Pop Goes the Series: Spurs 102 Warriors 92 — Game 3

Well, I guess I was a little optimistic with that Warriors in Six prediction, wasn’t I? Who would have thought that the Spurs could beat this red-hot Warriors team, with a half-dead Manu Ginobili? Gregg Popovich and the Spurs, that’s who. The Spurs showed their championship pedigree in this game. Starting with the head of the snake, their head coach, who demonstrated once again why he is one of the best to ever stalk the NBA hardwood.

These are a few of the adjustments that Pop has made in this series, and in this game in particular, that allowed the Spurs to steal this Game 3 on the Warriors home court:

1) Go Big or Go Home: In my preview to this game, I predicted that Pop would return Tiago Splitter to the starting lineup, and fairly accurately forecast the many likely results of this move. Rather than restate them in depth here, I’ll let you check out my preview if you’re interested.

But here’s the pocket version:

The defense and rebounds obsessed Warriors head coach matched up big with Splitter and Duncan, by moving Ezeli into the starting lineup, and Draymond Green out. And there went the Warriors’ fast break, there went their spacing, there went their ability to get Curry and Thompson open looks. A 23 point first quarter was the natural result, that left the Warriors fighting from behind the whole game.

On the other side of the court, the Spurs used their big lineup to squeeze the air out the ball, control the Warriors fast break, and limit the Warriors possessions.

 2) Eliminate the Bonner-Draymond Green mismatch that hurt the Spurs, and create the Diaw-Green mismatch in the Spurs favor:

Bonner against Green didn’t work for the Spurs, so Pop immediately went away from it. He forced Green out of the starting lineup, and matched up Boris Diaw against him on the second unit.

You saw the result. Diaw took Green down into the low post for three buckets. Eliminated Green’s quickness advantage, and exploited his size deficiency.

Bonner saw some minutes, but only against bigger players (like Bogut, Lee and Landry), that he could both defend and on offense, pull out of the lane to guard him at the three point line. He didn’t knock down his open threes in this game, but if he had, his minutes would have been effective.

3) Defense on Stephen Curry: The ESPN crew noted that Curry hasn’t been shooting well since his 54 minute Game 1, and wondered if it took too much out of him. Mark Jackson stated post-game that “it’s a make or miss league,” and Curry and Thompson just missed shots.

Baloney.

What has happened to Curry, as I noted in my recap of the last game, is that Pop made a brilliant adjustment to his defense. He is no longer allowing Curry to set up camp at the three point line, either in isolation or in pick and roll. The Spurs are forcing him to either give up the ball, or dribble into two point territory.

How are they doing this? Not by blitzing, which was the strategy employed by George Karl, that Curry and the Warriors ultimately beat with a spread floor and Curry’s great playmaking ability.

Tony Parker, who opened the first and third quarters on Curry, is picking him up above the three point line, and forcing him side-to-side. This denies Curry his favorite shot, the step-back.

Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard are picking him up somewhat later, but also forcing him side-to-side, instead of face-guarding. This forces Curry to drive the ball, and as soon as he nears the basket, a Spurs big man steps up to block his path.

On pick and roll, and this was new this game, the Spurs big men weren’t exactly blitzing, but they weren’t sagging off either. They were expecting Curry to pull up for the jumper, and they were right in his face when he complied.

Curry missed a few open shots in this game, but in reality got very few open looks. The Spurs were totally focused on denying his three point shot.

Defense on Klay Thompson: Klay was guarded extremely closely by Green and Leonard in this game. Unlike in the last game, they never left him open, and their length made it tough for him. As a result, like Curry, he wound up forcing some bad shots.

Squeezing the Air out of the Ball: On offense, the Spurs squeezed the air out of the ball, playing deliberate half-court offense to slow the tempo of the game. They pounded the ball inside, and attacked the offensive boards. Their great floor balance allowed them to play great transition defense.

Running Curry and Thompson ragged: In the course of running their offense, the Spurs made sure to use Parker and Green to run Curry and Thompson through multiple screens, every trip down.

Clever.

Denying the transition three: Can you remember a transition three in this game? The shot that killed the Spurs in the first two games? Pop made a brilliant adjustment to deny this shot to Curry and Thompson:

If you rewind the tape, you will see Duncan and Splitter lingering to pick up and trap Curry and Thompson at the three point line in transition, instead of running straight back as usual to take their post in the lane.

They were aided in this, of course, by the slowness of Andrew Bogut getting up the court.

The Tony Parker Adjustment: In another brilliant move, Pop eliminated the advantage of Klay Thompson’s length in defending Tony Parker.

How? By simply moving Parker, and the high pick, further out on the floor. In the first two games, the Spurs were setting that pick around the free throw line. In this game, it was being set closer to the three point line.

