Tank Thread Number Two

Brandon Rush: We’ve been hearing a lot lately — from people on his payroll, like Larry Riley, Rick Barry and Andrew Bogut — that Joe Lacob has been spending money, and is willing to spend money, to win.

I say: Really?                          

I say: Show me the money. Where is it? Has Lacob ever signed a veteran to a multi-year contract? Ever gone over the cap? Ever ponied up for a veteran coach? (Mark Jackson: 3 years, $6 million; Rick Adelman: 5 years, $25 million.) Ever amnestied a chronically injured and completely washed up player?

Show me one bit of evidence that Joe Lacob is willing to spend money to win. One scrap.

Next year will be the test. Joe Lacob got his big deal. Remade the team in his image. Ramped up his PR: “The transformative deal that changes everything.” Let’s see if that finally makes him ready to open his wallet in support of his Warriors team. I have created a  checklist for Joe Lacob, that if he completes it, will cause me to open my ears to the message of his paid minions. It’s a very simple checklist, containing a mere two items:

  1. Buyout Andris Biedrins, and his not-quite-completely-covered-up chronic case of Osteitis Pubis.
  2. Re-sign Brandon Rush.

Brandon Rush is quite possibly the most undervalued player in the NBA. He’s a bench player, who could be a starter for half of the teams in the league. More than half. He’s a two-way player. A guy who on offense can stick with the league leaders in three-point percentage, as well as take it to the rim and finish with authority. A guy who can drop a 9-15 on Kobe Bryant, Matt Barnes, MWP and the Lakers front line. While making you believe he could do it every night.

A guy who plays some of the most ferocious wing defense in the league. Takes the toughest player. Forces him into bad shots. Blocks shots at the rim. And rebounds in traffic like a forward.

Rush has a court presence like few other guards in the league. A Paul Pierce-like presence. At 6-6″ 210, he can get his shot off in the playoffs. And he can guard anyone. He is as potentially valuable to the Warriors as Tony Allen is to the Grizzlies. James Harden is to the Thunder. Or Stephen Jackson was to that World Championship Spurs team.

I have a feeling that the Warriors brass think that Richard Jefferson can take over for Rush. That there’s not enough room on their payroll for both of them. That would be a big mistake. Brandon Rush needs to be in a Warriors uniform next season.

He’s a restricted free-agent this summer. Lets see if the Warriors match.

Let’s see if the moths start flying out of Joe Lacob’s wallet.

Charles Jenkins:  I hope you like Jenkins, because he will be the Warriors backup point guard next year. If the last two years have proven anything about Joe Lacob, it’s that he doesn’t believe in spending money on backup point guards. And backup point guards don’t come any cheaper than 2nd round pick Charles Jenkins.

Having said that, I really like this kid. In a walk it up, set up the half court offense, make the wing entry pass, head to the fridge for a Fat Tire, return to the couch, watch him swish the return pass, kind of way.

He’s the anti-Nate Robinson.

Klay Thompson:  Mike Brown made quite a clever move in this game: Using his small forwards MWP and Matt Barnes to guard Thompson, and putting Kobe on Dorell Wright. Until Mark Jackson got his small unit on the floor, Thompson was really bothered by this. He couldn’t drive into the Lakers’ trees, and couldn’t  comfortably shoot over the length of the Lakers’ small forwards.

And, of course, Dorell Wright was completely incapable of punishing Kobe for this switch in the low post. Or any other shooting guard for that matter.

This could be a blueprint for Warriors’ opponents going forward.

Thompson never got his shot going in the Lakers game, but did do a great job creating for others. He has a ton of composure for a rookie.

He has asserted himself twice against inferior opponents since the trade. Can he do it against the tough defenses of the contenders? In fourth quarters? It will get a lot easier if and when Curry returns.

On defense, Jackson did his best to hide Thompson with zones and Steve Blake. Just keeping it real.

Jeremy Tyler v. Mickell Gladness: Age, Size, Athleticism, Vertical Leap, Contract Amount. Tyler has Gladness out-classed in every key metric. Except the most important:

IQ.

Mark Jackson: In the days since the trade, it has begun to occur to me that I may owe Mark Jackson an apology for calling for his head while he was starting Dom McGuire at shooting guard, and holding the Warriors to fewer than 5 fast-break points and 85 total points a game.

No, not because that made any sort of sense. It didn’t, and still doesn’t. It’s because it probably wasn’t in Mark Jackson’s control.

Does it make any sort of sense to you that Klay Thompson was immediately worthy of starting at shooting guard once Monta was traded, but he wasn’t worthy of starting in the games immediately preceding the trade, when Curry was out and Monta was playing the point and the Warriors were theoretically competing for a playoff spot?

No, it doesn’t make sense to me either. And it got me thinking. Ekpe Udoh starting at center, Andris Biedrins to the second unit. Monta Ellis at the point, and the only offensive player in the backcourt.

The Warriors were showcasing.

And tanking, of course. Sorry, coach.

Red Card:  Did anyone else happen to notice that play where Ron Artest fell out of bounds under the basket on top of — I think it was Jefferson — and then held him down with a hand in the chest until after the play was over?

I did the same thing once when playing high school soccer (which may help explain my spiritual affinity for players like Artest and Stephen Jackson). And I got a red card for it.  No yellow — straight to the red. I was pretty ticked off, because it was still early in the first half of a road game, and it was a two hour bus trip between opponents in rural Ohio.

Of course, Artest didn’t get a red card. He didn’t even get a foul, although the official was looking right at him, and he was on the road.

Because the Lakers never have a road game.

WTF:  Did anyone else notice that at the end of the game, when the camera was following Kobe Bryant off the court (because the Lakers never have a road game), it caught Kobe and Violet Palmer exchanging a low five? Check the tape.

wtf. I demand an investigation.

Spring Break:  I’m heading to Vegas and my fantasy baseball draft, and then points South for the next couple of weeks, so I won’t be able to watch the next several Warriors games. I will try to  check in on the comments section, though, to see what’s what.

Hasta la vista. And let’s go Warriors! Kings!

283 Responses to Tank Thread Number Two

  1. Warriorsablaze

    I think it’s pretty unlikely that Biedrins goes in a straight buyout… we’ll see…it’s a pretty big contract to just eat… kind of far beyond the normal idea of an owner “willing to spend money.” Are there any other examples of teams buying out a 2 year, 18 million dollar contract? I’d be surprised.

    I’m really hoping that they can find a way to move Dorell and Jefferson in the offseason to create space for Rush and Dom. Even with his limitations, Dom’s defense, aggressiveness, and surprising ability to be a ball handler and facilitator would be good to have next season.

    • Brandon Roy – Trailblazers
      Baron Davis – Cavaliers
      Travis Outlaw – Nets
      Gilbert Arenas – Magic

      Luke Walton – Lakers ($12 mil)

  2. “I say: Show me the money. Where is it? Has Lacob ever signed a veteran to a multi-year contract? Ever gone over the cap? Ever ponied up for a veteran coach? (Mark Jackson: 3 years, $6 million; Rick Adelman: 5 years, $25 million.) Ever amnestied a chronically injured and completely washed up player?”

    Ever been “calling the shots” as an NBA owner for more than 2 years?

    • What’s your point, Steve? Felt says Now would be a good time to invest in making the Ws competitive. Do you disagree?

      FWIW, the Warriors’ co-chief just committed to investing in the Dodgers:

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/15/us-dodgers-sale-guber-idUSBRE82E01S20120315

      • The point should be obvious, even if you’re Ray Charles. Felt’s assembly line of “ever this or ever that?” would be a perfect fit for the Donald Sterling’s of pro sports owners who over and over have “penny-pinched” their way through their ownership careers, but in no way, shape, or form a fit for an embryonic ownership group that’s been “owning” for now a grand total of 130 games.

        This blog should be rated X with all the moaning and goaning sounds emanating daily. I’ve never read so many “fast lane junkies” who want results and they want them yesterday. There isn’t anyone here, in all likelihood, who’s been a fan of the Golden State Warriors longer than I have. I was in those Cow Palace seats back in 1975 rooting them on to their only Bay Area NBA championship, so if anyone should be impatient given the results of the last 36 years I would think my seat would be front and center.

        Instead I’m more than pleased with the transformation that’s taking place, both on and off the court, and am 100% confident that eventually (no, not tomorrow, or next week, or next month) the Warriors will become one of the best teams and organizations in the NBA. Eventually. Under Joe Lacob and his partners. In this decade. And they will accomplish all these things by spending more than enough money, drafting wisely (I’d say Thompson and Jenkins are a good start), and throwing in some pretty good trades (Brandon Rush, anyone?) along the way.

        And why should I be so optimistic when 36 long years should have jaded my feelings long ago? For cripes sake, open your eyes and ears. Ask Jim Barnett what he thinks of Mark Jackson and what does he say? Listen to Richard Jefferson and his thoughts of his new team and coach. Same with Bogut. Why does Dominic McGuire say he wants to come back next year? And Dorell Wright, likewise?

        Do you see anyone “dogging it” or doing anything other than busting their butts in games? No, and the reason is because these players respect and enjoy playing for Mark Jackson. It’s also because they see how good this team could be next season and they want to be a part of that.

        Now would be a good time to invest in making the Ws competitive? Competitive?? Were the Warriors “competitive” last night against the Lakers? Have they been, with a few exceptions, “competitive” ALL season long? The hell with “competitive”, this team is 2 healthy bodies (Curry, Bogut) from being a lot more than “competitive” next season.

        Then again, maybe that’s just my blind optimism shining through once again. Talk about Ray Charles. And after 36 long years. Go figure. LOL

        • Steve, thanks for the clarification, but you can leave off the Ray Charles references.

          Part of Jim Barnett’s job is to promote the Warriors. He has nothing at all negative to say about anyone or anything in the organization, including Jackson. If his true feelings came out at all this season, I think it was in the form of game-time questions like “Where’s the running game?”

          Just as with Barnett, the game pro players play includes sounding upbeat in front of a mic. No one wants the reputation of a whiner, it’s bad for business. For just one example, when Monta finally learned that fact, it became possible to trade him for reasonable value. The nicynice nothings players share with the press are sound bytes. Promotional material. Media product, sold by the slice. The sounds may accurately reflect players’ feelings or not. You don’t find truth and meaning in it, do you?

          I’m not an expert, but I think the Warriors can’t trade Rush unless they sign him. To sign all their draftees plus Rush means they would have to go over the salary cap, then go even further over the cap to fill their roster to the league minimum 13 players. If they sign Rush, they are committed to spending that contracted amount on somebody or somebodies – they are committed to exceeding the salary cap.

          No one is saying the ownership group won’t exceed the cap, but they have stated repeatedly that they are very averse to doing so, and they’ve stayed below it so far. They also chose not to write off Biedrins contract to get Chandler, even though they could have done so, kept Monta and Udoh and stayed below the cap, while still paying a healthy “Warriors premium” to Chandler.

          What the ownership group is willing to invest in the Warriors is an especially pivotal question right now, because they’ve never been capped out before. Bet or fold, right now. It really is that clear-cut. Before we put our faith in sound bytes, let’s see what they actually do. That’s reasonable, isn’t it?

        • steve, if you want to play that way, my first season as a fan was Thurmond’s rookie year when the team went to the finals. their front line included him, Wilt, Wayne Hightower, Meschery, and Kenny Sears from Watsonville, with a starting back court of Attles and the ‘pure point guard’ of his day Guy Rogers. did you miss Barry’s first two seasons in the league ? lots of fans who don’t even place him in the top two small forwards of all time don’t consider those seasons because they don’t exist in their perception. the team had a great season after Barry jumped leagues, one of Thurmond’s best, with Cazzie Russell at the 3, but it occurred the same year that the Wilt-West-Hairston-Goodrich-Mcmillian team set what was then the record for wins.

    • See checklist, above.

      • Steve,

        Don’t let the facts collide with your perception. It is none other than Lacob and Jackson who said they were going to be in the playoffs and indeed a championship within ten years. It is Lacob et al who repeatedly mention they are going to change the evil ways of the past and spend money to get the best people.

        Lacob is a salesman. He states the above to get fans in the seats. Iwould too. He paid a lot for the team (Ellison claimed too much, what to you think?), and he may not have a lotta cash in hand. Me thinks he needs a lotta butts in the seats.

        But Lacob cannot have it both ways. Cannot claim winning and playoffs and then whine about criticism.

        People are upset about the Ellis/Udoh trade (BTW Monta had 33 points last night in Bucks road win over Hawks) as well.

        And you know where it shows and will show even more Steve? Lack of season ticket sales? Not the “whiners” on this board.

