Playoffs, Baby!: Feltbot’s 2012 NBA Playoffs First Round Predictions

Here’s something I don’t think I’ve ever said before: Thank God we now have the opportunity to watch some basketball played by teams that are trying to win.

Jump for my 2012 NBA playoff first-round predictions. As well as my bonus predictions for the conference champions and the NBA title, in case you happen to be looking at those lines (I’m not).    

Before we get to the forecasting though, here’s a little scorekeeping on my season predictions to date:

Regular Season: The Western Conference played out pretty much as I predicted before the season.  I didn’t expect the veteran-laden Spurs to have the best record in the West, but I did have them higher than most, at fourth. I had Memphis — the team that knocked out the Spurs last year — higher, but I couldn’t predict that Zach Randolph and Darrell Arthur would miss the regular season.

The one surprise for me was the Trailblazers, who imploded. It was a classic case of an incompetent coach who was handed a roster that he didn’t know what to do with.  (Something Warriors fans might be familiar with.) With the subtractions of Roy and Miller and the additions of Felton and Crawford, the Blazers should have gone from the slowest team in the league to one of the fastest. The only catch was Nate McMillan. He refused to change his approach, and lost his players as a result.

I shouldn’t have been so surprised. For years, I have been the only NBA commentator I am aware of who has consistently called Nate McMillan a fraud and an incompetent. I would have seen this coming, if I hadn’t watched the Blazers play a wide-open style in the preseason. What happened?

Replacing the Blazers — completely by default — were the Utah Jazz.  The Rockets and Suns collapsed from injury and old age. The Warriors tanked. The Jazz are without a doubt the weakest team in the Western Conference playoffs in over a decade. But they do have a couple of intriguing young players who started to put it together over the last half of the season: Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors.

Preseason Bets: I only made one preseason wager this season, betting on the Indiana Pacers over 36. 5 wins. Kaching! The Pacers closed the season at 42-24.

As always, I considered betting on the Warriors as well. Why not? I know the Warriors better than any other team, I know they have been historically undervalued relative to their talent, and I know that their 26.5 wins line was completely absurd — an insult. Consider the fact that they won 23 games, while trying to lose.

But in the end, I made the right read of Joe Lacob, and the correct decision not to bet the Warriors. This is what I wrote before the season, in The Las Vegas Verdict on Joe Lacob’s 2012 Golden State Warriors:

…. And we haven’t even gotten to the biggest “if” of all: If Joe Lacob decides to support his team this year at the trading deadline. As I read the tea leaves, I have serious doubts about whether that will happen. I am actually growing convinced that Lacob is looking to blow up the core of this Warriors team with a Monta Ellis trade, and that it could happen this season.

And this is what I wrote before the season, in Joe Lacob and the Hidden Meaning of the Warriors Bench:

Joe Lacob does not believe in his basketball team.

Joe Lacob does not believe that the Warriors can build successfully around the core of David Lee, Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis….

Big Things are Coming.

And when they do, Monta Ellis will be going.

Make of this what you will. I’ll tell you what I make of it: I’ve been reading Joe Lacob’s mail for two years, alone and on an island. No other Warriors writer has sought to give you the real truth regarding Joe Lacob and the Golden State Warriors. And very few readers have agreed with me. I don’t care. I got it right.

And I’m going to keep reading Lacob’s mail going forward, beginning with my next post. Stay tuned for my season post-mortem, if you have the stomach for it.

“Now that we’ve got that over with…” — Joe Lacob, 3-19-2012.

Not yet, Joe. Not yet. More coming. But for now, let’s take a break and talk about winners.

PLAYOFFS, BABY!

Before getting to the first round matchups and my picks, I’ll ruin the suspense and give you my Finals prediction: Spurs v. Heat. And the 2012 NBA champion?

Greg Popovich. I mean, the San Antonio Spurs. Too talented, too deep, too versatile, too well coached. They can and will play any lineup, any style, and exploit any matchup. Size, half court execution, three point shooting, speed, spread fours, wing stoppers, veteran backups. Checkity, check, check, check. And the best playoff coach in the league. After the one Joe Lacob fired, of course.

Their second asterisk.

Western Conference:

Spurs (-2000) v. Jazz (+1200): Next.

Lakers (-195) v. Nuggets (+175): It’s kind of scary that this line is so low, considering how much moronic Lakers money is going to get poured all over it. Kind of makes you think something must truly be up with the injury that’s kept Kobe Bryant out lately. It couldn’t be all about Metta World Peace’s suspension, could it?

The Lakers frontline has a massive advantage. The Manimal, Kenneth Faried, has been a revelation in his rookie year, but in the playoffs, undersized power forwards have been known to completely disappear against Bynum and Gasol. That’s you, Boozer.  The Nuggets are really going to need Javale McGee in this series. I’m tempted to say that’s all she wrote.

I would love to give the Nuggets a fighting chance.  Under normal circumstances, they might be able to flip this series by enforcing their up and down style of play. But here’s the deal: They’ve lost Wilson Chandler, who I think is one of their best players. Their other best player, Gallinari, is still coming off injury and doesn’t appear at all ready. Harrington is playing through a torn meniscus. And they’ve got a new team that’s never played together, much less in the playoffs.

On the other hand, Kobe’s injured, MWP’s out, and there is what I call the Derek Fisher problem. Do you remember how the ball always used to find Fisher at the three point line at the end of the shot clock? Do you remember how he always used to hit that shot? Well, nowadays that ball is finding Ramon Sessions and Steve Blake. One of whom can’t hit the backboard, and the other is afraid to even shoot.

Still, the Nuggets can’t win this series. Right? So why is this line so low?

I’m picking the Lakers. But I’m not betting them. And unlike the Warriors ownership, it’ll be a cold day in hell before I root for them, or any LA team.

Thunder (-475) v. Mavericks (+400): I don’t think the Mavs will look anything like the regular season pushover that went 1-3 against the Thunder. But without defensive stars Tyson Chandler and DeShawn Stevenson, and playmaker JJ Barea, I don’t think they have enough to hold off the Thunder this year.

It will be fascinating for me to watch the “new and improved” Brandon Wright in this series. I simply can’t imagine the player I once called “The Ragdoll” actually surviving real playoff contact with Nick Collison and Serge Ibaka. I expect blood, I expect dislocations, I expect fear of boxing out.

And I expect benching. Too bad they don’t have lines on these things.

Grizzlies (-200) v. Clippers (+180):  The smart money moved this line in a flash from the opening Grizzlies -135. And I think the smart money’s right.

The Clippers are absolutely awful at the wings. None of those guys can play a lick of defense, and I just don’t think you can win a playoff series with that.

Blake Griffin is one of the most overrated players in the league, and he’ll be going against some real big boys who won’t let him dunk. He also can’t close games, with that horrendous 50% free throw shooting.

It’s all down to Chris Paul. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But he’s not going against Fisher and Blake this season. He’ll be going against Tony Allen and Mike Conley, the best defensive backcourt in the league.

The Grizzlies are not without their own questions. Zach Randolph has been far from inspiring since rejoining the team. And his belated insertion means the Grizzlies will suffer chemistry problems. Also, Marc Gasol has fatigued considerably in recent weeks, and may no longer be the dominant force we saw early this season and in last year’s playoffs.

It shouldn’t matter.

Eastern Conference: I’m far less knowledgeable on the East than the West — rarely watch it — so if I manage to drum up a strong opinion on something, you might be better off ignoring it.

Bulls (-1300) v. Sixers (+900): The Sixers stumbled into the playoffs, amid noises the team was quitting on Doug Collins. Doesn’t say much for their chances of an upset, does it?

On the other hand, the Bulls have played better this year without Derrick Rose than with him. And unfortunately for them, Rose is back. And he’s not even fully healthy.

I’m being facetious (a little). Rose won’t hurt the Bulls until they play the Heat.

Celtics (-190) v. Hawks (+170): Another somewhat surprisingly close line. But in this case it can partially be explained by the fact that the Hawks have homecourt. Can the Horford-less Hawks really beat the Allen-less Celtics? (Allen is expected to play, but his ankle is beyond bad.)

I don’t really know. Have I even watched a Hawks game this year? (I don’t count Mark Jackson-coached Warriors games as real basketball games.)

I don’t care. I’m betting the Celtics, on the principle that home court ain’t no thang when you’ve got the better team.

Pacers (-900) v. Magic (+700): The Pacers lost the regular season matchup against the Magic 3-1.  So why are the Pacers 9-1 favorites in this series?

You know why.

Heat (-1100) v. Knicks (+700): Melo v. Lebron! In the playoffs!

BDiddy back in primetime! He won’t get turned over 7 times by Mario Chalmers like Jeremy Lin.

This series could very well be fascinating to watch. Certainly more than that series price indicates. The Mike Woodson Knicks are one of the best defensive teams in the league (though the return of Stoudemire has thrown a wrench in that). They are big and physical and won’t let the Heat bully them.

Do Stoudemire and Baron Davis have enough in the tank for one big playoff series?

I don’t think the Knicks can win — unless of course Wade gets re-injured, a very real possibility. But they could wind up scaring Heat bettors. And I do think they might be worth a bet or two, taking the points, in must-win games.

224 Responses to Playoffs, Baby!: Feltbot’s 2012 NBA Playoffs First Round Predictions

  1. Repost from previous thread:

    @145

    “Mark Jackson is a puke, and so is Joe Lacob.”

    LOL white hat, I love how you and others have simply rearranged the deck chairs to correlate with the season’s final 2 games in stating your opinions of the Warriors head coach and owner. Jackson and Lacob have been “pukes” all season for various reasons only now the convenient path for you, Felt and some others here to take with your dressed-up criticisms and sorry indignations is the way these last 2 games played out. Spare me the veiled vitriol.

    I’m sure the world would be a better place today if only Jackson and Lacob had been cuffed and imprisoned following these supposed competition-related acts of crime. The fact of the matter is, without taking sides or continuing to address the subject of “tanking”, which has been discussed ad nauseum in recent weeks, any fly-by-night two-bit lawyer would have both MJ and JL out within hours and the case thrown out just as fast based on legal precedent:

    “Arguably the best example of “tanking” is the 1996-1997 San Antonio Spurs. A look at their record over several seasons is striking. Over the previous seven 82 game seasons, San Antonio won 56, 55, 47, 49, 55, 62 and 59 games – a combined winning percentage of 66.7%. Then, suddenly, they won only 20 of 82 games in 1996-1997, snagged the #1 draft pick in the lottery and drafted Tim Duncan.

    In fairness to the Spurs, some of that was out of their control. The team was hit hard by injuries: David Robinson played only 6 games, while Sean Elliott (an All-Star the previous season who averaged 20 points per game) only played in 39 games. But a reasonable case can be made that San Antonio could have done better and intentionally did not.

    If San Antonio did intentionally tank the 1996-1997 season, look what it got them – a Hall of Fame player, 15 consecutive seasons as a championship contender, and 4 world championships, including 3 in 5 years. The Spurs have won at least 50 games for 13 consecutive 82 game seasons, and won 37 of 50 in the 1999 season that was shortened by a lockout. There is little argument that losing 62 of 82 games paid off.”

    Did someone just call Gregg Popovich a puke? LOL

    • Repost from previous thread:

      “Spare me the veiled vitriol.”

      There’s nothing “veiled” about calling someone a puke, Steve.

      There’s also no connection between my disgust over a poor simulation of an NBA game and my dismay over Jackson’s so-called coaching ability.

      The only reason there has ever been room for a speck of doubt about the Warriors tanking is because Jackson didn’t have the chops to win when he tried. By my count, in the first half of the season (when the team was presumably trying to be competitive) Jackson single-handedly cost the team at least half their losses. He’s so bad that you yourself couldn’t tell the difference between when he was trying to win and trying to lose. Until last night, of course.

      NBA fans pay good money to see NBA games. We didn’t get one last night. On a different topic, Jackson is a terrible coach. He probably kicks his dog too.

  2. Steve, I’m not sure why I’m bothering to attempt a discussion with someone who is incapable of bringing himself to admit something that was blatantly obvious to every other NBA observer in the universe: that Mark Jackson coached the last two Warriors games to lose. That does not bode well for a rational discourse. But I’ll attempt a few points, most of which I’ve attempted before:

    1) There is a difference between management tanking a team, and a coach intentionally coaching a team to lose. The former happens all the time, while in my experience I had never seen the latter, until encountering Mark Jackson.

