Odor City: Warriors 104 Pistons 93

“Who am I?”     — Jason Bourne

Only reason I’m choosing to recap this game, or indeed this road trip, is that it’s been awhile, and I have some free time. The Warriors weren’t really tested on this trip, against some truly godawful teams. I don’t think it’s even possible for the bottom of the East to be worse than it is this season.

I took some heat on Twitter a couple of weeks ago, when I said that the Warriors had barely been tested this season, and when they had been, they had failed. The failures I referred to had to do with Spurs at home, and Phoenix on the road. I didn’t count beating the Clippers at home or Portland on the road, which had some up in arms. So let me explain where I’m coming from.

It’s obvious to all that the Warriors are a damn good team, and are contending for a deep run at least, and possibly even the championship. But how good are they when stacked against the other contenders? Fact is, it’s hard to tell at this moment, because they’ve simply not been tested very often.

Clippers at home? Look, 70% of the media had the Clippers coming out of the West this season, but that doesn’t make it real. 90% of the media are utter idiots. I have never believed that the Clippers are a contender, and have believed for two years that the Warriors in particular have the Clippers number. It’s simply no surprise to me when the Warriors beat them, because they should beat them. Both Bogut and Ezeli are Blake Griffin stoppers. He wants no part of them, no more than he wants any part of Marc Gasol or Zach Randolph. And the Clippers wing defense is absolutely awful. If the Clippers add Andrei Kirilenko to play the three, as has been rumored, this matchup might become more interesting, but I still think the Warriors dominate.

Portland on the road? Always a tough win, but again I think their big frontline is an ideal matchup for Bogut, and the Warriors have more talent. Not an interesting matchup for me, because like the Clippers, Portland is not a contender in my estimation, and I think the Warriors own them.

The San Antonio waxing at home, on the other hand, was significant, let’s face it. That’s one of the teams the Warriors have to get through. And I also think the loss to Phoenix was significant, simply because of how Phoenix is constructed. Phoenix has the kind of small backcourt, stretch frontcourt that has given the Bogut Warriors fits in the last few years, and while Phoenix themselves is not a contender, matchups can be huge in the playoffs. As we know from that one time when the big bad number-one-seeded Dallas Mavericks met the Nellieball Warriors, and Eric Dampier got run out of the gym.

And it’s not just Phoenix that can play this style against the Warriors. The Spurs, Mavs, (healthy) Rockets and (healthy) Thunder can do it as well. How is the Warriors record against that group? We don’t know, do we?

I’m looking for tests. Signs that the Warriors can win a championship this year. And here are the facts: The Warriors have not yet met the Bulls or the Cavs, whom I believe are the only contenders in the East. And against the other (current) playoff teams in the West the Warriors record stands at 3-2, including a road win against a Houston team without Howard and Beverly. In other words, it could easily be 2-3.

I’m not trying to throw rain on the parade. What the Warriors have accomplished so far this season is remarkable, and shows signs of becoming even more remarkable. I’m just not willing to throw the parade until I’ve seen how the Warriors measure up against the best of the best.

On to this game, against a notably dispirited Pistons crew. Is there a lower IQ team in the league? If you ask me, Stan van Gundy has to burn this to the ground and start over. I’d keep Drummond (simply out of curiosity), Singler, Meeks and Augustin, and dump everyone else.

Stephen Curry: Putting together an effortless, best point guard in the NBA performance. Right up until he twisted his ankle trying to stay with a lightning-fast, jitterbug point guard.

Didn’t I predict this in my last post?

Man. I hope Kerr gives his defensive scheming some serious thought.

Bogut: He’s been playing beautifully. But did you notice that he got no assists in the first half? This is the first game the Warriors have played in which their offense was scouted. The Pistons smothered the cutters off Bogut post action to start the game, forcing him to throw up his own shots. That’s the greatness of Stan van Gundy in a nutshell.

I have been engaged in arguments about The Triangle since before the season started, and one of my fundamental points is that it is a post system, and that it cannot succeed unless the player in the post is a dominant threat to score. It has proven too easy to defend on every team that couldn’t man the pinch-post with Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Shaq or Pau.

It will be interesting to see just how successful Bogut post action remains once the better teams in the league have seen it twice.

Mogut: My blog was literally bombarded last season by posters outraged that I liked Mo Speights’ game, and thought he could be a valuable contributor if used the right way by a smart coach. Now? Crickets. Fans and Bay Area media both are choking on their tongues.

With the tough defense he has displayed in the last few games, I think the argument about his true position is over. He is an extremely valuable backup CENTER. As tough as they come.

He can’t guard power forwards, and that won’t change. Although I have an idea Steve Kerr might have to learn this lesson all over again when David Lee returns.

The broadcast crew mentioned Mo’s passing in this game, and I’ll admit that’s the one aspect of his game that has surprised me this season. He has proven remarkably comfortable in Kerr’s passing offense, and is not only seeing the passes, but executing them to perfection. Freed by Kerr’s scheme and confidence in him, Mo is proving to be an exceptional two-way basketball player.

I don’t know how you send him to the bench when David Lee returns. He’s capable of being a major factor in the playoffs.

Subplots, subplots.

The Livingston Effect: This was by far Livingston’s best outing of the season. Two things to note that were different about this game: 1) Livingston was played with more starters, which definitely helped him. Rush didn’t get off the bench, and Klay Thompson played a lot of second unit minutes in the first half. SL also got to run with the starters when Curry went out. 2) Kerr is putting the ball in his hands in pick and roll more often. I definitely think that is his best role: He’s great at the over the top pass, and has a chance to get to the basket himself.

So to summarize, so far the Livingston Effect has forced Ezeli to the bench, forced Mo Speights into greatness, done away with Brandon Rush until further notice, required Steve Kerr to modify his second unit system, and required Kerr to stagger his substitutions considerably (Iggy in early for Barnes, Barnes back with second unit; Klay out before Curry, so that he can come back to play with Livingston).

Stay tuned. This is a work in progress.

The Barnes Delirium: Unlike the great mass of Warriors fans delirious over his strong statistical start to the season, I don’t believe Barnes is a significantly better basketball player this season than last, nor a significantly better player than I’ve previously analyzed.

I believe he’s now in an ideal system, surrounded by ideal teammates. Steve Kerr is no longer allowing him to do things he sucks at, like posting up and shooting turnaround mid-range twos, or isoing on the wing and driving into triple teams.

He’s floating for spoon-fed wide-open threes, cutting for spoon-fed wide-open dunks, and when he’s guarded when he gets the ball, he’s being asked to make an immediate decision, drive it or swing it. No more jab step, jab step, turnover.

I predicted before the season that Barnes would have a much better season this year than last if he got to run with the starters, and play in a motion offense, for precisely the reasons enumerated above. And so far he has. So why should I be surprised at his performance this year, or be expected to eat my previous evaluations of him? Sorry to disappoint the trolls, but I have seen few signs that his ceiling is actually higher than I thought it was.

Let me give you another way to look at Barnes’ improvement this season, lest you fall into the trap of getting too excited about his current offensive stats. Ask yourself these two questions: 1) What would Richard Jefferson, Brandon Rush (pre-injury), Andre Iguodala, or Draymond Green (to name all the players Barnes has “beaten out” for the starting SF job) be doing with Barnes’ looks if they were playing SF in his place alongside Curry and Klay? And 2) What kind of player will Barnes be once he’s traded to another team, or returned to the reserves, and has to create his own offense?

If you keep those questions constantly before you, you will maintain a far more sensible opinion of Mr. Barnes’ talents than the average fan. Or mainstream media member.

There is one particular area, however, in which Barnes has undeniably shown enormous improvement: rebounding. The broadcasting crew mentioned it in this game, saying that Kerr had asked him to concentrate on it.

And Mark Jackson didn’t?

I think it’s more likely Barnes’ agent gave him the real lowdown on his value around the league.

Iggy: Poor, poor Iggy. Steve Kerr pimped his sacrifice again in the post-game presser.

I know @Andre hates that.

429 Responses to Odor City: Warriors 104 Pistons 93

  1. It’s a bit amusing that in your remarks on Barnes, you saw fit to step back from this comment two weeks ago, which seemed to indicate that Barnes was playing better than you expected. (It’s also ironic that Barnes hit a turnaround jump shot in the post tonight.)

    But more noticeable than those quibbles was your abandonment of your pet “The Showcase” moniker. You’ve wised up and figured out that Barnes isn’t going to be traded, right? (P.S. He never was, save in the event of a possible Kevin Love deal.)

    • Thanks for linking my comment, Swopa. It provides a succint and exact summation of the thoughts I expressed above:

      “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.”

      • That was an answer worthy of a politician, Felt. :)

        First, you’re trying to have it both ways on Barnes. “Transform” isn’t a word people typically use in describing unremarkable results that met low expectations.

        (As a side note, you sneer that Barnes is being “spoon-fed” shots. Per 82games.com, 75% of Barnes’ FGs are assisted. The rate for Speights is a nearly identical 72%, and for Draymond Green it soars to 87%. How come they don’t get sneered at for being “spoon-fed”?)

        Second, you didn’t answer the question about giving up on “The Showcase.” Are you trying to avoid admitting that your analysis on that was completely wrong? :)

        • As a new policy, from now on I’m restricting my troll response to one per thread. Come back at me next thread. But you may need fresh grounds.

          • Ah, well, so much for accountability. :)

            Those were legitimate, non-trollish questions, Felt:

            1. Why is Barnes considered “spoon-fed” more than Speights and Green?

            2. Do you still believe Barnes is being showcased for a trade?

            I don’t look bad for asking those questions. You look bad for running away from them.

  2. Amen, Brother Feltbot.

    I like Livingston a great deal. But it’s hard to watch him with the ball up top and not be able to show a shot. 3-4 of his shots were assisted, with him off the ball. A point guard should support, not be supported.

    Mo, of course, did not shoot well. But he ran with the offense very well, when they turned the tide. And he was well covered this time—but that left openings for others, which, of course, is the point.

    Really a masterful performance by Curry that the stats won’t show. He guided the troops through the sludge and helped them break free, when they needed it.

    I still gulp when Green lines up for a three. I may get over this soon.

  3. Anyone with any objectivity and basketball knowledge can see that Barnes, at 22, is going to be a solid NBA player and is a very interesting young prospect. He doesn’t have to turn into a ball hog to do that by learning to score via low post ISO turnaround jumpers (though he did that once tonight). That is a very strange way you have of evaluating talent. You can keep redefining his game and your prior analysis of it all you want. The fact is you thought he was pretty worthless as a NBA player and it turns out he’s going to develop into a good player. And, trust me, it won’t just be in a contract year. But please resume your silliness on this. It’s quite amusing.

    • “The fact is you thought he was pretty worthless as a NBA player and it turns out he’s going to develop into a good player.”

      I think the jury is a far ways out to calling him a “good” player. Perhaps, an average role player.

      Question: Is he now good enough to come off the bench?

  4. FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

    Felty,

    Why is it relevant that the Rockets didn’t have Beverly and Howard but you ignore the fact that Warriors lost to the Suns without Lee and Klay Thomspen?

    The Warriors are 9-1 on the road. I don’t care who you are playing you still have to win the games. The Spurs are 6-3 on the road while the Cavs are 3-3 and the Bulls are 9-3. If it was so easy they all would have just 1 loss like the Warriors. The Cavs also lost at Portland. The Warriors are also 14-2 with David Lee only playing 7 minutes this season.

    • You’re right, of course, my tests are completely subjective and hard to justify. My point, though, is that I haven’t yet received any evidence that the Warriors are favorites over this year’s contenders. Have you?

  5. Feltbot, you’re bucking the trend by not requiring readers to register to leave a comment, and I thank you for it. Not only because I would never bother, but because it is a true open forum for all GS fans. And when your blogs readership stretches beyond your friends and family, its even rarer. Kudos and thanks for tolerating my random musings.

    Youre right- this roadtrip doesnt prove s%#$ about the wubs, other than the fact that we’re a WC playoff team..
    I opined previously that I didnt think there were any good teams in the East. But you countered with Chicago, and I have to agree- when healthy, they are impressive, real impressive on paper. Jimmy Butler is everything Harry Barnes will never be. Cleveland, Wash, and Tor round out the top 4 in the East..
    The Warriors will have to defeat either the Spurs or OKC to become NBA champions. The Grizz have surprised me, but if you really look at their roster the pieces just dont add up to a title team. Their second 5 is Leuer, Poindexter, Udrih, koufus, and …gimme some Vinsanity! (Do you remember we actually traded the rights to Vince for Antawn Jamison? Is that dating them at all!) Gasol is a great player, but if he got hurt, they would be furthur up the creek than the Wubs without Steph. I don’t see the Warriors losing to Mem, not with our shooting prowess, and their relative lack of it.
    The Clippers don’t strike fear in my heart. And as a long time W’s fan, I’m not saying that litely. Deandre Jordan, like Harrison Barnes, is an off the charts athlete… whos not a great basketball player.
    Regarding Harrison, I’ve defended hin in the past, he’s giving us 11 pts on 50% shootong, 6 boards per, so hes not completely useless. Would Paul Pierce fit in better on this W’s team? Whatabout Matt Barnes? Who knows. But those are the types of players we would get for HB right now. Not a Gordon Hayward or a Nic Batum, who would push this team over the top (I’m playing with house money here). I still root for HB, but he just lacks that je’ne sais quoi, that basketball sense that separates the average players from the rest. Jab step, jab step, TO succicntly sums up his game on O. He lacks that noise for the ball, and is also reluctant to stick his nose in there. And you either have that or you don’t. I agree hes in an idealized situation, playing w/ Steph and co., and its hard to argue with 14-2, but I think we are stuck with him for the rest of the season. One thing in his defense (again), hes always been the man, the hyped, expected to do this or that, and he doesn’t need to do that now. Can he realize and assimilate that? Does he have it in him?
    Finally, Anthony Davis has been one of my favorite players since his Kentucky days. Hes hamstrung by a mismatched supporting cast in NO, but when I hear the term “Triangle”, which i admit still don’t understand, I just see visions of him, Steph, and Klay dancing in my head.

  6. Great read, thanks feltbot. I really enjoy your healthy skepticism towards this season. It’s been a breath of fresh air, and a needed one at that. I understand the exuberance, what with our team’s record and gaudy statistics and all, but at the same time we need to address any and all facets of the team that may be of concern. We must remember that all that glitters is not gold.

    I agree with you that we failed our test versus the Spurs. What a great organization they have there. Can’t wait to see the next test versus them.

    Let’s cross our fingers with Curry’s ankles going forward. As Curry goes so does our season.

    Yes, Bogut has his offensive limitations which may hamper the Dub’s hybrid triangle. But my guess is we are using him to the best of his ability, so I’m happy with that.

    It sure will be interesting when Lee comes back what will happen to Mogut’s and Green’s minutes, numbers, and perhaps attitude. Somebody’s minutes are going tobe a changing.

    It sure seems like the coaching staff is bending over backwards to accomodate Livingston. Perhaps as they should since he is Curry’s backup.

    Whatever the thinking is behind Barnes usage, I hope that the FO is working towards a stabilized roster with not so much turnover. I think roster familiarity (especially the top 8 to 10) will go a long ways towards making the Warriors contenders for a long time.

    Finally, there’s Iguodala. Maybe he doesn’t like being praised for his sacrifices, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t like being called Iggy!

  7. Don’t know why you can’t even
    acknowledge that Barnes has
    changed how he shoots
    his jump shot and that is part of
    the reason he’s increased his
    FG percentage. Instead, you simply
    point out that he’s now being used
    correctly by Kerr which is also true.

    • Frank, if the appearance of someone’s shot mattered, Shawn Marion wouldn’t have had an NBA career. His shooting stroke is bizarre. The fact is that he’s a career .485 shooter, and this season so far he’s even shooting .471 on 3s.

      Barnes is getting better results this season because he’s getting better opportunities, and he’s being asked not to attempt things he’s bad at. Things like all those 1-on-5 iso’s Mark Jackson fed him.

      • I love Marion’s shooting motion. It looks like he’s trying to surprise the rim.

        But in the case of Barnes, I do think changing his shot has improved his accuracy. Not surprising that players might do that on a team where they see Curry and Klay Thompson every day.

    • I can’t acknowledge something I don’t see, Frank. You might be right, but at the moment you’re seeing something that I’m not.

  8. Surprised you cite the Spurs game as giving
    you concern. For me I saw hope given
    the fact that the Warriors outshot the Spurs
    54 to 49 percent from the field and should do
    even better especially on defense with Lee’s
    return. We also got to the foul line more
    than the Spurs.

    Also, the Spurs will not get 17 more possessions
    than us, as we have reduced our number of
    Turnovers since then and I doubt we will have
    1 offensive rebound as we did in that game. Future
    games with the Spurs may well get down to
    The turnover differential but I doubt that as it
    has been shown that no one can slow down the
    Warriors offense, neither the Spurs nor anyone
    else.

    • I don’t think there’s anything wrong with looking for causes of concern. In fact, this early in the season, even the occasional failed test is a good thing — Kerr apparently has said that it took the SA loss to drive home the message about reducing turnovers.

      Anything that mucks up the W’s offense (whether it’s Bogut’s sudden absence vs. OKC or the defensive adjustments by DET that Feltbot cites above) should be scrutinized for ways to counter them.

      The worst thing would be for GS to sail along through the regular season with a gaudy record, thinking they are invulnerable, only to be rudely awakened in the playoffs.

  9. Ultimately, it is a matter of maintaining reason, if not one’s sanity. We get bombarded with so much fluff and flak from the blogosphere up to the national media, and it’s hard to see straight.

    Barnett reminded us of Jennings’ 55 point game against the Warriors—and Curry—some five years ago. There was debate about rookie of the year, with a close race between Jennings, Curry, and Evans (Tyreke won), but there’s no doubt which is the superior player now, vastly so. Numbers lie—and Jennings’ stats aren’t far behind Curry’s now (and he has a higher A/TO ratio!). Detroit’s first step will have to be to shed Jennings if they’re going to get anywhere.

    No one has made a compelling argument that Barnes is anything more than a so-so player or that he belongs in the starting lineup. His shooting percentage has improved—predominantly on open shots—and he’s getting more boards, but that’s it. All the issues from his college days remain. He doesn’t see the court well, can’t find teammates, has slow reaction time, and doesn’t have an explosive first step on drives. It’s rare that he creates a shot in any kind of traffic. In the simplified system of penetrate or swing, he most often feebly passes out.

    The first major test for Barnes will be to see how well he and the team perform against stiffer competition. The second will be how much Barnes offers if his three point shooting trails off, as it did last year, and the answer was not much.

    Continue the Speights/Barnes comparison. Speights’ outside shots did not fall last night, yet he drew two charges, got two blocks, and pulled down 12 boards—in 14 fewer minutes. He also muscled up for drives and free throws and got 11 points. He was critical in their coming out of a sluggish start. He also got three fouls in his 19 minutes, which in part could be a sign of aggressiveness. Barnes got 1 in 33 minutes.

    I will try to leave this alone for a while now.

    Credit to the staff, however, for getting the players to work on fundamentals, Barnes, etc. Even Lee’s shot looked better in his brief stint.

    • Footnote:

      This blog was the first place I saw criticism of Jennings and Evans, and that early on. The rest came much later. It’s why I respect FB’s work and keep returning.

  10. I’ll preface this by saying I think you’re a smart guy who challenges me to consider different aspects when doing my personal evaluation of the team. With that said, I feel you have a tendency to look at players and systems with horse blinders on. Instead of adapting and being willing to challenge your own views by considering circumstances or natural improvement/adaption, you double down. Perhaps this is why you have a certain synergy with Mark Jackson because you both share that trait. Whether you’re talking about small ball, Barnes, Bogut, Livingston, or any other system/player’s abilities and limitations it’s a narrow scope. It doesn’t evolve which is frustrating to read. However the read is worth it because your style is to analyze rather than recap. And you are good.

  11. Dubs-fan-and-critic

    I’m glad I ran into your blog – thanks to goldenstateofmind. It is an interesting read – and as another commenter noted – your style is more to analyze rather than the normal recap or rank crap that is out there. I hope you blog more often – and get a big following. I wish GSM had more writers like you rather than the fanboy style writing.

