Magic: Warriors 123 Magic 120

I wasn’t planning to recap this one, and I’m still not going to. Not enough in the tank. I just want to say a few words about this great game, that was made even more magical because I was seated at half-court for it, with my feet on the “parquet.” (Hey, Joe Lacob, how about bringing that over from the Celtics!) It was one of the best experiences as a fan I’ve ever had.

The Warriors struggled badly in the first half, and I struggled badly at the same time, because I couldn’t stand the fact that when Orlando went “small” with Ryan Anderson at the four, Keith Smart didn’t match him.

When Vlad Rad came in for Biedrins midway through the third, though, this game took off.  The floor magically opened up, and the Warriors’ phenomenal talent took over.  David Lee rampaged in the pick and roll, finding the Warriors open three point shooters with precision. 9 assists.

On defense, it was Vlad Rad who was getting pulled out to the three point line to guard Anderson, instead of David Lee.  And Vlad Rad providing help defense on the shooters, instead of David Lee. And Vlad Rad who was able to switch the picks, while Lee stayed home on Howard.

+8.  When oh when is a main stream media journalist going to step up and recognize what Vlad Rad at four, and SMALLBALL, do for this Warriors team? Don’t hold your breath.

Keith Smart found the right lineup in time. I just simply can’t understand why he waits so long for it. Why it’s a tool of desperation, instead of a gameplan.

The Warriors could have played like they played the fourth quarter and overtime of this game ALL SEASON LONG. Why haven’t they? We could have been watching games like this all season long. Why haven’t we?

It’s a dang shame.

Joe Lacob: Another reason my night was so wild is that I attended a wine tasting for VIP season ticket holders before the game, with Joe Lacob and Peter Guber. And I was introduced to them and had a nice conversation with both.

Get Out!

(I’m not lyin’.)

And I got a nice picture of myself with Joe.

Get Out!

(I’m not lyin.’)

Lacob seemed mildly taken aback to run into someone of my ilk (ie., not a “real fan”) at this event. But he recovered nicely, and we had a very cordial conversation for several minutes about his plans for the Warriors and the state of the NBA. I don’t want to go into what was said, because this was a social event, and I don’t think it would be appropriate. (I don’t ever want to be an ambush journalist. If I report something someone said to me, it will be in the context of an interview.)

But it was an interesting chat, and I came away feeling as everyone else feels, that Joe Lacob is going to do big things for the Warriors in the future. And I do feel that it is appropriate to give him time, a lot more time than he has had so far, to do these big things. Particularly in light of the coming lockout.

That was never my issue with him, by the way. My issue was that he failed to do the little thing this season. To wit, reach into the D-Leagues for some helpful bench guards as soon as it became obvious that Jeremy Lin and Charlie Bell couldn’t play. Give this talented Warriors core a chance to compete for the playoffs this year.

But that’s the past now. This season is in the past, despite the heroics we witnessed this evening. I look forward with great anticipation to the next moves that Joe Lacob makes. And I will strive, as ever, to judge them objectively as they come.

A crazy, wonderful night. Thanks, as always, to my friend gswfan30, who made it happen.

23 Responses to Magic: Warriors 123 Magic 120

  1. Felt, if there was only ONE game to attend this season, THAT was the game to see! Congratulations. :) I only hope you gave Lacob your blog URL before you left. You know, on the slim chance he doesn’t already hang out here. :) Loved Curry’s game. He is such a great young player when he can just play loose and free and go with the flow. Great game!

  2. feltbot sold his soul to lacob for cocktail and sausage.

  3. You’re not even going to show us the picture of you three?

    Hey! This is a working class blog. WE don’t go to wine tasting events.

  4. So felt…”feet on the parquet” seats! Nice…

    Now hobnobbing with the “Brass”….
    I’ve noticed in the past you thanking a ‘Robert’ for your good fortune.
    So the question is…Is this THEE Robert?

    Full disclosure please? Been following your site from afar & respect your takes. Hope we’re not seeing a shall we say, “A toning down ” in your critiques?

  5. It was probably a mistake for me to write about this, and I probably sound a little too gleeful. But I had no desire to show off in writing it. Just thought I should share it. (How could I not?) And to me, anyway, the timing and the element of surprise was hilarious.

    As for me selling out, you’ll have to judge that by what I write going forward. As a betting man, I wouldn’t advise you to put money on it. But as a writer, I do admire the genius of the line: “feltbot sold his soul to lacob for cocktail and sausage.” That’s writing!

    [Edit: Just saw Scotch’s post, so let me add: I don’t know Robert Rowell, never met him, nor have I ever taken any inducements from the Warriors. Nor would I, without full disclosure. What you guys don’t seem to be getting is that this was a purely Zelig moment.]