    2) There is a difference between management tanking a no-hope team at mid-season, and management premeditatedly tanking a team with playoff hopes before the season even starts.

    3) There is a difference between management tanking a no-hope team at mid-season, and management tanking a team still in the playoff picture, with playoff expectations, at mid-season. Only the latter causes an unnamed player to be quoted saying: “Does this mean we’re giving up on the season?”

    4) After losing David Robinson 9 games in, the 96-97 Spurs were 3-15 to start the season under coach Bob Hill. They did not tank the season. They were HORRIBLE. 3-15, .167.

    After Popovich fired Hill and took over, the Spurs went 17-47, .266 the rest of the way, despite losing their second best player to injury, Sean Elliot, 39 games in. The team’s roster got worse, the team’s winning percentage increased. This is coaching to lose?

    Greg Popovich never coached to lose, ever. Nor does any self-respecting NBA coach.

    Managements tank, not coaches. Until Mark Jackson took the job.

    5) In case it’s not already clear, personnel decisions like holding out players for “injury” or player-development reasons are management decisions. The classic way in which managements tank.

    Refusing to play your best available players in crunch time is a coaching decision.

    • Felt, there are a lot of things that are “blatantly obvious” around here. Instead of re-typing many of my thoughts and opinions I’ll just leave it to the other bloggers to chime in on what’s been said.

      I will say that despite “coaching to lose” Jackson probably has just as much, if not more, respect from the roster of players he just finished coaching than any other coach in the league has from his respective team.

      As an example, if the heretofore almost unknown (to the rest of the league) Chris Wright is playing and prospering in the NBA years from now he can likely point to the extended minutes he was given by Jackson in the nationally televised season finale where all the NBA world could see and appreciate his gifted athleticism and raw talent. If not by GSW, this kid IMO will definitely be given a contract by some team next season strictly off what he showed vs SA.

      P.S. I don’t remember watching any of the Spurs games during that “disastrous” 1996 season. Thankfully you apparently were glued to those last 64 games so it’s refreshing to know that Popovich coached all out to win all those games despite Tim Duncan being the possible casualty for excessive winning. I will definitely sleep better tonight knowing there was never any tank in Pop. Yes!

      P.P.S. Speaking of Popovich and his supposed always coaching to win style: In February he took his team to Portland and rested both Duncan and Parker for the entire game. The result was a 137-97 loss. Was he coaching to win? However you want to spin it, the fact is that for the betterment of his team in the future he didn’t prioritize winning that night. Amazing how the eye of the beholder can sometimes be so muddied.

      • Once again, Steve — and this is the very last time I attempt to explain this to someone who clearly isn’t of a mind to listen — resting players, or holding them out of games for any reason, is not coaching to lose, it’s a management decision. Not at all what I’m talking about. Regardless of the eventual outcome, I don’t have to have watched the game to know that Pop still coached that game to win — with the players available.

        Now if Pop started Duncan and Parker, but then benched them for the entire fourth quarter because the game was close, and he didn’t want to risk winning… that would be coaching to lose. Exactly what Jackson did, and exactly what I am talking about.

        Or if Pop started DeJuan Blair at the 2 guard for 5 games prior to the trading deadline, while Manu Ginobili was perfectly healthy on the bench, and the Spurs were in the hunt for the 8 seed, just to make blowing up his team more palatable to media and fans…

        Actually, that’s not a perfect analogy. DeJuan Blair can score.

        Lacob tanked the team. Jackson coached to lose.

        • I think you’ll find plenty of unseemly precedent in the other oft-cited recent tank job. The 2007 Celtics had a few in game adjustments that no coach could defend as playing to win. My memory is a little hazy on the details, but I’m pretty sure there was a game where Doc sat Pierce with a 15+ point second half lead and never put him back in the game even as the kids blew it. I’m pretty sure his postgame comments were pretty much exactly what Jackson said too – along the lines of “these kids deserved the opportunity to learn to finish the game”.

          • Actually, there are plenty of parallels between the 2007 Celtics and 2012 Warriors. Intentional on Lacob’s part I’m sure. We can only hope it turns out as well for us. I’m sure that is the exact playbook Lacob is following since he was a minority owner for that team. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lacob looks to deal the pick he gets as the spoils of tanking for a veteran like they traded for Ray Allen on draft day. And maybe we can hope that Jackson improves as a tactician as much as Doc has. But Doc got to keep Thibideau as a tutor for several years, and Malone may be walking this offseason.

      • Steve,

        We’ve talked about this before, but you don’t seem to get it: with an open mike in their face players are required to spew media material in conformance with their employer’s marketing program. It’s a big part of every pro athlete’s job. Any player who doesn’t deliver on cue is considered unprofessional. In extreme cases they’re considered unemployable. Why do you think the dubs were so anxious to dump sJax when they reacquired him in the Ellis trade? Isn’t he a far better player than Jefferson?

        If you find any real truth in sound bytes – media product packaged and sold by the time slice – you are mistaken. OF COURSE Warriors players say they support the coach. That IS the company line. But when Monta left the Warriors he thanked the fans and didn’t mention any regret at all about leaving the Jackson/Lacob program. There’s your truth: what players say and don’t say when their job is NOT on the line.

        • “There is a difference between management tanking a team, and a coach intentionally coaching a team to lose.”

          Except – Greg Popovich – who fired his coach, WAS BOTH management and coach in 1997… Beautiful tank scenario.

          What’s the difference between a coach intentionally coaching a team to lose – and doing everything imaginable to not put the team in a position to win?

          “Greg Popovich never coached to lose, ever. Nor does any self-respecting NBA coach.”

          Except the year Tim Duncan’s the consensus #1. Fire the coach, take over as coach (and GM, by the way), ensuring the team “doesn’t win.”

          Or perhaps Popovich was a really horrid, horrible, disasterous coach/GM in THAT PARTICULAR SEASON, then HALL OF FAME WORTHY both BEFORE and AFTERWARDS… Up to you to decide for yourselves. My worthless vote is in…

          How can Pops be a Hall of Fame coach/GM – when he coached/GM the team with the WORST NBA record for one season? Was Pops a failure to have the least talented team and worst coached team in one season?

          One can’t have it BOTH ways.

          “Lacob tanked the team. Jackson coached to lose.”

          How does one explain the Timberwolves/Warriors game? Jackson single-handedly won the game in my opinion. Is Mark Jackson that better a coach than Rick Adelman? On the road? At the end of a back to back to back? With a less talented roster? At the end of a “tanked” season with no incentive to win?

          1997 – Spurs.
          2008 – Celtics.

          • JACKSON won the TWolves game? Holy smokes, my bad, I thought it was Mr. Jenkins. 48 minutes, 24 points (on 12-22), 9 assists and 6 rebounds while holding Barea to 5-18. The only way Jackson could have had an impact on that kind of performance would have been to bench Jenkins. Like he did in the last two games.

          • Steve it is difficult to see you compare Coach Pop with Coach Jackson, and Spurs Management with Warriors Management. When players talk about coach and ownership, they are told by their agents not to criticize management, because it pisses off not only team management but other owners around the league. A player only hurts his earning potential by saying his coach is not up to snuff. Sometimes players are critical of management if they WANT to be trades. Most players want to collect their checks, and move on for a new and bigger contract. Negativity of any sort usually means less money.

            Re: Tanking Of course the Warriors tanked! I was at the last home game. four centers? fake injuries?

    • Something to consider up there in the rarefied air of your soapbox…

      Tell me one player…tell me one time… a player that Mark Jackson put on the floor didn’t play hard & didn’t play to win!!! You can argue how they played, but you can’t argue his “players” disrespected the game.

      …and winning those last 2 games would’ve meant what? Sit a couple vets for ‘positioning’ in the draft is a sin…but Pop & players not even showing up to ‘position’ his team better for the playoffs that’s okay?

      • Truly don’t understand why this concept is so difficult to grasp, unless it’s because people subconsciously don’t want to grasp it. Holding players out for rest or to tank is done all the time. Its established practice. But coaching to lose with your active players is never done. Because it’s disgusting and wrong. I’m about to write a major post on this subject, So I’ll leave you guys alone to wrestle with this yourselves for now.

        • Feltbot I truly don’t understand why it so difficult for you to grasp the fact that Monta Ellis is not that good. How many times has he taken his team to the playoffs? That is something that great players do and Monta Ellis incapable of doing.

      • Gosh, I can’t think of any. Mark Jackson can, though. I lost track of the number of times he trashed his players after games for lack of effort.

        • @White hat – If Mark Jackson wanted to lose the Timberwolves game, he could have but didn’t… The Timberwolves were up 21 points in the 2nd or 3rd quarter when Mark had started the 4 0r so rookies…

          Yes, Jenkins did have a nice game against midget SG JJ Berea. Funny, Mark left him in the game… Mark could have pulled Jenkins and installed McGuire in at the point but chose not to do so.

          Then in the 3rd quarter, Mark put in all the veterans plus Jenkins (who had a great matchup – JJ can’t guard my grandmother) – and a 21 point lead turned into a 5 point loss.

          Mark didn’t put the rookies back in. He kept the veterans in and the rest is history… The tank is in question now…

  3. Felty explain to me how coming from behind while trailing by 21 points on the road and winning both games is coaching to win.

    While you are at it make up some more excuses about why Monta Ellis was unable to take the Bucks to the playoffs. The fact is he is not the player you think he was. Great players carry their teams to the playoffs. Monta Ellis has never done that.

    • Truthy,

      Re Monta, you could say the same for Michael Jordan in his first 6 years in the league. He started with the Bulls in 1984 and didn’t win a championship until 1991. By that measure, Monta is on track to win it all next year. That’s not likely, of course. The Bucks have some real problems. But not winning a championship isn’t a measure of a player’s worth. Ask Charles Barkley.

      Re the Warriors accidental comeback wins, we can blame Charles Jenkins. The man is a 1000% gamer. Mark Jackson can assemble stupid game plans and make asinine substitutions, but it is not possible for him to get individual players to intentionally screw up.

      • WhiteHat-

        Actually you cannot say the same thing about Michael Jordan. Jordan made the playoffs every single year. Monta can’t even make it to the playoffs. I set the bar so low that all I am asking is for Monta to get into the playoffs. He cannot even do that. He is so overrated it is absurd.

        Felty says put Monta with Dwight Howard and watch him thrive. That is the most ignorant thing I have heard. So basically Monta Ellis can’t succeed unless he is playing with a Top 5 NBA player. Monta Ellis is not worth a max contract. If you cannot take a team on your shoulders carry them into the playoffs you do not deserve a contract.

    • The Warriors gave up a 20 pt lead to New Jersey at home explain that loss!

      • Are you enjoying watching Monta Ellis in the playoffs? He turned the Bucks into a powerhouse.

  4. Luc Richard MbahMoute’s exceptionally good Defensive Guide to the First Round:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/41534/luc-richards-guide-to-playoff-d

    Looks like he’s betting with me.

    • Man, does this guy think the game or what (also reflected in his comments about Bogut)? Would love him in a GSW jersey. Any chance the Bucks would be interested in another trade with the Dubs? Like for our WAY underrated center, ABiedrins? LOL

  5. GooseLosGatos

    How can Mark Jackson be a bad coach if he has the fifth worst team in the league talent wise according to most scouts who spend 60 plus hours a week studying the game.

    You can’t make filet mignonette with hamburger.

    For argument sake lets say they had Phil Jackson as coach. Two maybes three games better at best.

    Jackson is a fine coach who has little or nothing to work with. Next season barring injuries will be a much more accurate gauge of his coaching ability.

    And what if the Warriors tanked the last few games. I’m sure I’ll be deeply reflecting on those games…. Whatever ….. I won’t even remember those games in a few weeks. Big picture thinking.

    • Goose,

      Orlando: L88-76 The Hack-a-Howard game. 76 points! For a team with Ellis, Curry, Lee, Dorell Wright and Brandon Rush! Keith Smart’s Warriors THRASHED Orlando last year! Without a bench!

