Spurs in Control: Spurs 109 Warriors 91 — Game 5

David Lee just might be the healthiest star on the court.

That’s a joke of course. But Bogut and Curry are working on one leg. Manu Ginobili is working on no legs. His legs are so bad that he can’t even hit a free throw. Tim Duncan looked like he turned into an 80 year old man between the first and second quarter. When is the last time you saw him brick a layup, and then airball a 15 footer, on consecutive possessions? Tony Parker took a quarter to get his body working. He said post-game that everything hurt to start the game, his calf, his Achilles, and that, “I felt like I was 50.” Tiago Splitter looks nothing like the player he was during the regular season. He’s maybe 70%.

All of the role players on both teams have been forced to step up. This series looks less like Warriors-Spurs right now than it does a rookie-sophomore game. And the sophomores are winning.

Otherwise, nothing much has changed in the series from the last game. The return of Tiago Splitter to the starting lineup, and Popovich’s defensive adjustment on Stephen Curry (discussed next) have put the Spurs in control. Even if Bogut and Curry get healthy in a hurry for next game, it’s difficult to see what Mark Jackson can do to change the dynamic. He appears out of answers.

Curry: It’s obvious his ankle is a big problem, and Pop is making it worse by attacking him on the defensive end. But I don’t think it’s his only problem. As I noted in my recap of Game 2, Pop found a defense in the second half of that game that worked against Curry, before he injured his ankle. He used Danny Green to guard Curry from the side, rather than in front. Taking away his three point shot completely, and inviting him to drive into a trap. Curry shot 3-11, 0-1 from three, in the second half of Game 2.

I called this defense then a “worrisome development,” and it has proved just that. By my count, Curry had three open shots all night long. Pop has figured out a way to deny Curry the three point shot without actually blitzing, and Mark Jackson has yet to figure out a counter. He may, in fact, be helpless to figure out a counter.

Because of Andrew Bogut. And because of the injury to David Lee.

A major reason that Pop’s defense is so successful against Curry is that he has no real options off the pick and roll. His number one option is to jack a quick shot over a closing trap. His second option is to dribble into another trap, and try to get a runner off over a 7 footer.

His third option, which should be his main option against this defense, is to pass to the roll man. The only problem with that is that his roll man is Andrew Bogut, and Bogut is helpless to create offense against the Spurs defense. He can’t shoot the 15 footer. He can’t beat the Spurs rotation to the basket. And because his roll is no threat, the other Spurs defenders can stick like glue to their men on the wings. Giving Curry no option at all to find a three point shooter.

One of the very biggest differences between the Spurs and the Warriors is that the Spurs have two-way big men, and the Warriors don’t. The Warriors are playing 4 on 5 on the offensive end.

Do they miss David Lee yet?

Jack: Warriors fans will be all over his turnovers. I will note this: like Curry, he’s being trapped on the pick and roll, which makes even good ballhandlers turnover prone, and that’s down to Andrew Bogut’s inability to play on offense.

It’s also down to the coaches, as Jerry West says. It may be time to simply get Bogut out of the way, and iso Curry and Jack at the top, as the Warriors did to beat Denver’s blitz. Remember that?

Bogut: It’s possible he tweaked his ankle, by landing on Splitter’s foot in the first quarter. It’s also possible that, like Game 5 against Denver, his ankle was killing him before the game started, and he took the game off.

Whichever is the case, Bogut was awful in this game. Most of the time, didn’t even attempt to guard the pick and roll. Left Duncan completely unguarded in the key. Couldn’t move laterally at all to challenge layups. Not a presence on the boards.

Assuming they have to choose, should the Warriors shoot him up for Game 6, or wait until a possible Game 7? I think they’ll opt for Game 6, in front of the home crowd.

I expect Bogut to come out for Game 6 like he did in Game 6 against Denver. As for how he finishes, let’s hope Mark Jackson’s god keeps his hands on him.

