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.
By Geoff Lepper
Your daily guided tour through the national and local media coverage of the always-entertaining Golden State Warriors.
San Francisco Chronicle (Rusty Simmons): Not much different than his earlier blog post immediately after the Ellis-Nelson confrontation. Apparently, Ellis didn’t get his ankles taped at the hotel, and therefore missed the start of practice, drawing Nelson’s ire. Or some such thing.
Contra Costa Times (Marcus Thompson II): More from the RSC. The money quote for me is the last one, where Nelson tries to absolve himself of all blame: “If you want to be any good, you’ve got to have good chemistry. … The coach can help when the players are willing.”
New York Post (Peter Vecsey): Mostly, it’s a column about Byron Scott’s ouster in New Orleans, but it includes this hilarious quote from Al Harrington: “Had I stayed with the Warriors any longer I felt for sure (Nelson) would have ended my NBA career.” Yikes.
(A Byron Scott aside: Did you see Baron Davis’ Tweet about the coach he battled with repeatedly before finally getting traded to Golden State? “B. Scott got fired… Sad to see that happen! Good Coach!” Talk about your BS for B.S.)
By Geoff Lepper
Somebody cue Shirley Bassey and the Propellerheads. Because the Warriors sure seem to be stuck in a little bit of history repeating.
Fifty-three weeks ago, Warriors coach Don Nelson yanked Al Harrington from his rotation, playing him for less than 20 minutes in the fifth game of the season. In his post-game press conference, Nelson dropped the pretense that the two sides could peacefully co-exist while Golden State tried to accommodate the captain’s trade request.
Wednesday, Nelson yanked Stephen Jackson from his rotation, playing him for less than 20 minutes in the seventh game of the season. In his pre-game press conference, Nelson dropped the pretense that the pretense that the two sides could peacefully co-exist while Golden State tried to accommodate the former captain’s trade request.
“At some point, and I don’t know when, we have to (trade Jackson),” Nelson told reporters before Indiana’s 108-94 victory over the Warriors. “He asked to be traded, and we’d like to trade him. That’s if we can.”
Now the question is whether Jackson will continue to follow in the footsteps of Harrington, who never played again for the Warriors after his 16-minute stint against Denver on Nov. 5, 2008. Harrington left the team immediately thereafter, decamping to Los Angeles for a couple weeks until eventually getting dealt for Jamal Crawford of the New York Knicks.
By Geoff Lepper
And so begins the great Stephen Jackson exodus from Warrior land.
How else to interpret the scene Friday night at the Forum during the first quarter of the Warriors’ 110-91 win over the Lakers, where Jackson allowed his physical battles with Kobe Bryant to turn into a five-foul, one-technical, banished-to-the-locker-room-by-the-coach, all-in-the-space-of-nine-minutes meltdown?
I’ve joked to a few people in the weeks since Jackson’s trade demand that no one’s going to be able to tell if he’s tanking it. After all, this is a guy who hoists up 3-pointers with 18 seconds left on the shot clock three or four times a game — and that’s when he’s playing at the TOP of his game.
But after last night . . . well, that’s certainly one way to make it clear you don’t want to be around.
The Warriors face a dilemma heading into tonight’s outdoor exhibition game against the Phoenix Suns: What to do in response to Jackson’s actions?
Simply ignoring the outburst runs the risk of giving Jackson carte blanche to run roughshod over the Warriors. It’s one thing to pout your way out of a meaningless exhibition game in a long-abandoned former NBA arena. It’s quite another to do that on Oct. 28 against Houston when the regular season begins.
Jilted fans who feel Jackson has stabbed them in the back with the very pen he used to ink his three-year, $28 million extension would love to see him suspended, but that would almost certainly turn this into an open war that makes the Al Harrington break-up look like an amicable divorce and rivals the insanity that was Stephon Marbury’s final season in New York.
Orlando Sentinel (Brian Schmitz, Josh Robbins): Orlando Magic GM Otis Smith told the Sentinel that “I think it got personal” in talking about the Magic’s failed attempts to acquire C.J. Watson from the Warriors this summer via a sign-and-trade deal.
Smith played with the Warriors for a season and change before being selected by the Magic in their expansion draft. After his playing career ended, Smith returned to the Warriors and spent three seasons working in Community Relations before becoming Executive Director of Basketball Operations in 2002-03. He left after that season to rejoin the Magic as Director of Player Development.
My first thought was that Smith is suffering collateral damage from the fallout between Chris Mullin and Robert Rowell, but Smith worked under Garry St. Jean in ‘02-’03, not Mullin, who back then was just a special assistant learning the ropes in preparation for taking over. So who knows. Maybe the Warriors just really, really like Watson.
(BTW, in researching Otis Smith’s time in the Warriors’ front office, I stumbled across this account of Mullin’s ascension to power in 2004:
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TagsAcie Law Al Harrington Allen Iverson Andris Biedrins Anthony Morrow Anthony Randolph Baron Davis Brandan Wright C.J. Watson Chris Cohan Chris Hunter Chris Mullin Corey Maggette Dan Dickau DeMarcus Nelson Devean George Don Nelson Gilbert Arenas Jamal Crawford Jason Richardson Jeff Fried Jermareo Davidson Keith Smart Kelenna Azubuike Kevin Durant Kevin Garnett Kobe Bryant Larry Riley Marco Belinelli Marcus Williams Matt Barnes Mickael Pietrus Mikki Moore Monta Ellis Patrick O'Bryant Richard Hendrix Robert Rowell Rob Kurz Ronny Turiaf Stephen Curry Stephen Jackson Stephon Marbury Steve Nash Troy Murphy Vladimir Radmanovic
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