Warriors 123 76ers 80: Mo’ Speights

I’m going to try to refrain from making more out of this Mo Speights 32 point explosion than it is. It was the Sixers, of course, the worst team in the NBA. On a road back-to-back. In the midst of a dual whammy All-Star vacation and Trade Deadline funk. Mid-tank.

The Sixers are a team that for many reasons doesn’t feel like competing right now, and they are not competing at historic levels.  

On the other hand, I do feel the need to point out that another reason Mo Speights put up a performance like he did last night, is that he is capable of putting up these kinds of performances. There are a lot of players on this Warriors roster, big and small, who could never come close to putting up a shooting performance like this. Not alone, in a locked gym, at midnight.

It’s worth pointing out, because the Warriors media don’t seem to believe that Speights is capable of anything. Not even shooting. And that opinion has been followed by the fans.

Look, Mo Speights was in the TOP FIVE of midrange shooters in the NBA last season. Not top five of big men. Top five of everybody. And he didn’t put up those stats by playing the Sixers every night.

Mo Speights can shoot it, for real.

And contrary to the opinion of — well, everyone, it seems, but me — Mo Speights can shoot the three. Anyone with the slightest scouting ability could verify this for themselves, as I did in the preseason, with a simple YouTube review, and watching him warmup before a game. The only thing that Speights needs to start burying threes with regularity is a coach who believes in him in that role, who plays him above the arc, and gives him confidence and a green light.

Shooting performances like these from Speights shouldn’t come as the utter shock and aberration that last night’s performance did.  The true shock and aberration is how Mark Jackson has chosen to use Speights this season. Out of position at the power forward, and as a fifth option in the offense.

Behind Jermaine O’Neal, battling futiley in the low post .

Let me ask you a simple question: After viewing last night’s performance, on both ends of the court (let’s not forget the 8 rebounds and 3 blocks), whom do you think was the better candidate to receive 31 minutes at center in the Suns game, Speights or O’Neal? Do you think Speights could have dealt in the paint with the fearsome Suns frontline of Miles Plumlee and Channing Frye? Which player is better hedging the Dragic pick and roll? Getting up and down the court?

Giving the Warriors a chance to fight back with scoring?

If the evidence of the last two games convincingly demonstrated anything, it is this: Mark Jackson has failed miserably to utilize the weapons at his disposal this season. Miserably. His unwillingness up until this devastated-by-injury moment to utilize Speights at center, and Barnes and Green at power forward, AND RUN, has crippled the Warriors’ second unit just as surely as did its lack of a point guard before the arrival of Jordan Crawford.

Here, once again, is how I see it: Mo Speights is capable of being a valuable weapon for the Warriors, because he’s that rarest of NBA commodities, a genuine STRETCH-FIVE. A center who can completely open the floor for his team. Who can set a high pick for his deadly point guard, above the three point line.

And punish any attempt at a blitz with a dagger to the heart.

A center whom you can park in the corners, drawing his man out of the paint, and completely open the floor for one/four pick and roll. And slashers and cutters like Iggy, Barnes and Green.

A center you can play in the high post. Not the faux high post as Bogut plays it, sitting and waiting for a cut or a handoff, with his man disdainfully still camped under the basket defending the whole team. No, the real high-post, created by a real triple threat of shooting or driving as well as passing, that forces the opposing center to vacate the lane, and allows your offense to explode.

What Mo Speights is capable of becoming in the hands of a good coach is another version of Mehmet Okur. Remember him? The sharp-shooting stretch-five off the bench for the Detroit Pistons? You may not know this, but Mehmet Okur also drove his coaches crazy, with brain farts, defensive lapses, and the occasional complete failure to show up.

Mehmet Okur was also a World Champion.

Because for all that mishegas, he was a damn useful player.

302 Responses to Warriors 123 76ers 80: Mo’ Speights

  1. Speights is a poor man’s Andrea Bargnani. And Bargnani is a really bad NBA player. I agree that he’d definitely be less useless if he shot threes consistently, though.

    (BTW, I think virtually any NBA player is capable of scoring 30, heck even 40, if they get hot against a team consisting primarily of D-leaguers.
    NBA bench warmers typically average cartoonish numbers against that type of competition)

    • Sorry, but that’s an exceedingly lazy comparison. Speights and Bargnani are nothing alike in size, body type, defensive ability, rebounding ability, competitive heart. They’re two completely different players.

      You could drive a truck through the difference in their career rebounding numbers:

      Speights: 9.7 rb per 36m
      Bargnani: 5.8 rb per 36m

      If you don’t find my comparison to Okur — a player nearly identical in size, body type and playing weight — apt, then make a case.

      (Okur: 8.7 rb per 36m)

      • Yeah, they’re not carbon copies of each other. I was basing my comparison on my impression watching those two play more than anything else. You make a valid point about the rebounding, though I’m not sure Speights would average anything like that if he focused on outside shooting. Defensively Bargnani is actually pretty good man to man, but is an absolute disaster when it comes to team defense. That’s my impression with Speights as well. Competitive heart?

        Big picture: Both are shooting bigs with plenty of offensive skill. Both are hopelessly clueless. And both are consistently net negatives on the court.

        (I don’t object to the Okur comparison, I’m just much less familiar with him as a player. The fact that he’s an NBA champion is neither here nor there)

        • Speights is not getting paid $12m.

          Speights does not play alongside Melo and the rest of that dysfunctional roster. He has players who can set him up and hold their own on the floor, if he plays with them.

          No one said Speights should be a starter, though he should have started against Phoenix and last night, if Lee couldn’t have played.

          • Well I did call him a poor man’s Bargnani. But no, you’re right, Andrea is definitely doing more damage out there with his salary.

            My point is that playing Speights meaningful minutes, say in the playoffs, should be avoided if at all possible. And by that I mean they should explore bringing the White Mamba back from retirement before sending him out there.

  2. Felty, I don’t get part of this. The 5 man data shows that Speights has played the majority of his minutes at center. And, eyeballing the data, the team does less-bad with him at PF.

    I understand that the data shows that, in past season, he’s shot well. Not this season.

    But, the data also shows that he does not move the score the right way. Past seasons and this season.

    He had a great W game last night. Congrats. What’s that? 2 really good games as a W so far and a couple of decent stretches?

    • What could possibly make you think that season-long stats bear any relevance to this discussion, when I’ve been pointing out all along that Speights was badly out of shape to start the season, had no point guard to get him the ball in position before the arrival of Jordan Crawford, and has been completely and utterly misused, and had his confidence shattered, by the incompetence of Mark Jackson?

      Here are some stats for you: In the last 10 games, played almost completely at C, Speights has averaged 21 points and 12 rebounds per 36m. While shooting 56%, largely from outside. And over 90% from the line.

      And Mark Jackson is STILL misusing him, and the team around him. If Mark Jackson can’t make better use of Speights’ talents than he has to date, then he is a hopeless incompetent.

      After last night’s game, Curry called Speights “a big time addition off the bench.” I’m going with that judgement, just as I have with my own judgement, since the day he was signed.

      • What I reacted to was the statement that MJ hasn’t been willing to play him at center.

        You wrote “His unwillingness up until this devastated-by-injury moment to utilize Speights at center”.

        The 5 man data shows that Speights has been used primarily as a center.

        Relevant or not, if you state a fact, it ought to be correct.

        • You seem to be willing to let 82 games stand in for your memory.

          Mo Speights has barely gotten a minute at center this season in games in which both Bogut and ONeal were available. To begin the season, Speights was played exclusively at power forward alongside ONeal. If you have no memory of this, a brief review of my first 10 recaps will refresh you.

          He started playing center for the second unit only after ONeal got injured. And even then, frequently in tandem with David Lee, where the center responsibilities were often shared, on both sides of the ball (I sincerely doubt whether 82 games is good enough to process that). It is the amount of time that ONeal has been out that has accounted for the great bulk of the time that Speights has played at center.

          In other words, he was played at center only out of necessity, not willingness.

          In ONeal’s first game back, against the Bobcats, Speights got 9 minutes, 8 of which were at PF alongside ONeal. 1 at center.

          http://popcornmachine.net/cgi-bin/gameflow.cgi?date=20140204&game=CHAGSW

          Get the picture? In games in which he has all of his bigs available, Jackson clearly prefers to play Speights only at PF, or not at all.

          Even in the game against the Suns, with both Bogut and Lee out, Jermaine ONeal got 31 minutes at center in a matchup he was clearly unsuited for, to Speights’ 7.

          If what I mean by an unwillingness to play Speights at center is still not clear to you, I can’t help you.

          • You know, I do trust stats more than my memory.

            What I said was, as far as the stats show, absolutely true.

            What you said was he was unwilling to play Speights at center. But, in fact he did it – repeatedly. Maybe “unwilling” isn’t really what you meant.

          • Huh? OK , you win. You may now continue this discussion by yourself. Which is probably what you wanted in the first place.

          • WheresMyChippy

            I think the confusion here is that 82 games will show minutes where Speights played next to Lee as minutes at center, when in fact he was assuming the role of a PF during those minutes.

  3. For those interested in my take on Mark Jackson’s press conference, click this link and peruse the “symptoms”:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder

    And by the way, Jackson absolutely DID throw Bogut under the bus with his initial comments, just as he threw Lee under the bus after Lee first attempted to play without the use of a painkilling injection. rgg was absolutely correct to link these two incidents in the previous thread.

    Lee responded to Jackson’s idiocy the only way he could: by refusing to suit up until he was able to play in a way that would keep Jackson’s trap shut. Although there’s a lot to admire in Bogut’s approach as well. I have heard from a source I trust that Bogut has very little use for Jackson on a personal level — can’t stand his bullshit.

    This sudden and explosive eruption of symptoms, beyond being clear confirmation of what I already regarded as a classic case of NPD, points to Jackson feeling a lot of pressure behind the scenes. As Matt Steinmetz pointed out in my twitter sidebar.

    • If Jackson is feeling pressure, maybe it’s because too many people are tuning out his bull. It’s easy to do when we don’t have to worry about missing anything.

      If the players tune him out too, Jackson is toast. Because if he’s not a “leader,” he’s nothing. Lacob already knows he’s not an Xs and Os guy.

      Re the Bogut “controversy,” I thought it was just a thoughtless joke on Jackson’s part. If Jackson didn’t love the sound of his own voice so much, he would never have said it.

      Jackson should simply admit it was a dumb thing to say, and publicly apologize to Bogut. Then it would immediately become a non-issue, as it should be. The team has lots more important things to deal with.

      If Jackson can’t bring himself to say he did something dumb, the rumors will never end.

      It’s time for Jackson to man up. I wonder if he will.

      • Hat, I think you’re mostly right that Jackson admitting error would be the best way to go about this. I think of Pop in SA though as the best of both worlds. He’s unafraid to criticize his players and whatever controversy the media makes of it generally gets his sarcastic abuse. On the other hand, he never has to proclaim his leadership, his mastery over his locker room or the unity of his team. Basically, I get the sense that if it’s not about winning or learning, Pop doesn’t care and he’ll let you know it.
        I’m not saying Jackson should be what Pop is, but contrast brings both sides into greater clarity. Psychologically, Pop represents humble, healthy and truly confident self esteem. As a foundation for conscious awareness, Pop can see the forest through the trees, illustrated by his ability to win with the team he has, rather than applying a rigid strategy to the team he had.
        Jackson represents the bluster of low self esteem. It’s all about me and mine with him. He sees individual trees, not the forest of the game in front of him. He protesteths too much….all to Feltbot’s point about narcissism.
        I don’t think Jackson is hopeless though. He’s got some capacity to lead and he’s had his team on his side throughout his tenure. That speaks to something better than a complete narcissist. Unfortunately, he’s sliding in the wrong direction and unable to see it. His opportunity to coach to his team’s strengths has again and again been forced on him by the injuries of his bigs. The evidence is now overwhelming and it seems to me, only a coach entrenched in his own self righteous stubbornness could fail to embrace this evidence and see his team’s “bigger picture”.
        My fantasy is that Jackson actually does see the things Feltbot and others on this blog have been writing about. He’s wily, just biding his time until the playoffs, when he unleashes the running game, the intelligent roles and the spaced court on his unsuspecting and unprepared opponents.
        I can only hope.

  4. And now to agree with something.

    MJ came on TV and announced something to the effect was that we would never hear about a problem in his locker room.

    Really? How can he promise that? Is he promising that there won’t be any problems or that nobody will talk about them?

    This is more like his “guarantee” of the playoffs. We haven’t heard it in a while, but he has a tendency to say stuff that’s meaningless.

    • not too difficult to make that promise, if the preacher can rely on a couple of things — the players who support him, and understand how destructive rumours can be, keep the rest in line, along with players who might be doubtful but are either discreet and tight lipped, or just distrustful of the media, plus, confidence that access to the locker room (practices are closed) is sufficiently restricted and the media for the most part sufficiently pacified, to minimize agitation and instigation. jackson doesn’t require certainty to make the claim, only confidence in the probability he won’t be disproven. he has to be true to what his career has been built on, the ‘players’ coach’ reputation.

  5. 22 points for Tolliver in Charlotte’s rout of Dallas tonight (6-10, 5-9 3′s, 5-5 FT)

    Blast from the past:

    Nelson says his plan for the 2010-11 season was to play David Lee at center, because he considers Lee a good power forward and an All-Star center.

    “I told (management), ‘Look, I want (Anthony) Tolliver. I’m gonna need a power forward who can shoot.’ They wouldn’t give me Tolliver. He was pretty cheap (Tolliver signed with Minnesota for $2.2 million). I didn’t ask for much. That’s when I knew I was gone.”

    http://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/For-Don-Nelson-life-is-good-at-his-Maui-home-2375026.php

    Linked here eons ago. The connection to today’s post is remarks by Tolliver and Reggie about how much Nelson brought out their skills and supported them (couldn’t find them)—cf. Jackson/Speights. Other issues linger, of course.

  6. No Bogut or O’Neal against Heat tomorrow:

    “With the All-Star break up next, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said the team wanted to give both big men more time to rest nagging injuries. It will be the fourth straight game Bogut has missed because of a left shoulder injury, while O’Neal will sit out for the second consecutive game with inflammation in his surgically repaired right wrist.” (ESPN)

    Lee’s shoulder isn’t nagging him?

    • It is a good game to rest them both. Against the Heat, the Warriors are better off playing small from the opening tip, as the last two boxscores in this matchup will confirm for you.

    • Or Bogut may get a shot before the game tomorrow. But I’d really like to see a repeat of the lineup last night, not that I expect another phenomenal night from Speights. But let him handle some load with the starters and get him ready for later.

  7. Mr. Feltbot, thanx for the commentary, regarding MoS. Wish the W’s Coaching Staff would be more flexible like this.

    And agree with Mr. Hat regarding Coach Jackson — it was just a dumb thing to say and a simple apology would have sufficed. (I don’t care to remember how many dumb things I’ve said.)

