Preview & Chat: The Golden State Warriors

Kurt —  January 7, 2009 — 127 Comments

Stanford v UCLA

Records: Lakers 27-6 (1st in the West) Warriors 10-26 (11th in the West)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 112.9 (2nd in league) Warriors 107.0 (14th in league)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 103.1 (4th in league) Warriors 113.0 (30th of 30)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Vladimir Radmanovic (?), Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Warriors Jamal Crawford, Marco Belinelli, Corey Maggette, Brandan Jacobs, Andris Biedrins

Lakers notes: Interesting stat (double checked from the) comments: The Lakers are 4-4 on the front end of back-to-backs but 6-1 in the second game (heading into tonight).

In the middle of the third quarter last night, it was hard to fault what the Lakers were doing against the Hornets — a Kobecentric offense with a lot of threes was working. The fourth quarter, not as pretty, but it’s always that way when the shots that fell in one quarter dry up in the next.

To me, the bottom line is fairly clear — the Lakers offense just works best when Gasol and Bynum are getting more touches. To it’s credit, New Orleans made that hard last night with some of the better interior defense the Lakers have seen in a little while. Gasol had a rough first half. But the Lakers got hot on the perimeter in the third and when the game mattered the post was an afterthought. It can’t be that way night in and night out.

That said, I’m in the group not that worried about the loss last night. Pau Gasol did a decent job on West — the book on him is to push him out past 18 feet and if he does drive don’t let him go right and pull up. But last night West was hitting out beyond 20 feet and not turning the ball over when he put it on the floor. He’s good. Nights where guys like West and Chris Paul beat you because they are good happen.

Tonight is the kind of game, however, the Lakers can win.

Did you see what the Clippers did today: They traded a second round pick for Hassan Adams and cash. Then an hour or so later they waived Adams. They essentially traded a pick for cash (but have to pay Adams, which is what their sources said the cash is for).

What a franchise.

The Warriors Coming In: Speaking of franchises doing interesting things, check out this article on the Warriors and their franchise player (hat tip TrueHoop):

(Monta) Ellis is working to get back healthy, but he is not happy with the Warriors, it’s getting worse, and he definitely is not pleased about rejoining a Warriors universe that is ruled by Don Nelson and Robert Rowell….

I’ve said that I don’t think Ellis will ever play for the Warriors again. Now I’ve got to allow that it’s possible that he plays for them merely to boost his value and increase his leverage, all after informing the Warriors that he wants to be traded. Possible….

Ellis knows that Nelson wanted to trade him before the 2007 draft, straight up, for the rights to Acie Law.

Ellis sees a backcourt already stuffed with Jamal Crawford, Marco Belinelli, C.J. Watson, Kelenna Azubuike, Corey Maggette and Stephen Jackson.

I believe that Ellis, like Al Harrington before him, is realizing that he doesn’t want to play for Nelson any more–he doesn’t want Belinelli and Crawford used as pawns against him, he doesn’t want to get caught up in this spiraling season as Nelson plays his mind games.

That is not a recipe for a wonderful comeback story, at least not for the Warriors.


Anyway, since the Lakers last saw the Warriors Corey Maggette is back, but now Stephan Jackson is out for a couple weeks. Maggette was hot in his game back, shooting 55% from the floor, getting to the line like 16 times and scoring 23 a game.

Biedrins also continues to play well.

Keys To The Game: I could just copy and paste this from the last game, because it remains the key —Discipline. The Warriors are not a disciplined team, but they can suck you into their game, and they will be gritty and fight you. If you are disciplined, you can force them into mistakes at both ends. The Lakers need to live by the old John Wooden mantra tonight: Be quick but don’t hurry.

That is especially true on the second night of a back-to-back, where bodies can get tired and minds get lazy.

Last meeting the Lakers dominated the glass, especially not giving up a lot of offensive boards. They need to do that again. The Warriors are very aggressive on the offensive glass and are eighth in the Association in the percentage of offensive rebounds grabbed.

The other key to beating the Warriors is not turning the ball over — give them easy buckets and they are tought to beat. They can score a lot if you are sloppy, and then you are in the track meet they want.

Where you can watch: 7:30 start here is Fox Sports in LA or the League Pass options nationally.



127 responses to Preview & Chat: The Golden State Warriors

  1. the other Stephen January 7, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    i don’t know anything about good coaching and strong leadership, but i’m not sure it looks anything like what don nelson has displayed these past few seasons.

