Crunched: Grizzlies 104 Warriors 103

Feeling lazy and uninspired, so I’ll limit myself to two quick points about the game.                

1) Crunch time is an unmitigated disaster for this coaching staff. Take a moment to compare the pick and roll with Monta and Lee @1:25 with the botched Curry/Lee pnr @0:35. The first was perfectly executed, helped greatly by the team’s perfect spacing. Look in particular at Curry deep in the LEFT CORNER.

On the Curry pnr, by contrast, all three Warriors outside the play were lumped together on the RIGHT side, which is the side Curry dribbled to, right into a trap. Someone blew it bigtime here, either the coaches or a player. Maybe Curry’s partly to blame as well — if you stop tape @0:32 you can see Lee is wide open… why did Curry turn his back on him? At any rate, Memphis had two players guarding the basket due to the Warriors’ blown spacing.

The Warriors final offensive possession was absolutely ridiculous. What kind of coach calls a play for his power forward to catch 20 feet from the basket and drive the lane? Absurd.

Amateur hour.

I’ll say it again. Don Nelson ran simple isos with Stephen Curry at the top of the key to end games. They can’t be trapped, there’s no pass to pick off, no player to blow an assignment.

And it worked. Stephen Curry cannot be guarded one-on-one, has unlimited range, and is as clutch as any player in the league.

Including Jeremy Lin, whom Mike D’Antoni has had no problem trusting.

2)  That +17 second quarter was no accident.  There are very few teams in the league that can put a second unit on the floor that can run with Ekpe Udoh, Dom McGuire, Rush, Thompson and Curry/Monta/Nate/Jenkins.

Note also that Jackson ran Curry with the second unit, leaving Nate on the bench.  I have been stating for two seasons that Monta and Curry should never both be off the court at the same time.  I also believe that Monta should be running the point much more often, not Nate nor anyone else, when Curry is off the floor.  Not only is Monta a far better point than Nate, but this gives both Curry and Monta a chance to play with a big two guard. Wasn’t this the whole point of Brandon Rush and Klay Thompson?  To PROTECT the Ellis-Curry backcourt?

And Jeremy Tyler was left on the bench.

I’m afraid that Jackson made these decisions out of desperation, not because a lightbulb went off.  But the Warriors must play this way in the second quarter every single game if they want to win.  They have to attack the second quarter every single game, try to put up a +17 every single game.

Their frontline unit, playing 4 on 5, is just not good enough to win otherwise.  If they want to win, this Warriors team MUST play small, and MUST try to run other teams off the floor.

No matter how much Joe Lacob hates it.

Goose Eggs:  When oh when are the Bay Area media going to ask Joe Lacob the REAL questions concerning his refusal to amnesty Andris Biedrins?

#OsteitisPubis

Did Lacob know?

Shhhhhh!

30 Responses to Crunched: Grizzlies 104 Warriors 103

  1. Hey Feltbot,

    Initially, I thought the final Warrior offensive play call was a bad one, because it only allowed for at most one shot.

    Then later today, with Minnie, down 1 to Philadelphia. Adelman called a timeout to set his play up with 3.6 seconds left.
    Lo and Behold, T-Wolves inbound the ball to their 4, Kevin Love at virtually the same spot on the court. Kevin Love immediately (a la David Lee) drives between the two 76er defenders with much less contact than Lee received. Result: Two Kevin Love free throws to win the game. Admittedly a home town call, and it seems the Wolves get the referee love. I now think Jackson much to his credit called a play at least credible to the respected Rick Adelman. Hopefully people can view the play on NBA.com. Same as last night, uniforms are different colors. And sadly the outcome different for the Dubs.

    • I’ll check it out, thanks. But let me point out that the Wolves don’t have a Curry or Ellis. Love is their best option as closer, and as good as he is, that’s not a great option.

    • I agree with “Donnie Nelson.” The play to Lee wasn’t bad. First of all, one of your perimeter players is going to have Tony Allen in his shorts and the Grizzlies were aggressively overplaying the perimeter players on the inbounds. You’ve gone small so you have a slower player on Lee; if he sags Lee can hit the 18 footer, if he doesn’t Lee drives which he did. On the drive, Lee could’ve been fouled (he was but not called), he could have shot (he didn’t), he could’ve passed (he did, to a teammate in the corner spotting up for three); Lee is an excellent passer and he made the pass (negated by the alleged charge.) Now why someone was spotting up for three when they were 1 point down is a puzzle. I think a baseline slash would’ve been a better bet but the charging call made it academic.

