There’s not a lot to say about these last two Warriors bushwhackings of the inferior Jazz and Heat, so I’ll keep this short:
The MVP: I’m really disappointed in the Warriors fans in one regard. Their MVP chants when Curry goes to the line are pathetic. Barely audible. Unconvincing.
It’s almost like they think it’s a joke or something, that no one on the Warriors could ever actually be the MVP of the league. Or they’re embarrassed, like their high IQ neighbors will think they’re moronic homers.
Stephen Curry is the MVP, people. He is the best player in the league, on the best team in the league. His leadership, which is never mentioned outside the Bay Area, and rarely within it, is as great as has ever existed in NBA history. Would LeBron James — who has shamed himself this season — have let Steve Kerr take away his high picks to run a motion offense? Would Russell Westbrook? Kevin Durant? James Harden? The best passing team in the NBA starts with the genuine unselfishness, commitment to team, and love for his teammates of its transcendent superstar.
Stephen Curry is the MVP. For Real.
So go ahead and chant. It’s OK. Really. I swear.
SO LET’S FREAKIN HEAR IT!!!
Klay Thompson: Western Conference Player of the Week. But not an AllStar?
He is playing beautifully within himself right now. Asserting his offense like a superstar should, but without a trace of selfishness.
There was a two possession defensive sequence at the end of the first half, where he was guarding Mario Chalmers, that I simply marveled at. I pride myself on my ability to evaluate NBA rookies after watching them play one game. Sometimes just one summer league game. But the growth in Klay’s defensive ability has surprised me more than I have ever been surprised in all my years of evaluating NBA players. It has nothing to do with athleticism.
Born of desire.
Bogut: Was extremely useful against the monsters of Utah, but did the Warriors need him in this game? I’m a little surprised that Kerr didn’t rest him. And it looked to me like he was feeling his knee again by the end.
You don’t win titles in January.
I loved the rueful look on Spoelstra’s face as Bogut hit four straight free throws to foil the Hack-a-Bogut. The fact that Bogut hit them doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right play to hack a 35% free throw shooter in that spot. It was the right play, at exactly the right moment, down about 10 with time waning. Stop the clock, give up less than a point in equity, and try to respond with threes.
I’m actually shocked that Spoelstra is the first coach to crack it open this season. He won’t be the last. It will be interesting to see if Kerr sticks with his determination to finish games with Bogut when he starts missing.
Particularly in the playoffs, if he makes it that far.
Draymond: 1 rebound against the monsters of Utah. 3 in this game, if you count the one he got in garbage time.
Is starting power forward really his position?
Go back through the ten years of David Lee’s career and try to find a single game in which he got 1 rebound. One single game. In ten years. It’s happened to Draymond twice in the last month.
I’m just saying.
The Showcase: As was pointed out to me on twitter, it is Barnes’ minutes that have suffered the most since the return of David Lee. He’s no longer getting those stretch four minutes on the second unit.
And I have been proven wrong about Kerr wanting to stick with second unit Nellieball. It appears that he wants to play Speights and Lee together. At least for now.
David Lee: Is it his return that has transformed the second unit into a force? Or is it the benching of Shaun Livingston?
As predicted, Kerr is jamming him into the pinch-post of the Triangle with regularity. Lee will prove to be an excellent Triangle post-man, no doubt, but it is such a misreading and waste of his singular talent.
Has Kerr never seen video of David Lee in pick and roll with a spread floor?
Right now, Lee is locked in a triangular prison.
L’Affaire d’Iguodala: Could anything be clearer than that the benching of Livingston allowed Iggy to resume his natural role? Making plays with the ball in his hands, the de facto point guard of the second unit. 5 assists against Utah, 7 in this game.
Coaching, system, teammates, role. You cannot evaluate players without regard to those factors.
Iggy can still play, people. In the right system, with the right players, in the right role.
With the ball in his hands.
P.S. His defense on Deng was excellent. At this point in his career, he guards bigger better than smaller.
Justin Holiday: 5 steals in 17 minutes against the Jazz. He’s going to be a true stopper in the league. He’s getting right into people’s shirts.
Which is something that you literally never see Barnes do. Which should have Barnes fans concerned. This young man is going to wind up squeezing Barnes’ minutes too. Particularly when opposing teams play small backcourts that have traditionally been extremely difficult for the Warriors to guard.
On offense, he’s just silky smooth. In addition to the three point shooting, he’s got an in-between game. The ability to catch on the move at the free throw line, take one dribble and go up. Something else Barnes has never developed.
You can sense where I’m going. Holiday is a better NBA player than The Showcase.
Mokur: If you’re going to play Speights and Lee together on the second unit, then, Alvin Gentry, you must unleash MOKUR.
Lee pick and roll, with Speights spreading the floor behind the line.
Devastation to defenses.
Leandro Barbosa: His presence on the floor supercharges the second unit. Allows them to play at a much faster pace. Both on the break, and in the halfcourt.
His ability to penetrate, far and above his creative shotmaking, makes things happen for the Warriors. As does having five dangerous players on the floor.
If I’m Steve Kerr, I’m having a very tough time returning Shaun Livingston to the rotation. A very tough time.
And yet Kerr stated unequivocally post-game that Livingston will play against the Thunder.
I kind of understand…
He’s got an Owner/GM out $16 million breathing down his neck.