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.

21 Responses to Loss and Betrayal: TWolves 126 Warriors 123

  1. Did anyone happen to catch Tim Kawakami’s blog post about the Troy Murphy buyout? It is notable for this reason: It proves what I have been saying for two years. (See http://feltbot.com/2009/09/30/thoughts-on-tim-kawakami/)

    Tim Kawakami is a mouthpiece for agents. And everything he writes has been bought and paid for.

  2. felt: Love is a lot better than you think and is a better player than D Lee. That having been said, Love is very slow laterally. You are right, Love should never get 24 free throws in an NBA game (14 in the third Q, alone!).

    And Smart is not NBA head coach material. I think Nellie’s been puking all over himself alot, lately, watching the W’s games. Think he likes how Smart keeps pulling Curry when he makes a TO and letting Monta dribble off his foot or into traffic 4 times a game with impunity? Curry’s tight leash under Smart is suffocating our talented young point guard’s development. Smart seems intent on undoing the nice lessons of Curry point guard development instilled by Nellie last year.

  3. Did you happen to see the chatter that the Warriors were interested in Antwan Jamison? It is typical that Joe Lacob doesn’t even know what Jamison’s position is. No doubt he wanted to bring him here as a small forward.

    At power forward, Jamison is merely terrible. At small forward, he is a team-killer.

  4. And now Jamison may be out for the season–dodged a bullet there.

  5. Please feel free to pat yourself on the back, feltbot. You were the first thing that popped into my mind as the team made the 4th quarter comeback with Radmanovic on the floor.

  6. So now Boston adds Troy Murphy. Another shooter, alongside Krstic, to replace Perkins.

    But what does our utterly benighted GM Joe Lacob try to do? He tries to get in on the Perkins deal. He wants Perkins. 58% from the line. A bigger Lou Amundson.

    Absolutely clueless.

  7. OK, Carlos Arroyo now released by the Heat. Corey Brewer and Rasual Butler also available. Anyone feel good about our chances?

  8. Thunder and Knicks watch:

    Knicks: The Knicks got a startling win at Miami 91-86 in the last game, causing feltbot to rethink his position. No matter what style of basketball they wind up playing, a big three of Stoudemire, Anthony and Billups is pretty formidable, and Mike D'Antoni could coach any roster. The Knicks are now 1-1 ATS since I put them under watch. Let's see how tonight's game pans out, +7 at Orlando.

    Thunder: OKC was getting -1.5 hosting the Lakers in the last game,and lost by 3. They are now 0-2 ATS since I began their watch. In the fourth quarter, they had no where to go to get a bucket. Perkins and his 58% free throw shooting ain't gonna help that, when he returns. Thunder are off tonight.

    The Warriors: Oh yes, the Warriors. I have next to no interest in the Warriors at Indiana game tonight. Anyone else feeling the same thing?

  9. I must agree, it’s getting harder to be interested in a team that seems less than fully interested in itself. But I will watch the game, with finger poised on the 5-minute skip button.

    I see the Knicks waived Kelenna Azubuike. Would he come back to the Warriors? Would the Ws management want him? Can he still play?

  10. Indiana game: Smart overplayed Biedrins (which is to say, playing him at ALL). Smart kept Curry on the bench for too long again @ 6 minutes from late 3rd until 8 minutes left in the fourth. Curry had been hot and Smart brought him back a little too late (again) to make up a significant deficit. Groundhog Day.

  11. Indiana:

    The Warriors did have exceptional games the weeks before the break. And now this.

    Among other things, this was the fourth subpar game in a row for Monta since the break — under 20 points, averaging about 33% on shooting. We can’t fault him, of course, but speculation is tempting. Disappointment over not making all-star? Or maybe the realization that they won’t make it to the playoffs? Or some other disappointment? Or has the first half caught up with him? He played long minutes, all out, through many injuries, carrying the team on his back many games.

  12. Ellis: Smart said he has a bad wrist?

    Al Thornton?

  13. I’ve finally, completely given up on Andris Biedrins, after watching his weak play in the Indiana game, while comparing it with the progress that Roy Hibbert has made as an NBA center. The two are only 8 months apart in age, though Andris is in his 7th season, while Hibbert in his 3rd. Yet it was only three years ago that Hibbert was considered a project, and now he’s made impressive progress. During the same time, Biedrins has made no meaningful progress as an offensive player (and I’m being kind). It’s painfully apparent that he’s topped out skillwise, and worse, his effort is annoyingly inconsistent.

    In spite of various Warriors problems in the Pacers game, they would have won if Biedrins and Hibbert had switched sides. It’s time for the Warriors to give up their playoff dream and focus on fixing this glaring weakness for next year. I like Andris as a person, but as a player, he’s a Sean Marks. Actually, that’s not fair to Marks, who gives 100% effort every minute he’s on the floor.

  14. Felty: Have you changed your mind on Biedrins starting over Udoh?

  15. Frank: I am about to write a post talking more about this move. But I will say this much. It’s a desperation move, because imho Biedrins is finished as a basketball player. That doesn’t mean Udoh belongs at starting center. He doesn’t. He’s a four.

    Also in the works: analysis of the Thornton move, if indeed that gets done. Hint: it won’t be pleasant.

  16. Joe Lacob did a teleconference with fans/season ticket holders last Friday, moderated by the ever-popular voice of GSW, Bob Fitzgerald.

    http://www.nba.com/warriors/fanzone/owners_box_022511.html

  17. Jon Carroll writes for the SF Chronicle, but seldom about sports. “Dreaming of Rick Barry and free throws”, from the “Datebook” section of Monday’s Chronicle.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/02/28/DDUT1HU6BR.DTL

  18. http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2011/03/04/boundless-potential-with-nbas-advanced-metrics/

    Fascinating article. Gives a swift kick into the nuts of some Monta-haters and the last point the article makes appears to be a real boost for…wait for it, feltbot…Nellieball!

  19. Knicks and Thunder (and Nuggets) update:

    It appears I was dead wrong about the Knicks, so I am ending this play. They have been surprisingly good, and have covered 3 straight. So they are 3-1 ATS against the spread since I began watching them. I supposed it helped that Billups and Carmelo came with an established chemistry, but the Knicks continued playing great even when Billups went out. Maybe having a second superstar really does help in the NBA! File this one as a feltbot fail.

    The Thunder are 1-2 against the spread so far, but it should be noted that with Perkins out, they have been playing small ball, with Kevin Durant at 4! So much of the reason that I put this play on (no small ball unit, no shooting) doesn’t exist at the moment. They’ve been playing Daequan Cook in a 3 guard lineup. I’m going to let this one run, regardless, until I’m either clearly wrong (as with Knicks) or the bookies start changing their spreads. But the real play, in my mind, occurs when Perkins comes back. Thunder are +3.5 against the Hawks tonight.

    I wrote about how great I thought the Nuggets trade was for them, but I was sceptical about playing them because the hype on the trade was positive. Big mistake. The Nuggets have not only won every game since the trade, but covered every game. They are a really, really, good team. I would love to see them play the Lakers in the playoffs. They have everything that the small ball Thunder team that gave the Lakers so much trouble last year had, AND MORE. Better defense (Nene, Kmart, Afflalo), better speed, and most of all, far better shooting. Love to watch this matchup. A great small ball team against the vaunted Lakers. Praying.