Thursday, October 30, 2008

New Orleans: 108 Golden State: 103 Stung by Paul

Yesterday the Warriors picked up where they left by losing a tight game to the Hornets 108-103. As expected the game raised more questions then answers but the reality is they went toe to toe with one of the top 3 teams in the Western Conference and almost came away with an inspired w. After the disasterous offseason everyone questioned whether this team would be competitive. After last night leadership, rotation, and big shot capability have still to be answered but it was a moral victory nonetheless


Lineup Once again it was the case of same old Nellie same old ways.The combined minutes of Bellinelli, Wright, Williams (who is in Nelsons doghouse) and Randolph was 0. Wright matching up against West or Chandler would have been ugly to watch but then it's far more useful then watching him rot on the bench. I understand how badly Nelson wants to win but sense needs to come into the equation here. Pulling DeMarcus Nelson even though he was holding his own and exhibiting the kind of confidence that no other Warriors rookie did in a long time also sends a high standards message.

There were high minutes for the starters thats for sure. Harrington even after his trade demand played a ludricious 42 minutes, Kelenna played 43 minutes, and had Biedrins not fouled out, you can bet he'd be playing around 33 minutes. Nelson forgot the lesson from last year already you cannot keep giving your starters extended minutes and expect them not to get tired. Hopefully although I really doubt it the bench plays more in the upcoming weeks

Point Guard I thought DeMarcus Nelson held his own. Considering Watson did nothing and Marcus Williams is in the doghouse it was up to Nelson to solve the Warriors problems at the point. He didn't do too bad and as I said Patrick O’Bryant, Ike Diogu, Brandan Wright, Marco Belinelli never disaplayed the self confidence Nelson had.

What screwed the Warriors up here was playing Jackson at the point. Dealing with the quick Chris Paul proved to be a difficulty and there were times when him and Azubuike couldn't deal with the frontcourt pressure by the Hornets Guards. Even on Rebounding no there was no PG looking to run meaning it was ugly watching Harrington or Jackson bring the ball up

Clutch Last year everyone in the arena knew the ball was going to Baron in the deciding few seconds. This year it's painful to watch Jackson or Magette pass up a open jumper as if there's a scared factor involved. Last year there were a a couple of times Jackson was clutch but this time it's alsmost like he didn't want to take on the responsibility. During the final few minutes of the game watching Nelson turning it over on Paul in the key when it looked like he would shoot was painful. Giving it to the more experienced Maggette or Jackson was an option ignored. Hopefully the next few weeks we find that clutch Robert Horry like guy who's not afraid to take the big shots.

Biedrins Shame Biedrins fouled out but he held his own down low . I'm still a little worried about his free throw especially since he missed two big Free Throw's in the last minute but he had a nice dunk on Tyson Chandler and looked a lot smoother and mnore agile then last year.

Turiaf He didn't score but as always is a constant source of amusment on the bench. He gets the guys on the bench up to cheer, he talks to himself on the court when the game is tight to get psyched up, and — most entertainingly — he appears to have joined Jackson’s habit of urging on the crowd. He hustles and goes after loose balls but at times had some serious Defensive lapses.

Harrington He might be going through the basketball equivalent of a midlife crisis but still he's just not that good. He's not a spotup shooter and isn't great at setting himself up in the paint but to be honest he also had problems guarding David West. He hit some nice shots and made notable cuts to the Basket but it was obvious that there's a lack of confidence somewhere.

Azubuike If Harrington is suffering from a lack of confidence then kelenna is the exact opposite. Not overly confident but the drives he got to the basket in the 4th quarter were Monta like and he played good Defense on Paul. He should get good playing time this year but had he made two jumpers in the 4th both fadeways that don't suit him it could be a different result.

Maggette One of the positives when watching Maggette is how easy he gets to the line. Peja Stojokovic and his Defense helped him but still he shouldn't be the 4th option on Offense. His finesse and foot speed is a beauty to watch. He shot ridiculously well from the field (8-11) and the line (9-10). Throw in 8 boards and a couple three's and I was impressed with how well he played. He attacked the rim and even threw his body around on some hustle plays. Compared to Baron Davis shooting 4-13 in the LA derby I think we got off better tonight.

There are moral victories in the NBA and last night goes down as one. This team is still learning to play together and don't really know each others strenghs but the chemistry and intensity was a welcome sign from last year

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Golden State V New Orleans Preview Game 1

New Orleans Hornets (0 - 0) @ Golden State Warriors (0 - 0)


It all begins tonight. Never mind a disasterous offseason or uncertainty regarding the Front Office tonight marks the tipoff of a new season and with that brings hope. Right now pessimism surronds Golden State. And who can blame them. Baron Davis opted out of his contract and shocked everyone by signing with the Clippers. Back in 2005, when Chris Mullin made that huge trade that brought the Warriors their first superstar in many, many years, it put this franchise back on the NBA map. Now three years later Golden State needs the leader. The question is where will it come from.

Stephen Jackson?. Is the loudest and an undoubted leader as well as a major locker room influence. Can Corey Maggette step up his game, Will Randolph and Wright get decent playing time off the bench, Will Nelson overtake Lenny Wilkens as the NBA's winningest coach. We shall see

Tonight's game is scary. Chris Paul vs DeMarcus Nelson or Marcus Williams scares me. Heck, Chris Paul vs them both at the same time scares me. David West scares me. Peja Stojakovic scares me. Adding James Posey scares me. The Hornets are better than last year. The Warriors? Not so much. Then again I am looking forward to watching Corey Maggette tear it up and hopefully play well enough for us to ship us out during the Trade deadline. , I'm excited to see Ronny Turiaf play. We finally have a legitimate banger inside to muscle up on the opposing bigs. I'm excited to see if Brandan Wright or Anthony Randolph will pan out and not be complete busts. And lastly, I'm excited to see how the two veterans, Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington respond to being the leaders of such a young team and what's looking to be a very difficult road to the playoffs

Hornets by 10
Biedrins gets a double double
Paul is tonights Warrior killer

Monday, October 27, 2008

Nelson contract being extended

ESPN have reported that the Warriors have extended Nelsons deal by two years which was originally due to run out this season. Because of Mullins expiring deal there are rumours abound that Nellie cvould take the GM job but he denied it

No. No. Don't want to be. No," Nelson said, according to the Mercury News. "I'm not interested in general manager, or coach and general manager, or anything else. I'll support Mully the whole way. I hope he gets his deal done as well. I love working with Mully. I'm a coach. Period."

