San Antonio Spurs 94 Golden State Warriors 82 — Game 6

A sad but somehow fitting way to end this injury-marred season. I hope neither Harrison Barnes nor Andrew Bogut are badly hurt, and wish them both as rapid a return to health as possible. That obviously goes for David Lee and Stephen Curry (and Brandon Rush) as well. This Warriors team left absolutely everything on the court, and they and Mark Jackson can be very proud of what they achieved this season. 

I’m not sure I even need to recap this game, as the game itself seemed to recap most of this blog’s major themes of this season, and of seasons past. I’ll take a few days to reflect before I decide on the form of my next post.

A word on the upcoming conference finals, in case I don’t post before they start: I don’t think the Spurs will even be competitive against the Grizzlies. I think we all saw what happened to Tim Duncan in this series. I can’t even imagine the price a completely healthy and rested Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph will exact from him. And I cringe at the thought of what Mike Conley will do to him in the pick and roll.

Manu Ginobili also appears to be at the end of his effective career. And the still hobbled Tony Parker is running on fumes. In my mind it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that this proud Spurs franchise will get swept.

The best Conference Final will be in the East. The Pacers are built a lot like the Bulls, only better. Dwayne Wade is once again playing on one leg. And the Pacers have a blossoming superstar of their own in two-way small forward Paul George. What he has done defensively to Carmelo Anthony in one on one coverage has been incredible. He should give LeBron James every bit as much trouble as Luol Deng gave him last year.

That series is going to be a war. Playoff basketball at its best.

The two year run of Nellieball NBA champions is about to be put to a severe test. Two superb conventionally-built teams, manned in the middle by two of the best two-way seven-footers in the league, are lined up and ready to take their turns trying to pound the vulnerable Heat to a pulp.

256 Responses to San Antonio Spurs 94 Golden State Warriors 82 — Game 6

  1. thewarriorfaithful

    thank you for all your recaps and insight for this great warriors season. you definitely helped change my perspective of watching basketball. keep up the good work. look forward to your commentary on next season and perhaps any potential pickups and moves to do this offseason

  2. What a great year. Durant, Howard, and Chris Paul went home before Curry did. We got ups yo! I love our team.

  3. Thanks FB for all the great analysis. Looking forward to the off season this will be an interesting time. With the eventual success of the Pacers and Memphis, Lacob’s view of big men teams will be reinforced even though the W’s roster is not built for that success. Simmons called it on the air last night, with the salary problems for next year, Jack – a starting point guard is gone and the W’s will have a hard time repeating this year’s success. Let’s hope they don’t do anything crazy because salary cap heaven is just a year away.

    Barnes growth in the playoffs was remarkable and I think he is showing the missing element, heart. I think now that his deer in the headlight play from earlier in the season was simply a bewildered rookie. The team and individual success this season should only motivate the talented young core to come back stronger next year.

    I guess the W’s have arrived because this article is now mocking their success, rather than their failures…
    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9278886/the-not-true-story-2012-13-golden-state-warriors

    • After last season’s mother lode of a draft (Barnes, Ezeli, Green), free agency (Carl Landry, Brandon Rush, and Kent Bazemore), and trade (Jarrett Jack), I have complete confidence the GSWs have the right decision-makers and talent evaluators to retool given the W’s cap situation. Did I just say that about our Golden State Warriors??? Lol!

      I think Jack’s Bird Rights being owned by the W’s – will enable the organization to re-sign him should there be a mutual desire.

      If not re-sign Jack, the W’s could re-sign Landry.

      I don’t envision the W’s signing both. I don’t envision the W’s losing both.

      A full Brandon Rush recovery in a contract year (motivation) should provide our W’s another tool/weapon for Mark Jackson.

      Also, anything provided by Andrew Bogut during next season (if he’s got any ankle/cartiledge left in 5 months) is more than he provided this season.

      Lastly, incremental development by the W’s young players, and maintaining the roster for the 2nd year, should provide incremental improvement. The Spurs – role players have been playing together there forever – and it showed on the court.

      • the ‘bird rights’ you cite in re. to a contract offer to jack is completely irrelevant if lacob finds the attached tax bill distasteful. in theory the team can offer him more than competitors, but even with a small pay cut they’re paying taxes, all the more with a raise that a max ‘bird rights’ offer entails.

        some fans think there’s a pie in the sky cap relief coming with a buy out or trade off with jefferson and biedrins, but most of the money would still be coming back in other contracts or the buy out itself, and there’s no way the players would settle for less than .80-.90 of the contract. if fans really really want jack re-signed, they should hope for bogut to retire.

        • Let’s see if the W’s Lacob puts his money where his mouth is.

          When the W’s start pitching the value of Kent Bazemore/Scott Machado at PG this offseason,… Watch out! Lol! Bazemore is a favorite of mine, so I won’t be disappointed as a fan, but he’s no Jarrett Jack! Lol!

          The team’s salary cap number will likely slightly incrementally increase next season.

          Landry may likely opt out (saving $4 million in cap space, but his spot will need to be replaced – perhaps with a Malcolm Thomas-type cheap contract).

          RE: Jarrett Jack
          I like the fact that he is a “PG” (not a true PG, but a scoring PG) but is more suited to guarding SGs – which makes him an ideal pairing partner with Stephen Curry playing off the ball. Not so many of these bigger PGs out there. He’s a good off-the bench scorer with only passable defense.

          I don’t think Jack is a Top 10 PG, no matter what list he might. He’s a great shooter. Below average ball handler and distributor. He’s never done well in a starting capacity – and he’s played a lot of years in the NBA. Is he worth $8+ million? Not to me, but SOMEONE will likely pay him.

          Jefferson/Biedrins might take a buyout, but close to what they make already, which defeats the purpose of buying them out… I can’t see Bogut retiring… I’m afraid we’re sticking with them.

          I’ve scoured the NBA rosters for a legitimate package deal of Biedrins/Jefferson and say a Barnes and/or Klay deal, and it’ll be hard to do. That’s on GM Myers/West.

  4. A couple of made threes at the end—and Curry’s and Thompson’s shots were close—and maybe they pull out a win.

    But this series had to end. Curry tweaked his ankle making a cut, and Barnes, I assume, has a concussion and probably wouldn’t be cleared by Sunday. Bogut is hobbled. And of course Lee. They wouldn’t have been in any shape to go further. Memphis, had they made it past the Spurs, would have been embarrassing.

    What also was really painful last night was seeing them unable to produce offense. There’s just no getting around it. They need someone up front who can score, who can spread the defense and help push the tempo. It was just too easy to shut the guards down the last games. And painful, too, was not just the minutes Curry had to play, but how hard he had to work to get open or find offense. Last night it was by driving, putting more strain on him and his ankle. He can’t be pushed into being Rondo.

    I’m not disappointed. I got what I most wanted to see, and the nation saw it, how brilliantly the team can play, how brilliant their guards are. They may have gotten the best match-ups to show that in the playoffs.

    If only the organization can recognize and build on this potential. The real story may be how open the Western Conference is, an opportunity now. Bill Simmons’ tweet I fear, on the right, however, tells the story of next season.

    • True – a W’s Conference Final against a well-rested, healthy, and loaded Memphis team would have been brutal to watch as a W’s fan.

      Former ESPN/Current Grizzly Front office John Hollinger – should he have been the driver in dumping Rudy Gay – really impacted the Grizzlies in a positive fashion.

      Should the Grizzlies (big ball) and the Heat (small ball) make it to the Finals, I’ll be watching every game…

  5. Felt: A heart full thanks for a job well-done.

    Last night’s game was simply a disaster in coaching. We begin with the game plan. Trying not to lose by playing a half court game, not turning the ball over, and beating the Spurs on the offensive glass. It worked well garnering the Warriors a net six extra possessions, but also predicatable was the fact that Warriors would not shoot well playing half court sets.By not running, the Warriors shot only 39% from the field.

    Injuries aside, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Warriors were having little success playing a half-court game. Had the coaches not looked at the box scores for the prior two games that show the Warriors not scoring?

    Game 4 by quarters: 19, 18, 23, 24
    Game 5: 28, 23, 21, 19

    Game six was so predictable:

    Game 6: 19,21, 19, 23

    And Curry, Jack, and Thompson could all run last night. Curry showed it by taking the ball to the hoop.

    The coaches compounded the problem by running the same predictable half-court sets. Plays in which the dribbler could find no one inside or cutters, as no one was moving without the ball. Sickening to watch.

    Not trying to disrupt plays (they haven’t all year tried to do so) by attempt to intercept the ball when the next pass was obvious.

    The bigs following Parker to the base-line where he can’t shoot from and leaving Splitter open under the basket. The coaches cost hurting the Warriors and hampering both Thompson and Barnes development by having them watch the ball being shot rather then go to the hoop for a offensive rebound or retreat. Barnes standing out of bounds and watching the guy he was guarding get the offensive rebound was disheartening. Ezeli being on the wing on a fast break.

    I have more problems now with the coaches than I do with the players. During the season and playing against Denver the coaches did a good job.

    I do think the Warriors were the better team and should have one this series in spite of the injuries, and the coaches kept us from knowing for sure, by refusing the adjust and change their game plans. Pop knew how to adjust. When the Warriors were having success going small, he went small, and won the battle.

    In the end we made it to the second round, on the other hand, the series was very frustrating. We can now only wait to see what moves, if any, the Warriors make over the summer.

    • @Frank – I was saying the same thing regarding the coaches – the W’s didn’t try to run, which was our hope for a Game 7.

      As it was, our Game 6 W’s were within 3 points of the Spurs with minutes to go.

      If you told me Parker and Ginobili and Parker – played the way they played, I think the W’s win big.

      As it was – I was pretty proud of the W’s playoff showing.

      Barnes showed up to play in the playoffs and his growth before my eyes was special. A lot to look forward to next season.

  6. warriorsablaze

    Tough one to swallow last night. We were bad in the first half, but stuck around enough to make a last push at the end. Have to give props to how far MJax took them this season… lots of (cautious) optimism for a very young team. Roster still needs work, obviously, but some of that is pinned on the hopes of development. Klay and Barnes are the x-factors… with Green and Ezeli bringing up the rear.

    If Klay is the BBIQ genius that Felt proclaims, I fear it’s of the savant variety… his awareness on the court is sometimes just completely lacking…. case in point: dribbling out the clock at the end of the quarter without even getting a shot up. The 3rd season is often when players take a leap and come into their own… I hope Klay can do that because Curry simply can’t do it all on his own. Klay needs to learn to make layups and be a consistent offensive threat; not a 1 out of every 5 game threat. Defensive improvements were stellar, though… I hope Barnes can put in similar work this offseason (along with intensive ball handling training).

    I wonder if Bogut will retire this offseason. If he’s not healthy by now, will he ever be? I guess we’ll see.

    • Klay Thompson’s defense impressed me this season. Klay’s inability to draw contact (or being afraid of contact) and on drives – is disturbing to me. What a waste of a 85-90% free thrower… Flopper Reggie Miller – always got to the line 5-10 times per game. Klay? Zilch. I too am hoping he can step up another next notch next season…

  7. Frank—

    Somewhat in defense of the coaches, though I agree with you, I’m guessing the coaches were trying to manage the whole 48 minutes—and save Curry. Maybe their thinking was that if they kept the game close, Curry would be fresh to make a burst 2nd half. And Splitter played better last night—

    —but the two centers still couldn’t stop Splitter and Duncan, or the penetration, and that defense left outside shots. Not playing Landry more is perplexing.

    (Question: How is Dreamhost like Bogut’s ankle?)

    • (Answer: Great analogy!)

    • without bogut or lee for most of the game, most of their perimeter players dinged, worn, or concussed, jack poorly suited to run the break, it was no surprise to see the team go back to the formula earlier in the season of putting a priority on defensive rebounding over transition offense.

      the home fans had an opportunity to learn something if they wanted — popovich kept duncan on the bench for the fourth, demonstrating a big picture vision and confidence in his players and system that they would close out the game without the franchise. and, SA, the team they hoped would prove old and slow enough to overtake, ran the ball better than the home team. hope everyone saw SA’s break with the score 58-48, most of the woeyrs in decent defensive position, jack furthest back on the foul line. he did an ellis impersonation, stood and stared at the ball while joseph ran behind him for the pass and lay up.

  8. OK, I will give 2:1 odds against a Memphis sweep for $1k. Any takers?

    What I learned about Tony Parker is this. In the first quarter of game 4, Parker got kneed in the thigh by Bogut and then elbowed in the head by Jack. Result was a bad game. In Game 5, no damage leads to good game. In game 6, it was Ezeli with the knee to the thigh and Klay with the elbow to the head. Again, bad game until late.

    If Memphis repeats this action, the Spurs are going to struggle mightily. If not, I still think Memphis will win in 6.

    • Not exactly a generous offer as the true odds are probably over 10-1, even though the Grizz are a solid favorite.

  9. Seeing, as they say, is believing.

    I must confess I haven’t had the advantage of ardent Bogut supporters who have watched him his entire career. Instead, I only know what I saw this year. To be sure, we saw glimpses during the playoffs of what a dominating defensive player he can be. It has to be conceded, however, that he didn’t go up against top flight centers from Denver in Koufos and McGee. Also Duncan got his points—he can’t be stopped—and if he was less effective late in the game, it was more likely because he was worn out. Further, the games where Bogut had the biggest stats were those in which neither Denver nor the Spurs could knock down a shot, and he had little effect here. He can’t stop mid or long range shots.

    So I wanted to see Bogut really prove his worth against a premium center at the top of his game, and that would have been Gasol of Memphis, or Randolph if he switches off, and do this with the rest of the squad healthy. This would have proven a worthy test, with Lee, or as some want it, without.

    I must confess I’m skeptical. But we didn’t get a chance. He didn’t have much effect at all, however, against the physical Bulls. During the season, he wasn’t instrumental in more than one or two significant wins against comparable or better teams.

    His injuries, you say. But that may be the only point. He’s had several years for his elbow, which, by his own confession, is about as good as it’s going to get. His offensive mechanics are broken. He’s had a year and a half since his ankle fracture, and over a year since micro surgery. I’m not clear what happened the last few games—is his ankle still bad, or aggravated, and/or did he sprain it? But that is still the point. Because of his play, he is prone to injuries.

    So we didn’t get chance to see what Bogut is really worth. Next season? Is there any reason to think another six months will heal him, that he won’t go down again, perhaps at a critical time, say the playoffs, or that he will miss a lot of the season and put a continuous load again on the other players?

    I’m deeply skeptical again.

    This year, the team put $32m, about 3/7 of the cap, into three players, Biedrins, Bogut, and Jefferson, who collectively, for a variety of reasons, accounted for less than a tenth of the total team minutes on the court. Collectively, they averaged 9.4 points and 12.1 boards per game during those minutes. Next year, the team will pay $35 for the same.

    Meanwhile, this year the team didn’t have a single player over 6′ 9″ who can put up any kind of offense, or who has the athleticism to make up for his height, who can post up low or make an outside shot. Lee and Landry, the closest, at 6’9″, do it with hustle down low and skill outside the paint. Barnes, at 6’8″, scores in the paint only when he gets a lane and can drive. Without another low post threat, beyond Lee and Landry, but one who is taller, or a tall, versatile player who shoot outside the paint, the Warriors will be be stuck with what we saw against the Spurs, facing the better defensive teams and having the perimeter bottled up and not being able to run the court or outscore them. Barring a miraculous trade on Lacob’s budget, we’ll see the same next year.

    I was the one who predicted a 30-35 win season. But my main reason was simple. I didn’t think Curry would be able to stay on the court because of his ankle(s). I think the bookies gave him 50 games. Imagine what kind of season we’d have had if Curry were out for long stretches and we had to depend on Jack and Jenkins to run the offense.

    I didn’t have much hope for Bogut at all, knowing what we did before the season started. The other reason I was wrong, however, was because I didn’t know what we’d get from Jack and Landry—no one did. And look at the difference they made, what the team was able to do, have a winning record 5/8 of the season without Bogut, or with marginal contributions in many games he played. One can only wonder how much better the team would have been this year and will be next if similar affordable players were added to give depth and flexibility.

    Instead, Curry played an average of 38 minutes in all but 4 games and Lee 37 in all but three. They were pushed hard all game in close games and didn’t get relief on back-to-backs. Continuous strain in a single game and over the course of a season has to take its toll, especially for a player like Curry, who had to keep making hard cuts and difficult drives to keep the team in the game. He’s not built like Rondo—and Rondo went down this year. And a player like Lee, who has to pound the heavy weight of opposing forwards and centers minute after minute. The strain on both could have been avoided with more sensible acquisitions.

    Will they be able to do the same next season? The way the team is designed, we will have to count on it.

    I’m sorry, gentlemen. The Bogut trade is a bust.

    • lacob is no doubt thrilled with the revenue from twelve additional games, all broadcast nationally, and looks at bogut and ezeli as part of his journey, not a resting spot. most fans were inebriated by the supplemental season’s drug delivery, and you can’t please everyone. some of the koolaid drinkers on lauridsen’s blog see bogut becoming one of the team’s best two way players, and barnes surpassing curry as the team’s greatest star.

