The Soreness Element: 2012-13 Golden State Warriors Preview

There’s a soreness element….  – Bob Myers

I’m going out of town this weekend, and just realized I won’t have time for my typical preseason Warriors forecast. This might upset me more if I felt like I had something useful to say about this upcoming season. But I actually don’t.

Joe Lacob has created a team that is utterly hostage to the ankle situations of Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry. Everything about this season is currently up in the air, starting with who will play, and ending with what style of basketball they will play. (Assuming of course, that the Warriors’ style of play will be influenced by the players they have available. That has never been a given for Joe Lacob’s amateur coaches.) What could I possibly say at this point about the 2012-13 Warriors that isn’t rampant speculation? Nothing.

So I’ll just let a few numbers do the talking for me. These three numbers, to be precise:

52.5

60.5

36.5

These three numbers express the future of this season’s Golden State Warriors far more eloquently than I can. Do you know what they are?

Jump for the cold, hard math:           

52.5 is the current over/under line on the number of games Andrew Bogut will play this season. 60.5 is the line on the number of games Stephen Curry plays. And 36.5 is the line on the number of wins the Warriors get.

Did you gaze with befuddlement and dismay at that 36.5 win total number in my last post?  Didn’t Joe Lacob and Warriors Spokesmodel Bob Myers make clear to all — and especially Mark Jackson — that the Warriors made a “transcendent” deal that will carry them into this year’s playoffs? Why are the bookies so skeptical?

The bookies are skeptical because they’ve done the math. This math:

52.5 + 60.5 = 36.5

There it is. And this math is actually optimistic, I believe. I think I know one or two things about bookies and lines, and what I know leads me to suspect that the lines on Bogut and Curry are shaded towards optimism. Why do I think that? Ask yourself this question:

Who is betting the over on these lines?

How many bettors feel they have enough medical knowledge to generate a positive opinion on Bogut’s or Curry’s prognosis? Not many, I’m sure. Probably none but a few doctors.

So who is betting the over? There can be only one answer: the people betting the over on these lines are fans. Warriors fans, Bogut fans, Curry fans. Fans who want to see these guys play, and see the Warriors win, and who are putting their money where their heart is.

Are any fans betting under on these lines? I seriously doubt it. What kind of fans want to see players remain injured and unable to play to their potential? None.

So who else might bet the under on these lines?

You probably know where I’m headed with this. There can be only one answer: the only people betting the under on these lines are the people who are willing to fade the fans:

THE SMART MONEY.

The smart money is speaking the truth to you in a way you will never be spoken to by Joe Lacob, Bob Myers, Bob Fitzgerald and Tim Roye.

The smart money is taking the under on Andrew Bogut, Stephen Curry, and the Golden State Warriors.

That’s the sad truth about this upcoming Warriors season.

Flame away.

The Soreness Element

We have been told repeatedly by Andrew Bogut and Bob Myers and everyone else connected to the Warriors that Bogut will take the floor in earnest as soon as his ankle feels “comfortable.” In other words, as soon as the soreness goes away. And if he rushes his return, if he plays the game before his ankle is comfortable, then he runs the risk of a setback.

It is curious — nay, astonishing — to me that the Warriors media haven’t pursued this story line in more depth. (Their deference to the Warriors on Bogut’s ankle is comparable to the perplexing cone of silence they’ve erected around the chronic osteitis pubis that destroyed Andris Biedrins’ career.) Because there are a couple of very important questions to be asked that would help elucidate the situation concerning Bogut’s ankle for the Warriors’ fan base.  Two very simple questions that would clear up a lot of confusion. To wit:

1) What is sore? Seriously, what’s sore? Is it the muscles around the ankle, atrophied from lack of use? The tendons, needing to be stretched out? Or is it something else?

2) Why can’t Bogut play through the pain? Why is it that playing through the pain risks a setback? Is he not fully healed from the simple arthroscopic debridement procedure he went through 6 months ago? Heck, Nowitzki just got scoped, and he’s expected back in 6 weeks!

Now, I know I risk the wrath of those fans who don’t think my googling expertise qualifies me to give medical opinions, but I think I know the answer to those two questions. The thing that is causing the soreness in Bogut’s ankle is inflammation in the joint. The same inflammation that made Bogut’s ankle ten degrees warmer than the rest of his body 6 months go. And the reason that Bogut can’t just press on through the soreness in his ankle and play, the reason that his rehabilitation has been so excruciatingly slow, is that he and his doctors are constantly on guard against aggravating this inflammation. They are trying to work Bogut back into game shape without re-igniting that full-blown, chronic, 108.6 degree inflammatory condition known as

Osteoarthritis.

Hey, you know who else has osteoarthritis? Andrew Bynum. (Warning: If you’re one of those fans who’s already mad at me for being depressing, do not click this link!)

I’ll be back next week to write about some Warriors basketball.

Real Warriors basketball, not the fantasy.

96 Responses to The Soreness Element: 2012-13 Golden State Warriors Preview

  1. Under-reported angle to the Harden for KMart trade: the Thunder committed themselves to playing more small-ball. Backup 5 Cole Aldrich was shipped to Houston, meaning more minutes at the 5 for Collison and Ibaka (hope you don’t seriously think Thabeet will get minutes). The trade also creates minutes for Perry Jones III at the 4.

    I think this was a brilliant trade for OKC, who received 3 number ones (including Jeremy Lamb) in addition to Kmart. I think it’s ridiculous to pay multiple #1′s for a shooting guard, no matter how good. Nellie had no trouble finding all-star wings at the bottom of the draft — Sprewell, Howard.

    The trade also gives OKC the financial flexibility to improve their bench, starting with re-signing Eric Maynor, who was better than Westbrook in the playoffs two years ago.

    And Harden is overrated. Let’s see how well he performs as a franchise player on a lousy team. Sam Presti’s legend grows with this trade, although you can count on Daryl Morey getting the press initially. Morey is an advanced-stat spouting fraud who got big-time suckered.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–inside-look-at-james-harden-s-trade-to-rockets-28301609.html

    • “Houston wanted Harden badly, believed he would evolve into a transcendent franchise star for a championship-caliber team and planned to award him a five-year maximum contract worth nearly $80 million.”

