Warriors 102 Rockets 99: Increasingly Isolated

Anyone satisfied with this win? I don’t like to quibble with wins generally, but the noise surrounding this one was pretty loud. Steve Kerr and Chris Webber absolutely killed Mark Jackson’s stagnant iso-heavy offense in their TNT commentary last night. And that was nothing compared to what I saw on Twitter from the Warriors media.            

The Rockets are far from a good defensive team. They have Howard in the middle and Beverley at the point, but have no wing stoppers. And they are right in the middle of the pack in defensive efficiency with a DRating of over 105.

The Warriors made them look like defensive monsters last night, putting up all of 89 points in regulation. Mark Jackson failed to exploit any of their weaknesses. In fact, largely played right into the Rockets’ hands.

Walking the ball up the court. Getting outscored 23-13 on fastbreak points. I was astonished to see the Warriors continue to walk the ball up the court even in that Green at center lineup against Asik in the second half.

Playing smallball against the out of shape Asik? Great idea. Walking the ball up against him? Are you kidding me? Has Mark Jackson ever even heard of running after a made basket? He should, because he’s seen it done against Bogut and O’Neal virtually every game.

Playing utterly inefficient ISO basketball with Lee, Barnes and O’Neal against a set half-court defense anchored by Dwight Howard. Seriously?

Is this really the team that Sloan Conference attendee Joe Lacob wants the Warriors to be? The team that LEADS THE LEAGUE in ISO offense?

The team that despite having the most gifted offensive roster in the entire league is currently 13th in offensive efficiency? 9th in fastbreak points?

Does Andre Iguodala benefit from slowing the pace? Steve Kerr certainly doesn’t think so. Nor does Jim Barnett.

Does Harrison Barnes benefit from playing small forward in the half-court? Only someone who didn’t watch last year’s playoffs could think that.

Do the best early offense three point shooters in the league benefit from the smothering they’re currently getting in the half-court?

Mark Jackson got the win in this game, yes. But it smacked to me of a bailout. The genius of Curry. The injury to Harden. Did this game have to play out the way it did?

Joe Lacob, is this the identity of the Warriors?

O’Neal: The block heard round the world! Terrific, inspiring throwback defensive performance. It may be going too far to say that it saved the Warriors season — I still believe their easy schedule down the stretch will carry them higher than people believe — but it was beyond doubt timely.

Nonetheless, I think Jackson overplayed him in this game. The Warriors scored a pathetic 18 points in the fourth quarter, losing the quarter by 4, and allowing the Rockets to take it to overtime. Which the Rockets very well may have won, if Harden hadn’t hyper-extended his elbow.

McHale totally won the matchup battle with Mark Jackson down the stretch last night, moving Parsons to the four in the fourth quarter, pulling David Lee out of the lane. Which had the effect of not only spreading the floor for the Rockets offense, but completely destroying the Warriors rebounding.

Do you know how many rebounds David Lee got in the 17 minutes of the fourth quarter and overtime, in which he played every minute? Zero.

That’s right, 14 rebounds through the first three quarters. Zero after that. While the Warriors were outrebounded 15-7 in the 4th quarter.

How did this happen?

Kevin McHale outcoaching Mark Jackson was how. McHale going SMALL while Jackson stayed BIG was the reason. Because McHale succeeded in pulling the Warriors’ best rebounder out to the three point line, spreading the Warriors out, and isolating the much slower O’Neal against Howard on the boards.

What could Jackson have done differently? End the game with his best lineup.

This season, the lineup of Lee at center, Green at four, Iggy, Klay and Curry has an ORating of 125 and a DRating of 95. While being played primarily in crunchtime.

Allowing Green to cover Chandler on the perimeter, and scramble back to help with the rebounding.

Allowing Lee to remain in the paint, to do what he does best on defense: rebound.

And on offense, allowing Curry and Lee to pull Howard completely out of the lane to guard the high pick and roll. Ripping out the underpinnings of the Rockets defense. Opening the floor for the Warriors offense.

And allowing the Warriors to RUN.

