The Bogut Miracle: Warriors 92 Nuggets 88 — Game 6

As I predicted, the Warriors shot up Andrew Bogut’s crippled, arthritic ankle with painkillers before last night’s Game 6 against the Nuggets. And the result was spectacular. We’ve all seen the stats: 14 points, 21 rbs., 4 blocks. This coming after two straight 5 rebound games. And a grand total of 2 points in his previous three halfs of basketball.       

So, yes, you could say that the ability to play pain-free had a slight effect on Bogut’s game. He said as much himself post-game: “Fortunately, the needle they stuck me with before the game did wonders for me.”

The liveliness in Bogut’s legs was apparent. It’s the best I’ve seen him run the floor in a Warriors uniform. But the biggest effect of Bogut’s return to “health” was in his stamina. 39 minutes of play. And most importantly, he stayed strong into the 3rd and 4th quarters — something we’ve never seen from him this series — allowing him to dominate the Nuggets tiring and foul-plagued bigs.

There has never been a question that a healthy Andrew Bogut is a fantastic player at the defensive end. And for one night at least, a little medical miracle allowed him to show it. His defensive presence completely dominated that end of the floor, virtually shutting down the Nuggets’ points-in-the-paint-reliant attack. As George Karl put it last night, “I’d forgotten how good he is at clogging the lane.”

Bogut was the MVP of the Warriors last night in the biggest game of their season. It was great to watch — particularly for the sheer courageousness and selflessness of the effort — and it was great to see the joy and satisfaction he took from his performance, and the series-clinching win, after the game. Because he’s been through absolute hell this season.

Bogut has stated in numerous interviews that this has been his most difficult season on a personal level. Gwen Knapp quoted him thusly:

I’ve had an absolute nightmare of a six to nine months; there was no light at the end of the tunnel. It was pitch-black for months.… Guys on the road, I’m at home. My day consisted of rehab in the morning, go home, ice. I don’t go out. Haven’t had a beer or a drink or an alcoholic beverage. [Because alcohol makes his ankle swell.] I’ve given up a lot to just go home and get my ankle right.

Before the series began, as was revealed by his TNT interviewer post-game, he stated that he was wondering whether it was all worth it.

He also said this post-game, when asked whether this was the best game of his career in a Warriors uniform: “For sure — save the best for last.” Wait, what?

He quickly corrected himself, continuing, “Hopefully, not the last now. But a great day for us.”

Um, as a self-trained (perforce) Bogutologist, I have to restrain myself from reading too much into those remarks. But I think it is worth asking ourselves just how much performances like this are costing him. Particularly when, asked post-game how he’s feeling, he says things like: “I’m very, very good right now, but not looking forward to waking up in the morning.”

It’s also worth asking how many performances like this one Bogut has left to give the Warriors this post-season. Is he going to shoot up that ankle every single game going forward? Will it continue to work?

Could it harm his future career? No, scratch that. No one, not even he himself, is concerned about that now. (Nor, apparently, is anyone concerned about David Lee’s future.) These playoffs are what Bogut endured the torment of this season for. And he’s going to give it everything he’s got.

He’s got three days rest before Game 1 against the Spurs, and then the grind begins again.

Mark Jackson: Not going to take away anything from Jackson’s performance this series. He’s been nothing short of brilliant. And the results speak louder than any analysis: He pulled off this Game 6 must-win, and the series against the favored team.

But if you’re in the mood for second-guessing, there were a few decisions in this game you could question.

Beginning with the starting lineup. For the first time this series, since David Lee went down, Jackson went big to start the game, slotting Carl Landry at PF alongside Bogut, and returning Jarrett Jack to his customary bench role.

And this exposed, or I guess I should say re-exposed, the greatest current flaw in Andrew Bogut’s game: his limited offense. And more to the point, the way his limited offense affects the Warriors offense, when he’s paired with another big who doesn’t spread the floor. Even though Jackson didn’t go to the Bogut high-pick in the first half, George Karl decided to just put a naked trap on Curry at the three point line, to get the ball out of his hands. With a poorly spread floor, the Nuggets were able to stick to the shooters, and recover to Bogut in time.

The Warriors’ offense, as it has so often this season with Bogut in the opening lineup, completely stalled. At the 9:00 mark of the 2nd quarter, they were still stuck on 21 points. That proved to be not completely disastrous against the poor-shooting Nuggets, but I have little doubt it would against the offensively efficient Spurs.

The Warriors first went small at 8:20 2nd Q, with Barnes at the PF, and immediately broke out on an 8-0 run, and closed the half down only two.

The big lineup fared better in the third quarter, but only because Faried picked up three immediate fouls and was forced to sit. And then George Karl made a fatal error (which I’ll get to).

Jackson’s other possible mistakes in this game? Well, I’m tempted to call his decision to slow the pace down mid-4th Quarter with the Warriors up 18 a rookie mistake. But then I remembered that Don Nelson made a similar mistake in the game in which he tied the record for most wins. And I didn’t think it was a mistake then.

I do think it’s a mistake now. I agree with what Tom Tolbert said post-game, that you should continue to play the style of basketball that got you the lead, until only a couple of minutes remain in the game. The fact of the matter is that by trying to take the air out of the ball, the Warriors took the air out of their own game, and their half-court struggles breathed life into the Nuggets.

Something else I found curious was Jackson yanking Jarret Jack twice, late in the fourth quarter. Yes, Jack was having his struggles, and perhaps he needed a breather, but I thought it was an extremely dangerous decision to have both rookies Barnes and Green on the floor at the same time. It quite obviously put pressure on the Warriors’ ball-handling and decision-making. But also, those Barnes top-of-the-key isos? Not what I’d want to go to in crunch time. If ever.

David Stern, is that you? Um, that “tripping” foul against Barnes that “earned” Faried his third foul? It appears that Faried’s feet were made a point of emphasis before the game. Mark Jackson’s $25k was well spent.

It just may have won the Warriors the game.

George Karl’s Fatal Error: Going to the Twin Towers look of McGee and Koufos early in the third quarter, after Faried got in foul trouble. This was a forseeably disastrous move that immediately sprung Curry free to bury the Nuggets. With two bigs on the floor, the Nuggets were no longer able to blitz Curry when Jackson (correctly) immediately starting going to the Curry-Bogut pick and roll. They were too slow on the floor to risk blitzing.

  • 10:13 Bogut high pick, McGee soft show, Curry attacks the lane for 2 FTs.
  • 9:34 Bogut high pick, no blitz. 3 in Lawson’s face.
  • 9:13 Landry beats McGee and Koufos downcourt causing a scramble: Curry left wide open for a 3.
  • 8:01 Bogut high pick, another soft hedge, another Curry 3.
  • 7:29 Curry iso versus Lawson, both McGee and Koufos give help, leaving Bogut open for a dunk.

McGee and Koufos are also both terribly limited offensive players. They’re not post-up players, they don’t spread the floor, and they gave the Nuggets nothing offensively to balance out what they were costing the team on the defensive end.

By the time Karl called timeout to get this lineup off the court, a 2 point Nuggets lead had turned into a 6 point deficit, and the Warriors were off and running.

Stephen Curry: I attended this game courtesy of my good poker buddy, Micah. Micah is a long-time Warriors fan, and by long-time, I mean he used to go to the Cow Palace to see Bill Russell play Wilt Chamberlain.

Micah is a very reluctant fan of Stephen Curry. He always tells me: “I just don’t trust him. The young fella just doesn’t get it. He doesn’t take care of the ball. He thinks he’s on a playground all the time.”

And I always smile and shake my head, and say, you must be kidding me. Curry’s a superstar!

Well, Micah had his moment last night. Oh boy, did he. You think Oracle is loud? I watched that fourth quarter with the crowd in my left ear, and Micah’s demented screams of rage in my right. I thought I might have to adminster CPR.

Take care of the ball, young fella. If for nothing else, than for the health of one of the greatest Warriors fans in history.

Young Battier: What a game for Draymond Green (apart from the fourth quarter turnovers). He stated recently that he dropped in the draft because the scouts weren’t sure whom he could guard in the NBA.

How about everyone?

The rebounding, tenacity, heart, IQ, court vision. How about that airborne touch pass to Curry for three at 3:48 3Q?

If he continues to be able hit his threes, as he did in this series, he will become a hugely valuable two-way stretch four. A young Shane Battier. In other words, the kind of player that wins. Which is exactly what Andrew Bogut said about him after the game: “He wins games.”

I can’t help but think back to Bob Fitzgerald’s cringing and whining during the season whenever Green would launch. (Mournful tone) “I just don’t think that’s Draymond’s game…”

Bob Fitzgerald: Speaking of the devil, I’ve been tuning into the TNT broadcasts, which is an absolute blessing. (Sorry Barnett, love you.) I bring Bob up, because Green’s emergence as a three-point shooter in Bob’s face has reminded me of something else: We’re no longer hearing Bob say one negative word about the Warriors three-point shooting approach in general.