On his extension

"It wasn't my idea," Nelson said, according to the San Jose Mercury News. "It was fine with me to weigh it year to year. But they came to me and wanted me to commit to three years and, uh, I'm pretty excited about it. It's quite an honor really to be wanted. At my age, you're lucky if anybody wants you. Hopefully your wife."

To be honest i'm a little mixed about the Warriors deciding to extend Nellie. Obviously after the Dirty dozen he has done wonders for restoring the image of Warriors Basketball and put them back on the map. Here's a look at the pro's and cons


Extending him means that he will actually coach this season with a long term plan in mind. When Nellie took over the Mavericks in the late 90s, he got there with a long-term plan in mind. And he tanked 97-98 in order to draft Dirk Nowitzki.

If Nellie was a lame duck coach, he would have been under pressure to succeed immediately to ensure that he got another contract. And he would have squeezed every last victory out of the 2008-2009 Warriors, giving us close to 40 wins and a late lottery pick.

Now that Nellie is secure with his 3 year contract, and a potential front office position, he will be more likely to see the big picture.

Also, with the extension in place, Don Nelson will have more time to properly secure and mentor a successor.

Now that Nelson knows he's wanted perhaps he can take the time and not overplay the veterans when as proved in stretches llast year the younger crowd can do just as good


More small ball for the next two years which doesn't work as we all know

His refusal to play his bench last year was one of the factors in missing the playoffs as no doubt the vets would have had more in their tank to finish stronger

Small ball for the next three years which as we all know by now

Sunday, October 26, 2008

NFL Week 8 Picks

So it's finally here. Hard to believe it's been a year not only since this blog has been started up (happy anniversary)but since the first NFL London game hit our shores between the Dolphins and Giants. I was there and deemed it to be a slight success that will hopefully be fixed in time for todays game between the Chargers and Saints. The NFL has committed to play games here for the next three years so here's hoping that the 49ers are involved. It does make sense since the Niners are one of the more decent supported teams in Britain but we shall see. Regardless I wish any fan going to the game to have a good time and that the miserable weather we had last year never happens

Week 8 matchups

San Diego (3-4) @ New Orleans (3-4) International Series 2008 Last season UK fans had the good fortune of witnessing the Giants make their Superbowl run here. This year it's too early to suggest either the Chargers or saints are Superbowl calliber. Without Reggie Bush the Saints lose a big part of their Offensive game and I think the Chargers can handle the Saints offense better than the Saints D will handle the Charger O. In other words the Chargers are more balanced to take this.

Arizona (4-2) @ Carolina (5-2). What is it with the Cardinals and their miserable east Coast record. Travelling to Carolina to play a team that just came off a big performance over the London bound Saints isn't the good cure. Based on the Rams last two wins the NFC West won't be as easy as they expected either.

Tampa Bay (5-2) @ Dallas (4-3) Wow are the Cowobys slipping. Comfortably beaten by the now inspired Rams and todays matchup doesn't help matters either. The Bucaneers are heading in a different direction rounding nicely into playoff form helped by their excellent Defense. Brad Johnson gets the start at QB for Dallas but if anything like the Saints-Chargers game the Bucs are much more balanced offensively and will take this.

Washington (5-2) @ Detroit (0-6) Zorn might try and keep Washington in check against winless teams since the Rams game but either way the Lions run defense (31st in the League) will have difficulty containing Clinton portis and Shan Alexander who should have a big day. Eventually the Lions will win a game and it should be later then the Dolphins last season but either way as long as Clavin Johnson is contained it's Washington's game to lose.

Buffalo (5-1) @ Miami (2-4) The Bills seem to be for real and right before the Toronto game later this year they head down to Miami to face a comfortable win against the Dolphins. Yes Miami has doubled their win total from last season but they had an agonising loss in Houston and as expected the Ravens Defense had all sorts of answers for the Wildcat Offense. Buffalo are better then both and will prove it today in Tony Soprano's first real coaching test.

St Louis (2-4) @ New England (4-2) Who are these Rams. They looked a hopeless case when Linehan was calling plays now that Haslett is interim coach they appear to be more inspired and are right back in the battle for the weakest division in the NFL. However against a team that gained a massive confidence boost in a Monday night football rout over the Broncos this might be a bridge too far. Sammy Morris is doubtful but McDaniels should outwit opposite number Al Saunders in the playcalling stakes

Kansas (1-5) @ NY Jets (3-3) Both teams woefully inconsistent the Jets fustrated yours truly with a bad overtime loss in Oakland but either way my tactic of picking anyone playing against the Chiefs has worked up to this point.

Atlanta (4-2) @ Philadelphia (3-3). Somebody send Mike Smith a memo the Falcons were suppossed to be garbage this year!. Things come back down to earth however and I have my doubts about Matt Ryan being able to adjust to Jim Johnsons blitz meaning Turner and Norwood will have to carry the bundle of the offense if the Falcons will have to emerge victorious here. However with Brian Westbrook and Kevin Curtis possibly back the Eagles will get back in the race for the NFC East.

Cleveland (2-4) @ Jacksonville (3-3) Derek Anderson was nothing short of woeful last week and this week well expect more of the same. The Browns are without Kellen Winslow and really all the Jags have to do is run, run and run some more such was the difficulty in the Browns having trouble in stopping Portis last week.

Ny Giants (5-1) @ Pittsburgh (5-1) Not just the 5-1 bowl but the Plaxico Burress game. I have a feeling the Steelers are for real this year and with their Defense just playing unbelievable they should do to Eli what the Browns did to him. with the Steelers O-line possibly struggling against the Giants pass rush Willie parker needs to get involved early and often if Pittsburgh are to get the W

Cincinatti (0-7) @ Houston (2-4) The Bengals are an utter shambles and it's quite incredible how Marvin lewis has survived in this win at all costs environment. After their jaw dropping win against Miami things are looking up for Houston and with Slaton running the ball better then expected combined with Schaub finding Andre Johnson rather comfortably the Texans should take this.

