Preview & Chat: The Golden State Warriors

Kurt —  December 29, 2009

pau
Records: Lakers 24-6 (1st in West) Warriors 9-21 (14th in West)
Offensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 107.3 (14th in league), Warriors 105.2 (19th in league)
Defensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 100 (3rd in league) Warriors 110 (26th in league)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Warriors: Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, Anthony Morrow, Corey Maggette, Anthony Randolph

That picture of Pau scares me: But if you like it — or like to give yourself nightmares — you can own it. It is one of the many treasures Zach from Celtics Hub found available at the NBA Store, in Manhattan including a picture of Steve Nash, Serial Killer, right out of Dexter.

The Lakers Coming in: It’s a slump. Mini slump right now, but a slump. My first suggestion: Relax. This is not something to panic over. You had to know there would be one, that 72 was a silly dream that made a good media story line and nothing else. Titles are not lost in December games, what matters is that the Lakers figure out things — that they can’t take nights off on defense, that they have to run the triangle to get an offensive flow, to stop doing too much and start trusting teammates to make plays.

Last night, the Lakers failed on many of those counts. Bynum had a great first quarter then the team went away from him as the game wore on (and he was less active). Teams are (wisely) trying to use centers like Amare to pull Bynum away from the basket, but the other bigs are not rotating well and defending the rim. More Kobe is not the long term answer. Phil Jackson is not going to yell at this team, he is going to let them figure it out for themselves. Which means it may take a couple more games, but the lessons are more likely to stick.

Also, no Artest again tonight.

The Warriors Coming in: For a team that is in the bottom five in the league, you look at the Warriors roster and you see talent. Good talent. Talent you can win some games with.

Monta Ellis can flat-out score. On the dribble, with the jumper, half court or getting out and running, this guy can play. Then he is paired with Corry Maggette, someone who can also shoot the jumper but is more likel to take you off the dribble and draw the foul. He is in the Kobe/Wade class when it comes to drawing fouls. Anthony Randolph is capable of exploding at any point for a huge night. Add in the rookie Curry who can shoot the rock (40% from three this year) and Anthony Morrow and you have a lineup of guys who can score.

If the players are not living up to their talent, you have to start looking up the ladder.

Thing you should be reading: The Kamenetzky brothers new blog at ESPNLosAngeles.com. Also, Dave is rockin’ it. You know, for a guy who went to Syracuse.

Keys to game: This is a test of the Lakers discipline. More than the Suns, the Warriors pull you into playing their style, and you can’t do it. It is a Siren Call and you have to plug your ears, lash yourself to the mast and not get sucked in. You will see open jump shots 6 seconds into the shot clock, but you have to resist the urge to take them because you will get a better look later. The Celtics did not do this last night, they got sucked into the Warriors game, and the result was a rushed 25 turnovers and a loss. The same fate awaits the Lakers if they rush.

The Warriors create more turnovers than any other team in the league, it fuels their fast break offense. Rule number one against them is to control the ball, do not give it and the easy buckets away.

That is all part of controlling the tempo, the other way to do that is pound the ball inside. All game long, not just the first quarter then start running and gunning. It’s a 48 minute test of discipline. Ignore the 20-foot jumper they are daring you to take and get the ball near the rim.

Defensively, take away the easy baskets for Ellis and Maggette, make them give it up now and again and force others to create shots. Or force Maggette to create and pass. This will not work long term for the Warriors, the Lakers need to be focused and stick with the plan.

The Warriors are a terrible rebounding team. The Lakers should dominate the boards at both end, creating opportunities for put backs and taking away the second chance points.

Where you can watch: 7:30 start back at Staples, with Fox Sports and 710 ESPN radio, your usual hosts.

Kurt

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134 responses to Preview & Chat: The Golden State Warriors

  1. for warren!

    and dude who is in staples!

    and for a confident drubbing of the dubs…by kobe again?

    hope not.

    GO LAKERS!

  2. thats a great a picture of gasol….but it kinda looks like hes wearing a memphis jersey

  3. I’m not sure what we’ll see tonight, but I do know this: The agressor gets the calls and often the momentum. Therefore, the Lakers need to stay agressive & play to one of their greatest strengths (i.e., give the ugly guy in the pic many touches & watch him become beautiful).