My head is still ringing from his game-calls during Keith Smart’s tenure: “The Warriors are getting a little perimeter happy!” “Dorell Wright is becoming a volume shooter!” (In the midst of hitting 9 threes in one game.) “The Warriors should be careful not to fall in love with the outside shot!” “Missed corner threes result in layups or dunks!”

He’s totally shut up about it, am I right? Not one peep.

Maybe Mark Jackson is on to something. Maybe God is a Warriors fan.

The Warriors Defense: We heard a lot about the Warriors’ defense and “culture change” after this win. And I am willing to concede that on this night Andrew Bogut was a dominant defender, and that Draymond Green is a dominant defender on every night. But the Warriors defense? I’m not buying it.

It should be recognized by now that the Warriors have one of the worst perimeter defenses in the NBA, that has gotten by this season by packing the lane, and daring teams to shoot from outside. And it should be recognized that the Denver Nuggets, with their reliance on getting layups and points in the paint, were tailor-made to look terrible against the Warriors’ defense.

The Nuggets got all the open looks they could possibly want in this game, and all series long. They just can’t shoot.

But the Spurs can.

The Spurs Series: Danny Green, Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard, Matt Bonner, Gary Neal. The Spurs can spread the floor at every position. No more packing the paint.

Who will Bogut guard? It might not be Tiago Splitter, who badly sprained his ankle in Game 3 of the first round against the Lakers. He is doubtful for Game 1, and may not play until much later in the series.

Given the fact that the Warriors are small at power forward, even when they start Carl Landry, the Spurs may play small from the start of this series, with Duncan at center, and Bonner or Leonard at the four. This is bad news for Bogut and the Warriors, chiefly because Duncan has the ability to pull Bogut away from the basket with his 18 foot range. If Bogut is forced to guard out on the floor, the Warriors perimeter players will get chewed to pieces by Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

Even with Duncan by himself, the Spurs will be a much better defensive rebounding team than the crippled Nuggets. That means the Spurs fast break will be difficult to contain. They are an extremely fast-paced team, that runs at every opportunity. This could also spell bad news for Bogut.

The Warriors defense will be put to the test in this series in ways in which it wasn’t against the Nuggets. I think Mark Jackson will again be forced to play a lot of small-ball and push the tempo, in order to keep pace with the Spurs’ offense.

This will be not be a defensive series at all. Two Nellieball teams are going to push the pedal to the metal.

The Warriors are +750 dogs in the series. I’m not tempted to take that. But more interestingly, the over/under for Game 1 is at 201.

I like the over.

120 Responses to The Bogut Miracle: Warriors 92 Nuggets 88 — Game 6

  1. Nuggets Next Year

    You forgot one thing — George Karl is over rated.

    One obvious thing Georgie could have resorted to was ‘Hack A Bogut’. He could have tried it mid 4th Quarter. When Bogut was unintentionally fouled at 1:50 in the 4th, Jackson immediately took him out of the game. Karl=fail.

    Sure would have beat trapping Curry who then would pass to an open Bogut for a dunk.

    9th time in ten years — out in the first round. Can’t blame it on Melo this time. Karl should be sent to pasture.

  2. Thanks once more, Feltbot.

    I’ll repeat my post on the last thread (didn’t see this one coming) so you guys can slice it up. The point is the Warriors need to do something different and not fall into set patterns against the Spurs.

    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 with the right squad on the floor. The key here is how well Green and Ezeli can switch off on defense, go out or 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.

  3. Weekend homework, our only win against SAS—with Biedrins starting:

    Box:
    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore;_ylt=AnzjqimygTFioGf092Qew66kvLYF?gid=2013022209

    Gameflow:
    http://popcornmachine.net/cgi-bin/gameflow.cgi?date=20130222&game=SASGSW

    Anybody remember what helped Jack get going? Who will best replace Lee’s minutes?

    • what helped jack, SA was in their ‘rodeo month’, when they don’t play any home games. they were finishing the third week of it, and whipped the sterlings in LA by 20+ the night before. their fast break points in the woeyr game was about ten below their average, to illustrate what state their legs were in.

      • Perhaps the most significant moments of the game, from the gameflow, which support the rodeo theory, are the two surges 4th Q, especially the one the last few minutes that put them over the top.

        San Antonio will be able to manage every minute with a competitive and rested unit. The Warriors will have to preserve their energy—and ankles—for the whole game and put a good unit on the floor throughout.

        OK, this is a tough puzzle.

  4. lots of fans in the various blogs seem to be in denial still about the nature of bogut’s condition, and believe he’s going to recover and duplicate his performance in this game. yes, he might, if he gets more drug treatments. they can’t possibly keep up with the schedule of games and travel, however, and the drug does nothing for regenerating the joint surfaces.

    there’s some very famous piano recordings klassikal musik fans know well, Dinu Lipatti from the months before he died of cancer (no bone marrow transplants sixty plus years ago.) performances only made possible by the then-new miracle drug, cortisone.(costly and rare back then, the SF virtuoso Menuhin helped pay for the drugs). the story of how cortisone was synthesized is an interesting tale in itself, about an uncelebrated, african-amerikan genius chemist who made his living working for a paint manufacturer, and did his lab research and testing as a ‘hobby’. for those who love Chopin, Bach, Schubert, the beauty of Lipatti was allowed to bloom for a final time, but in no way was he cured.

  5. I don’t know what they injected Bogut with, or exactly why.

    But, arthritic joints are typically injected with a combination (same syringe) of a steroid like cortisone and a pain killer. I get these in my fingers from time to time. They don’t work immediately and I’m told not to play guitar for 4 days.

    I have been told that I can only expect 4 or 5 injections to be effective and that they should be no more frequent than every 3 months. There is a risk of damaging tendons or something.

    So what I’m wondering is, can you run on an ankle right after getting an injection? If it worked in a matter of hours, presumably that’s the pain killer not the antiinflammatory — but, if he got an antiinflammatory, might it take effect by, say, Monday?

    Without more information, I have no idea what to expect.

    • even non-steroidal anti/inflammatory drugs can be efficacious within an hour or two of ingestion. the cocktail they put together for bogut wouldn’t need much longer to take effect, since they had the game time as a deadline.

      depending on what drug testing goes on during the off season, and what they’re screening for, bogut’s best hope for regeneration in his joints might be designer steroids/hormones.

  6. Don’t know how kosher this is, but I changed the title of this post. Stopped being amused by the alliteration.

  7. Nice write-up, Felt. You’ll still continue to hear how much you hate Bogut, of course.

    I enjoyed watching Green boxing out last night. He butted Faried halfway up court a couple of times. He must be quite a load, what with that low center of gravity.

  8. I do want to repeat my comments the previous post about the need to maintain a fair and clean game, without overly physical misdeeds.

    Memphis/Clippers, however, is an entirely different matter. Watching Randolph and Griffin go after each other has been a hoot. Randolph took Griffin down tonight and put him in a half nelson, nearly pinning him.

    Memphis will be trouble.

  9. Bill Simmons openly contemplates the possibility of David Stern using Joey Crawford to cheat the Spurs in their matchup with the Warriors:

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9239005/20-questions-part-1

    How long until Simmons is fired by ESPN?

    • Love reading Simmons’ genius stuff, but he’s a dud on tv IMO! Lol!

      Hope Crawford could toss Duncan out…

      Tiago – hope he’s still out for game 1…

      http://blog.mysanantonio.com/spursnation/2013/05/03/spurs-splitter-doubtful-for-game-1-diaw-close/

    • From the link:

      “Q: Can you hold it against Derrick Rose for not coming back?

      Absolutely not… Nobody wants to be the next Gilbert Arenas… He’s the all-time “came back too soon” cautionary tale… Make no mistake — he was NEVER the same.

      Magic Johnson’s biggest professional regret is coming back too soon during the 1981 season… as Magic tells it, you start feeling that pressure from every direction… it’s not even intentional… You feel guilty all the time.

      …As Magic put it, When you’re ready, you know. If you’re wondering even a little? Then you don’t know.

      …Nobody wants to be The Next Guy Who Came Back Too Soon.”

      I was very happy for Bogut in Game 6. I can’t even imagine the satisfaction he must have felt. But if there was ever a player who faced a lot of pressure to come back too soon, it’s Andrew Bogut.

      Mark Jackson seems to have his priorities straight concerning injuries, so I guess playing Bogut is OK. But my doc says playing on a numbed injury is dangerous, because you can’t react to protect yourself in dangerous situations.

      So I have mixed feelings about Bogut getting shot up to perform. It’s scary.

  10. Thanks Feltbot!
    Yes, the Denver Nuggets without Danilo Galinari – are a collection of defensive wings and Ty Lawson – with a shortage of good consistent shooters to spread the floor. I called it before the series started – the faux home court style advantage – and the style of play for Denver’s offense playing into the W’s pack-the-paint defense.

    David Lee’s absence was a blessing in disguise as it forced Coach Jackson to play small with Barnes and give big minutes to Draymond Green – who played a huge series as well. Green would have received very few minutes had Lee been healthy.