      Feb 28 Indiana L102-78
      Wed, Feb 29 Atlanta W85-82
      Fri, Mar 2 Philadelphia L105-83
      Sun, Mar 4 Toronto L83-75

      Note the Warriors’ scoring in that 4-game stretch. This from a team with Ellis, Curry, Lee, D Wright and B Rush. Guys who can make a shot, ya know? Gimme a break.

      Dude, the Warriors were 3-16 in April. That is not a resume credential for coach Jackson.

      • @Goose – True – Mark Jackson gets more time next season to show us what he’s got with a full roster. Obviously a steep learning curve to be a head coach, but now he gets an offseason, Summer league, traning camp to get ready for next season.

  6. So, we can all assume that felt & the like minded will no longer be following Warriors.

    Gotta walk the talk guys if you’re so offended by the Dubs behavior…

    Won’t it be funny if the they end with Anthony Davis after all this! Then we’ll see the holy rollers tripping over their tongues…

  7. “Drew Gooden was undersized at the center position but played it nearly exclusively during the regular season. In two years with the Bucks he really hasn’t played power forward, the role he figured to play alongside 7-foot center Andrew Bogut.

    A plantar fasciitis injury during the 2010-’11 season denied Gooden a chance to play the power forward spot on a regular basis. And during the past season he had to quickly move to center when Bogut left the team during the first road trip due to a personal issue, and later when Bogut fractured his ankle in a Jan. 25 game in Houston.

    Bogut was sent to Golden State in the trade that brought Ellis to Milwaukee in mid-March.

    “I definitely think we need a center,” Bucks forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute said Friday. “That’s a big issue we had all season. Not having Bogues with the injury, and with him being traded, we suffered a lot from not having somebody down there who can hold it down.

    “I don’t know what’s going to happen with a couple free agents we have (Ersan Ilyasova and Carlos Delfino), whether we’re going to re-sign them or not. But we’re going to have to make some changes.”

    Mbah a Moute said he missed Bogut’s presence on the interior.

    “Not just blocking shots, but Bogut took charges and let people know where they needed to be,” Mbah a Moute said. “For me as a defender, it was always great having somebody like that. It makes it easier.

    “His impact on the game for us was big. You felt it in the second half of the season. Our defense was terrible. We’re going to need to address that. I think we got better offensively, but our defense took its toll.”

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/hammond-sizes-up-bucks-situation-v856dme-149379275.html

    • Thanks Steve!
      Bucks fans are already discussing the best strategies for how to trade Monta Ellis! LOL!

      Bucks GM Hammond is already complaining about the team’s lack of size… LOL! Losing Bogut and gaining Ellis – doesn’t help them in getting bigger!

  8. If your players play hard for you, regardless of the circumstances, then you’re well on your way to being a top coach in the NBA.

    Check out the cesspool that was the Portland lockerroom this past season.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/blazers/index.ssf/2012/04/blazers_insider_count_locker_room_leader_among_tea.html

  9. Both Rose and Shumpert blow out their knees and are now on the sidelines for many months to come. Injuries happen but this does bring to mind an interesting question in light of some of the recent topics of conversation.

    For those who believe Mark Jackson should have been playing Klay Thompson in the 4th quarter of the last 2 games of the season (btw, KT did play 57 minutes, or over half of those 2 games combined) in an all out effort to win those 2 meaningless games, what would the general reaction had been if Thompson had suffered a serious injury in the process?

    At least Shumpert and Rose were injured in the postseason where your season is on the line, but serious injuries, as random and happenstance as they may be, are much more difficult to brush aside as “just an unfortunate part of the game” when they occur in situations that are essentially extended garbage time.

    Regardless of your take on how MJ coached those final 2 games you have to admit if you’re a tried and true Warriors fan, the hypothetical sight of Klay Thompson writhing in pain on the court in the closing minutes vs either NO or SA would have been impossibly too gut wrenching to watch or except under the circumstances, not to mention the devastating blow that would have been delivered to the Warriors franchise.

    In this instance, common sense trumped any so-called “integrity issues” by 5,280 feet, at least.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/more_sports/shump_hurt_dHgDxJdFa8gJbBJBf16ilN?utm_medium=rss&utm_content=More%20Sports

  10. Oh, perish the thought, and by all means, Felt, cover your eyes.

    (Dated 2-22-12)

    “The San Antonio Spurs tanked a game Tuesday night. There is no better way to say it. The Spurs played a game and didn’t try to win.

    Spurs coach Gregg Popovich rested his stars, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, in a game at Portland. San Antonio already was missing injured starters Manu Ginobili and Tiago Splitter. So the Spurs started Danny Green, Cory Joseph, DeJuan Blair, Kawhi Leonard and Richard Jefferson. Popovich still had a couple of handy guys off the bench, Gary Neal and Matt Bonner. Neal played 18 minutes, Bonner six. James Anderson played 35 minutes; Eric Dawson played 32.

    Portland led 41-23 after one quarter, 66-43 at halftime and 103-63 after three periods. The Blazers eventually won 137-97. No way could San Antonio win in Portland without Duncan, Parker, Splitter and Ginobili.”

    Gregg Popovich: Cheating the NBA.

    http://blog.newsok.com/berrytramel/2012/02/22/gregg-popovich-cheating-the-nba/

    Gee, white hat, seems all the things you were accusing Mark Jackson of a writer by the name of Berry Tramel was doing likewise to Gregg “The Puke” Popovich. What a small (and pukey) world.

    • A footnote to the Tramel piece:

      I found that link on a Spurs fan blog so reading the comments section that followed was hardly a surprise given the obvious funneling of Spurs fans from their blog to the Tramel link to express their indignation at any suggestion of impropriety towards their supposedly infallible head coach.

      The one comment that I did find meaningful and more heartfelt was from “Daniel”:

      Comment by Daniel on February 23, 2012 @ 8:41 pm

      “As a Spurs fan who lives in Portland, and who paid for first level tickets to watch that game, I think that the criticism of the author is a little unbalanced. My brother, who grew up in Oregon, but not Portland has never had the chance to see Duncan play live. After a decade of wanting to watch him, he paid a good price for great seats and made a four hour round trip, only to watch, as he put it, “The Austin Toros” play. It is easy for you to criticize the author for thinking that throw away game wasn’t fair to paying fans if you weren’t a paying fan. However, with the Spurs visiting my home state only twice a year, you can imagine that it has been only a few times in my 20 years as a fan that I have been able to actually go to those games. When I get to for the first time in a few years and have to sit through what I did, I am sorry, but I wanted my money back.”

    • I agree with everything the author wrote Steve — apply it to two entire seasons and you will begin to touch on the rage I feel for Frisco Joe and Dodger Pete. Disrespect for ticket buyers, indeed.

      But once again this is NOT what I’m talking about. What Pop did is established NBA practice, and it wasn’t even the first time Pop rested his best players in this ridiculously scheduled season.

      What Pop did NOT do is intentionally throw a close game in the fourth quarter.

      What Pop did NOT do is intentionally tank a team in the hunt for an eight seed 5 games before the trading deadline. To provide his owner an excuse to blow up the team.

      Keep burying your head in the sand, it’s fine by me. I don’t care if you don’t buy what I’m peddling. But I have to point out — for what, the fifth time? — that if you wish to persuade me of something, you’ll have to stick to the actual points that are being argued.

  11. Hey Steve,

    Did Don Nelson ever tank a game, or is this just a ‘sin of the present’?
    Remember when he beat the Blazers with fivc players, and came back and beat the wolves a couple days later? Both games on the road.

    Actually, I like Mark Jackson (another player from New York). I just resent the constant refrain from Lacob, Meyer et al of “we do things the right way now”. Why do they and others harp on Nellie’s years, when they have nothing to so for it so far? Just the past two years, do something good, or get off the pot.

    • @Wooden – I don’t look at it as knocking Nellie as it is the Cohan/Rowell regime. The new ownership have a right to have their own people running things. I’m a big Nellie admirer of his genius and all the strengths/weaknesses that come with the territory – but I am also a big fan of Jerry West fan too.

      The state of the Golden State Warriors is strong now. If the lottery pick is obtained, even better. If not, I’m expecting a low playoff seed next season (a lot of things still uncertain) with Curry’s/Bogut’s good health.

  12. Steve, since we seem to be talking hypotheticals now, imagine what this season could have been like if Lacob had:

    Hired a proven GM and a proven coach – and let them call their own shots.

    Amnestied Biedrins and paid Tyson Chandler the salary premium he required to play for the Warriors.

    Evaluated the reconstructed Jeremy Lin instead of releasing him without a glance.

    Made the Chris Paul/Curry trade.

    Those would all have been fairly obvious moves for an owner truly interested in winning, “whatever it takes.” As we heard.

    Imagine keeping your best offensive and defensive players, dropping 2-3 horrible players, and adding two all-stars and a solid 2nd team. Picture this starting lineup:

    Chris Paul
    Monta Ellis
    Tyson Chandler
    David Lee
    Dorell Wright

    With this 2nd team:

    Lin/Jenkins
    Thompson
    Udoh
    McGuire
    Rush

    Imagine THAT team playing for a coach who knew what to do with them. It’s the playoffs, my friend.

    What we have instead is a CEO who hires only zero-experience yes-men so desperate for their job that they’ll reliably spout the company yakyak no matter how blatantly false it is. Walk-it-up basketball for a team born to run. Another lost season. Three busted-up starters, no Ellis, no Udoh. Biedrins, not even physically capable of sitting courtside!!!! And a team so capped out they’ll barely be able to fill the bench next season.

    I’m glad you’re happy with the team’s progress. I wish I could see it. On tap for next year: more of this year.

    • @White Hat – Nice post!

      IF Andris’ contract is amnestied, Tyson Chandler could had received the max (the premium needed to entice a great free agent player with real options to come to our world). It would have been hard for Tyson to turn down significantly more money.

      Tyson’s signing then makes Chris Paul’s acquisition possible.

      • WH 20/20 Monday Morning QB I am afraid.
        Lets be honest, neither of the two come here …for more than just money. Lacob has no credo.

        I take Jenkins ver Lin.

        They didnt take Thompson to sit on bench.

        Dubs wanna be half court not running…

        Key issue is you dont make Bogut trade, while I agree you lose Ellis next year, and where did Curry “no tats” go?

        No Curry with the hot sauce?

        • Hindsight is wonderful, but foresight must not be all that hard when even a dumb fan like me can see the obvious.

          Tyson Chandler is one of the top 5 centers in the league. Our team doesn’t have a center. Wanna win?
          a) Find out what it takes to bring a Chandler here,
          b) Sign that player, whatever it takes. Make. It. Happen. Find a way.

          Chris Paul is one of the best PGs in the history of the game. Curry has a ton of potential but a history of lousy defense and debilitating physical problems. You wanna win? Make the trade happen, whatever it takes. Whatever. It. Takes.

          The NBA is the most demanding and complex league in the history of pro sports. Team management is full of experienced sharks, survivors of the most brutally competitive game in the world. You wanna win? In an environment like that? Hire winners.

          Am I missing something here? What’s not a-b-c obvious about any of that?

    • WhiteHat-

      Too bad it would have been logistically impossible for what you just spelled out to happen. First off the Hornets would not have traded Paul for Curry straight up and the Warriors had no 1st round picks to trade. Next it is impossible to trade a player with a salary of $3.1 Million for a player making $16.6 Million. Keep living in fantasy world. You forgot the Warriors could have traded Monta for Lebron James to complete the dynasty.

      • Gosh, Truthy, you’re right. The Warriors would have had to toss in a few extra bodies to make the Paul deal work. Maybe they wouldn’t have had to amnesty Biedrins after all, they could have thrown him in the deal with Bell and maybe Udoh. In that case they’d still have their amnesty, and still be a killer team. Gosh.

        • The Warriors did not have the assets the Hornets wanted. Why would the Hornets trade for Biedrins? You obviously were not paying attention the Hornets wanted a #1 pick included. Sorry but nothing worse than a homer fan and a trade that the other team would never accept. Go back to the drawing board and figure out how the Warriors can get Lebron James and Dwight Howard.

