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November 18, 2003

Tim Roye’s Journal

It has been fun to watch this team fight through what has been a series of misfortunes on the injury front that have led to a ridiculous roster situation. We use buzzwords like chemistry and character and throw them around loosely, but when a team competes like the Warriors have in the first nine games those attributes show through.

Don’t misconstrue, as I know that true character is shown in real life like our friends serving our country overseas or dealing with tough family decisions, but in the sports world it’s good to see.

Thanks to so many for the well wishes on my knee rehab. I am walking without a cast, crutches, cane or ace bandage for the first time since August 1st and the only thing I am worried about is trying to do too much. I want to have my strength back, but I also realize it will take time. Thanks again and I hope that none of you have to go through it.

The Warriors loss to Phoenix showed just how fine their margin of error is right now and pointed out some things the team has to improve in. Transition defense has been a weakness this season and the team still gives up easy chances whether they lead to baskets or early offense.

Another cause for concern has been the proliferation of three-point shots by Warriors offensive players. However, following the Phoenix game where the Suns were giving the open three to the Warriors, the team has settled down in that regard.

Tom Abdenour is a valuable asset to the team and missed practice on Monday
Warriors Athletic Trainer Tom Abdenour fell ill in San Antonio on Monday and missed the teams practice. No one could remember the last time Tom had missed a session and that is a testament to his dedication and durability.

I wish sometimes that I could bring everyone into the practice to watch how detailed the preparation is and how organized the sessions are. It is interesting how every situation is accounted for by Coach Musselman and his staff, and honestly, that type of work has not always been the case in my Warriors tenure. The team is rarely caught unaware and that is definitely a plus when fighting the tough teams of the West.

As some of the top teams have struggled so far to get out of the gate quickly, one factor that we all have downplayed has been that when you make changes to a roster, the chemistry is affected. We see that in Sacramento with their roster changes and the injury to Chris Webber and we see it in San Antonio and Dallas. Everyone in the West reloaded and time will work out their problems but meanwhile, there are only a couple of teams in the West below .500 and the Warriors are one of them (4-5 as of writing).

I think the time has come for the NBA to cut down on the proliferation of offensive fouls that are called during the course of the game. Twenty years ago, you either were in position to take a charge or you weren’t. Now, the rules are different if you are the primary defender or the weak side defender and whether or not you are inside the halo or not and so on. It’s a hard enough call for the officials to begin with, never mind all the things that the rules are asking them to remember. Call the first few every night a block and then the defenders will start playing defense and trying to stop their man instead of flopping all over the place like fish out of water.

Paul PIerce, Pat Sajak and guest
The good folks at Wheel of Fortune have designated this NBA week and among the celebs that are scheduled to appear are Bill Walton, Michael Finley, Julius Erving, Amare Stoudamire and Sue Bird from the WNBA. Spin that big bad wheel!!

MIKE DUNLEAVY - - - rebounded from a couple of tough outings with a 6-8 night from the field at Sacramento despite getting into foul trouble via a couple of tough calls.

CLIFFORD ROBINSON - - - faced two former teams last week in Phoenix and Detroit…stats do lie as no rebound night in Sac just meant he was sealing his man and not allowing offensive rebounds

Van Exel
ERICK DAMPIER - - - has matured around the basket and showing tremendous patience…continues to get good looks at basket via Van Exel, needs to stay out of foul trouble with no Foyle

NICK VAN EXEL - - - decided to sit out for a few days after the Clippers loss in order to strengthen his knees and to be 100% before coming back

JASON RICHARDSON - - - rolled left ankle, but came back strong against the Clips and Sacramento, where his shot to take the lead rolled off in the final few moments

SPEEDY CLAXTON - - - didn’t play till second half against Phoenix, but rallied team back in the contest, will start again in Nick’s absence

CALBERT CHAENEY - - - returned to Iron Man status with injury to Jason and was our guest last week on the radio roundtable

AVERY JOHNSON - - - will prove his worth again as back up including a good effort versus Kings and will provide some insight to the Spurs this week

BRIAN CARDINAL - - - what can you say except that he has earned every minute and is proving that he belongs in the Association, a great story

CHEROKEE PARKS - - - veteran who was in Miami’s camp and is more of a true four/five which is needed right now

ADONAL FOYLE - - - on the way back, following successful knee surgery last week…did not make trip as he continues rehab

POPEYE JONES - - - see Adonal Foyle

EVAN ESCHMEYER - - - no new news

MICKAEL PIETRUS - - - available to come off injured list now, but Coach Muss says he more than likely won’t be back till team comes home following this road trip, he did travel with team

TROY MURPHY - - - will be re-evaluated this week by doctors in L.A.