    Andrew Bogut – is now the man, the “myth,” the legend after his so-called “miracle.” It’s only a “miracle” to the Bogut-bashers who are in Bogut-denial! I was expecting many 3 block, 3 assist, 10+ rebound, and 10 point performances for Bogut this season. Ahhh, the Bogut-sanity!

    I agree with FB – Bogut won’t be needed as much vs. this good perimeter shooting (and free throws too) Spurs lineup (Bogut doesn’t match up so well) and doesn’t help enough on offense to justify playing big minutes. Ezeli – didn’t fare very well guarding Duncan from what I remember of the regular season.

    The W’s did have problems defending spread the floor shooting offenses in the regular season.

    However, the W’s offense should be absolutely unstoppable with Curry, Jack, Klay, Barnes/Green, and Bogut/Landry… W’s are also hard to defend if they don’t turn the ball over and shoot well…

    But with David Lee likely out and Draymond Green likely in, this dramatically changes the W’s defense. Draymond CAN cover any big or small PF the Spurs can throw at him. And on offense, the Spurs may just let Draymond Green shoot away (for better or worse!).

    Jack carved up the Spurs one game from what I recall.

    I expect Barnes’ play may likely come back to earth – Spurs should match Leonard up with him in a traditional or as a small ball PF.

    • beware the one game sample size. as noted above (#3) jack’s big game vs. SA was during their ‘rodeo month’ and their second night on a road back to back. the one game sample for plus/minus in game six vs. Den showed green at zero, curry minus two.

      the sixteen year sample for Duncan, on the other hand, shows a 28-0 record vs. the woeyrs in SA and 19-6 including that game last Feb when ‘Jack carved up the Spurs’ in oaktown.

      • In fairness, San Antonio hasn’t won in Oakland since 2012 before the Barnes/Ezeli/Green era! Lol! Mark Jackson says it not “our” history! W’s can’t win a series if you can’t win in San Antonio…

        I think the streak ends in San Antonio because Mark Jackson will get the troops up for the challenge. And this W’s team is not the duds of W’s past incompetence. And the W’s don’t hold their home court either – the Spurs are just a better, more efficient team. And the W’s are a player or two away from really contending.

  11. From what I experienced myself and read on the internet, cortisone does not produce symptom relief immediately. It starts to work immediately by reducing inflammation, but that process takes at least 48 hours.

    However, as I wrote before, the steroid is usually mixed with a pain killer. They inject into the joint capsule. As I understand it, some absorbtion has to take place so that the volume of the fluid doesn’t rupture the capsule. I’d guess that they have to be careful with a 260 lb guy playing basketball.

    The injections are incredibly painful until the pain killer kicks in — that’s a few seconds of blinding pain.

    Anyway, based solely on my own experience, I’d raise the possibility that Felty was right — it was a pain killer, not a steroid. Of course, he might have had the steroid sometime earlier. The steroid’s antiinflammatory effect lasts months in my fingers.

    But, you don’t need to point it out to me — I know perfectly well that I’m guessing.

    • didn’t use the Lipatti anecdote with the intention to suggest they used cortisone on bogut ; the pianist’s performances were called ‘miraculous’ at the time, similar to feltbot’s use of ‘miracle’ in reference to the hoops performance. point was, the drug didn’t alter Lipatti’s medical condition, just temporary respite from the incapacity it imposed.

  12. That’s probably right, but it does depend on what is actually wrong. It is possible, for example, to have tendonitis, get an injection, thereby eliminate the inflammation and not have the tendonitis return. In that case it looks like a cure.

    But, if the inflammation is caused by some structural deficit, the improvement is going to be temporary. Arthritis falls into that category. So does, I imagine, missing cartilage.

    Since Bogut is more than a year past his microfracture surgery, it seems unlikely, from what I’ve read about it, that he’s going to recover.

  13. I thought Mark Jackson handled Jarret Jack perfectly in the fourth quarter. He had to yank him. Jack was killing the Warriors. He was turning it over, missing shots, and dribbling with his head down like a fifth grader learning to dribble with his off hand; he missed open teammate after open teammate. The slide temporarily stabilized when Barnes came in. That is, until Curry decided to see if he could dual Jack for The title of Grand Pooh Bah of Bad Decisions. Jack went back in to sink the clinching free throws. Well played by Jackson.

    Also kudos to Mark Jackson for the play of Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green. Barnes calmly sank two clutch free throws with about a minute left along with very good overall play this series. Green finally added some offense to the rest of his terrific game. Ezeli didn’t do much in this game but he has gotten good use of him all year and in spots this series. Who else could do that? Who else would have let rookies play enough to be competent in the playoffs, give them confidence to be clutch in the playoffs? That might be the most impressive thing about what Jackson has done; getting to the second round with three rookies in his eight man rotation.

  14. warriorsablaze

    I am a bit worried and skeptical that MJ is going to continue to play small against the Spurs. It would be a huge mistake to try to match them in a traditional way, but I feel like a Landry start is in the cards…. unless
    Splitter is still down, then maybe we’ll get Green or Barnes at the 4… we’re not gonna beat this team with straight match ups in the half court… Nellieball may not ALWAYS be the answer, but it’s certainly the best shot for the less talented team to steal some wins.

    • WAB, my take on Nellieball was that it was always about creating mismatches, not just always going small. When Nelson had good bigs like Bob Lanier, he used them. He usually played Harrington at the 4, his natural spot – but positioned him as a spread 4. He often used SJax as a point forward, going big-over-small at the point simply to twist the game into weird shapes that would take opponents some time to figure out. “SmallBall” just happened to be the way Nelson often had to go to create mismatches with the GS rosters he had to work with.

      So if the Ws used “Nellieball” against the Spurs, it could conceivably take the form of Ezeli glued to Duncan (with help) PLUS Bogut on Splitter/Diaw. Gigantoball.

      Not sure that’s the best example. It has obvious problems. But if Nelson felt it would give him an edge or at least minimize his team’s disadvantages against an opponent, I have no doubt he’d try something like that in a flash.

      More likely, we’ll see Jackson trying something along the lines of Nelson’s “SJax on Dirk.” If Green guards Duncan, Duncan can shoot from outside all night but he isn’t going to the rim. Half his game goes missing. Advantage Warriors? Not so much, but better than trying to cover Duncan with Bogut.

      • warriorsablaze

        Sure, over his career Nellie always adjusted to the strengths of his roster… the mark of a good coach IMO. However, Nellieball (TM) the brand — certainly what is advocated for by Felt most often here — is of the uptempo, small ball nature. Spread 4 with an athletic C.

        I almost think with Splitter out it creates a more difficult matchup for us, as SA are likely to put Duncan at C and, well, go all Nellieball on us. Bogut may do OK defending the post, but he’s likely to get torched by Duncan’s midrange game.

        We’ll see what develops, but I have a (sinking) feeling we’re gonna be seeing the Curry, Klay, Barnes, Landry, Bogut lineup trotted out onto the court come Monday. Would love to see Green take Landry’s spot at the 4, but he’ll only really be effective if he can continue to make his outside shots.

    • I think Duncan’s too good in the post to be guarded with anything but a big.

      The Warriors caught a hell of a break with Splitter being injured. Bit of an ongoing theme.

      • warriorsablaze

        It’s a tough match up, for sure. Duncan’s perfect complementary skills of being the best post up player AND good from 15-18 feet makes him tough to guard. I suppose Festus has the best chance athletically to slow down both aspects of the Duncan game, but he just doesn’t have the experience to battle one of the smartest players around. Duncan will “old man game” him to death, just as Miller did to us in the first 2 games of the Nuggs series.

        I’d take Green over Landry for post D… even though smaller, he’s just tougher and knows how to use positioning to gain an advantage. Of course, he’s likely to pick up fouls at an alarming rate…again, due to Duncan’s IQ.

        • @FB – It is the Spurs who are the more healthy team right now and the team catching a break with an on-going theme (Kobe-less Lakers, Lee-less W’s – two All-Stars out)… Lee at 20 and 10. Splitter at 10 and 6. Lee>Splitter, I’d say. Plus our defensive stopper SG/SF and 40+% three point shooter – Brandan Rush – would be pretty useful right now to slow down Ginobili off the bench.

  15. I read that Bogut tweaked his ankle Game 5? Not sure it was the same one. Which maybe accounted for his departure that game and the shot for Game 6?

    Maybe they can give Biedrins a shot in the brain? He actually could be useful in spurts in the series.

  16. Proposed agenda for the next few days (while we’re sitting on our hands):

    Come up with the best strategy to win the series.

    General thoughts:

    1. The strategy should assume and make best use of individual talents, even if it’s pushing the odds. It’s not hard to imagine a strategy that might keep the score close, but the Spurs will always control such a game and come out on top.

    In short, play to win.

    2. Don’t try to find one possible solution, but as many good solutions as possible, so they can be compared and (theoretically) tried.