  8. RichP:Don’t argue stats to Felty. His standard of excellence appears to be that you have one good game every 25 games you’re the man.

    He has a slightly different standard for his man Thompson. If Thompson has a good game one out of every three games, he’s all-star matter.

    All the other awful games played by Speights are the fault of the coach who played him at PF ignoring the fact that stats show that he’s a dunce on defense playing the center position, except for last light against a crap team. Put him on the floor against any team in the playoffs for any appreciable time and you will witness the Warriors get run into the ground. Looking forward to watching Speights make a fool of himself against Miami. Comparing him to Okur who had a basketball IQ is a joke.

    Really looks to me that Barnes has changed his jump shot and it
    paid-off three games in a row. I’m impressed by that. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

    • Why would you look forward to that? Has everyone gone mad?

    • Why do you want Speights fail if you are dubs fan ? Agree with you and Fuzzy on Speights but hope Speights have a good game and help dubs win. Looking forward to Speights make himself tradeable asset.

    • “We obviously need to fix this consistency thing, but we’re still within spitting distance and still have some time to achieve our goal, which is to get to fourth in the West.”

      The interview made me realize several things:

      1. Lacob does have a specific goal this season, upon which Jackson’s career may well depend.

      (close your eyes, Hat)

      2. Lacob doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

      3. If he is passing down directives to the coach, as I have suspected, his messages are muddled and contradictory.

      But also:

      (open your eyes, Hat)

      4. He has left the bulk of coaching decisions on Jackson, who deserves our full attention.

      Fix that consistency thingamabob, MJax!

      • OK, I’ll bite.

        “1. Lacob does have a specific goal this season, upon which Jackson’s career may well depend.”

        All that Lacob shared was that he wants to win, and he thinks this year’s improved roster should improve the record. That seems quite reasonable. Else why improve the roster?

        “2. Lacob doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

        Lacob shares what he chooses to share, when he can achieve something by sharing. When there’s no possible benefit to speaking his mind, he doesn’t. He is extremely cautious with a microphone in his face. As he should be.

        The interview doesn’t tell us what Lacob really thinks because Lacob doesn’t want it to. That doesn’t prove he doesn’t think. You should know better than that, rgg.

        “3. If he is passing down directives to the coach, as I have suspected, his messages are muddled and contradictory.”

        More speculation on your part. I read all the same news you do, rgg. I suspect that Lacob does direct coaching decisions to some degree, but don’t know it for a fact. Neither do you. Your assumptions about Lacob’s involvement are muddled and contradictory.

        “4. He has left the bulk of coaching decisions on Jackson, who deserves our full attention.”

        Again, you’re contradicting yourself. Lacob pushes Jackson to play big, play Barnes, play slow – or he doesn’t. If the former, he can’t say Jackson’s performance is unacceptable. If the latter, Jackson sucks. Which Lacob absolutely did not say.

        In the end, the level of Lacob’s involvement in coaching decisions doesn’t have an impact on whether Jackson stays or goes. Lacob isn’t going anywhere. If it becomes clear to him that he needs a new team leader – for any reason, even if it’s just to improve public relations – Jackson will be replaced. Jackson could talk his way out of a job, in postgame interviews alone.

        Here’s how I read it:

        - Lacob wants fans to know that he himself is very, very interested in wins.
        - At this time, Lacob is NOT prepared to share his evaluation of Jackson’s coaching performance. That’s an announcement for later, not now.
        - Jackson will keep his job for the duration of this season at least.
        - Every employee’s job performance is under constant scrutiny.
        - While no employee is guaranteed employment, firing someone is a big deal. Lacob won’t do it without very good reason.

        To me, that all sounds sensible. A careful, thorough, thoughtful manager doesn’t shoot off his mouth or make snap judgments.

        • 1. Lacob has been behind every major and most minor acquisitions. The evidence here is direct—from his own mouth—or overwhelmingly suggestive, posted here liberally.

          2. It is not idle speculation that he might pass on a directive to play those players.

          3. While he doesn’t have to tip his hand, it seems to me he might promote himself better if he showed he understood that game. I haven’t seen anything yet. (Please pass on in case I missed it.)

          And I’ll let this rest until me blud starts billin’ again, the next time he puts his foot in his mouth.

          • E.g., Lacob most likely insists Barnes be played. Either Jackson, when Iguodala went down, played him in isos because he couldn’t figure out any other way to make use of him, given Barnes’s limitations, or Jackson himself couldn’t come up with anything better (i.e. stretch 4).

            Or both.

      • Only you could create this many assumptions from a completely benign and pragmatic interview.

        It may help to not think of Lacob as one of your fictional characters. Or maybe turn the 1000+ words a day you spend developing this evil character in your head into an actual novel instead? Would be a far better use of your time, I think.

        • Lacob IS a character in a work of fiction. A bad one.

          Just once I’d like to hear him say something intelligent. I expect brilliance at this level.

          But he loses me with his language, as does Meyers. His words are vague, his syntax an exercise in loss of self-control. And sloppy language reflects a sloppy mind, a bad set of ideas, only partially digested.

    • Tight bomb patterns. What this team needs is tight bomb patterns. I’m reminded of Col. Cathcart’s talk with the chaplain about pre-mission prayers in Catch 22. Fill in Jackson for the chaplain, GM Meyers for Cathcart, and Joe for Gen’l Peckham, who I’m sure is counting rebounds and defensive ranking:

      The men are already doing enough bitching about the missions I send them on without our rubbing it in with any sermons about God or death or Paradise. Why can’t we take a more positive approach? Why can’t we all pray for something good, like a tighter bomb pattern, for example? Couldn’t we pray for a tighter bomb pattern?’

      ‘Well, yes, sir, I suppose so,’ the chaplain answered hesitantly. ‘You wouldn’t even need me if that’s all you wanted to do. You could do that yourself.’

      ‘I know I could,’ the colonel responded tartly. ‘But what do you think you’re here for? I could shop for my own food, too, but that’s Milo’s job, and that’s why he’s doing it for every group in the area. Your job is to lead us in prayer, and from now on you’re going to lead us in a prayer for a tighter bomb pattern before every mission. Is that clear? I think a tighter bomb pattern is something really worth praying for. It will be a feather in all our caps with General Peckem. General Peckem feels it makes a much nicer aerial photograph when the bombs explode close together.’

  9. @5:

    Anthony Tolliver is 2nd in the league this season in 3-pt shooting pct. Curry is 16th.

    http://stats.nba.com/leadersGrid.html?SeasonType=Regular%20Season&PerMode=Totals&Scope=S&StatCategory=FG3_PCT&sortField=FG3_PCT&sortOrder=DES&Season=2013-14&pageNo=1&rowsPerPage=25

    Tolliver’s coach in CHA sees what Nellie saw in him. In the right system, a productive player. Only 21 min/game, though. Not a starter, but a very nice change-up player off the bench.

    • Tolliver is definitely another former Warrior that would greatly improve our bench if he were still here…. along with Reggie, Morrow, Belinelli, and Lin.

      • It’s not a sure thing. In the right system, Tolliver could help.

        In the wrong system, at Minnesota for example, Tolliver shot only .248 from 3, .460 overall. Not good.

        If he were a Warrior this season, I doubt Tolliver would get much playing time at all.

        • Very true. There’s certainly no evidence this season or last that Jackson has any interest in playing a stretch 4.

          Tolliver would likely be relegated to post-up ISO’s and failure.

    • I’m not saying I would rather see Tolliver than Barnes, but he represents the kind of overlooked player who could help the team, played correctly. He isn’t fast or big enough to make up for not being fast, but he is skilled and intelligent and versatile. And he is big enough to fill in a lot of ways that we might want from Speights. Or Barnes. I.e., stretch 4.

      Nelson, in fact, was forced to start him at center against a competitive NO. (Actually PF—they didn’t have a center, though Hunter filled in for minutes. Both Curry and Paul were out.)

      And they won. 30 points for Tolliver that night.

      http://espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?id=300317009

      Actually, I would rather see Tolliver than Barnes.

      But we missed a great sideshow. Imagine if Nelson had stayed and Barnes were drafted. Think of where Nelson would put him (on the bench). Visualize the press coverage. Imagine his talks with Joe.

  10. Maybe I was a little to harsh on Speights. One can only hope that his performance the other night s a sign of good things to come. More hopeful that Barnes will continue to play well.

    Madness is equating Speights with Okur.

    Lacob’s comments that the Warriors should have played better when Iggy was out with injuries clearly demonstrates that Lacob does not have a clue that his bench to date is the worse in the NBA, and that the loss of Landry and Jack is a big reason the bench is so weak.

    • Frank, the bench unit’s results are the worst in the league, but a large part of that is the system they play under.

      Every player not named LeBron has a mix of strengths and weaknesses. In the right system, one that capitalizes on their strengths, most pros can contribute well to a team. Under the wrong system, they won’t. Curry is good example. Remember, under Keith Smart, Curry looked mediocre.

      Yeah, our 2nd team could definitely benefit from more talent. But as individual players, they’re not as bad as their record. They need a team system more than they need fresh faces.

      • I would like to know where the second unit ranks since the Crawford trade. I think it would have to be near the top of the league.

      • Actually… Curry’s stats were nearly identical (though at lower usage) under Smart. He still produced, just was never allowed to play as big of a role as he should have.

  11. Felbot,

    1) A lot of press given recently to the ‘massive’ interest in HB around the league. Do you think the interest is ‘real’, and if not a creation of the Warriors to increase his value?

    2) Do you think Lacob and Co. are aware of MJ’s coaching shortcomings? I gotta think ‘The Logo’ has whispered that in his ear at the very least….
    Personally, I think part of MJ’s unwillingness to utilize Speights and others is that he knows to keep your job in the modern NBA you.need to be supported by your best and starting players more so than winning at times. People don’t talk much about MJ’s stint in Utah where his politicking is rumored to have basically fractured the team and is rumored to be a main reason Stockton didn’t play another year (a few articles on the matter still left if you Google ‘MJ Jazz and Stockton’).

    • So MJ was a locker room lawyer? I never knew this story Goose, thanks.

      This piece has an agenda, but the gist is there:
      http://jazzbasketball.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/jazz-mythbusters-mark-jackson-vs-john-stocktons/

      I have speculated frequently that internal politicking plays a large role in Jackson’s lineup decisions, so I agree anything is possible there. Bob Myers made explicit Lacob’s desire to play as big as possible before the season.

      One reason I’m sure Barnes will never lose his minutes is that the Warriors want to maintain the appearance that they believe in him around the league, to keep his trade value up. They’re showcasing him.

      As to whether that interest is real? Who knows, but there are a lot of bad front offices in the league.

      One thing I’m surprised we haven’t seen in the forums yet is disappointment in Mark Jackson for his “failure to develop” Barnes. (Wasn’t that sentiment a staple of the Nellie years?) I think you can be damn sure Lacob is holding Jackson accountable for that.

      • I called KNBR a few years back and asked Tolbert if there was any credence to the Jackson ‘politicking’ rumors in Utah and elsewhere as TT played with MJ and has been very complimentary of him as a teammate (no surprise there). Tom disregarded it and I was shut down very quickly on that call.

      • There has been a fair amount of talk about MJ not developing his young players over on GSOM. Papa brought it up yesterday on 95.7 when a caller said Klay and Barnes are responsible for their own development, not the coaches…. Papa disagreed. As do I.

        • Malone was in charge of player development in Thompson’s first two seasons, when of his progress was promising and raised hopes that he would become one of the upper tier wings, as the preacher asserts he is now. what we’ve seen since malone’s promotion is a mockery of roster/player development, and another symptom of lacob’s limited and shallow understanding of hoops. consider how the rookie coach in Bos worked with crawford and adapted him into a functioning lead guard. (or what any of the top teams do with low draft picks and low cost free agents). with the current woeyr staff, we see virtually nothing in terms of adapting the players into roles that can reinforce their best attributes — they’ve benefitted from the four core vets being able to work a lot of things out for themselves.

          the team is headed toward stagnation, maintaining its place a level below the top tier, as long as the coaching lacks coherency and direction with respect to the roster and player skills.

    • Goose, can’t speak for Feltbot, but it is clear that the team has consistently overhyped Barnes in an blatant attempt to improve his perceived value. And it has worked, to a degree. Barnes has faithful fans. That makes him a financial asset to the team whether or not he can play. That being the case, precisely what caused the Ws to choose to overhype Barnes doesn’t really matter.

      It’s conceivable that some GM somewhere might actually bid on Barnes just to attach his marketing value to his team, while knowing full well that he’s a so-so player. I’m thinking some financially unsuccessful team far, far away. Maybe Atlanta. They already have a decent team but are having trouble putting butts in seats.

      • Hat, if this is the case, it’s crystal clear why Barnes is in the Slam Dunk contest. How many dunks does he have on the season? (How thick was the envelope Lacob slipped Silver when he was in Oakland last???)

        On that note, how did Damian Lillard end up in the dunk contest? I watched the Thunder-Blazers last night and Marv Albert said he has 8 dunks on the season.

    • words like ‘massive’ in themselves are symptoms of the hype machine, but in high stakes commercialized sports, hype is good. players on rookie contracts do not need to exhibit immediate dominance (the ones that do aren’t likely to be dealt anyway), especially if they played less than three years of college ball. they only need to do enough to maintain viability as a legit rotation player. that rookie contract contains their cost and risk of investment, which is a major factor why they attract interest. weaker teams might also project what barnes could do if his minutes and role were made more consistent.

      the preacher himself is a big beneficiary of hype, playing in the big east conference, for Riley on mediocre teams in NY, on decent playoff squads in Ind. when his playing career gets cited as a qualification, it makes me wonder how many people who accept it on face value actually watched him play. a faster game would expose him then, and it exposes him now.

  12. @10 The media is the message. Perhaps even more important than Lacob’s carefully chosen words is the timing of this interview. Why did Lacob choose this moment to give it?

    I think it’s a clear acknowledgement of the fanbase’s grumblings, and letting the fans know he shares their feelings. In other words, a shot across Jackson’s bows.

    • with the vacant seats for the fourth quarter in the recent home game, lacob staying silent would be surprising.

    • Agreed. The interview was material for fans.

      FWIW, Lacob certainly warned Jackson before the interview that he was going to start some rumors. For his part, Jackson does understand the PR game, and Lacob’s comments change nothing. Jackson already knew he needs to win.

  13. Thanks for the responses to my question guys. Always learn a lot from this site.

  14. One thing I thought odd in the interview was Lacob saying Crawford was getting set to have a big game. What is the subtext here?

    An instruction to MJ to unleash him? Because he’s not getting enough run to have a big game.