  2. “The Lakers offense just works best when Gasol and Bynum are getting more touches.”

    To some extent Bynum, but this is clearly evident with Pau. I’ll even go so far as to say that it’s more important (for the 1st 3 quarters anyway) to run the offense through Pau, because his brilliant passing and the attention he draws makes the game so much easier for everyone, including Kobe.

    Historically Phil has countered Nelson’s lineups by….not countering. If I’m not mistaken he usually plays his normal lineups, stays big, and usually comes out on the winning side. I’ll be interested to see what Powell can contribute tonight.

    So let me get this straight – the Clippers essentially gave away a draft pick? Was there a net profit, or the cash all goes to Adams? Either way, wow.

  3. *should say “it’s more important to run the offense through Pau than Kobe (for the 1st 3 quarters)

  4. I’m interested to see how the lakers respond in terms of establishing bynum and his size advantage. Also the game is on kcal 9 not fox sports

  5. The Clippers are starting to remind me of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Ted Stephen era. Too bad there is a lottery or we could trade Ford – oh we don’t have anyone of that caliber on this team – and pick up a number one pick that could turn out to be Magic Johnson again.

  6. Nomuskles,
    As long as it’s not on NBA tv. Here’s another interesting fact: Five of our six losses have come on national tv appearances. Three on NBA TV’s Fan Night, and twice on ESPN Friday Night.

    I hope I’m not going to end up hating ABC’s Sundays.

  7. 6 – Yeah, I didn’t check the record, but I remember that being the deal last regular season too. It gets old having to defend poor national tv showings to anti-Laker friends & acquaintances. Cause of course casual fans only see national games…on Friday & Sunday.

  8. I used to hate ABC regardless of record, although I’ll admit this year they’re much improved. The last few years were awful though. Horrible themed classical music, awful themed ‘interest’ pieces, horrible studio analysts, inane camera angles. I just used to cringe everytime a game played on ABC. They’ve definitely gotten their act together this year by adding Magic, and the Breen-Van Gundy-Jackson trio is quite good. Van Gundy makes Jackson tolerable, whereas the last few years Jackson was painful to listen to. I’m still not a big fan of the game quality, and they just don’t have that je-ne-sais-quoi that TNT has, but at least I no longer have a splitting headache at the end of every ABC Sunday. Baby steps.

  9. any word on LO?

  10. answered my own question
    at least it’s not anything major at this time, let’s see how the bone bruise heals.

  11. Finally a road game that’s local for me.

    Kawakami’s blog post on Ellis is very interesting to me. Nellie, while having a very players friendly system, is not really a great *players* coach. He’ll throw anyone but his favorite player(s) under the bus at a moments notice and he’ll just kill your confidence by how he jerks around your minutes and role on a team. I know many fans think that Nellie’s system (to a great extent) allow Ellis to flourish in the manner that he does, but you can’t teach quickness and sure can’t teach that beatiful mid-range game. If Ellis comes back healthy, I wonder if the W’s can really trade him or if they’ll have to just bite the bullet and void his deal. I would think it’s highly unlikely that his deal gets voided, but the W’s owner is kinda cheap and in this economy, nothing would really suprise me.

  12. This is completely off topic, but whose idea was it to let Dick Vitale call NBA games? Please tell me someone just lost a bet and this will never happen again.

  13. Keep your eye on the Celtics-Rockets game, kinda close in the 4th.

  14. hate to say this but i wish we played more like the celtics in close games, driving to the hoop instead of settling for jumpers and 3s. dont think we’ve figured out just yet how to close out close games or to come back out on top during close games

  15. p.s. i hope rockets can come out with the win in the celtics vs rockets game. it’s so close right now

  16. Von Wafer…Celtic Killer?

  17. The Celtic streak continues

  18. Celtics lost..again. Its up to us again to extend the lead.

  19. Wow….who would of ever thought after 19 straight wins, the Celtics would lose 6 of 8? We will have to root for the Celts against the Cavs thou, who have been unbeatable at home.

  20. now its critical that we come out with the W tonight

  21. Celtics lost again.

    I honestly don’t think it will be easy for them to get back on track. Everyone wants to say or think they have this great locker room, and I’m not so sure about that. Besides last year, what history does the “big 3” have as great leaders? What history does Doc Rivers have a great coach? Can he work out these problems? Right now, this is crisis mode, and they (Garnett, Pierce & Allen)never responded to crises well with their own teams.

