Dog Days v.2013

The great flurry of activity surrounding the draft and the opening of free agency has now died down, and I think the Warriors have emerged clear winners. They have not only addressed every single critical hole or misconstruction in their roster that I have been harping on since the advent of the Lacob era, but by doing so have also given strong indications that the guiding philosopy of the franchise has changed radically as well.

The Warriors have lacked a two-way defensive monster with size to start in the backcourt alongside Stephen Curry. The slow-footed Klay Thompson was a poor fit there, too often forced to chase around far smaller and quicker players.

Solved with the addition of Andre Iguodala.

The Warriors have lacked two-way centers that can give Stephen Curry a legitimately dangerous partner in the pick and roll, and help him break the intense blitzes that plagued him last year. As well as help him prove to the world that he is not only one of the best shooters in league history, but a legitimately great point guard.

Solved with the additions of Jermaine O’Neal and Marreese Speights.

The Warriors have lacked spread-fours, and even the awareness of management of how valuable — indeed how necessary — such players are in today’s NBA.

Solved by the emergency created by David Lee’s injury in last years playoffs, which allowed Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green to shine in his place. And apparently opened Joe Lacob’s eyes as to the true position of these players. Lacob’s eyes may also have been opened by the success of the Mavericks, Thunder and Heat in the last 3 years — Nellieball teams all.

There are two indications that management’s philosophy has, for the first time in Lacob’s reign, shifted to embrace the use of spread-fours and all-out Nellieball. First, Andre Iguodala was added, which will have the effect of shifting Harrison Barnes to the four for much, if not most, of his minutes. And second, Carl Landry was let go, and replaced by centers — thereby opening up those minutes for Barnes (and Green) at the four.

Another excellent move made by the Warriors was the addition of Toney Douglas. Instant offense off the bench, as well as instant defense. He is a legitimate point guard stopper. Not a complete replacement for the excellence of Jarret Jack, but a player who nevertheless complements the roster, and provides some insurance for Curry.

[Edit: It should be noted that the signings of both Jarret Jack and Toney Douglas (and the emergency addition of Nate Robinson 2 seasons ago) also indicate a major leap in Joe Lacob’s understanding of NBA basketball. All of these guys are two-way players, who can shoot it from anywhere, and particularly from three. The days of the disastrous non-shooting backup point guards with whom Lacob opened up his tenure — the rookie Jeremy Lin, Acie Law, Ish Smith, and to a lesser extent Charles Jenkins (who can’t shoot the three and is for that reason now playing in Serbia) — appear to be over for good.]

This team is without a doubt the most complete Warriors team since they won the championship in 1975. They are an incredibly versatile team: Mark Jackson can play big or small; play fast or slow; and go with offense or defense at literally every position. And they are one of the highest IQ teams in the league.

As I ruminate on the current state of the West, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that the Warriors are at the very least a top 5 team in the conference. And quite possibly among the very best teams in the NBA. I think they are a 55 win team if Mark Jackson makes the moves I anticipate him making, and if the injury chips fall the right way. By injury chips I chiefly mean David Lee and Stephen Curry.

Unlike last year, my feeling about the team is not at all reliant on the health of Andrew Bogut. I think they’ll still be very, very good if Bogut and Ezeli never play a game, which is not as unlikely as most people think. Although that might require Lacob to make a move for reinforcements.

Unfortunately, we have an eternity to wait until we receive confirmation of our intuitions. These are the dog days of the NBA, the months when literally nothing happens.

Except talk.

513 Responses to Dog Days v.2013

  1. Thanks Feltbot!
    I’m in for predicting 55 wins as well based on 50 to 60 games each from Curry and Bogut – the two key pieces PG/C – which are harder to replace.

    The damage control in the loss of Jack/Landry was successful – Love the bench additions.

    Very disappointing for the W’s to waive G Kevin Murphy – with all that the W’s gave up to acquire the 2nd year player! Lol! Dumping Andris Biedrins/RJefferson/recovering B. Rush – cleared up cap space for the pursuit of Dwight and landing Iguodala. Sure, two draft picks not inconsequential, but win now philosophy is refreshing!

    Cap space and trade exceptions – have been harvested for some flexibility in the future.

    I’ve read that Klay does particularly well defending opposing SGs (in terms of PER) and Iguodala does extremely well defending opposing SFs (PER).

    The Iggy and Klay defensive combo – are reminiscent of the Spurs in the playoffs with the Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green combo – being able to absolutely smother the top two opposing team’s perimeter players. Can’t underestimate Klay’s newly found defense – he’s got size/length to smother SGs defensively or help out on a quicker PG.

    I’m convinced that Harrison Barnes – an average SF – should be played at stretch 4 not merely as a gimmick – but MAJOR MINUTES. As far as stretch 4s go, who’s better than Harrison Barnes? I once pined for Ryan Anderson as a small ball 4 (defense notwithstanding), but Ryan really can’t contain the explosiveness that is our Harrison Barnes and was posterized recently (only from what I read)! I’d like Barnes go against Lee in practice… My money is on Barnes – just too explosive for Lee. And Barnes’ SF weakness – ball handling – is his strength as a PF. And defensively – Barnes is probably a step up on Lee in year two…

    Curry, Klay, Iguodala, Barnes, and Bogut – now that’s a potent two-way lineup I’ll want to see match up against the best lineups in the NBA…

    In Jerry West I Trust.

  2. Thanks again, FB.

    The Warriors are in a lot better shape than we thought they’d be a few months ago, and we can thank Utah for that. I have some reservations settling in, however.

    The main question is how well they can manage the grind of a 48 minute game, and the course of a 82 game season. There are still concerns about who can run point with Curry out, and thus spell him more minutes. Also the second unit needs to score, which isn’t certain. Barnes, if he’s being pushed as a stretch 4, is a 36% 3 point shooter—his stat during the regular season and the playoffs—and still has a lot to learn on both ends of the court. We can only hope Green continues the offensive performance he showed during the playoffs, though the regular season and summer league stats aren’t promising. They still need to decide what to do with Bazemore. And if the second unit can’t hold their own, the starters will be pushed for heavy minutes and won’t be rested come crunch time.

    Then there are questions about the health of our 4 and 5’s, except for Speights, who is hardly a team leader. It’s not at all certain how many minutes and games O’Neal can put in. None of them have much, if any, experience with the squad, except for Lee. I wouldn’t mind some more insurance, especially at 4-5. Other teams have picked up available bigs, and I envy Cleveland’s getting Scola. The great playoff teams take a very good roster and fill it out for contingencies, and the Warriors haven’t done that.

    Also most of the teams will be better next year, with the obvious exceptions of Utah and Boston and probably the Bucks. Denver does have a full squad and won’t be a pushover. If Kobe is healthy, the Lakers won’t be either.

    Then there are questions about how well poised they are to make additions if needed next season and develop for the coming seasons. They’ll have money, but won’t have trade pieces, unless they decide to trade Barnes or Klay, which is unlikely. O’Neal and Douglas only have one year contracts and will need to be replaced, unless Douglas really surprises. They won’t have many draft picks in the years to come. They’ll still have to figure out a center and won’t have much continuity in the front court. The ceiling for their bench players, I fear, is not very high.

    I still wish they were a step or two further at this stage.

  3. geraldmcgrew

    Thanks FB! From your lips (er, keyboard)…

    Putting aside for now my hopefully soon to be assuage doubts regarding “guiding philosphy of the franchise,” it seems the elephant in the room for this team will continue to be the physical health of Stephen Curry, as he is the key to everything they hope and plan to do. Fingers crossed. Both Curry and Warriors fans deserve for he and his team to reach their full potential.

  4. Note: I’ve edited the post to make an additional point about the Toney Douglas signing.

  5. Rgg @4– man, you are a glass is half empty guy today…. You are way off base on your concerns…

    1. Backup behind curry – douglas, iggy. Douglas put up strong defensive efforts and can hit the three.
    2. Scoring for the second unit. – O’Neal – huge upgrade over Ezeli. Speights equivalent with Landry. Adding Iggy to SF/SG rotation huge upgrade over Jack. At PG Douglas is downgrade offensively from Jack, but huge improvement defensively. I also remember a lot of complaining about Jack’s O in the playoffs. Finally, Green and Barnes should show solid improvements after successful rookie campaigns.
    3. Barnes and Green still have a lot to learn… Uh – they have A LOT less to learn than this time last year…
    4. Questions about health of 4 and 5’s. – Bogut in better shape than last year. Lee is expected to have 100% recovery. O’Neal way better than Andris. Speights way better than Ezeli heading into last year’s rookie season…
    5. Great playoff teams build for contingencies. – This is the one of the deepest rosters in the NBA. Six legit starters, proven backups at every position… What team has a deeper roster this season, or last season – in the west?
    6. Most teams will be better next year, except Utah, Boston, Bucks – WHAT??? Try the Lakers – last year everyone was guessing they would be in the finals… this year decimated. Nuggets – best home record in West – decimated. Trailblazers – ok better, but they are not scary….Mavericks… whiffed on DH, worse. Suns are worse… Clippers added Jared Dudley and JJ Redick, but Jordan and Griffin are not a successful duo for the playoffs. Houston has improved if Dwight can have a bounce back year.
    7. Worried about W’s poised to make changes, have money but not pieces…. What? Ok they have money – that is half of the solution. Don’t have pieces – deepest roster they have ever had.
    8. Worries about one year contracts and their replacements for 2014? One year contracts are great, look at Jack and Landy – players come up big in contract years.
    Rgg – you need to watch that Jack Nicholson move, you know – “AS GOOD AS IT GETS” We are there baby.
    W’s are a lock for the playoffs and have a veteran back up at every position… Come back off the ledge…
    Even FB says the Warriors are very good.

    • Well, the glass was half full yesterday. I’d just like to see this team finish strong and go into the playoffs full force. Also contend in the future.

      • The W’s won 47-games last season and made the second round of the playoffs. With Bogut and Rush out during the season and All-Star Lee for the playoffs.

        Here are indisputable off-season W’s FACTS:

        All the W’s starters are all coming back from last season. The 4 inexperienced rookies and sophomore coach now have “experience.”

        The W’s went from having no 2013 first round draft pick to outright buying one, then trading down their pick 2 times for cash ($600k out of pocket) – then drafting their first round talent in N. Nedovic and enabling the team to trade their 2014 first rounder.

        Without losing any key players, the W’s dumped $24 million of expiring contracts of non-contributing players – freeing up cap space, allowing for future trade exceptions, and taking the team out of potential luxury tax territory. The W’s are potential players in the trade market with this flexibility.

        In Free Agency, the W’s ADDed an All-Star player/Top 5 NBA defender in Iguodala who amazingly CHOSE to play for the W’s for less money… Reflect on this for a second…

        The W’s added a 6-time All-Star player to the bench in old and creaky Jermaine O’Neal.

        Last season, Avery Bradley, Toney Douglas, and Andre Iguodala – gave PG Stephen Curry fits last season/playoffs – and the W’s signed two of the three this free agency period.

        Lastly, Bogut and Curry – arguably the two most important W’s pieces at key positions C/PG – AREN’T coming off summer surgeries…

        Yeah, I’d say 55 wins is completely within reach…

  6. Agree with rag for slightly different reasons. Still don’t have enough players that provide the Warriors with extra possessions and who can get to foul line. As a result in most games opposing teams will garner more possessions and make more fouls shots each game than Warriors players do. Barnes will not shoot as high a Fg percentage as Landry did. Defense will improve but Warriors will still have problems inside. Although Erman seems to have better interior schemes than even Malone.

    For the Warriors to excel.against good teams, Bazemore must do well
    or Warriors must obtain another SG. Losing Clark was huge. At worst, as good a shooter as Korver. Even Warriors management knows they’re not there yet.

    Interesting to see if Jackson will have team run. But who will teach how to run a fast break?

  7. Felty: Iggy is desperately needed defensively at SF in order to provide help inside given who will play C and PF for the Warriors. Neither Thompson nor Barnes are good defensively at SF nor at SG.

    Douglas is limited as he’s not a distributor and the offense will therefore suffer. Neither Iggy nor Lee will offset that problem. If Iggy plays Pg his talent will be diminished.

    We’ll see this year if either Thompson or Barnes are first rate players capable to help the Warriors. If they don’t markedly improve, In my judgment jauntily one or both are replaced by at lest one better player.

    Felty, yes the Warriors have improved their roster, but this is not the time to view the Warriors as Adam does.

    • the team will be neither expecting nor requiring ‘marked’ improvement from thompson and barnes this season. progress, and incremental improvement, of course. whether they’re traded or not this season depends more on market factors — players available, offers tendered, whether they decide to resolve their longer term needs at center, usw. ’14-’15 the situation shifts a bit because the team has options on the rookie contracts for four players, those two plus green and ezeli, and of course no starting center on the roster, pending bogut’s disposition.

      we shouldn’t be surprised we see further significant roster change between the trading deadline and the conclusion of next spring’s draft, and neither thompson nor barnes are likely to emerge as such transcendent talents that they’d be categorically excluded from trade considerations.

  8. @rgg and @Frank – How many W’s wins do you project for 2013-2014?

    • Last season was an odd season. Many teams were in decline or rebuilding, or were hurt by injuries to key players, such as the Lakers and Bulls. As I said, many teams should be stronger this season so wins will be tougher. And it’s not at all clear how well the Warriors will be able to stand strong throughout the season. In short, too many unpredictables.

      But I feel a lot better about this roster as opposed to the one they started last season with. Certainly a winning season, which may be enough to get them in the playoffs. I’m in a mood, however, to be pleasantly surprised.

      What may be key is what adjustments they can make mid-season to shore up the team, and this year they’ll have money to work with without going into tax.

  9. I had a scary thought. We’ve long speculated with cause that the team features its favorite projects, perhaps at Lacob’s insistence. Why, for example, did the rookie Barnes start over Rush last season?

    So what if the starting lineup is Bogut, Barnes, Igoudala, Klay, and Steph?


    • Zero chance. Barnes won’t want to bang with front line PFs. Even if Lacob would allow it — which he wouldn’t — Barnes and his agent would throw a fit.

      If Barnes starts, Thompson will be the sixth man. But that would be idiotic, and I’m hopeful Jackson will see it the same way.

      Barnes comes off the bench behind Lee and Klay at 4/3. And still gets 25+ minutes a game. The Jeff Green/Shane Battier role — which is exactly the kind of player he is. Minus the defense.

      Breathe deep, rgg. The Warriors are finally complete, built the right way, with a coach who gets it. Prepare to enjoy, we’re in for a great season.

      • We’ll see. They may still regard Bogut as the cornerstone of the team. His minutes last season and during the playoffs were determined by injury, not his performance.

        • Little doubt in my mind that (at this stage of the Warriors’ development) Jackson coaches to win. If Bogut’s not getting it done, he has options.

          As for Bogut playing well this season and duping Lacob into another contract… don’t know if you remember, but at the time of the trade that was one facet of my worst case scenario analysis ;)

          But that’s a worry for a later time.

      • This makes no sense to me. Can you walk me through the logic? From my point of view, playing big minutes at stretch 4 is going to be the best way for Barnes to raise his scoring average and give him a bunch of spectacular blow by dunks to boot. Points and dunks win contracts and endorsements so if the guy is so concerned about his brand, that seems like the best way to build it. It seems like it’s his best position, for both the team and for his career. Why would he or his agent want to keep him out of a situation that will make him look better for his next contract and likely get him more endorsement exposure at the same time? That would be the opposite of building THE BRAND, no?

        Clearly you must disagree with at least one of the assumptions I made in there. Have you read something from either him or his agent to the effect that he doesn’t want to play the 4? What makes you think that he would consider playing the 4 as detrimental to his brand?

        • Stretch 4s typically play on second units. Playing at 220 lbs agains frontline 4s takes a heavy physical toll. Witness what happened to Melo last year. That’s why the Knicks are moving him back to 3 even tho 4 is his best position.

          Of course Barnes is willing to play stretch 4. Just not to start the game.

          • If Barnes were willing, would you want to try it? He wouldn’t have to play nearly the minutes that Melo did nor would he have as much offensive responsibility.

          • Bill Simmons thinks that Barnes coming off the bench (with less playing time) is going to hurt his development and eventually get him traded. This season is SUPER interesting just to follow Barnes’ development with this team. I think it’s more likely Barnes continues to blossom because he is such a hard worker. As Feltbot has said, the Warriors have a complete roster. There is no reason Barnes should have to bang with big 4’s very often. That will be David Lee’s job. It’s a nice problem to have, not having enough minutes to go around!!

    • would not be surprised if they decide to minimize barnes’ exposure in line ups without at least two of their key vets — curry and lee foremost, iguodala and bogut next in importance as far as providing barnes continuity and security. have my doubts that he’ll be a reserve, for that reason. he’s not a two way player, and until we see what douglas can do, the vet playmakers on offense are all in the starting group, so even on the side of the court where barnes has value, his scoring could be suppressed playing with the reserves.

      of barnes’ total minutes, .67 came with both curry and lee on the court, in the five lineups barnes played in with greatest frequency. he played so few minutes in the other lineups (the remaining .33 of his total comes from very small samples, each representing .04 or less of his total minutes), how effective he’ll be without those two offensive floor leaders can’t even be estimated yet.

      if they’re placing a priority to giving barnes prominence, hoping to inflate his market profile by simplifying what he has to do to look good, he’s probably remaining a starter, and for reasons boss felt noted, not at the four. if he’s used off the bench, expect to see the preacher pull a starter or two fairly early in the proceedings, so at least a couple of starters remain on the floor with barnes and any of the other reserves are playing.

  10. I was present when a reporter asked Dusty Baker how many games the Giants would win. He gave a vague answer. After the reporter left, he turned to me and said: ” how the hell do I know who is going to be injured..” Good answer.

    I’m glad Felty feels Jackson gets it. I’ll believe that when I see the team running and pushing the offense.

  11. Harrison Barnes bulks up to play the small-ball four, and talks about the Warriors’ versatility:

    “The fact that we’ll be able to play multiple guys at multiple spots is what will make us so dangerous, whether it’s me at the four and David Lee at the five or whatever it is we do against certain teams. We’ll have the advantage a lot of nights because we can match up basically with anybody.”


    • It is as much to concede that his skill set and bball IQ are limited, but if he takes this role seriously, as he appears to, it might be where he can do the most good and most develop. I also wonder, however, what bulking up does to a player’s finesse and coordination. I hope he is working on his spot-up 3 pointer. That alone would increase his value.

      OK, how do you put on 10-15 pounds in a few weeks?

      • That thought crossed my mind too. Is it even possible to add that much muscle in 6 weeks?

      • the article didn’t actually say he was four or seven kilos heavier, but had added ‘muscle’. we don’t know what pct. of his body mass was fat last season, for one thing. athletes out of college sometimes carry over poor eating habits into the pros — admitted as much and lost weight while getting stronger. so if barnes went from >.10 in fat to <.10, he could add substantial muscle with a slight or minimal net weight gain.

        barnes' fans often sound like they want him to improve his passing and ball handling (with little evidence he has the court vision/hoops mind and decision making for a foundation) while also playing more minutes at the four. he'll have a better chance at succeeding by simplifying his game, and matched against fours his ball handling won't be tested as severely. it's not the path to stardom as a wing, however, and it remains to be seen if he can equal other western conference forwards like leonard or parsons.

        • Lots of over-speculation here…

          FACTS: Harrison was listed at 210 pounds for a LONG time – perhaps since the pre-season. Harrison is on record as saying he’s 225 pounds now. Gaining 15 pounds in the course of ONE YEAR is not a big deal for a 20-21-year old kid with excellent genetics, diet, supplements, and is lifting and playing an explosive sport like basketball… Let’s just hope he’s working to improve from his rookie 36% from three season and his handle.

          LeBron is listed at 6’8″ and 250 pounds and is one hell of a mismatch PF… Barnes? 6’8″ 225 pounds.

          It WAS the right move to start Barnes over Rush. I know Rush WAS a better player than rookie Barnes, but Barnes is elevating his game as we saw in the playoffs… He’ll be a more confident kid this season.

          Barnes has the potential to leapfrog players like Green (Celtics) or Battier (Heat) offensively… and play decent defense.

          • It’s not impossible for Barnes to have gained 15 pounds of new muscle over a year. It would be an unusually high growth rate for an experienced gym rat like Barnes (muscle growth rate slows with more work over time), but it’s not unheard of. No PEDs necessary, just great genetics, good diet and tons of continuous hard work.

            On the other hand, it does seem unlikely that an NBA pro could put in the daily lifting time needed, what with all that basketball and travel getting in the way. It’s also more difficult for someone who does so much aerobic work to gain muscle mass quickly, or sometimes even to maintain their body weight – hard aerobic work eats muscle. But it’s not impossible.

            But adding 15 pounds of brand new muscle since the end of the 2012-1013 season? Not possible. If Barnes weighs 225 now, that’s good. But he didn’t magically muscle up in 2 months. Most likely his weight last summer was underestimated.

          • Sorry everyone… According to DraftExpress, Harrison Barnes has actually LOST 3 pounds (225 now, 228 pre-draft)… Lol!


      • The more limited his role and skills at scoring and facilitating, the more they need to keep non-scorers off the court. Bogut first comes to mind.

        • Bogut sees the floor and passes well and even hobbled can finish at over 50 percent. For a defensive/rebounding center, that’s all that’s needed to win a championship.

        • barnes’ main value would seem to be as a scorer, while he tries to bring his defense and rebounding consistently up to an average starter’s level. if the buzz around his physique is accurate, he’s probably grown to be brawnier than green. the older forward in contrast has the passing skills and acumen on the boards (where skill and anticipation and tenacity matter), but struggles to score.

          while barnes got the most rookie minutes, and mainly with the most skilled offensive players on the court, the preacher often used green in the ‘place holding’ lineups in which landry was the main source of scoring. the coaches have the material to assemble a more formidable reserve unit this season, considering their ‘sixth man’ last season, jack, played the minutes of a starter and only occasionally on the court with a reserve unit. what we probably don’t want to see is heavy experimentation in the lineups that demand constant adjustments from the players to their ‘mates rather than to the opponents, which was a highlight of the smart tenure in the big chair.

          • Moto, you are underestimating Barnes’ ability. He is a hard worker and will continue to score points as a third option because he’s able to knock down jump shots and get to the basket. It’s a pretty simple concept. He also DID perform in the playoffs.

            Curry is clearly the leader of this team, and Barnes has shown no inclination of trying to take that mantle. With Bogut and Iggy here, he will certainly remain a quiet guy. The veterans will set the tone, not an agenda to prop Barnes’ brand. The kid has good character, don’t blame Barnes for Lacob’s love of promotion.

  12. For the W’s to take the next step towards NBA elite and a championship, David Lee’s below par defense needs to be addressed. My preferred solution would be to bring Lee off the bench as an offensive sparkplug and teaming him up with an Udoh-caliber defender, or trading away his huge contract without giving up significant assets…

    Either way – having two starters in Curry AND Lee – being below par defenders needs to improve. It doesn’t matter how good Bogut, Iguodala, and Klay play defense – if Curry AND Lee give up too much on the other end.

    • PB, I think you’re right, and I hope DLee takes it to heart. Curry and Lee are both kinda physically limited for their roles, but Curry at least plays consistently smart D at this point, and Lee doesn’t. He has some terrible habits.

      Lee is a smart guy, though, so there’s hope. All the “trade Lee” talk this past postseason will hopefully give him some motivation, as will adding two new bigs.

      It would also be pretty neat to see Lee learn from the example of the rookies. Barnes and Green both got stronger and fitter this summer, and it will make them better players. Mr. Gumby Arms Lee really could use some strength training too.

    • Put Lee alongside a competent big in a full-sized squad, and we won’t be hearing this baloney about his defense.

      His years with the Warriors he’s had to play with undersized and/or inexperienced players at the other positions. The “red zone,” the front court, which opponents will strike with frequency, is left exposed and he’s had to compensate as well as he can when the perimeter channels in drivers or can’t cover them and his cohort up front is out of position.

      When playing center, he hasn’t played with an experienced, sizable 4 (Landry was a bit small, but the two finished many games quite well).

      When playing 4, he’s had to play alongside these centers:

      1. A rookie
      Ezeli, with whom he fared quite well, thank you.

      2. Misc.
      Brown, Tyler, etc.

      3. Biedrins
      Who deserves a category of his own.

      4. A center with limited range and mobility


      If opponents drive straight at him he can intimidate, though Lawson and Parker were able to put the moves on him and score drives. He can’t play out on shooting bigs and doesn’t cover court very quickly on more complicated offenses.

      Bogut’s has only about 47% FG the last 3 seasons, btw. Since most shots are under the basket, where he should finish, it should be higher. Howard is 58% over the same period. Often Bogut didn’t finish well at all under the basket. But also Bogut this season passed up a lot of shots under the basket he should have taken and finished but didn’t, inflating his stats.

      We still don’t know if his ankle surgery is successful.

      But all of this should change the coming season with the new additions.

      • Nellieball is alive and well.

        IMO, the W’s best lineup – the one that I want to see both offensively and defensively – is Curry, Klay, Iggy, Barnes, and Bogut. Lee doesn’t spread the floor as well as a PF as does Barnes. The NBA Playoffs were very enlightening…

        In W’s practice, I’d like to see Barnes vs. Lee at PF matchup – and watch who’s better. For my money, Barnes would take Lee off the dribble/dunk all day, drain threes from the perimeter all day (imagine plodding Lee – like Bonner, Diaw, Randolph, and Splitter in the NBA Playoffs – closing out on the three point line), and spread the floor. Defensively, I think Lee would have trouble scoring on the quicker, more athletic Barnes especially with Bogut looming in the background. Rebounds? I think Barnes would fare much better vs. Lee than we’d think…

        @rgg – you’ve left off 5 entire season’s of Lee’s years with the NY Knicks. Sounds like a lot of apologizing (for Lee’s subpar defense) to me. When you have to handpick a player to pair with Lee for the team to be successful…

        Indisputable facts: 2012-2013 was Lee’s first winning team in 8 seasons and first playoff appearance. He’s not an NBA difference-maker – Lee is a very good one-way player who can be hidden on defense – preferably defending the worse scoring big man on the opposition.

        The W’s played very well in the NBA Playoffs against two, 60-win teams WITHOUT Lee.

        The W’s played very well WITH Andrew Bogut at Center in the playoffs.

        • And please – no speculating on what Harrison Barnes’ agent might or might not say. I think Harrison is OPEN to playing PF or Stretch 4.

          What NBA Stretch 4 is better than Harrison Barnes?

          • Ummm…. off the top of my head: Lebron, Durant, Melo, Love, Ibaka, Gay, Deng, Anderson, Kirilenko, J. Green, Gallinari, W. Chandler, Batum, Josh Smith, Leonard, Nowitzki…

            Other than those, and about 5 or 10 I’m forgetting, you’re probably right. Please try to bear in mind that in last year’s playoffs Barnes was matched up against the other team’s worst defensive player…. like Tony Parker. Matching up against the players listed above will be another story. An eaten alive story.

            PS. If Barnes ever becomes a full-time starter at the four at any point in his career I will eat my shorts.
            PPS. With Iguodala on the court, Barnes will no longer be matched against the worst defender. Iggy will.

          • the sample size for barnes at the four isn’t sufficient for any real evaluations or projections. he’ll be useful in some match ups and if the preacher successfully commits to an up tempo, open court offense for substantial or critical parts of the games. let’s see him equal what harrington (who was drafted out of high school and didn’t get consistent minutes in his first two seasons) accomplished in his third season before ranking him as a combo forward.

          • @FB – You’re proving my point. If these SFs/PFs you’ve listed are truly stretch 4s, the W’s will do very well. Because this means some other W’s weapon is NOT being guarded…

          • Teams can PICK their poison – which of these guys do you NOT guard… They can ALL score 20-25+ points in an NBA game and the floor will be more spread than when Lee is in at PF with Bogut at C.


            Should Iguodala draw the worst defender, he’ll score very efficiently as he’s averaged 20 points per game throughout an NBA season being guarded by the opponent’s BEST.

            Harrison Barnes – has proven to me that he can ABSOLUTELY light up PFs and 4th or 5th best defenders like Tony Parker/Ty Lawson. As a rookie – averaged 16 points per game in the playoffs. This hasn’t ever been done before…

            True fact – no one matches up well against LeBron, Durant, and Melo at SF/PF. The rest? Interesting…

            Anderson is too slow footed to hang with Barnes who will destroy him off the dribble (see Team USA dunk).

            Kirilenko is a shell of AK47 as rookie Barnes showed vs Minnesota.

            Love is a PF who can make threes at 40%. Love can’t athletically guard Barnes on the perimeter… And away from the rim/rebounds… “Love” to see this matchup!

            Josh Smith? He can’t shoot. I’d encourage him to shoot perimeter threes (career .283)… And if Josh’s playing PF, who’s playing SF? SG? Either way, W’s do well.

            If Ibaka’s the PF, Perkins will be the center, right? I’ll let Ibaka shoot outside – better than him anywhere around the rim. The W’s should do just fine. As it is, Ibaka is Barnes’ kryptonite. Perhaps Barnes can do better on both sides of the ball than Lee.

            Should K. Leonard play stretch 4 and guard Barnes, Pops should retire as either Curry or Klay will put on a shooting clinic… Barnes at Stretch 4 – unstoppable vs. Splitter/Diaw/Bonner/Tony Parker. Jackson trying to pair Ezeli/Bogut – was silly…

            Nowitzki/Marion? Barnes will score on Nowitzki, although Dalembert will help. Marion can’t guard everyone.

            Deng, J. Green (lottery team), Batum (lottery team), Gay (lottery team), Patterson (lottery team), and Gallinari/W. Chandler (soon to be lottery team) are very good stretch 4s. And Harrison can compete with all of them…

      • biedrins is/was the proverbial easy target, but we need to see how long bogut can sustain consistent starter’s minutes before assuming that o’neal and speights will provide better insurance and ezeli and biedrins did last season. of course the latvian’s contract was a joke, but mullin was afraid of losing his prize to free agency and leaving the team center-less, which was also how he paid foyle the contract that was eventually bought out. will we see another variation on the theme played with bogut next spring ?

        one of last season’s more effective lineups with barnes, favored by the preacher to the extent of 174 minutes, featured biedrins, lee, curry, and thompson. he was part of the team’s success, then and before in the nelson years, while also epitomizing their quirky mediocrity. along with foyle, he deserves a special niche in the team’s history.

  13. Andre Iguodala – a top 5 defensive player – changes the game. People UNDERESTIMATE defense. If Iguodala were a top 5 OFFENSIVE player, there would be little discussion.

    Iguodala is a difference-maker in winning and losing NBA games. Once Iggy left Philly – the Sixers started losing… Once playing for the Nuggets – Denver won the most games in their franchise history…

    Don’t believe? Time will tell.

    So I’ll miss Jack ($6 million) and Landry ($6 million) – but I’ll take Andre ($12 million) and a smile.

    Defense actually matters in winning and losing.

    In Jerry West I Trust.

  14. David Lee is already back on the court:

    Bogut, as far as I can tell from his twitter, is still limited to non-impact workouts, like riding his bike. I’m guessing no basketball activity until training camp.

    • Bogut IS in his contract year which tends to bring out one’s best! Lol!

    • Looks like he’s definitely been on the court for scrimmages at his b-ball camp in Australia, but hard to know how serious the games were.

      5 on 5 runs today at @AB_Basketball ! A few @NBL , college, euro and aba players.— Andrew Bogut (@andrewbogut) July 15, 2013

      Great pick-up run at @AB_Basketball with @Joeingles7 and some good kids from college. And @andrewbogut running the point-centre position.— Rhys Carter (@rcarter15) July 18, 2013

    • He has definitely scrimmaged at his basketball camp against Australian high school, college and foreign pro players. Some of the other players tweeted about it. Not sure how much that means, but it indicates he’s at least healthy enough to run the floor a few times.

  15. Lee does look lighter and more fit. Maybe it will help him stay unbroken, but it’s not necessarily the answer for his biggest handicap.

    Lee’s defense is the only thing keeping him from being a perennial all star. It’s also the only thing preventing the Ws from running their best offensive lineup, a smallball team with Lee at C. Unless/until he improves in that area, the Ws often have to play another big for defense in the paint.

    If Lee could improve his D just to “average,” the team wouldn’t need to give big minutes to non-scorers like Bogut and Ezeli. Instead, they could run a 5-scorers offense more often.

    • During the season, Lee can play lots of minutes at center – as there are a lot of bad centers in the NBA… And Lee is a great offensive player.

      In the NBA Playoffs – matchups will dictate which player gets attacked on defense. The weakest defenders are always challenged. Curry and Lee.

