(I originally had this meandering aside plopped down in the middle of the Warriors-Nuggets post, but it just killed the flow, no matter where I put it. So here it is on its own.)
Brief detour to discuss this topic: How much higher is Joey Crawford’s profile compared to every other NBA referee currently working? Maybe Dick Bavetta or Bennett Salvatore could give him a run for his money on the basis of longevity, or Bob Delaney with his Donnie Brasco backstory, or Violet Palmer as a female trailblazer, but I don’t think there’s anyone else as instantly recognizable in a gray addidas T right now than Crawford.
Here was a hilarious first-quarter exchange on the Altitude broadcast between play-by-play announcer Chris Marlowe and color man Scott Hastings:
Hastings: Joe Crawford just came down the bench and told the Denver bench that both ‘Melo and Kenyon Martin have both been warned.
Marlowe: For what?
Hastings: (Snorts.) It’s Joe Crawford, man. . . . Probably talking back, I guess.
Thirty seconds later, Crawford whistled Martin for a tech.
Hastings: I’m doing everything I can, folks, just to not say anything.
Remember when Steve Javie was the guy who was known for having a rabbit ears and a hair-trigger penchant for handing out T’s? Javie should share some of whatever he’s been using to mellow out, because Joey, you need to chillax, man.
** It’s good to see Ellis back out there, but I wonder if this will prompt the team to limit his minutes at all down the stretch. You definitely want him to get as much work as he can handle after missing 50 games, but at the same time you don’t want to risk having him get hurt yet again.
** It’s a pretty hilarious that Ellis is complaining so much about Jaric warding him off from the loose ball when Ellis did THE EXACT SAME THING to Mike Conley earlier tonight, running Conley off a loose ball to ensure Golden State gaines possession.
** Now, that call on Azubuike for allegedly undercutting Rudy Gay was justifiably booed.
** Fatigue is really taking its toll at this point, in terms of bad decision-making, settling for long jumpers and reaching in (ineffectively) on D.
** SWT: I wouldn’t completely trust any box score you see until well after the game is over. Rare mistakes made, and occasionally the stat-keeping software in the arena will crash — that’s when the PR staff has to scramble and play catchup the rest of the night to ensure accuracy.
For example as I write this, the NBA.com boxscore lists Belinelli as a minus-16, even though he has no stats as befitting his business casual attire.
** The Warriors had assists on each of their first eight buckets. Since then, they’ve had only eight assists on 28 scores.
** Monta passed on an open look on the perimeter to take (and make) a high degree-of-difficulty driving layup. That’s a play where a “typical” Don Nelson point guard — Timmy Hardaway, Steve Nash, Baron Davis, etc. — lets loose for a 3. It’ll be interesting to see if Ellis develops that range over the summer.
** Is AND 1 sponsoring this game? Because what we’re seeing just reeks of street ball. Latest example: Crawford is so busy dribbling behind his back on the break that he fails to take advantage of Kelenna Azubuike’s cut behind two defenders for what should have been a layup.
** I love that not only did Randolph obliterate that shot by Rudy Gay, but he bounced it off Gay to give the Warriors possession again.
** Looking at that replay, that’s not a good way to land for Ellis. It would have been a classic way to break a wrist, but it appears they’re working on his shoulder and upper arm…
By Geoff Lepper
At the 4:12 mark of the first quarter of Denver’s 129-116 not-as-close-as-all-that win over Golden State Saturday night, Warriors forward Anthony Randolph sank a pair of free throws. Twenty-seven seconds into the fourth quarter, swingman Linas Kleiza continued the uninterrupted stream of Nuggets heading to the basket with yet another layup.
In the less than 29 minutes worth of game time between those events, the Nuggets outscored the Warriors by a 97-51 count.
97. To 51.
I don’t want to belabor the pain by delving too deeply into the 3-on-nothing breakaways off turnovers, the tip jams with teammates fighting each other to get credit for the basket, Carmelo Anthony doing whatever he wanted plus six other Nuggets in double-figures.