    It all went well last year, and they fed off it. Something happened and all of a sudden they’ve been figured out. Their body language is all wrong, and they’re playing too cautious.

    I think they could get some swagger back, but their blood in the water, and the sharks are circling. The fear has faded. We will see what they are really made of. Are they the champions they’re supposed to be?

  22. When the Celtics start losing at home, that’s when you know the problems are real.

  23. 21. Pretty much agreed with everything there. Only thing that can probably get them a shot of adrenaline once more is a trade or a key FA acquisition… anything to shake up the roster. Other than that.. I don’t know anymore.

    I’d have to admit, it’s already pretty sad to watch our rivals.

  24. 19- “We will have to root for the Celts against the Cavs tho”

    no no no – as a true blue Celtics hater – I want nothing but misery for them!

  25. There are actually a lot of C’s fans clamoring for Stephon Marbury. Can you believe it?


    I agree with you. I love seeing them lose, but there’s a part of me that needs them to stay that team the used to be, so that we can get our revenge in the Finals. We’ll see what’s going to happen.

  26. 14. I think our team has closed out some close games very well. But, if you look at the numbers, the best teams don’t really do dramatically better in close games (a little but not a ton). What they do is not put themselves in positions of having to win close games (which have a luck factor, a fortunate call or bounce).

  27. I hate the Celtics to but, I cant stand the Cavs either and all the Lebron James praise. The media already got James as the best player in the NBA..over Kobe. Its debatable I guess but, they treat it as its no competition. Besides that, we need the Cavs to lose to get back on top the league.

  28. Not to be picky Kurt, but you have Brandon Jacobs listed as the PF for the Warriors instead on Brandon Wright.

  29. Sun, Mihm, and Mbenga going to play? Interesting.

  30. Ground control to major Vlad. Time to wake up the space cadet.

  31. So how did Kobe make an offensive foul exactly?

  32. Where’s Kanye when you need him:

    The Crawford’s do not like the Lakers.

  33. The Lakers may be down by two but I’m comfortable with what is going on. The Lakers are establishing a game inside, and the Warriors are winning by hitting long jumpers. I can live with that, it won’t stay that way.

  34. Maggette is annihilating the Space Cadet.

  35. PJ needs to lay off the pipe. Vlad cannot guard Maggette. Maybe that Ariza guy can.

  36. Vlad was struggling, but to be fair Maggette is hard to cover. He is a selfish but good one-on-one offensive player.

  37. I know Kurt, I wasn’t really blaming Vlad. When Maggette is hitting his midrange shot he is almost impossible to cover one-on-one.

  38. Kurt,

    Great analysis on post 34. You hit it on the head. The Lakers are just too physical inside and will wear down the Warriors at this pace.

  39. any other links for the game?

  40. When was the last time the Warriors scored?

  41. Millsap: 23 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 0 TOs.

  42. Loving Josh Powell. The hustle and the energy is great.

  43. It’s interesting to think that his is the lineup we’d have if we had given Odom and Farmar for Gasol, instead of what we did. I think I remember reading that Odom was in the initial package until the owner decided he wanted a straight salary dump.

  44. thank u so much for that link …IT WORKS!!!! IT WORKS!!!

  45. Sun with the block too bad no one else ran back.

  46. Sun, you could use some NDBL.

  47. Sasha could use some too apparently.

  48. the lakers even fart in the vicinity and it’s a foul. The warriors can hack and hack. No excuse, but frustrating.

  49. Gasol looks pissed off.

  50. Could you imagine if someone pissed off Gasol and Kobe in the same game? We’d win by 50.

  51. just enough rope to… “take care of yourself” ?? is Stu afraid of pushing some poor laker fan over the edge?

  52. Whats Sun’s plus minus figures….it seems like we just ooze points when he’s on the court…. he needs alot of work…or he needs his teammates to trust in him more….Is Mihm hurt or is he that far from what we r looking for now?…if we r never gonna use mihm then might as well trade him for Lue

  53. want to see more Powell in the second half.

  54. Would like to see the Lakers slow the game down by insitituting a 3-4 pass rule. No shots until 3-4 passes. They seemed to play better once the pace slowed down.

