Nellieball versus Nellieball: Warriors 97 Heat 95

What do you call Chris Bosh at center and Lebron James at power forward?

What do you call David Lee at center, and 6-6″ Draymond Green at power forward?           

What do you call the Heat’s three guard lineup of Ray Allen at three, and Wade and Coles in the backcourt?

What do you call Klay Thompson at the three, and a two point guard backcourt of Stephen Curry and Jarret Jack?

What do you call small forwards battling it out for the rebounds? Green 7, Thompson 7.

What do you call having multiple offensive initiators? Lebron, Wade, Coles. Curry, Jack, Thompson.

What do you call looking upcourt for a fast break after every rebound?

Looking for early offense? Walk-up threes?

Spreading the floor with three point shooters, and letting it fly?

Playing pick and roll with multi-dimensional offensive big men?

Playing your five best basketball players, regardless of position?

Playing two-way wings, who can switch every pick on defense?

“Gimmick” defenses employing zone principles that give help on the big men?

I call it NELLIEBALL.

And the best teams in the league are playing it.

Including the two who met tonight in South Beach. To the great astonishment of many, at home and around the country, the Golden State Warriors are joining that elite group of teams, because their head coach has finally grasped the reason why Don Nelson brought Stephen Curry and David Lee to the Warriors. Finally, after two long years, Mark Jackson has started playing them in the system their divine talents were made for.

It’s great to watch isn’t it?

Long may it last.

Difference between the Heat and the Warriors as Nellieball teams: I mean beyond the “Heat have Lebron and Wade and the Warriors don’t” silliness.

Large defensive (two-way) wings:  This is a hallmark of Don Nelson teams, and if you think about it, it’s an essential part of Nellieball. If you’re going to sacrifice size for talent and speed, you’re going to have an obvious defensive deficiency in the middle. The best way to compensate for that deficiency is to have a size advantage as well as great defensive ability on the wings.

The Heat have a huge advantage in this regard. Lebron and Wade are among the best defenders the league has ever seen, and when they turn it on at playoff time, they’re devastating. You can add Shane Battier to that, and Ray Allen as well, if he still has his legs.

The Warriors clearly have a deficiency here, since Rush got injured. Thompson and Barnes can barely guard threes, and can’t guard twos at all. Jack is tough, but the better twos can simply shoot over him. Draymond Green is by far their best defensive three, but guess what? He’s their best defensive four also, and that’s where he’s playing in the fourth quarter.

Three point shooting and spreading the floor: The Heat have a lot of great three point shooters at the small forward position. Chalmers can shoot it at point guard. And Lebron is having a good year shooting it from the four position.

But Dwayne Wade is terrible from three, which is a big weakness when trying to spread the floor when the ball is in Lebron’s hands.

On the other hand, Chris Bosh is now a three point shooter, as we saw in several crunch-time moments in last year’s playoffs. So when the ball is in Wade’s hands, the Heat can spread the floor better than literally any team in the league.

One through three, the Warriors have the best three-point shooting in the league. To truly spread the floor, though, they need it from their four or their five as well. David Lee doesn’t shoot the three (I would really love the Warriors to let him shoot the corner three).

That means the Warriors must encourage Draymond Green — who quite clearly is going to be their spread four going forward — to let it fly.

Leaking out: Nellieball teams must exploit their speed and shooting advantage by pushing the ball downcourt after rebounds. Up until recently, the Heat have done a much better job at that than the Warriors. They allow their guards to leak out to halfcourt to receive the outlet pass, and have the most devastating fastbreak in the league.

The Warriors, much to Jim Barnett’s frustration, have for two years refused to let their guards leak out, keeping them back for “gang rebounding” purposes, and having them walk back to take the outlet pass. But that has seemingly changed in the last few games, as Barnett has noted.

The Warriors should definitely let their guards leak out, in my opinion. First, because their frontline, with Landry or Green at four, and Thompson or Barnes at three, is doing a great job rebounding. Second, because their guards have very high IQs, and are generally ahead of the play: they know when to come back for a board, and when to leak. And third, because in these circumstances those many easy buckets far outweigh those few sacrificed rebounds.

In this game, the Warriors outscored the Heat in fastbreak points: 12 to 10.

The start of a trend?

High IQ: Another hallmark of Don Nelson teams is that they have a higher basketball IQ than most of their opponents. And I think that in general, that is a necessity for successful Nellieball. Forcing the tempo, allowing multiple players to initiate, using innovative defensive schemes, exploiting mismatches, and generally allowing your players room to create, puts a premium on intelligence.

The Miami Heat have one of the highest IQ teams in the league. Lebron, Battier and Allen are notables. But I have my doubts about many of their other players, particularly Chalmers.

The Warriors? I think they could very well be the highest IQ team in the entire league. Curry and Lee have genius level IQs. I have already argued (with some controversy) that you may soon be able to say that of Klay Thompson as well.

And what about Draymond Green? The extraordinary rookie who has apparently beaten out both Landry and Barnes for fourth quarter minutes? I’m getting a strong feeling he has a genius for the game as well.

Add Jarret Jack to that, and one through five the Warriors are a damn smart basketball team. Walt Frazier, Bill Bradley Knicks smart.

And let’s not leave out that other rookie… Festus Ezeli. The unsung hero of the first and third quarters. No rebounds the last few games, but on defense at least, that’s not necessarily his role. His role is to anchor the defense, and on the Warriors, that frequently means helping out the guards, which he is absolutely great at.

And his team is not getting outrebounded. Warriors 40 Heat 38. This kid has a basketball IQ that I’ll take over every other rookie big man in the league.

I’ll give those wily old foxes in San Antonio the edge for now. But check back with me next year.

The Final Play: I absolutely loved the Warriors game-winning play. First of all, it’s wonderful when a Warriors coach reads the opposing coach’s mail, rather than the other way around. How long has it been since we’ve seen that? And then the execution by Draymond Green, just flawless. It is utterly remarkable that Mark Jackson designed a play that left the crucial decision in the hands of a rookie.

Mark Jackson knew that the Heat were focused on Curry and Thompson to take the final shot. And he knew that the Heat were playing ball denial, by having the screener’s man switch and jump out on the shooter.

Here’s what happened: With Jack handling the ball up top, Stephen Curry played decoy, running misdirection left through the key, and pinning down David Lee’s man, to free Lee as a second option. Starting under the basket, Klay Thompson started one of his patented curls to the right. At the right mid-post, Draymond Green executed a pin-down screen on Thompson’s man, Ray Allen. Shane Battier, guarding Green, immediately switched and jumped out to deny the pass to Klay Thompson.

And Draymond Green, seeing that Battier’s switch left the back door wide open, instantly slipped the pick, and received the immediate laser pass from Jack under the bucket. Game over.

Note that Green had an important option on this play. If Battier hadn’t jumped out, Green should have held his pick on Allen. Then Jack would have hit Klay Thompson on the curl, and the game would have ended a different way.

If you go back to take a second look at the play, you should also note that as Green and Thompson were executing this play, not a single Heat player had even a toe in the paint. No one had a prayer of recovering to help on Green. Why? Because the threat of a David Lee shot had pulled Chris Bosh all the way out to the elbow.

Folks, that’s what a spread floor looks like.

Shout out to Jarret Jack: My regular readers know that I was a big fan of the Jack acquisition from the moment it happened. And a couple of posts back I wrote that it was imperative that Jack start looking for his own shot, because he had the ability to take over a game, and the Warriors were going to need him to do that against certain opponents.

This was that game. The Heat were determined to take Curry out of the game, putting their best defenders on him, and trapping every pick.

This is why Nellie loved having more than one playmaker, and insisted that his point guards be dangerous. So that his opponents couldn’t gameplan to shut his teams down. They could only gameplan to pick their poison.

The Heat picked their poison. And Jarret Jack made them eat it.

By the way, did you happen to notice that walk-up three that Jack buried at 0:55 3Q? Best shot in basketball.

Right, Marcus?

Klay Thompson: Take a look at that floor game. 7 boards, 4 assists, 2 steals, one blocked shot to go along with his 11-21, 27 point performance.

Klay has made me look pretty good since I called him an all-star caliber player at his natural position, small forward.

Pretty soon he’s going to gain some confidence, and develop some Curry swag, that lethal edge that all the great players carry with them. Then it’ll all be over.

And all the paid pundits will climb all over each other to state the obvious, that feltbot stated fearlessly when it was obvious to no one but him.

Draymond Green: Can a player who went 2-5 for 7 points be the star of the game? His man, Lebron James had 31.

But take a look at this: Green 7 rbs. Lebron 3 rbs. That hints at the physicality the Warriors’ best rookie layed on Lebron.

No one can stop Lebron out on the floor when he gets hot. But Green did stop Lebron from getting inside, and gutting the Warriors defense. He stayed in front of him, and when Lebron tried to take him in the post, he couldn’t budge the uber-tough Green.

By the way, in closeups of the two standing together, Green looked to be at least two inches shorter than Lebron. That puts him at 6’6″, if you can trust Lebron’s listing. I wouldn’t be surprised is he’s 6’5″. Not that it matters.

Take another look at that defensive sequence at 6:12 3Q. Green forced Lebron into a tough fade-away in the lane. In fact, his strength may have pushed Lebron slightly off balance. Green remained in position to take the ball off the front of the rim, and then immediately looked upcourt and hit Jack on the outlet, resulting in a Klay Thompson fastbreak dunk.

On the next possession, Green stoned Lebron at the rim again. And only the well-intentioned interference of David Lee prevented Green from snatching that rebound as well.

And that basically put an end to Lebron’s attempts to steamroll Green. Lebron began jawing at him after Green hammered him on another layup attempt, but that was just talk. It was all outside shots from there.

Holy crap, the Warriors have a player who can force Lebron outside.

I’ve rewound and watched that 24-foot three he buried at 1:55 3Q about 10 times in slow motion. Because of a big leg kick and those extra-long arms, he has a very odd-looking follow through, that resembles the escape move of a giant clam startled by an octopus.

Don’t let that confuse you. That shooting arm is right in front of his face, elbow in. He shoots it with perfect timing, on the way up. And the follow through is flawless.

I’ll take him over Barnes in a three point shooting contest. What do you say, Fitz?

But no fair screaming when he steps into the shot.

Flash Pastor Jack: I cannot fully express how happy I am with Jackson’s coaching in the last few weeks. The move to all-out Nellieball has left me stunned and joyous.

Now, if we could only do something about what happened at his post-game press conference. When asked about the mysterious circumstances surrounding the sudden rise of the Warriors, Jackson ascribed it to the intervention of God. He went on to state that God is “using this basketball team to show folks he can do the same thing in their lives.”

Huh.

I pray to God that someone on the Warriors staff intervenes here, and prevents us from being subjected to more of this nonsense. If not, I’ll be forced to create a new feature on this blog, entitled: “What God showed me in this game.”

One part of me relishes the comic opportunities. But seriously, I think Flash Pastor Jack should save this stuff for the congregation that forgave him for consorting with drug dealers, cheating on his wife with a stripper, and paying blackmail to cover it up.

