You ever played NBA 2k or NBA Live or some other video game and you were up by so many that you were just fooling around to see how many players you could hook up with nice statlines? Well that's what the Jazz did to the Warriors tonight.
Preview/ Open Thread (90+ comments)
The Warriors have no solution for the Jazz energy in the home of the thugs.
- Al Harrington was simply phenomenal tonight. Nellie gave him the starting nod tonight and he had a career game. Al basically dominated his match up against Warrior-killer Carlos Boozer. Harrington proved to be too quick and crafty for Boozer on defense and was raining game from outside with 6 treys and 75% shooting on the night. If you remember back to last year Al's defense in the post against the likes of Yao Ming, Carlos Boozer, and Pau Gasol was a big, big reason the Warriors were able to end the curse. Y'all will probably think I'm crazy, but I believe Al is the Warriors' best one-on-one post defender. He has a knack for denying the entry pass into the post and his hands and feet are very active. Harrington is a smart defender down there who knows how to make up for his size and bulk disadvantage against bigger players with his agility. Hopefully Nellie takes advantage of his increased speed and mobility from his great offseason training on D in the near future. When he's on Al is a walking match up problem for the opposing team when Nellie starts him at the 4 or 5 like he did late last regular season.
- Aside from a few careless decisions with the ball, Kelenna was very solid tonight. When the Dubs went on that amazing 16-5 run including 9-1 to finish off the season they went with BD, Monta, JRich, Jax, and Al. I hate to play what if's but, if the Warriors didn't trade JR this past off season I think BD, JRich, Kaz, Jax, and Al might've been even better, but that's probably jumping the gun. It's also way too early for player comparisons, but Kaz might be a poor man's Ron Artest this season for the Dubs. If he can keep his intensity high throughout the entire season sky's the limit. I don't have a good grasp on whether he's a really fast player or if can be aggressive for long stretches yet, but he's very strong and wise beyond his little time in the association would suggest. Kelenna looks like he's going to be the prototype of what time in the DLeague can do for young undrafted players.
- Believe it or not, but the Warriors actually won the points in the paint scoring 44 to the Jazz 42.
- A little Kool-Aid: Brandan Wright, Stephane Lasme, and Kosta Perovic have yet to miss a shot in the NBA! The Warriors were only down by 1 to the Jazz after the 1st quarter! The Warriors outscored the Jazz in the 3rd quarter 35-29! The Warriors only have to play the Jazz one more time this season!
After 3 straight losses, it's so refreshing and thirst quenching!
- Baron Davis really struggled tonight and I can't help but think he's just simply fatigued from having to play all these heavy minutes. His woes from 3-point line unfortunately continued tonight. It was one of those rare off nights from Boom Dizzle. I don't think it's worth making much out of especially since he played so well against the Jazz all through last season's playoffs and in the season opener.
- If Andris Biedrins and Monta Ellis are the future, well the future doesn't look so bright in Warriors land. They both looked lost many times out there on the court and made very little impact on both sides of the ball. Biedrins missed a few layups that he's usually money for and his weakside and help D left a lot to be desired. Given that Nellie took him off his worst nightmare Carlos Boozer tonight, I really expected and wanted him to do much more on the defensive end. I give Biedrins and new Warrior shooting coach and former Milwaukee Buck great Sidney Moncrief credit though. The young big man's free throw form is starting to look infinitely better.
- Whatever happened to that high percentage shooting Monta? Tonight's Monta oddly played to his weakness and took a few shots that were simply out of his range. Deron Williams pretty much abused him tonight.
- If Biedrins and Ellis stepped up these past 3 games like they were supposed to this season, the Warriors wouldn't be 0-3. With 4 rookies these two young men are veterans on this team. The Dubs are really counting on them to produce and they unfortunately haven't.
- Nellie elected to make Troy Hudson inactive for tonight's game. I liked T-Hud on Minny that one season where the TWolves lost to the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, but I have yet to see any evidence that he is anywhere near the player he was back then. I really would've liked to see the Warriors sign Stanford product Brevin Knight this offseason, but they didn't seem to interested. My next brilliant idea: Bright back Earl! Seriously, Mullin get on the phones and call Earl Boykins' agent or better yet have Earl's people talk to my people. We'll get something done ASAP.
- POB averaged a foul every 3 minutes of play.
- Even though it's his 5th year in the league there's still about a 25% Pietrus will travel every time he touches the ball. It's a real head-scratcher why he still has such a problem with this. Hey at least he's always hustling and just stroking it from beyond the arc this season.
- The first week of the season is (finally!) over for the Warriors and I can't remember a time in the entire decade plus that I've been a Warriors junkie where I've seen them play such pitiful defense for three consecutive games (although I'm sure if I think hard enough I can remember, haha). Tonight the Warriors let the Jazz shoot 63% from the field and 75% from the field. It's like the Jazz were on fire in NBA Jam for 48 minutes. That's not supposed to happen in the NBA... ever. After 3 games the Warriors are surrendering a whopping 118.5 points per game- 118.5! Mike Fratello must be sitting back in the TNT offices just wishing he could coach against this Warriors D. Even his "offenses" could hit triple digits.
- Even when Stephen Jackson walks through that door this roster is still deeply flawed. Jax is not going to miraculously fix the defensive problems of this team, especially down low. Action Jackson is a very, very good player on both D and offense, but he's not going to help this team's rebounding woes one bit. However his old friend who currently plays in Sacrapmento and is also serving a suspension would be a good start and fit for this team...
Through all the fugliness of tonight's blowout loss in the SLC one man stood out.
Al Harrington: 38 points (15-20 FG and 6-8 3pt), 7 boards, 3 dimes, and 2 steals plus some stellar D on Boozer.
Al my man- you've earned the starting spot for the upcoming home games against the Cleveland LeBrons and Dallas My Little Ponies in my book. I'm sure both Nellie and Master Splinter are pleased with your unstoppableness tonight as well my friend.
Throw it down Al. THROW IT DOWN!
(AP Photo/Steve C. Wilson)