Game 1 — Warriors 109 Clippers 105: Lee Owns Griffin

I just woke up from a really cool dream. The Warriors were playing the Clippers, and they were running pick and roll the whole game. And the Clippers were blitzing Curry every time, and Curry did a great job drawing the blitz out and then hitting his big man wide open in the key, but weirdly, his big man wasn’t Bogut, it was David Lee, and Lee didn’t just stand there after he caught it, looking around for someone else to pass to, or waiting to hand it back off to Curry, no, Lee rumbled straight to the basket, and either finished the play himself, or passed it to a wide-open teammate for a dunk, and the Clippers were falling all over themselves trying to guard this unguardable pick and roll, this gorgeous sublimation of the art of basketball, and the Clippers were fouling out, and pointing fingers, and Doc Rivers was furiously calling timeouts, and…

Hey, wait… What?    

Mark Jackson: I found quite a few tactical things to gripe about in this game, particularly in crunch time, but this was one of the best coached games of Mark Jackson’s tenure.

Even though my more cynical readers would point out that I am on record as stating that although the Warriors are not a better team without Andrew Bogut, Mark Jackson is most definitely a better coach without him.

And it’s worth asking the question, would the Warriors have run so much pick and roll, and such effective pick and roll, if Bogut were playing? Would they have played so much smallball, with Lee at center, and Barnes and Green at the four? Would they have scored 109 points?

Would Blake Griffin have gotten into foul trouble?

But still, Mark Jackson got a whole lot of stuff right in this game, and deserves credit. Like subbing Lee out with only 4 minutes gone in the first quarter, and then bringing him back early TO PLAY CENTER WITH THE SECOND UNIT. I loved that move, and have actually argued for it several times earlier in the season. Do you like Draymond Green at the four? Well, THIS MOVE, not starting him, is the way to get him those minutes without getting him killed. And get David Lee more minutes in the role that he excels at, without getting him killed, in the bargain.

Was this simply a function of Lee and Griffin’s early foul trouble? We’ll see, but regardless, it was a great move.

Mark Jackson also got the backcourt crossmatches exactly right: Klay Thompson giving Chris Paul hell on the pick and roll, Iggy shadowing JJ Redick, and Curry attempting to hide on Matt Barnes. Bravo.

What else? What do you do when your front office fails to give you playable backup guards? You shorten your rotation. Curry 45 minutes, Klay 41. There will be those who grumble at this, but I’m all aboard. These guys are young, this is the playoffs, and there’s a lot of rest between games.

What else? Still too much iso, perhaps, but lots of pick and roll. Definitely limited Jermaine O’Neal’s postups, and found him on the move instead. Bravo.

Kept playing Iggy despite his foul troubles. I’m with Don Nelson and Jeff van Gundy and Mark Jackson on this. It’s far worse to rigidly limit a great player’s minutes, than it is to trust him and risk the consequences.

Got Harrison Barnes some minutes at power forward, which he rewarded. Very, very tough to play the Warriors when Barnes is stretching the floor, hitting his threes, and doing his job on the boards.

What moves of Mark Jackson did I disagree with? Well, I definitely grumbled when I saw that he didn’t crossmatch O’Neal on Griffin and Lee on Jordan. Several thoughts crossed my mind on this: First, perhaps David Lee is healthier than I thought. Second, perhaps Jackson feels O’Neal is the more vulnerable of the two to Blake’s rhinoceros charges, and wants to preserve him by hiding him on the less physical Jordan. And third, is it possible that this crossmatch is a card that Jackson wants to play later in the series? Stay tuned.

Lee can definitely guard Griffin. You can see how tough he plays him in the low post, how frequently he turns him back. But it comes at a terrible physical price: when Griffin sees Lee in front of him, he invariably sees red, lowers his shoulder, and tries to bull his way to the basket. This takes a lot out of Lee, and frequently gets him in foul trouble. Whereas when you guard Griffin with a bigger player like Bogut or Ezeli, he usually gives up on his post moves, and starts jacking from outside.

In this game, it was Lee who got Griffin in foul trouble, rather than the reverse. But I don’t think that’s a trend you can count on. I prefer the crossmatch.

(A word on the officiating in this game: Quite clearly, the officials were briefed on the “bad blood” between these two teams, and had instructions to call the game tightly, to prevent flare-ups. I think we can expect this edict to be reversed in the next game. The league does not want to see Blake Griffin foul out, nor see the Clippers go down 0-2.)

A few other quibbles I had with Mark Jackson in this game:

The Crunch-time ISO’s: I particularly hated these in crunch-time, when the Warriors gave up that 9 point lead continually trying to post up Klay Thompson. Jeff van Gundy is right: Why stop the Curry/Lee pick and roll that was so utterly efficient? Can those fading turnarounds from Thompson ever match that efficiency?

The Warriors destroyed the Clippers in this game with ball movement. That’s what gets the Clippers out of position. That’s what eliminates Jordan’s shotblocking. That’s what creates open threes.

Mark Jackson has a history of clenching up and trying to over-control the game when the Warriors enter crunch-time with the lead. It’s better to just let it rip. Let the Warriors continue playing the style of basketball they’re made for, and that got them the lead in the first place.

Hack-a-Jordan: Definitely a reasonable strategy when you’re down in a game and are running out of time. Stopping the clock and sending a 40%  free throw shooter to the line makes perfect sense in that spot.

But is it the right strategy when you’re UP 3, with 3 minutes remaining? Do you really want to stop the clock and lengthen the game here?

@haralabob thinks Jackson did the right thing. In fact, wanted him to do it again, even after Jordan hit the first two FTs. He’s the expert, but I don’t know. What do you think?

Fouling Chris Paul: Jackson sent Chris Paul to the line with 13 seconds left and the Warriors up 3, to prevent the Clippers from potentially taking and making a game-tying three.

I think Don Nelson is right, that this play isn’t worth doing unless there are less than 6 seconds on the clock. And particularly with 13 seconds, and a great free throw shooter like Paul, the play seems clearly wrong.

Most of the time, Paul is going to make 2, and the Clips are going to send the Warriors to the line with 11-12 seconds left. Then they get to do the whole thing over again. Or perhaps the Warriors miss one, and the Clips only need two to tie the next trip?

It worked this time, but I’m far from convinced. Sometimes you have to let the game play out. What do you think?

Curry: As predicted, the Clippers committed to an all-out blitz, willing to let anyone but Curry beat them. It should be noted that while this strategy will prevent Curry from putting up superstar stats in this series, only a superstar could induce another team to play such an all-or-nothing defense.

Struggled a bit with his handle and a few loose entry passes on isos, but did a superb job passing out of the blitz.

Thompson: Despite that terrible crunch-time decision to try to dribble through the double team, a superb floor game. Drove relentlessly, and was unlucky with foul calls. Set up his teammates beautifully. 5 assists. And rebounded extremely well from the small forward position with Iggy out (as I knew he could). 7 rebounds.

Incredible defense on Chris Paul in the pick and roll. Paul got hot from three, but was 5-14 from two.

Struggled, as predicted, trying to guard JJ Redick. Klay’s length works beautifully in the lane on Paul, but his foot speed isn’t up to staying close to Redick behind the arc.

Iggy: Really got unlucky with the foul calls. I still think he’ll have a huge series. It’s clear he’s going to be used frequently to post up Redick and the other small guards Doc Rivers tries to hide on him.

Pretty sure Redick got most of his points being guarded by others. Iggy is the right man for this job.

David Lee: As the defender of Blake Griffin, the player who fouled Griffin out, and Curry’s main outlet out of the blitz, he was the most important Warrior on the court, and the Warrior most responsible for this win.

20 and 13, with great physical post defense. But what was most impressive was his interior passing, which completely annihilated the Clippers’ pick and roll rotations. Only 3 assists? It seemed like far more.

George Karl and Don Nelson and Jeff van Gundy are right: You CAN run your entire offense through David Lee. He is that great a basketball player.

It’s very gratifying that Lee finally got the opportunity to show his stuff in a playoff game. Is finally getting the chance to prove to the ignorati that he’s a winning basketball player.

Are we done with the idiots who thought the Warriors were a better team without him? Who have no comprehension of what he does on the basketball court?

Pfft. Who am I kidding? This is a battle that will be fought all the way to the Hall of Fame.

Draymond Green: 22 minutes, 7 rbs, 4 assists, 2 blocks. +17.

What, no steals?

What a ballplayer. Guarded everyone from Chris Paul to DeAndre Jordan.

I exulted about Feltbot’s Law when he bounced in his second clutch free throw off the front of the rim.

Premature expostulation. He bricked his next off the back iron.

Draymond! Never, ever, miss a free throw long.

Harrison Barnes: What is it about Barnes in the playoffs? It’s about playing power forward, mainly. And being left unguarded. But it can’t be denied that while some falter under the bright lights of the playoffs, Barnes somehow finds a way to shine.

Shooting aside, Barnes was terrific in this game. Great rebounding effort, even in traffic. (Why do we never see this in the regular season?) Spectacular, possibly game-saving, block of Chris Paul’s fast-break layup. Followed up by that dagger transition three. The sequence of the game.

Mokur: See anything wrong with his minutes in this game? I’m perversely looking forward to seeing him go head to head with Griffin.

In a fight, I’d take Mokur. By knockout.

Crawford: After I talked him up in the preview, only 5 minutes. But I liked what Jackson did with him in this game. Put the ball in his hands, not Steve Blake’s, on the second unit. Gave him a look, a chance to get hot, to light it up. When it didn’t happen, sat him down.

Since he’s not a defender, or as Jeff van Gundy politely put it, is an “up and down” defender, that’s probably the best way to handle him in a playoff game.

The Series: They say a series hasn’t begun until the favorite loses on their home court. So did this series just begin?

