Game 3 — Clippers 98 Warriors 96: The Adjustments

Were you among the many who concluded on the basis of game 2 that the Warriors had no shot against the Clippers in this series? Well, this game must have come as a surprise.          

Game 2, as I wrote in the last thread, told me next to nothing about how game 3 would play out. Game 2 was a must-win for the Clippers, and a completely meaningless game for the Warriors. It was a give-away game for this shorthanded, undersized, injured and aged Warriors team, a game to take off and rest up. The kind of game I have seen given away in NBA playoffs more times than I can begin to count. It was foreordained to be a blowout. I predicted before the game it would be a blowout. And it was a blowout. The final score was meaningless. I’ve seen eventual World Champions — both the Larry Bird Celtics and the Magic Johnson Lakers — give up 30 point blowouts in the Finals, and live to laugh about it. So Doc Rivers felt like tacking on another 10 points to that, so what? Meaningless to everyone but the demoralized team he was trying to inspire, and a horde of neophyte sportswriters and fans who didn’t understand the circumstances.

I also wrote in the last thread that game 2 was not the game for Mark Jackson to make the adjustments that everyone clamored for (after the game). THIS was the game for those adjustments. First of all, it’s rare for an NBA coach to make adjustments in the middle of a game. If you’re going to make major adjustments, you want to game-plan them before-hand, and prepare your team for them in practice. Secondly, you don’t make adjustments in games that are foreordained to be blowouts. And particularly after the starting bell in games that have all the hallmarks of blowouts. There is a very big poker playing element in an NBA playoff series. You want to hold your cards close, sandbag your jokers, and play them at the perfect time. You want to surprise your opponent, give him as little time to prepare for your adjustment as possible. Giving your opponent a glimpse of the future adjustments you are contemplating in the midst of a blowout loss would be a huge mistake. Rank incompetence, in fact.

Do you think I’m giving Mark Jackson more credit than he deserves? Ascribing thoughts and tactics to him that he didn’t have? Well, maybe. I don’t know what goes on inside his head. But I can say that in this Game 3 I saw him make major adjustments. And it would be silly to think that these adjustments didn’t occur to him, just as they occurred to everyone else, as he sat patiently through that game 2 blowout. I also know that Jackson has been around the league for 20 odd years. Both participating in and broadcasting playoff games. Not to mention coaching in last year’s playoffs. I am certain that Jackson understands intimately the poker playing tactics involved in making adjustments. And I’m also certain he knew what was coming in Game 2.

There is no 50 win target in a playoff series. There is no prize for Best Record.  You don’t get graded on Competing Hard Every Night, or Showing Up on the Road. The only thing that matters is getting to four wins before your opponent. In the playoffs, there are games you need, and games you don’t need. Games in which you expend everything you’ve got, and games you take off. Games in which coaches spring prepared adjustments as traps, and games in which coaches play possum.

That’s playoff basketball.

Mark Jackson: After seeing his team catch the Clippers by surprise in Game 1 by the effectiveness of its blitz-busting pick and roll, and then getting a look at the adjustments Doc Rivers made to sharpen up the Clippers defensive rotations in game 2, Mark Jackson decided to give the Clippers a different offensive look in game 3.

The high post.

The Warriors ran a ton of high post action in this game, starting from the opening tip. And a number of different players were used to initiate the offense from the high post. Iggy. Lee. Green. Even O’Neal.

The main goal of course was to take Curry off the ball. But also to give the Clippers something they hadn’t seen before, and to keep the ball moving. And to a certain extent, this offense succeeded. After a high-low entry that got the Clippers defense to move, the Warriors managed to create quite a few open looks from three. Just not for the player they most wanted to get open, Stephen Curry.

And we all know how many of those open looks the other Warriors were able to knock down.

That wasn’t Jackson’s fault. This was a creative adjustment that leveraged the excellence of the Warriors passing ability. And did you happen to notice how little ISO and post-up basketball the team played?

Jackson made another significant adjustment in this game, limiting O’Neal to 16 minutes and opting for more smallball, which was greatly effective. In fact, if my math is correct, smallball not involving Mo Speights was +15 for the game. O’Neal was -12, Speights -3.

I think we can expect to see more of this going forward.

If I have any gripes with Jackson in this game, it is these: First, the lack of a real running game. If you are going to attack the Clippers with smallball, you have to commit. You have to go balls to the wall. I didn’t see that urgency. I didn’t see leakouts on missed shots, and running after made baskets. Virtually all of the the Warriors fastbreaks occurred after turnovers. Fastbreak points 17. Points off turnovers 15.

Also, if your single greatest problem on offense is freeing up Stephen Curry, isn’t your single best offensive solution to get out and run? Get him some patented walk-up threes? Find him in transition? I would think this would be a no-brainer.

My second gripe with Jackson concerns the Warriors turnovers. I think it’s fair to ascribe quite a few of them to the unfamiliar offense the Warriors ran in this game. Why was it unfamiliar? Because instead of running it in the regular season, and leveraging the Warriors’ great strength in the passing game, Mark Jackson was busy forcing isolation basketball down his team’s throat.

