Waiting for Bogot

“Saved from what?”

                                   – Estragon, Waiting for Godot

Well, we’ve certainly had some solid indications that Joe Lacob is finally finished tanking the Warriors, haven’t we?                

For the first time in his tenure as Warriors GM, Lacob has decided to enter the season with a veteran back-up point guard, Jarrett Jack.

And for the first time in his tenure, he signed more than one veteran bench player to the roster: adding Carl Landry and re-signing Brandon Rush.

For the first time in his tenure, Lacob has added small-ball spread fours to the roster, rather than shedding them like fleas. (I wonder who in the Warriors’ byzantine front office put that notion in Joe’s head? My guess would be Chief Scout Larry Riley, via his immediate superior, Kirk.)

You might also be tempted to say that for the first time in his tenure Lacob has actually opened up his wallet to try to win– as he has promised to do since the very day he bought the team — because the Warriors went a hair over the cap in signing their free agents. But that would be premature. I am informed by my back-office capologists that so long as the Warriors get back under the cap by the trading deadline, they will avoid the luxury tax.

What else? Oh yes, Spokes-Model Bob Myers (thank you, bloodsweatndonuts, for that apt descriptor) was trotted out to lay down the gauntlet to coach Mark Jackson:

Again, not wanting to coach the team, we’ve got a guy to do that, but we’ve given our coaching staff a group they can really work with…. And there’s really only one mandate here and it’s to win. That’s the job of the coaching staff… and we’re confident they can get it done.

…. I told Mark… I said, ‘You’ve got something to work with.’ Which I truly believe. And I don’t think he’s running from that challenge. I think he’s embracing it. I think he’s saying: ‘Yeah, I do.’

Wow. It’s pretty clear from this that Mark Jackson will have to be a “no-excuses” basketball coach this season, right?

(But I am curious why Bob Myers felt the need to say that Jackson has “only one mandate, and it’s to win.” Does that imply that Jackson had multiple mandates last year? Or perhaps simply the opposite mandate: to lose? Jackson certainly executed last year’s mandate well, to the point of shaving points at the end of the season, and destroying his integrity as a coach in the process. Let’s see how he does with this year’s mandate.)

But I digress, where was I? Oh yes, listing the reasons why it’s obvious that Joe Lacob is no longer tanking the Warriors. Here’s another one: Utah gets the Warriors first round pick next season, no matter what happens. Hmmm… did I even need to mention those other reasons?

But the number one reason that Lacob is finished tanking is Andrew Bogut. The Warriors are no longer cursed by a Nellieball roster like the last two NBA champions with no prayer of ever competing in the post-season. The Warriors are now possessed of a genuine behemoth of their own in the middle, with whom they can do battle with the 6-9″ Kendrick Perkins and the 6-9″ Joel Anthony. The time for tanking is over. The “sins of the past” have been erased. Mission Accomplished.

Or is it? Readers of my last post know that I have some serious doubts about whether the 2007-8 Andrew Bogut even exists any more. (That was the last season he finished in one piece.)

Until we know more about Bogut’s health, about whether he will even be ready to start the season, let alone finish it, it seems like an exercise in futility to analyze the Warriors’ roster, or make a guess about what style of play they might employ, how good they might be, or how many games they might win. I will save my analysis for a time when I can do more than just speculate, say, towards the end of training camp.

Like every other Warriors fan, I’m waiting for Bogot.

180 Responses to Waiting for Bogot

  1. “Until we know more about Bogut’s health… it seems like an exercise in futility to analyze the Warriors’ roster.”

    So… no good work from Feltbot until training camp, then?

  2. Read the first two sentences, felt nauseated, then skipped to last paragraph.

    “Until we know more about Bogut’s health… it seems like an exercise in futility to analyze the Warriors’ roster.”

    Really? Just a flat out refusal to write about anything promising happening in Warriors land whatsoever? Is that really being honest?

    From white hat: So… no good work from Feltbot until training camp, then?

    A blessing in disguise?

  3. Felt, a few inaccuracies in your scribblings:

    (“I am informed by my back-office capologists that so long as the Warriors get back under the cap by the trading deadline, they will avoid the luxury tax”):

    From Matt Steinmetz’s “Warriors mailbag”………

    Yes, the Warriors are into the tax right now – as of Aug. 3 – but they have more than eight months to get under the tax if need be. And in all probability and likelihood, when push comes to shove in mid-April the Warriors won’t be in the tax.

    There are countless ways the Warriors could get back under the tax, and they’ve clearly left themselves wiggle room to get under – or, to be fair, go deeper into the tax – if they want.

    It still remains remote that the Warriors will end up in the luxury tax – $70.3 million — when the appropriate time comes to compute such things (April 17).

    (“But I digress, where was I? Oh yes, listing the reasons why it’s obvious that Joe Lacob is no longer tanking the Warriors. Here’s another one: Utah gets the Warriors first round pick next season, no matter what happens. Hmmm… did I even need to mention those other reasons?”):

    From NBA.com…..

    In July 2008, Chris Mullin and the Warriors acquired Williams from the Nets for a conditional first-rounder. Golden State had just been stunned by Davis’ no-look free-agent move to the Clippers, was staring at an uncertain fit with Monta Ellis at point guard and had only C.J. Watson as depth. Williams was 22 and one season removed from being voted second-team All-Rookie. Plus, Golden State was coming off a 48-win season and, even after losing Davis, thought the pick would be middle of the first round at worst.

    Just in case, Mullin took the traditional route of attaching protection. The Warriors would keep the selection if it was in the top 14 in 2011, in the top 11 in 2012 and the top 10 in 2013. If it hadn’t been paid out by then, Golden State would ship second-rounders in ’13 and ’15.

    Larry Riley succeeded Mullin shortly after the 2008-09 season. He wanted to remain aggressive in blockbuster talks, looking hard into landing Amar’e Stoudemire just as Mullin had closed in on a Kevin Garnett deal with the Timberwolves before that. Riley felt he needed to have a first-round pick as a potential sweetener and one wouldn’t be at his disposal because teams could not trade first-round selections in consecutive years. With 2011 possibly bound for New Jersey, he couldn’t dangle 2010, or 2011 because it might be gone, or 2012, or 2013.

    Riley’s exact target is not known. Maybe it was Stoudemire again, in a sign-and-trade in the summer of 2010. At the very least, he correctly reasoned, Golden State had a desperate need for depth. That could be addressed in the ’11 Draft if the pick hadn’t been moved. The Warriors had added David Lee and drafted Ekpe Udoh and figured they were a playoff contender that couldn’t get hurt too bad with losing the pick.

    So Riley worked a linked deal in September 2009 to alter the restrictions. The Warriors got to keep the 2011 first-rounder no matter what while the Nets got a second-round pick in 2011 and a reduction in protection to picks 1-7 in 2012, picks 1-6 in 2013 and picks 1-6 in 2014. If the books had not been closed on the deal by then, New Jersey got second-rounders in ’14 and ’16.

    ——————————————

    Felt, if I can’t get accurate and unbiased info here then where the hell can I? LOL

    The Warriors have until the last day of the season (April 17) to get under the tax threshold. The trading deadline is the trading deadline.

    The Warriors also get to keep their 2013 draft pick if they finish in the lottery with a top 6 pick. Of course if that happens the Mayan calendar almost sounds like a happy alternative (whether “up” or “down”, hopefully I’ll be going somewhere where they have League Pass).

  4. “And I don’t think he’s running from that challenge. I think he’s embracing it. I think he’s saying: ‘Yeah, I do.’”

    Jackson will be under pressure to win from the start. Will it push him to play starters heavy minutes—and maybe run them down and make them more prone to injury? Will it make him tentative and conservative in his coaching? Will he be reluctant to experiment and try different lineups? Will he feel free to pull Bogut and go with a faster lineup when the situation demands? Will he feel compelled to coach his team the way Lacob believes the game should be played? Will he cut loose and run—or freeze up?

    It’s a setup. Or maybe Meyers is preparing for another firing.

    Next season depends on Bogut’s ankle and a coach in whom many have little confidence, who will be put in a difficult spot. Instead of gradual development over the last years, the team is a start over once more in a win now or else situation—else pick up the pieces and start over yet once again.

    And now we have Feltbot contemplating existential dead ends.

    It’s not your fault.

  5. Good point. This is an all new team, and there haven’t been many teams that started over and became instant winners.

  6. “The first thing the host asked me was do you want some coke,” he told Melbourne’s SEN 116 today.

    Thankfully, Bogut prefers Diet Pepsi.

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/afl/andrew-bogut-asks-if-the-afl-has-a-problem-with-recreational-drugs-after-tom-liberatore-case/story-e6frexx0-1226444559316

  7. Mid-summer Power Rankings from NBA.com

    19. Golden State (23-43)

    Pace: 94.7 (10), Off: 103.1 (11), Def: 106.0 (27)
    If Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut are healthy (and all indications are that they’ll be ready for the start of camp), the biggest question with the Warriors will be what kind of coach Mark Jackson is. He was brought in to improve this team defensively, but that certainly didn’t happen last season.

    http://www.nba.com/2012/news/powerrankings/08/06/midsummer/index.html?ls=iref:nbahpt1

  8. Offseason grades from David Aldridge

    No. 20 — GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

    2011-12 RECORD: 23-43, fourth place, Pacific Division, did not make playoffs.

    ADDED: F Harrison Barnes (first round, seventh pick overall); C Festus Ezeli (first round, 30th pick overall); F Draymont Green (second round, 35th pick overall); G Jarrett Jack (acquired from New Orleans); F Carl Landry (two years, $8 million).

    LOST: F Dorell Wright (traded to Philadelphia); C Kwame Brown (signed with Philadelphia); G Nate Robinson (signed with Chicago).

    RETAINED: G Brandon Rush (two years, $8 million).

    THE KEY MAN: C Andrew Bogut.
    With Jack on the roster the Warriors can survive if Steph Curry’s ankles continue to be a chronic issue. With veteran Richard Jefferson still capable of starting, Golden State doesn’t need Barnes to come in right away and produce. Rush can try and pick up the slack if Klay Thompson gets in a shooting funk. But the Warriors won’t have a chance at improving if Bogut doesn’t make a full recovery from the ankle surgery that kept him from playing a game in the Bay after being acquired from Milwaukee. There’s no other big on the roster with anything approaching Bogut’s skills at both ends of the floor, and almost no one his size passes the ball as well. That could pay huge dividends for Golden State, which can put a whole bunch of scorers on the floor. And improved offensive execution should help the Warriors be a better defensive team; Golden State’s 106 points allowed per 100 possessions was fourth-worst in the league last season.

    THE SKINNY: Golden State’s roster is different than it was at the end of last season, but is it dramatically better? Correctly, management saw no need to go anywhere near the tax with a team that’s certainly no threat in the west, and concentrated on realistic deals (the Warriors finally abandoned their Quixotic pursuit of Dwight Howard) that could provide gradual improvement. To that end, Landry and Jack are excellent value additions. They didn’t expect Barnes to fall all the way to them at seven, though, saving them from having to reach on a big. Barnes will be, at the worst, a solid pro, but the Warriors need someone to become great in a hurry, or they’ll be looking at another trip to the Lottery next spring.

    http://www.nba.com/2012/news/features/david_aldridge/08/06/morning-tip-offseason-grades-part-2/index.html

  9. Andrew Bogut‏@AndrewMBogut

    RT @StephenCurry30: About to get in laat workout for the day. Can’t wait for training camp in the Bay (x2)

  10. “Breaking Down The Bogut/Ellis Trade” (This was posted the day after the trade and sure to garner some comments from these parts. LOL)

    http://www.thenbageek.com/articles/breaking-down-the-bogut-ellis-trade

  11. Sam Amick: Inside The NBA

    No playoff promises for Warriors

    Last June, after being hired as Golden State coach, Mark Jackson predicted that the franchise would make the playoffs for only the second time in 18 seasons. But Jackson proved to be way off base when the Warriors finished 23-43 and 13 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

    This offseason, however, the Warriors’ brass — from owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber on down to consultant Jerry West, general manager Bob Myers and Jackson — has been united in being guarded about publicly assessing the team’s prospects.

