It's Spring Break for the college world, and naturally, the first thing I do when I return to the Bay is book it to Costco and buy a couple of sweet deal floor tickets for last Wednesday's game. If I thought I could point out all that was currently faulty with the Warriors through a TV set, boy was I wrong.
Straight off the bat, we played like champs in the first quarter. Literally, you could replace the Mavericks with any team in the league and we would have made them look like a CYO B team when they're forced to scrimmage the A squad after practice. We won the quarter the only way that we could have - exploiting they're undersized/slower guard's with our undersized/ridiculously fast ones. It was the first time all season that the Curry/Monta/Lee/Biedrins rotation played with an offensive flow that wasn't streaky and was statistically productive toward the ultimate goal of winning (Dorrell was playing like a space cadet in the first). Also, Lee somehow thought Dirk was Kevin Love in the first (and only the first) - it was like watching Dirk play his first NBA game out there. Lee's defense in the first was impeccable.
And then someone decided to ruin the party and call in the Tanks. And finally the glaring holes, and when I say glaring, I mean burning my cornea holes, that you could not see on TV appeared.
1) Biedrins not only is the worst FT shooter in the NBA, but he is also the slowest player in the NBA. My friends and I couldn't get over how slow he was getting back on defense after an offensive routine. You want to know why the Warriors might have such a soft interior defense? I'd blame a ton of it on Biedrins not physically being able to get up the court in time. Watch a recording of the game, find any sequence where the Mavs are coming up the court, wait three seconds, and then you'll see Biedrins cross the threshold of your screen. He literally cannot assume a strong defensive position against any opposing center simply because.... he's not there in time for when they're going up for the dunk/putback/shot (and yes, this was before the sprain as well). David Lee has a hard enough time guarding 1 big man, let alone 2. Biedrins, you're time for the bench calls.
2) Anyone remember who Reggie Williams is? Or have we all forgotten about him because of this tough, crazy, new guy who pretty much has assumed his role (but statistically is nowhere close to as valuable). As much as I've come to love TCG's game, it is by no means a replacement for Reggie, which is much different as well as statistically WAY more beneficial to the team. What you'll see on your TV is just an absence of Reggie, but what you'll see at the Roaracle is Reggie sitting on the edge of the bench, never even taking off his warm up clothing, and not even saying a word to Coach Smart. For a guy who averaged nearly 16 last season (as well as being one of the lone bright spots to last season at all as well as being a fan favorite), there is simply NO explanation for his extreme cutback on PT.
On a complete side note, the only tandem that statistically helps the Warriors get closer to winning is Curry/Reggie....not Acie/Ellis....So if anyone who has any say in the Warriors rotations is reading (which they're not).... what the hell are you doing?
3) On a complete side note, Acie played like a champ. He literally was the second best player on the court Wednesday (second to Dirk in quarters 2-4). If he plays every night like Wednesday with his new seemingly endless amounts of PT, he might actually become a favorite of mine.
I'm only saying this because it was true OF WEDNESDAY ONLY:
-Acie was faster/quicker than Monta and his drives to the hoop were way cleaner.
4) Curry starts the game as the PG, but by the second quarter, Monta has transformed into our PG. Luckily, Monta's figuring out how to pass the ball more, he's had some nice assist #'s recently. But there's no question in my mind about who the main ball distributor on this team has turned into. And at least for me, that's a really, really, scary thought.
Curry is an SG, through and through, and unless he gets the time, attention, and help from a real coach or proven veteran backup PG who knows how to nurture and mentor true pg's, we will always be stuck with a shoot first PG. As much as I love Curry, he will never be able to lead until he learns how to maximize offensive opportunity for everyone on the court, not just himself and Monta. One of the reasons I believe that Acie has been receiving more playing time is that he knows how to spread the court more (and it shows).
5) Keith Smart coaches this team like it's CYO - meaning playing time for everyone. his lack of faith in Curry has a finisher is beyond evident - Curry didn't return until there were 5 minutes left in the 4th. I have always tried to be an optimist about Coach Smart, but Wednesday shot it all to hell. His rotations were the worst I've seen in ages. I fully blame this tank on him.
In portions of the game where the Mavs played Dirk/Chandler/Marion/That French Kid/Kidd, we countered with unit of Monta/Acie/Dorrell/TCG/Udoh..... we played an unproven, small ball, lineup against a rotation with 3 very proven, very large, big men.
IT. MAKES. NO. SENSE
I could keep going and going, but I'm starving, so I'll add more later.