The Warriors also turned the ball over quite a bit in transition, and I think you can at least partly ascribe the same problem. The Bogutted Warriors simply did not play at the same pace the playoff Warriors are trying to play at, and not even close to the pace they need to get to. I have been faulting Mark Jackson all season for that, and it’s costing the Warriors right now in an unforeseen way. If you can call a season-ending injury to Bogut unforeseeable.

Having said this, if you’re at all inclined to blame Mark Jackson for where the Warriors stand in this playoff series, I think you’re making a big mistake. Jackson outdueled Rivers in Game 1, and won. And I believe he also outdueled Rivers in Game 3, but came away with a loss.

Jackson clearly won the tactical battle of Game 3. The way this game was played, surely it was a game that the Warriors should win more times than not. One more three would have won this game, in a game in which the Warriors were a ridiculously poor 6-31, for 19.4%. And if there were maybe one less turnover, or if one of those multitudinous end-of-the-shot-clock, thrown-up prayers the Clippers made had missed…

Of if the goddamn refs had blown the whistle on the obvious mugging Chris Paul gave Curry on the final shot…

The Warriors would be up 2-1, in a series many think they shouldn’t be competitive in. How do you fault Mark Jackson for that?

Curry: There is a mainstream media meme starting that Curry is having a sub-par series. That he needs to start scoring more for the Warriors to win this series.

I disagree somewhat. Wasn’t that disproven by Game 1? And if the refs had called that obvious game-ending foul, and Curry had finished with 19 points and 15 assists, against 3 turnovers, would we be talking about this at all?

Stephen Curry is a point-guard. His job is to make the best basketball play. When he’s getting blitzed, that play is to find the open man. He’s doing a superb job of it. And he’s not doing anything that LeBron James hasn’t done — and been roundly criticized for — while en route to two titles.

Would it make you feel any better if Curry forced up a 12-29 through the teeth of the defense, a la everyone’s hero, Kobe Bryant? Do you think that would help win games?

Of course it would help the Warriors chances greatly if Mark Jackson could find ways to get Curry open shots. Against a Clippers team determined to smother him, the running game is the best bet.

But in my book, Curry is playing great. If the Warriors are to win this series, it is his teammates who need to step up and help him.

Lee: He wasn’t at his best finishing around the rim at this game. But he buried his only jumper. And why isn’t that part of the gameplan? Is there no value in pulling the Clippers bigs away from the rim? Spreading the floor and giving him faceups?

A point about Lee’s plus/minus. It was 0 for the game. But while playing center, Lee was +5 for the game. And +7 in crunchtime.

So why only 32 minutes? Isn’t this something the Warriors could use more of?

I’m afraid there are injury issues at play here.

Iggy: Great defense and rebounding, as always.

But the big offensive series that I expected from him has yet to materialize. Where is the Point-Iggy that was so effective to start the season, and the Warriors so desperately need to take Curry off the ball in this series?

Where is the offensive aggressiveness against the undersized Clippers backcourt?

If this is all that Iggy is and can be, it really makes you rethink the Warriors offseason moves. $48 million for 4 years of a 30 year old THIS?

Jarrett Jack would be tearing up this Clippers backcourt.

And making his free throws.

Klay Thompson: Another studly all-around game. It would be great if he could get more threes to fall, but it’s hard to complain when he’s taking it to the rack and finishing with such authority.

And holding Chris Paul to 5-13.

Green: Clearly ahead of Barnes in the rotation finally. And how could he not be, with performances like these? 13 and 11, 2 assists, 3 steals, 4 blocks. He fills out a boxscore like few other 6-6″ players can.

Barnes: The utter invisibility we’ve grown so accustomed to. I wonder why Jackson relies on him so much in the backcourt, rather than trying Crawford or Blake alongside Curry, or some other starters.

What do you give up? Not defense, surely.

The Bench: I have argued that Jackson has failed to develop Speights and Crawford in the roles that best suit them. And I particularly feel that unleashing Crawford and forcing the tempo with the second unit could change the complexion of this series.

But Mark Jackson clearly doesn’t trust his second unit players. Is that his fault, or a gross failure on the part of amateur GM Joe Lacob to get the Warriors the players they needed?

I think I know what Lacob’s opinion on this will be.

O’Neal: Did you notice that Mark Jackson finally sprang the cross-match in the third quarter of this game? Blake promptly forsook the low post, set up outside, and smoothly buried consecutive Duncanesque 20 foot bank shots in JO’s mug. And that was it for JO. Jackson pulled him, and played small the rest of the way.

I still think this is the best matchup for him. Let Griffin keep launching those jump shots, regardless of whether they go in. If the Clippers win the series by virtue of the most inefficient shot in basketball, the long two, then congratulations. (And by the way, they stopped going in later in the game.)

Was health a factor in him only getting 16 minutes in the game? Or the fact that the Warriors are so much better when playing smallball?

3 games down, 3 to go for the ancient warrior. Have you been wondering why I’ve only been counting up to six, in a seven game series? It’s because if the Warriors are to win, it will be in six. They can’t win a game 7 in Staples.

