Warriors 106 Timberwolves 93: Give Lee Some Love

As measuring stick games go, this Warriors road win against the Timberwolves was pretty intriguing. The Warriors not only beat a well-coached and extremely talented upcoming young team on their home floor, but they did it in convincing fashion. This might prove surprising to some pundits, particularly those at ESPN, but the Warriors are a far superior team to the TWolves, and will remain so for the forseeable future.

I can think of quite a few reasons for this, but the two most important are these:

1) Stephen Curry is a much better player than Ricky Rubio. The reason is simply that Curry is one of the most dangerous scorers in the NBA, and Rubio is a virtual non-scorer. The effect of this was evident even in this game in which Curry struggled, shooting 2-8. No matter how he’s shooting, Curry draws the other team’s best defender, and the attention of the entire defense. That’s what has been getting Iggy 20+ points a game.

But opposing teams need worry only about keeping Rubio out of the lane. They can hide a bad defender on him, and sag off, daring him to shoot. As a result, Rubio’s teammates need to work harder to score than do Curry’s, his phenomenal passing skills notwithstanding.

Not saying Rubio isn’t a really good player. Just that he’s not close to the player Curry is, and never will be.

2) David Lee can play Kevin Love even any time he chooses. As in this game tonight. And as in this game a couple of years ago, in which Lee decided to put an end to Love’s record double-double streak. And as in most any game he has met Love in over the years, because in addition to being a great player, David Lee relishes a challenge, and shows up every single night. Home or away. 81 games a season.

It is extremely demoralizing to the TWolves when Kevin Love’s man can play him man to man, and match him play for play, and on the boards. It neutralizes their biggest advantage, the advantage they rely on to draw double teams, warp defenses, and open up their offense.

Omg, did I just call David Lee a good defender? I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to do that. Please ignore what I just wrote. And unwatch the post defense that Lee played on Love. Say, at 4:20 2Q, or again at 3:00 2Q.

And try not to think about the fact that the Warriors are second in the league to Indiana in Opponents’ Shooting % this year. We all know that’s impossible for a team that has David Lee at power forward.

Coaching: Jackson got the matchups right to start this game. Curry played the small forward Corey Brewer on defense. Iggy guarded the TWolves most dangerous backcourt scorer, Kevin Martin. Which left Klay Thompson chasing Rubio.

Jackson played big again on the second unit, despite the return of Barnes. I think in the future this rather weak TWolves second unit can be better exploited with small ball. But for the next few weeks at least, I think Jackson would be correct in protecting Barnes. And as we saw, the Warriors bench performed admirably in this game, even in less than perfect configurations.

Jackson did a great job attacking the weakest defender on the court, whether with Iggy or Klay Thompson (or David Lee).

And it seemed to me that he “broke his offense” several times in the fourth quarter, to get Klay Thompson some shots.

Bravo.

Curry: Had a rough shooting night, but limited the TO’s for the second straight game, despite being face-guarded by Rubio, who is one of the best in the entire league at creating steals. I simply don’t see this as an issue going forward. Curry is too smart, his skills are too great, and his unfamiliarity with the Warriors’ new players and new offense will fade.

And Mark Jackson will get better at scheming to break the blitz.

Dr. Felt diagnoses a minor sprain, and predicts that Curry will take the court Friday against the Spurs.

Iggy: Didn’t do a great job with his primary defensive assignment, which was Kevin Martin (23 on 7-15). He’s always a phenomenal team defender though.

After Curry went down, Point-Iggy looked pretty darn effective to me. Beautiful pick and roll with David Lee at 3:30 3Q. And that Iggy-Thompson-Green backcourt is terrifying defensively.

Looks like he was pretty clever by choosing to play with the Warriors wasn’t he? By the end of this season, the pundits might consider him a scorer again.

He’s getting Klay Thompson shots. But Curry and Thompson are getting him more.

Thompson: I created a bit of a stir calling Thompson an obvious future all-star, and a potential Hall of Famer last season. Doesn’t seem that far-fetched now though, does it?

I think he’s quite clearly the third or fourth best shooting guard in the entire league right now, after Harden, George and Wade. (But I suspect the Heat might be a better team this season with Klay in place of Wade.) Who else is better?

I’ll go further: I think he’s going to be a much better player than either Reggie Miller or Chris Mullin. Questions of clutchness aside, he can shoot with both of them. In addition, he has Mullin’s total floor game. He simply radiates genius on the offensive end.

But what separates him from those players is his defensive ability. Nothing has shocked me more than his growth on that end. He’s a much better athlete than I initially thought, but it’s his genius for basketball, his hoops IQ, that aids him the most: he KNOWS where his opponent is going, and gets there first.

Hoops IQ, and one more thing: competitive desire. His WILL to defend.

Harrison Barnes, take note.

Barnes: Pretty impressive showing after sitting out that long, no?

What I like the most about Barnes is how he runs the court and finishes. I think he’s the best finisher on the Warriors, including Andre Iguodala.

Take a look at that end-to-end runout at 6:50 3Q, that he finished with his left hand, off the glass, at full speed. Not a lot of players have that ability.

Of course, on the ensuing TWolves possession, Brewer buried a three in his face.

Bogut: I kind of got the feeling he took this game off, how about you?

I did enjoy seeing him lead the break at 9:40 3Q, though.

