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:
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.
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
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.