Contender Down: Warriors 131 Rockets 106

Wow. That was as brutal a dismantling of a team’s playoff hopes and aspirations as I’ve ever witnessed. I thought the Rockets might be a contender before the season started, but no longer. Some things have changed, and some things I simply got wrong. 

Let’s start with what’s changed: Dwight Howard’s knee. This is simply devastating to the Rockets’ entire scheme. This is a team built around defense: giving up Parsons for Ariza, the midseason acquisitions of Josh Smith and Brewer. In effect, sacrificing offense for defense.

It all falls apart if Dwight Howard can’t defend the middle. And he clearly no longer can. Just look at what happened last night. The Warriors ran a layup line. Zero blocks. There is no bounce left in Howard’s game.

There’s no joy left in his game either, and for this inveterate reader of tea leaves, that tells you a lot about how he’s feeling.

I think the Rockets are also badly missing two other injured key players: Terrence Jones and the rookie point guard Isaiah Canaan. Jones is a terrific two-way stretch four, whose defense and shot blocking in particular the Rockets could use. And I think it’s just a matter of time before Canaan gets called up from his D-League rehab. Jason Terry is done. Kaput.

As for what I got wrong: Well, Matt Steinmetz pointed out to me a few weeks ago that the Rockets are too dumb to contend, and he’s clearly right about that. The gap in IQ between the Rockets and the Warriors is absolutely enormous.

It starts at the top with Kevin McHale, who I think is one of the absolute worst game coaches in the NBA. Let me ask you something, if you had Trevor Ariza and James Harden, which one would you put on Klay Thompson, and which one would you hide on Harrison Barnes? The answer to that question is above McHale’s pay grade.

If McHale had the chops to make this cross-match, it might have even helped to get Harden going. It would have made it harder for the Warriors to get back into their own matchups. I don’t know if you noticed, but the few times last night that Harden found Barnes on him his eyes lit up and something good happened.

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen McHale make an in-game adjustment to help his players. Last night, with Harden struggling badly, it was on McHale to get his best player going. I’m pretty sure a better coach would have forced Dwight Howard (at gunpoint, if necessary) to set high picks for Harden every possession that Bogut was on the floor. That would have gotten Harden going in a hurry.

Or if not that, how about a 2-3 pick and roll with Ariza, to get Harden matched up against Barnes?

Steve Kerr and Alvin Gentry have every trick in the book to spring Curry free. Under McHale, Harden is on his own.

Klay: Completely dominated whom many consider the best shooting guard in the game, on both ends of the floor. Probably the best overall performance Klay has had. Is he the best shooting guard in the NBA?

Hard to say, as comparing him to Harden is a bit like apples and oranges. Harden is the de facto point guard of the Rockets. The whole offense runs through him. But Klay is now accepted in the discussion, whereas just last year I was laughed out of the room for daring to suggest his greatness. And just last summer, Joe Lacob came within a shouting match with his legendary paid consultant of shipping him out of town.

I’ve said in the past that Klay guards Harden as well as anyone in the league. For some reason, the head fakes and crossovers and shake and bake moves that baffle everyone else in the league have absolutely no effect on Klay. I distinctly remember one sequence last night when Harden was iso’d up top against Klay, and he put on a dribbling display for five seconds, waiting for Klay to bite, and when Klay just stood there stolidly in front of him, never budging, finally just swung the ball in disgust. I’ve never seen anything like it. Klay pwned him.

At the same time Klay is earning recognition for his defense, his offensive game is exploding. He’s getting so comfortable in the lane now, slowing things down, pump-faking, using the glass, expanding his repetoire astronomically.

Klay is averaging 25 points a game over the last two weeks, on .526 shooting. His FFI for the season is up to 10. 7 over the last two weeks.

A top ten player in the league?

The MVP: The difference between Curry and Harden was on stark display last night. Harden is undoubtedly a great player despite last night’s performance, and Curry has also had games where he’s struggled badly. But last night when he was taken out of his game, Harden took his entire team down with him. With the Warriors’ defense keyed on him, he had an opportunity to get his teammates involved, to lead and inspire as a facilitator. It didn’t happen. There are whispers of selfishness surrounding James Harden, which last night’s performance did nothing to quell.

When Curry gets taken out of games, by contrast, he elevates the games of his teammates around him. We saw that in virtually every game of last year’s playoffs, against the Clippers’ all-out blitz.

The MVP? Let’s be serious. There is only one.

For goodness’ sake, let’s hear it, Oracle. Are we the best fans in the NBA, or not?

Draymond: The return of David Lee couldn’t have come at a better time for Green, as it looks to me like he’s been running on empty for the last couple of weeks. Four rebounds last night, and that’s what he’s averaging over the last four games, in this fashion: 1, 3, 9, 4. Serge Ibaka had a monster game against him, and Motiejunas was headed that way as well, when McHale inexplicably benched him for picking up his fourth foul. The Rockets fell apart for good at that moment.

Another possible sign of exhaustion: For the last month he’s shooting .415, and .531 from the line. (But that could also have something to do with that sprained thumb.)

Something tells me that Steve Kerr isn’t done fiddling with his Lacob’s Cube.

Bogut: I can’t imagine what he would have looked like if Kerr hadn’t “rested” him against OKC. Because if you ask me he looked rooted to the floor, barely one step above paralysis.

His matchup with Howard reminded me of the recent movie Grudge Match (which I didn’t see), about two old fart retired boxers stepping into the ring for one last bout. Back in the day when both were young and had all their body parts, Howard used to destroy Bogut with his quickness. In this game, he destroyed him by simply being ambulatory.

On the plus side, even limited as he was, Bogut was extremely useful in keeping the rest of the Rockets out of the paint, and in absorbing 20 minutes of Howard’s physical punishment.

The Showcase:  Every game this season, his future offensive role on the Warriors, in the unlikely event he remains with the Warriors, becomes more cemented in stone. Spoon-fed wide open corner threes. (By the way, I just got a look at Barnes’ rather interesting shot chart: 60% on corner threes, only 32.6% on threes above the elbow.) Spoon-fed wide open dunks. Run the breaks. Run down long offensive rebounds from missed Warriors threes.

It’s the Bruce Bowen role, essentially. Minus the defense. And therein lies the rub for his NBA career. Could any other NBA team, not gifted with defensive monsters like Bogut and Green on the front line, afford to play Barnes at small forward? If you ask me, his NBA future lies as a stretch-four off the bench. A Ryan Anderson, Anthony Tolliver type. I think he might actually be pretty good at that.

We got a glimpse of what lies ahead for the Warriors in the playoffs in the OKC game. Scott Brooks stole a page from Gregg Popovich’s defensive playbook, and put Durant on Curry, moving Westbrook to Barnes (more like free safety, in actuality). And dared Barnes to beat them.

I daresay we’ll being seeing a lot of that in the playoffs this year, just as we saw it in the playoffs when Barnes was a rookie.

I think it’s also safe to say that if the Warriors meet OKC in the playoffs Kerr won’t single Barnes on Durant again. It’s clear that when Durant looks at Barnes, he sees a road cone.

So what will Kerr do? Back to the double and triple teams? The recent addition of Dion Waiters might make that more painful. As would the addition of Brook Lopez, which the Thunder are rumored to be exploring.

Or will the solution be more drastic?

