Warriors Myths Exposed: Nuggets 116 Warriors 105

It’s never easy to go into Denver and get a win. Particularly against this Denver team, which just got Wilson Chandler back. Chandler is one of my favorite players in the NBA, a world-class defender of three positions, as well as a versatile scorer. A true Nellieball two-way wing. 

I think the presence of Wilson Chandler, if he’s truly back for good and capable of reaching his former level, transforms this Denver team from good to great. In the preseason, I predicted a third place finish for the Nuggets in the West. Even after their tough start, I think that’s well within reach.

In the post-game, Mark Jackson placed the blame for the Warriors fourth quarter collapse on careless turnovers and lack of defensive effort. We saw some of that to be sure, but I’m not sure I agree with Jackson.

I think it’s possible that the Warriors were outclassed in this game, and only phenomenal three point shooting performances by Curry, Thompson and Barnes kept them in it for the first three quarters. I think it’s possible that Denver coasted on defense through the first three quarters, and simply lowered the boom in the fourth. And I think it’s likely that this Warriors team, playing as it has most of the season with a 7 man rotation, simply ran out of gas.

In short, I think this excellent Denver team badly exposed a couple of the myths that currently surround the Warriors, and has given me a good excuse to get to work dissecting them for you.

Let’s begin with the reason the Warriors ran out of gas:

The Myth that the Warriors are a deep team: The Denver Nuggets are a deep team, a textbook illustration of how to build a contending team in today’s NBA.

Not one, but three playable centers on reasonable contracts. Two of whom, Koufos and McGee, are tremendous defensive players.

Not one, but three long, rangy defensive wings. True two-way Nellieball players. Iguodala, Chandler and Brewer.

Not one, but two spread fours: Gallinari and Chandler.

A team that goes 9 men deep, with real talent at every position. That’s depth.

The Warriors stand in stark contrast, despite all the noise we’ve heard from Warriors shills about them being a deep team this season. The Warriors are not a deep team. What they are is a team that finally has a couple of veteran bench players, for the first time in the three years since Joe Lacob took over. I suppose it’s possible to confuse that with depth, when you’ve been deprived of it for years.

Let’s look a little more closely. The Warriors are running with a 7 man rotation, and have been for most of the season. Two of their starting players are rookies, and a third is in his second year. Their 8th man is a rookie. Stephen Curry and David Lee are frequently required to play over 40 minutes a game in order for the team to compete. They don’t have a true two-guard. In fact, their back-up point guard (or Curry, depending on how you look at it) is getting the bulk of the minutes at the two. They have exactly one shotblocker, a rookie. The front-line players behind Ezeli and Lee go 6-7″ and 6-6″ respectively.

The Warriors are truly deep at one position only: small forward, where there is a logjam for minutes between Thompson, Barnes, Green and Jefferson. They are not even deep at point-guard, despite appearances to the contrary. Because if either Curry or Jack go down, the Warriors will be left playing either Jenkins, Bazemore or a small forward at the two.

The Warriors are in actuality extremely short-handed this season, and it may be starting to show. David Lee, in particular, has started to wear down late in games recently. And now both Jack and Curry are a little dinged up.

I think it showed in the fourth quarter of this Denver game. And I think it’s likely to show more frequently as the minutes begin to pile up this season. The Warriors will be hard pressed to maintain their winning pace this season employing the 7 man rotation they’ve started with. Something has to change, or something’s going to give.

Something like this next myth I’m going to discuss.

The Field Goal % Against Myth: If you’re a Warriors fan, you’ve been hearing this one a lot. The Warriors are playing great defense this season, as evidenced by the low FG% of their opponents. Bob Fitzgerald and Tim Roye mention it every chance they get — which is several times a game — and it has been dutifully echoed by the mainstream media. It is quite clearly a major talking point of Joe Lacob’s PR machine.

And a quick glance at the stat itself shows that indeed, ’tis true. The Warriors have allowed an extraordinarily low FG% Against (FGA) this season. In fact they are third in the league in this stat, at 43.1%. THIRD IN THE LEAGUE!

Holy Cow! This must mean that the Warriors are playing some great defense, doesn’t it?

In fact, they must be playing better defense than the Clippers, Grizzlies, Bulls, Denver, Miami and San Antonio, because they are ahead of all of those teams in this stat, right?

Right?

Wrong. The Warriors are not even in the same ballpark defensively with the teams I just listed. And if you believe that the FGA stat indicates otherwise, then I have a Triple A Rated Subprime Mortgage Bond I’d love to sell you. At a discount, of course.

As I have demonstrated frequently on this blog before, stats lie. And FGA lies even more than most, when used by the ignorant (or intentionally deceptive) to prove the quality of a defense.

Let me demonstrate this to you in a few brief steps:

1) Free Throws Allowed. That should be something that you consider when evaluating a team’s defense, shouldn’t it? The number of free throws the defense gives up each night? Because free throws lead to points, right?

Like last night, when the Nuggets took an incredible 27 FT’s to the Warriors 8, scoring 21 points.

Does the FGA stat incorporate Free Throws Allowed into its percentage? No, it does not. Those 21 points the Nuggets scored on FT’s were completely unaccounted for in their team shooting percentage.

Another glance at the stats tells us that the Warriors are 26th in the league in FTA. 26th out of 30 teams. Only 4 teams in the league give up more free throws than the Warriors.

Does that sound like great defense to you? Or does it sound like a trade off, like the Warriors have chosen to lower their FGA by giving up fouls?

2) Three Point Shooting Luck: If you’ve watched the games this season, you will know that the Warriors have tried to goad their opponents into shooting threes, by packing it in on defense. Their big men no longer extend to the three point line to cover the pick and roll, they only hedge. Their wing players, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes, who are literally incapable of extending their man to man defense, play significantly back off the ball. And the small-ball Warriors quite frequently employ a zone.

The Warriors don’t defend the three point line as aggressively as other teams, mainly because they’ve designed their defense to leave it open, and partly because they probably couldn’t defend it even if they wanted to. 

So this should be reflected in the Three Point % Against stat, right? Yes it should, quite obviously.

But it’s not. The Warriors are 4th in the league at 32.9%. The Miami Heat, by contrast, are 18th at 36%.

Another indication that the Warriors are a better defensive team than the Heat? Or something else?

I think we all know that it’s something else. There are few, if any, teams in the league capable of taking away the three point line like the Miami Heat.

That something else is known, quite simply, as luck. The Warriors opponents have shot miserably from three this season, and that’s down to luck.

Scheduling luck: Have you noticed how often the Warriors opponents have shown up at Oracle this season on the back end of a back-to-back, to meet a rested Warriors team? I’ve lost count.

Injury luck: Have you noticed how often teams have shown up down an important player, or three?

Sample Size luck: Even a complete regular season probably doesn’t offer enough of a sample size to eliminate the luck factor from this stat. A third of a regular season, with all of the scheduling asymmetries that implies? Forget about it.

