Preview and Chat: The Golden State Warriors

Kurt —  February 25, 2007

What I’m rooting for today. Flags of Our Fathers to win the Oscar for best sound mixing (my brother-in-law is nominated).

The Tao of Shammond. There wasn’t just a Shammond sighting against the Celtics, he was the first guard off the bench. Followed by McKie. I see a couple of things here.

First is a message to the team — specifically to the other guards — that playing time is up for grabs and has to be earned. The defense has been bad, particularly on the perimeter, the offense has fallen off and it looks to me like Phil put everyone on notice he willing to look at just about anything to shake this team up right now (he said Saturday he would have done the same things with the bigs if he had the manpower). For one night at least, it worked.

Second, Shammond played pretty well, he certainly earned some more playing time. Unlike his stints early in the year, he looked far more comfortable in he point guard role, both running the offense and on defense. He was 3-3 inside the arc but 0-2 beyond it and finished the game +7. A few people on this site were all but ready to give him the starting job — relax folks. It was one game, against the worst team in the league. He earned minutes for another game or two, nothing more. Play like that consistently and against better competition and we’ll talk.

No Smush? Shammond may also get more time because Smush injured his ankle in practice yesterday. It was not supposed to be serious, then again I’m not sure how much I trust the Lakers’ staff’s ability to judge the severity of an ankle sprain of late (see: Walton, Kwame). Smush is supposed to be a game time decision.

Farmar theory. I went to the game Friday night with a friend who just moved back a few months ago from the Bay Area and has been an avid Laker fan for years. He had an interesting theory on Farmar’s development that I’m passing along for conversation.

At the start of the season Farmar was playing good defense and getting a few points but his shooting was streaky, while Smush continued to shoot well and score plenty but his defense was weak. Phil decided to go with Smush, essentially saying he was willing to go with the 10 more points a night that 3 or 4 more stops a night, Farmar took from this the message that scoring was more important and tried to change his game, but the result has been him being thrown out of synch at both ends. He just needs to get back to what he was doing at the start of the season, focusing on defense and letting the offense come to him, and he’ll start to look like the Farmar of old again.

Other things from the game. A couple things were probably pretty clear to you guys at home, too. First, Odom was more aggressive than he has been since he returned. The other thing, when Kobe wants to take over a game, man it is a thing of beauty to watch (Pierce was on him at first and he laid back because Kobe is to quick for him, the result was three threes in a row).

Phil has seen this before? Regarding “okay, I was snowboarding” Radmanovic: Remember that in the 96-97 game Luc Longly missed more than a month after separating his shoulder while body surfing. I expect Radman’s punishment by the team will be a slap on the wrist, but we’ll see.

About the Warriors.
Due to an Internet connection issue I haven’t been able to do any research. I suggest checking out the very good Golden State of Mind.

Also, Golden State will be wearing very cool “The City” throwback jerseys.

As for the Lakers, they need to play like they did against Boston. This is the perfect game, a step up but from the Celtics but not an elite team. Let’s see how the defense looks.