The (Missing) Season Preview: 34-48, just like Monty used to makeFiled under: Commentary; Tagged as: Anthony Morrow, Anthony Randolph, Antonio Daniels, Baron Davis, Brandan Wright, Charles Barkley, Corey Maggette, Don Nelson, Jamario Moon, Kelenna Azubuike, Lenny Wilkens, Mike Montgomery, Monta Ellis, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Shaquille O'Neal, Stephen Jackson, Zydrunas Ilgauskas
[Ed. note: This would have gone up, oh, about 10 hours ago, or roughly 5 1/2 hours before the Warriors tipped off their season opener against the Rockets on Wednesday, and 8 hours before Houston finished a 108-107 victory in Game 1. But my Web host decided that today would be a good day to try some sort of server migration Twister game that -- to the surprise of no one -- went horribly wrong.]
By Geoff Lepper
With tipoff hours away, I’m not going to do game-by-game predictions for how the 2009-10 Warriors will fare. Engaging in that kind of activity is almost as useless as waiting for the Bay Bridge to open.
Besides, I already went on the record last week on Comcast Bay Area’s “Chronicle Live” with my prediction for the Warriors: 34-48, picked not coincidentally because it matches Mike Montgomery’s record in both his seasons with Golden State.
(Isn’t it funny that Monty was brought in to teach the young kids, then Baron Davis was added to the mix, costing Monty his authority, and now that BD is gone, the Warriors, once again, are in need of someone to nurture youthful players? It’s the circle of GSW Life!)
I could see the Warriors pushing that to 36 or 37 wins, but I think the best they can do is to hold off the Clippers and Oklahoma City (sorry, Chuckles!) for the No. 9 spot in the Western Conference.
On the plus side: We’ll all get to celebrate Don Nelson amassing more coaching victories than Lenny Wilkens. Yay!
Yes, the Warriors will have Monta Ellis back for the beginning of this season, rather than having to wait until the end of January, which should provide a bump from last year’s 29-win total.
But they’ve also lost Brandan Wright — their most efficient offensive player and a reasonably valuable defender — for the duration. A number of players (most notably, Kelenna Azubuike and Anthony Randolph) are banged up even before going into battle tonight against the Rockets. And there will doubtlessly be more injuries to come. (Does anybody legitimately think that Corey Maggette can play 82 games? 75? 60?)
Off the court, I’ll make only one real prediction, and it’s hardly going out on a limb:
Stephen Jackson will not finish the season as a Warrior.
Too many things are in alignment for Jackson to waste an entire season in limbo. Not only does Jackson want to leave — badly — but getting him out helps the Warriors alleviate a logjam on the wings that could impede the development of younger players such as Azubuike and Anthony Morrow.
Watching the Cavaliers last night, you couldn’t help but notice that while Zydrunas Ilgauskas did next to nothing as Shaquille O’Neal’s backup, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen were streaming by their defenders for a combined total of 39 points. Jamario Moon was a minus-9 in all of 14 minutes and couldn’t put the clamps on anybody.
Now, maybe Antonio Daniels, whom Cleveland is trying to sign now that his buyout from Minnesota has been completed, is the answer. But somehow, I doubt it. The Cavaliers don’t want to part with Ilgauskas not just because he’s an expiring deal, but also because he would provide extra heft in a potential playoff series with Orlando. Last night should tell them to be more worried about how they might fare in the postseason against Boston.
4 Responses to “The (Missing) Season Preview: 34-48, just like Monty used to make”
Cleveland looked like LeBron vs the the Celtics. Jackson would be a clamp down defender and just enough to tip games in the Cavs favor.
Losing to Houston at home, the 2nd game in a back to back, wasn’t a good sign.
I was happy Morrow took the last shot over Jackson or Ellis.
45-37 this year. Period.
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