Poorly Constructed: Thunder 116 Warriors 97

I think we can all agree after this fiasco that the one team the Warriors don’t want to see in the playoffs is the Thunder. They simply match up horribly against them. In this game, the playoff-ready Thunder ruthlessly exposed every major hole on the Warriors’ poorly constructed roster.         

There are three:

1) Bogut at center: I missed Bogut’s 8 minutes in this game, so I can’t comment on how he played, except to note that he was -7. And when TNT tuned into the game at 2:55 1Q, the Warriors were sitting on 15 points, down 22-15. These excruciatingly slow starts are a bit of a theme for the Bogutted Warriors, aren’t they.

The Thunder play a bit of 4 on 5 themselves, but note that Perkins doesn’t cripple their spacing like Bogut does the Warriors, since Ibaka spreads the floor. Nor does Perkins cannabalize Ibaka’s game the way Bogut cannabalizes David Lee’s game, because Ibaka isn’t a pick and roll player.

It should also be noted that Bogut simply can’t be played against the Thunder in the fourth quarter, when they go to Ibaka at the five and Durant at four. There’s simply no one for either Bogut or David Lee to guard. We saw this problem play out tonight for Ezeli, Biedrins and Landry as well — all of whom are far more mobile than Bogut.

Bottom line, the Thunder are a horrible matchup for Bogut. They could run him off the court any time they wanted.

2) No two-guard: The Warriors are literally the only team in the NBA that doesn’t have a two-guard on their roster. Unless you want to count rookie 12th man Kent Bazemore, who is almost certain not to be in the playoff rotation.

Not having a two-guard absolutely killed the Warriors in this game. First, because Klay Thompson was forced to guard Westbrook. Klay is long, yes, and does an incredible job with his gifts. But this is ultimately not a winning answer. Just look at what the extraordinary energy expenditure did to his shooting on the other end.

But also because Barnes and Green were frequently forced to pick up Westbrook and Kevin Martin on switches. Their  foul trouble was not completely due to having to guard Kevin Durant. The Thunder had a completely dominant quickness advantage on the perimeter. KMart could drop forty at will against this Warriors team. He was wide open all game.

Brandon Rush was lost in the second game of the season. Joe Lacob had all season long to plug this hole. Why didn’t he?

Could it have anything to do with his obsession with the salary cap, that led him to strip the Warriors bench even further at the trading deadline, for the third straight year ? (Could the Warriors have used Charles Jenkins in this game?)

3) No spread four: I’ve discussed ad nauseam how the Warriors lack of a spread four hurts their offense, and in particular the beautiful pick and roll game of Curry and Lee.

It also cripples their defense, as was never made more evident than by this game. If you want to see something absolutely comical, rewind the tape to the early fourth quarter. You will see the Thunder playing a front line of Collison at 5, and Durant at 4. You will see the Warriors going with their erstwhile finishing lineup, Lee, Landry, Thompson, Curry and Jack.

And you will see David Lee guarding Derek Fisher.

DEREK FISHER.

Because who else could he guard, if Landry is on Collison?

Klay Thompson was used as the spread four, guarding Kevin Durant, in this Warriors lineup. It’s a role that you might think the 6-8″, 210 lb. — with a 40 inch vertical leap — Harrison Barnes might be suited for.

But we all know he’s not, don’t we? Playing power forward, rebounding, playing defense — not part of his brand.

Stephen Curry: Early in the season I responded to a Marcus Thompson rant about Curry jacking up threes in transition. It was my contention that a Stephen Curry walk-up three was the best shot in basketball. Converted at over 1.2 points per possession. At the time, I was basing my argument on my eyes and my judgement, not having the stats to back me up.

On the TNT broadcast, Steve Kerr mentioned that Mark Jackson told him that Curry is best shooting in transition, “when he can step into those threes.” I’m assuming that Kirk Lacob showed him the stats.

QED.

And I think it’s worth mentioning that Don Nelson had a complete grasp of this concept before the computer was even invented.

Thank you Don Nelson, for all the wonderful players — like Stephen Curry — you drafted. And thank you for the unique brand of beautiful, WINNING basketball you invented, and allowed us all to witness.

The brand of basketball that is now winning titles in the NBA, and becoming established wisdom in this new age of the quant.

Festus Ezeli:  Take another look at that pick and roll with Curry that Ezeli completed near the end of the 2nd Q.

Now take another look at Ezeli guarding Kevin Durant on a pick and roll at 7:00 3Q. Ezeli goes out to pick up Durant at the free throw line, forces him out of the lane, and pressures him into throwing away a pass.

