Klay in the Clutch: Warriors 87 Kings 83

Did either of these two home wins against the wretched Toronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings inspire you with confidence?           

Yeah. It’s clear that the Warriors have no idea what their identity is at the moment. Both offensively and defensively, they’re working around that Myth in the middle.

Fortunately for their playoff hopes, it is highly unlikely that they will even need to get their act together in order to make the playoffs. Their huge scheduling edge going down the stretch will carry them through. And as I noted before, the Rockets blew a big hole in their team by trading away their spread fours for TRob at the deadline. Like the Warriors, their chemistry is wrecked.

Tyreke Evans: What an utterly horrible basketball player he’s turned out to be. As I predicted, before he was handed the Rookie of the Year trophy.

Patrick Patterson and Tony Douglas: I read a lot of stuff ridiculing the Kings for trading away their #5 pick Thomas Robinson for Patterson and Douglas. A lot of analysts thought it was a straightforward salary dump of Francisco Garcia’s remaining contract.

I think it was a brilliant trade for the Kings from a basketball perspective. TRob has a long way to go to become as good a player as Jason Thompson. And Patrick Patterson is not only a terrific all-around player, but showed us in this game just how important it is to have a legitimate spread four in this league. When he was paired with Thompson, Bogut and Lee literally couldn’t guard either one.

Douglas also gives the Kings something they desperately needed, a guard that can play defense. He did an incredible job on Curry in this game. Jimmer may never see the floor for Keith Smart again.

The Andrew Bogut Myth: There were innumerable signs in this game that Bogut is not healthy, and not helping the Warriors on the floor. Here’s a list:

The Warriors were forced to cross-match David Lee on Cousins, leaving Bogut on Jason Thompson. Barnett said it was because the Warriors didn’t want Bogut pulled away from the basket on the Kings’ pick and roll. I suspect it was because they wanted to save Bogut from the pounding. No matter what the reason, it’s not a good sign. Remind me again how Bogut is useful, if you can’t use him to guard the other team’s behemoth?

Beginning in the first quarter, the Kings went right at Bogut. He was helpless to defend the much smaller Thompson, out on the floor, in the post, or even driving right into his chest. Thompson ate Bogut alive, for 17 points on 8-13 shooting.

On a switch, Boogie Cousins simply knocked Bogut on his ass for an And One. I believe that’s the second time this season he did that.

Did the Warriors post Bogut up once in this game? In the fourth quarter, when they were desperate for a basket, did they try posting up their 7’1″ behemoth against the 6-10″ Jason Thompson? They did not. Not once. Does that tell you anything about the current state of Andrew Bogut?

How about that play at 7:25 3Q where he offensive rebounded that airball right under the basket, and instead of jumping and dunking with his right hand, he tried a flat-footed left hand flip shot that didn’t get over the rim?

How about that play at 3:37 3Q where Bogut was thundering to the hoop for the slam, only to be met at the top by Isaiah Thomas and turned away? That’s 5-9″ 185 lb. Isaiah Thomas. Bogut couldn’t finish over him. Yes, they called a foul, but that’s beside the point.

And by the way, that much disputed 3rd foul on Bogut at 1:55 2Q? That was a total foul. Don’t look at the right hand blocking the shot, look at the left hand pulling down on Thompson’s shoulder, which is what allowed Bogut to get off the floor.

David Lee: Had a great game defensively against Cousins, and struggled to guard the spread-four Patterson. More evidence for my argument that his true position is center.

Offensively, it was remarkable that he had such an efficient game, now that he is once again being taken away from what he does best. I counted one bucket from the pick and roll in this game, at 0:51 2Q.

Festus Ezeli: Fantastic game from the rookie who saved this Warriors season.

Did you notice how much pressure he put on the offensive boards? That’s something that Bogut is completely unable to do: He’s so concerned about getting his lumbering body back on defense that he starts running back as soon as the shot goes up.

Looking at Ezeli’s high level of activity in this game, it seems likely that he was indeed worn down from heavy usage in the first part of the season, and badly needed that rest that Biedrins provided him in the last few weeks.

It’s equally likely that Biedrins was being showcased.

The Brand: Barnes was used as something of a go-to man in this game, going against probably the worst defensive small forward tandem in the entire NBA in John Salmons and Tyreke Evans. His efficiency? Meh.

At any rate, it was a nice break for him, coming off the torchings he got from Melo, Pierce and Evan Turner.

Here’s a nice quote from Jim Barnett in the Philly game: “This is one of the most efficient games I’ve ever seen Evan Turner play.” Yes, indeed.

Klay Thompson: Is that three straight nice games from Klay Thompson? He’s made 15 threes in the last three games, as his 3pt percentage has climbed to a more than solid 39% after a very slow start to the season. A lot has been made of Klay’s shooting this season, but it should be noted that his 42% from the field is quite misleading. Why? Because he takes so many threes. (He took 27 in just the last three games!) And shooting a lot of threes at 39% has lowered his shooting percentage.

A much truer measure of Klay’s shooting is his TS% (True Shooting), which adjusts for threes and free throw percentage. Klay’s is 53.6%, good for 69th in the league. That’s darn good for a wing player, and I’ll bet you a case of Lagavulin that he shoots a higher percentage next season.

In this game, of course, the most newsworthy event is that he shed that “not clutch” label with that last shot. Personally, I thought that criticism of him was ridiculous. Have you ever caught me criticizing him for missing shots in the fourth quarter? You have not. Because he’s a young player, because he’s had a good excuse to tire in the fourth quarter when he’s being played out of position defensively in the first and third quarters, and most importantly, because he’s simply too great a shooter to keep missing them. Thompson is going to hit hundreds of clutch shots before his career is over.

I also thought he was equally clutch on that last defensive stand, smothering Tyreke Evans’ drive and forcing him to fall away, without fouling. Unlike Harrison Barnes, Thompson is a very hard working and very high IQ defender, with great anticipation. I haven’t changed my mind about his foot speed, though. He belongs at small forward.

And then there’s his floor game. I’m not sure anyone’s noticed how much better Thompson’s handle is than Barnes’. He has the handle of a point guard, equally good with his left hand as his right. Gets wherever he wants to on the floor without getting stripped. Despite his much lamented finishing abilities, I’d be willing to bet that he is significantly more efficient driving to the basket than the high-flying Barnes. Because when he gets doubled, he’s got the vision and the passing ability to hit the cutter. Barnes is a turnover machine when he’s doubled.

I have been completely perplexed by how many Warriors fans are down on Klay Thompson, and high on Harrison Barnes. I think a large part of it has to do with how Klay looks. I’ve seen his face compared to an Easter Island statue. His personality is invisible. And he doesn’t model jerseys.

And of course, Klay doesn’t have the crowd-pleasing big vertical and dunking ability of Barnes. (Somehow, though, he manages to block more shots. Maybe that’s not all about athleticism.)

It’s absurd. The gulf in talent between Thompson and Barnes is enormous. Enormous. Thompson is going to be a great, great player someday.

Basically as soon as he gets with a GM who realizes he’s a small forward.

85 Responses to Klay in the Clutch: Warriors 87 Kings 83

  1. Thanks Feltbot!
    I think we re-enforce our pre-determined evaluations/perceptions of players.

    Whether you like Harrison Barnes as a player or not – he played a nice game. This game! +9 and 14 points on 11 shots. Harrison got to the line a few times off the dribble drive, was aggressive to the hoop, and made some nice drives and turnaround Js. This game was a nice step up from his usual…

    Lee, Festus, and Klay too, but more typical good games from them.

