Saturday, February 28, 2009

Warriors Stuck in Mediocrity, Look to Stay There

The Warriors followed Monday's poor performance in LA with another disappointing loss at home against the Bobcats. Granted, the current Charlotte team is not the laughable bad news Bobcats of recent years. The Warriors had their chance to win, thanks to the continued stellar play of Stephen Jackson, who scored 33 points and dished out 8 assists, but couldn't defend the three.

Lets be realistic. The Bobcats had more talent suited up than the W's. Compare the starting lineups. Golden State: Watson, Belinelli, Jackson, Azubuike, Biedrins. Charlotte: Felton, Bell, Diaw, Wallace, Okafor. Jackson and Biedrins are the only players in that lineup that have proven themselves as deserving starters on an NBA roster. That's not a knock on the ability of those other players. Watson's play of late is deserving of a start, but it should have been along side Crawford, not an inexperienced Belinelli. Marco has played poorly as a starter and would do better coming off the bench in role like Maggette. In starting the last two games, he scored 2 points in 17 minutes against the Clippers and 6 points in 21 minutes last night against Charlotte. Azubuike is in line to have a nice NBA career wherever he plays, but not as a starter.

Look at the Bobcats roster. Recent years spent in the cellar have given this team the rights to high draft picks and young talent. Raymond Felton and Omeka Okafor have developed into effective NBA players. Rookie DJ Augustin is getting the playing time necessary to acclimate and is averaging 12 points and nearly 4 assists per game. The Atlanta Hawks are a similar team. Years at the bottom have allowed them to draft the talent needed to move up. Josh Smith, Marvin Williams, and Al Horford. The Oklahoma City Thunder are on the same path.

The W's haven't developed talent since the 2005 draft, when they selected Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins. That's not to say they don't have talent. Like most Warriors fans, I am perplexed by Don Nelson's rotations, specifically the short leash on talented Anthony Randolph. Don Nelson does not care about the future of this team. He won't play his young bigs, Randolph and Wright (when healthy), but instead has played Azubuike and previously Maggette at power forwards. Why do the Warriors acquire talented young bigs just to keep them cramped up on the bench in warm-up pants?

It is true that Warriors fans are the best in the NBA. This team is not good enough to be in the playoffs, not bad enough to be a lottery team, and coached by a nutty professor; yet, fans still flock to Oracle.

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