Closing Time: Nuggets 107 Warriors 100

As pointed out in my last post, the result of this Game 5 between the Warriors and the Nuggets was predictable. It was a give-up and rest-up road game for the Warriors, and the home Nuggets had their backs to the wall, and played like it.

Or did this game have something to do with Kenneth Faried’s resurgence into better health, Andrew Bogut’s relapse into immobility, and George Karl’s adjustment-du-jour, going big for the first time this series, by starting Javale McGee at center with Faried at the four? Therein lies the intrigue.

Karl’s Adjustments: This was the first time all season that Karl put McGee in the starting lineup. It’s also the first time all series that McGee matched up against Bogut for a quarter of basketball. And I think an objective observer would note that McGee won the matchup, for this game at least. Quicker to the boards, quicker post moves (although he blew some bunnies). And critically, since Bogut could do nothing against him at the offensive end, he was free to defend the paint.

Karl also switched his best defender, Iguodala, away from Klay Thompson, and back onto Curry, and sometimes, Jack. It looked to me like Karl was reading Mark Jackson’s mind on this: when it was time for Jack to play the point, Iggy started picking him up. That left Ty Lawson to play Curry, and he did a good job staying in front of him. I think we can safely say we won’t see Andre Miller picking Curry up anymore.

And I think it’s safe to say that Karl will roll with this gameplan in Game 6. Faried is as back as he will get. The time for improvisation and experimentation is over.

Mark Jackson’s Adjustments:  Jackson surprised me by staying small and sticking with Harrison Barnes at the four. He had been threatening all series long — via his opening lineup shenanigans — to match up big with Carl Landry whenever Karl returned to his traditional regular-season big opening lineup.

This is truly a tough call. The Warriors got worked on the inside in this game, but it’s hard to know how much of that was due to Bogut’s down game, how much Bogut can improve in Game 6, and how well Landry can work together with Bogut against McGee and Faried. We haven’t seen much of that this season, or in this series.

Also, Barnes might be better suited than Landry to defend the run and gun Nuggets. And of course, Barnes has been helping Curry and Jack considerably in the half-court by stretching the floor and punishing the Nuggets from the three-point line.

It will be very interesting to see whether Jackson stays small to start Game 6. Very interesting.

I was greatly surprised as well by another of Jackson’s decisions. With the Nuggets taking Chandler off of Bogut, wouldn’t you have expected Jackson to return to the Curry and Bogut pick and roll that he used so extensively to start Game 4?  Invite the trap, drawing McGee out of the lane (he is, by the way, far less efficient at trapping Curry than Chandler), and feed the ball back to the completely-unguarded, rolling Bogut for some more Thunder Slams? Jackson went away from it in this game. Only one high pick was set by Bogut for Curry, by my count.

Why did Jackson go away from what appeared to most fans to work stupendously well in the first quarter of the last game? From what got Bogut 12 points in that first quarter? Was it because the third quarter of last game showed him how much better the Warriors are with Curry and Jack iso’d, and attacking one-on-one? Or was it to save wear and tear on the gimpy Curry? Or was it to save wear and tear on the gimpy Bogut? Perhaps Mark Jackson realized that Karl was baiting him into overusing Bogut?

It should be noted that when the highly mobile Ezeli was on the floor, the Warriors used him repeatedly in the high pick and roll. And George Karl was far less willing to trap hard off of Ezeli’s picks than he was Bogut’s in the last game. Some sophisticated decisions are being made by both coaches here, that would be fertile territory for a beat reporter to explore.

Curry: Had a tough time breaking down Iggy and Lawson without the aid of picks. And in general, was far less aggressive looking for his shot, particularly in the first half.

Thompson: Iggy’s off him the first two games, shoots well. Iggy’s on him games 3 and 4, shoots poorly. Iggy’s off him again, 19 points on 8-17.

Yes, matchups matter.

It should also be noted that Jackson has been determined to attack the Nugget’s weakest defenders, so that when Iggy is on Klay, he simply doesn’t get the play calls.

I wonder, is it the Warriors long-term plan to keep Klay in the backcourt with Curry, and use him to guard all the jitterbug point guards? Is that what they see themselves doing next year? Three years from now?

Klay is doing an admirable job in an impossible assignment. As constructed, the Warriors have major defensive issues on the perimeter.

Bogut: It’s possible he just took this game off, and given his health issues, I wouldn’t blame him if he did.

But: Very little pep in his step, or springiness in his jump. We saw a lot more activity in Game 1.

McGee is a lot quicker than him in the paint. If McGee’s finishing ability improves in Game 6, this could hurt the Warriors. Those of you who saw McGee against Bynum and Gasol in last year’s playoffs know what I mean.

No dunks in this game, and when Bogut doesn’t get all the way to the rim, he doesn’t score. His one basket in this game was a put-back. We’ve seen some pretty ugly runners from him in the last couple of games.  No post-ups whatsoever. Not one.

5 rebounds, like last game. And the Warriors out-rebounded for the second straight game.

Is Bogut wearing down? I expect him to come out on fire in Game 6, shot up with everything possible, and holding nothing back. The question will be how effective he remains in the second half.

Barnes: The Nuggets are completely ignoring him on defense. His putative defender, Faried, is busy packing the lane. And Barnes is making the Nuggets pay, time and time again, by knocking down his wide-open threes.

That’s what stretch-fours do. Congratulations to Mark Jackson, for discovering this concept in the post-season. Assist, David Lee.

I was impressed by a couple of his defensive rebounds. For the first time all season, Barnes is being forced to compete under the basket, and he showed well in this game. 9 boards.

His one weakness remains his midrange game off the bounce. The Nuggets would do well to drive him off the three point line. But they just might not be able to do that, with all the attention they’re forced to pay Curry and Jack.

Of Cheap Shots and Flagrant Fouls: Look, I’ve seen a lot of playoff basketball. I’m old enough to have seen Kevin McHale clothesline Kurt Rambis. I saw Robert Horry take Steve Nash out of a series, and a likely championship. I saw the bad boy Pistons, and the even badder Oakley-Mason Knicks.

What we’ve seen in this series ain’t nothing. What we saw last night was pussy-footing.

Bogut has delivered the strongest blow in this series, by far: the crushing screen on Andre Iguodala. And yes, it was blatantly illegal. He lowered his shoulder, and the boom. It just didn’t get called.

I loved it. And I’m not going to start sputtering up nicely chilled Chardonnay when the Nuggets retaliate.

Man up, Warriors fans.

Game Six: As I mentioned in my last post, NBA history suggests that Game 6 will be for all the marbles. It is extraordinarily difficult to win a Game 7 on the road. (I’m sure someone will ship me the stats on that.)

I give the edge to the Warriors. Not so much because they’re at home. I think that can be greatly overrated in close-out games. But because they have the series’ only superstar, and they have an overwhelming edge in shooters and scorers.

I think that to win Game 6, the Nuggets will have to get a huge three-point shooting game out of the blue, from at least one player. The most likely bet is Wilson Chandler. 41% on the season, heating up at 5-11 last game, including a late 4th quarter dagger. And the Warriors are leaving him open.

But I’ll put my money on Stephen Curry. As I have done without wavering since watching him play in his first NBA preseason.

It’s closing time, and the Warriors have one of the best closers I have ever seen, or ever hope to see.

120 Responses to Closing Time: Nuggets 107 Warriors 100

  1. Felty: Last night the Warriors obtained 6 less offensive rebounds and committed 5 more turnovers than Denver. Game over. As the Warriors can’t win games giving the other team 11 additional possessions.

    Yes, the Warriors should be able to shoot a higher field percentage as they did last night, but that won’t turn into a win in game six, unless they render the extra possession differential minimal or shoot the lights out.

