Warriors 115 Suns 86: A Dish Served Cold

Revenge played a big part in this turnaround Warriors effort against the Suns. Home cooking certainly played a role.

And Mark Jackson deserves a lot of credit. He committed to running Channing Frye off the three point line. He had the Warriors offense spacing the floor much better, and executing far more crisply. And running the ball back at the Suns. Great tempo in this game.

But I think the biggest difference between this game and the game in Phoenix was the ability to put Andre Iguodala on Eric Bledsoe. Iggy is still nothing like himself, one glance at the box score will tell you that. But Bledsoe was nothing like himself either with Iggy guarding him, and that’s all she wrote.

Games like this get me thinking like I was thinking to start the season.

Thinking that the Warriors have the best starting five in the NBA. 

Stephen Curry: The difference between Stephen Curry and Chris Paul?

Chris Paul is an extraordinary point guard, who has also been extraordinarily lucky in always being able to play with the most athletic pick and roll finishers in the league. Tyson Chandler, (young) David West, DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin.

Stephen Curry is a superstar.

David Lee: The Curry/Lee pick and roll with Lee at center, and a spread floor (Bogut off the court), didn’t begin until 4:55 3rd Q, with Lee beating Fry for a wide open layup. I’ve pointed out to Marcus Thompson and Adam Lauridsen and a host of others, that Lee NEVER gets his pick and roll layups blocked by his own man. When he gets them blocked, it’s by Bogut’s man, camped in the lane and waiting. When Bogut is on the bench, and the floor is spread, the Curry/Lee pick and roll is…


The Suns attempted to guard it on the next possession, at 4:04 3rd Q, but Lee stopped short and found Draymond Green under the basket for his fifth assist.

Unguardable. Because David Lee is not only one of the best finishers in the league, leading the NBA in points in the paint, but also one of the best passing big men in the NBA.

But I don’t want to dwell on Lee’s offense. Warriors fans don’t give a fig that they have one of the best offensive big men in league history.

Did you happen to notice his defence on Channing Frye out at the three point line? In this game, Lee conceded the drive, relying on Bogut in the middle, to focus on running Frye off the three point line. The result? Frye 3-9, 1-5 from three.

Anyone else notice that?

I didn’t think so.

One last point: this change in Lee’s defense had nothing to do with Lee. It had to do with a change in the GAMEPLAN.

Andrew Bogut: His rebounding streak ended, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him look better in a Warriors uniform. He played at an extremely elite level.

It’s always hard to evaluate defensive performances like this, because the addition of Iggy to the Warriors lineup meant that the Suns were just that much slower in their rim attacks, and ability to fast break. But Bogut was special on this night.

On offense, it looks like Jackson made some progress. When Lee was involved, Bogut was up high, drawing his man away from the rim. When Bogut was low, Lee was high.

There is simply no excuse for the spacing issues that have plagued the Warriors in the first and third quarters this season. There are answers, some of which I listed in the last thread (comment 7). Jackson found some other answers in this game.

Klay Thompson: 21 points on 9-11 shooting. That sound you hear is Warriors fans sheathing their knives. And Ethan Strauss hitting the delete button on his piece stating that “the majority of Warriors fans want Klay Thompson traded.”

The problem on this night was on the defensive end. I’m pretty sure that Mark Jackson — who recently stated that Klay is an elite defensive player — doesn’t understand the difference between using Klay to guard small point guards, and using him to guard small shooting guards.

He’s very effective defensively in the paint, using his length to disrupt pick and roll and mid-range jump shots. But he is absolutely helpless trying to guard quick shooting guards out on the perimeter. As we’ve seen with Bledsoe and Redick and others.

Jackson fed Klay early foul trouble in this game by starting him on Bledsoe. It’s possible that he was trying to protect Iggy for as long as possible. But I’m not convinced of that.

I stated before this season that Iggy was the guard, and Klay Thompson was the small forward. That’s not always the correct matchup. Sometimes Curry can guard the small forward, sometimes Iggy is best there. But this game illustrates my point.

Another data point: the iso Thompson got against PJ Tucker at 6:20 1Q.


Small forwards can’t get into Klay’s dribble.

Iggy: Not even close to healthy. Or is it just that he’s not even close to in shape?

Nevertheless, the game changed when he started guarding Bledsoe. He guarded one of the most athletic and explosive guards in the NBA this season strictly on length and IQ.

Harrison Barnes: Zero rebounds in 31 minutes.

Zero rebounds in 31 minutes.

Zero rebounds in 31 minutes.

There were some available. Phoenix’s small forward PJ Tucker, whom Barnes was frequently matched up with, stands 6-6″. He got 12 rebounds in this game.

Harrison Barnes, zero rebounds in 31 minutes. PJ Tucker, 12 rebounds in 28 minutes.

Are you feeling me yet? Are you starting to get why I have been so hard on Harrison Barnes from the very first moment I saw him play?

This doesn’t have to do with youth. This doesn’t have to do with experience. It has to do with HEART. 

When Harrison Barnes came into the league, I strongly suspected that he didn’t understand what was required to be a successful small forward in the NBA. And I strongly suspected that he cared 10 times more about his brand then he did about doing the small things that add up to wins in the NBA.

Barnes has done nothing, not last year, not this year, to make me think differently.


Draymond Green: Everything that Harrison Barnes is not. The quintessential “3 and D” player. A gritty, in your face, winner.

With the potential to be more. In this game, we saw him put the ball on the floor and unleash some assaults on the rim. As well as continue to expand his playmaking.

I don’t mind when Green delivers elbows to Blake Griffins’ throat. I really don’t. In fact, I loved it.

And I think the Warriors vets should step up and pay his fine.

Fanboys, close your eyes for a second. Take some deep breaths. Find your happy place.


Now try to imagine Harrison Barnes delivering that blow.

116 Responses to Warriors 115 Suns 86: A Dish Served Cold

  1. No mention of Bazemore being subbed in before Draymond? LOL. I was about to lose my shit at that moment.

    • Felt, +1 on Bogut and Lee. As for Barnes, I think he is partly clueless about what he’s supposed to be doing. Do you remember Bogut’s dive cut that resulted in that huge dunk from the Curry feed? Barnes could have made the same cut from the opposite wing because his man haf also turned his back.But instead, Barnes was just standing there with his hands by his side. Do you think Barnes ever wonders why he hasn’t had a posterizing dunk for a while? He’s not trying!

      Evanz, the Bazemore substitution was a great move at that point in the game. Bazemore forced two turnovers including diving on the floor, and that stretch was when the game really turned in the Warriors favor. Bazemore replaced Klay and Jackson needed someone who could guard a point guard. It worked out very well. Those may have been Bazemore’s most productive minutes of the season. Note: Curry was in the game to handle the ball, and that’s when the layup line started for the Warriors.

      • “Those may have been Bazemore’s most productive minutes of the season.”

        This makes it look like a good move with hindsight. Fact is Bazemore is the second worst player on this team (next to Nedovic).

    • Bazemore didn’t seem that crazy to me because Dragic and Bledsoe were still in the game, Iguodala had already left the game (replaced by Barnes), you’re saving Douglas for Curry, and with a thin front line you are saving Green for Lee. Although Green is a capable defender, he has stints where he picks up three fouls in 5 minutes; that isn’t out of the question chasing a small guard around. With Klay on thin ice with fouls and the aforementioned shortage of bigs, it didn’t rock my world. The mystery to me is Barnes over Green. Maybe Barnes has a better agent.

