Rookies: Nuggets 107 Warriors 101

“Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.” — Walsh

Warriors fans have just suffered one of the most brutal weeks in history — and that’s saying something for this woebegone franchise. First we lost Brandon Rush for the season, then we got the bad news on Bogut, and then we watched the last two games.

Where the Warriors got stomped on like ants by the Lakers, and completely gave away a win against a far better Nuggets team.

Crushing.               

I can only hope that the Warriors’ situation didn’t come as a complete shock to followers of this blog. As you know, I have been trying to prepare my readers for the reality of this Warriors season — at a painful cost, in both derision and lost followers. But even I wasn’t prepared for the possibility of a season without Brandon Rush.

The painful reality of this season is that the Warriors are going to be going to war with rookies. Klay Thompson, who is essentially still a rookie, having not yet played his 80th game. Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli, Draymond Green. Possibly Kent Bazemore. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2013 Golden State Warriors.

And the painful reality of going to war with rookies is that you’re going to blow games. Just like this Nuggets game was blown. There is a reason that NBA coaches hate playing rookies. Rookies, even the good ones, simply do not know how to play. They have to learn how to play, though a long process of teaching, of practice, and of experience. Particularly the experience of blowing games.

I have been mystified from the beginning at the expectations the Warriors have created around Klay Thompson. That he would somehow be able to immediately step into Monta Ellis’ shoes at shooting guard.

And I was beyond mystified when the Warriors inserted another rookie, Harrison Barnes, into the starting lineup alongside Thompson, and yet still expected to contend for the playoffs this season. With or without Bogut, that expectation seemed absurdly unrealistic to me.

Like all NBA rookies, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes are on a long learning curve. It takes even the great ones several years to learn how to win. Until that time, you’re going to eat some ugly losses.

My current feeling is that for the Warriors to have a winning season, two miracles have to occur. The first is that in 10 days time, the 2009-10 Andrew Bogut takes the floor for the Warriors, never to disappear again.

The second is that Joe Lacob cracks open his wallet and, using the injury exception, picks up a veteran player to replace Brandon Rush in the Warriors lineup.

I’m not sure which is more unlikely.

ROOKIES

Klay Thompson: First of all, let’s get clear on what it is he did wrong in this game. I think there’s quite a bit of confusion on this score.

Let’s start with the two blown free throws. It looked like he hurried them to me, but whatever, clearly he choked them. The second one wasn’t even close. Is there something wrong with this? No, it’s just something that rookies do. Anyone remember how Kobe shot in that closeout game against Utah his rookie season? At least Klay drew iron.

Then there’s that failure to take the foul to give against Gallinari. Assuming that the Warriors went over this in the huddle (which for some reason has been cast into doubt by Steinmetz), this was a huge mistake on Klay’s part. If it’s true that he was too dejected to pay attention to the game situation, then that’s obviously something he needs to correct. Great shooters have no conscience, and no memory.

What about that “quick” corner three he took at 1:33 of the 2nd OT, with the Warriors up 4 and 15 seconds left on the shot clock? Mistake? Matt Steinmetz certainly hammered him for that. Me, I don’t think it was a mistake at all. That was a wide open shot, and there’s too much time left in the game to worry about running the clock down. Do you think the Warriors would be better off taking a contested shot at say 1:20? Doesn’t make any sense to me.

What about the idea that Klay took too many threes in this game, which many are arguing? (He shot 9-26 from the field, and 5-15 from three.) I don’t buy that either. Look, Klay Thompson was facing the second best wing defender in the league, as well as a clogged lane containing a dominant shot-blocker. He was simply taking what was open, and he’s a great three point shooter who’s going to get very hot one of these days.

If you’re a quant who doesn’t understand what I just said, just do the math. Thompson was 4-11 from two, 5-15 from three. Which was more productive for the Warriors?

I’m not at all concerned that Klay Thompson blew this game at the end. That’s simply what rookies do. (And I have zero expectations that the Warriors are going to contend for the playoffs this season.)

What concerned me about Klay Thompson in this game are the questions it raised about the kind of player he can become in the future. In the 4th Q and both overtimes he was played exclusively at small forward. Yet in 55 minutes of play he totaled 5 rebounds, in a game in which it was raining bricks. Iguodala had 12, in 48 minutes.

And do you remember that killer three Iguodala drained in the 2nd OT to pull the Nuggets within one? Thompson was sagging off, and was a step slow closing out. Was that a mistake? Or will he always be a step slow on defense?

The Harrison Barnes Brand: I get the Warriors’ fans infatuation with the new rookie. It’s fun to watch rookies, and to hope every single improvement and new move is a sign of future greatness.

And Harrison Barnes has certainly had his moments. He posted up a shorty in the Lakers game. He looks great in the open court, outrunning the speedy Ty Law. He made a great drive last night, around Gallinari and through McGee. He hits his open threes. He played a little point forward at 5:25 3rd Q, setting up Curry and then Thompson for threes off a high pick.

What I’m looking for from Barnes, beyond these moments, are signs that he can become a complete basketball player. A player who contributes through his IQ, his defense, his willingness to perform dirty work, his ability to make plays off the dribble, set up his teammates, create offense from a variety of places on the floor. And I have to say, I have yet to see much of these qualities in Barnes.

Clearly he’s a long way from being an NBA defender. Don’t be fooled by Gallinari’s self-induced shooting woes: Barnes has been eaten alive in the early going, by virtually everyone he’s faced.

He’s also quite limited in the half court. The Warriors iso’d him three straight times against Gallinari in the third Q. The first resulted in that great scoring drive. But the second two, with Gallo and the Nuggets now attentive, weren’t so hot, resulting in a turnover and a near turnover. As I’ve mentioned before, when Barnes has his dribble contested, things get complicated.

The fact of the matter is that Barnes is not ready to be an NBA starter. He is a long way from actually helping the Warriors while on the court. This is not just my opinion but also Mark Jackson’s, which was evidenced by the fact that Barnes didn’t play a single minute after the third Q, in a game in which Klay Thompson logged 55 minutes.

Draymond Green: Has apparently earned himself an important role as a defender off the bench in the closing seconds. He showed why in the Nuggets game: with Green in the game, the Warriors are able to switch every screen.

Did you see him pick up Andre Miller on a switch at the end of the 4th Q? He defended him beautifully, and forced a turnover that could have ended the game. Green is a far more versatile defender than I imagined. Perhaps he can play a bit at small forward after all.

This question begs to be asked: Why didn’t Mark Jackson call on his other rookie on this defensive possession? After all, isn’t Harrison Barnes better equipped to play defense than Green? Isn’t Barnes taller, more athletic, and quicker?

Apparently defense is not part of his brand.

Green has struggled so far in the offense, but in the Laker game, I did notice a set in the high post, which he finished with a beautiful feed to Lee. I’d like to see more of that. If Green starts hitting shots, could another small forward controversy break out?