    Is he giving Crawford a personal green light? It would be hard for Crawford to read this and think anything different, no?

    Very odd, and a strong sign of just how willing Lacob is to interfere with his coach’s authority.

    • Or maybe it’s just a heads-up on Jackson’s plans. It’s not like Lacob and Jackson don’t talk.

      • Just a thought: Maybe it’s time to rest Iggy. Fans now know Barnes can’t replace him. But the superb Crawford…

      • Even if that were true, if MJ expanded Crawford’s role at this point, it would read like a fulfillment of Lacob’s wishes. This was an unusual thing for an owner to say in public. Or even a GM. Or an owner/GM.

      • If you think about this from the Warriors PR department’s perspective, they felt like it was important to get Lacob talking right now.

        However, Lacob does not know which questions he will be asked when he talks with Kawakami, so he must answer in at the very least, a semi-truthful way. I think what we are hearing from Lacob is his own best analysis of the situation. I don’t think he is the one dictating in-game strategy or roster moves, mostly because he DOESN’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT BASKETBALL! That begs the question, who is pulling the strings here?

        It’s got to be Bob Meyer’s. He’s the most intelligent person in the organization, and he’s extremely verbal, which Lacob loves. We ought to pay more attention to what Meyer’s says on KNBR than what Lacob says anywhere.

    • Or…. Crawford’s reputation is as an explosive scorer so he’s likely to have a good scoring game?

      Why does everything have to be a conspiracy about Lacob the puppet-master overlord? I know, Occam’s razor isn’t very fun.

    • Re: Lacob and Crawford

      The thing that seems most obvious to me is that Lacob is anticipating and answering—and maybe forestalling—any questions as to whether or not he has done enough to shore up the team to make it competitive. After all, the bench was shown to be statistically the worst in the NBA (the reasons why don’t matter to general fandom), and he bears responsibility as owner. And while we might be impressed with Crawford, perhaps with good cause, he was a cheap acquisition and his stat aren’t that impressive, at least not yet.

      He may also be promoting Crawford’s value because he knows from his inquiries the last weeks he won’t be able to do much come the trade deadline.

  15. Bummer.

    They’ll be in this position again, and with Igoudala being such a tentative scorer, I don’t see how they can keep it up unless they have a second handler who can shoot or drive with purpose—or dish—to take advantage of openings when Curry is so heavily covered or open him up. Crawford is the best candidate.

  16. Should recap this great game but can’t. Most of it expressed in Twitter sidebar.

    • Curry’s second half might have been his best half of the season. Not his highest scoring, but with overall decision making and the last and-1….only if it could have come with 2 seconds, rather than 12.

      Draymond Green played a phenomenal day defensive game, alterings shots.

      My dissapointment was with the first half turnovers…many were unforced and cost the Warriors scoring opportunities. The Heat are simply too good to give the ball away carelessly and build a 21 pt deficit. The Warriors did force many themselves with a strong defensive plan and swarming defense in the second half, but a better first half would have put them in position to win. Great game to watch!

  17. The Warriors were not an effective team defensively playing small. That line-up allowed Miami to shoot 52% from the field. Miami destroyed the small line-up in the first quarter and the only reason that we were able to cut a huge deficit in the second half was because Miami was tired having played the night before.

    As predicted Speights returned to the player we have been accustomed to as he shot 1-5 from the field and demonstrated his low IQ on defense.

    The Warriors will improve with the return of Bogut and JON. Yet, the Warriors still need to make a deal for an front court player. What’s up with Iggy.

    Liked that Barnes last night gave the Warriors a net three extra possessions via 2 offensive rebounds and one steal and by committing no turnovers. Don’t see that very often.

    Hat: The bench simply does not have consistently good players as last year. Jack and Landry were good and consistent players. Green, Crawford, and Speights are not. No system is going to change that as you suggest.

    Brooks may help the Warriors more than Crawford,but it’s obvious he’s not going to be given his chance to show his worth.

    Lacob is an idiot complaining publicly about his coach and players, as such rants are not going to make either the coach or players better. It’s a unwitting attempt to hide his own shortcomings.

  18. Did anyone catch the Black Falcon promo graphic on TV last night?

    A little hype is tolerable, but Barnes is no better than the 8th or 9th best player on the team. Where’s the promo and nickname for Draymond, Speights or Crawford? Or any of the starters?

    Note to Warriors Marketing:

    a) If Barnes has earned a nickname, it’s “Daisy.”

    b) “Black Falcon” is stupid.

    c) No one is permitted to select their own nickname. It is not done. It makes you fair game for others to select silly monikers for you.

    • cart/horse

      You’re supposed to become a great player, THEN adopt a brand. If Barnes had come off the blocks undisputedly great and kept running and then branded himself, we would have grown to love, or at least grudgingly accept, the Black Falcon.

      But this stuff is very much in the air, and it’s something that Barnes learned, quite possibly innocently. It’s the kind of thing they talk about at the Sloan conference.

      And quite possibly it is working. I wonder how well Barnes would have been received without all the hype. And if Barnes fetches a good trade piece, I will praise both the organization and their promos and the brand to high heavens.

      But I like the literal idea of branding. Someone should shape an iron in the shape of a Falcon, heat it red hot, and press it on his butt. Might get him going.

      • I’m not kidding, either. I poked around the Sloan site some time ago and ran across a video of a discussion on marketing the NBA. One panelist said, with a straight face, she thought branding was as important as talent (or did she say more?).

  19. It would be remiss on this site — if one failed to mention on the same nite Andy Bogut was at home sleeping/resting/hangovering whatever failed part of his anatomy that Monta Ellis carried the Dallas Mavericks over the Indiana Pacers on the second night of a road back to back game. 23/9/6 in a crucial victory allowing the Mavs to pass the Warriors in the conference standings. Just sayin.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/monta-ellis-scores-23-mavericks-032353263–nba.html

    • Worth noting that the Mavs this season have been significantly better with Monta on the bench (plus 7.3 points per 100 possessions) than in the game (minus 1.1)

      Single-game plus-minus is of course pretty worthless, but that even held true last night: +2 in the 41 minutes Monta played, +7 in the 7 minutes he sat.

      • Where do you find these stats Sleepy? Thanks.

          • Obviously, the worst lineups for Monta are those without Nowitzki. Monta is being asked to carry some bench units when Nowitzki sits.

            What is puzzling to me is that the biggest negative change is on defense. Why should units without Nowitzki be worse defensively?

            This is a weird and esoteric thought, but perhaps the Mavs are worse at getting back in transition D when Monta is attacking the rim, rather than facilitating? Seems more likely than the idea that Nowitzki is a good defender.

    • Funny, Rick Carlisle seems to like Monta’s game. But he is a “lousy coach”.

      Mark Jackson talks about “no excuse” Warriors basketball. It must really irk him that Bogut could’nt make it to the Oracle to watch the game and support his team.

      All the recent criticisms of Mark Jackson and his narciscism fail to point out, Bogus is a p##ssy for such a big man. And maybe just maybe Coach Jacks had a good point about Andrew B and his “excuses”.

      Oh well, I guess I will sleep on it.

      • the preacher relies heavily on his pet phrases, which lulls the audience into glossing over them when they should be scrutinized with a touch of semiotics. many of his little dittys are excuses in another form. ‘it’s a make or miss league’, because he doesn’t enforce shot discipline, which he can’t, because he hasn’t provided an offense that consistently gives his scorers their best shots. ‘whoever the opponent is, we have to play our brand of basketball’ is an excuse for his loose approach to preparation.

  20. I assume the Heat started Douglas last night for the same reason they started him against Phoenix the night before, to contain the PG and slow down scoring. But Phoenix got off to a good start, while we didn’t.

    http://popcornmachine.net/cgi-bin/gameflow.cgi?date=20140211&game=MIAPHO

    This should have been anticipated from the start. Having Douglas on the floor lessened the defensive load on the Warriors. They had to have another way to score. The turnovers, while gross, only mask the real problem, that they didn’t. Again, they need someone else to push the action and score himself, and Douglas may be the best, in fact only candidate, though his shot looks awful rough. (And cf. CC’s point @21.) No one else presents the threat of penetration or shooting.

    With Wade out [and bracket James], the Heat aren’t a great team. The other task is to contain their sometime scorers. Who was on Beasley first half, when he made his nearly uncontested run—Barnes? (I see FB’s tweet.)

  21. Barnes had a very nice offensive game, but did you notice how badly Michael Beasley lit him up? In the second half, Jackson was forced to switch Green onto Beasley, and hide Barnes on the Birdman…

    Did you also see the replay of the play where Barnes was the last defender back on an LBJ soaring drive? Barnes literally threw his body out of the way as he took the foul.

    This is the chief reason I believe Barnes projects to be a mediocre NBA player. No heart, no D.

    • Yeah, I saw that rim D from Barnes on LBJ’s drive. It was a bizarre touch-me-not move, more evidence for your observation that Barnes hates contact.

      If Barnes had put as much effort and athleticism into stopping the shot as he did into avoiding contact, that would have been a block and foul, not just a foul. If you’re going to foul the guy anyway, STOP the guy.

    • Barnes had a “nice” offensive game? Barnes was 3-8 on two-point shots, 5-11 overall. One of the two-pointers he made was a feed from Crawford at the hoop, no dribbling required. That leaves 2-7 on shot attempts in which he had to put the ball on the floor.

      That’s a result that says “don’t give him the friggin’ ball unless it’s a catch and shoot situation.” Not a guy who should be getting iso’s. Like he got last night.

    • barnes was defending in transition during one Mia break and clearly had the best position, centre court, to challenge and slow the ball, but he put on a bizarre act with an arm signal pointing over to his right at the Mia player coming down the wing, and took a slight angle in that direction, hoping a ‘mate would bail him out with the man driving the ball. he’s supposed to be the fastest player on the team, and he had the deepest defensive position, very strange.

    • I don’t understand why you guys are being so critical of Barnes. I thought he was superb last night, those spins, those turns, those graceful sweeps—

      Oh, wait a second. That was mixed pairs ice skating. (I flipped channels a bit.)

  22. @19 Following up on the Speights analysis:

    Speights is a bench player, and bench players are by definition limited players. One of Speights limitations is that he can’t guard LeBron James out on the three point line. Which the Heat were forcing him to do time and again with pick and roll.

    (But did you notice that Speights sent LBJ away every single time he attacked the basket? That is something that Speights CAN do.)

    Mark Jackson avoided this mismatch in the second half by going to pure smallball with DGreen at the 5. That allowed the Warriors to switch every pick and yet still keep a mobile defender on LBJ.

    Does this reflect badly on Speights? I seem to remember Tiago Splitter being benched by Pop in the Finals last year for the same reasons. Is he a bad player? Not to mention, quite controversially, Tim Duncan himself — in crunchtime!

    Against the Heat, Speights does not have a center to guard. Nor does he have a center to drag out of the lane. Bench players are role players, and if that role disappears in a particular matchup, they shouldn’t be played.

  23. So a guy who posts on the realgm board under the name “Jester” apparently got Lacob to give a more detailed inside take on Barnes than anything we’ve seen before:

    “Honestly, in the end, I don’t care what they think. I care what we think, that is, Jerry, Bob, Kirk, Travis and me.

    WE believe in Harrison barnes. We love his talent and his FUTURE. He tested as the single MOST athletic wing in his draft. THAT is a fact. He is a good shooter from distance and mid-range. Check the numbers. He is a better defensive player than most thought. He was extremely effective in the playoffs last year and scored inside and slashing. He has apparently regressed somewhat this year. Is that due to use by the coaches, sophomore slump, injury, whatever? But he has proven his talent under pressure. He will return to form if used appropriately and he dedicates himself. We will not sell low or for reserves. We do not have a short-term mentality. We are in the business of developing assets who possess skills, talent and , most importantly, desire. Harrison Barnes has great character and is 21 years old. He is worth the risk of time to develop further. You say he cant put the ball on the floor. Wrong. Can he getter better? Absolutely. Look at Kobe in his second year. Look at his numbers. Look at Paul George in his second year. Look at the numbers. It takes until year 3 or 4 for nearly every great player to reach a level whereby pundits say he has made it.

    In the end, its all judgement and situation. These players are not computers.

    Everybody , or nearly everybody is tradeable, for somebody. But the history of this franchise is to trade away young assets that had not developed yet. Worse, they were not developed by the organization. We do not want to make that mistake. So, I can only say to you, trust us. We will not always be right. But, we have turned this thing around in a few years and we will continue to use our collective judgement to continue to evolve our team.

    Joe”

    Sigh…

    OT: Grantland has a short documentary piece out on Nash at 40 (part of a mini series, I guess).

    • If this is from the mouth of Joe, it is extraordinary how much he and Mark Jackson feel the need to piss on those who came before in order to justify their own actions.

      “the history of this franchise is to trade away young assets that had not developed yet. Worse, they were not developed by the organization.”

      Who exactly is he referring to? Anyone? (Certainly not Ekpe Udoh.)

      Regarding the comparison to Kobe and Paul George, both of those guys came into the league as superb defenders with extraordinary heart. It’s strange, isn’t it, that the GM obsessed by “culture change” is willing to overlook that end of the court with respect to Barnes? It is utterly naive to think that “a better defender than most thought” can cut it in the NBA.

      In the NBA, there are two types of good small forwards: Great wing defenders, and allstars. Everyone else is a losing player, a dime a dozen.

      What category does Barnes fall into?

    • those are most likely lacob’s actual views re. barnes, but he can’t say anything much different for public consumption if they are listening to offers for the player.

    • Yeah, there’s obviously still a layer of PR here, even if Lacob didn’t expect this to be made public. That would make it like an off the record talk with a reporter. But I think it’s still as good an indication as any that Barnes will not be moved in anything but a blockbuster deal for a star player. Of course the comparisons to Kobe and George are borderline delusional. Barnes doesn’t even show flashes of being anything but a mediocre role player. The level of argumentation, while understandable given the context, is also disheartening.
      For instance, his brusque comment about Barnes’s handles, along with the aforementioned comparisons, settles it: the Barnes ISOs aren’t going to go away. Reduce this team’s post all star break win projection by a couple of games.

      • lacob suggests his querist look at George’s second year numbers, but he missed some significant ones himself — true shooting pct. and effective f.g. pct. the owner and coach have actually set barnes’ development back with their persistence in the folly that he’s an all-around forward and scorer who can consistently succeed with isolations. barnes would be doing better, and the team would be stronger, if they had concentrated on his three point shooting and spot-up shooting. they’re still trying to run screen and rolls with him, when he sets lousy screens and freezes if he gets the pass.

    • It is odd that Lacob does not know why Barnes has regressed, or if he does, does not say so to establish credibility. Does he not know the status of his injury? We sure don’t. Does he have any opinion about how Barnes has been played in isos?

