Stephen Curry Superstar: Warriors 115 Nuggets 101 — Game 4

It’s official now. Stephen Curry has been great for most of this series. But with that 22 point outburst in the 3rd quarter of this game, Curry officially joined the ranks of NBA superstars.         

It’s pretty easy to tell that for the last week, George Karl has woken up thinking about Stephen Curry, and gone to bed thinking about Stephen Curry. Because every single adjustment he has made to his lineup — and he has made several, completely radical adjustments to his lineup in this series — has been specifically designed to stop Curry. In Game 1, he blitzed Wilson Chandler off of the David Lee high picks. In Game 2, with Lee out and Bogut setting the high picks, Karl went to Anthony Randolph in the second half over Koufous and McGee, simply because he needed Randolph’s quickness to continue blitzing Curry. In Game 3, Karl made his first completely radical adjustment: benching his centers, and starting Faried at center against Bogut. With Wilson Chandler at power forward. Going 6-7″, 6-8″ across the front line. Why? So that he could use Faried to blitz Curry in the pick and roll.

It didn’t work. In the second half of Game 3, Curry made mincemeat of the tiring Faried.

Did Karl surrender? Retreat into conventionality? No, he didn’t. In this Game 4 he literally doubled down, and made one of the most radical adjustments you are ever likely to see in an NBA playoff. He switched the assignments of Faried and Chandler. Faried guarded the Warriors’ newly-minted stretch-four Harrison Barnes. And 6-8″ 225 lb. small forward Wilson Chandler got the assignment to guard 7-0″ 260 lb. Andrew Bogut.

Why did Karl make this almost absurdly radical adjustment?

To stop Stephen Curry. Karl did it so that he could once again use Wilson Chandler to blitz Stephen Curry when Andrew Bogut set the high pick.

He also refused to allow his defenders to come off their men to guard the wide open Andrew Bogut. Only when Bogut received the ball and drove the lane did the Nuggets move to pick him up.

Once again, George Karl rolled the dice, determined to get the ball out of Curry’s hands. He guarded Bogut with his small forward, when he guarded him at all. He DARED the Warriors to try and beat the Nuggets with Andrew Bogut. He DARED Andrew Bogut to give the Nuggets 20+ points.

You saw the result: Curry was held to 7 points on 1-3 shooting in the first half. And Andrew Bogut had his biggest offensive half of the season, scoring 12 points on wide open dunks. Every single basket a dunk.

Karl’s strategy didn’t pay dividends in the first half. The Nuggets went into the locker room down 12. But I’m pretty sure I know what was on Karl’s mind at the time. I’m pretty sure, because when the Nuggets came out for the second half, Wilson Chandler was still guarding Bogut.

Karl was thinking: I’m going to continue to take Curry out of the game. I’m going to continue to make Andrew Bogut beat us. Can Bogut keep it up for an entire game?

It would have been interesting to watch, but it never happened. Why?

Because Warriors head coach Mark Jackson — who has been coaching the pants off the great George Karl in this series — made a brilliant counter-adjustment to start the second half. He made a counter-adjustment to get the ball back where it belonged.

In the hands of his superstar, Stephen Curry.

Stephen Curry’s Third Quarter for the Ages: Yes, Stephen Curry played like the superstar he is in the third quarter. But let’s be clear about something up front: Mark Jackson made it happen.

How? By getting Bogut out of the way. By completely doing away with the Bogut high pick, and the pick and roll.

The Warriors opened the second half with Curry getting picks from… Klay Thompson. And guess what? If you blitz off of a Klay Thompson pick, you’re going to get a wide-open Klay Thompson three in your mug. Which is exactly what George Karl got. Assist, Curry.

From that moment on, Stephen Curry and Jarret Jack were single-covered at the top of the key.

Game over.

It took awhile to get going. The Warriors wasted time trying silly things like posting Bogut up against Chandler and Iguodala. They tried Harrison Barnes, to the tune of a couple of turnovers. Barnes was yanked less than 3 minutes into the half, replaced by Landry. And the single-covered Jack made several nice drive and dish connections to Landry for mid-range jumpers. But after a Landry turnover at 8:00, the Nuggets cut the lead to 4, 62-58. The Warriors were putting the ball in the hands of the wrong players.

Landry traded two more baskets with the Nuggets, but then, finally, Mark Jackson’s adjustment kicked in, and Stephen Curry took over the game.

6:22 3Q: Carl Landry sets one of the few high picks of the quarter, for Jarret Jack, resulting in Landry getting the ball in the key. Corey Brewer idiotically leaves Curry on the wing to rotate to Landry. (Cardinal Rule: You should never leave a three point shooter to guard a two point shooter. Pope Rule: You should never leave Stephen Curry to guard Carl Landry.) And Curry buries the wide-open three point shot in front of the Nuggets’ bench.

There are two big reasons why that shot was utterly amazing. The first is that those were Curry’s first points of the quarter. Just think about that. Stephen Curry put up those 22 points in the final 6:22 minutes of the quarter.

The second reason is this: (And you must go back and rewind the tape to watch this again. Please, please, please go back and watch this.) Curry is 0-1 for the quarter at this point, hasn’t made a shot. But as soon as the ball leaves his hand, he makes a 180 spin to stare at the Nuggets bench. Stephen Curry is staring down the Nuggets bench, his back to the basket,


Uh oh. Game on.

  • 4:24: Jack single-covered, drives and dishes to Curry for open three.
  • 4:00: Curry iso’d against Andre Miller at top of the key, drives by him and scores the floater.
  • 3:00: Early offense right wing iso against Miller, 18-foot step back J.
  • 2:00: The first center pick of the half, with Festus Ezeli. But Chandler decides to give up on the blitz and return to the rolling Ezeli. Oops! 29-foot 3 pointer in Miller’s mug.
  • 1:30: Top of the key iso against Miller. Easy drive by, and ridiculous left-handed floater, AND ONE.
  • 1:15: A steal leads to a walk-up three.
  • 0:28: Curry iso’d against Brewer, drives by him and dishes to the open Jack, then back-pedals to the three point line. Jack finds him wide open for 20, 21 and 22.

I guess that’s why George Karl wanted to keep the ball out of Stephen Curry’s hands.

Stephen Curry Superstar: Has Stephen Curry suddenly developed into a superstar? Has he suddenly “emerged”?


36-13-10 against the Clippers. 30-13-7 against Denver. 31-11-5 in Atlanta. 35-10-6 and 29-12-8 against Toronto. 30-11-5 against Memphis. 27-14-8 in Minny. 42-9-8 in Portland.

Remember those games? Curry put them up in his rookie season, when he averaged 20-8-5 after the all-star break, while shooting 46% from the field, 44% from three, and 89% from the line. And when I was discussing then why giving the Rookie of the Year award to Tyreke Evans would be utter idiocy, I stated that Curry had me wondering, not whether he was a future all-star, but whether he was a future Hall of Famer.

Because Stephen Curry was already a superstar. Playing for a genius coach, with a rookie stretch-four, in an up-tempo Nellieball system, with total freedom to create and look for his own shot.

Just like he is now.

Stephen Curry is back to the future.

Andrew Bogut: The ignorati will be jumping up and down screaming. Look at those dunks!

The cognoscenti will recognize that Karl was simply daring Bogut to make those plays, leaving him wide open. It would have been completely humiliating if he hadn’t made those plays. A D-Leaguer could have made them.

Except maybe that facial he administered to Javale McGee. That one was pretty special. (I can only imagine what the Oracle sounded like at that moment, not being an Authentic Fan.) McGee, of course, was ridiculously slow to see the play coming. If there is anyone in the league who deserves to wind up on a poster, it’s him.

The second half, by contrast, was a bit of a disaster for Bogut. Denied of the high-pick-setting role that left him completely unguarded, he was held scoreless by much smaller players. The attempted post-ups of Chandler (8:00 3Q) and Iguodala (10:00 3Q) both ended in turnovers. He got diced up in the lane on defense by Ty Lawson. He got beat down court by Chandler after a made basket (8:56 3Q).

He and the Warriors were a disastrous -8 for the third quarter, until Draymond Green replaced Landry with a little over 5 minutes left. Bogut finished -4 for the quarter, and never came back into the game.

-2 for the game. 5 rebounds in 25 minutes. Perhaps there was something to Karl’s devious strategy.

Jarret Jack: Cleaned up the turnovers and was simply dominant.