Which means every one of the next three games is a must win.

It’s showtime.

73 Responses to Game 3 — Clippers 98 Warriors 96: The Adjustments

  1. Well put and fair enough, FB. It should be conceded that many of us, me especially, have been overzealous in our condemnation of the coach. He is not an idiot.

    Still, your objections are serious—not pushing tempo, not developing players and their talents, not practicing such an option earlier. Other issues linger.

    And it should be conceded, we had some breaks. A letdown was to be expected, as was this raw squad getting rattled before Oracle. Free throw shooting went from 91% to 44%, a significant factor in itself (and dropped from 66% in the first game, probably closer to reality).

    But in the context of whether Jackson stays or not, when the roll is called up yonder in the FO, we can be certain none of this will be factored in. Nor do we have good cause to be confident problems will be solved if he is let go.

    No Barnes plus whoever they traded him for, or if he simply stayed off the court and his minutes given to other players, plus a the right minor player played in the right system could have made all the difference in the world.

  2. And a minor argument about the midrange. Lee and Speights have it and should be encouraged to use it. Maybe Griffin’s % goes down when he steps back, but he is good there and it is what makes him the dominating player he is. And as Barnett keeps saying, when the 3 doesn’t fall, step in and find your range, as Klay especially should do. Curry will do this. The difference between a 15 and 22 foot shot is not merely incremental but significant, especially when you’re on edge.

  3. once more the boss has provided the best summary anywhere on the blogs and we should be indeed grateful. felt, hope your homeowner’s insurance agent is treating you well.

    by this time we’re beating a dead preacher with our regrets that they haven’t devoted more of their rehearsals and play to up tempo offense. the preacher’s d.n.a. appears stuck in his Ind mode playing for brown and bird. [bird meanwhile has publicly critiqued his coach — also named bird — perhaps another owner will get a nice midsummer present like el cubano received when carlisle was fired]

    don’t expect lacob and myers to share any blame, they’re enamored with size, when they need to put equal or more priority to length, quickness, smarts. a limited capacity in either of the latter two qualities might be keeping kuzmic on the bench, but we can only guess. with his pro experience, the normal excuses applicable to drafting the college sophomores doesn’t really float. lacob and myers also neglected to address developing (bazemore) or acquiring a change of pace defensive wing adept at shooting 3’s (m.barnes, pietrus, azubuike in the era lacob wants to erase), which at present could help thompson or iguodala conserve their legs for offense.

    rgg, there are two anecdotal accounts of the locker room episode that precipitated scalabrine’s exile. either it was chief of staff p.myers, or a player, who was addressed by the exile in a manner the preacher couldn’t tolerate.

    • What is the transgression, then? Taking the GM’s name in vain?

      • please remember, rgg, that the preacher takes pride in never using profanity. if the inappropriate language or tone was used toward either a superior (p.myers, jackson’s first officer) or a player, that’s all it would take. either way, lacob and myers didn’t see it as sufficient grounds for termination.

    • “perhaps another owner will get a nice midsummer present like el cubano received when carlisle was fired”

      Perhaps. Atlanta is experiencing a “We Believe” playoff series at Indy’s expense.

      Another possibility: I saw Tom Izzo in the stands last night. Fantastic coach. Draymond’s mentor. Nobody’s idea of a jet-setter. What is he doing in Oakland? The next Warriors coach?

      • iguodala has already expressed his view publicly and to his ‘mates that they’re playing for their coach’s job. if lacob does have a conversation with izzo, it would be very difficult to keep jackson or the players ignorant of the meeting.

        • I don’t see the connection between Iggy’s statements and Lacob’s privacy, moto, but whatever.

          • if lacob wants to converse with izzo, he would wait until his team is eliminated to avoid distraction to his players and to maintain he supports both his coach and team at least until their season is over.

      • Alas,

        Izzo is recruiting this weekend at the AAU tournament in Sacramento (along with another hundred of his peers). Don’t believe you could pry Izzo away from East Lansing to work for Jackson’s current employers. His deal there is sweet indeed.

        • very few n.b.a. coaches are worth as much to their owners as the top college guys are for their schools. the butler coach had essentially a tenured position, and to start over as an n.b.a. rookie coach ainge had to make him one of the top paid. not at all lacob’s style ; he’ll want to make it look like the applicants are eager to work for him.

        • Jake,

          Thanks! I knew there had to be a compelling reason for Izzo to be out here. Getting from East Lansing to anywhere is a big deal. Another fine theory of mine blown to dust.

          Moto, I’m pretty sure Lacob knows how to maintain operational security.

  4. Last year, post season for Denver, Iguodala averaged 18 points per game, 50%, and 48% on 3s. . . . .

  5. cosmicballoon

    Feltbot — two quibbles.

