Mokur Lives, Black Falcon Dies: Warriors 103 Magic 89 + Open Thread

With Bogut back on the shelf, it looks like the Warriors are going to be playing some Nellieball going forward. So of course, I’m scheduled to be out of town for the next 10 days. It looks like I’m going to be forced to miss the next 4 games, including the two big home games against the Grizzlies and the Spurs. I assume those are the teams that Jackson is resting Jermaine O’Neal up for.

I’ll leave this thread open, and look forward to reading some of you guys’ recaps for a change.

We got a look at a little smallball last night. Some observations:

Tempo: This was one of the rare games all season long where the Warriors really sought to push the tempo. They even ran it up a few times after made baskets, so I know they were serious. And then even Steve Blake pushed it up.

And then Pete Myers came out of the locker room at the half and told Frau Bucher (neigh!): “We didn’t push the ball enough.”

I confess, I did spit up a little Lagavulin at that.

Is there a reason why the Warriors don’t have this mindset, say, when Andre Iguodala is healthy?

Lee: I’m sure Lee felt Warriors fans’ eyes burning holes in his jersey, with Bogut out and him filling in at starting center. And in truth, there was very little he could do to slow down the highly skilled Vucevic. But he gave as good as he got on the other end. As blog friend rgg would say, isn’t that another form of defense? I, being perhaps slightly less metaphysical, would say it’s a two-way sport, and in general, Lee outplays opposing centers, particularly in crunchtime. As the stats of the Lee/Green frontline attest.

Vucevic, by the way, is a terrific young player, who’s been torturing conventional centers at the same rate. He’s got it all on offense, inside and out.

Once Mark Jackson broke down and let it happen, the Curry/Lee pick and roll was a sight to behold. If the Warriors have a more efficient offense than PNR with Lee at center and a spread floor, I would love to see it.

Curry: Ever see him look more comfortable out on the floor? It had something to do with the non-competitive Magic, but also a lot to do with the fact that he couldn’t be blitzed.

With a spread floor, Stephen Curry All-Star becomes Stephen Curry Superstar.

Thompson: Klay took a game off from the offensive aggressiveness we’ve seen from him lately, but that’s because he had it going from the outside. This is a very confident player we’re seeing right now.

Great pumpfake at 4:45 3Q to get himself to the line. I’d love to see more of that. I think he could pull it off 3 times a game if he wanted.

The defense was again superb. Afflalo probably didn’t feel like showing up. But Klay pushed him over the edge into quitting.

Green: Not one of his better offensive games.

But great on the boards, and when he does pull them down, he’s one of the best on the team at pushing the ball upcourt.

Mokur: We didn’t get to see him in the role I’ve been yearning for, stretch-five. And we never will, particularly if he doesn’t hit those threes he sneaks in every so often. Hit that shot, Mokur!

But we did see some of the stuff that I have been pointing out about his game, that Warriors fans are blind to: The rebounding and the rim defense. He’s above average at both, when played at his true position, center.

It should be noted that there is a big difference between playing Mokur with David Lee, and playing him with Jermaine ONeal. When played with Lee, he’s a center, and very useful. When played with O’Neal, he’s out of position at power forward, and godawful.

Bogut: I don’t think it’s a good sign that the Warriors allowed the use of the word “inflammation” rather than sticking with “sprain.”

I think it’s something of a miracle that Bogut lasted this long before the inflammation returned to his arthritic ankle. But now that it’s back, it’s going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to get it completely back out this season.

Hope I’m wrong.

So, 3 years $36 million? It couldn’t have waited?

Iggy: So now left-knee tendinitis. Another cost of bringing him back too soon from his hamstring injury.

So, 4 years $48 million for a 30 year old wing player? It’s funny that the same bloggers who set the internet ablaze over world champion Stephen Jackson’s contract, were over the moon about this one.

The Black Emu: His season is now verging on the historically bad. Do you realize that he’s shooting a flat 40% from the field? That is simply godawful for a small forward. And if he doesn’t give you offense, what does he give you? He’s not Draymond Green.

In NBA history, has a player of this caliber ever been given so much undeserved playing time? Ever caused his team to sacrifice so much in the name of his development?

Last season, the Warriors benched Richard Jefferson and Brandon Rush to rush Barnes’ development. This season, they lost Kent Bazemore — a far better defender, whatever his offensive skills are — and simply watched while their competitors in the Western Conference signed Danny Granger and Caron Butler and Austin Daye at the deadline. The stretch-four Daye is a reach, and probably simply organizational depth, but Granger and Butler have stepped right into the rotations of the Clippers and Thunder, and even now are much better players on both sides of the ball than Barnes. Think the Warriors could have used them? Why didn’t they compete for them?

I’ve been discussing Barnes’ limitations — to not a little heat — ever since the Warriors drafted him. But even I never thought it would be this bad. Jim Barnett has now resorted to basically saying, every time Barnes gets a favorable matchup, “Let’s see what Barnes can do against this guy.”

It should be clear to all by now that Barnes is a bust at small forward. Even if he improves considerably, his ceiling grades out to mediocrity on the offensive end, and worse than that on defense.

So why are the Warriors continuing to feature him? Continuing to strip their roster to protect him? Don’t think it hasn’t cost the team in a huge way. As we’re about to see in spades, with Iggy again sidelined.

This was Joe Lacob’s draft pick. Jerry West didn’t want him, saw the holes in his game. But Lacob, as he recently revealed in an interview with his Mercury News press agent, was simply overwhelmed by Barnes’ body, his athleticism, and not least, his great interview skills. (Lacob’s revelations reminded me, uncomfortably, of Ralph Barbieri’s infatuation with Chris Webber’s eyes. But at least Webber could play, when he felt like it.)

Has a sports franchise ever been so damaged by two interviews than those of Mark Jackson — whom West also didn’t want — and Harrison Barnes? Perhaps Lacob should consider putting someone other than himself in the room.

I have the feeling that Joe Lacob’s ego is on the line in a major way with Harrison Barnes. That Joe Lacob’s ego is responsible for Barnes’ continued place on the Warriors. And especially for the sacrifices to the team the Warriors have made, and are continuing to make.

How long will we have to see this play out?

The Anti-Barnes: I have been writing for some time about a player who at the time of the draft was obviously better than Barnes on both sides of the ball, and a better fit for the Warriors as well: The guy whom the Raptors snagged at #8, one spot after Barnes: Terrence Ross. Now that he’s emerged from Rudy Gay’s shadow, we’re seeing just how good a two-way pro Ross will be.

Everyone else is focused on Andre Drummond, but I can understand the reluctance to draft him. His character was in question, and even now he’s still a project, a long way from a winning basketball player. And the Warriors had already committed to Bogut, and a desire to win now.

But what about the young small forward we saw play last night, who was also drafted after Barnes, at #15? Like Terrence Ross, Mo Harkless is just emerging from a log jam at his position. And I think it’s a lock that he will also be a far better pro than Barnes. First and foremost because he’s a great, lockdown defender, which should be your first priority when drafting small forwards.

At 6-9, with long rangy arms, and fantastic defensive instincts, Harkless is a better defender now than Barnes can ever hope to be. 1.2 steals a game to Barnes’ .8. Tripling Barnes’ blocks. Did you see him cap Draymond Green at the rim at 7:10 3rd Q? He did it first by sniffing out the play, and leaving his own man to rotate early — something Barnes routinely fails at. The block was dessert.

The offense is still raw, but Harkless shoots the three at the same percentage as Barnes, and is over 45% from the field. And the upside… did you catch that lightning spin move he put on Green under the basket? The ball was through the basket before Draymond knew where he went.

Ross, Harkless. Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Tony Snell. Prototypical 3 and D wing players abound in the bottom of drafts.

Granger, Butler. Prototypical 3 and D wings are available in free agency and at the trade deadline. Cheap.

Kent Bazemore. Prototypical 3 and D wings are available in the D leagues.

Guys like these are what the Warriors desperately need, not 3 and no D, soft, handsome, well-spoken, self-branded primadonnas.

Hopefully, at some point Joe Lacob will swallow his pride, and allow this near-great Warriors team to really contend.

277 Responses to Mokur Lives, Black Falcon Dies: Warriors 103 Magic 89 + Open Thread

  1. GooseLosGatos

    Bill Simmons had a fantastic blurb on the Warriors today. Mentioned that every team in the conference can’t wait to get the Warriors in the first round amongst other tidbits.

    • cosmicballoon

      Why would EVERYONE, as Simmons says, want to play the Warriors in the first round. Sure, they have been inconsistent at times this season, especially on offense, but has he looked at what they have done since the AS break? And has he looked at their road record? I don’t quite get it — Roaracle has definitely lost some of its roar since Lacob bought the team and raised ticket prices, but it will certainly be rocking in there come playoffs.

      Finally, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to play the Warriors more than wanting to play the Mavericks.

      • how formidable do the woeyrs seem if iguodala and bogut aren’t healthy ? soft defense, with curry and thompson more vulnerable to defensive pressure. if the preacher has to use his reserves extensively, starts barnes, carlisle and Dal are pretty even with them. Orl and Mil playing in oaktown are barely a test against the currently depleted team.

        • cosmicballoon

          The assumption is that Iggy will be playing. Also, how is Curry more vulnerable to defensive pressure when Bogut is off the court? He can’t be blitzed with Lee at C rather than Bogut. Also, Thompson will be required to take on tougher defensive assignments, or just leave those to Green. It’s pretty clear that Green has become the Warriors best wing defender due to the Iggy injury, and Green’s maturation is making Iggy a little bit more expendable.

  2. “Guys like these are what the Warriors desperately need, not 3 and no D, soft, handsome, well-spoken, self-branded primadonnas.”

    Hahaha, classic.

  3. “In NBA history, has a player of this caliber ever been given so much undeserved playing time? Ever caused his team to sacrifice so much in the name of his development?”

    The list is pretty long. I’ll start with Evan Turner. Philly actually traded a prime Iguodala on a team that could have easily been top 3 in the East by now, so that Turner could “develop”. It never happened, and as I predicted when Hinkie took charge there, he made sure Turner wasn’t going to stick around past this season.

    • I personally think Turner is a much better player than Barnes. Better playmaker, better around the hoop, better rebounder.

      Pop must think so too, as the Spurs tried to make a deal for him at the deadline, according to reports I read.

      • “I personally think Turner is a much better player than Barnes.”

        Sadly, this could be true. Of course, Turner was a #2 pick so expectations are even higher.

  4. Harkless’ spin move is very predictable once you see him play. It’s the only thing I actually remember him doing in Summer League virtually every time he touched the ball. Next time Draymond faces Harkless, he will not let that happen again.

  5. From the tweets on your sidebar, FB:

    “Does anyone have a reference to point differential *variance* this season?”

    Yes, actually. We’ve been discussing it from a couple of different angles here.

  6. Felt,
    I love the blog and am as disappointed in Barnes as anyone, but he seems awfully humble to me at this stage of his career. Coming out every night alongside some of the most exciting offensive players in the game and failing has to be embarrassing. I don’t see how he plays himself out of these doldrums because his spirit looks broken but I’ll be damned if I don’t root hard for him every night. A confident Barnes totally upgrades the 2nd Unit and HB, if you’re reading this to see how bad Felt slagged you today, hit the boards, play lockdown, give up the body Defense like Draymond and help this team get somewhere in the Playoffs!

  7. Thompson’s resurgence and consistent shooting appears to have been been helped, in part, by his being rested more over the last 11 games he played. For in 6 of those games he was on the court less than 30 minutes well below his season’s averaged of playing in the high 30’s. I guess management read our posts. Also, plays have been installed that has shortened his route to the hoop which is resulted in his scoring inside.

    Lacob said he liked Barnes intelligence because he knew the names of all the player’s he played against in college. Obviously, that non- basketball factor, in part, led to his being drafted,and not Harkjess who I preferred.

    So, Nellieball and small ball is now is defined as a big playing with a shorter PF, or two shorter PF’s. Interesting. Think Nellie would be surprised by that definition.

  8. Kent Bazemore made 6 steals last night. I guess that’s pretty good defense.

    Makes me ill to think of Bazemore not on the Warriors anymore (at the wing).

    • I watched the 2nd. half last night. Bazemore looked downright poised. He’s in his element. One of the announcers made the point that he helps push the tempo. No wonder Jackson didn’t know what to do with him.

  9. There is no greater honor, FB, than being mentioned in the post above the comments.

    The Warriors have come from behind many times this season, often by great margin, I think setting a record here. Their stagnant offense has kept so-so teams in the game, even given them a chance to build confidence. Putting pressure on them to score, however, by scoring yourself strains their offense, forcing shots. Thus good offense is good defense. Even the good defensive teams, Chicago and Indiana, are faltering because they can’t score enough.

    It is beyond me why a team like the Warriors would identify itself as a defensive team, unless for some quasi moral purpose. Why not be a good team who knows how to play defense?

  10. Felt, Speights had contrasting games in both halves. He was great in 1st half and sucked in 2nd, guess you only saw him play in 1st half. He played with Lee like you always wanted, but looks like he is not interested playing as stretch 5 like you wanted him to and for a good reason because he is a bad 3 PT shooter. However, if he gets into better shape, I think we will see him give that 1st half performances on consistent basis but that would be next year.

    On barnes, he seemed lost there. He did put string of good performances post all star but his shooting seemed to dictate how he plays and that is bad since he can do lot of other things to help team but doesn’t seem to recognize that. On his pick, warriors missed out big by not draft Drummond, a rare all nba talent. Other than that, there are few other talents equal to Barnes or slightly better than Barnes were available, making Barnes pick not a bad pick. It is how the team develops him that will dictate. He is not first and will not be last where some talented players take longer to develop but need right system. Barnes would have developed and put better number had he played for a less talented team more to justify his pick status. With playoff team like warriors, he is trying to fit in more than being aggressive since margin of error is much less. BTW, you are seeing too many limitations of a 21 year old player. He is too young, nobody knows at this stage what he can do.

