A Season on the Brink: Rockets 116 Warriors 107

I agree with Jim Barnett that the Houston Rockets are “a better basketball team” than the Golden State Warriors. I don’t know how you could come to a different conclusion if you watched their last two games, a 31 point blowout in the Rockets gym, and then this, a decisive 9 point margin on the Warriors home floor, with James Harden barely able to contribute in the second half after badly spraining his ankle.        

There are any number of reasons why the Rockets are better than the Warriors. Let’s start with the obvious: the Rockets have a superstar, James Harden, and the Warriors don’t. But the Rockets barely needed Harden in the second half of this game: he went 2-6 after his 3rd quarter injury.

The Rockets have a backcourt that can penetrate at will against the Warriors backcourt: Lin can’t be guarded by Curry, and Harden can’t be guarded by Thompson (nor anyone else on the planet). The Rockets threes and fours can also penetrate at will against the Warriors. Chandler Parsons can get anything he wants against Barnes, and to ask David Lee to attempt to guard Patrick Patterson and Marcus Morris all the way out to the three point line is completely unfair, a crime against humanity.

And then there’s the fact that the Rockets cannot be stopped once they penetrate. All of their fours are spread-fours, waiting for that pass out to the three point line. Their threes, Parsons and Delfino, are devastating three point shooters as well. And they have a giant 7 footer inside with the ability to both catch and finish.

The Rockets are not one of those teams that has defensive specialists, “one-way” players that hurt their team on the offensive end as much as they help on the defensive. Every single player they put on the court is a dangerous scorer, and a good passer.

Nor are the Rockets one of those teams, like the Warriors, who are overstocked with one-way offensive players on the wings. Jeremy Lin and Harden are among the best backcourt defenders in the league. Parsons is not known for his defense, but his replacement, sixth man Carlos Delfino, is.

And then there’s Asik. Here’s one of the biggest differences between the Rockets and the Warriors right now: the Rockets have a starting center who is healthy and active.

And here’s another major difference: the Rockets don’t have any rookies in major roles. They come with veterans, both in their starting lineup and off the bench. Even Patrick Beverly, while technically a rookie, is a third year pro, having played two years in Europe.

But the biggest difference between the Rockets and the newly Bogutted Warriors is this: The Rockets know who they are.

The Rockets, like so many of the new breed of championship contender in the NBA, are a perfectly constructed Nellieball team. Skilled players at every position. Defensive center, three point shooters at the four, point-forwards at the three (and the two). Push the tempo, spread the floor, pick and roll, drive and dish, fire the three. Not a post-up to be seen. Nothing but layups and threes, the most efficient offensive system in the NBA.

The Warriors? They have no clue who they are at the moment. Are they the fabulously talented and efficient Nellieball team that took the league by storm in the first half? Or are they a grind-it-out halfcourt team anchored by Andrew Bogut?

Don’t ask Mark Jackson the answer, he doesn’t have a clue right now. I’m not even sure that Jackson’s close personal friend, and rabid Warriors fan — God —  knows who the Warriors are right now.

It’s a mess. A mess created at the very top, by the Warriors GM, Joe Lacob.

The plan that Joe Lacob had for this Warriors season is back.

And once again, it’s making Mark Jackson look like a terrible NBA coach.

The Andrew Bogut Myth: Let’s start this section off with a few Bogut bullet points:

  • The Warriors record with Andrew Bogut in the lineup is 5-5.
  • The teams the Warriors have beaten with Bogut in the lineup are the Suns (twice), Kings, Cavs, Raptors and Mavs. Any teams with winning records in that bunch?
  • The Warriors have never beaten a team with a winning record with Bogut in the lineup.
  • Since Bogut returned, the Warriors have fallen from 13th in the league in defensive efficiency (points per possession against), to 19th.
  • Since Bogut returned, the Warriors have fallen from 26th in the league in number of free throws allowed per game, to 28th. Only two teams foul less.
  • Since Bogut returned, the Warriors have been out-rebounded in 5 of the 6 games he’s played.
  • And as Fitz noted last night, since Bogut returned, the Warriors have fallen from being one of the better rebounding teams in the league, to 17th in Total Rebounding %.

Warriors fans have been very reluctant to believe that the Andrew Bogut who is playing for the Warriors right now is not the Andrew Bogut who played for the Bucks in 2009-10. But he’s not even close to that player. That should be obvious now, to anyone who has watched the last few games. Andrew Bogut is not helping the Warriors, he’s KILLING them.

He’s killing them on defense, which is supposed to be his forte. Why? Because he has no stamina, and is unable to run the floor. He is killing them by regularly failing to get back.

And he’s killing them on defense because he cannot move his feet. I noted after the last Rockets game that Bogut was getting burned on the pick and roll, because when he came out of the lane to hedge, he could not recover in time to defend the rim. This led to him getting chastised by Jim Barnett for coming out too far away from the basket.

Well, he corrected that in this game. Take a look at the  pick and roll the Rockets ran at 1:35 2nd Q. Bogut didn’t budge from the lane this time, leaving Harden wide open at the free throw line to bury an easy jumper. Is that a better result, Jim?

No, it’s not. And Festus Ezeli wouldn’t let it happen. The wonderfully mobile Ezeli excels at hedging the pick and roll and recovering to defend the rim.

Bogut is killing the Warriors because he’s getting beaten to crucial rebounds. Even though he got inside position against Zack Randolph at 3:50 4th Q of the Memphis game, Randolph pinned him to the floor, seized the rebound from behind, and scored the putback. In last night’s Rockets game, Asik beat him for two crucial offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter. And then jumped over him at 3:46 4th Q for a defensive rebound. Jim Barnett’s remark: “Asik beat Bogut to the ball.”

He’s killing the Warriors because he’s slow to defend the rim. The Rockets took it right to him, over and over again. Take a look at 7:47 4th Q. Yes, David Lee got beat by Marcus Morris on a drive from the right corner. But Morris dunked because the ball had been swung from the opposite side of the floor, and Bogut was too slow returning to the middle.

Bogut is also killing the Warriors on offense. Gone are all those early-offense pick and rolls. Gone is Ezeli clearing the way for early-offense drives with drag screens in the lane. It takes too long for Bogut to haul his ass up court.

Gone are all the David Lee fourth quarter pick and rolls that were so devastating to opposing defenses, and helped earn Lee two Western Conference Players of the Week and and an All-Star berth. As with the Kwame Brown Era, the Andrew Bogut Era has relegated Lee to a fourth quarter spectator.

And outside his passing ability, Bogut has no offense to replace that which he has destroyed. His jump shot is gone, a casualty of his right elbow injury. Even his right hook appears to be gone: Have you noticed that Bogut, when he posts up at all, almost always chooses the right box, from where he goes to his left-handed hook? Judging from a recent interview, Bogut has little trust in his right elbow. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

Last night, Jim Barnett seemed incredulous that the Warriors kept using Bogut in the high post, where he has no offense. But where else can he be played? Off the ball? His man doesn’t need to guard him.

In the low post? Hah. The Warriors don’t go to Bogut in the low post in the fourth quarter. For good reason. In his sole fourth quarter attempt against Memphis, Bogut was literally pushed out of the lane, and practically off his feet by Marc Gasol. That might have had something to do with his ankle.

But as I noted when he was traded, Bogut was horribly inefficient out of the low post even before his ankle injury, converting only 36% of his shots from there in his last season. There is absolutely no reason to double team him. Memphis didn’t double team him. The Rockets didn’t double team him, even when he was picked up by one of their diminutive spread-fours. (That possession resulted in a fading left-handed fling from 10 feet.)

The idea that the Warriors can play inside out, by throwing it in to Bogut, and allowing him to find open three point shooters with his great passing ability?

A myth. 

