The Injury Miracle: Warriors 111 Heat 106

That 22-2 lead in fastbreak points the Heat had over the Warriors at halftime?  Brought to you by Joe Lacob and Mark Jackson: The Kwame Brown Era.

That 19 point 3rd quarter?  A Joe Lacob and Mark Jackson joint production: The Kwame Brown era.                

When Mark Jackson reinserted Kwame Brown at 7:20 4th Q — after what can only be described as a disastrous game up until that point — the Lagavulin bottles chez feltbot started rattling in their boxes.  The Thaiblonde had her fingers stuck in her ears, as her lips silently formed the words, “Honey!”  The Warriors had just come off a nice stretch of small ball, that even if it only cut the deficit by two, had nicely snapped them out of their Kwame-induced funk to start the third quarter.  And then Mark Jackson brought him back, to face the quick and mobile Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem front line that had torn him to pieces the entire game.

But then it happened.  The miracle.  At 6:12 of the fourth quarter Kwame blew yet another rotation, and was forced to foul Haslem under the basket.  And in the process injured his shoulder and was forced to leave the game with the Warriors down 9.

You saw what happened next. Small-ball. David Lee at center.

Beautiful Golden State Warriors basketball.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that every single one of the Warriors three wins this season — against three of the best teams in the league, the Bulls, Knicks and Heat — have come with David Lee playing the entire fourth quarter at center? If you do, then Joe Lacob and the Kwame Brown Era are for you.

Kwame Brown: First of all, let me make clear that I am in no way glad that Kwame got hurt. I would never root for someone to get hurt, nor root for someone to stay hurt. I wish Kwame a full and speedy recovery.

That doesn’t mean I can’t critique his role on this basketball team, or argue that the Warriors are almost always a better team with him off the court than on, though, does it?  Because that to me is obvious.  Kwame can be helpful taking minutes against the behemoths of the league, as he did in the Lakers game against Andrew Bynum.  But against quicker centers, or centers that spread the floor, or teams like the Heat that play no center at all, Kwame Brown is a losing basketball player. Period.

Kwame had decent stats in this game: 8 points and 6 rebounds in 20 minutes. A very respectable Lacob quotient.

Now look at his +/-:  -13. In other words, stats lie.

These are the reasons the Warriors struggled so badly with Kwame on the court tonight:

  1. He could not run with the Heat.  This was never so obvious as when, at 10:00 1st quarter, Kwame scored on a post up. And then Lebron received the inbounds pass and beat the Warriors for a layup, with Kwame still lumbering around half court.
  2. Kwame prevented the Warriors from running with the Heat.  He was the slowest player on the court.  And he turned Lee, who is one of the fastest centers into the league, into the slowest power forward on the court.
  3. He was absolutely helpless on defense.  Dwayne Wade and Lebron scored over and around him at will.  Bosh shot over him.  The Heat were far too quick for him.
  4. He kills the Warriors on offense.  I’m not talking about his point production here.  I’m talking about what his lane clogging does to Monta Ellis, and David Lee, and the entire Warriors offense.

David Lee:  Are you one of those people who accept the received wisdom of the pundits that David Lee can’t play defense?  If so, you probably didn’t see him shut out Dwight Howard one-on-one last year.  Or shut down Lamarcus Aldridge. Or break Kevin Love’s phenomenal 20 and 10 streak.

Or, like Adam Lauridsen, you watched those games with your eyes shut and your brain turned off.  It makes me laugh every time Adam tweets, “That was David Lee’s man,” after Kwame Brown completely blows a rotation. Just watch David Lee play defense when he has a healthy Andris Biedrins behind him.

Or watch tonight’s fourth quarter, when he had Ekpe Udoh beside him.  Or when Udoh was off the floor, four active athletes harassing the ball around him.  I dare you to rewatch tonight’s fourth quarter and overtime, with a totally gassed David Lee manning the middle against the league’s best team, and come away thinking that Lee can’t play defense.

Lee put up 20 and 14, numbers very close to what he averaged in his last season as a Knick playing exclusively at center. But those stats don’t come close to telling the complete story of his game. His 4 steals? Now you’re getting warm.

Nate Robinson will get all the credit for this win.  But it was David Lee’s great all-around play, brought to you by an injury miracle, that saved the Warriors’ bacon.