Two things that Andrew Bogut can’t do.

Festus Ezeli ain’t Andrew Bogut. But Andrew Bogut ain’t Festus Ezeli either.

The Andrew Bogut Myth: Speaking of the devil, Bogut went out with a left ankle “sprain” in the first quarter. The word from Warriors sources is he suffered it in the TWolves game.

Hmm. Is it nasty of me to be skeptical of this “sprain”? No, it isn’t. Not given Joe Lacob’s track record of lying about Warriors injuries. Given that sordid record, in fact, it would actually be quite kind and generous of us to believe that Bogut sprained his ankle.

If you didn’t already hear the news, I’ll repeat here what I wrote in the last thread regarding the interview Bogut gave last night to Jim Barnett on Warriors Roundtable: He admitted, in so many words, that his ankle is still killing him. He has good days and bad days. He doesn’t go out after games or practice, because he needs to stay off it. He feels as if he doesn’t have his legs under him enough to play in the low post.

When asked if he ever had doubts that he would make it back, he answered, “I still have doubts.”

Bogut might have an ankle sprain. But he also has osteoarthritis.

By the way, Charles Barkley spent a lot of time last night stating that the Warriors need a big man. Here’s a couple of characteristic quotes:

They need a big guy. They’ve got to get some help for David Lee down low.

 They’ve got to get a center to go with David Lee.

Doesn’t Barkley realize that the Warriors have Andrew Bogut on their roster? That they are finally built “the right way”?

Maybe Adam Lauridsen can set him straight.

Klay Thompson: Take another look at what was a terribly frustrating sequence for Klay, but which nevertheless made feltbot sit up and take note.

At 10:51 3Q, Klay moves his feet to stay in front of a Russell Westbrook drive, then caps his pull-up J at the top. It was wrongly called a foul.

The following possession, Klay drove the lane and went right at Thabeet for the one-hand thunder jam. It hit the back rim and bounced out.

These plays didn’t work out, but yes. Yes, young man, yes.

The Brand: At 7:50 4Q, Barnes attempted to post up Derek Fisher. Fisher goaded him into an offensive foul. Nothing unusual, Fisher’s been doing this for years, and not just to raw rookies.

But take note of this play. Because in the playoffs, you may see Harrison Barnes guarded by the point guard a lot. It is simply the best way to guard the Warriors: Your long all-pro defensive two guard (Iguodala, Green) taking Curry. Your all-pro defensive three (Chandler, Leonard) stifling Klay Thompson. And your point guard (Andre Miller, Tony Parker) guarding The Brand.

Tony Parker? Yes, Greg Popovich guarded Barnes with Tony Parker for several possessions in the last game. Mark Jackson responded by sending Barnes into the low post to punish the cross-match three times.

Parker stripped him twice.

And that was the end of that.

53 Responses to Poorly Constructed: Thunder 116 Warriors 97

  1. bogut is trying to help the brain trust out with his recent true confessions and this no show vs. a playoff team, but will they get the message ? the melodrama could drag on all next season, but we can still hope that they’ll let him look for his next contract elsewhere.

    re. the Chi-NY contest mentioned at the end of the previous thread, Chi has a very good young, two way wing, Butler, drafted at the very end of the first round, no tanking required. players like him or G.Hill in Ind (first developed by Popovich in SA) or Hou’s Parsons aren’t hyped or costly, but having the right coach/team to nurture them might be an essential part of their finding a niche. that would be another reason in favor of the ‘find another big star’ plan.

  2. Feltso,

    Bogut’s numbers are pretty good: http://www.82games.com/1213/12GSW16.HTM

    Barnes averages -12 net points against his opposition:
    http://www.82games.com/1213/12GSW7.HTM

    That suggests that the Warriors’ slow starts are more Barnes than Bogut. It might also explain why the team runs plays for Barnes early in the game.

    Wonder what Barnes’ net points would look like without the extra effort the team always makes to get him going.

    • I’m not even certain of what I’m looking at here.

      And let’s not forget that Bogut has played 20 home games as against 10 away. That’s enough to make any of his stats suspect to me.

      My eyes tell me that David Lee has a much smaller offensive role, the Warriors have a much slower pace, and Curry and Thompson are guarded more closely. That’s down to Bogut.

  3. Poorly constructed—the nail is hit on the head. This is the Warriors’ real problem. They faced a deep squad, finely playoff tuned, and didn’t have a chance.