But I didn’t enjoy seeing Rubio torture him in pick and roll, for the And One layup, at 8:05 1Q. A theme that continued until he foolishly fouled out trying to draw a charge in the 4th quarter.

Bogut doesn’t budge an inch from the lane to defend the pick and roll. He’s ten times less mobile against it than even Shaq was. It doesn’t hurt much against non-shooters like Rubio. But against Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook and Tony Parker….

Speights: Yes, he can hit that three. How about using him to really spread the floor?

8 rebounds in 16 minutes, many against Big Pek and Love.

JON: Shooting woes continued, but got to the line, and was a difference maker on the defensive end. 3 blocks and 6 rebounds.

Looked good to me. Remind me again why Fitz kept screeching about Bogut being out?

The Bench: As Barnes returns, and Jackson finds his rotations, I think we’ll discover that fears for the Warriors bench are greatly overblown.

To my eye, by simply mixing in some starters, the Warriors can have one of the strongest benches in the league. There is nothing that says you need to put five bench players on the floor at once.

Point-Differential: It’s obviously quite early, but we are seeing something quite new from this Warriors team this season: the creation of huge winning margins against inferior teams.

Point-Differential. The Warriors are currently leading the league, at +13 per game.

Yes, it’s very early, and the stat is sure to plummet after the upcoming road back-to-back against the Spurs and Grizzlies. But it’s worth keeping an eye on.

Because point-differential is the single best predictor of the eventual NBA champion known to man and statphreak.

Bob Fitzgerald: The immortal Bob opened the broadcast by saying this about the matchup between Kevin Love and David Lee:

“If the Warriors are even even in this matchup, we’ll take it!”

Which of course, made my head explode.

I have a homework assignment for you, Bob. Before the next TWolves game, take a look at the boxscores between the TWolves and the Warriors over the last three years.

Maybe you’ll open the broadcast by giving David Lee his due.

57 Responses to Warriors 106 Timberwolves 93: Give Lee Some Love

  1. Thanks, Feltbot. Always love your analysis. This point differential trend sure is nice.

    Looking forward to getting revenge on the Spurs.

  2. Anyone still worried about the departures of jack and Landry? We never saw these types of victories last year. The bench is just starting to jell.
    Looking forward to the spurs game. Maybe everyone will realize how much lee was missed in the playoffs. Since that series the W’s have added two all stars – lee and ai. Plus the roster has been transformed into the deepest in the league. Legitimate 9 man rotation – Td will acclimate. In August I called this the best roster in the nba. Now I am calling this a dynasty. We know about the shooting but this is the best collection of young talent I have ever seen and i am amazed that mj has transformed this team into a defensive force. Is bogut the oldest guy on the team at 28?

  3. Jon will be replaced by ezeli in the long term view of the roster.

  4. The win last night was a thing of beauty. Fifty percent shooting from the field, holding the Timberwolves to less than 40 percent shooting. But for some stupid fouls, the Timberwolves would not even have scored 85 points.

    The Warriors bringing Barnes off the bench in place of Thompson was brilliant. Barnes shooting, like Thompson, has now been transformed. As, on his jump shots he is now balanced and no longer places his shooting hand above and behind his head or over his head. He now has a classic shot. placing his hand above and in front of his face with his elbow in. It’s one game, but it can be said that Barnes has arrived as is shooting style is not likely to change.His confidence was evident an indication he must have been deadly in practices during the preseason. Yes, he should also play other positions at times, but as of right now, the Warriors need him to back up Thompson.

    And, as for Thompson with his new found poise and shot, think he would not come back from his slow start. No. This differs from prior years. Thompson is not the same player as he was last year for now he has a consistent shot. I would like to give you credit Felty for your forecast of Thompson being an all-star, but how would you know he would go from a inconsistent shooter to a consistent one after shooting inconsistent for two years?

    Thompson’s improvement in shooting is so stark, it’s an indication that he has moved ahead of K. Leonard as a player. Regardless of whether he outperforms him on Friday night.

    The Warriors are now a nightmare for POP and the Spurs, no matter who wins the game.

    Regardless if the all make the all-stars, the Warriors now have five legitimate quality all-stars. Curry, Thompson, Lee, Iggy, and Barnes.

    Fitzgerald was a idiot last night. Bogut got killed defensively in the first quarter and had a minus 3 meaning the Warriors were being outscored with him on the court.JON had a positive 6, meaning the Warriors were outscoring the Timberwolves with JON on the court. Such shows up on Fitzgerald’s screen in front of him, yet he continued to say throughout the game the Warriors missed Bogut’s defense. Good coaches can exploit Bogut via slashes to the hoop, pick and rolls, and by having guys move without the ball and receive the ball open under the hoop. JON outplayed Bogut this game, even though JON was 1-4 from the field and Bogut was 1-2, as such is a little misleading as JON got to the foul line, Bogut didn’t. Love that the number of plays run for Bogut has diminished as the Warriors are so much more effective with other players shooting, especially 3′s, as Bogut will rarely score 3 on any play.

    Teams throwing the ball into the post are playing into the Warriors hands. If you want any chance to be competitive inside, the opponent has to try to slice and dice. But, that sometimes results in turnovers.

