No Coincidence: Lakers 118 Warriors 116

No offense to Andrew Bogut, whose courage and former talent I admire, but it’s no coincidence that with him out, Stephen Curry dropped 47 on the Lakers in Staples Center.      

Just as it’s no coincidence that with him out, Stephen Curry dropped 54 on the Knicks in Madison Square garden.

It’s no coincidence that the Warriors pushed the tempo relentlessly, breaking out of their pattern of slow first quarter starts, and generated 116 points on the game.

It’s no coincidence that, back again to the style of play that won them so many mid-season games, the style of play Stephen Curry and David Lee were designed by God — and selected by Don Nelson — to play, that the Warriors were poised to win this game.

If only David Stern would have allowed it.

Cheated: It was obvious to even the casual eye that the long hand of David Stern reached out and touched the refs in this game. The difference in revenue to the league between the Lakers and Utah in the first round of the playoffs can be counted in the tens of millions. The Warriors got shafted, hard. A 50-16 free throw disparity. The Lakers got nearly as many free throws in the fourth quarter (14) as the Warriors got in the game.

Kobe gets breathed on in this game, foul. Klay Thompson gets mugged on the other end, no call. That call that fouled out Festus Ezeli, when he was hooked by Metta? Never seen it before. Not even a high school ref blows that call.

Blatant cheating.

And par for the course when the Lakers are in danger. The infamous Lakers-Kings Game Six. The Pippen-Wallace Blazers series. The Fisher buzzer beater against the Spurs. The Brent Barry clubbing. Every series against the Spurs, in fact.

I’ve written a lot about this aspect of David Stern’s NBA in past threads. And I’m not alone in my belief that the League cheats in big games. A former ref, himself a convicted cheater, believes it. Phil Jackson and Mark Cuban are on record as believing it, as well as countless NBA players, including Tracy McGrady and Charles Barkley. Bill Simmons and Michael Wilbon are on record. And so is Ralph Nader.

You saw it in this game. And you are going to see it again this season if you happen to watch Memphis v. Clippers in the first round. Or especially if the Grizzlies miraculously survive to face the Thunder in the second round. And you are going to see it when Denver plays the Thunder in the Conference Finals.

Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin are the new Kobes of the Western Conference.

(By the way, do you remember a couple of years ago when Stern selected Blake Griffin for his first All-Star appearance over LaMarcus Aldridge, despite the fact that the Clippers were in last place with a horrible record, and the Blazers were headed to the playoffs? That should clue you in to the value Stern places on integrity, and what he is capable of doing on behalf of the NBA owners to maximize their revenue.)

So live with it, Warriors fans. You’ll take it, and you’ll like it.

The Warriors’ Defense: The ignorati will point to the Laker’s 118 points, and state that the Warriors’ defense was bad in this game.

I will point to the point-differential, which was a  two point loss to a desperate team in their home building. That could have, and should have been an 8 point win.

I will note that defense must be regarded in the context of style of play, and that giving up 97 points when walking the ball up the court will lose you just as many games as giving up 118 when playing Nellieball.

I thought the Warriors defense — excepting, of course, Harrison Barnes — was excellent in this game.

They did enough to win.

The Andrew Bogut Myth: That didn’t take long, did it? After an MRI, Bogut’s ankle “sprain” has now been upgraded to a “bone bruise”. And he’s now set to have his ankle examined by his microfracture surgeon.

I hope none of the regular readers of this blog believed that “sprain” story. We’ll leave that to the readers of the bloggers that go out to dinner with Bob Myers.

Stephen Curry: Once again, no offense to Andrew Bogut, but I’m grateful that Curry has again been freed to play his up-tempo game. And I’m grateful that Mark Jackson is once again empowering him to play the way he played for Don Nelson in his rookie season.

The way God meant him to play.

David Lee: He didn’t stop Gasol, but neither does anyone in this league — except Kobe Bryant. The injured, aged Kobe needed to lean on Pau in the last few games, and you saw the result.

But to the extent that he was utilized in the Warriors offense, David Lee matched Pau blow for blow. He gave as good as he got.

Big time performance from a player who “struggles against length.”

Klay Thompson: You saw it on this night, didn’t you? The All-Star in the making.

What a fabulous floor game. The 7 assists. A genuine point-forward.

The driving left-handed finish over Gasol.

The Curry-like ability to generate steals.

He got a lot of help in his defense on Kobe. First, from the fact that Kobe moved like a small forward these past few months, virtually unable to drive. And second, from the fact that the Warriors double-teamed almost as soon as Kobe put the ball on the floor.

But he didn’t get any help from the refs.

The Brand: 4 points on 1-6 shooting. He did get 6 rebounds, which is better than his average by half. But then bagels across the board.

Did  you see Mark Jackson attempt to iso him against Steve Blake, ala Klay Thompson? Barnes pounded the ball into a baseline double team, then hoisted an awful turnaround brick. The gulf between Barnes and Thompson as basketball players is as wide as Bob Fitzgerald is annoying.

Can someone tell me why Barnes got 29 minutes in this game, and Richard Jefferson and Draymond Green got zero? Are any of our fabulous Warriors beat reporters on the trail of that story?

I mean, the rookie of the year race is over.

Festus Ezeli and Andris Biedrins: It will go completely unnoticed, but both did a great job of coming out to hedge the pick and roll, and helping Klay Thompson contain Kobe.

And they both did a great job running the floor, and helping Curry and this Warriors team play the style they were built by Don Nelson to play.

Mark Jackson: I’m a fan of Mark Jackson this season. I think he’s done a fine job handling a nearly impossible situation, trying to coach two different teams with two different styles. And walking the political tightrope that entails.

He got it right in this game again. Pushing the tempo relentlessly. Freeing Stephen Curry to be a superstar. Cruelly punishing the mismatches, ala Nellie: isoing Klay Thompson against Steve Blake, and David Lee against Antawn Jamison.

Right up until the last play of the game. Look, Stephen Curry is a cold-blooded closer. One of the best one-on-one basketball players in history, with an all-world handle, all-world shooting ability, and unlimited range. One of the clutchest players in NCAA history, and so far in his short NBA career.

Jackson has to iso Curry at the end of the game. Stephen Curry has to be allowed to go one-on-one at the top of the key. Particularly against the guy he’d burned all night long, Steve Blake.

I love high picks for Curry during the course of the game. Argued for them earlier in the season, in fact. And the high pick was executed perfectly, with Curry beating the Dwight Howard blitz with a perfect pass, getting Carl Landry a wide-open shot.

But.

That is Stephen Curry’s shot.

P.S.:  And no offense to Mark Jackson’s religious beliefs, but they didn’t do the Warriors any favors in their handling of the refs in this game.