    The announcers repeated the party line, that the Warriors were weakened by the absence of a center, specifically a Bogut. Bogut doesn’t stop Durant or Westbrook. Nor does he shore up the weaknesses at other spots, and in fact, because of his lack of mobility, exposes them. But no center makes much of a difference for either team.

    Forget about centers. Put Durant and to a much lesser extent Westbrook aside. The hopes of getting a player like them in the draft are practically nil and paying for either would be enormously expensive, in salary and/or the players who would have to given up for the trade. Instead, look at the rest of OKC’s roster:

    Sefolosha, 6-7, an athletic 2 guard capable of scoring. 6 years experience, $3.6m salary.

    Ibaka, 6-10, an athletic F who has learned to shoot. 3 years experience $2.3m.

    Even look at Collison, who would be a boost to the Warriors. 6-10, 9 years experience, $2.9m.

    And OKC also has a cheap PG in Jackson who might develop as serviceable backup, plus were able to bring in a veteran in Fisher who is useful. Also they can string Thabeet along at minimum wage in case he develops as a center.

    Put differently OKC is getting a lot more bang for its bucks. Possibly championship bang.

    Set Lee and Curry aside—and I say Klay. A comparison might be made between him and Martin, and I take Klay hands down. For price, Klay is our best investment.

    But after that, the Warriors have no one with comparable length, skills, and athleticism—and experience. What’s worse, they have neither the plan nor the money to make up this deficiency. And the needed experience is many years away.

    Jack has done well for the team, but really he is a compromise on D and O at 1 or 2. Also the team doesn’t have the money to bring him back.

    Landry has served well and has experience but falls short on athleticism and length. He’s also pushing the cap, the way it is constructed now.

    Rush, I’m holding my breath, and his experience isn’t great. A MCL and ACL tear doesn’t sound good.

    After that, nada on real depth, athleticism, and experience.

    Barnes is the best prospect, but we haven’t seen much yet and the most optimistic appraisal is he is 3-4 years away.

    Ditto on Green and Bazemore. In Green’s case, scoring is very uncertain now. If Bazemore is a true 2, as FB says, he’s still a bit small and is years away.

    No other veterans on the squad, no real developing point guard.

    No one on the team has real playoff experience.

    I hope Lacob was watching and learned something last night.

    I doubt it. It sounds like he’s content to sit and wait for magic from the King of Oz.

    Wait—Lacob thinks he is the King of Oz.

    We’re in trouble.

    As for the coach, moto, I can’t decide whether the problem is Jackson or his roster, and if it is Jackson, whether he’s under mandate to follow the Lacob Plan. Much of what we’ve seen is promising. We’ll never know how good he is until we see him work with a full roster. At any rate, he only has two years experience. It’s also hard to think about coaching because good, veteran coaches are hard to find.

    • Note, too, repeating myself once again, that Lacob has now had three years to build depth and experience. Instead we have seen new rosters every year and may be preparing for yet another clean slate in a couple of years.

      Fire Joe Lacob.

    • A last point. We lost because we couldn’t get the offense going, especially 2nd. half, when OKC went into overdrive, and the reason isn’t Durant or Westbrook, who alone can’t stop our scoring, but the whole OKC team.

  4. No major surprises here for me.

    The Oklahoma City Thunder have BETTER PLAYERS than the Golden State Warriors.

    No center? No spread four? No shooting guard? I get it. I’d settle on a really good defensive/rebounding PF or center.

    I think the Warriors are only 2 players away to seriously contend for the NBA Championship…

    Unfortunately those two players might be Serge Ibaka AND Russell Westbrook or Kevin Durant! Lol!

    The W’s tanked last season for a pick high enough to draft a difference-making player. The W’s may have picked the wrong one in Barnes (I’m not smart enough to know) – Drummond or Harkless seem like the better prospects to me today – but Harrison’s still got a little more time. Or not!

    The W’s need to trade Barnes – if he isn’t a good player (or developed if he will be a good player) while teams would still want him. And get back draft pick(s) or something we need.

    Like it or not, the W’s $33 million+ of dead money coming due after next season’s expirings (Bogut, Jefferson, and Biedrins) will be the W’s next opportunity to get seriously better to contend for a title.

    A decent W’s team – there’s a lot of good things about this team I love.

    They just need a few more really good players!!!

  5. With regard to Adam Lauridsen, there are some who believe that he is merely a shill for the Warriors. Personally, I don’t think so is so. I think he sincerely believes the crap he discharges regularly in his blog.

