Warriors 126 Knicks 103: Let’s Go!

First off, I’d like to thank all the true connoisseurs of haiku who graciously bit their tongues after reading my last post. I have no pretensions to being a poet, nor of knowing how to write haiku. I simply had the idea to write a single, hopefully entertaining sentence about each Warriors player, rather than my usual verbose and repetitive paragraphs. (No one out there is as sick of my voice at this time as I am.) That led me, for better or worse, to haiku.

As for this game against the Knicks, it might seem like a run of the mill blowout of an absolutely wretched team, but I found in it several things that caught my interest. And so, hopefully with my little exercise in brevity carrying over a bit into my prose, here we go:        

Let’s Go! Let’s Go! Let’s Go!: That’s what I heard Mark Jackson yell repeatedly from the sidelines after the Warriors rebounded the ball. And as you may have noticed, the Warriors genuinely pushed the tempo in this game. More than any other game since the healthy start of the season.

They even ran once after a made basket (Draymond Green was of course the inbounder). And they did it once against the Bulls as well. How I would love to see that become a staple of their offense. We all know how important those early offense looks are to Curry and Thompson and Iggy.

Perhaps Mark Jackson is more comfortable running now that the Warriors have a true #FullSquad back (it shouldn’t make a damn bit of difference). Or perhaps that 83 point fiasco in Chicago set his pants on fire.

Curry: Not a true point guard.

Right?

Thompson: Earlier this season, Mark Jackson stated that he wouldn’t “break” his offense to get Klay going. He seems to have broken his word on that, because the Warriors are opening every game running plays for Klay.

Klay has struggled with his shooting in the middle part of the season, leading to rumblings among the fan base, and sniping at feltbot, his ardent champion. Personally, I think it’s had a lot to do with the Iggy injury. Klay was badly overworked as a result, and I believe that killed his legs.

The Iggy injury also hurt Klay in that Iggy was a chief setup man for Klay earlier in the season, and his absence/removal from the point guard role has made it a lot tougher for Klay to get open. As has Mark Jackson’s systematic refusal to push the tempo.

Hopefully, Iggy’s return to health will result in a corresponding return of Klay’s shooting.

If I’ve had a bone to pick with Klay up to this point, it has been his lack of aggressiveness in getting to the line. He fixed that in this game, with several superb drives.

Shooters like Klay don’t need to be quick and athletic to wreak havoc in the lane. With the attention paid to his outside shot, he can always get his first step by his defender, just as Larry Bird and Chris Mullin could. And once Bird and Mullin got that first step, they didn’t have to hurry. They were superb at keeping their defenders right on their backs, and tricking them into bad fouls. The number of And One’s those guys created on their drives was remarkable, and something the preternaturally gifted Thompson could easily emulate with a little study.

If he does, it will be utterly impossible to shut him down.

Bogut and Lee: After watching Bogut grab some early pine in this game, the thought occurred to me that Lee haters should compare his career home and away splits to Bogut’s.

Great NBA players show up on the road.

Iggy: Fabulous defense on Melo. Looked great pushing the tempo. His shot is still a mess. (Is that a haiku?)

Hope that hammy holds up. The resurrection of the Warriors bench is definitely helping that.

Blake: Amazing what a veteran backup point guard can do for a second unit, isn’t it? This seems to be a lesson that Joe Lacob has had to learn again, and again, and again.

9:50 2Q: That Blake drive and wrap around dish to O’Neal for the slam has to be the highlight of the game.

Crawford: An o-fer, and looked bad doing it. He seemed disinterested in this game. 2 palming violations and a discontinued dribble, man alive.

I was initially excited when Crawford was added to the point-guard-less and sixth-man-less Warriors. Leading the offense with the ball in his hands, and being asked to make plays, Crawford can be an asset. As he proved for the Celtics.

But playing off the ball at the two-guard? I’ve been saying, and I will repeat: Crawford is one of the worst two-guards in the entire league. Can’t shoot. Can’t defend.

A poor shooting percentage can be overlooked in an effective point guard. As can defensive liabilities. But in a two-guard?

I can’t know how this went down, whether or not the Warriors knew all along they were going to get Blake, or whether they only considered him when Jackson expressed dissatisfaction with Crawford at the point. But however it went down, I do know this: the Warriors front office screwed this up badly.

Before the Crawford trade, was there any chance of adding Blake while keeping Bazemore to play the two?

Bazemore: As I’m sure you know, Bazemore is lighting it up right now for Mike D’Antoni in the Lakers starting lineup. This was discussed quite a bit in the previous thread, and I’m not going to rehash it all. But I will make a few quick points:

1) Regardless of how his offense develops from here, Bazemore has value in the NBA because he’s a great defender, with quickness and length. That is the primary reason D’Antoni is predicting he has a real future in the league.

But it doesn’t hurt that he can run the floor, shoot the occasional three, and has a knack for getting to the rim. In the right system, Bazemore might prove to be a more valuable player than Tony Allen.

2) The Warriors lost Bazemore the same way they lost Jeremy Lin. By forcing him into the primary backup point guard role, which he was clearly not ready for. (And unlike Lin, never will be.)

They also lost these players because they hired inexperienced coaches who had no idea how to play them so as to bring out their best.

3) I have a feeling that Warriors management might be looking at Mark Jackson a little cross-eyed over Bazemore’s instant emergence under D’Antoni.

They should look at themselves in the mirror too. Bazemore is playing small forward for D’Antoni.

Those were Barnes’ minutes.

O’Neal: When he was in his prime, he was a far better player than Bogut. An MVP candidate. Because he’s a two-way center, who not only defends and rebounds at an elite level, but has go-to offensive ability. O’Neal can get you a bucket in a variety of ways. Pick and roll, post-up, face-up jumper.

Unlike Bogut, O’Neal’s man can’t cheat off him without paying the price. And unlike Bogut, O’Neal can be played in crunch time. He makes his free throws.

What’s shocking is that O’Neal is playing at a higher level than Bogut, right now, at the age of 35. He appears to be healthier than he’s been in years. Watching his slow start to the season, I wasn’t sure we’d ever see his shot fall again.

On the defensive end, he might not be the shotblocker that Bogut is, but he’s not chopped liver. He’s not as good a rebounder anymore either.

But he’s still better running the floor and getting back on defense. And as for guarding pick and roll, there’s no comparison. O’Neal comes out of the lane.

Not arguing for a change of roles. Just pointing out the obvious. If Bogut and O’Neal manage the miracle of staying healthy in the playoffs, the Warriors have a pretty good tandem.

Barnes: It’s a good thing his three has been dropping, because his floor game…

I want to direct your attention to two plays:

2:10 1st Q: Barnes does his best Brandan Wright impression. Assigned with boxing out Melo, he gets stuffed in his baby carriage and walked right under the basket.

Melo offensive rebound, and layup.

1:30 1st Q: On the Knicks’ next possession, Barnes lets the same thing happen again.

Melo offensive rebound, and free throws.

I’m sorry, an NBA player cannot allow this to happen. If you can’t hold your ground, grab, hold, elbow, kick, bite. If that fails, howl and flop.

Show some freakin’ fight. Show some freakin’ HEART.

Show that you care about winning.

Green: Speaking of which… Along with Iggy, Green was instrumental in causing Melo’s wretched 7-26 performance.

Never gave Melo an inch. Bodied him, grabbed him, pushed him, pulled him.

Denied him.

Got under his skin.

6:35 4th Q: Melo tried his bully act on the offensive boards on Green. Green hooked up with him, fought him tooth and nail, layed the wood on him. Until the exasperated Melo gave up trying to play basketball, and threw Green to the floor.

Offensive foul, Warriors ball.

That, Ladies and Gentlemen, is what a winning NBA small forward looks like.

I’m not sure it’s a coincidence that more of them are found at the bottom of drafts, than at the top.

Mokur: So long as Bogut and O’Neal stay healthy, Mokur might lose his minutes. Because he’s a center, not a power forward, which makes him third string. And because Jackson doesn’t understand the value of a stretch-five.

Jackson went straight to Nellieball on the second unit in this game, with Barnes and Green at the four. Although that probably had more to do with matching up with Melo at the four than anything. Let’s see what happens the next time the Warriors play a big team.

I did enjoy that fourth quarter beat down Mokur put on former defensive player of the year Tyson Chandler, though. And after him, former Lacob project Jeremy Tyler. (Jim Barnett: “He never learned how to play the game.”)

By the way, if it ever actually came to a fight against Chandler, I’d take Mokur by knockout.

And lay 2-1.

165 Responses to Warriors 126 Knicks 103: Let’s Go!

  1. Very informative, and enjoyable, write-up.

    Enjoy your poetry as well and Meschery’s, thanx for that link.

  2. Iggy’s and Green’s defense on Carmelo was fun to watch. Iggy was a bee buzzing around his head. Green was a honky-tonk bouncer. Both did the majority of their work (and violence) before Anthony got the ball (and the refs’ attention).

    I liked Speights’ little grin as Chandler attacked him. Satisfaction at a job well done? It’s like he’s taking lessons from Green.

    It’s hard to picture the Knicks in the playoffs. Any team with Jeremy Tyler getting regular minutes isn’t going far. The Ws 3rd- and 4th-string Cs are far better.

    Still, Jackson picked a strategy that his team is well suited for, and one that was particularly difficult for the beat-up old Knicks to match. If Jackson had chosen to play Knicks ball, he could have handed them the game just like he did with Chicago.

