Preview & Chat: Golden State Warriors

Gatinho —  February 18, 2009

Golden State Warriors vs Los Angeles Lakers

BREAKING NEWS: The Lakers have traded Chris Mihm to the Memphis Grizzlies for a second round pick. The move saves money for the Lakers β€” the rest of this year’s salary (he is making $2.5 million for the season) plus the full $2.5 against the luxury tax, which is calculated at the end of the regular season.

I really wish things had worked out better here for Mihm. In the first year after the Shaq trade, Mihm was maybe the second best Laker, not in terms of talent but in terms of nightly effort. He cared and tried. Unfortunately, injuries robbed him of his legs and after missing two seasons with injuries he has been able to do little this year, and has had trouble getting off the bench on a deep team.

We wish him well, and hope he gets some run and his game back in Memphis.

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Warriors
(19-35)
Pace: 97.6 (1st)
Off. Rating: 108.7 (12th)
Def. Rating: 112.3 (28th)
Lineup: Crawford,Ellis,Azubuike,Jackson,Biedrins

Lakers
(42-10)
Pace: 94.5 (4th)
Off Rating: 114.3 (1st)
Def Rating: 105.5 (8th)
Lineup: Fisher, Bryant, Walton, Odom, Gasol


Warriors Coming In:
This is not the same team the Lakers played in January. That was a team that was starting Marco Bellinelli and Brandon Jacobs while waiting for Monta Ellis to return from a moped injury. (Hey, at least Jeff Kent was riding a motorcycle).

Monta is back, and coming along quickly are his springs and his speed. (I’d take him over Devin Harris in that end-to-end race.)

Despite Tim Kawakami‘s assertion on local radio that Monta would never wear a Warriors uniform again after the acrimony created coming out of the situation, Monta’s rounding into playing shape and has these “6-Seconds-or-Less” Warriors on a 3 game winning streak.

They have won 7 of 9 over the last month and are 6-5 since the Mississippi Bullet’s return. Things started to click for the Warriors after beating a certain green team on December 26th. And the Dubs would be looking at a .500 record since then and a 12 game home winning streak were it not for a series of buzzer beaters (Kings, Thunder, Cavs) and blown leads (up by 12 with 8 minutes to play against the Spurs).

But the credit for their improvement also goes to a healthy Stephen Jackson, who has been getting Monta the ball in comfortable places while knocking down his own jumpers. If Captain Jack is hot, this team is trouble. The rest of the Warrior-lings feed off of his confidence.

As should be expected, Warrior fans have taken to Ronny Turiaf and his infectious demeanor. Turiaf comes off the bench for the Dubs (he started the last 3 in Biedrin’s absence) and has been a factor on their recent upswing (11 points, 7 boards over the last 5 games). Turiaf’s rebounding bump has been caused by the Warriors perimeter D. The D has tightened up as guys become healthier and this has allowed Turiaf to box out rather than hurrying to block weak side shots, which puts him out of position to rebound.

The Warriors are returning to full strength with the return of Bellinelli and more importantly Biedrins. The fans are pining for another big, but can they get that big without sacrificing Ellis? Unless something shocking happens at the deadline, the Warriors will live with Biedrins and Turiaf. In fact, Nelson likes the contrast in the two players games. The back to the basket, solid rebounding game of Biedrins replaced by the face up game and shot blocking hustle of Turiaf creates a change of pace that keeps opposing bigs off balance.

The Lakers will have to keep Turiaf off the offensive glass, his 7 offensive rebounds were a big piece of the Portland win.

The Lakers Coming In: Winning the second game of a back to back has become a measurement of the professionalism and grit that this team lacked last year (or so I’ve been told). The newest human victory cigars were out last night (Crazy block, Shannon), and the ice was on the knees early, so fatigue should not be an issue.

The Lakers will want to control the pace by pounding it inside to Pau in hopes of some early foul trouble for Biedrins. Run the offense and the size advantage will do its magic.

Defensively they need to keep the water strider out of the middle and close out on Jackson on the perimeter. Make Magette a jump shooter and keep him off the line. He gets there almost as often as Kobe.

LO Does Windows: 74 rebounds in 4 games.

Not in Phoenix, but what about the HOF?: The Warriors were one of the few teams that had zero representation during the All-Star festivities, but they do have 3 candidates on the HOF ballot. Don Nelson, Chris Mullin (as a player not a GM), and coach of the ’75 Championship team, Al Attles.

Warriors-Lakers History: Chick calling Game 4 of a 1987 series between Lakers and Warriors. Sleepy Floyd: 29 points in the quarter, 39 in the half, 12 consecutive field goals in the fourth quarter, finishing the game with 51 points. What’s more impressive is that he was being guarded by the NBA’s Defensive POY.