Just consider that Denver shot 36-for-59 in that stretch (61.0 percent), with the following breakdown of baskets:
Dunk – 10
Layup – 9
3-pointer – 9
Jumper – 5
Tip – 1
Hook – 1
** OK, the J.J. Barea Show has just hit Broadway.
** James Singleton vs. Anthony Randolph on the dunk attempt. Talk about “Clash of the Titans.” That was just wild.
** I understand the whole “scheduled loss” argument comparing the Warriors’ time off (none) to the Mavericks’ (the better part of a week), but that only applies to the fourth quarter. It doesn’t begin to explain Dallas’ 75 percent shooting in the first period, which is where this game was lost.
** That was November vintage Anthony Randolph right there — an off-balance 17-footer at full gallop.
** It still baffles the mind that a guy such as Morrow can go from averaging 14.3 ppg at Georgia Tech to exploding for more than twice that in the NBA.
** Great look from Kelenna Azubuike to Ellis going against the flow for the reverse layup.
** Hard to believe the lead was down to 3 early in this quarter.
** The Warriors shouldn’t have a possession at this point where Anthony Morrow doesn’t get a touch. He doesn’t have to shoot the ball every time. But he needs to touch it. Every single time.
** CR: That is odd, given the Warriors’ ability, but you don’t get many blocks on open 16-footers, which are pretty much all the Mavericks took in the first half.
** Down to four again . . . and Dirk has started to cool off. Very interesting.
** I know it’s a mismatch to have J.J. Barea covering Jackson, but that’s more than outweighed by the pitfalls of having the ball just stop in his hands for a me-against-the-world fadeaway miss.
** J.J. Barea? Six straight points? Really? Awful.
** Memo to Brandan Wright: You’re quicker than Erick Dampier; use that to create contact and get to the line. Otherwise your forays to the hoop are actually costing this team points.
** There’s something truly hilarious about the shooting breakdown for the Mavericks’ starting lineup right now: Jason Terry 6-7, Dirk Nowitzki 5-6, Antoine Wright 5-7, Jason Kidd 0-0, Erick Dampier 0-0. If you’re not going to stop the two stars — or even the third wheel — then the Mavericks will have their way with you. You have to make Dampier and Kidd take shots.
** How long until Survivor comes on?
** Dirk with a one-legged fadeaway in a 1-on-3 situation. Man, that’s a ballsy shot.
** There really isn’t anybody on the floor for the Warriors that Nowitzki…
** Get Corey Maggette out of the game. Period.
** Credit where it’s due: Maggette’s drawn two offensive fouls with good effort against Kurt Thomas and the Warriors have stopped trying to force-feed him the ball at the other end. That’s an acceptable compromise.
** Scotty: If you’re not enjoying watching Randolph, then you’re watching the wrong team.
** The ability to just throw it in to Duncan on the block and let him go to work … that’s just not fair.
** Jackson with the hustle rebound (although he won’t get credit for it).
** This game is starting to feel like the U.S. vs. U.S.S.R. in the 1980 Olympic hockey tournament. That Russian team was also stocked with plenty of 30somethings on the downside of their career, while the Americans were a bunch of peach-fuzzy 22-year-olds.
** The Spurs are starting to overplay every pass, which means the Warriors either need to increase the pace of swinging the ball — or quickly reverse the flow. Jack jacking up a 3-ball with a hand in his face is not one of those options.
** A behind-the-back pass, Tony? Seriously? I understand it gave you a better angle, but that just looks horrible now that it’s a turnover leading to and Azubuike jumper that cuts the lead to one point.
** After dominating all quarter, Duncan gets spooked by Jackson’s double-team and dribbles it off his own leg for the go-ahead bucket by Azubuike. Wow.
** Jackson flows back to Duncan after being knocked off on the S/R, thinking Turiaf would switch onto Mason, but Turiaf sags down as well, thinking Jackson would fight to get back in position — allowing Mason to hit the go-ahead jumper. You hate to lose on a miscommunication like that.
** I get the reason why you don’t call timeout there — you want to beat the scrambled defense downcourt and take advantage of it, especially in light of the way the Spurs had stifled Ellis on the previous play. It would have been nice for Monta to have a little better time management there, because it sure looked like he had time to gather himself for something better than a 35-foot running heave.
There’s also this to think about: Why didn’t Ellis pass the ball up the left wing to Azubuike? That would have saved critical fractions of a second and couldn’t have led to a worse shot than ended up being taken.
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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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