      Curiouser and curiouser.

      He’s largely repeating the same arguments about athleticism and potential he made in the TK interview at the time of the draft that I linked earlier, not very convincingly.

      And more than trying to put up a show perhaps with an eye to a trade, he’s defending himself. Same comparison with the figures of the sins of the past. Same gang consensus maneuver. We know West’s opinion, and that he isn’t going to disagree. Nor will Bob and Kirk, and I see Schlenk has joined the crew.

      What a barbershop quartet.

    • If that was really Lacob speaking, he’d better check his numbers.

      If Barnes is a great midrange shooter, why is his 2-pt percentage this year (.419) lower than Draymond’s (.430)? No one calls Green an offensive talent.

      If Barnes is so great as a ballhandler, why is his Assists/TOs ratio at 1.0? Green’s ratio is about 80% better.

      Why doesn’t Barnes get more assists? His assists/36 are lower (1.7) than Green’s (2.7).

      In Kobe’s 2nd year, he shot .456 on 2 pointers, with a far better Assists/TO ratio than Barnes despite a far higher usage rate AND being the focus of defenses. Kobe’s never been a great 3-point shooter – Barnes is actually better. Yay Barnes. But to compare the two at this stage of their development? Only a lunatic would even pretend they’re equivalent.

      And then there’s the D. Barnes is “better than people thought?” What people? Only the people Lacob cares to listen to? If Barnes is a great defender, why bother trading for an expensive Iggy? Get friggin’ real, “Joe.”

      The goal for this fan isn’t “dump Barnes,” it’s “play to win.” Green consistently outperforms Barnes in all categories except 3-point shooting. Does defense not matter on a “defense-first” team? Don’t assists count on an offense that wants to make that extra pass?

      Lacob has obviously committed to misrepresenting Barnes’ ability, so he spouts bullshit about him. I don’t care about that. It’s dumb, but let him have his fun.

      I would be very interested in hearing Lacob compare Barnes and Green, though.

      • I am coming to the belief that Lacob believes his own BS. He is giving credence to the “he’s only 21″ and “he’ll develop” way of thinking while the Warriors are trying to win a championship. I am sure he realizes that Draymond gives them a better chance to win now, but he doesn’t want to damage Barnes confidence/trade value. What he is trying to ignore is thatBarnes isn’t mentally tough enough to become a star, despite the physical tools and measurables. Plainly put, Lacob doesn’t yet know much about basketball. I believe that Bob Meyers feeds Lacob all of his information and provides Lacob with his talking points.

        • rgg thinks the same thing, but I don’t. Assuming that quote is actually from Lacob, he’s a numbers guy who is being inaccurate and misleading about Barnes’ numbers. That says to me that he’s bullshitting and he knows it.

          I doubt Lacob believes all his bull, he just really really wants everyone else to. The real mystery to me is why he doesn’t see how damaging it is to his reputation and that of the organization. Customers do not respond well to lying and misrepresentation. Doesn’t everyone know that?

          • The truth has got to be somewhere in the middle. Barnes has been clutch at times, and he does show glimpses, when he is playing confidently on the offensive end. At 21 years old, I bet most of the organization, including Lacob, feel they can unleash The Black Falcon if they hold onto him for a few more years. I do agree that it’s too early to call him a bust, but, the hype machine calling him a star is way off base, and the organization should probably stop marketing him as such, especially Lacob as you point out.

            Unfortunately, the Warriors should be in Win Now mode, and by playing Barnes more minutes than Draymond and Crawford they are shooting themselves in the foot. If Lacob were the numbers guy we all think he is, he would see that Green is much more impactful than Barnes is on the court. He is either more concerned about marketing The Black Falcon than wins, or he is simply not analyzing the numbers. Which is it?

    • What’s the link on this, fuzzy? How do we know it isn’t a hoax? Though everything is consistent with what has been said before and is in character.

    • On second reading, I’d lay 10-1 that email was concocted by Jester.

      • OK! Whew!

        Still, there was that asinine Black Falcon graphic, and all the screeching from Fitz every time Barnes avoided doing something catastrophic.

        Lacob owes his Authentic Fans an apology for all that crap anyway.

      • Are you basing that strictly on the content, or is the guy a known fabricator or something? Perhaps someone who posts on realgm could
        give their take…

        • I seriously doubt anyone close enough to Lacob to receive an email would have posted it publicly. But this could easily have been assembled from Lacob’s own words, such as the TK interviews linked here lately. Nothing in it Lacob hasn’t said before.

    • Those red zones say Barnes finishes very poorly near the hoop. That’s kind of unfortunate for a guy who

      a) can’t dribble,
      b) is no better than average as a long range shooter, and
      c) doesn’t play a lick of defense anywhere anytime.

      It makes you wonder how long Lacob & Co. can keep promo-ing Barnes before they have to simply admit that he’s not working out. I mean gosh, fans have eyes, ya know?

      • Yup, that’s the primary reason he’s always been an inefficient scorer.

        Barnes even struggled to finish at the hoop against poor athletes in college.

  24. Heard through the Warriors grapevine that behind the scenes Warriors management complained among themselves that they thought Bogut was not fighting thru his injury last year. Jackson’s comment about Bogut sustaining the injury while sleeping is a consistent with what was saying behind close door last year.

    Teams have no problem getting to the hoop when Speights is on the court.

    • Teams have no problem getting to the hoop with Bogut and Lee on the court either. They score lots more layups than Bogut scores blocks. But it’s all about point differential, not just points, so we’ll let Lee and Speights go out and win games even if they don’t block many shots.

      Re your grapevine rumor on Bogut, I sincerely hope that’s not the case. Bogut is one tough MF. His return from his ankle injury was a historical first, made possible primarily through his efforts working through one fuck of a lot of excruciating pain.

      Bogut is also the CEO of Bogut Inc., a completely independent commercial enterprise associated with the Warriors only to the extent that he chooses to be.

      If Bogut wants out of the Warriors, he gets out. He’d be welcome at about 25 out of the 30 of teams in the NBA. So if Jackson or the Ws front office is ever tempted to give him shit, I’d strongly advise against it.

      I heard Bogut didn’t show up for last night’s game. That’s a big uh oh. If Mark Jackson had a single noodle in that head of his, he’d pucker up and kiss Bogut’s ass publicly for awhile.

      • “Teams have no problem getting to the hoop with Bogut”

        Really, are you serious ? Bogut just being there makes players change their shot.

        • Yes, Bogut is a good defensive center. The point is that no one absolutely denies makes at the rim, Bogut included. Check the shooting chart from any NBA game.

          You always have to outscore the other team, because they are going to score. If you score more efficiently, you can win even without a Bogut. Like the Ws did most of last year.

          • Agree on scoring more efficiently to win minus Bogut but the kind of efficiency we are talking about is eclipsed only by Miami because of the kind of athletes they have and score points in the paint lead by all time great and great defenders in all the positions. Some games Bogut+Lee were ineffective like against Minny but overall, I will put my money on Bogut+Lee win more games than minus Bogut. My 2 cents.

  25. Berdj Joseph Rassam

    Mo Speights’ huge stats against the lowly 76ers during a home game means little to nothing in the Warriors pursuit of a high playoff seed, or in its’ pursuit of a championship.

    • Little, yes. Nothing, no.

      Speights’ performance won’t win most games, but it can lose some. He’s neither a winner or loser, he’s just a guy with some skills and not others.

      Using an imperfect player well, putting him in position to succeed, is what coaching is all about. If a coach can’t do that, he’s going to lose more than win. Because 99% of players are imperfect.

  26. So Kendall Marshall gets 17 assists and 14 points in the Lakers’ near win over OKC last night. I’m curious to see how well he does from here on out, as no one wanted him.

    He played with Barnes (as I said before) and was highly regarded, with more cause—9.8 assists per game his 2nd and final year at UNC—but broke his hand or something and missed the NCAA tourney and went 13th in the draft. He didn’t play much in Phoenix, though his shooting and defense disappointed when he did, went to Washington and was promptly waived. LA picked him up out of the D-League.

    But now:

    “So far, Marshall has outpaced expectations by leaps and bounds. If he’d played enough to this point to qualify for statistical titles, Marshall would rank second in the NBA in assists (9.3), behind only Chris Paul and ahead of All-Stars Stephen Curry and John Wall. According to NBA.com, Marshall ranks third in assist percentage (i.e. the share of teammates’ field goals on which a player has assisted while on the floor), even though he uses a far smaller share of his team’s possessions (16 percent) than do those ahead of him.

    “And that’s not counting the other 2.1 scoring opportunities per game created by Marshall, either through another teammate’s free-throw attempts or by way of a “hockey assist,” per the NBA’s SportVU stats. Those same motion-tracking cameras have caught Marshall making the sixth-most passes per game (68.7), creating the sixth-most assist opportunities per game (16.0) and generating the second-most points by assist per game (21.4).

    “All told, Marshall has gone from D-League afterthought to one of the most prolific passers in the NBA. His profile as a pure point guard has made him a perfect fit for D’Antoni’s fast-paced, free-wheeling style of play in LA.”

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1954905-kendall-marshall-more-important-than-ever-to-los-angeles-lakers-future

    And his defense and shooting have improved:

    “Those who doubt the efficacy of Marshall’s shot need only note that he’s leading the league in three-point percentage at the moment (.494) and ranks second among point guards in overall field-goal percentage (.465).”

    Though that is based on a limited sample.

    Anyone who plays PG in D’Antoni’s system is going to get open looks and make assists, though there’s a point in that the Warriors would want to consider.

    Another thought is that it’s hard to know how good a player is until he actually gets to play. The Warriors should keep that in mind with Crawford. He needs minutes now, and a heavier load. They can find ways to manage it, and it will pay off later.

    But of course my first question is if the Warriors ever considered him all this time they’ve been shorthanded at backup point.

    I’m also curious if Harrison Barnes put in a good word for his former teammate, the one who set him up at UNC and helped establish his brand.

    • I watched Marshall in college. He was a pure point guard. A good passer who, imo, was a little bit slow for the NBA. It seems like he has found a niche as a nice NBA roll player, maybe along the lines of a Calderon-type player who looks to pass first, but has developed a nice outside shot. At UNC, he did not have many opportunities to shoot because there were a lot of guys looking for shots on those teams. He didn’t perform particularly well in the tournament his senior year — missing some shots in the game that UNC lost. I think in the D’Antoni system we are seeing his talents maxed out on the offensive end. Hard to say if he would help the Warriors, but Jackson’s horrendous track record with his bench has me believing that a guy like Marshall would get 2 minutes in blowout losses and wins.

    • He threw a pass last night with reverse spin, through traffic, that hit his man on the hands under the basket. Thing of beauty.

  27. What does a good showing in the dunk contest do for The Black Falcon’s trade value???

    Conversely, if he performs poorly and shows no hint of a personality during the contest, does it hurt his stock?

  28. Harrison Barnes for Dion Waiters..Who says No to that?

    • Cleveland.

    • lacob. waiters would also make things much too complicated for the preacher. lacob and myers will eventually have to face some unpleasant realities about developing young, inexpensive players with the preacher as the headmaster.

      • You cant develop tenacity or heart. This team as a whole needs a little bit more of it. Barnes doesn’t have a killer instinct as he was pretty invisible again last night in a showcase game. I hope his turf toe doesn’t affect his dunks tonight for the sake of his brand.

      • If they are entertaining that trade, I hope and assume they’ll do an extensive background check/psych profile on Waiters. If be tempted of they’d throw Zeller in there too.

  29. I didn’t see the Rising Stars Challenge, but the box score makes it look like Barnes had an OK game. Strangely, he gets no mention at all in any of the postgame writeups. Just the opposite of what happens around here. With no hype, I wonder if Lacob feels like he got what he paid for.

    http://www.nba.com/news/as.rising.stars/2014-rising-stars-challenge-event-page/

    On a different topic, I’ve been wondering what has been missing from Ws games lately, and I think it’s just the sense that the team is having fun. They don’t look happy. They looked relieved with a win, not joyful. Curry is the only player who looks like he’s enjoying himself, the rest look like they’d just as soon be somewhere else.

    This article –

    http://theclassical.org/articles/from-the-elbow-on-jason-williams-greatest-pass

    - is waaayy overblown, but do yourself a favor and watch the videos in it. Fun!

  30. Final words on the Jackson/Bogut misunderstanding, from Jackson:

    “I understand. I was part of the media. I understand how you can make it much more appealing and go for the home run. But in three years, in the 23-win season, I didn’t throw anybody under the bus. And you can wait and wait and wait. And it won’t happen here until somebody else is sitting here. That’s not my M.O., and contrary to the choir, it won’t be my M.O. I believe in every one of my guys…”

    I don’t mind letting Jackson off the hook over a dumb joke, but I don’t like when people try to re-write history.

    Jackson routinely threw his guys under the bus in his first season. That was his M.O. after every loss. It was actually quite disturbing.

    Blaming the media is a fool’s game, the last resort of someone who shouldn’t be trusted to speak to the media in the first place.

    http://www.ibabuzz.com/warriors/2014/02/11/dont-get-it-twisted-about-how-warriors-coach-mark-jackson-addressed-andrew-boguts-injury-the-fallout/

  31. felt boss, re. your responses to the kommissar silver’s comments on ‘tanking’ : he’s only expressing his skepticism about its existence to meet his requirement of placating the broadcasting partners/sponsors, without which the association as we know it and the mega billion revenue stream could not exist. we should consider what he’s also made public about his intentions to ‘reform’ the draft lottery to give successful teams opportunities for higher picks — his principal motive, to change the perception that bad teams have incentive to lose.

    the all star exhibitions are a self congratulatory marketing expo, and until lacob and myers secure a player they like more for the purpose, barnes will be their ‘show dog’ after curry. don’t be surprised if he makes it back for another act.

    • The dog better learn a few more tricks if that’s the case. Curry hasn’t wowed, either, and I’m not expecting much tonight. But that’s not a bad thing. It will encourage him to put this nonsense behind him and get back to business, especially with his shooting.

    • You’re right of course Moto, but I can’t help but feel enraged when outright lies go unchallenged in the media.

      And the painful memory of the outrage inflicted upon the integrity of the game by Lacob and Jackson is still fresh in my mind.

      • in a way, lacob’s first two seasons spared me from any protracted ‘honeymoon interval’ with the new regime. keeping rowell and smart around for the first year could be almost excusable (and most fans did excuse it) for a transitional phase, but the sophomore season was a black comedy, with the appropriate highlight of the Mullin celebration, lacob being exposed before the crowd.

    • “barnes will be their ‘show dog’ after curry.”

      I’ve been wondering about that. Everyone knows there’s a big gap between Barnes’ results and the amount of hype he’s received, and every additional promo, Fitz screech, AllStar appearance, etc., only increases the disconnect. As Felt has said, in the entire history of the NBA there may never have been another player who’s received so much praise for so little.

