Game Three: Spurs 113 Heat 77

This was truly a Game Three, in that the Spurs broke the all-time Finals record for made three-pointers. Records like this are made to be broken when teams play with four legitimate three-point shooters around one big man, as the Spurs are doing.

And very quietly, completely unreported by the mainstream media, the face of the NBA game is changing.

Into Nellieball.                

This is the third straight all-Nellieball Finals. The top four teams in the league this season — the Spurs, Heat, Thunder and Nuggets — were all Nellieball teams. The Nuggets lost the ability to play Nellieball when their spectacular stretch-four Gallinari got injured. The Warriors were “forced” into playing Nellieball when their conventional power forward Lee got injured. And the Warriors managed to beat the Nuggets because their Nellieball offense proved absolutely unguardable.

If you still don’t believe that there is a better, easier and cheaper way to win in the playoffs than by constructing the biggest front line, slowing the pace, and engaging in an ugly defensive struggle, then your name must be Joe Lacob.

The best basketball minds in the league are working from Don Nelson’s model.

Game Three: As for this game, I don’t take a whole lot away from it, just as I felt that Game 2 was essentially meaningless. The Heat need to win exactly one game in San Antonio, and until their backs are against the wall, any game that isn’t going their way could cause them to simply shrug their shoulders and give up, as they did last night.

On the other hand, this series is beginning to look a lot the one the Heat lost to the Mavericks, isn’t it? Wade hobbled, the Heat facing a complete and confident Nellieball team, with a genius coach.

I read yesterday that the team that lost Game Three in the Finals lost the series over 92% of the time in the 2-3-2 format. I find that pretty hard to believe — surely a lot of good teams have jumped out 2-0, and given up Game Three on the road? But there it is.

Dwayne Wade: I’ve come to the conclusion that the Heat can’t win this series with Dwayne Wade on the floor. Right now, Wade cannot defend, cannot run the floor, cannot drive and finish, and cannot spread the floor and shoot threes. He is not only the worst player in this series, but the worst two-guard in the entire league.

So why is he playing?

What makes it worse is that the Heat are still catering to him on the floor, trying to “get him going” with mid-range post ups and the like. These plays are not only incredibly inefficient, they are completely ball-stopping and impossible to offensive rebound — they are completely ruinous to the Heat’s offense. (And they happen to be nearly identical to how the Warriors tried to use Harrison Barnes at the three during the season.)

Mario Chalmers: Pop adjusted immediately to the Lebron/Chalmers pick and roll, hedging on Chalmers and stopping his dribble. That’s Pop.

There is one big problem with this pick and roll: the player that switches onto Chalmers is Kawhi Leonard. Another problem is that Chalmers is not a gifted passer.

The Heat need to move this pick and roll to the top of the floor, as opposed to the sideline where they have been running it, to give Chalmers more room to get around Leonard.

Lebron: The Heat need to do two things if they want to get Lebron going. The first is to get Wade off the floor, so that they can spread the floor.

The second is that he’s going to have to be allowed to take what the defense is giving him, which is the outside shot. It’s the best shot the Heat are getting, and he needs to take 30 of them a game. Spoelstra needs to take the leash off and tell Lebron: “Get me 50.”

Tony Parker: I have serious doubts that the Spurs can win this series with Parker hobbled, even if the wretched Wade continues to play. So let’s hope he’s ready to play in Game 4.

Parker’s legs, as well as Duncan and Ginobilis’, are the chief reason I thought Memphis was likely to beat the Spurs in the second round. They’ve had a lot of rest since then, but still this happens. I guess I wasn’t a complete idiot.

I noticed that the Heat were attacking Parker with whomever he was guarding, just as Mark Jackson did. (And just as Lionel Hollins didn’t.)

Gary Neal: I identified Neal as an X-factor in the Spurs series against the Warriors.

Oops, got the series wrong.

Kawhi Leonard: An essential part of Nellieball — and in fact of championship basketball using any model — is having long and dominant defensive wing stoppers, who can also shoot the three. That’s why Don Nelson never drafted a wing player who wasn’t an all-pro defender in the first round. Moncrief, Richmond, Sprewell, Howard. That’s why he pulled Raja Bell, Mario Elie, Kelenna Azubuike and Matt Barnes from the D-Leagues. And that’s why he traded for Stephen Jackson.

Gregg Popovich, who as Jerry West would put it, is from the Don Nelson tree, has followed Don Nelson religiously in this regard. Bruce Bowen, Stephen Jackson (twice), Manu Ginobili, Ime Udoka, Richard Jefferson (oops, traded to Joe Lacob), Danny Green.

And now Kawhi Leonard — who may prove to be the best of the bunch — drafted with the 15th pick in the year Lacob drafted Klay Thompson. Leonard is proving himself to be a championship caliber player. 2-3 from three, 12 rbs, 4 stls, taking primary responsibility to guard the best player on earth, and holding him to 15 pts. on 7-21.

Joe Lacob has now drafted wing players out of the lottery in consecutive years. Neither of whom is a defensive stopper in any way, shape or form — nor ever will be — at the positions they are now playing (Thompson, shooting guard; Barnes, small forward).

Sadly, as much as I love Klay Thompson, I don’t have a lot of faith in this pairing. Nor in Lacob’s model in general. One permanently crippled, non-scoring big man, surrounded by four mediocre defenders. In a non-Nellieball lineup.

That’s not a model for contending.

Vegas Baby!: I’m off to Vegas for some World Series of Poker action the next few days so will not be recapping the next couple of games at least.

191 Responses to Game Three: Spurs 113 Heat 77

  1. Yes, pure Nellieball last night. Agree on all points with one exception: I doubt Parker is essential. Ball movement is essential, but the Spurs moved it around pretty effectively in the 2nd half last night without him. Sharp, decisive passes did the job.

    Besides, if Miami can shut down the Spurs’ smallball attack, there’s always Ginobili. When he’s not taking crazy risks, he’s still a great ball distributor.

    • SA went 11-5 without Parker in the regular season. the reserves have confidence from the extended minutes they played during the season.

      hubie brown counts as a member of the mainstream media, and he’s quick to identify the line up and match up moves of Popovich, using the phrase ‘small ball’ and explicating it thus, one big and four perimeter guys who can shoot the 3. espn radio though doesn’t have a local station if there’s an A’s game going on. at least the A’s are doing well, and have a chance to suppress the SF bandwagon.

  2. The W’s ARE ALREADY contenders…

    Agree with FB that the W’s could use an elite wing defender who can spread the floor… Wait. A “healthy” Brandon Rush IS that guy! Green too.

    Also, agree with FB about Nellieball. Nellie’s impact on the league – is evident with all the small lineups… Need the shot-blocking, rim protecting, rebounding big though… Bogut qualifies.

  3. Felt bot, Danny Green was the X factor in the GS series, not Neal.

    Also, Popovich found the right guy, Leonard to develop behind Duncan, Parker and Ginobli…yes been trying to find that guy for years. There’s no guarantee nor likelihood that Leonard turns into what he’s doing today in a bad team’s system. He is able to fit in as a 4th option on offense and as a defensive stopper, much like Bowen did. Also, there are rumblings that he has bad knees. I hope he lasts, if to be nothing else than LeBron’s kryptonite.

    Sure the Nuggets had an injured Galinari. So what? He’s one good player on a supposedly REALLY deep team (yes, I read post after post about this…) and the W’s weren’t really deep team. Sorry, but perhaps HOF Karl didn’t use the sweet shooting Chandler – a spread the floor shooter, wing stopper – very effectively in the series. Chandler – should have had free reign.

    HOF Karl was out-maneuvered and out-psyched by a rookie playoff coach – who relished messing with the starting lineup at tipoff, put Karl on the defensive about his Nuggets NOT being hacks (the W’s are the hacks!), and had HOF Karl over-adjusting to the W’s lineups…

    And the hobbled big man Bogut? DOMINATED the series after Lee’s injury. Protected the rim and the boards. Bogut’s one-legged throwdown and posterization on the Nuggets 7-footer? It’s plays like that – which is why I even watch the games! Lol!

    And the rookie Harrison Barnes? Only one of the best rookie playoff performances – IN NBA PLAYOFF HISTORY! He’s the new iceman.

    Rookie Draymond Green? Small ball 4 super sub with defense mentality.

    Heck – after the W’s handed it to the Nuggets, the GM quits and the coach is fired… Iggy might opt out of $16 million? Lol! Still thinking the Nuggets are the #4 team in the West? The Nuggets were a smart, well-coached, deep but gimmicky team (running style in altitude) in transition from losing it’s superstar (Carmelo). 38-3 at home? Below .500 away? I don’t think so…

    The Spurs were VERY fortunate to knock out the W’s in 6. Very fortunate. A Curry ankle twist, 4 minutes of CYO basketball in Game 1, and Bogut’s heavy minutes on his bum wheel – away from putting the Spurs away. Just like the Spurs are very good but were also very fortunate – no Nuggets, no Thunder/Westbrook and no Kobe to take them into game 5 or 6.

    And Klay’s and Harrison’s perimeter defense improved dramatically as the season wore on – and will only get better in time.

    • From the Lowe piece:

      “Spending $10 million on Jack and Landry, a low estimate, and filling out a couple of roster spots on the cheap would take the payroll to at least $82 million, triggering something like a $15 million tax bill atop that.”

      This to maintain status quo. And if it happens (unlikely), Lacob will have wasted $36m on nothing (Biedrins+Jefferson+$15m tax). Also it’s unlikely Bogut will return much on his salary ($14m next year), even if, given his offensive handicap, he has some degree of health.

      Meanwhile, San Antonio is in the NBA finals, and a significant reason for its success comes from three under-the-radar players, Neal, Green, and Leonard, about $6m total salary this year, capable two-way players at positions the Warriors sorely need. Also they didn’t squander money on a center (Splitter).


      • rgg, I’m not at all concerned with the state of Lacob’s wallet so I’m having trouble relating to that word “depressing.”

        Take a few deep breaths and repeat this mantra: Lacob is an investment fund manager.

        Lacob fully expects his (highly leveraged, tax free, entirely painless and risk-free) investment in the Warriors to return a $1 Billion San Francisco waterfront arena.

        Lacob can easily afford to pay whatever salary is necessary to field a competitive Warriors team. He will field a winner if it will help him get his arena. He will stop paying for a winner when he gets his arena. He will field a mediocre team if fans permit him to. As long as fans “believe in” the Salary Cap Monster, he has an excuse.


        That arena is a $1 Billion profit.


        Let’s not worry about Lacob’s wallet. Its most likely problem is an impending explosion.

  5. The Pacers article above says Hansbrough is probably going to be an FA this summer.

    Hansbrough is not the scorer Landry is, but:
    – He’s a hardnosed player, as tough as anyone in the league.
    – If he’s available, he’d come at a fraction of Landry’s cost.
    – No PR issues, no tattoos, not a “personality.” Would easily fit in to the Ws “high character” player profile.
    – Larry Bird reportedly likes Hansbrough a lot. He was drafted by Bird but Bird doesn’t work with the Pacers anymore.
    – Hansbrough appears to be EXTREMELY IRRITATING to opponents. Youtube has half a dozen vids of opponents going off on him. Here’s one:

    Re that last point, I think it’s great. Defense is all about frustrating opponents. If they lose control and try to clock you, it means you’ve done outstanding work.

    I love Carl Landry, but as they say, “it’s a business,” and no responsible adviser would tell Carl Landry to pass up the big pay raise he earned this year. He’s leaving this summer unless the Ws match a large offer from someone else, which would be entirely out of character for the team.

    So what’s next? Would Hansbrough be a good answer? Anyone here have any thoughts on that?

    • He’s better than Amundson. . . .

    • if Ind isn’t laying a smoke screen, it means they do not intend to make him a qualifying offer under his rookie deal, in the amount of $4.2m, more than what they’re paying their next franchise star next year. there are probably a number of teams that fancy what hansbrough brings, so his price could easily get into the mid-level exception area, or close to what landry got this season. myers might consider him for a mid level exception, but his priority will likely be a back up lead guard if they don’t re-sign jack.

      • Indy faces a number of salary cap challenges this summer. They have to figure out how to pay full value for Paul George, Danny Granger and David West while also upgrading their guards, improving team depth, and keeping everyone else happy.

        It’s salary crunch time in Indy. I think Hansbrough is outta there. Indy doesn’t play him enough to justify his salary.

  6. Felty, you have been so right-on on how a team should be constructed.

    Having a big center like Bogut with limited range gets the Warriors nowhere. And coupling him with Lee at PF, who also has limited mobility, and who can’t hit the three, is a recipe’ for disaster. As we witnessed with our own eyes, the Warriors played much better against Denver without D. Lee, and with a limited Harrison Barnes at PF.

    Your point of view is borne out by the Milwaukee Bucks outscoring their opponents when Udoh played for them two years ago, than when Bogut played for them earlier in the year and before he was injured. And it’s borne out by the Warriors destroying opponents when Udoh was paired with D. Lee then when Bogut was paired with D.Lee.

    And now posters are arguing the for the old way at looking at basketball- getting Tyler Hansborough. Ouch!

    If the Spurs win, Pops should give Nellie a championship ring for being the father of Spurs basketball. Miami should do the same if it wins.

    • “And now posters are arguing the for the old way at looking at basketball- getting Tyler Hansborough. Ouch!”

      Frank, I plead guilty to being maybe the only Hansbrough fan who doesn’t live in Indiana. I really like that guy. Within the context of Indiana’s team style, he’s an effective player. And I give him double bonus points for being one of the most irritating post players in the NBA, right next to Draymond Green. That’s a very, very fine thing.

      More to the point, Landry is outta here, so his slot has to go to someone else. The Ws have zero draft picks this year, so who is going to fill Landry’s spot? Got any suggestions?

  7. Given the Ws’ propensity to stay under the salary cap, it’s most likely that Landry and Jack are leaving this summer.

    Disregarding all the blather from the Ws front office, those two mid-level players made all the difference between this season and last. Without them this year would have been a repeat of last season. Without them next year, it’s…what?

    Decision time.

    Where should the team go from here?

    In my last post I brought up the free agent Tyler Hansbrough. He has pluses, and he may be an even better fit for the Ws than for Indiana. Even if his most singular quality is that he’s irritating as hell to opponents, well hey, that alone is a very fine quality, and something the Ws as a whole currently lack.

    There are other alternatives too.

