The worst thing to come out of the Warriors overtime win in Sacramento Tuesday night is the vindication Coach Smart is no doubt feeling for sticking with Vladimir Radmanovic.
It’s the same type of faith that has led the Forty-Niners to trot out Alex Smith year after year. Both Alex Smith and Vlad will do everything they can to finally put a cap on their miserable careers but then miraculously they will have their “dog day”. Having Vlad on the court is like playing russian roulette with 5 bullets, it’s really never a good idea but it might not kill you. Tonight Vlad played a miserable 3 and a half quarters, throwing badly judged outlet passes, committing atrocious fouls, missing layups, jacking up and airballing three pointers and then hitting a game saving three point shot to send the contest into over time. No doubt this will earn Vlad a starting nod for twenty games or so and relegating Dorrell Wright to the bench. All of that to win the Capital Corridor rivalry. A pyrrhic victory for the fans indeed.
Monta had another fantastic game, again demonstrating his fantastic mid-range game and embarrassing Sir Isaac Newton and his silly little theory. 36 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, 4 steals and a block. Kid is having an All-Star year and saying he is anything but an elite guard is embarrassing for yourself and anyone who thought to teach you the game of basketball.
Udoh had a little let down from his game against the Rockets but he still had a major impact. He did let Demarcus Cousins get the better of him a time or two but he definitely wasn’t embarrassed. The Warriors played their best looking basketball when he was on the court and I would dare say he is currently the best center in the blue and yellow. His presence on the defensive end far and away offsets his shortcomings offensively, especially when you consider the alternatives. He really does need to learn what to do when he gets the ball in the post but that is on the coaches to get him up to speed. I hope Joe Lacob doesn’t have to get involved in that as well. It would be nice if we had someone in the office of President of Basketball Operations at Warriors HQ who could be on top of that kind of thing but evidently the new ownership group thinks they’ve got that all under control. I have doubts myself.
A guy who is really going to be getting the short end of the stick is Dorrell Wright. Wright is having a small dip in production from his Most Improved Player-like start, but he is still the best Small Forward on the Warriors. He is a guy I want on the court. He is a better man defender than he is being given credit for. His guy is never the person lighting up the Warriors, which can’t be said for that knuckle dragger Vlad. Playing good defense is not something that is easy to recognize and less knowledgeable fans are rarely able to see what is actually being contributed. Some people need things spelled out for them. Acie law is another good example. He plays very good defense and doesn’t get credit for it. It’s not a coincidence that Udrih stopped scoring as soon as Acie came in to guard him. Udrih had 10 points in the first quarter and only scored 2 more the rest of the first half when Acie opposed him.
It was nice for the Warriors to grab a win on the road, especially after this recent skid but I think it came at a cost. I know this is going to cost us wins down the road with the leeway Vlad will be cut. Coach Smart’s insane substitutions will only be worse now. He’s the only Coach I have ever seen who tries to combat being out-rebounded with throwing in a third guard or trying to stem an opponents scoring run by trotting out a three point shooting big instead of a shot-blocker. Oh the fun of being a Warrior fan.