Jefferson: He looks pretty darn good in his minutes to me. Like a veteran. Do you have the feeling he could have had a bigger role this season? Given David Lee a breather at stretch-four? Helped the Warriors win some games?

One of the biggest mysteries of this season, that was left completely unexplored by the beat writers. $10 million, left on the bench to rot.

There was a Rookie of the Year contest to consider, I guess.

Thompson: He’s simply not being left open, and he’s not being given the ball to create his own shot. Mark Jackson is going to the Barnes mismatch for that.

Mitch Richmond had something to say about this on the Warriors post-game show. He doesn’t think Thompson’s shooting woes are entirely his fault, because he’s been the forgotten man. He thinks the Warriors need to put the ball in his hands more, and get him going.

There might be some truth to that.

Corey Joseph: Gave the Spurs some big minutes in this game in relief of Tony Parker. Pop reached into the D-Leagues on March 1 for Joseph, in response to the injury devastation to the Spurs backcourt. And he’s become a part of the Spurs’ playoff rotation.

Once Brandon Rush went down, do you think the Warriors could have used Joseph, or a player like him, to back up Curry and Jack? Cut down their minutes? Keep them fresh for the playoffs? Step up big in the playoffs in the event of injury?

That’s not how Joe Lacob operates. For the third straight season, Lacob stripped the Warriors bench at the trading deadline. Do you think the Warriors could have used Charles Jenkins in the last few games?

Hey, at least we got under the cap.

Kawhi Leonard: He’s shooting 58% in this series (chiefly with Barnes guarding him). But I don’t watch him for his offense.

I watch him for his defense, which is out of this world. I would love to see the stats on what Thompson and Curry are shooting when guarded by him. I’m guessing it’s well below 40%.

What a player, and a big reason why the Spurs are currently in control of this series.

Two-way wings are what win in the NBA. Whether you build your team conventionally, like Memphis and Indiana, or as a Nellieball team, like Miami, OKC, and Denver, they are not an option. They are essential.

Barnes: Had a genuinely good offensive game, probably his best so far as a Warrior. Still covered by the Spurs’ worst defender for most of the game (whether that be Parker, Neal, or Bonner) — still single-covered by Pop (Pop is by his coverage essentially daring the Warriors to beat them with Barnes) — Barnes responded with a coolly efficient 10-18 for 25 points, and only one turnover. Instead of validating the Spurs defense with a godawful 9-26 and 4 TO performance, he punished the Spurs defense for disrespecting him, and just possibly gave Pop something to think about going into Game 6.

I took some heat for pointing out Barnes’ inefficiency in his last game. Let me ask those who criticized me something: In the Pacers-Knicks game played earlier tonight, Carmelo Anthony shot 9-23 for 24 points, and JR Smith shot 7-22 for 19 points, not against Tony Parker and Matt Bonner, but against the best defense in the entire league. Do you think the Knicks’ PR department splashed “Melo and JR Shoot Lights Out!” all over their post-game show?

Of course they didn’t. Because that would be an insult to their fans’ intelligence.

This was the first time all season that I felt that Barnes looked truly comfortable in isolation. As Jim Barnett noted post-game, he took his time and surveyed the defense before deciding what he wanted to do. There was very little forcing. He even scored efficiently over Danny Green, on the few possessions Green picked him up. Progress.

Can you imagine what it would mean to the Warriors if Barnes were able to force either Leonard or Green off of Curry or Thompson, in order to guard him? I don’t think there’s a chance in hell that happens, but it is Barnes’ job to make it happen. Or to at least give Pop a headache thinking about it.

Or how about forcing Pop to start sending double teams again, as he did in Games 1-3? To give Curry and Thompson a chance of finding a crack of daylight in the black night of the Spurs’ smothering defense. That is Harrison Barnes’ job, when he finds himself being single-covered by Tony Parker.

On the defensive end… well, I’ll just point out once again that there are light years between Barnes and the Spurs wings Leonard and Green on that end. But I did notice him help turn Tony Parker over once, and block his shot to end the second half. I believe that’s his first block of the series. Progress.

