Our buddies Abe and Nancy sprang a nice surprise on me and the Thaiblonde at the Kings’ game yesterday: floor seats! Great seats, great game, great company, great day. Thanks Abe and Nancy!
You’ve already read game recaps by this time, so I’ll restrict my comments on the game to a few notes on Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut.
Harrison Barnes: Fanboys, stop reading.
Those who have taken objection to me pointing out that most of Barnes’ iso offense comes at the expense of small guards being hidden on him, will have to wait for another game for contradictory evidence.
Last night Barnes squared off against three of the worst defenders in the NBA, Derrick Williams, John Salmons and Marcus Thornton. Mark Jackson refused to isolate Barnes against the bigger Williams. He got at least three isos against the smaller Thornton, resulting in 2 easy buckets. And he got three against John Salmons, resulting in 4 free throws, and a turnover.
His lone other basket was a spoon fed dunk off of a backdoor cut against Patterson.
After one of his successful forays against the diminutive and generally execrable Thornton, Fitz exclaimed: “Barnes’ midrange game is spectacular!!!” This caused me to look it up. This season, Barnes is shooting 42% (24-57) on midrange twos, chiefly over small guards. Which is more spectacular, I’ll admit, than last year’s percentage in the 30’s.
Here are a few more facts about Barnes’ performance last night, and so far this season:
Last night Barnes got 0 rebounds in 38 minutes, versus 7 for Derrick Williams, in 21 minutes. Barnes has been out-rebounded by his starting counterpart at small forward in each of the last four games.
Last year Barnes averaged 4.1 rebounds per game. This year, in more minutes, he’s averaging 3.3.
Last year Barnes averaged .2 blocks per game, a miserable rate for a small forward. And completely inexplicable in a small forward with a 40″ vertical. This year, in more minutes, he is averaging .1.
In each of the last four games, regardless of how he’s shot, Barnes has had the worst +/- of any Warriors starter.
I was virtually on the court last night, which assisted me in these final two observations:
1) David Lee is at least an inch taller than Derrick Williams. DWill is at least an inch taller than Barnes. Adjust your listings accordingly.
2) Barnes shot 75% from the line last year, and is currently shooting 71%. That is not likely to improve.
Why do I say this? Because his shooting stroke is flawed. He pulls the ball back high, and over his head. I’ve noted it before from my couch, but really confirmed it last night at close range.
Great shooters, like Curry and Thompson, keep that ball in front of their face. Check it out.
OK fanboys, it’s safe now.
Andrew Bogut: It’s a good thing Bogut got that game-ending block in a nail-biting victory, because the storyline of last night’s game would have been pretty ugly for him if the Warriors had lost.
He got dominated. Absolutely spanked. Beaten outside. Beaten inside. Boogie went over him, around him, and in crunch time, right through him.
I think there are two possible reasons for this. The first being the obvious: the health of his ankle. I didn’t notice anything telltale, and I have no idea how it’s actually feeling but I did note a couple of Jim Barnett observations when I watched the replay:
After a Curry turnover caused by Bogut’s refusal to roll, Barnett said “Curry has to realize Bogut is not moving as well this game.”
And after another Kings offensive rebound in the fourth quarter, Barnett said: “For some reason Bogut didn’t get off the ground for that rebound.”
(Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that, like the plain-spoken Matt Steinmetz, Barnett is being forced out of the Warriors’ broadcasts.)
Another possible reason that comes to mind for Boogie’s ability to dominate Bogut down low, is Bogut’s weight loss. In order to alleviate his ankle condition, Bogut came into this season at a significantly lower playing weight than he ever has before. Is that making him easier to move off the block?
Fortunately for Bogut, he won’t be seeing Boogie in the playoffs.
The Closer: Mark Jackson finally put the ball in Curry’s hands at the end of a game, and asked him to pull his chestnuts out of the fire.
How’d he do?