This gave Parker a lot more space to use his quickness to separate himself from Klay. It also completely removed him from the reach of Andrew Bogut, who is helpless to defend pick and roll that far out on the floor.

And in this game at least, Parker relentlessly knocked down the shots that are a little longer than what he likes to take. Including a couple of big threes.

Can Klay Thompson really guard Tony Parker? I think Pop supplied the answer to that question in this game. As Jerry West might put it, “that was on the coaches.”

Hack-a-Bogut: Not new this game, but completely devastating. Jackson was again reluctant to pull Bogut, and it cost him a possession, as Bogut missed 3 out of 4.

Here’s a cold hard truth about Bogut: his free throw shooting will not get better. It’s a result of his chronically arthritic right elbow.

Which means that he cannot be played at the end of games.

Mark Jackson’s Response: To his credit, Jackson replaced Ezeli with Carl Landry to start the third quarter, to give the Warriors some much needed floor spacing and offense. And more speed on the break. Landry has done a much better job running the floor in these playoffs than in the regular season.

And for much of this game, Landry was surprisingly effective. In crunchtime, though, Duncan put him in the grinder.

One wonders, though, if this is the best adjustment that Jackson could have made. Did he need to make an adjustment at all? Does he actually need to match up big against the Splitter and Duncan front line all of the time? Or should he actually try spreading the floor against them, and running?

Jim Barnett stated the problem in sharp terms, post-game: “This team cannot afford to play halfcourt basketball against the Spurs.”

Food for thought.

Calling David Lee: True to form, the ignorati at the San Jose Mercury News seized upon the Warriors’ success against the crippled and smallball Nuggets, and the crippled and smallball Spurs of the first two games, to bray to the world that the Warriors are “better without David Lee.”

This game put the lie to that, didn’t it? Do you think the Warriors could have used Lee to start the first and third quarters against Splitter and Duncan? Pull them out of the lane a bit? Give Curry something to work with in the pick and roll? Beat them downcourt in transition?

A large part of the reason why the Spurs defense is so effective on Curry, is that they don’t need to worry about guarding the Warriors’ bigs in pick and roll. When Curry passes them the ball, there is no worry about them shooting the 18 footer. And the Spurs have plenty of time to rotate if they drive the lane.

Lee punishes the blitz and the hedge. He hits that 18 footer. He drives the lane at speed and either gets a look at the rim, or finds an open man at the three point line.

And how about in crunch-time, when Hack-a-Bogut removes the Warriors big man from the floor? Who do you want at crunch-time center, running pick and roll with Curry and Jack, the best pick and roll center in the NBA, or Carl Landry?

Here’s the truth about David Lee. Against conventional front lines, he’s a heck of a power forward.  But like every other conventional power forward in the league, he struggles on defense against stretch-fours. And when Bogut is playing well, and Mark Jackson has suddenly discovered, for the first time all season, that Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green are actually effective stretch-fours themselves, it might be true that the Warriors match up better against smallball teams without Lee at power forward.

Which is not to say they wouldn’t match up well playing smallball with Lee at center, in crunch-time. His best position, according to Don Nelson. The position at which he earned two All-Star selections, and carried this Warriors team into the post-season.

The great Hubie Brown summed it up well during the ESPN broadcast. People should stop focusing on all the things that Lee doesn’t do, and think a little bit more about all of the things that he does do. He’s one of the best players in the NBA, and the Warriors miss him terribly.

73 Responses to Pop Goes the Series: Spurs 102 Warriors 92 — Game 3

  1. Great writeup, Felt. You saw lots of subtleties I couldn’t see through my tears. Thanks for the explanation.

  2. It looks like they can foul Andrew Bogut if they want to slow down our offense. It seems to have worked the past two games, and Pops is too smart not to do when they need to. Just once in a while to slow us down.

  3. warriorsablaze

    This is the first game since Lee went down that we desperately needed him. Klay is still too wildly inconsistent to be the second option. If Steph is off or is strategically taken out of the game, it becomes up to Jack…which is a nightmare of stagnation, dribbling, and looked-off open shooters.

    Klay got a few nice looks, but also forced some ugliness. Also, why are lay ups so hard for a 6’7″ guy? It’s bizarre. Absolutely no touch around the backboard at all.

  4. warriorsablaze

    The problem with Lee at center is obviously defense. While he’s shown himself to be OK in post up D against bigger players, he is one of the worst help defenders in the league and blocks less shots per game than Klay… he makes NO effort to get his hand up on the jumpshooter in the pick and roll and usually doesn’t even both to rotate when help is needed down low.

    Offense is great with him at the 5 usually, though. Could have used him last night at the end with Curry gassed/hobbled and Jack terrible.

  5. The surprise is that the Spurs didn’t go with this lineup earlier, which they’ve used all season, when healthy. Were they protecting Splitter?