      What I liked best was that Lee was willing to take it. He has been too passive when he’s had the opportunities previously. Hopefully the willingness leads to some success, which leads to a viable alternative to Stephen Curry. Feltbot is right about that needing to be the normal course of closing close games; especially when Curry is having a 30-something night. Still, Jackson makes at least five decisions a night worse than closing a game with Lee.

  2. For those of you interested in a NY Times article on JLin and the art of the pick and roll, a very good analysis on how/why Lin has been running the pick and roll with a high success rate. Oh, does MJack still subscribe to the NY Times? He did at ST Johns. Curry can only marvel at this point.

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/02/18/sports/basketball/In-Lin-Knicks-Find-a-Textbook-Point-Guard.html?ref=sports

  3. Thanks Feltbot!
    Like Dallas did with their backcourt, perhaps Rush or Thompson should start the first 10 minutes with either Ellis or Curry, then have Ellis or Curry come early off the bench – to protect the small, defensively challenged backcourt – just like Jason Terry, Jason Kid, Stephenson? (I forgot him already), and Barea last season. It’s just a thought…

  4. Stephen Curry in an iso at crunch time??? No-brainer! Curry can create his shot either off the dribble or off a pick/roll – Ask Curry how he feels like scoring and depending on the defensive matchup/size of the defender… Why he defers to Monta and others – trying to get along with others – is why we can’t close. Curry is a deadeye sniper. The best shooter I’ve ever seen – and his father was another one (gotta guard him beyond halfcourt!)!

    Otherwise – Tank baby tank!

    Gotta love our second unit so much that I think a couple of those players need promotions to the first unit! The second unit really plays excellent defense as well… Time to mix them into the first unit.

    • PeteyB, did you read the comments section below the article?

      “I only go to Bucks games because I know that if I stop going, I will be asked about the good ol’ days when Milwaukee had an NBA team! I should be going because the Bucks can truly compete, and the environment is WORTHY of my entertainment dollar! The CBA means nothing to a team like the Bucks, the real rules in place that I wanted to see happen, never happened, the Owners caved! I wanted to see a player’s demotion to the D-league transpire. I wanted to see a player that is NOT producing get his salary cut down to less than league minimum when they are not instrumental in the success of the team! I wanted to see kids stay in college all four years! No more immature youngins destroying franchises like Jennings is to ours! If he couldn’t go to college and play there because he was not academically ready for school, he should not be in the league! He is nowhere even close to a leader for this Bucks team, He does not have the confidence, mental toughness, or desire to weather hard times, and players like Stephen Jackson are looked to as leaders when they themselves are poor ambassadors for the youth movement? We should not have had Basketball this year! PERIOD! The Lockout should have happened! The owners ARE spineless! When does an employee EVER make more than their boss? NOT in the real world! These players couldn’t even pay for their college educations, food, housing, they should be happier that a team chose them, and show they same loyalty when it comes to the livelihood of a franchise. We are on life support here in Milwaukee, and Jackson was brought here to help us! He is a TOXIC,vile, selfish person with his late night antics, showing up to practice hungover, doing extra curricular thing outside of the Bucks organization that have no real value. If I were Skiles, I would bench him too! I would bury him so far down the bench, that he would be misconstrued for being a towelboy!”

      I thought it was interesting that this particular commenter wrote that Jackson has come to practice “hungover”. Obviously, rumors are making the rounds in Milwaukee and who knows what’s really going on there but Skiles is NOT going to keep Jackson glued to the bench unless this guy is once again in implode-mode.

      After what he pulled out here I wouldn’t trade a case of Gatorade for this POS. He became so toxic in Indiana that Donnie Walsh was willing to trade for two of the worst contracts in NBA history (Murphy and Dunleavy) just to get rid of him, and he wound up on Nellie’s sh*t list before he left here, not to mention trying to steer Monta off the nearest cliff in the process.