        Speaking for myself, I thought the Warriors were getting better before this year. Despite the promises, the team will spend a third of the season with only two of their original starters (if you count DWright) and two/three rookies starting instead (God blessem).

        This is not the doing of FB et al. And if you believe next year will be a step up (I hope so), we all will see. What will Joe say if it doesnt happen? Likely the same thing this year…”it will be a strong draft”…

  3. DubsStep2012

    Brandon Rush was the highlight of the night for me. They know they’ve got to do what it takes to keep him around. They might not want to showcase him too much to close out the year. Felt, who would be your ideal draft pick if somehow the Kings, Cavs, and Rapters all went on a tear and we got lucky in the lottery?

    • I don’t know the draft picks until they set foot in the NBA, because I don’t follow what passes for college ball these days. Rather watch curling.

    • Agree, we dont want Rush to get numbers like he did last night. For sure the Lakers would outbid us. And tell Gruber to keep his mouth shut down in LA!

  4. Guber is part of the deal for the Dodgers. He certainly won’t be caughing up any extra cash to amnesty Beans or sign Rush.

    • It’s safe to assume that Lacob/Guber and their Ws investment partners have access to as much cash as they feel they need. It’s only a question of their priorities, not their ability to come up with funding. The Dodgers sale price will exceed $1.5 billion. On that scale of things, a “huge” new contract for Rush is pocket lint.

      Writing off Biedrins would hurt the balance sheet and deny the Ws his talents if he recovers by some miracle. It would also not free up cap space, so we’ll probably see him on the bench for the duration of his contract.

      Do Lacob/Guber think they need to invest a few bucks more in “the product” to make it relevant and interesting to customers, or do they think they can keep selling tix without it? That absolutely is a fair question. With the Ws’ sudden salary crunch, we’ll get a clear answer before the next training camp.

      I’m hoping they think real hard about that booing crowd.

      • If you look at Dub attendance in last few games, and very much so last night. They are sellouts but a lot of empty seats. That translates to season ticket holder no shows or bored customers…

        • There is 15 years of futility behind us that tells ownership that even with a semi-competitive product the arena will sell out. They only need to spend enough money to appease fans. It will come down to how much they want to win.
          My suspicion is that they will spend enough to make this team a winner, but will not overspend until after the team makes the playoffs (next season). Playoffs are free cash, and once Lacob has that success, he will want more.

  5. Guber’s share in GSW may be up for grab as he needs cash for the Dodge deal. Think Lacob should just take over Guber’s shares?

  6. 2b.) Re-sign Dominic McGuire

    Hey felt remember your Kyle Korver challenge? Nice to see you’ve come around on Klay…

  7. Does anybody know the difference between a buyout and an amnesty in terms of cap, penalties, etc.? They sound like the same thing–a team eats the salary. But why was the amnesty created?

    • white hat put his finger on the open wound: amnesty re-creates the cap space, a buyout doesn’t. So the Warriors would still be capped out now even if they bought out Biedrins.

      • So where’s the advantage? Does it free up a roster spot? (hardly an issue). Would the team recover whatever salary AB might make if another team picks him up? (unlikely) Why did the Lakers buy out Fisher?

        When you look at AB’s game log for the last three seasons, keeping him may be one of Lacob’s largest errors in judgment and maybe the greatest instance of wishful thinking.

        • a buy out only helps the balance sheet when the player accepts a smaller settlement than the face value of the contract. the team’s most recent example with a multi-year deal of substance was foyle’s. the only incentive the player has to take less than his contract $$ is his freedom to work elsewhere and earn another income in addition to his buy out, which is what foyle went on to do.

          footnote on foyle — he said his worst experience as an n.b.a. player was being screamed at and insulted by nelson in front of the team and game crowds. working people have to go through a lot worse just for hourly wages.

        • In the FO’s defense re Biedrins possible amnesty, the lockout had to be a factor. They weren’t allowed to even speak to the guy before training camp, let alone assess his health. Without the lockout, they would have had a better picture of his ability (ditto Jeremy Lin). Of course, without the lockout there would have been no such thing as an amnesty, either.

          I’m not an expert, but the way I understand how the CBA works is that guaranteed salaries are 100% guaranteed whether or not the player can play. Once a salary commitment is made, that commitment counts against the cap unless the player violates the terms of the contract. If a player violates his contract, the team may void it, freeing up the cap space. Not sure how death is handled, that might be a second out.

          You can trade a player, but only for other players totaling a similar salary. You can buy out his contract and release him, but his full salary still counts against the team cap. The Lackers operate above the cap every year. They’re the richest team with the highest revenue, by far. They probably released Fisher just to free up his chair. If you buy out a player, the only thing to discuss with him is the present value of his guaranteed future income. His bought-out salary remains against the cap. The Lackers didn’t remove Fisher’s salary cap hit, they simply went further over the cap by releasing him and adding Sessions.

          You can suspend a player for cause, as the dubs did Monta, but it changes nothing cap-wise. Monta’s suspended salary was even still paid by the team, to a charity specified by the NBA. That’s why Mully argued against a huge penalty – it had no business benefit, it only poisoned their relationship with their best player. It was simply a spiteful thing to do.

          At this time Beans’ salary will stay on the Warriors’ books for the duration of his contract. The team will pay him unless he breaks the contract (I’ll bet he’s a model citizen!). The ONLY opportunity the team had or will ever have to free up his cap space was to use the amnesty on him. But the Warriors’ balance sheet would have had to include a writedown for his full contract amount. That was probably the sticking point.

          At this time, the only possible benefit to shedding Biedrins would be to stay under the NBA’s 15-player limit. In that case, ownership would have to view his replacement’s total cost to the team as his salary PLUS Biedrins’. That would be one pricey player. Won’t happen.

  8. FB Two points and a question

    At a season ticket (read “authentic fans”) session. When asked about why not amnesty for Biedrins, Riley came right out and said “I could nt ask my owner to write a check for $27 million…”. I dont know if this was the first time publicly, but Riley admitted it was about the money Lebowski!

    Brandon Rush should be retained at all costs, why are they not starting him (are they hiding him from the league)??

    Is Klay a ball hog?

    Two possessions in the last minute of the game (excluding his gratuitous layup at the buzzer) was Klay going coast to coast and jacking up a shot. All else, including aforementioned Rush standing at the three line watching. He has a shot, but his defense is trying. Did you see him trying to guard Kobe? Jackson quickly switched him over to guard MWP on the safe perimeter.

  9. Edit alert: I’ve just added two items to my post that I meant to include last night.

  10. Have fun on your trip Felt.

  11. Steve: Keep up the good fight!
    Moto: My first recollection of attending a Warriors game was when I was very young– must have been @1963–they were playing at the Cow Palace and late in the game, the ref threw Meschery out of the game and he grabbed a metal fold-up chair from the stands and chased after the ref with it half-way around the gym! Talk about a need for security.

    I wonder how Meschery felt at Oracle at the Mullin ceremony sitting there with Attles, Barry, Chamberlain’s desendant and Thurmond? Terribly out-of-place? How did HIS jersey ever get retired?!

    • O.T., thanks for reminding me of that great Meschery moment. His number was retired in ’67, #14, and they showed the jersey in the rafters at Mullins’ ceremony. Meschery was the first (probably only, since Lin was born in the u.s.) native speaker of Chinese to play for SF/Oak, born to Russian emigres in Tianjin. in one of the rookie Barry’s first scrimmages with the team, Meschery broke Barry’s nose to let him know that his starting spot would not be meekly handed over. Barry of course played in every game his rookie season and averaged 24+ and 10+ rebounds ; it makes me shake my head when present day ‘experts’ think of him as a finesse/perimeter shooter type.

    • if your question wasn’t rhetorical, Meschery was one of the team’s most popular players with a local college connection when the they needed to establish an SF identity — his eccentricities (by ‘typical jock’ standards at least) were perfect for SF. [Chamberlain and Rogers were Phi players, not that their proficiency in SF didn't help the new owner]. back when stats weren’t hyped the same way they are now, he averaged a double/double two seasons, albeit after he went to Sea.

  12. Felt, I like Rush alot at the 3 but he’s not close to as good as Thompson will be as a player imo. Thompson is a playmaker who not only will be one of the best outside shooters in the League, but also can drive left or right, post-up a smaller player, and has very good court vision to pass out of the double-team.

    • OT, there are two sides to the basketball court.

      • Every day/game, Klay Thompson is reminding me more and more of Reggie Miller (also per Donnie Walsh). I’m so glad we’re going to be able to watch him grow firsthand.

        The “two sides” discussion should equally be applied to players such as Monta Ellis (no longer have to worry about his defensive inconsistency/size now), Dorell Wright, David Lee, and Stephen Curry.

  13. Great to see Nellie go into the Hall of Fame.

    Why do I have the feeling this will be one of the funniest acceptance speeches of all time?

  14. @2

    moto, I attended Warriors games at the old SF Civic Auditorium. Yes, I remember (and watched live) many of the players you listed. And to this day Barry remains my all time favorite Warrior (and it wasn’t because he shook my hand one night as he was leaving the arena after a game as I stood wide-eyed watching all my favorite Warriors players exit in the tunnel on the way to their cars).

    All that said, I’ll let you sit one row in front of me (for longest tenured fans) if you promise not to wear a hat. :)

    • rest assured, Steve, you far, far, surpass me as a ‘real’ fan. it’s no country for old men like me.

  15. On the topic of ownership groups spending (or not spending) money to ostensibly make their teams better (from TK on the sale of the Dodgers):

    “But while I understand the concern, and totally get that Dodgers fans are overjoyed to replace McCourt with a winner like Magic, I’m skeptical that any team can guarantee success by paying outrageous salaries immediately.

    There have been big, showy MLB ownership splashes in the past–I’m thinking Peter Angelos’ first days in Baltimore, Tom Hicks’ Alex Rodriguez extravaganza in Texas, Washington with Jayson Werth last year and the Cubs just about all the time.

    Oh, and Peter Magowan did it right at the start of his ownership–with Barry Bonds–and did it very not-right at the end, with Barry Zito.

    Money doesn’t guarantee World Series championships and spending stupidly actually hurts you more than doing nothing.

    I mean, the Dodgers have gone through horrifying things under McCourt, no doubt, and they haven’t gone for broke on any recent free agents.

    But they were actually 82-79 last year, that’s not exactly bottom-dwelling.

    And 80-82 in 2010.

    And won the division at 95-67 in 2009.

    Could they have done better if McCourt paid out like the Yankees or Red Sox (or Angels)? Maybe. But it’s not guaranteed.

    It’s also possible that paying terrible salaries would’ve made the Dodgers worse, and they’ve paid out some terrible salaries in the not-too-distant past, also–Jason Schmidt comes to mind.

    Just for your perusal, among the top 20 salaries in 2011 were…

    2. Vernon Wells, $26.7M.

    5. Joe Mauer, $25M.

    6. Johan Santana, $21.6M.

    7. Todd Helton, $20.3M.

    T12. Carlos Lee, $19M.

    T12. Alfonso Soriano, $19M.

    14. Carlos Zambrano, $18.8M.

    T15. Barry Zito, $18.5M.

    17. Jason Bay, $18.1M.

    20. A.J. Burnett, $16.5M.

    You want any of those contracts now? Some have been slowed by injury (always a live possibility for mid-career contracts), some are just not good any more.

    But big contracts are only big contracts because it’s what the market set; they’re not indicative of any performance levels into the future.

    –St. Louis won the World Series last year and had nobody in the top 20.

    –Texas was one out away from winning the World Series and had nobody in the top 20.

    –The Yankees had Nos. 1 (A-Rod), 3 (Sabathia), 4 (Teixeira) and 20 (Burnett) and lost in the first round to Detroit.

    So… Will Magic Johnson be a livelier, sunnier, more sensible and exciting front man than McCourt could ever be? Absolutely.

    I’m glad Earvin’s in play and he deserves all the financial and general success he has made for himself.

    But his group won’t be successful just because it paid an incredible sum for the Dodgers.

    It’ll be successful if they are smart, spend wisely, and not convince itself that it has to out-bid anybody for everything.

    Which is the same for everybody, even non-billionaires.”

  16. Congratulations, Don Nelson!!!! Truly one of the greatest coaches of all time and more than HOF worthy.

  17. “Cry Baby”

    http://www.silverscreenandroll.com/2012/3/28/2908324/the-credits-cry-baby

    This is a “player’s league” so you better hope that your players like your coach. The Warriors seem to enjoy playing for MJ but what’s happened in Sactown, NYC, Portland and now LA (with both teams) illustrates the downside.