    Anthony Randolph. The entire Nuggets front office was recently dismantled, so no one can predict how some yet-to-be-named team managers will see things, but Randolph’s one-year contract with Denver is expired. Randolph has a sad history with some of the best coaches ever, including Nelson, Adelman and Karl. Nelson dumped him for Lee, Adelman said he’s “forgetful” and dumped him for nothing, and Karl played him an average of only 8.4 minutes per game behind a slew of so-so bigs. Oh yeah, along the way even D’Antoni dumped Randolph.

    And yet… despite his history in the league, no one disputes that Anthony Randolph is an amazing athlete with astonishing skills. Picture a bigger, stronger Kevin Durant without an outside shot. That’s a player with potential, right? It’s also a player who doesn’t easily slot into any pre-defined category, which kinda summarizes his problems in the NBA to date.

    Given his NBA history, Randolph will become available this summer at somewhere near a league minimum salary.

    The problem with Randolph is that his ideal position is a role/category that does not currently exist in the NBA, smallball point center. A coach could potentially change the world by playing Randolph the way Randolph himself thinks he should play. What are the chances the Warriors would step up for a risk like that? Someone will.

    Anthony Tolliver. A prototypical Nellie spread 4, underutilized in Minnesota, currently without an NBA contract (Dingdingdingding! A cheap but good veteran player!).

    Antawn Jamison. How time flies. Once the Warriors team leader, Antawn is now 37, hanging on to an NBA career with a series of “I just lucked into this” one-year contracts, most recently with the Lackers. The most unconventional shooter in the history of the NBA. Antawn anchored the Lackers’ 2nd team this past season.

    Antawn is still a bigtime scoring threat, but he does not play D. He never has. That’s not the point of Antawn Jamison. Does that sound like someone else you could mention? A plug-in replacement for Lee with a bizarrely different offensive attack, I have a 15-year history of mixed feelings about Antawn, so I couldn’t possibly be objective now. What do you think?

    Jermaine O’Neal. 6’11”, 34 years old, 22 min/game with Phoenix this year. Jermaine has bounced around the league for awhile, but Phoenix needs to rebuid now and is unlikely to insist on keeping him. A good guy and decent big, available for a modest salary.

    Kenyon Martin. Kenyon is an old-school beast. He was a huge contributor to the Melo-era Nuggets. He was a big help to the Clippers in 2011-12, then went to China, then saved the Knicks’ season in 2013. He doesn’t score much. He has lots of tattoos. Attitude exudes from every pore.

    I gotta testify, people: Kenyon Martin Is! A! winner!

    Could the Ws use someone to wall off Boozer or squash Griffin or slow down Pau or stop Z-bo or pound on Duncan? Martin has done all that for years, no problem. A point-and-shoot smashmouth big. Just pull the trigger to unleash beastliness. What’s not to like?

    Best of all, at this point in his career KMart works for peanuts. If the Ws organization could outgrow their insistence on player citizenship awards and focus just on on-the-floor impact, they would sign Martin ASAP.

    • you’ve put together the equivalent of a list of the usual suspects. but most barely qualify to meet the standard for a contributing vet reserve — reliability. age and durability are issues for some, including martin, and mental status in the case of randolph. other usual suspects who will be unrestricted free agents — kaman, and b.wright, who worked for a minimum contract last season.

      myers task is to identify players from sources other than the reject pile of weaker teams. sometimes a weaker team wants to unload a contract, or doesn’t have the patience and coaching to bring along one of their lottery picks, and we won’t hear about those kinds of deals until they’re made. the brain trust is bringing in the Bosnian big, Kuzmic, for the summer league and possibly training camp, and he could get a longer look with ezeli’s absence.

      • Yes, KMart’s not the type of personality the W’s (or the Spurs) are looking for nowadays (Me-first players as opposed to team-first players).

        Tolliver could be a nice cheap spread 4. Loved Tolliver’s “decision” video mock of LeBron James which was funny at the time…

        • PB, thanks for that vid! It was great.

          We could possibly see Tolliver again in a Ws uniform. A reliable rotation guy at a low salary, and as you say he fits the Ws obvious “personality profile.”

          It’s kinda too bad the Ws have that last concern, though. It limits their choices. Some really great talents are on the league’s scrap heap solely because of their “citizenship” questions.

          Teams with strong, confident coaches don’t worry about it as much. NY, for example, played KMart, JR Smith and even Rasheed Wallace this year – all very strong contributors who played at bargain salaries because they’re not known to be “nice.”

      • The reject pile/scrap heap! That would be like Landry and Jack, both of whom were deemed unnecessary (at their salary level) by their then-current teams.

        Landry’s season pay dropped from $9M to $4M to come to the Ws as a FA. Despite holding the door open until late in the summer, he had zero other offers even at that rate. The book on Landry was that he was too short for a traditional “big” and too limited (range, speed) to play smallball offense or defense. That didn’t account for his skill, veteran savvy or heart, but it was all true enough. There are LOTS of low-cost but serviceable PFs. They each bring different pluses and minuses, but it wouldn’t take a world-beater to equal Landry’s overall contribution. For example, it wouldn’t hurt at all to swap Landry’s consistent offense for two bargain-basement defense/shot blocker/rebounder/putback guys with semi-good hands. Or a rim protector (KMart?) + big reliable spread 4 (VladRad?).

        Jarrett Jack was part of a 3-team deal: DWright to the 76ers, Edin Bavcik (?) to NO, Jack to GS. Apparently, Bavcik has never played in the NBA. NO simply dumped Jack and his reasonable salary because they had a PG who they felt was better and cheaper (Vasquez) and another who was maybe only cheaper (Roberts). There are LOTS of PGs equivalent to Jack, even at lowish salaries. A case could even be made that Charles Jenkins was/is a better fit with the Ws.

        That Jack and Landry were themselves NBA rejects was precisely my point. The difference in overall talent between this season’s Ws and last season’s was almost nonexistent. By replacing Rush and Wright with Barnes they took a step backward. Dropping Nate for Jarrett was a wash – a trade of different strengths and weaknesses. But simply by adding two players at positions of extreme need, the team was able to play better than the year before. Even though those players weren’t All-World.

        Now, at this time, if the Ws front office is going to continue to do the salary-cap fan dance, they’re going to have to release Landry and Jack. And the team’s crucial need now is slightly different than last year: If Lacob & Co. honestly want the team to be more competitive next year, they need to have more contributing players overall. We saw that especially in the playoffs. They need simply more role players who can contribute minutes without hurting the team too badly. That means bringing in rookies and rejects. Lots of them. Cheap ones.

  8. Either Hollins or Brian Shaw the new head coach at Denver—the dismantling of this intriguing organization is now complete. Denver, btw, had the 4th best road record in the west (tied with the Warriors). It wasn’t all the mile high city. I predict mediocrity next year.

    Meanwhile, knee surgery for Ezeli. Complete recovery expected, 6 to 9 months minimum.

    “The team says the procedure, performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles on Wednesday, was necessary to reinforce the medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments. Ezeli sprained the knee during the regular-season finale at Portland on April 17.”

    from Yahoo

    • @rgg – I predicted mediocrity for Denver this past season. I was wrong. Karl really deserved coach of the year to win 57 games. This season? We’ll see how the off-season goes, but the W’s definitely pass them up with Karl gone and Iggy in question…

      Denver tied with W’s for 5th and 6th best road record in the West at 19-22. Altitude and running style and deep bench = smart, but can’t over-rate in the playoffs when teams have a couple days to adjust to the altitude.

    • No Ezeli until next January at the earliest? At the latest, “9 months recovery” benches him for the entire season.


      • @Hat – Ahhh, I read Ezeli injured his knee at the end of the regular season. I did think something wasn’t right about Ezeli in the playoffs.

        • I can’t believe they played Ezeli at all on a damaged knee. Or Lee, for that matter.

          Both could have gotten seriously hurt, and for what? A few more playoff bucks? That seems selfish and irresponsible on the part of team management. It’s the kind of management practice that made me quit following football. I don’t like to think I’m decadent enough to revel in gladiatorial contests.

  9. First, I want to say that I think the posters on this site are awesome, and I respect PeteyBrian for being an the eternal optimist and loving everyone on the Warriors roster. I’m sure he’ll correct me if I overstated his position.

    I line-up with Moto in wanting a really good, if not an impact player, not a retread.

    Hansbrough is a retread. When he was on the court this year, Indiana were outscored. See 82 games. We don’t need that. I’ll check out A. Randolph.

    Yes, Landry should be replaced if a better player can be obtained. And he will probably have to be replaced due to his salary. Although his offense was good, his defense was bad, he commits two many turnovers, and too many stupid fouls that cost the Warriors possessions.

    The Warriors choice is to see if they can make some trades to obtain marginally better players with longer contracts for Biedrins, Jefferson or Bogut and if all three can’t be unloaded to wait till their contracts run out next year and sign some good free agents.

    For me, the Warriors need some major restructuring. But, I doubt management thinks so given their success this year.

    The Warriors should make so trades to set themselves up for the following year. We need a PF who can hit the three. We need a C-F, who can defend. I think we should trade to get Udoh back or sign him next year when he is a free agent. A Udoh-D. Lee frontcourt would be awesome as it was last year.

    I would try to also get R. Anderson. If we have to give up of Barnes and others for him in a heartbeat.

    I’m sure others can think of other good players to obtain.

    I would consider trading anyone other than Curry, and packaging one of our expiring contracts for a deal that improves the Warriors. I’m not afraid to trade, Barnes, Thompson, or D. Lee, if we can i obtain two-way players who are better.

    I’m still irked how the Warriors did not use Jefferson this year. He’s a terrific defender and smart. One time I looked and he was holding his opponent to under 40% shooting. As I realize his stats were based on limited time, but even so, he should have been played more.

    The handling of Ezeli is just sickening.

    • I’m very afraid of trading Curry, Klay, and yes, Harrison. A wrong assessment/transaction could backfire for DECADES… In Jerry West I trust – but no one else… Lol!

      Agreed – Jefferson deserved more minutes and a bigger role. But Jefferson’s obviously not the W’s future. Harrison Barnes is. Until he’s not.

      And to be fair to the W’s, Jefferson ISN’T the same player he was with the Nets… His athleticism is seen only in flashes now. With the Nets, it was evident all game long on both sides of the ball – elite defender with monster finishing ability… With the Spurs – RJeff relegated to the role of a floor spreading shooter…

      But it’s an absolute crime that Jefferson was never an NBA All-star.

    • Jefferson offers so many things the team needs, but there have to be reasons he’s booed when he steps foot on the San Antonio court. My only observation is that he was awfully tentative on offense and not especially efficient. Then again, he didn’t play that much. We don’t know what he showed in practice. My only guess is that he has lost confidence and his head and heart aren’t there.

      Or maybe he just didn’t provide a good enough model for the “winning culture.”

      • @rgg – I don’t get why they boo him in San Antonio. I get that RJeff had to play within the Spurs system and he tried to adapt his game. Jefferson actually became a good 3 point shooter at San Antonio at 40 percent – he wasn’t much of a 3 point shooter in NJ from my recollection. Jefferson – was a good sport in re-doing his contract to accomodate the Spur’s wishes – which should have been a plus…

  10. “I line-up with Moto in wanting a really good, if not an impact player, not a retread.”

    I do too. But it’s just not going to happen next year if the FO sweats the salary cap. It would be perfectly legal for Lacob & Co. to pony up for stars if they only wanted to win. But that’s not the only thing they want. They’ve said so many times.

    “Hansbrough is a retread. When he was on the court this year, Indiana were outscored. See 82 games. We don’t need that. I’ll check out A. Randolph.”

    If the team wants to fully round out the roster AND stay under the salary cap, Hansbrough would be too expensive. He earned $4M this year and has every reason to expect more next year.

    A Randolph is awesome, sorta, but weird. He’s an incredibly talented guy, but he apparently cannot devote himself to being merely a plug-in role player. Unfortunately, that’s what NBA teams (including the Ws) need from him. Even that mad genius George Karl couldn’t tap into a fraction of Randolph’s talent. He only used Randolph 8 min/game this year.

    Randolph could be an OK role player for the Ws next year, but based solely on his NBA track record it’s unlikely his coach would give him as many minutes as Landry got this year. He’s a wild card by nature.

    “Yes, Landry should be replaced if a better player can be obtained. And he will probably have to be replaced due to his salary.”

    Yeah. If the Ws sweat the salary cap they could handle Landry or Jack’s new salary, but not both. But they’d probably do best for the team by dumping both and shopping the bargain bins. I admire both players as people, and as a fan I appreciate them deeply for making this season so great. But a cold-eyed pro assessment says they’re both role players with issues, like every other role player in the NBA.

    “The Warriors choice is to see if they can make some trades to obtain marginally better players with longer contracts for Biedrins, Jefferson or Bogut and if all three can’t be unloaded to wait till their contracts run out next year and sign some good free agents.”

    NFW Biedrins, Jefferson and Bogut won’t be Warriors next year. It’s fun to imagine some highly paid dickhead coming along and making the mistake of solving our team’s mistakes, but in reality NBA GMs aren’t any more stupid than you and I are. Their primary goal is to maximize team talent while staying under the salary cap. That’s their (extremely difficult, highly paid, hard to get and keep) job. A big salary is a hard sell. A big salary for an iffy player is NO sale. End of story.

    “For me, the Warriors need some major restructuring. But, I doubt management thinks so given their success this year.”

    Frank, I don’t know that the Ws do need a fundamental structural change, and I don’t see any way they can accomplish that this offseason anyway. I suppose I could be convinced of it if I saw the potential for them to be either an entirely dominant smallball team or a take-no-prisoners traditional lineup, but I don’t think either is in the cards. More realistically, with a few additions the team could play both styles fairly well. That could actually be excellent. Which style will work for them in any game depends on the opposition they’re facing and their coach’s ability to pick the right strategy. Sorta like San Antonio.

    “The Warriors should make so trades to set themselves up for the following year. We need a PF who can hit the three. We need a C-F, who can defend. I think we should trade to get Udoh back or sign him next year when he is a free agent. A Udoh-D. Lee frontcourt would be awesome as it was last year.”

    That’s for sure. Given the Ws salary picture, next season looks most like a placeholder. After that, management will have a lot of freedom to make big strategy/staffing changes. We have some reason to hope they’re up to the challenge. But I look at things just one season at a time. Stuff happens. Over a long time, LOTS of stuff happens.

