Archive for April, 2007

Game 3…Live! (First Half)

April 28, 2007

Hello readers… I’m joining you live watching the Warriors Mavericks game 3.

Using technology to my advantage, I have decided to post live thoughts as the game goes. We are joining in progress, that is after watching the first quarter and the beginning of the second. Score right now is 40-25, Golden State holding the lead.

First off, I should mention that I’m very jealous as my dad is at the game sitting center court row four. I talked to him about one hour before tip as he pulled into the Coliseum parking lot and told him he had an obligation to bring home a winner. So far so good.

Observations thus far: as the three B’s (Barry, Bill and Breen) observed, one of the distinct advantages the Warriors have over most NBA teams is that anyone can go for 30 plus on any given night: Davis, Richardson, Ellis, Harrington, Jackson… you get the idea. So far the star of tonight’s game is Jason Richardson who has 17 points in the first 16 minutes of play.

Great interview with Commissioner Stern early in the second quarter, as The Annoying Jim Gray tried to bait him into talking about issues that the Commish wanted to avoid, like the report that Seattle’s owner wants to move his team to Las Vegas. Stern deftly avoided the question and said “trust me by tomorrow he’ll be taking that back”.

Nice call by Nellie tonight, sending Harrington to the bench and starting Biedrins. As I mentioned in an earlier post, he doesn’t give a whit about egos, he cares about productivity and Harrington has stunk it up the first two games. That’s what makes Nelson the special coach that he is. I am reminded of this fact because Baron Davis’s eyes just got huge as he drove past Devon George and found Harrington who was fouled and now goes to the line. as a side note, I don’t understand Avery Johnson’s interest in putting Devin George on Baron Davis. It seems a strategy doomed for failure. Did he not see the game tape from game one?

44-27 after a Matt Barnes follow slamdunk. The next sequence George air balled about 2 1/2 feet wide of the rim. Back to the Stern interview… the Commish had a silly grin on his face when Jim Gray asked him to explain the atmosphere here in the arena. I think people that aren’t from the Bay Area underestimate exactly how basketball crazed at town Oakland is. Tonight is the proof.

Breen correctly points out that the lawyers were number one in the league in steals. He did not mention the Baron Davis led the league himself, but that is noteworthy as well. It is also why in the officiating is such an important factor in the series. If the lawyers are allowed to reach without ramifications, they become a much better defensive team. As their whole defensive philosophy is based on switching and reaching.

49-31 after Jackson has a circus shot. The Warriors are shooting 60% thus far, raising the question of will they be thwarted by regression to the mean. In fact just as I was typing that thought Walton says “The question is can the Warriors sustain it?”. Seems like great minds think alike!

Nowitzki: 16, 7, 1 assist.the guy is a hell of a player, but I would be surprised if he breaks into the all time greats. As his body language and disposition just aren’t dominant as the great ones are.

After a timeout the Warriors are getting a little sloppy and the lead has been cut to 14. About four minutes to play in the second quarter.the announcers are reviewing the big midseason trade. And reminding us that Al Harrington is 4-23 in the series.on dress just blocked Terry shot, prompting Walton to claim it was a beautiful block, while Barry countered that he hacked them on the elbow. I love Walton.

As much as I’m enjoying Jon Barry on the game, it it would be so much better if it were Rick Barry exchanging barbs with Walton. can someone at ESPN/NBA make this happen?

Back to game action …Terry knocked down a three to cut the lead to nine with about three minutes to play in the second quarter as Walton says “with Baron Davis and Richardson on the bench the Warriors have lost their offense of flow and rhythm”.it is an interesting point, as on the road in Dallas, there was never a time when Davis and Richardson were on the bench together (I believe).

the pace of the game is slowed considerably.  It has become what my dad likes to call “whistle ball”.  To kill time during the whistle ball, with Walton just said it was a disgrace that Mullen and Nelson are not in the basketball Hall of Fame.  I’m inclined to agree.  I’m not sure, but I think it’s next year that David Robinson and John Stockton and Michael Jordan are all eligible for the Hall of Fame.  In fact it may be the most stacked class to enter the hall in one year. so, I would not look for any breakthroughs from Nelson wore Mullin.

Baron Davis with a spectacular drive lay in and the foul on Nowitzki, with under four seconds left takes a score to 61-48. Howard hit a runner at the buzzer- strike that, after the buzzer.  So the score at the half remains 61-48.

I’ll be back after halftime.

Goldies Win Game 1!!!

