Festus Ezeli: Warriors 114 Clippers 110

This was a tremendous win. But before I get to it, I’d like to say something about Brandon Rush. To me, what is really awful about these injuries — even beyond the shock and pain of the injury itself — is the disappointment and heartbreak they cause.

I was sitting very close to where Brandon Rush was lying when he went down. I could hear him. And I had a clear line of sight to his face when he was hauled up by his teammates. I saw what was written there. It’s a memory I wish I didn’t have.

I’m sure many Warriors fans were like me immediately reminded of Kelenna Azubuike. He and Rush are such similar players. Big, rugged two guards, ferocious on defense, tough as nails inside the paint. Deadly from three. Both with early struggles in the league, overcome with hard work. Both on the cusp of starting, and of stardom. Both on the verge of big contracts. Both going down in the first days of the biggest season of their lives.

It’s not just the long dreamed of payday that these players are losing. It’s the ability to play the game they love at a high level, to have the respect of their teammates and coaches, and the love of the fans.

It is absolutely heartbreaking to me.

I was gladdened to hear that it was an ACL, as opposed to what was first suspected –whatever that terrible injury was that Azubuike suffered. We know that players can come back strong from ACL injuries. Rush has already done it once before, with his other knee. Knowing how hard Rush works, the pride he takes in his game, I’m certain he can come back from this as good as ever.

Get well soon, Brandon Rush. I look forward to seeing you in a Warriors uniform again next season.

THE CLIPPERS GAME

So, I heard there was a game at the big bad Clippers last night….

Who could have suspected that we would feel such elation one night after feeling such utter devastation?

That’s sports.

Mark Jackson: The biggest reason the Warriors played great in the Clippers game is that Jackson had a great gameplan. Yes, he got it right, in a big way.

The Clippers’ biggest weakness is their perimeter players. With the exception of Jamal Crawford, none of their wings has the ability to initiate the offense, and Crawford has somehow forgotten how to pass. The Clippers biggest strength is their frontcourt, unleashed to attack the rim by Chris Paul’s virtuosity in the pick and roll. The blueprint for beating the Clippers is to keep their frontcourt from dunking. Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan have no other game. If you can make it tough inside on Griffin and Jordan, the Clips struggle for offense.

The Warriors focused on denying Griffin and Jordan by refusing to switch or trap the pick and roll (except in that weird final defensive stand when Curry took the charge). This left Curry alone to chase Chris Paul for most of the game. (And Curry did a great job, in a defense designed to make him the sacrificial lamb.) Yes, Paul did wind up at the line 20 times. Yes, he was a great enough player to put the Clips on his back for that 4th Q run. But the Clips offense was disrupted just enough.

Mark Jackson chose his poison. Take away the pass, take away the dunks. Make Chris Paul beat you with his own offense. And it was the right poison.

Their were a couple of other major improvements to the Warriors’ game. First and foremost, the Warriors pushed the ball looking for early offense. The results were overwhelmingly positive. Wide open threes. Dunks from the big men on secondary breaks. I was afraid at one point that Jim Barnett would have a heart attack out of joy. He’s been advocating for this for two long years. As has a lonely voice in the blogosphere. Where has this been?

And there were a lot more high picks set for the Warriors ballhandlers, with the result that the Warriors offense ran significantly better than we’ve seen so far this year. Did you happen to notice the Clippers’ offense? They set a high pick for Chris Paul every single time down the court. In my mind, this is what you do when your superstar is your point guard. It is the simplest way to get the defense moving, which is the goal of NBA offense. And guess what, the ball is already in your best player’s hands!

The Warriors’ best player is Stephen Curry. It is beyond time that Jackson and Malone wake up to that fact. Set the high pick and let Curry operate.

Let Stephen Curry go.

The Two Point Guard Backcourt: The Curry/Jack backcourt really paid dividends in the Clippers game. It is a wonderful thing when you have more than one player who can initiate offense, more than one player who can find the perfect pass. If you can back it up with a solid defensive center, the offensive productivity of this backcourt will far outweigh its defensive deficiencies.

Too bad Monta Ellis never got to play with Festus Ezeli behind him.

The Harrison Barnes Brand: I was getting set to rip The Brand, before he put together that beautiful clutch 4th Q.

Caron Butler set him on fire and roasted marshmallows. He was a hack-machine on help defense. He looked slightly better the last game on Rudy Gay, but from where I sat, Gay was simply whiffing bunnies. Verdict: Not a stopper.

At 6-8″ 210, he’s averaging 1.3 rebounds a game in 19 minutes. Verdict: No nose for the ball, No heart, Not part of his brand. Take your pick. This, by the way, was predicted by those scouts who view him as a potential bust.

He’s not actually 6-8″. Either that, or Rudy Gay is 6-9″. When I pointed this out to my buddy Micah, whose floor seats I was sharing, he took a look at them standing together and pronounced: “It’s like a man against a boy.”

He’s extremely raw on the offensive end. Micah and I both left the Memphis game feeling that he’s simply not ready to play in the NBA. Against Memphis, he looked positively panicked with the ball his hands. He has tunnel vision when he puts the ball on the floor. If his path to the basket is impeded, he will make a bad decision: either a forced shot or a forced pass. He has no instinct for setting up his teammates, if he ever happened to spot one. This was also predicted by many scouts, who pegged his ceiling as a Glen Rice type spot-up shooter.

Barnes did come through when pressed into action against the Clips, though. First that Thompsonesque turnaround J off the curl. I didn’t know he had that in his arsenal. Then that decisive drive through the lane. I don’t think anyone expected that either, particularly the Clippers, who parted like the Red Sea.

I think I know already what we have in Harrison Barnes. I pride myself on my ability to size up NBA players at a glance — Curry, BWright, Belinelli, Udoh, Ezeli. But I’ll wait a little while on Barnes before pronouncing in absolute terms. Give him 10 games to surprise me, like he did in the fourth quarter of this game.

There’s one thing I’m completely certain of, though: Barnes and Klay Thompson play the same position. Which means that The Brand is going to spend a lot of time, and particularly fourth quarters, sitting on the pine.

Mark Jackson obviously agrees with me on this.

Klay Thompson the small forward:  Matt Steinmetz has taken to calling the Curry-Jack-Thompson fourth quarter lineup the “three guard lineup.” That’s not what it is. The 6-7″ 205 lb. Thompson is a small forward. It’s his best position.

Despite the 6-17 shooting, this may have been the best game I’ve seen Thompson play. He really mixed it up inside, to the tune of 8 boards. (And he’s averaging 6.3 for the first three games.) He made some beautiful, aggressive drives.

And we saw him dive to the floor for a loose ball. Was that the first time? Unfortunately, he was rewarded for that by having Blake Griffin slam his face into the hardwood. Let’s hope that doesn’t create a Pavlovian response!

I like this new, hard-nosed Klay Thompson. Where he belongs, at small forward.

David Lee and Carl Landry: If Landry keeps burying his jumpers at this torrid pace, the Warriors will have really found something. I’m scratching my head over the 35% jump shooting he put up the last two seasons. Which is the real Carl Landry?

Landry is playing great on both sides of the ball. What I really appreciate about his game in the paint is his intimate understanding of the backboard, and his ability, like David Lee, to use both hands. If you have the kind of knowledge and skill that Landry has, you can get your shot up against anyone, even at 6-7″. Chris Mullin had that same kind of ability. It is such a lost art in the NBA — Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan don’t know what a backboard is. I know what it is, and I really appreciate watching Landry’s virtuosity in using it.

Steinmetz is now suggesting that when Bogut comes back, Jackson should sit Lee in favor of Landry. Ah ha ha ha.

That Steinmetz, such a kidder.

Andrew Bogut: Bogut didn’t play in the Clippers game, but there have been some developments that warrant mentioning. We learned from the Memphis postgame that he’s going to be on restricted minutes for at least a month. We also learned that he’s still dealing with soreness “and stuff” on the court, and it’s affecting his play, particularly with his footwork on offense.

It’s clear that the issue is inflammation. And it’s clear that even if Bogut does return to full-time play, this will be a lingering issue for him, just as it was for his osteoarthritic elbow.

What does this mean for the Warriors? Well, first of all, there is the question of how Bogut’s minutes should be distributed. I think Jackson botched it in the Memphis game, giving in to Bogut’s desire to play meaningful fourth quarter minutes. The team was terrible with Bogut on the floor. Their chemistry completely disrupted. He was -16 for the game, the worst of any Warrior.

For as long as he’s on restricted minutes, Bogut should get his minutes to start the first and third quarters. Period. That will be predictable for both him and his teammates, and allow the chemistry of the various units to form.

And it will keep him away from crunch time.

The Warriors need to recognize, and fast, that Bogut is not good enough to close games at this time. He’s simply not a very good player right now. He’s not the Andrew Bogut of old, and won’t be for some time.

We hope.

Festus Ezeli:  NBA player. Stud.

Ezeli will get lost in the post-game write-ups, but he’s the single biggest reason the Warriors got this great win. The Warriors not only dominated the boards 48-33, but they had the roughest, toughest man in the paint. Ezeli not only faced off with Blake Griffin, he backed him up.

I’ve raved about his size, speed and athleticism already. But what really makes Ezeli special is his intelligence. This rookie has a Udoh-like genius for defense. Always in the right spot to give help. Anticipates the plays, jumps the passing lanes. Guards beautifully man to man. Doesn’t leave his feet until he knows it’s coming.

Then crams that ball right down Blake Griffin’s throat.

Did I mention his heart? That joyful ferocity in the paint is something else that sets Ezeli apart from many more highly-touted rookies. We know all about that, don’t we,  having suffered through Patrick O’Bryant, Brandan Wright and Anthony Randolph?

The offense is raw, but I have little doubt that it will come. Why? Because he already has terrific footwork and an appreciation for the backboard. And because he is so damn smart. Did I mention that he already knows most of the plays? Sets all the right picks? This is something that Brandan Wright and Anthony Randolph were still literally incapable of in their second seasons.

I was all over Ezeli in the summer league. But it’s still one thing to see it there, and quite another to see it against Al Jefferson, Marc Gasol and Blake Griffin right out of the gate. Now I know what I saw was real.

Where did Festus Ezeli come from? It’s like he dropped off the moon.

The entire Warriors Nation is counting on Andrew Bogut to rescue our sorry franchise. Me… I’m not so sure about that.

I think I’ll put my money on the unknown kid from Vanderbilt.

