Warriors 111 Clippers 92: The Crossmatch Returns

The story of this Warriors — Clippers game is that Crawford, Barnes and Green badly outplayed Crawford, Barnes and Green. Check the boxscore if you don’t believe me.

Actually, the real story of this game is that Mark Jackson, for the first time this season, got the matchups right. I’m talking, of course, about the frontcourt crossmatch he served up, putting Andrew Bogut on Blake Griffin, and David Lee on DeAndre Jordan.  

This is something I have been begging for since before the season began. Not to mention during the season.

The reasons should be quite obvious, from watching this game. Blake Griffin has a wretched low post game. His bread and butter is bullying smaller opponents, and getting free for alley oops. If you put a much bigger center on him, he literally has no inside game. And that makes him quit. I saw Darko Milicic do it to him, for the great Rick Adelman. The rookie Festus Ezeli did it to him last season. And in this game, we got to see a healthy Andrew Bogut do it to him.

Finally.

After a few humiliating attempts to take Bogut inside, Griffin gave up and began launching from outside. And quite uncharacteristically, he couldn’t miss in the first half. It didn’t matter. It is a major victory to reduce Blake Griffin to shooting long twos, and they won’t often fall like this. If this is how it comes down in the playoffs, it will be Sayonara, Clips.

A few other victories this cross-match produced: 1) Other than on a fast break, no alley-oops for Griffin. Since Bogut never leaves the lane to guard pick and roll, they’re never open. 2) 3 rebounds for Griffin, 1 offensive. He was always outside, wasn’t he? And like all natural born bullies, he’s a quitter. 3) Zero alley-oops for DeAndre Jordan, which is virtually his entire offense. The smart and mobile David Lee has very little trouble keeping him on his back. 4) Saved David Lee’s fouls and kept him fresh to match up with Griffin in the second half.

I predicted before the season that the Warriors would OWN this matchup for these very reasons. We’re now up 2-1 on the season.

I’m probably alone in the world right now in believing that the Warriors will pass the Clippers in the standings, and will be favored if and when they meet in the playoffs.

But if they’re not favored…

It will be a gift from the gods, and I’ll tell you right now that feltbot will be backing up the truck.

Andrew Bogut: This was Bogut’s game. Blake Griffin wasn’t too big, like Boogie or Big Pek. He wasn’t too small, like Ibaka or Hickson. He was juuuust right.

And ran from Bogues like a little girl.

Bogut also made his presence felt on the offensive end. Jackson largely kept him away from Curry and the pick and roll (hallelujah), but when he did set that high pick he moved his big butt down the lane. The way he must, regardless of result (he missed).

Very active on the offensive glass, scoring several tip-ins. Highly effective screener.

Beautiful game.

Stephen Curry: Steve Kerr and Reggie Miller ridiculed the Warriors fans’ MVP chants when Curry stepped to the line. Really?

Earlier in the game, Kerr raved about how much Curry’s game reminded him of Steve Nash’s. Didn’t Steve Nash win an MVP? Or was it two?

Curry is currently the second best player in fantasy basketball. Something nearly every one of those chanting Warriors fans know, and Kerr and Miller probably don’t. Not real life, of course. But not exactly bullshit, either. That kind of all-around statistical excellence doesn’t come around every day, and usually precedes recognition of true greatness for unorthodox players not blessed with athleticism or jumping ability.

LeBron, Durant, Curry. If I’m starting a basketball team from scratch, that’s my order.

I wonder what Kerr and Miller will be saying about those chants when the Warriors meet the Heat in the Finals?

David Lee: “Blake Griffin puts 27 points on David Lee!” If past is prologue to the future, that’s the headline we’ll get from Adam Lauridson, Ethan Strauss, Danny Leroux and @unstoppablebaby.

Those of us who actually watch the games, though, know that Griffin got most of his points hoisting from outside against Bogut.

And we also know that David Lee pitched a shutout against Griffin in the second half, once Bogut’s foul trouble ended the crossmatch. Bodied him up, absorbed vicious blow after vicious blow from a player who loves to bully smaller opponents. Held his ground. Forced horrible off balance jump hooks.

Won.

In the past four games, David Lee has faced the cream of the crop of Western Conference power forwards. 3 All-Stars, Love, Aldridge and Griffin. While playing through a left shoulder sprain so severe it required pre-game pain-killing injections.

He put a 7-18 on Love. A 2-14 on Aldridge. And in this game, virtually bageled Blake Griffin in the second half.

There are two power forwards on the Eastern Conference All-Star team, Chris Bosh and Paul Millsap. Lee put a 6-16 on Bosh, in Miami. And a 3-14 on Paul Millsap, in Atlanta.

Keep propagating your absurd meme that David Lee can’t play defense, all you haters in the Warriors media. Keep publishing your snake oil masquerading as science, Kirk Goldsberry and assorted statphreaks.

There was only one NBA writer in existence — one — who insisted to you before the season started that the additions of Andre Iguodala and a healthy Andrew Bogut would “miraculously” improve David Lee’s defense.

Just like there’s one only NBA writer right now who’s telling you that a real All-Star is staying home this season.

A player who on the other side of the ball put up a smooth 22 points on 10-15, with 4 assists, tonight. A player who happens to be one of the most gifted offensive power forwards to ever play the game. A player whom Shaq calls “unguardable.”

Eh, who am I kidding? I’ve been told by a reputable authority that “a majority of Warriors fans” would rather watch Harrison Barnes get eaten alive by Blake Griffin than watch a Hall of Famer go to war, 81 games a year, 38 minutes a game, home or away, come rain or long needles.

Jordan Crawford: All of a sudden, the Warriors have one of the better bench units in the entire league. As I believe I predicted.

It is amazing what having a real NBA playmaker can do for a bench unit, isn’t it?

He couldn’t get his shot tonight, except for one dagger three. But how about 5 assists in 18 minutes? Pushing the ball on the fast break, high pick and roll, drive and dish.

Steezus have it all.

To a man, the TNT crew seemed amazed that Crawford was willing to create for others. Didn’t they watch him play point guard for the Celtics this year?

I guess that’s what feltbot is for.

Monsieur Barnes: Even though his 3-ball is still not falling, quite good in the flow of the offense. A dunk on a backdoor cut. Quick drives from the three point line when the ball was rotated to him. Allowing that plus finishing ability to blossom.

Still absolutely wretched on low post isos. When in the world will Mark Jackson give up on this ridiculous idea? Barnes is not Kobe, he’s not Melo — and this is inefficient offense even for them. Barnes’ handle is poor, his footwork is poor, and his midrange touch is beyond poor. Why, Mark Jackson? Why? He is so much better in the flow of the offense. As is the team.

One good moment out of low post iso: Barnes hit the cutter when doubled. That’s a major improvement over last year.

On the defensive side of the ball, his fourth plus performance in a row since I compared him to the French. His length bothered both Redick and Crawford (as did Klay Thompson’s).

8 rebounds, 5 tracking down long offensive boards. Why can’t he do that on a consistent basis?

Oui oui, monsieur.

Iggy: As far as I’m concerned, Iggy’s not playing well enough to hotdog.

Just sayin’.

Mark Jackson hid him on Matt Barnes and Jared Dudley in this game, when you’d think the Warriors would be better served by having him chase J.J. Redick.

Steve Kerr noted during the game that Iggy was “playing centerfield off of Matt Barnes”, lurking in the passing lanes.

I’d prefer to think that was Jackson’s reason, but there may have been another.

Mo Speights: Blood is dripping all over the Bay Area, from bitten tongues.

There was only one NBA writer in existence — one — who was highly pleased by the Speights signing in the offseason. One.

One — who has been insisting that he is a highly talented player throughout his struggles this season. One — who told you he is a center, not a power forward. One — who told you he was out of shape to start the season, confirmed by Fitz in the last game. One — who told you his struggles were being compounded by being played out of position by Mark Jackson. One — who told you his struggles were being compounded by having to play without a point guard. One — who told you he’s one of the best big man shooters in the NBA, and that his shooting percentage would come back.

Now, I know as well as anyone that Mo Speights has his problems and limitations. You will very rarely, if ever, get anything resembling a perfect game from him. OF COURSE. He’s a bench player! A legit 6-10″ 255 lb. player with his athleticism and shooting ability, if he were the genius that Warriors fans want him to be, he’d be a freakin’ starter in this league, wouldn’t he? Anyone out there get that?

One of the more egregious Warriors media members snarked on twitter after Speights missed the second of his three point attempts, and I didn’t bite my tongue in responding.

Can you possibly imagine what would happen to the Warriors second unit if Mark Jackson allowed Speights to park himself in the corner for short threes? If Crawford could run high pick and roll with Green or Barnes, with a wide open floor, and Curry or Thompson spotted up?

Can you imagine?

I know Danny Leroux can’t imagine that.

But my readers can.

298 Responses to Warriors 111 Clippers 92: The Crossmatch Returns

  1. Very informative summary Mr. Feltbot. Surely the Warriors FO and/or coaching staff reads this forum.

    Liked Curry fouling Crawford out on the 3-point line, except Curry should have smacked him across the face and knocked him down on his flopping ass – hard.

  2. Wow, can one game really validate such a self-congratulatory post? Feltbot, I can appreciate your against the grain views, it’s refreshing, but you need to attain some perspective on your writing.

  3. Don’t get carried away on H Barnes, alright? He went 4-13 after being spoonfed 3 layups.

    Agree on Iggy. Like bragging, showboating is dumb. When it isn’t obnoxious it’s boring. It makes enemies, and doesn’t win any fans.

    • Agree about Barnes on offense. When he made the hustle plays, and started cutting off the ball he got dunks. He stopped doing those things in the second half and missed ALL of his shots. Yes, all of them.

      Defensively, maybe his turf toe is healing or is healed. He is moving more quickly, laterally especially.

    • Very subtle point taken, Hat ;)

    • Everything is a process. The building up of your game when you’re young and the tearing down of it when Time begins its inexorable winning streak.

      So too with confidence. If a couple of back-door cuts that led to easy dunks beget, down the road, a better self-understanding of how Barnes can truly help this team, then last night’s effort may mean something.

      But he is young, perhaps thinks he can do more than he can at this point, is having a confidence issue. Ease up a touch, Hat

  4. First read of your blog (scary considering I’ve loved the Warriors from a far in the UK since the TMC days).

    Anyway, there are at least 2 that agree with these views, you and I! ;)

    Nice write up and I’ll be back for some more truth later…

  5. Honestly, I wouldn’t read that much into a blowout win against an exhausted, CP3-less Clippers team. A loss here would’ve been downright embarrassing.

    -Curry can’t be in the same conversation with Lebron and Durant (or Paul for that matter) until he finds it within himself not to hand the other team the ball outright about twice a game. He’s a GREAT passer but looking at his A/T ratio you could forgive those saying he’s an undersized SG (and the vast majority of his TOs are of the “bad pass” variety, so he’s not racking them up while trying to score).
    - Completely agree with your take on Iguodala. Since his return he’s gone from being an underrated player whose impact isn’t captured by conventional stats to an overrated player whose stats people just write off based on his “does all the little things” reputation. He hasn’t regained his explosiveness and his shooting has come back to earth.
    - Your virulence towards Griffin is pretty disappointing. There’s really no need to equate his athletic dominance with “bullying” in the real life sense. Lowe has a nice piece about the unfair criticisms of his game:
    http://grantland.com/the-triangle/dispelling-the-blake-griffin-myths

    • warriorsablaze

      Nash also averaged a lot of turnovers during his MVP days. There’s simply no player in the league, not ever Lebron or Durant, that gets the amount of defensive pressure Curry does… that’s not to say he doesn’t make some painful mistakes nearly every game, but I don’t see them as the thing keeping him from Lebron/Durant territory. I’m comfortable putting Curry in the possible top 5, but Lebron and Durant are a few levels above everyone else, so even if you put Curry at #3 there’s still a sizable gap.

      • Nash’s Assist to turnover ratio was around 3 in his MVP years. Curry’s is currently a shade above 2.2, very low for a point guard, especially considering over two thirds are “bad pass” turnovers. He goes through these stretches where it seems like he…doesn’t care. Throws lazy one handed hook passes that ignite fast breaks on the other end, gets too cute passing to no one when he already has a decent look etc. It’s hurting the Warriors and holding him back from being the truly great player he’s capable of being.

    • Curry’s TO’s really bugged me this game, as they helped fuel the Clipper’s brief comeback. But I was surprised to find he only made 3.

      If they’re not going to push the pace, as was the case after they built their first lead, I’d like to see him play off the ball more. Let Iguodala take over then. Curry might well find ways to make for assists that way, or score himself to maintain or build the lead.

    • Durant is 2nd in the NBA in TO, LeBron is 6th. Couldn’t you find a better criteria to use when comparing them to Curry?

      And no, I can’t forgive those that say Curry isn’t a PG. How can anyone forgive nonsense?

  6. After Wednesday’s game, I wasn’t looking forward to this one at all. While the Clippers were tired, if the Warriors hadn’t come out swinging, it still could have been a different game. And it was very fine performance from le bogut, and one of the most enjoyable.

    But the Clipper front court just isn’t that good, and was off last night to boot. Le bogut got open easily, Lee could work low, and Curry drove seemingly at will. And, but for Curry, outside shooting was bad. On another night, we could have seen the Washington game repeated.

    Crawford set up Barnes superbly on two of his makes. Give Barnes credit for a little initiative on a couple of other drives, and a pass or two. But most of the rest of his shots didn’t have much chance at all. He just doesn’t see the basket and follow through.

    Crawford’s offense was ragged itself. I’d still like to see him play with another active guard, not Klay, he can pass to, or who can allow him to play off the ball as well so he can work his offense, inside and out. I’m still curious what he might do with Brooks. We got him. Let’s see what he can do.

  7. This is why I read your stuff Felt. You were dead on with Crawford and the front court crossmatches.

    Igoudala is clearly not 100% right? There’s no way that his post-hammy play is indicative of what we should expect from a healthy Dre. I also don’t feel as though Barnes is healthy in his own right. Seems like he broke out of his hesitation to drive with gusto last night. Hopefully we can expect more slashing from him.

  8. Crawford played very well in this contest, even though he couldn’t find the range. I am still disappointed that Jackson did not stick with substitute lineup that stuck it to the Clippers by forcing the pace late in the first half. They were running the Clips ragged, but Jackson pulled the plug and went back to the starters and the lead dwindled.

    Kudos to the Warriors passing in this game. When the ball starts moving, they are unstoppable.

    • A caveat, the starters did play well to start the third quarter, and put the game out of reach…but the 8 point halftime lead should have been about 20 IMO.

