Nellieball Beats Spurs: Warriors 107 Spurs 101

The Spurs were quite obviously ripe for the plucking in this game. This was their 8th road game in a row, of their annual 9 game “Rodeo” road trip. They were on a back to back, having waxed the Clippers last night in Staples in an emotional statement game. Old man Tim Duncan is essentially playing on one leg, having just returned from a seriously wrenched knee. Kawhi Leonard has a sore knee that forced him out of the previous game. Stephen Jackson was sitting out, having just returned from a personal tragedy.       

The Spurs were an exhausted team, and it showed quite clearly in their play. A team averaging 13.7 fastbreak points a game managed only 2. And one of the best-shooting teams in the league simply couldn’t hit an open jumper to save themselves. 18% from three (4-22), for a team 5th in the league at 38%. 72% from the free throw line, for a team fourth in the league at 79%.

That’s what exhaustion looks like, and in a game this close, that accounts for more than the difference between the two teams in the final score.

Which doesn’t mean the Warriors didn’t stick a fork in the Spurs with superb play. They did. And in my opinion, it was play inspired by the unavailability in this game of the Andrew Bogut Myth.

Spearheaded by a superb effort by Andris Biedrins in the half court, the energetic, scrambling, mobile Warriors defense was back. And free of the lumbering Bogut, the Warriors virtually never got beat down court. They got matched up with the Spurs shooters early, and shut down their early offense.

And unburdened by the need to play Bogut in crunch time, General Mark Jackson was free to draw his long knife, NELLIEBALL, and slice the Spurs’ defense to pieces.

After a disastrous start to the four quarter that saw the Warriors go down 10, 77-67, Mark Jackson replaced Carl Landry with Harrison Barnes at the four and went to all out Nellieball.

We all saw what happened: Quick scrambling defense generating steals and runouts. David Lee fighting off Tim Duncan mano a mano, and gobbling up rebounds at his true position, center. Fast breaks, spread floor, penetration, pick and roll.

Running a superior team into the ground.

Sans the crippled, lumbering Andrew Bogut, the Warriors reclaimed their true identity, as one of the best Nellieball teams in the league.

And seized an improbable win with huge playoff implications as a result.

Stephen Curry: If you want to know why Stephen Curry is so often off the ball in the fourth quarter, while Jarret Jack takes the reins of the Warriors offense, you need do no more than notice how the Spurs guarded the two players in this game. Curry was guarded by the tough and long Danny Green, and Jack by Tony Parker. The Warriors attacked Parker, as they should.

A highlight, at 3:00 3Q: On the drive, Curry leans into Duncan to initiate contact before throwing in the circus shot for the And One. Getting that league best FT% to the line. More of this would be a good thing.

Jarrett Jack: How much will Jack be worth on the open market this summer? Seriously, how much do you think he’s worth? A point guard who can drop a 30 and 10 on the Spurs? A guy who can get his shot anywhere on the floor, from three, from 15 feet, with a floater, a layup through contact? A guy with the moves and handle to get to the middle of the lane with ease? A guy with the vision to find his teammates when he does? Who has the strength to take the contact and deliver the And One with regularity?

A point guard with the toughness and desire to play both ends of the floor, and the size to guard twos? A point guard who lives for the big moment? Who seizes fourth quarters by the throat?

How much is a point guard like that worth? Is he worth, say, what Aaron Afflalo got? 5 years, $43 million? $8 million per. Personally, I’d trade Afflalo and a high first rounder for the right to pay Jack that money.

Is he worth less than, say, Ty Lawson? 4 years, $48 million. $12 million per. Hmmm. Can Ty Lawson put a team on his shoulders, and take over a game down the stretch?

One thing is for certain. We’re going to find out just exactly what skinflint Joe Lacob is made of this summer. We’re going to find out just how much his (up to this point laughable) insistence that he’s willing to spend money to win is really worth.

Because Jarret Jack is going to get paid. One way or another.

David Lee: 25 and 22 against the league’s best team, for the win? Stat stuffing, obviously. Not clutch.

Struggles against length? I don’t know, are Tiago Splitter and Tim Duncan long?

Lee doesn’t struggle against length. He was BORN to play against bigger men. To run them off the court. To go around them with his quickness, handle, spin moves, ambidextrous finishes, talent. To stretch them out with his shooting ability. To dice them up with his passing ability.