    It was Curry, Jack, and Landry who all played horribly vs. Sac.

    Amazing what a ball-hawking, relentless, athletic guard can disrupt Curry’s and Jack’s games and the Ws offense. I thought Basemore was supposed to get one of these on our side. We need one.

    Timmy K brought up to Lacob about bringing back Dominic McGuire. Lacob reported bringing another player is possible because the players salary is only pro-rated and will allow the Ws to stay under the cap.

  2. Warriors must learn how to use passing to beat the pressure defense on the pg. The double team is so high above the key that two quick passes would almost always mean an open 3 or dunk. I expect Jackson to make some adjustments.

  3. I don’t want to overanalyze this game, but it felt like it was much more physical than the warriors are used to and the refs let it go.

  4. Echo your sentiments about Ezeli. Indeed, Festus needs more development and floor time. His physicality essentially KO’ed Cousins from this game. Cousins had dominated the first two meetings, but after a quick and one in the first score of the game, did absolutely nothing afterwards.

    Ezeli will develop offensive skills at the low block (Pete Myers will see to that) over the summer, and in the next couple of years will be a keeper for the Warriors.

    Your comment about Biedrins showcase is the only explanation why Ezeli doesn’t get more minutes in games. I am amazed we haven’t seen “Hack a Biedrins” when the Dubs are on a roll. Never has there been an NBA player who doesn’t want the ball on offense and plays hot potato more than Andris.

  5. Curry needs to take another step in his development, learn how to beat these quick, aggressive defenders. On the last 2 or 3 possessions you could just see Curry getting trapped very far out. I do not see the difference from his battle with Chris Paul, whom Curry outplayed and who was totally dedicated to shutting Curry down. It was personal with Paul and Curry dominated. Perhaps, as FB noted at the time, this was with Paul playing on a bad knee.
    I think FB has nailed the Lee position situation and the spread 4 problems that teams use against the W’s. Bogut’s defenders will believe that he played better this game and he did, but it is too little too late. I am reminded of watching Sarbonis play for Portland when he could barely move. With one major exception, he was still an offensive force who had a great mid range shot. Bogut has no offense to speak of, cannot jump and cannot move. Do you hear Barnett explain on the Thompson game winner that Lee drove, saw Bogut under the basket and chose to pass out to Klay since Bogut was having trouble finishing?? I mean what if there was a 5’9″ player lurking who could block him from behind? The offense really stalled alot last night when Bogut was on the floor and FB has nailed that one as well.

  6. Nice recap as always. Mr. ‘Bot. Quibble:

    A much truer measure of Klay’s shooting is his TS% (True Shooting), which adjusts for threes and free throw percentage. Klay’s is 53.6%, good for 69th in the league. That’s darn good for a wing player

    If 53.6% is “darn good” for a wing, how shall we describe the likes of Harden (60.5%) and Durant (64.5%), or fellow “pure shooters” like Ray Allen, (59.2%), J.J. Redick (61.8%), and Steve Novak (60.7%)? For a guy whose main calling card is the three, 53.6% is mediocre at best. Here’s hoping you’re right that he picks it up next season. His (slight) regression from his rookie year to this season is not particularly encouraging.

    I have to say I’m also a bit perplexed by the continued “Klay is a small forward” campaign. For one thing, there’s the basic hoops truism “a wing is a wing.” You get two of them; who you happen to call SG or SF is largely a function of who of the two rebounds better, who handles/passes better, and who’s more capable of guarding bigger wings like Durant, Melo and LeBron.

    In the Warriors’ wing equation, Klay is clearly the better passer and ballhandler than Barnes; where Barnes is the much better rebounder (5.6 to 3.9 reb per 36, career) and — even at the tender age of 20 — clearly more physically suited to hanging with the Durants, Melos, and LeBrons of the world.

    If, as I suspect, you’re advocating pushing Barnes to the bench and installing a small starting two guard in the Jack/Monta/Eric Gordon mold, you’re also advocating the Warriors return to being one of the worst rebounding teams in the NBA, and asking Klay with his slight frame, average-at-best athleticism, and shortish 6’8″ wingspan to handle physical freaks he really shouldn’t be asked to handle.

    As far as the Klay v. Barnes paradigm: you may be right that Barnes’ GQ looks and Klay’s “Easter Island” visage play a factor in fans’ general preference for Barnes. I may be guilty of that same prejudice. Still: I suspect a far bigger factor in the preference is that Barnes is over two years younger, longer, and much stronger and more athletic. The Ws as currently constructed are fairly starving for a wing who can run with the best athletes in league, crash the boards, slash, draw contact and get himself to the line. Barnes is not that guy yet, but even as he’s figuring the game out, he’s shown far more potential to be that guy than Klay. Remember: when Klay was Barnes’ age, he was just a college kid chillin’ and tokin’ out in Pullman, WA.

    On the bright side: you’re allowed two wings, and these guys’ skillsets seem to complement each other pretty well. As long as no one in the Warriors’ front office buys the rather simplistic “Klay is a SF” line (and I suspect no one does), it should be fun to watch them grow together.

    • welcome to the dark side of the blog-verse, Dr. Love Joy. at this point in Barnes’ development, he only partially complements Thompson. the elder wing can get to the rim while avoiding the strip or turnover or blocked shot more consistently and will probably finish better with a little increased physical strength (this was the course followed by C.J.Watson when he improved his finishing ability — he followed a tailor made regimen). of course Thompson doesn’t have the speed and hops of the younger guy, but athletes with those attributes in abundance aren’t always able to learn the spatial/temporal cognition going into traffic, or how to securely control the dribble. Barnes is at the borderline in height where the athlete’s stature makes those things tougher ; Dorell Wright for example never quite regained the handles he had as a high school guard after his growth spurt. exemplars like Durant or James are in a tiny, tiny percentile of elite practitioners.

      Barnes might see a better short term improvement in his offense by attending a shooter’s clinic like the one M.Price runs ; too many of his perimeter attempts are off line. It’s easy for me to sympathize with the feltmeister’s skepticism re. Barnes at this point because Thompson is more polished and savvy in nearly all aspects, and no small portion of the hype pushing Barnes is based on superficial/marketing aspects and media image.

    • Appreciate your thoughtful “quibble” Sleepy, even if I don’t agree with much of it.

      1) I believe that in the NBA you are what you can defend. Klay is a decent defender of threes. He’s an awful defender of twos. Even when he has a good defensive game, he’s forced to expend too much energy chasing far quicker players.

      2) I don’t believe that Klay would have to deal much with “physical freaks” at the three. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Melo and Lebron have been shifted to their best position, the four. Even Durant plays there for most of the fourth quarter.

      3) I’m not sure what leads you to believe that Barnes can defend these players anyway. Thompson was recently a far better defender of Melo than Barnes, who got torched. So far in his rookie campaign, I have seen not one inkling that Barnes has more ability, nor especially more desire, to defend. He hasn’t defended anyone. And who blocks more shots?