    I suppose the good news is that they stayed close and it took a superior effort by Parker for the Spurs to win. Was Pop preserving him as well the first games? But can Parker keep it up the whole series?

    Would Bazemore have done a better job defending Parker, at least for a few lockdown minutes first half?

    To get the offense running, they need someone to run it, and this Jack cannot do. And Curry. . . .

    The Warriors’ most risky strategy is the half court offense, and the Denver game gave them the illusion they could play that way, as well as parts of the games against the Spurs. The criticism of David Lee’s defense, simpleminded and perverse, is based on the same risky assumption, that this is the way the team is supposed to play, where, with its current makeup, its real strengths lie elsewhere. This I’m sure of, that if Lee had started the game and the score was the same, he would have been criticized again for his defense, a criticism Bogut did not receive last night.

    But it would have been a different score.

  6. With the Warriors starting two bigs inside, theSpurs shot 55 percent from the field, and finished the first quarter up 7 points. Coupled with the Warriors decision to play the Spurs half-court game, thus negating our offensive prowess the Spurs outshot the Warriors 50-40 percent even with the Warriors getting extra possessions via OR’s and turnovers.

    The outcome was as predictable as night following the day. Why Jackson would chose not to run which led to the Warriors success in both rounds on his home court is simply mind-boggling.

    This is the second game Jackson has cost us a win. How do you spot Pop two games and come back and win the series?

  7. David Lee is the best rebounder on the team, yet somehow this doesn’t impress many of his critics. He is intelligent and fights, thus gets into position, and is mobile and has range. Bogut largely gets boards because of his size and has little range. Make allowances for his health, by all means, but that’s what we have now to deal with.

    In the game I linked last post, their win against the Spurs, who were full strength, he had 22 boards. But think about what this means. It provides more chances to push the tempo but also frees up Barnes and the guards, who are staying back on defense to get more boards, the ones who could be most instrumental in completing the fast break.

  8. The mere fact that the Spurs shot 50 percent from the field confirms that our interior defense is a mess in the half-court game. And some if that falls on Bogut.It seems our entire defense is better when we get the Spurs to play an up-tempo game.

    • The Spurs shot 50% because Parker and Duncan shot over 50% and took over half the total shots. We don’t have the defense to stop this inside out threat—few teams do—not when they are playing at the top of their game. The only solution is to contain them as best the Warriors can and outscore them. With Lee, they have a potentially superior offense.

  9. Rgg: Have to disagree.the Spurs had five guys who made more than half the shots they took, we had two, Bogut and Landry, and they didn’t even take the most shots for the Warriors, as Thompson and Curry, did and they shot very poorly. Diaw and Leonard killed us inside.

    We kept Parker in check in the prior 2 games. Duncan has done much more damage from the outside, not inside.
    The Warriors have to run in order for Curry, Thompson, and Barnes to be more effective offensively. We won 2 games without D. Lee. He would help us offensively and provide more depth, but his being paired with Bogut would hinder the Warrior being able to run effectively.

    We got killed because the Spurs lulled us into playing half-court, not because the Spurs played big, as Splitter played only 19 minutes. Even Ezeli played 19 minutes. By running, We play better on both sides of the ball. And also when we go small. I think Bogut helps us more defensively in the running game and hurts us defensively when we play half- cout ball.

    • Parker and Duncan took 44 of the 79 shots and scored 55 of the 102 points, over 50%. It was because those guys got going and we were unable to contain them that Leonard, Diaw, and to a much lesser extent Ginobli, who is struggling, got their shots, in most cases, I suspect, easy buckets, open shots or open lanes. Also, building a lead by those two, especially Parker first half, builds a rhythm for the others and loosens the pressure when they shoot. Curry and Thompson did the same for us in the first two games.

      The point, of course, still stands. We had to outrun and outscore them.

  10. Attack! That’s what the warriors need to do. Whenever Duncan is not on the floor, the guards need to try to get directly to the bucket and then feed the bigs as they cut down the lane.

  11. the team gets to face a very different test on Sunday. haven’t yet had to play an elimination match, and tomorrow’s game will serve as such with games five and seven in SA.

  12. I guess the thing I was most surprised by last night was seeing M. Jackson play along with the Spurs’ strategy. So far in the playoffs Jackson has largely dictated the style of play. Last night, not.

    I guess I’ve sounded at times like Green’s biggest fanboy, but Jackson’s ineffective rotations last night might have hinged at least in part on Green’s poor performance as a big. Pop absolutely had that “Green problem” solved. Every time Jackson inserted Green as a 4 or 5, Pop put in Diaw and got him the ball. Diaw completely dominated the matchup. He shot over Green at will, and on the other end Green’s offense is no match for Diaw’s. Advantage Spurs.

