Warriors 122 Mavs 120: Splash

Huge win for the Warriors in what can aptly be described as the first playoff game of the season. Both teams desperately needed this game.

The game was so big, that Mark Jackson actually let the Warriors play. He is, in general, a much better coach when his big man options are limited. But he’s also to be credited for limiting the isolation offense in this game, and trusting his great passing team to create.

One big only, Draymond Green at the four.

Early offense.

Limited isolations.

Pick and roll after pick and roll after pick and roll. Relentless, all game long. (Wouldn’t it be nice to see this with David Lee playing?)

Scoring centers, busting the Curry blitz.

Jordan Crawford, taking over the second unit offense.

My version of the Warriors true identity.         

Curry: Have the doubts about whether he’s a closer been answered yet? For my money he and Kevin Durant stand alone at the top of the league in their ability to create their own shot at the end of a game.

What about the doubts about whether he’s a point guard? We haven’t heard a lot about Curry’s turnovers lately. Last night he had only 1, against 10 assists, while playing through the most ferocious blitzing of the season. He was doubled on virtually every high pick.

O’Neal: A beautifully efficient game, and the biggest reason for that is that Mark Jackson used him primarily in pick and roll, rather that posting him up. How many times was he found completely unguarded under the basket?

The biggest difference between O’Neal and Bogut is that O’Neal WANTS THE BALL in the lane. He’s a willing target for the pick and roll.

The second biggest difference is that O’Neal is willing to take the ball to contact. Seeks it out, in fact. He wants to get to the line.

What a contrast to Bogut. We all know the deal there. Like Andris Biedrins, Bogut is mortally afraid to go to the line. Which sometimes causes him to avoid rolling in the pick and roll. Sometimes causes him to play hot potato when he gets the ball under the basket. And definitely lead to him developing that running floater he’s been shooting, rather than powering to the hoop.

O’Neal busted the Curry blitz last night, to the tune of 20 points. Convincingly demonstrating what having a scoring center can do for Stephen Curry’s game, and the Warriors.

If I were Mark Jackson, I would have some very interesting decisions awaiting me in the post-season. Particularly in crunch time.

Thompson:  While struggling to get it going, took it to the rack relentlessly. And then, as we saw, came alive from three in the biggest moments of the game.

And what a floor game. Guarded Monta Ellis for most of the game. Made plays for others off the dribble (5 assists). Rebounded.

I happen to think Klay has a real talent for rebounding, despite his low totals. I think his defensive assignments, which generally take him away from the basket, are primarily responsible for those low totals.

I’d really like to see what he could do playing small forward. Take last night, for instance. Is there a good reason to have Klay guard Monta Ellis, and Iggy guard 5th option Shawn Marion? Mark Jackson does realize that Iggy is both smaller and quicker than Klay, right? And despite Klay’s talent for guarding point guards, that Iggy could guard Monta better?

It’s possible that Jackson is simply protecting Iggy’s hamstring. But I don’t think that’s it. Even before Iggy was injured, Jackson preferred him at small forward in matchups where I think Iggy and Klay should have switched assignments.

Monte Poole uttered the All-Star word last night. Others will follow. We’re watching a great player come of age.

Green: Speaking of fabulous floor games. Green did a bit of everything last night. Defense, rebounding. Hit his only three.

After getting torched by Nowitzki from three in the first half, he really tightened the clamps in the second half, continually running Dirk off the line, and forcing him to give up the ball.

But what was most impressive to me last night was his role in busting the Curry blitz. Green frequently made himself available in the lane, and from there made several great passes to O’Neal under the basket, and Klay cutting to the basket. 6 assists.

42 minutes last night, to Barnes 13. Has Mark Jackson finally come to his senses? Has Joe Lacob finally averted his baleful glare? Has Draymond Green finally beat out Barnes to assume his rightful place in the Warriors’ rotation?

I wouldn’t be so sure. When Bogut and Lee return, and those power forward minutes dry up, the only way to get Green 30 minutes will be to play him at small forward, and sit Barnes for good.

See that happening?

Mokur: 9 rebounds in 17 minutes. Even if you hate how he looks offensively, recognize.

Like O’Neal, Mark Jackson used Speights frequently in the pick and roll. With mixed results. Mokur’s forays to the rim can only be described as adventurous, with a wild array of (attempted) finishes, when he’s not stripped on the way.

For the hundredth time, I’m going to question why Mark Jackson is so insistent on playing to Mokur’s weaknesses, and not his strengths. Mokur is a pick and pop player. One of the best big man shooters in the NBA, over a period of several years. Why won’t Mark Jackson trust him to shoot?

It would not only help Mokur’s game, but the Warriors game as a whole. Wouldn’t letting Mokur shoot on pick and pop help open up the entire floor?

I wonder what Mark Jackson would do if he had world champion Mehmet Okur himself. Force him to post up? Roll to the rim?

Here’s the great Jim Barnett at 8:25 4th quarter last night, in a slightly different context, after Klay was forced wide on a drive because of a cluttered lane:

If they take Speights out of the middle and bring Nowitzki with him, Klay Thompson can drive on Vince Carter and score.

Love you, Barnett. And shame on Joe Lacob for pushing you out.

Crawford and Blake: Am I mistaken in thinking that Blake was used mostly off the ball last night?

Enough to make you question the entire Bazemore for Blake transaction. If you weren’t already.

I’m just not sure that Blake is a very good second unit point guard. Those guys, ideally, should be uptempo playmakers. Sixth men. Like DJ Augustin, whom the Warriors apparently passed on.

Blake simply can’t make anything happen off the dribble. He’s not quick enough to get in the paint and finish. And he’s simple to guard in pick and roll — switch and stay with the big man.

Jordan Crawford is a good second unit point guard. A sixth man, who looks for his own shot, but can find open teammates.

Unfortunately, he’s now out of position, and being guarded by the good defender.

Barnes: 13 minutes? Zero shots? Zero isolations?

The time for puncturing the hype and the myths is over.

Words are no longer required.

This fight’s been called.

398 Responses to Warriors 122 Mavs 120: Splash

  1. GooseLosGatos

    Felbot,

    would you still not make the trade of Barnes for MKG straight-up?

    • How about Barnes straight-up for a double Lagavulin, straight up?

    • I might trade Barnes for MKG now with the idea that their trade values have flip-flopped. Is there a GM left in the league who hasn’t been educated on Barnes?

      But if I did this trade, I’d have to have Jackson’s signature on a statement swearing never to let MKG on the court. Can’t shoot, can’t pass. Not an NBA player.

      Can’t imagine why you’re so obsessed with MKG. I’d rather have Bazemore out of position at SF than either of these two guys. Not to mention Iggy, Thompson and Green.

      • GooseLosGatos

        Wait 2 years… Mark Price is going to eventually work wonders with him…. He’s defensive efficiency numbers are amongst the best in the league already. He’ll put it together….

  2. Refs concede they missed O’Neal’s goal tending last night:

    http://espn.go.com/dallas/nba/story/_/id/10717661/nba-acknowledges-refs-blew-critical-call-dallas-mavericks-golden-state-warriors-game

    But man, they missed a dozen fouls on the Warriors. This is justice.

    • I think they also missed a couple of late fouls on Monta. Incredible to me how little respect he gets.

      I know everyone considers Danny Crawford a top ref, but I don’t get it. Last night’s game was horribly officiated, and not a rare occurrence from his crew imo.

  3. Spurs:

    Nobody shows up what a bad coach Jackson is better than the Spurs. The plays, the players who did accomplish something tonight, Jackson only uses as a last resort. Brass Balls Bogut’s absence made absolutely no difference.

    You have to wonder where this team would be now if they had traded Barnes for even a so-so player, developed the talent they do have, and used a system that made sense.

    This team has me listening to hillbilly music:

  4. Felty: Congrats on your Augustin call.

  5. Jackson obviously conceded a loss to the Spurs. What is galling is that the team wasn’t prepared to give it their best shot. They looked lost and scattered most of the game. That would never happen with Popovich.

    Speights was the only player with a positive +/–.

  6. One would expect with Iggy, Lee, and Bogut out that the play would be disorganized and scattered. Bit of a reach to blame Jackson for that.

    • warriorsablaze

      Of course everyone expects the overall level of play to decrease with 3 key players out, but with a well-coached, well-disciplined team things shouldn’t completely fall apart. You may not have enough talent on the floor to win, but there’s no reason for things to look scattered and disorganized. That’s on the coach.

      I’ve softened a bit on my Jackson firing stance due to the player buy-in (which is hugely important), and I recognize the solid defense we’ve built. Will year 4 finally bring an offense or are we still going to be playing rec league ball and just count on Curry every night? That’s the concern, with no indications to the contrary so far.

      • When asked about Keith Smart, the Ws players (including Curry) who voiced an opinion all said they wanted him to stay. Player loyalty is important, but it is absolutely not a determining factor. Good coaches always get player buy-in. It’s part of the job. But even bad coaches get player buy-in sometimes.

        • warriorsablaze

          There’s a difference between players saying what they are supposed to say, and players going out of their way to offer support.

          I agree that bad coaches get player buy-in sometimes…our team may be a perfect example. Player buy-in, especially what Curry would say to Lacob behind closed doors is certainly ONE of the determining factors.

          The real issue will be with Jackson’s development. Doc struggled for a few years before being considered one of the league’s best. Will Jax learn fast enough for this roster’s window? That’s the risk with keeping him right now.

          • Yeah, it’s a tough call with serious trade-offs. Changing coaches is always disruptive. With this team, swapping a coach/pastor for a coach might also add another possible source of discontent, among his flock.

            On the other hand, Lacob burns millions and players lose valuable career time while Jackson grows into the job – if he even can, which is a serious question.

            Jackson’s performance this year does not show progress. That’s especially true for game-time decision making, but also includes the team’s apparently poor preparedness for many games. More than anything, there’s also the 2nd unit’s abysmal preparation and game planning. If they have ever run a set play, it’s not apparent. That’s on the coaching.

  7. Mavs over Clippers last night. Apparently the plan was to stop Monta. Ellis poor shooting but 9 assists. Everyone else on the Mavs great shooting. That’s how it’s supposed to work.

  8. warriorsablaze

    GSW with the fewest touches per possession. Not shocking. QT @EdKupfer NBA team pace and touches pic.twitter.com/kI8IQL983J— EvanZ (@thecity2) April 4, 2014

    • warriorsablaze

      Our boy EvanZ showing what we already know. A team with 4/5 great passers in the starting line up and Klay developing in that regard is last in the league.

      Defensive team. Offensive embarrassment.

      • comparison in number of touches per possession with western teams playing at a similar pace (OK, Phx, Hou, LA/sterlings) or slightly slower (Por, SA) reinforces how much the team’s potential is suppressed. GS players are winning despite their offense. anyone who watched the NY and Ind teams with jackson at lead guard should not be surprised.

        • I don’t exactly recall how Jackson led those teams, but based on how he has the Ws play I’d guess they went with walk-it-up “ball control” offenses. Perhaps the single worst offensive scheme for this Warriors roster.

          • Walk it up and dump it in the post:

            Smits/Ewing

          • to be fair to the reverend’s NY tenure, that team was just beginning to become the slow and ugly riley spectacle in jackson’s third and fourth seasons, with stu jackson and then riley as coach. as rookie of the year and for his second season Pitino was the coach, playing a medium to fast paced offense. the bigs were cartwright/ewing, and one of jackson’s ‘mates was his present coaching rival carlisle. truly ugly NY ball started after cartwright was traded for oakley. [nelson’s reaction a few seasons later when he saw the NY molasses was to use mason as point forward, upsetting the status quo and ultimately the brass]. jackson was shipped to LA/sterlings, one of their typically bad teams with the legend L.brown coaching. one of his ‘mates was tolbert who still likes to talk about sterling’s parsimony giving them facilities worse than many college div-one teams have.

            jackson’s long hours in a slow grind offense really came after he went to Ind, first with brown again the coach who was succeeded by bird. Ind was so insecure about its offense without jackson that it traded with Den to get him back within six months after they had traded him west. like lacob and myers, those Ind teams were extremely fond of size.

          • Great knowledge moto.

  9. Jackson said at the podium after the win over the Kings last night “we paid attention to details”. Isn’t that what Scal expressed? And isn’t it the coaches who are supposed to “pay attention to details”? I think Scal’s message got thru and shook up Jackson. A little honesty, even if emotional, goes a long ways.

    • I guess you’re referencing this report (link below). Beucher ends his report by saying a 1st year 3rd asst. coach needs to know his place.

      Now the head coach uses Scal’s own words? If so, I don’t think Scal can expect an apology. That would be Jackson being honest.

      In front of a mike, Jackson uses the same phrases over and over, repeating himself endlessly. Saying “attention to detail” for the first time ever? That’s a thin-skinned, insecure guy defending himself against the rumored criticism of a guy he fired.

      http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2012519-ric-buchers-nba-inside-buzz-the-scoop-on-mark-jackson-and-brian-scalabrine?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=programming-league

      • Bucher may have a point about fitting in and knowing your place in the case of Scalabrine. He said the other coaches showed unity. He should have bided his time until he moved up or Jackson moved out.

        Then again, the other coaches may be toeing the line and are afraid to speak up. I haven’t been impressed with any when interviewed during a game. They sound tentative and uninformed, and usually repeat the Jackson/Lacob line—without saying much anything at all.

        Who was the assistant who spoke last night? He looked like a mole coming into the light, pale and blinking. Then again, his comments were pretty intelligent.

        • from your description, that almost has to be erman, the thibodeau disciple who coached the summer league team successfully. smart, articulate, seems to have possibilities to run the show. the preacher controls and restricts media access to the assistants and erman has been granted by far the most opportunities.

  10. cosmicballoon

    16. “We need him. I’m going to stay with him. I’ve got confidence in him.” Mark Jackson showing his trademark trust in his players in reference to Harrison Barnes.

    From GSOM’s roundup of last night. I can’t believe that Jackson continues to give the media a superfluous evaluation of his players after every game. Barnes played OK against a demotivated opponent. Period.

    • “We need him.” True, unfortunately. He’s the only backup 3 on the roster other than Green, who’s needed elsewhere.

      “I’m going to stay with him.” Dang. I hope that’s not true, but suspect it is. It’s going to cost the team some wins.

      “I’ve got confidence in him.” If that’s not a lie, Jackson is a complete ass. What’s different for Barnes this year is his results, not his skill set. He’s the same player with the same skills he brought into the league on day 1. No improvement, while other teams now have a book on him. Same skills facing tougher D = worse results, naturally. Jackson is a liar or a fool.

    • consecutive one sided games allowed order to be restored to the woeyr rotation — barnes got more minutes than green two more games. when bogut and lee are starting again, green’s minutes will go back down. we should probably assume by now that barnes benefits from lacob’s special mandate and they want and expect him to get maximum opportunities, patience, encouragement. it still might work out for them if barnes revives enough to attract a weak team’s interest in a trade.

  11. The Preacher, Mo, and the Barnes:

    Speights, according to Bucher’s interview, reported last night, was apologetic about the mistakes he made and was grateful Coach J was giving him another chance. (Somebody correct me if I got this wrong.)

    It sounds like another example of the reverend putting his moral stamp on the team, and it is baloney. A backup 4 for Lee, or backup 5, especially a scoring one, was a sore need for the team from the start, and Jackson should have done everything he could to bring him out. There were plenty of opportunities early, when the team had big leads, and Speights is merely showing what he had from the start, once he got in shape, that he can perform with a good lineup. Instead, he struggled with the rest in poor sub lineups, poorly coached. It took Lee’s injury to force playing time for Mo.

    If anyone should be apologizing, it is Jackson for all his mistakes, and he should be grateful for how well his team has carried him this season and bailed him out in his mediocre coaching.

    Speights’ comments also fit into a pattern of the cult of Jackson. Meet his approval, and you stay. Otherwise, you are benched or gone. Cf. the other subs and Scalabrine. But the Preacher deflects such criticism by appealing to a “higher cause.” It is a common pattern, using religion to mask one’s own insecurities and deficiencies. And with Jackson, it seems like the team has to go through a trial of sacrifice and renewal to justify their efforts. The trial has to come first, and it has to be difficult to give it spiritual heft. Winning easy, efficiently, using intelligence, must seem sinful to the Preacher.

    I’m plumping for a Bogut/Jackson showdown, and here I’ll pull for Bogut.

    In another interview, with Barnes, reported a few games ago, Bucher said Barnes went through a difficult trial himself. Barnes said he was the best high school player in the country, and going to UNC was a test, where he had serious doubts, but, he said, he finally proved himself there. (From memory—again correct me.)

    Barnes was not the best high school player in the country. He was rated #1 by an artificial system, playing in an environment where there was not the serious competition that might reveal his worth. And much of his evaluation is based on projected potential, not true abilities.

    Nor did he perform that well at UNC. All the complaints we have now surfaced then, and he disappointed sorely in the NCAA tourney two years ago. One complaint was that he would disappear for stretches.

    We always suffer when we live with corrupted images of ourselves. But if you’re good enough at doing this, someone else pays the price.

    • Note that Barnes was not held to the same standard as Speights, Bazemore, Douglas.

      Barnes has had golden child status in this franchise since being drafted. He might have benefited from a tough-minded coach who made him earn his minutes.

  12. The Warriors have scored 90 or fewer points in 9 games this season and lost all but one. I haven’t checked, but I suspect you have to go back years to find a similar record.

    Offense matters.

    • Zach Lowe agrees with your point about O, rgg. Here’s his take on the current state of the Pacers:

      Why Indiana Fans Should Be Worried

      The Pacers have scored just 99 points per 100 possessions since early February, the second-worst mark in the league, ahead of only the Sixers… 2.5 fewer points per 100 possessions than the league’s overall average…

      That is a big, blinking light screaming, “This team is no longer a title contender.”

      http://grantland.com/the-triangle/how-to-fix-the-pacers/

      Lowe also makes the point that the NBA schedule doesn’t permit much time for training, so focusing on one aspect of the game always means borrowing the chance for improvement from something else.

      I don’t entirely buy that. Training time is obviously limited, but if Lowe’s point were always true – that there simply isn’t enough time to get good results on both ends of the court – then the Spurs couldn’t be the team they are.

      As an educator yourself, rgg, I’m sure you know more about training and education – what works and what doesn’t – than Lowe or me. What are your thoughts about it? Jackson’s team really did make great improvements in D this year. Does that make it unrealistic to think they could have a well-coordinated offensive system too?

      • Never ask an educator for an opinion on anything. You won’t get a clear or consistent answer.

        But speaking as an amateur fan, I think the model is flawed. The team has stressed it wants to be a defensive team, and both Chicago and Indiana show the weaknesses to such a plan. I also suspect, as I’ve explained before, that I think the Warriors’ defensive stats may be misleading. They may pay a price, for example, in playing bigs so much just to get boards, but you pay a price on the offensive end. There are other cases where letting defense dictate the lineup leads to unwanted sacrifice.

        Jackson often dismisses the value of offense. I simply don’t think he understands it, and there’s nothing in what he says to contradict that assessment. The evidence on the court, however, provides ample evidence.

        You try to do both, of course, and balance them according to what helps you win games in any given situation.

        As for training, if you have a good offensive plan that takes into account the various talents of the players, they can get up to speed quickly. We saw this with Nelson all the time. Other players may require a few years, which means you get started early and bring them along. Look at how Patty Mills has developed. No one wanted him, except the Spurs. The Warriors, however, keep dumping or trading their bench players before they get a chance.

        • “Never ask an educator for an opinion on anything. You won’t get a clear or consistent answer.”

          And then he went on to prove it…

      • How much of the team’s defensive improvement is due to the replacement of Barnes with Iggy, and Bogut being healthy? And Green playing a bigger role?

        I have always believed that defense is far more correlated to personnel than coaching. You can’t play good defense without good defenders.

        • Good point. The Barnes/Iggy ugrade alone probably accounts for at least 20% of the improvement. Add a healthy Bogut, plus more minutes for Green (in place of Landry), and the team would have to be better on D even if they did nothing significantly different in their defensive schemes. It could even help account for much of the improvement we’ve seen in Thompson, Curry and Lee. Surrounding them with good defenders makes their assignments easier to handle.

