(PROGRAMMING NOTE: No live blog on the Houston game Saturday. More pesky prior commitments, I’m afraid.)
** Azubuike wasted one possession, then comes down and takes advantage in transition to creat an opportunity for the 3-point play.
** That would have been so very, very Warriors if Marks had hit the desperation 45-footer.
** Speaking of so very, very Warriors: Wright with the putback dunk.
** These are eminently makeable shots that the Warriors are missing, which makes it all the more galling.
** This is a sloppy game on both ends — and just like mud or rain or wind helps the less-talented team in the NFL, so sloppiness helps the less-talented team in the NBA.
** Give Don Nelson credit — he has, for the most part, managed to successfully hide the defensive liabilities caused by the mismatches on his end.
** This may be the most amusing stat of the year: Corey Maggette, 1-for-10 floor, but a team-high plus-13.
** Dear David West: The one thing you cannot do as a defender is bail out Maggette after you force him into a jumper.
** Interesting that even with Crawford, Ellis and Jackson on the floor, it’s been all Maggette down the stretch.
** Unforced travel on Maggette. Awful.
** After watching Paul feel pressure on his back, then pull up to allow Turiaf to run him over for a cheap foul in the backcourt, I’m more and more thinking of Paul as a latter-day Isiah Thomas — devastatingly cutthroat but smiling all the while.
** Peja gets 3 back after committing that horrible gaffe on Maggette at the other end.
** With Crawford in uniform, the Warriors have two guards with solid mid-range games, instead of just Ellis. As Peja just found out.
** I love the way that Hubie and Schulman have already conceded the game to the Warriors. Guess this team’s history slipped through the research net.
** Going seven deep and beating a team with one of the league’s two best players? That’s an impressive feat.
** The return of the Turiaf-Biedrins tandem? Oh my…
** Nice body control by Ellis to force the foul from Paul on the break there, but Hubie has it right: Monta would have jumped clean over CP3 in that situation last season.
** I’m glad to see Paul isn’t rewarded for sneaking in behind Ellis in the backcourt. That’s just so … cheap, I guess is the best word for it.
** The good news: Two…
(PROGRAMMING NOTE: Due to a prior engagement, there won’t be a live blog from the Mavericks-Warriors game this evening.)
The NBA unveiled the 18 players scheduled to participate in the Rookie Challenge, and despite the fact that nearly half of the Warriors’ roster was eligible to partake, no Golden State representative will take the floor on Feb. 13.
The omission of Anthony Morrow is ultimately unsurprising, as he simply hasn’t played enough (he’s 20th on the list of total minutes for rookies, sandwiched between San Antonio’s George Hill and New Jersey’s Ryan Anderson).
C.J. Watson’s failure to earn a berth on the Sophomore team is a little more head-scratching, however, given who made it. Watson compares favorably in pretty much every category with Sophomore team member Aaron Brooks of Houston, especially in terms of his efficiency – Watson is shooting 46.0 percent to Brooks’ 39.7 from the floor (44.3 to Brooks’ 34.6 on 3-pointers) and has a better assist/turnover ratio, better PER score and more Win Shares.
But Brooks plays on a team that’s 28-18 instead of 14-31, and that’s why he’s going to Phoenix. I get that.
Yet there are only two true guards on the team – Brooks and Detroit’s Rodney Stuckey. The league’s assistant coaches filled out the other seven spots with forwards and/or centers. (Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant has played some 2 but is still primarily a 3, and though Wilson Chandler has filled in as an emergency guard for the Knicks, according to 82games.com, he’s had less than 100 minutes there all season).
Now, I’m a Jeff Green fan, but if you’re going to vote using team record as a criteria, you can’t reward the 10-35 Thunder by putting him out there instead of a third legitimate guard. That’s just ridiculous.
** The talk for more than a few days has been about Warriors guard Anthony Morrow making the 3-point contest, but Don Nelson doesn’t think he should limited to just that portion of All-Star weekend. The coach is pushing for Morrow to take part in the Rookie Challenge as well.
“Well, I think that he should make the rookie team. For me, that would be a bigger honor than shooting in the 3-point contest,” Nelson said. “It would be nice to be represented by somebody. What he’s done as a rookie, I don’t know there’s 12 better rookies in the league than Anthony Morrow. . . . He is leading the league in 3-point shooting, and he is having an awful good year for a rookie. Especially when you guys say I don’t play rookies. It must be unbelievable, huh?”
Despite Nelson’s glowing recommendation, Morrow’s chances would seem to be fairly slim. The nine-player roster is made up of four guards, four forward/centers and one wildcard entry, so there will be at most five guards.
Chicago’s Derrick Rose, Memphis’ O.J. Mayo and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook are three guards with guaranteed spots. That leaves Morrow fighting with Portland’s Rudy Fernandez and Miami’s Mario Chalmers for the last guard spot and the wildcard position. (Morrow may be helped there by Fernandez’s inclusion in the dunk contest; although the Rookie Challenge is set for Feb. 13 and the dunk competition isn’t until the next day, Fernandez may want to concentrate on not getting blown out by Dwight Howard.)
