Game Notes: Kings at Warriors
The ABA was in the Bay… sorta.
Yesterday’s Warriors/Kings game felt just like an ABA ballgame. The only things missing were the afros, short-shorts, multi-colored basketball and fist-fights during the commercial breaks.
Like the ABA, defense was used sparingly. When the game lasted three overtimes, it pretty much became apparent by overtime number two, the first team to score 150 points would be victorious.
But after both teams combined for 225 shots, one team outlasted the other and made one more bucket than the other on their final possession.
So without further anticipation, here’s the abridged version of my endless game notes from a crazy night at the Oracle Arena.
Nellie’s pregame presser:
– When asked if Marcus Williams was even an option right now to help out with some of the ball handling duties while Jackson and Belinelli were out, Nellie replied, “I wouldn’t think so.”
– When asked about running plays for Anthony Randolph, Nellie replied, “We don’t run any specific things for him yet. We’re basically trying to get him to be a positive when he’s on the floor and do all the little things without really going to him. He’s not ready for that stuff in my humble estimation.”
– Nellie was asked about the Orlando Magic’s NBA record 23-trey performance against the Kings, to which he responded, “They’ve got the whole package going for them, and they play together enough now. Of course you’ve got to come off their shooters because they got a dominant big man.”
– Asked if he was going to have his guys take down that record, Nellie laughed and said, “Let’s make one first, okay? Before we shoot for that one…”
– Either John Salmons and Drew Gooden have the same barber, or they’re huge ZZ-Top fans.
– Based on hair, Mikki Moore and Jermaro Davidson might be brothers. Where’s Maury Povich with a DNA test when you need him?
– Warriors start Corey Maggette, Anthony Randolph, Andris Biedrins, Jamal Crawford, CJ Watson.
– Kings start John Salmons, Jason Thompson, Brad Miller, Kevin Martin, Beno Udrih.
– Randolph vs. Thompson matchup should be a good one, depending how long Randolph’s leash is tonight.
– Kings have a goofy pregame ritual, shoulder bumps, team hugging and swaying, finished by Bobby Jackson doing the matrix dance and then Beno Udrih in the middle stumbling around looking tipsy.
– Warriors counter with standard high-fives and a standard team huddle. Yawn.
– Thompson guards Randolph. Randolph guards Miller. Biedrins on Thompson, so much for them going head-to-head on both ends.
– Randolph switches on a screen and is on Thompson, who backs him down with his 40-pound weight advantage. But Randolph’s go-go-gadget arms come in handy as he blocks Thompson not once, but twice on the same possession. Unfortunately for the Warriors, the second block was a joint venture with Biedrins, and the deflection goes to Salmons in the corner, who burries the open 3 putting the Kings up 5-2.
– Biedrins picks up two quick fouls, which is a troubling start for the thin Warriors lineup, who are already without Brandan Wright (partially dislocated left shoulder) Ronny Turiaf checks in at 9:23 mark.
– You don’t need any more proof of the W’s ineffectiveness on the defensive glass when Udrih gets three chances at the rim, two tip backs and then finishes with his third crack at it.
– Maggette makes a 3, the first of the night for the Warriors. Now another 23 are needed to beat the Magic’s record. Just saying…
– Here’s a glimpse of upside Randolph flashes: Miller carelessly holds the ball in front of Randolph, who steals the ball right from Miller and proceeds to dribble the length of the court for a breakaway left-handed tomahawk dunk.
– But here’s the aggravating part about Randolph, his exuberance and lack of understanding of pro moves. A couple possessions later, Thompson backs down Randolph uses an up-and-under move and scores. On the first touch he gets on the other end, Randolph forces a jumper, while on the other end, Thompson hits an under control 17-footer from the top of the key. 21-16 Kings.
– Rob Kurz gets the false alarm when he almost comes in for Randolph, who leaves Miller on the baseline alone, allowing him to make an uncontested 12-footer. Don’t you hate when a coach tells you to get up, you rip off the pants, and then you’re told to go back to the bench?
– Maggette proves how good of a driver he is by displaying a one dribble spin-move past Salmons and finishing with a baseline reverse while avoiding Miller.