    Which might be our best shot, mixing it up.

    In my proposal @2 I see problems on the perimeter, both on O and D. The plan depends on how well Green and Ezeli can move around, how intelligently. But my other thought was to substitute often. Play Bogut in spurts, which might make best use of him and preserve his energy (or maybe instead just let his ankle stiffen up). Move Barnes and Landry in and out often.

  17. It’s terrific that Bogut blocked 4 shots last game, but two of those were retrieved by Denver, and the Warriors didn’t score off of the other two blocks. Given the result, it should have been pointed out that two of his blocks resulted in scoring opportunities they didn’t take advantage of.

    . Of his 7 offensive rebounds the Warriors converted two into 4 points. But, he did give the Warriors seven extra scoring opportunities they did not take advantage of .

    But, he also gave Denver three additional scoring opportunities, by committing three turnovers

    As we have seen, in many of the playoff games, Denver scored easily inside with Bogut defending the paint. We seem to take that for granted. But, that’s not what we want our center to allow to happen. While Felty says that Bogut was effective defending the paint in the last game, I saw Denver missing wide open shots in the paint.

    Bogut was a huge factor in our win given he shot 7-10, gave the Warriors additional scoring opportunities and by garnering 14 defensive rebounds.

    I was disappointed to see Thompson have such a poor performance in the most decisive game of the post-season, but hopefully he’ll be more consistent shooting the ball against SA.

    • With 24 offensive rebounds, Denver shot only 34.7%. How can this be??? Bogut challenged and changed so many shots – and whenever Ty Lawson and players drove in the paint – would be looking over their shoulders for Bogut…

      Bogut was a monster factor in this game defensively – Denver continuously had point blank shots in the paint and from offensive rebounds – and mysteriously missed many of these… Mysteriously.

      I’ve stated from the beginning of the series, the W’s advantage is that Denver NEEDS to take the ball in the paint – only Chandler and Ty Lawson shoot decently from 3 point range.

      Funny with Thompson… Last season, many including me harped on his non-existent defense but were amazed with his shooting stroke. Now? Klay’s our best perimeter defender sans Brandon Rush! He’ll likely get a much better draw in the San Antonio series (rather than the nightmare wing defenders that are Igoudala/Chandler/Brewer)!

      • In Game 6, Iggy was switched back to Klay, with Curry being guarded by Lawson and the trap. You can chart Klay’s series performances by when he was being guarded by Iggy. Reinforces my belief that he should be a small forward — he’s much harder to guard there.

        Against the Spurs, he’ll probably be guarded much of time by Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard or Manu Ginobili — so out of the frying pan, into the fire.

        Pop likes to hide his point guards on Barnes.

        • If Pops hides Parker on Barnes – I hope Coach MJ is smart enough to pull him out fast. Barnes ain’t good enough yet to make Parker pay – like Iggy did to Curry all series…

          Curry, Jack, Klay, Green – pose a tougher challenge.

          I expect Klay to have a great series.

  18. It’s really hard to forecast the matchups in this coming series, because there is so much uncertainty regarding the availability of Splitter, and because both teams’ lineups are so flexible, and their coaching so dynamic.

    The one thing that is predictable is that this series will showcase another coaching chess match, to rival that of the last series.

    • True – this matchup should be a beautiful series for the basketball fan to watch… Mark Jackson/Mike Malone getting big-time playoff coaching experience fast. Karl, then Pops – two first ballot hall of famers in my book.

      However, I’m pretty sure with all the W’ compliments of the Spurs – the W’s strike me as just happy to be here for the experience… They’ve already exceeded all expectations… I hope I’m wrong…

  19. I’m in a mood to get pumped up.

    The Spurs hardly were impressive at the close of the season, but it’s hard to know what to make of them, really the last two months, with Ginobli and Parker out so much. The Lakers series tells us nothing, with Kobe out. Are they rested and healthy, or just well preserved? I think these guys can be pushed.

    • SA has been ‘pushed’ numerous times in the past by GS, and many of the games in their 47-6 record against them in the Duncan era were close. Den’s offense struggled against the zones and quasi-zones ; SA’s won’t. with their own scoring suppressed, there was much more pressure on Den’s perimeter defenders, and they did o.k. in most of the contests. we should expect better coaching and execution from the SA defenders as well.

    • Quite possible. Parker is probably around 80% — sprains that bad don’t completely heal until the offseason. Ginobili was having a rotten season before his latest strain — he’s been hobbled all season long by hamstring issues, and barely resembles his old self. Kawhi Leonard has had knee tendinitis all season long. Diaw is out. Jack is gone. There are new players in the rotation they’re not really comfortable with — Gary Neal, Nando De Colo, and who the heck is Aron Baynes.

      On the other hand, Danny Green had a lights out season and isn’t likely to repeat the deer in the headlights playoffs performance of last season. Leonard is much improved when feeling good. Duncan rejuvenated.

      On the Warriors side Bogut and Curry are the biggest questions. Curry is really banged up. So health issues could play a big role in the series.

      • Popovich recently stated that he expects Diaw to be ready when the second round begins. Splitter might become available partway through the series. is there anyone better at finding useful roles for end of bench players ? his latest project is a d-league guard, cory joseph, who began to move up in the point guard rotation in the series vs. LA.

        the woeyrs’ main rotation guys avoided foul trouble for the most part vs. Den but between the smart vets on SA and the regular season pattern of GS’s heavy fouling, the reserve choir might see more time for the preacher — ezeli, even jefferson, with landry and green probably expending full rations of personals.

        • In the win I linked @3, the win, 23 vs 22 fouls. The more they push the pace, the less they commit to controlling a game they can’t control, the fewer fouls.

    • I don’t think anyone has any idea how well the Spurs will perform in the playoffs. Their reputation has preceded them, but I don’t know the team itself will catch up with it. There’s just no convincing evidence. The last few months they managed enough wins to keep the #2 spot in the west, but they haven’t played full force and together much at all against tough competition. I wouldn’t bet on these guys. Too many unknowns.

      Parker’s game log, for reference, to see those games:

      http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players/3527/gamelog;_ylt=AgIJj55VlBgI3s9ms1MliumYPKB4

  20. Just guessing of course, but I think the Ws will start with zone D, as they’ve done throughout the season, packing the paint to try to make the Spurs attempt to score from long range. If it works, it puts the two teams on a more even footing, our long shots v theirs. It also helps offset the Spurs’ size advantage.

    There are problems with the idea. Parker and Ginobili are absolute masters at breaking down zones. Duncan is too – and he doesn’t even need to get close to the paint to score effectively. And SA’s 3-pt shooters don’t suck.

    If our zone D does “work” – if it turns the game into a simple shoot-out – we’ll probably need Landry’s scoring. Green did great in Landry’s place against Denver, but there’s a reason he’s the team’s last offensive option. Landry creates his own openings in the paint, mostly with his elbows. Green doesn’t, not yet. And if Green sinks a couple of 3s, he’ll quickly get company out there at the 3-point line. With his low and slow release, he won’t ever get his shot off again. Barnes would be a better offensive threat.

    That probably makes Green just an occasional-use defensive specialist in this series, the role he played during the regular season. Ditto for Ezeli. If it’s a shootout, Ezeli is not a candidate for extensive playing time. All that goes out the window if Bogut can’t play much. Bogut’s health is probably the key to how much both Green and Ezeli play.

    There’s one other possibility for getting Green more PT, but we’ve never seen Jackson call it. Green played point forward extensively in college. He’s an excellent passer/floor general and he led his college team in assists quite often. In the Warriors/Denver series he led a few successful fast breaks, too.

    No one would see THAT coming. I mean, what kinda idiot would have a clumsy-looking rookie lead a Curry team? On the other hand, the Ws are short-handed at guard, I think Green is a better distributor than Jack, and I seriously doubt he’d get trapped as easily as Jack did in the Denver series. Having Green bring up the ball doesn’t reduce the number of perimeter shooters, either. Thompson moves to the 3, Barnes goes to the 4, Curry just looks for an opening… and Green has the team’s best 3-point shooting percentage throughout the playoffs so far (yeah, I know, offensive option #5 gets free shots, but still…).

    I seriously doubt Jackson would try Green at point at this time, but it’s a fun thought.

    I think we will see Jackson try to run the offense right at Duncan with motion plays, at least sometimes. At first glance that seems, well, kinda nuts against one of the best defenders in the known universe, but if Bogut can get the ball in motion near the rim, Duncan cannot stop him. No post-ups, but PNRs, lobs and backdoors, handoffs and putbacks. As a longtime Ws fan, it’s still a little hard to wrap my mind around the notion of offense from a C, but now we’ve seen it, a little. And it might still come as a surprise to any Warriors opponent, too. Denver sure didn’t see it coming.

