Thoughts: Warriors 128 Grizzlies 110

  • Do the Warriors win this game without Devean George?  The Warriors had no choice but to sign Reggie Williams, and no choice but to release Raja Bell. George is their third biggest player, and essential to the Warriors survival for the rest of the season.   Letting him go would have sent a disastrous message to the locker-room and tanked the team’s morale.  You just don’t do that.  
  • Can someone please explain to me how Raja Bell’s Bird rights are at all meaningful?  Bird rights allow you to re-sign a player for MORE than his previous contract, without cap repercussion.  There is ZERO CHANCE that Raja Bell will be signed to a bigger contract than he has now, sign-and-trade or no.  How was this not another completely manufactured issue? Congratulations, Tim Kawakami and Adam Lauridsen.
  • Reggie Williams is not just a good player.  He is going to be a star.  I realize I’m early on this, but that’s what I am seeing.  Additional qualities to just being a lights out shooter:  Great handle.  Sees the court beautifully — I loved the simple swing of the ball for the CJ Watson three at the end of the third quarter.  Point guard abilities — Nellie even used him to run pick and roll with Hunter.  Good rebounder, particularly on offense.  Nose for the ball.  Creative finisher — he knows how to get the ball in the hole in traffic. Ice water in his veins — he wants the ball at the end of the game.
  • Cf. Anthony Morrow, who just may be playing his final season for the Warriors.
  • Reggie Williams better than OJ Mayo?  Don’t laugh.
  • Hasheem Thabeet is NOT AN NBA PLAYER.  He’s not, sorry.  Don Nelson would play him at the same position he played Adonal Foyle, Patrick O’Bryant and Kosta Perovic.  Siberia.  The idea that Don Nelson could possibly entertain the idea of trading for this giant stiff is a complete joke.  Another of the close to one million utter fabrications reported by Tim Kawakami.
  • Chris Hunter IS an NBA player.  The job he did on Zach Randolph in this game was incredible.  That doesn’t happen often.  Coming back next year, 100%.
  • Monta Ellis was obviously sick as a dog in this game.  And in that condition, played OJ Mayo even.  When at the point in this game, Monta distributed the ball beautifully.  Not a point guard?  Hmmm.
  • Why would anyone in their right mind want to trade the 6-3″ Ellis for the 6-4″ Mayo?  Has anything that Mayo has ever done given you the impression that he could completely take over a game?  Drop 50 on Dallas, in Dallas?  Drop 40 on San Antonio, in San Antonio, twice? Torture Brandon Roy on defense?  Turn Kobe Bryant over 7 times?  Or was it 8?  Guard Kevin Durant?
  • Why did Monta show up for this game, and give everything he had?
  • Stephen Curry highlight:  The sequence beginning around 6:30 of the third. Curry hits a quick release three. (Is there a quicker release in the league?)  On Memphis’ ensuing possession, Curry steals the ball from Conley.  Curry sees Tolliver running the break, and threads the needle to him for the slam.
  • Curry had a lot of trouble with his handle in this game.  And still managed to look like one of the best point guards in the game.  While dropping 30. You can have Tyreke Evans, who, by the way, is not a point guard. I’ll take Curry.
  • Nellie is obviously restricting Maggette’s minutes.  He’s not all the way back from his hamstring.  Why did Maggette come back early from his rehab?  Why is he giving everything he has?

I’m off to Las Vegas tomorrow for my fantasy baseball draft.  Its a pretty tough league, loaded with quants: Economic PhDs from Chicago.  They write their own proprietary valuation models, and run it on their laptops during our draft.  I’m not kidding.  Me, I show up with the baseball mag off the rack at the 7-11.  It kind of drives them crazy :>

So I will be missing the next week of glorious Warriors basketball.  Love to get your recaps and impressions.

For those of you with upcoming drafts, here are my top sleepers for this season: Randy Ruiz, Mike Aviles, Sean Rodriguez, Francisco Liriano, Phil Hughes, Justin Duchsherer.