      4) Don’t tell me that Barnes is a better rebounder. First off, “per 36″ is one of the biggest lies in statistical analysis. According to “per 36″, Lou Amundson was the best rebounder in the NBA when the Warriors signed him. Ask Joe Lacob. Quite obviously, rebounding performance goes down with extended minutes.

      Second, and more importantly, are you prepared to quote me Thompson’s rebound rate at the SF? Do you think he gets the same amount of rebound opportunities at shooting guard as Barnes does at SF, where they play most of the first and third quarters?

      I watch the games, and what I’ve seen is that despite Barnes’ physical gifts, Thompson is the better rebounder at the three. He positions himself better, and wants to rebound. Barnes has almost no desire to rebound. If you ask me, he suffers from Brandan Wright disease: an intense aversion to physical contact.

      5) Thompson can’t defend twos, and Barnes can’t defend threes. Particularly on a team with Stephen Curry and David Lee, that means one of them MUST go.

      Ask yourself this question: why were the Warriors exploring Klay for Eric Gordon at the trading deadline? They are desperate for a wing defender.

      But in typical Joe Lacob ass-backward fashion, they were dangling the wrong player, for the wrong player.

      6) I agree with you that the Warriors are desperate for a long, athletic defensive (two-way) wing. I disagree utterly with anyone who holds the opinion that that will ever be Harrison Barnes. I’ve seen enough to believe he won’t ever be a plus defender. Defense starts with desire.

      At any rate, neither Barnes nor Klay can guard twos. That means that the player the Warriors need is a two-guard. Like Terrence Ross, whom they passed on to draft Barnes.

      7) As for TS%, you’ve set up a bit of a straw man. Are you suggesting that because Klay doesn’t rank with the superstars or super role players of the league, then he deserves criticism?

      Couple questions for you: What would you call Curry’s 58.2 TS%? Is he a mediocre shooter? And if Klay were playing alongside Lebron and Wade, what would his TS% be, higher or lower? Venture a guess. How about if he were restricted to Novak’s role on the Knicks?

      Both Klay’s and Curry’s stats suffered this year from a horrendous start to the season, something that could have had a lot to do with the horrible Bogut-centric system they were attempting to run then. They’re back to trying to run it again. Do you think the difference between Curry’s performance against the Knicks and his performance last night was all about Toney Douglas? Or did the presence of Bogut stinking up the Warriors tempo and completely shutting down the lane have something to do with it?

      At any rate, my point was not to prove that Klay is a great shooter by his TS%. My point was to show that he’s not deserving of the criticism he’s getting, even while he has struggled this season. Top 70 in the league is good, by any measure. That’s in the top half of starters, for a player in his second year.

      And regardless of this year’s stats, it is completely obvious to my naked eye that he is an offensive genius, and an otherworldly shooting talent. He has some finishing issues to work out, but that will be trivial for a talent like him. There is no doubt in my mind that in his career he will approach Chris Mullin, Ray Allen, and Reggie Miller in shooting efficiency.

      Provided that he eventually shares the good fortune that those players had, in getting to play his true position, in the right system.

      • Interesting thoughts. Thanks for the thorough reply.

        (1) I believe that in the NBA you are what you can defend. Klay is a decent defender of threes. He’s an awful defender of twos.

        It’s a nice hypothesis that you’ve repeated frequently. Do you have any evidence to support it? As I noted above, the distinction between two and three is often rather fluid; but in the small body of evidence we do have (http://www.82games.com/1213/12GSW5.HTM), opponent SGs and SFs have put up nearly identical PERs (13.7 and 13.6). On the offensive end the numbers are about the same as well (12.6 and 12.6).

        Anecdotally, when I look at the best nominal two-guards in the conference (Kobe, Harden, Crawford, Mayo, Tony Allen, Iguodala, Ginobili, Wes Matthews, e.g.) and the best nominal threes (Durant, Batum, Wilson Chandler, Gallinari, Rudy Gay, Artest, Parsons, Kawhi Leonard, Matt Barnes, e.g.) I don’t see where Klay has a significant advantage guarding one group or the other. He gives up something in quickness to some of the SGs; he also gives up something in length and strength to a lot of the SFs. At the risk of “appealing to authority,” I suspect the Warriors brass see it this well as well, else they wouldn’t start him at SG, and call him their shooting guard. Of course, they do play him a fair number of minutes at SF, particularly late in games, so their stance on the issue is probably somewhat nuanced.

        (2) I don’t believe that Klay would have to deal much with “physical freaks” at the three. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Melo and Lebron have been shifted to their best position, the four. Even Durant plays there for most of the fourth quarter.

        Haha, yes, I’ve noticed. And I have no doubt, as a longtime devotee of smallball, you find the development highly titillating. I think it’s intriguing as well. Of course, as with so many things, it’s not as cut-and-dry as you make it out to be. ‘Melo is clearly a full-time 4 at this point (and I totally agree that it’s his best position); but LeBron still plays the majority of his minutes at SF with both Haslem and Bosh, and Durant still plays the vast majority of his minutes with both Ibaka and Perkins.

        On the topic of Klay, whatever position we decide to attribute to people, the fact remains that we’ll need someone who can guard the Melos, Durants, Gays, and Batums (er, Bata?) of the world. I can assume you don’t think Lee or Landry is that guy. If you believe Klay is that guy, that’s your opinion; but I think any reasonable person would allow that as a starting SF in the NBA, he would in fact have to deal with plenty of physical freaks (i.e. players far more physically freaky than himself in terms of length and athleticism).

        (3) I’m not sure what leads you to believe that Barnes can defend these players anyway.

        Well, his physical size, strength, and athleticism, mostly, together with watching the games. In terms of evidence, the sample is still really small, but his opponent PER v. SFs is about the same as Klay’s. Overall, his effect on defense has been much more of a plus for the Warriors than Klay’s (-3.2 points per 100 possessions, to Klay’s +4.8), where Klay has been a much bigger plus on offense (+5.9 points per 100 to -0.5). That jibes pretty well with what my eyes have been telling me.

        (3, cont.) Thompson was recently a far better defender of Melo than Barnes, who got torched.

        Er, a one game sample? Really now. I think you’re better than that.

        (3, cont.) So far in his rookie campaign, I have seen not one inkling that Barnes has more ability, nor especially more desire, to defend.

        Well “desire” is fairly subjective, but I think he does have more ability. He’s obviously a lot longer and stronger than Klay, and from what I’ve seen he moves his feet a bit more quickly and anticipates about as well. I think they both have potential to be strong defenders, but I think Barnes’ physical gifts give him a higher ceiling on that end.

        (4) Don’t tell me that Barnes is a better rebounder.

        Haha, I’m telling you. We actually have plenty of evidence here, both at SG and SF. Klay averages 3.8 rebounds per 36 minutes as a SG and 4.4 as SF. Barnes averages 5.9 as a SF. Barnes was a significantly better rebounder in college as well: 6.8 to 5.0 boards per 36. Rebounding is an area in which players tend not to vary significantly over the course of their careers, so we shouldn’t expect these numbers to vary significantly.

        (4, cont) “per 36″ is one of the biggest lies in statistical analysis.

        Well, there are mountains of evidence to suggest that players’ per minute production varies little as a function of playing time, particularly when we’re talking about differentials as minimal as 30 and 26 mpg (Klay and Barnes’ career mpg, respectively). If you have any evidence to the contrary, I’d love to hear it. If your argument is that rebound rate should be expected to decline with an increase in playing time, that’s fairly debunked by Klay himself, who has upped his rebound rate this season from 3.6 to 4.1 per 36, despite an 11-mpg increase in playing time.