    He first exposed himself as a novice and wrong-headed basketball analysis when he opposed the Warriors obtaining D. Lee the future all-star. This was one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history. His reasoning was that the Warriors should not have been giving up A. Randolph had a huge upside and that D. Lee was going to earn to much.

    With a straight face he puts down in writing for all to see the most idiotic analysis. As he claims the trade for Bogut was great because it was addition by subtraction by getting rid of M.Ellis. He simply ignores that the Warriors could have traded Ellis for another player for value. He ignores that Bogut did not play last year, has played sparingly this year, and rests his hope on Bogut playing well next year.

    Contrast Lauridsen’s lame reasoning with that of NBA premier analyst Bill Simmons ,who correctly pointed that the trade was terrible because Lacob, like many new owners, wanted to make a big splash and traded for a injured player with only a prayer that he could play.

    One has to question why he has such a loyal and devoted following.

  6. Bright spot last night: look at Curry’s brilliant backward assist to Barnes @ 2:10. You also see highlights from the first quarter we missed—and how well Bogut protected the rim.

    There were a lot of turnovers, sloppy if you want to call them that, but really they were attempts to get an offense going which simply wasn’t equipped to move against OKC. I see no difference between those TOs and the many possessions 2nd half where they protected the ball but couldn’t get a good shot off.

    I’ll resist the temptation to ring up Nate’s highlights last night.

  7. in his pre game conversation w. Roye, Barnett named two players the woeyrs would have to contain to stay with OK — Ibaka and Martin. suppose the preacher/malone had rush healthy and could match their ideal defender (barnes, thompson, rush, green, or bazemore vs. martin) against these role players. OK might win by nine, rather than nineteen. efficient, disciplined movement without the ball, with ball handlers and recipients ready and primed would still set the two teams apart. Frank, that was in my response in the last thread to your proposals to improving the team’s performance. one suspects that the woeyrs have at least some players who could do this in their own offense, but do they have the coaching and the mind for offense on the bench ?

  8. The Thunder shot quite well against the Warriors during Bogut’s limited stint on the floor in the first quarter. They also dominated the offensive glass garnering 5 of their 13 offensive rebounds with Bogut playing alongside D. Lee.

    Thompson, once again, reverted to shooting the ball poorly, going 2-10 from the floor. He has to become consistent. The Warriors really need him to show up in the playoffs.

    I agree with Hat that Barnes should not be starting.

    Jefferson should have been starting the whole year. He has a higher basketball IQ by being in the NBA so long. Barnes could have learned from him coming off the bench.

    Why the Warriors traded for Jefferson who shot 43% from three point and had a effective FG% of 53% last year with SA, but instead decided to play Barnes who is shooting a 49% effective FG% is beyond comprehension. The Warriors have let Jefferson languish and rot on the bench all year, and now are starting to play him with the playoffs o the immediate horizon. The Warriors will need him in the playoffs.

    For those who think the Warriors greatly improved their roster with the addition of Thompson, Barnes, Ezeli, and Green, one should consider what Orlando has done to replenish their roster. While Orlando are not in the playoffs, they retooled quite nicely by trading D. Howard, and obtaining Affalo, Harkless and Vucevic, drafting Nicholson, signing Davis, and then trading for Toby Harris.

    In my judgment, they have a better young core of players to build on than do the Warriors. Barnes, both now and in the future, is not be worth of being a starter, nor will Ezeli or Green. And, I see Thompson as being more of a sixth man. But, the Warriors will continue to push Barnes down our throat for that is their guy, the guy they drafted with the seventh pick.

    And while I hope the Warriors do well in the playoffs, all we have is hope, as I don’t expect the Warriors to advance to the second round in the playoffs nor for such to change next year.

    The day of reckoning will be what the Warriors do or don’t do after Biedrins, Jefferson, and Bogut’s contracts expire next year. If the Warriors are smart, none will be resigned. But, being smart, had not appeared to date, except for the signing of Landry and Jack, in the Warriors management DNA.

    And while I have great respect for Jerry West, time will tell whether the Warriors made a mistake by drafting last year Thompson over K. Leonard, Faried or Vucevic for that matter, and Barnes over Harkless or Drummond this year. And to think the Warriors tried to trade up to get MKG. Ouch! Glad that didn’t happen.

    K. Leonard provided SA with 2 additional scoring opportunities per game last year, and 1.5 this year, while Thompson had cost the Warriors per game. .5 less possessions. If we had Harkless and
    Leonard we likely would have averaged 3.5 extra possessions per
    game.

    • We don’t see what Jefferson does in practice. On the floor, he shows little confidence in his offense. Remember, he got booed in San Antonio and may prove to be the most wasteful contract for the Spurs in years.