Maybe. This was an odd game, with Griffin in major foul trouble, that in all likelihood won’t be repeated. The league won’t allow it.

I expect Griffin to be back with a vengeance for Game 2. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Warriors get blown out in a game they don’t need. Such is often the way in the NBA playoffs.

Jermaine O’Neal: The Warriors might not be at their best with him on the court. Only 3 rebounds. -11 for the game. But they desperately need his minutes. His physicality.

And isn’t it wonderful to have a center that loves the ball under the basket?

He survived intact. One game down for the old warrior, five to go.

‘Til glory.

175 Responses to Game 1 — Warriors 109 Clippers 105: Lee Owns Griffin

  1. The 1st paragraph — most informative, creative, and entertaining game summary I ever had the pleasure to read.

    As both FB and rgg hi-lite, too bad MJax slows down the game with a late lead.

  2. another succinct write up, thanks boss. doing all this on the i pad ?
    the late fourth quarter trap executed by blake and green on the sideline, green cleanly deflecting the ball off paul, was the equivalent of a steal and a critical stop that kept LA from gaining momentum. the third quarter was a portrait in green. he was the critical ‘rover’ when they went to zone. with a pressure in-bounds play, he first coached up the three player stack next to the key, made the clean entry pass, dissected the interior d and passed off to o’neal for a cripple.

    rivers commented post game how the hype around grudges between the teams affected the officiating, losing griffin of course a bigger blow to his team than iguodala’s for GS. the distorted officiating cancelled the usual home court advantage. we can look forward to different stages of the series taking on different characteristics, with shifts in the officiating like the weather in outdoor ball sports.

    • Instead of ‘gaining momentum”, I think you meant “winning the game”!

      Ive been a w’s fan 39years. (I’m not over 50). Maybe thats why I feel so good about this win.

      In my opinion, the Wubs have been getting jobbed on foul calls all season. They aren’t respected by the officials, for whatever reason.

      However, tonite. The absolute best call they’ve gotten all season was w/ cp3 today- the no call!

    • Found a laptop. Air test today, haven’t even started restoration yet…

  3. Thanks, thanks Feltbot.

    The real test is coming. Can Jackson mix it up? Can he open the throttle? Can he get anything out of the other players? And we’ll see more ugly games, but not one like this. The refs will loosen up their calls, and it seems that always works against the Warriors: opponents are allowed to muscle up without calls, while they get caught with reach-ins and coming from behind. They will have to be quick on defense.

    OK, winning game 1 was a real test.

    I’d like to see the Warriors play for a long run, even if they don’t get out of the first round. Bring other players out and spell the starters. The ’06 Suns made it to the western finals, but were beat up when they got there and Nash was fatigued. (Just finished Seven Seconds.)

    This is probably an exaggeration, even for me. Jackson most likely has to win the first series to keep his job, or at least go 7, and while I’m sure neither he nor the players are thinking about that consciously, still it’s there. It might encourage to spend themselves too soon, too hard in just one round of games.

    • cosmicballoon

      Curry played 45 and Thompson 41 minutes. Other than that, Lee played 36. I think you are quibbling over 5 minutes for Curry and maybe 3 for Thompson. This is the playoffs. Jackson has done a much better job in the second half of the season making sure that Thompson stays fresh. If Curry is hidden on a non scorer, the minutes are not going to kill him, either.

      Last night, Jackson got quality minutes from Barnes (who definitely plays harder during the playoffs, especially rebounding), Green and Speights. Blake played spot minutes and Crawford didn’t have it going, so he saw the bench.

      Finally, Iggy was aggressive in this game and it cost him fouls. The block/charge calls are getting out of control and players can’t attack the rim anymore without someone sliding underneath. It’s really bad.

      • Maybe. But psychologically Curry carries the weight of the team every second he’s on the court. He hustles all over the court on defense and absorbs the pressure of double teams on offense or, off the ball, hustles to find an open spot and draw defenders. And he’s been doing that all season. A minute or two in the second half might give him fresher legs crunch time to knock down a shot. But you’re right. He does things during the game to spell himself.

        Individual playoffs games are often decided by unexpected contributions off the bench. I’m probably being unrealistic, but if Crawford came in and they pushed the pace, he might go on a tear. At least there would be fresh energy and a different look for a Clipper team that can get rattled. But Jackson doesn’t play that way and Crawford himself has been up and down in his performance.

        And really, Crawford is the only player on the bench who might do this, a problem.

      • Another benefit of all the fouls yesterday is that it gave players rest throughout the game. It’s unlikely they’ll see the same in the next games.

  4. Quick book review: Jack McCallum’s Seven Seconds is a terrific book—have you read it FB? You’ll get a kick.

    I read it not because of any special interest in D’Antoni or the Suns, but because I wanted to get closer to the game. We have to live with Deep Coaching (cf. Deep State, Frank), a hidden organization from whom we learn little. The press doesn’t tell us much, either, for that and other reasons. We’ve been left to making bad guesses, which has been frustrating.

    But it is also about a talented team that was short-handed, yet still made a serious run in the 2006 playoffs. There may be some parallels for us to consider.

    McCallum was allowed to stay with the team as an “assistant coach” and saw everything. You not only get inside looks at the staff and players, but also at other players of the time, many still playing, as well as other coaches and refs, and the dynamics of the NBA and of running an organization. McCallum’s assessments of all, in terms of ability, character, and background, are sophisticated and, I suspect, dead on. He talks about refs we know, and how the FO lobbied with the NBA to keep Raja Bell from being suspended more than one game for clotheslining Kobe in their playoff game with the Lakers.

    Most, the coaches talk, and you get to see what decisions they made and how and why. And the coaches did talk. The Suns had a deep, experienced staff—Marc Ivaroni, Alvin Gentry, now sitting next to Doc Rivers, and others. They all had different perspectives and different areas of expertise. Decisions came from full discussions. They talked freely and debated everything before making a decision.

    Gentry is fascinating—and quite sharp. And D’Antoni himself is much more sophisticated than given credit for. He does care about defense, for example, and talks much about it. Also the assistants were free to speak to the press and say whatever they wanted, which they did.

    I leave comparisons with our club to someone else.

    Many of the anecdotes are hilarious. Dan D’Antoni, Mike’s brother, also on the staff, somehow wore two different shoes to one game, the one where Bell decked Kobe. After the game, Stoudemire, injured for the playoffs (?) comes up to Dan:

    “Damn, Coach Dan,” he says, “you can’t be wearing a lizard on one foot and a gator on the other.”

    • warriorsablaze

      Thanks, rgg… I’ll have to add it to my ever-growing list.

      • Add Halberstam’s books to the list if not there, Breaks of the Game and his book on Jordan. You’ll learn a lot about the history of the game. Halberstam has an incredible talent for finding the right people and getting them to open up.

        And both are quite readable. Once you get started you can’t stop.

  5. warriorsablaze

    Lee was awesome in the second half after an ugly start. I still wish dude would learn to pump fake on occasion… I think DJ got 3 of his blocks on Lee alone.

    Lee, Dray, and Klay are going to be the real keys to any playoff success. As long as teams continue to sacrifice their whole defense in an attempt to stop Curry, how well (and how consistently) the other guys step up will determine our fate. Good stuff from game one…hope it continues.

    Even Barnes looked good. A few ugly layup attempts notwithstanding, he looked aggressive and active on the floor. Has he been playin’ possum all season? He was grabbing boards, going after loose balls, and even had a key block… and, of course, that critical 3 at the end. If he continues to actually resemble an NBA player, he could be a huge help.

    • Agree on the pump fake for lee. Why does he not do this?? Didn’t he watch Landry last year? When Blake blocked his go to move of banking in from the left side, it had to be anticipated and perfectly timed – a nice block, but totally susceptible to the pump fake…

    • rgg -great catch – I saw that real time and could not believe the total disdain on Lacob’s face.. This could definitely be a harbinger of the ditching of MJ. As bad as it seems, I think Lacob had been looking at the scoreboard, and the first quarter was miserable.

      • Haven’t heard from you in a while, b, and welcome back.

        If a picture is worth a thousand words, a gif is worth ten thousand. And this one says it all.

        I dunno. I think Lacob has boxed himself into a corner. Lacob cares about impressions in the media and elsewhere, and has promoted his views on character and competitiveness publicly. The effects of his holding the puppet strings so tightly, or at least trying to, is that he has focused attention on himself, and in the process lost control.

        While I suspect all the criticisms made here of Jackson are valid, and I have joined in myself, on the surface of things, where most live, Jackson has done very well. He made a good run in the playoffs last year and had a very good start this one. Ten straight wins! What more could an owner want? By all appearances, Jackson should have had his contract renewed midseason. Instead he was put on stall—and the team stalled as well.

        Lacob will appear to be unreasonable—and the national media has picked this up, in print, and Simmons on national TV yesterday.

        The players themselves have spoken in favor of Jackson publicly, so Lacob is setting himself against them as well, including his star player and the face of the franchise.

        Most, he’s just setting himself up. Unless he has a good replacement, and it doesn’t look possible he does, he’ll just be made to look like a fool next season, especially if the team doesn’t meet the same success, always a risky proposition.

        I’m thinking, barring total and embarrassing collapse, Jackson saved his job yesterday.

        And it’s hard to believe his indecision and control haven’t exacted a price. While Jackson may never have talked about this, to himself or the players, he’s been put in a position where he has to play conservatively as well as push his players harder, for longer minutes. Perhaps Jackson would have do so anyway. We’ll never know. I do rather admire Jackson for putting up with this crap.

        • the position of the camera on that clip with lacob’s stare makes it impossible to conclusively determine where his disdain was directed. iguodala has openly quoted the pundit s.smith, fond of mouthing off speculation, that lacob expects jackson to make the finals to keep his job, meaning the veteran is rallying the players to save their coach. jackson probably stays because the replacements palatable to lacob probably aren’t out there, and ‘corrective action’ can always be made later. the preacher will be in demand elsewhere, which means he would become a trade asset for lacob and myers.