Indianapolis (3-3) @ Tenessee (6-0) The first real test for the Titans to prove the nation that they are geunine Superbowl contenders. And what better way to do that then Monday night Football against the Colts who's run defense looked better off staying at home then being in Green Bay last week such was the ease of Ryan Grant running through it. By logic expect Lendale White and Young to run through the Colts Run D quite comfortably and with a Defense only allowing 66 points in 6 games it should be Tenessee's. A win here makes the Titans not just 7-0, but 3-0 in the division and 6-0 in the conference. Probably too early to talk about the playoffs but still

Bay Area Football

Oakland (2-4) @ Baltimore (3-3) Even with the Raiders fortunate 57 yard FG win in OT I'll still pick the Ravens. Their defense can bottle up the Raiders run game and even though if you can protect your QB you can get after the Ravens secondary, I don't think Russell or the Raiders receivers can take advantage of that.

Seattle (1-5) @ San Francisco (2-5) For the first time in Weeks I'm picking the 49ers to win. Singletary now gives them a sense of a new direction and it helps that in his debut they face a team that is just a mess. Even with no Receivers Seattle were an OT away from beating the 49ers but blew it and since then they have just been downhill. This time I expect them to lose because they aren't playing that well and I think the 49ers can lift their game above the level of the struggling Hawks.

Last week 7-7

Overall accumulated score 59-43

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Irish Warriors Western Conference Preview

Apologies for the delay in comipiling this but without further ado here goes my perdictions for the Western Conference. Like the Eastern Conference the teams listed are in no order. Here we go

LA Lakers I said this list was in no order but regardless the Lakers shouldn't have any trouble negotiating their way throug the Western Conference baring injuries of course. Whether they can win the whole thing is also another blog post for another day but Gasol, Bynum and Odom being the most feared frontcourt it's their conference to lose

V the Warriors in 07-08 2-2. In what was the most heart inducing game for the Warriors this year they ground out a first win at the Staples Center for several years before being robbed the following night on a Fisher flopping no call. Yet despite the 2-2 record it was quite easy to see how the Lakers finished 10 wins above the Warriors

V the Warriors in 08-09 The Warriors travel to LA on the 28th of December before hosting them on the 7th of January and 7 of February beofre heading back there on the 17th of March.

Laker connections Ronny Turiaf is the most obvious. The question on every fans lips is can he do what Croshere was suppossed to do last year let our starters get some rest and make sure we don't get destroyed on the boards. Here's hoping

Phoenix Suns Seems a bit rich people are perdicting the Suns demise this year. Granted I don't see them coming close to winning a Playoff series but their talent means a postseason appearance should be thirs

V the Suns in 07-08 2-2. Getting Shaq in was one of the few benefits last year for the Suns when playing teams like the Warriors as it finally meant they had a defensive pressence in the lane to stop the Fastbreak.

V the Warriors in 08-09 It's not until February that this series kicks off with a game back to back before hosting the suns on March 15th. Then Bizarely rumours are abound that because the US Airways Center is in use during April 15th the Warriors will travel to the Staples Center for the last game of the season

Suns connections Matt Barnes is the obvious one here as well. Here's hoping that the likeable Barnes manages to have the type of season he did with Phoenix as he did in his first season with the Warriors. Just don't get too many points against us.

Sacramento Kings The Kings despite the roster they had won 38 games last season but have suffered form a bad offseason save for resigning Udrih and drafting Jason Thompson. Reggie Theus is a decent coach able to get the best out of the Kings but nevertheless expect struggles in Cowebell town.

V the Warriors in 07-08 3-1. The loss in Sacramento where the Kings had their way insdide reminded the Warriors at that time that a trade was neede to improve in this area someone like Ron Artest. Nothing happenned

V the Warriors in 08-09 Travel to the Kings on 11/9 and 5/4 hosting them on 14/1 and April Fools day.

Kings connections No direct comparassions but as always one of the most underrated aspects of Theus's career is not the job he did in New Mexico State leading them to the big dance but the role he played as a High School Basketball coach in the TV Series. Hangtime Back then it was one of the many children shows that was compulsive viewing

LA Clippers Back in July when the Clippers splashed out on Baron Davis life felt good for the Clippers minority. For the first time since 2006 they were relevant and a Davis and Brand combo would put them back in the spotlight. Then Brand or David Faulk backstabbed them but Marcus Camby is still an upgrade. Eric Gordon the kid from Spacejam and Ricky Davis means this team will be fun to watch but not a playoff contender

V the Warriors in 07-08 3-1. The Clippers were one of the few bad Western teams the Warriors beat handily.

V the Warriors in 08-09 The much anticapted Baron return doesn't come until the 25th of January but before that Maggette makes his return to LA land on 11/15 and 23/2. We then get a second look at Baron in the Oracle on St Patricks Day.

Clippers connections Will the Warriors regret going after Maggette as a consolation prize for not getting Brand. Credit to Mullin for trying hard to get Brand but going after Maggette and not saving that money for the much vaunted class of 2010. In between this no matter how many nights he took off when you look at the PG list of the Warriors right now they sure could use Baron Davis

Dallas Mavericks The bewildering Jason Kidd left many head scraching and at times it's difficult to see how this Mavericks team transformed from a group of young hungry players who were a dodgy call away from winning the 06 NBA finals to an expensive, old and not-so-deep squad

V the Warriors in 07-08 3-1. Granted one of the losses we missed Jackson but unlike when they rose to the occassion in May the Warriors underperformed against their Texas counterparts

V the Warriors in 08-09 The Warriors head to Dallas on the 28/1 and 25/3 before hosting Dallas and 13/4 ironically the unluckliest day of the year.

Mavericks connections Numerous but the most obvious is Don Nelson who coached here for six years and made the Mavs the power they are today. Many people forget he was one Dirk injury from reaching the NBA Finals in 2005. Avery Johnson the recently canned Dallas coach also played Point here. And who can forget the nine player trade in 2003 that saw Antawn Jamison Danny Fortson Chris Mills and Jiri Welsch traded for Van Exel, Evan Eschmeyer, Avery Johnson plus forwards Popeye Jones and Antoine Rigaudeau.

