Sunday, December 30, 2007

Warriors Return the Favor to the Nuggets on the Road

The win pulled off in Denver tonight shows the Warriors credibility as a team that belongs in the Western Conference playoffs. When teams play each other two times in three days, I can't help but liken the situation to playoff atmosphere. The West is as balanced as it has been all year with teams like the Blazers and Hornets moving up on last year's powerhouses in Utah and Dallas. Right now the W's are in eighth place in the West. By answering the Nuggets, who are tied with the Blazers in sixth place, earned a playoff merit badge winning on the road. With the way they played tonight, I could see the W's beating Denver in a playoff series. Now wait... they still have a lot of questions to answer. How will they find production while Baron is having some gatorade? Matt Barnes brings a lot of energy along with his three stroke, but turned the ball over a few times on telegraphed passes. He does so many great things for the team, but needs to finish with two hands more and be more cautious when passing.

The key to this win was the emphasis on defensive pressure, which was not applied Friday at Oracle. If the Warriors want to have playoff success, they will need to adopt the mentality displayed tonight. Use your energy on defensive pressure as opposed to use it forcing shots on offense. When the Warriors get in the passing lanes and disrupt dribble penetration attempts, they earn extra possessions that have often lead to high percentage shots. And when the Warriors are getting the extra possessions, they shoot with a relaxed confidence. With so many capable offensive threats like Baron, Jack, Harrington, and Monta, one can forget that defense is what leads to easy buckets in....the Warriors Rundown.

P.S. visit, cold vicious

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.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Welcome to the Rundown

The Warriors Rundown, a Golden State Warriors Blog, will be launching here this week! Check in for news, updates and a ton of opinions on anything and everything regarding the Golden State Warriors. This blog is being presented by Trevor Cole, creator of The San Francisco Giants Blog, as well as the Sonoma State Star's sports columnist, Brian Wright. Shout out to Golden State of Mind, the top warrior Blog on the net, as well as Matt Steinmetz for giving me this idea in the first place. Posts coming soon!!!