Tag:Golden State Warriors
Posted on: January 5, 2011 9:51 am
Edited on: January 5, 2011 1:09 pm
 

Shootaround 1.5.11: Love and loathing

Banning bourree, Gilbert and J.J. are pale riders, and Kevin Love doesn't exactly sound set for the long-term in Minnesota, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore
  • Just in case you missed it, O.J. Mayo appears to not have the best head on his shoulders, as he started an altercation with Tony Allen, which Allen then promptly finished by pummeling the third-year guard. No disciplinary action has been leveed against either player, and none is expected to be. The NBA has got to step in and ban gambling on planes. It's unfortunate that the players have to be treated like children but given the history of incidents stemming from gambling fights over bourree, there's simply no excuse not to ban it. 
  • The Warriors waived Rodney Carney. You know how good the Warriors' offense is? they just cut a guy shooting 46% from 3-point land. They're bleeding shooters. Not as much as they're bleeding on defense, but still. 
  • Lost in the talk of Love, Rose, and Westbrook joining up was this choice quote from Love's SI interview: "We'll see what happens with what David Kahn and the front office want to do," Love said. "If it's right, it's right. If it's not, it's not. I could end up somewhere else. I just want to play for a team that wants to win at this point. At this point, I just want to win now." Now, Wolves fans will say that this is they typical New York media (I'm not) talking about a star ditching his team (I'm not), despite the fact that he's starting to have success in Minnesota (he's not). Love's relationship with the front office has been strained since the installation of David Kahn and Kurt Rambis, and just because he's getting minutes, that's probably not enough to satisfy Love. Love's got quite the history of comments about a distrust with the front office.
  • Udonis Haslem is pushing for a March return . An issue to consider is whether Haslem will be able to effectively work his way into the rotation in time for the playoffs. If the Heat are (still) rolling, there's no reason to disrupt a lineup rotation that's working.
Posted on: January 4, 2011 12:52 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2011 1:11 pm
 

Game Changer 1.4.11: A Minnesotan Comedy

Posted by Matt Moore.

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.

THE BIG ONE: A MINNESOTA FAILURE IN THREE PARTS

Act One: The Wolves Seize the Day

The Wolves took control on the back of solid jump shooting and good defense. Kevin Love's 24 rebounds were the most anyone has ever snagged in TD Northbank Gardens, but it was solid defense on Minnesota's part that forced enough misses to allow for those. At least until the fourth quarter. The Wolves' bench outscored Boston's, which doesn't happen very often, even with Boston banged up. Martell Webster and Wesley Johnson were slinging it, and knocking them down, looking very much like a solid jump-shooting component.  The Wolves played solid, the Wolves played strong, the Wolves ... forgot all about those things when the fourth quarter showed up. 

Act Two: The Celtics Do As Celtics Do

You already know the tale, but I'll share it with you, regardless. Ray Allen got open, despite being the one guy on the club you don't ever want open, not if a meteor rips the top half of the arena off. Luke Ridnour turned in a terrible quarter that only got worse, and the Celtics' defense clamped down. The Wolves kept going to Beasley, who kept scoring, but then would let things like Pekovic jumpers happen. The wheels were spinning off pretty fast, but were still on until Paul Pierce hit a pull-up transition three. That made an eight point lead five. When that happens, the Celtics know there's blood in the water. 

Act Three: A Comedy of Likely Errors

Rajon Rondo hit a jumper, prompting Celtics announcer Tommy Heinsohn to yell in mockery "Oh, Rondo can't shoot! Rondo can't score! Sorry!" in quite possibly the most obnoxious impersonation of a drunken buffoon, ever.  In related news, on the possession following Rondo's push of the Celtics' lead to three, he clanged a completely wide open jumper. Heinsohn said nothing. Kevin Love grabbed the rebound (surprise!), and saw a Timberwolf jetting out ahead of the pack in transition. So there's Love, arguably the best outlet passer in the game, with a wide-open layup-maker waiting for him to drop the ball in the lap of.  Kurt Rambis called timeout. 