David Lee: I literally can’t stand it when Kerr sticks Lee into the mid-post of The Triangle. The old Mark Jackson line keeps coming back to me: “David Lee is one of the very best pick and roll players in the NBA. Whenever you post him up, you are doing the defense a favor.”

We’re seeing this drama play out nightly now, as Kerr tries to fulfill his vision of making the Warriors a triangle team whenever Lee’s on the court. Fortunately for Lee and the Warriors, Kerr relented as last night’s game wore on, letting Lee play some pick and roll, and catch the ball on the move. And that’s when he exploded.

That’s his strength. That and beating opposing big men down court, as we also saw last night. This is the first game since he returned that I didn’t see Lee laboring to run.

The Warriors second unit has been transformed by Lee’s presence. Positive numbers for all. All except Shaun Livingston, of course.

Mokur: Bob Fitzgerald literally hates watching Speights play. Can’t wait to tell us that Bogut wouldn’t have given up that layup. Bites his tongue whenever Speights launches the outside shots that Mark Jackson discouraged. Simply cannot comprehend that he’s really, truly, one of the best shooters in the NBA.

And a very underrated rebounder and defender at his natural position, center.

+14, Bob.

Iggy: I’ll let some others do the talking, as relayed to us last night by the broadcasting crew:

Alvin Gentry: “Andre Iguodala is the smartest player I’ve ever been around.”

Steve Kerr: “Andre settles us down…. Always the guy who keeps our defense together, who leads us, who just understands the flow of the game, and what needs to be done.”

+22

The Livingston Effect: Even his vaunted FG%, the management talking point that Bob Fitzgerald religiously force-feeds us, is declining. 0-5 last night, all on tough, contested shots. And that’s kind of the problem, isn’t it? Kerr likes to stress “the flow of the offense,” but Livingston can’t get any open shots in flow, can he? He’s not a catch and shoot player. He’s a break the offense for a post-up, back to the basket, dribble dribble, turnaround, launch a contested mid-range fadeaway player.

And by the way, I’ve been meaning to make this point for some time: It is ridiculous even to point to Livingston’s shooting percentage as a positive, for more than one reason. First of all, the last time I looked, literally a third of his shots were layup attempts. 87% of his shots were from 14 feet in. If you’re going to judge Livingston’s shooting percentage, you should judge it against NBA big men, not other guards. That’s what his shooting profile resembles. Livingston “shoots” a good percentage like Andris Biedrins “shot” a good percentage.

And if you break down his shooting percentage further, you will find that he shoots 60% from inside 4 feet, and 45% from outside 4 feet. So he’s earning the Warriors .9 ppp whenever he jacks up a jumper. In isolations, it’s worse than that. Before last night’s game, he was fourth worst in the NBA, at 32.4%.

But what is really the point is not Livingston’s shooting percentage at all. It’s the TEAM efficiency when he’s on the court that counts, right? Well, here it is (courtesy of NBAWowy.com):

  • Livingston on: Warriors .945 ppp Opponents .960 ppp
  • Livingston off: Warriors 1.21 Opponents 1.03

The Warriors offense falls off a cliff when Livingston enters the game, which is why Kerr was forced to start staggering his rotations to play one of Curry or Klay at all times. And the marginally improved defense that comes from having a 6-7″ wing at the point does not make up for it. Units including Livingston are strongly negative on the year.

Why do I keep bothering to bring up Livingston’s struggles, when the Warriors are 32-6? Because regular season record doesn’t get you a title, and I have a sneaking suspicion that the Warriors will need a backup point guard in the playoffs. A real backup point guard.

Who will it be?

James McAdoo: It appears that the Warriors signed the 6-9″ forward McAdoo to a 10-day contract today. This might seem like a quiet and innocuous move to some, but to me it’s a curious move on a roster already packed to the gills with big men. And an occasion for the reading of tea leaves.

Don’t expect to see McAdoo play except in garbage time. That’s not why he was signed. He was signed to fill out the practice squad, meaning some big men won’t be available to practice. Or, I suppose, to play in case of absolute emergency, meaning some big men can’t go.

Or — and I admit this is by far the least likely possibility, far-fetched even — perhaps the Warriors are exploring a deal involving one of their frontcourt players.

Hmm.

228 Responses to Contender Down: Warriors 131 Rockets 106

  1. once more, well done, felt-guv. concur, that d’mond doesn’t have the same brute energy he did before that long stint of bogut’s absence when he became their best inside defender and part time center on offense. he might be the one resting for the scrimmages while mcadoo practices with the varsity. they also might be hedging with ezeli, reluctant to count on him staying healthy.

    would be foolish for them to pursue a budget cutting trade, but we also don’t know what kind of offers myers could be hearing. they could be feeling a bit queasy relying on ezeli, lee, speights, green to supplement bogut, or on livingston for that matter. much of the time he’s on the floor, it appears his ‘mates are looking to set him up as much as he is giving them plays, like they want and need him to score.

  2. I guess Felty you want us to
    all forget that you were all for
    the Warriors trading Thompson
    and Lee for Love. The only part you
    objected to was taking back Martin.
    And by the way Thompson was not
    great last year. That occurred this year.

  3. Shooting percentages do matter regardless
    of whether shots made inside or outside and
    who made against. Maybe someday you’ll
    recognize the purpose of the game is to put ball
    in hoop. And many of his made shots are
    Contested. Some stuff being written in my
    judgment is pure crap. Maybe someday you’ll
    realize Livingston defensive strengths. And his
    minus effect has been steadily improving with
    Lee added to second unit.

    • He missed most of his contested shots from what I saw. Most of his made shots were on fed lay-ups and dunks. I saw Livingston getting beat many times off the dribble. On the positive side, good team help defender, very good handles and court vision. Like Felt observed run P&R with him and DLee.

  4. Worth the wait, chief. Keep ’em coming.

  5. I looked at last nights box score and thought we had over played a couple of players but was surprised to see Curry leading the team with 33 minutes, followed by Klay at 30. Amazing minutes management and trust from Kerr which will hopefully reap benefits come playoff time.

    Feltbot, what was your take on the OKC game? In particular, how do you see us match up against their small ball lineup with Ibaka at the stretch-5? I see OKC as our biggest threat.

    • If Ibaka is healthy, which I have my doubts about, OKC is indeed a huge threat. Brooks somehow induced Westbrook to play correctly against the Warriors traps, and hit the open man. Bogut will get shredded by Westbrook pick and roll, particularly when Ibaka is at five. Durant and Ibaka are kryptonite for David Lee, his worst matchup in the league. And Durant guarding Curry a very difficult problem.

      • Felt, I’m really intrigued by this “Durant guarding Curry” thing you keep mentioning. When did you see it happen? Was it a consistent scheme throughout the game?

        I ask because I have a sneaking suspicion that it comes from the same fictional place as Iguodala running Durant off the 3-point line in the previous GS-OKC game, or Jim Barnett praising Andre’s defense (in a game broadcast by TNT).

        Which is to say, I wouldn’t be surprised to look at a replay of the game and learn that it NEVER happened at all.

        • you didn’t make it very clear, Swopa, if you watched the game yourself. your attention must have been distracted if you did. even if you only saw the score card, did you think six turnovers to only six assists by curry came about because he ate a bad burger.

