(as promised in the GSoM preview in my predictions)
Preview/ Open Thread (80+ comments)
At least there weren't that many barbarians in attendance for this game.
If you slept in and missed this Sunday morning blow out against the Detroit Pistons in front of a pretty quiet Malice at the Palace crowd, good for you! You didn't miss much, but in case you're curious about what you slept through there's a fun, colorful assortment of 22 post game thoughts for you about this 22 point stinker... AFTER THE JUMP!
I swear I did not photoshop this picture of new Piston Walter "Fabio" Herrmann.
By the way, are two rr's and two nn's really necessary to spell Herman?
- Boom Dizzle got a ton of credit for ending the Faker drought this past Friday on national TV and rightfully so. If we're going to stay consistent and fair, then I don't think it's all that unfair to say he's one of the major reasons (maybe the main reason?) why the Warriors stunk up the joint tonight. There's really not much to say about his performance tonight except that it was probably the worst game of his professional and collegiate career. After carrying this team on his back countless times the past 4 seasons, I'm happy to just say even the greats are entitled to an off night (or morning in this case) now and then. Moving on...
- The Warriors looked okay in the 1st quarter (22 to 23), got abused in the 2nd quarter (13 to 35- yes, that wasn't a typo), somehow actually won the 3rd quarter (32-29), and played it pretty even in the 4th (20 to 22). So here's your Sunday meaningless stat of the day: take away that 2nd quarter disaster and this game was tied 74-74!
- During last year's playoffs I firmly believed that the Warriors could take out the Pistons in a 7 game playoff series. It further illustrated the disparity between the Western Conference and the JV Conference that an 8th seed in the West could take out an Eastern Conference Finalist (although to be fair an 8th seed did take out a 1st seed in the West). This year... not so much. Anyone see this Warriors' cast beating the Pistons in a hypothetical playoff series?
- The Pistons' largest lead in this game was 26 points. Last time when the Pistons came to Oakland they were down by as many as 22 points to the Warriors and course they still ended up winning. Let's give credit where credit is due. They can come back from a huge deficit and beat this Warriors' cast and they can also maintain a huge lead and seal the deal. Hey the Pistons own the Warriors right now.
- One of the main reasons the Warriors have been able to get away with getting massacred on the boards nightly and even having next to no low post offensive weapons in their big men is that they've been taking care of the rock so well. Call it jet-lag, the ridiculously early start time, the Pistons' solid D, or even the Warriors fearing for their lives in the Barbarian's Palace, but they had 17 turnovers to Detroit's 9 today. Very uncharacteristic and a very ugly loss.
- Starters Baron Davis, Monta Ellis, Stephen Jackson, and Andris Biedrins collectively played some awful defense. I can't say I'm impressed by anything they did today on the hardwood. Let's just call it an anomaly. This team isn't as bad as they played today, especially in that brutal 2nd quarter.
- During the garbage time Nellie went with a big lineup (haha who would've ever thought?) that featured Matt Barnes at the 2-guard spot. It seemed like a good look. Barnes was creating shots for himself and drained several pretty jumpers. He also made a beautiful touch pass to Brandan Wright as he was falling out of bounds. Unfortunately that resulted in this...
Amir Johnson rejection.
- Marco Belinelli played some significant minutes this morning. Sure it was garbage time, but it's fun to see what the Warriors got with the #18 pick this year. It's pretty simple actually. This man has no conscience with respect to shot selection- meaning he'll fit right in! Seriously though, I can understand Nellie's short leash with him until Belinelli steps up his D, passing, or rebounding. He has Stephen Jackson's shot selection, but doesn't have Jack's smarts, passing, rebounding, or D. That's not a good combo. Belinelli and the coaches have a lot of work to do.
- Good news. Unless they meet in the NBA Finals, the Warriors don't have to face the Pistons till the 2008-2009 NBA season!
- Props to Chauncey Billups. He has next to no flash in his game, but he might be one of the most slept on players in the league. You have to love a point guard who can get to the line 11 times and sink every single one. That's 11 easy points that drives opposing coaches crazy.
- After Wednesday's loss to the Blazers I gave the Dubs props for still winning the battle of the boards by 1. After today's loss to the Pistons I'll give them sporps (props backwards) for being out rebounded by 15 (Warriors- 32, Pistons- 47).
- Believe it or not, but the Warriors got to the line only one less time than the Pistons. The difference was of course in the conversion rate with the Warriors shooting an poor 65.2% (15 for 23), while the Pistons knocked down 20 of 24 for 83.3%. Sidney Moncrief has his work cut out for him. Good thing the Warriors understand that this is going to be a full time job.
- I'm guessing the majority of Warriors' fans would rather take Andris Biedrins and Brandan Wright over Detroit's young duo of Jason Maxiell and Amir Johnson. I'm also guessing that the majority of Pistons' fans would rather stick with their guys. Interesting topic. Maxiell (+21) and Johnson (+2) won this battle.
