The Warriors Report: Anthony Randolph needs a go-to move. Question is, does it have to come in the post?
By Geoff Lepper
Your daily guided tour through the national and local media coverage of the always-entertaining Golden State Warriors.
San Francisco Chronicle (Bruce Jenkins): Bruce’s numbers about Anthony Randolph’s lack of movement on offense in the Warriors’ last two games are compelling, although they come without context. How many times did every other player stand around? Frankly, you could easily argue that every member of the Warriors stands around too much. This is a team predicated on the one-on-one (or one-on-two or even one-on-three) attacks of Monta Ellis. Stephen Curry is acknowledged by the general manager to be a better scorer with the ball in his hands. Anthony Morrow’s value is trolling the 3-point arc; ditto for C.J. Watson. This is a stagnant team both by design and by coaching, and singling out Randolph to grouse about his following suit is kind of silly.
Plus, it unfortunately masks what I think is a good and powerful point Bruce is almost hitting on – that Randolph does require some sort of go-to move. Where Bruce’s argument fails is with the assumption that such a move has to come with his back to the basket; if Randolph developed enough confidence with the one-step-crossover-and-pullup move that he has shown of late, he could create space with it (by getting his defender going backwards) at any time. Then, if he could consistently drain the open 15-footer that results from such a move, the guy would be damn near unstoppable (until defenses adjusted, at least).
Of course, there’s another theory, one which I’ve been espousing for the better part of a year now: Don’t expect Randolph to carry you offensively. Take any points he gives you as something of a gift.
To me, Randolph’s upside and closest comp is Josh Smith in Atlanta, and just as Smith put away thoughts of taking 3-pointers and becoming the next great scoring PF, so too should Randolph. If Randolph can duplicate the defensive contributions of Smith — in terms of positional D, shot-blocking, the whole nine yards — the Warriors would be infinitely better off, and so would Randolph’s reputation.
(Sidebar on Josh Smith for a moment: I knew he was good, but just looking at his 82games.com page nearly made my head explode. The Hawks’ offense is 5.1 points better per 100 possessions with Smith in there. The Hawks’ D is 13.3 points better per 100 possessions. Simply ludicrous.)
San Francisco Chronicle (Rusty Simmons): I agree with the premise of this piece: Kelenna Azubuike’s absence has been perhaps more detrimental to the Warriors than the loss of Andris Biedrins and Ronny Turiaf. Azubuike and Stephen Jackson were Don Nelson’s best options for a smallball power forward because they had the ability to defend and rebound at one end (to the extent that you can expect defense and rebounding when a guy is giving up 3+ inches and 30+ pounds) and convert the open 3-pointers at the other end generated when opposing PFs don’t want to chase out to the arc. (This is why Corey Maggette is a much better 3 than 4 in Nelson’s system.)
Contra Costa Times (Marcus Thompson II): “Despite a 7-21 record this season, the Warriors are headed in the right direction, Richardson said, pointing to talented youngsters Ellis, Anthony Randolph and Stephen Curry.”
I wonder if JR laughed right after saying that, realizing that the exact same story could have been written in 2005 with “Gilbert Arenas” replacing “Richardson,” and “Richardson, Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy” replacing “Ellis, Anthony Randolph and Stephen Curry.”
Golden State Worriers: “Unyielding, runaway-train smallball has earned you a 36-74 record over the last year and change. There is no argument, whatsoever, for continuing to put fuel into that strategy. The right move is not only to divert from that strategy, but to run screaming from it, and to chop-block and incapacitate any onlookers who are stupid enough to gravitate towards it. You need to erase our rebounding and shot-affecting deficiencies as quickly and as forcefully as possible, and worry about everything else later. There is no other defensible response to this team’s predicament.”
Wow. I’d almost say these cats have an agenda.
There’s also a sabermetric takedown of Stephen Curry, in which the Warriors rookie is slotted 29th out of 30 starting PGs in the league, right between T.J. Ford and Mike Conley (who, to my eyes, is irredeemably horrible.) I agree with several the six conclusions drawn here, especially No. 3 (which the team feels is true as well) and No. 6 (a comp I was making at the start of the season).
One item that isn’t brought up in an otherwise fairly comprehensive look is the fact that Curry has extremely high totals in a couple of very specific types of turnovers.
The first kind is the hotdogging TO; the most recent example came in New Orleans, when Curry led a 3-on-2 break, had C.J. Watson wide-open in the left corner and, thanks to a one-handed pass attempt, inexcusably threw the ball away. About once a game, Curry wastes a behind-the-back pass, or a one-handed job. It’s the kind of thing that becomes “phenomenal swag” if it works, but if it doesn’t (as has happened far too often) . . . it’s just a crippling mistake.
It’s within Curry’s ability to make those TOs disappear with a more judicious approach. Not so with the second brand of TO I’m talking about, which can best be described as the “too-smart” turnover. I can’t tell you the number of times where I’ve seen Curry make a fantastic pass, threading the ball to a seemingly closed spot on the floor where all a teammate has to do is run onto it, catch, step and release the open layup. Except the teammate, not recognizing the situation, has peeled off to the 3-point line, from which he watches Curry’s pass bounce out of bounds. I’ve said it before: There are times when Curry is too smart for this team. But it’s tough to ask a guy to dumb himself down.
4 Responses to “The Warriors Report: Anthony Randolph needs a go-to move. Question is, does it have to come in the post?”
[...] » Blog Archive 48minutes.net/2009/12/26/the-warriors-report-anthony-randolph-needs-a-go-to-move-question-is-does-it-have-to-come-in-the-post – view page – cached The Warriors Report: Anthony Randolph needs a go-to move. Question is, does it have to come in the post? Filed under: The Morning Report; Tagged as: Andris Biedrins, Anthony Morrow, Anthony Randolph, C.J. Watson, Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson, Josh Smith, Kelenna Azubuike, Mike Conley, Mike Dunleavy, Monta Ellis, Ronny Turiaf, Stephen Curry, T.J. Ford, Troy Murphy By Geoff Lepper [...]
Thanks for the mention — we’re tickled. I’d agree with your elaborations on Curry’s passing… “too cute” and “too smart” are pretty good shorthands for the type of turnovers he’s unusually prone to. (As far as the latter goes, the return of Biedrins could actually help. Biedrins has great hands, and better positioning instincts on offense than most Warriors.)
Co-sign on the Randolph discussion, as well. It’d be nifty if he developed a killer post move, but he could help us in a million ways without one. Monta’s nascent post game is interesting, one of the few promising aspects of his play despite all the hype. He doesn’t yet seem to be looking to pass out of the high post when he gets it, and it won’t be a big asset unless and until he does. But if he could create from the position, it’d open a lot of stuff for us.
Kenny Seagle, Emperor of the North December 26th, 2009 at 10:39 pm
good stuff on jenkin…. he is not “moraly objectionable” like ray ratto who should get all his pay checks widda big pretty ribbon & nice wraping on it 4 the work he does.
but more 2 the point ‘ight???? brucie wrote this 2 soon….. amfeny spendin lotsa time in the paint 2nite…. doing a purdy good job on ‘a’m'a’r'e’ as well
As I website possessor I think the subject material here is rattling wonderful, thankyou for your efforts.
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