Monta Ellis:  Monta looked terrible in this game, but never so bad as when Kwame Brown was in the game.  The Warriors’ clogged up middle closed off Monta’s drive, and allowed the Heat to absolutely swarm him with defenders.

A thought occurred to me as I saw Monta get swallowed up by three Heat jerseys for the umpteenth time. Doesn’t Eric Spoelstra believe in his players taking personal responsibility on defense? Doesn’t he think the Heat should be a no-excuses team?

You know, like Mark Jackson, who absolutely refused to double-team Dwayne Wade.

Nate Robinson:  Everything great about Nate shone tonight.  his game made a better argument than I could ever make that an NBA point guard must be a scorer. And must be able to make his free throws.

There’s something special about Nate.  Despite his size, he’s a real physical presence, and a great team defender (4 steals).  And he has that indomitable confidence that he can make big plays and change the game.  It was clear that he has the respect of Dwayne Wade. Wade jawed at him the whole game, and at the end gave him a playful head cuff.

It’s too bad he can’t pass.  Nate made several terrible passes tonight, but I want to draw your attention to one that might have slipped under your radar. At 4:50 2nd Q, Nate attempted a simple swing pass to a wide-open Dorell Wright, that was so off the mark that it pulled DWright over the three point line, and caused him to force a drive.  If either Monta or Curry (or Lee) had thrown that pass, it would have hit Wright right in the hands. This is the kind of thing that drives coaches (and feltbot) crazy, and is a big reason that Nate has had trouble getting playing time in his career.

A couple of other thoughts:

1) If Curry hadn’t gotten injured, would Nate Robinson even be on this team? Or would we be stuck with the quintessential Lacob back-up point guard, Ish Smith?

2) Why is it that Nate gets to the free throw line so much more often than Monta Ellis? Is it because his balance isn’t as supreme and he falls heavier? Or is it something else?  Give me your thoughts.

The Spread Four:  The Heat have several.  Bosh, James, Battier.  The Warriors still have none.  Which is what gets you 19 point third quarters.

But what about that Warriors finishing lineup? Lee, Wright, Rush, Ellis and Robinson.  You know, the lineup that was +6 for the final 4 minutes, and got the game into overtime? And then +3 in overtime, to get the win?

Who’s the power forward in that lineup?  I guess it’s Dorell Wright.

The Warriors’ 200 lb. spread four.

Dorell Wright:  Wright is a terrific all-around basketball player, as we saw tonight.  His clutch three-point shooting returned, but we know all about that.  He also played some pretty good defense on Lebron, and biggest of all, pulled down 10 boards.

This doesn’t mean that criticism I layed on him in my last post doesn’t still apply.

The Nightmare:  What a game from Udoh, even though he didn’t score a point.  The perfect defender to play against the Heat’s uber-quick front line.

Unlike Kwame, superb rotations.  And those blocks, something that Kwame can never do.  I was particularly amazed by the block of Lebron. And this is the best I’ve ever seen him rebound.

I’d like to see him used better in the Warriors offense.  If he’s going to be guarded by the center (which he is), then post him out on the baseline wing to get his man out of the lane.  Let him shoot that outlet baseline jumper even if it’s not high percentage at the moment.  It will do wonders to open the court for Lee and Monta.

Or use him in the pick and roll.  He’s mobile, he’s being guarded by centers, he’s a great passer…   Why not?

Brandon Rush: Phenomenal floor game, even when his shot isn’t falling.  3 blocks! And that huge crunch time steal.

He needs more minutes.

Klay Thompson:  He did some nice things on the court tonight, even though his shot was off.  He’s a really good passer.  He’s got Monta, Curry and Lee’s ability to hit his target on the hands.  And he might become a decent rebounder.  Liked that tip-in in traffic.  Seems like a really nice guy on the court though.  He could use a bit of an edge.

I don’t believe he will ever have the kind of all-around game at small forward that Dorell Wright demonstrated tonight. So he’s really strictly a bench player for this Warriors team.

Until Joe Lacob pulls the trigger.

Mark Jackson:  Two post-game comments caught my attention:

On Kwame Brown: “I can’t believe this guy was at home when we called him.”

Really?  Let’s ask the other 29 GMs and 29 coaches in the league how that could possibly have happened.

On the Warriors miserable third quarter: “Credit the Heat’s defense, they got us out of our stuff.”

You can credit the Heat defense if you like.

