Cashious Klay: Warriors 95 Blazers 90

Klay’s been money this week. I’ll just let that be my intro.

Here’s what I’ve seen so far this season from the undefeated Golden State Warriors:

The Warriors: I stated at the beginning of last season that I thought the Warriors had the best roster in the Western Conference. Given what we’ve seen from Klay to start this season, that’s never been more true.

I also thought that the Warriors could win the West last season. That proved misguided for a variety of reasons, including coaching, the ineffectiveness of the bench, and key injuries. And a certain basketball team called the Spurs. But I have fresh optimism for that possibility this season.

Particularly now that the Thunder have crashed and burned. (Can they even win enough games in the next two months to contend for the eighth seed in the ultra-competitive West?) And the Spurs are another year older. (They are, aren’t they?) There is a sense right now that the West is wide open.

There is a ton of talent on this Warriors team. A ton. And quite a few very smart coaches on the Warriors bench. Even though so many things remain up in the air, with the system, the rotations, the bench, and the health of key players, it’s possible to envision a very special season unfolding. Very special.

With the right breaks. (I mean non-breaks.)

Steve Kerr: Let me just say right off the bat that it’s a real pleasure to listen to Kerr speak after what we suffered through the last two seasons. And it was amazing to hear him credit assistant coach Ron Adams after the game for the ingenious trap on Wesley Matthews. However he turns out as a coach, Kerr’s personality is a breath of fresh air.

As for how he will turn out as a coach, I see signs of pragmatism that are encouraging. He’s clearly experimenting with systems and rotations but I don’t get the sense he will stubbornly stick with things or players that aren’t clicking. The triangle has been a disaster so far — in my judgement more to do with having the wrong personnel to run it than with a simple lack of experience. (It’s a post system that requires dominant post players, which the Warriors simply don’t have.) But when the Warriors offense goes stagnant, out go the bigs, and back comes the fast break and the high pick and roll.

Klay Thompson: I mentioned towards the end of last year that Klay had taken a step forward in driving aggressively to the basket. I mentioned before this season that the adamant support of Jerry West and Steve Kerr in the Kevin Love imbroglio, his Team USA experience, and his contract situation would give him enormous validation and confidence heading into this season. That he no longer needed to defer to his teammates. That he was no longer going to be the Warriors’ third option.

And I mentioned in the pre-season that Klay’s game would benefit by no longer being forced to guard point guards. And also that he has finally discovered the ability to take the ball right into contact, and get himself to the line, rather than attempt to dodge the contact with dipsy-dos. We saw that mentality in spades in this game, when he drove straight into the gaping maw of the Lopezasaurus to administer that thunder-facial.

But I haven’t ever mentioned that Klay has now added the pump fake to his arsenal, because this was the first game in his career in which I saw him consciously lure a defender into a foul on the perimeter. And what a devastating weapon this will prove for a shooter of his caliber. As it was for Larry Bird and Chris Mullin.

And I haven’t mentioned just how fortuitous the timing of this latest injury to David Lee has been for him. Steve Kerr has been dying to get Lee into the lineup so that he can run a triangle offense that actually works. So when Lee returns, it’s automatic that Klay’s shot attempts will go down. But so far this season the Warriors have needed to force the ball to Klay, and rely extensively on his offense.

And that has allowed him to absolutely explode, and demonstrate to himself as well as the world just how special a player he can be.

Now that he knows, and his coaches and teammates know, and the world knows, there’s no going back. The bar has now been set.

Warriors fans, enjoy. In the last five years, we have had the enormous privilege of watching two NBA superstars develop on our homecourt. And now we’re going to have the enormous privilege of watching them storm the bastions of the league.

Two quick points about the last two games:

In the Lakers game, Kobe Bryant got personally involved in his matchup with Klay. Kobe, 28 points on 28 shots. Klay 41 points on 18 shots.

In this Blazers game, Wesley Matthews was personally involved in his matchup with Klay from the opening tip. Mathews got exercised last week by the discussion over Klay’s max contract, and bleated to the press that HE, not Klay, was the best two-way shooting guard in the NBA. Mathews 18 points on 15 shots, and the game-losing turnover. Klay, 29 points on 22 shots, including the game-winner in Matthew’s mug.