    Now that the bench is better and the starters’ PT can be reduced, maybe the team can run more often, not just occasionally.

  3. It’s difficult to give much weight to the Warriors outstanding performance last night as they playing against a team that would have a hard time winning a middle school game as they run no plays and play no defense.

    Good to see Jackson have the team run. Maybe his read this blog. Just hope it lasts the rest of the season. With Blake at PG and JON on the second unit, it’s definitely stronger.

    Glad that we agree that Crawford a mess at SG. And his shooting so often is a downer. His palming the ball twice was scary.

    Either Bazemore or Brooks are better than Crawford is.

    One of the things that Nellie always do was to place his center near the rim on defense. Bogut plays some distance away, JON less so. Nevertheless both are not rim defenders and such is very obvious. Hopefully Jackson will read this post

    One might think I would be pushing my chest out after M. Brooks went off last night for the Lakers by shooting 9-13 from the field, making the three three’s he took, playing the entire fourth quarter, and scoring 23 points in the game against the Kings.

    But I won’t because this was the first time that I saw Brooks play significant minutes since I first saw him play four years ago for the Nets and in his recent short stints on the court for the Warriors. What I witnessed was an impressive offense both taking jump shots and taking it to the hoop. What I disliked is what has been pointed out by bloggers, namely that his defense is horrific. He plays his opponents at weird angles, not necessarily between his opponent and the basket, plays flat- footed, and doesn’t move his feet. One can only hope that Kobe takes notice and gives him some defensive lessons. He has the ability to play defense but needs some serious coaching.

    • I’m not surprised that Brooks is lighting it up in MDA’s system, but I’m very surprised that he’s hitting every three he’s taking, as he’s not supposed to have that shot.

  4. The haiku were great! And we needed something to make us see this season afresh, which has taxed us with its uncertainty and indecision. But we expect you now to top this performance before long!

    I’m going to think good thoughts about Crawford. 2 guard is his best shot for helping the team, but he should have plenty of opportunity to make plays as well. Here’s hoping Blake can bring him out.

    GSW absolutely has to keep Blake next season, and start looking for someone to bring up and take his place. Something they should have done three years ago.

  5. fuzzy dunlop

    Curry bounces back from his worst game of the season, Thompson has his weekly good shooting night, Iguodala continues to look terrible offensively and Barnes flashes his dazzling potential as a mediocre role player. Oh, and that dish by Blake to Oneal was outstanding. Overall the Knicks are so bad that it’s hard to take any real encouragement from this win after the Bulls game. On to the next one.

  6. OK, I’m going to try my hand at a familiar feltbot theme with the traditional 5, 7, 5 syllable Haiku:

    O, Warriors braintrust
    Smallball is the winner’s way
    What blinds your eyes?

    Curry and Thompson
    Lee, Iguodala and Green
    Golden State beatdown

    Don Nelson in Maui
    The winningest coach ever
    I’d give my left nut…

  7. What can be learned from D’Antoni and his misfits?

    Last night Meeks, Farmar, Bazemore, and Brooks scored 87 points. Meeks was 8-8, Farmar 9-14, Brooks 9-13, and Bazemore 5-11. Collectively they shot 74% and 16-20, 80% on 3s. And collectively they draw about $4.4 m in salary, or 31% of Bogut’s current salary and about one and a half times as much as Barnes’, on whom the Warriors are banking their future.

    Sacramento, of course, is in disarray, but I assume Malone tried to defend them. I didn’t watch the game, but it’s also safe to assume the Lakers moved the ball around, pushed the pace, spread the floor, and, with so many options on the perimeter, all got plenty of open looks.

    The 3 point shooting of all four has improved this season, in Meeks’ case, from 36 to 40%. The causes are obvious: they are getting good looks and they are allowed to take more 3s each game so they can get into a rhythm and build confidence in their stroke.

    The obvious lesson is that the Warriors would benefit from doing something similar. None of the four is nearly as good a shooter as Klay or Steph, yet Klay is struggling, and FB has outlined the cure above. Steph has forced a lot of bad shots as well. Both would benefit from opening up and spreading the offense, so let’s get Blake and Crawford into the act.

    It’s the system.

    There are better—and more affordable—ways to maximize the talents on this team.

  8. I see Silver and the NBA have objected to LBJ’s black mask. I suggest he be forced to wear a white mask, which might better suit them.

  9. Marshon Brooks shooting his three’s at a high rate is really no surprise. As his rookie year playing for the Nets when he on the court a lot, he shot 37 percent. He’s outstanding offensive performances for the Lakers so far seem less to do with the system than his own offensive game from all areas on the perimeter, driving to the hoop in the half court game on his own, not from any set plays, and scoring even though being confronted inside.

    Farmar and Meeks were just lights out shooting a plethora of three’s. I believe they tied or broke their record for most three’s in a game.

    Didn’t Melo hurt his hand at some point last night, yet continued shooting?

  10. Here we go:

  11. Need to depart from basketball for a moment and briefly address the the crisis in the Ukraine.

    Why is the US is supporting a coup that overthrew a democratically elected President in Ukraine? A coup led by a political party that supported the Nazi’s fighting against both the Russians and US during WW II. President Obama in recognizing such coup, undercuts our own democratic values that President Obama often speaks of. We have a mainstream press that downplays that a democratically elected government has been overthrown. Didn’t Russia’s agreement not to military interfere with Ukraine presuppose that only democratic government’s will be in place? Don’t know whether democratic elected government was good or bad. On initial day of demonstrations both police and demonstrators shot at each other. So both sides had guns. Who started the shooting still not clear.

    Seems we just want a regime that will do more business in Europe and be more pro-US. And if US covertly supported the overthrow which we don’t know, such would be empire building.

    • Ukraine has oil. They align with Russia, Russia has the oil. They have a fascist/nazi/corporatist regime…well, we can do business with that!

      Just a theory.

      • “We’re all Ukrainians now.” – John McCain

        “There will be consequences.” – Barack Obama

        “Follow the money.” – attributed to Deep Throat.

  12. It should be noted that Russia signed an agreement allowing for a one year period in which the President would stay in play while there was transition to a new government with the forces that were overthrowing the President and the next day those same forces overthrew the President.

    Are not the people in the region who still support the elected President and are pro-Russian not entitled to some physical protection from those who overthrew the government? Putin sending military forces in to protect these people does not seem like a black and white issue as presented by our leaders and the press.

    Even if the people wanted to join the EU, then they should have voted the President out. But they were not given a chance to do so. The pro Nazi forces merely overthrew the government that we now support. Makes our support for people electing national leaders as being a worthless claim. The world we live in. Enough said.

  13. Lineup update.

    Curry/Klay/Iggy/Dray/Lee (100 min; 197 poss) ORTG = 123 DRTG = 92 NET = +31 per 100 poss

    • Surprisingly to me:

      Curry/Klay/Iggy/Barnes/Lee (65 min; 100 poss) ORTG = 141 DRTG = 100

      NET = +41 per 100

      • Interesting! How do you explain that, EZ?

        Is Barnes > Green? Small sample size? Is it a situational thing? A blip in the O and D ratings? How about Iggy in place of Barnes?

        Also, I’ve always assumed that NBA teams average roughly 100 possessions/game, but your 2nd sample shows 100 possessions in about 1.3 games. That’s a very slow pace, suggestive of a half-court grind-it-out defensive battle, a scenario in which I picture Barnes as a liability. But it sure does look effective. What’s up with that? Is this a defensive team? Is Barnes a killer defender?

        • that’s not a small sample size disparity (100 : 65 min.) so don’t jump to conclusions, except that barnes shoots 3’s better than green, and those lineups will open the court for them. barnes seems suited for a specialist role — the lineup with curry + three wings(barnes) + lee isn’t likely to be as sustainable defensively against the range of lineups compared to the lee + green +curry -based combinations. and the preacher loves bogut and o’neal which will limit all the lee-center line ups.

        • warriorsablaze

          I would say it shows that Barnes is effective as a small ball 4… as pretty much everyone but Mark Jackson have been saying since the playoffs. Perhaps teams guard Barnes on the perimeter more than they do Green…. spreading the floor more for Curry and others to operate.

          In that lineup, Barnes is unlikely to be taking the horrid post up ISO shots…. he’ll be relegated to spot up corner 3’s and beating bigger 4’s off the dribble. Pretty much the only consistently useful offensive skills he brings at the moment.

          • fans who like repeating the ‘barnes @ 4′ mantra should also consider how critical defensive rebounding is to the woeyr defense. as a team they’re second in total boards and defensive boards. those rankings are a bit deceptive because they rank in the middle as far as suppressing the opponents on both sides. should barnes play most of his minutes at the 4, in the 26-30 min./gm. the preacher favors, it wouldn’t just change the character of the offense. we only see a 65 min. sample when it functioned well in the lineup cited above.

        • Just from observation and I could be wrong but Barnes gets first chance to sub and plays way more minutes against the lesser competition than Green and then stays in the end for blow outs. Green minutes don’t increase as much in blow outs. Anyway, if we can filter those numbers against playoff teams and non playoff teams, may be we get a accurate picture.

  14. Small ball has only been played sparingly and often with not very good success this year. Interested to know what teams are these line-ups playing against and whether opponents first team are on the court?

    • That is a very relevant question.

      • Right. Given that the Barnes lineup represents only about 1.3 games total playing time, I suspect its outstanding ORtg is the result of favorable game situations, not the cause.