It’s hard not to feel that he’s an ideal backcourt mate for Stephen Curry (assuming James Harden is not available). Capable of taking the pressure off, running the point, getting Curry open looks off the ball, frequently dominating the game in his own right.

Maybe there’s something to that small backcourt concept, after all?

Yes indeed, in the right system.

Carl Landry: Helped stabilize the game in the third quarter. Continues to bury his open jumpers, which is pretty remarkable, considering. I read before this series that Landry shot his mid-range jumpers at 41% this year. (Up from, I believe, 36% over the previous two years.)

So, um… keep it up, Carl!

Draymond Green: The Warriors exploded when he came in for Landry in the third quarter. He was +15 for the quarter (and the game). Jackson left him in for the entire fourth quarter.

Spread the floor. Hit two threes. (I think he’s correctly toned down his jump a bit.) Hit that crazy runner in the lane.

Crazy defensive energy. 6 rbs, 4 steals, 1 block. Even when going up against McGee and Koufus on the boards, he was a force. There are no uncontested rebounds when he’s on the court.

This is the game where Green fulfilled the promise I saw in him in summer league, and early in the season. This is the game that indicates that Green might have a real future in the league as a stretch-four.

His best game as a Warrior.

Harrison Barnes: This rookie fell with a thud. Faried ate him alive.

Not going to fault him for missing his open threes. That’s going to happen, and he’s already overachieved in that regard in this series.

The rest of his floor game, though… not great. It gets a little tougher when you’re not being guarded by Ty Lawson and Andre Miller.

Festus Ezeli: Take a look at his line: nothing but zeroes, a total bagel. Makes you worry a little bit about that knee with the heavy brace on it.

+9 though. Like Ekpe Udoh, Ezeli can be an asset on the floor without putting up stats. Or maybe he was just sharing the floor with Draymond Green.

The Series: Sure looks dire for the Nuggets, doesn’t it? You have to feel just a little bit sorry for them, because before Gallinari and Faried got injured they looked absolutely invincible, and were smelling a deep run. Gallinari would have been huge for them in this series. Not just with his desperately needed floor-spreading, but with his burgeoning all-around two-way floor game. Most importantly, he would have vastly improved the Nuggets imploding defense, by moving Chandler back to the three, and Iggy back to the two. None of that disastrous Lawson/Miller backcourt that the Warriors are so viciously exploiting.

I don’t buy the common wisdom, circulated by the Warriors media before this game, that this Game 4 was a game the Nuggets absolutely had to have. If they were actually the best team in this series (I don’t believe they are, now that Mark Jackson has fortuitously discovered the Warriors’ true Nellieball identity), how far-fetched would it be for them to win at home in Game 5, and then steal Game 6 here? Not far-fetched at all. The better team has frequently come back from 3-1 deficits.

Traditionally, you can expect teams in the Nuggets’ position to win Game 5 at home. It’s the first close-out game, the first game that either team truly needs. And traditionally, you can expect teams in the Warriors’ position, on the road in a game they don’t need, to have a let-down.

It might not play out that way, because the Nellieball Warriors truly look like they have the Nuggets’ number, and this is most of the Warriors players’ first playoff series: they’re hungry, not tired enough and not self-confident enough to take a game off.

But if Game 5 holds true to form, and the (now truly) desperate Nuggets prevail, then I predict that the series will be decided by Game 6 at  Oracle.

Meaning that the winner of Game 6 will win the series.

93 Responses to Stephen Curry Superstar: Warriors 115 Nuggets 101 — Game 4

  1. Fun read! One quibble with “the better team has frequently come back from 3-1 deficits.” They posted a graphic during the broadcast that said a 3 – 1 lead leads to a series win 96% of the time. (202 of 210, or something like that.) if that is right, the numbers are working against them but I’m still nervous; the gimpy, short-rotation Warriors feel a little vulnerable. One time I hope stats prove out.

  2. Great analysis, Felt! Nice to see a detailed, rational explanation for the chaos, and the results. “Bogut suddenly awesome” would be a medical miracle. “Bogut responds to not being covered” makes logical sense.

    “There are no uncontested rebounds with Green on the floor.” Ain’t that the truth. When Green is assigned to play C on defense, he clearly intends to OWN the paint. I was especially delighted to see him manhandling the manimal.

    It’s also worth noting that Green is continuing to shoot 50% on 3s throughout the series. It helps that no one (opposing teams, Bob Fitzsimmons, etc.) can see him as the team’s most serious threat out there.

    Here’s a passage from another fun writeup:
    “[Curry] scored nine points in just 42 seconds, and his shots throughout Game 4 were so comically difficult it became unreasonable to expect the Nuggets to mount a response. How many deep bombs, insane floaters, side-step threes and pull-ups can one team withstand before the whole thing starts to feel fruitless?”

    You could see exactly that attitude in the expressions and body language of the Denver players, starting in the 3rd Q.

    It’s very doubtful that the rest of the league will overlook Curry from now on.

    • warriorsablaze

      What you describe with Green is also what I love about Ezeli… when he is in, he gets his hand on nearly every single rebound. He may not end up with them all, but the other guy never pulls it down without a fight.

      • Feisty is good. Feisty, energetic and beastly but raw (Ezeli) is better. Feisty, energetic, beastly, and one of the smartest guys on the floor is… Draymond Green.

  3. warriorsablaze

    Good recap, Felt. Fun game.

    I know it’s your thing to be down on Bogut, but I think it’s a bit unwarranted for this game. Using single game +/- is the refuge of the narrative pushers. It’s dishonest because there are too many factors that influence it in one game… e.g. anyone on the court for Curry’s dominant stretch has their tally bumped up even if they just sat in the corner and admired the run…similarly, when the guards start coughing up the ball in the backcourt, leading to transition points and a Denver run, the big men also get the (-). It really only tells you something over the course of a season… preferable several. Everyone on the team benefits from Karl’s desperate attempts to stop Curry, not just Bogut. He had 2 blocks, changed several others, and picked up a steal. Not to mention the hustle play to save a loose ball from going out of bounds. I think Jackson is doing well exploiting matchups… I don’t think Bogut needs to be out there by default in all situations, but he’s been making an impact in this series when he has been. With Karl benching his centers, Jackson was smart to move away from the Bogut high screen (which was key to our dominance in game 2). Great chess match from the coaches.

    Not a good game from Barnes or Klay. Klay’s D continues to be solid, but I hope he can wake up out of his offensive funk.

    I love Green. If he can get that shot up to league average-ish (as his college stats suggest he can), he’ll become a very valuable piece. He’s just…. everywhere.

    • After Bogut smashed through Karl’s fleet of centers (I absolutely loved it!), George Karl got desperate and baited Mark Jackson with the little guy Chandler. When Mark Jackson didn’t take the bait (keep Bogut in) and put in Draymond Green to mop up, game over…

      RE: Draymond Green – if he can hit that three (which is still unproven, but soon to come), the W’s hit another home run in signing him for so many years. And our Nellieball spread 4 dreams come true! And never have I seen a spread 4 rebound, be nails tough, and play near-elite defense like this kid. Key role player on a playoff team.

  4. nice recap again FB. I know I am venturing into Steve mode with this quote, but rgg captured the essence of FB’s blog @ 8 on previous thread,”
    Then I ran into Feltbot’s, by accident. What I saw was specific analysis of the players and the game that, in fact, matched what I was seeing when I watched. And the more I read, the more I saw and understood. It has been a learning experience. Everything he’s been saying the last years was well evidenced in the last three games.”

    I was worried that Curry could be shut down by length and aggressive defenders. I now understand Jerry West’s remark about this, “Oh – that is on the coaches.” Mark Jackson is coming up with the right moves.

    Oh, and I think we have to say, white hat(hat) – good call on draymont green!

  5. I once was blind, but now I see.

  6. Running and inserting Jack into the starting line-up has made the Warriors a powerhouse. For by running virtually every Warrior shooting percentage (except for Landry has only marginally shot not as well) has sky-rocketed.

    The only praise that can be bestowed on the Warriors for playing mostly a half court offense during the year (which kept their winning total down) is that the Warriors have a more rested team going into the playoffs then Denver which ran the whole year. I say this even though some Warrior players played way more minutes than they should have.

