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
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 ESPN.com 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