Nah, there’s a rookie of the year contest to think about. You don’t seriously think the Warriors can sell tickets the old fashioned way, do you?

Festus Ezeli: I jotted down this amusing conversation in the 3rd Q:

Barnett: “The Warriors have no low post scoring!”

[Ezeli airballs a lefty jump hook in the low post.]

Fitz (stunned): “Ezeli just tried to go against Javale McGee…”

Look, Ezeli’s not a low post player yet. Didn’t Mark Jackson already go through this with Biedrins? Ezeli’s strengths are his quickness, agility, smarts, hands and finishing ability. Why not go to those strengths? Why not try to get him the ball on the move?

You know, like pick and roll, flashes across the lane, or mid-post face-up isos designed to create a drive? All that good stuff that Beans used to excel at under Don Nelson. (Anyone still have those tapes? Jackson should hit up George Karl or Greg Popovich for copies. I’ll bet they’ve got them stored somewhere.)

And one other thing: Someone needs to tell Ezeli that free throws should never be missed long. Never. Ever.

If you’re going to miss them, miss them short. They’ve still got a good chance if you hit the front rim.

That’s from page 343 of the Book of Feltbot, Fitz.

VETERANS

David Lee: The most recent meme of the Warriors media, inspired by the Lakers game, is that Lee “struggles against length.” David Lee has a problem against length. Always struggles against Pau Gasol and the Lakers.

This meme continued during and after the Nuggets game, with Warriors writers noting that Lee got his shot blocked 5 times.

Guess what? The Warriors media is dead wrong about this.

First of all, I guess they forgot this game, in which Lee put up 22 and 17, with 5 assists and 4 steals, going against Gasol and Bynum, in a Warriors win. It’s worth checking out my writeup of that game, in the event that you, like Steinmetz and Marcus Thompson, don’t remember how Lee did it.

Hint: He didn’t do it running the system that Mark Jackson is running now.

And do me another favor if you’re interested in this point: Check out a little tape from the Nuggets game. Just two plays, the first at 9:30 1Q, and the second at 3:22 2nd Q. In both plays, a Curry–Lee pick and roll worked to perfection, with Lee beating Faried badly, and busting down the lane towards the hoop. Only to get capped in the end by Kosta Koufos.

Why did David Lee get these shots blocked? Was it his fault? No. He got them blocked because Festus Ezeli and Andris Biedrins don’t need to be guarded. Koufos completely ignored them and cheated across the lane to bar Lee’s path.

Here’s a question for you: Do you know how many times Lee gets his shot blocked when he’s playing center with a spread four parked in the corner? If you guessed zero, you win a prize. ZERO.

How does a player like David Lee beat length? He does it with speed. He goes around length. In the pick and roll.

And he runs length off the floor, the way We Believe ran Erik Dampier off the floor.

Did 6-9″ 230 lb. Dave Cowens have a problem with the length of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? Well, of course he did. But Cowens ran Jabbar off the court in the 1974 finals, didn’t he?

THAT’S how David Lee beats length.

THAT’S why Don Nelson said, “David Lee is a very good power forward, but an all-star center.”

Would Dave Cowens have won a title in 1974 with Joe Lacob as his GM and Mark Jackson as his coach? No. He would have been playing power forward alongside a non-shooting center, and getting his shot blocked. Getting murdered, trying to match up conventionally in the half court against the best center in the universe.

Please take a moment and try to envision what David Lee would have been for the Warriors in the hands of Don Nelson. Or in the hands of any of Don Nelson’s many acolytes in the league: George Karl, Greg Popovich, Eric Spoelstra(!), Scott Skiles, Alvin Gentry, Mike D’Antoni:

Pick and roll. Point center in the high post. Pulling the big man out of the lane. Going around the big man with passing and with speed. Never getting his shot blocked. Ever.

Keying the fast break, running the big man off the court.

The Warriors media absolutely delights in telling us what David Lee isn’t. It’s a pity they don’t know enough about basketball to tell us what he IS.

David Lee IS an all-star. Playing out of position, in the wrong system, for the wrong GM and the wrong coach.

Joe Lacob has wasted David Lee’s prime.

Carl Landry: Have you noticed that I have been far less effusive about Carl Landry than the rest of the Warriors media and fans? The man has been absolutely balling for the Warriors, playing his heart out, defending well, and putting up big numbers.

So why aren’t I as delirious about him as most Warriors fans?

Well, ask yourself this question: Why was Carl Landry available to the Warriors at such a cheap price? Why is that Landry has never earned the big bucks, never stuck with a team, is in fact on his 4th NBA team in 7 years?

It’s chiefly because he’s a difficult fit. He’s a low-post power forward who occupies the same spaces on the floor as your center. So unless you have a guy like Mehmet Okur at center, your team’s offensive spacing is going to suffer by playing Landry. Do you think the Warriors are shooting too many threes, and not getting enough layups? That is a direct result of not being able to space the floor.

The Warriors have attempted to ease the congestion in the lane by letting Landry fire from 20 feet. And he’s been remarkably productive from there early in the season. But that is pure fool’s gold. That 20 foot shot is the worst shot in basketball, and if you’re forced to live by it you’re in big trouble. And in fact, Landry shot his jumpers at 35% for the last two seasons, and in his last two games may have started to regress to that mean.

Landry’s also undersized. When you combine that with his inability to effectively spread the floor, your team becomes extremely vulnerable to teams with superior size. Which was demonstrated emphatically in the Lakers game.

Did you happen to notice that David Lee didn’t make a single bucket in either overtime last night? It’s because he never got a shot! The Warriors continually went to Landry, and left Lee standing on the wings. Why did that happen?

It’s because the Warriors cannot run pick and roll with Lee while Landry is on the floor. No spacing. No mismatch. It was Landry who was being guarded by Javale McGee, while Lee was being guarded by the far more mobile Faried and Gallinari.

Yes, Landry is putting up numbers. Yes, it looks nice in the boxscore. But his offense is cannibalizing Stephen Curry’s and David Lee’s offense, instead of complementing and augmenting it.

Cannibalize is a harsh word. It’s not at all Landry’s fault. I admire the way he has worked hard to maximize his gifts, and I admire the tough, hardnosed way he plays. But the fact of the matter is, he’s a difficult fit for the Warriors and for all NBA teams in general. To be brutally honest, despite his many positive attributes Carl Landry just might not be a winning player.

I believe — and have repeatedly stated ever since Joe Lacob took control of the Warriors — that the Warriors core of Curry and Lee desperately needs a spread four to play with. A Ryan Anderson, who was a great pick up for New Orleans. An Anthony Tolliver, who the Hawks seized for peanuts. A Steve Novak, re-signed to the Knicks for 4 years, $15m. A Boris Diaw, whom Pop acquired for nothing.

In Joe Lacob’s mind, David Lee is the Warriors’ spread four. That is a crucial misunderstanding that has doomed the Warriors to perpetual mediocrity.

