First, I thought Monta Ellis had put up the numbers to make the 2011 NBA All-Star team instead of the all-snubbed team for the second year in-a-row. Monta has been averaging 25.2 ppg, third behind Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant, 5.4 ast, 2.2 stl, and been shooting 36% from the 3-pt arc. Even West All-Star coach Gregg Popovich vouches for putting Monta on the 2011 All-Star team. Perhaps if a guard goes down before the break, Monta will be chosen as a replacement. In regards to all-star appearances, it has been tough for a Warrior to make the all-star team since the team does not have a winning record and rarely makes the playoffs. The last Warrior to make it was Latrell Sprewell in 1997.
What Monta reminds me of is the song “Borderline” by Madonna. He has been so close and yet hasn’t made the team. That leads me into the Golden State Warriors team that has been “borderline” to making the playoffs. The goal this year set by new Warrior owner Joe Lacob was to have the team at .500 at the all-star break. The team had a stretch where they won four in-a-row and were four back of the magical .500 mark in January when they lost the next four in-a-row, two to some of the weaker teams such as the LA Clippers and Charlotte Bobcats. Perhaps it was the way they lost to those weaker teams, but the losses really hit the Warriors hard like a punch to the solar plexus when someone is holding your arms behind you. Warrior fans hoping for a turnaround and a playoff berth were taken aback. It was the same old story and same old song -- Borderline.
That brings us to the upcoming NBA trade deadline coming up on February 24th. Recently, the Warriors have beaten good teams like the Chicago Bulls, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder have climbed back to four games back of the magical .500 mark in February (They are 25 - 29). Sound familiar? They still have a couple injured -- backup PG Acie Law and backup PF/C Lou Amundson, but they have their starters healthy. The big question is whether the Warriors have enough talent besides Monta Ellis and David Lee to be a playoff team. Both Stephen Curry and Dorell Wright have contributed and center Andris Biedrins has upped his play of late, but Warrior fans are clamoring for a trade. Warriors GM, Larry Riley, has stated that the Warriors are keeping their lines of communications open and making calls for possible trades, but nothing has materialized. He said “there is no question we need to make this team better. It has to be done in the right way. It won't be done in a knee-jerk reaction. We can (wait). We prefer to find a solution before the deadline. But if we have to, we can do it this summer." I have not heard of a rumor even though other teams are in a state of flux such as the Charlotte Bobcats. Tonight’s game against the Utah Jazz should be a telling one. The Jazz and Deron Williams will be motivated to show they can win without former coach Jerry Sloan and to avenge their loss to the Warriors last time. It should be a tough time out.