    • green’s ball skills makes him, rather than landry, the best back up for lee in the rotation. when bogut was incapacitated, landry didn’t back up lee as much as play in the same combination favored so prominently by the preacher. with bogut playing, landry has rarely played with the center when lee was on the bench until lee’s hip flexor dictated otherwise. the team is playing coy about lee appearing vs. SA, but assuming his minutes are severely restricted, starting green is probably being weighed as an equal option to landry or jack. in game six vs. Den, each time the bench didn’t like the game dynamic and momentum, green entered, as often as not subbing for landry.

      lee provided the guards a safety outlet vs. trapping defenses, and green is best suited for the task out of the other 4/5/3′s. think they’re running any screen and rolls with green in the practices now ?

    • Duncan is not McGee. Bogut will have trouble going up against him, and against the Spurs, even getting the ball. Any attempt to post up Bogut at the outset will only stall the offense and probably lead to an early deficit. It’s why I say start Ezeli—he’ll be able to run the floor on offense and defense. He’s shown this. He can make a defensive rebound and get back on offense quickly, maybe even score off some pick and rolls or be in position for an offensive board if they’re pushing the tempo and getting early offense.

      Bogut with the second unit though? He might find some openings.

      • rgg, I understand what you’re saying, but a game strategy that relies on Ezeli to score is simply not realistic. And the Ws simply will not go into the game planning to spot the Spurs 18 pts. – to – none at any single position.

        • Not score, except on occasion. Rather be able to move up and down the court. This Ezeli can do. Neither Bogut nor Ezeli can post up and score.

          Ezeli did score 8 points in the 5th game, though, and hit 6 0f 9 free throws. They may not even be able to get the ball to Bogut, and he’s just not good unless he’s under the bucket.

          Bogut in spurts, however, in different lineups, especially when Duncan is out, might get a few more points.

          The Warriors have gotten off to slow starts and low scoring most games Bogut started.

  21. As much as the Spurs sub and spell players, I’d like to see Curry spend time with the second unit—Ezeli, Landry, Barnes, and whoever else—without, of course, having him play too many minutes. It adds his scoring and floor management to the equation, and may help keep the score even, or even add to a lead. This has worked before.

    The problem is who can spell Curry the other minutes. Here we see Jack’s limitations, much as we like him. But I say let Thompson and Jack give it a go. And Green? Intriguing, Hat.

  22. The first thing the wWarriirs have rodo is match SA on the offensive boards and turnovers. The later is harder than the first. With Bogut.D. Green hitting the offensive boards and if SA concentrates on getting back up court maybe we can do ok. Jackson could make things easier in the offensive boards if he would alternate Thompson and Barnes and have them go to the offensive glass. But he has no penchant for doing so. The wild card is D. Green. He can stay on the court for sigicamt period of time if he shots close to decent.

    The warriors can keep the tyrnover manageable if Jack plays more like an off-guard penetrating the paint and shooting floaters, jumpers, and taking it to the hoop and getting to the foul line. He needs to control his speed so he doesn’t turn it over off his dribble or make bad passes. He has to keep the number of passes to a minimum . He hasto keep his turnovers to a minimumI have more confidence in Curry not turning the ball over excessively. But Jack is one our key players offensively.

    I can see Pop cutting us up inside. It’s up to d. Green to help Bogut inside. No one else will. Ezeli is just to dumb to play much as Pop will dice him up and he’ll kill us with stupid turnovers. So, for the Bogut lovers this the time for him to contribute. So juice him up and put him out there. His ply-minus usually depends onCurru and ack performances,

    We need to run. If so Barnes souls contribute by driving to the hoop in the open cout . And if can hit his outside shot with his new strke. All the better. Warriors have the advantage on the perimeter but ackson might squander that advantage.
    While the Warriors have the advantage on the perimeter. SA has a mug advantage in Parker and ginobili tearing us up inside. We negate that by running. Running, running.

    Two out of the following four players have to shoot well:Barnes, landry Thimpson, and D. Green.and thre if either Curry or Jack is off. Bogut should limit himself to driving or dishing from the foul line and contesting OR’s, although he may have some success diwn low if Splitter guards him.
    The Warriors can win the FG percentage battle if the Warriors run don’t squander fast breaks. Bring in Nellie to show the cos he’s how the fast break is run. Jack has to have shod series in order to put the Waarriors to win this playoff.

  23. RJefferson says the W’s need to step it up, but the Grizzlies and Suns knocked out the Spurs out of the playoffs in recent years.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/warriors/ci_23173149/warriors-must-play-better-beat-san-antonio-spurs

  24. Interesting piece on defensive statistics. I more depend upon my eyes and playing and following the game. Players like Lee, Scola, Varejao (surprising to me), and Love get hammered near the end.

    http://www.sloansportsconference.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/The%20Dwight%20Effect%20A%20New%20Ensemble%20of%20Interior%20Defense%20Analytics%20for%20the%20NBA.pdf

  25. Goldsberry again! Actually, isn’t this the same piece we looked at a few months ago?

    http://feltbot.com/2013/03/10/the-team-that-joe-lacob-built-bucks-103-warriors-93/

    See 31-42, with Feltbot’s reply @42.

    Some casual thoughts from an anti numbers cruncher:

    1. The more teams focus on the higher scoring % in the green zone, under the bucket—and they are doing this—the more they select players who can not only defend the rim but also score there. And these players will become more expensive and suck up more salary cap.

    2. The more the game will become like what we see in the youtube @8.

    3. It will become a boring game—and often is one—and I will stop watching.

    4. But the more teams focus on defending under the bucket, the more scoring percentages will go down there, and we see this in playoffs, too.

    5. Thus outside shooting—good outside shooting—becomes all the more important. It’s what aggregate stats ignore. Goldsberry only shows overall 3 pt %. Very good 3 point shooters, like ours, change that chart entirely and the dynamics of the game.

    6. Good players like Lee, with his good outside scoring and overall good offense, will become unappreciated and undervalued. And if undervalued, I say pick them up at a bargain! They are the best shot at developing a competitive team.

    NBA basketball, like any sport, is a dynamic process. The more it locks into one way of thinking about the game, the more it gets diminishing returns from that way of thinking. Chicago, the defensive minded team, is suffering from lack of offense, and I’m not sure how long Rose or other penetrators can be effective or even last in such an environment.

    So we find ways to break the mold.

    Enter Nellieball.

    • Incidentally, this kind of thinking is exactly what motivated Lacob to pick up big defensive players—Amundson, Brown, McGuire, etc.—those limited, one way players the team keeps shedding.

      • I don’t think the W’s win the Denver Series playing Festus Ezeli and Andris Biedrins – Andrew Bogut was needed to advance. One can’t completely ignore defensive stats and expect to be moderately successful in today’s NBA.

        A player can’t be an offensive force on one end, and be a defensive matador on the other… If so, then this player should come OFF the bench and play against 2nd teamers… Antwan Jamison comes to mind. Good scorer, matador defender – off the bench. Depending on matchups, David Lee and Andrew Bogut – may need to come off the bench instead of start.

        Agreed – Amundson, Brown, and McGuire – suck to high heavens, but I always thought McGuire was a useful defensive stopper at end of quarter/end of game. Whether a team wants to hold a roster spot for a defensive sub/specialist – is up to the front office. It’s not like the W’s went with a defensive wing stopper at SF like Iggy.

  26. Good piece on Curry @Yahoo:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/curry-captivating-crowds-warriors-playoff-225526976–nba.html

    And buckaroo, you may be right. This is the FO’s strategy to pull out all the stops for this year’s playoffs:

    “If his stardom continues to rise, the Warriors hope Curry can also make a franchise that has remained remarkably popular in the Bay Area an appealing place for marquee free agents around the country.”

    Which I question.

    • the joy of attaining ‘marquee free agent’ status is the degree of individual choice at your pleasure. the players and agents know full well which teams either have lots of cap room, or the pockets to pay lux tax despite modest cap space. lacob isn’t close to qualifying in either criteria. they’d also much prefer being on a team that draws national and international media attention,which consistent winning brings, and the endorsement opportunities that go along. GS needs to gain a much higher visibility quotient, and since it isn’t in one of the big media cities, the direct means is going deep into the playoffs, season after season. they’re obviously far away from there too.

      if your team isn’t in LA, it doesn’t help either if you’re located west of the continental divide, partly because fewer of your games get watched by the national t.v. audience, and partly due to the cultural roots of many of the players. if bogut were a marquee free agent, for example, this area is ideal, and he welcomed leaving Mil and moving four hours closer to Oz. players like lillard, or b.roy when his knee functioned, also like having home games out west. harden is already starting to recruit good players to come to Hou — not a particularly salubrious or culturally riveting place for most of us, but well situated for lots of n.b.a. players (with no state income tax), broadcasts seen all over the country, and known by all to have a big acquisition budget.

      • It also means you might burn out two of your star players trying to get into the playoffs and get that playoff attention.

        • By overplaying them—meant to say.