        • If the minutes for the Barnes lineup always came at the end of blowouts, it would explain the huge +, and also the extremely slow pace.

  15. Two questions:

    1. Why was Hilton Armstrong brought up (and Santa Cruz seems to be doing fine without him)?

    2. Why wasn’t he played in the blowup last night?

    And I assume they will let him go when his contract expires in the next day or so, or maybe given 10 more days as insurance? Why?

    Reggie Williams watch: last Friday 27 points, 12-18, 3-5 on 3’s, 4 assists, 9 boards, 2 steals.

    He’s missed some games, I assume because of injury? But imagine a backup unit of Blake, Williams, Crawford, plus some combination of Green, O’Neal, and Speights (and Reggie could take Crawford’s place).

    Imagine Barnes delighting the fans with his dunks in Santa Cruz.

  16. just checked the W’s remaining schedule – 52 wins best scenario, 50 wins if they play well, 48 wins locked up. They should be able to avoid OKC, their worst 1st round match-up…

    still scratching my head over Iggy. why does he look so marginal for an all-star olympian? he’s virtually invisible for long stretches of games, and his defense is not up to his old standards. I know he takes a back seat to Steph but he has not given the team what i expected/hoped for (at least since his “injury”). If his injury is affecting him this badly he needs more rest ASAP
    I agree with many of feltbots comments on the W’s. Some of them seem pretty obvious. Its easy to troll but i just dont see much flexibility w/ the teams coaching.
    I dont know if nellie vs. MJackson but he had a philosophy and i dont see anything with MJ other than platitudes. How would you define his coaching? W/ nellie it was mismatches and running. Thibodeaux defense and sets. Pop discipline and rotations. Even guys like adelman (offensive inside-n-out) and brett brown of the 76ers (zone d adherent) seem to have a scheme. While its symbiotic and often players make the coach and I fear most W’s success is due to the players.
    i would love to have traded Barnes for evan turner but it didnt make sense for the 6ers $-wise, their main concern right now. Wouldve thrown in Crawford.
    Iggy (and of course team health) key to W’s offseason hopes. Having a top 5 NBA player always give you a chance. There is no one more effective night in and out in the league than Curry other than LeBron and Durant

    • The Ws won 47 games last year. If they win only 48-50 games this season, I think there will be consequences.

      On the basis of wins/payroll $, I was surprised to see that the Ws are right on track with last year:

      Last year $70,699,736
      This year $72,321,813

      Lacob can’t complain about his return on salary investment, but coming in just a couple of wins over last year – with this year’s roster – is not OK. Whether or not Myers is a “real” GM, he has done a purely fantastic job of shedding bad deals and bringing in new talent. This season’s roster is a lot stronger than last year’s.

      If Jackson can’t get significantly better results with this crew, not even Lacob could believe he’s a good coach.

      I have always thought that Jackson was the weak link for our team, so I have mixed feelings about this season’s wins. If Jackson wins, he stays, and we get more stupid coaching next year too. If he doesn’t win, he goes, and we might get a real coach to bring the team up to its full potential. But what fan ever likes to see their team to lose?

  17. The Sloan Conference is in progress:

    http://www.sloansportsconference.com

    One thing I note from a quick glance is that very few speakers are involved with actual experience in the game—coaches, veteran GMs, or players. These guys are busy now, of course, but it seems to me their input might be valuable and they might be consulted at a later time.

    I would argue that the most important factor in building a winning franchise, barring extraordinary luck in the draft, is to have a good organization. Specifically, it should:

    1. Have experienced scouts and GMs who can find and evaluate talent, as might fit within the overall system of a team.

    2. Have an experienced coach who can co-ordinate players within the system and make quick, informed game-time decisions, as well as provide input to #1.

    3. Have a training staff to develop those players and fit them into the system.

    4. Have an owner and other FO who can co-ordinate 1-3 and manage the cap to meet those needs and keep it flexible for development during a season and over the long term.

    The best designed organization has the greatest chance to succeed. It is the most important factor in predicting and maintaining that success, more important than anything all those cameras catch, the massive data they have accumulated, the proliferation of abstruse papers that attempt to make sense of them.

    San Antonio, of course, would rate very high.

    The Warriors?

    But you won’t find any presentations that do that, for reasons that might be worth a Sloan presentation itself. The owners, for one thing, would pull out, as might the NBA itself. They wouldn’t pay for all those cameras in all the arenas that feed all those reports.

    Bob Myers, btw, will speak on the Iguodala trade in a panel “The Science of the Deal,” a nice appropriation of the word science.

  18. Mark Jackson simply gave this Raptors game away with an amateurish game plan. My comments on Twitter.

  19. Toronto, aside from FB’s tweets—

    O’Neal would have made a difference in this game, giving them another inside option and more mobility on defense.

    What is the point of having a bench if you don’t use them? Curry looked tanked 4th. Q and Lee was showing signs. The game was close at the end of the 3rd., close enough to give the subs a shot, who did well 1st. half.

    With Iguodala not shooting and Klay off, they don’t have many offensive options left crunch time. They’ve got to get their other scorers going, Crawford and Speights. They’ll need them from here on out.

    31 points for Reggie Williams this afternoon, 10-20, 6-10 on 3s, 8 boards, 4 assists, and 2 steals.

    • Where is Reggie playing?

      He is so much better than Jordan Crawford it’s not funny. Speaking of which, it seems that Jackson has realized just how bad Crawford is at the two, and has lost faith in him. 6 minutes in this game.

      • Tulsa 66ers

        He’s missed some games—and the NBA d-league All Star game—and I haven’t yet found out why. Injury? But he played 43 minutes in this game today:

        http://www.nba.com/dleague/games/20140302/RGVTUL/gameinfo.html#nbaGIboxscore

        A 10 day rental would hurt nothing. He’d get up to speed in a few days with Steph and Blake.

        Assuming, of course, you have a coach who would let up and play him.

        I’d much rather see him on the court than Crawford or Barnes. Green could easily help fill in on defense, but he can’t be much worse than those two, can he? And I’d take him over Jimmer, whom the Bulls just picked up. A player with his talents could have turned many games around, including tonight’s. He would pick up pace, scoring, and ball movement, all things they need.

        • You have to wonder why other teams have passed on him. Then again, everyone but Nelson passed on him several years ago.

        • “…he can’t be much worse than those two, can he?”

          Oh yes. Incredible but true: at his best, Reggie was worse on D than Barnes. On the Ws, Reggie was a welcome mat. And that was several surgeries ago.

          • Do you have recent info on his injuries? I can’t find it.

            And I don’t buy it. Look at who he had to play with while with the Warriors. I can’t believe he couldn’t be put on an adequate defensive squad, that he wouldn’t get boards and steals, as he did today.

          • Why do you imagine a fine scorer like Reggie never got much NBA playing time?

          • Ans.:

            In most situations, Reggie was a net liability.

          • Must be a different Reggie. With the right coach, the one I saw was a tremendous asset.

          • Under Keith Smart, Reggie was the Ws best overall shooter (over .500 from 2, .423 from 3). Better than Curry! But RW played only 20 min./game for Smart. Last season he averaged only 9 min./game. For Charlotte. When he could play at all.

            Sorry to break it to you, rgg, but Reggie at his best, several injuries ago, was the worst defender on a defensively very poor Keith Smart team. Then that NBA powerhouse Charlotte gave him a fancy mid-level contract and played him… even less than Smart did.

            Because RW reeks on defense.

            There is no mystery here. Everyone knows Reggie and what he can and cannot do. Except you, apparently.

          • Tell me again, Hat, why Dunlap and Smart were such good coaches.

  20. fuzzy dunlop

    -WTF was Jackson thinking playing Curry the entire second half?! And many of those minutes were wasted with him exhausted and playing passively off ball next to Blake. Sheer stupidity. Overall not much to complain about with Curry, the 6 TOs weren’t pretty but only 2 came on bad passes. Still like his trajectory as an improving playmaker. Tried to will the Warriors to victory but came up short.
    -To say that Lee struggles against length and athleticism is an understatement…Not surprising given his limitations, but he’s not doing himself any favors by avoiding pump fakes like the plague and instead relying on that stupid flailing flop of his which never gets called. Really baffling from such a smart offensive player. His help defense was atrocious as always.
    -Thomspon proving that he is nothing more than an average starting SG, so basically a slightly below average starter in this league. Can’t do anything offensively but score and doesn’t even do that on above average efficiency.
    -Iguodala played 30 minutes and took 4 shots. His outside shot is becoming almost comically bad.

    Big picure: Jackson’s inanities aside, there just isn’t enough offensive talent on this roster. I believe Curry can be this generation’s Nash and lead truly great offensive teams, but not with this roster.

    • “Jackson’s inanities aside, there just isn’t enough offensive talent on this roster.”

      A team with Curry, Iggy and Lee – 3 guys who can each single-handedly take over games – doesn’t have enough offensive talent? Most teams don’t even have one star player with that ability.

      Thompson, a good defender and career .400+ 3-pt shooter, is a below average player overall? OK, try this, FD: picture the team losing Thompson for the rest of the season. Ouch, right?

      In reality, there aren’t many teams that have more total combined offensive talent than the Ws. That ass Jackson doesn’t have a clue what to do with it. He has them running plays for Barnes. As if that would work.

