Two the Right Way: Warriors 111 Mavericks 87 + Warriors 97 Clippers 93

Did the Warriors win these last two games because they suddenly decided to play with energy?  Because they suddenly felt like competing?

Or was it because of something else?      

Something simple like taking Dominic McGuire out of his starting shooting-guard role, and playing him where he belongs, on the second unit at power-forward and center?  The Warriors starters were -23 with McGuire at two against the Grizzlies. Hugely negative as well in the four games before that.

But with McGuire out and Hopalong Curry in, the Warriors starters were +8 in the Mavs game, +4 in the Clippers game.  I think you know that the one-footed Curry wasn’t the difference.  Spreading the floor was the difference.

Or was it something simple like taking the ball and chain off of the Warriors’ fast break?  5 fastbreak points against Memphis. 1 against the Raptors.

25 fast break points against the Mavs.  16 against the Clippers.  Looking upcourt after rebounds, outlets to half-court, early offense threes, big men storming the lane.

Simple things like that. Remember those things?

Or maybe it was the return of the David Lee pick and roll, which the Mavs were helpless to defend? Or the glorious nascence of the Udoh pick and roll, which gave the Clippers fits?  Pick and roll is actually possible when you spread the floor.

Here’s a thought:

Maybe it was the coaching.

Monta Ellis:  8 assists against the Mavs, 11 against the Clippers. Not a point guard?  It’s astonishing to me how many people have that opinion.

It’s also astonishing to me how many people think he’s a poor defender. Tell me please, how many NBA point guards can guard Chris Paul and Derrick Rose better than Monta Ellis?

Whichever team winds up with Monta Ellis will be getting an absolute steal.  And if they happen to have a professional GM who knows what a complete roster is, and is trying to win now — and a professional coach who knows what the hell he’s doing, and is willing to play Ellis in a system that maximizes his talents — they’ll be getting a whole lot more:

An all-star. A superstar. A winner.

The Nightmare:  Chris Paul had 5 assists in this game.  This man’s defense on Blake Griffin was the reason why.

It’s his offense that has been in doubt the last couple of seasons. But why? The reason has been made clear in the last few games, in which Udoh’s game has absolutely exploded.

Udoh is not a low post center, he’s a high post center.

Udoh is not a back-to-the-basket center, he’s a face-up center.

Udoh is not a walk-the-ball-up-court center, he’s a running center.

He’s a Don Nelson center.  Who’s been buried under the Keith Smart and Kwame Brown eras.

Here’s what we’ve seen Udoh do on offense in the last few games:

  • Take the ball in the high post, and hit the cutters on the hands. Point-center, just like he ran at Baylor.
  • Bury the face-up jumper, out to 20 feet.
  • Hit a turn-around fade-away jumper.
  • Play pick and roll.  10:50 1Q.  And later in the Clipper game, slipping the pick for the easy catch and slam.
  • Play pick and pop.  From Ellis at 9:20 3Q.
  • Trail the break, and finish with authority.

Here’s something else we’ve been seeing from Udoh, that’s been making me rub my eyes:  Create layups for himself in tight spots using the glass.

Udoh’s footwork in the lane is incredible.  Better right now than 90% of 10 year NBA veterans.  And he just added those up-and-under layups and that turnaround jumper to his jump hook.

In the last two games I have literally started to get tingles from Udoh.  I think I have been witnessing the birth of something…. Or to be more precise, the rebirth of something. Something incredibly special, that’s been gone from the league for a long time. Something distinctly Nigerian in flavor.

The Dream-Shake.

My spidey-sense once told me, after watching one pre-season game, that Stephen Curry had watched hundreds of hours of Steve Nash on tape. Now it’s telling me that late at night, in the privacy of his own home, Ekpe Udoh has been studying someone too.

His countryman, Hakeem Olajuwon.

The Warriors Fast Break:  Lest I forget, Udoh made one other play last night that stood out for me: (3:14 1Q) Udoh rebounds and immediately throws a half-court outlet to Dorell Wright, resulting in an early offense three.

Unless I’m greatly mistaken, that is the first time that Udoh has been allowed to look upcourt after a rebound in his Warriors career.

Jim Barnett: That’s the way to kick it out!”

Poor Jim.  He must have felt like tearing his eyes from their sockets in the last few games.

I know I did.

David Lee:  Top 5 in scoring, top 5 in rebounding for power forwards. Soft. Overpaid. Just ask Lauridsen.

Out-played Dirk Nowitzki one on one.  How many games in a row is that now?

He got in foul trouble last night, but still managed a great game.  And the foul trouble was the fault of his coach.  Allow me to explain:

Goose Eggs:  Biedrins was -6 to start the second quarter in the Clippers game. Why? Was it his fault? Or was it because he was forced to play against a Clippers small-ball unit featuring Reggie Evans at center and Bobby Simmons at the four?

Look, virtually every non-scoring defensive center in the league is going to get torn up playing against small ball teams.  There is literally no one for them to guard, nothing that they can do. I’ve said it before:  Jackson is killing the Warriors second quarter unit by trying to play Biedrins with it.

He’s also killing the Warriors first unit.  By getting them hurt, and getting them in foul trouble.  Ekpe Udoh is simply not strong enough to hold off the top front lines in the league for 30 minutes.  How many indications of that do you need?  He’s getting hurt, and he’s getting in foul trouble.  And his foul trouble is getting David Lee in foul trouble.

If you want to play Ekpe Udoh 30+ minutes, and if you want to play him big crunch time minutes, then you should be minimizing his early minutes against the monsters, and maximizing his early minutes on the second team.

It was a great decision to completely hold Biedrins out of the Mavericks game.  There are many games in which he simply shouldn’t play.  But games against the Clippers are not those games.  The Clippers are an ideal opponent for Biedrins.