      There’s a time lag between promo development and when we see all the material. Those TV ads, jersey photos, etc., were all shot last summer. AllStar Weekend attendance was penciled in before the season began.

      I think we’re seeing what Barnes can do. I think the team sees it just as well as we do. The flurry of “Barnes in a slump” articles we saw last month was a stopgap measure, to defer the inevitable wind-down of the Barnes promo program. From here on out, if Barnes doesn’t step up the team simply cannot maintain the hype without destroying their own credibility, a valuable asset in itself.

      Barnes’ lackluster performance at AllStar weekend might actually mark the end of the promo program, or at least the beginning of the end.

      Just speculating here, but Barnes must also be fully aware that he’s been over-hyped. He might actually be relieved if the team quit it. Then he could just focus on his game. There’d be far less pressure on him.

      • simply refer to barnes’ own remarks to the media after his break out performance in the dunk competition. he assured the fans that he had his best dunk saved for the round he didn’t reach, and he’d prepare better material next time. unless the team again buys some lower draft picks this summer (forcing them to make budget/roster decisions with their bench, if they keep them with guaranteed contracts), their young, developing players other than d-leaguers will remain barnes and the two untested euros.

        • The Warriors most lack what most other teams want: draft picks.

          • You guys are right, of course. It won’t be straightforward for the Ws to improve the roster. That doesn’t mean they can’t do it, though.

            Next year the Ws can

            a) get more from their existing roster, and/or
            b) pay more total salary.

            Which is why I think that at the end of this season there will be

            a) coaching changes, and
            b) some roster changes resulting in a higher overall salary payout.

            Just guessing of course:

            Improved coaching is the cheapest path to more wins. I think Jackson stays the nominal head coach, but gets a Malone Replacement shoved down his throat. Jackson will return to being a figurehead only.

            Bazemore disappears. Kuzmic and Brooks go to the D league. Probably Nedovic too. That’s 4 new roster spots. O’Neal is probably a 5th, and, unfortunately, Ezeli might be a 6th.

            Any of the team’s other lower-salary players (Barnes, Thompson, Green, Ezeli, O’Neal, Speights, possibly Crawford) might be tradeable. By packaging them with the team’s remaining trade exceptions, technically the team could upgrade two or three backup positions with more expensive vets. I absolutely do not believe that literally “everyone” is on the trading block, but those guys are. And while it would hurt to lose Thompson or Green, the team could get by without the rest if they got quality players in return.

            Another possibility is to simply swap trade exceptions for draft picks. It all depends on what other teams might need, to achieve their own goals. Someone trying to get under the lux tax might happily take no-payout trade exceptions in place of 3-year salary commitments for untested rookies.

            Long story short: the usual simple staffing procedure isn’t possible for the Ws right this minute, but the team is hardly stuck. Myers will have to be opportunistic and flexible. Which he has already proven he can be.

  32. Things that grated and confused during All Star Weekend:

    1. The thought that Blake Griffin might have won MVP had West won

    Really, this kind of game is designed for him. Who’s going to stop him when he charges into the paint? Penetrating guards like Irving have similar advantage.

    2. Carmelo shooting better than Steph

    But if Steph had knocked down 2-3 more 3′s he would have had a good game. And Steph, I suspect, is really about performing well in the context of a game, not showing off.

    3. Can’t the NO arena find a better sponsor than Smoothie King? Can SK afford it? It makes you wonders how financially sound the NBA is outside of a handful of markets.

    4. The music

    Hasn’t this stuff run its course? Did anyone of any demographic really like it?

    5. The sloppy slide guitar interpretation of the Star Spangled Banner while the shorn police honor guard and Marine master sergeant stood rigidly at attention, just behind.

    Both without context. It’s hard to imagine a better picture of where this country is now.

    6. The over the top light show

    And if these had been turned off, wouldn’t everyone have looked embarrassed?

    We are a nation of smoothie kings.

  33. You guys think there’s any way Dallas would trade Brandan Wright for Barnes?

    Did you know Wright is #3 in the league in PNR efficiency?

    • Not a chance.

      - To Lacob’s crew, Wright is a Nellie-era player.

      - Wright has a bad history with the Ws, primarily due to his extensive injury history.

      - In Warriors mythology, Barnes is a “budding star.” Wright cannot be seen that way. If the Ws traded Barnes, they’d want equivalent star power in return. Note that we’re talking mythology here.

      - If Barnes left, the Ws would need someone who could fill his role. Without him, the team’s SF backups are only Thompson and Green. The team needs another good wing player more than another big.

      - The Mavs need Wright. They’re short of serviceable bigs.

      - Part of what makes Wright successful in Dallas is that his game is so uniquely different from their other bigs. Carlyle takes advantage of that by playing him only 5-10 minutes at a time. Without that edge, Wright is dead meat in the paint. Skinny and weak, limited shooting range, poor rebounding, poor D. Despite his size and other limitations, Draymond is a better paint player overall.

      • “Despite his size and other limitations, Draymond is a better paint player overall.”

        Offensively, he’s better than BW? That’s one of the most laughable statements I’ve seen in a long time.

        With Brandan Wright on the court, the Mavs have a 119 ORTG. When he’s off the court it’s 108.

        • RE: ORTG: Evan, you are over-analyzing Wright’s value as a player. Rick Carlisle has absolutely maximized Brandan Wright as an NBA player. Mark Jackson would do the opposite. Look at the horrendous use of the bench this season and tell me differently.

          I would argue that Jackson has stunted all of the Warriors potential (including Curry) by not utilizing their immense talents as high IQ players with a willingness to pass.

          My examples:
          1) The overuse of isolation basketball. Harrison Barnes, Klay Thompson, Lee and Curry have all suffered because of this. The team does not draw many fouls in isolation, nor score efficiently in isolation. Additionally, the isolations cause players to have to work harder for open shots.

          2) Overuse of his starters, without great results. Despite high usage and high minutes for his starters, the Warriors are under achieving. Shooting percentages have decreased as the season has progressed for Klay, Iggy and Curry, and close games have been losses because, in my opinion, the heavy burden these players have had to shoulder.

          3) Underuse of the bench. Where are the offense-defense substitutions of years past? Where are the situational substitutions to grab an important rebound at the end of the game? Where is the use of a pesky defender to try to slow a hot point guard? Obviously the bench couldn’t score earlier in the season. However, it should have been used much more heavily in spot minutes and situational basketball.

          4. If there was ever a team that might thrive with an old-school offense, it would be this one. The Warriors have five willing passers in the starting lineup, yet rarely do we see multiple passes before a shot. The offense should be predicated on getting the ball moving quickly, yet it’s often predicated on exploiting matchups with post-ups. Perhaps Jackson is out-smarting himself on this one. As has been pointed out, Jackson has initial plays that can get an open shot, but that it breaks down if the first option is covered. If you are going to play a half court game, run an offense that can run for a full 20 seconds or so, not one that can only run for 10 seconds.

          • I’d make a good trade without any thought about who the head coach is RIGHT NOW.

            Mark Jackson may not last much longer.

          • Trade one Warriors high draft pick bust for another likely Warriors bust? There are better options out there. HB certainly has more value than BW because he is 21 years old and because of last year’s San Antonio series. Don’t get desperate yet EvanZ!

            Trading HB might not even be the best option. Just use him correctly and you have a good player. Stretch 4 for 15 to 20 minutes per game when the other team goes big. That would get him his 3-point looks avoid those ghastly post ups. Unless you can package him for a two way wing who can spell Thompson (in the mold of Brandan Rush before the injury), don’t send him away.

        • BW is a perfect example of a player not being the sum of his stats. Carlisle plays him at backup 5, the ONLY position at which he can reasonably be played, and carefully selects the moments of the game that won’t get him killed. Carlisle is more instrumental than BW himself for that ORating.

          As MJ wouldn’t contemplate playing BW at 5, this trade is moot. But even if it weren’t I would hate it. BW is an awful, no heart, no brain, no handle, no pass, no outside shot basketball player, who Carlisle will bench in the playoffs. Like he did last time.

        • EZ, you’re right that Green needs work on O, but I said he was a better overall player than Wright.

          Defense, rebounds, assists, shooting range, toughness and generally smart team play are all win factors, and they’re all beyond Wright. Always have been. And at this point in his career, he’s not going to get better. Carlyle uses Wright in a very limited role. It’s the only way to get good stuff from him.

          Draymond does it all, all over the court, he’s still improving, and he’s not an inherently poor shooter. Here’s his offensive stat line from his last season at MSU:

          33.2 mpg, 16.2 ppg, 44.9 FG% , 38.8 3-pt.% 72.3 FT%, 3.8 APG

          Not great, but not too shabby for a guy who contributes all over the floor.

          Neither Wright nor Green is a starting NBA player. As a backup, Green offers lots of things Wright doesn’t, though. Starting with the fact that he can credibly play 3-4 different roles on a team, even point center.

          I imagine Jackson limits Green’s playing time due to his shooting. If Dray could fix that, he’d be playing as a backup for, well, everybody. Can’t say the same for Wright. He does one thing well, and only in short stretches. Kudos to Carlyle for finding that thing and capitalizing on it.

          BTW, EZ, to your knowledge is there some kind of “nose for the ball” stat? Green wins on that score against anybody.

          • “He does one thing well, and only in short stretches. Kudos to Carlyle for finding that thing and capitalizing on it.”

            As do most backups in the NBA who get any playing time. I’d rather have BW playing 10 minutes than Speights (does 1 thing well, but that one thing is not very valuable). Or Barnes (does none things well)!

            BW and DG would be a very nice frontcourt combo coming off the bench.

            And I look at the BW’s RAPM of +2.2, and it looks mighty nice.

          • EZ, I definitely see your point about having a scoring boost off the bench. But Speights gets boards, plays some D, and spreads the floor to (hopefully) facilitate others in attacking the rim.

            Before you sign up for the B Wright fan club, though, watch him on D sometime.

  34. Felty; Your comments about B. Wright are not supported by stats. I could care lees if he has “no outside shot,” given that he shoots 68% on 2′s, and doesn’t shoot threes. Who on the Warriors does that. No one. I guess in your world a PF guy who hits threes is more valuable. Not. No other player we obtained would come anywhere near shooting 68% even with three’s factored in. Who cares about “his heart, brain or passing” with given his shooting skill .

    You’r saying he has “no handle” is belied by the fact that he only turns the ball over. .7 in 21 minutes of play.

    Moreover he provides Dallas with a net 2 extra possessions per game in only 21 minutes of play. No one does that on the Warriors playing more time than Wright. Barnes provides the Warriors with virtually extra possessions with his stint on the court.

    His downsize is his defense, but his offense would result in his having a plus rating even playing with the second unit. He should not pay center.

    I’m not suggesting that Barnes necessarily be traded for Wright.
    The Warriors would be smart following Hat’s advice and trading players and exemptions for players. If they fail to do so by Thursday any real hope of doing well in the playoffs, if we make the playoffs, drops significantly even the return of a healthy roster.

    • Frank, Carlyle plays Wright only 5-10 minutes at a time. After that, opposing teams adjust and Carlyle immediately benches him because he is too great a liability as a ball player overall.

      Wright has a low turnover rate because he doesn’t dribble and doesn’t pass. He has an average of 0.4 assists/game. He also doesn’t rebound (3.5/game) or defend the rim (0.9 blocks/game). He doesn’t box out.

      FWIW, teams “adjust” to Wright simply by putting a body on him and pushing him out of the paint. It’s easy. Wright is 6’10″ and only 210 pounds – and he has no fight.

      Wright’s great offensive numbers are a perfect example of a couple of great stats completely misrepresenting a player’s worth.

  35. Raising the age limit to enter the NBA is on Silver’s agenda. My 2 cents.

    A lot of young players, probably the overwhelming majority, don’t develop well in the D-League or in NBA teams if they go straight there, for a variety of reasons worth exploring, one of which is neither really has the best interests of the player in mind. They also don’t develop well as persons. I suggest these players be given another option.

    They would benefit from staying in school longer. They’d have better coaching at many schools and would play under a competitive environment better graded to their skills. They would also develop with some consistency over the two years, playing with the same players and system. They might also get a chance to grow up.

    And the NBA would have more to judge come draft time.

    But I make this stipulation: every school that participates in NCAA sports must offer a 2 year (A.A. or A.S.) degree for its athletes, along with a program that will help them develop in ways that will be beneficial to them, especially if pro sports doesn’t pan out. Any school should be equipped to teach any student it accepts, regardless of his or her level. Athlete students should be offered basic skills support and coursework, a basic core curriculum that covers issues of society and culture, and courses related to a possible career in sports and health. They could take courses in coaching and fitness, for example. Of course some might still opt to go 4 years for a B.A.

    The point is to give them a meaningful and useful degree in a shorter period of time, which might encourage some to stay on or give them a more useful education if they aren’t ready to enter the draft after a year. Maybe a lot of young talents will still ignore the option, but as Jeff Tedford, former Cal football coach noted, many didn’t do well at Berkeley because they were embarrassed about their abilities and were reluctant to get help. (Tedford did a good job getting his students to make their way through school. His getting fired has completely alienated me from Cal in particular and college sports in general.)

    To anyone who argues that this might lead to a diminution of the quality and character of postsecondary education, I suggest they look at the vast number of non-athletes there who are underprepared, as well as at the extensive fluff and garbage in the curriculum now and the byzantine requirements for just about any degree.

    The other trick is to get society to accept the degree, which it should. I would propose something similar for a great number of students in other fields, business, for example, who are spending too damn much time in college to get a degree, 5-6 years now for a great many. And aren’t getting jobs. As it is “2 year” degrees at community colleges are taking over three years, 3+ on average.

    Higher education is a racket in need of serious reform.

    Let employers pick up the time and expense of job training.

    Many athletes would probably need 2.5 to 3 years as well to complete the A.A., but that would also allow them to play three seasons.