Systems matter.

Stephen Curry: Matt Steinmetz, who’s on a lifelong crusade to prove that Stephen Curry is not a point guard, tweeted Curry’s assist/TO ratio during the game. It’s currently around 5 to 3.

I know this is a difficult concept for Steinmetz and the quants and statphreaks infesting the NBA to comprehend, but systems matter.

Stephen Curry averaged 8 assists against 4 TO’s in the second half of his rookie season under Don Nelson, pushing the ball and running pick and roll with a D-League center and a D-league power forward.

His assists have gone down in every single one of his first four seasons. Why? Because since Lacob took over the Warriors, the team has started walking the ball up the court, completely ignored the pick and roll, and frequently moved Curry off the ball.

Do you think Curry would be averaging 5 assists a game if, say, he were running pick and roll every single play with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan? Every single play with Brook Lopez? With Marcin Gortat? LaMarcus Aldridge? Kevin Garnett? Dwight Howard or Pau Gasol?

How about if he were running pick and roll every play with David Lee at center and a spread four spacing the floor?

Systems matter.

Stephen Curry is one of the best point guards in the league when healthy, and Joe Lacob is well on the way to wasting his prime in addition to David Lee’s.

Andris Biedrins: Made 2 free throws! What a thrill he gave the Oracle.

Cherish the memory. It’s going to be a long season.

After his latest several week layoff, Beans is back to moving fairly well, and giving us glimpses of the extraordinary player he was before the osteitis pubis affliction. These periods of health have in the past lasted about three to four weeks before the inflammation takes hold again. Then we have two to three weeks of Goose eggs across the box score, and then the Warriors sit him down with “groin tightness” or “groin strain” or “sports hernia” or some other propaganda.

And the fans go back to booing.

Even in his “good games”, such as we saw last night, we still see the same fear of taking the ball to the rim, which was his offensive trademark in the old days. It’s not just fear of getting fouled. It’s that he can no longer get over the rim. He can’t finish.

And the slightest bit of contact could re-aggravate his condition.

Richard Jefferson: Left unmentioned in all the kerfluffle over poor Klay Thompson is the fact that RJ left Gallinari completely unguarded for that game-winning corner three. RJ had wandered into no-man’s land under the basket, apparently with an eye towards helping Curry on Andre Miller.

Big mistake.

COACHES

Flash Pastor Jack: In what has become an annual Warriors ritual, the Warriors media are starting to draw their knives for Mark Jackson.

You know what? I actually think Jackson did a pretty decent job these last two games. He’s trying to get the Warriors to push the tempo. He’s encouraging the early three — (Which Marcus Thompson incorrectly went on a rant against in his revamped blog. I will respond directly and at length to this in my next post.) — and living with the results.

What else? The Warriors have gone back to setting high picks, not only for Curry, but also Thompson. Great move, that.

The small ball in the 4th quarter is absolutely necessary — it’s the Warriors best lineup, even if Landry isn’t as good as a spread four would be. Just compare Lee’s and Landry’s +/- to the rest of the Warriors’ if you don’t believe that.

In the fourth quarter of the Nuggets game, Jackson did a great job of attacking mismatches on the offensive end.

And his crunch time offensive and defensive substitutions were brilliant.

Jackson wasn’t the problem in the last two games. Joe Lacob’s roster is the problem.

Forget it, my friends. It’s rookies.

138 Responses to Rookies: Nuggets 107 Warriors 101

  1. Great to hear your thinking on Warriors basketball again Feltbot. I read a lot of the local Warriors press and I value your outside of the box perspective. I’m not as sold on David Lee as you, primarily because I see him as a defensive liability at both his positions. However, the dim memory of Steph’s rookie season (2nd half) keeps me hoping that we will see that light go on for him once again. Not many still believe in his basketball genius, but I think you have it right, “the system matters”. Nash too would suffer in the systems Steph has played in since Nellie left. My sincere hope is that some light goes on in Jackson that will help liberate the genius within Steph. Sad to see him playing below his gift.

  2. Great stuff.

  3. There are no prototypical spread 4’s on the roster. Harrison Barnes has the height/length and 3-point shot but he is too thin and weak a defender, Richard Jefferson is a little sturdier but he has lost his 3-point shot. Draymond Green intrigues me most at this position but his 3-point shot hasn’t looked good. However, my impression of his shot is that he consistently misses short. My experience is that shot length is easier to correct than left-right inaccuracy. Maybe if he is asked to specialize in the corner 3 as a spread 4 instead of trying to play the 3 he could make this work.

  4. Felt, congratulations on an excellent article. Where most commentators can only criticize the results, your insightful piece identifies some specific issues causing the Ws to perform below their talent level, and lays out an a well-reasoned path forward.

    Kudos!

  5. D’Antoni to the Lakers!

    • Absolutely love this. The Lakers are finally going to become watchable. Prepare yourselves for the sudden, completely mysterious resurrection of Pau Gasol’s career.

      What is extremely painful, of course, is the knowledge that the Warriors could easily have had D’Antoni for themselves.

    • Currently offering Al Horford for Pau in both my fantasy leagues…

    • Also from one of the Yahoo articles:

      “Bryant idolized D’Antoni while growing up in Italy, where D’Antoni was a star player for Olimpia Milano in the Italian pro league.”

      What an about face for Buss. I don’t think any team is going to be able to compete well without a good offensive mind.

      • D’Antoni, Adelman, Sloan – W’s could have had very successful veteran NBA coaches but Lacob’s ego (which grabbed the mike a Mully’s retirement party) made him select the “diamond” in the rough, the needle in the haystack – so he can be deemed genius.

        I don’t know how D’Antoni’s hiring will impact D. Howard’s game… He’s the keeper FA… Hope Dwight leaves!!!

  6. I have as much respect for Nellie as anyone. But, Nellie saying that D.Lee is a great center is just plain hogwash.

    As Faried took him to the cleaners last night shooting 8-13 from the field and holding Lee to shooting less than 50%. He had a positive 19 rating.

    Nellie, when with Dallas, got it right trading for Nowinski, he also got it wrong trading Richmond for Billie Owens, and loving the trade for an injured Bogut.

    Yes, the Warriors small line-up is effective offensively, but in my opinion, they still would have been better playing with a frontcourt line-up of Biedrins, D.Lee, Landry at crucial points in the game. Being killed 33-13 on the offensive boards, a result of playing small, is a recipe’ for disaster on most nights. In last night’s game Biedrins outplayed Ezeli.

    I agree with you that the Warriors need a tall PF who can shoot three’s and defend inside.

    The Warriors defense has been much better than last year and has kept them in most games. But the offense has regressed.

    The Warriors main problem offensively is that the team is shooting 42% from the field, with Curry shooting an eff. FG% of 45%, Thompson an adj. FG% of 43%, and D. Lee an adj FG% of 43%. Both Curry and Thompson are also hitting a much lower % shooting three’s as they did last year. The Warriors got to run. Outlet passes should be near mid-court.