    And by inserting Jack into the starting line-up, the Warriors shot distribution has changed dramatically. While Jack averaged 10.2 shots per game during the regular season, he is now averaging 12.5. Landry has gone from 7.4 shots per game to 11.5 per game in the playoffs. And Thompson shot attempts has declined from 14.7 to 12.5 which in my opinion has resulted in his shooting a higher FG%. He’s shooting 50% overall as he 2 and 3 point shooting has increased according in the playoffs. Felty,I have refrained from writing about all of Thompson’s bonehead plays in the playoffs, but it’s time for you to admit that he does not have a high basketball IQ as you repeatedly assert.

    Next to Curry, Jack has been the man.He’s shooting a whopping 62% for the playoffs. As you point he’s not a particularly good passer and sometimes his running to fast results in poor decision-making. But he’s terrific taking floaters and jump shots from the paint. That’s his game, plus he can hit the three.

    I assume Curry has also taken more shots in he playoffs and his shooting is off the charts. I actually thought that Curry had a good first half even though he shot 1-3 from the field, as he had 3 steals that resulted in points, and no turnovers. A net three extra possessions for one player in a half is huge.

    When one watches Bogut and see’s his monster dunks and blocks it looks like he is playing well. But, if you watch the number of shots that opponent’s score inside against him, how Denver got more offensive rebounds against us with him playing, and that one of Bogut’s blocks of Andre Miller shot returned to Miller who then put the ball back in, and his three turnovers, one can see why the Warriors were just slightly outscored with him on the court, even with him shooting 6-9 from the floor. As Moto said, Green was the key defensively for the Warriors. The bottom line is that Denver shot very well inside with him on the court.

    • @Frank –
      “When one watches Bogut and see’s his monster dunks and blocks it looks like he is playing well. But, if you watch the number of shots that opponent’s score inside against him, how Denver got more offensive rebounds against us with him playing, and that one of Bogut’s blocks of Andre Miller shot returned to Miller who then put the ball back in…”

      If you’re implying here that Andrew Bogut’s shot blocks are merely offensive rebounds and put backs for W’s opponents… Nonsense… Lol! And Ekpe Udoh’s blocks are opponent’s turnovers?

      Stop the Bogut nonsense! When will this ever end???

      • If they keep going to Bogut second half, they lose.

        Look at the gameflow, his stats 2nd half. Give him credit for doing what any average center can and should do, but he isn’t a game changer and never will be.

        • In his ten minutes second half, all he played, Bogut had 1 rebound and one TO and no points. This is not transcendence.

        • If Curry doesn’t go ape in the 3rd quarter, the Warriors probably lose. When arguing about Bogut, we’re probably arguing about the Warriors 4th or 5th best player. I am more concerned that Klay was not able to get his range, and that he’s only taken one free throw this entire series.

  7. Interesting take and entertaining as always FB! Some very good, some disappointing. I’m here because I love your writing, but I enjoy calling out your nonsense.

    Special thanks and kudos to the W’s Front Office for being smart in extending Stephen Curry for 4 more years. I think the Cohan/Rowell ownership idiocy makes Stephen Curry play out this year to prove himself with no contract, then leaving for max money. Stephen Curry Superstar now locked in to Minimum Superstar Wage (MSW)? Genius! A serious contender can now be built.

    The ignoranti #1 forget that it was Monta Ellis’ late season injury in Stephen Curry’s rookie season – that enabled Stephen Curry’s late year finish and surge to the ROY finals. HUGE OMISSION. To cite numbers after the all-star break indicates true ignorantism in trying to be “right” at the expense of being “accurate.” A healthy ball dominating Monta Ellis would never defer to the genius that is the unselfish Stephen Curry. Many ignoranti can’t comprehend this simple thought – that only one+ season after Monta Ellis is dealt, Stephen Curry (and Klay Thompson too) has blossomed into a perennial All-Star (yes, a despicable crime was committed by NBA coaches!) and is now All-World. I also thank the W’s Front Office for trading Dorell Wright for Jarret Jack – who complements Curry’s genius game fairly well.

    The truly ignoranti #2 already forgot that it was PF David Lee’s injury that forced coach Mark Jackson’s hand to even play small with shot-blocking center or Nellieball. Yes, the W’s PR Machine All-Star that is David Lee… 3.25 games later of great Nellieball offense/defense, and the W’s are the cusp of a 1st round TKO!

    How can the W’s score without the great scorer that is David Lee? How will the W’s offense be facilitated without the great passing PF?

    No discussion of David Lee here. Ignoranti. Again, only crickets chirping… Such is the Myth of David Lee. Lol!

    Only the true ignoranti will see a W’s big man who utterly dominated the first quarter, only to belittle him and his game and say that it was given to him. Pretty petty. Nothing is given to NBA players… And his 6 dunks has to be one of the better shots in the NBA – you’re not going to lose many games shooting 67%. And he could have done it ALL GAME LONG.

    And Bogutsanity’s lumbering all-or-nothing throwdown over one of the most intimidating shot blocking 7-foot Centers in the NBA in JeVale McGee? PRICELESS! LOL! Again, it’s why I admire Andrew Bogut and his game. Bogut’s been injured seriously many times and STILL puts it all out there against the best… In a must-win playoff game no less for all of us to share and enjoy.

    Sorry – George Karl’s SPANISH ARMADA of Centers – were all so thoroughly outplayed by Andrew Bogut (McGee, Koufas, Faried)… How someone so smart miss this???

    When Karl put Chandler in at center (throwing in the towel to see if Mark Jackson would take the bait) and the W’s forced it into the paint to Bogut a couple of times – Mark Jackson made the right adjustment in putting in Draymond Green, who finished up on the little guy. Game over. Any questions?

    No All-Star David Lee/No two-way player Brandon Rush – and knocking out the 3rd seed?

    Mark Jackson coaching Nellieball? Perhaps it’s that no matter what adjustment George Karl makes – Mark Jackson has the Anti-Venom on his roster. That’s depth.

    Again, crickets chirping… Don’t go looking into the archives. I read just fine.

    It doesn’t take a genius to win an NBA title (see Cuban). And not all genius’ win one (see Don Nelson as a coachGM, not player!/George Karl). Perhaps the haters will stop hating and enjoy what he’s started. Not the smoothest ride, but it’s headed in the right direction.

    Got to build a gate for my house now! Cheers!

    • WheresMyChippy

      Of the 8 games feltbot listed as evidence Ellis played in 5 of them, including Curry’s best game of that season against Portland. Curry had 42 while Monta had 34.

    • Read da post, PB!

      As for Lacob, he is lucky, lucky, lucky. What the team has now it had three years ago, if only he had recognized it. Let’s hope the scales have finally fallen from his eyes.

  8. Goldenstarter

    Agree except in the case of Bogut. It wasn’t so long ago that D-Leaguers were the ones manning the center (see Hunter, Chris). Having a legit big man that can finish when he gets a head of steam toward the basket over a long shot-blocker is an unbelievably refreshing thing to witness as a Dubs fan.

    Who would you rather be in there at the starting 5, Felt?

  9. PeteyBrian: Make your points but don’t launch insults.

    Denver’s bigs only took three shots. Koufas took none and McGee was 0-2 with Bogut on the court, and one shot was missed a lay-up that I believe Bogut had nothing to do with. All the other Denver players including Lawson, Iggy, Chandler, and Faried, shot over 50% from the field, many, especially Lawson scoring at the rim. Denver shot a decent 46% for the game, and such would have been much higher expect for Brewer, Fournier, and Miller shooting, I believe, 7-23.

    Your saying the Warriors are not going to lose many games when he shoots 67% and has 6 dunks is at odds with reality. As the Warriors were still outscored when he was on the court even with this offensive production. I’m not about to do back-flips over Bogut, when Denver gets extra possessions via OR’s then the Warriors do when he is on the court, and shoot a fairly decent shooting percentage. It’s pretty sad when D. Green is a better interior defender than Bogut. His best game makes him barely is serviceable.

    It was the Warriors shooting 55% to Denver’s 46% that one us the game. And 46% is still to high a %, but not if the Warriors completely continue to dominant offensively.

    Denver would not have shot 56% if Udoh played Bogut’s minutes and the Warriors would not have been outscored as they were with Bogut playing. I know you and others disagree. The trade did suck. Thankfully as you correctly pointed out the Warriors obtained Jack, Landry, and the Warriors in Thompson had a decent replacement for Ellis, and picked some players that have helped this year.

    But, the big three for the Warriors are now Curry, Jack, and Landry, with Thompson, D. Green, Barnes, and Bogut playing supporting roles.