    Landry and Green, two of our better offensive rebounds, had no offensive boards. They, Bogut, and others, have to be sent to offensive boards at times.

    The Warriors have to run to deter Denver from going to offensive boards. That has worked in past games.

    And Jack can’t be turning the ball over six times and Ezeli four times.
    Bogut can be effective when Denver traps outside. If they don’t, he’s going to have problems.

  2. Adam may be right on this one. Jackson’s complaint of dirty play has put everyone on alert, Warrior fans, refs, and the nation, or whoever watches. I predict a cleaner dirty game.

  3. Great stuff FB!!!
    Kudos to FB – who didn’t throw Bogut under the bus (but he could have!).

    FB can’t throw Barnes under the bus – he was the only W’s player who came to play! Barnes has been everything I DREAMED he could be – in this series – but at PF, not SF! Lol! The FB blog may have to start warming up to this “former” rookie/kid if he keeps this up. He’s even playing improved defense so not all that athleticism is being wasted – and we even witnessed a shot block in his game!!! Lol! That’s improvement to cheer about!

    I can only hope the Nuggets run someone to close out on Barnes on the perimeter (hope it’s top rebounder Faried, but it won’t be) – it’ll be a W’s free-for-all in the paint. My feeling is they’ll make the rookie continue to beat them as smart coaches do.

    So true – Let the players battle – no special rules for our baby-faced assassin Stephen Curry just because he’s the best open/deep shooter the game’s ever seen – he’s got to fight the elementary school-yard bully (Denver) first. High schoolers (San Antonio) are just waiting for some Curry lunch money – and they fight dirty.

    I don’t have stats – but I’d like to see Draymond Green serve as our stretch 4 next season. He can battle with guys like Faried on the boards, defend the oppositions better scorers, and take his defender to the 3 point line… If only he can make his deep shots in Game 6…

    I’m pumped!!! David Lee and Brandon Rush aren’t even here and the W’s are taking the 57-win Nuggets to the test! I knew it could happen – not because I’m a homer (I am), but because the Nuggets home-court/road record and their favorable style of play (for Mile High City) never sat right with me… They are on level par with our W’s.

    Start Curry (Lawson), Thompson (Chandler), Barnes (Iggy), Green (Faried), and Bogut (McGee). Jack, Landry, Jefferson, and Ezeli come off the bench.

  4. “Man up, Warriors fans.”

    Yeah, OK, but let’s get a few things straight. The level of violence in last night’s game was not record-setting, not even close. But Faried won his “bad boy” battles last night by playing the victim, not the aggressor. That’s today’s NBA. Anyone who thinks otherwise is living in the past.

    Pit 26 of the world’s best athletes against each other for the biggest stakes in their universe and violence will probably crop up. The NBA knows that, and they go to extremes to legislate against it. No celebrations, no taunting, no above-the-shoulder elbowing, don’t even think about sticking out your knee there, etc.

    The Warriors will win if the contest simply comes down to skill. Denver has more big horses. The Warriors have more good shooters.

    In a way I miss that rough stuff in the NBA game. What happened to macho? In its time, Tim Hardaway’s “IN YOUR FACE!” was nothing more than an expression of joy that every scorer could relate to. Today in the NBA it’s a T.

    We still do that Hardaway kind of stuff in our local tarmac games. It wouldn’t be our game without it. But we’re not World’s Best, we’re just a bunch of old flabbos shuffling around the court on Sunday afternoons, feebly simulating better days we pretend to remember.

    We couldn’t deliver a killing blow if we tried to.

    Hey buddy, you better watch out, I’m dangerous here. Yeah, good one, wait until you hear my next woof, isn’t it time for a beer break yet, my timer says I gotta wash down some meds.

    In the NBA, every player on the floor could critically injure any other with one simple, illegal move.

    Today’s NBA playoff games are not warfare, they’re consumer entertainment. They’re conducted under rules specifically designed to minimize violence at all costs. The NBA is art, not warfare.

    Curry does need to overcome the discomfort the other team is trying to impose, but hey, a delicate, fragile little flower ain’t going to cut it in any sort of game. Even my league would threaten and posture the hell out of a wimp.

    Don’t worry, Feltbot. Curry is no wimp.

    • More to the point, Hat, and thanks.

      The issue is to play aggressively smartly, which didn’t happen all the plays last night.

      And there have to be lines that have to be discussed so they are not crossed. When Randolph undercut Rush, Barnett made the point that there are things you don’t do in the NBA, that they didn’t do in his day. Undercutting a player while he’s in the air and helpless is one of them. Trips have to fall in that category.

      • inspired by curry and Den’s attempt to neutralize him, H.Abbott on his true hoop blog addresses how intentional fouls, because they’re called only sporadically and inconsistently, is a very effective tactic in reducing the effectiveness of highly skilled players.

        • Feel free to link yourself, moto.

          http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop

          I disagree with literally everything Abbott writes in this article. He apparently never witnessed what Jordan and Pippen went through at the hands of the Pistons and Knicks. They were in actual physical danger whenever they drove the lane. Their performances would not have been nearly so compelling if it weren’t for the ferocity of the competition they faced.

          This isn’t football. But I sincerely hope momma’s boys like Abbot don’t succeed in turning it into ballet.

          • It’s as much to concede, FB, that the NBA can only be played by superior athletes like Jordan, and the others can play only as long as they last.

          • I suppose some number cruncher could tell us the +- value of intentional fouls. Maybe they could weight them by the win % of the fouler v his foul count, the calculated success rate of the opponent’s scoring motion, and so on.

            In reality, most NBA fouls occur faster than the speed of thought, which makes a thoughtful analysis of fouls almost totally irrelevant. Reflexive moves happen or not before thought could possibly have a say.

            On an NBA court, lots of stuff happens faster than thought.
            You can’t hate on Zach Randolph for demolishing Brandon Rush, for example. His devastating move into Rush was a reflex, not a decision.

            My point is that a calculated, premeditated decision to play “tough guy” style is not a winning strategy in today’s NBA. Anyone who tries it is betting against a league that a) knows everything about violence, b) has done everything imaginable to eliminate it, and c) severely punishes anyone who commits it.

            It ain’t the old days. “Bad Boy” ball is is history. Today the NBA clearly wants its players to play ball, not warfare. FB, the NBA has intentionally moved its games far closer to ballet than it was in the 80s. That was no accident. And it’s the Ws’ edge over tougher but less skilled groups of athletes, including Denver.

          • Rgg, I watched guys like Earl the Pearl, Isaiah Thomas, Iverson, Hardaway, Parker and Nash play by the same rules. And pay the price for winning. That’s why we love and admire them.

            WH you are absolutely correct. The league doesn’t need to get any softer.

          • I have a larger regret that the playoffs are close to being rendered meaningless by injuries. Is it better or worse than before? I’m not sure I care.

            I won’t get anywhere with this, but I wish the league could tone it down and protect players more simply so we can have a better game. It’s what Pop does for San Antonio.

            Some of the injuries are self-inflicted by players who overextend themselves, which may me the case with Rose and others I don’t want to think about.

          • Cut the season back down to 70 games and we’ll see fewer injuries and fewer nights taken off.

  5. @ FB #4

    EffBee, I don’t know. As a basketball fan, I appreciate the rare beauty of the game when played cleanly. And as a fan of some individual players, I don’t want to see the NBA – and hope it’s not somehow essential to the game – allowing players to injure each other.

    On the other hand, the NBA really could “over-legislate” the game to the point where it’s nothing more than a stylized display of permissible forms and motions, like kabuki theater performed by 7-footers, maybe.

    Like: Kobe scores or it’s always a foul, LBJ dunks AND always gets fouled. Something like that.