165 Responses to Festus Ezeli: Warriors 114 Clippers 110

  1. I LOVE Ezeli. I loved his presence yesterday and could feel his huge contribution. I’m equally excited about this guy.

    And…

    I actually thought Andrew Bogut looked pretty solid for a guy who was cleared to play just a week ago after 9 months off… I’m optimistic about our frontcourt overall…

    Yesterday’s game was a joy to behold. Jackson, please keep coaching like this…

  2. Landry and Ezeli have been real sweet surprises. Ezeli plays with the kind of ferocious joy Dennis Rodman had, but he’s more disciplined. And he’s only going to get better.

    Landry is shifty as hell on offense, and really sound on D. He’s not going to block a lot of shots, but he FIGHTS for position, boxes out and does all the things you need to make the paint a war zone for the opposition. It’s great to have another good low post scorer, but his professionalism and his sheer toughness on D set the standard for the whole team. I wouldn’t argue that he’s a better player than Lee overall, but he does make problems for the opposition that Lee doesn’t. A great addition to the team.

  3. Nice observations! One of my favorite moments of the game was that Barnes drive in the 4th Quarter. It was EXPLOSIVE. It was something I hadn’t seen from Barnes in about 10 college games, summer league, exhibition season, and almost three games of the regular season. If he can call on that kind of move regularly, he will change everything about himself, to the positive.

    Festus is a beast and a pleasure to behold. I didn’t realize how much until this past game when my wife calls out in the middle of the game, “What ARE you cackling about?” I rewind to the point in the game when Festus fouled Griffin and not only sent him flying to the ground but Deandre Jordan, too. I gleefully showed her Festus, the bowling ball, turning Griffin into a 7 pin, hurtling across the lane to take out the 10 pin, Jordan. To paraphrase Festus Ezeli as the most interesting man in the world, “I don’t always foul but, when I do, I hammer them like a stuck-out nail (and their friends too.)”

  4. Too soon to tell, but the additions of Jack and Landry feel similar, in a more blue collar way, to the “heart transplant” additions of Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington to the Baron Davis Warriors in 2007. It really shows how much true toughness means to a team. It already feels like they’re the real leaders on the team. They’ve instinctually stepped into a void. Bogut, when healthy seems tough, by Warriors center standards. Curry is mentally tough when he’s in his groove. Maybe the Warrior’s new heart transplant can help him get there.

    • Interesting comparison.

      • There’s a lot to like about Landry and Jack being added to the team. Felty, I’m waiting for your analysis of the Curry/Jack back court. Jack is a much more hard-nosed defender than Ellis and it seems like he complements Curry because he is a distributor first and then willing scorer when he has an opening. When he initiates the offense, it actually feels like the Warriors control the tempo. It’s great.

  5. “I was afraid at one point Barnett was going to have a heart attack out of joy”. Great line, I laughed out load there. Love Barnett. Great analysis although I will encourage you to continue to temper your expectations and criticism of Barnes until At least post All-Star break. Remember Thompson was terrible with limited minutes through the first half of the season last year. I see many of the same skills in both players with Barnes being slightly taller and thicker. He did look like a mini version “size wise” next to Rudy Gay however. I noticed the same thing at the game. As Barnes’ minutes and confidence increase over time I believe we’ll see more swishes off the pick and slashes to the basket like the ones we saw in the 4th quarter.

    PS. How many times over the years have the Warriors traded away talent and not gotten back equal return? Ever since West came on board they began to tout Monta as a fantastic player worth a kings ransom every opportunity they could. A year and a half later they land Bogut, Ezeli and Jefferson for him. What a welcome break from past missteps.

  6. From The Point Forward: Golden State finds a silver lining

    Andrew Bogut may not be playing like his usual self just yet, but the Warriors do have an interesting prospect waiting in the wings with Festus Ezeli. The 6-foot-11 rookie looks to have the makings of a fine interior defender; already he does a lot of early work to nudge his man out of the post, and impressed with his poise while defending an elite opponent in Blake Griffin. On-ball post defense is a rare calling card for first-year players, but Ezeli may be a useful spot defender for opponents with more conventional back-to-the-basket threats. Team defense is a different story; though Ezeli seems to have a fairly good feel of where to be, he’s sagging a bit too far back in pick-and-roll coverage to provide the Warriors any Bogut-like value in that regard.

    http://nba.si.com/2012/11/05/denver-nuggets-offense/?sct=hp_wr_a3&eref=sihp

    The one gripe I have with Ezeli is his free throw shooting. Far from Biedrins-esque he’s still not nearly proficient enough for me.

    Against LAC he was only 4 of 10 which provided for that much more drama at the end of the game as the Warriors tried to hold their narrow lead. Counting preseason he’s 14 for 31 (45%) from the charity stripe and that’s NOT GOOD ENOUGH! Practice, practice, practice, Festus!!

  7. Great write-up.

    Glad to see the Warriors run an offense we all can enjoy. Going uptempo in the half-court resulted in the Warriors having the advantage in the turnover differential.

    The Warriors defense sets have been outstanding both in preseason and
    in our first three games. Very innovative.

    Have to give Kudos to the Warriors hiring an core of terrific assistant coaches. Look forward to them going on to be outstanding head coaches.

    With a new offense, the Warriors should do quite well barring future injuries. If the Warriors pick up a good sixteenth player, so much the better.

    It seems clear that Bogut’s inflammation is not going to go away this year and he will have ice his ankle during games, and take pain medication, in order to play.

    Even though Bogut played well in one of the two games he played, it remains to be seen if the Warriors new found offense will outscore their opponents in the first quarter with Bogut starting. I feel the Warriors would get off to better starts with Ezeli, as they did in the Clippers game, but I doubt Jackson will do that.

    Curry was fabulous last night. His double killer cross-over and fake jabs steps left his opponents in the dust.

    As for Barnes, we will not be able to judge whether he has a offensive game, until he can prove he can take it to the hoop in the half-court. His successfully driving to the basket on one play with no opposing center on the court is no barometer for making an assessment.

    Thompson also needs to show that he can take it the hoop in the half court game, and either score or get to the foul-line. Last night was a good start. One doesn’t have to be fast in order to take it to the hoop. Mullie proved that.

    Go, Warriors!

  8. Andrew Bogut – really impacted the game vs. the Kings, especially in the 4th quarter – on defense… Bogut had more than the 1 blocked shot in the box score. A couple of drawn charges at key times. Unlike Festus – who is still learning the game offensively – Bogut is an asset offensively as well as he looks to pass to teammates.

    It’s not smart basketball to have Carl Landry take only 4 shots in 20 minutes of play – against the 2nd team. Not with how he’s been playing. Thomas Robinson cannot guard Landry!

    Lee, Curry, and Thompson – all got lots of shots and they weren’t shooting well. They’ve got to work the ball for better shots. Thompson looked good in taking the ball to the rim a couple of times. Lee missed point blank shots at the rim – not his best game.

    Lastly, Curry ran the half court sets poorly. Sometimes – took too much time off the clock to even start the plays. This will improve with time playing together – Barnes and Bogut being new.

    Curry starts at PG, then plays SG, then back to PG – halftime – and repeat in the 2nd half. Should this affect Curry’s play – just let Jack play SG… Perhaps this rotation – is not comfortable for Curry… Or perhaps Curry will adjust better given more time… Only 4th game.

    • PeteyB, I actually thought this was Lee’s best game of the young season from an offensive standpoint. He had a couple of shots rim out on him but overall was 6-13 from the field and a perfect 8-8 on free throws. When you consider the Warriors as a team only shot 40% that’s a pretty good night for DLee.

      Curry was the iceberg, unfortunately. A hard-to-watch 3-15 from the field was easily the number one reason they lost this game although certainly there were other negatives here and there including the fact both Landry and Jack played less than 20 minutes each and were never really a factor when they did play, a big contrast to the first 3 games.

      The fact the Warriors are 2-2 after opening with 3 of 4 on the road is not bad at all, and their one home game was such a gut punch for the entire team and home crowd given Rush’s season-ending injury it’s hard to count that game as any kind of missed opportunity.

      Such a long season and this game was a prime example of why trying to breakdown the season 82 different times (game recaps) is not nearly as meaningful as analyzing a team/season in quarters (once every 20 games). Unless, of course, Curry keeps shooting at a 20% clip the rest of the way.

      • Yes – I should be happier with the W’s play, but I think the this team is overly talented! I never expect the W’s to win vs. Memphis home or awy – they don’t matchup well with Memphis, but against the Clips – I did expect a win as they matchup well vs. the Clips.

        The W’s did have many opportunities to win this game on the road shooting 39%. I like the page from Nellie’s book – not hit a jump shot for a while? Then shoot a layup next shot!

        RE: Lee – he also defended Cousins for much of the game.

        RE: Curry – bad shooting nights happen, but as the QB of the team, he hasn’t managed the offense as well as I’d like. Too many bad possessions, quick shot clock misses, taking too much time clock setting up the offense, and getting the ball into players in the wrong spots (Festus/Barnes) – or not working to get the ball to the right matchup (say Landry vs. Robinson) – are frustrating to me.

  9. It looks to me like the Warriors feel the basketball (and dare I say PR) positives of having a subpar Bogut on the court outweigh the negatives.

    Can you imagine the reaction if Curry was limping on the court, or lumbering around like Sabonis? (to quote someone on MTII’s twitter)

    What is the real time line on his recovery? Please, please don’t let Feltbot be right on this.

    • Hammertime, I think Felt wants to be right (about everything, but then again don’t we all?) but there’s probably that other side, the fan side, that’s hoping otherwise.

      Bogut always has that grimace/wincing look to his face, but as he told Monte Poole in a recent interview, that’s his “silly face”. But outside of his facial quirks you can still tell he’s feeling discomfort at times during his minutes on the court. He’s such a talented and REALLY SMART player it’s a shame he’s having to deal with whatever is going on with that ankle. All any of us can do is continue hoping for the best, and yes, for Felt to wrong.

      All that said I was waiting to post this in case Felt started a new thread tonight as I didn’t want this to get lost in a previous blog.

      I’m sure the regulars here remember my email correspondence with Dr. Ali Mohamadi that I shared with this site back in September. For those not familar or simply forgetting, this link references Dr. Mohamadi’s impressive resume: http://www.sbnation.com/authors/ali-mohamadi He’s an ocassional contributer to SB Nation in regards injuries to athletes.

