Bogut Lives: Warriors 108 Rockets 78

Wow, what an incredible win by the Warriors against a Rockets team that I had all but decided they could never beat. I was so amazed that as soon as the game was over, I rewound the tape and watched the whole thing again.

This is what I believe happened: Quite obviously, this was Bogut’s best game of the season. But not so obviously, the Warriors coaches made a major adjustment on offense that was hugely effective in integrating Bogut with this Warriors team. And then there was Klay Thompson’s superb game going head to head with James Harden. 

But before we get to all that, we should note that this is not the same Rockets team that dominated the Warriors in their first three meetings this season. Not even close.

What was Daryl Morey thinking? While every other pundit in the league fell all over themselves praising Daryl Morey’s trade deadline moves this year, I questioned them the very day he made them. Trading away both of the spread fours that had been so integral to the team’s success this year, for essentially nothing in return. Trading the dramatically improved, and still improving, Patrick Patterson, along with Toney Douglas, for #5 pick Thomas Robinson. Simply giving away Marcus Morris for a 2nd round pick.

I stated immediately that Morey had sabotaged this year’s Rockets team. I have remarked since, as the Rockets struggled after the trade, that Morey had destroyed the team’s chemistry. And that was never more evident than in this game.

It was literally impossible for David Lee, and virtually every conventional power forward in the league, to guard Patterson and Morris. Couldn’t back off their threes, couldn’t challenge their threes without giving up drives and layups. Couldn’t play help defense without opening them up for dunks. Patterson and Morris ran the floor and spread opposing defenses out to the breaking point. And Patterson, at least, was part of the glue that held their defense together.

Without these players, the Rockets have been relying on Donatas Motiejunas, a huge downgrade in almost every aspect, as we saw by tonight’s performance. The Warriors didn’t even bother guarding him, and yet he couldn’t hit a shot. Can’t run the floor, rebound or defend. Behind him they’re playing mostly Parsons and Delfino as stretch fours, but again those guys leave a huge hole in their defense and rebounding.

As for Thomas Robinson? I haven’t seen a single indication that he can even be a decent NBA player. Nor, apparently, have either of his coaches this season, Keith Smart and Kevin McHale. TRob has no range on his jumper. No refinement to his inside game. I don’t watch the NCAA, but I think it’s likely he succeeded there largely by bullying smaller opponents. I don’t think he’ll be able to bully anyone in the NBA at 6-9″, 235. He’s undersized and undertalented.

Acquiring James Harden was a brilliant coup. But Morey blew this trade badly. He blew up a team that could have made some noise in the playoffs. This season.

Jeremy Lin: While I’m on the subject of the Rockets, let’s talk a little about the former Warrior. Lin was one of the few Rockets to play well tonight. It was ironic that the Rockets’ worst three point shooter was their best in this game.

Lin’s effort inspired Bob Fitzgerald to pronounce him the perfect backcourt mate to James Harden. Huh. As is the case with virtually everything Bob says, I couldn’t disagree more.

I think Lin is a solid NBA player now in his third year. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a player so radically improve every facet of his game in such a short time. But Lin has struggled badly this season attempting to adjust to the Harden acquisition, because Harden forces him off the ball so much. That’s not Lin’s strength: although his shot is much improved, he is still an erratic jump shooter and probably always will be. To play to his potential, Lin needs to get to a team where he can be the primary ballhandler in the pick and roll. As he was during Linsanity.

And I think it’s self-evident that what James Harden ideally needs in a backcourt mate is a guy who can catch and shoot threes at 40%. (Like Stephen Curry. That idea didn’t work for Joe Lacob, though.)

For these reasons, Lin lost a lot of time to Toney Douglas early in the season. And he’s currently losing a lot of time to rookie Patrick Beverly, who occasionally even finishes games for Kevin McHale. I wouldn’t be terribly surprised to see Lin moved again in the offseason.

Bogut on Offense: Stay away from Curry!

When he joined the Warriors broadcast team during that horrible beat down by the Bulls, Jerry West said some very interesting things. One of which was in response to Fitz asking him what Stephen Curry could do to combat the frequent double teams and blitzes he has recently been subjected to. West responded dismissively, something to the effect of: “Oh, that’s on the coaches.”

My ears perked up immediately when I heard that. What did West mean by that? Of course, the first thought that came to my mind was that West was suggesting that Andrew Bogut be benched! It was, after all, the Andrew Bogut high picks that were causing Curry to get trapped so regularly. Opposing teams had figured out that Bogut simply didn’t need to be guarded out there, freeing up their big men to double-team Curry.

I didn’t have to wait long for my answer. It became evident as soon as this next game started. Andrew Bogut was no longer being used to set the high pick for Stephen Curry. The job reverted to David Lee, while Bogut stayed as far away from the play as possible, usually in the low post area. And voila! The Rockets refused to blitz Curry (except out of desperation to start the third quarter), because it is extremely dangerous to leave David Lee unguarded in the middle of the floor. If Curry is able to beat the trap with a simple pass to Lee, the Warriors are playing 4 on 3 with the slick passing Lee as point-forward.

This adjustment also led to some beautiful high-low action between Lee and Bogut. Check out the play at 7:50 3Q, where Lee helped Bogut exploit his mismatch against Delfino with a beautiful lob entry from the key. Thanks to the greatness of Lee, this is a much more effective way to get Bogut the ball in scoring position, than simply forcing the ball to him in the low post.

It appears that the Warriors coaching staff have made a major breakthrough in integrating Bogut into the offense. The Curry — Lee pick and roll is at the very heart of what makes the Warriors offense great.

Bogut, stay away! And reap the rewards.

Bogut on Defense: The Houston Gameplan

In this game at least, Bogut’s inability to leave the lane to defend the pick and roll actually worked in the Warriors favor. Take a look at the Warriors defense at 10:10 1Q. Bogut simply remaining under the basket on the Lin–Asik pick and roll. Curry actually daring Lin to shoot or drive right. And David Lee completely ignoring the hapless Motiejunas in the corner, to help Bogut wall off the basket.

The Warriors simply packed the lane with Bogut and Lee, daring Lin and Motiejunas to beat them with the jumpshot all night long, while guarding everyone else closely. Particularly Chandler and Harden. For the first time this season, the Warriors were successful running Chandler off the three point line, and Bogut’s increased mobility and the packed lane stymied his drive.

As for Harden, I was quite surprised that the Rockets didn’t attack Bogut more with Harden and Asik in the pick and roll. Harden has a deft mid-range game that could make Bogut pay for sagging off.

Perhaps McHale didn’t think that was necessary. Perhaps he felt that Harden could simply take Klay Thompson off the dribble without a pick. I think he might change his mind on that after this game. More on that below.

Bogut Lives: Bogut was no myth on this night. This was as healthy as he has looked all year. And quite obviously he had a major effect on the Warriors’ defense. His mobility, although not sufficient to defend the pick and roll, was quite good around the basket. He blocked some shots, but changed far more, and was a huge deterrent to Houston’s preferred drive and dish offense.

His role on offense was diminished by removing him from the high post, which resulted in taking the ball out of his hands. But lurking around the basket waiting for opportunities to flash and receive deft entries from Curry and Lee just might be the perfect role for him at this stage of his career.

It was fantastic to see him congratulated so jubilantly by his teammates after the game. It was clearly a big moment for him, after so much torment and struggle.

Trust me, if Bogut can stay healthy and play like this on a regular basis, I will greatly enjoy watching him do it. I can’t help but think that remains a very big if, though. Particularly one game removed from that disastrous performance against Joakim Noah and the Bulls.

But on this night at least, Warriors fans got their first real glimmer of hope that a miracle could happen.

David Lee the defender: It has been absolutely laughable to me that everyone has become so obsessed with Lee’s defense lately, when his defense is so obviously not the problem with the Warriors.

How many people were complaining about his defense earlier in the season, when the Warriors were charging up the Western Conference standings, everyone was talking Opponents’ Field Goal Percentage and Culture Change, and Lee was in the process of making himself an All-Star?

What changed? Did David Lee change?

No, what changed, quite obviously, was that Festus Ezeli was replaced in the starting lineup by Andrew Bogut.

Isn’t it remarkable that on a night when Andrew Bogut showed up, David Lee was magically transformed into a decent defender? A part of holding the Rockets to their lowest point total of the season, in a crucial game on their home floor?

Stick that in your computer, Mr. Goldsberry.

Stephen Curry the point guard: Ever wonder what Stephen Curry’s assist totals might look like if he ever got to play with a legitimate NBA big man who could catch and finish? You know, like Chris Paul has played with every season of his career?

You got a glimpse of it, on that beautifully executed drive and lob to Bogut at 4:00 4Q.

Man, it was great to see Curry and Lee released from Bogut high pick hell. As we saw in this game, Lee’s ability to roll to the rim will be considerably diminished by Bogut’s presence in the low post. But he still has a special ability to play out of the high post.

And Stephen Curry suddenly free to operate against a single defender?

Money.

Klay Thompson — Birth of an All-Star: On a normal night, a night when Andrew Bogut didn’t party like it was 2009, this recap would have been all about Klay Thompson. Klay has blossomed before our eyes in the last couple of weeks. The Warriors’ quiet third or fourth option on offense is suddenly asserting himself. Asking for the big shot, and making it with the game on the line. Coming up big against one of the best players in the league, in one of the most important games of the season.

He’ll never be the man on a team that has Stephen Curry, but after tonight, I don’t think there’s too much doubt left around the league that he’s an all-star caliber player.

This was his second hugely clutch performance of the last two weeks. His dagger threes in the third quarter got the reeling Warriors back on their feet. And in the fourth quarter, put the Rockets to sleep.

His much-criticized finishing problems appear to be behind him. Take a look at that tough left-handed finish of the driving layup over the longer Parsons at 3:10 2Q. There are maybe ten wing players in the entire league who have Klay Thompson’s left hand. Left hand dribble, left hand pass, left hand finish. Maybe fewer.

But the most eye-opening thing about Thompson’s performance on this night was his defense on James Harden. Klay is not a great athlete. His foot speed leaves a lot to be desired. What he has used to turn himself into a two-way basketball player is a hoops IQ that is through the roof.

Harden simply couldn’t shake Klay on this night. Klay seemed one step ahead of him on every shot fake, every jab step, every cross-over, every lean-in. Every single move that has proved so impossible for everyone else in the league to defend. Remarkably, Harden wound up simply abandoning any attempt to drive the lane.

I don’t think this had much to do with Andrew Bogut’s presence in the paint — it certainly didn’t in prior meetings, where Harden challenged Bogut relentlessly. Harden simply couldn’t get around Klay. It was incredible to watch.

This is now the second dominant defensive performance in a row that Klay has put on Harden. The first I attributed to a fluke: Harden was dealing with a knee injury. But it’s clear now that this is very real. Klay simply matches up extraordinarily well against one of the toughest two-guards in the league.

This doesn’t change my opinion that Klay belongs at small forward. In fact, it reinforces my opinion. Harden is the exception that proves the rule about the players Klay is equipped to defend. Klay struggles badly against the quicker two-guards in the league. But Harden is not a quick player. He uses craft, not foot speed, to get into the lane, and get himself to the line.

He met his match in craft on this night.

304 Responses to Bogut Lives: Warriors 108 Rockets 78

  1. danke sehr, herr doktor professor feltmeister. you’ve given us by far the best summary and analysis of the game of any of the blogs or from the beat writers.

    thompson’s progress on the path to maturity hasn’t been smooth and steady, but he’s started to clearly separate himself from jack as the third most essential player for the team’s success. bogut probably will have a relapse, but if he does not, he’ll be right there with thompson. jack benefitted more than anyone from the subtraction of rush, and it appears now that losing jack to another team’s offer would be an opportunity rather than a setback.

  2. Great stuff Feltbot!
    Great Ws defense on defending the perimeter. Not as much paint packing! Held Houston to a season low 78, and at home to boot!

    Bogut’s best game of the season – in the biggest game of the season. What more is needed from a center? +26, 12 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks, 1 drawn offensive foul, 0 turnovers. Physical picks. And the thing is – he’s not 100%, and he can play better when he gets healthier…

    Klay’s defense was exceptional – on Parsons and Harden. Nice shooting – but needs to get to the line… 0 free throws is unacceptable! That’s a huge difference between he and Reggie Miller – Reggie drew tons of fouls… All-Star conversation next year for sure.

    I’m dying to see this Basemore kid play more! Love his athleticism, length, and defense. I smell rotation player next season. Glad Ws kept him versus Tyler or Jenkins – both whom I lost confidence in long ago.

    Curry – All-Star lock pending health. Beautiful game to watch… Passes were amazing!

    D. Green – loved he shot the deep 2 pointer which he made. Then watched him clank the three. IMO, his range is college 3, and needs more time to expand to NBA three range… Hoping by next season that his shooting improves – I’m not worried as his shot in college was just fine.

  3. Klay’s recent improvement in D is partly a result of having rim defense behind him. He simply did not have that before, with DLee at C. His defensive skills and footwork have improved (a lot!), but he also has the confidence to work closer to his man because someone has his back. Kudos to Klay, but some percentage of his personal improvement in D is a team result.

    Feltie, you correctly noted that having Bogut lurking at the baseline eliminated a part of Lee’s offensive repertoire. Last night, against that one opponent, it worked out for the win. But 4-13 shooting is an unusually poor offensive result for Lee. There’s still more work to be done in integrating Bogut with Lee on offense.

    With Bogut/Lee, D against spread 4s is still weak. It wasn’t seriously tested last night, but it will be. When it is, will the Ws coaching staff have an answer? That’s TBD. I hope they have the courage and smarts to play a spread 4 defender then, and park one of their starting bigs. We won’t know until the situation comes up. One game is not a trend.

    Last night’s low post positioning for Bogut did improve the high post offensive game, but it was also good for what ails Bogut. He seems to be getting healthier and speedier with every game (keep our fingers crossed!), but the offensive plan also meant he didn’t have to cover as much ground on that end of the floor, and he simply had more left in the tank for D. Let’s hope his athletic improvement continues. Let’s also hope the coaches see the results and continue to plan for what he can realistically accomplish. The team can win with this lineup, but only if the coaches put their players in position to win, and don’t ask for the impossible. They don’t have Monta (Mr. Impossible!) Ellis to fall back on anymore.

    Quibbles aside, a great win! NO next, then San Antonio! I can’t wait!

    • Lee/Bogut definitely don’t look good chasing shooters on the perimeter… However, I enjoyed watching when Houston threw Delfino on Bogut – and the W’s got a couple of buckets from Bogut at the rim.

    • Monta has had a run of good games this month. I am curious what’s going on with the Bucks—I only see the box scores. Both J and M hold off shooting the first half and pick it up in the second. And Jennings isn’t shooting as much at all, 7 and 8 in two games. I wonder about this plan and will take opinions (cf. Houston, below).

      • Monta had a stinker against the Heat. If they end up as the 8-seed, Sayonara!

        • I agree, that’s a terrible matchup for him and the Bucks. The Heat defense is out of this world, and the Bucks just don’t have enough shooters.

          I would love to see the Bucks play Indiana.

  4. OK, I seem to be alone here. But to attribute the win to superior defense, to Bogut’s making a significant difference in that defense, against a team that beat OKC w/o Patterson, that averaged about 110 points a game the last 10 games stretches the imagination, or mine anyway. And Bogut’s great contribution on offense was getting out of the way? I’m not slighting Bogut. I just didn’t see phenomenal play.

    Houston shot miserably the first half. How many teams this season have held them to 31 points? I also can’t believe there weren’t weaknesses in the front court they couldn’t or didn’t exploit. They looked, in fact like the Warriors have in many of their more regrettable losses, say last Friday night. Lin and Harden took few shots first half and missed most, trying to set up the other players, who did not respond, putting Houston in a hole from which it was too hard to climb, though their run second half was alarming, when Harden and Lin turned it on and cut 20 points of the lead. How many felt confident we would win then?

    The Warriors started poorly as well, but started hitting before Houston and were able to build a lead and confidence. If we had seen the same kind of play from Harden and Lin the first quarter, this is an entirely different game.

    Do feel free to throw eggs at me if I keep saying this the next weeks if the Warriors keep winning. But please show me what they’re doing right and this doubting Thomas will come around.

    • rgg,

      I’m not going to throw eggs but I am going to disagree or question some of your comments. You said you didn’t see phenomenal play from Bogut. OK, it wasn’t a 20-20 game or a triple-double but I did see 12 points on 8 shots (efficient scoring), I did see 12 rebounds in 32 minutes (an excellent rate), I did see 3 blocks (also an excellent rate and my eyes saw a lot of changed shots, especially when you saw how directly the same players went to the rim when he was out.) I think another poster “32” on the previous thread correctly pointed out that Bogut is in no way a featured player on offense. As I’ve said in previous posts, Bogut should be Ezeli +; a less mobile Ezeli with more hoops IQ and experience, the respect of the referees, an even better screen setter, better hands, and better passer. Where Ezeli gives you 7 rebounds and 4 points and 1 assist, Bogut can give you 12, 12, and 3. If he is healthy. I think that is what we should expect, whether it is phenomenal or not is in the eye of the beholder. It works for me.

      I think Felt recapped what they did right. They played off of the weakest player on the floor and played everyone else tighter. Did Houston miss some shots? Absolutely. Good defense doesn’t prevent scoring it makes scoring more difficult. It can be by shifting the defense to make less skilled or less consistent players beat you, by directing good players to positions where they are less effective than in other areas, by taking advantage of physically inferior players, etc. I think you saw the first two items in this game.

      Was I worried when Houston made its run. Not much. I’ve been watching the NBA for over 30 years. There is nothing more common than a team that is way behind making a run and fading. That is why the early cushion is so desirable. As much as the math itself of having a large lead, the energy required to overcome that math is very difficult to sustain. Jeremy Lin hitting shots falling down, fading? It was nice theatre but not sustainable. I’m not going to hold my nose at an early lead when the opposite happens to us. There is some luck and randomness in what happens in games but the ability to start hitting shots before the others guys, making the other guys’ shots just a little more difficult, executing calmly against another team’s desperation run is what good teams do. The Warriors are not a great team but they are learning to be a good team.

      • You Tired—

        Serious thanks, and keep it up. I remain skeptical, of course, and the next weeks, against other, better teams will tell.

        The whole issue here is how much difference Bogut makes and whether it’s enough to justify his time on the court and the trade. This would be a nice discussion. I never expected phenomenal. I did expect, however, more versatility and capability in scoring. He didn’t score much when it mattered, and he beat the odds, his 50% FT, of Bop-a-Bogut by hitting all four in garbage time.

        My argument is that Houston shouldn’t have been down that much in the first place, that their first half plan was flawed. They ran out of steam after catching up.

        Also I’ll repeat my thought on the last post: we got a break with the refs. Only 16 FTs last night for Houston, most, I think, when they were already well behind. In the previous games they shot 35, 25, 34, where Lin and Harden got a lot of their scoring. It was much easier for them to drive knowing they could get a foul called. And that allowed the rest of the Warriors to play tighter instead of skating on ice.

        I will hope the best for Bogut and hope we see more. We’ll need it.

    • How many, typically high-scoring, teams have a Bogut-led defense held to under 80 points in the past 4 games?

      Answer: 2.

      I don’t understand how one can acknowledge that these teams are shooting extremely inefficiently against the Warriors, yet not attribute some of the credit to Bogut – if not most – for shutting down the paint and limiting high-percentage buckets?

      Houston mauled the Warriors 3 times this year by way of the drive and kick. During those games, GS guards allowed dribble penetration and the bigs got caught fouling, playing 1-on-2, or flat-out surrendering 5-foot jumpers for the sake of stopping dunks. What happened when a fully healthy Bogut was finally mobile enough to shut down the driving function of that equation? A Warriors win, to the tune of 30 points.

      As Bogut goes, so too does the Warriors’ defense. And, as it’s proven in 2 of the past 4 games, it can be flat out scary when Bogut has wind in his sails. Bogut sewing up the paint feeds Lee’s rebounding numbers, allows the guards to play a little riskier on the outside, and makes it very tough for teams to string together easy buckets en route to momentum. Houston (and New York before it) were completely choked out by the Warriors’ inside-out defensive scheme.

      I, for one, am thrilled to see such a difference that 2 or 3 years makes.

  5. Very informative. Agree that Houston last two trades were horrific.

    Glad to see Bogut finally positioned near the rim on defense. But, it seemed it did move slightly toward the foul-line and that Houston slashers went right at him when he challenged, rather then dump the ball off inside.

    Thompson did shoot well shooting three’s. But it should be noted Thompson shot terribly in his two prior games, and last night, he still didn’t make half of his two pointers. Still not sure he’s not simply a three point shooter and is capable of being consistent good shooter.

  6. Harkless had another great game last night for Orlando- 9-17 shooting, 2-4 on 3’s, 4 OR’s, 2 steals,l 2 blocks, and 1 TO. Harkless is not only shooting well, but he provided Orlando with five net extra possessions via OR’s, steals, and blocks. Orlando scored point off of his steals, blocks, and OR’s.

    The same cannot be said for Barnes nor Thompson. Barnes was 4-10 with 1 OR, no steals, no blocks, and no TO’s.

    Thompson provided the Warriors with a net minus two possessions, as he had 1 OR, no blocks, 1 steal, and 4 TO’s.

    So, in determining overtime whether a player is great, or had a great game, one should limit themselves to only considering how well the player scored 3’s or the % of shots he made.

    So to date, it seems the Warriors should have drafted Harkless, not
    Barnes.

    • Frank, I don’t want to defend Barnes’ play because it has been far from stellar. But Harkless is playing for a poor Orlando team. There is nothing on the line, which certainly frees a rookie to play without fear of mistakes.

  7. Why did Curry play so many minutes in a 30-point victory on the front end of a back-to-back?

    But my real question: What’s the theory on Jack’s recent struggles? He was the Warriors closer for essentially the first half of the season. Now he’s come back to earth… Has he lost a step, or are the Warriors simply not putting him in positions to succeed?

  8. It seems to me that after Jack was hot for a few games he started to do too much.Jack started committing turnovers when he tried to drive thru traffic in half court sets.

  9. Frank @7: I agree with you that Harkless is shaping up as a major player, and that it couldn’t be more obvious at this point that he will be a far better NBA player than Harrison Barnes. His extraordinary abilities as a defensive stopper make that a virtual guarantee. What NBA GMs missed on was his offensive capability. I think a lot of them are kicking themselves right now. (There are a lot of stories about Doug Collins compulsively checking his box scores. Whenever I check a Harkless box score, the first thing I look at is how badly he destroyed his opposing small forward).

    I don’t agree that Harkless and Thompson can be productively compared. They are totally different players with completely different roles. Apples and oranges.

    • Feltbot

      Thanks for waiting nearly 3/4 of a season before decreeing that what we see now from two rookies will remain that way for the rest of their careers. I’d have been willing to make that judgement after just a week.

      Geez.

  10. pb24 @8: I’m operating under the theory that when Jack banged up his shoulder that threw off his shot.

    Nagging injuries are the underlying reason for a lot of slumps.

    • the injury explanation would be plausible and might be true, but let’s not overlook that this is jack’s contract year before re-entering free agency at an age where he really expects a nice multi year gig. he might be like the rookies going for their second deal and trying to fatten their stats. when he was going well, his shooting was above his career numbers, so his norm might simply be reasserting itself, combined with the pressures of the team’s situation and his contract.

