Don’t Trade Stephen Curry!

I know there’s a Warriors-Clippers game to recap tonight, but I feel my attentions are urgently needed in another cause.

Joe Lacob has just done another round of media interviews, which is our clue that some nasty business is at hand.  His first round of interviews prepared us nicely for the firing of Don Nelson, the retention of Robert Rowell, and the glorious signings of Keith Smart, Lou Amundson and Jeremy Lin.  What was the intention of this latest round of interviews?                               

As far as I can discern, this was his message:  First: “I am the GM of the Golden State Warriors.”  I and Larry Riley already knew this, but some others may have needed convincing. It should be crystal clear now. Check the tape.

Second: “I am on the job 24/7 and I am trying like hell to swing a big trade before the trading deadline. I want to put my stamp on the Golden State Warriors.  And by that, I mean something even bigger than Lou Amundson and Jeremy Lin.”

Third: “Keith Smart has done some crazy-ass things.” I interpret this to mean playing Vladimir Radmanovich at power forward.  “But he’s getting better.”  I interpret this to mean that this is Smart’s last year, unless the Warriors make the playoffs and the fans start chanting his name.

Fourth: “Monta Ellis is now my favorite player and I’m thinking about trading Stephen Curry. (But only if the right player comes along!)”

It is this last message, which of course has been seized upon by the national media — as Lacob must have known it would be — that has me concerned.  And by concerned, I mean borderline deranged.  I can deal with the numerous minor abominations of Lacob’s management, but trading Stephen Curry? I just ordered a case of Lagavulin, pre-emptively.

Trading Stephen Curry would be a disaster completely beyond imagining for me. Someone needs to talk some sense into Joe Lacob about Stephen Curry, and the Ellis-Curry backcourt. Fast!

I’m not going to wait to see what happens. If this lonely, unaffiliated Warriors blog can do anything to prevent Curry from being traded, it will do so. I’m pressing the panic button, and rolling out my big guns. And so, here are my

NINE REASONS WHY STEPHEN CURRY SHOULD NOT BE TRADED

9) Is the Ellis-Curry backcourt really a defensive liability? Was that a collective snort I heard?  Well, just follow along with me for a second.  What do you think is the Warriors’ biggest need at this time?  I mean, what is it that they desperately need? The consensus is that they need a dominant center and a back-up point-guard.  I disagree.

What the Warriors desperately need right now is a big defensive shooting guard. And by defensive, I do not mean the kind of one-way players that Joe Lacob has stuffed the Warriors bench with, like Lou Amundson and Jeremy Lin.  I mean the kind of big defensive two-guards that Don Nelson was legendary for finding, like Mario Elie, and Raja Bell, and Kelenna Azubuike, and Stephen Jackson (before Nellie demonstrated to the league that he was a star).  Guys who could spread the floor, and drain the three, as well as rip the heart out of the opposing team’s best scorer.

With a player like this, the Warriors wouldn’t even need a back-up point guard. The Warriors could sub him for either Ellis or Curry, and whichever 6-3″ player was left on the floor would take over the point.  Both Ellis and Curry have proven themselves to be wonderful point guards, albeit with completely different styles.  Why not let them back each other up instead of relying on the likes of Acie Law?

Now, let’s say that this big shooting guard was good enough that Keith Smart could get Ellis’ and Curry’s minutes down to 38 a game.  That means that for 20 minutes per game the Warriors would have a decent to good defensive backcourt.  Get it?

This isn’t rocket science.  Except perhaps to our venture capitalist cum GM. This is Don Nelson 101.  You get the best players.  And then you protect them.

8 ) Even if it is a liability, so what? Walt Frazier — Earl Monroe, Isaiah Thomas — Joe Dumars, Steve Nash — Nick van Exel.  History has shown that when possessed of the right level of talent, protected with the requisite defensive pieces, and coached in the right style, undersized backcourts can win NBA championships.

There is no doubt that Curry and Ellis have the right level of talent.  They may be the most talented backcourt in the league today, if not one of the most talented in league history.

What remains is to surround them with the right pieces.  The aforementioned big shooting guard is a must. It is also obvious that the Warriors need a big shot-blocker in the middle, and it is increasingly doubtful that that is going to be Andris Biedrins.

And I like Dorell Wright, but it wouldn’t hurt if he grew a big pair of brass-plated balls.

As for the coaching… the clock is ticking.  On everyone, it appears.

7) Carmelo Anthony: Melo is of course “the prize” of this season’s trading deadline, and the player for whom Joe Lacob is openly contemplating trading Stephen Curry.  Now I know with 100% certainty that Melo will never come here. Melo has big market, multi-media, King of the City aspirations. And that city ain’t Oaktown. But I’m going to address the possibility of a Curry for Melo trade anyway, because the thought that Lacob is even contemplating this trade, let alone spouting off in the media about it, has my blood boiling.

Carmelo Anthony is a great scorer. That’s all he is. He is not a great defender, and he is not at all great at making the players around him better. (That’s what Chauncey Billups is for!)  He is a very selfish player, and a terrible passer. His 3 assists per game is as low as it gets for “superstar” players who demand double and triple teams.  It’s a disgrace, as is his 1:1 assist to turnover ratio. Carmelo Anthony is a blackhole.  The ball goes in and never comes back out.

Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant are examples of similarly selfish glory-hogs, who became NBA champions.  (I love what Kevin McHale had to say about the difference between Jordan and Larry Bird:  “The difference is that if Larry were on a 2 on zero fast break, and his teammate were 10 feet in front of him, Larry would pass him the ball.”) But there is a huge and quantifiable difference between Jordan and Kobe, and Carmelo Anthony:

As selfish as Michael Jordan was and Kobe Bryant is, in the end, they could never be beaten by a double team. First, because they could frequently outquick a triple team, which I don’t believe Carmelo can. Second, because when forced to, they could pass.  Jordan averaged 5.3 assists, and a 2:1 assist/TO ratio. Kobe averages 5 assists, and 3:2.

But also, and very importantly, it’s because they could initiate their offense from the top of the key, where it is IMPOSSIBLE to double team effectively. Carmelo cannot shoot threes, is not possessed of great speed, and cannot pass. He thus cannot initiate his offense from the top of the key. In point of fact, he almost always sets up camp on the right mid-post.  It is far easier and more efficient for defending teams to send help there.