    Oh, wait. Maybe it already is kabuki.

    • Injured fingers and hands have always been fair game in the NBA. Ankles are a more touchy subject, but have also been targeted by championship teams: think Bruce Bowen.

      The line that needs to be drawn, and I think is drawn for the most part, is between those plays, and the plays that can seriously and permanently injure, like what Randolph did to Rush. Undercutting flying players is something I am fine with punishing by decapitation.

  6. warriorsablaze

    You said it yourself, Felty…. basketball is not football. It’s art… real-time are being created and improvised right in front of us. It doesn’t need to be cheapened with garbage. There’s a line between physical play and cheap play, and Denver crossed it. As did Bogut with his retaliatory hit on Faried.

    The game is completely different than it was 20-30-40 years ago. Just because it was one way in the past doesn’t mean it should be that way in the present. Things evolve. The game evolves. Do I want Curry to be tough? Sure. Tough enough to play through adversity. Mostly, I want him to continue to be the most beautiful basketball player on the court on any given night. You can’t say cheap shots are “just part of the game and always have been” when they are actually illegal based on the rules of the game. If it’s illegal, it’s part of the game like counting cards is part of blackjack. It may help you win sometimes, but it’s certainly not in the spirit of, nor a “part of” the game.

    The upside of Jackson’s proclamation (which I believe was fully calculated), is that we’re likely to see a tightly officiated game off the ball tomorrow night… particularly with Curry. That can only work in our favor. Of course, this manipulation of the ref’s perception isn’t really in the spirit of the game either. Oh well.

    • Cheap shots are punishable by fouls and technicals. You get 6 of one and 2 of the other. Flagrant fouls are punished more stiffly.

      Now roll the ball out and may the best team win.

      That’s the spirit of the game.

      • warriorsablaze

        Denver was not called for any flagrant fouls… and only one of the Faried “cheapshots” that have shown up in video reviews was called a foul.

        I have no problem with physical play and even a hard foul or two… but blatant contact on players just running through the lane and not even involved in the play should be called a foul at minimum.

        • We live in an HD generation and we’re not going back. When I watch the classic NBA games, the camera technology was so poor, and there were so few cameras on the floor that its impossible to tell just how physical the game was.

          Secondly, guys didn’t start lifting weights until the 1980s. I think as players have gotten bigger and stronger, they have gotten softer, generally, because when they do run into someone or whack someone, it’s a larger collision, much like football.

          The game has changed for the worse, in my opinion. Less shooting skill (except for Curry), and more reliance on isos, rather than ball movement. Teams like San Antonio are the exception to the rule. Even the Warriors are a great collection of 1-on-1 players who break down the defense and make one pass for a shot. Two passes almost always gets a wide open look. Teams just rarely build it into their offense.

    • Do y’all really want to watch basketball that’s been sanitized of all villainy?

      I absolutely loved watching Bogut reset Iggy’s clock. Just as I loved watching Faried (and Rodman) getting under everyone’s skin.

      Both teams are setting illegal screens, both teams are throwing elbows and other things at non-sanctioned areas. It’s playoff basketball!

      My advice: take a sip for what ails you, and let yourself enjoy it like a Roman. They ain’t called colosseums and arenas for nothing.

      • There are controlled ways to harass. A lot of what we’re seeing is just plain reckless, whether it’s intended or not. This certainly was the case with Randolph/Rush and probably with (Brewer’s?) swipe of Curry’s eye. There needs to be some kind of discussion here, among players and the league.

        Bogut’s inviting a punch was just plain stupid and grossly inappropriate. I doubt anyone wants to see a return of the Kermit Washington/Tomjanovich exchange.

      • Bogut also doesn’t set screens that well, quickly or crisply. The only way he gets away with the Iguodala screen is Iguodala wasn’t looking and Bogut had time to set it up. Let him prove himself in other situations.

        • I disagree, generally. He was a step slow yesterday.

          He sets a great illegal ass-pivot screen — never gets caught.

  7. There is a lot of healthy commentary on this blog about Harrison Barnes and Moe Harkless. Zach Lowe has a couple of short comments on both at:
    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9225802/players-shane-battier-harder-find-conventional-wisdom-suggests

    He is looking at the two (and others) from the very narrow perspective of who could be a future Shane Battier (3’s and multi-positional defense.)

    • I read this, and wondered where he gets the idea that Barnes can guard threes, let alone twos. Battier and Harkless came into the league with the defense gene. Barnes?

    • defensively green has shown us far more than barnes has. neither are going to excel vs. 2-guards, but green can make them work harder at least. battier studies opponents assiduously, as does green ; barnes does not give the impression on d of being several places at once, which comes from study and anticipation, like green can do.

    • One guy left out of the article is Tobias Harris, the SF the Bucks traded for Redick, who exploded in the second half of the season for Orlando.

  8. OK, what the heck, let’s live down to our reputation here.

    If Lacob truly believes his team has the Nugs’ number, it might be tempting to think arranging for an extra home game is a smart business decision. We know he could talk the coach into it, that was proven last year. We have eyeball evidence and testimony that the refs could be persuaded as well. We’re talkin real money here.

    Any thoughts?

    • Run with it Hat. Too many people here are trying to clean things up. Think Lacob paid Faried? (I’m reminded of Milo Minderbinder in Catch 22, the US air force officer in WWII who took contracts from the Nazis to bomb his own forces.)

    • warriorsablaze

      Run with it right on over to the land of morons at infowars.com.

      Lacob stands to gain far more money going into the second round than he does playing one extra home game in the first.

      I’d recommend leaving your hat white and saving the tinfoil for your leftovers.

      • OK, yeah, I’ll skip the tin hat theories. No fun there.

        • lacob might still get the best of both, revenue from another home date and winning the series to secure another two at least. jack’s agent will be happy, because excuses that the lux tax penalties limits what they can afford will be countered that jack helped make them affordable.

  9. Officiating is usually a bad way to solve problems. If pros got together and talked publicly and developed an unofficial code of play, they could effect some changes. They all have a stake in this. They could talk it up when they’re in the public eye and censure each other. The TNT crew could talk about it and do the same.

    Here’s a starting list:

    1. You do not hit a player who is off-balance, unprotected in air. (Randolph/Rush)

    2. You do not raise an elbow without thinking about where it is going. (MWP/Harden)

    3. You do not move a hand towards another player’s head without thinking about it might land. (Brewer/Curry)

    4. You do not show a fist or invite the same by pointing to your chin. (Guess who)

    5. You do not trip. (Faried)

    6. You do not aim for the manly parts with any part of your body. (long list here)

    7. If you mouth is open, you close it when another player is close.(Chandler/DLee)

    8. You do not push players out of bounds.

    Anybody want to add to the list?

    • warriorsablaze

      These are essentially already ingrained in the code of the rule book and general good sportsmanship. Just like in the real world, laws are going to be broken by those seeking to gain an advantage. It’s the enforcement that needs to be looked at… whatever is decided needs to be more consistent. As talked about in the truehoops piece, we have the technology to do just that.

      • I wonder. I really don’t think many athletes think about what they’re doing. The pressures are great, both from within organizations and without, especially from fans who don’t care what happens to them.

        Hey, we agreed about something today! @6

      • Seriously. If the TNT crew said on the air you don’t trip, it would have an influence.

    • I’m serious here. I don’t think Randolph thought about what he was doing when he undercut Rush. He was horribly contrite when it happened and ran to see if Rush was OK. If the thought not to do this were engrained in him and supported elsewhere, he might have slowed up. Instead he gets the message to play hard regardless.

  10. warriorsablaze

    http://www.warriorsworld.net/2013/05/01/warriors-must-flop-to-stop-cheap-shots/

    I tend to agree (mostly) with Ethan Sherwood Strauss on this… we can take advantage of these plays if we wanted.