          So maybe the Ws coaching staff really can’t be credited for the Ws defensive improvement. And yet they made no real improvements on the offensive end either.

          On a related topic, I was cheered to see the Ws run a couple of set plays on offense last night. It only happened a couple of times, and it was with the first team only, of course. But it was encouraging.

        • This, of course, has to be the major reason, FB. When you compare the Warriors to the Kings, you realize they have the most coachable players in the league. What a waste.

  13. omg, Darren Erman just fired due to “serious violation of company policy,” per Bob Myers.

    • lacob’s karma, after being adamant that he wouldn’t tolerate coaches making the team a media laughingstock. he’s now 0 for 2 with his Boston imports for the staff. some of his choices ahead — if he keeps jackson, he might have to give him complete control over his assistant staff. or releasing jackson, he gives the successor complete control (likely a condition for a highly qualified candidate). we might even see scalabrine reinstated, who knows, under jackson or the next guy.

    • My favorite Twitter comment:

      Could it be worse than cheating on your wife with a stripper and being involved in an extortion case?

  14. Dem coachin’ woes—

    http://thedissnba.com/2014/03/26/goddammit-another-warriors-controversy-explainer/

    This looks like a casual site, but the guy seems informed. He speculates Erman was the informer—the cause of his firing?

    “The circumstantial evidence—and to be quite clear, this is speculation—points to the leak coming from somebody on the Warriors assistant coaching staff, likely second assistant Darren Erman, whom Wojnarowski has a longtime relationship with. Wojnarowski met Erman ten years ago while he was writing about the St. Anthony’s High School basketball team, where Erman was an assistant coach. He wrote very highly of Erman in the book, has written highly of Erman in the past, and broke the stories of Erman being hired and promoted by the Warriors. Scalabrine himself is also a possibility. Wojnarowski was very complimentary of the late aughts Boston Celtics teams that Scalabrine was a part of (and that Darren Erman was an assistant coach on), wrote a piece on Scalabrine retiring—not something he does for every NBA role player—and has broken multiple pieces of Scalabrine news. We already know Scalabrine has Wojnarowski’s phone number!”

    Also note this:

    “It also could have led to Jackson adopting one of the more draconian policies in the league regarding access to his assistant coaches, who are not allowed to speak to the media at all. The only exception to this policy is the quick, meaningless 30-second TV interviews coming out of half. Typically the assistants offer Ric Bucher short, empty soundbites. But ironically, its this quick, meaningless interview that Warriors writer Ethan Sherwood-Strauss thinks may have gotten Scalabrine in trouble: ‘So Scalabrine spoke on TV about how GSW was trying to keep Spurs out of the middle of the floor. Not a big strategy reveal, but uncommon. Mark Jackson doesn’t have assistants speak to media, save for those CSN interviews. And I think they’re supposed to be bland/dumb in those.'”

    • You’v probably nailed it, rgg. On the Warriors, “serious violation of company policy” includes unauthorized contact with reporters.

      So I guess we can hold out a slight hope for something really juicy here, but it’s most likely that Erman tripped over the “don’t say nuttin to nobody” policy.

      If that’s the case, it’s pitiful. The FO’s desire to maintain “message control” is understandable, but pro sports is an entirely publicity-driven business. Extreme secrecy just makes a team look like a bunch of paranoid sneaks.

  15. Sam Amick weighs in:

    “It’s natural to wonder if Lacob isn’t already daydreaming about his next coach, and it’s no secret he has a great affinity for TNT analyst and potential Knicks coaching candidate Steve Kerr.”

    http://www.thetowntalk.com/usatoday/article/7128657&usatref=sportsmod

    • So I did a quick google on Steve Kerr coaching record. Shucks, nothing there. Dang. Lacob will love him.

    • I believe Kirk Lacob worked for Kerr as an intern in Phoenix.

      • Kerr’s record as GM was pretty good. His record as coach is zero/NA/never enrolled.

        It’s like that old joke:

        “Can you play the piano?”

        “I don’t know. I never tried.”

        • warriorsablaze

          It’s a logical argument…

          … but Don Nelson became a head coach the year after he finished playing.

          • What was his record?

            If Lacob did want to replace Jackson, his options are pretty poor. Retreads (Van Gundys), never-weres like announcers, unproven assistants, college coaches, too-olds (Jerry Sloan?), or coaches who don’t tolerate much foolishness from management (Karl?). No clear winners (for Lacob) there.

            In Lacob’s shoes, I’m not sure what candidate profile I’d look for. Assuming he initially selected Jackson for important (to him) reasons, those reasons probably still stand today. He hired a polished spokesman with no coaching qualifications. For a replacement, he might go for a candidate who he perceived to have a similar profile but without the drawbacks of his current lightning rod. If so, Lacob might see Kerr as the only possible candidate to replace Jackson. If he really even wants to drop Jackson, which isn’t a sure thing.

          • the Mil team that gave nelson his first coaching job (assistant to costello) was in a much different time and organization. consider the state of the n.b.a. and what players were paid then. he didn’t want the job with his lack of experience until the owners virtually begged him to take it, and they certainly weren’t hyping the team as a championship contender like the lacobites will when they hire their next coach.

            if kerr gets a head coaching position he’ll do what all the present day first timers like kidd or jackson or hornacek — rely on assistants.

          • So Moto, you’re saying that Nelson had an assistant job before becoming head coach? I understand that Hornacek did too, with Utah.

            Little coaching experience is not the same as zero coaching experience, like M Jackson and Kerr.

          • Sr.Sombrero, apparently you skipped the essential early chapters in the nelson coaching saga (stuff in his life and early playing career is also worth reviewing). the year after he retired from playing, he was in an employment crisis with a family with young kids to support, player contracts in those days not granting accomplished, multi-position guys like him two or three generation’s worth of monetary security. he entered referee’s academy, figuring he could apply his hoops to that career. the offer to assist costello in Mil seemed like a reprieve. costello lasted only 18 games that season, and that was when the team owners begged nelson to take the chair.

        • Kerr was a disastrous GM in my opinion. Signed fat Shaq, hired Terry Porter to coach, and tried to turn the Steve Nash Suns into a halfcourt team. It blew up almost instantly, of course.

          I can’t imagine anyone less suited to be the Warriors next coach. Let him go run the triangle in New York. They don’t have a point guard.

  16. One possibility Lacob is allowing the coaching staff to go is that he’s anticipating a new coach who will want his own staff. That doesn’t make a lot of sense, but not much has with this organization.

    • The flip side of that thought: the assistants know Jackson is out, so they’re acting accordingly. Re-establishing contacts. Hinting at their availability.

  17. two twits from marcusthompsonII expanding the picture a little — erman did something, if made public, he’d have to be fired and the team would not want to explain when they knew and why they waited to fire him, plus, it’s not a criminal offense requiring police intervention. all that leaves open the possibility of personal conduct transgressions like harassment, or unauthorized disclosure of information.

  18. Steinmetz reviews the Jackson situation (pre-Erman) here:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2012356-is-golden-state-warriors-head-coach-mark-jacksons-fate-already-sealed

    He fills in details on his sensitivities—and his not being an x’s and 0’s tactician.

  19. AW has written a book called The Miracle of St. Anthony’s, about Bobby Hurly’s success at a high school in a rough neighborhood in Jersey City (which I see moto has mentioned elsewhere). Erman got his start there.

    From the book:

    Erman never regretted his decision to quit the law firm and chase his basketball dream at St. Anthony. Never once. Every morning, he still woke up on the floor of that cramped apartment at 5:00, rolled off that inflatable mattress and couldn’t wait to see what Hurley had to teach him that day. Sure, Erman was broke. Too much of his $421 a week ended up as bus fare and McDonald’s for the kids, or went toward settling his skyrocketing cellphone bill returning calls to the college recruiters on behalf of the juniors.

    Anyway, he loved it. Erman had never felt so fulfilled, so useful, in his life.
    “I was a lawyer for one of tile best firms in the country, surrounded by people who were supposed to be the best and brightest,” he says. “But I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve been around someone who’s the absolute best at what he does. Coach Hurley is one of the greatest basketball minds ever, and he’s completely accessible. He’ll talk all day to you, about anything you ask. I used to be in a profession where there were jerks who it was like pulling teeth to get them to share information. And they weren’t even close to Coach Hurley in their fields. This is unlike any education I’ve had in my life.”

    ———

    Three observations:

    1. Erman sounds like the real deal, who has worked his way up.

    2. Jackson isn’t Hurly.

    3. At GSW, he is (was) in a situation not much different from that of the law firm he quit.

    • GooseLosGatos

      I find the Erman firing fascinating for numerous reasons. Clearly, Myers has made the Erman firing out to be a non-basketball related decision and hits at some sort of salacious impropriety. However, the Warriors never had a problem covering for Monte until
      the women went public. The article also references that Erman was Scalls personal coach in Boston. I hypothesize that whatever Erman did, the Warriors would have looked the other way unless or until something basketball related (discord with MJ) for instance gave them
      a way to let a divisive coach go without bringing more media attention to the MJ drama right before the playoffs. Too coincidental that he was Scalls personal coach in Boston and by virtue of that was in all likelihood the closest to Scalls of any member of the team and or staff.

  20. From SF Gate:

    Asked at Saturday’s practice whether the incident that led to Erman’s dismissal was crime related, Myers said, “I’m not really at liberty to discuss the specifics of what was violated, just to say that it was an organizational policy that was violated. I can’t get into the specifics of what occurred.”

    http://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Assistant-Erman-fired-for-violating-Warriors-5379714.php

    The article also says they waited a few days to work through technicalities and protocols. The timing to AW’s article is too close to be a coincidence.

    This

    smells

    real

    bad.

  21. rock
    ***us***
    hard place

    We want to pull for the Warriors during the playoffs, but if they make a deep run, there’s a chance Jackson stays on. Lacob’s reasons for keeping him or letting him go most likely have little to do with our criticisms.

  22. cosmicballoon

    Monta 3-13 tonight against the Lakers. Was Baze guarding him?

  23. cosmicballoon

    What does Lacob gain from allowing Jackson to dump two assistants with the playoffs approaching? To me, he is setting Jackson up as a massive scapegoat for an early playoff exit. He may fire him and then fully blame Jackson and if the Warriors don’t get out of the first round.

    • the official version, jackson had nothing to do with erman’s termination. they’ve made the message pretty loud and clear that upper levels swung the axe, enforcing team policies for conduct. from jackson’s comments about erman’s firing, he acknowledges it isn’t his move and not his place to elaborate. scalabrine wasn’t terminated, not really being employed by the preacher, fundamentally making their respective situations distinct.

  24. One of the guys responding to a CSN Bay Area report interestingly observed Erman’s offense had to be drugs, embezzelment, gambling (betting on the spread), or sexual harrassement, since Bob Myers would not rule out a criminal offense(s) and since the offense was apparently committed over time, not a 1 off.

    The sexual harrassment is kind of interesting in the aspect Jackson was very non-plussed over it, said Erman just made a mistake, shrugged it off, and wished Erman well.

    Can leaking company information be considered a criminal offense? Perhaps Myers was not sure, so choose not to comment.

    • I note several interesting things in this article:

      First, note that the author identifies him as “forward Kent Bazemore.” He’s been getting a lot of run at SF for Mike D’Antoni — frequently the best role for a stopper with uncertain offensive talents. He was never considered for that role by Mark Jackson or the leaders of the Warriors franchise, none of whom have demonstrated any ability to think outside the box. And all of whom are heavily invested in Harrison Barnes.

      He’s regarded as having the ability to develop into one of the NBA’s premier defenders. That alone makes him a far more valuable player than Harrison Barnes, who will never have that ability.

      The stats he’s put up for the Lakers, including shooting 45% while taking many of his shots from three point range, but also assists, rebounds and steals, are remarkable, even in D’Antoni’s system. There’s little doubt in my mind that he’s going to be a better offensive player as well than Barnes, spearheaded by his great quickness and slashing ability. Barnes’ driving ability has had the lie put to it this season — bad footwork, slow first step, horrible handle. And of course, for the right coach in the right system, Bazemore will be a far better playmaker.

      In his latest defense of Barnes, Jackson called him a “big time defender.” This is simply laughable. In the past, I would have charitably written it off as simply motivational. But now, it’s hard not to view it in the context of Jackson covering his ass for failing to develop, and ultimately losing, Bazemore.

      Note that Bazemore will be a restricted free agent, and the Lakers might be able to keep him for the qualifying offer amt. of $1m. In a league constantly in search of affordable pieces, and in particular affordable stoppers, do you think Bazemore will be a valuable long-term commodity? I am absolutely sick that the Warriors lost him for Steve Blake, who in my opinion is barely playable, and wrong for this team.

      There is one final angle to the Bazemore story, an important one in the context of the ongoing Mark Jackson controversy. Bazemore was a 2 year pet project of the Warriors. And in particular of the crown prince, Kirk Lacob, who is likely to have championed him as the GM of the D-league Warriors. Bazemore was traded at the instigation of Mark Jackson, who had clearly given up on him (after playing him in the wrong role), and who had also communicated dissatisfaction with Jordan Crawford as the second unit point guard.

      When we see Joe Lacob staring daggers at Mark Jackson from across the court, don’t discount the Bazemore fiasco as a contributing factor. The Warriors front office and Jackson have not been on the same page this season.

      If Harrison Barnes’ utter collapse has transported Mark Jackson into the valley of the shadow of death, Kent Bazemore might be the final nail in his coffin.

  25. From Tom Meschery’s blog —

    After Meditating by Tom Meschery from Sweat: New and Selected Poems about Sports

    For Phil Jackson

    I return to your book, Sacred Hoops
    and think, perhaps you’ve discovered
    the secret to the modern game,
    the centered-self each player can achieve
    with right-breathing, as if the soul
    were a tight muscle in need of stretching.

    Team mantras, spiritual championships

    If only I’d known
    I didn’t have to throw that elbow
    at LaRusso or stalk Chet Walker
    or take a swing at Wilt,
    while my breathless teammates
    feared for my life.
    All I had to do was breathe
    my way out of anger.
    Lungs instead of fists.

  26. It’s odd that Meyers didn’t dismiss the immediate suspicion that Erman might have done something illegal or immoral to protect his character. He is quite clear, in the quote @21 that Erman violated a company policy, which is not necessarily related to matters of legality or morality, as we have seen.

    It’s also odd they didn’t sit on it for a while, at least until the end of the playoffs. I assume assistants are used for something. TK speculates in his column that it might have been Erman who did prep work on opponents, say the Clippers, whom they might meet. Maybe they didn’t want news to break during the playoffs, when the team will get national attention, and they’re hoping it will blow over in a few weeks? But when (if) the Warriors hit the floor for their first playoff game, the firings will be mentioned liberally by the national media every time they pan to the bench.

    And if his behavior did cross some ethical or moral boundary, why didn’t they defend him, or at least stall the process until the season is over, when things are quiet? Surely they have this power. And again, as everyone says, they protected Monta, as well as Kirk, who demanded cheerleaders attend his private party.

    Erman does know Woj, from his book mentioned @19, and would have kept in contact ever since. If it’s ongoing behavior, that could still be the reason. AW’s latest piece would have brought that to national attention, if the source were discovered and it was he who leaked. Hardly sensational stuff, though, and it would only be embarrassing to the FO and their fragile pride.

    But where is the harm in mentioning Scalabrine’s demotion? His absence would have been noted by the press.

    I’m trying to imagine the conversation at a press conference:

    “What happened to Scalabrine?”

    “Who?”

    “You know, the redheaded guy.”

    “What redheaded guy?”

    The guy “interviewed” during the Sac game was Joe Boylan, previously a developmental assistant, now full assistant. They knew then they were firing Erman then, so this was probably their way of introducing him to us. Again, he sounded intelligent, obviously a sin for this organization.

    • warriorsablaze

      It’s not odd at all for Myers to give as little detail as possible regarding the incident. This is how HR situations are handled in nearly every corporation in the US for fear of a lawsuit. I’m sure HR and the legal team told him exactly what to say and exactly what NOT to say. Again, HR departments don’t “sit” on blatant breaches of company policy…and based on the limited reports so far it was a major one.

      The MJax and Monta situations are different due to the fact that they had large investments in them and “firing” them would be no small feat due to contracts (and the player’s union in Monta’s case). Lacob and Co. had little choice but to double down and show their support in those cases.

      • All of that has to be true. It all depends on what he did that was so blatant, and we have no clues now.

        What they have deemed blatant behavior, however, could well be a mask for getting rid of a coach they no longer value for whatever reason, as well as a legal tool to get rid of him. And given recent events, we have to wonder if Jackson was getting along with Erman as well. Or maybe they’re planning to clean house for a new coaching regime.

        We still don’t know the full story with Scalabrine. Blowing up once should not be sufficient cause, not on a good staff.

        • warriorsablaze

          Sorry…the notion that the event was manufactured or magnified in order to get rid of a coach they no longer value is beyond ridiculous. There’s simply no need to jump through all those hoops and smear Erman’s name. He can simply be fired if they no longer value him… and it wouldn’t have been done with such haste if that were the case.

          • Not manufactured, but they may be covering their own questionable behavior, such as losing control of their staff, or, if my suspicion is right, firing Malone for something like talking to a reporter, which hardly crosses the moral line but does that of their own insecurities and sensitivity. It wouldn’t be out of character for this organization. Erman’s character, however, looks to be strong.

            Again, we’ll have to wait to see what it was. Given other behavior in the organization, it will have to be pretty damn big.

          • warriorsablaze

            There’s no corporation in the world where you wouldn’t be fired for leaking inside –and disparaging– information to the press. No special insecurities required.

            You assume to much.

          • He didn’t leak anything that damaging, or that wouldn’t have come out later anyway (assuming that is what happened—we don’t know). They could have overlooked this easy. You’re not dealing with patent lawyers and engineers and trade secrets, but players and coaches.

            What I most want to find out about is his relationship with Jackson and the rest of the organization.

    • It seems very plausible that Erman communicated with AW, and that was the reason for his dismissal.

      • warriorsablaze

        Definitely the most obvious guess… though the MTII report that it was something GSW had to take care of now in order to avoid major embarrassment later suggests it was possibly something even bigger than just a leak. We may never know short of Erman going full whistleblower.

        • Sexual harrassment, though certainly a moral offence, is against the law, and the law requires the employer to deal with it. If the employer does not deal with it and promptly (as soon as the employer becomes aware of it), then the blame passes onto the employer, who can then also be implicated and charged (and sued).

          • I’m hoping this is idle speculation from perversely suspicious minds. But something on the order of sexual harassment should come out very soon in the news, and I’m sure the hounds are sniffing. And Erman wouldn’t have anyone to help him through or cover it up. He is completely exposed. But again, Meyers said serious violation of company policy.

          • warriorsablaze

            Sexual harassment isn’t necessarily going to come out in the news… Erman isn’t a high profile person like MJax and Monta, and the harassed may value their career in the organization more than the idea of some settlement.

            Who knows? We may never. The speculation is perhaps fun, but idle and ultimately pointless.

  27. Is Kawakami adding anything to the discussion with this piece?

    http://www.mercurynews.com/tim-kawakami/ci_25503319/kawakami-warriors-assistant-coach-firing-latest-dysfunctional-stretch

    His suggestion that Lacob is somehow pursuing some tactic by these firings is ludicrous on its face, isn’t it? Is this some spin taken from the horse’s mouth?

    • from everything we know about erman he’s much more lacob’s kind of coach than the preacher — highly trained and competitive mind, applying and grinding in lower levels to learn the craft. we’ve learned a bit about the assistant’s pecking order, similar to the manchu/mandarin civil service. his first year in oaktown erman was in the fifth assistant’s chair. he probably did as much as two other coaches with scouting and preparation and understudy to malone, because with malone’s exit he became no.2 to the preacher’s leftenant p.myers, erman the main ‘x’s/o’s’ guy. in the national media, myers isn’t considered main chair material, but erman was, especially after last summer league’s trophy.

      hunter the x-interim Phx coach is now no.2. boylan, the pale faced, smallish statured fellow who recently appeared on a game telecast, went from apprentice/intern to no.5, formerly warmed by scalabrine.

      if the preacher meets or exceeds lacob’s expectations in the post season, the loss of the owner’s picks for the staff can only boost jackson’s opportunity to secure greater authority over his staff and roster. not waiting for kawakami’s pretzel logic afterward, should things go that way.