      A horrible example of wishful thinking—and those words sound familiar. It’s hard to believe OKC won’t be as good or better now, better because of the options they’ll have left by not sinking so much money in Harden over four years.

      There’s a lesson for us here, of course.

      But Harden has also given up a chance to play for a top playoff team at least for the next four years, where he might yet have proved himself according to his expectations. And OKC offered $54m over four years as it was.

      • RE: The Legend of Sam Presti

        Sure, this season – OKC will take a big hit but with the 2007 NBA All-Star Team re-named the 2012-13 LA Lakers, this may not necessarily be a bad thing.

        The real question should be “What will OKC GM Sam Presti be able to do with a $12.4 million expiring contract (Kevin Martin), 4 first rounders (Jeremy Lamb, the 2 firsts (one a possible lottery), and Charlotte’s 2nd rounder which is as good as a late first rounder!), and OKC’s late first rounder?”

  2. OK, I don’t gamble and don’t understand “over/under.” Explanation?

    But does this mean that smart money thinks Bogut will probably play 52 games, Curry 60? I would be happy to see those numbers, which you suspect are too optimistic? Yet they still only win 36 games and we’re left wondering how much better the team would be if both played healthy the full year. It doesn’t look like the number would rise significantly, not enough to indicate the kind of progress the team needs and Lacob has promised.

    It’s hard to believe he couldn’t have made other moves that would have given the team the same or better win totals, yet also would have left them better poised to move to the next level.

    Instead it doesn’t look like there’s any reason to expect the win total to go higher in the next two seasons because of the salary structure and FO and coaching problems, and that at the end of those seasons the team will be back where it started when Lacob took over, more than two years ago.

    In short, if this is a rational analysis, and let’s assume it’s an accurate one, Lacob hasn’t done anything to solve the team’s deeper structural problems. It also suggests that the man who sends his staff to sports analytics conferences (and who praised Amundson for his rebounds per minute) is not capable of genuine quantitative analysis, that he hasn’t learned much about the game at all.

    Lacob himself said he approached the first year as a wait-and-see-what-we’ve-got time. Instead he should have come in with short and long range plans the second he started making calls that summer when he was trying to buy the team. It would have given time to experiment and adjust. Also he had his years in Boston to learn something about the game.

    I fear we’re going to be stuck on Lacob’s learning curve the next few seasons and the only question that remains is whether he is capable of climbing it.

    (Why does Lacob remind me of Geo. Bush Jr?)

  3. Harden has got me thinking. Say you’re Stephen Curry. You’re banking on health for years to come and let’s pretend that happens. What team do you want to play for? The answer to this question would be another way of assessing the strength of the team.

    And I’m not clear on the details. If he doesn’t get a contract extension he likes, what happens next?

  4. Again, Feltbot was too d(*b to factor in the motivational skill of Mr. Lacob. Combine unparalleled motivational skill with Mr. Lacob’s game planning and play calling. Mr. Lacob is guaranteeing playoff for this season.

  5. Feltibus,

    So Lacob replaces the entire management and coaching staff, expands the front office, doubles the player payroll, antagonizes fans and the team’s host city, relocates the D league team and begins work on two new arenas. He trades a reliable All-Star level player and the team’s best defender for two “not what they used ta bes.” And the result is: another losing season and a locked-in payroll that severely limits their prospects for the future, playing under a laughingstock coach?

    That can’t be. The Smart Money must be wrong, Felt.

    • Challenge Mr. Lacob’s smart ONLY if you could buy a NBA without taking a penny out of your own pocket. You couldn’t, could you?

      Mr. Lacob owned a NBA franchise without using a penny of his own money. Now Mr. Lacob is about to own a water front coliseum, again without using a penny of his own money.

      Mr. Lacob is the smartest basketball mind in the history of NBA.

    • warriorsablaze

      “…reliable All-Star level player…”

      Good one.

  6. warriorsablaze

    “How many bettors feel they have enough medical knowledge to generate a positive opinion on Bogut’s or Curry’s prognosis? Not many, I’m sure. Probably none but a few doctors.”

    How many bettors have enough medical knowledge to generate an negative opinion based on anything other than speculative fear? The same number. They are simply operating with the most recent info, which is that both of these players missed most of last season and are still not 100%. The Over/Under numbers for this season for this team are far more meaningless and speculative than they are in normal seasons. They are based on fear, not facts. We’re all just going to have to wait and see. I hope the optimistic fans clean up.

    Also,

    • Actually, these numbers are usually based on perfectly balancing the amounts wagered, ie. supply and demand.

      Which is why I’m afraid they are optimistic. While most lines are designed to draw equal amounts of fan money on each side, I just can’t see that being anything close to the case here. My guess is that the bookies are booking close to 100% of this action themselves. Fans are taking the over, bookies the under. I fear these are lines that were created and financed by the smart money, for the express purpose of relieving fans of their excess cash.

      I hope the optimistic fans clean up too. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

      • warriorsablaze

        But the supply and demand is based on the speculation of the bettors and their wagers.

        You yourself said “What could I possibly say at this point about the 2012-13 Warriors that isn’t rampant speculation? Nothing.”

        The bettor have nothing more to say, either. It may be a rigged line set to trap the fans, but my point is that they actually say nothing to nothing about upcoming season, as they are surely affected by the injury “possibilities” in a way, that say, the Laker’s over/under line is not.

    • maestro felt, this is a fitting post script to your earlier piece on why Rush should start over Barnes. should the team’s other promising perimeter defender, Bazemore, get dispatched to santy cru, the team’s delegation to the mediocre middle (34-44 wins) will be confirmed.

      at present they appear to be a team stuck under a 40-42 win ceiling. with a leaky perimeter the defensive boards suffer. on offense, what we haven’t seen so far is another of your proposals, developing Thompson as a secondary ball handler/facilitator. Barnes seems to have below average handling for his position. Jackson’s half court offense is likely going to stall against the better coached, legitimate contenders. will he expose his ‘improved defense’ as mostly a charade by risking an open court game ?