    Since the Ws couldn’t allow Green to get torched repeatedly, they used Bogut and/or Ezeli for extended minutes. Problem: On offense, Duncan has systematically demolished slow and/or novice bigs for decades now. On the other end, neither of the Ws’ bigs is ever going to win any scoring battles. Advantage Spurs. Add to that the well-designed “discomfort” applied by the Spurs to Curry and Thompson, and it’s “game over.”

    Or not. Not necessarily.

    Parker has been destroying bigs for his whole career, but he’s not in Curry’s class as a 3-pt. shooter. If the Ws could keep him out of the paint, or get him to give up the ball early, it’s advantage Ws. Early pressure is called for. Bogut and Landry can’t help there, but Ezeli or Green could.

    Ginobili is still one of the sneakiest players ever, but barely a shadow of himself in his prime. He’s slow enough to be Green’s designated target, as he was in Game 1. Bazemore could also handle him.

    Danny Green and Leonard on Curry and Thompson? Double down on smallball. Bench Barnes. Start Thompson at 4. Play anyone/everyone else at 2: Bazemore, Jack or even Green.

    Jack was very effective as a regular-season change-up at PG, but under playoff-level scrutiny he seems to be damn predictable. By game 3 of the Denver series, Denver had him figured out. Last night the Spurs showed they did too. It’s kind of an either/or situation: Jack either needs to play out of character, or Mark Jackson needs to bench him. NFW should Jack be pounding around the court with time running out at the end of tight games. He’s playing with two of the deadliest shooters in the history of the NBA. If Jack can’t get them the ball, Jackson needs to begin those end-of-game possessions with Curry, Thompson, Green or Bazemore. Yeah, that’s different, and different is risky. But in the playoffs “predictable” is certain death. Jack is predictable.

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      hat wants to bench Barnes??? LMAO without Barnes leading the Warriors in scoring today the Warriors do not win. Got any other brilliant ideas??

  13. Sometimes, the Warriors should try to deny Parker and Duncan the ball or make them give it up. Easier said then done.

    Thompson has to step up tomorrow. He must demonstrate he’s an all-star. It’s hard to place him in that category if his defender is shutting him down as Felty contend.

    If the Warriors run and pass and dribble rather run most plays off the dribble, the Warriors should just fine. We should be able to outshoot the Spurs and hold our own in the possession war. Jack has to come through.
    Curry says he’s going to play.

  14. Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green are busy proving why your small forwards must be defensive stoppers.

    • for sixteen years we’ve seen very good to great defensive SA teams find ways to control good to very good offensive GS teams. game two broke their home court streak largely because someone other than curry played a transcendent game. it appears that will be required again to re-tie the series, but the grandmaster popovich has probably seen enough of what he needs to stay in control.

      • Agreed – Brandon Rush – fit the bill and is good enough when healthy. W’s sure could have used him in this series and last.

        • Would he have been playing ahead of Barnes?

          • @FB, that’s on the coaches… Lol! Rush would be in the rotation though15-30 minutes, this is for sure.

            Basemore is the Ginobili Kryptonite… Fortunately, the W’s haven’t needed Basemore’s services much as Ginobili hasn’t been very efficient this series so far.

    • I shouldn’t have left out the others: Shane Battier, Jimmy Butler, Luol Deng, Thabo Sefolosha, Tayshaun Prince, Tony Allen.

      I think it’s fair to say that the Warriors are the only team still competing without a wing stopper.

      • Felt, no one else has a Draymond Green. That’s what’s kept the Warriors going so far. Not a wing stopper, but certainly a scintillating help defender.

        Interestingly, the Warriors haven’t needed a wing stopper so far in these playoffs, and they still don’t as long as they can contain Parker. A wing stopper will not typically be the answer on Parker who has used screens for the past two games to get open (outside of several nice crossovers).

    • warriorsablaze

      None of these guys are especially high IQ players. There’s no reason to believe Barnes can’t make a leap if he puts in the time… he certainly has the athletic tools.

      Klay was a horrific defender his rookie season but has become our best perimeter defender this season. If the staff can support Barnes making similar growth he could be the defensive wing you’re looking for… with more offensive potentional than any of those guys (except George, obviously).

  15. RE: LEE
    Great kid/says the right things, great offensive talents, decent rebounding skills, but who plays really HORRENDOUS defense. Yes, all caps. When a Sloan study shows his opponents actually shoot better than Lee does… The whole freaking NBA and any knowledgeable, competent fan know this. 8th grade CYO kids know this. Except for the FORMER Monta-loving W’s die-hards – who can’t accept the fact that Lee is at best a FLAWED player.