      Simple question: Can the W’s win an NBA Championship with a Curry/Lee core?

  16. Lee is the glue that night in, night out, holds the Warriors together.

    • “Glue,” “Chemistry,” and “Great locker room guy.” When people throw out words like this to describe ANY player – it’s the FAN in them.

      Even statistical minds can’t quote any statistics in favor of their pre-meditated path of least resistance.

      And people here talk about an NBA Championship? And people talk about defense…

      Again, I ask…

      Can a David Lee/Stephen Curry core defend well enough to win an NBA Championship?

    • Except when he doesn’t do his job. If I were his teammate I’d be pissed about the matador D. Lee’s never going to be a shot blocker, but there’s no excuse for consistently missing defensive rotations.

  17. Top 6 SFs. Iguodala gets no love here… Josh Smith a SF now?

      • Shocking amount of love for a guy with a 12.71 PER (while opponents average 13.5).

        Meanwhile Ellis (16.3 PER with more points, assists, rebounds and steals) somehow doesn’t measure up to Klay’s magnificence. Right.

    • The top 3 guys on the list don’t really play SF much. LeBron is “position-less,” and Durant and Carmelo play as 4s much of the time. Besides, if you subtract points for bad D, 3 of the “top 5” list disappears.

    • apparently you didn’t follow other teams in recent seasons. iguodala started at the 2-guard for most games both in Phi and Den. j.smith has generally been perceived as a combo forward or a three, not a full time four.

      • “In Atlanta, Smith played power forward more often than he did small forward, and there’s a strong chance that he plays plenty of power forward in Detroit, as well.”

        Josh Smith is an All-Star-caliber PF, NOT an average SF. Josh Smith can’t shoot well but he THINKS he can shoot. Anyone who jacks up 201 three point shots in an NBA season and only makes .301 – is living proof of an “irrational exuberance” shooter. PF is his best NBA position based on his skillset.

        My question is why Iguodala isn’t then listed AHEAD of Klay? Lol!

        • if you care to look at Det’s actual roster rather than generate or regurgitate fixed notions re. smith, you’ll plenty of possible minutes for smith at the 3. Atl had plenty of ambivalence about where he should play and whether he helped make them a winner. in Det, they get to contemplate how jennings and smith can share the court.

  18. There’s only one player that shoots a higher FG percentage than Lee, and that’s Curry. We already lost Landry. Want to decline continue? Yes, we picked up Iggy, a defensive stopper. If we don’t run next year, there will be droughts in games scoring.,

    • Right. The team offense would benefit from playing Lee at C, and surrounding him with scorers. If they didn’t sacrifice so much D that way, they wouldn’t have had to play Ezeli and Bogut so much last year, turning the offense into a 4-on-5 attack.

      For the upcoming season, O’Neal has a history of being a two-way guy, but playing him moves Lee to the 4, where his edge in speed is somewhat negated.

      Speights appears to be sorta Lee-like: good offense, not great D. He’s no Landry, who, while not a shot-altering rim defender, gave 100% on both ends of the court. So playing a Lee/Speights front line would probably be worse defensively than a Lee/Landry combo, though having Iggy on the court might help offset the problem, depending on the opposition.

      The ideal solution would be for Lee (and Speights as a backup) to step up enough defensively to permit the coach to run Lee at C. Nothing is going to make Lee a shot blocker, but being effective on D is more about smarts, effort and discipline than it is about vertical leap. If it were only about athleticism, Harrison Barnes would have been the best defender on the team last season.

      Lee can play smart, tough D. I’ve seen him do it. For example, he completely schooled Anthony Davis last year. Maybe if the team can reduce his minutes, Lee will be able to make a higher level of effort on D more consistently next season. If so, the Ws will be tough to beat. If not, they’ll be less tough to beat.

      • I don’t think David Lee has nearly as much trade value with real NBA GMs as W’s fans believe…

        If you believe the semi-reputable rumors, Toronto rejected some form of Bargnani for Lee trade and Portland rejected some form of Aldridge for Lee trade.

        If David Lee is such a valuable 2-time NBA All-Star, then the W’s should get absolutely TONS of great offers for him in trade, right?

        • @Hat – Lee can play decent defense – we’ve all seen him do it. Perhaps fewer minutes will increase his intensity on the defensive end – as Coach played him so many minutes.

  19. I need to put an end to this David Lee nonsense. The negative fixation on David Lee’s defense among Warriors fans is absolutely ridiculous to me. A lot of it has to do with the negative publicity surrounding that Goldsberry MIT article — a completely arbitrary, unrigorous and unscientific piece of academic garbage, that I destroyed in these pages.

    David Lee is a terrific man-to-man defender against players his size or bigger. He has at various times completely shut down Aldridge, Love (ending his double-double streak), Gasol, Griffin, Faried and even the healthy Dwight Howard. (He is a poor defender of stretch-fours, but that is not his fault. It’s either the coach’s fault [for the matchup], or something you have to live with. You know who else were poor defenders of stretch-fours in their primes? Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan. Check out Nowitzki’s playoff stats against them.)

    David Lee is above average at generating steals, and one of the best rebounders in the league. DEFENSIVE REBOUNDING IS PART OF DEFENSE.

    What David Lee is not is a rim protector, and thus not a great help defender, which is why he should have been paired with an athletic shot-blocking center or power forward his entire career. WHICH HE NEVER WAS.

    David Lee is not only one of the best power forwards and centers in the league, but one of the best players in the league. Period. How do measure that? Not by one of the sausage factory advanced stats churned out by self-promoting snake oil salesman. Not by defense alone. Not by offense alone. You measure it by POINT DIFFERENTIAL. By how a player’s team performs with him on the court.

    David Lee had the BEST +/- on the Warriors last year. The BEST. And it wasn’t even close. Per 36 minutes: Lee +2.2, Curry +1.6, Bogut +1.7, Thompson +1.3, Jack +1.3, Barnes +0.8, Ezeli -1.6.

    Digging deeper into these stats, we know that David Lee earned his plus minus playing at the HARDEST times to play. Going against front-line units to start the first and third quarters, and in CRUNCHTIME.

    Here’s something else we know: Bogut and Ezeli rarely played in crunchtime. Bogut and Ezeli’s +/- were lower than Lee’s, and thus dragged his +/- down when he was paired with them. Which means that David Lee’s +/- was at its highest when he was playing CENTER.

    Now think about this. Despite what is widely viewed as his defensive deficiency, no one on the Warriors was better at generating POINT DIFFENTIAL than David Lee. And perhaps paradoxically to many Warriors fans — and posters here — the Warriors point differential went UP, when their emphasis on post defense went DOWN. In other words, when Lee was shifted to center.

    It’s not paradoxical at all to me. David Lee is a two-time all-star at the center position. A great all-around basketball player. Not only one of the best in the league currently, but one of the best I have ever seen.

    And Nellieball works for great players.

    I’m willing to make a bet with anyone who cares to take it. I will bet that the Warriors’ best performing lineup by +/- next season will be one with Lee at center, and Barnes or Green at power forward.

    The amount I am willing to wager is limited to… it’s not limited. I will bet any amount. Any takers?

    • A warning to those contemplating a wager: noted statphreak Evanz from GSoM agreed with me the second I posted this challenge on twitter.

    • The attack on Lee is not related to winning basketball games but might better be understood as motivated by tribal urges and sacrifice. This needs further study.

      Go to that Goldsberry piece:

      I linked this months ago, when we had the discussion, and it keeps coming back like a wart you thought you’d got rid of.

      Scroll down and look at those pictures, the one with Larry Saunders lording over the green zone near the hoop and Lee hovering over the red like a lost devil.

      1. Note that Saunders averaged 27 minutes a game last season, vs 36 for Lee. Stating the obvious, Lee had to carry a heavy load most of the game, and at critical junctures without rest.

      2. Then look at how much larger the Bucks roster is and consider how much more support Saunders had in his front court defense.

      3. Run a +/- on Saunders and compare with Lee’s.

      4. Note the Bucks’s greatly inferior record last season.

      Now do the same for the rest of the power forwards in the league.

      Optional and pointless: Make pretty pictures of all of them like Goldsberry’s and compare.

      Finally, run an exhaustive statistical study of all the reasons Goldsberry’s analysis is horribly flawed. This guy is a cartographer. He should stick to maps.

    • “…the Warriors point differential went UP, when their defense went DOWN. In other words, when Lee was shifted to center.”

      My point exactly. Imagine the point differential Lee would generate if he also made defensive stops.

      As for your argument that +/- is a measure of a player’s defensive chops, well, no it is not, as you know perfectly well. It’s a combination measure that factors in offense. Lee’s +/- is great because he’s an outstanding offensive player. Not a good offensive player, a great one, especially at center.

      He’d be better overall if he were better at D. That’s self-evident. The team would be better too, as your own +/- numbers suggest. If the coach didn’t have to run non-scorers at C to cover for Lee’s deficiencies, Lee could run more at C, where he scores more effectively. If it’s unfair to say Lee plays poor D, then make sure to tell Mark Jackson how he screwed up by giving Ezeli and Bogut so many minutes last year. Jackson didn’t have any choice. Lee’s didn’t give him any choice. “Ezeli saved Jackson’s season,” remember?

      My eyeballs tell me Lee can play D. I’ve seen him do it. I’ve also seen him too often act like his nickname, the friggin’ Golden Gate. I’ve seen him out of position, and playing matador. I’ve seen him step BACK from people driving the lane when he should have closed the path. Missing rotations and switches. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen him get dinged for stupid reach-in fouls instead of moving his feet. A lot. A WHOLE lot. Notice that I’m not referencing any stats or articles you hate, Feltie. I’m simply using my eyeballs here, just like you do. Or should.

      Anyway, it’s possible that the Ws will be able to give Lee more breaks this year. This is the first time the Ws have had enough bigs on the roster, with enough skills, to reduce Lee’s minutes to a more normal level. Hopefully, that will help his game overall. Especially his D.

      • I did not and would never argue that Lee’s +/- “is a measure of his defensive chops.” Not sure where you’re getting that. My only point regarding his +/- was that it’s a clear indicator of how valuable to this Warriors team he is.

        I never once argued that Lee should play center the entire game, and that Bogut/Ezeli/Biedrins shouldn’t start the first and third quarters (except perhaps when the other team is starting a small-ball unit with a PF at center). Of course the Warriors must start each half playing big. The reason has nothing to do with Lee’s defense, and everything to do with preserving his body for the fourth quarter. Lee can’t bang with 5s all game long for a season — as the last two years have sadly proven.

        I have argued that Bogut/Ezeli should never be on the floor in crunch time. The reasons for that are utterly obvious.

        As for Lee improving his defense, I simply don’t see it as an important concern. First of all, I never question his effort. The guy has an extraordinarily high usage rate, and I believe played either the most or second most minutes in the league among big men. He led the league in double/doubles, and was among the league leaders in points and rebounds for PFs. Just how much more can you expect him to give?

        Second, I really don’t fault him for much of his “matador” defense. He’s not a shot-blocker, and much of the time we see him back off he’s simply made a judgement that he can’t get to the spot in time to take a charge. And he doesn’t want to expose himself to a silly foul. Lee is one of the highest IQ players in the league, and I trust his judgement implicitly.

        Here’s a basic truth about NBA big men: The shot-blockers sacrifice rebounding for defense. They go for the shot block on the strong side, exposing the weak side (where most rebounds go). Ekpe Udoh is a perfect example of this. Great rebounders, on the other hand, frequently sacrifice defense for rebounding. They alway have an eye towards getting position on the weak side, which causes them to be late giving help on strong-side attacks. This was the well-known modus operandi of the great Dennis Rodman, whose dedication to team defense was questioned just like Lee’s. That questioning is misguided. Neither Lee nor Rodman is a shot-blocker. Both are great rebounders. And they focus on what they do best, and how they can best help their teams.

        As an aside, it occurs to me that this is one more flaw in Mr. Goldsberry’s deeply flawed study. He failed to (negatively) correlate rim defense with rebounding.

        As another aside, have you ever heard one of Lee’s coaches criticize his defense? It’s rampant in the media, and among fans, but has a coach ever called him out? Never, ever. I’ll tell you why: DEFENSIVE REBOUNDING IS A PART OF DEFENSE.

        Here’s another reason: you can count the number of NBA big men who like Lee give 100% effort every game, road or away, on the fingers of one hand. The guy is a total gamer.

        One final thought: it is going to suddenly appear to Warriors fans and commentators that David Lee’s defense has markedly improved this coming season. They and Mark Jackson and David Lee will credit it to increased focus and dedication. The real reason will be quite simple: Andre Iguodala and Toney Douglas.

        Lee’s greatest weakness as a defender is his inability to give help defending strong-side penetration. But was that more his fault, or the fault of the Warriors’ horrible perimeter defense last season? Iggy and Douglas are going to make Lee a much better defender. (As would the presence of a healthy big man in the middle, but that’s another story.)

        Here’s another prediction: if Bogut/ONeal/Ezeli get just roughly the same amount of minutes as the Warriors center tandem last season, the David Lee Warriors will be among the league’s BEST defensive teams next season. The rebounding goes without saying.

        • Beautiful analysis, FB, and utterly convincing. Perhaps, with minor revision, worth a separate post during the dog days, so it—and Lee—can get more attention?

          Your comments not only defend Lee and dispel a myth, but also define the whole strategy of the game and give perspective.

          +/- is a stat of limited and often questionable use. It does not consider the context of who is on the floor with a player or what strategy they follow.

          • We’re not talking about myths here, rgg. There are numerous reasons for Lee’s relative weakness on D, but that it exists is beyond doubt. He’s tremendous on O, not better than so-so on D. That’s a fact.

            Even if you count defensive rebounds as stops, Lee’s D doesn’t measure up to his O. Even counting rebounds as stops, Lee’s D has been far off the pace of other elite bigs.

            As FB and I have both pointed out, there are reasons for that disparity, and many of those reasons are solvable. Lee has been over-played throughout his tenure with the Ws. He has never played on a team with good wing defenders. Both those issues can be addressed this year.

            Some things can’t be blamed on circumstances. Lee will never be a shot blocker, so it’s smart for him to focus on position D and rebounds. He does one of those things well, not the other.

            Lee has a quick first step (we see it in his O), but he’s too often slow to respond on defensive rotations. That could be improved. He’s small and light for a C, his best position, but he obviously (!) does not do strength training. He should.

            I do think Lee will look better on D next season, in some ways, for the reasons Felt mentioned. But he needs work in other areas that are well within his control.

            On defense, a team isn’t any better than its weakest player. Do you think opponents don’t run the ball right at Lee? Why wouldn’t they?

            Next year, despite the expected improvement in D with the addition of Iggy, the weakest defenders on the team will still be Lee and Curry. Unless they themselves do something about it. I’m not sure what Curry can do to match up better with opposing smalls. There are some obvious things Lee can do to improve.

          • Talking about +/- has a tendency to start an argument — more so than other stats it seems. But, the very people who complain about it will talk about point differential in other ways, as if it’s different.

            But, I agree that +/- requires careful analysis. I’m confident, for example, that BJ Armstrong’s +/- was higher playing with MJ than it would have been with a mere mortal.

            But, when a player leads the team in +/-, on and off court, if somebody is going to criticize the stat, I think they ought to explain how somebody or something else was responsible for those numbers. Who was it? How did the numbers fall out that way?

            Conversely, when a player’s +/- sucks, an argument that he’s really helping the team ought to account for the fact that the score is moving the wrong way. This, IMO, is one reason the team didn’t suffer when Monta left.

          • Hat–

            You’re still not responding to FB’s analysis. The myth is that he is a bad defender, and it’s received too much play. This is not remotely true.

            As an all around player, few are in his class. Yes, his defense is not as good as his offense, but so what? But you have to live with tradeoffs, and you’ll be hard pressed to find many players who can do both at this level.

            If you want to analyze missed rotations, you have to do a large survey of representative cases and look at the total play, how the other players responded. That “matador” example Goldsberry cherry picked is not representative, nor is it convincing. In so many cases, Lee has had to make up for deficiencies in both the front and back court and will get caught with bad options where he doesn’t have good choices. If the perimeter is weak and his fellow player up front is slow and/or inexperienced, as has been the case all these years, he will get caught since he is the last man before the basket. This will change with the new additions.

            As for bulking up, I’ll leave that to Lee and his best judgment. Often bulk comes with a sacrifice of speed and skill, and I’d hate to see him become a different player. He is not a beast—but who wants a beast?

            His salary is steep, but consider where the club was when they got him. The only other options within his class at the time were Stoudemire and Bosh, neither of whom generated much excitement here, neither of whom are good defenders. And when you have a bad record and no pieces to trade, you have to pay the price.

            Lee was the first step in building the club for the future—a capable 4-5—and then it stalled for several years. Finally the team is on the right track.

  20. Thank you. I have never understood why a lot of posters (mostly on Adam’s board) trash Lee’s defense without explaining how his +/- could be so good if his defense was that bad.

    It’s also interesting that Lee’s off court +/- was the “best” on the team. Meaning, the team suffered more when Lee sat than anybody else. That may say more about his backup than about him, but it confirms the notion that he was extremely valuable.

    One argument might be that Lee got a lift from Landry, but, if Landry was carrying Lee, why is Landry’s +/- actually negative on a very good team?

    Bogut’s +/- was also good, but, notably, he was rarely on court without Lee. I couldn’t get all the numbers, but it looks like Bogut played 786 minutes and somewhere around 700 of them were with Lee. In the few minutes he played without Lee, the 5 man data shows that the team usually lost ground.

    Too bad I can’t get the pairwise player data from any more.

    I think the Lee trashing got a boost from the playoffs, where the team looked very good without Lee. Hard to argue with success. I think that Dray, Barnes and Bogut elevated their games for the playoffs and were able to compensate for Lee’s absence, particularly against Denver. Against SA, the ankles were just too much to overcome (Curry and Bogut’s).

    • +1

      You are right that the DLee trashing (and the equally ridiculous overestimation of Barnes’ talent as well) began in earnest in the playoffs. This is what I saw: The Warriors simply didn’t need Lee against Denver’s decimated small ball roster and incompetent centers. But he was very badly missed in the SA series. Simple as that.

      • warriorsablaze

        Maybe. If Steph and Bogut’s ankles had held up we had a good shot at shocking the Spurs. We did win more games against them than any other team in the playoffs until Miami. Certainly with Steph hobbled, we desperately needed Lee’s offense… I’m not convinced that Lee, and not Steph’s (and Bogut’s) ankle, was the primary piece missing in that series.

        • I think that the W’s had a shot to win the SA series with no other change but Curry’s ankle being healthy. If both Curry and Bogut were healthy, it looked to me that SA was in serious trouble.

          Hard to say about Lee, since the W’s did beat SA without Lee (but with healthier Bogut and Curry and, maybe, a less healthy Parker). But, I think it’s fair to say that Dray and Barnes seriously stepped up. I love that as much as the next W fan, but it was only a few games. We need to see if they can do it consistently against varied competition.

  21. Same problem. If he sucks that bad, why is his +/- the team’s best, by far? And, even if he is a terrible defender, ultimately, point differential is the only number that matters.

    Anecdotal evidence of matador defense must be reconciled with facts where possible. Sometime back I checked opponents’ scoring with and without Lee. It’s true, it was worse. By about a point (per 36 min, iirc). But, the offense was better by about 4 points.

    What that tells me is that the numbers do not indicate that Lee is a problem for the team. Quite the opposite.

  22. On an entirely different topic, here’s a bittersweet return to times past:

    Joe Dumars and Rick Mahorn welcome Chauncey Billups back to Detroit. The Pistons will be a respectable team this year, but honestly, Billups won’t play a big role. He can’t. That’s OK. He’s a bridge to the team’s glory years.

    To an old Detroiter, it’s poignant to see that Dumars and Mahorn, the true core of Detroit’s 80s Bad Boys, are still with the organization. As the Pistons GM, Dumars hasn’t done so well for the team lately, but he’s one in a million. A Stone Cold Killer with a sweet smile.

    Mahorn is… the Mahorn. Yikes. Today he’s old and awfully out of shape, but still one of the most starkly terrifying humans on the planet. Check out those “no forgiveness” eyes. Oh yes. You can’t miss that promise of violence.

    Bad Boys. Overtly threatening, coldly abusive, only approximately legal. The pack that ran the Jordan Rules to keep the Bulls (a better team) from the championship for years. The dirtiest, grittiest, nastiest team to ever win it all.

    Detroit is my home town. That team was its perfect representative.

    Welcome back, Chauncey.

    Kill, baby, kill.

    • Det for me means a very unique cultural milieu, of which hoops (to my non-Mi/Det soul) is more an appendage, rather than the core. the musik for me is the core, and of the sports, ice hockey. g.howe reached an iconic status before any of the hoops counterparts. as for die musik, not only the motown demigods, but the immortal jones bros. [Elvin, Hank, Thad]. Det made the machines that gave its homeland the edge in the 40s and the boom that continued for five decades after.

      as one of the extremities of the great afrikan-amerikan diaspora, Det is soul sister with the bay area. the east side, though, more so than SF, with the demigod athletes, russell, kidd, silas, henderson, robinson, morgan, stargell.

      • would be delinquent to bring up Det musik and the Jones brothers without also naming Tommy Flanagan, pianist for both Coltrane and Rollins on monumental recording dates and longtime musical direktor for ella f., and Alice Coltrane.

  23. Yours and mine are different takes on the culture of Detroit, moto. My family is all from northern Europe, refugees from the first world war. Not a music-centric culture. At parties, the accordions came out. Nuff said.

    Even in the 50s, Detroit was divided into armed camps. Later, white flight and the 60s riots left much of Detroit proper in crumbling ruins that have been decaying ever since. In my lifetime it has always had the feel of a war zone. True fact: at arena rock concerts in the 70s, all audience members were frisked and weapons were checked at the door.

    I saw Dave Bing and the Pistons play in the old Cobo Arena downtown, but the Bad Boy Pistons didn’t play downtown anymore. The Palace in Auburn Hills is 20+ miles outside Detroit proper, out in the suburbs. Still, if an NBA team ever had the personality and culture of its locality, the BadBoy Pistons did. Do whatever it takes, take no shit, serious business happening here. Chuck Daly had his team play like Gordie Howe, an approach that resonated with Detroiters. It wasn’t just about winning, and it certainly wasn’t a style thing.

    Chauncey knows what all that’s about. Of course, the BadBoys playing style wouldn’t fly in today’s squeaky-clean NBA, but as Gregg Popovich says, a certain amount of “nasty” is still necessary. Maybe Chauncey can help make the Pistons respectable again. Maybe not. But it’s not just about winning. Not in Detroit.

  24. Song for the new Warriors and a nod to Motown. (Up tempo, but I wanted a live performance and the backup singers.)

    • Also a song for David Lee.

      • From that same concert, and same album. Fasten your heartbelt.

        • the pantheon of world musik might have missed the goddess Aretha if she wasn’t pried loose from her Det motown-scene milieu at a young age by the demi-god producer john hammond (Columbia, played a critical role in bringing billie h. and count b. to the national audience in the 30s, a folkie robert zimmerman in the 60s, springsteen in the 70s among many others). as her legend goes, he singled her voice out of her father’s church. her family made sure to send a chaperone with her when she left for the brighter lights.

          Columbia however, not unexpected given her age and novice status in the bidness, inflicted upon her their choices for repertory, musicians, arrangements and lost beaucoup $$ with her recordings (90k so they said, not peanuts in the jfk era). the goddess we know was midwifed by the co-producers ahmet ertegun, son of a Turkish diplomat who’d take a night train on his own when he was still a schoolboy from DC to get to Harlem ’cause he loved great black musik, and jerry wexler. they auditioned her accompanying herself on piano, and loved that sound and groove. getting back to my observation that Det and the bay area are on the extremities of the great black amerikan diaspora, wexler and ertegun (to whom aretha has always given huge props not just for transforming her career but nurturing her as a human) gave her songs, musicians, arrangements closer to the heart and soul of great black musik.

    • Yeah!

      That song was on the very first album I ever bought (“I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You”), released in 1967 when Aretha was 25. Unfreakinbelievably powerful, moving music. If you like that sort of thing.

      (A warning: if you’re interested in the album, be advised that it was poorly recorded and mixed. No other Aretha album has the raw power and emotion of this one, but all of them are better produced.)

      Aretha was from Detroit and reportedly lives there still, but she never recorded with Motown Inc. Her singing career began in her father’s church, and she brought her gospel background into popular music. The Motown pop formula didn’t fit her. Thankfully, she did things her own way.

      Thanks, rgg.

    • geraldmcgrew

      In Detroit’s Bankruptcy Why Are Contracts with Workers a Joke?

  25. @ rgg on Lee

    Once final time, then I’ll drop it because I only get bored with conversations where facts don’t seem to matter.

    Lee is a great player overall. It’s also a fact that on D he is the worst big on the Warriors roster. He always has been. There is no question, no dispute about that. Here’s some evidence from people who live and die with their judgment on the issue: If Lee were great on D the Ws would never have paid such a high price for Bogut.

    Some of Lee’s defensive limitations are beyond his control. He’s not tall, he’s not springy, not especially quick, he’s built to be a below-the-rim player. Felt is also right to say that poor wing D makes bigs appear worse than they are – and over the last 3-4 seasons the Warriors wing D has been awfully bad. In Lee’s first two seasons with the Ws, the coaching also sucked. That had an impact. Lee has also been one of the most overworked bigs in the NBA over that time.

    But all that doesn’t doesn’t exempt Lee’s D from scrutiny, it doesn’t explain away all the ways Lee has screwed up on D over the last 3 years, and it doesn’t mean he couldn’t be better. He could.

    If Lee did improve his D, his team would perform even better. Among other things, it would permit his coach to run him more often at C, where his offensive skills give him the most advantages over opponents. And his team could run one more scorer instead of a non-scoring “defensive specialist” to back up Lee at the hoop.

    There absolutely are ways for Lee to perform better on D. Most of those opportunities involve training and repetition, effort and discipline. Not athleticism. Here’s an example: Is Shane Battier a great athlete? Is Lee a better defender than Battier? No and no. Battier has carved out an entire NBA career from D. He shows what can be done by a too-short, too-slow defender with even fewer athletic gifts than Lee’s.

    If I’m Lee’s coach, I’m posting Battier’s mug in front of Lee wherever he goes.

    Loyalty is a wonderful thing, rgg, but competition is coldly fact-based. Lee does lots of great things for the Ws, but he hasn’t played D as well as he could. That is a fact. If there’s one single player on the Ws who could improve the whole team by improving his defense, that player is David Lee. If you’re interested, see above for specifics.

    • Baloney.

      You haven’t even made a case that Lee is that weak on defense. And largely, you’re criticizing him for something he is not.

      If I’m loyal to Lee, it’s because he’s such a determined competitor and has shown that game in and game out and earned it. As FB says, he is bright and committed. I have full confidence he’s done everything he can to be the best player he can be and won’t let up.

        • This is Omer. Damn. Asik. One of the slowest-footed players in the NBA blowing by David Lee.

          • Just as Lee blows by Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan and virtually every other PF in the game when he has a wide open lane. Asik had a running start and Lee had no chance.

            Humorously enough, to my eye, none of these videos illustrate your point. In the first, he can’t be expected to pick up guards out on the floor. In the second, Landry failed to switch. Surely there must be better examples out there to cherry pick.

          • In all three cases, Lee is playing out, where any PF will be vulnerable and any team will be tested. He has to cover a lot of ground against faster players who have much room to work with, will have many options for where to move, and can get a running start since he can’t move out further to defend without exposing the lane to other opponents.

            I suppose we could fault Lee for not having lightning reflexes and a faster step, but that’s a lot to ask for. And really it’s like playing net in tennis. You don’t have time to react to all the possibilities so have to make a quick guess for a spot, commit, and often will get burned.

            1. In the first example, look at Lee directing the defense for the other players the first seconds. Especially here he’s looking at a lot of court to cover. Yes he got blown by, but by a faster guard and exactly what was supposed to happen happened: Bogut closed in at the bucket and blocked. This is why you need capable players playing with him in the front court.

            And actually Bogut was a bit slow picking up the last line of defense (did he foul?).

            How good a defender is Bogut away from the basket, btw?

            2. In the second he is nearly screened out. Also he is protecting the larger part of the center court, away from the end line, the more likely threat. And give #2 (who is that?) and Houston for making a very fine play. It happens.

            3. In the third, not only does Asik get a running start, but his driving is an incredibly unlikely event, hard to anticipate. Lee was still protecting the lane. But yes, I would have liked Lee to have made an quicker step in front of Asik and he got burned. Did it happen again?

            In short, I don’t find these examples convincing at all.

            All three show the need for team defense. No one player can be expected to cover all that space. Lee is just the one who will most get caught in the middle.

            All three also show the advantage of spreading the offense—and teams with players who can make the spread. They make defense difficult for any team. It’s the kind of offense the Warriors should have, and Lee plays in it very well with his shooting, passing, and pick and roll skills. Bogut sucks.

            Finally, none of these examples are related to Goldberry’s critical “red zone,” under the basket.

            Curry is an excellent defender with his quickness in seeing the floor and skill at anticipation. He often disrupts plays before they happen and gets in place for many rebounds, exceptional for a guard. But he does have his limitations and will have trouble covering quick, strong players on the perimeter, especially in half court sets. But why don’t you play all the youtubes where he got burned on the perimeter?

            Or for that matter show the hundreds of shots he’s missed and make the case he is a lousy shooter? He didn’t get off good shots at all against San Antonio the last two games, and you could argue he can’t create his own shots, as many have. But in both those games, San Antonio made the killer adjustment. They played soft on Bogut, put their weakest defender on Barnes, and were able to smother Thompson and Curry.

            If you want to believe something, you will always find it.

      • Just tell me when to stop, rgg. Youtube has a million of ’em. EVERYBODY has scored on David Lee. EVERYBODY. EASILY.

        Note the bad positioning and bad footwork. As Lee’s devoted fan, you must love the off-balance, too-late swipes at the ball, usually good for a foul call.

        Or maybe you favor the missed rotations, failure to box out, or last-second desperation arm grabs. Tell me how this is good D. I’m breathless in anticipation.

    • My candidate for most in need of defensive improvement (and most capable) is Harrison Barnes.

      • There’s hope for HB. He’s athletic, he’s new to the NBA game, and he’s just been bounced off the starting squad. It’s too soon to write him off.

        • I did write “most capable” didn’t I?

          How about a video of Barnes falling on his ass trying to guard Ginobili’s last second three?

          • How about 40 videos of Lee hopelessly swiping at the ball while smiling scorers breeze by him?

            Felt, you see things I don’t. It’s why I read your stuff. You’re usually right, and you almost always offer a payable edge on the game. Dude, you’re the greatest. Being an actual human being, sometimes you’re wrong too. Not often, but sometimes.

            I think David Lee is a real asset to the Warriors. I have never said, never even imagined, that he is a liability to the team. But if you want to argue that he’s been a good defender for the Warriors, well, friend, your eyeballs and my eyeballs don’t see eye to eye. Ai yi yi.

            Suddenly, I can’t even comprehend your POV. That’s very disturbing to me. Maybe I’m losing it. [wait a minute…] Nope, I’m barely less sharp than yesterday, so little I almost can’t notice the difference. Hm. Maybe it’s not me. Maybe all those people (including Warriors management) who think Lee’s defense is inadequate aren’t wrong, maybe it’s only Feltbot who thinks he can do no wrong.

            Dude. Reality check time.

          • Let’s keep our eyes on the ball. No one is disagreeing with the idea that Lee is not a great defender. Everyone knows that, even fanboys like myself and rgg. What we’re disagreeing with are the suggestions that first, he CAN improve, and second, that he NEEDS to improve. See @29 below.

            You imply that Warriors management agrees with you that he needs to improve on D. Any evidence of that?

  26. As I have pointed out many times, the Udoh-Lee combination, plus 7. Lee-Bogut. plus 2. Warriors made awful trade.

    I think the O’Neal-lee tandem will out perform Lee-Barnes or Green.

  27. I was also very sensitive to the +/- issue for Udoh. It contributed to my opinion that he was a very special defender as a W. His numbers have not looked as good since then. Since I don’t watch those games, I won’t offer an opinion as to why.

    On the other hand, Monta’s +/- numbers looked horrible, except when he played with Baron. So, I saw the trade as addition by subtraction with regard to Monta.

    And that brings us to Bogut. I think that Denver would have had a better chance of winning the playoff series if Udoh played the same minutes (or more) in place of Bogut. I saw Bogut be a difference maker at a very high level of competition. For Udoh, it was mostly in a bad season, a good portion of which the W’s apparently tanked. Not a knock on Udoh — he often took over a game with his defense that year. But would he have been able to do that against Denver or SA? Bogut could.

