Buying Time: Warriors 97 Spurs 87 — Game 4

You could choose from any number of story lines to describe this Game 4 Warriors win against the Spurs. Mark Jackson’s was this: “I’m just so glad that a national TV audience had an opportunity to see exactly what’s been taking place in this area.” The Warriors’ PR department’s preferred story line was “Barnes Shoots Lights Out!” Buried deep in the sports section, you might find something about how Jarrett Jack put the Warriors on his back and carried them when they absolutely needed him. You’ll find something about Bogut’s defense and rebounding against Tim Duncan. And the fact that the crippled Curry and Lee gave everything they had. 

This was a win notable for physical courage and sheer determination. It was more like watching the 15th round of a heavyweight prize fight than a basketball game.

But a seasoned NBA playoff watcher’s story line to this game would be far more cynical than those above. It would be something like this: In a must win home game for the Warriors, and a throwaway road game for the Spurs — a game in which the home team typically dominates — the Warriors barely survived. The Spurs were road-weary, unmotivated on the glass, unable to hit a shot, nor even a free throw. (The Spurs were 14-25 on FTs, 56% in this game. They were 4th in the league at 78.7% during the regular season, one notch better than the Warriors.) And yet the game was tied at the end of regulation. If anything, this game made it even more clear that the Spurs are currently in control of this series.

Perhaps the most important story line of this game — and certainly one that Warriors fans should hope is true — is that it bought some time for Stephen Curry’s ankle to heal. Because barring his miraculous return to health, and another playoff performance for the ages, I can’t see the Warriors stealing another game in San Antonio.

JACK!: Jack had a JACK! game. He carried the Warriors, as the primary ball-handler throughout. Hit big shot after big shot in the second half.

Spent a lot of time guarding Tony Parker, which was an interesting adjustment on Mark Jackson’s part. By setting Parker up further from the rim, Pop took away Klay Thompson’s effectiveness. Jack can’t challenge Parker’s shot as well as Klay, but he can make Parker work harder to shake free.

Warriors fans are out of their minds in their criticism of Jarrett Jack. He’s not a perfect player, by any means. But he’s a damn good one.

Metta World Peace recently tweeted that Jack is a top ten point guard in the league. I think that’s about right.

A top ten point guard who will be too expensive for the capped-out Joe Lacob next year. And too much in the way of Harrison Barnes.

Curry: I’m just beyond sad to see this great player hobbled again. And in particular that Warriors fans and the world will most likely be denied the chance to see him try to carry the Warriors in the meaningful Game 5.

How many players could hit 5 threes on one leg?

Check out that clutch right-handed runner he hit in crunchtime. He wrong-footed it, off his healthy right foot. One of the greatest talents to ever set foot on the hardwood.

David Lee: Every time Lee takes the court, I have to admit I think about RG3, and how outraged at Mike Shanahan I was during that game. But six specialists and a bishop have said it’s OK for him to play, so I guess it must be OK.

In this game, his performance was much more than inspirational. Due to early foul trouble on Bogut and Ezeli, the Warriors were desperate for his minutes.

All those members of the bellowing herd who think David Lee is a “terrible” defender, owe it to him to replay the first 6 defensive possessions he played in this game, in which the Spurs were held scoreless.

David Lee doesn’t defend the rim. He’s not a shotblocker. But the simple fact of the matter is that Lee is a very decent defender, mano a mano, against opposing big men in the post. He’s proven that against Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, Blake Griffin and numerous others. And he showed it again, last night, on one leg.

And there’s something else I’d like to ask the bellowing herd: Is defensive rebounding a part of playing defense? Ending a defensive possession with a rebound?

I think some guys who played with Dennis Rodman might have an opinion on that.

Barnes Shoots Lights Out! That was the graphic the Warriors PR department pasted onto the post-game show. Really? I have to confess, I wasn’t nearly as impressed as they wanted me to be by his 9-26 shooting. Barnes made just enough buckets to keep the Warriors in this game, but it’s hilarious to me that anyone would call this a good performance, let alone the performance of Barnes’ young life.

Barnes was nearly always being guarded by the worst Spurs defender on the court, whether Parker, Neal or Bonner. And for some reason, Pop left him alone in isolation. He had been trapping Barnes, to great effect, in all the previous games. (Was this a head-game? Will he revert to trapping Barnes in Game 5? Or was he simply trying to induce a 9-26 performance?)

