The Warriors lost a close one at home to the Rockets and I, for one, am not surprised. The Warriors have fallen precipitously off of anyone’s chart of relevancy with a quickness and it has really challenged my intestinal fortitude as a fan. It is a challenge for me to get interested in the games because, well, I know they are going to lose. This team is so uninspiring I can’t help but remember when Antawn “Flippy” Jamison was going for 50 back to back and I could barely be asked to tune into KOFY. It has to be bad when Monta goes for 44 on 15 of 20 from the field with 7 assists and 3 steals and I’m thinking of changing the channel in the fourth. Monta though, well, he had a GREAT game.
I do not blame Monta in any way for how the season has turned out so far. He has been the consummate professional, doing everything he has been asked on and off the court. He has humbled himself and given up the “Face of the Franchise” tag to backcourt-mate, Steph Curry, and done so with aplomb. Monta would be a fantastic number 2 guy on a very good team. He can’t carry a team to victories but he can get you enough points to keep you in it night in and out. The guy can fill it up. I wouldn’t be surprised if he asks out before too long if the ship here isn’t righted. He is far too exceptional of a talent to be mired in possibly self-imposed mediocrity. “Self-imposed?” you ask. I’ll get to that in a minute.
This was absolutely a winnable game through-out and it is the story of the season that the Warriors weren’t able to pull it off. For whatever reason, Keith Smart is not able to get the right guys on the court at the right time. A prime example was in the third quarter, when the Warriors were getting killed on the boards, Coach Smart opted to go smaller. I guess that was one of those important “lessons” he learned from Don Nelson but I feel it was the wrong thing to do. The Warriors had been having most of their success with two strong rebounders on the court and to get away from that during an important stretch of the game was baffling to me. Coach Smart is in way over his head. He doesn’t have the savvy to make in-game adjustments to lead the Warriors to a victory and I really don’t think he can inspire his players to greatness. I would go so far as to say he isn’t even game planning correctly. The Warriors are still playing the “scramble-ball” that I’ve come to hate over the last 6 years and in an appreciably less skilled fashion. The mainstay of Don’s style of scramble-ball was the ability to run a pick and roll to further capitalize on already bad defenive matchups. Smart instead prefers to iso when he has a favorable match-up and this more than anything has frustrated me. This Warriors team is more suited to running the pick and roll than any of Don’s teams and Coach Smart’s reluctance to run it really is damning. Why did we sign David Lee if not to run the pick and roll?
The only thing that is keeping me somewhat engaged with the Warriors is to watch Ekpe Udoh. Ekpe Friday “The Nightmare” Udoh is a very interesting prospect. In his third NBA game, and really the first one with any type of substantial minutes, he was already teasing me with the fabled “quad 5”. The “quad 5” is a statistic that only very few players in the game can attain. You have to be a very complete player to get 5 of any four statistical category. Udoh flirted with one last night against the Rockets nabbing 5 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks, all in 25 minutes. This is the player that was rumored to have been drafted but I doubted we actually had. I just wasn’t very familiar with Udoh’s game, so thinking we had one of those rare exceptionally gifted defensive players.. well sometimes it’s just too much for a boy to dream. Its like finding out your grand-dad has a Unicorn ranch. Very unlikely. Watching this kid develop is really and unfortunately the only thing that is keeping me engaged with the season.
Something that would get me re-involved with this team would be MAKING A MOVE TO MAKE THE TEAM BETTER. Is that so much to ask? Oh another good question, why is Jeremy Lin still on the team? Yes, he had a cool block on Jason Hill last night. Whatever. Isn’t there someone who isn’t horrible that could have his spot on the bench? I am starting to think Joe Lacob may be having Warrior’s fans suffer at the hands of his hubris. If you are going to sacrifice this season so you can see what kind of staff you have, don’t do so at the expense of Steph Curry’s ankle. Don’t ask the fans to pay full price either because this is bullshit. If your intent is to be competitive and make the play-offs THIS YEAR (as you said was the case) then get on the ball and start making things happen. Don’t just run the ship aground because of your stinking pride. Let’s get this team going in the right direction or keep Bob Rowell around and have the “Hoop Troop” be your big draw, I just hope you’re comfortable knowing your nick-name is going to be “Cohan Junior”.