Spurs Escape: Spurs 129 Warriors 127 — Game 1

I’m with Mark Jackson. Regardless of the result, I liked what I saw in this game. Really liked what I saw. I know Duncan was deathly ill, but the Spurs looked really old and slow. Tony Parker is at about 80% — he’s slower than normal, and his deep shot isn’t falling. Ginobili has been at about 70% all season, when he’s been playing at all — his shooting has all but deserted him (funny thing to say after he just daggered us), and his driving and finishing ability are hugely diminished.  

Those 8-1 odds a bet on the Warriors is getting look a lot juicier now than they did before this game, don’t they? This game reminds me of the close loss the Warriors suffered in Game 1 against the Nuggets, when you sensed the Nuggets might have their hands full.

It’s obvious now that the Spurs have their hands full as well. Splitter’s still out, and might not even be effective when he returns. Duncan might not be at full strength for Game 2. Bogut is playing like a monster. Parker and Ginobili won’t get any healthier. Thompson looks far more comfortable against Leonard and Green than he did against Iggy. Barnes and Green are unconscious, and a nightmare matchup for Bonner and the Spurs in general. And Stephen Curry is the best player in the series, and completely unguardable.

For three and two-thirds quarters, the Warriors looked like the better team, on the Spurs home floor. The younger, fresher, more confident, better defensive and and better shooting team.

Hmmm.

But of course, that won’t be the story line of this game. So let’s start with that part of the game that will generate all the talk:

The Fourth Quarter Meltdown: After the game, Ginobili was asked how the Spurs managed to come back to tie, when they were down 16 with only 4:30 left to play. He answered that he wasn’t sure, he’d have to go back and look at the tape. And that’s exactly how I felt after the game. Unlike after the Denver game, I had no idea how the Warriors fourth quarter meltdown happened. So I went back and checked the tape. Here’s my break down:

At 4:31, with the score 104-88, Tim Duncan leaves for the locker room to puke his guts out. The Spurs go with a lineup of Diaw C, Leonard PF, Ginobili, Neal, Parker. The Warriors answer with Green C, Barnes 4, Klay Thompson, Jack and Curry. So both teams are extraordinarily small.

  • Draymond Green misses a tough up and under at the basket.
  • Thompson fouls out forcing Parker baseline. Parker hits both FT. 104 – 90. (Jefferson in for Thompson.)
  • Jack iso v Parker, misses mid-range jumper.
  • 3:30 Spurs start running high picks for Parker, who beats Barnes for a layup. 104-92.
  • TO: Curry penetrates and dishes, but is called for a pass and crash. I’m pretty sure this was a flop, and a terrible call. Curry was under control, and barely touched Neal.
  • 3:06 Another pick, another Parker layup around Green. 104-94.
  • TO: Jack throws away an attempt to hit Curry on a curl. Leonard converts layup. 104-96.
  • Jack iso on Diaw, forces a floater and gets it blocked.
  • Green steals, Jefferson fouled on fastbreak layup. Misses both FT.
  • 1:41 Leonard hits a three. 104-99.
  • High pick for Curry leaves him iso’d v Diaw, has his three blocked.
  • 1:18 Parker layup. 104-101. Landry in for Jefferson.
  • Landry post-up. Misses midrange jumper, and fouls on the rebound.
  • 0:59 Diaw hits both FT. 104-103.
  • Curry misses step back over Leonard. Warriors rebound.
  • 0:29 Jack isos against Parker, hits midrange jumper. 106-103.
  • Bazemore in for Landry.
  • 0:22 Danny Green hits an open three. Tied at 106.
  • On the final possession of the fourth quarter, Curry isos v Leonard at the top of the key. He beats him off the dribble, and drives the lane. Diaw leaves Green in the corner to block Curry’s path. Curry picks up his dribble, sees Bazemore wide open on the wing, but looks him off and gets trapped. He winds up hoisting a brick as time expires.

So what happened?

This Game v. Denver Game 6: The first thing to note is that this meltdown didn’t resemble the one against Denver at all. Against Denver, the Warriors got into a bit of a panic, and turned the ball over 10 times in the fourth quarter. By contrast, the Warriors only turned the ball over twice in the final 4:30 of this game, and one of those was the result of an undeserved whistle.

What happened in this game is that the Warriors just stopped hitting shots. And they were completely unable to defend the Spurs ultra-small unit.

No Bogut: I’m certain that many Warriors fans will be incensed at Mark Jackson for sitting Bogut after Duncan went out, and will see this collapse as a repudiation of small-ball. I think that’s incorrect.

First of all, since the Spurs played smallball throughout the end of the quarter, and in both overtimes, you can’t exactly say that smallball lost the game, can you?