To hold them off in the low post with his toughness and desire and will to win, the way he did to Tim Duncan in the fourth quarter of this game.

What Lee struggles against is superior quickness and athleticism. He struggles against stretch fours, who pull him out of the lane, away from the defensive boards. Like the (former) power forwards of Houston, Patterson and Morris. Like Ibaka and Durant of OKC.

What Lee struggles with is his Warriors GM and coaches. Because it is Joe Lacob and his coaches who have continously forced him to play out of position, in the wrong system, with the wrong teammates.

David Lee should never have to match up with stretch-fours. Because David Lee is a NELLIEBALL CENTER. He has proven it over and over and over again in his career, with two trips to the all-star game, and this winning season.

And he proved it again last night.

Klay Thompson: Is it odd that Thompson could barely hit a shot after the first quarter? No it’s not, given that he was given the assignment to chase Tony Parker around all night. He had a superb floor game, playing great, unrelenting defense on Parker on one end, and spreading the floor and setting up his teammates on the other.

And he made two huge plays down the stretch. That huge bucket at 1:52 of OT. And the steal of the Duncan pass at 0:18 that clinched the game. Bob Fitzgerald got the call wrong. It was Thompson who cheated off his man to step into the passing lane and steal that pass. Check it out.

But nothing was bigger in this game than Thompson’s defense on Tony Parker. And I have been promising an analysis of why Mark Jackson gives Thompson this cross-match assignment, so here it is:

So far this season, Jackson has assigned Thompson to guard Parker, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook. Why? To start with the obvious, all of these point guards struggle against length. They all love the mid-range jump shot off the dribble, and that is something that the 6-7″ Thompson can deny right out of the gate.

Secondly, Thompson’s length helps deny the pick and roll. Particularly the over-the-shoulder pass back to the screener, that both Parker and Paul love. THAT is why Thompson tries to go OVER the screen, much to Jim Barnett’s chagrin. He’s denying the PASS. And if the point guard decides to pull up for the shot, Thompson can use his length to challenge the shot from behind.

Third, this cross-match works best when the opponent’s two-guard is not a primary scorer who can torch Curry. OKC plays Sefalosha at two, the Clippers Willie Green: perfect. The Spurs Danny Green is tougher, but he’s a one-dimensional three point shooter.

Fourth, in the case of Westbrook and Parker, at least (I like Curry’s defense on Paul), Curry has no prayer of staying in front of them. So Curry, Thompson, makes no difference in terms of preventing penetration. These two point guards must be guarded by the entire team. And in Parker’s case at least, Thompson does a remarkable job of catching up from behind to bother his shot. Sometimes length trumps quickness.

So, as was amply demonstrated last night, this is a very clever, grown-man tactic on Mark Jackson’s part. Not that he invented it. Scott Brooks turned around the Thunder-Spurs series last year when he made the adjustment to guard Parker with Sefalosha in Game 3. Parker struggled horribly from that moment on.

Phil Jackson frequently used Scottie Pippen, and later Kobe Bryant, to guard troublesome point guards, deep in a playoff series.

And of course, we all remember Don Nelson guarding Chris Paul with Stephen Jackson, don’t we? Well, maybe you do, but Mark Jackson most certainly does not. As he stated last night, his memory goes back exactly one and a half years.

Those tapes have been burned.

The Brand: Up until the fourth quarter, this was an utterly embarrassing performance for Harrison Barnes. The Spurs completely disrespected him by frequently guarding him with Tony Parker and Gary Neal. Jackson tried to punish the mismatch by sending Barnes into the low-post, but Barnes failed miserably attempting to convert from there. Parker simply stripped him of the ball, not once but twice, and when Barnes didn’t turn it over, he was either forced to pass out,  or try and brick one of his patented off-balance mid-range fall-aways.

Barnett was moved to discuss Barnes’ shot in this game, stating at 11:00 2Q: “Harrison Barnes has to think about shooting the ball before he reaches the peak of his jump.”

In other words, Barnes has Billy Owens disease, shooting on the way down. It might be a function of his non-fundamental release, which I’ve already discussed. He pulls the ball too high and far back behind his head.

In short, his shot is messed up. Needs to be remade. Isn’t that something that Joe Lacob’s scouts noticed? Or did he ignore their advice, and go with Spokesmodel Bob Myers’ considered opinion?