      Following the Warriors game with Memphis I was very much intrigued, even worried, by some comments made by Bogut postgame, which led to me once again emailing Dr. Mohamadi and asking for his thoughts………

      ————————————————

      Hi, Dr. Mohamadi, it’s me again. I usually don’t like making a pest of myself but I thought I’d go ahead this time anyway. :)

      I emailed you in September asking for your opinion on the severity of Andrew Bogut’s injury (broken ankle) as it would pertain to his full recovery and ability to perform as an NBA center. The reason for this email is my curiosity involving some quotes from Bogut just the other night following his play in the Warriors 2nd game of the season.

      To bring you up to date, the Warriors opened training camp Oct 1 and Bogut was in uniform each day going through a slowly-but-surely-get-ready-for-the-season camp designed specifically for Bogut coming off his injury and offseason rehab. He wound up never playing in any of their preseason games and was only cleared for 5-on-5 contact drills a few days before the regular season began. He took part in 2 of those and then started the Warriors opening game vs Phoenix on Oct 31.

      He was limited to 20 minutes in that game and also in their 2nd game on Friday night vs Memphis. A plan has also been drawn up to keep him from playing in the 2nd game of any 2 games in 2 nights situations. And all of this for the first month (Nov) of the season. Bogut has looked pretty good thus far considering his long absence from playing competitively. He said he’s a bit sore but again I assume this is something to be expected initially.

      Now, the “interesting part”. After game 2 Bogut was interviewed by USA Today and said the following:

      “The doctor is pretty stubborn and adamant, and rightfully so,” Bogut said of Richard Ferkel, who performed the procedure. “He’s done millions of these things before. Just yesterday, I spoke to him and tried to get my minutes extended to 24 minutes for the next couple games and he wasn’t having any of it. I understand their point of view, but obviously it’s frustrating. I’ve got to stay the course and stay positive. Outside looking in, it’s better for me long-term, but personally it’s mentally tough and mentally draining to be set to an amount of minutes, but that’s the task I have to deal with right now.” Bogut said the seriousness of his surgery was underestimated at the time and has everything to do with the agonizing delay. “It was a more in-depth surgery than people think,” he said. “I’ve got to be patient with it, but it’s tough.”

      Going back to last April here’s what the Warriors were saying about the surgery:

      Bogut’s operation seems far less serious. Warriors GM Larry Riley said there “appears to be some small, very small loose particles and even possibly some scar tissue, which can be cleaned out with a scope.” Bogut, acquired in a trade from Milwaukee on March 13, could be back to basketball activities as soon as six weeks.

      “I characterize it as something that is as much a preventive thing than anything else,” Riley said of Bogut’s surgery.

      The fact that after the surgery Dr. Ferkel told Bogut he was looking at a 6 month time period before he could resume playing, and even then (as it turns out) he can’t play more than 20 minutes a game for the first month (and no 2 games in 2 nights), certainly seems to jive with Bogut’s statement about the surgery being “more serious and in-depth” than originally viewed.

      My question: Any thoughts on what they might have found that could have lead to this long, drawn-out plan of recovery? Also, given your answer, how would this effect his future as an NBA center? It’s now obvious this was more than just a broken bone in his ankle, especially given it’s his surgeon who’s mapping out his entire schedule (games, minutes, etc). I realize this would be just speculation on your part but really interested in your educated guess nonetheless.

      Thank you so much for your time. And sorry about that pest thing. :)

      Regards,
      Steve

      —————————————————

      Hi Steve — sorry for the delay, and don’t consider this pestering at all! Sometimes it takes me a while to get back… both to do the research and just with other items going on at the same time.

      It’s, of course, hard to say too much because there isn’t too much great information out there. In a strange way, it reminds me a bit of the way the Nationals handled Stephen Strasburg, and it almost sounds like the Warriors are trying to protect Bogut for the long run.

      I like to think of things worst-case first (even if less likely), then work back to the best case scenarios. Again, there’s little information that the Warriors have sent out to the public, but even given that, what could end up making a surgery like this more complicated than first thought? Items I’d consider would be if there were ligament/tendon damage in the ankle or surrounding structures, or if there have been arthritic changes. A comeback from structural damage, in particular, is often made in a graded scale very much like this one.

      Bone spurs, as it seems did occur, are somewhere in the middle. There’s a laundry list of players who have suffered from bone spurs and come back to play just as effectively as pre-surgery. This can become a lingering issue, requiring periodic scopes, but it’s often more a nuisance than a hindrance.

      Best case? Clean fracture, healing on schedule, but the team realizes that it’s just the beginning of the season, that they need him full-bore in games 60-82 rather than 1-22, and they are just being overly cautious (as many thought the Nats were with Strasburg).

      It’s impossible to say how this affects his career for the long term. Among the worst-case scenarios, if there is structural damage, actually, I think the prognosis is better than if they’re dealing with arthritic changes. I didn’t follow the SF Giants terribly closely, but the fact that Buster Posey was back to playing catcher this season is a really good sign for anyone with a major ankle injury — most people I talked to thought he would be relegated to 1st base on his return. My best bet is that he’s playing at full minutes after the All-Star break. But that is based on very little knowledge of the particulars outside of the great synopsis you sent me.

      Hope this helps!
      Ali

  10. since the gory details won’t be made public about Bogut’s condition, we can only go by what we see. he appears to have aged ten years in the past three seasons. his movements seem tentative, inhibited most of the time, with intermittent bursts of elite, n.b.a. level fluidity and movement. given the nature of the intense schedule and travel, hardly conducive to steady recovery, we shouldn’t expect to see him surpass .80 of his former level until spring or summer next year.

  11. Two things struck me from the Sacto game:

    Smart’s team was well-prepared to defend against the Ws stale, predictable offense. The Kings coach won last night’s game before the opening whistle.

    This is Keith Smart’s fourth season as a head coach, but the first season he’s had a whole summer to prepare. I think his team is going to surprise people. Sacramento still has some growing pains, but they’re headed in the right direction.

  12. Sacramento:

    Much as I like Curry, there will be games when he needs to step back and let the others take over. He’s not a franchise player and shouldn’t be thought of as one. He’ll probably also need the rest to make it through the season.

    Last night was one example. I, too, was surprised Jack and Landry didn’t get more play. I’m also surprised Barnes got so many minutes.

  13. As his endurance improves, Bogut will get more playing time. But don’t expect his ankle and play tol improve this year. He is not going to be able to make as many defensive stops.

    While our defense has played well, our offense has been erratic.

    Scoring more than 95 points one time in the four played is cause for concern. The Warriors not seeing the consistent play we are use to from D. Lee and Curry. We use to be at the top of the league in offense. No more. Are we missing Elis and D. Wright? Would like to see Jefferson starting and given a bigger role.

    Still don’t like the Warriors playing small, but I can see why Jackson wants five shooters on the court. We got killed inside last night. Ezeli should be given more playing time even though his offensive play is a mess.

    Landry has been a constant in the Warriors wins. Sacramento seemed to be denied him the ball last night.

    Should the Warriors try to sign McDyess?

  14. I should have added that the Warriors are missing B. Rush most of all.

  15. From Grantland and Zach Lowe:

    Klay Thompson’s defense

    As a long-range gunner with barely a season of NBA experience, Thompson just seems like a guy who should be a poor defender. But the more I watch him, the more he looks like a really solid defender. He moves around well, with a good understanding of rotations and the general team concept. He’s a willing worker with good balance; he can close out hard on shooters while keeping his feet steady enough to prevent a blow-by drive. Thompson has a chance to be a really, really good all-around player.

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8598109/why-teams-just-five-percent-chance-competing-nba-championship-go-it

    • Thompson hasn’t looked so lost in the last 2 games. Part of the reason might be that the Curry/Jack tandem moves him to SF for large parts of the game. When that happens, he matches up better speed-wise with the opposition.

      In addition, this year Thompson has big help behind him, which allows him to step up and guard his man more closely. His D isn’t at Rush’s level, but it doesn’t need to be. He just needs to avoid being a liability, because Jackson has already shown that he’ll bench him for screwing up.

      Honestly, though, I’ve been more impressed with Curry’s D in the last 2 games. Almost anyone can shoot over him, but he’s been keeping in front of his man pretty consistently.

  16. From MT: Warriors, Bogut trying to exercise patience

    The stat sheet from Sacramento on Monday showed another productive night for Andrew Bogut. But the winces on his face and the laborious way he ran the floor might have provided Warriors fans with reasons for concern.

    At this point, it’s probably hard to tell if Golden State’s biggest acquisition in years should be sitting or playing. Even the Warriors themselves don’t seem quite sure.

    At first the team said Bogut would not play on his surgically repaired left ankle until it was 100 percent; but now he’s playing 20 minutes per game while it is clearly not. Then the Warriors said they would gauge how he felt to determine his minutes; now he feels he is out of the equation.

    The one thing that is clear: “The process,” as coach Mark Jackson has been calling it since training camp began, seems to be taking a mental toll.

    “I have a lot more work to do to get to a level where I play 40 minutes,” Bogut said after totaling 12 points in 19 minutes of Monday’s loss at Sacramento. “Conditioning wise, I don’t feel too bad. That’s getting better every game. But the ankle is still a work in progress.”

    So what is the deal with Bogut’s left ankle, which was fractured in January and underwent arthroscopic surgery in April?

    The Warriors said Bogut hasn’t experienced any setbacks. He is just under strict protocol from Dr. Richard Ferkel, a renowned orthopedic surgeon who performed the surgery on Bogut’s left ankle more than six months ago. Ferkel — who has repaired the ankles of Ray Allen and Manu Ginobili — recommended from the beginning that Bogut be on the shelf for six months. Then, he laid out “the process,” which limits him to 20 minutes per game, prohibits playing in back-to-back games and calls for constant monitoring.

    At the end of November, Ferkel and the Warriors’ doctors will come up with the next phase of the plan based on Bogut’s progress.

    “Bogut has been cleared,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers explained. “But if you’re a runner and you injure your foot, you don’t immediately come back and run a marathon.”

    Bogut will play Wednesday against Cleveland. Ever eager for the marathon, he has been frustrated after every game, especially losses. He said he will no longer talk about how his ankle feels as he’s focused on getting through November “relatively sane.”

    “He’s a guy that understands that as an organization we are looking out for his best interest,” Jackson said after Tuesday’s practice. “We could selfishly say let’s play him as much as possible. But we understand how important he is to this team. He can make the pitch (for more minutes) all he wants, but we’re going to stay true to the process.”

    Bogut is not alone in his suffering.