In other words:  Carmelo Anthony is not a playoff closer.  He is a dominant force, no doubt. He ran over Trevor Ariza and Kobe Bryant individually, and put up great individual numbers against the Lakers in the playoffs. (Hello, Ron Artest!)  But in the end, he could not, and cannot, beat a double or triple team at the end of playoff games.

Now ask yourself: Where do Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry initiate their crunch time offense?

Can either Monta Ellis or Stephen Curry be double-teamed?

The Golden State Warriors already have their closers. Melo is not what they need.

6) Stephen Curry is a closer: I am not going to belabor this point. Anyone who doesn’t know already that Curry is a closer must not have watched his particular brand of March Madness, nor his rookie season in the NBA.  Curry has already hit more clutch shots than most players hit in a lifetime.

He gets his shots differently than conventional superstars.  He gets them with cleverness, with ambidexterity, and with deadly shooting accuracy.

But make no mistake about it, if the Warriors went to him at the end of games instead of Ellis, Curry would get and hit his shot as often as Ellis.  If not more.

He’s already proven that.

5) Can Curry and Ellis play well together? This question, which was prevalent at the beginning of last year when Ellis was freezing Curry out, is popular again.  Chiefly because Curry has started the season very slowly due to injury and fatigue, but also because Keith Smart is holding Curry down.

In my mind, Don Nelson proved at the end of last year that Curry and Ellis can not only play beautifully together, but dominate.  As they did in that 7-5 run to end the season, playing with D-leaguers.

4) Keith Smart is KILLING Stephen Curry. A large part of Curry’s struggles this year have to do with Keith Smart trying to hold his offense down, in favor of moving the ball and becoming a spot-up shooter.  In other words, trying to pound the fabulous round Stephen Curry into a square Luke Ridnour-Steve Blake hole. I could go on and on about this, but let me just illustrate with one easy example: the walk-up, early offense three.

We all know that Stephen Curry excels at this shot.  We saw him drain them countless times in his rookie season under Don Nelson.  There is little doubt in my mind that he hits them at a rate of close to 50%. (His 43% average includes the hotly contested, end of the clock threes that bring shooters’ averages down.)

Keith Smart will not let Curry shoot this shot.  Absolutely forbids it.  I have seen him chew Curry out for it, and I’ve seen him yank him for it. Despite the fact that it is nearly indefensible. Despite the fact that it completely demoralizes teams that have dominant half-court defenses. Despite the fact that it is highly efficient.

Do you doubt its efficiency? Let’s set up a little hypothetical. Let’s say that Stephen Curry converts wide-open walk-up threes at an uncontroversial 45%. Now let’s hypothesize that every time Curry misses his shot, the other team scores — in the words of the immortal Bob Fitzgerald — “a layup or dunk.” Every single times he misses, a layup or dunk.

Which team comes out ahead in this hypothetical?  (I know this is an absolutely absurd hypothetical, it’s quite possible to defend after a missed three, especially if your centers don’t make it over half-court. But on the other hand, it’s a hypothetical that accurately incorporates Keith Smart’s current paranoia.) So which team wins?

While we’re waiting for Kirk Lacob to load this problem into his computer, let’s throw out another thought:

Does the very real threat of the walk-up three — the threat that Curry deployed so magnificently in his rookie season, and that Steve Nash has deployed so magnificently in every game of the last 10 seasons — does that open up the floor for your offense?  Does it force the defender to guard you more tightly, and thus set up the drive and dish, and the pick and roll?

Try sticking that in your computer.

3) Stephen Curry is a point guard. Due to his current struggles in Keith Smart’s system, we are again starting to hear from Bay Area media ignorametzes that Stephen Curry is not a “true” point guard.  I am frankly incredulous at this opinion.  Did these pundits happen to miss what Curry did at the point last season under Don Nelson?

There are some coaches in the league by the name of Karl and Popovich and D’Antoni, at the very least, who would KILL to be able to install this untrue point-guard at the point.

Bobby Knight thinks Stephen Curry is “as good a passer as has ever played college basketball.”  Is it possible that that man could have that opinion about a player who cannot play point guard?

Don Nelson said, the minute after he drafted Curry, that Curry was the second best player he’s ever had, after Steve Nash.  Better than Hardaway, better than Moncrief, better than Baron Davis?  A typical piece of ludicrous Nellie hyperbole!

Right up until Nellie and Stephen Curry went out and proved it, in Curry’s rookie season.

Not a point guard? You must be kidding me.  At the end of his rookie season, Curry looked not merely like a point guard, but like a living, breathing reincarnation of the fourth-year Steve Nash.

Just because a player is a phenomenal scorer does not mean he is not a point guard. Would you take Lebron James as your point guard? Derrick Rose?

2) Stephen Curry is a leader: This is another point I’m not going to belabor. Monta Ellis is growing into a leader, no doubt. But Stephen Curry is a natural born leader, and will always be a better leader than Ellis because he looks to get his teammates the ball first. (This is in no way meant to slight Ellis, whom I love as a player.)

I don’t have to belabor this point, because it’s already been proven, in the mind of Curry’s Hall of Fame head coach, in the minds of his teammates, and on the court. In his rookie season, guiding D-leaguers to victory.

Leadership like Curry’s doesn’t grow on trees.  I think it might be even more difficult to find than the dominant low-post player that Joe Lacob so openly covets.

1) The Curse: That’s what’s coming, Joe Lacob, if you trade Stephen Curry for Carmelo Anthony, or some giant stiff in the middle.  The Curse of Stephen Curry.

It will be very similar to The Curse of Steve Nash that currently hangs over Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks.

Mark Cuban, internet boom lottery winner cum GM of the Dallas Mavericks, currently holds the title of Undisputed Worst GM in NBA History.  He is the only GM who ever let a future 2-time League MVP walk out the door over money, and take Don Nelson and multiple NBA championships with him. Mark Cuban will carry that distinction to his grave.