(You see how I did that?)

51 Responses to Spurs in Control: Spurs 109 Warriors 91 — Game 5

  1. FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

    Feltbot you just don’t get it. Curry is a star. Thompson according to you is a future All Star. So why would Pop put Parker on either one of them. Barnes is a 20 year old rookie. No matter how well Barnes plays Thompson and Curry are better players right now so it makes zero since for the Spurs to do that. I guess you are not as smart as you claim you are or you would realize this.

  2. lee, curry, thompson were in the top twenty for minutes played this season. deng, bryant, westbrook along with lee couldn’t finish their playoffs due to injury, and curry is considerably diminished. thompson has had to chase the opponents’ best perimeter scorers every game. his body might just lack the extra giddyup to move effectively off the ball against a good defender or gain the extra foot of space for a better look at the rim.

    as worn down as SA’s main three guys are, at least their coach did his best to conserve them, and they’ll probably have enough to get through to the conference finals. just another way Popovich gives his team a margin for winning.

    • Here is where I look at stats closely. Do you have a link to the True Hoops piece you mentioned elsewhere?

      • from May 13, H.Abbott’s piece, “What Happens to the NBA’s Iron Men?” if you go down to the paragraph that starts out ‘David Thorpe’s Theory’, that’s a link to a more comprehensive quantitative analysis (from Nov. ’12) of how things have changed from the days of teams giving their best players very heavy playing loads. on the other hand, during the stretch drive the preacher told us that the best teams he played for or watched shortened their rotations for post season runs.

        if jack leaves and rush returns, a good part of jack’s load is likely headed barnes’ way, as our boss has remarked. we’ve no reason to think that jackson will significantly modify his approach to resting his best players if he isn’t coaxed to do so by the brain trust. but the guy who essentially has the only vote, lacob, has a greater hunger for the revenues of post season games, and getting to just 46 wins again could prove more difficult than it was this year [if you have trouble beating Sac, after all, everyone is tough]. what we’re seeing now might well be the team’s ceiling in the near future ; we’ll learn soon if that means reaching the conference finals.

  3. Added: A point I wanted to make about Corey Joseph.

  4. thewarriorfaithful

    how the warriors played tonight is playing straight into pop’s ultimate plan. allow the warriors to beat the spurs with harrison barnes instead of steph and klay. take those 3 point threats/scorers completely out of the game and you have a blowout. the warriors simply don’t have enough offense without them. harrison scoring 25 tonight and jarrett jack with the hot hand was not enough to even keep the dubs in the game. pop will let the rest of the team beat the spurs because he knows their scoring just can’t keep up and that since we are a young team and turnover prone he focuses all his attention outscoring our terrible perimeter defense

  5. Start stocking up on Tums, Felt, because that crow being forced down your throat by Harrison Barnes over the next several years is going to be tough to digest.

    • @Our Team
      Eating crow? Try eating some Black Falcon! Lol! While watching the game, I’m saying to myself – how can FB be absolutely so wrong to miss out on Barnes? This kid’s already playoff good! 10-18, 2-3 and 25 points and 7 rebounds… In the biggest game of his life. Calm, cool, veteran-like.

      FB really needs to stop referring to the player as Harrison, Barnes, or Harrison Barnes… He’s “The Brand!” Lol!

      If the W’s want to trade The Brand this summer, they’ll be able to get something back REALLY REALLY good… Much better than a 1 year rental on Paul Pierce! Lol! Imagine if that trade had been done – it would be like Parrish/McHale, Part 2! Lol!

      Unfortunately – The Brand, Jack, Landry, Jefferson, and Lee were the only players who brought their offense – and those guys aren’t our stars.

      Our star players – Curry and Bogut – were damaged goods. That’s the real story of the W’s side of the game.

      The Spurs completely shut Thompson down completely, which shouldn’t happen. Thompson needs to put the ball on the floor more as well.