Secondly, the smallball Spurs lineup put Bogut at a distinct disadvantage, as was strongly evidenced in the two overtimes. He was unable to guard Diaw out on the floor for one thing, leading to Diaw hitting an open three and a 15-footer. And he was unable to make Diaw pay on the offensive end. The Warriors tried posting him up once, but he was unable to establish deep position, and wound up passing the ball out.

But more importantly, Bogut got diced up by the Tony Parker pick and roll, particularly in the second overtime. He was unable to get to Parker’s ten-footers, and even though Parker was cold from 18 feet, he doesn’t miss from 10.

It’s quite possible that Jackson put his best defensive lineup for the situation on the floor.

Third: Hack-A-Bogut. As the end of the first half demonstrated, Popovich won’t let Bogut close games without forcing him to the line. And if Jackson had left Bogut out there, Hack-a-Bogut would have allowed Popovich to stop the clock and extend the game.

Stephen Curry’s 53 minutes: I’m certain as well that Jackson will be killed by Warriors fans for never getting Curry a rest. Barkley stated post-game that he thought Curry clearly tired down the stretch, pointing out that he went something like 0-8 on jumpers after the third quarter.

Guess what? I don’t blame Jackson for this either. Jackson smelled blood in the water in this game. No Splitter, Duncan sick, and Curry and the Warriors clicking on all cylinders. The Warriors had a fantastic opportunity to steal a game, and Jackson gambled that he could ride his superstar for four quarters. There was no way he could foresee that the game would go to double overtime.

And I don’t necessarily buy the theory that Curry started missing jumpers late in regulation as a result of tiring. The Spurs had a hand in it too, didn’t they? Pop started guarding him with Leonard, his toughest, longest defender. Diaw came in for Duncan, and was able to extend to the three point line.

And Curry wound up 6-14 from three, for 43%. It’s not the 50%+ of the Denver series, but seriously, can we expect better from a rested player? If he makes 3 or 4 in a row, can’t he also miss 3 or 4 in a row? Does it signify when he missed them?

And finally, I think Curry guided the squad beautifully in the fourth quarter. He was drawing doubles by then, and his drives to beat the hedges, and ability to find and hit open teammates was nothing short of spectacular.

I find nothing to fault Jackson for in this game. In fact, it was one of the best coached games I’ve ever seen. He rolled the dice, and took a very savvy gamble. Even good gambles can come up snake eyes.

So What Happened?: Paradoxically, when Duncan went out the Spurs’ defense improved.  He was really a step slow on rotations in this game, allowing the Warriors to beat him several times with floaters. His shot-blocking was MIA.

But when he left the floor, the Spurs got smaller and quicker, and were able to switch all screens effectively. Diaw did a terrific job making things tough for both Curry and Jack in the pick and roll.

Secondly, the Warriors missed open shots and those two Jefferson free throws. Quite obviously, just one more point would have held the Spurs off.

But third, and most concerning going forward, Tony Parker simply took over the game, and the Warriors appeared powerless to stop it. The Warriors struggled badly trying to contain Parker’s pick and roll, particularly after Klay Thompson fouled out.

PLAYERS AND MATCHUPS:

Bogut: As poor as he looked late in the game trying to match up with the Spurs’ smalls, Bogut looked that great defending Tim Duncan in the first half and third quarter. Clogged the lane and rebounded as well as the last game. And looked even better on offense. Hit a couple of running floaters — first time all season? Distributed beautifully, including once in a two man game with Curry in the lane. And sprints out of the lane to set high picks.

Bogut doesn’t look at all like the player he was at any point in the regular season. We know that he’s giving it his all now, and that he was holding back a bit in the regular season — he said as much in interviews before the Denver series. And we know he’s getting help from the needle. But regardless of where it’s coming from, he’s a genuinely great player at the moment. If he can sustain it during the course of the series, the Spurs will have their hands full.

Curry: Barkley said post-game that Curry “has been the best player in the world in these playoffs.” I would have to agree.

When I saw how Pop was guarding him in the first half, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I told the Thaiblonde, even as he opened the game 1 for 5, just watch, he’s going to have a huge game. He simply had to, getting single covered as he was.

Then came his patented third quarter explosion. First he was singled by Parker. Then Danny Green took over. Finally, at 9:22 3rd Q, Pop capitulated and put Kawhi Leonard on him. But still the Spurs were hedging softly, and Curry killed them on penetration.

The first blitz didn’t come until 8:33 of the quarter, but Curry found Draymond for a three.

Thompson: Unlike Curry, just an everyday average all-star. Although he didn’t hit a three, he had a heck of floor game. Take a look at the box score, ending with that +14.

He’s got an incredibly tough assignment guarding Parker and will need to find a way to keep himself on the floor.

But the Spurs have their hands full guarding him as well. When you take away his jumper, he will punish you on the drive. And he proved to Pop that he can’t hide Parker on him.

I don’t hear many complaints about his finishing ability lately.