122 Responses to No Coincidence: Lakers 118 Warriors 116

  1. You won’t find better coverage of the game last night anywhere. Thanks once more, Feltbot.

    I’m still upset and will remember this game the rest of my life. If you care about a sport, you live for games like the one last night, regardless of standings and consequences and circumstances. Two teams played close to the top of their abilities for one night. It was a magnificent game in and off itself.

    All ruined by a greedy league.

    Even Kobe’s tragic fall and departure, part of the sport, part of the timbre of the game, a major story for the season, for the playoffs, for Kobe’s long, brilliant, and problematic career, was cheapened by the calls. He pushed his body to the limits, and then some, and too far—and came up short.

    But they gave the game to him anyway. He should feel insulted, and I wouldn’t be surprised that he does, privately, as intense a competitor as he is.

    I’m reminded of a tournament Tiger Woods played some years ago (I’ve forgotten all the details). Last day, back nine, and his competitor had a stroke lead, I think. The officials gave him a delay of game warning—I seriously doubt the tournament was fixed—which may well have rattled him, and he missed a critical shot. Tiger was furious.

    • Meant to add—Tiger went on to win, and he complained about the call that might have given him an unfair advantage.

  2. Clips of the calls are popping up on YouTube, including this:

  3. And this (there’s a dog in the background who couldn’t believe it):

  4. Gratuitous Don Nelson reference(s) alert!!!

  5. And this (Lee gets called for the foul, right?):

  6. How would Bogut have done last night? Here’s one example of his performance against Howard while he was “healthy”:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore;_ylt=AnVsGh_0plQdogYR2MKo4mQYPaB4?gid=2011040519

    Bogut: 27 minutes, 2 points, 6 boards, -16
    Howard: 39 minutes, 17 boards, 18 points

  7. What a brilliant/frustrating game to watch as a W’s fan! Basketball beauty and then fixed officiating to propel the Lakers into the playoffs…

    Welcome Stephen Curry Superstar…
    Greatest… pure… shooter… I’ve ever seen!!! Basketball greatness! I’m pumped that I get to watch this kid for a few more seasons!!! Kudos to Meyers and W’s management that he’s locked in for 4 years and $40 million. ABSOLUTE HIGHWAY ROBBERY!!!

    Welcome Klay Thompson, All-Star Candidate…
    I’m so proud of this kid – who’s growing up before our eyes! Klay’s aggressive penetration into the lane – when his perimeter shot wasn’t falling – was a thing of beauty. Klay finished with authority. Penetrated and dished. Klay drew contact (should have gone to the line much more!). Klay created for others. AND he played solid defense… And the W’s have him for a couple more years+ fixed on a rookie deal! And the legend of Jerry West continues, GENIUS talent evaluator…

  8. Instead of a Curry ISO at the top of the key on Blake (not a bad option at all), I would have preferred a Curry/Lee pick and roll/pop in place of Landry. Howard guarding Landry/Gasol guarding Lee. David Lee is getting paid to take this big game shot too.

    Landry – made a similar shot (much closer to the rim) earlier in the game – so the play was a good one.

    Harrison Barnes is still a rookie with great potential. I’d like to hear Jerry West’s take on the Black Falcon. I’m open on what to do with the kid (I’m still on the fence).

    Festus Ezeli – learned many lessons in this game from better, more experienced players in Metta, Gasol, and Howard. Fortunately, he’s a young stud big man on the W’s payroll who will continue only to get better and better. He’s going to get paid when this rookie deal is over! I liken Ezeli’s game to that of Omer Asik when with Chicago.

  9. @Frank
    This was one game where I would have liked to see the Landry SF, Lee PF, Ezeli C lineup. Can Metta light up Landry?

  10. Felty: I couldn’t disagree with you more regarding Jackson’s coaching last night. It was the worse.

    A coach has thre main responsibilities. Make sure the right player’s play, make sure shot distribution go to the best shooters. Jackson did neither last night.

    By your own admission, Barnes should not have played as much and Jefferson should have be given some of his minutes. Not only should have Jefferson taken his minutes, but Barnes should not have played last night. The only thing he does well on offense is take the ball to the rim. It was predictable that wash’t going to happen with Howard and Pau being inside. It was virtually predictable that he was going to have to take short range jumpers that he rarely makes. His shooting 1-6 was no surprise.

    Moreover, if Jefferson has played instead the Warriors would have had some perimeter defense. I doubt that the Lakers would have either shot close to 50% from 3-point range, nor shot 51% for the game.

    Jackson also screwed up by limiting Ezeli’s minutes to 16, and Biedrins to 9. As Ezeli was a plus 8 for the game, Biedrins plus 3.

    One of the reason that Ezeli was plus 8 is the fact he had 4 offensive rebounds and committed no turnovers. By doing so, he provided the Warriors four extra scoring opportunities. How many more offensive rebounds would he have attained if he played more minutes.?

    The shot distribution was just terrible, as shots that Thompson took should have been taken by D.Lee and Landry who both hit over half the shots they took. Thompson took 24 and made 10 shots.

    Look at the results:

    Thompson took 24 shots and scored 25 points compared to
    D.Lee taking 12 shots and scoring 19 points, and Curry taken 31 points and scoring 47 points.

    Thompson did have 7 assists, but such does not detract from the Warriors having a poor shot distribution for the game.

    So, Jackson was a complete disaster last night in running the team. The only good thing he did was have the team run. One can see how much better the Warriors are offensively when they do run. And if Jefferson had played they would have been much better defensively.

    I also think that if Curry did not take the final shot, that Lee should have given that he’s the best mid range jump shooter in the NBA.

    I’m ambivalent whether Curry’s performance can be traced to his not playing with Bogut. With picks set up on top, Curry went off in both the half court set and in the running game. I don’t see why Curry could not have gone off in the half court set with Bogut on the court, nor why the Warriors could not run with Bogut on the court.

    The refs did take the game from us by sending the Lakers to the line 50 times to our 16.

    With honest refs, the right players playing, the distribution of shots better allocated, the Warriors would have blown the Lakers off the court. As the Warriors had 16 OR’s to the Lakers 3, which is 13 net actual scoring opportunities, and committed 8 turnovers to the Lakers 12 turnovers,which is 4 additional scoring opportunities, or 17 additional scoring opportunities.

    The bodes well for the playoffs especially if Bogut does not return and Ezeli continues to dominant the offensive glass. He provided the Warriors with 4 additional scoring opportunities without turning the ball over in his 16 minutes of play. We haven’t seen that from a big man for a long time.

    It should also be noted that individually Curry had four offensive rebounds and 3 steals resulting in 3 Laker turnovers, and he committed only one turnover, for a net 5 additional scoring opportunities. When have we seen a Warrior do that before. What a game Curry had. That’s why everyone will remember it.