  9. In fact I wouldn’t mind Crawford getting more minutes with the starters to exploit his offense, coming in for Klay and spelling him, in part to ease his minutes and the pressure of expectations. Klay will bounce back.

    Is Crawford’s defense that bad? He looks pretty damn active out there and he’s hungry.

    There should be plenty of games to run this experiment without risk, and it could well pay big dividends come the end of the season.

    And absolutely have Crawford come in with the starters instead of Barnes. If Barnes is still learning and has potential, he has to rise up from the subs. And if he can’t do that—

    You know the routine.

    I see our TrueHoop boy has changed his tune:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/65687/harrison-barnes-new-brand-bust

    • Very well written piece, but “hold these young men to expectations they didn’t set”? No, no, no. He’s talking about The Black Falcon, right?

      This piece must taste like ashes in Strauss’ mouth. He was one of the biggest advocates of trading Lee to make room for Barnes at PF before the season.

      • from this recent turn of the Strauss weathervane, we can probably infer that his bias contra-Lee is stronger than his homer reflex pro-Barnes.

        he does like to pile it on thick when he’s in the mood, providing a whole guest list from the draft class in that penultimate paragraph, but he won’t give props to Phx (playing four games in five nights and winning in Ind) who drafted its center at the bottom of the round, just four spots ahead of ezeli.

  10. Take a look at what Mark Jackson has to say about Barnes’ minutes in this TK piece: http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2014/01/30/draymond-green-and-harrison-barnes-the-warriors-reverse-image-sophomore-x-factors/

    Reading between the lines, I’m seeing pressure from the organization to keep playing him. His phrasing is quite careful, and very interesting.

    • “Barnes is slated as an offensive catalyst at the wing positions”

      ????????????????????

    • Jackson on Green:

      “He does everything that says, ‘Give me more minutes.’”

      Then the obvious question is why doesn’t he get more minutes?

      Jackson on Barnes:

      “The vision for this basketball team—he’s a huge part of what we’re doing. He’s a huge part of my vision. And I believe in him.”

      But in the last 10 games, Barnes has averaged less than .300 shooting, only 3.8 rebounds/game, less than 1 assist/game, less than 1 block/game. In the last 5 games Barnes has shot 3s at .200. And he’s almost always the worst defender on the court.

      Last night Barnes had 3 finishes in the paint – but he created just one of them. He missed all of his 3s and shot only 4-13 overall. And that was perfectly representative of the offensive performance Barnes has delivered for two seasons now. Is THAT what the Ws want to do?

      If Kawakami was a reporter, he’d at least ask the obvious questions.

      Jackson also said:

      “There’s certain guys in this league and on teams that, their minutes are going to be their minutes,” Jackson said.

      “Harrison’s not going to dwindle down to no minutes or less minutes.

      In other words, Jackson confirmed that Barnes is untouchable. And again, there’s an obvious next question which any self-respecting reporter would have asked.

    • since we’re stuck with the preacher for at least another season, it might be time to plug in translation software when he’s functioning as team mouthpiece. this sounded to me like — barnes is lacob’s pet project, of course he’ll be on the court as much as some of the starters.

      • I read some time ago that in information controlled Maoist China those who wanted to know the currents and state of things had to look at subtle clues. For example, on propaganda posters, graying hair of a leader was an indication he was on the way out.

        Maybe I see a few gray hairs here. At any rate, Lacob & Co. are making it clear that HB is not delivering anywhere close to what they expected.

        Still, I don’t see a shift in policy.

        Mao, on youth (and Jackson/Lacob on HB?):

        “The world is yours, as well as ours, but in the last analysis, it is yours. You young people, full of vigor and vitality, are in the bloom of life, like the sun at eight or nine in the morning. Our hope is placed on you. The world belongs to you. China’s future belongs to you.”

    • There was pressure to play him last season. West went on National TV and said Barnes wasn’t playing enough. I don’t think Jackson’s comment has anything to do with that.

  11. (From Rusty Simmons):

    “Warriors forward Harrison Barnes was selected Wednesday by the league’s assistant coaches to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge (formerly the rookie-sophomore game) at NBA All-Star weekend in New Orleans.”

    Do well, HB, and boost your trade value.

    • The D-rating stat is of course garbage. Think about it this way: 1) If DLee and Bogut only played in tandem, they’d have identical ratings, right? 2) Compare Bogut’s rating in games without Iggy to his games with. 3) To borrow soccer terminology, coaches who play back have lower Drated teams than those who play forward.

      • Calling Drtg garbage is a bit of an overstatement. It is a stat that is highly subject to sample size for the reasons you mention but taken in context, it still tells a story. The top seven in this stat are:
        1 Roy Hibbert
        2 Paul George
        3 Andrew Bogut
        4 David West
        5 Joakim Noah
        6 Draymond Green
        7 Tim Duncan

        That is a pretty good list of defenders. David West probably gets some of the bias-benefit you were talking about by playing with Hibbert and George. If you are saying you don’t love Drtg, fair enough. If you are saying Bogut and Green aren’t good defenders, I would take issue with that.

        • That’s like saying PER is a good stat because the top guys by PER are, well, really good at basketball. You could probably come up with a similarly reasonable looking list by ranking players by the number of results a Google search of “X”+”defense” returns (restricting to the relevant time frame). DRTG is a very poor stat if you’re trying to evaluate individual defense, especially that of a perimeter player. Then again, there aren’t really any good stats for that aside from the various plus/minus ones, which have other problems.

        • So David West is a better defender than Anthony Davis? Or does he play with Roy Hibbert behind him and George, Stephenson and Hill in front of him, at the slowest pace in the league?

  12. habitual line stepper

    wow feltbot, get over yourself. seriously one game and you pat yourself on the back for all these predictions you had. this is a recap of the warriors and clippers, not about you. and yea, if i were you, i wouldn’t call myself an “NBA Writer”. you are basically an online warrior blog poster, that i can tell is super bias. i much prefer adam lauridsen or anybody from GSOM or warriors world. never comin back here again. you are basically a yahoo sports contributor, which is the worst

  13. I’m trying to recall if I’ve seen Barnes as a screener in a PnR. Although I wonder if his narrow butt can set a quality screen, I’d rather see him rolling towards the basket in space instead of trying to post-up someone.

  14. Seriously, every blog post is rack full of, “Who predicted it first,” “I’m the only one that saw this,” “No one else but me…” Dude, QUIT.

    It’s readily apparent that your basketball acumen and insight is extremely valuable and as a reader, I know for myself personally, I look forward to your posts.

    However, you DON’T need to litter your posts with those annoying statements. What’s the difference between you and Richard Sherman?? … I ask rhetorically.

    CHILL

    • I hit harder?

      • Mmm, no.

        Try this though: you’re very good at what you do but annoying as f***.

        Stay humble… it’s a much better look.

        • You’re right, of course. Reading over this rant, I’m reminded of the seagulls in Finding Nemo.

          I’ll chalk it up to combat fatigue, and try to be more entertaining in the future.

          But humble? I don’t know. That’s a big change, and might have adverse health consequences.

          • Humble, shmumble. Just be right.

          • I tend to give anybody who can help me see what I don’t myself a lot of freedom in how they want to do that. I think it might take an average or above IQ and a sense of humor to “get” you Mr. Feltbot and that’s why you attract who you do in the discussions that follow your blog pieces. It’s really nice when visitors who attack the person rather than the thought can find their way out the door.

  15. Speaking of the Suns, a good piece on them at Grantland by Jonathan Abrams. I’d like to see more from this guy.

    http://grantland.com/features/from-the-ashes/

    • “Phoenix scores frequently on fast breaks, and activates its offense by inbounding the ball as soon as an opponent scores — a trend that would have made Cotton Fitzsimmons smile.”

      I would love to see the Warriors start doing this. I think it’s absolutely essential to their chances.

  16. FB,

    Someone once said, “It ain’t bragging if you back it up.” Keep on rolling.

    • Thanks, YT. I do love laying it on the line, god help me. And part of my obnoxiousness stems from my desire to remind people that I hold myself accountable for all my opinions and predictions, in the same way I seek to hold others accountable.

      But I do agree with those who think my tone has been getting away from me. A little less Lagavulin might be in order.

    • Or a little more. Keep an open mind.

  17. FB:

    The only thing I can fault you for is enthusiasm, which I will always forgive.

  18. I can’t really prove that Speights hurts the team. Sure, the 5 man unit data and the +/- make him look like a paid spy, but maybe that’s because of the other 4 men on those units. It’s true that if he plays with starters the unit may be slightly positive.

    OTOH, to say that he’s doing a great job … well, what would that be based on? Mostly likely, a few stretches where he’s played reasonably well. And, very dim memory of all the longer stretches in which he’s played poorly.

    Notably, he has played a total of 8 minutes replacing Bogut with the rest of the starting lineup. During those 8 minutes he missed 2/3 of his shots. (nbawowy — and I’m not sure I figured 0ut how to use it correctly).

    So, count me a Speights skeptic. I think he’s been so bad, so much of the time, that a short stretch of decent minutes looks like the second coming of Hakeem.

  19. Great write-up on cross matching which you seem to nail each game.
    However, there should have been some recognition as the Warriors success in second half was in part due to the Clippers being one tired team as they played the night before.

    Thankfully you were the only blogger who boasted of Speights as being a terrific addition. The guy sucks. Even Dedmond is outplaying for the 76ers. And your rants that Speights is better playing center than PF is belied by the fact that centers shoot 55% from the field against him, while opposing PF’s only 44%. 82 games. You chose to extol his virtues in a game in which he shot well even though he’s shooting 42% from the field for the year, an appalling stat for a big guy.

    And if watch a game carefully you will see that his passes are often deflected by the opposition on to luckily wind up sometimes in another Warriors hands as occurred last night. His fouling is the worse and occur over an over again on plays he should not foul or attempt to take a charge. That’s won reason that he can shoot 5-8 from the field and the Warriors still not outscore the Clippers with him playing. The Warriors coaches seem to have told him to shoot more near the basket and not as much from distance. Hope he continues to follow that advice.

    Habitual LIne Stepper: Dude or Dudette: You chose to follow Adam Lauridsen a guy who said the Warriors got taken to the cleaners by the Knickerbockers in the Warriors trade for D. Lee. Enough said. Good-bye and good r….

  20. WheresMyChippy

    Regarding the self congratulatory masturbation, I’ve found it rather entertaining and not annoying at all.

    I’ve always seen it less as a celebration of being the one that got it right, and more of a lamentation of the fact that so many other supposed experts can’t see what should be obvious.

    That said, this post maybe took it too far. If it’s turning new readers off, that’s not good. The message you preach here is an important one, and I’d hate for your superb analysis to not reach as many W fans as possible.

    If “the majority of Warriors fans” read you more, they wouldn’t want to see Lee traded to make room for Barnes. ;)

  21. Guess we’re going to get an eyefull of Speights at PF tonight. Lee is out.

    • Actually just remembered Utah plays small at 4 with Marvin Williams. Guessing Barnes will start over Green. Because Lacob.

      • first possession of the game, barnes commits an offensive foul setting a screen. if the coach really wants to see him succeed, he might have him do things he knows how to do well. if he wanted to keep continuity with the system established with lee, green would have been the clear choice.

  22. Can I imagine what Speights could do shooting short corner 3′s?

    Well, I can predict based on past experience. In the last 30 days, when his shot has supposedly come back, he’s missed every one he took.

    He’s 5/16 on the midrange jumper he’s supposed to be good at.

    So much for stats.

    I turn on the radio. Every time I hear Speights’ name, it’s a TO, or a blown rebound, or an attempt to do something that fails, or somebody scoring on him etc.

    Where does the love for Speights come from?

    I don’t see any blood dripping from bitten tongues.

    • He hasn’t taken any corner threes. They’ve all been long threes from the top of the arc. And virtually all of them have been bailout shots at the end of the shot clock. This is the sample we’re going to judge him on?

      I have a feeling a coach like Nellie could get a better result, by allowing him to shoot with confidence from the proper spot on the floor. The Anthony Tolliver spot.

      • Felty, you know I’m a fan of yours, so take this in context.

        Actually, what I said about his corner threes was misleading. But what you said isn’t true.

        According to Vorped’s shot charts he’s taken 2 of them in the last 30 days and they both missed.

        To be more complete, he’s 2-7 from 3 point range in the last 30 days.

        If what you’re saying is that he could play better in a different system, that’s not really an arguable point.

        If you’re saying he’s actually shown much as a W, well, I don’t see it in the stats or watching the games, except very occasionally.

        • Would we be having this discussion if he were 3-7 (42%)? The sample size is absurdly small and unfair for reasons mentioned above.

          Barnes is 1 for his last 10. Green is 0 for his last 9. Iggy 0 for his last 9. Do you want them to stop shooting? I happen to like Speights’ shooting stroke better than all of those guys.

          Klay shot .384 in the month of January. Bad shooter?

          Mark Jackson cautioned against being “results-oriented” in making evaluations recently, and I agree. I’ve watched Speights shoot, and I know he can shoot (just as I knew Iggy was outperforming early). I’ve seen him play with point guards and without; in a good system for him, and in a bad.

          I have an objective belief that the vast improvement we’ve seen in him since getting the chance to play center with Curry, Crawford and Thompson on the 2nd unit is more reflective of his true abilities than what came before. I wouldn’t call it love, exactly, but I do think the hate is unwarranted. He’s a bench player, and in the hands of the right coach, potentially a valuable one.

          • I agree with the comment about short minutes, but I do have two things to add about it.

            1. While 2-7 is too small a sample to say much, it certainly does not suggest that he’s a particularly willing or accurate shooter of 3′s. Maybe he is, but you can’t tell it from what he’s actually been doing.

            2. 82games lists 5 man teams down to 13 minutes and there is no lineup with Crawford Curry Thompson and Speights listed. So, if there’s a lineup that shows “vast improvement” it has been for less than 13 minutes. The point about short minutes goes both ways. I don’t see a justification for finding “vast improvement” in minutes that short.

            Since Speights has shot well in past years, I don’t doubt that he can return to form. The thing that bothered me about Speights when he was acquired was his +/-. It has been bad for most of his career, despite better shooting. Then, when I saw him play, I saw a guy prone to mental mistakes. Lots of them. Sure, it would be better if his shot went down, but the player I see looks like a guy who is a liability — just like his career +/- numbers suggests.

          • That lineup isn’t listed because it doesn’t play. In the current rotation, Speights plays with Curry/Crawford and then Crawford/Thompson.

            Earlier in the season, when Jackson was subbing en masse, Speights didn’t get to play at all with any of those facilitators.

          • The 5 man data at 82games (click on Speights and scroll) shows that the Curry/Thompson and Crawford/Thompson lineups have mostly been disasters.