I’m crediting the Kwame Brown Era.

39 Responses to The Injury Miracle: Warriors 111 Heat 106

  1. Felt, just you and me after a fantastically exciting Warriors win over the best team in basketball? Your blog clientele looks like they were past their bedtime when the game ended. On that note, maybe those “Hot 100″ from Vegas gave everyone a heart attack? LOL I’m sure the “joint will be jumping” later today.

    Great game to watch after the first 36 minutes mercifully passed. Lee was superb all night, yet really wasn’t aggressive enough offensively for my tastes. I’d like to see him take more shots, and not just talking about last night.

    Love Robinson’s energy and fearlessness on offense, especially in clutch situations. Warriors got lucky for a change, ironically thanks to Curry’s ankle issues.

    Wright definitely wasn’t wrong vs the Heat. Let’s hope his shot is here to stay.

    My problem with KBrown is the focus given to him offensively by his teammates. DON’T KEEP THROWING HIM PASSES, FOR CRIPES SAKE. Brown and Biedrins should be on the same mission, offensive and defensive rebounding, with an occasional garbage hoop. Otherwise, STAY OUT OF THE WAY! Obviously, his effectiveness has a lot to do with team by team matchups. The Heat are a tough matchup for every team in the NBA.

    I disagree with your take on Lacob. I don’t look at him as a “meddling owner” who’s doing everything including calling plays for the head coach. I look at him more as a Robert Kraft (NE Patriots) who wants to win by surrounding himself with the best minds in the business then heeding their advice.

    He wanted Lee, he quickly realized that Amundson was a mistake, the Robinson signing, a good job revamping their bench in short order, as well as putting together a good group of assistant coaches to help with the neophyte MJ. He certainly made a run at the higher profile free agents, now the Howard rumors, and still 2 months till the trade deadline arrives.

    Instead of pointing fingers at Lacob everytime something negative happens during games (i e player combinations that don’t or aren’t working) I’m looking at the bigger, longer term picture. Remember, his ownership group wasn’t approved until right before the start of the 2010-11 season, and then came the lockout. To be fair, he’s really been hamstrung by some very unique and burdensome situations. He doesn’t seem afraid to take chances, and everything considered, to this point, I think he’s made more good moves than bad. IMO, in time, I believe he’ll prove to be a popular owner here in the Bay Area.

    I hope TNT has Mark Jackson mic’d up Thursday night so I can hear what he says to players during timeouts. Gotta be better than his postgame “sermons” with the media.

    Oh yeah, I have no idea why certain players seem to get more favorable calls from the officials than others, outside of the fix is in. To be sure, Monta never seems to get a break on his drives to the basket. He very rarely says anything, maybe he should try some profanity-laced screaming. At least the refs would know he’s upset about their putrid non-calls.

  2. And now to the kind of highlights I like best…..WINNING highlights!

  3. Yes, this blog will explode later, as well it should. I would have posted sooner, but my sweetie and I stayed up until the wee hours watching the game after he got home from work. I didn’t make it all the way through a second viewing with him, but I stayed awake long enough to warn him to fast forward through the third quarter.

    I have to agree with you, Steve, about everything you wrote here, including your assessment of Joe Lacob. Let’s give him some time to see what he can do. Yes, it is brash to promise a playoff performance the first year, but you have to admire his passion. I think his hires have been excellent, and the bench is a lot better this year. He and his staff have made some good moves, both in acquisitions and letting some players go (like Lin and Amundson) who didn’t fit.

    What an amazing game! I ran the emotional gamut, stopping just short of throwing things. Luckily my next door neighbor is a sports fan, too, so he could understand some of the language he might have overheard. My mother would blush, but any long-suffering Warriors fan would understand.

    David Lee was outstanding in every aspect of the game. Isn’t it a great problem to have when there are so many candidates for player of the game? Wow! Thanks, Warriors, and pass the Kool-Aid again. We want to believe.

    • Andria, but what about your OTHER next door neighbor? Hey, if they complain just give ‘em a glass of your Kool-Aid. :)

  4. “When you hold the Miami Heat to 12 points in the fourth quarter, you give yourself a chance to win, you give yourself a chance to fight back and win.” – Mark Jackson

    So if Kwame is in the game for his D… and the team has awesome D and far better O without him… maybe there’s some hope that Jackson and Lacob will connect the dots on this.