I’m not the only one who’s noticing that Bogut is hurting the Warriors. So is Jim Barnett, who noted at 3:45 2nd Q that Bogut lacks stamina, just as Bogut failed to get back on defense in time, and fouled Harden as he ran by him.

So is Ric Bucher, stating post-game that “Bogut can’t move and react the way he will in a couple of weeks.” And “Bogut can’t defend the rim the way the Warriors hope he will.”

Hope is right. But even if Bogut does eventually come round, what will the Warriors record be after those “couple of weeks?” And what will he come around to?

If you think it is anything resembling the Andrew Bogut of old, I’m sorry but I think you’re dreaming. Let me refer you to a recent tweet of his, after the first Rockets game:

Wheels up to OKC. Ice is a great friend right now…..

Or this comment, after last night’s game:

I’m not going to comment on percent. I’ve learned early with that. I’m playing. I’m not hurt. I’m playing. I’m out on the court, so I’m fit to play. I’m not going to sit here and mope that my ankle’s sore or that it’s not sore, or the last game it felt great, this game…

Funny how he did that, isn’t it? Telling us that his ankle is killing him, by telling us he’s not going to tell us when his ankle is killing him. Quintessential Bogut.

And speaking of last night’s post-game interview, did you happen to notice that Bogut threw his teammates under the bus for their poor defense? Here are a couple of quotes:

I think at the end of the day, it’s you one-on-one in a battle with the guy you’re guarding, you know? You can’t just keep hoping for help and funneling to help….

[O]ur defense one-on-one is horrendous, 1 through 5, not just 1 or 2 guys. 1 through 5. We get beat it’s like, “Oh help, someone help me.”

There’s a very big problem with Bogut’s analysis. Not a single one of the Warriors starters can guard his man one-on-one. And for most of the season, they haven’t had to. All season long, the Warriors have employed a zone or quasi-zone to help their poor perimeter defenders. Collapse in the lane to give help, recover to the shooters. Trap the pick and roll. Funnel the drivers towards Ezeli. Force the ball to swing, run at the open three point shooter and pray.

Now, last night, it appears that fear of embarrassment at the hands of the Rockets’ three point shooters caused the Warriors to abandon the defensive game plan that’s worked for them all season long. The Warriors did their best to stay home, and rely on big bad Bogut in the middle to cover up for them whenever they got beat off the dribble, which was virtually every play.

You saw the result. And even if you didn’t, Bogut described it to you.

Listen carefully when Bogut speaks. He’s telling you the truth about the Andrew Bogut Myth, even if he doesn’t mean to.

Stephen Curry: Did it look to you like Curry was horrible on defense last night? Getting beat on drives by Jeremy Lin all night long? Well, it wasn’t completely his fault.

Mark Jackson pulled the rug out from under him. All season long, the Warriors have been double-teaming the ball, trapping the pick and roll. But with Bogut unable to leave the lane, they can no longer do that.

Every single team in the league traps Jeremy Lin on the pick and roll. Because his drive is dominant, and his outside shot off the dribble is horrid.

Every single team, that is, but the Bogutted Warriors.

Mark Jackson forced Curry to pay the price for Andrew Bogut’s immobility.

David Lee: Lee was similarly betrayed by Mark Jackson in this game. Lee should never be forced to match up with smaller, quicker spread-fours. To do that not only negates his quickness advantage on offense — which is most of his game — but completely embarrasses him on defense.

Lee looked like a hopeless buffoon on defense. In the exact same way that Blake Griffin, Zach Randolph, Kevin Love, Lamarcus Aldridge, Dirk Nowitzki and innumerable other good power forwards would have.

The only way for the Warriors to match up with this Rockets team is to flip the switch and out-quick them. With David Lee at center, running Asik off the court, and Draymond Green or Richard Jefferson at the four.

The way that old, reviled, Scotch-swilling meathead — whose conceptions and inventions now happen to be dominating the modern NBA — would have done it.

Jarret Jack and the Myth of the Warriors’ Depth: A few posts back, I wrote that the Warriors don’t have a true two-guard, and that “if either Curry or Jack go down, the Warriors will be left playing either Jenkins, Bazemore or a small forward at the two.”

Isn’t that exactly what just happened on the Warriors’ road trip from hell?

I also wrote that the Warriors were extraordinarily reliant on rookies, which is exactly the same thing as having no depth at all. We saw that on the road trip as well.

Look at the top of the Western Conference standings. Spurs, Thunder, Clippers, Memphis, Nuggets. Are any of those teams reliant on even a single rookie? All of those teams run ten deep, with VETERANS.

If you’re going to insist on calling the Warriors a deep team, you’ll need to invent a completely different word to describe the real contenders in the league.

The Brand: If my twitter feed provides a representative sample, Warriors fans are utterly perplexed by the fact that Harrison Barnes isn’t getting more playing time.

For me, the reason for this has been quite simple, and quite obvious: Harrison Barnes does not play defense, and he does not rebound.

Has anyone besides me noticed that the Black Falcon failed to exceed 2 rebounds in four of his last five games? These are his totals: 1, 0, 7, 2, 2.

Did anyone else notice that Chandler Parsons simply lit him on fire and roasted marshmallows? Actually, I think Bogut may have noticed.

I have been accused by readers of being too hard on Barnes for his defense, because he’s a rookie, and because he’s on a team with far worse defenders than himself.

Let me point out a few harsh truths to these readers:

1) Take another look at the top of the Western Conference standings. Do any of the teams you see have poor defenders or unwilling rebounders at the small forward position? Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Jackson, Kevin Durant, Thabo Sefalosha, Caron Butler, Matt Barnes, Tayshaun Prince, Tony Allen, Andre Iguodala and Wilson Chandler.

See anyone on that list you’d like to compare Harrison Barnes to defensively?

Small forwards who can light it up offensively but can’t play defense or rebound are literally a dime a dozen in the NBA. You can find them on the waiver wire. In the D-league.

Small forwards on winning teams are almost without exception dominant defenders. It’s a requirement.

2) Stephen Curry, David Lee and Klay Thompson are the core of this Warriors team, and none of those guys have the athleticism to be good man-to-man defenders. Which means that the Warriors are ABSOLUTELY DESPERATE for a versatile and dominant defensive wingman, who can match up with the opposing team’s best perimeter player.

If Barnes can’t be that dominant defender, then he has to go. I’m sorry, that’s simply the way it is.

3) It is my opinion, after watching many years of NBA basketball, that great defensive players and great rebounders are born, not made. They come into the league with that ability and that desire. It’s in their DNA.

Other players come into the NBA focused on their brand.

4) There are far better defenders at small forward than Barnes sitting on the Warriors bench. Draymond Green is one. This next guy is another.

Richard Jefferson: Did you watch RJ play in this Rockets game? Do you see his +5 for 8 minutes, while shooting no shots? The only positive plus/minus on this Warriors team?

If you have no idea how RJ achieved that +5, then you have no idea why Harrison Barnes doesn’t deserve more minutes. And you probably never will.

Draymond Green: I thought Green was a breath of fresh air in this game, particularly in the fourth quarter. If he straightens out his shot, as he did in this game, he can be a heck of a player. Personally, I think he needs to tone down his jump, go to more of a set shot.

A couple of plays stood out to me:

  • That ferocious offensive rebound at 3:19 4th Q. 
  • At 2:57 4th Q, absolutely stoning Parsons on that drive from the three point line, forcing him into a falling away airball.

Can the taller, quicker, higher jumping Harrison Barnes make plays like that? Why not?

In your heart of hearts, I think you know the answer.

The Playoff Picture: It’s unclear what effect the schedule will have on the Warriors’ last 30 games. They have a long stretch of home games to end the season. On the other hand, they’re nearly done playing the Eastern Conference, and they have a losing record against Western Conference teams.