    A) The only reason the Warriors were within two at the end of the game was because Curry hit two RIDICULOUSLY difficult threes at the end of the 4th quarter. The Warriors 4th quarter offense was all isolations — and Klay played extremely well taking the ball at Paul (and his 4 fouls) and to the rim against everyone else. I think Klay is going to have to score 30-35 points for the rest of the series because Iggy sure isn’t getting anything done on offense.

    b) Regarding Barnes’ time on the court: I noticed that the Warriors switched almost everything on defense. Barnes wound up guarding Griffin and D’Andre Jordan at times. I think Barnes body is the only thing keeping him on the court. His shooting stroke is so far off, and it’s because he has terrible fundamentals while getting into shooting position He rarely catches the ball ready to shoot because his footwork is so bad.

    • CB, thanks for bringing it up. Sometimes I feel like the only voice of sanity around here.

      Jackson didn’t “win” anything in game 3. He lost the friggin game.

      Besides, if he’s so clever, why not just win basketball games?

  6. I said after game 1 that the warriors top 5 players are all better than the clips 3rd best player. Still believe it.

    Unfortunately, the clips two best players have been the best players on the floor last 2 games. And Griffin and the not particularily-skilled DeAndreJordan are unmatched as raw athletes. Jordan has no one to check him on the W’s Current active roster. Its very unfortunate that the two Wubs who could most fluster these monsters, Bogut and Ezeli, are both MIA.

    When Steph is double teamed, its 4 on 3, our favor. GS needs to whip the ball around and get good looks. His teammates (ahem, ahem, Iggy) need to step up and make the other team pay. Blame Mark Jax all you want, but hes not out on the floor (OK, I realize Harry Barnes often is..)

    I’d be shocked if GS were crowned NBA champs. The only keepers on this team are Steph, Klay, and Draymond. Lee, Iggy, Bogut also pieces, but overall too pricey/dicey to not consider moving, if possible.

    • Agree with your ‘keeper’ list, except for Iggy and most certainly Bogut.

      The only thing Bogut brings to the table is ‘rim protection’ and material for Bob Fitzgerald. He could be replaced by a younger, injury free center for less money.

      To a lesser extent, Iggy is way too much $$$ for what he brings (if this season is his upside). Hopefully injuries will be rectified by next season, but he will be older.

      All of the keeper list is true IF Lacob is prepared to exceed the salary cap. To date, Joey has not shown a willingness. It is likely the Dubs will work to retain Thompson’s services when he becomes a restricted free agent. However, the Lakers, Mavs, NYK, and Portland etc. will be candidates offering large $$$/fame for his services.

  7. “Jackson made another significant adjustment in this game, limiting O’Neal to 16 minutes”

    The exact same amount of playing time he got in game 2. That’s a pretty subtle “adjustment.”

    “leveraging the Warriors’ great strength in the passing game”

    In actual fact, the Ws don’t generally pass the ball much – in the regular season, they had the fewest touches per possession in the league, by far. It’s also a fact that the Ws average the most turnovers (22) of any current playoff team. See my last comment in your last post for links on both topics. So I’m wondering about that “great strength in passing” thing. The Ws might be the worst passing team in the playoffs. How could 17 turnovers seem unusually high? It’s lower than their average.

    Smallball was Jackson’s “surprise” adjustment? It’s been their winningest strategy for two seasons now. If you want to credit Jackson for cleverness, you’ll have to do better than “he did what the Warriors always do to win games.”

    C’mon now, Felt, you’re not really trying here.

    • warriorsablaze

      I think what Felt means to say about passing being a strength is that we have good individual passers in the line-up on a nightly basis. 4 our of 5 of our starters (if we’re counting Bogut) are well above average passers for their position… and Klay has grown to be at least average as well this season.

      I would say the more accurate statement is that passing is our POTENTIAL strength… mitigated by an offensive system with limited structure, too many mismatch isos, and not enough transition opportunities.

      If we’re forced to go small due to injuries, it’s likely the ball is going to move a lot more than it did during the season.

      • WAB, this site’s owner seems to have checked out so I’ll go with you on this topic.

        Yes, San Antonio has proven that passing is a successful strategy. Teams that share the ball can be extremely successful against more capable teams who don’t play as well together.

  8. FB — I was among those who held out no chance for the Warriors after Game 2. Game 3 shows you are correct.

    The media is reporting a starting line-up of Lee-Green-Igudola-Thompson-Curry playing major minutes, which I think gives the Warriors a shot at it. Run Warriors Run!

  9. Have you guys heard the Donald Sterling tape yet?

    Calling it now: Warriors in 6.

    • Excerpts?

      • probably referring to the k.dwyer column on yahoo sports, “ball don’t lie”. sterling’s racism should be no surprise if anyone was paying attention to the litigation over the years that included lawsuits from his tenants in residential buildings. [neglected fire sprinklers, among other things]. alleged to have made declarations to the effect that he’d like to replace his African american tenants with Korean ones.

        • Corey Maggette exposed some of Sterling’s abuses, including, as I recall, bringing his girlfriends into the locker room while the guys were showering.

          Sterling has followed the model of Lacob and other owners. Relocate to a city that has great attraction to players (LA/Staples—his temple has already been built for him). Then get a few star players. Griffin at least appeared to be a franchise player at first, enough to draw other talent, and he is doing a lot of damage now. Paul, after the Laker deal was nixed, as acquisition that smells fishy to me.