      • fuzzy dunlop

        -Curry is the only one of those three capable of “taking over games” with any consistency. Iguodala isn’t even an above average offensive player in his current state. Lee is better, but he’s the type of player that feasts on poor defenses and really struggles against good ones (not all scorers are like that BTW if that’s what you’re thinking).
        -Well of course losing Thompson out of the blue and getting nothing back would hurt- starters don’t grow on trees. But again, he’s a guy who scores 18 PPG on average efficiency, can’t create his own shot, can’t facilitate in any meaningful way, rebounds like he’s 5`11, plays solid on ball D (and picks up tougher assignments to cover for Curry) but has poor defensive awareness and fouls excessively. Sounds like a league average starting SG to me. What am I missing?

        • FD, I haven’t researched this, but I’d guess that less than 20% of active NBA players have ever scored 30+ points in an NBA game. The Ws have 4 starters who have done that. Crawford has also. Blake and Barnes have come close.

          Thompson’s highest-scoring game was 38 points. Again, I haven’t researched this, but my impression is that that is simply beyond the capability of most NBA players. Thompson did it without being the primary ballhandler, which makes it even more rare.

          This season Thompson is shooting about the league average fg% (.443 vs. the league average .452), but far above average on 3s (.405 vs. .359). Note that the league averages are for all players, including bigs who routinely shoot over .500. As a 2 guard, those are some pretty fantastic shooting numbers.

          Thompson’s defense may not be up to the standard of Iggy or Green, but he almost always gets the toughest guard assignment and plays extensive minutes. He’s averaging 2.9 fouls/game. Curry averages 2.6 fouls with easier defensive assignments. So Thompson’s not doing badly, fouls-wise. He doesn’t get many rebounds, but that’s not his role. He’s a perimeter player with critical defensive assignments. He is not free to drop his man and chase rebounds.

          Offensively, the Warriors roster as a whole is hugely talented, and that includes Thompson. The question isn’t whether the players on this team can score. They’ve all proven that they can.

          The question is “Why don’t they?”

          I think it’s because Jackson usually demands a slow, simple-minded offense that is not hard for opponents to figure out. He doesn’t adjust to game conditions (like traps on Curry). He calls isolation plays – tons of iso’s – which suspends a team offense to force a player to find his own shot.

          It’s the coach.

          • fuzzy dunlop

            -Terrence Ross has scored 51 points this year. Ariza went for 40 a couple days ago. You’d be surprised how many role players in this league could put up huge numbers if given free reign. But of course the larger point is that looking at single game scoring outbursts is a terrible way of gauging offensive prowess. In fact when a marginal player goes for 30 it’s more often than not a sign that something has gone wrong.
            -FG% is essentially useless, you need to look at EFG for field goal efficiency and TS for overall scoring efficiency. Thompson’s TS percentage is a shade above league average (0.542 vs o.538)…
            -You’re preaching to the choir when it comes to Jackson’s ineptitude, I’m not defending him. That doesn’t change my opinion that the Warriors’s level of offensive talent is grossly overrated though.

  21. Hoophype reporting that Curry let the cat of the bag by divulging that Warriors had trade of Iggy to Denver that fell through. Who would that have been for? They bring Iggy too soon back from injury and then try to trade him. Wow! Never saw that coming.

    • When? Source? Who would they have picked up from Denver?

    • Frank, if you recycle stuff that has little credibility or plausibility, it could affect your own. it doesn’t fit, on many levels, starting with its attribution to Curry.

    • The story had to do with the offseason, before the Utah deal.

      • ‘trade of Iggy to Denver’ were Frank’s words in describing the imagined deal.

        on July 1 of 2013 Iguodala was a free agent (via player option i.i.r.c.), and his first two publicized offers from teams were from Den and Sac, prior to the UT miracle. the only time ‘Iggy to Denver’ can be describing a trade would be the deal that sent him there before he became a free agent, when he was under contract to Phi, or this winter when the ‘freeze’ period for new players expired and theoretically Lacob might have dealt him.

        • Could be another sign and trade deal that feel through after July 1st before the actual sign and trade for Iguodala.

  22. @17

    What a difference a competent GM makes. Look what Ujiri has done with the Raptors.

    • Look what Myers/Lacob has done for the Warriors.

      • I am. It is beyond me why you praise mediocrity. This is a hack organization.

        • To quote EZ, no points for improvement then?

          In Lacob’s first year as owner, the team roster included Gadzuric, Radmanovic, Bell, Carney, Biedrins, Law, Reggie Williams, Al Thornton and Lou Amundson. 3 years later, 7 of those guys are out of the league, with the 8th (Biedrins) following ASAP. That’s 8 losing players out of a possible 15.

          That season’s team also included, at times: Udoh, Brandan Wright, Jeff Adrien and Dorell Wright. All of them career backup players.

          rgg, my friend, that’s 11 seriously flawed ball players. Show me 11 Warriors from this year’s squad who couldn’t possibly play as a starter on an average (.500) NBA team. Despite your prejudices, Barnes doesn’t qualify. He was a starter last year on a winning team.

          QED.

          Considering where he started from, Myers has done an astonishingly amazingly superbly excellent job of assembling a winning roster. Your problem seems to be that it’s not an astonishingly amazingly superbly excellently incredibly superhuman – and thrifty – job.

          Maybe it’s time for you to reassess, rgg.

          Lacob doesn’t need to be thrifty. The majority of winning teams exceed the lux tax, even when they don’t expect a $billion handout from local governments. Lacob has good reason to believe his team is going to get – literally – handouts worth billions. Don’t worry about Lacob’s wallet.

          The team is not stuck with this roster. Deals can be made. Especially with an excellent deal maker at the wheel.

          You can’t envision the future of this roster. That’s not a liability, it’s an asset. For a deal maker.

          • +

            What warriors have is a very talented team, credit to Myers. Fix coaching situation in summer and dubs will be top 4 teams in western conference for years. Mediocre teams are the ones dubs have had for last 17- 18 years with the exception of We Believe year.

          • I’m slipping in the mud, Hat.

            Keep going. Make a list of all the players who have come and gone since Lacob took over (and Amundson was Lacob’s boy—he took direct credit), and note how many were worth keeping.

            I’m waiting.

            Note that the team was several years getting a legitimate backup point guard, and it’s not at all certain they’ll keep Blake, who is getting on in years, though they will really have to. Nor do they yet have a good two-way backup 4.

            And as we saw last night, they are short a full offensive squad.

            Now look at the current roster—only 6 players who might be considered serious players, Curry, Lee, Thompson, Green, Iguodala, and Bogut. Two of those have limited offensive abilities. Bogut, as he showed last night, is limited on offense and is only useful defensively in limited situations. We’re also holding our breath on his health the next three years. I want to include Ezeli, but we have no idea if he will return to full form. If you want to defend Barnes, have at it. The rest of the roster will disappear when their contracts run out, almost all because they’re no damn good. O’Neal, however, might be a good gamble.

            I don’t see much development of prospective talent at all on Meyers’ part.

            I’m not worried about Lacob’s money at all, or rather his ex wife’s and the NBA’s. I don’t especially admire it, however, as you seem to. I just note he isn’t spending it. More importantly, with the cap rules and his history of not going over it, they won’t have much room to make any major changes for the next two seasons.

            If Lacob and his brain trust had not inherited Curry and Lee, who have carried the team the past four years, as they have this year, this team would be floundering. I call this luck.

            If Utah did not pick up those horrible contracts, they’d be stuck in the bottom eight now. Do give Meyers credit, however, working the details of that miracle. I call this luck as well.

            It’s the coach, you say. No argument here. Then again, you have to consider what he’s been given to work with, especially with Barnes (Lacob’s pick) and the rest. Lacob has dictated the roster, and we have to assume Meyers and Riley followed it.

            It’s also hard not to criticize Jackson for not bringing out the players they got, especially Speights, whose role was critical, although none have performed well. But why did Meyers and the others select them? How did they envision their working into the team? Did they have a plan? What was it? If so, did Jackson follow it? If Jackson isn’t following it, has there been any discussion? I don’t see much brainwork or coordination within the FO here.

            Lacob has made it clear what kind of team he wants, however incoherently, bigger and more defensive minded.

            Joe Lacob:
            “I hate to say this, but the owner matters. … Our plan, our mind-set was not Don Nelson kind of basketball. We wanted to start with our own people and build it from scratch. We didn’t want any remnants.”

            It doesn’t sound like he wants to push the tempo or spread the floor or make use of the talent he has.

            Who will he pick next, who follows his mandate, and why do you have confidence he will make a good choice?

  23. Berdj Joseph Rassam

    The real issue for the Warriors are not the low-level teams like the Knicks, but the upper-level teams – we have not done very well this season against the upper echelon teams.

  24. Felty: You’re right. I misread the post on Hoophype dated March 1, 2014. It referred Curry saying that there was a possible trade for Iggy with Denver prior to his signing. My apologies to all.

  25. I love Draymond, but someone needs to tell him to turn all of his mid-range jumpers into 3-pt attempts.

    To wit, Draymond is shooting 31.2% on 109 mid-range jumpers inside the arc, and 29.4% on 109 attempts beyond the arc. You do not need to be Daryl Morey to know that the 3-pt shots are equivalent to about 45%, which is world’s better than he’s shooting on mid-range shots.

    If he were on the Rockets, he would not shoot a single mid-range jumper. I can guaran-goddam-tee you that, folks.

