Warriors 112 Raptors 103: Doctor Jekyll and Mister Jackson

Mark Jackson joked in the post-game that his role in this nearly historic Warriors comeback victory against the Raptors was nothing more than “spiritual advisor.” And the players and media pundits I heard credited the victory to the Warriors simply coming out in the second half with more fire in their belly, and playing hard.

I think we all know that’s not true. Mark Jackson’s decision-making was central to the outcome of this game. Jackson was instrumental in digging the Warriors a 27 point deficit, and he was equally instrumental in allowing his best players to dig their way out.

In the first half, while the Raptors were playing small with Amir Johnson at center and Steve Novak at stretch-four, pushing the tempo and spreading the floor, Jackson insisted on staying big. And fed his team three straight threes from Novak, whom Lee struggled to get to at the three point line, and a huge game from the mobile Johnson, who Bogut literally couldn’t locate on the court.

While the Raptors were playing the most efficient basketball possible, layups and threes, Jackson had the Warriors playing the most inefficient basketball possible, isolation offense and midrange twos.

Can Steve Novak match up with Harrison Barnes any better than Matt Bonner did in last years playoffs? Can Amir Johnson and Novak defend the rim against the Curry/Lee pick and roll? It is completely perplexing to me that Jackson is not asking opposing teams these sorts of questions this season, after having been armed with the evidence of last season.

In the second half, Jackson solved his matchup problems by getting Draymond Green in the game to take out Rudy Gay. And getting Jermaine O’Neal in the game in place of the lethargic and ineffective Bogut.

And he solved the Warriors offensive problems by scrapping his wretched isolations, and unleashing his best players to do what they do best.

Early offense.

Pick and roll.

Stephen Curry: I will not say that a closer is being born. I’ll leave that to the mainstream media. This closer was born in his rookie season, under coach Don Nelson.

A closer is being reborn.

At least until Mark Jackson gets his hands on Andre Iguodala again.

We haven’t heard much debate lately about whether Curry is a point guard, have we? 10 assists again tonight. And he’s now third in the league in assists.

Pretty remarkable considering the fact that he has NEVER played with a big man who could catch the ball and finish. Unless you want to count Jermaine O’Neal, who finished this game for the Warriors for the first time all season.

Or David Lee, the best pick and roll center in basketball, who has never been allowed to show that while working for Joe Lacob and Mark Jackson.

Except when Kwame Brown and Andrew Bogut can’t go.

Klay Thompson: Huge fourth quarter, but he really got torched by DeRozan in this game. And I continue to feel that he’s at a significant defensive disadvantage against quicker and more athletic two-guards.

When Iggy comes back, who would you have him guard on this Raptors team? The obvious answer is Rudy Gay, but I think it’s an interesting question. I think DeRozan is both a more efficient offensive player than Gay, and a tougher player for Thompson to guard. I would love to see Klay matched up on Gay.

I have been arguing since Klay came into the league, against some pushback, that he has extraordinary playmaking abilities. The Warriors haven’t had much need for it early in his career, with great playmakers like Curry, Jack, Lee and now Iggy dominating the ball.

But since Iggy went out, Klay has stepped nicely into his role, with 8 assists against the Hornets, and 7 in this game.

Case closed. The kid is a basketball genius.

Draymond Green: For three quarters of this game, Rudy Gay had Harrison Barnes on a spit, turning slowly and roasting nicely over his campfire.

And then, suddenly, Draymond Green roared into camp and ate Gay alive.

Gay had a nicely efficient 16 points on 6-11 shooting through 3 quarters against Barnes. In the fourth quarter, Green held him to 2 points, on 0-1 shooting.

To say that Green completely disrupted the Raptors offense in the fourth quarter would be an understatement. He TERRORIZED the Raptors offense. And inspired his teammates to do the same.

As Mark Jackson said in the post-game: “That is the best 3 point, 1 for 5 game I have ever seen.”

In other words, +26.

Jermaine O’Neal: Quite a bit was made of O’Neal’s halftime speech in this game, and his veteran leadership in the locker room. I take my inspiration from his play on the court.

Great defensive presence and rebounding is something you can always expect from JON. But I predicted in the preseason that it would be his offense that would have the biggest impact on Stephen Curry and this Warriors team. And after a rough start to the season, that is exactly what we are seeing.