    That thought is just a little sad, though. I like seeing a Warrior knocking people down, bodies flying. Too bad it’s not a winning strategy, but there really is some visceral satisfaction in seeing a Warrior dish it out for once. I guess I sympathize with Lacob’s BigBall vision to that extent. Feltson, do you think it’s possible that playing Kwame for 3 quarters helps set up 4th-quarter SmallBall? It’s a pretty major changeup.

    Watching Robinson, you can see why his former teams wouldn’t play him regularly enough to keep him, but would hate to let him go. He’s not a floor general 1, and if Monta is too small for a 2 then Nate is far too small. But you have to love his confidence, aggressiveness, quickness and sheer toughness. It even gets the respect of the refs. Monta The Stoic, who is hammered, held and slapped continuously throughout games, doesn’t get anywhere near the same respect.

    Maybe Charles Jenkins can learn from Robinson. Jenkins has everything Robinson has but he’s a good passer too; his inside-outside gambit for a corner 3 was perfect. But he is still making a rookie’s adaptation to the NBA game, and it makes him tentative. Hey, Charles, Robinson doesn’t worry about interceptions and airballs, he just tries it again next time down the floor. Cut loose!

    Thompson looks a little scared, not settled in. When he knocks down one of his insta-shots he looks unstoppable, but he often takes that shot when he has room and time to set up for a more deliberate stroke. Calling Chris Mullin… Mully, can you talk to the kid?

    I like your idea of running pick’n’rolls for Udoh, but we’ve seen him drop an awful lot of passes in traffic. I wonder if that’s why the dubs don’t go there with him. Biedrins, for all his faults, is far better at it. And while Kwame might well miss from a distance of zero, very few opposing players can prevent him from getting there.

    • Regarding Nate Robinson’s size. He’s a much more physical presence than Monta and Steph and that’s why he draws fouls.

      When he’s in the air, he is able to take contact and still get the shot up. Whereas Monta bounces off, or takes angles to avoid the contact by using his blinding speed. Robinson is able to draw fouls in the way Allen Iverson did by using his body to draw the foul. Monta does not take shots to the body, which will probably prolong his career, but means he does not get to the free throw line.

      Also, Monta’s game is built on getting up into the air before the defender rather than baiting the defender into contact while he is jumping. This holds true on layups and jump shots and referees do not see the fouls because they happen so quickly and are typically not in the obvious places.

      The calls that Dwayne Wade got last night were heinous. Many were based on his reputation, in my opinion.

      • Maybe you’re right that Monta doesn’t get calls because a) his game is so unconventional, and b) his drives all happen so quickly that it’s hard to see him getting whacked. But a) he finishes half his drives on his back, and that should be kind of a hint to the refs, and b) stars like Wade and especially Kobe collect an awful lot of “air fouls” (especially from the Warriors) when there’s no one even close enough to have committed them. It’s ridiculous when the refs confer over who they can possibly blame.

        It makes one wonder if there’s a tacit league rule at play here, along the lines of “protect and enhance your top marketing vessels.” Monta is merely a ballplayer. Has he ever even been invited to the slam dunk contest?

    • Jenkins’ game in college was based on making the defense concede a scoring chance to him or a teammate or foul him — had a very good ratio in f.g. attempts to free throw attempts. Robinson’s speed puts most one on one defenders on their heels, and he has a football background. Both guards are from the old school of not shying from contact [these include some very slight in build like Archibald, Iverson, Thomas of course], in contrast to Ellis (serious knee injury in high school might have changed his game) who likes to slip between or jump over defenders, or Curry who chooses cleverness to find space for his rainbows.

      lead guard is the toughest spot for a rookie to gain court time, and Jenkins appears inhibited for the basic reason that mistakes will take him off the court as quickly as being tentative. He’s also very much a team player and not the big ego seeking fame and a fat second contract.

  5. Let us think well of our centers nonetheless, both of them, and wish them health, because we will need them. Kwame did provide some serviceable minutes, and Lee can’t play 48 minutes a game. Still, no argument about fourth quarter. Offense and small ball tipped the scale last night.

    Still, I wonder. It’s hard to believe that unit–or any NBA unit–can hold the Miami talent to 12 points in the last quarter. Either Miami coasted or failed to make the needed adjustments.