    Coincidentally, ESS was another GSW blogger calling for Barnes at the 4 when Lee went down. Fear not, Feltbot, you’re not alone.

  11. Back to tomorrow’s night game. Karl had Iggy and Lawson guard Curry and Jack, and as a result their combined shooting was 14 for 35 (40%) from the field. The Warriors as a team shot only 43%. The Warriors can make adjustments to help both Curry and Jack get ope, . and by running, the entire team’s FG percentage should increase. They need not to give Denver so many extra possessions as last night. they won’t if Jack does not try to do too much and thus turn the ball over. I think he won’t.

    Barnes and Thompson should find themselves open a lot tomorrow night as they were last night, Karl will probably still put his defensive emphasis on slowing down both Curry and Jack.

    I’m virtually certain that he wants to make both Barnes and Thompson the game deciders. The game may well turn on both Barnes and Thompson shooting as well as they did last night.

    In the playoffs, Barnes has been the most consistent than he has been all year, making his open shots. If we run, Barnes should have a good game taking it to the hoop.

    For me, the deciding factor is turnovers and offensive rebounds as the Warriors should still be able to shoot better from the field if they continue to force the pace of the game, especially in the second half.

    The “X”factor is Karl.

  12. Interesting interview of Nellie regarding Warriors/Nuggets series. Some bullets:
    — Calls Steph a superstar
    — Compares him to Nash, and said Nash saw himself in him as a rookie as well.
    — Says he knew Monta had to go, and had a trade for a big teed up at the trading deadline of his last season, but it got nixed
    — Says Monta has ability to be a good point guard, but was unwilling.
    — Doesn’t think Denver has the shooters to play with the Warriors. Thinks Karl has to play small, and force “Bogus” to post up.
    — reiterates that he thought the Bogut trade was a good one, but continues to refer to him as “Bogus.” I’ll let the Freudians and gerontologists battle it out over that one :>

    http://podcast.957thegame.com/kbwf5/3975664.mp3?rhidownloadlink=true

    • “Bogus!” Freaking hilarious! I thought FB was just rolling out a joke. Knowing Nellie – that’s likely what he meant. LOL!

      Of course – Nelson probably had some sweet spot up shooting PF or a shot blocking C lined up for Monta Ellis no less. Nellie won’t say who…

    • warriorsablaze

      Hilarious… Steinmetz was laughing about it on the air and recalled a story where the Warriors were playing the Thunder and after the game, Nelly asked someone when Mussellman was hired at OKC… who, of course, was actually Scott Brooks.

      Not sure if Nelly was being snarky, or just has a bit of Yogi Berra disease.

    • Ellis for a big—this is an intriguing speculation. Can anybody figure out who that might have been, which big might have been available, who could have used a guard? What would the lineup have been if the trade were made?

      I’ve forgotten the dates. Would this trade have happened after David Lee was acquired?

  13. Javale McGee highlights, of a sort:

  14. I hate to see the players going after each other, if that is really what is hapening. This is their livelihood, they all have this in common. I know there is pressure to win but it’s the owners and television advertising that are really profiting on this spectacle.

  15. I have a hundred conflicting emotions going into the game tonight, so many hopes and frustrations. It feels like the Battle of the Bulge.

    But hey, we know how that one came out.

    Still, where is Gen’l Patton?

  16. Treating myself with courtside seats tonight for Game 6.

    So, probably no recap tonight. I can’t vouch for my post-game activities.

  17. Too many veterans, too many free-agents led to team dysfunction in Milwaukee. A blueprint of what not to do.

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/bucks-players-reflect-on-disappointing-season-9a9on5d-205342951.html

  18. Here is what I find fascinating about this NBA “Bountygate” episode but no one is really talking about: it’s the fact that a Denver player (presume it’s a player since Jackson has now clarified the discussion occurred during Game 5) was disturbed enough about his teammates’ plan to hurt Curry that he turned Deepthroat Benedict Arnold on them and warned Jackson about it. That is extraordinary, tells me Denver’s players planned to try to take Curry out of the series, and raises all kinds of questions about Denver’s lack of team chemistry. How can a “team” that is seemingly so disjointed band together to fight the onslaught of a pissed off Steph Curry and crowd intensity they will face tonight? Can’t. The Nuggets are a flawed team lacking cohesion.

    • I hope Karl is not involved and suspect he isn’t, but I’m reminded of Greg Williams and the New Orleans Saints strategy in the playoffs against the 49’s a few years back.

      From an ESPN article:

      “Williams, who is suspended indefinitely by the league and is not appealing the penalty, can be heard in the audio recording instructing his defensive players to injure quarterback Alex Smith, running back Frank Gore, tight end Vernon Davis and receivers Michael Crabtree and Kyle Williams.”

      Williams:

      “Kill the head and the body will die.”

    • Baptism by fire! Headhunting the superstar! (You should have seen what Karl Malone used to do to Nowitzki.) Bogut and Green the big, bad bodyguards and enforcers!

      If you guys are truthful with yourselves, you will realize your nervousness and anticipation have skyrocketed as a result of this subplot, as will your enjoyment if Curry survives this test.

    • anecdotal evidence points to iguodala as the informant — he hasn’t been in Den long, will likely depart this summer as a free agent, and has established relationships with both curry and jackson.

      curry is more essential to this team than westbrook is for OK, and look how Hou has semi-revived with westbrook out.

      • I remember Curry advocating that he be traded for. Perhaps Iggy is angling for a Warriors contract, ala Bob Myers selling Dorell Wright down the river.

  19. Iggy coming to the Ws is a fun thought, but his salary this year is $15M. Even if the team lets both Landry and Jack walk (a real possibility), I don’t seen them stretching to cover Iggy’s pay unless they could also unload Biedrins or Jefferson. Maybe not even then. Iggy’s fine, but not a $15M player. He’s also not a step-in replacement for Jack.

    It doesn’t add up. There’s no telling what Iggy thinks, but his agent certainly knows the score.

  20. After watching the first five playoff games, does anyone think the Warriors are not the better team?

  21. Re Jackson’s rumor of “headhunting,” if he had evidence it would be news. Without evidence it’s nothing but an attempt to work the refs in advance of the game.

    • when the bean counters notice attendance spikes with GS’s visits to other towns from a ‘curry effect’, the refs will give him more calls. didn’t happen at all in this series — some seats in Den were going at heavy discounts for prices identical to the regular season discounts. alternatively, if the league starts using his highlights and promo spots for their national marketing, he’ll also get favored treatment, a la griffin.

      in their entire brain trust, c.e.o. Weeks is better connected with the league office than anyone with the possible exception of the logo, who’d defer to weeks anyway in the realm of bidness and marketing. weeks and curry’s agent should try to get the league to use him in propaganda.

    • the league has ruled that jackson’s statements were a blatant attempt to influence the officiated and slapped him with a $25k. fine. in doing so, they’ve essentially instructed their refs to treat curry the same as any other player, and to be aware of home court biases. jackson might have actually undermined his home court advantage.

    • I’m inclined to think that Jackson wouldn’t make up an unknown source if he didn’t have one. It’s an awfully bold move. But I’ve been wrong before.

      Hard to believe, too, that while asserting their “impartiality,” the league also hasn’t sent an unpublicized message they don’t want dirty play tonight. They’ll have a nation watching.

  22. @20

    Frank, the Ws still have some structural problems. 1 starter is out, 2 others are gimpy. The guards have to play too many minutes. They don’t have a lockdown wing defender. They regularly rely on two different one-way players (Ezeli and Barnes). The Ws lead this series mostly because of off-the-charts performances from just one guy.