Barnes and Green: Yes, they’re being left wide open, but do these rookies ever miss? On a team with Curry, Jack and Thompson, they’re on a pretty spectacular shooting run of their own.

The Warriors have simplified Barnes’ offensive game in the playoffs. We’re not seeing any more of those mid-post isos that he’s not ready for. It’s catch and shoot threes, drives when he has a mismatch, and rim runs.

Both of their offensive games have been enormously aided by the switch to smallball. When the Warriors spread the floor, and Curry and Jack draw defenders, it is simply impossible to keep a man on them. Stretch-fours, yes indeed, what a concept.

Both had some struggles on defense in this game, trying to guard much smaller players on switches. But Green had a nice block of Parker, and forced a Ginobili miss to end the first overtime. And both were extremely solid in the painted area. This was one of Barnes’ better defensive performances of the season, particularly when matched on Leonard. He really stepped up his defensive intensity, and pulled down an impressive 12 boards.

Ezeli and Landry: Ezeli got the start at power forward, which was interesting. The defense that resulted was predictably great, but I was totally amazed that the Warriors offense could function at all with this lineup, let alone operate with the total efficiency they showed in this game.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

It was also interesting that Draymond Green was the first power forward off the bench. I absolutely love that move. Green and Barnes can both guard Bonner at the three point line, and give him problems on the offensive end. And they’re far more able to switch and cover the Spurs smalls.

I’m guessing Landry will be playing mostly smallball center, at least until Splitter and Duncan return to health.

THE OVER: Anyone follow me betting over 201? The total in regulation was 212.

Seemed like a gift to me. Both of these teams are going to be playing a lot of Nellieball, even when Splitter returns. Both are pushing the tempo. And I don’t think either of these two teams can guard each other.

If this line doesn’t move, neither will I.

65 Responses to Spurs Escape: Spurs 129 Warriors 127 — Game 1

  1. note for nate robinson fans — the video clip is available in the usual places of how james’ full weight slammed robinson’s head into the floor as both went after a loose ball. could have ended worse than the ten stitches in the mouth during half time, and of course robinson’s second half will go into Chi playoff lore. he’s already come within a point of his supreme arrogance jordan’s single quarter scoring record, when he led the team to a critical win in the first round.

  2. The Warriors missed David Lee at the end of this game at small ball center. Rather than Jack isos on a day he’s not hitting the jumper, Lee would have found ways to score.

    • +1 Exactly right.

      I am watching all of this pick and roll with great sadness. There is simply no way to blitz Curry with Lee at center and Barnes/Green at PF. It would be suicide.

  3. Thanks FB!
    Great game! This W’s team is being underestimated by me – even the most optimistic fan and I’m loving every minute of it!

    Since when does a small ball lineup need no shot-blocking rim protector/rebounder??? Up 18 points in the 4th with minutes to play in the game, I go with a shot-blocking rim protector/rebounder at Center. I would have put Bogut or Ezeli in… The Spurs were completely and utterly outrebounded by the big men PRIOR to our really small ball lineup – then the Spurs caught up. With our rim protectors/rebounders out of the game, all the Spurs slashing to the rim and offensive rebounds occurred. This Spurs team sure didn’t have to perimeter shoot their way back into the game… They got shots at the rim.

    Boris Diaw? Are people really worried about Boris Diaw’s shooting??? I’d rather Bogut and Ezeli – let Diaw beat them with perimeter jumpshots. And take away Leonard and Parker easy layups at the rim and maintain a rebounding advantage. Forget about lost offense – the W’s up 18? Defend the paint. And 4 offensive players to space the floor (say, Jack, Curry, Thompson, Barnes + a shot-blocker?)? Forgetaboutit – game over.

    Up 18, if the Hack a Bogut was a concern with him splitting free throws (there’s fear of the Spurs being in the penalty?), then put in Ezeli who shoots free throws just fine. The Spurs would be in the penalty early in the 4th and our 85-90% free throwers in the game drawing fouls? Forgetaboutit – game over.

    Sure, a HUGEMONGOUS blown opportunity – but as Mark Jackson said, “We’re playing with house money!” We W’s fans are going to be spoiled rotten in our future, just as the Spurs fans have been in the Tim Duncan era!

    • Ezeli may have been the best option defensively, but he’s been a disaster at the other end at the close of games. Not sure Jackson trusts him enough.

      Also, at 53% FT, I’m pretty sure we would have seen Hack-a-Festus. Would have played into Pop’s hands.

  4. Please refer to Harrison Barnes as “The Brand.” A rookie averaging just under 20 points per game in the PLAYOFFS? Ask someone old enough to have watched Jamal Wilkes’ rookie season because I was just a kid then! Barnes has been that good!