It is wonderful for Curry and Lee to be able to play with a center who WANTS the ball under the basket. Who makes himself available and ASKS for the ball. And who SEEKS to get himself to the line, and shoots free throws with confidence.

It is no accident that this fourth quarter — the first in which Bogut was benched — was the most efficient of this Warriors season.

The old man still has NBA game.


Harrison Barnes: This was a pretty good game from Barnes. No need to mention who he scored on and who he didn’t, who he defended and who he couldn’t, his 3 rebounds, his -8 for the fifth straight game (Bogut’s -17 kept him from taking team-worst honors for the fifth straight game), or the fact that he watched a better player take his minutes in the fourth quarter.

Only a hater could bring that stuff up after a game like this.

I do have something positive to say about that three he hit in crunchtime, coming into the game cold. Barnes showed in the playoffs last season that he has ice-water in his veins on big stages, and in big moments. He showed it again with that shot.

I have something else to say: Barnes was in for Lee when he hit that shot, and that is one of the few times all season that the Warriors have had a stretch-four on the court in crunchtime. There is simply no way to guard this Warriors team when they spread the floor.

And one other thing: Did you see all of those wide-open threes Draymond Green got in this game? They came out of the offense.

Those could be Barnes’ shots, all night long, if Mark Jackson could simply restrain himself from using him in isolation.

Andrew Bogut: This game did nothing to dispel the concerns I developed over Bogut’s health during the Kings game. At halftime of this game, Bogut had 1 rebound. He finished with 5.

Jackson never posted Bogut up against the 6-9, 210 lb. Amir Johnson when they were matched up. Why? (Not that I wanted it to happen. I’m just curious as to why it didn’t, if Bogut is healthy.)

Once the Warriors were down 27 in the third quarter, Jackson did figure out that Bogut was being left unguarded by the Raptors, and fed him 3 dunks in a row out of the offense, to rescue what would otherwise have been a disastrous line.

And then, mercifully, Jermaine O’Neal happened.

David Lee: I’m beginning to worry about Lee’s health as well. This was his second poor rebounding performance in a row, although it was redeemed considerably in the fourth quarter. And his minutes have been severely restricted this season. The player who the last two years led the league in minutes among big men is getting only 33 minutes so far this season.

It’s quite possibly just part of Lacob’s Bogusaurus master plan. But I wonder.

Offensively for Lee, this was a game of two halfs. In the first half, when Jackson was using him in isolation, he sucked. In the second half, and particularly in the fourth quarter, when he was allowed to run pick and roll with Stephen Curry, his genius shined.

Free David Lee!

We saw something interesting in this game for the first time: Barnes being substituted for Lee on defensive possessions at the end of the game. That’s probably a good idea.

But when Iggy comes back, it will be Draymond Green.

Kent Bazemore: Bazemore got an opportunity to guard DeRozan when Thompson got yanked for terrible defense early in the third quarter.

He didn’t do too good.

But in the post-game, Jackson graciously credited Bazemore for waking up Thompson to what he needed to be doing.

Me, I think I’ll give the credit to Draymond Green and Jermaine O’Neal.

54 Responses to Warriors 112 Raptors 103: Doctor Jekyll and Mister Jackson

  1. in the game summary from one of the regular beat writers appeared a true gem — that Mr.Barnes came out on top of his face to face against gay by virtue of scoring one point more. the final three that from barnes that gave him that advantage did come at a very convenient moment, but he was open because Tor chose to triple team curry above the top of the key.

    given ezeli’s near helplessness on one end of the court, it’s too bad they won’t get a couple of more seasons from o’neal like this, to stay around for the rest of bogut’s contract.

    • Particularly absurd as Barnes did very little scoring against Gay. He got 14 of his points in the second quarter, getting force fed isos against smaller players with Gay on the bench.

      While the score went the wrong way.

      What shocked me was Ric Bucher parroting the company line that Barnes is the “next Iguodala.” Ethan Strauss said the same thing a few weeks ago. So I guess it’s a point of emphasis.

      The next Iguodala spent the fourth quarter on the bench, for defensive reasons.

      • Felty, you’re only recalling half of the Bucher bit…the second part was Bucher saying that Barnes needs to find a way to impact the game in other facets of the game when he doesn’t have the ball in his hands.