    The problems of athletes in college have been with us a long time. Thurber gives us this episode some 100 years ago:

    Another course that I didn‟t like, but somehow managed to pass, was economics. I went to that class straight from the botany class, which didn’t help me any in understanding either subject. I used to get them mixed up. But not as mixed up as another student in my economics class who came there direct from a physics laboratory. He was a tackle on the football ball team, named Bolenciecwz. At that time Ohio State University had one of the best football teams in the country, and Bolenciecwz was one of its outstanding stars. In order to be eligible to play it was necessary for him to keep up in his studies, a very difficult matter, for while he was not dumber than an ox he was not any smarter. Most of his professors were lenient and helped him along. None gave him more hints, in answering questions, or asked him simpler ones than the economics professor, a thin, timid man named Bassum. One day when we were on the subject of transportation and distribution, it came Bolenciecwz’s turn to answer a question. “Name one means of transportation,” the professor said to him. No light came into the big tackle’s eyes. “Just any means of transportation,” said the professor. Bolenciecwz sat staring at him. “That is,” pursued the professor, “any medium, agency, or method of going from one place to another.” Bolenciecwz had the look of a man who is being led into a trap. “You may choose among steam, horse-drawn, or electrically propelled vehicles,” said the instructor. “I might suggest the one which we commonly take in making long journeys across land.” There was a profound silence in which everybody stirred uneasily, including Bolenciecwz and Mr. Bassum. Mr. Bassum abruptly broke this silence in an amazing manner. “Choo-choo-choo,” he said, in a low voice, and turned instantly scarlet. He glanced appealingly around the room. All of us, of course, shared Mr. Bassum‟s desire that Bolenciecwz should stay abreast of the class in economics, for the Illinois game, one of the hardest and most important of the season, was only a week off. “Toot, toot, too-toooooootf” some student with a deep voice moaned, and we all looked encouragingly at Bolenciecwz. Somebody else gave a fine imitation of a locomotive letting off steam. Mr. Bassum himself rounded off the little show. “Ding, dong, ding, dong,” he said, hopefully. Bolenciecwz was staring at the floor now, trying to think, his great brow furrowed, his huge hands rubbing together, his face red.

    “How did you come to college this year, Mr. Bolenciecwz?” asked the professor. “Chuffa chuffa, chuffa chuffa.”

    “M’ father sent me,” said the football player.

    “What on?” asked Bassum.

    “I git an ‘lowance,” said the tackle, in a low, husky voice,
    obviously embarrassed.

    “No, no,” said Bassum. “Name a means of transportation. What
    did you ride here on?”

    “Train,” said Bolenciecwz.

    “Quite right,” said the professor. “Now, Mr. Nugent, will you tell us—”

    From “University Days,” My Life and Hard Times, a classic

    Bolenciecwz is illustrated in this drawing, which appeared with the caption, “Bolenciecwz was trying to think”

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_–YjWiyF8eE/TSvY4aYUwjI/AAAAAAAAIIY/RUwOrGJzDiQ/s1600/bolenciewiecz-rev.png

    • your idealism, rgg, would be inspiring, if not for my advanced years and jaded mentality. my interpretation of the kommissar’s interest in raising the minimum rookie age to 20, he wants protection for the owners’ investments in players. many players 18-20 need resources/investment in their development, while only a limited number give substantial returns in wins or boosting a team’s marketing. many players don’t define what they are until ages 23-24 ; the best are contributing or even making a significant impact by that age. the higher minimum age would mean less of the rookie contract investment going to development, and a bigger portion while the player is likely to be productive. teams might be less likely to blunder with those tricky post-rookie contracts.

      • My real interest is in the vast majority of college athletes who never make it to the pros and don’t get an education either, much less a degree. I believe Harry Edwards, Berkeley, spoke on their behalf some time ago.

        And realistically speaking, I have about as much faith in higher education as I do in the NBA for correcting this abuse.

        But the NBA owners aren’t investing that much in most 18-19 year olds, not relative to their salary structures, except for the rare talent. I wonder if they gobble up talent—or suspected talent—so no other team will get them.

        The college system did work for basketball and may yet be a better option than the D-League. There are good coaches there, and I would be curious to see a comparison of their facilities and coaching with those of the D-League. In college, players are encouraged, if not forced, to play together in a team structure, with a system. In what little D-League games I’ve seen, players are battling to get attention and get out. Their box scores look like pickup games—or All Star games.

        I have as much faith in the NCAA, however, as I do the other two.

        • from what we’ve seen so far, GS uses its SC team only minimally for player development. the end of bench guys who were drafted get to play competitive minutes there rather than tiempo de basura. as for the players looking for a big league roster spot, GS has barely given them the proverbial cup of coffee (a beisbol term like ‘bush league’) since jackson became coach, though a few from SC got opportunities for other teams. it appears that they use the SC team more to boost market visibility for their brand, secondarily as a potential source for players.

          • It’s weird that Lacob’s Ws have found not a single helpful player in the D league or among undrafted players, when Nellie used to find contributors there all the time.

            CJ Watson 6 years.
            Tolliver, Morrow and Reggie Williams 5 years.
            Jeff Adrien and Jeremy Lin (Riley finds) 4 years.

            After that, in the last 3 seasons under Lacob: just Bazemore.

            They say Larry Riley is still Director of Scouting, but is that just an honorary title? No one in the FO ever mentions him. Or talks to him, apparently.

          • I’m pretty sure Lacob gets credit for Lin. He watched him play high school in Palo Alto, and his son played with or against him.

  36. If the Warriors had B.Wright, Speights would be confined to the bench. Such by itself would be a major upgrade.

    As Wright averages 18 minutes per game, takes 5.8 shots, and averages 9.6 points per game, plus gives his team 2 net extra possessions per game. Speights plays 12 minutes per game, takes 5.3 shots, and scores but 6 points, and I believe does not give the Warriors extra possessions. He hurts the Warriors by shooting poorly and shooting once every two minutes. One can readily see why Dallas outscores their opponents while Wright is on the court and the Warriors get outscored with Speights on the court. So who cares about Wright’s defense. One needs an impact offensive secondary role player who helps his team win.

    Barnes is almost as bad as Speights, taking 9.3 shots and scoring by 10.6 points. The good thing is he takes few shots while playing 30 minutes per game. Hopefully his shooting will continue to improve as he showed over the last few games before the break. But if he is traded such would open time for Green who produces more and with whom the Warriors outscore their opponents while they don’t do so with Barnes on the court. Also,it would be nice for the Warriors to receive in a trade a player who will actually help the Warriors.

    • What gives you any indication that Mark Jackson would run BW out there on an “offensive-minded” second team? Jackson preaches defense, and if his subs are not going to play defense, he is not going to play them. I have zero confidence that Jackson would use a player like Wright correctly. Carlisle has found a great roll for him; Jackson would probably end his career.

  37. Bogut’s ailing shoulder was inflamed enough to require a cortisone shot. To which he apparently had a very bad reaction. We might not see him for a while.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/warriors/ci_25167146/warriors-bogut-still-ailing

  38. Larry Riley on drafting Stephen Curry:

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2014/02/14/larry-riley-on-the-warriors-thinking-before-and-after-drafting-steph-curry-in-2009/#more-21783

    I’ll give TK props on this series surrounding the Warriors draft. It fills in an area of intense speculation among Warriors fans.

  39. Expectations always kill us, forcing us into rigidity and bad decisions, and a case could be made that the Warriors are suffering from the false expectation of being a top contender, which Lacob defines as 4th. seed in the playoffs.

    I don’t think the odds here are that good, if anyone could make a realistic assessment. Their play the last weeks, for example, is certainly more representative of their potential than that 10 game win streak. But whatever the correct odds, they are still odds, not certainties. And the only thing that is certain about this team is that they have done little to insure themselves and make the odds higher.

    Worse, I still don’t think they know who they are or are making serious efforts to find out who they can be.

    This season as last, they have depended on the same lineups, playing the starters heavy minutes, and they haven’t experimented with the lineup until injury forced them to. Nor have they brought up significant reinforcements on the bench or even tested possibilities. This is not a winning formula.

    The best assessment of their playoff run may well be that they exceeded expectations in a very spirited run—that they could not sustain. But they beat a disjointed Denver team, and San Antonio easily won after they made a few adjustments. Whether that roster was as good as this year’s is a moot point, as both teams had and have inherent weaknesses that needed and need to be addressed—and weren’t and haven’t.

    Barnes’ performance during the playoffs was good but not exceptional, depending on circumstances that aren’t repeated across the spectrum of lineups and strategies from the better teams. A few weeks won’t tell you anything, or very much, about any player. Yet they banked their success this season on a sophomore, playing him heavy minutes without exploring alternatives, not allowing for the possibility that he just isn’t that good, according to most of us here, or, for the optimists, that he isn’t that good yet and is a long way off.

    The team still battles its identity, and will not give up the belief they cannot win unless they go big, in spite of so much evidence to the contrary. Both Jackson and Lacob get credit here, but it’s Lacob who has loaded up the roster with backup centers and not much else.

    I don’t know what they expected from Speights and Douglas when they signed them, but Jackson didn’t do much to find out what they can do or exploit their talents. Speights has been given limited minutes with the wrong roster in the wrong position, as was Douglas. Miami, however, has just started Douglas two games in wins against Phoenix and us. GSW has not experimented with its starting lineup at all.

    And we’re still waiting to see what Crawford can do, who hasn’t been tested enough yet to know. The deal was expensive in another respect, as it brought Brooks with him, filling the roster and thus preventing experimenting with a trade for or tryout of another player.

    The only other player on the bench anyone is excited about, of course, is Green. It’s still not clear they have a good backup point and they lack another scorer.

    And they have neither the roster spot, nor, apparently, the desire to explore hidden talents. The D-League squad doesn’t look promising, and I wonder about the scouting there. They have/had three brothers of proven players, none of them serious prospects. I haven’t heard word that they’ve look at players on other teams.

    Where the team finds itself now is stuck from making even minor adjustments, no good trade pieces aside from maybe Barnes, no high draft picks for trade or later use, not much money to play with, no roster spots open even if they had all those.

    Odds are good Lacob will only be able to manage an ambiguous deal come trade deadline, unless he does the unthinkable and tears up the roster. It looks like the team has no better option now than to repeat its formula from the past, ride the starters hard and hope for the best.

    Lacob is a bad gambler, cautious and risky at the same time, defensive in the wrong places, at the wrong time.

  40. Really like what Memphis is doing with their team. The Courtney Lee pickup has been brilliant for them, now they’re apparently working a Tony Allen plus Tayshaun Prince for Barea and Budinger trade. The Grizzlies new front office gets it: they’re surrounding Gasol and Zebo with three point shooting.

    Gasol recently had a setback with his knee, but if he rounds into shape the Griz will be tough to deal with down the stretch.

    The TWolves just lost KMart with a broken finger, and have been desperate for defense on the wings all season long. Tony Allen addresses a big need for them.

    Can we expect similar creativity out of the Warriors front office as the trading deadline approaches?

    • The Griz are just a tough match-up for us in general. I’m assuming that if both teams make the playoffs, we’re gonna be fighting for the 5-8 seeds anyway, so we wouldn’t be facing them in the first round… which would be good for us.

      I don’t have high hopes for this trade deadline… we just don’t have the assets to make anything huge happen. Barnes’ and Klay are our only easily movable assets. Barnes likely won’t go due to his value being down and teams not being willing to give us much for him. I’m not sure what Klay’s value around the league is, but he seems pretty under the radar and has been mostly underwhelming, but OK, this season.

      • Barnes, Klay, Green and the team’s traded player exemptions are the Ws only realistic trade bait. Barnes would be ideal. He earns just slightly less than the other two combined, and he contributes the least. But why would anyone else trade for Barnes?

        Klay only makes $2.2M, which makes him not a good trade candidate. While he’s not getting a lot of publicity this year, he’s shooting as well as ever, playing huge minutes, is a very good defender, has never been injured, and is a low-maintenance player and personality. He’d be welcome on any team, but the Ws really, really need him. More than they need Bogut.

        Green earns the rookie minimum, and he’s useful. At his salary, it wouldn’t be worthwhile to trade him.

        Which leaves trading the TPEs as the best way for the Ws to add talent right now. But if they do that to acquire a difference-maker, the team would almost certainly go over the lux tax and essentially pay up to double for their new guy. Lacob/Myers say they would go there, and I believe them. But it would have to be an astonishingly good deal, not some ordinary thing.

        Which is kind of a long way of saying I don’t see the Ws adding any difference-makers to the team right now. Maybe a washed-up vet or a couple of D-leaguers, but that’s about it.

        • I think the Warriors would go into the lux tax for the right player, mostly because of the trade exceptions. I will be shocked if they trade Klay, but Barnes could certainly sweeten a deal for an expiring contract of a big name vet. Thoughts on a one year rental while losing Barnes? (I honestly don’t have anyone in mind, bit maybe there is a player that other’s are eyeing?)

  41. @40

    I read what Bogut had to say about his cortisone injection, and it’s a wonder.

    He’s having an adverse reaction to cortisone. Very few people have a problem with cortisone. Bogut is saying he didn’t know he had a problem with cortisone, but he’s having a big problem with cortisone.

    Bogut is suggesting that he has never taken cortisone before.

    [insert thoughtful pause here]

    Andrew. Bogut. Has. Never. Taken. Cortisone. Before.

    Often-injured professional athlete, deals with bruises and sprains as part of his daily job, rehabbed back from two major joint injuries — has never taken cortisone before.

    Nope. I just can’t say that in a way that sounds 100% believable. I wonder what’s really going on.

    • I don’t know if this is just a wild speculation but I have an itch that the Warriors are looking to deal him before the trade deadline. My evidence that clues into this thought are:

      - The Mark Jackson interview about the injured Bogut
      - Bogut has been sitting out a lot of games recently and looks like the Omer Asik of the Houston Rockets during the beginning of this season who was sitting out due to “injury”
      - The article that says Curry and Bogut are the untouchables is to draw attention to the Warriors that Bogut will only be dealt if a BLOCKBUSTER deal is proposed which I personally think Bogut and Barnes are looking to be acquired by a team for a BIG trade

      Any thoughts anyone? Or am I just crazy…and hopeful that this trade happens because I personally think Bogut is WAYYYY overpaid for what he brings to this Warriors squad as there are cheaper centers who can do EXACTLY what Bogut does to protect the rim and quite possibly more (see Robin Lopez)

  42. if anyone doubted the success of barnes’ all star marketing blitz — he has the featured video interview (disclosure — if it doesn’t have players actually playing/competing, watching hoops related video is outside of my diet) on the true hoop blog today. lacob and guber probably love it.

  43. The question is who is better B. Wright or Speights at PF, and it’s clear that B. Wright is far superior. The question is not who Jackson would play.

    My own suspicion at the time is that Curry for Stoudemire was discussed by the parties involved and that Nellie killed that deal when he learned the day before draft that Curry was going to be available for the Warriors to draft.

    If my memory is correct it was Nellie,not Riley, who first told the press that the Warriors were going to draft him, not trade him. So, I go with Kerr’s version that there were discussions with the Warriors that if Curry was available to the Warriors there were discussion with the Warriors about possibly Curry to the Warriors. Kerr’s version is also supported by Nellie saying he was for drafting Curry, more than Riley was.

    Think that Riley’s memory is faulty and that he did discuss with Kerr the Warriors drafting Curry and trading him to Phoenix until Riley told Nellie the day before the draft that Curry was going to be available and therefore Nellie convinced Riley to draft Curry and to take trading Curry off the table.