          • The Hornets had no choice but to unload Paul. Curry, Biedrins, and Udoh are more than what they finally got for him (Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu, Chris Kaman and a first-round draft choice). Gomer.

  13. What makes Lacob’s behavior so galling is that he talks about bringing a “winning culture” to the Warriors. So far all he can point to is two dreary seasons and winning a coin flip last Friday. Lacob has royally earned our derision with his grandiose, self-indulgent rhetoric.

    A cautiously optimistic, maybe charitable, prediction for next season is .500 (moto’s), which might flirt with an 8th. playoff spot, well short of Lacob’s professed goal. Assumed here is health and good decisions from the coach and GM, and let’s give them the benefit of a doubt for a moment. They won’t get further because they lack the depth needed and are still short of talent. None of the four starters are franchise players.

    The starting four will have to play heavy minutes to reach this goal. Any injuries of consequence and this record will fall to mediocre. Serious health problems will drop it do dismal. The loss of one player will put the team right back where it is now.

    Even assuming the best, it’s hard to see how the team can move to the next level, barring extraordinary luck in the draft, largely because their cap space will be tight, with about $20 million tied up for two years in a dud — Biedrins — and an average player for whom they have no need — Jefferson.

    I don’t know that a Curry/Paul trade made sense in the long run, or even the short, especially when you factor salaries in. Remember, at the time of the trade everyone was assuming Curry would be healthy. There’s a good chance they couldn’t have landed Chandler with a higher offer. He and other premier centers just don’t want to come here. The team doesn’t look good enough yet for them.

    Feltbot, I suspect, will make a stronger argument, but it’s not hard to believe that a Curry/Lee/Ellis team would have attained the same record next year, especially if other good decisions were made. And that team would have been much better poised financially to make the next move.

    I’ve held all the reservations made about Ellis, but the first thing that has to be said about him is that we’ve never seen him play with a full, healthy squad. He hasn’t played with any kind of center at all the last three years. But look at his highlights, at his box scores.

    A Curry/Ellis/Thompson front court would have given the team all kinds of offensive options in what will be transition years. Curry and Ellis have repeatedly put up phenomenal numbers together, points and assists. When one has an off day, the other usually picks up the slack. Each can run a unit during a game — they can be staggered. And when one goes down, the other has proven he can lead the team. Ellis led the team that beat Miami this year. The last is especially important as there are doubts about Curry’s ankle.

    Assumed in all of this, of course, is they have a coach who plays them to their strengths, about which I’m sure we’ll hear more shortly. I wonder if next year’s team will be able to put up the numbers to beat the better teams. And if Curry goes down, the front court–and offense–will really be hobbled. I like Jenkins and want to see him develop. He won’t be able to take over, not for a playoff run, and I don’t want to see him playing 40+ minutes every game.

    I like Bogut, too, but the team has paid too great a price. The team definitely needs some kind of center and backup at four. These players are just hard to get, and Lacob has relied on bad, expensive compromises so far. But there are affordable workarounds in these spots which will hold the team until they can get the players they really need — they just traded one in Udoh. And the team proved that it can win without a center this year when Brown and Biedrins went down.

    The first step should have been to amnesty Biedrins to free up all that money. Once more, he missed half a season and averaged about 15 minutes a game. You know the stats for the others.

    A team has to build on available strengths, but first it has to recognize them.

    • Monta Ellis is not a franchise player either!!!!!!!!!

    • for better or worse, speculation about this team will be proliferating like a mutated flu virus between now and Sept, and the four open roster spots plus the zero shared court time between the projected starters are only part of the fuel.

      Paul Silas has already been non-renewed and there will likely be a few more openings for Malone to get the next rung on his career ladder if he wants it. but even with a working hypothesis that he remains at the Preacher’s side, they really haven’t given us a coherent vision, rhetoric and sound bytes aside, of how they want their team to play. of course, the turn over in personnel is their convenient rationalization.

      Even so, what evidence we have justifies plenty of pessimism. the Preacher appears to favor a deliberate pace as a defensive hedge, and as a means to limit his team’s mistakes and turnovers. with a roster completely lacking in athletic two way players who can mind the perimeter on d and transition, this is justified to an extent. however, with regard to what rgg implies is their failure to recognize strengths, we’ve seen little to give us confidence that they’ll know how to apply the abundance of skills their players have on offense. the defense they’re constantly promoting goes much smoother when it’s played after a made shot or with the lead.

      • It seems to me you made a .500 estimate posts back, moto. I don’t think it’s overoptimistic. Lee, Curry, Bogut, and Thompson are bright and skilled motivated and will play their hearts out. I don’t think it will take them long to get up to speed.

        But .500 isn’t much, certainly not in the face of Lacob’s bombast, and it may well be their ceiling for years to come. One good injury, however, throws everything out of whack.

        A more pessimistic assessment is that the team won’t go anywhere until the inexperienced coaching and management learn the game — and from their mistakes. This might be years. Our best hope may be that Lacob throws scads of money at the team and gets enough talent that they can’t help winning.

  14. Great posts, White Hat and rgg.

    Now I don’t have to write my season recap :>

    • No, you still have to write it! I wrote the polite, cautious recap and am waiting for the scathing and pessimistic one, which might be more realistic. If the team relies on deliberate half-court sets next year, I wonder if they’ll be able to score enough to compete against the better teams. It’s not the kind of offense where Curry especially can thrive. We saw that with Smart.

    • Ditto rgg! Publish the post, Feltison!

  15. Having to read Kirk er uh The Truth’s post is well worth the price of admission when we get to read Feltbot. You don’t get this info from TK, MS, and Fitz et al.

  16. ++ rgg @20

  17. Did everyone get a look at the lineup Pop started in the first Spurs — Utah game? Boris Diaw at “center”. DeJuan Blair and Splitter a combined 17 minutes off the bench.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore;_ylt=AveyYA1DXPOWBKJdkzJGdgu8vLYF?gid=2012042924

    Kind of puts the lie to all of those who are fond of insisting that good NBA coaches use “set lineups,” doesn’t it?

  18. @16 reply

    “What Pop did NOT do is intentionally tank a team in the hunt for an eight seed 5 games before the trading deadline. To provide his owner an excuse to blow up the team.”

    Felt, anyone who could truly believe such unadulterated nonsense has to be over-the-top delusional, IMO. Your obvious narcissism in regards to analyzing all-things-Warriors (if not the entire NBA) has now reached the stage of no return. From here it’s either being known as a one of a kind NBA/Warriors genius or the Inspector Clouseau of blog moderators specializing in GSW hoops. If it’s the latter I’m sure Kato (I wonder who that could be?) will help you through the ordeal. LOL

  19. @19

    “What we have instead is a CEO who hires only zero-experience yes-men so desperate for their job that they’ll reliably spout the company yakyak no matter how blatantly false it is. Walk-it-up basketball for a team born to run.”

    white hat, you’re not alone here with your selective amnesia, but you’ll do for the sake of this reply.

    If the Warriors were, in reality, a walk-it-up basketball team they sure as heck scored a lot of points for such a slow paced team:

    (From March, and at the time my response to criticisms of their 4 or 5 games coming out of the All Star break when their offense/shooting temporarily went south. Even at that it should be pointed out that in most of those games the Warriors had good first half numbers, scoring just under 50 pts, but had miserable 3rd qtrs on their way to their subpar scoring nights.)

    “The Warriors just recently finished a stretch where they scored 119 vs Utah, 116 vs OKC, 109 vs Denver, 106 vs Houston, 103 vs Memphis, 104 vs the Clippers, and 208 pts combined in 2 games vs Phoenix. The same team that outscored all but 5 other teams in the NBA through the first 30 games. Please explain to me why what has happened these last 4 games is more meaningful and worthy of increased scrutiny than what happened in the first 30 games, and without Steph Curry, to boot?

    ————————————————-

    Steve | March 17, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Reply

    Some interesting numbers for the Warriors and whatever “style” they purportedly play:

    The Warriors are averaging 98.4 per game which is 1st in the Pacific Division and 4th in the Western Conference. They’re allowing an average of 99.9 per game which is 4th in the division and 12th in the West.

    Obviously the offensive numbers are the most interesting, especially considering how their “boring halfcourt offense” is more efficient and prolific than the Lakers, Clippers and Suns.”

    Obviously the Dubs offense suffered greatly after Monta was traded and Curry went to the sidelines permanently but until then their “slow paced” offense was one of the more prolific in both their division and the league.

    Facts can be a real bummer when trying to make a bogus point.

  20. Steve,
    “boring half court offense” is more efficient and prolific than the Lakers, Clippers and Suns.” –

    Why didn’t the Dubs make the playoffs and end up 23-43?

    • CeasarSB, the answer was right there in the same post:

      “Obviously the Dubs offense suffered greatly after Monta was traded and Curry went to the sidelines permanently…..”

      Despite your silly rhetorical question it was that disastrous trade those incompetents in the Warriors FO made that derailed the Dubs hopes for a run at the NBA championship this year. Stay tuned for Felt’s “Warriors Hoops 101″ for a more detailed analysis on their demise (which supposedly actually began when Lacob bought the team and fired Nelli). We all wait with bated breath.

      • Are you the same Steve who insists the Dubs are not tanking?
        To quote Brian Wilson, You’re Welcome.

        • CeasarSB, no way! That other Steve is crazy. He actually thinks that Joe Lacob knows what he’s doing. Can you believe that? HA HA HA He also thinks that Felty and some of his buddies here are escapees from the local mental ward where they were committed not long after Nelli was fired. LOL Whatever you do watch out for that crazy SOB. Nope, I ain’t THAT Steve!

          To quote Brian Wilson, I feel like raging…..right now.

    • Stay tuned for Felt’s “Warriors Hoops 101″ for a more detailed analysis on their demise (which supposedly actually began when Lacob bought the team and fired Nelli).

      And, of course, it will be reasonable, fair, and unbiased.

  21. “Will he pay up for the likes of Raleigh native Nate McMillan, the jettisoned Trail Blazers coach who still has a strong reputation, or former Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni? Or might his Error-ness be looking at a worthy up-and-comer, someone like Pacers assistant Brian Shaw, Warriors assistant Michael Malone or Silas’ son, Stephen, who carried a heavy load as an assistant both on his father’s Bobcats staff and with Golden State under Don Nelson?”

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/sam_amick/04/30/silas.bobcats/index.html#ixzz1tdA2h27g

  22. Steve,

    Remember this stretch of games?

    Feb 28 Indiana L102-78
    Wed, Feb 29 Atlanta W85-82
    Fri, Mar 2 Philadelphia L105-83
    Sun, Mar 4 Toronto L83-75

    Remember the lack of fast breaks? Remember even poor Jim Barnett almost strangling himself to keep from sounding negative about the pace?

    After that series, the Warriors played a more up-tempo game and started winning more. They even played a little small-ball here and there, before trading Monta.

    But they only started doing that after Jackson got so much criticism for making the Warriors play an extremely deliberate, slow-paced half-court game they didn’t have the personnel for. Dude, that was 75 points (!) against Toronto (!).

    Another point that should be mentioned is that after the Bogut trade it’s not clear that Jackson was trying to win, so we can’t say that the post-trade games are representative of his preferred pace and style of play. If you want to read anything about Jackson’s coaching preferences from game stats, throw out the last half of the season. That’s not “selective memory,” that’s just common sense.

    • “After that series, the Warriors played a more up-tempo game and started winning more. They even played a little small-ball here and there, before trading Monta.”

      My questions here are what Jackson and the FO learned from this, or what they decided, and what they will carry forward into next season. Did they learn that up-tempo plays to the team’s strengths and decide to build on it? But they should have seen these possibilities the past three seasons.

      Or did they decide that since they weren’t going to make the playoffs, since they didn’t have the kinds of players they wanted and couldn’t implement their system, the way they see it, they might as well run a bit and entertain the fans until they can get what they think they want?

      • Related — I’m really curious what happened that miserable road stretch against Charlotte, Toronto, etc. Was Jackson experimenting? Or was he following what he was told to do from above?

        Did anybody learn anything from that experience?

      • Wow, rgg, it’s hard to know what goes through Jackson’s mind. This is the guy with a 40% record at the All-Star break who continued to predict playoffs even when the media – even Steinmetz – were absolutely hammering him to say something realistic and honest about it.