Why?  Because Blake Griffin can’t shoot, has no low-post game, and for that reason struggles badly against bigger players.  Biedrins should have been guarding Griffin to start the first and third quarters, which Jackson might have known if he had bothered to watch TWolves games this year. The great Rick Adelman has dominated Blake Griffin with Darko Milicic. Yes, dominated. With Darko.

Biedrins starts the first and third quarters, no foul trouble.  And maybe no Udoh back trouble either.  Biedrins doesn’t stink up the second quarter, one of the most talented small ball reserve units in the NBA takes over.

It ain’t rocket science.  And it ain’t desire, effort, playing with force, showing up to compete, being aggressive, making no excuses, or any of the other arrant nonsense that has been spewing out of Mark Jackson’s mouth lately either.

It’s coaching.

Dorell Wright:  Maybe this guy can play a little basketball, after all.

It is highly mysterious to me that he is not worthy of being played in the fourth quarter, particularly on nights when he has it going to the tune  of 20 points on 7-10, 4-7 from three, 5 rbs, 2 stls, 1 block.

Flow coach?

Mark Jackson made the terrible mistake — or was it panic? — of putting Dominic McGuire in to play alongside Lee and Udoh in the fourth quarter. At a time when the Clippers were playing small-ball with Griffin and Reggie Evans on the front line.

Idiotic. The Warriors offense completely froze up, just as it has every single time Jackson has started the game with this lineup.

Those are Dorell Wright’s minutes.

Klay Thompson:  I noticed a lot more force and edge to Thompson’s play in the last two games, on both sides of the ball.  On offense, I love it when he takes the ball hard to the hoop.  Last night he even finished one with a slam.

Who is he going to find it easier to beat off the dribble, shooting guards or small forwards?

He’s also picked up his defense — team defense, at any rate.  We’ve seen some aggressive steals.  And in the Mavs game, his most hard-nosed rebounding of the year.  He can get up among the trees, when he wants to.

He can play shooting guard.  But he’s a natural small forward.


Charles Jenkins:  Ouch.  His play last night reminded me that if Stephen Curry hadn’t gotten injured, Joe Lacob would be going with him and Ish Smith at the back-up point.

Final Thought:  Just how talented is this Warriors team?  Talented enough to blow out the (admittedly tired) defending world champs. Talented enough to spank the Clippers in their own building.

Without Stephen Curry, who if he were healthy just might be their most important player.

Does it make you wonder what if?  What if the Warriors had management who were willing to let them play the style in which they can excel?  What if they had a veteran coach? What if Joe Lacob had actually supported this team with some veteran role players instead of hunting his big deal?

What if the corpse of Andris Biedrins had been amnestied, and Tyson Chandler — whom Mike D’Antoni recently called the best center in the league — had been “overpaid?”

What if pigs could fly?

126 Responses to Two the Right Way: Warriors 111 Mavericks 87 + Warriors 97 Clippers 93

  1. I don’t know if pigs CAN fly, but I do know that Klay Thompson can really play. Just wait until he gets over his (Charles Jenkins) rookie jitters and see what we’ve got. The Sophomore of the Year (Ok, after Irving).

  2. Random stuff:

    After giving Jenkins almost no developmental playing time this season, Jackson threw him in against Chris Paul in crunch time. Pretty dumb. I guess that means sayonara, Charles. Wherever you’re playing next year, make sure to compare notes with Jeremy Lin.

    Re Chandler and the Warriors’ ongoing search for the center of their dreams: chalk it up to “mañana,” aka “Wait’ll next year,” aka “How long will the suckers believe it?” With the amnesty last December, the Warriors had a one-time opportunity to upgrade at center without either stripping the team of talent or going above the salary cap. That opportunity is gone. Unless Lacob opens his wallet, next year we’ll have either a start-over team (with a great center!) or The Return of Something Like Kwame.

    I wonder how long Coach Flow will permit his team to run’n’gun. Has he finally stumbled his way to the light? Does he now understand why things work or not? I think the jury’s still out. Expect Dom at PG next game. It would be no more boneheaded than yanking a red-hot Dorell last night.

    I’m not a doctor, but should Curry be playing at all? The guy is clearly hurting. Jenkins is unprepared, Robinson demonstrates every game why Memphis paid him to leave, and Thompson is a better Dorell than Curry, so the temptation to play Curry must be huge. But I hope the Warriors have added a steady veteran guard to their Trade Deadline Wish List. They sure could use one.

  3. Feltbot,

    Got much respect for your opinions and after reading the two Debbie-downers Kawakami and Lauridsen, it’s definitely refreshing to get your perspective on things.

    However, your insistence on relating a high assist total for Monta as proof that he’s a point guard is absolutely off. He is unequivocally and without a doubt NOT a PG. There’s a HUGE difference between being a PG and making PG-type plays. Ask ANY basketball player that has played the PG position at an organized and high level and s/he will tell you that Monta does not possess the characteristics of a true PG. Sure, he’ll make occasional “point guard plays.” But think about how often the ball’s in his hands. On a night where shooters hit their outside shots on kick-outs or Lee/Udoh finish inside from his pass-offs, he’s bound to put up pretty high assist numbers.

    But I’ll never confuse him for someone that will orchestrate the offense, make intelligent decisions, look to get teammates involved, or any other characteristics a PG might have.

    That’s just not what he is…

    • A) Mentioning those two twits by name on this blog is like throwing dog-doo on the Mona Lisa. Please don’t.

      B) Cannot follow your logic on Monta. There are many styles of point guard, and Monta is running the offense very well. Different styles? How about Tony Parker for starters?

      In my book, Monta is a better PG than Curry. And as Felty as noted, he can defend, unlike Curry. I continue to believe the Warriors’ best trade bait is Curry for a really good center, and move KThompson into the starting 2-guard spot. The team has won the last two games essentially without Curry. What better proof is needed that he’s not needed?