You think Lee can’t handle Howard in the middle for 5-7 minutes in crunchtime? I know differently: I had floor seats when he shut down Howard, man to man, for an entire second half, a few years ago. BEFORE Howard hurt his back.

Take another look at that 95 DRating for the Lee and Green frontcourt. To put it in perspective, the #1 ranked Indiana defense has a DRating of 93. The #2 ranked Chicago defense is at 97.

There is more than one way to play great defense. And having two world class defensive wings like Green and Iggy in the game, centered by one of the best defensive rebounders in the league, is one of them.

Now take a look at that 125 ORating, and ask yourself the questions that Mark Jackson failed to ask last night:

Can Dwight Howard and the defensively mediocre Rockets stop Curry/Lee pick and roll?

Can they stop the fastbreak?

Basketball is a two-way sport, and the name of the game is not defense, but point-differential.

Lee: Instead of pick and roll at center, Lee was fed a steady diet of isolations and postups at power forward, at which he is decidedly less efficient. A big reason for this is that the Rockets can set their defense, and Dwight Howard is lurking behind Lee’s own man. Which forces Lee to go fast, and generally spin away from the middle.

The second reason is that when the Rockets guarded Lee with smaller players, like Harden, he lost his main offensive advantage: his speed. Harden successfully disrupted his dribble, and made it hard for Lee to initiate his move.

Do you know how I’m always saying that Lee is most effective against bigger and slower players? Case in point.

Nonetheless, a huge game from Lee, in a yeoman-like 45 minutes.

It could have been huger, with a better coach.

Curry: Not a closer? Once again, Curry pulled Mark Jackson’s fat out of the fire with that brilliant last second drive and left handed finish high off the glass over Howard’s outstretched arm.

And may I be so bold as to ask why Jermaine O’Neal was in the game for THAT play? What purpose does he serve on THAT play?

Give Dwight Howard someone to guard? A reason to lurk in the lane? Give Curry a higher degree of difficulty for the highlight reel?

I don’t think there’s a coach in the league that would have O’Neal in the game in that spot, other than Mark Jackson.

SPREAD THE FLOOR. Sheesh.

A very gritty performance by Curry against an all-league defender in Patrick Beverley. Did you notice how reluctant Curry was to allow Beverley to force him to give up his dribble? How skillful he was in drawing him into fouls?

Did you notice only 2 turnovers? And zero in the last game?

No thanks to Mark Jackson, whose offense is putrid, and should be using Iggy and Klay to bring the ball up the court much more often.

Ethan Strauss suggested on Twitter last night that Curry should just say no to Mark Jackson’s insistence on ISO basketball. Because Curry holds the power in the Warriors organization.

So preaching open revolt against the coach? That should go over well in the interview room.

It’s also not a bad idea. Magic Johnson would approve.

Barnes: Now that the rookie-sophomore All Star abomination, the Slam-Dunk abomination, and the trade deadline have all passed… and now that the Warriors have two legitimate NBA guards to play on the second unit… and since Mark Jackson has proved completely unwilling to play stretch-fours when he has any other alternative… there are very few legitimate reasons to play Harrison Barnes. He’s going to go back to sitting on the bench in fourth quarters. As he did last night.

As we’ve seen throughout last season and this, Barnes is completely unable to impact an NBA game from the small forward position. Inefficient on offense, invisible on defense.

One of my favorite moments of last night’s game came just as Barnes took the floor. The TNT boys were discussing Barnes’ struggles, and Mark Anderson said:

Mark Jackson says he has complete confidence in Barn— AND HARDEN BURIES A THREE!

Far from the first facial I’ve seen Barnes take in his career, but the first that made me laugh.

Mark Jackson is of course still insisting on ISOing Barnes on offense, but he has made a significant adjustment. Barnes is no longer receiving the ball in the low post with his back to the basket, which invariably results in an off-balance fall-away turnaround jumper (or a turnover) completed at about 25%. Now Barnes is facing his defender up, and trying to drive around him. Which invariably results in Barnes moving sideways across the lane and attempting a floater, completed at about 30%.