    • Warriorsablaze

      You can’t expect Jackson to be both flexible with his in-game strategy and also demand that your pet player specifically be first off the bench every game.

      Baze obviously hasn’t earned minutes over Green, he was brought in due to Klay’s foul trouble and the matchup on the floor.

      • “he was brought in due to Klay’s foul trouble and the matchup on the floor.”

        So bring Draymond in at SF, move Iguodala over to guard whoever needs to be guarded. Simple. Logical. Of course that’s not what Jackson’s going to do, right?

        Ok, fellas, now just imagine your reaction if Bazemore came in and played like his usual self. Jackson got lucky (again) because a player saved his ass from a dumb decision. That won’t happen all the time, and hasn’t worked in the past for him, when “Garbage Squad” has squandered big leads.

    • EvanZ, the stats you’re relying on when you call Bazemore “the second worst player on the team” are backward looking and irrelevant. They are mostly from him playing out of position at point guard. That was simply a disaster.

      But that stopped when Douglas returned. And Bazemore has been playing much better now, when restricted to his natural position, a 3 and D shooting guard.

      I had absolutely no problem with him being brought in when he was, to replace Klay against the Suns’ two pointguard backcourt. He has the potential to be extremely good in that role. And, in fact, he was great (as I meant to mention in my post but forgot). And bought both Klay and Iggy some important time off from a demanding defensive assignment.

      I expected Bazemore to be an important rotation player at the two and three this season. His defense is exceptional, he shoots the three, runs the floor and gets to the rim. Jackson has up to this point come close to destroying his confidence by experimenting with him at the point. I look forward to seeing him used and developed in the right role. He can help this team.

      • FB, you beat me to the punch. I thought playing Bazemore was one of the best coaching moves Jackson has made this entire season. He put an imperfect player in a perfect position to succeed. That’s the simplest definition of what good coaching is all about. Round peg, meet round hole.

      • You don’t win by playing your worst players more than your best players. By that measure, Draymond should have been the first substitution when Klay went out. Iguodala should have switched to SG and Draymond at the 3.

        • Yes and no. In general, “play your best players” was Nellie’s approach, and you can’t argue with success. But in today’s NBA, with a hard 15-player cap, it pays to utilize every possible resource (e.g. the Spurs).

          Bazemore is quickquick and has a freakish reach. He’s “weird stuff,” a defensive surprise. He’s not the guy you want to count on to go and get that win, but he is a disruption.

          Jackson played Bazemore a total of 17 minutes. In that time, he completely shut down the Suns’ primary offensive initiator.

          Given more playing time, Bazemore might have lost the game. But in short minutes, Bazemore delivered precisely what the team needed.

        • Your theory is right, of course, but it did not apply to the Bazemore substitution. Iguodala was already out of the game, one or two possessions before Klay. Maybe you turn around a completely healthy Iguodala back into the game but I don’t think he is all the way back. Also, Feltbot is right about Bazemore’s role; he is a serviceable back-up two-guard. The sub problem starts earlier with Barnes over Draymond but, I don’t think you move either Barnes or Draymond to guard Bledsoe; that means Bazemore.

  2. I’m out until after New Years.

    • molto grazie, felt-boss for this year end present. may you return even more prosperous and wise.

      the team’s schedule in Jan is representative of all the remaining games, with the majority of the opponents eastern conference teams. they get bonuses in the form of four consecutive days off just after the non guaranteed contracts get guaranteed for the rest of the season (bazemore, armstrong), and three more together in the third week, all at home, with three more to start Feb. no excuses for the no-prep coaching, or for the rematches vs. Por and OK. these will also be the final weeks for Myers to supplement the bench with a capable vet already signed to an n.b.a. contract.

    • Let me join Moto in wishing you a good year-end. You and the unique commenters make this the most dynamic Warriors blog around. A safe New Year’s return to all.

    • Thanks, gents. Thanks to all for your help in making this blog fun to read, for myself included, and Happy New Year!

  3. It was a joy (and relief) to see the Ws dominate last night, but I still wonder about a few things going forward.

    Curry and Thompson combined for 3-9 3pt shooting last night.
    That’s not enough 3pt attempts for a game-changing duo like that, and it’s a terrible shooting percentage for them. Once again the Ws allowed the Suns to shut down their elite 3-point shooting, as everyone else has done lately.

    Last night that was not a critical problem. But against other teams the Ws are going to need that edge. It has been largely MIA this season. Last night’s win only emphasized the problem. The Ws need to fix the problem.

    Green was… different last night. Very much in control, most noticeably when finishing at the rim. 11 points (same as Barnes), 6 rebounds (Barnes zero rebounds in 31 minutes!), zero fouls despite creating his usual awesome havoc all over the court. But Green got only 18 minutes v Barnes’ 31.

    Last night Green subbed for Lee and Bogut, not Thompson and Iggy. I wonder if that’s Jackson’s plan for Green going forward. If so, I wonder if Jackson thinks Green even has a future in the NBA. He’s not “a big,” he’s not “a small,” he’s a too-short/too-big tweener who Jackson uses only when forced to. Just 18 minutes.

    Green is a winner, Barnes is a lovely fashion model. I wonder if Jackson can tell the difference. Dear Coach Jackson, Your BigShotness:

    Winners win. Play winners. Win.

  4. Another game in which the Warriors by playing tall scored 115 points and limited their opponents to scoring less than 90 points. They wouldn’t be having such results playing mostly small ball.

    Second good straight game by Thompson. Wonder if he takes less shots helps his shooting percentage?

    • The Warriors big lineups performed great last night for a change, no question, but they played a total of 22 minutes: 21 minutes for Bogut + Lee, 1 minute for Armstrong and Speights.

      Which means the Warriors played smallball for 26 minutes.


    • Also they played against one of the smallest lineups in the NBA, without a great center, though Plumlee is surprising many, so I hope they’d dominate. And when Plumlee went out. . . .

      This became a must win because of past performance. A shame it wasn’t a game where they couldn’t have experimented more and worked in more bench players.

      Trade Barnes for a Morris brother? They don’t need two. We’d get a bona fide stretch four.

  5. Felty: Glad you acknowledge that Bogut at 7 feet, and Armstrong at 6’11” is playing big ball. They played a combined 30 minutes and the Warriors outscored Phoenix by far (plus 22) with Bogut on the court. The small line-ups barely had a plus 3 when on the court, clearly showing that tall ball dominated Phoenix, not small ball. Virtually all the other starters had high positives when they played with Bogut.

    Rarely will you ever see even a positive point differential for the Warriors with a small line-up as contrasted with a wide wide margin in wins when you see with the Warriors playing tall ball.

    As small’s lack of defense cannot overcome any small positive that small line up produces on offense.

    So even given that you place Speights as part of small ball that is one reason the Warriors have been outscored by a minus eleven so far this season with him on the court.

    • Playing big as I see it is playing with two conventional bigs. So I would count Lee + Speights as playing big. Nellieball as I see it is playing with a stretch four. Like Biedrins + Harrington.

      Hence 22 minutes playing big, 26 playing Nellieball.