    Jackson is having to employ the quadratic equation to properly manage Bogut’s minutes. Analyzing which games Bogut will play in is just another duty for the second-year head coach.

    And Myers, a rookie general manager who made the blockbuster trade to land Bogut, is having to ignore every competitive bone in his body to set an example of patience.

    Many Warriors fans, teased by the way Bogut changes games when he’s on the floor, seem to be growing antsy because of the lack of certainty.

    But Ferkel has been adamant about easing Bogut along. In addition to regular treatment and rehab, Bogut has to all but keep an ankle diary. He was checked out by Ferkel in Los Angeles on Saturday. He will probably get a visit from Ferkel on Friday, when the Warriors visit the Los Angeles Lakers.

    “It is what it is at the moment,” Bogut said. “I’m just trying to get through these next three or four weeks relatively sane. Obviously, I’d like to be out there for more than (20) minutes. But that’s not going to happen for a while.”

    http://www.contracostatimes.com/warriors/ci_21942973/warriors-andrew-bogut-trying-exercise-patience?source=rss

  17. From Rusty Simmons:

    The Warriors practiced Tuesday and then took a bus to surprise injured swingman Brandon Rush at his house. Since they flew to Los Angeles on Nov. 2 — the night he was lost for the season to a torn ACL — it was the first time the Warriors had seen their sixth man since he was hurt.

    ” I know a lot of teams say it, but this team is a tight-knit group,” said coach Mark Jackson, who told his squad about the plan before Monday’s loss at Sacramento. “They enjoy one another. On the road and at home, they’re around each other a lot. I’ve seen teams scatter once the whistle blows, but this is a unique group. He’s a family member to us, and it’s important to us to go see him and for him to see us. We’re in this thing together.”

    * Before practice started, Jackson sat on the sideline and watched Klay Thompson take 17-foot jumper after 17-foot jumper. The second-year guard had missed that shot when it would have given the Warriors a lead in the final seconds the night before.

    “He must have taken 25 shots from the exact spot and then he’d shake his head as 24 went in,” Jackson said. “It bothers him, and you love to see guys on your team be bothered by missing shots or missing plays. That’s how you get to where you want to get to.”

    * Jackson and Andrew Bogut seem closer to figuring out how to work with the center’s 20-minute limit. He played only five first-half minutes Monday, spending most of the frame on the bench with his left shoe off. He started the second half, but he still had minutes in reserve to lead a crunch time comeback attempt that gave the Warriors two shots at taking the lead in the closing seconds.

    “I’m not comfortable with him having a minutes limit, but I understand what it is right now,” Jackson said. “I think Monday night was a better way of breaking it up. We’ll continue to talk about it, read it and make decisions based on how he’s feeling. But it was good to be able to have him finish the game on the floor.

    “Personally, I’d love to play him 35-plus minutes, but I’m going to do what’s best for him and what’s best for the future of this organization. Selfishly, I’d love to say, ‘Forget about the minutes,’ and play him as much as I want to try to secure wins. But you have to do what’s right and stay true to the process.”

    Jackson said Bogut will continue to start each half, because he doesn’t want the center’s ankle to stiffen up after warm-ups. Along with being limited to 20 minutes a night, Bogut won’t play in games on back-to-back nights. Jackson said sometimes that will mean saving Bogut for the second game, possibly the Nov. 10 against Denver instead of the Nov. 9 at the Lakers.

    “There’s pressure on coach to try to structure this thing, and it’s frustrating for everybody, but there’s no right way to do it,” Bogut said. “The more I sit, the more it stiffens up. The more I play early, the less I play late. There’s no real science to it. He’s just playing it by ear for the moment. Obviously, I’d like to be out there more than 18 minutes, but that’s not going to happen for a while.

    http://blog.sfgate.com/warriors/2012/11/06/gs-warriors-tuesday-practice-team-surprises-b-rush-with-visit-jackson-figuring-out-boguts-minute-limit/

  18. Rick Barry commented in that audio piece about EKTIO shoes. Since so many of these players have shoe contracts they can’t wear a product like this in games which is really a shame if this actually works/helps as advertised. I’d love to see Bogut try this out.

  19. SI.com Power Rankings

    Golden State Warriors (2-2)

    The already injury-prone Warriors suffered a painful blow when they lost Brandon Rush for the season to a torn ACL in just the second game. The silver lining will be the increased role for rookie Harrison Barnes, who has been starting alongside Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson but playing just 21.8 minutes per game. Mark Jackson would also be wise to continue relying heavily on supersub Jarrett Jack, who has played well. But he hasn’t been Golden State’s best newcomer. That distinction goes to Carl Landry, who is averaging 16.5 points and 7.0 rebounds off the bench.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/matt_dollinger/11/06/nba-power-rankings-miami-heat-los-angeles-lakers/index.html#ixzz2BYZy4YAz

  20. Remember when the Warriors said that Bogut wouldn’t take the floor until his ankle was 100%?

    MT2 gets into the game:

    http://www.mercurynews.com/warriors/ci_21942973/warriors-andrew-bogut-trying-exercise-patience

    • Nellie would start Bogut in the first half for 10 minutes or so. Then sit him out.

      Second half, Nellie would start Bogut the first 10 minutes or so. Then give Bogut the night off.

      Bogut would have half-time to get loosened up and warm – and mentally prepared as well.

      Simple, smart. Nellie.

      Get the minutes out of the way, then get ready for the next game.

      Not worry about winning and losing Bogut – YOU’RE NOT 100 PERCENT!!!

      • Ahh…didn’t Nellie play Monta like 35 minutes in his first game back from his devastating “Moped” ankle injury???

    • Felt, I like it even better when you don’t have to click the link to read the article (post #18). LOL

  21. Interesting test tonight for Klay Thompson against Dion Waiters. Can he keep in front of him?

  22. Nice win! Great to see our bigs pad their stats vs. players I’ve never heard of before! Samardo Samuel, Jon Leuer, Gee – not the most intimidating of NBA frontlines!

    When Varejao went down with injury pre-game, I thought this game would be a blowout. I was way wrong.

    A nice win vs. a young, inexperienced up and coming team.

    Why Festus Ezeli only played 12 minutes, doesn’t make sense.

    Unless the David Lee All-Star push is coming.

    • The Cavs front line players are all listed as power forwards by ESPN.

      Landry (8-10 shooting) and Lee (10-16) handled them well enough that the Ws didn’t need help from a defensive specialist. Those two alone outscored and outrebounded the whole Cavs front line.

      http://espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?id=400277785

      • I really enjoyed rookie Harrison Barnes’s posting-up of SG D. Waiters and C.J. Miles. Develop the kid, let him gain his confidence in being comfortable in the offense – not play like a nervous rookie (Sac game). It took Thompson a month or two to get accustomed to the NBA game, then he was lights out.

        My point is that I’d like the W’s to develop Festus Ezeli a little – and this would be the perfect game to get him involved in the offense – with Varejao out. With Varejao healthy and in the game, I wouldn’t even PASS the ball to Festus!!! LOL!

        I actually expect Lee and Landry to dominate backup bigs (except Tristan Thompson) on a very bad team.

        Ezeli – doesn’t seem to hurt the W’s on the court (+/-).

        And dress Dress Basemore for a game… I want to see what he can do offensively. I know he can play D.

        I already know what Andris Biedrins brings and Tyler hasn’t impressed no matter how much playing time he received last season.

        • I’m with you, PB. I’d also like to see Jackson work in Jenkins and Green more, especially Jenkins. If one of the other guards needs some time off, the team is going to need to have Charles in sync and ready to contribute.

          • Jenkins flashed his great mid-range game last year. With Rush going down to injury, I thought Jenkins and Basemore would get more minutes for sure. It’s not working out that way so far.

  23. Bob Myers talks Warriors and the Andrew Bogut situation (95.7FM)

    http://957thegame.com/episode_download.php?contentType=36&contentId=6113492

  24. Keep an eye on Orlando’s 1st round draft choice Moe Harkless who I wanted the warriors to draft with 7th pick or trade down for. Back from hernia surgery. In 22 minutes of play last night, 4 assists, 3 steals, 2 block shots, plus 3 rating.

    Team does not play as well with Barnes on court. Good game last night, Only player with negative rating in starting line-up.

    • @Frank – we remember. Moe 1st year player from St. John’s. Trade down. Lots of teams passed him over.

      Barnes? I wouldn’t look a his +/- until a quite a few more games are played. Like Klay Thompson last season – needs time to gain confidence and to adjust to the NBA game. Then we’ll praise or rip him to shreds! LOL!

  25. Any win is a good win, but I’d feel a lot better about the Warriors if they could put away teams like Cleveland, depleted as it was, and give starters rest and bench players time to develop 4th Q.

    One thing we’ll have to live with is that the team is very much a work in progress, across the board—coaching, Curry at point, playing with Bogut and the rookie, new bench players, etc.

    • warriorsablaze

      ….and the rest of us to cry.

    • I don’t think anybody’s gloating about Bogut’s injury. It’s great to see the team being cautious. Playing through an injury like his has the potential to endanger his career.

  26. From MT:

    The Warriors announced after Thursday’s practice they were shutting down Andrew Bogut for 7 to 10 days. The point is to strengthen his left ankle, which is still recovering from surgery in April.

    After hearing Bogut talk about it, he is clearly frustrated, disappointed and fed up. While the rest of Warriors fans are encouraged by his production despite being limited, he can’t get past being limited. While the Warriors could use the little he brings, he can’t stomach bringing so little.

    So, Bogut wants to take the time off to build his ankle up. And no one disagrees, especially based on how painfully obvious it is he’s not healthy. Here is Bogut in his own words.

    Did you make this decision or did the doctors?

    “We’ve just been playing it ear. … I probably came back a little early because I wanted to test the ankle out and really see where I was at. Probably a little too soon. But that’s what I wanted to do. It wasn’t the Warriors pushing me or anybody pushing me. It was myself trying to be out there and see how it responds. But my rehab progress has plateau’d a little bit. It hasn’t gotten worse but it hasn’t gotten better this last week, as much as I’d like it to. It’s still a little bit of a struggle to push off the ankle. It’s more just power and quick movement stuff I’m struggling with. I feel like I’m a liability out there because I can’t rebound, I can’t move the way I like to move. So we’re going to try to get it right the next 7 to 10 days, see how it responds.

    So it can’t get better if your playing?