At this point, I think we can all agree that the Warriors are far more likely to slide in the standings than gain ground on the teams ahead of them. Denver has hit their stride. Memphis is starting to play a lot better since their big trade, with the ball moving better, and Gasol, Conley and Prince easily picking up the scoring slack left by Rudy Gay’s departure.

And the Warriors are a mess.

Houston, as evidenced by their last two games against the Warriors, is a very nice team that is starting to put it all together. Given the current state of the Warriors, it seems likely that Houston will pass them to take the 6th seed.

It’s still likely that Utah will shoot themselves in the foot at the trading deadline. And the Warriors are still comfortably ahead of Portland, Dallas and the Lakers.

Or are they? As a result of their play in the last two weeks, I find myself starting to have doubts. Starting to ask myself this question:

Are the Warriors going to throw away this season on the Andrew Bogut Myth?

The Feltbot Solution: It’s obvious that the Warriors are going to stick with Bogut, for good or ill, for as long as he’s able to take the court. Andrew Bogut was Joe Lacob’s “transcendant deal,” his grand plan, his signature move, his defining moment, his imprint on the Warriors franchise. There is no turning back.

Given that fact, can Mark Jackson do anything to get this Warriors team back on track?

I think he absolutely must do this: He must give up on playing Bogut in the fourth quarter. Lacob and Bogut’s own opinions be damned, he should restrict Bogut’s playing time to the first and third quarters, in the Festus Ezeli role. At least until such time as Bogut begins to demonstrate that he’s healthy and fit, and able to dominate.

Jackson should go back to playing Nellieball in the fourth quarter. That’s the lineup, and the style of play, that won all those games this year. That’s the lineup and style of play for which this Warriors roster is most suited, whether Joe Lacob understands that or not.

If he wants to win, Jackson absolutely must do this, at least until Bogut PROVES there’s a better way.

And Mark Jackson should give the crafty veteran Richard Jefferson more playing time, and the raw rookie Harrison Barnes less. Just as NBA coaches have done since time immemorial, when they have been committed to winning, rather than selling tickets and merchandise to please their owner.

Does Mark Jackson have the cojones to risk losing his job, in order to carry this Warriors team into the playoffs?

I think it just may come to that.

72 Responses to A Season on the Brink: Rockets 116 Warriors 107

  1. Early readers: I just added a section on David Lee.

  2. Thank you, Feltbot. Thorough and illuminating, worth several reads.

    It’s a shame the organization can’t give you something to get excited about. I miss your enthusiasm.

  3. Wow. Thanks FB.

    TJ Simers may want to develope a Feltbot addiction.

    “The Warriors? They have no clue who they are at the moment.”

    Even during the strong, exciting play earlier on, an abiding foreboding of this kept me from going all in with this team. I just haven’t been able to convince myself the Jackson/Lacob combo will ever change my lack of confidence. Since the owner is here to stay, I suspect it will require a different coach. Cuban managed to hire Rick Carlisle and though that owner once again sabotaged his own team, at least for a while the strong, brilliant coach made his team a joy to behold. I suppose eventually even the dubs could stumble onto such a coach (i.e., once AGAIN stumble on to such a coach). I’ll be shocked, SHOCKED if Jackson adopts your solution. But I will hope.

    (BTW, between Magic Johnson’s last ring and the Nowitzki-Chandler-Kidd-Marion-Carlisle Mavs, did ANY uptempo team go all the way? I guess Jordan’s Bulls went uptempo on the break when they forced turnovers, but their regular offense certainly wasn’t.)

    Odds seem against Woes falling out of playoffs. Lakers’ injuries seem prohibitive. Barring an impact trade, Dallas’s playoff hopes probably ended with their home loss to Atlanta. They’re just not good enough to make the run they need.

    Portland seems the one question mark. They’re basically a .500 level team. Warriors would have to be really bad going forward to be caught by them. Time will tell.

  4. [O]ur defense one-on-one is horrendous, 1 through 5, not just 1 or 2 guys. 1 through 5. We get beat it’s like, “Oh help, someone help me.”

    And now Kelly Dwyer has picked up the TK interview at the Yahoo blog.

    His comment is galling. Bogut spent several months on the bench, watching the rest of the team play shorthanded, with key players putting in extended, exhausting minutes—yet still manage an impressive winning record. Also he seems oblivious to all the strategy behind the rotations, what it means for the players and team as a whole. Healthy or not, he’s going to prove the drag on the team.

    I have a new nickname for him: Bigfoot. He was last sighted here:


  5. Terrific post. although we differ on which way the warriors should go moving forward.
    The warriors need to play their best four players-Jack,Curry.lee.and Landry. They should all start. Jackson should chose between biedrins and Bogut for the fifth spot. I would start Biedrins. I would bring in Jefferson on to play SF, although an argument can be made that Jefferson should start over Landry.either way we will start the gene with a stronger line-up, especially on defense.
    Thompson and Barnes should come off the bench. Hopefully, Bogut.
    will play better coming off the bench.

    Unless the warriors play their vets who are better two players the Warriors will continue to wallow in there current morass.

    • Frank,

      Don’t play the literally stiff Biedrins.

      Play that Italian guy Ezeli (read develop the young man)! He is the one going to be around and is actually a true NBA player. It is sad he as he languishes behind Bogut!

      Take Biedrins and make him practice his shot until he is actually willing to take one instead of playing ‘hot potato’ during the game.

      C’mon now.

  6. Thanks FB for a devastating analysis of a devastating situation. Your foreboding of the negative impact of the Bogut addition has come to fruition. This team bears little resemblance to the successful squad of just 10 games ago. A most dramatic turn around. How will this situation be handled and will the W’s continue to run this as Bogut’s team. What must Lee and Curry be thinking. If the W’s continue this slump, fall out of the playoffs and Bogut remains at this level, could be an awful situation…

  7. Hard to disagree on the results of playing today’s Bogut, but whether the Ws continue starting him is only a matter of speculation. They do still have the option to run with their best players instead. The choice they make might tell us the relative influence of the business guys vs. the basketball guys in the organization.

    Or it might tell us about Bogut’s prospects for health. Injured or not, Bogut also has to be rusty, out of shape, and out of sync with his teammates. All of that could only really be improved with playing time. If his health is still improving, playing him probably is the best move even if it costs us games in the short term. If not – if he’s as healthy as he’s going to get – then he’s got to be benched.

    Feltie, you could be right about Bogut being permanently, critically injured. You could also be wrong. We don’t know. For us mushrooms, it’s just a matter of speculation. I’d bet you’re right. But maybe not.

  8. Brim of Disaster

    @#5 Frank,

    We all like Landry, but only in the paint. He’s no wing defender, and his long range shot is non-existent. You keep suggesting that Landry start on the wing.

    The Ws have huge problems on wing defense. Wouldn’t Landry at SF make it worse? Your insights are usually pretty right on, so I was wondering. What’s your thinking there?

  9. Great read Feltbot!!!
    I hope you’re completely so wrong! Lol! Unfortunately you have many great points!

    The team needs more time together – especially playing with Bogut – although I always want more (2-way) defensive players like Rush and Bogut should a trade develop. Different lineups would be more interesting – say Jeffereson/Jack in starting lineup.

  10. Except for Jefferson, we have no wing defender. In my opinion Landry would defend the three ball as well a either Barnes or Thompson.

    On offense, Landry doesn’t need to be on the wing and shoot threes. He can continue to score inside and and out, and maintain his 53% shooting from the field. Neither Thompson nor Barnes shoot that well.

    And he would be separated from Lee who is on the other side of the court. I just think that with his experience, Landry is just so much smarter than either Thompson or Barnes, and what the Warriors are doing is not presently working. The Warriors need to experiment to see what will work.

    As starters, playing Barnes and Thompson together, as well as Curry and Thompson, does not seem to be working. And even though I prefer Barnes and Thompson coming off the bench, I would rather see them coming in for each other, and limit there being on the court at the same time. I would greatly increase Landry and Jefferson’s minutes, and reduce Barnes minutes. Let’s see what happens.