        I thought Bucher’s monologue was a bit of a backhanded complement to show how young/inexperienced Barnes is. I do wish Bucher would quote some stats comparing minutes played to assists, rebounds, steals and blocks for both Iggy and Barnes to show the difference.

        Additionally, if you want to take the glass half-full approach. Barnes couldn’t have a better role model than Iggy to pattern his game and career off of. Every piece of knowledge Barnes can glean off Iggy will be valuable as Barnes’ career progresses.

      • Boucher is the worst. He touts athletes who give him access and speaks in cliches & generalities – all bread no meat.

        Though I like Barnes better than Feltbot, how the media perceives him is a litmus test for their own candor & competency.

  2. Thanks, Feltbot.

    What better demonstration of the arguments the past posts about is0’s and turning Lee loose? It could be argued that the Warriors got off to a slow start and weren’t in sync the first quarter that set them back, and that Toronto was hot. But the starters made no headway third quarter, when the lead only got larger.

    Back on the roller coaster:


    Toronto has an athletic front court, who will give Lee and Bogut problems. And their scorers are going to get their points. The Warriors will see more teams like this. The best way to counter is make sure you start with your most effective starters and strategy.

    The best way to clinch the argument would be to run an experiment where the starters closed out the game, which fortunately did not happen. Then run another experiment where Green, O’Neal, Lee, Klay, and Curry start, and make best use of Lee, pick and rolls, etc. Green would have disrupted Toront0’s offensive rhythm more. I don’t anyone would dispute that. How much of a drop off in offense? Barnes was 1-3 1st.Q. Even if Curry and Klay are off, and they did have open looks 1st.Q, they’ll have a go to guy in O’Neal and using Lee more effectively would have taxed the defense better and opened shots and added points.

    Barnes got 5 of his shots 2nd. quarter. Does anyone remember which unit he scored with, the starters or the subs? He might be more effective coming off the bench and playing with the subs, but even there I’m not sure he’s a go to guy.

    • Barnes’ 3 point shot at the end was clutch and key to the win. But also give some credit to Curry. He didn’t force a shot himself, but instead passed, and he showed absolute confidence in Barnes. It’s part of Curry’s intangibles, that he’s committed to making his teammates better.

  3. Draymond Green is playing himself into more minutes. His defensive intensity, along with Curry picking up his man full court and making an effort to dig for steals and jump passing lanes was the pivotal difference between the first half and the 3rd/4th quarter. The great defense led to early offense and easy shots.

    How CRAZY GOOD are Curry and Klay when they are in transition and actually get uncontested shots. This Warriors team should be averaging 120 per night.

  4. Green also stopped Gay’s scoring in the 1st Q. He shut down Gay so convincingly that Gay didn’t start the 2nd, and didn’t play again until the instant Green left the court.

    I’ve been Green’s biggest fan since forever so I watch him closely, and I still can’t figure out how he has that sort of game-warping impact. Brilliant and entirely awesome in a way that no stats show. How does he do that? I have no clue.

    In a way, it was even more awesome to see Green call for Jackson to replace Lee at game end, to defend against Novak. I guess we can credit Jackson for paying attention. But DG called it.

    WTF, let’s just announce Draymond Green as the new head coach of the Warriors right now, OK? Why wait? Draymond Green is smarter than his coach about game strategy.

    Whoa, get a grip, Hat. Could that possibly be true?

    • You could see Green call for the sub on the TV broadcast?

      • Yes. Lauridsen spotted it too:

        “Draymond Green… may even be doing some on-the-court coaching. Late in the fourth quarter, when Toronto brought in Steve Novak for three-point shooting, Green immediately turned towards Jackson and started gesturing for a substitution. Jackson responded by getting Barnes up off the bench to sub for Lee…”

    • what green, iguodala, and curry have over the others is efficiency, beginning with cognitive processing and spatial awareness. everyone in the association is highly gifted physically, but having the brains and the training/discipline to activate what the brain learns sets the trio apart. they can be in the present moment and perceive ahead a critical second or two simultaneously. thompson and barnes are an interesting contrast in this regard, because thompson is fond of a powerful psychotropic and Mr.Barnes is supposed to be the physical godling, yet who plays with greater awareness ?

      • Yeah, but I still don’t get it. Curry and Iggy, sure, they’re great. But Green? The guy looks like an ambulatory potato. What’s going on here?

