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Pre-Season Hijinks, Episode 1: The View from Oakland

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Welcome to a new season of that smash reality show Beat the Champions, in which various and sundry amalgamations of basketball players from around America put on their meanest gameface and attempt to go toe-to-toe with the World Champions. The Oakland Warriors drew the short straw and got to go first, treating us all to a remake of Gulliver's Travels as an S&M movie in which 15 litty bitty Warriors wore 15 itty bitty little gag-balls while 15 Golden Lakers took turns swinging the swell $1700 riding crop that LO got as a gift from his Aunt Eunice at his wedding...

Holy Large Men Running Roughshod, Batman, the Lakers are good!

I missed the first part of the game (listening to a static-laden radio broadcast from Albania of the Blazers' visit to Sactoe) and the last part of the game (choosing to avert my eyes from the spectacle of End-of-the-Benchers from both teams mucking it up for 15 full minutes of Garbage Time), but there was still plenty of good stuff to be seen, if one had no collywobbles about nicking a bootleg feed from our starving friends of the NBA.

Like: Shan the Man putting the big crunch on Li'l Mikki. Check it out on Tom the Safeway Checker's Livingroom FanCam...

Yowza! Not like these games count or anything... I guess Mr. Moore now has some inkling as to what it feels like to be run over by a UPS truck... With studded tires... While crossing the street in ballet tights to attend a dance recital... With the truck doing 50 mph in a 25 zone... In front of 10,000 people who all point and laugh...

Drew's oop pass from behind the 3 point arc to Ron Ron (I think it was) was also tooth-rottingly sweet.

Anyways, it was close when the Lakers were down 2-1 and never after that, a big ol' blowout to get the year headed in the right way.

Of course, since I missed the opening minutes, I didn't get a chance to see Monta Ellis' long awaited 83 second 2009/10 NBA debut. Ouch. Hopefully he's not hurt too badly, there are still plenty of skateboards to be jumped, ATVs to be rolled, and games of tackle football to enjoyed with his friends by him this fall... It's gotta be hard being removed from such entertaining pursuits by getting hurt on the job. I definitely feel for the guy.

Let's see how this Televised Crime Against Shorter Humanity is playing in Oaklandia, shall we?

(Click through for sanguine critical commentary from certified basketball experts.)

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(1)

Painful (Warriors 101, Lakers 118)

by Adam Lauridsen, San Jose Mercury News FanBlog

With Turiaf, Azubuike, Wright, and Watson out, it was going to be a long night from the start for the Warriors against the World Champions on Wednesday. When Ellis joined the list of the wounded under a minute into the game, the odds got a lot longer. The final box score isn't pretty — and the interaction on the court was even uglier. It remains to be seen how long Ellis will be out, but even a healthy Monta won't fix the two problems plaguing the Warriors Wednesday: rebounding and ball movement.

There's a fine line between putting too much and too little weight on preseason games. They're obviously indicators of a team's talent and weaknesses, but they're also not perfect proxies for the rotations and strategies of the regular season. However you want to value the Warriors' performance against the Lakers, it suggested the team still has some glaring holes.

First and foremost, even with Biedrins and Randolph in the game together — our best rebounding combo — the team got destroyed on the defensive boards. Gasol, Bynum and Odom had their way around the basket all night and killed whatever runs the Warriors had with their second chance points. Turiaf's return is unlikely to help those rebounding woes much (although he will improve our at-the-rim defense).

Beyond rebounding, the Warriors still looked lost when they actually manage to control the ball. * * *

 

(2)

One False Step — Ellis Hurts Ankle in Preseason Loss

by Rusty Simmons, San Francsco Chronicle

Two games into the Warriors' preseason schedule, Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry have not played together, but that wasn't necessarily a coaching decision in Wednesday's 118-101 loss to the Lakers at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

Just 1:23 into the game, Ellis sprained his left ankle after he missed a baseline jumper and stepped on a courtside photographer. Ellis limped down the court, hobbled to the bench and, eventually, went to the locker room.