Viva!

33 Responses to Thoughts: Warriors 128 Grizzlies 110

  1. TheBeet is as dangerous as a falling tree and moved like one. His teammate should be yelling “timber” when he goes for a rebound-seriously. Monta showed his basketball IQ as he had to rely more his brain that his body last night. Thanks GM for not trading him away.

    Loved when Curry took over the game late in the 3rd. It was good to see him dominate. How about pulling the ball out of Young’s hands which was a steel and not a jump ball..should have been at least.

    Why did Monta play sick, why did Cory come back early, why is Devon diving on the floor and of this this when the season is essentially over? It’s for pride, it for fun. Most of all, it’s for Nellie.

  2. Reggie Williams is the TRUTH and the only thing that Riley has done right is signing him to a contract for next season.

  3. I was suprised to see Reggie Williams signed for next year before Tolliver and Hunter. We can definitely need their Front Court help next year.

    Reggie is good, but how much time will he get with a healthy Azuibuke and Maggette. It doesnt look like they plan on bringing Morrow back. Thats the only way it makes sense.

  4. Very much agreed that the Raja Bell release is a non-story. I am by no means very knowledgeable of the NBA salary cap but I wanted to add some detail to your comments and additional facts.

    The basis of Kawakami/Lauridsen criticism is that by releasing Bell they waived the right to exceed the salary cap to sign him without using one of the exceptions – i.e. Mid-level, Bi-annual, etc. and that they screwed him over (by costing him his play-off eligibility and Bird rights).

    First off, considering this moving from the Warriors point of view, have they limited themselves in any way? Looking at the salary cap rules it is true that they have waived his Bird rights. However, since he was not claimed by any other team I believe he still retains his “non-bird status” and they can exceed the cap to resign him without the MLE or BAE. If this is the case, the answer is no they have not hurt themselves. I could be wrong about this but here’s the source I used to make this determination. See below:

    “NON-BIRD EXCEPTION — This is also a component of the Veteran Free Agent exception. Players who qualify for this exception are called “Non-Qualifying Veteran Free Agents” in the CBA. They are veteran free agents who are neither Qualifying Veteran Free Agents nor Early Qualifying Veteran Free Agents, either because they haven’t met the criteria, or because they are Early Bird free agents following the second season of their rookie scale contract and whose team renounced the Early-Bird exception. This exception allows a team to re-sign its own free agent to a salary starting at 120% of the player’s salary in the previous season, 120% of the minimum salary, or the amount needed to tender a qualifying offer (if the player is a restricted free agent — see question number 36), whichever is greater. Raises are limited to 8% of the salary in the first year of the contract, and contracts are limited to five seasons when this exception is used.” source: http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm#Q26

    The second part of the complaint is really for Raja Bell to answer, not Kawakami/Lauridsen. The first question I have is did Bell think he could come back and contribute to a playoff team? If he did then I’m assuming he would have preferred to have been released before the playoff roster dead-line. Since he has not complained I am assuming this is not an issue. The second question for Bell is does he want to come back to the Warriors next year or would he prefer to join a team with actual chances for the play-offs. I’m assuming the W’s and Bell have discussed this in detail – if Bell wanted to go elsewhere it could have prompted his release. He would be an unrestricted free agent next year and would have left anyways. The last question for Bell is does he think this hurts his market value as a free-agent? i.e. his best leverage in negotiations is to have as many options and bidders to drive up his value. In another year this may have been a slight factor. But they fact remains that so many teams will be under the cap and the mid-level exception is $5.854 million this year. So he will have plenty of options and receive a fair contract offer without needing a sign and trade. Again since Bell has not complained I’m assuming this also isn’t an issue for him.

    And finally, considering Bell is an aging role player he just doesn’t have that much value as a sign-and-trade chip; Kawakami/Lauridsen should know that without having to consult insider “NBA sources.”