    Also, hope you were kidding when you compared Andre’s signing with Cancer Jack.

    Agree with your take on Lee and Tempo.

    • Speights makes me a little crazy. I can’t respect a pro who shows up to camp out of shape. But the guy does have skills, and he does some things better than Bogut or JON.

      In the 1st half Speights was +9 overall, in a combination of lineups. In the 2nd half he was +4 playing with Curry, then -10 playing with the regular 2nd unit. At game end he was -3 next to Kuzmic and Nedovic. Mixed team results for the guy, definitely, but along the way he personally shot 50%, pulled down 8 rebounds, and had a block, a steal and an assist in 23 minutes.

      Speights also had 5 PFs, but I think that has more to do with the 2nd unit’s poor wing D. ALL of his fouls came when playing with the 2nd unit. Barnes and Crawford are rarely about to keep their men in front of them, and the C always pays the price. Speaking just for myself, I always see Speights fouling, but don’t always pick up on how the guy he fouled got to the rim in the first place.

      I don’t want to be an apologist for Speights, but like FB sez, I think you have to look at his results in context.

      • Hat,
        No doubt Speights has talent and can contribute. But his PFs and some of the TOs he has, I think are result of him being in bad shape. Also, he is shooting very poorly which was supposed to be his strength, again might have been result of too much partying in the off season. He(and JCrawford) was really bad end of 3rd and start of 4th when the team was -10 with him in the line up. You and Felt convinced me that he is a better defender than he comes out as, but warriors with playoff aspirations and more can’t afford to give him meaningful minutes. But, the team will be much better next year if he comes back in shape with better shot, basically Felt’s fantasies coming true. Need to assign a conditioning coach to Speights in offseason and he will automatically produce and we do have him one more season.

        • Another way of looking at it: the first unit did fine against the Magic and the 2nd unit sucked. Speights played with both lineups, and his results varied accordingly.

          Zero fouls playing next to Curry and/or Lee, 5 fouls when surrounded by our stinky 2nd unit.

          • So, that is the problem right Hat, in the sense that he is not making bench better and that is bad for a bench player. But, you brought up an important point, players look different in different line ups. I think most from bench will look better playing with first unit, a more talented unit. Anyway, once ONeal comes back, don’t see role for Speights unless one of Bogut or ONeal gets hurt. With Feltbot on Speights at PF, don’t think he should get PF minutes over Lee, Green and Barnes.

          • Hat, also to put in context Speights best performances have come against Philly and now against Orlando, not exactly good teams.

          • Sadly, it’s possible that Speights is making the bench unit better. He’s covering for Barnes, Crawford and Blake when their guys blow by them. Crawford and Barnes just don’t “get” the D thing. Blake does, but he’s slow. Helpless against any quick guard who read his scouting report.

            Again, I don’t want to defend Speights. I can’t admire anyone who shows up out of shape for the best opportunity of their lifetime. But I do want to have a clear picture of what Speights adds to the mix. Anyone can be made to look bad in the wrong system, and the right systems make everyone better.

            Speights is NOT a top-tier do-one-thing-well center, like Bogut. But the Ws 2nd unit could make any C look gawdawful. Speights is somewhere in between. An above-average backup C with a unique skill set. I also think Mjax gives ZERO thought to his 2nd unit, and their poor team play proves it. A crappy system for any player to operate under.

          • Good points and somewhat agree on your comments on Speights.

  11. The Warriors don’t want to finish sixth in the standings for as of right now they would play the Clippers The Clippers average almost a net 5 more offensive possessions than the Warriors as the result of garnering more offensive rebounds and steals, minus turnovers. So, in order to win, the Warriors would have to outshoot them by a significant margin. We would be better off falling to eighth and playing Houston.

    • If dubs fall to eighth they will get Spurs.. Anyway, every team outside Dallas and Portland is a challenge for dubs, same challenge for other teams not facing Dallas and portland.

    • After Saturday’s game against the Spurs the Ws don’t play again until next Friday. It’s a weird schedule blip, and an advantage no other team has. By next weekend Iggy, Bogut and JON will have had about 2 weeks rest.

      Remember when Iggy was healthy, at the beginning of the season? I think we’ll lose to the Spurs on Saturday, but afterward the Ws will look like a new team. They should be in good shape for the playoffs, whoever they face.

  12. vs the Bucks today, Barnes was just horrible, both on offense and defense, and even so Jackson played him for a good part of the 4th quarter. Barnes darn near lost the game. (Sure wish the Warriors still had Bazemore for a back-up wing.)

    • Yikes. Barnes was 0-7 shooting, not including the shot he missed after committing an offensive foul. 27 minutes, 0 points, 2 rebounds. Defense about as effective as a traffic cone. Those are bad results even for Barnes.

      We’re stuck with Barnes, though. Draymond got 27 minutes backing up a variety of positions, and he’s not going to get more PT than that when he shoots poorly and piles up fouls. That leaves Barnes getting lots of minutes at backup 3. There is no one else.

      Hope Iggy comes back fully healthy. The team needs big minutes from him.

      Barnes probably won’t be traded anytime soon, but I suspect Myers will find a way to add a competent backup 3 this offseason. Performances like last night’s from Barnes simply won’t get the team where it wants to go.

      On another topic, I was happy to see Jeff Adrien playing. A pure PF at 6’7″ and 245. A beast in the paint, and he can score. Like our own “too-short” player, an overachiever. He played for the W briefly under Smart, and is now on his 3rd team since then. As Barnett said, he keeps hanging on.

  13. Last night, once again, regardless of whether Bogut is on the court, exposed the Warrior’s vulnerability when opponents attack the rim. Throw out defensive stats, our eyes are more reliable.

  14. There were stretches when the Bucks left Barnes nearly unguarded.

    Anyone’s shooting will sag, when they need to look elsewhere for offense to get back on track. SOP is when your threes don’t fall, step in for a closer look or drive and at least get fouled and find your touch at the foul line. Barnes kept launching threes. Lee cut through the Bucks’ defense like a knife through butter; Barnes couldn’t find an opening and I think attempted only one abortive drive. He just doesn’t have the tricks in his bag. He isn’t quick-headed enough or skilled enough. He can just drive in open lanes and hit outside shots only fairly well. When the latter goes, not much is left.

    29% FG the last ten games.

    Maybe it’s been a mistake for Jackson to play him post-up, and we’ve see the effects on Barnes and the rest of the team, but if he can’t score there, he won’t be able to improvise or pick up slack in any offense. It’s a test he should have passed, and he hasn’t.

    He was a drag on the the starters, and the subs, who can’t compensate as well, who played their worst with him, as has been the case all season. I have to wonder how well the other subs would have developed if Barnes weren’t on the team. Someone else would have got his minutes, and even a moderately versatile player would have provided a more cohesive unit to help the others find openings.

    There is no reason to think he will get better. The skills he needs should have been developed years ago.

    • Why was Barnes better—but not great or even that good—last year? The answer is simple. With Jack or Landry on the floor, and often both, along with Lee, Thompson, and Curry, the team was almost always able to put experienced and fairly versatile scorers on the floor, who could create the limited openings for Barnes or pick up the slack when he couldn’t produce. Iguodala, with his limited offense, completely changed the equation. The team now needs a two-way player who can offset those limitations when Iguodala is on the floor, or hold his own with the subs.

      Does anyone want to see Barnes play major minutes in the playoffs?

      • Barnes inability to drive this year is a real mystery. As mentioned before, I think there are 2 main possibilities:

        He’s been scouted, and defenses are forcing him left (to Barnett’s consternation) into help. I tend to favor this explanation.

        He’s lost his first step due to his turf toe.

        • fuzzy dunlop

          I don’t think his first step was ever all that good + he has abysmal ball handling for a wing. There’s a mental component as well, but I don’t know that he has the physical tools (ball handling at this stage might as well be a physical tool, it’s very difficult to improve) to be a good slasher. I’d also discount the whole turf toe thing at this point.

        • Or all three. But he never had an explosive first step. That was one of the criticisms in his scouting reports. And he doesn’t see the court well and is slow to react.

          Here I’d like to see those cameras, a replay of his drives the last two years, who was on the court, what kinds of lanes he had. My guess is he had better openings last year because of uptempo strategy and broader offensive power on the court.

        • I agree he was always a terrible ball handler and decision maker, but his drive is so much worse this year something must have changed.

        • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

          You are forgetting about that fall he took in the playoffs last season. I think that may be part of the reason he is less aggressive.

    • “There were stretches when the Bucks left Barnes nearly unguarded.”

      Defensive SOP would be to do precisely that. “Encourage” the opponent to have the worst shooter take the shot. Whether he makes or misses, it’s a (statistical) win for the defense. Green gets a lot of open looks from 3 too, for the same reason.

      I haven’t completely written off Barnes, myself. He obviously has a ways to go just to get to “NBA average,” but skills can be learned and he’s not a slacker. “Throwing him in the fire” the way the Ws did obviously didn’t work out. Maybe now, with reduced expectations for the wonderkid, the team can allow Barnes to develop on a more realistic timetable. It’s the only possible way to salvage him (plus whatever else team management associates with him), so that’s why I think he stays next year while Myers adds another 3-and-D guy to the roster. Besides, Barnes also has another guaranteed year on his rookie contract and zero trade value, so he’s not going anywhere.

      • I’d be curious to know how much time Barnes has spent perfecting all the skills needed to be a complete player his entire career—high school through the pros—and off season. And he is weak at several vital skills. My sense is not much. If he has, it just doesn’t show. All I heard about last summer, from West, was that he bulked up.

        • The whole “Barnes problem” centers on whether or not the Ws can develop talent. This year I’d say no.

          Bazemore and Brooks have talents. They’ve been dumped.

          Nedovic and Kuzmic have talent, proven in years of Euro league play. Neither is projected to make it into an NBA rotation.

          Barnes has gifts. Unquestioned physical ability but few skills and little intuitive feel for the game. If we’re just going with “comps” here, we’d have to say Barnes is out as soon as management can extricate itself from its commitments to him.

          I suppose Lacob thought moving the team’s D league affiliate nearby was going to enhance the team’s ability to develop talent. It hasn’t worked out that way so far.

          • “The whole “Barnes problem” centers on whether or not the Ws can develop talent. This year I’d say no.”

            There’s a counterfactual here. What about Klay and Draymond? Do you assume they were not developed? You don’t know what you don’t know (i.e. what those two would be on a different team). I mean, you can claim you do. But it’s a counterfactual.

          • Dray and Klay were both 4-year Div I college players. That’s 3 more years of basic training than Barnes got. Has Barnes narrowed the skill gap between them and him since he arrived at the Ws? Are you arguing that he has? I thought not.

            I’m usually pretty careful about my facts, EZ. Check yours before trolling on me, OK?

          • Barnes obviously has not narrowed the skill gap, but Klay and Draymond have become much better players than their scouting reports suggest, namely on defense. How do you explain that? One explanation is that they have developed those skills under the tutelage of the Warriors coaching staff.

            Believe me, this is not trolling, Hat. You’d know if I was trolling you. ;)

          • Klay has really developed skills! Dray, not so much.

            Green arrived at Warriors camp with all the skills he has today. He’s the 2nd most decorated college player in Michigan history, after only Magic. His improvement this year came mostly from a) recovering from a knee problem and b) a big boost in his fitness level. Fitness is 99% simple mindless hard work, something that can’t be taught.

            Green needs to improve his offensive skills. It held him back last year, and still is. So, basically, in skills improvement with the Warriors, Klay is the lone exception among Ws newbs in the Lacob Era, not the rule.

          • So, Hat, if Klay has developed skills under Mark Jackson, who are you giving credit for that?

            I say most skill development is in the hands of the player at the end of the day. The coach can tell them what to work on, but it’s the player and his trainers that need to figure out how to get there. Klay has been able to do that, and Barnes clearly has not.

            I can’t blame Mark Jackson for Barnes not being able to improve his skills. The only thing I could say is that Jackson might have him working on developing the wrong set of skills. Why they tried to make Barnes into a post-up player, instead of an outside shooting threat, is beyond me to this day.

          • Evan, I haven’t been blaming anyone. I simply made the observation that for the most part skills development ain’t happenin in the Ws organization for new players. I don’t even think it’s that rare.

            It’s an interesting question. I think that teams known for developing players, like San Antonio, don’t really instill skills so much as they train players for roles appropriate to their skills. Depending on a player’s strengths, the role they’re assigned is larger or smaller. Bonner does corner 3s, Ginobili creates. Bellinelli shoots, Parker probes. And when a “great” Spur goes elsewhere, many find that they don’t do as well. Perhaps because their role on most other teams is less well-defined, or less well-integrated with others’ roles.

            One thing the Spurs system does for skills development, though, is that it draws a direct 1:1 relationship between a player’s skills and the extent of their role with the team. Get more skills = do more and play more. And here’s where I finally do criticize the Warriors organization.

            From Day 1, Barnes was gifted with minutes his skills didn’t justify. He was given a role he could not and did not fulfill. Not ever. While better players at his position sat and watched.

            Green is far from the perfect player, and the role he’s carved out for himself is a limited one. It’s not going to be effective in all situations. But he contributes far more, and more often, than Barnes – but still plays less. And that’s only one example.

            On this Ws team, there’s a basic disconnect between a player’s real on-court contribution and his playing time. Douglas lights it up against the Spurs – and sits for the next month. Blake is a starting PG on many teams – but plays only with the Ws 2nd unit while Barnes subs in for Iggy and Thompson instead.