Holier than thou? You can stuff that. You ain’t holier than me, dude, and you’re not the one I would look to for spiritual guidance even if you were. You’re the one I look to to coach the hell out of my favorite basketball team, just as you have been doing.

There’s no religion in basketball.

It’s purer than that.

154 Responses to Nellieball versus Nellieball: Warriors 97 Heat 95

  1. The Miami guard is named “Cole” without the s.

    I can hardly express how happy I am with the recent development of the Dubs. The Pastor developed big time and I have to be honest that I wouldn’t have thought that to be possible. Maybe it was a good thing after all that Bogut got hurt and forced Jackson to rethink his plans.
    Let’s hope this streak of good coaching continues and that this preacher-lunacy doesn’t annoy his team into tuning him out.
    And while we are on: Let’s pray that Curry’s ankles stay fine. Amen!

  2. TheOriginalTruth

    Feltbot = Flipflopper

    You ripped the trade that brought Jarrett Jack to the Warriors.

    Bye Bye Dorell
    Posted on July 11, 2012 by feltbot| 107 Comments
    This wasn’t a trade, it was a pure salary dump. From what I’ve read, that euro meatball the Warriors traded Dorell Wright for is unlikely to ever set foot on NBA hardwood.

    Another FLASHBACK:

    Feltbot: The Warriors are doomed because of the rookies. Get read for a long season.

    By the way the Heat and Warriors are not playing Nellieball. Nellieball never included DEFENSE. Don Nelson would not know what defense was if it slapped him in the face.

    Besides playing great defense another reason for the Warriors success is the fact that Monte Ellis is gone. It was addition by subtraction.

    • Sorry, that post was written before the Jack component was revealed. Check out comment 3 to that post to see my opinion of Jack, and get back to me.

      http://feltbot.com/2012/07/11/bye-bye-dorell/

      And the Warriors are “doomed”? You simply made that up.

      I plead guilty to never having seen Draymond Green play. Not knowing that Jackson would have the guts to bench Landry and Lacob’s prized pick for him in the fourth quarter. Not knowing Jackson would have the sense to play the Jack/Curry backcourt and shift Thompson to three. Not knowing Jackson would have the guts to revert to the system that his boss so publicly disavowed. Sue me.

      Your comments on defense are even more ignorant than the rest. This team is not even close to being as good defensively as Nellie’s We Believe team. Not close.

      • Not knowing that Jackson would have the guts to bench Landry and Lacob’s prized pick for him in the fourth quarter. Not knowing Jackson would have the sense to play the Jack/Curry backcourt and shift Thompson to three. Not knowing Jackson would have the guts to revert to the system that his boss so publicly disavowed. Sue me.”

        “Not knowing”, or more like, dead wrong, refusing to believe and totally blind to the fact that Joe Lacob NEVER wanted to be the owner/GM/coach of this team but instead, from the day his ownership group took over the Golden State Warriors, had a plan to hire the hardest working, smartest (basketball) people he could find and then let them “do their thing”.

        Lacob is a huge fan and all he wants to do is win (playing any style that gets the desired results). He’s all about putting the best people in charge, surrounding himself with the best minds in the business (both on and off the court). That process doesn’t take place overnight but what we’re seeing now are the early stages of his plan coming to fruition, starting with the obvious, the Warriors current won/loss record.

        Eventually that “process” will morph into a new arena, players wanting to come and play in the Bay Area for the Warriors, and a domino effect from there that will take care of itself in all aspects of future success. With any kind of good luck at all the good times are only just beginning. It’s a shame if you’re “not knowing” about that, either.

      • TheOriginalTruth

        You are right, I must have missed that post! How did I miss that post?

        Oh well, I’ll find some other post and rag on that. I will be back!

      • TheOriginalTruth

        Where is Andrew Bogut going to play if and when he comes back? Whose minutes will he swipe? And how many?

      • 2012 Defensive FG % .433

        2007 Defensive FG % .461

        Not sure what planet you are on but holding opponents to 43% is better than 46%.

        You love to pound your chest and scream ‘I AM RIGHT EVERY TIME’ when in fact you are wrong quite often.

        The Warriors are doing things that Don Nelson coached teams did not do well which is winning on the road and playing defense.

        It is pretty ignorant of you to make some of the statements you do. You also said Jeremy Lin didn’t belong in the NBA and only reason Lacob brought him in was for PR. You have no idea how much these players are working on their game in the offseason or in practice. To come to this conclusion because he air balled a running floater in warmups before the game is ignorant.

        Furthermore you claim Monte Ellis is an All Star and Warriors were stupid to trade him. Why than did he always have the lowest + / – on the Warriors and he has carried that over to the Bucks. Part of the reason the Warriors are playing so well is that Ellis is gone.

        • We Believe had all-world defensive player Stephen Jackson for precisely 38 games of that season. Before the trade the Warriors were attempting to defend with Troy Murphy and Mike Dunleavy.

          Now do the math.

          We Believe had incredible defenders at three starting positions: Baron Davis, Jackson, Andris Biedrins. And they had three incredible defenders off the bench: Barnes, Pietrus, Azubuike.

          They held the #1 seed Dallas Mavericks 10 points below their scoring average in their four playoff wins. They forced Nowitzki to shoot 38%, 12 points below his average.

          Nice chatting with you.

          • TheOriginalTruth

            LMAO Biedrins ans Baron Davis incredible defenders. You must be blind. If they are so incredible how come neither Davis or Biedrins has ever made an NBA ALL Defensive Team.

            That We Believe team with all those incredible defenders let the #4 Utah Jazz score 15 points per game ABOVE there season average.

            So please do the math. Allowing the Utah Jazz to score 15 points/game more is great defense. That is some calculator you have. Did you invent the internet to Feltbot?

          • TheOriginalTruth

            By the way the next season when they didn’t have Dunleavy and Murphy dragging down the stats their defense was even worse.

            2007 Defensive FG % .461
            2008 Defensive FG % .468

            You are running out of excuses.

          • TheOriginalTruth

            I will admit admit that Nelson’s teams overachieved and were more entertaining than the previous Dunleavy and Murphy with Coach Montgomery teams. They could’nt sniff a winning record. So I would agree Dunleavy and Murphy was a sweet trade for superior defenders Jackson and Harrington. You got that right.

          • OT and David Rubin,

            It’s funny that you two guys come out of the woodwork after the Warriors beat the Heat with a small ball line-up.

            Comparing We Believe to this team is like comparing Apples to Oranges. The make-up is totally different and Feltbot just wants to add a defensive minded shooting guard for his ultimate team. Also, he harps on Harrison Barnes because Barnes was over-hyped by the management and is not a superstar.

            Regarding defense, the strength of We Believe was Baron, SJax, Barnes and others stealing the ball and then scoring points off the turnovers. Monta’s scoring was a bi-product of the defense, long outlet passes, and Baron’s ability to get into the lane. This Warriors team tends to play better position defense, force contested shots, crash the glass and then run. Two slightly different formulas. Both work.

            Back off of the Feltbot — 5 straight wins on the road is great, but not a championship. This team is not bullet-proof and Felt is a voice of reason, even if he’s not always warm and fuzzy.

        • TheOriginalTruth

          And I will also admit my +/- for Ellis is an unimportant tidbit I throw just to sway the dialog.

          Indeed, Ellis had far less skilled teammates on the team, and he was forced to play heavy minutes with them. You got that right too.

  3. This team is special. They’re playing and growing together. Selfless. Buying in to the coach. Heck – Stephen Curry, David Lee, and Klay Thompson are playing solid defense!

    All this without our two best defenders/two-way players in B. Rush and A. Bogut? Amazing!

    This great young nucleus of players – Lee, Curry, Klay, Barnes, Ezeli, and Green – are all high character kids, high IQ bballers, and the sweetest thing – they are all locked up for 4-5 years!

    I’d have been fine with (and accustomed to) the usual close but no cigar game against a superior team at their home – but I’m glad the GSW’s didn’t think this way!

  4. Felt, a few thoughts in regards your post from the other day:

    feltbot | December 11, 2012 at 11:16 am | Reply

    This piece on Andrew Bynum’s condition makes explicit the connection between damaged cartilage, microfracture surgery, and osteoarthritis, for those of you who are still confused:

    < <<>>>

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/andrew-bynum-latest-most-worrying-left-knee-self-161748643–nba.html

    A glance at the reference articles in the footnotes to the Wikipedia article on microfracture surgery should also make this clear.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microfracture_surgery

    Microfracture surgery is a remedy for deteriorating cartilage on the bone ends that meet in a joint, which is what causes osteoarthritis, the chronic inflammation of the joint.

    Bogut has osteoarthritis in his ankle, just as he has it in his damaged elbow. As I predicted.”

    —————————————————

    Is it possible Bogut has osteoarthritis? Sure. It’s also possible Kobe Bryant has osteoarthritis in his knee, and he lit up the Cavs for 42 points the other night.

    Is it certain that Bogut has osteoarthritis? Not at all. I can’t find anywhere on the ‘net (other than from the all-omniscient Dr. Feltenstein) that states there has been a diagnosis made of osteoarthritis.

    Furthermore (from my unparalleled medical background), microfracture surgery is a method of attempting to regenerate damaged cartilage, but just having the procedure does not at all mean that one has osteoarthritis. Here is a pretty good link that goes over some of this:

    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007255.htm

    The link, from the NIH (which I realize discusses knee microfracture surgery, but the principle is similar), states the procedure is used to “prevent arthritis,” not to treat it, which is a helluva big difference.

    Could Bogut end up with osteoarthritis of the ankle one day? Sure. So will many former athletes after their playing days are done. But something to draw from the wikipedia article is the number of athletes who have had great success following microfracture surgery. Zach Randolph, for one, comes to mind, because he had the procedure on his knee almost a decade ago and has thrived.

    These points do not argue necessarily that Bogut will recover fully. But they do argue that without further information, it is not possible to say whether there is osteoarthritis of the ankle at this point, and I would argue if the Warriors have been this aggressive with his treatment, they are banking on his ankle having a good chance to recover.

  5. Man, this was my favourite of yours so far this year.
    I am and was a fan of ‘fast spread the floor style’ basketball since the day I could outplay my bigger opponents in pick-up games having another good passer and shooter with me on the team. Hell, me with my friend Ejob (both at around (174-176 cm) took it to the two 1,95cm norwegian guys back in Fredrikstad this summer, without three point line, me playing with jeans, having the only day of rest after a week of fucking with frozen fish and other food shit weighing 30+ kg.
    I’m happy warriors play the way they do now.
    And I am an atheist.
    Basketball is way purer than religion. Hats off to that.

    • Well, well. There’s no religion in basketball, purity of hoops vs religion, and finally atheism, all coming to a Warriors blog near you. LOL

      Not very comfortable debating topics of faith but I will say this about religion, or the belief in a higher power, when it comes to modern day pro sports, I can’t remember the last time I watched a pro football game without seeing a group of players kneel down in a circle of prayer either after a stoppage in play due to injury or immediately after the game ends.