  7. Felt, this entry was actually quiet informative. I would have enjoyed it more if it wasn’t ruined by those little comments about Lacob and Myers. I don’t mind you being negative or critical, but it’s just the way you state it. Like sour grapes. Like hurt feelings. Like Zuckerberg blogging about the girlfriend who just broke up with him.

    Just your thing I guess. Over and over.

    Felt, can I please make a suggestion? How about once every twenty-seven games or so you write an entry that commends Lacob and company for something…anything. It can be real short. Just a few paragraphs. Just no snarky comments…anywhere. So that’s just like three posts for the season. It would just go a long way in showing that you really do have the ability to be fair.

    And it would really help my sanity. I so much want to enjoy this season.

    • I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to praise Joe Lacob enough for two of the most wretched, butchered basketball seasons I’ve ever had the misfortune to witness.

      I’m also sorry that you feel your sanity depends on me finding something to praise. I can’t imagine how much you must have suffered when those ungrateful monsters booed Mr. Lacob off the court for seizing the mike at Mullin’s jersey ceremony.

      But there’s something I don’t get. What’s keeping you from praising Joe Lacob yourself?

      • two of the most wretched, butchered basketball seasons I’ve ever had the misfortune to witness

        Really? Those were the worst ones? Ever? Ha ha…that’s funny. Hilarious.

        when those ungrateful monsters booed Mr. Lacob off the court for seizing the mike at Mullin’s jersey ceremony.

        Lacob ‘seized the mike’? You can’t really think that, can you?

        What’s keeping you from praising Joe Lacob yourself?

        The simple answer is that it takes me too long to write stuff. I guess I could do it if I keep it short.

        I like a lot of things Lacob is doing. But I also know he’s a business man who may be driven by money and ego. Kinda like all the other owners. And probably Don Nelson too, right?

        But this really isn’t about Lacob. It’s about you, feltbot. Why you write about ownership/management the way you do. Sooo one sided. Such the polar opposite of your treatment of Nelson/Cohan. That is so interesting.

        Maybe it’s the ‘recovering attorney’ in you. You gotta pick one side or the other. There’s no middle ground.

        When Nelson was “on trial”, you were on the defense team…and pretty darn good. Now that it’s Lacob’s turn, you’ve switched to the prosecution side. And likewise doing a pretty darn good job of it.

        You want to stay on just one side? Fine. But please don’t make yourself out to be a champion of truth. You can’t do both.

  8. Okay, everyone, it’s time for predictions! Felt has provided the three most important lines:

    52.5 is the current over/under line on the number of games Andrew Bogut will play this season.
    60.5 is the line on the number of games Stephen Curry plays.
    36.5 is the line on the number of wins the Warriors get.

    I’m requesting everyone to step up and offer over/under guesses for the season. And for extra credit, guess the exact number. I’ll go first:

    For Bogut, I’m guessing OVER. 61 to be exact.

    For Curry, I’m guessing UNDER. 27 (harsh, I know…)

    For wins, I’ll say OVER. Yup…41 wins.

    Okay, who’s next? Steve? White Hat, Petey, Rgg? Moto, Frank? The rest of you guys? You too, Felt! None of this “no opinion” wimping out stuff. It is time to commit!

    I need predictions, people…
    WE HAVE ONE DAY LEFT!!!

    • Brytex, considering you’re the preeminent expert around here on GSW hoops I’m happy to see you’re finally showing some assertiveness with your posting. :)

      OK, with Bogut I’m definitely OVER (70)

      I’m less confident with Curry so I’ll go UNDER but only fractionally (60)

      I’m optimistic about this team and the new season as I think a geographical area can be “blessed” with “positive sports karma” at times, and right now the Bay Area is on a roll (Giants, A’s, 49’ers). I say easily OVER for the Warriors (44).

      (Reminder: For entertainment purposes only. Stay far away from Vegas and local bookies with these numbers. LOL)

      • Bogut OVER at 70? I love it, Steve…let’s do this!

        • Thanks Brytex!

          Over for Bogut – 60 games played.

          Under for Curry – 55 games played.

          Over for wins – 45 wins.

          36 wins??? The experts aren’t right this time and it’s not the first time. As with the SF Giants – the experts can put their money where their mouth is! LOL!

          The way I look at it – the Keith Smart Warriors – won 36 games and don’t have nearly the talent – starters and/or the big time depth on the bench – that this team has. Losing Monta Ellis is an addition by subtraction and took the ball out of Stephen Curry’s hands, plus we’ll see just how good Klay Thompson really is this season.

    • For the record, I would like to change my guess for number of wins to 42.

      • in my response yesterday earlier in this thread, set this team’s ceiling at 40-42 wins. the non-local media and vegas are only exercising common sense with their 35-37 guess.

        no matter how furiously lacob, his coach and other puppets spin it, we saw nothing last season that indicated the coach’s ability to get more from his roster beyond motivating them to play hard, nor anything that demonstrated his adaptability in close contests or the final minutes at the half or fourth quarter.

        other teams have done well when their front office identifies and promotes a gifted assistant coach who’s paid his dues ; some of the best assistants who’ve been in oaktown the past 3-4 seasons have left, at least in part because of how they saw lacob setting the course and the way he set up an über-assistant in Malone — the Jackson-Malone combo could not be very encouraging for other assistants with any ambitions.

        it might be best for the team to flounder and give lacob a push to get a better coach.

    • Byrtex,

      WIth Bogut over 61 and Curry under 27, I give them 34 wins at best and still feel I’m being overoptimistic. Assumed here, however, is that Jack is a great surprise and intelligent adjustments are made while Curry is out, and the odds for both aren’t good. The team might be marginally better defensively, but will be offensively challenged. They won’t be able to contain the franchise player teams or keep up with what we’re seeing more and more, smaller units pushing the tempo.

      With both Bogut and Curry beating the numbers, I give them 41 wins at best, in large part because the second unit will flounder. Assumed here, however, is that the team has a plan that plays to the strengths of Curry and other players, i.e. quick offense and up tempo. Putting Barnes in the starting lineup already raises doubts that will happen. Also assumed is that the starters play heavy minutes and play their hearts out and keep it up all season. The odds here aren’t good at all.