  28. Gosh, I can’t believe there’s even a question about the poor quality of Lee’s D. What kind of Koolaid are you people into?

    Let’s approach it another way.

    It’s fair to think of the 2012-13 Draymond Green as a shorter and even less athletic version of David Lee. He’s 2-3″ shorter than Lee. Green’s vertical leap can be measured by slipping a credit card under his heels. Last season he was out of shape, overweight, and hampered by a nagging knee problem.

    Draymond averaged 13.4 minutes per game last season. He totaled 25 blocks and 42 steals in that time.

    Lee averaged 36.8 minutes per game last season, almost 3x that of Draymond. Lee totaled 22 blocks and 67 steals in that time. That’s FEWER blocks and only 1.5x the steals in 3x the time.

    C’mon now, let’s all start being honest here. Lee has some room for improvement on D.

    Draymond is living proof that good defense is not about athleticism. Lee is NOT a worse athlete than last season’s Green. There aren’t many NBA players at all who are worse athletes than last season’s Green.

    Defense is mostly about effort, not talent. Lee could get better results on D if he worked harder and smarter at it. Personally, I’d be happy if he could simply remove his head from his ass, defense-wise. Maybe he could take lessons from Draymond Green, an inferior athlete but far superior defender. However Lee does it is fine with me.

    But geez, guys, pleasepleaseplease don’t tell me Lee is a good defender, or that he’s somehow not physically capable of competent defense. That is simply not true. If you believe it is, well, heh heh, I’ve got some magic beans you might be interested in. Apparently you’re capable of believing any darn thing.

    • You answer your own question. Lee IS on the court three times as long, for long stretches, and has to spell his energy. Green plays in spurts and can cut loose. And who exactly is usually on the floor when Green plays? The second unit of the other team.

      This Jack is holding on to Mom’s cow for a better offer.

      • OK, whatever, I’m outta here.

        Interested in those magic beans, rgg? Lee’s gotta a million of ’em for you.

        • The chief problem with your argument as I see it is going from the premise that Lee is not a great defender to the conclusion that there is “room for improvement.” He is not going to grow hops, footspeed or stamina. And it’s obvious that he gives everything he has every time he sets foot on the court. And prioritizes his strengths. In what significant way can he improve?

          The second problem is the perception that he NEEDS to improve on defense. Curry and Lee are the fabulously talented core of this Warriors team. They are who they are, like Magic and Larry and Mullin and Mark Jackson before them, gifted players with athletic limitations that cost them defensively. They both work extremely hard, and have very little room for improvement. And they don’t need to improve. The DEFENSIVE PERSONNEL AROUND THEM needs to improve.

          Lacob finally took care of business this offseason. Watch and enjoy.

          • PS. How about a video of Draymond Green getting burned by Andre Miller to lose that playoff game?

          • Oddly enough, if Lee doesn’t get injured, are the W’s even in a position to win/tie – with Andre Miller/Draymond Green finish?

  29. The reason the Warriors were a six plus with Udoh two years in a row, and only a plus 2 with Bogut is because the Warriors performed better with Udoh both offensively and defensively.

    And playing the speculation game, the Warriors would have beat the Spirs in the second if he was with the Warriors.

    • Aaaargh, Frank. Just Aaaargh. In case you hadn’t noticed, Udoh isn’t in this discussion. Udoh’s not in anybody’s discussion, not anywhere in the world, nowhere nohow.

  30. Hmm. Copyright claim on the first Aretha Franklin “Respect.” Here’s another, I like better.

    • Bless you again, rgg.

      I wonder why Retha’s fuzzy-poofy hip enhancement thingie seems so apropos to me at this moment. Guess I’ll have to think on that.

      For the nonce, I feel myself moved to fire up the data server thang, heat some tubes, and annoy neighbors with ancient auditory offerings from lost shores.

      [translation: play some Retha on the hifi real, real loud.]

  31. Nice analysis here of a Warriors Clips game last season. You see what up tempo and three point shooting can do (watch Lee get the ball and lead the break at 2:10). And, as a bonus, you see why Griffin is overhyped, in so many ways.

  32. geraldmcgrew @25 “In Detroit’s Bankruptcy Why Are Contracts with Workers a Joke?”
    The author of this article totally misses the point and acts like the workers are being treated poorly because other cities’ bad contracts remain in force. The basic idea of bankruptcy is get out of ALL existing contracts. Per the author’s example, Chicago could have gotten out of the bad meter contract if it declared bankruptcy. So for Detroit, bondholders and workers’ pensions are both facing pennies on the dollar. Any pension any worker has is subject to the organization responsible for the pension fund staying solvent..

    The idea of bankruptcy is that an entity is deeply in debt beyond its ability to pay back. Once bankruptcy occurs, the entity is relieved of all debts and whatever assets exist are divided among the creditors. The entity gets to start over financially. What will be interesting if government entities choose to screw bondholders and illegally favor the workers as Obama did in the GM case.

    Detroit is $18 Billion in debt of which $9B is owed to state workers’ pensions. In 2004 Detroit had 50% of state workers actively working and 50% on pension. Now Detroit has 60% of state workers not working, but on pension and drawing substantial salaries. These percentages will get worse as the Detroit economy shrinks and more state workers retire…. It is totally unsustainable, so workers’ pensions will have to be altered…

    If the pension plans are reduced there will be a long line of cities and states lining up to start over financially… Total of states’ pension liabilities is $5 Trillion, never going to be paid…. Never can be paid. Most corporations realized in the early 80’s that pension plans were not feasible as life spans increase and almost all private retirement plans were terminated… The states and municipalities never got around to ending them on their own.

    The Federal government probably has the worst problem with unfunded liabilities for federal workers, but uniquely, the Fed can just print money to pay these debts and then of course, the value of the money will decrease.

    • I don’t think you’re correct about the point of bankruptcy being to get out of ALL contracts. The remaining assets in bankruptcy are distributed according to priority. In the private sector, secured creditors get first priority (are those not contracts?). Bondholders and bank lenders are next in line. Then preferred stock holders, and if anything is left, the shareholders last. So you see, some contractual obligations are fulfilled while others are not.

      The author’s point seems to me to be not so much political as legal: simply that under Michigan law, pensions get priority over the bondholders. This distinction will be important when negotiating the restructuring of the debt.

      • Fb – The idea is that ALL contracts are up for renegotiation which means the existing terms of the contract are no longer binding. The author is saying if the pensions are modified then it is a joke… I would say if they are not modified it is a joke….

        The law quoted in the article does not say that pensions get priority over other creditors. It says the contract should not be modified. That phrase would imply the municipality just arbitrarily changing the terms. The phrase does not override all the aspects of bankruptcy law which start at the premise that all debts cannot be paid.

        • The parties of course have the option to negotiate a deal to avoid litigation. If left to the court, however, the contracts are enforced according to priority.

          I have no opinion on whether the author’s interpretation of Michigan law is correct.

        • geraldmcgrew

          Very much enjoyed this back and forth (Thanks for making it a fair fight FB, the “recovering lawyer”).

          I’ll let Dean fight his own battles. He’s easy to find if one wants to take him on. For myself I’ll just say that I know what side I’m on. Not just on this issue, but in general. Since the highest level members of the judiciary are actually politicians in robes, I expect what side THEY’RE on to determine what happens on this one. …at least in the short term.

          • I’m probably more in your camp than Buck’s — so long as Michigan law is murky enough to allow for interpretation. It seems to me that there is far more equity on the side of preserving worker’s life savings rather than the investments of large institutions.

            On the other hand, if Detroit is unable to meet its pension obligations going forward, something’s got to give.

          • geraldmcgrew

            FB, I might agree with your second paragraph in a vacuum. But I’m one those who believe the federal gov’t should be running much larger deficits to stimulate demand in this lousy economy. Making sure workers’ pensions are covered could be one of many, many things such spending goes toward if that proves necessary. Or a bailout may be in order, though whether that’s the best option I don’t know. Point is I think the feds should spend what’s necessary to turn things around.

            Of course our current politics preclude this course from being taken in Washington. So this is yet another issue over which the anger of working people and those who can’t find work will continue to build and the base for organized nonviolent action will continue to grow.

            Something’s got to give indeed.

          • I’m also a Keynesian, but a bailout would be a political and extra-legal rather than purely legal decision. Or put another way, an act based on federal rather than state law.

            Also note the “going forward” part of my statement. A bailout won’t help Detroit meet its future obligations. It seems likely to me that the unions will have to make concessions.

          • geraldmcgrew

            Agree that solutions (including “going forward”) would be political (and economic) and extra-legal rather than purely legal decision….

            Bringing Arithmetic to Public Pensions


            Schools vs. Banks?


  33. Great reads here! Keep it coming!

    My question to the W’s Front Office/Myers/Jerry West…

    What caused the W’s to all of a sudden shop their All-Star PF in David Lee?

    Was it that the W’s played excellent in the playoffs (and arguably BETTER) without David Lee?

    Are tail end years 4, 5, and 6 of Lee’s deal too much and hampering the roster?

    Was it the realization that David Lee doesn’t fit well with Andrew Bogut – and the W’s are choosing Bogut over Lee?

    Was it the realization that the less expensive and more versatile Harrison Barnes/Draymond Green/M. Speights will be the W’s PFs of the future?

    David Lee was being shopped this summer and the W’s were caught – and Joe Lacob had to save face with Lee in saying Lee wasn’t being discussed in trade. Lacob’s statement merely confirms the trade David Lee rumor in my mind.

    Fortunately for David Lee fans, the $44 million or so left on his deal may be too much of a burden for teams to take on in trade…

    • My understanding is that the Warriors only explored the interest in Lee in the event they needed his salary slot to fit Dwight Howard in. And Harrison Barnes was widely rumored to be included in trade scenarios with the Lakers. Your point?

      Your stubborn persistence that Barnes and Green are potential front-line PFs is baffling to me. Is there any team in the league that starts a comparable tweener at PF for 82 games? It’s never going to happen, not least because Barnes and his agent won’t let it happen — they believe he’s destined for greatness at SF, and won’t want to risk his health banging with much larger players. Just like every other tweener in league history — Al Harrington being the latest Warriors example.

      I have a feeling you’re going to find certain aspects of this season very disappointing.

      • “My understanding is that the Warriors only explored the interest in Lee in the event they needed his salary slot to fit Dwight Howard in.”

        This “understanding” sounds really great until one sees that LaMarcus Aldridge actually makes MORE per season than David Lee, NOT LESS… Andrea Bargnani’s acquisition would have only saved the W’s a couple million dollars. Lastly, the Utah Jazz emerged as a team willing to accept Andrew Bogut’s last year. So no – this understanding is flawed…

        The W’s DID test the waters on David Lee’s value around the NBA this summer (and not necessarily for Dwight Acquisition) and likely only got a tepid response. Lacob’s denial (of shopping Lee) merely CONFIRMS this IMO… Lol!

        Why am I so stubbornly persistent regarding Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green playing PF? Perhaps it was the W’s Playoff Series with the Nuggets and Spurs? You know – two dominant teams with HOF coaches constantly put on top of a pedestal here and on Adam’s blog in the past.

        The Denver Nuggets were KO’d (let the excuses/explanations roll out why) so devastatingly, they’ve now been dismantled. Lol! The W’s were a 4-minute span of ineptitude ball handling away from going 3-0 on the San Antonio Spurs – with Game 4 in Oakland… The 16-year Spurs home court advantage (over the W’s) of the Tim Duncan Era – finished.

        WITHOUT David Lee.

        And WITH Harrison Barnes/Draymond Green at PF.

        And when did you have lunch/drinks with Harrison Barnes’ agent? How could you possibly know what he thinks regarding to player positions? Lots of small ball 4s get paid quite handsomely… And perhaps the agent doesn’t think highly of Harrison Barnes (that he’s not a superstar, but merely a tweener?)? And Harrison Barnes played quite nicely as a playoff smallball 4, don’t you think?

        I even recall FB’s immediate post where FB thought it would be a great idea to play Barnes at the PF spot against Denver in the playoffs… Lee’s injury having forced Coach Mark Jackson’s hand… It was lightening in a bottle IMO. Why the change of tune now? Is small ball a gimmick strategy merely to run a lumbering player off the court? Or should the W’s try the strategy more… Ahhh, the sight of two lumbering bigs together – Bogut and Lee – clogging the lane isn’t as appealing as it once was… Thanks to the playoffs! Lol!

        RE: +/- numbers to prove arguments: Anyone can use these same stats to determine that Matt Bonner or Mario Chalmers have better stats than Tim Duncan or LeBron James – then extrapolate… Lol!

        “I have a feeling you’re going to find aspects of this season very disappointing.”

        Should a HEALTHY Lee/Bogut front court fail to produce next season – it will be disappointing for ALL W’s fans. But no more than many posters here – who had to watch Andrew Bogut, Harrison Barnes, and the W’s (including Lacob, Myers, West, etc.) do extremely well in the playoffs… And without David Lee, Monta Ellis, etc. to boot! Lol!

        This will be my last post on this issue for now. Truce.

        • Playoffs are very different from regular season, just as short stretches of games are very different from an 82 game grind.

          Barnes matching up with other tweeners as he could against Denver is of course ideal. Tell me, did the Warriors start him against San Antonio? How many teams in the league start tweeners for Barnes to match up against?

          Tweeners either start at SF, or come off the bench. Except for Don Nelson, George Karl and Mike D’Antoni — and those coaches are known to be unpopular in Warriors land.

          I don’t have to know Barnes’ agent to be able to recall 20-some years of tweeners and their agents fighting to be played at SF instead of PF, and make a reasonable inference from that. Anthony Randolph, Harrington, Josh Smith, Beasley, Derrick Williams, Marcus Morris… the list is endless. There is simply no way Barnes wants the starting PF role for himself. Not his brand.

          Sorry. That’s the reality.

        • PB, you quickly forget that Lee carried the warriors through the doldrums of the regular season with his consistent scoring and rebounding. Remember Bob Fitz calling out the double-double count in his high-pitched squeal virtually every night? The front office has developed the depth of this team for the regular season and the playoffs. That is how to win in this league. (Or you have LeBron James.)

        • if what you are supposing/speculating is true about the lacobites trying to dump lee and go all-in after howard, it’s too bad they didn’t succeed. you’d get to see barnes and green at the four. both the lacobites and the howard bandwagoneers would get to learn what happens to a team that makes a limited ball skill, low hoops i.q. guy the franchise star.

          • @PB24 – No doubt Lee stays relatively healthy, plays TONS of minutes which is crucial in the regular season, scores, rebounds, passes, etc. I just don’t see him as a difference-making player for winning, especially in the playoffs where bad defense is magnified.

            @Moto – What I’m saying is that the W’s Front Office shopped Lee, and not necessarily only to clear cap space for Howard…

            The W’s cleared the necessary cap space for Howard with the Utah trade. And could have easily dumped Bogut’s expiring $14,000,000 salary.

            Most “experts” have Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets ranked in the top 4 or so teams in the Western Conference… None too shabby. Time will tell.

    • Bogut was put on the blocks as well.

  34. Because I can’t resist:

    • Lol! I think it would have been much sweeter if old man Manu had actually made the shot… At least Harrison AND Green actually try to play defense. Lol!

  35. Hat: The discussion regarding D. Lee included who should he be paired with in order for him to be most effective playing defense. I just mentioned that to date Udoh has been that player

    • in the non-fantasy realm of lineups, two of the most effective units defensively last season (that had sufficient minutes to make the sample relevant) were curry, thompson, barnes, lee, biedrins, and curry, jack, thompson, green, lee. the last named, with lee at center and the smallish green at the four, was also one of the most effective on the boards.

      • Interesting. If Green ever gets good enough with that three to draw a defender, he’ll be an incredibly valuable player, and the perfect complement to Lee in the Nellieball unit.

  36. Against good teams who know how to score inside, David Lee gets obliterated playing center.

    • No, he doesn’t. He gives better than he gets, as proven by his +/- at center in crunchtime, and validated by his two all-star selections by the league’s coaches.

      • Lee’s first All-Star appearance was as a replacement player for A. Iverson – selected by Commissioner Stern, not the coaches. The selection was controversial because Lee played on a LOSING Knicks team.

        Still on the +/-?

        • You mean like the first-time selections of Blake Griffin and Kevin Love?

          +/- is a stat that is frequently employed in flawed ways, in the absence of requisite analysis. That doesn’t mean it can’t be extremely useful when handicapped by the appropriate analysis. If you have an argument with my analysis of David Lee’s +/-, let’s hear it.

  37. D. Lee was selected to be an all-star as a Power Forward, not a Center.

    His offense provides the Warriors with a plus no matter what position he play’s, but he’s the last guy you want playing center in the fourth quarter of a playoff games, as he lacks the ability to provide weak side help.

    • Hard to follow your line of reasoning, if the lineups with him playing center have the best +/- on the team. Basketball is a two-way sport.

      Also, if the Warriors need to make up a deficit in crunchtime, does your analysis still hold?

  38. Also, the Warriors are it going to have a higher plus with a Lee-green tandem over a O’Neal- Lee tandem as you contend.

  39. I meant to say sre not going to have a highest plus with a Lee-Green tandem over a O’Neal-Lee tandem as you contend.

  40. Mark Cuban explains blowing up the Mavs after the championship run

    • I enjoyed reading Mark Cuban’s piece.

      I would have blown it up this year, but it’s Cuban’s team. Funny quote about Nellie asking if the owner wanted to tank…

      “A quick story. The week I bought the Mavs I was asked by Nellie if I wanted to bag the season in order to get the best draft pick that we could. My response was “No. At some point this franchise has to learn how to win and develop a culture of winning. You don’t create that culture by tanking the season. I don’t know how many games we can win, but we are going to try to win every one of them.” Thank goodness we didn’t tank the season It wasn’t a very good draft. And that turn around for the rest of the season helped define who we were and are to this day.”

  41. In his eighth game with the Warriors against the Knicks at MSG, David Lee suffered The Bite from Chandler. The trainers plugged it up, he returned, and went on to lead the team in victory. He scored 28 points and pulled down 10 boards.;_ylt=AuTFvrmjn6emkdSWRE54BisyPaB4?gid=2010111018

    The Bite turned into an infection that could not be stopped and there was concern it would end his career—cutting out the afflicted muscle was considered. Instead, he returned some two weeks later and played 42 minutes in a win against Minnesota, and continued to play heavy minutes the rest of the season. The guy is a Warrior.

    The team won 36 games that season, 10 more than the previous season and one better than the Bogut Bucks in the vastly weaker Eastern Conference. When you make adjustments on how much stronger the Western Conference was then—Paul in NO, healthy Lakers, full strength Mavericks and Spurs, etc.—almost across the board, that record comes close to the record they just had.

    That may not sound impressive, and it’s not, but it does mean that the Warriors were finally on the way to respectability, and Lee led the way and provided the core for that improvement. They finally had someone up front who could account for himself and help lead the team.

    But also consider that Lee had little help up front. Biedrins played center most of the season, 59 games. Udoh, then a rookie, missed the first third of the season. After that, at 4 or 5, there was no help at all, other than Gad and Rad, unless you want to count Amundson. BWright missed most of the season with injury. Lee and Curry both missed about 10 games. And add to that Smart’s coaching, who kept pushing post up Biedrins and half court play, not taking advantage of the offense he did have. Curry was held back, much to our dismay.

    Lee got no more help the next season, when they tanked.

    He did get some help this past season with Landry, and we saw the results as he led the team into the playoffs. He didn’t get much help from Bogut, however, whose transcendence kept him off the court most of the regular season. The notion that he wouldn’t have helped during the playoffs, that they played better without him, is sheer bullshit. It goes against all the evidence of the past years.

    You would be hard pressed to find another player who could have contributed that much during the past three seasons, and no one who would have come here.

  42. I try to avoid writing about +/-, because, somehow, it seems to bring out vitriol in some people. I write about it in context — always considering other stats, other players — as much of the context of the +/- number as I can find. And, then, the responses come back as if I used +/- in isolation. And, none of the critics ever respond to the challenge — if so-and-so sucks as badly as you say, explain to me how he’s the team leader in +/- , tell me who is carrying him?”

    But here’s the thing. The object of the game is point differential. Everything else is incidental. The +/- numbers are reality. The people who aren’t interested in it are, essentially, throwing up their hands and saying “it’s too complicated for me to understand”. And, the truth is, it is complicated. It is heavily context dependent. Usage patterns and teammates’ abilities factor in heavily.

    But, when you have a player like Lee, who is far ahead of all his teammates both on and off the court — it seems to me that somebody who is criticizing his game ought to explain those numbers. If he sucks that bad, why does the score move, most rapidly, in the right direction when he plays and, most rapidly, in the wrong direction when he sits?

    If they have an explanation for that, I’m very interested. But, usually, the response is some vague and, frankly, nonsensical, criticism of the stat.

    • +/- is a quick reference, but context is everything. In Lee’s case, look at the box scores and lineups of all the games, especially his first two seasons, and see how little help he had up front and who he had to go up against, often singlehanded. If a statistical adjustment could be made for context, his numbers would be very high indeed.

    • +1 Very well put Rick and rgg.

      • I’ll go further.

        A lot of people look at Lee and think they see a bad defender. And, sure, a lowlight reel of Lee would be cringe-worthy. But, highlight and lowlight reels can be misleading.

        The fact is, you can go to 82games and you can’t find, or, at least, I couldn’t find, a statistic which indicates that he’s a horrible defender.

        The team gave up fewer points per 100 possessions with Lee sitting. That’s not good, but the difference was -1.3. At the same time, he was +7 on offense. So, sure, the team gave up slightly fewer points per possession with Lee sitting (although that requires context too), but what is it about a major net positive that people are complaining about?

        If you go into position based matchups, you find that he won his more often than not.

        And it’s easy to see why. He’s an excellent offensive player. He’s a great rebounder and a great passer. He plays hard.

        At the same time, Draymond is getting a lot of respect. I like him too. He just finished his rookie year. He has an interesting game. I read that he has improved his body. If he gets a reliable jump shot and move near the hoop, he can be great.

        But, he hasn’t proven anything yet. He was a significant net negative during the regular season. So, it’s the usual challenge. If he’s so great, why does the score move the wrong way?

        I think the answer is obvious. He doesn’t have much of an offensive game. Also, the “counterpart” stats at 82games indicate that the player Dray was defending didn’t have much trouble scoring.

        To me, it makes no sense to disparage Lee and elevate Dray based on regular season play.

        Some of this, though, has to do with post season. Dray did step up and the team did pretty well without Lee. But, that’s only a handful of games. Promising, sure. But Lee proved it all year. Dray, just a handful of (important) minutes.

  43. one plutocrat n.b.a. owner has stepped into the breach of the dormant summer hoops cycle to entertain us — el Cubano. he’s taken the transparency guise to a new level with his recent disclosure of his team’s recruiting video for howard, and his latest revision of what happened with his team and why since they won the trophy.

    in many respects, el Cubano is the anti-lacob. like Ranadive, he amassed his fortune by refining technology and delivering tangible services. he provides his reasonable rationale for why he doesn’t pursue lottery position through losing, with an anecdote about nelson once offering it as an option. ellis fans should be very heartened by his comments how his team has made a difference for many talented players perceived as flawed in other organizations (mentions b.wright in this context) and how expects the same transformation with ellis.

    not suggesting that his extended rationalizations for his team’s decline into mediocrity should be accepted uncritically — we’d be hearing a different spin if he had signed d.williams and howard when he wanted to (in howard’s case, back when he opted into his final Orl contract year), or even iguodala a couple of months ago. shouldn’t fault him though for providing his market’s bottomless thirst for entertainment a little light refreshment.

    • And here it is. I hesitate to criticize the Preacher’s sayings when I look at the alternatives.

      • there are excerpts from cuban’s lengthy apologia, links to the original complete version, and commentary on r. mahoney’s ‘point forward’ blog ( watching cartoons happens to be one of howard’s favored past times. we’ll never know what he thinks of the preacher, but it’s certainly possible that he’d rather receive instruction from mchale than a former point guard.

        • I would have liked to have seen the Mavs sign Andre Iguodala – instead of Calderon… THAT would have been a sweet roster…

          Monta Ellis PG
          Andre Iguodala SG
          Marion SF
          Dirk PF
          Dalembert C
          6th man Carter

          I think Ellis would smother many PGs defensively. Iguodala and Marion are elite defenders. Dalembert can protect the rim.

  44. Rgg; Terrific recount of events from years past.

    Rich P: Weren’t the Warriors plus 2 with D. Lee playing this year? Nothing to write home about. If so, your mentioning Lee’s plus 7 on offense appears to be misleading. Not so?

    • Those numbers came from Click GS, then Lee, then “on and off court”.

      These are per 1oo possessions numbers and show +7.3 on offense and +1.3 on defense (you’d prefer the defense number to be negative).

      Their +/- numbers are per 36 or 48 minutes. I can’t recall and that tidbit isn’t so easy to find on the site.

      Anyway, there are some apples and oranges, but all the numbers say the same thing — with Lee on the court, the defense suffered a little and the offense got way better.

  45. Okay – by popular demand, one more David Lee post…

    I fully understand the point differential argument for David Lee. It’s weak, but I “get” it. What this differential actually confirms is that David Lee’s defense is in fact below average (white towel thrown in the ring) – but that Lee makes up for his below average defense by being an even better offensive player. This works well in the regular season – where 2/3s of the teams are not very good and Lee can light up the Jerebko’s of the league without question. Against the elite NBA teams and in the NBA Playoffs where defensive stoppers actually gear up to stop better offensive players – DEFENSE ACTUALLY MATTERS!!!

    Here’s the INDISPUTABLE fact about David Lee: The W’s give up less points when David Lee is on the bench and the W’s give up more points when David Lee is on the court. I’m pretty sure I can go into his 5 years of the Knicks data to further confirm this, but I’ll save myself the time.

    Stop and think about this for a second.

    Re-read the MIT/Sloan report statistically recognizing David Lee as the single worst defender known to NBA-kind. Think about your eyeball test – remember how many times you’ve seen Lee let the ball handler go up for the uncontested shot like a matador as he blocks out to either get the rebound or retrieve the ball out of the net.

    David Lee doesn’t move the needle enough to be a difference-making NBA player.

    I’m not interested in a strong playoff showing next season. The W’s are close to a Championship Caliber team now. Two elite defenders in Bogut and Iggy with a solid defender in Klay. Then Curry and Lee – both horrible defenders most days.

    Can a Curry/Lee Core play enough defense to win an NBA Championship? 2 of of 5 being poor defenders?

    If an opportunity for a trade for a two-way PF comes our way – I say go for it.

    I’m not interested in a debate on the +/-. The statistic is fundamentally flawed and can be used to come to silly, moronic conclusions. Sorry folks, Bonner is not better than Duncan and Chalmers is not better than LeBron.

  46. The stat is meaningless because Duncan is better than Bonner?

    The stat is reality. It requires interpretation.

    The reality is that Lee helps on offense far more than he hurts on defense.

    The notion that he can’t do that in the playoffs is speculative.

    David Lee doesn’t move the needle? Does that refer to the score? Cause he moves that needle better than any other W. Or, if you don’t think so, explain who is carrying him.

    • Using the +/- to confirm if a player is good or bad is a flawed strategy… Here’s why:

      I’ve seen players play great games and have poor +/-‘s and players have horrible games and have good +/-‘s. Extrapolate this over an NBA season, I’ve seen average role players have great +/-‘s and great starting players have poor +/-‘s.

      “Interpretation” by whom? We’ll find different conclusions if left up to one’s interpretations…

      • If you look at the league leaders in +/-, year after year, you find a list of players who are widely acknowledged to be great.

        There is the occasional BJ Armstrong, who had the advantage of being paired with Michael Jordan. But, even when there’s a player you don’t think is that good, if his +/- is better than his team’s total, you’d have trouble arguing that he was hurting the team.

        Also, when you extrapolate things over a season, the errors generally start cancelling out.

        Finally, is there a basketball stat that doesn’t require interpretation?

        • Assists are one statistic that cannot easily be fudged and do not need a ton of interpretation. It’s simple. You pass to another guy who scores. The guys with the most assists don’t necessarily have the best players to play with, but they provide good scoring opportunities all the time. The best passers average 9+ assists per game, no matter who they are planing with

          • You’ll get several more assists a night if you play next to good shooters. You don’t get the assist unless the shot goes down. So, a low or middling number requires interpretation. The number also must be interpreted in light of TO’s. It’s possible to pile up assists with risky passes, so the A/TO ratio is examined. And, beyond that, there’s always a question about whether a player’s actions on helping the team move the score the right way. And that brings you back to +/-, like it or not.

  47. I want the W’s to contend for an NBA Championship. I’m not worried about the regular season – the W’s have enough talent now to make the Playoffs. In the Playoffs, 2/5 starters who play matador defense is one too many IMO.

    FB thought is was amusing to put a link for a video where Manu Ginobili had faked a dribble drive (Harrison Barnes sailing away to the baseline) stepped back to stick a three pointer in Draymond Green’s mug… I thought it was VERY funny myself… Lol!

    However, what FB and others need to accept is that Barnes and Green – are at least athletic enough to closeout on the perimeter three on guys like Ginobili, Diaw, Bonner, Leonard – you know, DEADLY three point shooters. The Spurs execute you to sleep and rotate the ball from side to side to side to side to side – just waiting to lull a player like Lee to sleep. Then Ginobili has a WIDE-OPEN jumper – which even old man Ginobili CAN make… Imagine David Lee trying to closeout on Bonner, Diaw, Leonard, Ginobili… Now that’s a sad sight…

    With the great offensive player that David Lee is, did the offense suffer in the playoffs??? Fall off a cliff? Or was the offense opened up like a can of worms with a more spread, open floor… Athletic PFs who hit threes, drove to the hoop, and can close out on the perimeter shooters.

    David Lee is such a great rebounder. With David Lee out in the playoffs, did the W’s even get OUT-rebounded? Perhaps when Bogut tweaked his ankle in Spurs games 5 and 6 (20 minutes per game each hobbled). The W’s out-rebounded their opponents consistently in the playoffs without David Lee.

    People UNDER-RATE defense. In the playoffs, good teams can shutdown good offensive players for stretches. If your offense gets taken out, and you can’t defend,…

    I’ll take a very good two-way player over a great one-way player any day.

    • The offense would have been better with a healthy Lee on the floor during the playoffs. The Warriors had to grind, grind, grind to score points once teams started doubling Curry out beyond the three point line. The reason the Spurs won the series was because Curry could not get open looks once Pops made the adjustment, and there was no one else on the floor to carry the offensive load. Lee would have done that.

      • How I saw the W’s lose was Curry AND Bogut sprained their ankles in Game 4…

        Curry didn’t need to be doubled in Games 5 and 6. Bogut only played 20 minutes in games 5 and 6…

        The W’s were SPANKING the Spurs… If the W’s didn’t choke in game 1 up 18 points with 4 minutes left, the W’s would be up 3-1.

        As it was, the W’s were 2-2 tied with the Spurs.

        David Lee was inconsequential…

  48. Sheesh, PB. Lee isn’t on the bench that much because he’s played so many minutes the past three years, so you’re talking about a small sample. And usually when he’s on the bench, the team is playing subs, which is why they give up fewer points (whatever your stat is).

    If I wanted to improve the Warriors defensively, the first player I would replace is Bogut. He may be useful against some of the big behemoths and can protect the rim against teams that can’t show a varied attack, as was the case with Denver, where, btw, Igoudala wasn’t that much help on offense. But he was of little value against the more athletic centers such as Noah—look at the Chicago game. Nor is he much use against the running, small ball lineups we see more and more, especially the 4th quarter. He can’t cover much ground very quickly. He’s of little value away from the basket. San Antonio showed us this in spades, once they made the adjustment. And his offensive liabilities more than offset whatever he added on defense. Again, a balanced team like San Antonio jumped on this, playing him soft and putting pressure on our shooters, shutting them down. Other teams will follow suit.

    But the reality is that it’s hard to get any kind of big man, and Bogut will be of use in certain spots, if the Warriors have other players for the rest of the game, against the variety of teams they will face.

    And they do now. So let’s hope he can hold his own more next season and will be used where he is needed.

    I would make other changes to improve the defense, starting with Klay, and really Curry is expendable. He’s too small and too much of a defensive liability. At any rate, his value is diminished considerably when he doesn’t have other scorers and playmakers on the floor. Definitely get rid of last year’s rookies and get some real experience.