  5. Clarification — I just noticed that any team who claimed Bell off of waivers would have retained his “bird-rights” without having to give up anything. It kind of makes Kawakami’s claim that they could have gotten a couple of draft picks for Raja Bell look dubious at best.

    Under the CBA what killed Bell’s Bird Rights was the fact that he cleared waivers not that the Warriors placed him on waivers.

    “If a player is waived and is claimed by another team before he clears waivers, then it is treated as a trade and does not affect his Bird clock.” source:
    http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm#Q25

    Kawakami wrote:

    “By waiving Bell, the W’s also burned up his “Bird rights,” which might’ve been valuable in a sign-and-trade situation this summer…Teams interested in acquiring him were also interested in Bell’s “Bird rights,” also for sign-and-trade purposes of their own in this epic summer of LeBron, but waiving Bell means his “Bird rights” go away.

  6. PJ — thanks.

    About the D-leaguers:

    I do want to see how Williams performs after a season of play and fatigue and pressure. But his main liability may well be that he went to VMI. I read somewhere that his scoring there wasn’t taken seriously by scouts because he played for a run ‘n gun team at a small school in a weak conference. What this means to me is that he got a lot of chances to practice shooting.

    Curry got to practice scoring for a small school in a weak conference as well. What would his draft pick have been if Davidson had gone out against Gonzaga first round, the year they made their run in the NCAA tourney? The game was decided in the last minute. (And if Jason Richards had hit his three in the last second against Kansas, would Mario Chalmers have got drafted by Miami?)

    I’m sure there are a lot of gunners in small schools who can’t cut it in the NBA, but they haven’t played abroad or proven themselves in the D-league.

    Tolliver played for Creighton. Somebody correct me, but this guy sure looks like he knows what he is doing on both ends of the court. And he doesn’t look like he has stopped learning or improving.

    What should we think of Hunter when he starts slamming those dunks down?

    I love college basketball, but I can’t help wondering if the madness, especially during March, doesn’t inflate scouts’s evaluation of players — and players’ own estimation of themselves and their expectations. D-leaguers have to fight to prove themselves — and perhaps they have learned to fight. They have also learned humility. Humility is sanity.

    In short, let’s stop making fun of D-leaguers.

  7. Feltbot you are the best to begin with, but this column is one of the best of the best.

    We’ve seen the 3 D-Leaguers and they should all stay for next year. Especially Williams (Not to Dis Hunter and Toliver we lovem too).

    Williams has shown offensive consistency that has been used against very good teams. Love his outside shooting right in Amare’s face two or three times (forget Stodemire’s dunk!).

    With Monta, Stephan, and Reggie, if the Dubs get a true 4 (or two!) to be consistently productive, No question a 4 or 5 playoff team next year. Especially if their draft pick pans out. Truly an OKC like team next year.
    As much as I love Magette, Williams should play ahead of him because of the upside. The two most likely players to get traded would be Magette because of his value, and Biedrins because he simply woosed out this year. Start running the pick and roll and at least practicing your free throws and then Andris would be in the conversation. Randolph needs to be consitent for stardom and B Wright? Well he should start keeing his arm in the shoulder socket and then his upside can be validated. As you note if all works out, we could have a good team with basically the same crew plus two or three new. Hunter and Tolliver wil push the incumbents, sign them too!

  8. Foxblows, there are issues of roster space, contracts and cap room. Can’t have cake and eat it too. Plus, if we go position by position-we want players that rank it he top ten per position. Monta and Curry are the only players that can be checked off of that to-do list. At best, the remainder of the current roster are role players and to hope or believe any one of those players is a top ten it unrealistic. We need major upgrades at the 4, 5 and possible the 3 spot.

  9. Thanks for great comments, all! PJ thanks for filling in the gaps. So I’m correct this is a non-issue, right?

    Nivrag, absolutely love your take. I think you hit the nail on the head in so many ways. Those who’ve come up through the fire of the D-leagues definitely possess observable differences in character, coachability and basketball IQ from the mass of first-round picks.

