With the Carmelo Anthony trade chatter slowing down a bit, it seems like the Golden State Warriors are suddenly the new flavor of the moment. And while Warriors fans and the Warriors organization are a fickle bunch, loving the next big thing before the previous next big thing even could establish themselves as the next big thing, it's clear that both sides are torn up by the decision of, possibly, having to split up the backcourt.
The Warriors had rough ending to the previous week, which seemed to leak into this week. But despite the 1-2 finish, a week filled with Warriors epic meltdowns against sub-par talent AT HOME, this was hardly what caught the fans' attention. Instead the on-going trade chatter extended into this week, seemingly magnified by Monta Ellis' struggles with an ankle injury and poor shooting. It just so happened that those games Stephen Curry shined and reminded us why we once unanimously anointed him the face of the franchise (recently revoked by Joe Lacob and some fans at Golden State of Mind). Fans' obsessive support for either Stephen Curry or Monta Ellis has gotten nasty. The divisions between the Curry and Monta factions are so deep you swear it was at the epic level of Team Jacob and Team Edward of the Twilight series. Based off some debates earlier this week, Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group has some opinions that may help you decide which team you want to be on.
But who is the trade bait and for what? On-going rumors are swirling that the Warriors are trying to make a move for Andre Iguodala. If that were the case, are we expecting Monta to be shipped out, since the Philadelphia 76ers have the ever-improving PG Jrue Holiday? But then more rumors purportedly from within the Warriors organization came out suggesting the Warriors were interested in a slew of wings:
The Warriors would like to upgrade at small forward before the Feb. 24 trade deadline, and the Philadelphia 76ers' Andre Iguodala, Chicago Bulls' Luol Deng, Atlanta Hawks' Josh Smith, Oklahoma City Thunder's Jeff Green and Indiana Pacers' Danny Granger all may be on their radar
The Warriors do have expirings and maybe those, currently in this economic climate, are more valuable than a number these all-star or near all-star level-type players.
This week also marked what looks to be the return of center Andris Biedrins. Biedrins footwork has looked so good you thought he had been breakdancing. With an array of pump fakes, pivots, and up and under moves, Biedrins has looked more like Kevin McHale than the offensively challenged center we've complained about. By Kevin McHale, I don't mean the GM but the ex-player. Though you could say Biedrins has played as bad as McHale was a GM. In two games, Biedrins has averaged 11 points, 11 boards, and 2 blocks per game. What led to this? Rusty Simmons reports:
"Coach kicked everybody else out of the drill. It was just me, Monta (Ellis) and Biedrins," point guard Stephen Curry said. "We produced a lot of trust between the three of us. We believe that Biedrins will finish plays when we give him the ball, and he believes that we're going to look to get him the ball."
During the three-man drill, Biedrins was able to show Curry and Ellis where he wants the ball - the ghost positions under the basket and posted up on the right block, where he can use his dominant left hand to get into the lane. The center was able to work on the timing of the pick-and-rolls that used to come so naturally with Stephen Jackson.
Can we expect more consistency from Biedrins from now on? More importantly, can we see those up-and-under moves some more?
Lastly, here's a feel good video of Jeremy Lin of the Reno Bighorns:
Jeremy Lin Highlights 2011-01-28 Reno vs Bakersfield (via deansoapbox)