Taking a closer look at the Warriors' big trade 

Now would seem to be the time to revisit the trade of three weeks ago — in the wake of the Warriors’ 113-98 win over Indiana on Monday. I wasn’t surprised Stephen Jackson squeezed off 22 shots and Al Harrington tried to make something happen virtually every time he had the ball. That’s what happens when players have something to prove, which both of them did.

I also wasn’t surprised that the twosome combined for 11 turnovers and that, after a nice start, Harrington struggled because he was trying to do too much.

What did surprise me was how passive Troy Murphy and Mike Dunleavy were. I know, I know. You’re a Warriors fan and you’re thinking, "Haven’t you watched them for the past half-dozen years?"

Yes, I have. But I still expected one or both would try to put some kind of imprint on the game, any kind. But that’s not their nature. To take it a step further, it’s not even what’s wanted from them in Indy.

At some point near the end of the game, it became clear to me why this trade was made. Jackson and Harrington always were going to try to interject themselves too much into the Pacers’ offense, a no-no when your franchise player is Jermaine O’Neal.

And Dunleavy and Murphy were never going to interject themselves enough for the Warriors. I had never heard the term "blend player" used before, but Warriors coach Don Nelson was exactly right when he used it to describe Dunleavy.

By the way, I don’t consider the term an insult. You need blend players, and I still believe Dunleavy will be a meaningful contributor on a good team at some point.

But the Bay Area didn’t want a blend player, not from the No. 3 overall pick, even though Dunleavy had nothing to do with that.

Jackson and Harrington are players who think they’re good, maybe even think they’re better than they are. They’re going to be aggressive and take chances. And because of that, they’re going to have some real highs and lows. So be prepared.

Dunleavy and Murphy are the opposite, which isn’t necessarily better or worse, just different. It is, though, more suited to playing alongside O’Neal, a commander of the ball.

As Dunleavy consistently sought out O’Neal in the low post Monday and patiently awaited a kick-out pass for a 3, and Murphy floated unnoticed through his 16 minutes, Jackson and Harrington were all wound up, gambling on defense, forcing the issue on offense and itching to fire.

They might have been a little more motivated to do it against their former team, but they’re going to do it against other teams, too.

Of all the complaints heard about Dunleavy and Murphy, no one ever accused them of trying to do too much. That won’t be the case with Jackson and Harrington. Will that be good or bad for the Warriors? Who knows? But it won’t be what we’re used to.

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

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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