    Like you, I have been telling my other warrior fan friends that the Dubs haven’t really been challenged this year outside of the Spurs game (that we lost). We let poor teams (CHA, MIA, DET, Rockets w/o Howard) come way too close to be anointed the new masters of the west.

    The silver-lining is the depth we have shown. One cylinder or the other always seems to fire, which is good. Speights and Green are the obvious improvements, and Curry seems to be a much better PG this year than last. Klay started the season really well, but was doing a Barnes imitation all day Sunday (driving into a wall of defenders without awareness of the rest of his teammates, and kicking out to a turn-over) which makes me worry. Hope Curry and Klay realize that when the 3-ball isn’t landing they are better off taking an open 15-18 footer (their %ages seem far higher in these), build confidence before stepping further out, rather than go 1-10 beyond the arc. They both tend to do that which is disappointing.

    • good to hear appreciative comments from readers of the bigger woeyr blogs. our peerless leader here seems immune from the ailments the other content-providers seem very susceptible to — meandering verbosity, rhetorical gimmickry instead of concise dissection, waffling and hand-wringing. plenty of all that in the comments and responses on all the blogs, enduring still more of it in the main content is quite unappetizing.

  12. Felt, so far you been right when everyone else was on the other side of the trade, such as effectiveness of small ball, Curry as a PG, MoS, Draymond and others. That’s mostly why I read your analysis, posts, and tweats, plus like your writing style. I don’t think Barnes was worth a 7 pick. Yes, he can be accommodated. And given said accommodation, yes, he is contributing. More than Green or Iguodala? No. More than a healthy and confident BRush? No. Could Barnes prove me wrong. Yes. Remember, Barnes was promoted as a future star. Now the blog sphere is filled with ” all Barnes has to do is complement Curry and Thompson”. Geez, how short are the memories.

  13. Wow, there must be a flu going around. So many voices of support today. Much appreciated, guys.

    I also appreciate the critiques. I process it all, even if I can’t be persuaded to change my curmudgeonly ways. As ever, I write about what I see, and hold myself accountable for all positions. As should you.

  14. You know I adore you. You’re the ultimate pessimist, but know your shit and are very often right. Your Livingston hatred seemed excessive at first, but completely just now.
    That said, I’d like to point out one key positive thing no one has mentioned that this team is doing that no Dubs team in twenty years has done, which gives me faith-
    winning easy basketball games. Even the recent good Warriors have always played down to the opponent. Win at Miami, lose to Charlotte at home, etc. Not that this won’t happen, but we have won virtually every game we should’ve won and a few more. Does this mean we truly are the second best team in the league? Does this make us contenders? No, but it gives me more faith in this team than in any other we have put together. Champions win the easy games easily. Thus far, this team has done just that, which is big imho.

    • Good point. But couldn’t we say the same thing about every other playoff team in the West right now? It’s ridiculous in this conference.

    • cosmicballoon

      There is a certain controlled hunger that this team is playing with. Has anyone on the roster won a championship? Not yet, but it’s easy to see how hungry they are.

      Additionally, Curry is playing 4 fewer mpg than last season and averaging virtually the same ppg while upping his rebounding, steals and turning the ball over less. I think Feltbot’s concern of playing Curry off the ball can be alleviated. However, the defensive assignment of guarding oppossing pgs still needs to be addressed or Curry could get beat down pretty good.

  15. The fact that Barnes has increased
    his 3-point shooting to 40 percent
    from 35 percent this year is a good
    indication that his shooting has been
    revamped. And his improvement by
    shooting 55 percent on 2’s this year
    compared to 42 percent last year is an
    indication that such cannot be solely
    due to how Kerr is using him and that
    he has changed how he shoots the ball.
    Glad Swopa sees that as well.

  16. Thompson continuing to fall in
    FG percentage to 44 percent on
    2’s over the course of this year is
    alarming given the fact that the
    Warriors are now running and all
    other starters are shooting way
    above 50 percent on 2’s. Even
    last year with the Warriors running
    less often he shot 46 percent on 2’s.
    One reason for the decline is his
    inability to consistently finish at the rim.

    Livingston now shooting 50 percent on
    2’s for the year and posters still complaining.
    Unreal.

  17. No reason to fret over the loses to the Spurs and the Suns.

    As the Warriors out shot both teams from the field and in their loss to the Suns they played without both Thompson and Lee. With the Warriors shooting 54 percent from the field against the Spurs, a fine defensive team, the future is bright. Moreover, they addressed in future games their lack of offensive rebounds and turnovers deficits in both games.

    Really don’t see much of a threat by either OKC nor Memphis if both at full strength.

    The Warriors offensive system can’t be stop. Only question is whether players have a off night. And the defense is there and will only
    be improved with the addition of Lee.

    We’ll lose games from time, but barring injury, Warriors should be well
    poised for the playoffs

    • Not so sure Point Bogut from the top of the key can’t be figured out and defended. DLee in that role might very well be unstoppable.

  18. After 17 or so games, there are 8 teams over .700 and 9 under .300. Is that unprecedented, such a lopsided start? You have to wonder how it will play out over the season if the trend continues. Obviously, you gotta win the games you’re supposed to win. In the West, it could be a battle royal, where a couple of losses could mean the difference between a high or low seed.

    Curry listed as questionable tonight.

  19. It’s a casual observation, as I’m sure there are other factors and I’m only looking at scores, but the Lakers have been much more competitive—several wins and close games—since backup SF Nick Young returned to the team:

    http://espn.go.com/nba/player/gamelog/_/id/3243/nick-young

    I’ll avoid comparisons today.

  20. From Zach Lowe, “Things I Like:”

    Golden State’s Switchability

    Lots of teams switch on defense in various situations, but the switching can be ad hoc and messy. Two guys miscommunicate and chase the same offensive player, or one defender gets stuck in between switching and staying on his original guy.

    Not the Dubs. They almost never screw this up, and given their personnel, switching can be a deadly weapon for their defense. Their starting lineup features three like-size players in Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, and Draymond Green who can all swap assignments.

    When Steve Kerr goes to his bench, he’ll sometimes play Barnes at power forward with two wing players and a giant point guard in Shaun Livingston. That makes four guys who can switch on the fly, especially since opposing second units rarely feature a power forward who can hurt a smaller player on the block.

    There is a real professionalism about this team. Switching is a strategy, one they approach with seriousness and precision. They don’t do it out of laziness or convenience.

    http://grantland.com/the-triangle/searching-for-balance-the-nbas-lopsided-conference-problem/

    A good observation! Running a number of like-sized players enables the Ws to switch more freely on D than many other teams without creating mismatches. They switch readily, as a key defensive strategy. And they do it perhaps the best of any team in the league. Real team-oriented defense. And as Lowe says, a highly professional plan and execution.

    • When Livingston is getting beaten over the head about the spacing issues he causes on offense it would be good to bear the above in mind. Several times a game I see an opponents PnR die on the spot because the Dubs switch and there is nowhere to go and they don’t even get the small on big mismatch they can take into the post as a counter-move. This is a very real advantage that Livingston brings.

      And while we are at it, he gets the ball up the court, he gets the team into the offense, and he is a willing creator and passer. For those who take that for granted you need to pull up some games from last season and look for Toney Douglas, Kent Bazemore, Jordan Crawford, and (to a lesser degree) Steve Blake. Even Iguodala, had a lot of trouble bringing the ball up against pressure. Livingston is not sexy and not perfect but pretty darn good.

      • Is it possible that in Kerr’s system, Kent Bazemore, Jordan Crawford, or Steve Blake could have taken the ball up the court and passed it to the first open man?

        I think so.

        • No. They couldn’t even get it to half court sometimes. When the other team applied pressure it was keystone cops except not funny. You really don’t remember this? I was cussing out Meyers enthusiastically at the time.

    • This switchability was a linchpin of Don Nelson’s teams, a reason why he always selected his wings for defense first, and always wanted big twos.

      And yes, Livingston brings this on defense.

      However, I think that ability is overrated and overkill in a point guard, particularly when it involves drastic limitations in offensive ability. The most crucial need in a point guard is the ability to create offense under duress. And it is extraordinarily difficult to do that with no outside shot.

  21. Is Barnes “good enough” to come off the bench now?

  22. Think they don’t miss David Lee? Against this smaller, athletic team, with the excellent pressure on Curry, they had little threat in the front court, other than the open drives they were able to work on some occasions, until the defense tightened. Neither Barnes nor Green can drive and finish well. Bogut couldn’t get up a good shot, other than his handful of putbacks. Green was open for 3’s, but wasn’t hitting. Lee could have worked from the post and scored, driving or taking a shot or passing out. Or opened up the offense with pick and roll.

    This was Orlando, remember. We’ll see this situation again the rest of the season.

  23. In the post game interview, Kerr said it was difficult to defend Orlando with Frye playing the Stretch 5. And Kerr said “Stretch 5”. That was our very own Felt who first said those words about Frye (and Mo).

    Kerr was questioned about the line-up of Iguodala-Bogut-Livingston. Kerr explained giving Klay rest and subs Klay back in soon as he can.

    • Um, you don’t really think Felt originated the term “stretch 5” and Kerr learned it from him, do you?

      Let’s also give a shout-out to Felt for being the first to point out that the sun rises in the east….

      • I don’t know who originated it, maybe it was Felt. I believe Felt was first to apply the term to a Frye.

        • I Googeled it and found an April 2013 blog thread on RealGM, discussing guys who were and guys who are Stretch 5s. One of them was Frye.

  24. Bogut in the post game interview says he is going to attack the rim more, because he is hurting the team with his lack of offensive aggressiveness.

    • If he can’t drive against the Orlando forwards. . . .

      • True rgg. He stopped short of driving it strong to the rim for a lay-up or dunk with a little scoop shot mid-key. I think he has the ability to do so and hopefully his improved foul shooting continues.

  25. This game should not have been close.

    The Warriors played out of sync for a good part of the game. This was caused by the Warriors opening the game by shooting and missing wide open three’s, and Green going out early which put them completely out of sync.

    And players like Green, Thompson, Barnes, and Speights, missing easy shots at the rim at least 7 times was the only reason the game was even close.

    Don’t buy the claim that the most important think for a PG is to create plays under duress. Actually, if sets are run correctly there should be few instances of offense being created under duress by the PG. Virtually no need to have a PG who can shoot three’s as it’s easy to create plays for both the PG and others to score off of passes.

    Love the way Kerr is using Barnes on both the offensive and defensive boards. His four offensive boards last night was very impressive.

    • cosmicballoon

      I’m glad Barnes is figuring out how he can be an effective NBA player — rebounding and hitting open 3s. These are not things he was asked to do in college.

  26. cosmicballoon

    Very surprised no one on this blog realized what was going on last night. Curry played 36 minutes on his injured ankle. He was missing his usual explosiveness on offense, and defensively, he couldn’t stay in front of either of Orlando’s guards. This caused Bogut to have to come over and help (he blocked a bunch of shots), but it also opened up second chance opportunities for O’Quinn, who basically had a career game on offense.

    A second effect of Curry’s bum ankle is that he did not push the ball on the break. When the Warriors run, they win. But if Curry is hurt, someone else must push the ball. However, it didn’t seem like Green, Klay or Iggy was interested in really getting out and running. Maybe it was the game plan, or maybe it was simply some fatigue (Klay is slightly injured, too). I think this was a classic trap game, and without Klay’s heroics (and Curry’s bomb to win it), this was a loss.

    Considering the ankle, this would have been the optimal game to have someone besides Curry guard the point guard. Livingston probably should have gotten some more early run, and Barbosa should have played more.

    Finally, if Draymond had made a few of those open threes, this game is a blowout. He had any deep shot he wanted all game long. He did not, so we had a sub-100 scoring game.

    • The streak isn’t important. I almost wanted Curry to sit a week just to get the others going. If that happens, I really have high hopes for the season. Sometimes you don’t know what a player can do until he gets a chance to step up for a spell. Maybe they could have pushed Iguodala into scoring more.

      But I don’t think they can get the scoring elsewhere in the roster. Barbosa and Rush would have had to have big games, and I don’t think they’ll get it from them, certainly not from Rush. Holiday doesn’t look close to ready. Speights, the best shooter on the bench, has gone from a pleasant surprise to an essential player, and we don’t know how long that will last. The bench just isn’t that deep.

      We’re all holding our breath on Curry’s ankle. The fall the other night didn’t look that bad, and we don’t know that he hasn’t tweaked it before.

    • Good catch on Curry, CB. You’re probably right, a good game for Thompson/Curry to switch defensive assignments, and/or run Iggy with the starting 5.

      And yeah, WTF Draymond? Firing rifle shots at the rim isn’t exactly a form of basketball offense.

    • kerr probably made this game close with his rotations, where he is understandably applying trial and error every game on how much he can dilute his starters, and where to plug in iguodala. clearly, he needed to change the defensive assignment on oladipo quicker than he did, and the most obvious candidates besides thompson were iguodala or livingston. the game was put in jeopardy mostly when curry, thompson, and green were all on the bench. fans on all the blogs like to focus on green’s missed or made shots, but they should probably look at what happens defensively when he sits. my hunch, his impact is close to, perhaps equivalent, to bogut’s.

      just my hunch, but the team will never be top notch at running the break with barnes at the critical wing position. he’s a linear hoops mind, currently absorbed with his rebounding duties. and he can only receive the ball on the break if there’s an obvious path to the rim for him ; it’s a turnover or slow down/wait-for-help otherwise. iguodala has much greater potential on the break, or green if his defensive assignment permits. but the transition offense demands extended practice, which won’t happen with dinged up players or older vets, and barnes isn’t going to benefit much from rehearsal.

  27. Good point Moto on Barnes being
    a linear player.

    Warriors now very deep. Still need a
    backup SG. Hope Rush returns to form.

    They needed a big who could score
    and low and behold Speights stood up
    and has excelled.

  28. The Magic almost stole that game with essentially a speedy small ball lineup and O’Quinn as their stretch 5. Theres no coincidence that this is the same formula that Feltbot has concerns about us matching up against.

    Kerr mentioned postgame that this was an awkward matchup for him to coach against which is a sign he is still learning and is still seeking to experiment; this is great news as it means he is open to different strategies and not necessarily running big all the time.

    In general does smaller-ball trump small-ball?

    • smaller stature is no assurance that the slighter body has greater quickness, hoops smarts, and competitiveness, but as we all have seen, the bigger guys aren’t always forced into developing those qualities. the woeyrs roster happens to have a wealth of talent and competitiveness in the players shorter than barnes (as an arbitrary dividing line), and kerr should never be beaten by the opponent going small if his guys are all available.

    • “In general does smaller-ball trump small-ball?”

      As Nellie would say, only if your smalls are better than their smalls!

  29. Small ball is no problem for Warriors.
    When small ball team shoots 50 percent
    from field or outshoot the Warriors,
    let me know. Will rarely happen.
    Warriors will virtually always play better
    with Bogut on court rather than Speights.

  30. Since Green injured a finger, will Kerr start Barnes and Iguodala tonite?
    Barnes might be a better match-up on ADavis, if there is such a thing as matching-up well against him.

    • warriorsablaze

      I can’t see any aspect where Barnes would be a better match-up against the brow. He’s not as long, tough, or as smart as Green.

      Brow will get his no matter who we throw at him, I’m just curious how Barnes could ever be a better match-up.

      • I’m thinking Barnes is also long and taller than Green and could probably shoot the 3 better at this time, as Green has a hand injury affecting his shooting. The threat of the 3 might keep Davis out of the lane somewhat more.

      • Beyond what Marc says, Barnes has also become a much more capable defender than the caricature typically presented in this forum. Not as likely to make attention-getting steals as Draymond or Andre, but (as the Zach Lowe quote above implies) very effective in the W’s scheme.

        That said, the downside of pulling Davis out of the lane is that he excels at blocking jump shots as well. :(

        • Um, no, Swopa. There is no conceivable scenario or matchup in which Barnes’s defense is equivalent to Green’s.

          Even if you care to debate that for some reason, Green has one huge advantage over Barnes re Davis: Green fights for position and boxes out under the hoop. He’s experienced at it, he relishes it, and he’s good at it. You can’t say the same of Barnes.

          All that being said, the Ws don’t really have a good solo matchup for Davis. So far this season, it appears no one does.

          • I wasn’t directly comparing Barnes to Green defensively, though I would say that any dropoff is far less that you imagine.

            In terms of boxing out, I think you might be overstating Green’s effectiveness (over the last 10 games, his rebounding numbers are virtually the same as Barnes, and HB spends his share of time boxing out bigger PFs and Cs). In any event, though, while Green’s desire and experience are noteworthy, I’d say his real advantage over Barnes comes from his wider body. This advantage also comes into play when setting screens (though again Green’s skill and instincts help there, too).

          • Green and Barnes are listed at almost identical weights (230 v. 225), and Barnes is “the incredible athlete” here, so the differences aren’t about physical ability, just skills. Experience, instinct, preparation, dedication.

            The players get very different results, not slightly different. Over their careers DG has averaged 3x as many blocks per game as Barnes, in fewer minutes (19.1 mpg v. 27.1). Green has also recorded more steals/game, and more rebounds. Off the stats, the eye test also shows Green is a disruptive defensive force all over the floor, while Barnes… not.

            In fact, Barnes has always had a tendency to disappear for stretches. As rgg has pointed out, that has been true ever since his college days.

            Green NEVER disappears on D, he’s involved in far more than his 20% share of defensive plays. That’s why “experts are speculating” that Green’s next contract will be over $8M/yr. starting next year, but Barnes… not.

            So, hey Swopa, you seem like a reasonable fellow, so let’s acknowledge reality here together, OK?

            I’d really like Barnes to grow into the hype the team has slathered all over him. He does seem to be getting closer. Great! Meanwhile, here and now, Green and Barnes are in no way equivalent. Not even close.

          • Hat, I’m quite good at acknowledging reality, but if you can’t bring yourself to admit that Barnes and Green have different body types, I can’t say the same for you.

          • Another red herring, Swopa.

            We were talking about their effect on the game. Let’s stay on topic.

        • warriorsablaze

          That Barnes has shown some defensive improvement doesn’t at all put him in the same league as Green in that department.

          It’s really not close.

    • I suppose they could put Ezeli on Davis to try to slow him down, but then they’d have trouble filling out the lineup. They may well have to concede points from Davis and Anderson, if he gets hot, but that means they’ll have to score themselves.

      Think David Lee would help? What is the word on him, anyway?

      The team needs more two-way players at every position, with experience and adequate skills, who can create shots for themselves and others. And they need them now and need to bring them along for the rest of this season and the next.

      They just don’t have them after Curry and Thompson. I’m reluctant to call Green two-way, vital as he is. Iguodala, for whatever reason, isn’t scoring. Barnes can’t handle the ball or create for himself or find others. Livingston can’t shoot. Speights comes closest, but he hasn’t handled pressure for any length of time. There just isn’t anyone else.

      You can talk all you want about the improved offense, but subs won’t have time to learn it and there will always be situations where plays break down and individual players need to step up.

      • lee is week to week and this week he’s out. by most measures green is a two way player — he actually averages the third most shot attempts per game, though there are five players whose rate of attempts per playing time are higher. he’s improved his 3 pt. pct to .351, so he’ll still be left open by some defenses but can make them regret it (the Det game), and his total shooting pct. is now a respectable .565. his assist rate is fifth on the team.

        davis is likely to shred the woeyrs, but NO has been a very weak performer on the road. the next meeting in NO the night after chasing around the great ellis in Dal will be much more interesting.

        • moto, when is Davis eligible to leave New Orleans and sign with another organization (the Warriors?).

          • expect NO to secure davis to a new (max) contract, effective for the ’16 season, sometime after next June. should they fail to do so, he can enter restricted free agency in July ’16, but NO can still match any offer. he is almost universally acclaimed as the next elite star, likely to be regarded as durant’s or james’ peer by this season’s end, especially if NO makes the post season. he could end up giving curry stiff competition for the m.v.p., granted that’s a popularity/hype contest.

    • You might say, why not put Barnes at PF and try to beat AD with offense? Worth considering if not for the fact that AD has stuffed numerous wings at the three point line already this season. An astonishing defender.

    • warriorsablaze

      For blatantly traveling, you mean?

      I kid. It was a killer shot.

