Dog Days v.2013 Thread Two

Nothing to write about, because it’s dog days…

Oh wait, the 7-1″ 230 lb. Bosnian center Ognjen Kuzmic has apparently signed with the Warriors and is headed to Oaktown this season. Many layers to this move…

And Steph’s little brother Seth has been signed by the Warriors for training camp. Some rumors he’s headed to Santa Cruz this season. Only one way to peel that onion…

Clean thread for you guys to put me on blast.

349 Responses to Dog Days v.2013 Thread Two

  1. Layer one: I’m guessing the Warriors felt it was a good idea to get Kuzmic over here this season, in what may be the final season for Bogut on the Warriors. Not sure of the state of Kuzmic’s English, but Bogut can probably ease the language issues, assuming Kuzmic speaks Serb. And Bogut might be able to show him a thing or two about playing center in the NBA as well. Bogut’s the ideal tutor for him.

    His first word of advice should be this: Start eating.

    • Nedovic has to have another Euro on the team to keep him company on the bench and on road trips. Think Belinelli/Biedrins – great friends. Bogut doesn’t count – he’s raised an Aussie. Lol!

      • warriorsablaze

        I once saw Biedrins and Zarko Cabarkapa buying a half gallon of vodka at the Grand Avenue Safeway back in the day. I should have tried to get in on what was most likely a crazy Euro-party. :)

  2. Since no one goes back to old posts, I’ll repeat my last comment as it is relevant to current discussion (and add yours FB?):

    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 the start of 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.

      • Unfair to blame Lacob for derailing Curry’s career… Nelson needed to go. Hiring Smart to be the interim coach? Smart was supposed to be Nellie’s protege.

        If anyone’s to blame for Curry being held back, I’ve said this from the very beginning – ball-dominating “guard” Monta Ellis had to go. Which has been proven over time to be dead on accurate.

        Monta leaving was the best thing that ever happened to Curry’s and Klay’s careers.

        The Ws went to the second round in the tough west and the Bucks were borderline playoff team in the weak Eastern Conference.

        And a

        • With a ball-dominant Jarret Jack leading the way in crunch time.

        • I don’t think there’s any question that Ellis was playing the way Smart told him to play. Curry and Ellis both had great games together the year previous and the year after.

          • Jack will surely be missed (more his leadership/shooting), but I’m not even the slighted bit concerned about the W’s in crunch time.

            We can’t confuse talent level here: Jack’s a career borderline NBA starter; Andre’s a career borderline NBA All-Star. Andre simply adds much more game IMO. Perhaps I overestimate Andre Iguodala’s ball handling, creating, and passing skills… And underestimate Jack’s abilities.

            I was a huge Coach Smart supporter initially (Smart being a Nellie’s #1 disciple) until Smart started favoring AC Law a little too much for my liking and over-coaching Stephen Curry for making his usual careless turnovers.

            It’s a players league – I didn’t like it, but understand why Smart and Mark Jackson coached Ellis the way they did… Ellis was the star player. But Curry is better. Thompson/Iggy/Bazemore have more size at SG and are two-way players. W’s are better off now.

  3. Nelson was also very high on Reggie Williams. When Reggie got the minutes, his numbers were quite good. Not so good when they were reduced with Smart—anyone remember why? Game log that season here:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players/4710/gamelog;_ylt=ApJ203ByGTq6RIQHDmgcOTikvLYF?year=2010

    Then he had his injury and got stuck in Charlotte. Houston has him now. I wonder if he’ll get a chance.

    A shooter has to have a chance to shoot, often and continuously, and an offense that sets him up. Otherwise, we don’t see what he can do.

    • Agreed – i fully expect Reggie to be a lights out shooting role player in Houston. Reggie could handle the ball a little too. Just can’t expect Reggie to play any defense. At all. Like Anthony Morrow.

  4. Kuzmic just doesn’t have it. Slow and lumbering doesn’t even to begin to describe his shortcomings. He should not even play on a D-league team. It defies logic, why the Warriors would place him on roster.

    • No one has seen him play against NBA players… One really should wait until we watch him in training camp before throwing a player under the bus.

      I waited 2 years before throwing Jeremy Tyler and Jeremy Lin under the bus. Jenkins? Only 2 months.

  5. Not promising:

    • Really hard to tell from this crappy video and crappy competition, but I see several decent things about Kuzmic:
      1) He makes his free throws (last year 69%) — I never underestimate the importance of this in a big man.
      2) Decent mobility and good shotblocking instincts.
      3) Good hands? Catches and finishes a pick and roll in one motion.

      I’m guessing, given the Warriors interest in him, that he’s a talented player. His chief flaw quite clearly is his lack of strength.

    • warriorsablaze

      I’m not sure what’s not promising or what you’re expecting. He seems decently skilled for a big man and can block shots and rebound. Remember he’s a late second round Euro-stash…not gonna be a star or anything more than a 3rd string big at best most likely. He’s certainly worth bringing over for some D-League development to see if he can become an NBA player… especially since our bigman depth is a bit shaky with Bogut and Festus’ injuries and Jermaine’s oldness.

      • @rgg – keep an open mind here.

        He’s a late second round pick and Europe is well scouted nowadays – so no one’s expecting much. 10 minute man with 6 fouls. Nothing lost if he’s cut.

        And who knows? Every couple of drafts an Omer Asik – also an under the radar 2nd rounder with size – shows up…

        From the video, what’s not to like? He amazingly blocked every shot, made every dunk, and muscled every rebound! Lol!

        • The question is where he’ll ever get into position to use those skills in the NBA. But maybe he’ll beef up. And probably better to take a chance on somebody with some skills and a pretty good head than little of either. We’ve seen so many duds.

          But I didn’t think much of Roy Hibbert at first. . . .

          • And I really liked the H. Thabeet selection… Lol! It’s a crap shoot for sure, but he’s got to have some chance albeit low. Can’t be worse than Andris Biedrins was last season. Or Patrick O’Bryant. Just can’t.

  6. geraldmcgrew

    New thread! Woohoo!

    Felt, a common theme in Mavsfanland is that Ellis’s defense CAN’T be good. Or, in any case, that he’ll never put out consistent defensive effort.

    Seems to me that in past you’ve cited certain games as evidence to the contrary. I could search for it, but if it’s easy could you refresh my memory?

    BTW, Monta has said that 1 month into the season the doubters will be converted.

    • Anecdotal evidence of good defensive games will do little to sway the argument, but try this one. Just how many players in the NBA are capable of forcing Derrick Rose into 9 TOs in one game, during his MVP season?

      http://feltbot.com/2011/02/06/the-running-of-the-bulls-warriors-101-bulls-90/

      http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore;_ylt=AkD0E6KYV8nU4aGvokutbIc5PaB4?gid=2011020509

      Monta has extraordinary defensive abilities. Unfortunately, we’ll never know how good he could be until he plays alongside a big guard on a good team.

      • I side with FB on this issue – also Ellis needs to be better motivated and/or coached. Unfortunately, a Calderon/Ellis backcourt was not what I envisioned to move Ellis to guarding PGs…

        • geraldmcgrew

          In his game recap linked to above FB credits Smart for cross-matching Curry onto the big guard, Monta onto the quick guard. If that can be done with Curry, can it be done with Calderon?

          • Great point Gerald which might minimize the damage…

            It’s just that IMO Calderon has got to be one of the worst defenders (regardless of him guarding SGs or PGs) I’ve seen who should be attacked on every possession like Kyle Korver or Jimmer Fredette or J. Crawford or Antwan Jamison. He’s a brilliant shooter/crafty passer, though. Just that Calderon can’t stop anyone on defense.

            A Monta Ellis/Andre Iguodala backcourt – would be awesome defensively – and with Dirk, Marion, and Dalembert – a sure-fire playoff team. Monta handling the quicker PGs, Andre the bigger SGs. Andre could help Monta with ball handling against tougher PG matchups. It was never meant to be… Even O.J. Mayo would have been a decent pairing with Ellis IMO.

  7. This will be interesting to watch Monta this year. I think he does come through and improve his reputation. He can bring the D when he wants, but I think he was not properly motivated these last few years. That, by the way is on him, but he was always busy being the main show on offense.

    • Offensively, yes. I’m looking forward to seeing the Mavs.

      Defensively? Calderon/Ellis? No. Beubois? No. Maybe Devin Harris?

      We’ll see what combo Carlisle comes up with – though I’m not optimistic.

      • geraldmcgrew

        Beubois is gone.
        If Mavs combine Ellis with Ellington and Calderon with Harris, they could have passing, perimeter shooting and defense at all times—though a steady four-guard rotation seems unlikely.

        If Ellington proves to be a true 3&D guy, he could turn out to be the key (in the same way FB was insisting that all the Ellis-Curry backcourt needed was the addition of a big two-way shooting guard). I wonder if that is indeed the thinking in Dallas.

        The Mavericks’ problems in the middle are another matter.

        • Wow! My bad – Beubois is gone! Where’d he go? That kid had such a promising rookie year… As did Devin Harris…

          As Iggy reported, Iggy was hours from signing with Dallas. As Moto stated, if Iggy had signed with Dallas – maybe Monta (or Cuban) may or may not wanted to play for Dallas or have been interested in signing with Dallas – but I WOULD HAVE LOVED THE PAIRING… Monta forced to play PG which is where Nellie wanted him to play (and was unsuccessful in convincing) and where Monta has the potential to be a premium defender with an excellent coach. Monta defending PGs? And with tough defenders in Iggy AND Marion? Shot blocking Dalembert? Real tough to score on…

          The addition of the big two-way SG would be fine, but the big SG likely needs to start and have one of Ellis – Curry come off the bench, right? Which one comes off the bench?

    • But the NBA is completely clean, of course. There are two players in the past whom I suspect of juicing: Karl Malone (most obviously, and Charles Barkley pointed me towards him), and… the great Michael Jordan.

      And in another sport, another name that might be of interest: Tiger Woods.

      • For the sake of the argument, let’s say 10-15 percent of Nba players use PEDs. Now what would one do about it? As in most cases in life prohibition (test enhancement or application rigorousness) probably won’t solve anything – i believe medicine would be a step ahead since there’s better money in creating and selling product than in creating and selling ways to detect its use, unless, of course, scanning blood samples is very easy and it’s only a matter of law enforcement.
        Otherwise i really see no way this could be avoided.
        If you say that super-talented dudes like Jordan used some extramarital materials, what chance in the world some not so lucky have to leverage the field?
        My only problem is, even if it was legalized, would not better-richer athletes still get their hands on substances that would cheat the tests? It just wouldn’t change anything.
        So, in a way, this – doping – seems morally repulsive, but from more distant perspective – it just is what it is: shrugging my shoulders.

        • This is what I have to say about shoulder shrugging:

          We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and the oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

          — Winston Churchill

          • Yeah, war poesie, been there.
            How about:

            Our greatest treasure?
            Wine! Our palace? The wine house.
            Our true friends? Thirst and drunkenness.
            We don’t worry, as we know that our soul, our heart,
            our cups and our old clothes have nothing to fear
            from mud and dust, from water or fire!

            – Omar Khayyam

          • These are more congenial sentiments, certainly, but what do they have to do with our attitude towards steroid cheats?

          • Was Churchill immersing into war rhetorics to fight steroids?
            And then waiting to send help to SSSR hoping both Germans and Russians would tire themselves out in a battle, so as not to challenge/threaten British empire? So the Soviets used vodka and no return clause to have a fighting chance against Nazi war machine.
            So Khayyam used wine to fight the unbearable lightness of being.
            So athletes use PEDs to fight the competition.

            Life is Dope.

          • That’s some convoluted logic!

            I won’t ever shrug my shoulders at steroid cheats. I shall fight them on the beaches and landing grounds of this blog until the end.

    • Two observations from this interview with MT, well worth reading:

      MT asks if his offensive load hurts his defense. Curry would never concede what should be obvious here, that this and his heavy time on the court fatigue him and take their toll. He also won’t concede the other obvious point, that if you want to improve his defense and the overall team defense, you find a way to manage his time and energy. There are things Curry does well on defense, but they require fresh legs.

      You also want to maximize his superior talents on offense, which are taxed as well. But you also need to find ways to keep him on the floor for significant stretches, for the same reasons. The same applies to Lee, and even Ellis back when, if anybody wants to rehash that debate.

      And the solution will come from the other players on the team, how well they can carry the load themselves and fill in the gaps.

      There are no superstars on the team. We’re not going to get them either, not any time soon. The way to build better defense is to develop team defense, not load the squad up with defensive players who can’t carry their weight on offense. And it’s just a mistake to criticize players for their shortcomings, most of which won’t change. It doesn’t get you anywhere, except, if you use them as cause for a trade, as has been suggested, you run the risk of debilitating the team. The overall goal should be to maximize the total potential of the team, finding the right pieces to complement the talent they have.

      There’s a chance the Warriors have done this now, though it remains to be seen if Speights will rise to the defensive challenge.

      My other observation is that Curry is an astonishingly good man, the first indication of which is that he would immediately deflect what I just said. He is talented and believes in himself and wants to win, but has perspective on all three, without which he might lose his head. He cares about people and wants to bring them together. He is also committed to bringing the best out of them. He is the kind of guy you want to show your son, as I have done. Somehow he pulls off what so many of us fail to do.

      That may sound corny and irrelevant, but I would argue it’s one of his greatest assets and contributions to the team, which doesn’t show up in the stats. He helps keep the team focused and together—and frees them to play their best.

      • warriorsablaze

        I disagree, somewhat, that Curry isn’t a superstar. Perhaps not in the Hollywood sense, but in the way he can carry a team there are only a handful above him. He might be different than what we’re used to… he’s not larger than life in how he carries himself. Of course, he’s no Lebron or KD… but he’s certainly on the next tier.

        I fully agree that he seems like an extraordinary person. Is it possible to be as universally good as Steph seems? I dunno… perhaps there are skeletons in the closet like everyone else. Tiger used to be admired, too. I hope for the sake of your child and the others who look up to him, that whatever skeletons may live in the closet, that they’ll stay hidden.

        As it stand now, he’s simply a special and unique human being.

        • Stephen Curry is the best shooter I’ve ever seen. If Steve Nash is/was a superstar, then Stephen Curry will soon be…

          Like Barkley says – the parents are the best role models!

        • Curry isn’t a franchise player in the received notion of most, a player who can take the ball by himself and win regardless. He will only be as good as the other players around him and if he has a system that makes full use of his talents. But if that ever happens, it will be a very fine team indeed and Curry will lead them.

          • Fair enough. Lots of very good, but maybe not great players on this team. Second tier contenders I’d say.

            Curry doesn’t get injured, he’s a lock for his first All-Star game next year. Then David Lee (2x All-Star), Iguodala (1x All-Star), old man Jermaine O’Neal (6x All-Star, All-NBA Second Team), and Andrew Bogut (All-NBA Third Team). And Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes have the potential to make All-Star teams in the future (arguably! Lol!).

            It’s good to be a Warriors fan right now!

  8. The stats are coming! The stats are coming!

    “The NBA has decided to foot the bill to install STATS LLC’s SportVU camera setups in each of the NBA’s 29 arenas.”

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/nba-z-eye-sky-182602789.html

    So now the phreaks have NBA support. The thing that amazes me about all the recent discussion of stats is that I seldom here any coaches’ opinions, the guys most likely to make sense of them and who also will have to live with whatever influence they have. It’s as if they’ve been short circuited.

    The NBA has given itself to branding and stats.

    I have seen the future and. . . .

    • warriorsablaze

      There’s nothing inherently evil about stats… it’s the interpretation that has to be managed, just like all science. It’s still new for basketball so it will get better as knowledge grows. People who are “using their eyes” have no less of an agenda than those who use stats… and perception is almost comically fallible. Anyone who ignores either the science or the art at the expense of the other is simply missing half the game. There’s beauty in both experiencing and understanding the sunset.

      The coaches of the near-future will be skilled in both disciplines, or at least be open to implementing ideas from those who are. Despite what any old-schooler says, the game is getting smarter. You can already see it, that the post-Michael Jordan era of iso playground basketball is on the way out, and in its place comes a focus on highly-skilled, high IQ players… the Steph Curry’s of the world.

      Embrace the new info or ignore it, but there’s no logical reason to outright reject it.

      • What’s amazing to me is how so many teams passed on Farried. One can’t ignore college rebounding stats like that…

      • I don’t often see a connection between your comments and mine, in the event that’s a goal. I’ve never criticized stats per se. But they are meaningless until they are interpreted, and destructive if not interpreted well, and to do that, you have to understand the game.

        It just strikes me as odd that the NBA would fund such a thing and that coaches don’t appear in the conversations. Most discussions about stats are by people with marginal to no experience in the game.

        The cameras will always be there. Meanwhile coaches come and go, seemingly at whim. It may not be farfetched to wonder if FOs will pay more attention to the former than the latter.

        Curry didn’t get good by studying stats. He got good by practicing and studying the game—and learning from some very fine coaches.

  9. Felty, Kuzmic has no mobility. At least not Nba mobility. The fact he’s standing within a foot of a guy and sticks his hand up has nothing to do with determining whether he’s mobile.

    Do you have inside information that indicates Speights will play center at times? All I’ve heard I’d that Jackson intends to have be D.lee’s back-up.

    • Did you watch the video? I see a guy chasing guards down the lane to block their shot, and on offense making a quick move down the lane on a pick and roll. He’s got NBA mobility +. His problems lie elsewhere.

      I just know that Speights is a valuable center, and a crappy power forward, and I expect Mark Jackson to figure this out. I also know that Jackson will want to get both Barnes and Green a lot of minutes at the four. Let’s watch and see.

      Note that when both Speights and Lee are on the floor, I expect the opposing center to guard Speights. If he guards Lee, the Warriors will explode.

  10. I like looking at stats and trying to figure out what they mean.

    My view is that both watching the games and examining the stats are essential. It’s too easy to develop a mistaken impression from either one without the other.

    There have been plenty of times when I thought a player really helped the team only to discover later, from the game flow chart, that the score moved the wrong way. There’s always the argument that it could have been worse, but I think addressing that question deepens the analysis.

    From last season, one might think that Draymond Green was a big positive. Or Ezeli, or even Landry. But, in fact, the team lost ground when they played.

    Conversely, you might look at Lee’s defense and think, he sucks, the team must be suffering. Which way did the score move? In fact, the score moved the right way when he played — and faster than anybody else. And, the score moved the wrong way when he sat, and faster than anybody else. Well, his defense might still suck, based on those numbers, but clearly, he’s making up for it.

    And, then you can drill down and find that the defense got one point worse (by memory, I think that was per 36 minutes) but the offense got way better (I don’t recall the number, maybe 6 pts or so) when Lee played.

    Anyway, it’s stuff like that. If you have an impression from watching the games, see if it holds up when you examine the stats. And, if you think you know something from stats alone, you have to put that in context. The gameflow charts at popcornmachine.net are extremely helpful in that regard, but you have to watch the games and try to understand the strategy to put it all in context. Not easy. It’s a great game because it’s complicated.

    • you might find some of the complication streamlined if you focus on offensive efficiency. players like curry and lee boost their team’s scoring efficiency on the offensive end. teams with efficient offense fare better on the other end of the court, defending after their own scores rather than transition d (whether or not the opponent pushes the pace, it demands more). nelson’s teams were criticized for not playing strong d (this was part of lacob’s schtick when he bought the team) but when they won, their offenses’ efficiency was such that opponents faltered under the pressure — if they turned the ball over it usually meant a score.

      the woeyrs managed to win last season without any outstanding two way players or individual defenders. they made modest improvements in their team d (erman is a thibodeau disciple) and it sufficed because of their offense. the top tier teams, the level GS aspires to join, combine efficient offense with effective defense, and the team had a losing record against those. their overall point differential was typical of a .500 team. their record represented overachievement, in that context, so even if they do have a better team this season, they might only see a modest improvement in wins.