And finally, this bit of luck:

3) The Warriors defense never has to face the Warriors offense: The Warriors offense is 7th in the league in FG%, at 45.9%. They are 2nd in the league in three point %, at 39.3.

Do you think the fact that their defense never has to face their offense helps their FGA stat, vis a vis other teams?

Oh yes it does. Next.

4) Points per possession. Are there better statistical measures of defense than FGA out there? Yes, of course their are. One of which is the stat that professional gamblers and bookies use to generate their line-setting algorithms: Points Per Possession. In other words, how many actual points do the Warriors give up in an average defensive possession? PPP, you may notice, incorporates all of those free throws the Warriors give up.

So how does the Warriors defense rank in PPP? They rank 12th, at 1.011. Not bad, but barely in the top half of teams in the league. And a far, far cry from the 3rd in the league that Warriors shills are trying to imprint in your brain.

5) Final Word: Middle of the pack. Is that the final word on where the Warriors’ defense ranks in the league?

I don’t believe it is. The final word would incorporate some form of regression analysis to account for and regularize all of the luck factors I enumerated above.

That is, thankfully, above my pay grade. I prefer to use my eyes and my judgement to generate my opinion of the Warriors defensive prowess, rather than the stats propounded by paid shills.

And my eyes and my judgement are telling me that while the Warriors coaches are deploying effective defensive schemes to match the talents of their players, and the Warriors players are playing hard and executing well on defense, the Warriors team defense is not close to the elite level that’s been suggested.

In fact, my eyes and my judgement are telling me that the Warriors team defense has been overachieving, and is likely to finish the season ranked significantly below where it is now in all statistical measures.

And is one Festus Ezeli injury away from total disaster.

The Myth of Culture Change: Another myth currently in circulation regarding the Warriors defense is that Joe Lacob and Mark Jackson have successfully instilled a new defensive culture in the Warriors. A new accountability.

I think that’s nonsense.

One thing that I have noticed in all of my years watching NBA basketball is that all good defensive teams have one thing in common: a predominance of good defensive basketball players. And all bad defensive teams have one thing in common: a predominance of bad defensive basketball players.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that teams with bad defensive players don’t work hard on defense. And why should they, since any effort they expend on the defensive end is not well rewarded? And conversely, I’ve never seen a team with good defensive basketball players that didn’t work hard on defense.

In my mind, the Warriors are playing harder on defense this season simply because playing hard on defense is working. And it’s working simply because they have far better defensive players than they’ve had in some time.

Since 2008, in fact, which was the very last time they had a healthy center.

And in 2007 and 2008, in fact, the Warriors had a better defensive team as a whole than this year’s Warriors team. A team that absolutely dismantled Dirk Nowitzki and the Maverick’s offense in the playoffs.

It’s funny, I don’t recall anyone on the Warriors staff mentioning a “change in culture” back when the We Believe Warriors gelled defensively around Andris Biedrins, Stephen Jackson, Baron Davis, Matt Barnes and Kelenna Azubuike. They knew better than that.

Or perhaps they knew less, about that one thing that Joe Lacob has demonstrated to be Oh so important in running a successful and profitable NBA franchise:

Spin.

The Truth about the Warriors Defense: Whom do you think is the most impactful Warriors rookie this season? If you listened to the Warriors broadcasters and other PR professionals, and the mainstream media, you would think it was Harrison Barnes. He’s the one you see in every Warriors promo, he’s the one getting feature articles, he’s the one being talked up in every broadcast. Stories of the Black Falcon’s progress are being breathlessly reported to you on a daily basis.

Well, let’s perform a little exercise together. Close your eyes for a moment, and attempt to visualize where the Warriors would be this season without Harrison Barnes.

I think we can safely assume that the Warriors’ completely invisible ten million dollar man, Richard Jefferson, would be getting Barnes’ minutes at small forward, and Draymond Green’s minutes would be increased as well. What would the result on the Warriors record be? Better or worse?

Now close your eyes again, and attempt to visualize where the Warriors would be this season without Festus Ezeli.

How many wins are you visualizing? Fifteen?

Ten?

It was completely and utterly forseeable that Andrew Bogut would not be able to play this season. Particularly after last April, when Warriors management (and no one else) discovered that his ankle was osteoarthritic, and required microfracture surgery.

It was completely and utterly forseeable that the Ghost of Andris Biedrins — now down to 5 minutes a game, when he’s available to play at all — would not be able to give much this season. Because Warriors management has known since 2009 that he has osteitis pubis, and is deteriorating yearly.

And yet Warriors management, in all their wisdom (and frugality), came into this season with no one else but Festus Ezeli, a raw rookie taken at #30 in the draft, available to man the middle.

The extent to which Festus Ezeli has bailed out the amateur GM of the Warriors — I refer of course to Joe Lacob, whom did you think I was referring to? — is an absolutely incredible story. Absolutely incredible. Perhaps the very biggest story of this Warriors season to date.

And yet completely unreported by the mainstream media.

In this Denver game Ezeli collaborated with David Lee to hold The Manimal and the underrated Koufos far below their recent averages. Just as he did the last time these two teams met.

Festus Ezeli is the truth. The truth behind the myths. Festus Ezeli is all you really need to know about the Warriors defensive turnaround.

Ho hum. When can we read another story about the Black Falcon?

Still to Come: There remains one more myth about this Warriors season for me to discuss. It’s the biggest myth of all, one requiring a post all to itself.

Coming soon.

The Andrew Bogut Myth.

96 Responses to Warriors Myths Exposed: Nuggets 116 Warriors 105

  1. “…Richard Jefferson… and Draymond Green’s minutes would be increased…”

    My guess is that the team would get as good or better production from the SF position without Barnes. Jefferson is slowing but still basically sound, and Green would get the PT he needs to improve, especially his shooting.

    “Now close your eyes again, and attempt to visualize where the Warriors would be this season without Festus Ezeli.”

    Tyler starting at C? Biedrins playing extended minutes with a walker? Ouch.

    Thanks for the article, Feltition. As always, you gave it a laser focus.

  2. Feltie, let’s assume your analysis of the Warriors is spot on. Do you think that means Green gets more minutes at the 3 as the season progresses?

    If D is the Difference this year + wing D from this season’s starters actually still sucks + Green can play solid D against anyone anywhere…

    Aw nevermind. Barnes’ PT might have more to do with spin than efficacy. You’re a bball guy, not a spin guy.

  3. Bravo, Feltbot. Best analysis in town—although you don’t have much competition.

    Denver improved not by going after big name, expensive players, but by trading them away (Melo, Nene—but of course having them allowed the deals they made). They were good last year, they are good this year, they will be good next year and in the years to come. Managing their cap allowed them to pull the trigger on Igoudala, but they aren’t dependent on him if he doesn’t pan out. They can hold strong should a player at any position goes down to injury, even two.