Rambis did nothing wrong.  That's what you should do there. Advance the ball. Make sure you get a solid shot. Granted, those of us in our comfy chairs would probably say you have a better chance with Kevin Love throwing an outlet in traffic than having Kurt Rambis draw up a good game winning shot. But that's neither here nor there. It just speaks to the sad reality of how doomed the Wolves were in this game. 

After the timeout, Rambis actually called a pretty great play. Drawing the attention on Beasley, Luke Ridnour slipped underneath the wall of coverage the Celtics had put up and had a wide open path to the bucket.  Wide. Open. So of course Ridnour proceeded to have his oft layup blocked into the 9th row by Ray Allen (that's right, Ray Allen), but not before he traveled upon receiving the pass. It would have been painful, were it not so hilarious. 

And that, as they say, is how the West was won. In the East. And not, like, the Western Conference. Just this game. That phrase doesn't really work here.  

Much like the Timberwolves

GO-GO-GADGET LINE OF THE NIGHT:

LeBron James: 38 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists

Runners-Up:

Monta Ellis: 20 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists

Hedo Turkoglu: 10 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists

THE Warriors SHOULD REALLY JUST STOP AT HALFTIME

See, if the Warriors could just convince the officials to stop the games at halftime, they'd be set. Days after a massive collapse against the Miami Heat, the Warriors were at it again, leading by 9 at half, then losing by a huge margin in the second. They were outscored 66-37 in the second half, as the Magic unloaded from the arc, hitting 12 of 21 threes in the 2nd. It's bizarre to see a team let off the gas that much, to collapse that poorly, in consecutive games. If you're Keith Smart, this is a nightmare, and something difficult to correct. But they need to, and fast. 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Houston is unable to get any stops when they need to. They had a good lock on their game against the Nuggets, but just kept slipping on banana peels and letting Denver score at will. The feel of the game was Houston's, the shooting percentages were Denver's. 

When Miami  has LeBron James and Dwyane Wade going? It's as fearsome as we predicted. It's the Bobcats, but still. 

As much as everyone's concerned about the Jazz, Al Jefferson is starting to get it. 16 points, 8 rebounds on 7-13 shooting, and every game he and Deron Williams figure out more about one another.
Posted on: December 30, 2010 2:46 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:56 pm
 

Report: Nick Van Exel's son confessed to murder

The son of former NBA player Nick Van Exel reportedly confessed to committing a murder in Texas.  Posted by Ben Gollivernick-van-exel

WFAA.com out of Dallas is reporting that the son of former NBA All-Star Nick Van Exel has confessed to murdering his neighbor in Texas on Wednesday night.
Nickey Van Exel, son of former Dallas Mavericks player Nick Van Exel, was arrested Wednesday night in connection with a recent murder. 
Bradley Bassey Eyo was found shot to death near Lake Ray Hubbard the day after Christmas. Investigators determined he was murdered at a Garland home in the 6900 block of George Brown Drive and his body later dumped at the lake, less than a mile away.
Police said 20-year-old Nickey Van Exel turned himself in Wednesday and confessed to the crime. He's a neighbor of the victim.
WFAA.com also reports that Nickey Van Exel is being held on a $1 million bond. The elder Van Exel, who is just 39 years old, retired after the 2005-2006 NBA season after playing 13 seasons in the NBA. He spent his early years with the Los Angeles Lakers before bouncing around the Western Conference, making stops with the Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs. He averaged 14.4 points and 6.6 assists for his career and made an All-Star game in 1998.  Known for his explosive scoring ability and quickness off the dribble as a player, Van Exel joined the Atlanta Hawks coaching staff as Player Development Instructor this fall.
Posted on: December 24, 2010 10:01 am
Edited on: December 24, 2010 11:26 am
 

NBA stocking stuffed on Christmas Day with games

Tis the season for Heat-Lakers, Celtics-Magic and more as we preview the NBA Christmas Day extravaganza.
Posted by NBA F&R Blog Staff



With five games on the NBA schedule Christmas Day, we walk you through each one, letting you know how to fit in your basketball with your sugarplums (we don't even know what those are, just go with it). 