      • WheresMyChippy

        Read a lot of discussion about this on reddit, and after watching the video hitting pause/play/pause/play it looks like he planted his left foot JUST before gathering the ball. Then right foot, left foot and jumped off that left foot. Not a travel.

    • I miss watching Ellis play.

  31. Interesting notes on the salary cap, especially relevant to the Ws:

    http://basketball.realgm.com/blog/235761/The-Overhyped-Specter-Of-The-Repeater-Tax

    Long story short: The Ws can’t possibly qualify for a repeater tax sooner than 4 years from now, and it appears highly unlikely that they will ever pay one. The contract for everyone except Thompson expires before the team would qualify for the repeater tax, so the situation is easily manageable.

    In other words, salary-wise, the team has a 4 year window to “win now.” Cool.

  32. Re A. Davis, my recollection is that D Lee completely schooled him in their previous contests. Especially in Davis’ first year, Lee didn’t let him near the rim at all, and he had no problem scoring against Davis either. For all the snarkiness we hear about Lee, the guy knows how to get his way in the paint, on both ends of the floor.

    As much as Draymond contributes, Lee is a tremendous ballplayer who will be sorely missed tonight.

  33. I was at the game tonight. Astonishing how easy it looked for the Warriors after the first quarter (which I missed mostly). I hope NOP can get some more talent, because it’s a waste of Davis tremendous abilities being on that team right now.

    • Professor Z, you’re in a select number of objective observers in re. to the wunderkind barnes. over the last four games, playing 28 min, 32 min. twice, and 40, he’s been assessed a total of one personal foul, as his defense is being praised. some regulars on the other blog even contend he’d be a better matchup vs. davis than green [whose rebounding was remarkable vs. NO considering his match up].

      what is barnes’ secret ? does all the dirty work get relegated to green, thompson, curry, and bogut. or, is he considered special by a number of different officiating crews, perhaps inheriting his former pastor jackson’s light touch with the refs. or, has he reached a fortuitous peak against weak teams lacking in forward/wing depth and quality.

      • Peter:

        Is that really as interesting a question as why over those same number of games, Barnes has rebounded at a far higher clip than he has in the first 3 years of his career?

      • From my non-professional observation, I’d suggest that “Barnes’ secret” is playing fundamental defense: moving his feet and using his length, but not reaching in for steals. As I noted above, he’s not as aggressive as Green (or Iguodala), who excels at poking the ball free but is also more foul-prone.

        And just to dispel the uninformed claim that Barnes is being hidden on defense, I’ll point you again to the Zach Lowe comment about the GS switching philosophy. Kerr commented on this after last night’s game: “… the beauty of what Harrison brings is defensively he can guard anybody out there. He guarded Anthony Davis at times, he guarded Tyreke Evans on switches and Holliday. Again Harrison sort of represents the versatility that we have defensively.”

        http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2014/12/04/warriors-good/

      • Just so I’m clear Moto on this lack of fouls equates to the quality of defense theory you’re pushing.

        Last night then the Dubs apparently played horrid defense because they only committed a total of eight fouls? Gottcha the Dubs only held the Pelicans to 85 pts on 41% shooting…I see your point.

        • did not say anywhere that das wunderkind barnes was slacking on defense. suspect that the depth and quality of the opposing roster has something to do with the statistical oddity.

          • Who are you trying to fool here? If that was indeed not you intended to say but everyone gets the message that you were belittling Barnes’ defense, then blame the messenger himself.

  34. @36 This game was ended by Klay’s domination and humiliation of Tyreke Evans. All else was secondary, and it simply didn’t matter how many dunks AD got.

    Secondary: Monty is a lousy coach, Gordon is dead, Curry/Bogut did a nice job on Jrue, Anderson is not himself after back surgery (and didn’t bother to show up – O rbs), and as predicted, NO has the worst bench in the league.

    Out.

  35. GooseLosGatos

    Felbot,

    I am curious of your assessment of Barnes’s season thus far. I mean that with all sincerity.

    Which aspects of his game have improved? How much of his improved performance do you attribute to better coaching/system? Defense? Have you readjusted his celing and if so, what is it? Finally, the likelihood the Warriors can get quality value for Barnes as they will be coming up
    against cap issues?

    Is there a possibility the Warriors could (can’t believe) I’m saying this) – keep Barnes and let Green walk as HB is bigger at the 4?

  36. GooseLosGatos

    Also, I’m very happy for Kerr’s success as I believe a lot of people were gunning for him if he initially struggled as he 1) doesn’t have the typical ‘ra ra’ coach demeanor in interviews ) Mark Jackson had a lot of friends around the league (in the media especially) who were highly critical of the Warrior’s decision to part ways.

  37. Kerr has turned Barnes into a very, very good player. As in his last two games he provided the Warriors with a net 4 extra possessions in each game mainly due to his prowess on the offensive glass. Warriors desperately needed a player like Bsrnes. Fully expect his play on offensive glass to continue and his turnovers to virtually glass as few plays are run for him and Kerr continues to send him to the offensive and defensive glass. Barnes not likely to be traded nor should he be traded.

    Another great game by Livingston. His basketball IQ and passing wonderful to watch.. And he can shoot. Perfect fit for Warriors.

    The multi-set offensive system employed by Kerr and company is just astounding. New and jaw-dropping plays being introduced each game.

    Only problem is that on plays designed to have a player take it to the hoop or receive a pass inside there is only one option, not two or three.

    Thompson and others continuing to have problems finishing at the rim.

  38. The most important thing to remember about last night:

  39. Just listened to the Strauss-Lowe podcast on the Warriors where they broke down the cap situation and the inevitable roster shakeup later down the line. A focus in the podcast was who was more expendable..iguodala or lee? Lowe said Iguodala.

    While Barnes has performed better this season (naturally) and has been knocking down his wide open shots shots at a higher frequency, he is actually rebounding, and at least trying harder on defense. That being said, his flaws as a basketball player would be much more apparent if he had anyone guarding him half the time.

    But, the point of the argument is not about Barnes’ somewhat improvement as a wide-open shot maker, the question is of Iggy and the Biedrins conundrum. No doubt that Iggy would perform better in the starting lineup than Barnes due to his superior defense, IQ, and passing ability. However, at this point, his confidence in his shot and more importantly, free throwing have been nonexistent. The point has been made numerous times how Bogut would hurt the offense by being afraid to go to the line. Well, a similar argument can be made about iguodala. Finishing games, does he have confidence shooting the Barnes-wide open 3 or crashing the boards for a rebound? I’m not arguing Barnes > Iguodala, I’m questioning the $12M fit on this team.

    In an ideal world, the Warriors would be able to keep Iguodala-Lee. But, I don’t see Lacob using the tax. The Warriors need a true PF, and Lee is the only one that we have on roster. Lee’s contract is also more difficult to move, so I don’t really see it.

    That being said, in the Pro-Iguodala corner, I think it’s also worth mentioning that it’s hard to put a value HIS impact on the game. I thought last night Iguodala was tremendous in getting deflections, team rebounding, and passing in the open court. I believe much of Speights’ early season success is Iguodala and Livingston force feeding the ball. Speights knows when Iggy is purposefully setting him up for shots. There is the Speights rhythm to the pick and pop. Put in Rush or Barnes, the ripple effect of Speights rhythm will be thrown off.

    These ripple effects on other players games, notably Speights, are part of the reason why it’s hard to put a value on Iguodala. He is an extremely talented player that is one of the main reasons for GSW defense efficiency skyrocketing over the past few years. While his on-ball defense is good, his team defense and positioning are what makes him and his team special.

    But, as the Warriors look to shed cap space, HIS flaws are starting to become more apparent. He is a truly unique player but looks on career decline with his health and shooting woes. He is expensive and has not taken well to 2nd unit role despite Kerr’s consistent mention after every postgame. Known last year as a +/- superstar, there’s going to be an argument of what he brings and what he doesn’t in a different sense. What he brings is a truly unique impact on the game, more subtle than can even be seen through numbers/analytics. What he doesn’t bring, well that’s more noticeable.

    Not a pressing issue now but a developing one for sure. And, it could just be a make or miss league.

    0-3. Groan from Oracle.

    • +1

      Great post, Tyler, and this is the point. To make a serious run in the playoffs, the Warriors will need both Lee and Iguodala. Barnes, however, may play well enough to push one of them out—and the Warriors out of contention.

      I don’t think he shoots his free throws the same way each time. Is the staff not getting on him about this and working on it? Utterly baffling.

    • “Who needs to go” is a popular game among fans and writers, but I don’t think a major roster change is inevitable at all. Marcus Thompson reported recently that GS recognizes they will need to pay the tax next year, and that will not stop them from re-signing Draymond Green.

      Lee’s contract expiration the following year (and Bogut/Iguodala the year after that), in combination with the new TV contract income, should give the W’s the room they need to make future moves like Barnes’ upcoming max contract (j/k).

      More to the point, if Lacob/Myers et al. are looking at the current roster & standings and thinking, “How can we save money by avoiding the tax?” rather than “What else do we need to win a championship?”, we might as well all throw in the towel as fans.

      • In a perfect world, the Warriors would hit the tax for one year. Assuming the Warriors pay Green $8-10M range, the Warriors would have a team salary of over $100M on a salary cap of ~$67M. They would be close to reaching the double tax penalty.

        As a team that has made moves to get out of the single-tax penalty, it doesn’t seem realistic that Lacob and Co will take the hit.

        We can hope, but I am skeptical. I don’t think we keep all the pieces, so it’s a situation worth monitoring.

        • Interesting to me that everyone is phrasing the discussion as Green v Lee / Iggy rather than Green v Barnes. I’m pretty sure Lacob and Green don’t view Green as a PF even if fans and media do.

  40. Got a kick out this…felt & your gang are indirectly credited with Harrison’s development

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/thompson/

    • I liked this, from the article, a very clear-eyed self-assessment:

      “It’s hard when you get the ball in an iso situation and you have a set defense in front of you,” Barnes said. “Very few players in the league can do that. You look at the best – Durant, Melo, those guys – look at what percentage they shoot. And that’s the best of the best, so you can imagine where I’m at. I’m like at 15, 20 percent on isos. To get me with the ball moving, getting me in different spots, playing off other people, that’s more of a strength for me right now. Going straight isos, that wasn’t a strength for me.”

      He’s right, it’s really not the strongest offensive plan for any player or any team. It sounds like he’s really bought in to Kerr’s system, and it looks like it too, oncourt.

    • MT credits himself and ESS on twitter. But as far as I know, I’m the only writer Barnes blocked on twitter.

      • Wow, Felt, that’s really impressive. That’s… um… not creepy at all, really.

        Want to brag about any other 22-year-old or younger athletes you’ve harassed, while you’re at it?

        • I have never once addressed Barnes on twitter, nor anywhere else, much less harassed him. Nor Bogut either, but he has also blocked me from following him.

          I can only surmise that they disapprove of this blog.

  41. Barnes has become a better player by becoming a different player. I didn’t think he had it in him to completely lose his ego and become essentially a pure “energy” player. He’s not quite as good at it as Draymond because he doesn’t have the same BBIQ. But, hell, at least Barnes looks like he actually gives a fuck now.

    That was a development I honestly never thought would come. So good on him. We’re all Warriors fans here, at the end of the day. I always said I’d love to be proven wrong about him. Still don’t think he’ll ever be anything close to a star, but could he be an Ariza-like contributor? I guess that’s probably closer to his ceiling now.

    • Kudos. I happened to stumble across Felt’s 2012 draft thread the other day, and he had the same core concern – saying, for example: “I predict Barnes will never be played at the four, because he would be highly unhappy and highly ineffective on the defensive end and the boards. He’s a star, and stars don’t sacrifice their bodies.” Nothing wrong with making that prediction, but Barnes deserves credit for taking steps to prove it wrong.

      Regarding his ceiling, I would note again that Barnes is 2 years younger than Draymond — and, just as his BBIQ looks higher now than it did last year, it will likely improve further as he gets more experience, especially under a good coaching staff. IMO, the real upper limit on him is due to his tweener-ness: not big enough to dominate inside, but (even with expected improvement) not likely to develop strong enough handles/first step to dominate from the perimeter.

    • Please don’t use Ariza as a comparison. Ariza is a top line stopper closer to Green than Barnes.

      • How about offensively? Ariza higher points per game, lower rebounds.

      • It wasn’t a comparison. I said it was his ceiling. Was Ariza the same player at 22 that he is now?

        • Ariza like Green came into the league a great defender. The comparison might hold offensively, but that is the least important part of Ariza’s game.

    • Barnes and ego issues is interesting to me. Is he what, a Stephen Jackson ?

      Felt,Evanz and Moto,

      I have been reading your posts for a while, otherwise good posts are blinded by your hatred for Barnes. Barnes is picked #7 and not sure if anyone called him 2nd coming. Anyway, you guys are wrong about Barnes. He has borderline all star potential. You guys said, he will never succeed as SF, now that he is producing(along with his rookie year), now you credit other 4 starters for his production, that is reaching. In contrary, Iguodala is struggling heavily with bench. So, who needs to play with starters, more ? Don’t answer, you guys already know the answer.

      Felt,

      The moment you called Speights, ‘Mokur’, yo uare all wrong about Speights. I do enjoy your reading but boy, your obsession to be correct. Oh, you also called Shaun Livingston bad signing, am sure you stand by it.

      • cosmicballoon

        Borderline All Star potential? Interesting analysis considering Monta Ellis has never made an all star team.

        Barnes ability to create shots for himself is nearly non-existent, and he just started rebounding about 5 games ago. Barnes on a bad team would be an absolute train wreck. There is a big reason he is playing with the starting unit: He was dragging the reserves down last season. With the starters he is the 5th option. If you ask him to handle the ball, he will turn it over. If you ask him to run the pick and roll, he will turn it over. If you ask him to guard the other team’s best player…we don’t actually know. He doesn’t do that.

        Kerr is doing an excellent job of promoting his strengths (shooting open threes, the occasional fadeaway jumper, and 2 or 3 runs at the rim) and hiding his weaknesses. What Kerr asks him to do is try to rebound (which Barnes has finally taken to), and take open shots. If those are the makings of a borderline All Star, I’ll eat my shorts.

        As for Livingston, time will tell. He is starting to look more confident, but the Warriors have been playing all the paddy-cakes. This next week is going to be telling. (Bulls, TWolves, Rockets Mavs). We’ll find out just how valuable he actually is.

        • “Barnes ability to create shots for himself is nearly non-existent, and he just started rebounding about 5 games ago. Barnes on a bad team would be an absolute train wreck. ”

          You don’t even have to wait for him to be on a bad team. Just watch when he plays with the bench unit.

        • “Kerr is doing an excellent job of promoting his strengths (shooting open threes, the occasional fadeaway jumper, and 2 or 3 runs at the rim) and hiding his weaknesses. What Kerr asks him to do is try to rebound (which Barnes has finally taken to), and take open shots. If those are the makings of a borderline All Star, I’ll eat my shorts.”

          Spot on as how Kerr is is using Barnes. On a weak team like most of eastern conference teams, you will get to do that more often resulting in Barnes averaging 18PPG with the same efficiency, enough to be called borderline all star.

      • ‘not sure if anyone called him 2nd coming’. just off the top — semi official mouthpiece of the association (nba.com) d.aldridge compared barnes to p.pierce at draft time. the oft-cited ‘coach nick’ who provides extensive video clip scouting and analysis predicted that barnes would surpass both curry and thompson. prior to barnes’ second season, the icon west suggested that das wunderkind barnes had all star potential.

  42. New Orleans could not have played worse last night. This is the same team that put up 112 points, 40 in a single quarter, in their win against OKC with Durant and Westbrook.

    Barnes was wearing his magic ruby slippers last night and last night we were in Oz. He’s got to be able to do something sometime. Really, some of us got our wish, maybe, that he’s playing well enough to make a good trade. Instead, he might play well enough to encourage trades and dumb down the team, reducing their competitive temper against the top teams, who should be the target, and who, but for the Spurs, the Warriors haven’t yet faced.

    And this is the only test that matters, how well Barnes performs against Memphis and Chicago, etc., when the defensive pressure is on and he doesn’t get such easy looks.

    But some will argue that he just had off nights.

    The desire to defend Barnes is just baffling, not related to basketball. Hollywood, I fear, is writing the script.

    From MT’s article:

    “He’s a different player when he’s in that mode. When he’s tapping into his strength to power through hard fouls. When he is bodying up against bigger players who challenge his pride. When he is crashing the boards as a way of venting. That’s when Barnes is most using his athleticism. And, most important, it’s when he is thinking less.

    “A cerebral player, and person, Barnes has a tendency to get in his own head. He analyzes. He processes. It makes him a step slower, zaps some of his aggression. But in his new role as a defender/rebounder/slasher, it becomes about toughness/will/talent.”

    Unreal. We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

    • Wow…I guess I can only admire your unwavering devotion to the cause!

      “The desire to (disparage) Barnes is just baffling, not related to basketball.”

    • “New Orleans could not have played any worse last night.”

      rgg is the anti-Fitz!

      The mistake being made on both sides of the Barnes debate is looking at it as a binary decision. He sucks or he is good. He has improved his shooting, driving, and defense a little and his rebounding a lot. He is still vision, handle, and decision-speed challenged. A smart coaching staff is putting him in a position to succeed and he is doing well. This doesn’t make him better than Draymond, or dLee, or Iguodala but it does make him serviceable and at his age (22) he has room to grow. He is shifting from liability to asset (and everyone is free to argue where on that scale he is) but whether that is a team asset or a trade asset, good for him and good for the Dubs.

      • I’ll take that compliment, YT.

        Context is everything. The discussion swirling is the players Barnes makes expendable, Iguodala and Lee. Should Barnes be a starter? And did someone suggest a max contract for HB above?

        What I most want to see is how Kerr experiments with the lineups when the competition gets stiff, tomorrow, for example.

        And New Orleans could not have played much worse. I doubt we’ll see them in the playoffs.

    • Another take on what happens when Barnes doesn’t get the support he needs:

      http://www.sbnation.com/2012-ncaa-tournament/2012/3/26/2902957/harrison-barnes-unc-basketball-final-four

      It’s not his fault. The hype surrounding him since high school days has just been distracting. Or got him a spot with the Warriors.

      • If Barnes was really hyped or over rated at the time of draft, he would have been picked #1. His production over his rookie year and this year probably above average for a #7 pick. Atleast you are saying that hype is not his fault.

    • Lacob:

      “Carte blanche. Take my wallet. Do whatever it is to get the best assistants there are in the world. Period. End of story. Don’t want to hear it. And (Jackson’s) answer . . . was, ‘Well, I have the best staff.’ No you don’t. And so with Steve, very, very different.”

      Hard to argue against that.

      • we’re not informed there when the owner and coach had the conversation — was it the summer before the preacher’s farewell season, if so, before or after l.hunter was hired. did the owner contradict the coach with his ‘no you don’t’ at that time, or just think it. but if this took place after the first round exit, it’s the owner’s spin, because his decision had been reached and the coach installing a new staff was moot. if the coach knows he’s a goner, he’d stick up for his staff.

        • You do have to wonder. . . .

          • . . . and why is he saying this now?

          • cosmicballoon

            Haha, why is he saying this now? He’s on top of the world, and his ego is bigger than anything. It’s a no-lose situation now that Kerr has exceeded all expectations. This is his way of patting himself on the back…basically telling a bunch of businessmen that he knows when to make a move.

            The “disliked by 200 people in the org” comment is probably the worst thing he said. That’s one of those things that can’t be true…and Lacob is a total jerk for saying it. Did he take an exit poll when Jackson was fired? Even if he did, that was just a very disparaging comment.

          • he’s the cockerel standing atop the dungheap in the barnyard with the association’s marquee record, wants to crow how smart he was to hire kerr.

  43. GooseLosGatos

    I already feel sorry for David Lee.

    Great player but the Warriors current winning% is unsustainable. I have a sneaking suspicion that Lee’s return will coincide with a Warriors slump of some sort. Not to mention he needs to time to integrate into the new offense.

    And of course, the same chorus of ‘David Lee is overrated’ will begin again. Great guy & player who deserves better.

    • vets who paid dues on bad teams like iguodala and lee (whose bad teams included the one lacob owns) know very well the iceman (e. o’neill’s guy, not the inimitable gervin) is just outside the door. they both understand there will be someone younger and flashier looking the team prefers to market once they’ve been consigned to the used goods dept. of the roster.

