The Other Side: Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors helped welcome Washington Wizards interim coach Ed Tapscott to the NBA in the best way possible: They rolled over in his coaching debut and gave the Wizards a much-needed 124-100 victory. That still stands as the highest scoring output and largest margin of victory for the eight-win Wizards.
The Warriors have provided good times for many in the NBA this season, as they rank last in scoring defense, allowing an incredible 112.3 points per game -- almost five points more than any other team in the league. The high scoring is mostly the result of their break-neck pace, but the Warriors also are 25th in field goal percentage defense (46.9) -- two spots above the Wizards who rank 27th at 47.4 percent.
When the teams met at Verizon Center on Nov. 25, the Warriors had five wins and the Wizards had one. Since squaring off for that opening tip, the Warriors have gone 7-21 while the Wizards posted an identical record. Golden State (12-29) is 12 games behind its pace from last season, when it was 24-17 at the 41-game mark.
Here is what you should know about the Warriors before they host the Wizards in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee in Oakland:
1. Monta Ellis Is Not Ready Yet
Monte Ellis practiced for the first time last week, after missing all of the season rehabbing his injured left ankle. He spent a good amount of time dispelling rumors that he was angry with Coach Don Nelson and Warriors management for fining him $3 million for his moped accident, which mangled his leg. Ellis said he will always be a Warrior, but his agent, Jeff Fried, will be in Oakland today in an attempt to smooth over any hard feelings that have developed in the past six months. Ellis is still waiting to be cleared by the team doctors and trainers.
2. Jamal Crawford Is Hitting His Stride
Crawford is averaging 25.6 points and 5.0 assists in January, and has been on a tear the past three games, averaging 32 points over that span, which has resulted in the Warriors winning two of three. Crawford played 60 minutes in the Warriors triple overtime loss to Sacramento last Wednesday. Since joining the Warriors after a trade from the New York Knicks, Crawford is averaging 20.4 points in 26 games. Crawford credits his improvement on coaching tips from assistant Keith Smart and entering his prime.
3. Stephen Jackson Is Back
Warriors fans were treated to a rare sight during the Warriors' 119-114 victory over Atlanta on Saturday. Jamal Crawford, Stephen Jackson and Corey Maggette played a full game together for just the sixth time and combined to score 77 points, including 29 consecutive points in the fourth quarter. Captain Jack has missed 10 games this season, and returned after a four-game absence (strained right hamstring) to score 24 points against the Hawks. The Warriors are 3-7 without Jackson this season.
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Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 19, 2009 1:55 PM
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