April 23, 2007

A few quick observations on the Warriors’ Game 1 first round surprise at Dallas late last night, before heading off to discussion regression analysis with a group of budding scholars:

  • Avery Johnson was weak. As Barkley correctly pointed out: the Mavs won 67 games. Why are they adjusting to the Goldies? Yes, I know the Warriors have beaten Dallas five straight, But as Marc Stein points out, Dirk DID NOT START AT CENTER ONCE this year. So, in effect, Coach Johnson planted seeds of doubt with his team – you know, the one with THE BEST RECORD in the league – before the tip of Game One. Very clever, Avery.
  • Nellie was brilliant. Look, my two favorite coaches in the last 25 years are Nelson and Jerry Sloan. I’ve watched hundreds and hundreds of their teams games. My enjoyment of Sloan’s teams comes from their absolute predictability. As proof check out this quote reported in a recent SI piece on video scouting “Perhaps no team puts less stock in film than Utah, the fourth-seed in the West. Coach Jerry Sloan knows that opponents have his team so well video-scouted that they’ll “sit” on the Jazz’s plays — so Utah prospers with counterpunches. ‘When I was with the Jazz, we wanted the other team to know our play calls,’ says the Cavs’ Donyell Marshall. “They’d jump out, and we’d run a counter to it.” Well Nelson is the opposite…his teams are so unpredictable, the other team’s coach shakes in his boots. Well everyone but Sloan.
  • Another part of Nellie’s success is that he does not give a shit about player egos. Alleluia! Monta Ellis looked overwhelmed at the outset, he yanks him. Andris Biedrins was a MAJOR factor in the team’s success all year, in fact Warrior TV guys Fitz and Barnett have called him the team’s most consistent player and MVP many times in the last month. How did Nellie use him in Game One? Plays him eight minutes.
  • On the flip side of that point, he has never been afraid to play low salary CBA guys and other teams’ cast-offs in big roles in big games. In Nellie’s last iteration of theWarriors he unearthed Vincent Askew and Mario Elie from the CBA. This year it was cast-off Matt Barnes earning a spot in camp and subsequently playing brilliantly last night. While not seen last night, Kelenna Azubuike also fits this profile.
  • Finally, in an earlier post I wrote about how Nellie’s playing Mullin and Hardaway too many minutes likely detracted from their overall careers, and that he was playing Baron too many minutes. To prove my point, Davis went out for a minor knee surgery shortly thereafter . But in the playoffs Nelson’s habit of playing starters BIG minutes works. Sure Baron Davis is fragile, but with no back-to-backs and three days between Games One and Two, playing Baron 44 minutes makes sense. This was one of my beefs with Sloan when the Jazz were good. He’d rest Stockton and Malone with largely the same pattern as the rest of the year. In the playoffs there is no tomorrow…play your best guys now!

That’s it for now…Dr. Dick

Goldies are IN!

April 19, 2007

The GS Warrior playoff drought ends.

First taste of post-season since 1994…you know, the year Friends debuted on NBC.  Yes, it has been that long.  The Goldies long-suffering fans remember, at least those old enough do.  I have not been a “die hard” all those years, as the Stockton-led Jazz were the apple of my eye until Stock’s retirement.  Nonetheless, I’m a lifetime Warriors observer, all the way back to when my Dad took me to a few games a year in season tix right behind Mrs. Attles and Al Jr.

But since my triumphant return to the Bay Area two years ago, I have been a fan and have been working hard on indoctrinating my seven year old.  In fact, we were at Sunday’s game against the T-wolves…and had a tremendous time.

So, for the next few weeks, I’ll focus on Warrior/NBA issues as The Bay gears up for the NBA playoffs.

That’s it for now…Dr. Dick

Tourney’s Over…

April 3, 2007

Congrats to FLA on the back-to-back titles…congrats to Billy Donovan on doing his best to keep the focus on his team and not his (seemingly imminent) departure to KY…fairly certain J Noah is nothing more than an NBA role player: teams that lose out on the potential Oden/Durant lottery, beware…heard Mike DeCourcy on the Tony Bruno Show this morning say that “any GM that chooses Durant over Oden should be fired”…Oden was awesome last night for about 25 minutes, then was so gassed I would have been surprised if he could have tied his own shoes…while most seem to think that Billy D (does anyone else feel silly calling a grown man “Billy”?) will bolt to the Bluegrass state, I see his staying at FLA until a killer NBA job comes along – Celts or Heat? – as the most likely scenario…Corey Brewer looks like a versatile shooter, defender, third ball handler-type that lots of NBA teams could use…yesterday’s coaching moves filled positions at Iowa, Arkansas and Michigan, but left openings at Butler, Creighton and West Virginia, so plenty of coaching movement still to come…Of those moves, I have the most optimism about Beilein’s arrival at Michigan…when I was teaching at St. Bonaventure, I became enamored with the offense he ran at Richmond and have tracked his work closely at WVU, where Bona transfer Mike Gansey teamed with Kevin Pittsnoggle to get Beilein into the Elite Eight.  After the two stars graduated Coach Beilein propelled the Mountaineers to the NIT title this year… His teams always play smart and are a joy to watch.

That’s it for now…Dr. Dick