    I think that’s what we’re thinking because my rehab arrow was going up, and then the more games I’ve been playing, it’s kind of just flattened out. I haven’t seen the progress of it getting better. I still get a little bit of swelling and soreness afterward. My concern isn’t really the pain at the moment. It’s more so the power moves that I can’t do because I can’t push off that left leg like I like. Rebounds right next to me and I can’t get that quick push off to get to the ball. So I just feel like there’s no point in laboring out there right now. For the next 7 to 10 days, get some rest and more strengthening than I’ve have been doing and see how it responds.

    Is there a reason to think 7 to 10 days would do the trick?

    No, it’s just a number we through out there in the blue. (laughs). I mean, there’s no right formula for this. So in 7 to 10 days, I could be ready. I could be ready in 5 or 6 days. But I might not be ready for another two weeks. We just don’t know. But 7 to 10 days is that number we think we’ll be able to reevaluate things and see how it is. Until I can comfortably jump off my left foot like I normally can, I think we’ll still be trying to strengthen it.

    It’s unanimous that the team is better when you’re out there. How come you aren’t as encouraged?

    Because I can do a lot more. I’m real disappointed with the way I’ve been playing. Part of it’s obviously the ankle but it’s not an excuse. I don’t want to go out on an NBA floor and use the ankle as an excuse for my performance. At the same time, I’m not just sitting out the next couple of games just because my numbers are bad. I’m not a numbers guy. I don’t care about numbers. We’re 3-2, that’s the main thing. But I don’t think I’m helping the team being out there as much as I can because I’m somewhat limited. I’d rather come back where I can really help the team much more than I am right now and then see how we go. And then Hopefully when I come back I’m not stuck at (20) minutes a game again. Maybe they can lift that off me or we can kind of adjust that a little bit with another 10 days rest. What a lot of people forget is I had two full practices before the first game, so I probably rushed into it a little bit. That’s why minutes were limited, so we’ve got to reevaluate things.

    Do you initiate this?

    Every thing’s been open dialogue. No one told me I should start. I made the decision by myself with the help of GM, coach and trainers. Same situation now. We’ve been in dialogue with coach Jackson, GM, my agent, with the doc, with our trainers, collectively we thought let us settle down for 7 to 10 days, get back in the weight room, see how we go. I haven’t had a chance to rehab because we’ve been playing games. Playing 20 minutes a game, doing shootarounds and practices. Can’t spend another 2 hours per day trying to get it strong. We thought we’d pass that earlier but obviously we haven’t. I need to get it a lot stronger than it is so I’m confident. Not all physically, but mentally too. I’m confident if there’s a loose ball, I can push off on my left ankle as much as I like, to go for that loose ball, or get that rebound, that blocked shot.

    No travel? NO practice?

    Not so much rest,. More like rigorous rehab, just strengthening the ankle as much as we can. Really lifting up the workload of getting the ankle strong. … Everything will remain the same and hopefully start practicing within a week. Just building it back up and seeing how it responds.

    Are you disappointed or encouraged by your progress?

    I’m obviously disappointed. I want to play basketball. It’s been a long road to get me back on the floor. I’ve tried it out now. I know how it feels on the floor, so now I’m going to be smart with it. I’ve tried to be a little bit of a hero early on and tried to push through some things that I probably shouldn’t have. But at least I know where I’m at now. I know what I need to do to get back into it and hopefully we’ll turn the corner.

    Where is your sanity?

    It’s tough. Very, very tough. Tough time in my life of sport, and even off the floor because it just weighs on my mind a lot. I know a lot of people are expecting me to be what I’m supposed to be. It hasn’t come to that yet. It’s going to take me a while to come to the top of my game so people will say good things about me. It is frustrating. All I can do is take it day-by-day.

    Will you hold out until you are yourself again?

    This isn’t a situation where I’m like, ‘Damn I’m not getting numbers. I’m going to sit out until I do.’ I don’t care (about that). I’d rather win. But I feel like I’m a liability out there right now at certain parts of the game. I just don’t feel like I can get that explosiveness off my ankle that I’d like. I don’t want it to be a situation where I’m taking away from my teammates who are probably playing better than me at the moment. And I’m just playing because they’re trying to get me healthy when we’re trying to win games. That’s the main concern right now.

    So once you can do more on that ankle, you’ll be fine to play?

    If I can get out there, I can get to that rebound like I know I can, quickly, I feel like I’ll be out there again. But if I’m out there and I’m second guessing whether I can push off it or not, kind of limping and making faces like I have been, it’s probably not the right time to be out there.

    How is the swelling and pain?

    It’s day to day. It swells up at times. It’s times where I get swelling … That’s the biggest thing I’ve probably haven’t managed as well because when you have swelling that means something’s wrong. So you’ve got to kind of be very, very careful with that. Obviously when you get swelling, the muscle shuts down and you’re laboring a bit more. Then that can cause more issues in other areas of the body. So there is some swelling issues every now and then, especially flying and do all those things. But that’s to be expected. That’s nothing out of the ordinary. That’s a pretty in-depth surgery that I had so there is going to be some swelling from time to time.

    How difficult is it to balance your competitiveness with being smart?

    Very tough because you never want to be seen as a puss who’s just sitting on the sideline and is hurt all the time. At the same time, like I said, you don’t want to be a hero and try to play through something and do more damage so. It’s a fine line right now but I think I crossed that line a little bit trying to play through it. Now, I’ve just got to be smart with it. However long it takes, it takes. I can’t control that now.

    http://www.ibabuzz.com/warriors/2012/11/08/andrew-bogut-i-feel-like-im-a-liability-out-there/

    • Monte Poole should work for Fox News aka BS Mountain the way he carries Lacob’s water. He will get booed the next Warriors ceremony, if there is one.

  27. The Warriors on the way to becoming the NBA’s version of “America’s Team”?

    “Fanatics.com, an online retailer of officially licensed sports merchandise, says the Spurs enjoyed the second highest increase among all NBA teams in sales of shirts, caps and other assorted franchise gear during the first week of the 2012-2013 regular season, compared to the final week of pre-season play.

    Sales of Spurs merchandise increased 91 percent over that period.

    The only team that enjoyed a larger jump in merchandise sales was the Golden State Warriors, with a 123 percent increase.”

    http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/blog/2012/11/spurs-see-huge-surge-in-fan-interest.html

  28. “Last night, Pau Gasol, the same 7-foot Spaniard who was the best big man in two straight NBA Finals, scored five points on nine shots and one trip to the free throw line and grabbed seven rebounds in 36 minutes of court time. This was unacceptable if the Lakers are to succeed, because after Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Gasol (and Nash, who is hurt but looks bad anyways), the rest of the team is truly terrible. It is a wild leap of fantasy to imagine that any Laker bench player could start on any team expected to make the playoffs. So if the third best player on the team is a no-show, there’s very little chance that the Lakers will win.”

    http://hoopspeak.com/2012/11/pau-gasols-rough-night/

  29. Dinner with Bob Myers (Warriorsworld)

    When eating a meal with another person or group of people, it puts everyone in a very vulnerable state. Your mouth is open for a lot of the time as you jam different food and drinks in there, you’re wondering if you’re talking too much or too little and you’re hoping that you don’t knock over something on the table causing some sort of mass spillage. So when the Warriors invited me to a sit-down dinner with general manager Bob Myers on Wednesday night, I made sure to study my mom’s dinner etiquette book tediously to make sure I would be presentable.

    Let me first say that this wasn’t a formal interview of any kind so you won’t find any quotes from him here. The point of the dinner was for myself and the two other bloggers who were invited (Bay Area Sports Guy and Rich Twu from GSOM) to get to know Myers and for him to get to know us. There were no recorders, no agendas – just a chance for us to sit down with one of the key cogs that makes the Golden State Warriors go.

    After stocking my plate with some items from the buffet and sitting down at the table, the conversation started. I took away three things from the conversation with the Warriors’ GM:

    1) He’s realistic. With the offseason the Warriors had, it could be easy for Myers to walk with his head held high and have almost an arrogance about him. While he remains fairly confident about the roster that has been put together, he hasn’t gone overboard with that confidence. He realizes everything that the fans do. He knows the good and the bad of this team. He knows that despite the improvements there is still plenty of room to get better in order to be considered an elite team. There is a lot of cautious optimism from the fans about these Warriors and Bob Myers shares that sentiment.

    2) He knows what he’s doing. It’s easy for most of us to sit there and judge move X and trade Y from the comfort of our living rooms but it takes a different mind to be able to have the guts to actually make these moves and trades and do them well. Bob knows the business side of the game very well from his brief time as general manager of the Warriors as well as his 14-year stint as an agent with the Wasserman Media Group. The trade for Jarrett Jack and signing of Carl Landry (Myers’ first two major acquisitions for the Warriors aside from the draft) are two examples that he’s making positive strides and helping steer this team in a positive direction.

    3) He’s candid. Myers easily could have given us stock answers during the dinner knowing our job title involved the word “blogger” in it, but he didn’t. He answered every single question we asked with as much detail as possible and didn’t shy away from any topic of conversation. He allowed us to learn more about his thought process and plans in shaping the Warriors which up until last night, I wasn’t completely sure about.

    Now you might think that just because I was provided a free meal that it swayed my opinion of him to be more positive but it really didn’t (although the Jamaican jerk chicken that was served was absolutely amazing). The fact that he hasn’t really done anything detrimental to the team and has solely focused on trying to make this team better is where the feeling of positivity stems from. As I stated earlier, in his first offseason, he made significant upgrades to a lineup that desperately needed them. The team he inherited from his predecessors wasn’t quite the ideal one for a first-time GM but he has so far made the most of it.

    There are still a lot of uncertainties surrounding the Warriors but one thing is certain: there is a plan in place. While that probably isn’t the most appealing certainty for fans right now, we all know that when fixing something that has been severely, severely damaged, it takes a while to fix.

    With that being said, Myers and the Warriors’ front-office have their tools out and look ready to take on the challenge.

    http://www.warriorsworld.net/2012/11/08/dinner-with-bob/

    • Amazing. Hiring Ric Bucher, then this. If Lacob were as skilled at building a team as he is at buying out his media critics, the Warriors would be in great shape.

      • Felt, and to think these poor saps actually thought they were having din-din with the Warriors GM. LOL

        • bloodsweatndonuts

          Who would you rather have dinner with? The CEO or Dos Equis or the Most Interesting Man in the World?

  30. Ann Killion: Warriors saga continues

    http://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Warriors-saga-continues-4022136.php

    Ann talks about the Warriors and their bad luck past, which certainly was again brought to mind by BRush’s injury, but I can’t stop feeling that things are starting to change, and for the better, even after soaking in this latest development with Bogut.