    Defend David Lee’s defense, and your argument will go down in flames…

    David Lee is a nice chess piece, but like Andrew Bogut – not being able to be played at the end of games theory – David Lee can’t be played against certain match-ups… Simply can’t. Like West says – It’s on the coaches…

    I want to see David Lee/Andrew Bogut/Draymond Green/Karl Landry/Harrison Barnes – used more for match-up basketball… NO ONE IS GUARANTEED MINUTES – NO MO!

    This – Lee is our All-Star W’s PR crap – and he plays over 40 minutes, is silly. Lee doesn’t deserve to play huge minutes if he can’t guard his opponent. I LOVE the idea of sticking Lee on a non-offensive Center/PF/player, especially if Andrew Bogut’s shot-blocking/elite defense is not needed. Lee IS HORRIBLE on a spread 4 cover or other perimeter shooting big – so START Draymond Green/Harrison Barnes against those teams!!!

    So glad this playoff run has magnified what I knew from the Monta Trade…

    Andrew Bogut is by far the W’s best and most valuable big man even hobbled.

    Lots of BOGUT-DE-NIAL on this blog… Still… Probably stemming from all the “Lacob is an idiot” crowd who still miraculously can’t seem to differentiate from Monta to Lee to Bogut… Lol!

    Andrew Bogut can’t be played at the end of games? When the W’s were up 18 points with 4 minutes to play, things couldn’t have played out worse with him OUT of the game… Bogut can SPLIT free throws. And block/challenge shots and rebound.

    • If Bogut were mobile and healthy, no one would be having the discussion about David Lee’s defense. He’s not a front court stopper and shouldn’t be expected to be one, but has had to play that role, and he hasn’t had any help for three years, aside from Bogut, when healthy, except from rookies and duds.

      He beat the Spurs during the season, however, playing with Biedrins. But he did well with Ezeli much of the season when Bogut was out. Look at what got us to the playoffs.

      Quit throwing Lee under the bus!

      • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

        rgg- Follow your own lead and quit throwing Barnes under the bus you hater.

        • Lee not a front court stopper? Lol! Understatement of the decade! He’s a matador defender and merely encourages increased opponent field goal percentages.

          Lee is the MVP this playoffs – Lee’s injury, that is… Like Monta Ellis, the GSW’s play BETTER without Lee. And play BETTER with Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes.

          Post after post about the greatness of Monta Ellis and David Lee.

          Post after post about the suckness of Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes…

          Perhaps these posters have these 4 players – REVERSED!!!

          Mr. Lacob and “The Trade” – looking very very smart right now!

  16. Pre-series, I posted that the W’s would win one in San Antonio and that the W’s would not protect their homecourt. Unfortunately – Spurs in 5 or 6 was my prediction. Hope I’m very wrong.

    This Spurs team and coaching staff has been through so many seasons/battles, they never seem to panic. The superstars Duncan/Ginobili/Parker, the role players like Bonner and Splitter, and backups Mills have been together for years. There’s value in familiarity and stability the W’s are only dreaming about.

    I’ve not been that critical this season of this W’s team (young) and coaching staff (inexperienced) – they’ve surpassed expectation. Next year, my expecations will be much different! Lol!

  17. Rgg: I agree that D. Lee needs a mobile center to protect his deficiencies, and Bogut is not that guy. But we part company when you say no one has protected him the last three years. Udoh did as stats show that the Warriors were plus 8 when on the court together last year over a48 period off court time.

    • Sorry, forgot about Udoh. Lee has had many fine games with both Udoh and Ezeli. And if Udoh were taller and Ezeli had more experience and both had more offense, they would have been very fine complements to Lee.

      And idiots like Goldsberry and a certain blogger wouldn’t be complaining about his defense.

      If Lee were taller, he’d be an utterly dominating player, Duncan grade. If he were faster and more athletic, less so.

      He isn’t.

      Lee’s talents have to be recognized, his grit, his intelligence, his scoring inside and out. And they are all star quality. Given these, the next step is to find how he might best fit into the team, design a strategy around that, and find the players that best complement him. This just hasn’t been done, though might have been if Bogut were healthy and had any kind of offense three feet and out. And could drop a free throw.

      But there’s another way to look at this. Consider the power forwards who were available when we got him. There just aren’t very many, and they are rarely available. The only other two names mentioned at that time were Bosh and Stoudemire, both less substantial players in many ways. They would have cost a ton and floundered with the Warriors.

      • Can’t build around a big man that can’t defend his position.

        David Lee needs to come off the bench. It’s that simple.

        Lee’s injury is the MVP of the playoffs! Lol!

        No question the Ws play better without Lee and Monta Ellis…

        Lee had a game high -12, which is what I expected.

        • *****sigh*****

          • The W’s are on the cusp of the Western Conference Finals – essentially because of Lee’s injury – and Andrew Bogut is.

            Talk to me about how good Lee’s defense is…

            Andrew Bogut is a transformational player… Just ask HOF Tim Duncan. Bogut sent his shot up into the rafters.

