Warriors 95 Mavs 93: Players Only

I’ve figured out how to recap Warriors games going forward: Ignore the coaching, and focus on the players. There’s just so much teeth gnashing I’m willing to do, and, I assume, you’re willing to read. It is completely clear by now that Jackson is committed to playing big all game every game. Even if it means denying his core of supernaturally talented offensive players the system they were born to play in. Even if it means feeding the best-shooting team in the league 16 point first quarters and 22 point third quarters, regardless of opponent, from now until eternity. Even if it means reaching for an NBA reject big man in his first game up from the D-League, without an ounce of experience in his system, to match up with a 6-7″ center on defense, and plug up the middle on offense, in crunchtime.

Mark Jackson is committed, as Adam Lauridsen would ecstatically put it, to playing “the right way.” It’s pointless to argue differently. It’s time for me, as the adage has it, to “lay back and think of England.”

And Thank Jesus for Stephen Curry.

Oops, reading over that, I see a little recap of the coaching leaked out.

On to the players:       

Stephen Curry: As I wrote on the last thread, those who are skeptical of Curry’s ability to close games are getting their answer. I guess Iguodala’s injury benefited the Warriors in one way at least.

Players of Curry’s supreme talent don’t need height or athleticism to get their shot off. With his superb handle, ability to pull up on a dime or step back, quick release, and historically great shooting ability, Curry can get his shot one on one against anyone. Give him a sliver of daylight, and it’s lights out. (Is that a mixed metaphor?)

It is remarkable that Curry even had the opportunity to play one on one on the final possession. Carlisle blitzed the Bogut high pick all game long, with great results. Why didn’t he blitz Curry on the last possession? Surely he wasn’t afraid of leaving Bogut open 20 feet from the basket?

It’s a decision I’ll bet Carlisle wishes he had back. I don’t think he, or many other coaches, will make that mistake on Curry going forward.

And why did Curry even call for the high pick from Bogut? Was this a Mark Jackson call? (It’s hard to know as no timeout was called.) Curry had Jose Calderon, one of the worst defenders in the NBA, isolated up top. The high pick risked getting blitzed, and the booby prize was getting Shawn Marion, one of the best defenders in the NBA, switched onto Curry.

Ah hell, I’m already back talking about the coaching.

The Turnovers: Curry’s 8 turnovers were an issue in this game. But as I tweeted to Marcus Thompson after the game, these turnovers are not just Curry’s problem. They are also Andrew Bogut’s problem. It is Bogut’s inability to shoot or finish the pick and roll that has caused Curry to get blitzed like no other point guard in history.

Which means they’re also Mark Jackson’s problem, and GM Joe Lacob’s problem.

Three of Curry’s turnovers also came on failed Bogut alley-oops from the top of the key. Curry usually is on target with those, but they are far from easy plays — particularly with Bogut not jumping as well some games as others. (And it really says something when that’s the most efficient form of offense your 7′ center has.)

I’ve said this before, but I don’t know how to stop repeating myself: Can you imagine how great a player Stephen Curry would be, if he EVER got the chance to play with a center who could finish the pick and roll?

Chris Paul would be looking up at him, and that’s a fact.

Draymond Green: Harrison Barnes didn’t back down against Dirk Nowitzki. David Lee forced him to fade away. Draymond Green made him fade too, and then blocked his shot.

I was delighted to see that, but not completely amazed. I remember We Believe, and the great Stephen Jackson.

But what did completely amaze me was the defense Green played on Monta Ellis. Guarded him in isolation to close the first half, and not only stayed with him, but blocked his shot. Guarded him at the end of the game, and time and time again turned him away or forced a tough shot. Like the one Monta missed at the end of the game.

Green finally had the game we’ve all been waiting for, a game in which he put it all together, on offense as well as defense. Hit the clutch three in crunch time. Made the fabulous cross-court pass to find Curry in the corner. 4-5 shooting. 5 rebounds in 28 minutes (Barnes 4 in 44). 4 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks.

With performances like this, Green is finally starting to get the recognition from fans and media that he got from day one on this blog (when I eyeballed him in summer league before his rookie season), and from a few analytics types like Evanz as his rookie season unfurled. (If you read what I wrote back then, you’ll see I badly misjudged Green’s ability to guard smaller players. But you know what — it’s absolutely freaky. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one rubbing his eyes last night.)

What do Bruce Bowen, James Posey, Stephen Jackson and Shane Battier have in common?

They were all (are all) Swiss army knife defenders, capable of defending multiple positions. And not just defenders, but stoppers. Eager to take on the opponent’s best player, reach into his jersey, and rip his heart out.

On the offensive end they were role players. Facilitators with the crucial ability to spread the floor and bury the open three.

And one last thing: They were all World Champions.

Whatever it is that those four World Champions had —  that basketball IQ, that desire, that heart, that will to win — that ability to grab their teams by the scruff of the neck and drag them to victory — Draymond Green has in spades. And I have little doubt that he could one day play a major role on a championship team. If not on the Warriors, then on another great team that recognizes his qualities. He is that good.