        • d.lee went from seeking an extra medical eval to consider surgery to getting activated for the remainder of the post season (until re-injury of course). we’ll learn over the next thirteen months how earnest and able the lacobites really are with regard to acquiring another elite player — recent history w. bryant, james, howard, nowitski (or previously, with his supreme arrogance jordan), suggests that the solo act w. supporting cast won’t win the trophy. was the Det billups-wallace x2-prince ensemble an anomaly ? Den would like to think not, but can’t win a playoff round.

          re-signing both jack and bogut would probably eliminate their chance to add a star’s contract without another mega deal like trading lee. green’s improvement could make that practicable on the hoops level, but lee’s market value is altogether another issue. in sum, the proverbial ‘marquee free agent’ will have likelier destinations in the near future if the lacobites can’t muster a cohesive plan and serious sacrifices.

          • Moto – I think you are too focused on the short term here. My suggestion of a great rise in stature for the W’s is based upon 2014/15. After 2013/2014 when biefrins(9M), bogus(14M) and rj(11M) free up $34M in cap space – the W’s will have an absolute bonanza of cap space. Committed cap space for 2014/15 is Lee 15M, Curry 11M, Thompson 3M, Barnes 4M, Ezeli 1M, Green 1M. Salary tax hits at 70M. W’s have $35M allocated for 2014. This is one good feature of Bogut contract. It only has one more year left. So the W’s have a fantastic opportunity to build a team in 2014. The core is locked up through 2014. If the W’s can only replicate their success from this year to next year, I believe that many top free agents will see GS as an attractive option.

            Below is the list of top media markets. With the bay area in 6th place, we are much closer to the top than the bottom and this is good enough to support the rise in free agent marketplace…
            1) New York
            2) Los Angeles
            3) Chicago
            4) Philadelphia
            5) Dallas-Ft Worth
            6) San Francisco-Oak-San Jose
            7) Boston (Manchester)
            8.) Atlanta
            9) Washington, DC
            10) Houston
            11) Detroit
            12) Phoenix (Prescott)
            13) Tampa-St Pete (Sarasota)
            14) Seattle-Tacoma
            15) Minneapolis-St Paul
            16) Miami- Ft. Lauderdale
            17) Cleveland-Akron
            18) Denver
            19) Orlando-Daytona Beach
            20) Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto
            21) St Louis
            22) Portland, OR
            23) Pittsburgh
            24) Charlotte
            25) Indianapolis
            26) Baltimore
            27) Raleigh-Durham
            28) San Diego
            29) Nashville
            30) Hartford & New Haven

  27. match ups Popovich might delight us with : aron baynes on bogut. baynes is bogut’s ‘mate on the Oz national team (as is SA reserve guard p.mills), a rookie just two years younger than bogut with extended international experience. mcgrady on jack, thompson, or barnes. if the vet is up to the task he’d be an interesting option as a zone buster/perimeter defender. he ended up with s.jackson’s roster spot.

  28. It really shows how the center position has declined in recent years, if the best you face in the first two rounds of the playoffs are McGee and Splitter. I guess the same can be said for third round as well if the Warriors get that far. As there are no dominating centers in the west or in the east for that matter. There all just decent.

    • wrong, if Mem reaches the conference finals, it’s M.Gasol at center. they came extremely close to a first game road win today. d.fisher came up with a key defensive stop, and the free throws were decisive, 25-24 in attempts but OK converting six more.

      in the east, NY w. chandler vs. Ind w. hibbert, NY lost the home opener. Chi prevails in their first round because Noah, a franchise center by any measure in any conference, trumps Lopez (and thibodeau over carlessimo of course).

  29. I consider Duncan a PF, not a center, although he’ll probably be matched up against Bogut some of the time. I can’t see the Warriors sending Bogut out to stop his mid-range shot. Nor does Duncan have to pay much attention to Bogut’s low post game as he has none. I think Bogut will be able to drive from the foul-line and get to the offensive boards against Duncan.

  30. Moro: I used the words “dominant center.” I just don’t consider M. Gasol, Noah, Chandler , nor Hibbrrt. At least two don’t even have an offensive game.They may be considered ok by today’s low standard, but dominant, no way. It’s one of the reasons Miami can win going small.

    • True Frank – dominant centers are a dying breed, and we are in a small-ball era, but good defensive/rebounding centers are always a valuable commodity.

      For instance, C Tyson Chandler helped the Dallas Mavericks prevent a Miami Championship in their maiden season of the trifecta (L. James, Wade, Bosh). And Chandler has zero post game. Besides added mobility and a soft shooting touch from the free throw line, I expect similar things out of Bogut and Chandler.

  31. (27)buckaroo, thank you for the media market rankings. the world class hoops athlete doesn’t quite rank them that way, because their endorsement and non hoops income potential follows other variables after the top four or five markets, more so for african american athletes. they like frequent appearances on the national broadcasts and the deep playoff runs that bring it — you really think they’d rank Mia ten spots lower than the bay area(and below Det, Phx, Min), with its owner who’s demonstrated he’ll spend, and Fla.’s favorable state income tax ?

    your stripped-down roster for July 2014 leaves lots of room in the budget, but how much will be left once you’ve replaced your starting center and your top three reserves (jack, landry, rush) ? how high would the lacobites go for a premium free agent, and will the type of player they really need to improve significantly be on the market ? it really won’t come down to just the money they have available, but the roster they’ll put together, starting this July, and the talent evaluations and deals to identify the right talent and how much they can afford for it.

    • Moto – that is the beauty of the W’s situation… They can replace their starting center – if they want. Do you think we are or will continue to get $15M production per year from Bogut? We can go either way. Tyson Chandler is signed for $14M – if he was to make his contract decision in 2014 – I think the W’s have a much greater chance of signing him than they did last year… We are just emerging from 5 years of having your center Biedrins tied to an untradedable contract. Also with the more punitive cap tax imposed, I think salary figures will generally trend down. That is what happened to Jack/Landry last year…

      We also have one more year to see Ezeli develop and that could be a big factor… I think Ezeli is a nice piece but he has stone hands…. As he acclimates to the league and the team his comfort handling the ball could improve.

      The point of the “stripped down” roster is to show that everyone you are sure you want on your team is basically signed through 2014. Replacing the backups is not a scary proposition when you have the cap space and you have a strong, young, core team. Replacing Landry is not a scary proposition when you consider the point guards the W’s have discarded over the last 2 years… CJ Watson, Jeremy Linn, Nate, Jenkins…

      In one more year, all the W’s contracts are excellent and tradeable – so they have total flexibility….. just like someone on this blog was saying they liked so much about Denver…. Next year is a cap problem… but then the W’s are in great shape…

      • Having money does not necessarily translate into getting good players when that money is finally freed up. They may not be available, and what often happens is you pay too much for a big name who may be at the last years of his career, possibly battling injuries, and in the process you lock up too much salary in a player or two and leave your roster thin. Look at Dwight Howard in LA, and that may be the last word for Bogut. Or you might go after a big name who just doesn’t fit in well with the team. If Westbrook or Melo became available, do you give them max contracts?

        There just aren’t that many transcendent players, and we’re not going to get Durant or Lebron. Where in the league is the next Kevin Garnett, the trade Lacob claims credit for and uses as a model?

        What the Warriors do by waiting is put off development of a full roster and building team cohesion—and waste the best years of the current stars in the meantime. We got all star performances from Lee and Curry this year. This is what Lacob has done for the past three years, and next year looks to be a repeat.

        The draft isn’t turning out transcendent players lately, and the Warriors won’t be able to count on a lottery pick for some time anyway. I still like the Denver model, or San Antonio’s. Build for depth and flexibility, and invest in those unheralded and affordable players who might turn out well. If they don’t, you haven’t blown your cap or sacrificed depth, and can trade them or just let them go.

        I’m not sure Chris Paul has made sufficient difference for the Clippers, or would have for the Warriors. You still have to build a cohesive team around him. And this year he has been hampered by injuries.

        By looking only towards the future, Lacob may never get there.

        • The key is to define a team’s talents and build around them over time. I’m not at all convinced Bogut, even at his best, was the right player for the Warriors, and that’s not a criticism of Bogut. If you commit yourself to spending big money when it frees up, you might end up taking a player who just doesn’t fit in that well with what you have. The Warriors have suffered from split personalities the last years, the team Lacob thinks he wants versus the real team that we have when you turn Curry and the others loose, a team that did prove itself this year.

          • agreed, rgg. what Den and SA and OK have, recently joined by Mem, are personnel chiefs/head coaches with a cohesive vision of the strong hoops core they’re building, and what role players they need in the budget category (< 2m. per annum) who can best complement and contribute. this past season, the lacobites didn't add the role players that the smarter teams almost always identify and acquire — two way vets (landry is a bit closer to it than jack, but clearly is limited on d), or perimeter defenders who can shoot the 3. even though t.prince for example was a fairly expensive two way vet, Mem still preferred to convert gay (nearing his expiration date as an impact offensive player) into more tradable components who could play useful roles.

            the lacobites on the other hand keep acquiring on the basis of need and end up misidentifying who their core should have. d.lee — repeated missed draft picks addressing the 4 combined with the net results of trading harrington for crawfor() gave them a big hole at the 4. by default he's now one of their core, but so exposed on d at the 4 that it affects how they address another need at the 5. they even convinced themselves that d.jordan would be a viable solution as starting center. lacob/myers may well be headed down a similar path with bogut, but at least he can contribute to winning hoops far better than jordan, *if* he can run the court.

            they have yet to demonstrate to us that they can resist reacting to the whims of the market (oh, jordan is a restricted free agent, let's go) and understand the value of taking a 'hold' position while preserving flexibility. the owner probably wanted to demonstrate he was 'transforming the culture' and a hidden hoops savant who could quickly prove he belonged.