        According to “per 36″, Lou Amundson was the best rebounder in the NBA when the Warriors signed him.

        Haha, here you’re just making things up. Amundson’s 10.6 rebs per 36 didn’t put him anywhere near the top of the league. On a per minute basis, he has always been a pretty good rebounder, but obviously has also lacked anything resembling the overall skills needed to earn regular playing time.

        Quite obviously, rebounding performance goes down with extended minutes.

        Again, all the evidence suggests that this is false, obviousness notwithstanding.

        (5) Thompson can’t defend twos, and Barnes can’t defend threes. Particularly on a team with Stephen Curry and David Lee, that means one of them MUST go. Ask yourself this question: why were the Warriors exploring Klay for Eric Gordon at the trading deadline? They are desperate for a wing defender. But in typical Joe Lacob ass-backward fashion, they were dangling the wrong player, for the wrong player.

        Here you sound a little confused. On the one hand, you appeal to the authority of the Ws front office by assuming that in dangling one of the two players they’re smart enough to see that Klay/Barnes tandem can’t work; on the other, you suggest that they’re idiots in not being able to see that Klay is the better asset. C’mon man, make up your mind: are they smart or dumb?

        (7)As for TS%, you’ve set up a bit of a straw man. Are you suggesting that because Klay doesn’t rank with the superstars or super role players of the league, then he deserves criticism?

        Wait, who’s building the straw man here? I never said Klay deserved criticism because he doesn’t rank with those guys. I listed those guys to define the top end of the ts% range, in response to your specific claim that Klay’s ts% was “damn good” Obviously there are plenty of guys worse than Klay as well; but overall, Klay is in the bottom half of big-minute wing players in the league. I don’t know about you, but to me bottom half is not equivalent to “damn good.”

        On the bright side, scoring efficiency (unlike rebounding) is an area in which young players can and do typically improve. I think/hope in a system more suited to skills, Klay can improve his scoring efficiency significantly. Of course, I would allow the same for Barnes (current ts of 52.3%).

        Couple questions for you: What would you call Curry’s 58.2 TS%? Is he a mediocre shooter? And if Klay were playing alongside Lebron and Wade, what would his TS% be, higher or lower? Venture a guess. How about if he were restricted to Novak’s role on the Knicks?

        I’d call Curry’s 58.2% really, really good, especially given his high volume, and often he does it off the dribble. I’d also call it much better than 53.6% from a lower-volume guy who gets a much higher percentage of his looks from assists. Meanwhile, I’d imagine that Klay’s ts% would rise significantly if he was playing alongside an elite slasher/passer like LeBron or Wade. (It should be noted that Ray Allen’s ts% as a Heat has actually dropped a bit, though that may be largely age-related).

        Of course, since I never disputed the fact that Klay’s ts% could rise under different circumstances, I’m not sure what the point of these questions is.

        Overall, I’m fairly agnostic on the Barnes v. Klay “debate,” such as it is. I disagree with you that they’re incompatible as a tandem; or at least I think it’s way too early to say. As far as who has more promise, given the small samples we have to work with, and the fact that we’re dealing with guys who are 23 and not-even 21 years old, I don’t think it’s prudent to rush to any firm conclusion one way or the other. I’m marginally more bullish on Barnes, for reasons I stated above (youth and physical gifts, mostly) but I also allow that as fans we tend to wildly over-project young players with physical gifts. As a fanboy, I like to think Klay could mold his game into something resembling Ray Allen’s, or Barnes could mold his into something resembling a “more athletic Paul Pierce’s” (David Thorpe’s words). As a realist, I have to allow that Klay could max out closer to Marco Belinelli and Barnes could max out closer to Marvin Williams.

        What I find puzzling is how readily you assume Klay will work out all his “trivial issues” on his way to becoming Mullin, Allen, or Reggie, while granting Barnes none of the same potential to work out his issues. As with so many of the pronouncements on this highly entertaining blog, you seem to be glossing over a fair and honest weighing of the evidence in your haste to advance a pet talking point. I mean, I appreciate that your unshakable confidence in your own opinions is part of what makes this site so entertaining; and I understand that nuance isn’t really your thing. And you’ve clearly made your share of against-the-grain pronouncements that have proven over time to be right on the money. (And your share that haven’t!) But man, personally, I’d like your writing a lot more if you allowed your pronouncements to be informed by the evidence, rather than the other way around.

        • Wow, I take back anything good I ever said about Barnes. He was utter garbage tonight.

          On the other hand, Klay played pretty stellar D against possibly the best SG in the league. :-)

          • I was impressed by Klay on both sides of the ball tonight, but it should be noted that he had two major things working for him while defending Harden:

            1) Harden is working on a really bad knee for the last couple of weeks, that is not only affecting his outside shot, but made him come up short on several wide open layup attempts in this game.

            2) The Warriors trapped Harden on every single possession with their center. They were determined to get the ball out of his hands, even if it meant wide open layups for Asik, or wide open threes from others.

        • Wow, that’s some rebuttal Sleepy, thanks for taking the time. I’ll admit, advanced stats like PER are a little over my head — every time I’ve examined them closely they looked worthless to me. But you do quote some other stats that seem persuasive — like the rebounding stats. I’ll let the readers sort it out from here.

          I do my best to explicate my player evaluations, but I admit that I rely a lot on intuition — I can’t completely explain why I can have such strong opinions of a player’s potential after seeing them play only a handful of games. But as you note, I enjoy laying my opinions out there and putting my reputation on the line. That’s part of the fun.

          In that vein: I believe your Marvin Williams comparison will prove very apt.

  7. Did Smart dictate the tempo or did Jackson want the half-court game? Or was Jackson forced into the slow tempo because he played Bogut? Whatever the case, neither coach is playing to his strengths. And it’s not the kind of plan that will work against the better teams, before the playoffs or there if they make it. Curry especially will struggle with this kind of game, at least with the players he has to work with.

    Hard-knocks purists equate low scoring with good defense. This looked more to me like sloppy basketball.

    McGuire? I like McGuire, but what does he add over Green? Once again the second unit proved it couldn’t score.

    • +1 rgg -

      Low score due to horrid shooting. Unusual for the Dubs, but if Sacramento shoots like that all the time move’em to Seattle! No Problem.

  8. I join Sleepy in not buying into your praise of Thompson’s shooting. A good shooter shoots close to 50% on two’s. Harkless, a rooking is shooting 53% on two’s. Thompson doesn’t do that. As Thompson shoots 45% on two’s, in part because he misses so many lay-ups.

    Also, Thompson rarely gets to the foul line. So, your calculating in FT% hardly qualifies as better measuring stick. And while you praise his performances the last three games, only should point out that such was against the doghouse of the NBA-Philly, Toronto, and Sacramento. You should reevaluate your remarks in light of Sleepy’s stats for players who are pure shooters.

    You seemed to have moved from Thompson being a great player to now saying that Thompson is going to be a” great, great, player. ” Both assessment are the beginning of new myth. I agree with you on the myth of Bogut and Barnes, but now you have created and own your own myth.

    Felty, who seemed to be acting as a fan and not an observer. Get back to being the old Felty with your pithy insights.

