The Warriors gave the Lakers a scare in the first quarter last night at Staples Center, and came back to within 3 with 1:30 left in the game. The defending Western Conference champs looked lazy and careless, but closed out the game in the crucial minutes.
The Lakers had a monster third quarter, opening the half on a 22-6 run, as Stephen Jackson was not on the floor for extended minutes. The Warriors were set back when Correy Maggette went to the bench for much of the second and third periods with foul trouble. Both teams allowed the opponent to go on huge runs during the course of the game, thanks to excessive turnovers. Its disappointing, but not surprising to see the W's give it away, they are the youngest team in the NBA. After this game, I'm not sold on the Lakers as much as I was previously. LA's bench is not as good as everyone makes them out to be. They were solid with Lamar Odom at sixth man or Trevor Ariza bringing his high energy. Farmar doesn't have confidence in his shot, Vujacic is streaky, Walton needs to be more assertive, and Powell and Mbenga are Warriors rejects. The Lakers also lost to Philly last Tuesday on an Iguadala buzzer beater. This team is coasting right now and they are due for a rude awakening in April. The Spurs, Nuggets, Rockets, Jazz, Hornets, and Blazers are all more hungry and have better chemistry than the Lakeshow.
Monta Ellis has been on a tear since coming back against the Nets Mar. 11, regaining the respect of fans and opponents each time he steps on the floor. We just hope he doesn't re-injure that ankle. Monta, we know you're unstoppable, save the juice for next year. 'Next Year' seems to be the theme in the Warriors organization. The Crawford drama is unfolding, as coach Nelson has been benching him to play the youth movement. It's an obvious decision to make. Crawford is not going to all of the sudden put up big numbers, hence catch the attention of a possible suitor. No, he's going to stick around and collect his $20 Mil. the Warriors owe him over the next two seasons. (It looks like the potential for an ugly Stephon Marbury stalemate) If the Warriors cannot unload Crawford, they should bench him in the interest of getting better. Let's see what the youngsters can do. Maybe the front office could package together Wright and Belinelli for a power forward or a backup PG.