Monday, April 30, 2007

The Pressure

Hello Again.
I guess I need to make some changes to the blog. I stopped for a while right around the 6 game east coast swing in which the Dubs sunk to a season low 9 games below .500. But I never stopped watching, and I certainly didn't stop rooting and I definitely kept on heading out to the Big O.
Anyway, why I am writing today? The Pressure of course. I was busy reading up on the huge game 4 win last night (which, I'll get to more later of course) on Goldenstateofmind, when I stumbled across a link to this blog! WTF! How long had that even been there. I guess I should say thanks to those crazy Dubs fans. I have no idea how long its been there. Definitely a while, since I haven't posted in forever. But more than anything I felt like, well what the hell, the Dubs are in the F'ing playoffs. I need to blog about this. So without further adieu, here we go......

By now, you know all the stories, the Dubs finish down the stretch, the Clipper home collapse, the return of health of Baron and JRich.
But as I sit here typing, and thinking about what I should write about for the first time in 3 months, the thing that came to me, and I've thought this varying times during the year, was that THIS TEAM, THIS YEAR felt different. My first inclination was when Baron hit that shot against Houston at home to get the win. The second was the Monta buzzer beater to beat the Nets, and the third, was the comeback, and subsequent win at home against the Bulls. In previous years, that Ben Gordon 3 would have gone in, similar to the pre trade Stephen Jackson dagger to end the home Indiana game. But along the way, the Dubs sucked it up, they got healthy, they came together as (a new team, post trade) and they learned how to win, just in time to squeak into the playoffs.

Games 3 and 4 were amazing. They were my first two playoff games, and man were they amazing. On Friday, we got the parking lot around 4:40. For the next two hours, a steady stream of cars and dank smoke filled into the parking lot in what would be one of the greatest weekends of my life thus far. The crowd Friday was crazy, and the team kept feeding into their emotions. The game was over by the half, the Mavs looked stunned, and it just turned into a second half party, and a great Friday night.

Last night, the game was closer, the Mavs did a better job of dictating the tempo, Josh Howard was unstoppable in the first half, and only a amazing BD half court heave with 1.2 on the clock tied the game at 49 a piece. But honestly, could anyone else have done that other than BD? To borrow from the FSN radio spot
He's a warrior take it straight to the hole
Baron Davis Golden State ballin' outta control!

Baron is seriously ballin', showing all haters and detractors that his game is legit, a combination of power and speed that Dallas has been totally unable to stop. The only thing that has stopped Baron thus far is his own ejection from game 2.

The other reason I wanted to start up this blog thing again, and back to a point I was trying to make earlier, is that there is something special going on here. As you probably know, a win tomorrow, or in any of the final three possible games, an the Dubs will have pulled off the GREATEST UPSET IN THE HISTORY OF THE NBA PLAYOFFS. Yes, an 8 seed has beaten a 1 seed before. In fact, it has happened twice, once in 1994, and once in 1999. But those series were best of 5. This is a best of 7. Part of the reason the NBA changed the 1st round to 7 games was to prevent something of this magnitude from happening. But this team feels different, from the SWAG to fans to the size of the current bandwagon, there is a certain mojo about the Dubs, and everyone knows it, and more importantly loves it.

I think the Dubs win it tomorrow, but I'm not going to make predictions, because I said earlier, I was done with that for the year. But hey...I already got my money on it. Go Dubs.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Weekend Recap...

You win some you lose some. But with the Warriors, seems like they lose more than win. Had I written the recap about the Bulls game earlier in the weekend, I was going to say comment about what a great win it was for the Dubs, a game to build on, and mostly, how things at the Arena feel a bit different this year, even though their record pretty much sums up the last 12 years.
It probably has to do with the fact that I've been in attendance for the Rockets, Nets, and Bulls games, all won by the Warriors in the last possession.
But tonight's game against the Hawks is another reason why the Warriors will be counting ping pong balls in May. A playoff bound team would somehow find a way to win tonight's game. Granted the Dubs did a miraculous job to even have a shot at the end, to win it. But missed free throws, combined with some uber athletic play from the Hawks swingmen prevented any such miracle.
Josh Smith and Joe Johnson were unbelievable for the Hawks tonight. Smith probably had 6 or 7 dunks, and its quite easy to see why he is an NBA Slam Dunk Champion. Dude probably gets up as high as anyone in the league. The opening tip was a ominous sign for the tonights game, as the Hawks won the tip, then threw an alley oop to Smith for the first of his various monster jams.