** Jamal Crawford (right hamstring contusion) took part in the Warriors’ light practice on Monday (mostly shooting drills), but how he does on Tuesday will determine whether he can play Wednesday in Dallas.
By Geoff Lepper
OAKLAND — The Warriors had just finished streaming into their locker room on Jan. 16, still celebrating a 119-114 victory over the Atlanta Hawks — only their second win in nearly two months against an opponent above .500 — when captain Stephen Jackson called for his teammates’ attention.
Jackson could have been the headline of the day, scoring 24 points with seven rebounds, six assists and four steals in his first game back after straining a hamstring, but he wanted to make sure the spotlight shone elsewhere: namely, on Corey Maggette, who came off the bench to match Jackson’s scoring and more than double his work on the boards with a season-high 16 rebounds.
“I was like, ‘All the young guys, even us (veterans), we can learn something from Corey,” Jackson said, recalling his impromptu speech. “This is his 10th year, he’s been starting every year, and for him to come off the bench, have 20-some points and 16 rebounds to help us win, that shows how you have to be a professional and how you put your team first. He did that without talking, without doing anything but going out there and showing with his play. I’ve got to commend him for that.”
Maggette is not wholly unfamiliar with coming off the bench. He’s done so in nearly 40 percent of his 615 career NBA games. But the majority of those instances came in his first two seasons out of Duke; since the fall of 2001, Maggette has started 369 of 469 contests.
In Maggette’s previous work as a reserve, he wound up with numbers similar to those he had put up as a starter. His scoring was up slightly, his shooting down a little. His rebounding had a spike, but his assists dipped by almost 25 percent.
This time around, the change is almost exclusively in one direction: Up.
** 11:21/11:09: What’s impressive about Ronny Turiaf’s block numbers is that they’re not inflated somehow by compiling easy numbers. Many times, rebounding numbers can be influenced by guys who scoop up easy boards (think Ben Wallace chasing down that Ellis airball Friday for Cleveland and fumbling it out of bounds in a naked bit of attempted stat-padding). But with one-on-one rejections of Thornton and Gordon on back-to-back possessions, you can see that Turiaf never shies away from a challenge.
** 8:14: Now we know it’s a blowout — Randolph back in for Azubuike, who has looked great tonight.
** 7:31: Geez, the Clippers can’t even throw a decent lead pass.
** 5:35: Anthony Randolph has lost confidence in his mid-range jumper. It was never terrific, but he has gone ice cold on that shot in the last month or so.
** So, a 4-3 homestand that could have been 6-1. I’m not necessarily convinced this roster, even with full health for a full season, is good enough to compete for a playoff spot in the West, but at least the team is now winning games that it should.
** 1:21: Marcus Williams with the behind-the-back pass that zooms out of bounds at 147 mph. I know you’re rusty, but c’mon.
** 10:22: Jackson is really working over Al Thornton, and the Clippers were lucky to salvage something out of that possession.
** 9:29: Great one-touch look from Biedrins. His court vision has improved so much this season, it’s kind of astounding.
** 6:54: That’s the second game in a row where Azubuike wheels in from the left wing, storms down the lane and dunks with his right hand. Is that a well-designed offensive play, or simply horrible defense?
** For all of the complaining that people do about Jackson’s rough edges as an offensive initiator — and I’ve been, at times, in the vanguard of that movement — think about how much worse it be if you were having to watch Ricky Davis flounder about in the same situation.
** Ricky Davis: Blowing defensive assignments in the NBA since the 20th century.
** Hey, if I was Baron Davis, I wouldn’t want to hurry back to rejoin this team either.
** I didn’t realize until today that Ricky Davis has played one more year in the league (10) than Baron (9). Ricky just doesn’t seem that old. Or maybe Baron seems older than he should.
** 10:09: Maggettee overpowers…
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TagsAcie Law Al Harrington Allen Iverson Andris Biedrins Anthony Morrow Anthony Randolph Baron Davis Brandan Wright C.J. Watson Chris Cohan Chris Hunter Chris Mullin Corey Maggette Dan Dickau DeMarcus Nelson Devean George Don Nelson Gilbert Arenas Jamal Crawford Jason Richardson Jeff Fried Jermareo Davidson Keith Smart Kelenna Azubuike Kevin Durant Kevin Garnett Kobe Bryant Larry Riley Marco Belinelli Marcus Williams Matt Barnes Mickael Pietrus Mikki Moore Monta Ellis Patrick O'Bryant Richard Hendrix Robert Rowell Rob Kurz Ronny Turiaf Stephen Curry Stephen Jackson Stephon Marbury Steve Nash Troy Murphy Vladimir Radmanovic
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