    Now look at their salary structure:

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

    Few expensive players, most expendable if need be. They will have all kinds of options and flexibility to maintain their roster for some time to come (we talked about this last summer). This is how a team should be run.

    The Warriors, to their credit, have superior players at a few key positions, most notably Lee and Curry.

  4. I love your independence of thought. Very persuasive.

    The only thing I’d question is that I do recall people talking about a different culture during the We Believe season. And, if they didn’t, they should have.

  5. Cutting edge, going against the grain, analysis that is a pleasure to read. You reach a little on a couple of things but even Horowitz hit his share of wrong keys and did little to diminish the overall effect.

    First, the absolute nothing-but-net splash shots: Depth, FGA%, FTA, PPP, Middle-of-the-pack defense. Dead-on and a pleasure to read for its enlightenment and style.

    Ezeli is the first place I think you are right and wrong. Where you are right: Ezeli is absolutely the savior you say he is on this otherwise center-less team. He is a force in the making with emphasis on “in the making.” His hands, free-throw shooting, and offense in general are a serious detriment at this time. That being said, he should be playing every game until he fouls out (probably another 5 minutes.) He needs all the time he can get on the court to figure out some kind of offense or rebounding anticipation. What kind of beast would an offensively-mediocre, good-rebounding Ezeli be with that crushing defense? Where you are wrong: Touting Ezeli at the expense of Barnes. Ezeli is a minus 22 on the season to Barnes’ plus 16. Advanced Stats don’t do Ezeli any favors either where Barnes rates a good 60% higher in per-minute measures like WS/48. Where you close your eyes and see a Barnes-less Warriors team adequately compensated for with Jefferson and Green. I see a Jefferson who doesn’t even distinguish himself in garbage time much less any other time on the court and I fear more time for Draymond, who I otherwise love, would allow defenses to play right up in the shorts of Curry and Thompson. Not to mention, Thompson’s occasional horrific games are frequently offset by Barnes.

    The other right and wrong is in the argument over culture change. Where you are right: Better defensive players make better defenders. Better results make better defenders. Where you are not so much wrong but caught-up in semantics: While I see better defenders like Ezeli and Green I’m also seeing better focus and execution out of the holdovers with poor defensive reputations like Curry, Lee, and Landry. You can call it schematic, you can call it some better defensive teammates but there is a palpable change in something on the defensive end for those players. Some may call it culture but if you prefer, call it attitude and energy.

    As always, a pleasure to read your work and a humble thanks for the opportunity to comment.

  6. FB – I am a big fan of your blog but you have a big miss here:
    “That something else is known, quite simply, as luck. The Warriors opponents have shot miserably from three this season, and that’s down to luck.”
    How many times over the past few years have we faced career nights from journeyman players with Fitz whining, “He’s a CAREER 28% 3 point shooter” It is not luck that opponents have shot miserably from the 3 – you can see the W’s contesting a lot more shots and teams having to go later in the shot clock to hoist those 3’s. Whatever defensive improvement there has been, and there has been defensive improvement, although I agree with alot of your points truly disappeared in Denver. I think it was due to the lack of depth as you expose and a big hangover problem from the late Nelson years, riding your starters for 40 minutes causes break downs in the 4th.

  7. Good read Feltbot, why didn’t you address the issue if Monta does not get traded, then he or Klay could be the sixth man on the current starting five. Then, the Warriors would have someone who could attack the basket.

    Klay would be super as a sixth man. Or Monta.

    Ellis is 13th in steals, 13th in points per game (while deferring to Jennings), and 25 th in assists. Hopefully you will address this in your forthcoming Bogut article. Thanks.

    • I agree with you re: Klay/Monta being great sixth men. However, Monta is on record stating that he’s in Dwayne Wade’s class as an NBA player – and it would be surprising to me if he’d come off the bench for the W’s (another team perhaps) willingly.

      • Monta would certainly not come off the bench in GS this year or any year going forward. His ego is too big for that (The D-Wade comment proved that).

        Wooden, you’re right. The Warriors need someone who is going to attack the basket and draw fouls. Thompson attacks, but is unable to draw fouls consistently, Barnes, too. Except he does not attack enough. I think as Barnes matures he will become the guy who attacks much more often for GS. He will also get more experienced on defense. Let’s just say he’s no Anthony Randolph when it comes to hard work/attitude.

        • I haven’t seen much of Dion Waiters – but I’m speculating that he’s the guy Jerry West really wanted – only Cleveland picked earlier. He’d fit the profile of attacking the rim – which I couldn’t agree with you more. Denver gets to the line constantly. The W’s not very much.

  8. thank you again, feltmaestro. my own hunch isn’t far out of alignment with your view here, simply, whatever depth the team boasted of consisted in Rush, who could play anywhere from 15 to 35 min. at the same or greater level of quality as thompson or barnes, and then the roll call of ‘paper roster filler’ who see the court only for token, tiny spurts, or foul and injury emergencies — jefferson, jenkins, tyler, bazemore. green has turned out to be a useful reserve in the wake of jefferson’s injury, and subsequently has played most of the minutes that the preacher was going to allocate jefferson. and as you point out, an eight player rotation (green and biedrins combined amount to the eighth chair) is no evidence of depth.

    like you, my distrust of their record runs deep — they’ve essentially reached close to the peak they’re capable of, while other teams have taken a bit longer, and with more than half the season remaining, there will probably be a correction downward. Den is a good example of a team only just starting to hit its stride. the ballyhooed wins against the sterlings signified no more nor less than the two losses to Sac. the woeyr vets and second year players simply aren’t going to play much better than what they’ve shown, and it’s a bit much to expect the three key rookies to progress significantly, rather than endure the normal ups and downs. it’s still very early to tell what injury toll the short rotation will incur, but the butcher has to be paid eventually.

  9. As they say, one good “spin” always deserves another. This time? How about “The Blind Good Luck of Joe Lacob” spin? LOL

    “As I have demonstrated frequently on this blog before, stats lie. And FGA lies even more than most, when used by the ignorant (or intentionally deceptive) to prove the quality of a defense.

    Let me demonstrate this to you in a few brief steps:

    1) Free Throws Allowed. That should be something that you consider when evaluating a team’s defense, shouldn’t it? The number of free throws the defense gives up each night? Because free throws lead to points, right?

    Like last night, when the Nuggets took an incredible 27 FT’s to the Warriors 8, scoring 21 points.

    Does the FGA stat incorporate Free Throws Allowed into its percentage? No, it does not. Those 21 points the Nuggets scored on FT’s were completely unaccounted for in their team shooting percentage.

    Another glance at the stats tells us that the Warriors are 26th in the league in FTA. 26th out of 30 teams. Only 4 teams in the league give up more free throws than the Warriors.

    Does that sound like great defense to you? Or does it sound like a trade off, like the Warriors have chosen to lower their FGA by giving up fouls?”