    The Brand reminded me of that other ice cold shooter who always seemed to be calm in the heat of the moment… Yes, I had Robert Horry flashbacks with Harrison’s game. Horry was never a team’s top option or two or three – but he just sat there on offense spreading the floor – then canned the necessary shots and garnered that important rebound. Nothing seems to rattle this kid – emotion-less almost. And his defense – a main concern – is getting better by the game. Surprising no steals, block shots, or assists playing 53 minutes so there’s room for improvement!!!

    • He’s found his role in the post-season. And as Kenny Smith noted last night, good teams make role players look good. Barnes is benefiting enormously, not just from never having to create his own offense, but from being virtually unguarded.

      Robert Horry was probably the best defensive stretch-four in basketball history. An absolute stopper at three, highly competitive at four. It’s a real “stretch” to compare Barnes to him at this point.

      • when trade banter comes up over the summer, the other teams will ask about thompson, barnes, green. from this game, it seemed to me that thompson and green contributed more essential, winning plays and would be tougher to replace than barnes. (not for the team promos or modeling souvenir outfits though). green was actually the first player off the bench last night, passing jack and landry in the rotation because of the unusual starting five. ginobili at his present .75 speed had problems eluding green, his watchdog most of the evening.

        barnes’ advocates always point up his age. hard to say if that is the reason for one big difference between him and the other two wing/forwards — they are constantly focused, dynamic, engaged on both ends while he at times lapses into a passive, static state. marcus thompson also agrees with me that ball handling is one skill that generally improves little in players past school age, and not just his dribbling but his hands seem average to me.

  5. Great, Feltbot, and I needed a shot today.

    @1 There was simply no reason not to keep Nate Robinson. He could have been kept with a minimum contract, 860k at Chicago. Build for depth and options and plan for the worst. He could have added possibilities to the team for next to nothing.

    They needed an emergency 3rd. point guard, which they don’t have, and they knew exactly what they had in him from his performance last year. He can shoot from all parts of the court, including the 3. He would have been the best penetrator on the team. He can handle the ball and be a pest on defense. He can run a team. He has experience. In spurts, on a given day, he can be a difference maker. And they saw all of that.

    He could have spelled Curry all season, and stepped in when he went down. Last night, 2nd. half, you put in him to give Curry a blow and see how he does. If well, he could stay several minutes. He could have spelled Thompson on Parker and saved his fouls. And when they’re trying to hold the lead 4th. Q, absolutely get him on the floor to give Curry another rest. On the ball or off, he could have penetrated at the very least and gotten free throws or opened something else up. Playing with Curry, they could have found more options.

    You don’t go into the playoffs shorthanded.

    • +1 The Warriors really felt the lack of another guard last night, whether Nate Robinson, Brandon Rush, or a playable replacement. Green and Barnes struggle defensively when matched against smaller players.

      I pointed out the Warriors lack of depth at guard midseason, but Lacob did nothing to reinforce the roster coming into the playoffs.

    • can only guess, but one would think if the preacher really liked robinson they’d have re-signed him last summer. probably still thought, mistakenly optimistic, that jenkins could improve sufficiently. they might be a little too biased for certain kinds of personalities or bible thumpers in the organization ; robinson one of the real free individuals in the association but gets along fine with the coach he has now, whom he calls a drill sargeant and by all accounts is one of the most demanding of the elite.

      • I’d never considered the idea that Nate made Jackson uncomfortable, but it makes a lot of sense.

      • warriorsablaze

        Certainly possibly, but I think it had more to do with the nature of his play…. of the feast or famine style. Jack was brought on with the intention of bringing a steady hand… who knew he would prove to also be a bi-polar player.

        I wouldn’t have minded keeping Nate, but I also don’t think we necessarily get Chicago Nate. As Feltbot says, system matters. He just wasn’t great for us last year.

        • whether it was robinson’s personality or style of play that jackson probably didn’t feel was a ‘fit’ here, the two are related anyway. the preacher is clearly comfortable with jack’s very deliberate way, not unlike how he played.

  6. rushianikchyd

    “But third, and most concerning going forward, Tony Parker simply took over the game, and the Warriors appeared powerless to stop it.”

    Uhhh…this pathetic allegiance to small ball is getting tiresome. Small ball works well in a number of situations, it’s what won the Spurs the game, and it’s extremely fun to watch. But…the Warriors had been winning all game with their bigs clogging the lane so that Tony Parker was prevented from doing what you characterize (far too generally) as “taking over the game”. Parker never got his shot going, he was forced to penetrate and the Warriors were unable to stop him because he’s faster than anyone in yellow and blue. The only deterrent the W’s can provide is a big ugly center forcing him into circus shots once he gets in the lane!

    A few columns ago you said you said something to the effect of “play with what got you ahead”. MJax didn’t do that, opting instead to go small against a team that can out-Nellieball the Warriors any day of the week (unless Curry and Klay are shooting lights-out).