    • Your persistent one-to-one correspondence meme is wishful thinking at best. There is no evidence at all that the shots Thompson would have been made at all let alone at the percentage the other player shot.

      • I think your key statement in this diatribe is “This bodes well for the playoffs especially if Bogut does not return…”

        As Felty has been saying all year long, the Warriors are not as good with Boguy hogging the minutes at center.

  11. The Warriors announcers saying that the Warriors turned their season around from by winning more games this year is a given. And surely they have more depth with draft choices and the signing of Landry and
    Jack.

    But, it’s clear to me that last year’s team may well have had close to the same record last year as the Warriors do now except for the trade and Curry’s injury, and the misuse of Ellis.

    But, when we look deeper, when the Warriors made the trade they were merely 3 games under .5oo%. With Bogut coming to the Warriors and not being able to play the Warriors pummeled. It was made worse by Curry not playing many games.

    Part of the reason the Warriors were losing is that Jackson allowed Ellis to take an unfathomable number of shots instead of having Curry done so.

    Just before the trade Udoh was starting to be given more playing time and the Warriors defense skyrocketed to the top of the NBA.

    If Udoh had remained with the team and continued to be given substantial time, if Curry had not been hurt and allowed to shoot the ball more than Ellis, and Jackson had not tanked the season was it not conceivable that the Warriors would have finished last year a few games over .500 like the present Warriors are going to do?

    It seems obvious that if there was no trade for Bogut and Jefferson, and
    Udoh and Ellis had played with with Curry, Lee, Thompson, Landry and Jack and the Warriors have had a better record than they presently have.

    Other thoughts on what the Warriors should have done.
    Ellis could have possibly been traded to Orlando for R. Anderson and a first round draft pick that would have been Ezeli or obtained Ezeli with the 35th pick.

    For me, one of the reason the Warriors have done well this year is that Biedrins has been relegated to the bench. Ezeli was a huge improvement. The Warriors went from minus 8 with Biedrins to a minus 3 with Ezeli.

    Jack was also a huge steps forward for it gave the Warriors a more experienced and better back-up. And Landry fortified the PF position.

    Barnes replacing D. Wright seems to have been a wash, but I haven’t looked at the stats closely.

    The Warriors may have been better off not having the draft pick and having it this year especially since I think the drafted the wrong guy. If the Warriors had not made the trade could have signed a free agent with K. Brown’s money and signed a SF who was at least as good as Barnes.

    Clearly, by not using amnesty on Biedrins, by making the trade for Bogut and Jefferson, and not trading Ellis for someone else and possibly first round draft choices, the Warriors are stuck where they are. But they do have talent, and Curry has now demonstrated that he is a star, and Jackson has finally had the sense to allow him to take the most shots.

    If the Warriors continue to run, play Ezeli and Jefferson more and play Barnes less, and continue to pound the offensive glass, the Warriors might surprise in the playoffs.

    With Bogut out, Jackson is now forced to play Ezeli more. But, Jackson has shown little inclination to play Jefferson over Barnes. The playoffs may become very interesting.

    PeteyBrian: I totally agree with you that it would nice to see Ezeli, D.Lee, and Landry on the court at the same time, or Ezeli, D. Lee and Jefferson. But, I disagree on Barnes ever being a big time player. I don’t see much room for improvement.

    • Frank

      You have a breathtaking preternatural ability to be completely wrong on just about every one of your observations. Some of your what-ifs defy reason.

      Just to name one: nobody was going to be able to tell Monta (especially a first year coach) that he wasn’t the man. Ellis was never going to defer to Curry; your continued insistence that that duo would work out, even showing better than the W’s current tandem, is utterly ridiculous.

      • I always wonder where people get the impression that Ellis and Curry couldn’t play together. They played GREAT together when they had a good coach. The two rookie coaches who followed didn’t use them as well – especially Smart. And last year Curry was hurting all season under Jackson.

        That’s all we have to go on. So where did that Ellis Ego Monster meme come from? His crappy interviewing skills? Just curious.

        • It started the minute Curry was drafted. And it was started by Ellis.

          I don’t recall when they played great together. IF it happened, the sample size was exceedingly small.

          I think it is apparent that Curry functions best when he has the ball in his hands. He CAN play off the ball, but his creativity ( in getting his own shot and shots for this team mates) is diminished dramatically when Jack is used at point. This is what happened too much with Ellis.

          I think Ellis is a terrific talent and incredibly fun to watch; I don’t blame him for the imperfect pairing with Curry, he was just doing what’s in his nature.

          • Look at the game logs of Curry/Ellis, the number of 50 point games, 10 plus assists split between them. And remember Smart held Curry back and and Curry was injured most of last year.

          • This whole conversation does not factor in the development of Klay. If Ellis were here right now, Klay would be getting 8-10 shots per game, max. Ellis is a high volume shooter who would have taken shots away from the developing All Star, Klay Thompson.

  12. A minor argument: I don’t think Curry has ever made a game winning shot, college or pros, not a shot where he has to shoot in the last seconds to tie or win. He also is not given to heroics, much as he was a hero last night. And he has often been used in this situation, college and pro, to draw defenders to open someone else up. In a situation like this, you put players on the floor who are reliable. Landry had an open look. Percentage wise, this made sense.

    Most, since we want Curry to run this team, we have to respect his decisions, and he made one, and it was a good decision.

    Though maybe not the best. I wouldn’t mind his getting practice with clinchers, especially in a game like last night’s.

    My favorite Curry moment was first half. He was driving and Kobe, trying to cover, got brushed, but only brushed, by a screen. Curry made a fluid behind the back dribble and negotiated the opening and went up. He missed but got fouled and make his FTs.

    Curry works best when he is in motion and has room to move around.

    • Go to youtube to see Davidson game winning shots

    • History of Big Shots or not:

      Check Curry’s shooting % from anywhere v Landry’s % from 20 feet. Curry scored over a third of the team’s points, Landry not so much. Curry was guarded by Steve Blake, who was torched by everyone on the team all night long.

      Landry was left alone for his shot because it’s a relatively low percentage shot for him. In other words, even the Lakers knew not to worry about Landry making a shot from there. The Ws coach might have been the only one in the arena who thought it was a good play for his team to run.

      Completely moronic.

    • I meant making a shot with seconds left to go that would tie or win. I don’t think he ever has. And maybe this was in his mind. The classic case was in the NCAA tourney against Kansas (with Brandon Rush!). Davidson was down 2 with seconds left. Curry brings the ball up and is smothered so passes off to PG Richards who launches a 3 and misses. Making it would have put them in the final 4—against UNC and Ty Lawson. That would have been a game.