          All I can say is, after decades of miserable stewardship, Sterling has been incredibly lucky. For some reason, however, I suspect he is going to heaven and I am not.

      • the dwyer column has a link to the site,, which has the tape.

  10. Feltbot, I suspect, is waiting for all the evidence to come in. By all appearances, Lacob is letting the playoffs determine whether or not he retains his current head coach, and the playoffs are not over. What needs to be done is separate the poker player from the cards he’s been dealt, then decide how well he has played them, which is not easy. Jackson’s coaching is not radically different from that of others in their playoff runs (which in many cases is driving me crazy, from the games I’ve seen), and none of them will make it to the final table either. The results may be ambiguous, and I’m not convinced this is a good basis for Lacob’s decision.

    I’m not at all sold on Jackson’s coaching, however, during the season or now in the playoffs. He’s contemplating lineup changes in the front court.

    From Straus/ESPN:

    When asked about his reasoning for pulling Lee, Jackson answered, “Defensive. Obviously we want to be able to post up David and make plays offensively. We feel like we can have success that way. But defensively, I thought things were happening a little too easily.”

    O’Neal and Green as starters? I don’t buy this at all defensively. They’d be better off mixing it up against Griffin, throwing him different defenders and different looks, and getting the rest of the team involved in defense with double teams, etc. Most, I question posting Lee up on offense. He’s better on the move, when he’s given open court, especially against the Clippers.

    Nice game by Dunleavy last night.

  11. Jackson committed coaching malpractice in this series by not playing Green on Griffin and throwing some different double team looks at Griifin earlier than after they got down by 18 in Q3. How you can not see that is mind boggling. Right, you just make a strategic decision to give up Game 2 so you don’t show your opponent your best offense? Come on.

  12. Speaking of dealt hands, here are my questions:

    1. Did Jackson have any input on the type of guards pursued and was he on board with Douglas and Nedovic?

    Douglas is a tough case because of his nagging injury at a critical time.

    2. Was it Jackson’s idea to make Bazemore another option at point? Was he the one who decided Bazemore should be developed there summer league (under Erman’s direction)? Why was Erman fired, btw?

    3. With Douglas down, was it his decision to keep trying Bazemore at point? Did he have other options? Not Nedovic.

    4. Was he the one who bailed on Douglas, leading to the acquisition of Crawford and Brooks? Was he on board with Crawford? Who was late realizing the subs couldn’t score?

    5. Was he the one who decided they needed Blake? Or did Lacob (I can’t believe Meyers does anything other than run errands), frustrated with all the turnovers, decide he needed a steady Eddie to settle down his team and coach?

    My suspicion—and guesses are all we got—is that Jackson had limited say in all of these decisions. He wasn’t dealt a good hand. But he must have latitude in playing his subs, and we’ve made strong, convincing criticism here. He didn’t bring them out.

    6. But here’s the biggest question: Was it Jackson’s decision to give Barnes major minutes this season (and possibly start him, as was suggested by preseason play, but then Barnes had his injury)? I can’t help wondering how different the season would have been if they had someone—anyone—other than Barnes, someone who could have shored up the subs and spelled the starters. Jackson would have done better, or maybe his coaching weaknesses would have been better hidden. But as far as Jackson’s ability to bring Barnes out, there’s not much you can do with a 7-2 offsuit.

    • On #6 and the 7-2 offsuit, note you cannot bluff in the NBA.

      A much more subtle question, whose answer most likely falls against Jackson, is whether he brought Crawford out or not, and it doesn’t look like he did, not in the system he played. But he didn’t have much time here, as Blake was not long in coming.

  13. While I’m at it, here’s another question, lucky #7:

    Was it Jackson’s decision to extend Bogut’s contract?

    We have every reason to believe the answer is no.

    8. Wouldn’t Bogut have played better this season if they waited and he were playing hard for a future contract?

    That’s a tough question, but it’s the kind of question asked in the NBA. In all fairness to Bogut, rib aside, I suspect he’s more banged up than we realize. His elbow is really funky and shooting remains a prayer. His offensive performance dropped dramatically during the season and they stopped running him on plays. Also he wasn’t as mobile the last half of the season.

    Or did he stop going to the basket to avoid going to the free throw line? Did his mood turn funky as well, and his motivation flag?

    I’m inclined to think the problem is injury, but either way his value is in question. And it’s a question we’ll be asking the next three years. Whoever coaches next, he’ll have to deal with Bogut and Barnes. And if he’s on the decline, Igoudala as well.

    This is not a good hand.

    • “While I’m at it…”

      At what, exactly?

      Bogut’s contract/health/free throws have nothing to do with this playoff series. Whether we assume/not assume Barnes’ PT is Lacob-driven, he’s logging significant minutes for the Ws and will apparently continue to do so. Right-here-right-now, Douglas and Bazemore are not Warriors players, and Nedovic never proved he was a player who could contribute at an NBA level.

      Try to focus on the moment, rgg.