Unless you, Joe Lacob, lift that burdensome mantle from his shoulders. We all know that Stephen Curry, unlike Monta Ellis, does not rely on athleticism for his greatness.  It is easy to see him playing until the ripe old age of 38 — just like the player he most resembles, Steve Nash. And when Curry does step off the hardwood, I predict he is going to step right into the NBA Hall of Fame as one of the all-time scorers and all-time assist leaders in NBA history. And it is highly likely that he will have one or more NBA title runs, if not one or more NBA titles, in his back pocket as well.

If you are the man who traded that away, Joe Lacob…  well, there is no other way to put it. You will be cursed. Like Mark Cuban, you will carry The Curse of Stephen Curry with you throughout the long, long years of Curry’s career, and then for the rest of your life.

Don’t do it, Joe Lacob. Don’t blight the Warriors franchise in the bloom of its greatest era. Don’t doom your legacy in its infancy.

Don’t provoke the vengeful gods of basketball.

Strive to recognize the greatness that is before you, even while it is struggling to free itself.  And if somehow you are unable to do that, then listen to your assistant GM, Larry Riley.

He knows.


67 Responses to Don’t Trade Stephen Curry!

  1. Nice post, felty. I worked with many VC’s over the years while raising $100M in funding – and they all share 2 important traits… 1. An oversized ego that clouds their perception of reality and 2. A total lack of operational/management sense. When they run an organization, it usely ends in dismal failure. As you are right to point out, Lacob is not just an owner, he is running the whole show. The lack of propriety in casually commenting that every individual is expendable shows no management experience with leading a team.

    Curry is the best player the Warriors have had in the 20 years that I have been watching. And totally agree on the Melo negatives.

  2. Actually I was ready to trade Curry after he picked up those quick three fouls tonight . . .

    But seriously. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so upset as when he sat on the bench after the fourth. This was his night, he knew it, and he came back in and damn near did it.

    Monta, of course, deserves a hero’s monument.

    Did you see Riley’s comment I put at the end of your last post? This came after the Lacob interview, right? Hard to believe Riley would say that if Lacob had something brewing. Then again, Lacob did say he went after Anthony, and who else would he have put up?

    A curious game. A lot of irritating mistakes, costly all told, but an exhilarating game. And no funky substitutions. Smart played everybody I wanted him to play–and the four starters had to play 40+ minutes. This is the problem. I’d settle for a reasonably athletic and skilled backup center, a healthy Turiaf, for example.

    I had the tube on but was doing something else. Postgame, I thought I heard Smart say he needed to stop looking to pass all the time but look for his offense. Was Smart talking about Curry?

  3. Spot on about Curry. Real leader of team.

    Monta has been wonderful, and much better this year. However, Smart and Lacob are wrong about Curry.

    Unfortunately, Sports team owners are not qualified to manage teams, but of course think they are very much so. Lacob probably thinks Lin should be starting (no offense to Jeremy intended). The day they trade Curry? Six more years of not making any damage in the playoffs.

    Curry Moves the ball and is almost as good as Nash hitting an open three. Of course, he is twelve years younger and has more upside! And to get chewed out by Smart (See Friday’s game vs Sacramento in Q1) while he kids the soft gloves to Beans who cannot/will not make a free throw! Gawd!

    You are spot on about needing another guard, but we also do need a slow big guy to match up with the five or so teams that play ‘old school’ and beat us up. Chris Hunter is the poor man’s choice at little or no cost (much better than GADZ who misses frickin layups along with Beans). But alas, he tore his ACL and is out for the season.
    AND DO NOT TRADE FOR MELO! He is second tier not top!
    They have a lot of players on roster not contributing. Under no circumstances do you trade anyone in current rotation (other than Biedrins if you can fool another team to take his Mullins christmas gift contract, and Vlad Rad for a real good player).

  4. And Can the Warriors get rid of the song they play right before the national anthem ??????????? It’s a new day! Ug!
    Don’t you know that is Lacob’s favorite song for god sakes?
    It is bad and amateurish to say the least!

  5. I agree!!!!!!!!!! How about my song?

  6. To briefly play devil’s advocate, if they were to trade Curry for Carmelo Anthony, wouldn’t that move Dorell Wright over to the ‘big 2′ position felty advocates? That’s a pretty strong starting 5. Your most convincing argument to not make that trade is Curry being around to haunt the franchise till the age of 38. Wouldn’t that just be typical Warrior’s fan luck? Oh, with a major injury to Carmelo thrown in.

    I agree entirely with Daniel Snyder’s comment “Sports team owners are not qualified to manage teams, but of course think they are very much so. ” But Lacob has just acquired a new plaything and his adrenalin is pumping. Brace yourselves.

  7. Maybe Lacob is trying to calm anxious fans hoping for “something bold” or maybe he’s setting the table for a big move. He has aspirations to make GS icon of the NBA which frankly takes years and superstars. But, yes he does want a superstar. And rightfully every player on this team should be on the trade table for the right superstar). I agree that Melo for Curry is not a worthy trade. But I can imagine a few players (CP3 for example) that I would give up Curry for.

    Is it time to hit the “Save Curry” panic button, I don’t think so. 1) Riley is GM and he is a Nellie protige. He’s a smart guy. 2) Melo Loves NY and so does his wife*. 3) Riley and Lacob are focused on a low post scorer and defender, so they say. 4) Curry may not be the carrot dangled to Denver, it could be Dorrel, Monta and/or Udoh for example. 5) If Melo is moved here, he would not sign and extension and Riley and Lacub are not that stupid.

    *This is wild speculation, but Lacob did say in one of the interviews that a job for a wife is part of the package to attract players here. At first I thought “what NBA wife needs or wants a job”. Well a certain B list celeb named La La Vasquez (Melo’s wife) has Hollywood aspirations beyond MTV. Guber happens to be a Hollywood mogul. A wife does have a very strong influence in a man’s decision making process, especially if you want to be a happily married man. Ask Monta. I know it’s connecting dots that don’t necessarily exist but it is the only thing even remotely plausable to draw Melo with a signed extension.

  8. But while we’re at it, why would Denver be interested in Curry anyway? Are they not impressed with Lawson’s potential?