      As for the point differential of these lineups, why don’t you prove your assertion? Start with last year’s stats, that’s a significant sample. And don’t forget to include the minutes with Barnes and Green at the four in last year’s playoffs.

    • Frank, of course you can consider whatever you choose as a ‘big’ or ‘small ball’ line up, but most observers in the media include the lineups with a single big and four guard/wing players as a ‘small ball’ configuration. some wings at present are 6’9 or 6’10, similar to 4’s, but are much more perimeter oriented and are able to defend perimeter players. lee is 6’9 and can play some perimeter ball on offense, but he’s a 4 because he really can’t defend wings well. when green plays the four with lee, bogut or speights, that’s more a small ball type of lineup.
      it appears that the preacher might be leaning toward using green to sub for lee or bogut more so, and for the wings barnes, thompson, iguodala less, but there’s still about two thirds of the season left and it’s not at all settled.

  6. Feltbot,

    I asked you several weeks ago if you would make the Barnes for MKG trade strait-up.. You said you would not mentioning 1) Barnes spaces the floor better 2) has more trade value. However, I would point out MKG is a much much better defender, rebounder and distributor and bad shooting mechanics with work (and by all accounts MKG is putting the work in bit they say it will be a 3 year process) can be corrected. Would you still not make that trade?

    • I’m not a scout, so I don’t know how truly unfixable MKG’s shot is. But from what I’ve heard, it’s unfixable. So no. Remember Stacy Augmon, the rubber man? Great defender too. But no pro career. Is MKG a better defender than MBam? Same thing.

      Thing is, you shouldn’t have to pay for 3 and D types. They abound in the D-Leagues, as Nellie proved year after year. And they also abound in the bottom of drafts: Sprewell, Howard, Butler, Harkless.

      I would look to make a greater fool pay up for Barnes.

      • I think your taking defense and rebounding for granted. Those aren’t easy commodities in the modern NBA or D League.

        Plus, where’s a fool when you need one. Oops forgot, the owner of the a Hornets.

        • I left someone out. Is MKG a better defender than Draymond Green? Where was he drafted?

          I don’t devalue defense, I devalue one way players. And I note the current wholesale price of legit 3 and D players, which is bargain basement.

          It’s marketable ticket-selling face of the franchise frauds like Barnes and MKG that are expensive.

  7. In his last 5 games, Barnes has averaged about 25 minutes. During this time he has:

    Averaged 7 points at 28% (3/7 on the threes).

    Gone 10 for 14 from the line at 71%. Throw out the Clipper game, when he shot 9, and he’s getting to the line about once a game.

    Averaged 2.2 boards and 1.2 assists.

    1 block, 5 steals for all 5 games.

    But perhaps the most telling stat, reinforcing FB’s questions about his aggressiveness, is that he has committed .8 personal fouls, 4 total, over those 5 games.

    (ESPN provides the stats for this.)

    Surely there’s a record here for passivity. How many NBA players spend this much time on the court with so little result?

  8. Last thought on the Phoenix game. MJax says he wants defense to set up offense. It should be the other way around with this team, and it’s what we saw that night. Putting pressure on opponents to run with you or, better, catch up, puts a strain on an offense and leads to forced shots.

    Good offense = good defense.

  9. Can safely say that Terrence Ross is proving to be better than Barnes. But, neither to date is an extra possession guy.

    Moto: Felty does not consider playing Bogut and Lee as playing small.

    Happy New Year to Felty and all other posters, including NFF.

    • bogut + lee is obviously not a small ball quintet, and they get terrible court spacing and turnovers when iguodala is not in there. either of them plus four wings/guards incl. green, qualifies as a small line up. barnes is physically bigger than green, if the reports at the season’s start were accurate about his weight gain and green’s weight loss. barnes might also be taller by a little.

  10. Ross looking very good which I’ll add Felbot predicted.

    Wonder what J. West’s POV was in the pre-draft meeting as Lacob & Myers were the only Warriors to fly out to interview and watch barnes workout.

    • from West’s comments over the years about what he likes in players, Mr. Barnes does not qualify as his preferred type. what most see as one of barnes’ strengths, shooting, isn’t as good as many of the players West has expressed interest in, not to mention ball handling and court smarts and competitiveness, other things he looks for.

  11. As talented as Ross is offensively, what makes him a standout prospect is his length and defensive ability at the off guard position. Would have made him a great pick for the Warriors.

    I’m guessing Lacob and Myers were stubborn or confused about Klay’s true position, and thinking inside a box. And probably fell in love with Barnes’ body as well, a common pitfall of NBA neophytes.

    • The Raptors have a pretty good record since subbing the raw Ross for Rudy Gay, which should indicate something.

  12. Sir Feltbot must be proud of Jackson line-up in the Cleveland OT. Good win.

  13. Jackson regressed again with his substitution pattern against Cleveland, and then had to lean heavily on his starters for the entire second half and overtime.

    His misuse of Bazemore at the point cost the Warriors several possessions again. Bazemore should have been used as a two guard, cross matched up to guard Irving while Curry was in the game guarding Jack.

    I don’t understand why Jackson is afraid to try lineups like Iggy, Bazemore, Thompson, Green and Lee (or Bogut). This lineup has defensive ability and scoring. Jackson is so inflexible at times it kills me. Then, at other times he makes the correct move and the Warriors absolutely dominate. Gah! It’s so frustrating!

    • you’re blurring over some relevant details by characterising the substitutions with ‘lean heavily on his starters for the entire second half and overtime’.

      the turning point of the score began in the third quarter, which Cle began with a 7 pt. lead and kept it 6-8 points until bogut left, green entered at 4.33, Cle leading by 8. green soon made an impact with a def. rebound, taking it upcourt immediately, assisting curry for a three point play which cut the lead to five. it was a mixed lineup of starters and bench incl. green and speights that tied the game through the first few minutes of the fourth quarter, when jackson brought back the starters hoping they could close it out. green re-entered for the final minutes and helped give them a three point lead, which was erased of course just before curry’s final attempt which missed.

      in overtime, the starters lasted a mere 66 seconds together before bogut left for green’s re-entry, and 22 seconds later lee fouled out, bringing on barnes and the no center lineup (green successfully keeping varejao in check) that provided the final margin.

    • Green +11
      Barnes +11
      Speights +7
      Bogut -11

      Finishing lineup: Curry, Thompson, Iggy, Green, Barnes. One of the smallest lineups the Ws could play.

      To my eye, the win goes to Draymond Green. He was a BEAST in all ways except shooting. 5 offensive rebounds, 12 total. 4 blocks + a handful of disrupted shots. Perfect spacing on offense and defense, always in the right place to wreak havoc.

      If the league had an award for “best no-stats player,” Green won it in a single game, last night. After the game he even managed to dodge Barnett’s implied criticism of the coach (“about that no-foul…”). Not your usual 2nd-year short-minutes benchwarmer.

      If Green could straighten out his shooting, he’d never leave the floor. His teammates seemed to think that too. They kept going out of their way to get him the ball.

  14. Just checked NBAWowy stats on last night’s game. One really interesting stat:

    With Bogut on the floor, the team Block Rate/100 Possessions was 1.7.
    With Green on the floor, it was 20.4.


  15. It is a longstanding tradition that whenever I am unable to watch, the Warriors play their best games of the season.

    It looks from the box score like Bogut took the game off. His home and away splits are not good.