        Re picking up the tempo and even running smallball, I just assumed they figured out a better way to use the players they had at the time. Since then they traded the fastest guy on the team for the slowest, so I doubt that an uptempo pace is the plan for next year.

    • white hat, do I remember those 4 games? You’re kidding, right? The very post you’re responding to was all about those 4 games. Good grief. LOL Again, only this time highlighted for emphasis:

      (From March, and at the time my response to criticisms of their 4 or 5 games coming out of the All Star break when their offense/shooting temporarily went south. Even at that it should be pointed out that in most of those games the Warriors had good first half numbers, scoring just under 50 pts, but had miserable 3rd qtrs on their way to their subpar scoring nights.)

      “The Warriors just recently finished a stretch where they scored 119 vs Utah, 116 vs OKC, 109 vs Denver, 106 vs Houston, 103 vs Memphis, 104 vs the Clippers, and 208 pts combined in 2 games vs Phoenix. The same team that outscored all but 5 other teams in the NBA through the first 30 games. Please explain to me why what has happened these last 4 games is more meaningful and worthy of increased scrutiny than what happened in the first 30 games, and without Steph Curry, to boot?”

      white hat, facts are facts. The Warriors were scoring at a rate that put them in the top 20% of all the teams in the league, and numero uno in their own division (that was also a fact noted in that post that you so conveniently glossed over). Then came those 4 games that began their post All Star game schedule, after which they scored 120 pts in Washington and pretty much took up where they had left off before the AS break offensively until the Monta trade went down.

      The Jim Barnett tie in is as ludicrous as Felt’s claim of MJ tanking the season by virtue of his coaching mandated player lineups before the trading deadline and with 33 games still left to be played.

      And BTW, to further illustrate THAT idiotic hypothesis, which according to our fearless leader began 5 games before the trading deadline:

      In those 5 games the Warriors scored 75 pts in a loss to Toronto but then scored 120 pts in a win over the Wizards, 92 in a loss to Memphis, and finally 111 and 97 in consecutive wins over Dallas and the Clippers.

      In other words, the Warriors won 3 of those 5 post trade games, averaging 99 pts and featuring wins over Dallas and LAC, yet according to Felt those 5 games were so “tankalicious” that it led directly to the “excuse for the owner to blow up the team”. LOL LOL LOL LOL

  23. An addendum to the Warriors and their scoring proficiency up until the trade: GSW scored 100+ pts in 18 of those 38 pre-Monta trade games (and 95 or more in 4 other games).

    With scoring down around the league this season the Warriors offensive production was much more than adequate despite a few “glitches” on occasion and hardly a reason for general criticism. Rebounding was their, as always, achilles heel.

    • Steve,

      You’re right, I’m starting to gloss over (actually, ignore) your comments, mostly because they’re repetitive, increasingly hostile, and frankly kinda pointless. I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make except that Joe Lacob is great and you love Mark Jackson. OK, granted, whatever. Can we move on now?

      Below is an excerpt from the mid-season summary I posted here, based on researching the stats sites one boring afternoon around the allstar break. Bottom line: at the break, the Warriors were playing offense more efficiently, but at a slower pace – and with far fewer fastbreak points than in years past.

      I’m not going to pick over the stats again. Feel free, whatever, who cares? Just don’t cherry-pick any more stats for my benefit.

      The offensive efficiency is improved. They’re taking fewer shots than last year … but turnovers are way down … and total field goal percentage is much better… This all looks good but it’s offset by a big drop in both FG attempts and in rebounding. This year’s offense is much slower than Smart’s. That’s odd because his was slower than Nelson’s the year before.

      • white hat, don’t let me run you off to some other blog like Tim Kawakami’s where paragraph’s like this are routinely on display:

        “What we have instead is a CEO who hires only zero-experience yes-men so desperate for their job that they’ll reliably spout the company yakyak no matter how blatantly false it is. Walk-it-up basketball for a team born to run. Another lost season. Three busted-up starters, no Ellis, no Udoh. Biedrins, not even physically capable of sitting courtside!!!! And a team so capped out they’ll barely be able to fill the bench next season.

        I’m glad you’re happy with the team’s progress. I wish I could see it. On tap for next year: more of this year.”

        white hat, in this case I’m not as much trying to make a point as I am simply responding to someone who slants a majority of his posts to reflect any and all things negative in regards new ownership and head coaching. Or in other words, a 180 from “Joe Lacob is great and you love Mark Jackson”.

        No, I don’t think Lacob is great nor do I love MJ. But I do think in time those sentiments could become reality. I’ve said all along that 5 years is a reasonable timetable, but certainly no how no way can 2 seasons with a lockout thrown in for good measure be an accurate measuring stick for what lies ahead if we’re strictly talking wins and losses to this point.

        white hat, back to that paragraph you posted, please enlighten the board on how you know that Lacob has only hired “yes-men so desperate for their job that they’ll reliably spout the company yakyak no matter how blatantly false it is”?

        Or how you know that “they’ll barely be able to fill the bench next season”?

        Or that next season will be “more of this year”, which I presume to mean more losing?

        “Steve,

        You’re right, I’m starting to gloss over (actually, ignore) your comments, mostly because they’re repetitive, increasingly hostile, and frankly kinda pointless.”

        That’s funny because your thin-skinned comments (“increasingly hostile” LOL) reminded me of a time many years ago when I used to post regularly on Raging Bull’s penny stock message board.

        Raging Bull had an “ignore” feature where if a poster became flustered and pushed out of shape, so to speak, by the posts of another, he/she could put that poster on “ignore”, meaning that anytime the “ignored poster” posted that post would not show up on the screen of the “ignorer”. LOL

        Maybe you can ask Felt if he has the same feature? If so, problem solved! And if not you can always lobby for my removal, a specialty of Kawakami’s blog. I’ve said before I’ll gladly disappear if the masses so desire.

        In closing (and sorry white hat, this is “repetitive” given I posted this a few months ago) the real issue here, IMO, was stated by yours truly then and still rings just as true today:

        “It’s obvious that a sizeable number of regular Feltbot bloggers aren’t big fans of the new ownership group/team, or more specifically, Joe Lacob and Mark Jackson. And the A number one reason seems to be the fact that Nelli Ball was given it’s final and ultimate burial by the same person who hired Mark Jackson, Joe Lacob. End result = pox on both Lacob and Jackson.

        For better or worse, it’s time to turn the page and let these new guys do their thing. Sorry, as much as I loved watching the Warriors play under Nelli all those years, my desire as a fan to be optimistic and cheer on the new regime to better days and higher highs outweighs all the sentiment involved in seeing Nelli walk out the door for the final time.

        As a fan of the Warriors, I’d much rather spend my time these days being optimistic as opposed to subconsciously hoping for the worst in an almost masochistic desire to one day shout “I told you so!”.

  24. Mr. Lacob is trading our draft picks for Danilo Gallinari, the missing piece.

    New Lacob team, totally and absolutely constructed under Mr. Lacob’s basketball philosophy:
    5 – Bugut
    4 – Lee
    3 – Gallinari
    2 – Thomson
    1 – Curry
    Ain’t that one good looking lineup?

    • Ain’t that one good looking lineup?

      Sure is. And not one visible tattoo in the whole bunch. Love it.

    • cohan, a slight problem with that:

      “Gallinari’s new deal with the Denver Nuggets, according to ESPN, is a four-year contract worth $42 million.”

      Draft picks for a player who just signed a $42MM contract extension? Ain’t happening for a whole lot of reasons.

  25. From Matier and Ross:

    “Full-court press: San Francisco is turning up its game to try to lure the Golden State Warriors back to the city.

    Mayor Ed Lee quietly flew down to Los Angeles on Thursday for lunch with team co-owner Peter Guber.

    No word on how the talks went, but we hear Lee is keenly aware that the Warriors are also in talks with Oakland and San Jose – and he wants them here.

    Badly.”

  26. The one that got away:

    http://espn.go.com/new-york/nba/story/_/id/7880443/report-new-york-knicks-tyson-chandler-wins-defensive-player-year

    http://www.spotrac.com/nba/new-york-knicks/tyson-chandler/

    What we got (+Bogut and Jefferson, – Ellis, Udoh and Brown):

    “Certainly, the Bucks’ defensive and rebounding stats were hurt by the absence of Andrew Bogut, who spent much of the season struggling with more of the injury problems that have dogged his career… During his four seasons in Milwaukee, Skiles never had Bogut — the No. 1 pick in the 2005 draft — healthy for a full season.”

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/7879181/scott-skiles-return-final-year-milwaukee-bucks-contract-agent-says

    http://www.spotrac.com/nba/milwaukee-bucks/andrew-bogut/

    Amnesty Biedrins, buy out Bell. Pay Chandler $4mm more than NY’s offer, ignore Kwame. Result: one of the best front lines in the game, PLUS one of the best guard tandem in the league, PLUS depth (Udoh, Rush, Thompson, Jenkins, McGuire, Robinson), PLUS cap space for more depth.

    Giving Lacob the benefit of the doubt on this, writing off Biedrins ($27MM remaining on his contract) to acquire Chandler would have been extremely painful. It may not even have been feasible, from the standpoint of his bottom line. He is running a business, after all. In addition, the dubs would have had to “overpay” Chandler by a goodly amount to beat out NY, and that would be galling.

    On the other hand, the expense would have been offset by playoff revenue this year, more fan interest (= TV revenue, ticket sales and other revenue opportunities) throughout this season, and a better image league-wide (to attract additional free agents). In addition, the Warriors currently have one of the lowest average ticket prices in the league:

    http://seatgeek.com/basketball-nba-ticket-prices

    As of last year Warriors tix prices were 27th in the league despite the Warriors’ exclusive marketing rights to the 6th largest metro area in the country. If they could raise average prices to 6th in the league – commensurate with the team’s market size – ticket revenue would more than triple. That can only happen if the team is a winner, not a maybe-next-year possible winner. But it undoubtedly would have been feasible to increase ticket prices if the team had made the playoffs this year.

    Hindsight is wonderful. In retrospect, signing Chandler even at a hefty premium seems like a must. I wonder if this is the reason Larry Riley is no longer the GM.

    • Larry Riley was never the GM of the Warriors. Not under Nelson, and not under Lacob. Surely that is clear by now?

      Otherwise, great analysis.

      • OK, sure, you’re probably right, but Lacob has lots of businesses and would be better off if he could delegate some Warriors busywork. So I’m not sure it matters who the “real” GM has been for the last few years.

        When asked about amnestying Biedrins, Riley said “I couldn’t recommend to my owner writing off $27MM.” I believe that. He evaluated the deal with the reflexes and priorities of someone from the Cohan organization: do enough to maintain some fan interest, but don’t put near-term profitability at risk.

        That sort of vision is not compatible with Lacob’s requirements for the Warriors. He paid an absurd sum for the company, so from a business standpoint he absolutely must expand the organization’s income, not leave it in a Cohan-like steady state. And the potential is there: though the Warriors have been run cautiously like a small-market team for decades, the Bay Area is absolutely not a small market. A winning team could easily sell out Oracle at 2x the current ticket prices.

        Big-time growth requires an entirely different mindset than a Cohan-like caretaker mentality.

        Just guessin’, of course. But Lacob’s purchase price alone drives a lot of optimism for me, and I think moving Riley out of the GM chair was the final, necessary, goodbye to the Cohan era.

        • “When asked about amnestying Biedrins, Riley said ‘I couldn’t recommend to my owner writing off $27MM.’”

          It’s curious that Riley would even say that, unless he knew he was being fired at the time. But, somewhat in Riley’s defense, he may well not have been free to speak up. But why didn’t the others in the Lacob brain trust consider it? This was a huge decision.

          • Yeah, definitely a huge decision. Who knows what the consensus was? It’s possible that Lacob couldn’t afford the hit on this year’s P & L regardless of the possibilities for the team’s performance.

            Re Riley’s quote, I think you’re right, at that time he almost certainly did know he was out. I don’t want to invest the time to go find the date. It was sooner than fans knew it, of course, but well after the Chandler opportunity had passed. I seem to remember it hitting the news just before the Bogut deal.