      • @rgg – what was your W’s win prediction with a healthy Stephen Curry?

        Fact: Andrew Bogut STARTED 40% (32 games) of W’s season games and played 24.6 minutes per game, so he played half the season. And ALL the playoff games playing over 27 minutes per game, averaging 11 rebs (3.3 offensive), 2 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.8 TOs, and 1.5 blocks. These contributions are real…

        The W’s won in the mid 30′s under Coach Smart with Curry Lee Biedrins core and a crap roster – and no Jack, Landry, Klay, Rush, and Bogut. I thought Jefferson would be given more opportunity to contribute under Jackson. No three W’s rookies including a lottery player.

        How could one NOT predict 45-55 wins?

        Jack and Landry – aren’t having career years… They are who they’ve always have been – solid role players and borderline NBA starters. Klay and Rush – were getting better and better by season’s end – played like legit NBA starters. Jefferson was only 1 year removed from STARTING on a 60-win Spurs team. And Bogut – he’s a couple of seasons/injuries away from being labeled “Top 5 defender in the NBA regardless of position” by ESPN insider expert John Hollinger…

        Lastly, why I’m still hopeful regarding Bogut’s microfracture – is that this type of surgery needs a full year to recover. Bogut interrupted this by his early foolish comeback. Stoudamire did the same thing with his microfractured knee. But Stoudamire came back to his old self after sitting out that entire season. Perhaps Bogut will have this summer and fall to recover… This is why I’m still hopeful with Bogut, because Stoudamire came back 100% from his microfracture surgery. Time will tell.

  10. If your satisfied with making it to the second round to the playoffs, and the financial pickle we are in, as rgg correctly points out, you should love the trade.

    But if wanted to see the Warriors in the NBA championship series this year or next year, you would rather have seen Ellis traded for R. Anderson, and Udoh holding teams to below 44 per cent shooting in the playoffs. And if we had traded Thompson DIY Harden, the sky was the limit.

    I agree with Rgg that Thompson has serious basketball IQ problems, and possibly confidence problems as well, but his inability to date, to get to the foul-line and get to the offensive boards (the coaches partially responsible for that) eliminates him as worthy of being of all-star caliber. And it’s sad that Felty, with all his insight fails to recognize that. Instead, he simply asserts that the Spurs just defended well playing against him. It’s time for Felty to reexamine his position. No one can be right all the time.

    • Frank—

      I never said that about Thompson. I’m high on him—and at the very least, he’s a very inexpensive investment with tremendous upside, which can’t be said about several other players.

      As for my goals, I would much rather see the team build for strength and depth, one that allows development of potential players and doesn’t overtax the key ones they have so that they have a chance to perform well now and be strong in the future. The playoffs are only a bonus.

      It just so happens that such a team would have done well in the playoffs this year and would have had promise for the years to come.

    • Thompson would have done much better in the playoffs if they weren’t so shorthanded in the front court. The floor would have opened up for him and Curry.

    • really, Frank, you seem fond of constructing alternative history, ‘what if decision-x went differently ? ‘, kind of thing. o.k., what if western democracies including Roosevelt had granted Jewish emigrants entry visas/permits during the late 30s when many had the means to leave but few places that would take them in ? think of the tremendous contributions the relative few who did get into the u.s. made — do you enjoy the films of Billy Wilder ? not to mention how it could have changed the history of the Middle East. along the way you could learn actual history, how some powerful people here actually favored the fascisti, and others wanted to deny ethnic cleansing was going on when presented plenty of evidence and eyewitnesses. do you get more out of thinking how lacob could have built a championship team more efficiently based on a trade more than a year ago ?

      • I’m very pleased – the W’s were 4 minutes of game 1 and several key injuries (Curry, Lee, Bogut, Rush) away from making the Western Conference Finals!!! Truly a great and enjoyable season.

        Frank’s genius is that he picked Harkless early and seems to be very right. Barnes was a good pick though. Me? I always go with a young 7 foot uber athletic 18 year old EVERY TIME early in the draft (for better or worse, it’s always worth the risk) – Kwame/Jermaine or Garnett/Stoudamire) in Andre Drummond. But I liked Barnes after Drummond still available.

  11. And got those posters who are now enamored with Barnes scoring on Parker, just wait till next year and watch how much better Harkless ( we could have drafted him or moved down and done so) is not only on the defensive end, and by giving his team close to 2.5 additional possessions per game compared to Barnes not doing so, but also out shooting Barnes 51 percent to Barnes 47 percent on two’s, and his continuing to close the gap shooting thee’s and making foul shots, as he did in the second half of the season.but, Barnes may improve as well if his shot stays consistent.

    Oh, how I wish we had drafted Leonard over Thompson. Not only would we have beaten the Spurs, but would like to have the net 2.5 extra possessions per game he provides. A true two way player. Leonard wasn’t drafted by the Warriors because he couldn’t the three ball. How that has changed. The same goes for Harkless. He couldn’t hit the three at St Johns in his first year. He shot the three at over 33 percent the second half of the season.

    • You’re slightly right Frank – at least for now. We’ll have to see how these players continue to develop.

      The W’s made out just fine though.

      Harrison Barnes did make the all-rookie team (didn’t even see Harkless get any votes although he was deserving) and had one hell of a playoff run. He’s a nice player – even though the bloggers here won’t ever admit it. Lol! And his defense was much much better than in the regular season – I’m actually thinking he’ll take a big step this offseason here.

      Klay Thompson is also a promising young star who was shut down by Leonard although I think their playoff battles are only beginning. A healthier Curry would have freed up Thompson from Leonard’s defense a little. Also, Thompson can board a little and is playing much better defense as well – a healthy Brandon Rush can free up Thompson to guard a lesser defensive assignments as well – from wearing him out chasing around screens.

      Leonard is still only a role player right now – although he plays that role well. When you say he’s a two-way player, I’ve seen him spot up shoot, offensive rebound, slash to the rim/finish, and an elite defender. I haven’t seen Leonard in isos or taking a major scoring role on this team. When Duncan and Ginobili are gone (soon), time will tell if he’s a star or a better Bruce Bowen.

      Harkless has developed his shot/offense, but plays for a really bad team. I think Harrison would have averaged 15+ points and more shots on that kind of a team instead of the 9 or so on this stacked W’s team…

  12. Rgg: I apologize. Another poster questioned Thompson’s lack of basketball IQ.

  13. The Grizzlies are currently +130 UNDERDOGS in the Spurs series. I believe this is one of the best series bets I have ever seen.

    Not quite We Believe getting 12-1 against the Mavs. But close.

    • Hard to disagree. A healthy Gasol/Randolph wipes the floor with today’s Duncan/Splitter, and the rest of the Grizz are healthy and playing well too.

  14. Longtime dubs fan.
    If this team can stay healthy next year, and M Jackson can do a good job spreading their minutes out, top 5 NBA team…
    Curry and Bogut have to stay relatively healthy. If Bogut can ever approach full health, well, I’ll start going to mass again because it would be a miracle. But I think he’s useful even when hes less than 100%. The guys’ only 28 so he should be able to at least hobble around for another year!

    • Lots of ifs, but you could be right.

      Whether Jackson can spread the playing time among more players probably depends mostly on what the front office can accomplish in the offseason. If they can fill out the roster with a few more quality players, the Ws could be even better next year. If not, the starters will probably be dealing with exhaustion and injury again at season end next year.

      Jackson says his playing experience gives him his coaching insight, and despite (I think) blowing it in the SA series, he really did a good job this year. But the game is different now than when Jackson played. Offenses and defenses are both more complex, and both involve more constant motion. The game is more physically demanding than it was even 10 years ago.

      The results of extended playing time show up in a greater risk of injury (Lee and Curry), and a drop in 4th Q performance (most measurable in Thompson’s scoring stats and the pace of the Ws overall offense).

      In 2 years as coach, Jackson has run his starters more than the league average. I wonder if that’s partly a reflection of his personal playing experience in a different era. Whether that’s true or not, it’s clearly a sign that he doesn’t have 2nd team players he feels he can win with.

      So how far the Ws go next year might depend more than anything on how well the Ws FO can fill the bench this summer.
      - The team has been missing a backup 2 all this year.
      - If they can’t sign Jack, they’ll need to bring in another competitive PG or two (sadly, to be brutally honest about this, Curry is just one mis-step away from retirement).
      - I like Carl Landry a lot (what a mensch!), but he doesn’t match up well against every big. The team could have additionally used a big 4 this year.
      - The team needs a reliable stretch 4 if they’re going to play smallball. Barnes and Green will probably both come back even better next year, but they’re hardly “known quantities.” A tall veteran long-ball shooter would be a plus, though this one role is probably one the team doesn’t absolutely have to add new players for.
      - And a reliable two-way backup C is absolutely essential. Biedrins and Bogut could both retire from injury at any time. Ezeli will come back better, but since “you can’t teach hands,” he’s most likely to remain a one-way player forever. That leaves the team playing 4-on-5 offense whenever he’s on the floor, a serious handicap. (Even worse was playing him next to Bogut in the SA series: a 3-on-5 offense! Aaargh!).

      That’s a lot of change to the team, and it won’t be cheap. Given the team’s current salary picture, it would undoubtedly mean going over the salary cap. Fact: It’s a soft cap. Teams have the option to exceed the cap, it’s just more costly than it used to be. By the owners’ own choice.

      That leaves the Ws’ competitiveness next year entirely up to the accountant-in-chief, Joe Lacob. The team already has a number of missing pieces, injuries happen, and no one is getting younger. If Lacob really wants to win basketball games (and preserve the health of his costly employees), he’s going over the salary cap this summer. And if he doesn’t, the team has topped out.

      I wonder if there’s a spreadsheet template for that kind of decision.

  15. PB @9—

    My prediction with Curry? I didn’t make one. Like many of us, I was skeptical he’d make it through the season.

    Curry, btw was 26 wins and 20 losses when he played without Bogut during the regular season against stiffer competition than when with Bogut, the same record the team ended with overall. One of those losses he didn’t have Lee or Bogut.

    • the team was consistently mediocre with bogut against quality opponents during the regular season, which made the post season a pleasant surprise. during the regular season lee and bogut started and often gave the team a first quarter deficit. from bogut’s post-series interview, having a single off day between games put cumulative wear on his ankle beyond the point where anti-inflammatory drugs would help and eventually disabling him by game six. that playing schedule is no worse than what he’ll see during the regular season, week after week, of which he is surely cognizant .

      • Per Lacob in signing Curry to a 4-year deal – very few NBA player’s careers end as a result of ankle injuries.

        Andrew Bogut – is a player the W’s NEED for the NBA playoffs, when the pace of the game slows down and the physicality and need for defense increases… I get this… It’s really a no-brainer. Ask Jerry West – none of his teams West GMed was without a big time big man for long. Even as a player, Jerry West NEVER won an NBA title UNTIL he was paired with a big time big man.

        No “pleasant” surprise from me that Denver got knocked out the first round of the playoffs by the upstart Warriors. From the beginning, I expected the W’s to match-up fairly well with the Denver Nuggets.

        BECAUSE of the myth of Denver’s huge home court advantage/fast style of play. Denver was probably worse on the road than the W’s – perhaps a better indicator of just how good their team was…

        BECAUSE of Bogut’s rim protection and rebounding. And because of Denver’s insistence to take it to the rim. And because sans Galinari, Denver couldn’t really consistently shoot from the perimeter to spread the floor offensively…

        Citing Andre Miller’s sub-par 3 point playoff shooting percentage, fine… But he only takes a shot here and there – it’s not a big part of his game.

        And Fournier? He didn’t even play and wasn’t even a factor in the series, which is what I expected as a bench-warming rookie…

        And Harrison Barnes? I’d say he did absolutely fine in the Denver Series. And in the San Antonio Series.

        And no surprise in the W’s losing in six to the Spurs – most people did – I even predicted the Spurs to win in 5 or 6, lose one in San Antonio, and win in Oakland.

  16. game six was notable for Duncan going to the bench in the final 4.28 and SA lengthening their lead in his absence. in 52 min. over the six games when Leonard was on the court, Duncan on the bench, SA was +33.6 per 100 possessions. it was a glimpse into the post-Duncan SA team. that stat and topic are the subject of a R.Mahoney blog on si.com from 17 May about Leonard, and barnes’ fans whose hopes were encouraged by his bigger role in the post season, and those considering how barnes will take some of lee’s minutes at the four, might benefit from reading it, to compare their guy with Leonard. barnes won’t have popovich as his coach, to raise one big difference.

    • 52 minutes? Lol! It could have also been the 52 minutes when Bogut came off the court (matching Duncan) or Curry was given a breather…

      When Tim Duncan retires, the playoff run in San Antonio will be over in a season or two afterwards. That is, until the small market team Spurs choose to tank again. And Pops – if he chooses to stick around (and I don’t think he will) – Pops’ genius will fade into the sunset.

  17. success has its price, and for now the preacher’s methods have been proven successful. over on a SA fan blog, an opinion no woeyr fan could give voice to, but some can readily relate to : “I hope Golden State never makes it to the playoffs again. So I do not have to hear Jackson ‘inspire the troops’. “

    • Amen to that, on a couple of issues:

      1. Proselytizing in the workplace isn’t a crime, but it is disrespectful to non-believers who are forced to listen to it. A proselytizing manager creates at least implied pressure for his employees to conform to his beliefs. It creates problems.

      Where I work, an employee who can’t stop spreading the word is sent home to pray for his career.

      2. Don Nelson used to say that if a player relied on motivation from his coach, he wouldn’t have much of a career. Amen to that too. Players need a coach to do a coachs’ job – strategy, tactics and specific advice. “Rahrah” is a coach NOT providing the things his players need from him.

      • warriorsablaze

        Whether or not you’re a believer (I’m not), there’s no denying the power of belief… there are innumerable psychological studies that demonstrate this, regardless of the specific belief system.

        I agree that it could create discomfort for players who have a different faith (or no faith), but you can’t deny the success of this season. We had 3 rookies playing heavy minutes and are 3 best players all were injured… yet we were two games from the conference finals. Don Nelson’s lovable cynicism is all well and good, but for these particular guys, it seems the coach IS providing the things the players need… except maybe some of Klay’s stupid shot selection — he could use a little less belief out there. :)

        • My only W’s basketball religion is “In Jerry West I Trust.”

          Should Jerry West leave this organization for whatever reason, in my mind, it’ll be like Steve Jobs leaving Apple… Sure, Tim Cook might be a good guy, but the vision, drive, decision-making, and execution are gone…

          The W’s started making smarter basketball decisions as soon as Jerry West came on board (IMHO)… Prior to this, I was always in big doubt…

          RE: Mark Jackson’s praying, etc. I think people make it out to be a big issue – and it’s not… Most people are “spiritual” and can pray to any god or no god – they wish… And for W’s players with any spiritual inconveniences, just make sure you backup your Brinks truck when you pickup your NBA payroll check…

  18. fwiw, Mitch Richmond laid Klay’s struggles solely at the feet of the coaching staff. Not only after Game 5, but after Game 6.

    And I would agree with him. Not just about Klay, but also Curry.

    Not that it mattered, given the depth of the Warriors injury problems, but the way Mark Jackson elected to play Games 3-6 played right into the hands of Pop’s defensive scheme. Klay and Curry had the choice of forcing, or not shooting at all.

    • Leonard’s elite defense has this effect on players! I would have like the W’s to run more and play small throughout the Series… Playing 2 non-offensive bigs together for big stretches – didn’t make much sense to me…

  19. Guys, I’m going to give myself a break for awhile. I’ve looked over my notes to Game 6, and darned if I didn’t see anything that I hadn’t already said about 100 times. The only slight difference was that the things I have been saying were being repeated by Jeff van Gundy, Bill Simmons, Magic Johnson and Michael Wilbon.

    One of them said something very astute about Barnes: That moving him to stretch 4 made him better because it forced him to do those things that he didn’t want to do.

    This offseason presents another crossroads for the Warriors. I don’t think they realistically have the option to bring this team back. It will be very interesting to see the direction they choose.

    • Well-deserved break FB!

      RE: Astute Barnes
      David Lee’s injury forced Coach Mark Jackson to do things he didn’t want to do…

      Harrison Barnes is who he is. A tweener SF/PF who can beat most PF matchups and spread the floor with his three.

      As long as Jerry West has a strong presence in decisions, I fully expect this team to continue to find great talent at reasonable prices…

      I mean, it’s not like NBA teams were dying to sign Landry/Rush!!! Lol! And the Hornets were going to dump Jarrett Jack for salary relief alone… Lol!

  20. Jack or Landry? You can only keep one (if we’re lucky). Which one will it be?

    I used to think Jarrett Jack was clearly most valuable, but I’m now leaning towards Carl Landry.