    I also think that Biedrins is smarter on the court than Ezeli. He know where to be and go on the court. Ezeli does not seem to have a clue and repeatedly makes mistakes. And Ill take Biedrins not shooting over Ezeli’s taking more shots and shooting a lower FG %. I don’t think there is much hope in developing Ezeli and that he will prove to be a life-long back-up player. Feltbot really likes Ezeli and appears more optimistic regarding his future.

    And while even now it appears that Bogut is better than Biedrins, by far, It will be interesting to see if the Warriors play better with Bogut on the court.

    Felty prefers a front court of D. Lee and Landry. I would like them paired at times with R. Jefferson. I think Felty agrees. That might well be our most effective front-line.

    In order for the Warriors to consistently win, we got to get back to playing defense that limits good teams to shooting 44% or less.

  11. Hat @7, et al.—

    Bogut’s injury masks the real question: How much is a “healthy” Bogut, or as healthy as we can ever reasonably expect, worth to the team? Feltbot lays it out for us. A team built around Bogut, with the current squad and its talents and liabilities, will not work very well. They especially cannot center the offense on him, for all the reasons given. But that seems to be the intent of the FO, and the wish of all those who see Bogut as some kind of savior.

    It may be impossible to convince the believers otherwise, however. Imagine a healthy Bogut started the season. We have every reason to think that the team would have had a worse record at this point. Unfortunately, we can’t run that experiment, for purposes of comparison.

    This I am certain of. If the “healthy” Bogut started the season, and they had a record of 5-6 fewer wins, a likely outcome, all the believers would be saying now how much better the team is now that they have Bogut, how much worse they would have been without him.

    The first 50 games, sans Bogut, have given us much evidence to ponder, but I fear it will be ignored.

    • bogut’s variable presence on the court combined with his residence on the roster has had a drag effect on personnel decisions. the success of the team playing without him, with rush disabled and heavy dependence on the rookies, was not going to be sustainable, as we saw in those last two weeks in the games of bogut’s scheduled sit-downs.

      what myers said very recently indicated a reluctance to make a significant roster move, because they want to assess what bogut can contribute. obviously, they’d be seriously considering reinforcements if he’d been written off for the season or never acquired, if they were serious about reaching the post season. what we’ll never know is how much his acquisition affected their draft of barnes, when they already had two scoring wings, thompson and rush, whose skills were complementary, and their primary deficit would be boards and defense, not at all barnes’ strengths.

      it’s still too soon in the ‘new era’ to tell if lacob is capable of learning from his mistakes, but he gives every appearance of possessing sufficient hubris to impose his antiquated, marketing-driven hoops beliefs indefinitely.

    • I thought Felt’s analysis was based on “what is,” not “what could be.” Bogut is currently injured, out of shape and out of sync with the rest of the team. He plays like it.

      Odds are that Bogut won’t return to the beast of 2-3 years ago, but it’s also more than likely that he’ll improve at least some. Even chronically hampered with a weak ankle he could be in better conditioning, sharper, and more in tune with the rest of the team. It’s too soon to call him a bust.

      In addition, part of the problem I see in playing Bogut over the last few games has been that the team is NOT playing Bogut ball, the coaches have simply plugged him into an uptempo small-ball system that was successful for the Bogut-less team. It’s not a suitable game strategy for any big slow guy. Think Kwame. Ezeli is comparatively raw and unskilled, but his athleticism makes him a better fit for the kind of ball the Warriors have won with this year.

      There are ways to win playing small. There are ways to win playing grind-it-out walk-it-up ball. The Warriors need to pick one approach or the other, and play the personnel appropriate to the strategy they’re using. Simply implanting Bogut into a run-and-gun team is plain ol’ bad coaching.

  12. I think one of the main defensive problems is Bogut’s limitation moving on the floor. And it’s compounded with him having to play with both Thompson and Barnes, who are poor defenders, along with Curry and to some extent D. Lee. I don’t think Lee is as bad as the others. And that’s why I think both Jack and Jefferson or Landry, all good defensive players, should be inserted into the starting line-up in place of Thompson and Barnes. And such may help the defense, and make Bogut more effective on the defensive end of the court.

    If Bogut continues to start (Jackson would have egg on his face if he didn’t), he should at least be shooting more and passing less, so that we can see if he can be a force on offense, and allow for a better distribution of shots taken.

    Even though it’s argued that Biedrins is hampered in the half court offense by his injury, for me, he looks almost like the old Bogut. But, if the old Bogut could cover the pick and roll, and the present Bogut cannot as Felty points out, than the Warriors have big problem, as everyone in the NBA relies on the pick and roll.

    And I’m not thrilled with Thompson taking the most shots against Houston, and scoring only 21 points on 21 shots. Thompson had fallen off dramatically on the offensive end this year. Last year, he shot 44% from the field, this year, 41%. Not good. He’s not a good two point shooter. He’s so erratic.

    With Barnes defense leaving a lot to be desired, the Warriors should not be playing Barnes 30 plus minutes, and his taken such so few shots as he did in the Houston.

  13. What about Barnes and change for J.Dudley?

    What about Bogut for Scola and Gortat?

    Since the Warrior have traded for injured players. what about Biedrins and change for Gortat and C. Frye who might play next year?

    Just messing around.

    Get Udoh back cheaply right now. Also try to pry loose Ryan Anderson. Warriors will rock.

  14. Teams really screw up in the draft. Look at all the teams that passed on Chandler Parsons who went in the second round. Better than Clay Thompson who was drafted in the first round?

    • Though his FG% is low, Fuzzy Zeller, Cleveland, (7′ 250; 17th pick—we looked at him) has stats similar to Bogut’s first season.

      Bogut 2005-6:
      53% FG 63%FT 7RB 2.3 Assists .8 block 9.4 PPG

      Zeller so far:
      42%FG 77%FT 6.2RB 1.4 Assists 1 block 8 PPG

      Not advocating this, but better numbers than Biedrins or Ezeli, and vastly better than what Bogut has added the first 50 games.

      Just messing myself. . . .

  15. Actually, the Warriors should have drafted Kawhi Leonard over Thompson. Jerry, what were you thinking?

  16. I was too tame in my comment @2. This is easily the best piece of Warrior analysis I’ve seen in some time. It shows good knowledge of the individual players and their talents, and of the overall game, offense and defense, how they might or should fit in.

    I’d be happy to see a counterargument, but whoever does so will need to address FB’s points and match the sophistication.

  17. Mighty Morphing Hat @11,

    I think Feltbot is pretty clear that there’s not much, or not enough to expect from Bogut when he has recovered, if that happens.

    If the team’s intent is to run the offense through him, as seems to be the case, I don’t see much promising from him at all. He hasn’t been especially productive on offense—only 12-13 points a year. His year before the ankle break, FB tells us, he only hit 36% from the low post, and if he does get to the line, he’s a lousy free throw shooter—57% career. His form is awful.

    I’m not clear how good his shot is or what his range is, especially after his lingering elbow injury, but he doesn’t look like that much of a threat further out, so won’t draw more than one defender (FB again) who won’t have to play close and who will be able to watch the lane. So I don’t see his value at high post.

    Nor am I especially impressed with his reputation as a good passer—2 or 3 assists per game, career? It means he’s taking play making ability from the faster players who can see the floor better and move the ball more quickly. And if he’s not drawing defenders, he’s not helping open up the floor for the others, who need it. This is, in fact, what we’ve seen so far.

    How fast was the old Bogut? I don’t know, but he doesn’t look that athletic. If the team is running the offense through him, they’ll have to wait for him to make it down the court and get set on offense, which means they’ll have to play slow, control offense, which does not make best use of the other players we have. And it will take away early offense, which is a strength.

    Bogut: We get beat it’s like, “Oh help, someone help me.”

