OAKLAND So how does a 24-16 record sound right about now, Warriors fans? It may be an oversimplification, but if the Warriors had been able to cut in half the number of second-chance points they've allowed in each of their 40 games so far, they would have 13 more wins than the 11 they have now.
Not to mention playoff aspirations for the second half of the season.
"You can play very good defense for 20 or 21 seconds, and then they get the offensive rebound and kick it out for a 3-pointer," Warriors guard Jamal Crawford said. "And you're just like, 'Oh, my gosh.' It's deflating. It can definitely take some of the air out of you."
Going into tonight's game against the Atlanta Hawks at Oracle Arena, Golden State is scoring an average of 15.2 second-chance points per game, third best in the NBA behind Portland (15.26) and the Los Angeles Lakers (15.21).
But the Warriors are last among the 30 teams in allowing second-chance points (17.75 per game), which comes out to an NBA-worst 15.8 percent of the their opponents' total. Chicago is allowing an average of 16.15 second-chance points per game, but the 28 other teams are allowing less than 15.
Wednesday night's 135-133 triple-overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings provided a perfect example of the Warriors' frustrations.
Kings guard Kevin Martin missed a 22-foot jump shot with five seconds left in the third overtime, but teammate John Salmons outraced two Warriors defenders to the loose ball. He then promptly knocked down a jumper from the right side with 1.6 seconds left, giving the Kings the eventual margin of victory.
Sacramento finished with 22 second-chance points, five of which came at critical junctures in the extra sessions.
"It's very frustrating. That's one area we're working hard on, chasing down long rebounds," Warriors coach Don Nelson said.
"Probably cost us the game (Wednesday) night. We had several (loose balls) on the floor, we were there and thought we had it. But somehow they got it back and scored."
Nelson said Monta Ellis, who is inching closer to returning to a game after he had offseason ankle surgery resulting from a moped accident, should help solve some of those problems, as the guard is quick enough to get to some of those loose balls that can lead to baskets.
Ellis, who went through another full practice Thursday, averaged five rebounds per game last season, which was actually third best on the team behind Andris Biedrins (9.7 rpg) and Al Harrington (5.4).
"I don't know if it's an effort thing or whatever, but we just need to get better at it," said Biedrins, who is ranked third in the NBA at 12 rebounds per game. "I think all five guys are responsible for that, not only the big guys.
"It's making sure that you're blocking out your guy before you do anything else. I think we have a tendency to go for the ball before we make sure we check the defender and make sure he stays out of the paint and not come for the rebound."
Notes: Swingman Stephen Jackson practiced Thursday and will be available tonight, Nelson said. Jackson has missed four games with a strained right hamstring. ... Warriors owner Chris Cohan took in Thursday's practice, as he sat alongside assistant general manager Larry Riley and president Robert Rowell. ... Swingman Marco Belinelli worked on strengthening his sprained right ankle Thursday. He is still at least a week away from returning. ... The Warriors officially announced the signing of forward Jermareo Davidson to a second 10-day contract.
Contact Curtis Pashelka at firstname.lastname@example.orgTODAY: vs. Hawks, 7:30 p.m. TV: CSNBA. Radio: 680-AM