    What it sounds like is one of the bigger NBA officiating conspiracy theorists around trying to incorporate the total randomness (and bias ie home court, established player vs rookie/younger player, etc) of the refs and their whistles into a meaningful stat.

    The Warriors are ranked 26th, but Memphis and Miami, ranked 14th and 16th respectively, are surrounded by “powerhouses” Charlotte (15th) and Phoenix (17th), not to mention the “mighty” Clippers who are ranked one slot ahead of GSW at 25th.

    In the four game season series vs Denver the Nuggets shot more free throws than the Warriors by a wide margin, but the differences were much more pronounced when GSW played in Denver.

    The two games combined at The Oracle had Denver shooting 15 more FT’s. The two games in Denver had the Nuggets shooting 31 more FT’s than the Dubs. More than twice as many FT’s in Denver. (Also, the first game in Oakland went double overtime so an extra 10 minutes of potential free throw time to account for.)

    All told, 15 more FT’s in 106 minutes vs 31 more FT’s in 96 minutes. Same teams, players and matchups yet a decided difference in free throws attempted by the road team vs the home team, hardly a shocking revelation given the many whims of NBA officiating.

    If your little FTA stats are so revealing how can the Clippers supposedly be so much better defensively yet be ranked essentially dead even with the Warriors? And likewise, how can those “cheating, biased refs” be counted on to provide any meaningful/accurate numbers in regards a team’s defense?

    “As I have demonstrated frequently on this blog before, stats lie.” Congratulations, you’ve just demonstrated this fact once again, only this time those “stats” are your own. LOL

    “The Myth of Culture Change: Another myth currently in circulation regarding the Warriors defense is that Joe Lacob and Mark Jackson have successfully instilled a new defensive culture in the Warriors. A new accountability.

    I think that’s nonsense.

    One thing that I have noticed in all of my years watching NBA basketball is that all good defensive teams have one thing in common: a predominance of good defensive basketball players. And all bad defensive teams have one thing in common: a predominance of bad defensive basketball players.

    Another thing I’ve noticed is that teams with bad defensive players don’t work hard on defense. And why should they, since any effort they expend on the defensive end is not well rewarded? And conversely, I’ve never seen a team with good defensive basketball players that didn’t work hard on defense.

    In my mind, the Warriors are playing harder on defense this season simply because playing hard on defense is working. And it’s working simply because they have far better defensive players than they’ve had in some time.”

    Now here’s a real head-scratcher. How can a group of players know that “playing hard on defense is working” without first committing to playing hard on defense? And isn’t that commitment the very definition of “culture change”, the willingness to work your butt off on the side of the ball that’s holds far less glamour than it’s offensive counterpart?

    Then you write that the Warriors have “far better defensive players than they’ve had in some time” while at the same time writing………

    (“Their wing players, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes, who are literally incapable of extending their man to man defense”

    “The Warriors don’t defend the three point line as aggressively as other teams, mainly because they’ve designed their defense to leave it open, and partly because they probably couldn’t defend it even if they wanted to.”

    “In fact, my eyes and my judgement are telling me that the Warriors team defense has been overachieving, and is likely to finish the season ranked significantly below where it is now in all statistical measures.

    And is one Festus Ezeli injury away from total disaster.”)…………

    that (generally speaking) Thompson and Barnes aren’t very good defensively, that GSW couldn’t defend the 3-point line if it wanted to, that the Warriors have overachieved defensively, and their raw rookie center is their only hope for any semblance of defensive competency. Yep, thank the skies above for all those “far better defensive players”. Talk about “spinning” out of control. LOL

    All this, along with that gawd damn luck of Joe Lacob, equals 23-13. YES!

    And more “myths” still to come? Double YES!

  10. When you start talking about players playing lots of minutes this list of top 100 players in minutes played reveals something that ain’t that surprising; teams tend to play their best players the most minutes.

    Kevin Durant plays just under 40 minutes a game, and LeBron isn’t far behind. The Warriors have 3 players in the top 100 but two of the oldest teams (Boston and the Knicks) have more, 4 and 5 players respectively. OKC also with 5 in the top 1oo.

    http://www.teamrankings.com/nba/player-stat/minutes-played

  11. The Black Falcon

    • if only bloggers could eliminate the phrase ‘star potential’ and its close relations. a small handful of young players can repeatedly come up with impact plays and find ways to contribute in games against tougher opponents or in other adverse circumstances, and ‘potential’ does not apply to them. most players who get solid rotation minutes in the league have one or two very good to outstanding attributes that sustain their place among the elite of the elite, and they’re not marketed as stars. bloggers and fans seem easily duped into using formulaic phrases straight from the guides of the marketing shills. didn’t b.wright and a.randolph have that ‘star potential’ ?

      the matchups with Den suggest thompson’s actual level is closer to ‘potentially above average’. thompson, barnes, jack have not measured up to iguodala, gallinari, and miller.

      • Seems to me in the old days, i.e. ten years ago, that rookies, unless they were truly exceptional, were brought up slowly and had to work their way into a rotation. They had no sobriquet other than “promising.” They had to prove and earn any other status. I think everyone, especially the rooks, would be better served here.

  12. Talk about depth—the Clippers creamed Memphis without Chris Paul. The players who have greatly helped LA are their bench players, Barnes and Crawford, both veterans who can score.

    OK, Rudy Gay didn’t play. . . .

    • the second unit for the sterlings w. crawfor() and barnes have put up outstanding defensive numbers, even with crawfor()’s capacity to give away as many as he scores. their team’s accomplishments on defense (first in point differential, top five in opponents’ points allowed) are probably going to be sustainable ; for the lacobites, we’ll have to wait and see.

  13. NBA Mailbag (SI.com)

    Which players impressed you most at the D-League showcase?
    — Robbie Owen, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

    I’ve spoken to a GM who believes the talent in the D-League has never been better, Robbie, and that there were at least 12 to 15 good NBA players at the showcase. Here are a half-dozen of them:

    Chris Wright, 6-1 G, Iowa
    Chris Johnson, 6-11 C, Santa Cruz
    Travis Leslie, 6-4 G, Santa Cruz
    Shelvin Mack, 6-3 G, Maine
    DaJuan Summers, 6-8 F, Maine
    Damion James, Bakersfield (recently called up by the Nets)

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nba/news/20130115/alvin-gentry-phoenix-suns-nba-coaches-on-hot-seat/#ixzz2I4ThZPHB

    • Travis Leslie is impressive. Quick, smooth, confident. Shooting over .500, and .400 from 3. Not many assists, but otherwise looks NBA ready, at least against D-league competition.

      • Agreed — Leslie is a very calm player, and a nice defensive rebounder for his size. He’s not an NBA star in the making, but athletically, he can hang with the big boys. Reminds me of Azabuike except not as fiery. (I don’t know if he’s a defensive stopper, but he does have some lateral quickness, and he’s strong).