        • The other thing to note here is that Lacob put Jackson in a tough position that produced no results and gave him nothing to evaluate. Jackson had to preside over the team during the year of tank, yet he was unable to develop any upcoming players or develop himself because most were let go. Bench woes still glare at us.

          Then, of course, there is Lacob’s pick Barnes—

          but I’m declaring a moratorium on criticizing HB until the playoffs are over.

          I’ll try, anyway.

    • Yeah, you have to wonder what’s with the stink-eye.

      Maybe Jackson was just blocking the view. Lacob paid good money for that seat ($450,000,000).

    • This was hilarios in real time because van Gundy was smack in the middle of his rant supporting Jackson. I disagree with Buck, I was certain Lacob was looking at Jackson. The reaction was spontaneous and made perfect sense, as the Warriors just came out of a timeout and threw the ball out of bounds on a miscommunication. And it couldn’t be the scoreboard, that’s the other direction.

      This was a Lacob death stare with a van Gundy voiceover. Priceless.

    • bloodsweatndonuts

      The Warriors fan a row back was even more demonstrably disgusted than Lacob. In fact he looks like he’s more pissed at Lacob than Lacob is at Jackson. He also appears to be eying Joe’s comb-over and saying: “That’s nasty, yo”.

  6. Adande’s piece on the game (where I got the gif) is quite good:

    http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2014/story/_/id/10810123/warriors-impress-opening-win

    • little reason to doubt the accuracy of the story. the senior assistant coaches are myers and hunter. armstrong played on a very well coached national championship team. jackson also played for very good coaches, but his ego and own limitations as a ‘elite point guard’ being what they were (by his own admission he’s been humbled and enlightened since), much of what he might have learned was probably filtered out. sometimes it’s true that the marginal players pay more attention because they have to (carlisle, d’antoni who had to prove himself overseas, bochy in beisbol).

      • OK, point taken, guys with marginal natural talent have to be smarter. But

        a) PnR is one of the most basic, simple, obvious plays in basketball. The degree of decision-making difficulty here is on par with selecting the right color socks.

        b) Jackson himself was a marginal athlete who played PG with several good teams. He ran PnRs for his whole career, or he wouldn’t have had a career.

        c) One visit to Feltbot Blog, just one, would have cleared this up for Jackson years ago.

        • d) NO ONE else on the team could figure out to run PnRs to break blitzes? Not Lee? Not Curry?

          e) Did everyone except the emperor know, but were afraid to speak up? Is this the issue that got Scalabrine fired?

          • Hat – do you remember when West was questioned about the blitz curry strategy a year ago and his response was, “Oh that is on the coaches”? Hard to fathom how it takes an end of the bench player just up from the d league to come up with this obvious strategy that the boss has been pushing on this blog since Lee and curry were put together. WTH?

          • rivers’ critique of his team’s defensive response is equally or more relevant. the defense attempted, with their bigs aggressively coming out further on curry and the screen, was not the default defense against the screen they’d been accustomed to most of the season. their backside/weakside rotations were slow to cover for the bigs getting pulled away. rivers knows the burden is on him and his players to improve, adjust, and mix things up.

          • Buck, West probably regrets letting that slip out, but of course he was right. Offensive schemes can’t be installed by players, they take planning, coaching and team-wide practice.

            M Jackson has the luxury of an extremely good, clever, experienced roster. This season it has often seemed like he’s relied on his players to figure out the O almost on their own. Maybe because of a coaching emphasis on D.

            Considering how bad the D has been in the past, I can’t really disagree with that priority. Still, it was nice to see the team run a more team-oriented offense in the last game. We’re not the only ones who’ve commented on the Ws “stagnant, iso-heavy offense” throughout the season.

  7. M.Spears with a good twit today — attending services with jackson’s regular LA congregation for the holy day were the starting five (lee, curry, thompson, o’neal, iguodala), green, speights, barnes. we can be thankful that bogut is either catolico or orthodox.

    • What the hell.

      • warriorsablaze

        Not sure why that surprises you… I believe members of the team have attended MJax’s church every time they’ve been down in LA for a weekend game. In fact, I seem to remember a time they either went a day early or stayed a day late specifically to do so.

        • Faith is a real positive in many people’s lives.

          As a manager/supervisor, however, Jackson is walking a tightrope by having employees join him in prayer.

          • cosmicballoon

            I’m 99 percent certain that there is no mandate from Jackson, nor an implied mandate. These guys are professionals…please give them some credit.

            Christian athletes have had extreme success this year. Both Russell Wilson and Peyton Manning are devoted Christians as are Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth. So is Kevin Durant and Steph. Pretty impressive list.

          • I’m all for faith and religion. I’m all for people who have no faith. I don’t care who’s what, religion-wise.

            With all due respect, CB, I don’t see how you could possibly have a clue about the pressures players may or may not feel to conform to Jackson’s faith.

            As a people manager, I cannot express a preference about religion in my workplace. If I did, people of different faiths would naturally feel excluded.

            Companies get sued all the time for the implied attitudes and preferences of management. Explicitly including religious practice in the workplace, as Jackson does, is highly inadvisable.

    • It’s hard to object to anyone being religious per se. I grew up in a southern suburban Presbyterian church, the religious affiliation of the college both Steph Curry and I attended. There I reviewed texts that offered a code of ethical behavior and made me question who I was and what mattered in life. The church also encouraged me to question biases of the time—this was the ’60s—and made active attempts to correct some wrongs and bridge gaps that had been created since antebellum times. The church also had a very fine organ and a good organist, and I heard the music of Bach and others. I can’t think of any institution there, then, or elsewhere since, that has provided anything similar.

      But we did have a system of checks and balances, and not just from above. The minister himself was held accountable to us and the Presbytery as a whole. And we knew better than to pray for victory or believe God was on our side. God kept a different kind of score.

      I suspect we have better criticisms to make of the coach.

      I also played for the church basketball team. Often we played in a rec center in the south (black) side of town. The Baptist teams would not show up for some reason, so we played pickups from the gym, leading to losses of biblical proportions. But their victory was always civil. We all lived under the same code, even though we hadn’t worked out some serious contradictions.

      • rgg, nice story. Is there some connection to the discussion of religion in the workplace?

        • I was responding to moto, not you, Hat—and I guess hit the wrong reply. I’m not clear why you’re letting the workplace set the standards, but maybe you’ve had better luck there than I have. But it’s OK to worship the boss and profits there, right?

          I see something approaching awe the way massive dollar figures are floated here. And I sense cult-like behavior in the workplace—and the GSW FO—where certain practices and leaders are left unquestioned, beyond review.

          • Actually, I had CB more in mind.

          • “I’m not clear why you’re letting the workplace set the standards”

            If you want people to take you seriously, don’t be silly.

            Warriors players are employees. They have the same rights and protections of every American employee. They’re all entitled to the free practice of their own religions, or to not believe, if that’s their choice.

            Think it through. A private-sector manager who insists on leading employees in prayer is just begging to get the organization sued.

            From Lacob’s perspective, that fact alone makes having “faithful” employees express devotion to their minister/coach a potential threat to the organization’s well-being, not a point in Jackson’s favor.

          • When did Jackson insist they attend service?

            I’m not defending him, but asking that criticism be based on a better standard. But again, you’re using Lacob and business practice as your measuring stick. Why are these worthwhile or even relevant? And what Jackson has done is hardly a threat to the organization’s well being. You’d be much better off looking elsewhere.

            As Socrates once said, the unexamined NBA basketball organization is not worth having. It is beyond me why you deflect all criticism of Lacob and his practice, but whenever you accept something without question and instead protect it, you are approaching religion, and religion of the worst order.

            And we know what happens to people who aren’t faithful to Lacob.

          • rgg, assuming you teach in a public school, you would not be permitted to lead classes in prayer. Would you care to speculate why that is so?

            Re prayer in the workplace, if you were honestly interested in facts instead of simply trying to make some obscure anti-Lacob point, you could bone up on some employment law. Consult an employment attorney or simply Google up a few answers. But of course you won’t do that, you’d rather just make up shit about Lacob. Who is not the one calling prayer meetings on the sidelines.

          • Man, you are a greased pig today. You haven’t addressed anything.

          • But pregame prayers and chapel have a long tradition in sports and still are practiced.

            What on earth are you protecting?

          • What am I defending?

            The American Way. The right of employees to practice their own religion freely, without pressure or bias – real or perceived – from their employer.

            You didn’t answer my Q about leading prayer in class, rgg. Would you care to take a stab at why that is verboten?

          • Once again, Hat, I’m utterly lost. You’re all over the place.

            I wasn’t aware Jackson forced anyone to go to church.

            As far as teaching religion, in public or private schools, I don’t. But it is impossible to teach the bulk of western literature without referring to religion—mostly Christian, but much Jewish, and we’re expanding our range now to include other religions—which has textured our lives and writing for centuries, and its system of values. It has also helped make the texts worthwhile.

            I also encourage students to be critical of everything, including religion, politics, corporate leaders, and the cult of business, whenever the texts allow, which is often.

            Which leads me to wonder what you are protecting. You have flared up at any criticism of the Warrior’s corporate leaders, yet have ignored the texts we have reviewed. I haven’t seen a single word of defense. And Lacob is quite relevant to the quality and future of this team, to the discussion of basketball. He has made the major decisions in terms of roster, cap allotment, and selection of personnel, including coaches. It’s very hard to believe there isn’t more. These criticisms seem to upset you as well, but I’ve yet to see a rebuttal.

            I have no idea what you mean by the American way of life, but it sounds like you’re hiding behind the flag.