Miami Heat at Los Angeles Lakers, 5 p.m. ET

When the Lakers and Heat tip off Saturday afternoon at Staples Center, their goal will not have anything to do with the other team. Forget sending messages, staking claim, or becoming top dog in conference (an impossibility for both teams considering their records relative to the conference leaders). This is about finding out about themselves. 

The Lakers have drifted after a stunning start, losing to teams they have no business losing to and doing so on a regular basis. Even the win streak they peeled off came against exceptionally weak opponents like the Wizards, Sixers, and Pacers. In reality, this is their first big test against a contending opponent since their loss to the Bulls two weeks ago in Chicago. No one really doubts the Lakers, not yet. But a loss on Christmas Day in a major hyped game against the Heat would definitely put a damper on Christmas and plant some seeds of doubt about their ability to simply breeze through to another title. Beating LeBron and company allows them to send a message: "Don't confuse our coasting with weakness. We've got our fingers on the switch ready to flip."

The Heat on the other hand, are in a no-win position. Should they beat L.A., downing the defending champs with Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles, critics will simply say what they've said every time the Heat have managed to win this season: it doesn't matter until the playoffs. (Note that when the Heat lose, this same approach is not employed; suddenly the games matter when the Heat lose "meaningless" games.) Should the Heat lose, well, that just means they're definitely not ready for prime time and that Kobe is still the real King. But testing themsevles against LA give them an opportunity to see where they're at and if the progress they've made is real in any sense. Beating the Lakers wouldn't be a real victory in terms of contending status, but would at least give them a measure of how good this team can be. 

So how does this matchup shake out, exactly?

L.A.'s interior defense is considerably bolstered by the return of Andrew Bynum, and they're going to have considerable advantages inside. The Heat have no one to counter Bynum or Gasol inside, as Chris Bosh is simply not good enough to slow down Pau Gasol if he gets touches. Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum, and Kobe Bryant should have their hands full on defense in this game, and in fact, Bryant may want to take a backseat on offense just so he can keep Dwyane Wade and LeBron James in check on the perimeter. This isn't to say Kobe can't get it done on the offensive end, but it's a strategy that would play both to the Lakers' strengths and the Heat's weaknesses. Somehow I doubt Bryant will opt for that. 

Bryant needs to be careful though. If he decides to come out guns slinging and the triggers aren't perfectly aligned, he's going to start the fast break for the Heat. And that's their bread and butter. The Lakers need to slow this game down and force Miami to beat them in the halfcourt set, with Carlos Arroyo and James Jones taking jumpers. Do that, and Miami will wither and die on the vine. But get into an up-down type game with them, and the youth of Miami may create some problems for the Lakers.


Bench play will probably be huge in this game, since the Lakers have such a phenomenal advantage. Shannon Brown versus Mario Chalmers. Matt Barnes versus Juwan Howard. Steve Blake versus Eddie House, should Erik Spoelstra elect to turn to the veteran. The Lakers are dominant in this regard and should be able to extend leads or close deficits while multiple members of the Big 3 for Miami rest.

This isn't a game about sending a message to a possible Finals opponent. The Heat just aren't there, yet. But it is about proving something to themselves. For the Lakers, it's a firm conviction that they can turn it on whenever they need. For the Heat, it's that they may finally be ready to play with the big boys, something they have yet to show this season.


Should be merry and bright, indeed.

Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic (2:30 p.m ET)

The Magic just started clicking a bit with their new, revamped roster with a big win over the streaking Spurs. Now they get another chance to bust a big streak. 

The sizzling Celtics come to town riding a 14-game streak and playing as the best team in the Eastern Conference. Boston is doing damage behind a devastating defense and an offense that scores consistently throughout the entire 48. If Orlando expects to hang with Boston, the Magic will have to get production from their new line of scorers. Gilbert Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson will have to provide Dwight Howard some major help. If Orlando doesn't get that, the Celtics will feast on the Magic's stalled offense and probably cruise to a 15th straight win. 