    • TK’s suggestion that the recent coaching changes are part of some Lacob scheme is silly. It’s also less plausible than the idea that Jackson is solidifying his control over the coaching staff by getting rid of Lacob’s Boston guys.

      Most plausible of all: neither of the above.

      One thing’s for sure though: this incident is not the end of it. When even trained pets like TK are using the d word (dysfunctional), there’s going to be more stuff.

  28. Jackson said Erman “made a mistake” but “he owns it. He’s done a lot for me, he’s done a lot for this organization, and I’m pulling for him to make a comeback.”

    http://www.ibabuzz.com/warriors/2014/04/05/warriors-forced-to-act-in-firing-assistant-coach-darren-erman/#more-5721

    Something about the use of “comeback” puts me in mind of moral turpitude.

    • I wouldn’t read too much into Jackson’s choice of wording. He specializes in flummery.

  29. Erman coached summer league, with success—they won the tournament. And he coached Bazemore. The team did fine defensively, but they couldn’t score and Bazemore was obviously out of place at PG. But when they brought in Ian Clark at point, who could handle and shoot, they ran away.

    I am assuming Erman was under orders to make Bazemore play point. You have to wonder what conversations passed when it was over.

    • I would think, in Jackson’s mind, there was no room for Bazemore, except minor minutes, at the Wing with Barnes coming off the bench. And then the Warriors compound their mistake by picking up Blake and running Crawford at a position he was not signed to fill. The whole thing makes me sick as well.

  30. Boy, If Mark Jackson had a dreadful game like the Pacer’s loss to Atlanta tonight, would they too be wondering about Frank Vogel’s job security?

    http://www.indystar.com/story/sports/kravitz/2014/04/06/kravitz-pacers-coach-frank-vogels-job-safe/7402259/

    “Bird was hesitant to fire Jim O’Brien in the first place, and even after Vogel turned the team around and got them to play competitively in the playoffs against the Chicago Bulls, it took a couple of months before Bird was willing to give Vogel the full-time job. If you remember, Bird wanted Vogel to hire a big-time, experienced assistant, specifically Brian Shaw, before giving him the job.”

    Does this sound familiar?

    The coach of the 76ers, Brett Brown has a higher likely hood of coaching next year than both Frank Vogel AND Mark Jackson – LOL.

  31. Too bad. Is this the same foot injured during college? As I recall, that injury affected his pro chances and hampered his quickness and jumping during his first year.

    From the ESPN re-cap:

    “The injury-plagued Lakers were down to just eight players after guard Kent Bazemore got hurt in the second quarter. The Lakers said Bazemore sprained his right foot and will undergo an MRI on Monday.”

  32. cosmicballoon

    With three days off, the Warriors should be very healthy heading into the 4 games in 5 nights stretch they have coming up. We are seeing a well rested team after that odd 2 games in 10 night stretch in late March. Klay, especially, benefitted, IMO. The big question mark is where Lee will be when he returns. Bogut will probably sit at least 1, maybe two during that 4 in 5 stretch.

  33. Really worried about DLee. Warriors should rest him the rest of the way, seeding be damned.

    • it sounds very likely that lee won’t be back for the regular season. he might only be able to tolerate limited minutes in the post season. the m.r.i. indicates nerve inflammation, which will need careful physiotherapy and rest. we’ll hear ‘indefinitely out’ for a while longer because that’s the nature of nerve recovery.

    • As I recall, DLee and Bogut were effective against the Clippers, especially when Bogut guarded Griffin and DLee took on Jordan. (DLee played good defense against Griffin as well.) And now with the Warriors moving the ball again, DLee would be very, very effective in P&R against them. And play Mokur at the 5 sometimes, pull Jordan out of the paint, and let DLee roll to the hoop.

      The Warriors could beat the Clips, if everyone is healthy, and if the coaching staff utilizes all the guys the right way.

      I guess those are 2 pretty big ifs.

  34. Fun game last night. Lots of positives. Despite a couple of TOs, DG looked good at point forward, and having him up top on offense puts him in place to set those smackdown screens for Curry and Thompson’s 3-pt shooting. Result: 51.5% shooting on 3s.

    Despite the huge win margin, there were a few negatives too, though. It’s the same old stuff. Curry 5 TOs. The usual massive disparity in free throws (20-9). Repeated touches and even iso’s for Barnes despite his complete inability to make good things happen on either end of the floor.

    And Fitz squealing like a little girl over Barnes every time Barnes doesn’t create a disaster.

  35. Adam, I see, has fallen back into his bad habit. Lee’s injury has forced the Preacher to spread the court and move the ball around and run the pick and roll, partly through finally bringing up Speights, all places where Lee excels. You have to wonder where the team would be, and maybe Lee’s leg, if he had done that all season instead of posting Lee up much of the time.

    Green, of course, has responded admirably in the starting lineup, and this offense has made him a better scorer.

  36. Is it just me or did they fire another assistant? The bench looked kinda empty.

    They start the game with announcement of Barnes’ bounce back—it has been shooting practice the last two games.

  37. Feltbot @26

    It is quite likely that Lacob is dissatisfied with Jackson for not developing Bazemore as a point guard, just as he is displeased he didn’t bring out Barnes, both losing causes.

  38. I predict:

    Barring utter collapse in the playoffs, unless one caused by injuries, the Preacher will return next season.

    Another quote from Greenberg and Draper’s piece:

    “But the confusing thing about it all is that despite Jackson’s faults—and the recent spate of controversy he’s found himself embroiled in during a winning season—he’s not actually in all that imminent danger of being fired. The fact of the matter—as Ethan Sherwood Strauss deftly helped us work through—is the coaching landscape is very favorable to him. For various reasons, none of the big name coaches really fit for the Warriors. There is no indication Stan Van Gundy wants to return to coaching. George Karl (who already coached the Warriors from 1986–88) got killed by the Warriors in the playoffs and afterwards threw Andre Iguodala under the bus. Lionel Hollins has a history of clashing with management, especially over advanced statistics, and the Warriors stats guru happens to be the owner’s son. Jeff Van Gundy is a New York broadcasting pal of Jackson’s and wouldn’t take a job his former player and colleague was fired from. Even if the Warriors were to wait until the summer to fire Jackson, they’re faced with the unenviable task of picking among ho-hum veteran coaches, or riskily hiring a hot assistant to coach a potentially championship caliber team. The timing just isn’t right.”

    These guys are good and worth following. And here’s the link again:

    http://thedissnba.com/2014/03/26/goddammit-another-warriors-controversy-explainer/

    Lacob has simply boxed himself into a corner with his preferences and decisions. He cared more about appearances than knowledge, which is why he hired Jackson, and Jackson has succeeded in this regard. He is well received in the national media, and his record the last two years looks good. Remember these guys don’t talk about strategy or even watch that many games.

    Lacob chose a face over a mind. He could have moved Malone up, but instead took Jackson. And now Erman is gone, I’m guessing for violating his sensitivity. The staff will be more shorthanded than ever next season, and if Jackson stays, it will be hard to get a replacement for coaches like Malone and Ermine. Even if they find one, Jackson will have the upper hand—and probably keep him under it.

    There won’t be many, if any, good options for a replacement, not one Lacob would accept. The odds of landing a talented prospect, like Hornacek, and for this organization finding him if available, are not good. It’s hard to believe he would take another chance with another inexperienced broadcaster like Kerr. It would look awfully bad—four coaches in five years (I’m counting Nelson). And of course Lacob will want another defensive minded coach.

    • MIKE D’ANTONI

      Lacob is about to experience a once in a lifetime opportunity. I mean, in addition to getting James Harden for Monta Ellis, which he whiffed on.

      The opportunity to unite one of the greatest players of all time, with the one and only coach in the NBA who is perfect for him. The coach who made a 2 time MVP out of Steve Nash, and came within two devastating playoff events of winning 2 championships with a running team.

      Lacob’s going to whiff on this, too.

      • snowball/hell: chances

        As a Curry fan, I can’t help wondering what we might have seen if Curry had gone to D’Antoni and the Knicks, as everyone anticipated, including Steph. Imagine.

      • geraldmcgrew

        and didn’t the Suns have the best W-L record in the league the day Kerr traded Marion for Shaq and ruined their team?

      • Too wonderful to even hope for.

  39. warriorsablaze

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/?doing_wp_cron=1396898672.2725949287414550781250

    Surprised nobody here has jumped on this yet. I’m starting to lean this way myself a bit. Green obviously can’t score like Lee, but he’s better at virtually all other aspects of the game. The line up we saw last night hasn’t played together enough to know how the offense would come together (when Steph and Klay aren’t completely on fire like last night).

    I like Felty’s preference of Lee at small ball 5 more than at the 4 alongside Bogut. Funny how Barnes over Lee has morphed to Dray over Lee. I think Dray is the better bet to take over the 4.

    • TK makes a good point about Dray G forcing Jackson to play him. But writing off Lee is silly. Lee’s routine 20 points are not always going to be easy to replace, as they were last night. A team with a non-shooting front line will have some real problems against a good team and coach.

      TK is also overly critical of Lee’s D. He doesn’t seem to have noticed that it has improved a ton this year. Lee is still never going to be a shot blocker, but he’s much improved in playing position D.

      Besides, as FB has often pointed out, Lee routinely out-scores most opposing bigs. That ain’t nuthin. It’s winning basketball.

    • There’s plenty of room for both, when we go small. As long as Barnes doesn’t play, that’s all that really matters.

  40. Overheard at the poker table: Kendrick Perkins saying GSW beat Clippers in first round.

    • Ever see Kendrick Perkins smile? My buddy Abe can make anyone smile. Check out the pic in the tweet in the sidebar.

      • Working on getting the scoop on the Erman story. He was Perkins’ personal development coach on the Celtics.

        • This might be tough…

          • did you catch bogut’s twit (semi-earnest, semi-jibe), in essence a cautionary flag to his ‘mates and other hive-workers that ‘the walls have ears’ ? the wojnarowski article probably prompted the brain police into an investigation, who found some unauthorized communications of sensitive, confidential material.

          • Moto’s on the case! Thanks, just retweeted.

  41. I see both sides- Felt is right that Lee is an all star level pick and roll 5. Kawakami is right that as constructed, Dray may be the better starting 4. I have said it all year and a good coach would have tried it- Lee as a 30 minute a game 6th man to make a formidable second unit. He can be the back up 5 primarily, close out the games there in the right match up, 4 when needed, etc. I feel like he is enough of a team player to be a happy 6th man on a championship caliber team, especially since with opponents like OKC/Miami/Etc, he can play the majority of the 4th quarter, starter or not. I know Felt will point out the obvious, that if coached right and played right we wouldn’t have to do this, but MJ won’t figure that out. This is the most likely way for MJ to accidentally coach right, as nerve damage will limit his minutes and Dray will beast with the opportunity in Lee’s absence. Love Lee, but I think he an Bogut are at there best when played separately for the most part…

  42. And…Felt, you heard that Perkins actually said we would likely beat Clips?

  43. The Preacher on his relationship with the FO:

    “There’s no friction at all,” Jackson said. “I humbly submit to you, if you’ve got a problem with me as a person, then it’s your problem. I’m low maintenance. What you see is what you get, and I’m going to be a fun-loving, enjoyable guy that’s easy to talk to. I have no issues with anybody in this organization, and it’s been that way from day one.”

    http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10744707/golden-state-warriors-mark-jackson-says-job-determined-wins

    Has anyone checked his nose lately? Has it grown longer?

    Much as I question his abilities, Lacob has made a mistake not extending his contract at a reasonable time, say midseason. In effect, Lacob has left Jackson in limbo, as he did Smart. But Jackson has absolutely nothing to lose by saying or doing anything he wants now, including firing assistants and playing his players however he sees fit. And Jackson is holding some cards here—Lacob’s indecision with coaches and how the public sees that, along with a winning record that will look attractive to the NBA world who, again, aren’t informed and aren’t critical.

    • rgg, the NBA is a small community. Mark Jackson is a longtime member. Despite the Ws “no talking” rule, people talk. It’s their livelihood and their passion. They NEED to keep up on stuff. People throughout the NBA almost certainly have a good picture of what’s happening in the Warriors organization, Jackson’s ability as coach, and everything else.

      You and I are not members of the NBA community. We don’t really know any of these people, including Jackson. If anyone is in a position to be fooled about Jackson’s ability or the Ws coaching situation, it’s us.

      Jackson has a great roster to work with, but that doesn’t guarantee success. As a coach he has a very good record. If he wants to or has to move on, he’ll almost certainly land another coaching gig. He might even do OK. I just hope that if he does have to leave, he takes Barnes with him.

      • I wonder, Hat. Coaches may know what’s going on here, but they have limited influence in this world, less and less now, it appears. Owners, as we have seen, have limited perceptions and can be unpredictable. The national media merely repeats common impressions (e.g. Banes is a talented athlete going through a sophomore slump). You and I and the rest of us have an advantage no one else outside Warriordom has: we have seen most of the games, and we have seen Jackson coach game to game. Most others still probably see a fairly impressive record the past two seasons.

        At any rate, instead of the the playoffs being a coordinated effort by the Warrior organization, it will be a crisis, a spiritual test for Jackson to gather his loyal followers, the players and those who are left on his staff, and prove himself before Lacob and the world and other entities I don’t want to think about. It’s exactly where Jackson wants to be. He relishes this role and has nothing to lose. And Lacob, in effect, has put him in this position and is powerless. In the process, in different ways, for different reasons both Lacob and Jackson have removed themselves from the guidance of an intelligent body of advisors. The only question left is how many playoff games Jackson has to win to force Lacob’s hand and probably stay. And I doubt Lacob has a good answer here.

        • A spiritual test. I think you nailed it again, rgg. Psychodrama as sport. Sport as a test of virtue.

          I don’t happen to have a taste for that kind of thing, but what the hell. If it works, fine I suppose.

          • My prediction, Hat, is that it will work well enough to return Jackson next year, and that’s it. Like you, I suspect, I’d rather watch a basketball game by a finely tuned club that, we have every reason to believe, could do better.

            So more predictions, guys. What will it take for Jackson to keep his job? My guess is a hard fought, close but losing series with the Clippers, which will draw national attention and leave bodies on the floor. Anything more will cinch it. Jackson will have to get a multi-year deal and will have complete control of his staff, flunkeys who toe his line and sing in his choir.

            And we’ll be moanin’ the blues once more.

            Jackson, btw, did not seem especially upset losing Erman, likely his best assistant.

            In a less cynical view, Jackson learns from his mistakes this season and, with security and a good roster, improves the team. But his failings this year, amply discussed here, along with his professed preferences, leaves much room for doubt.

            Lacob’s ego, however, may yet get the best of him and he’ll let Jackson go anyway.

    • From the owner’s perspective:

      Mark Jackson has a large ego, check out the link below to see who is the most responsible for the Dub’s success this year. Hint: It ain’t Steph Curry.

      http://www.nba.com/warriors/tickets/playoffs

      Mark Jackson deals with a larger ego than his. He has my sympathies.

      • Oh.my.god. Can this be real?

        • “Brought to you by…”

          Wow. That’s really… something.

          The imagery leaves all organizational possibilities open, doesn’t it?

        • Is this the return of Joe Lacob as THE face of Warriors management? If so, is it a demotion of Jackson from that role? Or was Jackson never intended to be more than a temporary stand-in after the disaster of Chris Mullin night?

          Does this mean that Lacob feels his image has been rehabbed? Or is it a step in the rehab process? If it’s only a step in the process, where does it lead? Does it depend on the Ws playoff success? Does it hinge on Jackson’s future with the organization? Hey, even if Jackson stays, if Lacob re-asserts himself we won’t have to listen to as much of Jackson’s bull.

          So yeah, that’s one weird-ass image/message, but its implications are not all bad.

      • Where would Lacob be now without Curry? And again, I’d bet anything that if Lacob were in control a year sooner, the team doesn’t draft Curry.

        Some of you guys think I overdo it. If I tried to come up with my most sarcastic sketch, I’d never come up with anything like this ad.

      • warriorsablaze

        To be fair, he is blurred into the background a bit. :)

  44. Lee uncertain for the start of the playoffs, which may be an optimistic appraisal?

    It’s hard to blame his minutes this year—down to 33 pg from 36 last. But it’s hard to believe that this nerve didn’t flare up sooner than a week ago, in fact hasn’t been nagging for some time, and was pushed until he had to sit.

    I predict, however, if the Warriors get behind in the playoffs, Lee will appear, on crutches if need be. There’s a silver lining here: it would give him a longer wingspan on defense.

    While we’re on the subject of injuries, any word on Ezeli? He’s passed the predicted 6 month rehab estimate.

    Ranadive, incidentally, talked about using analytics to manage player’s health. Inspired maybe by his time with GSW?

    • Lee waving crutches would still not be a shot blocker. It’s not in his DNA.

      Ezeli has been working out in practices, but it’s a little crowded at the 5-spot right now so bringing him back this season is not essential. He can use the extended practice time to develop skills with pro coaching. Assuming there are any coaches left for him to work with. It probably would have been Scalabrine’s assignment.

      Ranadive’s idea about using stats to predict/prevent injuries was pretty innovative. It makes perfect sense, others are probably doing it, but I’ve never heard talk of it before. I wonder how Ranadive would prioritize his predicted health model relative to his predicted team win model. We know how the Warriors prioritize (Ezeli in a knee brace, Bogut in an ankle cast, Lee on one leg), but Ranadive may take a different view.

  45. I just picked this up, McCallum’s book on D’Antoni’s Suns. Excerpt:

    Another thing that is generally believed— and always elucidated— is that fast-break teams like the Suns cannot go far in the playoffs. Tempo inevitably slows down, and that leaves transition teams playing an unfamiliar style. To the purveyors of that belief, which is a vast majority of NBA pundits, the fact that the Suns advanced all the way to the Western finals last season before losing to the San Antonio Spurs proves only that a fast-break team can’t make it to the Finals. Had the Suns made the championship round and lost to the Detroit Pistons, the axiom would’ve presumably changed to: A fast-break team can’t win it all. Hearing that premise is one of the few things that will turn Mike D’Antoni’s sunny disposition cloudy. . . . The coach does not dispute statistics that indicate, yes, scoring usually does go down in the postseason. Nor does he doubt that competitive intensity, which is associated more with defense than offense, goes up significantly, also. But he doesn’t see slow-down ball as inevitable. “Coaches hear it, start to believe it, then do it,” says D’Antoni, “and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. My point is, it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s not written in stone.”

    McCallum, Jack (2006-11-14). Seven Seconds or Less: My Season on the Bench with the Runnin’ and Gunnin’ Phoenix Suns (pp. 27-28). Touchstone. Kindle Edition.

    • It’s as if Showtime and those great Celtics teams never existed.

      • hornacek has possibly taken the Phx blitzkrieg on to another level by exploiting 3’s to their fullest. their offense when dragic is on the floor puts up 113 pts. per 100 possessions, the most prolific in the game. the potential with curry, green, iguodala, thompson will not be reached with lacob coaching by proxy.

    • It isn’t just coaches who hear and believe myths about sports. Like anyone else, a coach’s job 1 is to keep his job. Very few people get fired for being conventional, especially if their bosses are.

      That kind of thing happens all over. An example from bicycle racing: Scientific evidence has long shown that even slight dehydration will quickly restrict athletic performance. And a person cannot develop a tolerance for dehydration like they can for heat. Despite the evidence, until fairly recently, bike coaches “trained” racers to limit their fluid intake. It was the conventional wisdom. It capped the performance of most of the pro peloton for over 50 years.

  46. -LEE: No, I don’t pay attention to what Tim Kawakami writes. I think by this point, you ought to know that it’s rather biased. I’m not taking shots at him, but I think he just took Harrison’s name out of the article and inserted Draymond’s this year. I think I’ve been a guy who’s worked my butt off for this team, been a leader on and off the court. His stat they say is plus/minus, and I think I’m ninth in the league in that right now. So if I’m hurting the team, I don’t see it.