    • Well, I’m curious if we could have lured Chandler with a max salary, or if NY would have matched. I also wonder what should be made of a Warrior’s offer that, at least in retrospect, was way too timid. And after the last few months in NY, I wonder if Chandler might not have been happier here.

      Return on investment/productivity bucks:

      Businesses have to write off losses, and while none of the following translates into staying under the cap or avoiding taxes, look at all the money that has been squandered and is doing nothing for the team, as your post implies, how much Lacob’s decisions have hamstrung the future. They are getting almost no return on their investment in Biedrins, not even in playing time, and have no reason to think they’ll get any in the future. Add the money put into the Brown and Jefferson contracts. Subtract the productivity lost in players traded — Udoh and Ellis. Then come up with some kind of dollar amount that represents how much productivity the team will lose because it will be limited in making good future trades after all these decisions and the Bogut trade. Then add what the team paid Bogut to sit on the bench this season.

      Somebody do the math — $60 million? — but really much more, this year and the next few, that simply won’t produce results. From that, subtract the extra amount they would have paid Chandler over Bogut and give Bogut some credit for productivity bucks. In this light, the extra money that might have gone to Chandler doesn’t look like much at all. The difference, in fact, is staggering. Lacob isn’t getting much productivity return on all his investments, and productivity = winning.

      Centers are tricky. I must confess I was for going after Nene, who had an off year (injuries? Will he be able to return? I haven’t followed). The offer for Jordan was also too timid, but also one that would have been a mistake. (West had concerns. I think I heard that our new GM handled this deal, and it was this that made Lacob decide he was ready to take over!)

      I’m staring at a list of current centers. The elite few are unapproachable, others are tied up in contracts. It’s hard to get excited about any after the first five. All are problematic in some way — too light, limited skills, too slow, etc. It’s also hard to know if a college pick will pan out: Thabeet, no; Hibbert, apparently yes. Putting Bogut in the top five isn’t saying much, but if the team could have gotten him without sacrificing talent and carrying so much dead weight and having a tight cap, it might have been a good compromise.

      But getting Chandler would have been ideal, or at least the best option the team had last year and will have had for years to come. And a veteran with serious playoff experience — that’s worth a bunch more productivity bucks.

      • “Well, I’m curious if we could have lured Chandler with a max salary, or if NY would have matched.”

        A fair q, rgg. The NBA team salary cap is “soft,” but the individual max player contract amount is firm. If NY had been willing to go over the team cap by a ton, they could have edged the Ws offer to Chandler no matter what, just by virtue of offering him visibility in the media capital of the world. In the end they amnestied Chauncey Billups to pay Chandler, and didn’t pay Chandler all that much – only about $1MM/yr. more than the dubs offered deAndre Jordan. That left NY in difficulty at PG, but not bad off cap-wise – and in the playoffs for the first time in years. NY won the stare-down with the dubs. Bigtime.

        “I must confess I was for going after Nene…”

        Me too. In his career with Denver Nene hasn’t been a great rebounder, dirty-work banger or great defender, but he’s a polished scorer and a hugely gifted athlete with the ability to do almost anything a team could need from a big.

        “I’m staring at a list of current centers. The elite few are unapproachable, others are tied up in contracts.”

        Fersher. The reason to stretch to the limit for any opportunity, and the whole thinking behind the Bogut deal. Boguts are rarer than Montas. That’s not fair, but true anyway. Assuming Bogut stays healthy, the Warriors should have a better record next year. That’s only a maybe of course, but it’s better than this certainty: no trade = no real improvement.

        • But again, as I argued earlier, the deal for Bogut was way too expensive. I look at his salary for the next two years as $22 million plus, his and Jefferson’s. Then factor in the loss of Ellis and Udoh. Bogut makes sense if he’s one of 7-8 players, if there’s someone to back him up who offers alternative options on offense (i.e., run, early offense) — and a team committed to pursuing those options. He’s not the cornerstone of a top team.

          My notion of return on investment/productivity is not fanciful. The success of the team in the near and distant future (and Lacob’s esteem) depends on a record of success and respect among the league and players. A respected, winning organization has a much better chance of drawing the top players. And at some point productivity bucks will lead to real bucks in profit. The current team is nowhere close to that goal and could be years in reaching it, if it ever does. In fact I’m tempted to argue that it has only put itself a few more years behind in that schedule with its deals this year.

    • Nice! Almost forgot that Steph actually played for the W’s this year.

      Bring on the draft lottery!
      Bring on the draft!
      Bring on the deal-making!
      Bring on the summer league!
      Bring on pre-season!
      Bring on Warriors Basketball in 2012/13!!!

      Woo hoo!

  27. Rusty Simmons:

    “The Warriors really thought they could bring Stephen Jackson back to Oracle Arena until he asked Larry Riley for a contract extension immediately following the Monta Ellis-Andrew Bogut trade. Riley was surprised to find three suitors for Jackson and worked out the deal with San Antonio for Richard Jefferson and a first-round pick while Jackson was at the Minneapolis Airport and scheduled to fly to Oakland.”

    • Unbelievable! …and soooo funny.

    • Riley was surprised? That is why Skiles benched Steveo Jackson in the first place, and then traded…

      What were the other two offers?

      • the other offers for Jackson were probably low-ball, with the assumption that the lacaobites would wish to be rid of the former capt., and from other playoff teams. contenders look for reserves who can defend, adapt, and blend.

        when Nelson had the only two winning seasons in 17 in oaktown, there were four wings who contributed on both ends, jackson, barnes, pietrus, azubuike. they’re down to about .75 now, and rush is probably going to a higher bidder. each one of those four, including azubuike starting his career over, ended up on a playoff team.

    • I’m curious if Jackson asked San Antonio for a contract extension.

  28. “With somewhere between $12 million and $20 million in salary-cap room this summer, the Trail Blazers hope to sign either one maximum-salary free agent, or two at lesser amounts, interim general manager Chad Buchanan says.

    Portland is targeting the point guard and center positions. Deron Williams, Steve Nash, Goran Dragic, Jameer Nelson, Andre Miller and Chauncey Billups are among the point guards available; Chris Kaman, Roy Hibbert, Brook Lopez and Javale McGee are among the centers, though the latter three are restricted.

    Team president Larry Miller says the Blazers are aiming big. I’m not sure how many of the top names will consider Portland, but it will be interesting to see what happens.”

    http://portlandtribune.com/sports/story.php?story_id=133601654827323400

    • Good Link.

      Brandon Rush is on their list, beware of the poison pill front end bonus, Lacob won’t pay… A la Wes Matthews from last year.

  29. “And the 1st pick in the 2012 NBA Draft goes to the………”

    http://www.nba.com/2012/news/05/03/draft-lottery/index.html?ls=iref:nbahpt2

  30. Must read!

    “Witness To The Suicide Of The Seattle Sonics”

    http://deadsp.in/KgFs0Y

  31. Blast from the past:

    Our spammer in Recent Comments rang up Feltbot’s recap of the loss to OKC last year. There, in a comment, Feltbot notes:

    “Another reason for the team’s slower pace, point guard Stephen Curry said, is because of its emphasis on rebounding. In previous years, the guards would help center Andris Biedrins on the boards. When they rebounded the ball, they could start the break immediately.”

    To which Feltbot answers:

    “My answer is that because the likelihood of getting an uncontested basket, or two free throws and into the penalty earlier, is well worth the risk of Andris Biedrins and David Lee and the other two players not getting the rebound.

    “This is not rocket science. This is Joe Lacob and his Director of Dividing Rebounds by Minutes Played, err…. Basketball Operations, destroying what could be the fastest team in the NBA.”

    http://feltbot.com/2010/12/05/smallball-storms/#comment-9592

    Which inspired me to look up their win over OKC the previous year, 2010. Late in the season, but OKC was jockeying for a playoff spot and played a full squad heavy minutes. For the Warriors, Ellis, Curry, Maggette, Tolliver, and Turiaf at center (who played good minutes), good performance from Reggie off the bench, not much from the others, only a few healthy players there. 52 points for Ellis and Curry — and 11 rebounds. I’m guessing those rebounds led to fast break points. (Also 13 boards for Tolliver.)

    You know who the coach was.

    Also a payroll for that squad of what looks to be about $23 million accounted for mostly by Maggette and Ellis’s contracts — big productivity bucks/return on investment here. Imagine if they had Lee in place of Maggette, plus Rush. Where could that team have gone?

  32. “Bucks owner Herb Kohl confirmed at a news conference Friday that general manager John Hammond will not work with a contract extension during the coming season.

    Scott Skiles agreed last week to return for the final year of his contract.

    But the Bucks owner said he is confident the team can take the steps necessary to become a playoff team. Milwaukee finished the past season with a 31-35 record and was eliminated from playoff contention in the final week.

    “Scott is one of the best coaches in the league, and I’m very pleased he’s going to be with us next year,” Kohl said at the team’s Cousins Center training facility. “It’s true about John Hammond. It’s an outstanding team, I believe.

    “This is a results kind of business we’re in, and you measure at some point, we all do, we measure ourselves by our results. We were supposed to be in the playoffs. We didn’t get there. We should still be playing. We’re not still playing.

    “So if you want to know whether or not we’re happy, no we’re not happy. Why should we be happy? But we’re planning for next year, and I think with this continuity and the ability of Scott and John, as well as the staff and our players, there’s a lot to be enthusiastic about.

    “And it’s on that basis that we’re going forward.”

    Kohl said “we’re looking for good and great results and a long and happy relationship.”

    Kohl said he didn’t mean to be humorous, “but we all work from day to day, week to week, year to year. And we all understand that’s life. John is a very high-quality executive in the NBA. Scott is a high-quality coach in the NBA.

    “I’m grateful to have both of them with us.”

    http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/150195635.html#!page=1&pageSize=10&sort=newestfirst

    • Gery Woelfel: Kohl: “We want a real quality big man.” In other words, someone like Andrew Bogut. Twitter

  33. Not for the squeamish: Pic of Stoudemire’s hand post-stitches.

    http://yhoo.it/Isxltl

  34. From 4-19-12: The Dan Patrick Show

    Jerry West talks about the NBA and comments about the Warriors and tanking allegations. The interview with West starts approx 13 minutes into the podcast.

    http://danpatrick.directv.com.edgesuite.net/Podcast/DP-Hr2_04-19-2012_stream.mp3

  35. Jerry West: “Tanking is offensive and wrong. For the Warriors to be accused of it is an insult.”

    This interview was conducted well before the New Orleans game in which Jackson sat Rush and Thompson for the entire fourth quarter of a home game the Warriors should easily have won.

    I wonder what West would say now? No, let me rephrase: I wonder what he’s thinking? We all know he can’t say it.

    Jeff van Gundy:

    “We would never accept a player not trying hard. But we accept teams not trying hard. We accept owners telling GMs to tell coaches not to win. We’re fine with that. But can you imagine if a coach ever instructed a player ‘hey, I don’t want you to try hard tonight so we lose.’

    We invent this term called ‘tanking’ when it’s really cheating the fans, altering competition and I’m not OK with that. … It’s altering the outcome. It really is.

    It undermines the very idea of competition.”

    I wonder what Jeff van Gundy is thinking about his old running buddy Mark Jackson now? The coach who throws games?

    Please read van Gundy’s full remarks, they might be instructive to the 99% of Warriors fans who have no moral qualms with the way Lacob scored his coveted #7 pick:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/41471/nba-today-jeff-van-gundy-on-tanking-playoffs

    Bottom line: Joe Lacob and Mark Jackson covered themselves and the Warriors franchise in disgrace.

    • Felt, we’re all still waiting on your season ending rip-job of GSW. C’mon man, get it in gear.

      Well, for one final time……….

      With 3 games left in this season that would never end the Warriors were left with one simple task, at least in the tanking-minds of NBA America. Lose these last 3 games and be all-but-assured of keeping your high lottery first round pick. And with Game #64 being their 3rd game in 3 days, all on the road, this would be their easiest “tank” of the season. AND for the icing on the cake the Dubs fell 20 pts behind in the first half. Talk about a cakewalk to a “needed loss”. Only one problem. GSW, as we all now know, won this game.