      • My logic is not hard to understand. But I’ll repeat for you anyway: just because you can make PG-type plays on occasion does not make one a PG. If you want to call Monta a PG, go for it. I mean, there’s Deron, there’s Tony, there’s CP3, there’s D-Rose, Rondo… If you feel like you can bunch Monta with those group of PGs, more power to you. I certainly don’t…

        And really? You’re using a two-game sample set to throw out a general conclusion that Curry’s not needed?


      • …and please don’t tell me whom or whom not to mention on this blog. Seriously?

    • I have to disagree Feltbot is even more over a Debbie Downer. All he does is bitch about ownership and whine about Mark Jackson. Headlines like this are purely negative:

      The Mark Jackson Disaster
      Fire Mark Jackson
      Top-Down Incompetence

      Those are not positive. Those are from the bitterness and anger that Felty holds against the ownership for letting Don Nelson go.

  4. btw, people believe Monta’s a “poor” defender for one simple fact:


    Plain and simple…

    But I’ve never seen CP3 get taken out of his game by any player more than I did last night by Monta.

    I wish this was a staple of his game… again, that’s not who he is. And frustratingly, it should be.

    • Yes and who are three players who do and what are their supporting casts? How was CP3 defense last night. Why didnt he guard Monta instead of the other point?

    • Inconsistency does not make someone a poor defender. The point is, can they do it when they want to? Monta has shown he can defend Paul, Parker and Rose very well, and that’s why he guards them. When Monta is motivated, he really slows those guys down, and they’re among the best.

      On his best day, Curry is never assigned to guard guys like that because he can’t. He’s a defensive liability. He reaches, commits silly fouls and gets in early foul trouble. Why there isn’t more focus on Curry’s poor defense is a puzzlement. Monta and DLee get criticized for their defense, but Curry gets off the hook. Someone please explain this to me.

      • MWLX ++ – And I like Steph a lot, he could get us more for less… Nate R gets punked a lot by Fitz and Barnett for essentially the same passing errors…Eyes of the beholder I guess.

        • You’re right. Silly passes is another area where Curry gets off the hook while another player gets ridiculed. Why is this? Is it the little boy face that makes everyone hope for his success when he becomes a big boy? Well, it’s about time to get past that. This is his third season in the NBA. He turns 24 on Wednesday. When’s he gonna grow up?

          • Curry gets a pass from Barnett because he also makes great passes while Nate does not see the floor, and never makes great passes. Also, Nelson called Curry the best passer in the draft, right?

      • I’ll explain it to you easily: we ALL know Curry’s not physically capable of being a good defender. We don’t have expectations of him being a defender. Monta has all the physical tools to become a pretty dominant defensive player. So why isn’t he? As I said, he doesn’t bring it every night. And yes, inconsistency does make one a poor defender. I could care less if I see it a handful of games. Sure, I’ve seen him man up on Durant, Roy, CP3, et. al. The rest of the games? Less than 100% effort = poor defender.

    • Monta doesn’t need anyone to make excuses for him, but here’s one: this season he’s averaging 37 minutes per game. Against the Clippers he went 43 minutes. The stats I found aren’t complete, but it looks like an average of 37 would put him in the top 5 or 6 in the league among starters.

      As the PG and #1 option on offense, that’s a boatload of playing time. If he takes off a defensive possession once in a while, maybe that’s the reason.

  5. Major twitter chatter that Warriors involved in three team deal that sends Monta Ellis, Dorell Wright and Biedrins to Orlando. NOT for Dwight Howard.

    NOH the other team, and Chris Kaman involved.

  6. Another sample of Bob Fitzgerald bombast, from the Clips game, after the Clips got an offensive rebound-putback on a free throw:

    “That’s just….the Warriors have to know DeAndre Jordan’s gonna miss free throws. And you just… you’ve gotta box out on those. That can’t become a bucket! The offensive team will rebound a free throw only 10 percent of the time….” (Barnett comments, then brief play-by-play, then unwisely returning to the subject). “You play a quality team on the road, just little plays like that, yea, everybody looks at the last minute and a half of the 4th quarter, those two points count just the same as a game winning shot. It should never happen.”

    This rant, spoken in a whiny, sing-song, crybaby voice, and stating the obvious, went on for 44 seconds. Like fingernails on a chalk board. It seemed like an eternity of petulance and was surely a complete distraction from the game at hand.

    So much for the promise of Warriors management that they’re determined to give us entertainment. Many thousands of Comcast viewers have to suffer with the decidedly unentertaining pretentiousness of this fool, who can’t separate his talk-show-host bombast from his play-by-play. It’s becoming more intolerable by the game. Do we need to start a petition or something?

    • I’m glad you brought this up MWLX, I was at the point of doing it myself. I have literally found myself turning off the sound for long stretches because I find it absolutely excruciating to listen to Fitzgerald lecture and hector. I can’t believe that someone could work in the job so long, and never figure out that he’s not the coach, and not the color man. His job is not to try and educate us, because no one would ever believe that he knows what he’s talking about, even if he did, which he doesn’t. He is the play-by-play man. His job is to describe the action, and entertain us by cleverly setting up his color man.

      It is remarkable to me that he still has a job. Many fans find it impossible to listen to the homers on the other team’s broadcast. But what does it mean when you can’t stand to listen to the homer on your own team’s broadcast?

      Maybe it means you’re not an Authentic Fan? No wait, we already know that, because Authentic Fans buy tickets. I guess it means you’re Not a True Fan. In other words, a Blogger.

  7. I believe this rumor: The three teams are Warriors, Magic and Bucks. Monta to Magic, Bogut to Warriors. I’m guessing the deal will involve Jackson to Magic. But what else do the Bucks get?