    • It wasn’t an outstanding night for either of the Ws’ starting bigs. Lee finished with an efficient 19 points, but had only 4 rebounds. He was -4 on the game, though that number was probably mostly due to sharing court time with Bogut, who finished -11.

      Speights and Green did well. It seemed that the Cavs had a good plan for attacking Bogut/Lee, but no Plan B to deal with the very different abilities of the bench crew.

      One good thing: Curry/Thompson (can’t bring myself to call them the Splash Bros now that it’s a cheezy marketing slogan) got 22 3-pt attempts, the most in a month or so. Curry was brilliant (!!!) until he got gassed. Thompson clanked from everywhere all night long. But at least they got the right number of attempts for a change.

      Draymond SUCKS HORRIBLY as a shooter. End of criticism of Draymond. Last night he was DOMINANT, forcing his team to win despite all (check the block rate in the previous post). Curry is (and rightfully should be) this team’s head. Last night, Draymond was its heart. Last night they won with heart.

    • Not the type of game where Bogut will look great. Going against a mobile big man he has trouble finding on the boards; the other team making perimeter shots in the first half then missing perimeter shots with long rebounds in the second half; the team needing to speed-up to catch-up. All-in-all I didn’t think he was too bad. Interesting about the home/away splits; I wonder if the air travel affects his damaged joints. When he was out of the game, the Cavs tried to attack the rim but Draymond was everywhere. Brilliant.

      One more thing about Bogut, I’d like to see Curry take Bogut’s 6-7 shooting out for a spin. See if there is a 8-10, 10-13 game in there. There are enough other players shooting bricks to afford him some more looks. How much would it help the perimeter if teams had to deal with a Bogut scoring threat?

      • Yeah, it would be cool to get Bogut going offensively, but his Biedrinsitis makes it difficult. Anything that exposes him to getting fouled seems to be off Bogut’s to-do list. What remains is a very short list of scoring moves.

  16. Actually, Bogut did some nice things on offense first half, including executing a drive on a pick and roll (one of a handful I remember this season). He didn’t have problems getting open.

    Cleveland showed a balanced attack, and a lot of the story is their knocking down shots the first half and missing in the second. Tristan Thompson looked good both ends, and may have been responsible for shutting down Lee (was he on Lee? I was inattentive).

    Did they run much offense with Lee up top first half? I’ve forgotten.

    +/– is utterly deceptive on this game, except in the case of Green. Barnes with the same +11 was obviously along for the ride. At 4-12, most of his shots were ill advised and didn’t have much chance. Bogut’s +/– will be deceptive in part because he was out when the Cleveland offense stalled and ours picked up, thought there is some cause/effect here. Speights looked good again.

    My main concern for the team is that they can’t show a balanced attack themselves. With Iguodala not taking many shots, if Klay gets off to a slow start, all of a sudden they can’t score. They just have to shut down Lee and Curry and concede openings for Bogut, the only offense they had first half.

    I’d let to see Lee get his midrange shot going again, and give him the green light here if he doesn’t have it. (Cleveland got scoring from mid-ragne shots from their front court.) Most, I’d like to see another reliable scorer on the bench to play with the subs and be able to step in if the starting offense sours, a shooter with handles and some sense.

    The way Barnes has been playing, the team would be better off sending him down to Santa Cruz to improve all the things still not in place and auditioning d-leaguers until they find one worth keeping, preferably a guard, but any competent two-way player would be a gain.

    • Barnes’ athleticism may be more of a curse than a boon. It allowed him to rip through high school/AAU offenses, but it kept him from learning skills along the way and making adjustments. Then he hit college, where his performance was disappointing, and you know what we’ve seen with GSW. I’m skeptical he’ll ever pick up the skills he needs at this stage of his career.

      Curry, on the other hand, has been making adjustments for his size all his life. He’s learned just about everything there is to learn.

    • In a way, Barnes is a coaching conundrum. As a 3 he’s not even “NBA average” today, but he could beat almost anyone he’d face in the D league on athleticism alone. Success in the D league wouldn’t make him competitive in the NBA, though. In the NBA, most of his opponents are 3x any D league competition.

      So the Ws are stuck with leaving Barnes in the pro club, and the challenge is how to get a winning contribution from him there.

      The better, smarter, more complete the ball player, the more a coach can leave his role undefined. At the highest level, someone like Curry can have this coaching directive: “make good things happen.” At the next level, a role player can contribute to wins with a directive like “shoot well,” (Thompson), “own the paint” (Bogut), or “stop them” (Green).

      Now that Barnes has proven he’s not an iso scorer or a great defender, he doesn’t seem to have a clearly defined role in the team. He’s got all these physical tools, but no reflexive “go-to” role.

      I’d like to see coach Jackson give Barnes a simple role. If he becomes successful at that, then his role could be expanded. That’s not a knock on Barnes as a person, it’s just a way to maximize his contributions to the team and grow them over time. For example, in the short term Barnes could become Adrian Dantley, a severely limited player who also happens to be a World Champion.

      Over time, Barnes could be better than Dantley ever was. The point is that Barnes has a contribution to make right now in the right role. Whether or not Barnes does make a contribution is up to his coach.

      • Dantley is a bad comparison. He produced results immediately at Notre Dame where he was dominating, and in the NBA. Barnes is simply a good athlete with no special skill set, little court sense and vision, and not much drive. Good players, even average players, figure things out when they’re on the court, regardless. Barnes can’t figure much out at all.

        To give him a limited role is to concede overall team flexibility and intelligence. And we see this time after time when he comes in. He is a passive drain on the offense. I don’t think he could develop into that good of a stretch four. His 3 point shot isn’t that good and he’s still a drag on defense.

        But whatever he might offer there could easily be offset by another player anywhere, any position 1-4. There are D-Leaguers who could step in now and add as much as Barnes, if given his minutes. The only issue left is how much money they’ll sink into him hoping he’ll develop. But they’re also wasting time and roster spots developing experienced players who will help out in some way now and in the future.

        He might do well in the decathlon, or maybe celebrity athletic competitions. If he can dance, he might be able to dance with the stars.

      • sorry you’ve exposed your superficial understanding of players if you truly see Mr. Barnes approaching or overtaking Dantley, who had superlative foot work, ball handling, body control, if you’re looking at the offensive side of their games. if he had that kind of skill, barnes would be drawing a lot more fouls. defensively, o.k., barnes could surpass AD on the perimeter, but he hasn’t shown the toughness on the boards and in traffic of AD either.

        • Fair enough, y’all. We all agree that Dantley was an excellent NBA role player. I say “role player” because he was severely limited overall. He had no more than a couple of go-to offensive moves (albeit great ones!), and was no better than so-so on D. I think we all also agree that Barnes has yet to establish himself as a successful role player.

          The thing is, a player’s role is not something he chooses. It’s something a coach chooses for him, based on the kinds of contributions the coach thinks that player can make.

          Dantley was a great slashing scorer. If his coaches had not recognized that and given him, say, a point-forward role instead, he’d have been a bust. Anyone can be made to fail.

          Jackson has mis-used Barnes as an iso scorer, point forward, and perimeter defender. He’s doesn’t have the skills for any of those things. He does have (more than) Dantley’s athletic ability, and his rim-finishing body control.