    Thompson missed shots are by and large of his shooting his jump flat, especially when he’s shooting two’s. His ball often a line drive that clinks off the back rim. Putting more arc on his shots should correct this. The Warriors can’t run the ball through him as they have tried. As he commits turnovers passing the ball.

    I have always said at this point in his career he’s not a bright player. Last night was just one example.

    Barnes should not be in the starting line-up, and Landry should. THis will allow the Wariors to get off to fast starts and take the lead in the first quarter.

    With Landry on the other side of the court away from D. Lee, and the Warriors playing a true center, D. Lee should be just as effective as he is now, and D. Lee should still be able to run pick and rolls with Lee on the other side of the court, away from Landry.

    D. Green should be strapped to the bench.

    Jenkins should be given some playing time than D. Green, and should be play in his stead, and that of Jack at times, as can get to the foul line and provide the Warriors with more assists.

  7. Felt, I’m sorry that you think Mark Jackson should get a pass the past two games. He was thoroughly out-coached by the Laker’s bench. He never adjusted his line-up to give the Warriors a chance in this game. It almost always seems like Jackson is re-acting to what the other team throws at him, rather than pro-actively setting the tone, and pace of the game. Maybe this is personnel-related, but you’ve got to start thinking ahead of the situation you’re in, and I’m not sold that Jackson can do this yet.

  8. AW’s piece on D’Antoni is good. There may be intangibles about him worth considering. Then again, it’s impossible to evaluate a coach unless he’s given enough freedom and adequate personnel. NY may not tell us much.

    Quote of the day:

    “When Anthony grumbled to Bryant about D’Antoni’s defensive acumen on a trip to Los Angeles before the coach’s resignation in New York, one witness says Bryant shot back to Anthony – only half-kidding – that, seriously, when the hell have you ever played defense?”

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–lakers-resist-phil-jackson-s-power-grab-11051709.html

  9. “They had told Phil that it was his job (in a Saturday interview), that he was their first choice, and they agreed to wait until Monday — today — to allow him time to digest whether or not he felt he was, in fact, the right coach to come and coach this team,” Rambis told USA TODAY Sports. “And, in fact, his agent (Todd Musburger) flew into town — he’s here from Chicago — to start negotiations. So Phil had made his mind up that he wanted to coach this team. Somewhere between Saturday afternoon, when Phil and I had a conversation, and Sunday night, the Laker organization made a complete 180-degree turn.”

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/lakers/2012/11/12/rambis-says-it-should-be-jackson/1700823/

      • Was Barnes blameless in creating the expectations that put him “on a pedestal” in a “lose-lose” situation at Carolina? Was it ESPN that turned the “Black Falcon” into a brand? That turned it into a logo?

        There’s a lot of stuff out there that indicates otherwise:

        http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/06/30/3354030/harrison-barnes-hopes-his-brand.html

        http://www.theblackfalcon.net/articles/tbf2.html

        And why did Rusty Simmons interview Kirk Lacob for this story? Is he the most qualifed member of the Warriors to tell us that Barnes has to pick it up?

        Here’s a thought: Maybe Kirk Lacob placed this story.

        • And here’s another thought: I just hope he turns out to be a really good player for the Warriors for many seasons to come. The chances he’ll be compared to AFoyle, PO’Bryant or IDiogu when the “final votes are tallied”? Zero, which already makes the pick a winner given my tortured history as a GSW fan.

          Also in that regard I could give a rat’s behind on whatever the expectations were as he played hoops as a teenager. The only really meaningful lines for me (taken from those two articles)?

          “I said a lot of things when I was in college, some of them probably a little prematurely,” Barnes said. “So I think the best thing for me to do right now is just focus on the basketball court, focus on that and everything else will take care of itself.”

          “Ultimately he is 6’8” and has one of the best jump shots of anyone who will be taken in the NBA draft. For all the talk about preoccupation with his brand, he is still a competitor. And for everything we all claim to know about the person and player he is, Barnes will only be twenty years old when he is drafted in June.”

          I’ve said this before about someone’s “brand” in sports, if you suck you have no “brand”, which leads to an obvious conclusion; either Barnes works on his game like crazy in the coming months and years and eventually becomes a “star” in the NBA, in which case his “brand” skyrockets, or he winds up no better than that other Barnes guy (Matt) playing in LA, rendering his “brand” at the bottom of any relevancy scale. If you’re a Warriors fan you’re hoping like hell for that “skyrockets” endgame.

  10. Is that the Milwaukee Bucks I see atop the Eastern conference Central Division?

    Not a fluke.

    • nice road win for Mil vs. Phi. ellis needed 20 shots to score his 18 pts., six turnovers to go with his seven assists. jennings, 21 shots to score 33, one turnover to eight assists. if their success isn’t a fluke, the younger guard has been the difference.

  11. The Bucks have a terrific and deep front court. If they can improve their depth in the back court, the Bucks will be a force to be reckoned with. They have a plethora of front court players to trade. For the most part, unlike the Warriors, they signed decent players at market value.

    Coach Jackson keeps saying the Warriors upgraded their roster this year. Such may be true if Bogut were able to play. Landry, Jack and Ezeli are an upgrade. But such upgrade is reduced by the the loss of D.Wright and Udoh. And since Rush is lost for the season, such loss is a further downgrade in the roster from last year. Barnes has added nothing to the Warriors.

    If the Warriors continue to lose more games then they win, I look for the Warriors to panic, but I doubt Jackson will be let go.

    With Landry currently outplaying D. Lee, I wonder if Lacob will consider moving D. Lee? He tried to move Lee for Howard in the off-season.

    • ++ frank @14

      Warriors only talk about players they obtained, not the three they lost (Ellis, Wright, and Udoh) when measuring their team.

  12. Brytex...Back Inside For Now

    Feltus Blogzeli,

    Ok, your reasonableness talked me back in. It’s not the end of the world…it’s the rookies. Ok. Got it…thank you. Deep breaths…just gotta keep taking deep breaths.

    Who’s next? Atlanta? Okay, that’s do-able. (deep breaths)

    • Tonight would be a good time for one of our media stalwarts to ask Lacob exactly why he fired Nelson. The answer would be revealing.

      It would also be a good time to find a media stalwart.

  13. Thinking about the Lakers, this is what I think we may see from Mike D’Antoni:

    1) Heavy doses of Pau Gasol at center in the second unit. Allowing one of the best pick and roll big men in the league to actually play pick and roll, with Chris Duhon, a former D’Antoni pointguard who once tortured the Warriors in tandem with David Lee. Remember that game?

    2) When Howard and Pau aren’t on the floor together, moving World Peace to the spread four, in the Shawn Marion role. Getting Jodie Meeks in. Bingo, seven seconds or less.