    • What got them ahead was Bogut against Duncan, no? That was no longer an option when Duncan left the game.

      And as mentioned, Bogut didn’t fare well against the smallball Spurs in OT.

      This could be debated endlessly, but Mark Jackson’s choice wasn’t obviously wrong.

      • rushianikchyd

        Every preventable basket in the 18-2 4th quarter run was Tony Parker dawdling through the lane to the hoop. If it’s that easy going forward, the Warriors don’t have a chance, because Parker can do that all day long. It’s hard to think that a big guy lurking around the hoop wouldn’t be a deterrent to Parker’s slashing.

        It also seemed like the Warrior’s offense was diminished because Curry wasn’t getting any help in the high screen department (which is Bogut’s wheelhouse, Ezeli’s too).

    • It would be very easy to make the argument that “small ball” would have worked fine if they had their small ball players, most notably Thompson during that stretch—or an adequate sub. Look at the game flow @9 and the lead when Thompson goes out early 4th. Q. They were half a player short.

  7. Gameflow:

    http://popcornmachine.net/cgi-bin/gameflow.cgi?date=20130506&game=GSWSAS

    Study the decline 2nd. half. Just one more competent player in place of Jefferson makes a difference. Look at his 3 minutes.

    • Not really fair to Jefferson. The Warriors need another guard against the Spurs. They have three stretch-fours (Barnes, Green, Jefferson), but not a single player behind Curry and Jack.

      • He was the only experienced player they had left with some athleticism. He just had to make his friggin’ free throws.

        • Jefferson didn’t lose the game. One more made shot from anyone would have won it. It must be very difficult to come off the bench and go from 0-100 immediately.

          My pet peeve is blown layups and dunks, but pros do miss those somehow too.

          • He sure didn’t step up like a vet. Look at the game flow. And the crowd definitely booed him when he shot those free throws.

  8. The loss was a combination of everything going wrong-Thompson fouling out, a 19-2 close, Jefferson not making his foul shots. Ouch! But there was no excuse for Jackson leaving Ginobli alone with 3 seconds to go. This game will be remembered for sometime. This loss seems much different than our first loss against Denver.

    A team that outshoots it’s opponent 52% to 43% should be winning by 14 points, all other things being equal. But, things aren’t equal because with the loss of Lee we have troubles on the offensive board, we dion’t get to the foul line because we don’t have many players who have the ability to do so. This problem has existed since the loss of Maggs, and hasn’t been addressed. and we have players who make too many turnovers. I think this problem is both who our roster consists of and coaching.

    Are we going to continue shoot the light out the rest of the series? Are we ever going to make less turnovers or get to the foul line more than SA. I think not. So, we will continue to shoot the lights out and just try to weather the storm we create for ourselves via turnovers and not getting to the foul-line, or fouling and letting SA get there too much..

    We still lost even though our offensive and defensive schemes were superior, and we have better shooters.

    There are still huge structural problems for the Warriors We still need a third point guard, and an additional mobile inside defender.

    I’m really pleased with Barnes play. He finally has developed a shooting stroke he has thrived since we increased the tempo of play.I don’t think you should Felty a hard time for when a coach hampers a player’s development by have him play in a system not suited to his skills, talent is hidden and not allowed to flourish.

  9. Hmm. Hat mentions GigantoBall on Feltbot, and it shows up for the first time ever in the next game. Hold your applause, no thanks necessary, just doing my thing.

    It’s fun to see how Jackson uses Green. At various times last night he played Green at C, PF, and “designated Manu stopper,” sort of like me inventing ways to use a brand new Swiss Army knife.

    I wonder if Jackson will take up my other crazy idea, trying Green at point a little. He has good instincts and court vision, and if he’s guarded by a big he might not turn over the ball even as much as Jack does. Green would have to be a sup-par PG, but:
    a) Offensive team play screeches to a halt when Jack pounds his way toward the rim,
    b) The Ws don’t have another backup guard they entirely trust (sorry Kent B),
    c) Last night we saw the effect of running Curry and Jack for far too many minutes. Thompson too needs a breather now and again. His fouls pile up when he gets tired. Jackson needs to find a way to get them all some breaks. He doesn’t have another guard available to do it. What the hey.

  10. Jackson came up with an revealing day-after summary, that he has a young team that panicked. the situation worsened when two of those young players, thompson and green, fouled out and the vet, jack, had more control of the offense. ginobili’s final open three came because jack and barnes didn’t communicate, something that wouldn’t happen if green was on ginobili. it was actually another young player, bazemore, who responded the quickest and tried to cover. bazemore, like curry, green, thompson, was a leader on his college team and if the preacher had shown just a little more confidence in the past month, could have given thompson some relief guarding parker and save just one or two of those fouls. vets might understand how to adjust when they play with four or five fouls a little better, but that aspect of inexperience isn’t a matter of ‘panicking.’