  10. Dallas:

    Maggette and Ellis ran the first quarter, and both apparently are sick. (And I want to argue this kept the other guys from getting started, but Maggette really was hot.)

    Turiaf, of course, was rusty.

    Poor/no ball movement. This bothered me more than Curry’s turnovers and the poor shooting (cause/effect?).

    Tolliver was the only one who had his head in the game, but Hunter and he scarcely played the first half.

    Somebody smarter than me explain otherwise, but I want to argue that Hunter and Tolliver, though not big bigs, have provided a stabilizing force as well as offensive options, both needed last night for a team that wasn’t shooting well. I wonder if we shouldn’t have seen them sooner, and most of the game. They have both helped with ball movement, especially Tolliver, in maintaining the rhythm of offense.

    Why do guys light it up against us?

    But I love the name Beaubois. Say it: bow-bwa. So smooth, so suggestive, so French.

  11. Reggie Williams, Clippers post-game interview:

    “I love the Don Nelson system.”

  12. “I think he has a gift,” Nelson said of Williams. “He doesn’t even know how big a gift he has. We’ve just dusted off the surface.”

    “He’s a rare basketball player as far as I can see,” Nelson said. “He’s able to have the mental capacity to be able to understand the total game, who’s open, he can read defenses, and score, and he’s quick. He’s unselfish, but he knows he’s a scorer. I think he’s a special player, and here we got him out of the rock heap.”

    A star?

    http://www.mercurynews.com/sports/ci_14777175

  13. Williams didn’t shoot well at all from the outside the first half, maybe the whole game, and I wondered if he was going to get pulled. But then he started driving and finding other ways to score.

    Curry really did a fine job of running the club, especially the first half during the comeback, in ways that don’t show up in the box score. But the Clippers clamped down on Curry second half –

    – and Williams took over. Great play from Turiaf/Tolliver/Hunter as well.

    Give Watson credit, too, for his spark of madness. He quickly got some of steals and breaks and drives when they were down, which I like to think started the Warrior run.

  14. Reggie Williams…

    “He (Nelson) calls plays for me.”

    Wait, Reggie must be wrong because I thought I’ve read on other blogs that DN doesn’t call plays. It’s just “run and gun.”

  15. Don’t think Curry has hit the wall?

    Warriors coach Don Nelson said he’s thinking of coaching the Warriors’ summer league squad in Las Vegas in July. Usually, assistant coach Keith Smart handles the team. Nelson said he is considering it so he can coach the new players and get them acclimated to the system.

    But will he have his starting point guard? Rookie Stephen Curry said he would play if the team wants him to. But he has other wishes.

    “Rest,” Curry said. “I just want to rest my body.”

    http://www.insidebayarea.com/warriors/ci_14776913

  16. Oh, great. Now Washington is in full crash and burn mode. Not looking like the W’s are gonna keep that No. 3 spot in the draft order too much longer. Heck, they may even drop to 5th or 6th.

    Yeah, I know it’s the ping pong balls making the decision, but still…

    Oh, well…it’s probably worth it if we can get that record for Nellie this year. Circle on the calender the last two home games. It could come down to one of those. Oracle will be rockin’.

  17. Compare and contrast our three d-leaguers with the recent draft picks of Anthony Randolph, Marco Belinelli and Patrick O’Bryant. Now consider who’s in the lottery in the 3, 4 and 5 pick. Not to exciting is it? With rare exception, namely Curry, the draft has yielded very little for the Warriors.

  18. Ape, I like Anthony Randolph. Wasn’t he the 14 pick? Still great upside potential for sure.

    Remember this game way back when:

  19. Jared Cowley at Warriors Wire has pushed back against my “stardom” forecast for Reggie Williams.

    http://warriors.blogs.pressdemocrat.com/10730/slow-down-on-the-williams-hype/comment-page-1/#comment-1194

  20. Well, at least you got a plug, fb.

    But we all knew that, right? How much better a defender can he become? (How much better a defender has Curry become?) How much better will he be if he has some size up front? What are the pluses and minuses here, as factored into Nelson’s system?