  14. Steinmetz’s Mailbag:

    Do you buy that bit on Lee from coach Mark Jackson – that he’s not hurting the team defensively? I was there Saturday, and he was not good. –David, San Francisco:

    Steinmetz: I actually do buy it. Now, I’m not saying that I buy that David Lee isn’t hurting the team on defense. I’m saying I buy the fact that Mark Jackson believes Lee isn’t hurting the team on defense.

    If there’s one thing I think I’ve figured out with Mark Jackson over the last year-plus, it’s that he does believe the things he says at the time – whether it’s that the Warriors would make the playoffs or that Stephen Curry is an elite defender or that Lee doesn’t hurt the team defensively.

    I have no doubt that Jackson doesn’t really look at Lee’s defense – or anyone’s, for that matter – in a vacuum. I think first and foremost it’s about the team.

    And what Jackson sees is that his team is holding opponents to .417 shooting from the field. Right now, that’s good enough for fifth-best in the NBA. When was the last time the Warriors were doing something like that?

    http://www.csnbayarea.com/basketball-golden-state-warriors/warriors-talk/Mailbag-On-Jackson-going-to-bat-for-Lees?blockID=801705&feedID=2539

    • Anyone besides me noticed that Lee leads the entire Warriors team in plus minus?

      Defense is only part of the picture. Point differential is the whole picture.

  15. In anticipation of tonight’s events:

    • I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him;
      The evil that men do lives after them,
      The good is oft interred with their bones,
      So let it be with Caesar …

      O judgement! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
      And men have lost their reason…. Bear with me;
      My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
      And I must pause till it come back to me.

      (MA: JC/WS)
      Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

    • rgg.

      That is always good for a laugh. Just as good as a Stephen Colbeert snippet!

  16. Arash Markazi: Magic Johnson: “I love the Lakers but I feel they have made two critical mistakes in hiring Mike Brown and hiring Mike D’Antoni.” Twitter @ArashMarkazi

  17. The Harrison Barnes Brand: After averaging just eight points and two boards through his first seven games, Barnes broke out, putting up 19 and 13, on only 11 shots.

    How is this possible he is a rookie?

  18. I missed the part where they had a heartwarming halfcourt hoopla for Don Nelson on his special night.

    All I got was a stilted sideline chat with the announcers. No standing at center court to thunderous applause. No thankyou speech for a chance for Nelson to speak freely. No Lacob in sight, or within noogie range.

    Or did I miss the ceremony? I didn’t see the beginning or end of the game.

    • I was at last night’s game.

      The supposed T-shirts were not given out, and the Warrior employees didn’t seem to know about it. I did actually see one.

      Nelson sat 3 sections away from Lacob about ten rows back. Ten rows back for Don Nelson night? I don’t even think Lacob even shook hands or said Hi to Don.

      It was clear it was Nelson’s night in name only. Lacob knew he would have been booed and Nelson cheered if it had been formalized in any way.

      All the fans saw was some street painter drawing a poor likeness of Nellie on a canvas during halftime. No speeches, no nothing. Unfortunately, there was no microphone fight between the two. Rick Berry, “that is an embarrassment!”.

      Typical Joe Lacob “All hat”, “And No Cows” — it was Don Nelson Night in name only.

      There should be a new phrase in Bay Area Lingo. “Did you get Lacobed last night?”

      • To get the Tshirt you had to buy a “Special Event” ticket that included getting your picture taken with Don Nelson after the game. So unless Nelson was getting a cut or was duped into thinking it was something other than what it was I don’t know why he agreed to participate.

    • Why would they promote this? Not even a chance for Nellie to thank the fans, to receive their love? How is this not an insult?

      At least I won my bet. That was a pure gift.

    • They did put a spotlight on Nelson in the stands pre-game and announced him, when he did receive strong applause.

      It was an odd non-event. Either you do something or you don’t.

    • I don’t want to make a big deal about this. Everyone here already knows I think Lacob is classless and clueless, and even I’m bored with the topic.

      But last night’s so-called “tribute to Nelson” was a cynical ripoff to fans who bought tickets thinking they’d get a chance to show Nelson how much they appreciated him.

      C’mon now. At games they shine the spotlight on famous comedians, and athletes from other sports. Years ago, Ronnie Lott got more air time than Nelson did last night.

      I think Felt was right. At the time the “event” was scheduled, Lacob thought he’d have a crowd grateful for the amazing turnaround he engineered. When it didn’t play out that way, he shut down the Nelson tribute as much as possible – while still letting fans think it would be a special night.

      As a result, the team delivered some pretty shabby treatment to one of the best and most innovative basketball coaches in history, the man whose game philosophy informs the majority of today’s best NBA teams.

      Can we fire an owner? No? Darn.

      • Actually, I was surprised the “event” even took place. Lacob certainly could have waited, and a cooling off period was in order. Your and Feltbot’s interpretation makes sense, and it shows ego and short-sightedness (I’ll take ego and farsightedness).

        Was Nelson’s name put anywhere in the building, up in the rafters or somewhere?

        • Lacob = Richard II:

          for within the hollow crown
          That rounds the mortal temples of a king
          Keeps Death his court and there the antic sits,
          Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,
          Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
          To monarchize, be fear’d and kill with looks,
          Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
          As if this flesh which walls about our life,
          Were brass impregnable, and humour’d thus
          Comes at the last and with a little pin
          Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king!

          OK, enough of this.

          • Perhaps. I like the literary reference, but we don’t know the guy.

            Maybe the problem is Lacob’s ego, or maybe he just doesn’t get it. If what we saw last night was all they ever planned to do, Lacob needs some marketing and PR help.

            Nellie fans were promised a lifelong memory. They didn’t get one. The bottom line is that it would have cost Lacob nothing to put Nelson on center court for 5 minutes to accept his due. And fans wouldn’t have been left wondering why they felt cheated.

      • lacob himself was clearly disqualified from speaking in front of the fans to honor nelson, but there are at least two other individuals associated with the current regime who’d be perfectly appropriate, fellow h.o.f. member, contemporary in the Bos-LA rivalry, west, and/or riley.

        ideally, they would have waited for a game vs. Mil or Dal — and his son could have participated if it was the latter. as time goes on and the lacobites continue to fall short of the post season, their pettiness won’t matter and nelson’s successes will be more appreciated.

      • Sounds almost insulting enough to inspire one last round of delicious revenge from Nellie, but he probably has too much mellow perspective now for that.
        Darn.

  19. Give Barnes credit for his performance, but let’s not get too excited about his play or rebounding and points in the paint. Without Horford, Atlanta was porous. And it was Williams’ shooting—those three 3 pointers—that kept them in the game. Similar shooting will be what saves the Warriors in other games.

    OK, draw a line and think about where we should go from here. This will be the next test for Lacob. Standing pat would be a huge mistake and a disservice to the players now. Serious roster moves are needed, someone added.