All alone in isolation, Barnes managed to get to the rim a couple of times. Particularly against Bonner, which is a great matchup for him. But against the Spurs point guards he generally looked terrible. Spinning, off-balance jumpers. Poor decisions. 4 TOs.

He looked even worse on defense. None of the Spurs could make a shot, of course,  but when either Green or Leonard decided to take it to the rim, they went right by him. He can’t stay in front of anyone. Which was probably on his mind when Ginobili broke his ankles at 0:20 4th quarter, and he fell on his ass. Ginobili missed the wide open three to win the game, as Barnes watched from a seat on the floor.

Barnes did grab 10 rebounds, in a game where rebounds were raining, but most were uncontested, in a game in which the Spurs didn’t expend much energy on the offensive boards. One rebound that was very much contested occurred in crunchtime at 4:50 4Q: Leonard simply threw Barnes to the ground for an offensive rebound and put back.

The great Hubie Brown weighed in on that one: “Absolutely inexcusable!”

I know I’m gonna get a lot of hate mail for this evaluation of Barnes’ game. Trust me, I know the kid is only 20 years old, and has a lot of room to grow, and a lot of years in which to grow. But until that happens, is it OK if I just tell it like it is? I’m not selling season tickets on this blog.

Here’s something to show I’m not a complete Grinch: One area in which Barnes has excelled in these playoffs is at the free throw line, where I believe he’s shooting well over 90%, 7-7 in this game, and looking completely unflappable. Not bad, for a player who shot 76% on FTs in the regular season.

If these playoffs have proven anything about Barnes’ game, it’s that he has ice water in his veins.

Klay: I understand Mark Jackson’ game plan to attack the Spurs’ weakest defensive link. But that clutch drive and running banker Klay hit over Leonard at 0:30 4Q really showed me something.

I’d rather put the ball in Klay’s hands against Leonard and Green, than in Barnes’ hands against Tony Parker. I think this great player could do better than 9-26.

Landry: One of the best 2-9 performances you’ll ever see. His defense against Tim Duncan was superb, one of the most surprising things about this game.

Bogut: Fought through silly first half foul trouble to have a big impact in the second half. He was particularly good in one on one defense against Tim Duncan. Or maybe Duncan was just busy laying an egg. I’m not altogether certain which is most true, but Game 5 in San Antonio will probably provide a clue.

Bogut also owned the defensive glass, with 18 rebounds in 28 minutes.

As big as Bogut played in this game, though, I saw some signs for concern going forward. For instance, I thought there were signs that Bogut didn’t feel great on his ankle. Like that play at 8:00 3Q, where he got the offensive rebound and had a wide open dunk at the rim. Instead of leaping, he flipped up a soft two-handed bowl of mess. That was followed by his failure to get up to catch Curry’s alley-oop at 5:00 4Q.

Speaking of his ankle, have you noticed how the Warriors have gone dark on the subject of his injections? I intended to predict that, after his spontaneous admission in the afterglow of the Warriors Round One victory, but it slipped my mind. So I’ll say it now: you will hear no more about Bogut’s injections for the rest of the playoffs, even though we are hearing about Curry’s.

Another thing that should be extremely concerning to the Warriors is Bogut’s complete inability to cover the Spurs’ pick and roll. He hates coming out to pick up the guards. That actually didn’t hurt the Warriors too much in this game, as Parker missed more than half of his wide open shots. But I’m not sure you can count on that continuing in Game 5.

When he is pressured by made shots to try coming out a little further, he renders himself helpless against the drive. Both Parker and Ginobili burned him on drives in this game.

A few signature plays to check out:

  • 10:00 3Q, a high pick for Parker out at the three point line leaves Bogut high and dry in no man’s land.
  • Starting at 6:25 4th Q, Ginobili runs two straight pick and rolls against Bogut. One results in a wide open three, the other in a layup.
  • 0:40 4th Q Parker cans the second of two straight wide open jumpers over Bogut.

As Mark Jackson loves to say, “It’s a make or miss league.” And in this game the Spurs missed. But it remains true that Bogut’s pick and roll coverage leaves the Warriors completely at the mercy of Parker and Ginobili’s ability to hit wide open shots.

If the Warriors are going to steal Game 5 in San Antonio, Bogut will have to have a more active game. Better than this one. It might be time for another injection.

On a slightly different topic, Magic Johnson made a very curious comment at halftime in this game. He said:

This summer, Golden State, if they want to be a championship team, they got to get a post player who can score down low.