  9. Finally Feltbot came out of hibernation with both gun blasting, hitting lacob right where it hurts the most. at the point, lacob is on track to be worse than cohan.

  10. One of your finer efforts felt…

    I to have been wondering why KSmart seems intent on making Curry into an ‘oridinary’ player? KSmart has completely forsaken the “Art-of-the-Mismatch” that his predecesser embraced. Much is made of players that Curry can’t guard, but what KSmart fails to grasp is those same players can’t guard Curry either.

    Having Curry give up the ball early, i.e. pass & cut, takes away everything that’s special about him! And yes Nellie understood that. Smart’s handling of Curry just plays into the opponents hand!

    Simply said Smart needs to start emphasizing Curry’s strengths & not his weaknesses before it’s to late…

  11. Felty. NICE.

    You have the same impression of Lacob I have had for some time now. It started with the unceremonious dumping of Nellie and the giving of a guaranteed contract to Jeremly Lin, a virtual nobody.

    That being said, his comments could have been an indication to the league that if you want Curry, make me an offer I can’t refuse. Making overtures in the media is something I am sure he deployed as a VC and now he is putting it to use in the NBA. Curry doesn’t go unless we get someone seriously talented in return.

    Ultimately though, Curry and Monta shouldn’t go anywhere. I am 100% in agreement with you regarding the need for a defensiveminded 2 and an eraser inside at the 5. Raja Bell would have been so good with this team right now its disgusting. Monta and Curry could get their rest and run the point while the other was sitting and Raja would help spread the floor, play defense, and provide leadership. Add a guy inside that protects the rim with a vengeance and you have the blueprint for a successful, up tempo team.

    Trade the expirings and BW and try and get players that give us what we don’t have, then see how far Smart can take them this year. If its a failure, make decisions based upon that data, but for now, keep 1-4 on this squad, build around them, and see what you have. I really like the chemistry of this team and hope to see it continue to grow. Especially that Monta/Curry connection.

  12. Surprised that no one is killing me for #4, because in the Clipper game Curry took and nailed TWO STRAIGHT walk-up threes, beginning at 10:25 of the 3rd Q. I’m not sure what happened there, if he was finally let off the leash, or if he took it off himself. I do know that some hilarity ensued between Curry, Bell and Cheaney in the timeout that immediately followed.

  13. Felty: Great post regarding Curry. Smart is quoted in today’s newspapers as indicating he may not have been using Curry correctly. Good sign. Couldn’t agree with you more that Curry should not be traded.

    Lacob has to learn to keep his mouth shut and not put down players in the press and hint as to who is possibly expendable.

    Happy to see that Lacob and his ownership group is willing to go over the salary cap and pay the luxury cap. Now, he just needs to obtain the right players.

    Disagree with you regarding a back-up shooting guard being our biggest need. Still think the center position is.

    I say that because I believe a good defensive center can give protection to both Ellis and Curry, more then a true defensive off-guard would, who still have to play with Biedrens, a non-factor, not having his back, nor of Ellis and Curry, who will be on the court most of the time. We do however, desparately need a defensive back up SG.

    And as I have said before, the future center is sitting on the bench and his name is Udoh. He’s not a 7 footer, but I believe he is the prot0type of the future center. Strong, lengthy, and quick, who can help keep teams to shooting less then 50% from the field. Only time will tell if will be given extended time to show what he can do defensively.

    Speculation swirls over our obtaining Kamen from the Clippers. Kamen, is just marginally better then Biedrins defensively, and playing him in combo with Udoh would surely be an upgrade over Biedrins given that he can shoot and take pressure off other players on the court , but not much so, unless Kamen shoots over 50% from the field, which he has done only once in his career.

  14. You make a lot of bold assertions-like Monta freezing out Curry last year-which viewing and reviewing tapes I can find no evidence of. Like Curry IS a PG. He may be, or he may be a short and slow 2, a tough combination for superstar status–which is what you imply if we are not to consider Melo for him. You also assert Melo has no 4 and no D. Last night he got 36 pts, 6 3s in one quarter, 8 rebounds and 1 bs and held the high scoring Granger to 8 pts on 2-10 shooting. Wish someone we had could do that!!

    But your notion that he doesn’t make his teammates better is a joke. He came to a Denver team that hadn’t gone to the playoffs in more than a half dozen years and they’ve gone every year since he arrived, despite huge injuries and even made it to the Conference Finals losing to the Lakers, no shame in that, in a season they weren’t even picked to make the 8th spot. Meanwhile, Curry improved everyone to what record??

    Now I can already hear you saying nope it wasn’t Melo that turned them around it was Billups. But Billups, who certainly helped them as he would have any team, didn’t arrive until November of 2008. Melo first had turne4d them around from long time losers to playoff players in 2003-4.

    Whatever you can say about Curry and how great he’ll become at PG, despite his not very good assist to turnover numbers and very poor defense, you can’t say Melo didn’t make Denver better immediately. It flies in the face of the record.

  15. Make that NO 3pt shot and poor D.

  16. Great post. Couldnt agree more on Curry. Until the last two games, I was starting to think Curry’s rookie season was a fluke. Trading that guy would be a disaster.

    I agree aboutthe SG. I did see Smart try to play Dorrell at that SG, but he is just not effective in that role.

  17. Very nice post, felt. You and I are sympatico on the Curry and Smart thing. I think Lacob’s smart enough to figure this out. If he’s not, and he trades Curry, then he will deserve the wrath and destruction Warrior fans will heap upon him. And I would root for Curry’s new team until Lacob were gone. Again, I think Lacob is much smarter than that. We’ll see.

  18. Very good takes, and nicely written Felt. I love coming up with trade scenarios and I must admit to having many in my pocket that included Curry (gotta give good to get good), but after reading what you wrote, I have to say you’ve swayed me into shelving those for smarter options that don’t include trading Mr. Natural.
    Nice read…and keep coming with both guns blazing if nothing more than for Lacob’s benefit. Hope he’s read this one.

  19. Meir: Felty meant clearly stated that Melo does not make other player’s better because he gets few assists, is a bad passer, selfish, and plays poor defense, all of which is true. He also pointed out that Melo is a poor three -point shooter, and could have added that he has a low FG% of 43%.