Watching Barnes attempt to dribble against NBA defenders is like watching a dying fly throw itself at a window pane. Left, right. Left, right. Buzz.

Iggy: Once again we learned something from TNT that should have been reported weeks ago by the Warriors media. Iggy still has pain in his hamstring. It bothers him, for some reason, more on offense than on defense. But now that the stretch run is upon us, he intends to go all out.

Point-Iggy was back in last night’s game, thank heaven. He will be badly needed in that role down the stretch, with Curry getting blitzed at unprecedented rates. And Mark Jackson unwilling to alter his fourth quarter rotation to bust it.

Am I the only one perturbed that the Warriors media is owned lock stock and barrel by Lacob, Inc.? That the only breaking injury news we get comes from national outlets?

Well, if nothing else, it keeps Dr. Felt employed.

The Steve Blake trade: Hard to argue with this move. The Warriors got a quality backup point guard for nothing. In addition to running the point well, Blake is a good three point shooter, a good defender, and an all-around hard-nosed competitor who earned Kobe Bryant’s trust and admiration.

His acquisition comes with a few interesting implications, however, one of which we again were forced to learn from the TNT crew: The Warriors were dissatisfied with Jordan Crawford’s decision-making.

So:

1) Blake is going to be running the second unit. Which augurs less running with small units on the second team, and more halfcourt play with big units. Exactly what Blake excels at. And exactly what this Warriors team should not be doing.

2) Crawford is going to return to playing shooting guard, which makes you wonder why the Warriors acquired him in the first place. (And in fact, it was rumored on Yahoo that the Warriors shopped him after acquiring Blake.) Crawford is a distinctly below average shooting guard: Bad three point shooter (last night aside), bad defender.

Crawford showed the potential this season to become a good second unit microwave and playmaker. A ball-dominant sixth man.

The Warriors don’t care for him in that role. Which in my mind, has negative implications for the second unit’s style of play. We’re staying big, and we’re staying slow.

3) Barnes and Crawford are now in direct competition for minutes. Given the political climate, that spells trouble for Crawford, regardless of the matchup.

4) Matt Steinmetz, who has been harping all-season long over the Warriors failure to truly replace Jarret Jack (as have I), and who still believes that Curry is more of a shooting guard than a point guard (as I most emphatically do not), tweeted yesterday:

OK … next issue for Warriors: Who ain’t playing when they finish games with Blake-Curry backcourt?

Hmm… Steinmetz is quite the pot-stirrer, but there might be something to this. I could see this happening in certain situations.

The Warriors have added desperately needed depth to their bench. But not without some implications for team chemistry.

Big Baby, Earl Clark, etc.: Are the Warriors interested in adding frontcourt depth? Some big men are coming available through buyouts. I predict Big Baby goes to the Heat, although the Warriors are rumored to be showing interest. Marcus Thompson correctly points out that Earl Clark would be a better fit for the Warriors.

But would Mark Jackson even play a stretch-four? Ahead of Green or Barnes? Hard to believe.

And even if he did get him, he’d probably station him in the paint, like he does Mo Speights.

57 Responses to Warriors 102 Rockets 99: Increasingly Isolated

  1. Draymond is apparently now the 10th man in the rotation. As if he didn’t have enough trouble earning minutes away from Speights and Barnes, now it appears Blake will take even more of his minutes.

    This is not good.

    • If he regains his confidence in his shot, Dray should be the first guy off the bench when Bogut comes out (Dray at PF, with Lee to C).

      Dray needs his perimeter shot back – big time. Teams are really sagging off him defensively now simply daring him to shoot. If Dray can’t get his shot back, there’s no more “stretch” to the stretch 4!

  2. Is Green is a better Stretch-4 than Barnes?

    If so, why keep Barnes?

    • Warriorsablaze

      Barnes is a better “stretch 4″ because he’s a better 3pt shooter. Green is simply a better player who is probably more useful guarding stretch 4’s than being one on offense.