      • Great points, Moto. When teams are continually taking the ball out of the basket, their offense is far less efficient. So the extreme efficiency of Nellie’s offenses (best ballhandlers, best shooters, best free throw shooters, low turnover sets) was another way of playing great defense. This Warriors team is NOW built exactly the same way — except for Iggy, of course.

        Basketball, like soccer, is a flow sport, a two-way sport. Every aspect of play on one end has a corresponding effect on the other. This can be very confusing to those attempting to analyze strictly one end of the floor, and over-relying on stats. But very beautiful for those who strive to comprehend the whole, with their eyes and intellect.

      • Conversely, if your team can score and push the tempo, you push the other team to score as well and keep up, setting them on edge, creating, in effect, a defensive pressure from offense. This doesn’t work if the game loosens up into a running/shooting game and you can’t keep up yourself, but this isn’t a problem for the Warriors with many teams, not if they have the right players on the floor and the right system.

        I recall many games last season when the Warriors got off to a slow start, largely because of strategy, and they had to expend a lot of effort to catch up, hurting them on O and D.

        You guys should write a b-ball primer. The coming season, with the variety in the squad now, should provide a lot of lessons.

  11. I think that Curry, Jack and Thompson played both ends pretty well, but, I didn’t check the numbers. I’d have to check defensive efficiency on and off court or something. For that matter, I never looked to see if the W’s held their opponents below their own averages on a per possession basis.

    • neither curry nor jack could be described as two way players ; overall curry played better team d and was quicker and more attentive in trying to cover three point shooters. looking at how they affected their teammates on the other end, though, shows that the great majority of successful lineups with jack featured curry at the other guard, while curry had positive results with a number of line ups without jack. curry is a deceptively powerhouse player offensively, who won’t be regarded as such because of his physical stature and style of play, and perhaps more significantly because his team isn’t yet perceived as a major power.

  12. CK posted evidence that Bogut is back on the court in the last thread, but I didn’t notice his post was held for moderation. So reposted here:

    CK | July 31, 2013 at 9:47 am | Reply | Edit
    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

    • warriorsablaze

      Good news. I definitely agree with you, Felty, that Bogut is going to be limited in crunch time mainly due to his FT shooting, but his impact overall can be huge in certain match-ups… the Denver series is a good example.

      The Warriors showed they can get wins without him last year, but if we had had 50+ games of healthy Bogut (if such a thing exists anymore) I think we could have won even more. It’ll certainly be interesting to see if he has a full(ish) season left in him. For his career, he averages ~ 12pts/9 boards/2 assists/ 2 blocks…not to mention the intangibles of defense and beastly screens…. if we get anywhere near that Bogut for ~30 minutes per game we would be in good shape.

      • The glass-half-full Bogut not only can play 25+ minutes, but also can hit 60% of his FT’s. He did that, briefly, after the elbow injury. Why can’t I hope that he’ll return to that percentage?

        I know it’s still not really an adequate number, but somehow I don’t see hoping for 70% makes any sense.

        Of course, it remains to be seen whether Bogut can play without creating more inflammation. His history, since the surgery, has been that playing creates inflammation. Eventually, it gets bad enough that he can’t play. Then he rests, treats the inflammation and he can play again — temporarily.

        The presumption is that the microfracture component of the surgery was designed to address this issue and that either it won’t work or it will take more time to rehab. But, afaIk, the W’s have never actually offered any medical details. Maybe it’s that, maybe it’s not, maybe they know, maybe they don’t.

  13. Kind of quiet around here, and I’m bored. Maybe we should go back to shouting at each other? Here’s some inspiration suggested by the title of this post, an excerpt from Dog Day Afternoon (this is a great movie):

    • they’re only spinning the normal prayer wheel, in the absence of discouraging news. we have to see if the preacher manages his players’ minutes differently this season from last, when he wanted to make a strong start and establish the team as a winner with no regard for conserving veteran legs. lee was his only vet with high mileage in his top five (by minutes played) players. bogut and iguodala will obviously alter the rotations significantly, but it would be no surprise to see the core routinely put in 36 + minutes.

      the grind of the season is quite literal on the body from the solar plexus downward. their schedule is also road-heavy at the start through the second week in Dec., and how they manage bogut’s minutes those six weeks will tell us more than their brave p.r.

      • warriorsablaze

        Well, the core of pretty much every team (short of the Spurs maybe) plays ~36 minutes. There’s nothing especially unusual about the number of minutes Curry and Lee play. If you look at the minutes leaders from any season, you’ll find most of the top players in the league hanging around the top. Last season’s top ten included: Kobe, Durant, Lebron, Harden, Curry, George, etc….

        Not that I wouldn’t like to see Curry and Lee stay under 36mins, but I think the minutes thing is a bit overblown.

        • your generalization doesn’t match the actual numbers. only 33 players averaged over 35.5 min. per game, but a number of those missed stretches from injury, and a mere 20 players accumulated 2800 min. or more. out of the 20, from those whose teams reached the playoffs, four met significant injury at the season’s end or in the first post season round — westbrook, bryant, deng, lee. [iguodala logged nearly 2800 min. in 80 games, 34.7 per game].

          in sum, most teams did not have three players exceeding 2800 min. last season like GS. iguodala could help reduce the load for curry or thompson, so it might not recur this year.

          • warriorsablaze

            It’s somewhat of a stretch to correlate Bryant, Lee’s, and Westbrook’s injuries to their minutes played. Is it possible that they are correlated? Sure… but there’s no real evidence to support that given that they all happened from either an awkward landing or contact (don’t recall the Deng injury circumstance).

            It’s true we did give heavy minutes to multiple players, but that is directly related to Bogut and Rush being out. Any team with a starter and likely 6th/7th man out for an extended period is going to have to push their starters to win. Even still, on an individual player level, there’s nothing inherently wrong with Curry or Lee playing 36 minutes…. and no evidence that I’m aware of that shows a reduction to 34 minutes would make any significant difference in health/late season play. Pop may rest his players, but many of those players are in their mid 30’s and beyond. None of our players require a DNP “Old” in the box score.

  14. Always been a 49er fan. But looks like York and Co. are treating some of their players under contract very poorly

    Threatening P. Harrelson with a trade unless he lowered and restructured his contract, and then trading him is just one example. Another, is signing McCoy as a free agent tot a $1.2 million contract and then threatening him or making him take a drastic pay cut to the league minimum of $600,000 under threat of trade or release, and then keeping him, makes the team look highly manipulative. The Yorks are no Eddie D. and their actions will effect other players coming to the
    49ers.

    • the naive n.f.l. addicts who have supported the team since the morabito days, or since joe thomas was fired as g.m., got a major clue when the season ticket fees were posted for the new stadium. fans who had seats literally for decades had to face taking out major loans or mortgages on their homes if they wanted to keep them in the new venue.

  15. ESPN held a poll where coaches voted on coaches based solely on their ability to coach, to set up X’s and O’s, regardless of recruiting and level. We inherited a few things from these guys.

    #1 handily was Tom Izzo, Mich State (Draymond Green 4 years)
    “Tom’s guys not only understand what they want. They execute details to make sure it happens.”

    Bob McKillop, Davidson, was a surprise at #5 (Stephen Curry, 3 years)
    “He was a smart, crafty, tough player. He coaches the same way. He’s an exceptional situational practice coach.”

    Billy Donovan, Florida, was #8 (David Lee, 4 years, Marreese Speights 2 years)

    Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt, was #10 (Festus Ezeli, 4 years)

    Sean Millier, Arizona, was T-19 (Andre Igoudala, 2 years)

    And Seth Curry, if you want to count him, played 3 years for #7 Coach K at Duke, plus one year red shirt.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/jeff-goodman/print?id=849

    • The Warriors have an extraordinarily high IQ team, so it would be interesting to study the correlation. And do these coaches create high IQ or recruit it?

      • If nothing else, it shows the value of continuity and experience. All those guys average 20+ years of experience in coaching and winning, which they pass on to their players—if their players stick around. Curry has now had three different coaches in his short NBA career, with three different systems. How well would he have done had he not had three college years to gain experience, build a solid identity, and develop confidence? Or Lee four?

        Basketball is approaching a state of chaos. Many players only stay a season, or at best two, in college, where the less established coaches themselves are being moved around, only to enter the NBA where coaches and systems rapidly change as well.

      • Warriors have players with high IQ’s? Not reflected in turnovers going up. Warriors may indeed have lower IQ’s than other teams. Let’s get back to basketball,

        • I disagree. They play worst when they play ill conceived strategies. Intelligent coaching brings out their best.

  16. Hope Seth Curry makes the roster and gets some playing time if Bazemore falters. As it allows Curry to play SG where the Warriors lack consistency. I like Douglas-Seth Curry as back-up point guards as it allows Stephen Curry to slide over to SG. Have little confidence in Iggy and Thompson playing SG. Even with more depth Warriors backcourt not as strong as it needs to be.

    • warriorsablaze

      You have little confidence in the multiple all star and Olympic champion Iggy playing SG? Even Klay is above average for his position and miles ahead of an undrafted rookie (Seth Curry) and career backup (Douglas). Where do you get these bizarre ideas?

      Playing Steph primarily at SG limits his impact on the game. It’s great for stretches to mix things up, but he is more effective with the ball in his hands.

  17. If Jackson is going to have Speights, not Barnes back-up DLee, the Waarriors will be hurting unless Lee and Spieghts have learned to hitv there’s. not a likely event. Such will be compounded by Jackson starting Bogut over O’Neal.

    Don’t expect Warriors to run much but do expect to see early offense.

  18. (More recommendations for the Feltbot Blog Book Club)

    Frank—

    You inspired me to read Peter Dale Scott’s The Road to 9/11. I read two more books on the war if you’re interested and haven’t read them, both by excellent writers:

    The Assassin’s Gate, by George Packer

    Chain of Command, by Seymour Hersh (Hersh is a national treasure)

    And here’s my recommendation for moto, a book that got me to rethink, though not embrace, religion:

    Violence and the Sacred, by Rene Girard. Rough sailing, and I haven’t navigated the whole book yet.

    One has to do something while one waits for the season to start. . . .

    • thank you, rgg. from reading a little of the summaries about that book, the author might be a bit cultural-centric. certainly, if a belief system holds the tenet that life is sacred, then deliberately taking a life is also a sacred act. and many cultures in history and pre (formally recorded)-history practiced sacrifices in religious ritual. but other than the singular case of the women sacrificing human victims in the Dionysian frenzy, which occurs within the heart of our western, male-dominated tradition (graeco-roman-mediterranean-abraham & sons incl. ishmael, und so weiter), conflating slaughter of people with a religious urge might best be explained by the male dominance/territorial urge that applies to non-human species as well as humans. (the ascendant alpha lion killing the cubs in a pride he didn’t sire, for example).

      our species developed these large brains with redundant and surplus capacity. so that capacity is quite capable of creating a sustaining a belief system that rationalizes what our other instinctual drives push us to do — reproduce, violently eliminate competition if necessary. serial killers or mass murderers who were female have been relatively rare. where does Buddhism, practically alone among the major religions because non violence, non aggression are central in its teaching, fit with this author’s thesis ?

      • Boys will be boys, and that’s part of what draws us to sacrificial substitutes such as the NBA, as well as explains why we get so upset when it terms, its meanings—its culture—are corrupted.

        As for our larger brains, after so many millennia we still haven’t figured out collectively constructive ways to use the extra space—see Frank’s post @22.

      • Have to believe that non-violence is central to the teaching of both Judaism and Christianity as well, if not the practice. And I don’t think Buddhist cultures have shown any less propensity to violence than any others.

        It’s a very interesting thought that religion is an artifact of our guilty consciences, justifying our instinctual urges to kill the “other”. Suggests that religious wars are simply tribal wars, and that the religion is just an absolving overlay.

        • there’s a fair portion of the old testament that essentially justifies violently expelling other peoples from the ‘promised lands’ because yahweh and his prophets were on the side of the descendants of Issac. the plagues and angel of death visiting Egypt to force the pharoah into freeing the slaves is another form of holy war. the new testament is a mixed bag, and when yeshua the nazarene expelled the moneychangers from the temple in Jerusalem, it wasn’t by non-violence. my hypothesis, his espousal of non-violence partly came from his exposure to non-western, non-judaism teachings during his time in Egypt. Alexander brought philosophers with him when he took his army to India, those teachers brought back Indian philosophies including Buddhism, and Egypt is where they established schools when they returned. of course adherents to a faith including buddhists don’t keep to their religion’s teachings.

          most if not all of the larger scale organized religions co-evolved with the domestication of plants and animals, which alters the demands on the environment and greatly increases territorial pressures. without domestication, there’s insufficient food surpluses between seasons to sustain a religious or aristocratic/warrior elite. irrigation societies provide both the means to create greater surplus, sustain a larger population, and the need for larger scale organization that the priestly/warrior elites impose. the beer that the ancient Mesopotamians produced from the surplus was dispensed at religious rites intended to reinforce collective beliefs and social behaviour, and the same was true with liquor distilled from grains in Shang period China. the maize domestication revolution profoundly changed Mesoamerican cultures that eventually depended on irrigation. the empire of the Incas was supported by a range of both plant and animal domesticates, including the potato, which the English used to help dispossess peasants in Ireland. cultures that depend of herds of domesticates can’t stay in a fixed territory, and conflicts between rival tribes over territories come as soon as the herd and herder populations rise far enough.

          • From your first paragraph—

            Religion may not be the significant factor in the tribal wars of conquest and revenge. Those types of cultures defined the world and were what the Old Testament had to contend with, and it will partake of them. But a case could be made that it was trying to put this culture into a more acceptable, a more ethical form, though obviously with varying degrees of success. I.e. the OT wasn’t trying to perpetuate tribal violence that was doing well without it, but contain it.

          • Which interpretation fits Girard’s definition of religion: the sole purpose of religion is to prevent reciprocal violence. Yahweh may have visited the pharaohs with plagues, but did so to break the cycle of revenge and violence. And Moses and his people were set free with a proviso: you’d damn well better behave from here on out.

          • Always enjoy reading you Moto — very interesting stuff.

            I guess I make a distinction between the Old Testament and the Jewish religion, although I’m not an authority on the subject (I was raised an agnostic, and it stuck). It seems to me that the OT was intended as a conflation of the history of the Jewish people, a record of folly as well as wisdom, with only occasional commentary from God. An argument can be made that the Jewish religion derives not so much from the story, but from the 10 Commandments, where “Thou Shalt not Kill” features strongly. That theme is elaborated upon in the Talmud — the body of rabbinical thought that fleshes out the 10 commandments, and is perhaps more central to the religion than the OT.

            You rightly point out that “Thou Shalt not Kill” is virtually ignored in the OT, frequently with God’s blessing or indeed urging. And with regard to the Egyptians, God directly violates his own commandment.

            Which is confusing. The OT is a very violent book, apparently advocating warfare, which might make it seem that Judaism is a violent religion — particularly to the literalists. And the modern day Israel, currently engaged in identical behavior towards the “other,” has resurrected those biblical struggles — and appearances.

            And yet the Jewish God expressly commands non-violence.

      • I’ve been looking for other ways of thinking about things.

        Girard (I think) counters Freud’s view that religion is some kind of arbitrary external restraint on our natural desires. Freud couldn’t see past his internal psychic plumbing. Instead, Girard recognizes that we are necessarily and naturally aggressive, individually and collectively. The task, then, is to find some external and manageable sacrifice and container—an expression—to keep us from falling apart or destroying each other, based on something that transcends us and binds us at the same time. Every religion requires violent sacrifice, in J & C in its martyrs. Buddhism requires sacrifice of the body, of the senses. I look to literature, which has been influenced by all three and makes its own sacrifices. Sports can briefly provide another alternative.

        The problem comes when a religion becomes transparent and is used to justify our own desires, getting rich, winning wars—or basketball games—which devalues its essence and can bring it to collapse.

        I haven’t had much luck with rational people, who harbor their own kind of violence, though perhaps I haven’t met one yet. At any rate the stories they tell tend to be boring, another kind of death.

        It would be a nice to discussion as to why we are so attached to our game. I want to believe each night some part of me is invested in the game and runs the risk of being sacrificed, but ultimately will be redeemed and I will be restored. And I want to see a game that rewards spirit and intelligence and skill, and maybe a little brass.

        Maybe small ball has its roots in David and Goliath.

        • consider myself as rational, and deeply skeptical of nearly all large-scale religions (have no objection to private spiritual beliefs or disciplines). to choose between being rational and boring, or religious and entertaining, would go with boring every time.

          • Of course I didn’t have you in mind when I criticized rationalists. I’ve had to hang out with another crowd the last thirty years, who perhaps aren’t as rational as they think. I remain skeptical of religious and rational people alike. But most religions that have lasted have had doubts and reservations built in—and a reluctance to inflict damage on any human for any reason. The same cannot be said of many rationalists. Skepticism itself has to be based on something to be of any value, though what that is will always remain elusive.

            One thing I think we can both agree on is that I have always found Lacob’s intonation of a “winning culture” grating. It sounds clannish and self-serving, and was created to serve Joe Lacob.

        • the appeal of david vs. goliath transcends religions and cultures, as noted by the philosopher/sage chamberlain, ‘no one roots for goliath’.

          if anyone wishes to see Ridley Scott’s film ‘Prometheus’, and doesn’t want me to ‘spoil’ it, disregard the following partial summary.

          one of the small amusements (which is about all the film offers) of the story comes from the naivete of the two paleoanthropologists who think they’ve found evidence of extraterrestrial benefactors. petroglyphs and paintings show them interacting with humans in the long ago. [in the film’s prologue one of these proto-humans is shown committing suicide by ingesting a potion that converts its organic material into an powerful germinating solution with our original racial d.n.a.] the ‘scientists’ (whose geek work is quite shabby in the film) get invited on a deep space expedition to a site that their research indicates might be the source of the ‘others’. they collect d.n.a. evidence at the site supporting the notion that humans directly descended from these proto-people. the joke comes when the expedition learns (the hard way of course) that the site isn’t a home world, but a depot for biological weapons of mass destruction, and the site’s one surviving proto-human is an unstoppable goliath intent on slaughtering the visitors, recognizing them as inferior spawn, and taking the weapons to earth to wipe out humanity. so we’re made in god’s image, and (s)he’s violent, selfish, and destructive.

          • There is nothing outside of culture, except, of course, neurons and quarks or strings or whatever. There are creative, vital cultures and there have been corrupt, destructive cultures. Maintaining the first and telling the difference between the two, however, has always been tricky.

            Ridley Scott’s vision in Alien and Prometheus is frightening in that it presents a vision of beings who exist to destroy without any concept of faith or anything, which has been around with us for a long time as well—why isn’t this behavior rational?

            Though in Prometheus, we don’t know what motivates the prot0-humans and I guess we’ll have to wait for the next installment, if it comes. (And I’m confused—at the opening of the movie, isn’t it clear that the first proto-human destroyed himself to create the human race?)

        • rgg the brilliant essayist at work.

  19. Thanks Rgg:

    I also suggest you read various 90’s interviews with Jerry Hemmings, a former US covert operative that appear in Noel Twyman’s book Bloody Treason about President Kennedy’s assassination. He claims that US intel has thru bribes, guns and drugs bought off the intel agencies of our foes like Syria. President Obama might know that.