  11. Credit to Frank @7: You’ve been on Harkless for awhile. However, I agree with Feltbot @10 that I think the comparisons are more valid against Barnes than Thompson. And how bad was that trade from the Philadelphia perspective? At least we get to argue about Bogut the myth, the miracle, the man. Bynum isn’t even a myth; he’s a never-was and for that they gave up Harkless, Iguodala, Vucevic, and a future #1. Yikes.

    Also agree with Felt #11. It’s the injury. Jack’s been gutting it out but he isn’t the same.

    peteb24@8: +1 on Curry playing 44 minutes in a 30 point victory on the front end of a back-to-back. What is the point of that?

  12. @8 and 12: I think the reason Curry played so many minutes is directly related to Mark Jackson’s post-game tweet to Chandler Parsons, which you can read in my sidebar. The Ws felt the Rockets, and Parsons in particular with post game tweets, rubbed their noses in that past blowout.

    This was payback. Now whether this was a worthwhile goal or behavior for an NBA coach (and self- proclaimed pastor) is a different question.

  13. Anyone else find it odd that Google keeps advertising access to public arrest records on my site? What are their algorithms saying about my content? Or my readership? :>

    • geraldmcgrew

      Don’t find it odd at all. It’s not you. It’s our dystopia.

      Great post BTW. Man, I wish I could trust the coaching on this team.

      “that’s on the coaches.”

    • Aren’t ads personalized according to individual users/computers? I only see beautiful women.

      (Actually I found a wonderful plugin for Safari that blocks banner ads. Sorry, but the blog looks a lot cleaner.)

  14. Malcolm Thomas now with the Bulls?

    http://www.blogabull.com/2013/3/18/4119878/malcolm-thomas-signs-10-day-contract-bulls

    OK, what exactly was the point with this one.

  15. You Tired One and Felty. Thanks for your comments.

    I watched Harkless when he played his one year at St. John. I thought he was extremely athletic (could play above the rim) and would some day result in his being an impact player and eventually be a star i the NBA.. He shot 2’s well, but not 3’s. Since he was a young player, I thought that would come with time just as T. Hardaway developed a three point shot with the Warriors.

    His inability to hit the three ball is probably why the Warriors did not draft him. Barnett has said he had a terrific tryout with the Warriors and was dominant on the glass. I expressed at the time of the draft that the Warriors should draft him over Barnes.

    And to think that the Warriors wanted to move up to get MKG. Glad that never happened.

    I expressed that someday he would be a star, and held back my belief that he could someday rank right up there with M. Jordan, and K.Bryant because I didn’t want to get pummeled by posters. He’s not there yet, but he’s on his way.

    I had a good last two years, including predicting that the SF Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong would have have one of the lowest era’s in the MLB after seeing him pitch but one game for the Giants, and now seeing Harkless emerge as terrific young talent.

    I’ve had my share of mistakes including stupidly thinking the Warriors knew what they were doing when they attempted to sign the Clippers center.

    When the Warriors played Orlando earlier in the year, Harkless looked lost on the court. If I recall correctly, he was shooting three’s at 19%. His shooting 3’s has risen to 29%, which means he’s being shooting well above 35%, in the later half of the season.

    He is different from both Barnes and Thompson, as neither are as good as Harkless on the offensive and defensive glass, nor make as many steals or blocked shots. He also has better handles and does not turn the ball over as much as the they do. In my judgment, even though they are all SF’s, Thompson and Barnes will never be able to do the same things that Harkless can do on the court. Thompson may prove to be consistent shooter one day, he simply does not have the athleticism to match Harkless on either side of the ball.

    What could have been if the Warriors had both Harkless and Harden.

    You tired has it right when he writes that Orlando took Philly to the cleaners when they received both Harkless and Vucevic .

    • Nice read, Frank. It’s not like good players haven’t come out of St. John’s. I liked watching Vasquez play for Maryland, whom we’ll see tonight and has accounted for himself well.

      I watched a few Duke games just to see Curry’s brother Seth. There are similarities and he’s had several good shooting nights, but it’s hard to know what to make of his performance. He’s had a limited role, playing behind the one-and-done-phenoms. Also he had a lingering injury this year—stress fracture?—that kept him in a boot and out of practice much of the year.

      But I have to confess I have lost all interest in college basketball. All the one- and two-year players aren’t doing the sport or players much good, and I’m less and less sure what we’ll see when these guys make it to the pros. The next draft should be a muddle. Good talent scouts should be held at a premium—they won’t have the NCAA tournament to make their decisions for them.

      And this may be the issue with Barnes. He needed another year or two to develop.

  16. Been reading this blog for some time, never felt like commenting until seeing Frank extolling virtues of Mo Harkless who plays 3,000 miles away in Orlando and comparing him to Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson. Harkless looks like a nice player. I really like Barnes’ athleticism and in a year or two, I think he’ll be a much better player than he is now. And he has the ability and desire to improve. Harkless is not a better player than Thompson, not by any measure – even though they play different positions, in different offensive and defensive schemes, with different levels of talent around them. Appreciate Thompson for his very good all around game – he’s a good defender and often defends the opposition’s big scorer; he’s a good shooter (14.6 ppg), 40% 3-pt, 86% FT, and over 3 rpg. Harkless 10.7 ppg, 29% 3-pt

  17. Peteb24: Harkless makes less mistakes than either Barnes or Thompson and it’s not because Barnes and Thompson are playing for a better team and are therefore more careful on the court.

    In fact, Harkless has better handles and a higher Basketball IQ which results in less turnovers than either Barnes or Thompson, not even considering his outshining both on the glass, in making steals, and having more blocked shots.

    Do you really think that Thompson and Barnes are not making as many steals, blocks and getting OR because they play on a better team and are being more restrained in making mistakes? Obtaining offensive rebounds, steals, and blocked shots have nothing to do with making mistakes, they are relative in accessing if one player is better than others

    I’m comparing Harkless because we could have drafted him over Barnes, who you seem to prefer. If Harkless by far outplays Barnes then the Warriors made a big mistake in the draft, even if Barnes turns out to be a decent player which so far, he is not.

    Rookie: Thompson is better than Harkless “by any measure” ? To reach such conclusion then you have to ignore that Harkless shoots 52% to Thompson’s 44% on two’s, and Harkless obtains more steals, more offensive and defensive rebounds, and more blocked shots than Thompson. These stats have to be figured in when comparing players. As they lead to more points being scored by Orlando.

    Thompson does hit 3 pointers at a higher %, but such is offset by Harkless shooting much higher % than Thompson on 2’s. Thompson scoring more points per game has little significance since it was not till recently that Harkless started playing 30 minutes per game.

    • OK…but too early to fully judge Harkless by throwing stats around the way you’re doing. Thompson has a much larger body of work on a likely playoff team. Harkless recently began playing 30 minutes a game for a weak team in the east. If you’re right about Harkless, great.

      I think it’s a bigger mistake starting Barnes all season rather than a veteran player who would actually contribute to the Warriors winning basketball games. How many close games have the Warriors lost because they had to climb back from early deficits? The first half of the season was chalk full of them, and now the W’s are barely clinging to a playoff spot, despite the All Star play of Lee and Curry. Like the magestic Felt points out regularly, the mismanagement of the roster (no shutdown guard, no spread 4) has cost the team an incredible year from Curry.

  18. Not recapping tonight at NO.

  19. warriorsablaze

    Back to back high impact performances by Bogut… if this becomes consistent there will be a lot of crow eating around these parts. Time will tell.

    • Eat Crow? Lol! Everyone’s wrong from time to time. However, I’m just waiting to hear the spin. The flip flop. The song and dance. The shuffle. The shimmy shake. The – it was my thought from the beginning. After all, we’re all here to be entertained! Lol!

    • I think I’m being wrung up here. If Bogut keeps this up against better teams, I will eat crow, gladly. Wednesday will be a nice test.

      I thought he had a fine game. I was especially glad to see him make some contested shots, though I suspect that will be all the range we’ll see from him.

      But I don’t think the Warriors see New Orleans in the playoffs, if they make it. This, after all, is the team they beat twice without him, one without Lee as well, and Ezeli was exemplary in both.

      Speaking of which, Jack, Landry, and Jefferson had 47 points in that game—any way to get these guys started again? This bench is wearing thin.

  20. Harkless? Great prospect to trade down.

    The Ws should have drafted Andre Drummond. He was there for the picking.

    If Philly traded Vucevic, Igoudala, Harkless, and a number 1 for an unextended, injured, highly-paid Bynum… Imagine what GM’s would pay for Andre Drummond – on a rookie deal…

    I’m pleased with Barnes – he’ll be a decent NBA player. He’s worth something in trade and he can improve.

    The draft is an educated crapshoot. Draft a young athletic wing? I’ll show you three that never develop. Draft a skinny big? Lots of those don’t pan out every draft.

    I’d whiff every year on an 18 year old athletic 7 footer every time. Stoudamire in the Dunleavy draft. Drummond in 2012.

    Except I won’t torture everyone with post after post after every good game Andre Drummond plays. And every bad game Barnes has.

  21. Peteb24:Totally agree that a real player like Jefferson should be both staring and playing over Barnes.

    Until the last two games, Bogut sucked on defense. Some of have called for Bogut to play defense near the rim on defense, not by the foul line where Jackson has heretofore been playing him. Jackson finally played Bogut at the rim and the Warriors won the last two games.

    Even so, don’t get overly excited as Houston’s two power forwards shot and missed shooting from the outside.

    In tonight’s game,Davis did well scoring inside as did Anderson who also scored on SMS the shots he took inside. NO lost mainly to their perimeter players shooting terrible.

    So, while Bogut had many blocked shots, the jury is still out as the Warriors offense has gone south as far as scoring is concerned.

    Playing against SA, we will have a chandelier to evaluate whether the Warriors have improved on both sides of the court.

    There will be no crow to eat if Bogut plays well for we have been calling for Bogut to play by the rim and Jackson is finally doing what we suggested.

    My own view is that good teams will still find a way to exploit Bogut’s lack of mobility is still apparent.

    • The other test will be when centers play out on Bogut, as Noah did and Lopez tonight often. But Lopez was no threat at all.

  22. OK, I’ve been saying this for about a year now and have to give it a rest, but sheesh, look at the Denver/Chicago box score:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore?gid=2013031804

    71 Denver points off the bench! And Nate Robinson scored 35 against a top tier team in a close game.

    My argument was never against Bogut per se as a complementary center, though his health, still uncertain, made the trade too risky, but the price the team paid for him in terms of salary space. They had no leeway for diversity or depth. Aside from Landry and Jack’s up and down play, not a scorer on the bench, not a spark plug when they need it. Aside from the other two centers, no sizable players with some skill. And, really, no real veteran.

    Curry and Lee especially will have to play hard, heavy minutes the rest of the way, as they have all season. How much will they have left if they make the playoffs? Who will support them?

    And we could have had Nate cheap. . . .

    • Chi simply too depleted to last against Den with its strong bench. Den is now just .5 game out of third and tied in wins w. the sterlings, so the lacobites could get rewarded for a sixth place finish with Den and not LA. Faried was relatively subdued but iguodala and chandler combined for 19 boards.

      the lacobites wouldn’t reinforce the roster meaningfully so bogut is their x factor. thomas, the d-leaguer they brought up was snatched by the short handed Chi as soon as the ten day contract was up.

    • warriorsablaze

      Sounds like you’re having trouble viewing the long term goals and are stuck in the short term. After next season, we all of the sudden have HUGE cap space and salaries coming off the books. Curry will be moving into his prime, Klay will (hopefully) be improving his consistency, Lee will be the same as he is now, Barnes will either become solid or likely be moved… all the while, we’re suddenly looking good to the big free agents of 2014 (Lebron being one of them…unlikely, but just saying). A still young team with a new arena on the way and a developing winning culture. We are not a finished product. Fussing over mediocre players like Nate is just silliness. Even though Jack has been struggling over the past month or so, he’s provided more than Nate ever did, or would have, for this team. Teams tighten their rotations come playoff time, so the talk of Lacob being too cheap to bring in D league players is also just garbage. Malcolm Thomas wouldn’t get any run come playoff time.
      Trade too risky? Let’s look at the team since We Believe was dismantled compared to now… are we better? Is it even close? Come on.

      Denver has the deepest team in the league… that only happens when you have a bunch of solid players but no stars that demand huge salaries. They’ve built a great team with undervalued players. Would you give up Steph or Lee to save enough money to get a few rotation guys to come off the bench?

      Point is, this is not a finished product. Will Barnes become a real player? Will Green start making shots (which he did in college)? Will Klay play up to Felty’s esteem? We have multiple rookies in the rotation… perhaps a little patience is in order?

      Sometimes this blog reads like a Tea Party forum discussing all the ways they can invent that Obama has destroyed the country.

      • The point is that they could have kept Nate and Jack, Nate who would have filled in well in so many ways for very little, especially with the second unit who has struggled to score.

        I must, however, commend you for your patience and willingness to sacrifice. Three and probably four superlative years from Lee and Curry will have gone to waste, and two or three from Klay, achieving very little.

        No, I don’t give up Steph or Lee. I forego the Bogut trade and build a real team. The Warriors don’t have a chance in hell of catching up with Denver in the next five years. Lacob has now had three years to build a bench. Instead he put a ton of money in lame centers (Brown, then Biedrins by not amnestying him). Plus a certain trade.

        Nelson brought in several D-leaguers who filled in well, btw.

        I will spend much time pondering how criticizing Lacob, who wants to build an arena over water and raise ticket prices, is like criticizing Obama. The comparison is too fine for me. You, however, seem to believe in weapons of mass destruction which—uh—haven’t been found yet. Bogut for one. Also premiere free agents have a way of not being around when you finally have some bucks. And they want to go to teams with a shot at a title.

        Winning culture? Where have I heard those words before?

  23. So it’s just a coincidence that Houston and New Orleans have had such poor shooting nights against the Warriors? Are you guys watching the same games? Bogut has been fantastic shutting down penetrators in the key. He is blocking shots, altering shots, discouraging shots. How about the much-ballyhooed 4 on 1 fast break he shut down tonight single handedly. As Bogut is getting used to the rhythm of the game, he is becoming a real difference maker. Next stop on the Bogut development train–reestablishing his low post offensive game. We saw him make some hook shots tonight. Wait until he gets back his spin move and up and under move. Then Curry and Klay will really go wild with the open threes.

    Feltbot, great points re the trade of Patterson and Morris–big mistake for this year by the Rockets. Obviously, they think Monti will be better but he still has a way to go and they have definitely lostsomekey weapons for this year.

    I also agree removing Bogut to thelow post. I don’t know why that took our coaches so many games to figure out but at least they did.

  24. We saw the reason why the Celtics traded Kendrick Perkins for a spread four last night. Jeff Green with a monster game against LeBron.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore?gid=2013031802

    • How’s that trade worked out for the Celtics? How’d Green’s big game impact the win column? They sacrificed a non-numbers big who sews up the paint to get a dime-a-dozen tweener forward. Reminds me of that scene in Space Jam where the little aliens steal the NBA players’ talent… Only, instead of basketball skill, OKC absorbed Boston’s championship seeding. A single, seemingly simple deal… And ever since, OKC has been a Top 3 seed and BOSTON has been the fringe playoff club. What a reversal of roles!

      Of course, in sainted Nellieball, big point totals and three-pointers are entertaining and, thus, equate to success. But in the rest of the world, the W is all that counts. Green scored nearly 50… And yet, there’s no celebration in Boston the way we celebrated after Curry’s 50-point game against the Knicks. I wonder if the winning culture has anything to do with that…

      • You guys aren’t on the Lacob payroll are you?

        Ah yes, the Celtics, with Allen gone and Rondo and Garnett out beat Miami with Perkins but not Green?

        And the Warriors with Curry and Lee out but Bogut in beat the Knicks?

        Perkins could carry OKC if they lose key players?

        It is amazing how tough the Celtics have been with their aging stars and the players out. With trades and low draft picks, they still have brought players along and built a competitive team. This is a winning culture.

        • It’s quite a stretch to claim that my argument is that Perkins or Bogut alone can carry a team to victories, rgg. There’s a world of middle ground between my acknowledging the toughness and winning culture they provide in the paint… And holding them to a standard of LBJ or Durant. I was merely reacting to FB’s comment that Boston won the trade with OKC. I’m not so sure.

          Did they get the sexier stat-line? The guy with more range? The player who will obtain more 30-point games in his career? Sure, no argument there…

          But what did OKC get? What is added to their team with Perkins inside? The answer includes: oncoming drivers fearing the hard foul inside, close-range shooters looking over their shoulder for a lumbering shot-blocker, pesticide for pesky low-post scorers who score at will against David Lee level defense, an additional rebounder whose more concerned with grabbing jerseys and boxing out than bumping up rebound numbers, and a hard-screen setter whose looking to thump guards to the ground – as well as free up his teammate.

          Yes, toughness is difficult to quantify, it’s impossible to find in a biz score… But, man, does it make a HUGE difference. As with Bogut’s effect on Lee and Curry, Perkins is an enormous catalyst for Ibaka, Westbrook, and Durant… And compliments them in a way Green didn’t.

          • And Perkins only plays 20 minutes and doesn’t play 4th Q, say in their loss to Denver tonight because?

            The game has changed.

      • Wasn’t KG out in this game? Not to mention Rondo, of course. I’d say the Celtics performance was pretty remarkable under the circumstances.

        And amazingly enough, given the Rondo injury, I think the Celtics are going to be a very tough out in the playoffs. Even for the Heat, should they meet again.

        Something tells me they will.

  25. I’m headed to Vegas for my fantasy baseball draft and perhaps one or two extracurricular activities, so unfortunately will not be able to watch the games or recap until late next week. I’ll just leave this thread going until then.

    This next game, against the Parker-less Spurs, should be a very interesting test for Bogut. Even without Parker, the Spurs get up and down, spread the floor, move the ball extremely well. And there’s a couple guys named Splitter and Duncan, who are having monster seasons.

  26. Anyone else having trouble this morning keeping themselves from wondering what it would be like to watch Stephen Curry and David Lee play with a spread four like Ryan Anderson or Jeff Green?

    They’d light the league on fire.

  27. Thompson has shot poorly the last 3 out 4 games.

    Last night, he was 5-15, had one steal, committed four turnovers, and had no offensive rebounds.

    For all practical purposes, it’s as if he shot 5-18 from the field or if we factor in this 3 made threes, he made 6 1/2 two’s on 18 shot attempts. One needs to really factor in three pointers, OR’s, steals, and turnovers when considering shot attempts and FG’s made. When is he going to be a consistent good shooter?

    The Warriors didn’t need Nate this year, they needed a mobile big who shoot the three ball.

    • Or at least a big who can shoot 10-15 feet out. They could have had both. And that team would have made a lot more noise this year.

  28. If you take things for granted, they have a way of disappearing. What a superb game last night for Curry, what a great month, entire season. What he has contributed to the team cannot be underestimated.

    The turnovers don’t matter but should go away as the team develops, if the full squad develops. D’Antoni said he didn’t care about Lin’s turnovers during his incredible stretch because he was pushing the action.

    That 3 pointer from, what, 26 feet? But it was the ease with which he shot it and I had the feeling he’s still holding back, that he’ll be bombing away from half court with ease.

  29. @24 – that 4-on-1 stop was great!

    @ 26 – It’s nice to see Bogut rounding into shape, but Duncan and Splitter will be a tough test. Should be a fun game.

    @27 – Ryan Anderson with the Ws! I have that same wish every time I see him play. But Richard Jefferson is as close as our team has, and he doesn’t get any playing time, for some reason. I don’t see that Barnes plays better than Jefferson in any way except the occasional highlight video. Maybe MJackson’s playing-time decisions aren’t entirely results-based. If that’s the case, he might not use Anderson any more than he does Jefferson.

    @ 28 – The Warriors didn’t NEED Nate this season, but he would have been helpful. Jack seems to be playing hurt, and it shows a little. Robinson would have been a nice ace in the hole. For little more than Jenkins’s salary, or Tyler’s. While we’re at it, why not Kenyon Martin? NY signed him for pocket lint.

    • I enjoyed watching last year’s bench. Nate was a sparkplug. I never wanted Nate to begin with – he’s not a good guy to have sitting on the bench for too long (Remember OKC? Celtics?) – but changed my mind after his athleticism and aggressiveness proved me wrong.
      Nate PG
      Rush SG
      Jefferson SF
      McGuire PF
      Udoh C

      I like Ryan Anderson’s game. In the right matchups. I’m still a huge Bogut fan. I like a coach to have the ability to play big and play small… Karl in Denver has so many options with his deep, versatile team of players. Jefferson is good enough to make a nice spread four option – he’s better than Barnes – and NBA Finals tested.

  30. George Karl has so much flexibility now, and the brilliant mind and cojones to use it. He beat the Bulls last night with Gallo at center and Wilson Chandler at four. And he’s at it again tonight versus OKC.

    • Nuggets 114, Thunder 104

      114 points with only four 3-pt makes. Denver can come at you with so many different looks it almost doesn’t matter what their opponent can stop, there are always other options.

      • With the long winning streaks by the Heat and Nuggets, I wonder if either team will run out of energy like the Clippers did after their 17 game streak earlier this season. The Heat especially will have a tough time in the playoffs if LeBron and Wade are playing too hard down the stretch.

      • If they could shoot the three, it would be unfair. Definitely their biggest weakness.

    • Streaks make me nervous, too, PB. But they’ll have a full squad and will be able to put a competitive team on the floor the full 48 minutes and should have plenty of energy for the last weeks and the playoffs well down the roster.

      Denver is the team that intrigues me most in the NBA. They have at least two capable players at every position. They can field a variety of looks. They take advantage of the clock. They can stay strong if a key player or two goes down or does not pan out—and Iguodala hasn’t been that huge a difference maker, though he might step up more in the years to come.

      Instead of building the team around a couple of top stars, they unloaded them and built for depth and versatility. Instead of tanking to get a top pick, they drafted wisely lower down the draft. Their salary cap will be manageable for years to come and they should be highly competitive. They will be able to drop or add players depending on their needs and what becomes available.

      Then again, you might object that Melo is not a top star, and I agree. Rather, he is a near franchise player, who doesn’t justify either the money he receives or the attention he expects. There just aren’t that many franchise players and the odds of getting them are negligible. But also rearranging the roster and salary cap to accommodate them may well not be worth the expense or risk.

      And, of course, coaching matters.

      I am inviting comparisons.

      What would Curry do with this team? And if Curry’s stock had been lower draft time, there’s a good chance they would have taken him. I’m pretty sure Karl would have let him shoot.

      It is intriguing, though, White Hat, that by building an offense that doesn’t rely on threes they might be increasing their odds in the playoffs? This would be a nice debate.

      What they have done is put themselves in position for the first round. They may well succumb to superior talent later. Denver vs San Antonio would be a great study for coaching fans.

      • “By building an offense that doesn’t rely on threes they might be increasing their odds in the playoffs?”

        This is provably mathematically incorrect. Odds remain the odds, regardless of the underlying variance they assume. There might be increased variance in relying on threes, but that doesn’t affect the odds.

        But also, we know from all sorts of stats that shooting threes is FAR more efficient than any other type of offense in the NBA, with the exception of layups.

        As Haralabos Voulgaris, perhaps the pre-eminent statistical modeler of the NBA, put it recently in a tweet: “NBA offense has been solved. Threes and layups.”