What Boston does so well defensively is that it funnels the opposing offense into becoming one dimensional. The Celtics take what you want to do and use it against you. Orlando wants to use dribble penetration to clear lanes for Howard and also to free shooters. Boston's fine with letting you try and do that, but they're just going to close those lanes off and shut down the shooters. This is a game where Howard will have to play big on the inside of Orlando wants to play with the Celtics. 

However, the new Magic have options that they didn't have before. This feels like it could be a big opportunity for Arenas to really break out offensively or for Turkoglu to get some of that isolation play going where he drains step-back after step-back. The Celtics can play with Orlando if it's scoring, but the Magic have the players to put points up in a hurry. Boston wants a game in the high 80s, while the Magic probably want to push the pace a bit more and score in triple-digits. 

This game will likely come down to who gets to play their game the longest, and also who plays the other guy's game better. The Celtics are tested and typically thrive in these situations, but the Magic may be gelling a bit. There's definitely a chance here to play streak-buster a second time for them.

Chicago Bulls at New York Knicks (12 p.m. EST)

A rematch of the November 4th Knicks win, this game features two teams still trying to gain an identity. After a long impressive win streak, the Knicks dropped three straight to Boston (understandable, especially on a buzzer beater), Miami (understandable, even in a blowout), and Cleveland (not understandable in any universe ever created). Then they go out and drop the Thunder this week, just to keep us on our toes.  The Bulls? We know they're good. But Joakim Noah is out with a hand injury, which changes much of their dynamic.  This game could wind up being a preview of a first-round playoff series, and we're going to see a lot of familiar themes most likely. Primarily that Carlos Boozer can't guard Amar'e Stoudemire in any impactful way, and that the Knicks are going to be run through by the saber that is Derrick Rose, especially on the pick and roll. 

This should be a fun one to open the day with, in a fast paced affair featuring two good point guards (and one elite), two good power forwards (and one elite), along with capable supporting players. The Knicks will need to send help in the form of wing defenders when Rose drives off the pick and roll, or he's going to get to the basket all day long. They have to take their chances with Kyle Korver and Luol Deng on the perimeter. The Bulls on the other hand will need to flash help at Stoudemire to get him off the shot-fake elbow-jumper that he's killing teams with this season. Tom Thibodeau versus Mike D'Antoni also means a classic clash of styles. 

Denver Nuggets at Oklahoma City Thunder (8:00 p.m. ET)

The primetime Christmas Day game lost some of its luster with Carmelo Anthony missing due to a recent death in his family. Obviously, basketball has taken a backseat for Carmelo and rightly so. But despite his absence, there's still an important Northwest Division game to be played.

The Thunder are right atop the division with the Nuggets just a few back. Oklahoma City hasn't been the most consistent team in the world but with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook playing as the most dangerous tandem in basketball, they don't have to be. Denver will look to run and get hot from outside to keep pace with the Thunder's big guns, but OKC's improving defense will be a key in shutting off a big Nuggets run.

The game may not have the same star power and spotlight head-to-head matchup of Carmelo and KD, but it's still something worth watching.

Portland Trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors (10:30 p.m. ET)

Four out of five big-time match-ups isn't bad. Christmas Day's nightcap is easily the least glamorous affair on the schedule, with the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers, two teams that have battled injuries for the last two seasons, facing off in California.

Blazers guard Brandon Roy and center Joel Przybilla won't play, and Portland will continue to run things offensively through its make-shift centerpieces, LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews. The duo has stepped up big in Roy's, as has reserve guard Rudy Fernandez. The Blazers just beat the Warriors in Portland last week, so what will be different this time around? For starters, Portland always struggles on the road against the Warriors, and Golden State point guard Stephen Curry, as of this writing, is expected to make his return from a nagging ankle injury that has kept him out since Dec. 8. In Curry's absence, it's been all Monta Ellis all the time for the Warriors, as Golden State's leading scorer has maintained his big numbers from last season (25.6 points, 5.3 assists, 3.5 rebounds), while improving his field goal (from 44.9% to 48.0%) and three-point shooting (from 33.8% to 36.4%) numbers. Ellis had a chance to beat the Blazers at the buzzer in Portland, but it rimmed out. He's hit for 30+ four times in December, and could easily make it five on Saturday, assuming that he's out for a little Christmas revenge.
Posted on: December 22, 2010 7:41 pm
 