          In the roles Barnes has been given, he’s been a liability. Given the right role – one that plays to his strengths – he could be a contributor. He wouldn’t be the first, or last, extremely limited NBA player who helped his team win. In that, coaching makes all the difference.

        • My memory of Dantley — and I was quite young — was of him using his big ass to punish small forwards on the left block. He succeeded by power, craft, guile and a superb midrange shot. 4 things Barnes has yet to develop.

          • My memory of Dantley is mostly of him getting spoonfed layups from Isiah Thomas, which is where I was going with the comparison. Didn’t really want to pick nits over AD’s career, since he wasn’t our topic. I’ll try to avoid introducing distractions like that in the future.

            Here’s the point, for anyone still interested in beating this drum:

            The usual coaching plan for the clueless is to bring them along one step at a time. That wasn’t done with Barnes. Jackson threw him in the deep end on Day 1. It has not worked out, as the contrast with DGreen makes perfectly clear.

            That doesn’t mean Barnes is useless. It does mean his role should be simplified to a level he can handle. That’s in “Coaching for Dummies,” Ch. 1. There must be something the team can use him for. Even if it’s just spoonfed layups.

          • I was going to pile-on Hat for the comparison of Barnes to Adrian Dantley, Hall-of-Famer Adrian Dantley, six-time All-Star Adrian Dantley, Adrian Dantley who was spoon-fed layups by Isaiah Thomas in his 30’s but came into the league as a 20 year old and immediately averaged 20+ points per game on 50%+ shooting, the Adrian Dantley who has more in common with Moto’s avatar than Harrison Barnes. But no, I won’t go there.

            Instead, let me remind everyone what FB said about a year go (and I’m paraphrasing): “Maybe Barnes can fill the Dorrell Wright role.” Three’s and, if someone comes out to challenge, a hard drive to the basket where his ability to finish at the rim is a big plus. That and a greater dedication to defense is where he should be right now, off the bench. He is only 21 and he is an athletic freak so it is not unimaginable that he can gain competency at those skills and begin to add on but right now he has no go-to, no fall-back, and he is out of his depth.

          • Um, now that I think about it, I might be remembering Mark Aguirre. Like I said, quite young. Carry on, don’t mind me.

      • Barnes role should be “Stay in the corner and shoot 3’s when we tell you to.”

        • The aforementioned Dorell Wright role. Combined with his slashing and dunking ability, clearly the best role for Barnes.

          Obviously, tho, it drives Jackson nuts when he’s guarded by point guards. But should that necessarily compel a countermove to iso post ups? It seem to me that you could punish the matchup just as well by shooting threes over it, and making yourself available at the rim on cuts. Without taking your team out of its offense.

          • Exactly!

            When is it better to throw away a dynamic ball-movement and cutting offense to try and take advantage of a mismatch with an iso? I suspect it is less frequent than what Jackson seems to think. For the sake of the team, I hope this is Jackson trying to train people up to gain competency at this skill since it is sometimes a good option and not a pounding of square pegs into round holes.

            BTW, remembering Aguirre or Dantley, you remember Dantley just fine. He may have been the best post-up player at his height (6’5″ or 6’6″) ever. He was a strange but effective cross between Carl Landry, Andre Miller, and Charles Barkley’s butt with just a dash of Bernard King. The greats just find a way.

  17. The Warriors starting line-up is nowhere near the best in the West as indicated by our start by going down 17 points against a lowly Cleveland team. Nor do the Warriors have as of late a devastating offense as Iggy doesn’t shoot much and Thompson is erratic.

    Congrats to Jackson and staff for figuring out a way for Bogut to score even though he has no low post game.

    The Warriors went down 17 points by playing mostly a big line-up, The Warriors come most of the way back with a tall line-up. They were able to put it away with D. Green’s defense.

  18. As I keep saying, if Jackson wants to win…I mean…when Jackson decides he needs to win to keep his job, he plays Draymond. It’s as simple as that.

  19. Dantley was a fantastic offensive player and scoring machine. Rarely saw him have a bad game.

    Barnes will never be as good as Billy Owens who was ok but not great.

  20. The best thing to do with Barnes would be to send him down to D League and let him light it up there to improve his trade value. The thing is, I don’t think he would. He’d still be passive and dependent on the other players.

    He had his chance in college, and he’s had chances this year with the second unit against subs, in some games with a hefty lead, during a blowout.

    Does Barnes remind you of anyone? But here’s the problem: the players he might remind us of aren’t memorable.

    • I don’t get it, rgg.

      In general, D league doesn’t improve anyone’s trade value.

      Sending Barnes to D league now would be a public statement that he’s not NBA-ready. It would destroy any trade value he might currently have.

      Barnes needs coaching and development work, and he can get that in Oakland, from (presumably) better coaches than the D league team has on staff. He also needs to improve his team play with his Ws teammates, not some other bunch.

      Sadly, the Oakland Ws need Barnes right now. The only other backup 3 on the team is Green, and Green backs up several other positions in addition. So if the Ws dispense with Barnes, they’d be in serious need of a replacement.

      I don’t think Barnes is as hopeless as you seem to think he is. You put your finger on it: he tends to disappear on court until those moments when he’s handed the ball and can’t avoid the spotlight. I think his problem is more caution than passivity.

      Barnes tries hard to avoid mistakes that would get him yanked off the floor, and that is perfectly understandable when you see how quickly Jackson gives the hook to Douglas, Bazemore, and even Green. By that measure – playing time – Barnes is the team’s most successful bench player. He makes the fewest mistakes, so he plays the most. The downside, of course, is that he does so little.

      • As last years playoff showed, Barnes is far less passive when being played at four. It forces him to rebound, gets his fast break going, and gets him open all over the court.

        At least half of his struggles this season are attributable to Jackson’s misuse of him, imo.

        But also growing suspicious that his toe is hampering him. Where are the dunks?

        • If Barnes were still injured, he probably wouldn’t be playing at all. My doc sez turf toe is very painful, and recovery is only possible with rest.

          FWIW, doc also says turf toe can be a chronic condition, but not necessarily. Like an ankle sprain, it depends on the exact cause of the injury, the severity, etc.

          Maybe Barnes’ dunks are MIA simply due to him being more cautious. If it’s how he injured his foot in the first place, he might have second thoughts about attacking the rim.

      • Hat,

        That is an interesting take about Barnes’ possible caution to avoid a quick hook. Does anyone remember the brilliant Keith Smart’s attempted neutering of Steph Curry to avoid turnovers? Cut into his effectiveness too although Steph was too brilliant to completely disappear. FB also has a good point about his role. Might be a little of both.

        • Thanks, YT.

          In his last season with the Ws, Dorell Wright shot .422/.360, with 4.6 rebounds/game, in 27 mpg.

          This season, H Barnes is shooting .438/.400, with 3.9 rebounds/game, in 31.9 mpg.

          Wright was a better wing defender than Barnes, but not as good at attacking the rim. Like Barnes, Wright would disappear sometimes, not to be heard from for whole quarters. Wright couldn’t handle the ball any better than Barnes either.

          Wright fanboiz forgive me, but overall those sound guys sound like their contributions to the team are already essentially identical overall. And Barnes is only 21. And no one was talking about sending DWright to the D league.

          There are lots of ways Barnes could improve, fersher (especially on D!). But maybe “what’s wrong with Barnes” is mostly his draft number, plus his coach trying to have him do things he’s not good at.

