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Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - Channing Frye scored 19 points, Grant Hill had 18 and the Phoenix Sunsheld on for a 104-92 victory over the Golden State Warriors despite nearly blowing a huge lead at the end of the game.
Steve Nash had 14 points and became the 11th player in NBA history to record 6,000 assists with a single team, landing right on the number with 15 helpers.
More importantly, Nash hit one of a trio of three-pointers in the final 4 1/2 minutes that helped the Suns keep their heads above water after Golden State drew within five.
Phoenix bounced back from a loss to Oklahoma City last Friday to win for the fourth time in five games.
Monta Ellis had 21 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Warriors, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Golden State fell to 3-4 on a season-long eight-game homestand that finishes against Denver on Wednesday.
(Sports Network) – The Golden State Warriors hope to match a season-high with their fourth straight win Monday when they host Pacific Division-rival Phoenix at ORACLE Arena. After losing the first three games of a season-long eight-game homestand, the Warriors have evened things up by winning their last three, the latest of which was a 101-90 triumph over Central Division-leading Chicago on Saturday. Monta Ellis scored 14 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter in that one.
“We needed this. We owed them for Chicago when they beat us by 30 there,” Ellis said. “We just wanted to come out and play hard and play all 48 minutes.”
The Suns, meanwhile, just finished a five-game homestand in which they sandwiched three wins with a pair of losses, culminating with Friday’s 111-107 setback to Oklahoma City. Vince Carter hit 6-of-12 from beyond the three-point arc en route to a season- high 33 points in that one but it wasn’t enough. Channing Frye scored 13 points and had nine boards while Grant Hill and Steve Nash each had 12 points in the loss.
“When you have a team like this, when we’re up and down from time to time, sometimes the ball just doesn’t come your way,” Carter said. “Whatever the case may be, it’s all about patience and I have that. I said, when it’s my turn to I’m going to be aggressive and I was able to just give it tonight.”
Phoenix has won three straight and seven of eight over the Warriors, including a 107-101 triumph in Oakland back on Dec. 2.
Just when the Warriors were making headlines for negative reason (Monta Ellis slump and disgruntled locker room), they decided to give the NBA fans one gift wrapped present after another on back to back nights. After we watch Stephen Curry’s magnificent skills on display with a 70 foot alley-oop to Dorell Wright that even my non-basketball fan friend posted on his facebook page, Dorell Wright returned the favor with an alley-oop inbound pass to Monta Ellis for a reverse layup to end the third. You can watch the clip here. With 4 second left, the Warriors set what looked to be a triple screen that allowed Monta to cut from near the top of the key to the hoop.
As if that wasn’t awesome enough, Monta hit David Lee on a no-look pass between two defenders on a 3-2 fast break. Monta slowed down his pace dribbling towards the free throw line after streaking with the ball down the far side of the court, drawing both defenders and staring straight at Stephen Curry who stopped at the three point line. But Monta instead flipped a no-look over the defenders to Lee who went backdoor on both for a reverse jam. This clip can be seen at the same hyperlink above.
The Warriors are on a 3-game winning streak and finally beat a playoff bound team with execution and tough defense. Monta looks to be recovering from his offensive slump with two solid games in a row. But more amazing was the swarming defense he put on Derrick Rose, which you, too, can see from the NBA.com hyperlink mentioned earlier.
Stephen Curry added 23 points, eight assists and six rebounds for the Warriors, who improved to 3-3 on their eight-game homestand. Dorell Wright donated 20 points and six boards.
Carlos Boozer finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the Bulls, who had a six-game winning streak snapped. Luol Deng chipped in with 18 points and six boards.
Derrick Rose scored 14 points and dished out 10 assists, but turned the ball over a career-high nine times.
Neither team led by more than seven in the first half as the Warriors took a 48-47 edge into the locker room.
Chicago started the second half on a 16-3 run to take its largest lead of the game. Boozer capped the surge with a slam to give the Bulls a 63-51 margin with about 6 1/2 minutes left.
