Sunday, December 2, 2007

Chronicles of a Road Warrior


As many of you know I live in NY and it is hard for me to get to Warriors games. I spoke to David Stern over the summer and I asked him to make it a little easier to see my favorite team in person. Of course, he obliged me because he owed me after I bought that 24 game ticket package for the 01-02 Warriors season. (that team was TERRIBLE). So when the schedule came out in September and I saw the following –

Nov. 20 Warriors - Knicks
Nov. 21 Warriors – Celtics
Nov. 22 – Thanksgiving
Nov. 23 – Warriors – Wizards
Nov. 24 – Warriors – Sixers

I knew I was not going home for Thanksgiving. As a result of this grand gift, I have decided to chronicle my week with the Warriors.

(This column will be a little different from others as I will be giving bullet point observations as opposed to directionless rants. Enjoy)


Nov. 20 Warriors vs. Knicks @ The Garden

I went to this game with my friend Saraniti – an Italian from Brooklyn who does really like basketball but he jumped on the bandwagon of the Warriors during the playoffs last year. Normally, I am not a big fan of bandwagon jumpers but he hosted a party this summer on the Jersey shore with a Matt Barnes mohawk (when a guy cuts his hair like Matt Barnes voluntarily – I think he is allowed to stay on the bandwagon as long as you want)

(Sorry about the rant)

Pre-game Thoughts

  • Nelly is wearing a fire engine red shirt under his sport coat. He is a beard away from being Santa Claus
  • “Starting at guard Stephan Mar-boooooooooooo”
  • I love New York fans. While the rest of the country thinks they are idiots, I love them. Marbury deserves to be booed along with his (and the Knicks) fearless leader. Sometimes I think NY is the only place where sports fans understand accountability

First Half

  • Q: How bad are the Knicks? A: The Warriors missed their first 7 three point attempts and were still winning the game at that point.
  • Somebody on the Warriors coaching staff needs to tell Bellinelli that squaring your shoulders to the basket makes scoring easier

Second Half

  • This game is over so on to some random thoughts
  • Failing to give Monta Ellis a contract in the offseason is going to cost the Warriors at least 10 wins this season. Because he is playing for a contract he
    • Doesn’t pass the ball because he thinks he is a shooting guard (he is right)
    • Takes terrible shots because he needs to average 20 a game so he can get paid and live up to that “and 1” hype
    • Overplays everything on defense because the more steals he gets the bigger a contract he will be able to command in the offseason
  • Biedrens is not worth $10 million a season
  • Quite a few Warriors fans at The Garden tonight and not one is wearing any of their current apparel.
  • Memo to the Warriors marketing – If beating the Mavs last year doesn’t boost current apparel sales, maybe it is time to change the uniforms!

Post-game Thoughts

  • The Warriors win easily and it is on to Boston where they will be 10 point underdogs after winning consecutive road games. Anyone who thinks there is parity in the NBA is cluless


Nov. 21 Warriors vs. Celtics @ The Boston Garder … errrr … The Fleet Center

Pre-game Thoughts

  • In 2001, the Red Sox actively tried to solicit support for a new Fenway Park and the owner was almost lynched for trying to replace a park where the Red Sox (at the time) had failed to win anything since 1918. The Celtics look to replace the Boston Garden (an arena where they won 2 zillion championships) and nobody cares. Boston is a baseball town and let nobody try to tell you differently.
  • Based on my previous bullet point, it is completely unfair that the Celtics got KG. Sometimes I hate being a Warrior fan.
  • Lets make something clear, I love the Warriors but right when you start getting positive … well you know

First Half

  • I hate to harp on this but Biedrens is not worth 10 million a season. You have all heard the term “grab” a rebound. Well, Biedrens has never actually “grabbed” a rebound. He has tipped many to himself but never actually grabbed one. This is my biggest pet peeve with his game. (GRAB THE BALL AND THROW IT TO BARON SO HE CAN START THE BREAK!!!)
  • Mental Note: Calm Down
  • To my earlier point, Barnes might not be 7 ft tall and I might hate the rest of his “inconsistent, bad shot taking, mediocre defensive” game but he grabs the board and outlets the ball very efficiently.