      We don’t know West’s influence, though have little indication it is great. But the other factor to consider, and let’s give West full credit, is whether he is the right mentor for the type of core players the Warriors have. Lacob selected him for a reason, as West fit his “philosophy.”

    • One Spur blogger said this about Jefferson after the trade:

      “. . . it was painfully obvious to anyone watching the last 2 years that RJ disappears during tight, meaningful games. His series against Memphis was abysmal at best, getting blanked in 2 games, including Game 6, in which he played 10 total minutes, with 1 board and 1 block. Says a lot when you are in an elimination game and your starting SF doesn’t even sniff the floor. Guess what his 3PT % is from the bench? ZERO.”

      http://blog.mysanantonio.com/spursnation/2012/03/15/sources-report-stephen-jackson-acquired-for-richard-jefferson/

    • the lacobites might not be able to learn much from the teams who’ve succeeded in identifying talent in cost effective ways and nurturing it into winning form. they’re probably better off studying the failures like Phi trading for an injured ‘impact center’ and try to avoid similar blunders.

  9. Here’s a win against OKC. Look at who we had and how we did it (Turiaff at center):

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore;_ylt=AvpNg8asNNiKpvRgsUusR6GkvLYF?gid=2010041109

    • Someone is going to argue OKC is a much better team now than then. That is exactly the point. OKC has developed its players, the same players, over the last years. The Warriors haven’t grown at all.

      • in your earlier response, you sounded like you’d give jackson a pass because of the roster he’s been given, or he’s just going along with lacob’s program, or he’s only had two season to learn on the job, or good vet coaches are difficult to identify. yet coaching is essential to see the young ‘assets’ appreciate in the lacob/myers venture capitalist vision. brooks was a longtime assistant before he replaced carlessimo. Ind successfully identified and promoted another long time assistant. is malone going to be a long term solution here, or will he find the big chair on another bench ?

        spoelstra got the job in Mia partly because he was successful in correcting wade’s shooting technique after working with the player in combination with video tape study ; compiling and analyzing video was his task as an assistant. the preacher doesn’t mess with those kind of tasks and never did. fans and media pundits cite his longtime career as a point guard contributing to curry’s emergence, but of course those of us who remember his rookie season, when the preacher was still in his color-provider schtick, don’t really buy that. what can we expect from this coaching staff in terms of getting the most from the roster, since it’s unlikely to see much change before mid season, around Jan or Feb 2014 ?

        • If Cuban were stupid enough to fire Rick Carlisle and Lacob were smart enough to hire him, I would be ecstatic. The first might be possible, especially if Dallas continues to struggle. The latter will never happen.

          We have to define the terms of speculation. Lacobs’s terms:
          1. He has to be young
          2. He has to be “defensive minded,” whatever the hell that means, and there’s much evidence the staff has pushed stats such as rebounding to please the boss
          3. (unspoken) he has to concede to the designs of his boss and not be given the independence any coach needs, especially in recruiting players (Was Jackson big on Bogut? We’ll never know.)

          Under those terms, I’d take Jackson over whomever Lacob would hire next to replace him, in part because I would hate to see this team start over again, in part because of Jackson’s commitment to Curry (cf. Smart), which means he might try to make decisions to maximize Curry’s abilities, a plus for the team. And he has—those walk up threes, for example.

          We really don’t know anything. We don’t know how much influence Malone has, for example, or whether he would be good in getting along with players and directing and motivating them. Jackson still might get some pluses here Nor do we know how much Lacob is dictating strategy. If Jackson wanted to bench Bogut, could he?

          Another problem is that there just isn’t a great supply of coaches, veteran or young. The best now with winning teams—and winning GMs and owners—will stay put.

          And I myself don’t know anything about the young talent that might be out there (along with much else).

          OK, moto, I’m genuinely curious. Define your terms and tell us what might be done. I want to hear this and learn something.

          • The other problem is that there’s no way Lacob is going fire the coach WHO BROUGHT THE WARRIORS TO THE PLAYOFFS! And there are face saving maneuvers, inasmuch as it can be said Lacob has a face (he really doesn’t). He can’t be known as the owner who fired three coaches in four years.

            At some point in speculation I have to concede I am stuck and do the best I can with what I got.

            Firing Lacob would be the easiest solution, however.