        • The way to build a mediocre team is to try to build a great one.*

          *Third time I’ve said this here, but I like it.

          • you’re basically describing the NY model, and if lacob imitates it he’s going nowhere because his cash reserves are nothing compared to theirs. the teams already have a significant similarity in their heavy dependence on three point scoring, and jack has been very capable of providing a cheap imitation of anthony when he dribbles the offense and ball movement into stasis for low percentage shots. anthony and NY’s smith are a little better than jack at converting bad shots, and they have chandler as a defensive anchor.

  32. @ 24

    Ouch! Lee’s graphic makes him look like a huge bleeding sore on D!

    You have to wonder if Lee’s absence makes the Ws a better defensive team.

    On the other hand, maybe Lee is simply the perfect Nellieball big. While he permits 50%+ shooting in the paint, he himself shoots .535 from all over AND was the #2 defensive rebounder in the league this year, behind only Dwight Howard (Lee was 5th in total rebounds in the regular this season).

    Compare that to a great defender like Ibaka, who was only 19th overall in rebounding (with 13.2 ppg this season vs Lee’s 18.5), and Lee’s overall performance doesn’t look bad. While Lee doesn’t stop many first shots, he does eliminate an unusually high number of 2nd chances, and he scores very, very efficiently.

    Lee’s game in a nutshell: can’t stop ‘em, outscore ‘em. Smells like Nellieball to me.

    http://www.teamrankings.com/nba/player-stat/rebounds-defensive

    • Yep – Lee’s grown his skills tremendously since he was drafted (developed a mid-range shot), but his defense was hidden better when he was a 6th man on the Knicks early in his career. Just wish Lee’d play better D. I’m liking Draymond Green’s game more and more (good defense) especially if he can space the floor with a consistent shot.

      RE: Ibaka – I’d rather have Ibaka in a heartbeat though… Especially when Lee struggles against him so much (length/athleticism).

      • Especially at Ibaka’s 2013 salary: $2,253,062

        There’s also a potential conflict coming up on the Ws next year, with Bogut. We can’t say the Bogut+Lee tandem has been an unqualified success so far. In the regular season the team played better with Lee alone, and so far they’ve done fine in the playoffs with Bogut alone.

        If Bogut continues to heal up and improve, how would that change the net worth of Lee’s potential contribution to the team?

        Could Lee become expendable? Ya gotta love the guy, but he’s making bigtime impact player kinda dough. The Ws need a few more good pieces, and their draft picture this year is going to be kinda bleak.

        If Bogut fully arrives, would Lee for, say, Iguodala, sorta make sense? If it didn’t hurt the team too much to lose Lee, wouldn’t Iggy improve production (and DEFENSE!!!!) over Jack at the 2 spot? In addition, then Thompson could run more at the 3, a big upgrade over Barnes.

        • trading for iguodala (who would help take the team up a notch, no doubt) would only be possible if he was willing to decline his exit option to depart Den, giving that team control over him, and then Den agreeing to the trade considerations and conditions. a variation of how d.lee ended up traded even though he was an unrestricted free agent — where he first re-signed w. NY to empower the trade, iguodala would be declining his free agency. who would Den’s clever personnel chief Ujiri want from the lacobites with an aggregate contract value around $15m. ? they’d want perimeter defense and three point shooting just to start discussions.

  33. The lone writer (something like 1 out of 120) who didn’t pick LeBron as MVP explains (somewhat convincingly) why Anthony was his MVP vote. He’s feeling the “Heat!” Lol!

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/05/05/yes-voted-carmelo-anthony-for-mvp-and-for-good-reason/Yo08ZgzGaxzlt9KF0JDfqM/story.html?s_campaign=sm_tw

    • The guy’s right, Anthony meant more to the Knicks than LeBron meant to the Heat. The Heat are competitive with or without James, the Knicks are losers without Anthony.

      But if “worth to the team” is the most meaningful measure in the MVP vote, then Curry beats Anthony by far.

      Unlike Anthony’s Knicks, the Warriors have been a lottery team for several years straight. Right now he’s leading a team with a busted center, two missing starters, two career backup players and a starting rookie. Curry led that mess through the first round of the playoffs, and he did it rather convincingly.

  34. I think the most awesome team so far in the postseason has been Chicago. They beat a fine Brooklyn team without Luol Deng, who led the league in playing time during the regular season. They have three Ws rejects on the roster, Nate Robinson, Bellinelli and Vlad Rad.

    They’re STARTING Robinson and Bellinelli! And winning! Awesome!

  35. One would expect if Denver took 77 shots as the Warriors did, and 31 as the Warrirors did, one would expect Bogut to get 8-10 defensive rebounds and we would all agree such was ok. But Denver in it’s last game didn’t take 75 shots, it took 98 shots, due to Denver took an extra 19 shots, as the result of obtaining a net 7 extra offensive rebounds than the Warriors did, and by committing 12 less turnovers than the Warriors. As a result, Denver missed 64 shots not 46 as the Warriors did. So one would expect Bogut to have gotten a lot more defensive rebounds given that Denver took 18 extra shots. So, he should have more than just 14 defensive rebounds.

    Clearly, Bogut as our defensive center for most of the game did not do his job of keeping Denver off the offensive glass. So Bogut contributed to Denver dominating on their offensive glass. To say that Denver missed many shots off of it’s extra possessions that Bogut contributed to, pointing out that he helped keeping down Denver’s shooting % I think misses the boat.

    I think years from now someone reviewing Feltbot’s archive we were just in our formative era of looking at and evaluating stats and did not put the stats in their proper context.

    For to point out that Bogut got 4 blocks and and not to point out that Denver got 2 of the those back, misleads the reader, as to there is no discussion of the effectiveness of those blocked shots.

    As for tonight’s game, assuming that the differential in OR’s and TO’s are no more that 4 in SA’s advantage, the Warriors2 will have to outshoot SA by 2-3% from the floor. assuming SA goes to the foul-line more, which is off-set by the Warriors making more three’s. Of course, that all changes if the differential is less.

    Does anyone think that will happen in SA’s home floor? Pop usually doesn’t have his team crash the offensive boards, but if he was smart he would watch the Warriors last game against Denver. The Chicago coach figureed that out a long time ago.

    • “…assuming that the differential in OR’s and TO’s are no more that 4 in SA’s advantage, [not likely] the Warriors2 will have to outshoot SA by 2-3% from the floor, [quite likely] assuming SA goes to the foul-line more, [very likely, assuming the usual home-biased officiating] which is off-set by the Warriors making more three’s [a near certainty, since the Ws average more 3 attempts than anyone still in the playoffs].

      Of course, that all changes if the differential is less. [so completely NOT likely it's almost not worth discussing. SA thrives on TOs, the Ws weakness.]

      Still, Frank, while it sounds like I’m pick-pick-picking here, you have isolated a critical factor for tonight’s game: turnovers. Statistically, that suggests that the Ws downplay Jack’s playmaking in favor of Curry’s.

    • Watching the game, it’s obvious many of Denver’s point blank shots were drives to the paint – contested by the W’s defense – Bogut or not – and the missed shots bounced right back to the shooter, who shot and missed again!

      @Frank – blocked shots are blocked shots. There isn’t a stat for blocked shots resulting in a change of possession. Just because a blocked shot doesn’t result in a change of possession doesn’t make it useless. No offensive player likes getting their shots blocked – and it’s a form of intimidation and frustration to get your shot blocked in the lane. Players also hear “footsteps” when a shot blocker is in the lane – and alters their shot accordingly which reduces their percentages (see Klay Thompson when finishing at the rim and missing gimme layups). Watch David Lee when he plays Ibaka – Lee often rushes his shots in the post even when Ibaka is nowhere near the play because he “feels” Ibaka’s defensive “presence.” And lastly, the hard (dirty) foul (or hard pick) – which is a form of intimidation that guys like Bogut are famous for – bloodied noses, etc. which is a form of intimidation. Players think twice before loligagging in the paint against Bogut – this is for sure!

      One thing’s certain, with David Lee playing center, many of those drives are finished at a high percentage. No defensive presence. No intimidation. No hard foul.