      In short, 36 wins is a much more likely number, though still optimistic.

      What is dismaying is that 34 to 41 wins is as much as the team can hope for the next two seasons, largely because of the salary structure.

      Also it doesn’t represent much improvement at all over the past 10 seasons (during the “sins of the past”) if any, and you really have to throw out a few of those years because of horrible personnel problems, most notably the injury plagued seasons of 2008-10. And those years should serve as a reminder of what might happen yet. Serious problems this year will push the team under 30.

      The best projection, 41 plus, only represents a marginal gain over the team’s performance last season, before the Bogut trade.

      And it falls well short of the successes in the 1990s. The team may not see 50 wins again in the next five years.

      So what exactly are we supposed to praise Lacob for? He has not spent his money wisely and has shown serious limitations of vision. He is not playing the odds well at all.

      What the team most needs is an intelligent strategy that makes use of available talents, a deep, flexible bench, and a flexible salary structure. The man who is ready to put up hundreds of millions to stick an arena in the bay couldn’t find the bucks to amnesty Biedrins. Also he was behind a contract that sank $10m into a mediocre player, Jefferson. That’s $20 million already for the next two years.

      What might we have had with a little intelligence? Certainly a team just as good with more potential later. And that is the standard against which Lacob must be measured.

      This couldn’t have been predicted, but it would have been affordable and is a very modest decision. Just imagine it for a minute. What if the team didn’t make the Bogut trade, kept Udoh, picked up Ezeli in the draft, and picked up Scola? Then add what might have been done with all the money saved. What could that team have done? What might have been done later with the money freed up? There are many other scenarios that can run here.

      Coaching makes all scenarios difficult, what we have now and who Lacob will try when he fires Jackson. His record on firing and selecting coaches does not give much room for optimism, either.

      • “Just imagine it for a minute. What if the team didn’t make the Bogut trade, kept Udoh, picked up Ezeli in the draft, and picked up Scola? Then add what might have been done with all the money saved. What could that team have done?”

        rgg, if GSW hadn’t made the Bogut trade they would have been (by virtue of winning more games with Ellis and Udoh still on the team, and without having Stack Jack to trade to SA for their first round pick) without any first round picks, or in other words, no Barnes or Ezeli.

        This team is, generally speaking, pretty young, and that’s a potentially good thing going forward. Plus, they’ll have money to play with in the near future after they have a chance to watch this group play the next year or two.

        This all boils down to how confident you are in the Warriors brain trust. If these guys can make good basketball decisions regarding their current roster and upcoming available free agents the future has a decent chance of being pretty good, if not downright fantabulous when you factor in the proposed new arena.

        Most of the regular posters here don’t care for Lacob et al so the prevailing thoughts on what lies ahead for GSW is more or less a cc of your post. While I’m not at all sold on Mark Jackson I’m very much sold on the new owners and most everything they’ve done so far. They’ve drafted Thompson, Jenkins, Barnes, Ezeli and Green in the last two drafts (all a big thumbs up for me), and if Bogut can get and stay healthy he’ll prove to be a steal for what they gave up, IMO. If not, it was still a good risk/reward move as the Warriors were forever doomed to mediocrity with Monta as their best player.

        IMO, these guys (ownership), by the end of this decade, will be viewed as the greatest thing that could have ever happened to this franchise and it’s fanbase. And THAT I WOULD take to Vegas.

        • If Lacob turns the team over to a genuine brain trust, the team might do all right. After all, he has found money and seems committed to the long haul. The question is whether or not he can step out of his ego and let true talents take over. But he seems to want to put his imprint on the team too much. I think it’s quite possible that at the end of ten years he won’t show a record better than what Nelson/Cohan produced their last ten years.

          This new arena bugs me as well, and shows his ego once more. It will run into all kinds of financial and political problems. And it sticks out in SF and if built will be one the most visible and disruptive landmarks in the city. I don’t think the design will hold up well at all (I think it is hideous).

          The Giants got everything right. The team is run by talents, Bochy and Sabean, who know how to make intelligent trades and draft decisions, and how to build a team. And they built an attractive stadium that blends in with the environment and should last for decades.

          • I don’t think it has to do with the Warriors brain trust as much as it has to do with Curry and Bogut’s health. The mainstream media has latched onto both those guys as the “faces” of this year’s team. They are the central pieces, and they are the best players, IF HEALTHY.

            Curry will injure his ankle again, that’s almost a certainty. Bogut, according to Felty, is probably in the last few years of his career as an effective player because of the weirdness in his body. Only time will tell. Most likely the Warriors will come out of the gate looking awful, bury themselves early on, and have to fight an uphill battle the rest of the season. I’ll take the under for wins this season. I do not trust the health of these two “stars”.

  9. 20 seconds left in a tie game. What Warriors player do you want taking the last shot?

    http://www.nba.com/warriors/blogs/dotcom/20121029

  10. More on Bogut and opening night from Marcus Thompson and Rusty Simmons

    MT:

    Bogut participated fully in practice for the first time in training camp, taking part in full-court action and contact drills without limitation. It was his first such action since fracturing his left ankle Jan. 25.

    Bogut, who had a second surgery on the ankle in April, still is uncertain about whether he will play in the season opener Wednesday in Phoenix.

    “It was a long time coming for him. He put in a lot of dedication and therapy and rehab,” Curry said. “It was good to have the big fella out there.”

    Now the Warriors will see how Bogut’s ankle responds. If he has no issues, the likelihood is he will play. Even if Bogut plays, Jackson has already begun lowering the bar.

    “At the end of the day, it’s going to be asking whole lot for him to be Andrew Bogut from Day 1,” Jackson said. “But we’re making steps toward that.”

    http://www.mercurynews.com/warriors/ci_21884779/golden-state-warriors-rookie-harrison-barnes-named-starting?source=rss

    • Rusty Simmons:

      Head coach Mark Jackson effectively ended the team’s preseason Monday, tidying up the remaining training-camp questions by clearing center Andrew Bogut for his first full practice and naming Harrison Barnes the starting small forward.

      Bogut, who broke his left ankle Jan. 25 and had surgery April 27, had been practicing in controlled halfcourt sets for about a week. On Monday, he participated in the entire session, including fullcourt and contact drills.