    The Warriors play was so bad last night against a bad team, a game we would have lost of Salmons had actually guarded Thompson on the last shot, one has to question whether they are worthy of making the playoffs.

  9. warriorsablaze

    Your confirmation bias is completely out of control. Criticizing Barnes’ efficiency on a night Klay went 6-17. It’s clear that you simply don’t like Barnes for what seems like non-basketball reasons (e.g. The Brand), but at least give a shot at an objective analysis.

    Even with Barnes’ terrible handles he gets to the rim, and finishes, far better than Klay. If I were on the Warrior’s staff I’d prioritize his ball handling improvement in the off-season. When he gets to the rim, he finishes very well.

    He’s also only 20. Do you know a lot of 20 year old rookies who came into the league with a complete game? There haven’t been many. I don’t see him becoming an All Star, and I agree that Klay is better — certainly right now — but your unwavering ire towards him (and Lacob), even after a nice game, just reaks of subjective bias over objective analysis.

    • Here’s some objective analysis for you:

      1) Who had the better TS% last night Klay or Barnes? Do the math and get back to me. It’s a small difference, but indicative of the difficulties people can have reading box scores.

      2) Anyone that watches the games can tell you that Barnes has a far easier offensive role than Klay. Most of the buckets he gets are from fastbreak layups or spoonfed layups under the basket when he’s left unguarded. How many times have you seen Klay unguarded under the basket?

      I’m talking about efficiency in the offense they create for themselves. While Barnes has flashed a nice ability to get to the rim and finish, when his drives are doubled he’s almost guaranteed to turn the ball over or throw up a brick. His jump shot is fundamentally unsound and hit or miss. And those midpost isos Barnes is being given to get him going are quite obviously the most inefficient offense the Warriors run.

      3) If you include how well they create for others in your definition of efficiency, as I do, then it’s an absolute slaughter.

    • sorry, you’re applying your own confirmation bias if you think barnes finishes ‘far better than Klay’. thompson gets plenty of flak for his turnovers — but barnes actually has the higher turnover percentage, similar to thompson’s last year. where do barnes’ occur ? some when he’s getting stripped while taking the ball into traffic, trying to penetrate. doesn’t affect how he finishes, because he doesn’t get close enough, but it’s part of what makes a player a better or worse finisher. but the bigger flaw in barnes’ “finishing” is the frequency he gets his shot blocked — 33%. what barnes does better than thompson at the rim is attain higher elevation.

  10. Felty, you have written in the past that Barnes lacks heart. I always interpreted that to mean avoids contact, and am glad to see you say that straight-up. I agree. I notice that on some of his drives from the wings he puts up his off-hand to ward off his opponent, an indication that he hates contact.

    While I agree with you on most of things you write about Barnes, you way overrate Thompson. Thompson is shooting about 36% on three’s this year. This is way down from his shooting above 40% last year. That’s average shooting from long distance. He shoots 45% on two’s.

    It’s misleading for you to say that his 42% shooting poorly reflects his actual shooting proficiency for as pointed out above he hasn’t shot either 2′ or 3′s so well as to put him in the upper tier of shooters in the NBA. His actually shooting on 2′s and 3′s, show he’s nothing to brag about.

    One should not even being discussing TS% without recognizing what he actually does shooting from the floor.

    When he’s once again a 40% shooter shooting threes, then we can have a discussion whether he should be compared to Mullins, R. Allen, and R. Miller.

    He’s not an efficient scorer. How many games has he played where the box score shows him 4-14, or 6-18. Far too many.

    • Is Yahoo incorrectly showing him at 39% from three?

      http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players/4892

      • How many 2nd year players in the HISTORY of the game had a career average shooting 3s at 40%?

        Curry? Yes. Nash? Yes, but only in very limited minutes. Reggie Miller? Almost. Chris Mullin? Not even close! Ray Allen? Nope.

        Klay Thompson’s there right now!!!!!!!!!!

        And when slows down and corrects missing his point blank layups, his shooting numbers only go up.

        Klay is the real deal. Jerry West called it. Kobe and Curry too.

        And to pair Klay with Curry on the same team?

        Best young shooting backcourt ever…

        Harrison Barnes – I’m still not decided on.

      • source : basketball reference.
        thompson’s 3 pt. pct. and effective f.g. pct. both declined from last season ; this year, .388 and .509 respectively. barnes is at .35 and .482 respectively. footnote — matt barnes, on one of the league’s premiere reserve units, has career high numbers in those categories, .356 and .516

  11. The last time I looked Thompson was shooting a lower % of 3-point field goals. He’s obviously improved. Would you describe Jack as a great three point shooter? Probably not, even though he is shooting a better % than Thompson.

    Petey Brian: I believe that a number of NBA players are shooting above 40%. Does anyone know the number of NBA players who are doing so?
    Thompson overall game falls far short of Reggie Miller and Chris Mullin. I believe they both got to the foul-line. To mention his name in the same breath is an insult to their reputations. It’s amazing how a few good games creates a memory fog.

    Moto: Good points. Do you think that Thompson and H.Barnes are as good as reserve Matt Barnes?

    I think the comparisons are apt.

    Do you think Thompson and H. Barnes can do half the things on offense and defense that M. Barnes could do when he played for the Warriors. On any good team, both would be reserves and not starting.

    A memory fog seems to be affecting others as well. From the witness stand in her trial, Jody Arias also claims she suffered from the same malady.

    82 game stats do reflect that Jefferson a terrific defender.

    • matt barnes can access a place that thompson and barnes can’t — touched by the hoops gods into the realm of pure play. curry gets there more than any recent woeyr except possibly davis. but matt barnes also has a loco edge that can go positive or negative, enabling him to lock down on defense like none of them. thompson can do more on offense than either of the barneses, matt b. has the edge on defense and boards over the other two.

  12. @Frank

    The guy who DRAFTED Reggie Miller (an outrage at the time as Steve Alford was still available!) – former Indiana GM Donnie Walsh – was the first to say Klay Thompson was a gamer and reminded him of Reggie Miller.

    http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/214168/Klay-Thompson-Reminds-Walsh-Of-Reggie-Miller

    Klay Thompson was Jerry West’s guy from the beginning and annointed by Kobe Bryant as a great prospect.

    So far, Klay in 680 attempts, made 271 threes in NBA games = .399

    http://espn.go.com/nba/player/stats/_/id/6475/klay-thompson

    Not many players in the history of the game – are better 3 point shooters than Klay has been in his first two seasons so far…

    Still question Klay’s three point shooting?

  13. Thompson is a one trick pony. To date, no more. no less. Even Warriors management realizes his limitation.as they appear to have tried to trade him.

  14. Great, great stuff, gentlemen, especially @6, and thanks. You guys are smoking today.

    I’m tired of hearing the Warriors need to protect the ball and stop turning it over. These guys aren’t stupid or careless, and I’m fairly certain they don’t want to give it up. Also in my book a turnover is on a par with taking a bad shot late in the clock. Both mean that a possession was wasted, but few complain about the latter.

    Turnovers are symptomatic of something else that needs to be addressed, namely an uncertain offense where they don’t have good options for passes, are out of sync, and they’re not clear what they’re doing in the first place, which makes them hesitant and inattentive. They don’t need to protect the ball, but rather need a good plan as to what to do with it.