          • I did indeed watch the game. I didn’t ever see Durant guarding Curry, but I’m always willing to leave open the possibility that I missed some things while watching in real time.

            Unfortunately, I have to balance that against Felt’s past history of unreliable accounts.

            Did you ever see Durant guarding Curry during that game, moto?

          • Yes, Durant was on Curry. I don’t have the benefit of recordings. I’m beginning to question some of your challenges now, based on replay.

          • Same question to you, then, rgg — how often (at an estimate) did you see Durant guarding Curry? Once? For several minutes at a time? Throughout the entire game?

            FYI, when I watch a replay, it’s to verify claims and hunches like this. So I’d appreciate knowing just what I’m double-checking.

          • I believe you got your answer, below. What we saw might be a short trial run, in preparation for playoffs.

        • I’ve noticed that an extremely high percentage of trolls either can’t read, or don’t know what they’re watching.

          I’d suggest watching again from 8:29 of the second quarter until the half, during which time Barnes scored 8 of his 14 non-garbage-time points going against point guards, Curry went 0-4 with 3 TOs, and the Thunder took control of the game by turning a 5 point deficit into a 9 point halftime lead.

          • Aww, Felt. You clearly didn’t know what you were watching when you made the false claims regarding Iguodala in the previous OKC game, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call you a troll. ;-)

            But yes, I have looked at the replay and saw Durant matched up against Curry in the 2nd quarter. (Intriguingly, they also seemed to intentionally match Ibaka up against Klay for a couple of possessions.) But some other things that were going on raise questions about what you think the solution should be.

            First of all, as you indicate, Barnes punished them offensively for the first few minutes of the strategy (from 8:37 to 6:31, GS outscored OKC 10-8, with Barnes scoring 8). After that, the W’s got thoroughly discombobulated, with not just Barnes but Green and Lee trying — and failing — to take advantage of being defended by PGs, and Curry not just turning the ball over but missing open 3-pointers.

            In particular, once Draymond Green came back in at 5:32, his primary defender for the next few minutes was Westbrook. So it doesn’t seem like playing him at SF rather than Barnes would help matters. And certainly Iguodala (who has opponents hiding inferior defenders on him far more often than Barnes) wouldn’t be an improvement… except in the sense of providing an alternative ballhandler, which is why GS traded for him in the first place.

          • warriorablaze

            Just re-watched this portion of the game. While it’s true that Durant did guard Curry during this time, your analysis of his impact is left wanting.

            Curry missed 3 WIDE OPEN 3’s and was partially blocked on a layup (not by Durant) during this period. Thunder were switching on all on and off-ball screens, so Durant was switched off him early on most possessions. I only saw 2 Curry TO’s during that period, one a stolen pass in a fast break transition play, and the other a dribbling flub stolen by… not Durant, but Westbrook. Durant wasn’t even part of the double team that caused that TO.

            You could MAYBE argue as a stretch that Durant on him made him less aggressive? But 4 shots (again 3 of them wide open, unchallenged –by Durant or anyone else– 3’s that he happened to miss) in 8 minutes isn’t exactly being shut down…Curry averages 16 shots per game, so he was right on… he also had a few assists during this stretch, though I didn’t pay close attention to how many.

            That stretch of time was lost on the defensive end….where we were terrible.

            Feel free to revisit it yourself…. http://replay.nbaliveonline.tv/

          • I think it’s a valid argument that putting Durant on Curry caused GS to take him off the ball, which is a victory of sorts.

            A couple of Curry’s turnovers occurred when the ESPN broadcast wasn’t showing the on-floor action (thanks, guys!), so it’s hard to comment on exactly what happened. On the last turnover, as you note, Jackson and Westbrook were the defenders.

          • “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”

            —Waldo

            Swopa, you have to expect compression and simplification in brief analyses. If you do find errors, tell us how they add up. You may need to change your handle to Swipa.

          • The gist, rgg, is that OKC wasn’t trying to exploit Barnes. They were trying to get GS to run their offense through anyone besides Curry (or Thompson).

            So you can expect OKC to try the same strategy again in the playoffs regardless of whether Barnes is on the floor.

          • You can expect OKC or any other opponent to try to get the ball out of ANYONE’S hands besides Curry/Thompson. But let’s be honest here, their best case is Barnes, the overall weakest player among the Ws starting 5. Not the worst shot (we gotcher Green and Bogut here), but the player most likely to screw up.

            Was OKC trying to take advantage of Barnes specifically? That would have been nice, but they can’t count on it. They would have settled for others to touch the ball instead. But best case for an opposing defense? Barnes it is. C’mon now. You don’t work for Barnes’ personal PR dept., do you?

  6. Thanks for that. Great insight that confirms my thoughts that a healthy OKC is trouble…

    I wonder if McAdoo is some kind of insurance against big athletic 4’s. He’s raw but what other roster moves could we have made given our budget.

    • cosmicballoon

      I wonder if Kerr is going to sit Bogut down for 5-10 game stream Che’s throughout the season to prepare him for the playoffs.

      • That seems like the plan – he’s said that Iguodala and Bogut are aging veterans and they aren’t chasing Chicago’s 73-10, so he’d rather give them rest when he needs to.

  7. McAdoo is a taller, bigger, stronger version of Barnes without the corner 3. Can he develop one? If so, he can at the 3 or stretch 4.

    • …play the…

    • Odds are good McAdoo is just practice fodder, as FB says, maybe spot fill-in for Green? Worst case scenario is that they’re trying to fit another piece around Livingston.

      Cleveland is looking at Farmar, btw. Any opinion anyone?

    • cosmicballoon

      McAdoo can’t shoot fron the perimeter at all. He’s an inside player only. I have watched him in Santa Cruz several times this season.

      • yes, that confirms other accounts that he’s working more as a 4/5 rather than a 4/3 which was unsuccessful at chapel hill.

  8. Livingston bores me..off with his head.
    cant shoot and cant space the floor.
    His game retards the others.
    Defenses sag cause hes got no cred.

    Needed
    Jitterbug point guard who can shoot, dish and play semi passable defense.

    • how does kerr see his reserves ? would he be more concerned with bogut’s fill-ins, or curry’s ? kuzmic to ‘cruz is a fair reflection of how much they see a need for him, and livingston racked up a couple of healthy d.n.p.’s recently. myers tried corrective trades for the bench last season. we’ll see what they choose to adjust, and how much they’re willing to invest in championship insurance. livingston and/or barnes could attract buyers, the fans’ choice, lee, probably not for his replacement value.

      • Informative and logical post. Do you mean it would be difficult to replace DLee or difficult to move him, given his salary and age? BTW, when does his contract expire?

        • lee’s contract ends 6/30/16. this summer would be a more promising time to shop him, as teams with the budget who can’t land their top free agent picks look around for respectable fill-ins. contenders this season will be skeptical about his physical condition, and the bottom feeders/lottery hopefuls have no reason to tie up their budgets. packaging him with something else of course changes the equation, but that would mean myers finds an available player/assets worth the higher ransom.

          ezeli’s extended absence, and inconsistency when he was healthy, might have shaken up their original plans for the bench. he hasn’t established his physical capacity to take a big man’s normal banging, and started to learn the game in late adolescence. if they’re committed to giving him time for development, they might have to accept another season and a half of very modest returns.