            If you’re saying something good might happen, fine. But, if you’re saying something good has already happened, show me the data. I don’t think it’s there.

          • You’re looking at cumulative stats. In the last six games, Speights plus/minus has been positive 3 times, even once. While this is a small sample size, surely that was unthinkable earlier in the season.

            I believe this is a trend that will improve, but I pride myself on predicting things before they happen. If you need more data, let’s await more data.

        • Utah. -15 in a 5 pt win.
          LAC zero in a 19 pt win
          Wash. +3 in a 3 pt loss
          Port. -5 in a 15 pt loss (in 4.8 minutes)
          Minn +7 in a 1 pt loss
          Indiana +1 in an 8 pt loss

          and, if you go back one more:

          NO. -9 in a 10 point win

          Cumulatively that’s -9. If you count NO it’s -18.

          What the numbers show is that he has occasionally been slightly positive. More often, he’s been more heavily negative.

          +/- has to be interpreted … but “bleeding tongues” because Speights has performed so well … you’ve got to be kidding.

  23. Oooo-tah:

    TRADE DAVID LEE! THEY DON”T NEED HIM!

  24. The “Good” Barnes streak ends at 1 game. That was fun while it lasted.

    • have to keep the owner’s bagels buttered — barnes still played a bit more than green did. had green played two minutes fewer, barnes two minutes longer, they probably lose.

    • There’s only so much you can ask of one player. We were spoiled by his 4-13 explosion.

    • Barnes was awful in this game, and I came away convinced more than ever that he’s playing through turf toe.

      Unfortunately his heart, skills and IQ are not nearly enough to compensate for the loss of athleticism I see.

      • Didn’t he have like 3 dunks last night? Where was the turf toe then?

      • Didn’t Jackson make some comment about him being “100% healthy” a couple days ago? Do you really think they’d lie outright about something like that, especially now that Barnes’s putrid play has drawn much more attention? I wouldn’t rule it out but it seems awfully brazen. And it this point it’d arguably be hurting Barnes’s value more than the alternative, no?

        Some players just have terrible touch near the rim.

  25. When is this team going to figure it out? We’ve seen the same thing the last 3 games, and in varying degrees all the previous: light and inefficient scoring from 3 of the 6, Barnes, Klay, and Iguodala. Klay is definitely in a slump. I’m guessing playing with Jack and Curry last year helped ease the pressure. But if he falters, they don’t have the offense.

    They’ve got to get Crawford going and change strategy to open him and the rest of the team up.

    But I think they most need to make a deal.

    • Only 15 shots for the bench, while Iggy (he’s Iggy for me now until he starts scoring), Barnes, and Klay missed 30 shots. This makes no sense.

      (No complaints about le bogut tonight.)

  26. I actually agree that single game +/- is a tough stat to interpret. That said, tonight Speights is -15 in a 5 point win. He played 10 minutes. The next worst was Bazemore, who went -4 in a total of 40 seconds or so of play — and Speights wasn’t even on the floor during Bazemore’s part of a minute.

    This may be a more egregious example than most, but the majority of Speights’ minutes are bad.

    Where is the love coming from?

    • Speights’s plus/minus numbers on the season are terrible too, no need to agonize about the small sample size. He’s a guy who has talent in the sense that he’s got a big body and a better midrange shot than most, but his BBIQ is too low for him to get anything but garbage time minutes.

      • It’s a bit unfair to look at anyone of the bench players’ plus/minus before Crawford. Speights has had at least a couple plus performances since his point guard arrived.

    • He definitely played poorly in this game. And has yet to get his shot going this season. But I’ve watched him play in past years, and have more faith in his jumper than Barnes’ or Green’s.

      The extent of my “love” is that I think he can be a productive bench player in the right system. I have several bones to pick with Jackson in that regard. Speights’ chief value on offense is as a floor spreader, and Jackson just doesn’t seem willing to use him that way.

  27. Jackson called Bogut and Green elite defenders in the post game interview. Iggy was not lumped into that category tonight. Interesting.

    Felt, Iggy may still be injured, but he seems to be mentally shot even more than physically down. He has open layups and he’s passing out to the three point line. It is not a good basketball play and I hope the coaches tell him to attack when he has a lane to the basket.

    Klay is going through a slump and if he can’t score, Jackson needs to find someone who can. Jackson is proving to be too much of a players coach. He sticks with ‘his guys’ even when they don’t deserve it.

    • I agree that Iggy appears to have lost a lot of confidence offensively. What’s most disturbing is that he has Bogut’s fear of taking a shooting foul.

      He was actually very good guarding Gordon Hayward in this game, though.

  28. The 4th Q lineup of Crawford, Curry, Iggy Green and Bogut absolutely killed: +12 in 3.5 minutes. Played great defense and really pushed the tempo.

    I was totally dismayed when Jackson went away from it by subbing Thompson for Crawford.

    Flow coach?

    • I liked Klay in there for his defense. It paid off.

      At least he chose to leave Draymond in the game over Barnes. Baby steps.

      • What does that mean, “it paid off”? The Klay lineup was +0, with much more time.

        It’s a 2-way sport right? The Warriors were a much quicker team with Crawford, which worked extremely well against the Jazz small ball lineup. Both ways.

        • Klay was in there for his defense and he made several plays down the stretch on that end. Crawford is not a good defender and his scoring ability wouldn’t have been needed with Curry being white hot anyway.

          • If Nellie were coaching, he’d force Thompson to make a layup or get to the line before shooting another jumper. He obviously has confidence issues when his shots aren’t falling.

            Thompson’s also obviously rushing his in the paint shots. Thompson can beat good defenders off the dribble, but why? He’s lost confidence finishing…

            Klay’s defense is solid – a surprise from his rookie year…

          • I agree PB. Nellie would also have sat Klay’s ass on the bench and let the Curry/Crawford backcourt continue to blow the Jazz out of the gym.

  29. Speights is Speights problem, not Jackson not playing him effectively. Jackson’s only mistake is playing him. Should have kept Dedmon and released Speights. Should make trade or release him and pick up someone from D league. Won’t do that as Warriors never would give us ammunition for their screw-ups.

    Jackson not substituting M. Brooks for Thompson almost cost us the game. If he continues to fail to do so the Warriors will be further weakened in the playoffs. Thompson’s drives to hoop were painful to watch. Thompson is not likely to ever play in an all-star game. His FG percentage is now approaching 50% which would not be bad except for the fact that he shot almost 80% for a good number of games since then. So what has been his true shooting % since then? 40 percent at best.

    • “Should make trade or release him and pick up someone from D league.”

      Speights has a guaranteed contract for this season and next season.

  30. Terrence Ross’ latest dunk:

    http://m.imgur.com/LIn3dR4

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      First off I will give you some props on hyping Terence Ross. He appears to be real deal and I have even scooped him up on my fantasy basketball team. I’m still not sold on Antetokounmpo being anything close to the player that Durant is.

      I enjoy reading your stuff even if I don’t always agree with everything you right. You always seem far more critical of Barnes than Thompson. Klay Thompson has shot 20-72 in his last 4 games. He nearly shot the Warriors out of the Jazz game with his 3-20 performance.

      The patting yourself on the back and telling the world how great you are constantly borders on Richard Sherman behavior though.

  31. It should be noted Curry had a pretty good game last night. How many NBA players can carry a team the way he did? Utah is not a pushover.

    The Warriors have to start mixing things up, if for no other reason than the sake of mixing things up. But they have to exploit whatever offensive potential they have, find it now and develop it. And it begins by making offense their first priority. I can’t believe there aren’t players who can run and shoot, Crawford, maybe Brooks, and, yes, Speights. Green can fit in with any lineup and strategy. What would Nelson do with the subs?

    I’m back in glass half full mode, where I started the season.

  32. What’s happening with Klay? Here are his shooting percentages this season, by month. (the 2nd number is 3-pt %):

    Nov. .460, .432
    Dec. .429, .460
    Jan. .384, .409

    His number of attempts/game has been consistent. He had a slight bump in assists in Dec, at the same time he shot better from 3. His Jan numbers are those of a mediocre shooter, especially inside the 3-pt line.

    The simple explanations (Klay has simply lost his stroke, his confidence, his mind, his energy, etc.) can always be true, but I think systemic changes like a different role usually have far more impact. He is the same guy with the same skill set, but probably playing under different conditions.

    Possibilities:
    % of his shots that were assisted,
    Surrounding players (Thompson had his best 3-pt shooting in Dec., when Iggy was mostly out of the lineup. In Jan, he’s been playing a greater % of his time with the 2nd team),
    Matching up against SFs instead of SGs guards,

    Or something like that.

    Without statistical evidence (I don’t have time to try to dig it up today), I’m leaning toward the “different matchups” theory. I think maybe teams have started defending Thompson with a SF instead of a guard.

    Has anyone spotted any changes in Thompson’s role or matchups in January?

    • BTW,

      Last night, Klay was clearly spooked. He was missing everything from everywhere. But what spooked him? Iggy didn’t get a lot of defensive attention last night, deservedly, because even he didn’t seem to have confidence in his shot. In general, does Iggy need to be seen as a valid scoring threat for Klay to shoot better?

      • More likely Klay has something going o. With his mechanics. He will solve it. I have no doubt.

        However, if he is not scoring, he can’t take 20 shots per game. That will kill the Warriors.

    • I’m leaning towards worn down. I would much rather see him guard SFs, and let Iggy chase the point guards.

      • With Iggy’s hammy, he might not be able to stick with PGs.

        Besides, my guess (being guarded by SFs more now) would have a more direct and immediate impact on Thompson’s shooting, especially in the paint, where he’s dropped off the most.

  33. I thought JON was ready to return. Did he have a setback?

    • Last word from JON (last week) was that his shot hasn’t returned yet. The team says JON participated in practice again on Wed.

      Given his general level of beat-up-ness, JON may have taken his time off to rest and heal up head-to-toe. If so, he’s probably out of basketball condition in addition to having a wonky shooting hand.

      If the issue is fitness, maybe we’ll see him play next game. If his shooting hand doesn’t come back, maybe he won’t be back at all.

  34. It’s hard to tell what Thompson’s problem is, but one thing that isn’t helping is his tendency to settle for turnaround fadeaways on every other drive. I get that he can’t consistently beat most perimeter guys off the dribble, but he’d end up scoring more efficiently if he just took those contested layups (because he’d actually get free throws every once in a while).

  35. Answering my own question @32—

    The only way I can figure out to spark scoring is to focus on having a more potent perimeter, a pair of players who can run and make plays and score inside and out. The obvious candidates are Curry and Crawford, whether they’re playing with some combination of the subs or with the starters. Curry can be spelled the minutes he usually spends trying to set others up. Last night, he only scored 1 point 2nd. quarter. See if Crawford can close the quarter out. After that, get whatever scorer on the floor you can. Could Curry and Crawford running in tandem get Speights points?

    Coach and the org. keep preaching defense. To an extent, it’s just a cover for control and caution. They need to inject some chaos into the game to mix things up, most the other team’s defense.

    • “Coach and the org. keep preaching defense. To an extent, it’s just a cover for control and caution.”

      The Warriors are #3 in the league in DRTG and #15 in ORTG. It’s pretty clear by now where the strengths of this team reside. Curry and Lee are keeping the offense afloat, but it’s basically just a life preserver at this point.

      • I’m sure they rank that high in number of minutes played by key starters. Klay and Steph are # 5 and 6. Which may help account for the stats you give. Also, they have the worst subs in the league, and I’m sure they hit the bottom in number of minutes played. Supposedly they are defensive players, but they can’t stay on the court.

        The price paid for control is overplaying key players, which will take its toll, and not realizing early the potential down the roster the team might have, sorely needed now. Instead of trying to put a unit on the floor that can (try to) hold the lead, they should have broken the roster up in mixed substitutions, exploring all possible options.

        And without a dynamic perimeter, the team keeps relying on controlled half court sets, where they stall. It succeeds in keeping down opponent scoring only because it slows the game.

        • But of course they needed other players on the bench from the start. They need to free up the bench to open up slots to experiment. Bazemore—and is there any reason to think Kuzmic will pan out? Indiana just picked up Bynum for a few bucks. Why not? It won’t hurt.

          • Bynum is washed up. You have to give Kuzmic at least one summer working out with the team to see how much he can improve.

            Does anyone remember how bad Mozgov was his first few years? Now we’d kill to have that guy.

        • Barnes, Iguodala, and Bogut can’t score and shouldn’t be on the floor at the same time as it puts pressure on Klay and Steph, as has been said here many times, though no complaints about Bogut against Utah last night.

          Speights and Barnes really shouldn’t be on the floor at the same time, as they don’t create for others. And while Green can facilitate, he really has to be set up to score as well. Too much pressure is put on the guards to run the offense, making them defensive targets, and not be set up themselves.

          And I’d take Speights over Barnes, if he gets plenty of help, in part because of his size, but also because he can shoot and drive and get fouled—and hit his free throws.

      • You use those ratings as if they were written in stone, and not coaching decisions. Are those the same ratings that Nellie or D’Antoni would put up with this team?

        • They are not coaching decisions. They are a direct result of having Andrew Bogut, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala.

          Those are GM decisions.

          • The team also has Crawford, Curry, Thompson Lee and Barnes. Allowing for many choices in lineup, system and tempo. Quite obviously, how you make those choices affects those ratings. More stretch fours with Bogut? More small ball in crunchtime?More Curry Crawford backcourt that was so effective last night? Less Barnes postups? More pushing the tempo?

            I think you’re being disingenuous. You know as well as anyone that those ratings wouldn’t look anything like they do if Nellie or MDA were the coach.

            And you also know, or should know, that the Orating wouldn’t look anything like it does if the Ws had Iggy and Crawford for the entire season. The Ws had a much higher ORating before Iggy got injured. And we’ve gone from the absolute worst scoring bench in the league, to one of the better, in one move.

        • Evanz and I carried this discussion onto Twitter. You’ll have to check our timelines to see it, it’s not on the widget.

      • Most, they have created a team that can’t do anything without Curry. This is not good insurance.

      • I agree that the Ws are overrated offensively, but there’s no excuse for how ISO heavy the offense has been. That’s on Jackson. They can be a top 10 offense under a semi-competent offensive coordinator.

        • Not overrated, but undermanned. And it’s hard to separate coaching from the players. In many ways, the roster dictates decisions, especially in the case of Barnes.

          Iguodala helped (at first) because he added so much motion on the floor. In a sense, he made Jackson a better coach. Putting more spontaneous and intelligent players on the floor would help there as well. And let them improvise as the situation allows.