            But several here have been critical of Jackson and his professed faith, including myself. I set the standards above.

          • rgg,

            As usual for you, you seem to want to make this about Lacob. Lacob is not the topic here. The issues are freedom of religion, and employee’s rights.

            Before I just write you off as intellectually dishonest, I’ll make one last try to help you get clear on the topic.

            Here’s a parallel to our discussion of religious freedom in the workplace: Sexual harassment. Flirtatious behavior is widespread. You might even say it’s human nature.

            But in the workplace, sometimes flirtatious behavior is legally actionable. As it should be. From a legal standpoint, flirtatious behavior from a superior to an employee is extremely risky to a corporation. It. Is. Unacceptable.

            Here’s another parallel: racial preference. Any expression of bias or preference, even an implication of preference either expressed by or merely permitted by management, however it is expressed, is legally actionable. As it should be.

            Ditto religion. Do you get it? Now tell me why you are forbidden to lead prayer in class. Be honest.

          • cosmicballoon

            Hat,
            Of course a public school teacher isn’t going to lead prayer in class. However, a private school teacher, especially at a Christian school may lead prayer in class. That teacher at the private school would not force any of their students to pray if they did not want to, but may ask for volunteers.

            Basing a grade or showing favoritism to the student who prayed, as opposed to the student who did not would certainly be wrong. The difference is public vs. private. I believe this is how a court would see it, too.

            In the Warriors case, if Jackson ever started excluding certain religions, that’s where he would get in trouble.

          • CB, thanks for the comic relief.

            Praying to Shibboleth would offend Christian employees. Praying to Jesus offends Jews and Muslims and Hindus and Atheists and every other non-Christian on the planet. In an American business, that makes praying a legal no-no.

            When praying to Jesus (potentially offending 40% of the world) is unnecessary in the first place, why go there? It’s not like players of faith would lose the power their faith if they didn’t piss off every other denomination on the sidelines.

          • cosmicballoon

            Hat — you’re welcome. Now here’s a question for you to answer. Why does the billionaire that is Joe Lacob allow Jackson to do it — whatever IT is that Jackson is doing.

            The point is, we don’t actually know if the players feel pressured one way or the other. What we do know is that some of the players have come out in Jackson’s defense AND that no players have complained. (Even Bogut and Iggy, who are respected veterans who are not afraid to peak their minds).

          • Unfortunately many of the 32% are the 95% of the 99%.

            Hat’s point is common sense. It’s kind of discouraging in this day and age it’s even up for debate. Subtle unspoken pressure is not too far removed from terrorism.

          • CB, when was the last time you complained about your boss? In general, would you consider that a good career move?

            Why would Lacob publicly announce that one of his managers was (potentially) creating a workplace environment that some employees might consider hostile to their religious beliefs? It would be stupid for Lacob to go public on the issue unless he was going to take immediate corrective action. Lacob is not stupid.

            “The point is, we don’t actually know if the players feel pressured one way or the other.” Wrong. That is not the point.

            The point is that in America, businesses are legally required to avoid creating or even permitting situations in which employees could feel discriminated against or illegally coerced in any way. Simply permitting a manager to proselytize and lead prayers exposes a firm to legal risks. That is not my opinion, it’s the opinion of every judge in America who hears an employee discrimination case.

            If you like, turn the situation around. What if Jackson were a devout atheist who demanded that players NOT pray in public? It’s the exact same problem.

            I’ll give you the same question rgg refused to answer. Public school teachers are forbidden to lead prayers in school. Why?

          • Once again, rgg, I’m not hearing an answer to a pivotal question. In a public school, a teacher is not permitted to lead prayer in class. Why?

            When you can be honest enough to answer that question, we can continue this discussion. Until then, you’re dodging the issue.

            Go look it up the facts of the matter. Until then, you don’t have an opinion worth listening to.

        • You’re preachin’ up a storm today, Reverend Hat.

          Actually, as a college instructor I am under no constraints whatsoever, as far as I’ve been told. I do know that I can’t teach Ernest Hemingway’s story “A Clean Well-Lighted Place” without reviewing the Lord’s Prayer for comparison and illumination.

          Have you read this story, Reverend Hat? Each reflects on the other in profound ways.

          I can also tell you many students have expressed an interest in religion. They aren’t getting good answers in their lives and are curious. But I don’t preach anything, Reverend Hat. I also encourage students not to accept anything uncritically, or fall behind glib arguments they haven’t examined. No one gets self-righteous in my classes, Reverend Hat.

          As for intellectual dishonesty, I’ve spent my adult and professional life trying to avoid it. But for the life of me I can’t tell what you’ve spent your time pursuing other than incoherence. I can tell you, however, that if I rambled and were as evasive as you have been, I’d be fired on the spot.

          This post began with a concern about players and coach attending service. I don’t find this odd behavior for Christians, especially on Easter Sunday. Whether we like it or not, our coach and many players are religious and this defines them in ways that matter to them. I will respect this. It is a source of strength, and I need to be careful in my criticism. What is relevant to us but should be irrelevant to them is that it helps them win games. I’m not sure Coach hasn’t crossed a line here.

          My first comment simply pointed out that this behavior was not in itself offensive and I tried to put it in context, a religious one, since that where this started. The religion I knew was not self-serving or overbearing. And I think if you listen to the players, especially Curry, you’ll find their beliefs attractive, or at the very least, inoffensive.

          I do wonder about their attending together. And I do question many things the coach has said, which seem to violate the spirit of faith. But I have to confess I haven’t attended his church or listened to him that closely.

          I’m not that comfortable with their holding prayers in practice, but I haven’t heard them either.

          Did you hear the service, Reverend Hat? Have you listened in on the locker room prayers?

          But it’s not an uncommon practice.

          I don’t think I would have hired an active preacher for a coach either. Hard to believe, however, he wouldn’t preach. It’s also hard to believe that Lacob—

          Oh, gosh darn! There I go again! Talking about your boy again!

          —that Lacob did not anticipate that as well, and perhaps set guidelines?

          But now you have shifted the conversation to an area where you feel comfortable, civil rights, which allows you to wax indignant, but as far as I can tell has no relevance whatsoever.

          We have no evidence religion has been forced on the others or that they find it offensive.

          Jackson has not tried to convert, as far as I know, any players or cheerleaders or managers or coaches or the fans or those guys who run around on tricycles shooting out t-shirts, or expelled anyone who didn’t go along with him. Maybe Scalabrine was a heretic? Do you know here, Reverend?

          As far as violating sacred company policy, we have no evidence this has been done either. And we know how well protected company policy is. I think we can rest assured, however, that Lacob—

          There I go again!

          —has protected himself legally, so you shouldn’t have any worries there. Your boy is completely safe.

          Sexual harassment—now you’re really covering yourself with righteousness, Reverend Hat. Didn’t—

          Nah. I’d better let that one go.

          I’m not sure what Bogut is. I think he’s a Bogutologist.

    • Great analysis. Totally agree with his position on playing players with foul trouble. If you take them out, you guarantee short minutes. If you leave them in, they can possibly give you more.

      Re doubling on post-ups, it really depends on who has the ball and what’s realistically possible to accomplish with added D. If it’s Barnes, ignore him. But Klay is a great shooter and not-as-great passer. If help D can trap him, a double is probably worthwhile. On the other hand, a) Baby isn’t really going to create many traps, and b) preventing Klay from moving into the paint isn’t really going to lower his post-up shooting % much. He’s happy to fire over a shorter player from outside.

    • Good stuff.

  8. Any truth to the rumor that John Galt (the dog) will be the team’s new mascot?

    • rgg – I have been out for awhile.. can you give me the background on this question… a friend recently wrote a book titled, “I am John Galt”…

    • Feltbot noted this earlier—Lacob’s dogs are named after characters from Ayn Rand’s book Atlas Shrugged, John Galt and someone else.

      The book, btw, has been turned into a three part movie, with the third coming out soon, I think. They were made to reach the Tea Party crowd. The first two are on Netflix instant streaming, where I watched them. I haven’t read the book. Actually, once you get past the premises, easily disposed, the movies are kind of entertaining.

    • (Because this post will be put aside in a day).

      Who is John Galt?

  9. Another excerpt from McCallum’s book, somewhat relevant to our discussion:

    Jason Terry, who plays both point and shooting guard, for example, runs onto the floor with his arms spread like an airplane because his nickname is “Jet,” a fact that most fans outside of Dallas are unaware of. Plus, Jet believes God has a “destiny” in mind for the Mavericks. Jet had no comment on what God thought of his punching the Spurs’ Michael Finley in the groin in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals.

    McCallum, Jack. Seven Seconds or Less: My Season on the Bench with the Runnin’ and Gunnin’ Phoenix Suns

  10. Felt,

    Great points especially loved the way you summed up ONeal’s game. You are actually underselling Speights in this game, rather unusual. He was the xfactor in 1st half and even drew offensive foul from Blake that resulted him sent to bench.

  11. That was a big game 1 win for the Warriors – as long as they hold home court, this series is done. But the Clippers won’t go away that easy – it’ll be a battle.

    • This season’s record says the Ws don’t benefit as much as most from home court advantage.

      My predictions:

      The refs won’t over-manage the game tonight, it’s bad entertainment. We’ll see both teams play at their full current strength. Advantage Clips.

      Rivers has proven he knows how to win ball games. Jackson would prefer to believe that the whole show is a kind of morality play. Advantage Clips.

      The Ws have no answer for Griffin, but the Clips can stop Lee. The Ws can’t stop Paul, but the Clips stopped Curry in the last game. Advantage: Clips.

      Rim defense: advantage Clips.

      Rebounding: assuming both teams play at full strength, advantage Clips. Lee is friggin amazing. Dray is an awesome rebounder for a short guy. Neither is better at rebounding than their opponent.