Stephen Curry: Now the number one fantasy player in basketball, which speaks not only to his otherworldly shooting prowess, but to the all-around nature of his game. To which he has, this season, added fantastic point-guard defense.

Can you believe that Coach K started Kyrie Irving over Curry on Team USA? Coach K, like Matt Steinmetz, believes that Curry is an undersized two-guard. How about you?

I mentioned to my friend Abe tonight that what is even more rare than Curry’s supreme talent, is that even with that supreme talent, he’s so incredibly unselfish and giving to his teammates.

Would Kobe Bryant, in Curry’s shoes, have allowed Klay Thompson the opportunity of that final game-winning shot?

Stephen Curry is the anti-Kobe.

Having said that, how can it be correct to go away from the greatest closer in the game, who was being guarded by a poor defender in Damian Lilliard — a matchup that Curry has destroyed in past years — in favor of a matchup of Klay Thompson against a terrific defender in Wesley Matthews?

The outcome was fantastic, but the call was curious. Does Steve Kerr want to make Klay The Man on this team?

Bogut: Showed much better defensively in this game against the Lopezasaurus, even on the road back to back, than he did against the Lakers’ quicker, outside shooting two-power forward front. Which is to be expected.

So far he’s proven disastrous in the triangle, as I predicted. He’s looked much better offensively off the ball in pick and roll and backdoor alley-oops.

The Showcase: Went a lot better against the Lakers’ historically bad defense than it did against Nic Batum. But in general, you can expect Barnes to look much improved in the Warriors starting lineup. Faced with Curry and Klay, would you guard him?

Got stripped by Damian Lilliard going up for a layup on a fast break. Which lead to this Jim Barnett comment: “He doesn’t know how to protect the ball…”

Gulp. It’s a good thing Warriors fans have Barnett’s back. The best local color man in the game.

On the plus side, Barnes’ on the ball defense has looked pretty good so far this season. Jim Barnett said “He’s playing harder. He has another gear to him this year.”

Gulp. Love you, Barnett.

Draymond Green: It hasn’t looked pretty, but all he does is win. He’s just one of those guys.

LaMarcus Aldridge tried to bully Green in the low post in the first half, but quickly got his fill of that, and moved his game outside in the second half. Unfortunately, the 6-6″ (in shoes) Green had no answer for that as Aldridge poured in 10 straight points shooting over the top.

It bears repeating, because there’s once again a lot of murmuring by the ignorati in the press, but Draymond Green is not a starting power forward in the NBA. He can do it for stretches and be quite good. He might be able to do it for long periods of time against some of the stretch-fours in the league.

But if you force him to play it night in and night out against the monster fours in this league, you’ll wind up sending his career into an early grave.

Draymond Green’s minutes should come from Harrison Barnes.

Period.

Iggy: When the second unit takes the floor, it seems that if the ball’s not in Barbosa’s hands, it’s in Iggy’s.  6 assists against the Lakers, 5 tonight. So remind me again why the Warriors wanted Shaun Livingston for 3 years, $16 million? To play off the ball where he can’t shoot, and can’t draw a defender?

Perhaps Iggy is destined to return to the starting unit at some point? I see Shaun Livingston playing, if that’s the word, so what’s the plan, and when does it kick in?

Iggy missed a very clutch free throw down the stretch, and true to form, he did it by hitting the back rim first.

Draymond, please whisper feltbot’s law in his ear.

Festus: Man, he’s been playing great. I’m thrilled just to see him back playing his normal defense.

The offense has been a bonus. Who’d of thunk we’d ever see such slick footwork in the post from him? Not to mention the soft touch on his jump hooks.

Think maybe he could teach Bogut a couple of those moves? Nah, forget it. Bogut, like Chris Webber, doesn’t want any part of the low post.

Barbosa: Saved the bacon of the Warriors’ second unit in this game, and will continue to save their bacon until his inevitable return to the injured list. (Don’t worry, that’s a reverse jinx. I hope.)