  18. @2

    “Part of Jim Barnett’s job is to promote the Warriors. He has nothing at all negative to say about anyone or anything in the organization, including Jackson. If his true feelings came out at all this season, I think it was in the form of game-time questions like “Where’s the running game?””

    white hat, no, Barnett’s job is not promoting it’s analyzing play on the court, and he’s one of the best at what he does. I’m sure his long association with the franchise has resulted in his desire to see the team do well, but to even subtlety suggest that he’s a paid shill for the Warriors is an insult to Barnett.

    So let’s see, Barnett is a “promoter” if he speaks positively about Jackson, Lacob et al but he’s “telling it like it is” if he questions the Warriors style of play? Is that anything like having your cake and eating it too for the blogsperts? LOL

    “Before we put our faith in sound bytes, let’s see what they actually do. That’s reasonable, isn’t it?”

    white hat, did you really say “let’s see what they actually do”? You mean like wait 3-5 years from the time they bought the team to see how they go about changing the losing culture and actual team identity/strength before passing judgement on their competence as owners? What a concept! And yes, I think that’s very reasonable. LOL

    • subtlety = subtly

      • Follow the money. God Bless Jim Barnett, but who signs his paycheck?

        He is not allowed to be a doubting thomas, he analyzes and does it well, but ne’er direct criticism of management, or he (and Fitz) will be shown the door.

        • Well, you get my Deli Delight Combo (on rye) in reply to that brilliant analysis: salami, pastrami and BALONEY.

    • Steve, it’s always fascinating to talk with someone with a belief system like yours. Thanks for the experience.

      “You mean like wait 3-5 years…”

      Uh, no, the team has 3-5 months to pony up. They’re already working on year 3 after trashing years 1 and 2.

      If the team doesn’t Spend What It Takes Right Now, year 3′s team will once again be missing key pieces. If that fits your grand narrative, good for you. Personally, I’d like to see them do their best to win ASAP. No waiting. Just do it. It’s within reach if they make an honest, tangible ($$$) commitment.

      Re Barnett, Wooden already said it. A great analyst – and someone’s employee. Whose, Steve? I’ll leave it to you to figure out the career path of a local TV announcer who trashes his home team.

      • White Hat, I don’t know if Steve got that, but i’ll spell it out for him.

        Mr Barnett after 27 years of working on the Warriors announces his retirement, to spend time with the grand kids…or as Trump says, you’re …

  19. New Orleans 102 Warriors 87:

    Yes!

  20. Comments from after the game vs NO:

    David Lee
    On The Team’s Overall Performance:

    “It was a terrible game by our team all the way around. They were the aggressors from the start. They hit shots, we didn’t hit shots. Our intensity wasn’t there on either end and it’s a real disappointment. I [compare] this to the Memphis game on the road, the Houston game on the road and a couple of games this season. It’s going to be tough to sleep after a loss like this just because our effort wasn’t there. Our execution and our [lack of] effort was why we got outplayed tonight.”

    On Whether Or Not They Overlooked New Orleans:

    “No, no such thing looking overlooking a team when you’re the third worst team in the West. There’s no such thing as overlooking a team. We don’t have that luxury. We just didn’t play well tonight. That’s all there is to it.”

    On What Mark Jackson Mentioned After The Game:

    “He was upset, as we all are, that we were able to give such good effort last night and almost pulled a victory out against a great basketball team and tonight against a team that’s not as good as the Lakers to come in and to get outplayed, especially with a lot of their best guys missing. It was very frustrating for the coaching staff and for the players.”

    Richard Jefferson
    On Not Being Able To Compete In Tonight’s Game:

    “I said to [Mickell] Gladness, ‘You have to pick one of your games.’ You’re going to be an offensive team or a defensive team but you’ve got to do it well. Tonight we didn’t do either well. We didn’t defend the ball very well, we didn’t run our offense very well. We just thought that we could come out here and play hard. The best teams in this league execute on a night-in, night-out basis. The great teams execute on both ends of the floor, not just one. You look at the Phoenix Suns. For so many years they were a great offensive team. They were going to outscore you and do a lot of things, but on the defensive end they struggled. They still executed on one end of the floor and they were able to get 60 wins. So you have to pick one or both if you want to be a great team and we did neither.”

    On Looking Forward:

    “We have a young team and we have an inexperienced team as far as, I won’t necessarily say playoff experience, but as far as what it takes to get there and what it takes on a night-in, night-out basis. You have to lead by example and you have to try to speak to everyone in a positive way and hope that everyone is learning. Because obviously as a collective group, and I say we because I’m a part of this, it hasn’t been working. So any guy that’s been here – a year or more, including myself after this summer, we have to be held accountable for everything that goes on. If a team isn’t making the playoffs, if a team isn’t working a certain amount of games, it has to be looked upon as ‘What can I do differently?’ Because sometimes it’s not more, sometimes it’s people doing less: sharing the ball, playing better defense. David [Lee] has been playing great and we’ve had other guys playing great but we’ve got to find out a way to do more. Because it’s not about talent, we have talent to win. Tonight we went out and didn’t play well against a team that doesn’t have four of their five best players and they just manhandled us. So it’s not about talent. It’s about effort, it’s about focus, it’s about execution.”

  21. Star of the future?

  22. From The Bleacher Report:

    5 Reasons GSW Will Make the Playoffs in 2013 (Zach Buckley)

    With the Golden State Warriors fully embracing the tanking (er…youth) movement for the remainder of this season, fans and management can now focus on finding which pieces should keep (or increase) their role for next year’s playoff run.

    No matter the team’s offseason moves (which will be very limited considering they’re already nearing next year’s salary cap), the Warriors look poised for a postseason trip next season as long as certain key players can avoid the training rooms.

    The front office was strengthened over the offseason, and the roster has slowly but surely seen its share of upgrades throughout the roster. The team split their potent, but diminutive backcourt at the trade deadline and found the signature center they’ve been seeking for years.

    Coach Mark Jackson’s “no excuses” club will truly be without an excuse.

    The playoff promises of owner Joe Lacob will be realized, albeit a year late.

    The following five items are all aspects of the perfect postseason storm already brewing in Oakland.

    5. A Weakened Western Conference

    It remains the deeper of the two conferences, but that does not mean that there are eight good teams out West.

    The top six clubs in the conference (both L.A. teams, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Memphis and Dallas) are all somewhat legitimate title contenders this season. Two of those six (San Antonio and Dallas) were thought to be too old to compete and aren’t likely to find the fountain of youth between now and next basketball season.

    The remaining nine teams are incredibly average at best. The seventh and eighth seeds to this point (Utah and Denver) lack the star power to suggest any sustainable playoff runs in their near future.

    Minnesota’s exciting, but even when a healthy Ricky Rubio was playing alongside MVP candidate Kevin Love, the Timberwolves struggled to separate from this pack of mediocrity.

    Houston envies the star power of Utah and Denver. New Orleans envies that of Houston.

    And to round out the conference, Phoenix’s top two players are at least 38 years old and unrestricted free agents. Portland decided to hit the reset button at this season’s trade deadline, while Sacramento’s reset button has been stuck for years (“No, Maloofs, you have to blow in the cartridge!”).

    Trust me, the West is still the better conference. The East houses four of the five worst records in the NBA. But the exclusivity of the Western Conference Playoffs has gone from a White House Inaugural Ball to a Real World/Road Rules “All-Star” Challenge.

    4. This Year’s Rookies Are All Grown Up

    OK, maybe not so much for Jeremy Tyler.

    But Klay Thompson and Charles Jenkins have shown Jackson’s staff that they can be counted on next season.

    Thompson has embraced the role of Monta Ellis, increasing his scoring (19.7 in the 10 post-Ellis games), his field-goal attempts (17.7 in those 10 games) and position among this rookie class (second on NBA.com’s Rookie Ladder).

    Jenkins, meanwhile, has protected the ball like his job depended on it (a smart move considering it does) and has just started to show glimpses of the scoring ability that scouts raved about during his time at Hofstra.

    By the time next season tips off, Thompson and Jenkins will probably have more minutes than former Warriors lottery picks Brandan Wright, Patrick O’Bryant and Anthony Randolph logged in their entire Warriors careers. Don Nelson must be rolling in his grave right now. (Too soon? Wait…too early?)

    Thompson has earned his place in the starting lineup, and Jenkins has earned his in the rotation. And the Warriors will be the better for having both of these “seasoned veterans” back next year.

    3. The Ministers of Defense Will Return

    Speculation, of course, but how can the Warriors preach defense and not bring back Brandon Rush and Dominic McGuire?

    Rush has been nothing short of spectacular since the Warriors forcibly removed Rush at gunpoint from a Pacers practice just days before the season. (That had to be how it went down, right? There’s no way Larry Legend and David Morway actually traded him for Lou Amundson.)

    With Ellis out of the picture, Rush has emerged as the Warriors’ best option at creating off the dribble. He’s no Ellis when attacking the rim, but Ellis is no Rush in terms of man defense, hustle or three-point shooting (44.8 percent).

    As for McGuire, his price tag hopefully remains in the Warriors price range due to his less-than-impressive stats (he has to be seen to be appreciated) and his desire to stay with the club.

    He’s the team’s enforcer, the backbone of a club whose former toughest players include a player who has whined his way off of multiple teams (Stephen Jackson) and a reality TV semi-star (Matt Barnes).

    His nastiness and desire to beat his man has brought out the same word over and over again from his teammates: contagious.

    These two are the faces of the new Golden State Warriors, regardless of what the box score says.

    2. Jackson’s (and Lacob’s) First Full Offseason and Training Camp

    There is no such a thing as a slight culture change. These things don’t happen overnight and certainly don’t happen when the right people are not in place.

    Jackson was asked to assemble a group of Nellie’s small-ball leftovers into a physical defensive juggernaut. He would’ve had a better chance establishing confidence in the Washington Generals locker room.

    But with the additions of Rush, McGuire and Andrew Bogut, Warriors GM Larry Riley has finally started putting the pieces in place for Jackson to succeed with his style of play.

    Even if the Warriors strike out on the free-agent market (an extremely likely outcome given the $55 million already on next year’s payroll), they have the chance to add at least three players in the upcoming draft who further fit the mold of the new Warriors.

    Add that to the fact that he’ll actually have a full summer and training camp to instill his philosophies (accountability and “no excuses” seem to be Jackson favorites, although my fingers are crossed for the return of “Hand down, man down”) and build his team around his style.

    Some have been critical of Jackson’s schemes (although most of that should be directed toward lead assistant Michael Malone, as the True Love Worship Center International pastor has been more of a motivational leader), but it’s clear that Jackson’s players play hard for him.

    Maybe it’s his passion or the comfort level of the players listening to someone that they watched on TV for years. Maybe it’s the addition of players like Rush and McGuire and the energy they exert on both ends. It’s probably all of the above and then some, but the Warriors effort should be even better next year with the higher expectations.

    1. The Basketball Gods Owe the Warriors a Few Breaks

    If this offseason taught us anything about basketball it was this: Even the Clippers get things right sometimes.

    The Warriors’ perennial companion in the Western Conference cellar, the Clippers managed to attract a star point guard (and a two-year commitment) largely because they had drafted enough pieces to: 1) acquire him and 2) appease him with a strong supporting cast.

    The Warriors, meanwhile, swung wildly for the fences in the free-agent market before finally setting on their fourth or fifth option, Kwame Brown.

    This offseason was no anomaly. Big talk with limited returns has been the Warriors norm for years.

    Whether it’s poor drafting, worse contracts, untimely injuries or a coaching carousel with more riders than a night out with the Kardashians, the Warriors have more problems in a year than some teams do in a decade. But through this decades-long stretch of mediocrity and worse, the Warriors have maintained one of the most loyal fan bases in professional sports.

    Each new season brings some optimism to the Bay Area, but the buzz around this team is different. The coaching staff and front office feature names like Jackson, Jerry West and Bob Myers. The team has built its most complete lineup (on paper) since before Nelson first arrived in 1988. The organization has embraced “winning basketball” and the players they see best fit to play it.

    Warrior fans aren’t asking for much. A few well-rehabbed ankles (Curry and Bogut) and the further development of the team’s youth, and this club should move into the conference’s upper half next season.

    With some draft lottery luck, this team could crash the conference’s elite.

  23. “Marco Belinelli recalls time with GSW.”

    http://www.nola.com/hornets/index.ssf/2012/03/hornets_guard_belinelli_recall.html

    That was not a good trade. They literally just gave the kid away.

    • The downside of Nellie as coach/”GM” towards the end of his career.

    • One of the ways that Nellie succeeded in building teams was by dispassionately giving up bottom tier players in order to make space for guys with a chance to be better. That was the story of JRich, Belinelli and Morrow.