    I don’t know the context here, but if he has a problem with the defensive schemes of the team now, he’s not going to be much help at all. To keep players such as Curry on the floor, he has to be able to react quickly, move quickly, and cover. Or does he think he’s just supposed to cover just the other big guys? Who? There aren’t that many, only a couple who are that good, and almost all play limited minutes. Most teams are playing smaller faster players 4th. quarter. Can Bogut keep up with them? And having him on the floor then will take out more adept scorers such as Landry.

    He is potentially better than the other centers we have, but how much? Given the above, it looks like at best he could provide a complement to what the team has already developed, playing limited minutes. If he fits in and can move his butt.

    But I’m baffled. Why have so many decided he’s such a great player? He played two college years in a mediocre conference. Yes, his team made a run in the NCAA, but how many big centers have played well in college only to recede once they saw true size in the pros? He played for the Australian team in the London Olympics, who got creamed by the US pros, scoring 4 points and pulling down 2 boards (was he injured then? Patty Mills, however, did well in that game, 20 points). He had pretty good years with pretty good numbers for a mediocre team that did make the playoffs, but in the very mediocre Eastern Conference.

    Where’s the beef?

  18. Seems to me I had an aunt who gave me pajamas for Christmas when I was 10 that looked like the new Warriors uniforms. They kind of disappeared.


  19. Panic, much?

    Perhaps things are as bad as prescribed in this article, and sure the quality of the analysis is hard to rebut, but to me the current quality of play is more just a symptom of a team looking for a break and collectively playing below the levels of their capability.

    Good teams have winning streaks. Good teams have losing streaks. I think handing this young, inexperienced squad a death certificate is a little melodramatic after losing 5 in a row heading into the all star break. The effort they expended in the first half of the year was incredible and I frankly think that the current level of criticism (from all quarters) is unjust.

    Get back to me 10-12 games after the all-star break. Let’s all agree to re-assess at that point. They either regroup or they flounder and I think deserve at least the opportunity to properly do either.

  20. Can't Touch This (hat)

    @17, rgg,

    Again, I think Felt is seeing “what is” with a discerning eye. But neither he nor anyone else can predict how much of his old form Bogut can regain. Besides not being fully healed, he’s rusty and out of shape. From where we sit, we can’t tell how much to attribute to what problem.

    Bogut is also a newbie with this team. It always takes playing time to mesh with others. Only playing time will get him there.

    And then there’s the game plan. In the last few games, Bogut has essentially been playing the Ezeli role, i.e., clear out of the lane on O to let Lee work and be “rim protector” on D. Given his physical limitations he doesn’t actually do it as well as Ezeli. At the moment.

    More to the point, even if Bogut did eventually come up to strength the Warriors’ current game strategy wouldn’t be the best fit for him anyway. Under the current scheme he doesn’t have a role on O except “get out of the way.” On D, quick-response help for blown wing defense isn’t the strength of ANY traditional C. A lighter, quicker Udoh type would naturally be better at it.

    Sooo… if the team wants to play to Bogut’s (someday) strengths, they would have to play differently. When healthy, he was (and hopefully will someday again be) able to play at least even up with D Howard, Kendrick Perkins and every other traditional C. That’s hardly a bad thing, and it’s an option the Ws haven’t had in the 30+ years I’ve been following the team. I will NEVER forgive Mark Jackson for his hack-a-Howard flop last year. With a semi-decent Bogut at C, it need never happen again.

    Now is not the time to revise the Ws winning game strategy. Bogut’s health, availability, etc., doesn’t support it. But I wouldn’t mind having the ability to at least play even up with the Lackers. Or Sacramento, or Orlando. Someday.

    It’s too soon to write off Bogut. It’s dumb to write off Big Ball (check the Lackers’ record of the last 20+ years). It’s unfortunate that Bogut needs playing time to come up to speed, because in the short term the price for that is losing. But he could still be a huge asset. 5 games don’t define a team or a player.

    • CTT Hat—
      My first question is whether Bogut was ever that good. But I haven’t seen him much (who has?). His stats don’t look that impressive.

      But even if he is a Howard type player, how effective will he be with this squad? I’m skeptical here as well. And should the team keep revising strategies and roster to fit around Bogut until they get it right?

  21. Hidden inside this wonderful piece on Marc Gasol is the reason why the modern NBA is moving away from the low-post game.


    Gasol is one of the best low-post big men in the league. His low-post points per play (PPP) is .977, second-best in the league. But that is an extraordinarily low PPP when compared to almost all other forms of offense. As a completely unfair example, Curry’s PPP when shooting threes is .45 x 3 = 1.35. But the article provides a much more fair comparison: Gasol’s own PPP on pick and pop plays is 1.09.

    It is highly amusing to me that the modern mathematical modeling of correct offensive play has done nothing but confirm the validity of Don Nelson’s innovations. While discrediting the rationale behind nearly every one of Joe Lacob’s personnel moves since taking over the Warriors. But is Joe Lacob, of course, who has positioned himself as the more forward thinking, scientific and stat-based.

    Another nugget in the piece:

    “The most beautiful play in basketball is the pass.” — Jerry West

  22. The Warriors alleged pursuit of Eric Gordon is an indication that Lacob is trying to dump either Biedrins or Jefferson, or both, along with another player, and obtain an overpriced player with a long term contract.

    Gordon is coming off an injury and is not performing near as well as he did two years ago. His shooting percentage is similar to Thompson, but he has the ability to drive and score, or be fouled and get to the foul line. which Thompson has not shown he is capable of doing. He also is a much better defender.

    The deal makes no sense unless Gordon is able to return to his former self. A big “if,” and one two risky to take.

    It would be interesting to know who the other player is that would be included in the deal. It’s probably Barnes rather than Thompson,as it would not seem that the Warriors are higher on Thompson over Barnes, and NO would want to enter such a deal unless they can get someone in return who will help them make the playoffs this year.

    Lacob probably offered a similar deal in trying to obtain Gay. Trade for a player that the trading partner wants to get rid of because has a long term expensive contract.

    Rather than improve the team incrementally, Lacob is always going for the big deal.

    Not amnestying Biedrins, and is trade for Bogut and Jefferson placed the Warriors in this financial mess. and has left him with virtually no room to make a decent trade, unless he is willing to give up a good player and take less value in return, or way overpay for a decent player.

    • If true, it’s amusing that the Warriors are in the hunt for yet another 6-3″ guard. Gordon does have the reputation of being a terrific defender despite his size, though.


      I assume either Barnes or Thompson is being dangled in this deal. Let’s hope it’s Barnes, with the intent of sliding Thompson to the three.

      Biedrins and Barnes would be too much to hope for. Jefferson and Barnes might intrigue NO, although that’s a lousy deal for them.

      I put the chances of the Warriors being able to make this trade at <5%, unless Thompson is involved. And if Thompson is involved, I don't think I would do the deal if I were the Warriors.

    • you can be as liberal as you please Frank in your trade speculation if you omit salary cap considerations. what evidence do you have that lacob tried to acquire Gay and his $19m. per annum long term contract ? (please don’t package some fantasy involving both jefferson and biedrins — neither are functioning at the level of prince, daye, or davis and they’d both have to be off loaded somewhere). it’s the same with your label ‘going for the big deal’. yes, in regard to his attempt to fleece public lands for his arena complex. as far as player acquisition, he’s not going to go deep into the lux tax (re-signing jack, if they choose to, will mean at least getting their feet wet in it) to get an elite star until he sees revenue generated from multiple rounds of playoff games. the players who can pave the way there (gordon really isn’t one) put onto the market can become encumbrances (d.howard) as easily as avatars.

  23. Felty: The more I think about it may well be that Lacob has included Thompson in the deal and not Barnes. He may feel that Thompson’s erratic shooting, and inability to get to the foul line, and his limited defense, does not project into a long term solution at either SG or at SF.