    So, when president Obama says months ago that he going to bomb Syria if they use chemical weapons against there citizens and then chemical weapons are used then such may have been by Syria intel by Us intel acting thru third parties. Surely Assad would have not done so given thee President’s threat. Unseen forces, not popular uprisings are remaking the Mideast and the President is clearly being manipulated into seeing that govt’s are overthrown.

    When you see countries rebels bearing heavy arms and not demonstrating suggests that the overthrow is planned and coordinated by outside forces in both Libya and and in Syria suggests they have always been our guys starting when we used them against the Russians in the Russian Republics in the 90’s. such requires a new look at the events on 9-11-2001.

    Our soldiers may well be being used abroad for unknown reasons by unseen string pullers.

  20. @21 and previously:

    The context for the discussion about religion, of course, is that we have a team where many players and the coach are devout Christians, the first himself a preacher, which has been awkward for us but is part of what we need to come to terms with as we consider them. I’m not interested in defending their beliefs, but I’m not interested in attacking them, either. Many of Jackson’s pronouncements haven’t upset me because I just haven’t been paying attention. Then again, I haven’t listened closely to what he has to say or visited his church.

    I don’t think there’s any question, however, that their beliefs have made them better men. They certainly aren’t getting good cues on how to behave and think of themselves in the NBA or elsewhere, where, quite frankly, we’re ready to throw them on the heap of our derision if they fail. And, what is irrelevant and irreverent but still part of the equation, by being better men, they are better players and will win more. It is part of who they are and what allows them to succeed.

    If any believes God is on their side and wants them to win, they have slipped, thought I don’t know that is quite the case. If so, I kind of regret most of us all don’t go to church as we used to decades ago, just to check such nonsense.

    Having prayers before a game is tricky. It is a natural thing for them to want to do, and do together. If it leads to coercion or exclusion of other players, we got problems.

    • Last thought, but I’m sure this will come back. I don’t disagree with any of moto’s criticisms. I do question, however, other public reactions against Jackson, who seem to criticize him because he is religious. And personally, I hope Jackson will modify his beliefs and practices. The public exposure he’s now getting outside his church may help.

      If I’m giving organized religions a second thought now my reasons are largely pragmatic. Their decline has opened the door for the “religious” right and other perversions and all their abuses, which are both irrational and irreligious. I grew up in an established protestant church, 45 years ago. None of the crap they say and do would have been tolerated.

      Girard on Moses (the guy is fascinating):

      “When Moses complains that the Egyptians are not willing to let the Hebrews leave, Yahweh replies that soon the Egyptians will not only let them leave but will expel them.

      “As he himself causes the sacrificial crisis that ravages Egypt (the Ten Plagues), Moses is evidently playing the part of the scapegoat, and the Jewish community around him is associated with this role. So there is something absolutely unique in the foundation of Judaism.

      “In order to ‘function’ normally, in the sense of the myths that we have already dealt with here, Exodus would have to be an Egyptian myth; this myth would show us a sacrificial crisis resolved by the expulsion of the trouble-makers, Moses and his companions. Thanks to their expulsion, the order that Moses disturbed would have been re-established in the society of Egypt. We are indeed dealing with this kind of model, but it has been diverted towards the scapegoat, who is not only made human but goes on to form a community of a new type.”

  21. Since there was a long digression on religion, perhaps we could turn our attention to a more immediate situation. The current debate over whether to bomb Syria.

    This is the first time in my life that I truly do not believe that anyone in the administration is telling the truth about this situation. It just does not make sense.

    1. Proponents of this bombing are so enraged over the killing of 1400 civilians using chemical weapons. This from a country that has the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world and has recently perfected the drone – where soldiers sitting at computers in Nevada can assassinate anyone, anywhere in the world and have done so on a regular basis.
    2. But they are not so enraged to do any real damage to the perpetrator. No regime change, hopefully no civilian collateral damage, no boots, a few weeks of some bombs lobbed into Syria.
    3. Assad is then free to continue rampant murder of citizens as long as he uses weapons acceptable to the US.
    4. The only objective is to send a message. Not really a well-defined objective worthy of a military operation, but then again, it is not much of a military operation.

    This whole concept of the Arab spring seems strange as well. The US has moved to destabilize the governments of Egypt, Libya, and is now moving on to Syria. The situation suggests that there is a grand plan somewhere which is causing the repetition of this pattern. Who benefits from the government destabilizations? Certainly not the US which runs the high risk of anti us forces taking over in the countries, i.e. muslim brotherhood type factions.

    • At least there are weapons of mass destruction this time. I suspect we can trace this one back to the Crusades (which takes us back to religion!). Nothing has been done to contain the cycle of reciprocal violence and this one will probably play out for decades.

      Good questions, and I’d be curious to see someone sort this mess out. It’s hard for Obama to sit and watch the use of gas and is probably stuck with making a symbolic gesture that will probably be futile, though there is the precent set with Serbia. But he has a bad precedent to contend with, going back to our support of Iraq in its war with Iran:

      According to retired Army Colonel W. Patrick Lang, senior defense intelligence officer for the United States Defense Intelligence Agency at the time, “the use of gas on the battlefield by the Iraqis was not a matter of deep strategic concern” to Reagan and his aides, because they “were desperate to make sure that Iraq did not lose.” Lang disclosed that more than 60 officers of the Defense Intelligence Agency were secretly providing detailed information on Iranian deployments. He cautioned that the DIA “would have never accepted the use of chemical weapons against civilians, but the use against military objectives was seen as inevitable in the Iraqi struggle for survival.” Despite this claim, the Reagan administration did not stop aiding Iraq after receiving reports affirming the use of poison gas on Kurdish civilians.

      From Wikipedia, citing a NY Times article.

      • “precedent set with Serbia” — sorry.

        I have a tentative argument I’m curious to see debated. By removing human rights from foreign policy, which Carter tried to instill, we have set ourselves up for our the mess we find ourselves in (cf. Moses and the Ten Commandments). This is a practical argument.

  22. First of all the chemical weapons used in Iraq years ago was provided by American companies.

    In overthrowing a regime part of the psychological preparation in the US is to demonized the leader. In this cAse it’s Assad wh just happens to be married to an American. To believe that he would now use chimical weapons after not having done so fighting the rebels and in light if President Obama threatening military action is preposterous. Moreover the rebels are by and large a mercenary force.

    Years ago the pentagon had a lost of mushadeem fighting in Afghamistan. After that war, the pentagon listed the same men as al quada. Al Queda translated means “the Base.” The pentagon’s data base. There is no group calling itself Al Queda unless they accept the Pentagon used term that labels them with that name. Jim Marrs in one of his books points this out. The press does not draw attention to this fact. We used “al Queda” to destabilize the Russian republics in the late 90’s, and to overthrow Libya and now Syria do our enemies are also our friends.

    Are we really to believe tat Al wads worked for us both before and after 9-11, and that there were not dark forces pulling the strings if in fact they were responsible for 9-11?

    So while I disagree with Bucksroo as to used chemical weapons in Syria , I agree with much of the remainder of his analysis.

  23. Comic relief, in case you missed this. It’s pretty good.

  24. warriorsablaze

    A little bit of Warriors-related action/news today…

    Nedovic and Serbia beat Lithuania today. I only caught the last few minutes, but from the twitter chatter it looks like Nedovic looked really good and was nearly unguardable in the open floor. I did catch one very nifty pass to a cutting big man. Perhaps the Warriors have something here? Hard to say until we see him against NBA competition, but he looks promising.

    MT2 article on David Lee and the injury. Score another one for the Warrior’s training/medical team as the injury was apparently worse than they originally thought (sound familiar?). Sounds like he’s in stellar shape, is working on a corner 3, and is excited and ready to go. As am I (other than the stellar shape thing, anyway…. my corner 3 is solid. :) ).

    http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_24016440/warriors-david-lee-hip-injury-was-worse-than

    • Box score:

      http://live.fibaeurope.com/www/Game.aspx?acc=1&gameID=23789&lng=en

      34 minutes for Nedovic but only 8 shots (5/8)? European basketball is just different. I wonder if his shooting will improve if turned lose. At any rate, he’s getting experience running a team.

      • warriorsablaze

        He does seem to be a weird player… not a volume scorer or playmaker, but somehow effective.

        Euro-ball seems to be similar to college in that they tend to pack the paint more, which is why players who can shoot are always considered valuable. Nedovic is more of a slasher, so he could possibly be a better NBA player than Euro player. I definitely like the fact the got to the line 5 times. We need guys who can draw a foul.

    • It looks like White Hat was right that Lee had room to improve his conditioning. I’m frankly shocked, considering that he’s been the seemingly indefatigable workhorse of the team.

  25. warriorsablaze

    Highlights from the Serbia game… Nedovic repeatedly going coast to coast for the finish, along with a couple very nice assists.

  26. news (of the ‘left handed’/misdirection sort) on the kuzmic front — the team has apparently signed another 7’+ project, Dewayne Dedmon, junior center out of USC. limited ball skills. rumored, not strongly encouraged to return for his senior year after getting tossed from the Pac 10 tournament for fighting. declared for the draft and didn’t get a call. didn’t get serious hoops instruction ’til 18 — even later in life than ezeli. kuzmic, when he signs, will get a better deal due to his draft pick status, but signing dedmon indicates how much they’re counting on from kuzmic.

    • From:

      http://www.nbadraft.net/players/dewayne-dedmon

      Strengths: Centers with his size and run/jump athleticism are rare … Athletic 7-footer with good length, true center … Showed improvement on the defensive side of the ball from his sophomore season to his junior season … Also made huge strides as a rebounder on the defensive glass, while maintaining his ability to get his teams missed shots as well … Gained timing as a shot blocker, has size and lateral quickness to effect shots … Rare athleticism for a player his size, runs the floor well and gets up effortlessly … Started playing basketball after high school, not a lot of tread on his tires … Has decent touch around the basket … Strength can improve, though is quite strong and can finish through a bit of contact … Shot 68.1% from the line this year, showing some touch away from the basket as well … Could show some potential outside of the paint, more so than many players his size … Defensive potential on the pick and roll is very high, not afraid of being physical … Despite his age, shows a good amount of untapped potential …

      Weaknesses: Incredibly limited as a post-up option, no real go-to move once he gets the ball inside … Hands are average at best, does not necessarily attack the ball when it is in his area … Foul trouble was a constant concern, limited his minutes greatly … Was hampered by injuries his sophomore season and seemed to be limited by them a bit as a junior as well … Could improve quite a bit as an offensive rebounder, getting the ball at its highest position … Still struggles with where to be on the floor, his court sense is still very much in the developmental stages … While his lack of experience may give him potential to improve, Dedmon is a major project who is going to be turning 24 prior to the NBA season … His defense made strides, yet his offense remained limited … With his size and athleticism, brings up major questions as to whether he understands the game enough to make an impact at the NBA level … Seems at least a few years away from being able to get rotation minutes, not to mention will need even more improvement to ever be a viable starting center
      ——–
      He does have some touch, at least here:

    • Not sure, but guessing these non-guaranteed “signings” are strictly for training camp, and if these players wind up anywhere, it will most likely be Santa Cruz.

      Don’t think this will affect Kuzmic in the slightest.

  27. I see 12 guaranteed contracts on the roster. Bazemore and Seth Curry have non-guaranteed contracts. Dedmon has a partially guaranteed contract (what does that mean?). I’m still not clear Kuzmic has signed.

    Training camp should be interesting. I see a lot of questions that will have to be answered there.

    • undrafted free agents like lin,bazemore,dedmon usually get specific conditions in their deals, with a date their $$ gets guaranteed if they’re still on the roster. for some, that date is the start of the official 82 game season, for others it might be Feb. 1. the absence of news that kuzmic has a deal (it will follow the c.b.a. guideines for a second round pick) most likely means they’re still negotiating. there’s a limit how much n.b.a. teams can contribute to buying out a euro contract (re-imbursement in kuzmic’s case if he’s already sprung from his Spanish league contract), among other details.

      • Does the Kuzmic buyout go against the cap? I understand they also paid Utah an undisclosed amount of cash when they unloaded Jefferson and Biedrins. I wonder how much the deals actually cost.

        I assume they’re thinking about the season after the one coming up, and are looking for possible replacements for O’Neal and Douglas, both with one year contracts, as well as Bogut. Still a lot of questions here, especially at backup point. As much as we all like Bazemore, I’m still not sure where he’ll fit in. I’m hoping they can hold onto Seth long enough to see if he can develop a year from now. Intelligent, good shooting guards aren’t that easy to find.

        • when an n.b.a. player has his c.b.a. sanctioned uniform player’s contract bought out by the team he’s contracted to, it does of course still count against the salary cap. kuzmic’s deal however wasn’t such a contract. the n.b.a. has some agreements in place with the governing body for euro teams, the f.i.b.a., and the n.b.a. teams also have to dance around making some concessions among themselves so big revenue teams don’t have unbearable advantages over the others less fortunate. the compromises for n.b.a. teams buying out or financially assisting players to terminate contracts with overseas teams means there’s a restricted level of buyout related $$ an n.b.a. team is permitted to extend, and it does not count against the salary cap.

  28. Desmond looks better on both sides of the ball than the beloved Ezeli.

    • warriorsablaze

      Everyone looks good in highlight videos. His stats are pretty similar to Ezeli’s from college…. and they both started basketball late. He looks like he has potential to have some touch outside the paint, which is pretty remarkable for someone who started playing ball in college. Festus is loved for his motor and activity; it remains to be seen if Desmond can compare on that front in the NBA.

      It is bizarre that he wasn’t drafted. I wonder if there are more character issues than just the one fight that got him suspended?

  29. Coach Bob Knight and Nellie both recognized Curry’s superior passing skills in the open court while at Davison. Nellie knew what he was getting.

    I predict the warriors will have more success with Douglas, Currt, and Iggy on the court in the vital fourth quarter than any other line-up.

    • warriorsablaze

      I’d be surprised if that lineup even occurs at any significant rate in the 4th quarter. I expect Curry, Klay, Iggy, Barnes, Lee to be our primary closing lineup. It all depends on Klay and Dre’s ability to handle the ball enough to take some pressure off Curry when needed. Douglass isn’t known for his ball-handling or play-making, so I don’t see what upside he would bring over Klay, who is a better shooter, rebounder, and potentially equal defender (depending on how he builds on last year’s progress in that department).

  30. I predict that Douglas, Curry, Iggy, D. Lee and O’Neal are going to be on the court in crunch time in the fourth quarter. You’ll see D. Lee, not Barnes. If Klay is on the court he will be in place of Douglas. Klay is not a good rebounder. Since Douglas is a better defender, is quicker, and can hit the three almost as well as Klay, I give the nod to him.

  31. I have to say this somewhere:

    Yahoo Sports new facelift sucks.

  32. Ridiculous analysis, but interesting quotes from Barnes. It appears he’s embraced a stretch-four role off the bench.

    http://www.bayareasportsguy.com/warriors-sixth-man-in-2013-14-harrison-barnes-or-david-lee/

    • Warriorsablaze

      Barnes is a company man through and through. I guess that’s what happens when you start getting heavy media attention in middle school.

      People are certainly getting over-hyped about Barnes’ play in the playoffs, but it’s also not insignificant. With Curry getting to a next level of recognition around the league it’s likely a lot of teams will start putting their stud defensive wings on him even in the regular season… the same conditions that created the mismatches Barnes feasted on in the playoffs.

      • This season teams will be able to decide between not guarding Barnes or not guarding Iguodala, when the two play together.

        Another reason Barnes has to move to four, and come off the bench.

    • The good news is that he dropped his brand name. That nonsense had to be distracting. It sounds like he’s ready to get down to business.

  33. Sounds like Barnes has really worked on his game. Be interesting to see if his shooting and get to the foul line has improved. With better ball handling skis, hopefully, he’ commit lease turnovers. Still can’t envision his getting more offensive rebounds. Defensively, he’ll we’ll see if he has court awareness. Doubt number of steals will increase.

    He should play at SG and at PF, even though he’s not a natural fit playing either position. But, on this constituted team those are the positions he’s needed.

  34. The warriors quest to become a dominating team will only come about when they obtain players who will help the Warriors win the differential Warsaw at the foul-line and in turnovers.

    Under Nellie, the Warriors committed less turnovers, but garnered less OR’s. Under Jackson, the reverse is true. Both had players who couldn’t get to the foul-line.

  35. Analysis of the Warriors rotations:

    http://basketball.realgm.com/article/229800/Warriors-Rotations-And-Depth-With-Andre-Iguodala

    This guy got the defensive assignments absolutely perfect. Note that MOST of the time, Thompson will be starting at SF, Iggy in the backcourt. On occasion, though, as against Kevin Durant, it will make sense to put Iggy on the SF.

    Unfortunately, if he’s implying that Barnes will start over Lee at PF, he ruined his article. Not going to happen.

    • this is good analytical work, and elaborates further what we discussed earlier about offense and defense being interdependent. effective offensive rebounding clearly decreases the stress on a team’s transition d, but most teams won’t be as effective at it as Ind. the article explicates how well coached they are, and how suited their roster is to defy convention (hibbert on the boards, g.hill on transitional d, other disciplined players who will stick to the plan which minimizes the defense getting exposed). assigning 3/5 players on missed shots to the offensive glass, with specific schemes to cover the court defensively, is a radical tactic few teams will have confidence to adopt.

      erman worked under rivers and thibodeau, so we should not expect GS to take the contrarian route of Ind. they’ve gained an excellent transition defender, iguodala, and those extra possessions on offense are precious, but with their personnel the greater benefit would come from improving their transition offense.

  36. Felty: Thanks for the reference. I agree with Grantland that superior offensive rebounding and good transition defense are not mutually exclusive. Glad to see that extra offensive rebounds can lead to as many as four extra points a game.

    I’m surprised that he does not factor in the turnover differential that kills transition defense far more than going for offensive rebounds does.

    It’s plain stupid and almost impossible to discuss and analyze the effect of the OR differential on transition defense without factoring the turnover differential. This is not the first time that Grantland has omitted referencing a relevant stat.

    In the Jackson era, the Warriors have not faired well in turnover differential as they now commit more turnovers than there opponents, in contrast to Nellie’s team that committed less turnovers by far than their opposition. So, even with the Warriors basically breaking even on the offensive boards now, the still get killed in transition defense by committing more turnovers than their opposition.

    And neither Thompson nor Barnes has helped either on the offensive boards nor in making steals. Hopefully, that will change this year, but I suspect neither will improve in either area, One of the reasons that neither should be considered our future, although decent players.

  37. The Warriors superior defense this year with the addition of Iggy and ‘Neal and possibly Speights, should result in opponents shooting a lower FG percentage.

    But Iggy should not have a big effect on the Warriors poor turnover differential as he commits more turnovers than he makes steals, and very similar to Thompson in that regard.

    Speights performance on the court with regard to OR’s, turnovers and steals match up will against Landry based on time played, but. unfortunately, Speights shot a much lower FG percentage- .7 less. Some may consider him a better defender inside. Time will tell.

  38. Barnes has the ability to overtake Thompson as a player on the offensive end of the court this year.

    Thompson shooting 43.7% on two’s will probably not improve.

    Throughout the year last year Barnes continually improved his 2 point shooting finishing at 47%. If the Warriors played more up-tempo, Barnes has the ability to shoot over 50% on 2’s.Will this happen? Stay tuned.

  39. So glad that the warriors now have, at least on defense D. Erman as our ” “x” and “O” guy. Think be is an upgrade over Malone and his amazing work in summer league where the Warriors one all their games only bolsters my belief in him.

