Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Warriors win two straight, beat Mavs in Dallas

Since the operation to remove a malignant Stephen Jackson tumor, the Warriors have played their best basketball of the season and have two back to back wins to show for it. The improbable success of late is enhanced by the overcoming of injuries and illness.
Monta Ellis has been the man in the last two games, scoring over 30 points in both contests. Don Nelson praised Ellis's defense on Brandan Roy and said it was the best defensive performance Nelson had seen of Ellis. The lack of available bench players leaves Warriors coaches no choice, but to give minutes to Anthony Randolph, Anthony Morrow, and Stephen Curry. If not for the abundance of injury, Nelson would not give the young players big minutes. It's nice to see the Warriors develop a bright future.

Every Warriors fan who watched or listened to the Warriors upset the Mavs last night, couldn't help but smirk. It was sweet deja vous to send Nowitski and rowdy Dallas fans home with that sour, familiar taste in their mouths. Could a win over the Mavs on the road be a symbol for better times to come? Monta Ellis is hot, Morrow is shooting the lights out from three, and Curry showed he can be clutch in the final minutes of a big game. The Warriors put together a big run at the end, made possible by solid defensive rebounding.

After the last two games, I'm convinced the Warriors could beat the Spurs. It's more improbable than beating the Blazers or the Mavs on the road, but who predicted those wins. Certainly not any of the Bay Area skeptics and certainly not me. The Warriors will need to cut back on the turnovers if they hope to contend with the Spurs.

I hope Nelson gets well, but it will be intriguing to see how Keith Smart runs the team, as he could very well inherit head coaching responsibilities before season's end.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Warriors meet with Monta Ellis' agent today

Please excuse WRD's banner. We are in the process of accommodating Stephen Jackson's request to be moved to a blog with Al (Harrington) in New York or with one of the Texas teams.
Basketball's 'Bad News Bears' will return home from the Eastern road trip, taking one out of five games. The post-trade skeleton crew fared well in back to back games against Cleveland and Boston. Team chemistry is markedly improved without Whack Jack holding the ball. The Warriors were neck and neck with the Cavs into the final two minutes of the game and played a great first half against Boston. The Warriors competed with nobility, unlike some of the whippings they received earlier this year.

Stephen Jackson is gone, yet team chemistry is far from golden. Monta Ellis, who was close with Jackson, has shown discontent with the Warriors management. Negative feelings between Ellis and Warriors front office, specifically Robert Rowell, grew from the infamous moped incident. Ellis was fined $3 million and suspended the season after he signed a six year $66 million contract. Monta's agent will meet with team president Robert Rowell and general manager Larry Riley today to discuss Ellis's future with the Warriors. Ellis has been unhappy with Don Nelson and also wasn't happy with the drafting of Stephen Curry.

A possible Ellis trade is unlike the circumstances surrounding Jackson's recent deal. If Ellis were to go, the Warriors expect talent in return, not just expiring contracts.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Stephen Jackson traded to Bobcats

The Stephen Jackson train is pulling out of Oakland and is now en route to Charlotte. Now all is well in Golden State...Right? No. At this time, the Warriors are as bad as they will be all season.
Monday morning, Stephen Jackson and A.C. Law were traded to the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic. Does this trade make the Warriors better? Not really, but did Stephen Jackson have to go? Yes. After the way Stephen Jackson went about expressing his sentiments, the Warriors had no choice but to get rid of Jack. Kudos to Larry Riley for solving one of the many problems in the organization. Unfortunatly, Stephen Jackson was the Warriors most productive player. Neither Bell or Radmanovic will give the Warriors what Stephen Jackson did, at least on the court. Raja Bell of 2006 would have been nice.

The voices of basketball fans around the Bay Area are calling for Don Nelson's job, as many fans believe he has lost the trust and respect of his players. Aside from disputes with Jackson, Nelson has butt heads with Monta Ellis, frustrated Stephen Curry by taking away minutes, and still hasn't won any points with Anthony Randolph. Anti-Nellie protests have sprouted from ugly losses featuring no chemistry and pathetic defensive effort.

The Warriors trademark uptempo, no defense style is not working. The tiresome tempo is hurting the Warriors more than opponents, as injuries are abundant. Brandon Wright and Deavan George went down in the pre-season. Andris Biedrins, Roni Turiaf, and now Kelenna Azubuike are out. Azubuike injured his patella and could be out anywhere from three months to the rest of this season.