        He means solved like chess has been solved. And, more recently, backgammon and poker. Mathematically solved.

        Which makes it all the more remarkable that Denver is such a powerful team. They are covering a terribly inefficient half-court offense with a ridiculously dominant defense and running game.

        • I’m repeating the standard argument, that shooting falls in the playoffs. I don’t buy it, certainly not for a team that shoots as well as the Warriors. Not having Curry or Thompson shoot certainly would not be playing the odds and would be a waste.

          • Everything falls in the playoffs, including the ability to get open threes. And there are a lot of players who are simply not long enough, quick enough or crafty enough to get their three point shot off in the playoffs.

            But the number one thing that falls off in the playoffs are fastbreak layups. And in the halfcourt, there is nothing so essential as multiple credible threats from three to open the floor and facilitate the passing game.

            In my opinion, the lack of three point shooting will hurt, not help, the Nuggets in the playoffs.

          • Absolutely. It will be interesting to see what Karl does. If they try and can’t hit, it might be the chink in their armor.

            And if the Warriors make the playoffs, I want Steph and Thompson to shoot away, especially quick 3s in transition. Anything else and the team doesn’t have a chance.

  31. Why Wilson Chandler is one of my favorite players in the NBA: George Karl and the Nuggets on how a big two-way wing can lessen the need for a big defensive stiff in the middle:

    http://www.denverpost.com/nuggets/ci_22827984/chandler-cool-but-hurt-nugget

  32. Warriors management has begun feeding the media the line that Bogut was worth the wait, as evidenced by this new piece from MT2:

    http://www.mercurynews.com/warriors/ci_22827020/golden-state-warriors-center-andrew-bogut-proving-worth

    My immediate response is that the Warriors didn’t gut their team for a player who could play well against Omer Asik and Robin Lopez in the regular season. They did it to get a player who could play well against Duncan, the Gasols, Howard, Griffin and Randolph in the playoffs. If the game against Noah is any indication, we’re not exactly there yet.

    Nice test tonight.

    • Worth the wait—

      Somebody define and debate standards. Scenarios:

      1. Bogut indeed shows superior play the last weeks, helps them not only keep the 6th. slot but also win the first round.

      It is the most optimistic scenario, and I don’t think there’s a chance it will happen. When it does, I will eat that bird. But it still is not worth the wait for me.

      2. They make the playoffs, keep 6th. slot, and go out first round, maybe win 2 games.

      This is worth the wait? It’s a more likely scenario. One thing I’m certain of is that everyone will argue endlessly how much influence Bogut had in keeping that slot and that the evidence will not be strong.

      3. The team falls to 7 or 8 and goes out quickly first round.

      Of course there will be arguments we don’t even get that without Bogut, but the evidence, again, is not good. Or maybe Bogut has a relapse in his health, then everyone chimes in—if he had only been healthy. I don’t buy it.

      4. The team falters down the stretch and doesn’t make the playoffs.

      Not unthinkable at all. But what most makes that unlikely is not the Warriors but the other teams. They simply aren’t being pushed from below, unless Kobe and Dallas go on a tear and Utah somehow gets it together.

      One thing that is certain is that Bogut didn’t help the team reach a higher seed where they could think more sanely about the second round this season, simply because he was out or disabled most of the games he played.

      We also have good reason to believe the team reaches the same results without Bogut, maybe with a lower seed, maybe not. We’ll also argue this endlessly, but evidence to support it is strong. The team won so many games without him against better opponents. Bogut wasn’t instrumental in any win against a better team, unless you count Houston (I don’t).

      And of course there is the argument, which I will make but I know there will be a lot of shouts here, that if the team had not made the trade they could have been much stronger this season and next. And the next. And the next. In place of Bogut, put whoever else we might have picked up. At the very least they get into the playoffs with the same results, but there’s good reason to expect better and have more hope for the future. One thing I’m certain of is if somehow it were made public they turned down the Bogut trade and the team goes two rounds, many would have argued the team would have gone even further had they made it.

      Hope springs eternal. . . .

      Next season?

      Bogut turns into a defining player and the team makes a serious run in the playoffs? I just don’t believe it. One thing that is certain is that the team will be weaker because of the trade simply because they won’t have the money to keep the players they now have and won’t be able to add anyone significant.

      And then there’s his health. . . .

      It’s incredible how much the West has changed. Where once there were 9-10 strong teams, every team after #5 is weaker and everything is in flux. There was window here, not seen, not opened, and it may close. Instead of building a deeper, more flexible team, Lacob has gambled unwisely just to make an appearance in the playoffs.

      I do apologize to White Hat and OT and others for criticizing Bogut, and I know it’s tedious. It’s just hard to keep quiet when the organization plays so freely with my expectations and sense of reality.

      • Can’t forget, Bogut was +35 on the Knicks and Tyson Chandler -23…

      • bogut has revived just enough to save the choice post season bit of the lacobites’ bacon. the acquisition of an expensive, injured player plus the expensive jefferson was in their thinking justifiable relative to the cost of a decent two way veteran center. they didn’t invest in any roster insurance when rush’s season was cancelled and it became clear that bogut wouldn’t be available or close to contributing meaningfully for at least the first half of the season. the lack of roster depth nearly sunk their ship when the rookies hit the proverbial adjustment barrier, and the wear and tear on key vets caught them just after mid season.

        the mettle of this restored version of the team has yet to prove itself against an upper tier opponent . NY has been mediocre since Jan. (their home win in curry’s masterwork game made them one game above .500 for Feb.), and the depleted Chi squad delivered a convincing spanking in the recent homestand when even Det battled the homies to a first half tie.

        just don’t let the illegitimati grind you down.

        • My real regret is that I will run out different things to say about the team. I’ve already repeated myself a zillion times. What will there be to talk about next season? Lacob has trapped us in the Bogut dialectic.

  33. @31 rgg,

    I noted that the Nuggets only sank four 3-pointers (on 21 tries) against OKC, but should probably have mentioned that the Thunder also only made 4 of them, on 25 attempts. Westbrook and Durant combined for 0-10. A strangely bad long-range shooting night for both teams – but worse for OKC.

    I’m pretty sure the Nuggets can make a reasonable percentage of 3s in other circumstances, against other opponents. But whether or not the 3 is there for them, they tend to handle their opponent’s long-range shooting better than most. And when 3-pointers don’t drop for them, they have more options than most other teams, including OKC and the Ws.

    On the other hand, the Ws have the best long distance shooter in the league, with a decent sidekick. That’s not so bad. Curry and Thompson have NEVER combined for 0-10 on 3s.

    • Exactly. My only qualification to the 3 point debate is that you have to have reliable shooters who have in fact shot many threes during the season and are good shooters. Lawson, I think, has been streaky there, so maybe he should hold off? But it depends on the game, the defense, etc., as you say. Didn’t he hit 11 one game?

      I still get nervous when Green and Jefferson launch a 3, simply because they haven’t shot that many and haven’t been consistent. I don’t have confidence they can respond to a critical moment and shoot clutch. But if they have a lead, why not?

      • The career stats for Jefferson and Green say they are both better shooters than they’ve demonstrated this year. Perhaps it’s as you say; they simply haven’t gotten enough playing time this season to get comfortable. I think Green is also in the midst of that unavoidable rookie transition to the pro game.

        Whatever the causes, their poor shooting does put the coach in kind of a tough spot. He’s got to play to win, while also giving developmental playing time to his high-cost rookie to salvage anything from tanking last year. After watching Barnes loll around the court all season, I don’t think that’s going to pan out, but it may be that Jackson doesn’t have any choice in the matter. And it’s possible that Barnes will wake up some day.

        But if Jackson rewarded only results, Jefferson and Green are both better overall contributors than Barnes right now. And with more playing time, Green’s motivation and smarts will make him a better player than Barnes will ever even attempt to be. If you had to “invest” playing time in a rookie’s development, Green is a better bet. At this point we can clearly see that Barnes has everything he needs to be successful – except the heart.

        • the preacher has usually shown more trust in green over barnes as a situational or late game substitution, relying on him to stick his nose under the boards and snag his share, and to avoid poking any coach’s sore point in close games, blown defensive assignments. green also comes up with the ‘hustle possessions’, while barnes sometimes wastes his playing opportunities with standing around passively on either end. playing at a faster tempo and opening the court more would probably make barnes look better, but it’s not likely to happen with the lee/bogut front court, jack playing lead guard part time, and rush out ’til next season.

    • “I’m pretty sure the Nuggets can make a reasonable percentage of 3s in other circumstances, against other opponents.”

      The Nuggets are 25th in the league in 3pt %, barely better than Charlotte, so I’m not sure about that assumption.

      http://www.teamrankings.com/nba/stat/three-point-pct

      But I agree with you Denver’s wings guard the three point line better than almost anyone in the league. On a par with Miami. And there might be no better team at guarding Durant, so long as Chandler is healthy. They can put FOUR different good defenders on him.

      As for Curry and Thompson, I predict they will have an extremely difficult time getting their threes off in half court sets in the playoffs when Bogut is on the floor. They will have to get going in early offense.

      • The Nuggets season average on 3-pointers is 34.2%. That’s not good, but it’s more “reasonable” than the 19% they shot against OKC.

        Re Curry and Thompson getting off their shots in the playoffs, while early offense has clearly worked best for the Ws until now, the conventional wisdom seems to be that playoff games tends to favor teams more weighted toward the half-court game, and a healthy Bogut does bring that to the Ws.

        Whether a half-court team with Bogut can run plays to free up Curry and Thompson is more on the coaches than on Bogut. It shouldn’t be impossible. Neither shooter needs much room or time to nail a 3.

        • You are right in this: the only way to get the opposing team to guard Bogut is to run the offense through him.

          When the floor is not spread, opposing defenders can guard Curry and Klay far more closely than when it is spread. Blitz them, in fact, which is what we’ve frequently seen.

  34. Paying Bogut $13 million this year for taking six shots per game, shooting 47% from the field, and 60% from the foul line. Ouch. Offensively, Bogut is nowhere near the big time players Felty mentioned. Tonight he has a easy assignment guarding an immobile center. We’ll see how he performs against SA’s slashers.

    Harkless last night provided Orlando with 9 additional possessions he garnered via 4 OR’s, 4 steals, 1 block shot, and no turnovers. Simply off the chart. Wow!

    But, most analysts would only look at his shooting 4-12 from the field, and 1-2 on three’s. not realizing that both the number of shots he took and scored, and shots that other Orlando players took and scored upon were from the extra possessions that Orlando would not have otherwise had but for Harkless.

    I can never remember the Warriors having a player who could do those things nor do we now.

    And he could have been playing now for the Warriors. We are left instead with Barnes’ potential.

    • Poke the tiger:

      Tyson Chandler 2013 Salary: $13,604,188

      Sorry, Frank. Carry on.

    • Andre Drummond has a PER of 22.37. Garners 3 offensive boards, 7.5 rebounds, makes 60% of his dunks, and blocks 1.7 shots in 20 minutes. And he was available at #8.

      • OK, but…

        Amnesty Biedrins,
        Pay Chandler a $2mm premium to pick Golden State over New York,
        Keep Monta and Udoh,
        Play Thompson at the 3,
        DON’T tank…

        And start making the playoffs LAST YEAR.

        Draft Ezeli and Barnes,
        Add Jack and Landry in the offseason.

        And KICK PLAYOFF ASS THIS YEAR.

        Sorry. Revisionist history. But if we’re talking “what-if,” that would have been my dream scenario. It was even entirely feasible.

  35. Yes, there is truly a lot of Bogut-hate going on here on this blog…

    The San Antonio Spurs are 28-4 at home. The Spurs haven’t lost to the Golden State Warriors at home since the Popovich Tank Season (of the pre-Duncan Era).

    All good things come to an end.

    I’m predicting a huge Bogut FLIP-FLOP coming…

    • Here’s a little exercise for you PB: Go back and find a single sentence of mine regarding Bogut that you think will prove incorrect. Be courageous, and predict it in advance.

      I’m not talking about an opinion of mine that you’ve got lodged in your head. I’m talking about an opinion that I’ve put on the page.

    • Gee, PB, I don’t know. When it comes to injuries, all anyone can do is make their best guess. Given the severity (and sheer quantity) of Bogut’s injuries, he didn’t look promising. That’s all FB ever really said about it. Of course he did say that a lot, but still, there’s no question but that it would have been the way to bet. NO ONE of Bogut’s size with his ankle problem has ever recovered well enough to play ball at a high level. Unlike every sycophantic stenographer so-called journalist on the Warriors beat, FB called the odds right.

    • PeteyBrian,

      I don’t see any Bogut hate at all. I do, however, see serious questioning of Lacob’s decisions. A fully healthy Bogut, if there is such a thing, this season or next will not take the team very far, and no further than they might have gone had they made other decisions. And the way the deal was structured the team had no room to improve this year and won’t the next.

      Look at the discussion of Denver. They have built for flexibility and depth. And they do have three centers, all young and healthy. Koufos is certainly serviceable. They were able to afford a big contract on McGee, $10m, but if he doesn’t work out, they have alternatives and the team won’t suffer. If Bogut doesn’t get/remain healthy, the Warriors are stuck.

      • Hey, I’m just stirring up the Bogut pot of conversation here… LOL!

        Huge point wins against New York, @Houston, and @New Orleans.

        Bogut’s played over 30 minutes for several games now and is improving each game while slowly integrating into the team’s offense/defense – and the team is showing signs of improvement.

        The Spurs – Parker-less no doubt – are due for a spanking…

        Getcha Popcorn Ready!!!

  36. Petey Brian: Did you really want us to draft Drummond who shoots 37% from the foul-line? A low shooting FT% seems to be a requirement for joining the Warriors. And do you think he’s a mobile center? Just because a center is good defending his opponent, that and block shots such means nothing if he is unable to provide weak side help.

    At the time of the trade Felty indicated that Bogut’s offense was limited. Check. And, if healthy, his defense was good. Felty pointed out that he was not being used properly on defense and it was not until recently that has changed. Still open question whether his health will improve and whether he has decent mobility.

    Regardless if you like the trade his and Jefferson’s contracts are an albatross. And the trade sucked.

    • Drummond’s per is completely off the charts at 22+. Moe’s per is 13.

      Drummond can’t shoot free throws? Moe is only shooting .56% from the charity stripe.

      Drummond’s February – he averaged 9 pts, 9 rebs, 2.1 blocks, 1.2 steals, .8 turnovers. – in 22 minutes.

      I really don’t understand what’s going on Detroit… Andre Drummond is a game-changing center, yet only played limited minutes in a losing season…

      Anyone who watched the Detroit/GSWs games – knows Drummond is a game-changing player… I don’t need to look up stats on this one.

      • your assertion that Det should have played drummond heavier minutes seems very odd in the context of how his season ended after fifty games with a stress fracture in his back. his per game average was just a bit above 20 min., with a good handful of games 23 min.+ and a couple 30+. with a 270 lb. load on his back, you could just as easily argue they played him too many minutes, concentrate on building his conditioning and flexibility, and might have been able to avoid the injury.

  37. The Grizzlies are damn good too. Probably the best non-Nellieball team in the league. Here’s the players assessment of the Rudy Gay trade, two months after:

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/nba-pm-grizzlies-better-without-gay/

  38. Drummond’s opponents have been shooting 52% against him. Even Bogut’s opponents shoot less-48%. See 82 games. Such is an an indication that both are immobile and are not providing weak side help. Teams love putting him at the foul-line. In my opinion, he’s a center for a bygone era.

    Maybe now you can see why he’s getting so few minutes.

    Even though Drummond has a high PER, I just don’t see him being a future star in the NBA. If he becomes one then your assessment will be proved correct. Drafting a better SF is what the Warriors should have done.

    I believe that over the course of last month that Harkless has been shooting FT’s at above 70%.

    • Frank if you don’t subscribe to synergy video analysis, or at least record the games and review them, you can’t really put any of the stats you regurgitate in proper context. how much tape on drummond did you watch before ruling him immobile ? how much weak side help can any interior defender reasonably provide, especially a rookie, on a bad team ? how much is the opponents’ fg.pct. a by product of playing for a flawed defensive team ? the media and fans in Det strongly feel it’s monroe and not drummond who weakens their defense, b.t.w.

  39. While we’re discussing the Denver game last night and in anticipation of tonight’s, I’ll ring up this one:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore;_ylt=Al5EFxwus1Wg17pNLUmGb3.kvLYF?gid=2013022209

    And remember how, like Denver, we did it, with the bench. 41 points from Jack and Landry. Unless you want to argue Biedrins’ 20 minutes made the defensive difference. Everybody played for San Antonio, btw.

    While we’re talking about depth, let’s ring up this game:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore;_ylt=Agn8j66YwkdKqBIqjuzW_vaYPKB4?gid=2012112914

    This is coaching, this is depth. I’m sure SA would like to keep its lead, but a win tonight is not essential. Nor will Pop push his players too hard for one win. He doesn’t have to worry about saving his owner’s face.

  40. Marcus Thompson praised Bogut’s “jump hook.” Yes, he scored on his hook shots, but they was no “jump,” as he shoots his hook from his shoulder and extends his arm outward so his opponent can’t get to it. Looks ugly and in the long run should not be effective.

    The Warriors offensive rebounding has diminished since the Warriors have gone to exclusively playing a tall center.

    I believe the Warriors have had just six offensive rebounds in each of their last two games. And D. Lee had four, and Bogut two in the last game. And, I believe that Bogut got two offensive rebounds off his own miss before finally putting the ball in the hoop.

    It’s difficult to beat good teams when you get beat both on the offensive boards, have less steals, and turn the ball over more than your opponent. A team has a hard time winning losing the battle in extra possessions.

    Tonights a test to see if Bogut has any mobility and able to provide weak side help. Interested in seeing our opponents FG% in the paint. Stay tuned.

    • Sorry Frank,
      Bogut’s tippy-toe hook shot may be ugly to you – but to me, he’s like an ugly daughter – and still a thing of beauty! LOL!

      No offensive rebounds for Bogut? Bogut’s too busy plodding back on defense to get many offensive rebounds! LOL!

      But Bogut’s defense of the rim is elite…

      Don’t forget his drawing of offensive fouls… Changing shots in the paint. Blocking shots…

      Offensively, I don’t think he hurts the W’s – who have so many talented offensive players. And he’s more useful offensively than our rookie Festus and Beans…

  41. San Antonio (continuing a theme and hopefully not wearing it out):

    I think everybody did fine. Bogut played a fine game and did everything that might have been expected of him The bench chipped in for a change. Give Barnes credit for scoring. I don’t really mind the turnovers. They had to force the action and expect mishaps. Lee and Bogut’s defense was fine. They’ll always run into problems with a versatile, mobile player like Splitter and a Duncan who can work up close or out.

    The problem is, that’s all that could have been expected from this team, barring exceptional shooting from Thompson and Curry.

    But what if:

    They had a reliable two way player at three who could help run the offense and take some of the pressure off Curry (Rush?), who maybe could have helped send Thompson to the second unit so he could get some open looks and helped sub time even more.

    And what if they had a bona fide spread four and Lee moved to center? The court opens up, scoring picks up, and a faster player may have helped Lee guard the more mobile San Antonio front court.

  42. Nando de Colo? What a player!!! Another San Antonio gem.

    Tim Duncan is still the man.

    Todd Basemore really pestered Manu Ginobili for a few minutes… Want to see Basemore get even more minutes – see how his offense fits or not.

  43. Bogut was a disaster last night. It’s clear he cannot shoot as his entire delivery is a mess. His shooting 2-9 from the field was simply horrendous. He did garner 4 OR’s, but 3 of those OR’s were on one trip downcourt.
    We can now say with some degree of confidence that Bogut will virtually every time be ripped apart by good teams.SA’s bigs and slashers destroyed him inside, shooting 56 percent for most of the game.

    But, the Warriors would have been there at the end but for Curry and D. Lee not shooting well. But there is some room for improvement if certain changes are made. I’ll discuss those changes tomorrow.

  44. My point @42, if it wasn’t obvious, is that the Warriors aren’t deep enough or versatile enough to match up against a team like San Antonio. Bogut, at his best, won’t make a difference. Since we’ve conceded he won’t shoot from the outside, the team won’t be able to spread the floor and draw Duncan or Splitter out. And how many teams post up low and score against San Antonio with success?

    Even the slight addition of Nate in short bursts might have made a difference—he can drive better than Jack or Curry and he can find open men. He can also drive well planned defenses crazy. But of course more is needed.

    It’s a mistake to think that Curry can carry the team, and he must have felt that way tonight. He showed the pressure and looked tight. He will play much better and the team win more if he has a full team who support him in scoring and whom he can support by feeding them or scoring himself. One thing he can do well is run off screens and find an opening. With Bogut down low along with whatever big is with him, Curry’s routes through the paint are closed.

    The team, as constructed, just can’t do much better than it has.

  45. It should be noted that Lee “not shooting well” can be directly attributed to the fact that the Warriors played 42 minutes in this game with a non-shooting center, who completely clogged the lane for Lee’s high percentage pick and rolls and isolation drives.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore?gid=2013032024

    Compare this to Lee’s recent efficient performance against the Spurs at Oracle, in which Biedrins and Ezeli combined for only 20 minutes, allowing Lee to play center much of the time with the Warriors’ version of a spread floor.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore?gid=2013022209

    This is an aspect of the Andrew Bogut myth that is not readily apparent to most fans. Bogut takes away from Lee on offense that which he does best.

    It should also be noted that Curry will struggle shooting against the Spurs, or whomever the Warriors meet in the playoffs, because he is being guarded by their best 6-6″+ wing defender. In this game, Green, Jackson and Leonard to close. Against OKC, it will be Sefalosha. Against Denver, it will be Iguodala. And all of these wing defenders will apply intense ball pressure on Curry.

    How can they get away with that? It’s because even if Curry beats these bigger players off the dribble, there will be a big man waiting for him in the lane. The big man that doesn’t have to guard Andrew Bogut.

    • Lee was missing shots on his own, with Bogut out of the lineup, and with Duncan and Splitter guarding him one on one…

      Andris Biedrins couldn’t spread the floor during We Believe, but was effective. Just stood off on the baseline – and when someone penetrated, Andris was fed. Andris man didn’t have to guard him. If Curry actually penetrated the lane, he could dish off to Bogut at the rim.

      Andrew Bogut played great in the first quarter.

      If a wing defender guards Curry, the Ws SG/SF needs to make the other team’s PG pay on the other end. Or like Steve Nash – just make Curry dribble off screens the entire shot clock!

      • Andris Biedrins was effective, but that’s completely beside the point I’m making.

        The point I AM making, is that David Lee is the best pick and roll center in the league. Except when you play him for 40 minutes alongside a non-shooting center. Then he’s a power forward dribbling into double teams at the basket. Or forced to take outside jumpers over a 7-footer who can press up, not afraid of getting beat off the dribble, because there’s another 7-footer lurking.

        There are several reasons why the Warriors have struggled for offense, particularly in fourth quarters, since Bogut was added to the lineup. Forcing Lee into a far less efficient role is chief among them.

        To state the obvious in the clearest way possible: If Bogut had played all season long, David Lee would not have been an all-star.

        Or as Don Nelson put it: “David Lee is a good power forward, but an all-star center.”

        • Great points FB.

          I do prefer David Lee and Stephen Curry picking and rolling for most of the game.