            That disconnect between a player’s contribution and his playing time is, I think, unhealthy. Bad for player morale, bad for the team.

            It’s also terrible for player development.

  15. In case you missed it:

  16. Looks like the Greek Freak had a good game. Hate that I missed it. What do you think?

    Who did he guard?

    • Athletically the Greek Freak looks like a hyperactive Durant on steroids. Still a little wild, makes some bad decisions, but a perfectly capable ballhandler and he can leap clear out of the building. If he could refine his game he could be completely unstoppable. Add a couple of automatic go-to moves to his repertoire, improve his shooting, and he transforms the Bucks.

      If.

      This year’s model of the GF is awesome! Talk about a high ceiling! But he’s very, very raw. Next year, after working one-on-one with a pro coach developing NBA skills? The potential is scary, but who knows?

      Once upon a time #1 pick Kwame Brown looked awesome, didn’t he? One of the worst teams in the league dumped Kwame 4 months ago.

      Ya never know.

      • I simply don’t see any possibility of him busting ala Kwame, as he radiates basketball IQ, has incredible ballhandling and passing skills, and absolutely loves the game.

        I think at the minimum he’ll be a Kirilenko type defender and facilitator, and has legit superstar potential.

      • Kwame Brown was picked #1 and never looked awesome in the NBA.

        Giannis was taken #15 so he really can’t be a “bust” anywhere near the sense that Kwame was. Furthermore, he’s already looked more awesome than Kwame ever looked on an NBA floor, so he’s already got him beat.

    • A longer, young Tracy McGrady with less offensive repertoire but more interest in defense and rebounding even though technique and awareness are currently undeveloped. An exciting two-way SF prospect who’ll be able to play multiple positions. I suspect by the time he is 23 he’ll be a load and a half.

    • Lamar Odom with potential when he came to league with bit of Kevin Durant in him. All potential wise but Lamar Odom is the worst case scenario he will end up with.

    • Who did he guard in this game? Barnes? Would explain the 0-7.

      • Barnes missed a bunch of open shots and made easy layups difficult. I’m not sure it matter if there’s a defender or not, to be honest.

  17. Kay Thompson Watch (since FB predicted he was turning the corner)

    Catching up a missed game on the Watch. Against Orlando, his perimeter shooting was so terrific that he didn’t need to be aggressive and he wasn’t. I would call that one a push. However, the game against Milwaukee showed the new and improved Klay: only 3 – 11 from the arc but he didn’t settle and went 8 – 12 from two with several aggressive moves to the basket. I think this is a good example of what is different (and better) about Klay. FB’s record remains undefeated at 6-0-2.

    • +1 noticed the same thing from the box score. Exciting to see Klay not settling when the three isnt falling.

  18. I never noticed until recently how dumb many of the posters at Lauridsen’s blog are. Not sure what the deal with that is.

    • Exactly why I no longer visit. Lauridsen’s worth reading to get a different perspective, but his posters? Sheesh.

    • Lauridsen does what most sports writers do, he writes a story line about personal growth, success and failure. Heroics. Epic tales. He doesn’t really go into the mechanics of the sport.

      When Lee shoots 1-12, that’s on Lee whether or not Bogut’s man could ignore Bogut’s offense. When Bazemore – not a PG – fails as a PG, that’s Bazemore’s screwup, not the coach stuffing a square peg in the wrong hole.

      Lauridsen isn’t selling actual basketball insight, and his fans aren’t in the market for that. They like his stories. So their comments are often, well, hesitate to say, but… fantastical.

      There’s some fun to be had that way. It ain’t real life and it ain’t real basketball, but I used to enjoy comic books without nitpicking, so why not suspend science and simply enjoy with Lauridsen? What’s the diff?

      I still enjoy a good comic book not and then. Biff! KerPowie! RAAaack-k-k!!!

      It’s the same genre as Lauridsen.

      But Marvel does it better.

  19. cosmicballoon

    Kevin Durant is up to 32.2 ppg to go along with 7.7 RPG and 5.6 assists. This is an absurd statistical season…the scoring alone is ridiculous, but to average the rebs and assists is incredible in today’s NBA. This will go down as Durant’s best season in a HOF career. It’s not quite Jordan going for 33.5, 8 and 8 in 1988-89, but its darn close.

  20. Kyle Anderson may be out of reach for a team with no first round pick, so I’m starting to set my sights on Jordan Adams. Kevin Pelton tweeted to me last night that he has him in his top 5. Another guy I know for a long time from apbr, goes by DSMok1 also has Adams top 5. My eyes tell me Adams goes much higher than the second round projection that DX has currently. He could be exactly the guy we need coming off the bench.

  21. fuzzy dunlop

    Evanz: Saw your tweet about adjusted TOs. Really interesting, made me wonder whether similar analysis has been done for rebounding (to detect value of boxing out, “expose” guys who get a bunch of uncontested boards etc)? Seems like an obvious analogue.

  22. Hat: Well said in describing Adan’s site.

    Expect the Warriors to attempt to trade Barnes for a 1st round pick in draft.

    • Could Myers find a trading partner willing to do so? Would be lovely if anyone would go for it.

      I keep suspecting Barnes has turf toe, and the Warriors are keeping quiet about it.

  23. fuzzy dunlop

    - I think at this stage we should acknowledge that this is a fringe playoff team.
    -It’s time to reflect on what the Barnes fiasco says about the warriors long term. We’re talking about a guy the front office was loudly proclaiming a future all star to any reporter willing to listen. Sure, some of that was PR, but I honestly don’t think they were faking it for the most part. Given how impossibly bad he is at basketball, that raises all sorts of unsettling questions about the seriousness of this organization from top to bottom. And the value lost by keeping him will hurt this team in the coming years even more than his play .
    -As to the game itself, just another offensive masterpiece by Jackson: dearth of pick and roll, post ups and ISOs galore, no attempt to push the pace. This isn’t going to change after 71 games. I’m not sure that dwelling on the poor individual performances (Lee was horrendous, Curry was not much better, and of course the black falcon is downright unplayable) makes sense. This team isn’t going anywhere under Jackson. Can it even go anywhere under Lacob?

    • Even go anywhere under Lacob? This IS Lacob’s team.

      • fuzzy dunlop

        I know, I was wondering whether they could “go anywhere” with Lacob and a different coach. I take it you don’t think so?

        • He would have to get a good coach and give that coach control of the roster. And a new coach would still be stuck with Barnes and a limited bench.

          No.

    • This team will continue to be better. Front office has done few mistakes and coach is continued to do mistakes. But, they did show willingness to address issues like getting Iggy last year or getting Blake after failed attempts at backup PG with Toney Douglas and Jordan Crawford. Now, they will misfire in future too but over last two years they got more right than wrong, otherwise warriors would be in pace to win 50 games, so there is hope. Big decision over off season is to persist or let coach go. If dubs lose in 1st round, I see dubs look hard for replacement for someone better than coach Jax but can they find someone is different question.

  24. They didn’t stand a chance.

    You would have croaked, FB. For a brief stretch, Jackson ran Bogut AND O’Neal.

    Bogut is of little use against San Antonio. The Spurs spread the floor, move the center out, and he isn’t quick enough to cover. Splitter isn’t a big center, yet on many occasions outmaneuvered him. Lee or Speights could have covered Splitter as well. Someone else could have picked up many of Bogut’s rebounds, if not most. And many were simply conceded. We won the rebound battle, 54-40, but so what. They weren’t that important in the overall game plan for the Spurs.

    Especially if you can’t score. On the offensive end Bogut is useless. The way Jackson plays them, he has to be able muscle up and score. And really O’Neal is limited as well. Both have limited abilities on pick and roll. Neither can shoot well 5 feet out, though O’Neal has knocked down a few. And with Barnes on the floor there just isn’t any offense. Lee, Klay, and Steph, of course, were smothered.

    The turnovers weren’t that significant either, because the offense was so stagnant. Some were just their trying to get something going in the molasses. But what’s the difference between protecting the ball and not getting a good shot off and just heaving it into the stands? The odds of scoring are close either way.

    When Barnes attempt his busted fast break drive first half, Curry was wide open at the arc.

    And

    Barnes

    didn’t

    see

    him.

    He just can’t see the court. He couldn’t see what was ahead of him, either, and didn’t finish well at all.

    Meanwhile, Speights came in for a brief stint and quickly, coolly knocked down his first two shots. If Speights, Green, Lee, Klay, and Curry start, they give the Spurs a run. Speights can shoot and spread the floor, and he can drive as well or better than the other centers. He can block, he can rebound, he can move. With Green, it would have been a better defensive team. Barnes is 4-30 on 3’s the last 10 games. If Speights camped out on the arc and got those shots, I’d bet anything he hits 12. I thought, after all, that’s why they got him.

    This team, its coach, haven’t learned anything this season.

  25. Over the last 5 games Barnes has shot 1-18 on 3-pointers (.056) and .200 overall. In the last 10 games he shot .265 overall.

    Popovich didn’t need Duncan and Ginobili to beat a team featuring Harrison Barnes. He could probably have rested Parker too.

    rgg, you’re right, our coach hasn’t learned anything this season. All of his worst instincts were on display last night. That idiotic twin towers lineup in the 4th went -6 in under two minutes.

    • Kawhi bottled him up good last night.

      At this point, I don’t really see an argument for having Barnes in the game before Draymond or Speights, let alone having him start games.

      It’s hilarious that before the season Barnes was considered Top 6.

      • +1
        If Barnes goes in ahead of Green at any time in the playoffs Jackson should be fired on the spot.

  26. cosmicballoon

    Well put Hat.

    This game was within reach in the 4th, but the Warriors decided to let Danny Green and Bellinelli beat them. The Spurs are a well-oiled offensive machine. The Warriors offense looks like the tin man before Dorothy oiled him. I doubt it’s a personnel problem…this is a coaching problem.

    • There were lots of mysteries about the coach’s thinking in this game. I mean, besides the big one of why anyone should play Barnes at all.

      Lee played only 3:02 in the 4th quarter – about half of Barnes’ time. Meanwhile, the Spurs were playing Splitter, who Lee completely victimized in the 2nd Q. Why not let Lee beat him again in the 4th?

      The Ws best lineup – the one that has averaged the best point differential all season long – appears to be one featuring a Lee/Green front line. Those two played a total of 2:31 together last night.

      Bogut was big on the boards, but so what? The Spurs make a practice of not contesting offensive rebounds. Bogut was 1-7 on O. JON and Speights both score better, and did again last night. Assuming the coach wanted to stay with a big front line for some reason, Bogut may have been the worst choice for C. Bogut 27 minutes, the others 26 minutes total.

      Possibly even better than a Lee/Green front line last night, a Lee/Speights front line has size with none of the liabilities (limited range, crappy offense) of Bogut or JON. In the rare moments when a Lee/Speights lineup has been tried, it’s been very successful. It wasn’t used last night.

      We have a full season of data showing that Speights gets better results as a 5 than a 4. Last night, in his 7 minutes, he played only at the 4 with JON at C.

      The 2nd unit started the 4th +3, then the coach replaced Green with Bogut. The Spurs immediately began an 11-0 run. Game over. I wonder what Jackson was thinking.

      • Lee may be injured—he went to the locker room.

        • AL says Lee strained his hamstring. Gives Jackson at least a partial excuse.

          AL also noticed that Bogut’s ankle was giving him pain in the 4th Q.

          • Four of Bogut’s missed shots were from putbacks which he didn’t gain possession; so 1/3 from the field is a more accurate reflection of his efficiency, I believe.

          • warriorsablaze

            I remember noticing when Lee got hobbled… it was after he had already been sitting for a huge chunk of the 4th. His minutes were already gonna be down regardless of the injury (unless he also hurt himself earlier in the game and I missed it).

  27. Is it possible for the Ws to sign another player at this time? Mikael Pietrus is available.

    He’s a prototypical 3-and-D journeyman, 32 years old, OK shooter, good defense, playoff experience. Hasn’t had a contract at all this season but still wants to play, so he should be available for the vet minimum.

    Not a starter, just a basically competent backup SF.

  28. What the heck is going on?

    Bazemore, off the bench, scored 8 points on 4 for 7 with 8 assists, no turn-overs, 2 rebounds, and a steal in 24 minutes! (and the Lakers won). I mean, 8 assists and no turn-overs? Is that the same Kent Bazemore?

    • Compare with Curry. Assists/turnovers will be directly related to the way the team plays. D’Antoni doesn’t have players sit on the ball.

    • Bazemore looks good! Confident, no hesitation, good decision making and very, very quick. D’Antoni’s system agrees with him. If the Ws ran like that Bazemore might still be a Warrior. It’s great to see him doing well.

      The Ws mostly don’t operate like that. Steve Blake is better at the slower ball-control offense favored by MJax.

      To be fair to Jackson, a slower paced offense works better for the big centers his team is so heavily invested in. Bogut, JON and Speights simply can’t participate in a 5-seconds-or-less offense.

      Due largely to salary constraints, I think the Ws felt they had to choose between Bazemore Ball and Bogut/JON/Speights BigBall.

      We here on this site tend to think of the Warriors big Cs as special-purpose, occasional-use players. Ws management does not. They think of it as a leading component of their offense and defense.

      “Modern thinking” sez speed beats size. Evidence: The Heat, World Champions.

      The answer from Ws management: compare smallball’s record to 20+ years of successful Lakers BigBall post play. Or tell it to this year’s Clippers, or Indiana. Or look at the Spurs lineup. The Spurs start most games with a huge front line.

      I wish Bazemore all the best. But he’s a better fit with LA than he could ever be with this Warriors team.

      It is what it is. It’s doubtful that Jackson chose the Ws big slow guys, but they are what he has. With them on the court, Blake is a better fit for the Ws than Bazemore. Even though Bazemore is a whole lot more fun to watch.