Where to watch: 7:30 start. Nationally this game will be on ESPN, and those who watch online can check out the ESPN 360 Live Stream.


Gatinho

Posts

239 responses to Preview & Chat: Golden State Warriors

  1. i disagree…

    the best option at the end of the game offensively is kobe, even double-teamed…and he trusted Ariza on the shots when they were open

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  2. Nash dunked? Are you serious???? That alone should result in fines and suspensions. Wow.

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  3. kurt, you called it about 100 comments ago…does it feel like the Lakers can hang around, keep it to within 4 or 5, then in the 4th, tighten the screws on D, the let Kobe, or the Pau/LO combo go off a Kobe double team, and we go up by 3 or 4 or 7 or 8, and never look back.
    I wrote about this a week or 2 ago, and one of the old timers here later agreed in the thread, that this seems to be a trend.
    but not a dangerous trend, more like confidence.

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  4. are you sure it wasn’t me?

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  5. So Joe Smith could still end up in Boston….I remember when he was a Cav thinking that that was a player you love to play with and hate to play against.

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  6. ^Sorry Kurt, I just realized that might be trade/FA speculation…I didn’t think before I posted.

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  7. whoa whoa whoa…

    steve nash didnt dunk it.

    shaq led the break and steve nash underhanded scooped it up against the back board

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  8. wow nice trev with the consecutive 3’s. his work over the summer is really paying off

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  9. Easily the most exciting game of the year for me. From beginning to end this was a classic.

    I think that one thing that needs to be brought up is our EFFORT. We are playing like a team that wants home court throughout the playoffs. Pretty much every game this year we’ve been in contention. We’ve been playing with a chip on our shoulders and it’s been a joy to watch. Case in point for tonight: LO. Things weren’t going his way early on, but he hung in there and once again made a huge difference.

    But back to overall team effort. Even when we were down 12 in the 2nd half, watching this team all year, I had full confidence in our ability to get back into the game (+ we were playing a bunch of 6’7″ guys).

    It’s a good sign when the team puts this kind of effort to win this kind of game (on the road on the 2nd of a back to back).

    That said, still wish we went down low to Pau more often in the 1st half of the 4th quarter before we went strictly P and R. The Warriors had no answer for the P and R, true, but they also have NOBODY who can come close to guarding Pau.

    Biggest plays of the game were those back to back 3s by Aroozo.

    Bottom line of all this rambling though: it finally hit me that we are, in fact, playing at a championship level – something we’ve sustained pretty much all season long. Soak it in Laker fans. We are spoiled with great basketball right now, and tonight was a good example of it.

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  10. 207

    Thanks for clearing that up!

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  11. In terms of just the game itself (so leaving aside the added excitement of “rivalry” games), this was the most fun game to watch all year. There’s nothing better than unrestrained Nellie-ball.

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  12. Impressive win for our boys. The Warriors have been tough at home since Ellis has gotten healthy, and they present so many matchup problems with their speed and outside shooting ability. It’s great that the guys have become so tough-minded that they just wait out the other team’s hot shooting, keep pounding it down on the block (with the exception of one bad stretch early in the 4th), and clamp down on defense in crunch time.

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  13. Lousy refereeing job tonight, glad to see the Lakers play through it instead of succumb to the emotion that the Warriors and their fans got off those garbage calls. Crawford got so many touch foul calls, while Kobe must have been invisible to the refs (just bc he doesn’t flail everytime he gets bumped?). Still, the Lakers have reached a point in their journey where they’re becoming 5 on 8 good, where even whistles can’t stop them. Particularly impressed with Odom, who after two quickies and a T, finished the game with a ton of composure. I also like that Kobe was still in the ref’s ear after he drained that kill shot over Jackson, like it shouldn’t have ever been even THAT close were it not for their diarrhea of the whistle… nice try, refs, you can take your orange headbands off now.

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  14. 213 – To be fair, I thought the Warriors often played through contact on their side of the floor (I only saw the last quarter though). But from what I saw, the refs let them play fairly consistently on both ends.

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  15. Agreed with the comments regarding this being the most fun game to watch this season, when one takes into account the quality and quantity of exciting plays. I would have to put our one-point loss in San Antonio up there too. Both teams just played insanely well in that game, and if the Spurs have to play that perfect a game just to beat us by one point in their own arena, there is no way they can beat our guys in a seven-game series.

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  16. It seems like there has to be something each game to get lamar fired up and really into the game. Tonight it was when randolph landed on his back, lamar went right down and scored three buckets in a row after that.