    • I agree, this was a big step forward for Barnes. With his size and athletic gifts, there is no reason he shouldn’t average 5 boards in 20 minutes.

      Having said that, conditions were extremely favorable for him in this game, to put it mildly.

      • But Ekpe Udoh is given a pass averaging 3.5 rebounds in those same 20 minutes. I call that a double standard. Udoh is not the reason the Bucks are off to 5-2 start.

  20. What’s upsetting for this season now and the foreseeable future is that almost all the other teams have weaknesses and are rebuilding—and are beatable. But the Warriors aren’t poised to take advantage. Intelligent coaching and intelligent roster building could have put us in another place.

    Here’s a blast from the past. Warriors defeat Memphis, 113-105. Curry, Ellis, SJax, Biendrins, and Buke as starters. Look at all the players on the roster and remember where they came from, then recall all the arguments made that almost none of them should be playing their positions and aren’t true NBA players. It was Curry’s fourth game, btw, and he played limited minutes. But Ellis and Curry combined for 21 assists—and only had one turnover each. And an argument could be made it’s a better roster than we have now.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore;_ylt=AmAtFFzSMtmCCwVoZAy2hhg5PaB4?gid=2009110409

    • “And an argument could be made it’s a better roster than we have now.”

      Ain’t it the truth. Though the successes of that team had a lot to do with coaching. To be fair, many coaches couldn’t win with that lineup, and even Nelson’s record with them wasn’t spectacular.

      • Not even Nelson got to coach that lineup. Beans and Buike got injured, Jax forced himself off the team.

        If Nellie had gotten to coach that lineup, he would have gone to the playoffs. Guaranteed.

        • The sole bright spot of the night (other than a Warriors victory and great night for Barnes):

          Anthony Tolliver and Anthony Morrow both given the opportunity to play in the NBA Don Nelson are on the Hawks roster.
          When Tolliver subbed in the game for the first quarter, he looked up at Nelson and exchanged a “thumbs” up greeting with each other. It’s always nice to see those who know the NBA appreciate the ‘maestro’.

          rgg@36 :
          Thanks to Nelson how many NBA players (eg, Tolliver, and Morrow) were able to succeed in the league thanks to the brand of basketball they played under his system?

        • Success??? That team started the season 7-21. Anyone that thinks that team was better is delusional.

          Some highlights:
          Game prior to Memphis
          Suns 123 – Warriors 101

          Game after Memphis
          Clippers 118 – Warriors 90

          Some more painful losses from 2009 to cure your selective memory:
          Lakers 130 – Warriors 97

          Nuggets 135 – Warriors 107

          How soon you forget the good old times of Don Nelson. Small ball at its finest. Nothing like getting blown out by 30.

          • Look at the rosters those last two games. At Memphis, the Warriors are a few games away from losing Buke, Biedrins, and SJax. And more.

            The Memphis roster is not exceptional at all yet still showed potential, as played. Think what might have been done with a supportive FO.

      • “Though the successes of that team had a lot to do with coaching.”

        And this, of course, is the point. It’s an odd lineup with makeshift pieces and a then so-so center (now not so-so). No franchise players, no dominant center. Many did not fit the conventional notions about what types of players should fill these positions. But the pieces had abilities Nelson exploited and he made it work.

        Nor was it a necessarily expensive lineup. And many of the pieces could have been replaced or improved, the roster mended, with some help from the FO (for Nelson then, with Cohan, in absentia).

        The Curry-Ellis backcourt was not conventional but it worked. With the right coaching, it could have been improved. Ellis was coming around, but Smart did not develop its potential. Then of course Curry went down. Keeping them intact would have allowed Thompson to fill in and develop as a promising player and maybe better exploit his shooting (cf. Morrow). Lee was another significant piece to the puzzle. Add to that some kind of affordable and probably less than conventional center plus whatever pieces might have been added with the money left over. This team would have competed now and been poised to make the next step.

    • So true,

      New Orleans, Portland, Utah, Phoenix, Sacramento and always tough Dallas and Houston are not as good.

      The East is very beatable save for Miami and possibly Chicago and Boston.

      Even this Friday, Minnesota is down as half their team is injured. Charlotte beat them at home last night. Will the Warriors?

  21. Success??? That team started the season 7-21. Anyone that thinks that team was better is delusional.

    Some highlights:
    Game prior to Memphis
    Suns 123 – Warriors 101
    http://espn.go.com/nba/recap?id=291030021

    Game after Memphis
    Clippers 118 – Warriors 90
    http://espn.go.com/nba/recap?id=291106009

    Some more painful losses to cure your selective memory:

    Lakers 130 – Warriors 97
    http://espn.go.com/nba/recap?id=291128009

    Nuggets 135 – Warriors 107
    http://espn.go.com/nba/recap?id=291201007

    How soon you forget the good old times of Don Nelson. Small ball at its finest. Nothing like getting blown out by 30.

  22. MT: Revisiting Game 8

    Barnes had just 17 rebounds the first seven games. After Wednesday’s performance, his average is up to 3.8 per game.

    BARNES: “I’m trying to learn how to rebound in the NBA. In college you just turnaround and there’s only 1 or 2 guys who are as athletic you. In the pros, everybody’s athletic. You actually have to block out.”

    http://www.ibabuzz.com/warriors/2012/11/15/revisiting-game-8-warriors-get-their-first-must-win-of-the-season/

  23. @35&36

    “OK, draw a line and think about where we should go from here. This will be the next test for Lacob. Standing pat would be a huge mistake and a disservice to the players now. Serious roster moves are needed, someone added.”

    “What’s upsetting for this season now and the foreseeable future is that almost all the other teams have weaknesses and are rebuilding—and are beatable. But the Warriors aren’t poised to take advantage. Intelligent coaching and intelligent roster building could have put us in another place.”

    rgg, the Warriors aren’t adding anyone to this roster for now nor should they. Who in the world do you think is lying around, currently out of work, that if added would turn the Warriors into championship contenders? The player that’s needed is already on their roster, Andrew Bogut. With him reasonably healthy the Warriors become one of many teams with a legit shot at a playoff berth. Regardless, this is a team filled with a lot of young, inexperienced players that will need time to grow and learn the many ropes of the NBA. They’re not winning the NBA championship this year under any circumstances so to waive someone on this roster and go further past the tax threshold to sign someone at best that would only be considered a complimentary role player (and currently not good enough to make another NBA roster) makes no sense whatsoever.

    Players like Barnes, Thompson, Ezeli, Green, Jenkins and even Bazemore need the chance to show what they can bring to this team in the future so when the Warriors salary cap situation eases in a few years they’ll have a better idea of who to keep and what free agents to zero in on. A serious roster move for 2012-13 = a healthy Andrew Bogut.

    • I’m not talking championship caliber, but simply a competitive team that has a chance to grow and maybe not overload the young players.