    First up, the Logo: “I don’t think you ever promise anything, but the one thing I think is I know we have better players,” West told me in Las Vegas recently. “Hopefully it will translate into good fortune for our fans.”

    Then last Wednesday, it was Myers being asked if Golden State officials would make an annual habit out of forecasting a postseason berth.

    “I think we can fight for a playoff spot, but promising anything is counterintuitive and not productive,” he said on a conference call with reporters. “But I do think we made progress. We’re moving in the right direction.”

    Jackson set the right (and righted) tone early, back in mid-April, when he was asked by Comcast SportsNet Bay Area’s Matt Steinmetz if his team — which looked much different than it does now — would make the playoffs.

    “Growing and maturing,” he responded. “No comment.”

    The funny part, of course, is that no one would blame the Warriors if they were predicting the playoffs this time around. Wherever they finish, my colleague Zach Lowe got it right when he included the Warriors on a list of offseason winners. Now, the question is whether they can stay healthy.

    Andrew Bogut, the team’s centerpiece after he was acquired from Milwaukee in mid-March, is expected to be ready for training camp and his eventual Warriors debut after having arthroscopic surgery on his fractured left ankle in late April. The 27-year-old center has missed an average of 25 games in the last six seasons after playing all 82 as a rookie. Point guard Stephen Curry missed most of last season with his own ankle problems, playing just 26 games.

    Still, the Warriors have far more depth than before after the re-signing of Rush and the additions of North Carolina small forward Harrison Barnes, Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli and Michigan State forward Draymond Green through the draft, steady reserve point guard Jarrett Jack in a three-way trade with New Orleans and Philadelphia and Landry in free agency. Add then-rookie guard Klay Thompson’s late-season emergence as Monta Ellis’ replacement, and you can start to see how Golden State might sneak into the playoff picture.

    Power forward David Lee, who is entering his third season with the Warriors after receiving a six-year, $80 million contract as part of a sign-and-trade deal with the Knicks, wasn’t afraid to predict big things.

    “I think that this is a club that needs to make the playoffs this year,” said Lee, who averaged 20.1 points and 9.6 rebounds last season. “If you look at where this team was last year with the roster and where we are this year, I think we’ve made great improvements and we’re starting to get depth at every position now. We have a starting five that can compete with just about anybody and now we’re getting the depth to back it up and be a deep team with the way we want to play. I’m very excited.”

    With Jackson entering the second of three guaranteed years on his contract, the onus will be on him to forge progress — even if he’s not making any promises.

    “Our whole basketball operations, from ownership, myself and our whole group, worked very hard to give [the coaching staff] something to work with,” Myers said. “I’m not sure we did last year, to be frank.

    “After the Landry signing, I called [Jackson] and said, ‘I think you’ve got something to work with.’ … I don’t think he’s running from that challenge. I think he’s embracing it and saying, ‘Yeah, I do,’ and it’s up to them to go forward with this group.”

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/sam_amick/08/06/thunder-olympics-nba-notebook/index.html#ixzz22qJPgAYW

    • “Our whole basketball operations, from ownership, myself and our whole group, worked very hard to give [the coaching staff] something to work with,” Myers said. “I’m not sure we did last year, to be frank.”

      This is curious. Who is he blaming? Certainly not himself, as he got his job late in the season. It couldn’t be his boss. Who’s left? Riley? Compare with his comments to Jackson about winning.

      But hey, everybody’s trying now!

  12. Fun fact: I get a lot of search engine hits for the phrase “spanked by master.”

    The searchers are sent to this post:
    http://feltbot.com/2010/12/01/spanked-by-a-master-spurs-118-warriors-98/

    Sorry to disappoint!

  13. While we’re waiting for Feltbot’s review:

  14. http://www.nba.com/2012/news/08/07/trail-blazers-stotts.ap/

    Curious about Feltbot’s opine on the hiring of Terry Stotts for the following reasons:

    1) Warriors must jump Portland to make the playoffs next year.
    2) Feltbot was very critical of former Blazer coach Nate McMillian and his style.
    3) Stotts is a former Warrior assistanct coach.
    4) Why didn’t owner Paul Allen pick the kid instead, Allen is quoted as saying making the playoffs next year is not important for the Blazers future success.

    • If you have a team of Lamarcus Aldridge, Wes Mathews, Nic Batum and Damian Lilliard, and you don’t have an all-out Nellieball attack, you are guilty of Joe Lacobism, ie. trying to pound a round peg into a square hole. Terry Stotts is an acolyte of two of the best Nellieball coaches in the league, George Karl and Rick Carlisle, and I think you can expect a radically different approach in Portland this year. That’s a possible reason Canales was canned. At this point in his young career, he knows only what Nate McMillan taught him, which was how to walk it up, and lose with the best team.

      It appears that the Lakers, Warriors and Utah will be the only non-Nellieball teams with playoff aspirations in the West this season.

      • Stellar Feltbot, thanks.

        My friends in P-town are claiming Oakland resident Lilliard is the next CP3, will be interesting to see if Stotts hands him the reins of the offense. He does pass.

  15. Players that we want back: Andrew Bogut

    The NBA’s flashest and finest are mostly off representing their country in the 2012 Olympics, but for a goodly chunk of the league’s 400-plus players, the rash of “back to school!” ads that they’re fast-forwarding through on TV is serving as a reminder that training camp isn’t that far away. Autumn beckons, they might have to shave soon, and they definitely have to get back into NBA shape.

    For whatever reason, several of the league’s more entertaining players have fallen off in recent years. Be it due to injury, confidence issues, rotation frustrations, a poor fit, or general ennui in a profession that can get tiresome, these players have disappointed of late. For the next two weeks, we’re going to take a look at a list of familiar names that haven’t produced familiar games over the last few years. Or, at least players that have produced games that we don’t want to be in the habit of familiarizing ourselves with.

    To start, we’re looking at Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut.

    To be a fan of NBA centers — actual, honest to goodness centers that aren’t power forwards masking as pivotmen — is to be disappointed. The list of modern-era names that have fallen is long and sad and mostly limping, and yet through all of his injuries Andrew Bogut seems like an exception. The big man with the 7-foot frame whose feet haven’t turned to powder, though he hasn’t been the same since a 2010 fall crippled his arm and career.

    To date, at least, and that’s what fans of Andrew’s (we rank ourselves high among them) have to realize. His career has been waylaid, and it’s OK to say that because there’s still time enough to change that. Before the hoped-for and presumably healthy turnaround, it’s important to remember the peak.

    (Or, the peak as it stands in August of 2012. With enough time left in this particular center’s timeline enough to improve upon it.)

    The 2009-10 season. A PER of nearly 21, for a player that doesn’t do the sorts of things that show up in a PER-building box score. A defensive rating of 98, second in the NBA that year. The sturdiest and saltiest anchor on the league’s second-ranked defense; yes, Brandon Jennings’ age-inappropriate active defense and Scott Skiles’ schemes may have aided him, but Bogut was the beast that kept those scores low. Movement, and timing and precision unseen in the 2011-12-termed NBA save for perhaps Tyson Chandler, the league’s rightful Defensive Player of the Year. No gaudy per-game averages (though nearly 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks work just fine for us), but enough between the lines action to keep us all warm and giggly.

    Then we roll over after a Friday night spent out and wake to the bad news of a nasty headache and Andrew Bogut’s terrifying right arm, elbow, and wrist injury; taken in after a terrible fall during a game against the Phoenix Suns. He’d sit out for the Bucks’ inspiring (if at times unwatchable, and as someone who covered that series in person I can sign off on both descriptions) playoff turn. He’d be back for 2010-11, and continue the fine defensive work, but it wasn’t the same.

    A dozen games into 2011-12, Bogut broke his ankle by doing something all of us have done in a basketball game, though potentially not to Bogut’s painful degree — dude jumped up and came down on someone’s foot. With 18 other feet to a floor when playing an NBA game, I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often. Bogut was probably surprised he wasn’t struck by lightning walking out of the arena. He gets the Yao Ming reputation, with none of the injuries to deserve it.

    This is why we think we can get him back.

    We can argue the merits of the Golden State Warriors’ team-building to no end, up to and including the deal they made for an injured Bogut last spring. The context of the hoped-for comeback doesn’t influence a thing. What matters is getting to fire up the League Pass for six months and watch Andrew Bogut do that whole Andrew Bogut Thing — call out plays, chase down guards, change shots, stick his butt out while boxing out, and start the break.

    In time, now that it will be a full two and a half years removed from his right arm injury by the first week of the upcoming NBA season, we hope to have that offense back. Those passes. The screens set. A chance to work outside of what can be a stifling and inefficient Scott Skiles offensive system. This isn’t to say that we think Warriors coach Mark Jackson might be an improvement, but we’d certainly love it if Andrew Bogut made us all wrong about the guy.

    And, on a selfish level that has little to do with Bogut’s personal promise, we want him to cash in on his prime. Bogut won’t even turn 28 until September, and it would be nice if he could make the frustrations that dotted his time with Terry Stotts in Milwaukee and the post-arm injury era the fourth or fifth thing people think of when they hear his name; as opposed to the first. And fifth. Because nobody was watching the Terry Stotts-era Bucks back then.

    We don’t want Bogut’s hoped-for new reality to work in line with Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ return after a series of foot injuries, because as much as we respected Big Z’s game, Bogut has the potential to be much more of an overall decisive factor. The Chandler-like defensive dominance — changing games without even having to block a shot — mixed with the all-around approach on offense. Maybe a better free throw percentage, perhaps. Maybe I should stop being such a prick and just be happy to welcome a healthy Andrew Bogut back to my League Pass schedule, starting at 10:30 on most nights.

    He’s a 7-footer, a sound basketball mind that works on both ends and should be entering his physical prime. He’s Andrew Bogut; and a thousand literal and figurative miles away from us keyboard heroes, we’re pretty sure he understands all of this above any of us.

    See you in the fall, mate.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/players-want-back-andrew-bogut-130119985–nba.html

  16. From GSW.com: Old Dominion coach Blaine Taylor talks about Kent Bazemore

    http://soundcloud.com/goldenstatewarriors/old-dominion-coad-blaine

  17. Remember Rony Seikaly? Give me some more of that MILF, Rony. LOL

    http://bit.ly/Mw8knH

  18. “Last summer, Howard was asked to name five players who he would like to have on his team. Howard named Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Stephen Jackson, Monta Ellis and Morrow, showing just how close he is with the shooting guard and how much he respects his game. Morrow believes the Hawks have a chance to land Howard, but says he doesn’t have any inside knowledge.”

    Wow, if only GM Joe had known, the Dubs coulda been THE favorite to land DHoward. LOL

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/nba-pm-howard-joining-friends-on-hawks/

  19. OT: These numbers are from over a year ago but still interesting to peruse.

    http://richliebermanreport.blogspot.com/2011/05/latest-bay-area-media-salaries-who-make.html

  20. feltbot | August 8, 2012 at 12:28 am |

    “If you have a team of Lamarcus Aldridge, Wes Mathews, Nic Batum and Damian Lilliard, and you don’t have an all-out Nellieball attack, you are guilty of Joe Lacobism, ie. trying to pound a round peg into a square hole. Terry Stotts is an acolyte of two of the best Nellieball coaches in the league, George Karl and Rick Carlisle, and I think you can expect a radically different approach in Portland this year. That’s a possible reason Canales was canned. At this point in his young career, he knows only what Nate McMillan taught him, which was how to walk it up, and lose with the best team.

