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News » Candid Cam: Curry OK, Warriors not


Candid Cam: Curry OK, Warriors not


Candid Cam: Curry OK, Warriors not STEPH CURRY EARNED positive reviews after his NBA debut. As for the Warriors overall in their season opener, not so much.

There was a dreary vibe in a soldout Oracle Arena from the outset, and that probably had something to do with the boos Stephen Jackson drew during pre-game introductions as a result of his still-standing trade request.

In the end, the Warriors slinked away with a 108-107 defeat to the Houston Rockets, leaving Don Nelson's magic number at 24 (for wins needed to become the NBA's all-time winningest coach).

That the Warriors had a shot at tying the game in the final seconds proved once again they can put forth an entertaining product no matter the inner turmoil that engulfs this franchise seemingly every year.

After Anthony Morrow missed that potential tying 3-pointer at the top of the key, Curry corralled the rebound, hoped for a foul that didn't come and dropped in a meaningless layup as time expired.

Start the shot clock and let's review the finer points of this demoralizing opener (after a demoralizing offseason, preceded by decades of more demoralization):

* * * Curry's debut * * *

Curry, the Warriors' first-round draft pick out of Davidson, started at point guard and finished with 14 points, seven assists, four steals and two turnovers. He opened nicely with an assist to Jackson, quickly made a steal and nailed his first NBA bucket on a 19-foot jumper 2 ? minutes into the contest.

"Actually I felt fine. I thought I'd have butterflies, but once the introductions were done, they were out," Curry said. "We came out of the blocks on fire. It was a good feeling for me to come out and feel natural out there."

Nelson on keeping Curry on the floor in the final minutes: "I love it. He's our best passer and a playmaker. He made some mistakes tonight. That's acceptable. He's going to make mistakes. We feel real good about him."

Jackson came away impressed. "Steph is going to be fine. Nobody expected him to come out and save the world."

* * * Ellis' so-so show * * *

Ellis often looked like the most gifted player on the court, flashing his trademark speed, and that goes for his feet, hands and head. He finished with a game-high 26 points on 10 of 20 shooting.

But he missed his first five shots after halftime while Jackson was 1-of-6 in that same stretch to allow the Rockets to erase a 62-52 halftime deficit.

As for that crude prediction he and Ellis couldn't play together, that sure didn't look the case in their first stanza. They only had one truly noticeable hiccup, when an Ellis pass missed Curry and careened into the backcourt out of bounds.

"It went pretty good," Ellis said of his new backcourt partner. "We need to feel each other out more, get to know each other, play more and get more games under our belt. It will come around."

Ellis praised Curry for "playing well" in his debut and taking the open shots as per Nellie's orders.

* * * Jackson Watch '09 * * *

Jackson said he expected to get booed and wasn't worried by the mixed reception he received, both in pregame warmups and also during some first-half possessions. Of course, those boos turned to cheers when he was nailing long jumpers as halftime approached.

Jackson finished 7 of 16 for 17 points with four assists, two turnovers and four rebounds. How he interacts with angry fans is going to be worth following. After getting booed on one missed shot, he made a nice assist and backpedaled down court by cupping his hand to his ear and daring the crowd to boo him again.

His ball-hog tendencies were on full display in the third quarter, which ended with him pouting after Corey Maggette took the ball to the hoop for his own bucket.

* * * Other notes * * *

Maggette didn't make enough quality plays to offset a horrible shooting night. He capped that off by missing his 11th of 14 shots from the floor when the Warriors desperately needed a basket, trailing 102-95 with 5 ? minutes remaining. Nellie wanted him to drive to the basket more and draw fouls.

Jackson said he wasn't aware of trade rumors involving him. After this poor opener, his trade request surely still stands.

Houston newcomer Trevor Ariza scored a team-high 25 points, and afterward he had some nice words about Curry. "He has always had a nice shot, and you could tell the jitters started for a little. But he was able to find his way and he started to hit those shots. He can be a big part of their offense."

Nellie thought his defense did an OK job limiting the Rockets to 46.5 percent shooting from the floor. But Nellie also realized his Warriors didn't defend well beyond the arc, as Houston made 46.2 percent of its shots beyond 3-point range.

This was the Warriors fourth consecutive loss on opening night.

Curry's father Dell had 25 points, four rebounds, seven assists and two steals in his first start, that coming in his second season.

Steph Curry opened his NBA career the same way he ended his collegiate one: With a loss in the Bay Area. Davidson fell at Saint Mary's in the National Invitational Tournament.

Look for Cam Inman's Web-only "Candid Cam" takes whenever there's a breaking sports story, or whenever Cam's got something to say _ in short, just about every day. You can reach Cam at twitter.com/CamInman.


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 29, 2009

 

 
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