In the fourth quarter, Barnes helped the Warriors greatly simply by being played at power forward, where he could spread the floor, and help up the tempo with his running ability. Spread-four, as I mentioned before the season, is actually the perfect position for a player of Barnes’ size and one-dimensional skills. If only he had the heart and desire to rebound and play defense. And if only there weren’t two better spread-fours already on the Warriors.

But even in that glorious fourth quarter, Barnes ended up being embarrassed. For some reason, Mark Jackson decided to play him over Draymond Green on defensive possessions. And gave him the ridiculous assignment of attempting to guard Manu Ginobili.

Ginobili simply tortured Barnes. First at 1:28 4Q, pinning Barnes on his back right under the basket to receive an easy entry pass and earn free throws. To me, that play tells you everything you need to know about Barnes as a defender. Forget about NBA players for a second. What rec-league player doesn’t know enough to get between his man and the ball when standing under the basket? What rec-league player doesn’t care enough about winning to even think about this with the score tied at the end of the game? That play just made me want to throw up.

Does Draymond Green give up this play? Richard Jefferson?

And then, of course, came the play with four seconds left, where Ginobili gave Barnes a simple fake and got wide open for the layup that sent the game to overtime.

What was Mark Jackson thinking having Barnes in the game at this point? Just take a look at how Draymond Green guarded Ginobili on the identical play at the end of overtime. Yes, the Warriors had seen the play before and were anticipating it. But still.

Why is Harrison Barnes playing over Green and Jefferson? Not just on defensive possessions in crunch time, where it is a completely obvious blunder. But at any time?

I can tell you, the answer has absolutely nothing to do with winning basketball games.

Draymond Green: 8 rebounds in 13 minutes. Barnes 4 rebounds in 31. Barnes had 2 rebounds heading into the fourth quarter. And 2 for a quarter of all-out Nellieball at power forward.

Carl Landry: Finally had a big game, after weeks of disappearing. I can’t help but think that the exhaustion of the Spurs helped him more than anyone in this game. Except possibly this next guy.

Andris Biedrins: Beans played some great defense in what for him is extended minutes now (15). I somehow think an exhausted Duncan and Splitter contributed to that.

Festus Ezeli: I enjoyed Ezeli’s defense in this game, and was as perplexed as he was by those foul calls he received.

Jim Barnett: “I like Ezeli in there because he can recover out to Duncan on that pick and roll… He got back quickly.”

Love you, Barnett. Spit truth about the Andrew Bogut Myth.

The Andrew Bogut Myth: Watching the Suns game, I found myself wondering why it was the first time all season long that Bogut was sprinting up and down the court. Well, I knew some of the reasons. It was a home game, a game of extreme importance, and Mark Jackson had just called Bogut out for poor effort.

But now that Bogut has gone out with back spasms, I think we discovered another reason. He’s so out of basketball condition that his body can’t handle it, and I think he knew that on some level.

Back problems are not new to Bogut. I’ve been writing about the stress fracture in his back that cost him a season, and which Warriors management has wished to remain unmentioned, since my analysis of the trade that brought him to the Warriors. And Rusty Simmons has now come forth with the whole history.

You all know what my analysis of this situation has been. On a personal and professional level, I wish the best for Andrew Bogut. On a Warriors level, my feelings are mixed, at best.

The Warriors can make the playoffs this season without Andrew Bogut, if they re-affirm their identity as a fourth quarter Nellieball team.

With Andrew Bogut…?

31 Responses to Nellieball Beats Spurs: Warriors 107 Spurs 101

  1. Felty, I’m a fan of your writing. Now comes the “but”.

    When I watched the game I was also impressed by Biedrins. And yet, he was -18 in 11 minutes. I spent some time with the gameflow chart trying to figure out what happened. I won’t go thru the details, but it is possible that it wasn’t Biedrins, but it was other moves occurring around the same time. Possible, but not really likely.

    And, I specifically recall Bogut running the floor in the same way in several prior games. He didn’t do it often, but the Suns game was not the first time.

    These are quibbles.

  2. Sublime analysis, Feltbot, and much thanks. No one else writing on the Warriors comes close.

    Slight qualification. The Spurs were able to cruise through the Clipper game early and the starters played limited minutes, though that can put a team emotionally off guard. Also it’s still essentially the same team that is 6-1 prior on the road trip. My only point is that this was a serious win.

    With only 27 games left against tough teams, the Warriors are going to have get every win they can and prepare the best squad they can for possible playoffs.