Golden State responded with an ensuing 20-7 burst to go in front. Curry tallied seven points during the stretch, including a dunk with 40.4 seconds remaining to make it 71-70. The Warriors held a 73-72 edge heading to the fourth.
Ellis scored Golden State's first eight points in the fourth to spark a 16-2 run. Curry tallied six points during the stretch, including a jumper with 5:49 left to make it an 89-74 game.
Back-to-back three-pointers from Deng and Kyle Korver got Chicago within seven, 97-90, with 47.9 seconds to play. Ellis, though, made a jumper and two free throws in the final seconds to seal the victory.
Chicago hammered the Warriors, 120-90, back on November 11 this season at the United Center...The Bulls fell to 1-1 on their five-game western road trip...Golden State went 19-of-23 from the foul line, while the Bulls went 6- of-13 from the charity stripe...David Lee had 13 points for the Warriors.
(Sports Network) – The Central Division-leading Chicago Bulls will put their six-game winning streak on the line tonight, when they resume a five-game western trek against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. Chicago made it six wins in a row with Wednesday’s 106-88 victory over Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers in the opener of the trek at Staples Center. Derrick Rose poured in 32 points and handed out 11 assists, while Luol Deng added 26 points for the Bulls, who have won three in a row on the road and improved to 11-10 as the guest this season.
“In the first half, Griffin had his way. In the second half, our defense was much better. We didn’t make any adjustments, we just did things better,” Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said.
Griffin muscled his way to 32 points and 13 rebounds. Bulls power forward Carlos Boozer had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Chicago. The Bulls are 24-6 in their last 30 games overall and 32-6 when holding opponents under 100 points. The Bulls will also visit the Blazers, Jazz and Hornets on the swing.
Meanwhile, Golden State will continue an eight-game homestand this evening and is 2-3 so far on the residency. In Thursday’s 100-94 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, leading scorer Monta Ellis had 24 points, six assists and five rebounds, while Stephen Curry and Dorell Wright netted 16 points apiece for the Warriors, who got 15 points and seven boards from David Lee.
“We didn’t just [win] by hitting shots, we got stops and got rebounds,” Lee said postgame.
Ellis had just two points in a win over Utah the game before and has scored 20 or more points in nine of his last 11 games. He is averaging 25.1 ppg. The Warriors, winners in six of 10 games overall, will also host Phoenix and Denver on the homestand and are 15-10 on their own floor this season.
Chicago hammered the Warriors, 120-90, back on Nov. 11 this season at the United Center, as Deng led the way with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Rose added 22 points and 13 assists in that one for the Bulls, who have won six of the past eight meetings with Golden State. The Bulls, however, have lost nine of their last 11 games by the Bay.
Jeremy Lin is once again heading back to Oakland as the Golden State Warriors recalled Lin from Reno in the National Basketball Association’s Development League. Lin is coming off his second D-League stint with the Bighorns. The team can send him down to the D-League up to three times during the season.
In his two stints with the Bighorns, Jeremy Lin has averaged 17.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 2.19 steals in 32.0 minutes per game. Among players that have appeared in more than one game he led Reno in scoring and was second in assists and steals per game. Of course, he also led the team in turnovers per game and shot 69.7% from the free throw line.
It remains to be seen how much playing time Lin will receive now that he’s back in Oakland. He was sent back down to Reno because he simply was not playing and the D-League has offered him a chance to at least get some playing time. Lin has appeared in 17 games with the Warriors this season and averaged 8.5 minutes, 1.9 points, .9 assists and 1.1 steals per game.
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors definitely learned to shoot from his father Dell. But his passing seems to be his own specialty. Dell averaged 1.8 assists per game in his career and 2.9 assists per 36 minutes; Stephen averages 5.9 assists per game and 6.0 assists per 36 minutes.
Curry provided his own impressive point guard abilities on Thursday night against the Milwaukee Bucks. After a Milwaukee turnover, small forward Dorell Wright began leaking out to the Warriors side of the court and began spying Curry on the other side. Curry received the ball, dribbled it up the court, made eye contact with Wright, and made a chest-high pass at least sixty to seventy feet toward the leaping wing man.