    • Not sure where they’re going to get a point guard. But really this is a player who should have been brought along over the past years. I was initially and naively somewhat optimistic about Nedovic, but only because I bought their line, and he didn’t come as advertised.

      D’Antoni has been good at bringing along point guards who would fit the system. Start with Jeremy Lin. He also got Kendall Marshall and, again, Jordan Farmar to show promise. But Marshall is now out with a torn ACL.

    • Jared Cunningham. 23, from Oaktown, 6′-4 195. Quick, handles, vision, drive, jump thru the roof, and bury the 3.

      Played very well against the Warriors in the final pre-season game.

      The Clips traded him to Philly.

      • cunningham didn’t play lead guard in college, did a bit more of it in d-league, which can’t be considered valid preparation. for three n.b.a. teams he’s totaled <200 min. — just this season holiday is around 270, to illustrate how little experience that constitutes. he's in d-league because he's a project.

        don't be surprised if livingston sticks around. fans look at what he can't do, while the coaches look at the errors, turnovers, blown assignments that comes with someone younger and more erratic. prof. zamir perceives the bench deficient in a scorer, someone who can get his own shot and shoot 3's, rather than a back up for curry.

        • You’re right moto. They don’t need a project going after a Championship.

        • Details matter. They will need a project who might fill in somewhat this year and might be ready next year. He would at least get some experience in garbage time, of which there should be more. Experienced point guards don’t come cheap, even those who don’t fit.

          And it doesn’t look like there’s anything in Santa Cruz.

          • Aaron Craft averaging 17% on 3’s down in Santa Cruz. Even in marginal recruits, the Warriors selection has shown a predictable and questionable pattern. They keep going for the same guy.

    • “Livingston bores me…”

      I can’t tear my eyes away.

      A quality player and person, probably a great asset on other teams, but a logjam in the stream of the Ws offense. I thought Livingston would be great for the Ws, but he doesn’t seem able to adapt to their offensive philosophy.

      In all fairness, Feltbot called it loudly, clearly and very much against the prevailing opinion.

      I believe people can change, Feltbot bets that they don’t. It’s a smart bet, the odds favor it. People can change. They usually don’t. That makes Livingston probably the Ws best trade asset.

  9. Reluctant Good Knight

    Wow to Klay’s defense. He had more blocks than Tim Kawakami last night.

  10. From BASG:

    “I wanted to like the Shaun Livingston signing, I really did. But he’s only valuable if Curry or Thompson get hurt. As it stands now, he’s like a ukelele player in a rap group.”

    http://www.bayareasportsguy.com/just-a-hunch-rockets-dont-want-to-face-warriors-in-playoffs-after-saturday-night/

    • He’s also valuable if Iguodala gets hurt or rested. And he could be quite useful in any number of small ball lineups that can spread the floor around a pick and roll. He’d work fine with the starters, or any lineup with Green/Barnes at the 4 and Lee/Speights at the 5.

  11. Woj speculates that LBJames (or his agent) wants to replace Blatt with Mark Jackson as Cleveland coach. Hilarious! An involved, interested LBJames could possibly make Jackson successful, but not this season, and next year they probably won’t have Love.

    It would be fun to see how Jackson deals with some of the sketchy characters on his team, though. Will J.R. Smith lose tattoos and find god? Stay tuned!

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/cavs-need-lebron-james-to-show-leadership-he-promised-173753124.html

  12. Love this Nurkic kid. Keep an eye on him.

    • Den snagged the young Bosnian for mcdermott and a.randolph, since waived out of the n.b.a. and playing in Russia, if folks like to track the mullin legacy. apparently ranadive gave mullin and d’allesandro a pass on their GS tenure together (rowell was a convenient scapegoat, and of course the fans said nelson was a back stabber). d’allesandro could have remained in Den as their g.m. but chose Sac, and we’ll see how those two bottom feeders become competitive again.

      • Re A. Randolph, it’s sad to see such a talented guy wandering in the wilderness.

        All the best, Anthony! Smarten up and rejoin the NBA ASAP! The league needs someone who can fire downward at the basket at 300 mph!

      • To be fair, lot of people were bullish on Anthony Randolph, who did have an excellent couple of months as backup C. I think Nellie either called him star or said, he has it.

    • Yeah. Serious trouble. I’d even suit his dad up, double-time. Problems? Flatten them, no problem, just another day in a Nurdic life.

      • apparently nurkic likes to chirp at cousins when they’re matched up, adding spice to the two teams’ ‘rivalry’. for those who missed the urban legend, hariz nurkic is taller than his son, 400 lbs, and the son didn’t take up hoops before a sports agent heard about the dad arresting and beating up 14 guys. of course, if they were unschooled bar scufflers working without the proper tools and went after the cop piecemeal, they’d have little chance against that mass and reach and training.

  13. at 9:40 2Q vs Denver
    JB: “He exacerbated a negative situation.”
    Fitz: “Yeah, and he almost even made it worse.”

    Fitz usually bugs the hell out of me, but that was funny right there. If he had a better boss I bet he could be good. Coaching matters!

  14. Denver—man, that was routine. Big thanks to Stan Kroenke for tearing up a good organization and a competitive team.

    Anyone for Nietzsche?

    • basketball with hammers

    • kroenke seemed to be applying walmart management principles in Den, but for running n.b.a. teams, there isn’t a large pool of execs and managers with comparable qualifications to exploit. he owns so much other stuff he can use the n.b.a. team as a tax loss shell ; has his eyes on a mega LA stadium deal with that market’s n.f.l. media revenue.

  15. Couple of tweets I made during the Denver game:

    Saw some nice Livingston-Lee pick and roll in that second quarter.

    Livingston has looked so much better in this game, getting to play pick and roll. 2 nice pull-ups. Has something finally clicked for Kerr?

  16. After the Warriors clobbered the Clips early in the season I said Steph and Klay looked like the WC allStar team startng backcourt. It was more of a comment on that one game than a true projection. But they’ve ended up deserving the nod. Klay is the top 2 guard in the league, followed by Harden and Butler, IMHO. (Why does Harden get mentioned as MVP as often as Steph? Its a bit insulting)
    Maybe 2(?) years ago I recall Feltbot really tooting Klay’s horn, even throwing “Hall-of-fame” or some other other ridiculous accolade out there, but I just didn’t see it. I scoffed to myself. I’m delighted that Klay has proven me wrong as a skeptic. he’s made steady progress every year and really exploded this year. He’s gone from a basically one-dimensional gunner who used to fire up jumpers off screens with only a glimpse of the rim, to an all around excellent player. His pump fakes 3’s where he side-steps the defender are becoming $, so under control, and just beautiful to watch. He’s gotta be hitting those @ 50%, at least .

    I think playing w Steph is helping him becuz of the mutual compettiveness. He wants to be at Stephs level. Both players are tough as nails and driving eachother to greatness. The talent is there and the synergy is beautiful.

    Re: the OKC game, Ibaka put up some #s and hit his shots, But I agree he doesn’t have the devastating impact on D he used to have. I remember when he battled Bynum and Gasol (and Kobe) in the WC finals 5-6 yrs ago, and held down the inside for the Thunder against this potent combo, while I think losing in 7. He looked like the 2nd coming of Bill Russell, but his explosiveness, his presence, isn’t nearly the same now. He looks…average.