    • Frank, Wright is a loser. Forget him. Carlyle plays him to give his other Cs a breather. Teams shut him down by bumping his boney ass just 5 feet away from the rim, at which time Carlyle benches Wright ass until his first 2 Cs need another breather.

      Before you say any more about Wright, lift your nose off your spreadsheet and watch the guy stumble around trying to play defense. Sheesh!

  44. A buddy of mine busted Bogut in a no limit game in Sacto tonite. Bogut expressed his feelings about the hand on twitter.

  45. SCOOP!!! You don’t get that kind of exclusive anywhere else…

    Seems a reasonable insight into his competitive nature, though. The comment comes off as arrogant but it reveals to me a wounded man, unhappy at defeat.

    • While it’s a fun tidbit, I doubt his parting remarks tell us much about the actual character of le Bogut. If he was playing with a friend of Feltbot, he was probably playing someone who spends most of his time at the tables, rather than shooting baby hooks, and he probably knew he was going to get fleeced.

      Feltbot, for our general interest, did Bogus lose $25K?

  46. Hat: I guess you like Speights more than B. Wright. Sad. My bad for wanting a 68% shooter.

    • Frank, please refer to my earlier comment re spreadsheets.

      DeAndre Jordan has a far higher career scoring average (.646) than Roy Hibbert (.528). Does that make Jordan better than Hibbert? Ignoring salary, would you trade Jordan for Hibbert? Why or why not?

      Say it, Frank. Saaaaaay iiiiittt…..

    • Bogut’s shooting .636.

      Good shooter!

  47. Prediction/guess from Bleacher Report: Golden State Warriors trade a future second-round pick to New Orleans Pelicans for SG Anthony Morrow.

    That could work. The Ws stay under the lux tax line and add a scoring threat to the bench unit. Atlanta dumps a little-used player.

    Morrow is sort of the anti-Draymond, a terrible floor game but great shooter. If nothing else, he could make Frank very happy.

  48. Ric Bucher:

    “The Warriors are still looking to see if they can upgrade their core without laying complete waste to what they’ve already built. Don’t close the door on a possible return of Jarrett Jack, one source said, suggesting that the Cavs would help their campaign to retain Kyrie Irving by acquiring Harrison Barnes, who Irving stumped for before the draft. Knowing the familiarity between Lacob and Ainge, I’d be surprised if a Green-for-Barnes-centered swap wasn’t at least broached as well.”

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1964736-nba-trade-deadline-can-old-school-and-new-school-gms-find-common-ground

    Apparently they’re trying to shake Andre Miller loose as well?

    This is bush league dealing.

    • Bush league? Depends on what you think the Ws need. I think the team needs to improve the bench. I also think teams who want to win today need to plan for today, not tomorrow.

      Barnes for Jeff Green would be good. Barnes has growth potential and Green doesn’t, but Barnes will never reach Green’s level of smarts.

      Andre Miller hasn’t played since his contretemps with his coach weeks ago. Denver must move him, so they might accept scraps in return – Miller for Kuzmic+Nedovic+Bazemore sounds excellent to me.

      Shed Barnes and add those two guys, and the Ws are more competitive.

      I’m not high on JJack. I always thought Charles Jenkins (when last heard from, playing in Serbia!) gave the Ws everything Jack did except for the swagger.

      • I’m in agreement with you, Hat, about win now. David Lee and Bogut don’t have many quality years left and Steph Curry is absolutely on fire. Shaking up the bench would not be a bad thing.

        Don’t undervalue Kuzmic. In his brief stints on the court, he is a bit raw, but seems to have a decent game as a post up big man with shot blocking ability. Plus, he’s a legitimate 7 feet tall. This Warriors team has no use for him (why did the FO draft him????) but, I think he has more value than as a piece of a 3-man package for Professor Miller.

        Along this vein, having Santa Cruz so close has been a crutch for Mark Jackson, because he is getting the young player like Kuzmic run down there and not in Oakland.

        • I don’t undervalue Kuzmic. I think he’s worth what the Ws paid for him ($490,180), the least amount possible in the NBA pay scale. To put that in perspective, that’s less than half what they paid Jeremy Tyler.

          Kuzmic is not going to work out. If the Ws could foist him upon another team, that would be terrific.

    • Barnes for Green would be incredibly great. A stretch 4 who can defend LeBron.

      Jack I don’t believe. Big contract, unhealthy this year, and Jordan Crawford… Doesn’t make much sense.

      If Ws trade Barnes, they have to get a stretch four back.

      • They’d benefit most from getting a stretch 4 back. But the least they could accept would be a competent 3. Even that would be an improvement.

        Unfortunately, what the Ws would accept in trade for Barnes kinda depends on what the FO truly believes about Barnes. If they’re fixated on his draft # or if they honestly believe their own hype, Barnes isn’t going anywhere.

  49. I was happy to see the Spurs beat the Clippers in LA without Tony Parker last night.

    The fact that Popovich has enabled Bellinelli and Patty Mills to succeed as 20+ point scorers on the same night is amazing to me. I don’t have league pass, but if Pops coaches another season next year, I might have to, just to understand what the Spurs do so well (during the regular season).

    Also, Lebron’s 42 overshadowed the fact that the Heat cannot buy a rebound. Against most teams, that is OK, but I don’t think the Heat are getting past the Pacers in the East this year.

  50. I also read they’re interested in Deng. You can’t help wondering if they’d offer something like Lee + Barnes for Deng + Jack.

    I didn’t say I liked it.

    • So then you start Draymond? Deng? That doesn’t really make sense to me.

    • Barnes for Deng would be sweet. Throw in a couple of bench players if necessary, no problem. Add Lee? No.

      • Can’t technically trade Barnes for Deng straight up.

        • How about don’t trade anyone, and unleash an offense that can run other teams into the ground. Iggy needs to start performing at the level of his salary on the offensive end.

          • Iggy is still broken.

          • “Iggy needs to start performing at the level of his salary on the offensive end.”

            I assume you are just referring to scoring points, which is not really why he is there. He is there on offense mainly for ball handling and facilitating and the occasional cheap basket on a fast break.

            If you’re expecting a 20 point or even 15 point per game player at this stage of his career and on this team, you’re going to be disappointed.

        • Barnes + TPE.

          • the limitations for using trade exceptions have not altered since the team acquired them last summer. das ist verboten.

  51. re NBA trades, generally speaking, no deal is possible without sacrifice. Today’s Ws have a huge disparity between starters and bench players, and there’s no hiding that fact among NBA insiders. If the Ws want to add a starter, they’re going to have to give up one in return.

    FBOW (a new Twitterism, “For Better Or Worse”), if the Ws want to finish strong this season the only starter they could possibly sacrifice is Bogut.

    Giving the team’s PR announcements the weight they deserve (none), I think it’s quite possible that they would sacrifice Bogut for the right opportunity. But Deng ain’t it. A fine player, but not a fit for the other 4 starters sans Bogut. And not available to the Ws for any collection of bench players.

    No deal.

  52. Felty, the above discussion about BWright and Speights got me thinking about your comments regarding Speights as a true spread 5. It’s obvious, and well-chronicled how an offense with a spread 4 succeeds. What does an offense with a spread 5 look like? Does anyone play on the low block, or is the purpose of playing with a spread 5 to simply drive the opponents bruisers out of the game?

    • It opens the floor for everything. You can run 5-1 PNR above the break like Frye and Dragic. You can run 4-1 PNR or low post for the PF like the Jazz with Boozer and Okur. You can attack the rim.

      The goal, as in most NBA offense, is to pull the opposing center out of the lane. Once you accomplish that, the possibilities for great offense are infinite.

  53. Bazemore and Brooks to Lakers for Steve Blake.

    • feltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      Improves the bench but I was hoping they would go after Kaman.

    • Gonna miss Baze, but our current roster has like a 2-3 year window to go for it and Blake is a solid back up point guard right now. Not a blockbuster trade, but should make a difference to our garbage bench if he’s healthy.

      I still think Baze can be an NBA player if used correctly… that Jackson tried to force him into a PG role has delayed any development he might have had. Hate to see him on the Lakers, but I wish him luck.

      • Bazemore’s problem is low IQ on the offensive end. A pure athlete at this stage in his career. Maybe he will develop, maybe he won’t.

        I will miss his energy. I wish Jackson had found a way to utilize his defense more often. Sad that he’s gone and we don’t really know what he could have been.

  54. I’m going to start calling Myers “The Alchemist”.

    • Me too. He made a good deal where it didn’t look like there was one to be made.

      The Lackers save about $2M in salary, plus whatever that translates to in luxury tax savings. But who knew they were interested in cutting salary? Or that they would part with Blake?

  55. Warriors allegedly speaking to Memphis about trading Barnes to them. Hope it’s for Ed Davis or Johnson.

  56. I have a new nickname for Harrison Barnes:

    Smoothie King

    What do you think?

  57. If there were ever a game, with Cousins out, they could try to get Speights going, this was it. O’Neal didn’t do anything, not even boards. Speights’ scoring might have put this away early, and they’ll need it later.

    • Kings weren’t even playing a center. Jackson is wed to his rotations, and conceptions. Simply a godawful tactical coach.

      • The second teammers still have not meshed. One pass and then a shot or ISO is a good enough offense. I am shocked that Jackson hasn’t given the keys to the car to Crawford yet.

  58. I like Steve Blake. I enjoyed watching him play for Maryland back when college basketball was watchable. He’s had a yeoman career, worthy of respect.

    What the hell are they going to do with him? Is he even healthy?

    He’ll put Crawford’s development on stall. They won’t be able to keep him after this season, so no PG prospect is being brought along and they’ll still have to go hunting without good draft picks.

    But if you have a coach who puts questionable substitute lineups on the floor, who insists on half court offense, he may help stabilize and be of some use.

    I guess LA saves a few million with the trade. Watch D’Antoni turn Bazemore and Brooks into point guards.

    • crawford’s development was already seizing up before the blake trade, simply by going from Stevens to Jackson. blake will not be the same, either, leaving D’Antoni. local player p.mills was cut loose during the lockdown, signed by SA for two years, $ 2.2 m. and has since broken bogut’s record for most n.b.a. points by an Aussie and getting his team through parker’s absence. since Malone left the preacher’s bench, we are not likely to see much growth in curry and thompson.

      • moto—

        Do you have any sense of how Malone has done with Sacramento? The team is not doing well, but that, of course, is not necessarily his fault.

        • Curry and Thompson were good players before assistant coach Malone and will be good players after Malone – a drastic over-rate of an assistant coaches’ impact over NBA player’s games.

          Agreed with Patty Mills assessment early (after release from Blazers) and wondered why the W’s couldn’t use him when we were signing the likes of Ish Smith. Another brilliant Spurs front office diamond in the rough.

  59. Can someone dig up Thompson and Barnes’s percentages on post ups? It’s understandable that the Warriors would be bad when Curry sits but Jackson takes them to unplumbed depths of awfulness with his ridiculous overuse of those plays.

    • Totally agree. Just because you have a mouse in the house doesn’t mean it’s efficient offense. Having said that, Klay is much more efficient punishing these matchups than Barnes.

      • Oh for sure. What makes it especially annoying in Klay’s case though is that he’s perfectly capable of highly efficient scoring. As good a shooter as he is, the guy’s at 0.545 TS on the year and that screams misuse.

        Barnes is just bad.

    • According to Synergy, Klay shoots 0.88 PPP on post-ups (#53 in the league). Barnes is 0.77 PPP (#98).

      • Thanks.

      • Post-ups were a huge part of Mark Jackson’s game – as a player where he could exploit good matchups as a PG. All that half-court post-up offense – one-on-one dribbling, banging, back-downs… Problem is – this Ws team doesn’t seem to have this type of player. Hardaway, Richmond, Spreewell, Sarunas,…

        Klay doesn’t take it to the hoop enough in my opinion – and finishing at the rim is his obvious weakness. So Klay settles for shooting over smaller defenders or his fade-away jumper, which isn’t all that…

        I’ll take Barnes against bigger, slower PFs all day. Against quicker SFs or SGs – nope.

        • hope you saw that nice fast break barnes led in the second half, taking the ball up with a wide open court in front of him. terminated his dribble on the left ‘elbow’, looked to pass, turned it over. the next chance he got, passed it to thompson and let him take it down the court, ran the wing and got a pass for an easy 2.

        • “Klay doesn’t take it to the hoop enough in my opinion – and finishing at the rim is his obvious weakness.”

          Um, obvious question here. But if finishing at the rim is his weakness, why would you want him to take it to the rim more?

          • Evan, Barnes should never put the ball on the floor in traffic. Awful handles, and its very obvious where he is going to his defenders. Additionally, he has terrible footwork on post-ups. However, when he gets into the air, it’s a different story. He rarely gets his shot blocked, and when he is soaring toward the rim, he is a strong player. I believe it is up to Mark Jackson to teach him how to get those unimpeded opportunities.

            This off season, he needs to go to the school of Kobe and work on his footwork. That, in my opinion is what is holding him back the most. (First step, angles, actual moves and counter moves). It seems like he has grown a pair the past five or six games. He is actually trying hard on defense most of the time.

          • Yikes, CB, there’s so much wrong with Barnes’ short game that blaming his problems on footwork is like… blaming my lack of success with girls on footwork.

            Feltbot nailed it: Barnes is bothered by contact. The slightest hint of contact ruins his shot. The guy can’t even post up over Derek Fisher or JJ Barea.

        • “Klay doesn’t take it to the hoop enough in my opinion – and finishing at the rim is his obvious weakness.”

          And btw, look up his layup FG%. You’ll find it’s much, much higher than Barnes.

          • RE: Barnes
            When he plays small ball PF, Barnes excels.

            Barnes is playing out of position in my opinion. Barnes is a horrible SG/SF – for obvious reasons and overwhelmingly stated on this blog. But small ball PF paired with Andrew Bogut?

            Cite numbers with Barnes playing small ball PF (if that’s possible). One might come to a different conclusion.

            And Josh Smith and Jeff Green are great PFs. David Lee is a great C. Mismatches.

          • RE: Klay Thompson
            I’m referring to Klay Thompson’s future development into a perennial all-star that he will soon be…

            Once Klay decides to put the ball on the floor more (he can with his strong perimeter game), attacking the rim – and drawing a few more fouls in the process with his awesome free-throwing ability – and learning to finish at the rim with a little more consistency, Klay will soon be a perennial all-star.

            Klay either doesn’t want to get hit/draw contact, fears a shot blocker, or has low confidence in the paint… I don’t know what it is…

            I’ve seen Klay take good players like Kahwi Leonard off the dribble from the perimeter and finish/create for others. Klay’s got the ability. Klay chooses to shoot the perimeter jumper nearly every time.

            Curry’s game has been elevated with his play inside the paint this season.