    If the Warriors get to the next round they should have a chance against SA as SA are aging team that is very sluggish. And they will be facing a new Warrior team that now starts Jack and Barnes instead of D.Lee that will run.

    Felty is deserving high praise for saying that Barnes should play PF. No one else said that before it occurred. SA hasn’t faced our new and running line-up that has made Curry and Jack scoring machines But, I don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves.

    • Never any intention of insulting you Frank. We go a long ways from our Adam blog experiences – where I supported your notion that Biedrins should be benched and Udoh should start in tandem with David Lee – and there, my friend, were insults! Lol! My “nonsense” snark is my response to a Bogut block which I felt you belittled as probably half of all blocked shots get sent back to the other team or out of bounds.

      Sorry, but Bogut outplayed Koufas, McGee, and Faried – and dunked over all three Centers!!! Chandler outplayed Bogut for a couple of possessions (Nellie-style) – and Mark Jackson very smartly took Bogut out of the game…

      Bogut doesn’t impact the game defensively? Bogut played most of his minutes in the 1st half, no? Virtually none in the 2nd half.

      1st quarter Den scores 21
      2nd quarter Den scores 23
      3rd quarter Den scores 28
      4th quarter Den scores 29

      I’m sure I could waste an afternoon looking up stats supporting Bogut’s impact on the scoreboard – but it’s a time suck and it’s nice outside. Plus, someone inevitably state that Bogut affects the pace of the game or something.

      RE: Feltbots Barnes at PF insight?
      I agree with Feltbot here and that’s his genius! And I nearly immediately agreed with this suggestion. I read FB because he’s a disciple of Nellieball (complete opposite of a majority of Adam’s posters – who seem to prefer more traditional lineups in general) – which I am in general and why I’m here. Barnes – is an okay SF right now (Great for a rookie though, and I still have hope for future improvement), but an AMAZING mismatch for many PFs!!! I do “get” this. I am a proponent of a small ball 4 on any roster. Jefferson too – would be a great small 4 IMO. And Draymond Green? If only he can somewhat consistent hit an outside jumper (2 or 3)…

  10. The tally so far for Curry, 4 playoff games:

    109 points
    11 steals
    18 rebounds
    40 assists
    50% FG
    47% 3’s (higher when you take away the last second bombs)
    15/15 FT, 100%

  11. SB Nation/Nuggets breaks down Denver’s defense during that 6 minute stretch (cf. FB’s analysis):

    • The author concludes:

      After Game 2, we said that the Nuggets’ mistakes, while baffling, were correctable without major schematic changes. Karl instead chose major schematic changes, and that’s only confused his team further. It’s time for the Nuggets to keep it simple and do their jobs defensively.

  12. Even The New Yorker is getting in on the act:

    Curry is already a transcendent talent in the league—last night’s shooting display was one of the greatest in playoff history. Now all eyes are on the game’s newest superstar, watching to see what he’ll do next.

  13. D. Green has been outstanding. The Warriors have outscored their opponents in all four games with him on the court. This is a reversal of his season stats. He takes few shots but has shot 64% in the playoffs compared to 32% during the season. Talk about stepping up. And he’s averaged 1.5 extra net possessions for the Warriors via OR’s and steals.

    • San Antonio – a smart team – will back off and let Draymond Green shoot until his heart’s content. Until Green proves he can do this consistently – which is common sense. Let the role players beat you. Just as the W’s did with the poor perimeter shooting Denver Nuggets sans Galinari.

  14. @ #3, WAB, I don’t read FB’s take on Bogut as overly negative. The guy is still in pain. During games he wears a 1/2 in thick pile of tape on his ankle. He cannot physically play for more than 30 minutes per game. He just can’t do it.

    Bogut is a smart, experienced, tough, maniacally determined – and critically damaged – basketball player. I’ve never heard FB say anything else. Crediting Mark Jackson for figuring out a good way to use what Bogut could deliver isn’t at all a knock on Bogut, only a credit to Jackson.

    If this were a Bogut-and-Lee-centric BigBall team (as Lacob has indicated he intended it to be for 3 years straight now), it would undoubtedly lose this playoff series. That would have been completely unnecessary when a Curry-led SmallBall attack could (it’s evident now) demolish all comers.

    This season, Stephen Curry completely re-defined the limits of the game of basketball. Until he did it, we never even suspected that what he has accomplished was even humanly possible.

    You have to love Bogut’s heart and skills, but even at his best Bogut is “merely” a superb ball player. Stephen Curry is a history-making, limits-transcending player who has – this season, right in front of our eyes – redefined the possibilities of the game.

    For years now, Lacob has said he’s been seeking a “transformative” player. Heck, that guy has been on Lacob’s team all along. That has been Feltbot’s #1 message for 3 years now. Feltbot got it right.

    @ #4, Buckaroo,

    Thanks, but I can’t take any credit for Green’s performance, and I’m still a little unsure about him. Smart, tough, a body like a B-52, an extremely rare Type A+ kinda guy, but also far short of NBA-level conditioning.

    Even if Green had had his offense together from Day 1 of the season, Jackson might not have been able to play him much more than he has to date.

    Green’s entire future rests on this summer’s offseason training program. HoHos and Twinkies have stopped more NBA players than knee injuries have. In the pantheon of NBA greats, where would Shawn Kemp rank today if Big Gulps hadn’t taken him down?

    • green is probably a bigger student of the game than the preacher himself, and from what jackson has commented about his rookie, he probably realises it. if he seems to always know where the opponents and ball are headed on defense, and able to defend his man and assist in covering an area or breakdowns, a lot of it comes from long hours of video analysis.

      even a modest improvement in his shooting, which appears likely from his playoff production, would mean he could function in the offense much like lee does, and he’d have a three point shot which lee lacks. one thing he does in transition d that only curry has shown, when the opponents snag a defensive board he’ll anticipate the outlet pass and either impede or deflect the critical first stage of transition.

    • There is much of what Feltbot writes that I disagree with, but I too look at Curry, not in terms of potential all-star birth, but as a potential Hall of Famer.

      The key is, and will always be, health. The Kid has the determination to play through pain, he has an incredibly high B-ball IQ; he is the best shooter in the game (assuming health, will be regarded as the best shooter in the history of the league by the time he is done); he has a quiet cockiness about him on the floor…his pace, handle, intuitive feel for the game…all point to a higher ceiling than Steve Nash. Healthy ankle = Springfield.

      • Gotta agree, Liv. Curry’s not doing too badly for a guy who probably has trouble tying his shoes right now.

  15. On a completely different topic, it looks like the Kings are staying in Sacramento:

    The city will provide $258M in financing, to be paid back by parking revenues. Hm. Assuming 5000 cars per game (the new arena will be downtown, close to public transit) at $30 per car, and NOT including the city’s interest payments on the Muni bonds they’ll have to float, that’s 1720 games, over 20 years worth. It also doesn’t include the city’s infrastructure improvements, lost property taxes, or its costs to support the operations (police, emergency staff, etc.).

    I must be missing something. Can anyone think of a way Sacramento’s “investment” in the Kings is not blindingly stupid?

    • Yuck.

      How does this work? Do owners vote and have the final say? Or does the NBA (Stern) have input and influence? I would have thought the league wanted Seattle, another, larger market. I can’t figure out the owners’ angle, unless they want Sacramento stuck in mediocrity.

      • I think the NBA was able to extract more concessions and more money from Sacramento. That’s good for all the owners, as it sets a new precedent for “what it takes to be blessed with an NBA team.”

      • the owners will have another vote on it, but they’re unlikely to go against their committee’s recommendation (12 teams on the committee incl. a group in charge of financial review). they love how the value of a mismanaged, floundering team got jacked up (more than what the lacobites paid), and probably think they can use this process to tease the Sea revivalists. next time a team becomes available for Sea, they’ll expect to get more than what the maloofs will end up with.

  16. PeteyBrian: I didn’t think you were insulting me, I just didn’t like you using the word ignorant when you were expressing your disagreements with Feltbot’s view. Don’t want Felty’s blog turning into Adam’s blog where insults fly In what seems every other post. You, Rgg, Moto, Buckaroo, Hat, Our Team, and other posters all make this site both informative and enjoyable to read each and every day no matter whether agree or disagree. Maybe we should all meet after a game for a beer or some other time. Especially if we go on to the second round. We’ve all been put thru a ringer with this club. As an enticement . I’ll buy first round.

