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  • Oct

    The Morning Report: A changing of the (point) guard?

    By Geoff Lepper

    Did Monta Ellis just become expendable?

    It was obvious from the moment Stephen Curry fell into the Warriors’ laps on draft day — and the team immediately shut down talks to deal Curry’s rights to Phoenix — that he would be Golden State’s point guard of the future.

    But if the future has arrived — as Don Nelson intimated Thursday after Curry’s 14-point, 10-assist, six-rebound, five-steal performance in the Warriors’ 126-92 exhibition victory over New Orleans, saying in the San Francisco Chronicle that “he won the (fifth starter’s) job tonight” — then what do the Warriors do about the present?

    The immediate answer is that Nelson will do what he has wanted and planned to do all along since June: Install Curry and Ellis in an undersized backcourt, figuring (or hoping, at least) that the firepower will outweigh the lack of defense and rebounding.

    Starting Curry will mean breaking up the Curry-Anthony Morrow tandem that has been so successful during the preseason. While that can be rectified to some extent if Curry pulls down big minutes (he played 38 minutes Thursday with a raft of Warriors hurt), the fact is that those two play better than the sum of their parts when they’re together. Splitting them up hurts the team.

    In the long-term view, Ellis is one of the few pieces that the Warriors can use to sweeten a trade that rids themselves of discontented former captain Stephen Jackson. If Curry can jump into the starting lineup and prove he belongs, that process might accelerate rapidly.

    Warriorsworld.com (Rasheed Malek):
    Lengthy Q-and-A with ESPN’s Ric Bucher, who loves Anthony Randolph’s potential but worries about what being part of the Warriors is doing to him: “Every day that goes by with him being part of a screwed-up franchise is one more day spent going in the wrong direction, no matter how much he works on his own game. The difference between being great and being marginal is very fine. Doc Rivers said to me the other day, ‘Good is the enemy of great.’ He was talking about (Rajon) Rondo, but it applies to Randolph. To be one of the true greats, every day has to be pointed in the right direction. Every instinct has to be honed for winning and making winning decisions. Meanwhile, Randolph is surrounded by crazy stuff like the Jackson incident and being told he doesn’t fit in and Al Harrington going off on Nelly.”

    One quibble: I prefer the Nellie spelling. For the last time: Nellie is the basketball coach. Nelly is this dude:

    Inside The Warriors/Contra Costa Times (Marcus Thompson II): MT2 is also considering the Curry conundrum, although he thinks Curry will stay a reserve. “The only option is to bring them (Curry and Morrow) off the bench together. He can’t start both, because then either Ellis or Jackson would come off the bench, which would start a riot in the locker room.”

    Now, wouldn’t that be fun to see?

    Talking Points (Tim Kawakami): Interesting Nelson take on Monta, who the team feels did not report in tip-top shape: “He’s been getting the shots he’s been getting his whole life, and he isn’t making them either.” Bears watching, perhaps.

    Fast Break (Adam Lauridsen): I can’t get behind Adam’s claim that Stephen Curry, based on eight exhibition games, is running the team better than any Warriors point guard in a decade — including Baron Davis. I think Curry may be the best straight distributor they’ve had in 10 years, slightly ahead of Davis, but Curry doesn’t have the ability to break down his defender and get to the rack at will, which BD still has (when suitably motivated, of course).

    Golden State Warriors/San Francisco Chronicle (Rusty Simmons): Quarter-by-quarter-by-quarter-by-quarter updates.

    ESPN.com (Marc Stein):
    Has Denver moved past Dallas in the Stephen Jackson Sweepstakes? Stein reports that the Mavericks have told the Warriors they have “no interest” in acquiring him.

    NBA FanHouse (Matt Steinmetz): Is Corey Maggette’s move into the starting lineup only a temporary thing caused by Anthony Randolph’s injury, or is the (supposedly) laziest rookie Nellie’s ever coached in danger of being iced again?

    Examiner.com (Mike Massa): With so many potential starters, maybe the Warriors can convince the league to let them play 8-on-8.

    San Francisco Chronicle (Rusty Simmons):
    Is weight lifting to blame for Curry’s shooting problems to this point?