          • -Iggy being out and not returning to form is definitely a factor. It’s gotten to the point where he’s afraid to attack the basket off the dribble. Over passing. bricking all those spot up shots he was nailing. Very concerning, even in the long term.
            -What is it about this roster that could possibly justify being 2nd behind the Anthony led knicks in ISOs (IIRC)? There isn’t a single player on this roster that should be force fed isolation plays. It just speaks to dumb, lazy coaching.
            -Barnes’s limitations are what they are. The only reasonable way to employ him right now is as a finisher. Corner threes and dunks should be his staples, not these terrible, off balance mid range heaves he gets when he tries to go one on one.

      • Yeah, add Lee’s 20-and-10 to the team last night and it wouldn’t have been close. It’s why the Wizards were able to win against the Ws, too. They took away Lee’s game.

        The Ws have been regularly out-rebounding teams this year. The team is ranked 5th in the league in total rebounds at 54.4/game. Last night without Lee they got only 43 boards, despite taking more FGAs than their norm (88 vs. a season average of 84.8, and shooting worse than normal (37.5% vs. a season average of 46%). Utah, ranked 24th in rebounding at 49.7, got 44 boards last night.

        Some of that rebounding dropoff was simply from Lee’s absence. The other part of the equation was that Utah shot .500 on 2-pointers last night. If there ain’t no missed shots, there ain’t no defensive boards to be had.

        On average this season the Ws have held opponents 2-pt percentage to 45.9%. Did Lee’s absence last night also hurt the Ws paint D? I think so.

        Lee has been averaging 34.4 minutes/game. The “replacement Lee” minutes last night went to Barnes (up 3 minutes from his norm) and Green (+10 min.), with the rest distributed among other wing players including Iggy (+4) and Thompson (+4). Speights actually got fewer minutes last night than his season average. Other than Draymond, those “replacement Lee” minutes went to guys who can’t be expected to play great paint D.

        It was telling that Barnes didn’t automatically pick up all of Lee’s minutes. I guess 2-10 shooting and clueless D will get even Tank Baby benched. I guess that’s kind of reassuring, in a way.

        It was also interesting that Dray picked up 4 fouls fairly quickly, as usual, but stopped fouling entirely after he got his 5th, early in the 4th Q. He simply… quit fouling, so he could stay on the floor. And the team then went +10 to finish the game.

        Dray finished with only 3 boards, but if there were a stat for “rebound assists,” I think he’d win every team contest. He doesn’t always go up for the ball. He often boxes out for another teammate to get it. DG also finished with 4 steals (!) and a block, but I don’t know of any reliable “bug the opponent” stat that would fairly represent his overall defensive impact. He disrupts. His stats stay modest, his team goes plus.

        Green also shot .500 last night, but as usual it wasn’t pretty. He clearly does NOT want to shoot, and if he’s not confident in his shooting no one else should be either. If he improved in that area, would it give Lacob nightmares? The comparison with Tank Baby would make Lacob look even more foolish than he does now.

  36. What’s the deal with Lee’s hip?

  37. Hat:

    Think you’re looking for reasons why Thompson’s shooting has declined in all the wrong places. I think his drop off is due to his being overplayed by Jackson and his being spent. Wonder if his drop off in shooting percentage each month occurred last year?

    Most of his shots are often when he is wide-open.His shooting threes have not dropped that much.Consistency in shooting has been a constant problem his whole career. One can see his shots falling short, going long, to the right to the left, his velocity and arc changing shot to shot. He often puts too much rotation on the ball.

    His shooting two pointers has dropped big time. He’s never been a good finisher.

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      It is more than just minutes. His FT % has declined every season. He is down to 78% this year after shooting 86% as a rookie.

    • Maybe, but after mid-season last year he played 37.1 mpg. This season he’s at 37.9 mpg. And this year his mpg is staying steady, almost no change from month to month.

      Cumulative fatigue could be a factor, but I don’t think that explains it entirely, Frank. If Thompson is wearing down because of the NBA schedule, so are his opponents.

      • Not true, he and pre-injury Bradley Beal are #1 and 2 in the league in miles run per game. The Warriors are asking a great deal of Klay.

        As for his FT%, I simply hate the way he snatches them up for a quick release, as if he’s shooting off a curl. There’s no need for a quick release on the FT line.

        • The Ws ARE asking a huge amount from Klay. But they ALWAYS have. Pre-Iggy, last year, he played the same role with the same minutes.

          So maybe it’s his shooting mechanics.

          • Or maybe, just maybe, this month teams are “hiding” their poorest wing defender on Iggy, leaving Thompson facing their 2nd-best wing defender. Since Thompson doesn’t have great foot speed, that can be an SF who Thompson can’t easily shoot over.

          • cosmicballoon

            I believe that it is a shooting mechanics problem. He will work himself out of it. The mechanics may be off because of a subtle injury of some kind, and dropping his minutes to 34 per game would be ideal. There is no reason not to with Crawford able to handle the duties at 1 and Curry at 2 for a few more minutes per game.

        • Miles run per game? Where did you find that?

          • I heard it from Fitz or read it secondhand. Synergy or statsvu probably.

          • Oh. It must be fact then.

          • It’s not exactly fiction either, if I believe it’s reportable.

            A simple google produced this: http://stats.nba.com/playerTrackingSpeed.html?pageNo=1&rowsPerPage=25

            Klay has traveled more distance this season than any player in the league.

          • warriorsablaze

            It’s SportsVU, I believe. And yes, it tracks all player and ball movement on the court. It’ll be interesting to see how much of this data is released to the public as we go forward.

          • FB, thanks for the link. I don’t think I’ve ever asked you for evidence before, but it’s always nice.

            Klay is certainly the busiest guy on our team, but I didn’t know his mileage led the league. I wasn’t surprised to find Monta 2nd, but some of the other names up there are surprising. Like Batum.

            As for how much more fatigued that makes Klay than other players, that’s still an open Q, though. Fitness is like brains. The more you use it, the more you get. Er sumpin.’

            If Klay has does more miles for years now, he’d have to be fitter than most other players by now. Which makes his mileage a moot point.

          • Extraordinary usage doesn’t just lead to fitness, it leads to wearing down. As examples, Bradley Beal, another player who “runs routes” on offense, developed a stress reaction in his leg. Kawhi Leonard gets tendinitis in his knees. And a couple of weeks ago, Mark Jackson casually mentioned that Klay Thompson had a sore knee that caused him to wear a wrap in practice.

          • Felt, I’m not arguing that Thompson’s workload is a non-issue, just that his fatigue/fitness level probably is. It would be good for the team to cut down his minutes if he’s showing signs of injury possibly related to overuse. Otherwise, no problem. Ref. Monta Ellis.

            Giving Thompson (1st in total mileage), Curry (10th) and Lee (30th) such heavy workloads obviously exposes them (and the team) to a lot of risk. That’s especially true for Lee, who has already had a couple of season-ending injuries which are typically associated with overuse.

  38. that was a good win at utah. utah is no slouch at home, as moto mentioned, since closing days of 2013, beating oklahoma and denver, for exmpl.
    this was back to back, without lee and in the hall of the mountain king.
    bogut and curry two man game was amazing, we saw what one head of two headed monster can do (other being curry and lee) – bogut moved like a balerina for his size, dude has awesome talent. he’s now finishing floaters which makes him unafraid to go off pick and roll (since he doesn’t have to go to close to the basket and get fouled).that is a major plus for this team going forward. he can also set fucking killer screens so curry elevates his three point shooting (or, get it closer to the degree of awesome he is capable of). also when bogut blocks dudes these are major blocks, like curry threes not korver ones. that is statistically immeasurable, that is psychologically evident.
    i see dudes’ hearts crying when curry shoots from nowhere, i see dudes’ guts turning over when approaching bogut.

    i also see that this team is working on its chemistry, i see andre passing to klay rather than curry, if a buridan’s ass situation comes to play – if both are equally open. it just means that andre knows curry is a badass who does not need to be set up as much as klay does. andre feeds klay, for dude is a machine – he needs fuel, a guiding hand of an engineer. as all machines he may get bugged and fixing is needed, sometimes – reinstallation, as all machines he may be ruthless and efficient as a hot tea come cold winter night.
    curry, on the other hand, is something else than a machine – he is an engineer’s brain having evolved (through becoming as unpredicatble as a ghost) to surpass its creator. he is not part of the game – the game is part of him. he is necessary like water.

    i don’t care about the seeding, i know that if warriors make playoffs (which means if droughts don’t become everlasting), they will take best teams to 7 series. and taking okc or spurs to 7 is better than taking dallas in (not to) 5.
    because 7 is hard work resulted in a chance for luck. grace of luck.

    window is just begining to swing open.

    amen.

  39. Fun with stats (per NBAwowy):

    In last night’s Utah game, we saw the debut of this lineup in the fourth quarter: Curry, Crawford, Iggy, Green and Bogut. As mentioned above, the lineup went on a 12-0 run before the flow coach subbed in Thompson for Crawford, killing the Warriors mojo.

    The O-Rating of that lineup? 183.3
    D-Rating? 0

    I wonder if we’ll ever see it again?

  40. Evan @25:

    Per your site NBAWowy, Barnes made 59% of his layups last season.

    According to you, he’s only made 46% this year.

    Even if we can attribute some of that decline to scouting and changes in coverage and role, that is a MAJOR decline. One I’m leaning strongly towards attributing to his turf toe.

  41. the mileage numbers on thompson should not surprise any of us who pays attention to what goes on the court away from the ball. any diligent perimeter defender who also puts in high effort away from the ball on offense will pile up the mileage. iguodala’s number would be close if he played thompson’s minutes. the perimeter defenders on whom most of the burden falls for transition defense, thompson, iguodala, curry, consistently have to cover more court than their teammates. green is also one of their top transition and perimeter defenders, but he rarely sees more than 20 min. in a game.

    ranadive and d’allessandro, with input likely coming from malone, made an unconventional gambit this season by publicly declaring their interest in signing thompson as a free agent, considering he won’t even be entering his qualifying offer season until fall 2015. if nothing else, Sac should have made the lacobites reflect on what they intend to do after drafting barnes and then signing the premium free agent iguodala in the two seasons subsequent to drafting thompson. they probably thought barnes would bring size, and skills differing from thompson’s, on the boards and scoring in the paint. barnes however hasn’t established any secure grasp of those skills, nor for the other requisites of top level wing play. going by how the players have been marketed, we could get the impression that lacob sees some elusive ‘star quality’ in barnes that’s missing in thompson or iguodala. good luck with that.

  42. Graphs and charts seduce us, but the stat about Klay’s milage @38 is not surprising and the difference between players not great. Steph is not far behind. You could probably run a formula of minutes played multiplied by some constant that reflects position (guards run more) to get close to the same results, finding what should be obvious: play guards a lot of minutes and they will run a lot of miles.

    The tracking and cameras are explained here, briefly:

    http://stats.nba.com/playerTracking.html

    This is pretty sophisticated technology. Somehow the cameras and software can keep track of individual players throughout the game.

    The brief video to the left is interesting, as it looks at overall defense and gives graphic representation.

    Discrete facts are meaningless until put into a context, that of overall strategy and the balance of offensive and defensive play. Collecting them and using them always depend upon a set of assumptions that need to be examined. Then again it’s not hard to imagine FO’s and coaches using them in isolation to determine player acquisitions and rosters, with questionable effect. I believe Mike Dunlap, in his brief, wacky stint with Charlotte counted deflections and used that to help determine lineups.

    Stat could also alter the game. Talent is rare and hard to assess (see Barnes, Harrison). But size and strength and speed are easily measured and can be converted into defense. Also, collectively, these players are less expensive. The game has shifted more to defense the last decade or so, and the stats could accelerate the process. Defense is a safer bet, especially if your team doesn’t have the bucks for the real talent. I also suspect the move to defense is in part just a matter of personal preference (see Lacob, Golden State Warriors). It won’t produce brilliant teams, however, or championships, but it might be the choice of lesser teams to make some kind of showing.

    And those teams will have an effect on wearing down players. I can’t believe injuries aren’t up, and I think Bill Simmons speculated it is because teams are larger and stronger and more defense oriented, and are using guards to penetrate more into the teeth of those stepped up defenses.

    I’d like to think those raw stats could be used to make more sane decisions about using players and avoiding injuries, though the above makes that unlikely.

    But I wish they would give us meaningful stats, such as flops, distance flopped, elbows to the solar plexus, knees to the groin, etc.

    • A more accurate way to criticize Lacob’s decisions is that he has used his preference for size and defense to acquire bench players with limited skills, especially on offense, who aren’t contributing much and don’t stand much chance of developing into regular players.

      • My view is that the roster isn’t finished.

        Given a choice between assembling a dominant starting 5, locked in for several years, and assembling a balanced team, I’d go for the starting 5 every time.

        My view is that a great starting 5 will attract role players. In fact, last year’s team attracted AI.

        In order to assemble these starters they had to compromise on the bench. Hopefully, they’ll be able to keep the 5 and upgrade the bench.

        Then, staring at a half full glass, would look like this. The current starting 5, with a fully recovered AI. Ezeli at backup C. Maybe JON as well, although his age doesn’t make that promising. Green as utility infielder — if he can figure out how to miss fewer shots he could be a 6th man of the year candidate. I’m not sure about Crawford. I don’t like Speights. I assume Bazemore has compromising pictures of Lacob. If Crawford is a real backup PG, they’d be one combo guard/swing man away from being truly excellent, and that’s one of the easier positions to fill in this league.

        • +1

          Start with the starters, fill out the rest of the roster as opportunities arise. It worked for Miami.

          Speights needs work, but still shows some promise. You’re right about Bazemore and Green.

          I’m not sure about Ezeli. He was very raw last year, and all this time off really hurt his development. His surgery was very serious, and we don’t know how well he’ll recover. And he doesn’t help with the biggest problem of the 2nd team, scoring.

  43. There’s an easy way to measure how much offensive pressure has moved to Klay, who’s taking more shots now. Jack and Landry averaged together 24 points a game last season, while Barnes is down, Bogut slightly up, and Iguodala’s contribution is middling. Thompson is being counted on more to make up the difference.

  44. Player tracking, how it’s done. Note the discussion at the end of how stats might be used for branding and injury assessment.

    • Phx, Por, OK without westbrook, Mem bouncing back without allen, what popovich puts together without leonard, green, splitter, ginobili — good stories in the western conference.

  45. As predicted:

    http://bluemanhoop.com/2014/02/02/golden-state-warriors-put-new-arena-project-hold/

    Now predicted:

    Now the Ws investigate waterfront sites in Oakland:

    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/12/19/golden-state-warriors-reportedly-back-push-to-buy-as-to-keep-team-in-oakland/

    That article details just one of several possibilities that have been floated to the press in the last 6 months. It’s an interesting idea, involving a possible Ws purchase of the A’s, and/or cooperation between the W’s, A’s and Raiders to freeze out the Coliseum Authority. The teams share a common financial interest: full self-ownership of their arena properties.