    Bogut shouldn’t step on the court unless it is certain he can run up and down it. He might yet have value against larger, more physical—and slower—teams, but that’s about it, or all that can be expected now.

    Barnes and Bogut should never be on the court at the same time. They leave too many holes, offense and defense.

    If the organization is serious about Barnes, they are going to have to give him time and leeway to develop his confidence and skills rather than keep holding his feet to the fire. He just doesn’t look sure of himself, and that may be an emotional drag on the rest of the players.

    Green, however, is a burst of energy every second, a perpetual motion machine, and it’s infectious. It’s time now to see if they can harness it and make it pay off. Scoring may not be as much an issue, as he may well provide more than Barnes.

    • Also I’m still not clear why Ezeli isn’t getting more minutes over Biedrins. He may be essential down the stretch, especially if Biedrins goes down, as he has the past three seasons. I’m not convinced, all told, there is significant loss here, if any.

  3. Great read Feltbot!
    No mention of the new sleeved uni’s ending the Ws 16 game losing streak to the Spurs? The Spurs laughing at the Ws uni’s pre-game? Lol!

    Got to agree – Jefferson is the best smallball 4, with Green better in certain matchups. Barnes – looked like the rookie player – but +11? Kawhi Leonard -10. I’ll take it.

    Andrew Bogut is a myth until you need a big to win a playoff series. Until David Lee and Carl Landry or smallball have to play Gasol or Randolph or Gasol and Howard or Perkins and Ibaka or Griffin and DeAndre. Biedrins and Ezeli more mobile and healthy, but half the player on offense as Bogut.

    Would Nellie sit or cut Bogut? Or play Bogut? Run his offense through Bogut? Make Bogut backup Lee at C? Someone ask him!

  4. RE: Jack
    Jarrett Jack has played this well in the past. It should be no surprise what he’s done recently. Only Jack’s played for some really mediocre teams – and people don’t watch him much. His last contract was a very good one. I expect more of the same. I’m pretty sure Myers will do what it takes to get this accomplished. Jack’s a good fit here in GS.

    And to think Jarrett Jack was picked up for nothing except Dorrell Wright? Lol!

    And people are so critical of Ws front office? That’s an A+ trade!

    • Landry was an A+ signing too. Now he’s likely to move – I’m hoping something can be done to keep him too, but I think he’ll get more somewhere else.

      Plus, Jefferson or Biedrins expirings will bring more bench help…

  5. Injury report: Tony Parker (right triceps contusion) is out for tomorrow’s Phoenix game. Gary Neal (tightness, left calf), is questionable.

  6. Felty: The Warriors went down 13 points with their small line-up on the court in the fourth quarter playing against Spurs subs and came back with a small line-up playing against the Spurs first team when they returned. The Warriors came back probably because the Spurs starters were tired from having played the night before and not because the Warriors were playing small.

    The Warriors did have success in overtime playing small and I suspect that is because the Spurs were spent. Once again, playing small was not the sole reason for their winning the game.

    One has to keep in mind the Warriors lost 6 games in a role previous to the win over the Spurs, playing both big and small.

    If I am reading the substitution stats right, it appears that the Warriors played both Landry and Lee on the court at the same time at different points in the second half and was glad to see that so i have advocated that over and over again.

    The front line of Lee, Green, and Landry appeared to be very successful. It seemed to me that at times Green was playing center and not Lee.

    Barnes sucked the entire game and he was very lucky to get foul calls on his drives to the hoop. Some of the calls may have been hometown calls. His playing PF was worthless. He only had a positive rating as other Warriors such as Jack, Landry, and Lee, were scoring more than the Spurs when he was on the court. His 1-8 shooting actually drove down the positive ratings of other players. He did not give the Warriors extra possessions as Green did, as Barnes had no offensive rebounds.

    Green played extremely well. Even though he shot only 1-5 from the field, such was negated by his 2 offensive rebounds that led to two Warrior baskets. Conceptually for me, by doing so he shot 3-5 from the field, as the Warriors would have not have scored two crucial baskets but for his offensive rebounds. At the same time he was performing at a high level other Warriors were hitting their shots. No wonder he had a positive rating as the Warriors outscored their opponents with Green on the court.

    The Warriors could have traded Thompson for Harden.

  7. Rusty Simmons reports that Bogut will not travel with the team because of a disc protrusion. He explains that “a protrusion is a painful but common form of spinal disc deterioration that often leads to herniation.”