  4. The picture kind of strikes me as”Pau Gasol as Moses.” It’s something about the beard.

  5. so is the situation with Ron more serious than they first thought?

  6. 4. If only Pau could part the opposing team’s defenses like Moses could part the Red Sea…. :(

  7. This is just a great way to start off tonight, that pic of Gasol. Here’s to seeing that man get many, many touches via the Triangle offense being run to perfection against the Dubs.

  8. Chris H., no. Artest is not playing tonight but is expected to work out tomorrow and may play Friday. Just being cautious.

  9. Oh yeah, meant to ask here also… what are the cheapest possible means of obtaining mid level Laker home game tickets? I see some online that go for $140 a seat or so, but I hear from some people that those usually cost much more less than that.

  10. does the picture look more like his younger brother?

  11. I suggest you all keep an eye on Steph Curry. He is slight but strong, and mentally tough, with very good defensive technique. Everybody knows he has a great shooting motion but his footwork to get that shot is also very, very solid. What many people, including myself, did not expect was his ability to make the smart and uncanny pass. Now that he has Rony and AB to catch and finish, I think you’ll see his talents become more obvious. Not enough has been said about how long they have gone without two of their most important bigs. I feel that the chaos will eventually flip to their direction and they’ll impress more and more people who should have seen it coming.

  12. Kurt, I actually first thought it was Pau’s brother, Marc.

  13. atdhe.net

  14. 3 flops already

  15. http://www.rwbsports.com/ch1.html

    Fisher, seal off the middle! Let Ellis take the baseline into the teeth of the Pau and Bynum!

  16. odom has no idea what to do when he’s open

  17. Um, yeah, no. Golden State will not be shooting 83% for the game. The law of averages is about to catch up with them…

  18. I love how LO punks Anthony Randolph every time they meet up. I hope he makes him cry again tonight!

  19. Sloppy, sloppy. These guys look like they played last night.

  20. Terrible spacing with the Odom-Bynum-Gasol trio… terrible defensive effort giving up 29 points while still 4 minutes left in the 1st.

    Passerby, thanks!

  21. Wow this defense once again is atrocious

  22. again, playing bad. lo cant make a shot for the life of him. interior passing is sloppy leading to turnovers and not enough hustle.

  23. Kobe, Gasol and Bynum all within 3-feet of each other and all in the post. Ugly spacing Phil…

  24. I feel like I’m the Warriors “wanting” to beat the Lakers with what I am seeing so far… yes its December but its beyond terrible looking at basic basketball being ignored.

    I believe Farmar is the right PG but Odom, Bynum and Gasol SHOULD NOT BE ON THE COURT AT THE SAME TIME. Move Kobe to the 3, Odom at the 4 and either Drew or Pau at the 5. Place Sasha in for spacing…

  25. Guess what, we are more fluid on D when our monster trio is not together… heck more fluid on O as well.

  26. Brown with the PUJIT, a bad shot

  27. Giving up 35 in the 1st… against the Dubs. Not good.

    There is absolutely no one in the league that can chase Monta Ellis… no one.

  28. Seriously they HAVE to have someone to space the floor and Odom cannot shoot at all, even within 10 feet, until Ron is back leave Odom on the bench and keep him off the floor with Pau and Andrew. But more than anything the lack of defense and hustle is killing them. 35 points is way too much to give up in a quarter if they want to be a good defensive team. On another note I really enjoy the Golden State Warriors announcers on League Pass they are actually realistic when it comes to calls and they seem to know their basketball.

  29. Too many PUJITS and long jumpers early in the clock shot without ever going inside.

  30. I’m just happy to see Turiaf and Radman.

    That’s about the only positive I see from this game…

  31. Bad decision by Kobe. He dumped it off to Brown with bad spacing. Basically, Brown was doubled when he got the ball.
    Got bailed out with the foul call. Heady play.

  32. Kobe with 7 first quarter assists! Would have 10 if Pau and LO hadn’t missed a couple chippies.

  33. brown is a horrible decision maker….

    get healthy soon, ron.

    we really need to get better at the 3 point line.