  14. Felt — thanks for the analysis about the Warriors depth. You are correct, although I am afraid that you ought to put some of the blame on Mark Jackson who has gone away from the 8 man rotation he was using earlier in the season that included Green and gone to a 7 man rotation that doesn’t include Green.

    I think he could use Jenkins or Tyler off the bench, but he’s not put them in position to succeed. I believe that Tyler could spell David Lee when Ezeli is in the game, yet it’s a combination that has not been used. Also, Jenkins could probably bring up the ball with Curry out, when Thompson and Jack are in the game. Yet, it’s another combo that has not been used.

    Bottom line to me is that D-Lee is starting to run out of gas — the Nuggets game was the perfect example, as Lee was simply tired in the 4th quarter, as Barnett noted several times.

  15. Thanks Feltbot!
    I do enjoy your “tell it like you see it” writing style. I don’t agree with many of your statements, but it’s an awesome read!

    The W’s are now a very good (playoff), but not an elite team.

    The W’s are playing small ball. Successfully.

    The W’s are playing an effective zone defense. Successfully. The two best proven individual defenders (Rush and Bogut) are injured.

    Festus Ezeli is playing only 15 minutes or so most games. Since games run 48 minutes, Festus plays less than 1/3 of the game… My eyes tells me that the W’s play better with him off the floor than on, most of the time.

    RE: Deep Team
    Agreed – Denver is very deep and 2nd tier elite – thanks to the Carmelo/Nene trades to an already good roster – and their GM/Coach are damn good.

    But the W’s are deep as well. The W’s have lost 2 players expected to be starters due to injuries to Rush and Bogut. The W’s still have 9 other players on their roster who are legitimate NBA starters on the W’s or other teams (does not include Jenkins/Tyler starting games during the tank season). Yes, without hesitation, Barnes or Ezeli can start for many NBA teams – Now. 11 legitimate players deep.

    Take away two starters off the Denver Nuggets squad due to injury – and they become a very good, but not an elite team. (No Andre Miller/A. Igoudala?) (No J. McGee/D. Gallinari?) (No W. Chandler/Ty Lawson?)

    • When one can’t explain how and why a losing NBA franchise with bad management, bad players, bad ownership, bad trades, bad coach, bad culture, bad defense (have I forgotten anything?) – can actually start winning, luck is the answer. LOL!

      Luck. Go figure. Luck analysis. Better to be lucky than good.

      Go Dubs!

  16. warriorsablaze

    I don’t really hear the Warriors organization or local beat writers talking about the “depth” of the team at all. The only time that was pushed was back when we had Rush and Bogut was “expected” to return by opening day. Add those pieces and suddenly we ARE a pretty deep team of players capable of contributing. You’re correct that we aren’t a deep team now, but I don’t see any big media push or spin saying otherwise.

    • And it also depends on if one thinks Charles Jenkins can truly backup PG and SG…

      • Jenkins is lost as a PG. He is a mediocre passer with average speed and quickness. Jack is a similar player, except he’s got a wide array of shots, and he actually knows how to play among the trees.

  17. Spurs sued by lawyer for resting players

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:8848045

    • I’d be pretty pissed off too if I paid a grand to see the Spurs JV team…

      • That guy should be suing the Heat instead for nearly losing to the Spurs second unit, who led with 40 seconds to go.

        And maybe San Antonio should sue Stern for making such a ridiculous schedule, one that diminishes the condition of the franchise players.

        Lawyers, start your engines!

  18. One of the best coaches in the NBA (Lionel Hollins) talks about stats as they pertain to coaching.

    “We get hung up on statistics a little too much, and I think that’s a bad trait all over the league that’s taken place. And the media has done it because it’s easy to go to the stats to make a point or to build up a player or tear down a player. Just the analyzing, I see it every time listening to talk show radio. You’ve got guys spouting off stat after stat after stat. The bottom line is going out and contributing to your team for winning.”

    http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2013/1/11/3866592/lionel-hollins-memphis-grizzlies-interview-2012

    • Wow! John Hollinger and Coach Hollins in a throwdown! Advanced stats vs. Career NBA Experience. Moneyball 2. Get Hollinger signed for the book and movie rights now!

  19. Practice interviews 1-15-13

  20. “Old feud with ex-Knicks bosses helped shape Mark Jackson’s coaching philosophy” (Yahoo Sports)

    OAKLAND, Calif. – The Golden State Warriors’ Carl Landry was driving to the Oracle Arena as quickly as he could on a late Saturday afternoon, knowing that he might be suspended or fined by coach Mark Jackson. Upon Landry’s 15-minute late arrival to a pregame walk-thru, Jackson told Landry to take part in the session while in street clothes. Jackson didn’t ask for an explanation for the tardiness. Once it was over, Landry apologized to Jackson and his teammates and promised such a mistake would never happen again. Landry received no fine and played in the Warriors’ 101-83 victory over the Boston Celtics last month.

    Warriors players say that Jackson’s understanding of human error, refusal to curse and degrade them, and the team’s family atmosphere are the top reasons he’s beloved by them. And the team has rewarded its second-year coach this season with a 23-13 record, the franchise’s best start since the 1991-92 campaign. The NBA’s biggest surprise – a group Jackson calls “dangerous” with or without Andrew Bogut, who is out indefinitely with an ankle injury – seeks a season sweep of the Miami Heat on Wednesday night at home.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–old-feud-with-ex-knicks-bosses-shaped-mark-jackson-s-coaching-philosophy-with-warriors-065716706.html

  21. Complete NBA standings (East&West)

    http://www.nba.com/standings/team_record_comparison/conferenceNew_Std_Div.html?ls=iref:nbahpstand

    Interesting to peruse these numbers. How about the difference between home and road records in the West? Only ONE team has a losing home record (New Orleans) while only 5 of the 15 teams have a winning road record. Obviously, the Warriors are currently where they are in the conference standings because of their surprising road numbers. Now, will they still have a winning road record 2 months from now? Not unless that guy from Down Under returns in the near future. (Hmmm, how many days till @Milwaukee?)

  22. Miami:

    The myth of depth is exposed.

    Who did we miss most, Bogut or Rush?

    • “Myth of depth”? rgg, the Warriors have played virtually all season to date without 2 of their 6 best players. Tonight vs Miami they played without 3 of their best 6.

      To take those numbers even further, take your best 6 and rank them from best to 6th best. In that instance, IMO, Curry and Bogut are 2 of the Warriors 3 best players. OKC minus Durant and….? The Heat minus Lebron and….? LAC minus Paul and….? Spurs without Duncan and….? Lakers without Kobe and….? Depth takes on a whole new meaning when you start subtracting a team’s very best players.

      There was never any “myth” about the Warriors “depth” before the season began but a team can suffer only so many injuries before it’s so-called depth disappears completely, a situation that’s currently confronting the Warriors.