Cousins chokes on his choke, gets benched for it

Posted by Royce Young

Before the draft, most agreed: DeMarcus Cousins was the most gifted player in the draft. The hangup? His head. Scouts and general managers all over wondered if he was simply immature or if he had the potential to be one of the league's newest head cases.

So far, it's looking like the latter.

Against the Warriors Tuesday night with the Kings (who are 5-21, mind you) holding a five-point lead with about 20 seconds left, Golden State's Reggie Williams missed a free throw. Cousins walked off his low block position, put his hand to his throat and made a pretty clear choking gesture directed at Williams.



What happened next is what made this kind of a big deal. The Kings ended up the chokers, blowing the lead capped by a Vladamir Radmanovic 3-pointer to send the game to overtime where naturally, Sacramento lost.

According to the Sac Bee's Jason Jones, Kings coach Paul Westphal said Cousins has been fined and benched until he grows up and acts more "professional."

"It’s unprofessional, childish, embarrassing and it won’t be tolerated," Westphal told reporters.

Cousins, on the gesture: "It was immature. I was caught up in the game and let my emotions get the best of me and shouldn’t have done it. But if I would have did it and we won it probably wouldn’t have had the same consequences afterward. "

Cousins obviously has some stuff to learn. He's been criticized a bit this season already for being lazy and has been kicked out of a few practices for different issues. However, a benching and a fine for a clearly silly gesture seems a bit extreme. Cousins said he doesn't think he would've been punished had the Kings won. He's probably right, because nobody would've really taken notice.

But at the same time, Cousins is walking down a path of being a problem player and Westphal is trying to teach his young big man a lesson. My problem here is, is that message getting through? Because to me, it doesn't look like Westphal has any idea how to get through to Cousins. To me, it seems like everything is bouncing off.

I'm sure Westphal got the attention of Cousins for this, but what happens when Cousins really screws up? What does he get then? A month suspension? A $500,000 fine? Because for this little thing, Cousins has been hit with a stiff penalty. From here on, anything Cousins does will require an even bigger penalty. Is that the best way to get the most out of an immature player? Probably not.

Westphal is citing sportsmanship and professionalism in regards to the punishment. He's right. It was stupid for Cousins to do. He should be embarrassed. And when the Kings visit Oracle Arena, Warrior fans are going to punish him even more. Was what Cousins did stupid? Absolutely. Is it something he derserved a strong talking to for, possibly with bad language littered in? Definitely. But benched and fined for it? That's a bit, well, over-the-top it seems.

But the whole point of this shouldn't be about PR or making yourself look like you're in control. It has to be about what's best for your young player. It has to be about developing both his talent and his head. Does Westphal's punishment do that? I don't think so at all. He's probably not reaching Cousins at all here. Just making the gap even wider.
Posted on: December 14, 2010 9:25 am
Edited on: December 14, 2010 11:26 am
 

Shootaround 12.14.10: Respect and disrespect

Magic says the Pistons are soft, Roy Hibbert has great hands, and Noah meets the Worm, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore

  • So remember when the Pacers traded for Darren Collison and he was supposed to be their point guard of the future, taking them to the next level?  Well, they've gotten to the next level, suddenly in a position to contend for a playoff spot. But Collison has been left in the dirt, and can't quite figure out why . People who weren't blown away by Collison's numbers last season questioned his poise and defensive stature, and it would appear those same elements are what is keeping T.J. Ford and A.J. Price in heavy minutes. Who would have thought the Pacers would have a point guard overflow a year ago?
  • Roy Hibbert has turned into quite the passing big man because of his time spent this summer with Bill Walton.  8 Points, 9 Seconds breaks down what's helped him improve , and his confidence has been as important as his quick decision making. There's something to be said for simply going with your instincts instead of debating yourself into a bad posssession. It's that All-Around play that has to leave you wondering... is Hibbert an All-Star this season? One guy who doesn't think so? His coach .
Posted on: December 11, 2010 1:04 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:26 pm
 

