Not that a win over Memphis is something to celebrate, but the Golden State Warriors’ win against the Grizz on Wednesday exhibited four very encouraging developments for the Warriors as they make their playoff push:
· Monta Ellis is a true playmaker, especially when it matters. If he keeps developing like this, Ellis, who’s only 21, will be one of the top five or six point guards in the NBA. In addition to scoring nine of his 22 points in overtime, including two big jumpers to start the OT period, he repeatedly got into the lane created shot for his teammates down the stretch.
· Andres Biedrins will be an elite big man in the Western Conference. In just his third year in the league, Biedrins is not only consistent, nearly averaging a double-double (10.4 ppg, 9.6 rpg), he’s capable of breaking out with a spectacular game on any given night, like his 21 point, 14 rebound, 3 steal, 2 block effort again Memphis. Watching Biedrins and Pau Gasol go head to head on the same floor, Biedrins looked like the superior player. Period.
· Stephen Jackson is really smart player! For all that’s been said about his poor judgment off the floor, Jackson’s decision-making down the stretch against Memphis was outstanding; he got to the basket, got to the line and made every pass the team needed him to. He and Monta Ellis were the most reliable players on the floor for the Warriors.
· Returning from a knee injury, Jason Richardson played what may be the most team-oriented, unselfish game of his career, with 19 points (11 in the 4th quarter & OT), 10 rebounds (6 offensive), 5 assists and 2 steals. All that with just 1 turnover! He’s still extremely athletic and fast, but he showed a little something more on Wednesday night. He looked like a new player- a veteran leader, not just a walking highlight.