    • Ahhh! You’re right. Fair enough. I agree and will never use the “ignoranti” term again… Many have come here because of insults spewed on other sites! And actually, I got this word from Feltbot’s post! Haha!

  17. PeteyBrian: well done. Next to Curry, Bogut has been the biggest reason we are dominating the Nuggets. How many times have we seen Lawson drive to the hoop free but with Bogut waiting and look frantically for an outlet rather than a shot? Bogut allows the Warriors to go with 4 perimeter players and not get eaten alive on D in the lane and on the boards. He’s been spectacular.

    I sympathize with George Karl a bit in this series bc I think the Warriors’ players are just better than the Nuggets, but then I watch him put Miller on Curry like last night in the third quarter, and I watch Brewer and other Nuggets continue to make bad decisions leaving Curry open for threes, and I wonder, “What has George been doing with this team?”

    More than anything in the third quarter, Curry’s outburst was fueled by three steals (one his, two by Green) that fueled fast breaks and early offense from Curry, as well as Karl’s bizarre decision to have Miller try to guard Curry.

  18. feltbot, other than the Bogut portion of your post, I thought it was insightful and a pleasure to read. I was at the game last night and have followed the NBA in general and Warriors in particular since the mid-1960’s when I was a kid. Curry’s run in the third quarter was the most amazing performance I have ever witnessed first-hand, and the best I’ve ever seen from a Warrior player. It was just amazing. He has been the transcendant player in the playoffs thus far. Chris Paul hasn’t been close to as good as Curry thus far. Right now, the pecking order of Superstars in the NBA, based on these playoffs, looks something like LBJ, Durant, Curry, Paul… We’ll have to see how the rest of this goes.

  19. Bogut has no low post offensive game. Regardless of whether it’s due to injuries or lack of offensive talent ( I suspect the later) the one thing he does well is drive from the foul line and dunk or shoot and obtain an offensive rebound and then dunk. Karl played into the Warriors by doubling outside and giving his bigs the primary responsibility to defend the wings.No wonder Bogut had success driving and dunking.Karl won’t make that mistake again. It’s non-logical that the Warriors dominated the Warriors even with Bogut having a good night offensively when Denver outscored the Warriors with Bogut playing.

  20. And for the record, David Lee is one of my FAVorite players (offensively and attitude/solid character, not defensively). Lee needs to stretch it out to three next season though! Lol!

    With David Lee – the W’s are 1-4 versus the Nuggets.

    Without David Lee – the W’s are 3-0 versus the Nuggets.

    I think there may be something here…

  21. I have done my best not to read this blog the past month, primarily because my perspective is not typically shared or welcomed here; the Bogut negativity borders on an estranged grudge at this point (as if Bogut refused Felty an autograph or flirted with his girlfriend or something oddly personal), but, nevertheless, I simply HAD to see how the spin-doctor could possibly cut down Mr. Bogut after that first quarter yesterday. Bogut’s ferocity while finishing inside single-handedly opened the perimeter back up for the Warriors. Karl was blitzing and trapping everything that moved on the perimeter and Stephen Curry’s single first-quarter bucket came by way of a near-half court fling that Denver surrendered because they figured it was too deep to have to defend. The entire quarter, Karl committed to stopping the perimeter assault and it was ONLY because Andrew Bogut punished Denver’s lagging inside defense that the Nuggets switched back their defensive scheme to a more conventional style whereby Curry could continue to fire away. Without that first quarter from Bogut, Stephen Curry’s 3rd quarter does not happen. There was simply NO POSSIBLE way that any observant person could deny the impact of AB12 in the opening scene of this contest. It would take a truly Skip Bayless-esque effort to mindfully object to reality and sculpt a negative imagine of Bogut’s contributions, if for no other reason to incite the educated Warriors’ fan (purposefully coined in your terms as the “ignorati”) into some sort of reaction.

    And, with God as my witness, you didn’t disappoint, FB. I could barely choke down the first half of this “recap”…

    Did Bogut dominant offensively? Of course not; it’s not his game, it’s not what he’s been billed as, it’s not what he’s being paid for. But for the love of God: to claim that he hasn’t been a factor in this series or that the Warriors are winning in spite of him… holy cow, FB, you’re really reaching at this point.

    The 2012-’13 Denver Nuggets set an NBA record for points-in-the-paint, averaging over 58 points a night in the key. In this first-round series, they’re scoring 48 PITP per game. That’s a net loss of -10 in their best category. The overall +/- of the first 4 games? GSW by 7 points. Which means that if Denver were getting their usual production inside, the Warriors would be losing this series. They were the best offensive rebounding team in the league, their 2nd-chance points were 15.6 per game this season. This series? A pedestrian 13.3 a night, with a tremendous increase in pace of game… so they’re averaging LESS 2nd chance points in a game that features MORE possessions! They are averaging 9 less overall rebounds per game, compared to their season norm, and the Warriors have played 3 of 4 games without their leading rebounder! Every indication of the Nuggets’ dominant inside identity has been neutralized by an enforcer that the Warriors have lacked since before I was born!

    Are Stephen Curry, Jarrett Jack, and Klay Thompson responsible for stymieing Denver’s interior assault? Are “Nellieball” and the Strech-4 intimidating the Nuggets out of the paint??

    You may not like Andrew Bogut, Feltbot. And every single person whose read your commentary this season understands that you have a personal thing against him. But this is simply a case of that age-old adage: if you can’t say anything nice, keep your flap trap shut. Because Andrew Bogut has played like an utter savage this series; he’s made a world of a difference, and whatever issue you have with him is sounding more and more ridiculous by the night.

    As Wilt Chamberlain used to say, “Nobody roots for Goliath.” The world is full of Davids; we’re all a bunch of little men rooting on our fellow little men in a game of giants because we’ve come to believe that these 7-foot monsters have it easy and guys like Steph Curry need to work twice as hard to be half as good. So, yeah, Stephen Curry is the star. He’s the babyface that the average fan can relate to. He gets the press and the credit and the glamor and the fanboys and all the shot attempts he can eat. But Andrew Bogut is the offensive lineman. He’s the cog in the machine that nobody notices or thanks because they simply think he SHOULD be rebounding and defending. But don’t criticize those of us who give him his proper dues.

    The “Andrew Bogut Myth” is that this team could in any way, shape, or form have gone this far in the post-season without him. Show me another Warriors season that ran to the conference semi-finals without a center that set screens, rebounded, and defended the cup.

    • Well said. FB is likely waiting for Tim Duncan and the Spurs to bail out his Andrew Bogut Myth theories so that he doesn’t have to flip flop and that we can all hail him as the basketball genius that we all know him to be. Joe Lacob’s essentially doing the same thing only he’s obscenely rich, bought the team, and had to put his bright kid into a profession. Lol!

  22. Mark Jackson on Jason Collins revealing he’s gay:

    “As a Christian man I have beliefs of what’s right and what’s wrong. That being said, I know Jason Collins, I know his family… and certainly praying for them at this time.”

    Perhaps he should pray for Warriors COO Rick Welts while he’s at it.

    • Arthur C. Clarke said something to the effect, how religion hijacked morality is probably the greatest tragedy to fall on us humanoids.

    • Note to sexual bigots:

      Bigotry is cruelty, a sin in all faiths.

    • warriorsablaze

      Well, that certainly shuts the door on any Warriors player who may be lurking in the “locker”… not a good look. For all the “love” Christians profess, they sure know how to make themselves look hateful.

      A man in his position, one of a secular nature, should have just stuck with the last half of his statement and left the backhanded editorial out of it.

    • the writing was on the wall once it became clear that jack had succeeded rush as the most essential bench player, and could at times function as the lead guard for a winning team. the simple arithmetic of the raises due the vets next season (curry’s alone will add $6m., lee’s + bogut’s + jefferson’s raises combined with that are very close to what jack + landry get this season) and the market rate for starting point guards do not leave any wiggle room — swallow substantial lux tax or let jack walk.