    My impression last year is that Malone and Erman were not buddies as I never saw them talk to each other, but I may be wrong,

    If only Lacob, Myers. and Jackson get out of his way and allow him to run the offense as well.

  40. [Iguodala] commits more turnovers than he makes steals, and very similar to Thompson in that regard.

    He’s also similar to Magic, Jordan, LeBron, and the vast majority of players in NBA history in that regard.

    For what it’s worth, his career “tov/stl ratio” of 1.4 is much better than that of LeBron (1.9) or Magic (2.0) — though obviously he doesn’t do nearly as much on offense as those guys.

    A more telling factoid about him: among wing players, he’s been #1 in the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio in each of the last three seasons.

  41. Both Jordan and Magic handled the ball more than Iggy has, so one would expect him to have a turnover/assist ratio. Such comparison is inconsequential.

    He’s no K. Leonard who produces many extra possessions for the Spurs.
    Iggy’s main contribution wii be on defense as he’s the Warriors best defender and one of the best in the NBA. And his assists will surely help the Warriors offensively especially when playing with Douglas

  42. @ Frank

    Iguodala handles the ball much more than Kawhi Leonard does, so no one would expect him to have a [similar] turnover/assist ratio. Such comparison is inconsequential. ;-)

    I love Kawhi Leonard’s game too, but I’m not sure why you would compare a guy who averages 1.8 ast/36 and almost never initiates the offense to a guy who can run the offense and average 6 assists per 36. They’re totally different players; Iguodala’s closer to LeBron than to Leonard in terms of role/style. As you note, he’s one of the best defenders in the NBA **and** a guy whose playmaking will help the offense.

    Generally speaking, I’m not sure turnover differential is as big an issue as you seem to. Yes, the Ws were third-worst in the league in that respect last season, but then the Lakers, Houston and Indiana were 1st, 4th and 5th worst, while Milwaukee, Cleveland, Minnesota, and Philadelphia were among the league’s best.

    And to the extent that it is an issue: as I noted, Iguodala is likely the best wing player in the NBA in terms of assist-to-turnover ratio. I did misspeak earlier — last year he was actually #2 among NBA wing players … after LeBron.

    Ast/tov among wings, min. 30 mpg (excluding small guys like Lou Williams and JJ Redick):
    2012-13: James 2.4, Iguodala 2.1, Ginobili 2.1
    2011-12: Iguodala 3.0, J. Johnson 2.0, G. Hayward 1.9
    2010-11: Iguodala 3.0, Prince 2.6, Turkoglu 2.6

  43. The point I’ve been making is that a team wants players that provide their team in extra possessions. The best formula for determining that is to add OR’s per game to Steals per game and subtract out turnovers per game., the best at creating extra possessions is k. Leonard. By doing so he helps himself and other Spurs create extra points. ,Iggy, is, at best a wash. He does not overall create extra possessions and therefore extra points for his team.

    This the context that I mentioned K.leonard we could have drafted over Thompson and whose a much better contributor to teams success than Thompson has been to date.

    I didn’t bring up assist/turnovers. You did. If you would rather have Iggy over Leonard because Iggy has more assists, so be it. Leonard is a better net extra possession guy over Iggy which also reflects he’s probably ast least as good a defender as Iggy.

  44. Does anyone but the most avid and blind Warriors fan not know that if Leonard was playing for the Warriors instead of Thompson the Warriors would have had a better chance of beating the Spurs?

    Drafting mistakes cost NbA championships even if you draft a decent player. The Warriors blew it by not drafting K. Leonard over Thompson. We all have to live with that, the same as we do with Lacob not amnestying Biedrins so we could have traded Thompson for Harden.

    Can you imagine how lethal the Warriors would have been with either Leonard or Harden sandwiched between Curry and Iggy. We would have been the old Boston Celtics west. NBA Championship banners would have flooded the rafters.

  45. I’d definitely take K. Leonard over K. Thompson. I’d take Drummond over Barnes too. And Paul George over Ekpe Udoh. And Kobe Bryant over Todd Fuller. Etc.

    You can’t expect to hit a home run every draft (as we did in ’09). You gotta be happy with solid base hits, or even extra base hits, as Barnes and Thompson appear to be. Yeah, we could have Leonard and Drummond. We could also have Marcus Morris and Austin Rivers.

    If Bogut is 100% healthy this season (or “110%” as he said yesterday) this team may have its first legit shot at a title since ’75. Even if complaining could change anything (note: it can’t), I don’t see much to complain about with this team right now.

  46. Totally disagree Sleepy. A team has to hit a home run on draft day, not doubles.To many good teams in NBA. Scoring differential among good teams simply to narrow. Otherwise, little chance of winning NBA Championship.

    Bogut’s health is irrelevant to the Warriors duces. As he won’t be, and should not be on the court in the crucial fourth quarter, especially in playoff games. O”Neal, even at his age, is better on both sides of the court. Hopefully, he’s healthy.Bogut is needed as a back-up, nothing else.

    • Well, sure, we “have to” hit a home run on a draft day. The reality is that neither you nor I nor any human not named Nostradamus is going to do that every year. I think it’s fair to complain about our drafting process, if you feel they weighed something more or less heavily than they should have. But I think it’s unfair to complain, in 20:20 hindsight, that there was some other guy at our draft slot that we should have taken. That’s going to happen almost every year.

      Beyond that, I know we all do it, but at a certain level it’s a little silly to complain in hindsight about anything. What’s done is done. What are you suggesting the Warriors do now?

      As far as O’Neal v. Bogut: I disagree that O’Neal at age 35 is likely to be the better player this season. He’s a better FT shooter, and much better shooter in general, but he has those same advantages over, say, Dwight Howard, or prime Shaquille O’Neal, or prime Bill Russell. For his good shooting, he’s still not an efficient enough scorer that he should be taking shots away from Lee, Curry, Klay, Lee et al. He’s been a pretty big net negative on offense over the past few years. Bogut may be roughly as inept on offense, but he’s a better passer, rebounder, and defender (J’O is a very good defender in his own right, but not quite at the elite level of Bogut). On balance, advantage Bogut, imho.

      Beyond my humble opinion: do you think there’s even a question that Bogut, if healthy, will be the starter? Our front office and coaching staff is pretty savvy — if O’Neal were really “better on both sides of the court” why wouldn’t they start him?

    • Kind of hard to believe. Was there a day in the year and a half between surgery and the playoffs he wasn’t in some degree of debilitating pain? But I guess we’ll find out. The top 3 statement does weaken the credibility of the first.

      • warriorsablaze

        I guess we’ll find out over the next few months. As far as the “top 3 center” remark, if you think that wasn’t at least a little bit tongue in cheek, you must not follow much of his media interactions…. though I imagine he is definitely motivated to prove his worth after 2 seasons spent mostly on the sidelines.

        If he plays anywhere close to Denver series Bogut with any consistency, top 3 center could wouldn’t be beyond argument.

  47. Look, Pop knew what he was doing when he moved up and drafted Leonard. The Warriors have no Pop. The Warriors played it safe and drafted Thompson because he could hit the three and Leonard didn’t in college, if I recall correctly. West got it wrong, Pop got it right.

    You can cite all the stats you want but the Warriors if I recall correctly. did just as well with Bogut off the court as on. Phoenix did better with ONeal on the court as they gave up less points. Yes, Bogut gets offensive rebound’s primarily off his own missed shot and sometimes does not put the ball back in the basket, thus lowering the importance of his ORs. He sometimes blocks shots out of bounds or back to the opponent, thus not even causing a turnover. And the Warriors traded a player in Udoh that not only made ORs and blocked shots that led to easy Warrior baskets.he also deflected many oases he got no credit for. No wonder the Warriors were a plus 6 or 7, and only a plus 2 with Bogut on the court. And the Warriors performance would have been even higher but for The Warriors limiting his play to 18-20 minutes per game.and compounded the problem by playing Biedrens in his stead, a big negative guy when on the court. Both the front office and coaches were just idiots.

    To say the front office knows what they’re doing when they trade for a player that has hardly played in two years is just plain silly.

    But, that being said this year for the first in a long time will have two centers who will both probably put the Warriors in the plus category, unless Jackson screws up the season by playing small ball with a team that is built to run.
    .

  48. Hey Frank,

    All NBA franchises have blown it in the draft. Just as all have hit. Like the Warriors did with Curry.
    That year Memphis took Thabeet @ 2 and Minny had Johnny Flynn @ 6.

    Warriors very strong this year. Curry and Bogut keys. Curry now has many shiny toys to play with. I’m very optimistic.

  49. Mars, you seem to be extolling the Warriors blowing it as being in good company.among teams who make mistakes drafting.

    The Warriors have upgraded their roster with the addition of Iggy and adding of O’Neal. O’Neal is a huge upgrade over Biedrens. Douglas defense offsets the loss of Jack’s penetration. And O’Neal is a huge upside over Biedrens.

    If Spieight’s can make a positive contribution is to be determined.
    Landry’s offense inside will be missed. Losing out on Ian

    ian Clark’s loss is a bummer.

    Bazemore has improved his three loin shooting and his foul shooting. He’s still the Warriors “x” factor.

    I am high on the Warriors future with the additions of Dedmon and Seth Curry, both of whom should make the team. We need a player like Curry who can drain the three. And Dedmon has a huge upside having shot 55 percent from the field and having played good defense at USC. He’s very mobile.

  50. Nedovic may not play in the QF vs Spain today. From the Eurobasket site:

    “Point guard Stefan Markovic and combo guard Nemanja Nedovic are both nursing injuries and are doubtful for the Wednesday quarter-final.
    Of the two, the participation of Markovic is the least likely, while Nedovic is a game-time decision but will need to be infiltrated in order to play.”

    Infiltrated?

    I can’t find what the injury is. Maybe there’s nothing here, but that makes the third injury he’s had this summer, two in the Euroleague playoffs and one before the summer league game here, though apparently none major. One question I have about him is whether he’ll be able to hold up in the kind of game he’ll be expected to play, that he won’t overextend himself. They’ll look for him to penetrate, and he’ll be facing tougher defenses.

  51. Completely off topic, but we’re sitting on our hands. I just bumped into this, from “The April Fools” (1969)—I saw it when it came out, but it’s not on DVD or Netflix.

    Catherine Deneuve gets my vote for the most beautiful woman ever. And if you have to ask which one is Catherine Deneuve. . . .

  52. I am looking forward to this season. There should be a lot of good stories to follow.

    1. Lakers
    It’s hard not to be intrigued with a team that has Kobe, Gasol, and Nash, who should have a better chance to play together with Howard out of the picture. But then there’s their health and age and the bench. And Kobe.

    2. Houston
    If Howard is the transcendent center everyone claims, Houston should at least finish #2 in the west, and that would be a disappointment. He has enough supporting cast. I predict ambiguous results and more Howard theatrics.

    3. Clippers
    Rivers will do something with this team to get them winning more, and I’m curious what.

    4. Indiana and Miami
    This should be an interesting battle, one team ascendant, the other perhaps not (with Wade showing the signs). Plus in Miami we’ll get sideshow acts from Beasley and Anderson.

    5. Boston and Utah
    How long will it take teams who have cleared house to rebuild? I’m predicting many years. This is just not a good option. Is there any reason to think we’ll see franchise players come down the pipeline any time soon? Rondo, if he comes back, should provide interesting moments with his new coach.

    4. Denver
    Was still one of the most intriguing teams in the NBA last year. We’ll see what happens when a misguided owner of dubious pedigree lets his successful coach and FO go, and I predict mediocrity for years to come at best.

    And I still think they set the model for success last year, one we should follow, by having a deep and flexible team with a manageable cap.

    5. Milwaukee
    Solved their little guard problem by letting them all go. Now they have 6—count ‘em—6 guys 6’10” or taller.
    Forests. . . .
    Trees. . . .

    6. Brooklyn and NY
    How far will throwing a ton of money at a menagerie of high-priced players go? I’m guessing first round appearances and exits for one or both.

    7. OKC and Memphis
    I’m wondering if these teams have peaked, i.e., are about as good as they’re going to get, and may not be good enough to reach the finals unless other teams falter or show their age.

    8. Portland
    Has a bit deeper team. I wouldn’t mind seeing them make some noise. Really attractive players on this team.

    9. Sacramento
    Finally appears to have its house in order, and I’m curious what that will produce.

    10. Dallas
    May be too thin to liven up the Ellis debate.

    11. San Antonio
    When will these guys feel their age?

    12. Chicago
    Will Rose return and bring them back to contention? I’m skeptical. Also their toughness takes a toll on players, which we may see next year.

    I wonder if banking a team’s success on one player, like Rose, just isn’t a mistake. It’s a heavy load and they can break.

    13. Misc., everybody else.
    Lots of muck.

    14. And then there’s that team in Oakland. . . .

  53. Utterly optional and utterly off topic:

    http://rggblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/heart-of-darkness/

    Or what I did this summer. I try to come to terms with the Iraq war and its abuses, and fail, of course. I’m sending it out and will pull it in a week or so.

    Some of the off topic discussions here fed the project, especially Frank’s discussions of the Middle East and his recommendation of the Scott book. Erich Fromm in The Heart of Man (and elsewhere) gives a fine model of moto’s rational man, though Fromm welcomes the influence of world religions to get us outside ourselves. I raise a debate quickly about the influence of science and don’t give Fromm’s argument its full due.

    It is a literary essay, quick, abrupt, and open. I want to raise questions and debates, and, in general, unsettle. There aren’t any easy answers. My general thought is that we don’t have good ways to think about ourselves and what we have done.

    Opinions, arguments welcome.

    Rumsfeld, I see, has published his memoirs. I don’t know if I have the nerve or stomach to read it.

    • Not sure I agree with your statement that “Marlow himself reaches no larger understanding.” Didn’t he end in the posture of the Buddha? And who named the book?

      As always, Gary, thought provoking and beautifully written.

      • He poses like a Buddha, not practices being one. It’s a wonderfully suggestive and at the same time oblique way to end the novel. On my 7th trip through, I realized Marlow really is an open vehicle to get us thinking, but we do so at our peril (though Conrad takes some of Marlow’s ideas seriously in later novels).

        Needless to say I tried to do something similar with the narrator in my essay. Many generalizations are made quickly which need to be opened up and debated—but I would defend them.

        And it’s a brilliant novel, one of my favorites.

        Much thanks for reading and your comments.

        • Marlow is the lone guy in the boat not named by his profession. He is described as not just a seaman, but a “wanderer”. He “did not represent his class.” He voyaged into the blank spaces of the map, and into the heart of human nature. He sits cross-legged with his arms outstretched, palms up. He delivers a novel cum koan:

          “The yarns of seamen have a direct simplicity, the whole meaning of which lies within the shell of a cracked nut. But Marlow was not typical (if his propensity to spin yarns be excepted), and to him the meaning of an episode was not inside like a kernel but outside, enveloping the tale which brought it out only as a glow brings out a haze, in the likeness of one of these misty halos that sometimes are made visible by the spectral illumination of moonshine.”

          Never did a narrator so resemble Gautama Buddha, the prince who forsook all privilege and comfort on the journey towards truth. You don’t think he’s meant to have achieved some insight into human nature, into the nature of all things?

          • My essay shoots for poetry and rests on large generalizations worth qualification and extensive debate I do not make. Nonetheless I find them largely true and would defend them. There are sentences in the brief fourth section worth a book’s discussion. But I’m not sure what I gain by explaining them, not for the purposes of what I’m trying to do. And I’m not sure there are good explanations.

            Marlow is one of my favorite characters in all of literature, and he cannot be easily dismissed, or dismissed at all.

            Still, Marlow makes simple—and simplistic—explanations that make us question his understanding. His chief criticism of Kurtz, repeated several times, is that he lacks restraint. His interpretation of Kurtz’s corruption and demise rests on simple and suspect ideas about human nature and nature itself—they both contain “primitive” dark forces, which have come together in Kurtz. And his views of the “primitive” natives are ill-informed and based on these suspect notions. One could easily accuse of him of projecting his own confusion on Africa, and I say that in the first section of the essay. Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian novelist (Things Fall Apart) makes the accusation, and he is absolutely right.

            Thus Marlow reaches no larger understanding.

            However.

            Marlow has the clearest perception of the corruption of The Company and of Kurtz and makes one of most damning indictments of European civilization I have read. I can provisionally accept his theories and projections the same way I accept the ghost in Hamlet and Shakespeare’s (De Vere’s) use of the four humors in interpreting human behavior. They still provide a way to contain something that renders valid and vital perception, regardless of factual or theoretical accuracy. This is why I like literature over psychology and philosophy, which both founder when their bases are invalidated.

            However again.

            Marlow does what the others cannot do, perceives Kurtz’s horror and contains it. He feels it. He experiences it. And experience is a large part of understanding, what literature does best. I would argue that any explanation of this experience will always be inadequate—and there may not be one. The experience cannot be broken up and analyzed, or it—and we—are diminished when we try. This is part of the human condition.

            Thus, Marlow may well reach an understanding at the end that is not an understanding, that cannot be explained by any set of ideas. Like a Buddha. The same way Buddha speaks but does not conclude, the way he falls silent as an answer.

            Note the narrator of the essay does the exact same thing, reach for conclusions without concluding. Like a Marlow. Like a Buddha.

            What most motivated the essay is that I don’t think we have come to terms with that miserable war or have good ways to think about it. Or about ourselves.

    • rgg, thank you for opening the portal to your collected works. just quickly browsing through them, found more than a few that resonate with my experiences. to my loss, did not have an English lit or writing instructor like you, but do resemble the students you describe as taking a slow, laborious route to their degrees, and subsequently finding limited choices in fulfilling work. became a tennis addict to cure stress from unrewarding work, but my involvement declined and eventually disappeared with middle age, domestic duties, and declining joints and tendons.

      for now, will comment a bit about Conrad’s Marlow, from a comparative lit perspective. surely it’s not by chance that the name is one letter short from a direct reference to Christopher Marlowe ? not unlike Kurtz, a semi-mythic, semi-historical character. Kurtz also shares some characteristics of protagonists imagined by Marlowe, Tamurlaine and Faustus. does Marlow recount from an outsider’s perspective like his 16th century predecessor ? in that respect, he reminds me of Melville’s narrator, Ishmael, who also observed a man of near-heroic stature battle against darkness. how much of Melville and Conrad’s fatalism and mysticism come from their seafaring shared experiences with seafarers ?

      • Thank you moto, for your time and comments.

        Whatever Conrad’s intent, we can’t look at the name Marlow without thinking of Marlowe.

        A last thought on Heart of Darkness (and what my essay aimed at). However bleak and inconclusive the story, I find it liberating. Only by sounding the depths do possibilities open up, or at least the possibilities of possibilities.

        The way up is the way down—Eliot/Heraclitus.

        Melville wrote about a big fish. I wrote about a large painting in my novel Autumn Rhythm, with which I am wholly satisfied. The literary scene, however, is just a mess now. Whatever the merits of my work, commercial houses and even small independents won’t touch anything like it now. My greatest regret is that I’m having trouble finding novels I want to read now.

        I also played tennis (high school, not well) and worked at the public tennis courts in Greensboro, NC, home of the first sit-in at Woolworth’s. My first story, highly ironic, published eons ago, is set there, late 60s, at the height of our race debates, and uses tennis as a vehicle:

        http://rggblog.wordpress.com/2011/08/25/the-clinic/

        You may or may not like.

        John Lucas, btw, who had a stint with our Warriors, made several appearances at those courts, and I may tell one of those stories while we’re waiting for the season to begin.