  34. I like Derek Fisher as much as the next guy but he should see very limited minutes tonight. He is a defensive liability against Golden States quick guards. To shake things up and experiment I don’t see why Phil didn’t give Farmar or Shannon the start tonight to see how each plays, as a basketball player it is alot easier to get into the flow of the game and it does alot for their confidence too. Just look at how Farmar played against Houston in the playoffs last year.

  35. Pull BYnum and Odom. Adding nothing right now. Nothing.

  36. we are just an awful team at the moment

  37. I am about to turn this game off, I am sick and tired of this crap. Odom has to be the biggest waste of athletic ability ever, and if you disagree name another player with his potential who was so poorly inconsistent.

  38. the Lakers look like they expect the Warriors to get bored, quit playing, and just let them have the game.

  39. I gotta say, it hasn’t been too enjoyable to watch the Lakers the past week or so.

  40. It almost seems as if they are playing this bad on purpose

  41. @37
    Vince Carter

  42. Hahah, Lakers were confused for the Clippers

  43. did odom eat too much candy. he has no lift on his shot. he’s been blocked like 3 times today and he cant even contest a driving floater by morrow. bynum has a terrible habit of passing before thinking after a rebound. radman and turiaf are outplaying are bigs right now.

  44. Stop! Kobe time! PJ must read this blog, he pulled both of those ding dongs.

  45. I think Kobe decided that he was going to win this game all by himself if he has too.

  46. Vlad Radmanovic is killing us…?

  47. So now I’m starting to think, maybe Kobe isn’t our MVP, neither is Pau, but it has been Ron.

    We haven’t played this ugly since the absence of Pau, and maybe not even then.

  48. Why is it that Fisher can play the low post on the SSZ, but Ammo, Sasha, and Powell, who are all much taller, can’t fathom how to play the D?

    All three are on their way out.

  49. kobe seemed upset that he was yanked out as he was heating up. 47. yeah, we miss ron but we’ve been playing bad even before he went down. honestly, the last time the lakers impressed me was december 9.

  50. That’s the second time we could have cut the lead to 4, Fish comes down and throws a horrible pass, turnover, and then the lead is right back to 9. Come on.

  51. Is it just me, or is it a miracle that we haven’t been able to auction Sasha off on eBay yet…?

  52. Please sit Fisher and Brown. These guys just aren’t doing it.

  53. you can just see bynum, shannon, jordan and lamar have no confidence at all, i really would give sasha more minutes

  54. the lakers are playing like they wouldve if they pulled the gasol trade in 2006. kobe, pau and a bunch of scrubs.

  55. LA is looking old, I said it last night, we are a step off in every aspect of the game.

  56. Anyone else notice that LO and Bynum did not come back? Think PJ was doubling (not singling) them out?

  57. This was a tough half of Lakers basketball to watch tonight, painfull indeed.

  58. cool dunk by Shannon to end the half… 53-60

  59. Someone needs to tell Shannon to speak to Lamar about how to finish down low as a 7 footer, that’s how you send it down with fury and power. Lamar you are 7 foot and your length is incredible dunk the damn ball please stop trying finesse finishes.

  60. The Lakers have let the Warriors control the pace of the game so far. Kobe might get a double double tonight, only 2 assists away

  61. anytime warren.

    no feed here in the philippines. I think i’d rather catch this on gamecast.

    i maintain confidence we will win this. but enough of feeling each other out. no lineup or combination is beyond fixing. well i for one am not for this triple tower thing until summer. was thinking, didn’t they run plays with this lineup in training camp?

    enough feeling each other out. time to play. and needless to say, we are in a slump so until i see back to back efficient and laker-like play, we are in a slump still.

    i like pau’s numbers. i like kobe not merely being an observer with an axe to grind against teammates.

    i don’t know what phil has in store. am blank on him the past weeks.

    GO LAKERS!

  62. Ugh. Anyone else look at the +/- stats for the first half so far?

    Sasha, ShanWow and Powell are averaging a + 3.33, which happens to be waaaay above any of our starters this game. Please tell me I’m not the only one who has a problem with this?

