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News » Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2009-12-04

Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2009-12-04

Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2009-12-04Monta Ellis is learning there's a down side to being the club's best defensive player.

It can make also being the best offensive player much more difficult.

For the second time in the last three games, foul trouble plagued the Warriors' star as he tried to play stopper at the defensive end. This time it led directly to a blown lead and 111-109 home loss to the Rockets.

Ellis got nailed with a fifth foul with 7:37 to play and the Warriors clinging to a nine-point lead.

He never fouled out, but neither did he make a hoop or have an assist in those final 7-1/2 minutes as the Rockets rallied to win.

Turns out the key sequence in the game came in the final 50 seconds of the half. Ellis was that close to getting to the locker room at halftime with just two fouls, but twice before the intermission horn -- including once with five seconds left -- he got nailed for offensive fouls for crashing into Shane Battier, and just like that, he was in serious foul trouble.

He dealt with having four fouls well, but getting the fifth was a game-changer. He not only became far less of a factor defensively, but he also shied away from drives to the hoop -- fearful of another charging call -- and the Warriors suffered the consequences.

Heavy minutes (he sat for a grand total of 32 seconds Thursday) and the toughest possible defensive assignment have taken their toll on Ellis. But don't expect it to change.

With ace defender Raja Bell perhaps out for the season and playing alongside a rookie (Stephen Curry) most of the time, the double trouble is pretty much forced upon Ellis. Including Monday's foul-out against the Pacers, it's now gotten the best of him twice this week.

ROCKETS 111, WARRIORS 109: In a battle of small lineups, the Rockets were simply taller than the Warriors, without giving up an ounce of athleticism. The extra size paid dividends at the defensive end, where Houston blocked four shots down the stretch and harassed the hosts into 0-for-10 shooting in one late sequence, allowing the Rockets to rally from 10 down in the final 6:20. And even when it appeared the Warriors got the matchup they wanted -- Monta Ellis against the Carl Landry on the perimeter with two seconds left and the Warriors down two -- the big guy caused Ellis to travel in his haste to get around him, saving the Houston victory.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 4, 2009


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