– Fun fact: The Kings out-rebounded the Ws 17-6 after the first quarter.
– On the scoreboard prior to the game the Ws point out that they lead the NBA with a little over 6 bpg.
– While that statistic is true, Kevin Martin has no problem driving down the middle of the lane. Too bad he was blocked by the rim! I don’t know who gets credit for that block, but the Warriors will take it. Does the closest man to the hoop get the credit?
– Perfect time for a TV timeout and endless replays of Martin’s misfortune.
– Spencer Hawes is T’d up for swiping at Watson after the whistle was blown. Maybe that frustration had something to do with it being President Bush’s last week in office?
– At the 8:23 mark, Anthony Morrow gets some burn. Hopefully for W’s fans he gets hot, boy-band hot. Two minutes later he takes and makes his first shot, he looked to be in sync on that possession.
– Morrow takes and makes first 3-pointer. I’m sure Warriors fans want it that way. 45-40, Kings.
– Although it’s only the Bay Area and HollyBoom has left the team, I think we have our first celebrity sighting of the evening… It’s none other than Candace Parker’s baby daddy and husband, Shelden Williams.
– Speaking of suits, Stephen Jackson and Monta Ellis both looking smooth. As for Nellie, I’m not sure if he owns a neck-tie… in my humble estimation. But he’s the boss, so who cares what he wears… As long as he doesn’t rock the throwback like George Karl.
– Sloppy end of the first half, Crawford starts playing 1-vs-5, Warriors still can’t get a defensive rebound that’s as predictable as a skit on Vote4Amare.com.
– The halftime scoreboard reads 57-48 Kings.
–The W’s shoot 4-11 as a team compared to 14-15 by the Kings. That’s 36 percent to 93 percent. Have they already forgotten everything they learned from free-throw shooting coach Sidney Moncrief, who left the team to be a consultant for the Beijing Ducks?
– While Thompson can be absent-minded when it comes to getting bagels and cream cheese for the vets, he doesn’t forget to make open jumpers, as he buries s 14-footer.
– Biedrins misses two free throws, which is to be expected—His last name doesn’t end in “vich.”
– While Udrih is not Spanish, he still can play matador defense. Crawford blows by him for an easy layup. Kings call timeout and are up 65-57.
– Maggette fouls Miller after he cuts to the basket, but misses the layup.
– Warriors legend, Al Attles, who is seated two seats to my right looks pissed.
– Ws are desperate for rebounding, Biedrins stays in after he picks up his fourth foul, but is later subbed out in favor of Turiaf.
– A Turiaf jumper is answered by a Martin 3. Maggette makes a running shot and thinks he was fouled. On the other end, he can’t secure a defensive rebound and Miller gets an easy put back which give the Kings a 77-65 advantage. Maggette is certainly not a power forward.
– Morrow hits a 3 and is tearing up the hearts of Kings fans in the process. His trey cuts the Kings lead to 10.
– After three quarters the Kings lead 85-77.
¬– Warriors announce 19,122 is the attendance number. Considering both teams have combined for 21 wins – that’s impressive.
– After an Udrih miss, Watson makes a wing jumper and the W’s take their first lead since the first quarter, 90-89.
– Crawford makes a three-pointer from the same spot he beat the Pacers on Sunday. On the other end, a technical foul was called on bobby Jackson. Crawford makes the free throw to the put the Warriors up 94-89.
– Maggette and Biedrins both pick up their fifth fouls.
– Crawford uses screen and makes wing jumper, ties the game at 103 with1:01 left.
– Following offensive possession for the W’s, Maggette is fouled on a drive but misses both freebies. Luckily, ‘Buke gets in the lane, grabs the second miss and is fouled by Miller. ‘Buke makes both free-throws and the Warriors are up 105-103 with 31.1 left.
–Al Attles update: He’s chillin’…
– W’s deny the inbound, so Kings use last timeout. But on their next try, Kmart gets the matchup he wants, when Turiaf switches on the screen. Martin drives and throws down a two-handed dunk to tie the game at 105 with 21.7 left.