          • thank you for the reply. we agree, jackson isn’t going to be fired. next year is his contract year, and the team could easily slip down to .500 and miss the playoffs again, but he’ll be offered another three years. agreed, malone would probably do worse here ; the ‘art’ of public b.s. requires someone not just talented at it but one who revels in it as well, which makes malone easier to replace than jackson for an owner who values public b.s.

            at this stage of the team’s reformation, you’re also correct about the owner requiring a coach with no established approach to the game or preferences in personnel. the preacher might never convince me that he’s better than average at in-game adjustments and moves, or how to get the most from his roster, but pleasing his owner is far, far more important than those matters.

            we probably get to watch the preacher’s brand of middle of the road hoops until the owner’s expectations move on[west could be the guy to encourage them to move on, well behind closed doors], or there’s divine intervention and jackson feels his spiritual duties demand re-dedication. he won’t be fired, but allowed to leave on good terms, because the owner won’t admit to that kind of mistake.

            you’ve probably learned nothing from my answers, and please pardon me for that.

          • Still, the coaching crew does deserve some credit, however they call the shots. They had a fine season under difficult circumstances, or, as we like to think of it here, were able to make better decisions when Bogut went down.

            My real question is who are the potential candidates for upcoming coaches. I like watching good coaching and want to learn from them.

            It’s hard to believe Lacob won’t try to make some major move this summer. Surely it has sunk in by now that Bogut has not yet recovered and may not. Lacob won’t want to be seen as standing put. This may be cause more for alarm than relief, however, given his other decisions.

            I predict a dismal blogging season next year. Everything that needs to be said has been said a hundred times.

  10. rgg: I think Spurs blogger’s view of Jefferson is to limited. Jefferson had an effective year playing for SA, and evidently only was given limited playing time in the playoffs. Last year, I believe Jefferson averaged playing 27 per game for SA, playing for the Warriors I believe he has averaged around 12 minutes per game, and possibly less. Jackson has made no attempt to integrate Jefferson into the offense in the sparse time he is on the court.

    Moto: I went back and read your post (no.47) in the last blog and I agree with your point that the Warriors have been poor in transition defense. And Bogut’s lack of mobility is a factor in other players not gong to the offensive board.

    But it seems to me that when jump shots are taken by the opposition, both Thompson and Barnes often freeze on the wings, and neither retreat nor go to a position on the court where they could get an offensive rebound. And they don’t come to the offensive boards against teams that don’t push the ball up the court. I agree, that such is a lack in coaching. D. Green is his own coach, as he often goes to the glass from the wings and obtains offensive rebounds.

    • yes, and green is also adept at denying the outlet pass from the defensive rebounder, giving his ‘mates a critical second to make the transition to d. he and ezeli are two of the team’s better all around defenders and board men, but we can only play wait and see as far as their growth and ability to compete with the better teams. would not be surprised if green gets packaged with jefferson or biedrins by next Feb. if lacob/myers seek some short term help for next season’s playoff run. they might not be as fortunate with modest winning streaks as they were this year. fans who keep seeing biedrins and jefferson as trade assets next season have to also accept getting another fairly substantial multi-year contract back, because otherwise there’s no reason for another team to take those woeyr vets, and useful vet talent isn’t coming here just for cap relief, either.

    • I like Jefferson, btw. I really want to believe that, given how short-handed the team is, he would get more playing time. I suspect he has simply lost his edge.

      It’s curious, though. He’s a major contract sitting on the bench and we don’t hear much about him, plus or minus. The majority view is that the contract is worth it because he came with Bogut. You know where we stand there.

  11. Moto: You’re probably right that Lacob won’t to wait and take his chances in free agency at the end of next year. He’ll probably try to trade and take a player with a long term contract. He did that this year with NO. The open question is whether the player is a decent player? We have a long time to wait for the answer to that question.

  12. FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

    Spurs waive Stephen Jackson

    The San Antonio Spurs have waived veteran forward Stephen Jackson.

    Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com the Spurs came to the conclusion this week that it was best to release Jackson — even at this unusually late date — to try to “move forward” with the players who will be in coach Gregg Popovich’s playoff rotation.

    Jackson had largely fallen out of that rotation and thus had San Antonio concerned that the 13-year veteran’s “strong personality,” as one source put …

    • Ouch.

      http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/9165599/san-antonio-spurs-waive-veteran-forward-stephen-jackson

      It seems that Jackson is highly unlikely to ever play in the NBA again.

      All the best, Cap’n Jack!

    • This tells you how much the Spurs valued Jefferson, because it’s hard to believe they didn’t know what they were getting into with SJax.

