Tag Archives: anthony morrow

The Cardinal List

In the wake of Anthony Tolliver and “The Decision: Part Deux,” Chappy, By, and I got to thinking about former Warriors who put up meaningless numbers on terrible teams, but somehow fooled other teams into offering them ridiculous contracts. Tolliver is the perfect example. A D-League call-up who received significant minutes because no one else wanted to play. I know, I know, they were injured, but after the recent interview with Andris Biedrins, I’m starting to question the entire team’s dedication. But back to the subject, here’s a list of players who’ve benefited from a little time spent in the East Bay. I call it the “Cardinal List,” named after former Warrior Brian Cardinal, who had a stellar season in Oakland, and then signed a fairly large contract with the Memphis Grizzlies, which might even still be going. I’ll check it out when I get to him, but I’m willing to bet he produced more in his one season in Golden State than he did during his entire contract in Memphis.

Gilbert Arenas – Washington: Okay, this one’s a little different because Arenas turned into a legitimate star. But, he played two seasons in Oakland for a TOTAL of $844,ooo, and then proceeded to make about $82 million over 6 years in DC. He’s a little different since he’s a bonafide star, but a prime example of a player getting some shine on the Orena floor en route to a substantial payday. While the Wizards would probably argue that contract was a decent investment, the one they gave him after that may be one they regret.

Earl Boykins – Denver: Boykins didn’t exactly get his start in Oakland, but he certainly made his name there. While his numbers weren’t overwhelming – he did have 7 games of 20+ points though – he proved he belonged in the league. He went from making $528,000 with the Warriors to $2.5 million in Denver the next year.

Brian Cardinal – Memphis: Ah, the man the list was named after. Cardinal spent his first three seasons in Detroit and Washington, where he totaled 52 points. The Warriors, however, let him into 76 games, only to watch him average 9.6 ppg. He quickly became a fan favorite, but even the fans knew he wasn’t worth 4 yrs, $20+ million. Fortunately, Warriors management knew this too, and they let Cardinal go to Memphis. I was really hoping to see that he’d scored less in his 4 seasons in Memphis than that one in Golden State, but after tallying the numbers, he managed to rack up 897 points in Memphis vs. 733 in one season with the W’s. Pretty close.

Anthony Morrow – New Jersey: Where were you when undrafted rookie Anthony Morrow scored 37 points against the Clippers? Chappy and I were courtside at Staples Center, with zero idea that was going to happen. We were busy wondering if these free tickets were even going to be at will call, let alone be on the floor five rows in front of Mitch Richmond. But 37 points and 11 rebounds later, we were obviously on the Morrow bandwagon. I’m still a big fan, but Morrow is still just an average player. The Nets didn’t think so though, as they offered him four times his current salary, going from $736,000 to $4,000,000 this season.

CJ Watson – Chicago: I guess when you have Derrick Rose, you don’t really need the world’s greatest backup point guard. But, to pay CJ Watson well over three times what he was making last year, it seems like you could find a better value. After all, the Warriors found Watson, like many other players, in the D-League, so surely the Bulls could’ve found a similar player for a fraction of the price.

Anthony Tolliver – Minnesota: The guy who inspired this list. Yes, he did have a 34 point game last season, not coincidentally in Minnesota. But for a D-league call up who basically got minutes by default, I have no problem watching him walk up to the Twin Cities to the tune of $2.4 million per. The Warriors will probably find four guys next year for that price. And you know what? Those four guys will probably go on to sign inflated contracts elsewhere when their time is up.

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Warriors 2009-10 Season Preview: Lots of Upside, and Probably Lots of Growing Pains

Anthony Randolph won't hit his full stride for a few years, but this season we will see his true potential!

Anthony Randolph won't hit his full stride for a few years, but this season we will see his true potential!

Ready or not dubs fans the season is about to start for us on Wednesday against the Suns. We have about the same ceiling/basement as most recent Warriors seasons. I’m guessing our ceiling would be a 7th or 8th seed in the west, and our basement is, well, we know what the basement is all about from the last decade plus. I can understand why some of the players (Jackson and Ellis) are somewhat confused at the organizations lack of movement in any one direction this offseason. Even the movement they did make it was pretty suspect as they added even more guards to the roster. I can’t say there’s any reason to be shocked, and nor should any long time Warriors fan. It’s rough watching Rowell sign extensions and trade for point guards, but we understand that our ownership just doesn’t like to make normal decisions. Maybe Al Davis and Cohan speak regularly on how to make Bay Area fans miserable. The thing that has bugged me the most out of all of these years, is that we do have a great fan base, and are the fifth largest basketball market in the country. It’s been a widespread hope for years that Cohan would sell the team, but fans have been disappointed as talks died down each time. It’s just amazing that bigger named players can’t be brought here, since they are in such a good market. I guess the Cohan’s (losing) label has stuck a little too well forcing all free agents to head for the hills when the W’s call. Anyways, I have high hopes for this team in the near future maybe not this year per say, but sooner than later they should  mold into a solid cast, if we actually CAN keep them together.