    In addition, the Ws a) open discussions with other Bay Area cities for alternative sites, and b) reopen discussions about the site near Pac Bell Park. The Ws management group could make more money if they join forces with the other Oakland teams, but they have more different site alternatives if they go it alone. At this time, the SF site near Pac Bell has two big “problems” – the deal would cap the Ws profits, and the Ws have already mishandled the SF political situation in trying to ram through their earlier plan, so public approval for ANY SF site would be more problematic now.

    So, realistically, for the Warriors it’s Oakland or it’s another hungry Bay Area city. Maybe Emeryville, San Jose or Santa Clara.

    Why should fans care? Because business is what Warriors, Inc. is all about. Consider: the Ws could realistically buy the A’s, but “couldn’t afford” to keep Jarrett Jack.

    • That the cost of refurbishing the piers has doubled to $180m in a couple of years has to be a misstatement. Rather, they grossly underestimated that cost in the first place, just as they completely underestimated the political issues they would face, in spite of serious precedents to study. Those luxury condos didn’t have a prayer, either. Putting the development on hold for another year has to be a misstatement as well, as it looks like they are back to square one.

      It’s one thing to have a wheeler dealer who rams projects down our throats that we eventually come to accept nonetheless. But Lacob isn’t that kind of operator, and by all accounts, he is an amateur. He is at once grandiose in his schemes, yet cautious and naive, a bad combination. I also wonder if he has the bucks to wheel and deal.

      I’ve argued the same goes for the team. He inherited a rabid fan base and the core of a competitive team in Lee and Curry, who proved themselves from the start, yet was several years doing anything with them, this at a time when the NBA is undergoing tremendous reformation, a large window of opportunity. He has banked the team’s success on large projects, notably a center, but failed to calculate the value and cost of the piers that would hold them up—a deep, flexible bench to help now and allow the team to develop in the future. And now that the team is on the cusp of greatness, there doesn’t seem to be the bucks or other wherewithal to make it happen.

      • “And now that the team is on the cusp of greatness, there doesn’t seem to be the bucks or other wherewithal to make it happen.”

        Wow, I don’t get how you came to that. No way nohow is that true.

        Lacob and Guber are connected, dude. Lacob has bought and sold over 500 companies. They’re just poker chips to him.

        Guber is on track to owning half of LA. Together, they give the Warriors access to almost unlimited funds.

        They didn’t give up on the SF shoreline arena because of lack of money. They were NOT surprised by the pier rebuilding costs, no matter what figures they spouted earlier. They have simply announced their intention to investigate better deals. Some of those possible deals run into multiple billions in upfront investment from the Warriors. No problem.

        • Not sure where you’re getting all this, Monsieur Perruque Sans Tête. Have you seen the balance sheets? I know they have massaged multi-million dollar deals, but that doesn’t mean they have cash on hand. I believe some $300m of the Warriors deal is tied up in the NBA and Lacob’s ex. And they sounded pretty damn serious about the arena-in-the-bay. Why did they sit on it so long when they had bigger fish to fry? And those deals sound pretty unsure right now.

          But it raises the larger question: if they have so much money lying around, why haven’t they been spending it on the roster? They sound strapped to me.

          • NBA owners invented the concepts “salary cap” and “luxury tax” simply to provide themselves with an excuse to not spend on salaries. That’s what those artificial concepts are for.

            In actual practice, very few teams with a record better than .500 stay under the “cap,” and a good percentage of teams exceed the LT threshold. The “salary limits” are bullshit. Entirely optional. Not a real thing.

            In a normal industry, league-wide salary restrictions would be called “collusion in restraint of trade” because they limit the ability of players to market their services freely. The only way the NBA gets away with even a pretense of salary limits is by agreement with the players association. It’s strictly defined in the collective bargaining agreement. There is no salary cap. There are flexible rules concerning salary.

            Re the profitability of the Warriors, Lacob is permitted to take $30M per year depreciation from the purchase price of the team. That’s an NBA-only IRS rule. It’s recorded as a “$30M/year operating expenditure,” even though no actual dollars are spent year-to-year. “Profit” is a flexible, adjustable number. Highly successful firms (with good accountants) usually choose not to calculate a profit. GE, for example.

            As you say, “cash on hand” is a far more relevant number than operating profit. It’s also unrelated to operating profit.

            According to Forbes, the current value of the Ws is $750M, up $300M from Lacob’s purchase price 3 years ago. That $300M is about as close to “cash on hand” as anything could possibly be without sitting in a checking account. At any time, Lacob can borrow against it, issue ownership shares on it, or simply use it to swap shares with other companies in an acquisition. He doesn’t actually need to do any of those things until he needs to transfer funds. He’ll do any of those things at the drop of a hat, to acquire leverage. That’s why he doesn’t worry about a $billion here or there. He can always leverage his way up to any amount of cash he needs.

            And that’s why fans who actually believe “we can’t afford X player,” believe bullshit. We could have kept Jack for $2M more. That’s less than the Ws have spent on promotions for their sleeved jerseys.

            The Warriors “sound strapped” because they want to sound strapped. To the extent that fans believe it, it saves the team a few bucks. But really? In Lacob’s game, player salary is pocket lint.

            One last point about the SF arena. There was never any doubt about what it would really cost to build. The ONLY comparable facility in the world is the Nets’ new waterfront arena, which cost over $1B. And it isn’t even on a pier. Those $500-750M estimates we heard were for public consumption, to help ease voter approval. The real numbers would have scared voters too much.

          • So why aren’t they spending that money on the roster? After last season’s splash, they entered this year without experienced backups for the starters, even capable rookies at any position, except for centers.

            The results are easy to see: 0-3 without Curry, 5-7 without Igoudala. Add a fatigue factor from playing the starters too heavily, and the losses are even greater—and may well continue.

            In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
            A stately pleasure-dome decree:
            Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
            Through caverns measureless to man
            Down to a sunless sea.

            Here’s the link FB posted in his tweet about their persistence with their Xanadu:

            http://www.mercurynews.com/marcus-thompson/ci_25054602/thompson-golden-state-warriors-living-dream

            I would build that dome in air,
            That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
            And all who heard should see them there,
            And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
            His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
            Weave a circle round him thrice,
            And close your eyes with holy dread
            For he on honey-dew hath fed,
            And drunk the milk of Paradise.

          • Coleridge was on opium when he wrote that poem. What are they smoking?

        • Perruque Sans Tête sez:

          So why aren’t they spending that money on the roster?

          Because they CHOOSE NOT TO spend that money on the roster.

          Because enough fans “believe in” the salary cap that the team can pretend to be “win at all costs” kinda guys without actually winning or costing.

          The Ws roster is “good enough” to improve team valuation (+$300M!) and gain voter approval for property handouts in most cities.

  46. “Chosen to the NBA D-League All-Star Futures team are Hilton Armstrong (Santa Cruz), Seth Curry (Santa Cruz), Dewayne Dedmon (Santa Cruz), Justin Hamilton (Sioux Falls), Manny Harris (Los Angeles), Pierre Jackson (Idaho), Kevin Jones (Canton), DeAndre Liggins (Sioux Falls), Malcolm Thomas (Los Angeles) and Chris Wright (Maine).”

    And apparently Dedmon is back in Santa Cruz.

  47. The Greek Freak.

    http://giphy.com/gifs/2XskdWr9QdftKZaTYAg

    That’s a left handed dribble folks.

  48. @38 Curry and Bogut explicitly attribute Klay’s shooting woes to being “heavy legged” due to overwork:

    http://www.mercurynews.com/warriors/ci_25055586/warriors-notebook-stephen-curry-attempts-assist-help-klay

    • This should have been predicted. But you have to wonder if the FO really was planning on starting Barnes and letting Klay play reduced minutes as a 6th. man, as we speculated preseason.

  49. Part One of what promises to be a very interesting TK interview of Don Nelson:

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2014/02/04/don-nelson-interview-part-1-on-monta-ellis-the-bogut-trade-and-watching-the-warriors-hoist-all-these-3s/

    Nellie wants the Warriors to cut down on their threes! More proof of the man’s dynamic genius, and how little Warriors fans and media understood him.

    He was always more about efficiency and maximizing the productivity of his given roster, and much, much less about rigid adherence to one system than his detractors believed. He was way ahead of his time in this regard, in my opinion.

    Just as a for instance, the idea that teams with less talent have to raise the variance, or “gamble”, is right out of game theory. And it’s still very little understood by NBA coaches, most of whom are adamant about “playing the right way” even when it feeds their teams additional and unnecessary losses.

    The idea that a good team like the Warriors should LOWER variance is just the flip side of the same equation. Incredible to see this 70 yr old man have such a firm understanding of this concept, which has probably only been openly discussed by games players (poker players at the vanguard) in the last 10 years. Let alone professional coaches, who are by and large clueless about game theory.

    (Of course, I’m sure Nelson has never heard of game theory. He arrived at his innovations sui generis.)

    If he wants the Warriors to take less threes, what would he do about it? Here you have to read between the lines. I’m guessing: PICK AND ROLL. He states he would give Lee more minutes at center according to matchups. (Something I’ve been arguing.) And “if you’re going to play Lee, you damn well better go to him…” (That’s from a different interview.)

    He would also insist on Iggy and Bogut taking their damn layups. Especially Iggy. Who else could he be referring to, when talking about passing up 90% layups to throw it out for a three point shot? (Unfortunately, I think Iggy and Bogut’s palpable fear of getting fouled and having to shoot FTs would drive Nelson just as crazy as Biedrins’ fear did.)

    I’m also 100% sure the Warriors would be getting more than twice as many fast break layups under Nelson. When you’ve got Bogut and Lee on the boards, take a chance and LEAK OUT, for heaven’s sake. And RUN AFTER MADE BASKETS. These two great passers will find you at half court every time.

    • feltbot,

      Remember you were saying something like Nellie would have played Iguodala at PF. From the same article….

      —–
      -Q: Yep. But that was as a small-ball 4. Do you think Barnes is better off as a power forward?

      -NELSON: Not with what they have there now, with Lee… They’ve got a
      nice big team now. Lee would be your power forward. I’d probably use Lee
      as a back-up center as well. Match-ups… guys that can play more than
      one position, I always wanted those guys.

      • Yes, but then who is the power forward when Lee is at center? He can’t play both positions at the same time, can he?

        If Nellie were willing to play Chris Mullin, Matt Barnes, Corey Maggette, and Kelenna Azubuike at power forward in certain matchups at crunchtime, I have a feeling he would find a few minutes for Iggy there too.

        • He played those guys at PF for lack of options. It is all hearsay, but think he would play Draymond and Barnes at PF before Iguodala after sliding Lee to C. Iguodala is actually undersized even at SF.

          Anyway, I like your analysis when you stay away self boasting when predictions come true and not try and relate everything we see on basketball floor, small or Nellieball Vs big ball. Nellie gambled a lot because of lack of options and because he wanted to get most of the team again because of lack of options.

          ” I had some teams like that, probably shot too many 3s, but we had to take gambles to try to win.”

          • We’re arguing a meaningless point, about something that can never happen, and even if it could, would only be appropriate for a couple of minutes a game at most. (Which is what I initially mused about. You seem to be implying I thought Iggy should have a regular role at PF. Nothing like the case.)

            And if it means something to you, I’ll let you have the last word on this. But not before pointing out that Nellie also found meaningful minutes for Josh Howard at PF on a team that was good enough to win a title. There are moments in a game when a smallball lineup can be devastating. Like the three point guard, Chandler at 4, Hickson at 5 lineup Denver recently used to run Bogut off the floor. And beat Indiana with to boot.

            Nellie thinks the Warriors should shoot less threes. Not play less smallball. Important distinction.

          • meaningless it is to discuss about what Nellie would have done or so .

  50. Heard it on the radio—O’Neal said he’d play tonight.

  51. Interesting one-liner I came across:

    “Golden State will be sending six players to All-Star Weekend in New Orleans on Feb 14-16. Joining Curry are Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, David Lee, Klay Thompson, which was tops in the Western Conference and tied with the Indiana Pacers for most in the league.”

    http://www.nba.com/bobcats/news/preview-keys-beat-warriors

    How about this: D Green is 6th in the league in defensive rating while playing most of his minutes with a weak 2nd team.

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2014/01/31/andrew-bogut-and-draymond-green-doing-things-on-defense-the-warriors-havent-done-in-years/

    Nothing against Barnes, but he didn’t earn a trip to AllStar Weekend. Green deserves recognition.

    • Curry had a great quote about Draymond in his interview with David Aldridge today:

      ” We got a lot of guys: myself. We’ve got some young guys with some fiery [attitudes]. Draymond Green is a guy that’s been a winner since day one in college, probably in high school. And he has that motor about him. And he’s not afraid to step up, even at this point of his career, say how he feels. And we respect that throughout the whole locker room. Guys might see things differently. You want to make sure everybody’s on the same page. Some of those conversations aren’t fun. Obviously, you’re trying to figure out why things aren’t going our way. But it’s healthy for a team to go through those struggles, to work it out, trust each other, not be afraid to call each other out to make each other. Because we really do care about each other. We’re trying to win, and we understand that’s a part of it.”

    • I can’t watch this game any more tonight. The coaching decisions, the constant PR from Fitz, and now this? BS has no place in sports. I deal with enough of that at work. I can smell the BS stinking up this ballclub.

      Athletes need single minded focus. If they would cut the BS they would be # 1 or 2 in the west by now.

      Arg. Frustrated.

      • I’m with you. Terrible game plan from Jackson, then terrible use of matchups throughout the game. Jackson never went small….always choosing to go big because he was afraid of Jefferson. He is not putting his players in position to win.

        And finally, where was Draymond!!!???

  52. Well, they won the rebounding battle.

    I wonder if Jackson would become a better coach if you took his centers away from him. It would force him to push the pace and spread the floor, run the pick and roll and give Lee some room (who was obviously ailing tonight).

    By defining themselves as a defensive, rebounding team—Lacob repeated his mantra again while with the announcers—they have stripped their spirit and talents. We probably saw better offense from Igoudala at the start than we should have expected, and maybe he’s off a bit now, but with his leveling off now, all the pressure is put on Steph and Klay, and when Klay falters, that’s it. And there’s no one on the bench who can pick up the slack.

    Tonight’s game was no surprise. It was a continuation of what we’ve been seeing the past weeks. Only tonight Steph didn’t bail them out.