      Get Curry back along with adding Bogut into the mix and everything quickly changes back into positive territory. But for right this moment, given their upcoming schedule, the Warriors are in some deep doo. My guess is that from here things will get worse before they’ll get better. Maybe a good time for a 2 week vacation to some subtropical island bereft of TV, radio, and internet reception? LOL

      BTW, the most disappointing take from tonight’s game for me was the play of Klay Thompson. The only chance GSW had of stepping up and giving the Heat a run for their money with Curry out was for Thompson to rise up and have a great game. Instead, totally MIA.

      As time goes on this kid is starting to show signs of melting under pressure. It’s still too early to draw any concrete conclusions but tonight along with recent games vs Denver have me worried about his future as a player you can count on in important games, and in important situations within games. We shall see.

      Postgame audio

      https://soundcloud.com/warriors/sets/warriors-vs-heat-postgame-1

      • a number of fans climbed onto the pro-losing bandwagon last season, and one of the rationales they and the lacobites offered was the benefits of starting and extended minutes for thompson, jenkins, and tyler. (the logo’s prized pick would supposedly benefit the most, under the assumption he had the highest developmental ceiling and as a guard needed more ball handling responsibilities). didn’t convince me at all. at best, a good player won’t be adversely affected by playing on a bad team without the rewards or positive reinforcement of winning, but potentially there are several detrimental outcomes for younger players — when they repeat mistakes or fall into poor habits, they’ll still get playing time, and they can get desensitized to losing.

        at least thompson has been pretty consistent whether his team was bad or good, losing or winning — erratic progress in either situation. he had a perfect opportunity to respond to pressure against the ideal opponent for him in the overtime loss to LA-L, but he blew a key lay up late in that game. fans keep hoping his occasional strong games indicate a level he can sustain, but only time will tell. most decent, supporting cast n.b.a. players come up with the occasional outstanding game. landry and rush are two such on the roster. that might sound like a modest goal, but surely not an unworthy one.

    • Again the Spurs nearly beat Miami with four starters and one major sub sitting out:

      http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore?gid=2012112914

      The Warriors, a team that has a substantial winning record and has been competitive in most games only loses one starter and all of a sudden can’t score. The team has only three effective facilitators—Curry, Jack, and Lee (and Lee did an excellent job running the offense 1st. quarter, when Jack was smothered—the coaches adjusted nicely there). They only have four effective scorers—Curry, Jack, and Lee again, Thompson with an asterisk, and a moderate scorer in Landry. Thompson and to a greater extent Barnes can only score if the rest of the team presents enough threat and gives them openings (my major concern with Thompson was that he only took 8 shots). They have no other scorers, or players with an experience of scoring, players who, regardless of the situation, can put the ball up and get it in the basket.

      And not much veteran depth at all. The players the team is counting on, Ezeli, Barnes, and Thompson, are still green and need to be brought along.

      Depth should have been the team’s first priority, not getting a big man.

      • TheOriginalTruth

        Memory loss??? They are already without Brandon Rush and Andrew Bogut. So they were playing without 3 starters. When fully healthy they had depth.

        • I’ll count Bogut when he suits up and plays. Rush, of course. But a competitive team, the one we’ve been watching, dropped like a rock with one player out. Even considering those two, there still is not much depth.

  23. That didn’t take long, did it? I almost feel responsible.

    I wrote above that the biggest problem the Warriors would have by losing either Curry or Jack is that they wouldn’t have a two guard. And that is precisely what you saw last night, on both sides of the ball.

    The Warriors will never be able to beat a team that has a player like Dwayne Wade so long as they are playing Klay Thompson at the two. Klay has no way to stay with a player like Wade in attack mode, and that is what you saw last night. (The game in Miami was a mystery to me, as Wade appeared to take the night off. But also, the Warriors only played Klay about 12 minutes at the two in that game.)

    The other problems we saw last night had equally to do with the Warriors depth. The Heat had no problem running Ezeli off the court, in classic Nellieball fashion. There was simply no one for him to guard. And Harrison Barnes can’t guard anybody, particularly at back-up two. We saw a good old-fashioned layup line last night.

    On the offensive side of the ball, a dominant defender like Wade will have absolutely no problem taking Klay out of the game. Klay simply cannot put the ball on the floor against a defender like him, as we saw. And that is one of the great strengths of Klay’s game, probing the defense and setting up his teammates off the dribble. He needs to be at the THREE to unleash his game.

    A lot of people are down on Klay for last night’s game, but in my opinion it’s not his fault. He’s being played out of position. How would Chris Mullin have done matched up with Wade?

    • The B team last year, during the season of tank, did play some good games. The difference often was Nate Robinson. And they beat Denver, with Tyler starting at center:

      http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore;_ylt=Aj8uTUj5PWALcGiJU1yF9YEqPaB4?gid=2012040709

      Note Rush’s numbers: 20 points, 5 boards, 2 assists.

    • Feltbot: Klay missed many open shots last night. D-Lee set him up and Jack set him up many times and the ball simply would not go down.

      Weirdly enough, Klay is not really a rhythm shooter. His shot is either falling or it isn’t. Even shots where the PG sets him up in rhythm seem to be a toss-up, whereas Curry can walk into a three or a jumper and make it at a high percentage if set up correctly.

      • U-G-L-Y! W’s ain’t got no alibi!

        All three W’s guards definitely have “combo” written all over them! Trap the W’s PG (especially when Curry’s out of the game).

        I love Klay’s offensive game/potential, but he’s not hitting enough shots right now (let alone finishing at the rim) – regardless of position. And if he’s not hitting open shots,…

  24. “If the shoe fits: Golden State’s Andrew Bogut gets help from a sneaker technician”

    OAKLAND, Calif. – Injured Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut received some potential help Wednesday by way of a sneaker specialist.

    Bogut is out indefinitely because of a troublesome left ankle injury that has limited him to just four games this season. In an effort to aid his return, a Nike basketball footwear technician met with Bogut at the team’s training facility Wednesday for about 45 minutes to gain information for a custom sneaker that can ease ankle and foot pain, according to sources.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba–if-the-shoe-fits–golden-state-s-andrew-bogut-gets-help-from-a-sneaker-technician-144021382.html

    • This was tweeted around 10:30 Thursday night:

      Peter Vecsey‏@PeterVecsey1

      Just in: Sources say doctors cleared Bogut 2 play. 1-1 so far. Next wk team contact. If ankle holds up he’ll play soon after. Don’t tell TNT

      (Hmmm, GSW at Milwaukee when?)

