Game 8, The Wrapup (Warriors 121, Knicks 107): We get it — Golden State can beat bad teams. How about good ones?
By Geoff Lepper
I didn’t see the game live (hence, no live blogging last night) but quickly watched the tape this morning. As Rusty Simmons pointed out, it’s the Warriors’ third victory against an opponent with only one win of their own. So while the 121-107 outcome against the Knicks is nice enough, it shouldn’t be used to prove anything other than Golden State can properly beat one of the four teams that definitely rank below it in the NBA firmament.
** On the one hand, Don Nelson deserves credit because the supersmall lineup with a frontline of Corey Maggette, Stephen Jackson and Kelenna Azubuike paid handsome dividends. Now, the fact that it was against a frontline of Danilo Gallinari, Al Harrington and David Lee probably should be taken into account, but when you’re 3-5, you don’t argue with what works.
This was an instance where the absence of Andris Biedrins and Ronny Turiaf actually helped the Warriors; those were the guys who simply couldn’t defend the high S/R in last season’s debacle of a loss to the Knicks, and without them as targets, the Knicks weren’t able to turn Chris Duhon into a Steve Nash clone. In a callback to the 2007 team, with the true centers off the floor, the Warriors were able to either switch or at least show hard on every S/R the Knicks did run, limiting the damage New York could do.
** One reason why the Knicks are so horrible right now: In one first-quarter sequence, Danilo Gallinari leapt over Kelnna Azubuike to secure an offensive rebound, then took two dribbles to the right wing, turned on the second one, went up at a 30-degree angle to the hoop, finished twisting in midair to square up to the basket and let fly from 18 feet.
The fact that Gallinari made the shot should in no way absolve him from the fact that it was a ridiculous decision, emblematic of the Knicks’ shot selection right now.
** Nelson can crank up all the quotes he wants about how Jackson playing 47:25 is just a byproduct of using the veterans, but there’s certainly more to it than that. Don’t forget, it’s the second time this year Nelson has tried such head games with Jackson, who also played the entire 48 minutes in his first exhibition game back after serving a two-game suspension for his meltdown in the Forum.
On the plus side, Jackson was, with the exception of the third quarter, looking out more for teammates on drive and kicks. Most of his assists are racked up on S/R situations, testament to his ability to read defenders and keep one step ahead of them. Last night, it seemed as though he was making a conscious effort to keep his eyes open on the drive, instead of his typical put-your-head-down-and-bull-your-way-toward-the-cup -but-be-vigilant-for-a-missed-call-you-can-beef-about-so-you-have-an-excuse-not-to-run-back-on-defense charge through the lane.
** Good to see C.J. Watson get a taste of the high life with 19 points in 27 minutes. But it will be fascinating to see what that portends for Stephen Curry, whose rookie season (at least in terms of playing time, if not draft position and pre-NBA hype) is tracking on a line uncomfortably close to that of DeMarcus Nelson.
4 Responses to “Game 8, The Wrapup (Warriors 121, Knicks 107): We get it — Golden State can beat bad teams. How about good ones?”
Brock Landers November 14th, 2009 at 11:13 am
I wonder if any moves will be made in terms of the roster in the next couple of days.
I also wonder why the Warriors are so popular in the Bay Area? Is it because they are the only show in town? (Basketball wise)
CURSE OF MULLIN November 14th, 2009 at 11:16 am
The names of Steph Curry and DeMarcus Nelson should never be used in the same sentence. Steph Curry is one of the future building blocks of this franchise–an unselfish pg with great vision and BBall decision-making ability and a good handle. The selfish play of Jackson and Ellis is very hard to take, frankly, as is their selfish attitude in general. CJ Watson is not the future of the franchise. I’m happy for him that he got some minutes bc he’s a good guy and can shoot. CJ has no business playing ahead of Curry. These are more Nellie mind games, cowtowing to the whims of Monta and Jack, who obviously don’t like SC and AR, so Nellie can get Monta and Jack to play hard and unselfishly, and be sure to get the win. However, in truth, any five players on our team could have won this game playing together. That’s how pathetic the Knicks are.
Brock Landers November 14th, 2009 at 11:29 am
Maybe the Warriors should contact the Hornets to entertain a trade for Chris Paul.
cheesy poofs 5000 November 14th, 2009 at 2:53 pm
you media guys read too much into Nelson’s moves. it’s his modus operandi to give veterans lots of PT whenever he has discourse with one of them. you’d think after all the examples of doing so with Harrington & Jack, you’d know by now.
Nelson’s mind games are really just him speaking his mind at the time instead of using coach speak. If AR continued to outplay BW last camp, Nelson would look right. Since he didn’t, it looked like Nelson was just trying to motivate BW. just like Wagner looking good, some guys just come to camp in better shape than others.
the mind games he really plays is with the media. i don’t get why you media guys continue to get manipulated & go running to the player with every Nelson comment and write all these articles trying to figure out what the conspiracy is. remember the phrase: k.i.s.s.
just like it’s obvious why Curry’s minutes are being cut back - Monta Ellis (plus Curry hasn’t played well enough for Nelson to justify to Monta that Curry should be in over Watson).
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