      So it all depends on Bogut (but they need a Rush replacement). When do you think Bogut is coming back healthy? A month? A year? Ever? And if he doesn’t, the team is screwed.

      • Right now this is a competitive team. They’re 4-4 but only the Lakers game was a blowout and even that game was close through 2 1/2 qtrs despite their ice cold shooting night. They should have beaten Sac and Denver. Their loss to Memphis I throw out given the fact that Rush’s injury early in the game took the wind out of both the crowd and the team for the rest of the night. Their record could easily and probably should be 6-2 right now, even with a limited or no Bogut.

        When do I think Bogut’s coming back? In one form or another I’d say 2-3 weeks, no longer. Bogut WILL be back and play in the majority of games remaining, IMO. The question to be answered is will he be back at 100%?

        He already knows that he can play roughly half a game and at least contribute with a few blocks, some rebounds, a few points, assists, screens, etc. I would be quite content to have the Bogut we saw thus far for the rest of the season. At even 50% of his former self he’s the best center this team has had in many-a-moon.

        Bogut himself obviously is frustrated he’s not yet back to being the player he was before the injury, and that’s what this extra rehab is for, trying to regain that form. Remember, he said this isn’t really a pain issue but more a perceived lack of explosiveness in trying to get rebounds or make low post moves. This extra time is ostensibly to continue strengthening his ankle to the point where he gets all that back.

        The ankle has healed, his return never would have been cleared by Dr. Ferkel otherwise. Now it’s just a matter of getting the ankle as strong as possible and then dealing with whatever the end result is. If it’s not in the cards for a 100% pre-injury recovery I’m sure Bogut will return with the mindset of helping the team any way possible.

        Again, I’m assuming the health answers he’s looking for he’ll find sometime in the next 2-3 weeks after which he’ll be back playing, even if it’s not (or ever will be) at his old 100% self.

        • Regenokine injections, according to its website, is a program that uses “the body’s own proteins to reduce inflammation.” It is used to treat osteoarthritis, joint pain, low back pain and some muscle and tendon issues.

          Osteoarthritis.

          • What you need to know about Regenokine:

            • Non-surgical treatment program
            • Uses your bodies own natural healing componenets
            • No restrictions on activity or movement during treatment
            • Reduces pain
            • Increases mobility
            • Helps to restore healthy joint function
            • Protects and preserves healthy cartilage
            • Results last for up to 2-4 years
            • Safe for use in all joints (all peripheral joints and spine)
            • Effective in 75% of people

            http://www.lifespanmedicine.com/regenokine-program

          • More from their web site:

            Joint pain, back pain and tendonitis are common among athletes of all ages. The wear and tear, overuse from training, playing and injury cause early degenerative changes in their joints. These degenerative changes continue to advance throughout their lives and careers.

            Joint, tendon and muscle issues can take athletes off the field for extended periods of time and sometimes prematurely end their careers. Joint pains do not end there. The degeneration that begins during an athlete’s career continues to progress through a lifetime, usually causing pain, stiffness and swelling and ending in joint replacement.

            The Regenokine Program can help athletes preserve their health not only throughout their athletic careers but also their entire lives.

            Regenokine Program Benefit for Athletes:

            •Reduces pain, stiffness and swelling
            •Reducing symptoms helps athletes get back in the game
            •Protects healthy cartilage
            •Restores joint function and health
            •Stops inflammation in the joint
            •70 percent of athletes respond to treatment
            •Full course of treatment only takes 5-7 days
            •No downtime or restrictions during or after treatment
            •Full effects of treatment are felt after 6-12 weeks and some athletes have immediate improvement

  24. Practice interviews (11/15/12)

  25. Harrison Barnes is only an NBA rookie… No need to conduct a critical analysis on his every bad play. NBA rookies – aren’t even in most starting lineups, let alone impacting games. The good news is that Harrison Barnes will likely get much better with more minutes/experience, hard work, and good coaching – the bust label – is being shed to pieces as we speak.

    And going against Atlanta’s DeShawn Stevenson – is no easy feat…

  26. If you told me the W’s would start out 4-4 – with our two best two-way players Brandan Rush and Andrew Bogut out with injuries – and Curry and Thompson both shooting in the 30’s with Lee in the low 40’s (percentages) and Andris Biedrins was even playing…

    A good veteran coach might have made a difference in our 2 losses – Sacramento and Denver… Rick Adelman – was available when Mark Jackson was selected. Bummer…

    Injuries happen even expected – and Felt/many others – have been spot on re: Bogut’s health. I’m still hopeful he’ll return – and have an impact in the NBA again.

    I’m still pleased about this W’s lineup, the Front Office (Jerry West), ownership, and our younger players potential. Our coach? Not so impressed…

    I usually don’t turn south (negative) on the Warriors until HALFWAY through the season! LOL!

  27. “Curry, Klay compatible?”

    http://www.csnbayarea.com/basketball-golden-state-warriors/warriors-talk/How-compatible-are-Curry-Thompson-in-bac?blockID=802315&feedID=2799

    Steinmetz starts voicing the same doubts I raised back when Thompson was drafted.

    http://feltbot.com/2011/12/21/the-klay-thompson-problem/

    First time I’ve ever seen a member of Warriors main stream media begin to acknowledge that maybe Klay can’t defend two-guards.

    There’s no maybe about it.

  28. While Barnes had a good game and hopefully he will continue to do so, the Warriors have played the worse with Barnes on the court. He’s minus 39 in games played.

    Landry is plus 8, D.Lee is plus 5, Jack is plus 4, and Jefferson is plus 2. Other Warriors playing significant minutes are in the minus category.

    Update on Orlando’s SF Moe Harkless, who the Warriors should have drafted.

    In 19 minutes playing against NY, he was 5-7 shooting, had seven rebounds, including 4 offensive rebounds, and blocked 4 shots. How many SF’s do that? Only played two games, but a star in the making.

    • I think I will stick with Jerry West and his choice of Harrison Barnes.

      Tonight:
      Moe Harkless 2 Points and 2 Rebounds

      Harrison Barnes 18 Points and 9 Rebounds

      • Harrison = +11. Aggressive. Drove the lane and court many times and even dunked on AK47 3 or 4 times. Long and athletic – chasing down rebounds very well. As with any rookie learning NBA defense – he gave up just as many on the other end… But then again, he IS a Warrior…

        Harrison is gaining confidence, is humble/hard working, and is becoming accustomed to the NBA game.

        D. Wright, for all his the length and athleticism – just didn’t have the aggressiveness to the hoop – he’d rather hit his sweet deep perimeter shots than dunk 3 or 4 times on AK47…

      • oo naman, mas magaling ang aeetno sa la salle. syempre may bias ako, nag-aral kasi ako sa ADMU.pero isa kasi sa criteria nila e facilities, mas OK yata facilities ng la salle.