      There were no takers for Belinelli, for good reason. He’s a bottom tier player.

      And can no one connect the dots between Belinelli’s performance last night, and the player who was guarding him?

      • the NO back court re-exposed the chronic woeyr weakness that replacing Ellis with Thompson could only provide minimal remedy, perimeter d. Relying on a single two-way player, Bogut, in the starting line up with no perimeter support won’t get them much past .500. The comparisons between Thompson and Miller could be too apt — and the oaktown squad won’t have the Davis boys and Smits behind Thompson. the Preacher uses Mcguire as his crutch, but putting him at guard to cover up the problems there isn’t sustainable.

        Jefferson’s words to his teammate should have fallen into his coaches’ ears. if they’re committed to Curry, Thompson, Lee, another two way player or strong defender is a necessity at the 3 so the team can embrace its identity on offense.

        • Moto, Ellis single-handedly shut down 4 of the top guards in the league this year. Despite his no-D reputation, compared to Thompson he’s huge defensively.

          Thompson routinely gets torched on D when matched up against guards with any speed. In the Portland game he let Raymond Felton look like a superstar. In NO he completely disappeared. 2 fouls total – was he ever even near his defensive assignment? Pairing him with Robinson is disastrous.

          In his defense, Thompson is a rookie playing huge minutes in a tough condensed season. He’ll probably get better. And it took even Monta 5 years to display his defensive prowess.

  24. New Orleans:

    There have been a lot of ugly games across the league this season, I suspect, because of the ridiculous schedule. Last night’s was one of them.

    Rest David Lee!

    But the team has no legitimate backup for him now, and won’t next season.

    • It does seem brutal to be playing Lee now, particularly because he only knows one way to play.

      He’s like the last Christian fighting in the coliseum.

  25. felt: Agreed that Rush is a very good defender. I really like him as a player and it is interesting to watch him grow a bit lately by taking the ball to the basket. His handle and vision isn’t nearly as good as KT’s but you are correct that he is a better defender by quite a bit. I think KT is a better defender than you do, however. I was at the game last night and did not think Bellinelli’s offense came as a result of particularly poor defensive play by KT any more than I could blame Lee for Landry’s offensive output. Both were a mix of substitutions/switches/circumstances, including the fact that no Warrior except Maguire last night played with a lot of defensive intensity. Clearly, KT is still developing at both ends of the floor but I think overall his defense is good/adequate and his future is bright.

    Btw, Lee tweaked his knee on a play early Q4 last night and yet Jackson still kept him in that game which was shortly out-of-reach. That tells you a lot about Lee and Jackson.

    • Klay’s defense seems to be analyzed under a microscope while other players’ defense – say David Lee – are given a fast pass. Even more reason why Andrew Bogut and some defensive-minded, rebounding big backups are needed in this draft.

  26. Just a thought: Since Curry is unlikely to come back this season at 100%, why haven’t the dubs brought in short-term help at guard? They say they’re not tanking, right?

    For a team that needs rebounding, a rough tough McGuire (a guy David Lee’s size) playing guard doesn’t exactly seem optimal.

  27. @20

    “Steve, it’s always fascinating to talk with someone with a belief system like yours. Thanks for the experience.”

    white hat, you’re welcome. Hopefully the Warriors will spend all the money you’re hoping they spend this offseason so your anxiety attacks will be fewer and further between. I’m trying to help but I can only do so much. I’m just afraid that if Lacob doesn’t deliver soon your well being could start spiraling out of control and we’ll never get the real you back. Poof, gone for good. It can happen, don’t laugh.

    BTW, if it does happen, would you mind taking Wooden with you?

    • Both Papa and Barnett believed Nellie was the best coach in the NBA during RunTMC. At least one other person believed that too.

  28. “NBA players band together on Christian apparel.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/AP1c5c823e22684786b4607ff68726f2f9.html

  29. “As playoffs approach, NBA refs in transition. (Felt, the fix is in, again.)

    http://www.sheridanhoops.com/2012/03/28/bernucca-as-playoffs-approach-nba-referees-in-transition/

  30. “All-Star center Andrew Bynum’s ill-advised 3-pointer, which prompted coach Mike Brown to bench him for most of the second half of Tuesday’s win over the Golden State Warriors, was only “the tip of the iceberg,” according to a Lakers insider.”

    http://www.dailybreeze.com/lakers/ci_20287946/lakers-notebook-source-says-bynums-behavior-erratic-even

  31. OT: Gotta love the internet, ’round the world, from undersea to shining undersea.

    http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/30/technology/internet-cable/index.htm?source=yahoo_quote

    • the technicians and engineers come up with these transmission solutions constantly these days, but imagine how things were in the beginning of telegraph and telephone communications. it was actually thinking about the problems of synchronizing clocks that were separated by large distances that first started Einstein down the path that took him to considering the speed of light and relativity, when he was employed at a patent office.

      • moto, if you want to put me in my place in a big hurry just start talking about Einstein. :)

    • Was Referee Tom Donahy in the building? Obviously the tank is on, or MJack is a worse coach than thought. After blowing a 19 point lead and down by two with 23 seconds to go, they let Nets runt the clock down to 8 seconds. The play designed was for Snail paced Jenkins to dribble for 5 seconds then shoot a fadeaway? Are these guys dumb as dirt? Or do they really really want that 7 pick? At the game, I saw Lacob supress a gleeful cheer as Jenkins had his game ending shot blocked by the Nets.

      Oh how sweet it would be to win the lottery and get the #1 pick. Lacob would be forced to pick Anthony Davis, and then what would they do with Bogut?

  32. New Jersey:

    Nice time for veterans to step up. Compare G. Wallace’s stats with R. Jefferson’s.

    • RJ For two more years? Really? The same as the Lakers game. Jackson sits Dwright, and plays Jefferson nearly the entire fourth quarter with no stats to justify it. Two more years?

  33. Crystal Light

    No wonder Wright has lost his confidence. He has a decent game, and doesnt see the light of day in the fourth quarter…

  34. Remember the good ol days? Bucks score 121 points in their rout over a defensive minded Atlanta Hawks team. Udoh has a +13 and Ellis a +9.

    http://www.nba.com/games/20120330/MILCLE/gameinfo.html?ls=gt2hp0021100761#nbaGIboxscore

    It is a sad day in the NBA when the playoff bound Scott Skiles coached Bucks beat the Hawks by 37, while the Dubs scrape by to get a 100, and blow a 19 point lead to the ………Nets.

  35. Yes, Bucks scored 71 in the first half on the road to beat Cleveland (not the Hawks Mackeral) by 36. Team balanced. I hope they make the playoffs.

    No pun intended but WE “gotta believe” Warriors will be loaed with rookies next year, and if any of the four (Bogut,Lee, Curry, DWright are injured), next year will look like this year record wise.

    • I’m hoping for our top 7 lottery pick – if W’s acquire one and Jerry West picks/trades for talent/dumps bad contracts – this could be a franchise changer.

      Imagine drafting a difference making player! Or imagine dumping Andris’ or Jefferson’s contract – and acquiring more helpful players in trade.

      Because this losing sucks – but I’ll tolerate it if I think better days are ahead!

  36. I’m not sure saying Rush is as valuable to GSW as Harden is to OKC is a valid comparison. There’s a big difference between being relatively valuable to a 20 win team as a 36 win team (or whatever OKC has). Just mathematically, say that each is responsible for 20% of the wins for their respective team. In that case, Rush would have 4 wins, while Harden would have almost 8. OTOH, if you are arguing that Rush is as good as Harden (each produces the same absolute number of wins for his team), then Rush would obviously be much more valuable to GSW (as a % of team wins). I think the truth is closer to the first line of thought, though. Harden is simply a better player than Rush and will get paid thusly.

    The concern with Rush has got to be that this is a contract year. I do think we should try to bring him back, but I wouldn’t offer more than $4-5M over 3 years. Maybe 4. The good news is we’ll see what other teams are willing to offer him and we can choose whether to match.

    • No doubt Harden is a more complete offensive player. Great playmaker especially.

      Whom do u think is the better defender? Do your stats throw any light on that?

      It’s on the defensive end that I think the Warriors desperately need Rush. I don’t think trading Monta for Klay altered that much.

      • Rush’s defensive RAPM is greater than Harden (-0.9 vs. -1.9). Neither should be considered defensive stoppers, though. I think Rush’s “good defense” probably get worse if he plays SF.

        Anyway, since we don’t have much cap flexibility, it makes sense to sign Rush and then use our MLE on some other free agent. I’m not a cap guy, but I assume that’s the plan. I just don’t want us to overpay for Rush. It’s a shame that we have close to $20M locked up in Biedrins and Jefferson the next two seasons, but it is what it is.

        • Agreed. The showstopper for keeping this year’s acquisitions is Biedrins and Jefferson. We should have a betting pool:

          Nate – gone.
          McGuire – ?
          Rush – ?

          As FB has explained, we don’t have Paul Allen (who amnestied B Roy $48 million). The $27 million for Biedrins goes against Dubs. And Curry’s deal is coming up, and he is the face of the franchise. I think we keep the Dominator — that’s it.

          We will have DWright, and Rj at the three. And Rj playing the 4th Qtr. Unless we draft a rookie that can play 3. Although I think Ive heard the Lacob/Myers group say they want a 4 for rebounding.

          Let’s hope no injuries. If we have a similar year next year and we are successful in saving our pick this year, Utah gets the pick in 2013…No picks, but we can take on more bad contracts to buy another pick…Robbing Peter to Pay Paul as they say…

    • W’s are in a good position with Rush to be able to match – should the W’s even decide to go this direction. I don’t know how much the W’s want to spend given their cap situation – or even if Rush’s agent/market say $4-$5 million will do it, but I look at what Aaron Afflalo received last season – $8 million x 5 years… And Aaron – penned as a starter with better offensive numbers – isn’t that much better a player than Rush (IMHO) and I cringe…

      • Affalo has established a consistent level of play on both ends, over several seasons, for a winning team. Coaches and g.m.s are partial to the guys who reliably bring it game to game, season to season. Rush isn’t there yet. The team doesn’t really need D.Wright, and Rush, and Jefferson, and the two guys with contracts for next season won’t be easy to trade. McGuire is a better perimeter defender than any of the three, and will work for much less. Riley and co. are probably hopeful that Wright’s expiration year will expedite his off-loading, but they’ll be in a bind if they’re still holding both Wright and Jefferson next Oct. The clock with Rush will begin ticking as soon as he signs an offer sheet.

        • Moto, I see DWright and RJ as swinging effectively between 3 and 4, but not plus defenders at the 2, which is the point for me. Rush is the Ws best defender of 2s.

          Regarding contracts, I think it would be absurd for the Ws to trade DWright. He has a ridiculous contract, one of the cheapest in the league. Thank you, Bob Myers. And RJs, by contrast, is ridiculously bad. The Ws are stuck with him for good.

          So what I’m looking at is a necessary logjam at the three, and no backup at defensive 2 unless Rush is re-signed, or the Ws go with another rookie.

          And btw, Afflalo is starting to flourish on offense right now in Gallo’s absence, but I believe Rush might turn out to be the better player.

  37. The more we give Rush, the more it impacts what the team is willing to give Curry before going above the luxury tax threshold. My guess is this is a big factor.

  38. Lin out for the rest of the season — knee surgery.

  39. This link has the full page ad Monta paid for in Milwaukee

    http://www.expressmilwaukee.com/blog-8061-new-buck-monta-ellis-might-be-kind-of-cool.html

    along with this comment:

    “Look, it’s likely he’s talking out of his ass. No player is happy to end up in Milwaukee, let’s be honest. Playing out your career with the Bucks means mediocrity and no championships. But its refreshing for a guy to put the fans before his ego and try to make an effort to win over his new town.”

    But Monta has had several off games, including tonight against Memphis. Anybody know what’s going on?

    • if Skiles returns for another season in Mil, would they not want to trade either Jennings or Ellis by mid-season next winter ? it’s debatable if paying for a big ad is about pleasing the fans and not about ego — it takes a sizable ego to think your message has to be magnified and exhibited.

    • Bucks are 5-4 since acquisiton of Monta and Udoh.

      All 4 losses were against playoff teams if you count the Knicks.

      All 5 wins were against NBA teams if you count the Warriors.

      • Warriors are 3-9 since the trade if you count the win over the Kings. As Bob Fitzgerald said tonight, Warriors are the best 3-9 team in the league, with the only stinker being the NOLA game…

      • The Bucks were going nowhere fast before the trade and they’re going just as fast to the same place (nowhere) after, albeit now a bit more entertaining to watch. Sound familiar?