Smith also was awesome at the defensive side of the floor, making a more than a few layup/dunk saving blocks. Once his jumper from the outside starts to fall, he is going to be a really tough match-up.
For a team who's recent past has been almost as bad as the Warriors, it is actually good to see them preform so well on their recent west coast trip (5 road wins in a row). The Hawks are the youngest team in the NBA. And with Joe Johnson, Smith, Marvin Williams, Josh Childress and Sheldan Williams, they have a good young solid core. If only they had taken Chris Paul or Deron Williams last year with the second pick in the 2005 draft, they would probably be a playoff team in the eastern conference. That being said, I certainly wish tonight's outcome had been different.
But the Warriors don't have too much time to dwell on it, as they are probably already in route to Denver for tomorrow night's game. Stephen Jackson meanwhile is not on the team flight, as he is taking a 5am flight to Indianapolis to attend the hearing of the man accused of running him over in the infamous strip club incident from this past off season. He is then going to immediately fly to Denver and if he makes it, will be in the starting line up according to Coach Nelson. It will be interesting watching his play tomorrow, because you have to believe that he will be some what fatigued.
Marcus Camby and Allen Iverson are said to be game time decisions.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

They are who we thought they were...

Well, I guess it sure wasn't 5-1.

I certainly don't have much to say about last night's loss. No Baron, hardly any Monta (though very glad he was able to play at all).

Lets recap.

I said: Warriors roll the Cavs without Lebron.
Actual result: Cavs roll Warriors without Lebron.

I said: Warriors use momentum from Cavs win, to beat the Hawks in what would be their first win on the second night of a road back to back.
Actual Result: Hawks roll Warriors.

I said: Warriors roll 76ers because they are the worst team in the East, they have no Allen Iverson, and they are still the worst team in the East.
Actual Result: Warriors give up a triple double to Andre Igudala, and need a lefty spin move layup from Al to win it. They survive barely when the new AI, misses at the buzzer. Warriors 1-2 on the 6 game trip.

I said: Warriors beat Charlotte, because they are a better team, and they rolled em in Oakland a week before.
Actual result: Warriors roll for first half, but too much Gerald Wallace and Ray Felton in the second half, and the Warriors are now 0-13 on the second half of a road back to back.

I said: In the statement game of the year, Warriors crush Indy as Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington have big games in their return to Indy.
Actual Result: Hey I got one right! Warriors roll Pacers as Stephen Jackson has a huge game, and the ex Warriors do what they did with their previous team.....Not much. Dub win.

Interesting side note: The Pacers are still having trouble with adhering to the laws of the United States, even without Stephen Jackson.

I said: Warriors lose to Minnesota, thinking about getting home to the O, and too much KG.
Actual Result: Warriors lose to Minnesota, thinking about getting home to the O, and a triple double for KG in 31 minutes. Oh by the way, apparently Ricky Davis was unstoppable too.

OK, What we learned about the Dubs:

They still cannot play defense.
They have trouble rebounding the basketball, especially on the defensive glass.
They thus give up a lot of second chance points, because they cannot Windex the glass.
We are not a better team without Baron Davis.
We really need Monta, and his 17+ a game.
We are going back to the lottery.(as this blog title has stated from its inception)

So, the next stretch of games, include 3 of 4 at home, against the Bulls, Hawks and Knicks on Valentine's day. Sandwiched between a road game on the second half of a back to back, in the mile high city of Denver (gee, wonder how that is going to turn out)

Anyway, I think I said yesterday that I'm not making any more predictions. The Warriors are by nature, too unpredictable.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Indy Recap

Better late than never.