    Denver might still be a better Team, with emphasis on team play. Deeper, bigger, better constructed, more flexible, and strong D throughout the roster. Great coaching. The only thing missing is a reliable go-to scorer. It’s too so to write off Denver.

    • if everyone were healthy, and contracts not part of the consideration, most teams would prefer faried over lee, iguodala over thompson, miller over jack, gallinari over barnes, chandler over landry. GS is one of the few teams with a better lead guard than lawson. the asymmetric impact of each team’s injuries, including faried’s reduced capacity, has resulted in a nearly even series.

    • the author of the piece deserves kudos for writing the book about Bol. this year, minus gallinari, their ceiling is limited, and the likely departure of iguodala (a player somewhat counter to the no-star model, as an elite defender) means more scrambling for the esteemed Ujiri over the summer. but injury luck can go the other way too, so who can say if Den finds a path to the finals without that elite star ?

    • What’s the argument here? That they should have kept Melo? That they should have gone after another star? Who? How? Leaving what on their roster?

      There’s nothing trivial about their regular season record, and I’ll be curious to see how they fare in the next seasons. They will be able to adjust and fine tune and make replacements rather than be stuck with a single star, perhaps an aging or problematic one.

    • That’s the same a**hole who wrote that piece on D Lee’s defense.

      All right FB. Gloves off, no holds barred, in the parking lot at halftime.

      Nice chart though.

      Grantland is slipping and needs quality control.

  23. Hat: I was just saying we had a better roster.

    I didn’t say we were going to win tonight. For the Warriors to put themselves in the best position to win to tonight, Jack has to limit his turnovers to 3 or less, the Warriors need 12 offensive rebounds, and as a team commit less than 15 turnovers.

    We have the shooters, they don’t. I agree that Curry has carried the Warriors, but. Overall, Jack, Thompson, Barnes, Landry, snd have been an outstanding supporting cast. Inserting Jack into the starting line-up when coupled with Warriors running changed the both the character and strength of the team.

    I disagree that Denver is structural better. I’d take the Warriors any day over Denver’s roster. And I think the Warriors asst. coaches can go toe to toe with Karl in planning match-ups. But I will concede that if Denver kills us on the offensive boards that you are right.

    Felty has made it clear that Barnes would have been a moan effective player both during the season and in the playoffs if the Warriors ran. and now they are. So some posters should back off for Felty call him the Brand. In a half court system he demonstrated there was not much there. Magically, he’s improved his outside shot. Who saw that coming after 80 odd games of just being so-so?

    I’ve refrained from putting Bogut down after he has a bad game.But, now it’s crunch time. It’s time for him to lay-it all out and show what he can do in a big game. As long we dont fall behind with him on the court, I’ll be quite satisfied. But, if he can be a positive force it’s time for him do so. I sure hope so.

    • barnes’ play earlier in the season showed symptoms of cluttered court vision and decision making, which became tentative shooting on many nights. his shooting was liberated this series with the open spacing on offense, which also expedited his decision making. the challenge for him will be to follow through and keep those improvements when they’re playing more congested half court offense. he might be spared that for what remains of the post season because of lee’s absence.

  24. My prediction is that the Warriors will either blow Denver off the court tonight, or win or lose by two to four points. Anyone else want to call it?

    • the game is just as likely to be decided by curry re-tweaking one of his ankles, as any of the results you’re nominating. we all know this, but GS partisans don’t care to say it aloud.

    • I’m guessing we see the same big lineup as game #5, and the test is going to be whether or not they can get their offense going first half and break it. Play slow, and I’m not optimistic.

      moto!

  25. My heart pills, my heart pills. . . .

    Starting Landry and Bogut was a mistake. Together they don’t offer much offense against the faster, longer Denver front court and on defense they can’t cover the paint well. Lawson got easy shots in the paint 1st Q—the TNT announcers noted this. It wasn’t as much a problem in the 2nd. half when Faried went out with the fouls. If Denver got into an offensive rhythm first half, this one’s over.

    They had to get their offense going from the start, and what they needed was a longer, quicker front court who could score. And they absolutely had to have a scoring team so they could put the game way 3rd-4th.Q. Slowing up 4th. Q was nearly a disaster. David Lee and a more experienced, more versatile Ezeli would have been ideal. But they didn’t have Lee and Ezeli isn’t there, or isn’t there yet.

    But Denver didn’t get into a rhythm, and absolutely in a slow, ugly game give the big guy credit for keeping them in it, the points that weren’t easy and all those boards. Big game for Bogut.

    Experience matters. Green’s four years in college paid off and hopefully a few more in the NBA will show even more. Barnes still needs it, and Thompson is still a soph.

    My hero, however, is David Lee.

    • do you really have a reduced cardiac capacity, rgg ? diet and exercise can help a lot and mitigate what you need in prescription drugs. a life long diet heavy on red meat actually imbalances the bacterial cultures in the digestive system, and those bacteria actually produce by products that can trigger cardiac events when the red meat junkie gets another fix.

      a member of the preacher’s ‘god squad’, green, came through and saved the season for them. if anyone here is fond of using single game samples of the nefarious +/- statistic, looking at this game’s numbers might serve a useful lesson — barnes, thompson, jack all have good looking numbers, green put up a net zero.

      the woeyrs hardly won in compelling fashion ; faried getting benched after his fourth foul was a key, and the terrible shooting from both chandler and miller was another critical weakness. iguodala had a magnificent finale, if they’re letting him depart in the off season.

      • Thanks, no my heart’s fine, except those last 6 minutes. And to be honest, Denver was really disappointing.

  26. They CANNOT play half court against San Antonio.

    • the utter failure to defend the basic pick and roll in the game’s opening minutes did not escape the attention of popovich, duncan, parker, ginobili. this will go down as bogut’s greatest game for his new team, but it was his ineptitude that got d.lee back on the court for the cameo.

      • warriorsablaze

        There’s no such thing as a perfect NBA player…they all have strengths and weaknesses. I’ll take Lawson midrange jumpers over getting to the rim every time. He hit them tonight, but he’s barely average at best usually. I’d rather have Parker taking the midrange J over getting to the rim as well. Pick your poison. If Bogut hedges hard on the P N R Lawson gets layups. Seems like we played right % even though this time he was making shots.

        I expect the negative Bogut spin on this blog…. but come on… he had a great game… no such thing as perfect.

  27. Who was that jerk who spilled his Lagavulin on the court?

  28. Great win.Warriors got to the foul line more than Denver. When have we seen that happen this season. Won it at the line. Coaching the worse. Karl knows to put wing at foul line to get OR’s. Never sends either Thompson or Barnes to the offensive glass. Almost cost us the game..
    Don’t know how to run an in-bound play.
    Lawson’s failure to convert uncontested shots in paint killed Denver.

    Moto: Curry and Bogut was always going to play. Bogut Thad injection. Curry If necessar. Curry would have.

  29. FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

    Aussie!!! Aussie!!! Oi!!! Oi!!!

    The Bogut myth exposed AGAIN!!!!!

    Bogut 21 Rebounds and 4 Blocks

    Faries + McGee 21 Rebounds and 1 Blocks

    Yet all we will here about in the recap is how Andrew Bogut hurt the Warriors. Time to wake the fuck up.

    • so far, no one has said ‘bogut has hurt the woeyrs’ except you.

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      Apparently Moto has a reading deficiency because a numerous occasions Feltbot has said that Faried and McGee were going to destroy Bogut this series. Perhaps you should get some new glasses because I have not said it once.

  30. Former Warriors who have played meaningful playoff minutes this season:
    Marco Bellinelli
    Nate Robinson
    CJ Watson
    Anthony Randolph
    Jeremy Lin

    Am I missing anyone?
    I do think its funny that the Bulls starting backcourt right now are Warrior cast offs. Nate’s 4th quarter/overtime performance was up there with Curry’s 22 pt third quarter.