    And by all means, let’s get a better defender at PF who can lead and score like Lee.

    Who on earth are you talking about and what are the odds we could get him?

    The game has changed. Great defensive teams can’t cut it now against balanced teams. Chicago faltered because they couldn’t score, once they lost Rose. Miami had to get help from other players. Ultimately, it was the scorers who let San Antonio down in the finals. Ginobli in better form would have carried the day. The teams that moved on were the ones who could score inside and out, and shooting made all the difference in the world in the playoffs.

    Offense is defense. The ability to keep the points coming leaves the other team’s defense always guessing and sets their offense on edge and can unsettle it, putting pressure on them to keep up. And poor offensive players are a boon to the other team’s defense. Playing from behind makes their offense worse, easier to defend. The ability to make a quick run keeps opponents on their toes and can wear them down.

    But if you are going to take advantage of all the offensive weapons we have, you have to put the best overall team on the floor. The plus/minus I care about is the one that measures how many more points we score than opponents and thus win games. The Warriors have always struggled when they don’t have enough scorers on the floor, which we saw too often. It was no accident that so many games Bogut started the Warriors struggled and got behind and had to play catchup, putting a heavier load on our scorers. Bogut plus Barnes proved deadly, at least most of the regular season.

    This also means you have to focus on team defense, spreading tasks and not depending too much on any one player. What the matador swipes that delight you guys so much really show is how much ground Lee has to cover away from the basket and how many of the other defensive liabilities he has to make up for, in front of and behind him. The perimeter is weak and lets players in. Lee gets caught with them and has had no reliable backup at the basket behind him.

    And let’s do read the Goldsberry “analysis” carefully and do explain why what looks so bogus is convincing. He doesn’t say Lee was the worst defender. He says Lee is has the lowest stop percentage in the red zone, just under the basket (where you don’t see those matador swipes). But what Goldsberry does not consider is the total defense, the other players around him. Again, a weak perimeter will let more players drive, and Lee will get caught. If Lee does not have a capable, sizable defender alongside him, he’ll get caught with mismatches and not get much help under the basket, as so often has been the case. Look at the lineups and size of the teams who have players with cooler colors.

    But this should change next season. Igoudala will shore up the perimeter. If Speights can get it together, he will provide more help, and I’m hoping O’Neal can put in some good minutes.

    • Andrew Bogut is WAY more important to this team’s future playoff success than David Lee… Bogut is a rugged, rim protecting, rebounding, charge drawing, monster pick setting 7-footer. Lee is a splendid offensive center against 80 percent of the NBA’s centers who’s defense is so poor, Lee’s defense is filing for bankruptcy protection…

      This video epitomizes why Bogut is a more important player in winning than D. Lee…

      • Plus, as bad as Stephen Curry’s defense is, he looked Bill Russell here in blocking David Lee’s shot… Which is disturbing enough in and of itself.

        Yet Lee goes one step further – he cries to Curry about his showboating… As the great actor Tom Hanks once said, “There ain’t no crying in basketball…”

        And for fans to think that Lee is more important to the team than Bogut? As Steph Curry said to David Lee that day, “Get that chit outta here!”

        IMO, David Lee is the 5th or 6th most important player on the W’s roster (after Curry, Bogut, Iguodala, and Klay and possibly Barnes) with the largest contract! This contract will soon become an untradeable albatross in the last 2 seasons.

      • Lee has to cover most of the court in this play, and deal with the player who quickly got by Curry. But where is Bogut? He’s right there under the basket, ready to step in—but doesn’t. Look at your youtube again. Bogut just stands there and watches, then tries to cover from behind. Why didn’t he step in and stop the drive? His slip is worse than Lee’s, and less excusable. He had much more time to react, had less court to cover, and could see the play better than Lee.


        • @rgg – It’s my point that the W’s need a shot-blocking rim protector/rebounder in Bogut.

          One thing it’s not is David Lee – who doesn’t block shots very often – for a PF OR a Center. Even for a PG… Lol!

          Another point for consideration is it good strategy to have TWO plodding big men in the game (Bogut and Lee) at the same time in today’s NBA?

    • Nice spin by Tony Parker – I think he could do this all day long on Lee.

      Bogut’s pick almost murders Iguodala here! Lol!

      • Big deal. He blindsides Igoudala, which is the only way he’s going to stop a faster player away from the basket—everyone on Denver’s team. And it happens mid-court, and thus has no effect on the defense whatsoever. It does give Bogut more, time, however, to get his butt down court.

        Looks like an illegal screen at that—he doesn’t set but plows into him. And they did finally start calling illegal screens against Bogut.

        • Sure Bogut leaned in. Lol! The W’s do set a lot of illegal screens though!

          Ask Iguodala if it affected HIS defense. I think he’d say so…

    • Nice! Bogut was probably trying to watch Lee’s man! Lol!

      It’s pretty safe to say which Center outplayed who in the Denver Series…

      Even rgg’s got to appreciate this one. Then again, maybe not… Lol!

      Bogut sets a pick at the top of the key, rolls to the free throw line, and BAM on McGee!!! Easily the BEST W’s play of the season!!!

      To this day, McGee still goes to counseling because of his nightmares over this one…

  49. What you see in both youtubes @51 & 52 is how much Bogut’s effectiveness is diminished the further he gets away from the basket, drawn out by teams who can pass and run and spread the floor. If he played out as Lee has to do, the results would be much worse. But he doesn’t, so we don’t see youtubes showing him get burned more.

    Bogut should hold his own against the top centers, offensively and defensively—that other 20%. But he was useless against Noah and the Bulls:;_ylt=AgQ1QoIVFBO5aUGDwXyFR9IYPaB4?gid=2013031509

    And against Howard and Orlando, before his injury:;_ylt=AghLLpV9SZU6.FcsURVHVvgYPaB4?gid=2008112419

    I didn’t make an exhaustive search of match-ups in the past, however. I got tired of running into DNP.

    The other way to value Lee is how much better, because of his versatility in everything but the 3 point shot, he makes the other players and helps break down opponents’ defenses. In the youtube @32 watch Lee get the ball on defense and RUN the fast break. At 3:14, he gets the ball at the foul line and draws THREE defenders, allowing the easy pass to Klay for the 3. You’ll never see Bogut get the same attention. Instead, he’ll be played soft, making it easier to defend the shooters.

    You could show hundreds—thousands—of such examples. Or the number of times he methodically put the ball in the hoop from 10-15 feet out, or executed successfully on the pick and roll, making the most boring of dunks or layups. These kinds of plays, however, don’t capture fan fascination and make it to youtube.

    Sensational plays—dunks, blocks—stick in our minds and make a big impression, but they inflate a player’s value. You don’t see youtubes of the number of times Bogut got the ball in the post and could not go up effectively or simply passed the ball back out. Barnes’s dunks are sensational and make highlight reels, but you don’t see the number of times he fumbled the ball trying to make a drive or went up ineffectively into a crowd, or simply passed the ball back. Neither player can create for himself or the others the way Lee can.

    I do have hope for Barnes. He’s only in his second year. He’s got a long way to go, however, and the early returns are mixed.

  50. warriorsablaze

    For the David Lee lovers… I think his defense lies somewhere in between the detractors and the defenders, but I still love his game (if not his contract). I wish the dude would extend his range a few feet to be able to his 35% or so from 3. It would change everything (for the better) if he did.

    • I agree with you. Pretty sure Nellie would have at least given him a tryout behind the 3 pt. line.

      • warriorsablaze

        I don’t think even Keith Smart would have stopped him if he showed he could hit it…. OK, maybe Smart, but no one else. :)

    • Lee’s shot is so flat that he has virtually not chance of regularly hitting 3s. The biggest strengths Lee has are his motor (outrunning almost any big, 4s and 5s), his passing ability and his soft touch around the rim. I would love to see him play 27 to 30 minutes per game at 110% rather than 36 to 40 mins/game at 100%. His effectiveness as instant offense would certainly increase, and he would take over the scoring load when he was on the floor if Curry and Klay were struggling. I don’t think we can count H Barnes as a consistent offensive player yet. Also, Iggy will hit a few shots in a row, but can’t be counted on, unless its a helter-skelter pace.

  51. The great rim protector (dramatic recreation):

  52. Loved having Jack and Landry on the team. I appreciate the W’s decision NOT to pay two very good role players $12 million/year total in Jack and Landry.

    If fans were running things, we would have paid them. The old W’s regimes would have paid them. And this W’s team would have been hamstrung in being able to sign our starters and/or re-sign the young’uns later on when their rookie deals are up.

  53. Bogut should use this season to rehab his ankle, elbow, and back. Such will be a win-win for both the Warriors and Bogut, as the Warriors will have more success without him. Or, the Warriors should trade him for an expiring contract. Go Warriors!

    • The three injuries are all different. The elbow, from what I’ve read, has healed as well as it ever will. The back is a chronic, intermittent thing, for which there is probably no treatment. The ankle is the bigger issue, of course. The history suggests that even his doctor doesn’t know what’s going to happen with it. Bogut should certainly take the time he needs, but, otoh, there aren’t many surgeries that take this long to reach maximum healing. Microfracture seems to be one, but the last thing I heard was that Bogut’s surgery was more of a graft than microfracture (Bogut said that). So, the short answer is that the w’s doctor isn’t talking in public, and the ws aren’t saying much either. So, for the fans, it’s guesswork.

      • @Frank – I couldn’t disagree with you more about Bogut’s impact on the outcome of NBA games. Franchise center, even hobbled.

        RE: Bogut’s minutes

        If I were running things, I would overly micro-manage Bogut’s minutes during the regular season – for instance, against lottery teams – Bogut doesn’t break a sweat… Keep Bogut around 20-25 minutes. W’s have this luxury with the present team depth (better when Ezeli comes back).

        Even in the playoffs, a better strategy needs to develop with Bogut’s minutes – even sitting Bogut for one game in a series (say like the Spurs series Game 5) when the games go back to back to back to back – with only 1 day rest between games – so that he’d be more worth playing in say Game 6. Bogut – may never be able to play 30+ minutes throughout a 7 game series ever again…

      • I somewhat agree with PB for a change. What was unsettling about last season was that it seemed like they were playing every game as if it were a playoff game, and they paid the price in the actual playoffs. The great teams manage the roster and the season, and have the depth to do so.

        One of the things we found in the playoffs is that the rookies came along enough that Lee didn’t have to play so many minutes. What we found out in the regular season is that they didn’t need Bogut at all to win against most teams, in fact played better, using their real strengths. The evidence is overwhelming. They’ll be in better position to play without him this season, especially if Ezeli comes back.

        Bogut’s injury(ies) may be a mixed blessing. There are teams and situations where he can help out, and he should be spared for those. They struggled, for example, against the weaker but bigger teams, such as Sacramento and the Bucks—1 and 5. Put big boy in. This is his real (only) strength for the team.

        He doesn’t have to start or come out third quarter, in fact they’re often better off if he doesn’t, though I suspect his not starting is unlikely. Still, they could reduce his opening minutes. He won’t be needed at all against small lineups, most of 4th Q, and shouldn’t close unless the game gets rough and slow and dirty. The Warriors, in fact, can now put out 4-5 different starting lineups.

        Same strategy for the playoffs.

        And at the end of the season, let him go. They’ll have some real money to play with to build a better team and find a more reliable and versatile player(s).

        I’m not going to worry about their record, either, as long as they make it into the playoffs. Passing the 4 spot is going to be tough and won’t be worth the sacrifice. Also it looks like the competition will be steeper in the rest of the conference.

        My main regret is that they don’t have as much backup to spell Curry, but they should give it a shot. They need to learn to be competitive with a variety of lineups and have the depth to do so.

      • I don’t think we know what’s going on with Ezeli, either. All I heard was a knee sprain, but the surgery and recovery time suggest something more serious.

        • the official blurb re. ezeli’s surgery — a minimum of 6-9 months recovery time will be needed. two separate areas of the knee were ‘reinforced’ (could find out later that means ligament replacement via cadaver transplants) — medial collateral and anterior cruciate ligaments were both damaged, apparently.

          maybe we’ll see him in a soft cast walking on crutches during training camp. even when the joint becomes stable, weight and motion bearing, reconditioning will be a lengthy process before he can even practice full speed. perhaps he gets to begin another rookie season around the lunar new year, possibly later.

    • From the trade to get into the first round and resulting trade downs for cash, to the salary dumping of the W’s expirings, refusing to over-pay for role players, to the free agent signings of All-Star Andre Iguodala and Jermaine O’Neal/M. Speights/T. Douglas…

      The W’s Front Office had one HECK-OF-A off-season!

      In Jerry West I Trust!

  54. Would the W’s have acquired both Speights and JON if they were confident that Bogut’s ankle was fully healed?

    I guess they might have, given the losses of Landry and AB (not what he was, but what he was supposed to be).

    • the latvian logged in 178 critical minutes with the starting unit after the preacher became disenchanted w. ezeli, and it was one of the team’s best starting fives defensively, and differential for effective field goal %. lee finished these games at center, and their wins were a critical part of the season.

      o’neal essentially replaces both ezeli and biedrins, and he could break down physically in any practice or game. it remains to be seen if speights’ minutes resemble landry’s ; the team might prefer an increased load going green’s way.

      • Minor quibble: I don’t believe Jackson became disenchanted with Ezeli, I believe Ezeli first got injured at that time. I commented that he looked worn down immediately before he started sitting out. When he returned, he was wearing a knee wrap.

        The Warriors stated post-season that Ezeli injured his knee just before the end of the season. I think that’s BS. He injured it mid-season, and it got progressively worse. They couldn’t afford to sit him out, because Bogut.

        • the preacher, contrary to the ‘book’ which advises against critiquing players for the media’s benefit, was fairly explicit when ezeli returned to the bench after early season starts. he said he thought the rookie started getting complacent and not practicing as intently or staying focused. since they’re hardly straightforward with injury/medical information [lee got a surgical consult in Phi, came back to play token minutes in the post season, and ended up getting surgery from the docs he consulted with, just another chapter], we don’t know if ezeli’s physical condition was a factor in what the preacher thought was a drop off in effort. official version, the knee was sprained/strained in the Por game, last week of the regular season. very possible it bothered him before that. his appearance in the post season wearing a brace was another sign that they needed to expend everyone and everything for playoff wins.

      • Moto, I’m a fan of your posts, but I don’t get this one. What does it mean that AB was in a five man unit that was good defensively? AB’s +/- makes him look like a paid spy for the opposition.

        82 games show that the team was 0.2 pts better defensively and -7.8 worse offensively with AB playing.

        Are you looking at those numbers and suggesting that AB played well?

        • we all saw the drag biedrins imposes on the offense for the past four seasons plus. not counting lee, who was the de facto second line center, biedrins was third string center last year and he’s hardly the only reserve center with severe limitations on offense. the data on for the two units in which he played the bulk of his minutes (foremost, the equivalent of the starting unit though officially biedrins only had nine starts) suggests they held their own, largely because the opponents’ effective f.g. pct. (listed as eFGA) was suppressed and the opposing offense was kept below one point per possession.

          bogut’s availability was obviously the biggest factor in biedrins’ usage rate, and the latvian’s own physical condition had its ups and downs, if the reports we got can be trusted. in late Feb, bogut’s disc flared up and biedrins got four starts. the ballyhooed win vs. SA at home on 22 Feb. was one. three road games were all losses, but if you recall those games (highlight was curry’s MSG game with lee inactive), the team’s scorers other than curry (who himself had a subpar game vs. Bos) shot very poorly.

    • Don’t want to beat a dead horse, but would the Ws have taken it in the shorts to acquire Bogut in the first place if they thought Lee/Udoh/Biedrins was an effective combination?

      I think that at the time the Ws traded for Bogut, they pictured him being a 2-way big (unlike either Udoh or Lee), eventually if not immediately. It would surprising if Bogut’s performance last season didn’t make team management re-evaluate that. Gambling their whole season on one wonky ankle couldn’t seem like a good idea.

      • we’ll never know what their inner council really expected from bogut at the trade. they’ve shown signs of ‘big guy intoxication’ in their free agent chases. conversely, it’s very possible there was a top secret medical prognosis, that bogut had <.20 chance to make a full recovery, a .50 chance to regain .70-.80 capacity (where he seems headed now), and a .25 chance of .50 capacity or less. the data base for athletes of bogut's size, level of activity on a hard surface, type of injury and treatment procedure, is probably quite small.

        what we do know, in everything they've said and done since they've seemed extremely pleased with themselves how it turned out. the road-heavy initial phase of the season schedule (a home-road back to back in the first two games) won't be kind to his ankle. there's one road trip around mid season with consecutive games in three different cities — don't be surprised if he just stays home.

        • the road trip cited is actually seven road games bridging late Dec. and early Jan. that get played Su, T, Th, Fri, Su, T, W.

  55. We know that Bogut’s offense has virtually vanished as his elbow injury has diminished his shooting and killed off his making foul shots. And his defense has vanished as well as opponent’s year scored virtually the same amount of points regardless of whether he was on or off the court. 82 games.

    As compared to O’Neal, where opponents scored 3 more points when he was off the court last year.

    Posters should avoid saying Warrior players are great simply because they are on the Warriors roster.

    • forgive the fans Frank, they’re only recycling what the lacobites have programmed into them. because they reached the playoffs and he helped them to six wins and national media buzz in those two series, they probably consider their investment in bogut already a winner. the playoffs helped gain them a franchise record seventeen nationally broadcast games on the coming schedule, and they’re close or have already reached their max limit on season ticket sales. pushing advance sales for the 2017 season in a new venue he he.

      • The trade was a winner… Can’t ignore these FACTS…

        The W’s got C Andrew Bogut, Harrison Barnes, and Festus Ezeli.

        The Bucks got Ellis – now GONE in Free Agency, Udoh – who is an insignificant player, and used the cap space from Kwame to re-sign Ilyasova.

        So I don’t know why people are still in denial here…

        The trade was great for the W’s and not good for the Bucks.

        You can tell me how good Ellis, Udoh, and Kwame are if you’d like…

        • Might as well get the facts right.

          They didn’t get Barnes in that trade. They got a chance at Barnes. It worked out in their favor, but there was no guarantee of that.

          • @RickP – So what? Who cares if there was a lucky coin toss, a favorable lottery ball bounce, and a smart drafting decision…

            The W’s have Harrison Barnes right now on a cheap rookie deal…

            And thus the ABSOLUTE GENIUS of the trade.

            In Jerry West I Trust.

  56. Moto: Amen, my brother.

    It”s too bad Bogut’s ankle problem is affecting his foul-shooting.

    • the ankle plays a part in his poor shooting, but the decline exactly coincided with his right arm injury more than two years ago. he’s already had at least one ‘corrective’ surgery to clean up the elbow subsequent to the initial healing. spring of 2011 when he was being introduced to the fans here with a barrage of interviews and articles he admitted his arm still wasn’t right. doesn’t affect his rebounding but if you look when he’s shooting one-handed it appears he’s lost fine motor control or has nerve damage — he has little idea what the arm and right hand will do on his foul shots. greg papa has watched him shoot numerous practice foul shots and they miss repeatedly with no consistent pattern, meaning he can’t control the ball.

  57. Hat:In Udoh’s last year with Warriors before being trade the Warriors outscored there opponent’s by 3.5 points. The year before by 7 points. 82 games. It will be light years before the Warriors ever do that with any center. Moth withstanding his ind. stats he was and will always be the best offensive big man the the Warriors will ever have. Reminding us once again basketball is a team game and things occur that don’t readily appear on the stat sheet.something that Felty gets, and Adam and some of his followers will never get.

    And by the way the Warriors opponent’s with Udoh on the court scored 7 less points in his last year and 10 less points the year before than they did when he was not on the court. 82 games, Once again, proving that the trade for Bogut by Lacob and son was idiotic. And leads one to question how good a school Stanford really is.

  58. David Lee talks Knicks, Warriors

    Note that he doesn’t believe the rumors that the Warriors shopped him this summer.

  59. @59, Biedrins, Ezeli, etc.

    Several questions are raised:

    1. If Ezeli was injured earlier, as well seems to be the case, did playing him hard at the end, especially the playoffs, make his injury worse and require what looks like pretty serious surgery?

    2. Is this why the trainer was fired? (Was he the guy hired after they fired the trainer who managed Lee’s bite?)

    3. Biedrins did provide useful minutes and could have spelled the other centers. Why was he benched the last month of the season and almost the entire playoffs?

    4. Or was/is he still injured as well?

    I don’t think we’ll ever get answers to any of these questions.

    • Also, if it’d been known that Bogut had microfracture or something close to it, Bogut should have sat out most of the season (April 2012 surgery) – and then prepared for the late season. As it was – this is what happened anyways.

  60. The other interpretation for Biedrins’ long appearance and subsequent disappearance last season, and we made it at the time, was that he was being showcased for a trade. Boston did, in fact, bite, and Biedrins disappeared after the trade deadline. Which still leads to the question as to why he didn’t play more in the playoffs, if only to spell the other centers for a few minutes. Or was/is Biedrins still suffering from a lingering groin injury and all that playing time was a gamble he wouldn’t show it?

    It sounds like Ezeli was diagnosed with a simple knee sprain some time before the end of the season they thought he could play through but couldn’t. Which might explain why the trainer was fired.

    But what is the case with Bogut’s ankle? Was it not functioning properly because it hadn’t fully healed? Would giving him more time off during the regular season have helped it heal more and perhaps prevented further damage? Or was his ankle structurally sound, or as sound as it would ever be, thus there was no risk in playing him and his only problem was playing with the pain of healing, not inconsiderable, which presumably will go away, as, I understand, is the case with such surgery?

    Too many unknowns here, but the real question is whether or not the time given to the centers last season bargained away their potential future seasons.

    • The Odd Case of Andris Biedrins. A serviceable player who played hard, but never saw the floor. No offensive game to speak of, but a fine defensive player and a hard worker. It would have been nice for him to speak out about his playing time, but I guess he was comfortable with his 8-figure paychecks and didn’t want to stir things up. What a weird, weird story.

      • since the boss made the theme of this thread ‘dog days’, and we’re discussing a Latvian, might as well recommend an entertaining summer read, “Dogs of Riga” by H.Mankell

  61. PeteyBrian: The trade was a loser. You should only look at what the owner had in front of him. Especially since he could have made a much better trade or made no trade at all, and had money available from K.Brown’s expiring contract to use in free agency. You don’t look at what occurred afterward.

    Moreover, I believe you will see conclusively this year that Barnes was not the best player on the board when we selected. Especially since he has shown to ability to obtain for the Warriors extra possessions via OR’s, blocks, and steals.

    • conclusions re. a draft class should generally be deferred until the players are in their third full season. by ‘generally’, the middle .70 of the ol’ Bell Curve. the exceptionally good players and obvious ‘busts’ are often identifiable before that. barnes’ fans are making the usual mistake of prematurely placing him in the ‘exceptionally good’ strata. curry and evans were placed there after their rookie years, but the latter has subsequently been exposed as a member of that middle .70.

    • Frank, it might be time to look at the intangibles that Bogut has brought to the Warriors. The hard screens for Curry, the leadership on defense and the professionalism on and off the court. Whether or not he is healthy enough to make a big difference on the court is debatable. However, the emotion and smart play that he brings certainly adds to Curry’s star power, especially in the playoffs. The eyeball test shows that he has played well at times AND that he defends the big centers in the league to the point where the Warriors don’t have to be concerned about the Al Jeffersons of the world. (As you remember, the Warriors have been eaten up by skilled offensive centers for at least a decade).

      • @Moto – great point about 3rd year determinations on players – in general… Maybe 4 years – regarding Tyreke Evans…

        I can say Harrison Barnes is a good NBA player already who should have a nice, long career (major injury excepted). Barnes has the potential to get much better (exceptional) in two years (or not). For the crapshoot that is the NBA draft? Even at #7, a solid pick. If the draft were re-held today, I’d draft Barnes #4 or #5 after Drummond, Davis, Lillard, and maybe Harkless.

  62. @Frank – The trade was a huge win for the W’s confirmed by the fact that FB and rgg haven’t posted on this topic for months…

    This blogger even rates “The Trade” as the 2nd greatest in Golden State Warrior HISTORY! Right after the Baron Davis theft and just ahead of the We Believe trade. Bogut, Ezeli, and Barnes…

    Kwame’s cap space? Who could the W’s have REALISTICALLY landed as a FA being a losing lottery team in 2012? Heck – I could make an argument that Richard Jefferson’s cap space (less the 1st rounder to Utah) helped W’s sign FA Andre Iguodala!!!

    Yes, I think everything is working out just fine right now with Mr. Lacob, Spokesmodel Myers, and the Legendary Mr. Basketball…

    Just kick back, relax, wait for training camp to begin, and enjoy a great upcoming season to look forward to… I haven’t been this pumped up in an off-season since “We Believe” and “Run TMC” prior, and this ownership/management are much too smart to mess it all up.

    In Jerry West I Trust.

  63. The W’s Klay Thompson is the most overrated SG in the NBA and the most promising SG in the NBA – all in the same article… Lol!

    • He’s an overrated shooting guard for exactly the reason stated — defense.

      But he’s an extremely underrated small forward. As time will prove.

      • I agree with your take – Klay’s best position may be SF.

        Klay’s playoff defense was really impressive in a Danny Green kind of way. Not a shutdown defender – nor a big steals or shotblocking guy – but a solid defender with good length. In the playoffs, Klay took on the opposing team’s top backcourt player – and held his own IMO.

        Offensively, Klay gets taken out of the game (disappears) more than I’d like to see. Once Klay gets more aggressive to the hoop (like Barnes in the playoffs), he’ll be gold.

        Klay – with Iguodala? Hopefully – like Green and Leonard.

    • Goldsberry, I see, makes another appearance. Sports writers are taking their cues from a cartographer.

    • This just shows how utterly ignorant most sportswriters are. The same two guys who voted Lee the most overrated due to his defense, picked Kevin Love as the best PF in basketball! Love is perhaps the worst defensive PF in the game, and definitely worse than Lee. Which one held the other to single digits on his home floor, breaking his double-double streak?

      And anyone who thinks Lee lets opponents have their way in the low post simply doesn’t watch the games. He’s a very tough post defender, whose problems lie elsewhere.

      Offensively, Lee is far more unselfish, a far better passer, and a much better facilitator than both Aldridge and Love. Which is not something these guys even know how to evaluate.

  64. Petey Brian: Bogut has played little in twos years and Jefferson hardly at all, in addition to both receiving outrageous salaries, , and you contend it was a good trade? You need to set your bar a little higher., Please take your blinders off.

    • Ancillary benefit of trading Monta Ellis? Stephen Curry’s emergence as a superstar AND Klay Thompson’s emergence as an up-and-coming star player. With Monta Ellis on this roster, Curry’s/Thompson’s development was “hampered.”

      You actually think Ekpe Udoh could have impacted the Denver/San Antonio Playoff Series more than Andrew Bogut? Now, who has the “blinders” on… Since you appreciate stats, here’s Bogut’s 2013 playoffs stats…

      Ekpe Udoh’s showing in the Miami Series was downright uninspiring/unimpressive – and I’m being civil. Here’s his 2013 Playoff stats… Make your excuses.

      Festus Ezili is every bit as good a prospect as is Udoh, is younger, cheaper, and can actually rebound and play bigger centers. And even with an injured kne, Festus played better in the playoffs than a healthy Udoh! Here’s the stats… Make your excuses.

      The Tank for the lottery pick/Harrison Barnes worked. I don’t need 3 years to know that Harrison is going to have a long NBA career.

      Jefferson – sure he was an albatross contract for 1 season and didn’t contribute on the floor… But you know what? Jefferson’s expiring contract/traded cap space + W’s future 1st rounder – netted the W’s Andre Iguodala…


    Draymond Green’s take:

    “Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press: A year into what looks like a potentially long NBA career, Draymond Green already has given and taken away some strong impressions. Biggest trash talker? He gives the nod to Pistons free-agent pickup Josh Smith. Rival? Houston, after Green was tossed from a February game with the Rockets. He put a hard foul on Patrick Beverley to prevent Houston from setting a single-game three-pointer record, and jawing and the ejection ensued. “It is what it is now,” Green, a Saginaw native and former Michigan State All-America forward who is entering his second season with the Golden State Warriors, said Saturday after some pickup basketball at Lansing Everett High. “They hate me. I dislike them.” The difference between MSU coach Tom Izzo and Golden State coach Mark Jackson? Jackson is as low-key as Izzo is high-volume, Green said.”

  66. More Monta…

    For the record, Mark Cuban should have made an offer to Iguodala that he couldn’t refuse…

    An Ellis/Iguodala/Marion/Nowitzki/Dalembert lineup can score, shoot, pass, handle, finish, defend, and block shots.

    A Calderon/Ellis-SG backcourt/Nowitzki? Will be fun to watch, just not defend so well.

    • you can’t possibly know if Dal would want to sign ellis if they secured iguodala.

      • You’re right Moto – it’s pure speculation/dreaming on my part.

        I want to see Ellis have to play the PG position. Ellis – defending PGs 100 percent of the time would be a sight to see.

        Iguodala is a willing passer who can handle, facilitate, finish, and defend. Rebounder.

        Marion – lots of similarities to Iguodala in game. Rebounder.

        Nowitzki – Perimeter shooter.

        Dalembert – Rim protector.

        Off the bench, Vince Carter/Brandon Wright/Devin Harris…

        Elite athletes at 1, 2, and 3. Elite shooter at 4. Good shot blocker at 5.

        This lineup would be tough to play… And fun to watch…

        Calderon/Ellis at SG/Nowitzki? Great on offense, horrid on defense…

  67. I decided to take PB’s advice and start reading the Goldsberry piece carefully, cited in that ESPN piece above. Goldsberry is an academic cartographer with no experience in organized sports in any form, though I understand he loves the game. Nonetheless, he doesn’t feel that those close to the game for years adequately assess defenders.

    The language is daunting, but his idea simple, in fact simplistic. Teams score at a higher rate close, within 5-7 feet, to the bucket, than further out, and, as a whole, take more shots there. (Does he adjust 3 point % for the 3 vs 2 points? I don’t see it.) Therefore, given the importance of the close shot, he wanted to see who defended best there.

    My first observation is that, following his reasoning, teams would put the bulk of their recruiting efforts getting players who can score low and on defense contain the same. Howard in his prime is the measuring stick for such a player. If all teams pursued such strategy, which has happened, you would get diminishing returns. Teams who have tried to follow this logic—get the big guys, pound the ball in, pound the pounders—have had limited success. The game has changed, and teams are pursuing other ways to scored, defend, and win—spreading the floor, shooting, and running—so they can make best use of available talent and put more versatile, more competitive teams on the court. Also there are few players who can do both, score and defend, and most come with handicaps of one sort or another, usually on offense, often in their bodies or their heads.

    I’m going to restrict my thoughts today to the top 5 defenders on his list—Sanders, Perkins, Brand, Bargani(!), Hibbert—vs David Lee. Maybe those of you more astute than I can continue analysis with other players down the list.


    1. Only 3 of the top 5 made the playoffs, if you count Sanders in the Bucks’ dismal rout.

    A note here: Miami could easily afford to let Sanders score some points, but Hibbert exposed their weakness up front.

    2. None are prolific, effective scorers, though Hibbert had his say in the playoffs, largely, again, against Miami. (Hibbert is a bona fide center. How many can be put in his class? 1? 2? The answers doesn’t start with “B.”)

    3. All averaged 21-28 minutes a game, Sanders, ranked #1 the lowest with 21 mpg, vs. Lee’s 36.

    Why is that?

    But first, speculate on the effects on a big for having to play long minutes, running with a running team most of the game and banging up front, what that might do to his stamina, his ability to defend—and protect his fouls, as FB noted. Those five average around 3+ fouls in their limited time, about the same as Lee in his 36.

    We have to assume there are reasons those five aren’t on the court more, largely because they aren’t useful to win a game. They are less effective against smaller units that spread and shoot and run the floor and/or they can’t score enough to justify their presence.

    3. The ability to defend the rim will be influenced by the quality of the defense of the whole team. If the perimeter is weak, there will be more openings to drive and more challenges to the front court. If the the fellow big up front is weak, that big will take more challenges and have to account for more of that smaller space, as well as space outside the red zone.

    4. Goldsberry only concerns himself with defense under the hoop, not what happens when bigs are forced to play out. Here any big will be challenged since he’s dealing with faster players and has to cover much more ground. Here is where team defense, the ability for all players to cover space, matters most. And here I want to see some stats adjusted for context, which G does not provide in his study. But note this is the time when many—most—bigs are pulled.

