Asking GSoM: Why the Golden State Warriors are so bad + Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis co-existing + Keys against Toronto Raptors

UPDATE (10:42am): Make sure to check out the flip side- Blogging With The Enemy - Taking It To the HQ Community where we rap it up about how former Warriors and now Raptors Marco Belinelli and Patrick O'Bryant are doing as well as the chances Chris Bosh bolts Canada this offseason.


It's a been awhile since we aired one of these segments, but thanks to the good folks at Raptors HQ in preparation between this Saturday's showdown between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors here in the Bay Area we're bringing it back!


Interesting, but bizarre... very bizarre.

JUMP for the Q's and my 20 cents.


Our friends at Raptors HQ are Asking GSoM:

1. Just what has happened to the Warriors this year? On paper this team has some good talent yet they have been unable to piece things together. Biedrins has been AWOL, injuries have piled up and unless they are at home they have little chance to win. This can't be all ownership's fault can it?

2. Talk about Steph Curry and the season he has had. Can he and Ellis co-exist?

3. What are the keys to the game for the Warriors to get a win against the Raps?

Post your thoughts in the comments.

My 20 cents...

1. The #1 reason the Warriors have the 3rd worst record in the league in injuries. This roster is just banged up. I'm not going to discount the role of the front office and management in trading for injured players who weren't even expected to play, but there's a bunch of fluke injuries that have hit this roster hard- particularly Brandan Wright and Anthony Randolph's.

But pay attention to the wording above. Injuries are not the #1 reason this team is bad. Even without the injuries this team wasn't any good. Don't believe the hype. It's not that talented. It's filled with overhyped pieces who haven't really done much in the league. Here's the 2 keys:

  • Supposed All-Star snub Monta Ellis has never led a team to the NBA Playoffs (he was just a peripheral piece in that 2007 WE BELIEVE run), yet this team decided to hand him the keys to the franchise back in the summer of 2008. What he has led is the NBA in turnovers at over 4 game. He has ultimately been a failure at the point guard position and has morphed into a high volume scorer. 
  • The Warriors other supposed franchise cornerstone, center Andris Biedrins is not a shutdown defender by any stretch, so he needs to give the Warriors something consistent offensively to make up for his softness on that side of the ball. Holding the NBA record for worst free throw % of all-time and seeing a drastic scoring dropoff from 11.9 ppg in 2008-2009 to 5.0 ppg this season is not a good start. Being injury prone the past 2 seasons hasn't helped either. I still can't believe some folks in Dubs land didn't want to trade Biedrins and Wright to the Suns this past offseason for Amare Stoudemire, because they claimed Amare was too injury prone.
Breaking it down, the #1 reason this team is bad is because they (meaning former GM Chris Mullin, Robert Rowell, and Chris Cohan) foolishly thought it was a bright idea to build around these two good, but deeply flawed players, who barely hold their opposing matchups from getting career nights every night.

2. Stephen Curry is having a fantastic rookie season. He's one of the few reasons to keep watching this team besides dubious pursuits such as Ellis going after the all-time turnover record and Biedrins going for the worst free throw percentage in a season in NBA history. Curry has been playing extremely heavy minutes (including back-to-back 48 minute nights) and for the most part he's responded. He's up to 16ppg (45.5% FG, 41.7% 3pt, 87.8% FT), 5.4 apg, 4.2 rpg, and 1.8 steals, but look at how he's gotten here (from Yahoo! Sports):

 Situation G Min  M A Pct   M A Pct   M A Pct   Off Def Tot   Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG  
 October 2 37:23  6.0 10.5 57.1   1.0 2.0 50.0   0.0 0.0 N/A   0.5 1.5 2.0   5.5 2.5 2.5 0.0 3.5 13.0  
 November 14 29:06  3.6 8.6 41.7   1.1 2.8 38.5   1.6 2.0 78.6   0.4 2.9 3.2   5.3 2.5 1.3 0.4 3.1 9.8  
 December 15 33:47  5.1 11.5 44.5   1.5 3.9 39.7   1.7 1.9 89.7   0.5 3.9 4.4   3.7 2.7 2.3 0.3 3.5 13.5  
 January 15 39:30  7.3 15.1 48.0   2.4 4.9 48.7   2.2 2.5 89.2   0.4 4.0 4.4   5.1 2.7 2.0 0.2 3.5 19.1  
 February 12 39:23  8.2 17.5 46.7   2.1 6.0 34.7   3.1 3.4 90.2   0.7 4.7 5.3   7.3 3.8 1.6 0.1 2.7 21.5  
 March 5 41:06  6.8 16.8 40.5   3.0 6.2 48.4   2.4 2.6 92.3   0.6 3.0 3.6   7.2 4.4 1.4 0.0 2.2 19.0  

What rookie wall?

I'm in the minority, but I actually think Curry and Ellis can co-exist. They'll need to make some big strides on defense and cut down those turnovers, but both seem doable. Well turnovers are just something we're all going to have to live with for Ellis, but there's hope for Curry. They are currently the highest scoring backcourt in the league. It's not like a smallish backcourt hasn't worked for hoops mastermind Don Nelson in the past. No one was complaining about Steve Nash and Nick Van Exel back in Dallas. It can work, but the Warriors need to upgrade at the 4 and 5 spots desperately. Whether that can happen from in-house player development remains to be seen.

3. It's really simple and it's the only way the Dubs can win any games from here on out in 2009-2010. The Warriors have to catch fire.



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