Anthony Tolliver, c’mon down … you’re the next power forward on the Warrior Is Right
Less than a week ago, Anthony Tolliver was toiling in the D-League. Tonight, in his third NBA game, he’ll start for the Warriors at power forward. Corey Maggette is simply playing too well — and there are too few healthy smalls on the roster — for Don Nelson to move him out of the 3.
Also: Ronny Turiaf, wearing a metal-frame brace on his left knee, is expected to give it a go tonight, which means Nelson will have nine “healthy” players available after three straight games with the league-mandated minimum of eight on call.
17 Responses to “Anthony Tolliver, c’mon down … you’re the next power forward on the Warrior Is Right”
Missed the game but read this:
“Curry, the seventh overall pick in the draft, picked up the scoring slack left by Ellis’ absence. The Warriors’ rookie, whose previous season high was 27 points against Washington on Dec. 18, went 11 of 21 from the floor and added seven assists.”
Curry’s getting better and I hope continues to get better as the season wears on and apparently plays more minutes without Ellis.
Geoff: Two threads back I took a shot at you for (I thought) cheap-shotting Curry for failing to fight thru a huge screen to wave a hand at Smith in the Denver game, ignoring everything else the kid did. You responded you were open to be enlightened. I don’t like re-posts, but I’d just written the following, which is apropos — and focuses on Curry’s terrific game last night. Disagree? If so, let me have your thoughts.
“OK. Curry time.
The key stat for Curry last night was not the 32 points — tho that was very nice. The key stat was that the W’s were up about six when Monta went down for good, early in Q3. They ended up winning by 32 — picking up about 26 points after Monta went down. (Second biggest stat: Curry so overwhelmed DHarris — who must have been sick or something, he seemed so out of it — that I think the former Wisconsin phenom was held to about two points — maybe a few more — while Curry was running free.)
Now, I’m not saying the team is better without Monta; indeed, we’re nothing without Monta — as we’re likely to see tonight. A lot of nice, non-Curry things came together for the W’s to make that second half jump, not the least of which is that the Nets are the worst team I’ve ever seen. The two, new D-leaguers played better as the game progressed. The kids were just having a lot of fun beating anyone’s brains in, etc.
But the loss of Monta showed us something new: Curry just took control as if he’d been doing it for years. And Curry and Maggette started working the ol’ Monta-Maggette two-man, and working it well. Now, I’m no fan of the Nelsonian two-man for a lot of reasons previously stated, but it’s a good tool to have when it works, and it was working almost to perfection last night.
Time after time we’d see Curry bring it up and go back and forth with Maggette, usually on the right side, leading to great shots. And, when the two-man didn’t strike gold, Curry’d drop it off to either D-leaguer or Ronny. His presence, his command were commendable — even against a horrid team.
I doubt this two-man will work as well tonight against a much better team, on the road, and after Curry just played 48. But it’s a nice sign that the half-court offense is starting to open up here. (And when was the last time we had a team that could run a good half-court offense? We’re not there yet, by a long shot, but we’re showing signs.)
Tonight? I expect a little disaster; certainly a step back. Curry’s gotta have dead legs — remember, he was cramping Wednesday, when he played 49, and ran off another 48 last night — and I expect his shot’ll run short. Nash will certainly want to “school” him again, as in the first game. (And Nash certainly seemed to take it easy last night, playing a lot less than the kid.) Their bigs are tons better than the slop New Jersey thru at us, so don’t expect big games from our D-leaguers again. Maggette’s got to be tired, too. And don’t be surprised to see a round of hack-a-Goose if the Suns need it; AB really needs to re-consider his FT style and embrace the under-hand shot, whether it’s feminine or not.)
But, regardless of tonight, we’re seeing really good things from the few pieces we have. And I’m hoping we can keep the new Big Three together for next year, adding in a healthy BW and AR combo at the four, with Goose and Ronny at the five. If AM picks up his game, and Martin/Tolliver keep improving, we’ll be a fun team to watch — and one that’ll get better and better quickly.”
Sorry ’bout the length. But you asked.
Geoff Lepper January 23rd, 2010 at 6:06 pm
jsl: Devin Harris sprained his right wrist and sat out the second half (and will miss the Nets’ game tonight). To say Curry “overwhelmed” him is not really correct.
As for the rest, I agree with you about it being a great game for Curry, and especially agree about his confidence in the half court set. He did exactly what you should do against a terrible team — put two in the head, one in the heart, go up 20-plus and coast on to the next game. Kudos to him.
Now, he did that against a team that already can’t defend anyone, even when healthy, so I’m not going to suddenly ignore his season-long stats, including his unimpressive PER or A/T ratio. Nor am I going to ignore when he gets torched repeatedly on D throughout an OT period, as happened against Denver.
(1) Though there was obviously something wrong with Harris, as I noted, he still played 20 minutes, I think. In that time — before the “injury” — Curry simply had that “All-Star’s” lunch. “Overwhelmed” does seem to fit, at least in a first half context.