    • The Warriors would be crazy to trade Monta to Orlando……for ANYONE. Howard will not play next season, under any coherent circumstances, for your Golden State Warriors. I’m not saying that Monta, or anyone else on this roster, should be viewed or treated as “untouchable”, but I’m damned sure not going to trade one of the better talents in the league for a rental who would wave sayonara to the Bay Area once the 4th qtr buzzer of game #66 sounded. And since I consider present management far more intelligent than past editions I’m not really sweating these latest rumors. We’ll find out one way or another soon enough.

  8. felt- nice write up – you have been way out front on Udoh – good call, and thanks for finally pointing out that the amnesty was the perfect way to cut loose Biedrins and overpay for Chandler. And Lacob whiffed – and he knew center was biggest need. The guy has no money to spend. Let’s face it – he is out of dry powder as VC’s like to say. You have to realize as Warriors owner that you are going to have to overpay to get a free agent quality player. The whole plan of VC’s when they invest in a company in the first round is to have money set aside for a second round. Lacob in his zeal to get the warriors must have forsaken this basic mo. I now believe that what took him so long to buy the warriors was raising all that capital. He did not have enough $ himself and needed alot of investors. So he does not have the $ to eat the Biedrins deal and go after Chandler. When people say Nelson ruined Biedrins – what a joke – he made Biedrins and then Biedrins lost it. And finally Nellie called him out as a last resort. An owner who would not amnesty a center who actually runs away from his shooting spots so he won’t get fouled????

    • Don Nelson made Biedrins alright just like Al Gore invented the internet. All Nelson did was hide the fact that Biedrins was always absolute garbage than Nelson suckered the Warriors into giving him $66 million.

  9. Van Gundy and Wilbon on changing the NBA game.

  10. “Critics justifiably harp on Lee’s defense and his contract, both of which have placed limits on the ceiling of this Warriors roster. But Lee gets better offensively every season, and he has morphed this season into a deadly one-on-one player from the left block. He is both isolating off the dribble and posting up more often this season than last, per Synergy Sports, and he ranks among the league’s top 50 players in points per possession on both play types. Lee has long been a good jump-shooter, but he’s worked hard on his dribble attacks and developed a nifty right-handed hook shot.

    His flaws are real, but Lee would look much better if Golden State could land a solid defense-first center. Can Ekpe Udoh do the job?”

    Zach Lowe: The Point Forward

  11. “The Enigma that is JaVale McGee”

    This guy doesn’t have a low BBIQ, he has a low CMIQ (Cerebral Matter). If the Warriors go after this stiff I say bring back Dave Twardzik for GM.

    (Can anyone believe this guy has a job in the NBA? And with the Magic?? As Assistant GM??? Otis Smith and Twardzik teaming up on NBA trades???? Wow! If you can’t get the better of the Magic in trades just keep walking and don’t look back. LOL)

  12. I don’t know about that Ellis/Bogut trade. It couldn’t be a one-shot deal, it would have to be followed up with acquiring a couple of good guards. And it leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

    Monta Ellis last year, this year:
    80, 37 games played
    40.3, 37 minutes pg
    24.1, 21.9 points pg
    5.6, 6 assists pg
    4.3, 4.1 free throws pg

    Andrew Bogut last year, this year:
    65,12 games played
    35.3, 30.3 minutes pg
    12.8, 11.3 points pg
    2.0, 2.6 assists pg
    1.5,1.2 free throws pg

    The dubs definitely need a rebounder/paint defender or two, but just going by the offensive numbers they’d have to get two Boguts just to replace Monta’s minutes and points.

    What about the intangibles? Is Bogut a go-to guy? Does he take the buzzer-beater shot? Without Monta, who does?

    Who steps into Monta’s starting 2 spot, Thompson? Does Thompson handle Monta’s defensive assignments? Assuming Curry has the same amount of down time next year (unfortunately, it’s more likely than not), who fills in for Curry at point?

    Ellis plays the most minutes of any guard in the league. Would the Warriors need to add one more high-quality veteran guard, or two? A replacement guard (or two) isn’t mentioned in the trade rumors. When and how would the Warriors fill that need?

    What about backups for Bogut?

    Bottom line, would trading Ellis for Bogut make the Warriors better? Or would it simply make them weak in a different way?

  13. From this AM’s NY Post and Peter Vecsey:

    “Moving right along, the team most likely to trade a quality center — Andrew Bogut — is Milwaukee. Golden State, say sources, is making every effort to be first on the receiving line.

    The Bucks are frustrated with Bogut’s inveterate injuries that take many months (a fractured left ankle Jan. 25 won’t permit him to play until mid-April) to rehabilitate.

    The Warriors are drooling to get him (despite his two-year, $27 million obligation) because it’s obvious they can’t become a playoff team unless the cavity in their middle is manned by someone with size, scoring ability and shot blocking skills.

    The big IF is Stephen Curry. That’s who is being offered. Last week, it looked like the two-for-one deal (Robin Lopez would have been obtained from Phoenix and rerouted to Milwaukee) was almost 100 percent approved by both sides. Subsequently, Curry’s surgically repaired (last summer) ankle sometimes forces him to pull up in pain when he makes a sharp cut. It doesn’t seem to be a grave problem, but it’s serious enough to make him take a seat and serious enough for the Bucks to take pause.”

  14. Evans’s performance for the Clips the other night was quite impressive, and I’m wondering if the Warriors could do something similar, not gut the team for a center but find a similar player — physical, aggressive, with some skills, but not center height — who won’t command franchise salary. Jordan, on the other hand, was quite unimpressive: -19 for the night.

    That game does represent Warrior possibilities and potential. Build on it.

    But just think: If we trade for Bogut, we’ll have some 21 feet of center sitting on the bench (Biedrins, Kwame, and Bogut). Surely that would be a record.

    Incidentally, you can see the McGuire/Griffin brush on the highlight clip Steve put up on the last post. If I wanted to deck a player but make it appear to be an accident, that’s exactly how I would have done it.

