By Geoff Lepper
I thought I would link to my own column over at Comcast Bay Area’s site — CSNBayArea.com — discussing the fine line Stephen Curry has to walk as a rookie PG on an NBA team with some established veterans.
[Brief CSNBayArea.com tangent: You can find fresh columns there all week, from folks such as myself, Ann Killion (late of the San Jose Mercury News), Michelle Smith (late of the San Francisco Chronicle) and Dave Albee (late of the Marin Independent Journal). End of pimpage.]
There were a few observations that didn’t fit into the flow of the column which I thought I’d note here.
First things first: Curry gets it. He knows exactly what’s going on, sees the “I’m getting mine” attitude that pervaded the first couple of games — exacerbated by the Warriors’ over-reliance on one-on-one play — and how it’s totally anathematic to any consistent ball movement.
This is not a new problem, obviously. Golden State was 29th last season in AST/FG ratio. Only the Grizzlies were more parsimonious in helping one another — which makes Memphis’ signing of Allen Iverson even more hilarious.
It’s also interesting to note the one play that, for me, stood out the most from Monday’s practice.
By Geoff Lepper
I can’t decide which injury Monta Ellis’ stiff left ankle – which will keep him on the bench tonight in Los Angeles, as well as against Charlotte on Friday and Utah on Sunday – brings more readily to mind.
Is this like Baron Davis’ sprained ankle in 2005-06, when he ended up shutting it down for the remainder of the season?
Or is it like Jason Richardson’s arthroscopic knee surgery of the following season, when he ended up pushing too fast for a comeback and looked terrible — until a broken hand forced him to rest for several more weeks, and then he came on to play a huge role down the stretch?
Based on the Warriors’ record, the obvious answer is to treat Ellis’ setback as the former. He’s shown that he can at least take the floor, and occasionally reached for the level he was at last season – although it was only for a play or two a night, with two dozen instances of rust and regression for every highlight.
But everything hinges on the one thing Ellis has not shown much of: The ability to get lift off of that left leg.
Feb12Filed under: Commentary; Tagged as: Allen Iverson, Amare Stoudemire, Andris Biedrins, Anthony Morrow, Anthony Randolph, Bryan Colangelo, C.J. Watson, Carlos Boozer, Chris Bosh, Chris Quinn, Corey Maggette, Daequan Cook, Don Nelson, Dwyane Wade, Erik Spoelstra, Joel Anthony, Joey Graham, Kelenna Azubuike, Kevin Garnett, Louis Amundson, Monta Ellis, Richard Hendrix, Shaquille O'Neal, Stephen Jackson, Steve Kerr, Udonis Haslem
By Geoff Lepper
OAKLAND – With Kelenna Azubuike, C.J. Watson and Anthony Morrow all playing critical roles to this point, the Golden State Warriors are one of only two teams in the NBA this season to have three former D-League or undrafted free agents among their top eight players (in terms of minutes played).
Even though 2008 second-round pick Richard Hendrix was cut loose months ago, Warriors coach Don Nelson doesn’t think that qualifies as a sign of bad scouting. Rather, it’s an indication of the specificity that teams can shop with when cruising the D-League aisles.
“I’ve felt for a long time that the D-League is better than most second-rounders that you get,” Nelson said. “You can get a guy in the D-League (who is) a specialist because you can zero in on positions there more than the draft. The draft, you’re taking chances on talent and what you’re gonna get, not what you get (immediately). In the D-League, you pretty well can tell what you have.”
“The first round has been diluted here the last 10 years, but still, if there’s some greatness there, that’s probably where you find it.”
The only other team that has three or more D-League/undrafted free agents among its top eight players this season is the Miami Heat. Rookie coach Erik Spoelstra has ridden the likes of Udonis Haslem, Daequan Cook, Joel Anthony and Chris Quinn to a 27-24 record that’s put the Heat in a tie for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. (That figure also ranks 10 games better than the Warriors’ current 18-35 mark, if you’re scoring at home.)
The difference, of course, is Dwyane Wade, a four-time All-Star (in only his sixth season) who’s light-years ahead of any Warrior in terms of individual ability.
Dec29Filed under: Commentary; Tagged as: Al Harrington, Allen Iverson, Andre Miller, Barack Obama, Baron Davis, Barry Bonds, Chris Kaman, Clay Bennett, Corey Maggette, Dennis Rodman, Derrick Rose, Dikembe Mutombo, Eric Gordon, Erick Dampier, George Bush, Gilbert Arenas, Gregg Popovich, Jamal Crawford, Jose Calderon, Kerri Walsh, Kevin Garnett, Kevin McHale, Kobe Bryant, Larry Brown, Marc Gasol, Marcus Camby, Marcus Thompson, Mark Cuban, Misty May-Treanor, Pau Gasol, Robert Rowell, Ron Artest, Sean May, Shaquille O'Neal, Stephen Jackson, Stephon Marbury, Steve Nash, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, Zach Randolph
By Geoff Lepper
By now, you’ve undoubtedly read Marcus Thompson’s blog item regarding the report from Stephen Jackson that Baron Davis wants to be traded back to the Bay less than six months after bolting to go back home.