– Watson inbounds, throws pass to Crawford in the backcourt. Garcia guards, but he’s screened by Biedrins. Miller switches, but Crawford misses fade-away jumper.
– Biedrins is called for an over-the-back foul and that’s number six for him. He’s out, Turiaf’s in with 4:23 left in OT.
– Magette fouls Salmons on a drive, and he fouls out. Morrow checks in for Maggette.
– Miller misses shot inside and he thinks he is fouled by Turiaf. After Garcia fouls ‘Buke on the other end, he’s T’d up.
– Garcia makes a second right corner 3 of OT and does the same hoppity-hop-hop dance while looking at W’s bench, 113-112 Kings. It looked like Happy Gilmore’s bull-riding dance.
– Martin gets Turiaf on him again after a screen and drives to the hoop. He’s fouled with 14.1 left and makes both free throws to put the Kings up 115-112. W’s call timeout.
– Nellie calls for ‘Buke to inbound. He dumps the ball in the post to Turiaf, who finds ‘Buke open at the top of the key for a step-back triple. Game is tied 115-115 with 9 ticks left.
– Martin gets the ball at the top of the key, guarded by Watson. But when Martin spun to his right at the top of the key, Crawford sags in the lane and provides excellent help defense. Martin gets his shot blocked by Crawford and we go to double overtime.
– Al Attles: posted like a mailbox.
– Watson makes open 3 in front of the Kings’ bench. Impressive shot, considering Kings coach Kenny Natt stomped his foot behind Watson while he releases shot. After the made trey, Watson mugs the coach for the classless move.
– Turiaf is fouled and barely grazes the rim on his first attempt. On the second, he misses it short. At this point he’s gassed.
– On the following possession after Watson misses badly, the ball goes off the backboard and directly to ‘Buke, who connects on a 26-foot 3 to put the Ws up 121-118 with 2:30 left in double OT.
– Miller makes both two free throws, but the Warriors counter when Morrow comes from out of nowhere and tips in Watson’s miss.
– Udrih makes jumper, but Morrow again makes another unlikely tip-in.
– Turiaf blocks on Miller, which starts fast break and Morrow finishes with baby jumper. Ws up 127-122 with a minute left.
– Watson fouls out on KMart drive with 34.1 left. Stephen Jackson pretends to unbutton his jacket as if to come in the game. Instead Rob Kurz gets the call.
– Al Attles update: Moderately interested, sitting up, hands interlocked.
– Up 3 points, Crawford takes Garcia one-on-one but misses the jumper.
– On the other end, KMart hits a 3 in Morrow’s face to tie the game at 127. The Ws coaches wanted Morrow to foul Kmart.
– Crawford races up court gets off a bad shot. Triple overtime, here we come!
– Randolph in the game to start the third OT.
– Al Attles update: Stats in hand, even he can’t believe this game.
– I think this is what covering the ABA must have felt like…
– Crawford throws baseball-like alley-oop pass down the middle of the lane to Turiaf, who catches it mid-air and lays it in. W’s up 133-131.
– First team to 140 wins.
– NBA Live thinks this is a joke.
– Crawford takes runner in the lane misses, ‘Buke takes quick shot on left wing, shot clock didn’t reset, Randolph gets board, keeps his dribble as he’s falling down. He’s stuck in the corner and calls timeout. 133-133, 36.3 seconds left.
– Al Attles update: Sitting up, rocking back-and-forth, his right hand under his chin.
– After Morrow misses long jumper, Warriors can’t secure a defensive rebound. Really? Salmons makes a corner jumper to put the Kings up 135-133 with 1.6 left in the game.
– Randolph is yanked and looks extremely emotional. He’s definitely showing that he’s 19-years-old. Marcus Williams is in his ear, encouraging him.
– Crawford inbounds passes to Azubuike, who takes deep 3 which rims in-and-out.
– That almost went in. Why was Crawford inbounding and not shooting, there was only 1.6 left on the clock?
– First of all, that game was ridiculous and was absolutely absurd on so many levels.
– I’m still confused on why Crawford didn’t take the last shot of the game. He led all scorers with 35 points!