      • Spot on Bazemore situation. Like you, I wish him good luck too. We might even be able to get him back next year if the team really needs his service.

  29. Big night for JJack as starting PG in Cav’s win over Knicks: 31 points (13-19), 5 boards, 10 assists.

    http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=400489918

    And Seth Curry is with Cleveland now, 10 day contract.

  30. Warriors do not have the coaching to win the West let alone the NBA finals.

  31. I’m fairly certain that Mark Jackson is in a no-win situation. To me it seems obvious that his boss requires him to play big. For chrissakes, if small-ball was acceptable, Don Nelson would never have been let go.

    So we have this situation where we fans would like to see the winningest possible lineup played, quite likely with Draymond Green, David Lee at the 4/5 and NO Harrison Barnes on he floor. That lineup would likely get the coach fired even if it produces a lot of wins because it runs counter to Lacob’s judgment and dictate. A small-ball team gets 55 wins? Lacob would say “you’re fired” because he would be certain that his lineups would have earned 60 wins.

    One thing we should know by now: a team never gets anywhere with a bad owner.

  32. Size doesn’t matter—

    —but tell that to Joe Lacob.

    In each of the losses to San Antonio this season, the Warriors won the rebounding battle by a considerable margin:

    54-40
    47-39
    45-42

    The Warriors have banked their strategy and literally their cap on a dominant big and have placed their emphasis on defense, specifically on rebounding. But a limited big center like Bogut, limited in both mobility and scoring, is of marginal value against a team like the Spurs, and really the same can be said of O’Neal. In all games, Bogut played heavy minutes, about 30 each, and got his boards, 16 average, but he couldn’t score, even get many shots up, averaging just over 5 points a game.

    Do you think Popovich was worried about those 16 rebounds? He conceded them.

    Bogut couldn’t score because the Spurs have sizable but not huge yet versatile and affordable players down the roster, who can easily contain him in a coordinated defense. Duncan is not a dominant defender, but he didn’t play two of those games anyway. Also they can spread the floor, drawing Bogut out, where he is less effective, limiting his rim protection. Or just play him soft, since they can pressure the other players and force turnovers or bad shots. And when you add Bogut with Barnes or Iguodala (or O’Neal!), the Warriors are down to three scorers who can be easily pressured, especially in half-court sets.

    Meanwhile that same smaller Spur team can score across the roster, deep into the subs. The point differential game is over.

    A sizable, versatile player paired with Lee would make all the difference in the world. He could open up the defense, taking pressure off Lee and the others, and hold his own well enough on defense. Even the smallish Landry scored well against the Spurs last season in all his games. And of course, push the pace against those old men.

    We need Davids, not Goliaths, and we got four in Lee, Curry, Klay, and Iguodala. Jackson and Lacob need to read the Bible more closely. Or maybe they perversely persist in trying to rewrite the book.

  33. warriorfaithful

    Wojnarowski just wrote this article about Mark Jackson.

    “Warriors coach Mark Jackson forces reassignment of assistant Brian Scalabrine”

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/warriors-coach-mark-jackson-forces-reassignment-of-assistant-brian-scalabrine-184142899.html

    • Thanks, WaB, and worth the read. Things are much worse than we realize.

      “For two straight years, Jackson has had issues with assistant coaches that he hired. Michael Malone and Jackson would go weeks without speaking to each other a year ago, league sources said.”

      Pure hubris and stupidity.

      Fire him.

    • The article may be factual, but it offers no verifiable evidence. That makes it read like a hatchet job.

      From the first 4 paragraphs:

      “sources told Yahoo”
      “sources told Yahoo”
      “sources said”
      “league sources said”

      “Jackson has had issues with assistant coaches that he hired. Michael Malone and Jackson would go weeks without speaking to each other a year ago, league sources said.” [That's odd. I read that Malone was a Lacob signing, not a Jackson hire. That means Jackson's relationship with Malone is not evidence of the previous sentence.]

      “There have been no conversations about an extension for Jackson – nor are they expected to take place, sources said.”

      I’d be happy to know that Jackson is on the outs with Ws management, but

      a) We don’t know anything from this report,

      b) We don’t know anything about Scalabrine’s job. Maybe he sucks. Maybe Bogut asked Jackson to get Scalabrine off his back. Maybe Jackson is expanding Scalabrine’s role.

      c) if it’s really true that Jackson is demoting Scalabrine, Jackson could well have the boss’s backing on the move. Managing his assistants is well within a head coach’s authority. Maybe it was Lacob’s idea.

      d) A single attributed quote trumps dozens of unattributed rumors. Scalabrine, Jackson, or anyone in the Ws front office can kill these rumors with 1 phone call, and probably will.

      e) Winning heals all. Jackson’s relationships with his assistants or anyone else are irrelevant if the team wins. “Sources say” no on liked Michael Jordan either.

      Sorry, but Jackson is not leaving anytime soon. Especially not in response to what looks like a hit piece written primarily to generate page views.

      • AW I trust. He vets his sources. He doesn’t say Jackson is being fired, but that he doesn’t get along with assistants and that there is conflict. And we know he didn’t want to bring in an assistant to replace Malone. We can only speculate about the rest of his relationships, with the FO and the team, but it’s hard to believe there isn’t more here.

        • Assuming Woj does vet his sources, what is he saying here?

          Nothing more than that some (undisclosed) person or people who (presumably) dislike Jackson (allegedly) whispered that the team is (perhaps) changing Scalabrine’s (unspecified) coaching assignment to something else (also unspecified). Someone (unspecified) also (allegedly) whispered that Jackson and Malone didn’t work closely together.

          And, oh, by the way, the team has not yet announced its intention to give Jackson a contract extension. But we knew that already, from Lacob’s last public interview. We have a verifiable source for that info, in other words. Woj does not. Not for anything.

          AW’s article could be spot on or all wrong. It will be denied within 2 days by team management no matter what. And it doesn’t matter anyway. A guy who survived exposure as “a preacher with a hooker girlfriend” isn’t going to be brought down by snarky rumors about his management style.

          • fuzzy dunlop

            We get it, none of this is proven. But he actually asserted that Malone and Jackson went weeks without speaking to one another. Don’t minimize it by saying the allegation was that they “didn’t work closely together”.

            You’re right that Jackson isn’t getting fired because of his inability to get along with his assistants. However, hopefully he’ll get fired because of his team’s underwhelming performance on the court.

          • cosmicballoon

            A very poorly attributed article to say the least. Woj should have at least put in a call to Jackson or to the FO asking why Scalabrine was demoted to SC. It sucks that we have to deal with “journalism” but that the “facts” are not attributed.

            All that said, Santa Cruz only has a few games remaining…even fewer than GS. The purpose of this reassignment is extremely unclear, unless something bad did happen between Jackson and Scalabrine.

        • there’s only two pieces in the ‘info’ pile we can be reasonably certain about. a) the assistant coach was shipped to d-league (b) the lacobites can’t completely control what the media and blogs say about their organization and management.

          as a neophyte with no managerial experience in a hoops organization, outside of his authority over the players’ activities, jackson has little power or influence over decisions. last season the bosses publicly conceded that he has the final say on the non-guaranteed, end of bench spots, a pretty good indication how little input he has on the roster. malone was the owner’s pick, not jackson’s, so understandably the preacher wanted to assert control over his staff after malone moved out.

          scalabrine’s paychecks don’t come from jackson obviously, nor does the preacher dictate the management of the d-league team. the lacobites had to pay scalabrine’s contract for the season unless they wanted a legal issue and the necessity of proving willful misconduct, breach, flagrant violations on the assistant’s part. they’d be paying him whether he’s on the preacher’s bench or barred from it, so they and not the preacher transferred him.

    • The guys at KNBR were talking with Spears, who didn’t know much. Scalabrine has been assigned to Santa Cruz, who could probably sorely use him, but not this late in the season. (Are they parking him until things blow over or a change is made?) And apparently it was done at Jackson’s request. It was also Jackson who wanted him in the first place.

      The timing is just odd, so late in the season, so close to the playoffs. I’m also curious how well the guys are getting along with MJ. I got tired of his sermons and moral homilies three years ago. Surely this is wearing.

    • As a veteran NBA watcher, it’s my opinion that this sort of thing is almost always an issue about loyalty. Jackson must feel that Scalabrine was undermining him with either management or the players, and things blew up.

      The fact that management refused to let Scalabrine go can only be interpreted one way: Jackson is gone at the end of the season. No way they would keep Scalabrine on in the organization in the face of a coach they valued and wanted to keep. It’s a slap in the face.

      “League sources” are very likely to be Warriors management themselves. It’s the way these things are done.

      Based on this and all the other vibes we’ve been receiving, I put Jackson’s chances of returning at roughly zero. I just hope Scalabrine isn’t the heir apparent.

      • concur, felt boss, the probable reason behind the preacher’s disenchantment was scalabrine’s following his own agenda with either the bosses or the players. the media spin at the hire, he was the preacher’s choice, but he was recommended by thibodeau who has the Bos connection with both lacob and erman, so he might have been ‘nominated’ to jackson. s’cruz is the domaine of the younger lacob of course, so that would support the notion that scalabrine became the bosses’ informer on how the preacher runs things. with the players, it is not hard to conceive how the vets with previous acquaintance with him, or who might be more predisposed to be skeptical of the preacher, could find a sympathetic dissenter if that’s the mask scalabrine wore.

      • Whatever the causes, I suspect they had little to do with strategy or rosters, and that if a change is made, we don’t have reason to believe those will change or that the team will even move towards some kind of coherence.

        It is clear Lacob has determined the roster. It is highly likely he has determined they be played—how else explain Barnes’ minutes? More than likely, he has stated preferences for style of play. THEN he has left Jackson alone to work it out with vague directives, as best he can, given his limited abilities. Someone, though, I suspect Jackson is in a greater bind than we realize. It would be another explanation for his silence about matters critical to the team.

        This organization is a muddle.

  34. On a happier note, Bazemore seems to be auditioning for a backup PG role with the Lakers. According to KB:

    “It’s probably the first time that I have gotten that assignment and played pretty well with it,” Bazemore said. “I tried earlier in the season with Golden State and it didn’t work. I tried it a few games ago when I first got here (in Los Angeles) and I was kind of shaky. The guys were just in the right spots all night and I had the easy part by just giving it them to make easy shots.”

    Funny how that works. It’s the system.

    http://www.sportsoutwest.com/2014/03/24/lakers-kent-bazemore-has-prime-opportunity-to-prove-himself/

  35. rgg: You mislead readers when you argue that the Warriors put an emphasis on rebounds by playing Bogut a lot against the Spurs, and as a result the Warriors lost each game even though they outrebounded the Spurs.

    The facts are that each of three games the Spurs had many more possessions due to the fact that Spurs gained extra possessions by the Warriors turning the ball over more than the Spurs in each of the three game and the Spurs garnering more offense rebounds in two of the the three games we played them.

    In our last loss to the Spurs, the Spurs took 12 more shots mainly due to the Warriors committing eight more turnovers that the Spur and SA obtaining two more offensive rebounds than the Warriors. That is the reason the Warriors lost. As both teams shot the about the same FG percentage. One could argue the Spurs would have shot a higher percentage then us if we played small.

    In the second game, once again the Warriors committed five more turnover than the Spurs, but did garner 4 more offensive rebounds than the Spurs, a virtually wash. Each team took virtually the same number of shots. The Spurs garnered four more defensive rebounds than the Warriors as the Warriors shot a lower G percentage.

    In our first loss to the Spurs, SA committed seven less turnovers, and garnered five more offensive rebounds. As a result the Warriors took eight less shots. Being killed on turnovers and offensive rebounding categories cost us a possible victory.

    DR’s have been no factor in any of the games. It’s clear that both the Warriors and the Spurs shot approximately the same percentage on FG’s. The killer is the Spurs getting extra possessions via OR’s and less turnovers, and taking more shots and going to the could line more.

    The Warriors are not going to be competitive on the defensive end if they don’t play Bogut an JON at center. Arguing for Speights is laughable. If you want to argue the Warriors will do better offensively with Lee playing center go ahead and make it. But there has been too small a sample to verify that point of view. And if I understand Felty correctly, Felty seems to be arguing that Lee should be played at center in only special and limited circumstances.

    Turovers are at the root of our problem in losing to the Spurs.

    • cosmicballoon

      Frank, here’s the number that should matter:

      Warriors 3-15 from 3-point land. Spurs 10-28.

      The fact that the Warriors offense with Bogut on the floor cannot generate open three point looks for Curry and Klay, while the Spurs can generate looks for Danny Green and Leonard while Bogut is on the floor is a major issue. You can’t blame Bogut or JO for this. Jackson needs to get them off the court against the Spurs so the Warriors can spread the floor, run and get open transition threes (as Barnett opines for every night).

      The turnovers are a symptom of terrible offensive sets. There were at least three instances where stagnant offense resulted in Curry throwing the ball to a spot where he thought someone should have been, but they weren’t while Curry was busy trying to create shots in a stagnant half court sets. Ugly, ugly.

    • As I said before, the turnovers aren’t significant of anything other than a botched offense. What’s the difference between a turnover and protecting the ball and getting bad shots off? A botched, stalled offense is a botched stalled offense. With Bogut and Barnes on the floor, who are worthless on offense, it’s hard even to get a good pass off, but then there’s almost nowhere to go with the pass anyway. And it’s no accident that turnovers are high against the Spurs with that lineup.

      Not sure where you’re getting your read on my argument. I said Lee should be paired with a versatile, sizable player who can move and score, the one they should have picked up years ago instead of Bogut. There are role players who could have filled in at center for less.