I had two immediate thoughts about this. The first was: Huh? Doesn’t Magic realize that the Warriors have Andrew Bogut? To which the answer is yes, of course he does. So what is he saying? Apparently, Magic Johnson considers Bogut to be an extremely limited offensive player, incapable of playing in the low post. A one-way player who’s not championship caliber. Either that, or he doesn’t believe Bogut will be around next year.

My second thought was: Huh? Didn’t Magic watch the last two Finals? Did the Mavs or the Heat ever throw it into the low post? Did the Thunder?

The Memphis Grizzlies and the Indiana Pacers play the kind of basketball that Magic Johnson and Joe Lacob recognize. But the other contenders in today’s NBA are working from a completely different model.

The Nellieball model.

59 Responses to Buying Time: Warriors 97 Spurs 87 — Game 4

  1. Dead on, FB, and thanks.

  2. thewarriorfaithful

    i dont agree with the fact that this was a throwaway game for the spurs. i think you have to take in account the fact that the spurs are aging and they would love to win the series with the least amount of games possible. especially with tony parker banged up. you can also say timmy d was ineffective during the OT period because he was tired and the fact that manu airballed a 3 because he said during his interview “he couldn’t get his legs under him”

  3. geraldmcgrew

    Thanks. Great stuff as always.

    This has been a great ride and I’ll continue to enjoy it for as long as it lasts, even if game 4 was not what I’d call great basketball (I wish boxing did still have 15 rounds).

    Your last few paragraphs have me thinking about where my loyalties will go if the Ws lose the series. I may once again find myself grudgingly rooting for the Heat (last year it was due to contempt for the Thunder owner).

    I like this Grizz team and their lack of star-system appeal. I really do. But the last two champions – after many dark years of boring finals – have refreshingly moved the sport away from its long Jackzenization. In a copy-cat league, the continuation of this trend is top priority.

  4. Felty: Right on. Do you think Bogut may retire this summer?

  5. thanks again, felt boss. this loss isn’t going to shake SA’s focus or confidence. unless curry has a miraculous improvement, the critical players to GS’s chances in the next game are probably thompson and the mobility/endurance of bogut of course.

    fans of the grueling fifteen round championship bouts (20-50 years ago not just heavies, but the middle- and welterweights also had memorable matches) can flash back to the ’75 conference finals, Chi vs. GS. that great rivalry has been erased by the changed conference/division configurations, but at the time it was a huge grudge match, played under different rules that excused extensive contact. GS hasn’t won a playoff game while shooting under .40 since game seven in that Chi series. their finals were a cakewalk by comparison, though attles came close to beating down riordan for trying to start a fight with barry to get him tossed.

  6. Guys, Barnes shot less than 35% against a speed bump last night. If he ever actually punished Popovich for guarding him with Parker, this series would be over already.

    Until/unless our team gets better results from the 3, Popovich will stick with a matchup that permits him to blanket Curry and Thompson with world-class defenders. We get 45% shooting on 3s, or 35% 2 pointers.

    What do you all think will happen there? Is Jackson going to continue with the Barnes hype or is he going to try to win this series?

  7. For what it’s worth, Bogut is on record as saying that the injection last series was the first one he’d ever had before a game, and that he didn’t like the idea of relying on them. I guess we’ll see how strongly he feels about that as the playoffs go on. I know he won’t want to miss a game either.

  8. I still give Barnes credit for not collapsing completely but making a few key buckets down the stretch on a night almost no one was shooting well. Few points came that easy. He may also be our best chance for winning the series and we can only hope he does better the next games.

    The fouls on our centers may have been a mixed blessing. It forced bringing in fresh centers on Duncan, and even Biedrins was useful. Doing this may have worn Duncan down—he wasn’t effective 2nd. half—and may be a good strategy for the remaining games.

    And maybe something similar could be done on Parker? Bring in Bazemore for quick minutes and swap off Thompson and Jack?

    Wear down Parker and Duncan, and maybe we have a chance.

    Memphis I don’t want to think about.