      • In the playoffs, I enjoyed having this pair of stretch 4s (Barnes and Green) – with opposite strengths – one better at shooting and driving (slow PFs) and one as a wing stopper/rebounder.

        Barnes’ skills are maximized at small 4 – and he’s very good there when given the minutes. Not just in the playoffs, but this season too. Barnes should be paired at PF with defensive/rebounding centers Bogut or O’Neil – to spread the floor and open the driving lanes… I cringe whenever Barnes is playing a big SF – his handle is still too weak IMO. At small ball PF, I love the spread floor.

        I love Draymond playing smallball 4 too, but Green should be paired with Lee at Center. Their games complement each other well as far as their strengths and weaknesses – defense and offense.

        However, if Dray can’t get his shot back on track, he won’t see the court for many minutes… Really – how many stretch 4s shoot in the high 20 percent range from three – and even stay in the league?

  3. Blake missed a lot of games this season, but didn’t D’Antoni make good use of him? He has excellent court vision and can see well ahead to orchestrate a break—

    —assuming anyone was running.

    We should have a Harrison Barnes nickname contest. I have another entry: Gracie Gold.

  4. It’s a shame you can’t get an explanation and rebuttal for the way the team is playing. One thing looks to be certain, however, that there’s a plan in place and it isn’t going away.

    I’m happy heaping all the blame on Jackson, but that has been the intent from the start, pre Jackson, and the brain trust is involved. For example this report on Bogut when acquired, which I linked earlier:

    “He’ll change the dynamic of the team from being a perimeter-based team with a lot of pick and rolls to having a true center you can go down low to. He can command a double team and open up space for the shooters.”

    And there’s been language and decisions to that effect all along.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_20377060/boguts-upside-appears-very-high-warriors

    Quote for the day:

    “Obviously I’m just a piece of the furniture here right now.”

    Jerry West, at time of the Bogut signing

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2012/03/14/jerry-west-on-the-bogutellis-trade-frankly-i-dont-see-a-risk-here/

  5. Kerr and Webber aren’t the first to note that the Ws offense gets stagnant. Jeff Van Gundy has said the same thing many times.

    It’s a pity, but it does seem that Jackson only plays to the team’s strengths when he doesn’t have the option to cripple it with a slow, deliberate attack. He’s had over 3 years to figure it out, but he never does. It’s like he’s trying to play 80s Indiana ball. He thinks Bogut is Rik Smits.

    Just 89 points against a mediocre defense, from this Ws roster. You have to wonder if Lacob thinks he’s getting his money’s worth. Isn’t he supposed to be a numbers guy? Doesn’t anyone in the Ws organization look at the results of different lineups?

  6. Geez if I hadn’t watched the game I would’ve thought we lost. How was Mjax out coached again. Curry and Lee were brilliant but who made the adjustments to free Curry up in the sec half. Remember, Keith smart would’ve played Acie Law.
    Warriors are 6-2 without Bogut, Lee and JON combined to stifle DH. That’s what you want Jackson to realize. We’re a better team with Bogut on the bench.

    • Curry and Thompson’s best shots are early 3s. They don’t get those in half-court sets, only in an uptempo offense. Result of playing walk-it-up ball: only 5 threes attempted by Thompson, with 0 completions.

      When Lee gets iso’s instead of PnRs, Lee typically plays 1-on-2, because Bogut/JON’s man has time to double on Lee. Result: Lee shoots 50% last night instead of 65%.

      Iggy is a great open-court finisher, but merely decent as a shooter in half-court sets. Result last night: Zero early offense gets Iggy only 11 points.

      It’s like that, knick. Yes, the Ws dug out a win. But Houston is an average defensive team and the Ws only managed 89 points against them.

      Houston didn’t hold down the Ws offense, the Ws coach did.

    • Knick right where you belong. Care to explain how record without Bogut went from 4-2 this morning at Fast Break to 6-2 here? Not stretching truth to recruit haters to your Bogut campaign are you?