  25. Practice interviews (Thursday)

  26. From RealGM: How Lakers Can Successfully Run D’Antoni’s System
    By: Jonathan Tjarks

    Five years after the “Seven Seconds or Less” Suns were disbanded, Mike D’Antoni and Steve Nash have been unable to recapture the same magic with the Los Angeles Lakers. Nash, at the age of 38, is no longer the player he once was, but that’s not the biggest reason why Los Angeles has struggled with D’Antoni’s system. For any variation of SSOL to work successfully, the most important position on the floor is the power forward, not the point guard. The key to D’Antoni’s success in Phoenix wasn’t what he did with his guards, but what he did with his big men.

    http://basketball.realgm.com/article/225629/How_Lakers_Can_Successfully_Run_DAntonis_System

  27. The Golden State Warriors have instituted a new policy where injured players will not be available to speak to the media until they return to game action.

    Players will speak when the injury happens and then be unavailable.

    Via Marcus Thompson II/San Jose Mercury News

    • I think this new policy pretty much substantiates the validity of Peter Vecsey’s tweet (post #32). If Bogut starts practicing next week with the team after they return from this short 2 game trip you know the media would otherwise be all over Bogut asking about his ankle and starting the whole speculation ball rolling again on his possible return. This way if his ankle doesn’t respond favorably to a more vigorous workout(s) everything reverts back to square one with the least amount of media drama possible.

      I’ve thought all along that if there was any way possible Bogut would want to be back playing when the Warriors take the court in Milwaukee on the 26th. This would be cutting it close, but if his ankle holds up next week I’d say he’s in the starting lineup a week from tomorrow night.

  28. Felty: The Warriors playing good defense should not be dismissed as a myth. Holding teams to shooting 43% from the field third best in the NBA is not a myth.

    Yes, they are near the bottom of the league in letting teams get to the foul-line, but that is more the result of them playing small ball most of the time which leads to their committing an excessive number of interior fouls. But, that is result of the Warriors having decided to trade giving up more foul shots while they shoot a higher FG% with a small line-up. Not exactly a bad trade-off.

    Yes, they don’t get to the foul-line as much as their opponents. That is an offensive problem. That is the result of their not having many players who have the ability to the foul-line a decent number of times. But that to is offset by the fact that the Warriors have both Curry and Thompson who shoot and make a great number of threes. Not a bad trade-off until we can get a third player who who can get to the foul-line or shoot a high percentage of threes.

    And the Warriors doing well defending the three ball is just not luck. As just maybe, the Warriors allow bad three point shooter to take threes and make a low percentage.

    Be careful categorizing the Warriors defense as a myth, for by doing so you come close to creating your own.

  29. First Cup: Friday

    Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times: So, should Irving and Holiday be chosen for the All-Star Game over, say, either one of the Milwaukee Bucks’ guards: Brandon Jennings or Monta Ellis? Both have All-Star worthy numbers as well: Ellis is averaging 18.8 points and 5.4 assists and Jennings is averaging 18.5 points and 5.9 assists. Furthermore, Jennings has twice been chosen Eastern Conference Player of the Week and Ellis has been selected once. And they, unlike Holiday and Irving, play for a winner; the Bucks are 20-18. Yet, in an informal poll of seven NBA officials — two general managers, an assistant general manager, two advance scouts and two players — Irving and Holiday received more votes than either Jennings or Ellis.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/53695/first-cup-friday-231

  30. The defense is better because they’re playing a more intelligent defense. I kind of wish this myth would be downplayed simply because those stats satisfy the boss and his self esteem, help Jackson keep his job (and not run the risk of being replaced by a “defensive minded” coach), and allow the team to keep the players they have and play the offense they are suited for.

    Joe Lacob, in the TK interview:

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

    Lacob on Klay Thompson:

    “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.”

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2012/12/18/joe-lacob-interview-part-1-on-bogut-david-lee-trading-monta-ellis-and-looking-back-on-getting-booed/

  31. From Rant Sports:

    When David Lee signed with the Golden State Warriors as a free agent a couple of summers back, everyone thought he was nuts. The Warriors were an average team, at best, and Lee was a pretty hot free agent name looking to sign with a contender. When he chose Golden State, he caused many heads to be scratched, but now it appears he knew what he was doing. The Warriors are slowly becoming a title contender like the other young, up-and-coming teams in the NBA.

    The rivalry between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat is indeed the new Celtics-Lakers and likely will be for the next half a dozen years at least, but those are not the only two young, loaded teams in the league. If Derrick Rose can ever stay on the court, the Chicago Bulls will be a force once again for the first time since Michael Jordan‘s second retirement. Both New York teams are putting together solid squads as well, so the older, washed-up teams are now falling by the wayside. However, in the midst of it all are the Warriors.

    Golden State hit the jackpot with Stephen Curry, who is getting better with each passing game. Adding Andrew Bogut brings a presence in the paint this team hasn’t seen in decades. Lee is consistent on both ends of the floor and can quietly take over games when needed. Harrison Barnes is going to be a star and he’s in the right place to do just that with the guidance of Warriors head coach Mark Jackson.

    This team could easily knock off a higher seed in the 2013 NBA playoffs and then be a higher seed in 2014 and beyond. Don’t be surprised to see Curry and company in the Finals within the next three years.

    http://www.rantsports.com/nba/2013/01/18/golden-state-warriors-slowly-becoming-nba-contender/?2yBl18t3O0hWXE8a.99

    • what is your opinion of the content in this piece, sir ? it’s mostly conjecture and half-truths. the blogger doesn’t know which other teams made serious offers to lee when he was a free agent ; he praises NY for putting together a solid squad, contrasting it to older teams, when NY is the oldest of all and faces a struggle against the better teams in the east ; the statement about curry improving with each game is straight from the lacobite p.r. dept. Perhaps the writer gets considerations from them, along with the fast food ads on his blog ?

      • moto, my man, hope your weekend is a good one.

        My opinion? Lots of cheery speculation and conjecture, but exactly what I needed to read in this midst of losses, sore ankles, and undoubtedly more losses still to come. :)

        If all goes really well later this season and on into the coming years I do believe the author’s last paragraph has definite merit. While the immediate future looks a bit shaky, the schedule will eventually turn back in favor of the Warriors, and if all their main pieces can be back and fully healthy when it does GSW could finish the regular season on a roll and be a team that no one wants to play in late April. Ya think? Maybe??

        Come to think of it, how about playing the “Amazing Kreskin” for a second? How many wins do the Dubs end up with, and is it enough for a playoff berth? If so, any playoff success (at least one series win)?

        My prediction; they will not win the NBA championship this season. The Kinda, Semi-Amazing Kreskin has spoken. :)

  32. OT: Music Time Out

  33. So when did JJack sign a $20MM, 4 yr contract with the Warriors? LOL The following is from Ben Golliver of SI.com (that’s right, not by some yahoo from The Bleacher Report or Rant Sports, but from SI.com, even though it looks like the “yahoo” part might fit LOL):

    “Jarrett Jack has been an on-again, off-again starting point guard since being selected in the first round of the 2005 NBA Draft. The Warriors are his fifth team since 2008 and he did quite well for himself in securing a four-year contract worth a reported $20 million as an unrestricted free agent last summer. His market value was surely helped by a strong 2011-12 season for the terrible Hornets, where he averaged career-highs in points (15.6 points), assists (6.3) and rebounds (3.9) in the aftermath of the Chris Paul trade.