      Hat, was that Curry’s call or Jackson’s? I missed the post-game talk. If it’s Curry’s call, I say we got to go with what he decides. Jackson may have had the Miami game in mind, when Jack passes to Green for the win.

      An overtime game would have been interesting. No Kobe, and half the Warriors would have fouled out, the way the game was called.

      Why are you Hat here and White Hat elsewhere? I’m kinda hurt.

      Curry can make long shots, and in fact practices them. He practices everything. This one was at the end of the half of a game they were winning:

      • Also Curry had to have been tanked at that point, playing most of the game.

      • This sounds like the argument against LeBron early in his career. He would pass off the big shot because it was the right basketball play. Eventually a coach will figure out that Curry either shouldn’t bring the ball up in the final seconds or that he should be completely isolated at the top of the key so he can actually make a move.

  13. Your segment on the scandalous reffing is was keeps you relevant to those of us outside the group-think…nice.

  14. It was not the last real shot of the game. That Landry jumper was about the last FIVE Warrior plays of the game. And I was screaming each time to just have Curry shoot the ball.

  15. Livermore:

    Yes, we don’t know if some of the shots that Thompson took would have been made by others. But, we do know that Lee and Landry all shoot a higher FG% than Thompson. It’s for the coach to play the percentages and get a better balance in shooting. I guess as coach you would have wanted your fourth best shooter to take shots from two better shooters.

    Did it make sense for Thompson to take seven shots when he was clearly tired? Did Jackson not know that Thompson has had problems shooting in the fourth quarter? Thompson made only made 2 of the his 7 shots in the fourth quarter an, and turned the ball over once.

    The first sentence of your first post is incomprehensible. What does the word “meme” mean or did you misspell the word?

    I usually refrain from what ifs, but the fact that everyone was saying that the team turned around this year I felt needed to be addressed. I usually write about players, proposed trades, and draft picks.

    I was writing about what-ifs based on the fact that the Warriors were only down three games in the loss column last year at the time of the trade for Bogut, and then Curry was unable to play very much.

    While you may be right that Ellis was not going to stop launching the ball, I disagree with you that Jackson could not have done something about it. He’s the coach. It doesn’t matter if it’s first year or not. I guess you think that Jackson is a wimp run by Ellis last year. Actually, it seemed to me that Jackson actually promote Ellis being the dominant shooter, not Curry. I was critical last year of Ellis shooting so much and not being an efficient scorer.

    Be critical, but don’t misstate what on I have said.For by doing so, you make yourself look foolish. I never said that Curry-Ellis was going to work out. I just said that the return of Udoh and Ellis was better than the Warriors trading for Bogut-Jefferson. I raised in my post Ellis being traded. Since Bogut nor Jefferson have not played much this year, I don’t see how one can argue that the trade was bad. Waiting for next year and hopefully a injured-free Bogut doesn’t justify the trade.

    I had no problem with Ellis being traded, but thought he should have been traded for value, not for Bogut and Jefferson’s bloated contract.

    Did you misstate what I wrote because you consumed the bottle that appears in your photo before writing your post? It seems so since the first sentence of your first post is incomprehensible. What does the word “meme” mean?

    Felty: Thompson playing 43 minutes and not being rested properly may have affected his shooting. I believe Thompson shot 0-3 in the second quarter. Such could be because he had tired. In the third quarter, after resting at halftime, he shot 5-8 from the floor, only to fall off in the critical fourth quarter shooting 2-7, with one turnover, once again indicating he had tire.

    • Meme is the electronic world’s trope, Frank. Look it up.

      • It was Bogut-JACKSON.

        With no Bogut – no Richard Jefferson, Festus Ezeli, and Harrison Barnes.

        And Udoh? I’m certain the W’s could get him back really cheap… They have a lot of the same type of players there…

  16. Ezeli’s minus 3 may be misleading as often he came off the bench with D. Green who doesn’t shoot very well. Now that he will be playing with first unit, his minus may well turn into a plus, as it did last night.

  17. Actually, the game wasn’t badly officiated the first half and maybe into 3rd Q. Barnett said this himself. There were many fouls called then, but they weren’t surprising. The Lakers pounded the paint, going to Howard and Gasol, and our defenders, outmatched, got stuck.

    But second half, the game went to the other players, specifically Kobe, yet the fouls mounted as the Warriors build a lead. And it was the last minutes, the Warriors still in the lead, that the refs really stank up the place with critical calls against Curry and the one that fouled Ezeli out. Which suggests the refs were getting desperate.

    • @rgg = What actually bothered me was the way the Lakers whined when they DIDN’T get every single phantom call. The Lakers had 10 calls in a row, and wanted #11! LOL!

  18. Simone should ask the Warriors GM what Orlando offered for Ellis. He has no bono fide reason not to answer as Anderson and Redick are no longer with Orlando, and Ellis is gone. Guarantee he won’t say because everyone will know the Warriors should have made the trsde.

  19. @ 12, rgg,

    Jackson said in the postgame that the play was designed to get Landry a shot. Never mind that Curry had scored over 1/3 of the team’s points, effortlessly over/around/through Steve Blake, the plan was for Curry to be the “decoy.”

    Re Hat v White Hat, White Hat is my alias.

    • The white hat pic on your texts are a dead giveaway! Lol!

      Landry hit that shot earlier in the game and was wide freaking open. I can’t complain much – other than run the pick and roll with Lee instead.

    • OK, that’s different. Next time, I say let Curry make the call.

  20. I completely agree that the last play was stupid but I thought the penultimate play called for Thompson also was wrong in that situation (although he did have a great game). Thompson’s not ready for that situation yet. He’s just now starting to relax and get confident in his shooting in Q4–why go to him in that clutch situation now? Too soon.

    Curry is an elite scorer who can create his own shot and has an uncanny ability to focus and hit the clutch shot– when is Mark Jackson going to realize this? It’s like pulling teeth.

    Disagree with you re Bogut. We were killed by Gasol and Howard inside without Bogut in there. If Bogut plays that game, we win.

  21. Petey, there’s a huge difference between hitting that 17 foot shot 3 or 4 possessions before the end of the game and hitting it the last possession. Insecurities are magnified with the game on the line, and Landry is not very confident in that shot. If the play were designed to get Landry his 10 footer, fine.

    Put the ball in Curry’s hands, iso him and let him decide to take the shot or give it up for something better.

    • I do like the iso of Stephen Curry on Steve Blake, mostly because Blake’s an average defender at best – to end the game. A long, athletic defender on Curry (like a healthy Kobe)? Not so much.

      If I were coaching, I’d live and die with a Curry/Lee pick and roll/pop and see what happens – Lee will be open.