  6. Thanks felt that’s a big relief re Rowell…

    You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t mention your Lacob/Guber encounter! NBD, I think most here will think you’ll maintain your objectivity! (Well except about Nells of course).

  7. Nah, this was fun and glad to hear it. Also it was great to know you got Lacob’s attention–and I suspect we’ll hear later, indirectly, parts of what was said.

    We’re sure you’re not going to water down your comments.

    We won’t let you.

    A casual thought, but I’m sure everyone penciled in an L for the game last night, and maybe they won because they cut loose a bit and relaxed and just did what they did best. Nobody beats us in a 3 point shoot-out–and Curry was off.

  8. geraldmcgrew

    Enjoyed this post. Can you tell us this much?…Did you ask for an interview, and what was the answer?

  9. I agree that Biedrins should not be on the court and the Warriors got down early as they often do when he starts. Why Smart did not start Udoh is perplexing.

    I agree he is better then D. Lee defending the perimeter. But it should be noted that Orlando went up by seven points when Radman played in the second quarter. And if the play-by-play is accurate, Radman played only 35 seconds of the second quarter. He did not come-in midway in the third quarter.

    In the fourth quarter, Orlando shot 9-17 with Radman on the court. The Warriors won because they shot the lights out in the overtime. I agree that spreading the court helps the Warriors offense go. Radman remains inconsistent.

  10. It crossed my mind, gm, but I did not ask. At the end of the day, I don’t think that’s a role I want to take on. Although I like to read the tea leaves of interviews, I get my real answers from what happens on the court.

  11. Frank, your play by play isn’t giving you the real picture. Try

    Vlad was -2 in the 2nd Q, in a 6:43 stint, playing with Acie Law, and Amundson, and Udoh, and Thornton.

    He came in late third Q, and played the rest of the way with the first unit, going +10. Doing a GREAT job defensively first on Ryan Anderson, and then Turkoglu. Just take a look at those guys’ second half stats as compared to their first.

    I would argue that Vlad is the Warriors’ best defender of small ball fours, and one of their most consistent players, judging by +/-, when playing the four with the first unit.

    There was really no place for Udoh in this game. You don’t want him guarding Anderson or Turkoglu out at the three point line any more than you want David Lee out there. And there is no way at present that he can do the job on Dwight Howard that Lee did. Just too light.

  12. geraldmcgrew

    Fair enough.

  13. I’m really glad you were able to have that incredible experience at the game, and I’m glad you shared it with us. I would be giddy at the prospect of sitting where you did, up close and personal for that game. Every once in a while we get rewarded for being stalwart fans by a performance like that, and to be an eyewitness has to be one of the greatest sports thrills ever.

    I respect that you don’t want to report on what was in essence a private conversation, but do you think Joe Lacob and Peter Guber knew who you are and of this website? It would be good news to think that they are readers of the most intelligent Warriors blog out there.

    Free Steph Curry! I agree with Steve, it’s a beautiful thing when he gets to play his game. Bet Nellie enjoyed watching this one, at least the second half. And I really don’t want to hear any more about David Lee’s lack of defense. He was a rock star.

    Any idea why Jeff Adrien isn’t playing? Or did I blink and miss it?

  14. Thanks, Andria. I didn’t identify myself to Guber, as he became engaged with my friend talking about the “entertainment experience” side of the business. As for Lacob, he clearly knew my blog. Which still comes as a surprise to me, who started this blog two years ago not knowing if I would ever get a reader, or even write a second post.

    Excellent point about David Lee. I neglected him above, but his defense on Howard was huge in this game. That’s where he’s best defensively, I think, against bigger players. He really knows how to disrupt them, and make them uncomfortable. Lee reminds me a lot of Dave Cowens, the center on Nellie’s old Celtics, from his left-handedness, to his deadly mid-range jumper, to his running ability and all-out hustle. Watching the 6-9″ Cowens battle Abdul-Jabbar unto death in the ’74 finals was a formative experience of my youth..

    And I’m sure he reminded Nellie of Cowens as well, which is why I think he’s on the Warriors right now. We’d have seen a lot more of Lee at center this season had Nellie been the coach. And the Warriors would have been a better team for it.

    Watching the effort Lee gave on Howard, and the pounding he was taking and giving — from mere feet away — was awe inspiring. Fortunately, the refs really let them play.