Second Half

  • Nothing is going to save the Warriors tonight. Add the Celtics to the list of teams (Jazz and Spurs) that the Warriors have ZERO chance of beating
  • Oh great, David Ortiz is at the game. I cannot stand Boston

Post-game Thoughts

  • I have come to three conclusions
    • Ray Allen is the Mike Mussina of Basketball
      • Great player, impressive stats – should NOT be in the HOF
    • Nobody loves the Wright for Richardson trade more than me. This kid is going to be a nice player and Richardson still cannot guard a flag pole
    • Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and KG are the most competitive athletes I have ever watched.
  • Since the Warriors got embarrassed tonight, I feel compelled to leave you (more importantly me) with a motivational message: If Austin Croshere and Scott Pollard can go head to head in the 2nd quarter of an NBA game (significant because in theory both of these teams still have a chance to win this game before half time) then there is NO reason all of us cannot accomplish everything we put our mind to (including getting paid to write about Bay Area sports – spread the word “corner dwellers” aka my readers)


Nov. 22 – Thanksgiving

Pre-game Thoughts

  • I am not eating turkey and I not seeing any of my friends or family

First Half

  • Top 5 best Thanksgivings of all time

Second Half

  • I have issues

Post-game Thoughts

  • I should have had turkey


Nov. 23 – Warriors vs. Wizards @ The (fill in the blank wireless company) Center

Pre-game Thoughts

  • So I took the train down to Washington today and it was great. Growing up in California, you never understand the concept of taking trains everywhere but the Northeast is a lot like Europe in that sense. I love it
  • It half price ticket night and I paid $24 to sit in the 4th row from the top. Needless to say, the Wizards fans are getting ripped off.
  • The spread on this game is 1.5 so there is a decent chance that we see a good game. (If the Warriors get beat by 20 tonight, they are not going to the playoffs – end of story)
  • Wolf Blitzer (the guy that looks like the dad from Teenwolf on CNN) gives us the pregame “situation” for the game and says “Gilbert should prove to the Warriors that he is an elite player in the league tonight” aaaahhhhh, he had knee surgery two days ago and he is out for three months. I hope the Wizards PR guy got fired for that one.
  • So I am sitting watching warm-ups and I cannot help but think the Warriors should smoke this team. The Wizards starting line-up is as follows:

PG – Antonio Daniels: (hardly a starting guard in the NBA)
SG – DeShawn Stevenson: According to the Washington Post, he is starting his 181st consecutive game tonight. And people wonder why the Wizards are an 8th seed at best
SF – Caron Butler: I love Caron Butler (more to follow on this guy)
PF – Antawn Jaimson: When he came on the floor, I almost yelled “STOP SHOOTING THREES” (natural reaction of any 01-02 Warriors season ticket holder)
C – Brandon Haywood: How is this guy not in the NBDL? Shouldn’t he be the 6th man in Fort Wayne by now.

(I am still not quite sure if Eddie Jordan is the worst coach in the league or the best coach in the league)

First Half

  • So the Wizards slogan this year is “Ready to Rule – Are you ready?” They have got to be kidding. I know Brandon Haywood isn’t and Antawn Jaimson is the least influential 20 and 10 guy since Derek Coleman played for the Nets (By the way, I would go off on Jaimson but he is too good a guy and I think comparing him to Derrick Coleman is enough of a shot)
  • I have my notebook set up to count how many 3 pointers we are going to miss to start the game. Let’s see what happens
  • What do you know we start out on fire and we are down 10 at one point in the 1st quarter. I hate the NBA sometimes. I spend so much time telling people how fun it is too watch and then this game happens
  • There is always something cool about each stadiums presentation of the game (well, except for Nets games at Continental Airlines Arena – they do a heck of a job representing that state). Anyways, when the refs make a questionable call against the Wizards the jumbotron shows pictures of the Michael Irvin, Jerry Jones, Emmit Smith and the Cowboys so the crowd will boo. Maybe other teams should do this. Like the Celtics could show pictures of Jeter or the Knicks could show pictures of Isiah (that makes too much sense)

Second Half

  • So we reach halftime and the Warriors have made almost everything from behind the arc and they are DOWN 1. If you are leading the league in 3 point attempts and you are shooting better than 60% from behind the arc (unofficial) you should be winning by a lot. (this is kind of like LT running for 150 yards in the first half and the Chargers are losing at halftime – nevermind)
  • Quick third quarter thought – Blatche is 4 times better than Haywood and yet he sits on the bench. Why? Eddie Jordan has to have money on this game (by the way, the Wizards have won 6 in a row and they are in danger of letting Agent Zero walk – I wonder if this is in the back of Jordan’s mind … interesting)
  • Wait a second, my eyes must be deciving me, the Warriors are playing defense!
  • Can somebody please tell Azibuke that the basket is connected to a backboard and he is allowed to use it.
  • Please disregard the last comment as Nelly told him at the last timeout and he just made an easy layup as opposed to looking like a fool again against Blatche.
  • The Lativian contingent in the upper deck go bananas as Biederns makes a layup to seal it.