        • we know rgg is the literate guy around here, but do you judge a book by its cover ? (confession — that’s my own m.o. when browsing through unfamiliar, newer authors)

          • Yes, but I enjoy trashy literature.

            The NBA league office seems to promote style over results. It works for them, and I buy into it to some extent. Kobe looks great doing the Kobe thing, so refs give him every benefit of the doubt. Ellis looks like a bad man, so he doesn’t get a fraction of the calls Kobe gets. Griffin has been anointed as a marketable face, so we should all ignore the fact that he’s not an especially good player.

            Green looks bulky and clumsy, not like anyone’s ideal of a basketball player. He lacks all of the stylistic elements. We don’t see any of the cues – speed, agility, leaping ability, etc. – that tell us to watch the guy. We just look at the results later and say, “What happened here?”

            It’s all very mysterious.

  5. The most astonishing stat from last night: in the 4th Q, the Ws scored 207 points per 100 possessions.



  6. Great win for Warriors. Curry’s the best. Thank you Timberwolves for not drafting him.

    In the first half, Jackson just sat on hands and allowed the Raptors to pick the Warriors apart. He sat there as his guards picked up their opponents inside the foul circle allowing the Raptors to score at will.

    It wasn’t till the second half that he had his guards and wing players pick up their opponents outside the three-point line and he had his players double teaming and being very aggressive. Hopefully, he won’t make that mistake again.

    Our win was almost totally due to the Warriors shooting from the perimeter and making 8 three-pointers, in addition to Curry scoring three points off one of his patent drives. One can tell that Jackson is not a big fan of the three, and only has the Warriors taking more three pointers when they are substantially down in points. This is a big mistake. As the Warriors should be shooting more threes then they presently do.

    It’s now clear that neither Bogut nor JON is especially effective defensively inside, and that JON is marginally better than Bogut defensively. JON’s main contribution is his threat on offense. He’s should over the last few games that he is clearly the better the center for the Warriors.

    Green was huge in this game with his three steals. The Warriors were so much more effective with Green on the court over Barnes even though Barnes shot well and Green did not.

    Didn’t think that many of Thompson’s assists showed that he had great court sense as Felty claims. Did see two stupid turnovers, and Thompson not going for a crucial defensive rebound. But, Thompson shooting continues to be impressive.

  7. Felty: Can’t see Terrence Ross ever being as good as Barnes.

  8. FFG: Harkless has not stunk it up on the court this year as you profess. as Harkless has jumped from shooting an overall FG percentage of 49 percent last year to 51% this year mainly by increasing his three point shooting from 27% last year to a respectable 39% this year.

    Agreed that Barnes shooting better than Harkless this year by shooting an overall field goal percentage of 55 percent mainly due to Barnes making 47% of his threes. We’ll see if that stands up over the course of the season. Doubtful. .

    Barnes is hitting 68% of his foul shots to Harkless 50 percent.

    But, Harkless is providing his team with extra possession playing less time by garnering his team 1.28 OR’s per game compared to Barnes .04, and I believe more steals per game while playing less time.

    Harkless is a much better defender than Barnes. The jury is still out on whose the better player.

    The Warriors last game against the Raptors was a real eye-opener with regard to how the Warriors at times should play defense. The Warriors extending their defense and swarming all over the court and double teaming players has to be incorporated into their defense as part of each game. It results in opposing guards having to start their drives from way out, takes the opponent out of their regular offensive, forces long passes to the interior allowing the Warriors to intercept and thwart plays inside. Such a defense results in more turnovers by the opponent.

    We witnessed that in the Raptors game when they made four turnovers in the fourth quarter. Such a defense also reduces the opponents field goal percentage as the Raptors shooting 31% from the field in the fourth quarter only converting on 5 of 16 shots after having torched us earlier in the game.

    Just fearful that Jackson will only employ such a defense when the Warriors are down. If so, bad move. Has to integrate such defense even when the Warriors are ahead.

  9. If you want to understand why Mo Speights is a valuable player to have, how he is being miscast as a power forward, and how he SHOULD be used, check out LeBron James on Chris Bosh:


    And if you want a hint as to how to use Harrison Barnes, check out the section on Dwayne Wade.

    • Yes!

      Speights working as a high-post C weakens opponents’ rim defense AND gets open looks from range. As a 4, he doesn’t.

      Barnes is a good shooter, but a very good cutter, one of the best on the Warriors.