    • You are 100% right about this. And in general, I would guess that the Warriors are among the league leaders in shooting long twos.

  26. I don’t know anything about the Toronto owner, but he did have the sense to hire a coach with long experience, Casey, who was with Seattle when they won 4 division titles and studied under Carlisle at Dallas for two seasons, including the year they won the title. (There is also something about a scandal at Kentucky, which is ambiguous.) He sure looked like he knew what he was doing last night.

    The owner also had the sense to hire Ujiri, who turned Toronto around in just one season, from a .415 team last year to one currently at .559. He has shed bad contracts and bad players, as he did at Denver (Melo), and kept the team competitive. The team has also managed to find and draft real talent. They are filled in nicely down the roster. They are not locked into any large or bad contracts, and are poised only to get better.

    This is how to build an organization.

    Joe Lacob?

  27. Lee + Barnes + Speights -> Melo

    If it were possible, would you do it?

    • Throw in Curry and I’m on board. I would have good reason not to watch this team and spend my time elsewhere.

      • Melo would draw the opponent’s best defenders, or maybe not. Either way, Melo + Curry would be a dominant offensive tandem.

        I’d like to see it.

    • fuzzy dunlop

      Duh.

      (Caught the Knicks Bulls game last night. Really underscores how meaningless that win against them was. But OTOH they’re really terrific at being terrible. So much more entertaining than the other bottom feeding teams.)

    • fuzzy dunlop

      Oh and I’d like to think you added Speights not as a salary matching filler but because you too recognize that he is literally the platonic ideal of a Knicks player. It’s meant to be!

    • Speaking as a devout pacifist, I would nuke entire cities to make that deal.

      • If ‘Melo announces his intention to leave the Knicks, I don’t see any other NBA team being able to assemble a better offer than that.

        I don’t want to get into Lee’s Total Team Contribution and I’m bored with bashing Barnes. Those issues become moot the instant they’re traded away.

        Melo with Curry/Thompson/Iggy. The mind reels.

        • But…

          Ya gotta have an actual coach who actually knows how to get the most from his players. Actually.

          It’s all too easy for us fans to assume that talent is everything necessary. That’s not actually the case.

          Ref. this season’s San Antonio, Phoenix and Indiana.
          Ref. Detroit World Champions.
          Ref. Dallas World Champions.

    • Before this year I wouldn’t have done but this year Melo is battling and battling hard as evident from his rebounding numbers. I would like this deal for that Curry, Iguodala and Bogut can make Melo instantly better and vice versa but Warriors will be thin on bench with 3 for 1 trade.

    • Melo. Sigh. The world is coming to an end.

      • I’m with u, rgg. I’ll find another team to watch.

        • Isn’t Melo the stretch 4 you’ve always wanted?

        • fuzzy dunlop

          Wow. As if the sheer gap in talent between Melo and Lee wasn’t enough, we’re talking about getting Green more minutes and ridding ourselves of Speights. THAT would cause you to stop watching?

          Of course it’s never going to happen, but still.

          • Seriously. Now you’d roll into the playoffs with JON/Green/Blake your 6-8 in the rotation and there would be literally no issues with minutes not being managed correctly. Even Mark Jackson could not screw that up!

  28. For being such a great shooter, Klay sure misses a lot of shots.

    It’s getting hard to watch him curl off a pick and fire up jumper after jumper with only a glimpse of the rim.

    DeRozan much more impressive. Real improvement.

    • Yeah, more often than not .405 from 3 (a fantastic average from there) results in a critical miss in crunch time. So maybe the team should have a way to get high % shots in crunch time. Tell Mark Jackson.

      • Klay, at this point is catch and shoot player. Have him move off the ball, get to a position to catch and shoot and he is very good. Have him handle the ball as coach unwisely had him with the bench early in the season or have him drive where he is poor finisher, he will hurt team. He can improve but may be in summer for now hope his designated role will be catch and shoot for rest of the season.

  29. @ rgg #23

    Basketball wins happen in a series of instants faster than thought. But NBA contracts run for years. Development of potentially NBA-capable players takes even longer, and is fraught with pitfalls.

    A GM interested in winning can hire winners, or not. He can’t predict how a player will develop, or fail, or get injured.

    Win today or don’t win today. Tomorrow is tomorrow’s challenge. A GM can staff up to win today, or he can accept near-term losses for the hope of a shiny future. Those are the only alternatives.

    I don’t have any problem whatsoever with Lacob/Myers’ choice to win today. Just curious: why would you?

    • It’s a casual observation, but I seldom see much connection between your comments and mine.

      Sounds like a cover for ineptitude to me. It would seem to me a GM could assess talent and make intelligent decisions about players. There will be winners and losers, but if they are patient and develop players and coordinate the whole organization, odds are good they’ll fill in a roster. Meyers hasn’t done this.

      And your sunny day theory doesn’t begin to explain the planning and intelligent decisions the Spurs have made over the last many seasons. Their bench beat our starters.

      And I don’t see how Lacob/Meyers have made a choice to win today. Sounds more like they’re going in the opposite direction.

      • Dude, Charles Jenkins was as good a bet as any GM could possibly make. He has it all. The most decorated college player in NY history, better than Earl Monroe or Mark Jackson. An incredible human being, able and willing to make extraordinary sacrifices in the name of basketball perfection. And a complete NBA washout who will never ever wear an NBA uniform again.

        As a GM, you take your best shot.

        I’d bet on Charles Jenkins the person anytime for anything.

        There are no sure things.

        Win today, or lose today. Tomorrow is for later.

        • Once again, I’m lost.

          • He’s just saying GM’s miss sometimes. I think the FO hit on Draymond and Klay, but that’s about it the last couple of years. And they had 6 picks? 33%. Not sure how that record compares to other GM’s, to be honest.

        • I just re-read my own post and think maybe I’m repeating a meme that doesn’t resonate with you, rgg. Maybe I keep re-iterating a concept that’s alien to your very nature.

          Here’s the simple version, hope it communicates:

          Three years ago, the Warriors had a roster that couldn’t even be considered “average.”

          This year the Warriors have a roster that could win the title. With a little luck. With some professional-grade, NBA-average coaching.

          Kudos to Myers and Lacob, today the team is not limited by the roster. Next up for consideration: the coach.

  30. (If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em?)

    Yes, Melo!

    Dump Lee!

    And maybe we cold trade Klay for J.R. Smith!

    Those two, with Bogut, the third best defensive center in the game, and I smell finals!

    And let’s get a real defensive coach this time! Woodson?

    It would be a Celtics/Lakers kind of thing.

    Just leave Curry out of this mess. He wouldn’t have anything to do.

    • “And maybe we cold trade Klay for J.R. Smith!”

      rgg, instead of inflammatory mocking, why not tell us *why* you would not do this deal. I have yet to see an actual explanation of how you think it would make the team worse.

    • fuzzy dunlop

      You seriously need to take a step back and look at Melo’s efficiency at his astronomical usage. He’s not an otherworldly talent in the realm of Lebron or Durant but he’s one tier below. Still miles better than Lee. And while he definitely falls on the “chuckier” side of the spectrum, comparing him to Smith is just dumb.

      • He also has an unbelievably low turnover % for someone who touches the ball so often.

        Not that we need help decreasing turnovers, amirite.

  31. From NYT article on Karl talking about Melo:
    ************
    ““Melo doesn’t get an A in that department — maybe not much more than a B-minus. It is, in a sense, the A.A.U. mind-set: We worked hard yesterday, maybe we can take a day off today. That’s why he really needs that player — the point guard or someone who takes on that role — to be the bridge from the coach to him.”

    Karl praised the impact of Chauncey Billups during the Denver Nuggets’ run to the Western Conference Finals in 2009.

    “He had that championship mentality from Detroit that my team didn’t have,” Karl said. “It’s hard to define what that actually is, but I think it’s a combination of things: the leadership, the calming of a locker room, the peer pressure of making sure the right stuff is being talked about.”

    In how that related to Anthony, Karl added, “He’s got to have that mental toughness around him for when he gets a little selfish.””
    ***********

    Seems to me like Curry as the PG and Jackson as the coach would be good pieces to surround Melo.

    • With you on Melo. Can work under a new coach someone of Phil Jackson caliber. Under coach Jax, he might coach Melo just as he is being coached now, i.e. call iso plays every possession. Despite high usage rate, he is having a good season and he improved rebounding a lot after being under achiever in that aspect of the game for entire career. He is currently hurting as a knick and he is hungry for wins, put him with unselfish players in Curry, Iguodala and Bogut, he will flourish. I can see warriors move to Tier I team. This is coming from a guy who thought Melo is inefficient and just a bigger Monta.

      In the end, I think he might stay back for more money and endure frustrating career but neverthless good thought. I would actually go after Kevin Love before Melo but endless possibilities with addition of either with the core of Curry, Iguodala and Bogut.

    • Melo has confidence. What he hasn’t had is confidence in his teammates.

      Melo on this Warriors team. Next to Curry/Thompson/Iggy. Gawd help me, I’m… awwww….wow….

    • cosmicballoon

      Melo seems like the type of player Jackson would like (ISO, ISO, ISO), but not the type of player Curry will flourish with.

      I think we are seeing the evolution of Curry from college shooting guard to NBA pg. Right now, he is still trying to figure out when to pick his spots and who to pass to. For some reason, Klay has not benefited from this process. Curry and Klay are not in sync this season in the way they were last year. I tend to attribute this lack of success to Jackson’s system. There is no reason to think that Klay or Curry would improve with Melo on the floor with them.