Let’s start with the trouble makers that kept the Warriors camp relevant in the NBA news over the summer. I think I’ve said about all I can on Stephen Jackson, and how his time in a Warriors jersey was much appreciated, but now it’s time to for us and him to move on. I’ve been a huge fan of Monta Ellis since he was drafted by the Warriors, but this summer he proved that he still is slightly childish. He didn’t want the W’s to take a guard in the draft. Sure enough, they did. At the time I felt it would have been a big mistake to take anyone other than Curry, so I’m glad we did. He said that Curry and himself couldn’t play together, and it looks like they’re both in the starting lineup for Friday night. Maybe I just never noticed it, or maybe Jackson has rubbed off on Monta with his gripes. I can understand his points and where he’s coming from, but he should have done a little more research before he signed his contract! I hope he can suck it up, and just play like the guy that flew around the court and gave oppositions nightmares on defense. I think he will, and Nelson will use his ability’s well at the 2. I haven’t really seen anything promising as far as distributing the ball with him, so I’m not really buying he was cut out to man the point. I’m down for a surprise, if he can prove me wrong!

Curry didn't shoot well in the preseason, but he'll find his stroke.

Curry didn't shoot well in the preseason, but he'll find his stroke.

Which moves us to Curry. He seems to be the most professional about all the drama that has unfolded this offseason (maybe his daddy Del helped him out with that), but he’s been very composed considering a lot of it has surrounded him. I had mixed feelings when we drafted him as I’ve had a mancrush on him for at least three years, but it sounded like he didn’t want to come to Golden State. Before the draft he didn’t even want to work out for the W’s, and it was already upsetting one of our young stars (Monta) that he was being considered. Alas, I’ve come around after watching him play in a few games this pre-season with some actual pros. I really liked how he managed the game, and seemed to know how to run an offense showing off his high basketball IQ, which must just be a hereditary thing. Now that he’s been named the starter for opening night, I can only hope he makes more correct decisions that wrong ones. If he struggles early, I could see him out of the starting lineup quick, but with very little competition at PG I think he might stick. I’m sure some of his training this offseason with CP3 taught him a thing or two about being prepared. Nellie has been glowing about him, calling him a young Steve Nash. It’s pretty high praises, but Nellie says a lot of weird stuff!

Stephen Jackson, Anthony Randolph, and Andris Biendris are supposed to round out the lineup. Although Jackson and Randolph are both questionable it looks as though they will both play in the opener. Randolph’s back is slightly more concerning, but there are still a few days before the season starts for him to rest. The freakishly gifted Randolph showed off at the Summer Leagues, and is rinally ready to reel in some minutes, that should bump up his already impressive stats in a small sample size. It’s crazy that he might not even peak for another five years! He is finally out of Nellie’s doghouse through working extremely hard through the offseason, and once again is a main reason for optimism in Oakland. He added 20 pounds of muscle, and was constantly working on his game which should translate to a breakout campaign.

Biens blocking Josh Smith!

Biens blocking Josh Smith!

Biens could possibly be my favorite player on their team. I guess that Latvian charm wore off on me because I’m not really big on his style of play or the excitement level he creates when he’s on the court. It’s more on how he approaches the game, and has handled himself throughout his career as a Warrior. He never complained once about not having a contract until his was up. He has consistently gotten better each season in one area or another. He’s only 23! He appreciates the game and what he is a part of. This summer he reportedly has been expanding his offensive game. Word is he has been working on facing up, and post moves as defenders were playing his tendencies too much last season. It’s the one facet of his game that has always had criticism, and now he’s addressing it. Just one more reason to like this kid! No matter what happens, I think we’ll get our money’s worth out of him on the court.

Morrow was stroking it in the preseason!

Morrow was stroking it in the preseason!

Our bench should be very interesting this year. It will be shuffling who is coming off the bench based on who is starting, but with Morrow/Curry, Maggette, Turiaf, and Azubuike it looks like we should be able to outscore a lot of second teams in the league. Morrow and Maggette have been great this pre-season, and possibly the best looking players on the team at times. They are very efficient in scoring, so hopefully that will continue to through the start of the regular season. Morrow could be the most interesting Warrior this year. It’s likely he’ll see the same 20-25 minutes per game since Nellie loves the three, but since he has been working hard on his defense, he might find a few extra minutes if he truly has improved. I find that a lot of people forget we even have Maggette, which is understandable, but he is the physical type of player we need to wear teams down and get the foul counts up to be in the bonus late in games. We have plenty of scoring, but our main problem once again is that we’re painfully thin at forward, and really only have one true center on the roster. Hopefully a speedy recovery from Branden Wright can help that. I’m worried having a rotation of bigs that includes Mikki Moore. Should be an interesting season! I’m hoping for the best, but as always I will be prepared for the worst!