      Landry would be my 3rd or 4th option for an end game play. Perhaps coach wanted a surprise! Lol! He got it!

  22. @19-21

    At crunch time, Curry was .548 overall and 9/15 on 3s (.600 on threes!)

    D Lee was 8/12, for .667

    Landry was .417 overall, mostly from within 3 ft.

    Thompson was .285 on 3s, .417 overall. Thompson was not having a good night shooting 3s.

    The shot Landry took didn’t need to be a 3, it needed to go in. So you obviously pick one of your best % shooters to take it. That’s either Lee down low or Curry high. Every other shot from every other shooter has had a lower success rate all night.

    Instead, Coach J ran a play designed to get Carl Landry to take the longest shot he ever even attempts.

    No matter how you look at it, that was dumb.

  23. Actually, another issue to debate last seconds was whether to go for the tie or go for the win and shoot a 3. In the latter case, Kobe was out for overtime, but Ezeli was out, and Biedrins, Landry, and Thompson had 5 fouls, Lee 4 (and Howard had 5).

    It would have been a bizarre overtime.

    The last 3 Thompson hit the last minute, however, was utterly clutch. It made this debate possible.

    Bogut’s fouls would have been useful, and that’s about it. See link @6. This was not the same Laker team we saw in Oakland.

    • Ah, but if Curry had hit that last second desperation bomb. That would have been a game for the ages.

      On line and hit iron, right?

    • There is a big problem the Warriors have heading into the playoffs, namely, they can’t seem to get Curry good shots in crunch time. Kobe smothered him down the stretch and on the final possession, they ran a play for Landry because Jackson knew he couldn’t get Curry open.

      I think its time to employ some Princeton back door cuts for Curry late in games to keep his defenders on the outside honest.

  24. Feltbot, it looks like San Antonio is going to be the Warriors first round opponent. With a hobbled Tony Parker, this actually might play into the Warriors favor, no? Denver certainly is an awful match up, as proven by the season series.

  25. A last thought on refereeing:

    I thought the refereeing was pretty good this year, overall. Most games applied the no harm/no foul principle that frees refs to their better judgment against strict interpretation, which leads to arbitrary and senseless calls. I assume a message was sent before the season to this effect.

    And the league tried to cut down the theatrics that lead to phony fouls—the no flop rule, for example.

    Obviously neither was in effect Friday night, which all the more makes us wonder what was going on.

  26. FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

    How much is Monta Ellis worth? Apparently not as much as he thinks.

    Monta Ellis can join the 2013 class of free agents by exercising the ETO (early termination option) and he’s expected to do just that. Ellis will likely leave the Bucks, unless they make him a huge offer.

    From Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times: “Suffice to say, how Ellis performs in the upcoming Eastern Conference playoffs against Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat could go a long way in determining how much money he’ll earn in the years to come … likely with a team not called the Bucks.”

    Ellis is walking away from $11 million next season and he likely won’t get close to that in his next deal, however he may be able to secure a four-year contract with another team that averages $7.5 million – $8 million.

    -Amin Elhassan
    Ellis best as a Sixth Man
    “Ellis has the option to tear up the last year of his deal ($11 million) to test free agency. If his agent is smart, he won’t pursue that course of action without first lining up a deal. But should he test free agency blindly, he’d get a sobering offer from Team Amin. While Ellis compares himself to Dwayne Wade, my opinion is that while he’s an extremely talented scorer and (at times) distributor, he’d excel in a J.R. Smith or Jamal Crawford bench role for a winning team (if he could accept that role), rather than serving as a team’s main option. My offer of $18 million over three years would pay him more than either of those two players, and a player option would allow him to try again for a payday if he proves he can help a team win.”

  27. Where the hell is Sacramento when you need them? They’re getting creamed by Houston.

    And Denver beat Portland without Gallinari and Faried, though Lawson is back.

    Who the hell is Fournier? 24 points
    Or Anthony Randoph? 18 points

    This is what happens when you have depth and coaching, you make best use of all available talent.

    • Evan Fournier. when he was drafted just after the lottery picks at #20 last spring, the Den brain trust thought he’d be stashed in euro ball for at least another season, but he showed enough in summer league and pre season to stay. only 20 yrs. old, a true 6’6″ (same height as d.green) 2-guard. similar to biedrins, he already had pro experience before getting drafted, with two consecutive years at age 18 and 19 winning both the most improved player and rising star awards in the french league.

      got a bump in his minutes after lawson was injured. unlike most novice 2-guards, shows exceptional shot selectivity resulting in very efficient results. isn’t just a shooter but shows the defense and court smarts karl expects.

    • Anthony Randolph with JaVale McGee is a pretty maniacal front court!

  28. Jarrett Jack fined $25k for verbal abuse of officials at end of Lakers game:

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/9171558/jarrett-jack-golden-state-warriors-fined-25k-verbal-abuse-official

    I don’t know about you guys, but I feel better.

  29. Interesting analysis of the bias in officiating for Lakers over Utah here:

    http://www.blazersedge.com/2013/4/13/4219640/Los-Angeles-Lakers-playoffs-refs-referee-free-throws-officiating-conspiracy-nba

    Leaves little doubt that something is going on.

  30. My prediction for tonight: Popovich is going to gift this game to the Warriors.

    Spurs are locked into the second seed. All about getting healthy for them now.

    • I don’t often play regular season games, but laying -4 looks good to me.

      • @FB – Sounds like a very familiar scenario to me. The #1 seeded Mavs let by Avery Johnson also gifted the Don Nelson-led W’s a late season win – and allowed the W’s to qualify for the playoffs… The rest, was history!

        We Believe II!!! Lol!

  31. Felt, you and I have had some lively discussions about NBA refs manipulating games, but I concede. You’re right. From the article I cited above:

    “This year the Lakers have averaged 18.8% of their points from free throws. good for 4th in the league. During [the last 10 games] that number has risen to 21.6%… best in the league.

    This year the Jazz have averaged 17.8% of their points from free throws, 10th in the league. During [their last 10 games] that number has plummeted to 11.9%… 30th position, dead last in the NBA by a mile.”

    You have to have a good head for statistics, Felty. What would you say the odds were of BOTH those facts occurring by coincidence at the same time, particularly when the “dealer” has a stake? My take: about as likely as Ezeli winning a game of HORSE against Curry. Theoretically barely possible, but overwhelmingly unlikely.

    I would never have believed Stern and the owners would gamble their fortunes for such a relatively trivial payoff. They’re idiots! And Stern has some explaining to do.

    • We’d like to find a smoking gun, for example Stern called up the refs at the end of 3rd Q and told them to throw the game. The circumstantial evidence of the last minutes almost points to that conclusion.

