8th ave wrote:Hey martin, the thing that i quoted earlier was from rumor central for espn insiders...
here's the full articleIt happens every year about this time -- a basement dweller from the previous season soars out of the gate and looks like a playoff contender in the first month of the season. The 2010-11 nominee? The Golden State Warriors.
With a 7-4 record heading into their Friday night matchup against the reeling New York Knicks, the Warriors have the league's attention. It's a new beginning in the Bay Area; new ownership, a new head coach, a new color scheme and a new highest-paid player give this team a promising sense of rebirth after a miserable ending to the Don Nelson era.
But looking deeper into the opening act, there are signs that the Warriors' hot start should be attributed more to beginner's luck than actual talent.
The bad news
Take a good look at the teams the Warriors have beaten so far: the Detroit Pistons, Knicks, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets. Not exactly a murderer's row. Aside from their Jazz victory, which shouldn't be entirely disregarded, the Warriors' wins have come against losing teams with a combined record of 17-38.
Adding to this skepticism is Golden State's negative scoring margin, as it has been outscored by its opponents on the season by an average of 1.3 points per contest. In fact, outside of the Warriors' matchup with the one-win Clippers, none of their margins of victory has been more than seven points.
The semigood news
But that isn't to say the Warriors aren't playing good basketball. Newly promoted head coach Keith Smart made a pledge this past summer to build his team around defense, a tune that hasn't been sung in the Warriors' camp in what seems like a decade. As expected, Smart's offseason aspirations were greeted by a barrage of snarky comments within the basketball community.
The Warriors? Play defense? No chance.
Well, look who's laughing now. The Warriors are actually playing defense. Not just trying, mind you, but legitimately stopping opposing offenses. In fact, they enter Friday night's game as a top-10 defensive team, allowing just 102.9 points per 100 possessions. That's 0.6 points stingier than Larry Brown's Charlotte Bobcats, who led the league in defensive efficiency last season, and 1.4 points better than the defending champs, the Los Angeles Lakers.
But just when we feel it's safe to tout the Warriors' progress on the defensive end, strength of schedule rears its ugly head. Golden State has faced the league's worst offenses. (The Raptors, Knicks, Pistons, Grizzlies, Clippers and Bucks all rank in the bottom 10 in offensive efficiency.) What's worse, Golden State has been lit up by its more capable opponents, allowing an average of 118.3 points to the Lakers, Rockets and Chicago Bulls.
The silver lining
Although the Warriors have reached 7-4 with mostly smoke and mirrors, it may be the perfect time to cash in and start shopping guard Monta Ellis, who's averaging 26.5 points, 4.8 assists and 2.5 steals on the season. The 25-year-old undersized 2-guard is this generation's answer to Allen Iverson, a scorer who built his reputation on gaudy point totals as opposed to efficiency that would help his team win more games.
One Western Conference general manager believes that Stephen Curry, not Ellis, should be the franchise cornerstone, pointing out that Ellis could be an asset providing a scoring punch off the bench for a contender. That's if you can persuade him to go there. "He's definitely a quality NBA player," the GM said. "I just think he's overpaid.
"Curry, to me, is the closest player in the NBA to [Steve] Nash. I don't think there's going to be another Nash since he's so skilled with the ball, but Curry's the closest thing to his set of decision-making and shooting skills. He's the one to build around."
In addition to the 22-year-old Curry, the Warriors have solidified their front line, with prized free agent David Lee and center Andris Biedrins signed for the long haul. But their depth up front is paper-thin, making Lee's freak elbow injury even more troublesome. The former Knicks big man's infected elbow should table him for at least a week, leaving the Warriors short-handed against New York on Friday and the Lakers on Sunday.
But the team's biggest surprise out of the gate has been former Heat forward Dorell Wright, who's starting for the Warriors after signing a three-year deal for their midlevel exception this offseason. The 25-year-old's red-hot 3-point shooting has been key in their wins, especially when he drilled seven treys against the Grizzlies. But he should regress a bit from his current rate of 44.1 percent, which is almost 10 percentage points above his career mark of 34.4 percent. He's doing his best Anthony Morrow impression from beyond the arc, but don't expect it to last much longer.
The 7-4 start should raise the spirits for a franchise in need of a serious confidence boost. But rest assured, after some fortuitous scheduling, this Warriors start is more fluke than for real.
Yeah, maybe we should trade Monta for Trevor Ariza or Igudola or some other non-factor because they're taller... This guy probably hasn't even seen a Warriors game this year. People need to compare Monta to Wade not Iverson. Monta is not a bench player. Only a dumbass would bring a top 5 scorer in the NBA off the bench. Lets take away all the credit for him and Steph being the top back court in the NBA... again!!! Not to mention the new sense of urgency on D they play with. Lets also not mention how many games were close after us leading by such a large margin we shut down the O to preserve the win on D. Lets forget that our big 3 have all either not played or played seriously injured and still pulled out victories. Ohh... and our main bench rotation is injured. I don't see how we can get worse. Once all these injuries are healed (if that happens), we will only be tougher to beat. 7-4 with a slow Monta, Steph without the ability to move laterally, D Lee struggling on O while he's playing other wise he's not even playing, and no big man depth because Lou and Udoh are out. Ohhhh!!!! I just can't wait to see what types of problems we are going to cause for all these so called good teams when we are healthy. I don't know if we'll make the playoffs this year, but I do know this team isn't a fluke and the rest of this world (including this ass hole) will soon know too.