I rushed to the club last night to watch the game, and was pleasantly surprised to see the Dubs were up 18. Mike Dunleavy, was 1 for his first 9, which I guess you could say we were used to. I for once was happy to see him play up to his normal ways.

I know a lot of folks in the national media have been saying that this is just one game, and that they think Indy got the better of the deal, but for Warrior fans everywhere, I and many of the folks who saw the Dunleavy/Murphy era can fully conclude that even after only 9 games, the Dubs fleeced the Pacers. If not only for the fact that we dumped aproximately 35 million in future salary.
Add me to the list of folks that are extremely surprised that Rick Carlisle continues to run Dun/Murph out together in the starting lineup. Did he not see any of the Mike Montgomery era? Granted, having Jermaine O'Neal down low definitely helps out, but as usual, Murphy was yanked early after a successions of Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington layups. What we gained from the trade, was a couple of players who are better suited to play Don Nelson's style. I think it has been evident, that with Harrington and Jackson, either, or both of them are capable of scoring 25 on a given night. The same cannot be said about the players we traded away, and for that reason, along with unloading future salary that can be used to sign other more deserving Warriors, Chris Mullin made a great deal.

So after horrendous games against Cleveland and Charlotte, if the Dubs can somehow figure out how to beat KG and Minnesota tomorrow night, they will be exactly where the were when they left for the six game trip. That is two games under .500, but still very alive for the last playoff spot in the west. I'm not going to make any more predictions this year, because at this point I've been awful. Its hard to predict for a team that is so inconsistent. Hopefully Baron will be back, and hopefully Monta is on his way to feeling better (as he had a scary bone bruise mid way through the third quarter).

Tip is 5pm PST. Hope you are watching.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Find these on sale soon.....

We have images!
Man I've been waiting for someone to show me how to do that for a while. Thanks to my boy Tknoles for his help (albeit, minimal, I'm just an idiot Dub fan, with no computer skills)
Check his blog here.


Thanks to the geniuses at Fox Sports Bay Area, last night's loss against Atlanta was not on TV. Perhaps they knew something heading into the year, or perhaps they remember Joe Johnson going off on the Warriors for 44 last year.
Oh well, no matter, the Warriors are officially teetering on falling into the annual NBA draft lottery abyss. Side note: I actually considered changing the tag line of this blog in my post trade giddy-ness, but something (maybe 12 consecutive years of losing) got the better of me, I maintained sound judgement and left it at "NBA Draft Lottery, Here We Come."
Tim Kawakami took the time today to very clearly point out exactly how the Warriors are going to have to finish in order to possibly snag the final playoff spot in the tough western conference. 23-13 finish, with 20 road games remaining does not seem that attainable for a team that only has 4 road wins as we enter the 4Th month of the season.
Barring a miracle, it just ain't gonna happen folks.
But the bright side, is that Warrior fans can now start our annual tradition of looking to college basketball, and watching intently as the major draft prospects play important games. We get to speculate which underclassmen will enter the draft, and which will be smart enough to stay in school to avoid being drafted by the hapless franchise that is our Golden State Warriors. I'm not sure who to feel bad for at this point.
Lets make a list just for fun
1. Jason Richardson: Though Adonal Foyle has been on the squad longer, Jason is the heart and soul of the team. Before his injuries this year, he had improved his scoring average his first 5 years in the league. Every summer, he would address one or two weaknesses in his game, and come back better. I expect the same from him going into this summer, as he is the consummate professional. Yet he is a career loser. His squad in Golden State have never come close to sniffing the playoffs. He finally is rid off the two stiffs (DunMurphy) he had to play his entire career with, and has to watch helplessly from the bench as his team fades into their 13th year of NBA oblivion. He might be on the decline athletically as his knees may finally be letting him down. And lastly, there is no foreseeable hope in sight.
2. Baron Davis: Unlike Richardson, Davis has experience winning, has received the personal accolades, but his tenure in Oakland has yet to produce anything other than a few memorable alley oop highlights, and late season wins against teams coasting to the playoffs. His reputation around the league is still that of a coach killer, and team cancer. He is obviously one of the top true point guards off the dribble, but its debatable as to whether or not he makes his teammates better. BD fans will insist that his assist and steal numbers are those indicative of a top point guard, but the number in the wins column, just aren't there. He took it upon himself to be the leader and face of the team last year, but clashed with Mike Montgomery, and ended up just trying to play 1 on 5 to win games. Granted he is playing his ass off this year, he is having perhaps one of his best seasons, yet he has been surrounded by teammates who do not have his natural athletic ability, and haven't been able to provide consistent support to help the team win games. BD is 27 this year, and as the third pick in the 1999 draft, he is in the middle of what should be his prime. But as he pointed out post Cleveland debacle on Tuesday, the defensive effort and winning know-how is not there from the rest of his team, and he is starting to get sick of it.
3. The Fans: I don't know what the numbers reflect for this year, but the Warrior's have increased their attendance at Oracle arena each of the past 4 seasons. Frankly, its dumbfounding that a perennial losing franchise could continue to draw so many die hard basketball fans. Is it because fans are there to constantly see the other top draws of the Association come in and play ball? I don't know. It can't be because of the product on the court. Granted the Warriors have been pretty good this year on the home floor, but still, 4 years in a row? 12 years and counting of no playoff basketball. Around the country, Warriors fans are considered some of the best and most knowledgeable. Is this because we continue to support an inferior product, or are we just crazy, liberal, easily forgetful people? I wish I knew. I mean..... I'll definitely renew my season tickets next year. But then again, I'm not exactly the soundest money manager.