    The Warriors playing big was very effective. As the Warriors can hold teams to making less shots than if they play small, a playing big. they shoot equally well. Fourth quarters will be decided on whether our shooters are hot and there is no reason to think they won’t be.

    • We all know what Fitz brings to the table. Frank, you are right. Brutal pseudo analysis by Fitz. Never mentioned Bogut again after he nearly wet himself when the t-wolves went on a 6-0 run after Bogut fouled out.

      What did you all make of the refereeing last night? For some reason Kevin Martin is the easiest man in the NBA to foul….Iggy found that out the hard way, but Lay seemed to play him very well.

      • Fits delivers more analysis and advice than any other play-by-play announcer I’ve ever heard. And one of the best analysts in the league is sitting right next to him!

        I’m considering building a website called ShutUpBob.com. It would consist of just one thing: a button labeled Shut Up, Bob!

        I’ll record how many times fans mash that button, and share the results.

        Or not. Fits isn’t a bad play caller, he should just leave the analysis to Barnett. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have to lose his job to learn that lesson. Maybe the producer could simply wire Bob’s chair to deliver mild electric jolts whenever he ventures into Barnett’s area.

  5. I have habit different take on Bogut’s performance. I think Jackson knew Lee could handle Love 1-on-1, so he had Bogut stick with Pekovic who is one of the better garbage players in the league because of his massiveness. Big ugly centers have not been the Warriors Achilles heel this year, as they have been in years past. (Boogie, Al Jefferson, Gortat, Pekovic). The over arching strategy has been to exploit the 1 on 1 coverage David Lee receives and let Lay, Steph and Iggy make magic. This is a talented and driven team. Love it.

  6. Re Lee’s D, he has always been able to play smart position defense, and his rebounding is a kind of proof. We’ve also seen him do really well at it overall sometimes. For example, the last time the Ws played NO, he completely schooled The Brow.

    But in speaking about his new level of fitness, Lee himself said that in the past he has taken plays off sometimes. He wasn’t as fit and he was playing huge minutes. And while he didn’t say this, he frankly didn’t get much help from the Ws other bigs in the last few years either.

    Lee is never going to be a shot blocking intimidator. He doesn’t have to be, to play effective D. He’s always been a smart player. The difference this year is that he won’t have to take plays off. Or maybe his coach and teammates won’t permit him to. And the team’s huge upgrade in rim protection (Bogut, O’Neil, Speights) helps too.

  7. Jonathan Hanson

    All y’all (and most people who talk hoops) make way too much out of small sample sizes and particularly one game “matchups.”

    Just because player A is assigned to guard player B, and player B goes off, it doesn’t mean nearly as much as most people obviously think.

    Sure, sometimes it points to a real difference, i.e. player A being a lousy defender. But quite often, with such small sample sizes and the randomness of one game, it simply is WAY overblown.

    Guys sometimes miss wide open shots, sometimes make it no matter how good the D is. Sometimes it’s a team D thing.

    Yes. Lee isn’t the best defender. That much is obvious. And yeah, some players are clearly strong on D, such as Artest, that kind of player, G Wallace in his prime, etc.

    But for the most part, far too much is made of one on one “battles,” and the stats from those battles in one or two games.

    I’ve always felt on a good overall defensive team, that Lee’s weakness on D could easily be worked into the whole of the team in a way you minimized his weakness there, allowing his sterling O game to simply mean more. We’re finally seeing that, thank you Bob Myers.

    • +1

      One game is not a trend. It’s too soon to get all gooey about Lee’s newfound defense.

      Besides,
      - Lee played C for some time, with Green on Love.
      - Speights also did a good job on Love.
      - Despite facing several different defenders at times, Love finished with some impressive numbers.

    • concur about small samples. last season, with thompson’s improvement as a defender, it was pretty clear that adding another solid two way perimeter guy could push the team d from being competitive to actually good. thanks to the blow ups of both Den and UT, this team managed to snag one of the association’s best.

      iguodala has improved the other four starters on both ends. thompson has fourth quarter legs for his offense now. not just lee’s reputation on defense is being revised, but bogut has benefitted greatly. we don’t have the luxury of seeing ezeli play with a season of experience behind him, but why would he not be able to equal bogut on defense with iguodala simplifying responsibilities, with his far greater mobility and court coverage ?

  8. Great stuff on Fitzgerald Pete24 ( Fitzgerald “nearly wet himself”) and Hat (Fitzgerald needs “mild electrical shocks”). How about this. They have an electrical shock field that trains dogs not leave the yard. Need to install to prevent Fitzgerald from sitting at broadcast table. Where is Greg Papa when we need him. Fitzgerald is an unabashed homer.

    Thought Barnett did a good job pointing out the terrible calls made.

    If teams keep shooting less than 40 percent, Iggy, Bogut-JON, and Lee will be considered a great frontline.

  9. WheresMyChippy

    Goldsberry actually has something useful to say:

    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/81633/courtvision-the-revenge-of-monta-ellis

    “Ellis looks like a different player, and if this keeps up — and I hope it does — I think it has the potential to present a scathing indictment on the state of NBA analytics.”

    “His PER is the highest it has ever been, and through the first week of the season it looks like Ellis is a new player — but he’s not. The inconvenient truth for analysts is that he’s the exact same human being just splashed into an extremely different, and much more efficient, ecosystem.”

    • + 1 bazillion.