      • It’s actually possible that Melo will improve playing alongside Curry. In any case, he would give a huge lift to the non-Curry part of the team which is failing to do much of anything offensively.

        Melo always draws the opponent’s best defender, and if he did not with Curry, it would make him that much better on offense. It would be impossible to double team or blitz Curry with Melo on the floor. no coach in the league would play it that way.

        • fuzzy dunlop

          This. Really you can’t ask for an easier star to play with than Curry on the offensive side of the ball. Unselfish, equally good off and on ball, terrific passer. He’s being asked to carry a huge load when you factor in scoring and running the offense. There’s a reason it’s been about 20 years since someone has averaged 24 and 9. Bottom line: Anybody who can attract double teams consistently would benefit Curry enormously (and would of course benefit in turn from him).

          • cosmicballoon

            Fuzzy, in a vacuum, yes. Not for a championship-level basketball team that needs to have 4 to 5 players clicking together in order to get out of the west. Melo has earned the reputation as a black hole. He is playing at a high level this year, but look at where the Knicks are.

        • cosmicballoon

          I think you will see an even more stagnant offense with Melo on the floor, especially if he is playing with Bogut who clogs the lane.

          Additionally, isolations for Melo just mean fewer touches for Thompson and fewer opportunities for Iggy to make plays.

          The problem is not with personnel on this team. The problem is with how they are played. (Barnes should be at the 4, Lee in the 1st and 4th quarters should play 5, Crawford should always be at 1). Additionally now that Jackson has an actual back-up point guard, there is no reason to play Curry for an entire second half — that is clearly a breakdown in the offensive system, or lack thereof.

          Like I said, Melo would make Jackson’s job more simple — ISO, ISO, ISO. Terrible, non-winning basketball, but, it’s just about the best he can come up with. I wonder when Lacob will get tired of this simplistic approach to offense.

        • “It would be impossible to double team or blitz Curry…”

          I think you’re wrong about this. If it’s true that Melo will draw the opponent’s best defender, it would make no sense to use Melo as the screen setter, correct? It would simply get Curry guarded by the guy you don’t want guarding him. The object of the pick and roll is to pull rim-protectors out of the lane, and create mismatches. Melo as screen setter doesn’t accomplish that.

          Secondly, Melo is simply not a pick and roll player. Third, he would run into the same problem at the rim that David Lee does: Bogut’s man, camped in the lane. And unlike Lee, he’s a terrible passer in that situation.

          Now, if Melo’s not the screen-setter, and is simply spotted up off the ball, that leaves Bogut to set the screen, and we know what the deal is there: BLITZ.

      • Right on Mark Jackson coaching Melo, just calling isos all day. We had seen it with Monta. Melo trade will work only with coach not being Mark Jackson.

  32. Re Melo: I wrote a piece called Don’t Trade Stephen Curry that expressed my feelings about him. (He’s improved his 3 point shooting since then.) Check it out if u want. http://feltbot.com/2011/01/22/dont-trade-stephen-curry/

    That was written before he ran Jeremy Lin out of New York. Melo hated Linsanity, and not just because he hated Lin stealing the spotlight, and causing New Yorkers to start discussing the limitations of his own game. Melo hated Linsanity because Lin was an uptempo, pick and roll point guard. Melo hates playing off the ball, watching PNR and waiting for spot ups. He hates moving without the ball. He is a wing iso halfcourt player, who would force the Warriors to walk the ball up, and dump it into him in the mid-post.

    He also hates defending, and in fact is incapable of defending small forwards. Why do u think the Knicks are so much better with him at the four?

    So, what you guys are rooting for is a stretch-four who can’t guard threes, yet isn’t big enough to match up against most Western Conference power forwards. A guy who despite his inability to guard, will force the Warriors to slow the tempo. A guy who won’t want the Warriors to play pick and roll, and who will demand that the ball be taken out of Curry’s hands, particularly at the end of games. A guy who’s a ball-stopper, and a black hole, who would throw the same wrench in the Warriors ball movement that Barnes does when he’s iso’d. Over and over and over again.

    A guy who has never won anything, and never will win anything, because he makes his teammates worse, and has a very limited understanding of basketball outside what will line his own pockets.

    There were strong indications when Lacob took over the team, that he would have traded Curry for Melo at the drop of a hat. How would you feel about that trade? Well, trading Lee for Melo would have a very similar effect, because Curry’s uptempo, high pick and roll game are absolutely incompatible with Melo’s, slow the tempo, halfcourt, wing iso, no pass game. That’s what you guys want?

    No thanks. I love the Warriors high IQ, utterly unselfish, built for the open court and ball movement roster, and simply await the coach who knows how to use it.

    • fuzzy dunlop

      That’s a bunch of style over substance, narrative over numbers argumentation. You know which team has an ISO heavy, unimaginative offense? OKC. They also get away with starting a player whose contributions on the court consist mainly of fouling and scowling. Because they’re just that talented.

      Melo is so much better than Lee that this is a no brainer. I doubt he’d even be worse than Lee defensively at the 4. And what’s the worst that could happen in terms of ball movement? The Warriors become as over-reliant as the Knicks on ISOs? They’re second in the league anyway!

      Again, the trade proposed (perhaps in jest?) is completely unrealistic so it’s all moot, but I think this debate highlights a broader tendency of fans to overrate their favorite players.

      • 1) You’re dead wrong about OKC’s offense. Whether the initiator is Westbrook or Durant, they most often start the play with a high pick.

        2) Durant is one of the best facilitators in the league. When he gets double-teamed his teammates score. The very opposite of Melo.

        3) OKC is one of the most uptempo teams in the league. The very opposite of Melo.

        There is literally no rational comparison to be made between OKC’s offense and any offense that features Melo.

        As for defense, the idea that any Western Conference team would start Melo at the four is a complete joke. He can’t do it, and would flat out refuse to do it. He only took the job on for the Knicks this season because Stoudemire, Bargnani and KMart all got injured.

        And any team that has Melo at the THREE has a very significant defensive problem. As his stint on the Knicks has hammered home.

        • fuzzy dunlop

          -I never said anything about lack of pick and roll. The vast majority of Warrior possessions (especially with Curry in) start with a high screen. The problem is what happens when the initial action is stymied.
          -Durant has made tremendous strides as a facilitator. He’s waaay better than Melo ever will be. He also has legitimate options to pass to, which Melo lacks. You’re caricaturing Melo’s game in the extreme.
          -OKC is tied for 11 in pace. The warriors are fifth. Again with the narrative over numbers.
          -I wasn’t even attempting any stylistic comparison with OKC. I was making a point about overwhelming talent.
          -Saying someone is as good as Lee defensively and saying they’re good are completely different things. Lee is a historically bad defender.

          • You didn’t write this? “You know which team has an ISO heavy, unimaginative offense? OKC.”

            Pace is a garbage sausage stat that I refuse to discuss, because I don’t understand it. OKC is 7th in the league this season in fastbreak points, without Westbrook. 5th last season. The Warriors are currently 9th. The Knicks? DEAD LAST.

            http://www.teamrankings.com/nba/stat/fastbreak-points-per-game

            I do understand that.

            Regardless of what you believe about Lee, he is capable of taking the assignment against Griffin, Love, Aldridge, Randolph, Pau Gasol, etc.

            Melo, like Barnes and Green, is not. If the Warriors got Melo, they’d be forced to start him at the three, not the four. And knowing Lacob and Jackson’s obvious abhorrence of playing small, it’s unlikely he’d even get to play the four in crunchtime.

            You’re entitled to want what you want. And if you want Melo, so be it. But if you want to discuss it with me, it will be discussed in terms of reality, not fantasy.

          • fuzzy dunlop

            -I did, to make the point that OKC isn’t optimizing their talent. Did you think I brought up Perkins immediately after that to compare him to Bogut?
            -Pace is a “suasage stat”?! The formula is 48 * ((Tm Poss + Opp Poss) / (2 * (Tm MP / 5))). Ignoring it as measure of, well, pace of play is like ignoring TS as a measure of scoring efficiency.
            -I’m not wed to a high paced, Nelsonian playing style anyway with this roster. The Warriors are below average scoring in transition, which isn’t surprising because they lack explosive open court finishers (especially with Iguodala currently hampered). So what’s so sacred about pushing the pace?
            -Here’s a nice, in depth piece by Lowe that discusses the pros and cons of playing Melo at the 4:
            http://grantland.com/the-triangle/can-carmelo-anthony-really-play-power-forward-and-should-he/

            His conclusions are naturally more nuanced than “Do it!!” but the notion that it’s some laughable proposition is just uninformed.
            -I actually don’t want Melo for what the Knicks would ask for him. I want him for the complete joke of a deal that was discussed. I’ve emphasized that repeatedly.

          • another indication that ‘pace’ as measured or defined from the source you’re citing is probably flawed — there are nine teams that score more per game than GS (eight in the west plus Mia). even if pace is getting measured by the averaged elapsed time on the 24 sec. clock per offensive possession, placing fifth has little meaning without knowing the spread and differential between teams — there might be a mere three seconds between ranking fourth and eleventh.

          • cosmicballoon

            +100 Felty.

            The only thing I disagree with is that Melo has never won anything. He won the NCAA tournament with Syracuse. He was the scorer on a team with three great defenders and a strong leader at point guard.