    “I would try to also get R. Anderson.”

    You and me an every GM in the league. Damn, I guess that means Anderson will be unavailable to a team that is capped out and has little trade bait. Would you settle for VladRad? I would. In a heartbeat. Chicago paid him the league minimum this season and is 90% likely to dump him.

    “I’m sure others can think of other good players to obtain.”

    At this point, I’m pretty sure the Ws don’t need “good” players as much as they need many, many players. Merely acquiring and integrating enough “adequate” players could make the Ws title contenders next year. The Ws already have stars. To be successful they need a complete team that isn’t short of resources.

    “I would consider trading anyone other than Curry, and packaging one of our expiring contracts for a deal that improves the Warriors. I’m not afraid to trade, Barnes, Thompson, or D. Lee, if we can i obtain two-way players who are better.”

    Me too. A nifty trade could happen, but it’s not likely. More than anything, the Ws need bigs. For next year Bogut projects as iffy, Ezeli looks unavailable/extremely iffy, Biedrins looks like 3 min/game, Landry looks gone and Lee has now finished 2 seasons in a row seriously injured. The Ws desperately need bigs. Warm tall bodies, preferably breathing.

    “I’m still irked how the Warriors did not use Jefferson this year. He’s a terrific defender and smart. One time I looked and he was holding his opponent to under 40% shooting. As I realize his stats were based on limited time, but even so, he should have been played more.”

    Dude. I’m with you 10,000% on that. Jefferson is the complete pro package. Despite all the Warriors PR hype, Barnes was not. Not this season and possibly not ever.

    I like Barnes. I think he’ll be a fine player someday. This past season, Jefferson had more to offer overall.

    “The handling of Ezeli is just sickening.”

    Couldn’t agree more. “Sickening” is the word, precisely. Nothing in the world could possibly make it OK to risk a player’s long term health. “Hey Festus, wanna be able to walk normally next year? Too bad!”


    • I was way wrong on Anthony Randolph – I thought he would be an All-Star. Michael Beasley too…

      • Me too, PB. Randolph still has all the quickness and ballhandling skills he started with, and he’s even bigger and stronger now. His shot has come around. He’s a very tough man-man defender and shot blocker. Unfortunately, no one seems to be able to get him to play team basketball. He may already have completed his final NBA contract.

  11. they fired the head trainer, not that the training staff made the decision to keep ezeli on the court (he was wearing a heavy brace during the play offs) . however, a more effective training regimen might have helped prevent the ligament strain from occurring during play. the story with lee’s hip flexor was somewhat smelly, because he said he thought his back was acting up in the last month or so of the season, but in retrospect surmised it was probably the flexor. training methods that focus on ‘core’ flexibility and strength generally pay close attention to everything connecting the pelvis and back. we’ll never learn the details behind the firing.

    • I can’t trust anything the W’s announce regarding the health of the players.

      Harrison’s playoff concussion and stitches and re-insertion into the lineup… I’d never mess around with a major head injury…

      Lee’s playoff insertion into the lineup…

      Ezeli’s injury – and resulting surgery…

      Andrew Bogut’s MICROFRACTURE surgery withholding – was unethical in my mind (as a rabid fan) in this information age…

      If I knew Bogut had Microfracture – which should have had a year’s rest starting April 2012 – Bogut should have been sat out until March 2013 – then brought in for preparation for the playoffs…

    • We need a medical specialist on board, and I don’t think we’re getting the full report. A sprained knee doesn’t sound serious and usually it heals with rest and therapy, no? But we’re told it requires surgery and a 6-9 months recovery.

      Biedrins’ case is curious. He gets playing time over Ezeli up to the trade deadline—and was, in fact, mentioned in some trades—then disappears. He does put in useful minutes and could have been played in spurts during the playoffs to spell the ailing Ezeli and Bogut. Was he still hurt this season and/or did that time aggravate his lingering injury?

      And Curry came back much too soon from all his sprains, especially during the playoffs.

      We’ll never get answers to any of these questions however, until a player goes down and needs repair.

  12. Elite perimeter defender (but so so shooter, great finisher) rumors! Why Iggy opts out of $16 million is beyond my mind’s capacity… IMO, he’s an elite defender, and a very good player overall – but not a max player.

    • iguodala seems to be a pretty intelligent fella and probably isn’t looking for a max deal. the max deal bar for wings has been set by the smirk and j.johnson. if he didn’t get the sense that Den wanted to re-sign him for four years (he’d be in his mid thirties at the end of the deal), can’t blame him for preferring to look for one and resolve his situation sooner instead of wondering which teams Den will shop him to in his final contract year.

      it’s easy to scoff and comment that iguodala isn’t worth what d.lee gets, but there really aren’t that many upper tier, two way wings with high hoops i.q. that hit the market. the trades that some woeyr fans are fantasizing for him seem to expect that Den, missing a personnel chief and coach, is willing to let a top starter go to a conference rival for a maybe, someday player and an expiring deal, when Den will get iguodala’s 16m. coming off the books next summer at the latest if they simply hold.

      ujiri and karl both leaving Den in itself is enough incentive for a vet like iguodala to look for his best alternative now rather that have his fate determined by persons unknown.

      • I think you’re right, moto. Iggy doesn’t need to start over again with a new Denver team, and putting his career in some unknown person’s hands couldn’t possibly appeal to him.

        While it must be scary to pass on a guaranteed $16M, a lower but longer contract is probably the best way for him to max his NBA revenue at this point.

        It’s fun to imagine Iggy coming to the Ws, but it seems highly unlikely. The Ws are heavily committed to their “brilliant” draft picks, they’re still playing the salary cap fan dance, and they have more pressing areas of need to focus on this summer.

        • @Moto – you’re right – Iggy probably wants to pick his situation should he opt out or force Denver to try to sign and trade him. $16 million – Iggy might want 4 years at $16 million per…

          I think the W’s are genuinely interested in Iggy, but I can’t see them pulling anything off… The W’s were rumored to want Iggy in return for Monta as I recall.

          The problem is the only way I see Iggy being moved to the W’s – is via a sign-and-trade deal with the Nuggets (Barnes plus Jefferson/Biedrins+) – who don’t have a GM or Coach.

          Should Iggy opt out, I can’t see the W’s making our dreams of an elite defending two way wing player come true.

          • we can only speculate what contract expectations players like iguodala (or ellis for that matter) have. at that age, they’re aware that they won’t be free agents again in the peak of their careers. the players and agents are also aware that the megadeals that came under the previous c.b.a. might become so rare they’ll be virtually extinct — we’ll find out with howard’s next contract. would not be surprised to see iguodala take 40-45m. for four years, not the per annum he has now perhaps but an assurance of 25m.+ of security he doesn’t have now.

  13. Why over-rate PF Ryan Anderson so much? He’s a nice role player, but not THAT good a player. Not a difference maker.

    Playoff Harrison Barnes can do everything Ryan Anderson provides and more and has a higher ceiling.

    I even project playoff SF/PF Draymond Green (with his three at .35 percent or so) will be a more useful player than Ryan Anderson… Green can play near elite defense… Don’t forget Green flustered LeBron James in the W’s road win in Miami. LeBron won’t break a sweat against Ryan Anderson.

    Here it is… Ryan Anderson is a floor spacing big man perimeter shooter. That’s it. Do the jump shot happy Warriors need another player with average athleticism and severe defensive liabilities?

    From what limited games I’ve seen, Anderson doesn’t do anything well other than shoot – which he’s great at. Doesn’t rebound or play any defense particularly well. Doesn’t draw fouls.

    I’d rather have David Lee – work on extending his range to 3 point land. He’s already a W’s $15 million player who can’t play much defense… The W’s don’t need to spend another at $9 million on a similar player.

  14. Bob Meyers:

    “And there’s really only one mandate here and it’s to win. That’s the job of the coaching staff.”

    From the Lowe piece Hat linked above:

    “League history is littered with promising no. 7 and no. 8 seeds that fell apart before winning even one or two playoff series. Players suffer injuries that stunt both their own development and that of the roster around them.”

    As you watch the finals, you can only be impressed with how well Pop managed the health and condition of his top players all season, as he has for over a decade. Given the discussion above about Warrior injuries, it’s hard not to draw comparisons, where our top players were pushed to play heavy minutes, and play through injury without adequate recovery time. West said it himself in the postgame show after game 4, that next season will depend on the players’ health. There will be question marks over Curry and Lee, and now Ezeli will miss most of the season at best. We don’t know what a plausible scenario is for Rush (who was not injured because of heavy playing time!), but the worst case comes from Rose, who missed the entire season and presumably still is not ready to return.

    If a couple go down for extended time, the season is a wash. And the top players will have to play heavy minutes again for them to maintain a similar record, and there will be questions again as to what that does to their health and careers. It’s too much to expect the rookies to pick up the slack, even with an optimistic projection that follows a standard learning curve. Besides, there are just too many gaps in the roster even if they do exceed expectations. I still question how much Bogut adds because he’s such a limited player, but his health is scarcely a certainty anyway.

    So what price victory, and was it worth it?

    There just aren’t good options for next season, other than to push the players again and hope for the best. They have no money to work with.

    The core players, Lee, Thompson, and Curry, supported by Ezeli’s surprising performance and the solid backup of Landry and Jack, did quite well. About 2/3 through the season, they had a losing streak, when many questioned how good they were, but they had to have been tanked and maybe more injured than we realized.

    The team could tear up this roster and trade to get another good player, but that’s a gamble and it means starting over once again, losing what experience they have gained, plus some key talent. And it still leaves too many gaps in the roster.

    Keeping Jack and Landry makes no sense either, not at the price they’d have to pay to keep them. Lowe gave a conservative estimate for both—$10m in salary plus $15 in tax. It’s hard to believe the price won’t be much higher. But that only keeps them where they are. Much as I accept the praise of Jack, I also accept the criticism of his speed and court vision, and regret there aren’t other options for point, either someone promising they could have brought along or another veteran, or money for another prospect, which they don’t have.

    But not having a good backup for Lee, a scoring 4, or a supporting point and backup for Curry is just scary and a formula for disaster.

    I’ve been wrong here before, in fact I’m usually wrong, but my guess is Lacob makes conservative moves this summer to try to keep the team intact, with only minor additions, and that he’ll hope for the best next season, maybe against hope, just to maintain appearances but not much else. His only other option is to make a big trade that leaves the team thin and sacrifices talent.

    But he’s really looking forward to the season after next, when he has all that money to play with when the big contracts go off the books.

    And I have no confidence he’ll spend it well.

  15. “They have no money to work with.”

    Let’s be precise about that: Team management has chosen to stay under/near the salary cap, and to economize on salary. They have short-handed the team at season end for 3 years straight.

    During that time, their #1 big has missed significant playing time due to injury all 3 seasons. Their #1 small has also lost significant playing time, now finishing two seasons in a row with ankle problems.

    Shorting the roster is precisely the wrong strategy for success. More than anything, the Ws need bodies. That’s especially true if they honestly hope to do well in the playoffs. If Warriors management wants to continue economizing, the ONLY way the team can be competitive next year is to bring in, develop and integrate low-cost role players into the team. And if they want to find true gems, they’ll quit insisting on the “good citizen” nonsense. They’ll focus on getting players, not marketing vessels.

    For one example:

    Stephon Marbury. 37 years old. NBA career averages of 19.3 ppg with 7.6 assists. Last played in the NBA for Boston, in ’08-’09. If the Ws weren’t wusses, they’d sign this guy immediately. The man is an awesome player with 4x Curry’s experience in leading teams.

    • You’re making too much sense, Hat.

      And I stand corrected. Lacob won’t put up the money. But I really wonder if he does have it. He’s going to have to scramble up $30m to pay off Ranadive, right?

      All your suggestions would be intriguing, low cost additions to the bottom of the roster for insurance and possible surprises. But only if the team had a deep roster to add to in the first place. He already passed over the cheapest insurance policy in the world with Nate Robinson, who probably still would have been cheap next season since he wouldn’t have played as much with the Warriors this season and gotten all that attention.

      But, as I understand it, because of the way he’s constructed the salary cap, each cheap investment costs 250% of its value because of the luxury tax, each $1m in salary $2.5m. I assume the reason the team kept Jenkins and Tyler is because they sort of provided essential backup positions at PG and C, who might have been retained had the team been able to work the highly unlikely disposal of the monster contracts of Biedrins or Jefferson. But really he expected to unload them midseason—and neither got much playing time, especially Jenkins who had some value as PG.

      Meanwhile, I wonder how much he’s paid/promised Snøhetta and crew, the architect for the new arena. He is a sexy architect, the same guy who builds expensive jewels for Saudi royalty and gave Times Square a face lift years ago.

      For example:

      You gotta think like a sheik, Hat. Then be ready to fight back when your country goes bankrupt and the people revolt.

  16. from Yahoo:

    “Boston and Los Angeles are discussing a package that will send DeAndre Jordan and two first-round picks to the Celtics for Garnett and the right to hire Rivers as coach, sources said.

    “Clippers owner Donald Sterling is prepared to pay Rivers in the neighborhood of the $7 million annual salary he currently holds with the Celtics, front office sources said. Rivers has three years and $21 million left on his Boston deal.”

    At least Sterling is putting his money where his mouth is. Rivers will be an upgrade, of course. The other part is a head scratcher. Jordan plus two first round picks for an aging KG? The team has other pressing needs. Or was that the only way they could get Rivers?

    How much of this happens, plus the Paul trade, etc., if the Clippers didn’t get Blake Griffin in the draft, a player in whom I have marginal interest but who has been the darling of the NBA, who probably did attract the other players?

    The NBA is crazy.

    • If the deal goes thru Paul Pierce will follow.

      • Pierce was already considering a homecoming with either of the LA teams. his Bos contract gave the team an option to buy him out for considerably less than the final year of the deal, and if ainge is making a re-boot without rivers and garnett, he’d probably bid adieu to pierce too.

      • The Celtics West?

        Even if you don’t care about the Clippers, this could be one of the most interesting stories in the NBA, if it works out.

        And if you hate Sterling and Griffin and the Clippers, as I do, and it doesn’t work, it will still be a joy to watch.