      Or in baseball, when was the last time someone hit a home run without pointing to the sky as he touched home plate?

      Given all the evidence I’d say Jackson’s ability to communicate through his religious beliefs/preachings to today’s athletes, especially the younger players, many of whom are looking for all types of guidance in their lives both on and off the court, is more meaningful and influential than ever before. Is there a team in the NBA that’s closer and more together than these Warriors? Whatever Jackson is saying when he talks to his team is proving to be pretty powerful stuff thus far. Can I get an “Amen” to that?

      • Do you think Curry hits his shots because he believes in god?
        Now tell me the best rock players are all devoted christians.
        Or Scotland makes the best whisky because they point the finger to the sky.
        This (belief in god so popular at sports) has nothing to do with them being great athletes, or anyone being great for that matter.

        By the way, my post had nothing to do with what you extracted from it.
        When religious schools start dominating at sports, then you may have an argument.

        • “By the way, my post had nothing to do with what you extracted from it.”

          Pray tell (no pun intended), what the hell (no pun intended) do you think I “extracted” from your post other than the fact you stated you were an atheist?

          If your reading skills were anything above a 5th grader you would have come to the very elementary conclusion that everything I posted was simply a factual based observation in regards religious-based acts of faith that’s commonly practiced, during pro sporting events, by many of today’s pro athletes.

          Fact: Pro football players kneel in prayer on the field, during and after games, in response to game situations.

          Fact: Many MLB players point skyward after hitting home runs.

          Fact: Whatever Mark Jackson is “preaching” to his players is working, and working really well, so far.

          Now, if you can somehow comprehend all those “facts”, just maybe you can understand that was the beginning and the end of everything I posted. No “arguments”, no personal beliefs nor condemnation of the beliefs of others, and lastly, no comments on what role, if any, religion plays in sports.

          Having said all that, if you still don’t get it, then heaven help us all (no pun intended).

          • Fact: what these athletes do re their beliefs has nothing to do with them being great athletes.
            Your point is mute.
            Your argument (or whatever if this is not an argument) sounds damn close to all those who say – look how beautiful butterflies are, and the skies so blue, it certainly could not have been physics, it must have been a god plan afterall.

            I hope what jackson preaches is basketball, I don’t think he evolved – no, has been filled with more grace – as a believer after last year, where his preaching were leading nowhere.

            Sorry, Steve, whatever are my reading skills (oh, joyous ad hominem logic) are, you have a major flaw here with substituting correlation for causation.
            And finger pointing to the sky is not necessarily a religious gesture – it might have a little bit more to do with us, human animals, wondering at the skies through all those thousands of years and acquiring simple mechanism for expressing joy or confidence.
            Many athletes also pump their fists and pound their chest, does that behaviour point to the fact that the belief in god existing in their hearts and fists? Etc.

          • We should also credit hip-hop for athletes being so great sportsmen. I bet everyone who listens to Wu-Tang Clan before the game has a major advantage in getting to the foul line.
            Also, we should credit politics for athletes that vote democratic share the ball better.

          • OMG (no pun intended), heaven help us all, indeed. LOL

    • The after-game comments were interesting. Ray, Battier and Spoelstra all said the Heat successfully stopped multiple options, and the Warriors kept recycling the play until something opened up.

      Battier admitted he screwed up by showing too soon and too hard. If he had played it just right, Green wouldn’t have been open and Jack would have had to jack one up over LeBron. That would have been the lowest percentage option for that play, but necessitated by the shot clock if that pass to Green hadn’t been available.

      They all sounded like PhDs. Basketball as science, not religion.

  6. Small ball worked last night in part because Miami lacks a big inside scorer. The Warriors were able to hold the potent Miami offense to shooting 47% from the field. Small ball won’t work against San Antonio and Memphis. The Warriors should have much success with their small line-up as the NBA has changed as Few teams have big time inside scorers. We can hold our own scoring inside with D. Lee and Landry operating inside.

    The Warriors success last night was due in part in keeping Miami away from the foul-line, obtaining virtually the same number of offensive rebounds, and winning the turnover differential by committing four less turnovers.

    I’m not sure the Warriors last play was designed by Jackson. I saw Malone speak to Jackson just before Jackson held the final huddle. I would not be surprised it Malone told Jackson to call the play. In post games interviews Jackson took credit for calling the play. I would really like to know what Malone said to Jackson.

    • A fair qualification. I was surprised by the Heat’s 3s and that they didn’t drive more and draw fouls to get to the line, as many teams have done against the Warriors. Only 14 fouls called against the Warriors when they average over 22. Our defense gets some credit, and maybe the refs, who weren’t calling the game too tight.

      But it may be an instance of Miami sticking with the game plan that will get them through the playoffs.

  7. The Warriors also won last night because Battier and Cole combined for 2-10 shooting while the Warriors bench performed admirably. We didn’t win because of small ball as James, Bosh, and Allen, shot over 50% from the field. And D. Green’s greatest contributions was his two steals, his committing no turnovers in 30 minutes of play, and his prowess on the boards. And even though he played great defense, it should be noted the Warriors were outscored when he was on the court, and he did shoot 2-5 from the field.

    • Draymond Green is that player who every team needs off the bench to do all the dirty work/fighting/hard fouls, provide energy, provide excellent defense, block out/rebound, make the extra pass, and spread the floor with his shot (which he hasn’t been called on yet by good opponents).

      Green’s plus, minus is usually very positive given his minutes. This stat for this game is an aberation – if he’d not made the final hoop, he’d have a -11 plus, minus!!!!

  8. Good post. I think you got the final play mixed up but in a way, it strengthened one of your other arguments. That did not appear to be a designed play for that situation or for Draymond. It is a set they run regularly with left and right pin-down screens for Klay and Stephen with Jack in the middle-top. With Klay hitting shots that day, Battier felt the need to show so Klay wouldn’t get a clean pass for the catch and shoot. (Miami probably should have just switched it with time running out.) Instead, Draymond made a High-IQ basketball play and slipped the screen on the over-aggressive show; smart, fundamental read on how Miami was defending the screen.

    I think it was great they were running any kind of play instead of an isolation but it wasn’t anything special. Even Jack said he was about to shoot it over Lebron when he saw the slip. It was a play providing multiple options, well executed, allowing the defense to make the smallest of mistakes and allowing smart basketball players to read and improvise. Beautiful. Ball-game.

    • Pretty sure it was Curry who set the pin-down screen for Lee. That’s what occupied Bosh’s attention. Check it out.

      But +1. There were a lot of options on this play.

      • I don’t know why teams even guard Draymond Green that far out on the perimeter. He’s a rookie who hasn’t proven he can hit any shot with consistency. His open three made in that game was his first in the NBA! The percentage play is to back 10 feet off Green (leaving him wide open) and encourage him to get the ball and take the open perimeter shot. Every time.

        Until he starts to actually hit some shots…

        Funny – that Draymond Green’s backdoor cut to the hoop was on Shane Battier… It’s Shane Battier to whom Draymond Green is most compared to as an NBA player!!!

        • TheOriginalTruth

          Green was setting a pick for Klay Thompson. Battier was helping cover the pick because Klay had been hitting 3′s all night. Green rolled to the hoop which is why he was wide open.

          • Yes, agreed. Draymond’s shooting 29%. Before the pick, I’d have left Green way WIDE open encouraging the W’s to pass it to him. And let Klay’s defender fight through Green’s pick.

  9. If the Monta Ellis show were still running the show…

    Monta would be calling for a top of the key ISO – with LeBron James, arguably the best defensive player in the NBA, looking to stop him.

    As a GSW’s fan, I never liked those percentages much…

    The final Miami offensive play called – was not “really” a special set play. Have Jack or Barnes bring up the ball – and run Curry/Klay off curls/screens/picks/cutters – and see what develops.

    It’s the typical GSW’s offense!

    And generally much more effective and less predictable than running an iso at the top of the key…

    • PB, I think you’re right that last year the final possession would have been an Ellis iso, but Monta didn’t steal the ball from his teammates’ hands, or hypnotize them into giving it up.

      The coach calls the final play. Always.

      Last year, the Ellis iso was coach Jackson’s favorite game-ender. In the early part of the season it was his only final play. Later he learned to trust Lee, and after the trade it was Thompson. It was never Curry last year, and it was never a multi-option play like we saw last night.

      • I was just trolling for you White Hat! LOL!

        I’m just freakin’ happy the W’s have all these offensive weapons – and can run so many different options out of the same sets…

        Much less predictable. More team oriented – everyone involved. No standing around and watching. Fun to watch (in my opinion at least).

  10. Pushback is welcome, so long as you use your own identity. Posters who appropriate others’ identities will be blocked.

    Assuming, of course, that I can figure out how to do that.

    • TheOriginalTruth

      Than please stop allowing people to use my identity.

      You still have not responded to how allowing the Utah Jazz to score 15 points above their season average is great defense.

  11. Felt, you mentioned D. Green’s freakish arm length. I looked it up. He, Ezeli and Lee are all listed with the same vertical reach of 8’10.”

    I doubt the measurements – ESPN’s scouting report on Green has him at 6’8″ – but his arms definitely are longer than normal. On a small screen they help you find him in a crowd. Just look for the guy with his hands dangling by his knees.

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nbadraft/results/players/stats/_/id/19611/draymond-green

    http://www.draftexpress.com/nba-pre-draft-measurements/?year=All&sort2=DESC&draft=0&pos=0&source=All&sort=1

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nbadraft/results/players/stats/_/id/19447/festus-ezeli

  12. I have to repost this.

    From Steve (above), responding to Felt saying he didn’t know a bunch of stuff:

    “Not knowing”, or more like, dead wrong, refusing to believe and totally blind to the fact that Joe Lacob NEVER wanted to be the owner/GM/coach of this team but instead, from the day his ownership group took over the Golden State Warriors, had a plan to hire the hardest working, smartest (basketball) people he could find and then let them “do their thing”.

    Lacob is a huge fan and all he wants to do is win (playing any style that gets the desired results). He’s all about putting the best people in charge, surrounding himself with the best minds in the business (both on and off the court). That process doesn’t take place overnight but what we’re seeing now are the early stages of his plan coming to fruition, starting with the obvious, the Warriors current won/loss record.

    Eventually that “process” will morph into a new arena, players wanting to come and play in the Bay Area for the Warriors, and a domino effect from there that will take care of itself in all aspects of future success. With any kind of good luck at all the good times are only just beginning. It’s a shame if you’re “not knowing” about that, either.

    So well stated. I think you’ve earned yourself an extra cookie before bedtime.

  13. LinkMaster Steve,

    You continue to be one of the main reasons I come here. Thanks for your efforts. Let me know when you start your own blog. I’ll be first in line. I know it will consist of plenty of W’s links, solid big-picture analysis (gettin’ kinda tired of the microscope), and all things reasonable.

    Okay, people, the Mother of all Road Trips continues…LET’S DO THIS!!!