        • yes, enjoyed reading ‘the Clinic’ and it was one reason for my response. we’re contemporaries. when you were in Greensboro, a town famous in the civil rights/’racial equality’ movement, I was in oaktown and heard the big gun battle against the Black Panthers from across town.

          didn’t take up tennis ’til my mid-30s. the local tennis eminence grise in that town was Eddie Moylan, a long ago U.S. number one player and contemporary of B.Riggs who’d sometimes go around the local courts just to see what kind of players were about, and nick named me ‘mailman’ because weather didn’t dampen my practice. his advice — the forehand is the single most critical stroke. years later in grad school, like you I was also employed in a tennis center, the Dwight Davis in Forest Park, city of St.Louis, where I met J.Connors’ mother (the courts were part of Connors’ childhood tennis when his ma was his coach) and encountered A.Ashe not long before his death.

      • I realize I have strayed far afield of the intent of your excellent essay rgg, and for that I apologize. I just felt compelled to say that I always felt that Marlow experienced an epiphany on his journey, and my cursory rereading of the text – inspired by your work — reaffirms that to me.

        Of course, one might disparage the content of the epiphany — although I think the racial criticisms tend to the miss the point in the same way they do with Huck Finn. But I did find, and still find compelling the suggestions that the Heart of Darkness might be centered in London rather than the jungles of the Congo, that the Christian god is no more real than any other, and is used to justify the horrible atrocities committed out of greed or commercial purpose, and that the white man is no more saved than those he attempts to bring to “civilization.” As other Africans have put it, “White Hunter, Black Heart”.

        Those were far more shocking suggestions at the time the book was written than they are now, of course.

        As for the origins of the name Marlow, I think we must consider the Latin (Spanish, etc.) word for “sea”. Below the ocean? Beneath the surface? Deep?

        • (This is a fine discussion.)

          I think it is relevant. Marlow is very much a modern man, and we claim superiority over him at our peril. He has limited means of thought and knowledge, but he has strength of character and the ability to perceive things, and feel them, which so many lack. So if his words, his explanations, are inadequate, I don’t care. They point to something that needs to be seen and felt, and epiphany is a good way to describe really the whole novel, one that that escapes any facile explanation but still keeps Marlow’s vision present. And really, no explanation will suffice.

          The world would be better off if we all followed Marlow’s example.

        • Marlow:

          “And this also has been one of the dark places of the earth.”

          Marlow is referring to London, though in early times. He does subscribe to a view of sublimation and progress, achieved by controlling our dark urges, and Conrad picks that up in his other novels. But Marlow’s epiphany, let’s call it that, is stronger than any explanation or criticism he or anyone else offers.

          This is a great novel. I also watched Apocalypse Now and thought it was silly.

          • Our narrator also informs us that the modern London they view over the bow is shrouded in gloom and darkness, a hint I took to heart, as Conrad takes his symbolism seriously.

          • Yes–meant to add that. Regardless of what is said, no one can leave this novel, after living through Marlow, without strong doubts about himself and his modern world. Doubt is M’s epiphany.

          • the dark zones of London, especially in Conrad’s time, were as amoral and soul killing as any inhabited place on earth.

            ‘Apocalypse Now ‘ is another unfortunate example of how overhyped and overrated the works of major American directors can be. Hitchcock, well before he became an American movie icon, adapted Conrad’s “Secret Agent” to 1930s London and gave free rein to his unsentimental, nihilistic world view which he often used to undercut all the romantic flourishes in his works that made them popular.

        • Also think it’s worth mentioning that the boat on which Marlow spins his yarn is the Nellie. In case anyone was pondering the relevance of our discussion to this blog…

        • I’m not writing literary criticism, though obviously I interject some critical views, but it would detract from the essay if I developed them. A gamble, to be sure, but I’m trying to open things up, not close discussion.

          Marlow makes several remarks of this order, his answer to life:

          “I don’t like work—no man does—but I like what is in the work—the chance to find yourself. Your own reality.”

          And his solution is to throw himself into being a captain, though I see now the possibility of other interpretations here, especially when you see him as representing something other than a captain, say an author.

          He lacks the tools and knowledge to reach a larger understanding intellectually, but he does have the human ability to perceive the horror, and that is his epiphany, as good as any way to describe it. What Conrad accomplishes here is give us a vehicle to ask the same questions ourselves as we look over his shoulder and see what we come up with. Which is what I tried to do.

          And we will fall short. I don’t think anyone has this understanding.

          Literature always makes you work, and the effort is part of the understanding. Marlow’s difficulties in explaining himself have a real basis—he attempts the unanswerable—and his efforts—and failures—are as significant as anything he comes up with.

          Any great work should be open to multiple interpretation, as well as survive even the most damning criticism. I taught the novel in a lower division lit class years ago. I had a Nigerian woman in the class, quite bright, quite poised, who wrote a paper on it I wish I had saved. She both saw the validity to Achebe’s criticism and recognized the value and message in the novel regardless. (A lot of recent lit critics can’t do this.)

          • I like everything you wrote here, but I keep coming around to this: did Gautama Buddha achieve “a larger understanding intellectually?” Is unscaling one’s eyes, stripping away the religion and the cant, understanding accepting the nature of reality, an intellectual achievement? Or something else?

            I think Western and Eastern thinkers would approach this question very differently. In this book, I think Conrad’s protagonist settled on the Eastern way. As suggested by his “yellow complexion.” Marlow caught a disease on his voyage. The disease of clarity.

          • No, and I agree. It’s the point I tried to make above. Buddha’s realization wasn’t intellectual. It was based on human experience—especially suffering—and something else we’ll have trouble describing. And it’s a worthwhile interpretation that Marlow had something similar.

            Conrad does something unusual in this book. He has a first person narrator frame the book, yet he scarcely speaks. Instead Marlow tells his story, in his own voice, nearly the entire book (breaking the rules of well-crafted fiction in vogue now). It’s based on our understanding that human meaning must be experienced through a human being, who will have his own weaknesses and limitations. We have to read Marlow as a limited character and see what we can work around him, but in doing so, we realize the limitations of all people, including ourselves.

            Marlow may well reflect the biases of the day (those of Conrad, for that matter) and he will be wrong, but that’s inevitable and necessary for convincing fiction and those views aren’t essential to the meaning of the book or its value. They are what the book tries to transcend, though the transcendence leaves us in a shroud. If Marlow has an epiphany, he isn’t able to voice it, because of his limitations and the nature of his epiphany. But if we read closely and feel the book, we can experience the epiphany ourselves.

            I must confess when I read the book some 40 years ago, I took all the views of savages at face value and didn’t question them, as was probably the case with most readers. Cannibals! Only much later, on another read, was it apparent that the views of Africans were superficial and demeaning. But that was to be expected and still didn’t diminish the value of the book. And this time around, I really appreciate what Conrad has done by keeping us removed from Africa and Africans. All we really look at are the members of The Company—of Europe—and Marlow’s efforts to see and understand them—and move apart.

            I’m getting sentimental. I remember when books mattered. Our high school hipster carried a copy of Hesse’s Siddhartha in his back pocket. I snuck a copy of Heller’s Catch 22 into my soph English class.

          • +1 We have achieved a perfect meeting of the minds.

            It was indeed a very interesting choice for Conrad to choose to frame the story with an invisible narrator, rather than simply write in third person. Perhaps he wanted to aid us in our comprehension of Marlow by depicting him through the sympathetic eye of a companion, who by his own depiction of the scene, and use of symbolism, casts himself in the role of a disciple at the feet of the master.

            I seem to remember Marlow mentioning that he felt a greater kinship with the Africans than with his fellow Europeans as he traveled up river. Which, it seems to me, should make us regard his depiction of the Africans in a nuanced light. Both Conrad and Marlow have a mischievous writerly motive here.

            Heart of Darkness is like a sinister mirror image of Huckleberry Finn. Both are river voyages into the heart of darkness. Both concern themselves with the question of whether the natures of Europeans are any different from the natures of Africans. Both Twain and Conrad conclude they are not, but Twain finds the good in man, while Conrad finds The Horror.

          • That’s a great comparison. I’ve never thought of that.

            Framing Marlow with a narrator adds another mirror in this hall of mirrors. It’s as much to concede we are lost in in the interchange of reflections of our perceptions.

            Marlow reveals himself and his subject most through his ironic and often sarcastic words, his elliptical thought. There’s no way he can describe Kurtz and The Company and what they represent directly, in clear, distinct language, because they greatly exceed in their baseness and absurdity any such expression. Reality is always more than anything we can put in words. It is also greater than any clear, direct actions. The heads on stakes provided partial relief in this fog. Thus it’s hard to take any conclusion Marlow makes too seriously. We know, as he must know, they will always fall short.

            There is no question that stereotypical views of Africans are presented and not challenged in the book, thus reinforced. Critics have rightly pointed that out. But that doesn’t diminish the value of the book or its real message, but rather helps put it in a better context.

            And I wouldn’t have trusted an enlightened European to show the true side of Africa anyway. Let an African do this, and that is what Achebe did. I had an older Nigerian student in a comp class years ago. His prose, like his speech, was thick, but his mind sharp and spirited. Somehow Things Fall Apart was mentioned in a conversation, which motivated me to read it. When I told him this, he really was excited, and we talked about after class as I read it, Sonny filling me in on the background and all the issues that concerned him now in Nigeria. It was a great experience.

          • If curious, you can find a pdf of Achebe’s essay here:

            http://wayanswardhani.lecture.ub.ac.id/files/2013/05/Achebe-1.pdf

            It is a pointed attack, which I like, and he has earned the right to make one, with many worthwhile observations. I’ll listen to him any day over a scholar. And I’d still come back with the arguments we made.

  54. Two John Lucas stories:

    Back in the late ’60s, I knew John Lucas, from Durham, NC, as a tennis player, but the guys said he also played basketball. This was also a time of racial tensions—a police shooting, many demonstrations.

    Of course he played for the Warriors 1978-81. He also played World Team Tennis, mixed doubles, the Golden Gaters, with Dr. Renee Richards (formerly Richard Raskin). Of course he was a brilliant athlete who took on some bad habits.

    I worked at the public tennis courts in Greensboro, NC, which hosted several regional tournaments. There just weren’t many quality public courts at the time. Ours had a surface we called composition, a grayish-green, clay-like material, which had a gritty surface that allowed you to slide into shots but wasn’t slippery. Cloth tapes were nailed down for lines. I haven’t seen it elsewhere. I loved it. It was easy on the joints, moto, and since relatively soft, it took the force out of hard serves and shots, leading to long rallies, especially when they were wet. You had to have consistent ground strokes. It also gave you time to charge the net, where aggressive play was rewarded.

    1. The strangest athletic event I’ve ever seen

    Our courts hosted the Greensboro Invitational for youths, which drew players across several southern states. Lucas would always play a few years up, and I believe he was 14 or 15 when he played in the finals of the Boys 18.

    The courts were rained out that year the last day of the tournament, however, and the only place they could find to play was an indoor rec center in town. It had a multipurpose gym for several sports. The surface was a dingy gray linoleum, slippery and impossible to clean well. If you’ve ever played basketball on this stuff—I did—you know what it’s like. Lines for various sports were painted on the floor, including, for some reason, a tennis court—in yellow, this on the dirty gray. For a net, we took a volleyball net and lowered it to regulation, which still was loose. Hit a ball two inches down and it might dribble over and land on the other side without a bounce.

    It was the most nervracking event I’ve ever seen. It was hard for the players to keep their footing, and several times they fell. They might as well have played on roller skates. The ball took wicked, skidding bounces, difficult to return. And it was nearly impossible to see the lines, for players and umpires alike, the latter who struggled calling the match.

    John won in straight sets, I believe, against Cary Browder (who took me out in the first round—my boss always gave us bad seeds so we could get back to work, I suspected).

    2. The mens tournament

    Not long after, Lucas played in the finals of the NC mens tournament. I believe he was 16. The courts were quite wet, but playable, and matches often ended up in long rallies, as it was hard to put the ball away. Stamina was everything. In the doubles tournament that year, I saw one team literally wear out more powerful opponents who charged the net but couldn’t put the ball away with overhead slams. They kept retrieving the slams and lobbing up.

    John lost to Gene Hamilton, and stayed in the match, a long one, because of his ground strokes and his ability to cover court (he ran around his backhand—he was still a skinny kid). He stayed back and kept retrieving, returning shots with heavy topspin that kept Gene back and gave John time to recoup for the next shot.

    Al Attles, btw, played for NC A&T State U, a black public school, also in Greensboro.

    John played college at Maryland, under coach Lefty Driesell, who once was the coach of Curry’s alma mater, Davidson.

  55. Ned today (man, these guys like to pass):

  56. This Curry youtube has probably made the rounds and we’ve seen the highlights anyway. But it shows many replays in slo-mo which show how brilliant his moves are. It starts with an interview, then goes to highlights.

    We also see how well he played with Jack. Hopefully Igoudala and others can do the same.

    2:43 is interesting.

  57. While we’re at it (@59 and earlier discussions about religion), from Fromm, The Heart of Man:

    The significance of the phenomenon of narcissism from the ethical-spiritual viewpoint becomes very clear if we consider that the essential teachings of all the great humanist religions can be summarized in one sentence: It is the goal of man to overcome one’s narcissism. Perhaps this principle is nowhere expressed more radically than in Buddhism. The teaching of the Buddha amounts to saying that man can save himself from suffering only if he awakens from his illusions and becomes aware of his reality; the reality of sickness, old age, and death, and of the impossibility of ever attaining the aims of his greed. The “awakened” person of whom Buddhist teaching speaks is the person who has overcome his narcissism, and who is therefore capable of being fully awake. We might put the same thought still differently: only if man can do away with the illusion of his indestructible ego, only if he can drop it together with all other objects of his greed, only then can he be open to the world and fully related to it. Psychologically this process of becoming fully awake is identical with the replacement of narcissism by relatedness to the world.

    In the Hebrew and Christian traditions the same goal is expressed in various terms which also mean the overcoming of narcissism. The Old Testament says: “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Here the demand is to overcome one’s narcissism at least to the point where one’s neighbor becomes as important as oneself. But the Old Testament goes much further than this in demanding love for the “stranger.” (You know the soul of the stranger, for strangers have you been in the land of Egypt.) The stranger is precisely the person who is not part of my clan, my family, my nation; he is not part of the group to which I am narcissistically attached. He is nothing other than human. One discovers the human being in the stranger, as Hermann Cohen has pointed out. In the love for the stranger narcissistic love has vanished. For it means loving another human being in his suchness and his difference from me, and not because he is like me. When the New Testament says, “love thine enemy,” it expresses the same idea in a more pointed form. If the stranger has become fully human to you, there is also no longer an enemy, because you have become truly human. To love the stranger and the enemy is possible only if narcissism has been overcome, if “I am thou.”

    ——

    I’m not sure it’s that easy, however, or that the heart of darkness is really factored in. It’s why I was attracted to the ideas of Girard, who I had in mind when I wrote the essay.

    On second thought, Marlow may have achieved ascetic withdrawal (the words Conrad uses), like a Buddha, but we have no evidence he attains the peace of enlightenment. He is still trapped in his ego, inevitably, as we all are.

  58. Gearing up to do a Western Conference preview, but need to await the Las Vegas game totals.

  59. Monta on if the players in Dallas is the best group he’s had around him in his career: “If not the best, it is second to the best, I feel good about it and I’m just excited to get going.”

    On if he expects better offensive looks playing with Calderon: “Yes, you have someone like Calderon who can really pass the ball well and also shoot the jump shot. He can attack the basket as well. When you have guys like that with Dirk and you bring in Wayne (Ellingon) and Devin (Harris) who can knock down shots it makes it much easier.”

    http://dallasentertainmentjournal.com/monta-ellis/

  60. rgg, thank you for that Achebe essay. Conrad’s novella obviously has a strong case to be considered part of the Western lit canon, but Achebe’s thoughts should be considered side-by-side, when it gets read in a lit course.

    Achebe visited the university where I was in an m.a. (left uncompleted) program about twenty years ago and gave a short reading and talk. his homeland at the time was ruled by a military dictatorship, and can’t remember much of his commentary, some of which was political, but remember very well his exhortation to us — ‘you must kill jesus, kill allah, kill the buddha !’ warning us, in other words, to never surrender authority over our beliefs and thoughts to a ‘higher’ power outside ourselves. he confirmed my personal choice of reason and rationalism (which do not exclude valuing the non-material, or spiritual) over religion, the path on which Fromm and Dostoyevsky and Russell among others had pushed me as an adolescent. so thank you also for the reference to Fromm. Marlow’s judgment at the end of the narration should be ambiguous ; there should be no final, or authoritative answer for right or wrong.

    • Achebe I listen to. I have some arguments against his literary interpretations, but never mind. I see his work and Conrad’s as complements, however opposed. Conrad, of course, wrote over a hundred years ago.

      Sonny, my Nigerian student, was quite critical of many of his homeland beliefs and practices, and he was entitled to make them.

      Experience is everything. My perspective on Heart of Darkness changed dramatically when I taught it before that Nigerian woman. Who, incidentally, did not rant vehemently, as some of our critics do. She had perfect balance.

      Heart of Darkness is the novel of our times—I imply that in my essay. We’re still wallowing in the muck.

  61. Hopefully it is ok to interrupt the literature seminar with some bb news.. just got together on Saturday with an owner of the W’s and he was saying that the Warriors are abuzz with Harrison Barnes, “the light switched on for him in the playoffs and he has kept the pedal to the metal ever since.” Apparently Barnes is lighting it up in the informal practices..

    This team should be significantly better than last year – with the addition of healthy bogut, and igoudala.. Plus the year’s experience for Barnes, Green.

    • We’re just twiddling our thumbs until the season starts. Igoudala sounds impassioned, too. These guys are on a mission.

      With an owner? OK, Buck, what are your connections here?

      • one of the minority owners – no big deal, but the pre game owners dinner is quite a spread and usually replete with local celebrities, like 9ers, and giants, etc..

      • just my $.02, rgg, but your thumb twiddles are more enlightening and entertaining than a minority owner’s pitching in with the hype on one of his team’s assets and marketing vehicles. it would be a bit different coming from a disinterested party, but better yet is to let us watch barnes for ourselves and construct our own critiques.

    • warriorsablaze

      It’s interesting that this rumor of Barnes dominating the informal practices keeps coming up from different sources… creates an interesting situation if true. It has been assumed that Barnes would be the 6th man… but will he challenge Klay and/or Andre for a starting slot? Or Lee?

      I still think Curry, Klay, Andre is the best complementary skill set match for the wings… unless Barnes has also upped his 3pt skills to be consistent with his playoff levels, I’d prefer to have two shooters paired with Andre as his strengths are slashing and passing.

      • I was never that excited about Barnes during the playoffs, his 3 point shot is okay, but he was guarded by the worst defender, Parker! It also seemed odd to me that Igoudala chose to deny the rumor about Barnes getting the better of him before I had ever heard it! His athleticism is exciting but he never had the ball skills to really turn his drives into a move that would work vs a real defender. Of course, I also thought the niners would be better than last year’s edition….

        • iguodala was asked a direct question about barnes, and to his credit he answered directly, neither pussyfooting nor joking about it. the woeyrs could easily encounter a similar fate as the yorkists — going from bad to good, then getting bandwagon’d, hyped, and overrated into ‘great’ by the fans, media, and pundits. opponents adjust, and some of them have excellent talent, with coaching capable of surpassing either the younger harbaugh brother or the preacher.

        • warriorsablaze

          I’m not the hugest Barnes fan, either…but he was solid the entire playoffs, in both series. He was certainly guarded by, and successful against, a lot of defenders who weren’t Parker. The fact that he was successful while being guarded by defenders at the 1-4 positions is somewhat intriguing. If his handle improves, he has a pretty insane first step and finishes pretty well. I guess we’ll see how much he’s put together over the summer.