  31. Feltbot: I want to learn something about strategy. Why exactly was Curry able to open up 2nd. half in the series, especially 3rd. Q, but not the other quarters? Faried’s going out 3rd. Q last night helped, but that wasn’t the case the other games.

    We (finally) saw what Bogut can do last night, and the question will be how much we will see it again. I think my real objection to Bogut is not to Bogut per se, but to what he represents for the team, or rather doesn’t, a clear identity. When healthy, he could well be the vital piece for a half-court team. The problem is, the Warriors don’t have the other pieces to make such a team work. Put differently, they have better pieces for a different kind of team.

    Imagine what kind of team you’d have if you put Denver and GS together, Denver’s lean, long, fast, athletic front court with GS’s good shooters and brilliant point guard. It’s the kind of team I want to see and it’s the kind of team for which GS has the best players.

    I got what I wanted this series. I wanted them to win brilliantly and show their true potential. We got that in three of the wins. Four wins like the one last night would have been disappointing. More importantly, they wouldn’t have told us anything about the team’s potential and possibilities for growth, their chances of taking their game to the next level. They won’t see there teams that shoot as poorly as Denver.

    Jackson’s media ploy worked last night. He paid a fine, but the refs kept a close eye on the screens and Faried, probably too close on Faried and it hurt Denver. But not too many calls either way. A well reffed game, imho.

  32. Finishing my thought above and elsewhere:

    The TOs the last 6 minutes were a threat to cardiac health. The poor shooting first half was a concern as well. Some of both can be attributed to lack of experience and jitters. Just as obvious, they won’t be able to get away with either against the Spurs.

    But they aren’t the real problem. In both cases they were playing a type of game they cannot play well, no matter how healthy Bogut is. They cannot play half-court offense in a slow-down game. This type of offense exposes all their weaknesses and puts them at greater risk for poor shooting and turnovers. Do we feel better about them 4th Q if they don’t turn it over but still cannot score?

    Hey, PeteyBrian! I praised Bogut @27! Mark this day!

    • warriorsablaze

      We played up tempo all series, including when Bogut was on the floor… Games 2 and 3 where high scoring affairs.

      Bogut doesn’t really slow us down, it’s when we aren’t getting offensive rebounds or creating turnovers that we slow down. You can’t have transition offense without playing transition creating defense.

      What you seem to be obsessively missing is that Mark Jackson has shown (particularly over this series) that he can make adjustments. I’d rather have a roster as we do now, that can play uptempo and still survive when the game slows down… instead of a team that can only play one way all the time. San Antonio has great halfcourt execution but also gets out in transition well (over past few years they’ve sped up their style)… that’s the model for winning basketball…. not the feast or famine style of the Nuggets or the 07 Warriors.

      • That was not the case at all last night, uptempo, and they nearly paid the price. They chose to play “big” (but Landry isn’t big), with controlled offense, and it didn’t work well at all. We have every indication from the FO and elsewhere that this is how they should play, however. Lacob was counting up Bogut’s stats on the sidelines. And the evidence is clear, that it’s harder to play up tempo with Bogut. You concede as much.

        Absolutely praise the team and coaching for its flexibility. This is the point, and it’s been made here numerous time by FB, me, and others, but it’s not clear everyone else gets it, certainly not the FO. Since we have him, there will be places where Bogut is useful. Read the friggin’ posts and comments and put some thought into what you say.

        What I don’t want next year is to see blind pursuit of the same strategy and hear sentimental reminiscence all season, “If Bogut only played the way he did in game 6.” It’s a setup.

        W’aB, either you’re sloppy or simply malicious with your language. You compare people who criticize Lacob with the tea party, a group of know nothings who are undermining the fabric of our democracy. What on earth is going through your mind? This one will be hard to forget. It’s as mindless as it is abusive.

        But have it your way. I’d rather be obsessive than just plain dense.

        • warriorsablaze

          I apologize for my degree of snark… I guess I’ve just spent too much time on a political forum and have an aversion to unchecked bias and spin. It’s not criticism of Lacob, it’s the effort to go out of the way to ONLY criticize Lacob… in a successful season where we are now moving on to the second round, perhaps he hasn’t been the Devil as he is portrayed here? The comparison to the Tea Party is only that… that only excessive criticism of what is imperfect is put forth, with only cursory praise for what is good. I’m pragmatic to a fault and will always fall into devil’s advocate mode when there is a decided lack of “balance” as there is on this blog.
          I don’t support all the Lacob moves at all… but the Monta trade WAS transcendent and transformational, even if Bogut himself is not. The results speak for themselves. I don’t care if Lacob oversold it. If anything, the success of Bogut in this series brings into question the value of David Lee. I hope he either develops a 3 point shot or MJ continues to utilize Barnes as a stretch 4 when it’s strategically appropriate.

          • Necessarily, many comments have been brief and exaggerated. But the criticisms against Lacob, both his character and decisions, are not trivial, and they’ve been substantiated and developed here for the past three years. In the interest of others, who are tired of them, I won’t repeat. Do dig into this yourself and see what you find.

            A more serious point. This blog is the only place I know that has questioned the trade, Bogut’s health, and Lacob and his decisions, and has done so with good argument. I’d hate to see these voices squelched.

            And I’d better step down. I make a clear distinction between the person who makes the posts and those of us who comment below. The goal is to be critical and get it right, not take sides. See what you can add.

  33. Put differently:

    If Denver had been able to manage any kind of good shooting last night, and really the other losses, they completely neutralize Bogut’s strengths and expose our defensive weaknesses. More outside shooting opens the court up for others, where Bogut’s limited range is exposed, our smaller defenders strained.

    We just didn’t learn anything valuable about the team last night.

  34. @31

    The game flow kinda-sorta tracks the playing time for Green and Barnes. Both were off the floor when the Nugs closed the gap in the 4th.

    In the 1st, the trend line immediately reversed when Green came in for Landry. There are lots of things Green can’t do, but he does seem to help the team. On O, he gets open. On D I think he’s developing a reputation as one of the biggest irritants in the league today. He’s no Rodman, but he might be a Rodman-level PITA.

    Barnes was pretty great last night too. No blocks, few rebounds, average defense – but he was +12 on the night, highest on the team. He scored when the team needed him to, and his composure was completely awesome, especially for a rookie.

    @ 36, we didn’t learn anything valuable?

    We saw the Bogut the Ws traded their best player for. Even with his mobility still hampered, he can be a truly impactful player.

    We saw how effective a clever bowling ball can be, and we saw impressive maturity and grace-under-pressure from Barnes.

    We also saw a brilliant defensive performance from the whole Denver team. Among other things, the way they repeatedly conned JJack into traps was a beautiful example of how well a modern NBA motion defense can work. Fantastic stuff. It clearly demonstrated the biggest difference between playoff basketball and regular season play: in-depth player analysis followed by team-wide coordinated tactics designed to capitalize on their tendencies.

    As Ws fans we don’t see that kind of stuff much. It can’t be done in the regular season grind, it only comes out in the playoffs. But it ALWAYS

    • comes out in the playoffs.

      (sorry, fingers flying, hit the wrong key somewhere.)

    • Yes, we learned a lot about the individual players, all of them. My point is that we didn’t learn anything about how to use them. I’d hate to see people point to game 6 as the way to go. The real lessons were learned in the other wins.

      If there were ever a game where +/- is meaningless, it’s this one. Curry was -2, Thompson +8.

      But don’t forget the most important +/-. David Lee was +1.

      • Good reads, btw.