      From the article: “If you placed any member of the Heat on another team, his efficiency would likely suffer.”

      Fersure. The system makes a huge difference.

      What ails the Ws offense isn’t the talent. It’s the system.

  10. Speights is a “valuable” player? The Warriors are minus 17 with him on the court, plus 19 with him on the bench. Switching him to center would make all the difference in the world? Even if your right which I don’t think you are, the Warriors would at best be minus 10 with him playing. The guys sucks. Can’t believe you don’t see that.

    Interesting that the Warriors plus 7 with Green playing, minus .o7 with Barnes on the court. And a plus 10 when Barnes is sitting. But do agree that Barnes not being used properly. But one must keep in mind he often just runs the play that calls for him to drive even though he has a wide open shot when he receives the ball, and drives to the hoop when there is obvious traffic. Hasn’t demonstrated he has a particularly high basketball IQ.

    • Frank, my friend, please forgive me for this, but I think you’re missing the point.

      In the wrong system, any player can be made to fail. In the right system, almost anyone good enough to survive the NBA’s brutal player selection process can be a valuable contributor.

      It’s a coach’s job to win with what he’s got. That means positioning each of his players for success.

      Remember how ineffectual Curry was under Smart? A travesty!

      Speights and Barnes are two players who Mark Jackson flat-out mis-uses. Played to their strengths, they could both help the team win. Played the way they are now, they don’t.

  11. Hat: There is no doubt that some players play better in certain systems rather than others. That being said Speights is not one of those players. He was cast off by the last two teams he played for. And he played for Memphis a good team with a good system and he had a big minus rating playing with players who mostly had positive ratings. He’s been missing a regular basis wide open jump shots. Even a good system won’t change that. Even with a good system, it’s not likely he’ll stop being called for blocking fouls, not being called for charges, traveling, or missing the basket on drives. He’s terrible. Even bad players have a good games once in a while. He hasn’t done that for sometime.

    • All players are part of some system. Good systems are designed around the strengths of the available players.

      Getting Barnes scoring opportunities only in iso’s is a bad system. Even Michael Jordan wasn’t used that way. Phil Jackson always ran an offensive scheme involving the whole team.

      Running Speights as a 4, permitting opposing 4s to guard him, is a waste. It doesn’t create a mismatch to get Speights open shots. It doesn’t open the lane for other players to attack the rim. Note that all of that good stuff happens whether or not Speights can knock ’em down like Bosh, as long as he’s playing opposite a C.

      Run wutcha brung. Run it well. That’s called “coaching.” What Jackson does is called “cheerleading.” Also “incompetent coaching.”

  12. Asik is now on the trading block. His contract next year is a killer, though. Also I’m not convinced he’s that good, certainly not on the offensive end, and besides the Warriors—uh—already have a bunch of centers.

    It’s a shame they can’t take the centers they have, take them apart, and combine the best parts into a mega center. They could combine O’Neal’s experience, enthusiasm, and leadership with Ezeli’s raw drive and Dedmon’s coordination and speed—he really looks good when he shoots—both their youth and health, and take the best knees out of the bunch. I suggest they take Kuzmic’s name because I like it and think it will strike terror in the hearts of opponents. Create a backup center with what’s left, average their contracts, then let the rest go and free up some roster spots.

    I’m still not sure what could be salvaged from Bogut.

  13. Asik is kind of an old-school dinosaur C like Bogut. Possibly even more slow-footed than Bogut. On O, his shooting is better, his court awareness/team play is not. On D, Bogut is a better shot blocker and nastier guy. If Bogut’s ankle holds up, I think he’s better for the Ws than Asik overall.

    JON is all busted up but he could get healthy. We keep hearing he’s over-the-hill, but he’s only 36. That’s not especially old for a C. And with more experience with the team his team play should improve too.

    I wonder when Ezeli returns if he’ll still have his hops, and if he’ll have any more skills than last year. He may have neither, in which case he’ll struggle to get even garbage time.

    I wonder if the Ws will ever again have a big enough lead to get Ezeli, Dedmon and Kuzmic some playing time.

    And then there are Speights and Lee. Maybe someday we’ll see Jackson return to less-conventional lineups so the team can quit struggling to put away mediocre teams (like the Pelicans, Kings and Raptors).

