The Warriors have quickly made the most of their opportunities at the Oracle, the beginning of a lengthy and important homestand that last until the end of February. After going 2-1 last week with their one loss an epic battle between Monta Ellis and Kobe Bryant that had the whole internet world abuzz, "home is" clearly "where the heart is," as the cliche goes. The Warriors, typically, would have laid down to die at any difficult juncture in the game. But fans were witnessed to a Warriors team, clearly manhandled inside by the three-headed monster of Mr. Lamar Kardashian... I mean Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, understood that if they had any chance of winning, they actually had box out, dive for looseballs, and run as fast as they could to cover perimeter defenders...on every play. Think of any film where the less gifted protagonists gets theirs in the end: Rudy, Jerry Maguire, The Mighty Ducks... you get the point.
Well, the Warriors still lost, but since then Monta Ellis has become sports media's new trending topic. That individual performance against Kobe Bryant -- an outspoken supporter of Monta's game -- seemed to push him into discussions of being on the periphery of possible All-Star. In the 3 game span last week, Monta has averaged more than 30 points a game and 6 assists a game. He's not only shooting above 50% from the field, but also is attempting 7 freethrows per game while making 80% of them.
Despite the loss, the game vaulted Monta Ellis more and more into the media's wavering spotlight. Their following two victories over the lowly (but surging Los Angeles Clippers) and the New Jersey Nets were hardly news-worthy. But what was probably most notable about those two games was 1) Stephen Curry's temporarily declining minutes and 2) Andris Biedrins confidence issues.
Curry's defense, more so than rebounding, has become the Warriors Achilles heel and Keith Smart talked abstracted that it was purely about "match ups" than Reggie Williams playing better alongside Monta (and with great results). The Warriors clearly need Curry on the floor, as he really is the most competent ball-handler on the team that can break presses and double-teams if need be. Williams is more capable than Ellis at handling the ball, but both him and Ellis are better as scorers than facilitators of offense.
But with the Warriors offense clicking and getting wider open threes through crafty ball movement, maybe their classic drive led by a competent ball-handler is no longer needed?
Check back for more updates on this week's Warriors news. Will Biedrins get his swagger back? Will Curry continue to sit? Will Monta get that all-star vote?