    • Brytex, the only bad thing about you is you’re not a woman, otherwise I’d ask you to marry me. LOL

      Don’t hold your breath on “Steve’s Blog”, not really interested in showing others how little I know about the Warriors, other than here, of course. :) Happy to know all my “linkage”and occasional wise-ass remarks adds to your enjoyment of those Warriors. Love this team! Win or lose, a great group of guys that are so easy to root for. But for the Dubs to be really, REALLY good they need Bogut. Keep your fingers crossed on that one. Go easy.

  14. The fever is spreading fast. LOL

  15. (Re-post from previous thread)

    Extended Warriors/Heat game highlights Part 1

  16. The trading deadline is toward the end of February. Even if Bogut returns by then, the Warriors still need to go out and get another big man if they are to have success in the play-offs.

  17. Clunker in Orlando. Heck, the Heat lost to the Wizards, that’s the ups-and-downs of an 82 game NBA season for you. Unfortunately, given the road weary Dubs and a rested, hot Atlanta team, it looks like a 5-2 road trip is now likely. Hmmm, did I just say “unfortunately”? A 5-2 Warriors road trip? Already spoiled with all these wins lately.

    Here’s Rusty Simmons’ game recap from Friday:

    http://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Road-Warriors-hit-the-wall-in-Orlando-4120066.php

  18. He had interviewed with a handful of teams, including the Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks, but the answer kept coming back the same: no coaching experience, no thanks.

    A year and a half later, and look at Jackson now. He has the Warriors off to their best start in 21 years, with a 15-8 record. That’s fifth in the Western Conference, just 3 1/2 games behind the top seed, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and 1 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Clippers in the Pacific Division.

    It would seem the perfect time for Jackson to give a loud “Told you so!” to all those who doubted his credentials and his background, and in a phone conversation Friday, he was invited to do so.

    He declined.

    “Never bought into it,” Jackson told Sporting News about the criticism around his hiring. “So it wasn’t a concern of mine. We would have never found out anything more about me if I was an assistant coach. I was fine if I had stayed doing TV and never was a head coach if I had to go that route. I would have been absolutely fine. I’m just thankful and grateful that the Warriors ownership group and this management group took a chance on me.

    “I truly am honored and privileged to have this platform. It is an all-time great group that buys in. I get nothing out of that. I don’t try to accomplish anything because of what someone else said. God has put me in position, and my faith is in God and not in man. I don’t get any satisfaction out of proving anyone wrong.”

    http://aol.sportingnews.com/nba/story/2012-12-14/golden-state-warriors-start-coach-mark-jackson-history-stephen-curry-david-lee

  19. Martin, just for you, buddy:

    “I truly am honored and privileged to have this platform. It is an all-time great group that buys in. I get nothing out of that. I don’t try to accomplish anything because of what someone else said. God has put me in position, and my faith is in God and not in man. I don’t get any satisfaction out of proving anyone wrong.”

    And, from Marcus Thompson’s live chat on Friday………

    Is their any other NBA team who has as many spiritual players/coaches?

    by Diggity Dog 12:59 PM

    I think OKC has a lot. I know the whole team goes to every chapel
    MT

    Wow, the Warriors coached by a preacher and the entire OKC Thunder roster goes to “every chapel”. And these 2 teams have won how many games (combined) thus far this season?

    It just hit me. No, it’s NOT the great athletes, it’s the BASKETBALL GODS!!

    A 25 ft jumper hits the front rim, the top of the backboard and then straight down through the basket……the BASKETBALL GODS!!

    AIguodala hits a game winning jumper at the buzzer to beat the Dubs but wait, the slow-mo replay shows the ball left his fingertips a fraction too late…….the BASKETBALL GODS!!

    Jarrett Jack throws up a “prayer” from halfcourt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTqdLTPmNvI and SWISH…….the BASKETBALL GODS!!

    The Giants get 2 hits in 10 innings but somehow beat Cincy to stay alive. Barry Zito somehow pitches the game of his life to beat St Louis and keep the Giants alive, again. Marco Scuturo keeps getting hits and winning games for his new team, including the game winner in the World Series, and all at the ripe old age of 37 (not to mention getting every CL in his left knee obliterated by Matt Holliday, yet miraculously walks off the field relatively unscathed)………the BASEBALL GODS!!

    Yes, yes, yes, YES! It’s NOT the players it’s the SPORTS GODS who either smile or frown on their humble servants and then determine their ultimate fate as well as their teams. Glory be.

    Gee, I wonder if the “GODS” like Wu-Tang Clan?

    • WOW.
      I am left speechless.
      You win, Steve, praise Lord.
      Damn those raptors and bobcats for not believing in GOD or attending chapel.
      Damn those magic players for having a special God to tell them how to beat the shit out of those Spiritual Warriors.
      Love thy enemy, indeed.

    • OK, Steve, enough jokes, I’ll rise to the bait as you knew I would.

      No problem with anyone’s religion or spirituality. I’ve got my own, everyone is entitled to theirs, that’s America, thank God. If someone’s belief is good for them, that’s excellent.

      BIG problem with someone taking advantage of their fame to push their spiritual beliefs in an inappropriate setting. That’s especially true when they’re “in the faith business” as Jackson is, actively selling his theology for profit.

      As a representative of the business that is the Warriors Jackson works with people of different faiths, and Warriors customers come from all walks of life, not just Christianity. In a business setting it is highly unprofessional to risk offending people of different beliefs.

      If Jackson wants to talk about his faith in a personal, all-about-Mark-Jackson interview, then fine, that’s the right forum. After a game, while representing the Warriors organization? Absolutely not.

      And if he proselytizes to subordinates, well, if he’s my employee I regretfully fire his ass. Immediately. The Warriors are not a religious organization, so proselytizing to subordinates exposes the company to potential legal problems. That’s the law, and it’s a good one.

      Everyone is entitled to their own faith without fear of harassment or pressure. That’s America. More power to Rev. Jackson and his faith.

      And everyone else’s faith. For that very reason, he should STFU about religion when speaking as a Warriors representative.

  20. On religion, and I’ll quote myself from an essay I wrote a few years ago:

    McKillop [Curry's Davidson coach] is also religious, and often cites scripture, from which he draws lessons he applies to his coaching. Lovedale and Curry talk about their faith as well, its influence on their play. Last year Curry inked on his shoes the much publicized “I can do all things,” from Philippians 4:13.

    As for religion, I have never heard an instance of anyone praying for victory or playing for God to fulfill His purpose. “Walk humbly with your God” McKillop tells us, citing Micah 6:8. Rather, voice is given to what coach and players believe in, giving it a chance to flourish and make them whole. Curry’s “I can do all things” is not egotistical at all but rather a testimony to his faith. The full passage is “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” In an interview with ESPN, he explains, allowing other interpretations: “Don’t play for anybody other than your family, or God, or whatever you believe in. It’s easy to get caught up in playing for the crowd, trying to play a game you’re not capable of.”

    http://rggblog.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/gloriously-pointless-2/
    (Scroll about 2/3 down)

    I’m not religious, I but I respect this belief and find it refreshing. And in so many ways it does define Curry and motivates him. I missed Jackson’s comments about religion but suspect they are innocent. Better a preacher than chaser of strippers. It’s when people believe God is on their side and they have a mission that I start wondering. When they try to convert me, I turn the other cheek.

    I believe I read last year that Curry, Tolliver, and Lin were starting some kind of business selling Christian items of some sort—bracelets, I think, and is Curry wearing one? This is probably innocent, though I have to scratch my head here.

    I believe I read that the FO was looking for players with character. (I’ll leave the irony aside, though have no cause at all to question West’s.) It really is a strength of the team, the motivation, discipline, and spirit of the players, their unity and drive.

    Those can only go so far, however, as we saw last night.

    • Here’s an article on that business:

      http://www.twincities.com/sports/ci_19946271

      And here’s the business site:

      https://www.myactivefaith.com/index.php

      hmmmm. . . .

    • All well and good, rgg, but you’re missing the point too.

      It is NOT OK for a manager in a secular business to proselytize. It always alienates some potential customers. It always creates an uncomfortable working environment for some employees, and the company can even get sued for that.

      I’m fine with whatever Jackson’s religion is. If it works for him, great. But he should STFU about it when he’s standing in front of a wall that says Golden State Warriors. That’s simple professionalism, and it’s a baseline requirement for someone in his position.

  21. @27

    Martin, three last things from me, and I do mean last, on all this:

    1. Just havin’ some fun with you, buddy.

    2. My very first post on the subject went so far over your head it’s now traveling into the outer reaches of the universe, at warp speed.

    3. And finally, what better way to close this out than with the very first words out of the mouth of Harrison Barnes tonight in his postgame TV interview with Jim Barnett: “God is good.” HAHAHAHA

  22. NBA TV talks about the Warriors

  23. “Grading the NBA’s Pacific Division” (After last night’s thrashing of Atlanta I think I’d add a “+” to that “A”)

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/grading-the-nbas-pacific-division/

  24. Ric Bucher:

    “Neither Tyreke Evans, nor Brandon Jennings, were given extensions this fall — so which one is more likely to be dealt before the February trade deadline or play somewhere else next season? Put your money on Jennings.

    Several teams are already quietly assessing him to decide what he should be worth to them and the Bucks are aware of that. The Kings, according to a source, are simply waiting for someone else to set the value of Evans in restricted free agency next summer.

    While no one can quite figure out how to best use Evans or what position he plays, he is a massive talent. The Kings know all that. They don’t want to see that talent harnessed elsewhere. They can’t afford to see that.

    Now, I have no one from the Bucks saying that they’re ready and willing to move Jennings, but a source indicated he’s more inclined to make his way elsewhere than Evans is.

    As for all the other trade “chatter” regarding Pau Gasol, Anderson Varejao, Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon, Varejao is the only one who has any chance of being moved anytime soon. Bargnani is hurt and Gasol isn’t going anywhere until Steve Nash returns, per the Lakers’ promise when they signed Nash that he’d be given the chance to play with Pau.”

  25. I rewrote the last paragraph of this piece to better reflect my meaning. Not sure of the journalistic ethics of this, but it’s something I’m frequently guilty of. I’m a compulsive rewriter, especially when I haven’t made my meaning as clear as I’d like.

    • Again I missed his postgame—and still avoid them. “Intervention of God” is naive and misguided, maybe a little desperate, and potentially harmful. It also leads to the question Who caused Bogut’s injury and the lost list of Warrior woes we all know so well. I’m pretty sure He doesn’t care.

      I am curious about the coaching situation, how exactly decisions are being made, how much input Malone and the others have, if not outright authority. If the team is coached by committee, as has been said, it looks to be working. Many good decisions have been made without apparent friction, decisions that make best use of the available talents.

      The players themselves seem to be part of the process. They are intelligent and will make good decisions, given the right plan and trust, and maybe some flexibility. I suspect there’s some improvising on the floor, especially from Curry, who has been given the leadership role. Landry and Jack, from their experience together, have run several riffs themselves.

      Which leads to the question what will happen if Malone leaves, if he really is the x’s and o’s guy. This season will make him more attractive.