    I’d like to see the team run Lee/Green as the bigs whenever possible, and switch up with Speights/Barnes. Bench all the lumbering dinos, put 5 scorers on the floor and run like hell!

    • cosmicballoon

      Dead on about Asik, hat. Not an upgrade for this Warriors team.

      Trade Barnes for a spread-4 like Ryan Anderson and you’ll start to see this Warriors team blow people out again. Barnes style of play (the iso’s) is killing that deadly offense.

      Today’s game against Houston should be very exciting. We’ll see if Jackson goes back to business as usual or if he learned something from the stupendous 4th quarter they had against the Raptors WITH BARNES ON THE BENCH.

      I’ll say it again, Barnes is a fine player, but the wrong player for this Warriors team and their incredible passing. The ball movement dies when he has to size the defense up before making an offensive move.

      • Why not play Barnes at stretch four?

        • cosmicballoon

          Because he doesn’t rebound the basketball. With Barnes at stretch 4 and Lee or Bogut at 5, the Warriors have a distinctive rebounding disadvantage.

          Felty, which lineup would you put Barnes at stretch 4 with?

          Curry, Thompson, Iggy and Lee/Bogut?
          Or is is Curry, Iggy, Green and Lee/JON?
          Or, because Iggy is out, is it Curry, Thompson, Green, and Lee?

          The way I see it, Green has to be on the court at 3 in order to rebound if Barnes is playing 4. Someone else has to make up for his lack of rebounding. The Warriors have been killed by second chance points when Green and Igoudala are not on the court.

      • Totally disagree. First of all, Barnes is shooting 44% on threes. He may not be taking a tonne of them, but he’s certainly part of that offense as well. Second of all, if a team over plays the ball movement offense, it opens up wide open lanes for Barnes to slash.

        The iso post-ups are occasionally a bit much, but when a team has to resort playing their weakest defender on barnes, iso’s have shown some utility.

    • You don’t like my newly reconstituted Kuzmic?

      O’Neal has a ligament tear in his wrist, which is what got me started. Per usual, the team isn’t announcing its severity.


      The main advantage Asik would have offered over Bogut (actually there are several advantages) is his health and youth. Bogut, in addition to his limitations, is just a bad risk in terms of health.

  14. Should be a fascinating game tonight but unfortunately I can’t watch until late. So maybe a short recap tomorrow.

  15. Houston—

    (From the Audi ad) “We’re going to need a bigger bucket.”

    To barf in.

    Same offense, same results. Nedovic could have run the same offense with the same results. The last thing they could afford to do against Houston was get behind early. And the announcers now are talking about Curry’s turnovers, as if that were the problem. There’s no much he can do with this strategy, this lineup, except hold the ball and run the shot clock down.

    Could Barnes have played any worse? Did he do anything right on defense other than that block? If he has any potential, he should be put on the bench until he develops. But the way he played tonight, he should go down to Santa Cruz.

    Jim Barnett: “They’re looking to run even more with Bogut on the court.”

    About the only thing Bogut accomplished was drawing those 3 second D calls on Howard, who wasn’t guarding him, the only way Bogut gets free for those dunks. I’d much rather see O’Neal or Speights on the floor.


    • Holy smokes. What an awful game plan. David Lee gets only 21 minutes and 7 shots while Barnes gets 36 minutes and 16 shots. And Barnes can’t even score over James Harden, the worst defender in the West. Klay gets D’d by a 6’9″ guy and turns to mush, 2-10.

      On the other end, Thompson couldn’t guard Harden so the team sticks Draymond with him, a terrible mismatch. 34 points for Harden.

      And on, and on…

      Gosh, what an idiotic game plan. Yes Iggy is missing, but the team didn’t need him to be able to win last year. An actual coach wouldn’t need Iggy to be able to win this year either.

  16. Fitz said Dedmon was waived, a surprise. Preparation for a trade? The timing is odd, with everyone else ailing.

  17. cosmic balloon

    How does Barnes have such a long leash? And how does Jackson not realize that his best lineup does not include Barnes or Bogut to start the game?!?!

    • Barnes get shots because he gets open. He gets open because other teams WANT him to have the ball. They prefer Barnes to handle it rather than anyone else on the team. They barely even cover him unless he sinks a few. He was defended by Harden last night. Harden’s D is a running joke in Houston.