Post-game Thoughts

  • Baron Davis is one of the elite players in this league and it is a tragedy that the Warriors did not get KG in the off-season
  • The worst part of the Kwame Brown trade for the Lakers was not getting Kwame Brown but giving up Caron Butler. How is it possible that Mitch can trade Shaq and Caron Butler and have Odam (the Gary Sheffield of the NBA) and Kwame Brown to show for it!? Butler is really really good
  • If the Warriors played defense like they did in the 4th tonight, they are the 6th seed in the west. (Who doesn’t want to see Suns-Warriors in the first round?)
  • On to Philly


Nov. 24 – Warriors vs. Sixers @ The former Spectrum

Pre-game Thoughts

  • There were more people at my high school baseball games than are at this game
  • I think teams should be allowed to have “bad comedy club night” when there is no hope to draw more than 2,000 people to a game. Here is how it would work:
  • Admissions is free
  • However, there is a two drink minimum. You buy your two drink coupons at the box office and go to the game.
  • The coupons can be used for any beverage or a regular hot dog.
  • I will be the first one to admit that this is a TERRIBLE idea for the following cities:
    • Detroit
    • Philadelphia
    • Oakland
  • Enough of my too good of any idea for anyone to actually use it commentary and on to the game
  • The chance of the Warriors “laying an egg” tonight is 150%.
  • Why do I think this? Because I never thought I would go to 3 Warriors games in a week and say to myself – “We should win this game” before each one. We are bound to lose.

First Half

  • And I thought we didn’t play any defense in the first half last night. Dalembart may block every shot we take within 4 ft of the rim.
  • Who is Lou Williams and what year did we not take him in the draft? This kid can shoot
  • I may not have mentioned this before so I will do it now – How did we not lock up Monte Ellis at the start of the season!? He may not play a lot of defense and his passing is awful at best but the guy can ALWAYS get an open look with his quickness and he is lights out tonight.
  • However, no one on the Warriors is playing any defense so we are down 12 at the half.

Second Half

  • The only reason we are getting back in this game is because Maurice Cheeks (the Sixers coach) is not letting Lou Williams go for 40.
  • (David Stern’s NBA Rule #1: If you have a guy that looks like he is going for 40, let him go for 50 because I pay the refs to let this type of game happen)
  • The 4th Quarter begins and the Warriors start playing defense.
  • Since they dug themselves a 12 point first half hole they might not be able to pull this one off.
  • When are NBA teams going to learn, you can’t win a game in the first half but you can definetly lose one
  • I hate every 2-3 combo guard from Arizona. All of them think they can shoot but they just can’t – Jefferson, Igudola, Walton etc.
  • OVERTIME

Overtime Thoughts

  • Make a note: On this day Nov. 24th in the year of our lord 2007, I have become optimistic while at a sporting event. We are going to win this game.
  • Nevermind, Sixers up one with 20 seconds left.
  • You knew it was going to be a Kentucky Wildcat (article coming next week on the best NCAA basketball rivalry IU and Kentucky) that wins the game for the Warriors.
  • I will admit that only 99% of me hates Azubukie after that shot.

After-game Thoughts

  • The Suns are going to KILL the Warriors on Monday if they play defense like they have over the last two games.
  • If the Warriors can play defense for 48 minutes, only three teams in this league can beat them (reminder: Spurs, Jazz and Celtics)
  • Conclusion: The Warriors are really really good when they play defense


Overall Road Trip Thoughts

  • NBA road trips are a good idea when your team is good and only when your team is good.
  • College Football road trips are 2000% more fun.
  • Stephen Jackson is the glue (now that is scary)

GO WARRIORS!

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Yo T,
I hope you include in your top five Thanksgivings some of the wornderful time you got to spend with the Stevens family. I look back on those Thanksgivings as being solely for you, our brothers, and I. We laughed and ate and listened to Dorn tell stories. I love when Dorn entertains our families. Love your ideas in the blogs. I haven't taken the time yet to read all of them, but I must say one thing. What is it about the word "parity" that makes all sports writers giddy? T, I thought you were above using words that 99.9% of the U.S. population do not understand. I hate to have my first comment be negative, but if there's anyone who likes a bit of honest negativity it's you. Keep up the good work T. I love your passion for for life, otherwise known as Warriros Bball and burritos. By the way, who is your editor?
Kev