          • Pace is defined by number of possessions, thus it is affected by a number of extraneous factors such as rebound %, TOs, steals, offensive fouls, offensive efficiency, etc. It is a hopelessly corrupt “sausage” stat that is almost impossible for me to decipher meaningfully.

            If you want to know whether a team pushes the tempo, watch the games. OKC and Durant push. The Knicks and Melo don’t. End of story.

            If you don’t watch the games, or don’t understand what you’re seeing, the best stat proxy in my opinion is fastbreak points.

          • fuzzy dunlop

            Fast break points fails to account for how the vast majority of possessions play themselves out. You’re completely ignoring whether a team tends to take shots with say 5 seconds left on the clock or 10. Neither of these will be classified as a “fast break” but that distinction clearly affects the number of possessions. It’s a bad stat for determining pace of play. But if you refuse to deal with advanced stats (most if not all of which are far more complex than number of possessions) then I guess I see why you’d prefer it…

    • warriorsablaze

      All in agreement here… while the idea of another high level scorer alongside Curry could do wonders for this team, Melo is simply the wrong style of player… the opposite style of game that Curry thrives in, as discussed above by Felt. Of course, Jackson seems to only want to half-heartedly and occasionally push the tempo, instead of winning games like PHX.

      No thanks on Melo.

    • I think Melo turned a corner this year. He is hustling a lot and close to the basket. Think, he will become a winner in warriors uniform but the downside is warriors will be what they are. Get a real coach that runs plays and I think he will work out. He is a great talent, less usage rate and better talent around him will make him an efficient player. From ’03 class, he is the only top 5 player who didn’t get ring(even Darko got one)), think he would be that player who wants to win over the individual accolades.

    • The offensive version of Draymond a few years ago.

    • warriorsablaze

      Would love to get Reggie back.

      • the preacher has shown a minimal capacity for utilizing specialized role players on his bench, perhaps a limited ability of the coaching staff to re-tune supporting cast members without a coherent system on offense, and it’s partly why bazemore and brooks resemble professional basketball players in LA again. he likes vets with very established games who understand their strengths, know how to apply them and fit them, like jack, landry, o’neal, blake. there’s probably a prejudice factor coming from a combination of lacob and his coach as well, and they probably look with disdain on players like williams and nate robinson (who otherwise is one of those vets who understands his own game and the team game).

        • cosmicballoon

          moto, I think Jackson has the prejudice you talk about. Lacob does not understand basketball enough to have the same. I bet he would take Baze and Brooks back in a heartbeat if they could provide the stats they are putting up in LA.

          I think Jackson has been whining to the FO about not having enough “established” players on his team, and Myers has catered to his complaints by signing guys who have proven themselves. Crawford and then Blake are the ultimate examples of this. They are two guys Jackson “can count on” to produce, rather than putting them in position to succeed.

          • a deficiency in understanding has never stood in the way of prejudices. among lacob’s biases — does a player seem suited to carry the woeyr brand in the marketing arena as a flag bearer (howard, barnes), or at least fit in and harmonize with the solid citizen amen chorus.

          • cosmicballoon

            You conveniently left out the Bogut signing which is clearly less about marketing and more about a style of play. The Bogut signing was completely on Lacob…who believes in his smallish basketball mind, that bigger is better in today’s NBA.

          • lacob’s simplistic hoops concepts and assumptions were included in my characterisation, ‘among lacob’s biases….’

            rgg, of course the preacher doesn’t know how to consistently tap the best from the players who’ve established what they are and know their bidness — generally they like him because he’s permissive. from many of the comments this season from the vets like iguodala, lee, bogut, they know they need to figure things out for themselves because only minimal help from the coaches is available. o’neal has essentially said it and just phrased it as positively as possible in terms of affirming player responsibility for results. the preacher is often passive on the sidelines during the games, and having vets he can trust suits him fine.

        • Perhaps you are being too polite here, moto. Jackson hasn’t shown sufficient ability to make use of the established players, either, not to the full extent of their talents.

          You have to wonder what discussions the brain trust had in acquiring players Jackson did not how to use—e.g. Speights, Douglas, and probably now Crawford, along with all the others in the past. Or maybe they aren’t just that good, in which case, why were they acquired? We’ll never know. Barnes is a case unto himself.

          But consider another possibility. It is quite possible that Smart and Jackson, given their directives from above and the rosters they have had to work with, that they have, in fact, performed as well as might have been expected. Which takes the conversation in another direction.

      • with those stats don’t seem like he’s injured anymore…

    • In reality, Reggie is gifted offensively but so bad on the other end of the floor that he’s been ignored by NBA GMs ever since his Charlotte contracted ended. Sorry, but that’s half a basketball player, Felt.

  33. EvanZ @31—

    Forgive my sharpness, and it wasn’t directed at you. But Melo has enjoyed quite a run here and elsewhere the last four years that it was surprising to see his name again. Feltbot, I see, has covered the subject well, to which I can only faintly add that in all his years with full, expensive rosters and three different coaches, Karl, D’Antoni, and Woodson, Melo teams have not performed well at all in the playoffs. One and done, I believe, with only one run to the Western finals?

    • The same could have been said about any member of the Warriors before last season. In general, I don’t like to use previous playoff history as an indicator of future success.

      I would prefer to frame each player on their own merits. Otherwise, should we try to sign Derek Fisher? I hear he’s won multiple championships. Or maybe Shannon Brown?

  34. Melo would be a huge crapshoot. His dark side may be stronger than his positive side. Just as Reggie Williams bright side (putting the ball in the hole) could overwhelm his negatives. You just don’t know til you try. How much would you have to give up for him? That is the key question.
    I don’t feel he would be a good fit with the W’s. At least the idealized Nellie-ball W’s.
    Quick thoughts on some W’s:
    Klay: Not a consistent sharpshooter. Guns way too much, as if he has blinders on. Hes durable but sometimes seem like a slow learner. I dont agree with Feltbot at all that he is a future all-star Would like to be wrong
    Barnes: No heart No cuts or motion on O, and his D is more posturing than effectiveness. I still feel his upside is Glenn Rice
    Crawford: Completely expendable in the right deal. I dont think he gets it.
    Blake: Positive contributor
    DLee: I’m not sure trading him for Melo straight upwould be a good trade. He has traits that lead to more wins than losses
    Green: Ditto. A keeper. Resign him
    iggy: a huge question mark and the x-factor. He can be fumble-fingered when the focus is on him, which is disturbing
    Bogut: How many more illegal screens will we see – 20? His pick and roll skills lack the roll. Hes a good rebounder and rim protector, and smart, but at this point needs to be on the floor in the right situations.

    Which brings us to the coach: feltbot preaching gospel here. Teamwork, movement and passing win ballgames. The W’s need controlled chaos. There is nothing with Mark Jackson. He is absolutely riding Stephs coattails and its maddening, Steph is peaking and wont be this vital forever, he is the key . I hope the org realizes this
    (Or maybe we win it all this year and keep MJ- is that the definition of a double edged sword!?)
    1 last comment. While all of the discusion and chest thumping over GMs, organizational philosophy and metrics have theie place, sometimes dumb luck figures in heavily too.
    Do you think the Phoenix Suns brass thought this years team would make the playoffs? W/ Plumlee, PJ Tucker and Gerald Green? No way in hell. They may brag about their master plan now but it is pure serendipity. Which is often another word for luck
    Go Wubs!

    • Thank you for those comments on DLee and “controlled chaos”. I couldn’t agree more.

      As for Phoenix, it could be dumb luck, or it could be a burgeoning coaching genius in Jeff Hornacek. Perfect system, giving his players the perfect amount of freedom. Allowing Gerald Green to be himself. I’m beyond impressed with the job he’s done.

  35. D’Antoni finally has the small ball team he wants, thanks to the superb wing defender the Lakers have added. Lakers small ball beat Portland in Portland. Bazemore with great D on Mathews and Batum, and 4-5 from three.

    I’m beyond sickened that Mark Jackson didn’t know what to do with him.

    • And the winning play for LA was smallball at its finest. Bazemore inbounding with 7 seconds on the clock. SF Wes Johnson scraped off PF Lamarcus Aldridge beating him to the hoop for a perfect alley-oop from Bazemore. Ball game.

      • And before that, Bazemore got the defensive rebound, leading to his assist on the alley-oop in-bounds plan.

        This is great for Bazaemore, terrible for me and the other warriors fans Bazemore is no longer a Warrior. Jeez, I almost want to say they should have traded Barnes for Blake instead of Bazemore.

      • And a John Stockton like back pick on L. Aldridge by Jordan Farmer, an underrated small ball player if there ever was one…

    • cosmicballoon

      I’m beyond sickened because MJax doesn’t know what to do with Klay! Klay has not suddenly lost his offensive acumen. MJax has not put him in position to succeed. It begs the questions, who else on the bench should be getting more minutes? And what style should this Warriors team actually be playing!?

      I think we already know the answer to those questions.

      • fuzzy dunlop

        Except Thompson has performed at (slightly better than) his career average. Sure, he’s been bricking a bunch of open jumpers lately, but that’s about the only difference I’ve noticed. And that’s hardly Jackson’s fault.

        The problem with this roster isn’t really players regressing, it’s players (other than Curry) not taking a step forward. And if Lacob and the rest are waiting for Thompson and Barnes to become more than role players, they’ll be waiting a long time.

