Tuesday, April 7, 2009

W's Take Third Straight

The Warriors snapped their 5-game losing streak that ended March with a 143-141 OT victory vs. Sacramento on Wednesday. Subsequently, the Warriors have went on to win 3 games in a row and what do you know, they're being forced to play the young guys. The bright spots vs. Sac on Wednesday were Monta Ellis, Anthony Randolph and Kellena Azubuike. Monta went off for 42 points with 9 boards and 9 assists, missing a triple double by just a hair. It was by far Ellis' best performance of his injury shortened season. Prior to Wednesday's breakout, Ellis hadn't scored more than 29 points in a single game this year, but he has certainly started to look like the Ellis of '07-'08 over the last couple of weeks. Ellis averaged 23.5 points along with 4.5 assists in the month of March, after averaging just 13 points and a little over 3 assists in January and February. Azubuike has been one of the more consistent Warriors this season and put up another solid effort with 27 points and 13 boards in the win. Randolph is now starting to get playing time that Warriors fans have been pleading for, and he is looking like a potential starter for next season. The 19 year-old forward scored 17 points with 10 rebounds in under 20 minutes of play. The only issue with Randolph right now is cutting down on his foul problems. If he can start learning to stay on the floor for 35 minutes a night, he's got the potential to be a 20-10 guy every time, but he has to stay on the floor as he showed on Friday's game vs. the Hornets by providing 20 points and 15 boards and a block in a solid 38+ minutes of play. He's proving what he can do when he's on the court, keep him there Nelly.

The Warriors aren't going anywhere this year, so they need to use these remaining games wisely as they try and figure out the route they'll want to go this summer. They need to figure out if Randolph is going to be their starting power forward next season, or if they need to find someone else to fill that role. They also need to figure out what they are going to do at the guard position. It looks like they want to keep Ellis at the point, but they have Jamal Crawford, Stephen Jackson and Correy Maggette all vying for time at the 2 guard and small forward and I think one of those guys will have to go this summer. So yeah, the Warriors aren't playing for a playoff birth right now, but if they use this time wisely and build off of it this summer, they'll be right back in the mix next season.

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