    I’m going to quibble, FB. I like Udoh starting. It’s allowed him to develop his offense and also gets the team off to a good start. The numbers seem to back this up. (When you have to argue about what to do with Biedrins you know you’re on shaky ground already.)

    • My point is only what to do with Biedrins in games in which you must play him. If you MUST play him, when is the most efficient time to do it?

      Udoh is very good against first units, completely dominant against second units. I think he’d be developing his offense just fine either way. It’s always been a simple question of what the coach has allowed him to do.

      This, by the way, is the model that OKC is following with Kendrick Perkins — who I believe is a worse player than Biedrins’ corpse — and Serge Ibaka. (And the pre-Pekovic TWolves with Darko and Love.) It simply makes sense. Jackson is doing it ass-backwards.

      On the other hand, I agree 100% with you about Reggie Evans. You only have to look at the Warriors’ performance with Lee/Udoh at center and Dom at the four to know that simply having signed a great rebounding four like Kris Humphries ($7m), or a spread four like Tolliver or Novak($Peanuts), or both, would have been a GREAT option for the Warriors.

      But our Owner/GM simply doesn’t understand the idea of Lee/Udoh at center. And doesn’t know what a spread four is.

  15. Here is a trade that works for both teams

    Warriors get

    World Peace



    • The Lakers would never make that trade. Ellis plays the same position as Kobe you idiot.

      • Sorry, you are the idiot. Monta goes in for Fisher, not Kobe. Udoh goes in for Pau and the Lakers can now

        As for the “Monta is a point guard” let’s look at his lines since the All Star break (leaving out memphis and indiana because the whole team was garbage).

        Clippers 21 points, 11 assists (CP3)
        Dallas 20 and 8 (Terry)
        Wizards 25 and 8 (Wall)
        Toronto 20 and 7
        Philly 20 and 7
        Hawks 24 and 8

        That looks like a point guard to me

        • Monta is not a pg and the Lakers do NOT want Monta

          • The Lakers should want Monta. It would alleviate the scoring load from Kobe and give the Lakers a GREAT second option. Monta playing Robin to Kobe’s Batman is a great solution. With Bynum at center, this is an exciting team.

            Plus the Lakers have a huge trade exception from the Lamar Odom deal and two 2012 first round draft picks to deal with, according to ESPN.

  16. “An all-star. A superstar. A winner.”

    ZERO All Star appearances and 1 Playoff appearance. I don’t think your description of Monta was very accurate.

    • It won’t happen, but if you’re an Ellis fan, teaming him with Howard at Orlando might prove to be a spectacular combination–and a good reward for Ellis for all his years going nowhere.

  17. I’m not optimistic about the rest of the schedule, largely because of all those games bunched together and the strain it will put on Ellis, Lee, and Udoh, who will have to play more minutes than they should and carry heavy loads (sit Curry down and I don’t want to see Udoh broken). And the overall season has been marred by exaggerated expectations, especially from the FO, but most from lack a coherent plan for the team, which still seems to be up in the air. The team (or Lacob) still debates its identity, still wants to change its roster in drastic and improbable ways.

    But while we have seen some baffling game plans and miserable losses, we have also seen many fine wins and well coached games, helped by a developing bench. You don’t have to jiggle much to get the team at 500, which would have been an accomplishment at this stage. Factor in Curry’s injury, Jackson’s learning curve (I’m going to be optimistic here), the time it has taken to develop Udoh, McGuire, Rush, and, yes, Thomson (since this couldn’t happen preseason), and the argument could be made that they have developed nicely, in spite of all.

    Is the glass half empty or half full? How much better would the team be at this stage with a month more together, a coherent plan that fits their talents, and one or two more good pieces?

    • rgg, this is exactly how we feel every year…the Warriors don’t make the playoffs, but it appears toward the end of every season that there are some pieces falling into place that will make us contenders in the near future. Unfortunately everything always goes wrong and expectations are flushed down the toilet about 15 games into every season. That being said, if you added Tyson Chandler to this team, it probably makes the playoffs.

      The glass has to be half-empty because the coach seems to be a traditionalist who does not understand how to coach the players he has, while the front office has a blueprint that is two star players (A dominant center and healthy, distributing point guard) from actually competing. I don’t know how we can have a half-full approach if there is such a big disconnect between what the front office and coach want and what they actually have. Outside of turning Ellis and Beidriens into Howard and Rondo, the team is likely going nowhere because of Jackson’s inability to game plan for his players strengths.

      • What always happens is what just happened, peteb24. We make bad trades (Bogut for Ellis). A team that was showing signs of cohesion has just been torn part again.

        Crap-po-la. Among other things, the rest of this season is going to be a wash. Who the hell is going to run the squad? Please, not a limping Curry.

  18. yahoo reports monta ellis trades cannot believe the deal

  19. Monta Ellis and Udoh for Bogut and Stephen Jackson

  20. Feltie can you start up a Bucks blog?

  21. Sad to see Monta go, but realistically you have to say he may be better off elsewhere at his point in his career (although, maybe not in Milwaukee). And losing Udoh could really haunt the Warriors but when healthy Bogut is all-star calibre and has #1 pick pedigree. Plus, he’s Australian!

    I would really liked to have seen Beans rather than Kwame included but I would suggest the Bucks would not have been as keen on that tweak.

    So taking positives from the deal:
    – Steph gets shut down and gets healthy.
    – Bogut takes the year off
    – Klay gets minutes to develop
    – Jenkins gets minutes to develop (hopefully into a serviceable backup PG)
    – Warriors (conveniently) lose enough to keep their pick

    Next year, starts with Curry/Klay/DWright/Lee/Bogut. If you are a fan of high basketball IQ you have to be bullish about the prospects of that starting 5.

    • @Berko – What? No Captain Jack in that starting lineup? LOL!