      • in many respects, the tasks j.jack particularly and even d.green to a degree had to face coming off the bench and adjusting to playing/blending with many different personnel combinations including reserves was tougher than what barnes faced as a starter, with most of his minutes coming along side three or four of the team’s top six players. he could be the starter again this season, simply because his hoops i.q. and adaptability aren’t compatible with the sixth man role.

        • warriorsablaze

          I agree with you that being sixth man on this team likely holds more responsibility than the 5th man… and Barnes even mentions this in his interview when asked about coming off the bench.

          JR Smith and J Crawford were considered the top 6th men last season, I’m not sure the role requires significant adaptability or hoops IQ. I’d put Barnes up against either of those chuckers in either category.

          Jack should have won 6th man IMO anyway. None of those Vinnie “The Microwave” Johnson-style players had as big of an impact as Jack did on the Warriors. People still seem to pick that award based on ppg.

          • smith and crawfor- are the other, more common variety of sixth man, the combo guard adept a shooting/scoring, often with three point shooting acumen and capable of shredding second team defenses. havlicek, nelson, ginobili were the high i.q. model, capable of blending with reserves or starters and playing strong d. jack had attributes of both types. barnes isn’t developed enough to fit either role, and doesn’t handle the ball well in traffic, despite his fans who keep nominating him to play the 2 guard.

          • warriorsablaze

            Well sure, but that’s operating under the assumption that there can be only two types of effective 6th men… the gunner or the playmaker. It’s sort of like people who argue that Curry isn’t a PG because his game is unique. Barnes certainly has the ability to create mismatches, score, and hopefully improve his rebounding and defense. Just saying that there really is no 6th man archetype that isn’t just arbitrary. If he’s improved as the rumors suggest, I’m only concerned about how effective he can be in whatever role he and Jackson carves out for him.

          • who comes off the bench first is often, if not usually, determined by who should go to the bench first, and fouls or the match ups can decide that. it worked out last season that the center often got substituted first, whether ezeli, bogut (who started fewer than half the games), or biedrins, and the most experienced and capable reserves, jack or landry, could enter with lee going to the five. other than center, the other starter who played fewer minutes was barnes, with jack taking his place. if it’s bogut or lee who goes to the bench first this season, barnes will be fine as the first reserve. as a perimeter player though he won’t provide what thompson and iguodala do on both ends of the court, and we’ll probably see curry again be first or second in minutes played because no one is the force on offense like him.

          • Warriorsablaze

            That’s a good point. It seems to me the first to the bench will be Bogut… who, even if 100%, isn’t likely to be getting more than 30 mins per game max. Possibly Barnes comes in f0r Bogut and Lee slides to the 5 for a stretch to pick up the pace.

            For Curry, it’ll depend on how much of an impact Baze, Douglass, and Nedovic can make. You’re right that he might be stuck carrying a heavy load again. If either Klay or Barnes takes the next step offensively it could lessen Curry’s load a bit.

    • Here’s the Iggy link:

      http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2013/09/18/andre-iguodala-harrison-barnes-and-the-positive-raw-competitiveness-of-the-warriors-this-season/

      I think all the furor is focused on the wrong end. Barnes will not be an attractive option at small forward until he can play DEFENSE. And TK is dead wrong about the Warriors’ best defensive unit. That unit includes Green, and not Barnes.

      imo, the greatest leap forward that has taken place since last season is the new understanding in Joe Lacob and Harrison Barnes’ minds that Barnes’ best position is power forward. Probably on both ends of the court, dependent on the toughness he’s able to summon.

      He’ll need plenty of toughness this season, because in my mind he’ll be battling for minutes not so much with Iggy and Klay, but with Draymond Green.

  62. Strong movie recommendation: Klitschko. About the boxing brothers. Netflix has it on disc and streaming.

    Sparse, low key, and honest, with good background information. This is how sports should be presented. There’s a great scene about their first meeting with Don King (I won’t spoil it).

    One of my great regrets is the decline of boxing in this country. Let’s hope other sports don’t follow suit.

  63. Once saw a great shootout between John Lucas of Maryland and John Roche . of South Carolina. Each came down and hit outside jumpers 9 out of 10 times in the second half. Awesome display of shooting.

  64. SF Giants. Heard it thru the grapevine that Tim Lincecum, Barry Zito, and Ryan Vogelsong won’t be resigned.

  65. Just read the entire iggy interview and his last comment struck a chord… He comes across as soft spoken and very direct, and his quote about bogut, “I’ve become a really big fan of Bogut. He’s really good.” is noteworthy. Combined with the no “BS” bogut’s proclamation of 100% this could be a big contract year for bogut. Bogut is playing for a $50M contract if he comes through. As much as I hated the trade last year, I could see bogut turning the trade into a huge positive this year. Based upon that elbow it is difficult to see the offense coming around for bogut.

    • It’s not a criticism, but players will always support and promote each other for a variety of reasons. I recall Curry saying how well Biedrins was doing in training camp, either last year or the year before.

      If Bogut says he feels OK, he has to feel OK, but I wonder what 100% means. We still have no idea how well he’ll stand up after the season gets going or how he’ll be at the end for postseason. Hard not to believe there won’t be residual effects from surgery, arthritis or something, as FB speculated. Anybody know the temperature of his ankle? Also he has only played 43 games in over two years, which means limited conditioning during that time.

      Here’s hoping he can put in a good season, and it might be in the best interests of the team and his ankle that he plays limited minutes—15 to 20 a game—in a limited role. They should be able to fill in well the other minutes. My nightmare is that this is taken as recovery and leads to a monster multi-year contract after, only to see him go down again.

  66. There is a call elsewhere that Curry beef up and drive more. This makes no sense and isn’t going to happen anyway. If Curry were to be a more effective penetrator, he would have developed that by now. There isn’t anything in his game he hasn’t worked on. He lacks the explosive speed and strength of a, well, Ellis. If you look at the handful of drives in the YouTube @62, you see that Curry drives best when he can find openings, and he has to maneuver around or back from bigs to get his shots off, which he can do quite well, btw.

    It especially won’t work if the team counts on his driving more in post-up, slow, half-court offense. However, he is quite good at finding openings and exploiting them, and if the team plays quick, spread-the-floor offense, he will be more effective, and they now have the players to do that. In short, if you want Curry to drive more, give him the right players and strategy.

    Speaking of promotion, Steph, in the Sporting News, said this about brother Seth:

    “He’s been working hard and trying to get over that injury he suffered in his last season at Duke,” Stephen said. “I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be in a position to make the team. And if he doesn’t to go into the D-League and make some noise down there.”

    http://www.sportingnews.com/nba/story/2013-09-22/stephen-curry-warriors-seth-curry-andre-iguodala-klay-thompson

    Hard to believe Curry doesn’t have some clout now to give his brother a break. Still, it’s an inexpensive experiment. When you look at the limitations of previous backup guards, Jenkins and Machado, who was brought in for the playoffs, and others in the past, Seth might have a chance of being useful, especially if he can handle the NBA 3. Steph needs to play minutes off the ball, and, assuming someone else can run the offense, and Seth can step in there and give Steph a breather. He’s smart should learn the system quickly and know what to do if he doesn’t see a shot. He should also be smart enough to run a second unit in spots as PG, once he gains experience.

    But, man, if he does pan out, there are teams against whom the Warriors can play small, and in a year we might see the Curry brothers light up the boards.

    I’m still not sure how Bazemore fits in.

    What’s the deal with Kuzmic?

    • I also don’t think Curry necessarily needs to penetrate more, though bulking up a bit and learning to finish through contact would be a good skill to develop. When you’re a 90% free throw shooter, getting to the line can only help the team. I imagine he’ll get a few more “star calls” this season since his profile has risen.

      I haven’t seen enough of Seth to know how he could fit… but it’d be nice if it works out for him.

      I see Baze as a position-less utility player that can be used to fill whatever gaps occur over the course of the game… if the Summer league level of offense can translate to regular league play at all, he can be useful in a lot of different roles.

    • Kuzmic has not been signed to an n.b.a. contract. the team now has sixteen players under contract, four of which are not guaranteed (bazemore, dedmon, curry, jones). those four only get guaranteed if they’re on the roster beyond 10 Jan. signing Kuzmic (as a draft pick he would get a guaranteed deal) means waiving two of those four.

  67. Since we’ve been discussing one seminal work of art, how about one more? Here are my predictions for the final episode of Breaking Bad (stop reading if you hate spoilers):

    Walt returns to Albuquerque determined to write his final chapter, restore meaning to his life and restore his name (“What’s my name?”). Redemption is the only legacy he can leave his son.

    Walt frees Jesse, and together they blow up Uncle Jack’s and Todd’s world, and the money with it. The money turns out not to be important.

    Todd kills Walt. He is, after all, der Todesengel.

    Jesse kills Todd. The only thing that can slay death is the witness bearer, the audience, the bestower of immortality.

    Jesse Pinkman will live. Pinkman = everyman = us the audience. Witnesses, co-conspirators, dupes. And tellers of the tale.

    We are also, like Jesse, the fly in the lab, that contaminated the product as it was being manufactured and purified. (Can any showrunner be immune from audience reaction? Is any drug kingpin, or any world-maker of any kind immune from the unpredictable actions of henchmen and family?) If you’re familiar with Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, that’s the ironic tie-in to Walter’s alter-ego. (I’ve left a few more thoughts on this on my Twitter timeline.)

    The ricin capsule is for…

    Lydia’s chamomile tea. She’s a ravenous monster who must be fed her just dessert.

    Got your own predictions? Let’s hear them!

    • I avoid these things because I consider them symptomatic of our cultural malaise.

      However.

      One weekend, down with the flu, I started watching Mad Men and couldn’t stop. I ripped through an entire season that weekend. I’ll probably do the same with this one in a few years.

    • Wow, no one else watches Breaking Bad? One of the great shows in television history…

      The art form is changing. I think Sopranos, Wire, Mad Men, Breaking Bad better than anything being done in cinema.

      • didn’t watch more than one or two episodes of the Sopranos — its contemporary northern NJ milieu and culture just didn’t appeal to me (one of my spouse’s cousins could be part of ‘Real Housewives of NJ’). more interesting to me is the current, inverted image of the Sopranos set in the same area but seventy years earlier, ‘Boardwalk Empire’. the period of ‘Mad Men’ was the significant portion of my adolescence, part of what keeps me watching it on recordings (it’s been extended to fourteen more episodes over two additional seasons). enjoyed ‘Deadwood’ quite a bit, but my favorite of all is probably ‘Roma’ (incredibly detailed sets, not computer simulations, which might never be equalled again, among its many charms).

        • Re: ‘Mad Men’…

          The golden age of capitalism!
          …and a great show of course. I doubt they’ll continue writing it into the ’70s, but if they do it’ll be interesting to see if and how they deal with the economic decline.

          • i.e., the mid to late seventies (though the decline was already well established in ’73). I suppose they will in fact cover Watergate if they still feel like doing the show.

          • their story line doesn’t need to go much further than 1968, with the Chicago convention, moon landing, Mexico Olympics, student and labor protests in Paris, and ascent of the Nixon of course. at this point, the suspense largely hangs on whether Draper utterly self destructs (in the footsteps of Miller’s Willy Loman) or finds a path for another identity makeover. the two pitches he made to the hershey chocolate suits was an amusing exposition about how we all prefer comforting fictions to realities.

            Oliver Stone’s “nixon” with the great Anthony Hopkins surprised me with its coherence and tempered touches of embellishment (Pat Nixon was never so impressive), much of the film contemporaneous with “mad men”.

          • If Draper’s trajectory parallels that of American capitalism itself, he’ll settle into a resigned inertia of gradual decay.

            I love ‘Nixon’, though I get why many don’t. There’s a definite enjoyment in dimming the lights, stocking up on hard liquor, and playing that film in a loop.

        • Absolutely loved Deadwood, particularly the last line —
          “Wants me to tell him something pretty.” — which I consider one of the greatest in moving pictures.

          Are you referring to the HBO series Rome? I thought that was ingenious and subversive and thoroughly enjoyable as well.

          • Swearengen one of the great TV characters of all time.

          • yes, ‘Rome’, put in my subversive spelling in homage to Federico Fellini. one of the many virtues of the hbo series was the equal attention and detail it gave to both the high and low social strata. if you enjoy visiting that period and milieu, there’s a very good trilogy of novels by Robert Harris based on the senator-statesman Cicero.

          • Re Rome: Loved not just the version of history as told through the eyes of the lowly legionnaires Pullo and Vorenus, but also the way the major events of the Julius Caesar era were depicted as being instigated by women! Very subversive, and I absolutely loved it.

            Re Swearingen: Agreed!

            Re rgg’s dysphoria: I think the greatest artists of our time are now working in television, and the series is replacing the novel. Rather than bemoan it on idealogical grounds, I’ve simply let myself enjoy it.

            Eventually man will live his life immersed in a bath of life-sustaining fluids, and receive his art through electrodes — if we can believe the visionaries of the Matrix. Progress is inevitable, as is the discarding of ancient art forms in favor of the new.

            If you haven’t already had the pleasure, rgg, you should force yourself through the series discussed here, the modern canon of our times. You might not be disappointed.

          • Which series? Breaking Bad? Actually I watched the first episode the other night. I have to get into a state of total boredom—a frequent event—to watch these things.

            Some of the series are quite sharp and well made, though they have limited range. Ultimately, though, I feel manipulated by them.

            But what’s going to happen is the cable companies will flood the channels with more of these series, of lesser quality, and they will weaken the viewing audience for the others. And they’ll depend more and more on set formulas to attract attention, and the other channels will follow suit. And the advertisers will step in and have their say, and the cable brass will shoot for the middle more to draw a larger audience, and edit accordingly.

            For example, I watched Netflix’s House of Cards, but gave up. I thought Spacey was brilliant, but the series was straight manipulative genre.

            Which is what happened to network TV—I can’t remember the last time I watched a series there.

            Which is what happened to Hollywood—how many good movies have come out the last 10 years?

            Which is what has happened to the novel. Agents and publishing house editors have set formulas as to what they will take and how they want it written.

            So I say let’s spare ourselves the misery, cut to the chase, and go straight to the electrodes.

            Remember Mrs. Peel?

          • I do watch these things, however. Last night I started “Spiral,” the French series (netflix disc and streaming). Straight policier, sharp and well made (has been compared to “The Wire”). Plus you get Paris.

            And I read Simenon, il y a longtemps.

          • I literally just finished season 4 of Spiral — very addictive. As for Paris, you only get to see the parts that no tourist wants (or dares) to see.

            I’m officially out of great series to watch, and feeling bereft. Guess I’m ready to watch the Warriors win the West.

          • (While we’re waiting for the season preview and going further off track)

            Here’s my Paris 1973-74:

            http://rggblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/above-the-roof-of-paris-a-non-memoir/

            Got some bad pictures which I love and Camus.

            Let’s get this season rolling!

      • ‘the Wire’ should have its own category because other t.v. or film won’t again encompass urban life like it did. it resembled epic history, like Gibbons’ “Rise and Fall…” or Shelby Foote’s “The Civil War, a Narrative”.

        • David Simon seems to be the only liberal show-maker (I’m a liberal too) who is not an Obamapologist.

          • if the prez spent any time in his youth examining Jean Genet’s ‘The Balcony’, he’d understand that the role public figures have to present consumes and obliterates the person playing the role and erases who (s)he was before.

  68. If most Seth Curry highlights show him coming off screens or spot up shooting, it’s because that’s what Coach K had him do most of his career. In this game against UNC, you see some of his versatility:

  69. rgg, since you’ve opened another can o’ worms with a film recommendation, did you see the pic based on the pugilist Mickey Ward, “The Fighter” ? very good performances portraying the fighter’s mother (M.Leo, oscar winner) and crack addict brother (the inimitable C.Bale). the story of Ward’s career and family is another example of the truth being more unbelievable than fiction, as you know if you’re a fight fan.

    one you’ve probably seen, because it includes the only film record of the first outside inspection of Abu Gharib, “My Country My Country” by Laura Poitras, originally screened on p.b.s.’ P.O.V. Poitras met the physician representing the Baghdad city council and ended up staying with his family in their home in a Sunni barrio during the first post-occupation election. a few years after making the film Poitras was awarded a MacArthur ‘genius’ fellowship so she could continue researching/making documentaries (raising $$ for productions of course a major obstacle) but has been forced to do so overseas, because our ‘homeland security’ placed her on the equivalent of their public enemies #1 list. good to know how we’re funding government agencies to deny citizens their rights.

    • thnx moto

      First was good, second is in my Netflix cue.

      • you’re welcome. details omitted for brevity’s sake — Poitras was in Iraq considering a different project, and by necessity was in contact with the u.s. military p.r. officers, who offered her access to the inspection. it’s probably the only film record publicly shown in the u.s. of the inspection. after meeting Dr.Riyadh at Abu Gharib her project was re-conceived with this film as the result. lots of interesting background material on her web site — apparently Arabic internet sites made much more photographic documentation of the atrocities accessible than what we were allowed to see here, when the news initially broke. homeland security putting Poitras on their/our ‘enemies of the state’ list is another manifestation of the covert censorship we’re subjected to.

    • American Experience: The Fight (PBS, disc at Netflix) is also quite good, a documentary about the Max Schmeling/Joe Louis fights. What an era.

      • indeed, what an era. the first louis-schmeling bout came in the year of the Berlin Olympiad. as a tennis guy, do you know the history of Gottfried von Cramm ? he and Don Budge, Oakland’s greatest player and one of the g.o.a.t., were the top two in the world in that same period between the olympics and the invasion of Poland. known for one of their Davis Cup matches, considered the greatest ever in the history of that championship. von Cramm was one of the first highly publicized athletes to come out of the closet, which of course could have sent him to the extermination camps if he wasn’t a member of the elite.

        set in the same period in different parts of europa are some very entertaining spy novels written by Alan Furst. also entertaining, a recent bio pic set in the same time, ” Hemingway and Gellhorn “, which is actually a great tribute to the journalist and not the novelist, with excellent portrayals of both protagonists. the experience that galvanized their relationship was the civil war in España. the other night one of my dining companions fervently supported the nazi airlift of Franco’s army from Morocco ’cause he believed that the commies would have taken over and conducted mass slaughter — just to show you how history gets written by the winners. didn’t continue the argument past that point, just admitted his side won so he must be right.

        • Furst is one of my favorite authors — read all his books. Superb.

          • there are some scenes in “Hemingway & Gellhorn” that might have been taken right from Furst’s ‘The Foreign Correspondent”. to my knowledge it also has the only dramatized re-construction of Gellhorn’s interview in wartime China with Soong Mei ling. known better here in our besieged enclave as the generalissimo’s madame, she’s another character whose reality would surpass any fictional simulation.

          • I happened to see that movie. I wouldn’t call myself a Hemingwayophile, but I’ve had a certain fascination with his life.

            Also happened to see a review of a book about Madame Nhu this weekend — another fascinating character.

  70. Regardless if Bogut remains healthy, we should be able to judge whether at full strength he’s a good or transcendental player as Lacob says he is. Regardless of what Lacob previously said I predicting he will not offer Bogut a long term contract, and not pursue him at all, if there are better free agents.

  71. Simmons tweeted that Myers said they’re close to buying out Kuzmic, which leaves Dedmon, Jones, and Seth Curry competing for the final spot—and actually Bazemore for a second spot, right? His contract isn’t guaranteed.