  55. And awaiting the end of the Vlad experiment. 5… 4…

  56. what is going on? can’t we clamp down? radman really needs to get with it if he’s going to get minutes.

  57. good. radman needs to sit. he’s taking up precious minutes.

  58. Way to pull the trigger PJ

  59. Was that Kobes twin in the crowd?

  60. Who would ever guess these are the 2 highest scoring teams in the league?

  61. How’s Anthony Randolph look? Anyone want to take a shot at projecting his potential? I’m intrigued by the fact that some ESPN people claim he could be the best player in his draft. I’ve never seen him play, though.

  62. Why are we shooting 3’s? We need to take the ball inside. Keep it clean and stop the sloppy plays. Some defense in the paint would be nice also.

    We need to take advantage of the leprechauns loss. Otherwise we’ll never hear the end of the Crab King and his little crabbies dominating the league. ugg.

  63. They have Anthony Randolph guarding Bynum… considering, if the Lakers manage to blow this game, it would be quite an accomplishment!

  64. Sasha doesn’t want to listen to the 3-4 pass rule either.

  65. speaking of crabs…

  66. 01/07/2009..the day Andrew Bynum returned

  67. why r they just shooting 3’s?

  68. Same old Sasha with the idiotic fouls…

  69. omg…Sasha. How could you?

  70. ^ He’s got a small foward checking him…

    We’re settling for a lot of jumpers right now. Playing into the Warriors’ hands.

  71. In case none of you guys are well-versed in lip reading..Phil Jackson just asked Sasha “What the F were you thinking?”

  72. At least Sasha is consistent….consistently bad!!!!

  73. still shooting jump balls. this is going to get ugly trading jumpers.

  74. josh powell is beasting it up

  75. If anyone is inconsistent on our team it is Radmanovic. He is the most irritating Laker of this season passing early Bynum struggles

  76. Fantastic fast break there by the warriors.

  77. Can we get some kobe on the next foul? I would like some kobe now, please.

  78. Get Powell out of there

  79. Bynum, PJ is calling you out to play a solid last 5 minutes of this game. Will you answer his call?

  80. Has Fisher ever scored a lay-up?

  81. Sasha you are forgiven

  82. Gasol just scored 4 on 1 there.

  83. the mach-iiiinnneeee!

  84. Sasha’s coming through now baby!

  85. Has Kobe really only gone to the line once? 1-1? really? He should make it his goal to get the line from here on out till the end of the game.

  86. Trevor Ariza is like an Octopus, he has many hands!!!

  87. The Lakers sure do miss Lamar and Farmar right now…

  88. Kobe has been getting little love from the refs lately

  89. Kobe did his “I don’t respect your shot enough to even put my hand in your face” to Bellinelli… always makes me laugh

  90. gasol = player of the game

  91. Had Pau and Bynum produced like this in the last game…

  92. This is our perfect line-up against small and running teams

  93. Wow, kobe is not getting any love from the refs tonight…unbelievable

  94. What is up with the refs? Were they told not to call fouls against Kobe? Conspiracy.

  95. Kobe was mugged there, not sure how thats not a foul.

  96. Bad defensive sequence(s) by Kobe.

  97. Someone tell Sasha to stop taking long jumpers…if you’re off, take a closer jumper please!!!

  98. The celtics make me laugh….Pathetic…with all our injuries we are still making it work on the road.

  99. TA one rebound short…

  100. That would be again. TA had an opportunity to get a DD before too and was short 1 rebound. Let’s see if he can get it in 24 sec.

  101. Choose: Fisher PUJIT or layup?

  102. Gasol carried the load in the 4th… Just as well, since the refs were swallowing their whistles every time Kobe drove to the basket…

  103. The correct answer is PUJIT.

  104. Vlad will get written up on espn daily dime tomorrow morning for his performance tonight. You heard it here first.

  105. Oh well. Maybe next time. I’m sure TA will have more opportunities to get dd’s.

    That tall spaniard had a pretty good game tonight. 33, 18b(8of), 1a, 2b. Not bad at all.

    And we are back on top with the Crabs!

  106. trevor always just 1 rebound short of double-doubles. what a bummer,
    im so glad andrew had a good night, hopefully this will continue

  107. trevor a whopping +21 in the +/- category, wow

  108. All in all, a very nice bounce-back win for our boys in Forum Blue.

    Gratifying to see Pau come back with a monster game after a sub-par performance last night.