  23. moving off topic, but on to an issue arguably more important than how much lee’s absence vs. Den (SA does things rather differently) has helped the coach, team, or bogut : if there was any doubt about the reliability of espn, they’ve helped erase it. they have a sweetheart arrangement with, which means they’re nearly an official outlet for stern’s p.r. apparatus. pretty apparent during the last labour impasse.

    espn made a curious choice of commentary in response to j.collins coming out as gay. collins described his upbringing as ‘christian’, getting taught tolerance and unconditional love as part of it. espn, appropriate to a tributary to the great Disney megamonolith, chose one of their ‘reporters’ (broussard) who’d exclude how collins chooses to live as ‘christian’, in no uncertain terms. (for those who need to know the theological details, he doesn’t quote scripture but holds up what he considers a ‘christian’ standard of behavior.)

    let’s see how the preacher/coach or members of his quasi-church on the team (who include curry) respond to collins’ coming out. if they’re among the believers who consider homosexuality is sinful, they’d surely have the good manners not to share that view publicly.

    • The beauty of our times is that this news in not such a big deal. Sports and homosexuality. I’m proud that Collins made his announcement as life is difficult enough without hiding your true identity. Although Collins is technically an “active” player, his NBA career as a journeyman center at age 34 is essentially complete.

      Mark Jackson’s comments… Lol! Church, sports, and homosexuality – now THAT is opening up a whole new can of worms!

    • Broussard:

      “Personally, I don’t agree with homosexuality. I think it’s a sin…as I think all sex outside of marriage is a sin.”

      Pro sports must give Broussard many sleepless nights.

  24. If the W’s Front Office namely GM Meyers is really good, they can do something like this in restructuring Andris’ and/or Jefferson’s deals… to keep Jack and/or Landry in tow next season. Other than going over the salary cap, which ain’t going to happen…

    • One of the things that makes it hard to talk about the team is that we don’t get good information. So we make our best guesses.

      Biedrins is a great mystery this year. Why is he on the bench now? I haven’t heard any report of injury. Why did they bring up an unknown center? He did put in serviceable minutes a month ago. Then he’s gone. He could have provided some use during the playoffs, certainly as an emergency backup, especially since Ezeli appears to be more injured than we realize.

      Is he in fact still suffering his groin injury? Did they push him to play in the event he might be traded and after the trade deadline sat him back down?

      What I’m most curious to know is why Boston considered picking him up.

      The rules for buyout and stretch provision are spelled out here:

      Basically, I think, they can release him, deduct from the cap and what they owe him whatever another team pays him, and the rest of the money can be stretched out over a period of years.

  25. @22

    Steve, is that you? I thought the rationalists on this blog chased you away months ago.

    Recommend you find a good closeup photo of Bogut’s ankle. It’s literally encased in a 1/2-inch thick layer of tape. The man is hurting right now. His mobility is limited, and it shows in his play. He’s the slowest guy on the floor, every night, against every team. And his minutes are limited because he can’t physically handle more minutes.

    Bogut’s height alone will serve for some things and not others. When he can get in position he’ll disrupt shots. When he can’t, he won’t. But Bogut’s play is at best a mixed bag, and he’s not the reason the Warriors *RAN* the Nuggets’ centers out of the game. If Bogut were as healthy and stupendous as you say, Jackson would have left him in for 48 minutes. He didn’t. QED.

    Under some game conditions, Bogut is a nice guy to have on the team. But don’t credit him with magical powers, OK? Ezeli is a better overall defender and rebounder. Landry and Green are better scorers, rebounders and defenders. Don’t believe it? Check the numbers. Until you do, you don’t have an opinion worth listening to.

    Those are the unbiased facts, whether or not you cover your ears.

    • Hat:

      Longer on opinion than on fact.

      Ezeli is a better overall defender? Based upon what metric? Opinion.

      Also…no such thing as being unbiased. Not a single one of us.

      • Livermore, nice to have a winemaker in the conversation. do you ever participate in Slow Food events ? nowadays my wine tasting is generally limited to those venues. climate change will be presenting some nice challenges to Calif winemakers in the next few decades, no ?

      • Liv,

        I posted a mea culpa earlier, if you’re interested. It’s further down.

        Re being unbiased, some try harder than others. I’m guessing a rep from would have to be pretty low on the ol’ impartiality meter.

  26. #32 @22

    You seem to be following a pattern of not reading FB’s post and not responding critically to anything he says.

    Go here:

    Did you go there? Look at that line in the middle that represents the lead margin. Look at 3rd. Q. See how that line is going up, representing a steady loss of a substantial halftime lead? Then look at Bogut’s performance during that 10 minutes. Just hold your cursor over the bar that represents Bogut’s performance.

    Did you do that?

    1 rebound, 1 TO, and zero points. In ten minutes. At a critical part of the game.

    The reason Bogut was able to score first half is that Karl did not take him seriously. He had dead open looks, and given him credit for finishing at the rim, something he hasn’t done consistently before. Then Karl made adjustments 3rd. Q, and you see the results.

    1 friggin’ rebound!

    Playing half court around Bogut clogged the court and denied looks for others. This has happened before, in most of the games Bogut started and the Warriors got off to a slow start and got behind.

    Now look at that line when Bogut leaves and better defenders come in to take his place and the court is opened up. It’s like taking your hand off a compressed spring.

    While you’re at it, see if you can find a replay of his two muffed free throws.

    Belief in the preternatural seems to be inversely related to reality. The more one wants to believe, the more the latter is disregarded. It’s beyond me why so many keep defending a player who is sucking up over 2/7 of the salary cap and will do again next year, whose health has been questionable all year and will remain so next year, who has very limited offensive skills and limited mobility.

    A tough, sizable center who can last the whole season would be useful in certain situations, in limited play, but only at the right price. We don’t have that, and paid too much for the one we have. Whatever benefits Bogut adds, subtract from those what might have been gained had the money been spent elsewhere.

    But sorry. I’m touching on a sensitive psychological complex.

    Yes, Big Foot lives.

  27. 32@22

    1) I watch the games and attempt to report what happened. You appear to be living inside a fantasy world of your own creation.

    The Nuggets were trapping the high pick being set by Andrew Bogut in the first half. In the second half Mark Jackson stopped using Bogut to set the high pick. Did not use Bogut even once in pick and roll. It’s really that simple. And in fact, in most possessions, left Curry and Jack completely iso’d.

    It was Mark Jackson, and not the Nuggets, who decided to keep the Nuggets from trapping Curry. Why would Karl want to stop? Because of Bogut’s 12 points? The Warriors were only +2 in the first half with Bogut on the floor, and he was wearing down. As his 0 point, 1 rebound, 1 TO, -4 performance in the third quarter indicates.

    2) You cite Denver’s fall-off in points in the paint, offensive rebounds, second-chance points, etc., and ascribe it all to the presence of Andrew Bogut in the middle. Here are a few of the things you’ve neglected to mention:

    a) Coming into this series, the Nuggets lost BOTH of their power forwards, Faried and Gallinari. What kind of impact would you expect that to have on their rebounding?
    b) Faried is quite obviously their best offensive rebounder, and biggest creator of second chance points. And he’s still not healthy, going into game 5 (see @25).
    c) George Karl has made the decision to play small ball for most of this series. Going 6-7″, 6-8″ across the front line. Anybody in their right mind, not living in a fantasy world, realizes he’s doing that because he has a severe Stephen Curry problem, and is comfortable disrespecting Bogut to address it. Does going small have any effect on Denver’s ability to play like they did in the regular season?
    d) The loss of their best floor-spreader, Gallinari, has played right into the Warriors preferred method of playing defense, packing the paint. Does that have any effect on the Nuggets’ ability to penetrate?
    e) The loss of Gallinari and Faried have made the Nuggets less deep, consequently more fatigued in the second half. Thus unable to play their preferred “48 minutes of hell” running game for 48 minutes. Their extreme points in the paint this season were due just as much to their fast break as to anything else.

    3) Anyone who thinks I have something personal against Bogut is simply not able to rationally process what I have written. And I challenge them to go back and find something personal in anything I’ve written. I admire Bogut, and have stated so many times.

    I have spent a lot of time exposing the Lacobites’ lies regarding his true condition. I have described his impact on games (does my report of game 1 fit your thesis?). I have made forecasts of his future impact. I have stated my opinion of the style of basketball the Warriors should play. The fact that my analyses of Bogut’s abilities, impact, and future impact don’t fall into your sweet spot doesn’t make them personal.

  28. Faried: “When they just cross half court and hit threes, you can’t scheme around that, you can’t stop that…”

    Exactly. There is no defense for a great Nellieball team.