    To toot my own horn now, I said Phoe had more talent than Mem or Dall in a preseason post, and am predicting they’ll make the playoffs – along with OKC. Who that leaves out, I don’t know. The Wubs playoff nemesis from last year may be a good bet.

    atl is a bit like last yrs’ phoe. The braintrust can claim that their master plan is working to perfection, and Feltbot can say he saw it all coming, but sometimes serendipity comes in large doses. I would love to see GS-Atl in the finals. Al Horford is a great player who was the backbone of a couple 60 win seasons, but I don’t think they can take the Wubs. Just by comparing rosters it doesn’t work, but I’m still looking forward to seeing them square off.
    All that being said, you can probably break out the champagne and streamers now, FB. Maybe a nice bottle of wine..

    Nice to see James MCadoo contribute. He’s all ready given more than the Onion ever will. You can never have enough good players. Enjoy this season and let the FO sort it out later.
    Longtimer pointed out that the main contributors on this yrs team are pretty much the same as last year, minus Jack and Landry, yet the team is so much better. I was also thinking about his. Klay, Dray, Steph, Mo Speights has gone from an afterthought to invaluable, and down the line.
    The new coaches may have a little to do w this.

    • the team’s best young players [curry, thompson, green] would be improved this season under any coaching staff, provided green got the opportunity to play. they are all focused on building up their game — green engaged his personal coach when GS had no one signed to their staff, and the improvement in both guards’ ball handling says much about their dedication. many of us have said since curry and thompson were rookies in their respective seasons that they would really blossom if given a chance in up tempo, open court offense, and of course that was a coaching decision.

      the new coaches probably made more of a difference with bogut, speights, and barnes. the new staff has had immense overall impact on the team, but without the three young stars the separation from the other top western teams would not be so noticeable [conservatively, three to five more losses when both bogut and lee were sidelined].

  17. The 2nd Florida championship team had Horford, Noah, Corey Brewer, and Mo Speights. Makes you wonder how they ever lost a game. Then again, I can’t recall any of their guards..

    • I don’t watch a great deal of college hoops, but I remember seeing the final tournament games Florida played & being amazed by the passing ability of both Horford and Noah. I understand that teams were concerned about his shooting ability, but it still stuns me that Noah fell to the ninth pick in the draft.

      Alternate universe moment: How would the W’s fortunes be different if they’d drafted Noah instead of Brandan Wright? What about if OKC had drafted Noah instead of Jeff Green? (IMO, there’s a good chance the latter would already have won a championship.)

      • the right exec in the right place at certain times in history can change the fortunes of a team as much as a top two lottery pick. dick vertlieb put together the talent for mieuli’s championship. if mullin didn’t have the fortune of an inside connection with Ind, who was desperate to jettison s.jackson and valued diogu highly, his legacy in GS would be wishful guessing on draft picks in very good draft years — wright over noah, and even when randolph was drafted out of the top ten, his class had several other top players picked later.

  18. 433 Americans make $300 million
    per year. That’s over $700,000 per day.
    None are paying anywhere near a fair
    tax. I imagine they pay no more than1
    15 percent for it’s money earned
    in investments. Incredibly, the
    Republicans want to protect these
    people from paying more in taxes.

  19. Frank—

    This is your department. I watched Frontline’s “United States of Secrets” last night, which reviewed NSA’s electronic surveillance up to the Snowden affair. As I understand it, NSA, through collaboration with the phone, internet, and computer companies, had access to, reviewed and stored just about everything—phone calls, web browsing, emails, etc.—without our knowledge, without warrants, and without Constitutional authority.

    Do you or anyone know how much they actually got and what they did with it? Or is this info buried and probably won’t be made clear for some time to come, if ever?

    And have they stopped (as far as we know)?

  20. Felt,

    Spot on, on Green, he is exhausted. To be noted, his minutes should be in check, that guy goes all out every possession.

    On Bogut, he did a great job with single coverage on Howard, even frustrating him to draw couple of offensive fouls. Howard only works if Rockets are able to slow down the pace of the game, which they couldn’t and Bogut made sure of that. When Bogut goes to bench though, rockets attack the rim.

    Felt, you just don’t like Barnes at all. You call him ‘showcase’ and then compared to Tolliver. Did Tolliver ever scored inside 3 or get 5 assists like Barnes got yesterday’s game. Tolliver is lucky to have a NBA gig, comparing Barnes of 22 year old to Tolliver displays your ever constant hatred on Barnes. There can be a case made that over last 10 games Barnes is better than Green.

    Your bias shows on your Livingston analysis too. Livingston was off first 10 games, really bad, toney douglas bad, his numbers reflect his poor start to the season.

    McAdoo signing may be just a PR thing to encourage D league or may be rest for Green is coming up.

    • Tolliver dropped 30 on Kevin Love’s head, in Minneapolis, a month out of the D-League. From everywhere on the court.

      I don’t hate Barnes, I am just continually forced to battle the misconceptions of fans and the hype of the front office and their mouthpieces. If people didn’t continually say things like “a case can be made that over the last 10 games Barnes is better than Green” I might never write a word about him.

      Barnes is doing everything that the Warriors are asking of him on offense, which is very little. On defense, if you can’t see it, I can’t help you. You should know though, that the coaching staff sees it clearly, which is why Barnes only sees fourth quarter minutes in blowouts.

      As for my supposed Livingston bias, please inform us how it produced the tweets I listed @15.

      • felt, I read your observation on Livingston@15 and you are right on. You were repetetive on Livingston’s -ve impact quite a few times though which are far more than your recognition of his good play.

        Barnes has put lot of work in off season to make that corner 3 automatic and probably worked out to improve his rebounding. He is in upward trajectory in career, not sure can say the same thing about Tolliver. You say, you don’t hate Barnes but your calling him ‘showcase’, right there shows something else. Not recognizing that a 22 year old can improve is also another thing I don’t understand. The list of players you would put ahead of Barnes is growing. Anyway, this is your blog, so it is up to you.

        • I root for HB, but his trajectory is horizontal. Do you really think he is improving, a la Klay or Dray? To me he is the exact same player I saw his rookie year. He’s just invisible too frequently.

          He can be a decent body and complementary role player. Nothing worth breaking the bank for.

          • He improved his 3PT shooting and rebounding, this I am sure you will have agree. I think he improved his D but you may not agree. If he improves his handle atleast by a bit and mid range game, he would be even more of a valuable contributor. He is doing better recognizing the plays compared to last year when he was just plain horrible.

            As for Green, think he is just slighly better than when he was drafted, opportunity and fit is #1 reason he is contributing at this level. As per Klay, he has taken a jump in 3rd season and then 4th season. Both Klay and Green were also older when they were drafted. Barnes, this would have been his senior year in college. For Barnes, next year would be 4th year. He will no doubt improve. You can’t teach old dogs new tricks but I believe all hardworking players at that age improve.

  21. As mentioned before, I have been reading Feltbot for quite a while now but began contributing because of the increased appearance of arguments that lack any rigor—or, quite alarmingly, in some cases, even basic common sense. I thought my interventions were paying dividends. However, in this latest blog, Felt is up to the same sad business again.