      For their part, the other Ws players are simply taking what the defense gives them. It’s up to the coach to recognize how his weakest player is dragging down the whole team.

      Every touch by the weakest offensive player is a win for the defense. And when that player is a black hole, so much the better.

      • if you refer to Mr.Barnes as the preacher’s ‘weakest player’, pretty safe to surmise he will never be recognized as such. the simplest rationale behind their present scheme on offense, hypothetically, would be a commitment from the preacher and/or his boss to make Mr.Barnes a 20 pt. per game average scorer. his minutes, touches, shot attempts are all up considerably after iguodala went missing, and the present m.o. established.

        • Barnes IS recognized as the weakest starter. That’s why he’s normally a sub. Unfortunately, you’re right, the front office does seem to be promoting this notion that Barnes is somehow a plug-in replacement for Iggy. How foolish, to try to fool fans that way.

          Take Iggy’s worst game ever and subtract bball smarts, rebounds, good D, and excellent ballhandling, passing and assists. What’s left is Barnes’ usual game.

          Barnes is a role player, made to look especially bad by how he’s set up to fail in the offense. In the right (limited) role, he can help a team win. Isolation plays are the wrong role. They’re the hardest plays in basketball. They’re a last resort, not a first. Even Iggy is rarely successful at iso’s. Even LeBron doesn’t run them unless he has to. WTF is Mark Jackson thinking?

          • when Mr.Barnes was healthy during the exhibition season, the front runner for the ‘sixth man’ role was thompson. barnes was also made the starter last season when before rush got knocked out. and we won’t be allowed to forget what a wonderful showing he gave as a starter in last spring’s playoffs after lee’s hip shelved him.

  18. Cameron Jones got the big minutes in the D-League loss last night. With Demon waived, any chance they’re thinking of moving him up?

  19. Someone with a talent for probabilities could assess the talents, rosters, and strategies of both teams and realize that the Warriors essentially conceded a 12 point deficit in the first 9 minutes of the game. Given the shooting power and versatility of Houston, they are going to score points.

    Meanwhile Barnes, 0-5, was shut down by a marginally better defender (defenders?—did anyone other than Harden guard him?). Almost no plays were run for Curry and/or Thompson that would have given them better looks and better odds. Often they get loose with someone else handling the ball and running crossing patterns. Lee ran a few isos (and scored). Bogut drew little defense, allowing more pressure to be put on the other four. The Warriors were only able to exploit that twice, when he got completely open for those two dunks. Little motion, slow paced.

    Meanwhile Jackson in his interview talked about defense and the need to protect the ball as the problems. (I gave him 30 seconds.)

    Baloney. What difference does it make what Curry does with the ball if there’s nothing to do with it? I’d just as soon see him throw the ball into the stands.

    • It is largely unrecognized that turnovers are strongly correlated to offensive design and overall game plan. I’ve pointed out several times that Nellie’s team of the rookie Curry and a bunch of DLeaguers had far fewer TO’s than any Warriors team since.

      When your gameplan sucks, and your mail is consistently getting read, massive amounts of turnovers are inevitable.

      • That’s a good point about turnovers, Felt. Unfortunately, Jackson can’t acknowledge that truth, because then he’d have to admit he’s at fault. Instead he’s reverting to trashing his players after losses, just like in his first year as coach.

        One of the refreshing things about Nellie was that when he screwed up, he’d say so. Carlyle did the same thing recently. After consecutive losses to Denver, he said “I didn’t have my team ready.”

        If Jackson would simply man up like that, the team and coaches together could start work on the problems. Until then, the Warriors are handicapped. What a shame.

    • Also this (from the Dale Carnegie blog):

      “Effective leaders admit when they are wrong and admit when they make mistakes. Everyone is human and makes a mistake at one time or another. It’s how a person handles a mistake that gives them a certain leadership quality. An effective leader can admit when they are wrong and by doing so, allows people to feel comfortable asking them for help and advice.”

    • warriorsablaze

      It seems we are doomed to suffer with this broken offense for MJ’s tenure. No matter how many playoff games we win or comebacks we make… or how many huge holes we dig with the current offense, it seems MJ’s hubris will keep us sticking to the game plan no matter the obvious evidence.

      Just when I thought Curry was finally going to be set free… I’m with you, Felt, that the team has enough talent to compete at the highest levels if used correctly…not a perfect roster, but no such thing exists. We’ll likely make the playoffs and compete in the first round with the possibility of moving forward… but it will be the talent overcoming the system, not the system maximizing the talent.