      • Mike, 5-2 is what I posted on Adams blog. The typo isn’t far off is it? Anyway I’m not recruiting any ‘bogut haters’. The disagreement between me and those on the other side has to do with Boguts importance.
        They somehow think he’s the 2nd best player on the team. I think he’s the 4th or 5th.
        They think the offense should sometimes run through him, a suggestion I think is nonsensical considering Bogus limited offense.
        They think he’s a top 10 center. I can list 15guys better than him.
        They want Lee traded, I want Bogut gone for obvious reasons.
        I could go on and on if you want. The fact is warriors are with Bogut on the bench. Their record dating back to last season proves it. And just incase you get tempted. Warriors didn’t win the denver series because of Bogut. It was thanks to Curry, Klay JJ and to a lesser extent HB.

        • Figured you’d play the “typo” card! You actually started at 4-1 before you went to 5-2 & it’s there in black & white! 6-2 deliberate lie!

          So Warriors are better off without Bogut because that had a winning record with him out. So I guess you could say the same about the Clippers & OKC with Paul & Westbrook out.

          Enough of this waste of time. Your trashing of Bogut has nothing to do with basketball, care to explain?

          • You’re wasting your own time comparing CP3’s impact to Bogus. Do you see defenders cheating off Paul to double team Blake? Do you see either Paul or Westbrook slowing down the warrior’s offense. Why don’t you explain why you and your friends keep trashing Dlee while giving Bogus a free pass. I’m curious.

  7. Umm…. Bazemore and Brooks lit it up in their first game for the Lakers.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=400489697

    Why do I get the feeling that Lacob is starting to look crosseyed at Mark Jackson?

    • I hope Bazemore has success, but why does it have to be with the Lakers!? Now I’ll get to hear about Swaggy P AND my guy Bazemore from all these fans down here.

    • I don’t know Brooks’ game, but Bazemore has always done better in a fast-paced open-court offense like summer league, D league – or D’Antoni style.

      Before adding Blake, Jackson’s slow, deliberate half-court offense was a mismatch for the strengths of the whole 2nd unit, not just Bazemore. With Blake they might be able to pull it off somewhat better.

      Coaching is the art of maximizing what you have, not what you wish to have. D’Antoni gets that. Jackson doesn’t.

      One good game doesn’t prove Baze and Brooks are great players, but it’s nice to see them do well. Hopefully, they’ll continue to do so – and give Lacob some food for thought re Mark Jackson as coach.

      • What better proof could there be that Mark Jackson has been the primary cause of the second unit’s struggles this season? What did D’Antoni do but set Bazemore and Brooks free to do what they do best?

        I don’t see this lasting, as their minutes resulted from MDA’s disgust at the starting unit. With Meeks coming off an ankle injury, and Swaggy P returning tomorrow, PT will be extremely tough to come by. Although the tanking creates some unpredictability…

        As for Brooks, the Ws didn’t miss anything there. Not an NBA player, won’t make next years Lakers squad. Good candidate for China.

        But Bazemore: the Ws missed a great opportunity to develop a possible Tony Allen. What he needed was to be set loose on a running second team.

  8. Bazemore never given enough minutes in GS. Harrison gets 24 min Baz
    2. Dont know if its on Jackson or Lacob but why not find out if he can play or not before trading him?
    Brooks was a gale blowing through Bay – never seen.
    Though I’m not thrilled with this trade, Blake, even at 33, will contribute more to the team this season than Baz or MB. He’s a scrapper and has ticked me off more than once watching him play against the warriors. Now ask me again about this trade in 3 years…

    • One game.

      Bazemore got plenty of minutes. He proved to be one of the most detrimental players in the league. That’s fine for a team that doesn’t care about winning, but in theory, at least, the Warriors are trying to win.

      I say “in theory” because this doesn’t explain why Barnes gets so many minutes.

      • Bazemore proved nothing but that he’s not a pg. Jackson proved something tho. (See @7)

        • He got to play 3 minutes with Steph and Iguodala this season. It would have been nice to see more normal substitution patterns earlier in the season. Oh well.