      I’m sure he’ll get his wish and be traded somewhere where he’ll finally be appreciated for the great guy, player and teammate he truly is…….only to eventually splinter into a thousand pieces once more. Stack Jack, we are not worthy. LOL

      • Steve,
        What? I’m shocked! Why would Stephen Jackson behave in such a manner? LOL!

        Why in the world would Milwaukee acquire Jackson in the first place? I can’t believe he has 2013 at $10+ million. How are they going to get rid of him? Amnesty? And the playoff teams only get richer when they sign this guy for $1 million with a better attitude as a role player and the threat of being waived (although another contending team could pick him up).

        Special thanks to Robert Rowell – for extending this guy’s contract in the first place – my goodness, I don’t miss that guy either.

        I must stay – I did enjoy Stephen Jackson’s play in the We Believe season and 1+years afterwards. Then he turned on Don Nelson and turned way south.

        Hope he’s saving all that money…

        • Him and Baron took us to the playoffs and then he, pretty much single-handedly, took the Bobcats to their first playoff appearance ever. He also was huge in San Antonio’s championship season about a decade ago. He knows how to win, so I would take Jax anyday.

  5. Lots of stuff goin’ down before the trade deadline? Put my vote in the yes column.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/sports/ci_20003377

    • PeteyBrian’s last words, “Jeremy Lin can’t shoot yet, only drive to the rim. He’ll have to have elite athleticism to dominate in the NBA if he can’t shoot! And he’s an average NBA athlete.”

      Terry’s last words, “But we’ll see when he faces the (world) champs tonight.”

      Question to Kobe – “Would you consider guarding him if he’s (Jeremy Lin) having one of those games?”
      Kobe’s last words – “Jesus Christ, let’s not get ahead of ourselves…”

  6. Jeremy Lin’s success is due to coach’s system, says Mavericks’ Jason Terry

    By Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports

    NEW YORK – Hours before Jeremy Lin had destroyed the Dallas Mavericks, delivered one more magical Madison Square Garden performance, Jason Terry raised an eyebrow and let loose with a sly smile. He hadn’t come to celebrate Linsanity, but bring it context.

    Asked how much of Lin’s historic, hellacious success has been a product of New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni’s renowned offensive system, Terry told Yahoo! Sports, “To me, it’s 100 percent what it is.”

    Before long, Terry stopped and corrected himself.

    “Ninety-five percent,” he said.

    There was no nastiness out of Terry, just an old Western Conference guard who’s a little suspicious of it all. Before Lin had seen the Mavericks’ Shawn Marion guarding him Sunday, before the mid-court traps and blitzes out of the defending champion’s defense had been thrust on Lin, Terry preached caution. Check back later and let’s see how it goes for the kid. And when later arrived, Lin had 28 points, 14 assists and five steals in the Knicks’ 104-97 victory.

    The fourth quarter came, and so did the big shots, the big passes, and the loud, long Linsanity ovations. Once more, Lin had turned the Garden upside down. Once more, he had New York, had a nation, on a yo-yo. And when it was over, Terry hadn’t changed his mind. No Linsanity for Terry. He isn’t alone in the NBA. In a lot of ways, this is an underestimation of Lin’s ability, but it isn’t an isolated opinion. Terry sees D’Antoni’s system, and he sees inflated stats. It’s a way to dismiss this historic run, and somewhere between Lin’s great ability and D’Antoni’s perfectly fitted system, there’s an ultimate truth.

    “If you play 46 minutes (a game) in this league, you have an opportunity to put up some nice numbers,” Terry said. “Again, it is what it is. He’ll have to maintain this pace. It’s going to be tough. Ask anybody: Give them an opportunity, ball in their hands, 20-plus shots and you better do something.”

    Lin’s done something, done a lot and still he’ll need to do more. And more. And more. Within the NBA, Lin’s story has become a runaway locomotive, and he keeps feeding this monster with victory after victory, performance after performance. Terry would go on to compliment Lin’s journey, his toughness, his faith, but Jeremy Lin as a burgeoning NBA star seems far-fetched to him.