      I’m starting to develop Keith Smart-level feelings towards MJ.

      • since you mentioned Smart first, the current experiment does remind me of the ‘new’ offense smart used his training camp to install in his only season running the show. the ‘flex’ motion offense, first brought into prominence by D.Motta for very successful Chi and Dal teams, run by guards like van lier, sloan, stockton, and d.williams, as it was passed on by sloan. the preacher’s new m.o. is nothing like the flex, but the time he’s devoting to it and sticking with it without considering his personnel resembles how smart kept with his idee fixe with ellis and acie law as his lead guards.

        • warriorsablaze

          It makes sense to allow time for guys to assimilate to a whole new offense structure before outright abandoning it…. but what’s more perplexing is creating an offense that doesn’t fit with your roster strengths in the first place.

          It’s one thing to do that as a rebuilding team where you are trying to install a system and then gradually add players that fit… it’s another when your roster is considered strong enough on paper to say the word contender without having to laugh.

          I realize that we’re just basketball fans with varying degrees of knowledge/experience and we’re certainly not privy to all the internal team dynamics and practices… but some things just seam too obvious. Boggles the mind.

          Does Lacob have the balls that MJ apparently does not to admit he was wrong and send MJ packing if the team continues to underachieve? Seems like he wouldn’t have had the success he’s had in business if he didn’t. Certainly won’t happen this season… but what if we don’t make the playoffs? Will MJ be at camp next season?

  20. @20, Smart, Jackson, Lacob, etc.

    Lacob made it clear what kind of team he wanted at the outset and keeps repeating his mantra: bigger guys, more defense. He’d get big guys who could control the paint on defense and on offense they could play low to score or kick it out to the three point shooters.

    He must have admired Thibodeau at Boston and went after Sloan for a new coach. He’s made it clear what type of coach he’s wanted. He has focused the vast bulk of the payroll on centers, at the expense of other players. He called the shots from the start and we have every reason to believe is still doing so, and that he remains blind to evidence that might contradict him.

    Did Smart spend his years behind Nelson hating “small ball,” secretly planning reversal of his sinful ways? Did Smart decide to try to make Biedrins a low post player after so many years seeing what he could and could not do?

    Do you think Jackson—or West—had a say in Bogut’s acquisition or contract renewal, or has a choice over starting Bogut or not? Where did Jackson get the message he didn’t want to win games by a shootout? Why could he coach such brilliant games last season—without Bogut—and such dismal ones now?

    Iguodala was brought in for his size and strength and defensive capabilities. I wonder if Lacob even knew what a boon he might be in facilitating and scoring.

    During the playoffs, I understand Lacob was on the court counting Bogut’s rebounds, probably not paying much attention to Curry’s threes, or Danny Green’s, for that matter. He saw enough to decide Bogut was worth the risk of another three years, in spite of all the health risks. And Bogut does not look good at all now. I’m waiting for word on his ankle. Or yet again something else.

    Smart tried to turn Curry into a control offense, driving guard, and we saw the results, and everyone was talking about how Curry “regressed.” Jackson is doing something similar to Lee now, pushing him into a role he’s not equipped for and denying his considerable and obvious talents, and we’ve seen the results. It’s not hard to imagine Lacob deciding Lee is expendable because of his sketchy play in this system.

    The wonderful thing about the last games is that they don’t provide any contradiction to a blind eye. They didn’t have Iguodala, so close games were to be expected. The wins were confirmation. The Houston game was just proof they weren’t big and tough enough. Look at all the points they scored!

    The Toronto game, of course, was a freak anomaly, not to be taken seriously.

  21. Memphis:

    Surprising, really, with Barnes completely ineffectual, Bogut a very rare threat, no one setting up Curry but instead Curry running the floor—a mistake—that Memphis couldn’t make an early adjustment. The Warriors were essentially going 2 on 5. And they won’t be able to get away with curbing Curry against many other teams. Who cares how few TO’s he had.

    Putting Bogut on Randolph did made a difference.

    Fitzgerald, on the Memphis offense: “Interesting they keep going to Harrison Barnes.”

    Mike Miller brought them back into the game 2nd. Q just by knocking down some shots. We don’t have anyone comparable.