  21. My reply to Jared is apparently being held for moderation on his site, so I’ll post it here:

    Been traveling and just noticed the post, Jared. I love being called out, always enjoy a good dialogue. Have you seen Don Nelson’s comments that came out shortly after my “stardom” prognostication? They seemed to me very close to my own comments. Your reaction? Also, I’m curious why you dismiss William’s potential at point forward. Don Nelson is already using him there, a few scant weeks after his callup. He ran a beautiful pick and roll with Hunter in the last game I was able to watch. As for his handle, it looks pretty darn good to me, and his assist/TO ratio is so far superb. Defense is obviously the weakest part of his game, but nothing to prevent him becoming a star. Vince Carter, Ray Allen, OJ Mayo… simply tons of stars who defend no better than Williams. He is a very, very special offensive player, whose talent is just being tapped. In fact, I see the biggest roadblock to his stardom as being the uncertain future of Don Nelson. Nellie knows what to do with him. Will his next coach?

  22. I do remember flashes of Randolph. Basically this is a lost year for him and even if he picks up where he left off, he has a ways to go before he’s a solid contributor. Until we really see otherwise, he remains Mr. Potential. Tolliver has already proven himself as a solid contributor.

  23. I agree Ape. This was a lost year for Randolph, a clear underperformance relative to expectations. I couln’t help but feel that Nelson’s recent comments regarding his delight in coaching the D-Leaguers — that he loved coaching players who wanted to learn, and wanted to work to get better — was aimed squarely at Randolph.

  24. Anthony Morrow leading the break at the end of the half? PATHETIC.

  25. I’m convinced, Morrow most go.

  26. You could turn out to be right about RW, but I’m not buying it yet. He’s a lot fresher than everyone who’s played a whole NBA season, and other teams haven’t had much time to find his weaknesses (everyone has them).

    Beyond that, I just see him as a tweener – not athletic enough to be a star at SG, not big and strong enough to dominate as a SF. Good for us if I’m wrong, though!

  27. I’m convinced Morrow should stay.

  28. lol, nice ape.

    I am home now, and tried to record this game. Unfortunately, the game was listed on the CSNHD channel but wasn’t actually shown on that channel so I have 2.5 hrs of the DirectTV logo. I hate DirectTV.

  29. So, felty, you’re back amongst the living? Welcome back, we look forward to your insights. I thought last night’s handling of the Knicks was an audition by David Lee and Galinari for Don Nelson. I like ‘em both. David Lees 37, 20, & 9 was gargantuan and Gallo looks like a 6’10″ Morrow.

  30. Goodness….if that Toronto game would have ended the way it ALMOST did, well…I’m sure I woulda thrown up. Then I woulda loaded my carsick-prone dog in the truck and drove him around the block so he could throw up too!

    Did you see Nellie’s look, hands behind his head, as time expired? Like he was thinking ‘hey, did we just win? cuz it sure feels like we just lost!’

    Steph Curry two boards shy of another triple-double.

    Now if we could only make the next game against Washington a home game simply for the frenzy factor. I can hear the Oracle chant now: Hall of Fame! Hall of Fame!

    Felt, see what you can do about that, okay?

  31. One of the best moments of the season, make that best in the past two seasons. Beating a play off team, lots of drama and 69 year old Nellie dancing, encircled by his team.

  32. Good interview, FB

    “I think the only thing that really bothers me is that some writers in the Bay Area think I had something to do with Chris Mullin’s demise. And that’s just totally untrue. I backed Chris all the way to the last day. When they finally were going to let him go, I begged them not to. I loved working with that guy. He’s truly one of my good friends and that bothers me more than anything.”

    This has to be true. I hope some day the rest of the story comes out.