            Hundreds of posts about how Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes sucks – and still many posters still don’t get it…

            …sigh…

  18. G4:

    Ugly is beautiful.

  19. The list of things Barnes did wrong today would be quite long. But they had to go to him, they kept going to him, and he delivered what they needed. Perhaps a career changing experience?

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      26 and 10 while leading the Warriors in scoring and all you can say is the list of things he did wrong is long. You are hater get a clue.

      • the fans who point out the obvious points that barnes scored are cordially invited to also mention the twenty six shot attempts he took en route to his team leading points.

        • It’s obvious to me that Barnes has stepped up his rookie game tremendously during the Denver and San Antonio series. Offensively and defensively. He’s the undisputed Playoff Rookie of the Year. The Myth that Harrison Barnes isn’t a player is being absolutely crushed. I get it.

          What’s not to like for a W’s fan?

        • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

          Yet you look past all the shots that Monta Ellis use to jack up.

    • the balanced perspective on barnes is probably best at this point in time. his age is a significant x-factor — players do not usually follow a smooth and consistent development curve. he’s a complementary role player and if he or the team get carried away by this single game sample, he could become just another gunner who has enough other stuff in his game to keep him on the court and keep gunning. he might improve significantly, or very little, we can only hope his net positives help the team win as they did in this game.

      had the team lost in regulation, his flubs would get more scrutiny, but the team earned him a pass. his hands and decision making still look just average. jackson expended one of his precious time outs at the end of the third quarter, and they went on to squander two key possessions, one coming on a botched in bound play with barnes the initiator. we’ve seen many games where the run SA ended the third and began the fourth with would have sufficed for them to use as a lever for a close win, and with only three time outs left to finish the fourth, jackson didn’t have that option to change the momentum.

      some cliches have earned their place with their simple truth, and so it is, ‘all’s well, that ends…’

      • I wonder now about what Pop was doing and why he didn’t do the same. With Parker not up to par, Duncan and Ginobli covered fairly well and rundown, he had to look elsewhere down the roster, and he had more experience to work with. Also there were weaknesses in the Warriors defense he could have exploited with those guys.

        • a team of shooters like GS should have an edge with their home rims and crowd over most visitors, but for long stretches until the fourth SA reversed expectations. curiously, in the end GS surpassed SA in f.g. accuracy, when it didn’t seem possible for most of the initial three quarters. green and parker ended up shooting only 10-30, and combined with leonard the trio’s three point shooting was 2-15.

          GS’s youth gave them just the slightest edge by the game’s end on the defensive side, when SA faltered in just one or two possessions that made the difference. if leonard simply converts the sitting duck tip in, jack has no margin for failure on the last possession. bogut is a bit crazier than duncan and came up with barely enough defense for them to stay alive until jack went into one of his good streaks. if these are jack’s last few games for GS at least he’s leaving with one very positive exclamation.

          • pardon, leonard’s missed tip in came in overtime. but no great strain on the imagination that SA was one make away from having a two or three point lead at the end of the fourth when jack took the last possession and missed.

  20. Headed to the beach on a beautiful day. I’ll post some thoughts tomorrow.

  21. Not exactly a sterling performance when the Warriors shoot less 40 percent from the field and only Curry and Jack shoot well from the field. and we commit almost 20 turnovers.And we marvel at the fact that Barnes shot 35 percent from the field and provided us with a net plus two possessions. This is turning itself into an ugly series as the spurs won two games when they shot less than 40 percent from the field. Thomson has not shown up shooting well the last two games. His 5-13 shooting today was slightly helped by his also having a plus in extra possessions.
    Starting Landry was a big mistake as he is turnover prone.

    The Spurs have proven the are an over the hill and crappy team . This series should been over in four or five games at most. What the Warriors. need to do is defend the three point line and not make as many turnovers and play up-tempo, and the games should go our way. It’s turning out that jack is the “x” factor.

    • Jack either plays like a D-Leaguer or an All-Star! No in-between with him…

      • warriorsablaze

        Ha.. exactly. He’s the ultimate love/hate player from a fan’s perspective. He’s either a hero or fails so miserably he brings the whole team down.

    • Frank, you are a little grouchy today. You can’t call the Spurs a crappy team when they win as many games as they do. We don’t have a chance to watch them on a daily basis being in California, but they sure know how to close out teams, and that’s what they are trying to do with the Warriors. Pops is trying anything and everything he can to slow the game down and keep Curry from blowing up again. That’s why this is turning into an ugly series. Jackson has matched him move for move and now we’re tied at 2.

  22. My bad. The Spurs won one game when they shot less than 40 percent.

    • how SA probably looks at the game is similar to what GS felt after game one — a road win was there for the plucking. they won’t lose any focus or confidence. both teams had the same number of foul shots ; SA missed six more.