- I haven't been to any Warriors practices this year, but Patrick O'Bryant must look really bad or lazy out there. What else explains walk-on DJ Mbenga stealing the backup center spot from this former lottery pick? Makes you wonder how POB could fall so far in Nellie's meritocracy. Nellie doesn't care about how you're getting paid (ask the Dunmurphy's). He's of the "what have you done for me lately" type and it doesn't look like POB has done anything lately for him in practice, Practice, PRACTICE. Yeah, we're talking about practice.
- Rasheed Wallace just had to sprinkle in that tech just for kicks in this blowout. Gotta love Rasheed. Like that old silly, saying "I drive better with a few drinks in me" (kids, that's a no-no) I think he plays better with a tech in him. Crazy man with crazy game. I don't think he gets enough credit for being unselfish and not caring about his own stat line. Putting aside the probable technical difficulties tag teaming with Stephen Jackson, anyone think Rasheed would be a good fit at the 4 or even 5 for this brand of Warriors basketball?
After Rasheed retires I propose we call technical fouls "rasheeds",
just like we call rebounds "rodmans".
Actually- let's start now!
- Troy Hudson was inactive for today's game and I think that's unfortunate. It would be good to speed up the evaluation process and see whether he's a good fit for this team. If not, it's probably time to move on and go shopping in the NBDL or see what's out there on the trading block. It's amazing how the Warriors haven't been able to find Baron Davis a decent backup point guard to spot him some minutes and sub in when he's injured (it's only a question of when unfortunately) for the past 4 seasons. Derek Fisher wasn't a point guard in any sense with his poor court vision and random attempts to put up shots that only Kobe Bryant would dare attempt. Monta Ellis is as we all know a combo guard who would probably rather drop 25 points than drop 10 dimes. Aaron Miles and Keith McLeod didn't work wonders either. I'd make a call to PJ "mustard" Carlesimo and the Sonics and see what it would take to bring Earl Watson to the Bay. He's the most underrated defensive point guard in the league.
- I'm a big fan of Al's defense and think he can create his own shot more than people give him credit for. The good man is in the middle of some serious struggles right now though. His point totals for the past 5 games are alarming: 6 @ Lakers, 6 vs Spurs, 3 @ Blazers, 22 vs Lakers, and 7 today.
- How is it that the Warriors have been unable to find a decent, traditional 4 or 5 in the past decade plus (Antawn Jamison- unorthodox, Al Harrington- great fit for Nellieball, but an average to lower tier starting 4 in this league, Andris Biedrins- not a back to the basket center), but Joe Dumars and the Pistons just find these guys so easily? Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, Chris Webber, Antonio McDyess, Nazr Mohammed, Amir Johnson, and Jason Maxiell- that's pretty impressive.
This guy is a...
- Even though he didn't put up big numbers (not that he needed to today), Rip Hamilton really seemed to have his way with Monta Ellis. This is a red flag that the Warriors really need to think hard about before inking him to some ridiculous extension. It's probably too early to give up on him as a full time point guard, but I don't project him to ever fit that mold. If he's going to be a full time shooting guard the Warriors are going to continue to struggle defensively against All-Star level or 2nd tier 2-guards. Nellie couldn't put BD on Hamilton because there's no way you can put Monta on Billups.
- Brandan of "Do the Wright Thing" fame looked pretty decent out there. Radio Raheem would've been proud. It's too bad he couldn't finish off that nice Barnes dish, but he was incredibly active out there. I'm just in awe of his Inspector Gadget arms. Like Fitz and Barnett commented, BWright looks like a taller Tayshaun Prince minus the jumper. Who knows if he'll ever get there, but I'll take a 6-9 version of Prince on my team anyday. For now Tayshaun is the only one who can scream in a high-pitched voice that women randomly seem to fall over: "My Name is Prince!"
One of those songs from the early 90's that no one wants to admit they owned.
- I was going to give the Auburn Hill's crowd props for not throwing anything at the players or rushing the court to start another brawl, but I'm reminded of that old Chris Rock line where he says you don't give people props for things they're SUPPOSED to do (e.g. not going to jail), so I won't.
- Big ups to Stephen Jackson for not picking up a rasheed today. (Ooooh, look at me! I'm already using it in a sentence!)
Tonight's honors go to Matt Barnes. You can't knock his hustle- even in a blow out! Seriously I really liked his energy and all around game this morning featuring 15 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and a pick. His minutes at the 2-spot were intriguing. I wonder if Nellie will ever consider going with him at that position in a big lineup.
Haha who am I kidding?
Fellas- next time we've got one of these silly morning games thousands of miles from home,
see what my man Sonny can do for you in the morning.
Just crank up the chocolate!
Photos: Allen Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images + AP Photo/Chuck Burton