        • the difference for Bos between buying out pierce, giving him free agency, and paying the final year of the contract is 10m. rumours are thick now from both Bos and LA. the sterlings might balk at the price tag on rivers, and have given hollins a second interview for the big chair. garnett wants to finish his career playing for rivers, preferably with pierce riding shotgun. the sterlings are flashing an alternative trade as well, a package of griffin and bledsoe in a sign and trade for howard with their co-tenants at staples.

          the sterlings’ dream team could be rivers, garnett, pierce, howard, paul. that actually makes more sense than the incongruent garnett-pierce-griffin trio. howard would have his ideal situation, with pressure and scoring easily deflected elsewhere, surrounded by smarter players he’s willing to defer to, while getting the biggest or at worst second biggest paycheck on the team.

    • d.jordan’s value, unless Bos induces major improvement from him, is less than what his new contract is going to pay him, so consider most of that ransom what ainge thinks he can squeeze for rivers and garnett. if sterling is confident that having the Bos duo in hand will convince paul to stay, those first round picks won’t be in the lottery, but it clearly is a move with fairly high risk. it’s really paul and not griffin who can give the team mojo and possibly get vets to play there for under market rate, as we’ve seen happen in Mia.

  17. I believe Ezeli got injured mid season, as I speculated here. That’s when the wrap went on his knee, and Biedrins replaced him for several weeks. If something happened at the end of the season, it was an aggravation.

    I also believe Lee hurt himself mid season, in a game against Memphis. I saw it as it happened, and reported it here. His torn flexor could also be said to be an aggravation.

    Is it going too far to say that Lee’s injuries, both this year and last, and also Ezeli’s injury, were caused by overwork, and that that overwork was caused by the amateurish trade for the crippled Andrew Bogut?

    • Coach Jackson does ride his starting horses way too much… As did Nellie at times. I prefer Pops style – strategic resting of players during certain matchups. I mean, why play Bogut or Lee so many minutes against say a Charlotte – if Biedrins and Landry and/or Green can start and play 30+ minutes. Bazemore needs more minutes next season.

      • The Ws average end-of-game point margin this season was +0.8, just two positions above Atlanta at 0.0. For comparison, the league leaders were OKC @ 8.3, Miami @ 7.8 and SA @ 6.7.

        Our guys had many more close games than comfortable wins. That’s the obvious explanation for why Jackson gave the key starters so many minutes. More on that below.

        The team win-margin rankings above track pretty closely with playoff success. The only team ranked lower than the Ws which made it into the 2nd round of the playoffs was Chicago. Everyone else averaged a larger win margin. Is that because they were better teams, or because their players were healthier? Both, probably. Winning by a greater amount allows teams to rest key players more, leading to fewer injuries.

        Stephen Curry averaged 38.2 mpg, fourth among all guards. It’s worth noting that 2 of the guards above Curry (Bryant and Harden) got injured this season. The third, Lillard, was a rookie.

        Lee averaged 36.8 mpg, 7th or 8th among all bigs (depending on how you count bigs), tied with Joakim Noah. Including Noah, half of the bigs at or above Lee’s usage rate missed some games due to injury this season.

        Just as we all said last year at this time, this summer the team needs to add quality backups for Lee and Curry to enable Jackson to reduce their playing time without the risk of losing winnable games. This season simply provided more evidence for that point.

        In addition, with Ezeli out for at least half the season, the team also needs to find a quality big to run behind Bogut. Or else – a number of scenarios arise here, all of them bad.

        Klay Thompson ranked 25th in minutes played, placing him also among the top 12% in the league. The team needs at least one more quality backup for Klay, too. By “quality,” I only mean “someone Jackson can feel comfortable giving significant minutes to.” That’s not Bazemore, apparently.

        I don’t envy Bob Myers his challenge this summer. Most players’ salaries track their performance pretty closely. “Bargains” are bargains for a reason. And hiring “bargain” players only to have Jackson keep them on the bench doesn’t solve anything.

        Unless Myers accomplishes something astonishing this summer, it seems the team will absolutely need to go over the salary cap to staff up properly. If they don’t, they would simply be making Curry, Lee, Thompson and Bogut pay with their health for the team’s thriftiness.

        • I suspect the starters also pushed themselves too hard and played too many minutes in games they lost that should have been conceded as losses, where they should have been rested.

          The effects of the last minutes of a long stretch of playing time must increase steeply, both in terms of residual fatigue and strain and of exacerbating or courting injury. Then add the effect of the team’s emphasis on defense yet being outsized at almost every position. Lee especially took on a heavy burden with Bogut out and Ezeli’s lack of experience, or, when he played center, not having a big enough, strong enough 4 to help him out.

        • jack was acquired because NO needed to gain cap space to retain a higher price-tagged guard, and it took another team to provide a euro player with no n.b.a. contract to make the deal work. landry was signed after his other options began to diminish. these were deals well after the draft and summer roster decisions were well under way.

          the fans who were intoxicated with six post season wins and were thinking in terms of reaching fifty wins or more will just have to sit tight and hope for surprise packages in unlikely places. and perhaps learn how long the mullin legacy combined with lacob’s investment planning will confine the team to comfortable sorta-good complacency.

          • “Sorta-good” is a fair summary of the Ws team this season, though of course it’s not the complete story. Their win margin was 11th in the league, near the bottom of the rankings for 2nd-round postseason teams.

            The team’s regular season record ranked higher (9th overall). That all suggests that the team over-achieved. Their PT stats suggest they overplayed their starters. That explains how they over-achieved.

            It doesn’t explain how they could repeat this year’s success, specially without Landry, Jack or Ezeli.

  18. Kirk Lacob was named to Forbes’s 30 under 30 for sports some time ago. Excerpt from his interview:

    About three or four years ago when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do my mom showed me something I had written when I was in the third grade. It was one of those I dream papers. I couldn’t be an astronaut or dream of being a firefighter. For whatever reason I wrote, “I dream of being president and general manager of the Golden State Warriors.”

    It looks like Mom came through.

    • Good for Kirk.

      As a management professional it’s my job to care about how, and how well. Not who. Sometimes that’s a difficult attitude to maintain, but that is the focus I’m paid to have.

      I have that same attitude as a fan.

      Without knowing Kirk it seems statistically unlikely that he’s the best possible choice out of a whole world of choices for his position. But if he does the job well nothing else matters. Given how little we mere schlub fans are privileged to know about Kirk’s performance, we can’t say he’s done poorly. OK, then.

  19. Here’s another thing a deep team can do that others can’t:

    McGrady makes a contribution even without much game time.

    • mcgrady ended up with the roster spot vacated by s.jackson. this is another aspect of buford and popovich’s m.o. that sets SA apart from most of its competitors. they like getting good use from every roster spot. because the starters don’t see heavy playing loads, the reserves are much better prepared to contribute. and expectations from the lower roster spots are set accordingly. when jefferson didn’t produce what they expected, they were willing to pay a draft pick to off load his contract and see if jackson could provide more as a reserve wing.

      the woeyr bench, o.t.o.h., is for the time being ‘anchored’ by biedrins and jefferson, and might face the subtraction of jack, landry, ezeli. rush’s return can’t possibly fill those gaps, and even if they purchase a draft pick, it adds a rookie who probably needs extensive grooming. if they plan on giving Kuzmic an extended audition over the summer, he’ll only have recuperating or limited players to scrimmage against. biedrins will return to summer play for Latvia. we’ll need to see either some sharp dealing on myers’ part, or significant adjustments on the preacher’s part without his number one assistant, or both.

  20. A fascinating interview with George Karl. First thought: A smart, warm guy trying to make sense of being pureed. Second thought: Glad I’m not his target. Check it out.

  21. Here’s a link for Felty. Is it a coincidence that the two NBA finalists are at the top of the league in corner 3s?:

  22. I’m surprised we haven’t seen a comment or post on the virtues of uptempo offense, but maybe it’s coming. And man, we got a show last night. If the Spurs didn’t come out firing and run up the score, they probably lose. Can they do it one more time?

    It is a team and strategy built to take advantage of available talents, which has allowed Green to shine. I still like to dream about what might happen if Klay and Steph were given the same, that one day Curry will beat Green’s 3 point record in the finals.

    Fat chance.

  23. Remember (or don’t forget for the folks!) – it was the W’s Front Office that played the 2012 free agency, trade, and NBA Draft ABSOLUTELY PERFECTLY last off-season.

    Let’s refresh our memories…

    Signed Carl Landry as an UFA for pocket change – has always been a solid NBA big man reserve (always kicked the W’s butts playing against us) was picked up on the FA scrap heap cheaply to a team and cap friendly contract. His current NBA value? Perceived by everyone here to be sky-high.

    Brandon Rush – HUGE DITTO! Just because he got injured early, doesn’t mean he wasn’t a great signing for a very good role player/borderline starter… Smart W’s move in re-signing Brandon for team friendly contract.

    Dorrell Wright’s contract dumped to the 76ers in trade for the best backup PG in the NBA – Jarrett Jack! The W’s were smart enough to keep in touch – and know that New Orleans was dumping salary… Jarrett Jack’s NBA value is Sky-high as an UFA – everyone here can agree with this statement.

    The “Haul.” W’s 2012 NBA Draft Haul. Three good players, plus Kuzmic – who’s tall at a minimum, Lol! We’ll disagree on this some – but these 3 players should have very long NBA careers, which is what a draft is all about. Draft for talent, trade for need/fit.

    I’ll agree next season 2013-2014 won’t be as promising as this season due to the salary cap situation and the unlikely event of going over.

    But I’ll not take the doom and gloom point of view just yet – the W’s Front Office is too darn good… Too smart. Too many NBA connections. Smart talent evaluators.

    The W’s Front Office will find solutions to the salary cap situation. And in 2014, the W’s will have the cap space and reputation to attract a top tier player.

    In Jerry West I Trust…

  24. Recent news on Ws offseason maneuvering:

    The article lists 6 players visiting Oakland this month, but most of them don’t really look like viable NBA prospects. Foster could possibly be, but there are Qs.

    I’ve never seen Foster play, but as a G he was the leading scorer in Santa Clara history, outscoring Steve Nash 2,423 to 1,689. He’s 6’2″, 225 – built like Charles Jenkins?

    It’s not clear whether Foster is a PG or a 2. Different websites list him differently, but the Ws need both so maybe it’s a moot point. Foster had 19.2/4.2 ppg/apg this season with the Broncos, with decent shooting percentages everywhere.

    Concerns: not projected to be drafted (why not?). Very short for an NBA 2, possibly not an NBA-quality 1.

    • trying out both Siva and Foster is a pretty good sign they’re grasping for inexpensive bench depth. going by just their draftexpress scouting recaps, the two are virtually opposite. Foster led the country in 3’s attempted. great wing span for someone his size and built very solid. but tries way too many shots off the dribble, and misses the bulk of them. won’t be quick enough to defend his position in the bigs. Siva is under 6′ with short arms but exceptionally quick and an excellent defender. a pass first point guard, excels in transition. those kind of players can sometimes improve their perimeter shooting just enough to keep them on the court. draftexpress thinks he might make the bigs as a reserve because he can defend the quick guards and has the hoops i.q.

  25. Other possible FAs for cash-strapped teams:

    The article lists a lot of guys who can’t help anyone, but a few guys who could contribute to the Warriors:

    Elton Brand (2013 salary $2.1 M, 34 years old)
    Samuel Dalembert (2013 salary $6.7M, 32)
    Rony Turiaf (2013 salary $6.7M, 30)
    Ryan Hollins (2013 Salary: $854,389, 28)

    The article also includes Michael Pietrus (2013 salary $670k, 31 years old). The Ws need to prioritize other positions far more than SF, but Pietrus is one of my all-time favorite players if only for this, one of the dirtiest yet still safe moves in the history of the NBA playoffs:


  26. Hey, does this work?

    • You can’t teach that stuff.

      At the time Pietrus pulled off that stunt his team was fighting for survival and, just seconds before, LeBron had flopped to send Garnett out of the game.

      The perfect move at the perfect moment. Yeah, dirty as all hell. Maybe that only means that only a true pro could have pulled it off.

      Imagine Harrison Barnes even attempting something like that.

  27. Correction:

    Turiaf earned $854,389 this past season.

    • the woeyrs should avoid adding broken down players who too frequently stay ‘inactive – injured’ in the box scores to back up bogut, for obvious reasons. brand and dalembert might work for the preacher because they’re smart vets, but the haitian might get more on the market than what myers wants to spend.

      • Fair enough. I’m concerned that Jackson and the FO might not value vets enough, Jefferson being the perfect example. If that is an issue for them, the Ws would just focus on more rookies next year. That would be unfortunate.

        • I’ve always been intrigued by Dalembert – but from what I’ve read, I question if he’d fit in particularly well with the W’s team-first, nice guy chemistry…

  28. Good stuff Hat.

    The Warriors still have some room to make some moves. By restructuring a salary or two, and by trading a big short contract for a long term contract.

    Hope Rush returns healthy. Jackson will probably play Rush limited minutes although arguably as good as shooter as Curry. We will see Rush get less playing time than Thompson. Probably so. And he’ll take very few shots as he did two years ago. Jackson really wastes Rush’s talent.

    • Ya know, Frank, I wonder if the Ws FO will simply trade Rush this summer. They’d have to prioritize Landry or Jack over him, they already have depth at Rush’s best position, they don’t seem anxious to quit promoting Barnes as a brilliant draft pick, and they have critical needs at PG and Big even if they re-sign everyone who played for them this season. It would make a kinda sick sense for the team to ditch Rush.

    • warriorsablaze

      “Jackson will probably play Rush limited minutes although arguably as good as shooter as Curry”

      What? There’s not a stat or “eye test” in existence that makes that “arguable”.

      The Warriors are shallow at the 2… with Jack or Curry as Klay’s only back ups when playing the 3 guard line up. Klay and Rush can play both 2 and 3… Barnes and Green can play the 3 or 4… I don’t think we’re particularly deep at Rush’s best position. Given the defensive weaknesses of Curry, Jack, and Barnes (though he’s the most likely to develop like Klay did)… having another wing who is a solid defender is an important tool to have.

      • Rush is a very selective shooter (picky) – and rarely forces shots… He was chided in Indiana – for not shooting more and being too unselfish…

        Thompson can create better than Rush and handle the ball better too. Both players – have problems finishing although Rush improved last season (he played) at finishing at the rim.

  29. As reported here (and nowhere else) at the time of the Bogut trade, Monta and Dwight Howard are exploring ways to play together.

    Can you imagine them both going to Dallas to play with Nowitzki?

