Thursday, December 3, 2009

Nelson returns to Warriors bench

The Warriors take on the Rockets at Oracle tonight and Don Nelson rejoins the team after missing the last five games recovering from pneumonia. There are plenty of people around the bay area who feel he should take more time to feel better. Like, forever.

Keith Smart did a fine job, working with the most injury stricken roster in the league. The Warriors beat Dallas and Indiana, but lost convincingly to the Spurs, Lakers, and Nuggets. The bright side of this dim period for the Warriors, is the recent play of Monta Ellis, who has looked like a young Allen Iverson, averaging 28 points per game over the past ten games. Ellis's upward spike in production occurring simultaneously with Nelson's departure to the infirmary. It looked like Ellis responded well to Keith Smart calling the plays.

With Monta Ellis scoring as well as anyone in the league, the double team is inevitable. The Warriors need to find a go-to scorer to consistently punish teams that double the Warriors best player. Anthony Morrow has proven himself a deadly perimeter shooter, but still has to polish his all-around game to be an every night threat. Stephen Curry has looked brilliant at times, but once in a few games he is learning more than producing.

The Warriors front line is completely wiped out. Two out of six low post players are available: Mikki Moore and Chris Hunter. I can't think of a more depleted roster than Golden State's. That doesn't mean the Warriors have an excuse to lose. When Monta Ellis is on fire like he has been lately, it only takes a 20 point game from another player to keep them in the game. Another key is limiting turnovers. If the opponent is going to out rebound the Warriors by 20, the W's need to get moretakeaways than turnovers and have more assists than the other team.

Expect Anthony Morrow to have 20 plus points if the Warriors beat the Rockets tonight.

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