He did not return, and the Warriors are listing him as day-to-day with another game against the Lakers on Friday and an outdoor game against Phoenix on Saturday. It's the same ankle that cost Ellis 57 games last season. * * *

 

(3)

Exhibition #2: Ws vs. Lakers

by Marcus Thompson, Oakland Tribune

This could be one of those seasons.

The Warriors lose Brandan Wright on a re-injury. Now, as if Murphy's Law is kicking in, Monta Ellis gets hurt.

Yes, it's his ankle. Yes, his left ankle.

The initial report is that the injury isn't bad. I'm told if it were a regular season game, Ellis would've played. Members of the Warriors organization are still hoping like crazy this is just regular sprained ankle, the kind that always happen. But with Ellis and his ankle history, there is no such thing as a regular sprained ankle when it comes to his left wheel.

NELSON: "I just didn't want to fool around with it. He probably could have played if it was a regular season game. But why mess around. I would've been paranoid anyway."

Fewer than two minutes into the game, Ellis took a baseline jumper and sprained his left ankle when he stepped on a camera man's foot. He limped down court on defense while assistant coach Keith Smart screamed for the Warriors to foul intentionally. They finally did and Ellis hobbled to the bench in obvious pain. He eventually went to the locker room, under his own power but limping, right away. * * *

 

(4)

Pre-Season Game #2: Remember How Encouraging Game 1 Was?

by J Russ, Warriors Court (Fanball)

All of that Warriors good will that was generated with a nice first game pre-season win against the Clips was forgotten by tip-off of game #2 against the Lakers. Warriors were down 13 after the first quarter and it was never even close. * * *

I certainly don't want to put too much stock into this game as it is pre-season and it was against the Lakers but some stats that stood out to me:

  • Only two players who had + ratings on the floor... Speedy Claxton and Acie Law who finished with 16 points and made 11 of 12 free throws in over 20 minutes of garbage...I mean playing time
  • Some really bad shooting nights tonight from Stephen Jackson (1 for 9) and Stephen Curry (5 for 15), although Jackson did lead the team in assists with 5
  • Anthony Randolph had 18 points and 12 boards... pretty solid game
  • Morrow finished with a team high 25 points and was only 33% from beyond the arc
  • In addition to Monta, other injured Warriors included Azubuike, Deavan George, Rony Turiaf, C.J. Watson, and of course, Brandon Wright
  • On the Lakers side, only stat that really jumps out is that Ron Artest was +25 in 23 minutes and Andrew Bynum was +36 in 30 minutes...that's just straight up ridiculous! *  *  *

 

(5)

Warriors v. Lakers Preseason Recap

by M. Meschery, Fear the Beard

In a few short bullet points, I'd like to recap last nights preseason game with The Lakers taking on our GSW's. When I say "recap" I mean recall all of the caps, insults, disses, and musings in general, that went through my head while watching. Here it goes:

  • The other week I went down to the YMCA and me and this other guy my age played two-on-two against some fifth graders. We could have let them win, but why pass up a chance to dominate a smaller, weaker opponent? Playing against little kids is fun.
  • Remember that movie "Team America," and the theme song, "Team America, F@%K Yeah!"? I think the local Laker TV commentators should say "F@%k Yeah!" and high five each other after every mention of Kobe, Pau, and Artest. If you're going to be a Homer, you might as well go all the way.
  • Wasn't The Monte Ellis Bobblehead, "Voodoo Doll Edition" The Warriors released back in ‘08 just hilarious?
  • Mikki Moore: You almost got that charge called when Shannon Brown completely sh*t on your dome. Keep trying. It's going to pay off eventually. *  *  *

 

(6)

Wow, That Was Painful

posted by Jack Attack to GoldenStateWarriors.com message board

Wow that was painful...

Anyone notice how the Fakers pressed on just about every inbound?

 

The Bottom Line:

(1) Monta Ellis may be healed up, but the Bitch Goddess, Queen Karma, is obviously still not paid in full.

(2) Hey, Lakers — No Fair!!!

(3) Here we go again...