    Contra Costa Times (Marcus Thompson II): This is the problem with writing an early feature off a preseason game — the guy you’re writing about always comes out and blows your premise all to hell.

    Warriors.com/KNBR (Tim Roye):
    The Warriors Weekly Radio Show, featuring interviews with Don Nelson and Anthony Morrow. Included in the Nellie clips is this gem, transcribed by Rusty Simmons:

    “A lot of people suspect it anyway, but it might be better to just let (Ellis) play the 2. I think he’s more effective there. He might be a different Monta that way, and maybe asking him to play point guard was too much.”

    Yo, Don: Given the fact that you’ve tried Jamal Crawford, C.J. Watson and now Stephen Curry to play point guard over Monta — just in the last six months — I think it’s been pretty obvious for a long while now that you’re one of the people who most feel like it’s better to let Monta be a straight 2 guard.

    KNBR (Bob Fitzgerald): One-on-one with Larry Riley.

11 Responses to “The Morning Report: A changing of the (point) guard?”

  1. [...] » Blog Archive » The Morning Report: A changing of the (point) guard? 48minutes.net/2009/10/23/the-morning-report-a-changing-of-the-point-guard – view page – cached Filed under: The Morning Report, Uncategorized; Tagged as: Anthony Morrow, Anthony Randolph, Don Nelson, Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, Stephen Jackson By Geoff Lepper — From the page [...]

  2. Can exclude Fitzgerald and his interviews from your website in future?

    Having the TV announcer featured on this site just drags the website down


  3. If you listen you can hear it
    It’s the laughter in the street
    It’s the motion in the music
    And the fire beneath your feet
    All the signs are right this time
    You don’t have to try so very hard
    If you live in this world
    You’re feelin’ the change of the guard


  4. “In the long-term view, Ellis is one of the few pieces that the Warriors can use to sweeten a trade that rids themselves of discontented former captain Stephen Jackson. “

    Ellis has been on the way out the door since the Moped accident blow-up and his “can’t play” comments on media day cemented his future as a trade asset.

    Curry’s maturation at PG will help GSW pull the trigger and offer an excuse, we have redundant parts in Ellis and Curry. Shipping out Ellis and Jackson is a lot of money to move but they’re on good terms as teammates and pair up fairly well. It might work.

    I can’t see any secure GM wanting the disruptive Stephen Jackson. That means some team will be under performing and the GM will roll the dice to salvage the season. That’s when Ellis and Jackson become movable.

  5. why is Don Nelson still coaching…. This is more than ridiculous

  6. Murali -

    Steely dan? Really? Was that necessary?

  7. Train wreck Boycott no cash for trash ( ownership) NBA Pass

  8. I’ve put my money where my mouth is. http://feltbot.com/

    How about you?

  9. Frist off, I like your format with the Morning Report. Once again I’d like some more of your analysis and comments rather than just a reporting format. For instance, what did you think of Ric B’s long interview? Being a Nellie-hater, I liked it but did think it was more balanced than not. Clearly his axe to grind is more with ownership and Rowell than Nelson per se.

    I am not willing to give up on Monta just yet. I was at the Hornet’s game and it was fun watching Curry dish to both Morrow and Monta. I liked Ace Law as the backup point as well.

    The future could be bright; much brighter if Nelson is gone and oh happy day when Cohen sells and takes Rowell with him.

  10. Comish; Ellis is 11M/Yr, no?

    He’s too expensive to use as a skinny SG. Ellis needs to improve his PG skills to be worth his contract and with Curry, the GSW have redundant talent at the PG position.

    No, Ellis and Curry are not a good pair, they’ll be eaten alive most nights. Hornets sat out many starters.

    Curry’s a kid so keeping Ellis a year while Curry develops makes sense independent of the Jackson problem.

    With Jackson wanting out, moving him and the more desirable Ellis might entice a GM is wanting to retool his team in a major trade.

  11. Sam Smith, x-Tribune reporter, writes on Bulls.com. He rankes the NBA teams. http://www.nba.com/bulls/news/smith_091026.html

    Sam puts the GSW at #9, ahead of Phoenix, Houston and Thunder.

    He also guess Nelson walks to HI by Dec28

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