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2014/04/09/david-lee-draymond-green-biases-fair-journalism-criticism-and-general-reactions-to-the-continued-warriors-byplay/

    • fuzzy dunlop

      Lee has consistently rated very poorly (not in absolute terms, but certainly relative to his salary and perceived value) in adjusted plus minus stats. IIRC he’s about 130th in ESPN’s new “Real Plus Minus” stat. It’s worth noting that the overwhelming trend that emerges in these stats is that big men who a) aren’t good defenders and b) don’t space the floor very rarely make a positive impact in today’s NBA.

      • Just as it’s worth noting that Nick Collison is a better player than Kevin Love in today’s NBA.

        Right?

        • fuzzy dunlop

          Sigh. There’s an interesting discussion to be had about the viability of comparing limited minutes role players and starters (in this case stars) by RAPM, but I doubt you are interested in going down that route… Here goes nothing: RAPM tries to evaluate a player’s impact within the role he’s put in. The fact that by RAPM Collision is an extremely effective role player in limited minutes doesn’t imply a prediction that he’d be nearly as effective as a starter, much less an offensive first option.

          • Sigh. So Andre Iguodala is the best player in today’s NBA.

            Right?

            And Patrick Beverley is a better player in today’s NBA than Stephen Curry.

            Right?

            Sigh.

          • fuzzy dunlop

            So you just completely ignored what I said and are now going to troll on with cherry picked examples of role players who rate “too well” by RAPM? Sigh indeed.

            It does make me wonder though: clearly RAPM strives to capture what we ultimately care about in an idealized sense about players (impact rather than box score epiphenomena thereof), and it’s basic principle is to try to obtain those values using one of the most fundamental methods of quantitative reasoning (statistical regression). So why on earth would a thoughtful person display such pavlovian hostility to it? Do you also intensely dislike calculus?

          • I loved calculus. Calculus doesn’t give false results.

            I marvel that anyone can put faith in a stat that produces so many egregious errors. Even if they can’t reason for themselves why it’s based on fallacious premises.

            The only thing this bogus stat explains about today’s NBA is why reporters who feel the pressure to remain au courant, like Kawakami and Strauss, are so relentlessly incompetent.

          • Felt, I agree with a lot of what you say. But you’re completely wrong about RAPM (or RPM or whatever the hell we’re calling it now).

            It’s very useful when used with the appropriate caveats and simply as a guide not a God-given stone tablet. “Errors” occur with any stat. Your eyes have errors too, unless you think you are infallible.

            RAPM confirms a lot of the things all of us know, like how valuable Draymond is, and how not valuable Barnes is.

            I suspect your main problem with it is simply that it doesn’t see David Lee as much more than an average player. Or at least, one that has not been used in a way that makes his value more apparent.

            Given the noise inherent in RAPM, it’s silly to argue over a few spots in the rankings. But, in general, if a player is, say, 50 to 100 spots ahead or below another player in the list, that carries meaningful weight to me.

            We’ve seen the value Iguodala and Curry add to the team, and the relatively less value that Lee AND Bogut have. We see that because the team can win without the latter two, but not the former.

            There’s no question, if you’re being honest, that Iguodala is one of the league’s most valuable players.

            As for guys like Collison or Bonner, I tend to discount their RAPM simply because they are role players who are optimized for their roles. They wouldn’t necessarily maintain that value as a starter.

            Having said that, there are guys like Kyle Lowry and Amir Johnson that RAPM spots years in advance of their team’s fully utilizing their talents.

            Draymond Green is another player that people said couldn’t maintain his value as a starter. We’re seeing that he can, and perhaps, can be even more valuable than any of us thought.

          • fuzzy dunlop

            +1

            The point about noise is especially pertinent when it comes to people trying to discredit these stats with specific examples of player rankings. The point about Lee isn’t that he’s literally the 130th best player in the league (whatever that even means) but that looking at his impact stats reveals that he’s grossly overrated by conventional box score metrics.

          • Where are you getting a rank of 130?

            Comparing all players, regardless of position, doesn’t make sense. But the breakdowns by position don’t make much sense either. The only thing I can glean from these stats is that a handful of top players are awfully good. But we kind of knew that anyway. The rest of the info is just ambiguous or noisy.

        • fuzzy dunlop

          http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/rpm/_/sort/RPM

          It’s actually 129th. One can derive plenty of insight from these type of stats as long as one approaches them with an open mind.

          • “RPM takes into account teammates, opponents, coaches and additional factors.”

            I don’t believe it.

          • fuzzy dunlop

            http://www.82games.com/ilardi1.htm

            Outlines the basic idea (it’s since been refined several times over to reduce noise and improve its predictive power). Like I mentioned, accounting for coaches is basically done by adding them as two additional “players” to all the relevant equations.

      • there’s altogether too much whinging about some of the contracts given under the earlier c.b.a., like lee’s. auction prices, when billionaires are the bidders for goods with scarcity value, can reach peaks that appear irrational, but they arise in market conditions that are rational in their own time and conditions.

        lee in many ways is an ideal type of player for a coach like the preacher, predictable and consistent, low maintenance. he’s probably more valuable on the preacher’s team than he might be elsewhere. green is getting a bandwagon of sorts at present, but the preacher wouldn’t give him substantial minutes if bogut, lee, o’neal are all available, and that is hardly lee’s doing.

      • A few casual observations:

        1. These stats look like utter garbage.

        2. Actually, he’s ranked 20th among power forwards, directly above Anthony Tolliver (whom I like, btw) and below Chris Anderson and Nene. Seriously.

        Also he’s listed 88th overall, where the names of players listed above him are just staggering, and cause enough to question this latest piece of fluff.

        3. I can’t believe these stats reflect much roster adjustment at all. Love, for example, top rated among PFs and a sucky defender, plays with Pekovic, a scoring center, who averages 31 minutes a game and averages 17.4 points. This is going to give him all kinds of opportunities to move around on offense, since they have an offensive threat up front. Lee, meanwhile, has to play with Bogut, a nonscoring center, and Lee has had to carry the brunt of front court scoring by himself. Love’s team, incidentally, won’t make the playoffs this year. Tons more adjustments have to be made for the other players and their rosters, but yes, many above him are damn good.

        4. Lee’s scoring and efficiency have also been hampered by Jackson’s constipated offense. More this season he’s been asked to post up low instead of running the pick and roll, where he is incredibly efficient. And he has been a consistently accurate midrange shooter, but it has fallen off. Again, I question Jackson’s offense, whether he’s been given the green light and a clear court, i.e. from pick and pop.

        5. Can anybody else remember TK’s other good ideas? I tend to forget them because they are so stupid.

        6. It doesn’t look like we’ll see Utah or Sacramento in the playoffs, the games that have turned heads away from Lee.

        7. Why do people wait until Lee’s down to trash him?

      • I would like to see a stat that measures how well a PF/C performs:

        1. With dull-witted coaches (Lee all his years here).

        2. Without much help up front at all (his year with Smart).

        3. Without much help, but still makes it to the playoffs (Lee last year, with Bogut out most of the season, though with good help from Ezeli).

        4. Without a scoring, mobile center alongside him (Lee, all his years, though we’ve had nice surprises from O’Neal on occasion).

        5. Without a strong perimeter defense (Lee all his years until Iguodala came).

        I think we’d find Lee would come out well on top.

        • fuzzy dunlop

          1- One can tweak RAPM so that it account for coaching, essentially by adding 2 more players to the game and regressing. I’m not sure whether the ESPN variant has this feature but other ones do.
          2 through 5- The whole point of adjusted plus minus is to try to account for a player’s teammates (and opponents).

    • Kawakami…well, Kawakami.

      What I would simply like him to do is put his cards on the table. When he goes on and on trolling about Lee on twitter (not in the columns, though!), what exactly is he advocating? Does he honestly think the team is better off with Lee injured?

      So that, what, Speights and Barnes take his minutes? There’s room enough for Draymond and Lee to get 30+ minutes per night. So if he wants to blame someone for Draymond not getting on the floor, don’t blame Lee. Blame the coach.

      • fuzzy dunlop

        Is anyone really blaming Lee individually? Arguing that his minutes should be reduced is hardly a personal attack. I agree BTW that Barnes and Speights are so awful that the team is clearly better off with Lee healthy, but that’s a pretty low bar. Clearly the organization values him much more highly than that.

        • “Is anyone really blaming Lee individually?”

          I don’t know how else to interpret TK’s tweets.

          • fuzzy dunlop

            Huh? I see him pointing out what he perceives as weaknesses in his game but I don’t consider that a personal attack. In any case, I’m not interested in defending him or his writings. I just happen to agree with his view in this case.

          • Did I say “personal attack”?

          • fuzzy dunlop

            Oh, I thought that’s what you meant by “blame Lee”. If you were talking about “blame” in the sense of “point out weaknesses in his game” then clearly that’s what he’s doing. But what else could motivate one to want to cut his minutes?

          • “Does he honestly think the team is better off with Lee injured?”

            Fuzzy, that is the question I asked, and want answered from TK. It’s very straightforward. If the answer is “No”, then what is he getting on about? If the answer is “yes”, then he doesn’t know much about basketball.

        • fuzzy dunlop

          Yeah that’s obviously a no brainer. All I’m advocating for is a reduction in overall minutes+more playing time anchoring the second unit. Oh and obviously long term I’d like them to come to terms with Lee’s real value, but that has little bearing on the current playoffs.

  47. Last night, Miles Plumlee, ranked next to the bottom of the center “Real +/-, ” blocked Lebron James. leading to a Phoenix win, the Suns who are only a game and a half behind the Warriors. We can only speculate how good Phoenix might have been with one more good player up front.

    It’s about winning games, not plumping up stats.

    David Lee is a smallish power forward with good quickness but limited athleticism, who is intelligent and dependable, who has solid court sense and leadership ability, and is a consistent scorer. Of course they need to compensate for his limitations, and the team hasn’t. Yet he has anchored a limited and hobbled Warrior lineup under myopic coaching for four years now and has consistently produced respectable results and kept the team from utter embarrassment his early years here. He now has a coach who does not know how to use him.

    The question then, is not how good a defender he is, but how can the Warriors put together a team that defends well and takes advantage of his talents and thus wins more games. Several years he has been caught in the middle, forced to compensate for a weak perimeter defense without much help up front. I’m not at all convinced that Bogut is a good complement for Lee on defense. He has limited range and speed, thus leaving Lee to cover faster players and larger territory. Lee often has to compensate for Bogut, though against some players, Bogut’s bulk is an asset. And on offense Bogut’s more a hindrance than a help. If Bogut scores, it’s often because Lee draws the defenders and gets him open. Or defenders just leave Bogut alone and he gets open for dunks on occasion. This problem has been reviewed here many times, in many games.

    But how good a team would the Warriors have if they had a bona fide center, and not even a great one, one who could move and score, and open up Lee and the rest of the offense. A more athletic, larger PF alongside Lee could help share the load on offense and defense. The team has never tried to get one. Look at what the Morris brothers are doing for Phoenix, for one example.

    Incidentally, when the team can go small, I like seeing Lee and Green—what are the numbers here?

    • “Last night, Miles Plumlee, ranked next to the bottom of the center “Real +/-, ” blocked Lebron James.”

      It was Mason Plumlee, and it was the Nets that beat Miami.

      • Oooops. Thanks. And I saw it. I had two things in mind and conflated them.

        But Miles is rated at the bottom and Phoenix has done well with him—and without a major center, but they are strong throughout the roster, the point I wanted to make. Mason isn’t even rated, I assume because of playing time?

    • the boss has conveniently linked 82games.com on the right column. by their numbers, green has put in more minutes with lee at center and the other starters (less bogut) than any other combination, and it’s one of the team’s best quintets. their modest total minutes together reflects how much green’s minutes have been diffused with essentially everyone and anyone, establishing if nothing else his utility value for a coach who has trouble deciding/comprehending what’s really working best.

  48. We should get some fresh evidence for the Lee debate tomorrow night and the following days. Denver will not be a pushover.

    Crap. It’s a shame the Warriors aren’t going up against Houston first round.

  49. Here’s a thought experiment: replace Lee with Love under all the conditions I outlined @49, i.e. what Lee has had to deal with, and tell me what happens. Does he still get top rating?

    • I’m not sure how much traction there is to an argument that supposes Lee has been in a worse situation than Love.

      • Well, I hate to think what kind of numbers Lee would have put up with the Wolves. That’s not my point. My point is I think those numbers are bogus. Love has that awfully impressive WAR of 13, over three times that of Lee. I don’t think the number means much, except that Love is in a situation where he has enough support up front to score, but obviously it doesn’t help the team that much.

        Under the same circumstances as Lee with the Warriors, Love’s defensive weaknesses would have been grossly exposed because he’d have so little help on the perimeter and up front. It would be easier to cover him on offense, as opponents’ front court players could focus more on him. Or switch off when he goes to the arc. And god knows what Smart and Jackson would have done with him. His numbers and the Warriors would be worse.

        • fuzzy dunlop

          “I don’t think the number means much, except that Love is in a situation where he has enough support up front to score, but obviously it doesn’t help the team that much.”

          Huh? What exactly makes it obvious? You’re saying he can’t possibly be this good because they’re out of the playoffs? It’s KG all over again.

          “Under the same circumstances as Lee with the Warriors, Love’s defensive weaknesses would have been grossly exposed because he’d have so little help on the perimeter and up front.”

          Lee plays next to Bogut with Iguodala (and Thompson) on the perimeter. Why on earth would you think he has it worse than Love?

          (I assume you’re referring to this season since that’s what the discrepancy in WAR applies to)

          • Read the comment. Love’s main advantage on offense is that he plays with a scoring center, unlike Lee, who spreads the load up front and opens the court for Love. And he has a coach who doesn’t insist on posting him up.

            Love would have struggled in place of Lee the first three years. Obviously his defensive shortcomings would have been hidden better this year with Iguodala especially, and maybe Bogut.

            Actually, I’m curious why the Wolves haven’t done better this year, supposedly with a better coach (perimeter offense?). Feltbot? Anybody?

          • fuzzy dunlop

            “Love’s main advantage on offense is that he plays with a scoring center, unlike Lee, who spreads the load up front and opens the court for Love. ”

            Yeah that’s an advantage over Lee (though, again, adjusted plus minus is designed to account for these things). But there’s also this guy called Steph Curry that might tilt things just a bit in the other direction…

            “Obviously his defensive shortcomings would have been hidden better this year with Iguodala especially, and maybe Bogut.”

            Then why did you bring that up when we’re talking about a metric that evaluates his performance this year?

          • I thought we were evaluating Lee, and I wanted to look at the whole picture, past and present. Has he changed over the years?

            If we’re evaluating the metric, the 13 for Love vs. 4 for Lee has to be wholly misleading, if not meaningless.

          • fuzzy dunlop

            Wins above replacement is definitely a major overkill for a Love vs Lee comparison. How about just noting that Love is significantly better than Lee at every facet of basketball?

          • Because it isn’t true.

            More relevant to this discussion, there is no convincing way to decide how Love would fit into the Warrior scheme and improve the team.

            But it’s an incredibly moot point. There is no feasible way the team is going trade Lee and get Love.

            The real point to the discussion is that scoring power forwards are in short supply and are expensive. You take the best option you can and build a team around him. At the time of the Lee acquisition, the only options were Stoudemire and Bosh, both expensive, none attractive options for the Warriors, neither of whom would have come here anyway.

            Yes, I wish Lee had a three point shot.

          • fuzzy dunlop

            “Because it isn’t true.”

            What is he not significantly better at exactly?

            “there is no convincing way to decide how Love would fit into the Warrior scheme and improve the team.”

            Only insofar as that that’s the case for any player not currently on the team.

            “The real point to the discussion is that scoring power forwards are in short supply and are expensive. You take the best option you can and build a team around him. ”

            Why? I don’t like the idea of building around offense oriented bigs in general.

            “Yes, I wish Lee had a three point shot.”

            Threes? I wish he had an adequate mid range shot.

  50. Harrison Barnes, incidentally, is ranked #408—just below Jarrett Jack and just above Carlos Boozer. Tell me these stats are meaningful (except in HB’s case).

    http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/rpm/_/page/11

  51. Strauss gives a quick review of the remaining assistants:

    Here’s a rundown of what the remaining three are best known for on the coaching circuit. Pete Myers, a friend from Jackson’s playing days, has the most extensive NBA track record among Jackson’s remaining assistants. He’s 0-3 as a head coach and was forced off Chicago’s coaching staff by an arriving Tom Thibodeau. Lindsey Hunter (another Jackson friend) ran a “give the ball to Michael Beasley” offense in Phoenix, where he accrued a .293 head-coaching record. Now that Hunter’s out, Phoenix is winning again. Jerry DeGregorio boasts an unimpressive .200 head-coaching record on the college circuit, but he did serve as best man at a Kardashian wedding. Even Scalabrine couldn’t offer a résumé fact so novel.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/67331/the-warriors-come-together-amid-turmoil

    Also Curry liked Erman.

  52. EvanZ(I’m on my phone and it’s easier for me to continue the RAPM discussion down here. What is the Thunder’s record without Russell Westbrook? How does that accord with his RAPM? (And what was the Warriors record with and without Lee last year?) Obvious problems with going down this road…

    RAPM doesn’t help me at all in my analysis, and in fact I think the absurd fallacies it produces in people’s analyses, like yours of Lee above, render it more pernicious than helpful.

    The idea that David Lee is not one of the best players in the league is simply absurd. Putting what u view as my biases aside, what accounts for the fact that he’s twice been selected for the Allstar game, by COACHES? Man, are those guys idiots. What accounts for Geirge Karl’s belief that the Warriors could run their entire offense through him? Shaq’s admiration for him? Nellie’s? More idiots.

    For my money, the most accurate statistical measure of a players worth I’ve ever seen remains his fantasy ranking. It accounts naturally for a players minutes and role. And even on the defensive side, rbs, stls and blks seem to be great proxies for defensive strength. Lee has consistently ranked between 15 and 35, and I think that’s right. Underrates him, in fact, because since leaving DAntoni, he’s been consistently misused by incompetents.

    How do you value by stats a running center who neither runs nor plays center? A pick and roll, high post player, who is rarely used in those roles?

    But my problem with the stat doesn’t have to do with Lee any more than the other idiocies it produces. My real problem with it is a priori.

    Any reasonable basketball person examining the premises of the stats methodology should recognize that it is built on numerous fallacies. Starting with the most obvious: Can it tell the worst player in the league from the best, in the case that they play every minute of the season together?

    If the answer to that question is no, then you can throw the stat in the toilet.

    • “Putting what u view as my biases aside, what accounts for the fact that he’s twice been selected for the Allstar game, by COACHES? Man, are those guys idiots.”

      You don’t seem to like too many coaches, including our own. So I’m not sure that means anything at all really. Now, if you asked GM’s, you might get a different answer.

    • “Can it tell the worst player in the league from the best, in the case that they play every minute of the season together?”

      This is a contrived example. If you can tell me what worst player in the league played with the best player in the league, I will simply discount the RAPM of that player. Hardly a disqualifier for the entire stat though.

      • How contrived is it? At what point does the stat not need discounting? 1 minute with different lineups? 100? 10%? What’s the tipping point? How do u know how much to discount it for each a player?

        Monta Ellis had a 1.1 RAPM last year. 1.7 this. Different player? David Lee has a much higher ranking last season than this. Different player?

        In one of his books, Phil Jackson noted that the year he brought Fisher off the bench he was terrible. His talents were better suited to playing with the starters (Just like Steve Blake). Would you infer that his RAPM was similar that season to his others or different?

        I think it’s obvious that RAPM doesn’t do what it purports to do. And the reasons for that are equally obvious.

    • fuzzy dunlop

      “For my money, the most accurate statistical measure of a players worth I’ve ever seen remains his fantasy ranking. It accounts naturally for a players minutes and role. And even on the defensive side, rbs, stls and blks seem to be great proxies for defensive strength. Lee has consistently ranked between 15 and 35, and I think that’s right. ”

      I know next to nothing about fantasy sports, but my understanding is that they are forms of gambling on players’s box score stats. So your argument amounts to disputing the claim that Lee’s impact falls far short of his box score stats (and metrics derived therefrom) by pointing to the high esteem in which he’s held by people who are concerned solely with those stats? That’s a complete non sequitur.

      • The jist of that comment was simply this: looking at the top two hundred rankings of fantasy players correlates almost perfectly with my own valuations, and the top two hundred RAPM rankings strike me as rife with absurdities. Starting with the very first ranking, the best player in the world, Andre Iguodala.