      SJax has another year left at around 10m, right? And does this mean that any team can now make a bid for him, that whatever they pay will go off the Spurs cap, that anyone can pick him up now in fact, though he’s ineligible for the playoffs this year?

      It also means if anyone wants a veteran 2 guard cheap. . . .

      • It also tells you how much our FO was willing to sacrifice to get Bogut, regardless, although it’s not at all clear our FO knows anything about what it’s getting into anywhere.

        I accept all the praise of SJax, but we had every reason to expect the same, or more likely, worse behavior. Seems to me he immediately demanded more money and an extended contract after the trade? With the Warriors, he could well have demanded a starting role. Or else. Remember, this is the guy who left the Warriors gutted some four years ago, early in the season, returning two injured players who scarcely played the rest of that season.

      • SJax really is crazy, bless his heart. He’s just given up his only shot at appearing in a championship game.

        Or maybe this is his swan song. You can’t expect him to go out quietly.

      • Stephen Jackson’s contract is over this season. Jefferson’s last year is next season, thus the need for the Spurs to add in a first rounder to complete the trade – turned into Ezeli…

  13. @ 10, moto:

    NO ONE, NO HOW.

    That’s pretty much the Biedrins/Jefferson trade bait potential unless they’re packaged with someone underpaid but damn good, and traded for someone else’s problem contract(s). As you said, Green is the only possible candidate on the Warriors roster who could help the team unload those deathly contracts.

    And here I was thinking Green could someday be the Ws very own Charles Barkley. Guess that’s not likely to happen.

    Sometimes I hate it when you’re right.

    • I scoured NBA rosters for a possible $9 million (andris) or $10 million (Jefferson) – expiring trade options. What I learned is that most of the longer-term big money contracts that I was hoping the Ws might trade for – those contracts are already gone – amnestied, etc. perhaps there is a rebuilding team out there looking to dump payroll, but I’m not seeing much… Time will present opportunities I’m sure.

  14. @2, Feltbot

    My point was that, by the numbers, playing Barnes measurably hurts the Warriors, but the same is not measurably true of Bogut. I suppose we could say Bogut’s impact is “not yet” numerically measurable.

    Whatever our eyeballs tell us about Bogut, the results are in on Barnes. If the team is “stats-driven,” Barnes’ playing time should decrease. In the playoffs there is no “player development,” it’s only about winning, right?

    • I would have to agree with that, and I hoped that both Jefferson and Green would become bigger parts of the rotation later this year, but it never happened. It appears the Ws are committed to Barnes in the playoffs.

      • Barnes is the future! Until he isn’t! Lol! I don’t see much future upside to giving minutes to Jefferson. He is a nice veteran role player now who gets paid star money. Barnes – has potential for upside – and should be given every opportunity to grow/prove he can play or not – as Curry and Klay were given in their first years.

        Same for Ezeli – why give minutes to Andris? Only to showcase Andris for a trade…

        • PB, totally agree player development is always a coaching objective, except during the playoffs. Then the team wins or stops earning. Haven’t looked at the exact figures for awhile, but selling out Oracle at an average ticket price of $200 (a low estimate) is $3.6 million in ticket sales alone.

          Two first-round playoff games would easily cover Jack’s next contract increase, complete with cap penalties. Four 2nd-round games could cover Lee’s annual salary. Player development be damned, we’re talkin’ real money here.

  15. The Comcast crew is now praising Meyers and Lacob for turning things around after the 23 win season last year. . . .

    I really wonder how much pressure is put on these guys.

    Curry was out. They tanked. They . . .

    never mind.

    • normal m.o. for an authoritarian regime — impose deprivation and hardship, then ease up, increase the bread dole and put on some spectacles in the coliseum.

      for the story line in the near future and next season, like much live theatre, character shapes the plot. if jack departs the rotation and probably the mode of play as well will have to shift. if west had input, one thing he might change is the middling, deliberate game that comes with jack at the point.

      fourth quarter fade in LA — world peace hooks ezeli’s arm on the rebound and throws him, getting the call and fouling out the rookie. biedrins though responds well to the crunch time relief appearance. it’s the two playoff tested vets who falter in the final thirty seconds, jack committing the critical turn over, and landry missing the wide open jump shot. but should they even stake the game on a mid range two from him ? the winning margin comes down to those free throws on the home court call.

  16. That was a phenomenal game on so many levels. This wasn’t the same Laker team, certainly not the same Gasol and Howard we’ve been seeing all season. It was a brilliant game by Curry and Thompson, and a very fine game by Lee. I can think of a hundred other things to say about it.