        While neither Chicago or Miami would be defined by any sane person as “nowhere” in terms of destinations around the US of A, if the Bucks manage to get a playoff berth in the East their ultimate role of cannon fodder for either the Bulls or Heat would place them in “Nowheresville” on the only map that counts for Bucks’ fans. So, to nowhere-but-home after Game 66, or to Nowheresville courtesy the Bulls or Heat. Yes! LOL

        In summary, this season WAS toast and still IS toast for Milwaukee. The trade didn’t change the “toastiness” of 2011-12. And they traded Bogut because?

        • Are u saying that the experience of We Believe was worthless to you Steve? It sure sounds like it.

          And there is more than one way to build a team. Milwaukee will have one or two conventional centers on their team to start next season. Hey, Kwame’s available, right?

          • I wonder if Steve did’nt like Monta during the We Believe year? He never even mentions Biedrins has’nt been on the court and McGuire has been playing a lot of 5 with Lee at 5 as well. Really helps keep the turnovers down when you play 5 on 5 and not 4 on 5. Oh by the way, the new roster is 3-9 during that period. I guess there is no correlation yet, between lower turnovers and wins. Can someone ask MJAck this?

          • Felt, I’m not sure I can categorize “worthless” in this context? Sure, that playoff series was exciting but what did it really mean? The Warriors weren’t a great team, not even close if you’re talking talent. They were the worst possible matchup for Dallas and Nelson vs Avery Johnson was maybe the biggest coaching mismatch in NBA history. After that they were quickly eliminated by Utah and back in the lottery the following year.

            If you’re a fan of the Bucks you’re certainly hoping for more of a future than that but I’d be shocked if Milwaukee’s relevancy in terms of contending teams changes much in the coming years from where they are today, and they’re certainly going to be a quick one-and-done if they even make the postseason this year.

          • I guess the 22 teams that have not won a championship since 1977 have worthless seasons and franchises.

  40. 10) Portland, 16
    9) Golden State, 13
    8) Detroit, 11
    7) New Jersey, 10
    6) Sacramento, 10
    5) Cleveland, 10
    4) Toronto, 9
    3) New Orleans, 5
    2) Washington, 4.5
    1) Charlotte -

    • Warriors will end the season 1-15 in their last 16 games and end up with the 5th worst record in the league. The Tank is on.

    • when all is said and done, Tyler will need to come a long way before he can back up the 4/5 at a level comparable to Udoh (clearly with a different set of strengths and weaknesses). the risk with drafting 19 or 20 yr. olds is not just their refining and developing physical skills, but their mental and emotional maturity is just as significant a variable. by the time a young player starts to figure things out, the team that drafted him might have already given up waiting, as might be the case with brandan wright. second round draft picks have a tighter schedule to meet, contract -wise, with their development rate than first rounders.

      • I think it depends who Tyler competes with in camp next year. Second rounders are actually cheaper which might make Tyler more appealing if he improves over the next six months. Summer league beckons for Jeremy.

      • I have seen no indication to date that Tyler is an NBA player. He’s a real long term project imo, at best.

        • Tyler definitely has NBA skills and size. The fact he’s only one year removed from being a teenager leaves your “long term project” comment as something that goes without saying. Time will tell but I’d vote as worth the time and effort for GSW.

    • Trying to understand what “draft and stash” is exactly, and how it works. A little help please?

      • Think Rubio. Draft a Euro player, let him stay over there a couple years, and then when he’s ready to play, and there is room on the roster, bring him back.

        Rubio is not the only example. Chicago did it with Asik, and SAS does it, as well. Splitter, I believe.

    • Postgame comments:

      Mark Jackson
      On Tonight’s Game:

      “I was very proud of the way we fought. There was a point in this game were [the Lakers] were making shots, making plays, they had us on the rope but we battled back. We responded –we put ourselves in position to win the game. They made tough shots, especially Kobe. But that’s why he’s paid the big bucks.”

      On Matching Up With The Lakers:

      “I give [the Lakers] credit. At the end of the day, we had 3 quarters where we gave up 30 or more points. [The Lakers] shot 54 percent from the field, but I can’t fault the effort of my guys. We’re really close.”

      On His Expectations For The Warriors:

      “I’m just not going to tolerate games where we don’t play with energy and effort for 48 minutes. We’re not good enough to play 48 minutes without energy effort quite honestly. Some teams are. But I’m proud of this group the way they’ve been not just tonight but all year long. We’ve had every excuse tailor made for us and never used it. Tonight, once again, we battled.”

      On Klay Thompson:

      “He’s a heck of a player. He’s as good of a shooter as anyone in this league and he’s only going to get better. He’s not just a shooter. Coming in, people thought that, but he’s also a guy that can pass the ball and competes on the defensive end. He’s going to make mistakes — he made mistakes tonight. But you can live with mistakes when people are playing with energy and effort.”

      Klay Thompson
      On Staying Positive Despite Team’s Recent Results:

      “We just need to keep playing hard and play together. We’re undersized out there, but we made up for it with effort and we need to keep doing that.”

      On Defending Kobe Bryant:

      “I thought I played good defense, but he’s one of the better scorers in the world, so he’s going to make his shots. He was on tonight and that happens. As far as one-on-one, he made some tough turnarounds and that’s what he does.”

      Dorell Wright
      On Kobe Bryant:

      “You definitely know tonight after the game he had yesterday, he was going to come out here, try to be very aggressive and try to make his first few shots. He had a good night and you just have to live with it. He’s one of the best players ever to do this. Guys did a good job on him. He just made real tough shots.”

      On Team Responding To Lakers Making Shots:

      “You just have to play hard. When you play hard, you put yourself in a good position at the end of the game to be in the game. If we continue to do our thing and play hard — we just have to play a 48-minute game — we’ll be fine”

      David Lee
      On Tonight’s Game:

      “I don’t think the game was lost in the fourth quarter. The game was lost in the third quarter when they made a nice little run. By the time we fought back, we had to play perfect basketball. They made some tough shots down the stretch.”

      On The Team’s Approach In The Final Month Of The Season:

      “At this point, we’re trying to finish the season strong. We made some trades and we have some guys injured. At this point, we’re trying to continue to play our last games with as much intensity as we can and get as many wins as we can.”

      On Mixing Up Their Defense Against The Lakers:

      “They’re 28th in the league in three-point percentage and obviously, they have an advantage in the post. Coming in, you know that we’re going to mix in some zone and try to force them to shoot contested outside shots. Tonight, give them credit cause their shots were going in. I thought we hung in there well considering, but I wish we could have found a way to get the win.”

  41. “Still Rolling” (from AL):

    The Warriors’ streak of draft-pick saving losses now stands at five. But if the team plays its upcoming road games like this one, that streak may be in jeopardy soon. When the Warriors hit their threes (11-21) and take care of the ball (5 turnovers) they remain a threat to catch a team taking them lightly. They still managed to secure a 112-120 loss Sunday night by getting brutally out-rebounded (29 to 50) and playing the foil to Kobe Bryant’s bounce-back game after he shot 3-21 the night before, but it was generally a well-played game. Given the topsy-turvy incentives of the Warriors’ final month, there’s not much more you could ask from this team than a competitive loss.

    Looking ahead to next year, there are some aspects of the Warriors’ Sunday night performance that will carry over, and others that are just meaningless blips as the Warriors’ season wraps up. At the top of the “causes for hope” list are Klay Thompson and Charles Jenkins. Both players have shown a maturity and confidence beyond their years in these post-Ellis trade games. Thompson’s performance Sunday was just right — not too passive when the Warriors’ needed him, but not too much despite a green light to shoot. He was efficient, scored in a variety of ways, worked hard on defense and didn’t turn the ball over. Jenkins was equally impressive before he went out with a banged knee in the third quarter. In the last two games he’s making a conscious effort to create more from the point guard spot. He had 6 assists and 0 turnovers before his night was cut short. He may not be flashy in his passing, but he’s making smart plays. He’s by no means a pure point guard yet, but the rate at which his game continues to evolve and improve with extended runs is nothing but encouraging. Maybe it’s best both Thompson and Jenkins had their minutes limited Sunday (the former by fouls, the latter by minor injury) — this game ended up being close enough that 30-plus minutes from both could have inched the Warriors even closer to a win.

    With Ellis gone and Curry injured, the Warriors have quietly become a team that takes good care of the ball. The team tied the franchise low for turnovers (5) for the second time in a week. Since the Ellis trade, they’ve been averaging 11.45 turnovers a game. If that were their season average, it would land them between Philadelphia and San Antonio for second in the league. The increased ball movement (31 assists on 44 baskets Sunday) makes the improvement even more impressive. The challenge for the Warriors will be keeping up the care when Stephen Curry returns, likely next season. If Curry can be integrated into an offense that shows greater care with each possession, it’ll be a big boost for a team that has lost a ton of games by a small margin. There’s no reason Curry has to be a player that turns the ball over a lot. It’ll be a nice test of his maturation and development to see next year if he makes the small adjustments in his game to eliminate the unnecessary, costly mistakes.

    One characteristic of these late season games that likely will be toned down a bit, but not disappear completely, is the tendency to live and die with the three point shot. So long as the Warriors have a Curry/Thompson backcourt, they’re going to shoot a lot of threes. And they should, given the percentage that both manage to shoot from behind the arc. With Wright, Rush and Jefferson as the current options at 3, you get games like Sunday where a full quarter of the Warriors’ made field-goals were from three point territory. The shots are great when they’re going, but to be a more stable, consistent offensive team they’ll need to diversify the offense more next year. I expect Bogut’s addition to be a big help on that front, in two ways. First, although Bogut isn’t a Pau Gasol-type offensive threat in the paint, he’s good enough that you’ll have to guard him as a threat any time he gets the ball close to the basket. That’s more than you can say for any other center on the Warriors’ roster. His ability to work a bit in the paint will be a boost for offensive diversity. But equally important is the impact he’ll have on spacing — and the fact that he has the passing ability to exploit it. With dead-eye mid-range shooters like Thompson (and, increasingly, Jenkins), the Warriors will be able to play a potent two-man game with Bogut. Dumping the ball into the paint, then having him drop it back out, should create those split-second windows that Thompson exploits so well in the half court. The looks will still be jumpers, but they’ll be from 15-18 feet rather than 22-24 feet. Those extra few feet will hopefully make the team’s offense much less feast or famine.

    The aspect of the Warriors’ recent play that I’m most looking forward to seeing become a thing of the past next season is their woeful work on the boards. The Warriors’ rebounding problems this season have come in a variety of flavors. First, Andris Biedrins’ lack of aggressiveness doomed them. When Ekpe Udoh took over the starting center role, his historical rebounding struggles also caused major problems (although, in typical Warriors’ fashion, he’s now logging double-digit rebound games for the Bucks). Post-trade, Jeremy Tyler lacks the strength at his age to be a meaningful force inside. So the Warriors are left with David Lee, who always seems to get the rebounding stats but hasn’t managed to elevate this team above one of the bottom few in the league in rebound percentage, and Dominic McGuire, who is being forced to rip rebounds away from guys with inches and tens of pounds on him (a challenge he seems to relish). These struggles hopefully will be put to rest when Andrew Bogut, an outstanding rebounder, is anchoring the Warriors’ line-up next season. He’ll pull a fair share of them himself, but his big body bouncing off opponents’ big bodies will clear more room for guys like Lee, Wright and Thompson to get more of their own. By cutting down on offensive rebounds for opponents (the Lakers had 15 on Sunday), the Warriors should again see a boost that could help turn some of these close losses into wins.

    Ultimately, these losses are encouraging not only because they’re improving the team’s shot at retaining a high lottery pick. Behind the final score, there are subtle changes and shifts occurring in how the Warriors play as a team. There have been and will continue to be a few ugly losses, but there also have been consistent signs of improvement. We’ll see the full shift next season when all the missing pieces return. And with a little tanking and lottery luck, those returning pieces might be joined by a meaningful new one.

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  42. Yikes.

    Another L vs the Grizz helps the tank movement, but looking at the body language as the players left the court made me wonder if all of this losing may have an irrepairable effect on this youg Warriors squad.

    I am sure hoping not, but bad habits are hardest to break.

    (In related, positive news, Pistons and Raptors both get wins today. The pick is within reach.)

    • Maybe that’s why the coach pulled Jenkins for Robinson and replaced DWright with Jefferson at the end of the game. Besides helping to assure a loss, those two veterans could handle it better emotionally.

      • I hear your concern for losing, but here’s some facts. Andris Biedrins is the only player left from the W’s last winning season! David Lee and Stephen Curry have never even played on a .500 NBA team! LOL! In reality – a few of these players won’t even be on next season’s roster.