    Signing a veteran player who put up big numbers on a bad team (the Hornets were 21-45 in the lockout-shortened season) can be one of the riskiest moves for a team anxious to get over the hump and into the playoff picture, like the Warriors were this summer. That’s especially true when asking a veteran player to accept a reserve role after playing a career-high 34.0 minutes as a starter in his previous stop. Jack has always been regarded as a team-first pro, though, which surely erased any concerned Golden State might have harbored about his willingness to sacrifice. Regardless, Golden State was in need of a back-up who was good enough to serve as a stand-in starter if Curry, who has missed long stretches with ankle issues during the last two seasons, went down again.

    The Warriors’ signing of Jack, averaging 11.9 points and 5.1 assists in 27.8 minutes off the bench this season, looks like a brilliant, underrated move at the moment. With Curry sidelined, Jack has stepped in as expected for coach Mark Jackson, finishing with 20 points and 10 assists against just one turnover in 43 minutes versus the Spurs. The highlight of his night was a coast-to-coast jaunt to close the third quarter that left the Spurs looking like they had been struck by lightning. Once Curry returns, Jack simply goes back to being a tested, opportunistic third guard who will likely play big minutes in the playoffs. Even better: the length of Jack’s deal helps lock him in with Curry, Thompson and rookie Harrison Barnes as a very good perimeter unit for years to come.”

    It looks like Golliver got everything else right, including, unfortunately, the final score.

    http://nba.si.com/2013/01/19/spurs-warriors-tony-parker-jarrett-jack/?sct=uk_t11_a5

    • in case anyone else was misled by this basic failure to fact-check, because it comes from a ‘reputable’ publication — jack is in the final year of the four year deal he signed with Tor and will be an unrestricted free agent when it ends this Jul. he was dealt three times during that contract ; going back to when he was drafted, he’s been in two different deals with his teams acquiring j.bayless (diogu included in one of them), and combined with his then-teammate b.rush in a deal.

      • Wow! I wish Jack were locked in at that rate! Fact is – I’m doubting whether or not Jack can be re-signed as our back-up combo guard next season – when he could likely start for some of the lower-tier teams – likely can earn more money too.

        As with Carl Landry, Jack’s stock has improved with their one season with the W’s. Contract year for them… Will the Andris Biedrins of old re-appear next season? LOL!

  34. Hard to complain about San Antonio, since this was a replay of the Alamo. Run more? But they don’t run as well without Curry, and as Barnett pointed out, the Spurs were always back on defense. Since a loss was a likelihood, run more plays for Ezeli to develop him, feeding him as he cuts to the basket? But I didn’t see openings. A s0-so job by Klay on Parker—but would Jack have done better? (The plan is, as I understand it, the guard is supposed to move him off into a zone, where the front court picks him up, and I’m not sure he did that. But the front court had their hands full with Duncan and Splitter anyway. And Parker is Parker.)

    I’m tired of the complaints about Klay, though. A mediocre shooting night, but he got the points the team needed, 20. As a potential all star and #3 man on a team, he will prove to be a disappointment, on some teams a bust. But as a complementary player, one who can shoot, he is a valuable asset, especially on this team.

    The player I covet is Splitter ($4m). A lightweight tall center who is intelligent and scraps and has skills. How did all the great scouts on the other teams overlook him? What could he do for our team? Even if he didn’t prove as effective as he is now as a starter, he would have contributed enough to justify the investment.

    • And while the team is experimenting, give Green more minutes over Barnes, even start him? Barnes, potentially, would have scored more, but it became apparent early on that the Spurs didn’t give him many openings.

      • Mark Jackson should start Draymond Green over Barnes – just to tick off and motivate Harrison Barnes… Barnes – needs to be prodded, poked, coached – Nellie style! Nellie would be playing voodoo mind tricks on Barnes – you know it. Which could get the best out of the young man – or uncover that the kid actually cannot play. Green seems to me to be a good rotation player in his future. Barnes – I’ve still not decided.

        Klay’s offensive talent is undeniable (to me, at least) – but his play this season has been very inconsistent which has been frustrating for me to watch as a fan. Few doubt his long-term development, but he’s fighting issues with confidence and has taken a step sideways from his play at the end of last season and his off-season IMHO.

        Klay can spot up for a three (defender closely trailing), pump fake sending his defender into the stands, then smoothly drive all the way to the hoop, and then upchuck (a word?) the gimme layup…

        Whenever I play streetball – no one defends/contests my outside shot (not even a token hand in my face!) – with smarter players all backing off just daring me to shoot, my jerky pump fake goes unnoticed, and I can barely move fast enough to drive to the rim without getting picked, but when I do rarely get to the rim – I CAN MAKE THE DAMN LAYUP! Hehe!

        • Okay – as soon as I throw Klay under the bus, he has a MONSTER game against New Orleans!!! He shot the lights out in his 24-point shooting display in the first half alone. Gotta love it!

  35. Thompson shot 7/20, for 35%. He only made 1/4 in the paint!!! And the 1 (one! ONE!) that did fall in rolled around the rim for awhile first!

    PB, opponents may not respect your outside shot but Thompson has exactly the opposite problem. Defenders don’t need to worry about him driving for a ~@#$% layup! Last night he shot better from the 3-pt line.

    • True dat (with horrendous New Orlean’s drawl)! I think Klay’ll get this straightened out soon… Brandon Rush had the same issue during a year or two with Indiana – Rush actually shot a better percentage from the perimeter, than anywhere near the rim. Of course, Rush corrected this last season with us.

  36. TheOriginalTruth

    Looks like Monta, Udoh and Jennings continue to lead the Bucks into position #6 in Easter Conference Standings, as they take care of the Blazers for their second win in a row on the road.

    http://www.nba.com/games/20130119/MILPOR/gameinfo.html?ls=iref:nbahpgt0021200599

    Great matchup if they play the Knicks in the opening round.

  37. Festus goes for 13 pts (found money), a RJefferson sighting, Thompson big (for a change) on O in the first half, and the only player (seemingly) on this team who can make big shots in the closing minutes of play (JJack) once again does his thing.

    It all added up to a desperately needed win in the Big Easy, although easy it sure as hell wasn’t. Great effort on the second half of a back-to-back on the road, especially considering their tough loss vs the Spurs last night AND no DLee. A well deserved win.

    Next up a showdown at high noon (sounds better than 1 PM) on Monday vs those Lob City twerps from LaLa Land. Revenge is a dish best served cold, lukewarm, hot or scalding, and will hopefully be available for consumption around 3:30 PM Monday.

    GSW/NO game recap from CSNBayArea.com

    http://www.csnbayarea.com/warriors/instant-replay-warriors-116-hornets-112

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