      OF COURSE you have to consider the team context in evaluating a player’s performance. Check Iggy’s shooting stats for this year. He made a move similar to Monta’s, and it’s having the same huge effect on his efficiency:

      http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/i/iguodan01.html

      It doesn’t always work that way. Landry and Jack’s PERs both declined last year. A player’s offensive efficiency probably depends more on his role within a team than just the quality of the team.

  10. Uh oh, it looks like someone at ESPN has finally figured out that the Warriors have a handful of strong defensive players (Disclaimer, Lee is not included in that analysis). In fact, the writer has clearly watched the Warriors this year. Check it out.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/63887/the-warriors-are-a-defensive-juggernaut

    • peteb, Strauss is truehoop’s ‘stealth homer’ for the lacobites — he’s been based in the bay area for some time, and contributed regularly to warriorsworld.net before landing that national media gig. if you care to go through his archive on true hoop, during the summer he wrote a nostalgia piece about being a long time woeyr fan. in the past year he also re-hashed, with relish, the so called analysis of d.lee’s disastrous defense. generally, he attempts to put a clever spin, dressed up with stats, confirming conventional views. since GS is ranked defensively right up with Ind now, their prowess on d, like the earlier stereotype of lee as a rotten defender, is now part of the mainstream opinion.

      • I see. Thanks for the heads up. I don’t usually read true hoop, but meandered over there today.

        I was glad to see that he has picked up on Klay’s D, however.

  11. “Defensively, Harrison Barnes looks like the next Iguodala.”

    Huh? What?

  12. With Barnes returning and Iggy now being installed as the back-up point guard (rightfully so),interesting to keep an eye whether Douglas, Speights, and Green’s time on court diminishes as the result of Barnes playing. It should be as Barnes playing time should increase.

    Douglas dropped from playing 15 mpg to only playing 9 minutes yesterday. Speights dropped from 20 mpg to 16 minutes last night, and Green dropping from 20 mpg to 17 minutes last night. Green and Douglas haven’t hurt the Warriors offensively. as both have taken very few shots, and Green and Douglas have only shot slightly under par, as Green has shot 47 percent and Douglas 46 percent. Speights has hurt the Warriors more so by taking 7 shots per game and shooting only 41 percent.

  13. BASG analyzes Bill Simmons’ (wildly wrong) takes on the Warriors:

    http://www.bayareasportsguy.com/bill-simmons-slashes-tires-on-warriors-bandwagon/

  14. Simmons thinks the Warriors will not win 52 games, in part, because Barnes will check out as he will be only playing 20 minutes per game. Simmons is wrong for two reasons. One, Barnes wii average more than 20 minutes per game. Secondly, even if Barnes averages only 20 mpg, barnes not like that. He’s worked very hard this off-season preparing for the season. He will bring it every night because he wants to succeed and now has the talent that will keep him on the court.

    He also pints out that Douglas as back up PG is not a basketball player. He doesn’t realize that Iggy is the Warriors backup PG. And while smons correctly points out that the loss of Jack is huge, it’s not, unless Iggy goes down.

    And he fails to realize that Iggy is not our only defensive player as he maintains.

    • It’s pretty clear that Simmons has only watched one Warriors game this year, and that was at the Clippers (on the second of a back to back). If he had watched anything else, he would know more about this year’s team.

      And oh yeah, how many teams has Carl Landry been on? Ummm, 5. Just as much a nomad as Speights.

  15. a road upset for LA/bussies in Hou, putting howard on the charity stripe down the stretch in the fourth and converting a three in the final seconds.

    52 wins for GS is as reasonable a guess as the 55 + their fans like to quote. they looked like a 42-44 win team last season to me, and can’t count on overachieving again. if the wrench in the works isn’t the usual suspect of injuries, one or two of the pretenders in the west will be unlikely obstacles. simmons sounds like he’s just farting around for rationalizing his guess, so there’s mine. agree with him emphatically about abstaining from the bandwagon.

    • McHale would have won had he benched Howard, but does he have the nerve—or permission?

      Howard may well be on his way to ensuring mediocrity for his third straight team, both in the way he disrupts the offense of teammates by having focus put on him and the time he spends on the floor, and by the damage he’s done now and in the future to the salary structure, the players Houston can’t keep and can’t pick up because they don’t have the bucks.

      Houston has a lot of good pieces—and a capable center. What else could they have done with the money?

      To think we could have had him. . . .

      • lacob has made a point to remind the media that his great organization were very close to signing howard, as if this was evidence how savvy they are and premium players want to work for them. it’s too bad he didn’t get his wish, and force me to ignore them all. howard’s failure at the free throw line exposes his character and inability to respond to pressure, but if his coaches try to address the problem he’ll shut them out.

  16. On paper, the Warriors should annihilate the Spurs. IF Curry is healthy, watch out.

    The Spurs are not a good offensive rebounding team nor do they get to the foul line, two things need to do if they are to have any chance of beating the Warriors. If Bogut and JON can keep Splitter off the offensive boards the Warriors should win the OR rebound battle. The Warriors may even surpass the Spurs in getting to the foul line.

    The Warriors have far superior shooters, especially from the 3 point line. The Spurs best shooter shooter 53%. The Warriors have five guys who shoot a lot, and they shoot way above that percentage. With our offense, I can’t see the Spurs being able to effectively negate even two of our five best shooters.