(2) Though Curry, against Denver, failed to fight out of the (effectively set) two-big-man screen to wave a hand at Smith — who he’d contained pretty well till that point — he was hardly being “torched repeatedly” in OT, even with the leg cramps and having to go 49. (Hint: the W’s DO play “help” D.) And his key three kept the guys in the game.
(3) Finally, if you really depend on the PER to rate a player, you’re not the BBall guy I thought you were; and maybe you should compare Curry’s TO’s (which ruin his A/TO ratio, I admit) from November and December against those in January. (For example, tho he didn’t get credited with many assists last night, he ran the team virtually the whole game and had just one TO, I believe.)
Oh, and while ragging on Curry’s A/TO, why not consider his rebounding too. Know any other little points getting 10 RBs twice in half the season (actually in the last few weeks)? Well, Magic used to, as did Oscar, but not that many since, I’d guess. (I’m thinking the much bigger BD has done it twice in a month, too.) And likely very few, if any, rookie points.
Note: Curry most certainly DID run out of gas last night in Q4. You could see it in his face, and after that cheap shot forearm shiver from Drag (where Curry was called for the foul) he clearly was woozy and had lost a step.
BUT, before the Suns got clever and put fresh meat and legs (i.e. Drag, who did his job well) on him — virtually pulling Nash from the game — Curry had held his own with the Fabulous Stevie. And he did it even tho he had played 48 the night before, 49 on Wednesday, and tho Nash clearly has something personal going on with the kid who would be him. (Certainly understandable.) Regardless, Curry kept his confidence in running the half-court, and kept coming back straight at Nash; this was nothing like their first Phoenix meeting — the kid’s come a LONG way since then. Such growth should be noted.
And, I’d venture to guess, by this time next season, our little guy will be playing as well if not better than Nash overall. (He’s already a MUCH better defender; Nash could do nothing with him one-on-one; he had to use to tight screens to create switches — where he had enough room to get good shots.) And from then on, HE’LL be the guy. Just wait. . . .and watch. You’ll see.
Final P.S. Don’t put too much into the stats — especially the PER — when this kid’s playing; just focus on the flow of his game, and how he brings the rest of the team along with him. He’s already got a sweet two-man going with Maggette (who also, unfortunately, ran out of steam in Q4 last night), and his by-play with Tolliver early — moving him around and getting him the ball where Stoudamire wasn’t — helped that kid have a very nice, heady game against All-Star starter Amare, who was obviously frustrated with Tolliver’s ability to scorch him so easily.
But then, we’ve all known All-Star Amare is not much of a defender anyway.
“And, I’d venture to guess, by this time next season, our little guy will be playing as well if not better than Nash overall.”
Come on, people.
Look — Steph Curry is a good young player, and I’m glad he’s a Warrior. *He is not on the verge of outplaying one of the greatest creators in the history of basketball.* His defense may very well be better than Nash’s, but Nash is perhaps the best offensive player of the past decade, and (improbably) in the midst of his finest season. Stephen Curry is something like the fourth-best offensive player on a terrible team. He will undoubtedly get better from here, but you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment if you think he’s going to play at a Hall of Fame level in the near future.
“Don’t put too much into the stats — especially the PER — when this kid’s playing; just focus on the flow of his game, and how he brings the rest of the team along with him.”
Can we at least agree that his flow/magic/intelligence/whatever will *eventually* need to show up in the numbers to be useful to the team? I mean, guys like Magic and Nash weren’t just ephemeral presences; you could measure the ways in which their playmaking made their offenses better. You can’t yet do that with Curry. Our offense is a bit better when he plays, but because of his *scoring*, not his passing.
He may figure it out. Maybe he will become one of the great point guards of all time — we can’t completely rule that out, with him or any other young point guard. But he simply hasn’t been a good NBA point guard so far. And unless and until he figures out how to create openings for himself in the frountcourt, he won’t ever be one.
Curry just handed in the single worst point guard game I’ve seen in the league this season while getting his shorts handed to him by Goran Dragic. No mistaking this one- he got SMOKED. Happens to him all the time. He can’t stick with NBA talent. Take your Nellie points and sit on them, droolers.
C’mon, CC. Curry had played Nash to a draw for three quarters — after being run into the ground the night before (48) and the game before that (49). Some would say Nash is an “NBA talent.” Putting in a set of fresh legs against him was smart, but means nothing in the long run, since the kid was obviously gassed — as was Maggette — by that point.
This kid’s been playing with — or beating — everyone the last month. Everyone he’s started against.
Anonymous January 25th, 2010 at 3:23 pm
Owen: “Can we at least agree that his flow/magic/intelligence/whatever will *eventually* need to show up in the numbers to be useful to the team? I mean, guys like Magic and Nash weren’t just ephemeral presences; you could measure the ways in which their playmaking made their offenses better.”