      On the surface W’s PR All-Star David Lee – who hit all three of his shots – looks like he played great. But for his defense – where he allowed an uncontested dunk by Diaw and didn’t closeout on Bonner’s made three (which others have shut down). Simply, Lee gives up defensively what he makes offensively.

    • If Barnes becomes a lock-down defender, develops a better handle, and gets smarter on the court, he will receive very high praise here. The terms for that praise have been set. Players are evaluated by their performance here, not the hype. And the jury is still out as to whether or not he will develop.

      Kenny Smith, who played for UNC and attends their camps, mentioned the same concerns about Barnes last night, his lack of skills and experience, when he saw him. He speculated that the high school all American attention distracted him, giving him a premature reputation he couldn’t live up to.

      I grew up in North Carolina, so have been watching the Heels with great interest the last decades. Barnes’ poor performance in the NCAA tournament was what made me question him. If he were pro ready, he should have showed something there. The UNC program can and does produce well rounded players, but with players passing through in a year or two, that isn’t happening.

      One of the reasons Green has such good court presence is because he did have a chance to develop four years and performed well in the tournament. He had a chance to grow, carried the team, and developed skills, b-ball IQ, and confidence. And he’s nowhere near the athlete Barnes is.

      • From MT’s post today and TNT:

        TNT ANALYST KENNY SMITH: “I didn’t realize he could put the ball on the floor as much as he could. I didn’t realize he had individual one-on-one moves. … The NBA style of play and the way Mark Jackson has implemented him, the playoffs are a coming out party for him.”

        • Lots of people were ABSOLUTELY WRONG about Harrison Barnes AKA “THE BRAND.” Many labeled him a bust in the draft. The Brand – is not a bust. The Brand is a good player – right now as a first year player – with a chance to be much more. Add Kenny Smith to this prestigious list as well. Nothing to be ashamed about. There are lots of them out there.

          No more of this W’s PR crap – when something nice comes out on Barnes. He’s good, right now. If anything, the W’s PR crap is for David Lee – a $15 million/year borderline All-Star, but more like the 4th or 5th best player on this team (Curry, Bogut, Klay, Lee, Jack, Barnes, Landry, Green, Ezeli) – WHO CANNOT PLAY DECENT DEFENSE. Can’t block shots, can’t challenge shots, can’t close out on the perimeter, can’t provide help defense, and is feeble laterally. Yet, people harp on his how The Brand is not an elite shutdown defender as a rookie? Lol! And let David Lee’s matador defense off the hook? Please…

          RE: The Brand/The Draft
          Some said he wasn’t athletic enough (say what?), some said his athleticism didn’t translate to the basketball court, some said his mid-range game will forever be mediocre, some said he’d never be a decent NBA 3-point shooter, some people said that he’d never be a decent defender, some people said he can’t handle the ball, some said he caved under the pressure.

          Barnes as the W’s 4th or 5th best player is outplaying the 4th or 5th best player on the Spurs. And the Nuggets.

          That’s it. He’s a good NBA player. Right now. As a rookie. And he’s going to get much better.

      • drafting players like thompson and barnes back to back makes more sense in the context of long term reconstruction if one of them becomes a valuable trade asset later on. barnes would need to improve the attributes you cite to ‘elevate’ thompson into trade lure. the expiration date of his highest value is at the end of his current contract, naturally. there will be plenty of discussion of course which of the two should be dealt, but at best we’ll only learn rumours after the fact who/what was offered, the variable of greatest impact.

        • If Lacob keeps Barnes and trades Thompson, he’ll be the laughingstock of the league.

          • All depends on what they get back in return…

          • thompson certainly proved much with his hard work and progress since last season and will probably be better before his rookie contract nears its end. it could take two more seasons to grade barnes with reasonable certainty. these ‘breakout’ performances from him came from simplifying the game for him, so his decision making still needs improvement, and one suspects the barely contested two point perimeter shots he enjoyed won’t really encourage him to exclude the contested or rushed ones we saw for most of the season. that’s just on offense, where his identity is a bit more established.