      But we’ll never find it. What is more likely is that there is a tolerance of biases that allows such lopsided officiating to happen.

      Homecourt teams often get the calls (or don’t).

      Stars get the calls (or don’t).

      The NBA wants the Lakers to make the postseason to make more $, a lot.

      Big men often get a break, especially a star like Howard. It is assumed they are important and they receive much attention and promotion in the NBA. So it is assumed that if they go up against smaller players, they will probably be fouled.

      Smaller teams are often at a disadvantage. The only way they can compensate for their size is play aggressively. If refs follow those biases and call the game closely, fouls will pile up for the smaller team. To make those games fair, there should be tolerance for minor, no-harm fouls, but there isn’t. Many fouls called are marginal at best.

      Then add refs, the ones who are incompetent and/or have hair triggers, plus the league’s failure to correct either.

      Put all those together, and you get a game like the one we saw Friday. It’s not that the calls and outcome were predestined this particular game by direct influence from the league. Rather, a number of biases and other problems existed which make a corrupt game likely. In this particular game, the odds were high.

      • According to Donaghy, the refs intuit what the league wants, either from experience or from pre-game points of emphasis they are given. Those who comply are given the plum assignments.

        • Hat,

          I’m confused, but that is exactly the point.

          Any desire of the league, who has nearly total power, will filter down and influence refs consciously or unconsciously. Then add the behavior Feltbot just described.

          It would be insane to deliberately tilt the game, and any such action might be exposed and cause the league damage.

          What I’m arguing that if desires are strongly made, however indirectly to officials, they will be heard and have influence. If biases and incompetence are not corrected but tolerated, they will grow.

          Then add the general condition that it is hard, if not impossible, for anyone—coaches, players, and probably officials—to challenge the league.

          The league may not be doing anything explicitly or deliberately. But by not examining and policing itself, it has allowed such abuse to happen. It is a matter of probabilities, not hard core certainties.

          I do have a sense of deja vu over this discussion.

      • rgg, no offense, but you’re kinda reiterating much of the case I argued last year on this topic, when I was wrong about it. While it cannot be proven that any single blown call was intentional, a statistically significant disparity over a statistically significant 10-game history is incontrovertible.

        It would be totally freakin’ INSANE for the NBA to slant the officiating. The slightest whiff of cheating cuts fan interest (and team earning power/team asset value) by half.

        And yet there is a vanishingly small chance that NBA officials did not try to assist the Lakers into the 2013 playoffs.

        • A last thought—

          The league has tremendous power here. They fine steeply any coach or player or owner who complains too much, or much at all, about the officiating.

          As Jarrett Jack just found out.

          • Jarrett Jack is legally protected by Article 1 of

            http://www.ushistory.org/documents/amendments.htm

            If he chose to pursue the matter in court he would eventually win the legal point. He would also lose his job, far earlier.

            Pursuing that legal issue would entail another court case, and another, ad infinitum, all at Jack’s personal expense, against a legal team funded by 30 billionaires.

            It’s unfair for fans to ask Jack to ruin his future. The fault is not his.

            As “anonymous commenters,” we’re by definition “nobodies.” We can’t be fined or fired. It would take years of legal judgments to even find a way to sue us. Our identifying email accounts can be blocked by the sites we visit, or we could face literally hundreds of commenters hired to oppose our POVs, but

            http://www.ushistory.org/documents/amendments.htm

            says we have a legal right to speak our minds.

            This is a fact: There is a near-zero statistical probability that the NBA delivered 100% fair and impartial officiating for the LA Lakers v its competition this year.

            The evidence proves the NBA has committed fraud.

            Hey, David Stern? Find a way to sue The Hat, you felon. Bring it! Here comes the other shoe…

          • My other last thought on this is that no one in the media is actively pursing the issue, and I wonder why. Are there libel issues? They have nothing concrete to report.

            Or are they buying the everybody loves the NBA the way Stern runs it and don’t want to rock the boat?

          • Commenters and bloggers, of course, can say what we damn well please. We are totally unreliable, of course, but often I suspect we are closer to reality than anyone else.

            Until we start getting paid. . . .

          • should not assume that a contracted player in the association has the full legal rights of your everyday ordinary u.s. citizen, until you’ve read the contents of the player’s union agreement and the contract between the individual player and his team. ordinary citizens without probable cause do not have to submit to drug testing, for example, but even to apply for work in many places you could be requested to waive that right. contracted players probably have to sign their consent to be subject to x,y,z, some of which are at the discretion of the league and open to appeal. the parties concerned probably know quite well that some forms of address or protest directed toward the officiating will be sanctioned, and appeals will be denied.

        • the oligarchs of the association don’t need to risk their credibility by taking any measures that could be used as evidence in a criminal fraud case. and litigation in a civil case, with its somewhat lesser burden of proof, would be so onerous for anyone taking them on as to virtually exclude that as well.

          it’s normal humanoid behaviour to favor celebrity-level stars in any occupation, but we can also be sure that every time contracts are negotiated with the refs’ guild that the revenues from media get brought up. when manipulating the refs became a public issue, the stern gang put in the flop deterrent rule, completely at the discretion of those very subjective refs, and the huge majority of the players flagged have been second tier or journeymen level. the monolith has such mass and gravity that it can correct anomalies ; it’s rare that two small market teams can advance in the postseason in the same year, and even then one could eliminate the other before the finals. in the unlikely event that more than a singular ‘wrong’ team reaches the conference or championship finals, we can be sure that all parties concerned like the refs’ and players’ unions hear about how it affected revenues.

          the elite stars themselves don’t need the stern gang to instruct them where to play — they manage to find their own way to the right towns. ostensibly, stern ‘fixed’ the draft lottery odds to reduce the incentive for ‘tanking’ , but conveniently, it also gives the big market teams a chance at the top picks, most recently in the case of Chi and rose. even when the internal contradictions amongst the oligarchs forced the grand machine to make a detour in the last ‘labour impasse’ , the small market owners ended up conceding because they were least able to endure prolonged revenue reductions.

        • WheresMyChippy

          Hat,

          I’ve been on the conspiratorial side of this discussion since 2002. And when it was being argued here last year I had the same thoughts then as I do now.

          Your point that it is simply too risky for the NBA to fix games makes plenty of sense in a sane society. Unfortunately, we are not living in one. Whatever the mainstream media spouts is truth to most people. I believe that no matter how conclusive a “smoking gun” came out people would still not believe it, because the media would not pick it up.

          The 2002 WCF game 6 WAS the smoking gun. It was plain as day. Most people choose to look the other way rather than let their perceived reality fall apart.