    Lee has had to deal with weaker defensive players, front and back for years. He puts in long minutes. Because of this, he will be attacked more than others and be stretched and strained. He isn’t that big or fast. Lee will also play 4 and 5 anywhere on the court during most of the game, while the others are sitting. And the reason is simple: the things he does on offense more than offset his lesser defensive performance.

    Maybe pound-it-in basketball makes sense for other teams, but it doesn’t for the Warriors, who have a superior perimeter offense. It was this offense that Karl credited for their loss. And Lee is the player who most allows that perimeter to shine. His ability to pass and score and make plays is what opens up the court for them.

    I believe I read somewhere that the number of plane crashes and ship wrecks in the Bermuda Triangle is not statistically significant, given all the factors. But somehow the area has caught our fascination, just as stories about Lee have captured the imagination of feeble sports writers and others less adept.

    I still need to come back to this, however:

    • thank you for the critique. if the analysis focuses on those shots within seven feet of the rim, it should filter out the fast break scores in the context of defense from the ‘bigs’, who defend against the break by contesting the rebounder and outlet pass. Den last season racked up a gaudy team 2 pt. pct. because it was committed to pushing the pace. and NY’s chandler wasn’t included with the big insiders ?

      not hard to imagine there’s ambivalence, possibly conflict, within the lacobite inner council about the team’s ceiling with lee, and how it seems to push them into a ‘franchise center rapture’. emphasis on securing a big to defend inside and rebound resulted in foyle and biedrins during the previous regime, vain pursuit after d.jordan and howard by the present owner, with either the final or continuing chapters of the bogut saga about to be written. lee himself has been back in NY engaged in community works and told the media there how much he loved the city and would seriously consider returning after finishing his present contract (which coincides with the expiration of stoudemire’s NY deal).

      when biedrins and ezeli (strictly one way players) were both healthy last season, and lee logging .25 or more of his minutes at center, the team was successful without bogut. the equivalent of a healthy biedrins would not cost 14-20 m. per annum. the preacher clearly values what lee provides, but is the owner ready to give up chasing the great white whale of the elite center ?

      • Joe Lacob also heavily pursued Tyson Chandler who used the offer to leverage his deal with the Knicks and most recently rumored to offer David Lee for LaMarcus Aldridge.

        I’d rather have Tyson Chandler than Bogut and LaMarcus Aldridge than Lee…

    • Still trying to defend Lee’s pitiful defense, long after I’ve quit trying to state the obvious.

      rgg, Lee is a lousy defender. But don’t let that stop you. Feel free to wander and wonder through the obvious, cherry-picking facts for significance, searching for a way to disprove reality.

      It’s not factual, but it is entertaining. More, please!

    • My analysis is skeletal, moto, and thanks. Much more could be done by more sophisticated heads with a better knowledge of the players and the game.

      No one has yet made a convincing case that Lee is a lousy defender. But the point of my comment is that Goldsberry’s analysis is flawed, superficial, and essentially useless. Yet so many take delight in pointing to it, though I haven’t seen any commentator yet show proof he has read it and understood its terms and assumptions, then defend it. This is an invitation.

      The other thing that needs to be noted is that Lee is being compared to players who are (except for Brand) 3 to 6 inches taller, who weigh 20 to 50 pounds more, most centers who only play center for half court sets. There are going to be tradeoffs. But they play limited roles on defense, as does Bogut, and especially Bogut. Goldsberry has not factored in the roles those players play. Lee plays all over the court. He’ll get outmanned by the larger players, but gets in position for rebounds around the bucket better and initiates better on the break. A case could be made that he is more versatile in defense than the others, still justifying his extended presence on the floor when the others are pulled, though this would take more sophisticated study than Goldsberry has provided.

      Probably at best Lee is a modest defender. But his versatility and his contributions to the team on offense in all aspects, the ways he makes other players better, his leadership, more than justify his presence on the floor for extended minutes and make him a very fine all around player. The numbers here are impressive, obvious, readily available—and usually overlooked by his detractors. And if he had better players around him, especially at center, we wouldn’t be talking about all this nonsense. We’d be talking about how great the Warriors are.

      I really don’t care about how adequate Lee is on defense, as long as he plays well enough. I care about how the team plays as a whole, how all the players fit together, and whether or not they play a strategy that makes use of their talents and leads to wins. Given his value and versatility, my main concern is that the team finds players who complement him. But by all means, if the team has a chance to get a better all around player, they should jump at the chance. Who is this? No one has answered the question.

      I wince at these things because casual minds take them seriously without reflection, and in the process denigrate a very fine player. It’s stupid and unfair. But also I fear they will be taken seriously by the wrong people. If moto is right about the FO’s fixation on big guys, it’s not hard to imagine their dumping Lee for a limited big, and then desigining a strategy around him, which would only drag the talents of the team. They will struggle scoring and get run off the court.

      Curry thought he was going to the Knicks. I rather regret he didn’t get a chance to play with Lee and d’Antoni, plus whatever players might have been brought in around them by their free spending owner.

      Back to your YouTubes, Hat.

      • Bull, rgg. You have it backward. There is tons of evidence that Lee is a weak defender, and you have failed to make a case that he is even adequate.

        You “fear” that “people might misunderstand” this “excellent player,” so you contrive defenses for his inadequacies. Don’t bother.

        True fact: If Lee were better on D, the team could play him more often at center instead of a non-scorer, and the whole team would benefit. True fact: there are proven methods for Lee to improve his athleticism. That would help. True fact: there are ways for players to improve their D without improving their athleticism. That would help too.

        Get real, rgg. Start now.

        • I still haven’t seen ANY convincing evidence that Lee is a weak defender. But you’re right, I can’t prove he’s adequate. This would take a sophisticated study beyond my means, and I would like to see it. I would like to see some serious analysis for a change that factors in roles, rosters, and strategy, and wouldn’t mind being proven wrong. Goldsberry hasn’t done this. I can only point to circumstantial evidence that the team has performed well with him playing all those minutes. Look at the record last season.

          Lee would be a better low court center if he were 2-3 inches taller and 20+ lbs heavier. The first is impossible and the latter probably a mistake.


          He is not faster than a speeding bullet.

          He is not more powerful than a speeding locomotive.

          He cannot leap tall buildings in a single bound.

          These won’t change either. But he’s a damn fine player and I’m glad we got him.

          I’m still not clear why his defense concerns you et al. so much, given all his positive contributions and the other weaknesses on the team. If I wanted to improve the team, I would look elsewhere, but there’s a chance this has been done.

          • “But he’s a damn fine player and I’m glad we got him.”

            Yes, he’s a damn fine player, and an asset to the club. No one disputes that, so it’s off topic. Fact: Lee is a lousy defender who could get better at it by several different methods.

            “I’m still not clear why his defense concerns you…” rgg, I’m a basketball fan. I don’t need any particular motivation to talk about the game or its players. I made a casual observation about my hopes for Lee to raise his game on D, and you and FB responded with miles of nonsense trying to defend the (literally) indefensible.

            I don’t understand where you’re coming from. You sound like you’re playing politics, contriving ways to protect poor widdle Davy’s reputation against big bad hat.

            rgg, if you had ever played organized ball, you would know that rule #1 of D is simply “stay in front of your man.” Lee doesn’t even try to stay in front of Omer Asik, one of the slowest players in the game. Could he? Yes, easily. I could. You could. My grandma could. Asik has no outside shot, so when he drives (at a walking pace) you simply start backpedaling. Unless you’re David Lee.

            What Lee ALWAYS does: give up, act helpless, and wave at the opponent as he’s passing by. rgg, my friend, that is bad D. As bad as it gets. And it is SOP for Lee.

            Use your eyes. Watch Lee swipe at passing opponents without moving his feet. Watch him blow off defensive switches. Watch him drop his man before the shot goes up to get in position for a rebound. And for god’s sake, don’t float any more bullshit about the quality of Lee’s D.

          • Anyone who cites “point differential” numbers – ADMITS the player is in FACT a bad defender… Lol! Argument focuses on the premise that the player’s offensive attributes being greater than the player’s defensive deficiencies…

          • Good point, PB.

            My eyeballs tell me that Lee could be a better defender simply by moving his feet more. For evidence, try to remember the last time you’ve seen Lee take a charge.

            Taking a charge involves beating the opponent to a spot on the floor. Lee is actually pretty quick for a big man. He demonstrates that all the time on offense. So why doesn’t he hang offensive fouls on his opponents? He has the physical ability, but doesn’t use it.

            Draymond Green last season was slower, shorter and less fit than Lee and had a nagging knee injury besides, but he did regularly get in position to take charges. Even Bogut collected more charge calls than Lee last year. Nuff said.

            D is about bothering the shot, not just blocking it. It’s not just about athletic ability. It’s also about effort, training and discipline. All those things are possible for any athlete, even one with a great +/-.

      • Warriorsablaze

        To be clear, you’re the only “poster” on this site who ever brings up Goldsberry’s study. Lee’s defense was a point of discussion long before that study ever existed. In fact, over at GSOM, the land of witty turns-of-phrases (Klay-ups), it’s been call “Lee-fence” for years now.

        Lee is a + on offense and a – on defense. He’s still a positive contributor, but he could be an even more positive contributor with better effort. He’s fine one on one, but does not play good team defense at all.

        As for including rebounding at part of defense, that’s true, but stats also show that Lee’s presence on the floor doesn’t increase the % of rebounds the team gets, suggesting that he doesn’t get rebounds others would not have. Love, for example, tends to significantly improve the team rebounding % when on the floor. I can’t remember where I’ve seen these stats, though… so I’ll have to get back to you with actual evidence.

        What always makes me laugh about this site is that favored players like Lee and Monta get to have 35 *’s added to their game to explain and dismiss their shortcomings, but non-favored players like Barnes and Bogut are just bad. Barnes is a 20 year old rookie and some of you want to put him out to pasture.

        • Thanks, WAB.

          One little quibble about Lee: I’ve been pretty careful not to say Lee “is” bad on D, because that implies he can’t ever improve. Lee “has been” poor on D, but he has plenty of smarts and athleticism so that he “could be” far better at it.

          Re your comment about *s, that’s fair. I’ll even plead guilty to adding lots of ***** about Monta’s game.

          Let’s also include Klay in that list of FB-favored players. Like Lee, he’s a real asset to the team. Thompson’s year-to-year improvement has been impressive too. But depending on how well Bogut heals up, Thompson might be the weakest player among next season’s starting 5. It’s not like he’s a slam-dunk future AllStar.

        • Actually, I posted the Goldsberry study months ago and it was dismissed, though others kept ringing it up many times later without rebuttal. But my concern above, as I explained, is that a national reporter cited it, as has happened before. It appeared at the Sloan conference, which FO’s take seriously, including ours.

          The plea here is for intelligent analysis, not a passing on of damning yet dubious studies. No one I have seen has yet tried to explain Goldsberry’s study or defend its validity or question its assumptions and methods. I made a start.

          Team defense is the key, not individual stats. Defensive play has to be analyzed in the context of how all the pieces work together. I have yet to see a study that does this and would very much like to see one. For example, as we saw last season, the Warriors focused on team defense in the lane, and did so with some success, but they gave up points on the perimeter. Igoudala should help out here, played correctly.

          • warriorsablaze

            Goldsberry’s study may be an easy piece of evidence to point to, but teams have whole analytics departments that I’m sure don’t get swayed by single, limited studies… even if reporters and casual fans do. It’s too bad that it hurts Lee’s perception around the league, but most reputations are “earned” to varying degrees, and Lee has been in the league long enough to earn his with his play. The study may not be methodologically airtight, but it does confirm the eye test that created Lee’s reputation in the first place.

            As I said, he’s been very good at times one on one, but has not been a good team defender to my eyes for as long as I’ve been taking notice of his work on that end.

          • You can’t analyze a player’s team defense without factoring in the surrounding players and the defense they deploy. This needs to be done and I can’t do it.

            But in the case of Lee, you have to consider the many roles he plays, the makeshift lineups he’s had to deal with because of injuries—especially from all his fellow centers—and shortcomings of players off the bench, the changing lineups around him, the inexperienced rookies, the different defensives the team has tried over the past three years. There has not been a stable lineup with a set strategy, who have played together for much time. Lee has most had to deal with these issues because he has been the player most on the floor the past three years. As a front court player, he also bears the greatest burden of defense.

            Those aren’t excuses for Lee. They are reasons why it is hard to evaluate his team play. My sense is that he is an adequate team defender, though I can’t back that up, for the reasons given and I don’t have the evidence. My own impression is that he doesn’t get blown by that much, but we’ll need full statistical analysis of many plays and not a few youtubes. Any player will anticipate badly or be out of position and get burned. Asik driving from the top of the circle is a rare event and probably the last thing on Lee’s mind (see the third youtube @26). I’ll wager it didn’t happen again and won’t in the future.

            Go back to the first youtube Hat gave us @26 and PB repeated later, and freeze at .02. Watch’s Lee’s gesture to set up the defense. My first thought is that he has a great deal of court to cover and many things to consider, unlike the other players. He is also in a place where any big will be challenged because of speed. The driver gets past our guard and goes by. It looks like Lee was anticipating something else—or maybe he was stretched by all the options before him. But yes, I wish he reacted quicker, and yes he got burned.

            But Bogut is there to pick up the driver, which has to be how the defense was designed. Bogut only has to cover limited court. He also has a full view of the play developing and has plenty of time to react. And I have to ask a question. I can’t tell whether or not he fouls, but why does he go for the block in the first place? It’s a risky play which could have led to a foul or a missed block and score. All he had to do was take a few steps, put his hands up, and either deflect the play so the defense can regroup or take a charge.

  68. Winning does make a difference. The Warriors will play 17 games on national TV next season (and more on NBATV). If they keep it up—and the exposure will encourage them to keep it up—there should be all kinds of benefits, say on All Star balloting, recognition by other players who might want to come here.

    A large factor, after winning, is that the nation liked the play from the guards, especially Curry, although I understand the yeti demographic also surged during the playoffs. A style of play will be reinforced as well, and what in the past was dismissed as “entertaining” by national broadcasters will be taken seriously.

    A rough start, though—14 of the first 22 games on the road. 15 back-to-backs—which is low? Is the team getting some respect here as well?

    In case you missed the schedule:

    • Warriorsablaze

      The team is indeed getting respect and recognition. You guys can be cynical all you want about Lacob and MJax “changing the culture” but that is exactly what has happened. Andre CHOOSING to be here… the NBA giving us a nice, favorable schedule… happy, not disgruntled locker room.

      Also, the majority of our national TV games are home games– no doubt due to our fanbase reputation– which should give us some nice wins and further improve casual fan perception.

      • Totally agree, WAB, Lacob and his guys have changed the culture. The team smells like a winner. That’s different.

        Lacob and his guys have also improved the perception of the team. Iggy is evidence, and national TV coverage is too.

        Whether those changes really needed to take 3 full seasons to accomplish is another matter. Lacob’s first two seasons were throw-aways, and they didn’t have to be. With good coaching and a couple of smart player moves, those first two seasons could have been as successful as his third. Last season’s roster was not so much more talented than the team Lacob first bought.

        The biggest difference in the roster last season was the addition of two journeyman backup players. Those kinds of guys are ALWAYS available if a team is willing to spend the money. Which Lacob didn’t in year 1 and 2.

        Why did Lacob suddenly start paying the money to build a competent roster? Two reasons, both unrelated to hardwood:

        1) The new CBA raised teams’ minimum salary payout. Lacob COULDN’T go as cheap on salary as he had in his first 2 seasons.

        2) Lacob needs a winner to convince SF voters to give him his nice shiny new arena. No one is going to pay him to move a loser to their town.

        So… I’m glad to see “my” team making strides. Yay! But I guess I still feel entitled to a little cynicism.

        • warriorsablaze

          Perhaps on paper last year’s team wasn’t so much more talented than the previous year’s team…. but we always talk about context and fit here (and Monta Ellis’ * collection)… the changes to the team DID take 3 years to put together. The armchair GM’s around here seem to believe that any deal is possible as long as you want it to happen… “why didn’t Lacob trade for player x instead?”. Clearly the team had figured out (correctly) that Curry needed to be the lead player and that it would never happen with Monta here…. and, unfortunately, Monta wasn’t highly valued around the league, so it’s difficult to get value back when you have a player like that.

          Turning 20 years of mismanagement around in 3 seasons is pretty good in my book. It hasn’t been perfect, but I’d love to see the teams in the league that haven’t made mistakes. It’s a sport of humans run by humans so my guess is you’ll find none. Short of drafting a LBJ/Durant game-changer or getting chosen by a LBJ/Durant free agent game-changer, teams rarely turn things around in just a season.

          • WAB, it’s all old dead history so I won’t go back over all the ways Lacob screwed up, but in fact, “mistakes were made,” some of them were pretty bad, and many of them were perfectly obvious even at the time. It wouldn’t have taken a Durant to make Lee’s first and second Warriors teams as talented a group as he ran with last season.

            Whatever. They seem to be on track now. Next season’s team looks to be even stronger and more complete than last year’s. Yay!

          • @WAB/HAT – Agreed. To add to your posts…

            Lacob’s first couple of seasons weren’t good…

            Lacob took his time in year 1 to transition, learn, evaluate, and make changes to the W’s organization. No need to elaborate.

            By year two, Lacob tried to play GM himself – and couldn’t get any trades (except Troy Murphy! Lol!) done. Not as easy as he’d thought with few NBA relationships.




            In Jerry West I Trust.

  69. In the years prior to Lacob buying the Warriors, the team was devastated by injuries. That has persisted to a lesser degree since he acquired the team. For me, it’s not that the culture has changed, rather the Warriors finally got some breathing room that has led to an improved roster by shedding both Biedrens and Jefferson’s bloated contracts. Now we are just saddled with Bogut’s contract that thankfully expires this year. The Warriors would have been much further ahead but for the trade for Bogut, not amnestying Biedrens, and thus being able to acquire Harden. drafting better players the last three years.

    • How about good, solid draft picks. Curry, Klay, Barnes, Ezeli, Green. This team is being built from within and with decent free agent acquisitions. Warriors teams of seasons past couldn’t draft their way out of a paper bag, let alone find two star players like Curry and Klay in consecutive drafts.

      THIS is a topic worth some hindsight.

      • Joe Lacob couldn’t do it himself… So he hired the best winner in the game’s history – collegiate player, NBA player, NBA GM – to help…

        Funny – since Jerry West came on board, the W’s make great basketball decisions… Draft solid picks. Trading starters for injured player to tank to try to keep their lottery pick. Trade for the elusive big man in Bogut. Buying draft picks. Signing #2 FA in Iguodala. Hiring inexperienced Coach Mark Jackson AND GM Myers.

        It all started with Jerry West and his “connections.”

        In Jerry West I Trust.

      • the draft picks you praise are a mixed bag, and certainly didn’t set the team back terribly. thompson and barnes are probably in the top .10 of their draft class. not bad, but curry is in the top .10 for his position for all players. too soon to really know about barnes, ezeli, green. don’t forget that curry was a riley/nelson selection under the cohan/rowell regime. you omitted tyler and jenkins. kuzmic might just end up exposed if he ever gets to compete in the u.s. we’ll find out if the team missed badly by not picking up a second round pick to use on ian clark — he worked out for them before the draft.

        • And give Riley, of the old regime, credit for finding Ezeli, Green, and Ned, if any of these guys pan out.

          • @rgg – why should Riley get credit for Ezeli, Green, and Ned??? They were picked under the new regime…

          • Because Riley found and scouted all three—the links to sources were posted here months ago.

          • It was reported in the Chron by Rusty Simmons that Riley discovered and championed Green and Ezeli — I linked to it several times.

            And as the Warriors’ chief scout, it makes sense that he discovered Nedovic — although I never saw that reported. rgg, do you have a link?

            However, as I believe Joe Lacob is the real GM of the Warriors, the major decision maker with regard to personnel, I believe he deserves the ultimate credit for all of the franchise’s moves since he assumed the reins. Particularly since he made the decision to retain Riley as an important member of his executive staff.

          • Riley and Ned was reported here, and I’ve forgotten the source.

  70. geraldmcgrew

    Supposedly Mark Cuban said in a radio interview today that Wayne Ellington is a ‘really good’ wing defender.

    Ellington’s also supposed to stroke the 3. Guess we’ll see how much he and Monta play together in backcourt.

    • Ellington was supposed signed as a backup 2 guard, Monta’s backup.

      But you’re probably right to say that he and Ellis will end up playing a lot together. Wherever Monta goes, his coaches always end up making him the primary ball handler.

  71. FB – I think it is time for you to revisit your comments on Bob Myers which mocked him as the “suit”, the tall guy, and mostly as the pawn who would do Lacob’s bidding. I just reread your post here on the dog days and it hit me that Myers has to be given the total credit for this turnaround. The change in front office philosophy has been huge and starts with the promotion of Myers. Your point about signing effective backups was the major change coming into last season with the signings of Jack and Landry. The trade of Dorrell Wright for Landry was a great move and the signing of Landry went totally against the “big, rebounding, defensive” front court that was the Lacob vision up until that signing. Those two signings were the first sign of the sea change that was coming. The great draft class of Barnes, Ezeli, and Green was a major break from the poor drafts that have plagued the W’s for so long. I am not the big believer in Barnes as some are, but the draft class was great.

    Then, finally Myers pulled off a tremendous coup on many levels when he unloaded Biedrins, Jefferson, and traded Rush for additional cap space and AI. Myers has established himself as a top NBA exec and has to be the frontrunner for exec of the year. From your comments on this post, “They have not only addressed every single critical hole or misconstruction in their roster that I have been harping on since the advent of the Lacob era, but by doing so have also given strong indications that the guiding philosopy of the franchise has changed radically as well.”

    Come on, FB, as you have said before, when the facts change you change your opinion.

    As pumped as I am about this current roster, it is hard to believe that the W’s still have cap space for a significant mid-season addition. I now believe the W’s have a competitive advantage in the front office, and we are set up for a great run over the next 5 years and am actually looking forward to future roster moves, rather than dreading them.

    • I believe that Myers is simply the face of the organization, and that Joe Lacob is the GM. Some here believe Jerry West is the man in charge — which means they must agree with me about Myers at least. And as he stated in the Chron, Riley is the guy who discovered and fought for Ezeli and Green.

      There has been no evidence that Myers is anyone other than who I believe him to be. If he is ever awarded exec of the year, that wouldn’t change a thing. Just as it wouldn’t have changed a thing if Little Donnie Nelson had ever been named exec of the year for the Mavs. The GM title means different things with different franchises. In Bob Myers case, as in Dallas, it means he answers the phones, poses for pictures and beards for the real Warriors hierarchy. He doesn’t even get the showcase interviews — that’s a perk Lacob reserves for himself after every big move. (There’s one revealing interview in particular you should read, that I summarized in “Joe Lacob Takes his Bow.”) Myers knows next to nothing about NBA talent evaluation or team building, having precisely ZERO experience as a coach, scout or player on the NBA level, and only minimal experience as an agent. Lacob has plenty of guys to advise him on the basketball side: West, Riley, Schlenk. Myers was hired as a pretty face to front the organization and deflect heat from Lacob.

      But you’re right about one thing, I do change my opinions when things on the ground change. As everyone knows, I laid all of the blame for the franchise’s mistakes of the first three seasons at Joe Lacob’s doorstep — where it belonged, as the obvious de facto GM. And now, in this post and before, I have given him credit for everything that I see that is going right.

      As for Mark Jackson, I was the first to see that he was beginning to get it right last year, and I reported it first — BEFORE the Warriors started winning. And everyone knows that Mark Jackson was Joe Lacob’s hire — Lacob did the interview, and Lacob hired him personally. Jerry West is on record as preferring Malone to be the head coach.

      I was the first Warriors writer to state unequivocally that Ezeli was a real NBA player — after watching one SUMMER LEAGUE performance. And I did the same for Draymond Green.

      I stated unequivocally that the Jarrett Jack signing was brilliant, exactly what the Warriors needed — on the very day he was signed.

      So it appears that I have been giving Lacob credit for quite some time now. And that’s where the credit or blame belongs, with the GM.

      • It’s not coincidental that the W’s change in “luck” happened on the day Jerry West became part of the ownership group. I’d been pining for this to happen after two years of Joe Lacob running things and going nowhere – and posted in the Tribune such in response to a question regarding how to change the franchise. Joe Lacob IMO makes the decisions but is getting an earful from Mr. Basketball, a players agent/GM, and two former GMs – he’s making smarter decisions.

        People underestimate the role of player agents… The good ones are the ultimate EXPERTS in basketball talent evaluation merely by the fact that they make money off of contracts that the players EVENTUALLY sign! Player agents must focus on the players that they determine to have large paydays – if they’re wrong, they struggle/starve. If/when they’re right, they’re rewarded and revered. Myers was very successful as a player agent. The handful of player agents that dominate the NBA Game – and Myers was the right hand man of one in Arn Tellem – can control the destiny of NBA franchises. Jerry West “gets” this. Think Goldman Sachs and IPOs… If you were a bonafide IPO, you’ll generally want to go with the best investment bankers. However, premium investment bankers sift through/review all the best IPOs in having first choice – investment bankers can’t have duds or their reputations would be ruined – and select or reject these companies based on their evaluation. It’s no coincidence Goldman Sachs takes Facebook public. Sink or swim, just like player agents.

        Myers should garner consideration for GM of the Year – because he magnificiently EXECUTES the ownership’s plan – which is no small feat for any organization. Myers implements the plan and gets the most out of every transaction to accomplish this. This is where Myers shines. Understanding the NBA market for playing worth and not paying too much for Landry/Rush/Iguodala? Brilliant. Getting something good for dumping Dorrell Wright (former player/agent and Riley signing)? Savy. Buying a first rounder, then resulting 2 trades down for cash – because you just “know” where Nedovic will eventually go? Value added. IMO, this is where Myers “shines” and Joe Lacob/Jerry West deserve credit for bringing Myers on board. And West/Myers/Tellem – had great working relationships before the W’s…

        In Jerry West I Trust means as long as Jerry West is around healthy, I’m an UNCONDITIONAL believer. This view will change when he’s not… The dumbest think the Lakers ever did was belittle Mr. Basketball… Mitch Kupcake/”Tommy Boy” Buss – can’t hold West’s jockstrap!

  72. It is intriguing to speculate on where the Warriors would be now if they got Tyson Chandler a few years back, both in terms of team strength and cap space, though by all appearances it was never in the cards and would stir more Monta debates. Still, all told, it would have been a coup.

    It is also intriguing to speculate, negatively, where the team would be now if the Howard deal happened, though it wasn’t in the cards either. Not only is there question that Howard would work that well, but also there wouldn’t be money to strengthen the roster now—and fill in the weak spots Howard would cause. It also would have limited options later the length of Howard’s contract (4 years?).

    It is quite sobering to speculate where the team would be next season if they couldn’t have dumped those contracts, as we have been contemplating for months previous.

    But what a difference $20m makes. I never thought such a thing possible. Is there any precedent here? And the timing, by complete accident, was perfect. Still I wonder. Why wasn’t there more competition with Utah to absorb bad contracts? We have to assume it’s because there weren’t other teams stuck with such bad deals. Also I understand the FO gave the Jazz an undisclosed amount of cash. It was still expensive, and a bailout from past mistakes.

    Economic necessity and failed, questionable attempts have forced the Warriors to look at compromises. Brown was a bomb, and left the team weak for the season. Others have worked out, however. DWright, not sought by other teams, came cheap and gave great returns for a while. Nor did other teams go after Landry and Jack, who were underrated, affordable, and fortunately were available late in the draft period. Do give the FO credit for picking them up, but again failed dealings previous left them in that position, and think about where the team would have been last season if those deals hadn’t happened, at the last minute. We are also optimistic about the affordable players picked up late this draft period.

    Gentlemen, the FO have been lucky, a break with a decades old tradition. We can only hope that they continue to spend their money wisely in the future, that they do what they should have been doing all along, build for depth, versatility, and flexibility with the cap, for growth, and not bank on strokes of lightning from a single player.

    And that no more “transcendent” deals become available to tempt the owners and hobble the team.

    • it should be obvious to most of us that the UT deal was an anomaly. few teams will choose to replace two vets like millsap and jefferson with young players on rookie deals simultaneously, while also timing the next draft class and the free agent class coming the same summer. many free agents of iguodala’s stature won’t be as attracted to GS as he was, and if UT chose to delay agreement to the trade by mere hours, Dal gets him.

      good for the fans if they need to see great things in the future, but the major issues the team will face between now and next summer can still take their dreams sideways — isn’t that part of the thrill ?

      • My speculation is that the W’s were shooting for the grand slam home run in Free Agency. Signing outright free agents Howard AND Iguodala. And were prepared to do this sending Andrew Bogut to the Utah Jazz and trying to shop David Lee’s deal. Howard not interested.

  73. I would have preferred K. Leonard ov we Thompson and Harkless over Barnes. Leonard and Harkless provide manybextra possession. Not so for Thompson and Barnes.those mistakes kill you in the playoffs. One can even argue Drummond over Barnes. Wasn’t even Parsons avaialable in one of those drafts. Also, Warriors blew it by not signings. If you like negative production, Ezeli and Green are your guys.

    And didn’t Myers try to move up to get MKG?

    The best drafted player was Curry and he was a Nellie guy.

    The Warriors are going to miss Rush, if healthy. Warriors need Bazemore to be an effective player this year.

    • No minutes for Brandon Rush in Oaktown… Iguodala, Thompson, Barnes, and even Basemore get their minutes. Rush is better off in Utah where he can prove (or not) that he deserves a bigger deal.

      MKG – I was hoping for that too! A wing defender who can’t shoot – kinda like Kawhi pre-draft…

  74. I loved last season’s team. And yet, I sometimes wonder how they did so well.

    Starting last season, on paper, they didn’t look like a contender for the title (which I think they were, absent Curry’s ankle injury).

    The center position was Bogut, who didn’t play much, and Ezeli, a raw rookie. PF was Lee, a player whose defense elicits criticism (although I see him as a strong net positive because his offense is very strong, while his defense is only mildly weak — based on the season’s numbers for oppponents’ scoring).

    I didn’t know musch about Landry, but I did know that he didn’t cost that much.

    SF was partly a rookie who was known for losing the ball on dribble drives and playing passively. And Draymond — overweight and no noticeable offense.

    SG and PG were solid with Klay and Curry.

    Jack was known as a tweener guard.

    So, how did they win so much?

    I think a lot of it was chemistry and team spirit. I think Bogut’s nasty, competitive attitude helped, even when he wasn’t playing much. Jack and Landry had it too. Ezeli wasn’t backing down. Lee, every now and then, was willing to play dirty to be an enforcer (recall Miami?).

    Curry and Klay didn’t impress me as leaders in the aggression department, but George Karl said it best “when you make a mistake they don’t punish you with layups, they punish you with 3’s”.

    Team defense got dramatically better, with everybody putting in effort. Partly that may have been because they constructed the team without many tweeners. (Jack was the exception, but he didn’t seem to get punished much on defense).

    Curry and Lee developed a two man game that was hard to stop.

    There you have it. 3 point threat, 2 man game and everybody on the same, aggressive page.

    By the end of the season, with Barnes and Green growing, Bogut back to some degree, and Curry/Lee/Barnes/Jack/Landry being hard to stop, it was a very good team.

    I credit Jack’s leadership for a lot of the success. I suspect, but can’t prove, that his presence paid dividends beyond his numbers. I’m hoping that they have replaced that effectively this off season. If they did, it will have to be Iggy. And, Iggy will have to be able to run the offense. If Iggy can do those two things, and if his defense is as effective as it was in Denver, the W’s can be better than last year.

    • if jack is one of your team’s key leaders and best players, you’ll have a team that loses in the second round to OK, SA, probably LA/sterlings. we’ll find out this season from his work in Cle how much GS was the ideal team for him. playoff seedings and head to head match ups can be tricky, and the team could improve this year but do worse in the post season.

      • My feeling about it was that Jack was one of the leaders, but not one of the best players. I suspect the same about Bogut. Maybe Landry too.

        These guys came into a perennially losing situation and changed the culture. I recall even in the post season that Bogut was getting on guys for defense. I loved watching Jack bring the ball up with the game on the line. He looked like he was enjoying himself — not at all intimidated. I think that Ezeli’s physicality contributed to the same aspect of culture. Dray too, although that became more obvious on the big road trip. A rookie who couldn’t shoot getting in Lebron’s face and then hitting the game winner!

        I think, without being able to point to supporting numbers, that this culture made a huge difference in the team’s ability to win — and they won more than their share of close games.

        My apprehension with letting Landry and Jack go, is that they would have to rebuild that culture. My expectation is that they will be able to do so, especially if Iggy is that sort of a leader and can run the offense.