  29. @ 28, Hat, you cannot possibly be serious when you call Ezeli a better defender than Bogut. I can only imagine you’re living on box scores when you make a claim like that. Bogut calls out screens and genuinely quarterbacks the Warriors defense when he’s on the floor. That’s not gonna show up in a stat-sheet, but anybody whose ever played basketball understands the value of vocal communication and leadership on defense. He’s also the Warriors best charge-taker and his position puts him in place to utilize that skill multiple times a game. Opponents shoot a lower % when Bogut is out there. Think that’s a coincidence? Ezeli is more mobile, I’ll give him that, but this isn’t a game of Madden 2011 where speed supersedes every other attribute in a fictitious video game world. Bogut has better timing than Ezeli, he defends multiple players better than Ezeli, he alters more shots, and the results speak for themselves in a pile of numbers and statistics that the readers of this blog disregard because it doesn’t help their argument. Speaking of which…

    @ Feltbot, regarding your point about Denver “losing both their power forwards”… They lost their small forward (Gallinari) and their starting power forward (Faried) has been playing starter’s minutes the past 2 games. Their backup 4, Wilson Chandler, hasn’t missed a beat. What you didn’t mention was that we lost OUR starting power forward in the first game. So let me get this straight: Bogut is hobbled, Faried is hobbled, Lee is out, Gallinari is out… But I’m supposed to believe that Denver forgot how to rebound because the loss of Gallo on the glass makes more of a difference than the loss of Lee? I don’t think so. Denver has attempted to play a traditional lineup with McGee and Chandler multiple times this series and still haven’t found a way to pound the ball inside, despite punishing this Warrior lineup in 4 regular season contests via PITP and 2CPs. And who wasn’t playing in those 4 regular season games…?

    The readers on this blog are making a HUGE leap over the middle ground of this issue. Andrew Bogut is not the ONLY reason that Golden State is bottle necking the Nugget’s inside scoring and rebounding, but he’s a REASON (something you people are refusing to acknowledge) and he’s most definitely the biggest reason (a point that is over most of your heads).

    There’s a reason Denver’s best player in terms of PER has been absolutely neutralized in this series. JaVale McGee’s regular season PER was 20. 7. This series? 10.9… And don’t feed me any small ball theories because PER isn’t based on minutes; it’s simply production per second on the floor. McGee was Denver’s most efficient player this past season and Andrew Bogut has owned him all series long. Ditto for Faried (18.5 down to 13.8), double for Koufas (17.7 down to 6.6). You know whose PER is up? Ty Lawson (17.9 up to 21.9), Andre Iguodala (15.2 to 15.6), and Andre Miller (15.7 to 19.8). WHAT DOES THAT MEAN..? Do I have to spell it out for you?! The Warriors are beating the Nuggets INSIDE! Led by Andrew Bogut, whose 17.4 PER is up from 13.8 over an injury-riddled regular season. So, yes, Curry is doing his part by besting the Nuggets’ perimeter attack, but Andrew Bogut is also doing his part by trouncing Denver’s inside bigs who ranked among the most efficient in basketball last year! And yes, it is ANDREW BOGUT, not Festus Ezeli (PER 8.7). Festus is doing his part, yes. But don’t ever mistake whose leading this inside attack. This is not my opinion, rooted in prose style theories about potential health issues or inexplicable stories about confidence or chemistry. These are the facts.

    Check the win column, if you don’t believe me. That’s the REAL number that matters, not my advanced stats or Felty’s hunches or rgg’s insistence that a game flow chart is the be-all, end-all unit of measuring basketball (btw, you can’t cite a static statistic – like “1 friggin rebound” – and then retreat to a ballistic unit of measurement like flow charts. Gotta be consistent or your points seem like they’re led towards an agenda) . The WIN column is where it’s at, folks.

    Without Bogut: 1-3
    With Bogut: 3-1


    DAMMIT, I told myself I wasn’t going to banter with a group of know-it-all’s who reaffirm each other’s opinions like a group of heroine addicts codependently making their habits seem more acceptable. I’m not gonna be able to pull the wool from any of your eyes, so I’ll leave you people the last word. God forbid any of you actually acknowledge Bogut’s contributions to this team.

    Can’t wait to see Nellieball against the Spurs!!! [/sarcasm]

    • Curiouser and curiouser. . . .

    • Denver’s backup 4, all season long, was Gallinari, as anyone who watched them play could tell you.

      And McGee has very rarely been matched up against Bogut in this series. You can count the # of minutes he gets in that matchup on the fingers of one hand, if you cut off your pinkie and ring finger. As this gameflow from last game indicates:

      But somehow, I don’t think facts matter much to you, do they? Carry on. Now that I know who I’m dealing with, I’ll leave you and your fantastical delusions in peace.

    • if it suits you to lump every participant here together as codependent addicts, you’ll probably miss one of this blog’s better attributes — how diverse our perspectives are here and how we can disagree within a civil conversation. can’t tell from your use of stats if you appreciate one of the pitfalls of citing them — confirmation bias. you chose some stats that suggest mcgee is an above average center, which begs the question, is his coach an idiot ? granted, plenty of Den fans answer that in the affirmative, but mcgee sees the court about .38 of the game on average, a bit less than koufos, which suggests that karl chooses his minutes by need and where most effectively applied. karl hasn’t been particularly content with the play from his centers all season, but the structure of the regular season schedule made it much easier to obscure. the structure of playoff hoops invites opponents to attack deficiencies with a vengeance, which is a big reason why Den’s fans are so bearish on karl for his lack of success in the post season.

      you’ve flatly declared that faried is Den’s 4-forward, yet he was on the court a little less than .60 of the time, and if you watched their team you’d have seen gallinari play the position for part of the remainder along with chandler and limited use subs like randolph. where they miss gallinari more though is his zone-busting shooting. during the regular season Den could force opponents into transition d constantly which limited their exposure to zones. faried’s physical limitations have brought their transition offense down a notch, and GS’s exceptional shooting combined with their improved transition d has taken it down further. going against the zone, karl has tried using miller more, but that it turn has weakened their perimeter d vs. the shooters whose success inhibits Den’s transition offense.

      most of us here are actually fond of bogut and are gratified to see him in circumstances in which he can thrive. smarts and skills can go a long way, and role players can become critical contributors in the postseason from how they fit with the opponent’s deficiencies. putting his physical capacities in perspective though, did you follow the career of nate thurmond ? diminished by knee and leg injuries, long past his prime and often playing below the rim for Cle (he was their home state superstar long before james), he managed the extremely rare quadruple double.

    • By golly. Snarkiness aside, this has been an interesting discussion. Just checked the stats. To my surprise, Bogut’s defensive numbers are better than Ezeli’s. It wasn’t what my eyes told me, and Ezeli and Bogut do tend to play with a different mix of teammates, but no excuses. Right on, Steve!

      No one here hates on Bogut, my friend. The focus is rather on what works for the team. When (if, hope hope) AB heals up, the overall team play could well be better with him on the floor. We’re all looking forward to that day.

    • OK, I’m going to separate myself from the crowd and of course not expect anyone to agree.

      I don’t particularly like Bogut at all. He’s kind of goofy and really reckless. The latter should concern us, however, as it may account for his “freak” injuries. When will the next one come? He also seems self-absorbed in his Bogutness, which is not a topic that especially interests me or holds much relevance for the team.

      I was not at all impressed with his showing his chin to McGee. It’s the kind of grandstanding that sets refs on edge and may lead to tight, bad calls. It also might lead to reprisals against other members of our team. Real pros don’t act that way. Nor was there any reason to show toughness to Denver at that moment or really the whole series. We weren’t that challenged physically, certainly not by McGee. Maybe if he showed his chin to Perkins? That would be something to see.

      Rather, let him show his toughness on the court, boxing out and getting into position for rebounds, where he’s been mediocre for the most part. He’s only been effective against penetration when players come straight at him. Many can and have gone around him, including Lawson.

      But impressions count for nothing. What matters is performance, and but for 5 minutes the first game against Denver, Bogut just hasn’t done that much to distinguish him from run of the mill centers. I didn’t like Denis Rodman, either, but Rodman delivered.

      I must confess, however, I haven’t seen him play that much, other than this year. The last years the only time I saw him was against us, the times he was not out with injury. I don’t have league pass and haven’t been watching him all along. Others have seen him? What are the opinions based on?

      Btw, #32. You gave us a link to your site. That’s a fine collection of pinups. Maybe they’re a little distracting?

      (Sorry, PB. We’re all good people here.)