  53. Twitter recap.

  54. If Mark Jackson were a boxer, he’d be throwing punches with his face.

  55. Ugh.
    – Warriors officially a below average offensive team.
    - Splash brothers handing over the torch to Speights. They’re now focusing on breaking the long two record.
    -Iguodala playing like an older MKG sans the nightmarish (!!) shooting form.
    -Barnes isos, the gift that keeps on giving…offensive possessions away.
    - Curry with eleven assists, ten more than the rest of the starting unit combined. Didn’t have the transcendent shooting night that the Warriors needed to get bailed out. Perhaps that’s for the better.
    -I’m getting tired of Jackson’s preheated, obtuse post-game sermons.

  56. cosmicballoon

    Fuzzy, the assist stat is crazy. 1 assist for the rest of the starters?! What gives?

    I find it interesting that the Warriors offense skips the ball around the court some nights, while other nights, can’t seem to make a decent pass. Of course, Klay and Iggy’s shooting struggles are part of the problem, but at the same time, when this team passes the ball, they look like the best offense in the league. Why is it that some nights they pass and others they simply go back to ISO ball? As he has struggled, Iggy has stopped being a playmaker…And where was Draymond?!

  57. If the Warriors don’t learn some new tricks on offense (or use the ones they know) and get more players in the mix, I don’t have much hope for the postseason at all. Their best shot is to hope Lee returns to health and he and Curry can carry the team, not a formula for success.

    The best reason to trade Barnes now is to get him off the court and force Jackson to develop other players. It doesn’t matter what he shoots, 2 for 7 or 5 for 8, because he can’t come in and boost scoring on his own and dictates the offense of whomever he is playing with.

    Crawford looks awfully raw on offense. Then again, that might be a factor of the way he’s played and the players he has to lead. He’d be much more effective paired with another scorer/facilitator.

    Jefferson, of course, owned Bogut. I wonder if Green could have gotten in his face more. Sizable, scoring front court players will always present problems. All the more reason to make sure they have an effective offense to offset their points.

    If the Warriors were cigars, they’d be called El Stinkos.

    • And the problem is not 3 point shooting. There’s a difference between using the 3 to maintain the flow of offense and present a balanced attack and using it to catch up or bolster a stagnant offense, which is what we’re seeing.

  58. Quote for the day:

    “You guys, you’ve been around a long time,” Thibodeau said after the Bulls’ impressive win over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night. “This is four years now — I’m not changing. I’m going with the guys who I think give us the best chance to win, I don’t care who they are. So when we hit that six-minute mark it’s based on what we’re doing and what we need and that’s the way it’s going to be.”

  59. I need to come clean about something: I traded for DLee on my fantasy team the very day he got injured.

    Sorry Warriors fans!

    • Business is business.

      Not finding a good backup for Lee, someone who could fill in and stay on the court or play alongside him (e.g. Hickson) was the team’s biggest mistake. A backup 4 was a greater priority than a center.

  60. @ 57, 58

    In Jackson’s mind, Draymond is a “defensive specialist,” and the team needed a scorer. On offense, Draymond went 0-6 in 12 minutes.

    Green helps the O in lots of little ways, but if he can’t sink the “gimme’s” Jackson is never going to call Green when he needs scores. That’s on Green. It really is a deadly weakness in his game.

    On the other hand, the Ws have beaten Al Jefferson-led teams for years, by playing “small.” Last year w/out a healthy Bogut we stomped Utah repeatedly by always finishing games with a small lineup featuring Lee matched up against Jefferson. Lee is a far more prolific scorer than Jefferson, and he’s most efficient against a slow-footed big like AJ. Last night, Jackson demonstrated once again that he has never learned that simple lesson.

    Jackson even briefly went with a twin-dino lineup last night, just the opposite of last year’s winning strategy. “Hey, Lee’s having problems so let’s replace him with JON.” Naturally, Jefferson DESTROYED O’Neal last night. Jefferson is a bigtime scorer against dinosaurs. 30 pts. last night.

    If the coach had simply blown the dust off of Malone’s Utah strategy from last year, he’d have benched Bogut, played a Lee/Green front line, spread the floor and run PnRs until Charlotte stopped them. Which they couldn’t have.

    So I guess the question for me isn’t Where Was Draymond, it’s more along the lines of WTF kind of strategy was Jackson thinking of? When their bigs are (provably) better than your bigs, don’t play big-on-big. Beat them with matchups that favor your team, not theirs. Jackson is an unspeakably stupid coach.

    • Hat, I tend to agree, except that Green is an actual attacking player unlike Barnes or now Iggy on the offensive end. When Green plays with the second unit, he is put in position where he feels he has to force the issue…he has missed a lot of shots as a result.

      It’s time to stop blaming personnel for the Warrior woes and start taking a hard look at the (inexperienced) coaching philosophy of the team. As Feltbot has pointed out, adding Crawford as a 6th man, combined with Speights, Green and O’Neil should be enough scoring off the bench.

      What I saw in this game:
      The Warriors did not pass the ball up the court, nor have players running ahead that would allow for fast break shots or layups. This allowed the Bobcats to get back into a set defense. The Warriors starters struggled because of poor spacing without a spread 4 on the floor. Curry had few open shots, and the Bobcats played the pick and roll with Lee well (McRoberts is in the mold of Durant and Ibaka as a defender…players that give Lee a tough time because they have length and they are quick). Plus, Bogut was hunkered down in the low post on the P&R and on all drives, which clogged the lane completely.

      Hat, again you are totally right about what should have been done. This was a game where Lee or Speights should have been at center to force Jefferson out of the lane. The floor should have been completely spaced with Barnes or Green playing heavy minutes at 4 guarding McBob (who rarely posts up). Bogut and JON should have been on the bench.

      Additionally, JON should not have been the first man off the bench in the first quarter after coming off an injury. Again, Jackson does not play the players who have earned playing time, he plays the guys he can “trust.” A meager effort by Jackson who continues to destroy Curry’s magic.

  61. Rick@23: Mo Speights is now 3 for 8 on threes in his last 30 games, officially becoming a great 3 pt. shooter.

    Right?

    • I don’t want to bag on Speights, but those results would make him a slightly-above-average 3pt. shooter, on a team full of good ones. It’s still worthwhile for him to take them, though, just for its impact on the defense. Assuming his 2nd-team running mates can take advantage. Which is an open question, unfortunately.

      Speights’ big problem is one he shares with the rest of the Ws 2nd team: They don’t run offensive plays, they only freelance. It’s a (poor) coaching thing.

  62. Knives really coming out for Jackson today. Steinmetz tweets that comments Lacob made today and last week indicate the Warriors may have a new coach next year. Anyone see them?

    • It’s not as if Jackson hasn’t coached good games. Lacob has determined the roster Jackson uses and Lacob has set the priorities.

      You have to wonder if Thibodeau is ready to bolt and Lacob will go after him. My only thought here is that they might finally get someone who will stand up to Lacob and speak his mind.

      If a change happens, that makes four years the team has not made up its mind on its most important hire, putting develop once more on hold.

      Lacob is an amateur.

      • Oh right. It’s your Lacob-is-devil thing, as usual, ad nauseum.

        Psst…rgg…check it out. Lacob didn’t play or coach last night. The roster he gave Jackson was plenty and enough for an actual coach to win with.

        • I didn’t say Lacob was the devil. I implied he was an idiot. There’s a difference.

          And while we’re at it, who hired Jackson, for what reasons, on what terms, with how much independence and input?

          Do you think Jackson had a say in the drafting of Barnes or has a choice in playing him or not? Barnes is Lacob’s choice and project. He made that clear in the interview linked a few posts ago.

          Lacob repeated last night what he’s said from the start: he wanted a larger, more defensively oriented team, and (related) he wanted to see more rebounding. What do you think happens in their meetings when the Warriors lose the rebounding battle? Do you think Jackson has much option not to play those bigs?

          There’s nothing wrong with big guys or rebounds or defense. What we’re not hearing is how they might integrate into the talents of the team and into an overall scheme that leads to wins. Why do you think Jackson keeps saying they have plenty of offense?

          And if you see Lacob say anything intelligent about basketball, please post and link. I haven’t seen anything yet.

          These are Lacob’s choices—and failings:

          1. Barnes

          2. Not getting a versatile and sizable 4 (who can score) to back up and play alongside Lee.

          3. Not getting any experienced players on the bench. (Except O’Neal, who’s old.)

          4. Not getting enough versatile players on the bench, specifically those who can score.

          5. Not getting an adequate backup at point (unless Crawford pans out).

          6. Not having a roster flexible enough for deals this season or next—no trade pieces, no open spots to audition possibilities.

          7. In general, not having enough offensive players on the team, preventing them from having options and flexibility, as we saw last night. The major money went to Bogut and Iguodala, neither effective scorers, as Iguodala has leveled out and may stay there.

          Plus all his sins of the past, where he’s wasted tons of money without result, though he miraculously got bailed out by Utah last summer.

          • None of these defend Jackson, of course, though, again, he has coached some very good games—especially when forced to because of injuries. But it’s hard to believe he wouldn’t do better if he had a better roster and some freedom.

            If not, why was he hired?

            But Feltbot’s assessment when he was first hired showed a coach with other understandings of the game. Look it up.

          • While we’re at it once more, why do you have confidence that the man who fired Nelson without even talking to him, who hired and fired Smart, and may, if you get your wishes, fire Jackson—make a good decision as to the next coach?

          • Right or wrong, here’s The Hat’s take on Lacob’s perspective on Jackson:

            When Lacob bought the team, he needed time. Time to rebuild the front office, the basketball management team (only a subset of the FO), the roster, the trainers, even the facilities.

            Lacob didn’t even plan to win ball games for a couple of years, he just needed the freedom – and time – to build a moneymaking organization out of an underachieving dog of an NBA franchise.

            So he hired a wannabe coach who could buy time. One whose ONLY proven expertise was in filling airwaves with nonsensical blather. One with ZERO proven coaching ability, but enough fan credibility to defer and deflect criticism of the organization.

            Now, years later, that spokesman Lacob hired to defer and deflect fan expectations has proven that he has zero coaching ability.

            Now Jackson has spent 100% of his fan credibility, which was his only asset in the first place, his only “qualification” for the job of Lacob’s team spokesman (and, oh yeah, by the way, team coach).

            WARRIORS FANS STARTED LEAVING IN THE 3RD QUARTER LAST NIGHT!

            That’s the first time that has happened in 3 years of Lacob ownership.

            Time’s up.

            Lacob has assembled a great roster. He needs a winning team to accomplish his corporate goals. He does not need excuses now. He needs wins now.

            As fans who know diddly about the inner workings of the Warriors organization, we can only speculate about how long it will take Lacob to replace Jackson. But there is no doubt that Jackson is outta here. The most dedicated fan base in the NBA (an asset) started leaving a game in the 3rd quarter (a serious liability). Plus this minus that and Jackson is gone.

            For his next coach, Lacob could spend literally any amount to get the world’s best. I only wonder who Lacob thinks that might be. Is it George Karl? Is it Phil Jackson? I guess we’ll have to stay tuned.

          • Sounds like incompetence to me. That would make four career years wasted of two all star players. And all of 1-7 above are Lacob issues, not Jackson, none of which have been addressed or show signs of being addressed. And if Jackson is fired, he’ll have had his hands on four coaches in that many years, and the team will regroup once more. This during a window of realignment in the NBA that may close in a year or two. Lacob is well on his way to keeping the Warriors out of contention.

            But please tell me why you think he’ll make an intelligent decision fourth time around with a coach.

            And if Lacob has ever said anything intelligent, please pass it on for our benefit. He sounds like he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and I haven’t seen anything to the contrary.

          • Nor have you addressed Lacob’s supposed philosophy of basketball (do you listen to him?). There isn’t a chance in hell he’d hire Karl.

          • I stand corrected. It’s your Lacob-is-incompetent-devil thing.

            Ad nauseum.

    • FB, if it’s open season on Jackson, where do I sign up?

    • What were the comments by Lacob ? Any link ? Thanks.

      • Steinmetz didn’t link, and now it appears that he has deleted his tweet about the comments…

        I assume it was a radio interview. Anyone catch it?

  63. I have a feeling not a lot of people got where I was coming from when I expressed reservations about Iggy hitting game-winning shots this season.

    I wonder if they get it now?

  64. Just fantasizing, but is there a better fit for Lebron next season than the Warriors? It’s speculated he has interest in the Clippers, but Curry is a much better fit for him than CP3.

    Add Bogut, Lee and Klay, and mix.

    Lee, Lebron, Green, Klay, Curry crunchtime smallball unit.

    (Something would have to be done with Iggy.)

    If I were Lebron, I would have little doubt about where I wanted to be.

  65. Best fans in the NBA boooing the product last night= priceless

  66. Wow, Greg Papa just KILLED Mark Jackson on 95.7. Rightly called the Warriors “poorly coached”. A solid 5 minute rant coming from a Warriors insider….

    • I wonder what Jerry Sloan or Phil Jackson are up to these days.

    • Nooooooo! The last 2 guys I’d want.

      • HOF coaches? Of course you wouldn’t want them.

        • Inferring that you’d like to see Curry walk the ball up the court and feed the mid-post of the triangle…

          • What about Sloan? You don’t want to see more PNR?

          • I saw him outcoached by Nellie too often in 20 years. And think there are a ton of things about the modern game he doesn’t get. Starting with early offense threes, stretch fours and small ball.

            A clash with Deron Williams ended his career, and I have doubts about he and Curry seeing eye to eye.

        • warriorsablaze

          Yeah, no thanks on Phil. We already have a “zen” coach who lets the players play… we need one who actually coaches.

          • it’s well documented that der Phil (son of a evangelist-preacher) relied on assistants to install the triangle, and it suited his rosters with wing playmakers and without top point guards. former players describe his method as a mental and emotional discipline intended to keep the players focused, sensitive, able to thrive in the flow of the game and team play. that suggests that the incumbent preacher resembles the elder jackson the most of any of the top coaches.

    • warriorsablaze

      Heard it too and was smiling ear to ear. He was saying the same stuff a lot of folks here and GSOM have been talking about about having no offense. I’ve said many times that the Warriors have generally won in spite of Jackson, not because of him.

      The front office has to be aware of the fact that we’re something like 16th in offense in the league and it shows. We get by when Curry starts making ridiculous shots and against poor defensive teams.

    • Wow, that is surprising. Papa is a completely solid guy, and a 100% pro. If he’s trashing Jackson, then either

      a) Papa has completely departed from the professional policies he’s maintained through 20+ years of announcing, or

      b) Papa knows that Jackson is already outta here.

      Hard to know which. I’m betting on b), but that could be wishful thinking.