    You mischaracterize his comments by saying Denver started winning when he joined the team and therefore made other player’s better. There is no doubt he is a high volume and big time scorer.

  20. FRANK: great to see that Smart is down with Curry looking for his own shot more:

    http://www.mercurynews.com/warriors/ci_17178307?nclick_check=1

    I completely agree with your analysis of what an active 7-foot shot blocker could do to help the Curry-Ellis backcourt. I just think that’s a tough find, whereas the shooting guard isn’t (Nellie got whatever he needed out of the D-league). Let’s take care of that first!

    As for Kaman, Baron Davis just attributed the Clippers recent surge to the fact that DeAndre Jordan allows them to play defense! A very strong dig at Kaman. He simply would not help, and does not fit the Warriors.

    I know that Udoh can play back-up center effectively, but I don’t think he’s strong enough to supplant Biedrins on the front line. And I’m 100% certain that Lacob wouldn’t allow that to happen, even if he were.

    MEIR: Great to have you over here leveling your blasts, for a change. You are wasted on Lauridsen’s blog. (That goes for you too GMoney.) But I am not going to engage you in a Curry — Monta debate. I don’t think my readers would ever forgive me :> And besides, I think they are both completely extraordinary players, and together a completely extraordinary, and DOMINANT, backcourt. Neither one should be traded.

    As for Melo, I believe you have set up a straw man. Quite obviously, he improved the Nuggets with his presence (although I happen to believe the frontline of Nene and Kenyon Martin were just as significant as he was). He is a dominant scorer. But that is something completely different from improving his teammates. I don’t believe he does that, which is why that team was absolutely miserable when they brought in another mega-selfish player, Allen Iverson.

    And a minor point: glad that Melo put up 6 3-pointers in my face last night, as his one man showcase tour continues. But does that mean he’s a good 3 point shooter?

  21. Meir34; the Curry hater, Melos lover has to show up with his usual CRAP.
    That’s why the term: SCROLL THE TROLL; came about.

  22. From the MT article:

    “I just think it’s his competitive nature,” Smart said. “He’s realizing he is valuable and he’s got to get his level of game play up. He was looking for his shot a little more. I think he needs to do that more than trying to look to pass to everyone.”

    I just don’t believe this. Curry has never been timid about taking shots–although I haven’t seen many players screening or creating shots for him. I can’t believe he hasn’t been doing what he’s been told to do.

  23. Man, people have short memories. Look at Curry’s numbers on the games before he went out for a few weeks with the ankle, and remember he still had ankle issues during that time:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players/4612/gamelog;_ylt=Ag1BOLwMjktDMA7Phz1ZjR2kvLYF

    (Yahoo game log)

  24. Felty, you are absolutely right not to fall into the either/or paradigm that seems to have plagued Warriors debates as of late. I like them both far too much to be willing to trade either. That being said, if we can get CP3 for a deal involving Curry, I would be the first to do it. But realistically, we are not going to get superior talent to Curry in a trade. It’s just not gonna happen, so lets stick to more germaine issues.

    Frank, not only is it easier to get a sweet shooting, strong defensive 2 than it is to get a defensive stopper at center, it also alleviates the backup point/overplaying Monta issue as well. It’s a double whammy. The new SG would help our defense AND shore up our rotation allowing us to have Monta or Curry on the court at all times all while ensuring neither play debilitating minutes. It’s a matter of balancing our roster. Then Acie plays the true backup role and comes in in the even of foul trouble as opposed to as a matter of course.

  25. Good post Feltbot. It covers some of the technical reasons Curry shouldn’t be traded and the emotional factor for us Warriors fans of finally having a couple stars who we drafted and held on to.

    We still love the Warriors. We’re nothing if not loyal to our players.

  26. OT: Interesting Q & A with Phil Jackson’s biggest “coaching” challenge. (BTW, I agree 110% with Felt’s sentiments concerning the Warriors and Curry. To take from the world of NFL ownership, my hope is that Joe Lacob turns out to be the Robert Kraft of the NBA. If he trades Curry I’m afraid we’d be looking at the Daniel Snyder of the NBA, instead.)

    http://blogs.forbes.com/jennagoudreau/2011/01/24/la-lakers-jeanie-buss-doesnt-play-by-the-rules-gayle-king-phil-jackson-boy-toy-playboy/?partner=yahootix

  27. Steve,

    Dolan is the Daniel Snyder of the NBA. Plus Lacob would have to start suing 80 year old widows who can’t pay for their recently deceased husbands’ season tickets to truly be Daniel Snyder.

    And yes Daniel Snyder has actually been doing that and then reselling the recovered season tickets at a profit along with the tens of thousands he steals from the elderly widows.

    He’s a whole different level of bad owner.

  28. Sam, hopefully local ownership in any sport never gets that low. My reference to Snyder was related to his propensity for always wanting to make the big splashy headlines when it comes to player and coaching acquisitions. The combination of power and incompetency is always fatal.

    As for Dolan, given the players the Warriors had to give NY to get Lee, I have nothing negative to say about Mr. Dolan. :)

  29. More Warriors and ESPN. On today’s NBA Today podcast Ryen Russillo talks about Monta in response to an emailer (first half of show), then later talks about Ellis and Curry with one of Felt’s favorite NBA “experts”, John Hollinger. Don’t expect a lot of GSW “love” during the show. Backhanded compliments is about as good as it gets.

    BTW, if I hear Warriors and frenetic pace again in the same sentence from one of these media clowns I might do something bad to my dog. Have any of these pinwheels ever watched more than 90 seconds of Warriors basketball this season? Gawd!

    http://c.espnradio.com/audio/499617/nbatoday_2011-01-24-122817.mp3

  30. Thanks for the great links, Steve.

    I won’t be recapping the San Antonio game tonight, since there seems to be a lot of interest in this thread, and I’d like to keep it open a couple of more days.

    I’m also kind of busy right now going wide with my new poker blog. If you’re interested, you can check it out at http://www.playexpertpoker.com/

  31. Almost half time of the game against the Spurs and I’d like to make the observation that I am very proud of our team, hanging in there playing 5- against-7. 22 free throws to 4? Breathing hard on a Spur is apparently a violation tonight. Do they really need that advantage?