    As for Adrien, don’t know why he isn’t playing, except that to play him, you’d have to sit Lou Amundson, who is Lacob’s boy. I would be very happy seeing him get every one of Amundson’s minutes. I think. Amundson has been pretty good lately, possibly because Smart is able to find better spots for him now that Udoh is playing. Unlike Biedrins, Udoh can stay out of Amundson’s way on offense. And on defense, whatever deficiencies in rebounding Udoh has personally, his box outs help his teammates rebound enormously.

    Also, Amundson might run the court better than Adrien. Something to study, the next time we see Yo Adrien! play.

  15. Sigh, out with friends and forgot to record this game. Looks like Lee and Udoh had great defensive games on Kevin Love? Love to get a recap!

  16. Minnesota looked puny, small and unmotivated. Love looked like the pressure of the string was getting to him, missing a layup (under pressure) late and 2 FT’s. There was a Yo, Adrien! sighting but he barely touched the ball.

    It was tough watching Anthony Randolph trying to remember why we were so excited about him when he was here. He played with enthusiasm but has a terrible basketball IQ, the most vivid example being costing his team a basket by touching a ball as it was going through the hoop. Nelson should have been sainted for giving him as much of a chance as he did.

    Not much of a recap, but then, it wasn’t much of a game…

  17. Felty, if you have Comcast, you can get a replay of the game at 3 p.m. today on Comcast Bay Area. Lee has had two straight strong games on defense, against Dwight Howard and then Love, with good help from teammates. Udoh also impressed in the minutes Smart gave him.

  18. DirecTV is also starting to show recaps of the game on FSNBA at 3pm.

    The Warriors pretty much ran these cats off the Court. I got hooked up last night. I was two rows back. I was giddy off that. If I was on the floor Id be through.

    Good to hear that Lacob knows the Blog. Its the only Warrior Blog worth reading. Keep up the good work Felt.

  19. Kings’ game: Keith Smart gives up with 4 minutes left in the THIRD quarter when he removes Curry from the game, the only guy with a hot hand for the W’s at the time. You could see that Curry was furious on the sidelines when taken out. The W’s immediately fall further behind with Law at the controls, then Smart takes Ellis out a few minutes later. Where was the TANKER Smart when we needed him last year? Cousins would have looked good in blue and gold.

  20. Dallas:

    Smart carefully managed the flow and roster and energy and minutes played, etc 2nd half–

    and coached his way into another loss.

    WHY ISN’T HE USING HIS OFFENSE? 10 shots for Curry, including 2 desperations the last seconds and almost no time 4th. qtr. to get him going again; 0 minutes for Reggie; 3 shots for Thornton–and once again he put the bulk of the load on Monta at the expense of the other players. They have to score to beat Dallas.

  21. I’ve had it with this Smart over Curry business. He shouts at Curry all time, once tonight for godknowswhat–there was a turnover, and Curry wasn’t even involved in the play. He limits how many and what shots he can take. He doesn’t take advantage of the things Curry can do moving an offense, instead putting him in charge of a dead offense, then pulling him when the offense doesn’t work. He limits his minutes come second half and doesn’t give him a chance to get going. He has further reduced his leadership role, putting more on Monta, who played well tonight, but also made many bad mistakes — 3 turnovers in a row, which helped them lose their lead.


  22. rggblog, Mark Jackson (ESPN) even remarked in the 4th qtr that Smart has to have Curry in the game, that the future for GSW isn’t Acie Law, it’s Curry. A revelation that everyone but Smart seems to understand.

    Once the media starts running with the Smart vs Curry issue it’s all over but the shouting for Smart. Up first…….Matt Steinmetz.

  23. Thanks, Steve. There is something personal and obsessive here–and self-defeating and self-destructive. It is just bizarre. Smart’s future as a coach depends upon his ability to maximize his backcourt. Instead, he has increased Ellis’ role and marginalized Curry’s. And this is Smart, not Lacob. Lacob has committed himself to Curry/Ellis.

    I’m guessing Smart sees Curry’s freewheeling, open play–his quick shots, his lightning passes, his desire to get the game moving–as an affront to his control of the team and the game. It’s as if Smart has projected all his uncertainty and fear of failure on Curry. And he’s put Curry in a situation where he can only fail. Curry is probably the most coachable player in the NBA.

    Smart’s obsession with Curry’s turnovers only makes Curry more turnover prone. And Curry has fewer than Ellis. But it’s when Curry does the right thing we should be concerned. He does what he’s told, penetrates and dishes off to the open man–to Biedrins, to Amundson, to Law, the guys Smart put on the court–who can’t score. Or he has Curry dribble around the backcourt until he is trapped, double or even triple teamed.

    Everyone report to ship’s mess. A quart of strawberries is missing. (Captain Queeg)