      I would have liked the deal more if only the W’s could have kept Ekpe Udoh – losing him as a backup hurts! Years from now, I’m going to forget Kwame even suited up as a Warrior…

      Roughly $46,852,847 committed for next season on 8 players.

      Curry $3,958,742
      Thompson $2,222,160
      D. Wright $4,106,000
      S. Jackson $10,059,750
      Lee $12,744,000
      Bogut $13,000,000
      Biedrins $9,000,000
      Tyler $762,195

      • Exactly +1 If the players were not enough, Lacob has no cap space for free agents this summer, ie, Dubs gave 8$ million in cap space to Milwaukee

        • It’s the high cost of doing business. Bogut, healthy, is a dominant defensive center – Hollinger – names Bogut a top 5 defensive player in the NBA – and he rebounds, scores a little, block shots, and passes well. And he’s 7-feet! 265 pounds!

          • When is he gonna play? I can see him now in Lacob’s promo commericals for 2013, only to see him score 15 Opening Night and popping his left achilles, Oh NO!

  22. [stunned silence]

    It’s a good thing I’m stuck in a poker game right now. I will be offline the next few days considering my response.

    • You will need lots of time to explain the problem with the Warriors looking so good with Monta Ellis gone.

    • Good idea. This trade will require some time to analyze. My first reaction was to feel sick to my stomach. I’m trying to get some distance to see if there’s any redeeming value, but having both a center and a point guard with weak ankles is not reassuring.

      And let’s not go overboard about the win over Sacto. Just look at how well the Knicks did for awhile with their backups. I think they even came up with some kind of slogan for the success. But no longer.

      • Funny thing about the NY Knicks. They DID NOT start losing until Carmelo Anthony returned. Carmelo destroyed the TEAM chemistry and energy they played with.

  23. The team has just hit (another) iceberg. This trade is horrible and beyond explanation. Did Lacob watch Udoh play?

  24. Summary of Feltbots response: The Warriors are idiots and I told you so.

    MY RESPONSE: There is a reason Monta Elllis has never been chosen an All Star. He is not as good as Feltbot thinks. The Western Conference coaches who play against and sorry to break this to you know a lot more about basketball than you do not think that he is an All Star. How many games did Monta Ellis blow this season in the final seconds? Too many to name. Bring on Bogut and draft Anthony Davis.

  25. You guys are nuts. This is a terrific trade. Perhaps the best trade in Warriors’ history. We now have a top ten pg who brings tremendous offense to the team and a top ten center who brings strong defense and rebounding as well as very serviceable offense and passing. Top ten players at the two most important positions. Great great move.

    • Too bad they will be dong it from the Sisters of Mercy Medical Clinic…

    • The experts seem to agree that Bogus is a top ten center when he’s healthy.

      But I’m scratching my head to figure why you think Curry is a top ten PG. Assists? No. Assist-to-turnover ratio? No. Speed and quickness? No. Very good defender? No. Points? What does scoring have to do with being a good PG? Enlightenment, please.

  26. The key to all this is we get Stack Jack back! YES!!

    Seriously, like all trades, the final grades on this one won’t be out for some time. If the Warriors turn into one of the better teams in the West in the coming years then this move will ultimately be lauded. If the Warriors stature as a perennial lottery team continues then so will the negativity.

    What I don’t like:

    No more Monta. Maybe not a GREAT player but unquestionably was a GREAT player to watch play the game. His physical stats belied his toughness. Pound for pound Monta is as tough as anyone in the NBA. From a fan’s perspective he will be sorely missed.

    After being initially disappointed in Udoh his growth as an all around player was just starting to impress. If he can ever develop into a more proficient rebounder his draft position would be ultimately justified, albeit to the satisfaction of another team.

    What I like:

    The thought of the Warriors actually having a very good big man in the middle is quite nice. Also, the thought of Bogut and Lee playing together gets the excitement meter hopping.

    Klay Thompson now starts playing much more. This kid is going to be very good and getting more significant minutes the rest of this season will only expedite his development.

    Charles Jenkins now also gets increased minutes. I like the little I’ve seen of Jenkins and look forward to watching him play more.

    In summary, you have to give to get. To replace a very good “small” with a very good “big” is something most NBA followers would give a big thumbs up to. Breaking your ankle doesn’t make you “injury prone”. Most of Bogut’s injuries have been of that nature, not the kind that would be associated with conditioning or frail physique.

    If Bogut had not been injured this season would the Bucks have ever made this trade? IMO, absolutely not. From my standpoint, if Bogut, given his all around ability and age (27), remains relatively injury-free for the rest of his career, he will be a tremendous asset for this team in the long run.

    Monta was a volume scorer which meant he usually took a lot of shots and had the ball in his hands a great deal of the time. Without Monta the ball will now be distributed much differently and more equally, not really such a bad thing. Tonight, they hit the 100 pt mark with almost half the 4th qtr remaining.

    As I’ve continually maintained throughout, this new regime is a work-in-progress that can not and will not be accurately evaluated for a number of years. Ditto the coaching staff. I remain very positive going forward and if their win in Sac is any indication of what’s ahead the Oracle will definitely be a good time out in the future.

    • Thank You Kirk Lacob, Kudos on the deal!

      • Wait a minute, I thought “TheTruth” was Kirk Lacob? LOL

        Just in case you’re intimating that I’m Kirk Lacob incognito I can assure you that KLacob was against this trade, so, in other words, I’m not he, er, him. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to the phones. Trade deadline is closing fast and more deals to be made.

    • “No more Monta.”

      Couldn’t agree more. What a fun player to watch. Yes, he wasn’t perfect, he wasn’t an all-star, he took a lot of shots. Actually, I just put that in for you Ellis haters. I loved having him on the team, watching him play, and seeing him develop every year. He was a hair below an all-star and I’ll miss him. I predict that for some of you haters, absence will make the heart grow fonder when you finally realize what we’re losing.

