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OPEN THREAD: Game 56 - Warriors vs Sonics

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Originally Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 at 12:08:02 PM PDT



Warriors (W-L): 33-22

Sonics (W-L): 15-40

Time: 7:30pm PST

TV: FSN Bay Area

Radio: KNBR 680



You never know what you'll get with this team. One night they're knocking off the best team in the league, the next night they're getting blown out by a team struggling to make the playoffs in the East. They seem to bring it against the top teams but take nights off against the bad teams.

In any other year, being 11 games over .500 would easily put the Warriors in the playoffs and taking a night off wouldn't hurt that much - plus I'd be ecstatic and not fearful of missing the playoffs. Losing a game to the Hawks wouldn't generate as much criticism and worry. But this year is different. Every single game counts when 9 excellent teams battle for 8 spots. Even though Houston might be done with Yao out for the season, you can't take anything for granted. I wouldn't guarantee a Warriors playoff berth because Portland could roll off another 13 in a row or TMac steps his game up to MVP levels. Basically, any game the Warriors lose that they should have won will be magnified 100x if they miss the playoffs by 1 game.

Tonight is one of those nights in which the Warriors play a bad team - a team they should easily beat even without 2 starters - Jax and Beans. Unfortunately, with the Warriors, you never know if they'll show up or not. It would be nice to wash the nasty taste of the Hawks loss out of my mouth.

A look at the Sonics after the jump.

Long gone are the days of Gary Payton throwing alley-oops to Shawn Kemp. But after thinking about the two of them, I went a did a little YouTube search on the old Shawn Kemp. Check it out. The Warriors make some cameo appearances - good `ol Chris Gatling and Alton Lister.

Enough of the funky flashback, this current Sonics team stinks. They have the #2 pick, Kevin Durant, and a bunch of role players. Heck even KDeezy's not living up to the hype. Earl Watson is a decent PG but better suited for a backup position. Nick Collison is solid. Jeff Green is underachieving. They traded away their best shooter, Wally Sxsdfweoixcxcvjlkerbiak, and best big man, Kurt Thomas. How could this team possibly win?

If the Warriors could just show up with a high energy level every night, I wouldn't need to worry about this game. The only reason for me to even watch would be to see Kevin Durant and the silky smooth jumper he's got. Well it seems like the Warriors only win by the narrowest of margins. Their last few wins were decided on the last shot, Boston, Phoenix, Washington, and Sacramento. I don't expect tomorrow to be any different, but one day it's going to come back to haunt them. They can't keep just barely winning because one game, that last second 3 by the other team is going to go in or that last second shot by the Warriors isn't going to go in.

Things I'd like to see

  • Let Brandan Wright play. I was impressed with what he did on Friday against the Hawks. He was active and showed he's got some talent. He handled the rock in the open floor, knocked down a 13 foot jumper, and changed plenty of shots on defense. He showed he can even score around the basket a little bit. He rebounded well and when he couldn't secure the rebound was able to tip the ball to his teammates. Nellie needs to let the kid develop especially with Beans on the sidelines. Right now, Braces is the best option off the bench - athletic, active, nonstop motor, and fun to watch. If he can earn a spot in the rotation now, it will help out later in the year when Andris returns.
  • 48 minutes of Warriors basketball. Actually I'll settle for just 40. The Warriors never seem to be able to put together a complete game. It killed them against the Hawks. If the rest of the guys can match the intensity that Baron and Monta bring to the floor, we'll be okay. Baron and Monta will feed off that extra energy.

Thing I don't want to see

  • Chris Webber starting. It's like he's playing with a 50 pound weight vest. Start Harrington at C, Pietrus at the 4, and Kaz at the 3. In 5 of the 6 games that CWebb has started, the Warriors have been losing by the time he left the game. The Warriors haven't always started well, but in the previous 7 games before Webber, they led after the first quarter 4 times and trailed 3 times. If he starts tonight and the first quarter woes continue against the horrible Sonics, it's time for a change. He's improving, but let him play into shape in practice and against the opponent's 2nd team. It's a simple and quick analysis, but I just don't see Webber helping this team get out of the gate quickly, in fact I'd argue that he's making our 1st quarter struggles even worse. Let Webber come off the bench and face the 2nd team - he's a veteran, he'll do just fine.
  • The matador defense the Warriors are playing is getting ridiculous. Move your feet. Don't bite on pump fakes. Box out. Know where your man is at all times. Don't take unnecessary gambles. Don't double team unless it's necessary and in this game, I don't see when it will ever be necessary. The team and individual defense was atrocious against the Hawks - time to fix that against the Sonics.

Here's to hoping that the Warriors do to the Sonics what they did to the Bobcats a few weeks ago and just blow them out of the Oracle. Of course, that would be asking just too much.

Predictions

  • Warriors win by 3
  • Monta scores 35
  • Nick Collison gets the nightly random Warrior Killer award
  • Brandan Wright gets some more time and continues to impress