        Actually, I’m more worried about us fans. Many of us are actually enjoying the excitement of the tank. Kind of like fantasy sports – only in reverse! Fans are following the plight of the Pistons, Kings, Raptors, Nets, and Cavaliers…

        And at the end of every Warrior game, fans get mixed feelings on which team to root for! LOL! Perverse Universe!!!

  43. SI.com’s Power Rankings:

    Golden State Warriors (20-31)

    At the start of the season, new coach Mark Jackson predicted the Warriors would make the playoffs. Failing that, it was reasonable to expect Golden State to start shedding its image as a team that was more spectacular than solid and better at producing highlights than victories. But even by that standard, the results have been unsatisfying. The impetus is there: Golden State signed defensive-oriented center Kwame Brown to a $6.8 million deal (he has played only nine games because of injury) and finally removed the redundancy from their backcourt by trading Monta Ellis (a doppelgänger to fellow guard Stephen Curry) to Milwaukee for top-notch center Andrew Bogut. But looking ahead, it is hard to see how the essential character of the team will change. Curry will now team with rookie Klay Thompson, who, like Curry, is a deadly outside shooter and suspect defender. David Lee, the defensively challenged, offensively gifted power forward, will most likely return. Even the defensive upgrade of Bogut is mitigated by the fact that the Warriors traded their best defender, center Ekpe Udoh, as well as Ellis in order to obtain him. Add in the checkered injury history of Curry and Bogut, and next year’s prognosis looks remarkably similar: a potentially dynamic offensive team that needs to dodge injuries and gain defensive discipline in order to be genuinely competitive.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/britt_robson/04/03/power.rankings/index.html#ixzz1r3fLKW3d

    • Yuuuppp! As a fan, I’m hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. By the way, this Tank job is killing me. So many winnable games that have disintegrated in the fourth quarter. The top 3 picks are not even that good, and Monta was drafted in the 2nd round! There is no reason to tank!!!

  44. The Minnesota Timberwolves surely suck to lose at home with a 20 point lead against a tanking team. Mark Jackson had 3 rookies in at the end of the game and still Minnesota couldn’t get it done.

    • Postgame comments:

      Mark Jackson
      On The Win:

      “It says a lot about who we are. We’re going to battle and compete. This was a big time bounce-back win. We played a team in their building, coming off a tough loss for us. They had everything going for them, up by 20 points. We could have easily folded the tent. Give our guys credit, they bounced back and made plays. The third quarter was huge for us. Our offense was clicking, our defense made plays. We were communicating and battling. Great individual and collective effort.”

      On Turning The Game Around:

      “I think it was a little of both. Coming out of that locker room in the third quart we scored the basketball, got great looks and got stops. We defend and we gave them different looks. Went zone a couple of times. Overall it was a combination of defensive intensity and offensively we executed.”

      On Stopping Kevin Love:

      “You don’t stop him, he’s a great player. We tried to limit his touches. Fronting a little bit, trapping him, getting the ball out of his hand and forcing other players to beat us. We know he can do it, he’s a heck of a player.”

      Charles Jenkins
      On The Winning Shot:

      “With eight seconds on the clock and me being as aggressive as possible, one step was all I needed to get to the basket.”

      On Learning From Coach Jackson:

      “It starts with him. He has given me the confidence to make plays in clutch situations and that time I knew with eight seconds left on the shot clock, I had nothing to lose if I made an aggressive move to the basket. So, I was fortunate the basketball went in.”

      Klay Thompson
      On The Win:

      “We shared the ball real well and just looked for each other. First half we were just missing shots, easy shots that we usually make and it’s going to happen. But, we battled through it. We did a good job battling adversity, we really needed this win.”

      On Getting This Win With Such A Young Team:

      “Every game is a new experience because we’re so young and wins like this are going to help us grow. We need wins like this going down the stretch. Charles came up so big for us tonight by making real big plays in the key. It was great for us to come out with this because it’s going to help us grow as a team.”

  45. Another mega-hype Blake Griffin dunk. Whatever anyone’s selling of Griffin’s I’m not buying other than his likelihood of winning any dunk contest he enters. Seriously, what’s above average about this guy’s game other than the physicality of his dunk shots? For me, Blake Griffin’s hype outweighs his actual talents as an NBA player.

    • thanks to the power of marketing, casual fans (the majority of course) won’t notice that despite griffin’s macho act with his dunks, he flops like a lightweight expecting protection from the refs, and jogs around lost on the defensive end when he’s out of the paint.

  46. An impressive display of poise, skill and sheer strength from Charles, but foul calls MIA: Charles gets blatantly fouled by 3 different players on his game-winning drive to the hoop. Think Kobe would have been left without the and-one?

    http://www.nba.com/video/games/timberwolves/2012/04/04/0021100806_gsw_min_play5.nba/index.html

    • Jenkins confounded bigger opponents repeatedly on his drives in this game — he knows how to shield the ball with a very strong body, leaving them little option except to foul. on the close out drive when he split the three defenders, he knocks that skinny forward right over and smears the paint with him, rather funny.

      • Yeah, there were so many bodies bouncing off Charles that the refs were shocked and forgot their whistles.

  47. David Lee sets the tone of hustle and leads by example, as he has been doing all year, especially after the trade. He’s enough reason to watch the remaining games. Bogut might be influenced, and if he and Lee get into a healthy competition, there could well be serious trouble up front next year.

    I find the discussion of tanking on the other site offensive and simpleminded. These guys are fighting for their character and identity, which may pay off next year –

    – depending on whom Lacob plans to keep. I assume only Lee, Jefferson, Curry, Biedrins, Bogut, and Thompson are locks. And if Lacob doesn’t keep the others, another season for development will have been wasted.

    • Jefferson would be an ideal trade candidate if the Warriors can find any takers. He’s no better than DWright or Rush, but costs more than both together. His salary would be a problem for anyone, so you’re right, he’s probably staying with the Warriors for at least another year. But I think the Warriors would move him if they could.

    • Ordinarily I would agree with your stance on tanking, however, this season for the Warriors is unique.

      I would never advocate tanking to improve position in the draft because (for example) the difference between the most balls vs the 2nd/3rd most balls is neglible when offset against the backdrop of (essentially) forcing your players to lose.

      The Warriors however are in a ‘something or nothing’ scenario. A top 7 draft pick versus no draft pick could be a real difference maker for the franchise moving forward. My thinking is that the right pick at the top of this draft could result in a very successful season next year and a very bright future.

  48. I would assume that if Greg Oden plays next season he’ll sign for backup center money not to mention a contract that will be heavily discounted in light of his severe injury history. If you’re the Warriors are you interested?

    http://www.csnnw.com/pages/landingblazers?Odens-agent-explains-clients-disconnect-=1&blockID=683718&feedID=5212

  49. Inside The NBA…..Draft stock watch: Scouts weigh in on top prospects after tournament.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/ben_glicksman/04/05/draft.prospects/index.html?eref=sihp&sct=hp_wr_a4

  50. “Ilyasova said the trade deadline deal for Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh could help push the team into the postseason.

    “It’s like our first year when we made the playoffs (2010) and they made a great move (acquiring John Salmons) at the trade deadline,” Ilyasova said. “It was a good decision to bring Monta to our team.

    “He just gives us more scoring ability. And he plays good defense, too, and shares the ball. I think we have good team chemistry right now. Everyone is reading each other and we’re playing well together.””

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/dollars-ahead-for-ilyasova-7c4srep-146376095.html

    Will be interesting to see if the Bucks re-sign Ilyasova and then address Monta’s upcoming contract situation….or…..one of the two….or…..neither?

    • Aha! Ilyasova seems surprised by Monta’s contribution, but once people actually watch Monta play they realize how off-base his national press rep is. A far more complete player than Brandon Jennings.

  51. Video: Van Gundy “dead man walking” in Orlando (from TNT’s Inside the NBA).

    http://www.nba.com/video/channels/tnt_overtime/2012/04/05/20120405_top5_inside_2.nba/?ls=iref:nbahpt1

  52. @87:

    If a coach wants to tank, he doesn’t need to ask players to lose games. Just close out games with the least effective SF on the team (Jefferson), sit someone who’s playing well (DWright, many games), put the ball in Nate’s hands at crunch time, play a power forward (McGuire) at guard to reduce his rebounds, keep the ball away from your best-shooting player (Lee), or just run stupid plays.

    Jackson’s got it covered.

  53. Felty: You have not abandoned the Warriors, they have just abandoned you. Lacob has a different vision for the team that does not include having the team run.

    He wants a power team, and went out and got a center, which contrary to Warriors popular belief did not warrant trading Ellis and Udoh, for Bogut, a guy who bats balls out of bounds, is slow afoot, and has no go to move to the basket. But he does possess the two ingredients that the Warriors covet, the inability for their big man to hit foul shots, and garner defensive rebounds.

    Lacob’s brass are into defensive rebounds, not having the team rated no.2 in the NBA in defensive FG%, as they were the last 8 games with Udoh playing a lot of minutes. Let me know in what year the Warriors will have that type of defense again. Riley was sick and tired being three games under .500, how does he now feel?

    Lacob’s vision may work, but it will take quite some time to build the team as he wants it to be.

    They are still perplexed that the Bucks did this deal. I can see the Bucks brass lighting up cigars. They will improve their team much quicker than the Warriors will.

    The Warriors brass let Robinson, a poor shooter, take more shots than Rush, a terrific shooter. They let Udoh and Jenkins wallow on the bench while they played an inept Biedrins and Robinson.

    Their rallying cry is always “Wait till next year.” I guess we will have to wait.

  54. One final comment.We had a team that competed quite well with Miami and the Thunder. Now, we don’t. And we won’t next year.

    • about 24 other teams in the league also find it tough to compete well with Mia and OKC ; the question for next season is whether the woeyrs can join the 50% who make the post season.

      on the other blog Frank you’ve asserted that keeping Ellis and Udoh would have kept the team contending for the playoffs, but that former version of the team resembled a .500 club more than anything else. in the east, that’s post season worthy, but not in the west. you may be ignoring how Ellis’ shot attempts and ball domination suppressed the production of other players — you’ve cited Robinson as a poor shooter taking shot attempts away from Rush, but Ellis is shooting worse than ever this season. he accumulated a sizable chunk of statistical evidence that indicated that the line ups he was in scored fewer points than the same personnel subtracting him and with a different guard ; so pointing fingers at weak teammates is a weak supposition.

      • Monta shoots at roughly the same percentage as Kobe and Klay (43%) this year, but Ellis has superior rebounding and easily doubles Klay in assists. Add the defensive abilities to Monta over Klay and you will not select Klay at least not yet.
        Seriously, the trade could go either way, the facts will bear out in 1-3 years. The Dubs have madea high risk trade for sure. We will be watching walk up basketball — and it may work or not –. Moto you should address the depth of the team for the next two years. If Bogut or Curry (or god forbid Lee or Thompson) are out for significant time, we will be hearing the same refrain, “wait til next year”. Critics of Ellis never address his stats by the obvious, he is playng 4 on 5…
        BTW, please dont ignore Thompson’s lack of passing. I have seem him blow too many fast breaks this year Jerry.

  55. Bucks win tonight over Bobcats– Monta 25 points…One game out of the playoffs.

    • Ellis needed 21 attempts to get that 25 and had five turnovers to four assists. Losing Udoh had greater significance.

      • Gotta love the chemistry of the young Bucks and the ease at which they score over 105 – 110 points every night — even with Skiles as Coach (who may be learning a lotthis year).

  56. “Even with the defeat, one could easily see why the Warriors are so excited about the future. And why they so desperately want to keep their draft pick and add another piece to an explosive young corps.

    Thompson is proving to be one of the bright young shooting guards in the league, a pure shooter with range and size. His 23 points against the Jazz came on a dizzying array of smooth jumpers and post-ups that resulted in midrange baskets.”

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/jazz/53870906-87/golden-nba-season-state.html.csp

  57. It’s a no tank Saturday at The Oracle. Dubs playing well these days.

  58. “We were also treated to the rebounding lineup featuring Ty Lawson, Andre Miller, Arron Afflalo, Corey Brewer, and Kenneth Faried. With those guys corralling any-and-all boards, Karl inserted Al Harrington for Faried to make sure the Warriors would have no chance inside or be able to get any rebounds.”

    http://www.denverstiffs.com/2012/4/8/2933759/nuggets-at-warriors-recap-discombobulated-nuggets-fall-flat-in-golden?ref=yahoo

    Seems there’s very few stops around the league where the head coaching isn’t an issue. Forget the X’s and O’s, the NBA has long been strictly a “player’s league”.