    It appears that the Lakers, Warriors and Utah will be the only non-Nellieball teams with playoff aspirations in the West this season.”

    Felt, I still can’t get over how some folks here, yourself especially included, think that Lacob and crew want and are going to have a halfcourt, grind-it-out team next season and beyond.

    This will be the first season since new ownership took over where their vision of what winning basketball looks like will actually take the court for an 82 game season. And their “vision” is not 80-79, night in and night out.

    The Warriors were one of the higher scoring teams in the league (until the trade) last year and you don’t get there by walking the ball up and shooting as the shot clock expires for 48 minutes.

    If healthy, this team, IMO, will be one of the more exciting teams to watch in the NBA next season, and “most exciting” means plenty of fast break hoops and great perimeter shooting, with endless offensive options on every possession.

    Forget the term “Nellieball”, my biggest compliment to Don Nelson was acknowledging his genius in formulating matchups and in-game strategies that gave his teams, which were usually season underdogs, the best chance to win. Hell, Nelli played the four corner stall with the Warriors at times, and his “hack-a-whomever” was something he’d do also, and in both instances, the rhythm and flow of a game would suffer greatly. But Nelson didn’t care what others thought, he would always do it his way and that’s what I always loved about Don Nelson basketball, whatever it took to win and innovative as all get-out.

    And would Nelli love to get his hands on a healthy Andrew Bogut-led team? And if so, do you think he’d have him roaming the perimeter looking for open jumpers? LOL The point is the Warriors are going to be trying to do a lot of the things that Nelli would undoubtedly be trying with this group of players, albeit minus the “genius” that could only come from Nelson.

    It would be a shame to think you (and a few others around these parts)won’t be able to enjoy this team (and appreciate the new owners, with their tireless efforts to bring exciting, winning basketball to the Bay Area) next season because you can’t see the forest for the trees.

    • I agree, Steve. Nelson did whatever it took, with whatever he had. He wasn’t trying to make style points, everything he did was to give the team he had its best chance to win. That took him into largely uncharted territory, like playing micro-ball against behemoths, or running his offense through a point forward, or parking Manute Bol at the 3-point line. But necessity was his mother. When he felt his big men could outplay their opponents, he played his big men. Otherwise, he tried other stuff.

      There’s no doubt Nelson would have a field day with the current Ws team. Especially with the addition of Landry, the team has the flexibility to go big or small, slow or fast, depending on matchups. My guess is Nelson would have used that flexibility to be less predictable, not stick with a single game strategy. Because he’d win more that way.

      Bob Myers has even made a point of mentioning that team flexibility. So while we’ve always heard “gotta get bigger” from Lacob, and while it’s natural to assume he meant “gotta play like the old Celtics,” that really isn’t where the roster is right now. They can play multiple different styles, not just lumbering dinosaur ball.

      Whether Jackson/Malone is the coaching team to recognize and use all this team’s options is a different question. But Nelson would. He’d do whatever it took, not just small ball.

      • Nellie – would love to coach Andrew Bogut – a big who can pass, rebound, defend, and score. And Curry is the best open shooter I’ve ever seen. Klay, Jack, Harrison, Rush, Jefferson, Green Lee, Landry… So many offensive weapons! Oh what Nellie could do with this deep, balanced roster…

        Mark Jackson – On the job training is over. We’ll see what he can do this year with a talented, deep (healthy?) roster – or he’ll be gone.

        This roster shouts for big-time scoring – three talented big men surrounded by elite NBA snipers. Roster filled with players with size, skill, defense.

        Few times in following this W’s team have I ever been as content with the roster heading into training camp.

        All the W’s have to do is win!

        • I don’t see a strong defensive team, for a few reasons.

          - Bogut and possibly Rush are the only stoppers in the (possibly) starting 5. No one else.

          - Team D takes more time to develop than team offense, especially when the team is packed with natural scorers but not natural defenders. Bogut has never even played a pickup game with another Warrior. It would take a great coach at least half a season to improve the Ws to “average” defense. It would take a merely good coach a full season. However you personally rate Mark Jackson, it’s going to take some time.

          - Love Curry’s game, want him playing, but his D is subpar. Can’t have really effective overall team D without everyone contributing.

          - No Dominic McGuire. McG got far more minutes than an offensive liability would normally get on an NBA team, because he could reliably blanket almost anyone. Jackson won’t have him next season. I totally agree with replacing McGuire with more well-rounded players at every position, but his maniacal D will be missed.

          - Whether the team is big or small, wimpy or tough, D is more of a coaching challenge than offense. Our “defensive minded” coach achieved zero defensive improvement last year. The fairest thing you can say about that is that the jury’s still out on whether he can really make it happen. At all, ever, with any team. I’m just sayin.

          • From what I’ve read, you can expect to see maniacal D from Bazemore — hopefully with some offensive contributions as well. A quintessential cheap Nellieball defensive wing defender with length. Monta and Curry would have greatly benefited from a player like him at backup two guard. Looking forward to watching him play.

            Also expected to contribute defensively: Ezeli. Less certain about Drummond, because of size issues, and the fact that Jackson is apt to play him out of position at the three.

          • Feltalot, I guess you mean Draymond (Green), and agree it’s hard to tell how he’ll be used. I suspect he won’t get much PT at all at first. Right now he’d have to be 3rd in the rotation at PF, and the 4th option at SF. Even if he’s as smart and handy as they say, he’s not just short, he’s got conditioning and speed issues too. I have this feeling that he’ll force his way onto the floor eventually, but I don’t see him ever being a defensive force.

            Bazemore was a great defender in college but not outstanding in any other way. That probably makes him the 3rd option at either guard spot. Without PT, he can’t raise the level of team defensive play much.

            If Ezeli can keep from fouling I think he’ll be used a lot, 20+ minutes per game. I was really impressed with him in summer league. Here’s hoping.

    • Bingo Steve et al…

      Well said…this team, if healthy, is built for versatilty whether uptempo-perimeter game-low-post-101 possibilites…and playing uptempo ain’t just about foot-speed!

      This skilled deep roster would be a Nellie wet-dream…

      • I actually really like the recent roster additions and what they bring to the table DEFENSIVELY: Jarret Jack, Brandon Rush, K. Bazemore, Andrew Bogut, F. Ezeli – are all considered to be very good-to-elite NBA defensive players that were added this off-season… Bazemore should help us get over not re-signing McGuire – for less money – and was a college defensive player of the year… Bogut is a top 5 defensive player regardless of position (John Hollinger of ESPN a couple of years ago) if and when he’s actually healthy. Brandon Rush – is a near elite defensive SG in my opinion. Jarret Jack – is very good defensively (and big enough to play a little SG). Ezeli – has great potential as a defender in the NBA.

        Harrison Barnes also looks to be a decent rookie defender with good potential and athleticism.

        • Unfortunately, only two of the guys you mentioned are in the starting 5, expecting to play more than 30 minutes per game. Ezeli will probably average 20-something minutes if he can keep his fouls down. Maybe Jack too. All the rest will get only occasional playing time this season, not enough to make much difference to the team’s overall results.

          • You’re right – the only starter on the W’s roster known for great defense – Andrew Bogut – will only be playing 30-35 minutes per game. I’m thinking a big defensive center should have more impact defensively.

            I’d say the W’s are incrementally improved defensively at every position from last season’s team. The bench is very strong defensively.

            Collectively – the bench will be loaded with defensive players. That’s 25 minutes at PG/SG for Jarret Jack, 20-25 minutes for Brandon Rush at SG/SF, Bazemore 0-10 minutes at SG/SF, and Ezeli 10-15 minutes at C. Carl Landry – an adequate defender (IMO) will likely be playing 10-20 minutes as well. Jefferson/Barnes – likely average NBA defenders at this stage of their NBA careers (IMO) and will split most of the SF minutes (with nice defensive upside with Barnes).

            Curry, Klay, and Lee – What can you do with them defensively? They are what they are – great offensive weapons. At their best, they can be average defensively. Klay should be better in his second season. Perhaps trades/upgrades are in the future.

            Offensively, scoring shouldn’t be a problem for the W’s. This team is gifted offensively – and are loaded 2 players deep with players who can score at positions 1-4, with only 1 player who can score at C.

  21. From AW of Yahoo Sports:

    The Los Angeles Lakers are finalizing a blockbuster four-team trade to acquire Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

    Three agents with players in the deal said the teams are expected to complete the trade on a call with league officials on Friday. As of late Thursday, Magic officials had yet to inform Howard a deal had been consummated.

    The Lakers will send All-Star center Andrew Bynum to the Philadelphia 76ers, who also will receive shooting guard Jason Richardson from the Orlando Magic. The Sixers will send guard Andre Iguodala to the Denver Nuggets. The Magic will receive Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, rookie swingman Moe Harkless and three first-round draft picks.

    Lakers forward Pau Gasol had been in previous scenarios of the trade, but his representatives have since been assured he’s no longer in the deal, league sources told Y! Sports.

    Orlando, Los Angeles and Philadelphia had discussed a three-way deal, but needed a fourth team to take Iguodala and also provide Orlando with the necessary future draft picks, sources said. Denver joined the talks in the past week, sources said.

    Howard’s contract ends after this season. He isn’t expected to immediately sign an extension with the Lakers because he can get a longer deal in free agency.

  22. Re the Wages of Wins article @30:

    It is incredible how far up their asses these stat phreaks are willing to stick their heads. The Lakers are obviously the class of the West, if Nash, Kobe and Howard remain healthy. They’re not just starting four all-stars, they’re starting four Hall of Famers.

    I did enjoy this line, though:

    “Philadelphia manages to change a great small forward for a great center, they can’t however counteract the self inflicted Nick Young and Kwame Brown wounds.”

    But I predict that, as constructed, Philly is going to be horrible this season. And I predict Doug Collins and Bynum will be at each others throats by the all-star game. And I predict Bynum doesn’t re-sign with Philly in the offseason. So, nice trade.

    The Nuggets look to be absolutely incredible. One of the best running teams in the league also becomes one of the best defensive teams in the league with Iggy and Chandler on the wings, McGee in the middle. On the model of the Heat and Thunder and … We Believe.

    They look quite thin at power forward (Faried and… Anthony Randolph?). But it should be remembered that Karl wants to use Gallinari at power forward as much as possible — one of the best spread fours in the game, when healthy.

    They’re also a little thin on shooters now: Afflalo was a much better three point shooter than Iggy. But Iggy’s a much better passer and playmaker. Going to be a lot of fun watching this team play for a great coach. Probable top four seed with Lakers, Thunder, Spurs.

    • “they’re starting four Hall of Famers.”

      Individually they’re 4 of the best who ever played the game. All of them in the all-time top 50.

      But it remains to be seen if they can play together. I’d like to have a tape of Dwight’s reaction the first time Kobe aims some snarky talk his way. Or better yet, the 10th time Kobe shoots off his mouth. Can Kobe keep from screwing up his good thing? TBD.

      • And Metta World Peace was an All-Star in 2004 as well.

        The Lakers – the evil empire – have the Death Star nearly complete, Lord Vader. All they need is to trade for Paul Pierce – and the Death Star will be fully functional.

  23. “Howard is still recovering from back surgery, and no one is sure he’ll be ready for opening night – never mind the opening month of the season. He’s living in Southern California now, and it would be wise for him to get together with Bryant once these Olympics are over and start to understand the culture change awaiting him.

    “I’ll play two or three more years, and then the team is his,” Bryant said.

