The storms and winds hit Northern California today really hard. It was a rare unpleasant day in the beautiful Bay today and the Warriors didn't exactly provide that bright, shining rainbow after the rain.
Preview/ Open Thread (120+ Comments)
Oh it was raining in Northern California. It just wasn't raining game.
Make sure to head on over to Hornets247.com to see what our friends in the big easy thought about the game: The Hornets beat the Warriors
In case for some strange reason you haven't had enough, make the jump for more stormy weather.
Track of the Day: Ray Luv featuring Tha Outlawz- "Stormy Weather"
(We takin' you way back!)
There are next to no positives to take from this Warrior loss on their home floor, but I will say this:
- For the 1st 3 quarters of this game I thought Baron Davis was winning the star PG battle against Chris Paul. BD was scoring more, playing tougher D, and looked like a more savvy vet. The 4th quarter was a different story of course.
- Al Harrington shot the ball extremely well tonight. He had a few nice finishes and jumpers to complement his 5 treys that came at a nice 62.5% rate.
- Stephen Jackson's shooting was off all night, but he made a good effort finding his teammates and creating for Andris Biedrins in particular. His 9 dimes tonight were no joke.
- Andris Biedrins as usual did an excellent job cutting to the whole and finishing for two. His teammates did a nice job finding him.
- He didn't shoot the ball all that well, but I though Mickael Pietrus put in some good minutes off the bench. He made a beautiful block on a seemingly gimme Peja Stojakovic layup which led to an easy BD score on the other end.
- The Warriors 39 fast break points to the Hornets 12 are the only thing that kept them in this game. It's odd that their usual spark plug on the fast break Ellis only had 3 points all night, yet the Warriors were able to still have so much success in this area. That's a good sign in case of emergency (i.e. employee #8 not showing up to work).
This game wasn't worth the drive to the Oracle.
Attack of the Killa Bees
No this ain't a shout out to the Wu-Tang Clan (although that's always perfectly acceptable on GSoM- C.R.E.A.M.). It's a run down of the Hornets that bugged the Dubs like no other tonight:
David West: Let's hope he recovers from that hip injury because this guy is a pleasure to watch. I walked away very impressed. Through less than 3.5 quarters David Wessyde absolutely destroyed the Warriors with his spins, jumpers, and damage inside. His final stat line was 20 points (8-14 FG and 4-5 FT), 4 boards, and 3 assists. You hate/have to wonder what his line would've looked like if he finished the 4th. You hate/have to wonder by how many more points the Hornets would've blown out the Warriors by.
Tyson Chandler: Chandler was quiet simply a BEAST. He exposed the Warriors interior softness and inability to box him out big time tonight. He walked away with a superstar stat line of 22 points and 22 boards and you have to admire his hustle even it he looks like he's going to easily lead the league 3 second violations. Tyson has arrived and the Bulls messed up big time by giving him away pretty much for free. Horri-bull.
Chris Paul: Tonight's highly anticipated All-Star match up centered at the point guard and for the first 3 quarters of the game I thought Boom Dizzle stood head and shoulders above Paul. CP3 didn't look strong and big enough for the match up. However by the time the 4th quarter rolled around Baron seemed to run out of gas (playing 46 minutes and asked to be the team's shut down defender on Paul and even give help on West, while running the offense and being the team's #1 scoring option is just a little bit too much to ask... just a "little") and CP3 ran the Hornets' offense brilliantly and really took over.
The main difference between Paul and BD? Paul gets to play with a 2 Legit 2 Quit (Pick Up the Hammer!) big man tandem in Tyson Wessyde plus a lights out shooter in Predrag. Give BD a 4 who can create his own shot down low, a 5 who controls the boards and is a tough, rugged defender, and an assassin from downtown and I doubt he has to play 46 minutes tonight and runs out of gas. Instead Baron doesn't have a single low post option to dump the ball into, has to draw 2-3 defenders before his starting 5 can score, and dishes out to wide open, high volume 3pt shooters in Stephen Jack, Matt Barnes, and Pietrus and it's anyone's guess if it's going to go in on any given night. Starting alongside an undersized 2-guard in Monta who didn't show up offensively or defensively tonight doesn't exactly make Baron's job any easier either.
This is a match up where you'd really like Monta to step up and be able to guard Paul or at least hang with him. #8 did none of the above and just isn't in CP3's or even Deron Williams' league. Hopefully the Warriors remember that when they're planning on this mythically bright future that they're selling their fans on.
Peja Stojakovic: Peja looks slower than ever and I can't remember his dribble being so hesitant or clunky, but the man can still drain the trifecta with his slightly awkward flipping release. He's an ideal outside shooter to pair with guys who do their damage down low (Chandler and West) and a penetrating PG in Paul. I can see what the Hornets were thinking when they inked him to that big money deal 2 summers ago. Not saying it was the best contract given his injury history and limitations, but I can see what they were thinking.