        • if we go by the minutes players were given, and how frequently they were on the court to finish close games, either ahead, behind, or tied, the preacher clearly considered jack one of the team’s best players. we should expect iguodala on the court for all those close finishes. something barnes’ fans can pay attention to, whether he sees the court more often in those situations. the other rookie forward who saw far fewer minutes overall, green, was out there for his share (defense, boards, decision making ahead of barnes’), as was landry.

          • Jackson didn’t have a lot of choice about using Jack in crunch time. Curry could succomb to pressure, so he needed another ball handler. Klay couldn’t fill that role. Jackson didn’t have any better choice than Jack.

            Is the argument whether to call him one of the best players? We should specify, one of the how many best players.

            I would clearly rate Jack behind Curry and Lee. I’d also put him behind Klay (not that it’s the same skill set) and behind a healthy Bogut. No disrespect to Jack, who did his job and then some.

          • Great points.

            Jack and Landry were great role/off the bench players. Paying them $12 million ($6 million each/year) means not having money for starters/FAs/rookies now and in the future.

            Overpaying role players is the cardinal sin of great NBA franchises.

            The smartest thing the W’s did this off-season – was not overpaying them – as I would have done if I were running things…

  75. A healthy B. Rush is better than any SG including Iggy and Thompson, on offense that we have. We need a good SG, one that can hit the three and get to foul line. Keep in mind Rush’s eff. shooting percentage was and is much higher than Thompson, Barnes, or Iggy.And Rush’s defense better than Barnes, and probably Thompson as well. The Warrios would have been stupid not to give him major playing time.

    The Warriors may well have been better off including Barnes, not Rush, in the trade. This season should answer that question.

    • o.k. rush shoots a bit better than iguodala but you’re not saying he’s the better player, are you ? that might be the only aspect in which rush surpasses the older player — even in rebounding, iguodala’s rate per 36 min. is almost one board greater. bench players are best compared to other reserves — rush has averaged over 30 min. per game one singular season ; iguodala’s career season average is > 37 min. per game, and he has six seasons with > 36 min. p.g.

      • @Frank
        Loved B. Rush’s game also, but apples and oranges…

        Andre Iguodala’s an All-Star player and a borderline All-Star for a decade.

        Rush has been a borderline bench player/starter his entire career.

        Andre Iguodala is better at almost every facet of the NBA game than Brandan Rush – except consistent, open shooting.

        Rush can’t create his own offense or create for others – Iggy can very well. Rush’s ballhandling was suspect – Iggy’s is not. Rush wasn’t aggressive finishing at the hoop – Iggy’s one of the best.

        I could go on and on.

  76. I have been told that Myers said on the radio that Barnes will not play much at PF, and that small ball doesn’t work in the playoffs. Is anyone saying “In Myers We Trust?” Felty, what do you think of Myers remarks?


      It’s quite clear that Myers’ is echoing Joe Lacob’s philosophy in this speech, regarding preferring to play big.

      As for his reasoning concerning starting Barnes at the four, it bears a striking similarity to my own.

      • Clouds are darkening overhead. . . .

        But they obviously have Speights in mind at the four (who can’t shoot the 3). Which leaves the question as to what they will do with Barnes.

        • the team’s first preference for an option at the four to take landry’s minutes might be green, but at the same time they know he won’t be the scorer landry is. since green has lost weight, barnes is probably the bigger of the two, but it’s green who has experience from college in adapting to different positions on both ends of the floor.

          we don’t know yet if lee’s minutes at center will be severely cut or even eliminated because they have o’neal, which obviously affects who else plays the four.

      • Analyze for depth, confidence, and sophistication:

        Myers: I think he can. I mean, he did. But Tom, I don’t love personally the philosophy — and I think Joe would agree — I would rather go big. I think a lot of people have commented on Barnes playing the four, and he probably will in some special situations. But I think size ultimately wins. People would argue that the Heat have won without size. They happen to have a pretty good player that can cover up a lot of size issues. I don’t know. I just think the closer you can get to the basket, the more likely the ball’s going to go in, you get offensive rebounds. Being a great shooting team gives us some coverage to play a little smaller, but ultimately if Barnes is guarding whether it’s Tim Duncan or (Tiago) Splitter, David West if you’re playing the Pacers. There’s certain guys where their fours are just going to beat you up. I know you played center, and you get away with it. You bring the other guy out, we had David Lee play center. At some point the rubber meets the road where you’re at a disadvantage. So going small’s an option, but I hope we can play big. But we’ll see what happens, it’s a good weapon for the coach to have at his leisure, I guess.

        • It’s crap like this that keeps me from being all in with this team. Team philosophy has become the #1 determinant of my famdom. Even when a philosophy I hate wins championships I’m usually against it.

          If Phil Jackson had had his Laker teams in the Bay I’d have rooted against them every year. Many say PJ is the greatest to ever coach the game but to me he’s the basketball antichrist because I find that kind of basketball so boring that it’s hardly worth watching. I’d rather do something else with my time. (Full disclosure: basketball is the only team sport I enjoy anymore. So basketball and boxing are the only sports competing with the rest of my life which, frankly, is quite enough.)

          I’m not saying the Warriors will be dull. Even P. Jackson would have a hard time making a team with Curry, Lee and Klay boring, just as Michael Jordan made the Bulls compelling to watch despite the coach’s best efforts.

          But this season should say a lot about what direction this team is headed (if it’s not clouded by injury again). If FB’s predictions/faith/vision prove true it should be a hell of a lot of fun.

  77. Best team in first and fourth quarter:

    Douglas, Curry, Iggy, O’Neal, and D. Lee.Wiil Jackson ever play this team?

  78. @80

    PB: West came on board after the first season, not the second.

    Which might lead to the question why Lacob waited even a year to bring on some kind of expert advice. This should have been his first step. Instead, he fired one of the best minds in the game—without even listening to him. Nelson was on the payroll. They could have sat down and had a chat, if for no other reason than to test out his ideas against someone with more experience. It might have helped Lacob broaden and solidify his own views.

    And the reason is clear: Lacob had his own ideas about the game, however superficial and incomplete, and wasn’t listening to anyone. West most likely was brought on because he fit Lacob’s ideas of big ‘n tough, and looked to his work in Memphis (where, moto informed us, West was frustrated by the FO and left).

    There’s nothing wrong with big ‘n tough, of course, but there was so much more that had to be factored in, as we have sadly seen.

    West is paid to be an advisor. He has no stake in the team and serves at the whims of his boss or stays as long as the job amuses him. We do not know how much clout he has, nor do we know how much his advice is followed. Speculation has been that he is a figurehead for the prestige of the team. He most likely is limited, if not excluded, from other relevant matters, such as how money will be spent. I’m sure he advised getting a big center. He may like Bogut. He expressed his concerns about a Curry/Ellis backcourt, though, like Nelson, I believe his thought was that this tandem wouldn’t get them a championship, not that they couldn’t win. Has he set priorities on how money will be spent? Was he involved in the review of Bogut’s health? Did he advise the trade was worth all they gave up and how much it would cost? Was he allowed to suggest alternatives or if he did, was he heard? I seriously doubt it.

    There’s no slight to West in any of this. Bill Walsh in my books is one of the greatest NFL coaches/managers of all time. But he was hired as a consultant for the 49s after he stepped down and had little effect (I’m not clear about the details). To run a club, you have to have a good mind close to the action and deeply involved in the running of the team in all its aspects. West, however, doesn’t have Walsh’s experience on the field and in the office.

    I’ve spent too much time with agents in another field to have any confidence in their ability to make quality decisions. Their job is to read the market, persuade buyers, and get the most money they can regardless of the quality of their product. They only look at a handful of players now they can make a buck on. A good GM spends a career watching hundreds of players, early in their amateur days and on into their time in the pros. In his years prior, he didn’t spent a single moment engaged in coordinating players on the floor or managing a team.

    Who knows what Meyers thinks, but he hasn’t said a single thing that hasn’t come straight from his boss.

    • D’Allessandro, the new GM for Sac, Ranadive’s hire:

      “Pete’s a basketball guy,” Bratz said. “He’s really smart too, but he knows the game. He’s been around the game for a long time. He’s been with a couple of organizations that have had success. He knows players.”
      D’Alessandro isn’t just looking for specialists for his front office staff. He is looking to emulate the group he was part of in Denver that was talented and balanced.

      “I need my guys who are strictly basketball working guys, I need them to understand the business as well,” D’Alessandro said. “So the salary books are in everyone’s hands, the statistics are in everyone’s hands because we’re working as a group and I genuinely feel that way. It’s a collaborative effort.”

      – See more at:

      Why did Ranadive leave?

      • Ranadive pulled out of the Ws because owning the Kings instead will earn him roughly 10x as much. We’ve been over that, many times, with documentation and links.

        What’s mysterious about that? Is it not the answer you’re looking for, rgg? Why do you keep bringing it up?

        • And it’s more fun being the guy in charge. Who wouldn’t want to own their own team?

        • the tax gods visited the owners of both northern calif teams within a few years, forcing them to give up their prizes, at a time when the association was moving on to more promising economic conditions. [new labour agreement, expanding eurasian market including the two most populated nations on earth, new mega media contracts soon to follow].

          both lacob and ranadive began as minority partners in a team and clearly prefer running their own shows. ranadive’s input (other than $$) for GS with any consequence was probably restricted to bollywood nights at the games. compared to the Profit Joseph, ranadive as the principal owner had a better capital base and more local support for his purchase. he might be just one lucky draft away from having a team that can rival his western neighbor.

      • My point in posting this is to provide a model for a GM, for the purposes of comparison. He has experience. He speaks with confidence. He is aware of all aspects of managing. He is serious about getting good involvement from other capable hands. And it looks like he has been given independence and authority. He isn’t pulling an agenda or paying obeisance to the boss.

        Cf. Meyers’ comment, clipped @85.

        My speculation is idle, of course, but I wonder if Ranadive left because he didn’t like the way things were being run.

    • West’s position with the team became official in May 2011, but it’s very probable that lacob used him as an unofficial advisor earlier than that while they also negotiated his role and compensation. [west had significant input with the draft that came weeks after his position was announced]. one of the reasons he didn’t stay in LA, nor at Mem, their owners didn’t offer him a stake in the team. lacob wasn’t in any position to do so when he first became owner, because he prolonged getting his own stake together. offering west a minority ownership was probably made possible only because lacob had recruited purchasers of minority ownership in the fall of 2010 like ranadive.

  79. Last year, didn’t the warriors opposition take more three’s than the Warriors even though the Warriors were top in the NBA
    in shooting three’s? I believe so. Why? Because as expressed by knucklehead Myers the Warriors want OR’s and you get that by shooting inside. He simply doesn’t resize you can get almost as many OR’s shooting there’s if you position your players to get them by the foul line and wings as SA does. Plus, if you make the shot that’s 3 points, not 2 on the scoreboard.

    So, Felty, you missed this one as Myers, Lacob, and Jackson are going to continue to have the Warriors play slow ball. Boring and non-productive. But we have only ourselves to blame as they insisted in playing slow ball after the first game of the SA playoff and went down to defeat accordingly.

    As for West, did’t he as GM for Memphis sign a former Warrior to a $34 million 4 year bloated contract, and he did not produce?

  80. the player west signed was Brian Cardinal. Enough said.

  81. Iggy’s a SF not a SG as he doesn’t show the ball well. And if stiff Bogut is going to play many minutes, then it’s required that Iggy play SF, otherwise the Warriors get destroyed inside. Rush, if healthy, is a 56 eff. FF shooter, and he’s gone.

    And the Warriors are going to be that good if Barnes and Thompson play at least 30 minutes per game. Curry is our best PG and SG. And Barnes, who should not be playing SG is our best back-up. The Warriors sti have holes, but not as much in the front court.

    • are you saying iguodala doesn’t handle the ball well enough to play the 2 guard by your standards, Frank ? most coaches would disagree with you. setting that aside, defending the tops scoring guards/wings is among the toughest assignments, and iguodala has done so while averaging 2 fouls per 36 min. over his career. do you consent to have him defend guards, considering that thompson or barnes will fare better defending 3’s ?

  82. Full Nedovic scouting report (weaknesses come in about 6:40).

    I’m not sold on his stoke, 33% at the 3. Also these aren’t NBA defenders he’s driving against.

    • Nedovic DEFINITELY is reminiscent of Summer League Jeremy Lin – aggressive mentality (pit bull) in driving to the rim, two right hands, poor shooting ability.

      A 41″ vertical? Are you freakin’ kidding me?!!!? Nice!

      • If these clips are representative, he looks pretty raw. Lin had better court presence. I don’t know how much open court he’ll see in the NBA. Obviously they wanted a more physical guard who can drive, but I suspect he’ll struggle in half court sets.

      • Or maybe he’s a smaller, worse-shooting Sarunas Marciulionis.

        rgg’s right to question Nedovic’s shooting. For a guy whose specialty is attacking the hoop, 38% on FGs overall isn’t good.

        Also, the video listed Nedovic’s height at 6’4″ in shoes. At that size, I’d take Ian Clark over Nedovic any day. You can never have too many shooters.

        • Great points! Moto turned me on to Ian Clark’s game, but it wasn’t in the cards… Lol! Nedovic is a nice prospect the W’s can develop, but definitely not a finished product. Like Dragic, took years to develop his game…

          @Hat – I thought of Sarunas too when I first watched Nedovic’s film at after the draft. I see the W’s brass thinking “fit” here. Sarunas Marciulionis was particularly great as a penetrator because he fit in playing with 3 dead-eye shooters/scorers in Hardaway, Richmond, and Mully.

          Nedovic, like Klay, needs to learn to finish better… I think this will come because it’s not because of a lack of length or athleticism they’re Klanking layups/finishing – just timing and being comfortable.

          Stephen Curry – earlier in his career – wasn’t much at the rim either but now has his consistent array of floaters to depend on now.

  83. RE: Jerry West

    @rgg/Moto – I stand corrected – West did join W’s at end of 1st season, not the 2nd season. I still think West is a minority owner, however.

    Here’s what I’m pretty sure of. Klay Thompson was Jerry West’s pick confirmed by West’s pre-draft hype, stories of Klay growing up with the Lakers, etc. Jerry West recommended day one that Monta Ellis be traded – as West wants more size and Monta is undersized at SG. Lastly, Jerry West told the rest of the W’s organization to pursue Andrew Bogut who might become available – through West’s contacts with an agent.

    Another thing I know about Jerry West – he’s a passionate and overly obsessive personality – it’s why he’s been so good for so long. He won’t do well being marginalized. As long as he’s with the W’s, he’ll be an important part of the decision-making process of the W’s.

  84. RE: GM Myers

    After Lee’s injury in the playoffs, why didn’t Mark Jackson go with Landry at PF? Why Barnes?

    The W’s – for whatever reasons – went small with Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green. And it sure worked well, didn’t it?

    GM Myers is the politician here likely echoing ownerships vision/sentiment. Myers doesn’t control playing time/positions/rotations, Mark Jackson does. And Mark Jackson needs to win.

    I hope I’m wrong – and that Lee and Bogut are the best frontcourt pairing on this team – and that the W’s will win with this formula… I didn’t see it at the end of the season with Lee and Bogut both healthy – looked liked two bigs mucking up the middle.

    • Jackson went with Barnes against Denver, but not SA.

      • Poor decision from a rookie playoff coach perhaps…

        Also, the short-run twin towers experiment (Ezeli/Bogut) made absolutely no sense to me… Silly.

        From what I saw/remember, Barnes absolutely destroyed San Antonio Spurs PF matchups. Big plodders Splitter, Bonner, and Diaw – were made to guard Barnes far out on the perimeter – and when they did, were absolutely DESTROYED off the dribble. The collective Spurs PFs just couldn’t guard Playoff Barnes. Tony Parker had a better chance as he’s quicker.

        I can’t look at Games 5 and 6 – with Curry and Bogut playing on two ankles combined, I’d get too depressed… Lol!

        The Spurs got off easy.

        • I’m not sure you saw any of that series, if you believe Barnes ever matched up against one of those players. Or was ever even on the court as a four when the Spurs played two bigs.

          I don’t mind if you have a different opinion about things than I do, but it’s hard to give them much credit if you base them on made up facts.

          Pop tried Bonner on Green for one game, before deciding on Diaw. He never used either one of those players, nor Splitter, on Barnes, for obvious reasons. Barnes was guarded by smalls, and chiefly point guards, to take away his drive.

          That will not occur again when he plays with Iggy — Iggy will be the player the point guard gets hidden on. So you see, “Playoff Barnes”, as you call him, was largely a creation of “Playoff Curry” and “Playoff Thompson.”

          Let’s see how Barnes does this season getting more frequently guarded by players his own size. Like you, I’m looking forward to watching it. Although perhaps with slightly more realistic expectations.

      • While you’re at, can set the score straight on who’s mucking up the middle?

  85. Jerry West should have realized that K. Leonard much better player.

    The Warriors defense to date has been predicated in trying to give help inside by the perimeter defenders and not defend the three.

    One should not take lightly the fact that the Warriors have lost two (Landry and Rush) of there four best shooters (Curry and D. Lee being the other two).

    It’s bad that the Warriors will start Bogut over O’Neal and will do so only because of the size of his contract. O’Neal is a far superior player.

    Coupling that decision with Thompson starting at SG and being erratic, don’t expect much improvement from the Warriors this year in the first quarter. Warriors should get another PG so that our new back-up point guard can start and Curry slide to SG. Barnes has to be the trade bait. Ian Clark would have made all the difference for the Warriors this year. Another blown move.

    Get ready for slow ball. Hopefully, by mid-season the Warriors will realize the mistake they have made. And even if the Warriors do attempt to run who is going to teach them how to run the fast break?

    This season probably rests on Bazemore doing well, as it does on Erman putting out a good defense. Jackson is useless.

    • warriorsablaze

      When you have this many absurd ideas about the game of basketball, you should probably hesitate to state things so emphatically. I’d love to see your handpicked team of Harkless, Udoh, BRush, and Jermaine O’Neal on the court. They would be the absolute worst team in history…. I actually like and value all those players, but your method of cherry-picking specific stats and taking them out of context has you overrating career bench role players to an amazing degree.

  86. Felty: Barnes is not “capable” of being a good defender because he runs north south. Has little lateral movement. The Warriors have to move him for a draft pick and a back court payer. Will be interesting to see if he’s kept, if Barnes outshines Thompson this year.

  87. Iggy is simply not a shooter and therefore not a SG. He’s terrific driving in the open court, not as good, in half-court sets. Put hi at SF and I’m quite content.

    • There are plenty of starting shooting guards in the league with no midrange game, many of whom are defensive specialists like Iggy. Sefalosha, Tony Allen, Afflalo, Danny Green.

      Iggy is 6-6″ 207. Klay Thompson is 6-7″ 205, but will very soon be bigger than that, if he’s not already. The Warriors principal defensive weakness last season was against smaller and quicker players on the perimeter — ones and twos. Those are the players that Iggy has the capability to guard, and that no one else in the starting lineup does.

      Although Iggy will no doubt sometimes start at the three when it’s called for — as against Kevin Durant or Lebron — it’s easy to see that on most nights the most efficient place to play him will be at shooting guard, guarding 2s and 1s.

      I have very little doubt that Mark Jackson will get this right, just as George Karl did before him. Iggy is a two. A flawed two, to be sure, but nonetheless a two.

      • I’m not as concerned about what percentage Iguodala shoots from the perimeter when he can drive on most SG/SFs and distribute as well as or better than any SG/SF in the game… We’ll soon all learn this upcoming season that Iguodala won’t hinder this absolutely loaded W’s offense.

  88. I’m still a little dizzy from all the interpretations swirling around a handful of games during the playoffs and how they’re being used to plan the future.

    The Denver series was won on the perimeter. Our perimeter could not be contained and was able to score, even though there wasn’t a sufficient front court option. Karl said this himself. What he didn’t say was that the Denver perimeter was inadequate, thus they kept driving to the hoop, where Bogut, standing there, was in fact effective. I’m not sure the Warriors didn’t match up better against Denver than the rest of the top teams.

    After perhaps an initial surprise, San Antonio managed the series all the way, and we found their old men had more spring in their step than we thought. They were able to close our perimeter down, thanks to front court shortcomings. In the fourth game loss, their perimeter stuttered—36% FG, 26% on 3s, but they regrouped quickly and took the series.

    Let’s hope the correct lessons are learned.

    • warriorsablaze

      I hesitate to give the Spurs the bulk of the credit for that series, considering both Curry and Bogut were barely able to run up and down the floor by game 3. Not that the Spurs wouldn’t have pulled it out anyway, but the series was largely lost in the double OT game one where Curry played every single minute. He was a shell of himself for the rest of the series, as was Bogut, who could no longer get by on injections to perform.

      My point being that it wasn’t strategy, lineups, or the opposition lost us that series as much as injuries to our 3 most impactful players: Curry, Lee, and Bogut.

      There’s more to learn from the Denver series if for no other reason than we were healthier. Curry had enough to get through Denver, but by game 2 against SA his ankle was pretty much done.

      • Denver won the season series vs. the W’s 3 games to 1 WITHOUT Andrew Bogut.

        WITH Andrew Bogut – Denver loses 4 of 6 games and all of a sudden can’t score at the rim??? Hmmm.

        IMO, San Antonio loses the series if Bogut and Curry were healthy in games 5 and 6.

        Credit to Pops for sweeping the Kobe-less Lakers – and allowing old bones Duncan/Ginobili/Parker to be WELL-rested for the W’s series.

        Learning lesson for Mark Jackson who rode Curry (game 1) and Bogut way too many minutes early on in the Spurs Series rendering them useless by the end of the series.

        If Pops were coaching the W’s in this series – I think he rests his Curry/Bogut more…

        • The Warriors were 1-3 against Denver during the regular season. The first three games came early, before the rookies and roster had developed.

          Most, Gallinari played in all four games, averaging 20 points. He gave them the offensive depth they lacked in the playoffs.

          • Don’t forget – I was one voice on this blog that pointed out – less Gallinari – that Denver would struggle to shoot in the playoffs BEFORE the series began.

            Gallinari is one great 3 point shooter who could shoot PF David Lee off the court…


            After game 1, Lee WAS off the court.

            Welcome Playoff Barnes.

          • During the 4 regular season games against Denver, Lee averaged 10 boards, 5 assists (!), and 23 points. Hard to believe those same skills, the same production wouldn’t have paid off in the playoffs.

            And this is almost the only evidence we have about how Lee plays against Denver. In the first playoff game, however, (one of his weaker offensive performances) they lost by a whopping 2 points. Hard to believe if he hadn’t gone out 4th Q with injury he wouldn’t have tipped the scales.

            Pretty easy to criticize someone when he is incapacitated. . . .

  89. @FB
    I watch all the Warriors games – often more than once. Never a need to insinuate about how I make things up… I’ll always kindly provide video :). Video doesn’t lie.

    Who would ever implied that Barnes was guarded by the Spurs PFs all series long or deny that Parker/Neal/Ginobili/Green/Leonard didn’t guard Barnes for much of it?

    I’m simply saying – that NO Spurs Series PF (Duncan, Bonner, Splitter, Diaw, and Blair) can/could ever guard Playoff Harrison Barnes… And that a great coach would have more often set up the conditions for and exploited this matchup all series long forcing the Spurs to take their two defensive stoppers – Leonard/Green – off of Curry/Klay and forcing Bonner, Diaw, Splitter, etc – to become matador defenders and/or off the court.

    If the Spurs put their two best defenders on Curry (say Leonard) and Klay (say Green) – so be it. Make them pay for it.

    RE: W’s Small Ball Unit/Iguodala
    I like the chances of any W’s small ball lineup of Curry/Iguodala/Klay/Barnes/Bogut.

    And I’ll take my chances that Iguodala’s offense (career averages of .46% FG, .33% from 3, .724% FT, and 15 AVG PPG) are enough to exploit ANY opposing team’s #4 defender.

    • How on earth does Bogut fit into a small ball lineup? He lacks the speed and offensive versatility.

      Also he isn’t small. . . .

      • don’t be surprised to occasionally see bogut with four wings and guards — that would be his ‘small ball’ line up. if they pushed the tempo consistently and did most of their scoring without bogut needing to cross mid court, it could be successful for limited periods. barnes’ fans like to talk him up as the ‘small ball’ four, but green combined with lee at center could provide different advantages.

      • warriorsablaze

        That’s the ultimate Nellie-ball lineup…. Nellie-ball and small-ball are terms often used interchangeably, but I think Felty would agree that it’s about creating mismatches, not necessarily just “going small.” Having a rim protector allows you to play a wing at the 4 as it covers for some of the mismatch at the defensive end.


      Five Harrison Barnes offensive highlights against bigs from Spurs Game 4

      – 0:03 PF Diaw tries to defend Playoff Barnes on the perimeter – Diaw, doing his best David Lee impersonation – gets beat off the dribble then reaches – as Playoff Barnes finishes/scores.

      – 0:23 PF Splitter doubles down on Jarrett Jack – Barnes and Jack makes Splitter pay with a cut to the basket – Splitter can’t keep up – and Barnes finishing at the rim.

      – 0:30 Barnes beats Neal off the dribble and finishes over Splitter at the rim.

      – 0:58 Bonner attempts to guard Barnes on the perimeter, Barnes takes Bonner to the rim, beautiful spin move by Barnes, Bonner called for the foul.

      – 1:20 No one wants to guard Barnes on the perimeter – Duncan AND Diaw choose not to closeout on Barnes – Barnes cans open three.


        Harrison Barnes offensive highlights against bigs from Spurs Game 5

        – 0:40 PF/C Duncan guarding Barnes out on the perimeter – on switch – Barnes sticks an open perimeter jumper in his face.

        – 1:29 Bonner attempts to guard Barnes on the perimeter, Barnes takes it to the rim, stops pump fakes, and finishes at the rim.

        – 4:32 Off a pick, Barnes drives on Splitter taking him to the rim and finishing.

        • @rgg – Nellie ball or small ball as I “interpret” it – requires a rim-protecting, shot-blocking big man surrounded by 4 ball-handling, floor spacing, decent shooting perimeter players.

          Last I checked, Andrew Bogut is a premium shot-blocker/defender and rebounder. Bogut qualifies.

          Hate on Andrew Bogut’s game all you like, David Lee is no shot-blocker. If Lee is, please provide a link of Lee’s shot-blocking video highlights… I’m certain you’ll find more videos of Stephen Curry shot-blocks than of Lee’s…

          • I suspect we will get clarification of small ball soon, if not later. But it has been analyzed in FB’s posts for years.

            My objection to Bogut is most to his contract, which was not worth what it returned and what it prevented the team from acquiring, which I’ve said umpteen times. But also his value to the team is overrated and my real concern is that team will force some kind of strategy around him, where we’ll get limited returns. He is only good for certain situations.

            And I’ll give it a brief shot. Small ball in part is a response to smaller lineups from other teams, especially 4th. Q, designed for running and spreading the floor, giving opponents more options for scoring with more space to work from. Bogut, who has limited range and speed, does not help much here at all. He can’t run and is ineffective when a more mobile and versatile big plays out and draws him away from the basket. Denver persisted in driving, however, because they didn’t have (or hadn’t developed) other options. Here Bogut got in the way, with results.

            As for offense, small ball is a way to maximize scoring and get the most from the talents of the players, our true strength, and accomplish what is the goal of the game, score more points than the opponents. And again Bogut is a liability. His inability to drive or shoot keeps means other teams can play him soft and clamp down on the rest of the players, which is what we saw against the Spurs. If another limited offensive player is on the court alongside him, opponents can shut the offense down.

            Bogut should be useful in half court sets, especially in the ragged games we saw in Denver. He should also be useful against other dominating bigs, but this really wasn’t put to the test last season, except with Duncan in the playoffs. He did fail against Chicago and even the Bucks. As FB pointed out some months ago, the games he played and the team won were against much weaker opponents. Lee plus Ezeli or Biedrins proved much more successful when you adjust for the stiffer competition. Check the scores.

            Health in his ankle, if it ever happens, won’t change the above much, though hopefully he’ll be able to finish close and drive more. It’s difficult to sort out interpretations of his performance last season. It seems that whenever the team loses with him, his health is the factor, but that when they win, his health is OK.

          • Why should the term Nellieball be restricted to one configuration? Were Nellie’s starting lineups the same as his finishing lineups? Are Popovich’s? Karl’s? Brooks’? Spoelstra’s? Mark Jackson’s?

            You can play a stretch four alongside either Bogut or Lee at center. One configuration is better in the first and third quarters, the other is better in crunch time. Both are Nellieball in my book. As is starting conventionally with Lee at four, and finishing small.

        • PB, you apparently want us to believe that Barnes beating Duncan or Splitter on a switch off a high pick, while playing SF, is the same thing as “matching up” with these players. I think you’ve completely lost the thread and degenerated into nonsense. Didn’t this discussion start with asking whether Barnes could and would regularly start at PF, matched up against front-line players like Tim Duncan? Barnes never had to guard Duncan, and couldn’t if he tried.

          When the second units came in, Barnes occasionally found himself truly matched up against Bonner or Diaw — which was a great and natural matchup for him. Playing against less athletic stretch fours is the perfect spot for him (so long as he rebounds) — which is why Pop limited these matchups to a few short minutes a game. For the great majority of the time, as these videos show, he was picked up by Green, Parker, Neal or Ginobili — also theoretically good spots, but ones that did at least challenge the best part of his game, his drive.

          Since Pop decided that the two guys on his roster that could make Barnes’ life hell — Leonard and Green — should be used to shut down Curry and Thompson, he was absolutely daring Barnes to beat the Spurs by himself. Barnes put up some numbers, as he should have, but Pop’s game plan worked.

          Bottom line: Extrapolating from Barnes’ offensive playoff performance against the worst and most mismatched defenders on the Nuggets and Spurs to the idea that he could be an everyday starter against frontline PFs is nonsensical and ridiculous.

          • @FB – this will be my last post on the Barnes as small ball PF issue… I definitely don’t want to derail the blog.

            Nellie ball is about creating mismatches. Barnes – hate his game like so many here do post after post after post after post after post – Barnes is a tough mismatch-type Nellie would have loved to coach IMO… I’ll disagree with all the Barnes haters all day long…

            A pick is easy to set – and create a switch. So yes, if Barnes happens to be isolated on Diaw/Bonner/Duncan/Splitter/Blair at the 3 point line, THAT’S the matchup I like if I’m the W’s coach… NOT Barnes backing down Tony Parker with Tim Duncan lurking…

            Mark Jackson dictates the W’s lineup – not Pops. I’d have played with Barnes and Green at PF all game. Let Pops put Splitter/Diaw/Bonner in the game… I think Barnes and Green are better than Splitter/Diaw/Bonner… The W’s did a great job of taking what was given to them – and Barnes was only a rookie – he’ll be bigger, better, and stronger next year. IMO the W’s win this series if Curry and Bogut didn’t twist Game 4 ankles…

            Not subbing in a hobbled Festus Ezeli at PF or a hobbled David Lee at PF nonsense and to actually pair them with a hobbled Andrew Bogut??? This made absolutely no sense to me…

            No one implied Barnes is better than Duncan – my point is merely to discuss that no Spurs big can guard Barnes… But Splitter, Diaw, and Bonner? Please… I’ll take Barnes and Green.

            And these are only highlights from Games 4 and 5. Games 1, 2, 3, and 6 have more examples of Barnes on Spurs bigs highlights. Video doesn’t lie.

          • You know what, no Spurs big could guard Curry or Jack in the pick and roll in the playoffs last year either. So why don’t we play CURRY at stretch-four!!!!?

            This is going to be my last post on the subject too, PB, because I’m sincerely beginning to doubt your ability to carry on a rational conversation. What does it take to make you see that the issue with starting Barnes at PF is not whether he can score, but whether he can defend and rebound?

            And whether his body, at 6-7″ 220 lbs., can stand up against the punishment of giving up 30 lbs to front line PFs and centers all season long. Do you really think he can bang with the Griffins and Wests and Loves and Randolphs and Gasols down on the defensive box all season long? And do you really believe that he and his agent — who have unlimited ambitions for his brand at SF — would really be willing to submit his body to that kind of abuse for an entire season, even if the Warriors brass were?

            If you do believe that, you’re simply out of your gourd.

            As for Don Nelson, of course he would enjoy playing Harrison Barnes at stretch four. And if he had no other bigs, he would start him there, ala Maggette and Al Harrington. And then what would happen? Barnes and his agent would throw a fit and force a trade, just like Harrington did.