  59. From the blogosphere after last night’s GSW win (or maybe moreso Denver’s loss):

    —————————————————-

    Devil
    I haven’t got a chance to watch the Warriors much this season. I have heard a lot of complaints from Warriors fans about Biedrins, but he certainly seemed to play with energy and intensity tonight. He had 2 blocks and the refs called him for a foul on another one that looked pretty clean to me. He broke up a couple of interior passes and came up with one steal, and he added 6 rebounds in 17 minutes. The one other thing that I did notice was that they never ran the pick and roll with him, preferring to go with Lee instead. Biedrins used to be a sneaky scorer in the pick and roll. I know his stats are way down this year (1.7 points and 3.9 rebounds in 16 minutes), but I can’t help but think there’s another team or another coach out there who could find the right way to use him. I mean, look at what Zaza Pachulia is doing for the Hawks, and Pachulia is a slow, clumsy, floorbound bruiser.

    Jonny J
    GK what the hell you doing, you have one of the best shot blocker and rebounder sitting on the bench. Play Birdman NOW.

    Kold
    to much small ball not using your bigs come on nuggets

    Paramount
    IMO GK is full of excuses you have a next man up philosophy. Why is birdman not playing? is his leg broke? He will punish players to stroke his ego. This man is a sadistic being who will rather leave Corey Brewer not matter how bad he plays to prove a Zero point. We have to get rid of this scourge!!!! GK is a polio to our city and a disgrace to our Nuggets lol.

    Ujiri GK is a disease to the city of Denver. GK has lost the team and it is the time to dispatch GK. GK best defense is his facial expression and his time is up. We got rid of tebow who was a winner. GK is a disease that needs to be cut out of the nuggets if this team will ever win.
    Masai are you there? Are you listening? Do you realise your legacy will be contaminated with you sticking with GK? GK is not a winning coach. Think about it!!!

    adam
    I know it’s a super weird season and injuries have been ruthless for Denver, but 1 win out of every 5 with that closing lineup, and Karl still keeps using it? Insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result…

    anonymous
    Nuggets are losers! WHY is this team struggling????? This is ridiculous. They cant beat the Warriors, they cant beat New Orleans. They barely beat the Suns the other night and they had to come from behind to do that even. What is wrong with this team. I am beginning to suspect that the players hate George Karl. I doubt the Nuggets will go to the playoffs this year. I wouldn’t want to see them go. Because if they did, they would be “one and done” again like they are every single year without fail. Look for the Nuggets to be a lottery team within the next 1-2 years. Put the blame on George Karl. I know exactly what he is doing. He trades away the older players for younger players. Golden State will probably beat them in Denver too like they did last time. George Karl has lost this team.

    Nuggets are a joke this team doesn’t belong in playoffs. Getting beat down on the road by teams like New Orleans and the Warriors.

    ———————————————————-

    The blogosphere, where all the whiners, moaners and groaners go to……whine, moan and groan. LOL

  60. WheresMyChippy

    A bit more from the blogosphere:

    Russscot:
    A couple of things

    First, Karl is not getting fired this season, and most likely won’t be fired next season – barring an even greater collapse of the team. Typing “Fire George Karl” over and over again serves no purpose.

    Second – and this should in no way be read as a support of Corey Brewer – Karl had no real choice but to play Gumby extended minutes last night. At the SF position we had two healthy players, Hamilton and Brewer. For as awful as Brewer was playing last night (and over the last few games), he was better than Hamilton, who was an even bigger turnover machine and also couldn’t hit a shot.

    Without Chandler, Gallo, and Rudy, this team which was ridiculously deep on the wing now has a dearth of talent there. Brewer is a glorified bench/hustle guy, and – while I like Hamilton (he does have the best last name ever) – JHam is not ready. I’m hopeful that he will develop, but we just aren’t that talented right now.

    Larry Cunningham:
    That is exactly what I see when I watch his team, Russcot!
    I was beinning to to think I was crazy. All I see on this thread are people calling for things that only work in fantasy basketball and blaming things on people for the wrong reasons.
    I understand everyones frustrations. Games like last night have me flipping through the DVR for show’s I missed during the week. It SUCKS! But from what I saw, we were getting out-rebounded badly BEFORE GK inserting the ridiculously small line up at the end, not because of it.
    If I’m not mistaken Brewer and JHam were the only SF’s available last night and being that DEFENSE was a big problem GK kinda had to go with Brewer. Dre and Big Al throughout the season have proven to be guys that you want and need to have on the court in crunch time!
    Has Dre chucked up some horrible shots at bad times? HELL YES! So has everyone else on the team.
    Is Harrington woefully undersized to be playing the 5? ABSOUTELY! But don’t completely dis-credit the mismatch he creates for us by pulling his man out of the key when we are on offense.
    Not to mention (and I know I’ll get killed for this) KK, Moz, and McGee ARE F**KING STIFFS! You’d think a site called Denver Stiffs would have followers who recognize that. Just because they are 7 footers doesn’t mean they will rebound (evident by McGee’s recent numbers). And what we have been losing offensively (not necessarily in points) when these guys have been in the game has been catostrophic!
    We are a VERY young, and EXTREMELY poor defensive team that got a lot worse in the short term when we traded Nene. Was that the right move? I think so. The flexability for the future it gave us was enormous.
    Guys like McGee, Harrington and Chandler are not long for this team. Hell, Ty and Gallo could be had for the right price if I’m reading the FO right. But calling for GK’s head after EVERY F**KING LOSS, even when he is partly to blame for our recent woes, is childish.

  61. Warriors go for the series sweep vs Denver on a Tank Monday.

    http://bit.ly/HmXrgR

  62. From The Bleacher Report:

    5 Players GSW Needs To Target This Offseason (Matt Hines)

    As the Golden State Warriors play out the rest of 2012 without stars Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut, head coach Mark Jackson has had plenty of time to assess his rotations and personnel going into next season. And while Golden State reserves have faired decently in absence of key starters, The Warriors have a few holes in their roster that need to be filled.

    Who should the Warriors add going forward? Here a few players the team could target.

    Dominic McGuire, F Golden State Warriors

    Golden State got themselves a steal this offseason by inking forward Dominic McGuire to a contract worth just over $850,000. McGuire’s defensive versatility has made him a regular in Mark Jackson’s rotations throughout the season.

    At 6’9’’, McGuire possesses both the size strength and dexterity to guard some of the NBA’s elite swingmen, as well as lock down undersized power forwards. He’s a great rebounder who boxes out well and is one of the most efficient players in the league on the defensive end of the court.

    Offensively, however, McGuire’s ball handling and shooting touch—or lack there of—make much of a liability, which really puts shackles on his minutes off the bench. Still, McGuire is a great stopper that fits the Warriors system well, and he should be re-signed at a relatively low cost.

    Deshawn Stevenson, SG/SF New Jersey Nets

    Stevenson could be a steal this offseason

    Perhaps best remembered for his championship run with the Mavericks last season and/or his rivalry with Lebron James, Stevenson seems like a perfect fit in Oakland. He’s a tough perimeter defender with the ability to man up players down low, and he can shoot the three-ball.

    Stevenson inked a $2.5 million contract in lieu of the NBA finals last summer, and after spending a year with the irrelevant Nets, his value should fall off a bit. Stevenson could prove to be a steal this offseason, and Golden State should strongly consider signing the veteran swingman.

    Kirk Hinrich, PG Atlanta Hawks

    The Warriors could use a veteran like Hinrich.

    With Nate Robinson likely not returning to the Warriors—his contract expires at the end of the season—Golden State will likely seek to add another point guard to back up Stephen Curry.

    Rookie Charles Jenkins, though full of potential, doesn’t appear to be ready to assume a regular role off the bench and the team could look to add a veteran like Kirk Hinrich to split time at the point.

    Hinrich is a combo guard by nature, and is a solid perimeter defender. He’s fully capable of playing the one or the two with his solid mid-range to three-point jump shot and would be a solid backup behind Stephen Curry.

    Rudy Fernandez, SG Denver Nuggets

    Fernandez seems like a perfect fit in Oakland.

    With the departure of Monta Ellis the Warriors could use some added depth at two guard, and Fernadez seems like a good free agent fit for the Warriors.

    At 6’6’’, Fernandez has solid size at the two. He’s a quick defender capable of playing with most guards around the league, though he tends to get dominated in strength matchups.

    On the other side of the ball, Fernadez’s European roots make him a great off-ball player who constantly finds himself with open space to penetrate or take jumpers. Fernandez has great ball handling ability as well, and loves to create when given the opportunity.

    He’ll be recovering from season-ending back surgery, which should diminish his free-agent value this offseason, and Golden State should take full advantage of signing Fernandez on the cheap.

    Brandon Rush, SG Golden State Warriors

    It’ll be pricy, but Rush should return to the Warriors next season.

    Rush has played a pivotal role for the Warriors off the bench this season, and Golden State should strongly consider re-signing their 6’6’’ swingman.

    Rush is lights out from distance, with the NBA’s fifth best three-point percentage at 45 percent this season. He consistently gives the team a lift off the bench, and if the Dubs were faring better in the win-loss column, Rush would likely be in the conversation for Sixth Man of the Year.

    Rush’s athleticism makes him a tenacious defender that Mark Jackson loves, thus making it easy for Rush to grab minutes as a reserve. Rush has carried the Warriors through games at times, especially after the Ellis trade.

    Rush is a restricted free agent at the season’s close, and while the $4.1 million qualifying offer might seem pricey, it might be in the Warriors’ best interest to return the breakout shooting guard.

  63. Mile high blowout.

    Warriors at Nuggets: Postgame Interviews (4/9/12)

    Mark Jackson
    On The Lack Of Effort:
    “They came out like a team that was embarrassed on national tv. We came out going through the motions. It was a good old fashion beat down.”

    On Kenneth Faried
    “All I know was tonight he was there guy with the biggest motor. He was probably on a different level than anyone on the floor and he set the tone. We know who he is. We know how he can have an impact on the game. We allowed him to do just that tonight. If we matched his intensity then we’ll do just fine. He’s going to be a heck of a player but today he does it with his motor and he certainly had it on full display tonight.”

    On Falling Behind Early:
    “We weren’t ready. They came out aggressive, they came out pushing the basketball, they came out physical. And by the time we realized what hit us, the game was out of reach. Disappointing.”

    David Lee
    On The Difference Between Tonight’s Game and Saturday’s Game:
    “I thought we gave a pretty good effort on Saturday. Tonight was about as bad as we could play as a team. We played awful. Got off to a bad start. Had a bad middle of the game and finished the game poorly. All five positions they played us. It was just one of those days where when you play an 82, or in this case a 66-game season, it’s going to happen. It’s the unfortunate part of being in the NBA is nights like this. It’s one of the worst feelings in the world.”

    On Denver’s Dominance On The Boards:
    “Really, if you look at any statistic the rebounding, the blocked shots, the fast-break points, the points in the paint, we showed no signs of life at all throughout the entire game. Meanwhile, they were hitting all their shots and they were playing their best game. They predicted they would bounce back after losing twice to us and have a good game and unfortunately they were correct in that prediction.”

    On Whether They Were Ready For Denver To Come Out The Way They Did:
    “Absolutely we were ready. We were focused as a team and just didn’t come out and execute. We didn’t do anything right on either end of the floor and got out played skill-wise and effort-wise. That’s the most frustrating thing, that we couldn’t have given better effort.”

    Klay Thompson
    On Being Down By So Much So Early:
    “[Playing with] just pride. You come out and get embarrassed like this especially after a team says ‘we don’t like losing to bad teams.’ It’s terrible. This one should really hurt us and motivate us to finish strong. By far the worst loss of the season and it was a terrible feeling.”

    On How Denver Got Such A Big Lead:
    “We were soft on the glass. They were just beasting us on the offensive boards and they got so many second chance points. You can’t give a team like that, especially at home, second chance points. It was embarrassing, we just got to be tougher.”

    On Kenneth Faried:
    “He had 17 rebounds and he just ran the floor. He made some good post moves. You have to give it to him, he had a good night. He played a lot more energy than us but he just ran the floor, his teammates were finding him and he was playing like a man on the offensive glass. That’s probably what he did the best.”

  64. “Khloe’s little Lam Lam will go down as one of the biggest disgraces in Dallas sports history because he wouldn’t even do the simplest thing in sports: play hard.”

    http://espn.go.com/dallas/nba/story/_/id/7793017/lamar-odom-tired-dallas-mavericks-act-had-end

  65. “Andrew Bogut is no longer playing for the Bucks, but his bobblehead legend lives on. The Bucks distributed bobbleheads of the former Bucks center Monday night after soliciting opinion on the team’s website and Facebook page. The results? More than 65% of the fans said the Bucks should give away the bobbleheads, even though Bogut is now a member of the Golden State Warriors.”