      As for Speights, there’s one thing that can be said about him that can’t be said about Duncan or any number of talented centers and power forwards: he’s a Warrior. He has skills the centers do not have. He can move and he can shoot. And he has never been tried with a good lineup. He’s not a star, but he should have been brought out. He would have spread the floor and given more options on scoring.

      Not very convincing, Frank.

      • fuzzy dunlop

        “As for Speights, there’s one thing that can be said about him that can’t be said about Duncan or any number of talented centers and power forwards: he’s a Warrior. He has skills the centers do not have. He can move and he can shoot.”

        This is the Speights Show, man. We’re all just extras who came along for the free sandwiches and a chance to maybe touch the mole.

  36. I’m reading that Lee’s hamstring strain might keep him out even after the break. Warriors breaking down at the wrong time.

  37. The Warriors not taking as many and making as many three’s as the Spurs has nothing to do with Bogut being on the court. In fact, in their first meeting against the Spurs the Warriors made more three’s.

    Cosmicballoon:While there is argument that the Warriors half court offensive sets is not that good and that is substantiated by the Warriors shooting around 40 percent in two out of the three games they played against the Spurs, the Spurs with Bogut on the court, kept the Spurs from shooting a higher percentage than the Warriors. And credit should be given to Pop’s defense which funnel shots to the strength of the Spurs defense. Also the Warriors limit themselves by Jackson refusing to run and thus increase our shooting percentage.

    But, the Warriors main problem lies in their committing many more turnovers under Jackson then they did under Nellie. But some of the blame has to be put on the player’s themselves as well as the system. As one see’s Curry make stupid passes quite often that hardly seems related to offensive system. Although I agree such would be reduced if the Warriors ran.

    And the fact remains that the Spurs simply have players who create more offensive plays over the Warriors via rebounds and steals, and committing less turnovers, which gives the Spurs about 6 extra possessions per game. And unless the Warriors shoot the light out compared to the Spurs they have little chance of winning. Especially since the Spurs have players who usually get to the line more where they shoot higher percentage than in they take field goal attempts. And if the Warriors don’t run and don’t make more three’s to offset our problems getting to the foul line, the Warriors have little chance of winning.

    Until the Warriors run, take and make more three’s (the lack of three’s that are directly attributed Jackson penchant for limiting the 3’s taken.), and get players who can get to the foul line as much as our opponent’s, and can garner more offensive rebids, and get more steals., the Warriors are playing with one hand tied behind the back.

    Extra possessions for a team often makes a big difference between wins and losses.

    I’m not a big Bogut fan as he can be exploited inside, his offense has been just fine overall this year. I believe he is shooting close to 60% from the field, and the coaching staff has had him do mostly drives and dunks which is his only strengths on offense. More significantly, the Warriors usually outscore their opponents with Bogut on the court, as they do with JON.

    With the Warriors being a minus 11 with Speights on the court this year, he should not be on the court. Rgg, i regret this stat does not convince that he sucks. To talk about what he does well is simply misplaced unless he can consistently making a positive effect for the Warriors.

    A healthy Iggy will hopefully lead to more three’s made a better defense.

    Signing Douglas and Speights were stupid moves as well as not trading Barnes before the season started once Iggy was obtained. Warriors seem to be one step behind and not forward looking.

    • Agreed, once Igudola was obtained, the Warriors were better off committing to that major aquisition and trading Barnes, instead of hedging their bet at that point.

    • Speights has almost never spent any time with a decent lineup, one that might exploit his talents. The numbers are meaningless. His career percentages, however, are significant, as is the form he displays when he shoots. All the players looked bad in Jackson’s sub rotation.

      But yes, they should have gotten someone better, or if they stuck with Speights, come up with a plan to make use of him. It doesn’t look like the organization knew what it was doing.

      • cosmicballoon

        It’s impossible to say if Douglas and Speights were bad moves. Was drafting Bazemore a bad move? Was trading for Crawford and Marshon Brooks a bad move? Were drafting Kuzmic and Nedovic bad moves?

        It’s impossible so say because Jackson has been unable to develop bench players at all. Green has been the exception, but his four years in college prepared him for the role he is in right now.

        As for Jackson’s possible firing after the season, I’d theorize that the regression of the Black Falcon to the Black Emu has been the most glaring flaw in Jackson’s coaching resume. Lacob expected stardom and what he got was a role player who disappears for long stretches. Good coaching could and should coax more out of a player like Barnes.

    • While we’re speculating idly, I can’t help wondering if Scalabrine isn’t a scapegoat for larger tensions in this confused organization. I doubt we’ll ever get a clear explanation, or even that there is one.

  38. Bazemore 18-5 +22 in a Lakers win last night.

  39. Believe Warriors could have traded Barnes for decent back-up SG or PF before season started. Even at trade deadline it appears Toronto offered Lowry for Barnes and the Warriors rejected that deal because.they were fearful of Lowry’s attitude in locker room.

  40. If the Warriors had traded for Lowry, the Warriors would have had Lowry backing up Curry and Bazemore backing up Thompson and Iggy. Much better than having Blake and Crawford. And Barnes would be gone.

    With Yahoo Sports reporting that Jackson has been looking at other NBA coaching jobs and that the Warriors are not considering at this time discussing extending his contract beyond 2115, may well indicate Jackson’s time with Warriors are numbered. See Hoophype. Can’t wait till Jackson is gone.

  41. In a shocking turn of events, Professor Goldsberry echoes everything I’ve ever written about Monta Ellis and the fundamental limitations of analytics.

    And tanking.

    http://grantland.com/features/dallas-mavericks-monta-ellis-dirk-nowitzki-2014/

    • I note that he dropped his analytics, or that when he does use them, it’s after he’s studied the overall situation.

    • cosmicballoon

      The lesson Jackson needs to learn, badly:

      According to Carlisle, the Mavs have tailored this year’s offensive system around Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki.

      “I made a conscious decision as a coach a few years ago to always do my best to take the personnel that I have and put them into the right system,” he says, “and not be someone that is very stringent about the type of system that he runs. So, when you get a guy like Monta, you gotta tweak some major parts of it, because he is now our leading minutes guy, and he and Dirk get the most shots, so you have got to adjust, and we have.”

    • cosmicballoon

      Feltbot, you agreed with this statement from the GoldyProf?

      Ellis has been to the playoffs twice, but he had never played with a truly elite player or under a great coach. He wanted that to change.

      • I noticed that too, and thought it was the one *clank* in the article.

      • Partially. When he played for We Believe he was quite young and low on the totem pole.

        Several factors complicated his year and a half with Curry. Return from injury, disgruntlement with franchise, crappy team that demanded too much of him.

        This is definitely the first time he’s played with a legit scoring big, and on a complete team, since We Believe.

        Of course, if Goldsberry is implying that Nellie wasn’t a great coach, then I would disagree.

        • cosmicballoon

          I fully agree with you, especially about his 1.5 yrs with Curry.

          The We Believe team was the perfect storm for Ellis coming out of HS. His job was simply to use his speed to score the basketball. When he was young, that was the role he was best suited for. He has developed into a competent scoring point guard, and it could (And should) be argued that he is better and more valuable than Derrick Rose, because of Rose’s injuries and his iffy jumper.

          Rose was a more natural passer when he came into the league, but Monta has developed a better game than Rose has had since the MVP season.

          • fuzzy dunlop

            Good lord. It’s one thing to say that Rose’s injuries reduce his value to the point that Ellis’s might exceed it (though I don’t think most GMs would agree), but to say that he has a “better game”? He’s more like a homeless man’s Derrick Rose, at best.

          • cosmicballoon

            Career averages during regular season:

            19.4 ppg, 45.6% shooting, 4.8 assts, 1.7 stls, 2.9 tov’s, 6’3″
            20.8 ppg, 46% shooting, 6.6 assts, .8 stls, 2.9 tov’s, 6’3″

            Who’s who Fuzzy? D-Rose and M-Ellis?

    • Professor Hat sez Full Credit to Goldsberry! He invented a career for himself as an analytics geek but has now written an article largely centering on the fallacies and outright falsehoods of analytics.

      “Team context” matters. Systems matter. Coaching matters. Shocking revelations to some, I guess, but not to Ellis or to those who watch games with eyeballs instead of spreadsheets.

      Check out Dirk’s and Monta’s shot charts in that article. Terrifying. The Mavs are just one piece away from being world champions again next year.

    • fuzzy dunlop

      “the fundamental limitations of analytics”- You mean stuff like “fit matters”? That’s a straw man if I’ve ever seen one. As if people don’t look at lineup data and analytics guys are just arguing for playing the 5 guys with the highest win shares per 48, or something. And AFAIK the Mavs are among the most stat heavy teams in the league, with a heavy focus on adjusted plus minus stats (as opposed to box score derived ones).

      • Fair enough, FD, but if you look only at Monta’s stats the Mavs shouldn’t have hired him. No one should. By his stats history, he’s a ball hog with so-so shooting percentages.

        Add/subtract Monta’s numbers to the Mavs and they’re a worse team. Add Monta to the Mavs and they’re a better team.

      • It’s not a straw man if every analytics guy in existence, INCLUDING Goldsberry, was on record as ridiculing Monta’s worth as a player. And very few franchises besides the Mavs were willing to make him an offer. And even that offer was hugely below his true value.

        Goldsberry is the first and only analytics guy so far to admit he screwed up on Monta, and thus the only one who is discussing the limits of analytics, rather than the reverse.

        • fuzzy dunlop

          Huh? All I’ve seen from Goldberry on Ellis is an article pointing to him being among the worst shooters in the league last season, scoring on below average efficiency from virtually every spot on the floor. You want to dispute that? Argue that it didn’t hurt his team? Fundamentally all of this stuff is about measuring on court performance, not precluding future changes to it in a different environment. It’s hardly a “fundamental limitation of analytics” that Ellis has recently become a useful NBA player on the Mavs after being a grossly harmful one for 8 years.

          • I have been arguing for years that Monta is a very good player in search of the right situation. The analytics guys have simply been saying that he, like Rudy Gay, is a bad and overrated player. If you don’t like the word “limitation” to describe their failure to predict Monta’s future, then find another one.

            You seem to be unwilling to recognize that NBA teams are putting analytics guys in their front offices to predict the future of personnel based on prior stats. And it was those guys who missed on one of the best point/combo guards in the NBA, Monta Ellis.

            I’m with Rick Carlisle: “They’re idiots.” Or as Goldsberry now admits, the uses of analytics are limited.

          • fuzzy dunlop

            As I said, my word for it is “straw man”. You’re just caricaturing the other side of the debate and pretending that an example of an individual player doing better in a different situation-playing second fiddle to a better player and under a terrific offensive coach- is an indictment of analytics. Do you think the notions that slashers thrive on better spacing, or that most players would benefit from not being first options are somehow contrary to analytics? And I don’t even know what to make of the notion that Monta Ellis was a “very good” basketball player all along. Talented? sure. But he wasn’t helping his team(s) win basketball games, which is what he was overpaid to do.

            (A separate issue is the notion that the Mavs benefited here from their “healthy skepticism” of analytics whereas other teams missed out because of their dogmatic adherence to it. I don’t buy that narrative at all and think they’re just being disingenuous after the fact.)

          • fuzzy dunlop

            Just noticed that Haralabos Voulgaris has a series of tweets on this very subject where he makes the same points that I just did more eloquently and succinctly.

          • Like every other quant, HV missed badly on what would happen when Monta joined the Mavs this season. I, on the other hand, nailed it. Why?

            All those factors, like “fit”, which you view as simply self-evident are not accounted for in advanced stats. Not in PER, Winshares, RAPM, nor any other advanced stat. When you glibly adduce them to your argument, you are doing something that analytics is simply incapable of. You need a basketball man to understand what you mean.

            HV is also wrong on what would become of Monta’s game if Nowitzki went down, in my opinion. Monta is not an inveterate chucker. Apart from an initial reluctance to assume point guard duties, he has done exactly what his crappy coaches asked of him, which is to carry his crappy teams, for 40 minutes a game. Playing through triple teams most nights. With the resultant hit to his stats and reputation.

            I’ll take my analysis over HV’s, with the evidence of this season as my proof. What I knew about Monta’s game allowed me to predict what would happen, and as far as I know, I’m the only one who predicted it. Other than Rick Carlisle.

    • Re tanking, let’s also give full credit to Cuban for his decision to play to win this year.

      The average difference between winning and losing in the NBA is <3%. By the numbers that margin is almost unnoticeable. But the difference is huge – it's a win or a loss – and it's one that stats don't convey well. Cuban gets it.

    • I haven’t verified this, but someone at another blog said Smart had Ellis take a lot of shots because the team wins more when he takes 20+. If true, it’s an example of stats leading a coach by the nose. It also explains why Ellis launched so much. We have every reason to believe Ellis did what he was told to do, as he does in Dallas.

      Smart did little to integrate Curry and Ellis into an effective team. How would Curry + Ellis compare to Ellis + Calderon?

  42. I have a feeling we’ve been set up to be disappointed, but that depends on how expectations are defined, and in the case of this organization those aren’t clear at all.

    But my expectations are simply this, that the team develop and play to its potential, manage the season well, and go into the playoffs strong with a healthy, coherent, and motivated team. And in this respect, the Warriors have been a disappointment much of the season. We had every reason to believe, with a few affordable and sensible decisions, the Warriors could have made a serious run in the playoffs. It’s possible instead they may not make them, or, if they do, go out quickly.

    I hope I’m wrong, of course.

    Specifically, a successful organization should do these things:

    1. Find and develop a core of key talent.

    2. Develop a system that makes best use of that talent.

    3. Manage the health and condition of those players, largely through rest and sensible playing time game to game.

    4. Find, train, and develop supporting players, and bring them into the system. This should be an ongoing process over years. These players also offer trade pieces.

