Monta Ellis and Kobe Bryant have a lot more in common that people may think. Though their teams have traditionally been on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of success and failure, Bryant has gone on record to compliment glowingly Ellis' knack for scoring. Their stone cold demeanor on the court and their willingness to get into their teammates asses for not executing also makes them seem like their cut from the same cloth as opposed to the Kobe-winner versus Monta-loser dyad.
To prove this point, Ellis talks about their relationship (via Rusty Simmons):
"We're just two competitive guys who leave it all on the court," Ellis said. "We don't play the buddy-buddy game where it's always laughing and joking. We say what we say before and after the game, but he's trying to kick my butt and I'm trying to kick his butt."
The Warriors recent up-and-down play WITHIN a game is probably one of the weirdest kinds of inconsistency you'll ever witness. Whether it's giving up a monster lead or battling back from one, the Warriors clearly are having lapses of concentration and execution.
Cause for worry? Maybe a little bit. Cause for frustration? A lot.
Last time these two teams met, the Warriors, without Stephen Curry, were blown out by 24 points on Halloween. This time around they have Curry, but are still without David Lee who has since been released from the hospital and was seen sitting courtside with his teammates when the Warriors faced the Knicks last Friday. Lee had a strange look of "What is going on here" that also looked equal parts "My teammates need me" as any time the camera panned towards him his eyes were wide-eyed in shock and his mouth gaping open in surprise.
Either that or maybe he was just missing some of his teammates from last season.
But the Warriors are going to have to do a better job defending as the Lakers are one of the best 3 point shooting teams in the league at 43%. Everyone knows what Derek Fisher can do but Shannon Brown has greatly improved his long range shooting at 48%. Lamar Odom is shooting 53% and new addition Steve Blake is shooting 47%. The Warriors can't let the Lakers get as hot as the Knicks, because the likelihood of the Warriors battling back is close to nil against the reigning champions.
The Warriors are going to have play out of their minds tonight against the defending champions. Lets hope the Warriors back-up big men don't show off their hands of stone, again, tonight as they did against the Knicks in Friday's 125-119 loss.