    With regard to Bogut, although the Warriors have been outscored with Bogut on the court, such does not necessarily mean he is not playing well. For instance, in his first game against Houston, he had a minus 29 rating, but such was largely due to Houston hitting a inordinate number of three’s that he was not responsible for.

    His individual stats give some indication of his offensive performance on the court. It’s quite possible for him to have decent individual offensive stats, but a minus rating, if other Warriors playing with Bogut did not perform very well.

    Bogut’s deficiencies inside is one reason I want to see Jefferson or Landry on the court with him, along with D. lee, and neither Barnes or Thompson in the front court when Bogut is on the court.
    But, the bottom line is that the Warriors need a big and quick man up-front.

    One thing that Bogut did well in two games, is garnering four offensive rebounds in limited playing time. However, in some games he has garnered only one offensive rebound. Providing the Warriors with four additional scoring opportunities is a big deal and something we should keep our eye on.

    • The bizarre design is nothing more than an attempt to appease those who objected to its obstructing the view. So they stuck it out.

      Maybe Lacob can put the arena under the bay?
      If it happens, don’t blame me.

    • There are more than esthetic arguments against the new arena, which makes an article limited to the pretty view just stupid, lazy journalism.

      One of the issues with the current arena design, and the reason the Warriors recently gave for redesigning it, is that the part of the arena that extends out over the water would interfere with cruise ships docking there. At first glance that’s a fairly minor consideration, but it touches on the question of SF’s future as an ocean port. That’s a HUUUUGE question, and one that deserves deliberation independent of a short-term money play. Should SF try to continue to be an ocean port? If so, maybe the last remaining undeveloped pier in the city shouldn’t be the site of an entertainment complex. C’mon now. Let’s make some reasoned choices about SF’s future, and not get pushed into a decision by default simply because someone with a lot of cash figures to make more.

      Another big open Q about the new arena is the cost to the city. Almost a year after the big announcement of moving the Warriors to SF, NO ONE is talking about the finances yet, though the Warriors are still saying that 2017 date is “firm.” Whoah, pardner. We gotta talk money. Start talking. Speak clearly. This is gonna take a while.

      Or how about this one? Oracle Arena is the largest basketball venue in California, with a seating capacity of 19,596. Despite the challenge of filling such a big space, the Warriors currently sell out games nearly as often as the very best NBA teams. The new arena is planned for less capacity, at 16k-17k. What does that mean for Warriors fans? What’s the plan for ticket prices? Are lifetime fans on a budget going to have to find other interests? Why not build an even higher capacity venue instead of a smaller one? Is Warriors management afraid they aren’t going to be able to fill it? Give us at least two single-spaced pages on that topic, please. It’s important. To some of us, anyway.

      The Warriors advertising now, suddenly, includes the phrase “The Bay Area’s Team.” OKfine Joe, you’re staking your claim, whatever, at the moment no one’s got the finances lined up to seriously argue the point. But why shouldn’t Oakland or San Jose or even Santa Clara or Palo Alto host a new NBA team? San Jose’s Shark Tank has a capacity of 14,000. That would work. Santa Clara has a ginormous Niners campus now, and a teensy lil’ ol’ basketball arena would barely cut into the parking space. Palo Alto still has a vacant lot at Silicon Valley Ground Zero, Page Mill and El Camino, 3 minutes from TWO different freeways. I mean, hey Warriors dudes, you don’t have an exclusive on the Bay Area, you bought a sleepy team from a low-budget owner and now you’re trying to turn it into a money mill. Good for you. But, strictly speaking, you didn’t buy exclusive rights to a metro environment that could easily support multiple NBA franchises. So it’s when not if, dudes. And WHEN it happens, what happens to all the glorious funnymoney payback you promised San Francisco?

      Let’s have some actual journalism/discussion on the important issues surrounding the new Warriors arena.

      Sorry, regular readers of the Feltbot blog, I just got sidetracked off the important topic of b’ball strategy. I’ll try to behave in the future. Or not.

  24. Imagine trying to add depth to the team the past two years with the low draft picks we saw tonight:

    Faried (22) — and that was a smooth 3 he hit
    Parsons (38)
    Shved (none)
    and even
    I. Thomas (60)

  25. FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

    From someone who knows a lot more about analyzing talent than Feltbot ever will David Thorpe:

    Harrison Barnes, Warriors | Rookie
    A few seasons ago, no one expected Paul George to be playing in the All-Star Game. If Barnes ends up making one, it won’t be as surprising. Just 20 years old, with the ideal size and skill set to be a monster small forward, Barnes is starting to read the game and is playing very well. He has huge upside as a scorer and a wing defender.

    That is for all the idiots that think the Warriors should trade Barnes.

    • TheOriginalFeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend may be the *Original Truth*, but he does not speak it.

      Draymond Green will be an all-star before the Brand. Although it would be nice if they both did.

    • If Barnes actually becomes the wing defender that Thorpe envisions, then I will gladly change my mind. At the moment, I’m not seeing it.

      Nor is Andrew Bogut.

      • Zing!

        • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

          I believe Feltbot once said Jeremy Lin didn’t belong in the NBA because he had no touch and air balled a layup in warm ups. So the ability of Feltbot to analyze talent is questionable. He likes to play Monday morning QB and never takes into account that players actually work on their game. What you see now isn’t the finished product.

  26. According to 82 games. Banes plays more at SG, than he does at SF.
    Moreover he plays better on both sides of the court playing SG.So maybe his best position is SG.

    • Frank, you are either egregiously applying selection bias or need new glasses. the data on 82games includes a lengthy chart of minute allocation for ‘5 man units’. the lineups where Barnes appears are ranked by minutes played, and 1-17 feature at least two of the following players — curry, jack, thompson, jenkins, bazemore. the lineups where there’s one guard and three or four forwards including barnes, in which one could consider him a guard, haven’t been on the floor more than eight minutes each, and there’s but a few of those.

      plenty of fans on the blogs keep proposing barnes as a 2-guard. cross matching on defense is one thing, but on offense the 2-guard has to be able to function as a back up lead guard and run half court plays when the point guard is off the ball or trapped. all the actual guards including thompson can function that way far better than barnes, and even lee or green might handle the ball more securely and be able to make quicker decisions.

  27. Moto: Take a look further down In 82 games of Barnes individual stats when he is playing SG and SF. It shows Barnes shooting an eff. FG percentage of 52 percent when he plays SG , and a much lower FG percentage playing SF. The next set of stats show stats of opponents play against Barnes at both positions. I believe I’m reading his stats correctly.

    • the stats you cite indicate how barnes scores as a 2-guard compared to when he’s at 3, not his teammates on the floor and the minutes played with those teammates. as cited in ‘5 man units’, the huge bulk of his minutes have come with two other guys who wear the label ‘guard’ more appropriately than him. of course it’s your prerogative to consider only the data that confirm the opinion you favour. when wings have comparable skills and similar size, it’s appropriate to just concede, a wing is a wing is a wing, and teams often play a 4/5, three wings, and a point guard. but barnes’ ball control skills and decision making with the ball don’t compare to those of his ‘mates who’ve played guard all through school.

  28. Terrence Ross slam-dunk winner. #GSW #Lacob #oops #tickets #merchandise #defense #winning

  29. Lacob’s Folly

    The image that most sticks in my head that represents all Lacob’s recent efforts is the picture of Barnes in the new uniform:


    Seriously, look at this. The uniform shows Lacob’s attempts to stand out in the world and draw attention to the team and himself, all under the guise of some kind of new age flashy and progressive something or other, efforts guided by marketing and appearances—there was an hour long conference announcing the change—a decision that is not built on any solid knowledge, much less respect, of the players or the game or of players winning games. His decisions rest on shaky, risky assumptions. They are a leap, like Barnes in the picture, into nowhere.

