By Geoff Lepper
Your daily guided tour through the national and local media coverage of the always-entertaining Golden State Warriors.
Contra Costa Times (Marcus Thompson II):Eons from now, when they sing songs of the Warriors’ greatness in Valhalla, the Ballad of Raja Bell will ring forth and be heard.
(Of course, that’s not going to help Golden State in the here and now, as Bell is still set to undergo wrist surgery that probably, knowing this club’s luck, will cost him the rest of his season.)
Also: Ronny Turiaf’s bad knee would be in great shape if only the NBA were played on a straight line, kind of like this game.
San Francisco Chronicle (Rusty Simmons): Everybody feels good about losing because they’re close losses. We’ll see how long that lasts.
NBA.com (Couper Moorhead):Kevin Garnett tries his hand at creating his own Yogism: “Nellieball is something different. It’s always been effective when it worked.”
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.
Traded some Q&A material with Daniel Sagal of Laker-devoted LABallTalk in advance of tonight’s game, which should be fascinating on many fronts, including most especially whether the crowd will turn on the team when the Lakers go on their inevitable 20-4 run to seize command of the game.
Other things to watch for:
** The number of fans wearing bags on their heads.
** The number of fans holding signs, a la Guns ‘n’ Roses, asking “Where’s Monta?”
** Whether Bob Delaney will continue his streak of Warriors-Lakers games.
In any case, on to the Q&A:
48minutes.net: So, does Mitch Kupchak highlight Andrew Bynum’s line on the boxscore after every game and then leave it in Kobe Bryant’s locker? And, more seriously, is Bynum the piece that puts this team over the top this season?
LABallTalk: I highly doubt Kupchak is too happy with Bynum right as he has proven to be somewhat lazy and immature. You hear about all the guys working their butt off in the gym and in practice trying to improve while Andrew only does what he is asked. I’d like to see him grow up a bit more but I supoose that will come with age.
Dec31Filed under: News; Tagged as: Andrea Bargnani, Andris Biedrins, Brandan Wright, Bruce Bowen, Chris Bosh, Derek Fisher, Don Nelson, Greg Willard, Jason Kapono, Jason Richardson, Kevin Garnett, Leon Powe, Leon Wood, Manu Ginobili, Marco Belinelli, Mickael Pietrus, Monta Ellis, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Tony Allen
By Geoff Lepper
In 18 months as an NBA player, Marco Belinelli’s stock has gone through more roles than a TV character actor: Summer League star, Jason Richardson replacement, defensive sieve, bench ornament, unhappy camper, trade bait.
So is Belinelli’s latest turn — reborn playmaker — just another phase, destined to vanish like the next full moon?
It’s still too early to tell for certain, but in the 13 games since Don Nelson refocused the Warriors’ attack, Belinelli has already weathered one dip and ridden it out. I figured that after back-to-back poor performances in Florida — combined 7-for-24 shooting with four turnovers against five assists in Orlando and Miami — Belinelli’s run was at an end, and that he would go back to being a pumpkin, metaphorically speaking.
Instead, he had one of his two best games of the season in the Warriors’ 117-111 win over Toronto on Monday: 23 points, 6-12 FG, 5-8 3FG, 6-6 FT, 6 AST, 2 TO.
After that game, Warriors coach Don Nelson said Belinelli was succeeding in the team’s revamped, Euro-style offense — 47.5 FG, 40.0 3FG, 16.0 PPG, 3.3 APG — because “he’s a much better shooter on the move than he is stationary.”
I disagree. Belinelli has tamed the wild leg kick that used to punctuate his shooting motion, but he still often twists his lower body to the left when he fires while moving, both off the dribble and situations where he catches and shoots on a cut.
In the Toronto game, for example, Belinelli was 1-for-6 off dribble-drives, 1-for-2 while catching on the move, and 4-for-4 (three of those from deep) on standing shots. All three of those treys came on plays that began with Stephen Jackson driving and drawing multiple defenders, then kicking out, either directly to Belinelli or through an intermediary.
The bigger surprise on offense has been Belinelli’s emergence as a passer. He’s never going to be a straight point guard in the NBA, not unless he significantly upgrades his open-court ballhandling, but as a half-court initiator, he’s just a half-step behind Jackson and Jamal Crawford in terms of finding open shooters.
The style of Belinelli’s passing makes it seem as though he’s cavalierly throwing the ball around. Just as many Italians would find speech without the punctuation provided by their hand gestures to be unacceptably bland, Belinelli seems to use a two-handed chest pass only as a means of last resort. Witness Belinelli’s behind-the-back…
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…
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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- 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)