  44. Who am I?
    16-2 probably enough of a reply, at least for Steve Kerr. Even the players may not be able to answer it any better than pointing to their record..

    For all the people losing sleep over Harry Barnes, just pretend he was an undrafted free agent;)
    He’s just a small cog in the machine anyway. Steph, Klay, and then Draymond/Bogut are the main pieces in this puzzle. All else are important, yet peripheral, pieces, of varying degrees.
    Trevor Ariza was an extremely erratic player his first four years in the league. While he is a better player then Harrison, he’s nothing more than a journeyman. Ask the Wiz.
    Would I take him over HB on the Dubs? Yes. Maybe then we’d be 17-1 instead of 16-2.
    Why people are viewing dLees’ return as anything but a positive is really baffling to me. Unless personal agendas poison this team, his skillset can only help.
    Finally, Monta. As a fan who watched him grow up with the team , I came to realize in my in my blue & gold heart that he was a good but not great player who was just keeping Stephs seat warm. If Monta is the first or second best player on your team, you will never win an NBA championship. He had one season, his third, that could be labeled as “great.” He averaged 20+ @ over 50% FG, but more importantly, he had the perfectly designated role- let Baron play PG, and score as efficiently as possible (on a Don Nelson-coached team) to offset his limitations on the defensive end. The team won 48 games and just missed the playoffs.
    I’m lookin forward to the Jimmy Butler experience tomorrow- hype vs performance.

    • when the provincial west coast fans compare thompson to harden and acclaim their guy as the best at the position, butler probably gets omitted from consideration.

      • Going to be a fabulous matchup, and game. Really looking forward to it after this spate of non-competitive opponents.

        • P.S. I believe Klay is the best defender of James Harden in the NBA, by far. And I believe he just might shock Mr. Butler, who has been putting on a convincing Harden impression in the early going, with his free throw rate.

  45. @ 47, Lacob on firing Jackson:

    “Carte blanche. Take my wallet. Do whatever it is to get the best assistants there are in the world. Period. End of story. Don’t want to hear it. And (Jackson’s) answer . . . was, ‘Well, I have the best staff.’ No you don’t. And so with Steve, very, very different.”

    http://www.insidebayarea.com/warriors/ci_27078013/warriors-co-owner-lacob-lists-reasons-firing-mark

    Jackson had no say in Erman and Scalabrine, right?

    And when exactly did Lacob say that? He certainly wasn’t referring to Malone, over whom Jackson had no say. If Lacob said it after Malone’s departure, it would have had to have been the summer before last season, when Jackson’s bid to have his contract renewed was put on stall, with indefinite terms for renewal, right? Was Lacob unsatisfied with Jackson’s hires then, before they even had a chance to prove themselves? When maybe Lacob had already decided he wanted someone else anyway?

    So Jackson was asked to hire top grade assistants, expense no problem, when his own job was in doubt and only a year left on his contract? Did Lacob wait, as he says, until the end of last season to see how the assistants worked out? I don’t believe that at all. Jackson and his assistants were in doubt halfway through the season, if not earlier.

    Kerr certainly doesn’t have Jackson’s problem. I doubt he has any reason to think he won’t be around many years, barring disaster. So Kerr can hire freely, knowing his own job is not at risk. Which is not to defend Jackson or his hires (whose names I have already forgotten—Hunter and someone else?). But Lacob forced him into a bunker mentality.

    From that same article:

    “Lacob praised associate head coach Alvin Gentry and assistant coach Ron Adams, whom Kerr hired for their experience. Lacob said he thought at the time when he hired Jackson that the key for an inexperienced coach who he said ‘didn’t know X’s and O’s, really’ was to hire the right staff around him.”

    But X’s and O’s weren’t a concern for Lacob when he hired Jackson. From Kawakami’s interview at the time:

    Q: Did you need to talk X’s and O’s with him, just because he hasn’t coached at this level?

    -LACOB: When you say talk X’s and O’s, we’re not going to be drawing up plays on a board.

    -Q: What offense are you going to play, how will you defend the pick-and-roll…

    -LACOB: Of course. But those are just words. I could probably interview you and you could probably give me good answers on how you would coach a team, too, right? (JOKINGLY SPOKEN I HOPE.)

    I may not believe it. It’s an interview. Until you see somebody actually do it… And it’s not about X’s and O’s, it’s about who can get the guys to play that hard. Who’s going to organize them properly. Who has the experience to know why this guy isn’t performing the way he should. Who’s going to put the pieces together in the right way. Who has the sense from being on the court for a lot of years, who knows how the pieces are going to fit together. That’s important.

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2011/06/10/joe-lacob-on-mark-jackson-i-wanted-somebody-with-a-fresh-approach/

    Which I suppose is not a contradiction. But it means X’s and O’s are not a top priority in a head coach. But then was he satisfied with Kerr’s knowledge? Wasn’t this why he hired him?

    Curiouser and curiouser. Remember: this comment comes under a post titled “Odor City.”

    • You are going down so many erroneous rabbit holes I can hardly keep up. First of all, Malone was 100% Jackson’s guy. I distinctly remember Jackson saying, upon hiring Malone, that he had told Malone he would look for him if he, Jackeon, ever got a head coaching gig. There were also comments from Jackson immediately after his firing that when he met with Lacob for what turned out to be his termination that Jackson told Lacob that he was ready to take Lacob up on his offer for better assistants but Lacob said it was too late for that. To me, that clearly implies that Lacob’s offer for assistants had been made a long time back.

      Lastly, trying to find discrepancies between Lacob’s criteria for hiring Kerr vs hiring Jackson is a fool’s errand. They were obviously hired to do different jobs. Jackson was hired to bring life to a moribund franchise with some nice pieces but neither the talent nor experience to get to the top. Kerr was hired to take a talented but still underperforming team to the pinnacle. Not that many companies keep the same CEO from start-up to multi-national. I suspect that is the analogy Lacob saw. Jackson’s confidence and pedigree and solid defensive principles could lift the franchise from the doldrums. However, Jackson failed in his audition to demonstrate the humility and objectivity and vision to see his weaknesses and the team’s weaknesses and lay out a vision to reach that pinnacle that maximized the tools that Lacob was willing to provide. Alcon was ruthless but logical and not unfair or inconsistent from what I can see.

      • Oops, last sentence “Alcon” should be “Lacob”.

        • al-con is a great ‘freudian’ malapropism, as in confidence-men anonymous(which would be more like con-anon). but lacob is clearly addicted to playing the confidence market.

          • My Jesuit professors of long ago would approve of the well rounded education you provide on this basketball blog. Thank you for that.

      • I’m just lost.

        Jackson did speak favorably about Malone, but why wouldn’t he? He didn’t hire him, however, Lacob did. [And we’ll have to put in brackets all the rumors that they didn’t get along and that Jackson didn’t like being upstaged by Malone as he drew plays on the floor.] But I fail to see the relevance. If Malone was Jackson’s choice, he made one good decision. Lacob’s offer “a long time back” had to be soon after Malone left, then. But you still haven’t addressed the point that at the same time Jackson was uncertain about his future, didn’t get his contract extension but was put on hold, which would have put him on the defensive. But did Lacob not review Jackson’s hires then? Why not? He has the final say.

        It became clear about last December that there were questions about whether Jackson would stay, and the team paid a price. Starters were overplayed. They bust their butts to keep Jackson and were beat up and worn out at the end of the season. But also he had a weak bench, the worst in the league (and of course still didn’t coach them well, but that wouldn’t have mattered much)—this wasn’t Jackson’s decision, either.

        On your second point, I can’t get any traction at all. Different jobs? Experience and strategic knowledge don’t matter in trying to get a team on track? The team was moribund the team’s year under Smart because they had a bad coach and were horribly undermanned, especially at center. (Actually, I think they performed pretty well, given the shallow roster.) The team was certainly moribund Jackson’s first year because of injuries to Lee and Curry and because the team tanked. These were Lacob’s decisions. They were hardly moribund the next season, when they won 48 and went two rounds in the playoffs. Malone helped out, I’m sure, plus they had a good bench.

        It took Lacob five years to figure out that offensive strategy mattered and bring in someone who could help engineer that.

        No one is defending Jackson or especially his assistants. They had to go. They shouldn’t have been hired in the first place. But Lacob is just covering his ass for his own bad decisions. And there is no damn reason for him to say anything now or throw Jackson under the bus. The record (so far) speaks for itself.

    • Lacob is a professional financier. Like all of us here he’s also a basketball hobbyist.

      To a financier/bball hobbyist, what’s the obvious difference between Mark Jackson and Kerr? From external appearances, almost nothing.

      Lacob is saying as clearly as he can that Jackson had a chance, but there turned out to be critical problems.

      Lacob builds systems. Jackson didn’t participate effectively enough in the system, in ways that Lacob, with his extensive management experience, feels are important. In firing Jackson, Lacob did what he felt was necessary, and he has now explained his decision as clearly as he feels he is permitted to. There is ZERO chance that he will discuss Jackson further.

      Let it go. In the end, does anyone here care to argue that Jackson could have achieved Kerr’s results?

      Lacob’s job isn’t about winning the next game, it’s about creating a winning organization. The next game (and the next, and the next) is his coach’s concern. To the extent that Lacob is involved in bball operations, he operates at a level that is distant from the hardwood. His job is to improve his organization’s chances of winning. And he HAS done that, turning a sleepy little under-performing NBA franchise into a winner and a mega money maker. A system that will always be more likely to win bball games than lose them. One that will never again be a doormat/joke/loser, not in our lifetimes.

      Personally, I’ll happily take a winner over an underperformer any day. Why agonize over precisely who said what when to whom? I don’t get it. What exactly is the problem here, and is there some sort of resolution that could make you happier? Let’s just enjoy the game.

      Geez. Reading this blog, you’d think a freakin’ awesome record was some kind of problem.

  46. rgg: Good speculation on why Lacob not exacting providing an accurate account of Jackson’s firing. But frankly I could care less about his reasoning. All I know is that Jackson never should have been hired and his firing was a welcome event.

    What can be said is that Jackson being such a poor coach kept us from accurately analyzing Barnes. What one can clearly see is the Kerr had used Barnes wisely and has turned in a very good player even given his limitations.

    I would add Speights to this category except for the fact that Speights came into camp last year out of shape and this year really worked on his offensive game which is very evident.

    There’s only three teams that can play with the Warriors when all players are healthy and that is Chicago, Dallas, and the Spurs. So tonight’s game will be interesting to watch.

    Thompson will not be a factor in stopping Butler nor would many defenders. Mainly because Butler can easily drive by any perimeter defender and and Bull’soffensive system can create wide open shots for him on the perimeter. Thompson will at most have two or three plays to to alter his shot at best.

    Just like what a player does on the defensive boards are a non-factor as only two or three defensive rebounds are even contested for one player during the course of a game.

    So whether Butler scores well or misses shots will have very little to do in my opinion with Thompson’s defense.

    Am concerned tonight that Chicago will be unmerciful taking the ball the the hoop and having a few players go to the offensive boards which the Warriors will have a hard time staving off. Game may well depend on how Kerr has the team adjust. They do have a significant height advantage up=front but overall with Lee do think we have a much better roster. Hopefully Lee will play and play well.

    Am starting to get concern that Thompson on offense is being reduced to a three point shooter as his shooting two’s had declined to 44 percent after starting off the season way above 50 percent. Also seems his trips to foul line declining but I haven’t checked that.

    But thankfully 40 percent of his shots are three pointers where he is shooting the lights out.

    Really like excellent bloggers that don’t brag but let posters do so.

    • Frank,

      You touch on something, tangentially, that I’ve noticed this season. The return of the Klayup. It looked like he had solved that but I’m seeing it every game, the last 7-10 games. I wonder what is going on there.

  47. @50 (cont.)

    Actually, we may need to be grateful for Mark Jackson. Seeing his team play well on defense but underperform on offense—it made national media—may have been what got Lacob to finally realize they needed offensive minds. The only word from above before was bigger ‘n more defense. (We didn’t hear so many complaints the previous season. Whether that’s because of Malone or the good subs at PF and PG or because Jackson didn’t have all those centers to play with who clogged up the lane or because he just tightened up because of his precarious situation, my thought—we’ll never know.)

    I like Kerr. How can you not like Kerr? One of the things I like about Kerr is that he has brought in good assistants and, I’m pretty sure, listens to them and makes use—not doing so was one of Jackson’s many failings. This is not a slight on Kerr, either, but rather what defines him. He is a team player who can bring minds together. We’ll never hear Gentry and Adam’s contributions, but that’s OK. He also appears to have a good, flexible head and is willing to learn. And I know he works hard.

    The other thing I like about Kerr is that it’s highly likely he will stay many years, and finally the organization will have stability now and in the future. (Lacob will really look like a fool if he fires him after only a few years.) Both Smart and Jackson were walking a tightrope, and got axed anyway. Kerr is not coaching for his job. Most likely Kerr can interface with Lacob, another plus, because maybe Lacob will finally listen and turn decisions over to the staff, where they belong.

    But here’s the entertaining problem. What kind of record does Kerr have to have to prove he’s better than Jackson? No one here, I don’t think, will defend Jackson. I sure as hell won’t. We only have to look at what we’ve seen so far—player development, a more flexible and varied offense, better substitution—to be satisfied on this count. But what if you only look at the record? What kind of record does he have to have, how far does he have to go in the playoffs to prove this? 51 wins last years was still good. And come playoffs, Jackson supporters (not me!) will argue he didn’t have Bogut but did have bad subs. And everything is totally different this year in terms of competition, in many, if not most cases, weaker. I suspect the results may be wholly ambiguous, but of course am hoping for much, much better results—finals in the west, at least.

    • rgg, your quest for certainty will forever remain unfulfilled.

      Balls take funny bounces.

    • managing the staff is a significant part of the coaching chief’s job ; kerr grades B+ maybe higher, the preacher a D+. player development, which includes tuning the systems on both ends to suit the players, apparently left with malone, so again kerr has to grade much higher. kerr made a point to establish rapport with bogut and incorporate his skills on offense more. the national media will always grade jackson high on media relations as a colleague, but kerr is at least on a par, with a plus for the greatly increased access to the assistants. the local media including the essential j.barnett have much greater access to the practices. not even necessary to factor in the personality/religious proselytizing, or communication with other employees and higher ups in the termite mound.

  48. Making comparisons may be hard tonight, also. They have split with Chicago all years since Curry came on board, including that moribund Nelson team, except were 1-0 the strike year and 0-2 2012-13.

  49. Warriors have much better offense than Chicago. Iggy should shut down Dunleavy but wish Iggy was starting as Barnes not likely to. Gasol should be unstoppable. Just hope his shooting is off tonight. Problem is stopping Rose, Butler, and Brooks, at the hoop.

    • I’m guessing the Ws will play the Bulls straight-up on D. Bogut can handle Gasol. Draymond has had success against Noah. Thompson can handle Butler as well as anyone can, and Curry can force Rose to shoot from outside. The weak point is Barnes on Dunleavy, but hopefully Kerr will swap in Iggy ASAP if that’s a problem.

      • Clever idea to put Dray on Noah, wonder if Kerr will think of that? Guessing that whoever he guards, Dray will receive help on the box.

    • Is Noah a scorer? If not, put Barnes on him and Curry on Dunleavy, Green on Butler, Thompson on Rose, and Bogut on Pau. Would be better yet to start Iguodala, as Frank says above. Hope DLee is available, could really use him.

  50. green and curry played the entire first quarter, with green the m.v.p. of the period. be interesting to see if green induces a defensive adjustment, which would be almost unprecedented. kerr has had problems in past games maintaining leads with both curry and green on the bench.

  51. I guess Green’s thumb isn’t bothering him now? Of course the Bulls conceded those shots. And he made them. And was a monster on defense.

    That was satisfying. Have we seen a better engineered defense than we saw first half? Straight into fastbreak points. (Kerr gets credit; I assume Adams had a big hand here.)

    This is the first time I’ve seen Rose since he’s returned, and he’s just not the same. I don’t recall many slashing drives at all. This will hurt them down the stretch.

    But few points from the front court. No one’s going to criticize his defense, but Bogut couldn’t present a threat. Green got most of his points from the arc. Moral: they need David Lee against the top teams.

    Speights was covered and, of course, got eaten up by Gibson and Gasol. No friggin’ offense, no shooters on the bench otherwise. Iguodala was tentative. Barnes has to wait until he’s dead in the clear to take a shot. And I think Livingston played off the ball most of his time. This just painful to watch. They need a backup point guard. Speights, however, picked his defensive effort up second half and did, in fact, drive for key points. I was glad to see him finish.

    What’s a Klay-up? Looked pretty darn good to me.

    • Oh, the Warriors lost?

      • Again with the unnecessary negativity. Is there a more challenging front court in the league than Chicago or Memphis? How does this game prove a need for Lee? He is a luxury at this stage and a smart player who will find a way to contribute.

        Just as Orlando did in the last game Thibs elected to leave Draymond loosely checked at times with the only difference being that he hit his shots this time.

        • What negativity? The concern about the bench was minor—but they did blow a 14 point lead in minutes and this will be significant later. This was an exciting win.

          But Green isn’t going to knock down threes like that all the time. If this were a 7 game series, Chicago would adjust. They still didn’t get front court scoring (except a few points from Bogut and Speights’ 11). Lee will fill a lot of gaps.

          I’m not sure who the pessimists are. I see great potential in this team and would like them to reach it. They’ll need to bring the best out of the best players and play them right. You guys seem complacent, settling for less, certainly if you think Lee is a luxury.

          • I just don’t see how this game illustrates any glaring front court issues. Smart money says that Gasol/Noah/Gibson along with Gasol/Z-bo will be the Warriors’ toughest challenges and fair to say, today’s result was a success.

            Is your concern primarily with the lack of easy buckets from the paint?

          • Not easy buckets, but any buckets in the paint from the front court. Not arguing against Bogut’s defense, but he got one layup on a break (!) and one putback, maybe another. Only Speights was able to drive, somewhat. And that was it. They have to show offense from the front court to open the offense up. Curry, as it was, couldn’t get many shots off. Lee, however, can score against Chicago, and has 15-20 points, whether moving in or taking an outside shot. He can also score against Gasol.

  52. As I said before, the Warriors having won many games against lesser quality teams did not detract from the Warriors being able to beat team in the upper strata of NBA teams. And we beat the Bulls, one of the better teams in the NBA by 10 points, with both Curry and Thompson having an off-night shooting the ball.

    The Warriors offense being far superior to Bulls as seen by the number of turnovers committed by the Bulls as compared to the Warriors as Warriors had 13 fewer turnovers.

    This was a game where for one of the few times many players provided the Warriors with extra net possessions. Bogut provided the Warriors with 4 extra possessions, Livingston, Speights, and Green each gave the Warriors with 3 extra possessions, and Thompson a net two when his two blocks resulted in Bulls turnover as did his two steals minus his one turnover

    Livingston played tremendous. He shut down whoever he was guarding. his pin point passes and shooting was a sight to behold, as was his shooting.

    Green three point shooting completely nullified Gasol’s shooting. Glad Gasol did not get to foul line and only scored 2 point shots.

    Speights playing so crappy at center on defense..That’s not to say he shouldn’t play center as the Warriors offense does sometimes outscore their opponents with him on the court, and he clearly is superior to the inexperienced Ezeli.

    Hope the talk as to who should be traded, if anyone, is postponed till after the season is over when one can make a more accurate assessment. Enjoy the wins guys. It feels terrific.

  53. Butlers a scary guy. Wouldn’t want to run into him in a dark alley.
    Klays a different kind of scary, but effective as well. Theyre both top tier 2 guards, 2015 model year prototypes.
    Steph was mad-dogged tonite, smart strategy by Chicago. Harryson -invisible, other than a couple threes, but Livingston composed with his best performance of the year. MBuckets pitched in, and even Iggy, despite his usual line and effect on the game, had a couple vintage Philly forays to the hoop that were encouraging..
    DRose looked a bit broken. The Bulls are a tough team, but the toughest man on the floor tonite was Draymond.
    Steph, Klay and Dray are becoming a unique core. No other 1 thru 3 tandem on this planet can shoot like them collectively.