    Someday, those Lakers will belong to Howard, but he doesn’t walk into the door with that clout. Championships are everything there, and no one will want to hear about Howard’s big ideas about how the offense will feature him. With him at his best, the Lakers are championship contenders but still no sure thing. Howard wanted Hollywood and the Staples Center and all that does for a star in Los Angeles, but he needs to get beyond the idea that he’s going there to transform the Lakers. They’ll transform him. That’s what Bryant was trying to tell him on the phone last season, and that’s what he’ll assuredly tell him again: Get your mind right and understand that chasing championships in Los Angeles needs to be the most serious pursuit of your basketball life. Try it another way – Dwight Howard’s old way – and there will be hell to pay.”

    http://yhoo.it/P6SrAs

    • I loved this quote from the article:

      During games, players used to hear Kevin Garnett screaming at Howard: “Paint your face, clown!” up and down the floor.

      THAT is some top flight trash talk. What team couldn’t use someone with an attitude like that? The Ws sure could.

    • “I’ll play two or three more years, and then the team is his,” Bryant said.

      Kobe still thinks the Lakers are his! Hilarious! He didn’t learn anything from this year’s playoffs flameout, and doesn’t seem to see that he lost the team leader role the instant Nash signed on. Nash can’t NOT be the team leader. It’s all he’s ever done. His whole career. As well as anyone has ever done it.

      In addition, Nash, Howard and Gasol are ALL more efficient scorers than Kobe. Crunch time is not Kobe time when there are 3 better alternatives on the floor. If he insists on always playing the hero as he did last year, the Lackers as a team would be better with Bryant on the bench.

      That wouldn’t be a bad team. A Bryant-less Lackers team is a super-turbo-enhanced Stockton-Malone team with a supporting cast of All-Stars. Quite scary.

      Kobe’s going to have to choose between his ego and his will to win. I wonder which drives him more.

      • I agree this will be the major theme of the Lakers’ season. Kobe must know that with Nash on the court he will spend a lot more time off the ball. But will he be able to live with it as reality sinks in?

        The second major theme will be the coaching. Will Brown let Nash run the offense the way he wants to? Pick and roll. Probing and “overdribbling”, looking for that perfect dive cut to hit? Everything on the move?

        Or will he favor the static Lacob/Smart/Jackson dump into the post?

        • Brown hasn’t impressed with clever offense anywhere he’s coached, so it’s hard to say. I wonder which approach the Princeton offense more closely resembles.

  24. Young, new GMs… Got to prey on them. This kid’s an idiot. And I thought Otis Smith was the worst ever GM from Orlando. This kid became the worst ever in one trade.

    Denver is much improved and have a much better coach. Same with Minnesota. Sure – a team like Dallas may fall hard.

    But making the playoffs in the West will be a little more difficult.

  25. “The NBA Geek” not a big George Karl fan. Ouch!

    http://www.thenbageek.com/articles/slow-news-day

    • Many people don’t understand Karl’s coaching. Just like another unconventional coach we know.

    • Not sure where this guy is coming from. I think it’s all but certain that Iggy will be the starting two. Either Gallinari or Chandler will start at three, with the other coming off the bench. And in crunchtime, all three will be on the floor.

      And if those players remain healthy (for the first time in years) the improvement in the Nuggets will be radical.

  26. Sam Amick:

    Dwight Howard, when asked about his surgically-repaired back that reportedly may force him to miss part of the beginning of next season, doesn’t sound too confident that he’ll be ready at the start of the season. He tells reporters in Los Angeles: “My health is great. I’m getting a lot better, a lot stronger every day. I’m looking forward to the doctor saying you’re free to play. I can’t wait for that day……There’s no timetable right now. Whenever he says ’Dwight, you’re free to play,’ then I’ll get back on the court. Until then, I’m going to continue to rehab and get my back stronger. I haven’t lost any weight, which is good, and I’m looking forward to getting back on the court…Well, you know we’ll see what the doctor says. If I’m ready for opening night, then I’ll be there, but I’m not going to rush it. A back is very serious, so I want to take my time and make sure I get back a hundred percent, because I want to give everybody a hundred percent. Not eighty, ninety percent. I want to give you guys everything I have.”

  27. Chris Tomasson:

    How low have the Orlando Magic fallen after the Dwight Howard deal? Bovada Sportsbook lists their over/under on wins next season at 31 1/2

    • I’ll be betting under with both fists. And I haven’t checked the line yet, but I’ll almost certainly be betting Philly under as well.

    • “So, they’re going to need that San Francisco arena to elevate the franchise to a level that will attract players like Howard. If you want big-time players, you’ve got to look and act like a big-time franchise.”

      Idiot.

      Just win, baby.

      • more lacobite propaganda attempting to justify their theft of public resources — foremost, open space on the bay specifically held in trust for the people of calif.– for private profit.

      • “lacobite” — brilliant, another word I intend to steal.

        The premise that a SF arena would attract free agents is nonsensical to me anyway. There are three things that attract marquee free agents:

        1) Markets so rich the cap is meaningless: NY, LA

        2) An small-market owner with no regard for the cap in his desire to win: Mark Cuban

        3) Proximity to entertainment people, entertainment dollars, and the women who love them: LA, NY, Miami.

        There’s a fourth thing that might attract second tier free agents:

        4) Competent management and brilliant coaches.

        Which of those four do the Warriors have?

  28. I looked at two games that Bogut played against Howard in in 2009 and 2010.Howard shut him down both times, while at the same time scoring well against Bogut. But, Bogut did help keep the Orlando team to shooting 38% and 45% from the field in both games.

    The Warriors will need to hack Howard on most H0ward possessions like Jackson employed last year, for the Warriors to have chance beating the Lakers, as Howard’s weakness is at the foul-line.

    The Warriors came close successfully rebuilding their roster, but no cigars as they didn’t address their most glaring defensive weakness at PF. They should trade one of their point guards to the Bucks and get one of their inside enforces like Sanders.

    As for Bazeman, he shoots his outside shot very flat with no arc. The Warriors coaching staff will hopefully correct that as he has the potential to be terrific on defense as it’s virtually impossible to get to the hoop without him coming from behind and blocking the shot.

    • Frank – I was thinking the same thing about the W’s acquiring Sanders. The Bucks have 6-7 powers forwards now (no centers) with FA/trades and Sanders may be lucky PF number 7. I wouldn’t want to do J. Jack for Sanders, but would Jenkins/Tyler for Sanders be enough? It’d be nice to add another shot blocking big man – particularly should Festus take more time to develop.

    • “Hey, how did David Lee’s contract not make this list?” — Adam Lauridsen

      “Why are the mainstream media still regurgitating Joe Lacob’s line about being willing to spend money, when he refused to amnesty the #1 worst contract in the NBA?” — feltbot

      The fact of the matter is, Lacob hasn’t spent one single penny more than Cohan did.

      • Dude,

        Jefferson’s contract is arguably worse than Biedrins’. Lee isn’t even close.

      • I didn’t watch Biedrins play the first years he showed promise. Had he developed into an average to OK center, he would have been a bargain. Had he merely become mediocre, he still would have had trade value. Something happened to him.

        • Fersher.

          If Effbee is correct, Biedrins has a crippling, incurable medical condition that makes it excruciating to run and jump. Biedrins’ play over the last 3 years supports that theory.

          In his early years, Biedrins was one of the quickest and most athletic centers in the NBA, capable of running the floor with anybody. He never had much shooting range, but was able to score by beating opposing Cs to the rim with a decent collection of quick post moves. A classic lightweight Euro center, in other words. A good fit with a quick-offense team.

          If you never saw him play back then, it must be hard to imagine that Biedrins actually scored/rebounded 20/20 sometimes, while playing decent help D too. While his free throw shooting never achieved even “average,” it wasn’t astoundingly gawdawful like we’ve seen the last 2 years. When his rookie contract came up for renewal, the Ws felt lucky to lock him in to a long-term contract at a fair rate.

          If you never saw that good Biedrins, it would be easy to condemn Ws management as idiots for holding out hope for him to return to form. Based solely on the last 2 years, Biedrins rates as the all time worst NBA player in a number of categories.

          It’s an odd thing, but I think it might have been easier for Ws management to cut Biedrins loose if his free throw shooting hadn’t turned so unbelievably awful. If his problem is osteitis pubis, he shouldn’t have a problem with free throws, which don’t call for him to run and jump. But since his FTs are now a record of futility unlikely to be matched by any other NBA player ever, it kinda/sorta suggests that his problem is in his head, not his pelvis. If that’s the case, maybe things could turn around again just as quickly, inexplicably and completely as they did the first time. Maybe if he just got his head straight Biedrins could return to being the Beans we loved.

          I’m inclined to give Ws management a break on wishing/hoping/praying for the good Biedrins to reappear, maybe because I still want to hope the same thing. He was valuable! But now it’s been 3 long seasons since we’ve seen that good Beans. If his guaranteed contract had been shorter, he’d be home in Latvia by now, and the Ws would be a better team. But no, we’re stuck with a player who *most likely* will contribute about as much to the team as a heap of plywood scraps stacked onto a courtside chair.

          Most likely.

      • Most people here are satisfied with Lee, so I won’t waste time defending him. (The criticism elsewhere just baffles me.) His contract is expensive, but that’s the only way the team could have gotten him, and they got him without gutting the team, giving up promising prospects, or taking on an awfully bad contract (Jefferson’s). Also, such players are hard to get and there weren’t many other alternatives then, or the years before and after. Bosh and Stoudemire come to mind, not universally accepted here, and they would have been just as expensive or more so and didn’t want to come here to boot.

        Riley, I’m sure, knows the difficulty from experience, and I wonder if Lacob listened to him seriously about that or anything. It’s just embarrassing all the trade offers Lacob has made for Howard—how many?—when he should know better. There’s not a chance in hell Howard would have come here. How far would he have gutted the team to get him?

  29. From Twitter:

    Andrew Bogut‏@AndrewMBogut

    GS @warriors strength coach Johan Wang gets to Australia tomorrow! He will be smashing me in the gym daily at @ABbball

  30. OT: Music Time Out

  31. I’m sure Felt will be first in line for this…….

    Kirk Lacob Giving Stats Talk at Sports Innovation Conference

    Title of his talk:

    Improving Player Performance Through Data & Statistics

    http://www.theiegroup.com/SportsAnalyti … Agenda.pdf

  32. “The new CBA, they said, would make owners think twice before uniting superstars. And who’s to say it won’t? In that regard, the juicy parts of the new deal haven’t kicked in yet. ESPN.com CBA expert Larry Coon emails to explain what’s in store for the Lakers if they keep this intimidating roster together:

    The Lakers will have a tax bill of around $30 million next July, and in retrospect, will view this season as their salad days — it’s the last one where the tax rate is dollar-for-dollar. Starting in 2013-14 the new “incremental” tax takes over, where being $30 million above the tax line will mean paying a whopping $85 million tax bill.

    And it gets worse. Starting in 2014-15 teams will pay an even higher rate for being repeat offenders — defined as paying tax in at least three of the four previous seasons. A team $30 million over the tax line will pay — brace yourself — an additional $115 million in luxury tax.

    After adding up their payroll, luxury tax bill, and revenue sharing contribution (projected to be $49.4 million in 2013-14), even the Lakers have to stop to consider whether this simply can be written off as the cost of doing business — and that’s the future if they’re paying players with salaries like Bryant, Howard, Gasol and Nash.

    I asked Coon to make some rough estimates, and he guessed that salaries, revenue sharing, and luxury tax could cost the Lakers close to $240 million in 2013-2014. And the season after that is when the especially punitive repeater tax, for perennial high-spenders, kicks in.

    Even back when players cost the Lakers about a third of that they made transactions to cut payroll. In the lockout, they laid off video coordinators and the like to save the table scraps. After the lockout, but before facing these kinds of bills, they pointed out that it was tough to make money anymore.

    In other words: This Laker roster is barely affordable now, and due for a massive day of reckoning when the NBA’s real “system” is fully up and running.”