Unfortunately for Green, he is absolutely buried on this Warriors team. Andre Iguodala has much of the same stopper ability and intangibles that Green has, while being a much more complete player. As well as a much better fit in the starting lineup. The Warriors are desperate for a second playmaker to take the pressure off Curry, and move him off the ball, and Iggy is superb in that role. And given Klay Thompson’s size, and difficulty guarding small perimeter players, Iggy’s a better fit than Green on the defensive end as well. (Despite his success against Monta in this game, I don’t think you want to make Green a two-guard.)

Green is also stuck behind a lottery pick in whom management is heavily invested. I think you know who I mean. I think you also know who the better NBA player is. If not, you should.

And he’s stuck behind David Lee, for reasons both good and bad. The good: David Lee is a great player, and Green is too small to be a starting power forward. The bad: Despite having one of the best offensive teams in basketball history, Mark Jackson is determined to win with defense. And thus determined not to play Lee at center, and move him out of Green’s way.

Despite the fact that lineups with Lee at center and Green at power forward led the Warriors in plus/minus last season. With most of their minutes together coming in crunch time, when it mattered. That was the lineup that beat the Heat in Miami, and carried the Warriors to the playoffs.

Ah hell, I’m back on the coaching again. Back to Green: he’s screwed. He is demanding minutes with his play, but when Iggy returns, he’s very likely not to get them.

Bob Fitzgerald: I have to say, I love the way Mark Jackson is sticking it to Fitz after every great performance from Green. Calling out the way Fitz used to perpetually whine about Green shooting the three last season.

I was there first.

And while we’re on the subject of me, I was also the first (and only) to describe the adjustment that Green needed to make, and did make from last season to this, in order to straighten out his three point shooting.

(Note to Evanz: That’s how you brag. Straight up, no chaser.)

Harrison Barnes: As much as I hate to leave me as a subject, I’ll tear myself away to give Barnes an honorable mention.

Barnes was virtually never posted up by Jackson in this game — because he was never guarded by a point guard. Instead he lurked around the perimeter, and got his offense in the flow of the game. In other words, he was played the way he should be played.

He might have had a huge game, if his three were falling. But despite his poor shooting, I thought this was one of his better games. Made several strong and decisive moves in the lane.

And his defense was pretty decent as well, particularly on Vince Carter. That’s what earned him 44 minutes from Mark Jackson.

He was given the honor of guarding Nowitzki in crunchtime. Not an unqualified success, but I was impressed by how he held his ground and made Dirk work. And I have no idea why Jackson didn’t send a double-team to hel…

Nope. Not going there anymore.

Monta Ellis: For all his speed and quickness, and ability to get himself open, not quite the closer Stephen Curry is. Because once you create that shot, you’ve got to hit it, don’t you?

Nevertheless, I think Monta played a phenomenal game, on both sides of the ball, until he ran into Draymond Green. He is a fantastic point guard/facilitator in Rick Carlisle’s system, and with Dirk Nowitzki to play pick and roll with. His teammates left between 5 and 10 assists laying on the ground.

Speaking of the Nowitzki pick and roll, I’m wondering why Carlisle opted for Monta isolation over it at the end of the game. That pick and roll is virtually unguardable, and a Nowitzki shot is obviously preferable to a Monta shot.

Ironic, isn’t it? Carlisle opted for isolation when pick and roll was better, and Jackson chose pick and roll, when isolation was better.

Hey, it all worked out. And I really can’t help myself, can I…

Let me close (Finally!) with a note on Monta’s defense. This is now two straight performance in which Monta has destroyed the much bigger Klay Thompson. And it should be clear this is no accident. Monta does the same thing to Klay that he did to Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Brandon Roy, when he turned each of them over 7 times in one game.

He uses his dominant quickness to press up and disrupt Klay’s dribble. And his lightning fast close outs to rush Klay’s shot.

I have been arguing for years that Monta Ellis is an extraordinarily underrated defensive player, despite all the negative sausage stats that were generated about him while he played on crappy teams. What he has needed to become a recognizably great defensive player are simply the right pieces around him, to keep him from getting worn down. And to give him some stakes to play for.

He’s got some of that now.

And if you were watching, you saw it last night.

48 Responses to Warriors 95 Mavs 93: Players Only

  1. You are dead on in Green >>>> you know who; fantastic bball player making plays;
    Dead wrong on Monta’s D; sure when he tries he may be tough but the vast majority of time he’s just floating, not even trying, that’s the bad I saw for over 7 years; the total lack of concentration, we saw it last night as well, just that Klay did not hit the shots.

  2. Re-posted, here’s a good interview with Curry. He doesn’t doubt his ability as a closer.

    “On the floor is Ray Allen, Jordan, Kobe, Reggie Miller and you. Who’s your No. 1 option?

    Curry: Jordan’s No. 1. I’m No. 2. Then you go Ray, then Reggie, then Kobe. Three-pointer or not, same answer.”

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/maginterviewcurry/golden-state-warriors-stephen-curry-says-second-best-shooter-ever-espn-magazine

    • Great read. I agree about his closer ability.

      And it’s interesting for me to see him confirm that he modeled his game after Nash. That’s what I speculated when I first saw him play.