The closest thing the Warriors have to a sixth man. The only player on the second unit who can create his own offense. It’s too bad he has zero court vision, because the ball MUST be put in his hands if the Warriors bench is to have a chance.

As we saw tonight.

Mokur: Has looked astonishingly good to me so far this year, particularly given the fact that he’s being played out of position at the four. Didn’t Steve Kerr mention several times in the preseason that he intended Speights to play center? Unfortunately, that’s not what Joe Lacob intends, according to his spokesmodel. Joe Lacob wants the Warriors to play big. And the Warriors are being coached by committee.

It’s obvious, isn’t it, that the Warriors’ chief problem on the second unit this season is that they’re playing too big, too slow, and without enough spacing?

Perhaps that will change when David Lee and Brandon Rush return, and Green and Barnes are available to man the four on the reserves. And perhaps Steve Kerr will send Alvin Gentry to plead with Lacob.

The 5 Million Dollar Man: Is it too soon to begin the discussion about how Shaun Livingston fits on the Warriors? After all, the Warriors PR staff Bob Fitzgerald saw fit to tell us that although Leandro Barbosa was doing a lot of the ballhandling at the moment, Livingston will take over the ball-handling duties once he gets healthier.

I wouldn’t count on it.

I’m on record since day 1 as stating that Livingston was a terrible fit for the Warriors. And while it’s early days, and I may yet receive one of the pleasantest basketball surprises of my life, literally everything I envisioned in the preseason is now visible on the court.

Beginning with Livingston’s -15 in the last two Warriors victories, in which the total margin of victory was 28. It’s so bad, he’s dragging the RAPM king of last season, Andre Iguodala, down with him. Iggy was -7 in this game, and the statphreaks must be totally phreaking.

So what’s going on? Here it is in a nutshell: Last season Livingston essentially played small forward for the Nets. Point-forward. And Jason Kidd surrounded him with shooters at every position. Garnett and Teletovic at center. Paul Pierce at PF. Joe Johnson and Deron Williams. So when Kidd posted Livingston up, or got him into the lane on pick and roll, he had a totally spread floor and four targets.

It was an absolutely ideal situation for Livingston. His own chief flaw, an inability to shoot and spread the floor, was completely minimized. His chief ability, to pass over the top in the lane, was maximized. As was his essentially 8 foot range.

Kidd also played Livingston in one of the slowest, walk-it-up systems in the entire league. Which was ideal for a guy on a reconstructed knee and arthritic toe who, quite frankly, is not exactly thrilled by running and jumping at this point in his career. (Did you see him blow that layup in the Lakers game by grabbing the rim before the ball fell through, for fear of landing hard on his toe? Jim Barnett sure did. Gulp.)

And thus it was that Shaun Livingston miraculously had a career year, and Joe Lacob got suckered into an absolutely ridiculous contract that no professional GM would ever consider.

So what’s going on now, on the Warriors? (It’s clear my nutshell is overflowing.) Well, first of all, when Livingston gets the ball in the post, he’s not looking at a spread floor with four sweet-shooting targets. He’s looking at Festus Ezeli’s man playing free safety under the basket. And he’s looking at Mo Speights (also clogging the painted area — shouldn’t he be out at the three point line?), Andre Iguodala and Leandro Barbosa as targets.

So long as the opposing coach isn’t stupid enough to double team Livingston in the post (ie., isn’t Byron Scott — and even he corrected himself) this isn’t a recipe for great offense. Nothing good is going to be open, and even when Livingston — who was a decent post scorer last year in the Net’s spread system — calls his own number, he will have Ezeli’s man in front of him on drives, and if he chooses not to drive, will be shooting the least effective shot in basketball, the contested midrange two.

There is a reason why we’re seeing Barbosa and Iggy handle the ball on the second unit. The second unit has needed penetration and pick and roll to initiate the offense. Livingston in the post isn’t cutting it, and I don’t see that changing.

Nor is Livingston cutting it off the ball. In fact, it is an absolute disaster for the offense. If you go back and watch his minutes in this game, you will see him being completely disregarded by his defender. You could have put Livingston out at the three point line, and his man would still be standing in the lane.