    There’s something to the notion that Lin’s talents are perfectly suited for D’Antoni’s system, that he’s a beneficiary of it, but the Knicks have plugged plenty of journeymen into the job and watched them fail. D’Antoni needed a savior, and he dropped out of the sky for him.

    Pushback has been inevitable, and Terry isn’t the only player skeptical of the hysteria. For the defending champions, they weren’t thrilled with playing the part of prop for the next installment in Jeremy Lin’s fairy tale. The good teams used to love this trip to New York: Hang out in the city, play the Garden and get an easy win.

    Lin’s changed it. Truth be told, Lin’s changed everything here.

    “Listen, a lot of players would llllove to play in D’Antoni’s system,” Mavericks veteran Jason Kidd said. “He’s taking D’Antoni’s offense and he’s looking a little bit like Steve Nash out there.”

    There was one of those moments Sunday, when NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki was isolated on Lin late in the fourth, late in a Knicks’ comeback, and everyone knew what was coming. The Mavericks were within a basket, within reach, and Lin was rocking the ball back and forth and everyone had to expect what would happen next. A long, sure three-pointer to seal the victory, one final dagger into Dallas.

    Once again, he made daring drives for baskets and fouls, made shots, made passes and had his hands pilfering passes everywhere on the floor. He’s still turning the ball over a lot – seven on Sunday – but no one will care much as long as the Knicks are winning. The ball was in his hands, the Mavericks were trapping, blitzing and it was inevitable. “This system is amazing for (Lin),” Marion said. “They’re running a thousand pick and rolls. He’ll go from one to another if he doesn’t get what he wants.”

    One by one, the Knicks are bringing back and bringing in bigger talents to surround Lin. Amar’e Stoudemire made his return Tuesday in Toronto. J.R. Smith made his Knicks debut Sunday. How did D’Antoni handle it? Well, he didn’t call plays. He didn’t run plays. He let Lin go pure playground, trusted the ball movement, the passing, that’s blossomed with Lin running his team. D’Antoni’s value as a coach is centered on his offensive system, and its revival under Lin gives him a chance to keep this job – or re-position himself for the next one.

    Now, Carmelo Anthony returns Monday against the New Jersey Nets, and that’ll be a most scrutinized partnership. “I think there will be a feeling-out period with ‘Melo,” Kidd said.

    For the first time, this will be D’Antoni’s offense, and his point guard running it. And as the coach tries to keep this job – or get the next one – he won’t mind the notion that Jason Terry, that a lot of players, will be pushing throughout the NBA: Lin is less phenom, and more pawn in the coach’s famous system.

    “It wouldn’t have happened elsewhere,” Terry said. “He was in (Golden State and Houston) and it didn’t happen. He wasn’t given the opportunity in those places, or with those systems. He probably didn’t fit. But in this system, he’s perfect.”

    Wherever the credit goes, make no mistake: This is a dream system for a dreamy guard. He’ll have to keep up this pace, Terry warned for Lin, and the kid just keeps going, and going, and going.

  7. Hey Terry the Jet,

    Not a Lin fan yet, but he has a great chance to get the Knicks 9-1 with his leadership of the offense. They were going to miss the playoffs, now a decent chance to get to the 4 or 5 spot. Cannot argue with that.

    All without their highest paid player (I didnt say the best). Maybe just maybe you would like to play for MikeyD and get that next big contract?

    Clearly we all know the most vulnerable position on the Warriors. In addition, D’Antoni’s system is a good one if you have the right players who share the ball. The Warriors despite their failings, seem to share the ball. Until ownership fills up the center position, God or even Phil Jackson cannot get this team to the playoffs.

    • Stephen Curry must be kicking himself for not putting up a fit BEFORE the Warriors selected him ahead of the NY Knicks almost 3 seasons ago. Curry probably thought it’d be okay because Don Nelson was still the coach and he’d play in a guard friendly system…

  8. From Mark Stein’s power rankings:

    Warriors: Does the fact that this team has no 30-year-olds on the roster (unless you count the injured Kwame Brown) make it harder or easier for Warriors fans to accept the fact that Saturday’s loss at Memphis was the Dubs’ ninth already this season when they were within a point, leading or tied with 90 seconds to play?

    I’m not sure what this tells you except that Monta can’t finish games. No killer instinct.

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