  11. G Papa had an interesting description of Jack down the stretch as a guard who “pounded the ball into the ground” (dribbling) while trying to figure out what to do (and doing nothing on the isos), then tried to force the issue at the last moment.

    Jack cannot drive the offense down the stretch with the game on the line. Hell, Bazemore might be a better option.

  12. thewarriorfaithful

    I understand everyone is blaming Jack (especially KNBR) and he does/has gave me palm-to-the-face moments plenty during this season. But he isn’t the only one to blame.

    Coach Jackson seemed to have stuck with his small ball lineup brought over from the Nuggets series over to round 2. This series is a completely new ballgame. Mark Jackson is still a rookie coach in his first playoffs and I’m expected to see a change of game plan in Game 2.

    The Fitz and Brooks show keeps mentioning how Bogut or Ezeli needed to be in when Klay fouled out. I would go with Ezeli because Bogut looked a step slow especially during overtime. On that pick and roll, Parker was able to stop and pop with Bogut a few feet in front of him. Easy bucket. Ezeli would have contained the PnR much better than Bogut and contested all those easy layup lines. I understand that Ezeli has no hands and tends to give the ball right back but Jackson needs to trust this quicker and mobile rookie center just like how he trusts Barnes and Green down in crunch time.

    I can’t express my disgust at some of those calls made especially on Klay and Draymond. Tony Parker flailing his arms and crying right in front of the ref definitely earned him a call. Draymond’s offensive rebound called for a foul in overtime? I personally didn’t see that as a foul and neither did the TNT commentators. That neat little stat of Warriors 0-7 with Tony Brother’s reffing their games can’t be taken as mere coincidence.

    NBA fans love Steph. Stern loves money. Prolonging this series = more money for the NBA commish. We’ll see how GSW bounces back from this game that I really thought they could steal. I’m still sticking with my prediction though. GSW on top in 6 games.

    • thewarriorfaithful

      I almost forgot to include my wild idea.

      If Jack is such a liability on defense and just dribbles the ball around on the offensive end till the shot clock expires and chucks up a shot, why not give Bazemore some playing time down the stretch? Put Jack on the bench and the ball handling will be in Steph’s hand (given that he has had some rest on the bench). Bazemore sticks to his man like glue and won’t cheat into the lane to help and has the athletic ability to keep in front of his man. Baze could’ve possibly stopped the open Danny Green 3 to send the game to OT, and quite possibly the Ginobili game winner. (Note how quickly Bazemore rotated quickly off Diaw to close Ginobili when he realized there was no one contesting that shot). Any comments on this idea? Too bold?

  13. Why does no one give credence to the idea that Jackson wanted Jack iso’d on Parker (they were attacking him all night), and that the endless dribbling was because Jackson wanted to run clock?

    • agree, jack is semi-executing the preacher’s game plan, such as it is. as tolbert has pointed out though, a team should continue playing the same way that got them a nice lead and not think about running down the clock until they’re minutes away from the close. jack wasn’t the only vet who let down his less experienced ‘mates — subbing jefferson for thompson was simply an overconfident blunder, considering thompson’s defensive match up on parker.

    • “Do what got you here.” That’s the best advice I’ve ever heard for rookies, and it works for newbie coaches too. Jackson should have kept running the offensive plays that got the lead.

      If Jackson did want to slow down the game, he would still want every possession to finish with a high percentage shot, not a forced pass, desperation shot, or Jack trap. In the last half of the shot clock, it’s time for Jack to run plays. Jack 1-on-5 is a crappy offense. He’s no Monta.

    • warriorsablaze

      Possibly because Jack’s “endless dribbling” is something that he does all the time… not just in late game situations for clock management.

      Agreed, though, that Jackson probably made the call… he continues to make a mistake going to this “prevent” conservative offense whenever we have a lead. We simply don’t have the grind it out players necessary to make that work. Best to just roll the dice and continue to press with our normal offense. Go big or go home.

  14. When Jackson went small with 4 minutes left in regulation, the W’s couldn’t compete, going -16 in 4 minutes.

    Then, in OT, with a big on the floor, they went -2 in almost 10 minutes.

    The player’s panicked? When he put the right group on the floor, they played well, even after all those minutes and even with two fouled out.

    More like the coach froze in the 4th. He picked a strategy, it backfired and then he stayed with it to the end of regulation.

    The silver lining is that, Jackson aside, the W’s were the better team last night.

    • It should be noted that the Spurs couldn’t Hack-a-Bogut to start the OTs, but they could to end the 4th Q.

      • Felty, why is that? What is the rule?

        • It’s just that the Warriors were already in the penalty late in the 4Q, whereas they weren’t to start the OTs. The Spurs don’t want to intentionally foul Bogut unless it sends him to the line, and they definitely wouldn’t want to help the Warriors get into the penalty early in OT with their fouls.