      “…if Bogut…remains relatively injury free…”

      I’m pessimistic when you consider he’s 7 feet 270. Look at the foot-ankle injuries suffered by other 7 footers who carry that much weight: Andrew Bynum, Brook Lopez, Yao Ming and Greg Oden, to name just four. When all that weight hits the floor, it’s a broken bone waiting to happen.

      • “I’m pessimistic when you consider he’s 7 feet 270. Look at the foot-ankle injuries suffered by other 7 footers who carry that much weight.”

        Ring this up next year, MWLX, when the occasion warrants. And our backup center will be. . . .

  27. Sacramento:

    Go figure.

  28. Feltbot is shocked and dismayed the Warriors will win without Don Nelson and Monta Ellis with Lacob as owner. This is not good for Feltbot.

  29. David Aldridge: Trade was done tonight instead of tomorrow/Thursday in order to give GS some time to redirect Jackson if they find something suitable.. Twitter

    Marcus Thompson: Warriors could still trade Stephen Jackson, team sources said. Fielding offers for him. Could use to get a big Twitter

    Rusty Simmons: Warriors sources say the team hasn’t decided what to do with Stephen Jackson. They like his talent, but they’re also fielding trade offers. Twitter

    • Rusty Simmons: Warriors owner Joe Lacob can’t address the Ellis-Bogut trade until it’s official, but he’s ecstatic in the Sacto media workroom right now. Twitter

      Gery Woelfel: Rockets had offered Scola, Dalembert and No. 1 pick plus other considerations for Bogut and Jackson. Twitter

  30. Sactown determined not to let the dubs out-tank them! But listening post game there doesnt seem to be any way that the preacher is considering tanking for that pick.

    I usually lean towards the Feltbot assesment of our coach but you have to admire the way he rallied the troops in this one. Xs and Os is only one part of the coaching equation and I must give credit where credit is due.

    And whilst a single swallow does not a summer make – it looked to me that the Warriors had enough talent out there to remain competitive. With a pretty soft schedule coming up, and Steph to return (maybe?) it is conceivable to be 0.500 (23-23) after hosting Sacramento at Oracle Mar 24. From there…. who knows? (I remain defiantly positive.)

  31. Meanwhile in New York:

    “When Anthony first returned — and it still appears to be the case — Lin would bring the ball up court and try to run D’Antoni’s system. When Anthony would abandon the offense, Lin would not pass him the ball, which irritated Anthony, sources said. So when Lin tried to talk to Anthony on the court, Anthony would turn his back to the point guard and tune him out. The two never had heated exchanges, though, and the players tried to come to a compromise, agreeing to run D’Antoni’s system while also mixing in post-ups for Anthony.”

    But D’Antoni is taking the heat now.

  32. The first concerns, obviously, are if the Bogut acquisition means a commitment to half court sets, where Curry does not excel, as well as a retreat from a running game, where he does excel.

    Does SJax have an option for another year next season?

    • “The deal was done after the Warriors agreed to take Jackson, the veteran guard who had fallen out of favor with Bucks Coach Scott Skiles. Jackson has one year and $10 million remaining on his deal and wanted to be moved to a contending team.”

  33. Bruce Jenkins, as always, the leader in the clubhouse when it comes to his specialty (act of exaggerating or overstating), on the Warriors trade.

  34. This kind of injury has nothing to do with being “injury prone”. It has everything to do with being pushed in the small of the back by Stoudemire when airborne.

  35. Curry after the game.

  36. And finally, an update from

    Update: Early Wednesday morning, the two teams sent press releases announcing the 5-player trade was official.

    The deal’s centerpieces — Ellis and Bogut — have both been in trade rumors regularly over the past few year. Jackson, too, has reportedly been at odds with Bucks coach Scott Skiles since coming to Milwaukee in a 2011 draft day trade.

    Golden State has long faced the question of whether pairing Ellis and point guard Stephen Curry in the backcourt was a reality that could maximize the effectiveness of both players. They’ve also been on a long quest for a quality center, a journey that took them to chase Nene Hilario, Tyson Chandler and DeAndre Jordan in free agency, only to strike out on all counts. The biggest issue with Bogut, of course, is that he’s not currently healthy. In fact, it’s not clear whether he will be able to play at all this season. The good news for the Warriors: he’s under contract through 2013-2014, so they will get at least two years out of him.

    Taking back Jackson and his baggage is a calculated but significant risk. His contract runs through 2012-2013 and he’s already made noise about wanting an extension. He enjoyed some of his best years as a pro in Golden State but he has the potential to be a distraction everywhere he goes. On the upside, he can provide some raw scoring and shot-creation that Golden State will lose with Ellis’ departure.

    Milwaukee pairs Ellis with starting point guard Brandon Jennings in what will become one of the most exciting backcourt combinations in the league. How effective will it be? That’s anyone’s guess. Kwame Brown is out for the season due to injury so he’s included simply to match salaries. Ekpe Udoh shows promise as a shot-blocker and is a bit of a darling for the advanced stats community, but has so far failed to deliver on his 2010 lottery expectations.

    From a salary standpoint, Brown is on an expiring $6.75 million salary, Udoh is still on his rookie deal, and Ellis will be paid $11 million this year and $11 million next year, with an early termination option following that season. Bogut will make $12 million this season, $13 million next season and $14 million in 2013-2014. Jackson is making $9.2 million this year and $10.1 million next year.

    An important footnote: notes that the Warriors’ 2012 first round pick is top-7 protected. In other words, if Golden State finishes with one of the league’s seven worst records they will keep the pick, otherwise it is transferred to the Utah Jazz. The Warriors will need to drop multiple spots in the league standings to hit that benchmark; Trading Ellis and waiting on Bogut certainly increases the chances that could happen. The 2012 Draft class, of course, is considered one of the deepest in recent years.