      For some reason Mark Jackson played everyone heavy minutes, including Rush, who totaled over 30 minutes off the bench, and Klay Thompson, who played all but 5 of a possible 48 minutes.

      By “screwing up” their “tanking assignment” in Minny the Warriors were now looking, at best, even by losing their last 2 games, at the total uncertainty and blind luck of tie-breaking draws and ping pong balls caroming-about to determine their final drafting slot in the 2012 draft. That said, how important WAS a win or loss in their 2 final games?

      Game #65 vs NO was a real snoozer except for the fact that the game was “competitive” throughout. Klay Thompson played over half the game but his night ended later in the 3rd qtr when he picked up his 4th foul. The 5 guys that MJ decided to start the 4th qtr with played well and had the game under control for all but the closing seconds. GSW led by 5 pts with 1:47 remaining, and also maintained possession of the ball for the entire final minute (taking 3 shots vs zero shots for NO) until Charles Jenkins’ shot was blocked with only a handful of ticks left on the clock in regulation.

      In other words, MJ’s strategy of rewarding his guys who had played so hard and well for those final 12 minutes by leaving them in to finish the job looked good until Chris Wright’s goaltend with .007 left in the game. Ever see this “strategy” employed before?

      (From NBA.com’s recap of the 1-29-12 contest between the Spurs and Mavs)

      “GOOD MOVE: Popovich employed an unusual tactic to overcome an 18-point third-quarter deficit: He benched all five starters. Replacing the likes of Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, the lineup of Green, Neal, Matt Bonner, Tiago Splitter and James Anderson fueled a furious fourth-quarter comeback. The reserves opened the fourth with a 26-4 run and San Antonio led 84-75 with 5:33 to play.

      BAD MOVE: Popovich may have stuck with his second unit a little too long, particularly when the game went to the extra session. None of the starters returned after the 2:44 mark of the third quarter. The fresher legs of the Mavericks closed the fourth with a 16-7 run, including 10 points from Terry.”

      Yes, the Spurs most definitely would have won that game if Popovich had put Duncan and Parker back in in the last 4 or 5 minutes of the 4th qtr. Instead, he stayed with his subs because they had been playing well and the Mavs won by a point in OT. And you don’t think Popovich cared about winning that game?

      QUOTABLE II: “It’s disappointing. I don’t know what you want me to do. Do you want me to cry? I don’t know what you want me to do. How disappointing? Very disappointing, is that OK? It’s disappointing.”
      — San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich.

      Gregg Popovich wanted very much to win that game but he stuck with his coaching decision to reward his subs for their efforts in the 4th qtr.

      Sorry, MJ, but what YOU did was a “disgrace”.

      In Game #66 Rush never played, KT again played over half the game, and the Warriors lost a game in the final minute of play. Season over, thankfully.

      You can’t be full of “tankful disgrace” in Game #65 yet be full of “WTF-are-you-doing-trying-to-win disgrace” in Game #64. And I do find it amusing that the same person going off with his over-the-top accusations never watched the Minnesota game (just what would his “analysis” have been following that game in regards his “tankamania” rants?) but just so happened to watch their loss to NO. LOL

      Now, about that upcoming rip-job. C’mon, man, get it in gear.

      • Steve, In other news,

        The Earth is round.

        • Hey Wooden in other news you were 100% wrong about the Bucks making the playoffs.

          • Sorry, You did predict Phillie and the Knicks would get in. I lied…again.

          • TheOriginalTruth

            Wooden also likes to use TheTruth.

            Too bad Wooden is clueless when it comes to facts.

        • TheOriginalTruth

          Bogut will be in the playoffs before Monta ever sniffs it. Monta is overrated. Nelson doesnt know any basketball. I have been following him since Run TMC and the followed during the We Believe Years with Baron Davis (like Ellis overrated). Why Feltbot likes Nelson I will never know! I will be smiling next year when the Warriors led by Andrew Bogut and Klay Thompson takes the 3 seed only beat by Oklahoma, and San Antonio! LOL.

    • the apologists for strategic losing in pursuit of high lottery picks are very fond of using SA and Duncan as their success model, when the more relevant model is CHA. their all-time worst winning percentage this season in the end only secures them a .25 chance to get the #1 pick, and their draft record suggests they could easily err at any lower spot. SA has unrivaled institutional stability with their coach ; would other teams make a championship-level starter out of Bowen, and clearly other teams rarely or never identify a player like Ginobili in the late second round. Another huge factor which has set them apart is their willingness to repeatedly pay lux tax without the security of revenues from a major media market.

      may the hoops gods be truly just and guide the great egoist Jordan to such conspicuous failure as an owner/exec that his playing accomplishments get reduced to shallow relics. the Prophit Joseph might succeed in short term gains on the court, and with his longer term aspirations to secure more lucrative real estate, but he will find it easier to get to the 44-50 win level than reaching the elite level he’s promised. his management and leadership so far suggest he’s too sure of his own abilities and might prove incapable of learning and adapting.

  36. Q&A with Sac’s Geoff Petrie.

    http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/05/4467497/petrie-qa-kings-executive-looks.html

    The Kings have some good young players. I like both Marcus Thornton and Isaiah Thomas. Cousins and Evans obviously are very talented. There’s definitely a maturity issue with Sac but if they get lucky in this draft (ADavis?) this team could cause lots of problems for others in the future. How ironic if the Kings move in a few years and then mirror on the court what the Sonics did after drafting Durant and moving to OKC?

  37. “There has been some speculation that Kidd could return to his hometown of Oakland and play for the Golden State Warriors. Kidd said he’s aware of the speculation of a homecoming, but couched it by saying he will discuss teams with interest with his agent.”

    http://espn.go.com/new-york/nba/story/_/id/7896156/jason-kidd-dallas-mavericks-says-brooklyn-nets-make-free-agency-splash

    • Kidd has options – so he ain’t coming to boyhood home… I got my hopes up the last contract when he was talking it up like he was actually considering it (move to Oakland) only to have my hopes crushed like a bug! LOL!

  38. This piece should prove popular around these parts. Just call it my expert intuition.

    http://wagesofwins.com/2012/05/06/are-the-warriors-right-they-believe-their-gm-is-smarter-than-yours/

    • I never thought Monta Ellis as a centerpiece of a trade could pick up a top center (albeit injured) in Andrew Bogut.

      I’m very receptive to GM Myers with Jerry West in his ear. I wasn’t so much with Larry Riley.

  39. Is it just my imagination or do screwballs seem to be growing on trees these days?

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/fan-walks-court-during-nuggets-lakers-game-looking-032542465.html

  40. “Kohl On Next Season: “When you look at our team today, if you imagine this team coming back next year with a dominant inside player, you’d feel really good about where we are. At least I would. If you look at this team with say Bogut coming back or mention any others you might think about, you’d say all the other pieces are pretty well in place to be not just a playoff team, but maybe a very good team. The 1-2-3-4 positions (PG, SG, SF, PF) are pretty well covered, and we have a good bench…We’re not playing right now (in the NBA Playoffs), so it’s certainly not good enough. But when you look to where we want to improve for next year, we want a real quality big man. This is not to downplay the big people we have right now. There’s some real promise there. Ekpe has a very good future. Larry Sanders showed that he has a huge upside, so we feel pretty good about where we are. But we know where we need to get better and I anticipate we will get better.”

    Steve’s note: Pro Tip: It’s probably not a great idea to mention that a player like Andrew Bogut is your biggest need in the offseason after you just willingly traded him away at the deadline.

    Hammond On The Trade For Monta Ellis: “Obviously we changed our team when we traded Andrew, and we changed our team in adding Monta [Ellis] in particular. We’ve always had questions since we’ve been here about how we are going to score the ball. That’s been our Achilles, and that’s no longer our Achilles…”

    Steve’s note: Hammond relayed a story from Carlos Delfino from his time with the Detroit Pistons, where he was taught by veterans like Richard Hamilton and Chauncey Billups to push his offense of counterpart towards Ben Wallace if all else failed. Similarly, Delfino told Hammond he coached up young players for the Bucks by telling them to push their man towards Andrew Bogut. In other news, I miss Andrew Bogut.

    Frank’s note: It definitely was a bit strange that Bogut was mentioned as much as he was and in the way he was during the presser, both by Kohl and Hammond. Almost seemed like they were subtly implying they didn’t want to trade him in the first place.”

    Some interesting reading here including a fair bit of Warriors-related comments.

    http://www.brewhoop.com/2012/5/4/3000214/milwaukee-bucks-end-of-season-press-conference-quotes-notes

    • Wow! Great article! They didn’t talk much about Stephen Jackson nor Bogut’s relationships with Scott Skiles/GM Hammond…

      If I’m Milwaukee, I NEVER trade Bogut. I build around him. The Bucks should be able to draft a playable center this year in the middle rounds…

  41. Funny how the Bucks need a big guy, and just gave up B0gut, maybe just maybe TOO MUCH MONEY, they can get a guy cheaper. OOPS the Dubs didnt consider the salary cap.

    • Funny how the Bucks failed to make the playoffs with that superstar Monta Ellis. Wooden and Felty were so looking forward to watching the Bucks in the playoffs. What happened??? Monta isn’t that good!!!!!!

      • I will admit the Bucks are happy to get rid of the $11 million per year oft injured Bogut. They will pick up a center much more cheaply this Summer.

        • TheOriginalTruth

          We have a comedian I do not admit any such thing. And to the imposter Bogut makes more than $11 million a year. His salary is $13.1 mil in 2013 and $14 mil in 2014

          • TheRealOriginalTruth

            How dare you take my name in vain. Anyways, Bogut makes a lot of money who cares? Jerry West aka the Logo loves him, and I do too…Joe

          • TheOriginalTruth

            And he is worth every cent! You will see next year,when he plays 82 games, any you don’t even remember who Monta Ellis was as he toils for a non playoff team. HA HA.

    • I did not say Bogut would make THE difference!

      He is just a piece that Joe and the Logo stole from Milwaukee for Monta Ellis. Along with a great draft and Thompson, you won’t even remember your Boy Nelson!

    • Tim Kawakami: NBA source: Michael Malone is not guaranteed to leave the GSWs even if Charlotte is ready to offer him the HC job. Twitter

      “Source tells SI.com that Charlotte has requested permission to speak with Indiana assistant Brian Shaw regarding its head-coaching vacancy. Yet Shaw prefers to hold off for the time being and focus on the playoffs, so no interview has been scheduled.”

      Sam Amick: In case I confused anyone, I’m told Brian Shaw is definitely interested in the job in Charlotte but the playoffs are the priority right now. Twitter

      ——————————————-

      It looks like Malone and Shaw will be but two of numerous candidates for the Bobcats opening. I’ve recently read the names Patrick Ewing and Steve Clifford being associated with the job. If I’m Malone I’d say “thanks, but no thanks” to Charlotte. He’ll definitely be getting more offers from other teams, and much more appealing “situations”, in the near future.

      “As Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports notes, Jordan will have a difficult time convincing top-tier coaching candidates to take the job. “From roster to salary to ownership,” Wojnarowski writes, “Charlotte will be offering one of the least appealing coaching jobs in modern NBA history.””

      http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/05/07/2050220/charlotte-bobcats-interviewing.html#storylink=rss

      • Malone will never leave the Warriors at least for two more years. He will either be successful in guiding the Warriors into the playoffs and then make the jump to the Knicks or Bulls or quality team. Worse case for Mike is to succeed Mark Jackson and stay with Golden State. LOL.

  42. Question:

    If the Warriors thought so highly of Malone, as apparently others do, why didn’t they make him head coach? His experience should have tipped the scale.

    • rgg, the Warriors obviously were also enamored with Mark Jackson and his head coaching potential so I can’t fault their reasoning in hiring both when that became an option. You can watch the two “do their thing” and get a better read on who you want to keep for the longer haul.

      MJ will be the man here next season but if Malone decides to stay with GSW for one more year than who knows, maybe the Warriors change course after watching the two coach another season together and decide to go with Malone for the future?

      Personally, I believe pro head coaches, for the most part, are overrated and given too much credit whenever a team succeeds under their reign. Without going into all the obvious reasons, Phil Jackson immediately comes to mind when talking “overrated”.