I predicted the other day that THIS road trip was going to be different. Hey, I was feeling optimistic at the time, silly me. 5-1 I predicted. Well, that is obviously wrong. Is 4-2 still possible. Sure it is. But at this point. The team needs to take the rest of these games one at a time. I can only hope that today's practice is a spirited one. Phily is not a good team. They should be beat. We can discuss the Bobcats, and 0-11 on the second half of road back to backs post tomorrow night's game. This team is a few more losses away from losing the season completely. However, I'm afraid its already gone.

By the way, did you see what Kevin Durant did last night?

Monday, January 29, 2007

It all begins here...

The Warriors are about to embark on their most important road trip of the season. They play 6 games in the next 10 nights away from the O in Oakland. 5 of those games are against eastern conference teams, with only 2 of those teams currently holding winning records.

Taking their two game winning streak on the road to Cleveland tomorrow, early indications are that the Dubs have caught a much needed break for tomorrow's game. All everything Mr. Lebron James (the number one pick in my fantasy draft by yours truely)most probably will not be playing because of a sore toe.

This is so huge for the Dub squad which have only won 4 games (good for second worst in the lig)on the road this year. Without Lebron, the Cavs are not a playoff team. I expect Cavs coach Mike Brown to slow it down, avoid the running game that the Warriors will love to play and dump the ball into Z and have Larry Hughes and others cutting trying to get layups and high percentage shots. Of course, I also think that without Lebron, the Cavs will not be the same team that stole a win at the O last week, in the debut of the DubThugs. The Warriors are semi rolling, and motivated to get this trip off to a good start. A win tomorrow at the Q (Quicken Loans Arena) could propell the Warriors into a winning streak, which they desperately need.

I also think that this tirp could see another trend of this season's Dubs come to an end. They are currently 0-10 on the second night of road back to back's. Wednesday nights game is in Atlanta, against the Hawks, and I'm sure that AL will be eager to show (one of) his old team(s) what they are missing. Stephen Jackson was also a Hawk in the not too distant past, but more than anything, the Dubs NEED this game. They currently sit at 21-23, two games under .500, and with Minnesota's win against Phoenix tonight, 2.5 games out of the final Western Conference playoff spot.

After Atlanta, the team has Thursday off, and then they are onto Philly and Charlotte on Friday and Saturday nights. So in essence, the Dubs play their next four games against probably 4 of the worst 6 teams in the league (of course, that includes the Cavs sans Lebron).