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  17. 214. Your parenthetical doesn’t really allow you “to be fair”. That being said, the refs did swallow their whistles a bit at the end, and see what happens?

    btw, the kill shot was over turiaf, not jackson.

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  18. just saw the espn recap. what was that camera dude barking at kobe at the end of the clip? anyhow, win 44!

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  19. PeanutButterSpread February 19, 2009 at 1:26 am

    passerby,

    that camera dude wasn’t barking at Kobe, he just happened to be standing next to the guy (the referee) that Kobe was barking at lol

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  20. @wondahbap – it would’ve been an awesome game to live blog, especially the part where lamar vaulted randolph off his back. I didn’t get home till late tonight and just enjoyed the game in real time. sorry!

    @jd hastings – in this economy, i’m going to have to issue IOUs, not unlike the state of california.

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  21. nomuskles,

    Yeah. I knew it was going to be. Not only is it Nellieball, but the Lakers are content to have shoot-outs against inferior teams in back-to-backs.

    Boy, was it fun.

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  22. Yahoo Sports says the Tyson trade has been recinded … due to injury concerns.

    (I’d speculate about Thunder/Celtics & Suns/Lakers but Kurt would rightfully delete it)

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  23. I like the way Kobe kept looking for Trevor in the 4th when he was doubled. We will see teams double Kobe in that situation and Trevor will most likely be the guy who is open. Making shots like that will give him confidence in those situations later in the season.

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  24. Well, it took a collective effort to pull this one. I think we saw the “crunch time” line up last night and all players called upon answered. Having said that, Sasha’s production has been hurting this season. The effectiveness of Ariza has reduced the need for Sasha and his reduced minutes have affected his consistency. I hope he starts to bounce back as we will need his outside shot later inthe season.

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  25. It will be interesting to see if any of our competition for the Championship pull off a significant trade. We’ve heard a lot of talk, but rarely does any of it pan out.

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  26. http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?page=TradeTalkRoundup-090218

    Shaq to Cleveland? Wow. This is going to be one entertaining Finals. Screw the Boston rematch. I’ll take the Kobe v. LeBron AND Shaq drama any day.

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  27. 215 – Almost forgot about the San Antoinio game (probably on purpose). Both teams shot lights out that game.

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  28. Wow.. I think Phoenix just might bite on that Shaq proposal. That’s as good as they can get to finding someone who can get rid of Shaq’s contract for them.

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  29. #207:
    My bad. I saw it once , and remembered it wrong. It still looked really weird though…

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  30. From the LA Times’ story about Powell:

    Somehow, Powell avoided not getting overly frustrated when his playing time was limited.

    “How do you avoid it? Let me see. Let me think,” Powell said, smiling. “I’m on the best team in the league. I’m playing with the Lakers. I’m playing with some of the best guys in the league. I don’t know. What else? How do you want me to put it? I’m in the NBA. It’s a lot to be thankful for.”

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  31. Kobe should probably be doing several fewer of the one-on-one sequences followed by a shot per game: they should keep sending the ball into Gasol, and let him shoot (57% so far this season) or pass. If Kobe moves without the ball, Gasol will find him (or someone else) for a better shot than Kobe gets on his isos, or else shoot it himself, at a higher percentage than Kobe is getting.

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  32. 231-I agree with you re: Pau should touch it as often as possible, but Kobe is not gonna change. He is gonna take several iso shots in the 4th quarter of games, Phil used to try to fight it, now he just embraces it, there’s no other choice.

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  33. I just started a new trade deadline thread so we can talk moves for the next few hours. Later this afternoon, a lengthy Lakers post will go up. But for now, let’s see who makes the big plays.

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  34. That LA Times article about Powell also says: “Lakers center Andrew Bynum is expected to be out another six to 10 weeks recovering from a torn ligament in his right knee.”

    Sigh.

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  35. From what i saw last night the lakers tried to get the ball down low to Gasol. The warriors played some ball denial on Gasol. They knocked the ball loose a couple of times from behind. When our offense runs through Gasol we are a better team but sometimes we cant just force it down low. If a team is playing defense against us my guess is they will try denying Gasol the ball in the post. Besides the pick and roll worked well for us last night, why not run it till they figure out how to defend it?

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  36. 234. Mimsy, that’s the schedule he was on. Six weeks is early April, 10 is late April first week of May.

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  37. Granted, but I keep having these unpleasant flashbacks to last season when the schedule kept being pushed farther and farther back… Also, I was under the impression that ten weeks is what they initially said, so assumed that if they still say that, it’s been pushed back? If I’m wrong, then so much the better! πŸ™‚

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  38. It was 8-12 weeks when he went down a few weeks ago. I don’t see a big change.

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  39. I was convinced it was 8-10 two weeks ago. My mistake.

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