You know the last game of a season riddled with unprecedented injury couldn't end without some unorthodoxy. Isn't that the word all the national NBA talking heads call Nelson and his Warriors? Unorthodox? Like the game at Oracle against the Bucks on Jan. 15, the shorthanded Warriors forced open a chapter in the NBA rule book most people didn't know existed, literally running out of players.
In a losing season, there was no lack of intriguing stories. The emergence of Monta Ellis as a premier player and the steady growth of Steph Curry were overshadowed by all the injuries. The 24 year old Ellis is just entering his prime and his ankle will only get stronger, I like his chances to make an All-Star team in the next few years. Ellis finished 6th in the league with 25.5 points per game.
It's only a matter of time before Steph Curry makes an All-Star roster. No one outside of the state of North Carolina knew Curry would have this much game. From what I saw at Davidson, I knew Curry could shoot from both mid range and three, but when he was compared to Nash at the beginning of the year, I confess I scoffed. C'mon, Nash? Yes, Nash with better hands on defense as Curry finished 3rd in steals with 1.9 per game behind Ellis at 2.3. The most promising part of Curry's game, along with his high percentage shooting, is his ability to consistently get his wiry frame into the paint and find the open team mate. And his ambidexterity and left handed passing, wow! After the All-Star break, Curry unlike other rookies (throat clear- Brandon Jennings), improved each month. It's only fitting Curry scoring a career high 42 points in the last game of the year.
The East coast bias people (throat clear-ESPN) had Tyreke Evans on Sports Center for the top 10 plays earlier this week, which I thought was a ploy to persuade Rookie of the Year voters on the East coast in Evans favor. It really is a coin flip between Evans and Curry. They are different style point guards and have both set records in their first NBA seasons. Perhaps a co-winner for rookie of the year? (i.e. 94'-95' Jason Kidd and Grant Hill; 99'-00' Elton Brand and Steve Francis)
The "Golden State D-Leaguers" became a term to describe the pick up style of play of the Warriors and the revolving door of players moving in and out. In the end, the Warriors found a D-League gem in Reggie Williams and and potential force off the bench in Anthony Tolliver.
Does anyone still think about the Stephen Jackson trade? Good, me neither.
That trade symbolized the beginning of another rebuild, a process Warriors fans have endured the last 16 seasons since Chris Cohan controlled majority owner ship of the team. Speak of the devil (or incompetent, deadbeat owner), the Warriors have been on sale since Mar. 22. Oracle's billionaire CEO/founder Larry Ellison has been interested in acquiring the team, but there hasn't been any news lately.
The Warriors have two young superstars in the backcourt, a lottery pick, and loyal fan base. The only thing missing is the most important thing: a serious (aka: disproportionately wealthy) owner committed to spending money.
Note: Steph Curry has been acknowledged as rookie of the month for April, making it the third time he's earned the honor (January and March).