    5. Have flexible, variable, coordinated systems that make use of all players, which can match a variety of teams and situations as well as spell the starters.

    6. Manage the salary cap so that the team can afford to make adjustments during the season to fill in gaps or correct deficiencies.

    When you look at this list, you see that the Warriors succeed only in #1 and are weak for the rest, whereas the Spurs excel in all categories. And guess who is on top.

    Curry, Iguodala, Lee, and Klay have all proven themselves. Bogut is limited, but useful, yet still overpriced, and his health is a gamble, most likely with low odds. His assets could have been provided more cheaply with a role player in a system that frees up the other starters instead of being made a centerpiece, leaving money for another versatile and sizable player to support Lee.

    As for #2 and #5, Feltbot has been criticizing this all season persuasively, yet there’s no evidence any adjustment has been made to give confidence. Jackson’s lineups and strategy have been rigid and inefficient over the course of a 48 minute game and of a 82 game season.

    #3 has been a concern all season, and we’re holding our breath now with Lee and Iguodala.

    The bench is still a mess. The team has failed miserably at #4. Riley’s find, Green, has been a surprise. If he’s worked his way into the system, however, or rather made up for its deficiencies, it’s because of what he brought to the team from his years with Tom Izzo. Ezeli has passed his 6 months recuperation time. Other players simply have not been developed or their talents used. (Question: What would D’Antoni have done with Speights?) There’s no evidence the coaching staff can develop skills of developing players. And a bad bench has pushed the starters to play heavy minutes. Blake, on in years himself, cleans up some of the mess, but doesn’t do enough improve the team.

    How much of this is Jackson’s fault? Certainly #2 and #5. He will take the fall regardless, but many of the problems lie with the rest of the organization, the owner, GM, and assistants. And Jackson has had to work with a roster that was handed to him, along with, most likely, directives on how and when to play them. Lacob’s management of the cap has limited development of a full team.

    If Jackson goes, unless he is replaced by a competent coach who is given independence and major influence and brings in a good staff, all the problems still remain, except #1. We’ll have to wonder once more how long it might take them to get going with a new coach and staff. One loss here are career years from very fine players. These are rare and precious assets.

    Lacob has put himself in a position where the only way he can make the team better is to go over the cap and spend extravagantly. Why he hasn’t done so we’ll never know. Either he doesn’t have the money or doesn’t think the team is worth the expense. Or maybe he believes he has spent the money well and that the fault lies elsewhere, i.e. with the coach.

    But last night we saw a $10m roster, the Laker misfits, beat a $90m Knicks team by 30 points.

    You have to wonder how much Barnes has been a major cause, given his extensive playing time, for which there is little justification. If he has potential, the staff has not brought it out. He has been a drain on the offense and faltered when he needed to step up, say when Iguodala was out. The team cannot have any confidence he will step up in the playoffs. His minutes have prevented bringing other players up. He could have been traded for a midrange player who would have helped the team.

    And whose decision was that?

  43. fuzzy dunlop

    Here’s a stat: The Warriors starting five is the second best 5 man unit in the league, outscoring opponents by 15 points per 100 possessions. What happens when you replace Iggy with Barnes? They plummet to -7 per 100 possessions. That is staggeringly awful. And to think the standard excuse being made for Barnes is that he’s wilting on the bench and needs more playing time with the starters!

    (Source: The same realgm poster that purported to have a detailed exchange with Lacob regarding Barnes, the one where he compares HB to Kobe. For the record, I believe that’s an actual Lacob quote…)

  44. Stats and owners, from ESPN:

    There is a growing concern that the rise in the popularity of basketball analytics (such as player efficiency rating and true shooting percentage) has led to more stat-based personnel hires rather than ex-players becoming general managers.

    “Basketball guys who participated in the game through years of rigorous training and practice, decades of observation work through film and field participation work feel under-utilized and under-appreciated and are quite insulted because their PhDs in basketball have been downgraded,” the former executive, who chose to remain anonymous, told ESPN NBA Insider Chris Broussard.

    “Generally speaking, neither the [newer generation of] owners nor the analytic guys have basketball in their background,” the longtime executive told Broussard. “This fact makes it easy for both parties to dismiss the importance of having experience in and knowledge of the game.

    “Most new owners come from the financial world so they rely on analytics as an important part of their business models outside of the NBA. In the attempt to better understand the game [of basketball], the newer owners put analytic-minded guys in place to run their organizations who utilize similar methods and techniques that are familiar to them. There is a comfort level for both parties.”

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10673335/some-executives-fear-reliance-stats-keeping-ex-nba-players-front-offices

    • It’s odd, then, that a financial quant guy like Lacob would hire a “feel” guy like Mark Jackson.

      • after last season lacob was probably smug and satisfied about how his coaching hires worked out. the addition of an .80 healthy bogut and iguodala compensated for the subtraction of malone, and they probably get the same playoff seed with a few more regular season wins when all is said and done.

        last season was a big boost to profitability and jackson was a key employee contributing to it. media interlocutor was one of the principal roles he was hired to fill, obviously not video, stat, tactical analysis. when lacob looks for latent assets in his personnel (jackson, myers, his son and heir presumptive) and places them in positions demanding growth, he’s convinced he can defy the peter principle and he isn’t really expecting 100% success. when he cuts jackson loose he’ll be quite satisfied with what he pulled out of him.

  45. Lacob made it clear from the beginning that Jackson was his motivation guy, Malone the “X” and “O” guy. Should have known better than to hire as coach Jackson who had no previous coaching experience.

  46. Calderon has been a greater contributor than Ellis to the Mavericks success. B. Wright gave the Maverick 4 net extra possessions last night in only 21 minutes on the court.

    • Calderon was a good hire for the Mavs, no doubt, but a greater contributor than Ellis? That’s not what the Mavericks say.

  47. Scalabrine, the Boston connection again:

    “By Tuesday, Jackson was ready to part with Scalabrine, a former veteran power forward whose career spanned 11 seasons and included an NBA championship in 2008 with the Boston Celtics, with whom Warriors owner Joe Lacob was a minority owner. In addition, Warriors general manager Bob Myers was Scalabrine’s agent for 10 of his seasons as a player.”

    from ESPN

    • Ethan Straus @ ESPN says it is likely MJ won’t be coaching Dubs next year.
      http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10680517/golden-state-warriors-reassign-assistant-brian-scalabrine-d-league

      • Cutting and pasting from the major media is the new blogging…

        Don’t see that opinion in the piece btw.

        • http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/67038/do-warriors-have-faith-in-mark-jackson

          Actually, it’s not a bad piece. Jackson’s faith, with all its warts, plus the players’ interest is a factor, though some of us would prefer to believe it’s a smoke screen.

          • Looks like I read the wrong link.

            This is an excellent piece, the best I’ve seen from Strauss. The first and only piece to examine the extent to which Jackson has made Christianity part of the fabric of the Warriors.

          • strauss’ piece doesn’t seem to take a position either way on jackson’s coaching future, in my reading anyway. he puts emphasis on curry’s support, which is verifiable and unequivocal.

            feltboss speculates it’s the lacobites themselves who provided the flak about friction last season with malone(denied by him) or jackson inquiring about other coaching positions(denied by him), but that manner of agit prop would be more fitting if the team were considering their draft lottery position rather than winning down the home stretch and extending the post season.

          • If especially Curry, but also the others, are that close to Jackson, you have to wonder if they won’t have a say in what shakes out in regards to the Preacher’s future.

    • Speculating on Jackson’s future with the Ws is big fun, but it’s highly situational. If his team clears the table for the rest of the season, no problem.

      Jackson’s prospects would dim with an L against Memphis (my bet). After that it’s the Knicks, @Dallas, @San Antonio, then Sacramento @ Oracle. None of those games are sure things, especially if Lee is hurt.

      I’m guessing the Ws do no better than 3-5 over that stretch. Depending on how other teams do, that could move the Ws to 8th in the playoff standings, right where they were last year. No improvement.

      How would Ws management feel about facing San Antonio for their first-round playoff opponent? It could be a firing offense!

  48. Detractors of Our Beloved Harrison Barnes may be interested in Bogut’s twitter feed and his somewhat underhanded disrepect of the #blackfalcon.

    It’s teammate banter, sure, but it’s not uncommon for Bogut to jest about his self appointed nickname and his apparent ego. The undertone being that he hasn’t really earned anything in the league yet.

    Or maybe, I just read to much into this stuff.

    eg. @andrewbogut: Did you know the #Blackfalcon himself has a sandwich (YES you heard right) named after himself,(yes HIMSELF) @a local bayarea sandwich spot?

    http://www.twitter.com/andrewbogut/status/449310695360712705

    • for the players, the team wins often enough to erase the memory of bad losses, and to put them into the conversation for a championship, though falling short of the elite level. not insignificant to them, they have a comforting and easy going work environment under the preacher. the brass/brain trust wouldn’t hesitate to replace jackson with a more regimented, demanding coach if they were confident it would gain them a few more wins, specifically, more home dates in the playoffs ; an easy trade off, if the players aren’t as comfortable as a result.

      the players at this level believe they make much more of a difference than any coach, other than the handful at the bottom of the coaching Bell curve like Smart, so it’s an easy choice between comfort with the preacher or a harsher supervisor who might squeeze a few more wins from them. all of the key vets have been on bad teams where they were expected to be difference makers ; only two teams make it to the finals each season, and the GS players know they have it much better than most of the teams that don’t reach the finals.

      • warriorsablaze

        You’re likely correct about the player’s feelings about the work environment.

        I wonder about the high IQ players and vets though… are they intuitively aware of the preacher’s shortcomings?

        I’ve been on the fire MJax train for a while, but I’m feeling a bit hesitant now. Doc was pretty garbage his first few seasons and is now considered among the elite coaches (I haven’t paid enough attention to give my opinion either way). The defensive improvement is not a small thing, and was there to a significant degree last season even before Iggy and with Bogut out. Perhaps next training camp we actually get an offense?

  49. With the playoffs a few weeks away and rumors swirling about the Preacher’s demise, isn’t this point where Lacob steps in with some phony explanation about why he hasn’t yet extended his contract to assuage fans and give some measure of stability to the team for the post season?

    You have to wonder what results might make Lacob decide to extend it—a deep run in the playoffs? That is arbitrary and unreasonable. Also the chances for making a run may well be better this season than the next few—the roster won’t change significantly unless Lacob blows the cap—plus the team would be starting over with a new coaching staff if Jackson is let go. Then who would be the replacement? You can be certain that this blog’s criticisms of Jackson and his strategy are not Lacob’s. There’s no chance in hell Lacob would hire D’Antoni, and there don’t look to be good veteran coaches available. Nor do we have any reason to trust Lacob’s judgment in selecting coaches.

    But it’s hard not to believe this one isn’t on the Preacher for not tending to his flock. The only picture emerging is that he can’t bring up and manage an effective staff, which Lacob expected him to do, with fair reason. I believe it was reported that he refused to find a good replacement for Malone, saying he didn’t need one. If I want to be skeptical, maybe a bit snarky—and of course I do—Jackson doesn’t like people around him who are smarter than he is. Standing at the helm with his arms folded during timeouts while Malone madly sketched plays must not have sat well with him last season. Whatever happened with Scalabrine, Jackson should have managed it, especially this late this season, with playoffs coming. Scalabrine’s demotion has only brought discord and instability at a time when the team least needs it. And it’s hard to believe Scalabrine did anything that serious. But Lacob can’t force Jackson to keep someone he doesn’t want—it would be too disruptive.

    Maybe that’s not the story, but it’s the only interpretation Jackson has allowed us with his words and behavior. His moralistic homilies are only covers for his uncertainty and lack of knowledge.

    Or has Jackson been putting the best face he can on an untenable situation and finally blew with an underling, Scalabrine? Lacob dictated the roster and has stated his preferences for the type of game he wants. He also keeps an eye on superficial defensive stats such as rebounding, which Jackson is under pressure to pump up. I can’t believe Jackson committed the team and his future to Barnes, the guy Lacob tanked for. Nor can I fault him much for not bringing along a player who simply lacks at too late a stage the requisite desire and skills.

    Then again, Jackson has complete freedom with the bench, where he failed miserably, forcing the FO to find stopgap replacements.

    Yet again, Jackson wasn’t give a good bench to work with, especially at backup PG, the team’s achilles heel this season.

    It’s a shame we can’t change the owner and the coach. The team has been suffering in the nexus of the overlap of their inadequacies.

    • cosmicballoon

      Chill out a little RGG — get rid of the owner and the coach??? Would you rather have what is going on in NY, or in Philadelphia or Cleveland?The Warriors ownership wants to win AND wants to make money. They are aggressive and sometimes stupid. The same thing could have been said for Mark Cuban when he first bought the Mavs. They made a mistake by hiring an inexperienced coach. However, once they hire a good coach with experience, I think we are going to see this organization blossom even more.

      • Four years is a long time to wait, especially now, when the NBA has been going through extensive realignment. Career years from the core talent have been wasted. At the end of four years, there is still uncertainty at key positions, most obviously coaching. And remember: Lacob hired Jackson because he wanted a younger coach who could “grow” with the organization. Lacob has failed twice at his most important decision—finding a coach. It’s not even clear he recognizes how important that decision is or what it requires.

        Yet in just one year, Phoenix and Toronto have turned their organizations around, largely through sensible acquisitions at coach and GM.

  50. Almost hate to mention it, but this big media to-do about Jackson is quite possibly a staged event.

    – It keeps the Ws on the front page throughout their week off. Without a “controversy,” sportswriters don’t have any Warriors product to publish. It’s not even a very original story line. The 49ers ran the same number last month.