Aside from the usual eye-rolling that comes with most Baron pronouncements, there’s a very specific and immoveable obstacle to this scenario: BD can’t seriously think that the Warriors (i.e., team president Robert Rowell) — who didn’t want to be on the hook for four fully guaranteed years because of concerns about Davis’ health and motivation — are suddenly going to be willing to pay for FIVE seasons.
Here, then, is a helpful guide to 30 things more likely to happen than Baron Davis coming back to the Bay:
1) Barack Obama arrives at the White House on the afternoon of Jan. 20, spots George Bush ducking out the back door, tosses him the keys and says, “You can keep it. I just got Hank Paulson’s last report, and I’m outta here.”
2) Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter each play 82 games — in the same season.
3) Clay Bennett goes bankrupt and the City of Seattle picks up the Thunder for $42,598 plus court costs in an Oklahoma City repo auction.
4) Warrior fans make it through a broadcast without being reminded that they’re missing (insert number here) points per game.
5) Larry Brown quits the Bobcats out of sheer frustration with Sean May.
(Wait, that one could actually happen.)
6) The L wakes up to the fact that Kevin Garnett has crossed the line from “hard-nosed” to “wantonly overaggressive” and finally takes some punitive action.
7) Allen Iverson takes two weeks off from the Pistons, undergoes 274 laser treatments and comes back without any tattoos.
8 ) Jose Calderon misses a free throw. But only one.
9) Gilbert Arenas announces that he’s quitting the NBA to switch to blogging full-time.
10) Jamal Crawford starts to play lockdown defense.
11) Barry Bonds is named the San Francisco Giants’ new strength and conditioning coach.
12) Kobe Bryant drops 71 on the Suns, then tells a live ABC audience: “Shaq, your ass taste like chicken. At least, that’s what Steve Nash said.”
13) Al Harrington tells Jackson that he’d like to come back to the Warriors, too.
14) Erick Dampier acknowledges that he hasn’t played up to the seven-year, $73 million deal he signed in 2004 and gives Mark Cuban an oversized posterboard check for $30 million in a halftime ceremony at a Mavericks home game.
15) Cuban’s attorneys immediately take half as a retainer.
16) The San Jose Sharks…
By Geoff Lepper
The level of the Warriors’ competition went up Thursday. The level of their winning went down.
And it’s very possible that’s going to become a familiar lament for Golden State in the next few weeks.
It’s a cliche to say that the Warriors, as the NBA’s youngest team, need to learn how to win. But it’s a fact that Detroit’s 107-102 win over Golden State is the fourth time out in six losses for the Warriors this season in which they’ve held the lead in the final six minutes and failed to hang on.
The image of the night? Warriors coach Don Nelson, draping his right hand on top of his head as he tried not to have his brain jump out of his skull with 3:10 remaining when C.J. Watson — jarred by the sight of an onrushing Allen Iverson — stepped inbounds before passing the ball in.
The costly turnover was followed by a back-breaking 3-pointer from Rasheed Wallace that gave Detroit a 96-92 lead with 3 minutes left, and the Warriors never drew closer than three points after that.
The Warriors dropped to 3-6 on the season, an especially disappointing mark when you consider that, given the relatively easy nature of their schedule to this point, they should have expected a 5-4 record at a minimum — games at New Jersey, at Memphis, vs. Memphis and vs. Minnesota were all good bets for a win, as was the Denver contest at home when the Nuggets were missing both Iverson and the man he was primarily traded for, Chauncey Billups.
Unfortunately, things get significantly more difficult between now and Dec. 17, when Monta Ellis’ suspension ends. There are two long road trips — which have never been the Warriors’ forte — and home games against a higher caliber of opponent.
One’s man’s guesses as to how the Warriors will fare over the next five weeks:
Saturday, at LA Clippers: TOSSUP
Tuesday, vs. Portland: LEAN LOSS
Nov. 21, vs. Chicago: LEAN WIN
Nov. 23, at Philadelphia: LEAN LOSS
Nov. 25, at Washington: LEAN WIN
Nov. 26, at Boston: SAFE LOSS
Nov. 28, at Cleveland: SAFE LOSS
Nov. 29, at New York: LEAN LOSS
Dec. 1, vs. Miami: LEAN WIN
Dec. 5, at Houston: SAFE LOSS
Dec. 6, at San Antonio: LEAN LOSS
Dec. 8, at Oklahoma City: LEAN WIN
Dec. 10, vs. Milwaukee: SAFE WIN
Dec. 12, vs. Houston: LEAN LOSS
Dec. 13, at Denver: LEAN LOSS
Dec. 15, vs. Orlando: LEAN LOSS
Dec. 17, at Indiana: TOSSUP
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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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- Monta Ellis returns from six-game layoff to face Trail Blazers; Watson in, Turiaf out
- Radio alert: Tune in to KNBR 1050 at 12:30 pm…
- Game 63, Live: Warriors (17-45) at Hornets (31-32)
- Game 62, Live: Warriors (17-44) at Bobcats (29-31)
- Game 61, Live: Warriors (17-43) at Hawks (39-21)
- Game 60, Live: Warriors (17-42) at Magic (41-20)
- Game 59, Live: Warriors (17-41) at Heat (29-31)
- No Monta Ellis tonight vs. Kings
- Game 52, Live: Warriors (14-37) at Lakers (41-13)