      Duncan vs. Bogut is different because Duncan can actually spot up shoot. Bogut looks clumsy away defending away from the paint and can be worthless if he can’t protect the rim. Ezeli looked like a rookie (that he is) when I watched Duncan toy with him during the season pump-faking Ezeli, and driving to the rim, and drawing fouls on Ezeli. The promising Ezeli looked overmatched in the spurts I watched him play Duncan – the Master teaching the Student.

  36. The Warriors need David Lee tonight. I say that because it would give us four playrs who have consistently gotten offensive rebounders-Bogut, D.Green, Landry, and Lee.

    • Frank,

      Agreed, the Ws could use a healthy David Lee. Unfortunately that’s not an option. The man is literally crippled.

      They’ll have to find another way.

  37. Does anyone know how the NBA determines its playoff schedule. It’s very curious to me that the Warriors finished the first round a day before OKC, Mem, Ind and NY, and yet are beginning the second round a day after.

    • Efby, no facts at hand here, but the broadcaster logistics involved would merit advanced planning. The Warriors are probably now on (what was presumed to be) Denver’s playoff schedule.

    • hat’s supposition is probably on the mark, it’s highly likely by prior arrangement with the über-networks that are contracted for the national broadcasts. NY takes priority for a Sunday broadcast, and OK has an established national popularity. the n.b.a. unlike the n.h.l. has fixed seeding matchups from the onset of the playoffs, so there is likely a structure already in place on which teams will get the Sunday broadcast priority, other factors like elimination and off days between rounds allowing.

    • “The new arena design now includes a fire station with berths for two fireboats, a deep-water berth for large ships, public access space on the eastern edge of the pier, a sustainable ‘Gabion Wall’ stormwater filtration system and public views that allow visitors to see inside the Golden State Warriors practice facility and into the arena during Warriors games. Additionally, the Warriors have removed nearly 750 seats and several luxury suites to allow fans to view the Bay Bridge from their seats inside the arena during games. The exterior roof of the arena will also feature small LEDs similar to the current Bay Lights art installation that can project images, patterns or shapes.”

      Phone home, Joe.

      • Hmm. A disinterested person might question whether proposing an even more costly design, with lower revenue potential, means Lacob’s assessment of the odds of it happening are lower now than when it was initially announced.

        If approval of the SF arena was a slam dunk, wouldn’t the design simply be Oracle Arena with box seats in place of the entire upper deck?

      • I’m surprised they didn’t add a petting zoo.

        It’s more than obvious that Lacob is doing everything he can to dazzle and at the same time accommodate San Francisco (the dock, the fire patrol). SF is not a slut who will be taken in by Zircon. The project also sounds hideously expensive. Another leap into transcendence—and the ionosphere.

    • Very interesting.

    • beware of swallowing strauss’ stuff uncritically. he’s somewhat like a stats nerd version of ann killion — a weathervane, indicator of the zeitgeist, good grasp of the obvious and superficial. we already knew how successful barnes was as a 4 vs. Den and how Den’s coach and/or roster could not muster counter-adjustments. what’s the probability that SA will have the same shortcoming ?

      we already knew that the team could probably benefit from a .15-.20 reduction in lee’s minutes. what strauss omitted was their success w. lee playing center when bogut was disabled. he also needed to address assisted three point shots vs. unassisted (curry the sole reliable practitioner), how lee is adept with assists to the perimeter, and how their lack of a third three point source when lee is playing comes in no small part because jack, playing a position well suited for the task, contributes minimally. lee has the smarts and skills on offense to adapt to playing center with a four able to shoot the three, a role green could provide if he continues his current development.

      strauss also didn’t mention how lee’s over-exposure at the MIT sloan convention might make him very difficult to deal. he chose to make his case that lee isn’t irreplaceable, but advocated nothing, hinted that there’s a problem, but declined to outline solutions.

  38. Seriously, though, I don’t think the Ws could even consider trading Lee without gaining more confidence in Bogut than they’re likely to get through the playoffs and offseason.

    • I’m not saying trade David Lee – he’s Lacob’s favorite and a favorite of many of us. But as many posters here have stated – Lee – Bogut frontcourt seems to bottle up the space offensively. Lee’s absence confirmed it when PFs Barnes/Green hit threes with regularity – the space in the paint seemed to open up.

      Bogut and Lee pairing – maybe not so beneficial – so split them up more. Perhaps Bogut or Lee need to come off the bench next season. Lee likely needs to play Center where he’s a better mismatch. Something like this – seems to me to be a coaching issue.

      • Yes – And Bogut – who knows how he recovers next year? Bogut might not even make it back healthy.

        Either way – Green (PF) and Ezeli (C) – their strong play and improvement will warrant more minutes next season anyways. No way Lee should get 40+ minutes next season though.

        • PB, you nailed it, no one can know how Bogut will top out. And Lee has now finished two seasons in a row injured, presumably due, at least to some degree, to playing excessive minutes.

          Since he can’t run for awhile, maybe this is the offseason Lee finally takes strength training seriously.

          http://www.muscleprodigy.com/jeremy-lin-workout-arcl-2640.html

          It entirely re-made Jeremy Lin. There’s no reason it couldn’t do the same for Lee. Then maybe he won’t have to be a liability on D, and Bogut could play spot minutes.

    • Gentlemen, remember how we got here:

      http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players/3956/gamelog;_ylt=AgIJj55VlBgI3s9ms1MliukyPaB4

      David Lee has never played with a mobile, versatile, experienced center or, when playing center, a sizable 4 with same.

  39. I hope I’m way wrong, but I’ll say Spurs in 5 or 6 games!

    The Spurs have always been a team with Tim Duncan (in the best ever discussion), shoots well from the perimeter, defends well, that executes well (few mistakes), with a coach that’s thinking playoff strategy, potential matchups, rest, and rotations in January!

    This W’s team had a favorable matchup with Denver – their faux homecourt in-season record and sub-.500 road record, poor perimeter shooting, need to score in the paint, and run.

    Next season will be different though… Confidence and better players will put the W’s over the top next year.

  40. PeteyBrian: if Bogut can help hold SA to shooting less than 45 percent shooting, win or lose, I’ll say that Bogut was the man. Actually I think that SA will shoot at least 47 percent, and perhaps much more.

    • Bogut changes the game on defense when he’s somewhat mobile. The Spurs did shoot less than 44 percent (Spurs killed it on 3′s and FTs, and WAY less on twos in or near the paint) – and if Bogut or Ezeli had been allowed to play more in the 3rd and 4th quarters, the game never would have went to overtime.

  41. Jefferson was -14 in 2:43.

    • hope the preacher gives due thanks to his god for giving him the confidence to blow that fourth quarter, in part by failing to protect thompson from fouling out, in part by passivity during the 15-0 SA come back, and by inserting jefferson. missed free throws by bogut, landry, jefferson did not help. bogut’s right arm looks so stiff on his foul shots he needs to take up the underhand technique.

      • Meanwhile Nate closes out a win against Miami.

        You don’t send a team into the playoffs shorthanded.

        • robinson needed ten stitches in his mouth at half time in Mia after a scrum for a loose ball. he and belinelli combined are paid < $4m. ; the Brk backcourt, $37m, Mia's $20m.

          bargain free agent bazemore did contribute what was nearly the winning play, collaborating with curry, when the preacher finally gave him an opportunity in desperation. bazemore used earlier could have helped keep thompson and green in the game with his perimeter defense.

  42. It seemed to me that Jackson told the team during that crucial time – out to pack it in thus leaving Mr. G . All alone. After the shot, he was mortified for he knew what he had done. He wouldn’t even talk to the team, and let Malone call the last play.

    I said Jack is key tf the Warriors are to winthis series, but his hooting 5 – 15 was simple terrible.Landry was an idiot committing 3 turnovers in 14 minutes of play. Thompson played on both sides of the ball, bit nullified a good performance by stonily fouling out. Jackson is killing both Curry and insuring his production will decline by not resting him . He’s got to stop commuting 6 turnovers. We got killed AT&T the foul and didn’t win the three point battle by Jackson’s refusal to guard the perimeter.

    What we learned from this game is that we have a much better team, and offensive and defensive schemes but should go for naught if we don’t stop giving SA 9 additional possessions via turnovers and oR’s.To shoot 52percent to SA’s 43 percent, is hard to accept. We saw some great basketball plays go for naught. We had S on theirs and blew it.

    • What a game! The W’s obviously going through some growing pains but they are young and supposed to make mistakes. Fortunately for us, this team is going to be very good for a long time. All these young players signed for the long run at affordable prices.

      @Frank – notice the rebounding advantage went away in the 2nd half when Bogut and Ezeli got little run? Up by 18 in the 4th and the W’s stayed small at C and got taken to the rim with no shot-blocker…

      Curry and Jack – are small SGs with excellent ball skills. The W’s could use a real PG to close out the game.

      • a game that should have been exhilarating ended up enervating. the preacher liked to joke that he could only be blamed for two years of failure in SA out of the sixteen, but he can’t shake his part in extending the streak for another game.

  43. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know when up by 18 make sure you defend the three ball. Will someone explain that to the preacher.

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