    It’s coming… Monta Ellis the top-5 point guard.

    • howard and ellis are well matched ’cause neither does the pick and roll well, making it easy to eliminate from the offense. even with more basic guard-center exchanges, ellis never seemed very engaged — back when biedrins could score inside, davis and jackson could hook him up effectively but not ellis. howard will certainly provide something similar for ellis’ defense that sanders did in Mil. they’re not so well matched w. respect to ellis’ mediocre three point shooting.

      our peerless leader predicts top five point guard status for ellis — that would mean he surpasses curry or parker? ellis himself believes he’s better than paul.

      • “ellis himself believes he’s better than paul.”

        Is that fair? That was one high school player evaluating himself versus another, whom I believe he had played against.

        • in Mil ellis said something (on the topic of coming off the bench instead of starting) that he believes he could win the starting job on any team because he’d beat any guard on the roster in a head to head competition.

      • Here’s a game from last year when Ellis handled Chris Paul quite well. Paul was whining and crying all game. Ellis: 32 pts, 4-4 on 3s.

    • “Dirk Nowitzki and Vince Carter both voiced their support if it came to the point where Ellis would be available in free agency.”

      • It would be interesting to see Ellis with a good coach and a team that actually plays team D. That would be a first for him. I wonder how he would respond.

        Even better, with Dallas Ellis wouldn’t have to carry the load on offense. He hasn’t had that luxury since he tore up the league in his 2nd season, the year he led the league in offensive efficiency for several months.

        • Very interesting! Ellis, Nowitsky, and Howard? That would be sweet to watch… Ellis would max his potential at PG. Of course, Ellis would have to actually WANT to play PG and actually IMPROVE his PG skills/ball-handling.

          Oddly enough – OJ Mayo – a combo-type guard – could have been a great pairing for Ellis on paper. However, Mayo has been critical about Ellis’ defense (when the rumored Mayo/Ellis trades took place). And I don’t think Mayo and the Dallas coach – got along so well… Plus, Howard, Nowitsky, and Ellis – possibly Marion – would take up a lot of money to also pay Mayo what he wants…

  30. Thinking of writing one more post describing just how much of a genius Gregg Popovich is, and all of the many ways in which he has pwned Erik Spoelstra in this series.

    Have to wait until after the series concludes. I’ll decide then.

    • You have to wonder if Miller will start again, and I’m betting no. He’s part of the reason Ginobli was able to score, though Ginobli was also effective while Miller was out.

      If so, then what?

    • It has been fun watching Pop working for every edge. For example, I liked seeing him use Diaw to keep LeBron off the low post in the last game. It was the first time he did that, and it worked like a charm. Big boxout muscle on D, and Diaw distributing at the high post on offense. Result: LeBron shot 8-22 and only got 6 rebounds.

      • HOFer Pops will be a genius when Tim Duncan retires and Pops still wins a championship. Otherwise, he’s a just great, smart, experienced coach/GM.

  31. warriorblaze: Agree with you that Warriors will keep Rush.

    Disagree with you on whether Rush shoots better than Curry.He does In the 2011-2012 season, Rush shot 50% from the field compared to Curry’s 49% shooting. They both shot 45% on threes. Rush had a 61% eff. shooting %, Curry 58 eff. shooting %.

    Rush shooting 66% from the field when he went down this year. Rush not going anywhere.

    Thompson who played two minutes less per game than Rush, took 10 shots to Rush’s 7 shots per game. Of course, Jackson had Thompson do so even though Rush had a 61 err. shooting % compared to Thompson’s 52%. Playing more minutes this year, Thompson shooting % dropped.

    I think Warriors will find way to keep Jack. Maybe not Landry.

    • warriorsablaze

      You can’t compare straight up FG% between two players who have such vast differences in usage, role, and minutes. I like Rush a lot, but he’s mostly a spot up shooter (with some slashing improvements last season) and a back up player…borderline starter on a mediocre team. Curry shoots an absurd % of his 3’s off the dribble. He’s simply unique in this regard. Rush is an above average 3 pt shooter… Curry is arguably among the best shooters to ever play the game. Stats are useless if you ignore all context.

      • Spot on about Rush’s offense – limited to excellent spot up shooting and some slashing, but can spread the floor with his greater than 40 percent from three. Good athleticism (which the current W’s are lacking).

        Rush’s value is as a two-way player. I also like Rush’s near-elite defense… I’ve seen him shut down really good players when he was with Indiana. I’m always impressed with his closing speed when he blocks shots when trailing.

        I’d love to see this lineup some…

        Barnes or Green
        Bogut or Lee

        • warriorsablaze

          Rush is probably second only to Lebron at the trailing fast break block.

          That line up is incredibly thin of ball handlers. Klay is ok, but both Rush and Barnes are shaky at best.

          • Just my opinion – Subjective.

            How I see this lineup? Pure Nellieball. Our playoff W’s basketball.

            Barnes and Green – aren’t very good ball-handlers at SF, but at PF? Barnes and Green are excellent ball-handlers at PF position. They could even bring the ball up court – as PFs. And they can take most PFs off the dribble. 4 deadly three point shooters (Green still pending) – all spreading the floor, opening the lane – and make Curry’s/Thompson’s ball-handling jobs easier – trap and you’ll pay with an open three. And Rush is lethal hitting uncontested threes.

            And Bogut/Lee – are excellent ball-handlers/passers who see the floor well – at the Center position.

          • Defensively, this unit can be tough.

            Bogut at Center, Green at PF, Rush at SF, and Klay at SG.

            Throw in Bazemore at PG to close out quarters.

            This might be the W’s best defensive lineup.

  32. @29, WAB.

    I didn’t say it was a good idea to trade Rush. I think it would stink. But while he has played 2, his career never really took off until he played the 3 for the Ws. As a guard he’s a so-so ball handler. That makes him a 3. At the moment, it’s the deepest spot on the team, with Barnes, Thompson, Green and Jefferson all able to play there.

    You have to wonder:
    a) how much playing time Rush would get next year,
    b) how much pressure the Warriors would feel to use Rush’s salary on positions of greater need – bigs and pure guards especially, and,
    c) Factoring in the unrelenting Barnes/Thompson hype, do the Ws feel they have the need or the “luxury” to keep Rush on board when playing as a backup his salary is 4x that of Thompson or Barnes.

    I don’t know. I’d hate to see the Ws trade Rush. But I think it’s a real possibility.

    • Brandon Rush – especially coming off this horrendous injury – has little NBA trade value now. Perhaps only as an expiring contract (smaller) and the W’s have a ton of those.

      When Rush was an UFA and completely HEALTHY – because there was so little NBA interest for him – the W’s waited and were able to get him for only $4 million per with 2 year and a player option. Safe to say Rush exercised that option quickly. He’s injured goods now.

      Now with his devastating injury, someone wants to pay him $4 million?

      Us smarter W’s fans see Rush’s value as a two-way player with good character. Pacers fans generally did not. I hope the Pacers fans were happy with Lou Amundson! Lol!

  33. Great interview with Klay Thompson. To an absolute tee – Klay accurately states what he needs to work on this summer – driving to the rim, drawing contact, and efficiently finishing at the rim – and how he’s going to do this. I have more confidence now that Klay will take his game to another level next season after a summer with Team USA along with Harrison Barnes – who will improve just playing with the best young players in the game all summer.

  34. Hat: Didn’t mean to imply that you thought that Rush should be traded only that you thought Warriors might be considering that.

    Warrriorblaze: I think that Rush should be playing more than Thompson, as he is better shooter and defender. But, not if he refuses to shoot as he has demonstrated in the past.

    Have little doubt that Rush, if healthy, would still outshoot Curry if he played as much and took as many shots. The bottom line is who is more efficient shooting the ball. I think Rush is. Who puts the ball in the basket at a higher rate. Not how the ball came to land in the hoop. Who cares if you are shooting a greater percentage.

    He’s more than a spot-up shooter. He can take it to the hoop. Not that he’s a great finisher, but he will get to the foul-line.

    Don’t hear any recognition by Thompson that he has to work on not being an idiot on the court. Not sure he could do much about that if he did have some insight.

    With the finals coming to end, we should spend some time considering what is going on in the world.

    Need to comment on the situation in Syria. Seems like Obama is being played by the military. All of a sudden, after being told the rebels were doing quite well, we are told that rebels are losing in Syria. Was this said to manipulate the President into sending troops to stop a defeat?

    And if the President is being manipulated, is the claim they are losing made in tandem with the assertion that the Syria government used Sarin gas? Should to trust the government on this claim when in Iraq the U.S. manufactured information that the the government was developing weapons of mass destruction when they were not? Hopefully, we didn’t have troops or covert operatives in Syria before the President decided publicly to announce military support for the rebels.

    What gives the President the authority to send arms without the approval of the U.S. Congress, and where does Congress get the authority under our Constitution to send arms to a country we have not declared war on? Looking more and more like we’re a country that does what it pleases, not a country that operates under the Rule of Law.

    And this is the second time in a row that the U.S., whether acknowledging it, or not, has supported Al Quaeda rebels in overthrowing a countries government. The first was in Libya and now in Syria. They’ve been portrayed as our sworn enemy.

    This raises questions as to whether they have always been our guys. Whether we used them in the 90’s in the Russian republics (just before 9-11) thus resulting in US aid to the Russian Republics and to defending the oil pipelines. See Peter Dale Scott, On the Road to 9-11. Are they in fact, a covert paramilitary mercenary army that does our bidding in the mideast?

    What do you guys think of Edward Snowden? What did he mean when he states that the U.S. intelligence engages in “oppression.”

    Is U.S. intelligence fearful that with Snowden coming forward and blowing the whistle, other guys who engage in covert actions our citizenry will come forward and tell us what unseemly things have been down, in the U.S. and abroad?

    Up to now the press has focused on how invasions of privacy personnel liberty has prevented attacks in the U.S. The press does not bring enlightenment. They deliberately did not tell us of drug trafficking into to the US. during our wars in Vietnam, in Central America, and in the mideast. We had to find that out after the fighting had ended.

    But the question is who are these people working for and do they know who they are working for or are they being manipulated by cut-outs, third parties that are between the plotters and those actually doing these terrible deeds.

    Our nation’s U.S. Constitution was founded on the consent of the governed. Such is undermined when who do not have information that allows us to give consent to policies. And it allows for covert actions to be taken against our own people.

    We already had former CIA operative E. Howard Hunt on his deathbed saying he was a benchwarmer for President Kennedy’s assassination. Do we have to wait till others are dying to find out what else the covert operatives have done in this country? When are we going to know what actual took place while we lived on this planet, and who was responsible? Clearly, appointed Commissions like the WC didn’t have a clue.

    • Thompson has WAY more upside than Rush – Thompson gets the minutes first.

      GM Sam Presti doesn’t call up the GM Myers and ask if the W’s would trade James Harden for Brandon Rush…

      Rush is a limited player offensively. Rush can spread the floor with a dead-eye three and slash to the basket/finish/tip ins. That’s it. Rush can’t create well for others (HUGE). And Rush is a below average ball-handler who doesn’t see the floor so well IMO. A 10-point per game role player with excellent shot selection, great teammate, and near-elite defense? Yes.

      Thompson is capable to be so much more. Guys like me and FB and others – questioned if Klay could stay in front of his defender last season… In only his second season, Klay was assigned the tougher playoff covers – and EXCELLED. And was still asked to perform on offense. THAT’S why Klay gets the minutes. Potential for growth. And he’s already good.

      If Klay figures out how to draw a foul per game, take the ball to the lane more, and not choke on his open layups, he’s a 20-point per game scorer – and his shooting percentage moves higher.

  35. I should add that prior to the escalation of the U.S. war in Vietnam, U.S. intelligence gave reports to President Kennedy that the war was going well in hopes that he would escalate U.S. involvement for they determined that his psychological make-up was that if the war was going badly he would be less likely to send in American troops.

    At the same time U.S. intelligence was providing reports that the U.S. war was going badly, just the opposite of what they were telling President Kennedy, for the intelligence view of Johnson’s psychological make-up was that if the war was going badly, he would push for more U.S. troops as he didn’t want to see a row of dominos (different countries falling in Asia) as the result of a defeat.

    As a result,when Johnson became President he increased U.S. involvement to 500,000 troops resulting in 50,o00 plus U.S. casualties, and 3,000,000 million dead Vietnamese.

    So, the bottom line as early as the 60’s the intelligence community was manipulating the overt part of the U.S. government. They were not being merely a provided of intelligence but rather a manipulation of intelligence for their own ends. Not good. Have things changed?
    I doubt it.

    I recently ran into an ex-Marine who told me he was stationed at a U.S. base in North Vietnam for six months and that there were other bases there. Surely, the North Vietnam government knew of that. The public never learned of that from the press before or after the war.

    Also I spoke to a captured soldier who was in a North Vietnam jail at the time of the Vietnamese peace agreement who told me that he was not released when other prisoners were released, pursuant to the peace agreement, and only was released when a U.S. Marine unit fighting in North Vietnam stumbled upon the prison and they released the U.S. prisoners kept there.

    So, the U.S. was fighting in Vietnam after the peace agreement was made and the public had been told the soldiers had returned home. Did the U.S. press ever tell us that. No.d that

    • unfortunately that ‘theatre’ of war had many hidden compartments. just compare how many more international sources for news we’ve had in our more recent wars of imperialism to the access we had back then. and it could have been worse if the journalism and photojournalism profession didn’t attract its share of antiestablishment, dedicated, stubborn personalities. when elton brand played in LA he also produced films, including a Werner Herzog tale based on an actual person and p.o.w. camp called ‘Rescue Dawn’, Christian Bale contributing his usual strong work as the protagonist.

      what happened during the first bushII’s term in the months prior to 9/11 as far as manipulating intelligence, is far, far worse, because we weren’t hypnotized by a spectre of a monolithic commie superpower, on the contrary, threats could come in many sizes and from many places, as in the OKC bombing. with the recent release of documents, and some retired intelligence services personnel coming out with accounts, we’ve learned how the neocons controlling the prez’ inner council were dead set on building a case against saddam h. and suppressed anything that indicated other possibilities. in the spring prior to 9/11 the CIA had a fat brief prepared to show that al-queda was working on a major attack in the u.s. but the neocons shelved it.

      bushII was of course the perfect front man, with his depleted brain cells (booze and cocaine and who knows what else) and lack of intellectual curiosity. he was only going to hear or read the pre-digested, simplified versions of what the neocons fed him.