  23. David Lee this afternoon:

    In his first stint, 4:40, he boxed out nicely and got 4 boards, 1 on offense. Among other things, he switched off and stopped a driving Leonard (or was it Diaw?) in the lane and forced him to pass out. He also changed Duncan’s shot low, making him miss—without fouling.

    On offense, up top, he got a quick pass to an open Barnes. Down low, he quickly fed a driving Thompson. But here’s my favorite. He got into position for a defensive rebound out from the bucket and in an instant passed the ball to Curry running down the court for a fast break. This is what I miss.

    Unfortunately, none of the three converted.

    He also got a shot off from about 15 feet, which he hits at high percentage. It is this threat that spreads a defense. This shot, however, he missed. I believe he set several picks.

    Oh yes. He has a torn leg muscle.

    The second stint he was playing with a really thin squad. No Curry, and Landry instead of Ezeli.

    Game flow:

    http://popcornmachine.net/cgi-bin/gameflow.cgi?date=20130512&game=SASGSW

    • Andrew Bogut is a MUCH more valuable player than David Lee for the team to win in the playoffs where defense actually matters. Andrew Bogut has helped “transform” this team into a deep playoff contender – so far.

      David Lee was -12 for the game. Go ahead and watch David Lee’s game stats with rose-colored glasses. Just like those who watched Monta Ellis with rose-colored glasses. David Lee should come off the bench next season. I’d only keep Lee because Bogut will always be an injury risk, unless he can be traded for someone like Pau Gasol or another decent big.

      I’d say Joe Lacob is looking pretty smart right now…

  24. In the last two games it looked like Pop had Draymond figured out. Mark Jackson seems to agree, and mostly kept Green off the floor.

    rgg, DLee does many nice things, but that matador D – pew!

    Once again yesterday, Jack simply played a slow-mo version of the one-on-everybody game we saw so much from Ellis in the last two seasons. Jack, unfortunately, doesn’t have Ellis’ quickness, court vision or passing ability. While Jack made the shots that tied the game, the Ws ran their overtime O with Curry bringing up the ball instead. It’s not a coincidence that they then pulled away and sealed the win.

    • Agreed – J. Jack is less a point guard with great shooting skills and more a shooting guard with great ball handling skills!

      Jack fits well with Curry though…

      Jack’s obvious value to the W’s is to allow Curry to play off the ball now and then and is much better suited to guarding SGs (slower and stronger) than PGs (quicker and faster) – and Curry is generally better suited to guarding PGs.

      And it’s HARD to find many NBA players (big strong PGs) who can do this well… Andre Miller and Jason Kidd come to mind – but are at the end of their playing careers.

      Yep, Joe Lacob needs to find a way to get Jarrett Jack his deserved $6-8 million per year… Which is in essence, starter’s money for an off-the-bench type player. I think he’s worth it.

    • At least people have stopped complaining about Curry’s defense. Goldsberry, however, I’m sure is working on another nice chart.

  25. Lots to be thankful for as a long-suffering W’s fan…

    Thanks to the IRS – for making Chris Cohan have to pay his taxes thus forcing the sale of the W’s team.

    Thanks to owner Joe Lacob – in taking on Jerry West, and hiring Bob Myers and Coach Mark Jackson. And for firing Rowell. And for Chris Mullin night. So memorable… Ahh – the great memories…

    Thank “The Trade” – For Andrew Bogut, and in essence, Ezeli and Jefferson. And Harrison for that matter (Jerry West’s a Genius).

    Thank “The Tank” – For #7 in deep draft netting us Harrison “The Brand” Barnes (Just like Pops did)!

    Thank “The Trade II” – For Jarret Jack.

    Thank the “Draft” – For Harrison, Ezeli, and Green (Bazemore too).

    Thank the “Logo” – For his absolute insistence on drafting Klay Thompson. And Brandon Rush for Big Lou. And his involvement in “The Trade.”

    Thank GM Myers – for signing Landry/Rush.

    Thank the Clippers – for matching DeAndre Jordan’s offer sheet.

    Thank Larry Riley/Don Nelson – for drafting Stephen Curry. Thank GM Kahn for drafting Flynn. Thank Don Nelson – who nixed the Suns deal for Stoudamire (which were to include draftee Stephen Curry).

  26. Peteybrian: Relax. In regulation, we were 1 point from being down 3-1 in the series.

    • warriorsablaze

      …and in the first game we were one basket away from starting our 4 game sweep! See how silly that line of thinking is?

