Steinmetz: Streak snapped, but lots to look forward to

Lots of leftovers from the Warriors’ six-game winning streak and the overtime loss to the Orlando Magic on Monday. Let’s get to it:

» Warriors swingman Stephen Jackson has turned into one of my favorite players. He’s tough, competitive and fearless, and you’ve got to love the way he relishes a defensive challenge.

I love his passion and his personality. But that doesn’t make it any less frustrating when he tries to do too much on offense — like in overtime, committing three turnovers before the extra period was 2½ minutes old. That can’t happen.

» Orlando’s Dwight Howard is a wondrous physical specimen and a budding star, but can we stop with the anointing, please? Goodness grief. Don’t you think before you call the guy the best center in the league, he should have some semblance of a post-up game or know how to handle a double-team?

Looking back at Monday’s game, I’m hard-pressed to come up with one memory of Howard making a move with his back to the basket.

His 23 rebounds were impressive, but then again the Warriors missed almost 70 shots (seriously, 69). His nine turnovers can’t be glossed over, either.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Howard, too. A lot. I’m just waiting for him to come up with a move before I start comparing him to Abdul-

Jabbar, Wilt or even Shaq.

» For the first time this season, Al Harrington failed to take advantage of his matchup with a big center. On Monday, Harrington couldn’t get anything to go down from 3-point range (2-for-9), despite Howard seldom being in position to contest.

If Harrington makes a couple of 3-pointers early, that whole game changes … just like it changed on Thursday when Harrington had Yao Ming spinning in circles from the get-go.

» Baron Davis is the Warriors’ best ballhandler and smartest player. That’s why you need him on the floor at the end of close games. But Davis fouled out with 18 seconds left in regulation and wasn’t around for overtime.

Davis’ penchant for picking up a couple of cheap fouls early, which has happened more than a few times this season, sometimes puts him in a precarious position late in the game when it comes to fouls. On Monday, it cost him — and the Warriors.

» It might be time to stop thinking of the Warriors as a bad road team. In their past 19 regular-season games away from Oracle Arena, they’re 12-7, including 10-4 in their past 14.

» It’s easy to gripe about the shot the Warriors got at the end of regulation, a contested Monta Ellis 3-pointer that didn’t have a chance. Sure, you would have liked to see Ellis take the ball to the hole. But as far as I can remember, it was the first time the Warriors have asked Ellis to make a play for himself or someone else in a crucial situation.

He’ll have plenty more chances.

Matt Steinmetz is the NBA insider for Warriors telecasts on Fox Sports Net.

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Mohammed Nuru, head of SF Public Works, arrested in FBI corruption probe

A newly released federal complaint has detailed the stunning allegations that led… Continue reading

Housing at San Francisco’s Union Square? Maybe the time has come

This is no fantasy scenario; it’s real…if Sand Hill properties gets its way.

Preston, advocates pressure major landlord to sell buildings to city or nonprofits

San Francisco’s largest owner of rent-controlled properties is unwilling to entertain demands… Continue reading

SF police union calls for federal prosecution of man shot by police

San Francisco’s police union urged federal authorities to intervene Monday after newly… Continue reading

Most Read