      • Curry said after the game that that was his first game-winning shot since high school. How strange.

        But… if Curry is as good a closer as he (and we) think he is, why hasn’t Jackson ever called on him for it until now? Jackson has given that final shot to Iguodala and Thompson this season, JJack last year, Ellis and Lee the year before. It’s a fascinating mystery. What kind of thought process could lead a so-called coach to ignore one of the best shooters in the history of the game?

        • Probably the same thought process that has people still saying Steph is only a shooter, or can’t play PG, or can’t drive to the basket, or can’t create his own shot…. preconceived notions can be hard to shake, even when evidence is abundant.

      • If Monta Ellis had made a similar comment, people would have jumped on him for his arrogance. Oh wait, they did…

        • Good point.

        • The difference being that if you follow Steph at all, you’d know he was being somewhat tongue-in-cheek… I can’t even read it without picturing the signature Steph smirk. It’s really not similar at all to Ellis’ comments.

  3. green was handicapped with his bum knee defending smaller players last season, and there is also the factor of how much he studies and works — the failed lessons were his initiations that every player faces, especially on defense. the big league game has so much new data for the novices to assimilate, that it’s extremely rare for players other than shot blocking bigs (who are defending essentially a fixed position, the rim), to have a big defensive impact in their first two seasons. after last night’s game green’s game average will get just over 20 min. and we’ll see how far all the preaching about defense goes with the reverend.

    will any of these players get to see the trophy if they keep playing under the preacher ? highly unlikely. el Cubano didn’t get to the promised land after repeated playoff runs until he pounced on an unemployed elite coach. a handful of top coaches rapidly from the assistants’ chorus, and that might have been lacob’s ‘plan b’ when he snagged malone. the potential of this team won’t be realized, and the owner cares much more about market growth and asset appreciation.

    • Re your first topic, Green did something last night that I’ve never seen anyone do – single-handedly stop Monta. Inexplicable but undeniable. Wow. It makes one wonder what Green’s ceiling could be if Jackson ever gave him regular playing time. It also makes me wonder about Jackson’s judgment, but that’s a different topic.

      Re your 2nd topic, yes, it does seem clear now that the Warriors’ coaching will cap the team’s performance this year. This is not a championship team, Iggy or no, not with that head coach. A cryin’ shame.

      Re your 3rd topic, Lacob prioritizing business/money over bball,

      a) Anyone in Lacob’s position would be legally required to pursue the bux first, last and always. No one in his position gets choices about that. To the extent that a winning team improves revenue, Lacob is for it. Beyond that, winning ball games is NOT its own reward. In many ways, Lacob has less freedom than us normal plebe fan types. He’s not running a public interest group but a for-profit money machine. He has strict responsibilities.

      b) Lacob is a proven investment genius, not a bball wiz, marketing guru, organization man or politician. He’s not necessarily even a bball fan. But his job calls for him to oversee/act like all of the above. I for one think he’s done an astonishing job. He has completely transformed the Warriors organization from NBA roadkill to serious contenders. There are things he could have done better. Selecting a real coach would be one of those things. But overall, you can’t say Lacob is wrong for the job, or that his priorities keep him from making the team successful. He has a completely awesome record so far.

      • Investment genius? There were a lot of those in the VC business during the tech bubble. Or were they con men with analysts in their pockets, who preyed on investor gullibility?

        I’ve read papers arguing that Warren Buffet was lucky in his timing when he started Berkshire. One of my best friends is a retired Wall Street proprietary trader who thanks his lucky stars he got out before the financial crisis. I don’t think it’s a stretch to think there may be a variety of factors behind Lacob’s success having nothing to do with genius.

        His partner Peter Guber, by the way, is a well known con man who along with Jon Peters organized the rape of Sony. The book written about that is a very interesting read.

        As for what Lacob has done with the Warriors, he does deserve credit for organizational skill, caring deeply, and certain personnel moves for which I have given him credit. But let’s not forget that he inherited a core of a superstar, Stephen Curry, an allstar big man, David Lee, and whatever Monta Ellis is as a trade asset, four seasons ago. I think there are quite a few GMs, not excluding Don Nelson, who could have done something special with that in half the time.

        Just my two cents.

        • Felt, investors and gamblers are in the same business. One has a broader playing field than the other, and the rules are fuzzier.

          For both, an element of luck is involved. For both, you can spot a winner by the eventual size of their pile.

          Is it ethical to take money from a terrible poker player? I suspect Lacob and Guber would say yes. In all fairness, it could be argued either way.

          Re Lacob’s improvements to the Ws organization, those extend far beyond the court and players.

          Can you even imagine Cohan’s Warriors getting a real shot at an arena on the SF waterfront? Cohan ran the Warriors like a roller rink. Lacob upgraded the entire organization, not just the roster.

          • No question in restoring the credibility of the franchise and generating excitement Lacob night and day over Cohan.

            As far as comparing market players to poker players, I don’t think that’s valid. When you sit down at the poker table, both the rules and the risks are completely explicit. There are no touts assuring you of guaranteed returns. There is a lot of outright fraud and cheating in the financial markets, and never so much as in the era that Lacob achieved his windfall. Bottom line, he dumped his shares on unsophisticated investors who believed the stories his paid analysts were spinning.