The Warriors are the most vulnerable defensive team in the league and it's no secret. Don Nelson's run and gun is dead and it has never won an NBA title. Brandon Jennings, who the Warriors chose to pass on in the draft, burned the W's for 55 points last Saturday in Milwaukee. Jennings desrves credit, but if the Bucks were playing the Cetics or Lakers, Kendrick Perkins or Ron Artest would have put Jennings's 169 pound body on the ground if the rookie got near the painted area. The Warriors have no physical players (They had two, but one is out indefinitly and the other has been traded). Don't even say Raja Bell. He is old an irrelevant. If the Warriors start to really stink it up, and they will, Nelson could be gone. I welcome the idea of Keith Smart as the head coach. He coaches defense and hungry to make a name for himself. Nelson wants to get the all-time wins record and go back to Maui for good. Now I now how FSU football fans feel with the Bobby Bowden situation. Like Nelson, Bowden built the program, is hunting the all-time wins record, but does not give his team the best chance to win as head coach.

Who is the Warriors leader now? Monta Ellis? I guess, but Monta is not a good leader. He doesn't make anyone else around him better. He can score, but he's best when a teammate gets him the ball. Curry has leader potential, but it will not be cultivated with this disfunctional organization. The joke continues.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Warriors lose to Pacers, disfunction continues

The Warriors surprised no one by losing to the Pacers in Indiana last night. Unlike the successful game against Minnesota, the Warriors forgot how to move the ball on offense. The most noticeable difference was the absence of Stephen Jackson and his game. (Did we really expect whatever possessed Jack to stay?) Of course not.

Jackson started the game slow, missing four of his first five shots and subsequently yanked by Nellie. Jackson played a short spell in the third quarter, but was not on the floor in the fourth quarter when the Warriors cut a 19 point deficit to 8. I never remember a game when Jackson played 18 minutes.

After the game Nellie said Jackson "hurt his back, hip, or ...something."

Jackson said he is completely fine and "doesn't know why he wasn't in."

What a dilemma. Do you keep Jackson and his distractions off the court and away from the team or play Jackson to showcase his value and take his contributions when he feels like playing? I say bench him. Better yet, ban him from the locker room. Playing him won't raise his value anymore than what it is now, especially when he gives the Warriors nothing four out five games. Not to mention mucks up team chemistry. Also, factor in the possibility of injury (even though he isn't likely to exert enough energy to be at risk). The slim chance of moving Jackson is built on the idea of helping a team this season. It must be a team that has a chance to compete for the title, a short list as it is.

The point is Nellie can't live on the fence by continuing to play a guy that isn't a part of a team. It's like carrying on a marriage with a cheating partner or stuffing your dead pet. Sure Jackson is physically there, but it's not healthy. The earlier the Warriors can figure out how to play without him, the better off the team will be in the long run.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Warriors Blow Out T'Wolves

The Warriors are better than two teams in the Western Conference: the Grizzlies and the T'Wolves. The Warriors played a great game against an awful team. It was like watching a gang jump a nerd, as eight Warriors reached double figures in scoring.
It was nice to see the Warriors dispense a beat-down rather than absorb one. Easy-to-please Warriors fans at Oracle cheered on their team, specifically former team captain Stephen Jackson, who shredded the T'Wolves repeatedly on the way to 10 points and 15 assists. Azubuike and Morrow showed they are highly effective when set up by a skilled facilitator like Jackson.

Jackson's new found generosity and productivity are supplementary to his agent's Don Nelson rip, in the continued effort to move the disgruntled star. The best thing about the game last night was not the much needed win, but the increase of Jackson's trade value. I know his contract is cumbersome, but Jack could be the difference maker to a team like the Cavs, Nuggets, or Heat in having a chance against the Lakers deep in the playoffs.

Don't let last night's game fool you, it was the T'Wolves. Tomorrow night's game against the Pacers should bring back the frustration of last weekend. Let's see how long Jackson continues to play like he's auditioning for LeBron and D-Wade...

Breifly: Andris Biedrins and Roni Turiaf both missed last night's game and Biedrins will continue to sit due to a combination groin and back injury. Both players participated in the Eurobasket tournament over the summer, a possible explanation for the early physical breakdowns. In the meanwhile, the Warriors will make due with the skeleton crew front line of Mikki Moore and Anthony Randolph.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Warriors back to familiar basement

It is that bad. The Warriors are back to selling tickets using big market opponents. "Come see LeBron, Kobe, or Paul Pierce..."
It's a great...never mind.

It's an unfortunate situation. Starving Bay Area fans were beginning to come out to Oracle expecting the Warriors to have a chance to win, no matter who the opponent is. After the Clippers defecated on the Warriors faces, at home, fans can expect the Warriors capable of losing to any team any night. Please, do not expect anything similar to what you have seen over the past few seasons. Save yourself the let down and frustration while you still can.

Losing to the Kings, the Western Conference's worst team last season, leaves the Warriors on the brink of taking their place this year. A loss to the Timberwolves tonight would all but push the Warriors into the cellar as the Western Conference doormat.