    I don’t know about you, but I find it rather troubling when Felty uses one or two game samples to make his “point.” First, it was his claim that David Lee has never once played as poor interior defense as Draymond did against the Lakers—never once! This was part of a nascent campaign to have Dray moved to the 3. After demolishing this “argument”—and with Felt’s subsequent thundering (and very misleading) denial that he ever argued that Draymond should be moved to the 3—I thought we had put this silliness to rest. Oh boy was I wrong! But before getting on to the how and why of this, I’d like to point out that over the course of the entire season, Draymond has been statistically more effective stopping post-ups than *any player in the entire league*! One game anecdotal observations be damned!

    One would think that Felt would know better than to cite one single game as evidence of anything but, apparently, I was wrong. Indeed, Felt came back for more, arguing that Draymond might be on the verge of a physical breakdown given a 1 rebound game. From this he again implied that he might not be suitable to start the game as a 4. He also (and very curiously) compared Green unfavorably yet again to—surprise!—David Lee in this regard. He even doubled down (literally and figuratively) in his most recent blog arguing that over 4 whole games (!) his rebounding numbers have been down, which is supposedly further “proof” of Draymond’s fragility. Please note the following:

    For the 4 games prior to the 1 rebound game, Draymond averaged 11 rebounds a game. In the 4 games after the 1 rebound game, Draymond has averaged the same rebounds per minute as he has the entire season. And this even with Bogut’s reinsertion into the lineup and an exhausting schedule in what Steve Kerr refers to as the “Dog Days.” Does that sound like Draymond’s rebounding is in serious trouble—or that he’s on the verge of physical collapse? What is more reliable: the one game or the last nine?

    (Also, I’m not denying that Draymond might be fatigued–as are several other W’s. Even Ron Adams description of Green as being indefatigable is not entirely correct. But it is pretty damn close. What’s important is that Feltbot is clearly implying more than just this.)

    What is most disturbing for me—apart from the obvious absurdity of a basketball expert citing one or two games as sufficient “evidence” of anything—is that Felt elsewhere (and quite correctly) argues vehemently against so-called advanced statistics. He’s even excoriated many others for using such stats. But then he rolls out the one or two game “proofs” of his arguments—3 separate times on this one topic. (NB: Felt does not completely ignore advanced statistics—especially when they are his own concoction. The “FFI” cited above is an alchemist’s dream: Felt mysteriously turns statistical dirt into gold through mysterious processes. Felt: is there some version of a Hadron Statistical Collider buried in the New Mexico desert where you send these ill-begotten stats for refining?).

    Now, I believe that Felt knows this is nonsense because he’s simply too smart not to. And I think it’s clear that is why he consistently adds the “I’m just saying” coda to these garbage arguments. It’s a way of saying: “Hey, I know I just said something that sounds ridiculous but, hey, I’m just saying it—not really meaning it! Wink wink.” (Readers: I don’t know of any other way to interpret this colloquialism but that’s the only way I know of that people use it.) Now the real question is why is Felt up to this stuff? Why throw so much sheisse at the wall?

    I have some ideas that I will get to elsewhere but I first want to apologize if all this sounds so negative. My intention simply is to be constructive and find it necessary to point out the negatives to do so. My guess is that prior to this year Felt’s posts were in the 85-15 range (high quality to low), which is pretty damn good. This year they’re more in the 70-30 range; still worth my reading but the clear decline is a head scratcher nonetheless. First of all Felt, I urge you to fully own your arguments, rather than engage in these coy “just saying” semi-disavowals. If you turn out to be right, you can go all Kawakami on us and claim credit—just like you did for your prescience regarding Klay above. No problem. And please note that I am aware that the Mercury ‘hack” makes us suffer through such tedious discussions as the minutiae of Nedovic’s contract and then brays on about his “successful” prediction when he was waived; citing his article again while ignoring the fact that he got his justifications wrong. Felt never bores us with such tedium. However, by putting out such absurdities as making pronouncements based on one stat in one game you’re unnecessarily diminishing yourself. Moreover, you can’t take credit for being “right” if these disavowed “ideas” come true. Even Kawakami doesn’t do that. And you’re way way better than that Mercury hack!

    I’m just saying….

    • Everyone knows what opinions are like. And everyones got one!

      Mine is that Draymond makes a fine Nba starter wherever the staff sees fit to play him.

      The players are compensated very well to play a game. If and when they get tired from working 82 days a year I can’t muster up too much sympathy.

      • Agreed on the opinion thing. That’s why it’s important to back up the opinions with sound reasons–and to take ownership of said opinions. It’s all about learning, community, and–hopefully–fun here. With a year like this the emphasis should be on the latter.

        Draymond would make a fine 3–but he’s far more effective as a 4, in my opinion (I’ve cited my reasons elsewhere). But the brute fact is that the *team* has been so utterly and unexpectedly dominant this year with the Bogut/Dray 4/5 combination that I see no viable reason for breaking this up. Indeed, by moving Dray to the 3 and reinserting Lee at the 4 the W’s would be changing 40% of their starting lineup. This is sheer lunacy, and yet Felt keeps edging this way with nothing of substance to back it up–and then backs off under pressure. I’m not entirely sure why he seems to continue trying to gin up this controversy but I have my suspicions,

        • “…important to back up the opinions with sound reasons…”

          OTOH, sometimes you just get a feel.

          For example, back on November 12 dumb ol’ Hat predicted 65 wins for the Ws this season. It’s at comment #68, here:

          http://feltbot.com/2014/11/06/clobbered-city-warriors-121-clippers-104/

          At this point, that win total looks realistic. Back then, not.

          Sometimes you just get a feel. Given Feltbot’s track record, I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt even if he doesn’t have the stats to back up some opinion, or doesn’t express himself in a way that necessarily leads me to the same conclusion.

          Felt has been right more often than wrong, even if I don’t understand how he came to his conclusions. In assessing Felt’s performance, that in itself is a relevant fact.

          • Wow, think you are probably only one who got warriors at 65 plus wins. I was only hoping for home court in 1st round.

  22. Rgg: What’s astounding is that Congress
    granted the tech companies immunity
    from damage lawsuits for illegally collecting
    emails,etc. After Snowden’s revelations the
    only recommended change is for the tech
    companies to continue to collect and keep
    these records and NSA has to get it from
    them and such info is not automatically
    turned over. That’s my understanding.

    But the illegal collection continues. It’s
    my understanding that local police now
    engage in widespread illegal collection of
    data. The 4th Amendment to US
    Constitution that is suppose to protect
    privacy no longer exists.

    The lowering of tax rates on the super rich
    has not limited to one political party. The rates
    have drastically dropped the last 50 years.if
    they had not dropped the middle class would
    pay much in income taxes. And if the government
    Produced the oil that is on our lands and
    not leased to oil companies we may each receive
    a dividend check or have funds to cover our
    income tax. But making government work for
    the common good is not a priority. Instead we
    give public lands to BP and other oil companies
    and fight wars to transfer oil reserves from middle
    east countries to western private companies.

    • I was under the impression they only surveilled “suspicious” individuals, but apparently they are looking at massive amounts of electronic communications, i.e. from you and me, and sort through it in what was described as dragnet operations. I don’t think it’s exactly clear what they have done because it has not been revealed.

      We’ve already sold our souls to advertisers anyway. Google, I believe, scans and stores Gmail emails. That’s how they tailor those adds. (I don’t use it.) And DoubleClick and similar have been tracking our web browsing for decades, and selling this info and their services. It’s why certain ads appear on this blog.

