Golden State Warriors' head coach Don Nelson, in the past few games, has committed to small ball with this extremely young squad. With Corey Maggette's return from a hamstring injury that sidelined him for 14 days, Nelson has used the powerful swing man as the team's starting power-forward. Has it worked?
The Warriors are 1-5 with Maggette's insertion in the front line with lanky center Andris Biedrins. Nelson has been largely committed to this "small ball" type of execution, but for the past four contests, it has proven an unsuccessful commodity.
The only game that this so called "experiment" with Maggette materialized, was against the Portland Trail Blazers. To speak the truth, the Warriors were lucky to have LaMarcus Aldridge plagued with fouls the entire game. Maggette displayed a stellar performance against the skilled 6'11'' forward, but it proved to be a one game stint.
Against the newly refreshed Washington Wizards on November 25, Nelson surprisingly still started Maggette at the power forward position. Two nights prior to this game and against the Philadelphia 76ers, Nelson had Ronny Turiaf, Anthony Randolph, and Brandan Wright on the floor for most of the second quarter.
The incredible front-line strength of these three players did not only produce a block party while holding the 76ers to 32 second half points, but rallied back from a 22-point deficit.
Randolph did commit a few mind boggling critical turnovers on the offensive end, but it was a work in progress.
Having Maggette at the power forward does create match up problems for the opposing team on the offensive side, but the defensive end becomes the real challenge. The Warriors are out-rebounded, out- hustled, and out-played at the rim.
The Warriors were out rebounded 54-38 against the 76ers. Maggette is a 6'7'' swing man playing the power forward position guarding a 6'9'' established power forward in Elton Brand. Obviously, the end result was heavily in favor of that 30-year-old, 20 points and 10 rebounds guy.
So, what's the solution? Brandan Wright.
In order to temporarily stop the bleeding, Nelson MUST slide Wright at the 4 and shift Maggette to his usual shooting forward position. Although Maggette has been claiming that he will do whatever is best for the team (which includes playing as the starting power forward), Warriors fans know what that might erupt into.
Warriors at Wizards Highlights
- The Warriors were thrashed 124-100 as they dropped their third game in a row, and their second of the East Coast road swing.
- As Matt Steinmetz alluded to after the game, the Warriors need PASSERS.
- Jackson should stop handeling the ball for a while, it's getting ugly out there. Jackson had 16 points, eight assists, and three turnovers.
- "It was a tough game tonight," Jackson said. "The Wizards came out with a lot of energy. Their two main scores played well tonight. We just need to let this game go and be ready to play against Boston tomorrow."
- Maggette led the Warriors with 17 points, two assists, and two rebounds.
- Jamaal Crawford had 9 points and 7 assists in his debut. His passing abilities are quite impressive.
"Like I told coach Nelson, I think he'll be more surprised than anything at my passing," Crawford explained. "Coach D'Antoni, when he came, he thought I'd be averaging 25 points a game. After he got with me, he was like, 'You're a better passer than anything.'"
- Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison and Andray Blatche finished with a combined 75 points and 31 rebounds, with the Warriors committing 20 turnovers.
- Azuibuike's drives to the basket and finishing ability while being harrassed by forwards and centers are extremely important for this team. Oh and by the way, his shooting slump might be over. He made a three pointer in this contest.
- One more thing: Marcus Williams apparently wants out. I don't blame him.
(Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Stats courtesy of NBA.com
Quotes courtsey of Warriors.com and Janny Hu of the San Francisco Chronicle.