    “Another superstar joins another super team”

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/49149/another-superstar-joins-another-super-team

    • It’s pretty clear to me that Kobe will be done with the Lakers when his current contract runs out. That will probably be the end of Nash as well.

      • It’s another way to evaluate the Warriors and their future. How well poised will they be when the superstars start aging out? How well can they meet the challenges of the new cap? How flexible will their roster be? I’m skeptical, of course.

      • According to ESPN, Kobe’s salary is $25MM/yr, with 3 years remaining. He’s 33. Assuming his knees hold up, he’ll almost certainly play out the rest of his contract in LA. If the team could trade him they could totally rebuild, but his contract would be tough for any other team to take on. He’s more likely to retire early. So, yeah, he’ll be done with the Lackers (probably done playing entirely) at the end of his contract, but that’s a long way away.

        Steve Nash is 38 and on a one-year contract for $11.6M. If he sticks around as long as Kobe he’ll be 41 when he retires. It’s possible he’ll play that long, but it seems doubtful. He’s more likely to play just 1 year with LA, then either retire or move on. The super-mega luxury tax kicks in at the end of this next season, so Nash would effectively cost the team about 3x his salary if they were to keep him.

        Speaking of Kobe’s knees, it’s a little surprising the Lackers allowed him to play in the Olympics. A Really Bad Idea for an older player dealing with overuse injuries. Especially if the team wants to make a run at the championship this season. I wonder who’s actually in charge down there?

  33. Magic CEO writes letter to STH

    http://bit.ly/QxyCRD

  34. Blast from the recent past, March 5, 2012, just after the all star break:

    A little coaching comparison

    In 82 games under Keith Smart the team had a .42 W-L record, a total of three 20-point+ blowout losses, and 7 games below 90 points. Smart achieved that record with zero preparation time as coach, four significant player injuries (Lee, Udoh, Curry, Amundson), and possibly the worst bench in the league.

    In just 34 games, Mark Jackson compiled a .41 record, and already had three 20-point+ blowouts and eight games under 90 points. The defense was ranked almost identically to Smart’s.

    With 7 months preparation time, only two significant player injuries and arguably one of the better benches in the league, Jackson’s team accomplished a worse record than Smart’s, was humiliated more often, scored less and defended no better. Jackson also routinely denigrated his players publicly – a bizarre, wrongheaded motivational technique.

    Since the AllStar break, the team which had been one of the highest scoring in the league averaged 80.25 points, and their W-L was 25%.

    And that was written BEFORE the tanking began.

    Don’t drink the Jackson koolade.

    Bob Myers has one more important position to fill.

    • “A little coaching comparison

      In 82 games under Keith Smart the team had a .42 W-L record, a total of three 20-point+ blowout losses, and 7 games below 90 points. Smart achieved that record with zero preparation time as coach, four significant player injuries (Lee, Udoh, Curry, Amundson), and possibly the worst bench in the league.

      In just 34 games, Mark Jackson compiled a .41 record, and already had three 20-point+ blowouts and eight games under 90 points. The defense was ranked almost identically to Smart’s.

      With 7 months preparation time, only two significant player injuries and arguably one of the better benches in the league, Jackson’s team accomplished a worse record than Smart’s, was humiliated more often, scored less and defended no better. Jackson also routinely denigrated his players publicly – a bizarre, wrongheaded motivational technique.

      Since the AllStar break, the team which had been one of the highest scoring in the league averaged 80.25 points, and their W-L was 25%.”

      ——————————————-

      I was a big fan of the “fire Keith Smart ceremonies”, and I remain a full paying member of the “ambivalency towards Mark Jackson fan club”. That said, a few comments about your “blast from the recent past”…..

      Keith Smart had “zero preparation time”? Whoa, Nelli, there. Smart had been “preparing” for his head coaching gig ever since he became an assistant coach in the NBA. And he certainly was well prepared to coach the Warriors and their particular group given the fact he had actually taken over for Nelli in a handful of games during that prior season, not to mention the fact that Nelli had named him “defensive coordinator” of those Warriors during Nelli’s last season as head coach. In reality, Smart was as well prepared to coach GSW as any first year head coach could ever hope to be prepared for his virgin journey.

      Compare that scenario to Jackson, who didn’t have “7 months preparation time”, but more like 2 weeks. With the lockout in force Jackson couldn’t talk to his team nor start teaching the new system his coaching staff wanted to implement. When the lockout finally ended the Warriors coaches had a couple of weeks and 2 or 3 exhibition games to get everyone ready for the new season. You wanna talk “zero preparation time”? That designation was far more applicable to Jackson than Smart.

      Also, while Jackson made post game references to “unacceptably poor play” on occasion his chosen method of talking to his players through the media could only be ultimately criticized if he wound up “losing his team” in the process. Instead, just the opposite occurred. His team always played hard, and after the season everyone (with the possible exception of DWright) wanted to come back (Brandon Rush, Dom McGuire, Nate Robinson, etc) and play for Jackson again.

      Your final comments concerning the Warriors’ numbers after the AS break obviously are directly connected to the post AS trade of Ellis and Udoh. When you exchange your leading scorer for an injured player your team scoring stats are going to take a hard hit.

      • Steve, I see your point about Jackson’s prep time. The lockout definitely made things difficult. But he was made the coach at the end of the prior season, in full knowledge that the lockout was coming down. He had time to develop plays and strategies, and gear up for training camp, he just didn’t know when it would start.

        Keith Smart, on the other hand, wasn’t the Warriors head coach until Nelson was canned just before training camp, on September 23. In addition, there really wasn’t much carryover from Nelson’s systems. Smart didn’t (or couldn’t?) play Nellie ball. He installed all-new systems on offense and defense. He designed and started teaching those new systems on less than a week’s notice. That’s a major feat.

        Despite the rushed start to his season, despite injuries to Curry, Lee, Udoh and Amundson, despite a pitiful bench and zero support from management – that “awful coach” Kieth Smart then coached his way to a better record than Mark Jackson, who had a much better team, better coaching staff, a bigger budget and 1000% support from management.

        Oh yeah, after the season, when reporters asked the players if Keith Smart should stay, they were unanimous in supporting him.

        There’s more to coaching than game-time tactics, or sideline posing, or post-game bloviating. Smart was better organized, a better people manager, and a far more competent coach overall than Mark Jackson, who apparently doesn’t even draw up his own plays.

        • “Keith Smart, on the other hand, wasn’t the Warriors head coach until Nelson was canned just before training camp, on September 23. In addition, there really wasn’t much carryover from Nelson’s systems. Smart didn’t (or couldn’t?) play Nellie ball. He installed all-new systems on offense and defense. He designed and started teaching those new systems on less than a week’s notice. That’s a major feat.”

          Taken from an AP story on Smart’s firing:

          “The 46-year-old Smart kept the run-and-fun offense Nelson once perfected, leading to some dazzling outputs and upsets, including a three-game winning streak in April over the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas and Portland. But the defensive effort was never there, and a six-game losing streak in late March that knocked the Warriors out of postseason contention spelled the end of Smart’s tenure.”

          http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=6437202

          Bottom line, Smart was on the Warriors coaching staff for 4 yrs prior to his hiring by Lacob. He knew the players and the players knew him and how he coached. He made some changes based on the acquisitions of Lee and DWright but overall much of Nelson’s system that Smart had helped run remained in place.

          • Lots of debatable stuff in that article, especially for someone as willing to debate as me. Most people would say Smart was a terrible coach. I’d give him a B-.

            Well organized, good people manager, good communicator, Smart had clearly defined goals for the team and he got buy-in from everyone – one player at a time, man to man, with a handshake. There was never a question of not playing hard for Smart, it wasn’t even discussed. That was a given, just one of the many things an actual pro coach gets from his players as a matter of course. But as FB pointed out many times, Smart was not a great game strategist or game-time tactician. He didn’t play NellieBall. Ask Feltbot.

            Smart faced challenges Jackson didn’t have. A last-minute promotion to head coach. No “best in the NBA” assistant coach. A far worse and far smaller roster than Jackson, with a very poor bench (quickly now, where are these players today and how much playing time will they get: Charlie Bell, Acie Law, Dan Gadzuric, Al Thornton, Rodney Carney, Jeff Adrien, Reggie Williams, Brandon Wright, and VladRad). A dysfunctional front office (1st year of Lacob/Riley) and training staff (100% replaced at season end).

            In almost conceivable way, Smart was set up to fail. Yet he did no worse than Lacob’s hand-picked guy, the one running a team whose total salaries came to roughly twice that of Smart’s team.

            Listen, I’m glad Smart isn’t the Ws coach. I think he got screwed, but I don’t think he’s a super coach. A B- kind of guy. But Lacob tripled the Warriors overall company budget for Jackson’s team and got… less. That’s not good.

      • it was pretty clear to most of us that Smart was the owner’s fall guy ; getting into the playoffs was nearly impossible with the personnel, and that was the only way Smart could get the second year of his contract guaranteed. owners with the means and inclination can spend whatever they choose on coaching staff, as it’s outside the salary cap. smart was one of the lowest paid head coaches, and the other senior assistants from nelson’s staff left for more secure positions, adding to smart’s burden. smart’s modest salary expectations helped him gain his next head post, replacing westphal in Sac, where ironically he’s been treated better by the beleaguered Maloofs than he was in oaktown.

        most of us were glad to see smart depart, but don’t begrudge him finding his niche as a hoops ‘lifer’. it should not come as a surprise if in the future we’re also glad to see jackson’s exit. some of the other teams he needs to overtake for the bottom playoff seeds have excellent coaching.

        • Smart has done some good things in Sacto. He took over a team that had given up entirely on their previous coach, and was in chaos. Among other things, he got Cousins playing his best, developed a good player in Isaiah Thomas, and made hard decisions on Tyreke Evans and Jimmer Fredette, all while the Maloof drama has been playing out. The Kings are going to be a decent team this year.

          Smart should look like a better coach when he’s not a last-minute fill-in.

  35. Bill Simmons calls an end to the “small ball era.”

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8254854/mailbag

  36. Bob Ryan retires from full-time work at the Boston Globe (great video with Ryan breaking down the 1972 NBA draft)

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/bob-ryan-friend-nba-fans-worldwide-retires-full-184249880–nba.html

    • Har de har har.

    • For the record, Howard wanted to join the Warriors so bad that he secretly petitioned to the GSW front office. Our Mr. Lacob, however, is a man with a plan. Howard is too costly and will not fix Mr. Lacob’s vision of fiscal discipline.

      Heart broken, Howard joined the Lakers.

  37. From csnbayarea.com and Matt Steinmetz:

    The Warriors are thinking playoffs in 2012-13, and the reality is that they have every right to think that. On paper, their team is as talented and as deep as the Warriors’ team of 2007-08, when they followed up on “We Believe” with a 48-win season.

    The Warriors’ roster is more balanced than it has been in the recent past, and their coaching staff has had a year together. But if the Warriors are to make the postseason – and break a five-year drought – they’re going to have to overcome some challenges.

    Here are five of the biggest issues heading into the season for the Warriors:

    1) Andrew Bogut’s health:

    Far and away, the single-biggest key to whether the Warriors will be successful in 2012-13 is the health of center Andrew Bogut. For the Warriors to break through and make the playoffs, Bogut must be both healthy and effective.

    Over the past four seasons, Bogut has played in just 182 of a possible 312 games – or 58.3 percent. What the Warriors need most is for Bogut to put together a 70-plus game season. And Priority 1A is for Bogut to resemble the player he once was – which was one of the better centers in the NBA.

    At his best, Bogut has the potential to be an impact player up front for the Warriors. He has the ability to rebound, block shots and score a little bit. He also has a solid understanding of the game and is one of the league’s best passing big men.

    Perhaps most important, the Warriors need Bogut to be healthy because they don’t have anybody behind him capable of being counted on at this stage. Andris Biedrins is coming off back-to-back ineffectual seasons, and it seems like a stretch to expect anything positive out of him for long stretches.

