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News » Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2008-12-30

Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2008-12-30

Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2008-12-30
One of the few positives of having several key players out of the lineup is it has allowed the Warriors to see how some of their younger players handle late-game situations.

And wouldn't you know it? This has caused a problem -- a good one, mind you.

The Warriors may have discovered a much-needed clutch shooter in the past week. Point guard C.J. Watson has hit the biggest shots in the club's home wins over the Celtics and Raptors. The NBA D-League graduate's 17-footer with 52 seconds remaining Monday night saved the day for the Warriors, who appeared on the verge of blowing a late lead against Toronto.

So what's the problem with Watson being the team's go-to shooter late in the game? Well, it's his position -- point guard.

That's Monta Ellis' position. And, presumably, when the $66-million man returns to action, the ball is going to be in his hands with the game on the line.

Yes, it's possible Ellis and Watson could play at the same time. But then what about Jamal Crawford, another high-scoring guard who happens to be the club's best free-throw shooter? And what about Marco Belinelli, who like Watson has taken advantage of his opportunity in recent weeks to prove his worthiness?

Much is made of Ellis' transition from shooting guard to point guard, a move necessitated by the loss of Baron Davis. With Ellis coming off major ankle surgery, some fear he'll have lost some of the speed he'll need to duel opposing point guards and beat defenders off the dribble.

The way Watson has played, maybe there won't have to be a transition at all and Ellis can remain at shooting guard.

WARRIORS 117, RAPTORS 111: In a battle of road-weary teams, the one that flew into town early in the morning Monday outlasted the club that arrived the day before and got a day's rest.

The Raptors were playing their sixth road game in 11 days, and the Warriors took no pity. After all, the Warriors haven't played consecutive games in the same city since Dec. 10-12 -- and won't until Jan. 11-14.

Nonetheless, thanks to C.J. Watson's critical jumper with 52 seconds remaining and 7-for-8 accuracy from the free-throw line down the stretch, they had enough in the tank late in the game to get a season-series split with the Raptors. Toronto missed seven three-pointers in the final 3:09, five of which would have either tied the game or put the visitors in front.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: December 30, 2008


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