  9. Great stuff FB!
    Curry only played 38 minutes – including overtime!!! This is another reason why he outplayed Beverly. Jackson normally wears Curry out in minutes prior to the OT! Curry – with Jackson giving him proper rest – was fresh for the stretch run…

    Curry’s penetration, drive, and finish over Howard – is a huge reason he’s a top 15 player now… We always knew could shoot the lights out and pass brilliantly from year 1. But finish and with contact? He’s getting better before our eyes!

  10. It has always my opinion that Marshon Brooks has the potential to be a terrific player.

    By not playing him, the Warriors refused to allow our fans to see what he could do on the court. Last night, the Lakers played Brooks for significant minutes. Brooks shot 7-11 from the floor, and had three steals. So much for the contention he can’t play defense. The Lakers outscored their opponents by far when he was on the court. Be interested to see how Brooks compares to Crawford and even to Thompson the rest of the season. Do think Crawford is better suited to playing SG and since the Warriors screwed up by signing Douglas they had to go at and obtain a back-up point guard. But, we may have gone in the wrong direction in obtaining Blake if Brooks plays better than Crawford this year. Maybe they should have obtained another PG and not traded M. Brooks. Stay tuned.

    Disagree that JON should have played less the other night. With five offensive rebounds and two blocks and only one turnover playing limited minutes he gave the Warriors many additional possessions.

    Thought that Jackson had to play small ball the other night since the Warriors were playing back to back games. Agree that Warriors would play much better if they run in future games. Also, agree that his half court sets hamper Warrior players from playing to their strengths.

    Doubt that Blake and Crawford should not hurt the Warriors since they will be playing limited minutes.

    The Warriors have one open roster spot. They have to get back up PF to fill that roster spot so that Speights can be glued to the bench. Agree that Barnes should play some PF.

    The Warriors failure to trade Barnes in the off season when his value was higher has resulted in the Warriors failing to find a trade partner by the trade deadline. Warriors seem to always be one step behind where they should be. Very cautious front office. Too bad.

    Can’t wait to see the Warriors play when both Bogut and JON can play center center.

    • “It has always my opinion that Marshon Brooks has the potential to be a terrific player.”

      In the way that Barnes has potential to be a terrific player? Brooks is a scrub. One game doesn’t mean anything.

    • You’re obviously not familiar with Btooks game. He had a ton of opportunities with the Nets and didn’t show much. There’s a reason why he’s on his 4th team already.

  11. MarShon Brooks on last night’s game, from Yahoo:

    “Me and Kent just wanted to come out here and play with some energy,” Brooks said. “I was tired — real tired. But D’Antoni gives you that confidence and he lets you go out there and play your game. So I felt free doing that. The difference in the game was on the other side of the ball. We played real good defense, forced some turnovers, and that really got us going in the fourth quarter.”

    The D-Leaguers made similar comments about Nelson his last year, his letting them play their game, and showed results quickly.

    Note, too, from the box score, that the Laker starters averaged about 20 minutes.

    And it took D’Antoni about a day to get them going.

    We’re not going to learn much from one game, especially against this year’s Celtics, and D’Antoni, of course, has nothing to lose. No one expects him to win. Then again, neither Brooks nor Bazemore got much of a shot with the Warriors, a chance to play extended minutes. They also probably had better surrounding players with the Lakers.

    But Jackson has had plenty of opportunities this season to experiment against lesser teams and manage his roster, giving bench players a real shot, resting his starters. Instead he has played to control and win every game, or what might be a more accurate interpretation, played not to lose. The Warriors beat Boston by 2, btw, with the starters as usual playing heavy minutes. And he has some dismal losses against mediocre teams.

    I’m intrigued with Brooks’ comment about defense—isn’t he supposed to be a lousy defender? Turning him and Bazemore loose on offense probably put the Celtics on their heels. That’s defense. And turn a player loose and he’s motivated to play well on both sides of the court. But note, too, what Brooks says, that it was his defense that got his offense going. Isn’t that what Jackson says the Warriors are trying to do? But what good is good defense if the team plays offense defensively?

    Set your players free, MJ.