      • Clippers though have not won at oracle for a while, think they lost last 5 at oracle. So, advantage back to Warriors.

      • warriorsablaze

        This isn’t really true…as we were 27-14 at home… giving us, you guessed it, the 6th best home record in the west.

        Yes, we lost a few stinkers here, but it was only bad teams that brought out the worst in us… luckily, only good teams will be faced from now on.

        • But the 2nd best away record, with 24 wins on the road. Yes, in fact, this is true: The Ws record shows that they don’t benefit as much from home court advantage as most teams do.

  12. WheresMyChippy

    Tony Brothers assigned to tonight’s game.

    Just sayin..

  13. This is literally comedy – look at the only person to give Andrew a first place vote

    http://www.nba.com/media/042114-2013-14-Kia-NBA-Defensive-Player-of-Year-Votes.pdf

  14. I watched the tail end of the Washington game. Nene is back—these guys might be trouble in the east.

  15. Clippers punished Mark Jackson’s refusal to crossmatch on Griffin or double team him, and on defense made good adjustments to their PNR rotations. Let’s see how Jackson responds in game 3.

    Not going to recap further. This was a meaningless give away of a game the Warriors didn’t need, and it would be a mistake to read too much into it. Seen similar playoff performances many times by eventual winners.

    • I agree the end result of this game should be meaningless and the dubs didn’t need the win, yet I wonder, has any team ever lost by 40 points in a playoff game and gone on to win the series?

    • There have been similar playoff losses in history, but not by series winners.

      Last night’s game was more “meaningful” than the one in which the refs decimated both teams. We learned that Doc is several steps ahead of Jackson in this matchup, his team is at full strength and ready to rock, and he has a damn good bench.

      I bailed before halftime, so I didn’t notice any camera shots of Lacob. I’ll bet that would have been more entertaining than the game. Did the Laser Death Glare come out? If so, maybe there’s a silver lining to getting blown out of a playoff series.

      • You seem very sure of yourself:

        http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/198406030LAL.html

        http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/198505270BOS.html

        The Warriors might be in need of adjustments, they might be hopelessly out coached, they might not have what it takes in this series, but the fact remains that this was a meaningless give up game, by a severely short handed and fragile team, of a road game they didn’t need.

        The result was foreordained. The final score trivial.

        Game 3 will be the one to watch.

        • I couldn’t find any greater margins than those two; a chance to re-write history perhaps?

        • “You seem very sure of yourself.”

          Yup.

          As Art says, this would be a chance to re-write playoff history. If Jackson is as big a drama queen as he seems, maybe a !*! 40 POINT BLOWOUT LOSS !*! is just part of the plan. His glory would be all the greater.

          “…this was a meaningless give up game, by a severely short handed and fragile team, of a road game they didn’t need…”

          Then what was Curry doing in the game at the end of Q3, with his team 30+ points down, getting pounded on drives to the hoop? If the game was meaningless to the coach, Curry already has his shoes off at that point.

          No, Jackson was completely victimized in this game. Note that the Ws season-long best front line (Lee/Green) played a total of 3:56 together.

          http://popcornmachine.net/cgi-bin/gameflow.cgi?date=20140421&game=GSWLAC

          Mareese Speights played well and had the least horrible +- of any player in the regular rotation, but only got 16 mins, about the same amount of PT as JON, who went -29, worst on the team.

          D Green, who sets the team’s best picks for Curry, got only 24 min. while H Barnes (useless as a team player) got 30 min. Green has even shot better than Barnes for the last month, as he did again last night. So they needed to play Barnes and bench Dray for what, exactly?

          I’ll agree with this: “The result was foreordained.”

          Yes, it was. By the coach’s incoherent game plan, his rotations, and his complete inability to recognize and adjust to game conditions. And we have reason to expect something different from the bonehead in the next game? Thassa a big ol’ negatory, good buddy.

  16. *************oof**************

    I believe this score was predicted.

    Jackson keeps saying, and said it tonight, that defense fuels the offense. I don’t see how. They are going to struggle with defense, and unless they get the offense going, I don’t see how they have a chance. And they only have to get behind once for the Clippers to get into a rhythm.

    Sending David Lee into the the teeth of the front court isn’t going to work. Letting Curry try to dribble through traps isn’t going to work.

    Feltbot et al., what are the options? Getting Curry off the ball, more screens to set him up? Pick/roll. Move the damn ball. They’re going to have to take what the Clips give them. Pick/pop. I think Lee took one outside shot and Mo another before the game was over. These, however, aren’t Warrior brand of basketball.

    Just for the record, I was looking forward to Bogut banging into Griffin, not that this would have turned the tide.

    I suspect more calls will go to the NBA tomorrow about what the Clips got away with.

    Go Mo. Let him bang on Griffin for a few minutes.

  17. I wonder what discussion the NBA and refs will have now.

    I watched the Comcast broadcast, where they replayed and called attention to Griffin’s attempts to fall on Curry, Barnes’ shove of Curry, etc. Did anyone watch the national broadcast and were these highlighted?

    Not that curbing this behavior would have made a difference.

    They also discussed the legitimacy of the Clips being able to pick up the buyouts so cheap, but I suppose everyone had a shot at them?

    Bogut makes a one minute appearance just to pump up the fans, as Lee did last year?

    • Clipper Darrell

      You forgot:

      1) Dreymon Green elbowing Redick in the throat like he did Blake in the regular season. Does he do that every game? He only gets caught rarely. Dirty.
      2) Jordan Crawford flagrant foul where he should have been
      ejected and fined.
      3) Maurice Speights coming from behind and tackling Davis again with and elbowing to the chops.
      4) Oh yeah the non call when CP3 got fouled in game 1. Me sees why you prefer the incompetent Garritson and Sean Wright to ref the series.

      I guess its good hoops when Golden State players are physical. It is better to give than receive, that is fo sure!
      I suppose its good basketball when Golden State does it.

      • Good eye, CD!

        No, the Ws don’t usually play that way. Their D is normally pretty soft. They make an exception for the Clippers. And when they’re desperate.

      • Clipper Darrell

        Bring it on! The main event(s).

        Wish it was best of eleven!

  18. Basketball 101, from the ESPN recap:

    “We really kept the game simple. When a guy had an open shot, he took it. When he didn’t, he passed,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “It’s very difficult to guard when the ball moves as quickly as it did.”

  19. Alvin Gentry, Doc’s sidekick, played under D’Antoni in the playoff years and subscribed to up tempo offense. Has he had an influence on the Clips? This doesn’t look like a Rivers/Celtics team.

  20. From Ken Berger:

    At a recent sports business conference, Lacob’s son, Kirk, a Warriors executive, mentioned that the NBA’s new SportVu technology helped the team discover a defensive issue that the coaching staff had missed on video review last season.

    http://www.cbssports.com/nba/writer/ken-berger/24533162/in-the-era-of-the-over-involved-owner-mark-jackson-survives-game-1

    • be sure to read the comment by ‘waynelee’ about lacob way down at the bottom. he didn’t mention lacob’s idolization of ayn rand, but he should have.

  21. warriorsablaze

    So much heart and determination:

    https://twitter.com/kevinmdraper/status/458717230599905280/photo/1

    This interview occurred yesterday; a day was got demolished by 40.

  22. From Adande’s piece on the 2nd. game:

    For Griffin, the big night really began the day before, when he finished talking to reporters then walked over to the farthest basket in the Clippers’ practice facility, grabbed a basketball off the rack and slowly rolled it across the court, trying to get the ball to stop right at the free throw line. Then he started putting up shots under the watch of shooting coach Bob Thate, part of a daily routine that has helped Griffin improve his free throw shooting to the capacity of a 9-for-10 performance from the line Monday.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2014/story/_/id/10820923/no-stopping-blake-griffin

  23. Just got word on the house. 6-8 weeks before we can move back in. Just a heads up… Blogging kind of low priority right now.

    • we only hope for the best for you, boss, no worries. the woeyrs will be navel gazing about their future when you can move back into your home.

    • Crap, FB, that must have been some pipe that broke. Greatest sympathy here. I assume you’ve talked to Chris Paul’s twin brother, who is handling things? And that Blake has provided you with a car rental?

  24. returning to the conversation about religion in the workplace — normal expectations and mandatory neutrality about religion have never applied to team sports. harassment or discrimination aren’t confined by the same limits most companies have to enforce, medical care from the team staff won’t always meet the expected standard of care that applies to regular citizens, and of course they’ve made anti-trust exemptions standard bidness.

    lacob has no problem with his team’s rep as choirboys and bible thumpers, when he considers what many n.b.a. players get publicity from. better to have the guys attend the preacher’s regular congregation than get taken to one of the coach’s favorite dive bars, like Nelson did with curry and others (they ended up a ten minute walk from my front door). my hunch, the preacher has the owner’s permission to go to LA for church whenever they’re in calif and don’t have a game on Sunday.

    • Moto, you troublemaker.

      “normal expectations and mandatory neutrality about religion have never applied to team sports.” Tell it to Kareem.

      “harassment or discrimination aren’t confined by the same limits most companies have to enforce,” Absolutely untrue. Ref. Monta’s sexual harassment case, for just one example of thousands. What’s different about harassment and discrimination suits in sports is that most are paid off/hushed up. It usually costs less to buy off a complainant than to clean up a stinky PR situation. The fact that we don’t hear about cases absolutely does not mean sports franchises get some magical exemption from employment law. If anything, they have more employment law cases per capita than most corporations.

      “lacob has no problem with his team’s rep as choirboys and bible thumpers,” Not the point. Players being religious is not the point, moto. The team’s reputation is not the point. Their morals and behavior aren’t the point. The issue at question is a legal one, nothing else. rgg is too childish to admit he understands that, but I expect better from you.