          If you’re interested, I found this on the rules in OT:

          http://www.ehow.com/list_6643736_overtime-foul-rules-nba-basketball.html

          • warriorsablaze

            Also… doesn’t the “Wilt Chamberlain” rule kick in with under 2 minutes to go? I believe the team gets free throws AND possession. It ceases to be a good strategy at that point.

          • Yes, no intentional fouls off the ball in last two minutes, or the penalty is FTs and retained possession of the ball.

            But even so, that doesn’t prevent you from hacking as soon as Bogut touches the ball. Which was Don Nelson’s work-around. Bogut’s FT woes effectively remove him from the offense, whether or not he’s on the floor.

  15. Feltbot, well-thought. I disagree with you about Curry’s minutes. He missed several shots short (flat) late in the fourth. He has to trust Bazemore and get Curry some minutes of rest. Curry shied in the third that he can take Leonard when he’s rested. As you point out,Duncan in particular was totally incapable of guarding Curry on the pick n roll. Curry was like a kid in the candy shop in that third Q. I agree with you re going small at the end of the fourth except I would have put Bogut in there the last two minutes to facilitate the offense, which was beyond stagnant, and at least try to lose down the lane to Parker on D. Still, I can understand where Jackson was coming from.

    Losing Klay was really the killer–it not only freed up Parker but limited our options on O. Jackson needs to give Curry some rest and then put the ball in his hands either initially or quickly coming off screens. He needs to run some pick n roll even if it’s with Green, Barnes or Thompson late in games. He needs to have them contine to look for early offense. Slowing the offense down to milk the clock is not working with this inexperienced group.

    • I agree with you that Curry needs to trust Bazemore in that spot. Not sure why Curry didn’t make that pass, because he was trapped.

      And in fact, I think the Warriors might have to do a whole lot more trusting in Bazemore in this series. They have a serious lack of guards, and when Pop goes to a small backcourt with Ginobili at the three, they are at a major quickness disadvantage on defense, as that 4Q meltdown showed.

      And how can the Warriors keep Klay on the floor, while continuing to pressure Parker? Bazemore might be the answer.

  16. I’m still trying to figure out why the Warriors lose many of the games where Curry goes off. As you point out, Our Team, this is a young group. Maybe when Curry scores like crazy the rest of the team loses focus and just simply thinks the game is in the bag. In reality what happens is that Curry tires and the opposing coach changes defensive strategy to slow him in the 4th. At this point Curry needs his teammates to step up, but they are unable because of the loss of focus. It seems to be much different than the Kobe phenomenon where the Lakers would often lose when Kobe scored 50+ because the teammates just got out of the way because Kobe is a ball hog.

  17. Somewhat OT, some new studies on The Hot Hand.

    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/08/are-hot-hands-in-sports-for-real/

    Short versions:

    In the short term, Hot Hand actually works in reverse. A player’s 2nd successive shot tends to have a lower success rate than his first shot. But the 2nd shot also tends to be taken from longer distance, and logic suggests it would be better defended.

    In the long term, players and teams do exhibit success streaks.

  18. Wagering matters:

    The Over/Under has moved up 3.5 points to 204.5. That still seems a little low to me, but it’s enough of a move that I’m going to lay off this bet for a game while I suss out how the likely return of Splitter and the improved health of Duncan affect the matchup.

    The Warriors are +7 in this game. I don’t have the urge to bet this, as there is so much uncertainty regarding the health and effectiveness of Splitter and Duncan, not to mention Bogut on the quick turnaround. But I could certainly understand someone deciding to bet the Warriors. They looked like the better team last game.

    Fun fact: Mark Jackson noted in an interview that 3 teams before the Warriors have given up 16 point leads to lose playoff games. All 3 of those teams won the next game.

  19. I just noticed that Bogut is shooting 27% on the FT line for the playoffs. So yes, I think Pop will look for every opportunity to Hack him, and Mark Jackson must be concerned about getting him off the floor before the Spurs steal a possession.

    • So you’re suggesting Green and Landry as the bigs during crunch time. No Bogut or Ezeli after the Spurs are in the penalty. No matter what the boss had in mind for his team, if it’s going to win in this series it’s going to finish halves with “small bigs.”

      Also: assuming Green is going to be needed as a big for extended minutes, it doesn’t make sense to have him waste fouls guarding Manu. And Bazemore really is a better perimeter defender than Green anyway. Much quicker and far more experienced at the position.

      So, yes, I agree we can reasonably expect some Bazemore sightings tonight. How much up to him. Gawd, I hope he doesn’t jack up any stupid shots. Jackson still has Bazemore on a short leash. The Ws don’t need Bazemore to be awesome, they only need him to not be dumb. If he can manage that, he’ll see significant time in the playoff rotation. If not, he won’t.