      If Bogut’s ankle responds well to the extra workload, Jackson said, the big man will be available for the opener at Phoenix. Just don’t think you’re going to see Bogut playing 40 minutes right away.

      “I think it’s unrealistic to ask him to be Andrew Bogut in order for me to let him step out on the floor,” Jackson said. “It’s going to take time, but he certainly gives us a presence on both sides of the ball and makes us that much better. We’ll wait until the real Andrew Bogut shows up, and we’ll take this one for now.”

      Bogut might not yet be the player who has averaged 12.7 points and 9.3 rebounds during his seven-year career, but he’s apparently pretty close. His teammates raved about the dimensions his low-post scoring and passing abilities added in the starting five’s first practice as a unit.

      The Warriors have been cautious with Bogut’s expected six-month rehabilitation, but it’s tempting to push now. Their first three games are against Phoenix (Marcin Gortat, Luis Scola), Memphis (Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph) and the Clippers (DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin).

      “Just the fact that we have a full roster out there has everybody energized, and it brings up the competition a little bit,” said point guard Stephen Curry, who gave his own surgically repaired ankle a clean bill of health. “We understand that these practices are crucial to get our rhythm and get out the final kinks of what we’re trying to do.”

      Bogut was immediately one of the most vocal players during practice on the defensive end, already taking on his role as the team’s defensive anchor.

      “He’s really good, so everything he does is magnified,” Barnes said. “He’s such a veteran, and he really understands the game. He was able to stay mentally sharp on the sideline, so he was able to step right in and was ready to go without missing a beat.”

      http://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Bogut-might-play-in-Warriors-opener-3991757.php#ixzz2AmNnFc4m

  11. It looks to me like Bogut is going to give it a go. Warriors don’t float the possibility otherwise.

    • C’mon, Felty, you gotta give us some hard numbers. We know you’re UNDER for those three lines, but give us your guesses.

      And yes, Steve, it’s just for funsies.

      • I’m not under. Literally have no idea, except that those numbers represent where the smart money wants the line. Rooting for over.

  12. @12

    Brytex, I’m not betting but I think the Ws record is going to finish very close to the over/under line, + maybe as many as 3-4 more games. I just don’t see this team doing worse than Keith Smart’s Warriors crew. Or much better.

    This is a deeper roster than Smart had with the Ws, even without Bogut and Curry playing full time this year. But:
    – it’s an all-new team which will take some time to gel,
    – Four players (not two) have been dealing with injuries recently (including Jack and Biedrins, who did occasionally play well for Smart),
    – Even if basically sound and healthy, Bogut won’t be at full speed for at least the first half of the season, so a lot of C minutes will be covered by a raw rookie and a ruined Biedrins,
    – There’s a good chance that Curry will play extremely cautiously, making him less effective overall,

    And then there’s the coaching. Even Smart was/is a better coach than Jackson. He improved the Ws record by 10 games with a weak roster, zero bench, tons of injuries, a failing Biedrins (no backup C at all), chaos in the front office and (probably) a meddling owner. In his favor, he enjoyed some team continuity that Jackson doesn’t have.

    In comparison, based on what we saw in the preseason, Jackson still doesn’t know how (or possibly doesn’t want) to play the team to its strengths, or offset the strengths of opponents. The decision to start Barnes over Rush is simply more proof of that.

    So… better players, even with a couple of starters that will only be part-time. But an all-new team just now learning how to play together, and a far worse coach. Similar record. No playoffs. Argh.

  13. From #12:

    “This team is, generally speaking, pretty young, and that’s a potentially good thing going forward. Plus, they’ll have money to play with in the near future after they have a chance to watch this group play the next year or two.

    This all boils down to how confident you are in the Warriors brain trust. If these guys can make good basketball decisions regarding their current roster and upcoming available free agents the future has a decent chance of being pretty good, if not downright fantabulous when you factor in the proposed new arena.”

    Continuing that thought the following post is from AL’s blog:

    Richard says:
    October 29th, 2012 at 11:39 am
    20..
    I always enjoy reading this blog about the Warriors, and usually find the analysis spot on, but this time I have a beef: where on earth does this “capped out for the foreseeable future” nonsense come from? Because it is blindingly obviously NOT TRUE!

    In fact, in this regard, the team clearly has a plan that makes sense: next year Jefferson and Biedrins will be expiring contracts ($20 million worth), and the following year, they’ll be gone. So we have good trade bait next year if the right option comes along, and clear cap room the year after, if we decide that the right trade isn’t there.

    Further, Bogut too will be an expiring contract next year, and off the cap the following year (another $!2 million): unless it is decided to re-sign him. That means we have a year or two to see whether he can return to form and become the anchor in the post the team needs, or not. If not, he turns into more cap space.

    In short, there is between $20 million and $32 million of cap space coming quite soon, and that’s not even factoring in the short term contracts of Landry and Rush (at $4 million per), that’ll add further flexibility. Either the present roster works, and it gets tweaked with another draft pick or two and/or a trade or free agent signing; or it doesn’t, and in two years the whole thing can be blown up to start again with between $30 to $40 million in cap space.

    “Capped out for the foreseeable future”??? Are you really that short sighted that you can’t look two years down the road?

    • In all three cases, that’s two years, this season and next. That’s the foreseeable future in my book, and add it to the previous two seasons, that makes four years of sideways movement. But it also means the team will be tied up for those two years and not be able to add serious talent during that time which might pan out in the third and following years, that they’ll have to hope for a good free agent market at the end of two. That’s not planning for the future and it didn’t have to be this way.

      • Should Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry are to be re-signed in 2 years time – raises would need to accounted for.

        Whichever player’s expiring contract – Biedrins or Jefferson – can be packaged after this season for a player(s). The remaining contract should be kept – and let expire – so as to pay for the raises due to Bogut and Curry.

  14. Brytex: It’s ridiculous to attempt to predict how many games the Warriors will win given Curry and Bogut histories of injuries, and unpredictable possible future injuries to other players on the roster.

    It’s in the eye of the beholder whether the last two years have demonstrated that Lacob and company have made wretched decisions.