Curry's long distance alley oop for reverse slam (via NBA)
What makes the play all the more impressive is how Wright is able to receive the pass and know where exactly he is in his proximity to the rim, despite watching Curry the entire time. That’s some serious coordination and trust between the two Warriors youngsters.
Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - Monta Ellis scored eight of his 24 points in the final 2:34, dished out six assists and pulled down five rebounds, as the Golden State Warriors held off the Milwaukee Bucks, 100-94, in a game that featured 22 lead changes.
"We just had a couple breakdowns defensively, especially at the end where we couldn't get a stop," said Mbah a Moute.
With the score tied at 86-86 with 4:13 to play, the Warriors ripped off six straight points to create some distance.
Curry sparked the surge with a jumper. The next two Milwaukee possessions resulted in a shot clock violation and a Keyon Dooling missed three-pointer. Ellis capitalized with a driving layup to put Golden State up by four.
The Bucks got sloppy with the ball again, as Delfino missed a three and Mbah a Moute turned the ball over. Ellis capped the small run with a slam to give the Warriors a 92-86 edge with 1:43 left.
With the margin the same moments later, Maggette made two free throws and a jumper around a missed Ellis jumper to cut the gap to 94-92 with 33 seconds remaining.
"It was scary for a second," said Ellis.
But he buried a huge 19-foot jumper at the other end to make it a four-point contest with 17.3 ticks left. Maggette was fouled while making a layup with 10.3 seconds to go, but he missed his free throw and Lee came down with the defensive rebound.
Curry drained two foul shots with eight ticks remaining to make it 98-94 and Dooling missed a three-pointer at the other end to seal Milwaukee's fate.
"We didn't just [win] by hitting shots, we got stops and got rebounds," said Lee.
The Bucks held a 22-18 edge after one quarter of play, but the Warriors cut the gap to 47-46 at the half.
After each team scored 26 points in the third quarter, Milwaukee took a 73-72 lead into the fourth.
The Bucks had won four straight over Golden State...Milwaukee was without center Andrew Bogut (knee)...Dooling had nine points and nine assists...The Warriors shot 50.6 percent from the floor.
(Sports Network) – The Milwaukee Bucks hope to salvage the finale of a three- game western road trip on Thursday when they visit Oakland to take on the Golden State Warriors. After dropping the opener of its trek against the LA Clippers on Monday, Milwaukee fell again last night in the desert when Marcin Gortat came off the bench to score 19 points and grab 11 rebounds as Phoenix pulled away early to defeat the Bucks, 92-77.
Former Warrior Corey Maggette and Ersan Ilyasova each had 15 points Milwaukee, which was held to just 31.1 percent shooting and has dropped the two straight after a three-game win streak. Earl Boykins chipped in 14 points and Carlos Delfino scored 10 in the loss, the Bucks’ 23rd straight setback at Phoenix.
“The game was decided before the fourth quarter,” Boykins said. “The game was decided in the first half. When you play a team like Phoenix you can’t allow them to get out to a 20-point lead and try to fight back, they’re just too good of a team.”
The offensively challenged Bucks, who are last in the NBA in both scoring (91.6) and field-goal percentage (42.4) were without the services of star center Andrew Bogut against the Suns because of a bruised right knee. Milwaukee also announced Wednesday that veteran forward Drew Gooden will miss an additional four to six weeks with plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
The Warriors, meanwhile, improved to 1-3 on a lengthy eight-game homestand on Sunday when Stephen Curry scored 27 points, dished out seven assists and pulled down six rebounds, as Golden State handled the Utah Jazz, 96-81. Dorell Wright and Reggie Williams added 16 and 15 points, respectively, for the Warriors, who snapped a four-game overall skid. David Lee chipped in with 14 points and five rebounds.
“I don’t think tonight’s win was won on the offensive end, we didn’t score 115 points,” Lee said. “Monta (Ellis) played very good defense, had a bunch of loose balls. Tonight’s game was won on the defensive end. If we can play that way defensively then we’re going to make enough shots to win if we don’t then we move on to the next game.”