    Curry will get trapped against more physical teams in half court sets, as well as Jack on many occasions, because it’s easy to cover the other players and keep pressure on them, the guards, which happened last night. Or maybe Curry forces the action because nothing is opening up—his overthrow to Bogut last night comes to mind, but Bogut couldn’t have finished if he caught it.

    But also there’s nowhere else to move the offense, away from the guards, except Lee, of course, and Jack often. The rest of the players aren’t getting many assists, except Klay on occasion. Nor are there many players who can take charge on their own when they do get the ball and present the double threat of driving or taking a shot, thus keeping the defense guessing and easing the burden on the guards. None of the centers are an offensive threat, inside or out, or can put the ball on the floor.

    In the Denver win over the Clips tonight, Lawson had 11 assists and no turnovers. But in the postgame interview, when asked about his court leadership, he gave credit to the other players, whom he credited with getting open, making passing easier. Also he had help with the offense: 7 assists from Igoudala, 5 from Gallinari, and 4 from Chandler (but only 2 from Miller, who had a quiet game). Koufos, btw, looked quite agile.

    Better minds, refute this or flesh it out.

    • +1 It was early offense and pick and roll that unleashed the phenomenal talents of Curry, Jack, Lee and Thompson this season.

      As we have all witnessed, that style of play is impossible with Bogut in the lineup.

  15. Felty: Landry should be included on your list.

    We drafted the wrong guy in the first round the last two years:

    Thompson’s PER 13, K. Leonard 16.1

    Barnes PER 10.9, Harkless 13.1

    No reason to praise Warriors management, especially not with regard to the the draft. With Thompson not measuring up anywhere near K. Leonard, there is no reason for concluding that Thompson is great.

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      Kahwi Leonard the 21 year old that already has osteoarthritis in his knees. Please show me another 21 year old that has bum knees.

      He missed 17 games last season to injury and has already missed 20 games this seaon. His knees are in worse shape than Andrew Bogut’s ankle.

      How is Kahwi Leonard better he misses at least 25% of the season to injury. So in your opinion 3/4 of Kahwi Leonard is better than 100% of Klay Thomspon.

  16. Bucks Lovin Monta and hope to keep him in town:

    and maybe Dallas…
    Ellis would make an ideal complimentary scorer to, say, Dirk Nowitzki, or maybe even a perfect sixth man…

    http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/42432738/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+UsatodaycomNba-TopStories+%28Sports+-+NBA+-+Top+Stories%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

    • I wonder why they burned a 2nd rounder trading for him? There’s a funny story buried here somewhere.

  17. Completely OT, for anyone who’s been wondering about Mark Jackson’s sex/extortion case.

    The trial is schedule to start in Oakland on May 5.

    http://home.conservativebabylon.com/2012/06/29/mark-jackson-dicks-nix-knicks-pix-six-er-sex-fix/

    http://ia701508.us.archive.org/4/items/gov.uscourts.cand.256781/gov.uscourts.cand.256781.42.0.pdf

    It’s interesting that the accused were arrested in Memphis, TN, but the trial is slated for the opposite side of the country, in the most friendly locale a winning coach could possibly have.

    The trial date is the day before the last regular season Warriors game on May 6. It’s safe to say it won’t start then. Trust the power, Luke.

    Does any of this make you curious? Try to find any other information about the case. ALL news reporting on the case stopped in July of last year. You have to wonder how a juicy story like this could get so completely buried. Or maybe it’s no mystery.

    There are still some unanswered questions, too.

    How did Jackson and Adams meet? At the strip club where she worked? At a church social? Did someone refer Jackson to Adams? Did Jackson call a Craigs List ad? It makes a difference.

    The “relationship” reportedly lasted “less than a year.” In other words, Jackson had sex with a stripper for several months. How much money did Jackson give her over that time?

    If Jackson paid for sex, that’s a crime, right? Will that come out in court, or will it not be permitted as evidence in someone else’s trial? Jackson is not the one facing charges.

    If the judge appears willing to allow testimony about Jackson soliciting prostitution, will the extortion case suddenly be dropped? Would Jackson compensate Adams’ partner for the months he “wrongly” spent in jail? Just wondering.

    I don’t condemn Jackson for doing what comes naturally. She was hot! We’re all wired to want it, and the government shouldn’t legislate adult sex anyway.

    But seeing the news organizations and federal court system manipulated like they have been in this case is a little sickening. How much “justice” can Lacob’s attorneys buy? Once again, the coverup is the real story.

    Warning: Conservative Babylon reported last June that the website for Jackson’s church was unsafe. It still is today. Google Chrome blocks it for malware. Do not go there.

    Jackson has left a malicious website running for close to a year now. Now THAT is criminal. There oughta be a law.

  18. Malcolm Thomas:

    rgg @ 16 is right, this guy is a Carl Landry clone. Some moves around the basket, mid-range jumper. Doesn’t shoot the three (so no, Frank, he’s not a small forward).

    Differences from Landry: Considerably lighter, and probably not strong enough to get his shot up under the basket in the NBA. Higher vertical, better shot-blocker. Probably runs the floor great, though not sure if that’s an interest of the Warriors at the moment.

    Scratching my head over why the Warriors would sign this guy. Only way it makes sense to me is if Bogut is about to pull the plug. Then it makes a lot of sense.

    I’m certain the Warriors are looking for a way to cut down on David Lee’s minutes. I think that’s a pipe dream though. The Warriors literally have no halfcourt offense without Lee on the floor facilitating.

    The actual effect will be to cut down on Draymond Green’s minutes. Thomas does appear to have a useful midrange jumper, which the Warriors badly lack when Green is on the floor. If Thomas is a plus defender, then Green may see his pine time increase.

    • His overall skills look good and he’ll be quicker than Landry, thus might complement a running team. But it’s hard to know what to make of D-league and college performances. Tyler tore up the D-league at times.

      I’m guessing his tweener size made him a tough choice for other teams.

      Bogut pull the plug—does that mean he has to sit out the rest of the season? Unlikely he’ll drop out for next season and Lacob won’t give up on him. My guess, again, is they’re trying to save bucks and have a reason to let Landry go next year.

      • What made him not just a tough choice, but a no-go, for other NBA teams is the fact that he doesn’t shoot the three. If he did, he would’ve been on an NBA roster, and getting significant minutes, long ago. Like Landry, he’s a conventional four in a spread-four body.

        There is a last hope for non-shooting big men in the NBA, however:

        Joe Lacob’s Golden State Warriors.

        • Thomas might not see any minutes other than tiempo de basura. there can be other factors in signing him — they could be resting all their vets for some practices, for example, so minor dings do not get exacerbated. during the coming off season, they will also have to explore means to put together a bench without adding significant payroll, if jack gets re-signed with any raise over his current deal. guys like thomas and bazemore can be had for the lowest minimums in the league. the preacher already seems to be struggling enough with his team’s identity, post-bogut reintegration, and has no margin for error for experimenting with unproven rookies.

          speaking of spread fours, and the absence of Patterson for Hou — they have increased the minutes for Parsons at the four. the coaching match up might prove to be the difference in tonight’s game, with both teams making late season adjustments under pressure in the playoff chase. the woeyrs foul-happy defense has one of its worst matchups, and Hou out rebounded them in both previous meetings.

