Monta Ellis waits too long -- again

601628.jpg

Monta Ellis waits too long -- again

Lets tie up some loose ends from Utahs 88-87 win over theWarriors on Saturday night. Thats five straight losses for the Warriors andtheyre now 2-6.Final play: I thought as usual MontaEllis waited too long to try to do something on a games final possession. The Warriorshad 11 seconds and Ellis dribbled for much of it.RECAP: Monta misses buzzer-beater in Warriors' 88-87 loss to Jazz
He puts himself in a position where he doesnt leavehimself an extra second or two to improvise, which is a big part of his game.Instead, he puts pressure on himself to make something happen quickly andalso without giving himself extra time for a change of direction, hesitation or even a pass to a teammate.Under different circumstances, he did the same thing acouple of times last year against Indiana and Sacramento, but it didnt matterbecause he knocked down shots (both jumpers, not drives like Saturday) withtime expiring.Warriors coach Mark Jackson talked about Utah having a foulto give which it did and that Ellis might have thought the Jazz would foulhim with five seconds or so. And then once Ellis realized they werent going tofoul, he had to go. But Jackson also said he had no issue with theshot.Ellis said the fact Utah had a foul to give meant nothingand didnt affect his decision-making.Bottom line is Ellis, when he winds down the game clock toofar, has to be perfect, because its clear his goal is for the shot to go in asthe buzzer is sounding. But hes got to give his team a chance for an offensiverebound or quick foul after a miss that may leave you with a second or two,down two or three.Or once again, this needs to be stressed, give himself theopportunity to make a pass. After all, didnt I just read a stat about how heshad seven or more assists in a game now for six straight games most sinceBaron Davis did it?Now, yes, that gets us into the area of who do you want himpassing it to with Curry out with the game on the line and thats a biggertopic for another day. Anyway, next time Ellis has to go sooner. Hop before the shot: Yes, Al Jeffersonmight have bunny-hopped on his mid-range jumper with 33 seconds left. Butthats not going to be called, nor should it be. And you know what? If DavidLees tip-in comes before the buzzer the refs probably dont call the over theback, either. Thompson at crunch time: Rookie KlayThompson got some important crunch-time minutes at the expense of DorellWright -- and it didnt work out very well. Thompson, who went 1-for-6 from thefloor, didnt connect with Ellis on what should have been a pretty easytwo-on-one score with just under two minutes left. Then he committed an offensive foul with 1:05 remaining andthe Warriors up two. In other words, two turnovers in the final two minutes. On the bench at the time was Dorell Wright, who has beenshooting terribly, but according to Jackson has been doing otherthings. One of them is not turning the ball over. Wright hasnt beenmaking much of an impact, thats true. But he hasnt been a nuisance onoffense, either. Hes committed a remarkably low two turnovers in 233 minutesthis season. After the game, Jackson offered no regrets about playingThompson down the stretch, saying Thompson played well just made a mistake ortwo when it counted. Lee gets the minutes: David Lee played41-plus minutes against the Jazz, by far more than anyone else on the floor on either team. Monta Ellis, who led the league in minutes coming into the game(39.8 mpg.) played 36 and change. He was the next highest.Nobody on the Jazz played more than 34 minutes. Lee finishedwith 13 points and 15 rebounds, but in the games context those numbers arentimpressive. With one team shooting 39.5 percent (Utah) and the other shooting41.4 percent, there were plenty of rebounds to get.

Rewind: Klay drops 60, finds a zone most never experience

Rewind: Klay drops 60, finds a zone most never experience

OAKLAND – The shots kept falling, splashing through the net from all over the court, jumpers from 20 feet, from 25, from 30, layups from one side of the bucket, then the other. Klay Thompson was tap-dancing all over the Indiana Pacers.

It didn’t seem logical that a self-respecting NBA team like the Pacers would allow one man to put on a personal showcase, with them as the victims.

That’s precisely what Thompson did Monday night, before the 200th consecutive sellout crowd at Oracle Arena, pouring in 60 points – more than he has ever scored in a game, more than anyone in the NBA his scored this season – in a 142-106 crushing of Indiana.

“Klay did do a good job of moving without the ball,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “Tonight, he was moving and they were finding him.

“We needed to get more help, and we didn’t. He lit us up.”

In scoring 60 points in only 29 minutes – he exited with 1:22 left in the third quarter and did not return – Thompson found a zone above even the most ethereal zones. He happened upon a place even the most hallowed most NBA players never get the privilege of experiencing.

“That’s a feat I would put money on to probably never be touched ever again in the history of basketball,” said Stephen Curry, the reigning scoring champion as well as back-to-back MVP.