  63. I’m sick of all this it’s december it’s not time to worry crap. I think when Ron comes back our starters will be fine again with some time, but as for our bench they are so unreliable and deep into the playoffs you cant rely on your starters to win every game for you. Someone tell me that they disagree because look at Orlando and Boston’s benches and tell me that they wouldn’t beat the lakers bench in every way. Say we are playing Boston and Pau or Bynum get in foul trouble I have zero confidence in who comes in to fill their shoes. Upgrades need to be made or we will not be able to beat an Elite team in a 7 game series. Just look at the Celtics bench Eddie House, Marquis Daniels, Glen Davis, Rasheed Wallace and Orlando’s bench is even more impressive. Matt Barnes, Anthony Johnson who is solid, Marcin Gortat, Brandon Bass, Ryan Anderson, Jason Williams. There IS cause for concern. Mitch UPGRADES PLEASE

  64. 50 – Mimsy, a Sasha bobblehead is worth more than the real thing …

  65. LOL the Golden State halftime analysts just said Kobe the Mamba is playing great but the rest of his teammates look like garden snakes. This pretty much sums up how they look to the rest of the league.

  66. I think somebody who ate a lot of asparagus pee’d on that picture of Marc Gasol.

  67. at this point the Lakers just need to get “it” going… whatever “it” is

  68. good to see warren here, Happy Rizal Day. :D
    kobe already has 8 assist. on the pace for 5 more, and pau receiving his touches. but somehow we’re down 7. dont have a feed here. geez

  69. Thats the problem they cant find “it” with a flashlight.

  70. Um, here’s my take.

    Do you guys really want Adam Morrison to start? Because if Odom doesn’t start at 3, that’s our next option. Seriously. I for one wouldn’t mind taking a chance on the guy, but I also wouldn’t mind benching Fisher in favor of Sasha for a couple games, so perhaps my own credibility is in question.

  71. Well if you didn’t know that Corey Maggette can get to the line before this game, you’ll never forget it now. Thanks Joel.

  72. Odom at least is starting to rebound now. Although a chunk of it was from a series of missed tip ins…

  73. this is what odom should be bringing every night; energy and athleticism

  74. Lamar Odom is like a box of chocolates remember? Sometimes it bitter to start but it gets better. The difference a letter makes…

    Maggette having his way means we miss Ron Artest.

  75. Ugh. Once again. Sasha, to eBay. Please?

    Also, now I remember why I loved Ronny Turiaf. That man is a great player.

  76. Sasha went jingle bells on Morrow.

  77. I just want to point out that the only post that I made was the one in the very beginning. All the other posts under “Eric” were by another Eric.

    oh and i miss ronny. that was a pretty cool moment between ronny and kobe.

  78. The NBA: where Vladimir Radmonovic killing his old team happens and where Jordan Farmar and Derek Fisher both foul 3 point shooters

  79. Live by The Kobe.

  80. I think Kobe is offended that the Warriors put Radmanovic on him.

  81. sasha: Foul Machine

  82. Turiaf with the kind of line that we used to see… 5 pts 5 blocks 3 fouls :D

    Kobe is again shooting over 50%… maybe the lack of fingers is helping his shot.

  83. Kobe and Gasol both have a double-double tonight

  84. You cannot call a timeout when falling out of bounds!!!!

    Nice imposibol!

  85. anybody watching feel an OT coming?

  86. If this goes into OT, we will lose.

  87. Odom having a rotten game and he compounds it by getting a Tech!!

  88. Sasha is indeed a foul machine in every sense of the word …

  89. Not to excuse Odom, but that was a horrible call.

  90. Oh, crap….

    Is Kobe seriously hurt this time?

  91. It seems extremely likely that against a GOOD team, unless Kobe goes off for 50 and Pau helps with around 20+ points, the Lakers cannot win

  92. How many times have the Dubs shot over an outstreached Gasol tonight?

  93. another 40+ night for mr bean. OMG

  94. Great foul LO 95 feet from the basket. I hereby dub you Smush Parker.

  95. @97,
    Again, we live by The Kobe… ;)

  96. Hey Lamar do yourself a favor after making a great block dont make a stupid unecessary foul a billion feet away from the basket. I swear the Lakers have shown NO mental toughness as of late

  97. I’ve never, ever seen a ref retract a call – however horrible – when the offended player goes nuts. I guess Odom thought he would be the first to accomplish this.