  4. Gotto give credit where credit is due. If you fault Mjax for losses give him his props for wins.
    That being said I think you make a very valid point with Bogut and Currys TO’s. At least the first two were purely on Bogut. Isolated with the smaller Blair on him and Bogut couldnt catch a simple lob.
    Its also nice to know you observed Lee’s impact during the game. Adam said Lee “played bad defense as usual” I saw lee guarding Dirk in the third, and had a huge block on Blair in the 4th. I saw him contribute on BOTH ands of the floor and when the warriors desperately needed points it was Lee playing center. Why can’t he play that position at least 50% of the time. Why do wr have to start games 4 on 5 on offense?

  5. “(Note to Evanz: That’s how you brag. Straight up, no chaser.)”

    Well played. Well played.

  6. @3, Lacob and his accomplishments.

    Kind of hard to sit still with this one. I haven’t seen his balance sheet, not that I’m interested, and have no idea if he’s making big bucks with the club or if his SF Xanadu project will pan out. I also don’t care. Nor do I know how well he’s managing his considerable debt to the NBA and his ex. My interest is in the Warriors.

    He certainly has been lucky.

    1. He bought a franchise where fans are deeply loyal and attend regardless of the quality of the team.

    2. He got bailed out on the hobbling Jefferson and Biedrins contracts when Utah made the unprecedented trade for expirings, about $20 million.

    3. He inherited one of the most talented—and PR attractive—players in the NBA, Stephen Curry. Do you think the Warriors get all the national attention without him and his 3′s? That Bogut is going to draw fans across the globe? And there’s no way they made it to the playoffs last year without him.

    4. And he got a break with Steph’s contract because of his ankle. How many millions has he saved the next three years? More money to drop in Bogut and other sinkholes.

    But I don’t doubt Lacob wouldn’t take credit for all that and call it genius.

    What do we have on the downside?

    1. Speaking of Steph, given Lacob’s penchant for bigs, we have every reason to believe, had he bought the team a few years earlier, he would have taken Jordan Hill or Tyler Hansbrough (great energy!) over a little guard from an unknown school who isn’t very big or tough defensively who apparently only was a good shooter. I’m 100% certain of this one.

    Has Lacob gone after any serious offensive player, other than Klay? And Klay was probably drafted only so they could trade Ellis.

    2. He had to have Steph and the other starters play heavy minutes last season for success, as he is this one. We are holding our breath.

    3. Lacob has imposed his limited knowledge on the coaching and roster with ideas that are ineffective and incoherent and do not suit the real talent on the team.

    4. He has brought no basketball experience to the team, not in coaching or the GM or other key positions, except Riley, whom he kept. (Does anyone know anything about the assistant coaches? We don’t hear much from them and I’m not impressed with the little I’ve seen.)

    Do you think Jerry West has an overriding vote on anything or is listened to that much? That he was brought in to be anything other than a figurehead?

    5. While he has been chasing his elusive or ineffectual bigs the past four years, he let other opportunities go by who would have benefitted the club greatly.

    6. Meanwhile he has left the team with a thin, offensively challenged bench which taxes the starters to play long minutes, and hasn’t brought in any promising prospect to fill in now or develop later, except Green and Ezeli (Riley finds) not even middle of the road players. Odds are good no one else on the bench will be around in a year or two when their contracts expire.

    Great teams have deep benches to preserve players and weather injuries. Odds are good they can win few games without Curry, and they’re struggling without Iguodala. There should at least be a backup guard on the team who could keep the club together well enough if Curry went down. Not even a guard the caliber of Patty Mills, who has filled in well for the Spurs.

    The team before the Ellis trade is as good as the one we’re seeing now (with Iguodala down). If they had some kind of average, somewhat versatile center then or a versatile power forward on the order of Hickson, they would have been much better.

    7. Barnes. Who decided he should start last year and probably would have this year had he not been injured? And we’re all holding our breath again on what kind of contract he might get in a few years.

    8. Bogut. 3 more years. $36 million.

    Genius? Sounds more like a putz to me.

    • it’s almost regrettable that howard didn’t choose lacob — the owner strutted enough for merely being granted a recruitment pitch, and could have risen to new heights of insufferable preening if he’d succeeded. making howard the franchise star would have put both the roster budget and their on-court viability into stasis for at least four years, while they marketed their ‘superstars’ furiously — a left coast doppelganger for dolan’s NY crown jewel.

    • OK, let’s go there.

      1a. Smart investment. Good for Lacob. Not really bad for fans. What’s the problem?

      1b. You’re guessing about Lacob’s intentions based on brief sound bytes released for public consumption by someone you do not truly know, carefully speaking about a complex, multi-faceted issue. The fact is, Ellis probably HAD to go because of his sexual harrassment case. The Ws landed on their feet by drafting Thompson.

      2. “He got bailed out.” Here’s another way to say that: “The Warriors made an extremely sharp deal.” You say that as if it were a criticism of Warriors management. I say good for them. Lacob’s team made the deal, something that Cohan’s Warriors could never seem to do.