          *continues fastening tin-foil hat*

  32. The first Amendment (free speech) to the U.S. Constitution only applies to adverse actions taken by local, state, or federal government, not the NBA.

    • Oooo. I guess The Hat is in deep doodoo then.

      Hey, David Stern! Felon! Cheater! Criminal! Please, Most Honored Sir, explain the “freakish coincidence” of your officials’ (statistically provable) bias for the LA Lakers!

  33. For comparison, the Spurs/Laker game was much more physical.

    23 fouls called against the Spurs

    14 against the Lakers

    And the Spurs were intentionally doing the hack-a-Howard, many times. No one in foul trouble except Bonner.

    • SA is acknowledged to be an elite level team, GS is far from that ; one coach is at or near the very top of the list the refs all know they only cross with great caution, while the preacher came out of the very mass media matrix that thrives on favoritism. which coach has defied the influence of broadcast revenues in determining how he uses his roster, while the other firmly believes in giving his stars as close to 48 as he can ? not least, SA has the players and the coach to direct a defense that uses its fouls in a very conscious, deliberate and discriminating manner ; we have yet to see GS show us their ‘improved’ defense against winning teams without heavy, close to indiscriminate, fouling.

  34. Hat: There should be an FBI investigation to determine if refs were told by NBA officials to try to help the Lakers make the playoffs. If so, that is criminal. Congress should investigate as well. NBA union should help Jack appeal fine as well.He should have a good defense if he can show that refs were deliberately throwing the game, and therefore his comments were by and large truthful.

    • Frank, last year The Hat wasted miles of column space on this blog detailing all the reasons why it would FREAKIN’ INSANE for the NBA to cheat on its officiating. Feltbot countered by correctly pointing out that little-to-no insider testimony to that effect could ever compellingly prove in court that the NBA cheated.

      The current situation is different. This is about a statistically significant deviation over a statistically significant number of games. It is not about what our eyeballs tell us, it’s not about simple human error or the human nature of refs naturally favoring stars, and it’s not about the precise wording of the instructions given to refs before games.

      Statistical analysis proves that NBA officiating changed in mid-season. It is a cut-and-dried mathematical fact that the change favored the LA Lakers and hampered the Utah Jazz. No amount of testimony, from anyone, can change that proven fact. And no amount of verbal testimony – from anyone involved – could ever conclusively prove that the “errors” needed for that fact to occur were intentional.

      Luckily, fans don’t need to prove it in court. We have all the evidence we could ever need. Testimony lies. Math doesn’t.

    • if you’re in earnest, Frank, please, our federal authorities are already stretched too thin, as we can all see from the events today in Boston.

  35. Wow, never thought Kawakami would stoop so low, but he just blocked White Hat.

    No swear words, no crimes, just facts.

    Was it something I said? Sure thing. What a wimp.

    • I was blocked by him last year as well.

      • Ring up your Kawakami piece some time again, during a lull? Good stuff.

        TK’s motives here are worth speculation.

        Hat: did you try “Hat” as well?

        • I created a whole new ID, with a different email address. It went “under moderation” then disappeared.

          That means Hat was blocked, then “someone else” who echoed Hat was either blocked automatically by IP address, or a real live human made a business decision about Hat’s talking points.

          I used to think Kawakami had some integrity.

    • warriorsablaze

      Ha…. I was blocked by him last season.

  36. Warriors Spurs line now up to -6. Spurs resting Duncan, Leonard, Parker. Ginobili out.

    Nailed it. You’re welcome.

  37. No recap tonight, given the silliness of the game. Which is not to say I don’t have a rooting interest ;)

  38. SA:

    Actually, I’m surprised the Spurs didn’t play better. There’s depth and talent on the bench, and they should be well schooled.

    Ezeli should start the playoffs. His play the last weeks is superior overall and in most aspects.

    Biedrins didn’t play because?

    Is Green injured?

    Barnes. . . .

    My regret is that they haven’t been positioning their best players for the playoffs and getting them ready.

  39. 26 points, 15 boards for Scola—at center—in win over Houston.

  40. Steph makes me feel like this….

    http://gumbyhighlights.com/lacob.gif

  41. Terrific shooting by Thompson tonight. Just hope he takes that into the playoffs. He runs into trouble with his shooting when he puts too much rotation on the ball and sometimes his shot is to flat.

    Barnes, Thpmpson, Jack, and Landry committing too many turnovers.
    Still need Bogut in playoffs,

    • Barnes was awful on offense. Every time he tried to drive in the second half he was stripped. He’s got to learn to keep the ball higher. Here’s to hoping Jefferson plays over Barnes in the playoffs!

      • barnes’ fans want him to take it inside more and naturally remember his highlight dunks rather than his turn overs and attempts getting blocked, but the court spacing has to be set up for him to succeed. he’s not adept with the basic task of controlling the dribble if the traffic gets crowded.

        • Klay didn’t just have a good shooting night. He completely filled out the box score… Punished mismatches… Finished with authority at the rim. Klay’s going to be great!

          Barnes did look rookie feeble at times. All he has to do to be an asset on this team is to spread the floor by occasionally hitting his perimeter 3, cutting/slashing to the basket, and rebound/defend. Fortunately, he’s only option 4 or 5 in this offense.

        • The animated gif @40, from Berko, is, I believe, Lacob’s reaction to a Barnes dunk. If not, the camera panned on Lacob for a similar reaction after that dunk.

  42. The Rockets/Lakers contest to end the season should be very interesting to watch, especially with the foul goggles turned on. Harden, one of the best at drawing contact will not only have to deal with Howard MWP and Gasol, but several zebras grazing under the warxhful eye of papa Stern and his minions. I hope Charles Barkley gets to comment on this game.

    • Unfortunately for the Rockets, Harden is a mere shadow of himself right now. Really struggling on that ankle/knee.

      And they’ve got a mess at PF. Motiejunas benched. And TRob didn’t get a single minute.

      That trade had a lot to do with slashing enough salary to take a real run at Dwight Howard. But God was it awful.

      • If you’re right, Houston is crazy. Asik is #3 on Lowe’s list of defensive players of the year, and would serve them better both in the short term and long, especially when you consider who else they could afford to pick up—and who they let go they should have kept.

        Howard does not have high b-ball IQ.

        He is not a consistent offensive player.

        It’s hard to put the right players around him.

        And his motivation may not be strong now for Houston or any team other than a top contender. Plus possible health risks this late in his career.

        Yet I wouldn’t be surprised at all that Lacob would make a play for him off season, vain and futile, if he had the money. Or he might anyway. He’d gut the team to get Howard.