            If Klay doesn’t take it more to the rim more at 6’7″ and 90% free throw shooter, he may never be an all-star.

          • From stats.nba.com, in shots <8 feet this season:

            Iguodala 66.36% , 107 attempts
            Bogut 64.44%, 270
            Lee 55.34, 562
            Thompson 53.79, 132
            Curry 50, 206
            Barnes 49.48, 192
            Green 47.22 108

            At first glance, other than Iggy the Ws wing players don't look like strong finishers. Iggy's completion rate is misleading though, since he doesn't drive the lane much in offensive sets. He gets a lot of fast breaks and alley-oops. Remove those and he drives far less than any other wing player despite his skill at finishing at the rim.

            It also looks like the key to shutting down the Ws paint attack is to simply stop Lee. Bogut shoots less than half as many closeup shots, and the wing players all go there less than that. No Westbrooks or Monta's on this team, fersure.

            To Barnes' credit, he at least attempts about twice as many close shots as any other wing player, and he does that at a fraction of the starters' playing time. His completion rate is not far worse than Thompson's or Curry's.

            Draymond is the worst on this list, even though many of his close-in shots are putbacks. Subtract those and it's obvious Draymond really sucks at attacking the rim. To his credit, he doesn't attempt many drives, or many shots in general. But finishing at the rim is definitely something Draymond needs to work on, especially if he's going to play as a "big" most of the time.

            So, based just on the stats, I'd like to see Iggy, Thompson and Curry attack the rim more (in that order), especially in games where Lee is getting double-teamed.

            Since he's by far the worst wing ballhandler and scorer, Barnes should cut back on his drives. He should park his ass on the 3-point line and stay there. He's a decent spot-up 3-pt shooter but a ballhandling liability compared to the other wing players.

            And Draymond needs to go to shooting school.

    • Yep. Unbeatable when they get the ball hopping. ISOs make them average.

  60. Blake has missed 26 games this season. From various sources:

    Dec. 12

    Lakers guard Steve Blake had an MRI and was examined today by team doctor Steve Lombardo and Dr. Neal S. ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic. Blake was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He is expected to be out a minimum of six weeks.

    Feb. 4

    Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Blake ruptured his right eardrum in his first game back from an elbow injury, but will still be able to fly with the team as they continue their road trip, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    Feb. 11

    Blake admitted that he still feels pain in his elbow, but the most difficult thing for him is that it limits his ability to practice.

  61. Per EvanZ’s tweet last night the Warriors lineup of Steph/Klay/Iggy/Dray/Lee has an ORating of 125 and DRating of 95.

    If you go to nbawowy you can confirm this for yourself, and also, a broadened query for Lee + Dray on the court, and Bogut off, returns an ORating of 116 and DRating of 100.

    That is what point differential looks like. And when you factor in that these lineups are played almost exclusively in crunchtime…

    There is more than one way to play great defense. Quickness and mobility can be just as effective as size and shotblocking.

    And offense counts just as much as defense when you’re out to win basketball games. Basketball is a two-way sport.

    There is a championship caliber team on this Warriors roster. It’s up to Mark Jackson to find it.

    • Thanks FB. Interesting stuff. This morning I get:

      4 Starters + Bogut: ORtg 114, opponent 98.2
      Starters + Green: ORtg 122, opponent 93.6
      Starters + JON: ORtg 90, opponent 108

      All figures for the full season. To be fair, that last team configuration, with JON, has played only 25 minutes together, and with Green only 95 minutes. The starters with Bogut have logged 647 minutes.

      The simplest interpretation would be that the starting lineup is better with Green playing with the 1st team instead of Bogut or JON. But that wouldn’t be realistic, and it wouldn’t be true against all opponents. Teams game-plan against the Bogut lineup, not against Green. Bogut takes on all comers, while Green is used very selectively.

      But at the right time against the right opponents, the Lee/Green tandem has done very well. For comparison, here are the season stats for last night’s Rockets’ starting 5: Ortg 117 Opponent 100.

      The Ws are definitely in the ballpark. But I doubt Green gets much playing time against the Rockets. If Bogut misses the game, we’ll probably see a whole lot of JON.

  62. just in from Woj: “After trading for Steve Blake, Golden State is shopping Jordan Crawford before the deadline, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.”

    • Why?

      Crawford unhappy with role?

      Lacob afraid he’ll take minutes from Barnes?

      Or just a recognition that he’s only playable at PG, and now a redundant piece?

    • Considering Blake is:

      - still recovering from an elbow injury
      - 33 years old
      - slow as molasses
      - on the last year of his contract
      - not moving his family from LA

      It’s kind of surprising that the Ws would want to move Crawford.

      How incompatible could he be with Blake? Without Crawford, who’s the 2 guard in the bench unit? Nedovic? Barnes? Or does Jackson give up the option to play an all-bench squad?

      What happens if someone gets hurt?

      On the other hand, if they could trade Crawford for a backup SF to bench Barnes, that would be alright.

  63. Can’t remember where I heard this quote, but Evan Turner is the type of player who would seem really good if no one kept score. As it is he’s kind of terrible.

  64. After hearing Lacoby and Meyers are shopping Crawford, I looked for possible reasons and found this article on Crawford’s time with DC.
    http://www.wusa9.com/news/article/244670/444/Wizards-Jordan-Crawford-Good-Riddance
    The article says Crawford “didn’t give a flying f*** about winning, or team chemistry.” Maybe the worst sin on team Lacob, it says, “he was the laziest defender on the roster.”
    As much as I like to blame Jackson for all the warriors maladies, including the apparent locker room problem, maybe Crawford is not locker room gold.
    I could not find the author’s name attached to the article, so maybe it was just DC PR and means nothing.
    Glad I could muddy the waters here.

  65. Warriors get no front court help. Ouch! Unless trade made that hasn’t been announced.

    Steve Blake provides his team with one less net possession per game. But, he does distribute the ball.

    This is not a championship caliber team even if Pop coaching this team. Felty placing the blame on Jackson is a substitute for his saying that the Warriors have the best roster. Not. Just pissed that the Warriors don’t play stupid small ball. Shouldn’t even have said it was great roster without factoring in the coach.

    Said this roster was fatally flawed. Nothing management has done has changed that.

    Just a injury away from not making playoffs. That might happen anyhow with Dallas and Memphis on the move.

  66. “Is Mark Jackson Getting The Most Out Of The Warriors?”-
    http://www.hickory-high.com/?p=12239

    (I’m actually surprised the Warriors are league average in ISO PPP. Thought they’d be much worse given how pitiful they look on those plays. I guess it just shows how inefficient ISOs are in general)

    • We run it 11% of the time as opposed to league average of 8%. That’s about 3 extra plays per game. As small as that seems, the difference between running ISO and say spot-up for 3 plays could be as much as 1 point. That 1 point is worth about 2.5 wins over the course of a season.

      • The dearth of spot ups is probably the least egregious from a coaching perspective though, because it’s really all two guys, one of whom is the primary ball handler. (I guess Blake could help somewhat there, though I’m skeptical)

  67. Looks like they’re done? Should we welcome Crawford back?

    On a transcendence scale of 1 to infinity, rate the Blake trade. Negative numbers accepted.

    I’m guessing there was interest in Barnes, but cap rules and their tight cap made any good deals difficult, if not impossible, plus not having draft picks to offer. Trading Barnes for players like Miller or Blake would have been bad value. But they had to show they were being ambitious, so they expressed interest in players such as Deng and Bass, as they have done before. Anybody know different?

    • the beat writers with direct access to the lacobite suits said Bass was not under consideration and never brought up in trade discussion between the teams. kawakami proposed chasing Deng based only on his own speculation, and his stuff has a high recycle rate in the other blogs. Deng turned down a Chi offer (where he said he liked playing) to re-sign him for 3 yrs./33 m., so acquiring him is either a catch and release, letting him chase his free agent deal this summer, or a big make over of the roster and budget to re-sign him for four years.

      • Seeing how bad our bench has performed this season? I’ll say an 8 for Blake’s aquisition. Gave up two bench warmers for $2 million net bucks – for a legitimate NBA back-up PG. I’m not jumping for joy, but like Crawford – seems like an incrementally positive move.

        Anything to help the bench…

  68. Vino Bianco:

    “In the nearly four seasons that Bryant and Blake were teammates after the point guard came to L.A. as a free agent in the summer of 2010, Bryant often lauded Blake for his tough-nosed approach to the game, even bestowing him with the nickname ‘Vino Bianco,’ a remix of his own self-appointed monikers of ‘Vino’ and the ‘Black Mamba.’”

    —from ESPN

  69. Someone has Turf Shoulder..Yikes

  70. yet another game when hero basketball from stephen curry bails out horrendous coaching. Mark Jackson coaches this team to lose. Warrior players pull out the win (sometimes). hence, look at the 33-22 record

    • Ugly, ugly, ugly offense. I’m sure coach J is talking about how they played Warrior brand of basketball, defense, blah, blah, blah.

  71. Actually I don’t mind seeing Blake on the floor, especially considering what they gave up to get him. He should be able to spell both Curry and Klay more, and he may turn Crawford loose, off the ball.

    If only they got a real player to replace Barnes.

  72. One of the ugliest, most frustrating wins that I can remember.
    -Yes, we get it Jackson, Lee is in fact taller than Harden. Doesn’t mean you’re contractually obligated to call 30 pointless post up ISOs for him down the stretch. Holy Jesus that was dumb.
    -The trajectory with Barnes is getting more obvious with every game. By the time Lacob swallows his pride and tries to get rid of him there’ll be no value left.
    -Blake looked fine out there despite the unflattering line. Seems like a nice, steadying presence.
    -In the same vein, Speights makes me want to vomit whether his long twos are falling or not. Always finds a way to be a net negative.
    -WTF is up with Green’s playing time?
    -Thompson might be the most inefficient lights out shooter in the history of basketball. I’m not sure whether his shot selection speaks to overconfidence or lack thereof, but he’s been terrible for about 2 months now.
    -Curry played well but was too passive. He was complicit in the crunch time Lee post up frenzy as well. Should have just shot it himself.

    • the preacher generously allocated twelve of the game’s fifty four minutes to Green, who had a significant positive impact with his allowance.

      • - Green had 5 fouls in 12 minutes.

        - O’Neal held well defensively against Howard, who shot only 4-13.

        - Nice to see Iggy feeling better. 50% shooting, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, awesome defense. Kerr said last night that Iggy’s hamstring is still sore. It makes you wonder what he could do when he’s 100%.

        - Barnes was 1-5, with 4 boards and zero defense in 21 minutes. Yuck.

        - Thompson was 0-5 on threes, but at least he plays defense.

        - Crawford is hilarious! With the ball in his hands, he’s completely uninhibited. After Curry, my favorite Warrior to watch last night.

        - TG for David Lee. HUGE game for him last night, despite an offensive game plan not designed to make him successful (iso’s and post-ups over PnRs).

        All in all, a great game for the players, but not the coach. The players won it despite the coaching.

        • Oh yeah, one last note. Green got dinged a lot last night, but I still enjoyed watching him in action, for two main reasons:

          Green’s nose for the ball is amazing. In his limited minutes, he’s always in the action more than not. Far more than any other player on the team.

          Watching Green box out is sheer beauty. At one point last night he butted Asik all the way out into the photographers. Great!

        • Agree with moto, Green should have played more minutes as a relief for Lee who had to gut out 45 minutes or get Speights minutes. Green’s 5 fouls includes 2 fouls in last possession for Rockets from stopping Harden from shooting a 3.

          • Good point, harry. I forgot about those last 2 on Harden.

            Still, the Ws needed Lee’s scoring, so Green wasn’t going to fill in for him. He might have subbed in for JON more, but JON was doing a pretty good job on Howard.

          • Hat, it’s not about Lee vs. Green. It’s obviously, why didn’t Green get Barnes’ minutes?

            We all know the answer obviously, but the question remains the same.

  73. Ugly, ugly game…great defense by the Warriors, but piss poor offense.

    The Rockets tested a new defensive strategy against DLee. Force the ball into his hands in isolation, even if guarded by a smaller player. Then, send late help if he has clearly beat his man. Otherwise, just let him shoot,

    To combat this, Lee must become more of a playmaker…make a quick pass out of the post and repost. Klay also needs to learn this. Pass and repost for better position.

    I dislike this post up-centric style of offense, but there are ways to be effective at it, and they must start doing it to have any semblence of flow.

    The Rockets are not a great defensive team, but you wouldn’t know it by watching last night!

    • The Hat’s scouting report on D Lee: He rarely passes once he initiates a scoring move. So wait for his first step to the hoop, then double him. The Rockets tried to do that last night, but the help was often too late.

      JON didn’t contribute scoring last night, but he did keep Howard tangled up. That was some savvy veteran business from JON.

  74. I don’t mean to beleaguer the Bogut story any more, but WHAT THE HECK?? Bogut supposedly rolls over in bed, wakes up with a shore shoulder according to his coach, then Bogut himself denies it. Then the AS break takes the focus off the story and Bogut has been sitting in street clothes with a “sore shoulder” since? This, to me, is the most egregious of the Warriors cover-ups yet. None of the beat writers are pressing the issue, there has been no announcement of an MRI — it’s just a “sore shoulder.”

    This is such BS.

    • It could be a disciplinary action, like the dean’s double secret suspension in Animal House. If so, the coach has assured us we won’t hear about it.

      On the other hand, the Ws don’t discuss injuries at all if they can help it, and our local press seems forbidden to discuss them. So maybe Bogut really is injured. In his job, it wouldn’t be surprising.

  75. Hat: Try to address my argument that the Warriors should have obtained a front court player rather than diverting attention to what I wrote last year about Landry.

    With regard to the later, if you think Barnes is a better player than Landry so be it. Today’s thinking requires that a team put it’s best player on the court.

    It was good to see Thompson provide the Warriors with 4 net extra possessions yesterday even though he did not shoot well.

    The Warriors now have in Blake and Crawford back-ups for Curry and Thompson. The question now is whether the return of Bogut will be enough to get the Warriors into the playoffs. Warriors really need to do more to improve the Warriors and their future this year.

    Be interested to see if M.Brooks gets some playing time in LA so that we can see if Crawford is in fact a better SG than Brooks.

    • OK, I did a cheap shot. I’ll try to be good.

      Just for the record, Barnes is a subpar 3, but a better 3 than Landry. Landry’s doesn’t have the shooting, ball handling or foot speed to play 3. Never has, never will.

      I’d take Landry in an instant in trade for Barnes – as long as the team had another valid option for backup SF.

      To be honest, part of the reason I want the team to shed Barnes has little to do with his on-court performance. I think his “favorite son” status has got to be harmful to team morale. Take that away, and start rewarding actual on-court results, and the team would be better off.

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