The Bucks have won four straight over Golden State and will be attempting to sweep the home-and-home season series between the two clubs for a second straight year.
We as Warrior fans savor the opportunities when we get to see Stephen Curry go head-to-head against elite PGs of the league. Seeing how our (tentative) face of the franchise matches up now is indicative of our future. It’s almost like a magic eight ball.
But Stephen Curry against fellow sophomore in Milwaukee Bucks’s PG Brandon Jennings, who has had way more of a hyped career dating back to high school, to me is not a match up of the ages. Nor do I see it as indicative of where Curry stands as a point guard relative to the rest of the point guards in the league. For one, both of their respective teams are not very good. So that’s about as exciting as bragging rights over a 49ers vs. Raiders cross-Bay rivalry. But records aside, Jennings, in my opinion, is just way more one-dimensional of a player than the type of skill sets that Curry brings to the Warriors and is demanded of him by his team.
Just by looking at the stats, Jennings’ shooting statistics across the board are remarkably worse. But aside from that, Jennings is not a very good distributor. Granted, he’s averages about the same amount of assists as Stephen Curry (both in the upper 5s). But for the last three months of the 09-10 season, Curry averaged over 7 assists a game and 8 assists in the last months alone.
Of course, these easy stats don’t tell enough. Joey Whelan of HoopSpeak.com, using advanced stats, argues that Jennings’ presence as a scorer is most important to his team in the wins column than when he operates as a traditional point guard. In fact, Brandon Jennings, Whelan argues, is in the same ball park as elite point guards like Rajon Rondo and Tony Parker when it comes to efficiency in wins. This is evidence, for Whelan, of how “vital” Jennings is to his team, considering the less stellar and often injured surrounding cast.
The stats I don’t understand, but I see the legitimacy in Whelan’s arguments. Of course, wins absolutely matter in the end. Curry’s sexy stat-line doesn’t mean if the Warriors continue to lose (see Monta Ellis’ all-star reserve chances). But wins aside, the matchup is one of a scorer versus a point guard that, to me, involves much more quarterbacking (court vision, getting teammates involved, running the offense, etc). Granted Curry hasn’t been great at that this season. But there are plenty of players around the league — many who are lefties interestingly — whose value is purely determinate of their ability to score in bunches off the bench: CJ Miles of the Utah Jazz and Reggie Williams of the Golden State Warriors. Shooting hand coincidence aside, Brandon Jennings is another CJ Miles to me, which isn’t a bad thing. With that said, isn’t comparing the two guards like comparing apples to oranges?
Curry has many nice things to say about Jennings and looks forward to the matchup. To further discredit my own argument, Jennings currently owns this matchup in every which way possible: wins and stats. Are you looking forward to tonight’s matchup? Curry definitely is:
“He’s quick and crafty with the ball,” Curry said. “He’s a lefty that can get into the cracks of the paint, and he’s starting to shoot the ball very well. He’s the total package and he’s always moving, always active, and I have to make sure I know where he is at all times.”
New Golden State Warriors trainer Troy Wenzel is trying something new with Stephen Curry’s ankle, reports Marcus Thompson II. With 5 busted ankles already this season, and we’re not even at the all-star break yet, the Warriors clearly, as they have been since Joe Lacob and Peter Guber took over, are trying new things. Some complicated and some as easy as this:
Curry has also made one other small adjustment. He now wears a size 13 shoe, which is a half a size smaller than he normally wears. Curry said it took some getting used to, because he usually likes breathing room in his Nikes. But with the tape job and the smaller sneakers, his ankle is more secure.
Hey now ladies, we just found out Curry’s shoe size! But for all you ballers out there, does the size of your sneakers matter to your ankle support, even if it’s just a half-size down? Maybe the problem is he’s wearing Nikes.
Among other things, Thompson II also notes that Wenzel is trying new taping techniques and letting Curry rest. That seems to counter all the rehabilitation I’ve had in my life — busted achilles, back problems, hip alignment issues, etc. — which has been centered around strengthening, which apparently was the Tom Abdenour way.