    The Warriors are hoping rookie Festus Ezeli can help at the five-spot, but he’s likely a ways away from contributing consistently. The reality is that if you take a good, hard look at the Warriors’ roster, it’s tough to see them staying competitive for the long haul if Bogut isn’t around for just about all of it.

    2) Stephen Curry’s health:

    Curry’s ankle is also a big concern heading into the season. He played just 26 games a year ago, tweaking the ankle several times during the course of the season. In short, the Warriors need Curry healthy to be at their best.

    However, in truth, Curry’s health isn’t as big of an issue as Bogut’s health, and the reason is this: The Warriors have a very competent backup point guard in Jarrett Jack. When Curry went down last year, the Warriors’ offense took a major hit as they missed one of their most potent weapons.

    Without Curry, the Warriors leaned heavily on Nate Robinson and Charles Jenkins. While both of those players had their moments, it’s pretty obvious that Jack will be a significant upgrade off the bench in the backcourt.

    Curry will step up his rehab and conditioning this week in Oakland, working out for four consecutive days at the team’s downtown facility. It is the Warriors’ hope that Curry’s ankle problems are behind him and he’s ready to put a complete season together.

    3) Coach Mark Jackson:

    He came in last season talking about the playoffs, but what happened instead was the Warriors went 23-43 and were the 13th-worst team in the conference. The nice thing for Jackson is that most were skeptical of his playoff prediction and didn’t exactly hold him to it once the team was eliminated.

    The Warriors were banged-up for most of the season, and they also made a blockbuster trade for an injured Andrew Bogut. In other words, Jackson avoided criticism, for the most part.

    This year expectations are different. There is a sense within the organization and among the fans that the Warriors are a playoff team. It’s up to Jackson to deliver. It is Jackson’s responsibility to foster a winning culture among this group of players. It will also be Jackson’s responsibility to figure out the best style for this team to play. The Warriors aren’t really the fast-breaking team they’ve been in past years, and they’re not a typical halfcourt team, either.

    One of the most challenging aspects of Jackson’s job this coming season will be to find a way to take advantage of the Warriors’ roster – which is a little bit unconventional. Bogut and David Lee are excellent passing big men, so there should be an opportunity to play a little bit differently than most teams.

    And, similarly, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the team’s likely starting backcourt, are better at shooting the ball than playmaking. So it will be up to Jackson to figure out a way to get those two players shots instead of those two players having to worry about getting shots for teammates.

    4) Toughness:

    Both general manager Bob Myers and minority owner Jerry West talked early in the offseason of the Warriors needing more toughness. They addressed that by trading for Jarrett Jack and signing free-agent power forward Carl Landry.

    Will that be enough? We’ll see. But it’s less about toughness and really more about competitiveness. The Warriors will be relying heavily on Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee and Andrew Bogut this season. Of those four, only Bogut has playoff experience, and only five postseason games at that.

    If the Warriors are in the hunt come March and April, will they have enough wherewithal and stick-to-itiveness to bring it home?

    5) Intangibles:

    Unfortunately, there will be some things outside of the Warriors’ control, which will likely determine whether or not they can make the playoffs. There is a group of teams that the Warriors figure to compete with for one of the final playoff spots: Minnesota, Houston, Utah and Portland, for example.

    How good will the Blazers be? Well, that depends a great deal on how good rookie point guard Damian Lillard is. Can the Timberwolves make the playoffs in the post-Kevin Garnett era? That will depend largely on whether Kevin Love steps up his game and Brandon Roy can come back from injury.

    Utah seems to be a notch above the Warriors on paper, but then again the games are played on hardwood. As for the Rockets, they look like they will take a step back, but who knows? They still have a legitimate NBA roster.

    Can the Warriors get to the postseason on their own? Maybe. But with a little help, it becomes a lot more doable.

  38. Remember when?

    • BTW, for all you “osteitis pubis” fans, his abdominal surgery took place March 10, 2010……

      OAKLAND, Calif. — The Golden State Warriors say center Andris Biedrins will need to undergo surgery to repair a small tear of an abdominal muscle.

      Biedrins was examined Monday by a specialist in Philadelphia who confirmed that he had a sports hernia and the muscle tear. Biedrins will undergo surgery Tuesday. The prognosis for his recovery will be determined after the operation.

      Biedrins is averaging 5.0 points and 7.8 rebounds in 33 games this season. If he does not return this season, his 16 percent free throw shooting (4-for-25) would be the worst in NBA history for a player with at least 20 attempts.

      The previous low is held by Boston’s Garfield Smith. Smith made 6 of 31 attempts for 19.4 percent in 1971-72…….

      and the game you watched above took place Nov 26, 2010. Not to mention his other very good games that took place early that season as well…….

      “The 2010–2011 season may have begun with some renewed hope for a resurgence of Biedriņš, as 2009–2010 coach Don Nelson was fired and the potential existed for new head coach Keith Smart to unleash and reinvigorate the center’s fragile confidence.

      Early returns were promising, as Biedriņš had several games in the early season with rebounding numbers at or around double-digits while averaging around thirty minutes per game, including 20 rebounds in a November 5 victory over the Utah Jazz, 28 points and 20 rebounds in a November 26 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, and 18 rebounds in a November 30 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

      However, the injury bug bit again, derailing Biedriņš from mid-December 2010 to early January 2011, and once again he found it difficult to regain his previous form”……..

      And what was that particular injury? A sprained left ankle (aka osteitis pubis ankleitis?) which left him sidelined for 23 games. Dr. Felt, calling Dr. Felt. LOL

    • It was not me but Warriors team officials that made the initial “osteitis pubis” diagnosis on Biedrins, long before they started using the “abdominal strain” and “sports hernia” lines that would allow them to continue to market him to season ticket holders and opposing GMs.

      http://www.hoopsnotes.com/teams/goldenstate/andris-biedrins-may-miss-three-more-weeks/

      http://espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=300303019

      We’ve been through this several times before, haven’t we Steve? Direct your sarcasm to the Warriors doctors and officials who made the initial diagnosis.

      Not that it matters to those who wish to turn their brains off in the face of unpleasant facts, but even a cursory googling of osteitis pubis will lead you to the inescapable conclusion that it describes exactly what has been plaguing Biedrins these last several years. A chronic, degenerative and extremely painful groin condition caused by repeated jumping that limits athleticism and endurance.

      http://forums.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=968406

      Do the other ways recent Warriors press releases seek to describe the problem with Biedrins come close to explaining why he can no longer get above the rim to dunk, why Lee jumped center in his place from day one under Keith Smart, why a player who once ran like a deer now visibly labors changing ends, why he frequently comes off the court walking stiff backed and wincing? Why the Warriors increasingly wind up giving him 2 to 3 week layoffs in the middle of the season? The painfulness of the condition abates with rest, allowing Biedrins to start each season strong, and occasionally allowing him to produce a big game or two midseason when coming off those layoffs.

      If Biedrins doesn’t have osteitis pubis, then he has something so incredibly similar to it that it’s pointless to quibble over terminology. Osteitis pubis was originally diagnosed by the Warriors’ doctors, osteitis pubis describes what I see with my eyes, and that’s good enough for me.

      • If Bogut gets/stays healthy this year, Ezeli looks like a player and Biedrins can’t perform, it would finally make sense for the Ws to go public on Biedrins’ injury and negotiate a buyout with him.

        If nothing else, they might save a few bux that way. Anybody know what it would do to the Ws salary cap? Would Biedrins’ contracted salary come off the books, even in part?

  39. Do the Warriors have another roster spot? Rumors concerning Lester Hudson and Leandro Barbosa hitting Twitter.

  40. NBA.Com gave the Warriors off season moves a C plus rating. Seems right given the Warriors their starting defense is not as good as last year ( I know some posters disagree), and even with a deeper bench, without a back-up big PF, our second unit is defensively sub-par, we lack much speed, and don’t have many players who can take it to the hoop.

    The Warriors are now basically a three-point shooting team. Will Jackson have the team shoot many more three’s than their opponents?.

    The Warriors are now stuck in no-man’s land with Biedrins, Jefferson, and if not healthy, Bogut’s contract.Read a game sheet that indicated that Bogut missed a game a year or two ago because of a migraine headache. Didn’t know he suffered from migraine’s. Did Warrior management?

  41. The Rockets just waived C/PF Josh Harrellson. Harrellson was on his rookie contract, $473,604 with 2 years remaining. He played in NY last year, mostly as a backup center. In college (Kentucky) he played forward. He’s listed at 6’10″, 275 lb. Looks a lot like Bogut.

    Could he be a defensive backup for David Lee + extra insurance at C? More experienced, stronger and tougher than Tyler. Dirt cheap.

    http://www.nba.com/2012/news/08/15/rockets-harrellson.ap/index.html?ls=iref:nbahpt2

    http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/6439/josh-harrellson

    • Haven’t watched him play, but the fact that he’s 275 lb. and only played at center tells me that playing him as a “defensive backup for David Lee” is wishful thinking.

      It’s center or bust for Mr. Harrellson, and NY and Houston seem to think it’s bust.

      • You’re probably right, but here’s Harrellson bombing 3s as a power forward for the Knicks.

        • It’s only highlights from one game, and overall his 3 pt. % isn’t great, but when Harrellson wasn’t raining 3s in the video he was banging under the boards. He takes up a LOT of space. The Ws don’t have another PF who wreaks havoc all over the floor like that.

          • Thanks for the tape, and OK, he did play some PF in that game, but please note he was going against a Demarcus Cousins/Chuck Hayes or Cousins/Jason Thompson front line. In other words, he was matched up with out of position centers.

            http://popcornmachine.net/cgi-bin/gameflow.cgi?date=20111231&game=NYKSAC

            I sincerely doubt he’d have a prayer of being able to guard 90% of the league’s power forwards. Even the league’s second-line power forwards, many of whom are smaller and quicker spread fours.

            I do love the fact that he can hit the three, and his rebounding/min stats would make Kirk Lacob’s computer swoon. But I think he’s strictly a backup 5.

          • “I sincerely doubt he’d have a prayer of being able to guard 90% of the league’s power forwards.”

            Unfortunately, that applies to Lee, Landry and Tyler too.

            It’s all about the matchups. Harrellson definitely has weaknesses. Most of the time Lee and Landry would do better overall. But sometimes those 2 are overpowered by opposing PFs. Sometimes playing a huge PF is the best possible alternative. Somebody like K Martin or Harrellson.

            The Ws as constituted are going to continue to have problems on D. The addition of Bogut should help, primarily by reducing 2nd chance points. But next season’s team is still defensively weak at PF, has gotten weaker at SF, and is subpar at both starting guard spots.

            The two-headed GM has attempted to address some of the issues by adding defensively competent backup guards (Jack and Bazemore), and in doing so has given the coaching staff more flexibility in matchups. But they didn’t do that at PF.

            Landry is sort of a Lee clone (short and quick, with below-average D), Tyler is defensively clueless AND wimpy, and it isn’t clear that Green is an NBA-level defender at all, especially against opposing PFs who outweigh him by 40+ pounds and out-reach him by a foot or so.

            In a perfect non-salary-cap dream world, I’d really like to see the Ws add Kenyon Martin this summer. He’s still available. Unfortunately, reports are that he won’t sign for the vet minimum, so he’s probably too pricey for the Ws right now. But it would be nice to have a wide-body backup for those times when it would be the best solution.

  42. Curry sounding good to go. Two part interview:

    http://bit.ly/Phf0VF
    http://bit.ly/S1MklJ

  43. A little mustard with that dog?

  44. OT: Since we’re all into internet security with our personal tech devices I thought this was worth posting. An amazing read.

    http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/08/apple-amazon-mat-honan-hacking/all/

  45. While in London, Melo told Iguodala: “You’d be a perfect fit for Coach Karl.”

    It’s understood that Iguodala should excel in George Karl’s system because of his dedication to darting down the floor in transition.