  98. ok. 3 guys with a double-double.
    hate watching the box score.

  99. I wish PJ would fine a Laker for ever T he gets for complaining about not getting a call

  100. wow. ronnie is still a Laker :D

  101. Sasha, the maturity level of a 7th grader

  102. Oh thank God, we got this one. That was ugly.

  103. Glad PJ sat Fisher. Farmar has played admirably aside from the foul on the 3.

  104. Kobe messing with Turiaf at the free throw line = priceless

  105. @Eric

    if the Lakers dont have any mental toughness as of late, then GS doesnt have a brain at all.

  106. @106. Agreed it’s time we give either Shannon or Farmar the start to see how they handle being “the guy” from the beginning of the game, it will help their confidence and the starters need some consistent energy. I think playing with the starters and getting experience will help them with their mistakes and decision making. Fisher to me needs to accept a bench role and be like Anthony Johnson for the Magic bench: come in when the starters need a break

  107. Well one thing is for sure, we really miss Artest on the defensive end.

  108. Good win, it was just a tiring game to watch, Kobe new season high tonight, his 103rd time he has scored 40 or more points in a game, great for him.

  109. great game for Kobe and Pau.Warriors battled all the way.

    Kobe was fantastic,did I mention that?

  110. lakers are what now when KB scores over 40?

  111. lakers allowing 113 PPG without artest and haven’t held an opponent under 100 in 5 games. not only is our offense still pedestrian but the defense is struggling too. lets see if we can beat dallas and houston next week. two teams that have beat us at home already.

  112. Anyway, think this week has made me think about our season last year, and can’t stop thinking how fortunate we were considering we were pushed to the brink by the Rockets, Nuggets, and even Magic (a Lee bucket, a Fisher 3, etc.).

    Although we did get our core back, it surely wasn’t a dominant squad we fielded last year, and it’s becoming more and more evident now.

    That’s why I think we shouldn’t be fooled by our sparkling record and our championship, and realize that although we certainly are contenders and the defending champs, we’re not really head and shoulders above the rest.

  113. The only thing about this Lakers squad that bothers me at the moment, is when a Laker takes a 3 point shot, I just do not feel it will go in, and when it does, I have an unexpected happyness inside of me.

  114. Glad to see Pau come back to form, even against a small Warrior team. It goes w/out saying that we miss Artest’s tough D and hustle. But Ron’s absence has shown how much we miss Luke, too. His passing, relatively good defense, and smart court play are assets in short supply these last couple games.

  115. i don’t care what lbj or whoever’s stat line is, when it comes to doing it with heart and style kobe is and should be leading the mvp race.

  116. Well, that was fun. Took the Red Line and the Blue Line down to Staples. The inside of the arena is a lot more compact than I expected. I think the upper level is higher than the Forum’s.

    One thing I should point out to everyone is that the Warriors are as close to full strength than they’ve been all season. They’re not so small when Biedrins, Turiaf, Randolph, and Vlad Rad all play significant minutes. This team beat Boston last night, and I can’t see them being a doormat for the remainder of the season if they’re healthy.

  117. Yea, the upper level is higher but more on top of the action at Staples. Plus you can get garlic fries.

  118. If kobe wins the scoring title and the lakers end up w/the best record would that guarantee him the mvp??

  119. So Dude, did you have fun? Spend too much on beer?

  120. Good to see you back Dude at the blog after the game, I bet it was fun watching the run n’ gunning happening.

  121. 122, best record + scoring title, yes, guaranteed MVP. However, I don’t think most of us here want Kobe scoring 40 a night if he’s playing long minutes while hurt.

  122. @Zephid,

    If only others were contributing.Lamar is enjoying his marriage it seems,he just cannot score.Pau sometimes decides to be agressive,he is too high on the new contract.I do not know what Bynum is up to.We don’t have a reliable shooter.Ron Ron is well Ron Ron.And he is a warrior thankfully.

  123. Re-watching the game and does it seem like to anyone that Brown has regressed? I’m not really thrilled with his shot selection and overall decision making.

