With more Warriors carrying the scoring load, Jackson looks to concentrate on defense
By Geoff Lepper
OAKLAND — In five career games against the Warriors, Kevin Durant has already authored 42- and 41-point performances. Stephen Jackson wants to make certain that doesn’t happen again.
Jackson said that with Jamal Crawford, who’s averaging 25.9 points per game in January, and Corey Maggette, who’s putting up 24.0 ppg in his new reserve role, holding down the fort on offense, he can go back to putting his emphasis at the defensive end.
And with Oklahoma City coming to Oracle Arena on Wednesday, that makes Jackson’s next target Durant.
“At the start of the season I got caught up with trying to make too many plays every time, because I felt like I didn’t have enough help,” Jackson said. “And that caused me to have a poor shooting percentage, more turnovers. Now, I can come down four or five times in a game and not even touch the ball, and we’re still scoring, and just play D. That’s definitely helped me contribute to me playing the whole all-around game on both ends of the court . . . I’m not as tired.”
Jackson will need his rest to go after Durant, who has flourished under the Thunder’s interim coach, Scott Brooks (and that’s a large reason why Brooks is about to no longer have to lug the “interim” tag around). Durant has scored 25 or more points in 17 of his last 21 games; for January, he’s averaging 26.0/7.9/3.2 while shooting 50.3 FG, 45.5 3FG and 89.8 FT.
As he does on much of the league, Durant clearly has the athletic upper hand on Jackson. The Warriors captain knows he therefore has to use his guile instead.
“My mindset is just to go in there and make every shot for him tough, be physical with him, and because he is young, try to use my mind a little bit on him, because he hasn’t been in the league as long as I have,” Jackson said. “So I can kind of use some of my old tricks on him. . . . A lot of young guys come in, and they have all the athleticism and all the strength, but they don’t have the smarts.”
Jackson then invoked the name of Johnny Newman, the itinerant scorer who filed nine change-of-address forms in his 16-year NBA career. Newman was with New Jersey in 2000-01, his 15th season, when Jackson joined the Nets as a rookie.
“I know when I first came into the league, I was faster, stronger, and I just had more skills than Johnny Newman, but every time I played him one-on-one, I could not beat him for some reason,” Jackson said. “He killed me on angles, he got me on pump-fakes, he just did everything that a veteran would do. Now that I’m nine years in, I kind of see what he was doing to me, and I try to use that on the young guys myself.”
Warriors watching Obama
Many of the Warriors checked out the inauguration of President Barack Obama before practice Tuesday, a number that included coach Don Nelson, who joked, “How about that speech? I wrote that for him.”
It was Monta Ellis who had perhaps the most eloquent statement about Obama’s ascension, referencing Martin Luther King Jr., whose “I Have A Dream” speech took place at the opposite end of the National Mall from where Obama was sworn in 45 years later.
“I heard Obama’s speech. . . . It felt good,” Ellis said. “Actually, to me, he was saying pretty much the same thing Dr. King was saying. And he sounded just like him as he was speaking. And as you looked at the (TV) picture, at how many people were there, it was just like when Dr. King was speaking. It’s a great feeling. It’s like history repeating itself, and it’s a great thing.”
Rookie Anthony Randolph, who has been reporting for individual training before practices in response to coaching criticism about his work ethic, missed the entire event because he was already on the gym floor. But he wasn’t too worried: “I’ll probably be able to watch reruns of it.”
Neither Marco Belinelli (sprained right ankle) nor C.J. Watson (turf toe, left foot) participated in practice Tuesday. Both continue to be listed as day-to-day by the team, so neither has been ruled out for Wednesday’s game. . . . Forward Brandan Wright (dislocated left shoulder) remains sidelined. A team spokesman said there would be no update until his original diagnosis — a minimum absence of three weeks — is up. That won’t be until the end of the month. . . . Jackson on the specter of Cleveland star LeBron James, who visits the Warriors on Friday: “He’s definitely going to go down as one of the greatest players ever to play this game. At the end of the day, we’re all basketball players but we’re all fans of each other at some point. I catch myself watching his games sometimes on TV. But when I’m playing against him, it’s a different story. He knows I’m coming out to compete and bust his head open.”
17 Responses to “With more Warriors carrying the scoring load, Jackson looks to concentrate on defense”
Hmmm. Randolph’s work ethic worked on and he starts as a #14 pick.
O’Bryant. Diogu. Etc…………………
We’re idiots. Either pick better or teach better.
I thought that Jax’s words were interesting at best, I would love to see half of the effort that he talks about every game. Not just the new kids that come in once or so a year.
O’Bryant and Diogu busts. Andris was horrible but worked in the off-season.
What should the GSW do?
Danny Ainge (Oh god how I hate him) uses personality profiling to gauge how a player will develop. He’s done well drafting in the mid first round.
Joe Sez sit the next pick down for a Myer’s Brigg’s test.
“Michael Jordan is called an ISTP. To me, it’s the number one design in pro basketball. They’re super competitive, they have motor skills that are superb for what they do, and they have great spatial awareness on top of that, so they have their complete package not only mentally but physically.”
You’d better take a VERY close look at the Warriors’ drafting history.
No quick write-off on this one. It’s a serious 15-year issue.
No “every team misses,” either. If that’s the line, we’re just another crappy money machine with no inclination or ability to build a real contender. Ever.
It’s systemic, dude.
Geoff - check this out on ESPN. You should get yourself picked to be the representative for the warriors - looks like that is still open. Could expand your readership.
Wonder why our local nutrider sites didn’t get picked up…
Johnny Newman rlz!!!!
Chris Cohan January 21st, 2009 at 10:31 am
I think that I know everything because I still live with my mom. I’m a message board hater, but in reality, I’m a loser with season tickets in club 200.
That’s not my mom, you guys. Seriously.
Nigel Tufnel January 21st, 2009 at 11:48 am
Am I the only one who finds it hilarious to find a gun safety ad running under an article about Stephen Jackson?
M.Squared January 21st, 2009 at 2:54 pm
Nigel- nice catch. Classic.
Jack is basically confirming what many of us have discussed all season. Jackson is at his best when he plays the role of a #3 scorer. It allows him to rebound and defend and get wide open three’s while other guys are being keyed in on. If Monta can come back healthy and draw Defenses wth Crawford playing second fiddle, Jack “should” see a jump in his overall numbers. What made Jack so good during our playoff run 2 seasons back, is that everyone was so focused on Richardson and Davis and (even Harrington to a lesser extent,) that Jack was free to dry hump Nowitski up and down the floor and then drain 3’s on him at the other end. Jack is not a #1 guy. He never will be. As Tim Duncan put it- Jackson is unltimate teammate”
Chris Cohan January 21st, 2009 at 5:11 pm
Look it! I live with my mom in a trailer park that backs up to the 580! I do not know what I am going to do when broadcast TV ends. It took me 3 years to get the coat hanger and tin foil to work so I can pick up the game.
Chris Cohan January 21st, 2009 at 5:12 pm
Leave me alone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who keeps imitating me? I’m gonna report you for harrassment. Quite putting me down for being gay! This is a new century and being gay is OK!
Republicans are adorable…
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