    The Warriors should jack it up tonight from afar.

    The only advantage the Spurs have is committing way less turnovers. The Warriors have to be careful with the ball.

    Leonard has not so far been an extra possession guy.

    Thompson right now is the best player in the NBA stat wise. He’s taking care of the ball. His committing only 1 turnover per game is astounding given the number of minutes he’s on the court. He’s also stealing balls and blocking shots that result in turnovers.

  17. Curry missed the shootaround and is “day-to-day”. According to Rusty Simmons, it looks like TD will start.

    Not going to recap until after Grizzlies. And if Curry misses both games, I might not recap that.

    • seeing the team compete without curry will be very instructive for everyone. if the team struggles vs. parker, will NN get to try his luck, after some success over the summer in the Ser vs. Fra face off ? so far, the preacher has balked at using his Balkan crew for anything except el tiempo de basura.

    • Douglas starting for Curry has obvious (big) disadvantages for the offense, but it solves some problems on D. He may be the only W who could hope to stick with Tony Parker. Then Iggy could cover Leonard, w/ Thompson on SA’s slower wings. For wing D, that would work. In the paint Bogut/JON won’t have a problem with Splitter.

      That leaves the Spurs offense targeting Lee tonight. Expect Duncan to get lots of touches, especially at the high post. This will be a real test of Lee’s newfound D. Let’s see if Jackson gives Lee some help.

      If Curry doesn’t play, it would make sense for the Spurs D to try to trap the Ws ballhandlers all over the floor. Long Tall Leonard on Thompson, everywhere all the time. If/when Green plays, Bonner leaves and Diaw comes in. Diaw owned Green in the playoffs.

      One thing that will be different from the playoffs is the Ws wing D. In the playoffs Jackson had to have the wing players drop back and help in the paint. With a healthy Bogut and the two new bigs, the team hasn’t had to do that much this season, which leaves the wing defenders free to play tighter out on the fringes. Of course having Iggy out there will help a ton, too.

      That all leaves Iggy the wild card on O. We already know he can deliver on offense. I wonder if the team will run plays for him tonight, maybe with Bogut and Lee the playmakers.

      • In the playoffs, Jackson crossmatched at center and PF. Bogut took Duncan, and the PF played Splitter. This kind of thing was a major part of Don Nelson’s playbook: If the opposition is intent on going after one of your defenders, make them destroy their offense to do it. (I have a very fond memory of the Suns intent on trying to post up Anthony Morrow with Channing Frye, while completely ignoring Amare Stoudemire.)

        Will the Spurs really be willing to force the ball to Splitter to attack David Lee? Pop’s too smart for that, but I would be really happy if he tried.

        TD on TP will be an interesting look, but Klay Thompson was actually pretty effective in the role last year. His length challenging the pick and roll pass and TP’s midrange shot forced the Spurs to pull their pick and roll further out.

        I think we’ll see a lot of Point-Iggy, and length on Parker as the game goes on.

        • If the Ws try crossmatching Bogut on Duncan, the Spurs will simply draw Bogut to the top of the key, run Bonner or a small instead of Splitter, and start driving the lane.

          Agree that Douglas won’t get big minutes unless/until he earns them. The big question is his team play. He clearly has skills, but hasn’t had a lot of time to mesh with the first unit.

          Thompson doesn’t have TD’s ability to stay with Parker, but Douglas won’t stay on the floor long if he’s too much of a liability to team offense. With Douglas on the bench, you’re right, it’s probably Thompson on Parker.

  18. Next up, Kevin McHale, whose braindead twin towers look is crippling the Rockets.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/one-nba-head-coach-laments-uncertain-job-climate-185702018–nba.html

    All those stretch-fours just sitting on the bench. Why? George Karl or, yes, Stan Van Gundy, or Alvin Gentry would be perfect for the Rockets. Assuming Don Nelson is retired, of course.

    Josh Kroenke will be too embarrassed to hand Brian Shaw his walking papers after the Nuggets miss the playoffs this year, but that will be just delaying the inevitable. He has no idea what he’s doing, with a roster that is hopeless in the halfcourt.

    But as was noted in the article, there are moments in a franchise’s history when ownership doesn’t want to hire or keep a strong coach, who will compete with their vision for tanking. And moments when a new and insecure GM doesn’t want competition on the personnel side from a veteran coach.

    Come to think of it, I seem to remember such moments in the Warriors’ recent history…

    • From the Sporting News article Dwyer cites (Dwyer is an idiot):

      “If there is a trend toward quick hooks with coaches and letting successful coaches walk, it might not be ending any time soon. More and more, both fans and front-office executives have sophisticated tools to evaluate coaches, stats-driven websites that provide fodder for instantaneous criticism of a coach’s decisions—whether it is his play-calling, his insistence on using certain lineups, his resistance to inserting certain players.”

      http://www.sportingnews.com/nba/story/2013-11-08/nba-coaches-on-job-security-everyones-scared-s—less

      And GM’s and owners flock to the Sloan conference. Anybody know how much coaches are involved in that show?

      • it is impossible for any active coaches with games to prepare or coach to attend the Sloan conference — it’s essentially in the beginning of a second semester academic calendar.