Brian Cardinal brings the intangibles to the Warriors
I am excited about Brian Cardinal's play. He has really helped this team with all the injuries that have been happening. I have been a Warriors fan since Bill King was their radio broadcaster 30 years ago. I really like the Warriors chances this year of making the playoffs. Why do some people call Brian Cardinal "The Custodian"?
John Owen
Roseville, CA

Dear John,
As I noted, up above, Brian is shooting very well and is in the top-15 in all three shooting categories (.569 from the field, .500 from three-point range and .889 from the free throw line). He makes basketball plays and hustle plays and it’s great to see him get a chance. He earned the nickname “The Custodian” from Jerome Williams of the Detroit Pistons who gave him that for his knack of getting on the floor and diving for loose balls. Thanks for your support and I think the Warriors will be in the hunt for the playoffs when all is said and done.

Can we put a gag order on Bill Walton? I am getting tired of reading and I quote (SERIOUSLY, WHAT ARE THEY THINKING) when he and other sportswriters write about the Warriors and the off-season trades. I think he took too much LSD in the 60's. Bill, can you say PLAYOFFS! That’s what they were thinking. By the way, you do a great job Tim.

Clifford Robinson is a proven winner and leader
Thanks for the kind words and I think that many of the projections made by some media experts are SIMPLY HORRR-UBB-BLLE. People look at the Warriors roster on paper and make the snap judgment that they don’t know what they were doing. However, a closer inspection suggests that it’s the type of players the Warriors acquired. Clifford Robinson was a steal from Detroit because he simply knows how to play like a professional. He helps keep the team in games so many different ways that don’t end up on the stat sheet. Golden State is under five hundred (4-5) as I write this, but with their injuries the only games they legitimately let get away were the Phoenix and the L.A. Clippers contests.

Eric Musselman and his staff have the Warriors prepared every night
Dear Tim,
I’m a life long Warriors Fan and I’m 49 so I’ve seen a lot. I’m e-mailing you after watching the blowout of the Hawks, but even before tonight I got to see a few games and I’m very excited about this year’s team. The blend of young players and vets seems very good and I think with Van Exel leading the way and Dunleavy’s improvement, not only will we make the playoffs for the first time in quite awhile, but could go deep into them if we stay healthy. Your thoughts please….
David F.

When the knees of Nick Van Exel get healthy and when Murphy and Foyle return to the fold, this team will be one of the deepest teams in the league. And that will make their group coming off the bench one of the best going. I know that the skeptics will downplay that, but this team has a legit chance to go to the postseason. We have a good, hard working coaching staff that prepares this team in a detailed fashion so that they are always given the information to prepare themselves. The bottom line is they will be competitive no matter what and will be a team that others will not look forward to playing.
Thanks for your e-mail.

Any projection on troy Murphy's return date?

Murphy is scheduled to return to Los Angeles for another look at the tear in his plantar fascia muscle. Hopefully, the word will be that it is healing well and if that is the case, then he could be back maybe by early December. When we get an official word, so will you.
Thanks as always.

Who do you like in the Eastern Conference?? I am a long-time Celtics fan but I don’t think they can do it, without Antoine Walker, what do you think??

I like New Jersey in the East because of Jason Kidd and their depth. I like Detroit because of Coach Larry Brown and the versatility of their frontcourt, with their length especially. Indiana still has a lot of talent and once they find a defensive presence I think they will take off. However, the Celtics in the short term will not be a factor I’m afraid, but long term, moving Walker was the best thing that could happen to that franchise. His style of play is just not conducive to championship basketball in my opinion.


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