The Chris Paul vs. Deron Williams debate has been a pretty popular one over the last year and a half, which is interesting since Williams was nearly labeled a bust midway through his rookie year.
After watching Paul tear the Warriors a new one last night, my mind is made up. Paul was the best player on the floor, and his driving lefty layup (and one!) in the fourth quarter showed that while he might not look it, Paul is about as physically strong as Baron Davis. In fact, the striking thing about last night’s game was how much better Paul was in the final quarter than Mr. Dizzle.
Of course Baron playing every minute of the first three quarters (about eight minutes more than Paul over the same period) might have had something to do with that.
Other Warrior Thoughts…
MP must go
Even given his frequent lapses of judgment on the court, I’ve always loved Mickael Pietrus’ potential to be Ron Artest-lite. If he wanted to, he could be a top-five one-on-one defender who can guard multiple positions.
The current Pietrus is of no use to the Warriors, though. He’s obviously no favorite of Don Nelson, and he seems to be about a month away from making a public trade demand.
His offensive game is decent but unspectacular in any area. He has good athleticism, but his quickness and leaping ability are just above average for NBA players his size. He can shoot OK, but only in the corner when wide open. His ballhandling is suspect, his passes are commonly inaccurate, and his decision-making (both offensively and defensively) is probably the most infuriating part of MP’s game.
If he’s traded to a contender who needs a swingman who can defend multiple positions, I think Pietrus could shine, although I suspect he thinks of himself as an all-star caliber player who should be taking 15 shots a game.
If there’s a way to package Pietrus and one of the Warriors’ picks for a rebounder who can run, the Warriors have to do it.
Andris had probably the best game of any Warrior last night, but he isn’t enough to handle both Tyson Chandler and David West, two better rebounders than Golden State has on their entire roster.
In fact, if the Warriors had Chandler instead of Pietrus, they would be a legitimate title contender. And if I had a Porsche, I would drive faster, and the Warriors getting someone like Chandler before the season ends is about as likely to occur.
Seeing Brandan Wright in the starting lineup last night was a good sign for the Warriors, and he didn’t fare all that badly in limited minutes against West. But Wright’s a rookie, so he won’t be seeing much time on the court this season with Nellie in charge.
Stack-Jack has been pretty wack (lately)
I know, lame rhyming, but Stephen Jackson has been playing just as terribly lately. The last two games he has definitely brought more harm than good play, and with his lackadaisical ballhandling and constant technical fouls and bad three’s every two minutes, the Warriors have almost no shot at defeating anybody when he’s in a slump.
Of course, the Warriors have no choice but to let S. Jack play his way though the bad times, it’s not like Pietrus is a real upgrade right now.