    • With two penetrating guards leading his offense, you have to wonder what McHale is thinking by packing the paint with two Cs. It’s not like he’s re-creating Parrish/Bird/McHale.

      • Warriorsablaze

        The problem may be that he thinks he is somehow…. of course both McHale and Parish could hit a 15 ft jumper. I’m not too familiar with Asik’s game, but I know for sure Howard can’t shoot beyond 6 ft from the hoop.

        It always amazes me when coaches try to implement a system without considering the roster… maybe if you’re a rebuilding team with long term plans to build a new roster around your system, but not when you’re a potential contender as Houston is supposed to be.

  19. San Antonio:

    Actually, I was looking forward to this game. They’re going to have to find a way to manage the whole season and find alternatives now that might pay off later. Also the Spurs are hardly hitting on all cylinders. I was hoping they would try something creative. Instead, we got the predictable, with predictable results.

    They only had to score a handful more points.

    Why not start Douglas? He would have done a better job against Parker, freeing Klay elsewhere. He would have offered more (not much) ball handling and playmaking than Barnes. And who knows, he might have a good offensive night. Which he did.

    With Barnes and Bogut starting, the Spurs got off to the predictable early lead as the Warriors couldn’t score, allowing Pop to manage the game almost the rest of the way.

    Running the offense through Bogut accomplishes almost nothing good and most of the time leads to bad shots. His assists were not impressive, most coming because of a breakdown in defense and the work of his teammates, not his. If he posts low, he can’t go up against anyone, and Duncan scarcely broke a sweat. If he plays out, he draws no one and tightens the court for the others. Duncan was playing ten feet off. Bogut is not going to shoot or drive. And if he’s in the lane when teammates drive, they are going to pass to him and he won’t do anything with it. Except drop or throw the ball away. His screens were useless, and he got called on 1 02 2 moving screens? How many fouls did he draw from Duncan? Any?

    Much better to run the offense up top off Lee instead of Bogut, who can do several things there. I much rather would have preferred seeing Speights start over Bogut and go 2 for 8. He might have gotten some points and might have drawn some defenders. And that would have left the game in the hands of the true playmakers.

    Bogut and the team would have been much better off had he come off the bench and banged against Baynes, more his speed. This would have been a better time for Barnes, if they had a starter or two to lead. I’m not being sarcastic. This had a better chance of helping the team.

    Speights, if he started, would have gotten 6-7 boards at least, and Lee and O’Neal would have picked up some of Bogut’s other boards. Bogut, I suppose, fronted Duncan fairly well at times, but not all, and Duncan was hardly pushing it. But when the court spread, when Duncan played out, Bogut was ineffective. He has no range. Speights wouldn’t have done much worse fronting Duncan and at least has some speed. He would have better gotten in the way, at the least.

    If O’Neal were on the court the last minute, was in the lane and got the ball, he would have driven and at least drawn a foul.

    Why am I reminded of the Houston/LA game last night? At least Pop didn’t resort to bob-a-Bogut. I was waiting for it.

  20. Argh.

    I don’t understand why Douglas wasn’t in to finish the game. #@$%#$ Barnes! Argh!

    • Mr.Barnes had a significant impact on the game, just in the way he influenced the preacher’s rotations. green didn’t appear in the entire second half except to rebound free throws in the final minute. failure to secure defensive boards in several last quarter possessions was crucial. if Mr.Barnes had been inactive, it’s a very different game indeed, curry or no curry, because the preacher has to consider green, douglas, speights, even bazemore for his defense and rebounding. the grinding nature of the game suggested either green for his boards and defensive coverage (he also went 2 for 2 shooting), or douglas to open the court up on offense.

      • What to do, what to do. In a tight game, do I play the two best defenders on the team (who also happen to be shooting the best of anyone on the team)?

        Or do I play the kid we overhyped last year? You know, the one who has barely practiced for the last 2 months. The clueless one. The one who couldn’t defend Hat’s grandma.

        Do I take my leading scorer off the floor? Duh. Yeah, sure, of course.

        Do I replace my Parker-stopper with a guy who can’t keep with him? Heck yeah. I’ll even do it twice. Thompson didn’t have the slightest chance of stopping Parker either.

        Barnes: -10, .333 shooting

        Green: -1, 100% shooting
        Douglas: +2, .571 shooting

        http://popcornmachine.net/cgi-bin/gameflow.cgi?date=20131108&game=GSWSAS

        At some point, Mark Jackson needs to decide which he wants more: to win games or Kiss Lacob’s Ego.

  21. JON has to start scoring, or we will continue to see Bout down the stretch. If he shoots and misses it is taking shots away from better players. If he shoots and scores, he’s more valuable than Bogut, especially at the end of the game.
    Douglas did earn a spot on the floor down the stretch. Too bad.

  22. This kid Anthony Davis is incredible. One of the best big men ever to enter the league. I just wish I had more faith he could stay healthy.

    I drafted him in the two leagues I drafted last. Pondering the right moment to sell high and eliminate the injury risk. He’s outperforming both Lebron and Durant at the moment!

  23. Egregious coaching errors at the end of the Spurs game, that it looks like everyone here saw. But what I took away is that the Warriors are now clearly the better team.

    “A game like tonight will go a long way,” said Iguodala, who signed on as a free agent in July. “It’ll go further than a bad win.”