Heat win 7th straight, blast Warriors, 106-84

The Miami Heat dominate the Golden State Warriors in California on Friday night for their seventh consecutive win. Posted by Ben Golliver lebron-james-warriors

It was a tale of two halves in Northern California, as the Golden State Warriors managed to play the Miami Heat mostly even through the first 24 minutes, but got blown up by some fiery outside shooting from LeBron James in the third quarter, as the Heat cruised the rest of the way for their seventh consecutive victory, 106-84. The Warriors looked like a rudderless ship in the second half, thanks in no small part to the absence of starting point guard Stephen Curry, who continues to nurse an injured ankle. The Warriors went big, shifting Monta Ellis over to the point guard spot, but cold shooting proved to be Golden State's undoing, as they couldn't keep up with the run of easy baskets James and company created in transition. James iced it for sure in the closing minutes of the third quarter, dropping in back-to-back-to-back three-pointers, much to his own delight. From there it was all smiles and sunshine for the streaking Heat,  Both James and teammate, guard Dwyane Wade, nearly had triple doubles, despite sitting much of the fourth quarter. James finished with 25 points, seven rebounds and nine assists. Wade led the Heat with 34 points, and added nine rebounds and seven assists. Ellis led the Warriors with 20 points, three rebounds and seven assists. ESPN columnist Bill "The Sports Guy" Simmons provided game analysis, and he mentally sparred with fellow analyst Mark Jackson, which made for some mildly humorous Boston and anti-Boston ribbing. With the win, the Heat improve to 16-8 on the season, and take over the top spot in the Southeast Division, moving into the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference thanks to an Orlando loss. They'll close their current four-game road trip with what should be a gimme in Sacramento against the Kings, arguably the worst team in the NBA, on Saturday night. The Warriors fall to 8-15, still good for third place in the Pacific Division.
Posted on: December 9, 2010 10:22 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:23 pm
 

Stephen Curry in protective boot for ankle injury

Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry suffered another ankle injury and reportedly left the arena wearing a protective boot. Posted by Ben Golliverstephen-curry

Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry has enjoyed a pretty remarkable first quarter of the NBA season -- averaging 20.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.2 steals -- and it's made even more remarkable by the fact he has been bothered by numerous ankle injuries.
On Wednesday, the Warriors lost to the Spurs in San Antonio, their 10th loss in 11 games. To make matters worse, the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Curry had to be carried off the floor by teammates after suffering yet another ankle injury, and he left the arena wearing a protective boot.
Stephen Curry appeared to be harmlessly dribbling on the right side of the three-point arc, when he pulled up and called timeout with 5:20 remaining in the second quarter. After being checked by head athletic trainer Tommy Abdenour on the court, Curry was basically carried to the locker room by Vladimir Radmanovic and Jeff Adrien.
"You hold your breath every time there's a limp," coach Keith Smart said. "Once you sprain it, it can always happen again at any given moment. He's been pretty resilient this season, so we've got to hope he can keep doing it."
Prior to Wednesday's game, GoldenStateofMind.com was wondering aloud whether Curry should take the court. Now, the Chronicle reports that Curry "could miss extended time" because of the repeated sprains, although X-rays taken on Wednesday did not show a fracture. The team is thin at the point guard position behind Curry: untested rookie Jeremy Lin and journeyman Charlie Bell were the only available options to play alongside scoring guard Monta Ellis. To add some depth at the position, the Warriors plan to sign free agent point guard Acie Law on Thursday. Law was waived by the Memphis Grizzlies earlier this week, after he couldn't find playing time behind Mike Conley and Greivis Vasquez. A long-term loss of Curry would be tough news for the Warriors, who have slipped to 8-14 on the season, after starting the year 7-4. 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com