  36. Principles of Financial Arbitrage in Basketball:

    “We show that managers who allocate shots better increase team victories and improve their own job security.”

  37. @ 35 & 36,

    Frank, I think the “how and why” to your questions are so complex that it would be difficult even for the people involved to have the whole picture.

    But when in doubt, follow the money. Here’s how much we’re talking about:

    The Pentagon budget alone is 45% of the entire world’s military spending. A lot of money. And money talks.

    • In 2012, the Gross World Product totalled approximately US$84.97 trillion.

      The 2012 Pentagon budget was $1.75 trillion.


      At a time when the Pentagon’s only official target is Al Qaeda, an organization estimated to be no more than 1,000 people.

      Houston, we have a problem.

  38. Tempted to weigh into the fascinating political discussion, but time limited.

    Here are the major adjustments I saw Pop make in Game 5:

    The Heat realized in Game 4 that to win, they had to take Parker out of the game with double teams. Pop responded by taking Parker OFF THE BALL, inserting Manu Ginobili into the starting lineup to play point guard. (Similar to how the Warriors used Jarrett Jack to take pressure off Curry.) Pop also stopped picking for Parker, letting Parker isolate against his man instead. (The same adjustment Jackson made for Curry against Denver.)

    Ginobili went wild playing with the first unit, reminding me of something in Phil Jackson’s book The Last Season, which chronicles the year Gary Payton and Karl Malone went trophy hunting with Shaq and Kobe. To make room for Payton, Jackson moved Fisher to the second unit. And Fisher’s shooting stats plummeted, because he was easier to focus on, far less open, and his teammates less skilled in getting him the ball. For role players like Ginobili is now, playing with the first unit is actually easier.

    Spoelstra’s adjustments in Game 6: I feared he was getting chewed up by Pop, but Spoelstra responded like a champ in this game.

    Ginobili in the starting lineup caught them by surprise in Game 5, but the Heat were ready in Game 6. They trapped Ginobili hard on the pick and rolls, and with his diminished speed and handling, forced him to pick up his dribble almost immediately. 3 assists, 8 TOs after 10 assists, 3 TOs in the last.

    Spoelstra finally made up his mind to cover the 3 point shooters, particularly Green, and to leave Tim Duncan SINGLED (which you have to do to stay with the shooters). You saw the result: Duncan took 21 shots in this game, as opposed to 10 in the last. And scored 30 points.

    It might not look like it, but letting Duncan go off is a WIN for the Heat. For one thing, Duncan is scoring by twos, not threes. And secondly, it forces the 37 yr old to expend a lot more energy. We saw a tremendous decrease in energy from Duncan in the fourth quarter of last night’s game — like his legs stopped working.

    As far as Parker’s isolations, Spoelstra got LBJ onto him early and often in this game. And continued trapping every pick and roll, of course.

    As for the series, I have to feel that the third straight game on a short turnaround will favor the Heat. Parker suffered cramping in his legs in the fourth quarter last night, and I expect Duncan and Ginobili to weaken as well. As for Wade, well, I think last night’s fourth quarter demonstrated amply just how much better the Heat are with him off the court. He was -15 for the game. And for the Series, the Heat O-rtg with Lebron and Wade on the court together is 92; with Lebron and no Wade, 143. (O-rtg is I believe pace adjusted points per possession, and that is quite a differential.)

    • Very fine, illuminating, FB, and thanks. Ginobli still had openings to step up where he could have made a difference but failed. There was a moment with 40s to go that just astonished me. LBJ had Parker on him, drove—and failed. I thought the game was locked up then. The player who impressed me was Diaw, in a minor but essential way. So many different players with experience, ready to step up, and a plan to make use of them.

      Thursday will be a test.

    • Stephen Jackson: hard feelings?

      In a Twitter/Instagram world, PR hacks know they must only send clear, simple, unambiguous messages. Everything is black/white, up/down, left/right, 100% for or 100% against. People and situations are always more complex than that, but conveying complexity in 140 words or less is nearly impossible.

      I think SJax probably did say a few unhappy words about the Spurs, and the reporter in this article selectively emphasized them for the “slant” he wanted: SJax disses Pop!

      Reality is not that simple, but reality is not the issue here.

      Jax is a fine player, a tough SOB, and a winner. But if he wants another NBA contract anywhere, he should shut the hell up and let a pro PR guy speak for him. This single stupid news article could end his career. I hope not, but it might.

    • Not surprisingly, Mark Jackson knows how news/PR works. He turns a plus for the Kings (hiring Malone) into a double-plus for the Warriors (they took our guys).

      Does anyone believe Jackson wishes ALL success to Malone’s Kings? That would include kicking his Warriors ass.

      But hey, we’re talking PR here, not reality. Nothing Jackson could say would change Malone’s deal, so Jackson’s only realistic PR goal is to score any points available. A damn fine job:

      “The Ws are great. Sacramento’s coaching hires prove it. Go Ws.”

    • “Oh BTW, I was the one who made this season’s coaching look great, not that guy.”

      Damn, this is going to be a fun rivalry.

      • Sac fared pretty well against the woeyrs even with smart on the bench. if malone gets cousins focused more consistently and puts the back court in order, we could see some good scuffling for the lower playoff seeds next season.

  39. Frank @ 35:

    Thanks for the tip on Peter Dale Scott. Just picked up the book. He was at Berkeley—English—while I was there, and I regret now not taking a course from him.

    • as our (other)resident savant noted, just follow the money. the power brokers don’t base their ‘investment decisions’ [which of course involve arms purchases, lots of $$ to be made there] on ideology. mike nichols even made a popular film about the $$ made funding the resistance fighters (some of whom evolved into the taliban and/or al-queda) in afghanistan during the soviet invasion/occupation, ‘Charlie Wilson’s War’. we all learned how our government used $$ from drug trafficking to fund covert ops in several conflicts, in asia and central amerika. we’ve supported some of the great sociopathic autocrats in history (henry ford and other u.s. capitalists would have been happy to back Hitler and the country stayed conveniently neutral well after cousin adolf obliterated the western allies/competitors), including saddam h. during BushI, if the plutocrats and their power brokers thought it would be better for their bidness.

      • One of the great mysteries to me is why the Bush administration, at the height of US power, without any serious world opposition, and after the seeming (and false but still accepted) victory in Afghanistan, did not capitalize on its gains instead of pursuing the disastrous Iraq war. Even if we accept the validity of power and pure self-interest, their behavior was bizarre and self-defeating on those terms. Some kind of planned occupation would have served their interests—and perhaps spared many innocent lives as well, though not an interest.

        Scott provides a possible answer (I started reading his book today). The inner circle, removed from public discourse and debate as well as from any objective counter to its assumptions and self-fed information, was left to believe its own interpretations of the world, which bordered on paranoia. Money ultimately corrupts the money changers themselves. Scott said something similar happened to Spain in the 1500s.

        • @rgg – having once worked in the defense industry and once Cheney was in as VP – I predicted US involvement in a major war. Unfortunately, I was right. Savy, risk-taking Wall Street Traders also bought up shares of defense contractors after that election primarily based on this premise and were rewarded handsomely. Cheney, formerly the CEO of Halliburton – an oil company but also a huge defense contractor whose claim in the 90’s was something along the lines that Halliburton could mobilize 100,000 civilians to anywhere in the world in 2 weeks time.

          One really can’t make this stuff up…

          • Thanks, PB. My question is why Cheney, shrewd as he is, didn’t manage the Iraq war in such a way that he could have made more profits for the money brokers and shore up his and others’ power in the government. A well managed occupation would have done the trick, or at any rate would have been his best option. He had the influence and the means at his disposal and there was no effective opposition. Instead, Cheney lost all his power and his position. Suggested here is that he really didn’t know what he was doing and that his behavior is blind and self-destructive.

  40. Interesting wording from Myers:

    “We have an ownership group that if we designate a player worth spending on, they’ll give us the green light.”

    Hmm. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone in the organization speak of “the ownership group” before. I guess it’s not just Joe Lacob’s call then. I wonder if that represents a change, or if it has always been like that in the Lacob era.

    • you’re our resident authority on organizational behaviour, but what if myers was being dissembling, and wanted to avoid giving the impression that lacob really is the wizard of id. guber isn’t going to have much input over that kind of decision — maybe the younger lacob. myers wouldn’t come out with ‘it’s joe and kirk’s call’, either. if kirk is the analytics guy, then he’d have input determining who’s ‘worth spending on’. it’s the same question, would cheaper replacements for jack or landry give them the same chance to return to the playoffs. are their $$ better spent on a vet replacement for ezeli ?

    • The Warriors are desperate for cheap rookies, as they are completely capped out with bad contracts. Since they’ll need to be replacing Jack, Ezeli and Bogut on limited funds, they’re in a bit of a jam.

      If you add up Lacob’s and his ex-wife’s stake, you still come up short of 50%, right? So I’m guessing “the ownership group” must be consulted before every expenditure.

      • “I hate to say this, but the owner matters.”
        –Joe Lacob

        Meyers earlier said that all decisions were made by group discussion. He didn’t say, however, who had the deciding vote, and all indications are it is Lacob. Lacob himself has said as much on many occasions.

        It looks however, that while he controls personnel decisions, he doesn’t hold the purse strings, that he has to appeal to the other owners for any kind of expenditure. Which may explain his frugal spending.

      • guber probably gives lacob carte blanche on roster decisions and player signings, simply because his interests are so scattered he couldn’t possibly keep up with the details, and those details make or break signings and trades. and they’re probably the two principals on the paper for the league loan. the lacob pere et fils have the votes that matter for the hoops ops.

  41. I haven’t seen this before:

    Smart “represented a continuation of the Don Nelson era. He was trained by Don Nelson for seven years. It wasn’t the mind-set of what we wanted to do,” says Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob, who was encouraged by team consultant Jerry West to make the coaching change.

    I’m curious exactly how Smart was a continuation of Nelson, especially when he went out of his way to reverse Nelson strategy, perhaps to please the owner and keep his job. I’m also curious what part West had in this conversation and what he actually said.

    Do we need any more proof that Lacob is a weasel?

    • lacob doesn’t want to hurt smart’s opportunities for future employment, so he isn’t going to publicly say, we let smart fail or succeed on his own merits and he failed. if lacob really believed his words about smart being a continuation of nelson, he truly has little hoops comprehension for all the hours he obsesses with it. (and we can remain open to this being the case !) obviously it’s a very convenient line with superficial plausibility.

      • “So he isn’t going to publicly say, we let smart fail or succeed on his own merits and he failed.”

        Well, that would be stretching the truth too, no? And to associate Smart with Nelson is to associate him with what Lacob previously termed a losing culture, the “sins of the past.” Hardly a strong promotion to give Smart a chance elsewhere. If he wanted to respect Smart, he would have skipped the bit about Nelson altogether. No, I think you’re giving Lacob too much credit. He is being a toad here. Or a weasel. Take your pick.

        • Lacob’s comments about firing Smart are about Lacob’s philosophy and his plans for the Warriors. I seriously doubt that Keith Smart is on Lacob’s radar at all.

  42. I doubt we’ll ever get an answer, or won’t get one any time soon, but I’m curious why Ranadive left the organization. Maybe he just wants to run the show himself, but it’s hard not to believe he wasn’t dissatisfied with the way things were being done.

    Bird, I see, is not coming to Sacramento. He was offered, however, part ownership, which I assume means his voice would have carried some sway, and that Ranadive accepted this. We have no evidence West has similar clout. If you assemble a team, you give the members true voice.

    Ranadive on the selection of D’Alessandro for GM:

    “When I evaluate people to join my team, I ask three questions – who’s the smartest guy in the room, who’s the hungriest and who’s the most passionate? In the final analysis, there was one name that stood head and shoulders above all others, and that was Pete.”

    • Ranadive again:

      “I’m going to do what I do in my business, which is surround myself with people that are way smarter than me.”

    • Why Ranadive left the Ws:

      “With help from the city, Ranadive plans to build a $448 million arena at Downtown Plaza and redevelop the rest of the ailing mall for a total investment that could surpass $1 billion.”

      Note that first clause, “with help from the city.” Sacramento’s assistance to the Kings appears to be far more secure than SF’s donations to Lacob. In addition, the overall payback looks far larger. The Kings get a stake in a major redevelopment of the city center, not just an arena and a few condos in an odd corner of town.

      Read more here:

      • Ranadive – Didn’t he purchase the Kings for more money than Lacob and his ownership group purchased the Bay City Warriors?

        Ranadive is a Silicon Valley guy. If I’m Ranadive, I’d let the Kings stadium deal die out and then move the Kings to San Jose. I know this won’t happen, but if I’m Ranadive, that’s what I’d try to do. Let Sacramento – which is hurting financially – and the NBA completely fund the deal. If they can’t get it done, propose to move to San Jose. I hear the San Jose City Mayor is just dying (suing) to bring another major pro franchise there! Lol!

        • The NBA is heavily invested in the Warriors, so it seems unlikely that they would permit another franchise to move into the Bay Area until the Ws are settled into a new arena somewhere.

          The whole point to running the NBA is to enrich the owners. It’s a business. It really is debatable whether most teams can turn a profit from basketball operations alone. Their biggest potential payback is from acquiring donations from host cities.

          Moving (or threatening to move) a team is good business. It stirs new donations from host cities. The majority of Ranadive’s payback in his new Sacramento deal will be from real estate profits, not basketball revenues. The exact details are unclear (as usual, voters are being kept in the dark), but the investment numbers they’re tossing around in Sacto are almost TWICE what we’ve heard about Lacob’s deal with SF. The Ws could clear a billion or two. The Kings might do twice as well.

          Unlike SF, whose benefit from the Ws really is debatable, Sacramento does look to gain significantly from a big real estate development project with a big infusion of outside cash. Redeveloping downtown Sacramento could re-invigorate the whole city. That’s their thinking, anyway, and it’s why they went after the Kings so hard.

          Sacramento is highly motivated. Oakland might be motivated, but they’ve been burned badly several times (mostly by Al Davis), and don’t appear to be able to offer anything like SF’s offer, let alone Sacramento’s. As with Candlestick Park, there’d be little profit in redeveloping the area around Oracle Arena. Unlike San Francisco or Sacto, Oakland doesn’t have anything else to offer right now. It takes years to assemble an offer for an NBA arena.