    This is what Dwight Howard tried to play with last season, until it finally became a herniation that required surgery.

    http://blog.sfgate.com/warriors/2013/02/23/andrew-bogut-doesnt-travel-with-warriors-because-of-balky-back/

    • I was never aware of the stress fracture in the back. I thought it was just the elbow and the knee – He is essentially done… A stress fracture in the back is the scariest injury of all of them. That alone would have prevented making this trade. I remember Lacob saying – Bogut wasn’t injury prone – just 2 really freak accidents…. This from a guy with a degree in epidemiology…. Okay – now total wasted contracts:
      1. Biedrins – no amnesty $9M – this year and next
      2. Bogut – $13M this year and $14M next – broken down player who had not played well in his last partial season
      3. Jefferson $10M this year and $11M next
      That’s $34M next year.
      In retrospect, Lacob’s haste to sign a “big name”, “tranformational player” forced him to bypass the transformational Harden… I have always hoped that the W’s could pull off some Pistons magic w/o a superstar, but after seeing the Harden transformation of Houston – I am less hopeful..
      - PB at 4 – Landry is signed for next year for $4M. It is Jack who is the unrestricted free agent and I do not see how the W’s keep him combining the wasted salaries above, and Lacob’s unwillingness to pay lux tax even before the penalties dramatically increased…

      Another great post, FB. You are really adding to my enjoyment of the games and this season.

      • buckaroo, Landry can opt out after this season and once again become a UFA. Will he be content to play another season for “only” $4MM? If I’m the Warriors I definitely don’t re-sign him, at any price, if he opts out. But JJack? Yes, I absolutely re-sign Jack AND I guarantee you the Warriors will do just that. Book it.

        FWIW, I wouldn’t have traded Thompson for Harden. I thought Harden looked a lot better (in OKC) because of who his teammates were, and frankly I thought the Rockets weren’t very smart giving him that much money.

        He looks great now but he plays in a run-and-gun offense that seems to make everyone look good offensively, but their defense ain’t so swift. Sound like some previous Nellie teams around here (his system/schemes making some players look better than they really were)? Houston blew a 17 pt lead tonight and lost vs Washington.

        Anyway, I’m surprised Felt is so into this coulda-woulda-shoulda with Harden and Thompson since he thinks Thompson has future Hall of Fame potential? Or has there been a reversal of stance on that as well that I might have missed? LOL

        BTW, I read your post on the previous thread. You really know how to hurt a guy. :) Glad you’re enjoying the “new” Feltbot blog.

        • ‘their defense aint so swift’ you say Steve, but compared to what? their team differential, offense points per 100 possessions to pints allowed in defensive possessions is better than the woeyrs, and their starting guards are better defensively than any two of the curry-jack-thompson trio. and that trio isn’t particularly weak, lin and harden are simply better. even in his first two seasons lin was the best perimeter defender and rebounder of the team’s guards.

          • moto, “compared to what”? Whenever I’ve watched Houston play the other team never seems to have that much difficulty scoring points, the main challenge being trying to stop the Rockets’ offensive game.

            The Warriors averaged 108 pts in their two meetings thus far, and scored over 60 in the first half of that blowout loss in Houston. Tonight Houston gave up 54 points in the paint to the “mighty” Wizards, blowing a 17 pt lead along the way while giving up 59 points in the second half.

            You compare some of the Rockets and Warriors individual players, but how about these team numbers, when matched against the top 3 teams in the West (Spurs, OKC, LAC) and the defending champs from the East (Heat).

            The Rockets have played a total of 10 games vs those 4 teams thus far and have given up an average of 118 pts a game, while the Warriors in 11 games limited those same 4 teams to an average of 103 pts a game.

            Miami failed to break 100 vs GSW in their 2 meetings but scored 113 and 114 vs the Rockets. The Warriors held OKC to 99 pts in their win over the Thunder, the lowest point total for OKC vs the Rockets was 119. The Spurs in 2 games vs the Warriors scored 95 and 101 (and that was in 5 extra minutes). The Spurs in 3 games vs the Rockets scored 114, 122 and 134 pts.

            Last but not least the Rockets record in those 10 games? How about 1-9, with the average margin of defeat a not-so-competitive 13 pts. The Warriors, on the other hand, have won 6 of the 11 games played to this point vs San Antonio, OKC, LAC and Miami.