    • Switching from a Kwame-compatible offense to superspeed smallball is a huge change. If an opposing team were controlling the dubs until that point, it must be tempting for their coach to let it ride. By the time it’s clear that that is not going to work out, it’s too late.

  6. Felty: Your insightful comments the last few weeks show that you deserve to open a good bottle of wine and enjoy it. Great post. To bad, that Jackson still doesn’t get it. He needs to learn to believe in an up-tempo game, not the team. They get it.

    It was great to see the Warriors take 30 3-point shots. Hope they keep it up.

  7. Felty: It’s amazing to watch Lacob rooting on the Warriors playing small ball and running the court, when he had fired Nelliw, the architect of small ball.

    By the way, I don’t think that Lacob constructed the Warriors so that they would do poorly this year. I like most of his roster moves, including the one he was unable to make-his not being able to sign D. Jordan.

    I’m glad the Warriors didn’t sign S. Williams. Saw him play in NJ. He was terrible.

  8. Got lucky and scored a ticket to the game. I’ll leave the analyzing to others, but will mention two observations of things I’m not sure were apparent on TV:

    — In the 4th quarter, when Nate Robinson was playing with so much energy, he was fouled on a layup. He started clapping to himself as he walked to the free-throw line, then looked up at the crowd cheering for him, and turned his clapping to the crowd. This drew an even bigger cheer. I felt an immediate connection to this kid. You gotta love his fire and his personality. He’s a fan favorite after, what, three games? Should I mention that Steinmetz was arrogant in his certainty that Nate was a bad pickup?

    — As the Warriors slowly climbed out of a hole, they got the margin to 5 points with 5 minutes left on a nice layup by Monta Ellis. At that point, it seemed to hit everyone that the Warriors were back in this game. Everyone in the building suddenly stood up and let out a deafening cheer that lifted the roof off of Oracle. (Comcast’s audio never seems to capture this.) From that point to the end of regulation, it was incredible. It settled down at the start of OT, then built to another crescendo in the final minute as the game was won. I haven’t heard such a roar since the We Believe playoff games. It expresses what we all hope to hear and see from our team in every big game. With that, I’ll leave my normal pessimism/realism aside and let the good feelings linger for awhile.

    • “Should I mention that Steinmetz was arrogant in his certainty that Nate was a bad pickup?”

      MWLX, yes, you should mention that, especially considering the fact he said the following today in a live chat on CSNBayArea.com:

      “You guys are funny. And I say “you guys” because Mark Jackson asked me the same thing today at practice. Go back and re-read what I wrote. I never once criticized Nate Robinson’s talent. In fact, I said that he was probably the most talented player on planet earth not playing in the NBA at the time. But there are still things that I believe. One is he’s not a good fit for this team and that the more he plays the worse it could be for the Warriors. And we also need to see whether he’ll continue to produce if his playing time gets limited. I’ll say it again, Nate Robinson is an incredible talent. And he helped the Warriors win last night. Here’s my question … What’s best-case scenario involving Robinson and the Warriors.”

      LOL Could someone be more clueless if they tried? Nate Robinson wants to show the NBA-world that aside from the obvious fact that he’s a very talented player he’s also a good guy who can help a team win games.

      He’s already a fan favorite. I’d be willing to wager a few pesos that Robinson’s stay with the Warriors will be both long and mutually beneficial. Reminds me a lot of when Baron Davis came here looking for a new start.

      BTW, congrats on getting that ticket for the game. I used to go to 30-35 games a year way back when ticket prices were MUCH more affordable. Can’t beat the excitement and adrenalin rush you get from actually being at a game, especially with the great fans we have here in the Bay Area. Even back when it was called the Oakland Coliseum Arena that place would absolutely rock when the Warriors were doing well, and that’s part of the reason it’s still so much fun to go.

      • Brilliant Steinmetz…Robinson has changed since his college days. At UW he was a complete jerk. By listening to his post game comments, it sounds like he’s found Christianity and he’s a true pro. Steinmetz probably doesn’t like him because of his past reputation. I doubt it has anything to do with his game. That’s Steinmetz for you!

        • If Nate Robinson is so great why did both the Boston Celtics and OKC Thunder dump him?

        • The way I read Steinmetz’ article, the only reservation he had about Robinson really does seem like a fair question: If/when Curry returns, and Jenkins and Thompson get acclimated to the NBA game, and Brandon Rush (a solid 2-way guard) gets more play at the 2 spot (bumping Monta to PG), Robinson’s playing time WILL go down. How will Robinson respond to that? Wouldn’t a player with his talent and ambition want more? Shouldn’t he want more?