Absolutely, as long as you measure Curry’s contribution as much by the team’s success when he’s handling the ball as by his individual stats. I would argue that the only reason his stats aren’t even better than they are is that until last week the ball hasn’t been in his hands as much as the other top rookie pgs.
Curry’s +- is much higher than Monta’s for this season. You might be able to explain away a bit of that by arguing Curry is in at the end of games during garbage time, but that doesn’t explain much of the difference at all here since Monta’s been playing so much and there really hasn’t been that much “garbage time” this year.
As soon as the ball is put in Curry’s hands, and he gets some bigs in the game who can score on his great passes inside (e.g., when Wright comes back), his individual stats will grow and this team will start winning. I assume the team winning (especially this team) would be an acceptable stat by which you would gauge Curry’s contribution if he’s playing pg?
CURSE OF MULLIN January 25th, 2010 at 3:24 pm
Sorry, that last post re Curry was by CURSE OF MULLIN.
CURSE OF MULLIN January 25th, 2010 at 3:36 pm
Owen: I should have added:
In Nash’s rookie year, 1996, he averaged 3.3 ppg. He averaged 7.3 ppg in his first 4 years. In those 4 years, his apg average was about 4.
That doesn’t mean Curry will be as good as Nash, or better than Nash. But the fact that he might be, is really something. Nash has always been one of my favorite players. Indeed, perhaps Curry will end up as different than Nash–perhaps a little better scorer and defender and a little worse on assists? In any event, if you want to look at stats, how is Curry stacking up in the Nash comparison so far?
I’ve used the same Nash comparison to cool some impatient Bulls fans who think Derrick Rose should be an all-star player this year.
Nash played all 4 years at Santa Clara - right?
“Curry’s +- is much higher than Monta’s for this season.”
That has more to do with Monta’s +- being horrible — we’re talking almost historically bad — rather than Curry’s being good. We are very marginally better with Curry on the court than with him off, and that’s only because of his January numbers, when he’s been shooting, not passing.
If we’re using +- as the arbiter of point guard quality, than the best point guard on the team, by a mile, is C.J. Watson. +- makes an interesting case *against* Monta’s production, but it doesn’t make much of a case *for* Curry’s.
“I assume the team winning (especially this team) would be an acceptable stat by which you would gauge Curry’s contribution if he’s playing pg?”
No doubt. So far, though, he’s 0-1… he was completely unable to find openings against the second-worst defense in the NBA. Yes, he was gassed, and yes, it was one game. But I’m not sure why everyone regards it as a fait accompli that he’ll be a great point guard. He didn’t even pass well in the Southern Conference; why are we so convinced he’ll be an elite passer in the NBA?
“In any event, if you want to look at stats, how is Curry stacking up in the Nash comparison so far?”
It’s not hard for young players to stack up decently to Steve Nash… Steve Nash was the slowest-starting superstar in NBA history. That doesn’t mean that every struggling rookie has Steve Nash in them… that just means that he was a freak. The path Steve Nash’s career has taken has never been followed by any other player, before or after.
Even that being said, Curry’s *passing* numbers stack up very, very poorly compared to Nash’s rookie numbers. When on the floor, Nash assisted 29.5% of the Suns’ field goals as a rookie in ‘96-’97… Curry only assists 19.6% of our field goals when on the floor. Nash recorded 2.19 assists per turnover, Curry is recording 1.73 assists per turnover. Nash, as bad as he was as a rookie, was twice the passer Curry currently is. There’s no real comparison between the two.
Curry is an incredible shooter. There’s a ton of value in that, more than enough to make him a player we should be excited about. Maybe we should focus on that, rather than being confident that the seventh-best passing rookie will someday be one of the ten great passers of all time.
[...] - Anthony Tolliver, starting PF. Maybe by next year the Warriors can fulfill their dream starting an entire lineup full of guys named Anthony. (48Minutes.net) [...]
FeatherRiverDan January 27th, 2010 at 10:45 am
if you don’t like it don’t watch it and cry……
Owen: Have you watched Curry lately?
Isn’t he sixth in the league in steals? Do any other small points get RBs like Curry? Hasn’t he had two one-TO games in a row now, playing 40+ minutes in each? Is his A/TO ratio 1.73 in the last month? (Hint: NO.) Did this kid actually drive Nash outta the Suns game — where Nash had six TO’s to Curry’s one? (Fresh legs got Curry there; he was handling Nash just fine, thank you.) Did Curry have both Martin and — when they finally put him on Tyreke in the second half — Evans for lunch in the Sacto game? (Stats’ll tell ya Evans scored 23, whiuch is nice, but 18 of those came in the first half, before Curry took him on; he was 0-7 in Q4, with Curry all over him.)
Stats are fine when you can’t watch the game to see/sense what’s really going on. Otherwise, they hardly tell this kid’s story. (BTW, how ’bout that behind the back pass while on the floor with two Kings fighting for the ball? He doesn’t even get an assist on that play, cuz the ball was then whipped to a third guy, George, for the open three, but that was SOME play. And stats would NEVER catch it. . . .but WE did.)
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