Team chemistry is terrible. The veterans are frustrated with the rookies and the rookies are struggling to find their roles. The only thing in common is a everyone is sick of Don Nelson. There are too many people to blame, but players, fans, and Bay Area sports writers are down on Nelly.
Watching the Warriors play is infinitely irritating, a sentiment shared by all the W's following. When have you seen a more whiny, self entitled, heartless, group of paid athletes? No one is getting their money's worth.

There has to be some changes in personnel. Stephen Jackson's agent/representative made derogatory statements about Don Nelson as a coach in an attempt to put more pressure on the Warriors' front office to move the disgruntled player who once went into a crowd and punched a paying fan in the face.
There is no reason to let desperation factor into moving Whack-Jack. This season is already a bust, why not sit him? Just keep him away from the impressionable young team like Ellis, Randolph, and company. (Curry is to smart to be influenced by an jerk like Jack) I'm not ready to give up on Monta, even though he has not showed himself worthy of the $66 million contract he signed before last season. Whatever moves this team makes, it should be in the interest of getting better next season. This season is a lost cause. The Warriors story this season is like Lord of the Flies.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Clippers, Baron thrash pathetic Warriors

Pathetic, demoralizing, humiliating...emasculating are a few of many terms that describe the events of the game last night between the Warriors and Clippers. The Warriors looked as poor as they have since...the late 90's? Last night was the mark of a full regression. Granted, no Andris Biedrins and Rony Turiaf left the Warriors with a feeble front line. Still, that's no excuse. The brunt of Clippers damage was delivered by the back court. Eric Gordon and Baron Davis each tallied 25 points.

The Warriors did nothing positive last night.

There has been rumored trade discussions between the Warriors and Charlottle Bobcats. Boris Diau's name was brought up in hopes of moving Stephen Jackson. This was according to a Ray Woodson report on KNBR 680 Friday afternoon.

Stephen Jackson is a disgruntled Rufio and the Warriors are a mangy looking bunch of lost boys. Moving Jackson is a necessary first step in establishing any team chemistry. The playoffs have been out of the question and now 20 wins look out of the question.

This franchise needs a complete makeover. It's sad for real Warriors fans.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Warriors get first win

The Warriors needed to beat the Grizzlies...they did. Whew! The Warriors started shaky, ending the first quarter down 10, yet came back in the second half and took the lead for good in the third quarter.

Ball movement on offense was the most noticeable improvement in the Warriors play, as the W's racked up season high assist totals. Shooting the lights out on the Grizzlies weak defense is like pounding a big, soft punching bag in your home dojo and should provide confidence against the Clippers at Oracle this Friday.

Turiaf didn't play and Biedrins sat most of the first half with foul trouble. The Warriors were able to overcome the front line setbacks with productive guard play. Curry and Ellis combined for 31 points and 21 assists.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Warriors Answer Pre-season Questions

When the NBA season began last week, Warriors fans had nothing to be excited about. That didn't stop the best fans in the NBA from creating motivation to tune into this sorry excuse of a basetball team. It was all about answering questions.

Remember? Will Stephen Jackson's trade request effect his play? Will Curry take over in his rookie season? Is Monta completely healed from his ankle injury? Will Morrow and Randolph have breakout seasons? Yada, yada, yada...

After the first two games the answers are bublling to the surface of the figurative Golden State eight ball. Jackson's lack of interest is obvious on the court, he looks like he took muscle relaxers before the game. He must know the trade isn't happening and is playing like a kid that knows he isn't getting anything for his birthday. (Only the Warriors still have to pay this son of a gun)

Curry looks good, yet he's getting schooled as expected. He would have instant success as a shooting guard, but the point comes with a much steeper learning curve. Curry needs a team with more post presense and team mates that require less touches. To many wannabe cheifs on the Warriors, few indians.

Then we have the Anthonys: Morrow and Randolph. Still a bit early to determine whether a breakout season is in the making for either guy. The Warriors need Randolph more than Morrow, especially with the loss of Brandon Wright in pre-season. So far, Morrow is getting lost in the mix, fighting Ellis, Curry, Azubuike, and Maggette for shot attempts.

That's what the Warriors look like. A bunch of kids arguing on the playground for a turn to shoot. "It's my turn! I wanna shoot!" No one is on the same page. One guy can have a good night and the rest struggle. I'm embarrassed for them. But seriously, what did you expect?

The Warriors have established themselves as less than the Suns and Rockets, two teams likely to fight fot the eigth seed. Tomorrow they play the Grizzlies, a team many pcked to be a bottom three in the West. If the Warriors lose tomorrow night, all my pre-season questions will be answered. If they lose to the Grizz, my motivation for watching Warriors basketball will be rooted in a sick sado masichist fetish.