Take a look at 2:52 3Q in last night’s Blazers game as an example. Livingston is on the wing while a teammate (I forgot to note who) drives the lane, and gets confronted by Livingston’s man, because Livingston does not need to be guarded on the wing. Now Livingston, who is wide open, but knows he can’t stand still and hope to make a wide open shot, begins cutting towards the basket. He receives the pass, dribbles baseline and looks for a target, and… the Warriors get whistled for three seconds.

You simply cannot play Shaun Livingston off the ball and hope to have an effective offense.

This is not even to get into the question of whether Livingston is a fit for a Warriors team that SHOULD be looking to run their opponents out of the gym with their second unit. I don’t see him beating too many players down court. Is this the guy you want to run with  smallball units of Green, Barnes, Rush and Barbosa? Or would DJ Augustin — to name just one of the many cheaper alternatives available this offseason, scooped up by the very savvy Stan Van Gundy — have been far better? Or how about paying a mere $1 million a year more for Isaiah Thomas, scooped up by the suddenly very savvy Suns to be their sixth man.

Could you imagine Isaiah Thomas as the Warriors sixth man?

I like Shaun Livingston. I think his story is incredible, and I admire everything about who he is as a man. I also admire his great basketball IQ, his passing ability, and his defense. But that doesn’t mean I have to like the way he fits on the Warriors. I think he’s a good player, but a good player with limitations, who requires a spread floor with shooting bigs and a half-court pace to be effective.

Is that this Warriors team?

61 Responses to Cashious Klay: Warriors 95 Blazers 90

  1. Great post feltbot. Especially about Livingston. So even after he gets up to speed, you still think he won’t be able to contribute to the team? How about just as a back up ball handler for Curry? Also want to know which teams you think will prove to be the toughest opponents for the Warriors this season?

    • We can defend big, but can we defend small? How about the Suns and Mavs backcourts and stretch lineups? Looking forward to seeing this question answered.

  2. Fixed errors and rewrote the Livingston section to make it a bit more comprehensible, if no more palatable to his fans.

  3. Thanx, Feltbot.

    A good take on Kerr, and we’ll be watching his adjustments all season.

    Also a good argument against Livingston, though let’s give him time since we got him. He only has to spell Curry for 7-8 minutes. Maybe if the subs come along, especially Rush, he’ll have the shooters he needs? They can’t spread the floor with Barbosa, Rush, Green, and Speights? Could he play with a small unit that had Klay and Curry? A greater concern may be if he can play with the starters should Curry sit, and I can’t see it, not with Bogut, Iguodala, and Lee.

    A nice start against so-so competition, but Curry and Klay can’t carry the load all season. Barnes and Iguodala are averaging around 30 minutes a game each, yet are only averaging 14 points per game combined, 9 and 5 respectively. And 6 assists combined (2 and 4). Someone needed to step up in scoring with Lee down and didn’t.

  4. warriorsablaze

    Great read, Felt. Nothing really to disagree with in general.

    Barnes has looked better…perhaps to the point of being neutral (meaning not dragging the starters into the gutter) as a starter, but his continued level of minutes is irritating. He’s played well enough to get 10-15, max. I’m most scared that they are going to double-down on their bad hand and offer to extend him.

    I’m also interested to see how Kerr adjusts for different opponents as we go forward. As you said, Bogut is a bad match against the Jordan Hills of the league. Lee’s injury is throwing off the rotations and the offensive flow, so I’m trying to be patient as everyone feels each other out. There will be some bumps and bruises for sure over the first few months of the season.

    As rgg mentioned, I think Livingston’s biggest contributions will come in blended units with Curry and Klay.

    • your guess on livingston might become true, based on how he did with other perimeter scorers on the court with him in Brk. but is that what the lacobites wanted when they used the entire mid-level exception on him, with multiple years guaranteed. we’ll see if they’re able to adopt a different offense should curry and thompson combine to miss 8-10 games (still very low, considering last seasons total of 2) and livingston has to step in for either.

