If Joe Lacob called Stephen Curry and David Lee his two building blocks as a way to motivate Monta Ellis, then he’s quite the button pusher. Monta’s incredible, isn’t he? Watching the way he battles guys like Kobe Bryant makes one pine for an NBA with about 12-16 teams where Monta would have a deep team to play for and went up against elite shooting guards every night.
Monta Ellis should be an All-Star. It doesn’t matter that the rest of the Warriors are all recuperating either physically or mentally from injuries. If two teams of 12 made up of the best players alive faced off against each other, Monta would be on one of the squads. And in an objective world, with the way he’s playing right now, he’d get 6th-man minutes at least.
Unfortunately, save for some horrendous turnovers, Monta’s brilliance and prior reputation led to Kobe Bryant going into playoff mode (weird underbite face: check) and playing one of his best games of this season. You can also blame Kobe’s awakening on the special atmosphere that is a Lakers game at Oracle, but you could tell after each guy scored: this was a pissing match between two elite NBA players that ended pretty much in a tie. Sure, the Lakers won, but Monta was quicker, didn’t back down and played surprisingly effective defense for a guy getting over the flu.
It’s tough to rip the Warriors too badly for losing to the Lakers by 5 after the defending champions beat the Cavs by 55 the night before, and tonight was a ridiculously entertaining game. David Lee had an incredible first half. Letting Dorell Wright go is probably the move many will point to if the Miami Heat have a disappointing playoff run. Stephen Curry is definitely still favoring that ankle, but silly turnovers were hard to spot tonight from him or any Warrior. Again, the Warriors played well against a championship contender. Maybe sometime soon they’ll beat one. Why can’t they now???
Warriors are like “Top Gun”: Goose died
Everyone deals with crisis differently. It looks like Andris Biedrins’ reaction is to check out. The Latvian Alex Smith has been the anchor that has kept the Warriors from making a move in what’s actually a fairly shallow Western Conference this year. The reappearance of the double-double machine with great hands we all knew and loved can’t be counted on anymore, and it’s a shame.
Wait, did the phrase “Latvian Alex Smith” trip you up, causing you to coast through the next sentence without really paying attention? It’s a valid comparison because Biedrins has had so many excuses for his lack of production (injuries, lack of support from mean ol’ coaches who want him to shoot free-throws underhanded, more injuries, no pure point guards to feed him the ball, more injuries, a hairline that no longer sustains 4 oz. of hair gel, more injuries …) that each game is a comeback attempt, instead of just a regular game where he can score points, grab rebounds and run the floor.
In the past two games Andris Biedrins has totaled 50 minutes, 12 fouls, and 2 points. It’s like he’s not even there. I miss the old, pick-and-roll-with-Baron Goose, and I don’t know if we’ll ever see him again. What I did see was Ekpe Udoh sitting on the bench for 48 minutes against the Lakers. Doubt that ever happens again.