  32. A few thoughts about San Antonio — and our ownership:

    It’s just amazing how many reasons there are this team is good. One that struck me tonight is how confident they are playing and together–we especially saw this at the end of the second half. And their core of players have been together a long time.

    The other is how intelligently and economically they have drafted — all those foreign talents others passed by.

    My last is how many good pieces they have, all the way down the bench.

    (Of course getting Robinson then Duncan didn’t hurt.)

    We have an owner who has contemplated breaking up a core of talented players who have just started playing together and play together well to get a single big name player, expensive player who would break the team apart again, and as Feltbot says, may not play well with them and certainly won’t make them better. He’ll just drain points from the others–and Ellis would really have to take a back seat on offense.

    This is not intelligence, this is not vision. We could learn a few things from the Spurs.

    Not a great game for Curry–he could have made a difference and just didn’t look good shooting. He wasn’t being held back.

  33. Well said, rgg.

    Here’s my take on the Spurs game:

    Keith Smart made some good points in the post-game presser, that the Spurs are a deep and veteran team, that have played together for a long time. Certainly a lot of truth to that.

    But those are also points that totally evade responsibility for the way this game was played. For me, the biggest difference between the Spurs and the Warriors (now that Duncan is no longer Duncan), is that every single big man that the Spurs put on the floor can shoot the ball from outside. Duncan nailed several 20 footers. McDyess was 6-9, all on outside shots, and Blair hit a couple midrange jumpers himself. I guess I’m forgetting Splitter, but he usually doesn’t even play. The Spurs usually play Bonner 20 minutes, and he’s 50% from 3. If he had played in this game, it would have been a blowout.

    The Warriors, on the other hand, played Biedrins, Amundson and Gadzuric for 37 minutes in this game. 3 guys who couldn’t sink a nerf ball in a garbage can from 10 feet. This not only meant that the Warriors were playing 4 on 5 on the offensive end, it meant that those 4 were being more closely guarded, and had virtually no driving lanes. It should have been completely obvious to Keith Smart that to WIN this game, he needed to go small. He needed to replace those big stiffs with Vlad Rad and Udoh, and play with 5 scorers on the floor. He needed to spread the Spurs out, and get Ellis, Curry, Wright and Williams some space to shoot, and some room to drive. And he needed to get the Warriors RUNNING against the old legs of Duncan and McDyess, and the tree stumps of Blair.

    Yes, Ellis ran out of gas on his bum ankle. Yes, Curry and Williams had bad shooting nights. But those occurences weren’t givens before the game started. Keith Smart helped create them, by making the game tougher on his stars than it should have been.

    Playing Biedrins, DGadz and Amundson is playing right into the Spurs’ strengths. It is CONCEDING THE GAME before it has even begun. That is something that Don Nelson would never, ever do. He took a lot of criticism for his wacky small ball. And he won more games than anyone in history right in the face of those ignorant critics.

    And that free throw disparity? It had a lot to do with the fact that the Warriors had to guard 5 superb players at all times. The Spurs only had to guard 4.

    A final note on Ekpe Udoh: To me, his minutes in the second quarter were quietly spectacular. Even when he’s not blocking shots, his defense is incredible. And by this, I mean his TEAM defense. He was the only Warriors big who totally denied Ginobili’s penetration. He is BRILLIANT. His intelligence is off the charts.

    And then there’s his ability to knock down shots. Keith Smart needs to get him some more minutes. PRONTO. And he needs to get some superglue, and apply it to Joe Lacob’s prize off-season acquisition’s spot on the bench. What was Amundson’s Lacob Quotient again?

    The Spurs bench, even with Bonner out, had outscored the Warriors bench 46-12 on the Warriors’ home court, before garbage time started. I don’t blame the Warriors’ bench for this. I blame the Warriors’ GM, Joe Lacob, and the Warriors’ coach.

  34. Hmmm, wonder if West would be interested in coming west this summer?

    —————————–

    West, who can opt out of the last year of his contract this summer, reiterated his stance on waiting until season’s end to make any decisions on staying or signing an extension. A Yahoo report indicated that General Manager Dell Demps had made an extension offer to West’s representatives at Octagon, but West said that an extension offer “has always been out there. But just in terms of making a good business decision, I’m not sure that would be smart. “I’ve been saying the same thing: I’m just going to wait until the end of the year, and I want to make the best decision I can make in terms of my future,” West said. “I’ve had an opportunity to talk with Dell. We have an understanding in terms of what’s out there, but I’m just going to play ball right now.” New Orleans Times-Picayune

  35. Bravo, Felty. And to your posters, starting with buckaroo’s nailing of the Lacob ego. I’m very afraid of what Lacob might do, given his desire to show us how terribly smart he is, combined with his naive belief that he knows hoops simply because he played as an amateur and coached his son’s 8th grade team. Yes, another Mark Cuban, or worse.

    Any trade of Ellis, Curry, Lee or DWright will feel like a punch in the gut to me. There’s got to be a way to keep that core intact, just like San Antonio has done.

  36. Felty: Thanks for coming around on getting Udoh on the court more. I wholeheartedly agree that Gad and Amundson should not come off the bench.

    Biedrins had a decent game last night, but the problem with Biedrins is that he doesn’t prevent the ball going into the basket. For the last few games, opponents have shot between 55% and 70% in the first quarter. don’t think that Biedrins is stronger then Udoh. Until Smart inserts Udoh into the starting the line-up, which is not going to happen, the Warriors will continue not to have a lead after the first quarter, no matter how high a FG% they shoot.

    Last night, I believe, that the Spurs were 2-5 from the field when Udoh was on the court. For the season, opponents shoot an adj. FG% (including 3 pointers) of 53% without Udoh on the court, and 46% when Udoh is on the court. Compelling evidence that Udoh should be starting and getting the majority of time playing center. I do think that Biedrins and Radman would be a good back-up going against an opponent’s second string center.

    I am for the Warriors getting a back-up defensive SG.

  37. Steve!

    David West?!? The Warriors have a power forward. He’s the guy who scored 31 points in 38 minutes. Pulled 12 boards. Last night. Against the best team in the league. And he’s four years younger than West. Clue?