          Lee CAN whip 9 of 10 Centers in the NBA. And Lee WAS an All-Star center in New York.

          And Lee got much better when he developed his perimeter shot which was non-existetent in his early career.

          And I do see the value of a small ball PF who can spread or open the floor and entice lumbering PFs and Centers to guard the perimeter three, and away from the paint. I do wish we’d pick up one. I do agree teams that do well have that spread floor.

          Ezeli and Beans averaged say 16 and guessing 10 minutes respectively in Bogut’s absence. Was Lee ineffective playing with those two for 26 minutes?

          Did Udoh spread the floor last season for Lee? Udoh took jump shots, but wasn’t so proficient at it.

          Opening a can of worms here – Tyson Chandler won a ring and can’t spread the floor. Bogut is the more immobile version of Chandler, even when 100% healthy…

          In my opinion, a jump shot does separate Centers like Marc Gasol from Bogut.

          But playing Vlad Rad at the 4 isn’t the solution either.

          I also see Bogut’s value on the defensive end and on the boards, unlike many posters here. And he’s better offensively than beans and Ezeli – who don’t spread the floor at all.

          Perhaps the right coach can tweek the lineup enough to get the desired results.

          • Nellieball III!!!!!!!!

          • Not sure u further your cause by citing Tyson Chandler. He was a running center, playing on a Nellieball team, alongside the greatest spread four in league history. Until the inspiration of Nowitzki motivated the move of Lebron and Durant to the four. And Chandler himself is a great pick and roll man.

            The world champion Mavs were a beautifully constructed Nellieball team, right down to the three point guard crunch time lineup.

            As are the top four teams in the league right now.

            As constructed, the Warriors will have an impossible time matching up against that. Like the French army in 1939, they are built to fight the last war.

          • You’re right about Chandler! I just haven’t seen him hit much more than a free throw – spread the floor wise. I guess David Lee can just improve that perimeter shot to three point territory!

  46. More thoughts about the stats craze and the belief that size matters:

    Or—

    Finding something else to talk about when there isn’t much to talk about that hasn’t been said already:

    TV weather forecasters are the least accurate, less so than the national weather service, for example. They will predict a heavier chance of rain than the other services because they know that if they predict rain and it doesn’t happen, no one gets upset. But if they predict a low chance and it rains, their audience gets pissed off and stops watching. This from Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise, a good read.

    Something similar has happened in sports coverage and public perception of the Warriors the past decades, which we still see in these tedious and pointless debates about “small ball,” the anti-mantra of some bloggers. The Warriors were ridiculed for its rosters and play by the national media and many local fans, who called them entertaining but didn’t think they were legitimate. Bogut’s value was inflated by this perception. Yet when they finally get a big center, Bogut, everyone said the team had improved and now had hope. Their impression was complicated by the fact that the team performed well without Bogut. Wins always speak loudest in public perception.

    Lacob, of course, has bought into the small ball complex and how it is perceived by the nation and has done everything he can to counteract it. It has most influenced his decisions: most extra money and trade effort has gone into a big guy, or several. The complex stems from some deep, primitive fear, or maybe boyhood experiences on the court where we got creamed by the bigger guys.

    Thus the success of some of the Nelson teams was seen as not enough or some kind of fluke. His wins and competitive games during losing seasons when the team was sorely undermanned were just ignored. Overlooked is the fact that no talented centers were available, or couldn’t be had without gutting the team. So they made do with substitutes.

    Of course a center is important and size matters. But more and more we’re seeing that limited big guys are playing less of a role in the way the game is played. With the athleticism we’re seeing at the other positions, you can’t just dump it to the big guy and expect him to score. There are many ways to counteract his size. (How well would Kareem do today—but I’ll take him!) Also there just aren’t many truly dominant two-way centers, maybe one or two, and none on the horizon.

    A team has to build on its overall strengths and find ways to compete the way the game is played now. In short, Bogut would have been an OK acquisition—if healthy—if he didn’t suck up salary cap and he played a limited role. Feltbot has been arguing the specifics here for years.

    Silver also makes an interesting proposal. Forecasters and analysts should have a stake in their analysis. If their analysis is accurate, they are rewarded. If incorrect or inaccurate, they pay some kind of price. It would give them incentive to be better at what they do, something that doesn’t happen with the stat freaks at the Sloan conferences. They are rewarded instead when GMs, impressed by their pedigrees and arcane terms and seemingly objective models, show up and listen, maybe hire them.

    There’s a whole chapter in the book on Bob Voulgaris, a professional gambler who bets on the NBA. Voulgaris doesn’t lock himself into anything, say a statistical model. Rather, he looks at everything—coach and player interviews, the models, you name it. And he watches the games, almost all of them, on five flat screen TVs all season long. From all this he forms his best conclusions and sees how well they pay off, in his case very well.

    Any analysis has to be put in context and be intimately connected with the players and the knowledge that comes from experience. I’m listening most to Karl and the other winning coaches.

    Intelligence matters too.

    • thank you, rgg, for not surrendering to the predictable mediocrity that the lacobites seem passionate about. how many millions has the owner reaped from selling the illusion of progress and growth ? in his maiden season as owner he cited the ‘three star’ Bos model as a championship template. when they traded for bogut, it was to fill the void in the middle (created from a series of their failures to address biedrins’ steep decline) and make them a contender. as soon as barnes put up the typically inflated summer league stats he’d be marketed as a ‘future star’, based more on his ability to speak in public with full sentences and photograph well than anything he’s demonstrated on court.

      all that, and they remain at least three parts away from becoming an interesting team. the one possible change that could help in that direction would be rush’s return at his former capacity and the preacher’s willingness to open the court, combined with jack’s departure in free agency, freeing cap space for a two way veteran player. with bogut and jack in the core rotation the preacher isn’t about to break his owner’s antiquated and predictable hoops model. the center and the coach are both in their contract year next season, so worse news might be coming for us a year from now.

    • Here’s a coincidence. I just read today that Nate Silver gave Davidson (14), Steph’s alma mater and mine, a 38% chance of upsetting Marquette (3). I missed the game—work raised its ugly head—but I see that Davidson blew a good lead in the last minutes, and 5 points in 30 seconds, because of consecutive 3’s from a poor shooting team plus a costly turnover and layup in the last 5 seconds.

      We won’t see any of Davidson’s players, but this is a truly amateur team with an excellent coach. I especially liked watching Jake Cohen play, fairly good sized, gritty, intelligent, and skilled, who played well today. He also has a 3.8 average at a school stingy with A’s. An economics major—he won’t have problems earning a living elsewhere.

      Davidson has only had two other players of note, Fred Hetzel, who was drafted ahead of Rick Barry (!) and played for our San Francisco Warriors, and Dick Snyder. It looks like Hetzel had a brief, so-so career here. Snyder had a better career elsewhere, mostly Seattle and Cleveland.

      Both are slightly before my time, or the time I was interested in sports. Did anybody see them and have an opinion, especially Hetzel?

  47. As the result of Harkless giving his team extra possessions via OR’s
    and steals, and less possessions via turnovers, I’ve become intrigued by how many plus or minus possessions a player gives his team over the course of a game. Of course, turnovers have to subtracted from said totals. For now, I don’t look at blocks as sometimes they produce extra possessions, sometimes they do not.

    Last night, Harkless had 3 OR’s and 3 steals, and no turnovers, resulting in 6 extra possessions for Orlando.

    D. Lee, playing against SA had had 4 OR’s and 2 steals, and two turnovers, resulting in four extra possessions for the Warriors. No other Warriors produced more that a net plus 2 possessions for the Warriors.

    Curry, Jack, Barnes Thompson all suck playing defense and providing the Warriors with extra possessions.

    Not every player can produce net extra possessions. Both Barnes and Thompson, especially Thompson, are not able to help the Warriors separate themselves and beat good teams. The Warriors need to acquire players who can. Most players shoot between 42% and 52% from the field. Players who can consistently obtain extra possessions for the team are worth their weight in gold no matter where they fall in shooting %. That why in drafting such should be first and foremost in the minds of those drafting. The Warriors have been clueless.

    The next great coach will realize that offensive systems have to be devised the requires that offensive players don’t to go the offensive glass just 10-15% of all possessions but go 70-80% of the time. The Warriors virtually always get killed in the steal differential. This is the result of both the players they have and the lack of good defensive system.

    Bazemore is the only Warrior perimeter player who has the potential to shut down opponent players from making shots from the perimeter, and successfully taking it to the hoop.

    If given more playing time, Bazemore has the potential to produce a net plus in possessions if he sent to the offensive boards which he hasn’t been, and continues to make steals as he has shown he can do better than any other Warrior, and reduce the number of turnovers he commits. Last night he had two steals in 5 minutes of play. He also had two turnovers in some 5 minutes of play. Hopefully, is turnovers can be reduced by his not playing point guard as he did last night, and his not being given the responsibility of being a distributor.

    Jackson should have either played Jack or Curry with him and slide him over the SG or even SF. He needs to be given more playing time if the Warriors are to make the playoffs and possibly do well in the playoffs.

    Barnes and Thompson have proved to be worthless obtaining OR’s and steals, and Thompson in particular, commits too many turnovers that results in the Warriors having less possessions than they would otherwise have. Given that neither produce extra possessions in a game, and both are erratic shooters, the Warriors would be better off having Barnes and Thompson substitute for each other, and the one with the hottest hand should get the majority of playing time.

    Most posters spend too much time looking solely at someone’s shooting % in a game and not what other things they do during he course of a game,and how that connects to their shooting.

    For instance, Harkless last night was 5-13 shooting, not exactly anything to write home about, but he gave his team six extra possessions. and his team was given the opportunity to shoot six extra basket attempts. Let’s same 3 were scored. That means that at least six points would be added to the total score of the team that they otherwise would have had. And since we must credit Harkless with those extra shots, it’s the same as if he had shot 8 for 13, and obtained no extra possessions. The guys a force. That’s the type of players the Warriors need and don’t have on a regular basis, except for maybe D. Lee.

    For me, it’s a waste of time to discuss the number of defensive rebounds a player obtains, given that few defensive rebounds are contested. OR’s are the vital rebounding stat, not defensive rebounds. Who cares who gets the defensive rebound when so few are contested.

    The Warriors have potential even though they lack a defensive force in the middle, but such will requires a new way of approaching our remaining games.

    • RE: Basemore
      What I enjoyed about Basemore’s play was not only his 2 steals (1 bucket), but also how he drew 2 fouls from a very frustrated Manu Ginobili – this from a player who usually frustrates OTHER players… LOL! One of his turnovers, Jack needed to run to the ball.

      I want Basemore to get a start… Play him the whole game. See how he fares in a game with the starters… Mario Elie, Kelena Azibuke, Reggie Williams, Anthony Morrow, CJ Watson,… Basemore can be as good or better than all these guys.

  48. Last night, D.Lee scored two baskets off two of his offensive rebounds. Therefore, his providing the Warriors with additional scoring opportunities actually helped his own shooting %, but his shooting from the field was still dismal.

  49. I’m curious, amidst all this praise of small ball and Nellieball:

    How many times, in his +30 seasons, did Nelson win an NBA title?

    Oh, what the heck, let’s lower the bar to make the debate fair: how many times did Nelson simply get to the NBA finals? What’s his winning percentage, compared to Jerry Sloan, Phil Jackson, George Karl… Coaches who have used half-court sets for over 20 years? How does the innovator of Nellieball stack up against innovators of traditional basketball?

    I cannot fathom where this canonization of Don Nelson is coming from. The man coached the game like a gambler going all in on every hand. You can’t win a title by shooting 40 three’s a night. It just doesn’t happen.

    As far as the Lee playing center quote, Nelson wouldn’t know a great big man if it bit him in the face. The guy had Dirk Nowitski – who, spoiler alert, NEVER developed a post game (or won a title) while Nelson was there – and despite coaching more games than 99% of others, couldn’t find a single other big man worth feeding the ball to! Even Terry Cummings deferred to his guards, despite being the overall best scorer on those Bucks teams!

    Don Nelson is a rambling old goon. If he were such a great head coach, how come the Boston Celtics – the team he always DIED to coach for – never wanted him there. If he was such a disciple of Red Aurebach, don’t you think the Celts would have tapped him after one of his many firings from other organizations?

    I dunno what the problem is here. The Warriors are a 6th seed in the playoffs. What’s with the forlorn cries of dismay?

    • @32 You REALLY like to open up the can of worms, don’t you! LOL!

      I’m a hybrid.

      I like having a spread four as an option to open up the floor and play small sometimes.

      I like having a big man as an option – like Bogut and Ezeli – for their defense, rim protection, and rebounding…

      Six-seed is sweet, but posters here have great points regarding questioning some of Lacob’s/Myers’ choices…

      I like the “trade” – but Bogut’s still not 100%, Ezeli’s a monster, Jackson’s chosen not to play Jefferson, and am unsure how Barnes (tank) is going to turn out…

    • Nelson was offered the head coaching gig in Bos, and if you’re not interested in verifying your suppositions, it does not make your opinions derived therefrom very convincing. he turned down the offer, out of loyalty to the owners who gave him opportunities both in Mil and oaktown.

      from my p.o.v., the team and its owner are hardly worth the emotional energy of ‘forlorn cries’.

      • I’ve heard Nellie tell that version moto. Honestly have not others tell it.

        Do you have another source other than Nells?

      • Hahaha, I can see my views have obviously struck a nerve with some of you…

        As scotch pointed out, regarding the Celtics job, I’ve heard Nelson himself claim this was the case, moto, and I find it laughable since Nelson was a famed BS artist. If you can provide a credible source for your assertion, then be my guest to disprove the reality (that Nelson was never offered a coaching gig in Boston). Again, Nelson in and of himself is not credible because he’s spent his entire career as a liar – ESPECIALLY during draft season.

        You can attack me all you’d like; what I said about Nelson is undeniable fact. He’s never coached an NBA team to the Finals and he’s been an NBA coach for 30 years. The Nowitski injury creates a hypothetical situation that can be argued back and forth to no end and I have no interest entertaining the subject against a crowd that clearly endorses the innovator of 6’7″ centers. The facts, as history has crafted them, state that Nelson is without a title and without a finals appearance.

        As far as the Lacob/Myers issues listed by Frank, I have to say: Harkless is getting an awful lot of garbage time on a lottery team (one could argue that Barnes would be putting up similar, or superior, numbers given the same situation). Leonard is a better player than Thompson but the Warriors didn’t strike out by selecting KT and several other teams passed on Leonard as well (you gotta credit the Spurs’ scouting team as the best in basketball). Ultimately the bottom line is that Thompson was selected at #11… Are there 11 better players from that draft than him? If you believe so, i’d love to hear them. The Biedrins amnesty was a huge blunder, but the feeling at the time was that he’d regain some of his trade value for a potential deal – not to mention, he’ll have great value next year (along with Jefferson) as an expirer. Jefferson is not a player I think extremely highly of. I loved him earlier in his career, but most athletic wings who live on the drive evolve into stand-still shooters that play decent defense (Michael Finley, Jason Richardson, etc). Jefferson is handy in spurts, but I ‘d rather groom our young wings (Barnes and Green) than commit minutes to a 15-year vet on his last leg.

  50. 32: You are asking the wrong question.

    You should be asking if Nelson got the most of the teams he coached. The answer is a resounding “yes.”

    Nellie although known for being an innovative offense, coaching Dallas, he had the best defense in the NBA ,and would have, in my humble opinion, gone on to win an NBA championship, but for Nowinski sustaining an injury in the playoffs.

    Obviously you are not aware that Nellie has said that Red Auerbach offered him the Boston Celtics head coaching position, and that he had to turn it down because he was under contract to the Bucks. Aurebach knew great basketball minds.

    The dismay is that the Warriors made a bad trade, could have drafted K. Leonard over Thompson, did not use amnesty of Biedrins, and if they amnestied Biedrins, could have traded Thompson for Harden. they should have also drafted Harkless over Barnes. Expect for those minor things, they have done a good job.

    • If they had amnestied Biedrins, they may have also had a shot at offering a max contract to Tyson Chandler (I could deal with) or a higher offer for DeAndre Jordan (I couldn’t deal with). LOL! The W’s might have also drafted Andre Drummond – with Festus Ezeli – the best young Center tandem in the NBA…

  51. Portland beat Chicago—this is embarrassing.

    • Chi has had problems scoring all season long. something the coach can only do so much to fix ; to give thibodeaux credit, he did have them pass very effectively against the woeyr zone/quasi zone. unlike the game in oaktown, the Chi guards incl. hinrich shot very poorly. if the Por front office had provided a decent bench for their coach, they’d be competing with the purple gang for the butt end of the playoff berths. we could see considerably different competition in the west next season if Por, Min, LA-L re-tune or recover their injured over the summer.

      • Portland will also have a lot of money to spend without getting into cap problems for years, if they want to spend it:

        http://www.hoopsworld.com/portland-trail-blazers-team-salary/

        Hickson has served them very well. Will he draw a big salary next year?

        • there’s a decent discussion on portlandroundballsociety.com whether their team is stuck in the league’s mediocre middle with a ceiling of one or two rounds of the post season. part of it is of course the loss of one, potentially two, impact stars with roy and oden, and the unlikelihood of gaining another high lottery pick as long as they continue their modest success.

          what a lot of fans around here suppress, because lacob continued the tradition of miserable hoops his first two seasons (convenient excuses in abundance of course) and the team now appears ready to join the .50 of the league that gets to the post season, is how the team isn’t constructed or designed for any significant improvement other than lacob’s profits. there’s no owner here willing to overcome missteps(or even rush’s injury) with extra $$ like cuban or buss, no creativity in building the roster, since lacob installed yes-massa suits and his son in the front office.

          most n.b.a. fans face the reality that their home team has very little chance of getting to the conference finals or beyond, so accepting the team’s modest ceiling in itself isn’t difficult. the team though plays with such an ambivalence and indecisiveness that it simply fails to entertain me for much of the time. there’s little reason for me to think much will change as long as the owner dominates his front office and coaching staff.

          • The best way to build a playoff contending team may be to not try to build a playoff contending team.

          • rgg, not sure what you’re trying to say there.

            moto, I think you nailed it. An owner can choose to build a team and organization to maximize wins, or he can choose not to. There are compelling short-term financial reasons not to. In our area, a team that is just interesting and promising enough to max out Oracle Arena probably really is the “sweet spot” for the Warriors investment. Beyond that, adding more costs to improve the team’s record increases the financial risk dramatically. It doesn’t immediately improve the team’s payback potential to the same degree. In the short term.

            In the longer view, teams with a longstanding winning record have revenue opportunities that are simply not there for bad or mediocre teams. For winners, ticket prices, advertising, sponsorships, co-marketing dollars and TV revenue increase over time and stay at a high level, not varying much season-by-season. All told, the Lakers earn roughly 10x what the Warriors bring in, and even a ho-hum season like this year’s doesn’t affect their income much. Oh yeah, arena deals and tax breaks come easier too, because the team has more leverage with voters.

            It may not be entirely fair to compare the Ws with the Lackers, but while the Lakers are in a bigger market, their market is one with more sports and entertainment alternatives, too. The bottom line is that they’ve been winners for a very long time, and that pays. In the long term. Lacob presumably knows that from his experience with Boston.

            Lacob may come around to that POV sooner or later, but the behind-the-scenes organization needed to capitalize on the opportunities the way the Lakers have takes years to build. Starting with Cohan’s low-budget mom-and-pop operation – and a team with a HORRIBLE reputation – it’s no surprise that it’s taking Lacob a while. He’s had enough time now to move it into high gear, though. Let’s hope he sees it that way too. It’s time to make the team a winner. Damn the torpedoes.

          • As we look at Lacob’s business schemes and marketing schemes and his desire to win and his supposed strategy to achieve it (remember when he pointed to the lonely title banner at Oracle years ago?), my greatest concern is that Lacob, in this post-McLuhanesque age, believes all three are related, or, worse, he cannot tell the difference. Marketing is the message is a winning team. The evidence is abundant here. Promote Barnes as a star and he will become one.

            But we have every reason to believe he seriously wants to win so he can increase his prestige around the world. Like so many, however, he doesn’t believe he can do this without getting that transcendent player, without accomplishing the master stroke that has his imprint on it, so he bided his time for years until he could finally do it, and we got—

            He’s like so many other owners, trying for that top player who will supposedly put them over the top at the expense of team integrity and depth and salary strength and flexibility and a future. Look at the Lakers. The Knicks may well slide out the first or second round. Imagine what Houston would have been like had they got Howard instead of Harden. Look at what happened to Dallas when they lost the free agent sweepstakes. Etc.

            Which is what I meant that trying to build a top team is the worst way to build a winning team now and in the future. And he didn’t need to bring in a star to pack Oracle.

            Instead of bringing in good, affordable players to build the depth and versatility the team needed the first year, who might be paying off now, he held off.

            OK, he brought in Lou Amundson to improve “defense.” And Lin.

            The second year, instead of going for any of a variety of sizable, affordable players who would really be paying off now, he put all his efforts into centers, all of whom who were unobtainable (Chandler doesn’t come here for max bucks. MSQ is too attractive and the owner doesn’t mind spending bucks). He had no plan B. He brought in instead a placeholder in Kwame Brown so he could make his master stroke the next year.

            And we know how Kwame worked out.

            So he waited again, and by stalling he backed himself into a corner and had to do something after the embarrassment of tanking, so he make his master stroke—

            Andrew Bogut

            In a deal that locked just under a third of the salary cap, that has made development impossible this year and next. I believe enough has been said here for a while, however.

            Give him credit for keeping Lee and gambling with Curry and backing Thompson, all no brainers, though I’d be happier in Thompson’s case if he weren’t carrying such a heavy load under such heavy expectations.

            Portland, I see, just beat Atlanta. A couple of good bench players on that team, and we’d be running neck and neck now, at the least.

            Also Lacob suffers from the small ball complex (see above), which is the only way to account for Biedrins.

            Oh, I dunno. This has great entertainment value:

  52. Interesting snippet from Zach Lowe’s recent Grantland article…

    Which teams are best at using particular offensive plays to finish possessions. In other words, everyone runs a bunch of pick-and-rolls, but which teams most often gain an advantage via the pick-and-roll that actually leads to a shot — and not the resetting of the offense for some other action?

    Golden State, for instance, runs relatively few pick-and-rolls in raw terms, but a whopping 67 percent of those pick-and-rolls start a cascade of events that lead to the end of a possession — the highest “conversion” rate in the league.

    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/55110/the-sportvu-follow-up-answering-the-most-common-questions-and-more-ghost-players

    This probably lends itself very nicely to the Curry/Lee pnr theory. Being first in the league at completing possessions out of the pick and roll is pretty amazing and a real credit to dubs ball handlers… primarily Steph. I personally would be very interested in the points-per-possession data of this 67% of the pnr possessions. I am guessing it to be pretty effective.

  53. I don’t follow the point of this, but it’s about David Lee’s and the W’s defense… LOL!

    http://wagesofwins.com/2013/03/22/its-not-david-lees-fault-the-warriors-lack-defense/

  54. The article indicates that the Warriors had the fourth worse defense last year. It does not point out that in the eight games that Udoh started or played substantial minutes the Warriors had the best defense in the NBA. Udoh and D.Lee were terrific together. Bogut and D. Lee are middle of the pack this year.

    I saw a lot promise from the Warriors in the SA game.