    – It’s cheap market research. Commenters provide excellent feel for the mood of a market. A trained market researcher can get far more than a simple +- from them.

    – It’s a good test of the players’ real commitment to the coach. If the Warriors “problems” have always been only about player effort (as MJax says in post-game interviews), then a team that wants to keep Jackson might bust ass to win the rest of the schedule. If they flop, maybe they’re not so motivated to keep Jackson.

    Given the Warriors’ strict (and mostly effective) “message control,” you have to wonder.

    • cosmicballoon

      I hear what you are saying — the fact still remains that Scalabrine was kicked out of the building for no explained reason except “philosophical differences.” And it came with playoff seeding in question. Yes, this kept the Warriors in the spotlight when baseball season usually dominates this market, but this is a no-win for Jackson or the Lacobites.

      Many of us have been very hard on Jackson this season — namely his ugly offensive strategy and his terrible substitution patterns. However, this seems to be a very bold move, demoting someone who was causing discontent in the locker room. Scalabrine has been characterized by the media as an innocent-ish byestander during this week. A better question is, what did he do that was so egregious to cause Jackson to fire him? Hopefully this information comes out at some point. We will certainly learn something about the Preacher at that point.

      • I don’t know, CB. It seems to me that Jackson could win from a demonstration of support from his players. If they’re behind him – and they prove it – it could silence us boo-birds. If they bomb for the rest of the season, Jackson goes – and everyone else wins. Either way, it answers some questions.

        For Ws management, the bottom line is the popularity of the Warriors, even more than the W-L record. If this media storm is a test of Jackson’s popularity, the knowledge gained from it is a win for Ws management no matter how it turns out.

      • the specific incident precipitating scalabrine’s exile was a confrontation between him and one of jackson’s senior assistants, meyers, after the loss to SA during the extended closed locker room meeting. the rationale, the staff can’t show disunity in front of the players, and jackson viewed the new guy as the source of the problem. the details came out with all the other rebuttals to the wojnarowski article.

  51. Interesting interview of Vivek:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/67010/qa-kings-owner-vivek-ranadive

    He gets “positionless basketball” (Nellieball), so why doesn’t Lacob?

    • ranadive coached young girls with no hoops experience himself into the national championship round for their age group ; he probably made no specialized positions because his players hadn’t had their skills specialized to that extent yet.

    • Interestingly, Vivek also gets that the team and a player’s role make a big difference in individual performance numbers like offensive efficiency. Rudy Gay’s numbers look decent with the Kings. Same player, same strengths, different results.

      That’s not a brilliant revelation. Any bball fan can see it. But a lot of stats guys seem to trust the numbers more than their eyes. Vivek – a numbers guy if there ever was one – gets the bigger picture.

  52. From a popup poll on Warriorsworld:

    Who’s the Most Underrated Warrior This Year?
    35% Draymond Green
    20% Other
    20% Andrew Bogut
    14% Andre Iguodala
    12% David Lee

  53. Bazemore starting tonight.

  54. The title of the piece FB linked @55:

    “Report: Mark Jackson demoted Brian Scalabrine for arguing with Warriors assistant coach Pete Myers”

    I’ve been contemplating this all day. Was Brian demoted for arguing in general or specifically for arguing with Myers? And from the piece, the latter seems to be the case.

    I am reminded of the E. M. Forster sentence in an essay on movies that perplexed James Thurber so:

    “American women shoot the hippopotamus with eyebrows made of platinum.”

    Who has the the platinum eyebrows, the women or the hippo? Or are the eyebrows what they use to load the gun?

    The worst case scenario for me is that Jackson is trying to keep control of the locker room and doesn’t want anyone to get upset, i.e., he thought Scalabrine’s outburst inappropriate. Remember, this is the guy who won’t act out on the court but rather has to ask to get a technical. If so, the place must be a pressure cooker, with Jackson sitting on the lid. But after the miserable coaching job with the Spurs, someone should have blown off steam.

    Hard to believe more isn’t involved here that has been brewing, however. Demoting Scalabrine for one act is petty and perverse. Hard to believe, too, that such rigidity doesn’t carry over to his coaching.

    And there’s a horrible chance Jackson talks to the players exactly the way he does to them in a huddle when the mike is near as well as to us in press conferences.

    I’ve had enough.

  55. GO MO!

    Speights’ performance was no surprise. He’s shown those abilities with a good lineup all season, little as it’s been tried, and he could have stepped up more. My main beef was they didn’t run the pick and roll more with him and Steph. The only one I recall, Speights was open, popped, and nailed his shot, but also Mo can motor to the basket, as we saw.

    I also thought he should have finished to provide offense, and if Jackson wasn’t planning to close with him, he should have played him with the subs. O’Neal just can’t get to the bucket that well or hit his shots, though he did make his free throws. Speights would have provided more offense the last five minutes but then—

    Green—

    knocked down his shots, and of course was a force with screens and defense. Imagine what he’d be like if he had Randolph’s size. We’d see Zebo rolling on the floor.

    #30, of course, was phenomenal.

    Barnes made two plays that made me wonder why they let him wear a jersey. First, yet another muffed drive. But also, well into the fourth quarter, he missed a 3 that came straight back to him, but he didn’t come in to rebound but just watched and instead Memphis picked it up and ran a fast break. That almost determined the game there.

  56. Felt, you can use this post title again.

    • I have an incredible knack for missing the best games when out of town. But at least I chose a timeless title for the thread.

  57. Big win. I was worried about GS missing playoffs. Curry best player on floor tonight (like most nights) Only Lebron and Durant can and can win games by themselves like this. If anyone else steps up in the playoffs to support him Ws have punchers chance..

  58. fuzzy dunlop

    Having Barnes in is like playing 4 on 6. I hate cliches about “wanting it more”, but has this guy EVER gotten a 50/50 ball? He can’t do anything but score+can’t score. D league time! (not gonna happen)

  59. On Curry’s game-winning 3, Draymond screened two defenders, his own and Curry’s. I’ve seen him do that before, but it’s still special. Green also shot 5-11 and led the team in rebounds with 9.

    I wonder if team management was paying attention. See what they accomplished with “small” ball.

  60. The offense was still pretty stagnant against Memphis, and the game depended once more on Curry heroics. With Speights taking shots, there was more they could have done to get better looks for Klay and work Iguodala into the offense. There should have been more ball movement and pushing the pace with this faster lineup. And they could have given Speights feeds on the run.

    It was especially true with the subs. As Barnett said, there often was nowhere for Blake to go. Feeding O’Neal on the post just isn’t effective.

    • Let’s send the Ws coach a link to here:

      http://basketballhq.com/san-antonio-spurs-loop-play

      In the halftime interview, Draymond said the offensive scheme was to “take what they were given by the defense.” A real coach uses real plays (see above) to MAKE the defense give up opportunities, not just wait for them to appear.

      Once again, Draymond was the only one on the team who always tried to push the ball upcourt quickly. Unfortunately, when he got there, everyone on the team just stood around. No one looked to get open until after Dray picked up the ball. Result: the Ws offense begins with 15 sec on the clock, not 24.

      There is no worse offensive scheme in basketball, at any level of play. In the NBA it’s almost unbelievable to see a team run no plays.

      The Ws run a lot of iso’s. “Isolation” is not a play, it’s a 1-on-5 alternative to running a play. It’s a huge credit to Curry and the crew that they win anyway, despite not having an offensive scheme to work with.

      I wouldn’t fire Jackson for his management style or anything else. I’d fire his ass for having zero offense. And I’d pull the trigger the very next time Jackson permits a Harrison Barnes iso.

  61. Toney Douglas with a nice game starting at PG for the Heat. Note what he did to Brandon Jennings.

  62. Draymond is signed through next season. Can we offer him an early extension? I don’t know the rules for 2nd round picks.

    • one of the great disparities in the c.b.a. is the degree of regulation over contracts for first round draft picks relative to the extreme latitude teams have with second round picks. they can offer their picks no contract (a Sept. cut off date gives players without a deal free agency); a non-(or conditionally) guaranteed deal similar to those given non-drafted free agents ; or anything between a one and four year guaranteed deal. the four year deals are given to players projected as exceptional and likely to blossom before the end of the contract, effectively delaying their entry into the auction prices of free agency and depressing their compensation in their third and fourth year. Chandler Parsons is a recent example of a second rounder signed to this level of contract.

      the team signed Green to a very team-friendly deal, two years guaranteed at <800 k.(close to what non drafted d-leaguers like bazemore get), with the team owning a third year ('14-'15) option, which it has exercised. green will be getting less than a vet minimum next season, so negotiations from his and his agent's perspective should start with a fat signing bonus, in effect bringing next season's salary up to at least a first round pick's, if not on par with a vet like speights. as a former agent Myers will have a very good notion what a free agent like green would command next summer, as will green's agent of course. this season should have demonstrated to the team that it can't rely on bogut's or lee's health, and despite the playing time barnes gets guaranteed, green is also their best reserve wing. if green left with free agency, they'd face replacing him with two players who'd be more difficult to utilize effectively, especially if jackson remains as coach. players with green's defensive versatility and consistent production on the boards get well paid, and his contributions on offense with his movement, screens, ball handling put him on another level than those specialists.

  63. A brief word in favor of Bogut—

    The lineup with Speights and Bogut wasn’t bad. Bogut did and would have done a fair job on Randolph, and Zebo wouldn’t have gone straight at him as he did Speights later first half (who stood his ground valiantly).

    Speights might have served better than Lee, in fact, in part because Memphis didn’t take him as seriously, in part because he does have an effective midrange shot and can drive for openings. He can motor with power. Most, however, because Jackson would have posted Lee up and Lee would have driven into the teeth of that front court, valiantly again, and often futilely.

    But brief is all Bogut gets for last night because his stay was brief. Meanwhile Green gets slammed to the floor and lands full force on his back. . . .

  64. Toney Douglas started again last night, put up some good numbers, and looks like from the box score limited Brandon Knight as well.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=400489964

    MJax is a motivator, which is a significant contribution. And he can be credited, I believe, for the improved defense thru that motivational effort, along with aquiring Andre Igoudala, Andrew Bogut coming back this year off of injury, Klay Thompson’s self-improvement, and Draymond Green forcing more minutes for himself.

    But is MJax a hard worker? Does he study the films and take the time to figure out how to use his guys to their strengths and develop plays or a system to do so? (Or at least assign one of his assistant coaches to do so?) I have a feeling his statement “I’m a flow guy” extends to his personal work effort as well.

    • This is particularly impressive in light of BK’s recent performance, that has many talking about him “breaking out.”

    • TD had NINE rebounds!

      I think the “motivation” thing is overrated. Don Nelson did too. I once heard him say “if they rely on their coach for motivation, they won’t have much of a career.”

      If someone got to the NBA, they beat out over 4,000 other US college players to get there. Slackers don’t get that far. NBA players are all highly self-motivated, they’re screened for motivation in college ball. NBA players are all proven Type As.

      Not all NBA players are confident, though, and that’s where a coach does make a difference. Confidence is essential in a game played faster than the speed of thought. A hesitant or tentative player simply cannot do well.

      Witness Baze and Douglas. Neither has suddenly improved his skills, they’re both just playing with less hesitation, and doing well as a direct result. Baze gets to be Baze, a player with limitations (who isn’t?) but real assets too. Ditto Douglas.

      Is Jackson a confidence-builder? For a select few (Curry, Thompson, Jarrett Jack), yes. For others (a long list of decent role players who’ve moved on), no.

      Jackson could drop the rahrah talk tomorrow and no one would miss it. He’d get more from his players by building trust and confidence. He could start by giving his 2nd unit a couple of go-to offensive plays.

  65. cosmicballoon

    Missing Lee and Bogut, the Memphis game was one of the most impressive wins of the season. Speights scoring and defense, Draymond’s tough rebounding and big 3 in the 4th and Curry’s work in the second half was phenomenal. Even JO was effective guarding Z-BO for the most part and putting Sleights on Gasol was a good move (and Jackson’s only move) because of Sleights height and mobility.

    Klay Thompson continued his aggressive play and strong defense…he worked hard to limit Conley’s drives and open looks from 3.

    That leaves us with Iggy who makes a difference, but doesn’t seem to be part of the offense anymore. Hopefully he can be integrated in the last few weeks before the playoffs.

  66. http://www.basketballinsiders.com/the-agony-of-an-nba-mistake/

    How does one get this job? Not that I was any better on Harden.

    • the writer isn’t employed presently by an n.b.a. team, and academia has its own form of the rat race, as the esteemed Professor Dr. Zamir could tell us. what he practices, and what most amateur partisans who consider themselves savvy usually fail to do, he looks closely for evidence that proves his hypotheses wrong.

  67. Unintended consequences of new CBA:

    http://www.basketballinsiders.com/the-unintended-consequences-of-the-2011-cba/

    Intended consequence: Joe Lacob will never pay the tax.

    • the writer indulges in supposition if he’s not using ‘unintended consequences’ rhetorically, unless he’s had extensive and candid conversations with the lawyers and owners on one side and the players and agents on the other. pretty reasonable to think that some of the effects were intended — only the very wealthiest teams choosing to afford the tax penalties, and the greater likelihood of players testing the free agent market.

    • Lacob’s Warriors are a special case. At the time the current CBA was being negotiated Lacob had just acquired a large-market team, but one which had been run like a small-market team for 16 years under Cohan.

      Small-town teams rely on putting butts in seats. Large-market teams have far more ancillary revenue from other sources. The Lakers, for example, have a 20-year, $200M/year TV contract. For comparison, Lacob’s TV contract is for $25M/year and Cohan’s was for $9M/year.