  29. I just looked at the roster. Minnesota has a really intriguing team. I’d really be curious to see what Adelman might have done in the east with a healthy squad. But look at the salary structure. Outside of Love and AK47, no one over $4-5 million. This team is poised to make all kinds of deals and changes.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/teams/min/roster

    I’ll avoid comparisons today, although I’m not sure how much we learned last night. That was a nice drive by Barnes last night at the end, though. I wish he’d come up with a look to match his brand, however. He looks so uncertain of himself. In fact I don’t know how to describe his look. It’s a non-look.

    • “I’ll avoid comparisons today, although I’m not sure how much we learned last night. That was a nice drive by Barnes last night at the end, though. I wish he’d come up with a look to match his brand, however. He looks so uncertain of himself. In fact I don’t know how to describe his look. It’s a non-look.”

      rgg, you should be working for ESPN. LOL Here’s the “look” I like from his last 2 games, 37 points and 22 rebounds.

  30. Feltbot – where are you??? No comments yet on MT’s reporting that Bogut is getting blood treatments for treatment of swelling and arthritis…. You I know I was reading an old quote from the Bucks after Bogut’s initial surgery – about a year ago and they expected him to be out about 8 – 12 weeks (“The Bucks left Houston, TX with a nice win on Wednesday night, but it felt like a loss. … 8-12 weeks of the season, which at best (8 weeks) would leave him 18 games of the lock-out shortened 2012 season. … Glad to hear surgery went well.”)
    Truly a sad situation as he is a good guy and could really help.
    Seeing any more positive signs in Barnes’ play?
    Great write up by the way – top notch basketball analysis – compares to anyone…

  31. Monta Ellis brings Nellieball to Milwaukee:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/milwaukee-bucks-run-hot-start-despite-ersan-ilyasova-201824603–nba.html

    From watching the games, I can say with confidence that Ellis would have 10-15 more assists this season if Ilyasova were hitting his shots. His unselfish playmaking has been extraordinary. 9 assists 0 to’s last night.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore?gid=2012111715

    • ++ feltbot

      Been watching Ellis and Udoh on the NBA Pass as well:

      Ellis made some great passes and would have had double double in New Orleans game if his team made some layups. Ellis playing in team concept and letting Jennings take the shot instead.

  32. “You better get that little bitch off me.” — Rasheed Wallace to the Grizzlies bench after scoring on Rudy Gay for the second straight time.

    The one and only.

  33. I don’t think anyone expected the Ws to win against the Thunder, but I would have liked to see them put up more of a fight.

    No one can really stop Westbrook, but I thought the book on him was to force him to be a distributor. Didn’t happen. 22 shots last night, .550 shooting. Add in lots of open 3-pt looks for Durant and Kevin Martin and it’s lights out for the Ws.

    With Thompson clearly struggling on both ends of the court, isn’t it time to get SOMETHING from the 2 guard? How’s that defensive specialist Bazemore coming along? It’s not like the Ws were short of offense against the Thunder. More (some? any?) wing D would have been a big help last night.

    Enjoyed watching Draymond Green play. +8 on a night when the starters were all negative. Seems to get in the action far more than his 20% share. 5 fouls in 20 mins. though. Still figuring out what he can and can’t get away with in front of NBA officiating.

    • I thought you allow Westbrook to take all the perimeter shots he wants and hope for an off-night shooting. At least these shots will be ones Durant doesn’t take! When Westbrook goes for 20 in a quarter – their offense becomes stationary – W’s do better.

      I’d let guys like Perkins – take as many shots as they can put up – I’d leave them wide open, I mean, why even GUARD Perkins? Of course – good NBA coaches like Nellie or Spoelstra – would run Perkins off the floor!

      Kevin Martin – needs to be run off the floor as well. Man – he can’t defend.

      And OKC coach puts Perkins on Curry? So funny! And Perkins – clap, clap, clapping? Hilarious! Curry – took a couple of possessions to adjust which is WAY too long in my book!!! Curry should have taken Perkins to the hole every time. My mama can dribble past Perkins at the top of the key…

      • Yeah, the Perkins/Curry thing. Thought that was OKC mocking the Warriors. No scoring threat from Ezeli, so stop Curry’s outside shot.

        Westbrook only took two 3-pointers. He made them both, but that’s OK, it’s where we would want him to shoot. His career 3-pt. % is .291. But Westbrook’s overall shooting average is .429. He’s an outstanding short-range scorer. He’s less good at distributing the ball. Make him pass!

    • This wasn’t the game plan they used against the Clippers. OKC was in control of the game all the way, except for a stutter at the end, which they corrected. They were able to capitalize on what was working—shooting—and ride it easily as long as they could (I have questions about our perimeter defense, though).

      The Warriors have to come out strong the first half against a team like OKC, get the offense going, and at least try to hold even. I’ve seen criticism of Curry’s soft play, but I think the plan was for him to set up the other players and the inside game. I’d rather see them try to get him scoring early, and the other shooters. Problem is, they really don’t have other outside shooters. I assume Klay was still ailing.

      And of course they need to run.

  34. I expected the Niners to be conservative and focus on running and try to control the game. It’s not unthinkable the game might have been close thus played, though the defense would have shut Campbell and Chicago down anyway. Instead, Kaepernick came out passing, ran up the score, and when the defense came out, they pushed Chicago back on their heels.

    That’s basketball.

    I’m not that impressed with out-rebounding and-out scoring in the paint if the Warriors aren’t scoring. And a lot of the passes and drives in the paint against Denver were forced and a lot of shots missed. I didn’t see many screens or much passing to open up shots and lanes. Really, it took Curry heroics to pull this one off.

  35. Wouldn’t say a great win tonight but a win on the road for a 2-1 trip is a handy result.

    No comment on Klay. Looks like a case of the yips to my eye.

    Barnes looking much better offensively and showing a lot more variety than I thought. Coach also showing a lot of faith in him down the stretch – he must have a high opinion.

    How about Beastus Ezeli making it rain putback dunks and with 7 offensive boards!

    And Curry the true star of them all. Even survived an errant foot placement and ankle tweak in the 4th. I wonder if the change in offensive gameplan had anything to do with the improved performance down the stretch?

    CURRY: “Coach put the ball in my hands in the fourth quarter and in overtime to run pick and roll. We thought we had a good opportunity to be aggressive, get in the paint, make plays. That’s what I was trying to do.”

  36. Just argued with my buddy – who belittled the W’s win because no Dirk…

    I told him – a road win, is a road win. On back end of a back to back. Against a Dallas team vying for a playoff spot no less. With 3 rookies and a 2nd player in the game at the end… With 2 of their best 6 players out (Bogut and Rush) – their two best 2-way players as well. And with Klay Thompson – shooting like crap.

    D. Green is a basketball player. He’ll likely have a long career. Barnes and Ezeli. WHAT A DRAFT! 3 rookies – impacting games.

    Curry – showed me a lot of toughness this game…

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