    Good bigs are such a rare NBA commodity. And when one is found, they are paid 1,000 percent more than they’re worth! A decent backup combo guard might be more available or less rare. Plus with recent injuries to Bogut and Lee…

    With Green’s development of his shot in the playoffs and Barnes’ emergence as a mis-match PF, perhaps there will less minutes at PF spot. I don’t know…

  21. One must keep in mind that the Warriors only finished five games over .500 percent mainly due to the Warriors not running and curry not designated as the primary shooter until the end of the season. We saw what kind of team the Warriors could be for three quarters on the first game against the Spurs. And then as felty points out the Warriors abandoned what was working for them and simply ignored their inability to score the rest of the series. I really believe Nellie wid have win thie Sours series.

    One cannot ignore the fact that if the G man had played for Denver we may have been knocked out in the first round.

    Jackson only spoke about defense. As a result the Warriors were ousted. Jackson is just so tunneled vision. His idiotic faith based approach has no place in a NBA locker room. When interviewed, he provides no insight to fans and confidence that he knows what he is doing.

    Bogut playing with D.Lee provides the Warriors with just the narrowest window to rack up wins. The Warriors need to address there front court issues if the Warriors are going to move to the next level. And given that Lacob has put the Warriors in such a financial mess, it will be difficult to do so.

    • Lighten up Frank!!! 47 wins and a second round playoff showing when most here were predicting 30+ wins – is over-achieving for a 2nd year coach.

      NO NBA head coach provides much insight to fans in interviews. Pops or Phil Jackson, you say? *holes in interviews… You don’t think Mark Jackson knows NBA basketball??? He’s a NY playground legend, St. Johns, 17-year NBA PG career – playing for many of the greatest NBA and college coaches? Alongside numerous collegiate and NBA Hall of Famers???

      Front court issues for the W’s? At least these W’s consistently outrebounded their opponents! And Bogut might be healthier next season. Lee too. Green and Barnes – proved in the playoffs that they deserve minutes at PF. I expect Ezeli to get a little better next season too. Biedrins is 6 fouls, rebounds, and blocked shots. And Landry – isn’t gone yet… Soon probably, but not yet.

      It’s my hope that the W’s don’t surrender Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes away – to get someone bigger… I’m still stinging from Mitch Richmond/Billy Owens trade (although I loved it at the time)! Lol!

  22. moto @ 16—

    The Spurs led Miami at Miami with about a minute to go—without Duncan, Ginolbi, Parker, Green, Leonard, and SJax.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore;_ylt=AtmSo5G0u.X7ZRGEt92BbEsoPKB4?gid=2012112914

    With everyone scoring. (What happened to De Colo during the playoffs?)

    San Antonio should be well poised to be competitive in the newly reconstituted Western Conference. They have the depth and flexibility, on offense and defense, to grow. They won’t have to wait for the next franchise player (who among current players who isn’t aging out or will appear from recent drafts?). And when Parker, Ginobli, and Duncan retire, they’ll have all kinds of money to spend on players. The only sticking point in their cap is Jackson’s contract (once Jefferson’s), about $10m, which I assume they’ll have to eat next year.

    Question: What would Pop do with Curry?

    • Popovich would possibly see Curry as the natural successor to Ginobili, more positives on the offense side of the ledger, less versatility on the defensive side. of one thing we can be fairly certain — his minutes would average much closer to thirty per game and not thirty-eight.

    • Stephen Jackson’s contract is done. Finished. Off the cap. When Jefferson traded to the W’s, the Spurs had to give a first rounder (Ezeli) – to take on the additional year and $11 million on Jefferson’s deal.

      Huge cap space on small market teams are a poor NBA mix…

      San Antonio – will have to tank when Duncan retires. Like they did to get Robinson and Duncan. Big free agents don’t consider San Antonio. Just not enough money/endorsements, etc.

      Like OKC… How they get Durrant, Westbrook, and Harden??? Tanking or really really bad seasons or good trades for draft picks… They gave away Harden (which at the time I thought was a good trade!) – a max player for little in return. Fortunately they still have 2 max players in Durant and Westbrook.

      • re. your comment in (15) about the owner’s rationale w. Curry and his ankle — surely you are aware of the completely different nature of Bogut’s injury, and the kind of damage that microfracture surgery attempts to remedy.

      • My bad. I thought Sjax had one more year. But then the Warriors really made a mistake trading him for Jefferson. They would have $11m coming off the books next season. Seems to me that SJax made a stink about getting an extension when traded?

        If the Spurs can run with Miami with 6 of its top players out, they won’t have trouble fielding competitive teams for years to come—and picking up more players. Pop will never tank, and never will have to.

        Betting on a franchise player is just a mistake now—there just aren’t any coming up.

        • @rgg
          $11,000,000 for Ezeli and a season with Jefferson and without Stephen Jackson – is a toss-up to me, because I really like Ezeli a lot. Jefferson never got much of an opportunity to contribute, but is a great teammate and role model at the least.

          @Moto – Yes, microfracture should have required a year to recuperate – and silly Bogut tried to come back too darn soon! I think it was in April and he tried to come back in October/November of the same year??? Not smart. The W’s should have sat Bogut out nearly the entire season – and started to get Bogut ready for the possible playoffs or the following season IMHO…

          • I forgot Ezeli (2nd round pick) was in the deal. That softens the blow.

          • Its ridiculous to assume that Ezeli couldn’t be had but for that deal. The Warriors could have purchased that pick for .5 to 1 million dollars, the going rate. Or used the Draymond Green pick. Or done any number of far cheaper things, if they really wanted him.

  23. Feltbot—

    Much thanks for all your efforts this season and helping us keep a clear head!

  24. Concerns over whether or not the Warriors can afford to keep Jack and Landry really reveal how weak the team is. If they lose both, they lose two of four players with any real experience (Biedrins and Jefferson don’t count, and we don’t know if we can count on Bogut, one of the four). They have no sizable two-way players in the wings and no backup point guard (unless Bazemore, not really a PG anyway, and Machado make startling gains), who could have developed this year and continue developing next. Nor will they have the money to pick up the same next year.

    We will hope, of course, for full recovery for Rush.

    The San Antonio model continues to intrigue.

    Or maybe the preacher can work a miracle of loaves and fish.

  25. Petey Brian: I admire you for being eternally optimistic and thinking that roster is divided with wonderful players. But, I believe your view is well-grounded.

    As a number of people thought the Warriors would win 44 games this year. And the Warriors may have made the playoffs in prior years , but for players.

    You make too much of defensive rebounds. Of the warriors are going to get more DR’s as the result of their opponents shooting a leer FG percentage. A healthy Bogut can’t provide weak side help to keep 5-10 per game from being scored. And provide diffident protection for D.lee.

    I seriously doubt that either Barnes or Thompson will be on the trading block. If anyone will be it’s Lee as he was last year when we foolishly tried to get Howard.

    Right now, you should be pissed that we didn’t go further in the playoffs, and our owner has virtually checkmated the Warriors for next year because of the trade and financial bind he has put the team in, as far as improving the roster for next year .

    And Ezeli has ver little upside given his Hans, shooting, and lack of basketball IQ.

    And Felty, you can’t call Thompson an all- star and future Hall of Famer. When the Spurs shut him down. As all-stars usury don’t get shut down.

    • I agree that I’m usually a W’s homer when it comes to positive W’s predictions – I’ve probably whiffed in 18 of 20 seasons predicting W’s playoff glory! Lol!

      This W’s organization (Jerry West) has identified great player talent the last 2 years of the draft (and thanks to Don Nelson/Riley 4 years ago with Stephen Curry). Getting 4 real deal players (Klay, Barnes, Ezeli, and Green) was a serious gift. True, the draft could have been very different (Leonard, Drummond, Harkless, etc), but the W’s have done very well anyways.

      Trading for Jack and signing Landry and re-signing Rush – also super smart moves.

      Why is it that fans think the W’s brain trust (Jerry West) won’t find more good, cheap, undervalued players?

      Yes, the W’s cap situation is screwed next season… The W’s might not improve the talent level/depth if it loses Jack and Landry – although Rush may or may not come back strong.

      But also, 3 huge expiring contracts (Jefferson, Biedrins, and Bogut) are coming due – and near the end of the trade deadline, no one knows what might be available for them.

      And a full season from now, money for big-time free agents will be available… Getcha popcorn ready!

  26. I can see Lacob possibly traded for a big contact in ordetr to unload with Jefferson or Biedrens or to trade Lee for an established player and a high draft pick. He doesn’t have too many other alternatives .

    • Again given Joe Lacob approved the David Lee sign and trade deal, I would be shocked if Lee were ever moved… Maybe for Pau Gasol, but the W’s would have to throw in something I don’t want the W’s to throw in (Barnes or Klay or Ezeli)! Lol! I constantly bag on David Lee’s defense, but I remember what it was like when W’s fans were dying for a big man half as good as Lee… Given Andrew Bogut’s questionable health, having a Lee/Landry/Ezeli/Beans/Green/Barnes frontcourt is nice. No Landry (opts out and signs elsewhere) and losing Lee in trade – might be devastating if a big isn’t received in return…

  27. Actually, if Parker and Duncan have any legs left, they match up well against Memphis. They won’t always shoot this well, but they will get open shots.

    They are deep defensively at all positions, in size and athleticism, with Parker the major weakness. What intrigues me is what Bonne and Splitter add, who, along with Duncan, kept the front court closed and defended Randolph well. Neither a top tier player, but both two-way players who can give options on offense and spread the floor with their shots.

    • It has to be factored in just how bad a coach Lionel Hollins is. He simply doesn’t understand the power of the three point shot, either on offense or defense. Not one of his starters shot a three in this game, despite the double teaming of Randolph. Prince is being completely misused. On the other side, the Grizz covering no one at the three point line, when they have the horses to single the Spurs bigs, and induce tough two point shots. Bonner is a much bigger weapon in this series than he was against the Warriors.

      But for Memphis (they hope) this series will start with Game 5 in San Antonio. My analysis was based on the health of Duncan, Ginobili and Parker. Games 3 through 7 are played with one day rest in between. Game 5 will be the third game in 5 nights. The longer it goes, the stronger the Grizz get.

      • Hollins is a sharp dresser, though. If I thought I’d look that good in a suit, I’d buy one.

  28. PeteyBrian: even if everyone is healthy, You’llnever see Warriors in NBA finals with the present front court even if everyone healthy. The question is whether Lacob understands that.

    Lacob also offered lee did Rudy Gay. That wiuld have been a disarer. He has no loyalty to Lee nor should he.

    Looks like Spurs going to roll Memphis.

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      Frank the Clippers thought they were going to roll Memphis when they were up 2-0. The Thunder also thought they were going to roll Memphis up 1-0. It is becoming more and more obvious you don’t know shit about basketball. Only an idiot would make that statement after one game.

      How many wins did the great Moe Harkless lead the Orland Magic to???

      The same Moe Harkless that was not even voted to 1st or 2nd All Rookie Team.

      The Moe Harkless that you have had a hard on for all season.

  29. @Frank
    The W’s frontcourt healthy (of course a big if) – as is – is good enough for the NBA Finals.

    This inexperienced W’s team (coaches and players) ALMOST won Game 1 in Denver (won Game 2) and Game 1 in San Antonio (won Game 2). You won’t lose very many playoff series up 2 games to none and heading home.

    The W’s team/coaching staff now have playoff experience… This team won’t lose an 18 point lead with 4 minutes left again. The team has learned so much – and the youth will get incrementally better next season – the old man Spurs? Incrementally worse. Duncan and Ginobili – won’t beat father time next year.

    Like Denver with Galinari, some players you need more than others. Bogut and Curry and Lee are key players and Rush is a key playoff reserve. Healthier, this team becomes tougher.

    Bogut, Ezeli, Lee, Landry, Green, Barnes, and Biedrins. No good low post scorers, but solid NBA big men most teams would trade places with…

  30. @ 27, Feltbot

    Hollins deserves tons of credit for building a good team, but not for his game-time flexibility.

    It looked like Hollins planned to face the big lineup Popovich used to beat the Warriors, and didn’t have a Plan B ready to go. Hollins didn’t account for how sneaky Popovich is, or how flexibly Pop adapts his lineups and game plans for opponents with different strengths.

    Funny thing, last night’s game was one in which Rudy Gay would have tried to step up. Unlike Gay, though, Prince is the ultimate Team Player. In his whole career, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him demand the ball, even when it could make a huge difference.

    In other words, while Gay isn’t the guy you’d want to bet your playoffs on, he did provide an in-game tactical safety net for a Grizzlies coaching staff that doesn’t react to game conditions very promptly – and Prince does NOT do that. With Gay on the floor, it wasn’t quite so apparent how poorly the Grizzlies adapt tactics on the fly.

  31. A positive take on Jackson vs. Keith Smart:

    “Jackson is a fascinating character, but his publicly hyperbolic statements can distract from how coolly logical he’s been as a coach. It’s a welcome shift from how Keith Smart would bench Curry for Acie Law.”

    Acie hasn’t played in the NBA since 2010-11, for the Ws, under Smart. In retrospect, you have to wonder what Smart was thinking.

    Looking forward:

    “The Warriors still have flaws, even on offense, where they’re often praised. They lack a guy who can get to the rim. Perhaps Golden State will become a contender when Barnes becomes that guy or when it finds that guy via trade.”

    That’s a real possibility. Jack plays that role now, but he settles for a lot of midrange shots, like Charles Jenkins (the best midrange shooter on the team, according to Curry). The Ws need someone who can get to the rim? Really? A Monta is the missing element? Hm. I hear he might actually be available.

    • warriorsablaze

      Someone with Monta’s penetration skills without all the other glaring holes in his game that make him a minus player overall.

      Curry gets to the rim more than he gets credit for, and did so pretty well when SA took away the 3 ball. Klay seems to get to the rim but can’t make a layup to save his life. Barnes has a deceptively quick first step but awful handles. None of these guys get to the line enough. Curry has already noted in the media that getting to the line is an area of development he’ll concentrate on. We may already have the personnel to manufacture offense when the jumpshots aren’t there… but one, two, or all of these guys need to make a leap this summer in a skill to make it happen.

      • after one of his poor shooting games vs. SA, in an interview Curry admitted that he put himself off balance and missed a few when he was trying to draw the foul. when he’s healthy and rested and they’ve opened the court spacing, he gets into the paint with very good results, either the floating tear drop, interior pass, or accurate fastball out to a three point shooter. his precision and craftiness don’t require big openings when he has his good wheels, but he operates below the rim unlike ellis.

        can we count on the lacobites to secure a back up lead guard the preacher would trust, and motivate him to better manage curry’s playing time ? they failed to address the loss of rush, in no small part because jack took over the #1 reserve role, but jack isn’t the same player as rush at all (perimeter d, strong boards, three point threat, transition offense), and his ostensible role as curry’s back up became obscured. the guard they hire to replace jack doesn’t need to be an impact-level drive to the hoop guy, just good enough to keep defenses honest, but he needs to make plays and defend.

      • OK, WAB, I’m not going to bite on this topic, we’ve been back and forth on it for months/years now.

        But could you please explain how Jack is better than Ellis? I won’t buy speculation like “team spirit” because you don’t personally know Monta, right? Do you have anything tangible?

        • I’d love to have Ellis – as an off the bench scorer paired with David Lee.

          1) Better attitude (Jack – a consummate team player can come off the bench not complain and with a positive attitude, Monta? No way!).

          2) Better leadership (Jack is a rock and positive locker room influence, Monta – fights with his center pre-game in the NBA playoffs – says bad things to the media about he and Curry in the same backcourt not working out the day Curry was drafted “welcoming” him to the team). Haven’t even forgotten about the moped incident.

          3) Shooting percentage (Monta can be a volume shooter at times. Jack’s a more efficient shooter.).

          4) Jack can guard more SGs – which is a better backcourt fit with Curry.

          5) Jack prefers to play more PG – again, better backcourt fit with Curry.

          Everyone knows Ellis is 10 times the physical player Jack is. Ellis can dominate a game with his scoring and when he chooses to – dominate defensively. But it’s his attitude. And the fact that he doesn’t want to play PG, his better suited position – or come off the bench as a pure scorer role.

          • Sorry PB,

            I don’t think you personally know Monta either, so let’s cut out all your psychological speculation. You’re left with saying Jack shoots and defends better than Ellis. Neither is true.

            Ellis career .456 shooting @ over 36 min/game.
            Jack career .448 shooting @ 27.9 min./game.

            Ellis has the “reputation” as a poor defender, but he was the best on the Ws last year, bar none. Name anyone who was even close. I’ve seen him shut down most of the best guards in the league at one time or another – while playing 40+ minutes/game for three seasons straight. Jack? Not in Ellis’ league, in any way.

          • Take a look at the overall player rankings. Curry is better than Ellis and Ellis is only slightly better than Jack. We all know this and it’s clear that Ellis is nowhere near superstar quality.
            http://www.82games.com/1213/ROLRTG8.HTM

        • warriorsablaze

          I’m not really a huge Jack fan… did I say he was better than Monta? I do think that 25 minutes of Jack is better than 36 minutes of Monta. We saw what happened in the playoffs when Curry started carrying a heavier load… until the last ankle tweak he was carrying the team on his back, and winning. Having an inefficient volume chucker on a team with a player like Curry is just a mistake. A losing one.