  54. I’m seeing a change of heart, Feltbot.

    • This game was a test of Steve Kerr’s Nellieball convictions. He passed with flying colors.

      This is the coach (or coaches) I’ve been waiting for. It’s game on. Finally.

      • It seems the definition of Nellieball is fairly fungible.

      • the woeyrs have defensive options at wing and guard (iguodala and livingston, capable of starting for many teams on the bench), Chi lacked them. they have dunjr instead of the departed deng, and they’d need both against teams like GS. green was a step in time ahead of the defense, both in transition and half court, all game long. the Phx/d’antoni d.n.a. has been passed along via kerr and gentry.

        • And D’Antoni was sui generis?

          • d’antoni, no of course not. but we can hardly be certain what kerr and gentry would have assimilated from nelson if d’antoni wasn’t there in Phx and highly successful.

    • The immediate comparison is with Curry. Both weren’t the right size and didn’t have the speed and athleticism. Curry was considered a shooter, but he was too small to be a 2; his lack of size and athleticism made him questionable as a PG on both ends of the court. Draymond was too small to be a 4, not athletic enough to be a 3.

      And none of those objections mattered. Izzo credits Green with a high b-ball IQ and a big heart. He is versatile, having 5-6 parts to his game. The same goes for Curry, except we may need to add a few more parts. Both have tried to get better at everything, both have the determination and skills to still keep improving—and they have. Both were under the radar of college scouts. Both had to work hard early to get attention—and did. Both had good coaches who brought out their potential. Both were key players in the NCAA tourney. Both were Riley picks—and the intangibles were among the things he scouted.

      This also raises comparison with Barnes. He has to be supported and the team needs to bring out his best, but he falls short in all categories. You won’t find Roy Williams saying he has more than 1 or 2 parts. His skills are limited.

      It’s not his fault. He got way too much attention—top prospect—for fairly good shooting and dunks against high school competition, and this ranking lingered and haunted him. By his own admission, he had doubts whether he could play college from the start. Still, there was noise he was a top prospect his freshman year and debate then he should have entered the draft then. The noise was still strong up until the NCAA tourney his second year at UNC, when his status fell quickly. Skills, character, and confidence need to be brought out early and developed gradually. Green and Curry did everything they could to be better basketball players; Barnes lived in the shadow of greatness from the start.

  55. Livingston 17 minutes, “0”
    turnovers, 3-5 shooting,
    one steal, 1 OR, shut
    down defender. Some people
    don’t what a good back-up
    point guard is. Most do.

    Kerr has proved himself in most
    games. This game no revelation.

    Thompson had no effect on Butler.

  56. Steve ‘The Virgin’ Kerr continues to adapt and improve.

  57. Loved Nellie as coach but he never had an offensive or defensive
    system that was anywhere near approaches what Kerr has installed.
    Kerr and staff light years ahead of Nellie. Love that few teams have
    scored 100 points against the Warriors.

    rgg: If you don’t see with your eyes what Livingston doing than maybe you should know that Reggie Miller went on and on about how great
    an addition Livingston has been.

    • Yes, a lot of Nellie love on the site and some of it very warranted. But Kerr, his staff & the Warriors front office (oops, I praised the front office – oops sorry Feltbot) focusses on both ends where as Nellie was defensively deficient.

      • Nellie, to be fair, was dealing with a defensively deficient roster for the most part. He’s stated his praise for the Ellis-for-Bogut trade, and it’s interesting to imagine how he would have used Bogut. As Felt has noted, he’d love the W’s length & athleticism on the wings (similar to the “We Believe” group & Nellie’s Milwaukee teams).

        • GooseLosGatos

          Swopa,

          keep in mind Nellie never really preached defensive fundamentals in practice nor did he go out of his way to draft and or recruit defensively minded players. As you know, defense is much like muscle memory in that you continually have be doing it to be proficient at it.

          Look, I’m a big Nellie defender (lot of KNBR calls defending Nellie to the ‘dim’ herd). Also, Nellie was an equally brilliant talent evaluator if not more so. However, I never felt he emphasized defense the way he should have in order to maximize his teams potential.

  58. Reggie Miller praised someone else I questioned (future of the franchise, I believe were his words).

    Livingston made two assists in 17 minutes. He was also off the ball much of the time, with Curry. One of his 3 shots was assisted (and I think he was still off the ball on others). He can’t show a shot from 12 feet out. This is not my definition of a point guard.

    I like Livingston. He has poise and experience and floor presence. He might make a good hybrid guard—as long as he has a true point guard alongside him. I wonder if he couldn’t run in a three guard set with Curry and Thompson.

    He might also be useful if he had shooters alongside him to make up for his deficiency—but he didn’t until Klay entered. In the disastrous four minute stint end of 1st. beginning of the 2nd. quarter, when they blew the lead, they had Speights, Barnes, Iguodala, Livingston, and Barbosa on the floor. Speights was their only offensive weapon, and he was covered. They couldn’t score. They couldn’t even get a shot up.

    And this wasn’t a solid defensive unit. Speights got abused by PF Gibson, which was to be expected. But he had no help alongside him and drivers penetrated the perimeter easily. Meanwhile, Speights was +11 for the fourth quarter. There’s a good chance they lose without him, not that he was the most essential player on the team.

    http://popcornmachine.net/gf?date=20141206&game=GSWCHI

  59. Livingston had 5 or 6 assists the game
    before. He makes great passes that
    second unit players don’t convert into
    scores. He shoots a good field goal
    percentage and the Warriors outscored
    the Bulls with him on the court. At the same
    time playing great defense. Your missing
    what he brings to the game by your nick
    picking and pointing out that he can’t
    shoot from more than 12 feet away, is a
    hybrid guard who plays off the ball.
    Different plays require him to be in
    different positions. Rgg, with regard to
    Livingston, you see neither the trees
    nor the forest.

  60. Leonard apparently schooled Wiggins last night:

    http://espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=400578583

  61. Definitely a recap-worthy game last night. I know we didn’t see the real Noah and Rose (at least I hope that wasn’t their real, 2014-15 selves, it would be sad if it is), but this was nevertheless a real test for this Dubs team from which I learned a lot. Particularly about Steve Kerr’s intentions for the team.

    Unfortunately, I can’t elaborate in a post, got a full schedule this weekend. I’ll try to write a state of the Warriors in a couple of days, got a title, but very little time.

  62. “They’re easy to coach. They’re really talented. They’re unselfish,” Kerr said. “I’m just lucky.”

    After last night’s game. I’m not going to praise Kerr for his humility, but I’m not sure that’s what it is. Instead, he’s being realistic and putting his ego aside, and this I value. He can read situations and make adjustments. He will adapt to his players and they will adapt to him. He’s lucky in one respect, however. There are no head cases on the team.

    I liked his T last night, btw.

    You have to assume he studied Phoenix and the systems of Gentry and D’Antoni. You also have to assume that he developed a relationship with Gentry and that he’s making good use of it now. I wouldn’t be surprised Gentry stays out his three year contract. I want to believe the same goes for Adams, but we don’t hear much on that front. There’s a lot of experience and knowledge on the staff about the game, from small details up to grand strategies. Kerr has to be exploiting that. And here we got a break. Phoenix was the last place Lacob went for inspiration, but Kerr came out of Phoenix, and here he is.

    The Warriors may well have the best coaching staff they could have had. I’m on board all the way.

    The decision to keep Speights in 4th. quarter was not a no brainer. Speights is still an unknown quality and is smaller and less adept at defense than Bogut. But Kerr went against the prevailing mantras of going big and defensive and playing his marquee player, Bogut. And it worked out just fine. Defense was good and they kept scoring. Maybe they win anyway with Bogut, though I suspect the score would have been tighter, tight enough that a Bulls shooting streak puts them behind. No matter. It worked out and Speights and another option for the team was developed that will pay off later.

    But imagine if Kerr had gone to the Knicks, under Jackson and with Melo. Maybe the two of them pull off something eventually, in several or many years. At best it would have been hell for him. At worst, a disaster. Any wonder he came here?

    • Kerr is lucky in another way. He’s had an easy opening schedule to give him time to adjust without pressure. I’ll take it.

  63. What David Lee will bring:

    1. Basically, because he can score from the low post but also step back for the midrange as well as pass, he can improve any offense he’s in. It’s because he has a midrange shot that he can score down low, as he keeps his defender guessing. Bogut and Ezeli can’t do that. He will tax any defense and provide openings for others.

    2. Don’t forget how effective the closing unit of Lee, Green, Iguodala, Thompson, and Curry was last season. Their defense against most teams was fine.

    3. Because of his offense, he can help bring Ezeli on the floor and get him going. Don’t forget how well they played together two seasons ago. This will add another defensive option—and an alternative should Bogut go down.

    4. He will make Livingston better, especially if they go pick and roll.

    5. He will make Barnes better by giving him the openings he needs.

    6. Can he go with Speights? Speights has been the primary offensive weapon the last games, and has been covered. Lee will change that. And he will also give Speights a sizable companion on defense.

    And in many, in fact most of the remaining games, he won’t have to play heavy minutes and carry the team as he has in the past. His minutes can be spelled to keep him fresh and whole for the playoffs. He can reduce Bogut’s minutes and do the same for him. And he can reduce Green’s minutes and his load as well, again with the same results.

    • Good points — especially, IMO, #1 and #3. I continue to believe that (perhaps after an initial bench stint) Kerr will eventually start both Lee and Iguodala. This gives him the most flexibility in terms of substitutions, since either Green or Barnes can come in at PF or SF depending on matchups, foul situation, etc.

      Obviously, this is less likely if Green continues to score 31 points a game. But similarly, if Speights continues to earn the backup-center minutes, I think a Speights-Lee combo is too vulnerable defensively (having Green and Iguodala on the floor with Mo was essential to the W’s 4th-quarter success last night). Lee needs to play with either Bogut in the first unit, or Ezeli off the bench.

      I also think you need that when Bogut is resting, you need Green on the floor to set screens.

      • Green isn’t going to score 31 points a night—although I’m reluctant to say there’s anything he can’t do. And he will wear down banging against the larger, physical PF’s.

        What this allows is options, ways to develop most players. There will be many games against lesser opponents where it won’t matter what lineup they have. It also allows a way to manage a season, play through injuries, and keep players healthy and fresh for the playoffs. Both of these qualities are hallmarks of the Spurs.

        I wish they had a flat out shooter, who could fill in and go on tears. He’d especially help Livingston with the subs, maybe even, some nights, allow him to play more minutes and rest Curry and Klay.

  64. bloodsweatndonuts

    A Fitz gem from last night. While discussing Curry’s troubles shooting in the United Center Fitz explained that even the Bulls Championship teams had some trouble adjusting to sight-lines or background or whatever so there was something to the theory that that venue had an effect on shooting accuracy.

    He concluded with this:
    “So, it looks like depth perception may be an issue here. We’ll have to keep an eye on that”.

    That broke my brain.

    • Lol. It’s Curry’s worst venue in the NBA, but doesn’t his career coincide neatly with Thib’s tenure? Anything to that angle?

      • bloodsweatndonuts

        Right. Could it be one of the best defensive minds in the NBA scheming to contain him? How does he shoot in warmups there? He only plays there once a year so its a small sample-size.

        Yah, I pretty much dismissed it as lazy correlation and an excuse for Fitz to drop all his 90s Bulls fanboy knowledge on us. Now if Curry stated as much, that would be different.

        I’ve heard batters complain about certain backdrops in center affecting how well they see the ball. That’s different than just trotting out that stat showing that Player A hits .190 at Skydome over 5 career games which is more analogous to the case of Curry’s Depth Perception v. United Center, The.

        JB even said that he had trouble shooting in certain arenas and then stated “but that can change over time” which supports the above.

  65. Draymond did a crack job channeling a very famous Michigan State alum last night. Hope the org can lock him up ASAP.
    While I guess most would label Dray as a 4, or stretch 4, I think any player who can legit-ly make a go at guarding 5 positions is more of a 3. A very unique 3.

  66. Just on size alone, Dray is a 3. As FB has mentioned more than once, he’s simply not beefy enough to survive a daily pounding from big bad people who outweigh him by 20-50 pounds. It’s not really fair to ask him to.

    So when Lee returns, maybe Draymond or Iggy takes Barnes’ spot.

  67. I predict that FB will point to this game as evidence of how small ball is the most successful lineup for the Warriors. If Chicago had any effectively large inside scorers, or was going to the rack with any consistency or effectiveness, I guarantee you Bogut would have played big minutes in the 4th quarter. On occasion, this can be a very effective lineup. But there is no doubt that Bogut is a fierce rebounder and rim protector and is crucial in other games to play crunch time minutes. Why the Bulls did not attach the rim is a mystery, but I already trust that Kerr will insert the most effectively necessary lineup at the right time. His rotations are great…and when Lee is back, the combinations that are possible is breathtaking! It’s going to be a great ride this year!

  68. Livingston is an intelligent player that knows how to pick his most effective spots. Despite not being a scoring guard, isn’t it nice that we have the luxury of playing at a different pace when he’s in the game? His PNR game with Mo has been great the last couple of games. Additionally, I think he and Bogut understand the shortcomings of being offensive liabilities (Coaching staff preaching spacing, spacing, spacing) if they don’t take shots so I trust that that part of his game will evolve. His shot mechanics don’t look bad, so I think its a matter of time.

    Also good to see Barnes beginning to fight through screens and get more physical in his game. I hope Kerr matches him up against Reggie Evans when we next play the Nets so he can learn a thing or two about being physical…

    Was Barnes’ defensive purpose to funnel Butler into Bogut or was Butler just blowing by him with ease?

  69. cosmicballoon

    Green had 12 open threes against the Bulls. This was because Thibs turned all his attention toward Curry, who had another rough scoring game against the Bulls.

    Chicago’s defense carried out it’s plan. The premise was flawed because Green is able to knock down those threes and take the ball to the basket. With so much focus on Curry, it became very clear that someone else was going to need to beat the Bulls. That player was Draymond.

    Regarding Green as a 3 or 4; he was clearly a stretch 4 against the Bulls. The Bulls bigs couldn’t get out to the 3 point line to guard him.

  70. Would you guys consider some kind of double post sets (call it a triangle if you want) with DLee and MoS on the posts? Both can shoot and now we know both can pass and take it to the rim. Or would you just run a series of double P&R/P&P, if those guys are in the line-up together?

    • Pretty sure Kerr is slavering to try David Lee in the triangle. He’s the Warriors’ most complete post player.

      As for Lee and Speights together, it seems inevitable now that we’ll see that lineup, doesn’t it?

      When you’re big men are this gifted, there are a lot of different offensive possibilities. Given Livingston’s off the ball limitations though, I think PnR PnP will be best.

      • Draymond and Lee were awfully good together too last season.

        • That’s probably a point that Kerr and his coaching staff have noticed.

          The Lee/Green front line was by far the most effective in generating point differential last season. The Bogut/Green front line got almost no play last year, but has turned out to be the league leaders this season.

          It’s hard to imagine what Lee/Green could do this season, with the new offensive system. Add Lee’s 20 points to every game? Gosh, do the splashers simply take off their shoes after Q3?

  71. The Warriors run a lot of post and picks
    with many variations and options.
    Referring to sets as pick and roll, or pick
    and pop, are to narrow of a description for
    what is taking place, as are the terms
    triangle. and stretch 4.

    I love sets where the the center is open
    And thus allows for drives or dive cuts,
    with the center playing in the high post
    or the the low post on the weak side so he
    can hit players cutting to basket or passing
    to perimeter players. Also love double high
    posts which allows one post to drive, shoot, or
    Hit other post cutting to basket.

    The Warriors in my opinion play more
    effectively big rather than small. Although the
    Warriors can play effective at times with
    Speights or Lee playing center, against
    good teams. I want the rejuvenated Bogut
    at center. Beating the Bulls was largely due
    to the Bulls leaving Green wide open and
    little to do with who was playing center as the
    Warriors had success with both Bogut and
    Speights at center.

  72. Thinking in terms of when Bogut is on the bench resting. Seems like DLee and Mo will be on the floor together on occasion. If so, that double high post would be very effective. Should be able to limit Bogut minutes with an eye on the playoffs.

  73. Really makes sense for Green
    to be on court at ends of game for
    his three point shooting along with
    Curry and Thompson. Then have to
    decide between Bogut, Speights, Lee
    and Iggy for the remaining two
    positions. Nice problem for Kerr to
    resolve.

  74. Against the Bulls, Green made a very nice left-handed lay-up at the rim. Mo made a real nice full court football pass for an assisted lay-up. I think it was to Green. (Fitz called it a “ballon” pass, never heard that one before.) Green seems to be improving his drives to the rim and finishing. It must be moving Mo to the 5 improved his passing, rebounding, and defending.

    • “Green seems to be improving his drives to the rim and finishing.”

      Boy howdy. Getting lots of reps seems to do wonders for a fella.

  75. Not pretty. A prize to anyone who comes up with an astute comment about this game. But maybe it will propel them to play sharp Wednesday.

    And it was a win.

    Lee would have settled them down first half and scored at will. He will give them an inside game when shots aren’t falling. When Ezeli came in for Bogut, they had to bring in Iguodala as well to stabilize and facilitate offense.

    Livinston is sharp and they’ll have to figure out what to do with him. He seems a more deliberate player, though, and isn’t as good at pushing tempo?

    • a game that does more potential harm than good. it’s clear that kerr wants rush, holiday, kuzmic only in el tiempo de basura, and das wunderkind barnes also gets opportunities there fairly regularly to pad his minutes and stats. thanks to the resuscitated speights, ezeli is just one tier above them, as is barbosa if he can’t get heated up. green, curry, livingston combined for 10 turnovers.

      • Levine looked awfully intriguing, lightning quick and razor sharp. Does Holiday have a chance? He still looks a few years off, if he has potential. Someone else take on Barnes, as I’ve said too much already, but he was nearly invisible in a game where he should have stepped up.

        • Make that LaVine.

          Is it legal for Ezeli to put stickum on his hands?

        • rgg, look at Wiggins vs Barnes last night as compared to Wiggins vs Leonard the previous game. Werent both Barnes and Leonard 7 picks?

        • Like Kent Bazemore with handles offensively. Can LaVine defend?

        • Barnett likes LaVine a lot and said so several times during the telecast. Like Felt tweeted, LaVine is a PG. Looks like LaVine is a real find.

          • All Fitz could talk about was how much the offense dropped when Bogut went out. My shoe was in my hand much of the game. Of course it dropped. Ezeli is not as good a passer and has almost no experience with the system. Again, they should have put in Iguodala for Barnes to improve ball movement. They have options.

            Bogut has proved useful in offense, maybe surprisingly so. I’m skeptical, however, this system will work against better teams, who will be able to play off him and cover the other four. And I’m skeptical we’ll see against them—or anyone—the kind of offensive production the team needs. His output has tailed off.

            LaVine is getting a break with Rubio’s injury, as he’s getting full minutes now. He should have stayed in college and work on his shot and skills against college opponents. This is what Curry did, and McKillop, his Davidson coach, moved him to point his third year and prepared him for the NBA.

            How is it possible against such a team, with 30 minutes playing time, Barnes only gets up five shots and has no free throws? Literally, how is this possible?

            On such a night, the team needs to work alternative schemes and bring out the other players. In that respect, a disappointing game.

  76. Zach Lowe and Bill Simmons talk Warriors and the rest of the NBA (The B.S. Report podcast).

    http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=12002989

    • cosmicballoon

      Lowe says they are going to have to trade Iggy or Lee because of the lux tax.

      Simmons thinks GS might trade Lee for an expiring or two expiring contracts.

  77. The Warriors success in the fourth quarter of the Bulls game was primarily due to a big setting a pick and a guard coming off the pick, driving the toward the basket, kicking the ball out to Green who drained a wide open three. The play would have been successful regardless of whether Bogut or Speights was on the court.

  78. imo, the Warriors offense fell off the cliff in the first half because they continued trying to run motion offense. But with Ezeli in for Bogut, no one knew exactly what to do. All the high post stuff was out the window.

    In the second half, the Warriors came out of the locker room running pick and roll, which of course they have a comfort level with. The offense kicked in.

    This has been a theme so far this season. Late in games, or when the offense bogs down, pick and roll.