            I think those preceding numbers (PA) prove that the Warriors D had a lot to do with their winning record while equally revealing that the Rockets lack of D played a huge role in Houston’s lopsided losing record to those same teams.

            In summary, if the Rockets have some good individual defenders, fine, but their overall team defense from my perspective, and certainly in comparison to the Warriors when matched up against the best in the league, “ain’t so swift”.

          • Hou is neither one of the better defensive teams, which you chose to compare them to, nor one of the worst, but considering they play at the leagues highest pace, their defense actually is one of the swiftest. the woeyrs defense is a little better overall, but it certainly isn’t more swift (they’re literally terrible at transition d). running out numbers when a team plays at Hou’s pace is an easy way to make them look deficient. they’re average-ish.

        • Thanks for info on Landry. Sorry about the negative comments, I enjoyed alot of your posts – it just got off track there at the end. Plus you went after FB on so many items it got tiresome – but I remember a few of your comments where I think you got the best of him… Glad to see you’re still lurking.. Did you catch the Harden flip flop – one of your fav FB digs?

          • buckaroo, no problem. I understand where you’re coming from. Bottom line is we’re both Warriors fans who want the same thing, lots of wins, playoffs, and eventually a consistent championship contender. Nine games over .500 and the 6th seed in the West = so far so good in 2013.

            No, didn’t catch the “flip flop”. Just shows you paid more attention to Felt than I did. :)

    • So this disc started hurting two days ago? I wonder how long the FO has been sitting on this one.

  8. “Take THAT, Feltbot!” LOL

    http://twitpic.com/c6duzs

    • Steve – I totally disagree with one of your points earlier about your guarantee that the W’s resign Jack. I do agree with FB’s analysis that Jack is basically worth $10M per year. And I do not see a way to clear the cap space to make that happen.

      • Even if the Ws can’t figure out how to re-sign Jack next season or if Landry opts out, at least the Ws would have 3 huge expirings in Biedrins, Jefferson, and Bogut = $34 million worth. Rush and Landry at $8 million total as well. Help in longer term signed players might be had with a trade of some of these expirings to a rebuilding team.

  9. So what options do the Warriors have this season without going over the cap? I’m not clear about any of this, so correct me?

    I think someone said the Jenkins/Tyler dump left the team $300k under, but minimum wage is $400k +, right? For cap purposes, are salaries pro-rated for partial season? Can they bring in players for 10 day contracts? But barring disaster, what use is that? After so many 10 day contracts, they have to offer a position or let the player go?

    The D-league, Santa Cruz/Maine game was on NBA last night, and I left it on while doing something else. Chris Wright, btw, did well for the Maine Red Claws. Travis Leslie is doing well for the Warriors and make a lot of noise. But it’s hard to know what to make of D-league play.

    • they have a limit of two ten day contracts for the same player, but must offer a pro rated, partially guaranteed deal for services beyond the twenty days. in the past if there were a day or two off in the schedule, they’d delay giving the second ten day deal, because it’s calendar determined, not games played.

      • But would they be able to pick up a player without going over the cap? I.e. if they picked up a player at 400k, would that be prorated for cap purposes or would the full amount apply?

  10. General Jackson and Felty argue that one can understand Thompson shooting poorly from the field playing against the Spurs because he expended all his energy guarding Parker. I disagree, given the fact that Thompson in recent games shot poorly no matter who he was guarding. The fact of the matter is that Thompson is not an efficient scorer.

    Maybe, in part, because he does not take jumpers from the same places during a game as he does in pre-game. He should do so. I remember watching Mullins shooting pre-game from different spots on the court, and then shot from the same spots in the ensuing game. Always thought that was part of the reason he shot such a high FG%.

    Felty, Thompson is not a “great player, ” now as you claim. Not given his poor FG shooting %, his inability to finish drives, his high number of turnovers and lack of assists. But it’s good to see him expending energy on the defensive end of the court.

    You did call the Bogut and Barnes myth correctly.

    It should be noted that Nellie did have big and mobile centers during his coaching career. I believe he went so far as to say that Biedrins was the best center he ever had, except for Lanier.

    But he did make bad trades. Richmond for Owens his most glaring and he wrong supported the Warriors trade for Bogut trade. I’m not sure he would be as enamored as you are for D.Lee playing center.