      3. You have no way of knowing how much influence Lacob has over game strategy. My guess is “some.” My other guess is that he will take “wins” over “validation of his basketball philosophy” any day. The Ws played small quite often last year. By your theory, Jackson defied the boss to do that. Doubtful.

      4a. The asst. coaches are all very NBA-experienced. The Ws practice strict “message control,” so NO ONE in the organization is permitted to speak freely, including the asst. coaches. EVERY interview is stage-managed. After some of the disastrous comments by SJax and Ellis, you can see why that is important.

      4b. We have no way to know how much influence West has. He’s clearly a spokesman for the team, but that does not tell us that he adds nothing else. West is a plus for the organization. What’s the problem?

      5. Highly debatable. Competent bigs are a competitive requirement in many games. Signing Bogut did not prevent the team from getting Iggy, a truly great addition. Or Landry, or JJack.

      6. When everyone is healthy, the bench includes Green, JON, Barnes, Douglas, Ezeli. That’s a pretty good bench. You’re right, the bench will be even better next year (or possibly even sooner), now that Bazemore and Speights have played themselves off the floor. You’re complaining about injuries again. Something the front office can’t be held responsible for.

      7. Today, Barnes is the 6th or 7th man. Barnes is also a better player this year than last, and his progress will probably continue. Remember how awful Thompson looked at first? Why worry about Barnes’ someday future possible contract? You think the “salary cap” is a BFD to someone planning for a multi-$Billion return on his investment? Don’t worry about Lacob’s wallet, rgg.

      I’d like Lacob to do a few things differently, starting with a real coach. I don’t think he should get his new stadium – not because Lacob is a devil, but because I generally disagree with public assistance for billionaires when schools and the needy are under-served.

      But there’s no denying that Lacob has strengthened the organization top to bottom, including the roster. Demonizing Lacob for every present and possible future competitive challenge to his team really does seem unfair and inaccurate. It just sounds like you’re making up things to be upset about, based on some personal grudge.

      • You are more forgiving than I am Hat, and I’m struggling with your arguments. Nothing personal against you, of course, but I am furious with Lacob.

        Tonight and in the foreseeable future, with Iguodala out, the only way the Warriors will win with the system they have is by playing Curry heavy minutes and he has a stellar night. How many can he rack up, how long will this last? If Curry goes down, it’s not certain they can beat anyone. And when Iguodala returns, he’ll have to play heavy minutes again.

        San Antonio, for comparison, was 11-5 last season with Parker out and 8-5 with Duncan out (I didn’t check if Parker was out of those games as well). Pop also managed the season for them. Neither played more than around 30 minutes a game. One night, with four starters sitting, the Spurs bench almost beat Miami at Miami. The team was in good shape come playoffs, both in terms of heath and developed bench players, and damn near won the whole thing.

        Our second unit can’t stay on the court more than a few minutes.

        Not sure why you’re mentioning Jack and Landry, since no attempts were made to keep either. Also I’m not clear why the bench will be better when all the scrubs are gone and O’Neal ages out. Whoever they get next will not have developed with the team and they’ll have to start afresh. Also there won’t be draft picks or money to get them.

        Where are these competent bigs you’re talking about, aside from O’Neal? Ezeli is promising, but still a rookie and a raw one at that, and his health isn’t certain yet. But Lacob has made his first effort to get Howard, at the expense of other options, then settled for bad compromises at center. Then he loaded up the cap with that Bogut deal. But he’s only spent chump change for the rest of the roster, with the exception of the one year deals for Jack and Landry.

        Barnes? How many players in the NBA or D-League, if they had his minutes and shots, could do better all around?

        Not sure why you say money is no object, as Lacob has not yet broken it, not to shore up the club the first and second years when they relied too much on starters, or the third, to give them strength in the playoff run. And in spite of all the injuries this season, I haven’t heard anything about bringing in help so far.

        Lacob has made it abundantly clear that he runs the club. He has also made it clear what he wants, big ‘n defensive players. And he has made it clear he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. They played small ball last year because they had to with Bogut’s injury. But it worked, and if it worked then why isn’t Lacob, in his infinite wisdom, demanding that they return to it? He can’t tell his coach to go back to what worked? The reason here is clear. Lacob didn’t believe the results or simply didn’t understand them.

        Sexual harassment didn’t seem to be much of an issue with Lacob over his son and the cheerleaders. Why didn’t he ship him out as well?

        Oh yes, his ex-wife’s trust.

        Lacob is a third-rate owner with a self-centered mission. A second-rate owner could have done better if he started with what Lacob had. When you adjust for the massive realignment in the NBA, especially in the West, the team Lacob had when he started was almost as good as the one he’s putting on the court now, and it wouldn’t have taken much at all to make them better.

        • Meant to say: has not broken the cap.

        • Feltbot’s assessment of Lacob and his fortune sounds right. Again, he was lucky. Has Guber made a single decent movie? Has Lacob, on his own, created anything of value or been successful at running anything, beyond cashing in on speculative deals? And now he’s trying to run a franchise on his own, where intelligence and experience matter.