    As for Zach Lavine, it might not be obvious, because the obvious thing about him is his ridiculous length and athleticism, but I think hoops IQ, court vision, unselfishness and passing ability simply radiate out of this kid. Great feel in the lane for where his teammates are. I’m 100% certain he’s a point guard, and see big things ahead for him.

  79. The Warriors run plays that are
    based on attacking different places
    on the court and getting the ball
    in the hoop. The term motion offense
    tells us little in explaining what is
    taken place. And pick and roll
    and pick and pop are just a small
    sample of plays being run.

    When the ball is under the hoop
    players cut to the basket to receive
    a pass as the defenders are look at ball
    low and don’t see their opponent
    cut toward basket receive pass
    and hopefully scores.

    On other plays ball is in high post
    and other players also cut to hoop
    and their opponents
    are watching ball on high post
    and lose sight of their opponent
    cutter.

    Virtually every designed play is based
    on the opponent losing sight of his
    man. This includes a player
    taking a wide open three.

  80. @82 The third year Harrison Barnes got eaten alive by the rookie Andrew Wiggins on both sides of the ball.

    • Barnes averaging as much, better rebounder and much more efficient while touching the ball 1/4 of time.

    • Is there a NBA GM today who would take Barnes over Wiggins?

      • Nope, but we have Barnes for #7 pick and Minny have Wiggins for #1 pick. If Barnes was hyped, it is illogical to think that he would have lasted to #7. He was starter of a playoff team that won a round, enough said. Star or not, great pick at #7.

        • Look at the reports. Barnes’ value collapsed after the NCAA tourney, and the doubts were voiced well before then. There’s no telling how far down he would have gone in the draft had the Warriors not taken him.

          • This from draft express,

            “While Barnes’ disappointing finish to the season highlighted some of the concerns NBA teams may have regarding how his game will translate to the NBA level, he’s still likely to be a very high pick in this summer’s NBA Draft, as he brings a quite a bit to the table, starting with his ideal physical profile for an NBA small forward prospect.

            He has great size at 6-8 to go along with a long wingspan, and a very strong, mature frame for a 19 year old (he’ll turn 20 next month). He doesn’t possess elite explosiveness, but he’s very smooth and fluid athletically, and should have an easier time than most rookies adjusting to the NBA from a physical standpoint.

            From DraftExpress.com http://www.draftexpress.com#ixzz3LXmwOpN6
            http://www.draftexpress.com

          • players drop for many reasons, didn’t Noah, Amare and Paul Pierce drop for various reasons ?? Also, don’t recall any site’s mock draft picking Barnes outside top 5(I could be wrong). The point is depending on how you spin, he is good or great pick for #7, but calling him bad pick, bust etc.. is pure prejudice, IMO.

          • As an average player, Barnes isn’t even worth discussing, let alone quibbling over his draft number v. payback. He’s a decent, mostly-about-average ball player in the right system, like the one he finds himself in now. Not a home run, but not a disaster. He went 7 vs. 9? BFD. Lots of high picks have flamed out, alright? Barnes hasn’t, and won’t.

            Perhaps your fault-finding of Barnes is more about Lacob’s judgment than Barnes’ ability. OK. Take it as given that Lacob has a few things to learn about evaluating talent, running a team, or the stupidity of trying to get customers to buy into absolute horseshit that he might find personally important. Granted. Now let’s move the fuck on, OK?

            Barnes is OK. Let… it… go…

            In the future, I personally hope Lacob listens more to Larry Riley, a great talent evaluator who tickled Don Nelson’s ear on many, many players who turned into NBA stars. I don’t know that that will happen, but success breeds success, and Riley gifted Lacob with most of his starting 5. That’s a success. So there’s hope.

            Let… it… go…

          • Keep reading, Harry, and read other reports at the time;

            “Harrison Barnes is the second ranked wing on our board, and looks similarly underwhelming when just looking at overall scoring efficiency. Barnes’ 0.941 PPP ranks just behind Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, good for 13th of 18 overall. He is doing it on a much higher number of possessions, however, as his 17.5 possessions per game ranks fourth highest in the group. Barnes ranks pretty average in scoring efficiency in almost all areas, unfortunately, most notably standing out for his very poor finishing around the basket, as his 1.049 PPS there ranks second to last overall.”

            http://www.draftexpress.com/article/Situational-Statistics-the-2012-Wing-Crop-4001/

            Your quote, and all other estimations, value him only for his size and athleticism. You won’t find a single coach or evaluator who praises him for his bball vision and IQ or basic skills, such as ball handling.

            The only reasons I persist with this is restore reason and because he keeps popping up as some kind of future star.

  81. “Andrew Bogut (back) is listed as questionable and David Lee (hamstring strain) has been declared out for the 17th consecutive game. Meanwhile, Rockets center Dwight Howard (back, knee strain) is still listed as doubtful despite going through practice Tuesday. Houston coach Kevin McHale said on Monday that Howard ‘won’t be back anytime soon.'”

    http://www.mercurynews.com/warriors/ci_27102118/charles-barkleys-comments-warriors-draw-smiles-from-steve?source=rss

    We didn’t hear anything about his back—and you have to wonder if it flared up in Chicago now, the reason he didn’t finish.

  82. Court vision extends both ways.
    Barne’s can’t see plays against him developing which is why he’s always a step behind on defense. He doesn’t anticipate plays which rarely causes any disruptions when defending. This is why his best position is as a stretch 4 against slower players and not against other athletic guys like Wiggins. How would we fair if we switched Green to the 3 and Barnes to the 4 in the starting lineup? I’m guessing Barne’s lack of hustle would have him eaten alive by AD, Noah, Thad Young, etc. Kerr is no dummy so I’m sure he sees this…

    “We all want guys to do everything, but sometimes something just doesn’t develop. But we shouldn’t get caught up in what a player can’t do. We need to focus on what he can do…”

    On a slightly different note, heres a good read on the Bucks and their season, which is where the quote above comes from: http://grantland.com/the-triangle/milwaukees-makeover-how-the-bucks-decided-to-buckle-down-and-play-for-the-future/

    Kidd seems like a great coach and Milwaukee has done well in getting him. I like their defensive strategy and it seems to be working for them.

    • cosmicballoon

      Barnes had back-to-back double doubles and then had 11 points and zero rebounds against the Rockets in 25 minutes. (He was 3-for-3 from the field)

      If Barnes isn’t going to show up against the more physical teams, he’s not going to be starting for much longer.

      • would not be surprised if barnes remains a starter for all his games in the employ of the lacobites. kerr though looks like he’s going to vary his application and minutes game to game according to particular situations and how das wunderkind performs. we haven’t seen many tough, grinding contests to know who kerr trusts the most. it appears that barnes didn’t meet the requirements when the coach opted to go speedy and smart vs. Min.

        • Another idle conversation we can have is how much keeping Barnes in the starting lineup reflects the wishes of the coaching staff. But they have already invested in a commercial for Barnes, and I’m sure they don’t want to see this money go to waste (cf. the spot they had to pull that had Bogut and Bazemore).

          We can also idly muse over why Barnes got the second ad this year, after Curry. I doubt it was designed to attract other teams in a potential trade, who won’t be watching, so it must be part of the team’s agitprop to brainwash us authentic fans into accepting him.

          But should Iguodala go down, they don’t have another sizable player to fill in at the 3—another weakness in the roster. Santa Cruz prospects don’t look promising.

          • I’m assuming Green stays at the 4, of course. He could play 3 fine. But then they don’t have a sizable two-way 4.

          • rgg, McAdoo is like a bigger Barnes in some aspects — an inch taller, 15 lbs bigger, and proportionally very similarly muscular and athletic. He could come in and play a limited 3 – rebounding, defending, scoring around the rim. He can’t shoot well enough to play a Stretch-4 and is too under-sized as a PF full time. But I think he could fill in at the 3 and the 4, if needed.

          • The reports on MacAdoo weren’t very good, and he didn’t impress over the summer. Like Barnes, he was highly touted and failed to perform to expectations.

  83. Marc, to answer your question re. the leonard to barnes comparison in (82), leonard was picked at 15, originally held by Ind. the revived supporters of das wunderkind barnes have been known to express their hopes that their guy can become the other guy, skipping the parts about leonard’s college accomplishments, why he was identified by popovich and buford as an elite talent, and how they nurtured him, none of the above applicable to the younger player.

    • cosmicballoon

      On a happier draft topic…Klay was drafted 11th in ’11. It should be argued that either he, or Leonard (15th), should have been drafted No. 1 overall.

      Following those two are guys like Kyrie Irving (1 overall), Tristan Thompson, Valanciunas, Vucevic, Morris twins, Tobias Harris (19), Manimal, Reggie Jackson, Jimmy Butler (A steal at 30), Parsons (38), Isaiah Thomas (60th!).

      The Warriors also drafter Charles Jenkins and traded for the rights to Jeremy Tyler, so besides the Klay pick, it was not a great haul.

  84. Warriors were put off by Leonard’s
    inability to hit three’s in college.Pop
    Know what he was doing.

  85. Tony Allen or somebody must have put the clamps on Monta Ellis:

    http://espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=400578602

    • Right arm strain he tried to play through.

      • Grizzlies: The Grizzlies, who were 15-2 through November, are 2-2 in December. …The Grizzlies avoided being swept by the three Texas teams in a week. Houston and San Antonio are the teams who have defeated the Grizzlies this month.

        ELLIS’ ELBOW

        Ellis hurt his right elbow in Dallas’ win Sunday over the Bucks. His 1-for-11 performance against Memphis was uncharacteristic for the Mavs’ leading scorer at 21.2 points per game. “It’s been a tough situation,” Carlisle said. “Hopefully, it’s more of a day-to-day thing.” Carlisle couldn’t predict Ellis’ status for Wednesday’s game against the Pelicans.

  86. Paradise in the Big Apple:

    “Sources said one thing Anthony and his teammates do agree on is their disdain for the triangle offense. For weeks, if not longer, the players have been ready to ditch the triangle and move on to another system. They feel like other teams know what they’re going to run and where they’re going to go on the court, which makes it easier to stop them.

    “Several Knicks, in addition to Hardaway, are at odds with Anthony and believe he’s not playing team basketball. Sources said players voiced their displeasure with Anthony this past weekend, telling him he shoots too much, doesn’t move or pass the ball, and only plays defense when he feels like it.”

    http://espn.go.com/new-york/nba/story/_/id/12008328/new-york-knicks-carmelo-anthony-heart-team-discord-sources-say

  87. It might hurt for many on this site to know that, among SFs in NBA, Barnes is top 5 in rebounds and 3PT shooting%age. and #1 in adjusted FG% while being a starter for NBA best team. Take that.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/player/_/stat/field-goals/position/small-forwards

    • He’s taken 45 3PA this season. Get back to me when he’s at 200.

      • Why do you want him to take more 3PTs ? He is 3rd best in the team in 3PT shooting and defenses not letting him shoot wide open. It is wise to take what defense gives you like Green taking wide open 3s because he is left open. You want him to use his 3PT shot threat to score different ways and which he is doing, #1 among SFs in adjusted FG%. He is doing very well in his role.

  88. hat,

    I couldn’t reply to your post above on Barnes. But I agree with you.

    +1

  89. Here goes The Hat:

    The Warriors are now Draymond’s team. Not Kerr’s, not Curry’s. Not Bogut’s or Iggy’s.

    I don’t get it either, but that IS the way it is. I don’t see a way to bet on that question, but if you do, I’d love to hear it. Nevertheless, that’s the way it is.

    So sayeth.

    Ye of little faith may speak now. Please. I’d love to have your input.

  90. rgg,

    No way to tell Barnes will ever be a star or not. But, he is a NBA player, and fitting well with this team and playing well in his role. He is doing exactly what coaches are asking him to do, not too much, not too less but just play within the system and exactly what is needed for this team. For that, we should be glad. What he will become in future, I am not going to kid myself and say that I know. I am hopeful he will become an all star but not going to lose sleep if he doesn’t become one.

    • Harry, thanks for your + earlier. Barnes is a decent NBA role player. Not a game-changer and not a loser, just a “normal” NBA player who can be relied upon to deliver what he has in every game – which ain’t so bad, all things considered. Nothing to sneer at.

      Maybe it’s just cranky 0l’ me but I’m sick of talking about Barnes. He’s neither a win creator nor loss creator. Important players are difference-makers. Barnes is neither of those things. He’s… OK, and he’ll probably be… more OK in the future. Yawn. OK, fine, now let’s move on and talk about game changers.

      • Thanks hat for the reasonable response. Just that I have been reading for a while on how this site piles on Barnes. He is an OK player as you said.

        • Lots of the Barnes abuse on this site seems to be centered on the oversized hype about him rather than his actual performance. If the Ws Marketing Dept. didn’t promote him so much, even Barnes would be better off.

          • Amen to this.

          • The real issue is what the organization believes itself and what they plan to do with him.

          • The real issue is what and who wins games, rgg, not how badly the Ws Marketing Dept. misses the mark.

            It’s not as if Lacob or anyone else in the organization is going to tell Kerr to lead the team with Barnes just to support the latest ads.

          • The Barnes hate reminds me of the Dunleavy hate in previous seasons. Lucky for Barnes the Dubs didn’t have the third pick and “waste” it on him.

  91. For example, and I’ll say it now so the fan club can throw stones if I’m wrong:

    Ezeli is starting tonight. They can’t start Barnes with him, as we saw against the lowly Wolves. You’ll have two players who can’t create for themselves or others, and the offense will shut down. Barnes can’t find openings or penetrate and kick out. He can’t find other players. If he doesn’t have a clear shot or and opening, he just passes back to the guards, who will be covered. Iguodala can do these things, and the team’s success this season may well depend on getting him going.

    Where Barnes really needs to do is step up his scoring with the second unit, and we haven’t seen this. He can only score with the support from and attention drawn to the top players.

    The other question to ask is what he can do if his shooting trails off, as it will. One reason his percentage is high is that he largely takes safe shots.

    • OK, throw some rocks. He knocked down his shots tonight. I’ll take a win and some verbal abuse any day.

      But they couldn’t move the ball. The real goat is Igoudala, who just didn’t do much of anything. More than anyone else he needed to step up. And they didn’t really get movement until they ran Livingston, Curry, and Klay.

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      If it isn’t broken don’t fix it. The Warriors are 19-2. Get over your dislike for Harrison Barnes and appreciate the fact that the Warriors are off to the greatest start in franchise history. I’m sorry that 7/9 with 20 points and 7 rebounds isn’t up to your standards.

  92. Barnes and Livingston played very well. The Warriors finally started attacking the rim in the 4th quarter.

    • It was having the three guards on the floor that opened the court up. I can’t figure out what Kerr’s plan was first half, though. There weren’t the facilitators or the ball movement (I was partly right).

    • they needed barnes to finish plays, and he did, but he should give harden credit for assists on some of his scores. on defense again he finishes with some boards, but he’s no changer like green, who out rebounded his guy five inches taller and at least 40 lbs. bigger. GS bench to Hou bench, 26-5.

      • So, Harden gets credit for Barnes performances. Are you sure you were not watching some recorded tape from last year. Barnes had a flawless game yesterday. Green as always had a great game too. Both can have a great game, don’t understand the comparison of two different kind of players who both are helping your favorite team win. Both are actually helping each other on the floor if you care to observe.

  93. for this game anyway, livingston’s smarts and competitiveness more than compensated for his lack of shooting range. if he sustains it in all his games, he might pass iguodala in the rotation, by virtue of assertiveness more than anything else.

  94. Kerr was brilliant tonight. Playing Green as center played into Kerr’s hand. As it forced Houston to go inside to their take center and not drive nor shoot as many three’s or drive to the hoop. It also allowed Livingston to defend the perimeter. It’s now clear he’s the Warriors best perimeter. At least Kerr agrees. And given the fact with the Warriors ouscored Houston the most when Livingston was playing. And the quickness the Warriors had by having five fast players on the court allowed them to take it to the rim at will or get to the rim, receive a pass and finish. Sorry, rgg, it was not the Warriors playing three guards that led to the Warriors win.

    Kerr alway runs his best and fresh plays the second half. One reason the Warriors have been so hot in the second half.

    Felty, correctly states that either Iggy, Lee, or Barnes will be on trading block after the season. Based on Iggy not being on the court in the fourth, leads one to think his low scoring and high salary makes him the most expendable.

    Barnes has been playing great as have most Warriors.

    The quickness the Warriors had at the end allowed each player to take it to the hoop.

    Sorry, Felty, Nelie would not have included Livingston finishing the game, and his plays would not have produced the results that Kerr did. Time for Nellie not to be mentioned the rest of the year. That won’t happen.

    • I think Green is their best perimeter defender. From what I saw, Green was the most effective defender against Harden tonight.

      • without bogut and lee, they defended tag team vs. montiejunas, and green (ezeli, speights) was the change of pace giving his team an edge. he defended ariza better than barnes could, so without exaggeration we could say green was the best defender against the entire Hou starting line up. with his usual share of very smart plays on offense.

  95. The “Not Cool” GS Warriors.

    http://espn.go.com/espnradio/play?id=12012722

  96. Livingston terrific passer both
    long And short. Also, only 1 turnover
    in 28 minutes last night.

    Better perimeter defender as
    he’s longer and at least as quick as
    Green.

  97. Delightful game to watch. Exciting, exasperating, then thrilling.

    Houston’s lack of depth being attacked by Kerr was the key factor. The quickest, longest lineup of 4 wings plus Curry when the Houston starters were running out of gas was brilliant. I dare say Don Nelson couldn’t have done better.

  98. Part of my problem is that I’m having trouble believing what I’m seeing. There’s no way they can win consistently without Lee, with middling performances by Iguodala. And the performance of the bottom bench players has been disappointing. The schedule has been light and they’ve had a lot of breaks, which won’t continue. But still—

    I wonder if McHale was as surprised as we were last night 4th quarter. When Green, Curry, Thompson, and Livingston were on the court, the IQ and quickness (not speed) went off the charts. And Green simply is that good.

    Barnes has been involved in all the games—give him credit. The main reason I go on with the criticism is the argument we keep hearing that he can take the place of Lee, etc., that those players are expendable. This is not only wrong, it is insane thinking. Make use of everyone they have now and play them to advantage. Both Speights and Ezeli’s performances were mixed (I thought Ezeli did find, btw, and he will get better), but they filled in well enough in Bogut’s absence. (Whether Bogut, if playing, should have closed last night would be a nice debate.) Think about what this team can do with Lee, if Iguodala gets on track. Quit playing the stud/honor roll system with starters and closers, and instead play whatever combination might work best, whichever players are on a given night.

    Which appears to be what the staff is doing. They’ll be able to experiment all season. And I’m where I’ve always wanted to be, in the passenger’s seat, watching and trying to figure out what the coaches are doing instead of questioning their moves all season.

    OK, let’s see what Memphis and OKC bring. It’s scary, though. OKC is only 3 games out of 8th. place. One scenario is that the Warriors meet them first round, though I doubt that will happen. Time to get greedy. I didn’t realize Barbosa was such a weak shooter, and Rush, at best, is months off from being a contributor, if that’s ever going to happen. Open the wallet, Joe, and keep this roster. Christmas is two weeks off. What minor player can they bring in to make this team better? I still say a shooter.

    • “…This is not only wrong, it is insane thinking….”

      And yet we hear it almost exclusively from you, nattering on endlessly about a concern no one should have.

      Let… it… go…

  99. On Speights’ defense:

    He did look bad last night, but he had no sizable help up front. Look at the game flow:

    http://popcornmachine.net/gf?date=20141210&game=HOUGSW

    And look at the roster for his first two stints. Defense picked up immediately (and briefly) when Green came in 2nd. half.

    • Hidden in this popcorn machine game flow is a very interesting point about Shaun Livingston’s game that I am going to elaborate on in my next post.

      Unfortunately, when that post comes is uncertain. Hopefully by end of next weekend at the latest.

    • “To be honest, we’re still trying to find out (what his role will be),” Myers said.

      I do hope “we” means the coaching staff.

    • Spokes model ?? Are you referring to Bob Myers.. So, now you don’t like Myers either, interesting. So the list of warriors personnel you don’t like is something like Barnes, Myers and Lacob, despite we can see the product they have put together right in front for our favorite team.

      I came here to read your analysis of last game which do a great job of and I appreciate that.

      • I like him fine. That doesn’t make him the GM.

        • But, he is the GM. You think Lacob should get credit for getting Landry and Jack and then Green and then getting rid of Biedrins etc.. He surely has help in form of Jerry West, but Myers doing excellent job and he is the GM.

  100. Another way to look at it is who makes Curry and Thompson better? Iguodala did last season. I believe Green is doing so this season. Livingston? I would like to think so, probably too early to say. Curry and Thompson make anyone else better, so just because a guy does well with them doesn’t necessarily mean another guy couldn’t.

  101. I admire Felty’s analysis and willingness to speak his mind and offer strong opinions. I also have enjoyed the postings in response. However, for a while now a good deal of them have become tedious. In particular is the overwrought venom being displayed toward H Barnes. I do agree with the general sentiment that he has been grossly overrated by some and that this can be grating. However, this is not his fault, and I’ve never heard him be overly boastful (although I liked when Felty referred to him as the “Brand”—which was doubly appropriate because he’s been actively cultivating his personal brand in addition to his handlers and the GSW organization).

    I sense that his ceiling is that of an athletic role player—a 3 and D kind of player who cuts well and can finish at the rim. So far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by his rebounding and a more aggressive approach to the game. He does not have a great instinctive feel for the game and probably never will. But Kerr and Co. seem to be putting him in the best position to succeed.

    What flummoxes me is the near absolute lack of attention to L’affaire d’Iguodala. He, if anyone, should be catching flak. Why has there been virtually no discussion of someone playing the same position as Barnes who required losing 4 draft picks and 12m per year in salary for? GM’s should not be judged on their draft picks to nearly the same degree as their big trades for veterans. So far, this has been somewhat of a disaster. And I want to know why.

    Over the first 8-10 games last season he was all that I could have hoped for. And this preseason he looked quite good as well. But when the games mattered—and for the majority of the time he’s been here—I see a fine role player who is offensively challenged. Certainly not anywhere near someone costing 4 picks and 12m. Where’s the ire?!

    Felty had a wonderful line that contained Bogut, free throw line, Marie Antoinette, and dread, if I remember correctly. Please swap in Iguodala for Bogut. When are we going to see “Hack an Iggy?” And why is his free throw shooting so horrendous? Well, one reason is probably because he, alone among Warriors, does not work very hard on his game in the offseason. When asked what he did this offseason he replied: lots of golf and taking a business “ethics” course. Hmmmm. At the press conference after he was first signed he he went on and on about the business opportunities available to him after retiring. Now imagine running a business and making a major hire and the guy immediately starts talking about why it’s great for him because of what opportunities he’ll have after leaving. You’d be pretty pissed off.

    And please don’t tell me about what an amazing defender he is. He’s good but that Lifetime Achievement Award he received last year was a joke. Think about it: he’s on record as saying that his whole offensive game was stymied due to various injuries that lasted the entire season. Now how can someone that injured be the best perimeter defender in the entire NBA? If his offensive futility is any indication of his physical health, he must be in tough shape this year. Indeed, this year I’d have him behind Dray and Klay—and possibly Livingston as well as a perimeter defender. Speaking of which, Felty really had it out for Livingston joining the team. I’d say that he is increasingly playing the role that they had hoped Iguodala would play—and hasn’t been able to. He’s a better playmaker and finisher at the rim. He also is a calming veteran influence, has a better handle (Iguodala’s “cross-over” is an egregious carry/palm), creates mismatches for the defense and is a tenacious and long defender. He also can make foul shots. In short, he makes Iguodala redundant—and for 7m per year less and no draft picks surrendered.

    • +1 very nice post, Sonny. And I like L’Affaire d’Iguodala, might have to steal it. I’ve been quiet on the subject so far because I can’t completely decide if his problems are due chiefly to disgruntlement, The Livingston Effect and second unit dysfunction, or diminishment of his game due to injury. It is clear as you point out that the combined effect of Barnes’ promotion and the SL signing have rendered Iggy largely superfluous.

    • I’ve noted previously that the solution here is returning Iguodala to the starting lineup. But that can’t happen until David Lee is fully healthy, since currently Barnes is the backup PF (so he can’t be the backup SF as well).

      • “I’ve noted previously that the solution here is returning Iguodala to the starting lineup. ”

        Is Barnes now good enough to come off the bench?

        • How about that Barnes guy yesterday ? MVP for yesterday’s game. Among others 3/4 from 3PT. He may be a role player for warriors but 20 teams will start him in the league.

          I just don’t get the hate.

        • Valid question and gets to the point in a insightful way. Is he? We may never know.

          • hmmm, Barnes leads league among SFs in shooting %age and top 5 in rebounds among SFs, so my money on him to do well if not better off bench. BTW, no guarantee that Iguodala will do better as a starter. Iguodala has proved better.

    • +1, Sonny

      I think we’ve all been holding our breath on Iguodala. He started off brilliantly last year, then had his injury and his performance tailed off. But his numbers were good during the playoffs as well. All his numbers are down this year, although assists will go down because he doesn’t have the players to assist among the subs. And he’ll score more when he’s among scorers who open up the floor.

      Still—

      He’s played many minutes with the closers. His free throw shooting is numbing. Bad alignment, offline—I don’t think he shoots them the same way each time. If he’s hurting now, we haven’t seen it have we?

    • nice moniker, Mr.Parker, from the ‘golden age’ of this ‘flagship franchise’. looking at any of the lacobite acquisitions or attempted ones (notably d.howard, k.love, in early days t.chandler, de.jordan), best not to overlook the marketing/publicity motive. there are some team execs that prefer to keep the eternal quest for deals under the radar, then sort out or suppress the inevitable rumors, but the lacobites are in the other school that subscribes to ‘any publicity is good publicity’ in the context of deal-trolling.

      iguodala declined his option year to enter free agency after one of his peak seasons and a playoff series where he openly declared his preference for the opponents by disclosing his coach’s alleged ‘curry grind’ directive. it was also clear that the lacobites would have to hear ‘dead contracts’ as long as biedrins and jefferson were on the roster. they came out looking bold, free-spending, championship-aspiring with the trade/free agent signing. if the story should come to a less-than-happy ending because a high mileage, intense activity, veteran wing was closer to his physical expiration date than their hopes, as the great halberstam said, that’s the breaks of the game.

      the bogut deal including his re-signing could easily have ended poorly for reasons of physical decline [the success rate of inducing tissue regeneration used with him is probably well short of .90], so even if iguodala fails to revive, they’ve gone 1 for 2, unless of course bogut incurs a serious reinjury this season or next. in fairness to iguodala not working on the court during the off season, he was rehabbing the knee which included platelet injection therapy. in contrast to how they like to publicize their quests for deals, including real estate, they stay as quiet as possible with medical information, as they should in concordance with player privacy rights.

    • But here’s the question. How much does making a deep run in the playoffs depend upon getting Iguodala back to form and in the right lineup? Last year’s evidence was still very strong, and the team still hasn’t been put to the test yet that much by the top teams.

      • if iguodala can’t revive, should lee return to health and effectiveness, which he has proven he can do almost every season in oaktown, it also serves to bolster the 3 in the form of green and barnes. they won’t provide iguodala’s ball handling, but the team is already integrating livingston to provide that, at least off the bench. o.t.o.h., if bogut isn’t reasonably sound in those last six weeks from April on (lee in the kerr/gentry/adams system is a wild card at center), iguodala is somewhat a moot issue.

        all of the top western contenders have areas of vulnerability, but only one coach has proven to be adept at juggling and improvising means to persevere. kerr might join his mentor popovich in that regard, his history is yet to be written as they say.

        • I put the odds highest with Iguodala, and they need to bring him out during the regular season, or find out if they can. We don’t know if he’s ailing or not do we?

    • +1. Good observations in there.

      Did someone internally call out Iguodala as the one that didn’t work on his game during the offseason?

      Iguodala’s had mixed results this season with of course the last game being a disaster. His defense is always great, but he has become a horrible free throw shooter and pairing him with Livingston has been terrible. Ball spacing and free-flowing offense are compromised when Livingston runs the offense. At this point, I think Barnes would be a better fit when playing with Livingstone. Hopefully Iguodala focus’s more on being a better basketball player and less about his brand…

    • This is a pretty good post, except it’s poor form to call out Iggy’s perimeter defense. Do you have specific statistics or examples to show that Iggy is the third or 4th best perimeter defender on the Warriors?

      It seems like Kerr is not always using him as a shut-down defender on the other team’s best wing player. However, the Warriors are switching almost everything on the perimeter, and Iggy’s man, whoever he ends up on, rarely gets off uncontested shots. His length and smarts often disrupt shots and he does it all the time. There are no lapses.

      Calling Green a better perimeter defender than Iggy is kind of silly. Green has been guarding 3s and 4s this season, while Iggy is guarding 2s. Green has show flashes of brilliance when guarding pg’s on switches, but it doesn’t happen often enough to call him a better perimeter defender.

  102. Rgg: Agree with Hat that your negativity is
    annoying at a time that virtually all players
    in the rotation are playing outstanding ball.
    And such is backed up by their stats. Even
    Iggy has good stats even though he doesn’t
    shoot well. You should be extolling the
    Warriors incredible point differential virtually
    Each and every game. Maybe sometime you’ll
    recognize that Warriors are playing a team game
    better than every other team. Disagree with your
    negative comments about the bench,individual
    players and hoe they’re used. Barnes, Speights,
    Livingston, and Iggy ( shooting 51 percent on
    Two’s) are all playing good ball, and
    even Barbosa has a decent shooting percentage
    And teams have a relatively low FG percentage
    Shooting against us. Make you point when the
    Warriors are unsuccessful if you can, not now.

    • I said the bottom bench players, really Barbosa and Rush. I like Barbosa, but didn’t know what a weak shooter he was. And we had high hopes for Rush, but he just isn’t there. Both could have bolstered the subs in ways that would have complemented Livingston.

  103. Rush has hardly played. Not in
    rotation. Barbosa the ninth player
    in rotation and you may be surprised
    to know he shoots 57 percent on two’s,
    takes few shots, gets little
    playing time, and often plays when
    game out of reach.

  104. Last night, the Rockets played suffocating defense on Curry which held him to 1 FGA, 1 assist, 3 rebounds and 2 TO in 8minutes in the 3rd quarter. A great job against an MVP candidate if you ask me! But an even better play was made when coach Kerr recognised Houston’s strat and inserted Livingston as the primary ball handler so that Curry could run off screens, lose his defender and inevitably not be blitzed. What a game changer. Iguodala can also play the same role as Livingston but because he’s reluctant to drive to the hole and get fouled, the outcome is not the same.

    – Draymond’s PnR game in the 4th quarter was amazing. DMo had no chance defending the PnR against him.
    – Convergence by the warriors to gang rebound and box out DMo was beautiful. Our smalls are better than their smalls (and one big).
    – Ezeli shows flashes of improvement but needs more game time. I hope Kerr recognises this and starts trusting him with more minutes. It’ll serve to help Ezeli shake of rust and rest/prevent injury to Bogut.
    – Livingston can shoot the corner 3 in practice so his decision not to take open shots is one about finding an even better shot. Spurs’esque…
    – Barne’s dug well against DMo in this game when he got switched. He held his ground well which I haven’t seen often.

    Great outcome and good lessons learnt. Sky is the limit with the flexibility in this roster and a coach/coaches who are open minded.

    • 1) that’s the role that was formerly played, even better, by Iggy. And before him, Jack.

      2) Don’t underestimate the significance of playing smallball down the stretch in freeing Curry. Green at 5 busted the blitz. As did the improved early offense.

    • Re Green’s PnR game, Kerr said basically the same thing as you in his postgame comments – he credited Draymond with turning the offensive game around.

      Oddly, other than the Spurs, the Ws closest/toughest games this season have all been against speedy smallball teams. Maybe they defend the 3-pt. line better, or something. No surprise that the Rockets gave them problems last night. In fact, I wonder if the Ws might have had an easier win if D. Howard had been healthy, and Houston ran their offense through him.

      • Interesting, Hat.

        Plus, James Harden is playing extremely efficiently this season. He was hot from all over the court for most of the game….which helped keep it close. Additionally, Motiejunis scored 18 points. With Bogut in the lineup, he doesn’t sniff that.

        I think this game proved how deep the Warriors bench is compared to the Rockets. Both teams had injury woes this game (Rockets: Howard and Terrence Jones) and Warriors (Bogut and Lee), but it was the Warriors who had that extra burst in the 4th quarter. The Rockets had exausted their starters through three and half quarters, while the Warriors had not. Green played 33 minutes and was fresh for that excellent 4th quarter.

  105. A shiny 19-2 is a bit of a house of cards, or is it? A weak schedule is the biggest mitigating factor. Star Steph will have to adapt his game to being bullied from the competitive/well-coached teams from here on out, and take advantage of the high 3pt traps when it basically gives the Dubs a temporary 4 on 3. I think he (and the coaches) can do it. His MPG this season bodes well for the future.
    Steph gave us one of his classic 6 or 9 pt outbursts just before the half last night to even up the game. He seemingly has at least one of these in his chamber every game..
    S.A. & OKC loom like climate change. Things look rosy but in the back of your mind you know whats coming. (Healthy Houston is the W’s third worst match-up). In a bizarre way I wish OKC had been able to keep Harden to see that team compete.
    Everyone knows health is crucial in the 82 game NBA season. If GS can stay relatively healthy, with Bogut and Lee contributing come play-offs, a title is a real possibility.
    I’ve called Monta a good but not great player. Watch him Saturday. Even if he chucks up the game winning shot, his best years were semi-squandered in Oakland.

    • PIck and pop with Monta and Dirk is something special. As is PNR with Monta and Chandler.

      I have been pining for years for Curry to be similarly blessed.

      • As you may recall, the W’s attempted to sign Chandler (and according to him, almost succeeded) the summer before they traded for Bogut: http://blog.sfgate.com/warriors/2011/12/28/tyson-chandler-is-the-other-one-that-got-away-from-the-gs-warriors/

      • I don’t watch NBA when the Warriors aren’t playing, so I haven’t seen Dallas yet this year. Conversely, I’ve watched Monta for years. He was a very tough player for GS, who probably got a bit discouraged expending so much effort for not-so-good teams. He was unbelievable the year after we believe. Then, Mopedgate and life happened. I’ve always respected Monta as a competitor, but I don’t miss him. Curry is the better basketball player in all areas right now.
        Swap Tay and Steph at the beginning of this season and you would very well be trading GS-Dal team records too (or worse).

        • “Swap Tay and Steph…” No reason to. The question at the time of Monta’s trade to the Bucks was whether Klay could fill Monta’s shoes (so the Ws could acquire a busted big guy who might never play again). You might also remember that the big knock against Thompson at first was that he couldn’t attack the rim effectively – he wasn’t Monta, in other words.

          Things worked out for the best for the Ws, of course, but Ellis is still a great ballplayer. If you watched Dallas play this year, you’d see them give Monta the ball in every must-score situation. He creates scoring opportunities for the whole team. That’s why Don Nelson wanted him at PG.

          Dallas even runs an offense designed to take full advantage of Monta’s ability to wreak offensive havoc. According to Rick Carlyle, the Mavs run no offensive plays, because plays are predictable and thus defend-able. Instead, they simply try to create opportunities and take advantage of them. A defense-warping Monta is very, very good at that, and Dallas is on pace to set all-time records for offense. If they could improve their D, they’d be champs.

  106. Klay Thompson increased his offense this
    year by getting to the foul line more
    (4.1 FTA’s from 2.3last year) He’s shooting
    an eFg percentage of 53 percent (same as
    last hear, while improving his defense
    as his opponent are only shooting
    41.6 percent compared to last year’s 46.r
    percent, a dramatic drop.

    Watched Warriors v. Dallas playoff game
    last night from years ago. Nellie’s
    half-court offense was antiquated
    when compared to Kerr’s diversified
    and exciting offense.

  107. The Warriors & Co. have landed in designboom:

    http://www.designboom.com/architecture/snohetta-warriors-arena-san-francisco-manica-architecture-12-11-2014/

    So clean, so pure, so abstract. . . .

    Snohetta had a hand in the design, the same firm handling SFMOMA extension, which one critic called an ice cube.

    • Spiro Kostof, the well-known architecture historian, made this criticism of much contemporary work that “steered architecture to a pure art and put it at the service of eccentric moneybags and image-hungry institutions.”

      The new arena cannot be faulted for not reflecting or reinforcing the surrounding developments, as there is nothing of substance there. But you have to question what it adds, what precedent it will set. The heritage and character of San Francisco have simply been overlooked in some abstract and self-aggrandizing vision.

  108. I’m working from home today so its all about priorities.
    Like logging onto the net and talking NBA.

    My swap of Monta for Steph was purely hypothetical. Guess I was trying to say that Steph is a great player, but I just can’t bring myself to use the adjective great in regards to Monta. If Montas’ ability to wreak offensive havoc leads the Mavs over GS Sat., I will give him his due. I don’t see Dal beating the Ws in a 7 game series, unless their havoc is so powerful that they average 120 a game. Because we get to shoot against their D also.

    One simple fact overlooked in all the analysis about starting Dray and HB is you have 4 players who can hit 3s. (Of course, both these players must get wide open looks). But add in a smart player like Bogut, and the possibilities are intriguing. The Rectangle O?
    Someone dismissed Barnes 3pt shooting because he only has 45 attempts. He said to get back to him at 200. Of course 200 is a better sample size. But shooting 45% on 45 att justifies, even warrants, another start in my book.
    I’m not a Barnes fan. All he needs to do his bust his ass on D, board, and hit his 3’s at 40%. Ok, and avoid TOs . Thats it. He never needs to be iso’d on O again :|

    Absolutely loved Kerrs response to Dennis Rodmans recent critique of his coaching…

    I sat courtside and watched MattDellavedova play numerous times in Moraga.. Hes a 6’4″ PG who is not only scrappy but skilled. He will be the 2nd best point to emerge from the WCC in the last two decades. I think he will become a huge part of the Cavs rotation this year and an eventual NBA starter.

    • I’m working from the office today, and have the same priorities!

      Sat.’s game is the #1 offense w/ terrible D, vs. the #1 defense + top-5 offense. I think the Ws will win. But to quote Dikembe Mutombo, it won’t be a walk in the cake.

  109. Oh yes, I forgot I wanted to credit Harrison on his give-and-go pass to Livingston which led to a dunk against Hou. It is the first time I have ever seen him make a quick-synapse BB pass like that. It startled me and still stands out in its singularity..

    • Agree. It was like an anomaly in the space-time continuum.

      • WheresMyChippy

        There were about 4 or 5 things Barnes did in that game that I never imagined he would be able to do. All mental things.

        Finding Ezeli with that snap pass. Passing out of the shot to Livingston for a dunk. Etc. Best game I’ve ever seen him play.

        He has gone from looking completely lost to an actual NBA player this season. Amazing what brilliant coaching can do.

  110. Monte Poole reporting Bogut’s out at least next two games.

    Anyone heard Lee’s status? I thought he was supposed to start practicing yesterday.

    • lee practiced, but was restricted to 3 vs 3 scrimmages. he won’t be cleared for game action until they see him in the 5 vs. 5’s, and that pushes his return conceivably past the coming road trip. there’s still .74 of the regular season left — they probably hope he can return with minimal risk for re-injury. his lengthy rehab was not a major issue with their success, until bogut went down of course.

  111. Want Barnes to hit offensive
    Boards more than defensive boards.
    As offensive boards result in extra
    possessions and baskets made.
    Few defensive boards are
    even contested.

    Felty, continue at every opportunity
    to put down both Barnes and
    Livingston. Wonder why you do so?

  112. Can’t let what happened with Budget
    Bill pass. President Obama aligning himself
    with big banks and putting the middle class
    at risk and the upper one percent shows that
    the banks are his real base. So much for his
    claim for change.

    This, plus not treating torture as a crime requires that
    progressive Democrats consider splitting from
    and starting a new political party or at the
    very least demand that Elizabeth Warren
    run for President.

    • Agree on all.

    • The big banksters are pushing hard. They want to make the tax payers take the loss on the next crash, not them, which only encourages the banksters to make riskier trades. Do the banksters see a crash looming?

    • Re torture, Ronald Reagan proudly signed the UN Convention Against Torture in 1988, making it US law. Among other provisions, it REQUIRES signatory countries to prosecute those who commit torture.

      http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/39/a39r046.htm

      Re the last financial crash, bankers absolutely did see it coming. The head of Citibank even said so, during the run-up to the crash. He called it a game of musical chairs.

      Re the next financial crash, the big banks are just planning ahead to reduce their risks. As responsible managers, it’s their job to do so. They don’t necessarily see a crash coming, and having a governmental safety net could help delay or prevent it, to a degree.

      Bankers aren’t responsible for the world’s well-being, that’s the job of governments. A job which, in this case, is not being fulfilled by the US government.

  113. I really appreciate the feedback from yesterday’s posting. Thanks. I’d like to make a few things clear upfront: 1) I do not have a dislike for Andre Iguodala (personal or otherwise) in any way and hope the best for him—especially as a contributor to the Warriors. 2) I do not want to start unfounded rumors about his health. A comment I made was really tongue in cheek and was meant to imply that it’s not an undisclosed injury that is hampering his performance this year, but rather something else. Indeed, there are ample reasons to believe that if he were injured in any meaningful way the W’s would shut him down as they’ve been overly cautious in this regard with others. Moreover, it would be a perfect scenario for them to be able to do this and deflect possible looming problems caused by his benching and lack of performance.

    I really enjoy Felty’s insistent questioning of conventional wisdom and his attacks on it when and where it is weak. At present, L’Affaire d’Iguodala is actually a misnomer as it is not yet considered much of a issue, which strikes me as odd given the problems it could potentially pose. One might be tempted to assign this to the fact that the W’s are winning at a record pace and such things tend to get swept under the rug. Yet the consistent vitriol hurled at 22 year old Harrison Barnes and Felty’s howling protest of the Livingston signing eliminates such an assumption.

    I heartily appreciate Felty’s broadsides against the bien pensants at GSoM and the pundidiot class in general. I also appreciate his tweaking of Adam Lauridson’s bow-tied, college-style 5 paragraph essays that introduce their themes with a quote gleaned from “Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations.” Yet, concerning L’Affaire d’Iguodala many of you are on the same page, dreaming up various explanations to excuse his execrable play on the offensive end. On this, all of the Iguodala apologists are Lacobites. J’accuse!

    Here’s a representative sample:

    “He feels uncomfortable not starting” (whereas the 21 year old kid H Barnes was roundly and consistently excoriated for precisely the same thing).

    “He needs to have the ball more in his hands and that meanie Livingston always has the ball!” (As if the proposed solution of putting him in the starting lineup would have the ball in his hands more often.)

    “He’s upset with management and not playing well as a result.” (This is priceless in that those proposing this seem to tacitly accept this as being OK and understandable on some level. Please imagine having the same attitude about H Barnes. Also, this is an unlikely possibility on the face of it for reasons I will explain below.)

    “He has some undisclosed injury that prevents him from playing well.” (Yes, that tender hammy tweaked a year ago is hindering him at the foul line—or taking wide open jump shots—or going in for easy layups. In any event, as explained above, I am quite certain he has no serious injuries.)

    “He may not be playing well on offense but he does soooo many things to help the team on defense.” (I am skeptical about this as it begs so many questions. How does one know this beyond relying on purported ineffable and immeasurable qualities? Based on his reputation I presume. I thought we’re all about questioning and interrogating reputations and received wisdom over here?!)

    Yet the most vexing aspect of all this is the assumption that these are all new problems surfacing this year. Again, AI was quite good for the first 10-15 games last year. After that it was a train wreck on offense. I remember hearing Jim Barnett (several times) and Jeff Van Gundy exclaim that if AI had just taken a slightly different angle he’d have had an uncontested layup. Sound familiar? I heard repeatedly that he was an elite finisher on the break. What I’ve been seeing this year and last, is one of the worst finishing wings in the entire league right now. There are fewer sights more bizarre than seeing the supremely athletic Iguodala stop on a 2 on 1 break near the hoop, pivot, and seek out teammates 30 ft away. It’s bizarreness level rivals Manute’s 3 pt. shot attempts. I also heard he was outstanding at slashing and finishing at the rim. Cough. He’s been nowhere near Livingston—and even Barnes now—in that regard. Also, after the first 20 games his 3pt shooting cratered and his foul shooting and mid-range shooting were consistently mediocre as well.

    One thing must be kept in mind: he always had the opposing team’s absolute worst defender covering him. Not only that, but they were fairly inviting him to cruise to the hoop through ocean liner sized holes or providing him enough time to wave to family and friends before shooting. Why? Because Steph and Klay demanded so much attention. And because opposing coaches (rightly) had such little respect for his offensive game (double entendre partially intended).

    I’ve heard some refer to his playoff performance as being redemptive. I don’t know where that’s coming from but we must not be looking at the same ink blot. The Dubs desperately needed him to dominate his matchup with Redick and he was basically played even. More puzzling were the apologists claiming that it was a bad matchup for him because they ran Redick through so many picks. Say what?! Yes, the purported top perimeter defender in the league can’t guard wings who run through picks. As if teams setting picks for their top weapons is a novel fashion that poor Andre wasn’t equipped to deal with.

    On this note, I always thought it was curious that Mark Jackson almost inevitably put Klay on the opposing team’s most dangerous perimeter player and not AI, who had virtually no offensive responsibilities. (NB: it was *not* because Mark Jackson did not know what he was doing.)

    But the bigger picture here is what to do with Iguodala? The first step requires an honest assessment of his abilities and performance. I posit that, at present, he’s largely superfluous. The team has a surfeit of long and highly capable defensive 6’6-8” wings, so whatever real advantages he can bring must be on the offensive end. At the same time, I wonder where is the Iguodala of the first 10 games last year and can it be resuscitated? I saw glimpses of that in the preseason this year, but it was against the likes of the Puddles….

    I have some thoughts on why AI is having these struggles and will save them for a subsequent post. I’m surely straining reader’s patience already. Apologies! In any event, I feel like L’affaire d’Iguodala is the b-ball version of the “Emperor’s New Clothes.” Where’s the child calling him out?

    • You’re certainly not trying my patience. Great points all around. We need more of you around here, Mr. Sonny Parker.

      And admonishment accepted. L’Affaire d’Iguodala is ripe for discussion.

    • Maybe I’m missing things, but I see nothing wrong with Iguodala’s play that wouldn’t be solved with one simple change:

      ANDRE, TAKE THE DAMN SHOT!!!!!!

    • Keep ’em coming, Sonny.

      I don’t think there’s any question Iguodala came back too early. He was only out about 3 weeks. And he showed the signs games after. He also missed more games throughout the season, including the last weeks. We just don’t know anything about his health now.

      I would argue bringing out Iguodala to full form will give the Warriors the best shot to make a run in the playoffs. Thus it’s worth trying out lineups that play him to advantage. He will struggle with offense with the second unit, for obvious reasons.

      But if he doesn’t got it, for whatever reason, he doesn’t got it., and they’ll have to figure out something else. We just don’t know what’s going on. But with his contract, odds are good we’re stuck with him a few more years.

      I don’t understand how the word “hate” has been thrown around, unless the word has changed its meaning. No one here hates anyone, I don’t think. Certainly not Barnes, whose character and demeanor look to be above suspicion. But there is criticism, and 9/10 of its edge has been directed at the fluff and hype that surround him, which defy reason. And remember, Iguodala was billed as a “transcendent” player not long ago, the second choice after DHoward. Ha.

      Good critique of AL’s posts.

    • +1
      Iggy’s confidence is Kaput. They should either put him back into the starting lineup or they need to turn him into a Brian Roberts, Corey Joseph, Ray McCallum, Matt Deladova type of player

      • *trade him for

      • It sure seems like that, but it’s also possible that Iggy’s big fat brain is just over-thinking things.

        In any case, he’s not earning his salary with play that looks so timid.

        Kerr chose Barnes over Iggy to close the last game. Maybe that will be a wake-up call. Iggy must know that his value is sinking fast.

  114. Iggy’s shooting has gone down from
    shooting an eFG percentage of 55% last year to
    and eFG 49% percent this year which is not terrible.
    And it should be noted that he is shooting 52 percent
    on2’s which is not at all shabby

    He has taken less shots this year which makes sense
    sinceso many other Warriors are shooting way above an
    eFG percentage. So I can’t agree with Iggy that he should
    be shooting more.

    And one of the reasons that the Warriors are outscoring
    their opponents this year by a wide margin with Iggy on
    the court is because of his improved defense this year. Yes,
    very improved as opponent SG’s are shooting 41 percent
    against him, and SF’s 36 percent. 82 games.

    So when seen in this light his shooting
    49 percent from the field looks real good. And it appears
    that Kerr has Iggy concentrating on defense which has
    yielded terrific dividends.

    So, Iggy might not be suffering from any injury and that
    Kerr is just using Iggy more wisely even though posters
    think he’s invisible during games. I guess his incredible
    defense this year is not easily apparent to the eye.

    Wish posters would more often site stats to support
    the claims they make.

    • Iguodala’s problem is not shooting %age, it is number of attempts. Barbosa in half the time takes as any shots as Iguodala. His %age will also improve if he actually takes those layups.

  115. rzz(119), thanks for the bit about dellavedova. n.b.a. teams miss players in their back yards who play for smaller schools probably all the time. in his case, however, while the lacobite scouts didn’t even care to invite him to summer league or training camp, schenk and the lesser lacob had gone on a junket to scout euro players, resulting in the purchase of a pick (passing on gobert and trading down twice) specifically aimed for NN.

    the team’s recent success combined with their surrendering picks to unload biedrins and jefferson will probably mean lower picks or no first round picks at all in coming drafts. if they want to keep younger bodies entering the developmental stream (rather more cost effective than relying on one mid level exception for a vet each summer) they better get smarter with their scouting.

    • Warriors scouting I think is doing okay. The recent late round picks are Ezeli, Green, Nedovic and Kuzmic(who is pretty much counts as undrafted). Did well 2 out of 3, so I hope they continue to have success at that ratio. Also, you can count Holiday as another late round pick or undrafted player who seemed to show promise. Playing time is hard to come by for these youngsters though.

      • +1 Harry. They also have James McAdoo in Santa Cruz. He was a solid D1 player at North Carolina who went undrafted. He’s averaging 17 points for Santa Cruz and shooting nearly 60% (no 3s).

        • Yes. Craft seemed to be good pick up too. Also, forgot to add Lin, another undrafted player given break by warriors.

      • ezeli gets an incomplete, from me. and what is his actual ceiling — an average second string center, probably less effective than the other lottery tar heel, b.wright now in Dal. ezeli and kuzmic aren’t a good fit on a kerr roster, either. kuzmic had problems keeping up with his assignments on offense during the pre season, and has had a very high rate of turnovers in his brief n.b.a. career, under both his coaches. i.i.r.c., the cost of getting the pick used on ezeli was to swallow the jefferson contract — hardly a small investment. no doubt ezeli has a winning, bright personality, like das wunderkind barnes, but not too many partisans welcome the prospect of him starting at center if bogut’s ailments sideline him again.

        • Concerned about what I’ve seen from Ezeli so far this season. He hasn’t appeared nearly as good defensively as he did as a rookie. May have lost some athleticism.

          • Perhaps your standards have changed. To my eye, Ezeli is a slightly more skilled athlete than he was as a rookie, but no less terrifying as an athlete. This year he hasn’t been playing next to Lee. Perhaps that’s the difference.

  116. Bogut having his knee drained…

    Dr. Felt is on the case.

    • Thank heavens.

    • they’re saying knee tendonitis, but draining it is intervention a bit beyond the usual rest + medicate regimen. could be the top of the slippery slope to arthroscopic surgery for a clean up, out 4-8 weeks.

  117. Its great how the readers beg to differ and tolerate each other on this blog. its very civilized.

    I play on an over 40 Bball team. We played in the championship game about 10 days ago. Games are half-court, to 21 by 1’s, 3’s count 2. and win by 2. We lost in an overtime thriller 28-26.
    I managed to get my younger brother to go to the game. I’ve been talking smack to him about my on-court exploits for the last couple months, and this is the first game he’s seen.
    During the game he was shaking his head a bit and smirking. i could tellm he wasn’t thrilled with the overtime. After the game he offered up a few appropriately-reptilian crocodile tears, and said he was surprised by the quality of play in the game. He sais it was alot worse than he imagined. The word he used was abysmal. I just laughed.
    I was trying to think of a better word. Earthbound ain’t bad. Hey, our PG is 51. I call him “gramps” cuz he just had his 1st gkid. The first big off our bench is 6″7. Why isn’t he starting? Becuz he cant touch the net. When he jumps. (In his defense, they are short nets. And he has a bad back and bulky knee. Naturally, we call him “the Bogotus”)
    I’m 49 and 6’2. I could dunk when I was 21 and can still get three fingers on the rim. Its like I have superpowers now!
    after the game about half the team, my bro & I went to our point mans house for some cold 40oz magnums of Champagne, also known as Miller Hi-Life. We talked about the team, the season, and eviscerated a few players we hated in the league. Good fun.
    On the ride home my brother had me in tears we his brutal but apt comments on the “championship” game.
    Lotsa laughs and good camraderie. If youre over 40 and play on a team, enjoy!!
    Thanks

    • Yeah, rzzm, tell you what. The Hat is 60+ and ready to kick ass. Bring it. I can stumble around with anyone, bad boy, I mean it. And oh yeah, your mama never loved you, she loved me. Fur real.

    • Quit bragging about your youth, rzzzz!

      Can’t beat the High Life.

  118. Harry: Since Iggy is shooting 49 percent and other
    players are shooting higher those shooters should
    be taken more shots not Iggy. Last time I looked
    Barbosa as shooting ok on 2;s, but not on three’s.
    He sometimes also gets to the foul line on his drives.
    If anything, he should eliminate taking three’s, but
    for the aforementioned reasons, some of his shots
    should not
    be going to Iggy, but to others.

  119. With Bogut not playing against Dallas,
    It will be interesting to see the time
    distribution at center among Speights,
    Green, and Ezeli. Without Bogut, the
    Warriors will have an uphill battle on
    their hands but have a chance if the
    relatively new alignments are able to
    execute and not commit a lot of
    turnovers.

    Game may well turn on the Dallas
    coach being able compete with
    Warriors line-up with Green at
    center which should be the Warriors
    best lineup. Will be interested to
    see when in game Kerr has Green
    playing center. Look for Kerr to twink
    With who plays with Green to throw
    Dallas coach off.

  120. Reagan and torture:

    But Reagan’s election in 1980 – and his determination to crush leftist movements in Central America – expanded the role of Project X.

    In 1982, the Pentagon’s Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence ordered the Fort Huachuca center to supply lesson plans to the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia, which human rights activists dubbed the School of the Assassins because it trained some of Latin America’s most notorious military officers.

    “The working group decided to use Project X material because it had previously been cleared for foreign disclosure,” the Pentagon history stated.

    According to surviving documents released in the mid-1990s under a Freedom of Information Act request, the Project X lessons contained a full range of intelligence techniques. A 1972 listing of Project X lesson plans included electronic eavesdropping, interrogation, counterintelligence, break-ins and censorship.

    Citizens of a country were put on “‘black, gray or white lists’ for the purpose of identifying and prioritizing adversary targets.” The lessons suggested creation of inventories of families and their assets to keep tabs on the population.

    The manuals suggested coercive methods for recruiting counterintelligence operatives, including arresting a target’s parents or beating him until he agreed to infiltrate a guerrilla organization. To undermine guerrilla forces, the training manuals countenanced “executions” and operations “to eliminate a potential rival among the guerrillas.”

    https://consortiumnews.com/2009/090809.html

    • Thank you, rgg, you’re absolutely correct. Reagan’s political agenda was evil. Over 250 of his personal appointees were indicted on felony charges. Do you remember James Watt? No American should ever forget him.

      Nevertheless, the fantasy of Reagan was that Americans are the “white hats,” the good guys in every movie.

      My point wasn’t that Reagan was good, but that EVEN REAGAN would absolutely not have supported an American’s right to torture anyone, not ever. The GOP is entirely lost.

      • Torture is illegal, immoral, and disgusting.

        For those few benighted souls who don’t care about any of that, there’s also this: it doesn’t work, per John McCain and per Diane Feinstein’s report on CIA torture.

  121. It’s halftime of the Ws-Denver game.

    OMFG.

    This Warriors team might completely devastate everything in its path.

  122. But then there’s Monta.,,

    Then there’s Draymond…

  123. Then Curry+Livingston… Then Draymond!

  124. Then a Barnes screwup/Dirk score.

  125. Nice to see LARRY RILEY SITTING NEXT TO JOE LACOB!!!! Can it be that Lacob finally understands who to trust?

  126. Monta finger roll!

  127. Barnes guarding Nowitsky. No friggin’ chance in hell.

  128. Thompson misses, Richard Jefferson collects a foul, makes free throw as you’d expect.

  129. Iggy misses (as we’ve come to expect), Nowitsky shoves Monta into Barnes (?), refs get it right and call turnover against Mavs. Amazing.

  130. Curry awesome layup!

  131. Curry fouled after defensive rebound!

  132. Monta attacking, Draymond foul, Monta makes 2 free throws, separation 15 pts. Draymond assists score, back up to 17 spread.

  133. What? Blocking foul? Monta back at FT line?

  134. Ws force turnover, set up for… HB miss. He’s now 6/11.

  135. Monta collects another foul, this time against Steph.

  136. Brandan Wright scores! Bad foul by Ws. BWright (aka Twig-man) finally looks like the ballplayer Chris Mullin thought he was drafting way back when.

    Fitz sez Draymond “electrifying player of the game.” Gosh, they mus think this game is over.

  137. Dirk blocked by Draymond!!

  138. Dirk blocked by Draymond on layup! Again with a block!

  139. Barnett: “20 and 2. The numbers are mind-boggling.”

  140. 48.5 sec., teams come out of timeout. Monta looks perpared. Misses. Foul on Steph. He makes 2 shots. Game won.

    • Whew. For a game with a one-time 28-point spread, this was never over until the final whistle. Both teams are awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  141. “We wouldn’t be 20-and-2 without him.” – Klay on Draymond.

  142. Not surprising, really. Klay and Steph have been stifled the last games and you knew they’d have a chance to open up against Dallas. If Bogut were in, the ball wouldn’t have moved as quickly—offense always slows down when he takes it up top. Barnett, I believe, made that point. Bogut, however, probably wouldn’t picked up that many fouls. Both Mo and Ezeli were walking on ice. What made the first half defense so effective was its conversion into uptempo offense that put Dallas on its heels. Offense is defense. Dallas was forced to play catchup, where their offense will be strained, and finally wore down after their comeback 2nd. half. I like this from Kerr, running out of the gate of offense. They don’t win otherwise.

    I’m surprised Dallas didn’t respond in kind, going to Ellis early. They really don’t gain that much going to Chandler.

    But Klay and Steph didn’t get much help 2nd half on offense, other than Green’s phenomenal performance. It’s only one detail, but all the details matter. He got to the line and shot 8-10. Plus the left hand shot and one. Plus his defense. And I’ll lay this one on l’affaire Iguodala. Barnes showed a lot of aggressive moves we haven’t seen much before.

    I wonder if the Warriors can run an offensive play where they use Nowitzki as a screen.

  143. Forgot to make reference to the Men in Black.

    Debate topic: do they play today’s game better with or without Bogut?

  144. WheresMyChippy

    I agree with Hat, we need a new thread.

  145. Something tells me you’d enjoy Twitter, Hat.

  146. didn’t have the time in midday to see this game, but from the box, it appears that jefferson (who cost a first round pick for them to jettison) had barnes-like numbers. granted, Dal’s old legs transition defense was a key to the first half steamroller.

  147. Sign Ray Allen? Could rain 3’s down on anyone at any time. Wouldn’t be difficult to imagine all kinds of terrifying scenarios (to Warrior opponents).

  148. There are two ways to look at the Dallas game:

    1. The Warriors won without three of their five starters last year starting—a very effective lineup, btw.

    2. They won without over half their salary cap, $40m (Lee + Bogut out and Iguodala having a spotty performance).

    That $40m and those three players will be on the books next season (actually a bit less). And after that season, $22 will be on the books, Bogut and Iguodala. More on this later.