          The game of basketball is full of intangibles, so they can’t really be ignored. There’s plenty of evidence that Monta wasn’t a very good locker room guy… from the Curry comments, to Jackson’s comments, the moped situation, the sexual harassment case, the near fight with Sanders, the delusional (I’m as good as Dwayne Wade) comments…etc… if you think this stuff doesn’t permeate and have an impact on the locker room then I don’t know what to tell you. Even with limited Bogut the trade is still a positive. Klay and Curry’s development, not to mention the best season in years, are enough to justify it. Ellis is about to opt out of his contract and very likely get a rude awakening about how much he is valued (or not) by those around the league.

          • “I’m not really a huge Jack fan… did I say he was better than Monta? I do think that 25 minutes of Jack is better than 36 minutes of Monta.”

            What don’t I understand? OF COURSE that sounds like you think Jack is better than Ellis.

            Re the intangibles, I’ll just quote Feltbot. I don’t know those people, and you don’t either.

            Ellis has had 5 coaches in his NBA career. 4 of them, including the Ws current coach, demanded that Ellis lead the team. He didn’t rip the ball out of his teammates’ hands, his coaches put the ball in his hands. That’s a fact.

            Anything we might guess about Ellis’ personality, motivations, etc., is not proven fact, it’s just our speculation based on innuendo, rumor, and some really dumb things he’s said in interviews. It could be true, Ellis could be locker room cancer, Satan Spawn or something. But 4 out of 5 coaches have demonstrated that they don’t think so. And they do know the guy.

          • warriorsablaze

            What you don’t understand is the concept of diminishing returns. In the same role, Monta could have more impact than Jack. Crank Monta’s usage up to the highest on the team and you get a .500 or below team. Jack doesn’t play enough most games to wear out his welcome… though he often comes close.

            Monta has certainly been misused in the role of “the man”… but Lebron and Durant are also “the man” on their teams and put up very efficient floor games…. as does Curry.

            The idea that Ellis was the best defender on a team with Udoh is laughable. “Shutting down” the other team’s guard on rare occasions doesn’t make up for the thousands of missed (ignored) rotations and lost gambles for steals. It’s the same reason Lee is a very poor defender… he may have an OK one on one match up from time to time, but he is a horrific team defender. Face up guarding your man is only a small part of being a good defender, you also have to make the right switches and help your teammates.

  32. @Hat

    In the Monta Ellis vs. Jarrett Jack – leadership/character/attitude discussion – I’ve followed Monta for years as have you. You seem to ignore some choice information:

    Monta Ellis did fight with teammate Larry Sanders after Game 3 of the Playoffs vs the Heat.

    http://www.cbssports.com/nba/blog/ken-berger/22224316/sources-bucks-monta-ellis-larry-sanders-almost-came-to-blows-after-loss-to-heat

    Monta Ellis did crash his moped, severely hurt his ankle, then LIED about how he did it to the team.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3574017

    Monta Ellis was accused of sexual harassment from a female employee of the GSWs. Took photos of his “thing” and sent it to her phone late at night. All while being married.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/7376430/golden-state-warriors-monta-ellis-sued-alleged-sexual-texting

    Ellis was upset with Nellie and W’s management.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/135325-monta-elliis-upset-in-golden-state

    Fact: Ellis made an announcement to the media that he and then recently drafted rookie Stephen Curry could not play in the same back court together. Right or wrong, not the correct thing to alienate a new teammate and undermine Nellie and Larry Riley.

    Tangible? These are very real, serious events.

    • Jack vs. Ellis – shooting? Edge Jack.

      Monta’s FG percentage this season? .416%
      Jack’s FG percentage this season? .452%

      Monta’s 3 point shooting this season? .287%
      Jack’s 3 point shooting this season? .404%

      Monta’s free throws this season? .773%
      Jack’s free throws this season? .843%

      • Jack vs. Ellis – Jack is a better back court fit with Curry…

        I never compared their abilities to play defense. I don’t think either player plays defense consistently well. My opinion is that Ellis guards PGs better and Jack guards SGs better.

        Here’s what I wrote:

        “4) Jack can guard more SGs – which is a better backcourt fit with Curry.

        5) Jack prefers to play more PG – again, better backcourt fit with Curry. “

      • PB,

        In comparing players on different teams, I think it’s best to look at their entire body of work, their career stats. Systems matter. The 2nd of Ellis’ Bucks coaches this year has now been fired. Ellis’ running mate is B Jennings, not S Curry, etc.

        But whatever. Ellis doesn’t need my defense, and I’m bored with this topic. I’m sure you have reasons you feel are sufficient to be a fan of Jack’s and not Ellis’. Fine with me.

        I won’t buy “Jack is a better backcourt fit” because that’s an unsupportable opinion, not fact-based. But the question is moot anyway. Last year the Ws 100% committed to shedding Monta for a 50% chance on Bogut. Monta’s not coming back here.

        • Jack and Ellis are good, but not ideal players, and I wish both success on their future teams! Jack’s gonna get paid starters money with some team with cap space (not the Ws).

          It’ll be hugely interesting how the Ws retool the roster in the ultra competitive West…

          The Rockets, Lakers, Mavs, Timberwolves, Blazers, should all be making moves to get better.

          • of the five teams you’ve nominated, howard could leave for Hou, and jack could end up in LA, Dal, or Por among his many options. without howard, and without nash regaining health and effectiveness, we could see another ordinary year for the new regime in buss-land. the patriarch just couldn’t let his daughter run the show and it might take some time for the son to learn the hard way.

  33. Does anyone have any good theories why Jefferson did not play more this season? He made $11 million and is an expiring contract next year. Shouldn’t the Warriors have played him at least enough to show he’s still effective and then shop him?

    • And Jefferson was lucky Rush wasn’t available or Jefferson would never have seen the court!!! Lol!

      My only theory is why play Jefferson valuable minutes when Barnes needs to get crucial development experience. And Jefferson isn’t much better than Barnes is now. Jefferson got lots of run during the tank season, and we all know what he can and can’t provide near the end of a great career.

      I expect Jefferson to get showcase minutes prior to the trade deadline, but I’m not expecting much now that I’ve looked over the field of bad contracts…

  34. Desperation:

    Meyers, in Yahoo today:

    ”I think that sense of desperation has passed,” Myers said. ”I think that whereas when you’re trying to do anything to get over the hump you do sometimes chase things that may be difficult to acquire. Whereas now, doesn’t mean we’re satisfied, it doesn’t mean we think our work is through, but we can be prudent and patient with opportunities as they come along.”

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/warriors-gm-sense-desperation-passed-230043342–nba.html

    Desperation describes many of the team’s moves this season, why rookies weren’t given more development time, why other players weren’t played more, and why other players were played too much and not given recovery time for injuries.

    The problem in part is the desperation was not needed, but mostly it was created by the FO’s moves itself. They had the means and money to build a comparable team over the course of the last three years. Then the Bogut trade and its horrible cost, the tank, and the miserable season last year forced them into desperation mode.

    Lacob will have to spend big bucks just to maintain status quo, and probably will, where instead, with a little foresight and intelligence, the team might have been significantly improved this summer. And I don’t think status quo will be easy to maintain. They simply can’t count on the same intensity and minutes played by key players next season.

  35. A review of the plus-minus of both the Warriors and the Spurs players show a gross disparity. Given that the players were on winning teams, most players from each team have plus ratings. However, the Spurs players plus ratings range from plus 4-9, while the Warriors players ranged from plus 1-3.

    In my judgment, this disparity is an indication that the Spurs roster has more complete two-way players, and better defensive players. Thus, showing the Warriors have a way to go to improve their roster.

    In judging a player’s contribution, one should only look at their plus/ minus when they are on the court, and not how the team fairs when they are off the court. As, a net plus/minus is misleading with regard to an individual player’s performance.

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      Frank the Spurs won their games by an average of 6.4 points a game while the Warriors by a margin of .9 points per game. Obviously the Spurs players will have a better + / – How do you come up with such stupid statistical analogies?

      • What I admire about the Spurs is their player tenure. They play so well together partly because they’ve trained for decades together…

  36. @ 34,

    rgg, I’d like Myers to feel a sense of… maybe not desperation, but at least some urgency. Myers has often sounded a little self-congratulatory in interviews. That’s the wrong attitude for a team that ran 4/5 starters into the ground this year, to win 1 playoff series.

    • In Jerry West I Trust. As long as GM Meyers does what Jerry West says, GM Meyers can stay! Hehe! I’m not saying Meyers is not good, just that West is maniacally good…

      Joe Lacob’s smartest decision was hiring Jerry West…

      Before this hire, I too was very skeptical of every Ws move. Now? Not so much – as long as Jerry approves!

  37. FFG: I wasn’t making an “analogy.” Work on your comprehension. Last time I compared Bogut’s stats to Udoh’s stats, and you proceeded into la-la land pointing out that Udoh’s team didn’t fair well this year. Come down from the clouds.

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      Take your own advice and get off of the Moe Harkless is a super star. Take both of your hands and pull really hard and you might be able to remove your head from the ass of Moe Harkless. You have your head so far up there that you don’t know shit about basketball. If you would like to learn something I would be more than happy to take you to school on the basketball court.

      • FFG – you have to admit, Moe was a sweet call, at #7 or a trade down. He is one player who would have fit well here – for his Defense. Drummond at 7 too.

        As for Harrison Barnes, I like the pick from the beginning, but couldn’t understand why many compared him to Paul Pierce. After the playoffs, now I can see a poor mans Paul Pierce in Barnes’ game.

        • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

          Andre Drummond would have been a much better pick than Moe Harkless. Harklless has some talent but he is very raw. Barnes will be an All Star before Harkless is.

  38. FFG: All you do is insult Fellty and others. Very sad. I can see why you chose “fake” for your middle name.

  39. After Game 1 of the Heat/Pacers series, I have only 3 words:

    Paul! George! Wow!

  40. An article on the Warriors Tank Season:

    “…it’s embarrassing, both to your fans and your franchise, to tank so hard when all that’s at stake is the seventh pick in a two-player draft.”

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/58437/protected-picks-encourage-tanking

    • This is the true genius of the Andrew Bogut/Monta Ellis trade – sure the short-term was ugly (in a lost season anyways), but it helped the W’s keep their lottery pick in a very good draft… With a lotta lotto luck! And netted us Harrison Barnes (or could have been Andre Drummond or Moe Harkless!).

      I wish the NBA should prevent this – but it hasn’t. So teams will continue to play to their advantage. And this whole Marcus Williams/Nets trade/pick fiasco was dragged on for way too long! Mullin was GM when this trade went down…

  41. Based on last year season’s production, most NBA experts rated Harkless as a better player than Barnes. Let me know when Barnes is able to match Harkless on the offensive glass. steals. blocked shots, and can make a higher percentage of two’s, commit less turnovers, and Barnes can provide his team an average of 2 plus extra possession per game as Harkless does for Orlando, can an argument be made that Barnes is better.

    • warriorsablaze

      Get back to me when Harkless can make the same % of 3′s and FTs (57%!!!), get more points, match Barnes on assists, match Barnes on the Defensive glass, etc, etc…. cherry picking stats is fun!

      I like Mo Harkless… but your idolization of him is not based on reality.

  42. Warriors interested in Dwight Howard. . . .

    • @rgg – Wow! I hear the opening of a big can of worms! Lol!

      It’d be ridiculous how many players would need to be exchanged in a sign-and-trade with LA…

      Klay or Harrison and a combo of Bogut/Lee/Ezeli or all three!

      Howard’s no doubt a great player and teamed up with Curry could be special – but listening to his interviews would drive me nuts as a fan! Lol!

  43. warriorasblaze: Harkless PER was 12.5, Barnes, 11.1. An indication that the Warriors based on last year’s stats drafted the wrong SF. Maybe Barnes will play better than Harkless next year. Just wanting to point out who the better player was last year. There is no idolization. If Barnes outperforms Harkless next year, so be it. I’ not say that Harkless is all world. Just that I believe he will continue to out-perform Barnes each and every hear going forth.

    Now, the Warriors have made the playoffs, posters are now very touchy and refuse to recognize that we would have had even a better team if we had drafted both Leonard and Harkless the last two years. But, hey, in Jerry West, Myers, and Lacob, we trust.

    It should be noted, Harkless greatly improved both his three point shooting and foul shooting over the the second half of the season, and during that time span shot almost the same percentage on 3′s as Barnes, and came close to matching Barnes at the foul line.

    Our front court is not final round worthy. In my humble opinion, we’ll never see a front-line of Bogut, D.Lee, and Barnes starting an NBA final.

    • warriorsablaze

      I like both Moe and Leonard so I won’t argue. Leonard is better than Klay but will never be more than a solid 2-way role player. Harkless has the same ceiling. Good teams need those players and the Warriors are certainly lacking in that area. Klay and Barnes, however, have potential to be more than just solid role players. It’s certainly a gamble that we won’t know the outcome of for a few years. Discussing draft success after rookie seasons is pointless…especially for lottery picks outside the top 3, who very rarely come into the league as immediate impact players. Paul George being a good example of a mid-lottery pick who took 3 years to blossom. We’ll just have to see who makes the leap. I’d gamble on Barnes over Moe only because he is the more skilled player. Those players tend to go further than hustle guys…though good teams have a mix of both.

      • Leonard and Harkless – are both great players/prospects.

        However, both players didn’t or couldn’t shoot much pre-draft or in college. There’s a lot of risk in drafting defensive wings who can’t shoot… Think Chris Singleton or Dominic McGuire types. They don’t do very well.

        Fortunately, the W’s weren’t able to pick MKG – because that kid MAY NEVER be able to shoot.

        The Warriors hit big on both Klay and Barnes – who are on the path to be great NBA players…

        And now that the W’s are mid-round drafters in future seasons, they can take higher risk/higher reward players in the mid-to-late first round. Think Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Harkless, and Leonard. None of these guys had much of a jump shot pre-draft…

  44. warriorablaze: I disagree. I think we’ll know whose the better player by the end of next year if not before. I think Moe has more potential as he’s killing Barnes in so many categories, and unlike Barnes, can dribble. He’s already started to make a move to close the gap on Barnes on three pointers and shooting foul shots. And unlike Barnes who played two years in college, Moe played only one year. When you average two extra possessions for your team per game, players like both Leonard and Moe are not role players. They are special players.

    The same can’t be said for Barnes and Thompson, but I’ll cut them some slack as the coaching have held them back filling up stats in more categories.Barnes and Thompson both suck garnering OR’s and making steals and creating turnovers. Until that happens, they don’t fall into the category of having the potential of being exceptional or considered as all-star caliber players.

    • I enjoyed playoff Harrison Barnes – in 12 playoff games against two good 60-win teams (almost) and here are his numbers:

      http://espn.go.com/nba/player/stats/_/id/6578/seasontype/3/harrison-barnes

      Not too shabby…

      • barnes’ fans will try to extrapolate from those games, and have to either lobby to trade lee, or put their faith in the coaches to solve the bermuda triangle of bogut, lee, barnes.

        • I see the real triangle as the need to play another ball handler alongside Curry in the fourth quarter. As we saw last year, that was the chief limiter of Barnes minutes.

          I just don’t see Lee as standing in the way of Barnes, because I don’t see Barnes desiring to play the four as a steady diet. Nor do I believe it’s likely that Lacob wishes to continue with a small Nellieball unit finishing games for the Warriors.

          On the other hand, Lee at center, Barnes at four is a crunchtime configuration that could win a lot of games for the Warriors. If the Warriors fill the hole at sixth man left by the departure of Jarret Jack. And fail to fill the hole caused by reliance on Bogut.

          What seems most likely, given Lacob’s proclivities, is that whenever Bogut is healthy, the Warriors will start matching up conventionally in crunchtime, with Barnes playing for Jack. This will not be an improvement.

          • barnes’ fans don’t see him as a full time four, but want him to get the touches and shot attempts he saw in lee’s absence. and that won’t be simple if he shares the floor with lee, curry, thompson unless lee’s playing center, of course.

            the offense could enter a brave new world, if jack departs, rush recovers his effectiveness, and malone takes the big chair for another team. they’re attempting to re-engineer bazemore as a lead guard, which would create a two guard able to defend the position and a secondary ball handler, if the project succeeds.

  45. I thought for sure Andris Biedrins would opt out of his contract and test the FA waters!!! Lol!

    I’m no longer hopeful (after looking at every team’s player salaries/cap situations) of getting something good back in trade for expiring contracts, but we’ll need to revisit this at the trade deadline as you never know…

  46. Felty: Do you think that the Warriors should do sign snd trade of Bogut and Barnes for Dwight Howard?

    • I think it would be a bigger mistake than Bogut, for the reasons expressed here:

      http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9308573/searching-dwight-howard

      Plus others.

      • What are the odds, however, that Lacob has in fact been working on a deal? I’m guessing 100%. It fits what we’ve see before—his view the team needs a dominant big to win, the need for a marquee player, regardless.