    • Bless you.

    • it’s the curse of big $$ pro sports that they simply do not have to run their bidnesses rationally — essentially they provide addicts a readily available, constant fix — or follow most of the rules the rest of us must adhere to. they’ll let murderers and violent offenders against women play for pay, and various other types of criminals own teams. they seem to love having religion in the clubhouses and locker rooms. we essentially have here collective behaviour which espouses religious devotion, but rewards amoral acts.

      on a psychological level, this makes perfect sense. athletes structure their regimens around routines, rituals, superstitions. why wouldn’t they embrace collective, organized superstition ? ‘god help you’ though, if your ethical beliefs should lead you not to stand up during the national anthem — that form of morality is politics, and politics is the divisive devil.

  26. It seems that the coaches have been reviewing film with Harrison Barnes and suggested changes in his jump shot so he would not miss, at times, either wide left, or wide right. The change has brought immediate results as he shot 8-14 against Atlanta.

    In the game, he elevated, and consistently took the ball back the same way, and did not rush his release. Hope this continues. If so, both he and the Warriors will continue to be a force to be reckoned with.

  27. Welcome to Fantasyland

    Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors (ADP = 41 // Current Rank = 13):

    The major question mark surrounding Steph Curry back in October was whether or not the precocious point guard could stay healthy. A preseason ankle injury scared many away, which resulted in Curry slipping in drafts across the land. Those brave souls that shrewdly rolled the dice and scooped up Curry have been reaping immense benefits ever since. Personally, I grabbed Curry in each and every league I could. All things being equal, as long as Curry stays on the floor, he is a truly elite fantasy superstar. And although Curry is universally derided as “injury prone,” he’s actually played in 203 of 253 possible games – that’s over 80 percent. Curry hasn’t missed a game yet this season, and, as a result, he’s been an absolute fantasy force. There are only two players in the NBA currently shooting over 43 percent from the floor, 43 percent from behind the arc and 89 percent from the FT line: Kevin Durant and Steph Curry. Steph is also averaging a career-high 6.5 assists and 2.7 three-pointers.

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/fantasy-top-5-draft-day-values-of-2012-13/#cLj8dhlWFpRgHqSw.99

  28. We should say something about this road trip, which was impressive. I was especially pleased with the Atlanta blowout (finally!) at a time when you expected the team to let up.

    The causes, however, are not mysterious. It’s the first time in years the team has had a full roster with some stability and a coherent plan. A coaching team has been given a second year. Simply adding two veteran players with heads on their shoulders did a lot to improve the team. Neither Landry nor Jack fit the molds of what a team might want at such positions. Both went late in the trading period, were not highly sought by other teams, and came fairly cheap. They were also about the only options left that fit the team’s budget and needs, backups for Lee and Curry. Green didn’t fit the mold either and wasn’t even drafted. All are happy to play backup roles, but at the same time all have been given considerable time and responsibility. And of course we’re happy with the way all have responded. There’s a lesson to be learned here.

    If defense and rebounding have made marginal gains, these should not come as a surprise and can be attributed to the same causes. The bench is deeper and the coaches have made adjustments in a system that gets the whole team involved and makes best use of available talents. The increase in rebounding, especially, has been spread throughout the deeper roster. What is NOT a cause of these improvements, for obvious reasons, is the addition of a dominant physical center.

    If there was a conflict of leadership in the backcourt, that conflict has been resolved by putting the ball in Curry’s hands. But Jack’s backup role is substantial and essential, and we won’t see Jack and Curry arguing about who’s top dog.

    And of course having an offensive system that makes best use of talent, the point of Feltbot’s post, makes a difference. It has also been argued elsewhere that teams who score play better defense. It’s a tremendous motivation. It’s impossible to run what-if scenarios, but I’m curious. If Bogut were fully healthy at the beginning of the season, I recall hearing that the plan was to run much of the offense through him, posting up front. I’m skeptical such a system would have produced the same results.

    So many other teams in the NBA are in a state of uncertainty and weakness, and suffer from a lack of the same factors: stability, a clear identity, and a full roster. These are the teams the Warriors can beat now and should beat.

    But they’re still a midlevel team.

    • green was the 35th player picked in the draft. early second round, obtained from NJ/brooklyn. the cost was gadzuric, brandan wright (a pretty high lottery pick if you recall). so he was picked higher than arenas or ellis. lee and ezeli were #30 picks b.t.w.

      • Thanks for the correction. Still a low pick. I think I confused his situation with Bazemore’s. Was it Bazemore who wasn’t invited to training camp but somehow showed up and was taken by the Warriors?

        • bazemore looks headed for the same fate as lin(with respect to their woeyr tenure, that is), who also excelled at perimeter defense and boards. they don’t have as much invested in the player, so risk less if they let him lie fallow. c.j.watson and morrow were undrafted free agents, but thanks to the great nelson they will end up with decent journeymen careers, which in the big perspective is still elite for their trade.

          fans should bear in mind that this little streak pushing the team over .500 does not really signify sustained superiority. they have yet to even play a third of the schedule ; establishing themselves as part of the league’s second tier is definitely better than membership in their usual bottom feeder association. it’s probably a season of parity in the west, because of the howard effect, retarding and disrupting the team he joined, and enticing cuban to surrender his expensive free agents in the vain hope he’d win the howard and/or d.williams lotteries. chandler and kidd meanwhile have put NY into the top tier at least temporarily, but woodson knows his craft and how to meld talents.

          with two rookies already starting, they do not have the roster to endure another injury to their remaining top four, but have a hole card with a roster exemption, should they choose to become members of the lux tax payers club.

  29. The Warriors are way above being just a mid-level team.The Warriors have six offensive shooters in Curry, Thompson, Lee, Landry, Jack, and Barnes. I would add Jenkins but he gets little playing time. If even four are on, the Warriors should have no difficulty shooting 48% plus from the field, no matter who the opposition. Not many teams have so many good shooters.

    For the Warriors, it gets down to defense. They still need a big man, and they need to get Bazemore on the court. He’s probably their best outside defender and ball-hawk.

    • You can also add Jefferson as a gunner. He was 14th in the NBA last year in 3-pt shooting percentage (.420), above Thompson @ 18th (.414).

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_2012_leaders.html

      Statistically, the biggest difference between this year and last is that so far this season our team has won a higher percentage of tight games. The result is a big difference in the record, but the Ws are doing it with only a slight improvement over last year’s point differential v. other teams. In other words, we’re winning more of the tight games but still have a LOT of tight games.

      Basketball Reference scores teams with a Simple Rating System, basically teams’ average point differential factored by the level of competition. A perfectly average team should theoretically have an SRS of near zero.

      Last year’s losing record – when the Ws TRIED to lose for half the season – earned the team a -2.79 SRS. This year’s team to date has a *plus* 1.56 SRS. To put that in perspective, here are this year’s best team SRS ratings:

      Clippers 9.02
      Thunder 8.61
      Spurs 8.12
      Knicks 6.64

      We rate 4.35 better than last year’s Warriors. That’s great! But right now, this season, we’re 5.08 behind NY, the “worst” of the top 4 teams in the NBA.

      Our team has a great record and is definitely improved over last year – Yay! But we still have a ways to go before we’re an elite team. According to the Basketball Reference SRS rating, rgg is right. We’re barely better than a mid-pack team.

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_2013_standings.html

    • Bazemore? Really?

  30. Last year’s point differential is completely irrelevant to determining how well the Warriors are playing this year. And since our point differential over our opponents has steadily grown since the beginning of the season, , and has not significantly diminished in games we recently won on the road, the future is bright.

    In the beginning of the season, we only outscored our opponents by more than four points in two games out of our first five wins. In our next five wins, played mostly at home, we won by more than eight points in four of those wins. And even on the road, in our last six wins the point differential was above seven in four of those wins.

    And the point differential is related to the fact that Curry, Thompson, D. Lee, and Jack, have all improved their shooting since the beginning of the season.

    And beating Atlanta, a good team, by 22 points on the road, and Miami that was last year’s NBA champ, demonstrates that something special is happening. And we have already beat the Clippers that have a higher point differential over their opponents than we do.

    The Warriors success has little, if anything, to do with our winning close games. It has more to do with the Warriors shooting well, and playing good defense, that has resulted in opposing teams shooting a lower FG% then the Warriors.

    • Rebounding… The W’s win when the team outrebounds it’s opponents. And the W’s HAVE been outrebounding the opponents. And the defense has improved.

      I’ve never worried about the W’s offense because it’s loaded with great scorers/shooters. The W’s should push the ball more – as Barnett always points out – and I agree fully…

  31. “Last year’s point differential is completely irrelevant to determining how well the Warriors are playing this year.”

    Huh? They’ve been playing better. That’s a fact, and it’s reflected in the team’s SRS.

    “The Warriors success has little, if anything, to do with our winning close games.”

    Huh? Sure it does. A W is a W, not an L.

    “It has more to do with the Warriors shooting well, and playing good defense, that has resulted in opposing teams shooting a lower FG% then the Warriors.”

    Well, sure. Outscoring opponents wins games.

    Frank, the SRS doesn’t explain success, it’s just a simple attempt to rate a team’s quality based on its W-L record and scoring history.

    I agree the team seems to be coming together, but the SRS does not predict trends. Note that other good teams tend to come together more and more throughout the season too, though, so if I were a bettin’ man, I’d rank the Ws at season end right about where they are now.

    But who know, really? That’s why they gotta play the games.

    • “I agree the team seems to be coming together, but the SRS does not predict trends. Note that other good teams tend to come together more and more throughout the season too, though, so if I were a bettin’ man, I’d rank the Ws at season end right about where they are now.”

      WH, does your “bettin’ man” thinking include a healthy and fully available Bogut?

      • Nope. I wish.

        For Bogut to help the team he’s got to get past four issues: healing, conditioning, his skills practice level, and his integration into team play. It would be great to see him back 100% this season, but that’s a lot to overcome.

  32. I imagine this article wouldn’t have crossed most people’s radars. Just a profile on Mr Lacob, nothing too ground breaking.

    http://pandodaily.com/2012/12/17/former-vc-joe-lacob-puts-one-in-the-w-column-as-golden-state-warriors-owner/

    • “For Lacob, most of his fits and starts are the typical snags that come with rebuilding a team in earnest – the depleted rosters, the young players, the yet-to-be developed chemistry. But other things were mismanaged. The team outright lied to the public about the condition of Bogut, the prized acquisition. When the trade was first announced, the fans knew they were getting an injured player, but the ailment was reasonable: a bum ankle, possibly healed by the start of the season. But as the season started and Bogut played minimal minutes – and eventually stopped playing altogether – the story from the Warrior’s camp began to get murky. The team first said he had undergone a simple clean up procedure on his ankle, when in reality he’d had more severe micro fracture surgery. “We don’t want to fool anybody anymore,” Bogut said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Now he is out indefinitely.”

      Berko, here’s another example of a writer wording a sentence or two in a way that seems to back up the idea of the Warriors “lying” about Bogut.