    Sasha didn’t have his shot going tonight (and we got literally nothing from Vlade), but Trevor made up for it with a surprisingly silky looking jumper to go with his typical stellar defensive play.

    In the 1st quarter, after Kobe drove from the three point line and dunked with his left hand, I had a momentary but intense bout of melancholy … I realized with total clarity that we are watching a once-in-a-lifetime player. Sure, we get to enjoy #24 for at the height of his powers for at least another five years or so (knock on wood), but after that it’s incredibly unlikely that we’ll ever again see another member of the Lakers even approach his level of transcendence. Gather ye rosebuds, and all that.

  109. wondahop,
    ‘What history does Doc Rivers have a great coach”

    Prior to last season, not much. It will be interesting to see how he does now.

  110. Gasol was determined this game, I loved the anger he showed in the second quarter. Finally Bynum had a productive game as well. Though as I predicted, it was a tough game for the Lakers.

  111. We are still on a good run, 7 of 8 games won. And now it ahould be payback time against Indiana, the Lakers should be able to demolish them at home. Then it is also probable payback against Miami.

  112. This game is a good example of the redudancy/inaccuracy of +/- stats: excluding Sun who played just over three minutes (and finished -9 with no points and a turnover), our three best in the category were:
    Ariza +21
    Sasha +16
    Powell +13
    While I love ’em just as much as the next guy, this wasn’t as productive a night as the +/- stats make it seem. On the other hand, our three worst in the category were:
    Vlad -10
    Bynum -3
    Pau -1

    Especially towards the end, Pau obviously carried us a bit…I was a bit surprised to see his low mark in this category.

  113. Off topic, but:;_ylt=AqqyaxoyirkRVfwtFUwF4g.8vLYF?slug=aw-milesblazers010709&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

    Portland fans must be freaking out. You know some executive will nab Miles to get that luxury tax money.

  114. The Lakers did a really great job of closing the Warriors out in the 4th. It was a combination of defense and Pau Gasol.

    I thought Andrew made an important controbution in the 3rd, but had pooped out by the 4th. Powell is going to make great contributions in the future.

    VladRad needs to get back in the flow again.

    When Labron comes to town, someone will have to take him to the Crab Cooker in Newport Beach.

  115. the other Stephen January 8, 2009 at 12:12 am

    BOOYAKASHA, pau gasol.

  116. #113 – It seems to me that Portland clearly deserves to have Miles count against their salary cap, even if he doesn’t land with another NBA team this season (although it sounds like he probably will).

    The exemption that removed that money from their cap number in the first place was predicated on the idea that Miles was medically incapable of playing basketball, which is clearly not the case. So the spirit of the law would dictate that the Blazers should take the cap and luxury tax hit … and now it’s probably just a matter of time before the letter of the law catches up.

    Bottom line, I don’t want to hear any Blazers fans complain that if another team signs him it’s merely out of spite; the guy can still play, he has every right to play, and Portland will just have to suck it up.

  117. Sorry about “controbution” in the 3rd. I won’t contribute that again. Promise.

  118. has anyone else noticed that when aria shoots jumpers he kinda tilts his body slightly to the left instead of just shooting it straight up?

  119. 117. Yeah, and when he doesn’t lean too much and actually squares up more, he makes his shots.

    PS Was Kobe getting beat by Bellinelli off the dribble pretty consistently or am I just too critical of #24?

  120. I think Bellinelli stinks. I’m curious to see who gets left out of the rotation (if anyone) when Captain Jack and Monta come back.

  121. There’s been quite a few trades recently where teams have given up players for second round picks and cash just so the team can cut the player.

    Example 1. Hassan Adams to the clippers for a second round pick and cash.

    Example 2. Shaun Livingston to the Grizzlies for a second round pick and cash.

    You can also use the steve francis trade as an example because he probably wont be getting any playing time.

    What I wanted to ask is.. what is the benefit for the team which is cutting the player?

    From my perspective it looks like they gave away a second round pick for nothing.

    If the cash doesnt exceed the amount of salary made by the player their trading for…Is there any point to the trade?

  122. I forgot to mention in my earlier comment that Hassan Adams was later cut by the Clippers.

    Shaun Livingston hasn’t been cut by the grizzlies so that example has no purpose.

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