        MTII:
        “And even though he doesn’t need to, co-owner Joe Lacob still loves the pursuit of the big fish.”

        And of course it would be another bad investment. Simmons is a good read. Lacob would have to invest $20m plus for 4-5 years of salary cap plus give up developing—and affordable—talent. Hard to believe any team would be interested in acquiring big expiring contracts now, except maybe the Lakers.

        But if he can contemplate a deal of this magnitude, what others might he pull off, that might, in fact, strengthen the team? That probably won’t even be considered?

        • myers and west are not likely to endorse a howard deal, and that would make an interesting test of the despot’s convictions if he really covets the big juvenile. they’ve been preaching the importance of character since lacob froze nelson out, so the owner might prefer taking his chances with bogut.

  47. Very interesting dynamic in the Heat series, similar to the one faced by the Warriors against the Spurs. One has to feel that if the Heat continue trying to match up big, they will lose. They have to get to their small lineup, find a way to rebound, and get out in the open court. Running is their strength, and the Pacers’ Achilles heel.

    The biggest problem with that strategy, which the Warriors didn’t have, is that the Heat’s wings are old and decrepit. Starting with Dwayne Wade. This might be the Pacers’ year.

    • Ind is in a much stronger state than GS was with lee missing and bogut intermittently effective : balance through the starting five and an established identity on both sides of the court. they’re not forced to rely on rookies for critical contributions, either.

  48. I agree getting Howard who has his own health issues are of concern. Yes, his performance has dropped 25% over the last two years, an indication we might be buying a further and long lasting injury problem.

    Do we all agree that Howard is better than Bogut on both sides of the court at the present time?

    I don’t mind see Barnes leaving as he not a long term solution at SF.

    But, one can see Lacob salivating at the prospect of a deal for Howard as in his mind the the Bogut move turned out just fine.

    Since I assume the salaries of Howard matches Bogut and Barnes, would there actually be a financial hit? Won’t they be facing the same problem they have now in resigning both Jack and Landry?

    And given that the Warriors will have both Biedrins and Jefferson coming off the books next year, won’t they in a good position to sign free agents? This may also be a reason that Lacob will push for a deal.

    • For most of last season, Howard was a very poor defender. Robbed of his athleticism, he’s not very imposing at 6-9, 6-10. Nor very smart.

      • The Western Conference is always tougher on your stats… Can’t play against so many Byron Mullens out West. See David Lee who went from 20 and 12 in NY to 16 and 10 in first year at GS. I’m no math wiz, but that’s close enough to 25% loss in stats.

        Simmons is a little quick to throw Dwight under the bus… He’s wrong. Nice try, though!

        2.4 blocks and 1.1 steals is good enough for me…

  49. The Spurs have gotten a real break with the scheduling against Memphis. Two three game breaks surrounding the first two games of the series.

    This will be a critical game for the Grizz, with the Spurs at their freshest. If they manage to survive this game, the Spurs will be on 1 day rest for the remainder of the series.

  50. Have West/Meyers given any indication on their position on acquiring Howard?

    Perhaps a minister coach Mark Jackson can get the most from a religious D. Howard.

    Curry/Machado
    Rush/Bazemore
    Klay/Jefferson
    Lee/Green
    Howard/Ezeli/Biedrins

    $20 million coming off the books after 1 more year – Andris/Jefferson – to buy role some players and raises.

    3 sure-fire All-Stars in Curry, Lee, and Howard? Klay an up and coming All-Star caliber player?

    A Howard-Lee front court? Wow!

    Curry, Rush, and Klay on the perimeter?

    $20 million coming off the books in a season to build out a bench?

    • the opinions of west and myers (not likely to favor acquiring howard, i.m.o.) are moot unless both howard/his agents and the bussies favor the notion of him going north. rumours concerning howard’s inclinations re. any team who’d have to struggle to ante up his ransom in a sign’n’trade and/or contract (both apply to the lacobites) are probably disinformation.

      • Yes – I’m only dreaming! Trade with Lakers not likely unless Howard prefers GS and Stephen Curry is included to entice them, if at all, which ain’t happening.

        Perhaps Simmons is probably right, that Dwight is merely Clark Kent now and no longer Superman or superhuman! But Simmons has been wrong before! Lol!

        My position is that Dwight was injured and had a lot of new situations to deal with – multiple injuries, multiple coaches, new team, Kobe’s a ball-buster, playing alongside Gasol, rumors – so he gets a hall pass in my estimation for last season’s play…

  51. We know that Bogut ranked 36th defending the rim. Does anyone know
    know where Howard ranked this past season?

    • You making up rankings now? Bogut is probably better than 36th at Center – for free throw %! Lol! And he’s a horrible free thrower – I’ll agree with that…

      But protecting the rim? Much, much higher… Don’t believe me? Ask the Denver Nuggets…

  52. Within the last couple of weeks a poster referenced some advanced stats that showed that last year Udoh was ranked 11th defending the rim and Bogut 36th or so. Peteybrian, I’m surprised that you reject such stat as did you notice that Bogut during the regular season had a hard time moving due to his injury. He moved a little better in the playoffs as the result if injections. The real question is where did Howard rank? I would think he was at least as high as Udoh.

  53. The main reason I thought Memphis would beat the Spurs handily is because the Warriors played them so well. Which means the Warriors are better than we thought, and if only Curry had been healthier the last three games, it would have been a closer series yet.

    Shooting matters in the playoffs. Teams that have built themselves for defensive struggles have found themselves shorthanded. How many playoff teams would have benefited from a shooter of the caliber of Klay Thompson?

    • well, the kind people at lauridsen’s address are gloating over boss felt’s prediction for Mem. Mem depends on much different scoring sources than GS, and containment on SA’s part is more straightforward. in essentially their must-win game last night, except for the early lead based on SA’s turn overs, Randolph and Gasol mis-fired in many attempts inside the paint. Splitter and Duncan appear to be a bit healthier than they were at the start of the series vs. the woeyrs. the three day break probably helped Parker’s bad leg.

      give Popovich extra credit for game three, benching all the starters for a reserve unit after their poor start, but also expressing confidence in them that they could regain control of the game without big adjustments if they executed their plays cleanly. we shouldn’t overlook how GS didn’t present the same game that SA faced in the regular season, but their adjustments as the series progressed, combined with the accumulated wear on curry on bogut made them progressively tougher. they were within a free throw or field goal from taking both games three and four in oaktown.

      sometimes the games come down to how well the team’s best player shoots the ball ; the woeyrs’ chances diminished with curry’s capacity but revived a bit with game four when duncan’s shots didn’t fall. we see how Popovich gauges Duncan so well, winning the series vs. GS with him on the bench for the close out, and relying on him last night to deliver the finishing coup.

    • The sole reason I picked Memphis was because of the Spurs’ health — I didn’t believe either Duncan or Ginobili were up to a seven game series against Memphis, and Parker didn’t look great either. Unfortunately for the Grizz, it doesn’t look like they will get the chance to test that hypothesis.

      I made two big mistakes when evaluating this series. The first was underestimating just how bad a coach Lionel Hollins is. I have frequently criticized him here, but I simply could not conceive that he would completely ignore the lessons that OKC and GSW offered him in how to guard Tony Parker. Particularly when he has a defender like Tony Allen, that he’s wasted on the spot-up shooter Danny Green all series long.

      Pop, on the other hand, has got it exactly right, with Green and Leonard guarding Conley, and Parker hiding on Allen. Of course.

      I simply am amazed that Hollins is letting Tony Parker beat his team, when the Spurs have so few other options to create offense. It beggars belief, and it didn’t have to be this way. The closeness of the last two games proves that.

      I’m also amazed at how poor an offensive coach Hollins is, and how little he understands spacing and the value of three point shooting. He has completely miscast Tayshaun Prince, an exceptional 3 point shooter, in his offense. But I already knew that coming into the series, so it’s not an excuse.

      Ironic that someone like myself who weights coaching so strongly got caught not weighting it enough in this series. A mistake I’m not likely to forget.

      The second mistake I made was not taking a closer look at the schedule. The Spurs got two huge scheduling gifts in this series — the three day breaks before Games 1 and 3. The Grizzlies had to make this at least a six game series before their health advantage really became a factor.

      So mea culpa, I got one badly wrong. And unlike 99% of the other pundits out there calling series, I paid for the mistake.

  54. Re Indiana/Miami, what I’ve seen is the Pacers beating the Heat twice so far, with LBJ miraculously bailing out the Heat in Game 1. Miami has real-deal superstars, but Indiana is a better team, and a deeper one.

    Re San Antonio/Grizz, I’ve been surprised at how well the Spurs have handled Zach Randolph. He’s getting rebounds, but shooting .300 in the series against the Spurs’ parade of defenders. Stopping a black hole like Z-bo gives the Spurs a real edge. The deeper team has an advantage in that series, too.

    • It shouldn’t be a surprise that the Spurs are handling Randolph well, as they are doubling literally every one of his touches, and to this end they are barely bothering to guard either Allen or Prince on the perimeter.

      Hollins’ refusal to spot-up Allen and Prince on the three point line is of course playing right into this strategy. Prince is a 40% three point shooter, better from the corner (where he is NEVER stationed by Hollins). Allen is terrible, at 25%, but I refuse to believe that he isn’t at least 33% when he’s completely unguarded. I remember him shooting 3s for the Celtics when open. (Even 27% is better than 40% from 2, which is of course better than Randolph gets when doubled.)

      It has to be said: Hollins is a stone idiot, who is completely incapable of strategizing, or making tactical adjustments. He has basically handed control of the series to Popovich.

      As far as the Heat are concerned, it can’t be overstated how important Wade’s injury is to that series. The Heat need to be getting small and running against a dominant big team, but the conundrum is that when they shift Lebron to the 4, their wings are WORSE than the Pacers. How can you run against the Pacers when your wings are slower and less athletic than theirs?

      Wade’s injury also significantly affects the Heat’s defense. He used to be an all-world defender. Now the Heat have only two good defenders on the floor at a time, at most, Lebron and the point guards.

  55. Felty, you’re being two hard on yourself. As Two out of the three games went into overtime. Memphis could have easily have been ahead 2-1 in the series.

    Even for those that still think that the Warriors are better than the Spurs, one should remember that Jackson in blowing what turned out to be the decisive first game against the Spurs, and by also taking the Warriors out of any chance next year by failing to have the team rum is likelty to repeat the same mistakes if we are fortunate to make the playoffs next year. One needs to understand that Pop will always beat a Jackson led team.

    And while most are raving about Barnes, Thompson, and bigut, one must recognize all three were part of losing effort in the last two games played against the Spurs.

    The Warriors have to resign Jack for next year.

    If Biedrens has the option to opt out, the Warriors may well be able to cut a deal with him in which he opts out and signs a new deal at say $3 million a year for four years and then cut him, thus reducing his present next year’s salary that will count against next year’s luxury tax and give the Warriors the opportunity to resign Jack. I think such would be legal.

  56. Thanks MOTO. I wonder if the Warriors thought of making a deal with him before he did. They should have.

  57. Some stats bare out you’re clim that Howard now limited on defense. As Bogut held his opponent to 44 percent shooting., Howard 5o percent. 82
    Games.

  58. If the Warriors are watching the playoffs to learn something about how to build for the future, both in terms of strategy and roster development, they should be watching the Spurs. They certainly have a Parker equivalent in Curry. Note Ginobli has been mediocre. Duncan has been good, but not dominant and would be hard to find anyway. The players I envy, both on offense and defense, are not big star names—Green, Leonard, Splitter, and to a lesser extent but still important Diaw and even Bonner.

    Howard is not the answer.

    • SA has had somewhat of a make over as Popovich and Buford responded to several factors including the ages of Duncan and Ginobili, better half court defenses generally in the league, and the necessity of stricter contract management (jefferson getting jettisoned one effect).

      the evolution of defenses means that teams have to be able to exploit transition opportunities, create more shots outside the three point line, and conversely be able to defend the perimeter better than ever. Popovich began adapting some years ago. we haven’t seen anything from the lacobites yet to indicate they have a clue — rush was a pretty important contributor in those aspects, and even d.wright had a role, but they declined to replace either one. Myers was fortunate that his rookies came through. how they respond to losing either landry or jack will tell us something about the kind of team they wish to construct.

  59. @56

    Some facts on renegotiating contracts, from here:

    http://www.cbafaq.com/salarycap.htm#Q63

    For contracts signed or extended before the current CBA took effect, the team and player may negotiate a revised payment schedule. The revised payment schedule may call for the guaranteed portion of the player’s salary to be paid over a longer or shorter period of time than originally specified in the contract, or even as a lump sum.

    The CBA has very strict rules for renegotiating contracts. The way this non-lawyer reads it, it appears that Biedrins’ one remaining year could be converted to up to a 3 year commitment if everyone agrees with that. Then his impact on the team’s salary cap would be adjusted accordingly. His $9M contract would become a $3M annual salary cap hit, for 3 years. This sort of thing is most commonly done when a player is waived, because otherwise a player has zero financial incentive to renegotiate his annual salary downward.

    If Biedrins has a sharp agent he might even negotiate the total payout higher, to cover the cost to Biedrins of the deferred payments – essentially an interest payment to Biedrins.

    Renegotiating Biedrins’ contract could have been done anytime, and they still can, for another month or so. But again, he wouldn’t have any reason to do it unless the team waived him. That seems to be the rub. If the team does waive him, their finance guys would have to view the cost of his replacement as the replacement’s salary PLUS whatever they’re paying the long-gone Biedrins. In other words, add $3M to the annual cost of whoever they sign with their newly-free cap room.

    In addition, if the team keeps Biedrins on the team and burns off his entire remaining salary commitment next season, they’ll have $9M more cap room forever after. If they waive him this summer instead, they’ll have only $6M more cap room for the next 3 years. Hmm. Two and 3 years from now that additional $3M cap space could come in handy…

    That’s assuming the team considers cap space to be a vitally critical issue, which it is not always. To a win-focused team, that additional $3M cost is beneath trivial (San Antonio dropping SJax is an example – they paid him that much just to go away, and replaced him with T McGrady, who they haven’t even played). In comparison to the Spurs, the Ws seem more concerned with pennies than winning – keeping one more competent PG on the roster (Charles Jenkins) could have been very helpful this year, but the team felt they “couldn’t afford it.”

    Or maybe the team thinks Biedrins can still deliver meaningful minutes, or he can be a kinda-sorta safety net behind Bogut. Even from a purely competitive basis, it’s not completely insane to keep him on the team.

    It’s a near certainty that Biedrins won’t earn his salary next year, but waiving him this summer isn’t a slam-dunk decision. And waiving him is the only way to lessen his salary cap impact on the 2013-14 season.

    • until new developments like a trade or free agent signing get thrown at us, we can only surmise that the team is taking a ‘holding’ position re. their three centers. they have pretty good reasons to do so, with their obvious fondness for bogut combined with the contract already committed to him and the near-impossibility of trading him for another semi-serviceable starting center. also reasonable is their reluctance to rely solely on ezeli and lee as their back up centers, given that bogut could be unavailable at unpredictable times and intervals.

      the d-league fill ins they employed as reserve centers saw very little court time, and they would be the main alternatives to biedrins. established veteran reserve bigs won’t be cheap on the free agent market, other than the aged and nearly broken-down. they’d get a better return for their limited budget patching other holes, since they’re already paying biedrins whether he’s on the roster or off. there’s worse things than having an elite Latvian bench mascot who can still function occasionally in a crisis.

      • Moto, I assume those “other priorities” might include wing defense:

        Tony Allen is now an unrestricted FA. Leading vote-getter, All-NBA Defensive Team. 2012-13 salary $3.3M. Age 31. Barely noticeable tattoos (not that that matters to anyone but the Warriors, but they do seem to care about it). http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nba/1065/tony-allen

        Or maybe a competent backup PG: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/five-free-agent-point-guards-utah-jazz-consider-193600566.html

        Or really, upgraded backup players at almost any position: http://www.hoopsworld.com/2013-nba-free-agents

        Some really decent players are coming available this summer. The Ws do not need to take a step backward if Jack and Landry have to move on.

        • if the the team can resolve whether it’s lacob’s or myers and west’s vision of the team taking shape, we might have a better notion of what kind of ‘upgrades’ we should anticipate. coaching is part of roster construction for most of the successful teams, and the preacher’s ‘vision’ is similarly hazy.

          Sac could become a very interesting foil to the woeyrs, with one of lacob’s former partners one of the principals, the possibility of malone getting hired as their coach, and their recent success in head to head matches. with SA’s sole losses so far in the playoffs coming against GS, some fans are chortling ‘championship calibre’, but the team wasn’t even convincing vs. Sac (including one of bogut’s better games), not to mention Chi or Ind.

    • I was thinking that the W’s could re-negotiate Biedrins’ last year down – say $1 or $2 million – and then release him. Biedrins can then play wherever he wants (even overseas) – as opposed to sitting on the W’s bench not playing. The W’s still would have to pay the $8 or $7 million left and that would be the cap hit – only reduced. And the W’s would replace Andris’ spot on the roster with a minimum player.