  43. Derek Jeter having trouble returning from the ankle he broke last October:

    According to the Star Ledger, “Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is performing limited on-field work at the team’s minor league complex in Florida as part of a rehabilitation program for a left ankle injury. Jeter took five rounds of batting practice on Monday. He also fielded 21 grounders at the normal shortstop position, which was a decreased total from workouts last Wednesday and Friday. The Yankees captain did straight line running in the outfield. The 13-time All-Star ran last week from first to third on the grass just behind the infield dirt. Jeter hasn’t played since appearing in a minor league spring training game as a designated hitter on March 23, when the ankle he broke in Game 1 of the AL championship series in October bothered him while running. Placed on the disabled list March 31, there’s still no timetable on when Jeter will be activated.”

  44. Zach Lowe’s Regular Season Awards:

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9176296/mvp-lebron-james-rest-nba-regular-season-awards

    Cliff notes: Jack 2nd for 6th man behind JR Smith. Jackson and Barnes not mentioned as Coach or Rookie of the year contenders.

  45. We need more from Thompson than just shooting well. Last night he took 17 shots and scored 23 points. We need him to have a positive contribution in creating extra scoring opportunities. Last night was a wash as his three turnovers were offset by his 1 OR, ! steal, and 1 blocked shot. SG’s and SF”s shouldn’t commit so many turnovers.

    Barnes was worse with 6 turnovers. He kept SA in the game.

    Bazemore needs to get serious about basketball. Although we all enjoy his rooting the Warriors on, the coaches should have him studying the game and taking notes. Maybe that will help him cut down on turnovers. He had 3 last night.

    • Aside from Klay’s nice shooting night (and taking it to the rim aggressively), Klay Thompson’s stat line – 2 blocks/2 assists/5 rebounds/1 steal – and a game high +30! +30! Is this really the game to nit pit Klay’s contribution to the game/team? Aren’t we a little harsh on the Beav (Leave it to Beaver)?

      http://espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?id=400278932

      Last couple of seasons, people also critical about Stephen Curry’s Assist/Turnover Ratio numbers – and telling us Curry is not a great pure point guard… LOL! I’m not seeing them post so much this season.

  46. Something special:

    Curry wasn’t highly recruited for college basketball, in fact wasn’t recruited much at all. The ACC overlooked him entirely, except for a walk-on invitation from Va. Tech, his father’s alma mater. He only got an offer from a small school in a weak and scarcely known conference.

    Curry this season has exceeded the expectations even the most optimistic of us had for him, and has grown in every area. We see no evidence he has reached any ceiling.

    Below, his Davidson coach’s comments at that time:

    COACH BOB McKILLOP: When I first had him in individual instruction in his first year, in the aftermath, there was an alumni function in Charlotte and I stood up in front of this group of very engaged alums, a large number of them and told them, “Wait till you see Steph Curry, he is something special.” That is something now that I feel very, very good that I said that, because I look like a prophet.

    To do what he has done, more so than scoring the points, but being able to get the opportunities because his teammates willingly screen, get him the ball and offer him such great respect, gives you the complete picture of what Steph Curry is. Steph Curry, you can look at his face and features and his jumpshot and you can look at his statistics and you can see some glamorous statements about who he is; but what you don’t see is his heart. And his heart is bigger than all of those stats.

  47. And now the Spurs have signed Tracy McGrady. He may or may not make a difference, but at least SA is taking the playoffs seriously, doing all they can to win.

    As compared to—

    • the woeyrs signed Dwayne Jones for the post season, and end of bench center who’s seen intermittent n.b.a. stints over the years. reluctant to depend on biedrins as the sole back up, should bogut get shut down again ? lee is their third, often second center any way.

  48. @34:

    Why the Boston Marathon? What is the symbolism here?

    • not symbolism, pragmatism. could not tell if frank earnestly wants a federal investigation of n.b.a. officiating — remember $$ and resources wasted on the b.bonds prosecution ? let them help protect the safety and health of the citizens.

      • Not Frank’s point—why would anyone bomb the Boston Marathon, from abroad or here? This haunts me.

        • extremists come in many colours and stripes. revenge provides plenty of motives, as does religion. extreme new testamentists are generally tolerated here in the u.s., but they’ve provoked some very nasty incidents when they weren’t terrorizing reproductive health clinics.

          by their descriptions the explosive devices seem modeled after the classic pipe bomb, a favourite of the IRA, and a group subsidized in part by a handful of u.s. citizens and organizations. some of whom probably came from around Boston.

          • The pressure cooker bombs have been found in Pakistan and elsewhere, but the Boston Marathon doesn’t seem like a likely target for Arab extremists. I am reminded of the Oklahoma City bombing, maybe.

        • an event like the marathon that attracts many international participants and runners of diverse backgrounds could well attract an extremist of the ‘racial purity’ stripe. the nut job who shocked Norway, a country that considered itself secular and tolerant and tranquil, fed his hatred from international ‘aryan’ groups, which of course the u.s. has its fair share.

    • May be just opportunism… a huge public event like that is an easy target. I’m frankly surprised there haven’t been more incidents of this nature.

      On the other hand, it was “Patriots Day” in Boston so if it turns out to be of the Right Wing extremist ilk, there’s some symbolism. Also, tax day.

      • ja, ‘t’would indeed be an auspicious day for an extreme libertarian (to a degree, the ‘racial purity’ nutters subscribe to this) to deliver a message.

  49. This game at Portland could be tougher than it looks, despite Aldridge, Matthews, Batum being out. Watch out for Will Barton, not sure the Warriors can guard him.

  50. Shaving the point spread is a crime. It’s fraud. The FBI has thousands of agents. Didn’t a ref plead guilty in Federal Court to point shaving?

    The Boston bombing is just horrific. Looking at photographs on the internet, spectators are seen taking photos on their cell phones. Why would anyone commit a crime knowing they were going to be photographed by surveillance videos and spectators? Were they so ignorant they did not know know they would probably later be identified?

    • It’s illegal for organized crime or other outside parties to fix games. Legally, the NBA can probably do what it damn well pleases. And if sports is defined as entertainment, tilting the scales makes good business sense.

      I predict Curry will launch a few tonight.

      • “Sports” and “Entertainment” are regulated differently.

        When Vince McMahon wanted to free his wrestling empire from state sports commissioners, he testified in court that his wrestlers were entertainers performing a show, like a circus or the ice follies. That makes all questions of competitive fairness moot.

        I’m pretty sure David Stern is not prepared to do the same thing.

  51. Yuck.

    If there was ever a game where Barnes could have stepped up and should have stepped up, it was this one. He couldn’t even take on Claver. Barnes should have stayed at Chapel Hill for another two years until he developed the needed skills and confidence for the NBA.

    Running the offense with Barnes and Bogut on the floor is like trying to run a car missing on two cylinders.

    OK, the playoffs.

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