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2013/11/09/gregg-popovich-san-antonio-spurs-golden-state-warriors/3482925/

    • Errors only at the end? The Spurs are just warming up. They looked this bad towards the end of the season last year.

      The Warriors got exactly what they needed to win this game, given the circumstances, a good performance from Douglas, who was highlighted on offense and surrounded by starters to support him. Yet they didn’t exploit this.

    • Au contraire. The better team wins.

      I’ll give you this: the Warriors have more talent.

      But Pop’s teams have beaten a lot of more talented teams over the years. He uses his talent pool better than Jackson does. That makes the Spurs the better team. They won. QED.

      That’s my takeaway from last night.

      Jackson wasn’t a complete crippler last night. He did some nice things. I didn’t think Bogut on Duncan would work, but it did. Some of the play calling was top-rate, Iggy’s final shot being a prime example. And the D really was awesome!

      But put Green in at crunch time and do the Spurs get 6 ORs in a row? Possibly, but not damn likely. Need scoring? Why not run with the team’s highest-scoring player?

      Because it didn’t fit the pre-game plan.

      The big difference between Pop (or Nellie) and Jackson is Jackson’s gametime inflexibility, especially in player substitutions. He doesn’t adjust to what’s happening on the floor. We saw the same sort of thing against the Clippers – Curry getting torched? Too bad, the plan is Curry-on-Paul.

      I wonder if Jackson’s inflexibility is a result of not doing his own game planning. Whatever the reason, maybe it’s something he can correct over time. I hope so, because the Ws are going to face some clever coaching this year. And until Jackson solves his little problem, the Ws are going to be crippled by their lame-ass game-time adjustments.

  24. Why on earth did Bogut not take that shot the last seconds? That is what above average centers are supposed to do. It’s what big kids dream about growing up playing hoops, charging to the basket to tie or win the game.

    You want to develop early in the season the players and moves you can count on later and in the playoffs. You have to get something from your center, and now is the time to find out what he can do, especially if he has missed much playing time with injuries.

    In the lane, five feet from the basket, and he passes off in a crowd, nearly throwing the ball away. A low percentage pass to a player (was it Igoudala?) also in the crowd who has low odds making his shot, though maybe getting to the foul line (and if it was Igoudala, the percentages aren’t there either).

    Does he have no confidence he can make the drive? Is he afraid he’ll get fouled and won’t be able to make his free throws? Either way, he shouldn’t be on the floor, not when it matters. And they won’t be able to count on him later.

    I fear a case of Biedrinsitis, and, as we all know, it’s a progressive disease that never gets better.

    • That was a pass? I thought it was an airball. I’ll have to take another look.

      Whichever it was, Dr. rgg’s diagnosis is correct: A clear case of Biedrinsitis.

      Bogut should never be on the floor on offensive possessions late in games. And he never was last season. What’s changed?

      • Bogut’s pain level is lower this year.

        Totally agree that Bogut is not a great end-of-game option. But I think it has always been the team’s plan to give Bogut as much playing time as he could handle.

      • warriorsablaze

        It was definitely a pass…albeit an ill-advised one. I don’t care what kind of offensive game you have (or don’t have), you shoot the ball in that situation. We were lucky to retain the ball.

        Agree that Bogut has no business on the floor in end game offensive possessions. I suppose he MIGHT be the best chance for a garbage tip-in, but that rare possibility isn’t worth the other downsides. If Bogut doesn’t adjust to how they’ve started emphasizing illegal screens soon, he’s gonna take himself out of many games before the end, anyway.

        Those back to back offensive fouls by Bogut and Klay were momentum killers.

      • For the life of me I thought it was a pass, which went out of bounds but hit a Spurs player first. You got it recorded? I’m curious. I can’t find a highlight reel with it.

        It’s possible it’s not clear whether it was a pass or a shot, that Bogut has discovered a new area of ambiguity where it’s hard to tell what he’s doing. We might want to create a new term for this maneuver. “Shass” or “Phot” might work.

        • Another term we can add to our lexicon is “Bogut a screen.” You know what I mean.

          While I’m at it, what’s the point of that ad where a fan half Bogut’s size is guarding him and we see his (Bogut’s) butt full screen? Bogut knocks him over and drives for a dunk. Has he driven off the dribble and scored against anyone else this season?

          I’m not enjoying this, btw. I was hoping Bogut would prove me wrong. But last night was his chance to step up, and he didn’t.

  25. This game shows why against good teams Jackson is a horrible coach.

    In the fourth, Jackson’s hot hand was Douglas. Even though he made one of two shots and helped bring the Warriors back from being down 9 points to being down 4, he pulls him. Unbelievable. Then places him back in the game only to remove him with 2:58 for Harrison Barnes who was having a bad night.

    Worse decision was playing Bogut play in crunch time in the fourth and running plays for him when even if he gets to the foul line, one has hold one’s breath. And we watched as he committed multiple turnovers and unnecessary fouls, especially against Parker when he drove the lane and his footwork was so poor he did not only block his shot, he fouled him. One only had to watch the first quarter (Jackson obviously did not ) in which the Spurs scored 27 points mainly due to Pop sending slashers to the rim where Bogut was useless. Bogut sucks against good teams that send slashers and guys without the ball inside to received passes and thus can score easily. Pop knew that. Even though JON is not shooting well, he needs to start against good teams to avoid deficits. His defense alone is better than Bogut although not better. Both are committing turnovers when given the ball. So maybe, both should limit there shots, or at least JON should, at least until he can demonstrate he can return to being a good shooter as he has been over his career.