    Really, though, it is a portrait of Lacob.

    The uniform is showy and ludicrous and the picture makes Barnes look like a fool. Who in PR approved the design, who selected this shot? Barnes himself has been promoted through a flighty process of branding, which Lacob bought into and has extended.

    But even if we accept his terms, his decisions are risky. The uniforms may well not be accepted, may in fact make others mock the Warriors, especially if they lose. Imagine the rest of the team wearing them on TV, in arenas around the country. I know it’s supposed to represent gold, but really it’s a whole lot of yellow. Similarly, pushing the Barnes brand—and now Bogut’s—may fall flat on its face. Barnes hasn’t proven himself yet, and possibly never will, not given the inflated expectations. He will be the victim of a marketing process that has lost its moorings, if it ever had them.

    Did Lacob approve the uniforms and this picture? Whom did he hire to do these, and did they have knowledge of the game and independence to pursue intelligent options? Or, as in coaching and team development, did he hire new people with limited or no experience, all answerable to him?

    The new arena, like the roster, is showy, expensive, and risky, and questionable on several fronts.

    The success of the team now and in the future rests on Bogut’s shaky ankle, and his expensive contract locks up the cap and will keep the team from building now and in the near future. Lacob’s assumptions about the game in acquiring him and how he will fit into the team are confused and may well produce mediocre results. Nor does it appear Lacob understands the talents and strengths of the players he inherited, their potential.

    Similarly, the arena is an attempt to draw attention and will literally be constructed on a base that may not be solid—the Bay floor—that at the very least will be incredibly expensive. Figuratively, it shows no appreciation and little understanding of all the factors that give a city its identity and defines its people, what they care about and what matters to them. It may not be that desirable for fans either—consider transportation and traffic—and since the price of seats will go up, may lock many out. I also predict the proposal will fall flat on its face and not be approved. It will be called Lacob’s Folly.

    Look at the pictures again, especially 5 and 11:


    The arena literally sticks out into the bay, like Lacob, like a sore thumb. The building is attractive, but the package looks stupid. It is not integrated into the neighborhood and the pattern of its buildings or the city’s skyline or into anything. I can’t imagine that little park in front—either a sop to SF sensibilities or a forced attempt to improve the view of local residents—will have any use other than vandalism.

    As moto pointed out, Lacob has shown himself either oblivious or insensitive to a strong, loyal fan base and all the efforts the team makes to show it cares about Oakland and its people. He also appears to be out of touch with all the things that make a city vital, the esthetic details that give SF its identity and appeal. He has also projected a wealthy fan base. If he builds it, will they come?

    All three decisions—the roster moves, the arena, the uniforms—show a man who is eager to draw attention and promote himself as a venture capitalist gambler, hip and edgy, but one who takes bad and unnecessary risks.

    Who may well not know what he’s doing.

    All that glitters is not gold, or rather, as Mark Twain amended the saying, nothing that glitters is gold

    Goodness, Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore. I wonder if we’ll ever get back.

    • +1 An image that sparked the superb essay writer that is rgg! Very well considered and written, my friend.

    • if lacob’s e-mail to a fan wasn’t fabricated (re-printed on another blog, it was in his distinct style and very plausible), the new uniforms (post modern, ahistorical pastiche taken to extreme) were a marketing scam concocted by the league and adidas, with other teams eventually experimenting with them. GS basically volunteered to be the test market. they’re only going to be used for a handful of games, and it won’t take very many souvenir sales for it to succeed in marketing terms.

      if lacob’s proposal to build over water gets turned down, he won’t look at it as a bad risk that failed because he’s drawn national attention to himself as a ‘big playa’. we need to remember that the costs for things like site designs and applications and team uniforms that regular folk would find daunting can all be converted to tax relief, and they have huge revenues to work with.

      rick barry likes to illustrate how radically different the team budgets used to be, recounting they only had two road uniforms issued on trips and the players had to launder them, not the team. in stern’s brave new world, they’re probably getting new outfits every few weeks anyway, with the importance they place on looking perfect for the broadcasts. the cost to the souvenir consumer involves all the middle men markups of course and that expensive n.b.a. logo licensing. the actual cost to make the clothes, if we could get the info, is certainly quite cheap, with manufacture in asian or central american sweat shops, and sportswear brands have their factories set up to easily change over to different configurations.

      • moto—

        Thanks again for correcting me (and my apologies for not being thorough in my reading). I was under the impression these would be the new uniforms from here on out.

        The point still stands, however. They look ridiculous. It’s the only thing my son—21, and a baller—and I agree on. We both hate them.

        And thanks for pointing out the exploitation abroad, never mentioned and hardly a concern for the organization

        But even on his on terms, I suspect Lacob has made bad decisions and taken unnecessary risks, and may well falter. Count on delays, at the very least, for the arena. If it falls through, how will he look? If it goes as planned, there will have to be major cost overruns. What will those do to his balance sheet? Will he have to make cuts elsewhere? Will he make enough profits with b-ball and other sources there? If he’s planning to cash in, at what kind of price tag? He’ll have to sell the concept of the team and the arena, and the latter will not be cheap, especially if it isn’t turning big profits. And if he produces a mediocre team, what will that do to his image, his standing, the profitability of the organization?

        I rush these things. But we have been fed a bill of goods. For me, it’s a way of maintaining sanity. Someone else help me flesh this mess out.

        And thanks Feltbot.

      • moto—

        Copy and paste that Lacob email? I haven’t seen it and don’t know where to look.

        • don’t like referring folks to ‘goldenstateofmind’ because they formerly took contributions from feltmeister, but now it seems many of their regulars enjoy flattering themselves in put-downs of our resident savant. anyway, if you go over there and submit to the invasive ads and promos, on the right side is a column of ‘fanposts’. ‘hankmoody’ posted “my e-mail to/from Joe Lacob….”

          lacob doesn’t mind mixed reviews as long as plenty of media space and attention gets focused on him and his creations. consider the Oakland pro sports team that truly did gain world wide brand recognition — becoming iconic didn’t come from only positive accomplishments, and it included wrangling over real estate sites and development.

          if he gets his above water site approved, it’s a disaster whether construction goes smoothly and it attracts the commerce and traffic lacob hopes for, or big delays and overruns make a mess — there will still be an eyesore that damages the environment and communal space at the end of the day, subsidized by taxes and public services. [even if armstrong was clean all those years racing for the ‘u.s. postal service team’, the $40m. paid by the postal service for sponsorship can’t be justified]. delays and cost inflation can lead to even greater harm because they’re used to rationalize short cuts and cheap quick fixes.

  30. Moto: Felty made the point that he thought that Thompson should play SF and not SG. I looked up his stats to see if there was stats that backed up Felty’s viewpoint.They do. As they show that Thompson shoots 51% from either position, but his defense is better when he plays SF, as defensively his SG opponent shoots 49% to his SF opponent shooting 47%.

    Barnes stats show that he shoots 52.5% at SG, and his SG opponents shoots 45%. His stats also when he plays SF he shoots 48.5% , and his opponent shoots 45%. So Barnes clearly plays better at SG.

    Contrary to your assertion, I had not no prejudgment of the results, but rather was researching what Felty had contended.

    I don’t agree with your statement that both are wing players and it doesn’t after which position they are playing. As each position requires different skills.

    Also, if you chose to only look at five man playing together that is your prerogative. But, I think it is important to also consider their ind. stats.

    Clearly, Barnes is better playing the SG position better than Thompson by a wide margin especially defending SG opponents as he holds opponents to shooting 45% compared to Thompson’s 49%.

    He’s also as good as Thompson playing SF, ,as he shoots 1% better from the floor.

    I also think that the Warriors should call up Travis Leslie who was just voted MVP in the D-League all-star game. He was drafted in the second round of the 2011 draft by the Clippers and ultimately released due to their surplus of players in the backcourt. He’s a 6’4″ off-guard, who can shoot, dish out assists, and rebound. Probably better than Bazemore at this point in their respective careers.