Houston Rockets Now that Ron Artest has been added to the Rockets already formiddable Frontcourt the question is will the Rockets challenge for an NBA title. The Artest addition means the Rockets will be hard to score against almost every night but unless T-Mac and Yao play all 82 games which is doubtful it's hard to see the Rockets challenging. Defintelly a team to watch though

V the Warriors in 07-08 2-2. The last two Houston wins were plucky but then again Adelamn because of the 21 game winning streak has an arguement about being robbed of Coach of the year.

V the Warriors in 08-09 5/12 in Houston, 12/12 in Oakland, 31/1 in Houston and then 10/4 in Oakland.

Rockets connections Rick Adelman. Coached for two seasons and overacheived with the roster we had before being fired. Generally considered a players coach (sure doesn't look like one) Adelman should get a lot out of this roster

San Antonio Spurs After surronding their Western conference crown to the Lakers last season anyone would write them off only for the Spurs to prove them wrong. Yet in an offseason when nothing happened on their roster I think it;s fair to say they deserve to be written off

V the Warriors in 07-08 2-1. Traditionally one of the teams the Warriors are suppossed to lose to didn't happen. Just don't say it loudly that Duncan was out in the 1st encounter

V the Warriors in 08-09 San Antonio host the Warriors on 6/12 and 24 24/3 while the Warriors host the Spurs on 2/2 and 13/4

Spurs connectionsYou wouldn't know it but Popovich and Don Nelson are close friends both conviently owning Castle Rock Winery in the Nappa valley

New Orleans Hornets The addition of Posey means that in this ridicously competive Western Conference the Hornets are well placed to advance as deep as they did last year. Are they well placed to beat the Lakers is a question that will be left unanswered for the time being

V the Warriors in 07-08 2-1 Maybe it was because Chris Paul played like an MVP candidate every time but the Hornets owned the Warriors. The Warriors never played great on the road against fellow Conference teams the main reason for the Hornets easy wins

V the Warriors in 08-09 In just four days the Warriors face off against the Hornets on opening night and we get to see how Demarcus Nelson the rookie senation fares against Paul and long after that Monta faces ofdf against him on the 3/4. New Orelans host the Warriors. New Orleans then host the Warriors on ESPN 1/30 and 22/3.

Hornets connections Needless to say the Baron Davis for Speedy Claxton trade was a perfect example of Mullin giving away so little for so much though fans have wondered would we have been better off tanking for Chris Paul.

Memphis Grizzlies Put this team down as garbage. OJ Mayo will be like Kevin Durrant get a lot of points but have a bad shooting percentage.

V the Warriors in 07-08 0-4

V the Warriors in 08-09 Can the Warriors not play the Grizzlies four times in a row just to boost their early win season toal. No?. Okay well they go to Memphis on 11/4 one of the earlier road games and host 11/7 and 30/3.

Grizzlies connections The dubs were just one pick away from landing RudyGay one of the few reasons to watch Memphis this season. Taking POB the pick after well call it misfortune

Oklahoma City Thunder The Thunder's ownership must have trouble looking at themselves in the mirror every morning after taking away the Sonics from one of the best Basketball towns you'll ever see. That said the players,fans and coaches don't deserve any flak for this and they could well surprise a few people in their unfamiliar surrondings

V the Warriors in 07-08 0-4 The Thunder always made it interesting, but the Warriors were able to hold them off in all four contests.

V the Warriors in 08-09 Warriors go to Oaklahoma on the 8/12 and 31/12 and then it goes to the Oracle on 21/1 and 21/2.

Thunder connections In what was a blkatant attempt at copying our mascot the Sonics (sorry Thunder ) stole our mascots name and used it to call it their NBA Franchise. Bad going guys

Denver Nuggets The Nuggets have had to deal with losing two of their best transition Defensive players Najera and Camby and the jury is still massively out on whether they return to a 6th consecutive postseason

V the Warriors in 07-08 3-1. The April game which literally decided who would make the playoffs was a case of crowd rising to the occassion but unforunately the players didn't with the Nuggets putting a rare decent Defensive performance

V the Nuggets in 08-09 At Golden State on 11/5, in Denver 12/13 and 3/28.

Nuggets connections Does style of play count?. Both teams love to run and gun without realising that in todays day and age that gets you nowhere.

Utah Jazz Same old year same old Jazz this meaning they will repeat last years performance of another Division title but another second round playoff loss.

V the Warriors in 07-08 3-0 the only Western Conference team to sweep the Warriors. Put it simply expect another sweep this year.

V the Warriors in 09-09 The Dubs visit Utah on 5/1 and 11/4 while hosting the Jazz on 2/8 and 3/3.

Jazz connections Nothing

Portland Trailblazers Because of their draft moves and some wise free agency spending I will state the obvious. Portland is going to really good this season and will likely surpass the Warriors.

V the Warriors in 07-08 Both teams winning convincinngly at home with Steve Blake the Warriors killer exploding for a ridiculous 20 points. This season expect a reverse in Portlands favour

V the Warriors in 08-09 In Oakland 18/11 and 12/2 and Portland 10/1

Trailblazers connections Ike Diogu one of the numerous Warriors first dround draft picks is now a reserve here

Minnesota Timberwolves Luckily for the Warriors , Kevin McHale has proven to be one of the more inept GMs in the NBA over the years. But I actually like the moves he made this summer, including trading O.J. Mayo for Kevin Love and Mike Miller. The Wolves remain far from decent however.

V the Warriors in 07-08 1-3 One of the most painful losses in last seasons campaign was a one point memorial day loss as the T-Wolves rode a Ryan Gomes 35 point game to win only their 3rd game on the road that year.