    I tend to agree with Feltbot that Lacob has been a dismal failure, and go further by asserting that Lacob and Myers panicked into making a poor trade, signing Landry, when they needed a taller three-point shooting, and drafting Barnes.

    For me, the trade was just horrible, as in my judgment, trading for an injured player made no sense. For me, the trade was Udoh for Bogut, Ellis for Jackson, and time will show that we lost on both ends.

    As I believe that Udoh is better than Bogut on both ends of the court. Yes, Bogut has more impressive offensive numbers, but the Bucks as a team performed much better with Udoh on the court compared to when Bogut played for them last year.

    Also, Ellis is better player than Jackson who we received in the trade. We should have been able to receive more for him.

    Given that Biedrins played over 30% of the time at center last year, we never got to determine if a backcourt of Curry, Ellis, and Thompson, could have worked.

    The second part of the trade resulted in our receiving Jefferson and draft Ezeli who has great promise, but who we probably could have drafted with our 35th pick. Now, we are saddled with Jefferson’s unwarranted contract.

    And I wouldn’t be surprised if a player drafted lower than D. Green, proves to be a better player.

    Time will show that both Lacob and Meyers also screwed up the draft as there were at least a few players that the Warriors could have drafted or traded down for that we prove to be better than Barnes and would have better met their needs and made them more balanced.

    And I doubt that Barnes will shoot a higher FG% and put up better numbers than D. Wright.

    But hey, you like Lacob’s moves.

    The performance of the team should prove who is right.

    Bettors placing the over/under at 36 games, with the Warriors winning less then half their games shows that they reject the decisions the Warriors have been poor, and thus are in line with Feltbot’s prediction.

    One saving grace is that the Warriors now have an assistant coach who studied under Hurley, the great high school coach at St. Anthony’s in New Jersey.

    • Trading M. Ellis/E. Udoh/Kwame away netted the W’s Andrew Bogut, played a huge part in helping the W’s keep their high lottery pick used on Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli, and Richard Jefferson’s bad contract and additional year.

      M. Ellis/E. Udoh – it’s all been said here already – Let’s see how good they make Milwaukee this season…

      Works BOTH ways…

      And many “experts” overwhelmingly reported that the W’s had an excellent draft with across the board “A” grades.

      Let’s not forget adding Jerry West/Myers to the front office.

      And the selection of Klay Thompson… Sam Presti likes Klay Thompson as he was interested in trading for him (Harden).

      What move I don’t like now – is the selection of Mark Jackson as coach. I prefered Rick Adelman. But time will yet again tell! Mark Jackson has this season to show us what he can do.

      Like or hate Lacob – but I like the general direction of the W’s franchise.

  15. “The Giants got everything right. The team is run by talents, Bochy and Sabean, who know how to make intelligent trades and draft decisions, and how to build a team. And they built an attractive stadium that blends in with the environment and should last for decades.”

    rgg, your comments here is a perfect example of why trying to judge Lacob and his ownership group after only a few years of trying to reshape/reorganize/retool this franchise is far too premature, IMO.

    Bruce Bochy is NOW considered possibly the best manager in baseball, but that was hardly the case around here in the years preceding the Giants 2010 run to their championship. Bochy was widely criticized in this medium for many of his in-game strategies and lineup decisions, seemingly at times, on a daily basis.

    As for Sabean?

    “The Giants narrowly missed the playoffs in 2004. Many fans began to criticize Sabean for his player personnel moves. Sabean continued to build a team of veterans around Barry Bonds but some of the veterans Sabean was acquiring began to achieve below expectations. Edgardo Alfonzo did not put up the same offensive numbers as he did when he was with the New York Mets. Second baseman Ray Durham spent more time on the disabled list than he had previously in his career. In 2004, the Giants had not developed a homegrown position player since 2000. Sabean defended himself in a press conference, dismissing his critics as a “lunatic fringe”. Some fans took up “lunatic fringe” as a rallying cry, printing up t-shirts with the phrase and wearing them to the ballpark.”

    Circa 2012 nary a discouraging word can be found in regards these two men coming off the Giants 2nd WS title in the last 3 years. Funny how time and winning can change perception.

  16. It looks like Bogut came out of Monday’s full practice no worse for wear and very possibly will play in the road opener in AZ.

    http://www.csnbayarea.com/basketball-golden-state-warriors/warriors-talk/Bogut-practices-again-could-play-Wednesd?blockID=795509&feedID=2539

  17. From USA Today:

    After Saturday’s stunning trade that sent the reigning sixth man of the year and former No. 3 pick from the Oklahoma City Thunder to Houston, the shooting guard told news reporters on Sunday that he expects to sign an extension with the Rockets before the deadline. It’s not yet known whether Houston is offering a four-year, $60 million max extension or a five-year deal worth nearly $80 million, though the latter seems more likely.

    Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, the No. 7 pick, could follow suit with Harden, though two people with knowledge of his negotiations told USA TODAY Sports that a gap remains between the two sides. The people requested anonymity because the negotiations are ongoing.

    Curry’s agent, Jeff Austin, and Warriors general manager Bob Myers tabled talks during the preseason, in part so Myers could observe Curry’s right ankle closely after his return from surgery in late April. But Curry, who has averaged 17.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.7 steals per game in three seasons but missed 40 of 66 games in the 2011-12 campaign, turned the ankle in preseason play on Oct. 19 and was told to rest until the regular season by coach Mark Jackson. It was hardly the strong start Curry wanted to prove he’s worthy of a hefty long-term commitment.

    http://usat.ly/RrZkQH

    • W’s still in the driver’s seat with Curry – they still have the opportunity to match any restricted offer next year – or let him walk for nothing and use the cap space to acquire other assets. Signing Curry to a huge contract while his injury might be a chronic one – doesn’t seem like the smart business move to me.

      But like Lacob once said – it’s not like I can name one player who couldn’t play in the NBA because of chronic ankle sprains… Can anyone?

      • PeteyB, I’m with you on the contract extension. Would not do it.