    Both sides part with old problems and acquire new problems. It’s understandable that both Milwaukee and Golden State would be tired of the same old routine. The Bucks, in dealing with a seemingly endless string of injuries from Bogut. The Warriors, in having made the playoffs just once in the last 18 seasons. This amounts to a major chemistry shakeup from two teams either on the fringe or just outside the playoff picture in their respective conferences. For Milwaukee, Ellis represents an instant infusion of talent; For Golden State, waiting on Bogut will be an exercise in delayed gratification.

    Over and out…….at least for a few hours. :)

  37. As a huge Monta fan, I don’t like the trade. As a logical thinker, I don’t understand why “TheTruth” reads Feltbot’s blog.

  38. Keith Smart says his team wasn’t ready to play. Have fun up in Sactown, Coach.

  39. Freeman/Yahoo

    “The serious commitment to winning that Lacob promised is now gone. With little flexibility under the cap, their long-term plan can only be to stick with the current roster and hope they get lucky. There’s new logic behind the decisions, but the lack of perspective is all too familiar.”;_ylt=AnxzZrXmMwsydyUhMdrhWcG8vLYF

  40. @50:

    “Golden State has long faced the question of whether pairing Ellis and point guard Stephen Curry in the backcourt was a reality that could maximize the effectiveness of both players.”

    The experiment has not been put to a serious test. Smart didn’t exploit their possibilities and this year it has been hampered by Curry’s injuries. They haven’t consistently had an offense that will exploit and explore their potential, nor have they had a full, competent front court that might compensate for their possible defensive weakness against some teams.

    Yet still they have had phenomenal games together, phenomenal wins.

    Lacob has let a narrow preconception guide all his decisions and hasn’t taken seriously the potential the team has. This is blindness, and I fear the team will pay the price.

    The two provide another benefit: if one ever goes down, the team is still in good hands–and the possibility of lingering injury to Curry makes Ellis all the more essential.

    Remember how, in the TMC days, everyone said the team had too many guards? Then they traded them. Then for years they didn’t have any.

  41. From Steve’s link @53:

    “The most painful price of doing business, in terms of on-court talent, may well be Udoh. He’s at least two inches shorter than Bogut and thus not a “true center,” but the Warriors have played top-10-level defense with him on the floor in each of the last two seasons, per Basketball Value.”

    And here’s the Value chart. Look at Udoh’s numbers (stat freaks only):

  42. I’m getting a strong Stephen Jackson for Big Baby tingle. Do the numbers work?

    Then the Magic do the Jason Richardson for Michael Beasley thing.

    • Feltson,

      With Wright and Rush doing well at SF, an SJax trade for Baby makes a lot of sense. He could be a nice addition, especially if the dubs manage to shed Biedrins.

      Do you get any tingles about the Warriors getting help at guard? 40 min./game of Monta is going to be missed.

  43. MWLX: Curry combines great shooting with excellent court vision, unselfish play, and Bball IQ. He is still developing as a pg, but he already was a top ten pg before he was hurt. Before Curry was hurt last season, who were the better pgs in the League? CP, DRose, DWill, Westbrook? (not to me; Westbrook is a great 1-on-1 scorer, but selfish and not a good passer–not what I want in a pg), SNash? (on the decline), TParker? (maybe), Rondo? (To some, but not to me, and the Celtics just wanted to trade Rondo for Curry and the Warriors nixed it)? That’s 7 pgs (some of whom are only arguably) better than a healthy Curry. Not Jennings, not Lin, not Jrue, not Lawson, not Collison, not Fisher, not TEvans or IThomas, or Calderon, or whomever the Magic and Heat are throwing out there this week. You could argue that Rubio is better this year but now his future is uncertain (and Rubio can’t shoot, so it is arguable who is better).

    A healthy Curry clearly is in the top ten pgs in the League, and should develop into a top 5 pg next year now that: (1) Ellis is gone and the ball will be in Curry’s hands more and this will be his team to run, and (2) he has a legitimate low-post offensive threat instead of Biedrins to complete his assists for baskets.

  44. I forgot Lowry and Kidd. The current Kidd and Lowry are nice players but no one in his right mind would trade Curry for either of them at this time.

  45. How much money has Lacob thrown at his coveted big center?

    Biedrins (by not amnestying him): 3 years x $7-9 million.
    Kwame: 1 year x $7 million
    Bogut: 2 or 3 years x $12 million or so?

    Couldn’t he have found something better to do with all that money?

  46. GM Larry Riley answers some questions this afternoon:

    — On KNBR (about 13 mins):

    — On 95.7 FM The Game (about 15 mins):

  47. I don’t even care to see how Bogut performs when he comes back. We could have kept Monta and Ekpe had the front office done what was so obviously right; ditch Biedrins and go hard for any of the solid centers that were available in free agency (Nene, Tyson Chandler, Samuel Dalembert, DeAndre Jordan).

    Perhaps it’s just post-trade anger, but man I loved watching Monta. Any draft pick (assuming management is smart enough to shut down Steph Curry to retain it) worse than Perry Jones III, and I’ll be fully convinced my Dubs are ran by the worst executives in league history.

    If you ARE gunna trade Monta, atleast get some youngsters that haven’t reached their full potential. Warriors fans are like ancient monks when it comes to patience. I thought surely the Dubs could’ve gotten a good haul from the Wizards. JaVale McGee seems like exactly what the doctor ordered, then throw in a draft pick or Jan Vesely (sucking at the same time Trevor Booker is rocking), and that Andray Blatche contract they so badly want to get rid of.


    I don’t wanna hear that “JaVale McGee is stupid” nonsense. He’s a young, freak-athlete that loves defense. It’s not just a coincidence that nobody in that organization can remain engaged when all they do is lose.

    But yeah, I’m with you rgg, I’ve been in better moods.

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