      • Even Jerry West had reservations about Barnes. He made a comment—pre-draft, I think—that athleticism does not necessarily translate into a skilled player. Roy Williams, his UNC coach, expressed some veiled concerns as well.

  6. I said yesterday that the Warriors lose if Barnes took the most shots and they did. For he would not betaking the most shots if Curry and Thompson were on. They weren’t.for those who think that Barnes is the second coming consider that his opponent is 6’2″, and that he has no defensive talent. I guess FFG thinks Parker is 6’10.”we already know he thinks a defensive ranking of 35 (Bogut) is better than 11 (Udoh)Stop throwing weightless stones at Felty.

    Bogut killed us inside last might as he had no ability to provide wealside help. As a result, the Spurs shot a whooping 52 percent from the field. Game over.

    Last night for all practical purposes was the first of a three game playoff. Thompson has to redeem himself. With curry off and hurt, Jackson has the Warriors live or die with him shooting the ball.

    The warriors have choice but to play both Jefferson and Biedrens. Not that Jackson will do that. Sad state of affairs for the Warriors. It’s clear that Curry is the difference maker and with him hurt it’s difficult
    for the Warriors to. win.

    • Barnes shooting 55% and grabbing 7 boards was not the reason for the W’s loss. And Barnes scored on a fleet of Spurs players, not only Tony Parker. If anyone wants, I’ll put up a link of Barnes’ scoring highlights for all to see who was guarding him…

      And the W’s loss wasn’t because Bogut’s hobbled 20 minutes either. The Spurs shot 52% for the game BECAUSE Bogut wasn’t out there healthy – protecting the rim. As Bogut in previous playoff games with the Spurs/Nuggets shooting in the 30’s and 40’s %-wise.

      I agree – Richard Jefferson and Andris Biedrins – should play a little more. With salary cap politics – for whatever is planned for next season (can of worms being opened here). However, Andris isn’t better than Ezeli. And our Jefferson – is not the Jefferson of the Nets days.

      I’m hoping Curry/Bogut – can get somewhat healthy for game 6 – to setup game 7. And it’s not like the Spurs are too much healthier.

  7. Pretty much spot on felt, ‘specially about Pop’s Curry D & missing DLee in the PnR…

    What I heard Richmond saying was “If I only got 8 shots, I wouldn’t know if I’m off or on”. He laid some of that at Jack’s feet, that as point guard he needed to get Thompson started & involved.

    Where I see the major sting is effectively playing high level playoff basketball with only 3 guards, you see what happens when 2 are off, nowhere else to go! I’ll give you Lacob needed to address that after Rush went down.

  8. One of the announcers said someone on the floor overheard Curry telling Lee he couldn’t knock down a shot, early in the game. This is a rare event. He was decidedly looking to set up other players rather than work to get his own shots first half.

    The heavy load all season, the playoffs, especially last week against the Spurs, his ankle(s)—have taken their toll on Curry. It’s been a long, long, hard grind that could have been relieved. Still, he seldom has more than a couple of bad games in a row, and I’m still hoping, maybe perversely, he pulls one more performance out on Thursday.

    One of the reasons Bogut got 18 boards the last game, the OT win, was that the Spurs shot 36%. Last night, 52%. And his presence the first game or absence the second had little to do with those numbers. The Spurs, the first game, like Denver most of that series, couldn’t knock down a shot. And whatever boards he manages have to be offset against how much he detracts on offense by not drawing defenders, resulting in more pressure on the rest of the team, as Feltbot says above and has been saying all year. Without an offense, against a well-rounded playoff team, like the Spurs last night, Bogut provides only marginal value.

    Why didn’t Ezeli get more minutes last night? Or, as they got behind, did they realize they had to get offense on the floor, thus went to the hobbled Lee?

    • It’s amazing that when Bogut plays healthy, the opposing doesn’t shoot well. And when Bogut plays 20 sluggish minutes, the opposing team shoots 52%…

      Bogut is one of the best defenders in the NBA, even hobbled. And one of the best rebounders, even hobbled.