      Unfortunately, I think keeping Andris, trying to trade him at the trade deadline (tough deal), and ultimately letting the contract expire – might be the reality. Start playing Andris a little around the trade deadline – and try to trade him for an overpaid, disgruntled player(s) with a longer-term contract(s) making around $9 million annually to a team wanting to dump salary/contracts for next year’s huge free agents… A 3rd string center – given Bogut’s injury history – is worth keeping around as a backup center would need to be signed anyways for the 13th or 14th or 15th spot on the roster…

      • PB, that’s a nice thought, but:

        - Unless/until Beans has another guaranteed contract elsewhere, there’s no reason for him to voluntarily relinquish any portion of his Ws guaranteed salary. He’s not going to walk away for a wish. His financial advisor would tell him to sign a guaranteed contract somewhere else first, then maybe try to negotiate a release from the Ws. After his performance of the last 3 years, Biedrins will not get any offers for a guaranteed contract this summer, not from anyone anywhere.

        - Slightly reducing Biedrins’ salary wouldn’t really solve the Ws problem, the amount of cap room he takes up. The team can afford his salary, but not his salary+new player’s salary+cap penalties they’d pay to replace Biedrins with someone useful. And why replace him with someone who’s not useful?

        • Which is probably why Joe Lacob didn’t amnesty Andris Biedrins to begin with – he likely felt Andris had some value, or that his value could be restored, and/or was a cheap *ss not wanting to pay out after they just bought the team… Lol! And if Bogut is out next season, a Lee/Ezeli/Biedrins front court – will work.

          I’d still like to think Biedrins – still a mobile 7-feet and a rebounding, defending Center worth 6 fouls – is worth at least a $1 or $2 million contract somewhere else (or in the world) should the W’s buy him out.

          And it’s a similar situation with Jefferson… Not much that can be done with that.

          • PB, I’m with you. Biedrins was a real contributor once upon a time. Not a huge talent, but very hard working and very effective in some ways. Even this year we saw flashes of that. It would be great if he could regain his old form. Unfortunately, I think it would take at least 1 entire year of that kind of performance to convince other GMs that he had any value at all.

            And even if he was great next year, even the Ws wouldn’t sign him to another guaranteed contract next season. Not after seeing him essentially disappear for three non-contract years.

      • fans who keep dreaming about the budget getting rosy in terms of the cap next summer (fortunately rather few on this blog) will be getting an education in the bidness between now and then. there’s probably going to be enough for a decent free agent, but not an elite level one.

        neither jack nor landry will be staying around without a multi year deal. reasonable vet reserves signing as free agents to take the place of either or both will be much more readily found at the quality level the team presumably seeks if they’re given multi-year deals. so count on at least two contracts in addition to those on the roster now that will be extending past next June, plus a center, bogut or someone else. if there’s any deal off-loading jefferson or biedrins, safe to assume one or two contracts coming in will be another budget encumbrance.

        if the team is convinced it wants another elite level star player, a trade would probably be needed in the mix, with a future first round pick or one of their promising younger players or both in the package. for merely good starting players, the team has paid dunjr, diogu, randolph, udoh (plus an expiring mid-level $$ contract), and the squeals from randolph’s fans persisted more than a year after lee’s move west.

        • “if the team is convinced it wants another elite level star player…”

          But isn’t this season convincing evidence that the team can improve quite a bit incrementally instead of dismembering the lineup and rebuilding around another star? The Spurs are a great team full of role players. The Warriors aren’t that far off, talent-wise (coaching Qs aside). Hasn’t everyone – even team management – convincingly learned that with a few more role players the Ws could reach the Spurs’ level?

          • Well, that’s what we’re saying here. The question is what the big cheese is thinking.

          • rgg, it seems to me that the Cheese is an accountant who has repeatedly demonstrated his interest in controlling costs. Incremental improvement is the cheapest path forward.

          • Which is how we got Bogut and that deal? See @9, above:

            “This year, the team put $32m, about 3/7 of the cap, into three players, Biedrins, Bogut, and Jefferson, who collectively, for a variety of reasons, accounted for less than a tenth of the total team minutes on the court. Collectively, they averaged 9.4 points and 12.1 boards per game during those minutes. Next year, the team will pay $35 for the same.”

            Nope. He’s saving up to pull the trigger again—if he can.

          • in the owner’s quest for his pot’o’gold, controlling costs is just one segment. marketing clout, and marketing clout abroad, would get a boost if he adds a marquee star (the attempts to use ellis in that role were pretty pathetic). he might have really savoured his taste of national broadcast revenues during the post season, and neither lee nor bogut are quite the player/personality combination to alter inclinations at disney/espn or tnt/tbs.

            wonder how his plans for the Asian market are going with one of his bishops who gave him an edge there, Randive , now becoming a rival.

          • @Moto
            Only one solution for W’s Asian marketability, trade back for Jeremy Lin! Lol!

  60. If Landry and Jack leave, which seems inevitably likely, given their overall value, expense, and the cap, the Warriors will lose their only experienced players outside of Lee and Curry. I don’t count Biedrins or Jefferson, or Bogut, really, because his health leaves him unreliable and his stay beyond next year makes no sense. Only Klay, Curry, and Lee have 2+ years with the club now. (Rush is hard to count because he didn’t play that much before coming here and of course missed this year and his health hasn’t been established for next.) The rest are rookies. If Lacob feels pushed to trade one of the established players, say Klay or Rush, then we lost their talent and years of experience. If Green, Barnes, or Ezeli are traded, their their one year of experience with the club, promising, is lost.

    In short, there’s not much continuity or development time in the roster.

    Conversely, Bonner, Diaw, Splitter, and Green have at least 2-3 years experience with a playoff bound team, who I assume will provide depth and continuity in the years to come. I’ll be curious to see how much they step up and when the aging vets step down, what San Antonio will be able to do with the money freed up. I’m betting they stay competitive, one way or another.

    OK, I’m not betting.

    • San Antonio’s continuity is very impressive. They’ve been playing together for a decade. And Tim Duncan is playing out of his mind at his age. But Father Time will be calling soon.

      I hope the Ws can keep the coach and core and role players together – Curry, Klay, Barnes, Green, Ezeli, Bazemore, and Lee are all signed to multiple year deals. Rush and Bogut get to audition their health next season to stay longer. The Ws are in a good position going forward…

      • @Moto – if the Lakers want to let Dwight Howard go in a sign and trade – the NBA’s best center – I’d definitely break up this core of W’s players.

        Namely Harrison Barnes (let’s face it – there’s little love for Barnes on this board) and Andrew Bogut (let’s face it, part 2) – and whatever other assets makes it work for the Lakers (Ezeli/Green/2014 W’s 1st rounder).

        Me personally – I wouldn’t include Curry or Klay… Why breakup the best shooting backcourt the NBA has ever seen? Lol!

        Curry/Machado
        Rush/Bazemore
        Klay/Jefferson
        Lee
        Howard/Biedrins
        (Ezeli/Green might be included)

        And with $20 million coming due in 2014, the bench can be filled out and player raises.

        And this W’s would be a contender…

        For my money – Lakers re-sign Dwight, amnesty Kobe, and sign Chris Paul.

        And the W’s fans talk about how we can trade for Pau Gasol… Lol!

        • short answer, neither Buss nor any team/owner will trade a star player to another team in their division, for sensible reasons. you’d be scuffling head to head for the same playoff spots, and if there’s any buyer’s/seller’s remorse, it gets constantly aggravated. consider all the additional squeals and noise that would have come if the quasi-star ellis and bit player udoh enjoyed even modest success for a division rival.

          and as fond as the GS fans might be for their players, why would Buss want any that lacob deems expendable for howard, assuming the fickle free agent finally decides to leave LA ? they’d have the $$ to use on other acquisitions on the market, and there are always plenty of free agents who’d be happy to land in LA.

          • Agreed. About the Lakers needing to cooperate regarding a sign and trade with the W’s. Ain’t very likely.

            But as an unrestricted FA, Dwight Howard(‘s agent) has the power to choose his destiny. Dallas and Houston will have the available cap space to sign Dwight outright. And the Lakers would get cap space in return.

  61. Kings have an interesting new owner and now our competition… He’ll probably pick off a few W’s employees here and there.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/aliciajessop/2013/05/28/why-the-kings-are-staying-in-sacramento-meet-vivek-ranadive/

  62. I think we should all sit back and see what, if any moves, the Warriors make. Losing either established or new players only matters in the context of who the Warriors receive in return if trades are made.

    I don’t agree with PeteyBrian that Ezeli, Green, Basemore and Barnes are the Warriors future. Of the four players, the Warriors only outscored their opponents with Barnes on the court, not the others, and that was by only by a small margin. Let’s wait andsee how it plays out over the off-season..

    • Frank – At a minimum, 3 of the 4 (Green, Ezeli, and Barnes) will be around because they’re good and they’re cheap and they’re signed. Bazemore? Cheap but not proven good, can be gone tomorrow.

      2 of the 4 rookies played significant minutes as DEFENSIVE subs at the end of quarters (no offensive opportunities, only defensive)…

      Harrison Barnes made the All-Rookie team and in the playoffs put up poor man’s Paul Pierce offensive numbers in 12 games against two 60 win teams. Some W’s fans even rate his ceiling as higher than Klay Thompson’s…

      And Green? Should he get that 3 point shot in the mid-to-upper 30′s percent-wise, he’s going to have a nice long NBA career with his leadership, intangibles, defense, rebounding, and hustle.

      And back-up Center Festus Ezeli – started exactly 1/2 of the season – for a playoff team as a rookie. Last time I checked mobile shot-blocking/rebounding/mean pick-setting 7-footers on a rookie scale contract were listed as a Threatened and Endangered Species by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Go ahead and look it up. Lol!

      These players are very tradeable assets after their rookie play.

  63. Coach Jackson is likely going to be without his sidekick – Malone – on the W’s bench. Malone may likely go to Sacramento to be head coach for the rival Kings.

    Malone – has the reputation for being a very good defensive mind (Cavs, New Orleans, and now with the W’s).

    I’m curious to see what the W’s do to replace Malone…

  64. Rumors are that Darren Erman, Warriors assistant coach. will be replacing Malone. Hope it happens. Has great résumé’ having coached for the Celtics and coach Hurley at St. Anthony’s HS. Former NY attorney. Very bright guy.

  65. Does this mean Mark Jackson will start diagramming the plays during timeouts?

  66. Felty, one should hope not. Who will direct the Warriors offense is not known. Erman has a reputation as a defensive coach, but he may well know offenses as well.

    In keeping Jackson, who Lacob knows is not an “X” and “O” type of guy, is an indication that Lacob is blinded by the Warriors success this year. But given the fact that the team made it to the second round of the playoffs, Jackson’s rehiring was not unexpected.

    Shortly after the start of next season, it should be fairly obvious whether Malone leaving has hurt the Warriors chances for success.

    • warriorsablaze

      We actually have no idea how much of an X’s and O’s guy Jackson is…nor do we know how much of the Warriors system was Jackson’s, Malone’s, or, most likely, a collaborative effort. Phil Jackson wasn’t an X’s and O’s guy either (he can thank Tex Winters for handling that), but nobody seems to complain about his coaching resume. X’s and O’s are just knowledge that someone can learn. Managing a team and building trust in the locker room requires personality and talent. The tangibles of Malone are far easier to replace than the intangibles of MJ.

      Our defense showed improvement, but our offense under-performed and looked stilted for much of the season. Hopefully the playoffs gave Jackson and the staff the obvious idea that the best 3 point shooting team in the league should have an offense that creates 3 point opportunities. Curry can create his own, but Klay cannot…. and his inconsistent playoff performance was an example of the offense not being ideal for the roster. He couldn’t get good shots.

      Hopefully Barnes makes good on his plan to improve his ball handling in the off season. He can get by most 3′s and all 4′s…. just has to then maintain control of the ball. If he does that with any improved success and consistency, the offense for Curry and Klay will open up dramatically.

  67. The problem with Jackson not being an “X” and “O”coach manifested itself in the second round of the playoffs, and in my judgment, it was his terrible decision- making, that led to the Warriors losing the first and six games. In the first game, his inability to stop the Spurs run toward the end of the game, coupled with his not having the Warriors protect the perimeter and thereby hamper Ginobli from tying the game is why we lost the game.

    Even if the Warriors make playoffs next year, expect the same to happen.

    And in the sixth game, when Pop went small and it was apparent he was going to have the Spurs shoot three’s, Jackson had his players overplay inside game over.

    • warriorsablaze

      So Jackson gets all the blame for X’s and O’s failures but none of the credit for successes because Malone is the X’s and O’s guy. Where was Malone while these “mistakes” were being made?

      • Malone was in the 2nd chair, not the 1st. So it’s not clear who was the strategic brain this year.

        Jackson himself has said he doesn’t pay attention to stats, he’s a “flow” kinda guy. Add to that the fact that he’s never been seen near a clipboard and you have to believe he’s no Xs and Os guy. But he’s in the big chair, and presumably makes the final call on everything, no matter what his assistants come up with.

        I have kinda mixed feelings about Malone leaving. Erman and Pete Myers have tons of experience and one of them will probably step up and do fine, but Malone is/was clearly head coaching material, and the leading technician on the bench.

        On the other hand, Malone was with the dubs last season too, and the so-called offense (find Dorell in the corner, try to feed Lee, then give up and clear out for Monta) was pretty predictable. And the Ws strategic response to SA in the playoffs this year was just never going to work. So maybe Malone’s replacement will come up with a more dynamic and flexible offense next year.

        In addition, I really do wonder how well Malone and Cousins will be able to work together. Cousins is the Kings best player, but seems immature and undisciplined. As a coach, Malone seems more like a driver than a pal, as unlike Keith Smart as could be. So if he does take over as the new Kings head coach, I think we’ll see big changes and possibly a few explosions there.

  68. From Matt Steinmetz’s twitter:

    I’ve heard Ranadive invested $30 mill in Warriors – now to be sold. Here’s rest of GSW ownership breakdown, from
    what I’ve heard. Warriors were sold for approximately $425 million. Here’s how the money breaks down in terms of investment:
    Joe Lacob: $50 million
    Peter Guber: $50 million
    Lacob’s ex-wife’s trust: $75 million
    Ranadive: $30 million
    Erika Glazer: $25 million
    Bob Piccinini: $25 million
    Group of smaller investors: $20 million
    Debt to NBA: $150 million
    ——————————————————-

    Anyone else find some humor in these numbers? That was a very generous ex-wife to give Lacob the toy of a lifetime. I wonder if there’s any connection between that gift and the fact that the Warriors are grooming her son to be the GM?

    And of course, it should be self-evident from these numbers just how financially constrained the Warriors ownership is. This explains everything about every one of their financial decisions: Strict cap management, meager benches, stripping the roster of vets at every trading deadline, building through cheap rookies, amnestying Charlie Bell, failing to amnesty Andris Biedrins, hiring rookie coaches and a rookie “GM”.

    What it doesn’t explain is why Joe Lacob stood before the Bay Area media when he took over, and announced that he was “ready to spend money to win.”

    • As I’ve said before, Lacob is not the “owner,” in the old sense of a single proprietor like Chris Cohan. Lacob is the manager of an investment fund. As such, his primary responsibility is to the company financial picture, not basketball competitiveness. He is not required to win ball games, but he is required to try to make money, and an annual report is an annual report. He can’t have the priorities of someone like Jerry Buss.

      Re the amnesty botch-up, Larry Riley fell on his sword over that, though it’s fair to question that. All the other cost-cutting moves, like reducing the team roster to the league minimum every year, that’s on Lacob. It has presumably made the annual balance sheet look a little better – at the expense of basketball competitiveness and player health, of course.

      Re the ex-wife’s trust fund, that’s almost certainly money Lacob himself squirreled away. A trust fund is nothing more than a tax shelter, and its manager can invest its funds any way he wants to. Read the trust fund’s investment as simply more of Lacob’s money, and it makes him the majority owner – assuming the NBA’s “investment” doesn’t give them voting stock, but came in the form of a loan.

      Ranadive’s initial $30M investment is worth more now, because the team is (on paper) worth more with a much bigger TV contract and the new arena in the works. Ranadive probably won’t get out for less than $35-40M. But Lacob will have exactly zero problem finding new investors to cover it if that’s the way he wants to go.

      Still, you are right, Feltie, that’s a pretty highly leveraged investment. Assuming the $150M NBA funding came in the form of a loan, and assuming they’re due interest on it, Lacob’s annual cash flow is almost certainly negative. The player payroll alone is barely covered by ticket sales – and the team has a lot of big, expensive projects in the works. No wonder they worry about the salary cap.

      • “Re the ex-wife’s trust fund, that’s almost certainly money Lacob himself squirreled away.”

        I doubt very much that Lacob is the trustee of this fund, or has any legal control over it. It was no doubt set up as part of the divorce settlement, but no ex-wife would allow her ex to control her assets, and no lawyer would allow a client to enter into such an arrangement.