        And by the way, how come the current best player in the world was only the 23rd best player last year, when he was healthy?

        Sorry, RAPM is garbage, conceptually and in practice.

        • ” looking at the top two hundred rankings of fantasy players correlates almost perfectly with my own valuations”

          Did you ever consider that your own valuations are biased by fantasy ratings?

          • Never thought about that, because I form my opinions based on what I see on the court, well in advance of any fulfillment by stats. And have had pretty good success with it, as you can verify yourself by any of my player evaluations. No stats can help me with those.

            And there are certain fantasy rankings I would violently disagree with. Like Melo’s, and Al Jefferson. As a whole, tho, the rankings are far better than any sausage stat’s I’ve seen.

        • fuzzy dunlop

          “The jist of that comment was simply this: looking at the top two hundred rankings of fantasy players correlates almost perfectly with my own valuations”

          I hadn’t followed his show in ages, but the news about Colbert replacing Letterman prompted me to rewatch some of his classic segments. I’ll just leave this here:
          http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/63ite2/the-word—truthiness

          “Starting with the very first ranking, the best player in the world, Andre Iguodala.”

          Again with this?

          “Sorry, RAPM is garbage, conceptually and in practice.”

          The only actual “flaw” you’ve discerned is its unflattering portrayal of a player you like.

    • fuzzy dunlop

      For the record, here’s an actual sensible critique of ESPN’s new stat (which is a variation of box score informed RAPM):
      http://www.hickory-high.com/is-espns-real-plus-minus-for-real/

      The basic critique is that they’re “corrupting” the priors with extraneous factors in an effort to boost the stat’s predictive power. I’d also add that the lack of transparency regarding some of the choices made is disturbing. By no means is this stat the be all and end all of player evaluation. But RAPM has proven far more predictive than stuff like PER win shares, fantasy ranking etc. and thus has great utility.

  53. My life is a little crazy at the moment. I’m out of town again, for an indeterminant amount of time, and will miss the next several games at a minimum. I’ll try to check in as before, but will be relying on youse guys to be my eyes.

  54. Interesting discussion of Lee’s stats and his value to the team. I have no opinion on RAPM, but a few thoughts on Lee and his value to the team, using simpler measures.

    I agree with Moto that we should leave salary out of it. When the Ws signed Lee, the team had been so terrible for so long that the only way they’d be considered by free agents was if they offered more than the market rate. I think we can all agree that Lee is overpaid under the terms of today’s CBA. So be it. So what? That’s not basketball, that’s business.

    I’ve been a big fan of Draymond’s from early last year. Last season I felt like a one-man bandwagon for the guy. But he is not and never will be a go-to scoring option, and sometimes that is what the team needs.

    Lee, for all his faults, consistently outscores his opponent. No other Ws big does. Without Lee, those 20/night have to be made up somehow. When it’s not happening for the splash bros., who else ya got? Bogut/Draymond/JON? No. Iggy? Not lately. Lee.

    Draymond is great. Love the guy. But talk all you want about his “intangibles” (I sure do), in one-on-one competition against Lee, Lee wins every game. By a mile. Every time. Anywhere anytime. He’s been doing precisely that his whole career, against everyone. That’s a tangible fact that would take one hell of a lot of intangibles to offset.

    Kawakami is an ass.

    • Great post Hat. Play Lee & Green together. Lots of P&R with Curry. Pull the opposing big out with Lee mid-range jumpers. Could really move the ball and run, if DLee healthy. Let’s hope like heck he is.

      • Thank, Marc.

        I’m all for a discussion of stats and their validity. I’d be delighted to find a single number that accurately quantified a player’s contribution. Things should be so simple!

        Ain’t happenin. Stats reflect history, not potential. Winning teams optimize potential. There’s no stat for that yet.

        The bottom line is this: when they roll out the ball and git downta biznitz, who wins more than his share?

        Ans: David Lee, for one. Draymond, for another.

        Statistically, the Lee/Green front line spreads the point margin more than the Lee/Bogut front line does. But there simply isn’t enough Bogut/Green playing time to provide reliable stats on its effectiveness in comparison to Lee/Bogut. That being the case, it seems sensible to fall back on simpler measures: in a competition between Lee and Green alone, who wins?

        Lee by a mile.

        So if a stat says otherwise, that stat is flawed.

    • fuzzy dunlop

      Who cares about outscoring the opposing PF? That’s meaningless on its own. The point is to identify players who contribute the most to their team outscoring the other team.

      • Right!

        But bear with me here. For his total NBA career, Draymond scores .25 points per minute. Lee scores .46 ppm, almost twice as much. If those numbers were equal, we’d say DG contributed more overall because he is a far better defender, in ways that we can clearly see but can’t accurately quantify.

        Lee is damn efficient on offense. His career average scoring rate is .534. Draymond: .372. Far less efficient.

        Draymond’s “shots at rim” defense is 50.7%. Lee’s is 49.2%. Lee is actually better.

        Who’s the better PF, Fuzz?

        • OK, I’m coming clean: I cherry-picked the stats. If we’re stuck with a “traditional” offense, Lee is friggin amazing. If Mark Jackson could possibly unleash Draymondball on his team, it would change the entire nature of the team on both ends of the floor.

          Lee is a good high-post screener for the Splash Bros., but Dray sets mind-altering screens. When Dray squashes someone’s defender he stays squashed.

          On offense, Lee can’t be stopped without major alterations to normal defensive assignments. But Dray is a point forward or even point C, a 3-point threat, a great passer, and a completely unpredictable, maniacal defender.

          So, yeah, in reality I think the Ws could go either way. But could Mark Jackson? TBD.

          • I’m not one of those who thinks the Dubs are better off without Lee. But I’m now beginning to wonder whether they are better off with Lee coming off the bench and providing that scoring punch instead of Crawford, Speights, or god forbid, Harrison Barnes trying to do it.

            Why can’t Lee be a Luis Scola type of guy for us off the bench? Who knows, it might even prolong his career, and result in a 6MOY award.

          • That’s one way to go, and it would certainly benefit Lee’s health. I wonder how it would affect Green’s health. I wonder if the Ws could be successful starting games with only 3 scorers on the floor.

        • fuzzy dunlop

          It’s not about Green being a better player than Lee and thus deserving of his minutes, it’s about the Warriors benefiting greatly from a 4 out offense. The number also indicate that Lee’s efficiency isn’t affected by Curry’s presence, hence the suggestion that he could excel anchoring the Ws putrid bench unit.

  55. All the turbulence within the Warriors does not bode well as the Warriors enter the playoffs. The health issues are also very troubling. Hope the Warriors can overcome their recent travails.

    I also see a Lee-Green front court being wiped by a good team. If Bogut Lee, and Bogut are fully healthy, a big if, don’t see the Warriors beating the Clippers, especially if Crawford healthy. They simply have more depth and quality players.

    • Not to mention a coach who knows what’s what.

      One of the benefits to playing Draymond is that he knows basketball better than his coach. With Lee being on short minutes, that makes the impending Clips series an open question.

    • I don’t think anyone on this forum advocates playing Lee-Green 100% of a game. I think the talent is there, if utilized correctly by the coaching staff.

  56. From fuzzy’s piece explaining adjusted +/–:

    “This is not to say that the Top 20 list contains no surprises. It does. But, then again, for this sort of sophisticated analysis to be truly worthwhile, it should yield at least some surprises. If there weren’t any at all, that would be tantamount to saying the model tells us nothing we didn’t already know.”

    http://www.82games.com/ilardi1.htm

    Just amazing. The author presumes the accuracy of what he’s doing, the validity of his system, and won’t allow for error or anomalies. He’s running around in circles.

    We’ll always have to resort to stats to give some sort of concrete validity to our arguments, and these can be refined. But I have no confidence in any discussion about basketball by people who have not played or coached it or, in general, do not understand the game or players, who cannot provide any rationale for their conclusions. And there is none here. They are taking a bird’s eye view of discrete behavior and assume that this has meaning. Even if their findings had validity, and they don’t, they don’t tell us anything about how a player might fit with other players or how he might be used in a system. There are reasons why players do well with one team and system and flop with another, some strategic, some temperamental.

    Rondo is listed a top 16 player. Ponder that a moment.

    NBA basketball has always been largely determined by a handful of players who, because of some combination of size, talent, athleticism, and temperament, have dominated the game and led to championship runs. These guys always, not surprisingly, hit the top of the charts. After that, ranking of players is at best ambiguous, but more often confusing and just flat out wrong. What really matters is how the lesser talents can be put together into a meaningful whole, a team that can compete.

    But just imagine someone, say a GM or owner, takes these stats seriously and uses them to make decisions on player acquisitions. Here’s an experiment I’d like to see run. First exclude the top players, since they are usually locked up anyway or out of a price range or otherwise unavailable, and have owners bid for the rest of the players according to this ranking, then run the schedule. I know exactly what would happen. The stats would vary wildly year to year, then completely settle down into meaningless noise. It’s what happens when you make decisions based on essentially ambiguous data.

    And it will probably happen, and is probably happening now.

    As for the author,

    “In his ‘day job’, Ilardi is a clinical researcher who has worked to develop a novel, lifestyle-based treatment for depressive illness.”

    I bet it involves contemplating stats. It’s soothing because it avoids the complications and messiness of our games, of our lives.

    These stats are a pile of crap.

  57. Denver—

    Just dismal. I had a feeling they were going to lose this one in the first half. Denver is short handed, coming in on a back to back, and can’t shoot, and the Warriors even build a 20 point lead and even the subs score at first—

    And instead of pushing the pace, Jackson gets cautious and lets them back into the game.

    Walk it up, post it up.

    Jackson goes big towards the end of the first half, O’Neal, Bogut, who, along with Barnes, make a non-scoring lineup. And they still can’t rebound or stop Moskof.

    Then second half, walk it up, post it up, walk it up, post it up—and watch the backcourt get double- and triple- teamed and take bad shots.

    This should have been a game where they fine-tuned backups and explored options, especially with Lee out. I can’t believe they couldn’t have run more plays to and through Green, that they couldn’t take advantage of Crawford’s speed, that they could even make better use of Blake’s play making abilities, and, yes, let Speights pop a few more.

    No. Walk it up, post it up.

  58. 44 points for Seth Curry in the first D League playoff game, a win. I spot watched the game. He looks more confident on the court.

    Maybe their coach could sit in for Jackson?

  59. Figured out how to catch the game on my IPad, but can’t recap.

    Waiting to hear from the Lee haters, and those who believe Draymond Green is a starting power forward, equipped to deal with Faried, Love, Duncan, Griffin, Randolph, Aldridge, et al.

    • warriorsablaze

      Lee has been demolished by many of those same names… and done well against them other times. Using one game to try to prove a point is either ridiculous or dishonest.

      I don’t think Green should replace Lee… but I do think he can play a bigger role against certain teams and certain match-ups.

      • I’ve made this point several times this season, after seeing Green get steamrolled by frontline bigs.

        He got completely and utterly destroyed in this game. Not that it’s his fault. He’s 6-5 3/4.

        I challenge you to find a game in which Lee was “demolished” by Faried. He plays him better than anyone in the league.

        And after you’re done failing at that, find a game in which Lee was out rebounded by 15 by any of the other PFs I mentioned. Or any other power forward. In any season. Home or away.

        And after you’re done failing at that, just find me a game, any game, in which Lee was “demolished.”

        Let’s see who’s being dishonest. With themselves.

        • fwiw…

          Faried
          6′-6″ without shoes
          7′-0″ wingspan

          Green
          6′-5.75″ without shoes
          7′-1.25″ wingspan

          • Do they look anything like the same size to you? I’ve seen them stand next to each other, and think Faried is at least an inch taller.

            But what’s the point, exactly? Faried himself struggles badly against the PFs I mentioned. Green has no prayer.

            Draymond Green is a versatile SF, who can handle the four against smallball teams, or against certain big teams for limited minutes in crunchtime. Believing he has the size and strength to ever be a starting 4 in the NBA is sheer insanity.

            Or in Tim Kawakami’s and Adam Lauridsen’s cases, sheer incompetence.

  60. (This one’s for Feltbot)

    Official Warriors’ theme song:

    • How did I know it would be this song?

      Far better in the original recording, but still the greatest interpretation of this song ever.

  61. Denver 25 offensive rebounds, Warriors 5 or 6. Ouch!

  62. What’s most upsetting about the loss last night is that it wasn’t surprising. We’ve seen blown leads, cliff hangers, and dismal losses to inferior teams all season.

    There was a way to win with Green. There were a hundred ways they win with Green. But the general solution comes from recognizing the strengths of the team, its quickness and intelligence. Instead, Jackson went big and slow. And if the intelligence on the court was not exploited, it’s because there is none among the suits on the bench.

    Warrior brand of basketball.

    They could have run the offense more through Green and Iguodala, opening up the court for the guards and dividing the defense. Both can drive when given an opening, both can pop on occasion, and last night was a time to hope they keep or beat their percentages. Instead, they took only 5 and 6 shots. And the whole team could have run.

    Pushing the pace and scoring when ahead against a team who was off from a b-to-b, shooting poorly, was the best way to put them in a hole and keep them there. Offense is defense. Instead, Jackson let them climb out.

    We were lucky, because it could have been much worse. Denver shot 50% against Houston the night previous. Against us, only 38%.

    Depending on Barnes, of course, doesn’t help the equation. But I can’t believe they can’t get more from the rest. Crawford can run, drive, and shoot. Blake is worth something other than walk it up. Both can penetrate and kick out. But as we’ve seen all season, Jackson doesn’t know what to do with them. Curry found Speights very nicely, btw, and we saw the results.

    There had to be a quicker, more intelligent way to run the defense, forcing the perimeter, spreading coverage and rebounding instead of packing the paint. Both Bogut and O’Neal are slow, and they were exposed last night by the quicker and more agile front court. Mozgov only got 6 boards against Asik and Houston, and Faried 9, but rebounding was spread down the roster, and they were almost even with Houston.

    Mozgov should have been no surprise. He scored 22 against Asik and Houston. (Which assistant scouted the game?) Could they have double teamed him, or at least mixed it up, sending Green against him on occasion, especially when he played out?

    But what on earth happened to Bogut. I know I’ve been critical, but it’s because his value is overrated. This should have been a game where he stepped up and turned the tide regardless. I didn’t pay much attention to him, but he was nearly invisible.

    The other thing we realize is how much Lee has been used to cover up the deficiencies of Jackson’s coaching and the sins of the present.

    • +1 Remember that Orlando game last year, in which the Warriors bigs got outplayed because the Magic used a three guard lineup that ran circles around Curry, Thompson and Barnes? Bogut and Lee were constantly forced to give help, and pulled off their own man and away from rebounding position. Something similar occurred last night when the Nuggets went to Fournier at SF.

      In this game, Jackson failed to match up in the BACKCOURT. Note that Barnes had the worst plus/minus in the game despite having good offensive numbers — some of that came from his inability to keep smaller players in front of him. What happens with Curry, Crawford and Thompson playing together, and RUNNING?

      Note that Iggy was apparently hobbled. Why else only 27 minutes? So I’m not sure he could have taken Faried for short minutes.

      But on this night in which Bogut didn’t or couldn’t show up, and Green was getting murdered in the paint in the halfcourt, there was a better gameplan.

      Get Bogut out. Get small and try to run Mozgov off the court. In the halfcourt, pull Mozgov all the way out of the lane in pick and roll, pick and pop.

      ONeal/Speights, Green/Iggy, Thompson, Curry, and Crawford.

      Last time I checked, we had the best smalls in the league. And wasn’t Denver on a back to back?

  63. The real intrigue to last night’s game was to compare it to the series win over Denver last year, you know, the one where so many said we didn’t need Lee, that he was holding the team back. But this is a weaker Denver team, and the Warriors, with Igoudala, should have been close to equal.

    The obvious difference is that the Warriors lack solid backup players at 1 and 4—Jack and Landry—though a case has been made here that the backup players we do have have not been developed and exploited. The other key difference may be coaching—Malone, I assume played a role.

    Is there any way to adjust +/– stats, real or other, for coaching? I suggest we not look too hard at numbers this year. And I repeat my suggestion: use the stats to evaluate coaches, not players, and ask questions about why their numbers drop off.

    Bogut said one test for a player is whether he keeps his opponent to his numbers. Mozgov averages 9 points and 6 boards for the season. Last night, 23 points and 29 boards. I’m not trying to trash Bogut. I am simply stunned. And this was a critical game, going into four more games in quick succession. This was a massive failure.

    • cosmicballoon

      Disagree. The difference was that Bogut, last year, punished the Nuggets when the ball was passed to him. This year, he does not go down the lane with authority on offense, so Curry has virtually stopped passing to him. The third quarter last night was a great example.

      • rgg+1

        Lee sorely missed indeed. Warriors would have garnered more rebounds and at least a few more points for a win.

        If Bogut is better than Mosgov, then I would hope ‘Spokesmodel’ Myers would hop on the phone and offer to trade Bogut for Mosgov. I would suspect the Nuggets to decline for a combination of reasons (upside, and salary cap to name a couple). To be fair, it looked like Bogut was still injured as he looked low energy. Maybe it will be different next Thursday. Mosgov has to prove consistency first.

        Otherwise, one cannot blame his own blocking out deficiency on the failure of another teammate. It would be like Blake blaming De Andre, or Amare blaming Tyson. Coaches wouldn’t buy it, nor the fans.

        Game turned when Blake and subsequently Curry were trapped by two sometimes three Nuggets. Curry still tried to carry the Dubs as usual (the two at the end, and he barely missed his desperation three at the buzzer).

        Oh, well tonight they will defeat the sLackers and all will be forgotten :-) til Sunday.

  64. This loss and others like them are on Jackson, and he needs to own it.

  65. Playing as a “big,” Green always gives up verticality to his opponents, but he can often compensate for it with his speed, especially on offense when he plays away from the rim. Not against Faried. The Manimal is taller, quicker, and very smart.

    Green’s best contribution to the offense is usually his monstrous screens for Curry and Thompson. Last night against a very quick Faried – not so much. The Ws 3-pt shooting reflects that. 26.1% last night. Last night would have been a good time to play Bogut at the high post instead of Green. Didn’t happen. Mosgov 29 boards.

    At first glance, Bogut had a terrible game. In reality, I think a large part of Bogut’s problem with Mosgov was due to Draymond’s problems against Faried. Dray couldn’t keep Faried off the boards. Bogut had his hands full.

    FWIW, in the halftime show Barkley said the Ws have no chance in the playoffs without D Lee. Per Charles, “he’s a double-double machine, and the Warriors need him.”

    To be entirely honest, I’m not unhappy about the results. Assuming they close out the season reasonably well, the loss won’t hurt the team. It answered the Lee doubters. TK got exposed as the basketball fraud he is. The coach got exposed, once again, as the helpless game-time idiot he is. Jackson didn’t have the slightest clue what to do to slow down the Nug’s front line. Play the 2nd unit for extended minutes? Right. Check the popcornmachine graphic in the 3rd Q.

    http://popcornmachine.net/cgi-bin/gameflow.cgi?date=20140410&game=DENGSW

    So maybe, hopefully, last night’s game goes on Joe Lacob’s grudge list. That was an entirely winnable game. For a real coach.

  66. cosmicballoon

    Faried ate the Warriors for lunch. Draymond couldn’t keep him off the boards, so Bogut was forces to help, almost every Tim he touched the ball. But, Faried missed a ton of shots, so Bogut probably should have stayed with his man, rather than help. Mozgov was the recipient of this game plan.

    This may have been the game for Speights to guard Faried. A big body with lateral movement ability is the only way to slow him down.

    • WheresMyChippy

      From the article’s closing paragraph:

      “Jackson can only hope that his sweet-shooting backcourt gets hot at the right time and that the chips fall into place for his Warriors.”

      Nailed it. Seems to be his best strategy on offense: Hoping

  67. Can someone tell me why Bogut decided to close out on that Mozgov 3PTA? It made absolutely no sense to me.

  68. Lakers – Jackson called a time out late in the 4th Qtr to yank Barnes, after Barnes played poorly – burned by Nic Young, let the ball slip thru his hands, passed right to a Laker, bricked shots, etc. The Warriors immediately played better. Progress?

