A place for me to talk about San Francisco Bay Area sports.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Warrior are now 3-1 in the Best of 7 Series, One Win Away

Congrats to the Warriors on pulling out a gutty win 103-99 over the Dallas Mavericks. They were still losing late in the game but then had something like a 20-11 run in the 4th to take over and hold onto the lead, which was precarious, due to Nowitski hitting 3's consecutively. Baron and Jackson again led the way, they have been great thus far.

But one game at a time Warriors, one game at a time, these are still the Mavericks who won 67 games during the season, and they just played a great game on the road, and now have two games at home. Fortunately the Warriors have been winning there recently so it is not a far stretch to think that they might pull one of the two games out of their hats. Game 5 will show what type of men the Mavericks are, will they fold after the hard fought game 4 or will they fight like the champions they were last season and beat up on the Warriors again? It will be good games.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Warriors First Playoff Win at Home in 15 Seasons

Wow, Warriors beat Dallas again to take a 2-1 lead in the 7 game series. After self-imploding in game 2, with Baron Davis then Stephen Jackson getting ejected from the game, and losing ugly at Dallas, they came back and blew Dallas out in game 3. They led after the first quarter then extended the lead through the game, quarter by quarter.

Erick Dampier, the former Warrior lump on the log and current Maverick, showing how smart he is, said "They've scouted us. They know what we do." Well "Duh!", Don Nelson was your team's coach for years, shouldn't he "know" all his players' strengths and weaknesses?

One game at a time, Warriors, one game at a time.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Congrats to the Warriors!!!

Congratulations to the Warriors for making the playoffs! For the first time in 13 years, since 1994. KNBR was playing all sort of songs from that year to commemorate this achievement.

Now they have the uneviable task of taking on the Dallas Mavericks, owner of the best season's record since the Lakers in 1999-2000. While they are 3-0 against them this season, plus I believe they were 2-0 against them last season too, this is now the playoffs, it's different now, a different type of ball. Plus a number of the players - i.e. all the Warriors vets - have never played in the playoffs, that usually affects the play of some.

Wish them all the luck, hopefully they can win a couple of games, any more than that is hoping for too much and too unrealistic. And yet, I take hope from the good record for the past two seasons, that should at least count for something, even if the playoff environment is different.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Now That's a Good and Grateful Protege: Avery Johnson's Gift to Nelly

Two games to go, two wins necessary for the Warriors to ensure making the playoffs. They are facing the mighty Dallas Mavericks tonight, owner of the best record since Lakers in 99-00 season with 66 wins. They need every win because the Clippers are hot on their backs and also playing a tough team, though not as tough, in the Suns. And coach Avery basically gives the game to the Warriors by resting his best players and basically playing his bench.

Now that's a grateful protege! Some might not remember, but Avery Johnson wasn't considered much of an NBA player when he joined the Warriors during Nelly's first term, but Nelly gave him his chance and he took it with both hands and had a very nice career after that, plus winning some championships if I remember right. Then when his career was over, he joined Nelly on the bench before Nelly handed the talented Mavericks into his hands and he has again took the opportunity and capitalized on it.

By tanking his team tonight, he gave the Warriors the chance to make the playoffs for the first time since Nelly last led them there. The Warriors only have to beat Portland tomorrow, and with the shelacking they are giving Dallas, they can rest their regulars so that they are fresher for tomorrow's back-to-back game, normally a killer since they are on consecutive nights, but made easier by this gimme of a game from Nelly's former protege. The Clipper had a hard fought game with the Suns today, winning by a hair, and have a game tomorrow also, the New Orleans/Ohklahoma City team that just missed out on the playoffs and looking to drag another team down with them.

In addition, this gives Avery the chance to lock horns with the Master in the playoffs and show his former boss that he has learned well at his feet. Given that the Warriors are 5-0 in the past two seasons - assuming they win tonight's game which is a laugher in the 4th period now so it's pretty much done - they might be a bit tougher to roll over than the Clippers would have been had Avery took it to his former boss tonight.

This is why I didn't share Rod Brook's (KNBR host) feelings that the Mavericks wanted to play hard tonight to put the Warriors down so that they don't have to face them in the playoffs. If you are a good team, you don't look at past records and worry, you have a belief and confidence in your abilities and are willing to take on any challenge. Plus, I would think that most of the team are still people that Nelly put together and probably wouldn't mind giving their ex-boss a chance to make the playoffs and feel a little more prouder about his accomplishment this season, taking the ragged Warriors and getting them into the playoffs for the first time in, what, 14 seasons?

Plus, really, the Warriors as they are constituted right now, should be somewhere in the 4th to 6th seed. They were missing Jason Richardson for much of the season, then he was rusty for a while before returning to form. Then there is Baron's frequent health problems but he appears to be healthy now. Ellis and Biedrins are much improved over how they were early on, they are now "experienced" and have learned a lot during the season. Stephen Jackson and Harrington have been good additions as well, but only here for the second half of the season.

They won't necessarily win against the Mavs, that would be hoping for too much, but they should be able to make things interesting I think, and not just get swept away. But a talent deficit is a talent deficit, there's no shame in that, so they will probably be able to stretch it out to 5, maybe 6 games, should they make the playoffs.

But they are one step closer after this gimme of a game. Thanks Avery!

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