  9. Myth of David Lee
    Are we still apologizing for David Lee’s defense? Lol! If Lee isn’t healthy enough to be able to run the pick and roll with Jack/Curry and with an obvious player mismatch (which Lee is simply awesome at) – Lee doesn’t need to even be in the game. It’s the playoffs. Lee can’t guard anyone when healthy (and he isn’t) and Lee isn’t good enough offensively to hide on defense (like Parker). Rookie Harrison Barnes plays better defense than David Lee right now AND HARRISON BARNES CAN SPREAD THE FLOOR WITH HIS 3 POINT SHOT! Draymond Green too. And Harrison’s defense is only subpar. David Lee had a team worst -12. Harrison? +13. Hate to say it but the truth needs to be said: W’s MVP for both playoff series is David Lee going down forcing Mark Jackson to play small. Barnes/Green/Landry > Lee at PF.

  10. RE: Bogut
    Superstar Tim Duncan shot only 31.8 percent for the game and was -23. Bogut outrebounded Tim Duncan by 3 in 17 less minutes…

    I’d say Andrew Bogut did just fine.

  11. RE: Harrison Barnes
    Harrison Barnes is a 20-year old rookie – who was the high scorer for a must-win game in a 2nd round playoff series!!! Underhanded compliments and belittling Harrison’s accomplishments? Is this really necessary?

    My goodness – what does Harrison Barnes need to do for respect around this blog?

    Barnes was a HUGE reason why the W’s made it past the Denver Nuggets and is a big reason why the Spurs are struggling to put out the W’s.

    No – it’s not the W’s PR machine. Harrison was the game’s high scorer… 9-26 and 7 free throws, no misses. And double digit rebounds…

    Harrison EXPECTS to be here and performing well on a national stage. And he’s surpassing all expectations!

    • Play defense. I wouldn’t care that he shoots 9-26 while not being guarded if he could just do that.

      • Naw, I’d like to see him shoot better than 35% against a gnat too.

        • If David Lee had a 26-10 game, we’d all be drooling all over ourselves. And Lee doesn’t play defense. Barnes’ defense is getting noticeably better (or less bad) – and he’s growing before our eyes! Very much like Klay Thompson I’d say…

          RE: Barnes bad defense – I guess we see this through our own rose-colored glasses – no one noticeably lit Barnes up in the game in my eyes. When I see David Lee play questionable D, I’m all over it (because I’m usually expecting it and Lee nearly always delivers! Lol!). Probably the same with FB and Barnes. Lol!

        • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

          Hat I would like to see Klay shoot better than 25% too!!!

  12. Why belittle Barnes or the Warriors? The Spurs have absolutely owned the W’s for DECADES. Now we’re tied 2up2nd round.
    As a true Warrior fan, I remember the dark days of Sonny Parker, Troy Murphy, Mookie B-Lock, Raymond Townsend, Jason Caffey, Rony Seikaly, Clifford Rozier, Derek Fisher, ET AL.
    I’m Liking this team alot. If Bogut and Curry can stay relatively healthy with our other core players we have a very bright future.
    I feel Steph is possibly the most skilled basketball player in the league. Brons bigger and faster, KD just startin, but Curry can get get you six points single-handedly in 10 or 20 seconds…

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      That is the feltbot special. He hates Joe Lacob. He hates Andrew Bogut. He hates Harrison Barnes. He belittles them every chance he gets. When they are successful he looks foolish so he has to discredit everything they do. By the way feltbot loves Monta Ellis and his 41% FG. Monta Ellis can’t shoot but according to feltbot Monta Ellis is an elite NBA player. That my friend is the feltbot myth.

  13. Wow really??? I don’t understand why such a negative write up. Barnes was terrible on defense yet he guarded Leanord and Ginobili, neither had an efficient offense game. And haven’t now for most of the series, obviously you don’t give Barnes credit for that. If they could get around him anytime they wanted then why didn’t they, play after play?? Shouldn’t Leanord be averaging 20+ a game?? Are you suggesting Pop isn’t smart enough to see that and make a game plan for it?? Yes he got shook on that one play, so what, that happens to every player and Manu is a hall of famer. Pretty sure he’s done that to a few. And every player gets beat sometimes but for a rookie he is doing fine so stop complaining. He pulled down 10 rebounds and you slight it by saying uncontested. Wow really, if so easy why didn’t everyone else get double digit rebounds. Why didn’t Leanord just go over him every time? Once again that’s just nonesense. I agree he didn’t shoot well in going 9 – 26 but did you notice how often he got bumped, shoved or out right hacked on his drives without getting a call? The key was he was aggressive in those situations, when they needed him to be and kept being aggressive. Also if you noticed no one shot well in the game, you can criticize all you want but the Warriors don’t win the game without Barnes. And of course Bogut is hurting he has been the entire playoffs. He is not going to be able to defend pick and roll enough to stop Parker most of the time but he sure has been doing a great job on Duncan and controlling the paint. I think any coach would trade a few jumpers off of pick and roll for that. So if someone had come up to you at the beginning of the playoffs and said the Warriors would be tied 2-2 with the Spurs in the second round, Bogut would averaging double digit rebounds and holding Duncan under 45% shooting, Barnes would be averaging nearly 15 points, would you have been happy?? It seems like you have experienced so much misery over the years and disappointment that you have no idea how to enjoy the Warriors actually doing well and being relevant. I know it’s tough but maybe for just a moment stop being a critic and simply go along with the ride.

