Sunday, December 23, 2007

W's look to go 3-2 on roadtrip

Last night the Nets took advantage of the Warriors ice cold shooting to start the game. New Jersey mirror's the Warriors in the sense that they thrive off fast break points in the paint, usually created by the defense jumping the pass lanes. The Warriors followed the recent habit of starting slow in the first quarter and waking up in the second half. The W's never really asserted themselves defensively to get fast breaks, they shot 38% from the field and 24% beyond the arc. The loss places the W's at 2-2 in this recent five game road trip. On a positive note, they beat the inferior Grizzlies and Timberwolves, losing to Detroit and New Jersey. Detroit is still the class of the Eastern Conference with Boston and New Jersey is capable of beating any team in the league.

Today's game at Cleveland is the Warrior's second game of the year vs. the Cavs as they took care of a Warrior team without Stephen Jackson back on Nov. 6. It will be interesting to see how the Warriors choose to defend LeBron James who leads the League in scoring.

The Warriors will need to do a better job of defensive rebounding than they did against New Jersey as the Cavs are relentless attacking the offensive glass. I would like to see less jump shots to start and more dribble penetration to find open shooters or Bedreins rolling to the basket. Monta Ellis has been shooting at a high percentage and providing an energy boost when Harrington and Jackson are cold. Ellis is one of the fastest players in the league and can beat anyone off the dribble. It would benefit Ellis to observe players like Steve Nash, Manu Ginobilli, Kobe Bryant. None of these players are as quick as Ellis, but they change speeds well to slip past defenders. Ellis could be similar to Dwayne Wade in the way he can blow by and dish to cutters and open shooters.

If the Warriors move the ball around on offense, there will always be a mismatch. I would like to see the W's start the game with a defensive mindset and let points come to them. The trend of digging themselves out of a deficit is starting to take its toll on a team on the tail end of a five game road trip.

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