          • warriorsablaze

            I only caught the second half of the game today, but I’m starting to agree with Feltbot that Barnes might still be bothered by his toe.

            Not that I think he would be a high impact player otherwise, but he’s just not there right now… even worse than normal. He had two opportunities today for an aggressive dunk in transition and opted for the contested layup both times. He did manage to pull down 7 boards, but was otherwise invisible.

  21. Luckily Draymond has developed into a player that is even more valuable than what I hoped Barnes would become. Without him this team is in some trouble.

  22. The loss in not cashing in Barnes is development now of whatever player might take his place who would be ready for the end of the season. Also he’s not doing anything to help the development of the subs, who need to be brought along as well. And any player, 1-3, who is reasonably competent and versatile, would be a net plus for the team.

    Again, Orlando should have been a game where he could have been featured. Instead, he tagged along with the subs, didn’t create for himself or others. Most of the rebounds fell into his hands. And more fumbling the ball, more ill-advised drives, more passing it back, no aggressiveness.

    Maybe his toe is bothering him, but that doesn’t account for a lot of his play. His head just isn’t that quick. He doesn’t see the court well. He hesitates making decisions. Barnett has noted several times that on fast breaks Barnes doesn’t see the trailers.

    Barnes learned a couple of tricks that worked under light pressure, and that’s it. He’s just not a player.

  23. lo siento, Sr.Sombrero, but you opened the Dantley can of worms while overlooking the most productive part of his career [seven seasons averaging 26+ pts. includin four with 30+, leading the entire assoc. in made foul shots five times]. many casual fans in the national t.v. audience likewise paid minimum attention at the time, entranced by LA/showtime and the multi-h.o.f. Bos bunch. Dantley was in a former ABA outpost, not one of the teams surviving after the n.b.a. had tried to ignore the league with the tricolor ball, but an attractive enough fan base to pull a younger n.b.a. franchise northward and ruining one of the best ever team names .

    Dantley has the all time highest field goal pct. among guards and wings. 313 regular season games scoring 30-39 pts, with 52 more in the 40s, and 6 in the 50s. contemporary wings not playing in LA or Bos — Gervin, 296 games scoring in the 30s, 68 in the 40s, 5 in the 50s, plus one 60+ ; Bernard King with the much briefer career, 140+ games in the 30s, 45 in the 40s, 8 in the 50s, and one 60+. Dantley’s shots came from midrange, deadly post ups as another has mentioned, and in the paint when he burst past defenders leaning the wrong way on a move or feint. Barnes and many others now who get to the rim depend on size, speed, or power ; Dantley and Gervin (also working in a former ABA outpost) used deception, body control, touch on the ball to impart ‘english’, considering the interior defenders in the period included Parrish, Malone, Artis Gilmore, Abdul Jabbar, Caldwell Jones.

    • Thanks for all the ancient history moto, but I don’t see the point. We all agree Dantley was Great. We all agree Barnes isn’t. I think we can all agree that Dantley would be a great role model for Barnes. So WTF?

      A brief recap: the topic is Barnes. rgg hates him with a passion, apparently, and whines constantly for the Ws to do something, anything that would remove Barnes from his sight. I’m picturing rgg sitting in his living room, screaming, “My eyes! Aiee! My eyes!”

      The only thing worse for rgg’s eyes would be an image of Joe Lacob. Eyes >>> cinders. Ouch.

      I’m not a big fan of Barnes, and I don’t really want to defend the guy, but the irrational hatred I read here sometimes just bugs me.

      * Barnes’ no.’s aren’t too far off Dorell’s, who everyone around here (including rgg) seemed to appreciate.

      * The Ws would be too shorthanded without Barnes.

      * Banishing Barnes to Santa Cruz would be costly AND unproductive.

      * And while we can all imagine a few pieces that could improve this season’s squad, it doesn’t seem at all likely that we could acquire those pieces by trading Barnes, Barnes+ or Barnes+++. Ain’t gonna happen.

      So Happy New Year everyone! rgg, enjoy the Ws winning streak, check your stats, and get some medication. I suggest Jack Daniels, though I hear a single-malt scotch can be very nice.


      • Thanks for the personality assessment and the medical advice I guess, Hat, though I don’t see how they are relevant and am fairly sure no one is interested.

        I didn’t hate the emperor’s new clothes, I simply didn’t think he happened to be wearing any and still remain surprised at the universal acclaims to the contrary. Similarly, I don’t hate Barnes, I just don’t see much there and don’t understand all the noise that has surrounded him, and I formed this opinion watching him in college.

        You’re probably right that he won’t be traded. The team won’t give him up and he’s most likely lost what trade value he once had. But he’s showing nothing to justify the minutes he’s now getting and there’s every reason to believe his minutes could be better filled by playing the other players more in some combination—more Green for defense and all around play, more Speights and Douglas for scoring—so they can make real contributions in the playoffs.

        The only way he can give some kind of useful performance is be surrounded by the core starters to support him, and all of them. We saw how well he performed when Iguodala went down. He is simply a drag on the second unit, which means the starters have to play more minutes.

        I’m skeptical of the suggestion he be played at stretch 4 for the same reason. I don’t think he’ll perform consistently there, but even if this does happen, it will require heavy minutes from the starters again. But what’s the lineup? Barnes plus Lee and Bogut sits? Lee would have to play 40 minutes and we still hope the subs doesn’t blow a lead. And you know this organization won’t sit Bogut. Barnes + Iguodala + Bogut leaves a team on the floor with limited ability to score and facilitate, as we have seen and has been stated here so many times. (Your counter, FB?)

        Then we have to think about the future. His contract is guaranteed next year. Then what? Keep throwing good money after bad? But it’s not just money. It’s also time spent on the floor, that should go to other players. Do they keep playing and paying Barnes, hoping he’ll turn into the star so many have projected? (See emperor/new clothes.) Or do they cut their losses now and start planning for a more sensible future? A more realistic assessment of Barnes is that he adds little value to the team now and there’s no good reason to think he ever will.

        I must confess I do not like Lacob. There is so much about his character that grates, noted amply here. And so far all you can point to is his projected net worth (emperor/new clothes again?). By the same standard Cohan is worthy of pantheonic tribute. He netted some $200m when he sold the club, right? And that was real money.

        But perhaps I am not being fair to Lacob. Maybe, like Barnes, like his minions, he is an OK guy with limited skills and understanding of the game. Unfortunately, he can’t be traded. And if he’s going to be assessed as an owner, the bar should be set much higher. It will be hard to separate Lacob from Barnes, since he is the player, indirectly, for whom Lacob let the team tank while not bringing up worthwhile players who could be helping out now.

        I am enjoying the streak and have been high on the potential of the core players for years. It is dismaying to see the starters pushed into such heavy service, that they aren’t getting the help they need. Van Gundy said they were a player away from serious contention, and he might be right. But they have no reliable ball handler on the bench and no reliable extra scorer. There is no sixth man. Great teams have both. We’re watching OKC, for example, remain competitive when Westbrook went down with a late round draft pick they brought up, Reggie Jackson, and even Lamb is pitching in.

        I will persist. There is no serious criticism of the organization or Barnes anywhere else but here. I do hope you’re not trying to squelch this and leave us to the praise of naked fools.