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      The problem is the success of Barnes and Bogut exposes the feltbot myth. So he has to trash them with nonsense to protect himself from looking like a fool. Instead now he looks like an idiot with an agenda.

  14. Feltbot, your takes on Barnes and Bogut make you look foolish. Barnes played a very good game. His defense has been very good in this series. Thompson had a poor game. He’s expending energy on D but so are other players so that can’t be an excuse for mediocre offensive games like these. He needs to get much more consistent with his shot from game to game. He showed up strong for one game in the Denver series and so far one game in the Spurs series. That’s not good enough. He has a lot more physical ability than that. Thompson needs to get much tougher mentally. Hopefully, it will happen next year. Barnes already is tougher mentally than Thompson.

    • Great point Our Team – Barnes seems tough mentally. Or as FB put it, has ice-water in his veins. Sinking clutch free throws. I think you’re onto something. Barnes seems so relaxed in the big game. Steve called it a “clutch gene” – either you have it or not. Barnes mentally expects to shine on the big stage. His confidence is high.

  15. @12-14

    Guys, when our team runs weak scorers it has a ripple effect throughout the rest of the team. If Duncan doesn’t have to worry about Bogut’s shot, he can help elsewhere. If the Spurs can get away with Parker on Barnes, they can run tougher, longer defenders on Curry and Thompson.

    Do you guys actually read FB’s posts, or just scan through them to find stuff you want to bitch about?

    Barnes shot 35% against an old, hobbled 6’2″ PG who should have been stuck guarding Curry. Barnes is 6″ taller and outweighs Parker by 30 pounds. Barnes has a 40″ vertical leap – Parker can barely get off the floor. Barnes shot 35% against that speed bump guys, not 90%. Jackson kept feeding Barnes hoping he would make the Spurs pay for guarding him with a zero.

    Barnes shot 35%. Against Parker, Curry shot over 50% on 3s.

    Barnes did not make the Spurs pay. Popovich won that matchup because it allowed him to keep his best scorer on the floor and bury Curry and Thompson with tough defenders. If you don’t get that, go back and read some Feltbot.

    Sheesh.

    • warriorsablaze

      It seems you’re finally coming around as to why Monta Ellis is not a very good basketball player.

        • @Hat – you’ve just accurately described SG Monta Ellis’ game.

          Except that Barnes outscored Parker 26-17, and forced Parker to play both sides of the ball. And Barnes had 10 rebounds.

          Parker = Superstar/MVP candidate

          Barnes = 4th best option on this team

          I’d say Barnes is doing pretty good…

          • Check your facts.

            No opponent has ever “hidden” its weakest defender on Monta Ellis. Last year, Ellis routinely demanded double- and triple-teams.

            Fun thought: I wonder how many hundreds of points Ellis would score if he were ever guarded by someone slower, lower, 6″ shorter and 30 lb lighter.

          • @Hat – Harrison Barnes had the biggest game of his short career competing for the Western Conference Finals.

            Monta Ellis? He had a fight with his own teammate – standout center Larry Sanders – over ball-hogging and selfish behavior – in his short-lived playoff stint.

            If you and much of this blog is right about Monta Ellis – Monta will opt out of his contract – and take his talents elsewhere to the “right” team (say Dallas Mavericks with OJ Mayo, who doesn’t like his game or whatever team Jarret Jack lands in FA so Monta can play off the ball, but still guard a PG) and make a boatload of money.

          • Wow, PB, rather than guessing about Monta’s personality, let’s just keep the discussion on basketball, alright? I don’t know Ellis, and neither do you.

            I looked into the rumor about that supposed “fight” and posted a link here a while back. There was no fight. There weren’t even any angry words.

            If you think Monta is a clubhouse cancer or something, check with Curry on that. Ellis was the only teammate invited to Curry’s wedding. Without facts, all you have to go on is your personal reaction to his lousy interviewing skills, tattoos, or whatever.

