Warriors

Was Ellis motivated by Hayward posting up?

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Was Ellis motivated by Hayward posting up?

OAKLAND Monta Ellis came into Thursdays game against theJazz in an awful shooting slump, just 12-for-43 from the field (27.9 percent)over the previous three games.Against Utah, he broke out with a 33-point night on13-for-21 shooting from the field, helping the Warriors to a 119-101 victory,their second straight.Who knows what got Ellis going? Hell never tell. Sometimesthe shots go down and sometimes they dont, hell say. Its never anything thedefense does, or so Ellis always will maintain.
But something or someone got Ellis going against Utah,and it just might have been the Jazz trying to run their offense through GordonHayward on the low block, with Ellis guarding him.Hayward is in his just his second season and isnt much of alow-post player. Ellis is a seven-year veteran who has guarded the best in thegame over the years Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, to name a few and he had to be at least a little bit offended how Utah was going about itsbusiness.In the third period, the Jazz fed the Warriors a steady dietof Hayward in the low post, and the result was that Ellis, his defender, had a16-point quarter. Of course, Ellis wouldnt go there with where his motivationcame from.RELATED: Monta Ellis game logs
But backcourt mate Stephen Curry doesnt have to be astight-lipped. So, the question to Curry was this: Do you think it (ticked) offEllis that the Jazz tried to attack him with Hayward?Im sure it does, Curry said. Hes been in the leagueseven years and thats usually a rookie or second-year guy as a target everypossession. Theyre not running the plays they normally run (when postingHayward) to execute their offense. Theyre trying to do something theyre notused to and run it through a wing player down on the block. If we get stops,then theyre going to be out of rhythm. Monta does his job on the block.And Ellis did it on the other end of the floor, too, maybewith a little incentive from Hayward and Utah coach Tyrone Corbin.

Warriors the establishment, and the field the barbarians at the gate

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AP

Warriors the establishment, and the field the barbarians at the gate

Programming note: Warriors-Rockets coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm on NBC Sports Bay Area, and continues immediately after the final buzzer.

The NBA offseason ended as it began – with someone burning money for our amusement.

The San Antonio Spurs re-upped center LaMarcus Aldridge, with whom head coach Gregg Popovich had an off-season hug-it-out to repair what seemed to be a fraying relationship.

Thus, after the Golden State Warriors boatraced the field, the NBA responded by firing out $1.942 billion in free agent signings. This proves yet again that the problem with rising salaries in sports is not the fault of the players, but of the owners.

And that contreacts and player movement are an increasingly powerful turn-on in a sport that is facing an existential crisis.

Namely, how to build suspense into a season that looks foreordained for the Warriors without hoping for catastrophic injuries. Indeed, as the Warriors open with Houston tonight, there is far more national buzz around the new-look Rockets than the seemingly invulnerable Warriors.

[SHILLER: Draymond responds to D'Antoni's 'they're not gonna stop us either' claim]

It’s a bit like the old comic book conundrum – why was Wolverine a more compelling character than Superman?

Now this may be our fault as consumers for wanting something new to support our pathetically small attention spans. Or more intriguingly, being drawn to the flawed unknown rather than the excellent known.

But changing the American character is not an easy thing to do, as our most recent political developments have shown. We are who we are, and while we will watch the superb team every time, we will be more interested in the one that looks like it could blow itself to bits at any moment (Houston, or Cleveland, or Oklahoma City), or the long-downtrodden failure that suddenly looks like it might no longer be so downtrodden (Philadelphia, Minnesota, or maybe even Philadelphia again).

Or, weirdest of all, the team that used to be the standard, fell off the edge of the planet to the nation’s glee, and is just now showing signs of reconstruction (the Los Angeles Lakers).

Evidently what we want to say is that we like is change – violent, bizarre change, the crazier the narrative the better.

But here, we have the Golden State Warriors, who have chosen a far more conservative path – winning four of every five games, no matter what month, no matter what opponent, and winning nine of every 10 at home, no matter what month, no matter what opponent. And the measured eyeballs of media ratings say the Warriors are the bait behind which all other teams draft.

In short, the Warriors are the establishment, and the field is the barbarians at the gate. It’s just a matter how you feel about the barbarians, and the gate.

I know how the voting here would go. The rest of you are on your own, watching money getting thrown around in hope of some kind of regime change before the end of the decade.

Draymond responds to D'Antoni's 'they're not gonna stop us either' claim

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AP

Draymond responds to D'Antoni's 'they're not gonna stop us either' claim

Programming note: Warriors-Rockets coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm on NBC Sports Bay Area, and continues immediately after the final buzzer.

A couple weeks ago, Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said something about the Warriors that made headlines.

"You're not gonna stop them. It's just not gonna happen. They're not gonna stop us either. Should be fun."

On Monday, Draymond Green was asked about D'Antoni's comments.

"You should believe that. I'm turning over a new leaf," Draymond began, before giving his real thoughts. "Number 1 -- they want it to be a shootout, which is fine. But we're gonna play some defense.

"We score pretty well, but we're a damn good defensive team, too. So we're gonna play some defense."

The Rockets made some significant changes to their roster this offseason, most notably the addition of Chris Paul.

But Houston also added defensive-minded guys in P.J. Tucker and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.

But as Draymond pointed out:

"I don't know how serious they take defense with that comment, but I know they added some good defensive players."

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller