Clobbered City: Warriors 121 Clippers 104

I thought before last season started that the Warriors were already a better team than the Clippers. All of the reasons I gave then still apply, but particularly the fact that the Clippers are terribly weak defensively on the wings. JJ Redick and Jamal Crawford — among the league’s worst. Matt Barnes appears to have fallen off the face of the earth. If the Clips don’t fix this situation, they’re in for a disappointing season. 

It’s early, but it’s also clear that the Warriors will be much better coached this season than last. The end of isolation basketball in itself is enough to guarantee that. The presence of Alvin Gentry and Ron Adams on the bench is a further guarantee.

And it’s obvious that the Warriors are a better and deeper team this season than last. Or is it? This game illustrated the conundrum I faced pre-season when trying to forecast the Warriors. Fabulous team on paper. But a quorum of their best players might prove made of paper before the season is over.

As I feared pre-season, David Lee was the first casualty. And make no mistake, his hamstring injury is directly correlated to the core injuries that have resulted in 3 straight offseason surgeries for him. I expect him to be out at least two weeks with this latest aggravation, and it’s a situation that could easily linger all season long, as it did for Iggy last year.

Speaking of Iggy, is it just me, or does it appear that another foot has disappeared from his jump? Perhaps there’s more than one reason why the Warriors have moved him onto the second unit? Giving him more rest during the regular season couldn’t hurt.

Bogut, Ezeli, Livingston, Rush, Barbosa — the list of fragile Warriors comprises half the team. The odds seem long — longer than for any other contender, even the Spurs — that this team can make it to the post-season with its core intact.

But for the moment at least, the Warriors are clearly among the elite of the league. Jeff van Gundy: “The Warriors could well win the championship.”

Steve Kerr: Don’t know if you noticed, but the Warriors played high pick and roll throughout this game, and the triangle was evident for only a few possessions. Very encouraging.

As a side note, I couldn’t be more delighted that the Warriors now have a coach who is willing to take technicals. I just hope God doesn’t smite him.

Draymond Green: Followed up right where he left off in Game 7 of the playoffs, with another of the best games of his career. If he can consistently hit his three point shot, as it appears he can, he will be a monster in this league. I got a good look at his form in this game, and I am willing to bet a serious amount of money that he shoots a better percentage from three than Harrison Barnes this season. Hit me up if you’re interested.

Speaking of money, Jeff van Gundy thinks Green will be worth $10-12 million on the open market next season. So I guess the Rockets got a steal with Trevor Ariza at $8 million per.

It appears that the whispers about Green taking the starting power forward job from David Lee just might be correct — Steve Kerr intimated as much with his “we’re winning with Draymond starting” comment in the post-game. I have a few points to make about this:

First, there are sound basketball reasons for this move. Given Bogut’s inability to shoot, playing a stretch-four alongside him improves the Warriors’ spacing enormously. Also, the persistent lack of offense from the Warriors’ second unit could well benefit from Lee’s presence. And regrettably, Lee might benefit as much as Iggy from the reduced minutes and wear and tear.

Second, I nevertheless stand behind my belief that Green is too small to go 82 games against NBA power forwards without wearing down or getting injured. Even full-sized PFs wear down and get injured, as we know all too well. We know that Green can play phenomenally well against bigger men for short stretches of games, or in short minutes of every game. But starting and playing full-time against frontline PFs for 82 games… I’m not a believer.

Third, before you start shouting to the rafters about Green’s defense on Blake Griffin, recognize this: the Warriors double-teamed Griffin on nearly every possession.

Mark Jackson, as you may remember, had a POLICY of never double-teaming the post. Never, ever. Not Blake Griffin, not Dwight Howard, not Zach Randolph. David Lee played every monster in the league straight up. Even in the playoffs, Jackson hung the injured Lee out to dry against Griffin with no help whatsoever.

But when Green took over on Griffin, Jackson felt compelled to break his policy and helped Green out with double-teams.

Two things to note about this: First, two successive Warriors coaches don’t believe Green has the size to handle Griffin on his own. Second, double-teaming creates weaknesses and openings elsewhere in the defense. Weaknesses that the Clippers were unable to exploit in this game, and may never be able to exploit due to the size, versatility and toughness of the Warriors’ wing defenders. But the point remains.

And here is the point: if you’re going to compare Green’s defense of power forwards to Lee’s, make sure you’re not comparing apples to oranges.

By the way, am I against double-teaming the post? Hell no. It’s an absolute prerequisite of going small against monsters. Direct your question to Tim Kawakami and Adam Lauridsen. Back when Nellie did it, they called it “gimmick defense.”

Jeff van Gundy on Stephen Curry: “Has a Steve Nash-like ability playing the pick and roll game.”

You want to stuff that into the triangle? Make it play off the ball?


You might notice that Curry guarded Chris Paul in this game, and has guarded every point guard so far this season. He’s doing it with the aid of a major change in the defensive scheme. It’s called ICE, and it requires the defender of the point guard to jump the pick, preventing the point guard from using it, and thus keeping him away from the center of the floor. This defense leaves the drive wide open, which then becomes the center’s responsibility to contain.

Klay Thompson, if you remember, followed the point guards around the picks.

Klay Thompson: I’ve pointed out in the past that Klay’s defense against small, quick, three-point shooting twos is not all that it’s cracked up to be. And JJ Redick is an example of a guy he’s always had trouble guarding, and always will. Gave him early foul trouble in this game.

[edit: Please ignore the following, it slipped my mind that The Showcase started the game, not Iggy, so my analysis doesn’t apply. See comment 2 for some comments on Barnes, and I hope you’ll forgive me for not remembering he played.]

So why not start Iggy on Redick, and put Klay on Matt Barnes? Isn’t Iggy the guy you’re paying $12 million a year to play defense? Isn’t JJ Redick more dangerous than Matt Barnes? Isn’t Iggy smaller and quicker defensively than Klay? Wouldn’t saving Klay’s legs from having to chase Redick around staggered screens all game pay dividends on the offensive end?

It’s a mystery. Unless maybe you think Iggy’s legs aren’t up to the task.

Klay didn’t play particularly well in this game. Forced the action several times, as if he were making up for lost time. Or trying to live up to a new standard.

Bogut: Had a great game defensively and on the boards. But I simply can’t get over the lengths to which he is going to avoid taking the ball to the basket. I’m sorry, but it drives me nuts. I think it has something to do with the fact that the Warriors have the second coming of Steve Nash at the point, and he’s never had the good fortune to play with a center who is willing to catch and attack the basket.

Bogut’s contact avoidance rivals Biedrins’. He has 2 free throw attempts in four games this season. That’s an average of .5 a game, half of last season’s disgraceful pace.

Shaun Livingston: Looked much better in this game. What was the difference? Very simple: the ball was put in his hands, in high pick and roll. Probably the best role for him on this team.

Note however that by putting the ball in his hands, it was taken out of Iggy’s. Iggy had 6 assists last game, Livingston 6 this game. A net positive?

I don’t know. I’m looking at Livingston’s -2 in a 17 point victory.

260 Responses to Clobbered City: Warriors 121 Clippers 104

  1. Still in Korea and can’t watch the games. I assume by lack of mention that Barnes was as inconsequential as ever despite leading the team in +/-?

    • Yup. As I said in my comment on the last post, +/– can be completely misleading. Barnes was high with +24, Paul low with –25. Let’s hope, however, rival GM’s look at this stat when they evaluate Barnes.

  2. @1 I intended to say something about The Showcase, but completely forgot. I was pretty tired when I wrote this, as evidenced by me writing up a total analysis of why Iggy should have been given the Redick assignment instead of Klay, when that was impossible.

    In answer to your question, Barnes was quietly effective last night — you didn’t notice him much, but when you did he was doing something good. He was particularly active on the boards (for him). Having said that, he had a great matchup against the other Barnes. (To answer one of my own questions, yes, there is a worse SF than Harrison in the league. Something has happened to Matt, he’s a dead horse now.)

    And of course, Barnes spent virtually every minute playing with the starters, which helped his plus/minus.

    Not looking forward to seeing what happens to your brain, EvanZ, when The Showcase is among the league leaders in +/-, and Iggy deep in the pack. Will RAPM capture the situation?

  3. Thanks once more, Feltbot.

    Green won’t be able to score down low, not as well as Lee. They got away with weak front court offense because the perimeter was poorly defended. Front court offense will remain an issue as long as Lee is out.

    Kerr’s technical was a righteous T, so I think we’ll be OK here.

    • Green is becoming a true stretch 4. In a rotation with Lee and Speights, they are in good shape. All three players can score.

      • Surprising with such a lead they didn’t give Speights some minutes, just to bring him along. Anyone know the reason?

  4. I like Blatt from all I’ve heard, but I wonder if he’s in the right place. Trying to put stars together in a coordinated effort is, in fact, a difficult challenge that invites compromise. So far, it doesn’t look like Love is being played to advantage, and I wonder if leaving Cleveland may not be an option he’ll strongly consider. I’d rather see Blatt work with a talented, deep roster where no one stands out that much.

    • warriorsablaze

      Yup. Blatt may be a basketball genius, but managing star egos is a completely different skill.

      I saw someone on twitter mention that Irving has gone several quarters and taken 35+ shots since his last assist.

      I hope Lacob is paying attention… getting superstars sounds good, but sometimes having a deep team of complementary players is a better way to go…. which is what we currently have.

  5. warriorsablaze

    I know you spent all summer building that sweet Triangle strawman, Felt, but how long are you going to continue arguing against it?

    As it’s been pointed out many times, Kerr never said we were going to run the triangle, only some elements…as we’ve seen with a lot of the high post action and movement.

    Green was awesome last night, of course. He won’t be able to provide anything near that much offense with any regularity, but it was fun to watch. Just like with Bogut, there will some match ups that are bad for him, but there aren’t too many big, lumbering bruiser 4’s these days…. so I think he does fine more often than not..especially if we’re doubling the Blake Griffins of the league.

    We definitely take a hit to the starting 5 offense, but I like Lee off the bench with Iggy. Iggy, Lee, Livingston, Barbosa, and Ezeli would probably be a decent starting team in the East… a dominant 2nd team in the West… and if it helps Iggy and Lee stay more healthy, it’s a good strategy.

    • Sorry, high post is not triangle.

      • Both of you are right and wrong.

        Kerr has clearly not been running the old Chicago triangle. He is running a motion offense that involves the center at the top of the key as the pivot for the entire offense.

        The fact that the center (Namely Bogut) is handling the ball can be considered an “element” of the triangle. In the old Bulls triangle, the center would often provide the entry pass to Jordan in the mid-post or on the wing, or swing the ball to the far side of the court. The only way what Kerr is doing resembles this mid-post action is when Bogut passes to Klay at the mid-post in an iso. We saw this last night against Chris Paul for two straight possessions. Klay was 1-2 shooting over Paul.

        What I like about this new offense is the fact that Klay, Curry, Draymond, Iggy and Barnes are all getting open looks from 3 point range. Last year almost every three in the half court was contested. This year, the half court offense is generating three point looks.

        Last season we wanted the Warriors to run because it was the only way Curry would get open. It’s a different story this year, and the Warriors are 4-0.

    • if last night’s game was representative, it appeared to me that there were occasional, vestigial teasers resembling triple post stuff but not sustained even for an entire possession — much more princeton and flex [weaves with a high post player, weakside screens and cuts], by a factor of ten over the triple post.

    • I’m not a true connoisseur of offenses, so I have a simple rule of thumb for determining whether triangle offense is being run. If there’s a player posting in the mid-post, it’s triangle. If not, it’s something else. In my book.

  6. I assume the Knicks are running Phil Jax’s triangle. So far, the Knicks are averaging 89.8 points per game, at the very bottom. Ah, but you need to give the triangle time! I hope the better minds here will pick up this discussion as the season progresses.

    We’ll never be able to sort out who is influencing whom on the coaching staff. One thing that is apparent, however, is that Kerr is listening and trying a lot of things out, a plus in my book. And he may be the best person to negotiate mandates from the FO.

  7. It’s about Point Differential:

    Mavs are (so far) ghastly on D, but (small sample size) off-the-charts on O. Fun stuff!

  8. More on Ballmer, the owner we did not get:

    “Mark Lucovsky was the other man in the room when Steve Ballmer threw his chair and called Eric Schmidt a ‘fucking pussy.'”

    Am still curious what Ellison would have done.

  9. On/off court plus/minus for the team so far this season:

    Curry, Stephen 83
    Barnes, Harrison 69
    Thompson, Klay 64
    Green, Draymond 57
    Iguodala, Andre 47
    Bogut, Andrew 46
    Lee, David 1
    Barbosa, Leandro 0

    Everyone else is negative.!/1610612744/onoffcourt/?PerMode=Totals

    Which only shows how an isolated stat can be used to lie. The whole bench squad is negative (except Iggy! Wow!), but Barnes plays almost exclusively with the 1st unit. Everyone else mixes in with bench players throughout the game.

    That being said, Barnes has played better this year, in a way no one expected: better D. More effort, and more often in the right place. Not a guy you want in a zone D, not quick-thinking enough to switch well, but far better on-ball coverage than in years past.

    On offense Barnes still can’t make a friggin’ layup (or anything else) in traffic, still can’t create his own shot, still can’t dribble with his left, etc., but Kerr’s half-court offensive schemes don’t ask those things of him, so he hasn’t hurt the team so badly that he gets pulled in less than 5 minutes, as he did in his first season under Jackson.

    In short, Barnes is still a work in progress despite his shiny +-, but Kerr is already getting more from Barnes than Jackson ever did, just by avoiding putting him in position to fail.

    • warriorsablaze

      Nobody with any basic understanding of stats uses raw +/- data to say anything. Especially with such a small sample.

      I think this Barnes is exactly what I expected. Basically neutral. An average rotation player in the league… good for 15-20 minutes of decent play. Too many holes in his game to be anything more, and I’m not optimistic there’s much more to come no matter how hard he works. He’s missing that freedom that Curry and Dray play with… the instinct.

  10. Was at the game last night. About an hour before tip off, Kerr was in sneakers and shorts feeding Thompson, who was shooting from everywhere. Of the 60 or so shots I saw, Klay made 59. I’ve never seen a coach working out with only one player just before the game. Quite refreshing!

  11. Unless this is 2012, ICE is not a major change in the defensive scheme. ICE has been the Warriors primary pick and roll coverage since Malone got here, especially on any wing pick and roll.

    And Curry’s been good at it for a while too – Mark Jackson repeatedly praised Curry for being very good at forcing players away from the pick.

    Someone put together a handy compilation of Curry plying ICE with several plays from last year’s playoffs vs the Clips:

    Plus if you go back to your own archives on the San Antonio playoff series when Duncan and Parker were getting mid range jumpers at will, that was because the Warriors were playing ICE.

    • Sorry, you’re completely wrong about this. Klay was trailing the pg over picks, not preventing him from using them.

      Curry may have been icing, but he wasn’t primary defender.

      • Before I get into a long argument, I want to make sure we are arguing the same points. What qualifies as a major change? Are you talking specifically about how they defended Chris Paul in the past or their general pick and roll coverage?

        My point is that Mike Malone installed a system that called for downing every side pick and roll as the default coverage. That most often involves forcing the ball handler away from the screen. That has been going on for 2+ seasons now and has been mentioned in post game interviews with players and coaches and a number of articles.

        Curry, Thompson and every other Warrior has a lot of experience ICEing side pick and rolls.

        Now, they seem to vary their coverage on middle pick and rolls, and maybe Klay as a rule fights through screens in the middle and Curry ICEs them like he would on the side? I honestly am not aware of their principles at that level of detail. They probably made adjustments specifically for Chris Paul, both last year and this year, and you could be right that they played much more ICE on him this past game.

        But the adjustment this year was applying a well worn defensive principal of theirs in a different situation, not introducing something new to their defense.

        • These are the statements I was disagreeing with: 1) ICE has not been the primary pg coverage since Malone, since Klay has been the primary defender, and he didn’t ice the pg, he trailed. 2) Klay was the primary defender on Parker in the SA series, and again, he trailed.

          The Warriors have changed the primary pg defensive assignment, and with it, the primary defensive system. OK?

          • Well, since PGs get the high pick and roll more often and fewer side pick and rolls, I guess ICE could be their primary p&r coverage on side pick and rolls and yet not be their primary coverage against PG P&Rs. I thought I remembered seeing ICE against the Spurs, but didn’t find any readily available highlights, so perhaps memory plays tricks.

            There are some examples in this video of Klay playing ICE poorly against PGs in Dragic and Bledsoe


            So perhaps that helps explain why he more often fights over the top. Schemes should certainly be adjusted to the strengths of the players executing them. It seems Curry plays ICE very well and Thompson may not be as good at it, while he is quite good at fighting through picks.

    • The primary method of defending the PnR by the Dubs has been both, ICE and trailing the handler with the big zoned up. (ICE zones up the big too). Klay does indeed trail, usually. Curry does indeed ICE, usually. This is partially due to their size differential (amongst several factors). Klay can still bother players from behind so it makes sense for him to trail more than Curry.

  12. Barbosa is going to save our bacon a lot this year. Hope he stays healthy

  13. Cosmicballoon has hit it right on the head. The Warriors are quick motion offense and attacking from all over the court. Inside, slashed to hoop, dive cuts, screens, kicking it out, picks, pick and roll. Defenses aways one step behind. And the defense looks like a motion in your face defense as well creating many turnover and opponent’s shooting a low field percentage.

    While the player rotation almost seems like interchangeable parts, their not, it’s the multi-faceted system that is the driving force in the Warriors success. It’s like a boulder picking up speed going down a hill that can’t be stopped. Opponent’s are playing at 33 rpm speed while the Warriors are at 78 rpm’s. glad to see Kerr following the Nellie script of trying different combination of players. Until we fall on our ace and that’s not likely to happen, it doesn’t matter who starts or plays for second unit.

    Livingston played great yesterday. I’ll take 6 assists and one turnover playing less than 20 minutes any day of the week.nor we’re the Clippers leaving him unguarded as he was a 48 percent shooter last year. He had nothing to with the team being -2 on the court as the Clippers went on run that he had nothing to do with.

    Seems to be a lot of nick-picking of both the Warriors and certain players. Take a deep breath, smile, and enjoy the ride. It’s going to last for a long time.

    • OMG, Frank, you must be, like, totally old like me.

      78 rpm records stopped shipping in the early 60s. Compadre! Let’s get our conversations “on tape” or even “on wax!”

      Then we can pick up our phones, jiggle the hook and yell “operator, operator! Get me the 415 exchange! Yes it’s long distance but damn the expense!”

      I use those kinds of similes around the office sometimes, and since 99% of the world’s population is younger than me, I’m rewarded with blank looks and eye-rolling. “WTF, the old guy is, like, talking in mysterious historical references again.”

      Gosh, Frank, you can probably even name more than one Wilson Pickett song.

      OK, back to basketball.

  14. warriorsablaze

    Fun pop-psych read on perception and bias. Especially good for the “use your eyes”, “I watch the games”, “stats lie” folks. Of course, swinging too far in either direction will lead you astray…but it seems folks always have to take the extreme sides on everything.

  15. One of thethings I’m liking about Kerr: steph and klay both under 34 minutes a game. We can’t afford to exhaust either before the playoffs..

  16. @5

    The essence of triangle offense:

    “The spacing stretches the defense to defend both sides of the court, and this creates a problem for the helpside defense and defensive trapping. Unlike a free-lance motion offense, players should be looking to fill the five spots. But like a motion offense, players read and react to the defense without having to call set plays.”

    The triangle is a system that depends on spacing, passing, and reading and reaction, not predetermined set plays. Obviously we’re getting a mix of things, including set plays, these in part determined by the roster (no scoring center, etc.), obviously the staff is experimenting with a lot of things.

    The best system for the team is one that pushes early offense and allows improvisation by the brighter players. This is where Curry will shine. Barnes will be a sticking point. They have to spread the court and move the ball, but commitment to some passing scheme will take them further into the shot clock, could lead to turnovers if the passes are forced, and prevent spontaneity split second decisions Curry especially can make.

    • rgg,

      The explanation of the Triangle you cite is incomplete and it is helping lead you to some incorrect conclusions. First of all, the dubs are running as much Princeton as Triangle so it is better to just call it a read-and-react offense. Second, every RnR offense has three additional layers, the first is “basketball plays”. For example, one common Princeton option is that if the post is above the free throw line, another player dribbling across the top of the key gets a ball screen (initiating a PnR). The PnR is the basketball play and depending upon the players involved and the way the defense plays it, the dribbler may curl and drive, fade and shoot, the screener may slip, roll, or pop. It can be different every time but it isn’t the spontaneity of a single player, it is every player reading the basketball play.

      The second layer is the skill set of an individual player, Shaun Livingston, in the same PnR I described will never fade and shoot because he doesn’t have that skill set, Steph has the shot and can take the shot. This is a little more like spontaneity but it is really a disciplined optimization of a skillset and an equally disciplined adherence to limitations.

      The third layer is the automatic read, someone slips and falls, you drive. Someone turns their head, you back cut. It can look like spontaneity but it is really observation and action based on the team’s training and your abilities as a player.

      Also, in a thread a couple of months back, I noted how the last 10-12 years of NBA champions has only had one team in the top 10 in pace and that one time was at #10. The most successful teams trust their system and work it to get a good shot. That isn’t to say they don’t push the pace on the break, or don’t take advantage of a secondary break opportunity but if it isn’t there they run their offense until they get a good shot. They do that whether they go 10 seconds into the clock or 22 seconds into the clock.

    • Barnes may be a sticking point on the improvisation side, but pushing the pace will fit him perfectly. He can get up and down the court, and he’s a good finisher on the break. Plus if the rest of the team is pushing the pace, he’s likely to get wide open shots that require no improvisation off of the secondary break.

    • Thanks, YT (TT?).

      My point is a simple one, not explicitly stated, that it doesn’t make sense to call what the Warriors are running the triangle, as you explain.

      We’ve seen a lot of forced passes the early going that led to turnovers. What is the problem here, that they haven’t mastered the system yet or that it isn’t the right system for the players?

      And against the Clippers, did they score because of the system or because of the spotty Clipper defense?

      We should get another good test of the system against Houston. My main concern is whether they can get enough scoring from the front court players to set up the rest.

      It’s hard for me to Barnes and the terms “read and react” together. He has to be set up by others, which is most difficult when they can’t run the break

      • warriorsablaze

        No one but you and Feltbot are calling it the triangle… which you seem to keep doing for the sole purpose of arguing against it.

        On the contrary, “read and react” in this manner is perfect for Barnes, as YouTired said, it seems like improvisation but is actually based on the training. The more defined Barnes options are at any given moment, the better…as we all know, his improv skills are lacking.

        • ‘read and react’ works compatibly for barnes when he’s away from the ball — he’ll never have one of the top opponent’s defenders minding him, for one thing. even in the last game when his ‘mates found him open within six feet of the hoop, he drew fouls more often than finishing with a goal. as far as his ‘read and react’ after getting the ball, he’s one of the slowest on the team to initiate and commit (ezeli is worse, but he didn’t start hoops until age 16)– usually there’s a slight but perceptible (by now, expected) mis-synch in the offensive rhythm after he catches the ball, if it’s not obvious to him he has to catch and shoot or immediately pass off.

        • Kerr introduced the term “triangle,” not us, and he referred to his stint with PJax. We’ve had to wait to see what he was actually going to do.

          moto explains the problem with Barnes well. He’ll benefit as a receiver, but against the Clippers that was only 5 times, so he must not have been that open that much, this against a weak defender. As an initiator, he’s a drain, which is why there’s a loss in not starting Iguodala, who is a good initiator, who can read and react.

          Whether or not he gets that many looks with Bogut on the court against better defensive teams, whether his presence doesn’t tighten the defense on the other players, both remain to be seen.

          There must be dozens of lower level players who can contribute better. His raw speed is negated by his slow response time and lack of craft.

      • rgg,

        Is it the system, or the players, or the other teams had a bad night…? If we continue on a trend of more efficient scoring, more overall scoring, more assisted baskets, all of this while also getting more rest for our best players, I think you can safely say the system is helping or at least not hurting.

        As for turnovers, I think you have to get granular. I didn’t count how many of each type but I did see all these types: over-aggressive (alley oops to Bogut’s from half court, a foot to high), illegal screens (ball handler moves too soon or screener doesn’t hold), hands of stone (the Ezeli special), stripped on a drive (this is usually a Lee specialty), loss of focus (the bad Steph), mis-timed cut/pass, and players not usually tasked with passing or handling, passing or handling. Only the last two could you really attribute to the offense. I think the bulk are in the other categories.

        As for Barnes, I think he can function in the offense because you only need to know so much to not gum up the works and the majority of the reads are binary and sequential (someone passed me the ball, can I drive? Yes/no. If no, can I shoot? Yes/no. If no, can I enter the ball to the post? Yes/no. If yes, screen for the corner man and fill the corner.). That is something that a hard working player could learn which, by all accounts, he is.

        • the team has only faced one road contest against a confident and well prepared team (Sac will do better in both respects in their next meeting). vs. Por, barnes had 3 points, 2 boards in 26 min., defending against their fourth scoring option. working hard won’t change barnes’ hardwired cognitive limitations, and slight hesitations against strong teams will break a play.

        • The turnovers I have most in mind are forced passes when there isn’t an opening, these made by many players. I can recall many but of course haven’t kept count.

          Barnes has a slow reaction time. Raw stats have measured that he holds the ball among the longest before deciding what to do with it—I posted this some time ago. I doubt this can be learned. And he’s had two years with a high caliber college team and two years with a NBA team playing very substantial minutes.

        • Here we go, the stats on Barnes’ touches:

          “It’s a combination of two factors that leave prognosticators apprehensive about Harrison’s future. writer (and Warriors fan) Ethan Sherwood Strauss probably put it best when he noted that Barnes has a habit of ‘turning easy shots into hard ones.’ This goes back to the perceived inadequacies as a pure athlete that existed prior to the 2012 Combine.”

          Hit the link for stats and more. I question the assumption he is a capable shooter.

          • Just watch Barnes whenever he gets the ball. Pull out a stopwatch and count the seconds. Look at his eyes as he looks for and does not find options or openings. Most often, he will not test the defense but dribble out or pass the ball. And look at his eyes when he shoots or drives against a defender. He does not see the bucket.

          • And watch Barnes on a fast break when he gets the ball. He does not see the trailer or anyone else. He does not consider options—or see them. The game I most have in mind a year or two back is a fast break where he drove against a single defender and blew a layup while Curry was wide open and waiting at the three point line, no defender within 20 feet.

          • cosmicballoon

            +1 rgg. Barnes must be doing something right to continue starting. Maybe, as has been mentioned on this blog somewhere, his defensive intensity has improved.

            Another thing that is missing is any kind of killer instinct. Barnes doesn’t have a competitive bone in his body as far as I can tell. He has hit a few big shots for the Warriors, but he doesn’t have a fiery personality in any way, shape or form.

  17. Lee out “at least two weeks.” He was in pain last Saturday—why on earth did he play Wed? How does this work, did he reinjure his ham or was just testing it and found it wasn’t ready?

    • lee has yet to allow impairment, even serious hurts at times, to keep him sidelined, so no real surprise there.

      • I don’t know much here, but I would think many injuries are caused and/or exacerbated by repeated, continual stress over a period of time without adequate time to rest or recuperate—during a game, between games, over the course of a season. He’s most likely paying a price now for the heavy load he carried his first three seasons when he had little help up front at all and no adequate backup.

  18. cosmicballoon

    Can’t argue with this stat, considering virtually the same personnel: “(The Warriors) have gone from 246 passes per game last season to 324 passes per game so far this season, according to the player tracking data on”


  19. The only category to date that makes the Warriors vulnerable to losing caused by turnovers.

    But with the Warriors running a early offense and at almost chance getting out on the break and thus scoring 120-125 points they have not been challenged even giving up 20 plus turnovers in a game. And over time turnovers should decline as the Warriors figures who should be distributors and who not.

    So now maybe all we have to worry about is who misses a game due to injuries. And can we prevail in spite of an injury to a key player.

  20. Just to be clear, while I think the offense might work for Barnes, it is only to a point. It can help him by giving him open looks and a steps for what to do next but I agree with what everyone is saying about his limitations. Be it cognitive, athletic, or a curse. He is better off on another team or at the end of the rotation.

    • We’ve said all this before. Barnes, of course, is an exceptional person in many categories, but he is just not NBA caliber. I’m not even convinced he offers enough to be a good bench player.

      What’s happening is that everyone is lowering the bar of expectations for him, in effect conceding he has a low ceiling. He will rise to that level, maybe, and no further. More likely he will flounder if he fails there. A player should be able to handle any situation. Maybe isolations aren’t efficient, but that’s a skill set he should have. Someone, I think it was Barnett, suggested he should spend the off season going one on one against a good defender. It would make him a versatile, capable scorer, which the team needs. He does have the size and athleticism to do this. MJax’s isos at least gave him plenty of shots so he could develop in game time experience. So far, he isn’t getting many shots at all, so won’t have much chance to develop. If he goes on another poor shooting spell from the arc his confidence will plummet, as it did last season. And he won’t have anything else—a drive in traffic, for example—to turn to to keep him in the game and restore confidence.

      Vision and reaction time might be inherited and dribbling skills, etc., I would think, have to be learned early on and practiced years. His shooting form isn’t quite right, either. One of the raps at Chapel Hill was that he couldn’t find other players, and I doubt it’s because he was selfish.

      Most mysterious is the hype that has promoted him, which may be his greatest obstacle, trying to live up to it. Then again, the hype is what got him here.

      The real question is whether they couldn’t put a better team on the floor 48 minutes without Barnes at all. They have better options.

      I lose nothing by being wrong. If Barnes turns out to be a good player, here or elsewhere, someone come back and revisit the topic.

      The bar has been lowered for Bogut as well. At the time of the trade, he was promoted as a versatile scorer. He said as much himself—I posted his words some time back. But for whatever reason, he has no low post move. He should be able to muscle up a layup or a dunk. He is fairly agile for a big and can put the ball on the floor. Yet all he takes down low are hook shots, which are hit or miss.

  21. The already thin Rockets will be down two starters: Curry nemesis Pat Beverley, and Terrence Jones, the young stretch 4 off to a big start this season. This is one of the matchups where starting DG makes more sense than starting Lee — a very tough cover for Lee. But unfortunately we won’t get to see it.

    Should still be a nice test for the Warriors — Houston’s big 3, Howard, Harden and Ariza have been monsters so far.

    • Coaches generally tell their players their goal is perfection, not wins. Perfect execution. “We’ve scoped them, don’t even think about them now. Do that thing we’ve talked about.”

      Complacency is the devil. If a good team plays “down” to its competition, it’s very likely to lose. At the elite level of any sort of contest, that’s where good leadership makes a difference.

      I don’t bet on rookies, especially rookie coaches. Kerr seems fine, but more importantly, “Associate Head Coach” Gentry is one of the very best in the game, and the thing that makes him so good is that edge, that concern, that worry about coasting, missing the point of their team effort. We can never be perfect, but that is the goal. We CANNOT settle for less. We’re not losers, are we?

      Gentry knows. He knows perfectly well how to prevent his players (sprinting throughout a marathon season, then “rewarded” with even more games…) from taking wins for granted.

      My guess is tonight the Ws start in a hole. Kerr calls a timeout, SHREDS their effort, reminds them of the true goal, and they go on to THOROUGHLY KICK ROCKET ASS ALL OVER THE BUILDING AND OUT INTO THE PARKING LOT!!!!!

      But hey, who knows? If we could calculate the outcome they wouldn’t have to actually play the games, right?

  22. What I Don’t Like about Draymond

    If Fetbot’s screwed-up site would permit it, I could probably dig up Hat comments from 2 years ago saying things along the lines of “watch this guy, he’s special.” Except for MSU alumni and coaches, The Hat was one of Dray’s very first rabid NBA fans.

    Dray doesn’t block many shots, but he prevents and alters most of them in his vicinity. His offensive game is astonishing ugly, but at the end of the game the box score often shows that he’s scored more points more efficiently than the beautiful people. He has an instinct for the game, and he’s very, very smart.

    But here’s the thing:

    Draymond is “too short.” He’s lumpish, prone to being overweight. Freakish arms and legs. Not beautiful. Wait, that’s not it. Those might be good things.

    Here’s the thing: The NBA, more than any other pro sports league, is a fan’s league. Fan paid-for, of course, like all sports entertainment, but more fan-driven and fan-focused than most.

    Dray is a friggin lousy interview. Wordy but not informative, with no attempt to make a real connection with the interviewer or with fans.

    The guy CAN’T do what he does, but does it anyway. Just like most of us blue-collar types. “Real” basketball fans, those more interested in the game than in precisely who edged out who when, want to connect with Draymond.

    Dray, wannabe dreamers worldwide are your fans. And everyone dreams.

    We’re rooting for you, man, because we see us in you. Post-game interviews are your chance to speak to us, and relate to us. You do that very, very badly.

    Dray, my friend, I’m from Marlette, MI, 35 flat miles from Saginaw, MI, your home town, the corporate shit-hole of the world.

    There’s Them and there’s Us. Speak to Us. We get it. We’re too “whatever” too. Just like you.

    BTW, keep that chip on your shoulder. It will come in handy.

  23. Dwight Howard out too? All of a sudden this game isn’t too interesting.

  24. Well, they didn’t lose. Curry was just everywhere tonight—

    —and he had to work too hard for this win. We may pay the price tomorrow against Phoenix.

    Against this lineup, they should have scored at will and rested starters, with any kind of front court presence. They should have been able to have pounded inside and scored to set up the perimeter. But they didn’t have any front court scorers with Lee out and Bogut. As Barnett said, Montiejunas was able to roam freely. I was surprised to see Bogut even took 10 shots. Green, of course, did a fine job, cutting and making layups. Barnes, of course, did next to nothing.

    Any big is going to get boards against this lineup and the floor spread, but yes give Bogut credit for getting some extra. But he doesn’t provide much defense in such a set up because of his limited mobility.

    MJax had two disadvantages last season not of his making: he had no job certainty and was given a weak, inexperienced bench. Both led him to push starters hard the first half of the season, wearing the team down. Kerr will have a long leash and should be able to play for the entire season instead of night to night and leave the team in better shape for the playoffs. We’ll need to settle down and look at the long haul.

    • Curry 40 minutes? Hmmm.


      • One 40 minute game out of five so far this season. He played 26 last season and 33 the season before that.

      • It’s not fair to single out this play as there were many muffs, but the one that stuck with me happened with about 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. Bogut got a feed down low on a fairly open court. Instead of making what should have been an easy put up or dunk, he passed to Barnes, dead open and close, who fumbled and turned it over. You’ve got a center who can’t score down low and a SF who doesn’t know what to do with the ball. This lineup cannot last.

        • We saw a near identical play in the pre-season with David Lee receiving and finishing the pass from Bogut. I don’t have a problem with Bogut making those passes and I don’t think it reflects his inability to attack the rim (which I agree is an issue).

          • As discussed above, maybe they’re just getting used to the system, maybe they’re not in sync or maybe they’re overdoing it. But Lee can finish in a variety of ways. I can’t remember many times Bogut goes straight to the hoop and finishes. He had an easy look. Most, I just don’t see how you can have an effective offensive system with Barnes in the lineup. And if Klay has an off night, they’re in trouble.

  25. A win is a win. Only undefeated team left in NBA.

    To bad we didn’t get to see Beverly, Harden, Howard, and Jones, and D. Lee play. Looking forward to rematch. Lots of the turnover on bad passes in open court. Easily correctable.

    Curry and our defense won us the game. Without prohibiting Green from being a passer, not sure his high turnover rate will ever godown.

    This is the second game where Thompson has six assists, but at the same time shot poorly and turned the ball over.,This time 4 turnovers. Hope the myth of his being referred to a “genius” on the court is put to rest.

    Yes, Bogut had four blocks, but the best way to at the Warriors is visit drives from the weak side and passes inside. Not going to beat the Warriors shooting threes.

    Great start, 5-0.

  26. Last year virtually all of us argued that the warriors should run more.
    I argued that field goal shooting percentages Woulf increase significantly. Our plea fell on deaf ears.

    No so this year as the the team is now running. As a result every player with significant playing time is no shooting 2’s at over 50 percent. Last year only Curry, Iggy, and Lee did. This year, Thompson, Green, Barnes, Speights, and newly acquired Barbosa are doing so. One reason we’re 5-0. Hard to lose when rotation players shoot over 50 percent from field.

    Speights improved shooting is also the result from his largely curtailing in the second half of last year shooting longer shots and casting that over to this year.

  27. Also that wasn’t a sterling defensive effort last night. They didn’t handle the spread floor very well, partly because Bogut has limited mobility. Any big will get boards in that setup. They should have tried to contain Harden somewhat, but not so closely that they rack up fouls, but really conceded points from him and put pressure elsewhere. Houston got scoring from players whose names few of us know. Houston stayed in the game because they were hitting outside shots first half, which couldn’t last and didn’t. Fortunately Harden had a bad night.

    • I don’t get your observation about Harden, rgg.

      James Harden 1-11 from 3, 8-24 shooting overall. I’d say they contained Harden AMAZINGLY WELL.

      Houston gave the Ws a scare because they had great offensive and defensive game plans and outhustled the Ws, who started the game flat. Their smalls aren’t better than our smalls, but they swapped in more of them continuously throughout the game, leaving both teams totally gassed at the end. A GREAT last-second coaching strategy by McHale.

      In the end, the Ws team was so used up that Kerr’s motion offense came to a complete halt, and it was back to isolation offense, basically just Curry-on-5. An amazing performance, but one we’ve seen so often over the years that we kinda-sorta overlook how awesome a closer Curry is.

  28. Barnett comment during the tele-cast of the Rockets contest: Bogut has to be an offensive threat besides passing.

    Barnett comment at the end of the Clippers contest: Barnes has got to see that guy coming.

  29. warriorablaze

    Ugly one, but I’ll take it.

    Bogut, Iggy, and Barnes were godawful in the first half. Bogut and Iggy redeemed themselves in the second…Barnes? Wish Holiday would get some run.

    The Rockets are looking tough. I didn’t see them as all that depleted last night. Canaan seems much better on offense than Beverly…and Dwight being out had Monte-whatever playing stretch 5 which Bogut is useless against. I think we match up better with Dwight in their more traditional line up.

    Besides turnovers, offensive rebounds seem to be a problem this season. Other than Lee’s absence, I’m not sure what the issue is…something to keep an eye on.

  30. Felty: You proclaim Thompson an all-star the last few years when he’s not now you go after Livingston whose only played a few games after coming off surgery, and who is learning a new offensive and defensive system. He’s also learning to play multiple positions. Such has resulted in turnovers. Last year he committed few turnovers.

    Yet he’s making steals and a nice long outlet pass in a few minutes of play and getting open looks and assists. Yes, he’s rusty shooting, but last year I believe he shot 48 percent from the field which is not shabby. Also, last night, he demonstrated a few times he’s quick. Love a guy whose a 6’7″ PG and can easily get his shot off in the paint and can defend the perimeter. Once he fully gets his legs back he won’t be leaving his shot short.

    You may be right with your opinion of Livingston although I doubt it. Regardless give him 20 more games for that is the time to make an assessment, not now.

    More attention should be made to the fact that Barnes should not be on the court as much as he is.

  31. Also, Livingston would not have been -10 if all the good passes he made for easy scores were blown by fellow players.

  32. What to expect tonight from the Suns:


    Hornacek has been experimenting with a very good 3-pg lineup, and our bigs are better than their bigs. Facing a team playing the 2nd game of a road back-to-back, we’re looking at a repeat of last night’s Houston strategy, only with better personnel.

    The Suns strategy won’t come as a surprise to the Ws coaches, though. They’ll have a strategy in place to hopefully counter the Suns attack. But it’s going to be a very tough game for an exhausted Ws team.

  33. Steph may be the best player in the league, and given his size that’s remarkable in itself. No other NBA player has a greater effect on a given game. Who else can give you 6 or 9 points, in under a minute, consistently? Even if we traded him straight up for Lebron I don’t know if I’d be thrilled with that trade. Anthony Davis is the one player I would seriously consider trading him for.
    Anyway, thank you Knicks, for drafting Johnny Flynn!

    • Funny how no one is willing to credit Don Nelson for actually drafting the player that no one in the world but he believed was a point guard.

      And turning down the trade in place for Amare Stoudemire one minute later.

      • although the team is more aggressive with transition offense this year than they were under the preacher, curry has yet to run the fast break as fluidly as he did when nelson (asst. in charge of training the break was s.silas) coached him as a rookie. he has better teammates now, and he’s developed the open 3 pt. shot in transition more, but the actual choreography of a leader with one or two harriers on the flanks has been inconsistent.

      • FB, I don’t know who you mean by “no one.” Nelson has certainly been acknowledged as a great judge of talent here and elsewhere. Who else even comes close?

        It’s true that Lacob & Co. haven’t paid due respect. Their treatment of Nelson has been consistently shabby, almost as if they would prefer for the world to forget all the good things he brought to the game. Even their “Don Nelson Day” was a travesty. I can forgive Lacob lots of stuff, like his professed desire for a new start, new culture, multiple rookie coaches, etc. But dissing Nelson was/is the act of a petty, insecure creep. Especially when Nelson did so much for Lacob’s Warriors. Like drafting Curry.

        • Re: Don Nelson night – I was there, wondering why they even had it.What an embarrassment to Lacob on that night to treat a popular hall of fame coach poorly. Regardless of the reasons. Doesn’t cost Joe anything to be nice.

  34. Utah legit team. Terrific coach and young rookies.

    Whose starting on Warriors tonight upfront whose better than
    The Suns Morris offensively?

  35. Almost lost my TV tonight, listening to Fitz whine about turnovers. In most cases, had they “protected” the ball, there wasn’t anything to do with it other than get off a bad shot late in the clock. The spacing wasn’t there, the facilitators weren’t there, and the scorers weren’t there. When Bogut played out, his defender wasn’t within 10 feet but instead roamed the lane. Barnes can’t penetrate or facilitate or do anything quickly. But I’ll save the doghouse for Iguodala, who wins the invisibility award on offense.

    When teams start shooting, as Phoenix did second half, as others will, they needed scorers. Get Rush going. And get Mo going, especially on a night, as last night, when centers do not pose a scoring threat. I’d rather see him shoot over 3/4 the roster. I’d rather see him drive over both centers and Barnes (in traffic). And I’d rather see him at the free throw line over 7/8 of the roster.

    Let’s give Livingston another week or two before we judge.

  36. And Barnett noted the absence of early offense.

    There should be a way to measure the dynamics of an offense, how much it stresses a defense, creates openings for drives or open shots. It doesn’t matter how much you pass if you’re not creating something with the passes, except, as D’Antoni noted, more opportunities for turnovers. And the dynamic for the offense tonight against Phoenix would have been very low.

  37. All those turnovers.

    One thing I noticed that when Curry drove and tried to dish off to either Bogut or Green the ball was turned over. Such could be eliminated by either man moving out away from basket allowing for an easy pass.

    Green’s turnovers are mounting up. He’s definitely limited to being a good bench player.

    Livingston was a stopper on defense tonight. Not only getting his opponent to miss shots but also getting his opponent to turn the ball over. Love his length. Barnes nowhere near his man on the perimeter. As a result, bingo three pointers.

    Hat is right that Holiday should be playing. Especially tonight. But Lacob has to have his man Barnes playing. Maybe fans should yell out at game: “Take Barnes-Lacob out.”

    Barbosa committing stupid fouls. But Curry takes the trophy for that tonight.

    We missed Thompson. Hopefully Rush if healthy or Holiday wills retune on court.

  38. No recap tonight (other than twitter rants). Evidence accumulating. Thoughts percolating.

    • Look forward to it and hopefully shed some light on why it all fell apart tonight. Overall, looked really poor out there for the W’s.

      Probably just paranoid as usual, but after the Houston game, Kerr went to shake Curry’s hand as he was walking off the floor in front of the bench, and Curry walked right past him. I guess Curry just didn’t see him, though on the CSN tele-cast it looked obvious.

  39. Pretty obvious that Crowder should be starting and Parsons coming off the bench at stretch 4 for the Mavs.

  40. Bogut not being able to shoot hinders this offense completely. Why guard him at all at the high post?

  41. Actually, if you look at the game flow, the graph in the middle, the team maintained its lead and momentum fairly well while Livingston was in:

    Which is not to say he was the right choice for the team or is being played in the right system with the right players.

    I missed the last 15 seconds of the 3rd. quarter. But Curry had led the team almost singlehanded for 7 quarters on a back to back. I don’t care how many fouls or turnovers he committed. He can’t carry the whole team on his shoulders, doesn’t want to, and shouldn’t be asked to. And he had no help, system-wise or player-wise, to right the ship 4th. Q, when they only scored 16 points. They have the roster to score, if they put the right players in and play them right.

    A word of defense for Bogut. He deserves a lot of credit for getting into Boogie’s head against Sacramento, who since then have gone on a tear (although Boogie can do this himself). And he was instrumental in shutting down the front court against the Clippers. But those skills weren’t needed against Houston or Phoenix, and his limited scoring is going to clog the team down the road.

  42. D’Antoni last year on PG Kendall Marshall and turnovers:

    D’Antoni isn’t so sure it’s Marshall’s fault.

    “We’ve got to do a better job for Kendall. He’s a certain type of point guard,” said D’Antoni. “God gave him the ability to have an unbelievable vision and passing ability, but we’re closing the floor up on him — and if we do that he’s going to turn it over and that’s not his fault. That’s the team’s fault.”

    According to D’Antoni, the big men need to set harder screens. They need to make stronger rolls to the basket.

    • +1 Although not sure this is relevant if the Warriors stop running pick and roll, as they have the last two games.

      Most of what’s going on right now is players not knowing where their teammates are going to be, and what they’re going to do.

      • Depends on the players on the floor as well, no?

        The general point is that turnovers are symptomatic of something else, not the problem with a player like Curry who has more talents than Marshall.

        D’Antoni on Lin during the Linsanity run:

        “Nor did D’Antoni flinch when Lin committed six turnovers, or seven or nine, as long as they were mistakes born of aggression and pure motives. Lin had the freedom to test his limits and to grow.”

        Curry is often in a cage.

  43. The TWolves are going to be starting Zach LaVine at pg while Rubio is out. Only other pg on roster is the egregious Mo Williams.

    Ouch. Revise win estimates downwards.

    • Felt,

      Would you take a Livingston for Mo Wiliams trade?

      • That hits me where it hurts, because I hate Mo Williams. But the fact of the matter is that so long as Iggy is on the second unit, Mo Williams is probably a better fit than SL.

  44. One has to at an overall plus/minus for a player over the course of many games. As one game can be very misleading. For instance Barbosa shot well in one game yet he had a minus because other players on the court with him did not perform well playing alongside him. There are times a player has a minus, and had shot crappy and made turnovers when his performance did not significantly adversely affect the team.As the other night Livingston I believe was 0-4 shooting and committed 4 turnovers, but on those 8 possessions the opponent scored I believe only twice. His minus 10 was due in part to other players not performing well when he was on court. Yes he performed poorly but little harm was done.

    And plus/minus will be effected by whether or not a player plays much with starts or bench players and how well they do.

    What I like about Livingston is his defense, passing and history of hitting point shots, making assists and ability to get into the paint and take ball to the rim. other teams can’t ignore him as Felty maintains.

    Last night he shut down most of Thomas and Green’s outside shots when he was on court and caused players to travel. As we saw last night, no one else could do that. Nor was he playing with others who were hitting their shots.if Thompson played we probably would have won going away. Barnett even commented how he loved Livingston’s defense. For me Livingston may well be the perimeter version of what former Warrior big man E.Udoh was for us-as hit down defender. He may be equal or better than Thompson.

    Iggy showed us the value of a lock down defender who caused turnovers even thigh his offense is just average.

    Felty also concerned about his inability to shoot three’s. Even Nellie said if a player can hit a decent percentage of two’s he was satisfied. If he on the court with another guard and front court players who can shoot the Warriors should prosper. that can shoot my opinion that very tunneled vision. Can’t wait till Thompson and D. Lee returns.

  45. For FB and the fine cast of posters on his blog, I did some digging into the Phoenix game you might find interesting:
    Turnovers by quarter with +/-:
    Q1 – 10 turnovers with Dubs having a +2
    Q2 – 5 turnovers with Dubs having a +9
    Q3 – 8 turnovers with Dubs having a -1
    Q3 – 4 turnovers with Dubs having a -15

    My conclusion: Turnovers didn’t cause the late fade although one can argue that they left some points off the board throughout the game that would have made it more interesting.

    Turnovers by time into the possessions:
    Less than 7 seconds – 7 turnovers
    7 to 12 seconds – 11 turnovers
    13 to 18 seconds – 6 turnovers
    Turnovers over 18 seconds – 3 turnovers
    (This is not time left in the clock but time into the clock)

    My conclusion: Turnovers are primarily the result of haste and impatience as double the turnovers occur early as late in the clock.

    How far into a possession are the Dubs when they make a shot as opposed to when they miss? In other words, when they make a shot do they tend to go deeper into the possession or are they scoring early. And vice-versa, when they miss, is it earlier or later in the clock? (I adjusted out some things like half court attempts at the end of a quarter and loose ball fouls when in the bonus while adjusting in shooting fouls, stuff like that.)
    Time into possession on makes: 14.1 seconds
    Time into possession on misses: 11.7 seconds
    Difference of 2.4 seconds or 20% more time on makes than misses

    My conclusion: The narrative here may be that early offense isn’t their friend as much as some people think and that, rather, they aren’t running their offense enough.

    Only one game so small sample size and such but some food for thought never-the-less.

    • Ha! Where on earth did you get these stats?

      I think we can safely from this conclude the more turnovers the better.



      That’s not a lot of time. You still have the factor in the quality of the possession, who was on the floor, how good a shot was taken, how well the offensive scheme set up the shot (see @37).

      • It is kind of embarrassing to detail how obsessive I can get but I start with the play-by-play tab on the ESPN score, I copy it into Excel, I do some text to columns conversions, add some columns and put in formulas, do searches for “makes” and for “misses” and “turnover” and “bad pass”, edit out garbage, do more formulas and then fast forward the game on my DVR to see if I need more adjustments. Suffice to say I won’t be doing this every game.

        • Again, Barnett suggested early offense 2nd. half. The critical moment is attacking before the defense gets set. For D’Antoni it was 7 seconds or less. And without front court scorers and shorthanded, they needed to give that a shot.

          • No one should take away from the information I provided that the Dubs shouldn’t seek out early offense. They should, always. What I am suggesting is that when the Dubs seek to refine their attack, it might suggest a small, repeat small, alteration in their level of aggression trying to make a play early and more trust in their offense to create a good shot later.

    • YT, thanks for the number crunching!

      But generally speaking the smaller the sample size the less meaningful the data. A 100% variance in a sample of two data points tells us nothing. A 20% variance in shooting v. shot clock at different times of the shot clock in JUST ONE GAME isn’t really any more informative. It’s not like it proves a trend, friend.

      Suffice to say that the Ws have more work to do in coordinating their offense. Many of their turnovers were simply poor execution, attributable as much to fatigue as anything. Many were due to taking unnecessary risks. And some happened just because Phoenix is a good team with good players who can figure things out.

      Sorry, but you’ll have to do this number crunching for weeks and months before it tells us the real deal.

      • No doubt to everything you say about sample size but many, including me, are trying to make sense of the sample available. Our fearless leader, too, no doubt. I see the tweets and the blog posts and the comments suggesting all kinds of ills that I simply don’t see. So I went in search of some information available to me to see if the results I can get at agree with my eyes. For one game, it did.

        • Still, this is interesting, knowing when they take shots, with what effect. Maybe one of these days we can download stats from those Sportsvu cameras in all the arenas. (Think what that will do to blogs.)

  46. Feltbot nailed it. Teamwork is a developmental process. It takes time, even with a talented pack of individuals. The important question isn’t whether the Warriors players will ever find each other on court. That will happen, it’s just a question of when.

    Re the Suns game, hold the alarm, belay the dismay. That was a scheduled loss, driven more by league timing than anything having to do with our players or Kerr’s coaching staff. Playing a back-to-back on the road, missing multiple starters, facing two very quick, very well-coached teams: hey, even the best athletes in the world run out of gas.

    Gotta love that Isiah guy. What a sneaky little dude! The smallest guy on the floor goosed the whole Warriors team, including some of the best individual defenders in the biz. It’s not often that an opponent can hang sketchy fouls on Iggy, Draymond and Curry in the same quarter. The smallest guy on the floor did it. Go I.T.! And Go Hornacek! Those two guys stole that one. It won’t happen again, though.

    All that said, I’m somewhat disappointed in a couple of guys.

    Livingston hasn’t integrated with the team yet, and that’s fully understandable. But his shooting is friggin awful and he appears indecisive, and those aren’t team-related problems, they’re on him. Shawn My Dude, step up or ride the pine.

    Then there’s Iggy.

    Iggy didn’t “get his” just so he could help others get theirs. A shot created must be taken! If you want to honestly earn your paycheck you have to deliver. You have to take that shot.

    Iggy, My Dude, take the friggin shot. Take all the shots you’re given. Drive them, loft them, make them. No one’s paying you to be Klay’s or Dray’s agent.

    • Another way of saying this is that putting the ball in Shaun Livingston’s hands forces Iggy into a role he’s uncomfortable with.

      And vice versa.

      • But a role Iggy was hired for. One he has performed for years. No one pays an Iggy-level salary for a sidekick/facilitator/shrinking violet.

        I’m pretty sure Livingston will step up, too. He’s already made some progress game to game. I’m just impatient.

  47. I agree with you wholeheartedly that Livingston’s “shooting is friggin awful.” Any player who just makes 50 percent of his shot attempts in 3 out of the 5 game he shoots the ball absolutely sucks. Even though Livingston has only averaged 2.5 shots per game I can see where you’re coming from. Nor should we cut him any slack for dunking the ball only for the basket to be waived off because he held onto the rim.

    But that doesn’t apply to Thompson as he has taken way more shots in three out of the five games he shot at least 50 percent from the field. If you take a lot of shots and hit 50 percent that player is a good shot. Not so fewer shots and make more than 50 percent.

    I’m with you all the way partner.

    With regard to music records. also tell other stories from
    the past that leave younger folks with a blank look regarding what i’m talking about. Don’t know the name of any of Wilson Pickett’s songs but I do remember him.

    • If you remember the name, you’ll remember the songs.

      “____ ____ guess you better slow your Mustang down”

      Funky, Funky Broadway


      Engine No. 9

    • “Even though Livingston has only averaged 2.5 shots per game I can see where you’re coming from.”

      If he can’t shoot more than 2.5 shots per game, he isn’t helping his team with shooting, I don’t care how efficient he is.

  48. Pre-game jitters anyone?

    Klay said Monday he’s planning to play tonight (good idea).

    For me, at this stage of the season, the test will be how well they can put effective players on the court 48 minutes and get some production down the roster without loading up Curry’s minutes or getting him to play hero ball.

  49. I’m not a fan of Barnes, but if he’s going to get big minutes, he needs to shoot the damn ball when he’s open. He runs away a shot like a man afraid of getting caught cheating with his best friend’s girl.

  50. Zach Lowe on the Warriors so far:

    “Golden State ranks just 17th in points per possession, even though it’s dishing about 74 more passes per game compared to last season, per

    “Lots of passes can lead to lots of turnovers, especially when spacing gets tight. Nobody guards Andrew Bogut beyond the block/charge circle, Harrison Barnes isn’t scaring anyone from deep, and Andre Iguodala barely looks at the basket anymore.”

  51. Evan I totally Support what you care and don’t care about.

    If Livingston in 14 minutes of time on the court only averages 2.5 shots per game ” he’s not helping his team with shooting,” you don’t care “how effluent he is.”

    Even if he makes opponents miss all five shots they take, cause them to travel twice, he has a steal, and has two assists, and other shooters shoot over 50 percent on shots that he should taken taken, he has hurt the team by not shooting.

    I’m with you bro and I speak for all other posters are both sensitive and concerned about your feelings. We’re here for you. We have your back!

  52. Hat: Loved the song ” Engine no. 9.” Dude, bet some posters here also do.

  53. warriorsablaze


    Steve Kerr watched tape 3 times and said vast majority of TOs come in first 2 passes of possession. Pt being, ball movement not the culprit.— Diamond Leung (@diamond83) November 11, 2014

    • warriorsablaze

      Seems like the over-passing isn’t to blame for the turnovers.

      If not turnovers, the over-passing is still causing a lot of wasted possessions and poor shots. At the very least, Iggy, Barnes, and Bogut need to shoot the ball when they are open at the basket instead of always freaking out and making another pass.

      • +1
        Green seems to be the only player embracing the fact that he is open from three point range ALL THE FREAKING TIME because Curry and Klay demand so much attention.

        Barnes has zero basketball instincts on offense. He should be getting back door alley oops 2 or 3 times a game, but he doesn’t. I don’t know what the issue is, except that he doesn’t see how offense is supposed to work.

    • Kerr isn’t going to talk about problems in the roster itself.

      • Every team in the league has roster problems. The Warriors have more than enough to compete with every team in the league.

        Yes, they might be missing a true spread 4 and an attacking back-up point guard. But that’s it. And Barnes and Green can act as spread 4s. So what do we actually want besides a score first point guard??!!

        There are no excuses for this year’s team. It’s time for the players to man up and the coaches to determine the correct roles. This team has a legitimate shot at an NBA finals appearance. They just need to own it.

        • See Lowe’s comments @51. Unless Barnes and Bogut undergo a transformation of a sort we haven’t seen yet and have no good reason to expect, it will be hard to get much going with both in the lineup, as has been said here for years. Maybe Iguodala will shift to high gear—and to the starting lineup.

          Kerr has to put the right people on the floor to make the system work. And with Ginobli, Duncan, Splitter, and Mills possibly or definitely out tonight, we’ll see how well Kerr can make use of the players he has.

        • Query: How would Popovich play Barnes and Bogut?

          • popovich collaborates with buford on personnel, so barnes would never be on the roster — they place a high priority on quick reactions and competitiveness, to keep the disqualifications brief. SA would not pay bogut at the level he gets from lacob, because he’d be a specialist, similar in some respects to splitter, not the keystone player he’s become for the lacobites.

  54. Do turnovers increase when teams wear those camouflage outfits?

  55. Kerr sounds lost, post game.

    It’s all yours, Feltbot.

  56. Can’t recap until the weekend, and even then might write a think piece instead.

    Extended twitter ranting @feltbot tho, for those who want my in-game thoughts.

  57. The problem is not turnovers. The problem is the offense.

    On at least four plays, we saw the same thing. Curry, and in one case Klay, penetrated the defense and passed to Bogut charging down the middle of the lane. That Bogut cannot finish is a major concern, but in these cases the passes were bad. But Curry and Klay were well covered and didn’t have openings for passes. If they had “protected” the ball, they would have been smothered by the defense and still have turned it over or have forced up a bad shot.

    I suspect if you replayed the turnovers, you’d find something similar in many cases. Curry dribbling to the corner, maybe flinging a wild pass, but really not having good options while there. If the team is jittery and makes careless mistakes, it’s partly because this motion offense is not moving and they’re not at ease.

    I don’t see how any offense can work without a front court player who provides a threat inside and out (see Speights, Mo). In many ways we saw what we’ve seen for the past four years, a roster selected for its defensive talents that cannot score.

    So why is Iguodala, career 14 ppg, now averaging 6?

    San Antonio controlled this one start to finish, as they always do. Their shooting had to return, and it did. Barnes got looks, made shots, and even created a few for himself, but it had no effect on the pressure they put on the guards.

    • Agree that Bogut/Iguodala turning away decent looks are missed opportunities but let’s prioritize the problems. The Dubs shot 54% so that doesn’t suggest it was the biggest problem.

      The Spurs don’t concede much but they do concede a few things and one of them is rebounding. You have to win the rebounding battle decisively and the Dubs only barely won it. Extra possessions. Too much leaking out to get early offense? Early still but we should keep a watch.

      In that vein we have turnovers and more extra possessions. It isn’t that they were bad, 19 turnovers possibly wins the Suns game but against the mistake-free Spurs? Too much.

      Steph missed all his threes. If he makes 2 (still substandard for him) we are almost halfway to a different result. Do we need to cross match more? Early still but we should keep a watch.

      This blog has fewer Lee haters than most but if you don’t think his rebounding and offense are crucial to the team’s success you are dreaming.

      • You miss my point about turnovers. The problem is the system. Except for Barnes, they weren’t getting good looks, which, as in the playoffs, the Spurs largely conceded. What the Warriors never did was get into an offensive rhythm. And there are other reasons Curry couldn’t get going.

        If the Spurs conceded rebounds, why didn’t Bogut get many?

        Of course Lee is missed. This is the major point. (I assume you weren’t referring to me.)

      • A significant reason they shot 54% is because of the 70 attempts, Barnes and Speights were 14/17, 82%.

        I only gave the example of the four blown drives, which I most remember. I suspect you could take a great many offensive sets and plays and find their offensive potential was weak. Turnover or bad shot—what’s the difference?

        Barnes didn’t play in traffic, thus was able to shoot and surprised us. He did get past Leonard, who wasn’t paying attention. (I wonder why.) But that didn’t take pressure off the guards. And if he hadn’t hit, the game might have been a blowout.

        As for Speights, see @60.

        Feltbot is better at this. I assume we’ll hear from him eventually.

      • My point about the four turnovers, above, isn’t that Bogut turned down a shot but that the guards weren’t in a position to get him the ball. Something similar happened all night. Only Barnes was open much of the first half. And Klay and Curry didn’t get good looks because no one could create for them, say a scoring big who could weaken the defense.

        The problem is the system and the players on the floor.

    • That was a tuff Hawks crew — Paul Silas, Bill Bridges, and Zelmo (The Elbow) Beaty. Bridges and Silas are Draymond Green ancestors. (Joe Caldwell and Lenny Wilkins were a great back court, easily rivaling Gail Goodrich and Jerry West.)

      I remember in the championship series versus Batimore, the Warriors signed Bridges to guard Elvin Hayes. There was a fight on the court and Alvin Attles (Warriors head coach) went after a Jack Marin, if I remember right. Wes Unseld restrained Attles, and Bridges restrained Unseld. No one wanted any part of Bridges or Unseld.

  58. Kerr just doesn’t get it. He said, post game, he left Speights in because of his “energy.” Left him in over Bogut, “the great rim protector,” who in 26 minutes took two shots, got 5 rebounds, and 0 blocks. (His assists just aren’t that important: these could be picked up elsewhere.) The Spurs pulled away 4th. quarter because they did what the Warriors couldn’t do all night, get into an offensive rhythm, and they did it largely with outside shooting. Bogut’s defensive impact was slight.

    It’s important to understand what Speights represents. He is the ONLY big Lacob has brought in who has offensive skills, who might back up or complement Lee. He can look horrible when he muffs, but he has skills others lack. He has a wonderful touch for a big. He can run pick and roll with a capable guard—we saw this with Curry—but that hasn’t been tried much this season or last. And he may miss assignments on defense, but he can move and hustle. He has greater mobility than Bogut.

    He’s not a great player, but he provides what the team needs. And they got him. And with Lee out and a long season ahead, they will need to find out what he can do.

  59. Does anyone have the link to rest of Bill & Jalen’s Grantland individual team previews? They only have 8 or so on YouTube for 2014-2015. Thanks.

  60. Team looked liked MJax was still the coach. The bad Warriors. Stand around and watch Curry do his thing. Guess its always gonna be somewhat part of their DNA. Hope Kerr and staff can have a positive effect.
    Bogut and Iggy useless on offense. And Iggy was torched by Manu Ginobli.(!) Alarming. While I still think the team will be OK(7-2 start not bad), Steph, Klay, Draymond, and DLee will have to do the yeomans work this season.

  61. The Warriors have a terrific offensive system very similar to the Spurs system. But there’s a very big difference between having experienced players who have run over a plays a thousand times and a make shift starting line-up that is missing David Lee that has run the plays in practice 50 times. And there is a further hindrance caused by the fact that for the present time on each play the Warriors players do not have as many options.

    Added to that is the fact that by starting Barnes and Green the Warriors are not going to prohibit the Spurs from getting offensive rebounds. But last night the Warriors did not to bad as Spurs players eight offensive rebounds and three team offensive rebounds whatever the are. On the other hand the Warriors had one individual offensive rebound and three team offensive rebounds. One reason there was was such a differential is the fact that the Spurs build into certain plays in which players drive to the hoop having a person go to the rim for an offensive rebound, the Warriors less so. As a result the points scored off offensive rebound was 7 for the Spurs to Two for the Warriors, a five point differential. Also the Spurs often place a potential offensive rebounder at foul line where balls go off missed shots.

    I’ll discuss the. Reasons for the turnover differential in my next post. Wish I was an Asst. coach.

  62. rgg @58,

    First of all, I was not addressing you with the defense of David Lee.

    Second, you could not be more wrong about turnovers being caused by the system (by which I take you to mean the “sort-of-triangle” half-court offense). I will take you through each turnover against the Spurs to prove it. Turnovers can be caused by a variety of things like great defense, poor judgement, offensive player weaknesses, system, loss of focus, sometimes in combination but I think we have to try and make that judgment to sift the favorite narrative or dogma from the reality.

    Q1-8:12-Bogut trying to set a high PnR but Bogut’s weakness to not draw a defender allows Duncan to drift off and double Steph, add Steph’s judgment to go away from the Bogut screen and dribble into the trap, add a nice play by Leonard to tip it away and you have a turnover. Not the system.
    Q1-6:35-Klay dribbling the ball in transition and dribbles it right into Danny Green. Not the system.
    Q1-3:28-Barnes at the top of the key, Steph back-cuts but isn’t open, Barnes passes it anyway. I think this is part the system because it puts the ball in Barnes’ hands to make a play but mostly Barnes being Barnes.
    Q1-0:34-After good ball movement, the ball goes to Ezeli who is bothered by Green sagging off of Livingston, ball goes out of bounds to the Dubs with 2.8 left. On the inbounds, Livingston puts up an airball, shot clock expires. A little bit the system’s fault but mostly the offensive weaknesses of Ezeli and Livingston.
    Q2-11:48-Iguodala on the left wing high with the ball, Livingston is open over the top posting up Ginobli but Iguodala hesitates, the battle for position continues and Livingston elbows Ginobli in the face. This was a lot more Iguodala fouling up the play than the system. The play was there, a good passer with the ball, no rim protector to help. Not the system.
    Q2-11:23-Early in the clock, a pass hits Iguodala in the hands and it falls out of bounds. Not the system.
    Q2-10:32-Iguodala left wing with Livingston in the left corner guarded by Ginobli. Iguodala drives and Ginobli sags off Livingston to tip the ball away. This is largely due to Livingston being a non-threat in the corner as Iguodala had his man beat. Not the system.
    Q2-5:03-Bogut offensive goaltend. Not the system.
    Q2-2:42-Bogut with a moving screen. Not the system.
    Q2-2:14-Klay drives and throws an alley oop to Bogut who thinks Klay is shooting it and doesn’t jump for it. Miscommunication. Not the system.
    Q2-0:50-In transition, Steph throws a long pass to Barnes who is ahead of everyone but the pass is a little off and Barnes can’t adjust, clanks off his hands. Not the system.
    Q2-0:22-Steph in a high PnR with Ezeli, instead of the bounce pass to Ezeli or the kickout to Klay, Steph goes for the hook pass to Iguodala for the Ginobli steal. Not the system.
    Q3&Q4 TO’s coming up. So far, 13 total turnovers, 10 you could not blame on the system in any way, 1 where you could blame the system mostly, 2 where you could only blame it a little. There is a lot of bad judgment and loss of focus and a fair amount of weak offensive players making it harder on everyone else. Not a lot of system issues.

    • Currys got to lose that hook pass. I can’t think of a circumstance a where a fundamental 2-hand over-head pass or 2-hand chest pass won’t do.

      A few of those above indicate SL and AI don’t perform well together, as Feltbot observed.

  63. Turnovers continued:

    Q3-10:40-Early offense, high pick, Curry turns the corner and eludes Bonner but Bogut was coming up the court so Duncan is waiting at the rim, Steph takes it one dribble to far into Duncan and tries a backwards pass to Bogut which gets tipped away. Not the system. Stephs judgment and Bogut’s weakness to get up the court is to blame.
    Q3-5:45-Draymond with an illegal screen. Not the system.
    Q3-1:57-High PnR, Step with Ezeli, open pass to Ezeli but tipped away when Ezeli tries to dribble. Not the sytem.
    Q3-0:29-High PnR, Babosa with Ezeli, Barbosa turns the corner but ball slips out of his hands out of bounds. Not the System.
    Q4-8:33-Barnes has the ball and misses a wide open Iguodala on a back cut. Instead, rotates the ball to Barbosa in the corner who enters to Iguodala in the post. He turns middle and instead of shooting goes one dribble to far into Duncan’s help then makes a bad pass trying to get out. Not the system. Barnes and Iguodala being lame.
    Q4-6:13-Speights drives in early offense, right into the waiting arms of Duncan who ties him up. Not the system.
    Q4-3:17-Klay drives and passes to Speights in traffic, Speights catches but Duncan times him up. Not the system.
    Q4-1:16-Klay in early offense steps out of bounds attempting a corner 3. Not the system.
    So for those keeping score at home: That is 7 second half turnovers, all of them definitively not the system. So, out of 20 turnovers, 17 of them were definitively not the “system”, 1 probably was the system, you could call 2 as partially to blame on the system.
    Can we try not to push a narrative that isn’t based on reality? Bogut, Ezeli, and Livingston with spacing/skill issues, yes. Iguodala with a mystifying lameness, yes. The system? No. Not even close.

    • Ha again!

      I’ll still not seeing those four bad feeds to Bogut driving the lane, mentioned above, but I’m relying on memory and the bad passes may have been recovered. And I recall many plays where they just didn’t work the ball and get a good shot.

      This is still not a defense of the system. You have to consider the effectiveness of each play, how well it opened up shots and got it into the hands of the right players. No, I’m not going to rewatch the game and do that. But my sense is was that it wasn’t efficient.

      But you raise the conundrum. Presumably the system is designed for Barnes and Bogut, both of whom are getting high priority and big minutes. So if it isn’t working with them, we have to assume it isn’t working well. A better conclusion, which I suspect would make both of us happy, would be that it’s hard to know how well the system might work until you get the right people on the floor.

      Priorities, at any rate, have been set. Barnes and Bogut are in. Kerr, on the radio, said that Iguodala is having problems adjusting to being a bench player but was sure he’d come around. It seems to me I heard they might put Lee on the bench as well when he returns. Maybe they could bench Curry, too. These guys would be fun to watch and could prove your points about the system.

      I greatly admire your work here, btw.

      • I’ll put this another way: not having the right players on the floor together didn’t give the system a chance to work. Pairing Livingston and Iguodala especially makes no sense.

        For those who want to claim a “rebound” or “resurgence” in Barnes, wouldn’t it be great if such a good scorer could move to the bench and play with the subs? Wouldn’t he be a great complement for Livingston? And then we could put Iguodala back with the starters, where he was so effective last year.

        I think we know the answer to that.

        • We do indeed know the answer: Yes, move Iguodala back to the starting lineup.

          Commenters here and elsewhere have convinced themselves that Andre coming off the bench was all about… what’s the word? Oh, yes, “showcasing” Barnes. But to do that, they’ve had to block out what Kerr said repeatedly a month ago — that the reason was Livingston being unavailable to run the 2nd unit.

          The clear implication there in Kerr’s remarks was that once Livingston was up to speed, Andre would return to starting. Unfortunately, they’re in an awkward middle period where Livingston is still trying to find his way, but being on the floor at the same time as Iguodala is actually making that harder because of the combined lack of outside shooting.

          Unless Livingston & Iguodala magically mesh in the next couple of games, the only solution is going to be starting Andre or pulling Livingston from the rotation (which would mean management just threw away a $5M/year acquisition).

    • Let me rephrase the question:

      How well do you think Kerr coached last night?

      You’ve been arguing in favor of general principles of ball movement no one disagrees with in principle. “Triangle” seems to be a dead issue, as Kerr isn’t implementing it.

  64. Thanks You Tired for reducing to writing each of the Warriors. I don’t exactly agree with you that few of our turnovers are do to players for as I have pointed out on many of the plays the Warrior with the ball either shoots or has one option to pass it. This is supported by rgg’s observation of Thompson passing the ball to Bogut that resulted in a turnover.

    Also, the Spurs have more options on their plays and have spent more time with their veteran starting line up practicing their plays than the Warriors present starting line up has. This is reflected in the Spurs starting line-up committing 2 turnovers to the Warriors starting line-up making 12 turnovers. A whopping difference.

    Part of the problem has been the Warriors Thompson to drive more so that he can increase his overall scoring percentage by scoring at the rim or getting to foul line and scoring or passing the ball and getting an addition. This has worked as has rightly pointed out.

    But there has been a significant cost as I pointed out. Namely that
    He now turns the ball over more by either charging into players or making bad passes when he doesn’t have clear passes to the hoop. Also he’s not the brightest guy turning the ball Omer as he comes across the half court or stepping out if bounds. The coaches can help him by giving him more than one option as to where to pass the ball on a given play.

    Also, Curry is also another high turnover guy as is Green although he didn’t last night.

    It should be noted that the Spurs only had 8 urn overs last night mainly by the Warriors not trying to disrupt Spurs offense and the Warriors not
    having many players who can do so.

    It should be noted that San Antonia scored 19 points off all our turnovers and the Warriors scored 12 points off the few Spurs turnovers.

    The score differential was largely due to the Spurs advantage on offensive boards and turnover differential.

    Lee’s return and Iggy’s insertion into starting line up when the Warriors are playing against good teams should help in preventing offensive rebounds by opponent.

    Speights offense has been solid. He’s still terrible on defense. he never should be playing center. It’s pretty bad when he goes 5-5 from
    field and the Warriors are outscored when he played.

    Livingston shot poorly last but the Warriors outscored the Spursshen on the court. An indication he was doing it defensively, not turning the ball over as much, or were shooting well when he was playing. Good enough for me as a reserve.

    Looking forward to Felty’s analysis of Warriors mismatch- ups in game and possible misuse of Bogut or plays themselves which I believe was just a minor problem the Warriors had last night

  65. It should be noted that no warrior starter got an offensive rebound. Sad. The plays should call for someone going to offensive glass or foul line on missed three’s

  66. YT, you’re right, rgg is wrong. The Ws have had some problems recently, but most of those are individual brain farts, or players on a learning curve not fully achieved, not-quite-perfect execution of a new offensive scheme. Not systemic problems.

    The recent blips are just growing pains. At this early date, we can’t even know what Kerr’s system is, it’s a work in process. We can’t blame the system.

    Y’all, Kerr is a rookie coach instituting a new offense with assistant coaches who are just now learning the abilities of players they’ve all only seen occasionally before.

    The team won 5 straight without David Lee, one of the most efficient front-line scorers in the league. They’ve gotten adequate performance out of Barnes, a sub-par talent, while upgrading the team’s biggest weakness, the 2nd team.

    This season’s Warriors team is great. If they went 5-2 through the entire rest of the season, that’s 58 wins, better than last year. But Kerr and his coaching staff are only getting started. Their record will be even better than that.

    It just takes time. We don’t need to find fault. Kerr needs to lose a few to figure things out. That’s what rookie coaches do.

    • Before the season began, The Hat predicted 57 wins for the Ws. He’s upgrading that now to 65 wins.

      This is one awesome basketball team.

  67. rgg,

    My point with the turnovers is to debunk the notion that the system is to blame, not to defend the system. However, I would defend the system by pointing out that the Dubs lead the league in effective field goal percentage, they have two players in the top 10 in scoring, and three players in the top 20 in true shooting percentage. Even in their loss they scored at an excellent 54% rate. I’m curious as to what more you want from an offense.

    • To score more points than their opponents and get more scoring down the roster. And not have to depend upon Curry and/or Klay heroics to win a game.

      Last night was their first real test—the Clippers are off so far—and San Antonio controlled the game the whole way. The subs especially were disappointing, except Speights (I’m not clear why he’s being blamed for 4th Q Spurs scoring, especially since most of the scoring came from outside shots.)

      Again I’ll ring up Zach Lowe, linked above:

      “Golden State ranks just 17th in points per possession, even though it’s dishing about 74 more passes per game compared to last season, per

      “Lots of passes can lead to lots of turnovers, especially when spacing gets tight. Nobody guards Andrew Bogut beyond the block/charge circle, Harrison Barnes isn’t scaring anyone from deep, and Andre Iguodala barely looks at the basket anymore.”

      And D’Antoni:

      “‘We’ve got to do a better job for Kendall. He’s a certain type of point guard,’ said D’Antoni. ‘God gave him the ability to have an unbelievable vision and passing ability, but we’re closing the floor up on him — and if we do that he’s going to turn it over and that’s not his fault. That’s the team’s fault.’

      “According to D’Antoni, the big men need to set harder screens. They need to make stronger rolls to the basket.”

      Some seem to think that Curry’s turnovers are a serious problem. As your review suggests, as D’Antoni says, the problem lies with others on the team. He’s not getting the space or outlets. So it’s not the system, unless the system is built around Bogut.

      And I don’t see how they’ll cure the spacing problem without a scoring big man, which Bogut isn’t. Lee, of course, is. D’Antoni, incidentally values the pick and roll, where Lee and Curry are extremely effective. Jackson didn’t value it much attention, nor, apparently, Kerr. That could be part of a system, too.

  68. The offensive system that is based on early offense is working. Just look at the teams high field goal percentage. And the Warriors are winning without David Lee one of it’s best players. And they have been doing so except for the last two games in spite of a high number of turnovers. It’s clear that we will continue to have a tough time against good teams until the turnover problem is addressed. It will be addressed in part by giving players more options on plays. But such should not necessarily bring turnovers down to a reasonable number like 14 per game as turnovers.
    are being committed by players who are making many stupid mistakes.

    So the question is are the player’s mistakes just “brain farts” as hat maintains or are some of the players incapable of lowering the number of turnovers as I believe Yt argues which I lean toward.

    But with the Warriors continuing to shoot well which should continue and with D. Lee returning both the offense and defense will improve. Kerr has got to improve playing the right combination of players. If so, so, that’s an additional reason to see future better play. Stay tune to see if we beat the better teams In the NBA.

  69. Hey, Feltbot! Get your butt in here!

    • Percolating.

      And enjoying the commentary.

      • While percolating, try to imagine fixing your website. It’s still screwed up.

        • What’s wrong with it now?

          • Recent comments and sometimes new posts don’t appear when your page is loaded. When I hit the link on a machine at school, it only shows whatever was on the page the last time I went there, i.e., a lot isn’t there.

            The solution is to reload the page, as EvanZ suggested. It seems to me, however, the updated page should appear whenever your link is hit.

            I’m using Safari on both computer and iPad. I’m not sure if this may not be a feature of the program, however, caching pages? It’s been updated several times to increase speed.

            Maybe try turning your caching feature off and seeing how that works, if anyone has load time problems? I never did.

          • warriorsablaze

            Whenever I come here, your Home page is about 3 articles ago. Even after I clear my cache. I have to click on the article to make the link to the “next” article appear. Once I’m finally on the newest article, I have to then refresh the page for all the comments to appear.

            It’s a good think ya’ll are crazy enough to keep bringing me back’s a lot of work. :)

          • What system and browser, WaB? This feedback might be useful.

          • my set up is safari on a semi-archaic macOSX and it’s necessary to hit the reload each time after opening the site to see if there’s recent incoming posts. fortunately, have good connection speed and it’s not time consuming.

          • Very few regular Internet users have page load time problems. 70% of US homes have broadband access. In addition, 70% of US adults have a smart phone, which is of course broadband. The remaining 30-percenters simply don’t care use the Internet that much, or they live in areas where broadband is prohibitively expensive, or they’re flat-ass broke.

            Page load times are really only a concern in sites with a significant amount of graphical content or animation. That’s not this site. No matter how many comments you get here, it’s 99% text, the quickest/easiest material to load and display.

            There are exceptions, of course. My 1st-generation iPod Touch is pitifully slow no matter what. But I may be the last person on the planet to still use an old dinosaur like that.

            So, Felt, go ahead and ignore the issue of page load times. The caching is making your site misbehave for most visitors.

          • I have no idea how to fix this. As an experiment, I’ve deactivated my caching plugin. Can you let me know if performance has changed? Thanks.

  70. OKC just got 56 points from two bench players, $5m total (Jackson and Morrow).

  71. we all refer to the Warriors offensive system. But such term has wide parameters. It simply means the Warriors have a early offense, they space and run in transition. The rest are just plays run very various places on the court by selected players based on their skills who have various options. That’s why Felty when you say that Livingston doesn’t fit into Kerr’s system I’m left scratching my head as Kerr design all plays with player’s skills set in mind. So since Livingston can’t shoot there’s he doesn’t. I know you prefer a point guard who does but that’s a separate issue unrelated to Kerr’s offensive system. I do agree that with Livingston being unable to score there’s it’s wise to have other players on court with him that can.

    With regard to defense, Pop funnels the opponent’s offense inside to reduce the number of three pointers then by the opposition. The Warriors don’t given the weakness of the starting teams interior defense. As a result the Spurs took more three pointers and completed a higher percentage than the Warriors.

    One can only keep our fringes crossed that Barnes finally has a offense.

    When Lee returns I would like to see the starting line-up consisting of Curry, Thompson, Lee, Bogut, and Iggy. with Livingston backing up Curry, Ezeli backing up Bogut. Speights and Green backing up Lee, Barnes and Green backing up Iggy, and Barbosa, Barnes and yes even Barnes, backing up Thompson. Also like to see some three guard line-ups and Holiday play.

    Warriors should come out with vengeance tonight and rub away from Nets in second half. Fully expect them to win next three games.

    • I’ll definitely try to find some “fringes” to cross, though I admit I can’t quite imagine how a team “rubs away” from an opponent.

    • Frank,

      I’ve agreed with several points you’ve brought up recently but a couple of clarifications:
      – You said I seem to indicate that the players cannot improve their turnovers. I don’t mean that. I think you can absolutely improve the “brain-fart” turnovers, the experience turnovers, and the miscommunication turnovers. I think the weaknesses of certain players is unlikely to change much so that means you’ll see good defenses sagging off of Bogut, Ezeli, and Livingston outside of 12 feet, making it tougher on the remaining players. That doesn’t mean you don’t play them because what they bring in other skills may outweigh the spacing issues but it is a consideration, particularly in who else they share the court with.
      – You mentioned that some of the options in the offense only have a single option besides shooting. This is almost never true in a Read & React offenses like Princeton or Triangle. I rarely see this in the Warriors’ attack. I am usually seeing two passing options, two dribbling options, and a shooting option on almost every touch.
      – You are right that the options will not fit every player. If the player doesn’t have a skill set, they don’t use the option that requires that skill set. The Warriors have work to do on this. Ezeli comes to mind, he should never put the ball on the floor except in the rare low-post isolation. The good defenses will pick him blind. Players who can shoot, pass, and dribble are able to exploit the offense more effectively.

  72. rgg @69,

    – re: wanting an offense that doesn’t rely on Klay/Steph heroics: could not agree more with the “heroics” part. But almost every team is top heavy in scoring amongst 2-4 players. Steph and Klay getting theirs is normal, David Lee will get his, Draymond is now getting into the conversation. Others will contribute at lesser levels. Do you think the Duran/Westbrook/Ibaka/Jackson Thunder are different? Or the Gasol, Randolph, Conley Grizzlies? Or the Harden, Howard, Ariza Rockets? I don’t think there is anything detrimental in the scoring distribution of the Dubs.
    – I love Zach Lowe and his comments about the Dubs’ spacing, in general, are accurate. What I think is missing from his comments is that the total number of turnovers you can attribute to that spacing is somewhere between 2-4 a game. Not insignificant but not a life-changer, at least as it concerns the Dubs’ centers. Also, his comments about PPP are almost at a “duh” level, no kidding that the worst team in the league at turnovers and offensive rebounds will not do as great in PPP. Also, I saw where Kerr said that their analytics supported my grass roots number crunching in that the great majority of turnovers were in the first 1-2 passes pointing to carlessness, haste, over-aggression as the cause not the extra 75 or whatever passes per game.
    – D’Antoni is right about his limited player, in his offense. And if you want to only look at the offensive side and ignore Lee being gone and ignore the overall effectiveness of the offense, then you can always find something to pick at. But, you trade off Bogut’s shooting limitations and everything that brings for his screening, passing, and everything he brings defensively every day of the week. You give Ezeli a pass for his upside and inexperience, for now. You give Livingston a shorter leash due to his injury.
    – On a different subject, am I the only one who had serious conflicts over Barnes’ game against the Spurs? On the one hand, happy that he was productive but am I supposed to think that is a harbinger of things to come? I just fear it delays the ultimately necessary step of moving him out of the starting line-up and to the latter part of the rotation. I guess I just appreciate it for the next couple of weeks until Lee can get well and Livingston hopefully finds his groove and we can get to where we should be line-up wise.

    • the woeyr fan blogs have been bullish overall on barnes’ “comeback” season. the homer imbedded with espn, e.s. strauss, even called the recent SA game possibly the player’s career best. but no one citing the game as another sign of his improvement mentioned the obvious, that popovich has always conceded barnes his shots when it served the greater purpose of winning the game. and he is not injudicious about it — when barnes began the game with three consecutive easy scores, popovich called a time out and made a single possession substitution to talk with green. speights also scored well vs. SA — they concede long 2 pt. attempts which are the very shots he relies on. neither barnes nor speights helped the team get the deficit under double figures when it mattered, in the final eighteen minutes of the game.

      • Right on, moto.

        In your scholarly way, you’ve made the case that Barnes’ offense in the SA game was a result of the Spurs’ defense, not a cause of it. A player who is almost always guarded by the opponent’s worst defender does not deserve accolades for his offense.

        Barnes can’t make ’em when he’s guarded halfway decently. The hype-free fact is that last season the fool shot less than 40% at the rim, and even worse from everywhere else. The sooner Kerr can slide Barnes out of the rotation the better.

        I’m reminded of a very crude comment a business associate of mine made once, decades ago now, something along the lines of:

        “This doesn’t make sense. Who’s blowin’ who here?”

        Why do we have to watch this pitiful excuse for a professional basketball player stumble around the court?

      • Barnes best game resulted in a loss. So did his best playoff series. Not a winning player. But we all knew that.

    • This is fun, no? What would be more fun is if we could ring up plays from those arena cameras, play them here, and discuss them. My general sense is that the offense often clogs up, but whether is because the players aren’t used to it, because they are overpassing, or because the right players aren’t on the floor or the players aren’t up to the system—are all questions hard to sort out. You have to see the whole play develop and the results, turnover or not.

      But telling players not to commit turnovers or to protect the ball makes no sense. Most of the roster are not idiots and in fact are quite bright. The problem, if not with the system, lies elsewhere. And they don’t need to protect the ball, they need to do more intelligent things with it.

      Speights is a special case and just hasn’t been tried much, but has shown some promise. He does need a good roster, but as a big, he can find an open shot easier. As a big, if he gets attention, he’ll draw another big and open up the lane. With Lee out—and I’m holding my breath here—they’ll have to get more scoring and a variety of different scoring.

      Bogut, of course, won’t be benched, but will he be inserted or removed to fit the situation, say, against a smaller, faster lineup? And Kerr has said this, that he intends to close with Bogut. Even MJax would run with Lee and Green.

      Barnes. Ah, Barnes. It sounds perverse but I don’t think it is. Somehow we have to explain why his performance the other night was not especially significant. In one of the Spurs playoff games, his “breakout” performance, Barnes was 9-26, while Curry and Klay took 28 shots combined (a win by the way—but JJack was 9-14 for 24 points). Is this efficient offense? Did Pops concede Barnes—and this game he didn’t have to win?

      I fear, despite the optimism of our lord blogmaster, that Barnes is being taken seriously, that he’ll do enough that we’ll see him again next year—once more in the starting lineup? That our coach, like his boss, is committed to Bogut and Barnes no matter what. Which will make our conversations less fun.

      • for obvious reasons kerr has to appear to be making his own decisions with advice from the assistant staff he picked himself. for equally obvious reasons we have little reason not to believe that he participated in a ‘brain storm’ session with the ‘council’ and they discussed barnes and how best to restore his lustre. and everyone can live happily ever after, because now they get to see what they choose and hope to see. the little glitch, considerable assets were committed to, and will continue to be put into iguodala, and they’re eroding his value. iguodala is adept as a complementary guy, a multiplier, but now he has much less on the court to do either with.

  73. When a Spur drives toward the hoop and does not have a clear path Pop usually has another player step into the lane in close proximity to take a pass or the driver to kick the ball out to the perimeter. The warriors don’t place a player in the lane. The Warriors don’t do place a player in the lane.

  74. The Warriors won because:

    1. Barnes had another breakout game, somewhat
    2. Bogut made two free throws in a row
    3. They only had 10 turnovers
    4. Brooklyn isn’t very good

    Boring game. Actually, in this game, as in others, there were maybe 10 or so times instead of going straight into a good shot or drive players looked for a pass which really didn’t create a better shot, in fact often a worse. I guess this game was about bringing out the other players.

    What a difference a scoring backup PG makes.

    • If the Ws had made their season average turnovers last night, they would have lost that game.

      I was surprised how good a team Brooklyn is. In game 2 of a road b-2-b, they held Curry to only 17 points and Thompson to roughly his average. They forced the ball into others’ hands, and made the spare parts beat them, not the Splash Guys.

      As a result, the Ws shot only 32% from 3, 45% overall. That’s some good D.

      Unfortunately for Brooklyn, the Ws defense was even better. And the Ws did get offensive contributions from some unexpected places. Not Barnes, really. Before you let anyone rave about his wonderfulness, note that he shot only 40% overall, 1-3 from 3. In 32 minutes he had only 3 RBs, 3 assists, 0 steals, 0 blocks and 0 fouls (which kinda indicates that he wasn’t even trying to get in anyone’s way on D, not even as a speed bump).

      For comparison, Draymond played 33 minutes, shot 50% (.375 from three), got 8 RBs, 7 assists, a steal, and 2 blocks. While holding Kevin Freakin Garnett to 4 points and 4 RBs.

  75. Good to see Warriors back on tract. Turnovers way down and occurred mostly on non-plays or plays made up on the fly. Nice to see Warriors garner some offensive rebounds. Especially Bogut with 7 and Speights with 3,and Thompson 2. The later hasn’t happened for some time. Seems Speights back-up center.

    Livingston clearly not recovered from surgery as he couldn’t keep up with Jack on his drives although few players can.

  76. I don’t care if Barnes is guarded by his grandmother. If he puts the ball in hole each night consistently that’s fine with me. Should not put him down based on who’s guarding him. A made basket is a made basket. Hopefully he’s shooting when open.

    Thompson was a plus 3 in extra possessions- 2
    OR’s, 2 steals, minus 1 turnover. His taking ball to hoop, scoring or getting to foul-line. and not passing much on way to hoop lowered turnovers. He’s averaged a minus 2per game in possessions before last

    • Frank, putting a weak offensive player with the starters permits the opposition defense to put stronger defenders on the other players. And if Barnes is guarded by his grandma, that means Curry or Thompson isn’t taking advantage of her.

      Who could score more against Barnes’ grandma, Frank? Barnes or Curry?

  77. If the offense is expending considerable energy in setting up a non-facilitator and an at best OK but streaky and limited shooter, it is not an efficient offense. Curry wasn’t contained last night, but rather spent most of his energy setting up others, and while this is what a point guard is supposed to do, it doesn’t make good use of the team’s best and most efficient scorer—Curry. He only took three shots first half and had trouble getting into a rhythm in the second.

    Last night’s game should have been a blowout. Instead it got close.

    The team will pay a price for the Barnes Project, which seems to be in full force.

    Hard to believe Iguodala’s offense, Iguodala a ten year veteran, could have fallen off the shelf over the summer.

    • If feels like Iggy has become worse in all phases of the game (the defense is still very good) Maybe he’s rounding into form after his offseason knee treatments?

      The guy is not finishing on the break, hasn’t shot the three well and his passing has been pedestrian, rather than great. Having Lee back will be a welcome addition because he is willing to take a shot.

      • The organization has a choice. Either they continue propping up Barnes or they do everything they can to bring Iguodala, in whom they’ve made substantial investment and who will be around for a few more years, back to form, which could well require a change in lineups.

        From appearances so far, it looks like they’ve chosen in favor of the Barnes Project. You have to wonder whether they are contemplating moving both Lee and Iguodala out, along with their contracts, and that they aren’t positioning Barnes as a key member of the team.

    • I think Iguodala is short-jumping his dunks and Js. Even on the hi-lite dunk last night, seemed like he wasn’t up in the air like before. Felt asked the question a few days ago. If so, that effects his one-on-one D as well.

  78. Not being much of a computer guy, I have no real idea how to fix the caching problem. As an experiment, I’ve deactivated my caching plugin. Can you let me know if performance has changed? Thanks.

    • Seems to be updating and loading fine now. Also we got back our names and emails in the comments slots, a nice feature.

    • it appears to me that the newer material is immediately accessible without taking the extra step to reload.

  79. As for my opinion on the Warriors… still percolating.

    I probably won’t be doing as much recapping this season as in season’s past. I’m feeling a little over the recap game, particularly as it requires me to stay up pounding the keyboard way past my bedtime. Instead, I’m going to give myself a promotion to “columnist”, and issue more general “State of the Warriors” addresses, hopefully on a weekly basis. One of these should land sometime this weekend — I already know my theme.

    I will no doubt prove unable to restrain myself after particularly interesting or enraging games, but this is the new general plan. For those who feel the need to know my thoughts on a game by game basis, I recommend following me @feltbot on twitter. I’ve been working on my twitter game by live tweeting the Warriors games. Different form: more spontaneous, less verbose.

    • Looking forward to your piece.

      Do feel free, if the mood strikes, to make appearances and give quick takes in the comments on the games to help keep us natives there in line and give us direction.

  80. Hat: Barnes problem is defense, not offense. Stats show that Barnes is shooting 60 percent this year, Curry 56 percent. So following your argument the better defender should be assigned to Barnes. Sure you’ll argue not so because Curry takes more shots.

    But onechole in your argument that a better defender has to guard Curry because Barnes is weak offensively is that both play different positions. but more significantly, both Curry and Barnes can can blow by whoever is guarding them. And the defender who is going to contest their shot is a different interior defender.

    Your argument doesn’t hold water on the perimeter as well. As on perimeter screens and picks will often keep the defender from contesting a jump shot. And often a perimeter player cheats in leaving a perimeter player with an open shot. And both Curry and Barnes thru dribbling are both capable of separating from their man off the dribble and getting an open shot. It’s the coach’s job to get the player an open shot. And Curry’s quick release renders a good defender hapless.

    rgg: Maybe you’re spoiled because you’re use to 15 point wins, but for me the win against the Nets by 8 was a blow-out. The line on the game was Warriors by 9. They won by what they were almost predicted to win. You may think they should have won by more but those who run the stats did not thinks so. They might of thought the game would have been closer except for the Nets playing back to back games.

    • Frank, go look at a 2013-2014 shot chart for Barnes and tell me he’s a great offensive player. He benefits from all the defensive attention given to Curry/Thompson and still shoots “average” at his very best.

      Barnes is a “free pass” for the opposing team – in the last few games, we’ve seen his primary (so-called) “defenders” include Derin Williams, Tony Parker and James Harden, all the weakest D on their respective teams. Meanwhile, the team dedicates possessions to run plays for Barnes to inflate his scoring stats, instead of working to free Curry and Thompson for better ppp. They don’t run plays for Draymond, and he’s scoring at a rate just slightly behind Barnes – AND he’s assisting AND defending AND rebounding.

      Because opponents can hold Barnes to “average” while barely covering him, they’re free to bury Curry and Thompson. That’s how things have worked throughout this season. Replacing Barnes with an actual ball player – even a thoroughly average NBA pro – would make things easier for EVERYONE else on the team.

    • Frank, half-way disagree Barnes can blow-by his defender. True when he is a Stretch-4 guarded by a bigger 4, not at all true when guarded by a Wing, who can easily stay in front of him.

  81. My brother-in-law lives in NCarolina and follows hoops closely, so we talk often about the local teams. His comments on Michael Kidd Gilchrist, taken #2 in the draft three yrs ago, are interesting. He said that MKG seems stricken with a reverse case of Harrison Barnes-itis (whom he followed closely with the Tarheels, and never particularily liked). The team likes his BBall IQ, but his production is terrible. His jumper is non-existent and his skills are stuck in tweener land. His passing and defensive skills are worse than they appeared at Kentucky. For some reason he just doesn’t effect games the way a top2 pick should. Of course he’s only 21, but my Bro in Law, a huge Hornets fan, said he would trade him at this point straight up for Harrison, as he agrees with me that Barnes could develop into a Glenn Rice type marksman (best case scenario, though i’m not sure I even believe my best case scenario anymore). He feels the Warriors would be a new start and a nice fit for Michael.
    Although I havent seen KiddG play much, i’m intrigued if the Hornets would offer this trade, and how the W’s would respond. I was looking forward to watching him play, maybe go head-to-head with the Barnes Sat nite, til my brolaw told me hes out Sat nite.
    Livingston looked alittle better vs the Nets Thurs..

  82. FB, a couple of replies to your game-time tweets.

    Re Grant Hill’s comment about Mjax, Ms. Hat and I laughed our asses off. Is Jax even allowed to do commentary this season? We haven’t heard him. Thankfully.

    Re Dunleavy, yeah, it’s great to see him finally thrive. A great player who’s suffered fools for most of his career.

  83. Maybe I should change my handle to “Half-Full” but, only if rgg changes his to “Half-Empty” :)

    Seriously, I loved this game. Not that it was perfect but there were elements of beauty throughout.
    – How about everybody on the south side of 33 minutes except Klay at 36? That kind of beauty flourishes later in the season.
    – How about Curry shooting with excellent efficiency? He was the consumate unselfish point guard. He looked poised to take over at any time but didn’t need to. (A couple more boneheaded turnovers and fouls but nothing too awful.)
    – How about Bogut’s response to Lopez’s big first quarter? Came up big defensively on Lopez and every other Net. Beautiful passing, great rebounding, 11 pts including 3 makes from the line.
    – How about Draymond’s stuff-the-stat-sheet line?
    – Klay was a little inefficient but found ways to score and defend.
    – A rejuvenated Speights, an OK Barnes, a good Barbosa.
    – Iguodala seemed more engaged. I was surprised to see his line was so weak. (sigh)
    – Livingston was OK offensively for a change but his defense on Jack drove me up the wall. Jack made almost every shot at the rim, could you play off him and make him hit a jumper, Shaun? (So there, everything wasn’t beautiful.)

    Still, I’m enjoying the great multi-skilled athletes on the Dubs and how the Kerr/Gentry/Adams team is giving them an opportunity to showcase and grow their skills.

  84. As predicted (twitter), the GM of the Warriors is now taking early victory bows in the media.

    • Let’s give credit where it’s due. Lacob’s Warriors are in a better place than Cohan’s Warriors ever were.

      As for “victory bows,” well, heck. Cohan cleared millions from the Ws. With almost zero risk, Lacob is going to make billions. Can’t blame him for being happy.

    • Joan Rivers had a gesture for such behavior.

  85. Hat: Barnes is shooting 58 percent on 2’s and 42 percent on 3’s. virtually all other players with significant playing time are shooting above 50 percent. Proof for me that no other player is being hurt by Barnes drawing a weak defender. Should be end of myth.

    OT: Thompson was efficient last nigh. He shot 8-22 with 4 3’s, equivalent to shooting 10-22 on 2’s. the Warriors even scored 2 points off one of his missed shots. Factor in his 2 OR’s, 2 steals, only -turnover, he provided the Warriors with three net additional possessions. and the Warriors scored 4 points off those extra possessions. That’s quite efficient. Take it every night. Oh, and he had 2 assists and 4 DR’s. Need to dig dipper into his stats.

    • Thanks for keeping me precise. When I said Klay was inefficient I was speaking only of his scoring. I said he did things that made up for it which you elaborated upon in better detail than me. I still stand by my evaluation of his scoring as “a little inefficient”. My standard is 15% more points than shot attempts. The more you are under, the less efficient and the more you are over, the more efficient. My standard is admittedly not based on some all-knowing stat but rather from my observation of box scores over time. Klay was a little under and thus my assessment.

    • Frank, if it makes you happy to think of Barnes as the 2nd coming of James Worthy, I’m happy for you. Enjoy, pal.

      Please note, however, that Barnes has (finally, and only recently) come through against defenders who average 5+ inches shorter than him, while his SF opposites have been busy hounding Curry and Thompson all season. When he’s spoon-fed shots, he’s been making them recently. When he’s had to create his own shots, he’s… no James Worthy. He’s not even Dorell Wright.

  86. Regarding Barnes/Iguodala, why not move both of them? Now that Green lost weight and developed a 3-pointer, his best position might be at the 3, where he can give you Iguodala’s D and passing and better scoring than either Iguodala or Barnes. I think Iguodala is not what he was due to wear on his knees, and Barnes might pan out, but never be the player at the 3 Green already is. The Clips need a 3, right? That young Cunningham would be a good back-up point and maybe the Lakers would let Ed Davis go. Both of those guys are young players.

    • I like your thinking, Marc. Green has transformed himself into one of the quickest guys on the floor. With a little more offensive polish, he could be a monstrous 3.

    • You can’t trade Iguodala to the Clippers, they’d win the West if that happened. He’s *exactly* what they need, and he’s INFINITY better than Matt Barnes right now.

      That trade is not happening. Plus they’d have to send back $11M or whatever Iguodala makes. If we move Iggy, it will be to a team in the East and it will probably be for salary cap flexibility.

      • Would the Clips take Barnes? The Clips need a 3.

        • every exec in the assoc. knows the rivers gang is deficient at wing, particularly for perimeter d. just don’t expect any western contender to provide them anyone with ability or value — rivers will find someone outside the conference, or from a lottery team. lacob might find his breakfast difficult to choke down if he read about someone he traded to LA helping them make the playoffs, and of course a trade would also mean that rivers is willing to give up an asset or two that boosts the woeyrs.

  87. In evaluating a player’s game, in the box score I look at FG attempts and points also. If a player takes 16 shots I feel a guy had a good scoring game if he has 24 points. That takes into account FT made. I then look at stats that indicate how many extra or less possessions he provided the Warriors. OR’s plus steals minus turnovers.

    Hat: I, in know way inferred that Barnes is the next coming of James Worthy. I didn’t want the Warriors to draft him, did want the Warriors to trade him over the summer. and still think he sucks on defense. But he is shooting exceeding well and just hope that continues.

    Can’t get over Lacob saying how proud he was to hire and fire Jackson. Try to figure that out. He should add that Jackson retarded Thompson’s development. He probably does not have a clue how much he screwed up the last five years. Doesn’t have a clue that the season is just getting started.

    PS. Green will be a career bench player.he can’t pass and he has a hard time finishing at rim.

    • OK, credit where it’s due. There have been several occasions recently when teammates have walked Barnes to the rim, handed him the ball, pointed to the hole – and Barnes hasn’t blown it.

    • Re Lacob’s comments about Mark Jackson, what’s the mystery? Jackson was a mistake, but you can’t expect the head of marketing to say so. It might be bad for the brand. Firing Jackson was a good idea, though. Lacob did learn from his mistakes, and corrected the problem.

    • True, Greens passing and finishing need work. He has the court vision, B-BallIQ, and handles to improve in short order.

  88. Can’t let this pass. Jack went 10-10 from field, and the Nets did not outscore the Warriors when he was on court.

    • Jack doesn’t really play any D.

    • Can’t let this pass. That’s a great result when he’s playing against a superior team that goes on to win by 8.

      • Of course it’s a great result for a scorer, but that’s not the point. Jack is a great scorer, but it’s debatable whether a one-dimensional player really helps his team overall. You’ve made that point yourself, Felt, re wing defenders.

        It’s why Anthony Morrow is on his 6th team in 8 years, Jamal Crawford is on his 7th team – and Jarrett Jack has switched teams NINE times in his career.

        • Jack is not a wing, he’s a pg, and while defense is nice in a pg, it should never be a major consideration. Witness Magic, Nash and Parker. PGs are made to be hidden by great defensive wings.

          I’m not entirely sure what’s up with Jack that he’s moved so much in his career, but if I had to guess it would have to do with a previous unwillingness to accept a lesser role, inability/unwillingness to run horrible offense, a possible lack of court vision, and a propensity to look for his own shot that disturbs lesser coaches and teammates.

  89. Preview of what we’ll see tonight on the Warriors:

    And guess who is modeling it.

  90. The emotional energy that posters here put into hating Harrison Barnes is almost funny… or it would be if it weren’t making them less perceptive as fans.

    For example, I don’t know what hallucinogens are popular in the Hat household during NBA broadcasts, but his Barnes-bashing rants above don’t resemble the actual games that were played.

    His claim that Barnes was primarily defended by D. Williams, Tony Parker, and Harden didn’t gibe with my recollections, so I looked back at the League Pass replays — and sure enough, it wasn’t true.

    In particular, you can look at the opening 6 minutes of the Spurs game (when Barnes scored 9 points) and the Nets game (5 pts, 3 assists), and see that his primary defenders were his SF counterparts: Kawhi Leonard and Joe Johnson.

    But I guess the skeptical bar for criticizing Barnes here is so low that people can imagine just about anything and assume it as a fact.

    • Thanks for the update, Swopa. My recollection of the full games was different, but I admit didn’t count minutes/defender, so maybe it’s true that my personal distaste for The Invisible Man clouds my perception. Or maybe the hallucinogens are finally catching up to me.

      • PS I also seem to recollect that 100% of Barnes’ made shots were uncontested. Is that true, or is it the drugs and antipathy?

        • In the Nets game, saw him make 2 long jumpers off a pass, where he faked a drive twice, momentarily driving back his defender, and then shot without taking a dribble, both against a 4. Barnett complemented him for holding his dribble. Are most of his scores against a 4 or a 3? Previously, not sure about recent games, he had more success scoring and rebounding against 4’s, whereas his natural position, based on his height and weight, is at the 3. This is not as yet concluded, though recently encouraging.

      • FWIW, I wouldn’t start talking about minutes per defender… I didn’t want to overstate matters the opposite way, but it would be closer to the truth to say Barnes was NEVER defended by Parker, Williams, or Harden.

        I did see one time when Williams switched onto Barnes after a screen, and a moment or two where Parker or Harden briefly matched up with Barnes in transition, but nothing to indicate that any type of conscious scheme was involved. My assumption is that you saw these fleeting moments & leapt to the conclusion that they represented game-long strategies. But that was completely inaccurate.

    • +1. These observations are correct. Barnes is an intriguing analysis this season, a case study of how a change of coach, system, teammates and role can transform a player’s results.

      But can they transform a player himself? Perhaps to an extent, by giving him confidence, and teaching him how the game should be played.

      • Transformed might be too strong a word. I was posting here during the playoffs in May, pointing out that Barnes was playing better than the denizens here gave him credit for.

        I didn’t get much agreement back then, but if you assume that (1) Barnes’ floor was higher than acknowledged and (2) he worked his butt off over the summer, as you’d expect a young player to do after a disappointing season (esp. with a new coach coming in), then (3) the contribution of better coaching/system/role is still important, but not quite so miraculous.

    • Criticism may tend towards sarcasm here, but much of that energy is directed to deflate all the hype we’ve heard about Barnes. The real issue is whether he deserves the playing time he receives, whether he should start, and whether he should continue with the team, if so at what price. We’ll most likely be awaiting his development all next season as well. And factor in the total cost: minutes and attention given to one player mean time and attention not given to another, who might have developed and contributed in his place.

      So far, Barnes has played in 167 games, started in 113, and averaged 27 minutes a game. That’s a a lot of time and a heavy investment in a player most concede is still learning the basics, or trying to. Compare with Green, brought in the same time and who has played about the same number of games: 21 starts and 18.5 minutes per game.

      In the San Antonio game, Barnes did not blow by Leonard with his early drive, but caught him asleep. That didn’t happen again. Most of his shots had to be created for him and he faced a weaker defense in terms of numbers and pressure, since most of the attention was focused on the guards. (Was Leonard looking to help out elsewhere while on Barnes and thus playing him soft? I don’t know.) And effort spent creating for Barnes and lesser defensive attention means more pressure on the true scorers and fewer attempts by them. We have yet to see Barnes double-teamed or see him create much on his own in pressure, especially when it counts down the stretch. But give him credit for knocking down his shots that night. And he did create at least one jumper for himself, that he made.

      Stats don’t tell us much and can be deceiving in so many ways. +/–, especially in Barnes’ case, reflects the performance of other players on the floor, not his. Scoring can be deceptive if that player’s output is conceded, as it was by San Antonio. And there are so many things a player can do to aid the cause that never turn up in the stats—disrupt a defensive set, energize an offense. Some boards are better and more critical than others. Some come easy, some have to be fought for, some come at crucial moments. Green often puts up so-so stats, yet anyone who watches him readily concedes he was vital in so many ways that don’t appear in the box score. Then look at how much Green has improved on offense, now that he is starting. Barnes gets praise from some for just knocking down some shots and not doing much else.

      Defense is especially hard to measure and stats are inadequate. If anyone can make a case that Barnes is anything more than a so-so defender, please make your case. But I have a bonehead measure in which I put stock in, how much I’m aware a player is on the floor, both ends. I always know when Green is in the game. You can see the energy change and disruption he causes. I have to hunt for Barnes and often don’t know he’s in the game.

      Then there’s the issue of ceiling and learning curve. Look at how much an 11th pick, Klay, has learned each year, still with no end in sight. Barnes, three years in, in so many ways, is still at the bottom of the curve. Is there good reason to expect him to climb substantially higher?

      • Those are regular season game #s. Add 19 games, 12 starts, 33 mmp postseason for Barnes.

        • Probably the key thing you’re missing here — apart from underrating Barnes in general — is that he is only 22, while Klay and Draymond are 24. (Justin Holiday, who will become the flavor of the month among many fans if he so much as hits a 3 in a game, is 25.)

          Klay and Draymond have shown just how much a player can improve from 22 to 24. No guarantee that Barnes will improve as much, of course, but at least the examples are right there in front of him.

          • Then go back to college years and see what was said about Barnes, posted often here. I suspect you’ll find a maturity and growth in Klay and Green from early on. Listen to Izzo’s comments on Green. I didn’t watch them, but I did watch Barnes, who failed to meet expectations. But then another difference: both Klay and Green stayed in college longer. Barnes left early—too early.

            Hope I’m wrong, of course. But we’ve got to see more than making some shots now and then.

          • There’s another way to look at this. Has Barnes, given his youth and inexperience, been brought in too much too early and faced too heavy expectations? Not his fault, of course.

    • the flak we occasionally or frequently lob in barnes’ direction has little relevance anyway except for our own entertainment purposes. the professional evaluators have much more information than we do, and they often appear to be nearly as biased, in their own manner of course.

      clearly kerr is succeeding so far in preserving his bosses’ investment in barnes, even nudging it to appreciating over the low point last season. the lacobite termite mound seem to be prepared to hold or sell high with barnes — if he’s still around in July ’16, decisions about what to pay him will be influenced by lee’s contract leaving the ledger and bumps coming in shared revenues under the c.b.a., and only their opinion really matters.

      ironically, even as lee’s chunk of payroll nears its dissolution, they appear to be setting up iguodala as the vet who enjoyed an initial honeymoon period and then devolved into a heavy contract on a physically declining corpus. if that turns out to be their course, just self-induced karma.

  91. Holiday called back up after pouring in 26 points for Santa Cruz.

  92. Isola tweet, via FB:

    Phil Jackson’s next book: “The Zen of Tanking.”

  93. I have been as critical of Barnes as anyone else. But I can clearly see with my own else that there has made substantial improvement in his shooting and getting to and even finishing at the hoop. One can only hope this is not an aberration. also, what is being said about what Barnes did the last three year or who has been guarding him as well as why he has improved is just gibberish.

  94. My own eyes. Sorry

  95. Feltbot has gone into hiding rather than acknowledge how wrong he was about Barnes. Evan Z too? No love for Barnes? That’s ok. I’m a patient man.

  96. Good job for the Men in Black! Nothing like a blowout to ease the skeptical soul.

    They pushed the pace 2nd. half and went for early offense rather than so much passing. During a timeout, Kerr told them to keep going and keep improvising, and they exploded. Any surprise there were fewer turnovers? They should be able to run this way against 3/4 of the league.

    34 points from the centers! Good contributions down the roster, except—

    They should start Iguodala just to see if that will jump start him, and support him the way they are Barnes now.

    Really, they’ve had a break with a fairly easy schedule and not too many games bunched together. But no complaints about their start and I didn’t think Charlotte would be a pushover. This should serve to get them ready for the grind.

    (How’s that, YouTired?)

    • As I implied a couple of days ago, in reply to comment 65 above, I think you’ll see Andre starting within the next couple of weeks. Not a sure thing, since Kerr has other lineup issues to decide as well (Lee vs. Green at PF, and Speights vs. Ezeli at backup C), and the overall mix is what matters most — e.g., with Iguodala and Livingston playing together in the 2nd unit, Speights has to play instead of Ezeli.

      But I’ll bet a nickel on Iguodala starting again soon. Not sure what that will do to the determined “showcase” spinners.

      • There’s no reason to rush Ezeli now, and if Speights can keep this up, his time now will pay off later. Ezeli will also be more effective playing with Lee. I wouldn’t mind more quality minutes for Rush, just to see if he can get going.

        It’s still a mystery why Iguodala isn’t doing more.

        The test for Barnes will come when the defense is stiffer and the games tighter, what he can add when his shooting goes south, as it does for all players sooner or later. (In his case, not much.)

    • please review the travel schedule of Cha on this road trip around the Pacific and Northwest divisions. in the one game they were reasonably rested for, they won against a good Phx team, and then had to play GS the next night. for consecutive nights, going from Por or from LA to oaktown is easier than from Phx, and though those teams were in fact on their road itinerary, the scheduling geniuses put Phx-Oak on consecutive nights.

      does the oligarch gilbert, Cle’s owner and ‘more equal’ than the other team owners, get ‘other considerations’ from the commissar’s office — must be mere coincidence that Cle was granted the lowest travel miles on this year’s schedule. could pass as just a geographical advantage, because Cle is on the western edge of the northeastern corner — yet geography counts only if the scheduling programmers want it to. Por and Mia do indeed have top mileage, located on the continental corners, yet LA/bussies (‘flagship franchise’) don’t travel nearly as far as Sac.

      • At least they played up tempo and exploited that fatigue. We didn’t see that last season, nor all game this.

  97. Felty not wrong at all. As Barnes no longer places thee ball over his head when he shoots. Now in front of his face. Shot smooth. When Felty and most of us said he sucked last year and before then, he did. So felty was right. Guy changes and improves gotta give him props.

  98. rgg @99,

    That was better but you need to keep working at it. That half-empty habit is tough to break. :) For example, your comment that the Dubs have had an easy schedule. The Warriors have the fourth toughest strength of schedule so far according to ESPN.

    You are right though about the number of bunched games which at this point of the season is largely a function of the total number of games played. The Dubs have played nine games. Other teams range from eight to eleven so the Dubs are slightly on the easy side there.

    BTW, the teams with the better records, Houston and Memphis, are near the bottom of strength of schedule.

    • Houston had key players sitting. Hard to believe Sacramento didn’t have a bad start—they went on to win 5 straight. The Clippers just look off. All of these teams will be better later. Then the Lakers, etc. This hasn’t been a tough schedule.

      I was surprised to find them at the bottom in terms of bench, minutes and scoring:

      This may be the key stat as the season wears on. Then again, Livingston is finding his legs and Lee has been out. Maybe that will change.

      Props to Kerr for going with Speights. They’ll need his points and maybe a vote of confidence will pay off.

  99. Maybe Charlotte was tired, but it was opening up the throttle 2nd. quarter that kept them out of the game without a chance of getting back into it. I’m sure we all remember the carefully managed losses against them last year.

    Pushing the pace and opening up gets the offense in a rhythm, making it easy to score more. There’s no pressure on shots. But it does put pressure on opponents, who have to try to keep up and not get further behind.

    Offense = defense.

    Subs shouldn’t be brought in to try to hold the score and put on defensive pressure, as was the case most of last year. They can’t score and can’t stay on the floor. Rather they should be selected to produce offense. Thus I’m happy to see Speights get a chance. And want to see more Rush and more Barbosa.

    • rgg, offense ≠ defense. That’s just silly.

      A great offense can reduce the demands of defense to a degree, but O alone can’t win consistently. Every NBA player can score. The rules are set up that way. At the top level, great O with zero D is a losing proposition. Vicer verser too.

      Either can provide a margin of victory sometimes, but top teams do both, not either. They’re not interchangeable aspects of the game. They’re both required at the top level.

  100. With starting line-up playing so well we should leave it to Kerr to decide hoe to integrate Lee into the rotation and whether Iggy should be inserted line-up. Last two second quarter the WRriors have gone off. Don’t see that often.

    Barbosa form shooting three is hard to watch.

    Every offensive play should be based on the shooter separating from a defensive player guarding him or another defensive player contesting his shot. Easy concept but never discussed anywhere to my knowledge. Good to watch game with separation in mind. It’s fairly easy to create separation from any would-be defender no matter how good he is. Good way to compare coaches by the number of plays in a game in which they create separation for the shooter..will give examples later by which almost all coaches do a bad job of creating separation and what defensive players should be doing to the extent they can to prevent separation.

  101. boss felt, in re. to your side note about Sac/malone/gay. he’s a player with scoring impact obviously, and a combination of his maturity (possibly understanding he’s coming to a crossroads that will define both his future income and how his n.b.a. becomes perceived — does he want the ‘mere gunner’ label), getting traded twice, and the gravitas of malone has brought small but significant changes to his game.

    the guys with flashy offensive numbers but porous defense often only need to become a weak minus or neutral on defense to change the team’s performance — curry made this transition, the great ellis, not quite, though carlisle is committed to make it happen. another change in gay this season that helps the defense, he gets to the line a little more often. his assists have also slightly risen, to a career high rate.

    these slight but meaningful shifts are likely part of co-evolving with cousins’ improvement, which is probably malone’s most visible accomplishment. ranadive and malone didn’t waiver in their commitment to cousins ; the scarcity of talent close to his level at the position justified this. as effective or valuable the departed thomas might be, his chemistry with cousins was negative. so far the chemistry experiment has been promising.

  102. Hey, at least, against the bad teams they’re blowing them out and getting Bogut and Iggy plenty of rest.

    I’m not going to be a true believer in this iteration as a title contender until they can beat San Antonio, Houston (at full strength), and Memphis at least 50% of the time.

    And I still believe when Durant and Westbrook are healthy, OKC will be a legit force in the playoffs even if they squeak in as an 8th seed.