        • cosmicballoon

          Career averages over a three year career. Has Thompson plateaued? The numbers don’t tell the whole story on Thompson this season, IMO. Thompson was on a career upswing, until Iggy went out earlier this season and Klay stopped getting open looks. Jackson has relied on him too heavily on defense this season, which negates the 4th quarter scoring flourishes we’ve seen in the past.

          I made an argument after Speights went off earlier this season that we had only seen two stellar performances from the bench this season. The Douglas game against San Antonio and the Speights game. It’s the same with the starters. We have seen only one stellar offensive performance from Thompson this season — the 38 point performance in the season opener. Thompson has been statistically similar to last season, yet we are not seeing improvement from him, like you would expect when Curry’s assist totals are increasing and he is drawing more defensive attention than ever before.

          Due to his offensive system, Jackson has not been able to punish teams when they attack him with an extra defender. Klay could and should be the benefactor of the Curry double teams, but he has rarely been.

          • your memory is quite discriminating. you won’t count the two games (possibly more) der Alte O’Neal was the catalyst for wins as ‘stellar performances from the bench’.

    • I think we have enough evidence to say Bazemore might be useful on a bench. I was among the loudest asking for his trade, but not without cause as he was so miserable at point. It’s amazing how bad a player can look when played out of position and/or in the wrong system. You have to wonder about the others.

      I’m not in a mood to qualify much for Jackson, but you have to consider how Bazemore might have developed had the decision not been made to try him at that position. It was obvious he wouldn’t work there in summer league. But the FO left him few options. I don’t think there was much hope for Douglas either, and the makeshift solution with the starters wasn’t adequate and put a strain on them. Would the season have been different had they started with an adequate backup point they had brought along the previous years? Hard to believe it wouldn’t have been. But that was never a priority.

      I’m probably riding this one too hard, but I can’t help wondering how the team might have developed had the team not committed itself to Barnes, specifically at the 3. Without him, the team would have been forced to develop Bazemore and the others, and they would have gotten his shots and minutes. The competition wasn’t steep the first four games, except for the Clippers, but the bench didn’t do badly those games when Barnes was out. I’m skeptical Barnes would have been much use at the 4, either, because of his passivity and low b-ball acumen, though I suppose they had to try that.

      • even with the draft picks a.randolph and b.wright their fans whined they weren’t given the right opportunities to learn and improve. those two didn’t receive close to the hype from the owner, marketing dept., stuff about future all star potential as barnes. as long as we’re consuming the woeyr brand of entertainment, we’re stuck with lacob’s rules and expectations, in this instance a healthy quota of guaranteed playing time for barnes.

  36. The way I see it too, from Kawakami:

    “…Can the Warriors win two rounds? No, not in this conference, not unless the Warriors turn into a very different team in the last few months of this very interesting season.”

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2014/03/01/the-warriors-in-the-stretch-run-dependent-on-curry-strong-on-defense-probably-too-limited-to-challenge-in-the-west/

    Basically a rehash of the concerns we’ve talked about here, though TK also points out that the Ws aren’t a young team team anymore.

    TK says that the offense is entirely dependent on Curry, and that’s a critical problem. He doesn’t mention that that is a coaching choice. We haven’t seen much point Iggy, and Blake has only spent a few minutes leading the starters. Point Klay or Dray are out too.

    Unfortunately, TK is probably right about the Ws playoff prospects. One series and out, because when the entire offense starts and ends with Curry, stopping it may not be exactly easy but it is not a mystery.

    On offense, Coach Jackson plays a one-note tune.

  37. Everything that has happened so far could and should have been predicted. Like so many problems, the present stagnation is caused by a congeries of smaller problems, compounded. Add pressure and fatigue as a season wears, and the problems grow worse.

    But the causes can all be subsumed under a general weakness in the organization: there is little collective intelligence guiding the team to deal with the pressures and challenges that occur throughout the course of a season, an intelligence based on insight and actual experience in coaching, managing, and assessing and selecting talent. These have to be subtle and complicated crafts for which not many have the talent and which can only be developed through years of hands-on experience and trial and error.

    Worse, there never was recognition that the team needed this intelligence, nor does there appear to be recognition now. When Lacob fired Nelson, the first thing he should have done was replace him with someone comparable. Instead, he strung out Smart for a year, then hired—

    Mark Jackson

    Jerry West on the preacher:

    “Mark is not a BS-er. I think you can challenge him. Just a helluva face of the franchise. To me it’s Joe putting his imprint on this brand. And I think he’ll continue to be aggressive and try to do what’s best for the franchise.”

    The first bad sign this year was when Jackson refused to take on a capable assistant after Malone left, as Feltbot reported. Malone by all appearances was competent. If anyone has something good to say about the current assistants, please pass it on. They don’t sound impressive.

    Jackson’s only experience on the floor, considerable, was as a player, with whatever he picked up from the coaches he played under, many quite good. But he never did a stint as an assistant even. And I’m curious how sharp Jackson is. If he does have potential, he’ll need time to develop it and not be put under arbitrary pressures, as he must be under now. But I’m skeptical. He looks to be inflexible and not especially inventive, and slow to react game time. Nor does he ever show intelligence in his sermons after the game.

    I’m also curious if there’s anyone in the organization who knows how to recognize intelligence and coaching potential. The evidence is not good.

    The other person with experience is—

    Larry Riley

    who has spent years scouting and assessing talent, testing which players might fit within a system, and doing so under a horribly problematic organization, which makes him hard to assess. He only scouts now, with limited range—he has no draft picks or trade pieces to work with now, and has to follow a narrow list of requirements passed down. I’m curious what he thought of Barnes—did we ever hear? Riley was demoted so—

    Bob Meyers

    could take over, who never played or coached or scouted for a NBA club before but, instead, was the agent for fairly minor players. There’s no reason to think he knows what he’s doing.

    Kirk Lacob

    his assistant, maybe next in line, loves basketball and stats.

    Joe Lacob

    himself has never shown anything more than hunches and biases he ill explains.

    As for Jerry West (on Jackson’s hire):

    “Listen, I try to explain it to everyone up there: I’m not going to step on anyone’s toes. Forget me, I think it was unanimous with the three people up there.”

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

    This will never be a successful organization until it becomes a competent organization.

    • Yikes, what a downer.

      Lacob’s not going anywhere.

      The team just went 5-2 since the AllStar break, much of it on the road. Try to enjoy, rgg.

      • Let’s say for the sake of argument that Jackson gets the axe sooner or later.

        Who’s out there that you want to see coach this team?

      • I believe you are the one who wants to dump the coach, Hat.

        • Right.

          rgg, if you have new facts or thoughts to toss out there, I’d love to see them. If it’s the same old ragging about the owner, well, speaking just for myself, I’d prefer to talk basketball, OK?

    • GooseLosGatos

      So what I’m hearing is Lacob is a crappy owner.

      Does anyone remember where the Warriors were just 3 years ago?

      Is it total coincidence that they are light-years from that dispair now in less than 3 years after new ownership..

      Fans tend to get myopic about teams even more when they have success.

      Forest from the trees…

      • What is gained by comparing Lacob to Cohan? Can the bar not be set higher?

        • GooseLosGatos

          Lacob has his faults like any new owner but to remake a roster in less than 2 years is impressive on any scale let alone having many pundits attach the word ‘contender’ to them (I’m not one of those people).

          Myers: yeah he has his faults too and is inexperienced but was a brilliant hire in my estimation. With the new CBA, teams have to think 3-4 moves ahead and Myers (as a former agent) acumen was on no better display in getting a #1 pick last year for 400k making 3 trades to do it within 30 minutes (I can’t think of another GM who could have pulled that off) aquiring role players (Blake for one) for next to nothing. And he’s not a basketball novice who was only an agent – remember he played 4 years at UCLA.

          Mark Jackson: the most important quality of a coach in the modern NBA where players have guaranteed contracts is getting your players to ‘play hard’ and ‘buy in.’ He may have outlived his usefulness but it was a good and daring initial coaching hire.

          Jerry West: it sure as hell can’t hurt bringing in arguably the greatest talent evaluator of all time. When Jerry West got to Memphis, he turned a small market franchise into a playoff team (they had never been) in 18 months. Jerry’s greatest brilliance though is knowing how to put the peripheral pieces/players in place to take a ‘good’ team and make it a ‘contending’ one.

          Are there things to nitpick about – of course. But of all the prospective owners who wanted to buy the Warriors how many would have the team where it is now in less than 3 frickin years? Saying you’ll do it is one thing and actually going it is entirely another…

          I’ll take my chances with Lacob thank you very much…

  38. Can’t complain about a win, though this wasn’t one of Indiana’s better nights and we broke previous odds with our shooters. Indiana made us play their game, but tonight we played it better than they.

    Happy, of course, to see Klay come through.

    Why on earth did coach wait so long to bring back Lee and Igoudala? 12 point lead—pfffft!

    Anybody know why O’Neal closed in place of Bogut? Not that I mind.

    All praise to the bench, including Barnes. But it’s hard to believe Blake can’t be put to better use with our size, hitting O’Neal on the run. Or Speights, who could have gone out on Scola as well as Green—and Green could have moved over on whomever else.

    • cosmicballoon

      We just saw Mark Jackson’s ideal game, including four straight post ups that saw a 12 point lead dwindle to 4.

      Curry getting pick-pocketed by George twice on the 4th didn’t help though.

      Great to see Klay get his confidence back. His 4th quarter was excellent on both ends.