Sunday is another off day, before what I now look forward to as the match up of the year. Monday, Februay 4th, the new look DubThugs play the Indiana Pacers, who amazingly now start Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy. I think Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington will do exactly what they did to the those two soft front court players back in early December....pre-trade, which is to say, DOMINATE. I am definitely going into work early to leave early. My prediction, is the Dubs will run them off the floor, and win by Double digits.

I know this is a bold statement, but I'm feeling the momentum of Saturday night's laugher against the Bobcats. I'm thinking the Dubs win tomorrow, and use the the momentum to go 5-0 on the first 5 games of the trip. Don't think they will beat Minnesota in Minnesota to end the trip, but then again, if they actually go 5-0 in the first five, anything can happen.

So I'll have to keep track, but anything less than 4-2 on this trip will be a dissapointment. 4-2 would put the Dubs at 25-25, and back at .500 after the trip. I really feel that the new players are starting to come together, understand their roles, and yet still want to play hard to please Coach Nelson, their new teammates, and generally show the NBA community that they are difference makers. We'll see.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Great finish at the O last night. Monta saved the day, Baron, and possibly the season.

I've watched him play a lot this year, and while he has his faults and shortcomings, there are a few things I do love about him.
Seems to me that everytime he comes into a game, he almost always hits his first shot. As a bench player at any level, you don't have time or the luxury as a starter to let the game "come to you." You have to "get in the game." Monta does this extremely well. I'm continually impressed by the way that he
A. Turns the corner
B. The lift on his jumper

Monta made a bunch of great plays last night, and he will certainly be remembered for the shot he made to win the game, but how many people will remember the layup he converted at the end of the 3rd quarter? He got the ball with about seven seconds to go, raced up the court, turned the corner on the ancient Cliff Robinson (a former Dub Fav) and layed the ball in with .8 seconds to go. This was a huge basket because it cut New Jersey's 6 point lead, to 4 to start the 4th.

Last night's 1st quarter was extremely difficult to watch. First off, the Dubs made Mikki Moore look like an all-star. The Dubs were called for traveling on 3 of the first 4 possessions and if you ask me, the Sarunus/Baron back court should be ditched forever. What made it worse was Vince Carter was doing whatever he wanted. Last night was the 3rd time I've seen him play in person, and the first time that he has been completely healthy. Let me just say this. The hype is real. Carter's main flaw is that his motivation is not the same as a Kobe or Wade. His skill set is just as good if not better, and he can certainly still jump out of the gym. On his jump shot, the ball comes out of his hand effortlessly with perfect rotation. He took two 3's in the quarter, and both were nothing but net. In the second half, Nelson was smart and the Warriors double teamed him everytime he touched it. No matter, Carter finished with a career high 13 assists. If only he could find a way to play motivated night in and night out. Oh well though, thats not my problem.

Back to the Dubs. While Stephen Jackson had his second tough outing in a row, Al Harrington was again, offensively awesome. 29 points on a variety of scoring moves. The best of which was a reverse spin dribble around his man and finish at the tin. The antithesis of DunMurph...if you will. Harrington also got himself to the line, and his clutch free throws with 27 seconds to go put the Warriors in the position they needed so Monta could make the final shot. I think Harrington is going to be a 20+ guy a night in a Warriors uniform. The Warriors need his low post moves, and when the offense is stagnant, or needs production, especially in the half court, I think they may have found a consistent option. Granted he is still in his Eastern Conference body, but once Nelson gets him to lose some pounds, he is only going to get better. I'm getting more and more excited watching his play with every game that goes by. As Nelly pointed out, if he can only improve his rebounding numbers, he is going to be awesome.

As Kawakami pointed out, the win last night could have saved the season. Mid January is a bit early to be issuing such bold statements, but had the Warriors dropped last night's game (at home) they would have fallen 5 games under .500 instead of the 3 they are now. A win Saturday is very conceivable, and then, 5 games into the trade, the Warriors will hit the road to play six very beatable Eastern conference teams including my (newest) most anticipated game of the year, the Warriors vs. the Indiana Pacers on monday February 5th. For now though, Ellis can bask in the glory of his clutch game winner, and then Emeka Okafor and Charlotte Bobcats come to town on Saturday night.