      “the preacher has the owner’s permission to go to LA for church” the preacher is a grown man and doesn’t need the owner’s permission for anything outside his job. His non-denominational coaching job.

      • “Jesus loves the little children,
        All the children in the world—”

        Even you, Hat.

        We have no evidence whatsoever there is a violation, legal or any other, or that anyone has suffered any abuse of any kind. You haven’t even sketched a possible scenario where someone might be suffering abuse now. And if there is an abuse, legal or other, you still haven’t told us what is at stake, who might be injured, or why anyone should care. The only thing you have mentioned is possible legal risks and costs to the corporation, about which I care nothing—they are loaded, as you keep telling us, and have good lawyers—but which you seem to be protecting, for reasons that you have not spelled out. It sure doesn’t sound like civil liberties you care about, but if they are, you haven’t even sketched a plausible scenario.

        In short, per usual, we have no idea what you’re talking about.

        But private corporations have the right to curtail all kinds of civil liberties, including freedom of speech. We know employees cannot talk to the press, or not freely. The only evidence we have in Erman’s case, where I’m putting my money, is that he talked to a reporter. But if that is true, there isn’t a shred of evidence anything has been damaged with this tepid news, other than a corporate sense of integrity, though I have trouble putting the two words together. At any rate, I’d like to believe they are strong enough and sensible enough to withstand a little airing out. Apparently not. And we have reason to suspect the corporation has paid off cheerleaders for its own abuses. Of course we’ll never know. They have been paid off and are gone.

        In a business where players are thrown together physically continually at the risk to their health, where their value and worth as a human being are horribly overinflated when they do well and completely destroyed into nothing when they do not, I am not at all upset some players find some kind of outside perspective that protects their sense of self worth and gives them some larger understanding beyond the approval of rabid, uncaring fans and the overweening egos of corporate heads, the latter which you seem to be protecting.

        My concern is that our coach has conflated his religion with his mission to win games and keep his job, and used it to deflect real questions about motive and competence. All established religions I know do not allow this, at least in principle, though all have gone astray here. This is where religions degrade into cults. I also fear he has lead his players astray, who follow him willingly. He is not making good use of them, or allowing them to play to potential. In general, there is probably a mistake in being too close to a leader, say a coach, which I also fear has happened, but you don’t need religion to make that happen.

        • “In short, per usual, we have no idea what you’re talking about.”

          As usual, rgg, you refuse to admit that you do, in some feeble attempt to advance your POV. Do your homework on the legal question at hand, then maybe you’ll have a worthwhile opinion on the topic.

          For anyone who’s honestly interested in the topic (demonstrably not rgg), I’ll just say this:

          In general, I think religion is a good thing. But our opinions about religion are not the issue here.

          At best, it is highly unprofessional for a manager to open the door to potential personnel problems. At worst, it is a firing offense.

          By proselytizing on the job, a manager potentially creates problems for some employees. Problems which could unquestionably form the basis for a lawsuit. US case law is chock full of examples. That is fact, not opinion. Look it up.

          • “Red and yellow and black and white
            They are precious in his sight
            Hat still isn’t making any sense at all.”

            But I suspect the real problem is that you cannot read. You still haven’t identified a problem or given us cause to consider it. If Jackson is proselytizing, I’d like to hear about it and potential issues, if only in speculation. I would be concerned. If Jackson has asked players to sacrifice their first born children, I’d like to know that as well, though apparently that hasn’t happened.

            I wouldn’t have hired an active preacher in the first place. You can’t ask him to shut up, and his very presence is going to pose risks with some. At any rate, it’s hard to believe the highly professional Joe Lacob did not take this into consideration and set guidelines.

            Any thoughts here, Reverend Hat?

            But your standard now seems to be professionalism, and I have no idea what you’re talking about or why it is important, yet you seem to light candles at its altar. Nor have you addressed behavior in the organization that is unprofessional.

            There are several ways cults protect themselves and their power, Reverend Hat:

            1. A cult leader comes to the fore, and he is followed.

            2. Followers will not violate his sanctity by questioning or examining him in any way.

            3. They promote his (or her) value in abstract terms that sound attractive but which they refuse to define or examine, likely because doing so would undermine the leader and his (or her) power.

            4. When anyone criticizes the cult leader, the followers will try to expel or shut him up. This is censorship, by the way. Or they attack the integrity of the critics, which you have done liberally.

            5. Or they may try to deflect the debate to higher ground, which, while irrelevant, has popular appeal and can be used to smear critics, which you have done as well. What’s next? Motherhood? We’ve already heard you invoke the American way.

            The real political context of school prayer is that the religious right has tried to impose its will on public schools. There are more serious issues here, of course, namely the right and need of developing children to feel secure, make their own decisions about faith, and not be oppressed by political and pseudo-religious will. I don’t see how professionalism comes into play here, however, all you seem to care about. I do know, however, that corporations have tried to impose their will on the schools and influence curriculums and have spent a lot of money doing so, with detrimental effects, which also concerns me . I don’t hear many voices in opposition, however. The cult of the corporation is very powerful in this country.

          • “We have no evidence whatsoever there is a violation…”

            Au contraire. Check the facts.

            “You can’t ask him to shut up…”

            Well, actually…

            I’m really trying here, rgg. Now you have me trying to picture some alternate history of the world in which a business owner could not ask a supervisor to avoid creating potential employee problems. Nope, can’t see it. C’mon now. Get real or STFU.

            “we have no idea what you’re talking about.”

            No kiddin. But to be perfectly clear on this, there is no “we” arguing with me. Let’s be accurate here. YOU want to dispute the realities of the American legal system. Ho hum. When you become an adult, check back with me.

            You can’t even imagine how little I care to debate someone who pretends to be a moron.

          • Yup. We found the problem. You cannot read.

          • The last resort of a losing debater: mock the opponent. How childish.

      • your idealism Sr.Sombrero would be inspiring indeed, but of course we can’t tell how much goes beyond the words on this blog, not to doubt you are an exemplary person in life.

        if harassment and discrimination weren’t an accepted part of high level pro team sports, the whole issue of persons of different sexual orientation coming out would not exist. the details we learned about the J.Martin harassment case with Incognito and other teammates and the line coach strongly suggests that their excessive level combined with leaving proof like the e-mails provoked the episode becoming public and a legal issue, but they had plenty of leeway and had other victims who accepted what Martin could not. we should infer that there’s plenty of harassment that gets tolerated and condoned in the name of ‘competition’.

        at the highest levels of pro sports, a day with no game scheduled doesn’t automatically get considered as free time or a day off from work. there probably aren’t many pro football coaches who get to take Saturdays off before a Sunday game, if their religion observes Saturday as the sabbath (the Spanish word for Saturday is not derived from the deity Kronos/saturn, it means sabbath). plenty of other salaried professionals not in big league sports who are expected to work Sundays.

        • Let’s get our premises right.

          “the whole issue of persons of different sexual orientation coming out would not exist.”

          What in the world makes you imagine the issue does not exist?

          Pro sports franchises are businesses. As such, they must comply with US business law, including laws pertaining to workplace protections. The fact that some teams – or even many teams – have not done so in the past is not an argument for special exemptions. Nor is it a legal defense.

          • subjunctive ‘would not’ means something rather different than your paraphrase, ‘does not’. harassment of gays has been tolerated institutionally on pro team sports, no special exemptions or legal defenses required. pro athletes have only recently been sanctioned for using the epithet “f-g” in public, so that’s a sign of progress.

          • moto, every time an employee complains about working conditions, they put their job on the line. Nowhere is that more true than in pro sports.

            For purely practical reasons, most employees don’t pursue the legal rights violations of their bosses, even if they are nearly intolerable. That doesn’t mean those employees are not entitled to their legal rights. It doesn’t mean there’s no problem. It doesn’t make it OK for a supervisor to create a work environment in which a reasonable person would perceive bias. 50+ years of civil rights laws and lawsuits prove it.

            As Mary said earlier, I can’t even believe any American thinks this open for debate.

          • your last objection about ‘can’t believe any American thinks this is open to debate’ has a mixed bouquet about it, combining flag waving and straw dog/man. no one said pro athletes didn’t have legal protection against discrimination or harassment, the Martin case vs. Mia/incognito et. al. cited demonstrates the opposite. females are >.50 of the population here, but did the Equal Rights Amendment ever get ratified and become federal law ? there are degrees of legal protection, and de facto discrimination is part of reality.

          • “de facto discrimination is part of reality.”

            True. So what?

            I said Jackson is creating a situation that could expose the franchise to a lawsuit. Everything that came after was merely an attempt at explanation of that fact to people who apparently don’t want to believe it.

            People sue. Jackson’s providing a reason for someone to sue if they chose to. It’s a fact. This is America, dude.

            Now let’s drop it, OK?

  25. Is Wittman a good coach? Washington could be trouble, later if not now, when the backcourt matures. Much as I question lumbering centers, Gortat is a presence up front and, more importantly, can score and shoot free throws. And if Nene is healthy, it’s an intimidating front court. But note what makes Nene a special threat: he can hit the midrange and is allowed to take that shot. It’s hard to believe that the Warrior bigs, Lee and Speights, haven’t been restricted in that regard.

    • mid range two point shots are hardly created equal. the defense loves to see most opponents take them in many situations. part of the popovich system is indoctrinating the players with very strict shot selection. essentially, if you can’t hit at least .50 of your mid range shots you should strictly limit the number you attempt. speights was a gunner for most of his career whose shooting didn’t help his team.

      • The other point to be made here is that a midrange shot from a big is difficult, if not impossible to defend, as we saw with Aldridge last night. I’d be curious to see where both Lee and Speights would be now with their shooting if they’d had a steady diet of midranges throughout the season. This didn’t happen, and it looked like they were on some restriction. And Speights would have had plenty of opportunities with the subs this year. I’d rather see him launch ‘em up than Barnes take the ball on isos.