    Harkless had another good game. Played 35 minutes 6-13 from the field, 3 offensive rebounds, 2 defensive rebounds. The guy has a world of athletic talent. Played for one year at St. John. The Warriors probably drafted Barnes over Harkless because he did shoot the three well at St.John. Started off not shooting the three well for Orlando. Now is coming on.

    He’ll turn out to be among top five taken in the draft. Watching him at St. John, I thought he was destined to be a star once he adjusted to the NBA and got some good coaching.

    The Warriors turned down a trade of Thomspon for Harden.

    • Frank – I do not think we can hold Nellie accountable for his support of the Bogut trade since that was discussed during his return to participate in the Warriors event for his HOF induction. Of course, if he had known that all he was getting was a shot of him in the stands next to Miss Joy – then he may have been more forthcoming…

      • Rush had a similar problem finishing at the rim – but he corrected this problem last season. I’d be more worried if Klay couldn’t beat his man off the dribble (he can) or off fakes – in getting to the rim. Klay gets to the rim, but doesn’t finish… This will come in time as he learns the game.

        Assists? Klay plays with 2 point guards and a point PF and Bogut – a decent passing center. Klay doesn’t need to be a passer on this team, although he has these skills – he needs to be more of a scorer or finisher.

        Klay Thompson has huge potential – and is in only his second season. With continued improvement, he can be a great player. There is a reason NBA GMs voted him the breakout player… There is a reason Sam Presti wanted Klay (plus a lot more) for Harden.

  11. @ 8:

    The news report you linked doesn’t say much about the problem, just that it’s a bulging disk.

    A bulging disk isn’t always debilitating, but it can be. Many people have bulging disks, especially older people. They are not always painful or problematic.

    A bulging disk can be troublesome, though. If it impinges on a nerve it can lead to pain, weakness, tingling, numbness and/or loss of control in arms and legs. It can even cause a patient to lose bowel and bladder control.

    A bulging disk can also rupture, especially if left untreated and allowed to get worse. If a disk does rupture, it is more likely to be painful and debilitating.

    The most conservative treatment for a bulging disk is rest and anti-inflammation treatments (ice and medication). Surgery is an option, though the less-than-perfect success rate for surgery leads most doctors to recommend conservative treatment first.

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bulging-disk/AN00272

    My chiropractor tells me that Treatment Step 1 would be to keep Bogut’s back away from the basketball court for however long it took for the swelling to go down.

    What the hey, the time off might help his ankle too.

    In any case, can’t blame Bogut. He’s worked hard to overcome some really horrendous injuries.

    Good luck and get better, Andrew!

    OT: The Warriors coulda had Harden for Thompson.

  12. Ugly win, but a win.

    Glad to see Landry and D. Lee on the court at the same time. Look at how many times D. Lee or other Warriors missed shots and Landry put the ball back in. Landry 8-9 from the field. It will take time for the team to get use to playing with Landry and Lee on the court together. Should have occurred earlier in the season so the team developed chemistry. Unfortunately, General Jackson set in his ways.

    Four other players should not be taking more shots than Landry.

    The Warriors played small that allowed them to compete and equal the Wolves on the offensive boards.

    Warriors played better on the court with Jefferson and D. Green than they did with Barnes. His 22 minutes should be reduced.

    Starting line-up has to be changed. It appears the coach doesn’t want the Warriors to have the lead after the first quarter.

    So many mistakes. Curry fouling Williams on his three pointer, Barnes reaching but not moving his feet to secure the rebound, fouling Rubio behind the basket. So many turnovers by D. Lee and Curry.

    Another poor shooting game by Thompson.

    I wasn’t saying that Nellie was accountable for the trade for Nellie, only that he supported it.

    The rest of the road trip should be very difficult for the Warriors to win. Have to reduce their turnovers and shot distribution.

    The Warriors could have traded Thompson for Harden.

  13. Biedrins and Ezeli combined for 2 rebounds in 19 minutes on the court. Biedrins had no offensive rebounds. This has happened the last few games. No wonder the Warriors are being outscored with him on the court and his negative is high in limited minutes. He can’t be on the court unless he gets offensive rebounds. He continually stands and looks at the ball rather than crash the boards. Coaches talk to him.

    The Warriors made a bad mistake not trading for another front court player and have put their playoffs hopes in jeopardy, unless they obtain a released player in the next week or so, or wait and trade for one in April. If they wait that long it may be two late. Will a released player really help us?