            But with David Lee on his roster, there is simply no way that Nellie would start Barnes. Just as he did with RunTMC and in Dallas with the Mavs, Nellie would start big in the first and third quarters, and transition into small ball later in the game.

  90. The Warriors want in a center like O’Neal where the opposition scores less points when he in the court then Bogut when the opposition scores virtually the same number of points regardless of he is on the court. Thus, demonstrating that his shot blocking is just average at also points to his inability to move well defensively.

    But, for the first time tat I can recall the Warriors will have two centers that should push the needle marginally positive in the point differential margin , but nowhere Udoh pushed the needle, a player we traded for Bogut.

    The Warrios will be making a big mistake if Spoightds is backing up Lee and not Barnes.

    If Douglas plays anywhere near as well as he he did for Sacramento last year the Warrios may fair well. He needs to be on the Cory at least 30 plus minutes per game so Curry can slide over to SG. It will be ashame if Thompson is on the court more than Douglas.

    But, if Jackson plays slow ball he will negate the talents of most of the Warriors players.

  91. It looks like at times we’re really going to see slow ball with a front court of Bogut, Speights, and Iggy.

  92. This team could be truly excellent, or it could be worse than last season’s team.

    It depends on a couple of things I’m not yet able to assess.

    First, and I agree with some others who have posted about this, there is a question about a second ball handler. From what I’ve read it isn’t Douglas and it isn’t Nedovic. Douglas has already failed in a PG trial. Nedovic, no matter how good he eventually becomes, is going to have to adjust to the NBA, and his decision making lowlight reel (posted someplace) is not encouraging.

    So, I’m thinking it has to be Iggy. I’ve read mixed reports of his ability to play that role, but if he doesn’t do it, who will? That said, if Iggy can run the point from the 3 position, that can allow Douglas to sub for Curry, and that it a very reasonable second unit from 1 to 3.

    The next issues are, as usual, Bogut’s health and replacing Ezeli and Landry. JON seems reasonable for some of those minutes, if he stays healthy. Not sure about Speights. I don’t like his numbers. But, they can also sub in Green and Barnes at 4, at least at times. Also, they didn’t do badly with Lee at 5 last year, although they sucked with Lee at 5 two years ago.

    So, the questions are, can they bring the ball up and run an offense if Curry is on the bench? Do they haveenough inside scoring? Will Speights play D?

  93. The Warriors are built for running as they have only two really good shooters in Curry and D.Lee. And it appears that Jackson has not inclination to run. If so, look for ho-hum season.

    On this team, Iggy is needed at SF. Thompson is fine as a back-up. While Felty thinks that Iggy can cover PG’s, I don’t. Without Iggy on the frontline with O’Neal and D.Lee, the Warriors are not going to be very effective.

    • Interesting comment, Frank. Thompson was usually assigned to cover the Warriors’ best opposing guards last season. Thompson had trouble staying with quicker players. Wouldn’t you say Iggy would be quicker and better at it than Thompson?

      Does it matter what label we Thompson or Iggy? On D they’ll match up with opponents based on their strengths, not their position. And on O they’ll both just play to their strengths no matter what we call them.

  94. David Lee appears to be back in business (reported at Steinmetz):

    • Lee isn’t especially good at anything. But he is adequate to quite good at many things. How many other players are as versatile? He handles the ball well for a forward and can move with it (of course he isn’t being guarded in his drives). His left handed hook under the basket is money. His fall-back jumper is quite nice, and I don’t recall seeing it that much. Here he has good concentration on the bucket and puts the right touch to allow it to fall in. (If Green could only do the same.)

  95. Hat: I agree match-ups, not position most important. But Iggy at PG? No.

    • I don’t know, Frank.

      Career assists/game:
      Iggy 5.4
      Curry 6.1
      Jack 4.4
      Thompson 2.1

      Neither Iggy or Jack are great 3 point shooters, and their shooting percentages are almost identical. Iggy has more turnovers/game, but has also averaged significantly more minutes and more touches than Jack, against starters, not 2nd teams.

      Iggy also averages twice as many FTs per game as Jack, I think because he gets to the hoop more, where Jack settles for the worst shot in basketball instead (the mid-range shot, which Jack shoots very well, but still…).

      In other words, Iggy is a kinda-sorta Super-Jack, who could step in and play the exact same role Jack did. Except that he’s bigger/stronger/faster, passes better, drives better and defends better.

      And I’ve never heard you say Jack was a poor PG.

      • Why are we looking at career stats, when it’s the difference between last year and this year that concerns us?

        And does Iggy MAKE twice as many free throws as Jack? And does he shoot twice as many in CRUNCHTIME? Or does he actually both shoot and make less in crunchtime?

        You’ll find the answer at 82games I believe. And cited in the Iggy thread. We’ve been over this before.

        The Warriors should be able to replace Jack’s point guard playmaking as a team (see my point @108). But I sincerely doubt that they will be able to replace his clutch crunchtime scoring. Particularly with Iggy on the floor in his place. That’s the issue.

        And it will be a huge issue whenever Jackson attempts to play Bogut and Iggy at the same time. It will be even more imperative this season than last that Bogut be benched in crunchtime.

        • Jack was a ballhog in crunchtime last season. To his credit, he came through well. But he wasn’t the guy who should have been shooting in crunchtime, and he didn’t get the ball to the guys who should have been shooting instead. If Jarrett Jack is shooting, The Best Shooter in NBA History isn’t.

          Felt, I think your concern about crunchtime scoring is NOT one the team shares.

          • This is revisionist history. Jack WAS the guy who should have been shooting, because Curry was being guarded by the other teams’ stopper, and being blitzed and double-teamed, and Jack helped to take pressure off him and give him rest. Jack was also much better at getting to the line than Curry, and when he got there he was MONEY. As for being a ballhog, that’s just ludicrous — even if it was a meme created by Ws’ fans last year. The Warriors needed Jack to look for his own shot, just as they needed Curry to. And Jack’s assists/min compare very favorably not only to Curry’s, but to every other point guard’s in the league. (I’d like to see the stats on crunchtime efficiency between Jack and Curry last year — I think some might find it surprising.)

            The Warriors are not going to get anything like Jack’s crunchtime shooting from Iggy, and they’re going to miss it badly when other teams are focused on taking out Curry and Thompson. I can’t help you visualize this. We’re just going to have to watch the games.

            As for whether Warriors’ management is concerned about this issue or not: Let’s see, they also weren’t concerned about Lin’s shooting, or Amundson’s, or McGuire’s, or Ish Smith’s, or the Kwame Brown Era’s, or Bogut’s — until the problems those players caused became obvious on the court. So what is your point exactly?

            Anyway, there are two very strong indications that you are wrong about this, and that the Warriors are very concerned about opening up the floor this season. 1) Jermaine O’Neal. 2) Marreese Speights.

            Because Bogut CANNOT be played with Iggy in crunchtime.

  96. I don’t know about Iggy at PG. I’m wondering about Iggy at PointForward.

    That allows Toney to backup the PG spot, without actually having to run the offense. From what I understand about him, that would play to his strengths. He can shoot and defend. He just isn’t a playmaker.

  97. I line-up with Rich P. play Iggy at point forward. When Doul
    Glad on court get assists from Curry and Iggy.

  98. Don’t sleep on Klay Thompson at point forward. He is an excellent playmaker, who will be called on more to fill that role this season. When Curry, Iggy, Thompson, Lee are on the floor together, the Warriors can initiate offense from four positions — their offense should be as versatile and difficult to guard as any in the league.

    • Add Green and you have 5 playmakers. He played point forward extensively in college, and did it again in Las Vegas this summer.

      • I read that Green was a play maker in college and did some over the summer. But, I don’t recall the W’s ever using him that way during the season. I didn’t see tremendous playmaking in Klay, for that matter. My concern about him is his streakiness.

        But, that’s half court set stuff. Who is going to bring the ball up if Curry is sitting? And, for that matter, who is going to do it when Curry is pressured — he does succomb to pressure on his dribble.

        Right now, I’d anticipate that the opponent is going to trap in the half court as much as they possibly can. Try to take several seconds off the clock and make it difficult to initiate the offense. Will it work? Well, from the point of view of the other team, the W’s offense is going to be a horrorshow. The Ws have a lot of ways to score. So, slowing them down even a little is going to be worth the trouble.

        But, if Iggy can do it, the defense is screwed. How are they going to stop Curry, Klay, Iggy, Barnes, Lee, Dray and the new guys?

  99. Thompson a point guard? Green a distributor? Where’s the nearest diving board?

    Douglas not a turnover guy. Turnovers should be reduced with Jack and Landry gone.

    • Klay Thompson actually has been a point guard: in high school, and in the summer league for the Warriors. His point guard skills have been evident to me from the start: great handle going both ways, great court vision, great playmaking ability off the bounce. I think these skills will be pressed into service this season.

      The Warriors tried Green in the high post last season, but although he’s highly intelligent I’m a little skeptical. First, because to be an effective high post player your shot must be a threat. Second, because to my eye his passes were frequently inaccurate and mistimed.

  100. Jack was good at finding Landry, and I wonder if in part it’s because they played together at NO.

    Only Curry and Lee, and now Klay, have played together for the team more than a year. The next thing I’d like to see from the Warriors is some continuity and team experience. I also wouldn’t mind seeing them explore the possibilities for all their players and giving them time on the court, even giving Ned some minutes if he’s ready (unlikely), even if it means risking some games. Karl’s mistake, as moto noted was in not bringing up his other players, especially Fournier.

    • And as they look forward, the Warriors need to transition themselves away from Bogut, if for no other reason because of issues of health. His elbow won’t get better. We have no idea how well or how long his ankle will perform, but there will have to be residual effects, at least arthritis, larger ones if it isn’t structurally sound (cf. Walton).

      In my book, you get one freak accident. Two suggest a pattern. Bogut, at his best, plays with an intensity, an abandon, which, when coupled with his size, punishes his body and courts more.

  101. You don’t need a center to win in the NBA. Right?

    Astonishing to me that these articles get written without one mention of Don Nelson. Did Mike D’Antoni originate small ball? Did Erik Spoelstra originate “positionless basketball”?

  102. @105 Feltbot:

    Felt, Jack shot well in crunchtime throughout the season, but only by ignoring his teammates to work for his own shot. If you need evidence of that, look no further than the way Popovich stopped the Ws’ crunchtime offense starting in game 3. He had his team slide off other scorers to trap Jack, over and over and over and over again. It never stopped working.

    And if you want to cite team management’s personnel decisions to justify how important the team felt Jack was, I’ll just mention one little fact you may not have noticed:


    The team “traded” Jack’s 2014 salary for a low-probability Euro prospect, an ongoing Bazemore project, and a failed Knick. That’s how highly team management thought of Jack.

    It’s silly to suggest that the team’s strategy to replace Jack is to add more bigs. You’re not serious, are you?

    • 1) “It never stopped working.” Really? Here are the relevant shooting percentages from games 3-6 of the Spurs series:

      Curry: 37% field, 37% from three, 100% FT (6-6)
      Thompson: 34% 45% N/A (never got to the line)
      Jack: 52% 38% 90% (9-10)

      So Jack shooting 52% from the field, leading the way to the line, and shooting 90% once he got there was the problem with the Warriors’ crunchtime offense? The fact of the matter is that from the start of game 3, Popovich’s brilliant defensive schemes took Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson completely out of the series, while leaving Jack unaffected.

      Some more relevant numbers: For the playoffs, Jack was the Warriors second leading scorer, at 17 a game. For the playoffs, he shot 51%, to Curry’s 43% and Thompson’s 44%. And in the playoffs, he led the Warriors with 43 made free throws. That is absolutely elite production from a point guard.

      You seriously don’t believe the Warriors are going to miss that crunchtime scoring punch? Let me remind you, Andre Iguodala shot 57% from the line last season, and under 40% on jumpers from everywhere on the floor.

      2) “Jack is gone.” This means that the Warriors won’t miss Jack’s crunchtime scoring? That’s quite a non sequitur.

      No, it means that the Warriors had a desperate need for a long wing defender, that they were able to fill with an all-star caliber player. The Warriors made the judgement that they needed Iggy’s all-pro defense more than Jack’s offense. And they couldn’t have both.

      3) “The team traded Jack for (blah, blah, blah).” This is a ridiculous distortion. I’m not a capologist, but it is a fact that the Warriors had to renounce the rights to both Jack and Landry in order to sign Iguodala. Something to do with cap holds, I believe (but don’t ask me what those are).

      When they signed Iggy, the Warriors COULDN’T re-sign Jack. Simple as that. It is obvious to every one but you that the Warriors “traded” Jack for Iguodala.

      4) Even if they could have signed Jack, it wouldn’t make sense to pay $25 million to a FOURTH guard, who would sit on the bench in crunchtime rather than lead the Warriors offense.

      Does that mean they won’t miss Jack’s deadly crunchtime offense at times next season? No, it doesn’t.

      5) “It’s silly to suggest that the team’s strategy to replace Jack is to add more bigs.” Is it?

      My point, actually, is that you can mitigate the loss of shooting in going from Jack to Iggy, by replacing Bogut/Ezeli with O’Neal/Speights in the crunchtime lineup.

      The real problem with the Warriors crunchtime scoring in last year’s playoffs had to do with the man in the middle. I refer you once again to the great Jeff van Gundy:

      “It’s hard to play playoff basketball when all 5 guys aren’t active, aggressive offensive threats.”

      “That’s the difference between the two teams, one team’s center — Duncan or Splitter — can make shots off the pick and roll, the other team’s center can’t.”

      And Mitch Richmond: “The Warriors are playing 3 on 5.”

      I find it highly likely that the Warriors, previously addicted to one-way defensive players in the middle, targeted these two players specifically in explicit recognition of what replacing Jack with Iggy meant to their crunchtime offense. You know, to avoid that 3 on 5 kind of thing? That’s why I was initially reserved about the Iguodala signing, but elated with the ENTIRETY of the moves the Warriors made, once they were finished.

      O’Neal and Speights mitigate the loss of what Jack brought to the table. And they make Iggy a more valuable player at the same time. That’s the magical alchemy of team sports. Overall, the Warriors should be a far better team this season.

      • Feltbot,

        That’s a great analysis. I think the problem is that the W’s lost the SA series, and towards the end, Jack looked like he was forcing things (I didn’t check the numbers, that’s just from memory of the games). Of course, by then, Curry could barely walk and Bogut’s ankle was useless. The defense finally got around to Jack.

        Anyway, my point is that those memories can cloud a fan’s recognition of the bigger picture, which was that Jack was very effective. The numbers show that. To those numbers I’d add my impression that Jack was a team leader, a guy who was constantly confident and aggressive. That game face counted for something.

        They may have replaced Jack’s numbers, but it remains to be seen, at least for me, whether they have replaced his overall presence. And, I think the W’s record last season reflects, in part, great chemistry, not just good talent.

      • the mystery of ‘cap holds’ and other salary arcana gets explicated on the handy web site the salaries of free agents continue to count against a team’s cap (the ‘hold’) after their contract expires until one of three events takes place — the player signs, either with his original team or another team. if it’s with the original team, the actual new contract number becomes the cap number of course. or, the team renounces, as GS did with jack and landry.

        remember how jack’s fans kept suggesting the team could compete with offers from other teams because they could exercise their bird exception with him ? without cap holds, teams could sign new free agents or otherwise increase contractual obligations up to the cap, and then re-sign the player with the bird exception. there were other means (many of which were used over the years) of skirting the cap that the ‘cap hold’ restriction suppresses ; essentially, it serves to level the playing field with respect to teams competing to sign free agents.

  103. Hearing rumors that Lee is spending a lot of time this off-season working on his three ball…

    • e. sherwood strauss, anointed by espn/disney to be their GS analyst/commentator (blogs on true hoop and, has declared and elaborated that the team should trade lee.

      iguodala has commented that speights used to shoot 3’s well in practice in Phi, but collins didn’t want to see it in games.

      • Evanz and I really went at Strauss, Beckley Mason and Henry Abbot today on Twitter over this article. Judge for yourself who came out on top.

        I read somewhere that Speights was one of the top 5 midrange shooters in the league last year. And judging from the effortless range displayed on those videos posted in the last thread, I could easily see him extending to beyond the arc.

        Really excited to see Mark Jackson put together this squad.

        • espn/disney are consistent at least, as the #1 promoter of that sloan conference presentation and spin that portrays lee as the great destroyer of his own team’s defense.

          in his essay’s opening remarks, Strauss tries to coax his audience into giving him license to cherry-pick his evidence and build his case almost exclusively from the postseason games (an overwhelming 6-6). he shamelessly borrows a rhetorical phrase from the beisbol stat guru b.james, “signature significance” so his case built on the playoffs can exclude regular season proceedings. confirmation bias, in other words. strauss didn’t respond to herr professor doktor Zamir’s (“Evanz”) tweets about the (regular season) evidence that shows the team’s marked superiority with lee on the court vs. lee sitting down. if you don’t buy the ‘signature significance’ attribution, Strauss’ premise that playing lee prevents the team from using its most effective offense comes up hollow.

          lee has shown up in enough games with different teammates, running different offenses, to demonstrate that his ball skills and smarts suffice for him to adapt to a range of demands on offense. (unlike the transformative superstar howard). barnes’ fans would like to think he’s equally capable and therefore makes lee redundant. or bogut’s recovery will keep him on the court long enough to make the playoffs (with off days not devoted to travel) representative of something sustainable. let’s see the proof first.

  104. geraldmcgrew

    A few Monta quotes from today’s Mavs presser:

    “It’s a great organization and a great team that we have.” … “The years I had at Golden State, I think I had to do about 60 percent of everthing.” … “I’m very excited and I always dreamed of playing with an organization as good as Dallas, so to be here and play with a Hall of Famer like Dirk makes everything easier and much smoother. Hopefully we can get back to Dallas Mavericks basketball and competing the way we should.” … “I’m going to be Dirk’s sidekick. We’ve come here to win games, and that’ all.” … “It’s a great opportunity. A new beginning and I’m looking forward to it.”

    • ***ooof!***

      As I recall, one of Monta’s outbursts (rare) was his first season with Curry, when SJax left because they didn’t get a big instead and Ellis missed playing alongside Baron. You’re asking too much was what I believe he told Nelson in practice, who was trying to turn him into a point guard, which is what he had to do if he wanted a future.

      Somewhat in defense of Ellis, or at least a qualification, is that aside from his first year with We Believe, he never got a chance to play with a full squad that might have made use of his talents, or, more to the point, given him a chance to make a realistic appraisal of himself with a truly competitive team. The next two years should provide that opportunity.

  105. OK, Felt, it’s official. You have either lost your mind or you have chosen to be dishonest. You’re a fool or a liar. I’m guessing you’re a Republican.

    Any player in Jack’s position last season, playing with Curry/Thompson/Lee and the rest of the Warriors, is going to show a short-term bump in their offensive stats. That is why career stats are more meaningful than season stats when comparing players from different teams. Maybe you don’t get that. That makes you a fool. Maybe you do understand that but choose to distort the facts to make your point. That makes you a liar.

    I don’t care which. I’ve been hanging out on this site for fun. You have now made it not fun. Congratulations or whatever.

    Felt, I think you have a lot to offer, but if I’m ever in the mood for stupid insults I don’t even need to leave home for that. I check in here for smarts. For whatever reason, you’re not offering that now.

    All the best, Felt. So long and good luck.

    • I’m not sure what happened here. I thought we were talking basketball.

      I’m sorry that you interpret disagreement with your opinions as a personal attack. That certainly wasn’t my intent. And if I had known that, I wouldn’t have taken the trouble to address your points so seriously.

      I have sometimes thought that I should disengage myself from interacting in the comments section, and leave the discussion to the posters, ala Lauridsen. I’m not one to mince words or opinions — one of the reasons I think blogging is more fun than being a reporter — which might mean that it would be better to address myself solely to the thick-skinned media. I’ll give this some thought.

      You’ve been a valued contributor here, Hat, and will be missed. Good luck in the hunt for a cooler kitchen.

      • “An unexamined life is not worth living.”

        –attributed to some old Greek, which I’ll paraphrase liberally:

        “An unexamined basketball team won’t make it into the playoffs.”

        Your presence in the comments, FB, not only holds you accountable but also gives you a chance to elaborate on your posts and other issues. And it gives them direction and forces examination and defense on our part, without which comments become mob rule or a popularity contest. Or just fizzle into drivel. You keep us on our toes, and we need the back and forth. A lot of the time, it isn’t apparent we have even read what you’ve said.

        Also, given the fervor yet unreality of many views, a little sarcasm is in order. A sharp edge is needed to punch through and deflate them.

        In short, I’d hate to see you leave the comments.

        Most analysis in the media and blogs is bad, by which I mean it is based on impressions and whims that have not been thought out and is largely incoherent. Yours isn’t, which is why I keep coming back.

        I hate to see teams and players get sacrificed to popular whim. The analysis and defense of Jack was good, and hasn’t been made elsewhere. I’m glad PB brought up his criticism of Lee, because it echoes what has been said in the national media, which is damning but which, if followed, could lead to the trade of a vital player. And it just isn’t reasoned or fair. We got a chance to respond.

        Ultimately, I’d like to think in some virtual way we’re managing the club. This means our ideas had better be damn good and had better stand up to scrutiny. Opposition needs to be answered. More realistically, I just want to learn more about the game, which requires analysis and debate.

        Most, I hate shoddy thinking, which we see everywhere. Comments give us a chance to practice sound argument, which the country sorely needs.

        The stage is set, btw. There has been much criticism of Bogut and Barnes here, though most of it is directed towards exaggerated claims, not the players per se. If these guys start proving to be top caliber contributors, you guys speak up.

        But make a good case.

        The above quote may be appropriate. Plato, in The Apology, reports Socrates said those words as he was awaiting trial and sentencing.

        • Thanks for the vote and another fine contribution, rgg. But on the other hand, there is an argument for letting posters engage each other without me butting in…

          • Put differently, I not only expect to be countered if I say something dumb, I invite the debate. I’d like to get better at this.

      • lauridsen’s m.o. of pontificating with his lawyerly rhetoric, and then sitting back detached, perhaps amused by the scuffling amongst the hoi polloi, is a throwback to patrick daniel moynihan’s ‘benign indifference’ (amerikan variation of laissez faire). it probably reflects his doctrinaire and rigid opinion-forming process. boss felt’s willingness to re-engage and get mixed in to the dialectic is a big reason, along with the participation of folk like White Hat, that this blog is a much more rewarding place to spend time.

    • warriorsablaze

      Don’t leave, Hat… despite your irrational love of Monta Ellis, you’re contributions are valued.

      I’m not sure what you took offense to, the only off-hand remark made by Felt I could find was actually directed towards PB several comments up… otherwise it was just Felt arguing his point as always. If there was a personal attack in there, I missed it.

    • best wishes to you, Sombrero Blanco. your avatar reminds me of a acerbic buddy of mine from Phi, a treasured tennis partner. your participation here was a big factor motivating me to attend regularly and helps elevate this blog above the others. leb’ wohl !

  106. Rumors are that US conducting operations in both Lebonon and Syria for months.

  107. While match-upa come into play in deciding where to play Iggy, it’s clear from stats that SF is his best position by far, 82 games. All this talk of his playing PG should stop as he was torched by opponent PG who shot 59% from the floor.

    While he shot 49% from the floor playing SG, opponents shot 47% against him. At SF we see his true value, as he shot 51% to opponents 42%, a .9 differential.

    His natural position is SF. One should have looked at these stats in the first place and saved us this drain-out discussion.

    • warriorsablaze

      Sigh. No one is talking about him playing PG. They are talking about him being another ball handler behind Curry. He’s probably the second best on the team in that role… though I don’t know Douglass’ game well enough to comment.

      Perhaps people aren’t as willing as you are to cherry-pick single stats, ignore all context, and make broad conclusions based on them.

  108. Heard that former President Jimmy Carter said in a speech overseas not reported widely here, that US no longer”functional democracy” because of the government seizing all our phone records. And that Snowden is a whistleblower on illegal activities of US government and should not be prosecuted.

    Tend to agree as it seems strange that those who authorized illegal activities and lied to Congress go free while he is prosecuted, and if secret wars are being prosecuted without our knowledge or consent, our Constitution, the best in the world, has been reduced to tatters.

  109. Come back Hat we need your incisive comments.

  110. geraldmcgrew

    FB, your leaving the comments would only work for me if it resulted in a commensurate increase in frequency of your regular posts. Seems to me you only give as good as you get.

    Having said that: WH, I certainly hope you return as I have valued your contributions.

  111. If we ‘re fighting in wars and the press does not report such what does that tell us about the press?

    Seems like Bush, now President Obama , has continued to the diminution of our civil liberties. A President Clinton will be more of the same. It’s amazing that African-Americans support her as she was a Republican when she met her future husband in law school, and according to her husband was against civil rights laws when she was at Yale in the 70s. Couple that with the fact that she openly asked for the “white” vote when she sought the Democratic nomination for President. Disgraceful. I guess some can fool the people most of the time. Feel free to pass this on.

    • anyone half-witted or semi-reasonable would give the dems equal credit with the g.o.p. for this country’s decline. but that is the normal course of empires, and it’s not as if this country’s intellectual elite are recruited into public service as in many other nations, both democratic and autocratic. bush II deserves a bit of extra credit for accelerating the decline significantly, standing on the shoulders of titans like nixon and reagan as it were.

      • Patrick Moynahan

        BUT Mr. moto, name five Republicans that support working class Americans? Or Middle Class Americans? Or African Americans?

        Three? One Republican? Fact: They are paid robots for large multinational Oil, Wall Street, Pharma, and Insurance Companies.

        Bush II deserves credit? Huh?
        ps… None of the Bush Crime Family deserve any credit. If you have any knowledge about the ongoing carnage in the Middle East (caused by this evil clan) and that it was triggered by an illegal war started by Bush (as he lied to the American people). If you fail to acknowledge this and the subsequent surge, and the relationship to the civil wars in Iraq, and Egypt, then I have lost all of my previous appreciation for your usually humorous rants.

        They are war profiteers who maintain a dynasty which may soon bring a 3rd Bush to the White House? Shuddering thought for sure.

        • geraldmcgrew

          While you’re certainly correct that there are far fewer good Republicans than good Democrats, the top of both parties are corporatists, which is of course the problem with our country. The neverending NSA revelations, not to mention the anemic recovery, will continue to undercut the Dems prospects with the youth vote for 2014. And the only chance at a non-corporatist President being elected in 2016 would be Elizabeth Warren, who seems unlikely to run.

          While I would never vote GOP, the only way I’d vote for Generalisima Clinton would be if she made Warren her running mate.

          In the next ten years America will be transitioning from a neoliberal to a neo-regulatory economic structure. If that transition is to prove of much benefit to working people it is much more likely to be due to organized action at the grass roots than due to leadership from the top. Leadership from the top would be a huge help but I wouldn’t advise holding one’s breath for it.

  112. e. sherwood strauss’ stock must be rising on the true hoop blog ( he’s even attempting humour, half sincerely entreating drummond to shoot his foul shots underhanded. bogut and ezeli should lead the revival — after all, they’d have the fans who might appreciate the thought and remember one of GS’s all time greats. the absurd reality, they would much more readily tolerate an openly gay ‘mate in the clubhouse than risk being perceived as emasculated, exposed out on the free throw line.

  113. geraldmcgrew

    From Eddie Sefko’s Mavericks Blog:

    “I think the team we have together is going to ease the pressure on (Dirk), not just me alone,” Ellis said. “We’re going to work together. Everybody in this locker room is going to have a say-so in our success. Dirk won’t have to put too much on his back with guys like me and Jose [Calderon] who understand the game and have been in the NBA a long time.

    “I don’t think I have to come in and take the baton or he [Nowitzki] has to hand it over. I think we all just hold onto it as one. It’ll be easier for him.”

    So is Ellis ready to be the man? Or at least, the co-man?

    “I think I’m ready,” he said. “This is going to be the year, with the work I put in this summer and the relationship with me and Coach that’s building right now. And the relationship I’m going to build with my teammates. I feel great. I’m in a great spot.”

    … “Monta and Dirk are going to be our two highest-scoring offensive players,” Carlisle said. “I don’t think there’s any question about that.”

    … Scoring’s not the only aspect of the game. But it’s hard to stop teams in the NBA, so having pure scorers makes life simpler for everybody.

    “I think scoring is over-valued in the league, but I get your point,” Cuban said. “Would it be nice to have somebody who takes the pressure off Dirk and lets us say, ‘OK, this is a cornerstone for the future?’ Yeah, But I don’t want to put that pressure on any player. The role we try to get guys to take is whatever helps us win.”

  114. OK, so I discovered Strauss at TrueHoops. And here’s the piece on Lee:

    It is an astonishingly sketchy piece of analysis that repeats what has been said elsewhere without thought or support. Not only does he mouth the spiel about Lee’s defense, he says he’s a drag on offense, based entirely on a handful of games with Denver. It’s not apparent he has watched many Warrior games at all or knows what he is talking about.

    “it’s almost certain that Lee — a skilled player, to be sure — would be more useful to a team that didn’t have to put aside its best offense to play him.”

    I am speechless. How do these guys get their jobs?

    • warriorsablaze

      Well, I think you’re expecting too much. Strauss is an editorialist, not an analyst. He has a job because he’s very good at being contrarian and starting conversation/debate. He’s often more interesting to read than many NBA writers because he’ll push odd or unpopular ideas as thought experiments…. e.g. eliminating free throws from the game.

      It’s entertainment, mostly. He’s much more interesting on twitter as he usually has interesting snippets of insight during games. Long-form, he’a a bit too proud of himself and his vocabulary.

      • warriorsablaze

        Also, he admits to the small sample size, but in that sample size, our offense was most certainly better without Lee.

        I’m not of the opinion that Lee should be moved, however. Barnes at the 4 is a matchup and sometimes only lineup… I don’t see how it could work as the basis for your team on most nights.

        • Does that sample include the lineup that beat the Heat in Miami — Lee at center, Green at four?

          How about Lee at center, Barnes at four?

          I’ve already offered a wager to anyone here that one of those two lineups will be the Warriors’ best performing lineup by +/- this season.

      • Your analysis of Strauss is spot on. I especially agree that he’s a talented tweeter with a very creative mind. I think he could have a future in standup — he’s got that kind of mind.

        But as for his basketball analysis…

      • would not consider him a genuine contrarian. both he and kawakami like to pose as such, but in the end are more intent in showing off that they know better than the imaginary ‘average fan,’ that their acute critical faculties enable them to see past the p.r. kawakami was derisive of the big sign and trade that brought lee to oaktown and went on to becoming an avatar of sorts for the faction that considers lee overpaid, no-d, over hyped. in the end though he clearly relishes serving as lacob’s amanuensis and enjoys the access to the owner, so in his heart he’d rather do p.r. than go against the tide.

        e. sherwood strauss is in the same boat. when all is said and done he’s employed by at least two p.r./hype broadsheets trying to keep the fans hooked to woeyr affairs, and espn/disney for a year now has made a cause from ‘look what a lousy defender this big star lee really is’.

    • apparently the sports bloggers are seeking revenge on B.Simmons, the accomplished, professional comedy writer who has now become better known for sports blogging. they’re attempting comedy writing ? someone from Dal named ‘Tobolowsky” (if that isn’t just a nom de plume) wishes to grind ellis’ backwater Mississippi syntax/vocab into comedic grist ?

  115. Frank @ 118

    Here’s an off topic for dog days that ties some threads together and should stir some discussion.

    Carter was not a great president, but he wasn’t a bad one. He did have trouble keeping his house in order, but most he got caught in compromises—the oil crunch, the hostage crisis—where it’s impossible to make a good decision or look good. And wasn’t it in that Peter Dale Scott book you recommended, Frank, that the Republicans made deals with the Iranians to stall the release of the hostages until after the election to help Reagan win?

    He was a good man. In fact he was the best man we’ve had in the White House the last decades, though that’s not saying much as he has little competition. If you’re going to have a Christian in the White House, this is what they’re supposed to look like. He’s probably the only one. He practiced his faith—he taught Sunday school—and tempered it with doubt and skepticism about those of us on earth and what we’re trying to do. He did not use religion to justify his presidency or enter wars or cut taxes or exploit the world’s resources, did not believe God was on our side, and didn’t try to ram a narrow agenda down our throats. And he lived by a set of values, trying to follow the example of the man he believed in. His commitment to civil rights was sincere and heartfelt. He was the one who interjected the term human rights into foreign policy and made attempts to follow it, during his presidency and after. And yet the religious right embraced Reagan as the true Christian, a man who probably knew the Bible as well as he did the Constitution.

