Warriors Stand Tall

Posted by: Avinash on Friday, May 11th, 2007



We’re fairly certain Golden State is going to pound the Jazz into the ground after the way they lost those first two games (as long as Don Nelson doesn’t run poor Baron Davis into the ground–he looks haggard out there now), so our preview will be short.  Monta Ellis needs to come alive for the Warriors to regain the initiative–one competent point guard won’t be enough against Utah. And they need to make their free throws, a sore spot throughout the season. And…box out, we guess.  Not really much we can say.

But Warriors Nation is going to be in a frenzy, and we know that the main Warriors bloggers at Golden State of Mind have plenty of things to say about what will happen tonight. Here are some excerpts from the article the Warriors to win tonight after the jump (or you can direct link to it here). If they win these next two, this series is going to be (as the infamous Sir Charles would say) “a barnburner.” As we’ve said always with this Golden State team, we just can’t wait for tipoff.

The Jazz have never heard anything like us before. The fans are going to be going nuts at the game tonight. The ESPN broadcasters will be screaming the whole game just so the people watching tv can hear them. It’s going to get crazy at the Oracle tonight, 20,000 strong.

The last two games have been incredibly disappointing. Both were games the Warriors could have won, but for some reason or another didn’t. All Utah did was maintain their homecourt advantage, just like we have to do in the next 2 games. Remember, Utah was down 0-2 to the Rockets and won the series. This is no different. The Warriors are in an 0-2 hole but are fully capable of beating the Jazz in the series.

Here are some things that need to happen for the Warriors to win:

Get Baron some rest
Someone has to spell Baron during the first 3 quarters so at the end of the game he isn’t dead tired. He’s playing 45 minutes on one good leg, so those minutes have to be reduced. Who’s going to step it up and allow him to get some rest? Stephen Jackson can play some point, Matt Barnes can play a little point too, but one name especially comes to mind, Monta Ellis. The kid has to have fresh legs and is definitely good enough to put in some quality minutes. It’s baffling why he’s struggled in the playoffs. Perhaps it’s the nature of the playoffs where mistakes get magnified and Nellie can’t afford to have him learn on the job. But it’s definitely more mental for him than anything. You can see it in his body language on the court, tentative, not confident, and a little scared. We’ll all be cheering for him tonight not only because the Warriors need him, but I feel bad for the guy. He had his face in a towel after getting removed from the last game and you couldn’t help but feel bad for him. But tonight, his struggles end. The Oracle crowd pumps him up and we see him have a solid, not spectacular, game.

Doesn’t it seem like Utah is quicker to every loose ball? Doesn’t it seem like Utah just wants it more? The Warriors need to play with the same fire and passion that they showed during the Dallas series. It seems like Matt Barnes is the only guy playing up to the Jazz’s level of intensity. We need each guy stepping it up a notch to win this series because Utah certainly has. It’s not about the rebounds, it’s about matching and exceeding the Jazz’s hustle. The Jazz are going to kill the Warriors on the boards, but there are so many other small things that need to be done. The Jazz get a lot of free cuts in the lane, they are always near the ball, they get the long rebounds. For a team that’s supposed to be quicker, they seem to get beat more often than not on the hustle plays by a supposedly slower team. Tonight at home, down 0-2, there’s no reason for the Warriors to come out flat. Hustle, hustle, hustle.

Attack the rim, attack the ball handlers, and attack the Jazz. This ties into the hustle mentioned above. If the Warriors don’t force their game onto the Jazz, this series is over. They’re letting the Jazz do whatever they want and dictate the game. Well this time, I want to see the Warriors not settle for the pull up 3’s. I know AK47 is lurking in the paint, but if they drive the lane and cut to the open spots, it will help negate his impact. Driving the lane will also help open up the 3’s so they’ll get better looks outside. Attacking the ball handlers is key. The Jazz have become too confident handling the ball on the perimeter. Deron Williams and AK47 need to be harassed when they have the ball. Make their two best passers have a difficult time of throwing entry passes or passes to cutters. Stop giving Okur open looks from 3. The guy can’t handle the ball against the Warrior guards, so get in his face, run at him when he shoots, and make him put the ball on the floor. The Warriors need to challenge everything the Jazz do. Don’t take your foot off the gas tonight boys….


Home Court [Golden State of Mind]
(Image from AOL Sports)

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