      It’s not surprising the tech companies were protected. They were approached with letters delivered by the FBI that made the request but were scarcely legal and were essentially strong armed into complying. The Feds, after all, control the regulatory agencies that involve them. Only one fought it, with the help of lawyers.

      • I’m not concerned with any of this, so long as our bill of rights is intact and our judiciary independent. The Feds may have terabytes of raw data, but they can’t search it in such a way as to target an individual without a warrant.

        And I believe the state has a compelling interest in accessing networks and compiling data. There are info wars going on, and they are real, as the Sony hack just demonstrated. If the Feds don’t have the best info, then criminals and our enemies will. I prefer the former. A certain level of trust is indicated, subject to the supervision of the courts.

        • Well, the bill of rights and judiciary have been sidestepped, no? As I understand it, they can and have monitored emails and phone calls without warrant, without strict judicial approval. I assume NSA has access to cloud storage, which I use, or can have that access. In the event of a trial, would this info be thrown out as inadmissible evidence?

          But again, I’m not clear exactly what’s going on and I’m not sure many do. If something I send or store is being accessed, I’d like to know. Practically speaking, it probably doesn’t mean anything. Many people speak up in public freely about anything anyway, as we do on this blog. And as I said, we’ve given ourselves over to advertisers freely without criticism, which does drive me crazy. I can’t step anywhere without tripping over an ad. I’ve just given up on any notion of privacy, unless I get rid of my electronic devices. But there has to be great potential for abuse, especially in the hands of the paranoid politicians we’ve been electing.

          I’ve never been especially interested in the debates about freedom of speech on the web, largely because they haven’t been conjoined with discussions about the responsibilities of freedom. We have also sold ourselves to chaos and disinformation.

          • There is potential for abuse in police carrying sidearms, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. There is potential for abuse in the phone company having our records. There is potential for abuse in our neighbors having telescopes. That doesn’t mean we want to ban these things.

            The government has accumulated raw data, and monitored it only in the broadest sense (computer searches for key words, etc.). This is so inevitable as not to be worth worrying about. It’s what they do with the data that is our concern – whether they use it to oppress or persecute. For that, we rely on our laws and the courts.

          • I’m not convinced. There are all kinds of insidious and damaging things that could be done without our even knowing it and which would be difficult to reverse if we ever find out. We could be put on lists because of our private thoughts—and denied employment and god knows what else.

            I believe this happened during the Vietnam war. People who protested or did anything the government then deemed irresponsible were put on lists and had trouble getting jobs, at least in the public sector. And what’s to prevent that bleeding over into the private sector? But those were public actions, which, as we now know, entail risks. But what if thoughts we think in private are misused?

          • Our government can do all sorts of insidious and nasty things to us. My major concern is whether what they’re doing is legal or illegal. At this point, the kinds of things you’ve mentioned are blatantly illegal.

          • But they were done regardless, with damage—I’ve forgotten the extent. And legal recourse is at best difficult. I’m not losing sleep over this and am not going to change my behavior. It appears, however, a new means has been discovered to monitor us, in what we thought was private. Having cloud files monitored does disturb me, though I know the odds of anything being found, given the magnitude of info, much less anything being done, is virtually nil. Say I was writing a paper of Islamic extremists (I’m not). Should I be concerned about storing it on a cloud?

            The difference is this. Before, one had to do something fairly public to get attention to draw the surveillance. But now anything and everything by anyone can be monitored, without their knowing it.

          • Watch the show. Netflix has it on instant streaming. Lots of inside legal looks. The Bush administration was relentless in pursuing innocents they thought guilty of leaking info about the surveillance to the press. Lives were disrupted. One guy went broke paying for lawyers. This is what haunts me.

        • You mentioned trust—it doesn’t sound like we or the judiciary even know what’s going one.

          • I don’t think anyone truly knows whats going on. It is a microcosm of our bloated government in which the right hand frequently has no idea what the left hand is doing. The collection of data is here to stay and for todays younger generation is unavoidable, unless you want to be left in the dust.

            If you have clean hands I don’t feel its worth worrying over. The potential pros outweigh the cons. Personally, I like to live my simple life and live it without too much worry. It’s the best revenge. Alot of this data collection is optional- I still pay cash for most services , have only 1 credit card, 2 monthly bills, very few passwords in my life, got rid of my wife (a major data leak), and, as I said before, I like this site because I don’t have to register!

          • I want to clarify that “got rid of my wife” meant we divorced amicably. In case someone’s listening..

          • Here’s my question: could I write something in an email or in a file I store on a cloud that someone might see and decide is subversive that potentially could lead to a tax audit, problems with employment, or who knows what? The potential is there, and we don’t know this isn’t being done.

            The logistics are staggering. But whenever an agency engages in such activity, their behavior is always quick and wholesale. They won’t make distinctions.

            Btw, we are watching you, rzzz.

          • That scenario is feasible but I don’t believe we’re at that point yet. Definetly good to think about it tho before you write that next email

            I work for a small biz that does a lot of “deep web mining.” As a private investigation firm we are privy to info that is not accessible to the average web surfer. It’s astounding how much data has been compiled through various sources. It’s actually starting to frighten my boss, and not just because of our niche competitive status..

          • “could I write something in an email or in a file I store on a cloud that someone might see and decide is subversive…?”

            Yes, absolutely.

            Long story short: The NSA has more data on everyone and everything than they could possibly assess accurately. So they run it all through “inference engines,” which score human activity by risk factors which have some presumed statistical relevance. People then pop out into different categories; “potential unrecorded income,” “1st – 3rd level possible activist contacts,” “religious activist” and the like.

            No one is “reading over your shoulder,” but for you to become a “person of interest,” no one needs to. Which might be worse.

            It’s worth nothing that today a “person of interest” loses any legal rights the instant a law enforcement official says the magic word “terror.”

            To the point of your Q, rgg, yes, the potential for mistakes to occur in the system is precisely 100%. We’ve seen it in everything from the mysterious “no-fly list” to Guantanamo – the majority of Guantanamo prisoners who have been repatriated to their own countries have been cleared of all charges.

  23. I agree LT that no one should make
    judgments off of a performance in
    one game.

    I hope Felty after watching the Denver
    game and indicating that Kerr used
    Livingston effectively on pick and
    roll is not signaling he’s going to
    become a Livingston fan.

    • I’m no sure what to make of Livingston. I agree with Felt–and have always thought–that he’s an awkward fit for the W’s motion and running offense. Livingston likes to have the ball in his hands, plays a slower tempo, and does not have a reliable outside shot. Yet, I do think he’s a quality basketball player in the right system. Tom Thibodeau absolutely raved about him to the W’s travelling press (unsolicited)–as have many others. I spent the last three months in Brooklyn and all Nets fans were very sorry to see him go.

      I wonder if (and whether they’d want to) the W’s might want to alter the style of play when he’s in the game to best suit his talents…

  24. Feltbot, there is no way Kevin Durant can effectively guard Steph Curry over the course of a game. He can come out as a “changeup” and guard Curry for brief stretches like he did in the recent game. He can’t possibly defend Curry with the ball in his hands or coming around screens for a prolonged stretch. And now that Curry and our coaching staff has seen it, even the element of surprise is gone. Durant is mot quick enough; not an accomplished defender. Not nearly.