        • para’s 1-4: You’re complaining about injuries again. Not Lacob’s fault.

          para 5: You said signing Bogut kept the team from adding other contributors. Landry and JJack, etc., show that to be incorrect.

          para 6: Bogut’s shooting is a weakness, but otherwise he’s among the best Cs in the league as a team offensive player. Spacing, screens, passing, rebounds, assists, overall effort: all good to excellent. When used properly he is very good defensively, too. Just ask Zach Randolph. There’s your competent C, rgg.

          If extending Bogut’s contract meant chump change for everyone else, explain Iggy’s contract. Speights earns $3.5M, JON gets $2M. Hardly chump change for two players who were projected to get limited playing time.

          Para 7: I won’t attempt to explain or defend Barnes, because I don’t know why Jackson plays him as he does. It’s possible that giving Barnes a featured role in the O is Lacob’s call. It’s possibly Jackson’s call. I don’t know. You don’t either. That’s a fact.

          Para 8-9: Lacob is a business manager who reports to an owner’s committee. A CEO, not an owner. Unless you’re party to those owner’s committee meetings, you don’t know how cost and investment decisions get made. You want to blame Lacob for not blowing money on player salary, fine, OK, whatever, imagine whatever you want. My thinking is that when it comes to spending he’ll do precisely what he and Myers have always said they’ll do: advocate to spend money if it looks like money well spent. Think Iggy.

          Para 10-11: Doesn’t deserve a response, but here’s one anyway. Single man Kirk flirted with cheerleaders and asked them to come to his party. Married man Monta sent penis pics, and his victim was fired by the Warriors. Kirk made employees uncomfortable. Monta committed a well-documented criminal offense, made even worse by the Warriors organization itself. Whole orders of magnitude difference in severity, dude. FWIW, Kirk was banished from Oakland just as Monta was.

          Para 11: Nonsense. Your personal antipathy toward Lacob appears to be clouding your basketball judgment.

          • Curiouser and curiouser.

            It’s the owner’s job to manage a team, where injuries are a given. Lacob has not done this. You miss the whole point of the Spurs comparison.

            It’s odd you can be so critical of the coach and his strategies and lineups, but put no blame on the man who owns the team. Does Lacob have his hands tied? Can he not talk to his coach and set him right?

            Poor Joe!

            But we have every reason to believe Jackson is doing what Lacob wants.

            Where are Landry and Jack again? How long will we keep Speights and O’Neal? How great is Speights? The second unit? Who are our coming prospects? Why can’t the subs stay on the floor? Why are the starters playing such heavy minutes?

            Bogut a top center now.

            And Meyers an experienced wise hand.

            I’ll have to whistle here.

            Lacob is managing his money? He’s been extraordinarily wasteful and inefficient, but got bailed out last summer.

            And now the owner you said is willing to spend the bucks but hasn’t is ruled by his organization and investors? Who? The NBA? His ex-wife? Guber?

            Poor Joe!

            Monta’s incident didn’t seem to bother Milwaukee. Or Dallas. And I suspect his wife has cleared this up.

            Poor Joe! It’s so hard to be good nowadays. I’m pretty sure there is a good reason Kirk Lacob didn’t show his member to the cheerleaders, however.

            I’m not criticizing Lacob because I dislike him. I dislike him because he is a bad owner.

            But yes, I’m glad Lacob got his second choice in Iguodala instead of his wet dream, Dwight Howard, for whom he would have gutted the roster.

          • While we’re at it, during Cohan’s last four years as owner, the Warriors average 36 wins a game, including a 48 win season in a much tougher Western Conference, one better than last year’s, plus a playoff win over Dallas, greatly better than Denver last year. That also includes two twenty plus win seasons when the roster was wracked by injuries and deserters, for which Cohan should take blame. But with Lee and Curry, things were looking up and not much else was needed to make them better.

            So far, under Lacob, the team averages 35 wins (I’m too lazy to adjust for the 66 game season but it’s about the same %).

            I’m not advocating a return to Cohan, rather merely am showing who Lacob should be compared to.

          • Make that 36 wins a year. Sorry.

          • Injuries happen. Blame Lacob if you choose to, but that’s silly, of course.

            It is not the owner’s job to manage the talent of a team. That’s what team presidents, GMs, scouts, talent coordinators, advisors and coaches get paid to do. But if you want to assign talent management to the boss, tell me what’s wrong with this picture:

            Bogut > Biedrins
            Lee > VladRad
            Iguodala > Pietrus
            Thompson not > Monta, but not a bad fallback
            Curry = Curry

            Plus Green, Ezeli, Barnes, Douglas, Speights
            >
            Acie Law, Charlie Bell, the 1st-year Lin, Brandan Wright

            Gosh. That looks like an across-the-board improvement to me.

            The Spurs have a great organization of long standing. A model for others, certainly. If Cohan had followed their example, his last 4 years (of 16) might have been playoff seasons, not losing seasons. I really doubt that Lacob’s teams will have many losing seasons.

            Bogut is limited in some ways, but he also does things Lee can’t. You can count today’s better classic NBA Cs on one hand. I don’t get your POV on that, rgg. The fact that Bogut and Lee don’t mesh very well isn’t Bogut’s fault. It’s also not a staffing problem. It’s a coaching issue.