            After the last game, Bogut and Jefferson were each asked by an announcer to talk about Barnes’ game. They both praised his athleticism and hard work. Neither said he did great in the game. Because he didn’t.

            Barnes’ poor shooting against a gnat allowed Popovich to keep that gnat on the floor and swamp Curry and Thompson with Kawhi Leonard (6’7″) and Danny Green (6’6″).

            Barnes should have completely demolished Parker. He didn’t, he scored LESS than Curry or Thompson would have with the same number of touches against Parker. That’s a fail, dude.

            Barnes got a lot of points only because he got a huge number of touches. If he had done his job and forced Pop to take Parker off him, those touches would have gone to the team’s top shooters instead. Where they belong.

      • I don’t think you can evaluate Monta without looking at the Bucks closely, who seem to be a mess.

        On thing is certain. If Ellis stayed and had similar performance, he would have heard about it here.

  16. Felt, we need some explanation of why Jackson continues to start and play Barnes heavy minutes. Considering his excellent coaching record this season, he should be able to see that Barnes is struggling on defense and pull him. Is Barnes the one mistake Jackson has made all season long?

  17. warriorsablaze

    … also those “uncontested rebounds” are the same rebounds that David Lee normally gets. If you’re going to add a negative qualifier to every positive for Barnes and Bogut, perhaps you should hold the players you like up to the same standard.

    • Lee had 22 boards in their win against a stronger Spurs earlier in the season—I posted this before.

      • warriorsablaze

        Well, of course, one game is all you need to evaluate a player. :/

        • Then let’s not be impressed by Bogut’s 18 boards Sunday. Your point stands, that someone else picks up his boards. They have matched the Spurs well in rebounding, with or without Bogut, although admittedly there are only 3 games for evidence.

          • Fact: The W’s may just advance to the Western Conference finals without any meaningful contribution from David Lee…

            Why even play Lee now?

            Lee’s not nowhere healthy, he’s clogging the lane/not scoring, his rebounding is not needed (W’s out-rebounded Spurs by double digits without Lee’s services), and he doesn’t play defense??? Who can David Lee guard on the Spurs right now? I’d rather have Green or Barnes in the game – at least they can spread the floor…

            Let Lee recover and let the coaches figure how to “play” him effectively with Bogut next season.

  18. We sit exactly 90 degrees from the visitor side rim and we look up at the basket. Claiming that most of Barnes rebounds were “uncontested” merely reinforces the fact that there is an intrinsic bias here. A rookie plays 51 minutes in a playoff game against the Spurs, more than holds his own and all he gets is vitriol and snide comments. Lovely.

  19. Somebody look at game 4 from the Spurs point of view. 4th. Q, with Bogut and Curry hobbled and Barnes, who is inexperienced and did get burned, they faced a weak defensive unit they should have exploited. Maybe Bogut clogged the lane just by standing there, but that should have left openings elsewhere. Like Denver, they just couldn’t shoot. I also don’t understand why Parker was kept out so long that quarter, unless he was hurting or gassed.

    San Antonio just isn’t that good now.

  20. Somebody has to cut through the hype and hysteria. Barnes, the player we tanked for, has been compared to superstars and positioned as a key piece for the future. His season stats were so-so, however, nothing to make us think he’d be much more than a bench player, though he exceeded them during the playoffs, which is encouraging.

    His weaknesses and inexperience remain obvious, however. His mistakes the other night were obvious and glaring. Someone has to point them out.

    The glass is one-third full.

    Will he meet those expectations? We have no way of knowing either way.

  21. Did Barnes play power forward in the last game? He did not. He was not rebounding against the monsters, but picking up free balls, of which there were a ton in this game.

    Also he got exactly 1 rebound when the going got tough in crunchtime, by which I mean the fourth quarter and overtime combined.

    So yes, I thought it worth mentioning that there was some illusion in his final tally.

    It’s a mistake to think I have an agenda. Every game I set out to report what my eyes are seeing. I do develop beliefs, as a result of what I have seen. But if the evidence on the court contradicts those beliefs, I report that here.

    I understand Warriors fans desire to celebrate every win, particularly at this stage. But it’s my job to put this win in context. It was a meaningless game for the Spurs, that they almost stole.