    • WAB, a few points:

      The Ws extended Barnes already:

      http://www.ibabuzz.com/warriors/2014/10/30/warriors-exercise-contract-options-harrison-barnes-festus-ezeli-decline-option-nemanja-nedovic/

      While he has played D better, Barnes still has a tendency to stop ball movement on offense. We even saw a couple of (Oh NO!) Barnes iso’s last night. He still can’t create his own shot, or score in traffic.

      Re Bogut, you’re right, he was a bad match for Hill. But also, Green was a bad match for Boozer. Kerr should probably reverse those defensive assignments next time, whether Green or Lee is playing next to Bogut.

      • warriorsablaze

        I don’t have much of an issue with the Warriors picking up his option to get one more year of evaluation… even though I’m pretty rgg-level skeptical we’ll see much more than we already have up til now.

        If that’s still the case when his rookie deal is up, signing him to some significant long term deal would be a nightmare…. doing so instead of extending Green would be catastrophic.

  5. warriorsablaze

    My one concern with Klay getting to the next level is the fact that he does not share Curry’s unselfishness. He’s not a Kobe, but he’s prone to forcing up some bad shots…and he’s far more likely to shoot us out of some games this season than Curry. Hopefully his increased aggressiveness toward the basket and improved FT rate might help mitigate this a bit when his shot isn’t falling.

  6. Replay of the night:

  7. Feltbot:

    Your love of Thompson’s potenital is being requited, and that is a great thing for the Warriors’ ongoing drive for a championship.

    I as see as much growth in Curry’s game from season 5 to 6…which makes Curry that much more amazing. He has seemingly conquered the one offensive “weakness” some have harped on by getting to the rim and to the free throw line anytime he wants. How do you guard this guy?

    He is also making great strides on the defensive end too. Lilliard was a non-factor again.

    If he keeps up this trajectory, there will be no argument about the best pg in the game, perhaps even this year…and his upside will be an MVP and the HOF. A wonderful privilege as a fan!

  8. The Warriors lost all flexibility by signing Klay early. This season with Lee still on the roster (next year it’s either him or Draymond leaving so Lacob isn’t hit with the tax) will be their best chance to win a title in the next three years, maybe by far.

    Signing Klay in my mind was about locking up a face of the franchise for the move to SF.

    The Warriors next “window” of hope for a title will start Summer of 2018 when Curry is a free agent. If they can create a Big 3 with Curry, Thompson, and Blake or Ibaka, they may open that window again.

    • … so Lacob isn’t hit with the tax…

      a) Sigh. It’s a soft cap. Lacob can spend whatever he wants.

      b) Lacob is going to clear somewhere north of $1.5 Billion on his Warriors investment. From that vantage point, player salaries are chump change.

      c) The new NBA TV deal, and the upcoming CBA, will make Thompson’s contract look like a bargain.

      d) Lacob may decide to lose Lee or Draymond. But Lee vs. Draymond is a false conflict based solely on the assumption that Lacob actually gives a shit about a couple mill of lux tax. See a) and b).

      • If money was no object why in the world did they amnesty Charlie
        Bell and not Biedrins?

        • warriorsablaze

          Considering amnestying Biedrins would have saved them a ton more money, I don’t see how that speaks to your point.

          I see no problem with them not having gone into the tax thus far… it simply hasn’t been a smart play yet.. basketball or financial. As you say, next year will be the test. Lacob has straight up said he’ll go into the tax to win.

          We have probably the most expensive coaching staff in the league, a brand new stadium on the way, and just gave Klay 70mil … there’s far more evidence of Lacob spending money than otherwise…Feltbot’s Lacob conspiracy theories notwithstanding.

          • Amnesty meant they could free his salary from the cap. Vut they would have still had to actually pay his salary.

      • Lacob could in theory spend all he wants to keep Draymond, but he can not spend all he wants to sign free agents. So the idea that the cap is “soft” is only partially correct form that standpoint.

    • warriorsablaze

      I still don’t understand how it’s different, really. How are we in a better position signing him at the end of the year instead of now? Unless your idea is that we wouldn’t match an offer and instead sign someone else as a FA?

      • We would only have his cap hold. If we cleared enough space by dumping other contracts we could have had enough to sign, say, ?Marc Gasol or LMA. In theory.

      • And could still offer Klay a max deal and re-sign Draymond.