    • Jackson pulled Barnes immediately after Curry declined to pass it to him. It was like Jackson was reading Curry’s mind.

      At the time, the ball would naturally have swung to Barnes in the flow of the offense. Curry started to pass it to him, but checked himself, hesitated, then sent it elsewhere.

      This is the 2nd time I’ve noticed Curry (and Jackson) do the exact same thing. The first time was against the Knicks, I think.

      Curry was right to swing the ball elsewhere. Barnes’ tally:

      At less than 4 ft.: 4 made, 3 missed.
      20 ft. miss
      26 ft. miss

      3 TOs, 0 assists, helpless D. The ONLY Warrior with a negative +/- last night.

      The Lee/Speights/Green front line worked pretty well, I thought. Depending on matchups, I’d like to see more of it.

      And of course, less of Barnes against anyone.

      • Barnes did finish well with a bank shot made on a drive in traffic, and he also made a drive and dished off to Speights—a good assist.

        But the rest of his shots didn’t have much of a chance. As Barnett said, he can’t read the court and can’t finish. I don’t care as much about his shooting percentage as his ability to take good percentage shots.

        But he got that sensational dunk on a steal, breakaway, and pass from Curry that got some oohs and ahhhs. This he can do.

        So what.

  69. How is that I, his lone champion, have managed to miss every one of Mokur’s masterpieces?

    • What do you mean lone champion?

      Mo made a few outstanding gaffes, but you see the box score. And warts and all, he can motor to the basket better than the centers.

      Lee looked rusty at first, not surprisingly, but picked it up and had some spring in his step. Surprising is that he played at all.

      And without front court scoring from Lee and Mo, this game could have gone the other way. It’s what they didn’t have the other night. LA can get hot, as we saw at the end. Curiously, Meeks only took two 3s.

      Both Mo and Lee looked tentative on taking outside shots, and mostly gave them up and drove or passed. I assume this is on order, which is a waste. I’m guessing Lee’s midrange % is down because it has been curbed. Mo just doesn’t get many looks.

      Have they just given up on trying to get Bogut to score? Against the Lakers, the lane is just porous. But only a handful of touches and two attempts at the bucket.

      Barnett made a curious comment. He said he quietly talked to Blake, encouraging him to shoot, which he did tonight. Curious because you wouldn’t think an announcer would step in like that. Also because apparently he’s not getting the same encouragement from the coaches, or at least the reassurance.

      It’s a shame Jim can’t sit in on practices and advise. He’s a master of the small details and the craftsmanship of the game and could coach on matters the others can’t. This probably wouldn’t work with the Preacher.

      And he’d probably get fired for whoknowswhat reason.

      • Lone co-champion doesn’t have the same ring.

      • Mokur/Lee/Green worked well. Green (+18) and Lee (+19) especially.

        Speights had a great box score, but I can never bring myself to call his work a masterpiece. Ugly D. 4 PFs in 22 minutes, in a game with few foul calls overall. Maybe it’s just aesthetics.

        It’s hard to tear your eyes away from Curry when he’s zooming around with the ball, but if you can, it’s fun to watch Draymond setting screens for him. Dray looks like a bouncer breaking up a bar fight – you’re not going there, buddy. It’s amazing stuff. I can’t quite figure out how he gets away with it. Maybe it’s his calm, businesslike manner.

        • They should have tried to bring Green in the offense more the last two games—pick and roll, etc. They’ll need it and he can do it.

      • barnett did go to practices and offered players advice, in the previous regime. the players who could have benefitted most probably were the least receptive (like many teaching situations) and confirmed that he’s better off getting paid as a analyst rather than a coach at this level.

        • Of course you’re right. But Jim does have a wealth of knowledge in the art and execution of the game the players could use, especially Barnes. And it’s unlikely they’ll get that from the current staff.

  70. wubs can do some damage in playoffs. Can take the Clippers. All the analysis is flotsam. GS has the talent, they have to play very well, limit turnovers, move the ball, run, and hustle. This is how you get open shots. And we have good shooters.
    What I dont like about HBarnes is his lack of movement, HUSTLE. Use your body, your athleticism – you dont have much else! Its cringe-worthy when Barnes has his feet set with a live dribble.. Someone on this blog commented that when HB is in the game its like playing 4 on 5. I agree. He gets too many minutes. Why? Would he even get off the bench in SanAntone-
    Warriors getting healthy at the right time. This is huge. GS-Clips is a real toss-up, regardless of home court adv. Curry is peaking and can outplay CPaul, and the Wars supporting cast can also handle the clips. But we’ll see

  71. OK, we’re in the playoffs. Preliminary thoughts:

    Apologists for the Preacher, Emperor Joe, and anyone or anything else they want to validate will point to a likely 50 win season to justify their claims. Lost in this is that the Warriors did not gain any ground against the top teams.

    Last season they were 11 games behind the Spurs and 13 behind OKC. This season they will be in about the same position, well behind the top teams. They also would have been in the same position behind the Clippers had LAC not had key injuries, and they’re still well behind. If they gained ground on the other top teams last year, it’s because Denver was dismantled and Memphis took a spin with the loss of Gasol. And this should be the final measure, how well they develop their potential, how well they are poised to make a run.

    Better minds in the coaching staff and a few minor adjustments on the roster, and they had the potential to close the gap. They didn’t.

    I was skeptical beginning the season largely because of the weak bench and a falloff in offense with Iguodala in the starting lineup. What I did not realize was how well they could perform with that lineup. Remember the win streak, the blowouts, the brilliant games this season.

    What I also did not anticipate is how tentatively—and perversely—they would be coached and how poorly the bench would be developed. Remember the lost leads and losses to mediocre teams. Remember the succession of players coming and going without clear resolution or genuine gain. Remember the worst producing bench in the NBA.

    I’m sure we can count on an impassioned first round, maybe even a win, though more likely a Pyrrhic victory that leaves behind the walking wounded. But as far as being equipped to manage the long playoffs efficiently and make a run, we only have a hope and, for some, a prayer.

    Go Dubs.

    • Joe Lacob (Not Really)

      Point differential, that thing blogmaster Feltbot says is the only thing that matters in basketball, suggests the Warriors gained a lot of ground from last season.

      Last season the Dubs had a +.9 PD. That was good for 7th in the West, 11th in the league (it is tough to compare across conferences though due to the un-standardized schedules). A .9 PD works out to around 43 expected wins, meaning the Dubs were 4 games above expectation. If you use ESPN’s formula (which accounts for SOS), around it was 44 expected wins, so the Dubs were 3 games above expectation.

      This season the Dubs have a +4.8 PD as of April 12th.This is good for 4th in the West (barely ahead of Houston and ahead of Portland), 5th in the league. A 4.8 PD works out to around 54 expected wins, meaning the Dubs will likely fall short (though some truly awful performances or some starter resting in these last few games could bring the PD down). ESPN has them at a .688 winning percentage, meaning they should have had 56 wins and are likely to finish significantly under their expectation.

      Plus, the PD is higher when you exclude the games Iguodala missed. Last year the only injuries were Rush and Bogut, who you think sucks anyway. This year Ezeli, a player I have seen Feltbot gush over, missed the whole season.

      The Warriors definitely gained ground, why pretend record ranking is more important than point differential ranking. I mean, in a real world consequences sense of course record matters. The TWolves had the PD of a playoff team but will be watching the playoffs on their TVs. In a “gaining ground” discussion, though, it is intellectually dishonest to conveniently avoid bringing it up.

      I am fine with criticizing the ownership but don’t really appreciate when people are so dug in that it becomes spin.

      • Not convincing. Bizarre actually. You’ve simply assumed the value of your numbers and that any kind of change in them is meaningful in some way. There’s a lot of that going around, circular reasoning.

        But you miss the point of my comment as well as set the benchmark of expectations. You only had to watch the brilliant games this season to realize that this team indeed had potential to win 56 games, have a better seed in the playoffs, and be poised to make a run. They didn’t and they aren’t. It’s unlikely they’ll go any further in the playoffs than last year. This team should be able to give the Spurs or Thunder a run, and they aren’t. It’s hard to believe the coaching will devise an efficient strategy to make use of available talents, given performances all season.

        So the question is why.

        Injuries are only a partial factor, but the team should have been able to manage several of the games when Iguodala went down. You could attribute a large part of the failings to Barnes, and the minutes allowed to him over others in spite of his failings, especially those games Iguodala was out. Most analyzed here all season is flawed strategy, which has not been consistent or effective or, many times, even coherent. The other major factor is the bench, closely related to coaching. The talent we had was not brought out and/or effective players not brought in. It’s impossible to reach a clear answer here since the two can’t be separated.

        Deal out fault any way you like. Who set the priorities for the team, as well as the roster? Who insisted Barnes get all those minutes? Who hired Jackson, based on what premises? What decisions did Jackson make for himself? All I know is that the team has fallen short and there are serious questions about the coaching. Will Jackson be kept or replaced with someone similar?

        But usually people at the top take responsibility for their decisions.

        • Assigning blame just gets tedious though. Most, I want to make an accurate appraisal of the team and hope that someone does the same, identifies the problem, and solves it, and it’s not clear this has been done.

          We have good cause to be disappointed this season. It would not take much to make this a better team, given the material it now has. A minor change in the roster or the bringing in of another minor player or developing what they have, plus sitting on the bench you know who, could have tipped the scales, if the coach knew what to do with them.

          For me, the most glaring problem is that the team has not recognized the value of offense, or maybe the value of a more sophisticated offense, and brought out the offensive potential of individual players and the team as a whole. We have to only look at nine games this season where the team scored 90 or fewer points and lost all but one.

  72. It’s a crying shame we didn’t get a chance to see Bazemore matchup against Barnes in revenge mode. Can you imagine?

    Lacob’s death stare might have lit Jackson on fire.

    • He gave Jackson a hug instead, at the end of the game, or at any rate put his hands on him in a friendly gesture.

      • cosmicballoon

        I noticed that too. Cursory side hug, and it was certainly quick, with no real eye contact. They are not friends, but we already knew that.

    • The Lackers didn’t need Baze to shut down Barnes last night. So in a way that made Barnes’ crappy performance stand out even more.

      But yeah, head-to-head contrast between Baze and Barnes might have added a few kilowatts to Lacob’s laser eyes. That would have been fun!

      As it was, Lacob looked deeply bugged and Jackson looked distinctly uncomfortable. That all makes me very curious.

      It’s obvious that something is eating Lacob. I wonder what it is. He can’t blame anyone for the injuries that have cost the team some games – 4 of his starters have missed significant playing time, and two of them are still hurt. Player development is an uncertain process, impossible to predict. And no one wins them all, even all the “easy” ones. Lacob’s a bright guy, he knows all that.

      So what’s really going on there? My guess: Since Lacob can’t realistically be dissatisfied with his team’s performance, another non-basketball PR problem has come up. Not the assistant coach issue, that’s not important enough to ruin Joe’s party. Something we don’t know about.

      • warriorsablaze

        Maybe… but I think he indeed can be realistically dissatisfied with the team’s performance. The various Warrior’s blogs and communities have been full of criticism towards Jackson’s coaching… with the belief that — despite the 50 wins and a return to the playoffs — we have a roster that has underachieved. Perhaps the expectations were too high, but Jackson’s coaching flaws are pretty glaring to anyone with minimal basketball knowledge.

        Lacob and his team are most definitely aware not just of the bad home losses, but the intricacies of the flaws in MJax’s system as well.

        • We have no evidence Lacob & Co. are aware of anything intricate, or even that they can articulate it. If you find evidence, please pass on. I don’t mind being proved wrong.

          • warriorsablaze

            You have little to no evidence for the constant assumptions you make about Lacob’s intentions and thoughts on a daily basis.

            If you choose to believe that All-time great Jerry West, Div. 1 champion Bob Myers, and a myriad of scouts, coaches, etc…don’t know basketball enough to see the intricacies of the roster and system, while you– an academic with a Lacob obsession– see the flaws clear as day, then that’s just silly hubris.

          • West himself, in his own words, has conceded that he’s just a fixture. I linked the interviews here several times. As for the rest, I compile what I can from the others’ words, which I’ve also linked, and there’s little that is convincing, much less sophisticated.

            You’re just making this up. Do you read what they say?

        • I agree, WAB. But still, the bottom line is that the team has had significant injuries, player changes, coaching changes – and they’re still entering the playoffs in decent shape. Just by the numbers, Jackson hasn’t clearly blown it, and the team is ready to rock.

          Besides, Lacob apparently can’t dump Jackson without ruffling major player feathers, something that would be chancy at best. So he couldn’t want to stir up a mess like that. But if Lacob thought there was any chance he might keep Jackson, Death Glare would be out of character. The man plays high-stakes poker every day in the office, and he’s damn good at it.

          The decision is already made, and Lacob is not happy about it. It was forced upon him. The W-L record wouldn’t force his hand, it’s not bad enough. It’s something else. Just guessing, of course.

          Whatever, we should know in about 2 weeks. That’s about how long the Ws postseason is going to last. Unless you think they’ll get past the Clips?

      • 1 possible reason or part of the equation — Lacob apparently hand-picked Barnes, realizes he made a mistake, and blames Jackson for not developing him, compounded by Bazemore’s success in LA.

  73. After pulling Barnes and inserting Green in the 4th Qtr, the Warriors finished the game (and the Lakers) with a Lee, Green, Blake, Thompson, Curry line-up, quickly moving the lead back towards 20.

    • even with green’s recent starts, the preacher has managed to give barnes minutes similar to or more than green’s. team publicist embedded as national blogger e.s.strauss acknowledged in a recent column that the lacobites are attempting to retrieve a sunk cost w. barnes, as most of us knew.

  74. Anyone else see Adam’s blog being advertised atop my own?

    Does this give me license to troll?

  75. You have to wonder what would have happened had Ellison bought the team. It’s attractive to think that his America’s Cup catamaran isn’t a metaphor for drive and competitive edge. It is a marvel of carbon fibers and computer sensors, a collaborative effort of technicians and craftsmen and sailors. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t let his son drive the boat in the race.

    Then again, the boat is so expensive that it has priced out other competitors and there is some discussion of foul play. Apparently the rich were catered to during the event at SF and the city milked.

    Story here:

    http://www.motherjones.com/media/2013/08/larry-ellison-americas-cup-team-oracle-explainer

    • Much as I am uneasy about Lacob, I would be a fan of another team if Ellison were the owner. Methinks he falls into the ‘Billionaire Sociopath’ category.

  76. Stein weighs in on Coach of the Year, and selects, surprise, Popovich.

    Runners up:

    “Hornacek is making a run at 50 wins with a Suns of Anarchy squad that’s filled with role players and wasn’t supposed to win 25. Then there’s Chicago’s Tom Thibodeau, who has the Bulls in pole position for the East’s No. 3 seed despite a 12-18 start … and what should have been morale-crushing early exits for Derrick Rose (knee) and Luol Deng (trade). What about Dwane Casey from the Atlantic Division champion Toronto Raptors? Brooklyn’s Jason Kidd, after all the early criticism, has merely overseen the best season in league history for a team that was at least 10 games under .500 on Dec. 31, as well as a 4-0 season sweep of the Miami Heat. Charlotte’s Steve Clifford, Portland’s Terry Stotts and Dallas’ Rick Carlisle likewise all got way more out of their teams than anyone expected.”

    http://espn.go.com/blog/marc-stein/post/_/id/2062/coach-of-the-year

    Lacob, btw, passed on Casey. From TK’s interview:

    Lacob: I think he’s a good coach, a very good coach potentially. And I think he will be a head coach somewhere else. I could’ve waited but frankly he didn’t meet all the criteria that Mark Jackson meets to me. He’s probably a very good coach but he’s 54 years old, he’s a little older… he’s a guy who has been a head coach before. I think one of my criteria—not that I view Minnesota as a failure, because that may not be his fault—but I really wanted to hire somebody with a fresh start. I wanted to take a fresh approach. We did. And I hate to use the word “re-tread”—he’s not a re-tread. Dwane Casey’s a good coach. But we just really didn’t want to go down that path if we could avoid it.

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2011/06/10/joe-lacob-on-mark-jackson-i-wanted-somebody-with-a-fresh-approach/

  77. Monta have it all. Huge game against Suns as Mavs clinch.

    http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=400490068

    • cosmicballoon

      Here’s to Phoenix dropping Memphis andmaking the playoffs!

      • a tie between Phx and Mem goes to the tennesseans, because they swept the season head to head. Phx will likely surpass last year’s GS regular season wins and end up in the lottery.

    • +1 — Got that right, 37pts and a crucial steal at the end!

  78. More on stats:

    There was a moment in the Laker game when Mo had the ball at the key and hesitated shooting, maybe giving the defense time to adjust, and instead drove and missed. Lee himself has been tentative in taking midrange shots, and many are saying it has fallen off. I don’t believe it.

    The stat has been bandied about that the midrange shot is one of the most inefficient. Both Curry and Thompson rely on midrange shots, and often it’s their most effective, especially in the case of Thompson, whose 3 point shot has been off. Both Mo and Lee are good midrange shooters, but that has not been this exploited this season. If it hasn’t because someone is looking at that stat, it’s a mistake, in fact could be a self fulfilling prophecy. It would be a case where a global stat is misapplied locally, as often happens. The general finding has to be adjusted for overall strategy and individual talent.

    Bigs especially have to show their midrange shot to keep their defenders guessing and, for the team as a whole, open up the floor and spread the defense. But for a player to have an effective midrange shot, this has to be recognized and supported, and he has to develop it over the course of a season to have confidence and develop an offensive rhythm. This hasn’t happened.

    Some stats are valuable, of course. The efficiency of the three point shot has been established, especially from the corner, with one result that Fitz has finally stopped chanting missed corner threes lead to layups. But the 3 still depends upon the moment, strategy, and individual talent. For example, it will be much more effective when a team pushes the tempo, spreads the floor for better looks, allowing a team to get into an offensive rhythm, a point Nelson made and our coach has missed.

    Some players just don’t have it. I don’t care what Barnes stats are. I always hold my breath when he launches a 3. He should be developing an all around offense with midrange shots and drives to increase his versatility as a scorer and build confidence as a scorer—so he might be, in fact, a better 3 point shooter. But among other things, I just don’t think his shot is that good. I’d like to see Lee develop a 3, but it isn’t going to happen. I wouldn’t mind seeing Speights launching them however, because he is a good shooter. Look at the ease and accuracy of his free throws.

    The main reason I react to stats is that it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where GMs and owners flock to the Sloan conference, come back with these statistical findings, and force them on the coaches, whose judgment is better, or should be. And from the evidence, this is already happening.

  79. “The main reason I react to stats is that it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where GMs and owners flock to the Sloan conference, come back with these statistical findings, and force them on the coaches, whose judgment is better, or should be. And from the evidence, this is already happening.”

    So once again you’re saying that owners and GMs can be stupid and coaches can’t. Yawn.

    rgg, my friend, your concerns are noted. I will point out, however, that stats provide an impartial evaluative framework to permit team management to fairly review players and coaches, and as much as that may introduce assessment errors, it can also be helpful. For example, last year it provided substantiation for the Grizzlies’ team management’s decisions regarding Lionel Hollins – a very experienced but not particularly good coach.

    Can we move on from this concept now, or do you need to repeat it a few hundred more times first?

    • My comments also apply to commentators, analysts—and commenters on blogs. I don’t see much evidence the point has sunk in.

      I can’t decide who is obsessed here, me in my attempts to give some critical review of the organization or you in blindly defending them.

      Zzzzzzzzzzz.

      • Gee, “a critical review of the organization” couched in a concern over the misuse of stats. Once again.

        Let’s simply skip over the fact that you have no evidence whatsoever that anyone in the Ws organization pays any real attention to stats, despite a few vague sound bytes to that effect in past years. It’s just as likely that they don’t. If stats drove decision-making, wouldn’t Green’s +/- have put him on the floor more than 20 min./game throughout this season? Wouldn’t Speights get more PT?

        You have concerns. You don’t trust Ws management to get it right. You don’t have any evidence for your concerns, you don’t have any suggestions for improvement other than that Lacob should just catch a horrible disease and give up basketball. Got it.

        The next time you feel compelled to share your concerns, please provide some… stats or other evidence to prove that your concerns are valid. Or please Gawd, just reconsider hitting that Post Comment button.