  19. I think there is more to learn about the Tyler trade. Would not be surprised that the second round pick we received was conditioned on his being kept on the Atlanta roster this year.

    Felty, when you were in law school, were you taught every citizen was entitled to due process of law under the constitution or that there was an exception if the President wanted to kill an American citizen?

    • The President is bound by the Constititution and Bill of Rights, just like you and I. No US citizen can be targeted by a drone strike, or law enforcement of any kind, without due process.

      The administration is correct to point out that drones are simply a weapon, like guns, and governed by the same aspects of established constitutional law. Basically, you can’t take someone out with a drone unless you have a sound legal basis to take him out with a ground assault.

      The Rand Paul filibuster was a load of BS designed to raise his profile for a presidential campaign. Much ado about nothing.

      Now, if they had a drone designed to physically remove players from an NBA roster, I would have gladly authorized its use against Jeremy Tyler.

  20. Jazz are signing Santa Cruz Warriors guard Travis Leslie. I can’t help but feel that the Warriors needed a guard more than anything.

    Unless they need Bogut insurance.

    • warriorsablaze

      I would have preferred Leslie as well… though I don’t see him getting on the court. I think it may have more to do with Bean’s permanent ab/groin injury than Bogut shutting it down, but who knows. As someone mentioned above, they may be grooming him to take Landry’s place in the off season… if we’re looking for big man insurance for the playoffs, I’d rather pull in our usual journeyman Gladness (if he’s still around/available) or someone else marginally useful.

  21. Doesn’t due process under the U.S. Constitution require that there be a judicial hearing? Do you think the President has the executive power to take someone out unilaterally without judicial review? If so, that makes him prosecutor, judge, and executioner? That’s not what due process means. If so, it’s a bastardly interpretation of our Constitution. The Justice dept. says his decision to take somewhat out, as you put it, is not reviewable by a court.

    Having the CIA pick out and recommend U.S. citizen targets, and oversee the drone program to carry out such killings, does not appear wise, especially since former CIA agent E. Howard Hunt on his deathbed said the CIA was behind the plot to kill President Kennedy, and that he was a benchwarmer in the plot. This has received little public attention.

    Yes, this was 50 years ago, but it seems folly for the CIA to be involved in determining which American citizen should be targeted for extinction. President Obama should no better. I wouldn’t discard Rand Paul’s questioning what is taking place.

    • Whoa. Easy boy. Deep breath.

      The President can authorize a strike on enemy combatants without prior judicial oversight. Every action he takes is reviewable, however. He is bound by the constraints of the Constitution.

      There is no possible way the President would or could authorize a strike against US citizens on American soil without strict prior oversight.

      Drones are simply another new weapon at Johnny Law’s disposal. If you were not paranoid before about US citizens being taken out with Cruise missiles targeted by AWACs, why should you be paranoid now? Why not be paranoid about assassination by sniper rifle or silenced .22 pistol? Or tax audit? It’s all the same thing.

      Personally, I’m more paranoid about Johnny Law being able to look over my shoulder as I surf the internet. If you know what I mean.

  22. Felt,
    …Simmons has elaborated a bit on Harden for Thompson:
    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9030601/the-worst-contracts-nba
    …look for #6. I doubted it but it sounds true, from a solid source. Harden was there to be had. There is reason to doubt that Monta and Udoh would have gotten it done as you have wondered-aloud about but there is reason to wonder if the bloated contracts and less-than-elite play of Bogut and Jefferson needed to be the return.

    • +1 Thanks, YT.

      MUST READ.

    • warriorsablaze

      Why does this keep coming up like it was an actual real possibility? The salaries don’t come close to matching so OKC would have had to take a player such as RJ or Beans… not to mention the fact that it specifically says Presti wanted picks. How many first round picks do we have available to trade? Zero. Utah owns this years and you can’t trade two first round picks in back to back years. This was a deal that had no chance, so all the Warriors fans who are up in arms need to settle down. The fact that Presti called doesn’t mean that Lacob blew it. We simply didn’t have the assets to make any sort of deal.

      • warriorsablaze,
        I think you might be wrong on the salaries and I thought the picks would be an issue also but Presti seemed to think it was doable. Harden salary last year: $4.6 Million, this year: $5.8 Million. His big bucks don’t kick in until next year and didn’t happen until the trade to Houston. Klay’s salary $2.2 Million plus Barnes’ salary $2.8 Million (as an example, that works) I think you might look at the three rookies in the rotation as viable substitutes for “picks.” Or get a third team involved; I think the point is that there are a handful of players you go all-in for because they don’t come along often. Harden was one. The possibility of a healthy Bogut was arguably one too but way-riskier. I think you have two separate evaluations there. You could have done the Bogut deal and you could have done the Harden deal or you could have done something else instead of the Bogut deal and still have done the Harden deal. The front office has made some decisions that have worked and some that haven’t and I think they want to succeed. I’m just wondering, in light of the deals they did and didn’t make, if they know how to build an elite team. I’m not saying they don’t, I’m saying the jury is out.

    • Think what the trade might have meant for Klay—a straight shot at a title. He would have gotten serious playing time and wouldn’t have had problems getting open looks with OKC. Also he’d have been carrying less load throughout the game, thus would have been fresher to shoot.

      And what it might have meant for OKC—I take Klay over Martin.

  23. Felty: Not so. Under the present system there is no review. The U.S. Justice Dept.has made it clear that the President’s action overseas in taking out an American citizen is not reviewable by a court either before or after the killing. So there is no due process by a court at anytime in the Justice Dept. opinion. This means that we don’t have check and balances.

    And, even if there was review, either by a court or a U.S. Congressional Committee, if the review is undertaken after the person is already dead, the person is not in the position to defend himself, and the review is meaningless.

    One has the feeling that the Executive branch in finding that there is no judicial review wants to hide the basis for the decision that was made.

    If the targeted person was an enemy combatant in the U.S. and was no immediate threat why would he not be arrested instead? It’s what we do for all other citizens.

    Rand Paul asked the Justice Dept. if the President could use drones in the U.S. to kill an enemy combatant. The Justice dept. said ‘no.”

    He did not ask if the U.S. could kill an American citizen designated an enemy combat in the U.S. by other means, and if so, under what circumstances. The U.S. government has not said that under no circumstances would the U.S. not kill an American citizen in the U.S.

  24. I won’t be recapping until this weekend. Brutal game tonight… sure hope Lee’s OK.

  25. For those interested, Sleepy rebutted the rebuttal in the Barnes v. Thompson discussion @6 above.

  26. http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9030601/the-worst-contracts-nba

    Must read. Huge section on Ws bad contracts, Lacob, the trade, Klay/Harden, etc. I don’t agree with a lot of it – but good read!

  27. The team is tightening up and ratcheting itself into indecision and mediocrity. Now is the time to experiment and see what else they can bring to the table. They have absolutely nothing to lose, except perhaps some losses.

    1. They need to find their best starting lineup.

    One thing they haven’t done this year is experiment with it so they can see what might work best down the stretch.

    2. Bring on Thomas and see if he can knock down some shots.

    And regret we didn’t give Leslie a chance as well. They need fresh blood and someone else who can put the ball in the hoop.

    2. Bench Barnes.

    He’s just not cutting it, and there’s no reason to think he’ll improve down the stretch. It’s in his interest and the team’s. He’s shooting 36% for the last 10 games, but most of his makes were at the basket, where he still didn’t finish well. His shooting percentage anywhere further out has to be dismal. He only had to knock down a few shots for a win last night.