          Where I differ from Steinmetz is based on the fact that the Warriors gave Robinson just a 1 year contract. He doesn’t need to be a long term fit to be a good acquisition for right now. Later on, if he needs more PT he’s free to go elsewhere. If he becomes a problem sooner rather than later, the Warriors release him before his contract is up, no biggie. There is no down side for the Warriors, and Robinson brings plenty of short-term positives.

  9. First Take debate on LeBron taking zero shots in last night’s 4th qtr.

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7450541

    • Wow, lots of opinions but no info. If LeBron was double-teamed he shouldn’t shoot. If he doesn’t get the ball, he can’t shoot. If Wade or Bosh or anyone else has a better opportunity, LeBron shouldn’t shoot, he should pass to them. But no one on the panel seems to have looked at any of that. I guess they couldn’t be bothered.

  10. Steve with a very rational post above. And you and MWLX are correct, Steinmetz is about 80% clueless.

    Re Kwame getting hurt when we were down 9, felt, you fail to mention that at that point we were on the way back from a 17 point deficit and the Momentum was definitely in our favor (before he went down). Still, I agree that Udoh was the better fit defender last night. But I think Kwame was effective and don’t lay the blame for us falling behind on him. I do lay much of that blame on MJ who should not have slowed down the offense in Q3. Hopefully, he learned from that. I bet he did.

    Re Lee, why aren’t we seeing the player we saw last night more than 20% of the time? That is a serious question.

    And if David Lee is a center, he’s a role player, only able to excel against certain teams/match-ups. And that’s how Jackson is using him when at center–spot situations where match-ups allow.

  11. This interview with Joe Lacob on Gameday took place about a month ago. If you listen closely his comments about the certain strengths and potential of other players comes from a combination of what he’s been told by other members of his coaching and scouting department mixed in with his natural passion and excitement of owning the Warriors.

    If Lacob is operating as one of the if not THE top talent evaluator in this organization the Warriors would most likely be in trouble down the road, but again I don’t believe that’s the case. If he’s hired and continues to hire the right basketball people to help him make the ultimate decisions that an owner must make I think GSW will be a winning NBA franchise in the future.

    • We’ll have to agree to disagree on this Steve (and Andrea).

      There’s no doubt that Lacob is getting help in evaluating talent. How much he listens to it is another story (Lin, Amundson?).

      But regardless, it’s his vision that I have a quarrel with. If he doesn’t believe in spread fours, then no amount of expert talent evaluation can fix that. If he believes in big stiffs in the middle, then his employees will find him one. If he doesn’t believe in the Warriors core — which he clearly doesn’t — then his employees will scurry about trying to make a big deal happen for him.

      I don’t think there’s any doubt that he’s the guy pulling the trigger, as he has made that clear. As this and many other interviews have borne witness. So as long as he’s the de facto GM, he’s the guy I’ll headline when discussing the Warriors personnel decisions, philosophy and direction.

  12. Is the Kwame Brown Era already over? Kwame is likely out for the season.

    http://www.ibabuzz.com/warriors/2012/01/12/warriors-c-kwame-brown-maybe-done-for-the-season/

    Calling Fat Fess! Kyrylo Fesenko, a lane-clogging gig just opened up.

  13. the team needs more emphasis on open court play with the addition of Robinson and the subtraction of Brown. it will benefit from the practice and training most if the transition d improves ; they’ve been helpless at it thus far and it won’t get better if they don’t work on it (until they get long, strong two way players of course).

  14. Heading to Oracle for the Magic game with an old poker buddy. He’s being honored as the “season ticket holder of the night,” or some such, so you may catch a glimpse of me. Won’t be able to recap this one, so the thread will remain open…

  15. The Warriors, undermanned as hell, played way too good to lose. And WHY did they lose? If I ever watch another Warriors game where they start “hack-a-fouling” anyone, I’ll start screaming THEN throw my TV out the window. The craziest thing about all this is if the beloved Don Nelson had been coaching tonight for GSW he would have done the same idiotic thing. It always drove me crazy when he’d do that because it would slow the game to a walk and take away any rhythm or momentum the Warriors had going at the time. Gawd awful!!