    They went toe to toe with SA till the end and would not have lost except for D. Lee, Curry, and Thompson not shooting particularly well.

    Even though Bogut is barely serviceable, the Warriors have the horses to be very successful. The team is deep, but the Warriors are a joke in their utilization of players.

    Still major problems with the Jackson’s rotation. Pulling players who are hot is just plain stupid, and not getting the ball to players who are hot is equally stupid. The misuse and lack of playing time for Landry, Bazemore and Jefferson, and overplaying Thompson who has shot poorly in three of his last four games is equally stupid, as is Jackson not reducing the number of shots he takes. it’s ridiculous that Jefferson is not allowed to drive or shoot very much. He has both court awareness and what to do on the court. Defensively, Barnes is lost puppy.

    Barnes and Thompson being on the court at the same time hampers the Warriors chance of being successful.

    Unfortunately, Jackson is tunneled vision and sees neither the forest nor the trees.

  55. The Warriors have chance to be quite good if jack, Curry, D. Lee, and bazemore get the most playing time followed by Landry, Bogut, jefferson , Thompson and Barnes. The Warriors simply not break 100 points with Thompson taking and missing so many shots.thompson shots should go Landry and others.

    Bazemore needs to be told not to stand so erect on defense and how to get in a triple threat position on both sides of the ball and be careful not to make needless fouls. And to take many shots unless on. I would play him at SF on offense and crash the offensive boards as much as possible,
    He should be put in the position to block shots on drives and make steals. If given 30 minutes of play, he should be able to provide the Warriosrs with 6 additional possessions much like Harkess provides the Magic .and he should’ve have manY TO’s if he is told to avoid, if possible, distributing the ball. The warriors need to have antheleric player with skills on the court most of the game. We know Barnes is not that guy. At least, not now,

    Speaking of Harkless. He had another off the chart night playing against the Thunder. In 42 minutes of play, he had 3or’s, 6 dr’s 4 steals, 4 blocked shots, and only 2 TO’s. And he shot 11-18 from the field. A star on the rise.

  56. Misc. notes:

    1. Gasol is back, though apparently without great effect. Lakers lost to Washington. I thought he was supposed to be out much longer. So I guess we see him Monday?

    2. For Milwaukee/Ellis watchers, Jennings is putting up some bizarre numbers, 1 for 15 tonight.

    3. Come to think of it, we never saw Steph and Nate play together. That would have been interesting, in fact it would have been a hoot. Think Nate could guard Wall?

  57. Jim Barnett. Interesting talk about the Denver Nuggets 30-3 record at home, the streak, and that they are below .500 on the road… Hmmm. Partly due to the altitude adjustment? Playoff teams will get adjusted in 4-5 days in Denver as opposed to a midnight flight in on the end of a back to back…

  58. one of lacob’s minority owners wants to join the partnership trying to keep Sac in Sac. a southbay software tycoon, Randive, would sell his stake in the woeyrs should their bid succeed. stern and the league essentially want a bidding war to set the highest possible price on the franchise, as Randive threw his hat into the ring when stern demanded more from the Sac partnership if they wanted to be heard.

    a strong ownership and well run team in Sac could provide stimulating competition for the northern calif market. the new owners, whether in Sea or Sac, need to significantly shake down everything with the hoops operation, and a team in transition like the woeyrs with their modest ceiling should see stiffer competition than this year’s, if not from Sac then Por or Min.

    • Isn’t this the same Ranadivé who received recognition in a Gladwell piece in The New Yorker years back for his success in coaching his daughter’s basketball team? I think they went on to some kind of championship. The girls weren’t especially athletic or talented in the sport, so he broke the game up into discrete behaviors they could learn and perform, that did not rely on the more difficult basketball basketball skills, such as shooting. My impression is that he taught them organized harassment.

      A reader in the letters page, however, noted that what he taught them was not basketball and that it was not difficult to rattle their 12 year-old opponents, little girls who did have talent but at that age still hadn’t developed mental toughness. His coaching got wins, but disrupted the development of those girls who showed a genuine interest in the game.

      I am reminded of the way our owner, Lacob, thinks about the game and the ways he has tried to put his imprint on the team in terms of defense and toughness. Is this how venture capitalists think and see the world? The Warriors’ opponents, however, are not 12 year-old girls but fully developed men, who do not rattle easily. We have been discussing for some time how successful his approach has been.

      So is this the game VC’s play, who can own a franchise and run it? If Ranadivé pulls out, will it upset Lacob’s financial fortress?

      I’m surprised we haven’t heard from Larry Ellison in the Sacramento shuffle.

      I am also concerned about our stats mavens, such as Gladwell, who have reduced life—sports, for example—to a series of predictable and manageable results without much understanding or appreciation for the arts they are trying to manipulate.

      • Randive won’t be taking a loss when he sells his part of GS to the other partners — he might have to miss the sweet spot of their projected growth curve (the shill lacob can use to re-sell Randive’s shares of course), but by playing along with inflating the value of Sac, he’s increasing the value of other small or mid market teams including lacob’s.

        from what we’ve observed, lacob feels pretty secure in his superficial/conventional understanding of hoops combined with his confidence in his mastery of markets, group dynamics, and choosing the execs and managers beneath him. owners who’ve been excluded from the elite handful of teams (winners of about .80 of the championships in the past thirty years or so) probably think there will be some new teams at the top in the near future, OK the obvious example, as SA and Bos face the aging of their future hall of fame stars. the left-behind owners futilely tried to level the playing surface at the last c.b.a. lockdown, but someone like lacob only needs a small pinch of plausibility to sell that championship vision.

        the analytics applied to players (always put in context to their contract costs) still on the rise is another front to the same campaign contested in the labor impasse — finding means to reduce the players to units of production with a rational basis to their market value. the elite players know full well already they won’t reap their true market value, and duncan or james accept even below the allowable maximum because they favor a particular city, roster of ‘mates, and/or coach. the execs can attempt to rationally fix and calibrate the value of players, but if free agents see the range of offers getting constricted by the ‘rationalization’ of the market, why wouldn’t they make their choice of employment hinge on the other things ? they’re likely to gravitate to the same favored cities and not to the Sacs, Cles, Inds, and be skeptical of GS, irrelevant since the cold war era.

  59. Warriors should run Wash out of the arena. Good game to bet.

  60. (Washington)

    The refs had a hair trigger, or one did, which may have made the difference. Curry’s ankle aside, this was a greatly disappointing game. They can’t score with Curry off the floor. Can Jack not push the tempo or are they not trying to push the tempo, or both? The half court sets aren’t working, especially with the second unit. And I’m with you, Frank, try to get Bazemore going, maybe let the offense run through him and see if he can push the pace, certainly with the second unit, when they had a big lead. That unit isn’t scoring or really playing defense that well. It may be too late for this, though, as they close out the season?

    I guess they’re trying out other players, but moving away from Lee, especially on the pick and roll, is just a mistake and a loss.

    Curry tweaked his ankle in the Spurs game—was he wearing a brace tonight because of that?

    • With Curry’s sprain, the ankle “brace” sure didn’t brace much! I’m surprised there was so much movement in that ankle tweak…

      When I played football and severely sprained my ankle, I had it taped up every day so it couldn’t move much (probably risk hurting a knee or something else when one does this). As a lineman, I didn’t need it to move much… NBA point guards probably need more flexibility in the ankle.

      • bloodsweatndonuts

        I wonder if they intentionally slow it down with that lineup in the game treating it almost like a penalty kill to rest the good players. That lineup is as fun to watch as Bill Mussleman’s inaugural Minnasota Timberwolves.

  61. I take my eye off Curry for one game, and this happens.

    • It’s your fault.

      Curry was able to walk off and put some weight on the ankle, but the roll didn’t look like it had as much provocation as others. I guess we’ll find out.

      But, while he’s out, now there’s no one who can push the tempo, not even a prospect to bring along.

  62. JOHN WALL: “Calls weren’t going our way. They got a little too physical. We had some words back and forth and I got my second tech. …”

    Klay Thompson getting too physical? What’s the world coming too! LOL!

    I liked how immediately after the Wall ejection, Klay took it strong to the hoop for once on Okafor and drawing the hard foul… Once Klay decides to drive the lane to go hard at the rim a few times per game (he can do this at will) with intentions to draw contact, the effectiveness of his game will be elevate. If not…

  63. Curry expects to play Monday against the Lakers:

    “I’m fine. Don’t worry about my ankle, I’ll get through it like I usually do,” he said, according to ESPN.com. “I have to get my treatment and get ready for Monday.”

    • Well, now his status is uncertain. It will be a game time decision.

      I’m divided. I think I would sacrifice three rounds in the playoffs just to see them beat the Lakers tonight. Obviously pushing him now would be stupid.

  64. Chi, hanging on to the sixth position like the woeyrs, but within 2.5 games of fourth, won on the road without Noah playing, in no small part thanks to nate robinson.

  65. @52 rgg,

    Your arguments about team building always seem to start with the assumption that the Warriors are required to stay under or near the league salary cap. It is not a requirement. That’s clearly demonstrated by LA, Miami and others.

    Owners/GMs may choose to exceed the cap. A mad-dog-fan owner (Cuban, once) may do so simply to win. A business-driven owner (Jerry Buss?) may choose to exceed the cap for business reasons – winners have far more earning potential than losers. Winning teams also have more leverage with local governments and voters, something that is vitally important to Lacob at the moment.

    The NBA salary cap is an artifice. The owners themselves invented it and control its terms. The purported justification for the cap was to level the playing field between small and large-market teams. It may or may not do that, but it absolutely does provide owners with an excuse to limit their player payroll, if they choose to. It “restricts” an owner only if he chooses to hide behind the excuse the owners created for themselves.

    This is a No Excuses team, right? I say let’s not let Lacob make excuses. His new SF arena would increase the resale value of his Warriors by something in the neighborhood of $1 Billion. We need Jarrett Jack? That might cost how many pennies? Pay the money, cheapskate.

    You want that new arena, Joe? We want a winner. Pony up. No excuses.

    • Well, it isn’t required, but it seems to be a sticking point for Lacob. The new taxes, I understand, are steep and have consequences later. But the old taxes weren’t, and he didn’t budge when they could have used some more, affordable players.

      Obviously:

      1. Lacob thinks he HAS built a good team.

      or

      2. It’s not a high priority on his list.

      So here, as elsewhere in our idle speculations, we have to live with Lacob’s terms.

      But I wonder how many hundreds of thousands he has spent on the new arena, consulting, design, legal work, etc. And I predict it will be wasted. SF will shoot this one down.

      I have an idea. Maybe he could put miniature models of the proposed arena in one of those bubbles you shake and snow falls and swirls. But instead of snow they could use confetti. I bet that would sell a zillion.

      • Let’s just say winning isn’t the be-all for Lacob. He’s a businessman. To the extent that winning will impact his bottom line, he’s for winning.

        To the extent that investing in PR can save Lacob money on an investment in payroll, he’s for PR instead.

        The Lackers would have no problem moving to SF or anywhere else.

        Miami wants to relocate to San Jose? YESYESYES!!! WHATEVER IT TAKES!!!!! PLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASE allow us to build you a new arena!!!!!!!!!!

        But then there’s the Warriors. You want us to host a so-so Warriors team? We’re the beloved San Francisco, home of World Champions! The City has to spend how much, exactly? And you’re going to be… no better than middlin’… for how long exactly? Let’s think about that… Maybe the voters want a say… You’re not going to put me in a photo with that skirt-chaser… I hear the Kings are up for play…

        Lacob’s challenge in a nutshell: gamble (build a winning roster) and maybe win. Don’t gamble, don’t win.

      • Lacob has already spent millions on the (possible) new arena. A snow globe with worldwide distribution (!) would have cost far less. Jarrett Jack’s next contract will cost less.

        • I like that snow globe idea a lot! If Lacob doesn’t assemble a winning team soon, in 10 years it could be the only historical remnant of his SF arena!

    • lacob’s ‘investment’ in his new ziggurat deal could easily end up the reason he will not improve the roster over the summer. he could very well let jack depart, with every $ of that salary incurring another $ of lux tax. without a miraculous off-load of one of the vets, they’re over the tax line without jack’s contract — vets with raises coming include jefferson, bogut, lee, curry’s new deal starts about $6m. higher than this year’s, with smaller rookie deal raises going to barnes, thompson, ezeli.

      we already know what to expect from marketing, how bogut and this year’s rookies will contribute more. they’ll reach the postseason without any significant roster supplements after losing rush, right ? prepare for more boring hype for barnes and bogut, more boring, timid hoops from malone and the preacher.

      • How pessimistic, moto.

        Lacob’s business focus is my best hope for the Warriors to be a truly competitive team anytime soon. He needs the team to win. He fails to acquire his new gift (arena) if they don’t.

        Contrast Lacob’s goals to Cohan’s.

        Cohan’s goal was to turn an annual operating profit. He didn’t need to sell to anyone except diehard basketball fans who would fill his huge arena year after year despite his offering nothing more than low-budget teams.

        Lacob needs widespread voter approval to acquire his new gift. He can’t get that without flooring a widely recognized winner.

        That’s how it looks to me, anyway. I could be wrong, of course. It wouldn’t be the first time I misread things. It also wouldn’t be the first time I saw a hugely successful person make an inconceivably asinine mistake that cost him his whole stake.

        I don’t think Lacob is dumb. He needs a winner. I think he knows that.

        • We know Lacob is a lousy GM. Do we know, in fact, that he is that good at what he does, making money?

          If the SF arena goes down, he’ll have squandered—millions?—and he’ll have to try again and spend more. (I like my idea @58.)

          If it is approved, will he be able to recoup the expense of construction and cost overruns and generate enough profit to keep it going and pay off bills?

          The only thing he has going for him is that NBA franchises have appreciated substantially, and will continue to do so no matter what he does. Although that happens to be quite a lot.

          But how much money might he have made had he put his efforts into building a winning team and saved money by staying at Oracle, at least for the time being? Would the franchise have appreciated less in this case?

          I suspect, Mr. Hat, you’re giving him too much credit.

          • “Do we know, in fact, that he is that good at what he does, making money?”

            Yes. We do know that about Joe Lacob. If we were that smart about money we’d be that rich. It’s a flatly quantifiable measure. We’re not as smart as him that way.

            From the outside, where we are, what’s not in question is Joe Lacob’s list of options. He can play Cohan, he can play Da Playah, or he can fail to make the Warriors a viable business and get his ass fired.

            Maybe there are other alternatives. I’m not all that smart, so may be I’m just missing a whole pile of other alternatives Lacob could explore. But right this moment, knowing for fact what I do in fact know for fact, Joe Lacob needs a winning team to achieve his stated business goals.

            I suppose I could be mistaken, but that’s my bet anyway.

          • Let me rephrase my question: How do we know he is good at making money running an NBA franchise? I’m sure he didn’t make his bucks by hiring family and neophytes and having his employees run around in yellow pajamas.

            No, he’s made his bucks. I fear the Warriors are a personal project.

            I am curious what we might have had with Ellison. We’d probably just be singing different blues, but I suspect he would have hired competent people.

        • the inherent problem with having the hoops operation chiefs (not the bidness chief who independently established himself in Phx) attaining their positions solely as lacob’s creations, they’re more likely to believe their own hype. they could convince themselves the team will be stronger next season without any significant boost to the roster, and by next summer the ledger for talent turns a heavy page.

          if they had to operate efficiently like other mid market teams, losing jack would not necessarily cost them wins. good reserve guards do not have to cost $5m.+ tax. what the owner might need to confront next season, is how his team’s coaching doesn’t measure up to other middle market/middling successful teams like Den, Ind(though failing to sell seats), Hou, Por. will he see past the hype about the this season’s ‘coach of the year’ candidate ? as far as his empire-building dreams, in the near term lacob only needs another season of modest success

          • Moto,

            A fair concern: how can we trust a self-congratulatory-sounding organization? If they think they’re being honest with us about their prospects for winning they believe nonsense, and they’re fools.

            If they’re not being honest, how could we possibly trust them? They’re liars.

            They’re fools or they’re liars.

            They’re liars.

            They don’t use that word. They call it Public Relations/Image Management/Promotions. As long as what they’re saying isn’t (quite) illegal, that’s just good biz.

            Don’t ignore the hype, but recognize it for what it is. Lacob cannot be fooled by the output of his minions. He’s smarter than that. Provably.

            Regardless of the noise his organization blats into the blogosphere, the wonderful clarity of sports is that ball don’t lie. The W/L record isn’t subject to PR massage. Win/Lose, either/or. Win. Or Lose.

            Hey Joe Lacob, lissen up! Want that San Francisco arena? Tell us why we should give it to you.

            Correct that:

            Show us.

  66. I’m still out for the Lakers game. Trapped in LA. Might be able to catch second half.

  67. Incidentally, during the Spurs game at San Antonio, weren’t there boos from the crowd when Jefferson entered the game? I really doubt it was disappointment because he left.

    I like Jefferson, or want to like him, but he’s not showing much. I wonder how much he was studied when they made the trade.

    • rgg, I think the Jefferson acquisition was driven primarily by the Warriors’ aversion to letting Stephen Jackson anywhere near their locker room. They kept Jackson roughly 2000 miles away by trading for Jefferson, and they got a draft choice in addition. That draft pick turned into Ezeli or Green, I forget which.

      Unfortunately, the Warriors’ first draft pick turned into Harrison Barnes, who takes playing time from Jefferson. Here’s why that’s unfortunate (from 82games.com):

      Net points, Barnes vs. his opponents: -12

      And yet the Warriors, having tanked for 1/2 a season to get him, feel they must start Barnes.

      Jefferson is not an Wow player. He is, however, a perfectly capable small forward, a former starter in the best (regular season) team in the league, a top-20 3-point shooter (last year), a very good rebounder and a solid citizen. And he plays defense better than Barnes even tries to play defense.

      Without having his number called, Jefferson scores. Without being “motivated” by his coaches, he plays D.

      I totally respect Richard Jefferson, and wish the Ws would take advantage of the professionalism and sheer ability he brings to the team. They don’t. Not Richard Jefferson’s fault. Good for him that he has such an awesome contract. It must help his philosophical mindset as he watches Harrison Barnes wander aimlessly around the court.

      • Sure. Which tells us a lot about the deal, that and the fact that they took a contract with Jackson they didn’t want and would have to unload. But Jefferson just looks gun shy. He passes up shots all the time. And his performance at San Antonio was mediocre.

      • nice to see your ‘against the tide’ views over on lauridsen’s site. on the other ‘homer’ blog, g.s.o.m., the logo is quoted off the record as praising barnes highly and criticizing how the preacher plays him and coaches.

        • Thanks, mot0, that’s another interesting Q: How much of his personal legacy asset would Jerry West choose to sell off at this exact moment in time, and for what amount?

          A personal note to Jerry West:

          Jerry. Dude. I admire you beyond comprehension. Call it love even. That works. Really. I’ve loved wives less. Please don’t sell off your legacy piece by piece. I mean, c’mon. Harrison Barnes? Please.

        • As I remember, and I can’t track it down, West had reservations about Barnes, maybe before he was drafted. He said something about athleticism needing to be translated into actual basketball play.

          West isn’t going to criticize the organization or its choices. He has no reason to do so.

          It wasn’t a particularly good draft. Barnes may turn into an OK player yet, and in the old days would have been treated as such, spending time in the 2nd. unit and bench until he proves himself.

          Will it be a good draft next year? I can’t watch college basketball anymore, which is just a muddle now with all the hype and one ‘n dones.

          Anybody scouting Florida Gulf Coast?

          • Jerry, bless him, is currently paid (extremely well) by the Warriors to share his credibility with them. In his role as a credibility provider, pissing off his employer is seriously contraindicated. What that means to fans: Caveat emptor.

            More accurately in today’s marketing environment, dim praise from West means “read between the lines.” If he says ” he’s decent,” that’s no endorsement.

          • I agree with Hat 100% on this. West is in an extremely political position (as is Myers). I feel like I’ve gleaned a lot reading between West’s lines.

          • West in his interview after the draft didn’t look happy about Harrison Barnes’ selection IMO. I knew he liked Waiters from an early interview but he was gone. West was quiet pre-draft unlike Klay Thompson’s draft year where he openly spoke his mind to all. Drummond? Ross? Who knows who West liked?

  68. I get to fantasize, and in my dream our new owner, while Lacob wastes away in debtor’s prison (he and others like him make me want to revive that institution), frees Rick Carlisle from Cuban (who goes overboard and makes his exit desirable) and gives him independence. The Warriors would show dramatic improvement in a year.

  69. What a great job on Howard—

    —by Curry. Curry got in position in front of Howard for a defensive board and drew a foul. Curry drove against Howard on offense and drew a foul. Don’t tell me Bogut made a difference in this game. He passed up shots under the basket, one nearly uncontested. Howard was equally ineffective against any unit they had in. And the offense is much crisper running through Lee and Curry—they made a fool out of Howard on one pick and roll. I’m not impressed with Bogut’s assists at all.

    WHY ON EARTH didn’t Jackson give Curry some rest 2nd. half when they had a 20+ lead? Curry was tanked down the stretch, and it showed in his shooting.

    I really don’t want to hear about superior defense. The Lakers had plenty of open looks and didn’t hit.

    Does D’Antoni not know what to do with Gasol? He can’t work something out with a Howard/Gasol front court?

    But I’m not going to complain about a win against the Lakers.

    Jack and Lee, of course.

    Game ball to Curry.

  70. FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

    Frank- Why is it that you only pound your chest when Moe Harkless has a good game. Three of his last four games he has shot miserably 3-15, 4-12, 5-13 that is 30% but you only mention the good one.

    • Lol! Frank is right – Moe’s a great pick. If the draft were re-done today, he goes high lottery.

      Drummond IMHO is the third best player in this draft. And Myers and Lacob SAW him in a personal workout in NY and PASSED on an 18 year old 7 footer with monster athleticism!!! Go figure.

      Harrison Barnes was the safer name, and I wasn’t displeased pre-draft to even get Barnes. All I can say is he ain’t a bust, yet! Lol!

      Passing on Drummond reminds me of when the Ws passed on teenager Amare Stoudamire to draft the safer “good” player in Dunleavy. I mean, don’t NBA executives watch the McDonald’s All-Star Game? If you watched that game, NO WAY you can pass on an 18 year old 7 footer with athleticism in Stoudamire…

  71. Great win last night! Jackson finally came up with the perfect strategy against the oldest and most beat-up team in the league: runrunrun. Almost a D’Antoni strategy.

    I wonder if that’s a game strategy that can win a playoff series, though. Only 8 Ws saw significant playing time, and the toll showed in the 4th. Kobe never thought his team was out of the game, and he was right. He almost single-handedly salvaged a win in the end against an exhausted Warriors team.

    A win is a win, and one against the Lackers is always super-sweet. But unless the Ws can rely on their bench more, it could be a short playoff season for them. Especially if they emphasize early offense. Fresh legs help.

    Other notes on last night: Bogut doesn’t have any lift yet, or the mobility we saw earlier in his career. His bum wheel still hampers his game. Despite that, he did some nice things to contain Howard. It was fun watching the Battle of the Titans. Bogut is a smart player.

    The early-O attack helped solve the Lee/Bogut conundrum. Lee got to play his game without Bogut for the first 10-15 secs of every shot clock.

    Klay! Dude! Great D on Kobe for 3 quarters. Klay was totally gassed in the 4th, though, and it showed. Chasing Bryant will do that to a feller. As will lining up against RonRon on offense.