      • Most of these decisions have great influence on the team now in terms of their development and cohesiveness, if you give them a moment’s thought. But the context for my comments is whether or not the team keeps its head coach, an issue in which you have interest, it appears. I’m also looking ahead.

        There are pills for those suffering from attention issues, Hat.

        • rgg, the matter at hand is the current playoff series. What is is. Address the what-is or accede to insanity.

          I’d be happy to discuss your anti-Lacob, anti-capitalist, anti-whatever agenda in the offseason. Better yet, I recommend psychotherapy. Until then, try to stay in the moment. Deal with what is.

          At least pretend to the have capacity to recognize what’s going on around you. You could probably fake it for awhile.

          • rgg, that’s really pitiful.

            Decades ago now, I owned a house in Ypsilanti, MI, too near a halfway house for mental outpatients. People who wandered the streets expressing themselves repetitively to the air.

            Perhaps those poor lost souls imagined they were having real, actual interactions with real people, over real issues. Perhaps they knew they were insane, and chose to accept it, and vaguely, dimly, hoped that the world would come around to their POV.

            I often had to speak to them, to protect my privacy. I didn’t want them at my windows. Many of them thought they were brilliant but merely misunderstood by those around them. EVERYONE around them.

            Tell me, rgg, is the “problem” here my incomprehension, or yours?

            Check in. What is is. Deal with what is.

    • Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right

  14. Feltbot: Still waiting for you to adequately explicate your defense of that CANCEROUS MORON Mark Jackson.

  15. Sterling = Kurtz (Heart of D). Think of all the ways this comparison works.

  16. Seriously, Hat. This is a critical blog. Criticism is found here you won’t find anywhere else, all of it relevant to the level of play and the product we receive. Some comments may be sharp, even exaggerated, but they are directed towards a set of ideas or people, not to commenters here, and they have been supported. It’s important this difference is understood. And Lacob and Jackson are public figures, open to critical and satirical sallies.

    So until our Boss and Lord Blogmaster sets guidelines or asks us to desist, I hope everyone will feel free to speak their minds and make the best arguments they can.

    I have fallen to your sloppiness—name calling—and regret it, but I haven’t crossed the line to censorship. Adios ad aeternum.

  17. Monta with another huge game. And from what I hear he’s killing it on defense, too, as I always believed he would if he got himself to a good team.

    It’s killing me not to be able to watch these playoff games…

    Had to watch the last Warriors game in a sports bar…

    • I caught most of the second half. His performance was masterful, especially closing out the game. He’s a Spurs beater. Monta is where he’s always wanted to be, and he looks at home.

  18. “The National Basketball Association deserves Donald Sterling now, deserves him more than ever. Once and for all, it needs to deal with him.”–mess-to-clean-up–not-chis-paul-s-and-the-clippers-181729322.html

    AW, and it’s good to hear him speak up again. I see moto has brought this to attention elsewhere.

    Sterling, as far as I can tell, has done nothing criminal. Nor has he shown anything the NBA has not known for decades. It’s not clear he has violated their code of ethics, if they have one. What he most reveals is how much his mind has been destroyed by the infection.

    The difference between Kurtz and Sterling, of course, is that Kurtz was aware of the temptations he succumbed to and his corruption, his ability to see the horror. This is what redeemed him in Marlow’s eyes when he compares him to the rest of the degenerate and feeble workers for the Company. Sterling, as far as I know, has not recognized anything and probably could not hold a conversation on ethics, corruption, or anything else.

    “While ignoring my suggestions and isolating me from decisions customarily reserved for general managers, the Clippers attempted to place the blame for the team’s failures on me,” Baylor said in the declaration. “During this same period, players Sam Cassell, Elton Brand and Corey Maggette complained to me that DONALD STERLING would bring women into the locker room after games, while the players were showering, and make comments such as, ‘Look at those beautiful black bodies.’ I brought this to Sterling’s attention, but he continued to bring women into the locker room.”

  19. SI breaks down the legal/NBA issues for Sterling:

    They would ask Sterling questions ranging from why he made racist remarks to whether his attitudes about race have in any way impacted the Clippers business model. The NBA’s primary interest is ensuring that no team conducts itself in ways that violates discrimination laws, whether it be in the hiring and retention of team staff to the sales of tickets and merchandise.

    Read More:

  20. “I was raised in this society and this is how you can expect me to be.”

    Part of a tattoo on Amare Stoudemire’s hand. Stoudemire’s father died when he was 12, and the family literally lived hand to mouth. Many other NBA players grew up in extreme poverty, and they have had to overcome obstacles few of us understand, certainly not me. Basketball was their way out.

    And they grew up in slums that the Donald Sterlings of the world helped create, in Sterling’s case, with his rentals that excluded people on the basis of race and his exploitation of them in the slum housing where he would rent to him. Amare’s quote applies to Sterling as he is very much a product of his world as well. I listened to the TMZ tape, and it is fascinating. It shows a mind that has become unraveled by all the contractions he has sustained all these years. Sterling has been living in a horror of his own making that he doesn’t even recognize.

    Anyone over 50 knows how much sports have helped reverse the course of discrimination in this country. It’s one reason why I react so strongly against all the hype, promotion, egotism, and general callousness and indifference in the NBA and our world. We watch sports in part because we believe people matter and their individual efforts should count for something. In sports we have an objective way to measure their efforts, not tainted by prejudice, the results we see in box scores. Sports are honest in ways much of our society still is not, and it is this integrity that needs to be preserved.

    It’s a shame the whole NBA can’t simply halt the playoffs until the Sterling matter is resolved and the NBA airs itself out. Excommunicating Sterling won’t solve all the problems. The lost revenues would provide tremendous incentive.

  21. This article gives a full rundown of Sterling’s history:

  22. 1st half game 4 — Gee Wiz, was that Nellie Ball? And the guys played like it was made for them. I mean it was just flowing. And guys making shots. And dunks. And intercepted passes. And fast breaks. Thompson’s an All-Star Wing.

    • the winning margin was largely determined by their margin in fast break points, and what the faster tempo did for the scoring of iguodala, barnes, and spacing the floor.

      • Van Gundy answered the question about the lineup. Green added quickness on both ends of the court. I like O’Neal, but he’s slow. A case could be made that the defense was better as well, considering his range and bball IQ. Green also helped in ball movement on offense.

  23. Drive home carefully, Feltbot, and get to work! You know what to do.

    Minor quibble: I can’t believe they can’t get (or couldn’t have gotten) the subs to run, especially with Green and Klay. Subs will always shoot better with a lead. We saw this with the Clippers—and they struggled when they were down.

    • And now the announcers are saying how Lee stepped his game up today. He didn’t step it up, they opened up the court for him.

  24. Looking slightly ahead of ourselves, may we thank the lord (preacher style) for Reggie Jackson.

    I like the chances of taking out OKC in a second round matchup after they have been gritted and grinded to within an inch of their lives. If the Warriors advance and walk into the Grizz without Bogut (and Ezeli?) may we all take cover now.

    • Very nice, EvanZ, and thanks.

      There’s no question that the Sterling revelation influenced events. Did I hear right, that they warmed up with reversed jerseys? That would only have kept it in mind when they needed to shed it. But if the Warriors had started slow again, it would have given them time to shake it off.

      One question is how the lineup will work on Tuesday. Another is why they didn’t do this sooner. They can’t afford to play catchup. But the Clippers can be rattled if put in a hole.

    • MORE NELLIEBALL. More floor-spacing, ball-movement, open shots for the #SplashBrothers. More 40 point 1st quarters! Game 5 is our shot. The Clippers are nervous going home, and we’ve gotta take advantage. Warriors in 6. I love our new starting lineup.

    • Do I even need to recap after this? Nice job EvanZ, and thanks.

      I am currently 50 miles from a computer and in celebration mode, if you know what I mean. So getting a recap up tonight is as big a longshot as the 99% made the Warriors in this series after game 2.

      What a beautiful, beautiful basketball game. This is why we watch.

    • Great article EvanZ, enjoyed it every bit.

      One thing that to be noted is about dubs pace with small team. They attempted only like 74 shots, pace akin to a Memphis team. Warriors didn’t need higher pace in this game because of shooting efficiency but think, they need to attempt more FGs to score like yesterday and to win.

  25. Wouldn’t even know where to start in terms of predicting game 5..

    Racism= ignorance and its a sad aspect of society. The person on the tapes sounded like a tired, old, possibly impaired man, egged on by someone with a bit of an ax to grind.

    I’ve had plenty of “private’ conversations I wouldn’t want broadcast TMZ.

  26. The national announcers made a big deal out of Klay fouling out — critized him for it; ” he’s too important to take those fouls”, etc.

    To me, Klay was saying ” I don’t back down from anyone, under any circumstance, screw the fouls”. Klay and Dray paved the way.

    And it was infectious. Pretty soon JO was diving on the floor for a loose ball. And especially Iguodala and HBarnes were driving to the rim, blocks be damned.

    And did you seen DGreen not give an inch to that whinning, flopping Paul? No doubt Paul is tuff — Green stood right over him on the out-of-bounds Paul foul, and Paul backed off. Paul could tell that was that –there is no play with Green.

    And Jackson and Lee and Barnes complained perciferiously. Good job! And it worked. The Warriors got some calls going their way.

    How in the world Jackson could not figure this out eariler, when The Felt Meister, Hat, RGG, Moto, and others right here on this forum realized it from Day 1!

  27. 1 more observation, if you will bear with me.

    I believe it was recommended on this forum for HBarnes to fake a 3, take a dribble in and shoot a 2 J. He did that… swish. And to stand in the corner to recieve a pass and take the 3 from there…swish.

    Of course, both recommendations assumed running the floor and ball movement…swish.

  28. Interesting interview with Draymond after the game. He said the starting lineup change was JON’s idea, and JON sold it to the coach.

    The Warriors have always had the ability to beat the Clippers or anyone else. They needed to convince their coach to let them do it. That makes betting on the Ws a whole different kind of gamble than it is for most pro teams.

    Feltbot, was Sunday’s game a “throwaway” for Doc Rivers? Why or why not?

  29. An interesting comment from Doc after the game too. He said that the Ws going small was not a new thing. The only difference was that the Ws started with it this time.

    In other words, for once, the Ws started the game with their best lineup and best offensive strategy, rather than starting with an early disadvantage, as in previous games.

    All that is obviously true enough, but it doesn’t account for the Ws awesome execution. Doc said that the Ws won more than their share of hustle plays. They got all the 50-50 balls. It’s no coincidence. The Ws put all their speed on the floor, with a 100% hustle guy in place of hobbled old JON.

    Simmons/Rose have what they call a No-Stats All Star team. They should make Draymond captain.

  30. Much of the series the Warriors have played as if their first priority is to contain the front court, Griffin obviously and especially. Jackson keeps repeating that defense should fuel their offense.

    But that’s not playing to Warrior strengths and it’s letting the Clips dictate the game. What they should be doing is making the Clips concerned about the Warrior’s ability to score and put them in a hole. I.e., playing their game and playing to win and not just contain.

    Last night:

    The point is not that Curry got hot, but that he finally got open looks and higher percentage shots. And did so continually, so he could get into a rhythm.

    Lee did not step up his game. They played a game that opened up the court and kept the Clipper defense guessing with their passing. This allowed the playmakers to make plays and Lee to work with an open court, where his quickness is an advantage.

    There were fewer turnovers in the first quarter because they were able to move the ball and find open players. In part because of the strategy, in part because they had another good playmaker on the floor in Green.

    I’m not sure the defense wasn’t stronger. Green adds range, aggression, and mobility. He will contribute to faster team defense that reacts more quickly throughout the court. Griffin scored less, and I’d have to watch the game again to figure out why. With the Clips a bit off and rattled, you’d think this would have been their first priority, posting up Griffin for sure shots. Green had a hand here, obviously, but were there more double teams?

    They won the rebound battle, btw.

    In fact the Warriors have won the rebound battle all four games. This is not to say that Bogut isn’t missed and it needs qualification.

    The Warriors are a team who play best as a team. Focusing on isos and individual matchups only goes against their identity and their strengths.

    And we can only hope Jackson sees this now, even though he’s seen something similar all season.

    The series will most depend on the bench, our critical weakness. Praise to Barnes for knocking down his shots. I can’t believe they can’t get more out of the rest of the subs, that they can’t push the pace as well.

    • Excellent summary of the game, rgg.

      If we go by the Clippers’ shooting %, the Ws defense last night was stronger than in previous games. Rebounding, shooting, ball movement and turnovers were also all improved.

      Perhaps the most telling stat: DG was +33 on the game, JON -15. As flawed as simple +- is as a measure of individual performance, the difference between those numbers falls far outside any possible margin of measurement error. Between DG and JON, DG was clearly the more effective player.

      I won’t say DG was “better” than JON. That’s as much a philosophical question as anything.

      Until last night, MJax has always seemed to want to score “basketball philosophy points” first, and wins second. From a “classic basketball” perspective, JON might be “better.” He’s a great guy, a huge load, and a highly competent “classic C.” A “better” (classic) center than Green could ever be.

      But playing Draymond in JON’s place was clearly more effective for the rest of the Ws team as it’s currently constructed.

      Last night, anyway.

      • Rivers did make an adjustment 2nd. half which slowed the Warrior attack—moving Jordan weak side? I’ve forgotten. Anybody know? So the test will be how Jackson counters that. You know Rivers will come up with a new game plan tomorrow.

        • Rivers certainly does have several possible counter-moves.

          In Rivers’ place, I give MBarnes more minutes, assign him to Curry 100% on D, and have him stand in the corner on O. Work to get shots for Griffin, Redick and Paul. Have Paul emphasize collecting fouls over scoring.

          That could work. Playing to a straight-up smallball matchup won’t work for the Clips, not against the Ws. Smallball is the Ws’ strength, not the Clips’.

  31. The Clippers are still a raw team of odd pieces. They can be rattled, which is our best shot. Loosening the reins, however, is not in Coach’s nature.

    Hopefully our Boss will weigh in when he wakes up.

    • I don’t know, rgg. Many people felt that the Clips should have ceded yesterday’s game in protest to their owner. That puts the players, people with a professional, financial, stake in their personal public perception, their money-earning reputation, into a tough spot. It’s a serious distraction.

      It’s not clear how much of yesterday’s game results arose from Sterling’s assholism. From a purely basketball standpoint, the Clips are a fantastic team, and they have a very savvy coach. They’ll get over the distraction. Now that MJax has finally ceded to basketball reality and started his best lineup, the rest of this playoff series is up in the air.

  32. Last thought—the reffing was bizarre last night and affected both teams. I can’t decide who more. We’ve seen guys banging without calls in the other playoff games. Some of the calls against Klay were just bizarre. I suggest he get a red cape and maneuver that, then let opponents pass with a sweep and shout Ole!

    Reffing should be different tomorrow.