      Also, there are so many coaches per team, regardless of the sport, the delegation of authority is always wide spread from a teaching standpoint. This fact illustrates that the ultimate success of any team should never be viewed as a one man coaching show, nor is it ever, in reality.

      The name Gregg Popovich has been mentioned a lot recently. Is he one of those true difference makers in head coaching? IMO, yes. But Popovich is easily the exception rather than the rule. And great players will always make you look smart, as well. In that regard, and as far-fetched as some may believe today, Mark Jackson could eventually mirror the success of names like Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich if the Warriors players and teams become strong enough in the future.

      Motivating men can be a more important asset in coaching than any X’s and O’s drawn up on any chalk board. Tommy Lasorda and Jimmy Johnson, winners of multiple championships, were two coaches who were more motivaters than strategists.

      “Preaching” to your followers can be just as important, and successful, on Monday thru Saturday as it is on Sundays. If for no other reason I’d be hesitant to count out Mark Jackson in the future.

  43. “Once, I threw out Don Nelson for staring at me. He just folded his arms and looked at me. He called a timeout to do it. Looking back on it, I was not happy with that.

    I have people in Cleveland who stop me at the airport and they say that they were there when I threw out Brad Daugherty and Larry Nance for laughing. They were sitting at the end of the bench. There was something that I did that they didn’t like and they wouldn’t stop, and I just went: “You want to go? Go. Go.” Boom. It wasn’t good.

    One night, I hit Bill Fitch with a technical so hard, I broke my finger. My finger was all swollen. I slammed my whole hand down on it when I gave the signal. That’s why I changed my signal to a little one-finger tap — because I broke it once the old way.

    Honestly, I think after that whole mess was the first time I called the sports psychologist.”

    Great read on Joey Crawford.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/sports/basketball/joey-crawford-sounds-off-on-35-years-as-an-nba-referee.html?_r=2&ref=basketball

    • Thanks Steve, awesome read, I hope the dude writes a book.

      • TheOriginalTruth

        another imposter post

      • Crawford’s confessions expose how little credibility the officiating has ; was he twice reinstated because he has slightly more than many of his peers ? it should be obvious from his tales that he’s far from impartial and brings an excess of ego and emotion to the job. Maybe Stern likes him ’cause he thinks that style comes off as entertaining in the broadcasts ?

  44. Great article on how Joe Maddon of the Tampa Bay Rays works outside the box with defensive shifts:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/08/sports/baseball/rays-manager-joe-maddon-is-the-king-of-shifts.html?pagewanted=1&hpw

    My favorite line:

    “Tampa Bay acquired reliever Burke Badenhop, a ground-ball specialist, from the Miami Marlins with the shift in mind.”

  45. Feltbot,
    Now if your basketball writings were like this article, I might like em better ;-).

  46. “Also, there are so many coaches per team, regardless of the sport, the delegation of authority is always wide spread from a teaching standpoint. This fact illustrates that the ultimate success of any team should never be viewed as a one man coaching show, nor is it ever, in reality.”

    Here’s another good example of how important an entire coaching staff is in relation to ultimate team success. (I still believe the Warriors made a mistake in not hiring Brian Shaw to replace Keith Smart. IMO Shaw will eventually become one of the NBA’s better head coaches.)

    http://www.indycornrows.com/2012/4/19/2959847/brian-shaw-puts-the-work-in-pre-game-workouts-for-indiana-pacers

  47. TheTruth is full of it. Bogut is going to get the Warriors into the playoffs next year, albeit an 8 seed.

    • What makes you think so? Just curious.

      • white hat, FWIW, there is now more than one “Steve” posting on this blog. How’s THAT for the worst news you’ve heard all day? :) I plead innocent to the post you responded to.

      • white hat I would love to know how you came up with white hat? I hope there is a really good story behind it otherwise it is got to be the dumbest thing I have seen.

        • And I suspect this is not Wooden.

          TheTruth = TheOriginalTruth = “Steve” = “Wooden” = ?

          • TheOriginalTruth

            Wrong again pal I only switched to TheOriginalTruth because there was someone posting bs under my name.

          • rgg,

            You are correct. Some troll is on the blog.

          • Let me say,

            I agree with Feltbot’s points in general, like Don Nelson should still be coaching the Dubs — Nellie has forgotten more than Lacob, MJ, and Myers will ever know about the NBA and basketball.

            Also, I think the offense will be become too slow, it is not the way NBA teams are successful these days.

            Warriors may pass or move the ball next year, but who in the starting 5 is going to make their own play? These are basic theme’s I concur with Feltbot.

            And of course the Biedrins amnesty, and the overrating of Bogut. I concur with Feltie.

            And his postgame analysis always makes for a good read better than the paid writers we all know about.

            Lacob is a disaster so far, who knows maybe things will turn around.

            Thoroughly impressed with Denver playing the Lakers on Tuesday. Warrior nemesis Charles Barkley is even predicting a game 7 between Lakers and Nuggets (called this at beginning of series). Some of the up temp forward passes against the big but slow Lakers have been downright rewind and replay moments on the Tivo!

            Has anyone noticed that Memphis is not doing Hack a Reggie against the Clippers? All the pick and rolls that Paul is doing with Reggie Evans? Note to Mark Jackson: Curry and David Lee on the pick and roll! It just might work!

        • It was going to be empty hat, but in the end I decided to let everyone else make that assessment for themselves.

  48. Denver is intriguing. Mozgov ($3.3 m) was able to slow down Bynum in spots. McGee ($2.5 ) did come on last night. Faried filled in all kinds of gaps. Better shooting from the guards, and it’s a different series.

    You see where I’m going with this. Denver is much better poised to go to the next level than the Warriors will be next year.

    • In fact look at what Denver has done. They let go of their “franchise” player (Anthony) as well as their premiere, expensive, hard to obtain center (Nene) — and are better, or soon will be. Coaching seems to be important in Denver, however.

      • Den is fairly unique, with an astute personnel exec, Masai Ujiri, who works well with the coach. they have a handful of players in the 6-10m. per annum range, and post-hilario, none in the 12-20m. tier where most teams pay their designated or quasi-stars. they will have a better cap situation for next season than the lacobites (lawson will be getting a raise within a year or two similar to curry’s). other teams would struggle with a collection of second-tier talent, but Karl can identify and blend the skills of his team, much like Nelson did.

        the lacob-myers-jackson combination is really no match, and Den is one reason the woeyrs will struggle to get much better than the seventh seed in the west.

        • Although I am not sold on Mcgee long term, Javale is definitely outplaying the head case Bynum at least before game 7. And he has made the difference. I wonder if the Nuggets will not pay him the Hilario big bucks contract?

          Nellie mentee Karl is really shining these days even if he is a NC Tarheel!

      • What exactly has Denver other than get knocked out of the playoffs every year in the first round. I am not impressed.

      • rgg,

        I agree. Anyone watching the Knicks this season sees Melo and Stoudemire are not going to push the Knicks forward. They are one dimensional players who do not add rebounds, or assists to their team mates. And does Melo ever stop his opponent?

        Lawson is great pushing the ball forward, and who doesnt like Andre Miller’s game? Denver pushes the ball and shares it, love it.

        Fact: Since the Melo trade, Nuggets have a much better record than the Knicks. And are much more fun to watch!

    • My only worry is once everyone takes a look at how good the writing on Grantland is they will realize that Feltbot is a hack.

  49. Spot Up Shooting: Video tutorial from Steph’s dad (Dell) and Brent Barry.

    http://www.nba.com/video/channels/nba_tv/2012/05/07/20120507_curry_spot_shooting.nba/

  50. OT: Back to class, kids.

  51. This piece makes me more hopeful at #30 – that a nice contributor can be found…

    http://basketball.realgm.com/article/219895/The_Skyrocketing_Value_Of_Draft_Picks

    • How about Kenneth Farid of the Nuggets, they got him at 18. Dubs could really use him.

  52. Making some assumptions about the series in progress, I think the next round looks like this:

    LA Lackers – OKC Thunder

    LA is in a close, tough series with Denver right now, but in the end the Lackers have a big-time closer and Denver doesn’t. My guess is the Lackers move on. The Thunder demolished Dallas in the first round. They’ll be ready and rested for LA.

    San Antonio Spurs – LA Clippers

    Did anyone see that Clips-Grizzlies game last night? Wow! Clash of the Titans! (Did the Warriors really have a shot at getting Chris Paul? Aaaargh!) Down 3-1 now, things aren’t looking good for Memphis. The Clips move on to meet the Spurs. The Spurs breezed through their first round in 4 games.

    Miami Heat – Indiana Pacers

    Boston Celtics – Phila. 76ers

    Philly is currently up 3-2 over Chicago, but they are entering uncharted territory, having played very little playoff basketball in recent years. Chicago is missing Derrick Rose, and Noah is injured. Both teams are well-coached, with maybe a slight advantage to Chicago. I give the series win to the 76ers because of Chicago’s injury picture and the 76ers’ current edge in the series. Boston currently has the edge over Atlanta, and the closers to finish them off. Philly/Boston should be an interesting matchup.

    The 2nd round is where things start to get really interesting. Anyone want to take a shot at predicting the survivors? Feltnik?

    • I haven’t given up on the Griz yet, although they’ve been playing horribly. Or I should say, getting coached horribly. I like Lionel Hollins, but he has just been terrible in this series. He has totally lost control of Rudy Gay — who badly wants this to be his superstar moment. (Note to Gay: You are not a superstar.) He has totally failed to get Randolph and Gasol the ball close to the basket in the fourth quarter. Totally failed to put pressure on Griffin defensively. He has not hacked-a-Griffin, Jordan, Evans. He has, basically, given away this series with the best team. So far.

      The Griz have a chance in game 6, particularly with Griffin and Paul banged up — but only if Hollins gets his act together.

      And only if the refs don’t kill them. You can bet your bottom dollar they’ll get a horrible whistle in this game, even worse than the horrible whistle they have been getting. No one wants to watch the Griz, least of all David Stern.

      Second round predictions will be made after the first round is over, and lines are posted.

      • On TV it looks like Chris Paul is coaching the Clippers, telling Del Negro what to do. All credit to Del Negro for listening. I haven’t watched much of the series, but in the 2nd half last night the Clippers D really handled the Grizzlies bigs, pushing them out of their comfort zones, blocking their go-to moves. Good coaching for the Clips, whoever put that plan together.

        Re Gay, I can’t speak to his psychology, but you’re right, last night he really seemed to feel he needed to pick up the slack from the bigs.

        David Stern’s preference? If there is a league office bias as you say, I guess from a biz standpoint it would have to favor the more marketable B. Griffin’s crew over a couple of fat boys from Memphis. It’s hard to picture Gasol fitting into a car, let alone selling them.

        • Come to think of it, Stern arranged to send Chris Paul to help Griffin in the first place.

        • “On TV it looks like Chris Paul is coaching the Clippers, telling Del Negro what to do.”

          Maybe we could get Curry to do the same? Actually, I’m serious. He knows exactly what he and the team needs to do.

  53. “If these two guys stick together, the bottom line is putting pieces around them.” (The announcer at about 8:00 in)

    Blast from the past, Warriors vs Lakers March 2010:

    This is a full, healthy, championship bound Laker squad. Hunter at center, Tolliver starting at F. Note the running, the quick transition, the early offense, what Curry can do with an open floor. Note, too, Ellis’s poor defense and selfish play (11 assists, 5 steals). Actually, it was a poor shooting night for Ellis, but I recall his saying it was one of his best games. And I think this was game that inspired Kobe to say he was glad to get out of here.

      • Very nice memory.

        Tonight, after seeing the defensive minded Bulls score less in their loss to 76ers tonight, writers will likely point to the Rose injury when in fact Bull’s Coach Thibedeau has no ability to allow his team to be more athletic and offensive ala Nellie. What a boring game, 80-78. Thibs, run once in a while, and see how your players might just score a little bit more.

      • My inspiration — and regret — in posting this comment was the thought that we might have been watching the Warriors instead of Denver tonight (Curry’s going down would have been a factor, though). There are a lot of similarities between the Denver team we saw tonight and the team we might have had, the most important being deeply experienced, flexible, intelligent coaches who can respond to a variety of situations and teams, had we stuck with the one we had.

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