    I can’t help but think of how KThompson was still available at #11 when the Warriors drafted. If there was a 2011 draft do-over tomorrow the Warriors wouldn’t be able to even sniff Klay with their pick.

    Or how they won that coin flip with Toronto and then had the ping pong balls bounce in their favor, all ensuring their #7 pick in the 2012 draft wouldn’t be lost to Utah.

    Or how HBarnes (who I believe is going to turn into a really good player) was still there when the Warriors used that pick.

    Or how FEzeli was still hangin’ around when the Dubs picked 30th.

    And even Bogut, who at 50% of his full capabilities is still the best center the Warriors have suited up in who-knows-how-many decades, and IMO, even potentially having to eventually cope with a bum wheel for the duration, will still make the Ellis trade a good one for GSW in the long run (considering that trade also netted them Barnes and Ezeli).

    No, I kinda like the “vibes” emanating from GSW headquarters in recent times. I thought the Giants were “cursed” for sure when they blew that 5-0 7th inning lead only 9 outs away from their first SF World Championship back in 2002. Heck, what else could explain going over 40 years without winning a title, a period that eventually would exceed 50 years.

    But then? Curse? Those “vibes” are telling me the Warriors have a decent chance of being next-in-line when it comes to sports exorcisms.

    • Just curious, what is the Warriors record since the Monta trade? Other than Charlotte, is it the worse in the NBA? All this is the fault of Monta Ellis? If one listens to Bob Fitzgerald, the Warriors should be in the NBA Finals this year. Time will tell.

  31. I’ve added a link in my blogroll section to Off the Dribble, the pro basketball blog on the NY Times. One of the best NBA blogs out there imo.

    http://offthedribble.blogs.nytimes.com/

    Check out the recent piece on the TWolves, which follows up on my reasons why I think they’ll snag the 8th seed, despite not having Love and Rubio for the first part of the season.

    And if you check the older pieces, you’ll find one on this year’s Warriors which is extraordinarily insightful.

  32. Rather then place his hand in front and above is face when shooting, Barnes appears to place his hand above his head and then shoots. His shot is different than Keith Wilkes. His shot seems flawed and needs to be changed in order for him to increase his shooting percentage. Some of his shots are way off the mark. What do you think?

    It seems that Bogut’s ankle is not going to heal by itself no matter how much time he rests it, and raises the question whether further surgery can fix his ankle. So sad.

  33. Couple of posts from “Fast Break”:

    (“Chris L” posted for the first time ever here back in October and is now moderating AL’s blog while Mr. Lauridsen is on his honeymoon. Gee, I wonder where Chris got the idea that Bogut could have the big O?)

    Chris L says:
    November 8th, 2012 at 1:26 pm
    47..
    Yeah, I watched Bogut limping down the players’ corridor after the game last night — and certainly wasn’t encouraged. It’s easy to forget the authority with which Bogut likes to tomahawk finishes at the basket, for instance. But he’s been backing away from every such opportunity so far this year. Like he says, he can’t trust his ankle for such planting and explosiveness. So sitting out for another stretch is definitely the right thing. My fear, though, is that this could be a sign of something like osteoarthritis. But whatever it is, sitting out and strengthening it is definitely the way to go. Hopefully, the influence Bogut’s already had on the team will continue in terms of the style of playing they keep building towards.

    Our Team says:
    November 8th, 2012 at 1:41 pm
    50..
    Chris, I agree that Bogut’s ankle was not yet strong enough to play, so he shouldn’t play. Playing now not only endangers the ankle, but by favoring the ankle, he could damage a knee or something else. However, we don’t have nearly enough info on this to speculate about arthritis. I am not a doctor but I had osteoarthritis in my hip and understand it to be a diminishing of the cartilage that acts as a cushion between bones in a joint. Osteoarthritis can be diagnosed quite easily by viewing an x-ray. It is not rocket science. If Bogut had osteoarthritis, our Doctors would have seen it easily on x-rays before we traded for him, I believe.

    I really think this is a case of breaking up scar tissue and strengthening muscles and ligaments. it just needs more strengthening time. We forget how much strength the ankle needs. Look at Curry. He is carrying much less weight than Bogut and he spent all of last year trying to come back too soon and then re-injuring the ankle bc it wasn’t yet strong enough. Now, Curry’s ankle looks good so far (knock on wood).

    • Hahahaha! I enjoy Adam L’s blog very much – but the posters there pretty much spew venom at Don Nelson at every opportunity – which made me look at Felt’s blog, which I now enjoy just as much!

  34. The only good moves the Warriors have made were signing Landry and trading for Jack, and drafting Ezeli, a good back-up defensive center.

    So, now we may well be left with a center combination of Ezeli and Biedrins. Ouch! On the upside, Jackson will probably continue to play small upfront a good part of the time.

    Thankfully, Thompson has shown the ability to take it to the hoop. If he can improve his shooting 2’s, his offense will be complete.

    The Warriors may still prove to be a decent team even with a limited Andrew Bogut. As they have four good shooters in Curry, Landry, Thompson and D. Lee.

    The Warriors refusal to go out and get another player to fill the loss of B. Rush or strengthen the front court is not reassuring.

    I wonder if Lacob has any insight that he should not have traded for an injured Bogut, and for Jefferson’s bloated two-year contract. It should be noted that Elis is shooting poorly this year. I also wonder if he has any regrets in not amnestying Biedrins.
    Myers surely could have traded Ellis for a decent SG, and a draft choice that would have netted the Warriors with Ezeli.

    I also think that the Warriors could have drafted a player or players much better than Barnes. Time will tell.

    Even if the Warriors play decent ball this year, the Warriors had a chance to dramatically improve the Warriors and failed to do so.

    I just wish we had retained Udoh, moved down in the draft and obtained Harkless and Henson, traded away Ellis for a SG and the right to draft Ezeli. Would have been one terrific team to build on.

    • Frank, if you read m.poole’s recent article about the bogut trade, you’ll see that the front office much prefers dealing with the ups and downs of bogut’s comeback over the melodrama of having ellis on the team as the quasi-star (which they themselves created of course). bogut still might help them win ; with ellis their ceiling was .500 at best (biedrins still the starting center, with udoh and no ezeli). without barnes on the team, an injury to rush would have rather different consequences.

      the addition of ezeli balances the subtraction of udoh, and one happens as the result of the other. and please recall, there’s no means for the team to ‘move down’ in the last draft if it doesn’t possess a lottery pick, and that pick would be UT’s if not for the trade.

  35. It’s hard to believe that 7-10 days will make much difference for Bogut. I like Bogut as a player and a person, and now that we have him, hope the best for him. The issue is whether or not the trade was a good gamble, and the returns so far say no, and no for the near, possibly foreseeable future.

    We’ll see what Lacob is made of. He can either fill in spots now with adequate backups, especially at center or center/forward, so they can be somewhat competitive this year. And they can bring in more good pieces on the order of Landry and Jack to give the team depth and flexibility now and in the future.

    Or he can gut the team again for another “transcendent” deal. And maybe spend more millions on junk to enhance our basketball experience.

    But we’ve got 21 feet of center sitting on the bench now at $21 million—that’s a million bucks a foot.

    • What do you suggest, rgg? Should the Ws go over the salary cap to add a journeyman center? They already have 4 center-types on the team if you count Tyler. Or 5/6 if you count Landry/Lee.

      Should they add another SF? They were “overstocked” there with Rush playing. Thompson has also gotten a lot of minutes there, and it looks like Green is being measured for SF too.

      I don’t think another so-so backup would contribute much, at almost any position. And the team would probably have to go deep into the red to get a real player unless they could bring someone out of retirement. They were just lucky with Landry and Jack.

      I hear Rasheed Wallace is ready to come back. A real-deal post player/spread 4 with industrial strength attitude! I’d love that, but doubt the Ws would consider him. What do you think?

      • I’m looking down the road. The team will need to find a way to build this season into the next rather stand pat. Dump the dead weight and free up roster spots. Start experimenting with D-league, anything. Tyler would save about 800K. See if they can buy out Biedrins and maybe save a few bucks and cap space.

  36. Ellis:

    Ellis, I see, is not off to a good start. I also see he’s planning to opt out of his contract. I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had opted out with us, had he stayed.

    Ellis moved to a team with a backcourt more problematic than the one he left. He has never played on a full, competitive squad, save for the We Believe year, possibly the one he wrecked with his injury. He got pushed into a central role that probably wasn’t good for him or the team. Nor was he ever on a squad that would have moved him into the needed lesser role, where he could adjust and lower his expectations, thus contribute better. (Nelson, after all, fought with him to be the point guard he needs to be.)

    In short, he’s never had a chance to see what he could do and needs to do with a winning team after all these years. I hope he gets a chance somewhere and wish him the best.

    • I don’t understand, rgg.

      Ellis isn’t shooting well, but he’s averaging 5 assists. Brandon Jennings is on a real tear, though, and the Bucks are 2-1.

      • Well, he isn’t shooting well and didn’t shoot well preseason — scoring is his forte — but maybe that’s temporary.

        • if you think ellis would be better as a reserve, the proverbial bench scorer a la nate robinson, he’d have to take a salary reduction from his present 11 m.per annum — would he like that ?

          he’s still attempted the most shots on his team, converting <.33 — is poor shot selection a result of being on the wrong kind of team for him ? on the court with him for substantial minutes, dunleavyjr has scored 6 fewer points this season than ellis, with less than half the shot attempts.

          • moto, unfortunately for any team that employs the services of Monta Ellis, you’ll have to wait and hope that some day he comes to the realization that there’s no “I” in “team”……

            For years, NBA types have speculated that Ellis would make a great Sixth Man on a championship contender, a potent offensive weapon as a combo guard off some stacked team’s bench. He’s heard it too, and has zero interest in it.

            “Say what now?” Ellis said, unsmiling Thursday when the idea was floated again. “I don’t believe that. People are entitled to their own opinion. You put me on a team with a whole bunch of guys, I guarantee you that I’m going to win that starting position. No matter who it is.”

            http://www.bucksketball.com/2012/10/2012-player-capsules-monta-ellis/

          • Steve, Ellis is indeed a scorer – that is his primary role, as established by his coaches. His coach and his teammates put the ball in his hands because they believe he’s the best guy to have it.

            But he’s hardly a no-defense/black hole/Jamal Crawford type. He led the Ws in assists per game last year. Ellis is also a better defender than any wing player the Ws have on the floor right now. AND his overall shooting percentage (.370) is very close to Thompson’s (.384) so far this season, though we can expect both to return to their norm of better efficiency over the course of the season.

