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    Game 29 (Warriors 132, Suns 127), The Wrapup: Great win despite a dreadfully porous defense

    By Geoff Lepper

    Some quick thoughts from watching the replay of the Warriors’ 132-127 win over Phoenix on Saturday:

    ** All hail the Warriors for breaking their seven-game losing streak, but let’s not lose sight of how bad the defense was: Golden State allowed a team on the second half of a back-to-back to put up a ridiculous eFG% of 61.4. On the season, the Warriors are back to being dead last in eFG% allowed at 53.0.

    ** Interesting stat of the night: Among players with at least 200 minutes this season (of which there are 308), Anthony Randolph ranks 21st in terms of free throw attempts per minute, right in the same range as Gilbert Arenas (No. 19), Amare Stoudemire (20), Manu Ginobili (22) and Tony Parker (23).
    Once there, Randolph is shooting 81.7 percent. Last night, Randolph was 5-for-6 from the line, helping himself to score 17 points in just 26 minutes. This is, obviously, much more efficient than shooting 30-some percent on 16-to-23-foot jumpers.
    Keep this in mind when I say …

    ** Smallball with Vlad Radmanovic at center is a losing proposition right now. I don’t mind that Ronny Turiaf played over Randolph in the fourth quarter, as some people have complained. Turiaf did a good job of bodying up Stoudemire in the paint, closed out strong with Stoudemire stepped outside and kept him from being and kind of factor down the stretch. But I do find it very odd that Vlad played nearly half that period alongside Turiaf while Randolph rode the pine.

    ** Monta Ellis continues to just kill it. Of the Warriors’ first 19 points, Ellis scored eight and assisted on 10 more. (The other was a technical foul shot taken and made by Anthony Morrow.) Poor Jason Richardson was just overmatched. And Monta started to pass out from the mid-post role where the Warriors have been using him, adding another layer to his game.

    ** Corey Maggette is playing his best ball with the Warriors. I still think playing him as a small forward makes better use of his abilities — his offense is only marginally helped by playing against 4s (if at all) at that end of the floor, while his defense and rebounding at SF are significantly upgraded, IMHO — but he was dominating in both roles last night.
    And, yes, giving credit where it’s due: Maggette hit all five of the shots he took in the 16-to-23-foot range, most if not all of them open looks because Stoudemire was slow to fire from the paint for the close-out.

    ** Stephen Curry has been much more comfortable of late shooting off the pass. He drained a couple of early 3s off of simple passes to the left wing from Monta Ellis, taking advantage of very … um … loose coverage by Steve Nash (how he ever won two MVPs despite his utter lack of defensive prowess is still a joke).
    At the other end, however, Curry gave it right back. In the half-court game, Nash just kept abusing Curry, who played too soft on the perimeter, couldn’t fight through screens and didn’t recover properly on S/Rs. C.J. Watson did better when he got physical with Nash (although he got burned for three 3s at the end of the third quarter when he tried to go under screens), especially on a critical possession in the final 2 minutes immediately after the Warriors had taken a 125-123 lead on Watson’s J. At the other end, Nash tried to make something happen on a side S/R late in the shot clock, but Watson used a carefully hidden forearm nudge to ward off Nash’s drive. Turiaf jumped Nash’s dive to the corner, forced him to pick up the ball and the shot-clock expired before Nash could deliver it elsewhere.
    Curry has quick and strong hands when he gets close enough to his man and good instincts in transition, but the half-court problems need to be addressed in some fashion, be it by increased agility work in the offseason, or better help by teammates.

6 Responses to “Game 29 (Warriors 132, Suns 127), The Wrapup: Great win despite a dreadfully porous defense”

  1. Geoff,

    The Warriors changed their defensive scheme in this game re Nash from Game 1. Last night they had Curry and CJ for the most part dropping under the screens and then the help defender not just hedging on Nash but staying with him to make it harder for Nash to make the quick dump-off pass. So, often, we had Randolph or Turiaf guarding Nash off the pick and Curry or CJ dropping and guarding Frye or Stoudamire. You say that Curry and CJ didn’t recover quickly enough off the S/R, but the scheme last night obviously was for them to stay on the roller, which seemed strange but seemed to work fairly well. Curry and CJ only tried to fight over the screens a few times (second half, as I recall), but the fact that they stayed with the screener most of the night obviously was a defensive scheme decision, not a defensive weakness by both players. They both got burned by Nash one-on-one several times, but that’s a tough assignment for both of them. Nash made alot of fantastic shots last night. You can tell that Curry has been working on his defense and made great strides already this season.

    Curry was matched up with Nash last night the entire first half–when Nash came out, Curry came out, etc. Yet, the Warriors were +5 during those minutes in the first half. Monta certainly had something to do with that but, still, I’ll take it from a rookie pg against one of the top pgs in NBA history.

  2. Btw, I agree with you that it was frustrating that Nellie didn’t put Randolph next to Turiaf in Q4 since Randolph had had such a dramatic impact in the game to that point. Nellie just doesn’t trust AR in Q4 at this point in his career; that much is clear.

  3. [...] » Blog Archive 48minutes.net/2009/12/27/game-29-warriors-132-suns-127-the-wrapup-great-win-despite-a-dreadfully-porous-defense – view page – cached Game 29 (Warriors 132, Suns 127), The Wrapup: Great win despite a dreadfully porous defense Filed under: The Wrapup; Tagged as: Amare Stoudemire, Anthony Morrow, Anthony Randolph, C.J. Watson, Corey Maggette, Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson, Manu Ginobili, Monta Ellis, Ronny Turiaf, Stephen Curry, Steve Nash, Tony Parker, Vladimir Radmanovic By Geoff Lepper [...]

  4. Hopefully Nellie gets over his fears of a real PF and Randolph gets used at PF

  5. I guess you missed Randolph getting abused by Nash and Dragich on pick and roll during the entire third quarter. Radmanovich played it far better, as did Turiaf. Neither let Nash or Dragic get to the rim, as Randolph did THREE times.

    Interesting that you didn’t notice this, or don’t care, in a piece you headline with how bad the Warriors defense was.

  6. It’s not nearly as interesting as you trying to make 137 / 75 > 2.0 to suit your needs.

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