      • we can only hope that the front office understands that the four wins in this series in no way assures sustainable success next season or beyond. the fans will rationalize the elimination coming by citing lee’s absence and the clinical efficiency of SA and its coach, but need to carefully inspect some of the foundation stones of their euphoria-inducing season.

        no amount of conditioning and therapy is going to restore bogut’s ankle sufficiently for the repetitive impact, with restricted recovery time, of the regular season schedule. having just one day off between games gave him problems in the series — how many games would he be expected to take injections to suppress swelling and pain as he did for this close out game. the other issue that can’t be resolved for a few months is what kind of game they can sustain on either end if they revert to putting lee and bogut on the court together for the great majority of the latter’s minutes.

        the other flawed keystone is jack. he and his agent stopped negotiations for his next deal at mid season, so it’s possible that economics will simply the problem by elimination. as marcus thompson has observed, when jack and curry are both out there, it’s difficult for the other players to compensate for their unreliable perimeter d — and jack is actually a weaker defender than a rested curry. we should recognize his bad habits on offense as chronic and ingrained at this point in his career.

        fortunate circumstances contributed to this season’s successful record but the hoops gods are fickle. the team did not fare well against winning teams, particularly with bogut playing (granted a limited sample size because of his truncated season). we need to see a dynamic offseason for the team to avoid stagnation and regression.

      • Well, sure, maybe “we” didn’t learn much, and we can’t know that the Ws’ coaching staff did. You’re right, we don’t have definitive answers to the epistemological questions arising from last night’s game.

        rgg, you’re an educator, so I guess the Q of “what did they learn” is paramount. My training, and my default approach to most systemic Qs, is based on statistical systems analysis.

        In a non-mechanistic, imprecise, “fuzzy” system, you can’t unequivocally “know” anything at all, you can only attempt to calculate the mathematical odds of different outcomes, then run with that. I know for a fact that I can’t “know” the outcomes of fuzzy systems, and my best guesses cannot be 100% correct 100% of the time.

        That’s not too different from the approach of professional gamblers, the ONLY sports analysts in the world who necessarily analyze games statistically.

        Would I bet Jackson over Popovitch? Not if they’re simply isolated in a test booth.

        Would I bet Curry-over-Parker + Thompson-over-Leonard + Bogut-over-Duncan? Maybe. Especially now that Jackson and his coaching staff have demonstrably overcome some of the smartest, most sophisticated team play in the history of the game.

        What are the odds that Jackson and Malone learned something from the Denver series? Pretty good, I’d say.

        • Hat,

          1. Well, Malone may not be in the equation next year, and I wonder what that means. There are better veteran coaches, but, from a novice’s point of view, these guys haven’t done badly at all. I’m really impressed with much of their versatility and experimentation. These are keys to success.

          2. With any problem, it is important to consider as much as possible and develop a comprehensive theory, especially one that factors in how everything relates and fits together, in the case of basketball, strategy. Then see how well the theory fits the evidence—and look at all the evidence, not just that which best fits what you want to believe.

          3. Never trust an educator on anything. We don’t know squat. Some of us, however, know that, and it’s our redeeming virtue.

          • rgg,

            Your honest, disarming humility tells me you’re brilliant. The Human Condition, fully acknowledged, perfectly aware of intrinsic imperfection.

            I could be wrong about that, of course. Goes without saying.

    • This is intriguing, Hat, your comments on Green. Go to the gameflow @31, look at Green’s stints, then look at how the offense reverses course and builds in that graph in the middle showing the lead. The correspondence is almost exact.

  35. Rgg – love your posts – but can’t agree about not learning anything last night. We learned everything we need to know. The W’s just became a free agent destination. Did you see the love from AI last night to curry post game? The W’s have a player’s coach, an owner who loves basketball and wants to win, a solid core of young talent, and most importantly the W’s have a bona fide superstar who led them to a victory over a superior team. Hopefully, the coaches learned that a style of play they never attempted during the regular season is the key to unleashing curry. Think of what the nuggets players are thinking after this series. The best defensive team in the league, who totally focused their game plan on stopping curry, could not stop him. They slowed him down for periods, but they have to be thinking, “damn, I want to play with that guy”.

    I hate the nba’s approach to supportive foul calls for selected superstars, but this will finally turn and work in the W’s favor… The nba will love to market curry.

    Rgg – for you to say that “if Denver shot better” is meaningless, you might as well say if pigs could fly…. Denver can’t shoot better because they are constructed as a fast break, defensive pressure team.

    Finally, though many of us did not like the bogus trade, he played great last night and was the key to the win. Amazing irony that he cannot sustain that effort over a season at this point in his career. And as rgg has said so many times, it is not so much that bogus is so bad, it is what else could have been achieved with that trade and without the contracts for bogus and Jefferson.. The best news is that after one more year of bogus and jefferson, salary cap becomes an advantage for the W’s.

    The W’s are in so much better shape than after the We Believe season. There was the 5 year contract for Biedrins, Baron Davis was on the downside of his career, Jack would turn into a black swan, Monta had not yet bought a moped, and the owner wanted out…

    Has anyone noticed that the path through the west has just gotten so much easier without Westbrook? Man, if we can get by SA? And SA will not play with the defensive intensity that the W’s just faced…..

    • buckaroo,

      Thanks, but give credit to our boss. The real argument is that the team pursue the strategy that best suits them, that best leads to a win, as FB has been arguing all this time. It has been a battle for the past three years, and it took Bogut’s going down to realize the team’s potential. It’s still not clear the battle has been won.

      What do we make of their success without Lee? I really want better heads to tackle this one. My casual guess is that it gave more attention and playing time to the bench, who did step up for the series. They’ll need them next season.

      Yes, the team got well deserved and profitable respect, finally, and I’m really pleased. The problem is, as I’ve said too many times before, we won’t have the money to pay those other players who might want to come here, unless Lacob goes over the cap. He’s said he has money to spend.

      It’s why I envy Denver. They can afford to make changes. Shooting—Gallinari would have made a difference, maybe not enough. They might be able to pick up another shooter, who will be affordable. They’ll have the bucks and trade pieces.

      As a basketball fan, I’m disappointed. I really wanted to see the Warriors go against Denver full strength. That would have been something to see.

      Biedrins—

      Word is he has back problems? Sheesh. Who on this team doesn’t, or who doesn’t have worse injuries? What on earth is the deal here? There were minutes where he might have been useful.

      • @rgg – I’d say both the better team (W’s) and coach (Mark Jackson) won the round 1 series and leave it at that…

        And the W’s were without our W’s PR All-Star David Lee and two way player Brandon Rush, who are pretty darn good too.

  36. Any chance if we start chanting FELTBOT we’ll get a word from him?

  37. e coaching staff decided to play basically a half court sets in the first half, and to run in the second half.

    Even though the Warriors went south in the fourth quarter by retreating to a isolation plays in the half court sets, the Warriors were able to run and blow out Denver in the 3rd quarter. By playing s half court game, it was predictable that he Warriors would be down by a few points at half-time.

    While I said that Warriors had had to garner 13 offensive rebounds to put themselves in a position to win and they did. The fact that Denver had 21 offensive rebounds for the game was in fact no advantage at all. As on some of those possessions in the first half, as Barnett pointed out, on one trip down the court, Denver had I believe 5 offensive rebounds. A few times they wasted many offensive rebounds on one trip down the court by not scoring.

    Even with Bogut’s four blocks, Bogut and Landry were a disaster stopping Denver from garnering offensive rebounds and taken uncontested shots in the paint. . But such did not hurt the Warriors as Lawson and company couldn’t cash- in as they bricked many open shots taken in the paint, and also bricked shots off of offensive rebounds.

