Saturday, December 4, 2010

J-Rich, Suns beat Warriors at Oracle

A 38 point game from Monta Ellis was not enough for the Warriors to beat the Suns. The Suns backcourt gave the Warriors problems all night. Jason Richardson posted up a smaller Monta Ellis and Steph Curry was unable to keep Steve Nash in front of him. Richardson scored 25 points and Nash burned the Warriors for 13 points and 16 assists. Dorell Wright was unable to stop the wiley veteran Grant Hill, who scored 24 points on 9-11 shooting.

Monta Ellis put the Warriors on his back in the third quarter, as he scored with graceful, swooping drives to the rim. The entertainment value of watching Ellis play offense was some consolation to a frustrating loss. David Lee also had a nice game with 25 points and continues to be a facilitator in the half court set, yet he still looks somewhat tentative rebounding the ball with his recovering left elbow. Lee only pulled 8 boards in Thursday night's loss.
The Warriors played without Andris Bidrins for the second half, due to stomach illness. Biedrins was on his way a nice game and the Warriors struggled without the presence of their active center.

The defensive play of Steph Curry has been a concern lately. Keith Smart asks his second year guard to corral the opposing team's point guard every game, not an easy task in the Western conference. I think Curry's ankle injuries early in the season have limited his lateral movement, but that's still no excuse. Curry has quick hands on defense and often comes up with reach in steals, however; he's been called for inexcusable touch fouls, specifically early in the game, which has cost Curry time on the floor. This was the case Thursday night against Nash. I'd like to see Curry play a bit more conservatively and trust the front line to provide help on defense.

The next five games are absolutely brutal. At Oklahoma City, a back to back against Dallas and San Antonio in Texas, Miami at Oracle, at Utah, then back home against Minnesota for somewhat of a reprieve.

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