    3. Play Bogut only in spurts.

    Van Gundy said several times what many have been ignoring: he looks tanked. Playing him long minutes makes no sense and is a drag on the team. He shouldn’t play longer minutes until he is in some kind of shape. If the transcendental Bogut appears (I’m skeptical), give him more time. But whatever gains his bulk offers by being in the right place when the ball falls his way for a rebound is offset by his offense. He has to put the ball up when he’s under the basket. If he can. It doesn’t look like we’ll see him shoot further out, however, any time soon. Yes, I saw that 3.

    4. Give Ezeli more minutes, even start him.

    If nothing else, his energy is needed. Bogut is a black hole that sucks it from the other players. Ezeli was much more productive than Bogut last night, and the +/- doesn’t lie: Bogut -14, Ezeli +10. And keep feeding Ezeli on drives. I’d rather see him screw up on those than see Bogut fumble under the boards or kick it out. Most times he kicks it out, the defense has plenty of time to adjust.

    5. Put an electric shock probe in Jefferson every time he passes up a shot.

    And try starting him.

    He looks scared to shoot. I’d rather see him go 2-10 than Barnes. And he does know what he is doing on both ends of the court.

    6. Give Green a tranquilizer before each game to see if that relaxes him enough to make his shots.

    I suspect he is a better shooter than what we see. Like Ezeli, he brings freshness and energy to the court.

    This was not the same Houston team we saw before, and I wondered what McHale was doing. Also it’s the worst game I’ve seen Harden play. Someone noted he was battling knee injury? This was a winnable game.

    It’s probably true that good teams have to play more conservatively down the stretch and into the playoffs. But our team simply lacks the talent and experience to do that.

    Really, the team bears the stamp of Lacob. He goes all in on a risky and questionable hand—Bogut—then sits on his stack the rest of the night and watches it dwindle.

  28. If Lacob had used amnesty on Biedrens, he could have traded
    Thompson and our first pick in the 2012 draft for Harden.

    Simmons hit the nail on it’s head when he says that in making the trade for Bogut. Lacob made the same mistake as many other new owners have made-tring to make an immediate big splash and missing the water.

  29. Feltbot has proven to be way wrong about Andrew Bogut at this point — he way way overestimated the number of games he would play (60?). And his contributions (including a big fat -14 last night against Houston) to the team? Golden State has four points in the paint in the fourth quarter where they scored a total of twelve. Again, underachieving even FB’s predictions. LOL!

    The Warriors do have a chance to beat the Buckos tonight — assuming Bogut does not play in the back to back.

  30. Rgg:We’ve been on the same page for some time. Jefferson is better defensively than Barnes and would get to the line. Unlike Barnes,he knows where to be on the court. But the Warriors will keep starting and playing him in the fourth quarter to he’d the fact the made a big mistake in drafting him.

    • And FB and other have been saying the same for some time. Speculation has turned to fact now. For those hoping Barnes would develop as the season progresses, the answer is no. The evidence is clear.

      The team also needs to find its best offense, and I assume FB will weigh in. Half-court sets with Bogut and Barnes on the floor won’t work. There’s not enough offense and they’re too slow to free up Curry and Klay.

      • Barnes’ play seems to have taken a step back (rookie wall?) from earlier in the season. Jefferson’s our best 3 and needs more minutes.

        And Jefferson’s only 1 year removed from starting for the contending Spurs.

        Question seems to be – future development of Barnes over trying to win now with short-timer Jefferson. I understand what they’re trying to do, but the best lineups aren’t on the floor.

        Starting a not there yet rookie over a consistent veteran…

        If only Rush were around, it’d be a no-brainer. I’d put in Rush.

        And at least play Jefferson at small ball 4 once and a while. Watching Bogut, Lee, and Landry guard Patterson or Parsons and the like ain’t pretty…

  31. The Warriors are getting their news outlets to start spinning the Monta for Bogut trade:

    “But the trade spoke to larger issues, such as the long-term philosophy of this Warriors front office.

    “We believe in size, which had been a huge void here for a long time,” Myers said. “The Heat have been able to go against the grain, but they have unique players. We’re going with what’s worked for 19 of the past 20 champions.”

    http://www.sfgate.com/sports/kroichick/article/Trading-Monta-Ellis-was-right-idea-4341038.php#ixzz2N4DCgmKd

    • Why am I reminded of Rumsfeld (see war, Iraq, weapons of mass destruction, etc.)?

    • The article seems to suggest that we should be satisfied with the trade “philosophically” even though (stating the obvious):

      The team performed well without him.

      Bogut has made negligible contributions this year, and there’s no reason to think he can help significantly this year.

      Next year remains idle speculation, as to health and performance.

      There is no consideration that, in fact, they might have had a better team and more wins if other decisions were made.

      But at least they did the right thing, and in this we should take comfort.

      Size matters—Lacob should show his. Monta wasn’t afraid to do so.

      • @rgg – Lol!

        Damaged Bogut and Ezeli combo doesn’t seem to be the only reason the Ws are struggling.

        No one’s getting to the line. No one penetrating or breaking down the defense off the dribble. Aggressiveness to the hoop is missing. No fast breaks/easy buckets to the rim. Even Barnes who got a steal on a fast break, didn’t want to take the ball to the rack!

        The Ws should have been shooting penalty shots early in the 4th, but curry, jack, and Klay can’t draw fouls.

        Meanwhile, curry and klay can’t stop fouling Harden in the 4th, whose greatest nba skill is to get someone moving and to run into them!!! Why guard right up on Harden – in the 4th – when he’s hit 2 or 3 shots all game? Low defensive iq here. Give him a little room.

        And there’s a reason Jack’s been an NBA journeyman (great backup, below average starter) even though he’s a great fit here. He ain’t very athletic.

    • legalbriefs

      Is that synchronicity, or is someone in the Warriors FO reading this blog?

      Lots of things in that news article don’t add up, which means there are big pieces of info missing.

      Shaw’s trial was scheduled for after Adams. His guilty plea came over 2 months before his trial. That doesn’t make sense. If Adams was found innocent, or if her case were thrown out, or if she reached an agreement with Jackson, the US attorney might have dropped the charges against Shaw entirely, so he gained nothing by pleading guilty at this time.

      Or did he?

      If Jackson’s attorneys can extract guilty pleas in advance of the trials, Jackson doesn’t have to testify in court. No public discussion of Jackson paying Adams for sex, minimal PR damage to the Warriors. That’s worth hard cash.

      I wonder how they worked it, and how much it came to. And I guess they’re still negotiating with Adams’ attorney.

  32. The Warriors signed Malcolm Thomas, a 6-foot-9, 223-pound, 24-year-old forward to a 10-day contract.

    “I thought he was in the discussion for being the best big man at the summer league,” coach Mark Jackson said. “He’s a big-time rebounder and defender, who knows how to move and block shots.

    “I compare him to a smaller version of (Milwaukee’s) Larry Sanders.”

    http://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Warriors-allow-Rockets-to-close-gap-4341200.php#ixzz2N4FPH24E

  33. I would be worried about this game against the Bucks even with a healthy David Lee. With him either hobbled, or unavailable, I fear embarrassment.