    I’m not interested in defending his goodness or faith, much less his presidency. My thought is he’s the kind of man our culture like to promote so it can tear him limb from limb in sacrificial frenzy. Somehow I feel like the same thing is happening to David Lee.

    • I respect Carter as a man of conscience, but in a low post battle with Congress, I’ll take Lee.

      • In a low post battle with Congress, I take LBJ, the president, not the player—who wants to lead the players union?

        I have a theory that if Lee had sensational, youtube dunks or an edge in his public image but otherwise produced the same results, the media would have left him alone.

        • I can almost understand Warriors’ fans inability to grasp what he does offensively, as passing ability, unselfishness, court vision, facilitation and extreme intelligence — ie., the ability to play team basketball — are qualities that the average fan just can’t see. Nor even E. Sherwood Strauss.

          But I am absolutely baffled by how little credit he gets from the fans for his rebounding, particularly as that has been the Achilles heel of the Warriors since forever. Harrison Barnes, the new fan darling to play the four, averaged 4 a game last season. Go figure.

          I agree with you that the fans hold his lack of athleticism, lack of a chiseled body, and — dare I say it — whiteness against him. He doesn’t look like their image of a basketball player.

          I think fans held some of the same things against Curry, up until the validation of last year’s playoffs.

          • The fans at Oracle aren’t the critics. He always gets ovations when introduced and I’ve never heard him booed. It’s the court of public opinion, or rather of the way pop sports media perceives and shapes opinion.

            There’s no criticism of Barnes whatsoever in this, but for the life of me I can’t see why he has been embraced and promoted so much in the media. It has nothing to do with his performance, which is hardly sensational, but something else that needs examination. Then there are those youtube dunks, which get a lot of play.

          • warriorsablaze

            The Warriors had the lowest Defensive rebounding % in the league in the 2010 and 2011 seasons, but jumped up to the highest place last year. Lee was on the team, and pulled down pretty much the same number of boards all 3 seasons. It seems to me that he doesn’t create rebound opportunities like a Rodman, he simply is the one that gets the boards that someone else would have pulled anyway. You ever notice that whenever a team bails on the boards, Lee almost always pulls the rebound among the 3 other Warriors (and no opposition) around him? It happens a lot. He even pulls it out of teammate’s hands a fair amount. Watch for it.

            Also, the Warriors out-rebounded both the Nuggets and Spurs in the playoffs without Lee. Yeah, he collects rebound stats, but I fail to see any evidence that he actually improves the team’s rebounding overall….there’s a difference. Counting “rebounds per game” is about as useful as counting “points per game” in measuring the impact of a player. In other words, not very.

          • The same argument, of course, could be made about Bogut’s boards, but I don’t see where either leaves us.

            But Lee boxes out and gets into position well in a variety of places around the bucket, with good range. I watch this, see it often, and there’s nothing cheap or easy there.

          • warriorsablaze

            Yes, those of us who don’t think David Lee is as good as you say are just racists.

            Funny, many Monta fans said the same thing about those of us who believed (correctly) that Curry was the better player. Monta was too hood, that’s why we didn’t like him. Right. Funny how I loved SJax… but whatever, I’m just a racist and could never base my opinion on, I dunno, the player’s performance.

            When you have to resort to that kind of pathetic garbage to defend your player… thou doth protest too much, methinks.

          • warriorsablaze

            ha… I’m not sure you actually watch this, because Lee almost NEVER boxes out. He’s a rebound chaser, not a position player.

          • warriorsablaze

            Unfortunately, 82 games doesn’t seem to have this same table available for more recent seasons that I can find, but you’ll see Lee had an on/off court net rebound number of -.04. He averaged 11.7 RPG that season for the Knicks… 11.2 RPG this season for our Warriors. There are other stats I’ve seen people mention about on/off rebounding % that are even more relevant, but I haven’t been able to find them again.

            All I’m saying is that he’s an opportunistic rebounder, not a rebound creator like Love, for example.


        • warriorsablaze

          Here are your sensational Lee Youtube dunks. :)

          • Ha! Everyone, definitely catch his dunk at 2:42, and I won’t spoil it.

            I don’t recognize the other contestants. Did any have NBA careers?

  116. I have been out of touch for a few days and want to weigh in on the FB blog approach. I had just been thinking about a week ago how great it is that FB weighs in via the comments and supports his views. This thought came up as I read FB’s response to Hat’s position on Iggy. The only personal attack I could see was the, “obvious to everyone but you…” line. Pretty tame.

    Hat – jump back in – several people have taken the time to voice this sentiment and FB apologized.

    FB – once again, this is the best blog I have ever read and the first stop I make every morning after checking the option quotes… I have learned more about NBA basketball here than anywhere else and your analysis and predictions have been superb and greatly added to my enjoyment of the W’s seasons..

    My suggestion FB, is that you do need some additional blog topic entries as it is hard to follow all the info when spread across multiple comments. One example is the whole Lee attack. I thing a complete blog entry covering Lee’s strengths and weaknesses and a bit on the sloan paper would be a good topic.

    Keep the comments coming – and don’t worry about offending people –

    “He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool.”

  117. It’s worth taken note when any former President says that our democracy is no longer a ‘functional democracy.” Regardless of whether citizens had made the same assessment, when a former President says that it’s huge, and should be brought to everyone’s attention. We have already seen a completely dysfunctional Congress that will not change for years to come. When coupled with the American of all different stripes pissed off with the government on both sides of the economy and unemployment, on both sides of the issue of gun control, misadventures abroad, and woman’s health issues, it’s really a scary time with no hope of a decent future or our problems being resolved.

    And when one see’s the Republicans offending every segment os society they need to win a national election, one must consider, that something more disturbing is afoot, yet not apparent, and whether what is occurring abroad could possibly occur here.

    • Who says the Republicans need ANY segment of society to win elections. They have the only segment that counts today: the billionaires. I always figured they wouldn’t dare do anything about abortion as long as they needed it to be a fund-raising issue. Now with politics awash in unaccounted for funds we see them actually clamping down on abortion. What a creepy, unprincipled bunch.

  118. WaB @126,

    “Yes, those of us who don’t think David Lee is as good as you say are just racists.”

    Even though we’re trying to restore protocol and civility here, I’m not going to let you get away with that. Your comment not only misses the point being made, but it wallows in the kind of garbage we’re trying to avoid here.

    • My apologies to the board for overstepping my range.

    • warriorsablaze

      So Felt can make the assertion that people underestimate Lee because of his whiteness, but if I take offense to that assertion, I’m slinging garbage. OK.

      Sounds like yet another asterisk added to a favorite of this board.

      • All of Lee’s media critics under review above are white, as is Lee. Most of us here at the blog look to be white as well, defenders and detractors, which, of course, is irrelevant. In fact I cannot recall a single black writer or commentator criticizing Lee in the popular media, unless you took Shaq’s calling Lee the white Chris Webber to be a criticism and racial slur, though neither is the case and Lee suffers from the comparison.

        So it’s rather strange to come to the inference that whites who think Lee is a decent player find whites who criticize him to be racists, which Feltbot didn’t come close to saying.

        Rather the phenomenon referred to is whites appropriating hipness and blackness and letting that dictate their tastes in hoops, thus having trouble accepting Lee because he doesn’t fit their white conception of the black image, which is pretty damn perverse as well.

        But my objection was to your casual and careless slinging of the word “racist.” Racism is serious business, as is implying someone is calling someone else a racist. And it seems to fit a pattern we’re seeing in the popular media: pick something sensational that will prick ears and get attention, regardless of the substantial issues behind it or how much they are abused, or how relevant or thorough the argument. It’s the post modern form of argumentum ad hominem, which seems to be the vogue.

      • My point had nothing to do with racism. And speculating on perceptions of race is not racist. If I wondered whether fans and players and coaches underestimated Jeremy Lin because he was Chinese, would that be racist? Who would be the racist, me or them?

        If someone says “white men can’t jump” is he a racist, deserving of your self-righteous indignation? Would it make a difference if the speaker were white? What if a black man calls a player “White Chocolate?” Racist? He seems to be suggesting that white and black point guards play differently, no? Or how about the one rgg mentioned, “The White Chris Webber.” Shaq certainly appeared to notice Lee’s color, didn’t he? Racist?

        If you think there’s anything racist in any of those statements or terms, then you’re too uptight and politically correct for me to enjoy talking to. Get a life, or get a new board.

      • Whites pulling the race card is not political correctness but apolitical self-indulgence. Read some books, WaB, and quit slinging mud.

  119. returning to rgg’s comment in 126 about barnes’ out of proportion popularity — it helped him greatly not to land on a typical bottom-ten team. of the sixteen lottery teams, only GS and Hou (two picks in the lower tier) reached the playoffs with their national audiences, and of course the attention increases when teams advance. the lottery picks at 2,3,4,5 didn’t fare well on bad teams, and just two of the lottery picks lower than barnes gained notice, both (drummond, harkless) on bad teams.

    if barnes gets some of lee’s minutes at the four, as barnes’ fans advocate, it won’t be because the team needs him there more than lee, but because they have landry’s minutes and role to address, part of which was allowing lee to play center. how much they choose to use lee at the 5 will affect a third of the active roster.

    • Barnes’s dunks also made it into national highlight reals, sensational to be sure (and rare and out of context).

      I believe the hype really started in his high school days—AAU, McDonald’s—and media attention such as we see in the youtube@126. Then he played for the highly regarded and highly rated—and overrated—Tarheels, who were ranked high (#1?) in the tourney but had middling results, where Barnes’s performance was ambiguous.

      My concern is that the hype machine has created a set of expectations, high yet ill-defined, that will be hard to satisfy and may impede the development of a player who, by all realistic accounts, has a lot to learn. The big colleges and their promotion on the networks, as they stand now, are not serving the players or the NBA well.

  120. Regarding the points made about the Warriors’ rebounding % made my WA above @126:

    Last season the Warriors’ rebounding rate with Andrew Bogut on the court was identical to their RR with Bogut off the court.

    Does that mean Bogut isn’t a good rebounder? Just takes rebounds away from other players?

    That conclusion is ridiculous, just as it is with regard to David Lee. Here’s an alternative theory to explain these RR numbers: The Warriors’ second unit was very good at rebounding last year. Bogut and Lee played chiefly with the first unit, and when the second unit came in, they performed well on the boards as well.

    That does NOT mean that the Warriors’ undersized second unit could have performed as well as Bogut and Lee against first units.

    And doesn’t this also explain the rebounding improvement in 2013 over the previous two years? The Warriors actually had a bench last season, for the first time in Lacob’s tenure. Landry and Green, plus increased depth at center.

    Beware the misapplication of stats.

    • warriorsablaze

      The important stats aren’t the teams rank in defensive rebounding… the important stats are that the team’s rebounding did not suffer at all when Lee went down…and his team rebounding +/- has been negative all the way back to his days as a Knick. Ignore it if you prefer.

      I haven’t really studied Bogut’s rebounding, but we’re talking about Lee, so it’s not really relevant.

      • What your team rebounding +/- stat really measures is simply whether the first unit is better against other first units than the second unit is against other second units. In other words, it is virtually useless in determining whether a single player on one of those units is a good rebounder.

        That’s why, in the case of the Warriors last season, it indicates that neither Lee nor Bogut were difference makers on the boards.

        Sorry, I find that absurd, and very relevant.

        • This discussion got me poking around some offensive rebounding stats.

          The one I found most surprising was OR per minute.

          A Warrior player was 5th in the league at that stat.


          And Landry was also pretty good. 30th in the league.

          Lee was 58th in the league. Udoh, of all people, was ahead of him.

          The concensus on the blogs is that this team is going to do better than last season, but I am not convinced. And, the more I think it over, the less optimistic I become.

          Curry, Jack, Ellis, Lee and Landry had career years. Ezeli was a significant contributor. Two of these players are gone and a third may be out for much of the season. Lee is coming off surgery. Bogut has to be seen as questionable.

          The major addition is Iggy — which is great — but he is going to take minutes from somebody who was pretty effective last season. Can I expect JON and Speights to be better than Ezeli (#5 in the league in OR/min) and Landry (1.45 points per shot)? I don’t know because I haven’t seen them much, but they will have to be pretty good to beat Landry and Ezeli.

          Now, if Bogut is healthy and somebody other than Curry can handle, then I’m much more optimistic. But, I’d never want to bet on Bogut’s ankle and I don’t see who the backup PG is.

          • Both Landry and Ezeli played far fewer minutes than Lee. Isn’t it always far easier for short-minute players to have better per minute rebounding stats than starters? Wasn’t that the reason “Lou Amundsen is the best per minute rebounder in the NBA” came out of Joe Lacob’s mouth?

            When Lee and Ezeli were on the court, Lee was high and Ezeli low. Could that have anything to do with which one the Warriors sent to the offensive boards?

            Landry was strictly a second unit player. Think that helped his OR rate?

  121. RichP: Your concluding the roster is not as good as last year is wrong because you make the wrong comparisons. Even though they play different positions Landry’superiority on offense will be offset by Iggy’s defense. Douglas and Jack are a wash. JON and Bogut are better than Bogut and Exeli. Ezeli was a negative player for the Warriors last year. Therefore, his decent OR rate is irrelevant. Speights adds depth. And if Speights and Lee can hit there’s, our front outr is solid.

    • This is a subtle point, but losing Landry should help the Warriors offense to spread the floor. Unlike Landry, JON and Speights can be played at center alongside stretch fours.

  122. I share Rick’s concerns about a backup PG, but I wonder if the position is that important IF you have the right players on the floor and follow the strategy that makes best use of their talents.

    If the offense and defense are tuned to push the pace, Curry runs the team best. But when the pace slows, often the PG only dribbles the ball up and passes off. Jack could protect the ball well enough, but his real value was his clutch shooting. I’m not sure the complaints that he dribbled too much are valid. He didn’t have enough options. And the team is better served if they get the ball out of Curry’s hands so he is freed to shoot.

    In half court sets and in crunch time, it may not matter much who plays point as long as you have players on the floor who can handle the ball without turning it over, have good bball IQ and can make plays, and who are good enough scorers that they will spread and tax the defense, allowing openings for their passes and the scorers. This is the case with Curry, Lee, and Igoudala, and Klay looks to be coming along. Maybe Barnes will learn. The whole team becomes playmakers and runs the offense, giving themselves more options and keeping the defense on their toes and guessing.

    There’s an added bonus. If Igoudala can help out bringing the ball up as a makeshift PG, it mean’s he’s on the floor for defense, which they’ll need against larger backcourts.

    I’m really intrigued to see what Jackson does with all his options now.

  123. You’re putting down Landry as hurting the offense by being down low, and only obtaining a decent number of OR’s because he was on the second unit is pure nonsense. Landry’s stellar offense will be missed.

    The warriors backcourt is still not what it needs to be. As Thompson is a SG, and Bazemore has yet to prove himself. Thompson has to prove this year that he more than a Korver type of SG. Why the Warriors haven’t trades Barnes to fortify the backcourt defies explanation, unless they see Barnes as being a decent SG. In my judgment he is marginally better than Thompson playing the SG position. I’d rather see Thompson back up Iggy at SF.

    • just so we’re clear here, frank, you’ve hardly seen iguodala play, but he doesn’t shoot well enough to suit you as a 2-guard. iguodala handles the ball far better, can run the fast break, and finishes at the rim better than barnes, has established his decision making ability with the ball in hundreds of games, but you’d nominate (as other barnes fans have done) barnes to play the 2-guard ? you’re also advocating that the team trade barnes. playing him at the 2 would increase his trade value ?

  124. The Warriors will not be a champion caliber team until they unload both Thompson and Barnes for a SG who is better than either of them and who possesses more skills, like getting to the foul line, assists, steals, and OR’s.

    • @Frank – The W’s were two ankle twists away from the Western Conference Finals WITH Thompson and Barnes STARTING… As 1st and 2nd year players… WITH Andrew Bogut dominating the paint. And WITHOUT “All-Star” David Lee.

      How do you explain this? Lol!

      Thompson still can’t shoot? Tell me how many NBA players have a career nba 3-point shooting percentage above 40%?

      Thompson still can’t play defense? Klay only took on the toughest defensive assignments in the playoffs – and looked pretty impressive in doing so…

  125. Good discussion. I appreciate the points about Landry and the new guys.

    I understand that it’s easier to look good against a second unit in short minutes. But, in watching the games, I think the fact that Landry was difficult to stop won the W’s some games. And I recall him finishing quite a few games in clutch situations against the best of the opposition. Particularly early in the season, he was a key guy — one you couldn’t stop with the game on the line. And, you have to have some players like that. For that matter, Jack was another one.

    Now, Iggy is good in the clutch (I did find his stats), so they’ve replaced some of it at least. I haven’t seen JON and Spites enough to have an opinion.

    I also like +/- stats and I was aware that Ezeli’s was negatives. But Speights is usually negative too, even in comparison to teammates. In fact, his +/- with Memphis last season was horrible on a good team. Maybe there’s a benign explanation — I didn’t see those games. But, just from the number, it looks terrible.

    So, if I take the glass half empty side of the argument, I come up with this. Bogut can’t be depended on. Lee is coming off surgery. Ezeli could be out until Spring. Landry and Jack, who played great for the W’s, are gone.

    Balancing those negatives are the addition of Iggy, which is great. His numbers show some relative weaknesses in his game, but one has to expect that he’ll be very effective. Then, there is Speights, who, I suspect, has low enough bbiq to counterbalance his ability to shoot and rebound (otherwise, he’d have had more minutes and a better +/-, or so my argument goes). JON seems to be okay, but he’s an older player who has played a total of about 2000 minutes in the last 3 seasons (about 8 minutes a game). Last season was better, so maybe that’s unreasonable, but he’s still 34.

    And, then, there’s the backcourt. Jack shouldered a lot of the load last season, providing ball handling, shooting and leadership. From what I read about Douglas, Nedovic and Bazemore, they haven’t replaced what they were getting from Jack.

    The glass half full argument goes along these lines. Bogut is reasonably healthy, Lee is fully recovered, Barnes takes a few of the minutes at 4, JON plays decent backup C, Speights sits a lot, Draymond improves his shot, and some combination of Iggy and Douglas takes care of the ball handling issue. If all of that happens, the W’s are going to be a very hard team to beat.

    • the nature of the beast (close competition, talent level of playoff teams) often means the difference between respectable success and matching up with elite teams can almost be reduced to how well the roster’s best two players go, and what the coaching does to help them succeed with the rotations and using the reserves. we don’t know yet if iguodala will be the other best player with curry yet. bogut’s physical condition probably keeps him from pushing into the top two, but if he stays in the discussion it would obviously be a big boost to their hopes.

      curry might just be starting to enter his physical and mental prime, and if he combines well with iguodala that could neutralize the defensive attention headed his way. it’s not realistic to expect lee to change much, so his status is similar to the younger players’ — can the coaches maximize his positives. fans of barnes, thompson, green, ezeli (now joined by NN and bazemore) need to believe they’ll see significant improvements, but we’ve seen plenty of growth curves flatten within two or three seasons.

      • Huge third year for Klay Thompson is coming up… Klay’s offense didn’t improve much in year two, but his defense – was absolutely a 180-degree turnaround… Klay went from a liability on defense – to an asset on defense – in one NBA season.

        • thompson responded very well to tough tasks in both of his seasons. based on what we’ve seen, he seems more likely to go from the good to very good level than barnes. if barnes sees well over 2000 minutes this season and does as well as thompson last season, he’ll deserve his fans’ optimism.

  126. The W’s past rebounding issues are over. Stop worrying about W’s rebounding… It’s no longer much of an issue for this W’s team. The W’s now have size advantages at every position. And you can thank Jerry West for this…

    The Playoff W’s consistently out-rebounded the best rebounding team in the NBA in the Denver Nuggets AND the San Antonio Spurs to boot…

    And the W’s ADDed to this rebounding mix. Not subtracted.

    Andre Iguodala – who’s an excellent rebounder – for his position. Iggy’s a better rebounder than whomever he’s replacing in the starting lineup (Klay/Jack/Harrison).

    Speights – also an excellent rebounder who is proven to be a double-digit rebounder when given minutes. O’Neil’s a decent rebounder too… Plus, O’Neil and Speights can hit their jumpers.

    Losing Landry? I’ve always admired Landry’s game since his rookie year. But Carl is a great backup big who struggles against length. Mark Jackson elected not even to play Landry significant minutes in the playoffs… I agree with the W’s brass completely here – Take the bigger, more athletic Marresse Speights for almost half the money!!! Very smart move…

  127. Sofas, all Thompson can do well offensively is shoot the three ball. You really want to extol his defense when we could have had K. Leonard?

    The Warriors need Iggy to play SF, not SG, if the are to have any chance of succeeding. And if Jackson does not have the. Warriors running, Iggy’s talents will be wasted.

    • Kawhi Leonard would have been a nice player (GMs probably feared Kawhi couldn’t shoot and he fell – as MKG now – so kudos to the Spurs for figuring it out first)…

      But the W’s have Andre Iguodala AND Klay Thompson AND Harrison Barnes now – so even better!

      I’ll take our three wings over Kawhi, D. Green, and Belinelli… Lol!

  128. Thompson regressed last year playing more minutes last year than the year before. It’s more likely he would play better if his time on cour is reduced,regardless, it’s not likely he’s going to get more OR’s, steals., get to foul line more often or commit less turnovers. He is what he is- a limited Nba player.

  129. With Thompson, Barnes, and Iggy, our choices to play SG, I would start neither, and instead start Douglas at the point and Curry at SG. This shows how desperately our roster is flawed in the backcourt., and needs a serious upgrade.

    Speights better value than Landry? Not.

    • Speights compared to Landry?

      More length/size. Speights can play more center matchups than the undersized Landry.

      More shot-blocking.

      More rebounding.

      More defense (opponent PER).

      Sorry Frank, I’ll take Speights over Landry – and save $3 million or so per season…

  130. Iirc Jeremy Lin got his break at PG because Douglas failed at it.

    His stats show an assist every 8 or 9 minutes — on 3 different teams.

    The part of Frank’s post I agree with is that there does seem to be a problem in the backcourt. They’re a ball handler or two short.

    • other than douglas, the vet with the patchy resume, the team went all-in with NN for a reserve ball handler, in conjunction with the attempt to re-train bazemore during the vegas games. ian clark actually surpassed bazemore in running the team — he and his agent focused on sharpening his ball handling prior to the pre-draft work outs. clark in fact worked out for the woeyrs during that period, which is how they got his commitment to play for them in vegas, but as we know they declined to buy a second round pick to expend on him, or make him an offer after vegas equivalent to second round pick.

      we’re three months away from seeing how much game time NN, douglas, or bazemore will get, and how far away they are from meeting the team’s expectations as reserve guards.

      • Douglas played very well in Sacto in the few games I watched. If the W’s can get that guy – not the Knicks chucker – we’ll be in for a very nice surprise.

  131. Looking forward to see who Jackson plays in fourth quarter down the stretch. Don’t think we’ll see Thompson or Barnes on court at same time, and possibly neither will be playing.

    • At least one of them and perhaps two will be on the floor in crunch time – no matter how much you wish otherwise.

      Thompson/Barnes – are the future of this W’s team.

      At least until they’re not! Lol!

  132. For the stretch, you have to figure Curry, Lee and Bogut, if those three are healthy. Iggy has to be there too. So, who else is playing, among Klay, Barnes, Dray and Toney? My thinking is that it depends on the ball handling. If Curry is getting pressured, I presume they’ll try Iggy (and maybe even Dray) at PF. If that doesn’t work, they’ll be forced to put another ball handler on the court. I don’t think that’s Klay or Barnes (bearing in mind that Iggy could play 2). Which means that it’s Douglas, Bazemore or NN. I’m guessing Douglas leads that group, but we’ll see.

    • as far as being able to move, pass, dribble, and hit foul shots, one unit that probably gives opponents problems is lee, green, iguodala, thompson, curry.

      • If Green finds a shot, that would be a very good group offensively.

        Sad though, to think that they’re spending all that money on Bogut and he can’t crack the crunch time team.

    • I find it highly unlikely that Bogut is on the floor for the Warriors in crunch time. As we saw last season, his inability to hit free throws (or a shot) is absolutely crippling, and Jackson usually pulled him.

      Can the Warriors afford to play TWO 50% FT shooters (Iggy’s the other) in crunch time? Highly doubtful.

      I find these lineups far more likely:

      JON/Speights, Lee, Thompson, Iggy, Curry

      Lee, Barnes/Green, Thompson, Iggy, Curry

      • Iggy’s numbers are just odd. His FT% has generally declined over the years. One year he shot about 62% on FTs while shooting about 40% on 3’s. Why is that??

        Bogut tends to shoot without bending his elbow much. It’s a strange looking slinging motion with a lot of shoulder joint. You’d think that it’s because of the elbow injury (and it may be), but he does about the same motion with the other arm — and he was known to use either hand even before the elbow injury.

        I don’t disagree about Bogut in crunch time, but I do think it’s sad.

        I recall that Nelson, several times, brought in a FT doctor. I recall him having Billy Owens shoot them one handed.

        Yet, for years Biedrins’ entire game is screwed by his fear of getting fouled and I never read anything about additional coaching or practice for him.

        • in Moncrief’s brief tenure as ass’t coach for nelson one of his tasks was tutoring shooting, especially free throws, and several players including biedrins improved. one season later biedrins began his descent and resisted nelson’s offers to remedy his shooting, including an offer from Barry. the one handed shot put style was used quite effectively by nelson himself, and was modeled after the all time great, Petit. he offered to teach it to biedrins, as well. nelson mentioning biedrins’ woes to the media, for which he will always be remembered by the local fans, was a last resort after extended efforts on the coach’s part to reach the latvian.

  133. I am excited to see the development of Klay in year three, Barnes in year two, and Bazemore in year two. All of them showed improvement last season, and did not appear to hit a ceiling. Toney Douglas and Speights may have hit their ceilings, although I have not seen enough of them to make that determination. If Jackson puts the newcomers in the right situation, there are no reasons that they can’t have career years.

  134. Our post woes are over. Kuzmic is coming.

    • A late 2nd round project big stashed in Europe for 1 season with the 14th or 15th roster spot – sounds about right.

      But with Ezeli knee, Bogut’s game to game ankle, Lee’s surgery, and O’Neal’s advanced age/career injury history, Kuzmic might be Speights’ back up at center…

    • Sarcasm?

      • A little sarcasm – a little seriousness. It’s obvious – our W’s bigs aren’t a beacon of health right about now so if the W’s are ever going to need the project Kuzmic for 10 minutes a game – now’s a good time. Hopefully, we won’t ever need to play him. And we’ve witnessed guys like Earl Barron, Michael Gladness, and the other big guy who was working on his car when GM Riley called him to play… Mikki Moore! I don’t expect much from the young Euro, but hope the W’s scouts earn their keep here and that Kuzmic is a little better than them. Lol!

        If Kuzmic protects the rim a little and rebounds a little – he’s worth a 14th or 15th roster spot IMO.

  135. I would have assumed that the player’s contract would say something about cooperating with the coaches. Apparent not, huh?

    After all, it did get to the point where he was getting paid a fortune in exchange for hurting the team.

    • At the time in 08/09, I thought the Biedrins contract was a very fair deal for the W’s… And to think he once shot .62 percent from the FT line for an NBA season… Thankfully, he’s Utah’s problem now.

  136. Zach Lowe writes a fine analysis of Larry Sanders, the guy with the green halo in Goldsberry’s slapshot piece, Lowe considering all the factors of which G is oblivious. He details Sanders’ strengths and weaknesses on both offense and defense, where he needs to improve.

    The piece not only sets benchmarks against which to measure our own bigs, but also to measure other pieces of analysis.

    One thought: Sanders does have the benefit of other fairly capable bigs, which help him on defense.

    • “One thought: Sanders does have the benefit of other fairly capable bigs, which help him on defense.”

      I like Sanders’ game – and a smart move locking him up before he could leave in RFA next year or FA. Sanders’ shot-blocking numbers were likely hyper-inflated with all the opportunities which comes along with a Jennings/Ellis defensive backcourt. Either this or Sanders just might be the second coming of Bill Russell. Lol!

  137. Felty: I just don’t think the big or small line-up you propose will have much success in the fourth quarter. See Douglas on the court much like Jack was last year. Yes, Jack cannot distribute, but the Warriors will need his defense, speed, and three point shooting.

  138. And I doubt the Warriors will have as much success in the fourth quarter without Curry playing SG. I believe the Warriors have a major hole at SG That should have been filled this off-season.

    • I have a similar concern. They’re going to need some ball handling on the court in addition to Curry. If that’s Iggy, they’re in good shape. I’m not confident that anybody else can do it. For that matter, I have no idea if Iggy can.

  139. warriorsablaze

    Warriorsworld tweeted earlier that the Warriors are supposed to sign Seth Curry tomorrow. Not sure how to feel about it. He can shoot, is smart, and has good fundamentals… but he’s still a borderline NBA player (unless he surprises). Is Steph gonna get disgruntled if the FO cuts/trades him? Is Seth gonna be annoyed living under Steph’s shadow? They seem like well adjusted kids so maybe it’ll be fine. Or maybe Warriorsworld was just trolling twitter.

    • Very true – lots of issues hiring family, but that’s GM Myers problem to deal with, not ours! Lol!

      Heck – Joe Lacob, GM Myers, and the Warriors organization OWE it the legacy of the Stephen Curry Family Trust to sign Seth Curry for the hugely favorable $40 million deal they got him for! John Wall’s getting $80 million! Lol! And sign Dell to replace Fitz for that matter!

      I haven’t watched much of Seth Curry – but shooting over 40% from three at Duke is impressive.

      And what a marketing play – the REAL splash brothers!

  140. Is WarriorsWorld a reliable source? I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.

    I assume Seth Curry will come cheap, if he comes, and I’m somewhat surprised no one else picked him up, just for a project. I’m also guessing he’ll spend a lot of time in Santa Cruz developing his PG skills, perhaps in rehab as well.

    Seth didn’t get a chance to develop PG at Duke as Steph did at Davidson, playing behind Irving and Rivers for Coach K his first two years. Duke was probably a mistake for him. Then he had a nagging injury his senior year—stress fracture?—that kept him out of practice all season, though he played most games.

    He doesn’t have the skills of Steph, but if he did he wouldn’t be around now. Also we’re looking for a backup PG, not a starter. He can shoot and has a good head and of course a good pedigree. I’m curious to see how this pans out, and if it doesn’t, they didn’t lose much money. The Warriors won’t be getting high draft picks the next few years so they might as well take a chance. This also looks to be Seth’s only shot into the NBA. I’m sure he’ll get along fine with his older brother.

    And if Seth doesn’t work out, maybe we can get their dad to play.

    But that makes three projects at backup PG, if you include Bazemore. Ned has two years guaranteed. They may be looking for someone to replace Douglas, who only has one?

    Still kind of sorry they didn’t make a stronger shot at Clark.

  141. Odds are Seth Curry will be released after training camp and go to Europe. I wish the Warriors could talk him into Santa Cruz. He may well have the potential to become a decent backup PG, at least in the right system. But if he develops there they will have trouble keeping him or finding him a spot on the roster, given their commitment to Ned and, I suppose, Bazemore.

    The rap on Seth was the same as on Steph, even in college: good shooter but too small and not much else, though I’m sure Steph is better. Coach K at Duke favored fast, driving guards, as do most NBA coaches, something neither Curry is good at. Seth never got a chance to develop other skills. Bob McKillop at Davidson, however, made sure Stephen developed PG and other skills—he also pushed rebounding. Coaching a small school team without much potential sans Curry and no reputation to protect, he could afford to do that.

    It’s not hard to imagine a scenario where Steph Curry would not have developed either. Without Davidson’s run in the NCAA tourney, Steph goes down in the draft. Other teams would have seen him only as a shooter and given him limited play his first season—and limited shots. His stats would have been ambiguous and wouldn’t have impressed. He might have struggled to make starting lineups the next years.

    Most likely he would have put into systems like the one Smart tried to run his only year, where his strengths would not have shown. Smart had him run controlled offense where Steph got swarmed and curbed his walkup, transition three that he shot so freely, with such accuracy this past season. And during Smart’s reign, the media was saying how Steph had “regressed.” Bullshit.

    Only Nelson and D’Antoni saw his potential as a starter and a leader who would fit into their system. And Nelson put him in the starting lineup right off the bat.

    • Steve Nash wasn’t made a starter until Nelson traded for him after his second year. His third year was a bust.

      That’s one of the things that made Stephen Curry’s career so amazing, and so promising before his ankle injury and Lacob/Smart derailed him — as a rookie, he was as good as the fourth year Steve Nash.

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