    • Compare with what D’Antoni was able to do with Lin.

      The real point here is not that we should have kept Bazemore and Brooks. Rather, GSW should find out what it can do with the players it has—and experiment with other possibilities. If B & B can show that in one night, what might be done with other players?

    • +1 You beat me to it rgg. (See @7)

  12. Yesterday morning on KNBR Rusty Simmons (SF Gate Warriors Beat Writer) said that if the team doesn’t live up to Lacob’s high expectations their could be a front office shake-up an intimated even Bob Myers could be replaceable.

    In the afternoon, Tolbert was interviewing Myers and Lacob called in during the interview and made it clear through the interaction that both were on very good terms. An hour later during the m. Jackson interview there was no Lacob ‘playful’ call-in as Ratto prescriptively noted afterwards.

    • Why would Lacob feel the need to fire his spokesmodel? Myers isn’t the GM.

      One is getting the sense that Lacob is distancing himself from Jackson, tho.

  13. I wish someone would ask Mark Jackson about Brooks and Bazemore’s “breakout” performances in LA. “Coach, did you miss something?”

    • That would be sweet, but it won’t happen. Warriors PR events are obviously staged-managed, with all questions pre-approved by management.

      On the off chance that some rogue reporter did ask a tough Q, Jackson has tons of platitudes and non-answers ready to go. He’d congratulate the two players on their performance, wish them well and say they didn’t fit the Warriors system. Which is true, though it doesn’t answer the real question:

      Why doesn’t Jackson fit his system to his players?

  14. Nice post, agree with pretty much all of it.

    Jackson, when asked about his late game ISO infatuation, insisted that going to Lee worked because it “wore Harden down”. I mean FFS, the level of intellectual dishonesty and confirmation bias with this guy… Harden got worn down by Lin’s elbow. Guarding bigger guys one on one is his one and only strength as a defender.

    The larger problem with Jackson isn’t the fact that he refuses to acknowledge any mistakes publicly, it’s that IMO that’s all there is to him. He really buys his own bullshit.

  15. Amick’s take on Blake deal:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2014/02/21/nba-a-to-z-steve-blake-trade-los-angeles-lakers-golden-state-warriors/5707659/

    Interesting to note that the other points the Ws were interested in, Hinrich and Miller, both have the size to guard 2 guards. And Hinrich, like Blake, is a very good defender. So quite clearly, having the ability to play alongside Curry was a matter of importance to Lacob (and West, the biggest denigrator of small backcourts like the one that destroyed him twice in the Finals).

    A possible explanation for why they allowed DJ Augustin to slip through their fingers. (Looking at his box scores is simply torture for me.)

    And also an admission that they’re throwing in the towel on Iggy being a 4th quarter facilitator? Maybe Steinmetz will prove right.

    • PS. Note the way Amick obscures the front office decision making. That simply isn’t done when the guy with the GM title is the actual GM. And I think we can expect many more mentions of Kirk in the future. He’s being groomed for the actual job.

      And by the by, there’s little doubt in my mind that the Bazemore at pg experiment was Kirk’s brainchild. He was his DLeague GM.

  16. Warriors just signed Hilton Armstrong to a 10-day. So, Bogut still out?

    • … And breaking: Bogut “doubtful” for tonight.

      Was it in the TK interview that Lacob patted himself on the back by calling Bogut an “ironman”?

      • More of a glassman. When and how did Bogut hurt that shoulder again? Is he still struggling from the -ve cortison effect or the Al Jefferson beat down.

  17. I had a Spurs game on a few days ago, and the announcers talked about Pop’s early days as an assistant long ago, how he wanted to scout European players, not done at the time. He went to one game there and saw—

    Don Nelson.

  18. I just realized why I haven’t seen any Harrison Barnes tweets lately. He’s blocked me, even though I’ve never tweeted at or to him.

    I guess someone’s been reading the blog. #Blackfalcon

    • Some of your commenters have made nasty comparisons. You really ought to rein that in, FB.