        That is how Houston was planning to sign both Bosh and
        Parsons.

    • moto, I hope, will shed light, but as I recall the Warriors were operating under a hard cap last season—and will the next? Going over the cap requires certain maneuvering—using exceptions? I read these things and forget them.

      • almost every team exceeds the soft cap. they still have access to two different exceptions to sign players, the larger called mid-level. that was exercised on livingston, and committed them to accepting the lux tax limit as a hard cap. even the teams that blow past the lux tax limit get an exception to sign players, approximately half as much.

        if they’re forced to match an offer to green that takes them over the tax limit, green’s cost of course gets increased by the tax paid to silver’s minions as a result, and their flexibility for any other free agent signings or contracts ingested via trades gets impaired. there are significant variables that will arise between now and June, not least the official cap getting set, the decision on speights’ $3 m.+ team option, and any trades.

        • After Speights, Rush has a player option next year, Holiday a qualifying offer. Barbosa, Green, (and Kuzmic) will have to negotiate for a new contract if they’re going to stay. So if Barbosa does well this year, it may be hard to keep him.

  9. Wednesday night: Fitz or MJax? (Comcast or ESPN)

    Decisions, decisions. . . .

    • Fitz comes with Barnett.

      If we suffer through MJax’s silly pseudo-macho rah-rah blather, do we get Van Gundy? Van Gundy isn’t as well informed as Barnett about the Ws, but he is funnier, and very sharp.

      • WheresMyChippy

        I love Jeff Van Gundy. Jackson’s bs is annoying but it’s so over the top sometimes that it’s funny. And their chemistry together is hilarious.

        As much as I love Barnett, I usually watch JVG when I have the opportunity and flip back and forth a bit. Luckily I don’t have to make that decision this time, I’ll be at the game :D

        Some parody:

        • Mama, there goes that man—

          OK, you persuaded me. Fitz it is.

        • cosmicballoon

          I’m interested to hear any veiled barbs we might hear from Jackson. ESPN has my vote for this first time Jackson talks about his former team and ownership.

          • What The BLATT Do We Know?!

            I’m with cosmicballoon – it will be fascinating to hear MJax call this game.

  10. Looking at FB’s point about Curry and defense. I wonder if Curry will take on Paul Wed. He switched off last season, right? Curry will try to do it all, but I wonder how long he can keep it up. He’s also driving more. He looked tired last night—Barnett noted this—and his shooting was off. I want to keep those shooting legs fresh and have the team set him up more.

    • Agree that Curry looked tired, I think he missed his last couple of outside shots against Portland. Maybe a factor in why the big offensive play at the end went to Klay. Road back2back, not unexpected. That is one way his ability to get to the line will make a difference; if his shot isn’t falling he can still score.

      I’m curious about the cross match against the Clips too. I probably would put Curry on Paul to start with strict orders to not get in foul trouble and cross match in the third or fourth quarter as a shut-down change-up.

      For that matter, I probably wouldn’t cross match Bogut/Lee or Bogut/Draymond early either. Let Griffin expend some energy trying to bull-rush those guys. Then see if he can hit those outside shots tired with a Bogut cross match.

  11. It’s ironic. Durant said he left team USA because of George’s injury. So what happens?

  12. Houston must be playing very well, given their record so far and their box scores. Tough match-up for the Warriors, what with Ariza defending Thompson, Beverely defending Curry, and Howard protecting the rim. DLee will have to step it up. Ariza is highly efficient offensively as well.

  13. Word is Lee felt debilitating pain in his ham up until last Saturday. Not promising.

    I have a student in one of my classes who looks exactly like Steve Kerr. I like him.

    • Which?

      • ?

        Which what?

        I literally have a student who looks like Steve Kerr. I walked into class the first day and said wow you look like Steve Kerr. He didn’t know him but I rang up a picture on the video screen and he agreed. Nothing unflattering here. Both are OK looking guys. And the student is perceptive. I like him. Another student in the class met Steph at a soccer game.

    • “I have a student…”

      Marvelous basketball insight there, rgg.