  38. Actually, the Spurs were 2-6 (33%) from the field when Udoh was on the court, and only one was scored inside. It was a shot taken by by G. Hill. Udoh slightly deflected the ball but it still went in. Seems opponents are aware of Udoh’s prowess inside and are avoiding him. Smart does not seem to realize this.

  39. felt, yes, I noticed right from the start of this game that Smart’s strategy was to slow the game down. We weren’t running. No early open shots taken. David Lee’s offense was fine but everyone else’s was thrown off. Particularly Curry. The Warriors’ offense never really settled into a good rhythm. Strategy regression back to early this season. Smart has a propensity to underthink by overthinking things, and it’s maddening. Arrrggghhhh!

  40. Can you imagine if we had paid a few more bucks and signed Tolliver over
    Amundson. Tolliver is shooting 45% on threes, and has an adj. FG% of 54%, compared to Amundson’s 45%. It would be nice to have Tolliver and a markedly improved Radman coming off the bench. Morrow has a adj.FG% of 55%.

  41. Frank – thanks for the update on Tolliver. He was the one piece I really hoped they would have kept from the bench last year. What a difference he could have made this year.
    Felt – Good write up of the game – should be in a new post though – keeps things moving. This blog is just getting going – don’t lose the mo by switching to poker. BTW – where is the options trading blog????
    I can just picture a cartoon of Smart with his 2 split personalities standing over his head yelling at him – Lil Nellie – run – any shot is a good shot – push and Bobby Knight yelling – slow it down, look for the defensive match ups…

  42. No argument about subs, FB, though I suspect even if we did make them, SA would have shifted gears and matched. The team needs to set its goals for depth and growth, not quick fixes.

    Actually, I wonder what options the team might have had this season if they had kept Raja Bell and Tolliver. Hard to know what to make of their stats this year–it doesn’t look like they are getting that many shots. They would have with this team.

    I’ve forgotten the timing, whether Bell was signed by Utah before we knew who Lacob was. We released him, but still had a chance. Same with Amundson, though it looks like Lacob had a hand here. Both would have been affordable, especially for someone who ate a $6m coaching contract and is now in the mood to spend some bucks.

  43. MWLX, clue? Look, will David West ever wear a Warriors uniform? Probably not. Or, is it highly unlikely? Or, maybe no way no how? Whatever the odds, I’m just another one of those “clueless” fans who likes to dream of different scenarios that in the end result in the Warriors being yearly championship contenders. Right now they simply don’t have enough good players to be considered anything more than a longshot chance at even making the playoffs. But, BUT, keep that “core” that you mentioned and keep adding good players to it, to me, that’s the blueprint for future success at a much higher level than what they’re capable of today.

    West’s age is a little north of ideal but I’d love replacing Biedrins with that guy. West is 6’9″ 240 and has played center before. Lee has played center. Does it really matter in today’s NBA? In the NBA of the future? Give me West and I’ll figure out who plays where later. If the Warriors took the court tomorrow night with West instead of Biedrins on their roster would they be a better team than what they are today? And would they be a better rebounding team that also was more proficient in scoring? And would they be a more serious threat to make the playoffs AND win once they got there? Absofriggenlutely!

    West is just one name out there. Who knows what Lacob and the Warriors will wind up doing but as a fan it’s always fun to throw a bunch of at least semi-possibilities against a wall and see what, if anything, sticks. Clue?

    P.S. BTW, is it not both the height of irony and very amusing that on a blog where the majority of bloggers would love to see Don Nelson still coaching the Warriors, the pigeonholing of players by position is a subject of contention? LOL

  44. Steve

    Go ahead and toss your brainy semi-possibilities against the wall to see what sticks, but I’d prefer the adhesion of reality. The Warriors are already paying $13 million a year to their power forward, and you propose they consider another PF who wants north of $10 million? Not a good idea. Sure, a 6-9 guy can play center some of the time, but of more importance is that Lee’s game and West’s game are similar. If we’re going to blog up some creative ideas for the Lacobs, let’s keep it real. I don’t follow every team close enough to know who might make a find for us at center or backup guard. Let’s hear some of those names.

  45. The biggest problem with your scenario Steve is that PFs don’t LIKE to play center, as Nellie was continually reminded. But also, if you’re going to play a backcourt of Curry and Monta, you need a genuine shotblocker in the middle.

    Just got the news that Eric Gordon is out 3-4 weeks with bone chip and sprain in wrist. That could wind up being a huge break for the Warriors in the fight for the 8th seed.

  46. Oh God, TK has a column out practically pining for the Warriors to trade Curry for a decent 5. I think I’m going to barf. And again…

  47. OT,
    Ooooof.

    Curry btw sprained his ankle in practice and Wed. is not certain.

  48. On Timmy’s “column”:

    Here are my questions. Did Lacob grant the interview knowing Timmy would write this? Did he in fact encourage him to do so? Or did Lacob just make a blanket statement and Timmy is running off on his own?

    Whatever the case, Timmy’s simplistic thinking is easily digested and will get passed on to the other outlets. Wait to hear it repeated. Anne Killion is next. Then who knows.

    This is sick, sick, sick.

  49. One player highly likely to be traded at the deadline is Carl Landry.

    http://nba.fanhouse.com/2011/01/25/carl-landry-wants-to-win-hopefully-in-sacramento/

    This is a player who does fit the Warriors. Runs the floor, spreads the floor. If we could trade Lou Amundson and Brandan Wright’s dying career — errr… I mean contract — for him I’d do it in a heartbeat.

  50. Here’s the link to TK’s blog — with the column that’s coming out in tomorrow’s paper:

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2011/01/25/the-crucible-the-warriors-can-only-go-so-far-with-ellis-and-curry/

  51. rgg, you really shouldn’t post TK’s blog in my comments. The reason? It brings out the worst in me. I really can’t resist flaming him when you do. Which I did.

    (Although the post is held up for moderation for some reason.)