    I don’t know anything about Jones, other than he’s another small guard who played well in D-league. Dedmon sounds like a D-league project at best. Also he started playing late, and I’m skeptical how far he can develop, given the limited playing time he’s likely to see. And maybe there are personality issues?

    Training camp will probably decide. I say keep Seth. It’s a small bet with 10-1 pot odds. He has skill, discipline, and intelligence, of which there is not abundance. He also has four years college experience, three of those with a top tier college coach. Even though they have several guards, only Nedovic is locked in next season and nothing is settled at this spot this season or next. They’ll have time to see what develops in a Bazemore, Douglas, Curry, Nedovic competition. Maybe one or several will have trade potential, maybe next year they’ll go with someone else. They should have the money. Or maybe one will prove himself.

    • He sounds relaxed—and it sounds like the pressure is off.

    • I’m confused about something. When he says, “My faith is not in man, it’s in God, and He hasn’t failed me yet.” — he’s talking about his next contract, right?

  72. Whatever happened to Joe Alexander, you ask? He got added to the Warriors training camp roster!

    In other news, Onion signed.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/warriors/ci_24194082/golden-state-warriors-sign-rookie-center?source=rss

  73. bogut a whole new player.. from MTII… Moto – do you think these guys quoted in the article are playing the part of the pr machine… FB – when you made your pronouncement in the previous thread
    “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.”, this was all before we get reports from Bogut himself that he is 110%, draymond has a new body, barnes has an improved body,…
    I think this team is loaded and deep. I will have to officially in my own mind give it up for the gm lacob, when I hated on the bogut trade as (rgg pointed out so many times) for the opportunity cost of what else could have been done with the Jefferson salary and bogut salary if you gave monta away. I actually hope lacob was right as this could be the best roster in the nba. I mean bogut running the floor leading the break?! Bogut contributing on the offensive end? And it is up to the preacher to determine what rank the team ends up at.

  74. FB – one more point – you stated that Barnes would refuse to play at the four spot, his agent would not allow it. It appears the opposite as Barnes has built up his body to specifically play the four? I think the facts may have changed here. Geez, I only read one article from media day and already I am over the moon about the warriors. The media person I dislike the most, even more than scott ferell, is fitz, with his obsequious support of the W’s, his inane attempts at man child humor, his pompous treatment of callers and most of all his complete infatuation with his own lousy sense of humor which is capped off by his grating chuckles… but I just remembered that he said last week the warriors have the best roster in the nba. Sure sign of the apocalypse – I just agree with fitz…

    • That’s not what I said. I said neither Barnes nor his agent would want him STARTING at the four. Even if he’s up to 225 lbs., he’d get killed and worn down against frontline fours. He’s excited about the stretch four role off the bench, and I don’t blame him. But little doubt he would prefer to be the starting three.

  75. Wont somebody wake up and respond…. the 49ers don’t even play today – damn where is steve when you need him?

  76. @80: OK, so who should they keep?

    I’m guessing that if Dedmon shows anything in training they go with him since Ezeli will be out most the season and, still in need of development, slow getting started once he returns; since there may be questions about Bogut’s health the whole season (who knows?) and O’ Neal (age); and since no centers are inked in next season, other than Kuzmic and Ezeli (team option).

    But I dunno. The D-League and Europe are littered with centers who don’t pan out, and the Warriors have seen a half dozen the last years who weren’t worth the spot on the roster, most recently Jeremy Tyler. (Egadz just went to the Lakers.) I say go with the player with the most potential to develop, regardless of position, who might be able to step up in a year, which is why I want to bet on Seth (I’m being sentimental, to be sure). That player might find a spot, or he might have trade value.

    Much as we all like Green and Bazemore, I was disappointed with what I saw summer league on offense, especially Bazemore. He really needed to show point potential. Green can still fill in with his size and smarts, but I wonder what the ceiling is on Bazemore. It’s also hard to see him getting much playing time this season at any spot.

    The problem with depth is that developing players need playing time to develop who won’t get it. Also there are a lot of projects on the roster already and the team will have to settle on a few.

  77. @buckaroo — I don’t disagree with that assessment of the Warriors roster. Stay tuned for my Western Conference preview, coming out as soon as Vegas posts their lines.

  78. @buckaroo

    I’m in a glass-half-empty mode today, but I do that because I don’t want to set my hopes too high and be disappointed. Next season won’t be the same. The Western teams will be better, with the notable exceptions of Utah, Denver, LA, and Phoenix. Also we got a lot of breaks last year with injuries (Dirk, etc.). The main issue may be whether they can withstand the grind of the season.

    Bogut, if healthy—I don’t trust that word anymore—and is more mobile will be useful against other teams with size, assuming he can match up. He couldn’t last year against the better centers. I can’t see giving him many minutes or running the offense through him, given his liabilities there. If O’Neal is healthy, however, I see big dividends.

    Speights, though larger, is a more limited player and lacks the court smarts of Landry.

    We’re still not sure what Igoudala can bring on offense under a new team and system, though I’m hoping he’ll have a better chance with the Warriors than Denver.

    Backup point or having someone else run point while Steph plays may have to be done by committee and will require a lot of experimentation. There’s no one with solid experience and skills there.

    Most, it’s still a young team, with about 10 players with little experience. Barnes will be in his sophomore year, and he’s only played two years college and one in the pros. We’ll find out if his heavy exposure last season will pay off. Nor is it clear any of those players will step up and develop into players who can hold their own for long minutes or even start.

    • The upside, of course, is that if the team gets together and hits on all cylinders, they should be able to match up against anybody.

  79. thoughts on a Sun morn provoked by the mention of the Paris police procedural ‘Spiral’ and recognizing how futbol(americano) is the national religion, as it most successfully co-evolved with the idiot box.

    overall, enjoyed ‘Spiral ‘ quite a bit. there was another French series about Montpelier detectives with two of the principals strong female characters ‘Antigone 34′. enjoy watching these contemporary detective/crime stories with women leads because I consider them descendants of the ‘Prime Suspect’ series with the remarkable Helen Mirren. our domestic t.v. crime stories with women leads aren’t nearly as successful or insightful — we are also just about the only major democracy left that’s never had a woman and chief of state, and considering the influence of mass media on electoral politics, that’s not a coincidence. the best recent female detective on amerikan t.v. was Regina King on the cancelled noir series ‘Southland’, one of the best things on commercialized t.v. that didn’t get revenue for TNT.

    enjoyed learning a bit about France’s magistrate system of prosecuting crimes on Spiral. did not like the nearly unrelenting negative stereotypes of the N.African immigrant characters, with just two decent guys (the kid who informs on the rapper/bully and the narco who goes deep undercover and ends up in bed with the capitain) out of the whole bunch. this might reflect the attitude of the Paris audience, but the writers and producers must aim higher, which is how ‘the Wire’ tackled colour and culture.

    which bring us to n.f.l. holy day and the totemic team in DC. the Oneida nation has bought air time to support the re-branding campaign, and when they learned that students in NY state pushed their school to ditch their nickname and mascot, the tribe paid for the cost of all the new team uniforms. former Oakland c.e.o. Amy Trask has demanded a change as a commentator on one of the major networks. the effects of the genocide our nation inflicted on indigenous peoples is still very evident today, just easy for the mainstream to ignore because the impoverished are so marginalized. no excuses for the billionaires to keep mocking those beneath the underdog.

    • You might enjoy season 4 of Spiral which just hit Netflix, moto. It redresses the issue you raise concerning the perception of immigrants in France quite a bit. Head on, in fact. Perhaps the showrunners got an earful from people like you.

      As a former attorney I was also fascinated by the look inside France’s magistrate system, but I remain unconvinced it is better than our own adversarial system. As portrayed in the series at least, the French system is far more corruptible, not to mention paternalistic.

      Absolutely loved Prime Suspect. Helen Mirren is brilliant and uncompromising. If you haven’t seen the new BBC series, The Fall, starring Gillian Anderson, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll like it. GA is a revelation in the role.

      Also loved a short-lived series called Cracker — the original — with Robbie Coltrane as a drinking and gambling addicted psychological profiler. Brilliant. And Wire in the Blood, featuring an Asperger’s profiler.

      Regarding “Redskins”, I’ve tweeted recently about the growing backlash against that grossly racist name. A few sportswriters are refusing to refer to them by that name, and for the life of me, I don’t know why everyone in the profession can’t see it. Dan Snyder, who has vowed “never” to change the name, is a grade A scumbag who can’t see past his own wallet.

      • thank you for those recommendations. the French magistrate system evolved from absolutist governments of the Bourbons and Napoleon. it resembles what evolved completely independently and was used in imperial China for the greater part of two milennia. a no-brainer, that we’re less oppressed with our british heritage system. Masterpiece Theatre just had an entertaining mini series about London barristers, ‘Silk’. some of the best parts of the sprawling d.wolf ‘law and order’ matrix were ‘law and order — criminal intent’ with d’onofrio and erbe (another excellent woman detective character) co-starring, d’onofrio excelling as a near-Asperger’s savant.

        presently hooked on the Swedish version (not the Branaugh knock off which wasn’t terrible) of Wallander. one amusing bit that doesn’t come from the Mankell books at all — they’re always drinking alone or socially off shift, but the Ystad force is so small that any and all of the detectives have to respond 24 hours, so Wallender jokes self-deprecatingly about it when they have to flip the switch back on.

        • Just discovered and devoured that Wallender series in one gulp last month :>

          I’ll give Silk a looksee, thanks.

    • While we’re recommending French productions (and driving Buckaroo et al. crazy):

      “The Class” (“Entre les murs” Netflix disc only) is a recent French film set in a working class Parisian school, fascinating, very well made, and open in all the questions it raises, the tensions between the state and students and their lives, sympathetic with the ethnic variety and strains encountered there.

      “Mademoiselle Chambon” (disc and streaming) may send some people snoozing, but I found it simple and wholly entrancing. Again, extraordinarily well made.

      I also watched the Jack Taylor series, set in Galway. I like the characters and local color, especially the bar, but plot problems and stock villains (rich perverts, etc.).

      (Hey! My name and email no longer appear in the reply boxes! Have I been voted off the island?)

      • Might have something to do with the change in caching software I just made to improve load speed. Or might not. I have no idea. Sorry for inconvenience.

  80. fwiw, Stephen Curry is the 3rd ranked player in fantasy basketball this season. Not a superstar?

  81. My first out on a limb prediction of the season (@73) has come to pass. #BreakingBad #NailedIt

    More to come, including a Warriors season prediction that will have some rolling their eyes in disbelief.

  82. (81) buckmeister, if you’re referring to the players speaking positively about each other and the team, of course they understand their role in marketing. they can still fulfill it with sincerity and enjoy it, or not, but the former certainly seems to be the case with this team, for sensible reasons. they’re confident they can win with each other. they do not have to deal with a narcissistic or moody star player lacking leadership ability. they do not have to work with an incompetent coach, or worse, an authoritarian coach who overreaches his abilities. if you’re referring to the stuff coming from barnes specifically, consider the source — his exposure to the hard core hoops lifers is limited and shallow compared to the vets or guys like curry or thompson, but he’s trained himself for a certain public performance role since an early age.

    the talk about how much barnes will play the four is largely contrived and originates in fixed and often inaccurate categorization of position types. when the term ‘stretch 4 ‘ comes up we’re usually going to see the player behave like a wing/perimeter guy on offense ; barnes has said when the subject comes up that he considers himself a wing. (a.k.a. ‘SF’). we’ve seen plenty of teams for years before that term was coined who played three wings on the court with a guard and a big — the smaller versions used a four as a big, and/or guard-sized players at the wings. when lee went missing during the postseason barnes didn’t become a replacement four, they were simply going with one big on the court as was so often done before.

    fans are similarly applying contrived categorization if they’re fretting about a back up point guard for curry. some of them were also kvetching previous to last season that curry didn’t meet their standard for a conventional point guard ’cause he didn’t reach their quota for taking the ball to the rim. yet jack seemed to satisfy what most expected from a back up lead guard, without those frequent drives to the rim, and without showing particular acumen in leading a fast break. c.j. watson moved to a new team again over the summer, and the team signing him considered it an improvement at the back up point guard position. we can be fairly sure douglas can defend the position better than c.j. at least, and iguodala filling in when curry is on the bench will do more on both ends than watson or nate robinson for that matter. this team hasn’t shown a particular adherence to specific player types it wants, other than repeating the mantra ‘we like size’ and west’s fondness for guys who can shoot.

  83. I know Lauridsen isn’t exactly highly regarded around here as a Warriors media person, but this is a nice tribute to Barnett. Such a bummer he’s leaving after this season. I don’t know who will take his place, but hopefully someone else who can be a foil to Fitz’s never-ending homerism.

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/warriors/2013/09/29/jim-barnett-teacher/

    • the jenkins tribute to Barnett on sfgate.com has more in terms of good information and less sentimental confession. nothing wrong with Lauridsen nor with about .30 of the regulars there. what’s different here, boss felt gets little or nothing from the team in terms of special considerations like access, nor is he a sponsor/devoted paying patron of lacob’s products. the great majority of paid media people and most of the fans who blog like lauridsen subsidize ‘woeyrs inc.’ or get special considerations from them , or both. lauridsen writes better than most of the fans who blog, but his rhetoric is usually rife with lawyerly tricks. he also runs his blog like an aloof, fickle deity, rarely engaging the participants there in any dialogue.

    • Warriorsablaze

      Saw this the other day… I have to wonder how long until a local hip-hop artist wears it in a video and makes it a youth fashion trend around the Bay Area.

  84. The Warriors will be much stronger defensively with the addition of Iggy, Douglas, and O’Neal.

    Erman, a defensive wizzard, replacing Malone, is a major move forward. As his designing defenses for each set run by our opponents in summer league was an eye-opener.

    • Scouting out a new site for the arena?

      • Colony Capital (miramax film studio and many other assets incl. luxury hotels) and Dubai billionaire Rashid Al Malik are considering a significant investment to create what’s been called ‘Coliseum City’ which would include venues for major sports in Oakland. the preliminary plan includes property where the arena and stadium now exist and extends west to the water facing Alameda near the airport. lacob will probably decline participation, looking for more prominence and prestige in SF.

    • I do like this story. More outreach would do the club and the FO a lot of good.

    • warriorsablaze

      “Bob Myers had a double-double with 40 pts and 20 rebounds.”

      Ha ha. No mercy.

      • Not very statesmanlike on Meyers’ part. And did I read no one on the inmate team was over 6’3″? Also I’m sure these guys have friends on the outside. . . .

        • warriorsablaze

          Taking it easy on someone in basketball is far more disrespectful than dominating them. I’m sure the inmates would agree.

      • Meyers is 6′ 8″. He had a five inch plus height advantage.

  85. I knew for sometime that there was a 50-50 chance that the Warriors would remain in Oakland. I was aware of the project mentioned by Moto. The Raiders are all in. Thankfully the California legislature blocked Lacob’s attempt to skirt State environmental laws. And if the Giants behind the scene try to thwart Lacob coming to SF, or the environmental concerns are too great to overcome, there’s a chance Oakland will prevail, although in my judgment such is not likely.

  86. WaB @91—

    Jim Barnett is the real deal, and I’m going to miss him sorely after this season. We’ll have to spend some time detailing just why he is so good and give him a good sendoff. And many times I’ve turned to my son, while we’re watching a game, and said listen to this guy.

    When you think about it, other than Larry Riley he’s the only one associated with the club with any history and experience. And after them, West is the only one with a history in the game. I do hope they find someone comparable.

    • Al Attles still has a emeritus-status position with the team, his history more venerable than Barnett’s of course. Barnett’s level of commentary, and how quickly he spotted things, put him at an elite level that only ex-coaches have attained in the media. did not get to hear any of the preacher’s work when he was van gundy’s co-pilot, but if barnett’s critiques during the games indicate anything (we don’t know how much input malone had for in-game adjustments), he knew more about tactics and positioning than the preacher. barnett didn’t hesitate to point out errors, oversights, laziness from the home team. we shouldn’t expect his replacement to have the same insight nor his integrity. ridder the vice prez for p.r./marketing and fitzgerald will be about the only prominent remnants of the cohan era.

      he would have had a lot to offer as a coach, but knew teaching and motivating millionaires is a different matter. marcus t-II had an anecdote about barnett trying to show the great ellis some footwork and positioning pointers on posting up, and how bored and squirming the player looked, like he couldn’t wait for the torture to end.

  87. Lost in the shutdown of the Federal government, is the fact that President Obama has cut his domestic agenda from a budget of 1.2 trillion to $897 billion that republicans propose, and it will only get worse. His campaign was just all talk and Rep. Polisi is an embarrassment. Our economic recovery will be down hill from here starting soon. The safety net for the poor being shredded.

    • How much of the US debt is accounted for by the Iraq war the last decade?

      One effect of rising health insurance costs is that the working and middle classes will have less to spend on consumer goods.

      And may not be able to afford seats in the new arena, if and when it comes.

      • the ‘conquest’ and occupation of Iraq came with Bush II’s tax cuts and no sources of funding except an increase in the federal debt. his regime’s fiscal policies should also take part credit for the huge bailouts to financial institutions made during obama’s first term, with their obvious effect on national debt.

        the makeover of SF bay proposed by lacob and cohorts will impose more debts on the public, despite their p.r. hype about ‘privately financed’ and saving SF the cost of either removing or preserving the piers.

  88. Want see Iggy defending rim on defense as Curry observed. Don’t want to see Iiggy on the defensive end defending point guards.

    Thompson has to improve his 2 point shooting for Warriors to be a force. If the Warriors run Iggy, Thompson, and Barnes should excel.

  89. Can more astute observers make comparisons between Igoudala’s (I’m not going to say Iggy) performance with Denver post and regular season and how he might perform with the Warriors? My sense, casual, is that he didn’t live up to expectations. And I can’t believe he singlehanded improved their defense as has been claimed. But the systems are different, and Denver lacked the perimeter firepower of the Warriors.

    I haven’t seen reports, but Denver had to be in disarray post season, another factor in their loss.

    • Den handled the woeyrs pretty well in the regular season in the games they had gallinari, lawson, chandler, faried healthy (incl. a win with chandler out, i.i.r.c.). faried was recovering while the playoffs were in progress. we can’t know if Den wins with their best healthy, but iguodala was their best two way player and by no means was he the reason they lost. part of the reason their defensive numbers improved with him was his effectiveness on offense, not just defense.

  90. So I got hooked on Spiral. I keep getting in a one-more-episode mode and the next thing I know I’m into the a.m. (I have no will power.) It is well made and I like all the characters, though I’m getting tired of seeing mutilated bodies. Also I’ve fallen in love with French profanity. I suggest we use it on the blog.

    • that series was no doubt entertaining, but one suspect/hopes the French audience can enjoy it as a soap opera around the police and judicial system, and not a gritty, realistic police procedural. la femme capitain is a strong and sympathetic lead, but some of her blunders are comic (and quite fatal) and one hopes an actual officer like her would get sacked. she opens the window in the apartment with the corpse and enables the disturbed youth in her custody to self-defenestrate, and wears her side arm into an area with secured suspects so one brother can murder the other. to give the story a happy ending, her boy toy the narco in deep undercover inexplicably is left alive when his cover breaks down and he’s completely isolated from any help.

      • self-defenestrate!

      • Just as there’s no such thing as a rational person, there’s no such thing as “realist” fiction. Zola, btw, was quite melodramatic in his novels. But some people bear reason better than others, and some fictions are more convincing. I thought the 4th season of Spiral was overall weak, with too much forced for effect.

        I don’t think fiction or any of us can keep up reality, however, with the irrational bit actors playing out the silly melodrama in Washington now.