            I’ve heard Ellis putdowns for years, and I guess I still don’t get it.

          • Me either. (see @56)

  37. Mike Brown is gone.

    Princeton O is gone.

    “It is unclear whether the organization will make a run at bringing back Phil Jackson, but one candidate prominently being discussed as a long-term possibility: Mike D’Antoni.”

    Hmmmmm.

    From AW:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–lakers-fire-coach-mike-brown–search-for-long-term-replacement-09551809.html

    • Wow! Decisive! This is the way owners should operate for max entertainment value.

      Replace the winningest coach in history with… wait (!) not the well-liked, highly-regarded assistant your star coach recommended (?), not someone your players want (?), not one of the 3-4 best experienced head coaches available? No! Pick a “defensive specialist” who couldn’t make the best player in the game an offensive force! Yeah! That’ll be great!

      Then spend The Most Money in the History of the Game on 5 aging, beat-up stars, and give them no backups! Let the “defensive specialist” coach saddle the team with a complicated, practically uncoachable offense guaranteed to minimize the talents of every star on the team! Yeah!

      Watch as the offense goes nowhere and the defense turns to dust since they can’t spare the time to practice D! Put your championship team in a 4-game hole to start the season (!), THEN replace your coach with a temp (!) and start a new coaching search! Yeah! Start over again in mid-season with a new coach! That’ll be great!

      Ladies ‘n Germs, I give you the LA Lackers, the best entertainment bang for your buck anywhere!

      • Actually, I think D’Antoni would struggle with this unit. They’re more dysfunctional than the batch he had in NY. Owners not much better, either.

        • Agree, rgg. I think D’Antoni would probably take a pass if offered the job. Among other things, he just had hip surgery.

          Besides, D’Antoni’s usual high-speed offensive scheme wouldn’t seem to be a good fit for the lumbering old Lackers.

          • No disrespect guys, but it’s hard for me to imagine any coach taking a pass if offered the Lakers job. You’re certainly correct about all the potential pitfalls, but the upside would just be too tempting, I think, to any coach. Even a call to Maui, though of course it would never be made, would likely get an affirmative response.

            Who the Evil Empire should hire, and will hire, is of course a different question.

          • geraldmcgrew,

            It’s hard for me to imagine any coach taking a pass if offered the Lakers job. Even a call to Maui, though of course it would never be made, would likely get an affirmative response.

            Don Nelson coaching the Lakers? It would take Felty all of about 5 minutes to shut this blog down…and start the new one.

        • Don’t know if you guys noticed, but the Lakers actually pushed the ball last night. More fast break points than the Warriors. A HUGE change from Mike Brown, and probably something the players wanted.

          The Lakers will be a pick and roll team if Nash returns, and there’s none better at that than D’Antoni. Their second unit would also benefit greatly from an increase in tempo. It will be great theater if it happens, with Kobe starring in the role of Melo.

  38. Magic Johnson talks about the firing of Mike Brown and his beloved Lakers

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:8612087

  39. How about Nellie for Lakers? One season, short term fix? Old man certainly wasn’t good enough to coach for Mr. Lacob, but we are talking about Mr. Lacob, the smartest man in the NBA. For the Lakers? Nellie is plenty good enough.

    • Giving Nellie the Lackers for a year would be a wonderful gift to him, far better than a retirement watch.

  40. Recap of Warriors/Lakers: Ugly shooting night = clunker in Smogsville. Lakers win by 24 yet fails to pass the eye test. They still look like crap but nothing Uncle Phil can’t fix, right? Nuggets next for the locals.

    Meanwhile, back to the arena project…….

    http://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Warriors-arena-means-millions-for-S-F-4025451.php

    • 77 points. OMFG. The 3-point shooting was awful, but not significantly worse than the Lackers. The game was lost in the paint: Lee and Landry combined for 6/22, or 27%.

      Coach Jackson seems to freeze in terror whenever his team faces D Howard. That’s two shameful games he’s coached against a Howard team.

      Hey Coach! Howard is beatable! Under Keith Smart, ANDRIS BIEDRINS outplayed him two years ago for a win.

  41. LA = ugh

    Not having a reliable third scorer on the order of D Wright or Rush, one who can score inside and out, hurts. I’m surprised they didn’t run a Curry/Thompson/Jack backcourt to spread the floor and create more options, maybe put Jack on Kobe for extended time just so Thompson isn’t carrying such a heavy load.

    • Get used to the ugly games — the Dubs do not have a Kobe or (a Monta) that can take over a game offensively. They have spot shooters.
      But hey, at least AB is back with a stellar performance.

    • Individually, Lee and Landry are reliable scorers, but only when they have opportunities in the paint. Against the Lackers’ huge front line, they didn’t get those opportunities when playing together. Ezeli, Biedrins and Tyler combined rated an average +/- of -1.3. Lee and Landry both had a +/- of -20.

      Jackson gave away the game by playing his small front line for far too much time. Even if it seemed like a good idea going into the game, WTF was he thinking when it PROVED to be a bad idea? Coach Flow doesn’t “do” stats, but does he even have a feel for the game?

      • A good third scorer, a point forward, especially if he could penetrate like Ellis or Rush, would have spread the floor and given L & L more opportunities and better looks. I don’t think the problem is small ball, but the plan and personnel used.

          • Relying on Curry and Thompson and their shooting for offense is simply a mistake. They will only be successful if they complement other players and have a plan that frees them.

          • Finishing my thought —

            The team has serious structural and personnel problems that need to be solved now. They won’t find salvation by making another plunge for another big.

          • I don’t think “the problem” is smallball either.

            On game day ya run what ya brung, a challenge which Nellie absolutely mastered. For each and every game he used his current roster, whatever it was, to its maximum advantage. That’s called “good coaching.” The opposite, as we saw last night, is called “bad coaching.”

            rgg, you’re talking about structural issues which can take literally years to resolve, aren’t usually the responsibility of the coach, and are subject to the vicissitudes of fate and happenstance despite the best efforts of the best planners.

            I’m talking about coaching. Last night’s game was winnable with the Ws’ current roster. The craftsman misused his tools. The coach fucked up.

          • Coaching was the structural problem I was referring to, and as we saw with the Lakers, it only takes a day. Hiring a veteran coach, who has a sophisticated understanding of the game and a complex, flexible system, who knows how to make use of available talent and find more talent elsewhere, would produce changes quickly. Nelson could scrounge the D-League and work wonders. His last year he got those guys going in weeks.

            This coach wouldn’t reach the final four, but we’re nowhere close to that anyway and aren’t going in that direction. He would, however, produce a competitive team in the meantime that might make a leap with a break in the draft or a good trade or free agent pick up —

            — if the team had any money and tradable pieces. Lacob (I keep saying this) has locked up $30 m in bloated contracts (Jefferson and Biedrins) plus a player who at best will be some time returning to form (Bogut). The team this year was not poised well to handle any kind of bad break, one of which should have been predicted. Outside of Curry/Thompson/Lee, the team has no real tradable pieces (unless they increase the value of Jack and Landry) that might entice. It’s highly unlikely Jefferson or Biedrins will even have expiring contract value next year, given their salaries.

          • “…a complex, flexible system…”
            Let’s just ask for some – any – amount of flexibility, any ability at all to adapt to game conditions. Doesn’t matter how complex the system is.

            “This coach wouldn’t reach the final four.”
            Undeniable Truth.

            “… if the team had any money and tradable pieces…”
            Trades be damned. Run wutcha brung, win with that. We’re working in realtime here.

  42. @49

    White Hat, I like Monta and have never looked at him with a slanted eye until reading that piece that I posted. Ellis is a good player but never has been the kinda player that will pick up and lead a team to higher heights. As a fan, if he’s your team’s best player, you’ll enjoy many-a-night watching him dodge and dart, sometimes in a blur, as he scores and generally creates havoc for the opposing team, only to walk away talking about a good time out instead of a win.

    If he can find a team that’s talented in layers where he’s a piece to a puzzle instead of just a name in someone’s starting lineup his chances to become part of a championship team will increase significantly.

    But that brings me back to that article that quoted Monta about his possible role in the future…….

    For years, NBA types have speculated that Ellis would make a great Sixth Man on a championship contender, a potent offensive weapon as a combo guard off some stacked team’s bench. He’s heard it too, and has zero interest in it.

    “Say what now?” Ellis said, unsmiling Thursday when the idea was floated again. “I don’t believe that. People are entitled to their own opinion. You put me on a team with a whole bunch of guys, I guarantee you that I’m going to win that starting position. No matter who it is.”

    Those quotes tell me that right now he’s more interested in self-promotion and individual numbers than winning.

    If he opts out of his contract after this season as expected I’ll be really interested in seeing what offers he gets from other teams, including whichever team that trades for him between now and the trading deadline. The Bucks aren’t signing him to any new contract at the numbers Monta most definitely will be seeking so I’m sure they’re exploring their trading options as we speak.

    He’s a good kid, and exciting to watch, but his career has thus far seen him “star” for a Warriors team that was doomed to mediocrity with him as the lead man, and now almost an identical situation in Milwaukee. It’s sad to think he’s satisfied with the status quo just to remain a “starter” as opposed to going to a much more talented team where his skills could possibly be better served as a “super sub”.

    At this stage of his career his mindset should be about helping a team win, regardless of whether he’s starting or coming off the bench. Hopefully that’s a clue that Monta will get before long.

    • At the poker table I have been laying 2-1 that the Bucks have a better record than the Warriors this season, and betting even money that they make the playoffs if Monta isn’t traded.

      This is the first season in his career that he’s playing with even a semblance of a complete team around him. Something to think about.

    • Steve, Steve, Steve. sigh.

      • OK, Steve, you deserve a better response than that. Here’s my thinking:

        A good coach with an above-average team is going to have a winning record (Boston, San Antonio). They may or may not win it all, but they’ll always be in the playoffs with a chance.

        An average coach with an above-average team is going to make the playoffs. (Miami)

        A good coach with an average team will almost always make the playoffs (D’Antoni with Phoenix).

        An average coach with an average team (Bucks with Bogut, sans Ellis) will perform to the NBA median, less than .500. That may or may not get them in the playoffs, but they won’t get far in the postseason anyway.

        An average coach with an average team plus Ellis (Milwaukee) is going to win more than the average team. Precisely how Ellis is used doesn’t affect the results as much as team health and coaching.