  52. From the interesting read mailbag: Donnie Nelson. (From HoopsHype.com)

    ————————————————–

    Donnie Nelson: Between my junior and senior year summers, I went to basketball camps every week. Worked them and got paid as a counselor. We played at night. I was addicted to the game. Loved to play and loved all facets. And then after hours you have a dad who is a coach in the NBA that played for the Celtics and you’re looking at these guys and their work ethic and teamwork. Back then, they were winning championships and I would find myself in Red Auerbach’s office with him and his cigar and all the names in the league on the board. I’ve been just spoiled rotten when you think about. I’ve been subject to all this cool stuff.

    Donnie Nelson: When you have Dirk’s frame, his mentality, those are the ones that are easy. Those are the players that are really hard to screw up on. Certainly there is risk. The risk with Dirk was that he was so young at the time. Believe me, we knew. We had Paul Pierce and Dirk ranked in the Top 3 of that draft, so you can imagine when it got down to No. 9 and they were both still on the board. My dad knows about rebuilding like anyone’s business. He did it in Milwaukee, did it in Golden State. He knew more than anyone in the room, that when he selected Dirk, it was going to be a painful process and there’s a pretty good chance you don’t survive it. Especially when a kid is so young. He’s from Division II middle of Germany. Marciulonis played in big-time games, had a body that was fully developed. He wasn’t afraid of anything, that guy stood up against Russian tanks.

    Donnie Nelson: What flashed in my dad’s eyes that draft night was that Paul Pierce is a ready made, here and now product from right up the road. He was the sure fire thing. The safe money would have been on Paul, he steps right in. The smart money is on Dirk because he is 7-feet and Paul is 6-6. They are both great players but it is so incredibly hard to get size and skill in this league. People kill for it. They both are 1 and 1A in that draft. Believe me when I say we were just happy to survive with Dirk [laughs]. People put their necks on the line. Dirk first and foremost. He could have played in Europe for another two or three years. He took the majority of the risk. But there were a lot of guys in that draft room that put ‘em out on the table too.

    Donnie Nelson: I remember it like it was yesterday, man. (Cuban) bought the team and Dad and I were waiting for pink slips. He walked into my dad’s office in T-shirt, jeans and tennis shoes. He’s like, ‘You guys are battle fatigued and I’m going to take everything to another level.’ And he did. The whole point is, when you forge relationships like that, there is trust that’s built up. Those are things that you don’t easily forget. For me, never. That’s why I’m not going anywhere until Mark gets tired of looking at me because I will never forget what he did for us that day. HoopsHype.com

  53. FB,
    That is exactly why I posted the link. Nobody flames better.
    His column scares me, as it fits a pattern. I can’t help wondering if Lacob passed this on in his interview with TK because trading Curry is exactly what he intends to do. But if Lacob will talk to TK, maybe he will look at the comments.

  54. rgg and everyone: TK is apparently preventing from me posting on his blog. My first post was held for moderation last night, and has disappeared. I tried again this morning, and there was no longer any pretension: I cannot post on his blog.

    What sort of man thrives on driving wedges between players and management, and creating misery in everything he does, and yet fears to face critical comment?

  55. Is anyone in the press or blogosphere anywhere other than you making an extended argument in favor of Curry, of keeping this backcourt? I don’t know, but I haven’t seen it. This is what is sick, not that TK has an opinion, but that it is the only one that is heard. There is no discussion, no counter-argument. And by default his will be the only one that is heard and spread around.

    I still want to know Lacob’s role in this. He, after all, is the one who made the suggestion to TK in the interview and he must have known what he was doing, how TK would follow up. In essence, Lacob is manipulating this puppet TK and the media to broadcast and implement his wishes. And Lacob couldn’t have made that statement unless he was serious about trading.

    Our only hope is that there aren’t any good trades elsewhere. But the doubts he has raised are not good for the coach, for the team–or for us. At best, he is holding up the development of the team. At worst, he is damaging its confidence and cohesiveness. (Ellis’ comments disturbed me, though I don’t fault him–he has to play the media game as well.)

  56. I’ve taken to twitter. Not a little outraged that TK is censoring me out of his blog comments.

  57. Remember when the Warriors traded Mitch Richmond? Too many guards! And they traded away a genuine talent and team leader for — Billy Owens. (And as I understand it, Nelson gets the rap for this.) It worked for a while, but it wasn’t long before they had no decent guards at all. And we all know what happened after that. How easy is it to pick up such talent at point in trades or in the draft? They were years finding one — not until Baron?

  58. I just realized that I have hard evidence this time that TK actively censored me. Several people linked to this blog from his blog, before my post was removed.

  59. The debate rages on on Twitter and the blogosphere. My latest thought:

    How often are Curry and Ellis outproduced in the backcourt? If the answer is NEVER, then the Warriors’ defensive problems have nothing to do with them. Right?

    QED

  60. Felty, what did you expect from that egomaniac. Thank god he never got any real power, he is a kim jong il in the making. I bet he also wears lifts in his shoes so he doesn’t look so tiny and weak.

    In the real world, Landry would be ideal. Big body, can bang, shoots with some range and has that nasty inside disposition. Problem is they don’t want bigs back, they have a glut of those. The question then becomes, how do we get him? I like your idea, but would you trade Landry for Lou or Wright, or for both? Exactly.

  61. Gmoney, my thought was that Wright is an expiring, and they might want Lou to back up Cousins. Dalembert is clearly disgruntled in the role, and they will probably have to move him as well as Landry.

    As for Landry, they have to move him if they want value back, because he ain’t re-signing there for love or money.

    Of course I wouldn’t do that trade on its merits if I were Sac. But they’re not going to get a chance to do any trade on the merits.

  62. TK plays the same role for Lacob that Limbaugh has for Gingrich, Rove, and whoever’s really calling the shots for that team now. Seems to be more and more clear that Lacob’s views are antithetical to those of this blog. Hanging on as long as I can, but my days as a Warriors fan seem numbered. At least in the Lacob era. As usual, I’d love to be wrong.

  63. Lacob on Radnitch today just said a bone to a perspective player is a TV show or movie via Guber.

  64. Pingback: Joe Lacob Tanked This Season: Thoughts on the Trade Deadline | Feltbot's Warriors Blog

  65. Pingback: The Barnes Identity: Warriors 115 Clippers 94 - Feltbot's Warriors Blog

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