    I do not mean to negate Bogut’s 14 defensive rebound and blocked shots, but he is still weak defending the paint, other than the man he’s covering, and allowing Denver to garner so many offensive rebounds. So even with his playing stellar offensive rebounds, scoring, and garnering many defensive rebounds, one still must remember the the Warriors were down at half-time. Landry’s poor defense was a contributing factor as well.

    But by garnering 7 offensive rebounds and putting most in the basket, mostly on separate trips down the floor, and shooting 7-10 from the field, while doling out assists, Bogut was the Warriors offensive star. He also gave the Warriors, a net 5 extra possessions by garnering 7 offensive rebounds , 1, steal, and turning the ball over, I believe 3 times (possibly more as we garnered some of his blocked shots.

    With the Warriors running in the second half, , Denver’s number of offnesive rebounds dropped considerably as I thought they would.

    Denver shooting 35% allowed the Warriors to stake a large lead, and they had less than 15 turnovers during the fourth court when they fell apart, and made additional turnovers, allowing them to weather Denver’s comeback. But, the Warriors did not nothing special on defense. Letting Denver make only 7 turnovers is terrible. That should happen if they made no attempt to play defense.

    D. Green was awesome. Loved his 4 offensive rebounds. Jackson needs to have Barnes and Thompson go to the offensive bards at times. Even Barnett commented on Barnes shooting and just standing there watching his ball miss, and not try to get the offensive rebounds.

    Quite a game.

    • Andrew Bogut absolutely dominated. In the biggest game of the season no less.

      Andrew Bogut contested and changed shots throughout the game… 4 block shots (that they gave him credit for). I don’t know what you expect of a defensive center… He’s not Udoh, he’s worlds better…

      And the W’s outrebounding the best rebounding team (or one of) in the NBA? Priceless. Again, Andrew Bogut to blame.

      The points are simply a bonus and a result of Denver ignoring him. And he made them pay. Which is all an offensive team asks for…

    • frank, glad to see you found all that material from a game that was poorly played in many stretches. on the other hand, the winning difference can also be reduced to free throw shooting — GS had but three more attempts than Den, but made ten more points from the line than the visitors.

  38. @40

    Frank, you’re right, in the 4th Q last night Barnett actually departed from his usual calm, analytical style. Among other things, he gushed about Green and bitched about Jack pounding the ball into Denver’s traps. Not a problem to any listener, but rare commentary from Barnett.

    At one point Barnett even said out loud to Fitz: “You’ve mentioned that before.”

    Hey, Fitz, if it didn’t occur to you, that’s a big ol’ Ouch, good buddy.

    I wish Barnett had a mute button for Fitz. I suspect Barnett secretly wishes he had a mute button for Fitz.

    In his visit to the Ws announcer booth this season, David Stern called Fitz a “homer.” He is that, but that single word doesn’t capture the painful essence of the repetitive, loud, repetitive, stupid, repetitive, flat-out wrong, loud, repetitive erroneous repetitive opinions/ bad advice Fitz always shares with fans.

    Boy howdy, ouch to the max. Owowow.

    Shut up, Bob. Shut up, Bob. Shut up, Bob. Shut up, Bob. Shut up, Bob. Shut up, Bob. Shut up, Bob. Shut up, Bob. Shut up, Bob. Shut up, Bob.
    Shut up, Bob. Shut up, Bob. Shut up, Bob. Shut up, Bob. Shut up, Bob.

    After the game last night, Fitz and Barnett announced it would be their last broadcast of the season. Mixed feelings here at Chez Hat.

    Jim, please come back. But please assert yourself this offseason, and either find a way to muzzle Fitz or get him reassigned to dog racing or something. Fitzsimmons is a fine professional voice, good for play-by-play chatter. Barnett is the basketball sensei. Please make it so. Use any tools necessary. I have a spare hammer if you’d find that helpful.

  39. Thanks Moto.

    Hat, you’re so right Barnett almost lost his temper like never before he was so pissed-off with Jack.

    PeteyBrain: Bogut did his most damage in the first quarter. Were the Warriors winning at time he was on the court in the first quarter. No. Was it because other Warriors weren’t shooting well.Possibly, But the fact remains that Denver was getting offensive rebound after offensive rebound with Bogut on the court and taking dead aim shots from the pait time and time and time again.. Is he not partly responsible for that? Of course he is. Yes, Udoh would not have had the offensive production nor obtain as many defensive rebounds. But, he would have stopped at least 10 shots that Bogut didn’t contest and there would have been less chances for scoring off of offensive rebounds. And it’s now clear, Bogut’s only offense is dunks on passes inside and off of rebounds. He had no inside post game and thankfully the coaches seem to know that. Don’t you realize he was going against a crap players Koufas and McGee who didn’t keep him off the offensive boards?

    Bogut going against Spitter is a good match up for him.As Spitter is as immobile as he is. Guarding Duncan is another matter. Providing weak side help or stopping opponent’s from shooting in the paint not going to happen. And unlike Denver,SA has good shooters. And while SA destroyed us the first time we played them if my memory is correct, the Warriors coaches put in new and good defenses the second time we played SA that stopped many of SA offensive plays. So, there is hope.

    • Andrew Bogut’s MONSTER game deserves credit and praise. Not criticism. Curry and Bogut’s play were two of the biggest W’s reasons for Denver’s ouster.

      No one here has ever said Andrew Bogut had much of a low post game. Only a handful of players in the NBA do (and Lee isn’t one of them)… Bogut also doesn’t have much of a jump shot while we’re at it. So what? Points for Andrew Bogut are merely a bonus – but he’s averaged 12-14 points over 50% in an NBA season so he’s useful, not useless. If teams use the center to trap, Bogut can finish and keep them honest.

      And Bogut’s passing and court vision – that high post bullet to Thompson down low and his behind the back pass earlier in the series – are outstanding for a big man.

      Setting hard picks and playing tough defense…

      Bogut got 7 offensive rebounds in this game – matching Faried, the absolute best in the game at it and the Nuggets – the best team at it. I annually monitor college rebounding stats – Faried and Bogut – are freaks of nature when it comes to rebounding. Bogut matched Denver’s intensity on the boards. Throughout the series… The W’s outrebounded the Nuggets for the most part and Bogut is the biggest part of that equation…

      • @Frank – Which player do you think is better? Ekpe Udoh or Festus Ezeli? I’ll take the latter for his size/athleticism/motor, rebounding, and shot-blocking.

  40. Pingback: Bogut Noogies Nuggets: Warriors 92 Nuggets 88 -- Game 6 - Feltbot's Warriors Blog

  41. San Antonio:

    This is probably crazy, but I have reasons. Someone has to come out on Duncan, and this is where Bogut is weak, especially if he’s hurting.

    1. Start Ezeli, who is more mobile, on Duncan. Let him get some fouls. Put Green on Splitter, and have the three guards in the backcourt. And try to push the pace and get the offense up and running. See if they can hit Green and Ezeli on pick and rolls. Play a controlled, slow-paced game and they will get sliced up. The Spurs have to be disrupted and pushed to score. We should be the faster, better shooting team. The key here is how well Green and Ezeli can switch off on defense and cover the lane, and that is risky.

    2. But keep an eye on Leonard and D Green, especially if they get going. Substitute liberally at 2-5 and mix it up. Throw them all kinds of looks. Adjust to Ginobli as needed.

    3. Repeat 1 and 2 until done.

    • San Antonio Spurs is the opposite of the Denver Nuggets so there will be different challenges for sure…

      The Spurs can really shoot well from both the perimeter and the charity line – Denver couldn’t do either well as a team.

      This Spurs team is awesome – but definitely beatable.

      I think the W’s will end the streak. Whether they can maintain their homecourt is another question.