      Regardless of the general consensus of Warriors fans on whether or not they feel management lied about Bogut’s health, the fact remains that what this writer wrote was subtly misleading making it in some ways a lie itself. Instead of writing, “The team first said he was going to undergo a simple clean-up procedure”, it was instead implied (“had undergone”) that the Warriors talked about the surgery after it had taken place.

      The Warriors NEVER said anything about the surgery AFTER Dr. Ferkel went in and performed the clean-up/microfracture procedures other than to say that Bogut should be ready to go by training camp.

      They announced back in April that a relatively minor clean-up was going to be done, but after the surgery, silence. Only Bogut’s self-updates of “more serious than expected” which finally led to his “I actually had microfracture surgery” declaration revealed the actual “details” of the surgery.

      If saying nothing about the actual specifics of the surgery and what Ferkel found is “lying”, than the Warriors lied. Whatever. Personally, I have more problems with the way the media has spun and twisted this overall story than with anyone connected to GSW.

      And yeah, this is all overkill on the subject, but the Dubs were off tonight so what the heck.

    • As a fan, we can deal with team injuries. Always have and still have packed the house most nights.

      Willfully and purposefully withholding information on Bogut’s injury?

      Classless… Hurtful…

      I’m still wiping away my tears. LOL!

      Actually – after the GM apology, which was good enough for me – I’m over it.

      Get well Andrew Bogut! We need you for the playoffs!

  33. BOTH Gasol and Nash back for the Lakers by Saturday vs GSW? Given past results, once the Warriors start beating Kobe and the Lakers then you’ll know for sure a new era has dawned in the Land of Warriors.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–sources–barring-setback–steve-nash-eyes-saturday-return-to-lakers-024051606.html

    • “start beating… the Lakers… ?”

      You mean, start COMPETING with the Lakers… LOL! Like an infant newborn, W’s have to crawl before they can walk! LOL!

      I was hoping that was the case this season, then Mike Brown was fired – and the Lakers got fired up for OUR game! LOL! Then the Lakers lose to just about everyone else!

  34. Practice interviews 12/17/12

  35. @ #39 Moto,

    2012-13 PERs for the players you mentioned:

    CJ Watson 14.4
    Anthony Morrow 11.8 (13.6 career average, down this year)
    Kent Bazemore 12.8
    Klay Thompson 12.1

    CJ and AM were/are both incomplete ballplayers. But do the stats say the Ws should have kept either instead of drafting Thompson?

    • the ‘p.e.r.’ statistical measurement has generally been discredited because it heavily favors offense, particularly those who shoot at a high frequency like ellis or anthony. as you note, thompson is a more complete player ; further, if you wish to compare his stats with anyone’s, it’s best to look at the other player’s second year numbers rather than career. if my assertion is valid, that the team is much more likely to give opportunities and try to retain players in whom they’ve invested a first round pick (even a.randolph, diogu, b.wright became trade assets), then thompson is likely headed for a nice second contract with the lacobites.

      • Klay Thompson’s star is on the rise – a vote by GMs throughout the league confirms what my eyes are seeing on the court. The PER numbers should get better in time, with more games, and as he improves with time.

        Also, the number 7 and 8 players on the PERs list for the year so far???

        McGee, Denver
        Blatche, Nets

        It’s a crazy world in which we live…

        http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/statistics

        • Thompson gets shot happy sometimes, but as the Feltmeister has pointed out, Thompson is also a nice play maker. The HOF is a stretch at this point, but if he continues to develop his passing and rebounding, an AS game might be in his future.

          Also, the presence of Curry will always make Thompson the second option. To become a HOF’er, he’ll need to become the first option on a team for a while. The only reason Ray Allen is going to be a Hall of Famer is because he spent all those years in Seattle as the best player on a mediocre/semi-good team — he piled up statistics from range because he had to. With Curry on the same team, Thompson will always be sharing the scoring load from downtown, and he’ll get less hype and less consideration even for an AS game.

      • I guess I don’t get it Moto. Thompson shoots as much as anyone, but he has the lowest PER on the list we mentioned – unusually low for a starter on any NBA team. Are you saying you think the Ws FO would ignore his results and give him a sweet 2nd contract no matter what? By this time next year Thompson might not even be a starter.

  36. Udoh, Ellis, D. Wright, and K. Brown are no longer with the team.

    Now, we have Jack and Landry, Barnes, Ezeli, D. Green, and Jefferson. This year’s team is not only better because of the depth of the overall roster, but also because the Warriors are playing a completely different and more effective defensive system this year.

    In my judgment if the Warriors had not made the trade, not participated in the lottery, and just added Jack, Landry, drafted D. Green, signed a free agent with K. Brown’s money, and retained Udoh and Ellis, they would still be performing at a high level.

    There is no reason to look backward as the Warriors are playing great, Bogut may still play this year, and Rush will play next year.

    The Warriors seventh ranking by ESPN is well-deserved.

    Looking at the team’s overall SRS for the entire year tells us little, as the Warriors lately having been outscoring their opponents far more than they did in the beginning of the season.

  37. White Hat at 40 – Thanks for the link on SRS – had never really noticed it before.. I think it is very accurate reflection of what it is meant to be. Looking at all the teams – the Warriors 1.54 has them ranked 11th overall in srs and 7th in the West with 5 teams in the East ranked ahead of them. I think this is a very accurate reflection of where they stand in the league now. Considering the season and how the W’s have been playing – there are trends that indicate the w’s srs should continue to rise …
    1. The warriors are 8-2 on the last 10 games.
    2. Important role players were only recently identified – Green-(thank god Jefferson got hurt)
    3. Most of the team has not really played much together and this was the first training camp the new coaches have had. So it took a little longer than most teams for the w’s to get used to playing together.

    Frank – saying the srs does not predict future trends is true – it is very hard to get statistics to predict. On the other hand, in general, the best prediction is past performance which the srs accurately measures.

    My bet is – if you just looked at srs on the last 10 games – the w’s would be in the top 5 – that would also be unrealistic as they have just gone through a hot streak…

    • Buck and Frank, good points about the Ws potential, and how they’ve improved since the beginning of the season.

      Still, many other top teams can be expected to improve throughout the season too. For example, Boston peaks for the playoffs year in and year out. The Lackers are about to look a lot better with Nash coming off injury. Denver and Houston keep getting better. I’m sure you can think of other teams on the rise too. So while I’m delighted about the improvement in the Ws, I don’t think they’re a deep-into-the-playoffs kind of team, not this year.

      Besides the improving competition, another reason I feel that way is the coaching. It’s been great! But it’s also been a huge surprise, not just to fans but to opposing coaches. Every system, even a good one, is beatable with the right counter-attack (that’s “the lesson of Nellie”). Not-so-great teams who were prepared to deal with the Ws system this year have beaten them – Sacramento and Orlando, for example. The more successful the Ws are, the more prepared their opponents will be. And the next time we meet Miami, they’ll have game-planned for today’s Ws, not last year’s.

      • WH, coaching is only part of the equation in the NBA. You have to have the horses. A healthy Curry has been the key for D Lee’s great season, and the young, fresh-legged roster allowed the team to play well in back to backs.

        Secondly, the Warriors have played at the correct pace for their roster — slightly faster than most other teams. Thirdly, there is clearly a huge improvement on offense in the half court. Adding Landry and Jack means that the second unit changes the pace (slightly slower), and doesn’t give up too much on the offensive end. I don’t think the second unit’s contributions can be overstated. They have been phenomenal at holding leads, drawing fouls and playing relatively mistake-free basketball. They have also been instrumental in keeping the minutes down for Curry who would be playing 42 minutes per game for last year’s team.

        You are right, teams will have to game-plan for the Warriors. However, the Warriors have multiple ways to play (for the first time in many years) and wins have begun to follow.

  38. New Orleans picked up Dominic McGuire. Will we see him tonight?

  39. From Grantland:

    “Golden State of Mind…..The Giants, the Niners, the A’s, and yes, even the Warriors made the Bay Area our sports city of the year”

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8737332/how-giants-niners-even-warriors-made-bay-area-our-sports-city-year

  40. Taken from Ric Bucher’s chat transcript earlier today:

    Does Mark Jackson mostly let his assistants handle X’s and O’s, or is he grasping this aspect of coaching? Could he be another Doc Rivers type down the line?

    by Jamie 12:28 PM

    Biggest misnomer going. Mark knows Xs and Os, he simply allows his assistants to do the play drawing — after it has been discussed in the coaches’ meeting prior to going back to the bench. I often hear him verbally tell the team what he wants them to run and how to run it. You mentioned Doc — I can’t remember the last time I saw him draw up a play in a timeout or huddle.

    http://www.csnbayarea.com/article/ric-buchers-nba-chat-transcript-121812

  41. Tim Kawakami interview with Joe Lacob (from mercurynews.com)

    -Q: This was set up randomly a while ago, neither of us knew your team would be doing so well when we sat down. But that’s what’s happening. What are your emotions at 16-7…

    -LACOB: 16-8.

    -Q: Oops, 16-8. What strikes you as you watch this team win so many games, especially on the road?

    LACOB: I was on that road trip—for the first five games. And you could feel it building day by day. It was great to get the first one, Detroit, we felt like we should win. We did.

    Brooklyn, felt like we could win, we did. Then the next two, games we thought we could win. And when they got those games, once you get to four… it was like, wow, this is a good trip.

    If you can win four of seven on the road, that was the goal as far as I was concerned.

    And then of course Miami, I didn’t want to allow myself to believe, but I knew we were playing well, I knew the guys felt they could win. We just wanted—at least I felt this way—if we could just play ‘em tough, let ‘em know we were there, right? That would almost be victory in itself playing against the defending champions.

    When that game got close at the end, that was a great feeling. You could feel the sense it was possible. Then we pulled it off. To cap the trip off with the Atlanta win—that’s a fantastic trip. The team has gained confidence.

    I knew we could be good. I expected us to be good. The loss of Brandon Rush and Bogut certainly made things more difficult. But I still thought we could be good.

    And now to be 16-8, I would have to say, everyone feels great. But there’s a responsibility now and that responsibility is to continue it and to continue the things we have been doing and that’s to play hard every single quarter, grind out every play right ‘til the end.

    Mark Jackson has stated it—we’re not good enough to coast. We’ve got to play hard all the time. That’s what Mark is. That’s why we hired Mark, for that mentality.

    It’s the way I am. We’re kind of all hard-working, 24-7, grind-it-out mentality. I think we’ll continue it. Hope it goes on.

    -Q: What do you circle as the main reason this is happening? The off-season acquisitions? Just a season of maturity? Depth?

    -LACOB: Look I think we had from Day 1 a good plan.

    You go back and look at your notes from our conversations in the past early on, you hear some confidence and some bravado. It really was me trying to change the culture, the atmosphere, the attitude about this organization both internally and externally. I had to do some of that.

    I think we were trying to set a tone and we had a plan from the beginning, which was to emphasize defense, emphasize rebounding, emphasize size, things we did not obviously have.

