Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Warriors hang on to beat Nuggets 116-114

The Warriors showed the loss to the Suns was a hiccup and reestablished themselves as the best three point shooting team in the NBA.

The Nuggets have weapons galore and they managed to hurt the Warriors, Chauncy Billups sat out with a strained left knee and it affected the ball movement in the half court offense. Carmelo scored 29 points, but he was 11-21 and only took only seven free throw attempts, which is low for him. Dorell Wright played a great game. No he played perhaps the best game of his career.

After the horrendous basketball he demonstrated against the Suns, Dorell scored 23 points, pulled 11 rebounds, and was two assists away from a triple double with eight. And on the other end of the floor, he did a solid job defending one of the best scorers in the world in Carmelo. D-Wright stayed down, closed out, and didn't foul.

David Lee did well to move the ball on offense and shows he is the fulcrum the the Warriors lever. Lee scored 16 points to go along with 12 rebounds and 6 assists. Biedrins had 12 boards and Reggie Williams gives the Warriors a great chance to win when he's feeling it. Here's a stat: Reggie has made 13 of his last 14 three point attempts spanning the past few games.

Monta Ellis had it going from the beginning. When he is feeling his three point shot, it gives him a surge of confidence to burn defenses in a variety of ways. He scored 37 tonight with only one point from the free throw line.

It's been a joy to watch the progression of Monta Ellis since he started getting playing time in 2006. He started as a deadly shooter from high school three point range. He didn't shoot too much, but he shot at a high percentage and got out on the fast break. Just last year he added the NBA three point range into his arsenal and was top 10 in scoring. This year Monta has developed a confidence for the big shots at the end of the game and has delivered on multiple occasions. The final step of his progression will be getting to the foul line.

Certain players like Kevin Martin, Paul Pierce, Dwayne Wade, and Carmelo Anthony have a way of initiating contact and selling it to induce a whistle. It's not a flop like Derek, but there can be some theatrical flare. It all starts with beating your man on defense (something Monta does just about every touch).

Heavy minutes doesn't bode well for starters on a back to back, but there is rest ahead during the All-Star break and there is some self respect to earn back from a Phoenix team that embarrassed the Warriors last time.

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