    I also understand Warriors fans desire to worship their rookies, particularly when exhorted to do so by the Warriors PR department. But it’s my job to point out what’s real, and what isn’t. 9-26 going against Parker, Neal and Bonner is not real. Not being able to stop anyone, nor even stay on your feet, in isolation, is not real.

    I will fully admit I hold Lee and Barnes to completely different standards on the defensive end of the court. I have always admitted this. If you read this blog closely, you will understand the reason why. It is not frequently the role of the power forward to be a defensive stopper. But it is ALWAYS the role of the small forward. Always.

    I hold Barnes to a higher standard on defense than Stephen Curry also. For the exact same reason.

    Curry and Lee are and will continue to be great players despite their defensive limitations. Harrison Barnes, the small forward, does not have that luxury. He must develop into a stopper, like every other small forward still competing in the playoffs (save the moribund Knicks), or he will be a mediocrity.

    • Early in the game, Barnes was guarded by Diaw PF, Splitter PF, Bonner PF, (and he lit them up), and then Green, Neal, Parker – then Leonard and Ginobili towards the end of the game and in overtime. He scored on pretty much all of them.

      Barnes probably didn’t have too many rebounds later in the game because he camped on the three point line playing SF (against Leonard/Ginobili) but at least he spread the floor and let the playmakers make the plays. Barnes is the #4 option.

      With pure scorers like Curry, Klay, and Jack – Barnes spaces the floor with the threat of a three. And slashes and finishes at the rim when they overplay. And punishes mismatches – such as Diaw/Splitter/Bonner/Parker. That’s all he has to do offensively to be hugely successful offensively on THIS team.

      Harrison Barnes needs to be a defensive stopper myth? He’s good enough defensively. Perhaps next year like Klay.

      • we actually learned much more about green this season and postseason than we have about barnes, though the younger rookie played nearly twice as many minutes in the regular season. conversely, up to the playoffs, green played twice as many minutes as barnes with curry on the bench. [the decision in preseason to start barnes rather than rush was probably made to ensure that most of barnes’ minutes were with the team’s best players]. barnes will provide a useful option playing the 4, but it’s safe to say green will defend and rebound at that position better. green has a better ‘nose for the ball’, better hands, quicker decision making.

        the season now is literally game to game, and any player, even biedrins, could come up with the winning necessities. the limitations of extrapolating from a sample size of a limited number of games — like the ‘lee is superfluous’ argument — should be obvious.

    • Thanks for the reminder.

      Put differently, a strong 3 is what is needed to keep Curry and Lee on the court. Most don’t have problems with Curry now (finally!), but the objections to Lee, with his consistent performance on boards and offense, all those double doubles, are beyond perplexing. Someone has to shore up the defense and provide some extra pop on offense.

      And for all the Bogut worshippers, a strong 3 is needed to keep him on the court, given his limited range and negligible offense. Barnes was a hole in the defense the Spurs should have been able to exploit. At least he got some buckets the other day.

      Strategy, the makeup of the team has to be factored in. A team based on Curry, Bogut, and Barnes is a formula for mediocrity both ends of the court.

    • I predict…that no matter what Lacob & his boys Bogut & Barnes do, feltbot & his surrogates will always find a hangnail!

      “It’s a mistake to think I have an agenda” righto & Fox is Fair & Balanced?

      • Scotch, just curious, what sort of agenda do you suppose Feltbot has? He isn’t paid to do this. As a gambler, he’s only “paid” to be right.

        If FB does have an anti-Bogut/Barnes bias, in what way would you say he’s been wrong? Is Bogut a good scorer, highly mobile, able to defend the PNR? Is he fully recovered? I’ve heard FB praise Bogut a ton for his guts and for his impact in games, especially in light of his ankle problem. What has he said that is incorrect?

        Would you say Barnes gets better per-minute results than Jefferson or Thompson at the 3? Do you think he’s a good defender? Everyone knows Barnes is just a rookie, but does that make it unfair to point out that he hasn’t arrived yet? Looking down the road, don’t you have to wonder if Barnes is going to start next year?

        Just wonderin.

      • I’m confused. Weren’t Mark Jackson, Klay Thompson, Jarrett Jack, Festus Ezeli and Draymond Green also Joe Lacob moves?

        Having an strong opinion doesn’t always equate to bias.

  22. If the Warriors don’t run tonight they are going to have a difficult time winning.

    As they have continued to make too many turnovers that are not offset by their advantage in offensive rebounds. On the other hand if they can commit no more than 14 turnovers there should be not much of a deficit. Unless they do so, they will need to shoot a higher FG% than the Spurs.