    First Cup: Tuesday

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/40353/first-cup-tuesday-200

  66. KNBR: Ted Robinson talks to GSW Assistant GM Bob Myers.

    http://www.knbr.com/portals/3/podcasts/razormrt/041012myers.mp3

  67. Good job, Steve.

    Getting kinda nervous about this whole 7th pick thing. Thought it was for sure in the bag. But now I’m thinking maybe not. They are gonna have to win no more than two games the rest of the way. They are playing too good for that. Think DL needs to sit the rest of the way.

    Love seeing the rookies get all that playing time, by the way.

    • Brytex, how’s it goin’? I don’t see many more wins the rest of the way given their schedule. Regardless of their final position after game 66 the only thing that really matters is the bounce of those lottery balls. Maybe they can get lucky for a change, ya think?

      • the only thing that really matters is the bounce of those lottery balls. Maybe they can get lucky for a change

        You mean by getting the number 1 pick? Yes! Woo Hoo!!!

  68. Music Time Out: Toni Braxton (how did Metta World Peace get in on this?)

  69. SI.com’s Power Rankings:

    Golden State Warriors (22-34)

    If Stephen Curry’s ankles turn out to be made of papier-mâché again next season, the Warriors will be better prepared after giving second-round pick Charles Jenkins plenty of on-the-job training at the point. The 6-3, 220-pound Jenkins has good size for the position, and in recent weeks the rookie has shown an ability to score at the rim while maintaining excellent ball-control skills. In the last 10 games, he has averaged 11.3 points (on 52.7 percent shooting), 5.7 assists and only 1.4 turnovers in 27.2 minutes. Nate Robinson, and for that matter Curry, are shoot-first point guards who prefer to score in three-point bunches. Despite his record as a scorer at Hofstra, Jenkins seems naturally inclined to distribute, penetrate and defend — qualities that will come in handy if the Warriors are finally going to take a significant step forward in their rebuilding process next season.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/britt_robson/04/10/power.rankings/index.html#ixzz1rjz9w4Pl

    • But Steve, Jenkins walks the ball up too much no?

      • Hi, Frank. I like Jenkins but he’s played so few games. I’m assuming he’ll play in the summer league and along with a more normal offseason where he’ll be able to interact with Warriors coaches and then go through a full training camp we should get a pretty good idea of what his strengths and weaknesses are by next season. I think much of his tentativeness is simply a matter of getting acclimated to the NBA and running an offense in the process, all while being a rookie. I think GSW made good use of their 2nd round pick. What’s your opinion of Jenkins?

        • I like his mid range shot and demaeanor. Seems like he is strong and can hit a pressure shot. And he is a pt giard who shares the ball.

          Downside: Is he quick enough? And can he direct a team which wants to run like the Dubs used to or when they need to?

          I agree a good second round pick. Albeit Sacto outdid us with Thomas the last pick in the draft and the likely ROY. He is good.

  70. After watching Udoh play, if posters still think that Bogut is a better defensive center, so be it. There is no reason to continue to argue this point.

    I do think that management have a very parochial view when then assert that Bogut is a transformational center.

    • John Hollinger of ESPN also thinks Bogut was an elite defensive player. Whether he still is or not post injury we’ll have to find out. Yes, Bogut is a better defensive center – and rebounder and scorer. And Udoh is a better defensive power forward…

      What a defensive frontcourt tandem they would have made – Bogut and Udoh! Average 5 blocks per game total!

  71. Travis Schlenk, Warriors’ assistant GM: Schlenk has risen through the ranks from video guy to a trusted voice on all trades and personnel decisions. In what can often be a challenging environment with an abundance of agendas, Schlenk has just put his head down and outworked everyone. He’s invaluable when it comes to evaluating college talent, scouting pro personnel and working out complicated trade mechanics. In other words, he wears all the hats well. As much as the Warriors value him, sources say the team wouldn’t stand in the way if Schlenk got an opportunity for a promotion with another organization.

    “Best Executive Free Agents on the Market”

    http://www.cbssports.com/nba/story/18472570/postups-listing-the-best-executive-free-agents-on-the-market

  72. KNBR: Ric Bucher (BTW, I agree with Bucher’s sentiments regarding the possibility of Odom to the Warriors next season.)

    http://www.knbr.com/portals/3/podcasts/garyradnich/041112ricbucher.mp3

  73. Bogut’s definitely an upgrade at center, but he doesn’t make the Warriors an instant contender. His record says he’ll do better against big centers, and he’ll get more rebounds than Udoh.

    He’s never been as mobile as Udoh, though, and he could be even slower next year after breaking his ankle. So he probably won’t be as good as Udoh at help defense against players driving the lane. On most teams that would be OK, but next year’s Warriors center will have to help compensate for Curry and Thompson’s defense. As usual, the Warriors guards are going to keep their bigs in foul trouble.

  74. Michael Hunt of the Journal Sentinel: Amid the buzz that was good to hear on a Wednesday night, the Bucks were in the game to end all games – at least for the last playoff spot in the East, at least for this week – for a good reason. They have a roster suited for no better than eighth place. They played like it from the start against the shorthanded New York Knicks, who were tougher and eminently willing to take part in the layup line the Bucks provided. Allow the opposition to make 14 of their first 16 shots, miss nine free throws – didn’t the Bucks used to be No. 1 in the league from the line? – and fail to make plays at the end, and a 111-107 loss gives you pretty much what you deserve, playoff-wise. Let’s face it. The trade for Monta Ellis, who was a daring scorer against the Knicks with 35 points, wasn’t meant to make the Bucks seriously competitive this season. It was made to hold their place until they can finally get control of their payroll and maybe find the right pieces to get them out of this NBA no-man’s land.

    First Cup: Thursday

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/40512/first-cup-thursday-201

    • “The trade for Monta Ellis wasn’t meant to make the Bucks seriously competitive this season………Maybe find the right pieces to get them out of this NBA no-man’s land.”

      Hmmm, kinda sounds like going nowhere fast? LOL

      Steve | April 2, 2012 at 1:26 am | Reply

      The Bucks were going nowhere fast before the trade and they’re going just as fast to the same place (nowhere) after, albeit now a bit more entertaining to watch. Sound familiar?

      While neither Chicago or Miami would be defined by any sane person as “nowhere” in terms of destinations around the US of A, if the Bucks manage to get a playoff berth in the East their ultimate role of cannon fodder for either the Bulls or Heat would place them in “Nowheresville” on the only map that counts for Bucks’ fans. So, to nowhere-but-home after Game 66, or to Nowheresville courtesy the Bulls or Heat. Yes! LOL

      In summary, this season WAS toast and still IS toast for Milwaukee. The trade didn’t change the “toastiness” of 2011-12. And they traded Bogut because?

  75. Marcus Thompson

    Interesting that Jamal Crawford is having a big game against the Warriors. I’ve heard GSW is on his list of desired locations. Crawford is a good fit for the Warriors in the sense he can play two positions. But a guard is not tops on the Warriors’ list. Plus, all they have is the mid-level exception to spend. I don’t know if GSW is likes him or not (GM Larry Riley acquired him once, and Crawford’s issue was with Don Nelson), but it certainly looks as if Crawford is making a case tonight.

    • Jamal Crawford is possibly the worst defending guard in the NBA, and as a shoot-first player he’s no PG. Playing him behind Thompson would bring no better offense while worsening the weakest aspect of the Warriors’ game. If Mark Jackson is “defensive minded,” Crawford isn’t on his list.

  76. Postgame comments following loss to Portland:

    Mark Jackson
    On The Fourth Quarter:
    “We were able to spread the floor with a smaller lineup and were very effective getting into seams and making plays. The bottom line is we got what we wanted on the offensive end… we lost this ballgame on the defensive end. You give up 118 points and allow them to get a rhythm and open shots, that’s not our brand of defense that we’ve been preaching all year long.”

    On The Team’s Defense:
    “We’ve been giving [up] uncontested shots, we haven’t made the adjustments… we made a lot of mistakes all night long. It cannot be accepted, it cannot be tolerated, so disappointed with our overall effort tonight. We were great in spurts, but we don’t get paid to play or coach in spurts.”

    On Facing The Blazers Without LaMarcus Aldridge:
    “They’re very well coached, and they have pros on that team. They still have weapons on the floor, and we expected a very hard-fought ballgame, but we’re disappointed coming out of here losing.”

    On Motivating Team To Play Defense With Playoffs Out Of The Picture:
    “That may be an excuse for other teams, but for us that’s not acceptable. We’ve been defending all year long. The last two games we haven’t been ourselves, and like I said it cannot be accepted. We’re going to close this thing out the right way.”

    David Lee
    On The Defense In The Game:
    “Both teams didn’t exactly play shut-down defense tonight. For those guys, Jamal Crawford got it going. Any time he gets it going it not only opens it up for himself, but with all the attention you have to give him it opens it up for other guys on the floor. That’s the reason you can’t let him get it going early.”

    On Getting A Lot Of Points In The Paint:
    “That’s something we try to make an effort on, is continuing to get the ball in the paint, continuing to drive and not settle for jump shots. A lot of times when we do that it opens up the three point line because the other team has to collapse. I thought we did a pretty good job, especially in the first half, of doing that.”

    On Staying Motivated To Play Defense:
    “We have a lot to play for still as far as pride, but as far as the standings are concerned there’s not a lot going on with either team. I think the first bit of laziness that creeps in is on the defensive end.”

    Nate Robinson
    On Giving Up 118 Points:
    “That’s embarrassing, but when you let a guy like Jamal get it going, he gets it going for everybody else and it’s going to be a long night, like it was. For the most part our team played hard, we just gave up a lot of buckets that were uncalled for. They got a lot of second-chance opportunities tonight and they capitalized.”

    On The End Of The Game:
    “They made adjustments and we tried to get everyone else involved. A couple shots didn’t fall but guys continued to play hard and we just didn’t seal the deal.”

  77. Ellis 35 points, and the *non passer* also had 10 assists! I know: He cann0t walk on water.

    http://www.nba.com/games/20120411/NYKMIL/gameinfo.html

    • The Bucks’s little front court produced 57 points and had 10 boards and 17 assists. Udoh made some outstanding defensive stops, especially 4th. quarter. Milwaukee didn’t have a consistent scorer at forward, however. If they had David Lee, for example. I think I like Curry better than Jennings. If the Bucks had Curry, Ellis, Lee, and Udoh, they’d have a nucleus for a team with a lot of potential next year.

      Hmmmmm.

      • the team you describe was headed to .500 when it was based in oaktown ; of course, in Mil that qualifies them for the post season. keeping ellis around also detrimentally influences the development of curry, thompson, and jenkins because of the entitlement he felt here, perpetuated by both smart and jackson and not likely to be indulged to the same degree by skiles.

        • Interesting perspective, moto, but a couple of points:

          · With Jackson at coach the dubs were headed toward a .400 season before the trade, not .500. They were never going to reach the playoffs. But don’t you think that had a whole lot more to do with the MIA centers and the coaching than with the core of the team?

          · Monta plays the way his coaches tell him to play, or he sits, just like anyone else. I always thought his occasional 1-on-5 performances with the dubs was only proof of weird coaching. He may have sense of entitlement, as you say, but we don’t know it from his game play. He averaged more assists than Curry this season.

          · This year’s dubs with a real center and a healthy Curry would have easily been over .500. Especially with Monta playing as well as he did on both ends of the floor this year.

          · Have to agree that having Monta pull 40 min./game slowed the development of the rookie guards. But having Monta on the floor means never having to say you’re sorry to rookies. With him around, our two rookie guards would have had to meet higher standards to get much playing time. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. We’d have won more games.

          • have to disagree. once Udoh became a starter with >28 min. per game, the team looked headed to .500 if Curry could play. it’s not just the rookie guards who were affected by Ellis’ ball dominance and preferred modus operandi, but Curry and Lee as well. Lee has revived his inside game and asserted leadership without Ellis needing his court space and assuming the presumptive ‘best player’ alpha position. your p.o.v. is pretty much what Lacob and Jackson were touting, that they had a playoff squad — we can only speculate at this point, and Ellis can enjoy his contract and scoring average elsewhere.

  78. Coaches have to realize that with Udoh on the court, there is no need to have perimeter defenders leave their man. Last night, Skiles, like Jackson,
    didn’t get that concept and as result the Bucks lost, which probably eliminated the Bucks from making the playoffs.

    Also, Skiles limited Udoh to playing less then 23 minutes and even in his limited playing time, he had three blocks, a few offensive rebounds, and hit 3 of the 4 shots.

    Ellis was just terrific.

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