The storms brought in some killa bees too.
Just like Eric B and Rakim, these killa bees ain't no joke. They're legit and they're very well constructed. I think their lack of depth is going to hurt them as the season progresses, but if these guys make it to the playoffs which they should- watch out. The Hornets have a good thing going here and if they can stay healthy and avoid fatigue (no easy task), they're going to be very successful. They are 1-2 solid bench guys from being a real force in the West for years to come. Unfortunately, I don't know if I can really say the same about the Warriors.
Aside from the dominating second quarter effort where the Warriors looked good on offense and were playing shut down D, this was a pretty bad performance all-around. It's becoming a broken record
- The biggest question of all- where was Monta tonight?
- Why does Monta seem to struggle so much when the other team has a quick or talented PG (even when he's not matched up against him)? I'm taking about your Chris Pauls, Deron Williams, Devin Harris', etc.
- Are you honestly surprised the Warriors got hammered on the glass? (Warriors- 35, Hornets- 45) Is anyone really that surprised the West and Chandler dominated the Warriors?
- If Biedrins is a future star and a player the Warriors are going to dedicate a huge chunk of their payroll to in the not too distant future, shouldn't he able to win the match up against or at least hang with guys like Tyson Chandler? Is he ever going to be a capable one on one defender against opposing 4's and 5's? Chandler's good, but he's not 22-22 good.
- Why did Nellie start Brandan Wright if he didn't feel comfortable having him match up against Tyson Chandler or David West? Did he really think putting Wright on Mo Pete was a good idea? Actually GSoM friend Tim Kawakami has some answers for you on this one over at Talking Points: Brandan Wright, Nellie and the Warriors: It's a start I wasn't all that impressed with Wright's first meaningful minutes in a long time, but it's way too early for me to really say much here. In the back of my mind I'm still a little terrified we have Joe Smith part II here though. I'm not exactly sure why. I just have this feeling.
- Why did the Warriors forget that Peja can shoot 3's with his eye closed? The rotations to him were late all night long. If you give this guy so much as a milisecond to get a good look his quick release is going to kill you on most nights. The Warriors gave him megaseconds tonight. (Sorry bad joke.)
- What can Nellie really do to avoid playing Baron Davis 46 minutes and Stephen Jackson 42 minutes with the roster he has right now?
- What exactly does Patrick O'Bryant do in practice?
- How much longer before the front office wakes up and corrects their offseason misses? They've left Nellie incredibly empty handed and forced this cast of Warriors into roles they don't fit into.
Somewhere in Between
Nellie was saying the other day on The Don Nelson show on KNBR that he doesn't think the Warriors were as good as their 19-7 record (as of Thursday). I'd have to agree and tonight's bad loss to a team they need to compete with or hopefully dominate them at home in Oakland really supports that. I don't think the Warriors are as bad as they looked tonight. They're somewhere in between and that between area leaves them as a fringe playoff team that might barely make it into the loaded Western Conference playoff bracket for most likely a quick first round out. I think even Beyonce would advise- this roster needs an UPGRADE.
Baron Davis isn't consistently an efficient enough scorer to be counted on as the #1 scoring option. Asking him nightly to quarterback the squad, shut down the opposing team's top guard (Monta gives him no help here), and lead the team in scoring is just a ridiculous burden to put on one player. Similarly asking Stephen Jackson to shut down the team's best scorer regardless of whether they're a guard or big man plus be the second scoring option is just asking too much. I'd venture to say that Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins wouldn't start on over half the teams in the league. Al Harrington is your typical gimmick Nellie player off the bench- sometimes he's one of the main reasons the Warriors win and other times he really, really struggles. Matt Barnes, Kelenna Azubuike, and Mickael Pietrus are all really, really inconsistent. You have no idea what you're going to get from them. They're either hot or cold.
Welcome to mediocreville.
Mediocreville is going to be a little watery for the rest of the weekend.
It's feels strange awarding this prestigious honor after such a lackluster performance, but there's one Warrior who should out from the rest. Tonight's award goes to the legendary Cal Ripken-like, staple of Warriors basketball... Tom Abdenour! When Hornets forward David West fell down in pain with what looked like a very, very painful hip injury Abdenour raced the length of the court from the Dubs' bench to lend a helping hand. Gotta give it up to the Hall of Famer!
Another Hall of Fame performance!
Photos: Jay Solmonson/Tri-Valley Herald, AP Photo/Ben Margot, Laura Morton for SF Chronicle, Renée Fernandes/NATA