V the Warriors in 08-09 11/11 in Oakland, 2/1 in Minnesota, 3/3 in Minnesota and 8/4 in Oakland

Friday, October 24, 2008

Stephen Jackson and his badly timed extension

Why is it that the Warriors before the season are talking about extending Stephen Jacksons contract

I enojoy watching him play but the reality is that with a losing season expected of the Warriors the question remains will he be able to handle it both mentally and physically. In other words will he be the Jackson that showed up in game 6 of the Dallas series or dissapeared in the Utah series. There is far too much uncertainty surronding the team at the moment to think about contract extensions. no doubt unlike his loose cannon days in Indiana Jackson has been a model citizen but committing your cap space when it isn't neccessary has been too frequntly done by Warrior front offices. Letting Jackson wait one more year and see how this season has affected him physcologically and emotionally seems like a better idea. After all just too easily S-Jax could complain about getting paid and gives less than 100% then Rowell has made the right decision

5 reasons why the extension should happen

1. No Warriors fan on earth could deal with losing Baron first, Monta second (to a fluke injury) and then Stephen Jackson third all in the space of a few months

2. Easily at the moment the best Defender on the team

3. Could speak out to the Warriors front office should the extension not happen

4. Underpaid in comparassion to the rest of the roster

5. Has Point forward skills valuable in Nellieball as we all know

5 Reasons why the Contract Extension should not happen

1. With the current state of the team it's not the end of the world if we lose him

2. Maggette is at SF Jacksons perferred position

3. His streaky shooting is an annoyance and I expect him to comfortably beat the most 3 pointers attempted in a season witthout even thinking how much he's made

4. Cap space just isn't there for the possible large deal he craves

5. He's under contract for two more seasons

We've witnessed first hand how bad contracts can weigh down a franchise. I hope the Warriors don't rush into a deal that they will end up regretting.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Kurz and the shot in China

The last two games the Warriors have been recepients of David sterns plan to market the sport abroad by playing two preseason games in China both against the Bucks. Whether it rose China's interest is irrelevant the benefits that could be gained are numerous. But on Friday one of them was confirmed. Rob Kurz trying to make the team did himself justice by hitting a 18 footer at the buzzer. Well ok let the Youtube clip do the talking

Saturday, October 18, 2008

NFL Week 7 Picks

Last week was full of shocks not so much in San Francisco. As much as Martz has made this offense better who on earth passes the ball as much as he did when you have a 9 point lead and you're playing a team that blitzes the ball as much as the Eagles do. No wonder they lost and when you consider that when they play the Giants just as motivated after a MNF embarassment then expect a blowout loss just as bad as the Raiders- New Orleans game. Anyway onto the picks

Week 7 matchups

San Diego (3-3) @ Buffalo (4-1) The Chargers have taken a while to gel but they have shown they can be at the top of the game with a convincing win on SNF against the Pats and with the Broncos losing this helps the Chargers further. Even at 4-1 it seems Buffalo are overachieving and this is the perfect test for them.

New Orleans (3-3) @ Carolina (4-2) One of those top offense v top Defense matchup that could make this game decent viewing. The Panthers were turnover prone against the Bucs and evn though they can't afford to lose another game to a division rival I fancy the Saints in this one.

Minnesota (3-3) @ Chicago (3-3) The Vikings ground it out agains the Lions to keep their slim playoff chances alive. Unlike the Lions however Chicago is more Defensive oriented so they can committ a few Linebackers to Adrian Peterson without worrying too much. As long as Orton doesn't turn it over the Bears will win this

Pisstburgh(4-1) @ Cincinnati (1-6)Pretty much a division gimme for Roethlisburger the Point spread obviously depends on how much Carson Palmer is ready to play but even so the Steelers return after a bye week very much knowing this divison is there's to lose.

(Tennessee (5-0) @ Kansas (1-4) Titans 5-0 for the first time in Franchise history should soon win number 6 after tonight. With a decent Running game and a Defense doing enough everything indicates the Titans are for real.

Baltimore ( 2-3) @ Miami 2-3) Tough game to pick here. Wildcard formation against Flacco who faces a poor pass Defense. Yet there is every indication that Flacco won't take advantage. Having said that the wildcat against an excellent Defense means this is on the list of games to watch today for me.

Dallas (4-2) @ St Louis (1-4) Romo's out, they suffered the first blocked Punt Retuen for a TD in OT last week, Pacman Jones is suspended and their Punter is out for the rest of the season. So what they have to do is be conservative and run the ball early and often. Jim Haslett taking control had a fantastic win last week in Washington but comes crashing back down to earth as the Cowobys will not cruise but they do ground out a win.

Detroit ( 0-5) @ Houston (1-4)The Texans were extremely fortunate to have gotten on the board last week. Against a Lions team in a complete shambles and Kitna out for the rest of the season Texans get their season on back track especially with the trio of Schauab, Johnson and Slaton will put up the points for a comfortable win.

Indianapolis (3-2) @ Green Bay 3-3) The Ravens let the Colts have a scrimmage win against them but the worry for Indy is the lack of depth at Running Back. Ditto for the Packers although it more or less has to do with the quality althouhg they have stuck with it. However Manning and company simply need to win this game to keep up with the Titans surge to the top of the AFC South

Cleveland (2-3) @ Washington (4-2) Right when you think Washington is a genuine NFC East contender they go out and hand the rams an easy victory the three fumbles in opponents territory being costly. Jim Zorn will have surely learnt his lesson this week protect the ball, run it all the time for Clinton Portis and new signing Shaun Alexander and get the win.

Seattle (1-4) @ Tampa (4-2) With this being a late kickoff because it's a Sunday Night football game but Seattle have never been a good road team. Now that they are injury ravaged and well behind the NFC West this doesn't bode well. Unfortunately Homgren just picked a bad season to leave behind!

Denver ( 4-2) @ New England (3-2) Suddennly the Cassell era is looking in trouble. Offensive they look an utter shadow of last year and defensively they aren't making any big plays. Fortunately for the Broncos Champ Bailey matches up rather well against Randy Moss so look for the Pats to try and eastablish a Running game early especially with the Broncos mediocre Run Defense but it's hard to see the Pats secondary coping with Cutler.

Bay Area Football

San Francisco (2-4) @ NY Giants (4-1) The Giants were beaten up on Monday night but fear not the Niners are here to provide light relief. JTO is attempting to do a good job at QB even wih terrible pass protection but against a Giants D-line that barely recorded any sacks against the Browns expect Justin tuck and co to have a big game.

