Monthly Archives: February 2011

Loss and Betrayal: TWolves 126 Warriors 123

This Minnesota loss was as bad as it gets.  There is no greater example this year of Keith Smart accepting the game as dictated from the opposing bench.  There is simply no way that any NBA team, nor even a D-league team, as Don Nelson proved conclusively last year, should ever come close to losing to a team on which Kevin Love is the best player.

To see the second half gameflow is to understand this game in full: The Warriors starting lineup, following THE TWOLVES GAMEPLAN, was -15 to start the half. The Warriors BEST lineup, with Vlad Rad at power forward, was +16 to close the game.  With the Warriors small lineup on the floor the entire time, these were Kevin Love’s 4th Q stats: 3 points on 0-1 shooting. 3 rebounds.

The Warriors should have FORCED the TWolves small, which is a trivial exercise against the slowest frontline in the league, and then set about DESTROYING Kevin Love every trip down the court.  Counting free throws, David Lee got 16 opportunities in this game, Kevin Love got 24.  That is a joke.

And Love never got in foul trouble, because Smart NEVER MADE HIM DEFEND.

The rebounding differential, which Bob Fitzgerald and Matt Steinmetz fell all over themselves complaining about, was not the reason the Warriors lost this game. The reason was the gameplan. Period.

As bad as it gets.  If Don Nelson watched this game, he puked all over himself.

And then, of course, there is the end of the game. Once again, Smart let Ellis run the clock down, which is 100% the WRONG thing to do when down one. You need to get as quick a good shot as possible, and extend the game. Ellis bailed him out in the previous game.  In this game, Smart was deservedly left holding the bag.

Did you notice how easy it is to read Keith Smart’s mail?  Monta’s isolation was guarded by 6-7″ Wesley Johnson, the TWolves ONLY defender. (Shouldn’t that create an exception to the no-high-pick rule?) Johnson, who followed the scouting report, forced Monta RIGHT, then when the help forced Monta to pull up, effortlessly blocked the shot.

The Warriors’ last inbound play, intended for Stephen Curry, was guarded by… guess who? Once again, 6-7″ Wesley Johnson.  The TWolves only defender. Kurt Rambis, never the most intellectual of coaches, performed a full CAT scan of Smart’s brain.

Just an idea, but given that the Warriors needed a three pointer to tie, wouldn’t it have been a good idea to get Reggie Williams on the court instead of David Lee, so that the TWolves couldn’t have swarmed Curry? Couldn’t have read Smart’s mail? Couldn’t have prevented a wide-open 40% shot?

This loss put the final nail in the coffin of this Warriors season.  And as far as I’m concerned, it put the final nail in Keith Smart’s coffin as well.

The previous nails were pounded in by Joe Lacob.

Joe Lacob Tanked This Season: Thoughts on the Trade Deadline

That giant thud you just heard was the corpse of this Warriors season hitting the ground. A victim of homicide, stabbed in the heart by the inventive GMs of the Western Conference.

And stabbed in the back by Joe Lacob.

Unless you are a Warriors fan, the NBA trade deadline didn’t disappoint. A lot of fascinating deals went down. Jump for my complete analysis, including playoff predictions, fantasy basketball ramifications, and for you fellow degenerates out there, betting opportunities.                                      Continue reading

That Losing Mentality: Celtics 115 Warriors 93

I had this game penciled in as a loss, so the fact that the Warriors lost at home against the Celtics did not come as a surprise to me. But that doesn’t mean I have to like the way the Warriors lost this game.  I’m not referring to the shooting struggles of Monta Ellis, David Lee or the Warriors’ bench.  I’m referring to the fact that in this game, as in several other games this season against better teams, the Warriors under Coach Keith Smart did not try to win.

Continue reading

The Favorites: Warriors 107 Utah 100

Last night’s Warriors win over the Jazz has had me at a loss for words for nearly a day. How to characterize this win?  It was an ugly win, to be sure.  Curry had one of the worst games of his career.  David Lee was lackluster, on the back-to-back. Vlad Rad was horrid. Udoh was OK, but gassed on his first road back-to-back at altitude.  Several non-shooters were brought off the bench, which for long stretches made the Warriors offense look like it was running in mud. Only great shooting nights from Dorell Wright and Reggie Williams, and a legitimate superstar performance from Monta Ellis kept the Warriors in this game, and ultimately got them over the hump. Continue reading

Climate Change: Warriors 100 Thunder 94

We saw a lot of great things in this Warriors win over the Thunder, not least among them Monta Ellis outshining Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry and David Lee shutting up their critics.  But those great performances were not what stood out the most about this game for me.

Continue reading

The Suns Also Rise: Suns 112 Warriors 88

I’m sick as a dog, so I’m going to dog it.  No recap, sorry.  Just some quick impressions:

I think the Denver win showed what this Warriors team can be, and I’m not concerned with the Phoenix blowouts.  Phoenix is a nightmare matchup for the Warriors, and I think they’re going to be blowing a lot of teams out in similar fashion. They are incredibly skilled and incredibly deep.  So many different pieces, and a brilliant coach who knows exactly what to do with them.  They had the best record in the West in the second half of last year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they came close to that this year.  They might wind up the 5 seed, if they stay healthy.  Continue reading

Notes from Courtside

Disappointing game from the Warriors last night.  But I’m not too upset about it, because I think Smart coached a good game, and I also think it was clear that the Warriors are going to be able to play with this very good Suns team, very soon. It was simply a case of every Warriors shooter going cold at the same time.   Continue reading

The Running of the Bulls: Warriors 101 Bulls 90

“There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games.” —  Ernest Hemingway

Keith Smart is driving me crazy.  The guy has done everything possible to torture me this season.  Which includes his frequent habit of coming up with extraordinary coaching performances immediately after abysmal coaching performances.  I was in despair of Keith Smart after the last game, not for the first time this season. Now, I’m confused again. But confused in a good way.

This convincing 101-90 Warriors victory over the powerhouse Chicago Bulls was easily the best of the season. And it began and ended with the coach.

Continue reading

Cat Hell: Warriors 100 Bucks 94

Another lucky win, in a game that should have been a blowout.  Why does it feel like the Warriors are stealing games when they win at home?  Because they are stealing them.  Stripped of the strictures of their coach by the desperation of the situation, Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry are stealing wins for the Warriors in crunch time.

And they just may be saving the skin of their coach every time they do it.

Continue reading