        My guess is that the ex agreed to make the investment, for three reasons: 1) Investment appreciation 2) Huge depreciation writeoffs 3) Setting Kirk up as an NBA prince.

        • Lacob’s private life is private, and that’s fine, but it means we’ll never really know how this investment came about. But I’d be very surprised if the “ex-wife trust” investment in the Ws wasn’t locked in during divorce negotiations.

          Note that it’s not her investment, it’s the investment of a legal entity of which she is a named beneficiary. It’s highly unlikely the ex has any say in how the funds are invested. That’s what trusts are for.

    • Note half comes from the ex and David Stern, which is my idea of a rock and a hard place.

      Who was his ex? I can’t find.

      And what does it mean to owe the NBA $150m?

      Apparently JL has an interest in poker:

      “No matter how much analysis you do, there’s always going to be things you don’t know,” Lacob says. “And what makes somebody good at this business, vs. somebody not good, is the ability to take risk. Calculated risk. And to be OK with that. To be a gambler, to some extent.” Regarding poker itself, he adds: “I think that yes, I like poker. I like the idea… of calculated risk. Doing my homework, and then you have to take a shot. You learn a lot in poker about people. Phil Hellmuth is a good friend of mine and you learn a lot about people when you play that game.”

      http://www.pokergurublog.com/content/golden-state-warrior’s-new-owner-venture-capital-and-poker

      I’ll leave comment to someone else.

      All-in Joe. . . .

  69. Warriorsblaze: it seemed to me that in the playoffs against the Spurs, Jackson asserted himself into making decisions more than he did during the season. During the season, one hardly saw him telling the team what to do during timeouts.

    But, in the playoffs he seemed more than just cheerleader. I distinctly remember him running the team huddle in the first game when the Warriors prepared for the Spurs last shot. Malone seemed far away when Jackson was calling the defensive alignment.

    Malone may have also been responsible for the 19 points swing beginning with 4 minutes to play in the first game, as well as the defense employed at the end of game six.

  70. I’d take a tactician as coach over a motivator every time.

    Some of us have argued for two years that Curry should take the most shots. For almost that entire period. Jackson felt otherwise.

    Maybe, , the defense markedly improved this year because Erman joined the coaching staff. It also improved because Biedrens was relegated to the bench.

  71. Phil Jackson was a terrific game manager. Jackson is not.

    • Frank, Phil Jackson always ran a good solid organization, but I’m not sure he was a great game-time tactician. He was absolutely locked into the triangle offense, and sometimes unwilling or unable to modify defensive schemes when they weren’t working.

      He also didn’t seem to work for advantageous player matchups (a la Nellie), but that might be a product of always having superduper teams.

      • Agreed, Hat. And Jackson always had the best player in the world on his team whether it be MJ, Shaq or Kobe.

  72. Tactician vs. motivator? Can’t draw up plays?

    Assistants Malone and Erman – NEED to be good at Xs and Os, defensive schemes, and/or scout/film guys or they wouldn’t even be around. THEY DIDN’T PLAY THE NBA GAME. They don’t get automatic player respect.

    I assure you that Mark Jackson can draw up any play. He starred at PG in high school, college, and 17 years in the NBA under numerous HOF coaches… That’s the equivalent to a PhD, JD, MD, and MBA in basketball knowledge. Lol!

    And Mark Jackson did an excellent job this season and in the playoffs.

    Don’t think so?

    Try a 2nd year coach with a 30-35 projected-win roster with their only All-Star player playing on one leg with 3 rookies in the rotation – was within a 4-minute end of game stretch in Game 1 (in San Antonio) and a Curry/Bogut ankle sprain of going to the Western Conference Finals and knocking out a 2 seed with a HOF Coach, 3 HOF players, and a deep roster of role players… Let alone the 57-win Denver and their HOF coach.

    Coach Mark Jackson, like We Believe coach Don Nelson, had the underdog W’s thinking and playing like they were the better team!!! Lol!

    Now THAT’S coaching. That’s motivation.

  73. Jackson equals fool’s gold. Jackson had the play up-tempo in the first game against the Spurs. From then on he slowed the tempo down resulting in the Warriors. scoring less than 92 points in three of the sixth games played against the Spurs. For the Warriors slow bas equals defeat.

    It’s a mistake to make excuses for the Warriors elimination. if the Warriors had run players like Thompson and others would have played much better. Injuries did not due us in. Jackson did.

    • Great read. The stats guys are impacting the game. Basketball Moneyball.

    • These are guys with zip experience in the game, playing or coaching. But I fear it is the future.

    • Interesting analysis of the Warriors, and I agree completely with his conclusions, although it’s unclear if they came from him, or his software.

      I also agree with this: “Some coaches — obviously the best ones — get paid to do this and (Gregg) Popovich and a lot of the best coaches are doing this kind of analysis in their head.”

      Bottom line, this software might be a useful aid to the idiots around the league.

  74. @70

    This $150 million Lacob debt to the NBA is curious, if not fishy.

    I’ve forgotten the details, but back when the team was being sold, didn’t Larry Ellison put up $400m, then out of the blue some guy named Lacob came up with $450m, and Ellison didn’t match (though he says he did, but missed a deadline or something)?

    So does this mean Lacob had to approach the NBA for the loan first? No conflict of interest here? It looks like Stern was assuming debt for the owners he wanted, having the NBA assume huge debt in the process. I suppose Ellison could have made the same appeal, and maybe he did. Word is, however, Stern didn’t want Ellison.

    Curious we didn’t hear Ellison’s name in the Sacramento buy. In both cases, I suspect, he may have felt the evaluations were too high for the investment.

    Curiouser and curiouser. . . .

    • I don’t see how it’s fishy. Lacob signed up for the debt, and it helped pay off Cohan. Cohan left with $450m instead of Ellison’s $400M. The seller doesn’t care where the money came from.

      If Ellison had offered more than Lacob and been turned down, the sale could still be tied up in court now.

      As an aside, at Ellison’s estimated net worth (and with the additional financing he can access on top of that), Ellison could theoretically buy EVERY team in the NBA all at once.

  75. A source informs me that the ex-wife’s trust “has something to do with Kirk,” which confirms my earlier intuition @70. I think we can assume that he’s the ultimate beneficiary.

    I reported here earlier, based on information provided by other sources, that Kirk Lacob was given a seat in personnel meetings immediately upon the takeover, and the veteran basketball people were required to sit and listen to his opinions.

    That makes a lot more sense now as well. Technically, he may own a bigger piece of the Warriors than Daddy.

    • Now THAT is a real possibility.

      It raises interesting questions, too. For example, if Kirk is effectively the majority owner and daddy got away with banishing him to North Dakota for awhile, doesn’t that suggest that Kirk’s (alleged, hushed-up) sexual harassment incident was awfully damn serious?

      It could also explain why all the other investors permit Joe Lacob to pay the neophyte Kirk hefty salaries as both assistant GM of the Ws and head GM of the D league team.

    • Dramatic reenactment of Warriors FO strategy meeting (Scotty, the black-haired kid, is Dr. Evil’s son):

  76. Does anyone doubt that behind the scene the SF Giants are trying to block
    Lacob from building his arena on the same side of the Bay Bridge? For it will create nothing but a headache for the Giants and their fans.

    • When the dubs announced their (hoped-for) new SF arena site last year, the Giants publicly asked them to reconsider the location. They want the Ws arena to be built as an expansion of the Giants stadium complex.

      That would make a lot of sense for the city (think parking, traffic and infrastructure) and for the Giants. It would also lower the overall building cost. But from the Ws standpoint it could introduce financial, ownership and management complications they don’t face with a standalone facility.

      The Giants aren’t against a SF location for the Ws, they’re just not in favor of the plan and the location the Ws announced.

  77. @78

    Ellison, I think, had a chance to match the offer but missed it because of some procedural deadline, though didn’t put up a fight. We never got the full story. Ellison, I believe, thought it was overvalued.

    What looks fishy is the loan from the NBA. They put up a third, $150m, of the most expensive valuation of a NBA franchise at the time. Loans, I assume, come with terms and conditions to make sure the loan will be returned, and usually involve some kind of oversight. What happens if Lacob & Co default—the franchise goes to the NBA? And where does the NBA get $150m anyway? What would losing this do to its health? I’m at a complete loss here. But of course they’re assuming they could sell it to someone else for more in that case.

    No investor will liquidate his assets to make a buy, but rather find ways to borrow money. Still, we were given the impression that the Lacob investors had money to burn, and Lacob said as much himself. Instead, they have been frugal, to the point of diminishing the quality and well being of the team. And it seems they could come up with some other way of getting money than from an ex-wife’s trust and the NBA, half of the purchase price. This just doesn’t look substantial.

    Then we have their proposed Rolex-in-the Bay arena, where they’ve already sunk a ton of money. This will have to be profitable to keep the organization—and the arena—afloat, but there have been questions here as well.

    It wouldn’t be the first time in recent history investors have put their optimism and abstract projections ahead of reality.

    • the lacob partnership didn’t give me the impression that they were flush with cash at all, when they won the auction for ownership and went through the approval process. the approval was delayed when they lined up additional minority partners ; lacob delayed hiring his own execs in key positions ; a budget-priced coach was appointed, in part because of the extended time taken to line up other $$ sources (maybe when Ranadive hooked up).

      their situation has considerably improved with the new prez Weeks, post season revenues, and the price of the decrepit Sac team going well above what GS sold for. personally, hoping to see tougher competition from several western teams, especially from Sac and malone.

    • Issuing more stock to additional investors is the most expensive possible way to acquire more cash. It dilutes the value of early investors’ stakes. Taking on debt is far cheaper to them. It would be surprising if Lacob didn’t borrow money to make the purchase.

      That the borrowed funds came from the NBA may be only because the NBA understands the business risk better than any bank can, has higher confidence in the success of the franchise, and could therefore provide funds at a lower interest rate. It’s also in the interest of the NBA (read “majority of team owners”) to set the valuation for franchises as high as possible. So, again, I don’t see anything sneaky about the situation. Lacob needed a loan, the NBA had the cash, and the NBA had multiple reasons to make the loan.

      Since the NBA owned the NO franchise at the time, they clearly have some hefty assets to play around with. Even if they didn’t have $150M just lying around, they could have borrowed against the Hornets to make a loan to Lacob.

      • Indeed, it is in the owners’ interests to set the value of the franchise as high as possible, and the NBA helped finance that price, the most in history up till then. That sure sounds fishy to me.

        Why, exactly, should we believe that price is not inflated? What kinds of financial advisors does the NBA have, what teams to make these studies? Are they better than the advisors at Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, AIG, and other fine institutions who leveraged themselves out on derivatives based on suspect mortgages, who had the belief that the price of housing would never go down?

        • “Why, exactly, should we believe that price is not inflated?

          a. “Inflated” has no meaning in this context. Inflated over what? Compared to what?

          b. NBA teams all became hugely move valuable the instant the latest CBA was signed. Their assessed value is expected to jump again when the next league TV contract is signed in a year or two.

          c. What difference does it make? Who cares what teams cost?

  78. Anybody else bored with the playoffs? The Spurs are the only team that interests me, and they’re the only complete team, or are if you assume the health of Duncan and Parker.

    • The Indiana/Miami series has been pretty entertaining. Great coaching battle, high drama, and plenty of excellent ball.

  79. Hat: I don’t that’s the Warriors position today. Today, they want
    the Warriors in the other side of the Bay bridge.

    • You could be right, Frank. I sure don’t know. I haven’t heard or read anything to that effect, though. Have you?

  80. (Answering my own question)

    The NBA manages a loan pool of #3.2 billion (in 2011) and JP Morgan/Chase is their banker.

    “NBA officials would not disclose the specific amounts loaned to the teams in the credit facility, but with the addition of the Hawks as a new borrower, 19 of the NBA’s 30 teams now participate in the loan pool, with most securing the maximum $125 million allowed by the league.

    Leagues create loan pools by using collateral like national media contracts to secure credit at better terms than most teams could obtain on their own.”

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2011/01/20110117/Leagues-and-Governing-Bodies/NBA-loan-pool.aspx

    OK, this is boring.

  81. Hat: It’s my belief that once the Giants couldn’t work out a deal in which they would make money off the Warriors they no longer wanted the Warriors on their side of the Bay bridge. Heard this through the grapevine. The Giants opposition, does not mean that Lacob won’t be able to achieve his goals for a new arena. Probably 50-50 chance as of right now.

    • Frank, you could be right, but since they announced their intention to move, so far the only public info from the Ws on the arena have been artist conceptions. The whole idea has to pass environmental protection approval, SF voter approval, federal shoreline management approval and god knows what else. Failing to pass any one approval hurdle could scotch the Ws plans.

      Before any of that approval process can happen, financing details, actual construction plans, and an environmental impact report have to be completed and released for public review. It might be another year before even that happens.

      Even assuming the Ws get all the necessary approvals, interested parties (like voter groups, or others interested in using the pier) can delay construction in court for years. In fact, that’s pretty much guaranteed to happen for a high-profile project on the SF waterfront. If the pier 30-32 area were available for development, shouldn’t the city have put it out for public bid rather than awarding it out of hand?

      There is ZERO chance the Warriors are going to be playing on a SF pier by 2017.

      The Giants offer to the Ws is the Ws fallback alternative. It might not be as profitable to Lacob, but it has several advantages – greater chance of voter approval, lower cost to the city, less environmental impact on the city and the bay, and lower complexity in everything from approvals to construction techniques. And it would be good for both the Giants and SF too, as it would presumably help both defray some of the stadium costs.

      Heck, how smart would it be for SF to flatten more city blocks for more rarely-used parking when all the parking space the Ws could need is already in place next to Giants Stadium?

      Just because working with the Giants is so much easier and cheaper for everyone involved, I’ve always had big doubts that the Ws would get their announced arena. So I wouldn’t expect the Giants to be at all hostile to the Ws move to SF. They don’t even have to actively oppose the pier arena idea. It’s got plenty of challenges without the Giants piling on too. The Giants just have to wait and give Lacob enough time to figure out for himself that the pier arena will either take too long to accomplish, or won’t fly at all. And if the Giants do go to war against the pier arena idea, it would make it that much harder for them to reach an agreement with Lacob.

      • the city can grant the rights for access to the piers but not the piers themselves nor the air space above the piers. (no local municipality can own part of the bay, or it would get filled in and paved over, which is of course the intention of the hoops arena project). that stuff is in trust for the people of the state of Calif and it’s the reason that lacob recruited the oligarch former mayor Newsom to be a front man, because the gov appointed newsom chairman of the state lands commission. there have been any number of preliminary steps the lacobites have taken to make it appear that the city’s approval means smooth waters ahead for their ziggurat, and we can be sure that they’ll try to side step grass roots, local residents, environmental groups, et. al. to use that public resource for private profit.

  82. Hat: Don’t rule out the Warriors remaining in Oakland if their move to SF is thwarted.

    • That’s a real possibility, Frank.

      Oakland Arena management quit broadcasting complaints about the move less than a month after Lacob’s SF arena announcement. I think that was for the same reason the Giants don’t publicly oppose the Ws announced plan – Oakland can offer several quite excellent alternatives, and they don’t see any benefit in souring the relationship with Lacob while he beats his head against all the Pier 30-32 problems. FWIW, San Jose and Santa Clara (among others) can offer cheap, relatively straightforward packages too, and they haven’t said a word about the SF arena plan.

      It is conceivable that Lacob’s dream arena could happen, eventually. But it’s likely to be the most expensive alternative for the Warriors and for any host city in the bay area. It would have to be the most complicated to accomplish, and the slowest to complete. In any case, since Lacob made such a big splash about the plan, he must follow through on it unless/until he is sure it’s impractical or entirely unfeasible.

      It’s conceivable that the Ws could have already started construction on a new (or upgraded) arena somewhere if only Lacob hadn’t “guaranteed” a pier 30-32 site. But it would be hard to imagine another site that would increase the asset value of the Warriors franchise as much. And that is Lacob’s real job. Winning more ball games is only one contributing factor in upgrading the value of the business. It’s not the core goal. The pier 30-32 arena could TRIPLE the value of the Ws franchise. Yeah, baby. The new arena is actually worth more to Lacob than winning ball games.

      Just for yucks, here’s San Francisco’s web page on the project:
      http://sfgov3.org/index.aspx?page=3987

      Just as with every other source, SF’s website provides no info that would help anyone evaluate the project. It’s still “in committee,” you see.

    • I do have sympathy for Hollins here:

      Here are further details on why Hollins and the team has hit a snag: “Management wants a coach willing to buy into the analytic movement, using those mechanisms to make roster, lineup and system decisions.”

      I suspect we’ll see the same.

      • warriorsablaze

        Anyone who flat-out rejects analytics should be out the door. A great coach is going to use all the information available. Any coach who thinks his eyes provide an unbiased truth should go spend time with the Science-deniers in the Republican party and perhaps join a Flat-Earth society. Those of us who have spent time studying psychology to any degree just laugh at the staunch “I watch the game” types because we’ve seen firsthand how biased, flawed, and limited human perception can be in COUNTLESS experiments.