  91. feltmeister, thank you for the link to the salon g.o.p-racebaiting essay. unfortunately, our govt. does reflect the increased factional-fraction-alized state of much of our country. we’re no longer shocked if an alienated individual goes on a killing spree, because we too have been alienated from our fellow citizens to varying degrees. many of us saw exactly what was going on with the g.o.p. using race as its lever to divert the mainstream during the Reagan era. the ’80s and ’90s in late twentieth century amerika was our version of the death of the Roman republic impiously depicted in the h.b.o. miniseries.

    • The wonderful thing about the demographic shift in our country, though, is that now and going forward, race-baiting is guaranteed to make you the minority party.

      I would find these convulsions within the GOP strictly amusing if they didn’t so hurt the working man.

  92. Rgg; I didn’t project Iggy’s performance last year with Denverto his likely performance with the Warriors.but it’s a fairly easy one to make as the Warriors are not a running team. So, he’s not likely to shoot 52 percent on 2’s as he did last year. He’s probably shoot under 50 percent just like Barnes and Thompson did last year. All three would go ver 60 percent if the Warriors ran.,

    Defensively, he should be the same. Outstanding.

  93. Iggy will make the Warriors so much better. No longer will opposing players be able to slash to rim or obtain eases scores inside off penetration and a pass. He provides protection for Bogut not providing weakside help often even when healthy. And will deflect many passes in the passing lanes.With Iggy, Douglas, and O’Neal, teams will find difficulty scoring 100 points.

    Glad to that Barnes will play some SG.

    Warriors should not have signed Kusmic will cost us chance to keep 2 of the : invitees. Wouldn’t mind seeing Warrios make trade and keep all three.

    • No one gets to decide what their nickname is. Particularly on this blog.

      I do not call Prince by his symbol. And I refuse to call anyone The Black Falcon.

      Life can be hard.

      • There are some requests I respect. Charles Mingus hated to be called Charlie:

        “Don’t call me Charlie; that’s not a man’s name, that’s a name for a horse”

  94. Basketball blogging begins Monday. I scored tickets to the Kings game.

    Still waiting for Vegas to release their game totals to do my Western Conference preview.

  95. Song of our times (“No Private Income Blues”), interlude while we’re waiting for FB, and the main reason I’m not going to call Igoudala “Iggy” (if Igoudala plays with the same drive and purpose as Mingus does here and I can’t call Mingus “Charlie” because he asked me not to, then I will respect Igoudala’s wishes):

    • No matter what Mr. Mingus wanted or “deserved,” if his name were Charluodala, he’d be called Charlie.

      I put “deserved” in quotes, because no one in the public sphere gets to decide what they’re called. They can suggest, but the public decides based on what feels good in their mouth.

      I like Obama’s approach. He would no doubt prefer “Affordable Care Act,” but adopted the other with humor and grace. Thereby turning a derisive term into something positive.

      Iggy will be Iggy in these pages. I like the way it sounds coming out of my keyboard.

      • No argument. But no one called Mingus “Charlie.”

        • rgg – my daughter wants to know what school you taught or teach literature at.

          • Just about everywhere—UC Santa Cruz, Cal State Hayward, several community colleges, and a couple of private schools with some reputation, Stanford and Santa Clara U.

            (It’s not reported much, but college teaching is a racket that competes with the service industries:

            http://www.alternet.org/education/academias-indentured-servants?paging=off

            My first job was in Paris teaching English to bank employees off the Champs-Elysees. The agency that hired me—I went there on a tip from a friend—was based in a neighborhood that resembled many seen in Spiral. I was all of 20, had zip experience, had studied French four weeks, didn’t understand their questions in the interview but just kept answering “oui,” at the end of which they gave me the address for a job that lasted a year.

            My second teaching job was a brief stint in NC at a business school owned by George Shinn, the notorious former owner of the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets. The schools are where he got his start, and there were many irregularities.

        • That’s because the jazz crowd are all culture snobs.

          If he’d been a basketball player, he’d have been called “Chuck.”

  96. Mr Moto – your avatar has bugged me for months. It jogged a distant memory. I did not want to stoop to asking. The only thought I could come up with was a character from the Maltese Falcon. So I finally searched on Joel Cairo and found the images of Peter Lorre. That led me directly to Mr Kentar Moto. I assume you have watched the six movies and would recommend them?

    • buckmeister, must confess to never seeing an entire film of the Mr.Moto series. the avatar is used for different reasons. it’s a tribute to a very fine actor who usually played supporting roles portraying ugly people, either in appearance but most memorably in character as well. the only lead role he had in a major film was brilliant, the serial killer in the Fritz Lang klassik. the avatar also a left handed tribute to my late uncle, who landed a few roles in hollywood, a Chinese american portraying Chinese characters, during the era when most Asian roles with any noticeable screen time were played by euro actors. [the one film of his that has retained some popularity, he saves John Wayne’s character in spectacular fashion, but the film was so poorly edited, focused solely on the besieged hero, the viewer can’t be sure which of the ‘faceless chinese’ in the scene did the good deed]. in the present of course even the smallest parts get credited, but such was not the case back then. there is also a slight resemblance between that image of Lorre and myself.

  97. Warriorsablaze

    Today is the day! Our first chance to see our boys on the court. Jackson already declared that the main guys aren’t going to be playing many minutes, which is good… we’ll get to see the young guys playing for a spot try to earn that spot.

    7:00 on NBATV if you have the channel, some fuzzy internet feed if you don’t. Down with the Lakers! :)

  98. Lin has a documentary coming up:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/documentary-jeremy-lin-talks-wanting-quit-basketball-during-165149111–nba.html

    There is a scene of Lin, while talking with a group of kids at a basketball camp after “Linsanity” had died down, saying he wanted to quit the game while he was with the Warriors. Amid rumblings that their decision to sign the undrafted point guard had more to do with marketing than it did his talent, Lin was discouraged. He played 33 minutes the entire month of December 2010.

    “On Dec. 29, I wrote about how I actually wish I never signed with the Warriors,” he tells the children. “‘I wish I could quit basketball (he wrote),’ because I wasn’t having fun.”

    • such was the coaching genius of Smart. when we see Sac revive over the next two or three seasons, he can get credit for laying the foundation of the new era in norte calif hoops.

      the marketing in that rookie year, considering how the actual substance was left to mischance and rarely exhibited for lacob’s team, was absurdly successful. lin apparently appealed to a diffuse subculture of frustrated, young, asian american males.

  99. warriorsablaze

    The drama begins… although I’m not a huge of either, I definitely prefer Klay to start. Unless Barnes ups his 3pt shot to ~40% this year, I think this line-up is gonna struggle to find space in the half court. Also depends on Barnes building on his playoff performance instead of regressing to his regular season mediocrity.

    http://www.ibabuzz.com/warriors/2013/10/05/harrison-barnes-gets-first-crack-as-mark-jackson-experiments-with-starting-lineups/

    • Grrrrrrr—

      The whole point of the Igoudala trade was to improve perimeter defense and open up shots for Curry and Thompson. This lineup puts three weak scorers on the floor and puts the load on Curry and Lee.

      Barnes scored in the playoffs because the defense went to Thompson and Curry and he was left covered by weaker defenders. And he’s only explosive when he has an open lane. Barnes might offer an improvement on defense on paper because of his size and athleticism, but we haven’t seen the court savvy from him yet. If Barnes proves me wrong here, I won’t complain.

      With Kobe out, maybe the Lakers will throw size at us. But I doubt we’ll learn much from this experiment.

    • “this line-up is gonna struggle to find space in the half court.”

      Dead on, WA. I’m hoping MJ is simply throwing the top brass a bone with this start, because it is ridiculous.

      • warriorsablaze

        I wasn’t able to catch the game tonight due to my friend and I brewing beer… I can’t imagine Barnes and Iggy starting unless they plan to run an all out Denver run and gun offense. I think Klay is gonna get the nod in the end.

        Also, I wouldn’t put too much stock into a preseason game… it doesn’t really tell you much. The first few weeks of the season are usually pretty ugly in general until teams start to get some flow.

    • The only thing I can think of is that he’s trying out having Klay play a sixth man role a la Harden as well as finding a way to give both their minutes during the course of the game–and have Klay play more second half, maybe shore up the second unit offense in the first.

      Or maybe the Lakers represent something that warrants this switch, though I can’t think what.

      FB: At some point in your analysis, discuss the importance of the starting five? Part of it is prestige, but I don’t know the strategy.

      The other question is when Barnes should play, and we probably have to assume he’ll get his minutes until his performance dictates otherwise.

      • barnes played the fifth most minutes on the team last season, about 900 minutes fewer than thompson. not likely that his progress is so brilliant that he would get more minutes than both thompson and iguodala, setting aside injuries to the two more experienced wings of course. de facto, barnes is the fifth or sixth man whether he starts or not.

        will play contrarian, and express a preference to thompson to come in off the bench, similar to what jack did last season. the role is tougher than barnes’ as a starter, and experience matters. the reasons thompson does more for the starting unit also apply to him as a bench player — he’s a better perimeter player on both ends than barnes, particularly on defense. good teams generally avoid having their reserve units getting abused defensively, and favor having a good three point shooter or two on the floor when starters are out as well. [the current ‘ three and d’ role].

        as for floor spacing and shooting in the half court offense without thompson — they might run more, taking more shots before one or two guys can even get across half court. otherwise, bogut will have to be much more mobile than we’ve seen, and barnes will have to be better with and without the ball, as his fans insist he can do. there will be four good to very good passers on the court, and that’s probably a big factor in the faith the preacher has in the half court offense from that starting five.

        • This was essentially my point–and I don’t think much thought has been given as to when Barnes will get his minutes. You know he’s going to get them.

        • warriorsablaze

          The problem I have with Klay as the 6th man is that he literally leads the team in assisted baskets. He doesn’t create his own shot. Barnes has so far been a homeless man living under the freeway version of Carmelo, but the potential to create some of his own offense is there.

          I don’t think it matters that much, as the best line ups will be on the floor when it matters. Barnes started almost every game last year, but often wasn’t in the game during crunch time.

      • I think you’re also right about the 6th man analysis rgg. The Warriors lack one this season, and that very well could be behind the thinking.

        Will add your suggested discussion point to my recap. I ponied up for NBA TV.

        • Last season Jackson had to overplay the starters and scrap together a second unit, scrappy on defense but who usually faltered on offense and often were quickly replaced. He should have all kinds of options for the entire 48 minutes and will need to start experimenting now. This should be an interesting season to analyze.

          • from his responses with the media, the preacher sounded like he is intentionally using the preseason to experiment with his guard-wing combinations. what amuses me in the Simmons recap of the first game, the process is also being described as a ‘competition’ for the starting spots with bogut, lee, curry the fixed positions. going by degree of difficulty and importance, the competition actually ends up being over who gets relied on most for fourth quarters.

        • warriorsablaze

          I would rather have Barnes as the 6th man… though I’d have to really see how they’ve both developed since last season. Klay is a bit more of a catch and shoot player, whereas Barnes has a bit more potential to create his own shot…if he’s improved, anyway.

  100. Klay didn’t start because Jackson wanted him to lead 2nd. half. And he looked sharp.

    Yuck. And this was the diminished Laker’s B and C teams.

    Bogut didn’t look good at all driving—he just throws it up—and Barnes really couldn’t create a good shot for himself. This starting lineup will not work. And a lot of the bench is young and raw, with no solid scorers.

  101. Will save the analysis until after the Kings game. I did have a comment on Twitter that I will elaborate on Tuesday.

    • warriorsablaze

      Looking forward to it. I’m probably not quite as pessimistic on Barnes as you are, but I agree W’s fans overrated him after his playoff performance. There’s some potential to surpass Klay, but he’s certainly not there yet. Barnes is mediocre, but still better than Klay at creating his own shot IMO, so ultimately he’s better as a 6th man.

      I’m glad you’re at least giving them two games… I don’t think there’s too much to say about a single pre-season game. Although Curry did have a dunk, so… :)

  102. We didn’t learn much last night.

    There isn’t any competition for starting spots (moto @111) or shouldn’t be. The starters are Lee, Bogut, Thompson, Curry, and Igoudala. The real decision should be how to spell those guys, and the competition should be to find who else to stick in the rotation to put effective units on the floor throughout the game. There’s just too much inexperience and limited talent down the roster, and none of those guys will play well unless they have strong supporting players. And they need to start working on the system that will make best use of those players.

    If last season and last night are any indication, Bogut is going to have limited use on offense, and they should plan around that. He just threw it up last night and didn’t have a finishing move. They won’t be able to run the offense through him, not on high post or pick and roll.

    Ditto on O’Neal, though he may have more promise on offense. (What was the point of pairing O’Neal and Bogut last night?)

    Speights is going to be key, and they have to get him going now and find the players to put around him. I want to see him paired with Lee. When he plays with the second unit, he’ll need a solid backcourt.

    They have to find their other scorers on the bench and bring them out, most likely Douglas. I don’t see great promise elsewhere. Young and Henry made a lot of noise last night for the Lakers with their shooting, and we don’t have comparable.

    They have to find the backup guard who can run point in spots and still score or work well in whatever combination with Curry, Igoudala, or Thompson. Is this Douglas again? I’m skeptical of Bazemore. But there’s just no experience here. I would have taken Farmar over any of the options we have.

    The biggest challenge may be what to do with Barnes. I’m not impressed with his bulking up at all and it may get in the way. He’s still way down on the learning curve, both ends of the court. He didn’t pick his drives or shots well last night and doesn’t make quick adjustments when he goes up. He will only play best when he has a strong supporting cast on the floor and is the fourth or fifth option on offense, as we saw in the playoffs.

    Green’s smarts should allow him to fit in with many rotations, as long as there are scorers on the floor and a strong backcourt.

    As for the rest, get ‘em down to Santa Cruz. They all need to develop and they won’t do it on the bench. Nedovic may be like Lin in another respect, that we never find out what he’s capable of because he doesn’t get the playing time.

    • Seth Curry, btw, made a really sharp pass in traffic the two minutes he played. Of all the bench guards, he may have the best head and best discipline, and he has the the greatest potential to score. Get him to Santa Cruz and have him work on point. I’m probably being overoptimistic, but I’m skeptical of the others and suspect we’ll be looking for guards next season anyway.

      He also probably needs to rehab. He’s still not 100% from his injury and surgery.

    • Meant to add—Igoudala looked great last night. Lots of cause for optimism here. He’ll be better when he has the players to work with. Didn’t he say in an interview that he really liked finding ways to set up Curry or Klay?

      And don’t think for a second the team can go anywhere without Lee.

    • if Speights is key, the team will be stuck at last season’s level of inconsistency against the top level teams, rather than joining that level as they hope. their best chance would be to see green clearly surpass speights, and for barnes to get his game together enough so he’s a better option at four as well.

      curious (but not optimistically so) to hear more from barnes’ fans on how he will improve his ball handling with the bigger and stronger physique of his they’re oohing over. quite rare for a player 6’7 or over to both get bigger and stronger and improve as a handler — james might be the only one, and he obviously had a much better foundation handling the ball as a teenager than barnes.

      • Speights gets the nod only because of his size and probably because he’s a more capable scorer unless Green’s shot settles down. He’ll provide more options at 4 and 5. But, yes, there should be plenty of room for Green, though I suspect in limited play.

      • warriosablaze

        What does bulking up and height really have to do with improving ball-handling? It just seems like you’ve combined a set of arbitrary variables and then declared that it’s rare. Good ball-handlers at Barnes’ size are somewhat rare in general.

        I don’t know how much he can improve as a ball-handler, but putting on bulk isn’t going to be the limiting factor. It may just be that he’ll never get a good feel for it. It’s weird to me that his handles are so poor… he’s obviously played ball his whole life.

    • Speights was quite obviously out of shape. It is concerning that even the prospect of a new team, and a great one at that, didn’t inspire him to work out this summer. The guy’s biggest obstacle to success has always been his 10 cent head.

  103. Last thought:

    The comparison is superficial, but one of the things that curbed my optimism for the season is the 49s’ weak start. There is this similarity, that there is a core of talent with great potential, and with all those draft picks, a lot of fresh blood. But like our bench, those guys are only showing inexperience, who can’t step up when someone goes down. Colin Kaepernick is starting to look like Alex Smith a few season ago, for the same reason—not enough to work with downfield.

    Alex Smith has had a nice start with KC, btw.

    • better q.b.’s than A.Smith have found success late in their careers when they connected with the right team and coach. comparing teams from different divisions and differentiated schedules at the extreme ends (KC was granted one of the easiest to reward all their losses) is also problematic. Smith certainly has much to be thankful for, avoiding injury for the most part when he played for terrible teams, and getting well paid for an extended apprenticeship.

  104. Jim Barnett tribute over at Celticland here:

    http://www.celticslife.com/2013/06/what-hell-happened-tojim-barnett.html

    If nothing else, check out his sideburns way back when. Also he was once asked to field a delicate question on ethnicity. And a good story about Elvin Hayes.

  105. (107) more fables of faubus ….. rgg, after giving the matter due process, to my recollection Mingus very well may have tolerated the Canadian songwriter/singer Joni Mitchell calling him Charlie. granted, this was in his last years while he was enduring various ailments. she refers to him as Charlie in the lyrics she wrote for his composition eulogizing Lester Young (“goodbye pork pie hat” for those unfamiliar with amerika’s great art form).

  106. Warriors have found the front court player they need in Dedmon, and the back-up SG in C.Jones. Now they have to find a way to keep both.

    Bogut should not be starting. Bazemore, Green and kuzmic not adequate back-ups.

    Erman defensive whiz.

  107. Warriors still not balanced. With acquisition of Iggy, Barnes should have been traded. Still should be traded while he still has value. Definitely not going to be big part of Warriors future.

    As of right now, warriors missing Jack and Landry’s offense. Glad to see Douglas get assists. His shooting should come around.

    Thompson has improved his game. Iggy has to shoot more, Bogut less.

  108. Maybe Barnes is starting so Klay can play more minutes preseason, especially to shore up the second unit. But if this lineup continues into the regular season, for the same reason, I’m going to have to buy a towel to gnaw on during the first quarter. Bogut + Barnes does not equal offense. Or defense, for that matter.

    If the second unit of O’Neal, Green, Klay, Douglas, and Speights can stay on the floor, and they looked good tonight, I’m getting excited. Speights especially will play better when he plays with established players, and I thought he and Lee looked good together, more mobile on defense and of course more adept on offense than–

    If there’s ever a place where size matters, it’s a team like Sacramento. They were 1-3 against them last season. It’s where Bogut really needs to show himself, and–

    Can someone else pick up here? I’ve been at it for a year.

    • which peeve is it exactly that you’ve been petting for a year ? bogut’s effectiveness, especially on offense, or the just-an-average-wing level of play from barnes ?

      • Why Bogut should start or play many minutes.

        • the melodrama of this team’s quest for its franchise center isn’t close to its climax and resolution yet. many teams have had to improvise a center rotation from role-fillers. if they choose to keep dedmon on the roster and cut curry-lesser, it’s a hedge (probably prudent) on their investment in kuzmic. the other remedy teams apply, the draft, will be restricted due to the cost of reconstituting biedrins’ contract, and drafted bigs often need two seasons or longer to assess. ezeli’s assessment gets deferred nearly an entire season, and he’s probably a long shot anyway from becoming more than one of those role-fillers.

          bogut getting a thorough contract year testing is probably what they need to do, given the alternatives. would his failure force them into another high-risk trade later this season or next summer ?

          • (Put this on the new post?)

            Was Bogut even that good on defense last night? My impression was that he still had limited range and didn’t get into position that well, that quickly. Speights and Lee did a better job.