    “Just run fast, it’s pretty simple, especially with a great point guard,” Iguodala said. “The pass ahead is really what gets it going. And I’ll do the same thing getting the rebound and pushing it on the break.”

    http://bit.ly/OmPEUT

  46. I’m more convinced than ever that the Princeton offense is absolutely wrong for the Lakers. The offense requires a high-post center who can shoot and pass. And completely diminishes the roles of Nash and Kobe.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1300520-is-the-princeton-offense-a-good-fit-for-the-new-look-lakers

    The Lakers have built one of the great pick and roll teams in history, and don’t seem to know it.

    And I note with amusement that in general only the best NBA coaches seem to have the confidence to teach their players how to create with pace off the pick and roll. The mediocre ones all feel the need to invest their teams in a structured passing system, and slow down the tempo.

    • The pick and roll works at every level of basketball.
      A coach needs willing and unselfish passers (Kobe?), as well as an old school auotmatic mid range jumper (Nash).

      One needs a coach who know is able to focus on offense (Brown). BTW, Bulls coach Tibedeau has no clue about this as well or the Bulls might have a better record. He only gives the ball to DRose, closes his eyes, and then yells “Get Back on D!”.

      One would think Coach Jackson/Malone might be clued on Pick and Roll with their current team. Gotta think so.

    • Maybe the thinking is that the Lackers have to find a way to get more from Gasol, and can adapt the Princeton offense to accomodate a monstrous center in addition. Gasol is a good high-post big whether or not they call him the center.

      Maybe Kobe misses having an offensive “structure” like the triangle offense to riff from.

      Kobe and Nash are two of the best freelancers in the game, and could easily twist any offensive scheme into weird shapes on the fly. Even if they started every possession with a pre-defined offensive scheme, I wouldn’t expect them to stick to it when they see opportunities. I don’t think the Princeton will be as much a handicap to the Lackers as you seem to think. With that crew, it almost doesn’t matter how they start the half-court attack.

      • The main idea of the Princeton is to spread four players around a high-post center. It pull the opposing big out of the lane, which creates space for the dives and backcuts that the Sacramento Kings were famous for.

        Oops. Dwight Howard can’t play the high post. Can’t shoot. Can’t pass. Can’t think his way out of a paper sack. The opposing center will not even bother to come out of the lane to guard him.

        Pau Gasol is ideal for the Princeton, but how much time will he get with Howard off the court? Do you want to install a system that only works for your backups?

        And while it might be a smart thing to take the ball out of Kobe’s hands, it is absolutely idiotic to take the ball out of Steve Nash’s hands, and turn him in a cutter and spot-up shooter. It’s like turning Picasso into a house painter.

        Steve Nash is one of the greatest pick and roll point guards to ever play the game, and Howard and Gasol are premier finishers. Why not keep it simple, and simply dominate?

        I suspect it has to do with the fact that Kobe would be miserable watching that high pick and roll executed to perfection, possession after possession. He needs his touches.

  47. Good interview with Bogut and Gary Radnich from last March

  48. I just discovered this, for diehard Curry fans only. Go here:

    http://vault.ncaa.com/

    Then under Games/By Teams select Davidson. You get three games of their 2008 NCAA tourney run. The Gonzaga game is a great college basketball game of a sort we don’t see much any more. If nothing else, watch the Wisconsin game from about 13:44 in the second half to see a scintillating Curry performance that rips the Badgers apart. In both games, Curry comes on in the second half.

    Not great quality, though, if you expand the screen.

  49. The NBA.com interview with Bogut is not exactly encouraging. . . .

    http://www.nba.com/warriors/video/2012/08/17/BogutSkypemovmov-2188894

    • In the interview the only thing I was interested in hearing was whether or not his ankle was still “achy”, as he described in his tweet a number of weeks ago.

      In that regard Tim Roye asked him if some of his days were better than others, to which Bogut replied positively. He said after the initial soreness that accompanied his ramp-up in rehab activities following the removal of his ankle support/cast, or as he phrased it, the transitionary period from “quiet” to suddenly exercising the ankle and stretching the surrounding tissues and ligaments, the soreness, or “ache”, went away. And since that time his ankle has felt good with no pain or setbacks to this point.

      He talked about a certain level of frustration in having to take things so slowly (per doctor’s orders) now that he’s feeling good and pain-free, but that he understands the season doesn’t start next month. In the end he said he still expects to be ready to go when training camp opens in the first week of October.

      For me I found the entire interview to be an update that contained the info I had hoped would be forthcoming from Australia, and from Bogut himself.

    • 2:26
      Roye: Will you be ready for training camp?
      Bogut: It’s hard to say right now… I’ve got to play it smart, and obviously we’ll reevaluate towards the end of September. Right now it’s probably too far away to say.

      • I don’t read everything, but I don’t recall anyone casting doubt about Bogut’s being ready for training camp, not until I read your post.

  50. @rgg, #67:

    Thanks for the link! I’m not a lawyer, but the way I read it the Ws can’t shorten the duration of the salary cap impact of Biedrins’ contract unless they trade him. No exceptions.

    The team can reduce the annual amount of the salary cap hit by negotiating a “stretch” buyout contract where the total amount remaining on the contract is spread out over more years. So they could clear more yearly cap space and avoid the luxury tax by paying out Biedrins’ salary over, say, 4 more years instead of his current 2 – but only if they buy him out, making him 100% unavailable to the team.

    If the team waives Biedrins and he then he goes on to play professionally anywhere else in the world (perhaps in any sport, it’s not clear), they can reduce his salary cap impact by the amount he earns elsewhere. They would still pay him the full amount guaranteed under his buyout contract, but they’d have some salary cap room to hire a replacement. If he doesn’t take a job as an athlete elsewhere, the team’s salary cap problem remains unchanged. There’s a lot about that that doesn’t make sense.

    While it’s clear that injuries hurt a team, and players have a VERY high risk of injury compared to any normal profession, the CBA doesn’t permit good teams to stay good (Boston?), or capped-out hard luck teams (Warriors, Trail Blazers) to get good, when (not if) injuries occur. Unless a team is willing to pay an insane luxury tax penalty, an injury would kill their ability to stay competitive if a starting player goes down. Why leave that to chance?

    Why doesn’t an injury buyout clear the salary cap commitment of a player’s contract? In other words, why doesn’t the CBA permit teams to stay competitive in the normal course of events? They KNOW injuries will occur. Why would you not permit a winner to stay a winner? Why not let teams immediately fix what’s broken?

    Maybe that’s intentional, for some reason I’m missing. Maybe the thinking is that there are a finite number of NBA-quality players and they’re all in the NBA. The total supply of basketball talent is constant, so adding talent on one team MEANS subtracting it from another.
    I don’t subscribe to that theory myself. Nowitsky, Rubio, Yao Ming and half the San Antonio team suggest otherwise.

    Or maybe buying talent is heavily discouraged to encourage teams to develop talent instead, to increase the overall supply.

    Whatever. We’re stuck with Biedrins (clearly injured), Bogut and Curry (extremely high-risk), and every other player injury that will occur on the team. That’s the deal.

    • (Repeat)

      White Hat,

      Thanks for doing all the work. I wasn’t up to it. But in short, they can ease the pain. And if Lacob is serious about improving the team, buying out Biedrins and stretching the contract would save him the money he might pay in cap penalties, which only get steeper. (Any chance the Lakers will go broke?) It’s hard to believe this isn’t being considered.

      Note there is no official announcement that Biedrins is injured, which must be a tricky situation for player and team alike, in the latter case in the event they want to trade him.

  51. WH @70: Sorry, but I disagree with just about everything you’ve written here.

    First of all, Kenyon Martin is far from being a “huge PF.” He is listed at 6-9″ 234, and I think that’s generous.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/m/martike01.html

    He’s a classic tweener, who when he came out of college was believed by many to be too small to be effective at PF. Like all tweeners who became good players, he was far better playing big than small, using his mobility, athleticism and heart to advantage against bigger, heavier fours.

    He briefly turned into the best RUNNING PF in the league, in the ideal situation for him: The Jason Kidd New Jersey Nets. That’s KMart.

    Moving on, David Lee and Carl Landry are not “short”, and are not “clones”. Lee is a full 6’10″ — the same height as Harrellson — 255 lbs., and in addition to his many other attributes is one of the top five rebounders and dunkers at his position in the league. Landry is 6’9″ 248. Lee outweighs each of Love, Aldridge, Griffin and Gasol — the cream of the Western conference. Landry is approximately the same weight as they are. In what way are Lee and Landry in danger of getting “overpowered” by these players?

    As for Lee being an inadequate defender — In the last two seasons, I have seen Lee have great defensive performances, man to man, against Dwight Howard, Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin and Pau Gasol. While never playing with an effective center, and shouldering the load inside for 40+ minutes. I know he has the reputation of being a poor defender amongst the snake oil salesmen and main stream media. But those pundits always seem to forget that Lee has never played in a real defensive system, alongside a real defensive center. For most of his career — especially when with a good coach — he was asked to run his opponents off the floor, and outscore them, not defend them. (Which he was perfectly capable of doing.)

    If Andrew Bogut really does show up to play in a Warriors uniform, the pundits are going to fall all over themselves re-evaluating David Lee as a defensive player. My guess is they’ll wind up writing something moronic like “Lee has finally decided to dedicate himself to the defensive end.” If you want an inkling of the kind of defender Lee will be alongside Bogut, then just research how he performed defensively when Ekpe Udoh was on the court. The Udoh-Lee frontcourt shut teams down last year. Stoned them.

    Landry is more mobile than Lee, and my guess is that the Warriors believe he’ll be more effective guarding out on the floor against the NBA’s myriad spread fours. I have my doubts about that. Landry’s far better guarding bigger players, and he’s not bad at that at all (his post defense stats are quite good). And players like Jefferson and Barnes could do a far better job than he against small-ball fours — if Mark Jackson wakes up.

    Which brings me to Harrellson. You’re right about this: it’s all about matchups. At 275 lbs., he could never be played against the athletic and versatile front-line fours in the NBA, let alone the league’s spread-fours. Never. Simply no prayer. The only time he could possibly be played at four would be against a massive, ungifted frontline like Sacto’s Cousins/Hayes/Thompson. (With Tyson Chandler behind him.)

    Like the 6-7″ 265 lb. DeJuan Blair, Harrellson is a center, or bust. And he could never play center for Joe Lacob.

    If the Warriors were to drop Tyler in favor of another big, I think it should be for a legitimate spread four (as opposed to a small-ball four). That is clearly their greatest need at the moment — even if Draymond Green steps up.

    • I stand corrected on Kenyon Martin’s size. I never checked it before. In my mind’s eye he plays “big,” but his stats say he’s no larger than Lee.

      Lee is consistently rated at 6’9″ with his weight from 230-248. Landry’s numbers are almost identical. Subjectively, to me, they both play “smaller” than their size, especially Lee. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that both tend to emphasize a smart below-the-rim floor game. And in Lee’s case, his vertical leap and overall physicality don’t allow him to play “big.” A great overall game, but not a shot blocking threat.

      Re Harrellson, we don’t disagree about what he’d bring to the team. I did say that Lee and Landry would be better in most game conditions, against most opponents. But not all. Which you also seem to agree with.

      Felty, I think you may be stuck on the small-ball thing, and it prevents you from seeing any advantage to playing large on occasion. Yes, the Heat and several other high-seed playoff teams this year played some small ball. Yes, it’s a good, creative effective strategy – under some conditions, against some opponents, if you have the right players to make it work (as the Heat do). But small-ball absolutely does not work under all conditions, for all teams, against all opponents. Just check the Lackers record.