    If we could do all those things, I felt and others in the organization felt that we could have the makings of a winner. Still have to have players make plays, still have to be able to score the ball, but you can’t score the ball if you don’t have the ball.

    I think from the beginning we felt we had to change this kind of image, this culture, this self-image of the franchise.

    And Mark Jackson’s a big part of that. You can say what you want about his X’s and O’s, some people criticize him, some people like him. But his attitude and his demeanor—it’s all changed the culture of this team.

    This is what we planned, so I’m taking a little bit of credit, only a little. But the players and the coaches have made it happen. So far.

    -Q: Are you surprised to be this successful?

    -LACOB: I am. To be 16-8? Yes. I think our goal from the beginning of the year was to get to .500, stay around .500—especially with Bogut out. We knew the schedule would be tough early. But the second half of the year we knew it gets better, at least in the late part, 16 of the last 22 at home, as you know.

    So if we could just hang tough and stay within contention, I felt like we could make a run at the end and be a playoff team.

    I am a little surprised that we’re this good this early; this consistent, this tough. The rookies have developed a little bit faster than maybe everyone could rightfully hope, though we knew they’d be good.

    And so now we just need to continue; we need to keep grinding them out. The Western Conference is really hard. I got scared last night—as good as I feel about this record, I looked at those records and I said, ‘damn, it’s not just eight or nine teams competing for those spots, it’s really like 12.’

    There’s a lot of good teams and a lot of things could happen still. So this is no team to rest on our laurels.

    -Q: Do you allow yourself to enjoy being more than 5 games ahead of the Lakers, for instance? To see yourself in that top echelon?

    -LACOB: We are. We have to take it one game at a time, I know that sounds cliché, but we really do. Mark knows that and he’s very much stated that.

    I’m not worried about the Lakers, I think we’re worried more just about ourselves, continuing to play every team hard and just stay in this race.

    And when Bogut comes back, that should be a nice boost. He should be able to fit in. He’s a willing passer, he’s as strong defender, good rebounder. That should help.

    And the rookies are going to get better every year. And hopefully we don’t have any major injuries—we’ve had our big one for the year, hopefully. I’m just hoping we can continue it…

    -Q: So do you lift your expectations after this start? Do you move it from just going for the playoffs to aim for something like the 4th seed?

    -LACOB: I knew you were going to ask that question today.

    I’ll be honest, from the beginning I felt this team could be anywhere from the fifth to the eighth seed. I thought it’d be very competitive in that area.

    We had the capability to do that. But I don’t think any of us are worried about what the seed is right now.

    Our goal for our fans is to make the playoffs and whether it’s eighth, seventh, sixth, fourth, I don’t know. Who knows between now and then what’s going to happen?

    I think we just have to keep winning games and just get into the playoffs because our fans deserve it.

    -Q: OK, but do you flat-out expect to make the playoffs this year?

    -LACOB: I don’t know about ‘expect.’ Right now we shouldn’t expect anything. We just need to make sure that we get there, do everything we can. That means the coaching staff, the players, everybody has to come with that intention.

    -Q: What’s the situation with Bogut now? Does he have to figure out how to adapt to his situation? Can he get significantly better in the next week, two weeks, three weeks? Or is it possible he doesn’t come back at all this season?

    -LACOB: I don’t know the answer to that in totality. I will say everything I’m told is that he’s progressing well and that he will be ready to play at some point in the season and hopefully not too much further in the season.

    We’re not in the game of predicting any more (laughs) after what happened this year. He was cleared to play by the doctors for opening day and he personally cleared himself, said he felt good.

    So that’s not our choice. He played. And unfortunately, didn’t work out. He felt things that he had not hoped that he would feel, did not feel 100%, couldn’t explode off that ankle and shut himself down.

    We basically have done what we’ve had to do, which is: Tell us when you’re ready.

    I give credit to the coaching staff and the players, they’re just moving on, moving forward. He comes back, he comes back, when he comes back he comes back. They’ve got a job to do and they’ve done a great job.

    -Q: So there’s been no pressure from you or anybody in the front office on Bogut to get back?

    -LACOB: Never. Never. We can’t dictate when a player plays. The only people who can dictate when a player plays are the doctors, and the player.

    All I can tell you is that he had surgery in late-April and the doctor said given the procedure it would be six months, roughly, he’d be ready for opening day, at least he was expected to be ready for opening day. He made it. They cleared him.

    And he regressed. It happens. What are you going to do?

    -Q: Did you know at the time of the surgery that microfracture work was done?

    -LACOB: This is a difficult subject for us, obviously. I don’t want to appear defensive, obviously, about my organization or anything else.

    But whatever procedure he did have, and he apparently did have a small amount of microfracture, that was all factored into the opening day assignment day of when he would be ready.

    I think it’s an irrelevant thing to talk about. We could’ve obviously handled it better. I will tell you—you’re a smart guy and some of the journalists are not as smart as you, is all I’ll say.

    You know how this works in the NBA, as to what’s released about a medical procedure. While everybody tries to be honest, certainly, and open, there are many factors, including what agents and players want in those releases, not just the team.

    We’re kind of… it’s not always entirely our choice. And it’s irrelevant. It doesn’t even matter. I think people are focusing on something that really is not important.

    What’s important is he was supposed to be ready for opening day, that was the timeline set, whatever the procedure was, and he was, and he regressed.

    All we’ve done is basically say to Andrew, ‘You go, take whatever time you need, we’ll help you do whatever it takes—doctors, therapists, whatever. And when you’re ready, let us know.’ That’s all we can do.

    -Q: And the latest on that is…?

    -LACOB: I can tell you with assurance I know no more than you (laughs). All I know is I hear he’s making progress, he’s closer and starting to run on it again. I just don’t know a date. Wish I did, believe me.

    -Q: You’re good so far without Bogut, so how good are you going to be with him?

    -LACOB: I don’t know. I can only assume, like any fan would, that we should be better. He’s a pretty nice piece to add.

    Most people go into the trade deadline looking to add to make your team better. We sort of have that built in at this point—when Andrew comes back, he’s a helluva player.

    And even if he’s not 100%, and he will hopefully be 100%, he’s a tremendous addition. He plays defense, he rebounds. We have not really been able to see what our team really looks like, and that’s why this is so encouraging to see the way Steph has performed and David Lee—I know you love hearing that.

    -Q: What can I say about that one? No arguments on Lee from me. Both Curry and Lee are clearly your guys, hard to argue that right now. How proud are you to see those two guys in particular seem to take leadership of this team and point everybody in the right direction?

    -LACOB: I’ll let others be the judge of their performance. I can only say that I am proud of them—these guys have both stepped up their games.

    Steph Curry, how he does not become an All-Star this year, I don’t know. He’s performed at a tremendous level, playing what, 37 minutes a game, I think it is. He’s really done a terrific job.

    And he’s taken on the leadership of this team, which is probably most important.

    And David Lee, look, everyone knows that I’m a big fan and have been since Day 1. I’ve always felt that he’s one of these guys that will play hurt, just do whatever it takes. Remember when he came back from his elbow thing, he was out there in pain.

    He’s a warrior. I think I most of all appreciate that about this guy—how hard he works. He’s putting up some great numbers this year against everybody. And plays hard every night. What, seven straight games with double-doubles, 20 and 10, against some pretty good teams, on the road.

    Let’s just hope he continues to be as durable as he has, put up the numbers he has. I don’t want to ever hear again about these empty numbers of David Lee. Because I’ve never bought it.

    He might not be the greatest defender in the world—even he would admit, I would sure. But he’s pretty good. He’s done a lot better job this year than he’s done in the past. A lot of that is due to the coaching and the situation he’s been put in, the rotation. You’ve got to give the coaching staff credit for that, too.

    -Q: Curry specifically praised you for making the $44M extension offer with him coming off all those ankle problems. How tough a decision was that for you—knowing there was so much injury risk involved?

    -LACOB: We took a risk. If there was anyone you were going to take a risk on, someone’s character and commitment, it would be Steph Curry.

    Look, he was injured all year last year. Really wasn’t ready, then even tweaked it in the preseason. So we needed a discount for taking that risk. We of course negotiated that way.

    I think we got a reasonable discount because I can tell you this man would have gotten a max next summer from some team. I’m sure somebody would’ve likely done it, at least that was the bet.

    We took a little bit of a risk, I guess, on the injury and the fact that he would be healthy. But this is all about risk. Someone could get injured any given day. And I haven’t seen many people have an ankle injury end their NBA career. So I think our calculation was this guy had rehabbed it properly and was going to be diligent and we think he’s a great talent.

    When we traded Monta Ellis, we were betting on Steph. If you’re going to be in, you might as well be all-in.

    -Q: So on that Monta trade… I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but looking back on it, with Bogut not playing and you guys winning, was it almost addition by subtraction with Ellis? Are you better simply by not having him any more?

    -LACOB: I know some people say that. Look, I’m a big Monta Ellis fan, actually. I think I’ve said that, I think you know that. I got in a lot of trouble for trading him—my fiancée wouldn’t talk to me for three days, that’s an absolute true story.

    There were a lot of people that really considered him a very exciting player and a great warrior, and he was. I appreciate the fact that he went out there hurt, played hard all the time. I have great respect for him as a player, I really do. It was hard to trade him, but I think we had to make a tough decision.

    I think we realized after a year-and-a-half—of this ownership group, at least—that what some people were saying, you, I think, included, was probably true. Which is that the small backcourt, quote unquote, while it could work, had limitations.

    And when we drafted Klay Thompson the year prior, the plan was that, if this guy could be we thought he could be, we’d have a big guard who could shoot over people and play great defense—at least be long, even average defense would be good.

    I think we made the conclusion that Klay was going to be that player; didn’t take long. And we got an opportunity to trade Monta, our biggest trade chip, to get bigger, which was what the commitment was from Day 1.

    It was a real gamble because Bogut was injured. That doesn’t look too good.

    But we didn’t just get Andrew Bogut in that deal; een though we also gave up Udoh who we really liked, we were able to get another first-round pick essentially by moving the one piece, Stephen Jackson, which we thought would be valuable in what was considered one of the best draft classes in a long time.

    I think we just viewed it as something we had to do. And got booed by 20,000 people, partially for that, probably. I probably would’ve booed, too.

    Look, if you own an NBA team, you have to expect those situations. It was tough, but whatever. It is what it is. I’ll move on.

    I think it was a good trade for us and I think it set the course for what we’re now doing.

    -Q: That night after the booing, you said they’ll love this ownership when you win. Remember that? Feeling that now?

    -LACOB: Hopefully they’ll love this ownership when they win (laughs). But I’m not in it to be loved. We’re not in it to be loved.

    We’re in it to achieve something, which is to turn this franchise around, make it a winner. Something that not only we but everybody in the Bay Area can be proud of. That’s really honestly our goal.

    We’re starting to turn the corner, feeling pretty good about it. I do know at the end of the day, wins and losses matter. It is sports.

    And I don’t think I’ll be booed if we win a title.