NY Jets (3-2) @ Oakland (1-4) Brett Favre returns to Oakland where his great MNF perofrmance is remembered forever. Shouldn't be too difficult for the Jets as a journey especcially when facing the shambolic Raiders. Favre won't put up the numbers that he did last time he played here but he will do enough to lead the Jets to victory.

Last Weeks Score 8-6

Total accumulated score 52-36

Irish Warriors NFL youtube clip of the Week

Wonder if the Titans have this in their arsenal for this week

Monday, October 13, 2008

Irish Warriors Eastern Conference Preview

The next few weeks will see a ton of media outlets like magazines, ESPN and other sports networks, TV analysts and bloggers give their take on the Preview of both Eastern and Western Conference. Therfore I'll ttry to keep mine brief and related to the Warriors as much as possible. In no particular order

Boston Celtics

Even though the Celtics did little to improve this offseason well aside from getting POB they still are the team to beat in the East. Even with losing Posey it's still hard to gauge them not making the Finals this year

V the Warriors in 07-08 1-1 During their early road trip last year right when Stephen Jackson just came back the Warriors were blown out 108-82. They redemmed themselves however with a thrilling buzzer beater win in the Roracle in February 119-117.

V the Warriors in 08-09 Like last year it's one of the early games on the schedule November 26 in Boston but unlike last year they meet right after Christmas day December 26th. Needless to say more then likely their won't be a 1-1 record against the Celtics this year.

Celtic connections Leon Powe who's from the Bay Area was passed on by the Golden State Warriors in favour of the immaculate Kosta perovic who's trying to save his career in Spain. Also worth noting that Don Nelson isn't just remembered for being a Hall Of Fame coach but his lucky shot he hit against the Lakers in game 7

Detroit Pistons With the Pistons renowned for the Eastern Conference failing Dumars the Pistons president tried to package a Billups and Rasheed Wallace trade to the Warriors but Mullin turned him down. Dumars even with his roster ageing still vowed to stay on

V the Warriors in 07-08 2-0. When Jackson was out the Warriors blew a 15 point 2nd qaurter lead to push their record to 0-5. They were hammered in Auburn hills in the return

V the Warriors in 08-09 The Warriors host the Pistons on the 13th november before going to Motown on the 6th of March

Pistons Connections One of their assistant coaches Dave Cowens formerly coached the Warriors in 2001-2002 see Dirty Dozen part 2.

Philadelphia 76ers The addition of Brand puts the 76ers right back in Eastern Conference contention this year.

V the Warriors in 07-08 0-2 Despite an OT squeaker in Philly the Sixers were one of the few Eastern Conference teams where they din't have any problems

V the Warriors in 08-09 The Warriors travel to Philadelphia on November 23 and then host the Sixers on 20th March

Sixers Connections Elton Brand was heavily linked with going to Golden State after Davis departed but the move never happenned. The failure of not getting Brand and deciding to pursue Maggette more heavily will haunt the Front office for years to come

Cleveland Cavalliers Nervous times in Cleveland since LeBron has made noise about moving to Brooklyn when the Nets relocate there. The failure of Mike Brown to coach a decent game and the lack of any decent second scoring option to go alongside LeBron means they will be hard pressed to repeat last years success.

V the Warriors in 07-08 1-1. Second game in Cleveland was memoorable for Nellie's refusal to bring off his starters even when they were comfortably ahead. This year Nelson won't have to worry.

V the Warriors in 08-09 The Dubs head to Cleveland on the second last game of a huge 6 game road trip during November and then host the Cavs on Janaury 23rd. Not expecting much for the opener in Cleveland such will be the tired legs

Cavs connections Bill Musselman's (former Cleveland coach) son Eric Musselman was coach of the Warriors during the dirty dozen years and turned out to be one of the better coaches. Keith Smart also served as interim coach for a couple of months

Orlando Magic Pietrus!. The only upgrade the Magic have made thid offseason and it should be interesting to see how much Van gundy will develop his Defensive instincts.

V the Warriors in 07-08 1-1 the Warriors having one of their few controlled performances in Orlando which meant they had swept Florida teams for the first time since the 1994-1995 season

V the Warriors in 08-09. Orlando first at home in December 15th before heading to Florida a week later. Fortunately they don't have the Miami party distraction to worry about since they head there the very next night.

Magic connections Surprisingly a few. Mickael Pietrus and Adonal Foyle are more then likely enjoying the Florida sunshine or in Foyle's case working on Democracy matters. For some reason Orlando is a hotbed for Golden State washed ups!

Toronto Raptors They made a neutral tracde getting rid of TJ Ford for injury prone Jermaine O Neal but this moves Jose Calderon to the starting point guard spot, a big upgrade over Ford.

V the Warriors in 07-08 0-2 Both nondescript wins but still essential. One of them was the East Coast earky road swing where the Raptors shot 2-20 in the 4th quarter

V the Raptors in 08-09 Second game of the season they make the long journey to Toronto before hosting the Raptors in the second last game of 2008

Raptors connections One time when Isiah Thomas actually knew what he was doing he was part of the Warriors trade that sent BJ Armstrong to Oaktown for Carlos Rogers and Victor Alexander.Arguably the most neutral trade ever such is the lack of talent.

Atlanta Hawks The Hawks have put themselves back into the Playoff contention by making the Bibby trade an experienced 31 year old PG who has a been there done that mentality.

V the Warriors in 07-08 1-1. An embarassing loss (in a long list of them) at home followed by a ridiculous 135-115 shootout in Hotlanta in the Warriors favour

V the Warriors in 08-09 Like last year the Warriors visit Atlanta on December 19th (fortunately the have two days rest to prepare for it) and then host the Hawks on January 16th.

Hawks connections Speedy Claxton part of the Baron Davis trade is now at backup PG here. Mark Price one of the assistant coaches also was a player during the 1996-1997 season. I could also talk about the strong music connections both cities have but thats for another day

Miami Heat What to make of the Heat and Pat Riley. riley os one of those characters that has to get involved in any way possible. In 2003 when the Heat made the Playoffs with rookie head coach and a roster featuring a talented, multi-faceted small forward, an aging but tough center, a terrific shooting guard and one of the most promising rookies in the NBA. The rookie coach makes the Playoffs but then Rikey takes over. With Erik Spolesta in charge will this be the same scenario again?

