By: Billy Hoyle @wwnetbillyhoyle

Statistics are an interesting thing in sports. They can tell you any number of things about a player. They are a great way to quantify a player’s contribution to a game, they can tell you how well they played, how a player stacks up against his peers and what areas a player needs to work on. They can help describe the heights to which a player can perform. Stats can also lie. Stats can mislead you into believing one thing when something else entirely, is true. In the case of the Warriors against the Grizzlies tonight, both the good and the bad aspects of statistics were on display.

Monta Ellis had one of the best games I’ve ever seen him have. He dominated every aspect of the game and the stats absolutely are reflective of that. Monta had a game high 39 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals, shooting just under 50% from the field with 12 of 26 and hitting 14 of 19 free throws. You can clearly see from his stats that he had an exceptional game. The stats don’t describe how beautiful it is seeing Monta slice through three defenders going full speed to finish at the cup or how fluid his mid-range game is playing off the ball. They don’t tell you how strong he is playing, physically dominating players like Mike Conley in a way he must have learned from Baron Davis. Finally Monta is getting the much over-due whistles from when he draws contact on the way to the rim. Coupling the new found respect of the referees with his shots from afar falling, he now has one of the most complete offensive games in the NBA. As they say, “The stats don’t lie” in respect to Monta Ellis.

Dorrell Wright also had one of the better statistical nights in setting a career high mark in 3 point shooting, hitting 7 of 13. I called him a consummate role-player the other day and I don’t think I did him justice at all. Dorrell is an essential part of the Warriors offense. He has been tremendously consistent through the first four games with stunning perimeter shooting, fantastic defense and a very high level of understanding for the game. I think this is the way Dorrell has always known he could play and he finally has the opportunity to show the world.

When you look at the stats of Monta and Dorrell you get a very accurate picture of how they played. Dorrell had 2 steals and 2 blocks to go along with his fantastic scoring, that correctly describes his floor game. Monta’s fantastic line speaks for itself.  Then I look at David Lee’s line and think, “When did that happen?”

David Lee finished the game with 15 points and 16 rebounds and a couple of assists and steals and to be honest, I can’t remember seeing him do much of anything. This is literally the hollowest double double I’ve seen since Troy Murphy was stealing rebounds from his teammates. Ok, Dave plays with some hustle but hustle only gets you so far. He needs to be automatic on put-backs and finishing at the rim and so far this year he hasn’t been. None-the-less, he’s the best power-forward the Warriors have had in years. At least he’s not Darrell Arthur… yikes.

How exactly does Coach Smart, who I think has been doing a great job by the way, how does Coach Smart decide to start Andris Biedrins over Dan Gadzuric? I am really curious to hear his reasoning for it because I don’t understand it at all. Do I honestly think Dan Gadzuric should be a starting center in the NBA? NO!! ABSOLUTELY NOT! I think he has been playing fantastic basketball though. He has been doing a stellar job, making few mistakes and playing like a real veteran big man, like a real back-up center. The problem is our starting center is ALSO playing like a back-up center. I’m going to put their stats in an easy to read format so you can see why I’m so confused.

Player Points Field Goals Rebounds Minutes
Andris 3 1-3 5 29
Dan 3 1-3 3 6

Do you see what I’m talking about?

Dan also only had 1 foul to Andris’ 5 and there really isn’t a discernible difference in their defense. I know it’s just the one game but during this one game, Dan was the better player and should have had as much if not more run than Andris. I don’t want to do this but I think it’s time. Andris needs to go. I think the sooner we can move him and bring in a center who can contribute on a nightly basis the better off the Warriors will be. We’ve had some good times, made some memories together but in the end this will be better for the both of us… well, maybe just for us.

Rodney Carney has continued to be an interesting player. He got the start tonight and played very well in his 18 minutes. I wish he could pass up a 3 point shot once in a while but his defense more than makes up for his poor shot selection. I’m very enthusiastic about his defense and hope that someday he can learn how to run a fast break. Maybe Jim Barnett can spend five minutes explaining how to “turn a three on one into a two on one”.

With Monta running the point and Carney getting the start Reggie Willams was returned to his “dynamic scorer off the bench” role and he was definitely needed tonight. He contributed some essential and timely scoring in the third quarter when the Warriors offense stalled. He hit 2 key 3-pointers that kept the Warriors from surrendering the lead. This is clearly his calling and Coach Smart is correct to keep him there.

The stats are baffling but the Warriors managed a win. They looked like a far superior team to the Grizzlies with their defense starting to come around and a couple of guys beginning to separate themselves as legitimate offensive threats. Shooting 41% on the night generally means a loss and, save for the amazing revelation of Dorrell Wright’s 3-ball, it would have tonight as well.

Note: Someone please grab Bob Fitgerald and tell him that it’s not okay to say the Warriors are “bumpin’ and grindin’” with the Grizzlies. Not okay.

3 Responses

  1. Kenny Seagle, Emperor of the North

    now that wuzza game they dont win in 2009-10
    no way, no how….. not in this multiverse


  2. WetLunGz

    While ur telliing Bob that, please also ask him to stop using the ” curry and monta come together” or whichever 2 players je says come together….am I the only one wit a dirty mind who thinks that sounds just as bad as bumping n grindning wirh the grizzlies? Ne way it was a good game wed and I look forwasrd to watchn another great game tomoro…ps great thing about season tix…don’t have to listen to bob do the games…except for away games…which is too bad cuz I like jim barnett…maybe tim roye and barnett will do it when bobs contract expires….go warriors!