What’s your take on the situation?
Monta Ellis has played bad. Real Bad, Michael Jackson. But nobody on the Warriors seems to be worried though, at least publicly. Is Monta just slumping? Or is this something deeper? And how can the Warriors figure out a way to get Monta past this?
Marcus Thompson II reports that matchups recently have not favored the smaller Monta Ellis:
Part of the reason he struggled shooting, especially the past two games, is teams have put bigger, stronger defenders on Ellis. In Friday’s loss, in which he was 6-for-24 shooting, Ellis was defended by Bobcats 6-foot-8 swingman Stephen Jackson. Sunday, he was guarded by Utah’s Raja Bell, who earned his reputation in the league bodying up on Kobe Bryant.
Monta isn’t worried about it and neither is Stephen Curry who said:
“Everybody’s going to go through a couple tough games. But he still has an impact on the game because he draws so much attention. He’s going to find a way to get his rhythm back. That’s why he’s an All-Star candidate.”
But how long will this slump last? And have other teams figured out a way to contain Monta Ellis — length, size, and strength? With the struggles that Monta has faced against length, it would be interesting to see them run some screens for him to break free like the Pistons do (or did) for Richard Hamilton or the double screen that Curry often gets from Lee and some other big (Ekpe Udoh against the Utah Jazz last game) at the top of the key, allowing him to break free for some drives.
Will Coach Keith Smart find a way to adapt? Lets hope so.
This week, the Warriors close out what was supposed to be the “a-ha!” moment of their season. Beginning January 12th, the Warriors played 13 out of their 14 games at the Oracle, which was meant to be the time that the Warriors climbed out from below .500. After beginning the homestand 8 games below .500, the Warriors have improved their win-loss disparity by one win.
This was not how it was supposed to happen, everyone thought.
This week, the Warriors close out their homestand with four home games against a team featuring one of the NBA’s current frontrunner for the MVP award, two teams that the Warriors can never beat, and a team that the Warriors will most likely beat. What to expect? I say a 1-3 week, punctuated by intensifying trade talks. Luol Deng, anyone?
That team they will most likely beat is the Milwaukee Bucks whose record is, of course, worse than the Warriors (slightly). The game should be filled with hype given the nature of the matchups between Brandon Jennings and Stephen Curry, darlings of last season’s rookie class. Jennings, however, was slowed down by a foot injury and, well, we all know about Curry’s recent uptick in scoring and confidence. In typical fashion against a wayward team from the east (or Midwest, actually) playing out of their time zone, we can expect the Warriors play the exciting brand of basketball that we’ve known them to do since Don Nelson’s first tenure as coach. But from the looks of it, the Warriors fans are not fooled by simple wins and desperate confetti shenanigans.
The Warriors needs wins. Specifically wins over good teams. Heck, not even good teams; just teams better than them, like the Phoenix Suns (who they meet on Monday February 7). Marcus Thompson II and Tim Kawakami had a Twitter debate with fans recently, which started with discussions about Stephen Curry’s value in the open trade market and for the team. Except it suddenly turned into a debate whether or not Steve Nash’s career is over. In case anyone is wondering, he is averaging the same stats as he has been for the last 6 seasons. He might not be as quick as he used to be, but he’s a crafty veteran who put up 13 and 16 last time the Warriors and Suns met.
The other two games against the Chicago Bulls and Denver Nuggets, I assume will be instant losses. With or without stomach ulcers and back problems, Derrick Rose’s will to dominate is perfect reason why he’s in MVP-talks this time of the season. They’ve won 8 of their last night with wins over Orlando, Dallas, and Miami (though these were all at home). The Denver Nuggets still have Carmelo Anthony and him, alone, will be why the Warriors won’t win this game. Another team with too much height, strength, and speed will run the Warriors out of the building like they did last time the they came to town and posted up a 17 point win.
At least there is the Super Bowl this Sunday to break up some of this Warriors monotony?
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)
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