    It is what it is. People get booed, and people get cheered, too, so we move on

    -Q: My point at the time was that your reaction was important—that you don’t run and hide after that the way Cohan did in 2000. You agree with that?

    -LACOB: Look, it’s not an easy thing to get booed, I can tell you. I’m not going to comment about other people and how they reacted or didn’t react to it.

    For me, I expected it at some point. That’s what I signed up for when I got involved in buying this team. I knew I had be a face of the franchise initially. We had to make a lot of changes and someone had to get up there and take the heat.

    I don’t mind doing that. So I try not to think about it at all, to be honest with you. I’m just trying to do a good job, trying to move us forward. And then we can all contemplate the results later on and decide whether we’re happy or not or hoist a drink for ourselves or not.

    It doesn’t matter; right now all that matters is day to day, turning this thing around, winning and creating an atmosphere that the players and employees of this organization being at. We had our Christmas party yesterday—we have 200 employees now and it was an incredibly great and gratifying experience for me, to see how happy they all were, how motivated they all were… I get goosebumps just doing that, frankly.

    And if there are a lot of fans happy with our 16-8 record and looking forward and positive now, that’s great. But I’m not lifting my head up—looking straight down until we get this thing done.

    -Q: You’ve always been very aggressive about wanting to be involved in big deals, checking the deal flow. You’re at 16-8 now, do you step back from that a little? Or do you still search for that superstar? Do you need a superstar?

    -LACOB: I don’t know. We’re pretty good right now. Even though I would agree that we’re not a team that has a superstar, we have a team with some really good players.

    We have a deep team, which is what we built this year, that was what we had the ability to do. A lot of youth mixed with veterans. The right coaching staff.

    I think we’re doing pretty well. You always want to try to improve yourself, so if the right deal came along, we’d have to look at it. We look every day. We’re not shrinking violets about this, as you saw last year.

    We won’t know more until we get closer to the trade deadline, frankly, Is it possible something could happen? Yes. Is it likely? Very hard to say. If we could improve our team, we would.

    -Q: And you need to see how things go with Bogut…

    -LACOB: Yeah, we need to see when Bogut’s coming back and how well he’s playing. That might determine a few things.

    But right now, I like our team. Let’s just hope we continue to play this way and we’ll do what we can on the margins to improve it if we can.

    -Q: You jumped into luxury tax in the off-season. Do you imagine staying over the line, is the plan to get under, or maybe could you even go further into the tax if the right move was there?

    -LACOB: I think it would be better not to be in the luxury tax. We’d all prefer not to be, because that’s why it’s there, to keep teams from doing it. But some teams, given certain circumstances, will enter the luxury tax.

    We can afford to do it if we deem it’s the right thing to do. We’re in it actually today, as you point out.

    There’s no mandate that says we have to be below the luxury tax. We’re just going to wait and see what’s the best thing to do for this team, how are we performing at the trade deadline? And if we make a move that helps our team and winds up being further into luxury tax, then so be it, that’s what we’ll do.

    We’d only do that if we thought it was really going to improve the team and to take us to a higher level.

    -Q: How hard a call was it to approve going over?

    -LACOB: Not hard. It wasn’t a lot of money. It does trigger some things. You’d rather be below… More important than that, the consideration will be, as we get to the deadline, setting ourselves up with respect to re-signing players. That could enter into the fray.

    -Q: There was a perception that Mark Jackson had some pressure on him going into this year…

    -LACOB: He’s under contract, and so yes, he has pressure on him. We all do. I feel a lot of pressure; everyone feels a lot of pressure, because this fan base deserves for this team to be in the playoffs. They deserve a winner.

    So yeah, we all feel pressure. And Mark should feel pressure to perform, and you know, he’s handling it pretty well. He’s doing what I think most people say is a helluva job. I have every belief that he’s going to continue to do that.

    Players like playing for this guy.

    -Q: What did you like most among the things you did in the off-season?

    -LACOB: I think utilizing our draft picks appropriately and not missing on those probably is the most important thing. I am proud of the job that our group has done—Bob Myers in the lead with help from Travis Schlenk and Kirk and Jerry West.

    You have to conclude they did a pretty good job at this point, both last year and this year. Klay Thompson and Charles Jenkins, both from last year, can play, no doubt about that. Both would be drafted (now) higher than their respective draft positions.

    And I think for this year, you could argue that all three of our guys would be drafted higher if you had to re-do the draft. That’s pretty good to get five guys who can play and will play in this league for a long time.

    -Q: How is the front-office working?

    -LACOB: Bob’s the general manager, he’s in charge. It’s as simple as that. At the end of the day, I confer with him on any major move. But he’s in charge and he is great about input from his scouts, from his assistant general managers and from Jerry.

    One thing about Bob Myers, and it’s the reason we hired him, is he has great inter-personal skills, he manages relationships very well, he listens very well. He has great experience on the contractural side of things as an agent. Gets along with the coaching staff.

    He’s in charge and he’s doing a very good job for someone who’s the second youngest GM in the league.

    -Q: So are you still a hands-on owner in personnel matters?

    -LACOB: I don’t look at myself as the personnel guy, never have. I’m an owner and I’m obviously a CEO, so it’s more than just a passive ownership. I’m involved on a daily basis.

    And frankly, this is a big job. Requires all hands on deck. There’s a franchise to run, an operation to run, both on the basketball side and the business. And there’s also a new arena venue that we’re working on and everything that’s involved with that–frankly, it’s as much work or more than the basketball team.

    -Q: Before we got going in the official interview, you mentioned that you’re getting congratulated by friends and associates lately and you’re trying to just keep it even-keel for now…

    -LACOB: Well, I want to enjoy it. So I have to say that I am enjoying the fact that we’re winning this year. It is definitely better than losing.

    But it is hard to enjoy it for too long after a victory. I enjoyed the Miami victory tremendously–wound up running onto the court in the spur of the moment. But the next day you wake up and you’re on to the next thing.

    We’re only 30% into the season right now. We have a long way to go. And we all know how these things can go one way or the other. I enjoy it, but not that much. Not until the end of the season, when we can look back and say this is what we achieved and didn’t achieve.

    Then I can reflect. Right now, no time to reflect.

    • Wow, what a treat this morning, to have several feet of Lacob to scroll through.

      Steve, there are permission issues, legal ones, for Feltbot and/or you in citing so much of a text, or a text in its entirety. Standard practice on the web, though still not a legal definition, is to cite about 50 words or so and add a link and identify the source. It also needs to be made clear what parts of the text are cited.

      Also, and I don’t know about the others, I find it helpful to have a brief setup, a comment or brief explanation, for anything copied so I know why it’s there and why it might be of interest or how it contributes to other discussions.

      And, quite frankly, having something this long makes it hard to get to other, earlier discussions.

      • lacob and his apparatchiks have plenty of outlets for his agitprop/p.r. the more Steve provides in this vein, the more one must suspect that he is part of that problem ; their p.r. department is surely well staffed by blog-savvy, wired-up sports addicts.

  42. Jeremy Lin leads the Rockets into NYC

  43. Yahoo Sports NBA Power Rankings (Warriors ranked 5th, ahead of both Miami and Memphis)

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–nba-power-rankings–thunderous-applause-for-okc–191119623.html

  44. Anyone else notice that Draymond Green was +13 last night, highest on the team?

  45. Golden State Warriors power forward Carl Landry is arguably one of the most underrated frontcourt talents in the game today. Despite having a starting lineup caliber skillset, Landry has only started 63 contests out of over 330 regular season appearances since entering the league in 2007.

    While Landry continues to provide consistent on court production, over the course of his six year career he has played for four different franchises in Houston, Sacramento and New Orleans before signing a two-year $8 million deal with the Golden State Warriors this past offseason.

    Landry, who holds a player option for the 2014 season, is hoping his latest stop in Golden State will be the last in his career journey, for a long while.

    “Golden State has been more than good to me so far and that’s an understatement,” Landry told HOOPSWORLD. “I’m really excited to be here. I signed a two-year deal and hopefully I can be here for a very long time.”

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/nba-am-carl-landry-seeks-long-term-home/#jOpbESCwXpBuU4Ir.99

    • landry has a player’s option and can chose to leave after this season. his agent’s mission will be to find other teams willing to offer a three or four year deal @ 5-6m. per annum or more, and force the lacobites into offering a suitable extension with a nice signing bonus. or say sayonara. the lacobites may well be lux tax payers next summer, so competitors will be able to calculate their offers accordingly. jack has an option and could choose to depart, as well, and would be harder to replace ; the team has floundered without a solid, vet back up lead guard, and obviously jack is more prominent ’cause he’s usually the closer.

  46. WH@47:

    What the hell is a PER? Is that the stat that has JaVale McGee as the 7th best player in the league? And one-legged Nene, Brook Lopez, Eric Bledsoe and Andray Blatche all in the top 12? I don’t need to tell you what I think of advanced stats, or any basketball opinion of John Hollinger’s for that matter. Garbage.

    Since I opened my mouth 2 weeks ago, Klay Thompson is the 16th ranked fantasy player in the entire NBA. 16th.

    Fantasy basketball is not the same thing as real basketball. But when I scan the names of the top 16 fantasy players in the league there are only two who are not all-stars: Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving.

    This is Klay Thompson’s stat line over the last 8 games:
    16.9 pts, 3.4 3/gm, .466 FG%, 1.000 FT%, 4.5 rb/gm, 3.1 ass/gm, 1.4 steals/gm, 0.8 blocks/gm

    Anyone who doesn’t see the greatness in those numbers is just being stubborn. Not a starter? He’ll be an all-star within three years — providing he continues to play at his true position.

    • Thompson is doing well because of the team and system, one that moves the ball to him and has other scorers to distract the opponents’ defense, that lets him shoot 3s freely. He can’t score no matter what, like the top tier players. Hard to believe he wouldn’t be moved to mediocrity or even obscurity on another team, say a defensive, physical team like Chicago, like the one Lacob thinks he has, or a team like Charlotte.

  47. Was Riley on board when they found Ezeli and Green? I’m curious here. Wasn’t he asked to stay on as a scout or something? Is he doing this now?

  48. I’m trying to put the front office BS behind me and just watch the games, but I made the mistake of leaving the TV on after the game last night and overheard an interview with Meyers (wow, is he ever not impressive) in one of the postgame shows. He attributed the recent success to Lacob’s instilling a winning culture in the organization. And Lacob says the same in his TK interview:

    “I think from the beginning we felt we had to change this kind of image, this culture, this self-image of the franchise.”

    What a misstatement and what an insult to the players and previous FO figures. Did they not want to win? He also glosses over two years where the culture was anything but, for reasons of strategy and his own logistics. Lee and Curry are bailing his ass out.

    Isn’t culture something you find in a petri dish? What Lacob is talking about sure smells like what you’d find in one.

    Can Lacob not talk without abusing others and promoting himself? I’m starting to miss Cohan. At least he kept his mouth shut.

  49. Apologies to rgg for orphaning the discussion here — I decided to turn my posts into a new thread. Please feel free to repost on the next thread.

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