By Geoff Lepper
Baron Davis going off for 25 points against his most recent former team is shockingly predictable.
Eric Gordon going off for 27 points against the same squad is just plain shocking.
The Warriors’ 118-105 loss to the Clippers on Monday was, to my recollection, one of the Warriors’ worst performances of the season in terms of simply losing vision and letting guys run free on the perimeter. Rock-bottom in that category for Golden State was the 119-114 loss in Utah on Dec. 5, when Ronnie Brewer and C.J. Miles just kept slipping away from the Warriors’ Club Fed-style defensive presence and scoring uncontested layups.
When Davis hits a step-back 26-footer, or banks in a triple, there isn’t much to be done about that. You shrug your shoulders and move on. But what Gordon did to the Warriors – 27 points, five assists, seven rebounds – can’t be so casually explained away.
** Luke: So, if the Warriors win this game, does that mean the Clippers’ tank is better than the Warriors?
** Randolph is hitting on his jumpers tonight, for the first time in … well … forever?
** A BD banked 3? Ouch.
** The BD-Jackson battle is ON.
** C.J.: Cover the shooter, for eff’s sake.
** Seriously, why is C.J. not getting pulled after his repeated failures defensively on Gordon, but Belinelli gets yanked after one run-out layup for Mardy Collins? Awful.
** Maggette gets away with a foul at one end to come up with the “steal” on Randolph, then pisses away the advantage by hocking up a horrible fadeaway J.
** Baron with the unseemly 3 and extended follow through, ramming the point home.
** pboss: He’s not coming back, not until Robert Rowell is dethroned.
** Jamal Crawford not only got beat by Fred Jones at the point of attack, but he compounded the error by effectively screening Biedrins and keeping him from getting a decent look at blocking the layup.
** Crawford made the correct rotation on the Clippers’ S/R to back up Biedrins by covering Randolph, but then he just stood there while Randolph caught the ball 2 feet from the hoop and scored. Jamal, it’s not enough to just be in the right place at the right time. You have to give the requisite effort at the same time.
** Michael: Jackson is guilty of stopping ball movement, especially when he jacks up early shots, but when he pounds the ball, there is still hope in those situations that he’ll eventually pass off — if someone comes open on a cut, for example, he’ll zip the ball in there. When Crawford pounds the ball, it’s because that’s how he’s effective as a scorer, and he doesn’t look to pass unless it’s an obvious neon-sign kind of situation with a teammate screaming “I’M OPEN!” As for Maggette … he’s a black hole. Period.
** And now Turiaf suffers an apparent sprained ankle. There goes the hope for multiple bigs, at least for the moment.
** Hey, C.J. Watson: Did I not mention enough that Eric Gordon was good?
** I hate to sound like a cynical follower of Italian soccer, but I just have to wonder … did Maggette actually get cracked in the head, or was he hamming it up so there would be an adequate explanation for the badly missed layup?
** OK, so the Gordon-at-point-guard…
By Geoff Lepper
I can’t decide which injury Monta Ellis’ stiff left ankle – which will keep him on the bench tonight in Los Angeles, as well as against Charlotte on Friday and Utah on Sunday – brings more readily to mind.
Is this like Baron Davis’ sprained ankle in 2005-06, when he ended up shutting it down for the remainder of the season?
Or is it like Jason Richardson’s arthroscopic knee surgery of the following season, when he ended up pushing too fast for a comeback and looked terrible — until a broken hand forced him to rest for several more weeks, and then he came on to play a huge role down the stretch?
Based on the Warriors’ record, the obvious answer is to treat Ellis’ setback as the former. He’s shown that he can at least take the floor, and occasionally reached for the level he was at last season – although it was only for a play or two a night, with two dozen instances of rust and regression for every highlight.
But everything hinges on the one thing Ellis has not shown much of: The ability to get lift off of that left leg.
The Warriors maintained throughout Monta Ellis’ rehabilitation from surgery to repair torn ankle tendons that they wanted to be sure he was fully healthy whenever he did return. That’s what made the push-pull dynamic between the guard — who wanted to play weeks before his actual return on Jan. 23 — so compelling to watch.
And that what makes today’s announcement — that Ellis will miss at least a week, and maybe more, due to stiffness in the surgically repaired joint — so interesting.
I’ve seen Ellis on a couple of occasions at practice this season in very focused consultations with athletic trainer Tom Abdenour, but he always went back on the floor after those talks, so it never seemed particularly serious. Clearly, things have gotten bad enough to require some time off after just short of a month’s worth of active duty.
It’s not clear what this does to the dormant-but-not-dead debate over whether the team still retains the right to void the remainder of Ellis’ six-year, $66 million deal — other than revive the discussions.
Here’s the full text of the Warriors’ release:
Guard Monta Ellis, who has experienced occasional stiffness in his left ankle since returning to action on January 23, including during last night’s game against Oklahoma City, will be sidelined the next 1-2 weeks. During this time, the 6’3” guard will continue advanced rehabilitation on a daily basis with the Warriors’ Athletic Training Staff.
** Trevor Ariza with the transition layup off another Jackson turnover to give the Lakers their first lead in forever at 96-94. Somebody warm up the fat lady. Or Dandy Don, whichever’s handier.
** It was setting up to be one of those live-by-Captain-Jack/die-by-Captain-Jack moments for the Warriors when Stephen pulled up for yet another errant 3-pointer, but Golden State caught a break by getting the offensive rebound and finding Belinelli for the open trey.
** It’s funny to watch the exuberant facial expressions of Randolph versus the solemnity of Kobe, even as both are putting up critical buckets at either end of the floor.
** Not that I want the Warriors to lose this game, but it’s hard to get all that excited about the possibility of a victory — even if it is the Lakers — while the playoffs are already out of reach.
** Well, I guess I won’t have to worry about that anymore.
** That is a painful spill for Randolph after surfing on Lamar Odom in search of an offensive board, but it’s a perfect emblem for Randolph’s energy this evening.
** Larry: What’s really going to be interesting is — assuming Randolph continues to succeed as a 4/5 — if the Warriors move off their original plan of switching him to small forward. Maybe that move goes the way of Monta Ellis’ migration to point guard.
** Lamar Odom’s frustration at the Warriors’ defense gives me pause with regard to the Lakers’ playoff chances. It’s going to once again come down to how quickly and how well Andrew Bynum comes back from injury.
** Jackson needlessly steps on the baseline trying to get to the rim. That’s a 9.8 on the painful unforced turnover scale.
** Jackson doesn’t have much of a case to protest that technical, since a) it was by no means a clear-cut foul on Odom (probably was as much an offensive foul on Jackson as anything) and b) he kept talking Brian Forte all the way downcourt. If he had just shut up after his initial outburst, I don’t think Jackson would have been called for it.
** Marco Belinelli returns and immediately drops a dime to Randolph for a layup off a classic 2-on-1 situation after faking Sasha Vujacic out of the play entirely. That’s one of those basic, fundamental basketball situations where European players seem, anecdotally, to fare better than their American-trained counterparts.
** Got to…
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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