    And Jackson compounded matters by drawing up plays and letting take so many shots, while at the same time, not having Iggy shoot the ball. Insane. Shot distribution is crucial against good teams.

    By there is some silver lining in this game. Douglas showed his worth as a shooter as he he did well last year.Definitely should be in rotation. and should be mostly used as an off guard. Confining Douglas to taking a few shots as in prior game hid his talent. He can’t drive, but appears to be a deadly shooter at both mid-range, and definitely from three point range. The guy was 5-9 shooting threes.

    I also fault Jackson for starting Barnes over Douglas and forcing Iggy to be the point guard. I can see some reason for doing so since Douglas is not a distributor but nevertheless I would have started Douglas.

    The Warriors did I what I expected them to do. They outshot the Spurs from the field and on three pointers. They were not hurt at the foul line as the Spurs although going to foul line more times, did not convert, and scored only one more point than the Warriors at the foul line.

    I said that Warriors in order to win had keep Splitter from getting offensive rebounds which resulted in the Spurs getting 6 or so scoring opportunities then the the Warriors. But, it should be noted that the reason that Splitter got Or’s is because many time the ball bounced far from the basket toward the foul line. I have often said that that the Warriors have to account for that and place a big wing near the foul line after the another Warrior shoots. the Warriors don’t do that. Pop on many plays does.

    The other thing the Warriors had to do to win is keep their turnover level close to the Spurs. They committed 7 more turnovers or 7 more scoring opportunities for the Spurs. Game over. While it’s ok to play Iggy for short periods at PG, playing him more resulted in his committing 6 turnovers. Game over when combined in OR differential.

    But, one reason the Warriors shot so poorly is that Curry’s absence resulted in the Warriors running their slow down offense that we saw in preseason.

    So there is hope. Enjoy tonight’s game.

  26. OK, I rewatched the last couple of minutes. What you guys @24 are referring to is Bogut’s botched pass to Klay at :07. I agree completely, that should have been a shot on rim. HAS TO BE.

    But what I’m referring to is the drive and dish from Iggy to Bogut in the lane at :45. Instead of taking a dribble and attacking the rim, Bogut flipped up a prayer from 8 feet that airballed.

    Both of these are egregious instances of acute Biedrinsitis. Hat, that does not refer to his injury, but to his intense fear of having to shoot free throws, which prevents him from attacking the rim.

  27. That’s two horribly botched plays in the critical last minute, neither with a chance of scoring. If he’s going to play in the lane, he’s got to expect a pass and do something with it.

    Biedrinsitis for me means the fear of doing anything with the ball, not just free throws, to the point of not looking for passes and staying out of the lane. I don’t think Bogut has a move to the basket, not anymore, if he ever had one. Unless he gets a dead open look at a dunk, he probably has a better chance scoring from free throws than his shots.

    In this clip, note Lee’s drive at 1:27. Does Bogut get an assist? But note how softly Bogut was played the whole time, while Lee drove around three Spurs.

    The shot (phot?) comes at 1:45. Again, he’s being played soft, and he had time to get off a short jumper, which wouldn’t have been hard with his height. Or had had plenty of room to drive.

    I’ve forgotten. Just what did the great rim protector do for defense the last minutes?

  28. The Warriors offense and defense disappeared the last two nights playing against two good teams. Guys are going one on one, or making sure they go toward their opponent and then shooting, insuring that their opponent will contest their shot.

    Defensively, the Warriors against good teams have no center who can defend the paint against slashes and against guys who receive passes under the hoop. The opponents canot watch plays on U-tube and see the plays that need to run against Bogut.

    At the start of the third quarter, Memphis exploited Bogut by mostly shooting inside, and thus made 8 of their first ten shots. And Bogut committed 4 turnovers.

    With the Warriors down 11 points mostly with Bogut playing, Fitzgerald
    said that the Warriors would miss him when he had to leave the court. What? Good teams are not playing to his strength by posting him, rather they are effectively slicing and dicing him up. And he has no offensive game. He positions himself way to close to the basket for defensive rebounds when a Warriors shoots a three, and doesn’t realize the ball is likely to bounce some distance from the rim. He’s no transformational player and now we have him for three more years. Ouch.

    Speights, a good athlete, is the dumbest player on both sides of the ball. He can’t even throw the ball inbounds to a player. His fouls are ridiculous. His play the last two nights made this clear. He simply should not b e playing.

    The Warriors best three guard rotation is Curry, Thompson, and Douglas. Yet, Douglas who was terrific last night, play only 6 minutes? Did he get hurt? I only saw portions of the first half. Having Douglas coming in for Curry, and Barnes for Thompson did not work tonight. Have more confidence in Douglas shooting, than Barnes. He reverted to placing the ball way over his head when shooting the J on some jumpers.

    Thompson, last night, committed three dumb turnovers. Tonight he repeatedly drove into a player and then shot. Have yet to see his high basketball IQ.

    The only guys who should play PF are Lee, Barnes, Green, and Iggy.

    Hopefully, the Warriors will regroup.