– Brad Miller went for 30 points and 22 rebounds. John Salmons and Kevin Martin added 25 and 23, respectively.
– The Ws shot 25-41 from the free throw line, whereas the Kings shot 35-36.
– Kenny Natt’s foot stomp was really a sad sight. I don’t think any top-level coaches are stomping their feet or trying to distract an opposing shooter. That’s what the 11th and 12th men on your bench are for!
Coach Nelson on the loss: “Well, the free throw did us in tonight. They were making them and we were missing them—that’s the bottom line.”
An acquaintance of Nellie asked if he had heard about the riots that were going on in Oakland: “Oh they are? Oh, alright well, I’ll be careful going home. Thank you. Are you coming over to have a cocktail?”
The mood in the locker room was pretty sour. The Warriors have dropped 29 games already this season, so they’re familiar with defeat, but triple-overtime losses really hurt. “It sucks,” Ronny Turiaf said.
While as much as I wanted to get to the bottom of why the game ended like it did, I tried to keep it fairly light-hearted. Nobody wants to be picked on after a loss like that, and with me wearing SLAM on my credential, I wanted to make sure the Mag was rep’d properly. So I got a word in with Anthony Morrow and Jamal Crawford about game-related matters and of course, their opinions on Monta Ellis’ signature AND1 shoe that’s set to drop on MLK Day.
SLAM: On your two tip-in baskets, what do you credit that to? Was it a matter of not giving up on the play or them not boxing you out?
Anthony Morrow: Coach Nelson always tells me, if you’re not getting the ball you can’t just stand there and be a standstill shooter. He tells me to do other things. And I know I can rebound and I can do other things. That’s something where I figure if I’m standing—I’m wrong. He’s been telling me for the past couple of weeks stop standing, move, keep moving, no matter what. Be active, so that’s all I’ve been trying to do. He’s a great coach. Everybody respects him. I really respect him, so that’s all I’m trying to do from here on out. (I’m trying to) do what I do, hit shots, score, rebound and play hard.
SLAM: The outcome wasn’t what you wanted, but being able to play in overtime and get that experience in clutch situations, how important was that for you to be out there and contribute?
AM: It was big. There came a point where I wasn’t even thinking about it—getting experience—even though I was. It came to a point where I wasn’t even thinking about that. It was like, ‘I’m trying to win.’ But that does play a huge part for me. I thank God I got the opportunity once again. We had a couple of guys out due to injuries, but Coach says, ‘When you get your opportunities, you have to take advantage of them.’ That’s what I was trying to do tonight.
SLAM: With Atlanta coming in on Friday, the mindset of the team is to put this one out of your minds and get back to work?
AM: Yeah. That’s one of the things I love the most about playing in the NBA. There’s always another game, the next day or definitely the day after that. Everybody knows that. These vets are always telling me, ‘You just got done with one college season, so continue to keep working hard. If you don’t have a game like you want to have, just know that there’s another game coming up. Or if you do have a good game, know there’s another game coming up.’ So you can never get complacent.
SLAM: When Monta’s shoes come out, is everyone on the team going to get a free pair? Is he going to give you guys the hook up?
AM: I hope so. I like ‘em. I like his shoes, man.
SLAM: You think there’s any significance that they’re coming out on Martin Luther King Day?
AM: I don’t know, man. Martin was the King; he did a lot of speeches. And Monta definitely does a lot of talking in practice. It’s fitting. It’s all good talk though; he had us competing (in practice) the other day, so I’m really looking forward to having him come back.
SLAM: How exhausted were you guys down the stretch?
Jamal Crawford: Tiring, to say the least. You know, at times you can push through but there’s moments where you get winded and you have to play smart. Even Ronny, he’s a good free throw shooter and he almost airballed one, so the fatigue took its tool on everyone.
SLAM: When Monta’s shoes come out, are you going to try and get a few extra pairs?
JC: Oh yeah, I’m going to get them signed and put them in my apartment.
SLAM: How big of a deal is that for a player to get their own signature shoe?
JC: That’s very cool, especially with AND1. There’s no reason for them not to have one of the best young players as the face of your brand. I think it’s a great choice by them.