          San Francisco and San Jose don’t really need NBA franchises to remain viable, dynamic cities with strong real estate values. I could see a pro basketball team sharing the Sharks arena someday, but they wouldn’t get the level of financial help from SJ that Sacto is offering. They’re more likely to get a low-budget semi-pro team of some sort.

          Even that won’t happen if another city makes a better offer. Santa Clara, for example, must be very highly motivated to leverage their investment in the new 49ers stadium complex.

          But hey, I don’t know anything. I’m no playah.

          • @Hat – Dead on about NBA and real estate. SF Giants too.

            Arco Arena and now the Natomas area – were empty fields of golden grass (summer) far away from any services… The County or City of Sacramento – spent a lot of money to provide services all the way out to Arco Arena which was in the middle of nowhere so that the free or cheap land could be used for the stadium. Today? The infill development from the services that were provided – is now unrecognizable – it’s a city on it’s own with retail and residential complexes, etc.

            My opinion only – I think the Sacramento market is just small potatoes. Should the W’s move to San Francisco, you’d think a team can move near the largest city population-wise in San Jose in the whole Bay Area and home of the tech universe (sponsors). The Bay Area has 2 major league baseball teams, 2 NFL teams, why not 2 NBA basketball teams? There’s a reason why the W’s do well with fans and it’s not necessarily marketing or the consistent losing – it’s the only bball show in town. I want one more! Lol! I guess I’ll have to settle for Sacramento.

          • PB, I’m totally with you. I want a 2nd NBA team in the Bay Area ASAP. The area could easily support two or even 3 teams, and it would be good for fans. If nothing else, competition for our interest would guarantee we got some actual NBA basketball instead of the amateurish simulations we’ve been fed for so long.

      • For the purpose of comparison, how successful has AT&T park been, both in revenue and profit and increase of value of the site/franchise?

        • If you can find any public records on the topic, I’d be very interested. Miraculous revelations are fascinating.

    • we’ll get to see another case history of the Peter Principle played out in the tale of two teams. mullin in GS as an exec — reaching the level of his incompetency. for Sac, he appears to have reached a position more appropriate to his competency as a ceremonial/good mojo ‘advisor’ while his subordinate in his GS exec days, d’Alessandro, will be the personnel chief. to be determined, whether Ranadive, Malone, d’Alessandro have attained the level of their incompetence or competence. one hopes for the latter — competition improves the species, right ?

  43. Felty: I agree with you that a Thompson-Barnes is not the long-term SG-SF tandem the Warriors need given that either can hardly be considered a two-way player.

    It will be interesting to see which of the rookies along with money to obtain a first round pick in this year’s draft.

    • I’d be pretty darn afraid of trading Klay or Harrison… Either one could turn out to be better than the player we’d be getting in return – and have long NBA careers for us to think and bitch about.

      In light of this, I’d be open to sign-and-trade for Andre Igoudala should he opt out and Mozgov or Koufos! Lol!

      IF the W’s can gain some more cap space to re-sign Jack and Landry – like say the W’s could pay Andre Iggy less in his first season, etc,… The Denver Nuggets are well under the cap. Or the W’s take on less money (give the Nuggets another player salary) as the Nuggets have the cap space.

      Do the Nuggets STILL have trade exceptions left from the Camelo Anthony deal?

      Denver will have a new GM who’s not going to lose Iggy for nothing. They might be game. If they insist on Klay, forget the deal. Klay would be absolutely deadly lethal on that team! Lol! Unfortunately, I’d let Harrison Barnes go first if they bite plus a #1 pick…

      • with the new personnel exec installed, both the owner and the new hire have declared their intentions to re-sign iguodala. the player himself was still using the team’s facilities to train and practice, and his agent is talking with them, so the ties haven’t been completely severed yet.

        • Iggy and his agent are playing the game. It’s best for him to stay in Denver for the $ and they have all the cap space to keep him. Although Iggy’s on record saying he’s opting out, Iggy’s agent is good – his last deal was very lucrative.

          I’m still intrigued by Playoff Barnes – and don’t mind just seeing how much he can improve. He’s one heck of a small ball 4.

  44. Did the Warriors in the end get nothing back in the draft by trading both Jenkins and Tyler?

    • Probably nothing in return – 2nd round picks were heavily protected and being that Tyler didn’t survive in Atlanta… Just cash lost.

      The $1 million to buy the 2nd round pick from Atlanta originally. And whatever monies the 76ers and Hawks – were paid to take these two players/contracts. I’m pretty sure these teams weren’t exactly knocking on our door asking for these two players. The W’s were salary dumping mode to get under the cap.

  45. addendum to illustrate the $$ in arms deals and the real purpose of the u.s. economy and much of what we all do, including big $$ spectator sports [very interesting lawsuit now taking place against the NCAA].

    our occupation forces, preparing to exit Afghanistan, have already scrapped 2,ooo special bomb resistant armoured personnel carriers which cost $11m. each. eventually, they will abandon around $7 billion worth of equipment because of the prohibitive cost of removal. we can count on some of it being used to destabilize the corrupt states in the region including the regime ostensibly running that country at present, and a fair amount recycled by the China or India and resold at a big profit back to u.s. consumers.

    • I’d kinda like a bomb-resistant SUV, myself. It would be COOL.

      • oui. the ideal outcome would be for the plaintiffs to get a settlement and the $$ go for scholarships to the most deserving who can’t afford school and aren’t going to get ‘athletic scholarships’. ain’t happenin’.

        • Right, that ain’t happenin’. The case could be either an opportunistic money grab by a car salesman, or a principled effort to right the wrong of universities profiting from virtual slave labor.

          It’s not clear how the case will resolve. The worst possible outcome for the NCAA would be for them to be forced to pay their student athletes in some way, under some conditions, at some times.

          NO WAY will this case be used to leverage broader access to college education. Normal people are not NCAA athletes.

  46. I believe a footnote in the book Decent Interval, listed the number of US warships, destroyers, air craft carriers, military jets planes, and other military equipment, totaling billion of dollars, that the Pentagon found unaccounted for after the Vietnam war. It’s not easy for destroyers and warplanes to simply disappear.

    We supported the Taliban in their takeover of Afghanistan and provided 31 million dollars in aid just before the horrific events on 9-11, With the Taliban removal, it’s my understanding we installed the worse corrupt government composed of exiles who hadn’t been in Afghanistan in 30 years, and they were installed under the condition that they would do as we say, and not act independently in the interest of Afghanistan. Not exactly bringing democracy to that country.

  47. rgg: Peter Dale Scott is a former Canadian Intelligence officer. Writes some good stuff regarding the dark forces that work together and exercise the real in this country.

    At one point in time the mafia and U.S. intelligence according to Chicago mobster Sam Giacana (sp?) were both working together “on the same side of the coin.”Such was evident when the U.S. Navy asked a parole board to release Lucky Luciana the head of organized crime and serving a long sentence to be released early so that he could help in our war effort in Sicily. He was released, he helped U.S. intelligence, then returned to the U.S. to continue selling drugs on the streets of NY.

    Because U.S. intelligence were working with the mob, and wanted to hide such connection, that J.Edgar Hoover said there was no organized crime in America.

    When you attend a cocktail party if you want to demonstrate how knowledgeable you are, just drop that Meyer Lansky’s son attended West Point. It’s true.

  48. The company that Ed Snowden worked for is part of the Carlyle group that has a $7 billion contract with the NSA to do intelligence work. $7 billion. Why do we have a NSA if they contract out to private firms intelligence work. With the Company having a profit motive is too far to suspect that phone calls may be created to show the necessity of their spying work resulting in even future larger contracts?

    It’s Snowden who claims our government is a government of “oppression.” What does he have to support that claim?

    So, when the NSA now says it’s interception of phone calls resulted in the thwarting of 20 attacks on the US, they do so without providing the names of the bad guys nor whether they were captured or kill. There is no indication they were tried in a court of law.

    Are we merely to accept what they say with no evidence presented to the American people to all these open questions?

  49. “For God’s sake, you’re financing your own assassins.”

    Afghan exile to U.S. State Department official, 1980s

    From Scott’s book. He talks about the CIA’s covert actions to harass the Soviets in Afghanistan. He reviews CIA director Casey and VP Bush’s policy (quoted from the book):

    “1. to favor Islamist fundamentalists over native Sufi nationalists,

    2. to sponsor an ‘Arab Afghan’ foreign legion that from the outset hated the United States almost as much as the USSR

    3. to help them to exploit narcotics as a means to weaken the Soviet arm [heroin production in Afghanistan skyrocketed during this time]

    4. to help expand the resistance campaign into an international jihadi movement, to attack the Soviet Union itself, and

    5. to continue supplying the Islamists after the Soviet withdrawal, allowing them to make war on Afghan moderates”

    In short, helped the growth of Islamist extremism that produced both the Taliban and al Qaeda.

    Scott also details all the moves and arms deals with Iranian fundamentalists, channeled by prominent US bankers (David Rockefeller, etc.) to stall the return of the Iran hostages and thus help ensure Reagan’s election.

    And this is only one part of the whole picture and story.

    We like to make fun of conspiracy theorists and always suspect them, but the book is filled with, page after page, the names of shadow groups and public and not so public figures, and of banks, and bank accounts, and millions and millions of dollars and arms and drugs passing hands. Sometimes Scott has to connect dots, but he didn’t make these names and figures up. It’s just dizzying and I can’t keep up. Small wonder these guys couldn’t keep up with what they were doing, either.

  50. rgg: The real sad thing is that the mainstream press has been a mouthpiece for our national security apparatus and has not told the public that our national security apparatus supported islamic radicals in overthrowing governments.

    By doing so, newspapers like the NYT has put Americans at risk. Having authors like Peter Dale Scott who documents this support by the the U.S. government and is read sparingly does nothing for illuminating what has taken place.

    I spoke to someone shortly after 9-11. They told me that a guy in Afghanistan to find out where terrorist were training. He had no trouble determining where their bases were located. It reported this to military superiors and nothing was done to eliminate these bases. Probably because they wanted them to escape before we sent troops in. This placed on our troops in jeopardy.

    No bombings, no attacks, no nothing. If someone tells me this story, whether true or not, where is our mainstream press? They would never publish such a story if true, for such would unravel the apple cart. We have a free press in only the most limited sense.

    Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein, in the 1970’s in an article in Rolling Stone point out that the US had hundreds of journalists on it’s payroll.

    It shouldn’t be allowed that defense contractorWestinghouse owns CBC, and General Electric owns I believe NBC and MNBC. One can watch national broadcasts on both networks and see how there is hardly any criticism of either the military nor of intelligence agencies. No surprise there.

    The drugs including heroin that the US allowed grown in Afghanistan for political purposes was sent to the U.S. just as the CIA had it’s own company Air America transport heroin in southeast Asia during the Vietnam war, was ultimately sent to the U.S.

    I spoke to someone who worked for AT&T in the 90’s that told me that AT&T had a lot of listening equipment for which there were no invoices or records that they had been purchased. Just scary.

    It appears no one protects the American people. I believe 99% of our intelligence persons want to do so, and the believe they are doing so, but 1 % of them are running circles around them and they don’t know that. I doubt that even Snowden knows that, although he does say the U.S. intelligence and the government is “oppressive.”

    I urge all of you to speak to veterans who are friends or at bars, and hopefully they will share what they know for our press is making no attempt to do so.

    • OK, I finished Scott’s The Road to 9/11, and thanks for the tip. This is a scary, scary book.Cheny et al. long before 9/11 had plans to invade Iraq to take control of the oil as well as restructure power (his work on FEMA, etc.).

      From the PNAC study, Rebuilding America’s Defenses, September 2000 (Cheney and Rumsfeld were supporters):

      “The process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor.”

      To which Scott comments:

      “. . . it would take something like a pearl Harbor to get America to accept an aggressive war. So the question to be asked is whether Cheney, Rumsfeld, or any others whose projects depended on ‘a new Pearl Harbor’ were participants in helping to create one.”

  51. “The technology industry’s newest wealth is swallowing up the San Francisco Peninsula.”

    George Packer wrote a fine piece in The New Yorker (May 27) about the other and off worldliness of Silicon Valley and SF tech moguls.

    “The industry’s splendid isolation inspires cognitive dissonance, for it’s an article of faith in Silicon Valley that the technology industry represents something more utopian, and democratic, than mere special-interest groups.”

    These are the people Lacob and Guber are trying to court with their glitzy, gadgety arena, this is the world they want to join. Gavin Newsom is part of the group, peddling influence. And presumably they share a similar mind, a similar worldview.

    “Newsom’s successor, Ed Lee, was elected with the support of a technology investor named Ron Conway, who organized several hundred companies into an interest group called Conway told me, ‘We got Lee elected mayor, and he did two things for the tech community: he stopped the private companies’ stock-option tax, and he kept Twitter in San Francisco.’ Conway also spent money to help a challenger take Olague’s seat on the Board of Supervisors. (Olague was considered an obstacle to development projects.) Once in office, Mayor Lee intervened in regulatory matters in ways that benefitted two companies in which Conway is a major investor. . . . But the main purpose of is to persuade the city government to make policies that benefit the technology industry. When I asked Conway if’s interests might ever diverge from the general public’s, he couldn’t think how they might. The handshake between the industry and City Hall is so strong that people in San Francisco insisted on going off the record before saying that Lee has made himself look like Conway’s man.”

    • I posted this earlier about Guber and the proposed arena:

      His goal is for no one to walk out of the Golden State Warriors’ new San Francisco arena, slated to open in 2017 as the most digital sports venue in the world. Mr. Guber is probably the only major American sports team owner who discusses his stadium in terms of bitrate availablity and having its own dedicated operating system, and he has some seriously next-level ideas for the Warriors’ next arena. Paperless tickets and smartphone ordering of concessions are just the beginning of Mr. Guber’s vision.

      “The difference with location-based entertainment is that fans think they can affect the game,” Mr. Guber said. “This has to be iconic.”

      “This has to be a digital venue that serves as a beacon and lightning rod for the San Francisco Bay Area community,” he said.

  52. Warriors working out this dog, a strong signal that they won’t be bringing back Carl Landry:

    • do the bible thumpers need another ‘amen brother’ that badly ? elton brand isn’t much older, and put up >10 boards per 36 min. last season for Dal at a salary of 2.1m.

      the team could easily become another example how much easier it is for a mediocre team that reached the limit of its incompetence to revert to the .500 level, than make the next step and reach the conference finals. any number of western teams including playoff perennials like LA-L and Dal would be happy to climb over the backs of the lacobites.