      Also: while I don’t generally sit around praying my ass off, I’ll make an exception in the case of David Lee playing tonight. I don’t care if the Ws could use his skills, I fervently hope they don’t permit him to play. There’s too great a chance of serious harm to him. How could any contribution he might make be worth the risk?

      Besides, seeing a critically injured guy writhing on the floor is not my idea of a great time. I guess that makes my concern about Lee an entirely selfish thing, completely in character for The Hat. Whew.

  20. There’s no way to justify or even consider trading and paying a player millions when he’s not a good free throw shooter. He may not be hack-a Bogut during the season, but in playoffs, it’s a given for a good coach do do so. Pop did study under Nellie and such was one of his favorite tool. As a result, Bogut can’t be on the court in key situations in the fourth quarter.

    Not trying to open a debate on the trade, but just wanted to point out that Udoh ranked 11th in the NBA in defending the rim, Bogut 35th.

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      Frank where are Ellis and Udoh????? At home watching the playoffs with Superstar Moe Harkless!!!!!!!!

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      Frank Udoh played a whopping 17 minutes a game with a majority of those minutes coming off the bench against backup players so that is pretty much irrelevant. Just another useless manipulated stat from Frank.

  21. FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

    Everyone loves to use stats. There is a stats overload. Take your fucking stats I will take TWTW every single time. It is called the THE WILL TO WIN and it over rides stats. It is the reason the Giants have won 2 World Series in the last years. It is the reason the Oakland A’s made the playoffs over the LA Angels last season. TWTW and team chemistry are the reason this Warriors team is winning because Monte Ellis is not on the team.

  22. warriorsablaze

    Klay lived up to the Feltbot hype tonight. Amazing performance all over the floor. Thank God he did, because Steph was clearly out of rhythm tonight. Let’s hope Klay can build off this… consistency is his biggest weakness at this point.

    Steph missed 3 fts tonight. Armageddon approaching?

    • true enough, but both of these teams depend heavily on their three point shooting, and the better team from there in both games won.

      • sorry, guy, that was responding to the rant in #23 against stats. as far as curry not scoring as efficiently as we’ve been accustomed to, he still played a very good all court game, and they don’t win if jack takes his minutes and leadership. curry has become a better defender than parker, which seemed unlikely just one or two seasons ago.

        • warriorsablaze

          Agreed. Curry is one of those players that just impacts the game. Defenses have to adjust so it opens the floor. He has much better vision than Jack so we get better looks. He’s also a smart, if not athletic defender. He can be taken off the dribble, sure, but he usually makes the right rotation and is able to get steals without Monta-style gambling that takes him out of the play if he doesn’t succeed. The less Jack, the better. He’s been garbage since early in the Denver series.

  23. ‘the times they are a-cha-a-a-ging.’ not just the two winless streaks broken(22 yrs. w/o a road second round playoff win, and the Duncan SA home court streak). Green played more minutes than Jack or Landry and filled the complementary role ideally. the fast tempo, open court offense with neither bogut nor lee on the court had the green light without restrictors.

  24. Kenny Smith made a surprising remark at the half of the first game. He referred to the Warriors as the more athletic team. In a lot of ways it’s true. By starting strong and forcing the Spurs to keep up or catch up, they might wear them down. Parker is carrying a very heavy load and showed it 4t. Q tonight.

    Sheesh, what a performance by Klay. I didn’t notice the other stats until I looked at the box—14 boards, 3 steals. Also some very fine defense.

    I may have to start going to church again. Something is working for these guys.

  25. warriorsablaze

    We’ve been the better team for 90% of the first 2 games so far. Somehow, the Spurs just seem outmatched so far.

    I’m starting to wonder if David Lee is moving rapidly towards the trading block… ownership love notwithstanding. Our defense looks better, we’ve out rebounded both the Nuggets and Spurs, and our offense has better flow. If Klay, Barnes, and Green continue to progress and play as they have in the playoffs we’re poised to have a great 4-out team with Bogut and Festus manning the middle.

    • ‘ownership love’ as you put it means very little except for how it’s expressed in a contract. they hyped ellis as the team’s best all star candidate while they were trying at the same time to deal him. with the new collective bargaining agreement and tighter cap restrictions, lee’s contract won’t be easy to unload ; he’s hardly perceived as a transformative star, which was accurately or inaccurately how gay and anthony were considered when they found new hosts.

      lee’s game is compatible with most of what we’ve seen without him if the preacher can wean himself from starting bogut and lee together and putting the team into a first quarter deficit. he’s more capable of fitting with the faster offense than landry and jack, but again he was used with those two extensively when bogut was out. and it remains to be seen if bogut can hold up to the regular season schedule and travel.

  26. Pingback: Pre-Game Jitters: Warriors v. Spurs -- Game 3 - Feltbot's Warriors Blog

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