  27. PB, another thing to be grateful for:

    “Plea Deals Will Keep X-Rated Photos Of NBA Coach Mark Jackson Under Wraps”

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/buster/mark-jackson-extortion-deal-6758493

  28. Thank PB for a nice list of things gone right.

    Thank Frank for the pessimist point of view

    Thank Bogus for playing great D on Duncan. Have the W’s ever had another player that could do that. How many other defenders could guard Duncan one on one as Bogus had done??? Bogus’ one on one defense of Duncan has been a key to the series. Christ, how did we ever win that game yesterday…

    If we had Bogus for part time player money, then I would be happy with the trade. I still do not think the elbow will improve, and thus the foul shots will be a problem and jump shots are out of the question. Rick Barry to teach the underhand??? The good news is there is only one year left on the contract..

  29. I think the people obsessing on Barnes’ “inefficiency” need to look at the context. I was at the game and didn’t DVR it but to my eyes at least two of his attempts (and rebounds) came on tips at the offensive glass. They didn’t go down but he was in there battling. Then there were two drives where he was hammered and got no call. Let’s say he hits 3 of 4 free throws. Now you are looking at 29 points on 22 attempts with 8 rebounds and we aren’t having this conversation about Barnes’ efficiency that misses the entire point. He was playing basketball as hard as he could on both ends and he gave the Warriors exactly what they needed. This not even 20 year-old ROOKIE was a cool, perfect 7-7 from the line, battled on the glass, carried the team at times (in a pressure-cooker playoff game), and forced the Spurs to deal with him.

    And a shout-out to Steph Curry too. You really are a super-star when you can score 22 points on 15 shots, on one leg, and pull down 6 rebounds (more than Splitter and Diaw combined.) If you do have the game on DVR play back the 4th quarter and look for the sequence where the relatively dimunitive Curry pulls down a defensive board with three of San Antonio’s tall timber around him. It is hard to measure heart but you can look at the result of an ugly game like this as one positive example.

    And finally, speaking of heart (or balls), I give you Jarret Jack. I don’t know about his non-shooting skills or basketball IQ but how can you not like going to battle with this man. The Warriors are a flawed and brilliant team. I say brilliance will carry the series.

    • My point @19 wasn’t clear, apparently. In an ugly game, I would hardly single out Barnes. He had the easiest match-ups, but in spite of his mistakes he kept delivering, and did so down the stretch in a playoff game. I thought his performance was impressive and, hopefully, promising for the years to come.

  30. Correction on 29 above. Barnes is not yet 21 years old.

  31. It’s odd that in one of the biggest games of the playoffs that Barnes took 26 shots, the most for the Warriors, and made only 9. I believer 3 were off of offensive rebounds, and he missed all three. The Warriors didn’t score on his other 2 OR’s. The Spurs only scored on 1 of his 4 turnovers. He did get to the foul-line, going 7-7. It sure seems that Jack, Curry, or even Thompson, who was not having a particular good night, should have taken some of those shots.

    The Warriors do not play an aggressive defense. They obtain few steals and cause few turnovers. They won the OR battle, which largely offset their committing 18 turnovers to, I believe, the Spurs, 11. Is it the coaching or the players. And we won the OR, as it seemed the Spurs were not crashing the offensive boards throughout the game. They were only a net 4 in possessions. Thankfully, the Spurs had a horrendous night shooting.

    • With Curry gimpy yet still covered and Thompson and Jack covered, and with Parker— obviously laboring with injury but whom they had to keep on the floor—on Barnes much of the time, they had to go to Barnes.

      The Spurs are, in fact, old and short handed, especially in the backcourt, and the series may well depend on what Parker can do and what kind of performance we see from Jack. Shutting down Jack may be the highest priority in Game 5.

      • I’m not sure Duncan can go all out a full game. He’s not tested on defense when he guards any of the centers who are no scoring threat, and a lot of his scoring comes from outside shots. I don’t recall his moving out that much on defense, though this option is open to him.

        If they could test him more on defense—and wear him out sooner—the Warriors may have a better chance. Also making Parker work both ends of the court. Ginobli remains the wild card.

    • Frank, that’s the Warriors defensive strategy, and it has been for most of the year. Force the other team to beat them from the outside. Also, try to get the other team to take shots that they are not comfortable taking. Because Curry is not a great on-ball defender, he has to pick his spots. Both Klay and Curry come up with steals on occasion, usually by jumping into the passing lane.

      How many good shots have you seen the Spurs get in this series? Not too many. Outside of game 1, have the Spurs been in rhythm the entire series? It certainly doesn’t seem like it.

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      Frank it is even more odd that you are so clueless about the situation. Mark Jackson had a game plan to punish Tony Parker in the post. Parker was injured and guarding a bigger stronger player wears you down. Which you would not know because you have never played basketball before. In addition I was less than 15 feet away from where Barnes was schooling and Parker and he got fouled at least 5 times with no calls made because he is a rookie. No matter dislike Barnes he is thriving in the playoffs while Moe Harkless sits on his couch watching the playoffs.

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