    • I made a brief argument that in the instance of the midrange shot it might be a case of a global result determining local behavior, to its detriment. Specifically, I’m thinking about bigs. Bigs need to show an outside shot to open up the defense and keep their defenders guessing. Lee’s case especially concerns me. He has cut down taking these shots, where he has been effective before. It’s hard to know what to make of Speights, especially with the Warriors, where his play has been erratic because of his minutes and the way he’s been played. But he has a wonderful feel for a big guy. Only Randolph and Big Baby come to mind (and Nene shot well the few minutes I saw). My suspicion both are on some kind of shot restriction, supported by the evidence. Support them, let them shoot, and let’s see what happens.

      And the midrange shot might be one of the few options the Clippers defense allows. I’d rather see Lee pop a few more rather plow into the the bigs and get throttled.

  26. Looks like Vogel’s job is on the line now. Any chance we’ll see him next year? But Lacob said he didn’t want retreads. Who’s left?

    • Lacob’s comment about retreads came after his decision to hire a newbie. It was probably nothing more than self-justification. If he hired an experienced coach this offseason, he’d sing a different tune.

      As always, the list of available pro coaches will grow substantially at the end of the season. Lacob has already announced his intention to wait for the offseason before making any decision about Jackson’s contract. Do you think there’s a connection?

    • Vogel is getting same criticism as dubs coach. Read Bird’s comments on this article on him.

      http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2014/story/_/id/10827330/2014-nba-playoffs-frank-vogel-indiana-pacers-coaching-job

      • This is what I read, and thanks for the link. Bird I will listen to, at least for a while, though I have to confess I don’t know anything about Vogel. His record the past years has been pretty darn good, however. He sounds like the kind of coach Lacob would want, which is worth discussion.

        • Vogel has been great, but think dubs need a coach who can instill an offensive system. Vogel, I think is equal to Jackson on that.

          • This, of course, is what I am afraid of.

          • On the other hand, Vogel has maximized the talent he has available. That says good things about him. Indiana has great defensive talents, not-so-great offensive.

            Vogel may or may not have some offensive chops too. The Indiana roster can’t provide proof either way.

          • This comment by Bird is turnoff for me but still might be better than most options that will be available.

            “A lot of times, we don’t take the fight to [the opponent],” Bird told the newspaper. “A lot of times we sit back and wait and see how it goes. And that was the case even when we were winning a lot of games early in the season. We’ve got to be mentally prepared to really go after the teams we’re playing against. We can’t have the mindset it’s just another game; it’s a very important game. All of them are.

            “I’m sort of going to Frank’s side because he’s had so much success by staying positive. We do have to stay the course. But I also think he’s got to start going after guys when they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do. And stay on them, whether you’ve got to take them out of the game when they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do, or limit their minutes. I will say, he hasn’t done that enough.”

        • be sure to read lowe’s piece on Grantland, with video clip illustrations, “Inflexible Indy finally bends to beat Atlanta”.

  27. Mavs beat Spurs by 21! In San Antonio! Go Monta!

    • And Portland whupped Houston twice now — in Houston.

    • So, fire Greg Popovich?

      Bet on the Mavs in the series?

      • WTF?

        Saw the Carlyle post-game talk. He said Pop was the best coach ever, and the Mavs were operating at a disadvantage. I’ll go with Carlyle’s take on that.

        I’m just happy for Monta and Dirk that the Mavs pulled off a W. A team that “doesn’t play D” managed to push SA into 24 turnovers. No mean feat.

        • Oh yeah, almost forgot. Saw the Monta post-game talk too. It was nice to see him getting the respect he deserves from the press. There was too little of that in his time with GS.

        • I based my questions on your reaction to the Warriors game 2 loss.

          • Oh joy, more snark. I guess that means you think I overreacted with my take on the !*! 40 POINT BLOWOUT !*!

            FB, there are throwaway games and then there are

            !*! 40 POINT BLOWOUTS !*!

            They’re very different things.

            Tonight’s game will probably be a closer contest. But the coach whose leadership gave us a

            !*! 40 POINT BLOWOUT LOSS !*!

            is still at the wheel, ya know?

            My predictions (go ahead, take notes):

            - The Ws squeak out one more W before the Clips seal the series and move on.
            - We haven’t seen our last blowout.
            - Lacob’s Death Glare reaches the megawatt range.

          • Congrats, you’re with the 99% in predicting this series.

            And the difference between this 40 point loss, and the 30 point losses given up by the World Champion Celtics and Lakers in the Finals is…?

            As has been proven countless times in NBA playoffs, there’s almost no correlation between the Warriors prospects, and the size of that give away loss. Teams conserve energy and resources in meaningless games, and no team needs to do that more than this short handed, injured and aged team.

            As for Mark Jackson’s leadership, if he has adjustments in mind, he was absolutely correct not to use them in game 2. There is a poker playing element to NBA playoffs, and good coaches shouldn’t show their hands in what are foreordained (and predicted) to be blowouts.

            There is a gameplan that beats the Clippers in this game. Let’s see if Jackson finds it.

          • I assume you’re withholding judgment on Jackson until tonight, and maybe holding your breath. But Jackson’s plan was to try to get into the game first half and take it from there. They never came close from the start, and didn’t play in such a way that might have given them a chance. Having Curry plow into the defense with drives 3rd quarter especially doesn’t sit well with me, as it was risky and pointless. Was he trying to get Curry pumped up for later or offer him up to the gods in sacrificial slaughter?

          • So I overreacted to the

            !*! !*! !*! !*! !*! !*! !*! !*! !*! !*! !*! !
            !*! 40 POINT BLOWOUT LOSS !*!
            !*! !*! !*! !*! !*! !*! !*! !*! !*! !*! !*! !

            but I’m in line with the 99% on predicting the outcome of the series. OK, I’ll take that.

            To answer your Q, the difference is:

            Coaching.
            Warm bodies.
            Bench.
            Talent (relative to the opposition).
            Winning tradition.
            Home court advantage (This year’s Ws haven’t benefited as much as normal from it).
            No H Barnes on the Celtics, no sirree!

            But mostly coaching.

            Here’s the thing, Felt:

            JON was completely helpless in the last game but played as much as Speights, who put up some decent numbers. Yet Speights played only 15 minutes. In a game in which the Ws needed bigs who could contribute to the game instead of getting into “get off my lawn” arguments with the opposing coach.

            Barnes is friggin’ useless. A washout. Jackson plays him (I guess) to simulate a scoring threat, but Green has out-shot Barnes for much of this season. Yet Barnes played 30 and DG 24 min. And Barnes is going to get his 30 min. for the rest of this series too, BillyBob, you betcha!

            But Draymond? Who the hell knows? Maybe not even Jackson. He’s completely clueless. He’s got to be told what to do, by the few basketball minds he has left on the bench. You know, that marvelous collection of schlubs he didn’t manage to chase off.

            Klay Thompson got 4 shots in the last game. Four.
            F-O-U-R.
            S-H-O-T-S.

            My friend, that is a complete wipeout of more than 25% of the Warriors offense.

            FB, are you seriously suggesting that that was the result of Jackson intentionally playing possum in a game he was “probably” going to lose anyway? Har de har har.

            Ho ho ho.

            Feltbot, comedian par excellence, mon ami! Mai oui!

            Dear Feltbot, pal, buddy-o-mine:

            This Warriors basketball season ended in the last game.

            See you next year.

  28. I expect MBarnes to suffer a drive-by elbow from Mokur or DGreen in retribution for knocking Curry down on a lay-up attempt. (Of course, MBarnes won’t take it lying down.)

    • I hope that doesn’t happen. If it did, the reffing would go back to being oppressive and we wouldn’t see the teams playing at their best.

  29. Recap of Game 2: The Charge of the Light Brigade

    From Wiki:

    Lord Raglan, overall commander of the British forces, had intended to send the Light Brigade to pursue and harry a retreating Russian artillery battery, a task well suited to light cavalry. Due to miscommunication in the chain of command, the Light Brigade was instead sent on a frontal assault against a different artillery battery, one well-prepared with excellent fields of defensive fire.

    Although the Light Brigade reached the battery under withering direct fire and scattered some of the gunners, the badly mauled brigade was forced to retreat immediately. Thus, the assault ended with very high British casualties and no decisive gains.

    The Light Brigade, as the name suggests, were the British light cavalry force. It mounted light, fast horses which were unarmored. The men were armed with lances and sabres. Optimized for maximum mobility and speed, they were intended for reconnaissance and skirmishing. They were also ideal for cutting down infantry and artillery units as they attempted to retreat.

    And Tennyson comments:

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon in front of them
    Volley’d and thunder’d;
    Storm’d at with shot and shell,
    Boldly they rode and well,
    Into the jaws of Death,
    Into the mouth of Hell
    Rode the six hundred.

    We can only wonder if we will see the charge repeated tonight.

    (Wow, I hate Tennyson.)

  30. “Go back and look at the league, it doesn’t usually happen overnight,” Lacob said. “The truth is these teams have to grow, have to play together for several years, and the coaching staff has to grow and get better. Look at the numbers – it’s almost always a three- or four-year process in the NBA to grow together to become a championship contender. Yes, we’d all love to say that when we got (Andre) Iguodala we were a championship contender. I don’t know if that was really true.”

    http://www.sfgate.com/sports/jenkins/article/Pressure-to-adjust-is-on-Warriors-Jackson-Curry-5422451.php#page-2

    (Link from the other blog.)

    It took Toronto and Phoenix only one season to become contenders, and both have room to grow.

    • Last I looked, no serious person calls the Suns or Raptors “contenders.”