“I don’t even know what to say,” said Kevin Durant, the four-time scoring champ who also has an MVP trophy to his name. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

With Thompson raining shots, his teammates standing and clapping and boogieing to the roar of the crowd, the Pacers were helpless witnesses to their own dismantling. As Thompson sizzled, and their defense fizzled, one thing became clear: There would be no double-teaming of the hottest shooter in the NBA this season.

How do you double-team Thompson, who plays mostly without the ball, when he’s sharing the court with Curry and Durant? You don’t. You take your chances and hope. And if Thompson is stroking it, you’re in trouble.

The Pacers tried numerous defenders on Thompson and none was up to the challenge. The Warriors, smelling the Pacers’ futility, went after them with a vengeance.

“You could see that once he got hot, Steph was looking for him and Draymond (Green) and KD and Andre (Iguodala) and Zaza (Pachulia), they were all looking for him,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

“I’ve said this before, but I really believe the strength of our team the last few years offensive is the number of guys that can pass and make plays. What’s really gratifying as a coach is when you see that type of unselfishness.”

By the time Indiana’s superstar, Paul George, took the assignment, trying to cool Thompson, it was well into the third quarter, much too late. Thompson had made 21 of his 33 shots, including eight of his 14 launches from beyond the arc. He had become the first player in the shot-clock era (beginning in 1954-55) to score 60 points in fewer than 30 minutes.

He had hung the Pacers on a wall.

“I will celebrate this tonight,” said Thompson, whose previous career-high was 52 points. “It’s a feat I never really thought I would be able to do growing up.”

Asked if could have scored 80 points, Thompson barely skipped a beat.

“Maybe. I think I could have,” he said. “And maybe one day I will have the opportunity. 60 points in 29 minutes is not bad. I’m satisfied with that.”

His teammates were beyond satisfied. They were delighted. Enchanted. Durant scored 20 points and was agape at Thompson’s performance. Curry had 13 points, 11 assists and zero turnovers and was unusually demonstrative in recapping Thompson’s night.

“We just kept feeding him and feeding him, and he was knocking down some unbelievable shots,” Durant said.

“It was just so much fun to watch,” Curry said. “We appreciate that entertainment value as his teammates to see what he was able to do tonight. It was crazy.”

This was Thompson, taking full and extravagant advantage of both his own shooting skill as well as the benefit of teammates too lethal for any defense to ignore.

All of which left the other 29 teams around the NBA watching and wondering where on earth do they turn if any Thompson or Curry or Durant enters a zone.

This is quite the quandary, and it’s precisely what the Warriors had in mind when they hired Durant.

Instant Replay: Klay erupts for career-high 60, Warriors destroy Pacers

Instant Replay: Klay erupts for career-high 60, Warriors destroy Pacers

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND – As the Warriors on Monday night celebrated their 200th consecutive sellout crowd at Oracle Arena, All-Star guard Klay Thompson gave 19,596 fans an evening they’ll never forget.

Thompson scored 60 points, a career-high for him and the most any player has scored in the NBA this season, to carry the Warriors to a 142-106 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Thompson scored 17 points in the opening period, 23 in the second – for 40, representing a career-high for points in a half – and closed out his night with 20 in the third quarter.

So hot was Thompson that only no other teammate exceeded 20 points. Kevin Durant totaled 20, Stephen Curry had 13 and Ian Clark finished with 11.

Curry posted a season-high 11 assists, and Draymond Green recorded 10 as the Warriors were credited with 45 helpers overall.

With a 116-83 lead after three quarters, Warriors coach Steve Kerr went to his reserves for the entire fourth quarter.

STANDOUT PERFORMER:
Thompson, who took possession in the first half and locked it up in third quarter.

Thompson’s line: 60 points (21-of-33 from the field, 8-of-14 from deep, 10-of-11 from the free throw line). He played 29 minutes and finished plus-37 for the night.

TURNING POINT:
When a Monta Ellis layup pulled the Pacers within seven (46-39) with 8:14 left in the second quarter, the Warriors went on a 24-3 run to go up 70-42 with 2:34 remaining in the half.

They went into intermission with an 80-50 lead, and Indiana got no closer than xx for the rest of the game.

The Warriors trailed for all of 12 seconds (in the first five minutes) in the game.

INJURY UPDATE:
Warriors: No injuries were listed and none was reported.

Pacers: No injuries were listed and none was reported.

ROSTER NOTE:
Rookie C Damian Jones is on assignment with D-League Santa Cruz.

WHAT’S NEXT:
The Warriors travel to Los Angeles, where on Wednesday night they face the Clippers at Staples Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30.