      Take particular note of the Lackers’ record against Nelson’s Warriors. With their size they have routinely dictated the nature of the games against the Warriors, and routinely won. Even when Nelson had some pretty good teams, playing small-ball rarely gave him enough of an edge to win over LA’s size and talent.

      Good (or even adequate) bigs are rare, and they are expensive. Cohan’s Warriors always operated on a budget, and Nelson’s small ball attack permitted Cohan to save on salary. Going out on a limb here (I haven’t done my homework on this), I think you could count on one hand the number of first-team Nelson-era Warriors who weighed as much as 275 pounds. I think Nelson focused on small ball with the Warriors only because that’s what he had. Not necessarily what he would have preferred. Ya gotta figure that after awhile he KNEW he wasn’t going to beat the Lackers with small ball. I don’t think he was ever OK with that. If he’d had other stuff to throw at them, I have no doubt he’d have used it.

      Which brings us back to the Warriors current roster, and the good bigs they have. Nelson could have tons of fun playing Lee and Landry, but to say Nelson would ONLY play small-ball with the team’s current roster doesn’t give him enough credit as a coach. He’d use whatever he had, big or small, slow or fast, out-of-position or straight up, to give opponents problems. Nelson almost always had more different starting lineups than any other coach in the league. He’d try all sorts of stuff.

      That’s where having another change-up player like a Harrellson comes in. The value here is that he’s NOT a Lee or Landry. Putting a 2nd wide-body like him on the floor enables an entirely different team game strategy, both defensively and offensively. It’s not a strategy that would always work. Just sometimes. Against Sacto, perhaps. As you pointed out.

      There are some other nice things about Harrellson too. Yeah, he’s a big slow rookie, but he’s comfortable shooting 3-pointers (with mixed success, but still…). He adequately backs up 2 positions, not just one. He’s far more valuable than Tyler (for whom the Ws paid $2m just for the right to draft), and for a brief moment in time he can be signed for the rookie minimum salary. Seems like a slam-dunk gotta-consider-it to me. I don’t know Don Nelson, but I think he’d think so too, just to have the option to spring something entirely different on opponents.

      Maybe not, of course.

      David Lee
      ESPN: 6′ 9″, 240 lbs
      Basketball Reference: Height: 6-9 ▪ Weight: 249 lbs.
      Draft Express: H: 6′ 9″ W: 230 lbs

      Karl Landry
      ESPN: 6′ 9″, 248 lbs
      Basketball Reference: Height: 6-9 ▪ Weight: 248 lbs.
      SI.com: Height: 6’9″ Weight: 240

      Kenyon Martin
      ESPN: 6′ 9″, 240 lbs
      Basketball Reference: Height: 6-9 ▪ Weight: 234 lbs.

      Josh Harrellson
      ESPN: 6′ 10″, 275 lbs
      Basketball Reference: Height: 6-10 ▪ Weight: 275 lbs.

      • 1) Wow, I would swear on the life of my annoying neighbor that David Lee was listed by Yahoo at 6-10 255 the last two years. The only google confirmation of that I can find right now is some other bloggers who were under the same impression, and Wiki, that puts his listed weight at 250.

        Regardless, Lee is of comparable size to the best PFs in the league. I’d also bet he’s around 2 inches taller than KMart, who always looked 6-7 to my eye. And I have never, ever seen Lee bullied on the basketball court by a PF. Landry is pretty tough inside as well. If Bogut can play, that won’t be the Warriors’ problem, because….

        2) I don’t buy your argument about the Lakers at all. We cannot know for certain that the reason the Warriors always lost to the Lakers was size, when the deficit in actual talent was so great. There never was a time when Don Nelson could say “I had better players than the Lakers.” How is it that the Miami Heat got past the far bigger Indiana Pacers this year, and the far, far bigger Chicago Bulls the year before? How did Ben Wallace beat Shaq? How did 6-9″ 215 lb Bill Russell perenially wax Wilt Chamberlain? How did Cowens beat Jabbar, and Reed beat Chamberlain?

        With better teams.

        3) I don’t know where you and others have gotten the impression that I’m “stuck” on the “small ball thing.” There is no doubt in my mind that if Don Nelson had a healthy Bogut and Lee, that he would play them together for significant minutes.

        But there is also no doubt in my mind that he would also play them apart for significant minutes, with David Lee being the principal backup center. Why? Because in Nellie’s own words, and the opinion of Eastern Conference coaches, David Lee is an all-star caliber center.

        There is also no doubt in my mind that Don Nelson would not play Carl Landry at power forward. He’d play him at backup center, if at all. Why? Because Carl Landry cannot shoot, and cannot pass. Which is a big reason why he’s had a hard time sticking with any team. Don Nelson, like every other winning coach in today’s NBA, always wanted a good shooting power forward to spread the floor. Remember 6-7″ Danny Fortson? Nellie played him at center.

        Playing Landry at PF alongside Biedrins or Ezeli, something I know for certain that Warriors management intends to have happen, will present a significant problem for the Warriors on the offensive end. A problem that absolutely none of the top-tier NBA teams tolerate. You cannot win in the NBA with two non-shooters on the floor at the same time.

        If I’m “stuck” on any particular idea, it’s the Don Nelson idea that you should put your best basketball players on the floor, regardless of size or position. An idea that Erik Spoelstra, of all people, recently expressed quite eloquently. There is no question that a healthy Bogut and Lee are among the Warriors 5 best players. But after that, I would rank Landry 3rd at backup center, and 5th or 6th at backup PF, behind every single small forward the Warriors have. And I’d bet my bottom dollar that’s how Nellie would rank him as well.

        Another idea that I’m “stuck” on is that your roster should have flexibility, so that you can take advantage of the myriad matchup conundrums that arise in the NBA. As the Warriors stand, there is no doubt in my mind that Don Nelson, Greg Popovich, George Karl, Alvin Gentry, Rick Carlisle, Mike D’Antoni and many other coaches would say that the Warriors greatest need right now is a legitimate spread four. How they can spread the floor when Bogut, Biedrins or Ezeli are at center is the biggest question I see concerning this roster. Particularly given management’s obvious aversion to small ball.

        There’s also no doubt in my mind that those coaches would have little to no interest in Harrellson. Ask yourself why this guy you’re so high on has had so much trouble even finding a team to take him? He has no position. Too big and slow to guard NBA PFs. Not a rim protector at center. The DeJuan Blair, Danny Fortson, etc., etc., problem.

        • 1) My estimate was off too. I was thinking 6’8″ for Lee.
          2) Of COURSE the Lackers had better talent all those years, but part of that equation was size. Who was the old coach who said, “at the end of the game your small quick guys are tired, but the big guys are still big.”
          3) Maybe I had that mistaken impression about your focus on small ball because this is the first time I can recall you ever saying Bogut/Lee was a combination Nelson would be happy to use.
          3a) You’re probably right about how Nelson would use Landry.
          3b) You’re probably right about the Ws benefiting from a legit spread 4, but you’d be even more right about that if the Ws had anyone else who could capitalize on one by attacking the rim like Monta. Since they don’t, and since the Ws were near dead last in rebounding last year, it seems team management really really wants to solve the biggest problems one at a time. Later for tricky mismatches, we gotta get rebounds dammit. Something like that. They get no cigar for coaching creativity, but the team should be marginally better than last year’s anyway.

          • 3b) There is something that this Warriors team IS built for, that would be greatly aided by the presence of a spread four.

            Pick and Roll.

  52. Felty: Josh Harrelson is the missing piece if the Warriors are to make the play-offs. He had a positive rating of 8 with New York. When he played PF, opposing teams shots 44% from the field, and when he played center they hit 42%. 82 games. Big improvement over D. Lee on defense. And And he can hit the three’s. I’ll take a 49^% shooter from the field to come off my bench. If he is signed the Warriors should make the playoffs. I would to see a center combination of Bogut-Ezeli, and PF combination of D.Lee-Harrelson.

    My biggest fear is that Bogut, assuming he is healthy, will take 12-14 shots per game, shoot about 46% from the field and 60% at the foul-line, when other players who shoot a higher FG% should be shooting some of the shots he will be taking.

  53. If anyone watches the games in my link @79, keep an eye on Andrew Lovedale, #41. He is a tenacious, fearsome defender, inside and out. If he had developed an outside shot, we might be seeing him now. He started late, however, in high school.

    He also grew up in Benin City, Nigeria, and might give an idea of the kind of player the country produces as we watch Ezeli.

  54. Given their excelllent three point shooting, the Warriors have the ability to shoot a higher FG% than most of their opponents. The problem that inhibits the Warriors from winning just a few games over .500% is their inability to defend the rim and provide weakside help. D.Lee and Landry won’t do it. They need Harrelson, who can. Having a PF who can hit the three, will also open up the offense. So, if the Warriors really want to have a successful year, get him and drop Tyler. He’s athletic enough to get the job down. Think rim, not whether he can guard a quick PF.

    • Best of all, Harrellson has a cool nickname. Jorts.

    • Frank, I think you’re right, the Ws need one more piece. Whether that would ideally be another big rim protector or a spread 4 like Felty sez is open to debate. I’d add another possibility: a slashing guard who can get to the rim. Someone like Monta, actually. Because if the only thing our smalls do is park at the 3-pt line they’re not even going to get open 3-pt looks. We saw that too often last year.

      I haven’t watched Harrellson play, just a couple of videos. But Felty’s right, two teams have now released him in under a year, even at his minimal contract. That doesn’t speak well for him. I’d be inclined to gamble given the low stakes and the general rarity of serviceable big guys, plus
      a) Bogut is still recovering from injury,
      b) as a raw rookie, Ezeli is going to be in foul trouble all season,
      c) Tyler has made zero progress and probably won’t pan out,
      d) bigs get hurt a LOT,
      e) what’s a biedrins.

      But Felt’s also right that at this point the Ws can pick and choose pieces that would help enable specific different game strategies, and part of the selection process for a new player right now should probably include prioritizing between different game strategies that different players might add. Would a spread 4 do more good than more beef? Probably, but both are areas of need.

      Show me a good spread 4 available for the rookie minimum contract or slightly more and that would probably be my pick. Barring that, the Ws can’t really get hurt by signing Harrellson. He’d be useful in a number of ways. Plus he does shoot 3s.

      • So wrong, we don’t need Harrellson. Why? Because this is Briedrin’s come back year. Mr. Joe Lacob has been working on Briedrin’s lower abdomen. Long hours of hands on personal touches worked, no more pain, you need to see Briedrin’s joy to believe.

        AB a double double machine this year, we don’t need Harrellson.

  55. Here’s the problem. The Warriors huge advantage in three point shooting is negated somewhat by the Warriors not having players who can get to the foul-line. Nothing we did in the off season addressed that problem nor did we do anything about it the year before. So, the Warriors have to add more three point shooters. They don’t want to play all the time with just three guys on the court who can shoot the three’s. And adding a PF who can shoot the three is a good start. I don’t care if we sign Harrelson, someone else or we trade for Ryan Anderson. I prefer Harrelson because he can defend the rim, which can’t be said for Anderson.

    The Warriors also have to address and get another player who can defend the paint. I actually think the Ezeli is going to a terrific year defensively backing-up Bogut. If Biedrins plays much it’s going to be a long season. We need another big at PF or we will be killed inside. We have to have a guy who can play PF for 20 minutes per game who is a deterrent in the paint. Right now, we don’t have such a player.

    Felty, I care far less if a prospective PF can defend a quicker PF, as long as he’s quick enough to provide weak side help. I came to this conclusion after watching Howard destroy Udoh in the paint, yet the Warriors outscored the Magic with Udoh on the court.

  56. Pingback: 2012-2013 NBA Western Conference Rankings - Feltbot's Warriors Blog

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