      No way the W’s sniff the second round without Bogut.

      No way the W’s take the Spurs to 6 or 7 games without Bogut.

  9. The Warriors got to the playoffs without Bogut.

    If the Warriors did not trade for Bogut, and had traded Ellis for Ryan Anderson, and tanked the season, they would have had a better team this year and would have had an easier time advancing in the playoffs. Bogut has provided little to no weakside help throughout the playoffs. In the games the Spurs shot poorly, Bogut had little to do in bringing that about. He’s a pitiful shooter from the field and at the foul-line.

    You’re never going to see Bogut play in a NBA championship game. Not this year, not next year.

    • @Frank – you’re saying a front line of

      David Lee/Ekpe Udoh/Ryan Anderson (Udoh/Anderson healthy, thus no tank)/Carl Landry/Kwame Brown’s expiring/Draymond Green

      is better than…

      David Lee/Andrew Bogut/Carl Landry/Richard Jefferson/Festus Ezeli/Harrison Barnes/Draymond Green?

      I’ll easily disagree…

      Bogut was never much of a shooter or free-thrower – even before Stoudamire got his cheap shot in…

      Here’s what Bogut does do well…

      Blocks and challenges shots at the rim. With good position – draws offensive fouls. Excellent rebounder. Tough, physical play on fouls and picks. His offense is he sees the floor and passes well finding cutters and can handle the ball.

      I’ve said this all season once I learned about the microfracture – I wanted Bogut healthy by the playoffs (I didn’t care if he played at all during the season) for this very reason… In the playoffs – you need good physical big men. In the regular season, you can get away with not having one.

      You really think David Lee and Ekpe Udoh are going to guard Tim Duncan? Or JeVale McGee?

    • 29% from midrange? I knew it was bad, but…

      • Considering all the dunks he gets, Barnes shooting percentage should move up with better shot selection/shot improvement.

        With Barnes playoff showing, next season a healthier Curry, Klay, and Barnes – will be tough to defend.

        Barnes excellent playoff (11 games against the #2 and #3 Western Conference seeds) showing is as follows:


        • players’ shot selection probably gets worse as often as it improves. it might be what happened to thompson. he has a great work ethic, so he could turn it around next season. the team in general has a problem because the coaches basically let every player shoot from anywhere on the court, when most, including barnes and jack, have to learn to recognize how unfavorable most two point mid range shots are.

  10. Even with no tanking, the Warriors would have had a front line of
    Udoh. Anderson. Lee, Landry, and $7 mill from losing k. Brown yo sign a free agent back-up center. And it’s entirely possible they would have gotten a first round or second round pick along with Anderson in the trade for Ellis, and drafted Parsons. They still would been able to draft either Green or Ezeli, if still available in the second round.They would have had Curry, Jack. and Thompson in backcourt. Much better than the current Warriors.

  11. It galls me that the Warriors brass keep saying that no one thought we would do well this year based on last year’s terrible record ignoring the fact that one of the reasons we did so poorly is because the Warriors deliberately lost games so that they could obtain a lottery pick in the draft.

    • Look at what the Bulls were able to do this year with Nate and Belinelli in the backcourt. If instead of focusing on one really big—and expensive and less mobile—center, Lacob had tried over the past three years to add size and athleticism in the other positions, 2-4, with several more affordable players, the team would now have the depth, flexibility, and real strength it needs.

      • The other advantage to building depth, of course, is being able to spell players during the season and managing injuries. Again, look at Chicago.

  12. Re: Barnes, but really several other players. One thing I wonder is if players can develop skills such as ball handling and shooting at this stage of their careers. The great players start young and have a lifetime of perfecting their skills and building confidence gradually as their bodies grow, as they move up through increasing levels of competition.

    This certainly was the case with Curry. In fact he had to develop a wide range of skills if he was ever to have a chance at any level, and the college scouts were still skeptical. Lin was a poor shooter when we saw him, but became average I assume through practice and correcting his mechanics. But how many can do this? Ezeli started basketball late in life, and I’m skeptical he’ll develop much offense.