        From Rusty Simmons:

        The one thing Steph Curry didn’t want to happen is happening in contract extension talks with the Warriors

        Warriors fourth-year guard Stephen Curry has said all of the right things about his potential contract extension with the team. He did ask, however, that the talks not go down to Wednesday’s deadline. Still, it sounds like his representative, Jeff Austin, and Warriors GM Bob Myers are still talking. “Once my agent feels like there’s an offer or a situation that’s ready to make a decision, he’ll bring it to me, but we haven’t gotten there yet,” Curry said. “I don’t know if it will be a deadline-driven kind of thing, but we’ve still got to wait. … I’m fortunate to be in a situation where we’re able to have these talks. Not a lot of guys from my draft class are in this position, so it’s a privilege and something I don’t take lightly. The fact that I could be able to secure more years in Golden State would definitely mean a lot. … We’ll see what happens, but it is a big situation and I’m 100 percent committed to it.”

  18. NBA Trade Rumors: Who May Be Dealt?

    Monta Ellis, Milwaukee Bucks – The general consensus around the league is that Ellis is going to exercise his Early Termination Option after this season, leaving $11,000,000 on the table to become an unrestricted free agent. In recent years, Ellis has expressed interest in joining a contender. After all, Ellis has been to the playoffs just once in his career, and it was during the 2006-07 season when he was still coming off of the bench for the Golden State Warriors. He has had plenty of individual success, but he wants to experience the postseason and have the opportunity to perform on that big stage. Milwaukee missed the playoffs last year and enters this season as bubble team in the Eastern Conference, so Ellis may be eyeing greener pastures. If the Bucks aren’t confident that they can retain Ellis, they may decide to trade him prior to the deadline. After parting ways with Andrew Bogut to land the 26-year-old guard, they can’t afford to lose him for nothing.

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/nba-trade-rumors-who-may-be-dealt-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=nba-trade-rumors-who-may-be-dealt-2

  19. From The NBA Geek……

    You’re Gonna Be Surprised: Quickhits

    Golden State

    One of the few teams where coaching really matters. Reportedly, Marc Jackson has given the starting job to Harrison Barnes instead of Brandon Rush, which is basically about the worst choice he could possibly make. This team had some potential but the Warriors fans that keep writing me about how high they are on this team are bound to be a little disappointed, especially in the brutal West. Bogut is the big question mark here.

    http://www.thenbageek.com/articles/you-re-gonna-be-surprised-quickhits

  20. From MT: Warriors are depending on ABogut

    What Bogut hasn’t waited to do is assert his presence in the locker room. Even when he was relegated to the sideline last season, he could regularly be heard shouting at his teammates.

    “I don’t mind barking,” Bogut said. “I don’t mind getting the best out of guys. If some guys don’t like me because I’m a (jerk), I really don’t care. I’d rather be a (jerk) and make the playoffs than be a nice guy and drinking a beer in April back in Australia.”

    When he does take the court, Bogut said he does not expect to post gaudy numbers. His game hinges on being an adept shot-blocker and a physical presence, and his priority will be to make the Warriors a credible defensive team.

    “With me out there, we are better,” Bogut said. “Just being honest.”

    http://www.mercurynews.com/warriors/ci_21891907/golden-state-warriors-depending-andrew-bogut?source=rss

    • Also found this tidbit really interesting from the MT article:

      Bogut said he will handle the ball. He will set up his teammates. He said even his midrange jumper is back now that his elbow, which he dislocated in a nasty fall, has had an extra year to heal.

    • Also…….

      The Warriors quickly got in and out of practice Tuesday as they left their downtown Oakland facility to board a flight for Phoenix, but they gave a glimpse of good news before they left. Center Andrew Bogut, who had been sidelined by an injured left ankle, practiced in full for a second consecutive day.

      Coach Mark Jackson said his big man reported no added swelling or pain from Monday’s extra workload, which included full-court and contact drills for the first time. Jackson will decide after Wednesday’s shootaround if Bogut will be available for the Warriors’ regular-season opener against Marcin Gortat, Luis Scola and the Phoenix Suns.

      “He responded well. Now it’s about getting treatment. We’ll play (Wednesday) by ear,” Jackson said. “He did exactly what we needed him to do.

      “In an ideal world, I’d love to know (if he was going to play) right now, but this is what we’re dealing with. We’re going to be very cautious with when he steps on the floor. We’re going to be smart with this thing, understanding that we need him for the long haul – not just (Wednesday) night.”

      http://blog.sfgate.com/warriors/2012/10/30/gs-warriors-tuesday-practice-bogut-offers-another-good-sign/

  21. OT: A little more Giants stuff

  22. Coaching matters:

    I turned on the Dallas Lakers game expecting a rout — and we nearly got one the other way. Amazing. Carlisle did it with young players and three rejects, Curry, Brand, and Wright, all of whom played good games. Just as amazing is how lame the Laker offense was.

    • I’ll be curious to compare our record with Dallas’, especially while Nowitzki is out (did I hear 6 weeks?). If both have about the same record, the reason won’t be the roster but the coaching.

  23. Does anybody know why Barnes was given the starting spot? It’s hard to believe the decision wasn’t largely made before training began or that he showed enough to convince them during preseason, that there was ever a real competition. His lack of experience–only two less than stellar years in college–should have held him back.

    But his branding efforts have worked. He now appears with Curry in that fantasy league ad. (Which one is Hansel, which Gretel? Who is the witch at the door?)

    Meanwhile, the NBA has caught up with the trend away from centers. For the All Star game, fans will vote for front court players, not specifically for centers.

    • It’s fair to say that Harrison Barnes earned his starting spot through his good play in the Summer League and Pre-season. The younger Harrison Barnes – also has more potential for upside to his game. The W’s were more than happy to tank a season for an opportunity to select this kid. Let’s see what he can do.

      I am a huge Brandon Rush fan. As long as Brandon Rush plays 20-30 minutes per game as the first wing off the bench, I’m happy.

      But If I’m a coach, Rush is the more versatile player as he can back-up Klay at SG and Harrison at SF. Barnes – I cannot see backing up Klay at SG as a rookie.

  24. There Warrior showed some positive signs in preseason.

    As, the Warriors played much better defense and their opponents, by and large, shot a low FG%. Such may not have been entirely due to playing against second tier players. If they can hold teams to shooting less than 45% the field, the Warriors should have some success.