    • The guy’s last gig was in Argentina. Who even knew they played basketball in Argentina?

      I hope he’s not an example of the type of players the Ws think they should add to the team this year. A workout is not a contract, but I haven’t heard of them talking with any NBA players.

      • we know you’re kidding, but for those who missed it, here’s a partial list of Argentine major leaguers : C.Delfino, M.Ginobili, A.Nocioni, F. Oberto, P.Prigioni, L.Scola. not even including those in the euro leagues. during the cohan regime they found young free agents like morrow, watson, r.williams, tolliver. if they’re willing to buy a draft pick, why wouldn’t they consider euro players who would have to have their rights purchased from their teams ? has lacob really invested in scouting, or is he too busy greasing the palms of politicos and lobbyists to get those piers cleared for his billboards ?

        • This NBA draft is supposedly deep in PGs. The W’s can buy a 2nd rounder and pick up a backup PG/combo guard. Jack will get offered starters money again – and won’t be able to refuse the money. Then Jack will show us again why he’s never been much of a starter to begin with after he gets his new rich deal.

          Losing Landry will be painful as he is the W’s best down low threat. I’ll be happy to settle for more Draymond Green – with his playoff game not his regular season so much. And Harrison Barnes is an excellent small ball 4… With Brandon Rush around healthy (fingers crossed), I’m hoping Harrison Barnes is used more often at PF.

          Losing Ezeli will be painful if no replacement is acquired. Andris is in his contract year… Perhaps? No, I’m sorry for even thinking optimistically.

          Perhaps a player like Dalembert would sign a short and cheap deal.

          • very few rookie guards would be ready to take substantial minutes leading an offense against n.b.a. defenses ; it happens more often with bad or desperate teams, and lillard was highly praised for doing so well. jenkins got to play in the tank season, but when the proceedings turned more earnest, the preacher pushed him down to the end of the bench. jackson isn’t likely to give a rookie guard the exposure and court time to learn on the job. he isn’t going to sit his starters when they’re healthy like popovich and give the back ups serious trials. bazemore will probably get increased opportunities, but his turnovers in d league games suggest he would need to make significant progress this summer.

            if they don’t wish to take a big plunge into the lux tax, they can choose to use their mid level exception either to replace jack with another vet, or get help to patch the vacancies left by ezeli and probably landry. if they commit to paying the tax on the other hand, they might try for an vet who can improve the team rather than just plugging in hopefuls.

          • PB, I think the Ws might have had a shot at keeping Jack and Landry if they hadn’t lost Ezeli.

            FB has called Ezeli the guy who saved this season, and there’s some truth to that. Bogut’s reliability is questionable next season too, and the Ws need a backup for him in any case.

            If the Ws are concerned about that cap – and they say they are – Ezeli’s stand-in is essentially going to have to come from the money the team was paying Jack and Landry this past season. No other players are coming of the books this summer, so the team needs to turn those two players into 3.

            So they’re suddenly scouring the world for bargains.

            As for bringing in a good vet to actually improve the team, I don’t think it’s in the plan this summer. Next year they’ll have the cap room to totally remake the team. This summer they’re looking for cheap placeholders (which of course means extended minutes for the starters again next season).

          • RE: C
            I’d actually like to see Bogut and Lee – take turns playing Center – and Andris be their backup, until Ezeli comes back… Fortunately, Ezeli only plays 15 minutes per game albeit at a super high energy level. Bogut should be able to play more games than he did last season.

            RE: PGs – W’s just have to wait it out and see who’s available on the cheap. I’d like the W’s to find a gem in the draft – Isiah Thomas like. I don’t see ownership spending all their mid-level on only 1 player with their cap situation. Thankfully, there are usually CJ Watson-, Nate Robinson-type back up veteran PGs available. Cheap.

            Scott Machado and Kent Bazemore are our no action alternatives at PG. I’d like to see Bazemore play a lot more minutes, I just don’t see the PG fit – he “looks” more like a SG to me. And I don’t know what to think of Machado yet.

            Yes, the W’s bench depth quality will definitely take a step back this season. Fingers crossed for Rush coming back strong.

            I am expecting the W’s front office – to fill the holes – like they did last season with Rush, Landry, and Jack and the draft bonanza. I’m confident they will find a diamond in the rough. Somewhere.

            In Jerry West I Trust.

  53. Profile of Klay Thompson and his father. New term: “Klay-ups”

    I share Dad’s belief that Klay will have a breakout season next year.

    • Funny video – Klay’s being coached by his dad – a solid NBA big in his day, but Klay couldn’t even hit open 6-footers around the rim in his short shoot-around – which Klay also seems to miss during the games. Hearing footsteps or rushing his layups, should Klay adjust finishing around the rim – which his father wants him to do, Klay’s shooting percentage moves up in the mid-40’s. Should he learn to draw even a little contact, Klay will easily be a 20 PPG scorer with decent percentages. And Klay’s defense particularly towards the end of the season really impressed me.

    • warriorsablaze

      “Klay-ups” has been around all season on GSOM…. Marcus Thompson picked it up from those same folks chattering on Twitter.

      “Klank” was the term of Klay’s rookie season due to his brick-laying first few months.

      The 3rd season is historically a common breakout year… here’s hoping he won’t have a new derogatory nickname to overcome next season.

  54. If the Warriors tandem next year is Bogut-Biedrens at center. The back- up point guards as being Bazemore-Mercado. The Warriors are in a world of hurt. But I still expect the Warriors to find a way to resign Jack.
    They still have ways to improve the team so let’s see how it plays out.

    With more playing time this year, Thompson’s play declined. He’s already played in the NbA the equivalent of almost five college sera sons. He is what he is. He puts to much rotation on the ball and has to many moving parts to ever be a consistent shooter. We’ve seen his best, he’s unlikely to improve.

    With Lacob trying to abandon Oakland and Jackson not going to lead the Warriors to the promise land, it’s time to start giving some affection affection to the Kings.

    • Sac is one of several teams in the west facing transitional changes. anyone here think Den and GS will repeat as the sixth and third playoff seeds ? new coaches in Sac, Den, LA-C, Mem, roster shakeups in other places like UT and Dal, SA probably re-tooling to give duncan another run for the trophy.

      • @Moto – Agreed – I also expect way too much change/turnover and uncertainty in the West to comment about playoff seeding musical chairs right after the NBA Finals.

        The Lakers could decide to amnesty the injured Kobe Bryant (Kobe might be injured the entire contract anyways) freeing up $30 million in cap space, re-sign UFA C Dwight Howard, sign UFA PG Chris Paul, trade veterans Pau Gasol/Steve Nash to fill out the roster with a team full of good role players, and sign a handful of good vets for the minimum because they just signed Howard and Paul!!!

        Too much can happen!

        @Frank – Klay not a consistent shooter? Klay has a CAREER 40 percent shooting percentage from 3 point land… How many NBA players average at least 5 three pointers a game and make 40 percent of them for their career? Not many… I’d say Klay’s not only a consistent perimeter shooter, but one of the best perimeter shooters in the game today. It’s Klay’s close-in shot inconsistencies that drop his overall shooting percentages. I’m sure I could confirm this with an hour or two of looking at shooting charts and other stats, but I’m pretty confident about this watching the games alone. Lol!

        • what depresses thompson’s accuracy are the same shots that afflict other jump shooters, including the legendary ellis — bad selection 14-23 feet off the dribble. everyone wants to be like the smirk, and he isn’t as good at it as he thinks he is, either.

    • Should Landry can get starter money elsewhere – good luck to him. I for one am going to miss the double biceps pose on big And 1 finishes in the paint! And all the pump fakes…

  55. PeteyBrian: You’re right, Thompson’s 2 point shooting drives down his shooting fairly well on his 3-pointers. You should remember he takes more 2’s than 3’s. Also, he does not get to the foul-line.

    Thompson simply does not provide the Warriors with extra possessions, like K. Leonard does big time, as when Thompson number of OR’s and steals are added up per game, and from that total, his turnovers are subtracted. But that might change if the coach built into offensive plays as Pop does, Thompson going to the offensive boards.

    We drafted the wrong guy and are paying for it and will continue to pay for it. But, yes, he’s ok.

    • Sure Kawhi Leonard is a great young two-way player on a veteran team. But let’s not forget K. Leonard didn’t shoot well from the perimeter in college – just like Moe Harkless. And that’s a bad jump shot away from being the next Dominic McGuire. And every year, there’s always Dominic McGuire’s in the NBA draft.

      I’m happy with the pick. Klay Thompson is a good NBA player. Now. With some more growth coming. Very nice pick for #11 in that draft.

      And Klay helped stop the “streak” in San Antonio in Game 2. 14 rebs (2 OR), 3 steals, and 1 turnover! 34 points? 8 of 9 from three? Amazing… If he can improve on his 5 of 17 from two… Lol!

      I’m pretty confident Klay’ll get his finishing issues resolved, learn to put the ball on the floor more, create, and develop a pump fake to get to the line once in a blue moon – where he’s lethal/automatic. Adds up to a future 20 PPG scorer who plays solid defense too.

  56. I’m not sure if the Warriors can afford it, but how about adding Tony Allen? He made something like $3.3 million last season and he is certainly one of the top 3 defensive wings in the league. Not much of a 2-way player, but he is an experienced veteran for a team that needs a hard-nosed player who they can count on.

    • Technically, the Ws can spend whatever they like on players, they just have to be willing to pay penalties. They don’t want to. They also don’t want to load up on multi-year contracts since next summer they have a lot of dead weight coming off the books and can completely remake the team.

      Tony Allen is a fine player, but the team’s most pressing needs this summer are replacements for Jack, Landry and Ezeli. The starters at their positions (Curry, Lee and Bogut) all finished the season injured and the team cannot rely on huge minutes from them again. Even with his ankle problems, AND with Jack as backup, Curry was 4th in the league among all guard in minutes played. That’s nuts.

      I think the team will probably try to spell Thompson with Rush. Rush doesn’t create his own shot as well as Thompson does, and doesn’t play as well with others. But he’s on salary already so the team won’t have to add payroll. Plus he has experience at the position, he can spell Barnes also, and he was a smart, tough, physical defender before his injury.

      For backup PGs, if the team is looking at vets at all, they’ll probably bring in someone making around $1M or less. Just for a frame of reference, three ex-Warrior FAs around that salary range include Derek Fisher, Charles Jenkins, and CJ Watkins. While none of them can defend a lawn chair, they can all shoot. Plug-in replacements for Curry, in other words.

  57. I’m reading on twitter that the Warriors are kicking the tires on a Harrison Barnes for MKG trade (even I think that would be bad), and Carlos Delfino in free agency (an excellent idea).

    • Where’s the money and is it worth it? I assume this would put them in the tax.

      • Hou can retain Delfino for $3m. but might need the cap room to bid on howard. so he would cost less than re-signing jack, though he wouldn’t be the back up to curry. if he ends up in oaktown, jefferson becomes even more redundant, and thompson’s minutes have to get pared down.

        • I’ve heard rumors about Iguodala too, but that’s not going to happen either. If the team is concerned about the salary cap they’re not going to do anything this summer but patch some holes in the roster with role players on one-year contracts.

          Next summer they’ll have Biedrins, Jefferson, Bogut and Rush all coming off contracts. Then they’ll have lots of flexibility to make changes to the starting lineup. They could conceivably hire an Iguodala, for example.

          Right now, simply adding Delfino wouldn’t improve the team as much as merely adding a few inexpensive backup role players for a total combined salary less than Delfino’s.

          If we’re talking about fantasies, let’s make them good ones. The rumor from Boston is that KG and Pierce might be available.

          • Hat, already given up on the W’s exceeding the tax this year? There is an approach they could use. Go ahead and sign igoudala for the $13M he is supposed to make and commit to a multi year deal. They pay the tax penalty for one year. With all the cap space freeing up this year – they can get back below next year. So they do not enter the repeat offender penalty. Hat, aren’t you the one that kept saying they stand to make a billion on the arena deal. This type of contract for an impact player would really make an impact. I think it would be money well spent. Lacob would be loved, going into the tax, getting a big name….. I am just using igoudala as an example, not picking him necessarily. Although the worry would be using this approach for Howard, because, you know, Lacob likes the “big” deal….

          • Buck,

            Your point about the repeat offender tax applies to this season too. They didn’t need to dump Jenkins, and he could have been very helpful during the playoffs. He ran the offense for half of last season, and Curry called him the best mid-range shooter on the team. Better than Jack, Thompson and Curry.

            That the team did drop Jenkins suggests to me that they will sweat the salary cap again this summer, and wait until next year to make any big changes.

            In addition to dropping Jenkins and Tyler, now the team knows without a doubt that they are short of bigs, with Landry out, Ezeli injured and Biedrins useless. They’re floating rumors about Green playing a larger role, but defensively, at his height he’s no C and barely a 4. The team knows they need bigs.

            As much as everyone loves Jack, his return next season is pretty iffy too. That makes backup PG far more critical than another wing player like Iggy or Defino. Gotta fill the holes before looking to upgrade in an area where they at least have enough bodies.

          • Here’s Zach Lowe on the Warriors situation:


            Lowe stops short of making predictions about what moves the Ws will make, but he clearly lays out the areas of need, and possible solutions. Note that the name Draymond does not come up anywhere. I don’t think that’s an oversight.

            Lowe also includes some weasel-talk from Myers that is not promising. Two things in particular stood out:

            “Bottom line: Is it even possible for Golden State to re-sign both Jack and Landry? “It’s possible,” Myers says. “Is it acceptable? I’d say yes. Is it conceivable? I’d say yes. There has been no directive from ownership in the way of spending.”

            Not yet, anyway, or at least not publicly. But I’ll be blown away if Lacob actually green-lights a payroll in the low $80 million range.”

            Lowe thinks the Ws won’t spend a lot this summer.

            Then there’s this:

            “This year, the goal for us was to make the playoffs,” Myers says. “We were lucky enough to accomplish that. Now the goal is to see if we build on that accomplishment.”

            That’s about as “no promises” a statement as you’ll ever hear from a GM: “our goal is to see what happens.” Ugh. Sorry, guy, but that’s not a goal, that’s the definition of passivity.

          • It should be obvious to all after three years that the prime directive of Joe Lacob is not to exceed the cap.

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