    Despite their early-offense push, the Warriors had only half as many fast break points as the Lackers. What’s up with that? No one leaking downcourt? Need work on outlet passes? Add a couple more fast breaks and the Lackers don’t threaten at the end.

    Ezeli’s raw strength is impressive! Saw him one-hand Kobe to the floor last night, something very few people can do to Bryant. There’s a place in the league for a defensive thug. If he can refine his offensive game, he could be awesome.

    • at this point we should not expect the preacher to embrace an open court offense and faster tempo. the team’s pace is in the league’s upper tier, but they don’t produce the points in the paint and still heavily depend on perimeter shooting as we all know. we can only wait to see what rush’s return might change, because the coach was more willing to green light the second unit with that player.

      the marked improvement in defensive rebounding this season is largely due to the production from the guards and wings who’d also provide the impetus in an open court game. they won’t be seeing more boards from lee, so unless bogut or another wing besides thompson boosts their defensive rebounding, curry and thompson will still have to limit their break outs to contribute on the boards.

      • Moto, I guess you’re right. The emphasis on guards rebounding must be why we don’t get many fast break points. As you say, it probably can’t change until all the bigs can contribute better on the boards.

        • curry and thompson, rebound numbers this season — five or more in a game, thirty times for curry, 24 for thompson, of which 7+ in a game were reached nine times for curry, thirteen for thompson.

          curry’s rebounding this season is the element that puts him among the all time elite for maintaining benchmark season averages for points, assists, rebounds. wade and james are among the few active players who’ve sustained them, and most if not every retired player who have done so is in the h.o.f.

          • In the 4th quarter, W’s went into run the shot clock down mode/half court sets as they were up over 20 points – which killed their offense. If the Lakers had shot better at the end,…

            I don’t have any expectations in the playoffs… Just getting there is a huge step.

            Off-season re-sign Jack and get Rush healthy. Landry likely gone. Or trade an expiring contract (hopefully not for bad long-term money) to a rebuilding team.

            See how this team will gel together with more time. San Antonio is special because they’re good, but also because they’ve been together for so many years…

          • PB, and next year:

            Landry has provided decent service. If we lose him and don’t pick up someone else, Lee will have to play 46 minutes a game. Same for Curry, if Rush doesn’t return to form.

            But there should be a push from below next year. I don’t know about Utah, but everyone else is in a position to get better. I assume Minnesota will have healthy players, and who knows what the Lakers might finally pull together?

            The eighth spot will be a struggle next year.

  72. NFG: I’ve been pointing out that Harkless provides Orlando many additional possessions and such must considered along with his FG%. Especially since most Warriors are lucking if the extra possession they obtain via steals and OR’s, even equal their number of turnovers.

    Harkless is in a different category.

    You point out that Harkless shot poorly in three of his last four games. Yes, he shot 5-13, against the Knicks.But he also provided his team with six additional opportunities they otherwise would not likely have had. As he had 3 steals, and 3 offensive rebounds, and no turnovers.

    Assuming, that other Orlando players made 50% of their of those 6 extra possessions, that would equal at least six extra points. That seems like a fairly good night, and an argument can be made that the 6 extra possessions should indeed by subtracted from his FGA.

    Against the Pacers, he shot 4-12, and had 4 OR’s and 4 steals, and no turnovers. That is 8 extra possessions he garnered for his team and possibly 8 extra points they would not have otherwise had. It seems to me he had a great night, regardless of his FG% for the game.

    If any Warrior player even gives his team a plus net of 2 extra possessions. it’s a great night. The Warriors don’t have players who garner 6,8,or 9, extra possessions for their team. So, in the final analysis, Harkless played great in 3 out of his last 4 games. If you did not look solely at his FG%, you would have realized this and would not have been saying he had three bad games.

    Those extra possessions Harkless obtains are the difference between a star and good player. You should have realized that he is shooting over 51% on 2’s for the season in his rookie year. So why even bring up the last few games?

    PeteyBrian: I had not taken a close look at Drummond. Yes, he has performed prior to his injury very well this year for Detroit. I think the jury is still out on whether the Warriors should have drafted Harkless over Drummond. I would probably pick Harkless as he gets so many additional possessions via OR and steals, while Drummond just gets OR’s. Yes Drummond gets more blocks that sometimes results in opponent turnovers, but blocks are figured into opponent FG%, and looking at his stats, opponents shoot quite well against him. So, for the time being, I’m still drafting Harkless.

  73. In my opinion, the top four rookies are Liliard, A. Davis, Harkless, and Drummond.

  74. Unfortunately, family matters are forcing me to extend my trip out of town. Not sure when I’ll be back, could be as long as a week.

    As far as the Warriors go, this is not a bad time for a hiatus. Much of the drama of the unknown seems to have abated. Bogut is back, and the Warriors have made strides in adjusting to his presence. It seems more likely than not now that he will make it through the end of the season. The rotation is set.

    It also seems very likely now that the three seed in the West will be Denver (as I predicted pre-season). The Clippers are a worse team, beset with injuries.

    This kind of takes the drama out of the race between Houston and the Warriors for the sixth seed. Does it matter whether the Warriors face OKC or Denver? I think Denver is actually the tougher squad, post-Harden. And both have the horses to give Bogut cardiac arrest in the open-court.

    Sorry about the extended absence, and thanks for the continued discussion. I’ve been enjoying it from afar.

  75. @ rgg, #72

    rgg, I really appreciate your long view, and it raises some interesting Qs for next year. For my part, I assume:

    – Bogut won’t return to playing like the young Bogut, but he’ll be better than he is now. More speed, more leap, more minutes and (especially) better offense. He’s a very smart guy. He’ll figure out how to use what he has. Smart, highly motivated, now with experience. He is going to change how the Warriors play. Whether the coaches can figure out how to incorporate his contributions to deliver wins is a different question, one I can’t answer. But he will give them options they don’t have today.

    – Lee will return with maybe smarter D, but probably not be better enough at it to make him a first-team AllStar. Lee plays against the most powerful, fastest, most fit animals on the planet, but has never even attempted to match their physicality. Too bad. Add some focused training, a la Jeremy Lin, and Lee could be counted among the best there ever was in the NBA, at any position.

    http://photos.mercurynews.com/2012/02/23/menlo-park-training-center-instrumental-in-helping-jeremy-lin-build-strength/

    But in 7 years in the league, Lee has never made that sort of commitment. As much as he could improve, we can’t expect him to suddenly wake up to the fact that he’s a physical wimp. He thinks his skinny legs and little Gumby arms are OK. Most likely, based on his track record, Lee will simply not choose to be great. He’ll come back next year as good as this year, no better. He could be awesome, but won’t make the effort. Too bad.

    – Thompson/Curry began the season as possibly the most terrifying guard tandem in the league, and they have even improved this year. Curry has entered the realm of unquestioned elite. Even his D has improved dramatically.

    Thompson has made huge strides in every aspect of his game this year. Terrifying offensive ability, sometimes excellent defense (it varies), and he now seems to have developed the equanimity needed to always play forward, and not hang his head during games. Give him more strength and fitness and he’s a young Kobe.

    How’s that for scary? A young Kobe next to Curry?

    Let’s see Thompson on a Lin-type offseason training program like I’ve prescribed for Lee. Without it, Thompson’s play will always be capped by his lack of athleticism. Even Kobe didn’t become Kobe-like by accident, or only by practicing 3s.

    Harrison Barnes has it all! Except… even “poor old” Richard Jefferson is a better overall player. Jefferson doesn’t have Barnes’ athleticism now, but he does all the important little things on court that don’t even occur to Barnes. Great court vision, excellent teamwork, smart defense, smart offensive placement – all the things Barnes has never learned in his short time in the game.

    Next year, we can expect either/or for Barnes: he will either learn to be a better overall player, or he will warm the pine while Jefferson, Rush and Green take all his playing time. Right now he’s sort of the anti-Thompson – great athlete, subpar basketball player for his ability. He needs to get some basketball smarts. Can he? Will he? I don’t know. Frankly, I doubt it. As long as he’s a starter, he probably thinks he’s OK as is. Expect Barnes to be a bit player next year.

    Next post: the 2nd team.

  76. The NBA is a hellava league with many fine basketball players. Except for Curry and D. Lee, the rest of the Warriors players, are at best, just average.

    I guess I’m missing seeing Thompson’s potential. He barely is average shooting two’s, doesn’t get to foul-line, doesn’t get many offensive rebounds, and turns the ball over more than he garners offensive rebounds and steals. When he can do those things we can talk about him being a really good player. Granted, he does make three’s and his defense has improved.

    As for Bogut, other than ducking the ball, he has no offensive game, and even if healthy, that will not change. He is a good on ball defender, but there are just too many other plays in the paint that he simply can’t get to. Don’t see that change either. That being said, he’s surely better than any other center on the Warriors.

    • Frank, Thompson is improving in front of our very eyes. He carried himself like a veteran so it makes you feel like he’s reached his full potential. He’s only gotten better as the season has progressed. Some of his hot streaks are just as hot as Curry, except Curry actually shows emotion when he’s hot. Thompson, as he gets older will become a stone-cold killer (in a metaphorical sense). Can’t you see him draining threes like Ray Allen? I sure can. He’ll never be a No. 1 option, but he’ll certainly be the second best player/scorer on a contender, and probably the third best player on a championship team. Feltbot is right about Thompson, except that he won’t be an All-Star because he doesn’t have any personality. And if there’s anything that NBA fans love, it’s a personality. (See Tim Duncan v. Shaq or Kobe).

  77. The backups:

    – Andris Biedrins

    Life is cruel. A superb athlete, crippled. For Andris it’s not about desire or training, it’s only about medical science.

    It’s possible that Biedrins will make a contribution next year. It’s more likely that he’ll warm the pine for precisely 3936 game minutes, then Lacob lets him go home to Latvia. Maybe Biedrins will get a few minutes here and there, when the team needs to expend a few fouls.

    – Festus Ezeli

    What’s not to like? An extraordinary athlete, fast/quick/powerful, a HUGE presence at the hoop. If athletic ability were all it took to be great, Ezeli would be an NBA god!

    Er, what’s not to like? If Ezeli can’t contribute on offense, he is exactly 1/2 a basketball player.

    I like Ezeli. I want him to be great. Unfortunately, for the foreseeable future we objective types whose primary concern is seeing the team win can only hope that either a) Ezeli somehow learns some offensive skills, or b) the team isn’t forced to play him much.

    They say you can’t teach hands. If that’s true, Ezeli can’t get better. Damn. With hands Ezeli could be Patrick Ewing. Without them he’s only a “defensive specialist.” That’s OK as far as it goes, but it’s only just OK. Damn. How good could this team be with Ezeli being a monstrous presence on both ends of the court? Damn. It’s very, very unlikely Ezeli will get it together offensively. Damn.

    – Carl Landry

    Pros: Perfectly competent and professional on both ends of the court. Great O, superb D for his size. Strong, tough, gutsy, reliable. The type of guy you’d want backing you up anytime/anywhere there’s a potential for mayhem (don’t ask…). I don’t actually know Carl Landry personally, but I love him. Deeply, sincerely.

    Cons: Short for his position. Limited range on both ends of the court. Not physically capable of defending well against far too many opposing 4s. Less-than-excellent court vision. If Carl gets the ball he’s shooting it no matter what. That’s a big ol’ negatory on a team with the best collection of perimeter shooters in the history of the NBA.

    Did I mention my warm feelings about Landry? OK, right, well, be that as it may I’m still objective about winning. Carl has been great for the Ws this season, but if the front office is serious about being better NEXT year they will let him walk at the end of this season’s contract and replace him with… gosh, I don’t know, someone with equivalent skill but more size and/or speed and/or range. No one leaps to mind, but hopefully the people on the Warriors staff who are paid to figure out that kind of stuff, will. Sorry Carl, bubke.

    – Richard Jefferson

    Wow, an epistomological question: how could anyone truly “know” what we think we “know” about Jefferson? I think I see a thoroughly professional, perfectly competent, fully mature and complete player. Slower than Barnes, with less hops, but a better shooter, rebounder and defender, with VASTLY better court vision and more team-oriented mindset.

    But what do I know, really? Mark Jackson has been around the block a few bazillion times, so if he doesn’t “know” the same things I think I think I “know” about Jefferson, couldn’t I be wrong? Do I trust my amateur’s vision so completely that I have to think Jackson is a blithering idiot for not allowing Jefferson to win games for him?

    Boy, that’s a tough one.

    Jefferson has one more year with the Warriors on his current contract. It’s a huge contract. No other team will take him in trade, especially without Jackson giving him significant playing time. Apparently, I might “know” nothing about Jefferson. But I’d damn sure play him against Barnes, and I’d bet any money he’d kick some serious Barnes ass for at least 20 games straight.

    But maybe I don’t know anything, really.

    – Draymond Green

    Draymond is by far the best player on the Warriors team. Until we talk scoring. If he could only raise his O merely to the level of “average,” his coaches would never let him leave the court.

    Green has been terribly disappointing to me this season. I bet on winners, and he is a winner. HUGE heart. HUGE brain. HUGE ability.

    Draymond Green could be UNBELIEVABLY AWESOME next season. The Warriors could be the !DRAYMOND! GREEN! SHOW! next year. If.

    If.

    Get your offensive thing together, Draymond. Aspire to be be merely “acceptable,” that’s all you need. History is in the making.

    Draymond Green will be on the Warriors team next season. What happens as a result is entirely up to him, no one else.

    – Jarrett Jack

    Jarrett’s numbers have drooped lately, but I think it’s mostly due to lazy coaching. He can create his own shot roughly 80% of the time, so why ask him to run plays?

    The Ws face a tough decision here. They could probably replace Jack’s raw numbers, there are lots of guards with numbers out there. But why would any organization choose to do without Jack’s moxie?

    I don’t know what the Warriors FO will do with Jack at season’s end. As basketball minds I think they’re at least as smart as we here are, but I don’t know what they know about life in general, and I don’t think it’s worthwhile to speculate on Lacob/Myers’ psychology.

    Winners win, losers lose. To win, play winners. It really is that simple, but not everyone has the vision to see it, or the ruthlessness to follow it through.

    Jack is a winner. As a fan I hope Warriors management has the vision – and the commitment to winning basketball – to sign Jack for next year. I don’t know that they do. I don’t know if they care about winning games more than about “winning” profits. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. It will tell us all about Lacob’s real commitment to winning basketball.

    – Kent Bazemore

    Tremendous natural talent. He’ll be with the team next year. He could choose to be great, or choose to be a clown, or anything in between. Many people in his situation are happy to play out their careers as a clown. It’s easy money.

    If someone wants to be great, Step 1 is to choose to be so. That’s a difficult path.

    Bazemore could be fantastic. Not knowing the guy, it’s not the smart bet. Few choose the toughest path. Please let this be wrong, but the odds say Bazemore plays one more quiet year and then he’s out of the league.

    – Brandon Rush

    Not expecting Rush to be a big contributor next year. Great guy, excellent player, lots of effort, a hard worker, good D.

    Third knee surgery. Not a great ball handler, not unstoppable on offense, not a leader, not in sync with the team as it is today.

    Harrison Barnes will be the starter over Rush unless Rush is awesome. Rush is good but not awesome. He’ll be on the payroll and he’ll play some minutes.

    • tonight vs. Sac was the time for Jack to step up, curry struggling with his shot (probably paying the piper w. his dinged ankle) and thompson with one of his recurring ‘downer’ games. so far, jack has shrunk to his career journeyman level. there was a 3 on 1 break at about 1.24 in the first quarter, jack receives the ball around the foul line as the middle man, but he gets neither a good shot, good pass, nor draws the foul and they get nothing. but he’s supposed to be the best sixth in the league, best back up lead guard ?

      Chi playing without Noah stops the Mia streak. the thompson and barnes fans needed to watch Deng and Butler this game.

  78. Rough as Sacramento is, the four games against them really expose how thin this Warrior team is.

    1. They are mismatched by larger, more athletic and/or faster players at almost every position.

    2. They don’t have a scoring center, though Bogut got a few points tonight, thanks in part to weak Sac defense, which allowed all kinds of penetration.

    3. The don’t have a sizable, scoring backup at 4, though definitely give Landry credit for what he did tonight.

    4. They don’t have a scoring 3, who can shoot outside and drive reliably, and who might have given Thompson relief when it was obvious this wasn’t his night. Rush might have filled in here.

    5. They don’t have a third guard, who can reliably score and run the offense, who could have spelled Curry, or even let him sit out a bit during a rough night.

    6. They really don’t have a second guard who can push tempo and run the offense well, though Jack has had his nights.

    7. They don’t have a good penetrating guard at all.

    They are simply making too many compromises, collectively, at 1-3, to offset the benefits their individual talents offer. Curry, obviously, stays. They need the best players to put around him.

    And I don’t see the situation improving next year.

    I assume Jax put Lee on the larger Cousins because Lee is quicker and might have covered him better outside? Another weakness.

  79. My other question about the Sac game is why they committed themselves to driving, which set the tempo and timbre of the game. Several players did penetrate well—the Sac defense is porous—but didn’t finish well. Would this have made getting into an offensive rhythm difficult for the shooters?

  80. @ 79,80

    rgg, you nailed it, 1-7. Hopefully the front office can fill some of the holes in the offseason, because this year they have already chosen to run the Warriors short-handed, for the 3rd year in a row now.

    Re “why drive,” the problem the Ws have against Sacramento is that Keith Smart knows precisely how to shut down the Ws two leading scorers – harass/double team the ball at the 3-point line, forcing Curry and Thompson to move the ball elsewhere. They have only two options – pass to their bigs, or drive. Neither of those attacks is going to supplant the 40+ ppg missing from the 3-point line.

    This has been Sacto’s defensive strategy vs. the Ws all year. MJackson hasn’t come up with an effective counter for it. All year.

    Expect to see that defensive plan used against the Ws in the playoffs, whoever they’re playing against. If Denver uses it, the Ws won’t win a game. If it’s OKC, the Ws might win one game.

    • It’s hard to get into arguments about the effectiveness of Jackson’s coaching simply because he doesn’t have enough roster to work with. The strategy last night might have worked with one more good—not great—player.

      Thompson has shown too much drive and talent in just his second year to give up on him. With a deeper squad, he could have been moved around as the situation dictated. He could have been a Harden lite (the role he played at OKC), coming off the bench to provide scoring punch, and that’s saying something.

      Maybe Barnes has talent and just needs experience. He could have spent more time with the second unit until he gains it and proves himself. Instead he was made a starter.

      The 3 spot has to be effective inside and out in scoring, creating shots for himself and driving. Without both, he’s easier to defend and he won’t have much influence on the overall defense of opponents. He’s just not enough threat.

      Even Bogut showed a few things last night, but without an outside shot he’s limited, as he will be against the top teams, who won’t be pulled out when he posts high. And he needs more around him to be effective.

      As for the rest of the rooks, we just haven’t seen enough to be hopeful yet.

      Yes, the playoffs. My concerns exactly.

      • There are other alternatives besides substituting different bodies.

        One of the nice things about Monta was that he could single-handedly beat doubles. I don’t think I EVER saw him get trapped by a double-team. Great court vision, extremely quick to take advantage – that’s Monta.

        We can’t say that about our guards today. The offense has to have a plan in place to make the other team pay for double-teams. Plan for it to happen, plan to take advantage of it. If nothing else, ALWAYS have a player in place for an outlet pass to a good open shot.

    • Not having anyone to spell Curry may be the team’s greatest weakness down the stretch. He’s had to do too much for too long. We have no idea how hard he’s had to work just to manage and adjust to his ankle. Barnett said the other night those straps protect, but also give him bruises, and this happens night in and night out.

      It was a problem that could have been cheaply and easily fixed. They could have kept Nate. I wasn’t a big fan last year, but he has earned respect. He is a burst of energy. He can drive. He can shoot in fits. He does have experience. Nor would he have complained about his role or position. He would have done anything he was asked to do and gone full tilt.

      Look at his game log with the Bulls:

      http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players/3947/gamelog;_ylt=AgIJj55VlBgI3s9ms1MliukqPaB4

      • Agreed. It’s a shame the team was too incredibly cheap to keep Nate, and it’s nearly criminal to force players with health concerns to run extended minutes in every game.

        I think of it this way: the FO shifted Nate’s minutes to Curry. The cost of Nate’s contract is being paid by Curry’s ankle. Shameful.

  81. RE: Curry’s and Thompson’s horrific shooting night.

    I always appreciated Don Nelson’s coaching philosophy regarding bad jump shooting nights… You miss a couple perimeter J’s, then get back on track by taking/making/getting fouled one at the rim… Bad shooting nights are to be expected, but going to the rim gets possible contact/free throws and higher percentage shots. Plus, the Kings defense is horrid.

    RE: Coaching/Defense

    This W’s coaching staff is opposite of Coach Thibs of the Bulls… Do you think the Bulls Coach would let Isiah Thomas (not even the “good” one) just walk up and shoot open threes?

    The coaching staff really needs a better defensive plan and make more adjustments to throw off shooters’ timing… And not wait until they make 7 threes in a game until they do this.

    Like teams do to us with Curry!!!

    Isiah Thomas makes ONE three? Disrupt his timing. Have Curry and Ezeli or Green blitz him on the perimeter. Stick the longer Klay on him for a possession or two to shake things up and get into his head. Put the uber fast Basemore on him for a possession or two to make him a passer and disrupt his timing. Then put Curry back on him one-on-one when he’s pacified, lost his timing/mojo, gets a little tired, and/or lost some confidence.

    Rinse and repeat…

  82. A few thoughts on last year’s draft:

    Maybe Lacob & Co bought into the Barnes hype too much and maybe they believed too much of their own hype and marketing strategy. But the team’s lack of depth and development the years previous, that coupled with the expectations—and embarrassment—created by tanking, forced them to take a risky gamble. Barnes LOOKED like he MIGHT be a great player who MIGHT make a difference NOW. It’s just a setup for failure and a bad risk, with too much to lose.

    It wasn’t a strong draft. It was a mistake to expect too much from it. Also Rush was was healthy at the time and provided an adequate cover for the 3 spot.

    If the team were deeper at the time, they could have gambled on a player who might have complemented the roster better, and several have been discussed here. But if he didn’t pan out, it wouldn’t have been a great loss for the team.

    • The other question to ask is if the team actually does have a lack of depth, or if it is simply Jackson’s inability to develop his bench correctly. Here’s a Warriors depth chart in my estimation (not a starting lineup, obviously):

      PG: Curry, Jack, Bazemore
      SG: Jack, Curry, Klay, Barnes, Bazemore
      SF: Klay, Barnes, Jefferson, Green
      PF: Lee, Landry
      C: Bogut, Ezeli, Biedrins

      The obvious holes are:
      a) A physical, slashing SG
      b) …
      Other than a strong shooting guard who can get to the bucket, it seems like the Warriors actually do go two deep at every position. You wouldn’t know it based on most of Jackson’s “Hockey line change” substitutions this season, but when he mixes and matches like he did against the Lakers, they are pretty solid. Add a guy like Wesley Matthews to this mix and it seems like they have a fairly complete NBA line-up.
      I know Feltbot is advocating for spread 4. It’s clear that Beidrins contract is the stumbling block there. Every other player on the roster has a purpose.