    I loved Thompson’s shot tonight. He’s starting to look like…….a ROY candidate. LOL Seriously, he’s starting to look like someone who could actually help this team a whole bunch in the future. Too bad that Howard had 80 points and 60 rebounds to negate all that was good about the Warriors effort tonight.

  16. With you 1000% on the hacka “strategy,” Steve. It was too much like admitting defeat and simply begging Howard not to hurt us. It’s humiliating to set a foul “record.”

    I’m sure Felt could itemize the alternatives far better than I, but here are a few:

    Work to prevent the inlet pass.

    Double-team Howard every time he touches the ball.

    Fouls can be used to disrupt offense, not just prevent a team from playing offense. If you must make sacrifice fouls, get the most from them. Stop the move to the hoop with an arm hold or cross-body block. Fouling at the right time the right way can change an opponent’s offense.

    Use every foul available. Switch in designated foulers whenever possible. The Warriors could have given Jeremy Tyler and Chris Wright some play. It’s not like Jackson was concerned with stopping the flow of the game.

    Go directly at Howard on offense early, to load him with fouls and hopefully limit his floor time.

    Yeah, Kwame would have helped last night. If nothing else he would have brought 6 more fouls to the job. But the way the Warriors played the hacka strategy last night was nothing more than conceding their helplessness.

    Stopping Howard was not a hopeless task. The coach demonstrated to his players that he was hopeless. That’s pitiful, and it sends the wrong message to a team that needs to believe in themselves – and their coach.

  17. Feltbot,

    You have my sympathy for being “live” at last night’s game. I could feel the chill from my house. I wish it had been the Magic game. You deserve one like that.

    Yes, Don Nelson would have done the same. It was amusing to me to see that Shaq is still pissed off about it.

  18. Kwame was more important to this team than David Lee. Without Kwame’s help in the middle to overcome for his defensive deficiencies, David Lee (and AB) will be exposed once again on D and important rebounds (you know, those in crunch time when the other team’s 4s and 5s are actually really hustling to get the rebound?). David Lee is a nice role player for offensive, especially to spread the floor a bit with his 18 foot range and good passer. He has been physically over matched in a majority of the games he’s played for us this season. Griffin, Boozer, Stoudamire, Gasol, Howard, Millsap. He outplayed Haslem.

    Between the Lee signing and Udoh over Monroe draft, Riley should be fired. He gives us nothing. At least West/Myers came in and got the Thompson draft right (although Morris also looks very good as well, at this point I’d take Thompson bc he’s not undersized at his position).

  19. Credit to the Warriors, with two starters out, for staying in this one all the way and having a shot at the end. Kwame at least would have given them 6 more fouls and kept the other centers in at the end. Maybe he could have forced Howard further out with his shots. Biedrins denied the pass to Howard nicely several times. As for the Howard fouls, he would have racked up a bunch anyway, the way the Magic were feeding him.

    But the only way to win this game was to outshoot and outrun the Magic. They run better with Curry, but also the squad on the floor hasn’t played that much together. And all those fouls did disrupt their rhythm.

    As for Lee, 26 points and 12 boards ain’t bad, especially since he didn’t have much help at the other spot.

  20. Rasheed Wallace?

  21. The Hack-a-Dwight strategy started when the Warriors were ahead by about 50-37 in the second quarter. By the time the quarter was done, the lead had been cut by 9 points.

    Since when has the Hack-a strategy ever been tried in the first half by a team that has the lead! It was originally developed as a way for a trailing team to catch up in the second half. The idea was that the poor FT shooter might make 1 point, and your team can come back on the next possession and make 2 or 3, while saving time on the clock.

    Last night, it took the Warriors out of their offensive rhythm and took the crowd out of the game. It backfired. MJackson says it took Orlando’s 3-point shooters out of the game. Check the stats, coach. Orlando was 11 for 23, 48% shooting on threes. It might have been more if JRich hadn’t gotten hurt. For comparison, the Ws were 10 for 23.

    It’s a credit to the players’ effort that they made the game close. The coach’s harebrained strategy had nothing to do with it.

  22. MWLX, you’ve hit the nail right on the head and beat me to the punch. I’ve just posted on exactly this point and a couple of others raised in this thread…

    And Rasheed Wallace? If he can still play, he’d be perfect. I sincerely doubt that Lacob would look at him though.

    He shoots the three.