V the Warriors in 07-08 0-2 The Warriors like many other teams in the East played down to the Heats strenghs but won in OT during December. Then in March where Heat fans started thinking about Beasley or Derrick Rose the Warriors hammered them 134-99

V the Warriors in 08-09 Warriors host Miami first on the 1st of November before heading to South Beach December 23rd.

Heat connections Tim Hardaway a formal integral part of the Run TMC Offense played in Miami and was named to the all second NBA team in the 1998 season. Ronny Seiklaly who played briefly for the Dubs also played here

Charlotte Bobcats Larry Brown is the type of NBA coach who has a knack of putting mediocre teams in the spotlight was his coaching job in 2004 with the Pistons. He now has the chance of coaching an injury prone but defintely talented team and doing the same thing

V the Warriors in 07-08 1-1. Richardson looked completely overwhelmed and had a terrible game as the Warriors beat the Bobcats handily but in Charlotte unfortunately he found his game and had a 42 point game in the Warriors 2nd worst loss to an Eastern Conference team last season

V the Warriors in 08-09 This time the schedule has been reversed. TheWarriors go to Charlotte on December 20th and then don't host Charlotte until February 27th.

Bobcats connections Obviously there's the Richardson trade which Mullin must be regretting by noiw such is the shortage of quality Point Guards. Larry Brown also apparently is close friends with owner Chris Cohan.

Washington Wizards Ah yes the Wizards. Who in gods name thought it was sensible forking out 117 million for a shoot first Point Guard. Throw in injuries to Antawn Jamison and Brendan Haywood and the Wizards might struggle to repeat the playoffs.

V the Warriors in 07-08 0-2. In one of the most sensational comebacks by the Warriors in sometime they overcame a Roger Mason J.R career game and came back from 25 down to beat Washington. If that was a game that symbolizes what I love and hate about Nellieball this is it

V the Warriors in 08-09 Warriors travel to Washington the 25th of November before hosting them on January 19th

Wizards connections Needless to say Arenas and Jamison once played for us. Needless to say even though Arenas is injury prone based on the current state of the Guard position boy could the Warriors do with him now.

Chicago Bulls The decision by Paxson not to pursue a Garnett for Deng trade means the Bulls will be non contenders for a few years now.

V the Warriors in 07-08 1-1. Only in Golden State would an injury affected Bulls team walk into Oakland and defeat them rather easily on national TV

V the Warriors in 08-09 Warriors host the Bulls on November 21st before heading to Chicago on March 4th

Bulls connections Nothing aside from the fact that strangely ESPN and TNT seem to think this is a matchup worth watching. The last two seasons all four ,atchups have been screened. Fortunately for this year both networks have come to the conclusion this one for a change isn't worth watching.

Milwaukee Bucks Scott Skiles is one of those control freak coaches who won't settle for the medicocrity that Bucks fans have had to endure but with no bench and trying to rely on Mo Williams as a second scorer to Redd isn't going to cut it.

V the Warriors in 07-08 0-2. Both blowout wins. One of the few bad teams the Warriors beat handily

V the Warriors in 08-09 The Warriors host the Bucks on December 10th before going to Milwaukee on March 7th

Bucks connections Brian Winters the ill fated Warriors coach played his pro days here and was actually a decent Centre. The most obvious is Don Nelson who started his concept of Point Forward here and had seven seasons with 50 wins.

New York Knicks Does Mike D'antoni know what he's gotten himself into?. Does he know Chris Duhon was the only addition to the Knicks this offseason. What has he gotten himself into

V the Warriors in 07-08 0-2. The Warriors were a bad 4th quarter away from an embarassing loss but witheld and came away with an uninspiring win

V the Warriors in 08-09 The Warriors conclude their massive 6 game road trip at the end of November in New York and then host the Knicks on the 10th of February.

Knicks connections In one of his better articles from last year Bill Simmons the only decent writer on wrote that there are two special sets of fans in the NBA Warriors and Knicks

New Jersey Nets You know you are in trouble when Devin Harris the starting Guards of the Nets gets beaten one on one by a fan. Trading Richard Jefferson was costly but neccessary as the Nets are in rebuilding mode ahead of the Brooklyn move

V the Warriors in 07-08 1-1. The Warriors haven't won in New Jersey for more then ten years now .

V the Warriors in 08-09 And they have an early shot at ending this streak by going to New Jersey on November 1st before hosting the Nets on March 11.

Indiana Pacers The Pacers are going to be downright awful this season, next season and probably the season after that because of the hideous Murphy contract.

V the Warriors in 07-08. Could well have been 2-0 but they surrnded a 19 point firrst quartr lead before losing. They did get revenge in Indiana though in one of the worst Warrior 4th quarter performances ever

V the Warriors in 08-09 The Dubs commence a 6 game road trip in Hoosier state and then host the DunMurphy sisters on January 11th

Pacers connections. Numerous. After the DunMurphy trade Mullin also played two seasons in Indiana

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The POB story

Last season the Warriors passed up on extending POB's contract therfore putting him in the Free Agency market. In his rookie season it was understood by everyone that Patrick O Bryant needed to be given time to develop. He was a legitmate 7 footer who posted up decent stats at Bradley and wasn't heavily recruited when he came out of high school. Yet for some reason Nellie's sound lack of judgement got in the way when evaluating POB hence the fact he rarely played. POB during his two seasons with the Warriors had a unique blend of size and skill. Yes his work ehtic could have been better and yes he might not have had the motivation to try and become a starting center but everytime he stepped on the court you knew he had a chance of being something special.

In the Summer League of 2007 the Warriors front office and fans ignored the "lets give him time to develop " mantra and started critiscing POB labelling him a bust ignoring the fact he was inexperienced and barely played a minute in his rookie season. To give him credit he bounced back and impressed Nelson before the start of the season but as we all know Nellie is the master of mindgames and a few months later POB was doing his usual role of being the bench warmer

It's not clear as to why POB was let go. Maybe the continous rift between him and Nelson never helped and the fact is maybe Nelson was never willing to try and see if POB the 9th pick of the 2006 draft would amount to anything and it would be better for the Franchise if they let him go all together. Or maybe Mullin decided he wasn't worth 3 million a year and that they would let him be a free agent in the hope that no Franchise would make a move towards him.