  83. Peteb24: On offense, Thompson is, at best, a decent shooter shooting 3’s. He’s sub-par shooting 2’s. But, he is limited since he turns the ball over way too much, doesn’t get to the foul line nor make many steals or offensive rebounds to compensate for his number of turnovers. Steals and offensive rebounds is what is required of a SF or SG. Last night, once again, he demonstrated what an inconsistent shooter he by shooting 1-13 from the field.

    NFG: Harkless was 7-12 shooting last night, including making two three’s, and he also gave his team two additional scoring opportunities by garnering 2 offensive rebounds, and by not turning the ball over in 42 minutes of play.

    Hat: Many good points. I do think that Landry should be playing more and taking 15 shots per game, not 8-9. He should be given time that Barnes and Thompson now receive. Last night, the Warriors were outscored by far with Barnes on the court. An indication that his defense is not up to par.

    Also, the Warriors have a player who demonstrated last year that he can hit the three from the perimeter and that’s R. Jefferson. For some unfathomably reason he is forced to languish on the bench while Barnes, who is not as good on either side of the ball gets to play. And when Jefferson does play limited minutes, he is told not to shoot.

    When not slamming the ball home, good to see Bogut shooting the ball from the 12 o”clock position last night. He also had 5 offensive rebounds, but such was negated as 3 of them were obtained on one trip down the court. His off the ball defense still nothing to write home about as Sacramento did shoot 46% from the field and marginally outscored the Warriors with Bogut on the court, even though Bogut shot well.

    • Jefferson just doesn’t want to shoot and doesn’t look confident when he does. That may be the reason the Spurs let him go.

      • Andrew Bogut played a very good game… Completely filled out the box score. Shot for a high percentage (would have been higher but for the tips he missed), got 5 offensive boards (nine total boards), 4 blocked shots, 2 assists, 1 steal, only 1 TO, and 0 personal fouls. 12, 9, 4, and 2 in 27 minutes. Bogut is looking more and more integrated into this team’s play just in time for the playoffs.

        This Kings game was lost with low intensity, putrid perimeter shooting from Klay AND Curry, losing the rebounding battle, and poor defense/strategy on Isiah.

  84. Thompson’s performance offensively has declined from his rookie year. Last year, he shot 41% on three’s, this year 39%. Last year, he shot 46% on two’s, this year 43%. The fact that he plays 1/3 more more minutes- 35 mpg this year compared to 25 mph per game this year probably explains his decline.

    Thompson is also taking more FGA, 14.6 this year, compared to 11 last year.

    It’s obvious his additional time on the court makes him weary and tired. This explains his abominable shooting in the fourth quarter and screams out for Thompson either having his minutes reduced,or his playing the same amount of time if his defense is deemed necessary, and shooting less shots in the fourth quarter.

    It’s interesting that Ray Allen on the decline of his career is shooting a FG near the same % that Thompson did not last year. An open question is whether Thompson will ever return to the shooter he was last year, and whether that will only occur if he returns to playing 25 mpg?

    I think he would be more effective playing 1/3 the minutes he presently does, and that the team would be better for it, as it will probably result in Landry getting more minutes, and he does shoot a higher FG% and gets to the line more. Or, the Warriors could reduce Thompson’s minutes in the fourth and play Jefferson who is far better defender. See 82 games.

    • Let’s not overanalyze Klay’s shooting numbers! He’s not a player in decline. Just about every aspect of Klay Thompson’s game from his rookie season has ELEVATED including his defense which is always my concern with young players. Minutes and scoring averages at 35.7 and 16.3. Klay’s free throw percentage is down too (.868 vs. .858), but does this mean this decline is a trend? No way!!! LOL!

      Klay’s shooting percentages are down across the board (recovering from a horrible season start), sure but there’s no reason to think his percentages won’t go up as he learns the game, adjusts to huge minutes, adjusts to taking on tougher defensive assignments, adjusts to the attention from defenses, the team surrounding him improves,…

      Barring injury, Klay’s improvement will continue into his third season next year.

      And should Klay learn to get fouled once or twice per game with a pump fake – and pump fake and drive to the hoop once or twice per game AND DRIVE to the rim – he’d even score more points per game.

      And regarding Klay’s missed shots/hard shots at the rim: he’s adjusting to the speed of the game and touch at the rim. Once the game slows down for him (I ASSume next season), many of those misses will be MAKES which will increase his shooting percentages…

      Frankly, I’d be more worried if Thompson couldn’t get to the rim because he were not athletic enough (not the problem) or didn’t have the length or coordination AT the rim (not a problem) – than I am worried that Klay has no touch at the rim (Klay has a problem as he’s rushing his shots). Klay, as Rush did from his early career, will shoot better at the rim.

  85. @ 84,

    Frank, agree that Barnes should play less. Not sure Landry should play more. In any case, Landry can’t replace Barnes, any more than Barnes could replace Landry. If “you are who you can defend,” as Feltbot says, Landry isn’t a 3. No way, nohow, nowhere, not ever. Besides, put Landry on the perimeter and you hurt his rebounding. And on O he can’t shoot from the perimeter, it’s outside his range, so you lose his scoring too.

    The answer isn’t playing a 3-big lineup, it’s playing a 3 who rebounds. Barnes is getting 3.9 rebounds in 25.2 min/game. Klay gets that many from the two-spot, playing just 5 more min/game. Curry is averaging 4.0 rebounds in 38.2 min. Green averages 3.4 rebounds in 13.6 (!) minutes.

    I don’t need to see Barnes crush people for a rebound, like Green does, but I don’t see any real effort from him at all. If he picked up more boards Curry and Thompson could leak out for a fast break once in awhile. The dubs need more production from the 3 spot. From someone who can play the 3.

  86. FB

    Still on dreamhost, I see:

    Internal Server Error

    The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

    Please contact the server administrator, webmaster@feltbot.com and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

    More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

    Additionally, a 500 Internal Server Error error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

  87. the scuffle over maloof’s sale of their team stepped up a little in intensity with the city of Sac approving an new arena project. Sea has already done so, and similar to ellison’s position during the cohan auction, their lead plutocrat has by far the largest hoard to dispose. he’s attempting to buy a .o7 minority share of the team from another bankrupt partner, but the maloofs’ other existing partners in the team have the first option to purchase. k.johnson’s next move is probably to recruit one of those partners who has financing. stern and the league will get to decide if Sac has proprietary rights at all to the team, or if it’s completely up to the maloofs.

    if the team ends up migrating north, they’ll be called the homage to boeing used by Sea’s first team, and like the pacific version of the woeyrs, winner of a singular title with personnel assembled by the late d.vertlieb. the lineage of the ‘kings’ that goes back to the prairies, the ohio valley, and upstate NY and includes tiny archibald, the big o, jerry lucas among many others (jack twyman !) will have reached its end.

    • moto, at this point in time reverence for NBA history makes the Kings/Royals name nothing more than a marketable asset, merely a launchpad for Lacob-types.

      I suppose the (former NBA player) mayor of Sacto can be forgiven his obsession with having an NBA team in his town, but really now, Sacramento residents are looking at over 11% unemployment at the moment. School funding has tanked. Police and other local services have cut back to barely-functional levels.

      Despite all that, Kevin Johnson wants his city to build a new arena on spec, to assist any random billionaire who comes up with the juice to run an NBA franchise in his city.

      Excuse me, but that’s totally irresponsible. And pulling off a feeding-at-the-public-trough scam like that by leveraging fans’ sense of sporting history is just… reprehensible.

      • excellent points about the Sac economy, but the n.b.a. board of guv’s might not even take them under consideration if they don’t affect the capitalization of the new ownership group. the pro sports guilds haven’t shown much regard for the local impact of the mega loans for arenas or stadia (some of which were deemed obsolete and abandoned while the bonds still had years to be paid). mayor johnson got his four or five plutocrats, thanks to the eleventh hour inclusion of lacob’s partner, and the city council to buy into the notion that an n.b.a. team somehow adds to Sac’s ‘mojo’. supposedly he has dozens of local companies committed to sponsorships as well.

        how many people were paying attention when our semi-privatized postal service subsidized the armstrong follies to $40m, because associating with bicycle racing gave the postal service ‘mojo’ ? the folks involved and the media at the time probably loved it, oh yeah, the fastest team always getting the buzz phrase u.s. postal service mentioned.

        • Pro bike racing is paid for by advertising. Backing a team puts your co. logo in front of literally millions of people worldwide. It’s not an especially cost-effective form of advertising for a US-only operation, so it was a poor ad buy for the postal service. But advertising isn’t unjustified.

          Funding an NBA team, complete with arena, is completely unjustified. A city almost never breaks even. Sacramento itself has already lost over $20M to the Maloofs. The usual justifications for hosting a pro sports team (tourism, jobs) are achievable far more cost-effectively with other programs, without the sort of financial commitments and sacrifices sports franchises demand.

          Here’s a great article on the topic.

          http://www.tgci.com/magazine/A%20Game%20of%20Give%20and%20Take.pdf

    • the rochester portion of the team’s history pre-dates my interest in hoops, but their team was one of the original association members, starting in ’49 with the merger of two different pro leagues. the twyman-stokes era started in the late 50s, a couple of seasons before their move to Cin,

      • And if you look far enough back, human beings grew from worms who developed extended motile and sensory apparati. So what?

        Let the proud old NBA Kings name die.

        • what you say about worms is why sentient beings like us, in my belief system, can get more from life if we respect and learn from all life forms. personally, not attached to royalty or dynasties, but enjoy history. didn’t mind seeing the elder harbaugh sibling prevail over the younger, especially after the talk of ‘dynasty’ when the yorkists won the conference trophy. thought we were well rid of the yorkist dynasty some centuries ago when the tudors ascended, and they disappeared not long after when both henry and daughter liz failed to have sons.

  88. Hat: Landry needs to play SF so that Bogut is protected inside, not for Landry’s rebounding. Landry can still play his same game on offensive end. No reason for him to play on the perimeter.

    • gee I didn’t realize that landry can guard 3’s… or that he can shoot 3’s… makes sense putting 3 inside players on the court at once in a perimeter dominated league

    • Ezeli gets an A+ from me. Festus started admirably most of the season for a playoff team as a rookie. Exceeded most expectations for a late first rounder. Physical shot-blocker and rebounder. Great attitude. He’d likely be a mid-lottery pick if the draft were re-done today.

      Barnes gets a B from me. Started all season for a playoff team as a rookie. Just met his expectations showing flashes of his potential. Probably Barnes gets picked at the same spot if the draft were re-done today. Hoping for incremental improvement next season.

  89. W’s play Portland tonight at home without L. Aldridge.

    The coaching staff needs to defend Damian Lillard better as he scored 37 in an insane shooting night in his first game home in Oakland. Do all the things defensively that other teams do to us against Curry.

    We finally get to see Meyers Leonard finally play. I’m not expecting much.

    • Thanks PB,

      I must say, however, this is the thinnest analysis I’ve seen at Grantland and I’m skeptical. The piece starts off:

      “The team has won eight of its last 12 games with a sterling point differential of +5.8 — a mark that would equate to a 57-win campaign if it held up over the course of a season.”

      While he recognizes the opponents were “middling,” he doesn’t factor this in at all. They were middling—and the losses were dismal. Looks like he’s cherry picking a few plays here. I’d be curious to hear other opinions.

      Meanwhile, in Chicago’s close loss to Dallas, Nate was 9/16, including 7/7 on 3’s, for 25 points. Man, we could have used that scoring burst.

      • One thing’s clear to me – Bogut is clearly not 100%, but he is moving so much better than a month ago. He barely gets off his toes.

        All I want from him is to get somewhat healthy/assimilated to the team by the playoffs, where he’ll be needed when the pace usually slows down.

        Lee’s been playing better lately too – like his 20-10 streak of earlier in the season.

  90. NCAA hoops and the NBA:

    This is rough and casual, because I haven’t watched many tourney games and have lost interest. What I’m wondering is if college teams, more and more dealing with one or two year players, are preparing players well for the NBA. Also I wonder if the game itself has changed. I find many games boring.

    It seems to me the games are more defensive minded, which might work better for less experienced players and lead to wins, but this is done at the expense of development of offensive skills. Maybe teams are selecting more physical players, though not necessarily talented ones. The Florida game last night got me thinking.

    If the game has become more physical and defensive, it will be harder for real talents to develop offensively.

    And I wonder if this applies to Barnes.

    Are teams relying more on lane penetration?

    And maybe shooting more threes, but settling for low percentages?

    But those larger college players may not be large enough for the NBA, and they might come with limited skills, especially on offense. And maybe they can penetrate either through size and strength, or the speed of guards, but those players won’t be able to do the same in the NBA. The guys who shot a low percentage of threes in college won’t be much use at all. The got by being so-so shooters.

  91. Denver creamed Brooklyn—without their key guard, Ty Lawson. Of course they had Miller to fill in, but look at how they were able to move their offense around—6 assists from Gallinari and 8 from Iguodala. Balanced scoring down the roster, needless to say.

    • the lacobites can content themselves in the short term — through next season — with getting into the post season, but if they don’t make considerable adjustments with personnel (owner and his brain trust) and on-court approach, there’s a handful of teams incl. Den who will make it very tough to reach the conference finals. lacob’s ‘three star’ preference might make things simpler for the coach, but not just difficult at the acquisition stage, it’s probably unsustainable economically on his (partly if not mostly self imposed) budget.

      it’s ironic that West is a minority partner for lacob when the team lacks his kind of players and often lacks dynamism — Den with diverse two way players with ball skills, an understanding how to open the court and play transition, seems more his style.

      • @Moto – interesting comments regarding West.

        I do think that West had something to do with dumping Lou Amundson (Lacob’s guy) for Brandon Rush (2-way player) as well as behind the scenes in the trade for big man Andrew Bogut.

        West has always had a good big man on every team he’s managed (like Kareem, Shaq, Gasol) – unlike in his playing days, where he usually LOST to a good big man in nearly every NBA Finals in Bill Russell/Celtics (irony – these two living legends recently sat together courtside at the Oracle). In fact, West only won an NBA title with an aging Wilt (if history fits my argument).

  92. I’m very impressed with Meyers Leonard’s shooting touch for a 7 footer – he even canned a three! He’ll spread the floor for a center next season. Defense non-existent for now, but Meyers looks like he’ll bulk up more and put on more muscle soon.

    The Blazers have 4 nice players – but will have to give Hickson a raise to keep him. Their bench is putrid horrid.

    Fitz or Barnett reported that the Blazers might be interested in Jarrett Jack and have the big cap space, which would be a nice move for them. Landry if he opts out for that matter…

  93. Nice game for #30.

  94. Did anyone think this was the best game from H Barnes in a while? Good movement and it looked like he played with a purpose.

    • @Peteb24 – Agreed!

      I love to watch when Barnes forces his game.

      Near the end of the half, Harrison’s dunk on Batum (a long, good defender) was spectacular!

      And Barnes’ steal and one finish on Batum’s hack in the 3rd quarter was sweet as well! Barnes’ finished the alley oop from Curry… and Barnes’ spin move and finish in the paint vs. Matthews was pretty…

      Hell’s freezing over because Barnes even actually blocked a shot or two as well! LOL!

      That’s Barnes’ key – becoming a passable to good defender next season. Like Thompson, if Barnes can improve his 2nd year defense – and I think he can – he’ll be more playable.

      Barnes’ athleticism is sorely needed on this team. At least until Rush recovers or Basemore can break into the rotation.

  95. Hickson didn’t play many minutes. Was he hurt or is Portland in tank mode, to keep their #12 protected draft pick? Also, they are out of the playoff race and are giving their miserable bench more minutes to see if they have anyone worth keeping next year. And maybe with Aldridge out, they didn’t see much point in pushing starters?

    Let’s be happy about this win but not make too much about it.

    I do like to think what the Warriors would have been like with Hickson playing alongside Lee, especially 4th. quarter. He is strong and mobile and has skills. He would have improved their up tempo game as well as their half court sets. He would have improved rebounding and defense. He would have been a much better upgrade at that position than Landry, but let’s do give all the credit in the world to Landry for his fine performance last night. We see in him what a solid two-way player with some intelligence and experience can add. He’s just not as strong and fast and skilled as Hickson, at least the way Hickson is playing now.

    Fitz said something about our having a chance at him when put on waivers, though I didn’t understand the explanation.

    • I think Fitz said that Hickson was in New Orleans with the W’s (watching the game) when the news came out that Portland claimed him (over the W’s since they had a higher waiver claim).

      I don’t necessarily believe this Fitz statement… Also I maybe didn’t hear it right…

      The Trailblazers may or may not have had a higher waiver claim than the W’s… I don’t know.

      I’d read that the W’s were waiting for Hickson TO CLEAR WAIVERS FIRST, then sign him. Probably had something to do with not spending so much money – which I can relate to…

      If the W’s claim Hickson off waivers, I think the team would have had to pay his full salary whereas if Hickson cleared waivers, the W’s could negotiate a contract.

      • It’s very close, but I prefer Landry over Hickson. Landry is a great teammate with an unselfish attitude.

        With Hickson’s strong season this year (PER over 20), I have a feeling someone’s going to pay him very nicely. The Trailblazers have the cap space. I hope the Blazers give him a monster deal! LOL!

      • your recollection is pretty accurate, methinks. claiming him on waivers, Por inherited the contract Hickson had on his previous team, whereas the lacobites wanted to wait to get him at a vet minimum after he cleared waivers.

        • With Portland’s cap space, me thinks they can outbid the Ws for Jack and/or Landry (should he opt out).

          Portland’s bench is HORRIBLE! Sign Jack and Landry, the Blazers would look much better.

  96. The Warriors played an early offense running game and destroyed Portland. Has the Warriors turned the corner or was the game just aberration?

    • not very likely that the team will have only ten turnovers and gain a big advantage on the boards against any of their three possible playoff opponents. whether they’re at the top of the mediocre middle in the association’s bell curve, or on the ground floor of becoming a good team, is in the eyes of the beholder.

      • I consider the Ws to be the 7th, 8th, or 9th best team in the NBA playing in the tougher Western Conference. The 8th best team in the NBA well-rested should blow out a young sub .500 team without their best player, on the road, on the end of a back-to-back.

        This Ws team will move up when they upgrade the team’s level of talent or their young players improve dramatically.

    • I’m not clear why they wouldn’t have been over the cap this season as well and/or what kind of roster they could have filled in either season.

      But, man. Imagine a Curry/Harden backcourt, how well they’d work together. Both are averaging just under 6 assists and 22-26 ppg. We would have seen 50 point, 15 assist nights from them regularly.

      That would have been a transcendent deal.

      • Presti’s pretty darn smart. Perhaps he’d taken Klay – and BOTH our number ones (low cost players on rookie contracts) for Harden’s 3rd year rookie deal – straight up.

        Part two would be how to fit Harden’s max contract into the Ws salary structure. Way over the cap adding in a max deal and subtracting 3 rookie deals. Or Lee or Bogut would need to be traded away to a team with cap space/trade exemptions as no one will take on Jefferson’s or Andris’ horrible deals.

        Me? I completely missed on Harden. I didnt like him at 3 in the draft. I told my cousin, our beloved Reggie Williams was just as good a scorer as a 2nd year Harden! Lol! I still wasn’t convinced Harden was a max player after year 3 – after watching LeBron shut him down completely in the finals! I am amazed at how many nba players still fall for all his pump fakes and drawing all those silly fouls. He lives and thrives at the line.

        In hindsight, I’d do the deal and worry about the salary later.

        Of course OKC would then have smartly drafted A. Drummond and F. Ezeli enabling them to have the best young front court in the NBA! And Klay would have developed into Reggie Miller 2! Lol!

        • His point is that the team would have been well poised after next season, when the big salaries came off the books. And I hope they don’t gamble on Bogut again after that.

          But wouldn’t we be coming to the end of Lee’s contract? And players aren’t always available when you do have the bucks. Lee was the only realistic power forward option when they got him several years ago, but of course everyone was happy with that acquisition.

          Imagine, however, another scenario. We don’t do the Bogut deal. We still get the offer, right? And then it would have been possible to move Ellis and fill in the slots. The front court would have been very well constructed without him. (I’m not clear about the timing or possibilities here).

          A team should define its core strength and build on that. Then it should add depth and keep its options open by not locking up the salary cap so they can take advantage of opportunities. And opportunities are rare. The draft is a very long shot. Good free agents don’t often free up. But several affordable players were released. Hickson, we just talked about. Scola ($4m), amnestied, has provided good service for the miserable Suns, even filling in as center.

          And of course you amnesty Biedrins. There was no reason to think he’d ever return enough to justify his salary.

          They couldn’t have known Harden would have been available. But I and several of us are satisfied that Lee, Curry, Ellis provided this core. With Klay and several good players, they would have been better than the team we now have. And yes, pick up Nate for pocket change and see what he adds.

          Lee, Curry, and Harden is a no brainer, a very powerful core. With a fairly deep bench, they would have been a much better team this season, with all kinds of potential for growth for years to come.

          Harden, I assume, is carrying a heavy load for Houston, though I see they can win without him. He wouldn’t have had such a load playing alongside Curry and could have played at a more measured pace. Curry/Lee/Harden would have given defenses fits, providing all kinds of offensive options against any team, at any stage of the game. Harden would have been a significant upgrade on defense.

          Klay might have flourished as well at OKC, not playing under so much pressure. And with Westbrook and Durant drawing defenses, he would have had better looks. He would have played on a stronger second unit as well.

  97. si.com’s power rankings have picked up on Klay’s inconsistency, including that he has (unbelievably) shot better on the road than at home. To me it shows that he needs to learn to be more poised when the emotion of the crowd becomes a factor. Almost all players shoot better at home, except Klay, apparently.
    http://stats.nba.com/playerStats.html?PlayerID=202691

    • Great piece. As it states, his % would be higher if he didn’t play so many minutes and he had a better team:

      “He’s never played with a great passer. And he’s rarely had teammates who draw double teams. . . .”

      But it says he is a great shooter, not a great 3 point shooter. And it implies if he weren’t such a good shooter, he wouldn’t be as good a 3 point shooter. See YouTube, below.

      Curry has had to compensate for size since he was a kid, when he was much smaller for his age. His solution has always involved craft and craftiness, form and versatility. He has to know every shot. And he’s been practicing and perfecting most of his life. How many players can say the same?

      But of course he had a great coach. Dell here emphasizes touch and form, starting under the basket and moving out:

      • Curry will be the best 3 point shooter the game has ever seen! Although Lillard did just break Curry’s 3 point record for rookies…

        Steph can also shoot from distance on or off the dribble. Huge difference from guys who can shoot, but can’t create their own shot or can’t pass or create for others.

        Dell Curry was one of the best shooters I’d ever seen – unlimited range – got to guard him from the inbounds! And Stephen is better than Dell!

  98. @ 100, rgg,

    “Imagine, however, another scenario. We don’t do the Bogut deal. We still get the offer, right? And then it would have been possible to move Ellis and fill in the slots.”

    Don’t look now, but Ellis is a better player than Harden. More durable (more PT). More points, more assists, better lifetime shooting percentages. Like Harden, nearly impossible to stop on O, completely disruptive to defenses. And not afraid of the big shot.

    Ellis is also better than Harden on D. Playing for some horrible teams with horrible team D, he demonstrated the ability to completely shut down opponents in man-to-man coverage, something Harden has never done, even playing with a great team. Monta averages more steals too.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/2751/monta-ellis
    http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/3992/james-harden

    So if the Ws didn’t do the Bogut deal they might have swapped Ellis for Harden just to move Monta out of town, but it wouldn’t have been an upgrade performance-wise.