        Give Ellis a good coach and a good team (San Antonio), and they win it all.

        A poor coach with a good team won’t do better than average. (LA under Brown).

        A poor coach with a very-slightly-above-average team (Golden State) is going to perform below average. They should FIRE THE DAMN COACH ASAP IF THE FRONT OFFICE HAS TWO BRAIN CELLS TO RUB TOGETHER(!!!!!), but they probably won’t. After all, that’s how they got into that situation in the first place.

        But I digress.

        Ellis is a fine player. He’s not magical, he’s not tall, he’s quick but not the quickest, he’s a good shooter but not the best, he’s a terrific defender when motivated but not highly motivated when the rest of the team’s defense is a sick joke.

        The best guard in the league? No. Above average? Without a doubt.

        Ellis can help a team win but not make a team win. Like everyone else on any team anywhere.

        • White Hat, bravo! I guess. LOL

          Just in case there was anyone else who somehow missed my point I’ll restate it with this hypothetical situation:

          San Antonio, OKC and Sactown all offer the-now-free-agent Monta Ellis the same money and years but SA and OKC tell Ellis he’ll be used in a 6th-man role off the bench while SAC’s deal has him starting with his name in lights on the marquee outside the arena. Where oh where does Monta go?

          “It’s sad to think he’s satisfied with the status quo just to remain a “starter” as opposed to going to a much more talented team where his skills could possibly be better served as a “super sub”.

          At this stage of his career his mindset should be about helping a team win, regardless of whether he’s starting or coming off the bench. Hopefully that’s a clue that Monta will get before long.”

          • I don’t believe any human being can be truly “known” through sound bytes. What people say with a mic in their face is not what they say relaxing in their living room.

            Given the opportunity to win vs the opportunity to star? My guess would be that Monta opts to win. If he only wanted to showboat, he’d have seized the opportunity to act like the “face of the franchise” when he was the best player on the Warriors.

            And if he’s only in it for the money, well, winners earn more than losers.

          • Trying to understand why it would be bad for Monta to make the same decision James Harden did.

            I don’t know these guys, and I don’t want to. For me the ultimate arbiter of an NBA player’s worth is how they play the game. That’s why Stephen Jackson is one of my all-time favorite players.

            I think Monta Ellis is a heck of a basketball player, in search of a good team. And he just may have found one, this season. Too bad he’s going to be moved.

          • Felt, did Harden do what he REALLY wanted to do?

            HOUSTON – Even with the rapid embrace of life as the franchise player for the Houston Rockets, something still troubles All-Star guard James Harden about the way his departure unfolded with the Oklahoma City Thunder: Why didn’t officials give him longer than an hour to consider a final four-year, $54 million offer before trading him?

            “After everything we established – everything we had done – you give me an hour?” Harden told Yahoo! Sports on Monday afternoon. “This was one of the biggest decisions of my life. I wanted to go home and pray about it. It hurt me. It hurt.”

            Asked if additional time might have caused him to accept a deal several million dollars short of the $60 million maximum contract Harden had long sought, he responded: “Who knows? Another day, who knows what another day would’ve done?”

            http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–james-harden-disappointed-thunder-didn-t-give-him-more-time-to-consider-offer-06561809.html

  43. Forgot to mention another I bet I made yesterday: That Joe Lacob doesn’t seize the mike at Nellie’s “Hall of Fame Night” on Wednesday.

    This is one bet I’d be happy to lose.

    • Really? You can bet on stuff like that?

      I’d love to see Lacob try to wrestle the mike away from Nellie! A cage match! Bring out the folding chairs/weapons! Can we get some barbed wire and broken glass in here please?!?!

    • You would be amazed at the kind of prop bets that get made at poker tables. I could tell a hundred great stories.

    • So what are the odds that Lacob will announce Nelson as interim coach Wed.?

      Just asking.

  44. Is Mikael Pietrus looking for a team? Dubs could likely get him cheap. And have an extra defender as well as someone who attacks the basket, no?

    • Nice. Besides all his other fine qualities, Pietrus is a marvelously filthy player. One of my favorite scenes in the playoffs was him drag LB James down to the floor to collect a foul. WH gives Pietrus three thumbs up!

  45. Brytex...Back on the Ledge

    Jeez…

  46. When we talk about coaching problems, I wonder exactly what that means. Malone obviously plays a heavy role as well. I also wonder how they work together—by committee, as the FO says it does (unlikely, but still a bad idea)?—and how much input they have upstairs.

    Buss, at least, got one thing right. He wants a veteran coach. (And I think I read Kupchak preferred Adelman over Brown, back when?)

    Selecting an interim veteran coach , at the very least, would have had immediate payoffs plus produced benefits we’d be seeing now. Instead Lacob hired a coach in whom had no interest—Smart—then only considered the veterans Sloan and Brown, both out of reach (and not what the team needed), and when he couldn’t get them, hired a rookie with no experience. We’re left wondering what he will do next. That’s at least three seasons in limbo, once this one is done, plus questions for the next.

  47. An uncharitable thought just occurred to me: Is it possible that Lacob scheduled this Nellie event thinking he would receive the cheers of a grateful crowd after 2 weeks of Bogut?

    • Certainly a possibility. But if the crowd looks ugly his spokesmodel Myers/Vanna can step in at a moment’s notice.

    • One of the things that’s unsettling about working with most VCs is their perfect confidence that others will behave politely, when they feel no need to do so themselves.

      Nelson will never work again, he doesn’t need to be polite, and he’s a “truth to power” kinda guy with a great sense of humor. He also owes Lacob a slap upside the head. So it’s a little surprising to me that Lacob would want to give him a public forum and hand him a mic – and a chance to get even. I don’t really expect punches or flying chairs, but I do hold out hopes for a noogie.

      • Felt, yeah, I’m sure the crowd will be in a nasty frame of mind what with Bogut out for the next week or two. LOL

        White Hat, and why exactly does Nelson owe Lacob “a slap upside the head”? Didn’t he put Nellie’s $6 million check in a fancy enough envelope? LOL

        I’m sure if Nelson says anything about current ownership when given a mic he’ll repeat pretty much what he’s ever said about Lacob and Co. when given the chance. In case your memory has failed just watch the first minute of the following:

        • why exactly does Nelson owe Lacob “a slap upside the head”?

          Lacob fired him out of hand, ultimately replacing him with an insult to the coaching profession.

          Now that Nelson has been safely politic for awhile, he’s been invited to help Lacob line his pockets, putting a few more butts in seats for one night. He will never have another chance to lay on that noogie.

          Here’s hoping.

    • Thinking back, I can’t remember Nellie ever being anything but respectful to former players, owners and colleagues. He was even moderate in print regarding Mark Cuban and the Knicks situation. So there’s no way he’ll bite the hand that’s honoring him. Zero chance.

      As for whether Nellie “owes Lacob a noogie”, I think I’m actually in Steve’s camp on that (alert the press, note time and place!). Lacob was well within his rights to hire his own coach and install his own system. His comments regarding the “right man to coach this team” and “the sins of the past” indicated that he was an amateur idiot, but probably slid right off Nelson’s back. He dealt with countless amateur idiots in his career.

      • A boy can dream.

        You’re right, of course. Nelson has always been very professional.

        Hmm. I wonder if Nelson would enjoy working with The Logo in the Warriors brain trust.

  48. Just heard Jackson’s Denver postgame, trashing his players again, as usual. “We got outworked blahblah it’s not my fault blahblah.”

    Argh. When will the front office put this guy out of my misery?

  49. Here’s the gruesome proof that this game actually did take place. I’d be especially worried if I’m a Denver fan cause they looked as “good” as the Warriors. LOL For fans of GSW just a reminder there’s still 75 games left to be played in the regular season. I’d wait at least another couple of weeks before giving serious consideration to jumping. :)

    • the woeyrs won ugly in the first road game vs. Phx with a healthy rush playing well. teams relish road wins anytime they can. Den too tough at four match ups — the back up point guard, the all star wing, faried vs. lee or landry, and karl vs. jackson.

      • Agree. Denver’s a good team, slowly coming together under a good coach.

        Jackson was wrong in his post-game comments. The Ws didn’t lose for lack of effort, it was a very hard-fought contest. A couple more missed or made shots by either team and the game could have gone either way. Jackson owes his players an apology for his comments. They did not deserve a public scolding.

  50. Are we going to hear from Feltbot today?

    • Just finished watching the game — for reasons too long to explain — right up until Gallinari’s corner three put the Nuggets up 2 in 2nd OT. And then, of course, my scheduled recording ran out of time.

      I still need to hunt down the tape of the end, and read the post-mortems. Might have something up tonight or tomorrow.

  51. It’s going to be hard to have anything intelligent to say about the team until they give us something intelligent to look at.

    I don’t want to dwell on Thompson’s obvious mistakes at the end. I am curious, however, why the coaches thought they had to play him 54 minutes to win and would like to know what they told him—he must have been exhausted—in critical timeouts. The game shouldn’t have been close anyway—Denver didn’t play well. I also wonder if they’ve decided the only way the team can have any shot the rest of the season is to rely heavily on a sophomore. It’s a set up.

    I don’t want to dwell on the coaches, either. They’re in an impossible situation, much like Smart’s. Jackson had to coach the tank team last year and will have to prove himself soon with a hobbled squad or be sent packing. He’ll second guess himself all the way and have to make roster decisions that might not be good for the team in the long run.

    But if Lacob was serious about Jackson, why not let him prove himself as an assistant, get experience, and work his way up? Then again, under an ideal environment, what is the upside to Jackson? How much better can he get? The returns so far aren’t promising at all.

    If we have another dreary season, I’d hate for the conclusion to be that the team had bad breaks with injuries and it’s decided to give Jackson another chance. Bogut should have been predicted, but I’m not convinced that he would have made that much difference, or that he would have made that much difference last night. Someone run a plus/minus on his stats so far and compare them with Ezeli and Biedrins’ performance last night. (Rush concerns me more, and not just because his injury couldn’t have been anticipated. But his loss presents an immediate need to find a replacement.)

    Denver’s somewhat sluggish start is surprising since it’s essentially the same squad that took the Lakers to seven games in the playoffs last year, in fact should be better. But Denver will get better, and if their results are mediocre, they will get better next year. They have a deep, flexible bench and an experienced, intelligent coach to whom the team is committed, who will be able to weather any storm if it comes.

    The Warriors won’t get better until they do they same. I predict muck, however, Lacob muck.

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