        You have concerns.

        **!G!O!T! I!T!**

        Can we now just stick to basketball?

        • You don’t seem to want to let this one go. I can’t fault you for not reading comments, or reading them closely, but I was trying to engage the larger arena of stats themselves, which are getting a lot of influence here and in the NBA world, and throwing out a lot of bogus conclusions. And their value—or lack of it—and negative influence have been hotly debated in the national press, many of the articles linked here. I dunno, Hat. That sounds like basketball to me.

          And here I run into a trap. If I support my claims about my criticism of Lacob & Co, you will question my sanity and say you’re are bored. But you invited the response.

          I have no idea how much stats influence our FO. I can only question why decisions, such as a move away from shooting bigs, have been made, and make my best guesses since this organization is not forthcoming with explanations. Sounds like basketball to me as well. I do know the owner and GM attend the Sloan conference, along with many others. I also know the owner’s son and assistant GM is a stat phreak, and not much else about him. He speaks up at meetings. Lacob says he has input. What does he talk about?

          And you’re quite right. The ownership has other concerns, as Lacob made clear in his interview with TK. It’s absolutely certain Jackson was Lacob’s man, and he explains why:

          “I will tell you I am positive that he is the best candidate we could’ve hired to be the head coach of this team. . . . When I met with him and we met with him, I think we all felt the same way in that first meeting. We said, ‘wow, this guy is a leader.’ He has had so many great experiences, he will help change the culture, he will drive the people in this organization.”

          To be certain there is something attractive here, but it sounds like Lacob is pushing some kind of abstract notion of culture which I suspect is not related to basketball and may be personal. Or maybe you can expand on this and defend it. Sure sounds like hogwash to me.

          What about strategy and knowledge?

          “And it’s not about X’s and O’s, it’s about who can get the guys to play that hard. Who’s going to organize them properly. Who has the experience to know why this guy isn’t performing the way he should. Who’s going to put the pieces together in the right way. Who has the sense from being on the court for a lot of years, who knows how the pieces are going to fit together. That’s important. I interviewed a lot of assistant coaches in this process who are very good assistants. At the end of the day… it’s hard for me to get compelled by some of them, even though they might have had all the X’s and O’s that you refer to… they sounded really good with respect to X’s and O’s… but I wasn’t convinced they could move from that chair as the assistant to this chair as the head coach and lead. Make it happen.”

          http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2011/06/10/joe-lacob-on-mark-jackson-i-wanted-somebody-with-a-fresh-approach/

          This doesn’t sound very sophisticated to me. In fact it doesn’t sound like he knows what he’s talking about. How can anyone get the best out of their players if they don’t know the best way to play them? At any rate, he sure missed the boat with Jackson, because he failed in developing the potential of this team—for a while, the worst bench in the NBA. The team has succeeded because they have talented vets who play well regardless, but they still get bogged down with failed strategy.

          To be fair, he did bring Malone along, but the reins were put in Jackson’s hands. And apparently it was Jackson who refused a more informed assistant when Malone left. Should Lacob not have stood up here? The only other assistant with knowledge has been fired, for reasons not yet revealed but I can’t help finding suspect.

          Barnes was also Lacob’s pick, and in another interview Lacob said he was impressed by his character—there’s that word again. And man, he missed the boat there as well. So why has Barnes been getting so minutes? I can only guess. But do you think this is Jackson’s idea?

          What reason do we have to think he’ll make a better choice if Jackson goes, that he’s learned anything or changed his agenda?

          But now you’re going to say how obsessed I am and fall asleep. Maybe they deserve more credit, but I haven’t seen anything they’ve said, and I’ve checked, that inspires confidence.

          JUST ONCE Hat and WaB, would you tell me why you have so much confidence in them? I have seen no support whatsoever.

          But I suspect I am stepping on sacred grounds here.

        • there’s very little doubt that both the elder and junior lacobs are very statistics oriented — their $$ was made on the father’s analyses. as to which particular applications they pay closer attention to, they’re not likely to share with us, and they are probably well aware of the potential pitfalls of using the wrong numbers. their situation is very different than hollinger getting installed at Mem with an incumbent coach already there.

          using the single example of green won’t tell you much, because there is another issue in play, sunk costs of investment. the five starters correspond exactly to the five highest salaries, and the sixth man barnes has the next most invested in him. lacob seems to be statistically savvy and very conventional in his hoops ideologies at the same time ; putting lee and then barnes ahead of green in the rotation has its own logic. green’s greater versatility than either also makes it simpler to give him minutes with virtually anyone on the roster, which is close to what the preacher has been doing.

          • Thanks, moto. But that still doesn’t explain strategy—or the apparent lack of it.

            I must confess I’m tired of this argument myself. What I most miss is someone who can articulate these things better than me, so I can listen and learn. GSW doesn’t have one. Ideally this should be the coach.

            I think I enjoyed Nelson’s last season and Curry’s first the most, when that was the case. Nelson did a very fine job with little to work with.

  80. Does anybody know how to read D-League? I spot watched the Santa Cruz game last night, which they won and which sent them to the next round. Much as I complain about defensive oriented teams, it looks like all they do is run and shoot. I don’t know what to make of what I saw.

    Kuzmic is doing well, but he doesn’t see any opponent eye to eye. Seth is going to get his shots off in this kind of play, but we still don’t know how he’d perform against superior defenders, and I am skeptical. Cameron Jones shows poise and skills, but I don’t know how that translates into the NBA. Any point potential? And did we learn anything about Nedovic there?

    • d league teams pay many of their players less than what comparable players get overseas because they’re accessible and connected to the big show. the players that get called up who excel at defense are almost always bigs, which depresses the overall quality of the bigs in d-league. conversely, who are the fringe players at the guard or wing positions that frequently get cut from the big league — those who have trouble scoring against n.b.a. defenders. d-league guards and wings have to show they can score to keep their dreams going.

      the lesser curry and c.jones both have had opportunities on n.b.a. teams, and face the same challenges. are they quick and strong enough to defend, are their ball skills on offense sufficient for them to consistently contribute as reserves. [jenkins was borderline at both and has gone abroad to play]. NN has been injured at least three different times during the season, and is presently recovering from a concussion.

      • Sheesh. Nedovic is starting to sound like the little engine that couldn’t. I like the kid, but I’m wondering if their scouting wasn’t flawed. They wanted a penetrator (and not a shooter), and he doesn’t look to be built for that.

        Jones’ experience was previous to this season, no? Did he get a chance? He looks the most qualified, but probably not enough.

        Meanwhile, I see another former D-Leaguer—a Nelson find, right?—had his day today. C. J. Watson, 20 points in Indiana’s victory over OKC. And it looks like both teams took this game seriously—full minutes for the starters. I guess everyone can see where I might go with that.

        Reggie Williams is still on the roster for OKC, or is at ESPN. Was his contract extended and will they scout him out for next year?

    • “Does anybody know how to read D-League?”

      Don’t bother. It’s completely meaningless.

  81. While we’re at it—

    Lacob on the Jackson decision:

    “We went through a long process… at the end of the day, Jerry West, Larry Riley, Bob Myers, myself… we sat down and we said OK, who’s the guy that meets most of the criteria of all the people here. Who’s the guy who gets us excited in the morning to say, he’s the guy we’re going to be talking to every day? Who’s the guy that we think, collectively, can be the most successful? This is the guy we thought could do that. And it was unanimous.”

    Jerry West, on Jackson:

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

    It’s not the first time Lacob has used the Logo to rubber stamp his decisions, at least in the public’s eye. It’s also not the first time he has lied. But then read this:

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

    OK, pundits. What happened?

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

    • One obvious guess—and without a reliable or competent spokesperson, guess is all we can do—is that Jackson spoke about something he wasn’t qualified to do. Although this team has run very well on many occasions, last season and this, yet mysteriously dropped it. He most showed such deficiency with the subs, I suppose.

      Another is that Jackson’s desires may have been thwarted by Lacob’s acquisitions—Bogut and Barnes, along with expectations on how and how many minutes they are played.

      Still another, as plausible as the rest, is that directives have come from above—based on what? Owner desires? Stats?

      Other possibilities?

      Hat?

      WaB?

    • by your admission, west’s view won’t coincide with lacob’s and at best represents and imperfect reflection ; an unreliable source, in other words. his comments at that time refer to a jackson under the influence of his broadcasting experiences and perceptions ; how much of that must he have shed in the friction and collisions of conflict and adaptation since ? coaching basics — if you demand your team commit to defense and defensive boards, cover shooters out to the three point line, and run a fast paced offense, you’ll need reserves you can trust and be willing to deploy them. nelson had three fast wings, barnes, pietrus, azubuike, any of whom might see 20-30 min. in a game. look at some Phx box scores to see how much hornacek uses his bench.

      • Like you, I suspect, I have lost confidence in Jackson, or never had cause to have it (it was provisional—it’s too hard to watch a team when you have no confidence in the skipper).

        Jackson most succeeded when the starters were healthy. The first time we had serious cause to doubt him was when Iguodala went down and Barnes filled in. Jackson doesn’t know how to make use of lesser talent.

        Still, there have been times when the starters have shut down themselves, and it’s a mystery. And the team has played brilliantly on many occasions.

        I suspect we’ll never get a clear answer because there isn’t one. Even if there is one, we’ll never hear it. I suppose what matters is whether the FO gets the point. We’ll never hear that, either.

  82. Portland—

    Terrific Steph.

    Rotten game plan.

    It’s hard watching the Warriors get beat by a team playing the way they themselves should play.

    And I suspect we got a preview of the playoffs—same strategy, same lineups, same subs and sub patterns.

  83. I forgot my country western song. Everyone has recorded this, but I settled on Tommy Duncan, of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.

    Makes no difference now what kind of life fate hands me
    I’ll get along without you now, that’s plain to see
    I don’t care what happens next, ’cause I’ll get by somehow
    I don’t worry ’cause it makes no difference now

    • And that’s it for my foray into country. I’ve run the cycle with this team—despair (Moanin’ the Blues), madness (Crazy), and quiet resignation (Makes No Difference).

      Maybe I’ll have to go to musicals next. Oklahoma? It might be where we’re headed.

  84. Watched the first half in a sports bar in my current place of exile. Couldn’t watch 2nd half and OT.

    Had a pipe burst in my house, and currently have plumbers and remediation crews ripping out my walls. We’re staying with a friend who doesn’t get CSN — nice!

    Anyway, apologies for the absence. Would love to get some pieces up before the playoffs but no idea when I’ll be back in my house, and it’s tough to type on an IPad.

    • my spouse has a compact accessory keyboard for her i-pad that is very convenient to use.

      the GS transition offense kept them in the game, but the misfires when they ran also show a lack of practice on the finer details. iguodala’s leg impairment probably reduced or erased the running he could do on off days, and green has only recently played solid minutes with curry, thompson, iguodala all on the court. j.jack was hardly an ideal transition offense guard as the second lead last season, and who lacob and myers choose this summer as the primary back up lead will tell us a bit about their preferences — not expecting much.

    • Or you can get the Mac wireless keyboard. Add their word processor Pages and you’ve got a little computer. It’s what I use on the road.

    • Felt, sorry to hear about your troubles. Hope things get better soon.

  85. Night/day difference in game flow between the 1st/2nd units.

    http://popcornmachine.net/cgi-bin/gameflow.cgi?date=20140413&game=GSWPOR

    Jackson’s whole-team substitution routine remains the single biggest obstacle to team success. It’s unnecessary, and we have certain proof that the team does better overall with spot substitutions instead. So what’s the deal? Is Jackson really stupid enough to “believe in it?” Is he crazy? Does he want to lose? Is he doing it for dramatic effect?

    Curry 47 points! Awesome! But isn’t that evidence that the team has a weak team offense? Stop Curry and the team offense is DOA. This team is going nowhere in the playoffs.

    Does anyone else cringe whenever Barnes hits the court? He played 22 minutes last night, the same as Green. 3x Crawford’s minutes, 2x Blake’s. The worst thing about seeing him on the floor might simply be that it signals time to rotate in the scrubs. Bad things are about to happen.

    • Nothing exposes Jackson’s weaknesses as a coach so well as his treatment of the subs. Even with total 2nd. unit substitutions, he could do better. He just doesn’t know what to do with them, and none of the subs are playing to their potential.

      I like O’Neal, but posting him up makes no sense. The delay gives the defense time to respond, his shot isn’t that good, and he isn’t quick or strong enough to force his way to the basket. But he is mobile—we’ve seen him drive on the run—and he can shoot, and do so more effectively if he had an opening. Something similar goes for the rest of the players. They could perform better if the ball were moved around and the pace pushed.

      The only thing Blake has accomplished is cut down turnovers, but what difference does that make if they can’t get off a good shot? It’s as if Jackson is more interested in avoiding embarrassment and maintaining control than running an offense.

      They have to play Barnes, I suppose, but even he would be more effective if the other players opened up the court and he were seen as a third option.

      And in many ways, the starters are playing with the same plan and mindset that seems to be the team’s preference—post up bigs, kick out to shooters.

      Jackson has shown little ability to experiment or improvise or adjust on the fly. He and Barnes were made for each other.

  86. Obviously they went all in last night, and I was surprised. I question game management. Whatever realistic chances they had of catching Portland died with the Denver loss. Just winning one game of the last three should hold their spot. The next two games won’t be easy at all, and I’m sure the guys will be tired tonight.

    The Preacher preaches intensity, which is a joy to watch, but that’s the only way they win with his game plan, if coupled with Curry brilliance, and it’s hard to sustain over a season, or the weeks of the playoffs.

    Curry played the entire 2nd. half and showed it at the end. He was tanked the last minutes.

  87. What happened with DLee? Did he aggravate his injury?

    • Nothing reported, but he didn’t look himself.

    • Curry 45 min. last night, but Crawford only 7 and Blake 13. A busted-up, rusty Lee 33 min., Speights zero. Not a sustainable player rotation.

      Iggy was AWESOME in 37 minutes, +26 for the game! !7!0!%! !s!h!o!o!t!i!n!g! along with 4 assists and his usual stellar D. So why isn’t Iggy a larger part of the offense?

      In answer to your Q, Felt, Lee mostly got the ball in iso post-ups. Bogut mostly ran at high post, but Lopez obviously had no reason to follow him out there. So Lopez shaded back to double on Lee whenever Lee touched the ball. Result: Curry awesome, Bogut short on rebounds and scoring, Lee 2-9 shooting.

      • warriorsablaze

        I would say when a player is +26 and leads the league in +/- he is exactly as much a part of the offense as he should be. He’s smart enough to know shots for Curry and Klay are usually the best options, and plays accordingly. I’m more than happy with Iggy’s offensive decision making. Sure, he could be more aggressive at times in looking for his shot, but overall he’s doing what he should.

        If we would play a more consistent transition game instead of the usual sporadic one, I think you’d find his offensive box score stats rising. He’s not a good scorer in the half court. Thankfully, Curry has figured out how to succeed in that style or we’d be a disaster instead of just moderately under-performing.

    • warriorsablaze

      I wasn’t able to watch this game, but it seems from the commentary (and a bit of common sense) that he’s likely not 100% and was probably a bit rusty and out of shape from his break as well.

      And, of course, using him (and JON) as primarily post up players is a recipe for failure…. and an MJax trademark.

  88. Of minor interest, I have the Warriors at over 49.5 wins this season, and this game looks like the last best shot to get there.

    • I assume you had money on this one, Feltbot. Be sure to light candles in your window tonight for Steph, David, Draymond, and Klay. We’ll hope the Preacher does the same.

  89. warriorsablaze

    Bogut with a cracked rib. Can’t imagine he’s gonna be good to go at all in the playoffs.

    rgg finally gets his wish of a Bogut-less Warriors. Prepare for our defense and rebounding to be a complete disaster. We’re better off dropping to 7th to play OKC if we’re not gonna have Bogut. Griffin is about to average 30 per game in round one.

    Bummer.

    • Accuracy and depth have not been your strong suits,WaB. Griffin is precisely the reason I value Bogut, yet in the last game, Griffin scored 30 points and got 15 boards. Bogut did little, though played 26 minutes.

      http://espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?id=400489840

      And Griffin got his points the other games. I’ve forgotten the match-ups, but I’m pretty sure Jackson switched Bogut to Griffin after the first game, the blowout.

      The whole argument here has been that Bogut has limited value and should play limited minutes, which still should be appreciated. Yet often in such match-ups he has been disappointing this season. His failure against Mozgov was massive and stunned me.

      He can’t hold his ground against top teams with mobility, such as Miami. They nearly beat Miami without him—a loss by 1 from LBJ’s miracle shot. And he contributed nearly nothing in their stunning victory against the same—18 minutes, 6 points, and 3 boards. I could keep going down the list.

      The other disappointment is that I didn’t realize how limited he was on offense—4 points per game in April, 5.5 in March, and 6.0 in February. This has put a serious handicap on the team’s offense, as Feltbot keeps explaining here.

      Then there are the injuries. Was he injured against Mozgov? There have been many other games where his performance was spotty, probably for the same reason. And he will miss 16 games this season, one to suspension, the rest to injuries.

      This is a clear pattern: he is injury prone. And we have this to look for the next three years.

      My whole argument has been the money could have been spent on a smaller, more affordable, and more versatile front court man to give the team more options. The rest could have been spent elsewhere in burning needs, say a bona fide backup point or a scoring 2. How much more would this player have helped the team, after you offset the plusses and minuses? We’ll never know because the team never tried him.

      • If you can look at tape again(or game flow), your view will change on that game. Bogut did a lot that day and instrumental in Blake getting 30 pts in 28 shots and Blake did most of his damage against 2nd team. If we can limit Blake to that kind of efficiency, we may win this series. Vaguely remember that 3nd quarter and start of 4th quarter both Blake and Paul were on floor and feasted on our bench.

    • Also I’m not in the least interested in looking at his +/– number, which I’m sure is high. He has almost always played with the core starters, the team’s best defenders, who also carry the offensive load he can’t help but hinders. Meanwhile, the other starters have staggered their minutes with the subs and also played heavy minutes to carry the team while Bogut sits on the bench—which has put a drag on their +/– numbers.

    • Do they make flak jackets his size? Quarterbacks wear them.

    • MT tweets: “he can’t sneeze, cough, take deep breaths. Fractured rib is close to his lung, running risk of a puncture.”

      Btw, I am not at all happy to hear this news, most for his sake, less so for the team’s.

      • The guy was paid to bring a defensive presence, which he has all season long; forget about +/- and check out his advanced defensive numbers. To say he benefits from playing alongside team’s best defenders… really?

        There only hope now is to go all in on a smallball/nellieball lineup, which I doubt Jackson will do even in these extreme circumstances.

        • Their* (bloody auto-correct)

        • They absolutely got Bogut for his offense. From MT’s interview at the time of the trade, in his own words:

          “But perhaps most important to the Warriors, Bogut said you’ll see his low-post game produce. He said he feels comfortable getting the ball on the block and making a play, especially with the game on the line.

          “‘He’s an adequate scorer, good with both hands,’ the Pacific Division scout said, adding, ‘He’ll change the dynamic of the team from being a perimeter-based team with a lot of pick and rolls to having a true center you can go down low to. He can command a double team and open up space for the shooters.'”

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

          None of these things are remotely true. The scout’s sentiments about changing the orientation of the offense were echoed by the FO at the time, that they were trying to move from a perimeter team. Post him up and kick it out to the shooters. Move away from the pick and roll. It’s the same perverse plan Jackson has pushed all season, without effect. We saw it tonight with O’Neal. And which game plan turned the tide tonight?

          The number keeps going down. At first they said he he should get 10 or so points a game. Now his fans are saying his offense doesn’t matter at all. It makes no sense.

          And the numbers are better when he’s with the starters, the only time he’s on the floor. And how can someone be a defensive presence when he isn’t on the floor that much? 26 minutes for the season, much less the last months.

          He has value. Use him where he’s useful. But he is hardly a center piece of the trade. The numbers do not add up.

  90. WHY IS BARNES STARTING OVER GREEN?

    • In retrospect, maybe Jackson started Barnes so he could give Green his minutes? He also spelled Lee first half, maybe for the same reason? Or am I giving him too much a benefit of a doubt?

  91. That was rousing. It was more inspiring than last night’s game because it involved a total team effort rather than riding Curry heroics. And Jackson was forced to put his best unit on the floor (or next best, since Iguodala sat).

    And look what happened.

    These guys might some noise yet. I can’t give up on this team as long as Draymond is on the floor.

    I assume everyone saw the tweets at the right:

    “The Warriors’ two best five-man units are actually when Bogut is on the bench rather than the starting lineup with two bigs on the floor.”

    “The Warriors’ lineup of Curry, Thompson, Iguodala, Green and Lee has played 105 minutes together with a staggering 123.4 ORtg and 89.2.”

    I like O’Neal, but he just wasn’t that effective on either end. Posting him up is not high percentage. Mo didn’t look good at all, but his stat line is about the same as O’Neal’s and better than Barnes’. Let him keep popping. If he had been doing that all season, he’d be hitting more now. And they’ll need it.

  92. green earned his year’s salary with this single game. no hyperbole [the top paid guys get more for three games than green’s annual]. the strongest mind, toughest competitor out there, leads the break better than most of their guards. he even revived lee’s game.

    • + !

      This was Draymond’s win. Not a coincidence that he was +28 on the game.

      The Lee/Green front line kicked Timberwolf ass! I think they’ll do OK against the Clippers too, if Jackson starts O’Neal first to pound on Griffin for awhile.

    • The downside, of course, is that Green might help save Jackson’s job. There’s a nice irony here, when you consider how many minutes Jackson has given Green this season.

  93. Mark Jackson post game: The Lee/Green frontcourt “has chemistry.”

    Really? What was your first clue?

  94. Sick I missed this game, and don’t have a solution other than sports bars for the playoffs. Looking like 2 weeks before I can get back in my house.

  95. It is difficult to describe brilliance because its light blinds us. Green was blindingly brilliant tonight.

    Is 6th spot a lock now?

    • Green did great last night, but let’s not get carried away. Part of what makes the Lee/Green combination effective is that most other teams don’t game plan against it. Which, by the way, is the strongest argument for keeping Green’s minutes at <20, to keep him under the radar.

      There are lots of situations where the Lee/Green front line wouldn't work out. In a playoff series, with every lineup combination under a microscope, opponents will find ways to make it less effective. For example, last night Adelman whipped out a 4-guard lineup. It was nearly enough.

      • Good points. I will add that Lee+Green line up worked because Minny is such a bad defensive team. But, it might be best line up left. ONeal doesn’t inspire that much though he should still start and see if he can get some points against Jordan. Don’t think he can guard Blake. Green is our best defender against Blake with Bogut out.

        • Green and Barnes combined for 16 shot attempts last night, about 1/8 of all the shots the Ws took. Since they’re the Warriors that any rational opponent would want to have shooting, that’s 16 times the TWolves D was successful. In addition, Thompson was 2-12 on 3s, and Speights was 4-13 overall. Those were wins for the Wolves’ D too.

          I don’t think the Wolves were that bad on D. They sure missed Pekovic, though.

  96. TIME TO GET PUMPED UP FOR THE PLAYOFFS!

    After Sunday’s close loss, I had no hope for this team at all. After last night’s win, I see openings. This isn’t about playing odds or finding hidden meanings. It’s about seeing silver linings. It’s about walking on the sunny side of the street. It’s Bernini’s Teresa about to get shot with the angel’s arrow—

    http://bernini2013.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/the-ecstasy-1.jpg

    Here’s why:

    1. Stephen Curry.

    2. The Splash Brothers are back.

    Look at how they finished the season.

    3. Draymond Green won’t let them lose.

    Does anyone doubt this after last night? Especially because—

    4. With his big out, Jackson will be forced to play his best lineup.

    This is NOT a criticism of Bogut, who will be missed. But without his big, Jackson will have to succumb to temptation. He will have to let his team run. He will have to let them move the ball around. He will have to let them shoot. He will have to let the team do the things they do best.

    And hard is it is for us to accept this, his players believe in him.

    Don’t worry, all the faithful. Jackson will get rehired and get his big back and will return to his faith and perversely try to rewrite the story of David and Goliath, and we will go through all our agonies once more next season.

    5. Bubba Watson won the Masters again.

    Look at the results, look at the names. It’s not Tiger and Phil and the rest. The field has changed. The field has openings. There isn’t a single team in the NBA who can’t get rattled. Put bodies on Blake, press the backcourt, and run your offense. They will have trouble keeping up. We have seen this. OKC still doesn’t have a full attack. The Spurs can be outmaneuvered, more so with Iguodala this time. The old men are a year older than they were last year. And—dare I say it—the teams in the East can be beaten. Look at the spotty performances by Indiana and Miami. Indiana will struggle scoring. With Wade laid low, Miami can falter.

    6. Mo is gonna’ go.

    I can feel it, I can feel it, I can feel it.

    Jackson needs another big and has to give him minutes, and give him minutes with a better lineup. He can’t post him up. He has to run the offense to give him openings under the basket. He has to let him pop. Mo’s going to pop.

    7. O’Neal’s swan song.

    This may be O’Neal’s last year, and he isn’t going to go out quietly, especially if they stop posting him up. Hit him on the run. Spread the offense and then let him take his Statue of Liberty shots.

    8. It may be Blake’s as well.

    He didn’t get a chance to shine in the spotlights of La-La Land. Now’s his chance. He’s going to feel the spirit. He’s going to run with the team. He’s going to knock down shots.

    9. It’s Crawford’s chance to prove Boston and everyone else wrong.

    And it’s time for him to hit the high side of a streak.

    10. Barnes is going to elevate his game to a mediocre performance.

    HB grew up listening to his mama telling him stories about himself. It’s storybook time. He blew it in the NCAA tourney, but did pretty well last year. He has another chance.

  97. John Hollinger comments on his formula predicting the Grizzlies would miss the playoffs:

    John Hollinger @johnhollinger
    Somebody at ESPN made a formula that gave us a 0.2% chance of making playoffs in mid-December. Would hate to be that guy.
    9:32 PM – 14 Apr 2014

    OK to make mistakes, looking for truth, not ego. Refreshing.

  98. From ESPN:

    “Bogut said he first felt the injury when Denver’s Kenneth Faried elbowed him in a loss to the Nuggets last Thursday. The symptoms continued against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, he said, and he took a pain-killing injection before playing at Portland on Sunday night.”

    Does anyone know when that happened in the game? It might help explain the Denver loss—and his poor performance—if it happened early.

    • Somebody showed a video of Faried elbowing Bogut, can’t remember where I saw it. It was a high-speed impact.

      It might help explain Mosgov’s 28 (?) rebounds.

    • cosmicballoon

      Sounds like BS. This must have happened when Gasol kneed him in the first quarter against Memphis a few weeks ago.

  99. Maurice Speights at Florida didn’t play much his first year. His second year, he averaged 24 minutes, 14.5 points per game at 62.4 %, 8 boards and 1.4 blocks, 69% FT. They missed the NCAA tourney, but went to the NIT and lost in the semifinals to U Mass.

  100. It’s hard to fairly assess Speights. He doesn’t seem to score as reliably as Lee, but he usually ends up with good numbers. He fouls a lot, but playing mostly with the 2nd unit he’s going to get hammered by lots of other players’ blown defensive assignments. He does OK, especially given the circumstances he usually plays under.

    Speights could even be part of one of the best lineups the Ws have. In the few times we’ve seen it, the Lee/Speights front line has done extremely well, though it was against weak competition like the 76ers. We haven’t seen that lineup enough to get a good picture of its effectiveness.

    In any case, it’s going to be interesting to see how Jackson juggles the lineup to fill in for Bogut. It might depend more on Lee’s health than anything else. If the Ws start a JON/Speights front line against the Clippers, I don’t think we’re going very far. I don’t think Dray would win many one-on-one matchups against Griffin either. Green’s scoring last night was an anomaly. Let’s hope Lee can do.

  101. Felt, my apologies, I forgot to send you this earlier. Here’s a not-great-but-at-least-it’s-something answer to your TV dilemma:

    http://stream2u.tv

    The resolution isn’t great, and with a bad internet connection it gets awful. But they always have all the games.

    • Thanks. I can get most national broadcasts live with a comcast app, so hoping that will work for playoffs. Otherwise, might be forced to buy my host a month of cable!

      • WheresMyChippy

        There’s also this:

        atdhenet.tv

        Usually has 2 links for each game, sometimes one or both is HD. (click the name of the game, NOT where it says “link 1″ or “link 2″)

        And be patient with the pop-ups. When the one on the video says “this ad will close in 30 seconds” just wait the 30 seconds and don’t click the x.

      • How’s the video quality on the Comcast app?

  102. Just learned Joe Lacob named his dogs John Galt and Howard Roark, after the Ayn Rand protagonists.

    This will not improve how I feel about him.

    • Totally with you on that. I read Atlas Shrugged, and was disgusted by it. Rand was little more than an apologist for elitists, who caricatured democracy and equality in the service of successful (rich) people.

      On the other hand, I’m with Queen Lizzy on this: we don’t care what people think. We care about what they do. Lacob can maintain any political fantasies he likes, as long as he behaves himself.

    • Couldn’t Joe have named his dogs Red and Tommy (Auerbach and Heinsohn), in memory of his days with Boston? Is there no higher authority the Preacher can talk to, i.e. former coaches? I think what most unsettles me about the coach and his boss is that running a basketball team is not about basketball.

    • From BR, Lacob:

      “I’m 58 years old now, and I’ve been successful. I’ve made a lot of money. I’ve done a lot of things I’ve wanted to do in life, but now we have this new venture, which is the Warriors. A second career, if you will, and all I can think about it is, we have to win a championship. I will be a failure. We will be a failure if we do not win the championship.”

      http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2026185-golden-state-warriors-owner-no-nba-championship-would-be-a-failure

    • bloodsweatndonuts

      No wonder he hired Mark Jackson, he’s clearly a fan of belaboring the same few, oversimplified points over and over and over and over . . .

      However, I think his message in this case is clear: “If you have zero sense of humor and are a fan of violence in the bedroom, then you’ll love these dogs”.

  103. Mark Jackson is literally going crazy with the God stuff on twitter today.

    God is apparently once again heavily invested in the Warriors.

  104. I’m not a big Bogut fan, but without him don’t see the Warriors having much success in playoffs. Argued for Warriors to trade Barnes for big and that didn’t happen. Just can’t see a frontline of Lee, Green, and Speights, at C and PF, doing very well. Felty now gets the small line- up he covets. Hope I’m wrong.

    For me, it’s wait till next year. To bad we have no first round pick.

    • What small lineup? Did something happen to JON and Speights?

      I think JON is going to start games, don’t you? He’ll probably play about as many minutes as Bogut averaged through the season. He’s not the defender Bogut is, but he scores more. It’s a tradeoff.

      Re small lineup, do you mean the Lee/Green front line that wins more games than the Lee/Bogut front line? The lineup that finished most games this season? That small lineup?

  105. Warriors going to play JON, Lee, and Speights at center. Can’t see the Warriors having a positive rating for the game with them on court unless Curry and Thompson shooting the lights out. Lee and Speights come nowhere close to Bogut defensively. And Bogut is better than JON on both sides of the ball over JON. Check shooting percentage stats.

    Lee-Green are simply not Bogut-JON defensively. And my eyes tell me that Lee-Green will be killed inside if the Clippers are smart enough to pound the ball inside and slash to hoop and not settle for jump shots.

    • Lee/Green is the highest-rated frontcourt combo on the team. Opponents score a little more, but the Ws score a lot more. What’s wrong with that? 130 points, like last night, doesn’t happen with Bogut playing big minutes.

    • Clippers don’t have great post players to punish inside. Their bigs incredibly athletic and they use that to score in transition off fastbreaks and TOs. You limit your TOs and run hard on transition D, Blake will launch jumpers. I too preferred to have Bogut there but Lee+Green combo can make it happen too. Lee can punish Jordan on offense plus you can always foul Jordan, a very poor FT shooter. Where Jordan can impact is weak side D and rebounding. You pull him out and it is imperative that it will happen if Jordan is guarding either of Lee or Green, then you can minimize that impact too. He will probably leave ONeal open for jumpers and if ONeal can make couple, can be huge for warriors.

      Where Bogut’s impact will be felt is if Jordan Crawford and Paul keep driving to the hoop. Hope Ezeli can give some minutes, interesting to see if he will get to play today. Ofcourse, we will be outrebounded but we can live with it as long as we are efficient in other fronts.

  106. Finishing my thought @100—

    In the Portland game, the steals and fast breaks were refreshing, but the offense was largely static and almost wholly dependent on Curry heroics, which we got.

    The Minnesota game wasn’t significant and the Wolves are not that good. But they should not have been able to get back into the game, yet they did, and the whole team did it. That was encouraging. The ball movement, the running, the shooting—these show promise. And the ball moved really well with Green and Lee. Look at the highlights in the reel below at 2:35 and 3:00. Move the offense, and Speights will get open, 2:45. Not shown, the Curry/Lee pick and rolls.

    When you look at the expression on Green’s face when he takes a three, you can only say launch it up. No hesitation, no doubt. He is going to make it go in.

    There will be a drop off in defense under the bucket, but with Green in they gain mobility. Lee and Green will be able to cover more court. And with Iguodala and Thompson, they should be able to harass the perimeter, maybe preventing easy looks to Griffin. They’ll need to mix up Green and Lee and the other bigs on Griffin and do the best they can to slow him up. If they can move the ball at all on offense, they may well be able to force the Clippers to play catchup.

  107. one small sign that stern is no longer Der Große Kommissar — griffin managed to accumulate a cousins-like pile of technical fouls and will be suspended for their last regular season game.

  108. Everyone is asking how Griffin can be stopped, is worried how the defense will go down with Bogut out. That is not the problem. The Clippers are not a great defensive team. The problem is finding out how to score points. Don’t worry so much about containing them. Try to make them keep up. And the more they can get going on offense away from Curry, the more they can bring the game back to Curry.

    Griffin can be rattled. Get Green in his face when he goes out for shots.

  109. Hat: Can’t see a Lee-Green front court having much success against the Clippers.

  110. cosmicballoon

    Why is Green the answer defensively against Griffin? Bogut, by Feltbot’s own admission, has been the most successful against Blake because he can use his big body to keep Griffin away from his spots. Green has been overpowered at times this year by skilled offensive 4s who go right at the basket, which Blake loves to do.

    I guess Nellieball is the way to win this series. Let Griffin get his, but pull Jordan out to the perimeter and let the guards attack the basket relentlessly. Honestly, losing Bogut might be the best thing for the Warriors offense, as long as Jackson doesn’t insist on going big for long stretches with JO at 5 and Speights at 4.

    • CB (and Frank) I think you’re both right, the Ws are going to have trouble containing Griffin. Everyone does.

      But the Ws don’t have many options. If I read the coach right, he’ll start big with JON or Lee on Griffin, then Green. None of them can stop the guy, but they can all slow him down some. I think Green will have the most success.

      Green won’t block Griffin shots, but he generally does most of his D work before his opponent gets the ball, by bodying up and moving him away from his comfort spots. For example, it’s what he did against Z Randolph in the last Grizzlies game. Green should also get some help, especially from Iggy. Iggy will be on Matt Barnes, a lower-priority scoring threat.

      I think the bigger challenge for the Ws will be with the 2nd teams. Us: Green + scrubs. Them: Jamal Crawford (unstoppable, especially by our Crawford), Collison, Turkoglu, Baby Davis. And Jared Dudley will completely spank Barnes.

      So if I read the Ws coach right again, he’s going to start every Q2 by inserting the 2nd unit to dig a big hole for Curry & Co. to climb out of. That will cause more problems than Griffin.

  111. Jack McCallum’s Seven Seconds or Less is a great read, and I’ll pass on more later. He camps out with the Suns during the 2005-06 season and reports on the players, the coaches, the dynamics very well. He’s reviewing the playoffs against the Lakers, and this is as far as D’Antoni goes with religion:

    “Jackson seems determined to be looked on not as a coach, but, rather, as some sort of cosmic seer who uses basketball to communicate higher messages. In a gentle spoof of Jackson, D’Antoni had told the all-employees meeting the day before that he was reading Zen for Dummies.”

    • From the article:

      “Sacramento head coach Michael Malone said: “If you give him air space and room and daylight, it’s going to be a long night.'”

      So teams don’t give him air space. He was 2-12 on 3s in the last game.

      On the other hand, against the Clips Thompson will be facing 6’4″ JJ Redick. That’s some reason for optimism. Of course, Doc could swap M Barnes onto Thompson and dare Iggy to shoot. Then it would be up to Iggy to seize the opportunity. He could. But would he?

      • warriorsablaze

        On a serious note… Klay is gonna be a huge key to the playoffs. I’m expecting Curry to be Curry, but someone else has to step up on offense and Klay is the one to do it. If he goes on one of his brick streaks we will be in serious trouble.

        Reddick is actually a pretty good defender, so I don’t find a whole of optimism in him guarding Klay. Especially if it gives MJax the idea to try to post up that mismatch repeatedly.

        • LA/sterlings led the assoc. with the lowest 3 pt. pct. allowed. his roster allows him more options with the perimeter guys, especially if granger is healthy, than what jackson can counter with. he engaged all of the role players through the injuries to paul, crawfor–, redick.

        • “Reddick is actually a pretty good defender,”

          If he was a pretty good defender, he’d be an All-Star. Klay needs to light him up.

      • Redick has killed us in the past whether he was on the Magic or now the Clippers.

        I assume Klay will have the responsibility of defending Redick. Hopefully he can shut him down.

    • warriorsablaze

      Also the worst smelling player in the league according to a Suns ball boy. :)

      http://www.reddit.com/r/nba/comments/230pfx/as_requested_i_am_a_ballboy_for_the_phoenix_suns/

      Have to scroll down a bit to find that question, but the whole thing is pretty entertaining anyway.

  112. The one thing we have all called for and what Jackson is loath to do, is have the team run. I fully expect Jackson to play rather slow in the first half to conserve the starters energy, and to open the floodgates in the second half. He virtually has to do this given he will be playing small ball a good bit of the time and his bench is limited. Such does give us a chance to win.

  113. With our coaching staff depleted, and Jackson not proficient at playing small ball or running, now is the time for Lacob to call Nellie, the master of both, back to be an assistant coach. He should swallow his pride especially if he really wants a chance of winning and making more money. Then we can say “We Believe.” Won’t happen. Too bad. as Lacob will always remain near-sighted.

    • That is a wonderful thought!

      Maybe Jackson could be Nellie’s assistant! It would be good for his personal development.

    • Or they could hire D’Antoni. D’Antoni is a much maligned coach, not appreciated or understood. He isn’t a gimmick coach, but has a total package. And he is a team coach and a player coach. He would be perfect for the Warriors. I’ll return to this when there is a good opening.

  114. earlier in the season someone here advocated barnes getting sent to the d-league. didn’t know if it was in earnest, and if it was, the advocate only revealed his limited understanding of the lacobite m.o.
    in the fullness of time, with the denouement of the season’s preliminary stage we were treated to barnes in d-league simulation. his fans and apologists can use it as a sign of things to come, and the rest of us can hope it boosts his trade value.

    • T’was I, but I wasn’t in earnest, because I didn’t think it would do him any good. My thought is the game was a throwback to his A.A.U. days, but let’s hope something carries over because they’ll need him to score.

      Mo was a no show. He looked out of it after about eight minutes.

      I guess they’re not going to develop anything in one game, but finding ways to get Crawford in the open court would have been useful. But with 6 players, they’d just wear themselves out before the game was over trying to run.

      What the hell. They won.

      Steph needs to talk to his tailor.

      Jim is coming back next season?

  115. Going to grade my Western Conference forecast tomorrow, and hope to have a Clippers preview up the day after.

  116. Kudos to Adam and the rest at his blog for helping bring Jim Barnett back. And Jim replied—hop over there.

    It’s still not clear it’s for a full season, but let’s take what we can get.

    Welcome back, Jim.

  117. On a side note, Denver obviously wasn’t pushing it last night and was out of sorts, but they did play their starters. Simply pushing the scoring last week would have tipped the scales—and that game the Warriors shut down second half.

    • the normal home court edge for Den was reversed, as they had chased the sterlings around staples the night before.