      Lacob is right. Adding 5-6 rotation guys, then dealing with injuries all season, is a tough road. The Ws have gotten better every year. Lacob can take pride in that.

    • the jump in number of wins for the woeyrs from the tank/trade season to the next has been accomplished by more than a handful of teams. bottom feeders can rise to the middle or upper middle of the bell curve, but continuing on to the upper crust is more rare. Phx benefitted from a new coach, starting guard, and the coming of age for dragic, but its young roster also jelled, a process started the season before. which western rivals will decline between this season and next(would not take much for GS to be one), for Phx to seriously contend, still has to be determined. ujiri has a proven deft hand and rebuilding rosters and even getting to the conference finals would be a tremendous bench mark for a Canadian team.

      • cosmicballoon

        For Phoenix to contend for a championship they need a superstar player. The Raptors are in the same boat. A lot of nice pieces, but no one who really can dominate. There are only a handful of those players in the league…Aldridge, Lilliard and Curry have joined those ranks IMO.

      • Phoenix is poised to grow even more, when Okafor’s $14.5 m contract expires. They can spread their money around wisely or go for a big strike in free agency this summer. They are deep enough to go either way. I think Toronto is in a similar situation. Ujiri has their house in order. Both also look to have good coaches. And I assume the teams will keep their coaches next season.

        Ours will have to start over with another staff or get by with the current depleted one. Lost either way is what development the players might have gained with a full, competent staff. Again.

        None of the three teams are close to championship contention, and most likely won’t be next year, although, incomplete as the roster is, I like to think the Warriors have a better core of talent. There are too many other deficiencies, however, that still have not been addressed.

  31. blessed by the gods of hype since high school, l.bird has attained demi-god status, but should he really be critiquing his coach publicly at this time. he’ll probably keep his record perfect, ø trophies as an executive or coach, and maintain his job security in Ind. der dirkster has bird to thank for his sole championship, though, because el cubano fired johnson as soon as bird gave carlisle the pink slip.

    bird is usually forthcoming when he talks about Ind’s limited revenues and how it affects his personnel decisions, and looking at Ind’s bench confirms that tale. vogel has instilled a very disciplined method with the team, including a unique and effective tactic on the offensive boards based on the players closely adhering to specific zones to maintain transitional defensive position. the toll of defensive effort with a limited bench caught up to the offense in the final third of the season, with bird’s trade for turner an insufficient supplement.

  32. (Recent comments not coming through, FB.)

  33. -Q: How do you think your guys are screening in this series so far?

    -JACKSON: Draymond has set incredible screens, that’s who he is. We’ve got to do a better job putting a little Draymond in our games.

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2014/04/23/mark-jackson-on-getting-curry-open-iguodalas-aggressiveness-and-needing-more-draymond-green-level-physicality/

    And so… why did Jackson give DG only 24 minutes in Game 2, to H Barnes’ 30? Kawakami never asks the obvious next question.

    • Really Mark? Your guys, except for DGreen, don’t set screens? Why not? Its all the players fault? None of Curry not getting open looks is your fault Mark?

  34. “The Golden State Warriors’ move to San Francisco won’t just cost Oakland and Alameda County residents an NBA basketball team, it might cost them upward of $60 million.

    “Representatives of the board that runs the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum complex said attorneys for the Warriors have informed them that the team will stop paying down the debt on the Oracle Arena after it decamps for San Francisco, even though it appears that a clause in their lease requires them to keep making payments.”

    http://www.mercurynews.com/warriors/ci_25625640/warriors-lease-dispute-could-cost-taxpayers-millions?source=rss

  35. Rivers and the Clips complain about every call. And they’re mostly floppers.

  36. What kind of play was that? Wow Mark, no one even tried to set a screen for Curry on the last play of the game.

    • And Paul pushed Curry back with his left hand as Curry was shooting. All those Clips/Rivers complaints worked on the Refs.

      I saw Green complain on a few calls. He was the only Warrior to do so. Jackson does nothing. I mean, get in there and fight Jackson, just like you tell the players.

    • Both Oneil and Lee did not set a pick, because Jackson wanted Curry to make a play (he had just made two insane threes). If a pick was attempted, The Clippers would have trapped Steph like they have done the past two games very effectively. And he would have had roughly five seconds to do something.

      The trapping will be used against the Warriors the rest of the season. A better question should be for Lacob and has been mentioned all season. Why didn’t the Warriors re-sign Jarrett Jack? Blake and Crawford were ineffective to say the least.

      Doc is a good coach.

    • the woeyrs didn’t have any of their adept screen out guys available on the final play, and mediocre execution only clogs things up more for the shooter. green was fouled out. if you see him objecting to officiating, realise he and bogut lead the team in technicals by far, and the coach’s objective is to never receive one. for his pains, and because his status and salary are on the bottom of the pecking order, green gets calls like that flagrant on griffin.

      • You raise the question, moto, whether Scalabrine was expelled simply because he raised his voice in anger in the inner sanctum of the locker room. I can’t decide if that’s a sarcastic comment or not.

  37. Bleh.

    But I was anticipating worse. Yet the Clippers are not that poised and can be rattled.

    I will defer to our Boss and Blogmaster on all such matters, from whom we shall hear shortly, but I wonder about my thoughts @29 on the midrange. I would be curious to see a breakdown of shooting percentage and real shooting percentage for 3′s, drives, and midrange shots tonight. My sense was that, outside of dunks and fast break layups, the midrange was the higher percentage and most effective, few as they took. The Clips scored well there themselves, even without Griffin’s shots.

    They’ve got to find another way to score. The perimeter was tightly covered and the guys were jittery on their 3′s. No one was finishing well under the board, not against this front court, nor were they calling that many fouls for free throws. Specifically and mostly Lee on the pick and pop, but others can make that shot. Did they run many plays to get Curry a shot inside? I’m not interested in seeing Barnes take these shots, however, as he usually holds onto the ball until he’s covered. I’m not that thrilled about seeing him shoot 3s, either. We don’t have Aldridge, but that’s what helped Portland win.

    • The midrange shot, or lack of it, of course, is only one part of their problem in scoring. They have to develop all the options and all the players they have. Not done. And then, of course, there’s Barnes.

    • The advantage Jack gave them is that they could run three guards in spots, with Klay at 3. I’m skeptical Crawford could do this, but we’ll never know.

      The whole point of my (forced) light brigade comparison is that the battlefield was misread and the light brigade was not played to their strategic advantage.

      Green was marvelous. If nothing else, it’s a shame to waste that performance.

  38. cosmicballoon

    The Warriors don’t have a personell problem, they have a coaching problem. This game was a great example of how one team moves the ball to get open shots while the other team relies on isolations on almost every possession.

    Additionally, the fact that Iggy has tried to ‘turn it on’ offensively for the playoffs has been a disaster. He does not look comfortable as a playmaker right now. I believe this is a symptom of the coaching staff refusing to get him involved as a playmaker for the whole second half of the season.

    • Re ball movement, you’re right on, CB. Here’s an article someone linked to earlier this season:

      http://regressing.deadspin.com/does-more-ball-movement-help-an-nba-offense-or-just-wa-1481953704

      Check the graph. In touches/possession, GS is not just dead last in the league but last by a mile, all by their lonesome, roughly 20% less than average. Almost 25% less than San Antonio.

      Some of that lack of ball movement is attributable to Curry’s ball dominance and game-warping shooting. Walk-up 3s don’t take lots of touches, and in most cases our primary ball handler is the best person to take the shot anyway. But take away Curry’s shot and what’s left is a team that doesn’t have a system for moving the ball around and, as a result, isn’t very good at it. It’s the main reason that GS leads all playoff teams in turnovers (22/game vs. our opponents 14.3).

      http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/team/_/stat/miscellaneous-per-game/sort/avgTurnovers

      Little wonder that slamming and trapping Curry is the accepted strategy for defending against the Warriors. It’s the friggin’ obvious thing to do, actually. Doc and Co. aren’t doing anything in this series defensively that we haven’t seen from good teams all season long. It’s no coincidence that the Ws have a losing record against winning teams this year.

      A real coach, a pro coach who understands the game, does more than whine about turnovers (a la Mark Jackson), he installs an offensive system designed to share the ball effectively without incurring turnovers. Check the Spurs’ place on the touches/possession graph. Jackson never installed a system like that, so Ws ballhandlers mostly do either of two things:

      Attempt to create their own shot (Curry, Jordan, Thompson and anyone stuck with the hot potato on an iso), or Freeze and Wait, hoping for someone to make themselves available for a pass.

      The Ws have been criticized all season long for their “stagnant” offense. Ain’t it the truth. It’s a coaching thing.

      And it never changes. In the Ws first possession last night, Jackson had Iggy bring up the ball (I guess to prevent Curry from getting trapped). Iggy dribbled into a trap himself, then slipped a difficult pass in to JON for an iso against one of the best big defenders in the league. That single play, the first play of the game, announced Jackson’s offensive strategy for the entire game: no strategy. The results were perfectly predictable: the same as before. 19.4% from 3, 41.6% shooting overall from a team stacked with offensively gifted players.

      The Ws have had a good run this year despite their coaching. Hopefully, Lacob’s Death Glare is an indication that he sees that too.

      As a basketball coach, Mark Jackson may not be one of the all-time worst in NBA history (he’s got some stiff competition there), but he’s clearly not a coach that can guide a team to a championship, or even to a better record than 51 wins next year. Because next year the book on defending against Mark Jackson’s Warriors will have many more pages in it. That book is getting its finishing touches in this series.

  39. warriorsablaze

    The lingering title of this post is approaching sad comedy given past two games. Lee has been absolutely awful and Griffin has been absolutely dominant.

    Last season, even though we often would get down as we do now, I always felt like we were going to pull it out in the end. Even as we were coming back last night, I never had that feeling.