    If he would just stick to taking the spot up 3 off the kick out, I think his percentage is a lot higher. But he’s been taking a lot more shots early in the clock. Either PUJITS or just off a swing pass. Seems to me that he’s also taking more 3′s where’s trying to create instead of waiting for the kick out. So his feet aren’t set and they don’t seem to go in as much.

    I just feel that at this point of his development, he should be a lot like the non starting Ariza. Cut to the hoop for a pass and finish or camp outside for a set shot off a pass.

    When his bad shot selection goes in like it did against Sac, it’s great and covers up the sin but it’s not dependable. He actually reminds me of Mo Evans in that way. Undependable shot but willing to put it up as soon as he comes in. Great when he’s hot that night but not willing to recognize when he’s not. Both guys strong and athletic, looks like they should be better defenders than they actually are. The flashy play obscuring the fundamental mistakes. Overall decent defense but could and should be better.

  124. A couple of fun facts about MVP winners, Scoring Champions, and NBA Champions:

    *Only three times in the past 15 years has the league MVP been on the team the won the NBA title: Shaq in the 1999-2000 seaon and Michael Jordan (twice)in the 1995-96 & 1997-98 seasons.

    *Only two players in the last 20 years have won the scoring title and the NBA title in the same season. Michael Jordan did it 6 times and Shaq did it once (in his 1999-2000 MVP season).

    My point is that the recent trend shows me that I don’t really care if Kobe wins either the MVP or the scoring title. I’d almost prefer that he doesn’t. We all know that Kobe (along with Carmelo and Lebron) one of the most dynamic scorers in the league. We also know that Kobe is one of the best players (along with Lebron) and one of the 2 or 3 most valuable players in the league. I don’t think he needs the hardware to justify his place in the game. If anything, the hardware that will justify his place in the game (not only for today, but for all-time and his legacy) it’s the Larry O’Brien trophy. Let him get a couple more of those and I’d be more than happy.

  125. Missed the game last night so I only have comments and box score to go on.

    It seems a number of you excoriated Sasha for his performance. I see the five fouls, but he was also +8 in 22 minutes. Was he as bad as the comments make it seem, or did he bring something to the table last night?

  126. I really like the guy and think that stats cant truly measure his value BUT (and I really hope he makes me eat my words) Fisher has officially lost it by the looks of things. It’s not even so much his shot making/defense, it’s that his decision making has really gone down the drain. Bad fouls, bad shots, bad choices on the fast break, bad rotations. This year more than ever Fisher is living off of his rep more than his play, I hope he turns it around because he is quietly producing the worst season I have seen from a starting PG (on a contender) in a while.

  127. Let’s face it, the Lakers are not a physical team. Adding Ron-Ron to the mix gives them a bit of an edge, but the rest of the team are, (forgive me for saying) “finesse players.” Whenever Pau tries to get tough it’s almost comical. Kobe’s an assassin but physical? I think not.

    We’ve had the same identity crisis back in the 80s when we got punked by the Celtics. Instead of retaliating, we got tougher mentally. We didn’t flex our muscles but we trained harder and became better than anyone else.

    Against the Cavs, the sneers and rough play actually played in their favor. Instead of playing our game, we tried to beat them by playing a physical game. And we failed miserably. The Lakers need to get back to playing with efficiency and urgency. Ron-Ron can be an island and flex his muscles because he can back it up. But the others need to return to their own comfort zones and play within themselves. Any less and we’ll get punked again at the end of the season.

  128. as Kurt would say… Who would you rather start? Shannon and Jordans decision making is suspect

  129. New post up

    And by the way, I would say that when the Lakers were winning a few weeks back every team was talking about how physical the Lakers were. They may have lost it for a bit, but to call this a finesse team I don’t think is accurate.

  130. Farmar is simply much more productive when he’s playing with the starters, and likely more productive than Fish in that role. If they Lakers are going to keep him around, then it’s time for Jordan to get the reins on occasion.

    I wish PJ would start or finish Jordan more often to get the team acclimated to that rotation and to give Jordan a chance to make it happen. He played well in the crunch last night, despite some wide-open misses.