      • Way to let her rip #32!!!

        The problem with Nellieball is that Nellie never had a center as good as Andrew Bogut, so excuse my friends here for not being able to comprehend true center greatness #32! Lol!

  30. Grantland not impressed with Green:

    “His Game in 25 Words or Less: A below-the-rim tweener whose only plus NBA skill is his passing. Relies on positioning and discipline to be an adequate defender.”

    • ?????

      Does this guy watch the games? It sounds like Green is being judged for his size and all conclusions fall from that.

      • Positioning and discipline are bad? Dumb, dumb article.

      • by the standards of the present, ‘adequate defender’ practically means above average, and it’s underrating the value of his versatility and adaptability. defenders who don’t put up flashy stats are generally underappreciated ; fans in Phi and Den like to complain that iguodala is paid a star’s contract but he doesn’t score enough to justify it. green provides an ideal, budget bench solution for a range of positions, and the book is still open for which of the three rookie draft picks will be the most consistent contributor to winning games. if a player can’t defend ‘adequately’ he’s usually a liability, because shots and points can be readily distributed elsewhere.

        • The Grantland summary is OK for someone who hasn’t seen a lot of Green playing, and, to be fair, who has?

          Green hasn’t played much this season, he doesn’t make highlight reels, he’s had scoring issues all season, and no one wows over defensive fundamentals.

          The article also brought up Green’s fitness, and that is honestly a concern.

  31. Warriorsablaze

    Horrible, gross first half.

    I don’t know if Bogut is feeling pain from working hard last game, but he’s definitely living up to the Feltbot anti-hype tonight.

    • Denver is larger, faster, and more athletic down the roster. They finally took advantage. Bogut at his best isn’t going to make much difference. With limited mobility, he may be a liability. They couldn’t take this team head on.

      • Harrison Barnes – another favorite son here – was the only player who showed up for the W’s. He’s having quite the series…

  32. We had to expect a letdown after the first four games. And when McGee started, you knew this would be a different game. They can’t play half court physical play against Denver, especially when Denver is in hit squad mode. And they can’t afford to get behind. My thought was that they should have mixed it up again and come out running and shooting.

    Lee would have made a difference in this one with his scoring and stability.

    But a rousing comeback, encouraging.

    Big credit to Barnes for knocking down his shots.

    That last foul on Ezeli, of course, was baloney and came at a critical time. But in this kind of game, with all the shoves, you have to expect it.

    Bogut’s flagrant was just plain stupid and embarassing. Green’s wasn’t smart either, but Bogut made a two-handed push that blindly sent Faried into the photographers, where he could have been seriously hurt. Faried, of course, got his shots in, but this isn’t how to contain him.

    Curry had a scratched cornea. Corneas heal quickly, but when I had mine, my visions was fuzzy for a few days. I’m not Steph, of course.

    On to Thursday. First priority is to get the offense going.

  33. Warriorsablaze

    Almost pulled it off despite playing 3 horrid quarters. Either Bogut is hurt again or MJ just wanted speed to make the final push. Festus made some costly mistakes at the end… as did the refs.

    Three good looks from 3 for Steph, Klay, and Barnes didn’t fall. We had a chance.

    • Curry and Bogut playing horribly and down five with minutes to go and Ezeli with the rebound… Painful, but every Ezeli playoff minute will go a long way next season.

  34. This was also a game where players x and y would have made a difference, players we don’t have—a quick, tough, sizable 2 guard with some offense to hold the perimeter, any quick, big player who can score at 4.

  35. No recap tonite. Haven’t been able to catch the game yet.

    • warriorsablaze

      You’ll like this one… Bogut was bad in the first half and benched in the second. Injured or just worn down? Who knows.

      Barnes hit some 3’s to keep us from getting completely blown out. The whole team was pretty much garbage… particularly on offense.

      We best show up Thursday or we’re the ones in trouble. Winning again in Denver is a long shot.

      • the travel and road game schedule for the Den game was essentially the same as a regular season road game, and bogut’s availability and/or effectiveness wasn’t exactly reliable for those either.

        the fans who reveled in the ‘physicality’ that they see bogut adding to the team — kawakami put up a column recently celebrating it — got to see a little reaping what the aussie has been sowing, but they sounded pretty displeased after the game. on the other blog someone praised him for knowing how to set illegal screens and incur foul calls, and karl has pointed out how bogut likes to stick out elbows and legs. the praise made it sound like it was a good thing that iguodala was put at risk for a concussion when bogut laid a pick on him. ah but faried leaving a leg out where it might collide with curry’s ankle isn’t the same thing at all.

        • @Moto – And yes, Bogut’s back court pick of Iggy was legal. No concussion intended on Bogut’s part.

          Bogut throwing Faried down like a ragdoll? An obvious Faried flop (smart play on Faried’s part since he got away with it, I’d say). It’s part of the game.

          Curry’s got to be able to withstand the physicality or he’s not a superstar.

          Lots of physical play from Denver’s band of thugs on the verge of elimination. Especially Koufas.

          And when the W’s advance, it’ll mean that much more.

          • Toughness is good. Nice to see the Ws have some.

            Cheap hits degrade the game to a brawl. Violence escalates and spreads. Bogut punches Faried, so Koufos slaps Curry in the face and Faried drags Jack to the floor.

            Besides being dangerous and costly (how many points did our Ts cost the team?), escalating the violence doesn’t work in the Ws favor. It’s not how the more talented team beats the more physical team.

          • “…an obvious Faried flop…”

            Well, yes, Faried probably “overreacted” when illegally clobbered by both Bogut and Green. He did it to draw attention. What he did was legal and it worked. That means Faried snookered two very smart Warriors. He outplayed them.

        • I meant to add Bogut’s pick on Iguodala in my comment at the end of @32. It was legal because the refs didn’t call it. More damning is that it simply wasn’t necessary. The game was in hand and it established nothing, except add to ill will, and I ring up my comment there about my fear of reprisal later, which we got.

          The flagrant on Faried was a two-handed thrust from a behemoth high up the chest and close to the throat, and it pushed Faried into the photographers. Was it retaliation for plays against Curry or was it just frustration on Bogut’s part that he couldn’t contain and out-rebound Faried? Doesn’t matter. It was just plain stupid. It ratcheted up the tension and increased the possibility of similar reprisals in a game where the Warriors did, in fact, make a comeback.

          In my book, Bogut has a long way to go before he proves himself to be anything other than a goon.

          But it’s a mistake to think that a big lug, any lug, will make that much difference with the Warriors, especially against a team like Denver, who has size and speed at many positions. They can attack with many players from many angles, which is how they won this season. Our real size problems were elsewhere, and they weren’t addressed.

          I am proud of the guys for coming back, though. I thought this game would be a rout.

          • @rgg – Your constant relentless negative posts on Bogut – only confirms your bias – against the big fella. A “goon” you call him? Lol! We “get” it.

            Bogut’s pick on Igoudala, while brutal, is a legal part of the game. Igoudala should have been watching where he is going – he wasn’t – and his teammates should have called it out – they didn’t!

            How was the pick illegal? Igoudala wasn’t watching where he was going. Three refs didn’t call it… Bogut wasn’t reprimanded by the league.

            That game was NOT in hand…

            Igoudala was trying to pressure Curry in the backcourt and got whacked! Lesson learned? Don’t try to pressure Curry in the back court or watch out for the pick! Lol!

            The NBA playoffs is a physical fight, not the regular season.

            Thank goodness the W’s FINALLY have a few of these guys now…

            Bogut, Ezeli, Green, Rush, and Jack? – tough, physical guys…

            Curry, Thompson, and Lee? Tough in other ways…

          • OK, PB, I’ll try to cool my heels for a while. The point is, a guy has to prove himself with his play beyond doubts, beyond reservations, and Bogut just hasn’t done that yet.

            Ezeli’s toughness I’ll take any day of the week, and I hope he improves. He also needs to learn to set better screens. He’s not showy or out to make a point. He does not try to call attention to himself. He’s just trying to play hard, which he does.

            My other frustration is with the NBA itself, which doesn’t take the sport seriously. It’s a pressure cooker. They play too many games and the schedules are brutal. They crowd fans and cameramen and scorers a few feet away from the court, which is just asking for accidents. Durant ran into the scorer’s table the other night going for a loose ball and fortunately was not hurt. It did not upset me at all when Rodman kicked the cameraman in the groin: