Game 4 — Warriors 118 Clippers 97: The Sins of the Past

I hate that I have to lead with Donald Sterling’s idiocy after a game like this one. Hate that it’s the major storyline describing the Clipper’s failure to win this game. 

But it deserves to be. This is a major moment in American history, a uniquely American moment. But also a teaching moment, one that I  believe will ultimately contribute to the positive changes already occurring in our society. This is not a step back, but a step forward.

Anything else I could say on this topic, Marcus Thompson and Scott Ostler have already said better. It’s on the owners, and their commissioner, not the players, to clean up this mess. To set an example. To lead.

And there is zero chance that you’ll ever see Sterling’s face at a Clippers game again. He’s finished.

On to basketball. And the glory that was this game.

6-8, 6-6, 6-6 across the front line.

Fastbreak basketball. Transition threes.

Spreading the floor, with five shooters. Pick and roll. Alternating the point of attack, with gifted point forwards.

Unleashing the gifts of your superstars.

On defense, utilizing long and gritty wings to defend the big men. Switching every pick. Disrupting, swarming, stealing. Running the other way.

Seamless basketball. Positionless basketball. Transcendant basketball.

What’s it called?

Joe Lacob calls it “the sins of the past.”

Me, I call it Nellieball.

And the truest expression of this fabulous Warriors roster, with its Stephen Curry and David Lee core.

Mark Jackson: He started the adjustments in Game 3. In this game he perfected them.

1) Smallball: Replaced Jermaine O’Neal in the starting lineup with Draymond Green. Everything that follows flowed from that major decision.

2) Tempo – We heard him in the huddle urging his team to push it, and we saw just that on the court. The Warriors ran after almost every rebound, and wasn’t that a welcome site? And the quicker Warriors shut down the Clippers fastbreak in turn. 27 fastbreak points, to 8.

Did you happen to notice how many opportunities Curry got in the open court?

Happen to notice how Iggy’s game blossomed?

Did you see the best running center in the NBA, David Lee get out on that break and finish?

Glory, glory, hallelujah. Where in the world has this bee… Oh stop it, feltbot. It’s here now. Rejoice!

3) Point-Iggy and Point-Klay: There was less static high post in this game. Iggy and Klay attacked the rim out of pick and roll. With glorious results.

4) Double-Teaming Blake Griffin: I have been saying for some time that Draymond Green isn’t big enough to start against frontline power forwards, right? That he has gotten flattened, and will continue to get flattened, by Blake Griffin in the post? So did this game prove me wrong?

Not really.  Because I made those comments in the context of what I knew about Mark Jackson’s system. All season long, Jackson has REFUSED to double team. Not anyone. Not ever. All part of “remaining true to our principles” or “true to the process” or somesuchamabob.

And what we have seen all season long, due to Jackson’s rigid adherence to these defensive principals, is very large men relentlessly backing down David Lee and Draymond Green, banging them back for an interminable 5 seconds or more, with multiple dribbles, while no other Warrior made a move to give help.

If Mark Jackson had continued with this defensive scheme, then yes, Draymond Green would have gotten flattened like a pancake by Blake Griffin. Murdered. It was the instant double-teaming, as soon as Griffin put the ball on the floor, that allowed this matchup to work so well, and for so long.

This is exactly the same way that Don Nelson made it work at power forward with Chris Mullin, and Vincent Askew, and Eduardo Najera, and Adrien Griffin, and Al Harrington, and Matt Barnes, and Corey Maggette, and Kelenna Azubuike, etc. Remember? If you’re willing to rapidly double team the low post, you can successfully use a wide variety of small forwards and tweeners at power forward.

Back then it was called “gimmick defense” by Tim Kawakami and Adam Lauridsen. Because back then Nellie was ahead of his time. A madman, loathed and hounded by the ignorati.


Nellieball is no longer a gimmick. It’s the rage of the league.

Because it wins.

5) Switching the Pick and Roll: Playing with smaller, quicker players allowed the Warriors to switch everything on defense, which was very tough on the Clippers offense.

It’s particularly annoying to Chris Paul, when he runs the pick and roll and comes face to face with…

Draymond Green.

Timing: Note that Mark Jackson made these adjustments in Game 4. I’ve seen a lot of commenters (and bloggers) wondering why it took him so long in this series to get to these seemingly obvious adjustments. Here are several possible reasons:

1) Because it took time for Jermaine O’Neal to prove ineffective. (I think he’d be better in a cross-match against Griffin).

2) Because Jermaine O’Neal came to Mark Jackson and suggested this move! (I don’t find this flattering to Mark Jackson, if true.)

3) Because Jermaine O’Neal has worn down. (This seems quite likely given his history, and the fact that he suggested the move to smallball.)

4) Because Draymond Green proved over the course of the series, in short minutes, to be effective against Griffin.

5) Because David Lee has been unable to keep Griffin out of the lane with single coverage. (I think his hamstring injury might have something to do with this.)

6) Because now, Draymond Green and David Lee are as fresh as possible with the series half over, and the Warriors can take the series in only two more games of smallball. Thus maximizing their chances of surviving the series uninjured.

7) Because now, Doc Rivers has only ONE GAME to adjust to this surprising shift in Warriors tactics. One game, game 5.

Because if the Clippers lose Game 5, and the Warriors get back to Oracle up 3-2, then ooh baby.

Do you think I’m giving Mark Jackson too much credit with these last two reasons? Perhaps I am, especially given what I viewed as his utter obtuseness during the regular season. And the fact that this move apparently occurred to Jermaine O’Neal before it occurred to him.

But regardless of whether Mark Jackson’s timing of this move to Nellieball was calculated, or inadvertent and dictated by desperate circumstance — or suggested by his players — it just so happens that he has gotten every single thing in this series exactly right, at exactly the right moment.

Mark Jackson is killing Doc Rivers.

Curry: Was his offensive explosion a result of him simply deciding he needed to score more, and asserting his will? Or was it a result of Mark Jackson changing his offense to get him open looks? I’m going to quibble with the mainstream narrative here.

In game 4, as in game 1, Stephen Curry simply made the best basketball play, according to his superstar talents. He took what the defense — and Mark Jackson’s offense — allowed him to take.

In Game 1, it was the pass. In game 4, by virtue of Mark Jackson’s myriad adjustments, it was the shot.

Nellieball got him open looks. The transition three. The transition three-fake, and layup. Curry’s impossible to guard in the open court.

Point-Iggy and Point-Klay got him open looks. It’s impossible to double team Curry when he’s off the ball, and the floor is spread, and Iggy and Klay run pick and roll and get into the lane.

Iggy: Mark Jackson’s adjustments had a similarly transformative effect on Iggy. He’s a great player in the open court.

And a much better player with the ball in his hands, than off the ball. 9 assists in this game! (I stick by my Iggy-meter: if Iggy gets 6 assists or more, the Warriors win.)

His offensive aggression in this game was wonderful to see. Particularly getting to the line, which he has shied away from all season long.

Jarrett who?

A note on his defense: I don’t believe any of the Clippers shooters, Redick, Crawford or Paul, actually made a jumper over Iggy in this game. His closeouts are phenomenal.

Green: One of the things that makes Green such an effective defender of Griffin — and so fascinating to watch — is the way he attacks Griffin’s dribble. Griffin can’t even turn to face up, without Green getting a hand on the ball.

And when Blake turns his back, and starts to back down… that’s when the double-team strikes. Curry from the blindside, stealing the ball and looking upcourt….

It didn’t look at all from the boxscore like Draymond had a good game offensively. But his genius and his unselfishness were everywhere on display. Great screens, as we all know. But also a fabulous ability to see the open man, and get him the ball in an instant. A master of the hockey assist.

Klay: But for the fouls, another great floor game. 5 assists, several off the dribble, in pick and roll.

5 rebounds. Did you happen to catch that fabulous Rodmanesque rebound over Matt Barnes? Reached over, palm up, tipped it back to himself.

I know you saw that vicious, two-handed, FACIAL over Big Baby. Could Reggie Miller do that? No, nor many of the other things Klay does: defend, rebound, create for others. Something to think about.

About those fouls. Mark Jackson trusted him to play through foul trouble, and Klay let him down. I disagree with those who think he didn’t deserve them. Yes, Jamal Crawford cleverly hooked his arm on that drive. But Klay was beat on the play, and in position to get snookered. And on those offensive fouls, Klay clearly extended his arm to ward off.

I think Klay needs to make an adjustment when he expects contact on his drives. His current mentality is to dodge the brunt of the contact, and get the shot off, a la Curry and Monta. I think that’s wrong. Klay should take it straight into the contact, make sure of the foul, and THEN try to get the shot up. He needs to man up, and take that hit. He’s big enough to play that way.

Like James Harden, another guy who gets to the hoop on craft and guile, not blazing speed. Klay could learn a lot from watching tape of Harden, a guy who induces fouls at the basket at a league-leading rate.

Lee: Was relatively quiet offensively. Not featured as much in the pick and roll. But like Draymond Green, simply a fabulous facilitator.

Gets to feature his running ability at center. Got a fastbreak dunk, a regular feature of his time on the Knicks.

And did you see what he did to DeAndre Jordan on defense? Unlike Bogut, he’s very good at walling Jordan off from his favored alley-oops. In some matchups, quickness is better than size.

You’ll note that Lee’s defensive rebounds have gone down when he’s playing center. That’s not just a testament to Jordan’s rebounding prowess, and the size disparity. Lee’s role changes when he’s guarding Jordan instead of Griffin. Now he’s the guy who boxes out, not the guy who chases the rebound.

Barnes: He’s having a really tough time staying with the smaller Clipper guards he’s being asked to guard. Redick and Crawford are lighting him up.

He’s never seen a screen that he couldn’t get hung up on. I mean, it’s borderline ridiculous.

In this game, at least, he gave better than he got. It got a little dicey when Klay got into foul trouble, but Barnes stepped up nicely into the breach. Confident and decisive.

Nellieball favors his talents.

Jermaine O’Neal: -15 in 10 minutes, in a 20 point win?

He’s giving what he’s got.

The Series: Lost in the prevailing narratives of the Sterling effect, and the Nellieball effect, is the fact that the Clippers simply didn’t need this game. Yes, there’s a valid comparison between this Clippers’ game 4, and the Warriors’ game 2. There was definitely an element of give up in the Clippers’ performance, that would have been there regardless of the external drama.

On paper, the Clippers remain in control of this series. All they need to do is hold serve at home.

Against one of the most talented Nellieball teams in league history.

Finally playing Nellieball.

210 Responses to Game 4 — Warriors 118 Clippers 97: The Sins of the Past

  1. Nice shout-out by Evanz about you in GSOM regarding this team and Nellieball. I long ago stopped the Klay Thompson Watch because you had nailed that prediction too. Maybe you should start a cutting edge basketball blog or something :)

  2. Felt, assuming Don Nelson could somehow coach both teams simultaneously, would you take the ’07 team or this one?

    • Fun question, that deserves a well thought out response. I’m out right now enjoying this fabulous day. Now I’ve got something to think about…

    • OK. I’d probably have to pick the We Believe team, despite the fact that this team has Curry, the best player. Reasons:

      1) WB so much deeper and more versatile. Capable of being the best defensive team (Biedrins at center) as well as the best offensive team (Harrington at center). How does Lee stay on the court against Harrington? Zone?

      2) Baron Davis a Steve Nash killer. No one made Nash more uncomfortable. He’d be tough on Curry too.

      3) Who do you hide Curry on? Davis , JRich, or Jackson? Major problem no matter which. BD destroyed smaller guards in the low post.

      4) WB has no similar matchup problems. They weren’t like this Clippers backcourt. Easy for them to match up size with size on the wings. Klay in danger of getting shut down by Jackson.

  3. Sterling has millions. Although his reputation in the toilet and given he can’t regain it, all that remains is his legacy. he can make his few remaining years meaningful by resigning from the Board of Directors and providing that a substantial portion future profits primarily going to fund worthwhile projects for the poor in Southern California. Better than selling to another fat cat. If he will do so, we’ll see if the NBA will allow him to be so altruistic. Doubt it.

    Still can’t believe US supported overthrow of elected government in Ukraine and now calling it legitimate, a government now led by prime minister who is a fascist banker who obtained power with Nazi right-wing support. Thanks US mainstream media from hiding these facts from the public.

    Go Warriors!

  4. the team owed this one to fans like you Prof. Rubin, and to Nelson. the preacher has taken ‘players’ coach’ to another level this post season. he assimilated the d-leaguer armstrong’s variation for the screen and roll, and now he waited for el Viejo o’neal to confirm he truly is too slow and immobile, causing the ruin of spacing on offense in particular.

    the local media and some partisans are attempting to cast o’neal as some wise old hand ; fans have to construct and maintain their fantasies. o’neal thought it was necessary to tell green not to disappoint him and his coach.

    • cosmicballoon

      El Viejo! Haha! I’m rooting for the guy. Any narrative the media wants to tell, I’m for. Regardless of what anyone says, he has certainly helped fill a leadership void in the locker room and has helped negate Bogut’s aloofness. I’m about 90% sure that Bogut doesn’t particularly care what his team does as long as he’s getting paid. O’Neil has stated over and over again that all he wants to do is win. Bogut does try hard when on the court, but his leadership is only felt while directing the defense. O’Neil has been a vocal leader and I think that has particularly helped Klay who is just learning how to put two sentences together while on camera this season.

      Best of 3. GO WARRIORS!

  5. Sublime, Feltbot.

  6. This belongs to the Hmmmmm Department:

    “If it was me, I wouldn’t come to the game,” Jackson said Monday. “I believe as fans, the loudest statement they could make as far as fans is to not show up to the game.”


    He means the game Tuesday. Wouldn’t that affect the outcome in Warriors’ favor? Shouldn’t fans boycott games at Oracle as well, including the one yesterday?

    This one is Doc Rivers’ call all the way.

    • To his credit, he did include Warriors fans (the only fans who would ever listen to him anyway) and he clearly made it about the ticket sales. It’d never happen, but it’d be pretty fascinating to watch Game 5 televised from an empty stadium.

      As far as having any advantage, I think the Clips are gonna come out with fire regardless, but it’s important to note that Clippers practice was called off. And no media attention has cast a light on the amazing Nellieball performance and the +33 Draymond Green… so I don’t know if they’re gonna have the proper adjustments. If Warriors starters can get rollin’ early and stay out of foul trouble… I predict the kind of victory that refocuses the narrative of the series back on basketball and the fact that Jackson is winning the coaching duel.

      • I found his comments lame, if not questionable, especially for a man of the cloth. At any rate, one thing is certain: Jackson has been upstaged in his mission to save his job.

        Meanwhile, sponsors are pulling out, and State Farm is debating its TV ads (please, please, please). Commerce may have the greatest say in the matter.

        We can only guess who else Rivers is talking to, but we can assume big names such as Magic and his friends. In his public statements he is maneuvering to oust Sterling—and he’ll gain more power if he goes.

        It’s hard to believe the NBA can act that quickly, but a definite decision against Sterling could have a significant impact on the Clippers tonight and the rest of the series. Not getting one could well work against them.

        There’s no way any of us can understand the impact of the Sterling revelations unless we are NBA players, especially NBA players in the midst of playoffs, and black ourselves, especially older blacks who saw greater discrimination years ago.

  7. From Bill Simmons:

    “I thoroughly enjoy the Mark Jackson era — he’s the first NBA coach to model his entire coaching style after 40 years of sports movie speeches on YouTube.”

  8. Since Harrison Barnes is a popular whipping boy in these parts, I’d like to point out that in addition to making nearly all of his shots (which is nice, but everyone gets hot sometimes), he had 4 assists — which is particularly notable, given that the GSW offense didn’t run through him very often, to say the least.

    In fact, including his rebounds (both of which were contested/effort plays, rather than the ball falling into his hands) and his steal (busting up a fast break in tandem with D. Green), Barnes made 13 quality plays during the game. What makes this notable is that watching the online replay, Barnes only *touched* the ball 18 times (not counting a couple of times when he inbounded the ball or handed it to Curry after crossing halfcourt). That’s a pretty astonishing ratio of making good things happen.

    Not bad for someone who the proprietor here has called a “non-NBA player.”

    Speaking of which, has anyone noticed that Terrence Ross, the player drafted after Barnes (& for whom Feltbot has stated his preference), has been essentially useless in four playoff games for the Raptors?

    • It was nice to see Barnes do well, but part of the credit goes to the Ws offense. Barnes didn’t have to dribble much, and with everybody else freewheeling he got some really, really open looks. Hopefully the coach will get Barnes opportunities like that in the future, instead of making him try to create his own shots.

      Other than that, Barnes has been consistently awful all season, Swopa. This month he has shot even worse than Draymond. When he’s clueless on D too, it’s hard to see Barnes as a great asset to the team.

      Be honest: don’t you kinda dread it when Barnes has the ball with a live dribble?

      • cosmicballoon

        Part of the credit should go to the Warriors running an offense that suits him, and the other portion of the credit should go to Barnes himself. For some odd reason, he has played harder in the playoffs the past two seasons. He is actually attempting to make hustle plays and to rebound the ball.

        Weirdly, he matches up pretty well with the Clippers 2s and 3s except for Crawford. Also, his quickness does allow him to switch screens and be in the correct position out on the perimeter. As Feltbot pointed out in this post, Barnes gets caught up on every screen. Switching suits him well and allows him to easily guard the next player. It’s killing the Clippers that D’andre Jordan can’t run P&R. He would punish the Warriors underneath if he could do something besides dunk.

      • I react with varying degrees of nervousness/dread whenever any W’s player besides Curry has the ball with a live dribble. :)

        But you kind of missed the specific point of my post, which is that Barnes didn’t just hit shots — he made quick and correct *decisions* nearly every time he touched the ball. I hate those ball-stopping isos as much as anyone, but now he (and Klay) are reaping the benefit of seeing options and attacking more quickly.

    • Kobe was also useless in his first playoff series. Although I’m surprised to be hearing of Ross’ defensive deficiencies. I thought defense was his calling card. It’s the chief reason I prefer him to Barnes.

      I notice that, like almost every Barnes partisan, you avoid discussion of his defense. As awful as Barnes can look offensively (when guarded), it is his defense and rebounding that are the main source of my low opinion of his worth. If he doesn’t improve dramatically at that end, then yes, he’s a non-NBA player.

      This phrase, “In fact his rebounds (both of which…” made me smile. To call Barnes’ rebounding inconsistent and disappointing would be an understatement.

      • I’m didn’t mention Barnes’ defense because it was the ratio of touches to plays made that sparked my interest in replaying the game, but I did also think your question about whether any Clippers had scored over Iguodala was worth checking out.

        The results: Jamal Crawford did score twice against Iggy (once shooting over him, and once losing him on a crossover). Crawford also scored twice on Barnes (once shooting over him, and once getting fouled). So the perception that Jamal was locked down by one but destroyed the other may be mostly due to the different levels of scrutiny you’re applying.

        There was the one sequence where Barnes got hung up on screens twice in a row while chasing Redick. But Kobe had trouble getting around screens when he was Barnes’ age, too.

        Your mileage obviously varies, but although Barnes has much room to improve, I don’t think there’s any reason to believe he won’t do so. I don’t see the lack of effort or cluelessness that you and others claim (in contrast, say, to Blake Griffin… much of the W’s 1st-quarter explosion Sunday was due to exposing his poor positioning/rotations, especially on the perimeter).

        In fact, given the glaring bench needs for ballhandling/playmaking that caused the W’s to trade for Steve Blake & Jordan Crawford, I think it should be clear that defense is actually the main reason Barnes continues to play substantial minutes while Blake/Crawford don’t.

        • You might be right about last paragraph. But only because with Barnes they can switch everything, which is very handy when playing smallball.

          With Bogut in, Blake a much better defender of guards.

        • cosmicballoon

          Swopa, if you have some time, go back and look to see how many times Barnes had a negative +/- this season. One game is a small sample size. The opinion of Barnes on this blog is based on a significant body of (average/poor) work. Barnes did not earn the minutes he got this season, and those minutes were at the expense of other players on the bench, namely Draymond in the first half of the season. This year has been a disaster in Barnes actual production to this team. Much like last season, somehow he is turning in a solid postseason. Where was it all year long? Very frustrating.

          • I know Barnes had a rough season, including a mind-bogglingly long stretch where his confidence/rhythm were completely shot.

            Young players have growing pains. Curry certainly had his share. Barnes also had to deal with a changed role & teams being better prepared for him.

            All the more reason, IMO, to provide evidence that he seems to be figuring things out. Unless I’ve stumbled into a religious cult (where heretical views are not permitted) instead of a forum for basketball discussion & analysis.

          • Actually, let me retract that overly judgmental last sentence, and just say that (unless he’s shown a poor work ethic in practice or a taste or partying I don’t know about) Barnes probably hated his poor production this season as much as you did.

            So don’t let bitterness over the past blind you to the possibility that he might be overcoming the issues that were holding him back.

          • Swopa—

            Barnes got serious review here, extensive and supported, some time ago, everything from doubts on his scouting reports to serious questions about his fundamental skills to his ability to see the court and make decisions. There is too much he should have in place by now. Compare his learning curve with Klay’s—

            But I’m pulling for him. They’ll need his points.

  9. Erman fired for taping locker room conversations:

    This is bizarre.

    “Was he taping it for himself or was he taping it for management? That’s not known,” a source said. “But he had a lot of communication with members of the front office.”

    It’s just hard to believe he was taping it for the FO, especially since they promptly fired them. Then again, why did he tape the conversations? More likely, he found something questionable in the talk which motivated him, with some purpose in mind. His own advancement? Hard to believe.

    Or maybe he just lost it. Everyone is cracking up lately. Maybe TMZ will release the tapes some day and we’ll have another surprise of some sort. But I have to confess, I’m dying to know what was said.

    • Wow, this is incredible news. What kind of evidence was Erman attempting to gather? Religious discrimination in the workplace? Harassment of some nature? Who was he intending to play these recordings to, management or lawyers?

      Regardless, he didn’t think this through. Hard to imagine him being welcomed into any locker room after this.

      Scalabrine situation almost equally bizarre. What was this ostracization about? How could Jackson allow it to exist?

      • It explains Bogut’s tweet some time ago about the walls having ears.

        Was Erman listened to and brought into the group? Or maybe Erman just lost it and felt persecuted for reasons that do not merit scrutiny. He did look sharp, however, and had strong motivation and worked hard, apparently without effect.

        The picture of the locker room that has emerged is a closed place of restraint and insecurity, where it is difficult to stand apart or stand out or just speak up. Or make good decisions for the team. When assistant coaches speak in interviews for those 30 second infomercials, they are tentative and look nervous, as if Big Brother is watching.

        I’ll never feel good about Jackson or the organization until they bring in a full, competent, experienced staff who are able to speak up, where ideas are shared. And where a few cuss words are tolerated. The place sounds like a pressure cooker of indecision and reserve.

      • cosmicballoon

        Not only did he not think it through, it’s illegal, in California to tape someone or record a phone call without the other party’s knowledge.

        Secondly, what a little weasel. Who in their right mind, even if ordered by ownership, feels it is OK to be recording conversations that they are not a part of. If this is true, he stooped pretty far to try to burn someone. I would kick his little butt out of the organization, too.

        If this was the “culture change” that we were to expect when Lacob bought the Warriors, I’ll take Cohen’s idiocy. This almost certainly came from the top. I am glad I am not employed there.

      • Secretly taping private conversations is odd, and it seems ethically questionable to me, but not everyone feels that way. Documenting evidence for a court case isn’t the only reason people do it. Some just want to make sure they don’t forget things.

        No matter what Erman’s reasons (assuming this “revelation” is true), he should have known better than to tape stuff in a firm with the unusually high concern over security exhibited by the Warriors. That would have been some really bad judgment on his part.

        Erman has landed on his feet, with Boston now, which suggests that Ainge is OK with whatever Erman did to get fired by the Warriors. I wonder what that says about the Warriors, and how they’re perceived by other NBA teams.

    • “But he had a lot of communication with members of the front office.”

      It’s too hard to believe that Erman was under orders from the FO. After all, according to that source, he talked with them, which should have served their purposes of knowing what was going on and making a decision about Jackson.

      In Lacob’s defense, Erman represented the kind of strategist brought in to replace Malone, and he appears to have been the most knowledgable on the staff. Also Jackson early on refused the request he bring in a better experienced top assistant. Lacob’s hands are tied here. He can’t force Jackson to listen to his assistants or get along with them. And he can’t fire him for not having and managing a better staff until he has evidence.

      And if Erman was under order, they could have covered this one up, or tried to. Or did they feel they needed hard evidence to make whatever decision they were contemplating?

      In a sense, Lacob is to blame by not renewing Jackson’s contract sooner, as most in the media think fair. He has put Jackson under a lot of pressure. But he also has given him a free hand, as Jackson has nothing to lose now by staying apart and standing firm. If he wins enough and gets fired, it’s Lacob who will come under scrutiny by the press. And the timing of the Scalabrine demotion may not be coincidental. Both decisions came at a critical time, when the pressure was greatest, towards the end of the season, when there was question they’d even make it to the playoffs.

      Erman, most likely, felt isolated and alienated from Jackson. Also most likely he couldn’t have a say or give input. And maybe he wasn’t certain of his support from the FO, so left alone, he did the only thing he could think to do to protect himself. He felt desperate. Which doesn’t make a lot of sense, either, but I sense tension and desperation.

      This does not speak well of the organization at all, but I have to confess it’s Jackson’s name I have circled in red ink.

    • Also fascinating that Ainge rehired Erman. What possible explanation for this conduct could there be, that would satisfy Ainge?

      Was Erman working for the front office?

      • cosmicballoon

        Good old Boston connection. The Boston-Gs love affair should be a topic of your next article Felty.

  10. Cuban is concerned about what precedent might be set today:

    “Again, there’s no excuse for his positions. There’s no excuse for what he said. There’s no excuse for anybody to support racism. There’s no place for it in our league, but there’s a very, very, very slippery slope.”

    “In this country, people are allowed to be morons,” Cuban said. “They’re allowed to be stupid. They’re allowed to think idiotic thoughts.

    If the latter comment applies to anyone, it’s Cuban. Put the Warrior FO completely aside for a moment. There are a lot of other owners who should be concerned about exposure and review.

    Really, Sterling did nothing wrong according to any set of laws or regulations. He only accidentally got exposed for what anyone should have known who was paying attention, what was publicly and specifically made clear years ago. And the NBA should have been paying attention but turned its head and did nothing.

    Today should be an interesting day. Get your tape recorders out. Your tapes may come in handy later.

    • cosmicballoon

      rgg, you’re point about sponsors above is the most relevant. The league stands to lose millions, if not billions if they do not come down hard on Sterling. It has nothing to do with any laws being broken, but once the almighty dollar comes into play, the league will act accordingly to restore the economic prosperity. An interesting conversation after Silver makes his ruling is: What would David Stern do? I’m guessing Stern’s influence is going to have a large influence on how Silver’s punishment is worded and how it is doled out. It’s hard to follow a power monger like Stern, and Silver has the unenviable job.

    • warriorsablaze

      It should definitely be interesting. You are right that he has broken no laws (unlike his girlfriend, who was breaking wiretapping laws by recording the conversation), but he most certainly has broken some code of conduct NBA bylaws. Players get fined and suspended all the time for such transgressions.

      I saw some article yesterday outlining some ambiguous language in the NBA constitution that– if interpreted in the right way– could lead to his removal. It’ll be interesting to see how far the NBA and Silver are willing to push this.

      The Erman stuff is just bizarre. I doubt we’ll ever find out the details, but I never thought we’d even find out this much, so who knows?

  11. Perhaps not curiously, it’s AW’s tweet that announced Erman’s move to Boston:

    Looks like Erman landed out on top. I am relieved. Everything about the guy looked good. I hope the best for him.

    And the Warriors lost another good head.

  12. From a Celtics blog:

    “He was taping everything,” one source said. “Taping pregame speeches wouldn’t have been that bad, but he was taping guys just sitting around talking in the coaches’ office.”

    A Yahoo! Sports report paints Erman’s firing in a slightly different light. According to the report, Erman’s termination “stemmed from a single taped conversation of Warriors coaches who had been working to undermine his game preparation and relationships with players.”

    Not good.

    • And this:

      “Darren worked with us for four years and he was one of the hardest working, most competent and intelligent members of our organization,” Ainge told Yahoo! Sports. “We welcome him back.”

      • This just makes me sick. I don’t know if he is head coach material, but Erman has to be the real deal.

        Why on earth didn’t the FO just send him aside, like Scalabrine, until they could sort this mess out?

        • erman’s transgression was qualitatively more serious than scalabrine’s, because it was illegal, and violated personal trust. it sounds like he was making the recordings to protect himself. we’re getting a picture of a poorly led, poorly managed coaching staff, but it’s what lacob should expect from hiring jackson and malone (who very likely took care of the ‘detail stuff’) inadequately replaced. malone’s jobs were split up between p.myers, hunter, and erman.

    • Just to weed out the spin here, “…stemmed from a single taped conversation…” means, the one time he got caught.

  13. Staples will be a madhouse tonight. Advantage Clippers.

    • warriorsablaze

      Yup… and as Felty just said on Twitter, wouldn’t be surprised to see whistles not exactly going our way tonight. Even if you don’t buy any conspiracy angle, the refs are humans too and may feel some affinity for the Clippers struggle…consciously or not.

      • SterlingSucks

        Clippers fold tonight – signaling to Sterling they will not play hard until he leaves.

  14. From Tom Meschery:

    “We human beings will be color blind to race only when we look at each other’s skin color the way portrait painters do. They pay more attention to undertones, chroma, high lights, and shadows than the skin’s primary color, which is obvious. And all color is beautiful.”

    His Hakeem the Dream poem is well worth reading.

  15. More from AW:

    “Erman had been the architect of a top-three NBA defense as an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors until his termination three weeks ago.

    “Before agreeing to rejoin the Celtics, Erman had job opportunities that included rejoining Doc Rivers with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources said.”

    • cosmicballoon

      Funny thatthe Warriors started playing Nellieball about the time of Erman’s departure.

  16. If two assistant coaches were marginalized and rendered ineffective, as strongly seems to be the case, and then expelled, which is definitely the case, you have to wonder how it affected the players, their relationships with those and other assistant coaches and with each other. And you have to wonder if by being put into a position to choose allegiance to Jackson, as they have made public, willingly, they haven’t compromised themselves individually and together as a team.

    This is not how a team is supposed to work.

    • Fred Hoiberg would be a bad choice, Felt?

      • Any rookie coach would be a horrible choice.

        Lacob has clearly proven more interested in preserving his position of power, than in hiring competent NBA professionals who might disagree with him.

  17. No one else has an opinion on EvanZ question @2 ?

    • Curry > B Davis

      Thompson = Ellis (different strengths)

      Iggy > SJax (different strengths, but Iggy far better locker room)

      Bogut/Lee/JON/Speights >>> Biedrins/Harrington/BWright/Patrick O’Bryant/K Perovic. No contest.

      Draymond > M Barnes

      H Barnes < M Pietrus

      Today's Ws team has a stronger roster, starting with Curry. Perhaps more importantly for Nelson, today's team would give him more strategic options than the We Believe team did.

      I think Nelson would have had a lot of fun this year as head coach of the Ws.

      • I didn’t know Bogut was available, but if he was, Biedrins would run him off the court, like he did to Dampier. Biedrins fit the WB roster much better than Bogut fits his.

        What style of basketball would the Warriors play with Bogut under Nellie? What could they play?

        Interesting side note: Biedrins and Bogut’s stats in their primes are virtually identical. Check it out.

        Ellis was a reserve for that team, as was Barnes. JRich the playoff starter. I’ll take JRich being guarded by Curry, over Klay being guarded by Jax (the probable matchups).

        How many championships has Iggy won? Let alone was the MVP of? (Jax was Duncan’s choice). How many playoff upsets? Playoff wins?

        Jax averaged 20-5-5 for the Warriors in his prime. Ripped the heart out of a league MVP, future World Champ and Hall of Famer defensively, in one of the greatest playoff upsets in history. I think he could put a 30-8-8 on this Clippers backcourt, while doing the same or better defensive job. AND get to the line and hit his FTs in crunchtime.

        Jax all day for me.

      • Baron was one of the top 10 players in the league according to RAPM during those seasons.

        Not sure which way I’d go, but I imagine Nelson would have current team play about as optimally as it could. Would be fun to watch.

    • won’t contest the findings of the authority on nelson-ball. we’ve only seen the current squad go uptempo for limited intervals, for one thing. with the physical condition of lee, bogut, iguodala, and the very limited bench (after green, just barnes and o’neal, the remainder variable and unpredictable), the reserves, particularly wings like ellis, m.barnes, pietrus, probably give the retro squad a decisive edge. led by davis and jackson, they probably have the edge in competitiveness and fire, as well. green is the only one at present with a comparable attitude.

  18. Here is my big question: Once Erman’s job is secure, will Adrian Wojnarowski be free to write a piece on the GSW locker room woes? I sure as hell want to read it. And you know Erman has been talking to him.

    AW’s piece on Sterling is also good—he is perceptive:

    Mostly, he’s never loved paying white players. In that way, he has an absolute plantation prism with which he sees players: He always preferred long, strong, physical players. To him, that’s a basketball player: Big, black and strong.

    When Sterling became reluctant to honor Rivers’ sign-and-trade agreement for J.J. Redick, there was a belief race played a factor. As one league source said, “He thought it was too much to pay for a white player.”

    I’m reminded of the plantation owner in Django, who had slaves fight for his amusement. Sterling is not wholly alone here.

  19. The latest on Sterling:

    Commish bans Sterling for life.

    Sterling says the team is not for sale.

    This is going to be messy.

  20. Could this be one of the most watched games in NBA history?

    The stage is set for a great Warriors triumph!

    • rivers’ guys are very capable of finessing the officials into neutralizing green, thompson, lee with fouls.

      • My biggest fear. Also, what NBA ref has the heart to whistle Blake Griffin into foul trouble in this game?

        One more thought: Do you think the NBA would like to see this series go 7 games?

        Warriors are +7 in this game. If I felt they could get a fair whistle I’d be all over this line. As a veteran NBA watcher, though, I’m scared.

  21. for a dissenting and refreshing p.o.v. on the sterling affair, please go to J.Whitlock’s essay “Culture Clash” on

    • Very perceptive article, but overly pessimistic about the way our culture is changing, imo. At this point, this is very much a generational phenomenon.

      But THIS: “Warriors coach Mark Jackson, who called for Clippers fans to boycott Game 5, seems quite vulnerable to mob rule. Jackson is super-religious. He’s previously been extorted by a stripper he kept as a mistress. And some of the LGBT community views Jackson as homophobic.”

      As I tweeted a few hours back, is this a good moment to ask Mark Jackson his views on homosexuality and non-Christians?

      I’ll go further, could Kareem Abdul Jabbar have existed in Mark Jackson’s locker room? Yao Ming? Omri Casspi?

      And does it mean anything that the dysfunctionality in the Warriors locker room has split strictly along racial lines? Not just this year, but last year as well.

      • the failure of leadership reflected in the coaching staff after malone’s departure should rest with jackson and lacob, so the racial line narrative would fit if one of them is right and the other ignorant or wrong. events suggest that they are equally culpable, though his staff is obviously one of jackson’s primary responsibilities. are they at loggerheads, and differences in their culture contributed, probably, but incompetence is color blind.

        • I’m unclear on that “equally culpable” thing, moto.

          As I understand it, Jackson insisted on selecting his own staff. Even if some assistants came in at Lacob’s insistence (we’ll never really know), the performance of the coaching staff is solely the head coach’s responsibility. Isn’t it? Didn’t Jackson himself say it was?

          What’s Lacob’s responsibility here? Just asking for your POV, no interest in arguing. I don’t know any of those people, or care much, really.

          • lacob’s responsibility, at a minimum that we can verify, was setting up a staff with jackson, malone, erman and making sure we knew how clever he was to provide his ‘outside the box’, anti ‘re-tread’ hire jackson everything he needed to succeed. a tripod might be more stable than a bipod, but in the last days of the Roman republic the triumvirate assured instability, in our case lacob, jackson, malone.

      • z.lowe on has provided a bit more from erman’s position, as to why he resorted to illegal taping. erman felt he was being harassed by other members of the staff, had apparently heard that they belittled him to players. truly petty stuff involved, like moving his reserved parking space. lowe has a very interesting bit about jackson requesting west’s exclusion from practices. he’d probably heard west’s critique of isolation offense.

  22. This just in: Mark Jackson has requested that Jerry West be kept away from the team.

    • warriorsablaze

      Apparently Phil Jackson did the same to West when he came LA. Maybe West is a pest? :)

      • Somewhat the opposite – West is such an iconic figure, his presence can’t help but dilute the coach’s authority.

        That part doesn’t bother me much (though I know it will be a lightning rod for press speculation… I’m looking at you, Tim K.). The apparent sniping among assistant coaches is far more disturbing.

    • There were lots of rumors out of LA about Phil Jackson vs. West, but I don’t think West was ever banned from practices.

      Our coach has banned The Logo? Really? How could any bball fan ever find it in himself to do that? What’s next? Myers can’t go in the locker room?

      • Langston Hughes

        Maybe the Logo doesn’t like the Jackson Family, or anyone named Jackson? Whatever Lacob does, he should hire someone with a different last name.

        According to West’s soon to be released biography (as unearthed by Tim Kawakami), all it took was the 1999-00 season for Jackson to draw West’s ire:

        “So one of the problems I had with Phil was this,” West writes. “His office was right near mine and when he would arrive in the morning, he would walk right past and never even bother to wave or duck his head in to say hello.

        “He would later say that he felt the need to stake out his territory, that on top of that he was ‘a wack job,’ but I am sure it was more than that.”

        West compares Jackson’s attitude to Pat Riley’s reach for more power after winning titles as the Laker coach, but West suggests that Jackson’s display was a colder version to experience.

        “Phil and I had no relationship,” West writes. “None. He didn’t want me around and had absolutely no respect for me—of that, I have no doubt.”

  23. Another literary source for Sterling’s (other owners’?) behavior is Ralph Ellison’s “Battle Royal,” also found in his novel Invisible Man:

    It was in the main ballroom of the leading hotel. When I got there I discovered that it was on the occasion of a smoker, and I was told that since I was to be there anyway I might as well take part in the battle royal to be fought by some of my schoolmates as part of the entertainment. The battle royal came first.

    All of the town’s big shots were there in their tuxedoes, wolfing down the buffet foods, drinking beer and whiskey and smoking black cigars. It was a large room with a high ceiling. Chairs were arranged in neat rows around three sides of a portable boxing ring. . . .

    I could hear the bleary voices yelling insistently for the battle royal to begin.

    “Get going in there!”

  24. Oraclegate questions:

    1. Did Jackson have any say in the selection of Scalabrine and Erman, or was he forced to take them by the FO?

    2. If the latter, isn’t this a bad decision?

    3. But shouldn’t Jackson have made use of them anyway, being the easy going man of equanimity that he is? And being motivated to win, shouldn’t he have tapped their talents?

    4. Were Hunter and the others Jackson’s choice or Lacob’s?

    5. In either, were they vetted by both?

    6. Do we have any reason to believe they know what they’re doing?

    7. If not Lacob’s choice, wouldn’t this be a source of friction? Shouldn’t choices have been made satisfactory to both, who would work well with the team and contribute in vital ways?

    8. The coaching staff is a bit short handed now. If Jackson stays, do we have any reason to believe Jackson and Lacob can make good choices, that Jackson will listen to them and make use of their advice?

    9. If Jackson leaves do we have any reason to believe Lacob—

    I’ll put that one aside for now out of courtesy.

    10. Why oh why oh why would a man, Erman, who once worked for a prestigious law firm but left it to coach high school basketball, who is sharp and dedicated and is working hard, who has ambitions, do something that he knew was illegal—making tapes?

    • jackson’s association with p.myers go back to their days as players, and along with malone had the most experience working on other coaching staffs, so myers is both jackson’s guy and pretty essential to his operation. the first word about hunter’s hiring came from the usually reliable M.ThompsonII last summer, when he described jackson’s interest in hiring hunter.
      as you noted, erman isn’t naive, and resorting to illegal taping was probably a last resort and a sign of feeling isolated. he was probably confident his credentials speak for themselves, and that any future employer, once they heard his side of the story, wouldn’t hold it against him. seems like his hopes were answered by ainge.

      • Are Hunter and Meyers any good? They don’t inspire confidence on their brief tv appearances, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

        This you may not be able to answer—was Lacob on board with the two?

        • lacob was likely to give jackson more rope on hiring his own staff after their modest success last spring. we already knew they accepted jackson’s decision not to add an über-assistant to take malone’s spot, and the role was split between three coaches, myers, erman, hunter.

  25. “NBA coaching sources have maintained for weeks that the Golden State Warriors have strong interest in Kerr, should they elect to part ways with Mark Jackson after a 50-win season, given Kerr’s strong relationships with Warriors owner Joe Lacob, son Kirk Lacob (who works in Golden State’s front office) and Warriors president Rick Welts, with whom Kerr worked closely in Phoenix.”

    But it looks like the Knicks will get him first.

  26. One suspicion, not confirmed, is gaining traction by recent revelations, that Jackson couldn’t get along with Malone, either.

  27. We need some Charles Mingus today:

  28. Not recapping this game. Forced to watch from a sports bar again, with the expected damage, and got stuff to do tomorrow.

    Anyway, the adjustments have all been made, and I think we all saw what happened. Curry and Lee both had terrible games. (I think we’re going to learn later that Lee is injured, and got injected to play this series.) The fact that the Warriors were in this game to the end a testament to how close these two teams are in talent. If the Warriors had a bench that Mark Jackson would play, it would be a difference maker.

    I will be court side for Game 6.

    • concur, lee looks 25-30% below his peak. they’re not going to last longer than a game or two more, the bench with green starting can’t provide enough relief.

  29. I started watching on TNT, and saw the Star Bangled Banner—the guy was horrible—and the Clipper intros—tacky and dumb, like they were still in San Diego—and I thought: these people don’t deserve this moment. I later switched back to Comcast because I got tired of Miller ‘n Marv.

    And I really got tired of the announcers talking about turnovers, and the Reverend talking about the need to protect the ball. They didn’t need to protect the ball, they needed to move it. And obvious in the first half, they had to get it out of Curry’s hands more. He was just dribbling into trouble or into nothing. How many plays did they run with Lee up top? With Green and Iguodala, they had other options.

  30. I picked up AW’s Miracle at St. Anthony’s (where Erman worked for Hurley). Excerpt:

    He was the first teacher to arrive at St. Anthony in the morning, and the last to leave the neighborhood at night, after spending hours at the open gyms, picking Hurley’s brain and taking pages and pages of notes in his binder. He drove to North Carolina to watch Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams run practices at Duke and North Carolina one weekend in the fall, and stole off to the University of Connecticut to take notes on Jim Calhoun.

    Wojnarowski, Adrian (2006-01-19). The Miracle of St. Anthony: A Season with Coach Bob Hurley and Basketball’s Most Improbable Dynasty (Kindle Locations 1356-1359). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.

  31. I’ve doubted Klay in the past but he’s been a stud this series. A real team cornerstone, with Steph and Draymond.

    Todays game was competitive, kind of predictable, and , speaking of predictions, here’s mine:

    The series is goin’ 7 games

  32. Reluctant Good Knight

    Yeah! – exactly! – how ABOUT that dude who sang the Star Spangled Banner? I mean, thats exactly what Staples Center needed tonight: a white man with terrible plastic surgery singin’ it..

    I’m not surprised. It’ll be nice when the Clips aren’t riding the wave of moral righteousness (as its perceived by the body politic)…

    I’ll now draw the bath… and load the pistol… close of a long day…

  33. Anyone get a count of the number of iso’s the Ws ran last night? It felt like Barnes got about 60 of them himself, but I see he only took 6 shots. It’s amazing that Lee was 8-13 iso’d against Jordan. That’s not the way Lee works best.

    The team took 10 more shots overall in Game 5 than they did in Game 4, but they weren’t running or moving the ball well. Game 4: 27 fast break points. Game 5: 13 of them.

    The whole point of smallball is to move, move, move. Last night the Ws played walk-it-up half-court basketball with a small team, against a big team. The result was perfectly predictable. In Game 4 the Ws ran DA Jordan off the court. Last night: 38 minutes, huge damage.

    As usual, the Warriors 2nd unit was especially plodding. I wonder if that’s intentional on Jackson’s part, in an attempt to limit their potential turnovers. The pace is probably the main reason Bazemore and Douglas bombed here this year. Quick players glued to the floor by their coach.

    As a group the 2nd unit may have learned some set offensive plays, but we’ve never seen them. Steve Blake runs plays well, as proven in his years with the Lakers. But on the Ws Blake can only freelance with the rest of the 2nd unit. It makes him look terrible. I wonder if he dreams of Phil Jackson’s triangle at night.

    If Mark Jackson had an IQ to match his ego, we’d have already won this series. A useless buffoon. He thinks it’s the players and not the play. If that were true, teams wouldn’t need coaches at all.

    • cosmicballoon

      Clearly Doc made some adjustments to slow down the Warriors, but the Warriors also made some adjustments to slow themselves down — mainly relying on trying to post up on many, many possessions. It’s the antithesis of what this Warriors team should be doing — with much evidence on display.

      It’s amazing that MJax did not continue to double team Griffin hard whenever he got the ball in the post after so much success forcing turnovers in game 4.

      D’Andre Jordan was the difference maker in this game because Lee doesn’t use a pump fake. I’m fairly certain that Lee can beat Jordan, pump fake, and then get fouled almost every time. However, he never uses the pump fake underneath the basket.

      Thompson played a beautiful attacking game, but Curry decided not to attack the basket in this one. I wonder why. Maybe Curry is starting to wear down after all the heavy minutes for the past month.

    • I agree strongly re isos and tempo. Jackson regressed last night.

      Also annoyed by failure to utilize Jordan Crawford and Speights. Speights could be better than ONeal imo.

      And thought it was really dumb that he had Curry on Paul to close the 3rd Q. That 3 was a dagger, a momentum changer.

      Did anyone else think Curry’s face looked strange last night? He looked exhausted and drawn to me, like he had gotten no sleep.

      • Until just a few hours before game time, Curry had decided to put his basketball career on the line in protest over Sterling. That kind of thing is rough on a fella.

        • Curry’s plan to protest Sterling (along with the rest of his teammates) is a direct result of Jackson’s handling of the Sterling situation vs. Doc’s handling of it.

          Doc said his players were playing for themselves, to achieve their dreams regardless. Jackson said everyone should boycott the game.

          One of those coaches mentally prepped his players to give the game their all, the other presented his team with a moral/ethical challenge that could impact the course of their careers and their entire lives.

          One of those coaches focused his team on winning that game. The other forced them to decide whether they should possibly change the world.

          Both coaches were correct, in their way. The immediate matter at hand was a child’s contest played by grown men. A game. Doc went there, in a way that addressed both issues.

          But even extraordinary people rarely get the opportunity to make a difference in the entire course of human events. Give someone a lever to tilt the world, and a “game” pales to insignificance. That’s where Jackson went.

          Damn. Those kinds of choices are far, far above my pay grade. I guess I prefer Doc’s approach: Screw it all, I’ll do what I always wanted and you can’t stop me. But maybe that’s my little Warriors fan speaking.

          For better or worse, it’s also true that if Jackson’s team had boycotted the game, he’d be un-fire-able. And he didn’t have his team ready to win that game.

  34. Whatever happened to Curry’s walk-up 3?

    • cosmicballoon

      I watched that all game long. The Clippers did not allow him any breathing room over half court. However, Curry needed to turn the corner and attack the basket in order to beat that defense. Instead, the Clippers walled him off all game long –forcing him side to side. Then when he did get into the lane, they double teamed him and stole many of his pass attempts. Felty, Jackson had better make another adjustment because Doc got him last night.

    • Maybe not against Paul, but Curry can get that off against just about everyone else. And I don’t recall seeing it that much this season.

  35. cosmicballoon

    On a completely different topic, I went into a jersey store last night and asked the proprietor about the short-sleeved Warriors jerseys. He said parents bought a few for their kids initially, but they were not selling. He had one kids large left in stock and he was not planning to order more.

    I doubt we’re going to see those for very much longer in the league.

    • A no-brainer. Only women and young guys in great shape can wear those, and no one wants to wear something that tight anyway.

      One of the dumbest ideas ever. Although it was funny as hell to make Steve Blake look like he was running around in his underwear.

  36. A core of good players who play well together and are motivated can make it to the playoffs. But unless you have one of exactly two dominant players now, who still aren’t enough, you need a lot more.

    And the book is in on Dwight Howard, chased by GSW all these years. He isn’t worth franchise bucks.

    Core players we got, but the list of what else is needed is quite long, and some combination of the following is essential, the more the better. To make it all the way most likely requires overkill.

    1. A bona fide sixth man, a self starter who can score, who can pick up the scoring when core players are covered by the top teams in the playoffs. As we saw last night.

    It isn’t Barnes. He’s nowhere close to filling this role. Maybe one day he will develop into the player some expect—I’m tremendously skeptical—but there was no reason to think he could fill that role this year, not if you consider his limitations and lack of experience. He should have been treated as such, given limited minutes until he worked his way into the rotation.

    2. Good backups at all key positions.

    The Warriors had plenty of size, but never resolved a backup point. And their solutions—Crawford and Blake came late and were questionable.

    A flat out shooter wouldn’t hurt, either, and wouldn’t have hurt last night. They don’t have one on the bench.

    Someone to back up at 3 or 4, in the event of injury, say to Iguodala, or just to spell him. It wasn’t Barnes.

    Jack, incidentally, would have filled most of these needs fairly well. He may be a compromise in many ways, but we had him, and he would have been worth the bucks unless they found something better. He can play backup point. He can score and is often clutch. He’s steady enough that they could have run a three guard set to get Curry off the ball and give a workable lineup, with all the options at the front court, that would have been effective enough when Iguodala went down.

    A utility player like Green is an incredible asset. We got him.

    3. Coaching

    This would take extensive discussion, well beyond my reach, but that’s the point. This is a large complex matter. But in general, a coach should have a good head and be able to think on the fly. He should recognize the talents of his players and develop them in a system that maximizes their potential.

    I suspect I know the opinion here of our head coach.

    Assistants must do a ton things we don’t know about. The details involved must be extensive. They should have special knowledge and skills, and these need to be tapped and integrated.

    The team, uh, seems to have a problem finding these guys and keeping them.

    4. Experience

    Is a precious resource in short supply. And it has many aspects: years played in the NBA, years played winning in the NBA, years played winning playoff games—and add to these years players have spent playing together, under a system designed for them.

    Experience is measured in years, and when you count them up, you realize the Warriors have a deficit in most regards, especially when you look at the recent acquisitions and the all the players who have been let go only to be replaced by more question marks.

    The same applies to a coaching staff, all its members, and the years spent together perfecting a system for the players. The Warriors still seem to be suffering an identity crisis, along with internal turmoil in the staff.

    And applies to the rest of the organization—effective scouts who can find talent that fits the team, execs who can find the right coaches and assistants.

    We can bang our heads all we want about what’s wrong with the organization, but we’re sounding like the guys in those old Lite Beer commercials. The answer is all of the above.

    And without some alignment of the spheres, it’s impossible for us to make good assessments. Were Douglas, then Crawford, and Speights well scouted, both for their talents and their fit with the team? Or is the problem the coach, who didn’t bring them out? Or who didn’t give them enough time to develop? In that case, is it the coach or the FO who lost patience?

    Tastes great! Less filling!

    And we’ll be in the same position next year, whoever coaches. Blake is probably not a good solution, not worth the bucks. There’s a good chance Crawford and Speights will go when their time’s up. And they’ll have to start over once again.

    In the meantime, we hope the main guys play their hearts out in the playoffs until they run out of steam.

    • cosmicballoon

      To me the two most pressing issues the Warriors have are a) the coaching and b) an organizational identity crisis.

      Mark Jackson might be an OK x’s and o’s coach. He has made some good adjustments. He gets along with the players and he gets along with the media. His problem has been managerial. Jackson has never managed a staff, and it is showing. Who loses two assistant coaches — one for arguing and the other for spying? It’s unreal. The team has basically met expectations, yet nobody in the building seems mildly happy. Jackson’s mismanagement of his staff might be the central reason.

      B) the organizational identity crisis is partly due to Lacob’s need for PR, partly growing pains related to pulling the Warriors out of the organizational doldrums (change is hard) and partly due to the tension that Jackson has brought with his lack of actual management. Curry is the ideal face of the franchise, but Jackson and Lacob’s ego’s are both in the way. Too bad.

      • lacob deliberately and egotistically chose to ignore the conventional route of non-hoops tycoons when they’re novice owners of a major league team — first hire an experienced exec to get significant input over hiring the coach and rebuilding the roster. he’s been very fortunate to get as far has he has, and he owes a good part to riley, nelson (riley was pretty mediocre before becoming nelson’s understudy), the hoops gods for other teams passing curry down, west making one of his lucky guesses with thompson, and malone. lacob and myers will get credit for bogut but riley made key contributions in that deal as well.

        • Credit for Bogut? You view that move as a positive?

          • sorry, Professor, but bogut’s acquisition was overall a positive step as far as the objectives of lacob & co. — media impact, credibility, probably (but inconclusive) in the marketability and value of their brand. can’t be proved either way if they’re a stronger roster now, compared to the hypothetical alternatives without the trade, and their gamble with discarding the tank season for barnes didn’t work as far as the player himself, but it didn’t hurt their sales in the two seasons subsequent to the throwaway. the trade for bogut sure made lacob feel good about himself, and that is surely worth something.

            hoops purists can propose better rosters, coaching, usw. with the ideal objective of getting the best talent including the coaching staff, and winning the most playoff games. that is not lacob’s sole focus. only one owner can raise the trophy each season, but more than one can become a billionaire oligarch — sterling started out < 10 m. consider his sunk costs pursuing the Pave the Bay project, only partly convertible to his next site. they're now trying to stiff the present landlords of $60 m. because they're confident they can leave east oaktown. those millions in political payoffs, consultant trash could pay for legions of scouts for years, if talent and player development was priority #1 for lacob.

          • So you like 3 additional years of Biedrins in the playoffs for $36m, plus the chronic injuries to Lee and Ezeli that the trade caused?

            And you like the way he complements Curry on the rare days he’s healthy (in the regular season only)?

            And you like the fact that the Warriors tanked two years to arrive at this state of Nirvana?

            I’ll avoid talking about the opportunity cost of the transaction, that could have cost James Harden, and spared the draft picks sent to Utah. Not to mention several actually healthy centers who are now still competing in the playoffs. That talk is as you say speculative. But one is nevertheless capable of understanding just how huge the opportunity cost of giving up the Monta asset for Bogut is, even in the abstract.

          • I suspect the only person who gained credibility from a certain point view in regards to the Bogut trade was Lacob himself, from his own point of view. He got taller.

            Some in the court of public opinion express admiration for Bogut, but I wonder what this is based on and how accurate it is. He played on a mediocre Milwaukee team and his influence was not decisive, when healthy. I don’t recall suitors lining up to get him, not the way Howard was courted. I’m not at all convinced many of his numbers for GSW couldn’t be offset by another cheaper center.

            And I don’t know what a healthy Bogut is. I suspect we’ll never see one. That elbow, for one thing, will probably never be adequately functional. But the list is getting longer.

            But, as in the case of Barnes, he does sensational things that catch eyes. One of the national announcers last Sunday, I think, talked about Barnes’ potential. Barnes got his promise in national eyes because of his youtube and highlight dunks and because he scored in a handful of games in the playoffs last year, before the nation’s eyes.

            And Barnes gave us a beautifully styled dunk last night—in an open lane. Style matters to him, and he has perfected this.

            Bogut draws national attention first because he is really big, and all kinds of bball wishes and fantasies are fulfilled just by that alone. Owners still sink tons of money into really big guys, few who pan out.

            And Bogut will get those blocks and look utterly dominating in some highlight plays. But I’m not convinced about the overall package, especially when compared against the alternatives.

            These aren’t criticisms of either Barnes or Bogut, just attempts to question their inflated values, the major reason I have persisted in criticism, just to maintain sanity.

          • my preferences for the team are irrelevant as far as the lacobites are concerned. they might never gain my respect after their first two seasons, and throwing their $$ attempting to pave the bay. they certainly could have used their resources differently with better results if they didn’t make the bogut deal, but the trade market is volatile and they could have created a bigger disaster. they seem satisfied with bogut and the retro style hoops they’ve favored with him as center, and they’re the buyers, not me (ticket buyers can make their own decision as consumers).

          • The context for this comment is what it takes to win in the playoffs. Of course all our speculations are utterly idle. How it relates to Lacob and his ambitions is a separate matter. But he seems to want to win in the playoffs, yet isn’t taking the steps to get there. He sounds more interested in getting a trophy than in building a competitive team which might get him a trophy, i.e., has missed a few requisite steps.

          • The real point to be made here is that centers aren’t worth that much, not with the kinds of players the NBA has now and the way the game is played. None are worth franchise investment, but that’s the model Lacob has been working on. They are most useful against other centers, who don’t get many minutes. And if they can’t score, their worth to a team declines considerably.

            I don’t watch the Pacers that much. Last season Hibbert was praised, with cause. Now he’s a bum. What happened?

  37. Why did Erman leave Boston in the first place? Was he given some hope of advancement at GS he didn’t have there?

  38. When you look at Steph’s character and education and beliefs, you realize he took the possibility of a boycott very seriously. Add this to Jackson’s making him carry the burden of team play and leadership, and you realize he is carrying a very heavy load—one he should not have to bear. Jackson didn’t help him out with the first load, either.

    The NBA’s decision was a no brainer. There’s too much at stake commercially and otherwise, and the owners really had nothing to lose by joining in. Still, I thought Silver’s statement moving. He apologized to black players and took responsibility. You never would have heard Stern doing anything closely resembling.

  39. More on Scalabrine, from SI:

    Sources say the team made the move because Scalabrine exhibited a consistent pattern of disrespect toward Jackson and the other coaches. Mainly, he ignored and refused to speak with the other basketball coaches. At one point, Scalabrine went five weeks without speaking to Jackson, one source said.

    Scalabrine even avoided the coaches on the team plane, sitting in a separate section, according to one source.

    • warriorsablaze

      Considering the EXACT same phrase (went 5 weeks without speaking) was attributed to Malone, I think it’s garbage. Obviously, there’s been friction between MJax and some of his assistents, but I think there’s been some propaganda released in an attempt to slander Mjax and make the firing go down easier for the common fan.

      • Not sure I follow. You mean to justify firing Scalabrini?

        A lot of bad info is floating around, so I don’t give any of it much weight. If I have a problem with the firings, it’s that they both seemed unnecessarily public and cruel.

        If someone’s acting badly, send him offsite or home to cool off, then replace him quietly in the offseason. There was no reason to make either of those fired coaches the center of a lot of negative publicity.

        How desperate would someone have to be to risk his career by working for Jackson now?

      • Actually, WaB, this suggests Scalabrine was simply a hothead and upstart, which works against him and might have been the case. I don’t think he had the credentials Erman had. Or maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle.

        I am curious how this team was assembled, whether Jackson had input on Scalabrine and Erman or was told to take them. That things didn’t work out may be a reflection on either Jackson or Lacob, or both. We don’t know. What we do know is that things aren’t sure aren’t working out very well.

        I’m curious where Scalabrine sat on the plane—front or back?

      • warriorsablaze

        I was referring to the original Woj piece after Scal got demoted that talked about Malone and Jackson “not speaking for weeks”… Seems a little too coincidental, but maybe Jackson is just a baby and gives people the silent treatment when they question him. I don’t put it below him at all… if there is such a thing as below him.

        I’m just curious if the FO is releasing some of this information to sway public opinion in preparation for the firing. Who knows?

        • I think if the FO were trying to make Jackson look bad, the leaks wouldn’t be about Scal’s behavior, but Jackson’s.

          In the end, Lacob doesn’t need a reason to fire Jackson, he just needs to reach a settlement agreement with him. Jackson can resign from coaching to spend more time at his pulpit, for example.

  40. I forget which network it was—I switched 2nd. half—but one of the announcers said Klay’s father gave him advice on how to avoid fouls, and passed the word on to one of the Warrior assistants. Guess what happened.

  41. Bad night for small ball last night. Allowed Jordan to go off and Clippers to have decent shooting percentage. Warriors did well not giving up extra possessions but Curry’s 8 turnovers a killer.

    The only mistake Jackson made with regard to Speights and Crawford was playing them. Both not capable of being utilized.

    Agree with most of Rgg’s points. Roster still fatally flawed with or without Bogut. Even so, still ray of hope. Just wish we had better coach.

    • the team could use better coaches, plural. the preacher could be successful as the figurehead, media interlocutor type, if he can work with a well constructed staff, and we might see it if he coaches elsewhere.

    • Frank, the Ws didn’t play smallball. They played walk-it-up halfcourt basketball with a small lineup. Big difference.

      moto, I think it’s highly unlikely that Jackson will get another coaching job. We don’t need to go into all the reasons. The weaknesses, problems, baggage, etc., have all been well documented.

  42. Small ball is small ball and is not dependent on whether we run or not. Yes, it’s more effective when a team runs. My point remains we were simply terrible defensively playing small ball.

    Boy, wouldn’t it be nice if we had made the trade for Lowry by sending Barnes for him to Toronto?

    • WheresMyChippy

      Hat is right, there should be a distinction here.

      Yesterday the Warriors played small. They did not play Smallball. “Smallball” is a specific tactic and the word implies certain attributes like swarming defense (double teams, “gimmicks”) and RUNNING LIKE HELL when you get the ball.

      We certainly weren’t terrible defensively on Sunday, were we? That was all Smallball.

    • ujiri wouldn’t part with Lowry for barnes alone — he ended up keeping him. consider how GS needed to involve third teams just to acquire minor players, because how few assets they had other than trade exceptions. from all we saw with the reserves they added, they chose a fiscally conservative route, confident they wouldn’t need to go into paying luxury taxes (they’re still barely under the limit). two of the reserve guards they chose won’t be on the payroll past June. my guess, all the loot thrown after the aborted real (fantasy on publicly held open water, in actuality) estate deal affected their hoops decisions.

      • I would have and still would trade Barnes for Greivis. Won’t look good to the fanbase though.

      • moto, the SF waterfront arena probably had an overall positive impact on the team. It kept Lacob busy, away from the hardwood.

        What happens to the team roster this summer probably depends more on who’s the coach than anything else. Steve Blake and J Crawford haven’t worked out well, but that’s on the coach’s poor handling of the entire 2nd unit. In the right system, they could both be valuable contributors. A real coach could use them well, and might want them to stay.

  43. D’Antoni just resigned. . . .

    • It’s fun to think of D’Antoni running Curry’s team, but I’m pretty sure he’s not Lacob’s kinda guy.

  44. Refreshing our memory (MJ, prior to 2012-13 season):

    “I think when you look on the floor, the weapons we have, you don’t really have to be creative. Those guys can score. If you look at the great coaches or the great teams, there’s nothing creative about throwing the ball to Michael Jordan on the foul line or Kobe on the wing. That’s not creative. That’s just some bad boys getting it done when it matters most.”

    I see at least four problems here.

  45. Something I wanted to mention, but have forgotten until now: Did anyone else see the defense Mo Speights played on Blake Griffin in the last game? He was pretty damn good right? I didn’t hallucinate that, did I?

    So why in the world does Mark Jackson prefer Jermaine O’Neal to him in this series? I simply don’t get it.

    • Speights has played better than JON through most of the series. He works better with Lee, too. But he’s getting almost no playing time.

      Why Jackson doesn’t play Speights is a mystery, like so many of Jackson’s decisions.

  46. Fellty: In Speight’s 10 minutes on the court last game the Clippers scored 27 points and the Warriors went from down 2 to down 10. Yes, he blocked a Griffin shot, but the Clippers repeatedly scored at the rim. And he stupidly for no reason committed a flagrant one foul which resulted in two free throws and the Clippers retaining possession. No, he should not play more. He should only play to rest a starter.

    Yes. the Warriors played small ball and did not run very much. By playing a primarily half court game, Green obtained 5 offensive rebounds. That’s five extra possessions and resulted in the Warriors not being creamed on the offensive boards by going small.So, Jackson played a modified version of small ball.

    • WheresMyChippy

      During that time he was paired with Jermaine O’Neal. If you don’t understand why that negatively affects his game (both offense and defense) then you haven’t been paying attention.

  47. Small ball resulted in the Clippers shooting 48% from the floor for the game. That’s bad defense. But the Warriors would have shot more than 47% if they had run more.

    The Warriors made it clear that they turned down the trade foe Lowry because of his perceived attitude, nothing else.

  48. Feltbot @46—

    Mo is not exactly a bucket full of confidence, and he did look awfully tentative on offense. O’Neal did better there. O’Neal’s character and experience are worth something.

    How Mo would be performing now if he were developed better, however, is a question worth asking. And bringing him out should have been a top priority. We’re indulgent with him because he offers something the team desperately needs, a scoring big who can play 4 or 5—and I think could have started, in a pinch. A steady diet of pick and pop may have produced a more confident player with scoring ability the team needs. And against the Clippers, someone who can pull their front court out is a necessity. Mo has done a lot of things right, in spots, in bits and pieces. He can stand up to other bigs. The pieces needed to be pulled together. Maybe there’s more we need to know about him, but the way he was played this season, he didn’t get much chance. Lost here as well is what he might have brought into next season. None of the bigs after Lee, if we count him as a big, can score.

    We’re not having this conversation, of course, if he were a starter with a big contract.

    Has Jackson brought out ANYONE on the roster? After the top players, the answer is a resounding NO. No one after the top eight players is ready to offer much at all now or next season, and of course several are gone. Others will be leaving.

    I don’t think he’s helped any of the top players, either.

    Klay has made tremendous strides, and in a sense it’s because of Jackson’s system, but that’s not a defense of it. Coaching for Jackson seems to be a matter of personal trial, and we’re tempted to bring in his narrow moral and spiritual cast here. He repeatedly said he didn’t want to set up plays for players, but rather let him prove himself and find his shots, often one on one. Klay passed the test and got better at driving and being aggressive, but I can’t help wondering if it was at the expense of his three point shooting.

    Barnes failed the same test miserably, and in retrospect, it’s just hard to believe he’s as awful as he has appeared, that he couldn’t have been brought out better, though perhaps not as far as Barnes might like to think. Yet Jackson persisted in playing him in isolation, spiraling him into despair.

    Bogut is too much of a Bogut to get sucked into this, for which I give him credit, but if he’s been healthy, we have to ask if he has been brought out either. His performance tailed off as well.

    Green, of course, has made great strides, but it’s only because of his drive and character and previous training. And he had to push all season with limited openings and limited minutes to get there, when he should have been playing all along. But Green is most strong with a team, not a group of isolated players, as we saw the other night, which, I fear, was an aberration.

    Lee has fought valiantly, but at the expense of his real talents and greatest assets, his ability to move to the hoop in an open court and hit the midrange shot.

    Meanwhile Curry has led the charge, which has to have been a tremendous strain. He passed the test, but was left with a weaker team and has been making up for deficiencies all season, deficiencies Jackson has created. The only words he gets from Jackson for tonight, however, is protect the ball.

    What is Jackson protecting?

    If Jackson is successful, it’s only with experienced, strong players, but even here their success in his system diminishes their abilities. As for the rest of the roster, there’s not much hope. Adios. There’s no reason to think he’ll be successful in bringing out other players in the future. It’s sufficient cause to fire him.

    Basketball for Jackson is a crusade, a trial by fire, one against a corrupt world, a crusade of the sort Jackson has been following himself. Ponder the implications of isolation in his isos. There are only winners and losers. The losers, of course, are players who get left behind. And the team itself. There just isn’t much on the bench who can or will move forward next year.

    But for those who think I’m being too wild with my words and am forcing an interpretation, just listen to Jackson himself. It’s about all we get from him.

  49. “Le bon Dieu est dans le détail”
    Flaubert (a French point guard)

    “God is in the detail.”
    Mies van der Rohe (a German power forward)

    But this isn’t Jackson’s God. For him the details don’t matter in the larger picture, nor do they matter to Lacob is his crusade to create a “winning culture.” That both have private visions, horribly abstract, beyond which neither can see, is worth speculation. Details, however, and the right people to execute them the team sorely lacks. The list of details that matter in making a play, setting a lineup, building a team, is very, very long, and they aren’t being dealt with.

    • To bring it down to “my level:”

      “They both have private visions”

      We assume. What we get in the press, purportedly from Lacob and Jackson, are sound bytes, product constructed by PR professionals to be fed to reporters. Little that professional speakers say publicly contains any real meaning. It’s smoothed and polished to be uncontroversial, first and foremost. Press releases are product, measured in tape time and column inches, not informational content. If you imagine you have some insight into a professional public speaker’s inner thoughts based on the sound bytes they issued, you are mistaken.

      “Horribly abstract”

      This from a lit professor? All thought is abstraction. For my edification, at what point does an abstraction become horribly abstract?

      “beyond which neither can see”
      In fact, both of your targets are very successful human beings who got where they are through their very rewarding interactions with others, their dialogs, not monologs. You couldn’t possibly know the people. You’re merely critiquing their sound bytes. Stop being silly.

      “worth speculation”

      Whatever for?

  50. Speight’s laundry list of problems on offense and defense too long to list. Who he plays with nor what position he plays are virtually immaterial.

    As for Thompson, he’s become more consistent shooting and driving, but his lack of getting to the foul-line, obtaining offensive rebounds or making many assists are drawbacks. But in his defense the Warriors don’t send him to the offensive boards as they have him retreat to defend fast breaks. He’s simply not an impact player as of right now as he doesn’t produce extra possessions for his team as many impact players do. He’s a third option. He shot well in his last game bit scored only 21 points on 17 FGA’s. Not good. Warriors should have drafted k. Leonard.

  51. Would OKC have taken Thompson for Hardin? In retrospect, would that have been a net positive move for Warriors? (I don’t think so.)

    If Thompson played the 3, he would get more rebounds.

    • Bill Simmons said that trade was offered, but no one else did.

      You have to make your own decision on whether Simmons is a reporter or a humorist.

  52. The drip, drip continues:

    When Lacob’s boy starts printing this stuff, it means something. Matt Steinmetz explicates on my twitter timeline…

    • In all of TK’s column inches, the only key issue he mentions is that Jackson is a polarizing figure.

      Lacob and Myers have repeatedly emphasized that the FO is a “group think” organization. If Jackson can’t play well with others and help build consensus, then he can’t or doesn’t help in the FO’s decision-making. We’ve seen hints of that for years now. When Myers talks about trades and drafts, he never mentions Jackson at all. It’s a glaring omission.

      In Lacob’s shoes, I’d think a coach’s participation in helping to form front office decisions would be pretty important. If nothing else, Myers could get a better feel for which players Jackson would actually feel comfortable using. Then he could have avoided “mistakes” like Toney Douglas.

  53. Somewhat in defense of Lacob, bringing in a recognizable face to give the organization credibility, one respected (I think) by NBA players, is not a bad idea in itself. AW is arguing the Lakers should hire Derek Fisher for that very reason:

    And Lacob did bring in Malone, whose credentials look good, as well as Erman. There’s good reason to think Jackson has played this one on his own terms—and will lose.

  54. Third option bad description for Thompson. Just like Curry and Lee so much more.

    Felty, never you’re having reservations about trade for Bogut, Never sensed at the time you opposed trade as much as you do now. Am I correct?

    I opposed trade and if we’re playing chess, thought trade put us in”check,” and that resigning an often injured Bogut has resulted in our being checkmated from us winning a championship as long as he’s on the roster. Still do.

    Benghazi is raising it’s ugly head again. From reading material and watching CNN, the following facts appear. The facility attacked was not a diplomatic post but a secret listening post where 20 of the 24 employees who worked there were CIA employees. That on the day of attack the attackers sealed off and blocked streets at both ends of street compound was located. Hard to believe those inside did not know that. As 6 Libyan security guards hired by British company deserted as attack commenced. Does CIA not vent guys hired.

    Also President Obama said next day that four men including US Ambassador Stevens died there. CIA must have told that.

    Later, the administration said 2 of the 4 men killed were CIA contractors and were illegal at CIA annex 1 mile away. Were we misled initially as to where they were or better yet where we’re they killed? And the two State Dept. security guys guarding the ambassador got separated from him and was not with him when he died. And the NYT’s the next day printed three accounts that placed his death at three different places.

    David Baer. I think that is his first name, former CIA employee and now CIA consultant said we had U. S. “fire base” in Banghazi and seemed to imply it was next to CIA annex there, and that the fire base, CIA annex, and other facility all came under attack that night.

    Seems to me that killing of US ambassador during US election is very suspicious.

    Then CIA director David Petraeus after first saying that attack was part of spontaneous demonstration and not wanting to have to resign had his mistress tell a security meeting in Aspen is that the reason we were attacked is because arrested guys were Al quada who had helped us overthrow Ghadaffi. Baer said Us may have turned them over to Libyan authorities. He seemed like he was trying to blackmail CiA so he could stay in post by threatening to expose real reason for attack. One can see why US govt falsely said it grew out of spontaneous. It looks like someone retaliated against Petraeus by having Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hasting ( his wife worked in national security under President Bush) going on CNN saying that Petraeus oversaw death squads in Iraq. Hastings was killed in an auto accident last year after writing that day that he was being investigated by FBI.

    Interesting that US had firebase in Beghazi. Was it there at time US helped overthrow Ghadaffi when President Obama said we had no troops on ground?

    These are issues that Congress should have investigated and unravel not the drivel and stuff that diverts our attention from what really occurred.

    Feel free to share with friends.

  55. Group think: “a pattern of thought characterized by self-deception, forced manufacture of consent, and conformity to group values and ethics”

    from Mr. Webster


    • Wearing my PR hat, I’d call it consensus building. Free flow of discussion. Reaching agreement. Or just simply “working together.”

  56. even if kerr signs with NY, it seems likely that lacob will consult him for his opinions on other coach candidates. d’Antoni probably gets kerr’s thumbs up, but incompatible with lacob’s preference for old school hoops and more malleable subordinates. too bad erman isn’t around to tape the conversation.

  57. My apology Felty.

    Hat: The present news on Benghazi is a news byte. But there are serious issues regarding Benghazi that are worth further close scrutiny. Unfortunately, Republicans missed the boat badly in their criticism. Saying that our military personnel were 15 hours away when in fact there was a US fire base one mile away that obviously did not respond, leads us to ask why? Especially since the firebase was not attacked till hours later. But Congressional Committee’s that investigated Benghazi hides Baer’s claim that there was US firebase in Banghazi.

    Also, it doesn’t appear CIA brought to President’s attention that it’s CIA Director was having an affair. If CIA didn’t even know that, then we’re all at risk.

    • Frank, agreed, there are issues surrounding the Benghazi political meme that are worth further close scrutiny. Including:

      Why the GOP never applied the same sort of outrage and scrutiny to the 13 US embassy attacks that occurred during the Bush years.

      The rationale for the GOP to cut the State Department security budget by almost $300M just months before the Benghazi attack. And why they don’t discuss the ramifications of their own actions.

      But this is a bball blog. We have important matters to discuss here.

  58. So we survived LA drama school game – that DJordan smash of DGreen to the floor with no call to start the game has told me everything I needed to know about the 90 percent outcome of the game. Take Green out early and pretty much make warriors play catch-up. I know I know, couple of more threes instead of turnovers would have made the day, but it’s hard shooting when defenses are so keen on the fabric of your uniform cloth.
    Anyway, I saw Iguodala smash the ball hard at the end of regulation (which was counted as turnover, ha) and no warrior coming even near to handshake the clippers.
    So, tonight we should have the game void of any extra high school drama.
    Oh, wait – isn’t there a new head hunting scripts written now for future Oscar mockudrama nominee feature – ‘Coaches going field recording’?
    Playing LA has brought the worst to the basketball court. The story. The script. All that shit.
    I want my experiments, I want my free improvisation, I want my becketts and vareses, my brotzmanns and my basketball joys/pains.

    • there’s another script you might enjoy, written by the celebrated analyst goldsberry on the how and why curry and the preacher’s choir provide the most entertaining scoring spectacle in hoops.

      • oh yeah, i’ve read that, but it is/was quite obvious that curry is a sun (star) that all other planets (warrior players) and comets (clipper ones) revolve around. i’m just sometimes baffled at why warriors can’t take advantage of having two or three opposing players committing to defend curry. surely there must be ways – and quite a few – to put that uninhabited space to better use that would transpire into curry light reaching hearts of the spaceship passengers – a bucket.
        i don’t know what they do at practices, but they must have go through drills where curry is double-triple teamed/trapped so as to get him write into his arsenal the exact paths of action, small angles of the best pass out of the situation – and to have the rest of the planets aligned to be able transfer the light without it getting into a black hole.
        they know that teams will do that (double-triple team curry), they should be automatic at knowing what and how to take advantage of that.

  59. Fitz predicts Ezeli will play tonight. He’s a Blake Griffin stopper, but I sure hope he’s not risking his career by rushing back.

  60. David Aldridge weighs in on the new Warriors:

    A fun read. He repeats all of the received notions about Barnes, Bogut, and the team’s success, however.

    We get some of the Preacher’s theology:

    “What I mean is there are people who would say God doesn’t care about basketball,” Jackson said last week. “Well, read the Bible. He cares about everything that has to do with me. He says, ‘I’m a rewarder of those that diligently seek.’ And this is a basketball team that diligently seeks Him, win, lose or draw. And you can’t tell me that the God I serve doesn’t care about blessing us. And I don’t mean in winning. But he certainly has a vested interest in knowing that He can trust this basketball team, that no matter whether we beat the Denver Nuggets in round one, or whether we lose to the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of the second round, it’s still all God.”

    We also get a peek into the organization’s groupthink:

    “It was clear we needed to change — on the business side, on the basketball side, on the political side,” Lacob said Sunday.

    Fascinating is Riley’s scouting report on Curry:

    Riley was convinced after watching Curry play for Davidson against Purdue in Indianapolis just before Christmas in 2008. Harassed and hounded all night, Curry had one of his worst shooting games, making just 5 of 26 shots, finishing with just 13 points.
    And Riley was thrilled. “Purdue fouls you all night,” Riley said. “They’re going to beat you up. That was, to me, the test I wanted to see — whether he could handle it. They just beat him to death, and [Davidson] lost the game. But he stood up all night and did an outstanding job.”

    He also credits Riley with getting Lee (not Lacob). Riley may be the only true professional in the organization in the strict and relevant sense of the word (the word has been bandied about here—I exclude West, who, by his own admission, has little or no say).

    And everyone’s success depends on Curry’s carrying the banner. A shame he can’t just be a basketball player.

    • Oh my fucking God.

      If that’s an accurate quotation from Jackson, and if that’s the mindset that drives his coaching decisions, Jackson is hopelessly incompetent as a coach. Sell it from the pulpit, asshole.

      Good basketball wins basketball games. The jury is still out on prayer.

      • Hat,

        If you still ‘need to see’ to believe (OMFG), I suggest you follow God on twitter, you will find it breathtaking if not informative.

        “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you.”

        • Jake, thank you so very much for your incomprehensible bullshit. Bless you. Now go fuck yourself.

    • well, we won’t need secret tapes of jackson’s chats with his girlfriends to confirm our suspicions about him.
      lacob had none of his staff (rowell was retained short term and the marketing/p.r. v.p. ridder long term) installed when the lee deal was put in place, and all accounts at the time of the trade gave credit to riley. rowell and ridder continuing to work for lacob shows the hollow nature of the owner’s rhetoric about culture change .

      • moto, please. If you didn’t already know, here’s the key that will unlock perfect understanding:

        {Ready? Brace yourself…}

        The Warriors NBA franchise is a business venture. That means the officers of the organization are required by law to act to the benefit of their investors. Not the general public, not fans, not A*m*e*r*i*c*a. The investors.

        In his position as CEO of an immense commercial venture, Lacob has less freedom than most of us normal schlubs, not more.

        In my tiny business, if I don’t get good vibes from a prospective client, I have the freedom to say so. I could even afford to tell a client to fuck himself. I cherish that freedom. I can actually assign a dollar value to it. It’s a big number.

        Lacob does not have my freedom. For him it’s “Win 100%” or “Lose 100%.”

        So while I don’t generally disagree with your social-value-based observations about Lacob and his agenda, I detect a basic misunderstanding of what Lacob does for a living, how difficult and unpleasant his job is, and the sacrifices he must make to act like the Joe Lacob Thing we schlubs see on TV.

        Lacob is just a guy who sweats and poops and worries about his waistline like all the rest of us.

        You don’t have to give him a break. He doesn’t need it. All I’m saying is that it’s inaccurate to say that he’s somehow fundamentally different than the rest of us meat engines. Fundamentally, he’s a meat engine too. To deny that is… inaccurate at the very least.

        • At worst, it’s cruel and dehumanizing. The kind of thing you indict Lacob for.

          • Sr.Sombrero, if you actually read my words rather than go off into your unique and special interpretation, they critiqued lacob’s rhetoric, not his humanity. thanks for clarifying he’s a capitalist and talks like one for public consumption. you might reflect on our colleague rgg’s message about reading. thank you.

          • Moto my friend, my reading comprehension scores are off the charts.

            Check yours. Tell me what elements of my reply missed the mark on this:

            “…hollow nature of the owner’s rhetoric about culture change…”

            Do you really need me to further itemize the ways in which that is provably incorrect, and indicative of your personal political agenda?

            C’mon now. Lacob may be wrong about his vision for the Warriors, but that doesn’t automatically validate your imaginings about his sincerity or his basic nature.

            Grow up. Start now.

        • fine, your reading comprehension is off the charts. perhaps you do not comprehend how others are likely to read what you write. your response to Jake was far more inflammatory than what he wrote, and others can decide for themselves if the same applies to your responses to me. thank you.

          • Off the charts. Right. On a basketball blog I should humor some anonymous believer in magic, spouting random phrases that even he can’t truly comprehend because none of it is actually parsed into complete English language sentences.

            Got it. In the future I’ll try to find it within my magical self to be more fucking tolerant of asinine bullshit, especially when someone pretends they’re sharing actual passages from the bible.

            As for whether you or anyone else likes my Hat avatar, I honestly don’t give a shit. Hat doesn’t exist for your pleasure, only mine.

            If you care to avoid Hat’s snotty wrath in the future, here’s how: Clearly separate your biases and preferences from your assertions of fact. You’ll get along with Hat just fine then.

          • I’m not sure what’s going on here lately, but I’m only able to understand about a quarter of the posts.

  61. This one goes back a year, from apparently a Boston blog, which discusses the Jackson hire, how Lacob was influenced by Rivers in choosing him.


    Because of Jackson’s brainless style as a television talking head, several folks wondered why new Warriors owner Joe Lacob risked the hiring. It isn’t often, after all, that the arc of professional sports’ analytics movement coincides with the arc of “Mama, there goes that man,” one of Jackson’s favorite catchphrases as a commentator. Plus, Jackson held no coaching experience whatsoever.

  62. Curry key to tonight and hopefully 7th game. Thompson, Lee, and Iggy, all have to shoot as well as they did in last game.

  63. How close in the Celtic/Lacob connection still? It’s just odd. Erman records locker room talk.


    And shortly after, he gets a job with the Celtics.

    Conspiracy is in the air today. Hard not to wonder.

    • Right, hard not to wonder. As has already been stated several bazillion times. Mostly by you, rgg.

  64. Compare and contrast these two statements:

    Mark Jackson: “What I mean is there are people who would say God doesn’t care about basketball,” Jackson said last week. “Well, read the Bible. He cares about everything that has to do with me. He says, ‘I’m a rewarder of those that diligently seek.’ And this is a basketball team that diligently seeks Him, win, lose or draw. And you can’t tell me that the God I serve doesn’t care about blessing us. And I don’t mean in winning. But he certainly has a vested interest in knowing that He can trust this basketball team, that no matter whether we beat the Denver Nuggets in round one, or whether we lose to the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of the second round, it’s still all God.”

    Joe Lacob: “I’m 58 years old now, and I’ve been successful. I’ve made a lot of money. I’ve done a lot of things I’ve wanted to do in life, but now we have this new venture, which is the Warriors. A second career, if you will, and all I can think about it is, we have to win a championship. I will be a failure. We will be a failure if we do not win the championship.”

    I see more similarities than differences. But language has gotten a little slippery today. Let’s use a standard that has been raised: professionalism. Professional has as its root profession, about which Websters tells us:

    1: the act of taking the vows of a religious community
    2: an act of openly declaring or publicly claiming a belief, faith, or opinion
    3: an avowed religious faith
    4 a: a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation
    b: a principal calling, vocation, or employment

    1 maybe and 3 clearly apply to Jackson, but 2 certainly applies to Lacob in what can only be taken as a personal mission. Perhaps Jackson’s professing is personal too. At any rate, professing seems more important to them than their professions.

    As far as 4a, both (and almost everyone in the organization) fail. Neither had extensive preparation in their fields, or even much at all. Nor do we have any evidence of lengthy, disciplined, study. As for 4b, it is a recent development for both, not one built on years of practice and application.

    Unless we count the past three years as sufficient experience, in which case we have to say that both have equal experience.

    Both have been described as successful men, though neither had success in his current position prior because they had little or no experience in it. Then again, both have been successful the past three years, for the same reason for which both should get equal credit: two playoff appearances, and a significant amount of wins during the past two years. Therefore, both are worth of admiration and both should be retained in their current positions, or rather Jackson, since no one can fire Lacob.

    Here is a good resource, relevant to much discussion on the blog, about basketball, and the state of the language:

    One case of several:

    Pacific Bell hired two associates of Charles Krone, a California-based management consultant known for following the teachings of Armenian mystic Georges Gurdjieff. His “leadership development” program, known as “kroning,” maintained that certain words helped employees communicate better, improving the health of the organization. Some 23,000 employees went through the $40 million training program, learning new terms like task cycle and functioning capabilities that were supposed to help them care more about their work and express themselves more clearly. Instead, the company’s language became incredibly opaque.

    • And to finish the thought I started above, in their professing both have failed in significant details of their profession, in this case, getting and developing an adequate bench over the years. This one is easy to prove: most bench players are or will soon be gone.

    • thank you for the link with the Atlantic article, it was fairly comprehensive and entertaining. my own experience with Gurdieff’s writings, they’re a worthwhile read for those with an interest in philosophy and particularly in one stream of Islamic mystical philosophy. we probably can’t think and experience things the way many of the explorers and thinkers did before WW I, the Golden Dawn or Theosophists for example in western europa. Gurdieff had a fairly unique eurasian tradition and experience, possibly something of a confidence man like many gurus and evangelists.

      his disciples are a different story altogether. have no idea if there are various or diverse sects, but by now those who actually studied or spoke with Gurdieff are long gone. my limited experience with the people continuing his teachings (they call it ‘The Work’), they’d be the last ones to teach communication, for they seemed to be all about making Gurdieff obscure and opaque.

  65. warriors delivering an (under)dog kiss to all the fans tonight

  66. That was some stuff.

    And it wasn’t badly coached at all, as I suspect we will presently hear.

    That’s the most excited I’ve been about Warrior defense in the last four years. Even Barnes got into the act.

    Finally they got Curry and Crawford together, with effect. Just putting the two on the court together tenses a defense (why wasn’t this done sooner?).

    We saw you, Feltbot. You were the guy with the yellow shirt that said “GO MO!”

    Not getting consistent scoring from Green and Iguodala hurts. And not finding other scoring options hurts as well, specifically midrange shots from Lee, one of few openings that might have opened up the court for others—Barnett mentioned this pre-game. But man, what a lineup.

    Mo should have come in for Lee when Lee had 5 fouls. I also don’t understand why they went away from the double team of Griffin 2nd. half. I suppose they were trying to work mismatches and draw fouls, but the isos when they had a lead drove me crazy. They had a small lineup that could have moved the ball.

    Game ball to Green. What a clutch performance.

    • Be sure to put Mo on Big Baby Game 7 so he can leave a reminder.

    • cosmicballoon

      Game ball to Green for sure. Game winning free throws and just a man’s effort in the interior.

      Still not sure about all the isos. This felt like a game the Warriors should have run away with, but they couldn’t seem to stop the Clips when they needed to and they missed all those free throws.

      Barnes is continuing to play hard and the foul he drew against Reddick was well done. Also, his defense on DJ was halfway decent. Between him and Green they kept him mostly off the glass, which wound up being he difference IMO.

  67. The world truly is a matter of ones’ perception.

    For me this has been a glass half-full season, maybe it’s your pleasure to dwell on the empty half, but I don’t think anyone would deny that the team has acquitted itself well .
    Again, only keepers on this team are Steph, Klay, Draymond. We’re more or less stuck with Iggy, Lee, and Bogut, but they can be plus players. I also like Ezeli, and still rue the Bazemore trade. He was a keeper too…
    If the front office can deftly fill in the pieces, this team core , at full health, should be very competitve next year.

    • I think Bazemore at a back-up Wing would be large in this series. He could glue-up Chris Paul, JJ Redick, or Jamal Crawford and slash to the basket on offense.

      Since it appears he still talks to Curry and others, wonder if he told them of his experience playing for D’Antoni?

  68. they’ll need to come up with a different sort of game, but can they ? minus o’neal, green, speights, lee will be pushed into foul trouble sooner, and paul is likely to bounce back with stronger stuff. barnes won’t be given those key free throws late in the fourth — he’d be called for a charge. green should have 3-4 more assists, his ‘mates missed converting wide open shots, and those will have to fall in LA.

  69. Would like to see Mokur and JordanC get more minutes in Game 7.

  70. Big Baby may have done the Warriors a favor.

    I wasn’t paying attention, but according to one report, the refs started calling the game closer after his play on O’Neal, which is being labeled “dirty” in the national press (ESPN). It may well be kept in mind for the reffing tomorrow.

    As for O’Neal, let’s hope it was just a sprain. And in O’Neal’s words:

    “Anything short of God coming back and rapture — anything short of that, I will play,” O’Neal said Thursday night.

    Like it or not, ladies and gentlemen, such is a large part of what motivates the team. Rapture, in fact, is what they try to approximate on the court. They came pretty close last night. If they win Game 7, I may start believing myself.

  71. Barnes needs to be traded this summer for something useful. It has to be a foregone conclusion that Klay and Draymond are the top 2 priorities to be extended. There’s no way LacobMyers will blow that. There’s simply no room for Barnes. The question is does Barnes have any value left? He hasn’t had nearly as memorable a playoff run as last season.

  72. Feltbot,
    Love your blog best sports writer I have found. Just wish you could blog after each game. someone should be paying you to do this!!