  14. Yes, Kidd did not have NJ. Running. But when they did run, Livingston did just fine. Agree Livingston grabbed rim to protect his toe because it was still injured and he brought back to early. I’m just glad we have big point guard who can dunk. We’ll see if he can run if and when he is fully healthy.

    Not worried about Livingston being confronted by Eleli’s man inside. Can shoot over him, dish off inside , or kick it outside.

    Agree that Livingston would be ineffective playing with Green, Rush, Barbosa, and Rush, but only because unless we had a 20 point lead, I would never want to see those 4 players on the court together with another small.

    There’s many ways to skin a cat. Am hopeful that when healthy, Kerr will figure out how to use Livingston effectively.

    Hopefully, either Rush or Barbosa will an effective 6th man.

    • From the linked article, here’s the Warriors perspective in a nutshell:

      “Now is the time to lock up young players to long-term deals. What looks like a large share of a $66 million cap will look comparably small when that cap shoots up to $90 million.”

      Larry Riley seems better at talent assessment, but Myers writes smarter contracts.

  15. Bogut hints that Iggy will continue coming off the bench. As I expected, until the showcase is finished.

    http://www.sportal.com.au/nba/andrew-bogut-positive-start-to-the-season/1byv1rvvbcdhb1y29djv6tnagp

    He also seems to hint that Lee might come off the bench as well. There has been some wishful thinking about that in the press, but I think it’s highly unlikely.

    • If Barnes is being showcased, why pick up his option? Wishful thinking?

      • Possibly. But I think you might have to pick it up if you wanted to convince the other party he was worth something. Also, you might want to have him locked up cheaply if you intend on a major showcase investment — in case he miraculously looks good.

        Can’t think of a single other reason to pick up his option. But idiocy can’t be ruled out.

        • Barnes’ extension did not come cheap. His Year 4 is $3.8M. That’s 4 Barbosas, or 4 Draymonds, or 4 rookies. It’s also 4x what Barnes would have earned as an unrestricted FA, if the team hadn’t extended him.

    • tellum et al. will make sure the lacobites will be facing serious competing offers for green in July. picking up barnes’ option maintained the same facade we’ve seen since his draft day, but he’s also their insurance if they decide those offers on green are too rich. barnes’ partisans incl. lauridsen are now chirping about how well he’s done at the 4, and he’s been their starting 3 for parts of each of his seasons with the team — they will be sure to talk confidently about finding other solutions if green moves on.

      • Could the FO not have tried to lock up Green early, i.e. now? I’m curious what he’ll draw on the market next summer. Or did the FO lock up Barnes because they didn’t think they could keep Green?

        I will go ballistic if Green goes and Barnes stays.

        • the team had more options under the c.b.a. with green, as a second round pick in contrast to first round picks, with the contracts they could offer. that’s one of the reasons green had those comments about how pleased he was to get the one he did. but the lacobites can’t re-sign him until July 1, at which time they would like to make a close out during their brief, exclusive bargaining window to shut out the competitors. green’s new agents will need to be convinced, and myers will be quite aware of it.

          tonight they’re getting reminded (as is rivers) how green is irreplaceable against some of their key western conference competitors.

  16. Utah is legit. Quinn has team running. Favors a force taking it to hoop.

  17. Do you think Draymond’s new agent is happy?

    But for Lee going down, that was some stuff. Barbosa filled in for Klay and they didn’t miss a beat. I’m a fan. No argument about Bogut’s influence, but he’s passing up shots down low he has to take. Curry and Klay, of course. And the Kerr meter went up several degrees tonight. I like the way he mixed the lineups up. Obviously a lot of planning went into this game, with adjustments along the way. And of course his T with Joey.

    Ezeli had the jitters again. But for those made shots, Barnes was nearly invisible again and on several plays downright inept.

    Why I do not trust +/–: Barnes high with +24, Paul low with –25.

    But I wonder about what Rivers is doing with the Clips, not getting the perimeter offense going first half. Maybe he misses Gentry?

  18. As we all can see Barnes is a minor contributor when he’s on the court. His high positive rating is almost due to fact that he’s in a starting line-up with 4 players who are destroying the opposition both offensively and defensively and lead the league as a team in point differential.