    • rgg, many NBA players improve their basic skills with work and practice, but more of them learn things like new go-to moves. Those are easier to teach and to learn.

      Barnes and Ezeli could both improve, both ways. Barnes especially has a ton of upside potential. Unfortunately, there’s that old maxim, “you can’t teach hands.” If that is true, it would cap Ezeli’s potential. If he can’t catch a pass, he’ll never be able to participate fully on O.

  13. Will we see any attempt to return to the Nellieball that got the Warriors into the playoffs, and past the Nuggets, in Game 6? Since Game 3, Jackson has felt compelled to match up big with the Spurs. He is fighting this war on Popovich’s terms. Why? Is Tiago Splitter that dominant right now?

    Jackson must do something to free up Curry and Thompson. He’s got to find a way to get the Warriors into the open court, and spread the floor. He needs to get the Warriors back to their true identity.

    • I think a part of what’s so clever about Pop’s strategy is that it plays into Jackson’s ongoing concern with rebounding.

      It’s not as critical an issue when Curry and Thompson are shooting the lights out. When they’re shut down and SA shoots better than the Ws, Jackson has a tendency to load the floor with rebounders. Which makes smallball go away, reduces our shooting percentage even more, and makes Jackson even more concerned with rebounding.

      A nifty little head game from Popovich.

      Whether the dubs play big or small, though, they’re clearly more effective with more ball movement. In the last game they had 18 assists to SA’s 30. Their offense has looked stagnant and very slow to develop open shots, especially with JJack bringing up the ball.

      In a similar veing, while Bogut has done well at snagging rebounds, Lee is better at pushing the pace with long outlet passes, initiating offensive possessions more quickly. It’s one of Lee’s less-appreciated skills, maybe because there’s not a stat for it.

    • warriorsablaze

      Full agreement here, Felt. Trying to beat Pop at Pop’s game has been a problem for them since Game 3. Go for broke tonight. Give Green back his minutes. Let Barnes pull their bigs out of the paint at the 4. Run, run, run…

      Also, let Curry run the point more. He’s doing more wear and tear on his ankle running around screens…. he said so himself after game 4…that it hurts less when he has the ball because he can control it better. Things happen when Curry is the 1 and we get out in transition. Hopefully Bogut is shot up and shows up tonight… he can’t be like last game if we are to have a chance. Also, give Festus some burn when Bogut is out so Parker doesn’t get uncontested layups all night.

      We can will a win on this one… we’ve done it all year.

    • The GSW’s have a HUGE Nellieball advantage against the Spurs. Period.

      Why people over-rate Splitter is beyond me. Diaw too. I’d love to see Splitter take perimeter jump shots or just try to drive the key with Bogut in the paint… Splitter is only dominant against David Lee, who barely guards his own shadow.

      Put in Barnes at PF and amazingly, BARNES IS UNSTOPPABLE!!! Who’s going to guard him? Splitter? Bonner? Diaw? DeJuan? Baynes? Lol!

      No, I imagine Leonard will have to guard Barnes after numerous Barnes dunks around Bonner, Splitter, and Diaw. Then Barnes will be shut down, but guess what??? The Spurs shutdown wing defenders are Leonard and Danny Green…

      And Leonard on Barnes means Danny Green needs to guard his choice of Curry, Jack, or Klay – which in essence is a free ride on the pony express… Someone gets a free ride…

      Bogut’s/Ezeli’s/Biedrins’ offense??? Who cares? Bogut can dunk and pass to cutters and has a good handle. People who focus on Bogut’s shooting offense are missing the point.

      The W’s have 4, 20+ point scorers in Curry, Jack, Klay, and Barnes – and the floor is completely spread… There are mismatches every possession at a couple positions.

      Andrew Bogut/Biedrins/Ezeli will be camping in the paint to collect the misses (dominate the boards), tend the goal (protect the rim), and dunk the ball when the Spurs cheat on defense. And Bogut is EXCELLENT at this. Biedrins/Ezeli – are decent at this.