      • warriorsablaze

        Nah… if you have listened to Papa’s show no the radio, he is completely different than his normal broadcasting duties… way more candid, funny, and a bit of a dirty old man. :)

        • it’s good bidness for that radio station to provide a contrast and counterpoint to the bob fitz-g thing from their competitor.

          • warriorsablaze

            That’s certainly the cynical view… I tend to believe that Papa has achieved status where he is above “message control”. I doubt 95.7 is giving him directions to push the narrative either way.

          • Yes, but Papa is essentially on the Ws payroll, and would love to get his hands on Fitz’s… errr his old job. I don’t think he’d be comfortable speaking this strongly if he didn’t think it would be well received by upper management. I can’t help but feel this is a strong signal from Joe Lacob.

      • there are other possible reasons that Papa feels at liberty to critique. probably foremost, he has job security and credibility, even if the team-affiliated network (csnbayarea) pushes him out he’d have other work opportunities. the empty seats in the final quarter of the game were also a gauge that his opinion won’t be typecast the way steinmetz’ non-homer views usually are.

  67. warriorsablaze

    “They’re good enough where they don’t have to shoot all those 3s.”

    Perhaps Nellie is a bit behind the times as well…

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2014/02/04/don-nelson-interview-part-1-on-monta-ellis-the-bogut-trade-and-watching-the-warriors-hoist-all-these-3s/

  68. Papa has always been straight-up, and in prior appearances has expressed his distain for different things he has been seeing on
    the court.

    J. Crawford has not exactly lived up to his billing as our new 6th
    man and seems to have reverted to doing things that hurt him earlier
    in career such as taking contested shots, driving when he should be
    taking jump shots, taking jump shots when he should be driving, and
    making stupid passes that are intercepted. Have to cut him some slack
    as he is still relatively new. But such may also be reflection of Jackson’s
    lack of coaching.

    Did read where Ainge said he would like both Crawford and Brooks back next year if they are available. Why Brooks plays so little defies
    logic.

    Glad posters coming around on the Warriors needed more help at the PF position as I have harped the whole year.

  69. Interesting perspective on the historic seasons of Lebron and Durant, utilizing a concept invented by poster EvanZ.

    http://regressing.deadspin.com/the-durant-lebron-arms-race-is-real-and-statistically-u-1515940922

    Congrats on the recognition, Evan.

  70. The last thing I want to do is become a Jackson apologist, as I accept all the criticism made here, especially about his stagnant offenses and his not bringing up individual subs more and instead playing them together. The Charlotte game was a huge fail.

    But I don’t want to jump on the dump Jackson bandwagon because I am leery of whatever Lacob might try next.

    I don’t want to defend Keith Smart, either, for the same reasons. It is curious, however, they both tend towards similar strategies, and you have to wonder if it’s because they followed some directive or were chosen to do just that. Both try to build an offense on centers. Did Smart, after years sitting next to him on the bench, believe he could build a team around Biedrins? Did he have a say in Kwame Brown? Related, does anyone believe Jackson has a say in how many minutes Barnes is played?

    But the major problems both had were injuries and their rosters. Smart got stuck with Biedrins and Kwame Brown, both of whom went down anyway, as did Curry, and had to do the best he could without them, and without much of a bench at all, and nothing at the 4. Jackson was given a bunch more centers of limited offensive abilities, of varying degrees of health and court time, though Bogut has been healthy all season.

    Jackson has coached brilliant games. He made a good run in the playoffs without Lee and an up-and-down Bogut, and finally, a hobbled Curry. He got off to a phenomenal start this year and almost broke an NBA record for road games won. Even though his strategy has been suspect, the major problem for the team has been injuries—Curry three games, Iguodala twelve and then not returning in form and probably coming back too soon. We can only hope Lee’s injury is minor and temporary. And Jackson doesn’t have a bench at all, no substantial backups at any position except O’Neal at center, when healthy, no one even of Landry’s caliber behind Lee.

    And both may well have limited tenures based on ill-defined expectations, where they are forced to play starters heavy minutes and hope for the best. Smart was in a no win situation. What are the expectations on Jackson? That he make a good run into the playoffs? Will the team’s faltering the past weeks and slide in the standings be cause to let him go or at the least put him on alert? And we’re looking at the very real possibility they won’t make the playoffs at all, in which case his exit is assured.

    It’s the owner.

    You know Lacob, given his mindset and time in Boston, would go after Thibodeau if he can be shaken loose. What Thibodeau would do with this roster is one thing. Whether Lacob would give him the independence and roster he needs is another. I can’t see Thibodeau sitting still in those committee meetings Lacob oversees.

    Meanwhile, we may be seeing quite capable coaches emerging, overlooked by this organization. Hornacek is doing a phenomenal job with a second string center, a major player down, and a full bench made of odd pieces. And the team is poised to strike a major deal.

    Brad Stevens looks to have promise with the Celtics.

    Mike Dunlap should be available and may be Lacob’s guy. He loves stats and defense.

    D’Antoni, btw, replayed Nelson’s last game in his win against Cleveland, down to 5 available players the last minutes, one of whom fouled out and was put back in. I still say he gets coach of the year.

    • “Both try to build an offense on centers.”

      rgg, Smart didn’t have Kwame. He came in the next season, Jackson’s first. Smart also didn’t have any traditional Cs except Biedrins and Gadzuric. His other bigs were Udoh (1st year, injured much of the season), Lee (new to the team and injured much of the season), Amundson and VladRad. Biedrins averaged less than 17 min.game overall, Gadzuric <4 min. Not sure what Smart's plan was, exactly, but he did NOT run a center-centric, big-guy-in-the-middle team. Not with that crew.

      In Jackson's first season Biedrins was almost entirely unplayable and Brown got injured right away, leaving just Lee, Udoh and filler (J. Tyler, anyone?). While Jackson started with Kwame, most of the season saw Lee at center. Again, hardly an old-school center-centric roster/game plan.

      In Jackson's 2nd season, Lee played the most regular season minutes at C and finished the majority of games there, next to Landry. Once again, not an 80s-Boston-style lineup, or game.

      During Lacob's ownership, the Ws haven't had a quality Big Center until Bogut got healthy this year. So if Lacob prefers Big Ball, he must have been terribly disappointed with his team, even last year. Or, possibly, he doesn't actually have that preference and just wants wins. Which is what the evidence suggests.

      You place far too much emphasis on Lacob's vague comments about "getting bigger." The actual playing times show the facts.

      A second point: You don't want to bag Jackson because you don't trust Lacob's judgement on a replacement? So you'd prefer a known loser over a possible non-loser?

      Geez. Would you stand pat on a bad poker hand because "it could be worse?" Let's play! Game on!

      • My mistake—I mixed up seasons, easy to do, given the dismal first two seasons under Joe. But Smart absolutely tried to play Biedrins at the post until it became painfully obvious it wouldn’t work and he went down anyway. Why do you think he went to Latvia to work with him? Brown was Lacob’s project Jax’s first season, and the only sizable addition. If Lee played—and overplayed—predominantly at center both of Jax’s first two seasons, it was because there were no alternatives. And he left both seasons with injuries. Bogut missed most of the past season, though rookie Ezeli filled in well, as we all know. Lee played at center because it was the best and only option. Jackson had no other choice, except when Bogut played in spurts. And of course it forced smaller, more effective units, which worked very well, as long as Lee lasted.

        Center postup basketball is Lacob’s notion of the game, from his own mouth, as has been posted and linked here repeatedly over the past years, and it was tried unsuccessfully with Bogut this season, and off and on with Lee. And he repeated the last game with the announcers what he’s said along: he wants a bigger team, but the only big players he’s sought have been centers.

        With the exception of Iguodala, all of Lacob’s major trade efforts and a significant part of the cap have been locked up in centers, all with limited offensive capabilities. Futilely chasing Howard, Jordan, and Chandler, and all the Bogut deals, while ignoring options at other positions. He hasn’t yet pursued a versatile 4. What else could have been done with the $7m dumped on Brown? I don’t count Jack and Landry because they were one year rentals. After that, the draft picks Klay and Barnes, who aren’t eating up cap—yet.

        You seem to select your points of criticism, however, and haven’t addressed the problem of weak benches, which Lacob hasn’t done anything about his entire tenure.

        Your readings often confuse me. I didn’t say we should keep Jackson regardless. I said I had no confidence in Lacob’s judgment. I just hate seeing him being made a scapegoat for Lacob’s incompetence. And as the West interview above makes abundantly clear, Jackson was Lacob’s overwhelming choice. Why do you have confidence in his judgment now?

        But in deference to you and your stomach, I will light a candle in the shrine of the chinless wonder.

        And I respect your adherence to the long standing American tradition that our moguls and financiers can do no wrong, that they bear no responsibility for anything, that when things turn bad, they should not be held to account, but rather blame should properly be placed on their minions.

        And I will marvel with you at their supposed control of a huge amount of money, cause for wonder in itself. Nor will I question why Lacob, in his infinite wisdom, has not used that money to shore up the roster with minor to midrange players yet, and probably won’t again this year.

        And I can only feel sympathy for poor Joe, who must have been duped by the deceitful Jackson in his first interview.

        Amen.

        • cosmicballoon

          Re: The weak bench. Lacob just traded for Crawford, a 13 pt. scorer with Boston this season. Mark Jackson has already mishandled the heck out of him. That is not on Lacob. Additionally, the Green draft pick is clearly a way to stabilize the bench, and Jackson sees Green as a defensive player only…a limited view because of all Green’s pluses as an attacking player on the offensive end.

          I do not defend Lacob because he clearly thought the fans were idiots, and that he knew the blueprint to building a winning franchise; both falsities. However, the sellout streak has a lot to do with the product and players he has on the floor, and the Curry deal almost makes up for the Bogut contract, IMO.

          • I didn’t start out defending Jackson. Crawford hasn’t proved himself yet, but indeed he hasn’t been used enough or correctly, as I’ve said before. But he came well into the season.

            Green’s minutes are inversely related to Barnes’, a Lacob project.

            Lacob would have traded Curry for Melo, and we have every indication he tried. Or for Howard. And Lacob inherited Curry. Keeping him was a no brainer, even with ankle concerns.

            Most, I just have an uneasy feeling and am in limbo once more. If Jackson’s days are numbered, the rest of the season may well be a mess. He will be pressured to be more cautious, push the starters, and win at all costs. He may well have not had the luxury of spelling his starters more this season, given his iffy tenure.

        • “Chinless wonder.” “Moguls can do no wrong.” “Why do you have confidence?”

          Yikes. Ease up, friend. Your personal dislike of who you imagine Joe Lacob to be is affecting your bball judgment.

          I don’t know the man either, of course. He could be all the nasty things you say. Or not. I for one generally assume people are decent until they prove otherwise. I’ll never meet Lacob.

          The Warriors have steadily improved the roster every year since Lacob bought the team, something you can’t say for most NBA teams over the same period.

          Like it or not, the Ws team D isn’t even mid-pack with Lee at C. Bogut has been huge this year, an excellent defensive anchor for the team for when they need it. The Monta trade worked out, in other words.

          The team has several versatile 4s. Count ‘em: Lee, Speights, Green and even Barnes sometimes.

          Lacob/Myers added JON, Speights and Crawford this season. Decent acquisitions, don’t you think? That’s 3 rotation players added in one year, a pretty good score.

          Bazemore has played his way out of the rotation, but that’s hardly Lacob’s fault. This year’s draftees look like busts, so I’ll give you that if you want something to complain about. But other than that, I don’t get why you’re always so negative about the roster. It always seems to come down to your distrust and bias against Lacob.

          What is it? His chin? His money? Whatever it is, check your prejudices and open your eyes. This is a better organization top-to-bottom than anything Cohan ever ran. The fact that you can’t imagine how the team improves from here says more about your perception than Lacob’s or Myers’.

  71. Jerry West on Mark Jackson, back when. West makes his relationship with the organization quite clear:

    -Q: So what style is Mark Jackson going to play?

    -WEST: Obviously Larry and Bob and Joe talked about, they told him what they wanted to see.

    I do think he understands that the Warriors have to be better defensively. But he wants to play an aggressive game, he doesn’t want to play a slow-down game. Wants to play in a way that suits their talent.

    -Q: Point-blank, what people want to know: Did Jerry West sign off on this hire?

    -WEST: (Laughs.) Listen, I try to explain it to everyone up there: I’m not going to step on anyone’s toes. Forget me, I think it was unanimous with the three people up there. They obviously asked me about it and I gave them my opinion and I think everyone’s very pleased today.

    It’s an exciting hire—I’m not even going to call it a risk. There’s not a question in my mind he’ll know when to call timeout and also when to substitute someone. That to me will be the easiest part of it.

    He understands he needs a good assistant coach. Not going to say who it is. But it’s very exciting. I’m very, very excited about it.

    -Q: What are your thoughts about Mark Jackson?

    -WEST: He had a tremendous connection with Joe. And he’s a very smart guy, he played in the league for 17 years, for a number of coaches. He’s a player who played in the league a long time in his head. And I think we all have had glowing reports from people who think he’s really good.

    He and Joe seemed to really hit it off. I met with Mark myself down here and talked about if he were offered the job what did he need to do, boy he was really focused on what he had to be done.

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2011/06/06/jerry-west-on-mark-jackson-joe-lacob-michael-malone-the-latest-monta-ellis-report-and-more/

  72. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict the Warriors have a lot of trouble guarding DJ Augustin in this game — a guy I have no idea why they didn’t go after when Toronto waived him. He’s done simply an amazing job for the Bulls through all their travails.

    Also worth noting in this game will be the contrast between the Bulls’ 6-7″ defensive wings Jimmy Butler (#30, 2011) and Tony Snell (#20, 2013), and Harrison Barnes.

    • Agreed, I wanted Augustin too.

    • Butler, a guy who is admittedly playing with turf toe. #noexcuses

    • Since the Ws have dictated/approved all those “Barnes Slump” articles lately, I assume Jackson is free to play Barnes less.

      Felt, if Barnes’ minutes were reduced, who would you give them to?

      • Grand Chapeau, if you still want a refresher on Dantley’s place in n.b.a. history, please look at Professor Z’s graph of all time shooting proficiency linked on #71.

  73. cosmicballoon

    Here’s a fun fact from the Warriors media staff: The Warriors are 9-3 when Iggy scores at least 10 points.

    Bottom line, Iggy needs to become a relevant scoring option, every game.

    • Iggy’s missing shooting affects everyone. If he’s not a scoring threat, defenses are more free to key on others.

      Shooting is a team-wide problem, though. Curry is shooting 3s the worst of his career. Thompson, Barnes and Iggy are all slumping. We’ve seen them all miss wide-open shots so it seems like a collection of individual misfires, but if no one is shooting well doesn’t that suggest a systemic problem?

