Let's be honest, Warriors guard Monta Ellis was a turnover machine for a while. He had a run where he produced absolutely frightening numbers when it came to taking care of the ball.During a three-week stretch in November and early December, Ellis had an 11-turnover game, two nine-turnover games and a pair of seven-turnover games.John Stockton, he wasn't.But recently, Ellis has been treating the ball with a little more respect, and he's turned it over just eight times in his past four games."We used him a little differently the last game (San Antonio) and I think went more to his strength," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "I think that's helped. But he is also playing at a very high level. I thought he played his best game &8722; both he and (Corey) Maggette &8722; against San Antonio. And that's hard to say because (Ellis) had some great ones."Assistant coach Keith Smart said the Warriors have taken the ball out of Ellis' hands a little bit more and allowed other players to initiate the offense. Smart also said the Warriors are making a conscientious effort to get Ellis the ball on the weak side of the floor, so that when he goes to the bucket he's not driving against a set defense but one that's moving.Against the Spurs, Ellis had just one turnover in 45 minutes."Truthfully, I'm not getting as many crazy charge calls," Ellis said. "If you go back and look at all the turnovers I had it was never just me turning the ball straight over. It was always something with a charge or guys not catching the ball. That's why coach never said anything about it. The majority of them weren't my fault. It was just trying to making basketball plays and it didn't fall the way it was expected to." Nelson said that he wasn't going to use the same starting lineup tonight against the Wizards that he used Wednesday night against the Spurs.But, of course, Nelson wouldn't say the specific change or changes. Against the Spurs, Nelson went with C.J. Watson, Stephen Curry, Ellis, Corey Maggette and Vladimir Radmanovic.Look for Anthony Morrow or Anthony Randolph to be introduced with the starters against Washington.
For his latest trick, Steve Kerr brought out a deck of cards Friday night in Oakland.
With Kevin Durant and Draymond Green out against the Bulls, Kerr was ready to announce who would replace them. Get your phones ready reporters.
"You guys ready to tweet?" Kerr asked reporters. "We're gonna start Omri and Jordan Bell."
Kerr then began to shuffle his deck of cards and said, "As soon as you're down tweeting, we'll resume human contact. But in the meantime, stare at your phones, ignore me, I'm just practicing my shuffling."
Casspi, in his first year with the Warriors, is averaging 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game through 15 games. The rookie Bell has played in 12 games and is averaging 3.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.
Friday night is Bell's first career start.
Kerr's pregame prop list now includes a nail clipper, a Rubbik's cube, a slinky, and playing cards.
OAKLAND -- The massive task of replacing All-Star forwards Kevin Durant and Draymond Green in the Warriors lineup Friday night against the Bulls falls to veteran Omri Casspi and rookie Jordan Bell.
It’s the first career start for Bell, who was a healthy scratch in each of the last three games. He will be facing the team that drafted him last June specifically to sell his rights to the Warriors for $3.5 million.
“I’ve been wanting to get him active and play him anyway,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said prior to tipoff. “But with Draymond out, to me, it’s a pretty easy choice.”
Bell indicated he would not be particularly motivated against the team that drafted him, adding that he won’t be seeking any sort of vindication.
“They made it clear that they didn’t want me, so I don’t take it to heart,” Bell said after shootaround Friday morning. “They didn’t draft me and sell me. They just drafted me for the Warriors.”
Though Durant is out to rest his left ankle, sprained last Saturday in Philadelphia, Green simply has been given the night off. Kerr indicated there will be other occasions for which he will rest Green.
Durant missed only one game last week but returned Wednesday at Oklahoma City. His ankle did not respond well in the wake of that game, so he gets another day off.
Casspi replaced Durant in the starting lineup last Sunday at Brooklyn, producing 12 points, eight rebounds and two blocks over 23 minutes.
This is the first absence of the season for Green. It won’t be the last, as Kerr plans to rest all starters at various points of the season.