    Let’s see what they do tonight defensively.

    In order to overcome their deficit differential at the foul-line, they Warriors need to take 30 three pointers per game, not twenty.

    Rush will need to be in the top three in FGA’s.Not going to happen.

    As for Udoh, I don’t expect to help the Bucks offensively as he did with the Warriors, as Skiles doesn’t seem to have Udoh setting deadly picks for Ellis that enables him to t easily score taking it to the hoop.

    While it’s true the trade for Bogut allowed the Warriors to tank the season and obtain a high draft pick, still unanswered is whether Barnes was the guy to draft.

    Brandan Wright was spectacular last night against Gasol and Howard. Rather have him than Landry. Howard killed LA with his poor foul shooting.

    • I watched the 1st quarter + of the Lakers/Mavs game. Then found something else to do. Lakers were in control. Fast-forward to the end of the game – Lakers losing by 12 with 2 minutes!

      R. Carlisle of the Mavs is an excellent coach. Mike Brown – might be out of a job if he can’t get the 2007 All-Star team (2012/3 Lakers) winning…

      Brandon Rush – in Indiana was criticized for not taking more shots. Or creating for himself. Smart player who doesn’t take many bad shots.

      Harrison Barnes was the CONSENSUS pick at #7. He’s got potential for upside and perhaps a nice fit. Lower risk than others but with some bust potential as well – I agree. Lots of hate for this kid – who was once a #1 high school prospect. What I find comical are the criticisms that Harrison Barnes is not athletic – yes, from the so-called “experts” – and then he blows everyone out of the gym at the NBA Draft combine nearly jumping out of the gym! LOL! Then, it’s Harrison can’t shoot, Harrison can’t handle, Harrison can’t slash to the basket, Harrison can’t finish….

      Who should the W’s have drafted? Royce White? The kid can’t fly in an airplane (this isn’t football – with weekly games played), it’s the NBA. Huge risk. Plus, Royce absolutely needs to work on the defensive part of his game. Great talent, but at #7? Trade down? Another can of worms…

      • there’s sufficient evidence to demonstrate that Barnes is a poor ball handler. few players improve this after entering pro ball — hope you recall how hard j.richardson worked at it with little success. if he’s a plus defender, then at least you’ll have one of the other requisite skills for a starting wing, scoring almost mandatory from the position unless you’re bowen or dudley bradley.

        • Great point Moto – let’s hope Harrison at SF handles the ball to a lesser degree than J. Rich needed to as a SG. And passing and creating for others. And Brandon Rush’s handle isn’t the greatest either.

          I hope that Harrison can use his size and athleticism on the boards/defense.

          Scoring? I don’t think that a team with Curry, Thompson, Barnes, Lee, and Bogut – will have trouble scoring the ball efficiently.

          Defense? I’m hoping a healthy Bogut’s impact on defense – will cure all!

  25. Halloween party tonight so no recap until tomorrow. No, I’m not going as a doctor. Happy Halloween!

  26. It’s almost here, folks. I’m now off to get the beer and hot wings ready. Go Warriors!

  27. Brytex, the beer and hot wings always taste better when the Warriors win, right? :)

    GSW scored a measly 39 pts in the 2nd half but somehow managed to win the game. Curry and Lee were ice cold all night, with the new $44 million dollar man even blowing both free throws that would have rendered the last 4.5 seconds meaningless. Yuck. But any road win in the NBA is important if you have playoff aspirations so no need to throw this one back for lack of aesthetics.

    HBarnes starting really didn’t mean much other than a little butt-slap for being the 7th round pick as Rush played 23 minutes compared to 13 for Barnes, and most assuredly would have played longer had it not been for his foul situation (5 PF).

    Rush, along with Landry and Bogut were the most significant contributers/bright spots on the night. Landry stepped up in the 4th qtr when GSW desperately needed someone to step up.

    Bogut’s minutes were limited in the 2nd half (to the dismay of Bogut as we found out in the postgame interview) but when he played he looked suprisingly good considering his lack of practice with the starters and his overall absence from game action since his injury. Just hearing him say how good he felt after the game was music to the ears as a completely healthy Andrew Bogut will make this team so much better going forward.

    So, Bogut looks good, Curry’s ankles never turned over even once and the Dubs win on the road. How bouts another hot wing and glass of brew to celebrate?! :)

  28. Audio: From 95.7FM The Game

    Jeff Van Gundy talks NBA and the Warriors

    http://957thegame.com/episode_download.php?contentType=36&contentId=6103452

  29. Pingback: Behold Bogut: Warriors 87 Suns 85 - Feltbot's Warriors Blog

  30. The Warriors carried over their fine preseason defense into the first game. Holding the Suns to 40% shooting from the field impressive.

    The Warriors appear to be a good team given that they won with Curry and Lee going a combined 4-30.

    The Warriors will continue to start games slowly if Barnes and Thompson are in the starting line-up. Limiting Barnes play to 14 minutes was wise.

    Rush should also be in the starting line-up. Whether he should be start at SF or SG is an open question. Thompson has a long way to go, and is no where near the player that Rush is.Thompson, shot 6-16 with four turnovers.

    Last year, I said that Rush could be a star if given the opportunity. His drives to the hoop, his marksmanship and defense, confirms his potential if given the opportunity. Thompson should not be playing more minutes than Rush, and Jackson has to encourage Rush to shoot more.

    A combination of Bogut, D. Lee and Landry, should be an effective front court at times. But, Jackson doesn’t want to play Landry at SF. Bad decision.

    I really liked the backcourt of Curry and Jack. Jack provides better defense than Thompson, and has more court awareness and quickness.

    Playing D.Lee and Landry upfront makes little sense. It failed on two occasions last night, but was effective in the fourth quarter only because
    Landry went off on the offensive end.

    Warriors limited their fouls last night resulting in their getting clocked at the foul-line.

    The Bogut-Ezeli center tandem was very effective. Just glad that Biedrins was not on the court.

    The Warriors still need to run both to increase their shooting % and getting more trips to the foul-line.