    And in your other scenario, if the team had amnestied Biedrins they would have had enough cap room to easily pay for TWO bigs of at least Bogut’s stature, months earlier, without taking on Useless Kwame’s huge contract, without losing Monta and Udoh, and without getting stuck with Jefferson’s contract.

    • The point is, by defining the core—Lee plus a scoring front court with Curry and Harden or Ellis—and giving the team that identity and selecting a strategic plan to match, they could have kept either one and been stronger. I’m not clear what it would have taken to keep Harden and whether he would have been content here. He’s ambitious, but I haven’t heard about his being selfish. He does have good assist totals. You’ll get some argument about Ellis over Harden.

      And I see you already have.

      I have these questions:

      1. Is anyone over at Milwaukee Bucks land, regardless of their thoughts on Ellis, complaining that their team is worse this year because of the trade? After all, in addition to getting Ellis, they picked up Udoh and dumped an expensive contract.

      2. Are the Bucks, in fact, worse because of the trade? Not the same question.

      3. Or are they better?

      4. Didn’t Meyers broker this “transcendent” deal? What are other GMs saying about it?

      • If the Warriors win a first round playoff series, this deal with be transcendent. It freed Curry from the Ellis blanket. And you forget how good this Warriors team could have been this season if Rush hadn’t suffered that freak accident. Rush starting all season instead of Barnes? 55 to 60 win season and top 4 in the West.

        As for the Bucks, sure, they are better this season, but don’t forget they have developed a new beast, Larry Sanders. He certainly does benefit from playing at a fast pace with Ellis, but he’s a really nice piece (who may have been freed because Bogut left town).

    • warriorsablaze

      Ellis is not better than Harden. That statement flies in the face of not only the subjective “watching the games”, but every statistical measure of a player’s contribution to a team we currently have.

      You are citing Ellis’ career totals in PPG without the context that Harden was a 6th man at OKC and averaged way fewer minutes per game. FG% is what old people use to determine a player’s usefulness. It’s a very limited stat. Ellis has a mediocre 3pt shot,
      doesn’t get to the line much, and shoots less than 80% when there. He averages less points per possession than Harden because of this. They are not even close when you really look.

      You guys are more than welcome to become diehard Bucks fans while the rest of us enjoy our playoff run and the birth of Stephen Curry, superstar.

  99. Monta Ellis is not better than Harden on defense.

    What is the point of continuously dwelling on what could have bee? Get the fuck over it and deal with the fact that Monta Ellis is gone!!!! Monta Ellis was holding back Steph Curry and James Harden would have done the exact same thing.

    • Fascinating analysis, FFG! Thanks!

    • FFG — Saying that Harden would have held Curry back is ignorant. Harden is an extremely intelligent player (unlike Monta) and will enhance any team he plays for.

      My take on Monta as a person and a player is that he is simply not smart enough to be a superstar. He has “grown up” on and off the court and has become very skilled and fairly savvy. However, there is a reason the Bucks are just at .500 and that none of his Warriors teams made the playoffs after Baron left. You can argue that it is personnel-related, but knowing Monta’s game and intelligence level, that’s only half the story, IMO.

      • It’s a very harsh reality for many Ellis die-hard fans to face – Ellis has huge holes in his game. An imperfect player whose talents and attitude and coaching and situation aren’t maximized…

        I’m in the Nellie Camp – convert Ellis to a scoring PG and he’s an All-Star. Unfortunately, Ellis doesn’t agree. Or bring Ellis off the bench on a contender that needs scoring. Ellis’ mindset prevents this – as he’s Dwayne Wade’s equal – in his own mind…

        Ellis die-hard fans find it hard to admit they were wrong about Ellis being the superstar.

        Ellis’ talents aren’t being maximized. Wrong situation, wrong attitude, inferior coaching, etc.

        I hope Ellis makes a good decision in his opt out year. We Ellis fans want to see him succeed.

        The Ws are doing pretty darn well without Ellis and with Bogut!

        And this is a very harsh realility for Lacob bashers… Lol!

    • I fear some of you guys have missed what Monta’s done – with a lot of point guard minutes — since the Bucks traded for JJ Redick on Feb 20.

      http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players/3966/gamelog;_ylt=AqqSM3LmuAIMNpNLf2DTyI85PaB4

      He’s one of the best point guards in the league — right now.

      • warriorsablaze

        So you’d want Ellis back to play PG and move Curry to shooting guard? Back to handcuffing Curry’s genius with the ball in his hands? It’s bad enough we get dribble dribble Jack stagnating the offense for long stretches.

        Monta has been playing well and I’m rooting for him. Still glad he’s gone, though. Monta is a good player, Curry is potentially great.

        • We never saw much how Curry and Ellis would play together last season under Jackson because of Curry’s injury. But that season and the previous we saw how well they could both score, how well they could run an uptempo offense, when allowed, how well they could assist. Look at their numbers. Ellis worked especially well with Lee.

          One thing is certain to everyone, including Ellis, that Curry is the face of the franchise. Jackson is deeply committed to Curry, as is the FO most days (but who knows?). We have no reason to think Ellis, despite his limitations, wouldn’t do anything he was told. We have every reason to think that Curry would commit himself to making their pairing work.

          Ellis can drive much better than Jack or Curry, which would have opened up the defense. He would have been surrounded with shooters—Curry and Thompson—drawing defenders to give him better looks for his shots or drives, or, when he draws defenders, those same players to pass to, now open.

          Curry plays a lot at the 2 now, and for good reason. He needs the break during the grind of the game and the team needs to take advantage of his shooting. I’d much rather have Ellis than Jack now—and if Ellis had stayed, we wouldn’t be wondering whether or not Jack would be around next year. If Jack isn’t resigned and a comparable replacement not found, this team is in trouble next year. But there isn’t money for either.

          Ellis would have kept the team strong and given it options. He also could have reduced Curry’s minutes. Maybe he wants to be the centerpiece of the team. If a deal like Harden came along, he could have been moved. I don’t think Ellis was ever offered in a trade for any position than a center, except Paul, and really never offered in a realistic trade. This year or next, he might have wanted to move on, and the team could have accommodated him with a viable trade that gave the team the depth it needs.

      • have no fear on my account, boss. yes, have missed seeing Mil games, as in ignoring them whether they’re accessible to watch or not. have not missed ellis at all — got my fill to excess during his years here. willing to accept that he’s a somewhat different player now, but why would we think he’d change appreciably if he stayed in the same environment ? his fans constantly fantasized about adjusting the roster to suit his plusses and minuses, building the team to suit him essentially, and most of us as well as most teams just can’t consider him worth it.

  100. warriorsablaze

    The Bucks are a sub .500 team in the weaker conference, while the Warriors– the team we are supposedly all fans of — is 10 games over .500 in the brutal west… yet, people on here are still talking about Monta Ellis and complaining about the team? Of course no team, or deal, is perfect, but the level of negativity in here towards a team going to playoffs and moving up in the league is pretty ridiculous.

    • You’re right – True dat! Lot to be pleased about.

      It is, however, fun to discuss what might have been. Go back in time and do things a little differently. There are a few things I’d like to take back…

      I love the positive direction the team’s headed. But the Houston Rockets are nipping at our heals after only one year blowing out their roster! Lol!

  101. This “birth of a superstar” in Curry is as annoying as it is phony. Curry isn’t showing anything that he didn’t show his first preseason game, his first season. He did a phenomenal job with a horribly hobbled squad that year. Nelson brought him out.

    Then Smart held him back the next year, Lacob’s replacement for Nelson, whom he fired. But he still had excellent stats. The next year, of course, he went down with injury most of the season.

    It might be helpful to read the posts, W’aB. I don’t see Bucks fans or praise. And the argument isn’t that Ellis is missed, but that by not doing the Bogut deal, the team would have been in a position to take advantage of opportunities such as Harden. Instead they were saddled with Bogut and Jefferson’s contracts—and Biedrins’.

    Or by keeping Ellis, they would have been in a much better position to develop this year and next. Instead, they have no cap leeway whatsoever to add some needed basic players. And they’ll have less money to work with next season. I don’t see growth. I see a stunted team.

    The West is nowhere as brutal as it was last season—look at the records, look at the rosters. Every team from five on down is decidedly weaker. There is a window of opportunity here that has been missed. And it may close on us next season.

    It could easily be argued that this year’s team is not much better than last year’s, before the trade. That team was a few games under 500—but Curry missed 13 of those games and played limited minutes in several others.

    You aren’t on the Lacob payroll, are you?

    • warriorsablaze

      Birth of a superstar is about perception and his role on the team. We’ve all known what he can do, but he is at a different level this season. He is impacting games at a higher level. You keep Ellis, you drop Curry’s usage down several % points while Ellis wastes a bunch of possessions on midrange bricks.

      I don’t think we put ourselves in a better position at all without the Ellis trade. First of all, we definitely lose our pick to Utah because we’d still be a .450 team. We basically tried to trade Ellis for almost 3 years straight. He has limited perceived value in the league. Trades don’t happen in a vacuum…the other team has to actually want your players. Most major moves stick at least one team with a “Jefferson” contract.

      You see a stagnant team because you follow the Feltbot line that Barnes isn’t going to be any good and Bogut will never provide an impact (even though he currently is becoming just that again)… that chemistry and player improvement won’t fill the gaps that you are perceiving…. that having Rush back suddenly makes our bench a whole different story. There’s a bit of faith involved, but that’s the nature of the beast. Nobody thought Paul George would do what he’s doing… but he is. We can only hope that either Klay or Barnes reaches a next level to complement Curry.

      The team has certainly made some mistakes (Biedrins, obviously)… but I just don’t see cause for the degree of hindsight doom and gloom on this board.

      • This year’s team is markedly better than the Ws team last season before the trade. And it’s not even close.

      • Salary cap next year, with Landry, without Jack:

        http://www.hoopsworld.com/golden-state-warriors-team-salary

        Jefferson and Bogut each go up a million.

        • the big raise is going to curry, same as any über-successful young vet starting his post-rookie n.b.a. contract. lee’s raise is also a bit more than the rookie-scale raises that thompson, ezeli, and green will be seeing.

          • True dat, the Ws will get either Jack OR Landry (not likely both) AND Rush – next season. Hopefully, more games from Bogut and Curry.

            Who knows what vet the team will sign?

            I’m excited about the prospect named Todd Basemore!!! I think Todd Basemore’s a rotation player should an opportunity open up (say Jack gets PAID somewhere else). His athleticism and defense – and he’s improving his offense…

    • we’re in no position to know what other trades could have been possible (in the actual not conjectural/fantasy realm) if the trade with Mil didn’t happen. but until any ellis trade did happen, the team’s growth and development would have been confined by his minutes, his preferences on offense, his inconstant attention to basic team defense. they’re not often engaging to watch now, but their act with ellis was more tiresome (was never enthralled with his highlight plays, because of their overall cost to how the team did). no reason to regret the trade on the basis of a possible better deal arising later.

  102. @104 Feltbot

    14 assists and 6 steals!

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore;_ylt=ArXDfRPtzIKnBw5YVQOBrxo5PaB4?gid=2013040115

    It was against Charlotte, but still a wow.

    It seems to me that a lot of Warriors fans who are encouraged and enthused about the team’s results this year overlook something Mark Jackson doesn’t overlook – his best lineup, his FINISHING lineup, is one WITHOUT Bogut but with Jarrett Jack.

    In that lineup, Jack is the primary ballhandler and Curry plays off-guard.

    So just as a little thought exercise, replace Jack with Ellis. Leave Bogut out of the picture, as the coach does. Under that scenario, does the team finish games better, or not as well? Right NOW, would the team be better with Ellis or JJack?

    Does anyone really think JJack helps the team finish games stronger than Ellis would? Let’s ask precisely the same question another way: does anyone actually believe Jack demands more attention from defenses than Monta would?

    Monta is a freakin’ magnet for defenses. Wouldn’t that free up Curry and Thompson more? Wouldn’t having Ellis on the floor make Curry and Thompson’s jobs easier? If you can’t see what I’m seeing there, how about this: How many times did you ever see Monta Ellis get stopped by a double team? (My personal answer: not once last year.)

    Just a thought exercise, but c’mon now, apply a few brain cells to this, please.

    Trashing Monta for playing whatever game his coach tells him to play is just silly. With Curry injured last year, Monta was told to play THE MAN. He did that, leading the team with double- and triple-team defenses draped all over him. Do you Monta haters even remember how awful the rest of the team was last year? Why would anyone even bother guarding Kwame Brown? Do you remember anyone ever bothering to challenge Udoh’s shot? Defenses learned to take away Dorell Wright’s corner 3, but never worried about his drive. He didn’t have any. And Klay Thompson couldn’t hit a shot for the first 3 months of the season.

    Despite the team’s limited offensive threats (a 2.5 player attack at best), Monta led the team in assists last year. With the Bucks this year, Monta spent the first half of the season deferring to Brandon Jennings. Now, paired with a realiable 3-point shooter in place of Jennings, Monta is playing as sort of a Super-JJack. That didn’t come about because Ellis is an egomaniac, it happened because:

    EVERY COACH MONTA ELLIS EVER HAD WANTS MONTA TO HANDLE THE BALL! A LOT!

    Monta doesn’t need anyone to defend his performance, he does just fine at that himself. He does need more training and advice on handling a microphone. But as bball fans, don’t let his horrible interview skills influence your opinion of him as a ball player. They’re both necessary skills in the business that is the NBA, but they’re unrelated. Bad interviewees can kick ass on the court. If you want examples, start with Rick Barry.

    It’s possible that next year the Warriors will be (very different, but) better than this year’s team because a healthy Bogut could be one seriously kick-ass player. I LOVE that guy! Against all odds, he’s overcome multiple career-threatening injuries to start making a contribution once again, and he seems to keep getting better with every game. But he won’t be fully healthy until next year. If then.

    The fact is that the Warriors would be better right now, this season, if Monta were on the team instead of JJack and yes, Andrew Bogut. If you don’t think so, you don’t have a clue about the game of basketball.

    And if you think some theoretically possible future success counts for more than a burrito fart in the NBA, just check the player injury reports.

    I love Andrew Bogut (Andrew, call me!)! But with Monta they’d have had an even better record this year. Monta is a monsta.

  103. @106 and elsewhere

    All speculation, of course, is idle. So we’re left either living with what we have, maybe even being satisfied, or maybe drifting into complaceny, perhaps being suckered into thinking what a great GM Lacob is. Or we can stop watching, a sore temptation. The desire to speculate again next season, however, will be greater, when we see how shorthanded the team is.

    Meanwhile, others are given to speculation about how great Bogut and Barnes will be, once the former is healthy and the latter develops, and how great the team will be when this happens. I think my speculation is grounded in greater reality.

    My main interest, however, is not to fantasize but keep my bearings and continue realizing what might yet get forgotten, what a poor job Lacob has done managing this team and how he may well leave the team weak in years to come. My other interest is my great regret that two superlative seasons by Curry and Lee will be go for little. A better designed team could have made a better run in the playoffs.

    As for basis for speculation, it’s impossible to know what players might have been available, though many options have been discussed here over the years. But money talks. This is rough, but Bogut + Jefferson = $48 million over two years. Ellis + Udoh = $27, a difference of $21 million. And they wouldn’t have needed Jack, or his $5.4 million, or worried about his return next year at a possibly larger salary. That’s a lot of money and it’s hard to believe something better couldn’t have been done.

    Let me ring up three games, but there are better examples, many of them:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore;_ylt=At2PXwMl0ShW5ammP12hJxc5PaB4?gid=2012011009

    We beat Miami with Brown at center and Ellis, no Curry. (Do note Nate’s contribution.)

    Now compare with this game:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore;_ylt=AlT_d9wDR1Pgj68uO_E.SSukvLYF?gid=2013011609

    No Curry but Jack, and the team can’t score and gets creamed by Miami. Please don’t tell me Bogut would have made any difference.

    And look at this game:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore;_ylt=AreY6AIsg4.dYZ9LRRhSOM45PaB4?gid=2012020907

    We beat Denver with Curry and Ellis (and Nate!), and Biedrins and Udoh. Come playoffs, will the current roster be able to repeat this? 7 assists for Curry, btw. He seems to have been playing point.

    I defer to you, moto, on all matters NBA and probably non-NBA—except Ellis. The numbers just aren’t there. I’m not clear that Jack, hardly quick, is that much better a defender. Anybody got numbers or analysis here?

    But while I’m fantasizing, we missed a treat. What if they decided to go small and played Curry, Ellis, and Nate? If those guys ever got on the same page (not certain) and were turned loose, they would have been hell.

    • And I forgot—

      We could have had Harden.

    • no deference needed, nor desired rgg, there’s only one boss on this site. it’s just a taste preference, and more folks like ellis’ swagger than don’t. the rest is our individual rationalizations. more of us here agree that lacob is literally amateurish in managing the on-court and bench sectors of his enterprise.

      there’s nothing lacob has said or done that indicates he likes open court, transition oriented offense ; he’s politely conceded that it’s entertaining and occasionally expedient but generally sneered at nelson’s hoops philosophy. lacob probably liked jackson’s Ind teams with the trio of big, slow bangers and deliberate, no hurry point guard. it’s diminished my interest in the team to see so much of jack with the ball emulating that style, and how ill-suited he is for transition offense.

      • The problem, of course, is that Lacob is 5 or 6 players away from the kind of team he wants. Will he keep trying? Or will we get stuck in the kind of compromises we’ve seen, teams that are neither fast and talented nor strong and physical.

        Franchise players, the ones that Lacob covets and has vainly sought, are hard to get, even when you have the money. But good players are often available. And I have all the proof in the world: we were able to pick up Jack and Landry, late in the trade season. Other deals could have been made if the Bogut trade didn’t go through.

        What scares me is two years from now, when he does have all that money. The temptation to squander it will be great.

  104. OK, I’m through flamethrowing for the time being, let’s talk about where the team goes from here.

    Everyone’s agreed that the Warriors won’t get past the first round of the playoffs this year, right?

    What will it take for the team to do better next year?

    I have a few ideas, but like moto I’m kinda bored watching the team poundpoundpound a round ball into a square hole. How do they get better? Oh, and pleasepleaseplease don’t tell me it’s up to Harrison Barnes.

    Anyone?

    • Well, this is the problem. There won’t be any money.

    • warriorsablaze

      It’s really impossible to tell. You never know who is going to become available at any given time for trade purposes. Barnes may not be popular on this blog, but he’s still considered a high upside player with top notch athleticism. He’s the type of player GM’s overpay for historically. Klay is also overvalued around the league right now… his on-court performance doesn’t match his league-wide perception. Elite shooter? Not even close so far.

      We may not be getting any major free agents this next offseason, but we’ll be in good position to do so the following season, as Curry enters his prime. He’s the type of player that will attract others, especially if we continue to be a “team on the rise”.

      There’s also chemistry. The best teams in the league have relatively stable core rosters. Even Miami took a few years to figure it out. This roster has been in constant flux for years. Bogut has barely played, so we don’t even know how much he will really contribute. He may have seemed plodding early on, but he has not slowed the team down as of late at all. Probably best to assess Bogut at where he is now, rather than cumulatively. He’s steadily been moving better, contributing more, passing the fuck out of the ball unlike any other big man.

      We have assets and a burgeoning star that will attract players if the team can build on its success from this season. There’s simply no evidence, none, that we would be better off without the Bogut trade. There is evidence, however, that we are currently 10 games over .500. Nothing is perfect, but perhaps as a fan you might consider acknowledging the success and enjoy it a bit? No need to be homer when your team is actually having some success. It’s bizarro world in here…. with people saying Ellis is better than Harden and some other genius suggesting that Landry needs to play the 3. Ha ha.

      • Barnes and Thompson might well have proven to have been fine complementary players, and Thompson has shown the greatest promise. At least they are affordable. But the way Lacob has structured the team, they have been pushed into starting roles and the team depends too much on them. Barnes has not delivered much at all.

        What core? The only core the team will have after next season is Curry and Lee—but that’s exactly what they had at the end of Cohan’s reign. And the team then was better poised to grow than it is now. They had dumped all their bad salaries, except for Biedrins.

        I do hope you don’t include Bogut in that core, thinking his contract should be renewed.

        There is no evidence to suggest Bogut has helped the team, either. He hasn’t figured in one single substantial win. But there is ample evidence to prove they can play well without him:

        http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players/3927/gamelog;_ylt=AgIJj55VlBgI3s9ms1MliukYPaB4

        And how much better would that Bogutless team have been with a few more better players, or even just one?

        Bogut didn’t do much to help the Australian Olympic team against the US:

        http://www.thebasketballworld.com/olympic_games/boxscores/2008qf_usa_australia.htm

        4 points, 2 boards

        He didn’t help the Bucks much against the better teams, or get them further than the bottom of the seeds in the weak Eastern Conference.

        He didn’t help the Bucks get past the first around of the playoffs in his only appearance.

        And then there’s his health. . . .

        • (Sorry, White Hat. But the way this works is that a player has to prove himself beyond idle speculation. He has to make a substantial difference, beyond debate. Then you lambast me for my criticism and I say aw shucks maybe I was wrong and maybe even start admiring Bogut and enjoy watching him play and we move on.

          But it hasn’t happened yet. It hasn’t come close.)

          • rgg, sorry if I’ve said stuff that feels like “lambasting.” Not my intent to make anyone feel bad.

            When you’re right you’re right. You correctly pointed out that Bogut hasn’t shown the Ws much yet. I admire his grit, and am probably being optimistic in projecting his contribution next year. He’s done a hell of a lot of no-fun work to come back from his ankle injury. That makes him an unusually tough, determined guy. That’s a winner in my book.

            We’ll see next year.

      • OK, I’ll bite, WAB.

        In what way is Ellis not better than Harden?

        • if you consider ellis and harden “SG’s”, just consider their effective f.g. pct. and their true shooting pct., either for their careers or this season. harden has a less dominating, but still discernible edge in rebounding, and in perimeter defense. if you think ellis should be a lead guard, harden’s assists aren’t shabby at all for a 2-guard.

          harden’s constant trips to the foul line aren’t the highlight material like ellis’ drives to the rim, but ellis himself negates his effectiveness by insisting on low percentage mid range attempts. drawing fouls and converting .80 or more of the free throws just helps win games.

          • Moto, we can both find stats to support to support our POV. Here are mine:

            http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/2751/monta-ellis
            http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/3992/james-harden

            Monta leads in most categories, Harden in some. Some intangible differences:
            – Every year Ellis’s coaches try to make someone else the team leader, and every year Monta finishes the season as top dog.
            – Harden has mostly been a 6th man. For his last 3 years with the Ws, Ellis averaged 40+ min. per game.
            – Ellis has been his team’s go-to player for years. For his last 2 seasons, Ellis was routinely his opponents’ defensive focus. Harden has mostly been a 6th man. Playing with Durant and Westbrook, Harden would never be double-teamed. Yet Ellis’ scoring and assists aren’t bad for a guy who was always surrounded by defenders.

    • Max, from the link:

      “He also held the distinctions of being the youngest player named to the All-BAA or NBA Team until his record was broken by Lebron James in 2006 and the youngest player to lead the league in scoring until his record was broken by Kevin Durant in 2010.”

    • Thanks, rgg!