      • I often struggle with the thread of your arguments, Hat, so I’ll need some help. I’m not clear why you’re bringing up Dorell Wright.

        I indeed enjoyed seeing him play and was glad we got him. But he came cheap, at a time when we didn’t think we’d get any help at all, and he well exceeded expectations.

        He illustrates the point I’m making about Barnes. The only way either can score is by playing heavy minutes. But Wright may not have been worth keeping—they couldn’t afford to give him that much time on the floor?—and the team let him go after two years. His defense wasn’t that good, or his offense consistent. Barnes should follow suit.

        Dorrell, however, put up very fine numbers with a much weaker squad:


        And there should be questions about how Smart played him.

        He had better court sense than Barnes, however, and got boards and steals and blocks and assists, and probably played better defense. I don’t know if he’s tailed off after his good year or hasn’t been given a chance—and time—to play to his potential. If he had more years in him like the ones we saw, he would have served the team much better than Barnes now or, most likely, in the future.

    • Curiously, Fitz mentioned Dantley last night.

      • That is curious. What was the context?

        • I’m pretty sure he mentioned Dantley in passing, from where to where I forget. It is an odd coincidence, as you don’t hear Dantley mentioned much and he is a subject for old timers, as we discovered, but we’ve seen good evidence the announcers scan the blogs, including this one.

          • highly doubtful if b-fitz uses this site. Dantley was most recently in the news for being made interim head coach for the post season (cancer treatments for Karl), then leaving coaching completely immediately after and becoming a school crossing guard because the job provided health benefits. if his playing gets cited, it would be for his distinctive style and post play, his all time shooting pct. for a guard/wing, or success at drawing fouls and hitting free throws.

  24. James Johnson>Barnes

    • I lament the loss of the Warriors’ ability to find surprising players in the D-leagues. Was Nellie the greatest of all time at scouting and harvesting the NBADL?

      The Lacob Warriors have been utterly uninterested in filling out their bench with capable DLeaguers. Opting far too often for inexperienced and flawed but more marketable names.

      • I wonder if that’s a reflection on Larry Riley’s status w/in the Ws organization. He always knows where all the gems are buried, but Lacob/Myers & co. would have to listen to him to get any benefit.

  25. There are few more interesting things to do in the morning than read a Greek Freak boxscore.

  26. Felty: The Warriors have been outscoring their opponents by playing tall ball this year. This year they have two centers who both have had positive results for the Warriors-Bogut and JON, the later when he was healthy and playing.

    Last year was quite different. The Warriors had only one center that provided positive results when playing and that was Bogut. As a result the Warriors had to play small at times and were effective doing so. Plus small ball was effective as we had both Landry and Jack.

    This year is quite different as we have two positive centers who should share a good part of the 48 minutes that a center is on the court. Small ball should only be played when there is no alternative and as a change of pace.

    The Warriors do play a spread four when playing big.

    There offense is effective because Bogut leaves the middle open for other players or for him to do a dive cut. This is not much different then when the Warriors play small ball, but the advantage is that is gives the Warriors and better defender inside. And Green provides the Warriors with an extra defensive dimension whether he is playing with a tall or small ball line-up.

    I guess you can make an argument that the offense runs smoothly playing small but with Barnes being so erratic it’s hard to make that argument.

  27. Didn’t see the game, so I don’t know whether he guarded George or Stephenson or both, but Ross had a great two-way game against the Pacers tonight.


  28. I don’t quite buy this or much these guys say, but the idea intrigues and is relevant. Under teams making greatest leap in 2014:

    Chau: The Suns. Though the Warriors appear to have gotten their groove back, the Suns are still a dark horse to win the Pacific, which would’ve been a laughable assertion two months ago. The team isn’t just competitive, it’s thriving. And with so many tradeable pieces and draft picks, the team could look awfully scary once 2014-15 comes around.


  29. I just watched the Cavs game on tape. Did anyone ask Jackson why he guarded Irving with Klay instead of Iggy on last play of regulation?

    It’s clear he doesn’t understand that Klay excelled guarding PNR drives and midrange, but on the last play would have to guard an iso in space at the 3 point line.

    Iggy was wasted on Waiters in the corner.

  30. cosmicballoon

    The problem with Barnes is that the organization feels they have to have him on the floor for marketability and to gain NBA experience. It’s wrong to do this to this Warriors team that has the potential to contend for a title. Barnes is a step below about 8 other players on this roster. However, his playing time is much more than the 9th best player should get. That’s the bottom line. He gets too much unwarrented playing time. If he were simply a rotation player we would not all be so pissed off.

    • cosmicballoon

      It’s sort of like wrong place, wrong time for Harrison, which brings us back to the draft pick itself.

    • Mr.Barnes was most exposed when iguodala was out, and he didn’t set the team back as much as O’Neal’s injury. they’re investing in his (slow) development, and in his asset value, given their limited trade options after the UT miracle stripped them of future first round picks. we’re probably more critical of him here, and there could be some bad teams out there who see him as a starting wing who can defend and contribute. he’s not hurting them unless they trade green or thompson with the mistaken notion that he’s the franchise wing ; he’s simply more pedestrian than how he’s getting hyped.

  31. cosmicballoon

    Yes, yes an yes, moto. Iggy’s return has covered up a lot of the junk the team felt with him injured.

    Jackson is a big picture guy. He knows that the Warriors will make the playoffs if healthy. He’s trying to develop a playoff-style rotation that can grind out victories the way his teams did in his pg years. On this blog most of us disagree with this style of basketball because the Warriors roster is built to score and score fast and secondly because a free-flowing game where the best play is to pass the ball to the open player and make the shot is far more aesthetically pleasing. Barnes isn’t good at passing the ball, nor making the correct play on offense, so his game doesn’t lend itself to aesthetically pleasing (or very effective) when combined with the rest of this magnificent starting unit (yes, even Bogut when he’s trying and healthy.)

  32. Raw stats just don’t tell us much. One could form all kinds of bad conclusions comparing the figures for Iguodala and Barnes. Both average just over 30m per game. Barnes is averaging 12 points per game, Igoudala 11, and both have 4 boards per game. More concerning, Iguodala has a assist/turnover ratio of 2.1 while Barnes has only 1.2!

    Barnes is just as good as Iguodala and he protects the ball!

    The key stat is assists, 5 for Iguodala, 1.7 for Barnes. But assists don’t nearly tell the whole story for Iguodala—when he initiates the first pass of several, his ability to move the ball around and keep the offense active, etc. There are a hundred things he does on offense that don’t appear in the stats, that Barnes can’t do. Of course he’ll have more turnovers.

    Barnes, if he doesn’t see a shot, usually just passes back and can’t move the ball in the offense. I’m surprised his assist number is that high, but suspect most are easy passes. Iguodala sees the court and can make a variety of quality passes. And, a #9 pick, Iguodala did all this his first year in the NBA and has kept it up ever since. The rap against Barnes in college and now is that he can’t find other players.

    Of course there are a hundred things Iguodala does on defense that don’t appear in the stats, that Barnes can’t do.

    Boards won’t be surprising for Iguodala, as he’s playing with the starters and most will go to Lee or Bogut. Barnes, however, playing with subs, should have more openings and should be picking up more.