Morrow the Latest Reason for Optimism in Oakland

Anthony Morrow’s summer league record 47 point performance was the latest in a string of events producing optimism for East Bay sports franchises.  It’s been a well-document rough decade for fans of the Warriors, Raiders, and A’s.  The Warriors have one playoff appearance in the last fifteen years.  The A’s days as the low budget cinderella story are long behind them.  And the Raiders, well, they’ve become the subject of ridicule to the say the least, and quite possibly have earned the reputation as the most dysfunctional franchise in all of pro sports.  Outsiders will often question Oakland fans’ blind faith, but the fact that there is hope is always enough to keep us coming back.  These teams don’t exactly lay dormant during the offseason like some I can think of.  I couldn’t imagine being a Royals fan, or a Pirates fan, or a Grizzlies fan.  Almost every offseason, these three teams give reason for optimism.  Hope, if you will.  The Raiders bring in guys like Randy Moss and Deangelo Hall.  The A’s bring in guys like Matt Holliday and Jason Giambi.  It may be all there is to cling to, but I’ll take that over just going through the motions any day.  True, the lows have far outweighed the highs, but, at the end of the day, we’ve still seen a Super Bowl berth, an American League Championship Series, and one of this decades greatest NBA Playoff runs of all time.

The Warriors are now two full seasons removed from their lone playoff appearance that we can remember.  They followed that up with the best regular season record to NOT make the playoffs, and then came crashing back down to earth last season.  They lost Jamal Crawford this offseason, but as great of a player as he is, the team didn’t live or die by him.  In other words, they’re just as good with or without him.  The only major addition this offseason was Stephen Curry, but that came as a surprise to many who expected GSW to draft another big man that may or may not see the floor.  You know, someone like Joe Smith, Todd Fuller, Brandan Wright, Jordan Hill maybe.  Instead, they got a shooter that is so desperately needed.  Not only that, they got a player who has never been regarded as a “project” or having “potential.”  Someone that HAS been labeled as such is last year’s lottery pick, Anthony Randolph.  Those who have seen him play know he could be a one of a kind superstar in this league if he hones his game to match his potential.  It seemed to be a big IF last season, as the first few games I saw him play left me declaring him one of the most clueless off-ball defenders I’ve ever seen in the NBA.   However, a few blocks and dunks later and it’s all forgotten.  This summer, Randolph has vowed to take his game to the next level, and he’s backed it up in the Las Vegas Summer League.  It’s pretty much a forgone conclusion that he’ll win the MVP award, and he’s opened many eyes across the nation, including those of Team USA, who has extended an invitation to the team’s camp.

With Randolph sitting out Thursday night, it was the other Anthony who stood in to fill up the box score.  Shooting 18-26 from the field, including 7 three-pointers, Morrow broke the 2 day old summer league record by 5.  Critics might say it was just a summer league game, which is fair.  Von Wafer shared the 42 point record.  Donte Greene even managed to score 40 last year, and he looked, in 08-09, like one of the worst players in the league at times.  However, this was no fluke.  This was not Morrow beating helpless D-league players off the dribble and taking it to the rack over 6’8″ stiffs.  Morrow is a spot up shooter, both from the pass and off the dribble.  He has a quick release that renders whoever is guarding him insignificant.  After all, the guy led the NBA in 3 point shooting last year – hardly a fluke.  Chappy and I were also in attendence last November for what we’ll forever refer to as “The Anthony Morrow Game,” when he torched the juggernaut that is the Clippers defense for 37 points in the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (You can see us in the second row just to the right of the basket)

The best part about all of this is Randolph and Morrow are, for all intents and purposes, afterthoughts on this Golden State Warriors roster.  They’re not right now, but during the season you look at the team and you see Stephen Jackson, Monta Ellis, Corey Maggette, and Andris Biedrins.  Now, factor in the new and improved Anthonys, along with Steph Curry, and this team is pretty stacked.  Warriors fans can’t wait for the season to start!  Will they make they make the playoffs, or even have a .500 season?  Maybe, maybe not.  But that’s the beauty of being an Oakland fan.  Every upcoming season is going to be one to remember…………….. for better or for worse.      -MCeezy

It shouldnt be long before scenes like this return to the Arena in Oakland

It shouldn't be long before scenes like this return to the Arena in Oakland