With Biedrins and Turiaf the only Centers it would have been nice to have given him a one year extension and play him 10-15 minutes a night to see how far his game has developed. After all it's a given the Warriors won't make the playoffs this year so it wouldn't have hurt to have given him one more chance. This summer the Celtics grabbed him for a two year deal and the reports have showed that his game has conseriably developed in Preseason with Ainge proving he has a good eye for talent.

Ultimately it was Mullin's call but he didn't get any value out of POB and now the Celtics will try and capitzlize. I hope it doesn't come back to haunt us too much.

Friday, October 10, 2008

NFL week 6 picks

It's fustrating being a Niners fan and watching the consistent mediocricity that Nolan serves up each week, It's horrible watching Just Turn over throw a ball into double coverage or absorb a sack because he held onto the ball for far too long, It's excruating watching Strickland cover Moss and Clements the 80 million investment get beat regulary, Our Offensive line is pushed around regulary manhandled and made to look stupid. And there are many many other factors as to why the 49ers are so mediocre

Getting my mini 49ers rant out of the way yours truly has his picks avaiable for another hard hitting NFL week

Week 6 Matchups

Chicago (3-2) @ Atlanta (3-2)It was probably the easiest pick so far last week when tipping the Bears to beat the Lions. Against the Falcons and their Running back duo of Turner and Norwood the Bears Defense is still good enough to allow Matt Ryan to throw and try and beat them. Kyle Orton is getting a lot of credit to the Bears success but their 27% rate on getting Offenses off helps as well.

Miami (2-2) @ Houston (0-4) I pick Houston shocker. Last week was exhibit A in the Texans numerous list of how to lose Football games. This week even though the Dolphins came off a surprise win against the Chargers and are improving better then expected but this is the type of game that shows them they have someways to go.

Indianapolis (2-2) @ Baltimore (2-2) The NFL's number 1 Defense versus an Offense usally ranked near the top but haven't come out fired yet. Sage Rosenfels giftwrapped them the game last Sunday diito for Brad Childress in the Vikings win but this game has the potential to become their first convincing win of the year. The grudge is there especially the way the Colts flew to Baltimore (excuse the pun)and the Ravens can keep it tough by running the ball and keeping it away from the Colts offense but I don't think Flaco will outscore the Colts here.

Detroit (0-4) @ Minnesota (2-3) The Vikings ground out one of the flukiest wins last Monday even with Peterson not having much joy but A.P should have a different day against Detroit. Thne Lions on average give away 180 yards per game and only musterd up 4 sacks this year music to Peterson and Ferotte's ears. Could be Kitna's last snap for a while given his injury.

Cincinatti (0-5) @ NY Jets (2-2) The Bengals almost came close to showing me up and pulled in a respectable 9 point loss in Dallas in a game that never felt that close. No time for oppotimism though they face the Jets who came off a ridiculous 56 point display against Arizona. Bengals seem to be getting it together on Defense but they can't stop that type of production.

Carolina (4-1) @ Tampa (3-2) First big NFC South matchup of the season?. Even though their records are seperated by one win the Panthers Running Back duo and Stewart have been too strong for most opponents. Like I said in the Tampa-Chicago matchup this one comes down to who runs the ball better and even though Tampa is ahead in this department Carolina has too much firepower.

St Louis (0-4) @ Washington (4-1) So Jim Haslett has stepped into Scott Linehan's shoes as internal coach of the Rams. His first assignment is a daunting looking trip to the Redhot Skins who have rebounded from a dismal week 1 defeat and posted up 4 wins in a row. More struggles for the Rams to follow and Washington will get 5 wins on the trot.

Jacksnville (2-3) @ Denver (4-1) Tough to make off matchup. The Broncos are better balanced offensively and off course Mile High is a huge advantage. As for the Jaguars what has happenned to them?. Despite the Broncos helpless Defense doing everything it can to keep it a close game the Broncos Offense will have much more firepower to win this one.

Dallas (4-1) @ Arizona (3-2). Potential for another absolute shootout here. Both teams have strong offenses, both teams are mediocre on Defense but unfortunately for Arizona unlike Buffalo Dallas will be used to the heat. The Cowboys bearely beat the Bengals but then the same Bengals lost to the Giants in OT so that may suggest more about the improvement of the Bengals than anything about the Cowboys struggling. Dallas got the win last week and they'll get the win this week.

Green Bay (2-3) @ Seattle (1-3) Dismal performance from the Seahawks last week showing that maybe Mike has maybe lost the team and that possibly whether the decision to announce his retirement and successor before the season has had a negative effect. You would think a Coach of Holmgren's talent would give his team a kick in the backside and light a fire for the 12th man but even against the Packers a team failing to inspire as well the Hawks continue to be dire.

New England (3-1) @ San Diego (2-3) Classic playoff rivalry was once a mouthwatering regular season matchup a couple of months ago until Brady went down and LT became ashadow of himself. Traditionally the Chargers are slow starters but this excuse only gets you so far and it's time to show what they are made off against real teams. For some reason New England has a little bit of a dominance over San Diego but no Brady means San diego ends this drought as their Wembley trip is vastly approaching.

NY Giants (4-0) @ Cleveland (1-3) If only the MNF people had hindsight. Still hopefully with the way Derek Anderson's been playing it means possibly more PT for Brady Quinn and even David Carr as Manning heads to the sideline following a comfortable lead

Bay Area Football

Oakland (1-3) @ New Orleans (2-3). The Raiders have a new coach sorry puppet for al Davis to take control off. Aparently the Raiders players liked Kiffin so it remains to be seen whether this puppet will garner the same reaction. The Puppets first must do is to stop the Saint keep hold of the ball though and not allow the Raiders life. Easier then it looks.

Philadelphia (2-3) @ San Francisco (2-3) Even without Westbrook the best way the Eagles get out of a small losing streak is a trip to San Fracisco. Against a bliutz happy Defense versus a Quarterback who's been sacked the most times in the NFL so far does anyone really see the 49ers getting anything done on offense. I don't think so.

Last Week 10-4

Total Accumulated score 44-30