    Everyone said they acquired Iguodala for defense, and of course that is true, but I don’t think anyone realized what a fine offensive player he is and how much he has contributed. He has been remarkably efficient, 59% on 2’s, 45% on 3’s (44% on 2’s and 39% on 3’s for Barnes), and again this against starters.

    More importantly, Iguodala’s scoring has helped fuel what has become a pattern with this team, good scoring and big leads the first half. His shots help sustain a run and build a lead. Just six points in a run can make a huge difference in putting opponents in a hole. And he poses enough threat to defenses to open other players up, whom he can easily find. If he doesn’t score more, it’s because he doesn’t have to. Barnes should have an easier task against subs, and we’ve seen his production and efficiency drop, the team stall, the games he started when Iguodala went down.

    No one is his right mind would suggest letting Iguodala go eventually because Barnes could take his place. The purpose of this comparison is to show all the things that make a complete player, and how incomplete Barnes is.

    Even Barnes’ surprising, admittedly effective, performance in the playoffs needs qualification. Denver pushed the tempo, which our guards can match, and he was given more openings for shots and drives. And San Antonio essentially conceded Barnes so they could put more pressure on the guards. Also he was given a lot of shots, an average of 14 per game, that would be hard to justify in a full, healthy Warrior lineup. He wouldn’t have been nearly as effective in other situations, against other good teams. Only 1.3 assists average in the playoffs, btw.

    The comparison of Barnes to Lee, Lee the player many said was expendable because of Barnes’s performance in the playoffs, will have to wait for another day.

    We’ll never know how well Barnes might have developed if he had followed the standard route for draft picks—time on the bench until he worked his way into the starting lineup. Again, I’m skeptical he would have left the bench if the Warriors had a full, competent starting lineup. Instead he started 81 games last year. It’s hard not to wonder, however, that the pressure and expectations did not serve him or the team well.

    • The other context for this comment is tonight’s game, how much difference Iguodala, still apparently a bit off, makes against Miami. I got the jitters.

  33. @13 Having just watched the game, yes. That extremely small (Green at center) lineup was extraordinarily successful against a much bigger Cavs lineup wasn’t it?

    It would have been far more successful had the Warriors, and particularly Curry, shot better. As would have been the Lee at center lineup that closed in regulation.

    When Iggy returns to health, Douglas is available, Lacob reinforces the bench (I may be dreaming here) — so that Curry isn’t completely gassed come crunch time — the Warriors’ closing small lineups should be completely dominant.

  34. I failed to record the Orlando game, so have no idea why the Warriors dominated so greatly (except that Vucevich, who’s had a great season, sprained an ankle).

    I did notice that Bogut was far more aggressive on the pick and roll in the Cleveland game, though. Even going so far as to finish one with a slam.

    The Warriors will need that in spades in this game. Otherwise, the mobile Bosh and the ferocious Chalmers and Cole will blitz the living crap out of Curry.

    It will be extremely interesting to see how Jackson gameplans this game with a healthy Bogut. I don’t see anyway he can continue to play big when the Heat play Lebron at four — except with zone.

    Draymond Green v. Lebron: Yum!

  35. Sr.Sombrero, if you choose to cite Hollinger’s stats, do you understand he has his own personal method of sorting them ? looking at the raw numbers for offense, the woeyrs are not in the top five for pace. they’re 13th in points per game, and eighth in shots attempted per game. with their three point shooting — in the top three — they should rank higher in points per shot attempt, but they’re at #12. if they were more efficient (getting to the foul line more, fewer turnovers), or played at a faster pace, they’d be higher than 13th in points per game. is Hollinger looking at elapsed time taken to play the games ? that’s a peculiar way to consider pace, because it would consider free throw shooting, and official time outs to look at replays or discussion between the refs as a significant factor in pace of play — when play isn’t going on at all.

    • Last time I checked, pace was a sausage stat corrupted by all sorts of factors, like offensive rebounds. I never use it.

      If you have to rely on a stat to judge a team’s actual pace of play, fast break points might be the best.

      I see the Warriors at 10th, far below where they should be.


      • with the talent they have on offense, including one of the most effective shooters ever in the game, and considering they’re the third best team in defensive rebounding, the numbers on offense strongly point to inept coaching on that side of the court.

    • OK, they’re 3rd. Or they’re 10th. Or they’re 12th or 13th.

      Please correct me if I’m wrong guys, but those numbers all sound like the Ws are in the top half of the league in “speed” (now that I’m forbidden to use the word “pace”), not near the bottom. In other words, not a “grind it out” team by any measure that even nitpickers can dig up.

      Do Ws play fast enough? They could certainly benefit from getting out for more fast breaks and shooting walk-up 3s at every opportunity.

      More importantly, are they fast enough to win? Gosh, how would I know? I’m terrible at math, right? Please check my math:

      6 wins in a row
      7 of the last 8
      11-5 since Dec. 1

      Could one of you stats geniuses please tell me if a record like that demonstrates that there’s a problem? I breathlessly await elucidation.

      Meanwhile, I gotta say the Warriors don’t look like a “grind it out” team to my poor head.

      • OK, that was snarky.

        I have a theory about the dearth of fast breaks, Felt:

        Avg. minutes per game this season:
        Curry 37.3
        thompson 37.8
        Iggy 33.6

        With more bench help, those guys could run more. At those minutes, they’re going to walk it up whenever they get to choose the pace.

        Oops, there’s that word again.

  36. How GSW beat Miami last year:


    Curry, indeed, was shut down—4 of 10. The deciding factor was JJack, who put in 20. And Green. I believe this was the game James gave him praise for his defense.

    They’ll need another scorer, and I doubt Iguodala can pick up the slack. If Douglas and Speights were prepared, they might add some points and spread the floor. Bogut didn’t play that game. I suppose he could make a difference if he really were an imposing scorer—and they’d need at least 20 from him. We haven’t seen that yet.

  37. Looks like I might have to watch the replay tonight. My Xfinity app wants to record the wrong channel again.

  38. Perfect game in every way. Shooting, passing, hustle defense, timely time outs, exact substitutions. Looked like a championship squad out there. Even Barnes had some superb plays.
    Hats off.

    • Mia’s favored fast pace helped the visitors, and Mr. Barnes likes the faster game and open court too. he will never be drawing one of the two best opposing defenders, unless the reserve squad with him is mismatched against starters.

  39. Yes, let’s get rid of that defensive liability and trade Lee. While we’re at it, let’s get a real point guard. I bet Boston would trade Rondo for Curry.

    I don’t think more conclusive proof is needed about where the core of the team has been all these years, and the only thing the club needs to do is turn Lee and Curry loose and put the right players around them. That Lee pass to Curry for the layup was just one facet of the gem. My only concerns were that Curry would be too tired to close out the game and that Miami would finally shut down Lee and Curry.

    I thought the whole point of getting Speights and Douglas was that both would add scoring, Speights inside and out, Douglas from the 3, and that would have helped tonight and would in the playoffs.

    Van Gundy: the Warriors are one player away from seirous contention.

    • “serious” contention. I’m excited.

      • we get another game respite from the cohort of blessed lee bashers, but they’re sure to return for more. minutes at center — bogut 18, speights 11, lee 21. in one defensive sequence with bogut on the bench, lee was drawn out to the perimeter, and iguodala was the stopper at the rim.

  40. The Warriors best small lineup is with Draymond at 4 and Lee at 5. Essentially unbeatable.