    They have a better chance of accomplishing that on the Spurs home court by running.

    • for about sixteen years we’ve heard the pundits and media observers say the best way for GS to compete with SA is to keep their offense up tempo and open the court up. it was true up to a point, but an elite defensive team can play transition d, and the record speaks for itself. popovich for his part has adjusted roster and tactics in the last 3-4 years (g.hill for leonard one instance) to increase his team’s options in that kind of game. SA’s counterattack faltered a bit in the last quarter and overtime in the road game, in part because ginobili tired, and jack found a hot streak. how their vets revive in their home court, and popovich’s adjustments, will probably be the principal determinants in the game.

      curry says his ankle is better than where it was prior to game four. his team though has managed to lose some of his greatest games. if his mobility kicks up a notch or two, their transition offense improves greatly, and thompson will probably benefit whether in the open court or half court. bogut’s capacity and mobility is the other principal variable.

  23. Barnes’ defense is much, much better than Feltbot, Hat and some others on here acknowledge. He has occasional lapses but overall his defense in this series has been very good. He tripped and fell on a cross-over by Parker. Big Deal. He has done an excellent job when asked to defend Parker in this series. I actually think he’s done an even better job on Parker than Thompson, who has played exemplary defense on Parker. Unlike earlier in the year, Barnes is anticipating screens better and staying down on pump fakes. Barnes is 6′ 8 ” and he’s able to keep up with one of the quickest guards in the league. That’s incredible. On offense, he wasn’t just matched against Parker last game. He also took it to Neal and others. And so what if Parker and Neal are shorter than he is? He’s quick enough to drive on them and big enough to post them up. That’s his advantage. If you ask me, I’d say Barnes so far has outplayed Ginobili in this series, and that’s saying something for a 20 year old.

    The Warriors desperately need someone to drive to the basket and make teams pay for extended on our shooters and putting their best defender(s) on Curry. Barnes is starting to figure out how to utilize his physical gifts in the NBA and as he does, watch out. Tonight, if Klay’s hitting early, HB will let him go and not force shots. But if Klay’s off again, HB will step up to complement Curry’s scoring load.

    I feel like we’re watching different games when Feltbot talks about Barnes and Bogut, the same game when he talks about Curry.

    • “I’d say Barnes so far has outplayed Ginobili in this series”

      Barnes has better stats. He’s been awesome at the FT line. He’s not a great defender. And he’s being guarded by the worst defenders on the opposing team, so he should be cleaning up on O, but isn’t.

      http://origin.nba.com/playerfile/harrison_barnes
      http://www.nba.com/playerfile/emanuel_ginobili/

      In this series Ginobili has been a shadow of his former self, presumably due to injuries. He’s also not being guarded by the weakest defender on the Ws (Curry).

      Not sure you can compare a healthy Barnes to a busted-up Ginobili, though you’re welcome to if it makes you feel better about Barnes.

      • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

        Hat you compared Monta Ellis to Dwayne Wade so you are pretty clueless when it comes to comparisons.

  24. The Warriors need to shoot 47 percent from the field in order to put themselves in a position to win. They won’t attain that percentage Plainfield a half court game. Warriors lose tonight If Barnes takes the most shots. Game on shoulders of jack. Thompson, Green and Landry.

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      Frank in case you missed it Harrison Barnes made All Rookie 1st Team. Moe Harkless didn’t even make the 2nd team. Apparently you don’t know more than every coach in the NBA after all.

  25. No complaints about Barnes tonight! I’ll let someone else cover his defense, but the whole team was getting burned, especially Curry.

    Is there no way to put more pressure on Parker?

    But this looked more like the Spurs we knew and feared. I’m surprised Pop didn’t go to Green and Leonard more previous games.

    I haven’t seen David Lee wince once.

  26. Hat and Feltbot (Postgame 5; Barnes and Thompson): Hate to say I told you so, but I told you so.

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      LMAO Hat thought the Warriors should bench Barnes and replace him with Thompson. Harrison Barnes will end up being better than Klay Thompson. Klay can’t make a layup and he definitely does not have ice in his veins.

  27. Mr. Lacob urge real fans to start place non-refundable deposit on next season’s tickets.

  28. Hey Fake Girlfriend: You don’t know how to assess performance. They count over whose selected by coaches to rookie first team rookie. You should know that given the fact Curry didn’t make all-stars.