        The best coaches of the future will have to have the nuanced basketball mind AND an ability to synthesize and implement the numbers the analytics depts are developing. Anyone who swings too far to either side of the stats argument is simply ignoring a huge chunk of the game. That goes for those giving stats too much weight as well.

        • You must not have much experience in higher education, where I’ve been the past 30 years, where much of the “objective” analytical studies are based on simplistic or spurious assumptions, if they aren’t flat out bogus. The pseudo sciences have corrupted the humanities and higher education in general.

          No one argues against statistical analysis. It could enhance common understanding. But all analysis is based on a set of assumptions which need to be tested as well, though these assumptions aren’t easily measured and often can’t be. Yet if you look at the NBA analysis that is making the rounds, such as that lamentable Goldsberry piece on defense, you see no understanding of total strategy or individual talent or other intangibles, yet he makes large—and highly questionable—conclusions about several players. And many took that crap seriously. It could even influence playing time or a trade.

          These studies are being sucked up by owners and the media. The people who aren’t getting a voice here are those with the most on court experience, coaches. It’s not hard to imagine a system where coaches are bypassed and teams follow some statistical system (deflections are counted, rosters made accordingly, etc.—this is what Dunlap did in Charlotte).

          You will always get results with whatever system you use. If the NBA goes whole hog to analytics, there will always be wins and losses, and someone will decide because of these that their system works. But it will never be known what the other options might have been because they were never tried.

          • The NBA has been heavily influenced by a move to concentration on defense, and a lot of the analytics movement considers the same. It is also the emphasis of many owners, including the Warriors’.

            Yet what we’re finding in the playoffs is that most teams are offensively challenged and are paying a price. Many teams have been unable to score after only one player went down (Denver, Indiana, and OKC are good examples) and they simply don’t have enough two-way players.

            The Warriors, however, do have several capable scorers and made a lot of noise. I’d have been curious to see what they might have done with a real center. Hibbert has been impressive.

          • warriorsablaze

            Well of course, statistics are created by humans so they are not perfect. I can promise you the analytics departments in front offices are not running simplistic analyses such as the Goldsberry piece. As I said, teams and coaches need to find the balance, not shy away from either side. Many simply shun the statistics and rely on “what my eyes see” only… those old schoolers will be left behind as their strategies become outdated and they can’t win anymore.

            Check out this article about the Toronto Raptors system… it’s all in it’s infancy, but even here you can discover that many of our assumptions about strategy turn out to be statistically worse decisions than other options.
            http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9068903/the-toronto-raptors-sportvu-cameras-nba-analytical-revolution

          • WaB,

            Actually, I saw that piece and was intrigued. I think the real issue is who drives those studies and who uses them to make decisions. It looks like, so far, those with the most experience, coaches, have been left out of the loop. The problem is compounded by the fact that there aren’t that many good coaches.

          • warriorsablaze

            I guess the question is:

            Have the coaches been left out of the loop, or have they taken themselves out of the loop by not being interested, being skeptical, or being outright dismissive.

            Over time, the old dogs are going to be replaced by the new breed… and these guys are going to have to be both “flow coaches” and “analytics nerds”.

      • No one here argued, btw, that Hollins is a great strategist.

    • I don’t share your sympathy rgg, because I suspect that the analytics in question in this case had a lot to do with spreading the floor and shooting threes. And playing small.

      The new management team added Tayshaun Prince, stretch four Jon Leuer and Austin Daye, all great three point shooters. And Ed Davis, a versatile and talented but smaller front court player.

      Hollins literally refused to play Leuer, Daye and Ed Davis. And badly misused Prince, refusing to set him up for corner threes. He refused to spread the floor, something the Grizzlies desperately needed to stop the double teaming of Zach Randolph in the paint. He refused to play a small and talented second unit. And he got his ass handed to him as a result.

      I think in this case “analytics” was simply a euphemism for the Nellieball concepts that are increasingly understood around the league now, because their effectiveness has been confirmed by scientific methods.

      As H Voulgaris puts it: “NBA offense has been solved: Layups and threes.” That is the traditional aim of Nellieball, and that’s what we’re going to see from the Spurs and the Heat in the Finals.

      • You’re right, the Grizzlies faced a Spurs team that was running a perfect counter to Hollins’ normal game plan. But I’m not sure I’d say Hollins “refused to” adjust his lineup or strategy. He clearly did “choose to” stick with the usual, but in making that choice he was probably just thinking along the lines of “playing his best players” and “doing what got us here,” both of which are traditionally accepted as the right thing to do.

        It’s hard for any coach to bench great players, and it’s hard to argue with a great season record. The Most Successful Coach In History (as opposed to The Winningest Coach In History) was guilty of exactly the same thing – sticking with his system and his starters even when an opponent was beating them like a drum. Lionel Hollins was emulating Phil Jackson, sort of.

        It seems to me that the big difference between Hollins and Popovich is that Pop designs and develops teams specifically for flexibility, and his Spurs practice different attacks and different lineups throughout the season. Hollins didn’t do that. In his defense, his team’s excellent season record suggested he didn’t need to. The downside to that approach was apparent in the series against the Spurs. When the coach’s one great winning plan doesn’t work, his team isn’t trained and ready to implement a Plan B.

        I don’t think Hollins blew it during his series against San Antonio. I think he blew it during training camp. By the time his team faced the Spurs in the playoffs, it was too late for Hollins to go in any other direction. His team wasn’t prepared to play any other way.

        • I’m not a fan of Phil Jackson’s but he was highly competent at making defensive adjustments in playoff series. And in particular, he used Pippen on Stockton and Payton, and Kobe on any number of point guards.

          After witnessing the effect of Sefolosha and Klay Thompson on Parker in prior series, Hollins’ refusal to make a defensive adjustment to get Allen on Parker was completely inexcusable. At this point in their evolution, with Ginobili on his last legs, the Spurs have exactly one player on their team who can create his own shot. Hollins left him free to create at will.

          He’s an incompetent.

          • Feltie, you seem to have anger issues re Hollins.

            My point wasn’t that Hollins was a great coach. It was that he seemed to build a team that wasn’t prepared to adapt to the Spurs’ attack. In my view that’s what makes him a lousy coach – not that he didn’t change his strategy against the Spurs, but that he couldn’t. He built a team that could only play well one way.

            Phil Jackson had the same weakness sometimes, and for the same reason: a great roster and regular-season winning team won’t necessarily do well when facing an opponent who has them under a microscope, because with the right approach any system is breakable. We saw that when P Jackson’s Lackers faced the Mavericks a couple of years ago.

  83. I recall Jackson saying that it was harmful for the Warriors to shoot a lot of three’s. His comment seemed baffling for didn’t the Warriors lead the NBA in 3 point shooting percentage?

    • That sounds like one of those quotes that has to be taken in context. I didn’t see Jackson telling Curry and Thompson not to shoot.

      Offhand, it seems reasonable that if the Ws run into a team that could shut down their 3-point shooters (like the Spurs did), it would be good for the Ws to have alternative scoring options. On the other hand, the Ws did have good alternative scoring options, Lee and Landry. If Lee had been available, the last playoff series could have turned out differently. It’s also true that the team’s deadly 3-point threat is part of what made Lee and Landry very effective scorers.

      On the 3rd hand (?), adding another guard or 3 who can also attack the rim well would make the Ws the scariest offense ever. With that in mind, Jackson’s statement about an over-reliance on 3s makes sense.

      • the coaching staff until further changes still has one of thibodeau’s former assistants, so there should be some continuity on that end with malone’s departure. jackson’s comments obscure his and his staff’s deficiency’s on the offensive end. they simply rely on too many of the least efficient shots — mid range jumpers, and often in the least efficient part of the possession, in the final 4-6 seconds out of the 24. many of the most efficient teams, including SA, have a full time shooting coach. jackson doesn’t discourage any of his players from shooting, and if he won’t modify that he needs a shooting coach to instill discipline and selectivity.

        • ” jackson doesn’t discourage any of his players from shooting”

          A shot created must be taken. But yeah, it sure would have been nice if JJack could have done more for the team offense than pound around trying to create his own shot. And judging by how Chi plays, a Thibodeau guy isn’t going to do much to improve team offense either. You might be onto something here, Moto.

  84. A lot of folks here disagree with much of this article, but facts and statistics are on it’s side for deep playoff runs…

    Common sensical:

    “…If you don’t have LeBron or Kevin Durant, a two-way center is still the quickest way to playoff success. Here were the centers of the other six teams in the second round: Hibbert, Duncan, Chandler, Joakim Noah, Marc Gasol and Andrew Bogut… If Yao Ming, Andrew Bynum and Greg Oden were healthy, the NBA would be a very different place.”

    Go big or go home.

    http://basketball.realgm.com/article/227999/The-Timelessness-Of-Size

    • warriorsablaze

      These playoffs certainly haven’t offered much support of the Nellie-ball doctrine. 3 out of the 4 final teams had impact centers and run largely traditional line-ups. Miami doesn’t even count simply because LeBron is such an anomaly.

      Even still, most of the folks here and Felt were down on Bogut due to his injuries, not because they hate centers… and short of 1.5 impactful playoff series, their concerns were largely justified this season. We’ll see next year if a consistently healthy Bogut is even a possibility. I’m hopeful but doesn’t really seem like too much space for optimism given the arc of this season.

      • one of Presti’s expensive blunders came when he thought the team needed a conventional center and he re-signed Perkins to a major deal. buyer’s remorse has brought rumours that they’re even considering the amnesty coupon for the center.

        • Two Presti blunders…

          Not only re-signing Perkins, but Presti gave up a nice small-ball PF in Jeff Green to get Perkins initially. Presti was rightfully afraid of giving Green a big contract.

    • No one could possibly have any objection to a healthy two-way center. Some questions:

      Is that what Andrew Bogut is?

      Would the Spurs be in the finals if Westbrook didn’t get injured? If Gallinari, Lawson and Faried didn’t get injured?

      Are there a lot of two-way centers available, beyond the five you mentioned?

      Is it easier to build a team around a star center, or is it easier to build a team using the Nellieball model of OKC, Miami and Denver?

      • Lots of objection in Warrior fandom to building around/trading for and awarding a max contract for Dwight Howard – a dominant two-way center who can finish the pick and roll and is both a defensive and rebounding force. There are flaws in his post game and his overall maturity sure.

        If all it took were Bogut or Lee and Harrison and a future #1 draft pick and even, say Ezeli, I’d do a sign and trade with LA.

        Curry/Machado
        Thompson/Bazemore
        Rush/Jefferson
        Lee/Green
        Howard/Biedrins

        • we agree that LA won’t even consider trading Howard to another western team, much less for incomplete or undeveloped players that the woeyr fans seem to be constantly nominating. and from Howard’s angle, he’d see more money by either staying in LA or going to Tx, because the max offer in a sign and trade isn’t the same as what he can get by staying with the team who had his last contract (new c.b.a. provision applying to sign and trades — they will be comparable to signing with a different team, because after all the player is moving to another team).

  85. As for whether or not Nellieball has been validified by this season’s results, bear in mind that the second and third best teams in this years’ playoffs, the Thunder and the Nuggets, were devastated by injury at the last second. The top three teams in the league were Nellieball teams. Four if you count the Spurs.

    We are now about to witness a true Nellieball final. For the third straight year.

    If you don’t consider the Spurs a Nellieball team, just watch what happens when the Heat go small with Lebron at the four, Bosh at five. Which way does Popovich jump?

    • I’ll bow to your greater insight re the Spurs’ strategy, but I’m not entirely sure they will go small v the Heat. I’d expect Popovich to at least try a super-Pacers attack for awhile. The Spurs can do it even better than Indiana, and the Heat have shown they don’t have the personnel to handle it.

      • Don Nelson employed a non-offensive, but shot-blocking/rebounding center on many of his rosters.

        If the Spurs are considered a Nellieball team (Tim Duncan is a dominant two-way franchise post-up Center – I mean, PF), then you’d also have to say the Playoff Warriors should also be considered a Nellieball team with PFs Barnes and Green spotting up for threes.

        I prefer a flexible roster with a three point shooters at all positions – but I also consider a shot-blocking, rebounding center a must. Bogut – even hobbled – qualifies.

        Should Lee play together with Bogut next season – perhaps Lee can extend his range to the three point lane – so that the paint is not congested with Bogut’s defender. It’s not like Bogut could ever shoot, but with his wrecked elbow, he’ll never do so well.

        • You’re right about Nellie, and right in general. All good teams need a defender in the middle. But shot-blocking defensive centers are available at a much cheaper price than Bogut. Bogut cost us the trade assets of Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh plus $20+ million of salary for 2 years (counting Jefferson’s contract).

          Was that cost effective versus, say, signing Asik in free agency, and paying $1 million for the draft rights to Ezeli? And trading Monta Ellis for someone healthy?

          • @FB – We’ll have to agree to disagree here.

            Trade – Milwaukee – Monta, Udoh, and Kwame’s expiring (Ilysova re-signed)

            Trade – W’s – Bogut, Jefferson, Ezeli, and BARNES

            For whatever reason, Monta, Udoh, and Kwame’s expiring – hasn’t had much impact in Milwaukee. Monta’s not a good fit there (Coach Skiles and his interim gone too), fought with his starting center in the playoffs, and is likely opting out. Udoh is lost in the shuffle amongst a sea of defensive bigs. Kwame’s expiring netted them a re-signed Ilysova – a nice spread 4 player…

            I’ve never actually heard of a 1st rounder sold/purchased for $1 million (in a perceived bad draft year with many teams not wanting to add first round salary – perhaps?). Definitely NOT in a good draft… The 2012 draft was perceived by Jerry West to be very deep in talent. Who cares about a #1 pick if there’s no perceived talent? I’ve seen a mid-2nd round draft pick sell for $1 million (Jeremy Tyler’s pick bought by W’s from cash-strapped Charlotte). My point? West – an expert at drafting late first round – probably knew he could pick up a nice player in the deep 2012 draft. It was worth it for the W’s to take on $11 million in acquiring a useful veteran winning/good attitude player, dump a malcontent, and get more exposure to 2012 draft.

            The Tank Season: Jerry West proclaimed at the top of his lungs early and often that the 2012 draft was loaded with 8 difference-makers at the top of the draft and deep in talent throughout. True – W’s fans had to endure post All-Star Game meltdown and lottery/coin toss good fortune, but the tank strategy (drafting two starters/cap space for 1 injured center and a malcontent) worked…

            #7 pick – Harrison Barnes – The genius of the trade. Sometimes, it’s to your teams benefit to tank. Just as Spurs – who’s team actually selectively tanked in years with bona fide franchise centers – Robinson and later Duncan. That’s not coincidence. That was planned. The Spurs organization is very very smart this way. Think Don Nelson could have coached championships with Robinson and Duncan? Lol!

            My bet? Jerry West wanted to draft big in C Andre Drummond… I learned early in life that you always roll the dice and draft the big, young monster-athletic player and take your chances.

            I’m not displeased with drafting Harrison Barnes, but Drummond is a diamond big in the rough…

      • “The Heat have shown they don’t have the personnel to handle it.”

        Is that what they showed? I thought they were dominant in the games they had to win.

        Also, I don’t think Splitter is anything close to the rim protecter that Hibbert is.

        The Spurs will start big, no doubt. But I think they will play the majority of the time with one true big, and a three point shooting power forward (Bonner, Diaw, Leonard). Diaw and Leonard in particular, because I just don’t think the Spurs can handle Lebron at the four conventionally.

        The Heat may start the series playing big as well, to save their players’ legs. But when it comes down to the important games, I expect the best players to be on the floor for both teams. Small ball v. small ball.

        • Well… yeah, that is what they showed, with some caveats.

          On D, Indiana largely shut down Bosh, Wade and Allen, and forced Shane Battier off the floor. The Heat were left having to rely on some pretty inconsistent bigs – Birdman and Haslem. Those two came through, but that’s not something any team would want to count on happening. And the Heat always have LeBron, who bailed out the offense time and again.

          Indiana’s weakness was its offense, particularly its guard play. Hibbert was really effective until double-teamed. Miami did a great job of denying West in the post throughout the series, but he still got boards, putbacks and important touches. But Indiana’s guards aren’t the playmakers the Spurs’ guards are, Paul George averaged the most assists in the playoffs with just 5.1. And Indiana’s 3-point shooting was terrible: .347 in the regular season, .327 in the playoffs. Offensively, the Spurs wings are far better than Indiana’s in all categories – and not bad on D either.

          That all suggests to me that the Spurs could conceivably out-Pacer the Pacers, and that could cause the Heat some real problems.

  86. Surprising Jarrett Jack analysis from Evanz – Jack impacted the play of the bigs, but not necessarily Curry, Klay, Barnes, or Lee…

    I don’t care what the advanced stats say, re-sign Jack for 3 or 4 more years at a small raise is what my eyes say.

    http://www.goldenstateofmind.com/2013/6/6/4401292/with-or-without-you-jarrett-jack-does-it-matter