            Re Landry and Jack, I’ll take JON/Speights for Landry, and Iggy over Jack any day. I don’t get your POV on that either, rgg.

            Myers is a fine deal maker. Other than Lee, name a single good free agent Riley signed in his tenure as GM. Name one Riley salary dump as sweet as Myers’ Utah Biedrins deal. What? You hate Myers now too? Whatever for?

            rgg, take a deep breath and a timeout, then come back and re-read your comments later. You assume all sorts of really negative things about Lacob, his intentions, his management team, his son – gosh, man. You don’t KNOW any of those things.

            The team is unquestionably better than it was under Cohan. Ask yourself why you can’t see that obvious fact.

            As for me, this conversation has now hit my boredom threshold. Ta ta.

          • dottore Sombrero, the Prophit Joseph is the principal owner, and all the minority owners have such minor stakes, including West, that they have no real input on hoops operations other than advisory of the $.02 variety. Guber on paper has the same stake as lacob, but he’s overtly given lacob his full proxy over the team (guber is involved with minor and major league beisbol franchises, including one of the crown jewels, the Blue), and lacob has control over his son’s shares. the president of the bidness side of the team, Weeks, was appointed by lacob. there is no owner’s committee that will overrule lacob until the day guber and Kirk make an alliance for a coup, because no one else has the shares.

            have you really looked at the contracts that vet reserves like jack or landry command on the market ? they’re on a higher tier than speights, douglas, or 0′neal with more $$ for more years, guaranteed. market conditions were near perfect for jack and landry to land with the woeyrs for a single season, and in landry’s case, he consciously wanted to see what his options would be one season later, when he got the multi year deal from Ranadive.

          • Moto, are you saying that Lacob doesn’t listen to his partners?Are you saying the Ws should have kept Landry and Jack?
            If so, I respectfully disagree on both.

  7. Anybody know why the Warriors released Dedmon and brought up Armstrong? Maybe Armstrong has more experience, but he’s light and hasn’t done much at all the past years. I don’t know much about either, except that Dedmon had another big night for Santa Cruz last night (which doesn’t necessarily mean much).

    • last season the preacher was given the final call on the end of the bench guys. if he’s more inclined to use armstrong and less so with dedmon in actual competition and not just for practices, which seems to be the case, that would suffice. we don’t know if dedmon struggled to learn assignments, and that’s an area where armstrong’s experience is likely to help.

  8. Felty: Great write-up. Curry is the man. Also, comments by all posters are very insightful.

    You’ve put your finger on the Warriors biggest problem. Namely, that Bogut is the worse type of center for Curry should be working with. Which takes us to Lacob. If the Warriors don’t make it the Western Conference finals during the life of Bogut’s contract, which personally I think will not happen, such will amply demonstrate that Lacob as owner is an unmitigated disaster.

    In those instances when the Warriors do play small ball, I would feel much more comfortable with a front=line of Iggy, Lee, and Green, then a front=line of Lee, Green, and Barnes or Thompson.

    Even cutting away Barnes misuse by Jackson, Barnes inability to make enough steals, garner offensive rebounds, and not turn the ball over, requires that we get a player who can provide the Warriors with extra possessions and can make such plays. With Green coming of age on both sides of the ball, the Warriors should consider trading Barnes in order to meet some of our pressing needs. Will it only happen if the Warriors go south this year?

  9. Did anyone else notice that Mr. Draymond Multitool Green brought the ball upcourt a few times in the last game?

    I wonder if he’s auditioning for backup PG in addition to all his other roles.

    • no audition needed ; several of us here have noted he’s the third best ball handler/playmaker on the team, running the fast break included, and with iguodala m.i.a. it leaves only curry who’s better. he won’t be used as a point guard because the reserve units will have NN, bazemore, or douglas out there with him. when o’neal was playing they used him, NN, green, barnes, speights as the second unit.

      last week Mr.Barnes took the ball down the court on a break and didn’t even look for a trailer (green, wide open), choosing to take it at the defender near the rim and drawing a foul. players who truly relish leading the break take pride in making the defender(s) commit and either hitting the wing or trailer, and that’s what curry, iguodala, green do.

  10. Warriors are apparently involved in Lowry talks, but they’re not the front runners.

  11. While we’re on the subject of Lacob, let’s not forget he was interested in Carmelo Anthony:

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2011/01/20/joe-lacob-interview-part-2-on-possibly-trading-ellis-or-curry-trying-to-trade-for-carmelo-evaluating-smart-and-more/

    * Lacob praised Monta Ellis as the “core, franchise player” and said he’d like to see more out of Stephen Curry, then openly acknowledged he could trade either guy, if it’d make the team better.

    * He said the Warriors have held discussions with Denver to try to get involved in the Anthony situation, but that it looks like Anthony only wants to go elsewhere (the Knicks).

    from youknowwho

    Which makes Curry the likely trade piece, as I believe was discussed.

    The man’s a genius.

  12. Can’t recap tonight.

    Some here might be interested in #8 pick Terrence Ross’ line in his 2nd NBA start:

    http://espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=400489204

  13. Houston:

    Nice game from the three bigs.