    And it was all ruined by officiating. They made it through the other calls, but the last call on Curry the last minute, the “foul” on Blake, who wasn’t touched, who got to the free throw line instead of Howard, who wasn’t fouled either, just destroyed the whole thing. It’s sick.

    • I’m still pissed. The refs—or one—kept falling for all the tricks and illusions, calling fouls against the Warriors. But there was nothing that remotely looked like a foul on Blake, and even if Curry brushed him, there’s no way they call fouls like that the last two minutes of a game.

    • the league gains tens of millions of $$ if LA gets to the post season rather than UT.

      if the smirk is erased, Hou has an opportunity to close out with three wins.

  17. They’re talking torn achilles tendon for Kobe. We may have just seen the fall of the Lakers.

  18. The real story:

    http://img2.blogs.yahoo.co.jp/ybi/1/73/8e/unmo_kun/folder/998832/img_998832_27614480_1?1302783923

    Seriously. They should publicize the number of calls made by each ref each game, plus season statistics.

  19. The LA lakers just signed three new players…

    These three new players played every minute of the game.

    Eight on five basketball is sure tough to win…

    The NBA needs the Lakers to make the playoffs. Mo money!

  20. Wow, the Warriors got hit with foul calls for violating Laker air space, while MWP acted like a one-man demolition derby all night. I was especially shocked to see Curry get called for a foul for daring to take the ball away from Dwight Howard. Curry is such a big meanie.

    With the Lakers record this year I’d hoped we’d seen the end of the league’s “Super Secret Kobe Rules.” At least for one night, though, they were in full force at Staples.

    With Kobe injured now, I wonder if we’ll see more of the “SSKRs” or less. Playing without Kobe actually gives the Lakers a chance for better team play – they might do better without him. Maybe the league will have to rename those well known super secret rules.

  21. Felt, any thoughts on why the Warriors have lost the two most remarkable shooting performances from Curry? NY and LA?

    • I didn’t mind seeing getting Curry started early last night. So often they play from behind, wasting plays on Bogut or Barnes. As much as I want to see Curry shoot, I do question strategy last night. If they’re getting ready for the playoffs, they need to get the whole team going and rise or fall on whatever they can manage. I don’t want to see Curry try to win the playoffs singlehanded. Without Lee against the Knicks, it might have been their only shot. But last night?

      But you have to admit, he damn near did it in both games.

  22. How bad was the officiating last night? Can anyone be objective? Feltbot? moto?

    There are levels here, some of which have to be tolerated, however unfortunate.

    There is simple incompetence, which can play out in all kinds of ways but end with inconsistent calling which will often affect one team more than another.

    Home teams and stars get breaks. This is bias, but we kind of live with it.

    Outsized, the Warriors were forced to be aggressive on defense and were forced to guard close, resulting in fouls, though they could have guarded more smartly. Add a ref with a hair trigger, and the fouls pile up. And once they start calling fouls that way, they will be disposed to keep calling them.

    Some fouls are called only because they look like fouls. An arm goes in, for example. Some refs can read these better than others. And there are all kinds of tricks to get fouls called—flopping, etc.—and bad refs will fall for them.

    But all that was exceeded last night, no?

    I’m the kind of guy who is skeptical that Stern fixes games. But man, I’d hate to sit down with the press and review the tapes and try to defend so many of the calls. It’s hard to believe some kind of message wasn’t passed down that it would be good for the Lakers to win the game.

    It’s just not a matter of how many fouls are called, although the discrepancy of Laker vs. Warrior total fouls was glaring. Rather, a few critical calls can influence a game, as we saw last night.

    The foul called against Curry the last minutes, and saying he fouled Blake instead of Howard, was critical and doesn’t look like it falls in any of the categories above.

    We wuz robbed.

  23. I’m trying to make the difference between unfair and outright fixed. You can see the Curry foul here at 4:36:

    • Specifically, the Warriors are up 1 with 44 seconds to go.

      1. That they don’t call moving screen on Howard is not surprising, not the last seconds of the game.

      2. That they might call a foul on Curry against Howard is at least open to marginal, though suspicious visible evidence. But no refs calls anything this slight at the end of the game. And that would have put put Howard on the line.

      3. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that shows Curry coming close to Blake, no movement of any sort from Blake that might even look like he was touched. And of course Blake is a better free throw shooter. (Blake, btw, had a good game. I like Blake and was happy to see this.)

      Has there ever been a worse or more suspicious call?

  24. Donaghy would be proud of his boys: highlight reel of bad ref calls in favor of lakers…. W’s are just one more example…