  74. Barnes selected to appear in the dunk contest, despite the fact that he can’t make a layup for the Warriors.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10413823/paul-george-john-wall-damian-lillard-harrison-barnes-ben-mclemore-terrence-ross-compete-dunk-contest-all-star-weekend

    I’m not sure I remember any player in history being given so much playing time and publicity without deserving any of it.

    • Barnes just tweeted “God is good.” Not sure whether he’s referring to Stern or Silver at this point.

      I also note from his twitter profile that Barnes doesn’t believe that he’s a stretch four. He refers to himself as “Golden State Warriors SF”.

      His motto is “We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” If only he played basketball that way.

    • Barnes’ dunk against the Clippers made the highlight list at NBA.com. Look at the space Crawford cleared for him, drawing three (and the sloppy defense):

    • I have a picture of Barnes attempting a dunk over a cross, wearing a black falcon hood, holding a shoe contract in one hand, and the ball (hopefully) in the other.

      It’s a shame Shaq doesn’t play a string of Barnes’ goofs on Shaqin’ the Fool—the fumbled passes, balls lost on the dribble, shots pushed into the hands of defenders. It would destroy his reputation overnight.

      After he is traded, of course.

      • one of those highlights of the season just came vs. Cha, when the other players spread the floor and fed barnes at the top of the key with lots of space between him and the rim. he couldn’t make a quick initial move but contemplated for a beat, followed by dribbling off the defender’s foot and going into reverse to retrieve the ball from the backcourt.

    • lillard of Por will be participating in the skills competition (defending champ; won by curry in the past), 3 pt. shooting, rising stars, dunking, and the actual all star game.

  75. That was heartening. I almost gave up towards the end of the disastrous first quarter, but the look on Curry’s face kept me there, his poise, his confidence, his leadership. And after he settled the other guys down, things turned around. His shooting didn’t hurt either, of course.

    It’s not an experiment that can be run, but I wonder how they would have done against Charlotte had they played similar lineups against them, specifically Curry, Green, Klay, Crawford, and Iguodala, or four of those plus whoever. They were quicker and were able to spread the floor and harass on defense.

    Maybe they could get a shooting coach? Crawford and Iguodala’s shots are rushed, ragged, and off balance.

    • And I’ll quote myself @54: “I wonder if Jackson would become a better coach if you took his centers away from him. “

    • Tonight Barnes showed that he belongs at power forward. Did you notice his rebounding in the third and 4th quarters? He was using his quickness and leaping ability to fight with Gibson and Noah. Notice Barnes 3 open threes in the second half? Directly related to Gibson guarding him.

      Barnes playing 20 minutes per game at power forward with Lee at center is a great formula for success….just like the SA series last season.

      Use the roster right Jackson. Please!!!

  76. -Curry was, of course, sensational. Perhaps lost amid his torrid shooting was another solid floor game. Not as flashy as some of his high assist/high turnover showings but much more fundamentally sound.
    -Iggy still can’t buy an outside bucket. The contrast between this and his pre-injury shooting could not be more stark.
    -BARNES IS A FINISHER. I don’t want to see him put the ball on the floor unless absolutely necessary. But Jackson probably took his (relativele) competence tonight as a sign that he’s now “got it going” and will proceed to force feed him isos for the foreseeable future.
    -Speights brings two things to the table: long twos and ferocious flopping. And he’s not even that good at either of those things.
    -Once again Jackson with the avalanche of cliches. Asked about Bogut and Lee being out:”We’re a no excuse baske…”- I give up.

  77. @78 rgg,

    You’re right, the turning point was when the Ws traded size for speed, and stretched the Chicago D.

    Late 2nd Q was the first time this season we’ve seen them play with Green at C and no other “bigs” on the floor. Green matched up well against Noah (3-9 shooting), and HB playing PF handled Taj Gibson (9-23) better than Gibson handled HB (3-4 3pt shooting).

    Oddly, Barnes still got more PT (29 min.) than Green (27 min.). I guess Jackson saw Barnes @ stretch 4 being the difference maker, not Green @ stretch 5. I don’t see it that way, but you can see how Jackson might.

    Barnes still can’t hit anything except slam dunks and wide-open 3s. Allowing him to attempt to dribble has proven to be consistently disastrous, for two solid seasons now. He was 1-6 on 2-pointers last night. But props to Barnes, he did play D well last night, and did well overall.

    • Barnes was put in position to succeed. A stretch 4. He is big enough and can bang with other 4s in this league. If he’s not going to contribute offensively at 3, he needs to play 4. Simple as that.

  78. Finally, Jackson hired a new X’s and O’s guy:

    “Should I put in Barnes at 4? Darn. Should I put in Green at 4? YES! Green, get in there! And… You figure it out!”

    Was Jackson just trying random lineups? And worse, was that really his advice in the huddle, “You figure it out!” That sums up his coaching ability right there.

  79. On a side note, many, including Smart, wanted Curry to drive more simply to get to the line. Not only is Curry not strong enough to do this, it’s the kind of play that sends guards down with injuries. But what Curry is doing this season is finding his openings and working a variety of shots in the paint that, while not muscling up for a foul, are effective, as we saw last night. And if you open up the court for him, he can quickly find open lanes for straight layups, as we’ve been seeing time and time again. Curry himself, of course, is one reason the court opens up, as he draws the attention of the entire defense. But if the lane is clear and the tempo and ball movement faster, it’s much easier for him to do.

    • Related: One reason Curry is ranked higher in total points and got so many All Star votes is that the two guards ahead of him, who do drive into the teeth of an offense and draw fouls—Westbrook and Rose—are down with injuries, and there’s serious question as to whether or not Rose will ever return to form.

      • The irony of Stephen “Iron Man” Curry is too sweet.

        • Check out Curry’s shoes sometime. He plays with rock-solid braces built into extra-high hightops, on both feet.

          The other night Lacob said something along the lines of “nowadays we don’t often see ankle problems be career-ending.” Maybe it’s a shoe technology thing. Still, yeah, it seems strange to put “Iron Man” and “Curry” in the same sentence.

  80. Barkley repeated several times the need for the Warriors to play inside out, from the centers, as was the team’s original desire, as has been refuted here for years and about which I assume we will hear more shortly.

    • What I got from Barkley was that he wants Steph to attack in order to get good looks for Lee and Bogut. Without saying it, he was saying that ISOs don’t work for this Warriors team — Steph on the perimeter, or Lee and Bogut on the block.

      I didn’t hear Barkley say dump it into Bogut and let him go to work, which is what Feltbot has harped on for years.

      Barkley is right, even though he can’t quite describe what he wants. Barkley is seeing that the Warriors are not getting transition buckets, so they need to improve in the half court. The Warriors need play makers to get into the middle of the lane and make passes that set up easy shots. During several of these mediocre offensive games, the Warriors simply are not generating open looks. If Steph and Crawford start driving with the intention of setting up better looks, that’s when the Warriors will reach the upper echelon. Iggy is a piece to this puzzle, too. He needs to always be attacking the lane — to attack the rim and to make the extra pass to get Klay and Curry those open looks. If Curry drives with the intention of playmaking, he won’t be at risk of landing weird, or getting crushed, either. This is part of his evolution into a great point guard.

      What Barkley is saying is that when a team gets fully perimeter oriented, the shots won’t always fall because the defense starts inching farther and farther out. He pointed out that Steph had a good shooting night, but many of the shots were high level of difficulty.

      • I do blame most of this on Jackson’s lack of a good system.

      • No, I’m fairly sure Barkley was clear on this point: feed the centers inside so they can drive or kick out, as was the original plan with Bogut. There are many problems here, as FB has detailed for years. Bogut can’t post up and score, and posting up Lee low often puts him against larger, more athletic players, where his quickness is neutralized. What it does is clog the lane for drives and, since Bogut is lightly guarded, allow teams to put more pressure on the perimeter. And we’ve seen this time and time again.

        • And Curry will only be as good as the system allows him to be. Not spreading the floor puts him at disadvantage.

          • WheresMyChippy

            Actually, Barkley was not that specific. He didn’t say “feed the centers inside so they can drive or kick out.” What he did say was that they have to get those guys going so they get more easy buckets in the paint. That could mean a lot of things, including more PnR. I don’t remember him specifically saying post-up.

            Also, “getting those guys going” does not predicate a non spread floor. As we all here have been hoping for, it would be best for Lee and Bogut to split time. Lee with Green and Bogut with Barnes MOST of the time is my fantasy for this team. Lineups like that could result in lots of easy buckets in the paint which will in turn result in wide open 3s for the Brothers Splash.

    • Interesting debate between Barkley and Kenny Smith last night. Both were right in their own ways.

      Barkley sez “live by the 3, die by the three.” Smith sez “but no one has ever shot 3s like that!” As FB has pointed out, the danger in relying on 3s is the difference in standard deviation between 3s and, say, shots in the paint.

      All shooting graphs into a normal bell curve. The width of the bell – the “variance” or standard deviation – of 3 point shots is larger than that for post play shots. We’ve seen that ourselves in recent games: 20% from 3 against Charlotte, 50% against Chicago.

      A team with a balanced offensive attack should show less deviation in its overall scoring. If the D takes away 3s – it happens – then a well-balanced offense can attack elsewhere. So having the horses to play well down low is a very, very good thing even for a team featuring the Splash guys.

      Get well soon, David Lee.

      • shoulders are complicated and lee’s might need the off season. if his two point pct. declines to about .42 from his career pct. around .52, it’s significant because opponents will defend him straight up.

    • The debate here is not to 3 or not to 3, but rather finding ways to open up the court. The 3 helps, of course, and opening up the court helps the 3s.

  81. Bob Meyers answers a question about possible deals before the deadline as well as shows his wonderful talents for direct, concise language:

    “Yeah, we’re comfortable. I read today that the starters are 21-7 and I don’t know how much stock to put into something like that. I guess it’s better than 7-21, but we do feel like it can be a competitive group heading into the future. We feel like it hasn’t hit its ceiling or even close to it, we hope, both for this year and beyond. We are comfortable with it. We have time to see how it develops. You have to sometimes be patient as you progress as an organization. We are not thinking that if we don’t win a championship this year, it’s a failed season; we don’t have that dialogue, we don’t believe in that mentality.”

    From BR. I would think you have to take lessons to be so adept in obfuscation.

    • Myers obviously intended to be unclear about adding another player, but that’s OK. He needs wiggle room to do his job well. Even if he does want to deal for another player, it wouldn’t be good for him to sound determined to deal.

      I think, though, that that last bit about a failed season was Myers trying to set fan expectations to a realistic level. As a fan, it’s not what I want to hear. I’ll admit it’s unrealistic to think this team could take the championship. But I do want the organization to think of anything short of a championship as a failed season.

      If ya don’t aim for it, ya won’t hit it.

    • this only confirms my reading of how the roster was constructed from the beginning of the season — they were not considering a very high ceiling. more like hoping for eight playoff wins instead of six if the seedings and match ups worked out, and maintaining national visibility and sold out season tickets.

      • Fair enough, moto. Fron a business standpoint, Lacob doesn’t need a champion, he only needs a team that has a chance.

        On the other hand, Myers and Lacob don’t make baskets. That’s up to the coach, players and basketball gods. The Ws as currently constructed are easily as talented as the Dallas championship team.

        The biggest team improvement the FO could make right now is in coaching, and it wouldn’t be practical to change that at this moment. Hopefully, last night’s friggin’ amazing turnaround win will be a pivotal lesson for Mark Jackson. If so, he might work out. He’ll probably always sound like an obnoxious self-serving sleazebag in post-game interviews, but if he constructs wins that would be OK.

      • Quite possibly, moto. But also the brain trust may not think the roster is good enough to warrant more modest investment. They still subscribe to the three-great-player theory of basketball and are saving resources to make another transcendent deal they believe will put them in the finals. Next season. Or maybe the season after that. Or maybe—

        They have looked to the future for four seasons, while the present keeps slipping by.

        My interpretation fits the evidence. They haven’t made any commitment at all to bench players in terms of pay and longish contracts. Most decisions there have been temporary and/or minor. They didn’t do anything to shore up the roster last season when playoffs looked likely. And apparently they won’t do anything significant this season, either. The Crawford deal, again short-termed and inexpensive, was forced on them. And it fits their language. Most trade talk is focused on major players, or at least players with popular recognition. When they don’t get them (Howard), they accept compromises for the time being.

        And I suspect we’ll be waiting for that magical moment a long time.

        • rgg, why do you think it’s a bad idea to give 2nd-team players only short-term contracts? Aren’t they, by definition, “temporary and minor” players until/unless they prove otherwise? Shouldn’t the team’s contractual commitment to them reflect that? It seems to me that a long-term contract for a bit player would be unsound.

          “They didn’t do anything to shore up the roster last season when playoffs looked likely.”

          Right, the FO didn’t bring in more talent at season end last year, but a) who did they miss? and b) realistically, how much could another late-arriving player have changed things? The team still hasn’t fully worked out the Bogut/Lee pairing. Do you think that adding another stranger to the mix would have made a winning difference last year against San Antonio?

          Please explain.

  82. What, no discussion about the fourth quarter Curry/Barnes high pick n roll plays that got Gibson switched from Barnes onto Curry in single coverage 23 feet from the hoop? They didn’t feel comfortable blitzing/doubling Curry bc of Barnes’ threat to pop or roll with a spread court so the pg peeled off onto Barnes and we had Curry twice in a row on key possessions going one-on-one against Gibson, with predictable results. Barnes doesn’t even need to score if he can get us single coverage on Curry by a 4 23 feet from the hoop during key portions of the game. Right?

    • Right.

    • Yeah, that was sweet. Draymond sets better picks, but no one takes him seriously as a scoring threat off the high screen. Nor should they.

      On the other hand, the success of the Barnes/Curry PnR kinda suggests that Chicago has drunk the Barnes koolaid. He was his usual 1-6 on 2-pointers last night. If Chicago knew how bad he really was, they wouldn’t have bit on the “scoring threat” of Barnes.

      • I think Chicago did what they did because they believed the opposite. They weren’t afraid of the Barnes mismatch so they switched. Taj Gibson played Curry about as well as you could want. A hot-shooting Curry simply turns conventional wisdom on its head.

        • Btw, I advocated a Curry Barnes PnR back at number 14 but it was more for what it could do for Barnes to get him moving in space rather those lame mid-post ISO’s. I still think it might be at worst, the lesser of evils.

  83. feltbotsFakeGirlfriend

    Warriors just came out with the 2014-15 Renewal Packages.

    Season Ticket Prices are going up 30-50%

    INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!