he shouldn’t get a chance. I’m just saying that the coach who says Kurz is always in the right spot was wrong in this instance.
JP: Monta is definitely not going to be healthy enough to play on Dec. 19. The countdown was just me trying to figure out how far in the hole they’d be at the end of the suspension.
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