    • That’s really pitiful for Barnes to do, but you can take it as a badge of honor. It’s not your job to feed Barnes’ ego or his marketing program.

    • I’d be curious to know who controls his twitter feed. Could be Raymond Ritter (Warriors PR. Guy) who tipped him off.

  19. Kirk Lacob on analytics:

    I mean, this group that we have working on the data is a bunch of Cal Tech and Stanford grads. One of them is an aeronautical engineer person – aerospace engineer – and has done helicopter data analytics modeling, you know? I mean, these are guys that can program anything in the world; we’ve got guys who have masters or PhDs in computer science. I mean, these guys in an hour can whip up whatever.

    Basketball is tougher in a lot of ways because there’s so much stuff that’s changing all the time and there’s no distinct events. That being said, the breakthrough is not going to be numbers-based, it’s gonna be data-based. And that’s where these cameras become so valuable because they log anything and everything that’s on the court from if a guy’s shot gets two degrees flatter from the first to fourth quarter, (we can ask) is that something that happens consistently? If this guy comes around a screen, he shoots five percent better when he creates that extra foot and a half of separation because so-and-so set a screen instead of this guy. This play works when we run it to this side and we create this space on average 10% better. This guy moves from this block to this block on weakside help five hundredths of a second quicker and that’s the difference between tipping a ball and missing it.

    Those are the type of things that will matter long-term. It’s never going to be as simple as baseball where you can come up with WAR, VORP, all these statistics that are just based off of statistics that already existed. You know they have some new things – pitch effects, field effects. Basketball, it’s going to be more difficult, until technology catches up.

    http://www.goldenstateofmind.com/2012/9/28/3424760/warriors-kirk-lacob-interview-analytics-sports-vu

    You really have to wonder if he hasn’t been influencing decisions, based on his analytics. He’s got to be talking about something in those meetings.

    • Team ORtg and DRtg are some pretty simple analytics. If Kirk doesn’t look at those scores for different lineups, then he’s overlooking important stuff.

      On the other hand, it seems that M Jackson’s gametime lineups and substitutions are frozen no matter what. So if Kirk looked at whole-team performance numbers, it might not impact the lineups and substitutions anyway.

  20. Knick, Felt has apparently turned off the reply button up at #6.

    I see you’ve gone to the answering a question with a question tactic to avoid facing up to your lying!

    So I’ll just say again your psychotic bashing of Bogut has nothing to do with basketball & its getting old!

    Now I’ll get out of the way & let the conversation return to b-ball where it belongsl.

    (Hey felt remember your old ‘angry’ Mike W days?)

    i’m gone

  21. Is Bogut’s shoulder just sore, or is it incapacitated and/or does he run the risk of further damage? He hasn’t played since 2/4, 18 days.

    We’ll probably never get an answer.

    • the reaction in Bogut’s shoulder to cortisone was the formation of crystals (putting sand in the joint), described as the equivalent of those precipitated by uric acid in gout. tenderness inside the joint like that could take weeks to resolve. and resorting to cortisone implies that they weren’t satisfied with how the injury was responding to rest alone.

  22. I saw M. Brooks play in person a number of times his rookie year with the Nets. Couldn’t be stopped getting to the rim, had a decent outside shot, and with his height, quickness and long arms was tough on defense. Think we’ll be seeing a lot of good games from Brooks in LA. Seems fairly clear that LA wanted Brooks more than they wanted Crawford. Would rather have Brooks backing-up Thompson than Crawford whose never seen a shot no matter how contested that he did not like. And by the way Knicks, the Celtics would welcome Brooks back.

    Felty saying that Brooks has no talent is equivalent to his saying that B. Wright sucks and Thompson is an all-star, and Crawford is a terrific sixth man. Wrong on all accounts, although Crawford should be serviceable playing back-up shooting guard.

    Stick to your strong points Felty criticizing iso plays and extolling the virtues of the spread four.

    Warriors only hurt talent, not advance talent. By failing to run, Jackson insures that few backcourt players will shot above 50 percent shooting two’s.

  23. FireMarkWhackson

    GREAT POST