      The Lakers’ payroll was approximately $100M last year. As a business, they’d do just fine if they played to empty arenas. They have to pay a luxury tax? Who’d bother to notice? Only those without the Lakers’ outside revenue. All the small-market teams in the league.

      The author of the above article is correct in that the current CBA’s more punitive luxury tax schedule isn’t enough to dissuade a team like the Lakers from exceeding the cap. Exceeding it would impact the Ws’ bottom line, though, until they turn into a bigger revenue machine. They’re not there yet. Every time you see a Warriors promotional ad during a game, think “unsold ad spot.” There are a lot of them.

      Lacob needs a couple of things to grow the Ws revenue to the level where the salary tax won’t matter.

      – A winning team with a worldwide following.
      – A likable, uncontroversial, popular, squeaky-clean team spokesman.

      Lacob has neither of those things right now. After he gets them, and team revenue grows as a result, then he can quit worrying about the lux tax. Until then, it’s an issue. Can’t blame him for that. The Ws are a business, not a public benefit association.

  68. Great article on the limitations of analytics in basketball:

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2014/03/29/new-age-nba-analytics-advantage-overload/1gAim4yKYXGUQ2CTAe7iCO/story.html

    It seems I’m running out of things to evangelize on.

    • fuzzy dunlop

      First off, I’d object to calling stuff like sportsvu “analytics”- It’s an automated data collection system. Analytics is what you do with that data. Secondly, I love how they’ve added to your previous “but analytics can’t predict every single player’s future performance. Check Aaand Mate!” fallacy the even more grotesque “all the statistical analysis in the world can’t compete with Lebron” straw man. Really profound stuff.

    • “You’ve got to know personalities. I think you’ve got to know the locker room. I think that’s why [Heat president] Pat Riley has done a great job. I don’t know who the GM is for the Spurs, but [him, too].”

      Rondo doesn’t know who the GM of the Spurs is?

      • He knows, but it’s not politically correct to mention the real name.

        Very similar to Charles Barkley saying “whoever the GM in Golden State is…”

  69. Knix:

    Does coaching get any worse than this?

    The answer, of course, is yes. We’ve seen a version of something similar all season.

    The Warriors get off to a nice run and rhythm, then the subs come in. And all they do is walk the ball up and run isos and blow the lead. They got Blake for that? They let the Knicks get back in the game, build a lead.

    Offense is defense. Forcing a scattered team like the Knicks to play catchup is the best way to put them on their heels and make bad shots, especially with Smith and Anthony.

    And everything after that, from lineups to offensive plays is a muddle. And once more, they have to play catchup and hope Curry can work miracles.

    They can’t find good shots or run plays against some of the worst defenders in the NBA? There are so many things they could have tried. Both Speights and O’Neal are mobile, and can be hit on the run or used in pick and roll. Almost never tried. Speights was their best option for scoring, yet they don’t get him going. Crawford can drive or shoot if the team is moving and they open up the court. Not tried.

    Why did Barnes come in at the end of the second half when they’re trying to catch up? Why is Barnes on the court at all? How many times did he flub or bobble or lose the ball? And only a few of his shots had a chance. He does not focus on his shots when covered and cannot finish.

    Me blud is billin’. I have no confidence in this staff at all, going into the playoffs.

    • Harrison Barnes -18. Numerous iso’s, 2-7 shooting, 2 TOs (lost the handle twice). Why is this guy playing in the 4th?

      Team overall 35% shooting. Against the Knicks.

      • Then add the number of times he was passed the ball and simply passed back or dribbled around for a few seconds and passed back. When he gets the ball and decides to shoot or drive, there is a hesitation that gives the defenders time to get set.

        In short, he does nothing to set an offense in motion, in fact stalls it.

  70. fuzzy dunlop

    -Jackson inability to run a competent offense dooms this team again and again. Now Blake has been reduced to ISOs as well. Jackson’s response after the game? Something to the effect of “shots just didn’t fall”. Is he really that dumb?
    -YOU CAN’T HAVE BARNES IN AN NBA GAME. I mean that literally. It’s so depressing that this joke of a player will have such a huge impact on this team going forward, even after he’s finally cast aside to the end of the bench.
    -Thompson was garbage for the second night in a row. Does that refute the “perennial all star” talk? Of course not, to refute all you have to do is examine his game with the homer glasses off. But it’s a nice illustration of the tendency to build a narrative around stuff that’s basically random. If he continues to stink it up we’ll start to hear talk of him “regressing”- equally stupid. He’s just not that good.
    -No real complaints about Curry, crunch time ugliness notwithstanding. He’s not going to win games by himself every time. The fact that he got 1 assist was pretty funny though, sums the game up nicely.

  71. Maurice Speights was +8 for the game, high for the team. He got 8 boards and made an assist and a block. He was 2-8, which surprised me, because I don’t recall his taking that many shots, but most were on drives or put backs.

    Mo was the third best shooter on the floor tonight. He can shoot anywhere and get good looks, including over bigs. And he can move to the basket, if any plays are run for him (I only recall one or two). If he gets fouled, he is a good free throw shooter, 4th. best on the floor. (And Crawford is 3rd.—he could have driven more and gotten to the line.)

    Mo should have gotten more offense—12-15 shots—simply because he was their third best option. And if he got going, it would have opened things up for the others. And just once I’d like to see him get some of the 3 pointers over Barnes and the rest of the bench.

    I’m not saying he’s a great player. But tonight, he was essential for a win. If he doesn’t do it, he doesn’t do it. At least they played the percentages.

    Jackson does not know what he’s doing. The only way the team wins is if the seasoned and talented veterans are on the floor and can carry him and make up for his deficiencies.

  72. Does anybody else wonder what Scalabrine had to say when he blew up after the Spurs game?

    • My guess is he didn’t blame the players.

    • We don’t know that Scal blew up. That idea began as an unattributed rumor from one blogger. It was picked up and repeated as fact (“the rumor is…”) by others.

      Assuming Scal did blow up, I’d like to think it had something to do with the Ws offensive. But who knows? We can start rumors too. How about this?

      Myers farts on the bench. It’s obnoxious.
      The Ws have plays, but Curry never runs them.
      Scal wants Barnes to get zero playing time.
      Scal wants Barnes to start over Iggy.
      Scal is a pastafarian. If Jackson leads the team in prayer, he wants equal time.

  73. Lots to criticize in last night’s game, but my biggest question is this:

    The only object for the final shot of the game was a catch-and-shoot 3 pointer. Nothing else would do. Why was Jermaine on the floor? Why not Blake, Crawford or even Barnes?

    • If JON was on the floor for the final shot, that’s an egregious error, and the SECOND time Jackson has done that this season.

  74. Feltbot—

    Did you get a chance to see this mess and are you going to weigh in?

    • I caught the tail end on radio but didn’t see it. You’re on your own until I catch up. But I agree with everything said so far.

  75. Bazemore +23 against Phoenix.

    Didn’t see the game, but it looks like D’Antoni messed with Hornacek’s head. The Lakers played “big” for a change, and pounded the ball into the paint. Chris Kaman 32 minutes, 28 points, 17 rebounds. Ryan Kelly 30 minutes, 17 points.

  76. BASG:

    “Mark Jackson blames second quarter defense for loss to Knicks … who scored 89 points”

    My favorite part:

    ” ‘Overall, we don’t look at what cost us the game offensively… What cost us the game was giving up 34 points in the second quarter. That’s not our brand of defense,’ Jackson said.

    That’s right. In a game where the Warriors held the Knicks to 89 points, defense was the problem. In a game where Anthony took 21 shots to get 19 points and the Knicks shot 40% as a team, defense was the problem. In a game where Golden State scored 52 points and went 18-for-60 over the final three quarters, defense was the problem.”

    http://www.bayareasportsguy.com/mark-jackson-blames-second-quarter-defense-for-loss-to-knicks-who-scored-89-points/

    I’m with BASG on this.

    Jackson’s team scored only 84 points total on 34.5% shooting. In the first 5 minutes of the 2nd Q the bench squad ran nothing but iso’s, resulting in 2-9 shooting (22%) with 2 TOs. In the entire 2nd Q the Ws managed only 12 points. Against the Knicks.

    In what version of reality might 84 total points against the Knicks NOT indicate a problem with the offense? Obviously, Jackson is simply refusing to discuss it. Yeah, that’ll work. Maybe nobody will notice.

    • +1 I voiced similar sentiments on twitter.

    • As I said above, not being able to score 2nd. quarter was what got the Knicks in the game. Instead of being pushed to keep up, they could slow down, compose themselves, and start building confidence in scoring. They weren’t going to miss all night. And the subs, unable to score, got demoralized.

      Jackson is an idiot.

  77. TD did the job on Lowry last night.

    • the revealing info in that article for me was the description of Nicole C. as lacob’s fiancee — they’ve been ‘engaged’ for years now, plenty of time to hash out the pre nupt papers if that’s what keeps them from committing.

      • The revealing thing to me was that Jackson insisted on publicly shaming Scalabrine, and Lacob resents Jackson for the stink it caused. I wonder how much of that was guesswork by the reporter, and how much is true.

        • Amick made it sound like Lacob and Jackson were having a clash of egos. If true, Jackson is out sooner rather than later.

  78. fuzzy dunlop

    A nice response to Goldsberry’s glib, demagogic “Monta Ellis as an indictment of analytics” article:
    http://statintelligence.blogspot.ca/2014/03/analytics-monta-goldsberry-grantland.html

  79. on a night when they obviously needed any available relief from the bench, the preacher saw fit to give barnes eleven minutes. might this be the beginning of the end of the barnes era ?

    • It’s about time.

    • It was actually both Draymond’s season high in minutes (42) and Barnes’ season low (13).

    • The whole bench mob got short minutes last night.

      When the Ws got Blake, I thought they’d use him more. Speights provided a boost every time he got on the floor last night, but he played only 17 minutes.

      • +
        Speights has been a good contributor of late. Despite his 2-8 night, thought he played good game against Knicks. He is not Mokur but he doesn’t need to be.

  80. fuzzy dunlop

    Apparently they can’t extend Green yet, so I say cut Barnes and sign a family member of Draymond’s choice to a 10 day.

  81. NY shot 40%, Ws lose. Dallas shot 50%, Ws win. So much for winning with defense.

    • WHAT? You mean they didn’t play Warrior brand of basketball last night? It’s a moral outrage!

  82. Hard to complain about last night, especially when Monta and Dirk played so well. What a difference scoring centers can make—28 for Mo and O’Neal. My main beef is that they should have fed them on the move, and both can move to the basket. On a night when they weren’t calling fouls inside, both flubbed shots or in Mo’s case, turned it over, instead of going to the line, where both have good percentages. Open the court up, however, and push the pace, and they will have more open lanes.

    Mo’s missed dunk at the end, btw, was credited as a block. And again, Mo could have been given more outside shots to open up the defense.

  83. They should use +/– to rate not players but coaches. I.e., give a player a set number for his abilities and look at his numbers during a game and throughout the season. The number would reflect his overall abilities to contribute to a win, on offense and defense. When it goes up or down, that reflects who coached him and how he was played.

    Such a system could easily evaluate the coaching the last two games. The coaching against the Knicks was abysmal, against the Mavs much more effective.

    It could also be used to measure owners who want defensive teams.

    The Warriors might yet win 50 games, yet it still has been a frustrating season. I want to argue the starters’ +/– has gone down with Jackson this year, but the numbers don’t quite bear that out. But they have had to work much harder to keep those numbers this season, a tribute to them, not the coaching. They have had to play long minutes and have been forced to score in inefficient sets—Lee post ups, for example. If their shooting % has been spotty, it’s because of this—and I can’t believe Lee has lost him midrange shot. Not having a system that continually gives them good looks makes it harder to establish a shooting rhythm, game to game, throughout the season. And not running the team and opening up the court makes scoring much harder.

    They have lost games they should not have lost. Or even if they don’t win the other games, they didn’t play in such a way that takes advantage of their talents that might have allowed them to win. Most obviously, the games against the Spurs, where Jackson’s +/– would be horrible.

    And they have had too often to play from behind and catch up, which grinds over the course of a season, often to make up for poor starts or for leads the subs blew. Jackson’s +/– for the subs is dismal, who have for the most part performed miserably, yet have performed well elsewhere—Crawford with Boston previously and Bazemore with LA and Douglas with Miami now—or have performed well for the Warriors only in spots, Speights most notably.

    Barnes is a special case. His +/– would probably be higher as well with a different coach and system. The problem here is that the only way to get his numbers up is to surround him with starters who can support and feed him, and his contributions then don’t justify his court time with them or who he moves to the bench.

    I’d also like to see some kind of overall review of defensive stats, which supposedly are good, to see how well they stand up against the team’s ability to win. I want to argue they have taken a toll on defense, in part because of the rosters they entail. Rebound numbers, as I have argued, may be suspect. Often bigs are put in for boards, but at the expense of offense.

    • Barnes is an easy call, but ESS also flatly says Lee sucks, and that’s simply not always true. As with most players (Barnes excepted), Lee does well in some situations and not others. The concept of “matchups” seems to be too subtle for ESS.

  84. Plus/minus only shows how the team performed with a player on the court. A player can perform quite well and still have a minus rating because his team was outscored during the periods were on the court. The reverse is also true as player can play poorly yet have a positive rating because the team outscored the opponent with that player on the
    court.

    • I’m just speculating idly @89. My point is there should be some way to use stats to measure coaches (and owners). What I want to demonstrate is that Jackson has not been efficient this season. If he does well, it’s because of the starters, who perform well in spite of his coaching and often bail him out. When a key starter—Curry, Klay, Lee, or Iguodala—goes down, and with his nonstarters, his efficiency has been very poor. This the stats back up well.

    • “Plus/minus only shows how the team performed with a player on the court.”

      This is why adjusted +/- was developed.