    Actually, I’d like to see them be able to run three guards on occasion, someone who can score and handle, to free up Curry and Klay. They tried it briefly with Douglas.

    Lowry’s not a good shooter though, right?

  14. Terrence Ross first game starting was not as good- 4-13 shooting, 5 turnovers. But he did hit over half the no. of three’s he shot each game.

  15. Can Warriors use trade exemption to get Lowry?

    • the key is really what Tor can get for Lowry, and if a mere trade exception is anything close to what they want. their g.m. wants a good draft pick and GS left itself without that asset for a few years.

      • You’d have to be desperate to give up a pick for a one year rental, though, right? I can’t see the Warriors outbidding the Knicks for that reason. (Also surprised the Lakers aren’t all over this.)

        Maybe the Ws just want to considered for some scraps if a 3way deal is needed.

  16. Pretty good games from two blog favorites, Bogut and Speights. I’ll let rgg and Frank take it from here… ;)

  17. Great wing D from Houston last night. Curry and Thompson switched off, Green ended up with the best 3-pt % on the Ws.

    Gosh, I wonder if a real coach could have gotten his best shooters open looks — wait, that’s what Houston did!

    Not a great overall game for DG. On D, his teammates don’t seem to call out screens or switch to help him when necessary. I guess they think he can/should do it all by himself. That’s not going to work out well against a player like Harden.

    Nice to see Lee step up when given the opportunity. A “return to form” that has always been available.

  18. Agh, another frustrating home loss. The Rockets had a nice strategy in this game
    Shoot 3′s and prevent open looks from the Warriors.

    Three items, the Warriors probably win if Thompson, Barnes or Curry is able to hit 2 threes down the stretch in the last 4 mins. All missed open shots.

    Jackson has yet to “stay with the hot hand” off the bench during this entire season, except for Green against the Mavs. This time around, it would have been nice to see Speights and his effort on the floor in the last two minutes.

    Beverly owned Curry on the offensive end. Each of his wide open threes came with Curry sagging way back into the middle. This may have been the strategy to slow Harden, but at the same time, I have noticed that Curry’s man, whoever it may be is open for threes often. For Curry to be a top 5 NBA player, he HAS to do it on both ends and that means limiting hos an’s open looks.

  19. I was pissed yesterday because I anticipated a blowout, so was pleasantly surprised with the Houston game. It was good to see them find other ways to score, from unexpected players. Big credit to Bogut and Speights.

    And Lee. Feltbot: what is that Strauss tweet about fans hating Lee’s performance? I don’t want to see him give up his midrange shot, however. He’s good there, and it is an effective way to score and a way to challenge his defenders. Also he won’t be able to drive as well against other teams.

    First, though, I’m tired of Fitz giving the defense credit when the other team doesn’t score. Houston had plenty of open looks the first quarter and wasn’t hitting. We got off to another rough start but weren’t hurt because of that. And Howard is nearly helpless from 10 feet out. He doesn’t know what to do with the ball. But both Bogut and Speights stayed on him well.

    I don’t know how to assess Barnes’ performance. He got his points and boards for a change, though, again, he was left openings by the Houston defense.

    The team is going to need all it can get from all its players, and, as I argued earlier, the subs are going to need playing time with a good lineup. Bogut played well both ends, but I was glad his fouls gave more time to Speights. I complained earlier that MJ was trying to turn him into an inside player, but he needs to drive and he finished well last night. He still needs to shoot. If he can fill in at 4 and 5, it will be a boost to playoff chances.

    I almost wished Curry stayed out for more minutes because of his fouls so Douglas got more quality time. He did do well against the Spurs. And Curry was rendered ineffective on defense because of his fouls.

    But the game was lost because of shooting. The 3′s put Houston over the top, and with their lineup it will be hard to stop all their threats. I still wish we had another effective shooter. I still don’t have that much confidence in Barnes or Green over the long haul. Klay, of course, had a bad night.

    Curry and Klay need a facilitator, and with Iguodala out, they need to pick one up, a third guard if Douglas doesn’t develop. They need someone to take the defensive load off Curry and Klay and find them. I don’t believe Curry can close out by himself consistently, nor does that make full use of his talents. He will need to play off the ball at times 4th Q, as he was able to with Jack.

    I was mistaken—Curry and Douglas played together, but not those two and Klay. There will be games where a three guard lineup with some combination of Lee, Speights, Bogut, and Green can be effective, and last night was one of them. A good point guard with a scoring threat, if they can pick one up, could tip the scales this season. He will be useful when Iguodala returns to run the second unit and spell the starters. If that isn’t possible, a plain old spot up shooter would help. They need some kind of scoring help on the bench.

    OK, Lacob. If money isn’t an object, put some up for another player.

    I do hope this game knocked the superman nonsense out of Curry’s head. He made some really bonehead plays, bad passes and two dumb fouls. He will be great only if he has a very good team.

    Hey Feltbot! Challenge the above and give us some thoughts!

    • Last thought. If Houston had started hot, this would have been a very different game. The Warriors would have been playing catchup the rest of the game, losing by at least a dozen points. Last night was not a validation of “Warriors brand of basketball.”

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