    • Frank, did not refer to specific players on the roster that ‘both are wing players and it doesn’t matter what position they’re playing’ (your words)– my statement as written stands, ‘when wings have comparable skills and similar size’ but clearly barnes does not have skills comparable to curry, jack, thompson, bazemore, jenkins in ball handling, which was my main contention why he shouldn’t be considered as a 2-guard.

      ideally the 2-guard should be expected to defend two or even three positions. rush meets the requirement much more successfully (he occasionally plays the 4) than either thompson or barnes. if not for rush’s injury, and the marginalization of jefferson, barnes would be a mere apprentice auxiliary, not getting touted as a future all star. he’ll have another year to establish what he can reliably contribute ; perhaps we can discuss next Mar how drafting him with thompson and rush on the roster was a squandered pick at seven.

    • Frank, Barnes is in no way, shape or form a two-guard. Can’t play it (no handle, no pass), can’t guard it (at all).

      And Carl Landry is not a three, for exactly the same reasons, plus the reason that he can’t spread the floor. He has never been played at the three in his career, ever, and he never will be. Just keepin it real.

  31. I should have also added that David Thorpe’s view that Barnes has the body to be a great SF, is belied by Barnes stats on both ends when he plays SF.

    Also, Jefferson should be starting at SF over Thompson, as Jefferson has a .14% FG shooting differential advantage his opponent playing that position, as Jefferson shoots 46% to his opponent’s 32% ( the later simply off the chart). compared to Thompson’s .04% FG shooting percentage as Thompson shoots 51% to his opponents 47% playing SF.

  32. Felty: The point I was making is that Barnes is statistically better than Thompson playing SG. I was not saying that Barnes should be a shooting guard.

    The fact remains that the Warriors two best shooting guards are both Curry and Jack. The Warriors still need another shooting guard.

    That’s why I would lean toward trading Thompson and his 41% FG percentage in order to obtain Eric Gordon, a better defender, but that would only be if we could also include either Jefferson and Biedrins, or if necessary, and even include Bogut instead of Biedrins, and also obtain Ryan Anderson. I would bring a third party into the trade and obtain Udoh from Milwaukee. If the Warriors obtained Gordon, Anderson, and Udoh, that would make the playoffs and probably go very deep. And if they could retain this year Jack, Landry, Curry and D. Lee they would be a hell of a team. They would finally be able to defend inside and have Anderson to hit the threes.

    As presently constituted the Warriors are in world of hurt. As opposing centers shoot over 50 per cent against, Bogut, Biedrins, and Azeli. And Bogut is not protected by having Barnes on the court with him. If Jefferson remains, he needs to start at SF.

    The Warriors are getting killed in the first quarter. They need to change their starting line-up and include by Jack and Jefferson.

    Barnes, Thompson, and Landry should all come off the bench.

    I was not saying that Landry could play SF, what I was saying that he’s an inside force and shoots so well he needs to play more. Do I think he should be on the court in place of either Barnes or Thompson. Possibly so at times. But, In the final analysis, he probably can help Bogut defensively playing SF, more than either Barnes or Thompson. Unfortunately, he is also not much of an inside defender given his lack of height.

    The Warriors need to make trades now to improve the Warriors. The players are misfits that expose the Warriors weaknesses.

    The Warriors need to bring up Leslie and see if he can play SG or back-up PG, so that Jack and Curry can play SG if no trade is made for a starting SG.

  33. @31

    Felt, what’s up? I still enjoy reading what you guys have to say about the Warriors and the rest of the league.

    You mentiond Joe Lacob’s email address. If it’s still the same as it was a few years ago (I found it in a 2011 blog post on another site) then here you go….. jlacob@kpcb.com

    Thank goodness all this All Star stuff is over with. I’m ready for the real games to resume. Laterz

    • Thanks Steve, but I was joking. I think I’ll just continue my one-way communication with Joe via this blog. If I ever start emailing him, it will be time to come get me with the butterfly nets.

  34. “Monta Ellis’ peculiar game makes him difficult to trade or build around”


    So, who trades for Monta?

    • Simple.

      Monta Ellis-type players (undersized SGs) need to be paired with PGs that can guard SGs – like Jrue Holliday (Jason Kidd is too old now, Baron Davis likely done). That’s why Jarrett Jack pairs nicely with Stephen Curry – PG skills and can defend most SGs.

      Of course, bloggers here have a very high take on Monta Ellis’ game. Me? Not so much. He’s better than Jason Terry and Lou Williams – but in the same sentence.

      Move a motivated Monta to PG? Different story… I’d like to see this.

      Unfortunately, Nellie was dead balls accurate on calling Monta a small SG.

    • plenty of woeyr fans had difficulty accepting that a disabled starting center could cost both ellis and udoh, failing to comprehend the nature of ellis’ market value, and the probability that his value would continue to decline. there will be other teams with big contract players, deals from the previous collective bargaining agreement, who face a similar situation, NO with gordon at the present. here we are a year later on ellis’ downward slope.

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      Feltbot is just as delusional as Monta Ellis. Monta Ellis is not the elite player that Monta and Feltbot think he is.

    • God Your back Steve? There goes the neighborhood (again)…

  35. Stop the personal insults.

  36. Sigh.

    It’s not that time of year again, is it?


  37. When will Jackson start both Jack and Jefferson in place of Thompson and Barnes? Until he does the Warriors will continue to have a hard time winning the first quarter, Until the Warriors get a front court stopper, opponents will continue to shoot close to 50 percent from the field. When will Landry be played more minutes and told to take more shots? When will Barnes be told to drive every time he an opening and confine himself to shootings only threes?

    Unless these changes are made, the Warriors will continue to see their record move toward .500 percent.

    One cannot say with certainty that Bogut-Lee can’t work, until the defense is shored up with both Jack and defensive minded Jefferson inserted alongside both Bogut and Lee. Jefferson did nothing tonight, yet the Warriors still outscored the Jazz when he was on the court.

    It’s comical to hear Jackson stressing the Warriors overall record and not complaint about the Warriors losing streak. Will this result in digging in heels, refusing to change his starting line-up. Will be interesting to see if Lacob makes no trade or bad trade.Still remember Lacob, after he was castigated by the fans last telling season ticket holders that the arrival of Bogut would show this year how right he was making the trade.

  38. Ooo-tah:

    One thing I’ll say in favor of Bogut: he makes me appreciate Biedrins. Bogut is not only slow moving his butt up and down the court, he’s also slow to react—defense, on driving players, or on offense, on getting a shot or pass off. Opponents easily cover. He has no business being on the floor with a quick player like Jefferson. Ezeli, raw as he is, would have slowed him better.

    Bogut and Barnes have no business starting. Barnes is invisible—I had to keep looking for him. And with the pair on the floor, the defense can play both soft on them and the other three have to work harder to get any offense going. Curry had to labor to take only bad shots or force Lee and Thompson. Barnes should be moved to the second unit until he can prove he is ready move up, but I wonder if that will happen.

    One way to improve defense is to get off to a good start and not have to play catchup, as they often have to do. Letting a team like Utah get ahead frees their shooting. It’s easier to take shots when you have a lead and are trying to pad it. If they have to keep up themselves, they tighten up. Also playing from behind puts a greater strain on Curry and Lee to score and wears them down for the rest of the game.

    I’m wondering if Jack could get a few more minutes first quarter, spot starting. Also Jack or Curry should always be on the floor at all times, though I don’t think the minutes will work out.

    Or they can bring in players X and Y, the players they need but don’t have.

  39. Pingback: Out of Rhythm: Jazz 115 Warriors 101 - Feltbot's Warriors Blog

  40. Pingback: Warriors 95 Mavs 93: Players Only - Feltbot's Warriors Blog