  14. Rgg: Couldn’t agree more on how the Warriors should have built a team incrementally, and not trading for an injured non-transformational player and Jefferson’s bloated contract.

    The Spurs in two games shot 50 plus percent. That shouldn’t happen if Bogut was good defensively. I Agree with you that the only reason they shot less in the 3 other games because they shot poorly, and not due to Bogut’s defense.

    Young players can improve their shooting. Look at Jeremy Lin. Barnes has improved his outside shooting over the course of the year.his 2 point shooting percentage has increased as he has taken it to basket more.

    • @Frank – the W’s right now are 18 points/4 minutes in game 1 away from finishing the #2 Spurs tonight. With little David Lee and no Brandon Rush. I’d say they’re doing fine.

      Udoh looks worse in Milwaukee and he’s in his mid-20s (nice way to say he ain’t good now and he ain’t getting any younger…). Udoh can’t score and Udoh can’t rebound – only block shots. He needs one more skill…

      I think Barnes can be a better 4 than Anderson and he’s 20. Barnes is already shooting 38 percent from 3 in 11 games against the #2 and #3 Western Conference seeds. Barnes is more athletic and can board and defend just fine.

  15. Now is Thompson’s chance to show that the Warriors were right in drafting him over Leonard. So far in the playoffs, not so. Not only is
    Leonard outshooting Thompson, but he is giving the Spurs two extra possessions while Thompson gives the Warriors none.

    • You’re spot on right Frank, today. Tonight? Who knows! Lol!

      Barnes at PF changes the game. Nellieball – changes the W’s from guardable, to unstoppable…

      Leonard and Danny Green can’t guard Jack, Curry, Klay, and Barnes at the same time!

      • a plan based on beating popovich in the personnel chess match is not likely to succeed. how each team’s best players fare will probably determine things. SA lost game four with poor shooting from duncan, parker, poor three point and free throw shooting, not because popovich couldn’t solve the puzzle pieces getting mixed differently.

  16. A surprise to some here, but not to me.

    Andrew Bogut’s +/- for the Spurs series is +17 when he’s in (-29 when he’s out)… (Per Kawakami).

    If Ginobili is in the game with the 2nd team, Mark Jackson needs to surprise him and put Bazemore in to shut him down. Ginobili won’t know what hit him.

    • Bazemore on Ginobili would be cool, but I think Jackson is too concerned about scoring to use Bazemore much.

  17. Jackson probably won’t play Bazemore because he’s afraid that he will make stupid fouls. Another reason why Bazemore should have been been played more during the season. Jefferson should have also been played for the Warriors need him big time.

    Warriors need to run. Jack will have to push the ball with Curry at his side.

  18. The Warriors outscored their opponents with Bogut on the court in the first four games, but not by much with Bogut on the court in three of those games (range of plus five to plus seven).

    In the second game he had a plus seven but all the other starters higher pluses an indication his score was inflated by other Warrior players. But, he has also been aided by the Spurs not shooting the ball well in some of those games that I think had nothing to do with his defense.

    He did have a plus 17 in game four that the Warriors won, but Curry’s hot shooting helped slightly inflate his score. He has played better than other Warriors centers.

    Yet, the Warriors lost two of those first four games. If the Warriors had a more mobile center they probably would have won the two games they lost and would have outscored their opponents by a much larger margin.

    In the crucial fifth game to break a 2-2, Bogut had a whopping minus 17, in part because the Warriors were horrible shooting from the field.

    • warriorsablaze

      Typical confirmation biased analysis… when the Spurs play poorly Bogut had nothing to do with it… when they play well, it’s because Bogut is bad.

      Not that there’s no truth to your analysis, but basketball is a very complex game with many interactions and interdependent parts… stats always only tell a part of the picture, and the eyes tell another part. The truth usually lands somewhere in the middle… and area rarely explored around these parts.

  19. FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

    The San Antonio Floppers won. Looking forward to Memphis crushing the Floppers.