    • In the proper defensive scheme, it’s the length that is disruptive, particularly around high picks, not quickness. As we’ve seen with Klay on pgs, and Danny Green on Curry. I believe Durant deflections caused two of Curry’s TOs.

      I also think you’re wrong about Durant’s defensive ability. He’s been extraordinary when needed in the playoffs.

      • ++ on Durant’s defense, agree on all counts.

        That said, think Curry will still do his thing, he is just in his zone this year.

  25. Interesting series with Houston so far this season.

    Nov 8. Harden shot 8-24, 1-11 on 3s, 7 assists, 22 pts.
    Dec. 10 Harden 14-27, 3-8 on 3s, 4 assists, 34 pts.
    Jan 17 Harden 4-15, 0-4 on 3s, 4 assists, 12 pts.

    The Ws knew Howard was injured in the first game. In the 2nd matchup Howard was a last-minute scratch. The Ws had obviously prepared to defend against him, but the Rockets went small/fast instead, and Harden went off for 34 points.

    In the last game, the Ws knew what they were going to face. Howard got his points (22) and boards (10), but Klay and the rest of the D totally contained Harden.

    The Rockets are a very different team w/ or w/out Howard. The Ws coaches prepare differently for those teams. When they prepped for Howard but faced the Howard-less Rockets things didn’t go as well. Does all that demonstrate the impact of the Ws coaches’ pre-game planning and preparation?

  26. @22

    My questions are factual. Is it possible for outside sources to monitor emails and cloud documents? The answer is yes. Has it been done? I believe the answer for emails is yes, for cloud documents, I’m not sure. Is it being done now, or will it happen in the future? I have no idea, but the potential is there.

    And if so, regardless of legal, moral, or pragmatic issues, should I change my electronic behavior? I have no idea, but am getting old anyway and am ready to be carted away.

    It’s pretty certain some of us here are not authentic fans. I’m sure this information has been gathered by The Organization, to be used for what purposes, who can tell?

    • Is this a serious post RGG? The most nefariously threatening thing about this site is the Harrison Barnes branding conspiracy..

      BTW, I was just reminded there was one player more Frankenstein-ish than billyPaultz. He actually looked like Herman Munster running around in tight little shorts. He was a graet player on a great team. If you watch the game tonite you’ll probably see him..

      • My questions are serious, but I’m just curious. I like to know what’s going on.

        The HB branding is an amazingly curious phenomenon. Someone should pick this up.

      • no conspiracy needed to anoint lacob’s Wunderkind with a brand. barnes’ mother chose one of his two middle names as an avatar of the nascent brand. schoolboys who get into the sponsored development leagues and hoops camps as barnes did can’t avoid getting the message from the $$, clothing, equipment providers that creating a brand goes with establishing a name as an elite player. not by chance, that condy rice was on the recruitment/interview team for stanford, or his airogance himself for his alma mater.

        durant’s deal from nike will pays $30 m. per annum, more than any team can provide for his hoops duties under the c.b.a., and the revenue from his signature sneaker dwarfs that honorarium. team owners and the networks reaping the $$ from the players won’t acknowledge the worth of their workers, other than a negotiated share of ‘basketball related income’ in the c.b.a., but if a player has his own brand, he’ll know.

  27. Will be enjoying tonight’s game as an Authentic Fan, courtesy of Prof. Zamir. No recap.

    • warriorsablaze

      You and Evan at the game together? Please tell me you’re going to record a live action Barnes/Livingston slander podcast. :)

      Have fun! Should be a good one.

  28. FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

    The Warriors are only the 10th team in NBA history to start 34-6. Of the other nine, six of them won the NBA Title.

    The Warriors starting lineup of Curry, Thompson, Green, Barnes and Bogut is 23-1.

  29. Anyone else see that sequence early on where HB on a broken break found himself at the three point line dribbling, oppty to blow past a defender on the way to the hole.. and passed it away ( for the millionth time)?

    To Dray, as I recall, who promptly shambled to the rack and drew the foul?

    All I could think was, if the tin man (HB) had the lion (Dray)’s heart – or if dray had HB’s physical gifts – lebron and KD would be 2nd and 3rd best players in the world.

    • roberto, the new d-league addition mcadoo is an interesting contrast to lacob’s Wunderkind barnes. he was in the tar heel class immediately after barnes, about eight months younger than the lottery pick, and they were teammates in barnes’ sophomore year. both were highly hyped high school recruits whom los fanaticos at chapel hill saw as falling short of expectations.

      the main difference, barnes’ teams had two skilled bigs who could score and took care of much of the boards and defensive chores (henson, zeller), along with one of the conference’s top point guards (marshall). those three top guys left n.carolina in the same draft as barnes, leaving mcadoo as the sole experienced big (he’s actually a bit shorter than barnes in height, with an advantage in reach) and one of the top scorers, though only a sophomore. his teams never had the talent that barnes’ did. mcadoo as a soph and junior actually shot about the same as barnes’ college numbers and he was better on the boards, but when he left college he neither had a degree nor a draft pick’s guaranteed contract.

    • At least McAdoo hustles to get boards, to take the ball to the hoop, etc. Has anyone else noticed how HB poses for his “sensational” looking dunks and boards?

      I grew up in North Carolina, and unless you were into stock car racing, it was the biggest show in the state. And the Tar Heels produced such solid players with good careers in the NBA, up until the last decades. This a major source of my disillusionment with HB in particular and UNC and college basketball in general. Billy Cunningham, Charlie Scott (Bill Simmons is big on him and mentions him in his book), Bob McAdoo, James Worthy, Walter Davis, plus many solid role players.

      It seems to me I left someone off that list.

      • Barnes hustles for boards too, more than most SFs in the league, 6 rebs in 30 mins is not bad for someone who plays mostly at SF. He is top 5 in the category among SFs. And yes, most other SFs listed above him or below him also play few minutes at PF.

        http://espn.go.com/nba/statistics/player/_/stat/rebounds/sort/avgRebounds/position/small-forwards

        Most of the guys prognosis on Barnes on this site is outdated.

      • Barnes is also top in shooting %ages this year among SFs.

      • das Wunderkind barnes rehearses those ‘highlight’ scoring moves for hours, probably going back to his schoolboy days. his ma set him on that path with his second middle name. just recall his comments last season when he came up tres ordinaire at the big all star exhibition.

        • What is the problem with Barnes practicing those highlight dunks, wouldn’t all nba players especially young ones do?? Not a day passes that shows Barnes hatred here. He is improved this year and a starter of 34-6 team because he apparently worked hard in the summe. Your focus is not game related, your dislike is clearly not basketball related.

          • tolerate us harry for not practicing universal love. the portraits at the top of the page do not show Dr.King, Mother Theresa, nor Gandhi. good teams need role-fillers like barnes, no question. fortunately, the lacobites have to re-sign d’mond while das Wunderkind is still on his rookie deal, so inflating barnes’ replacement value, should that enter the equation in June ’16, won’t affect their disposition on d’mond.

          • I don’t love Barnes and I like 5 other players in the team more than Barnes but how is it Barnes fault that his mom has decided to put a middle name not to your liking ? Beyond reason, don’t you think.

            For umpteenth time, Draymond and Barnes are going to get paid different years. Don’t use your love for Draymond as the reason to hate Barnes. Everytime, you and others like a Bazemore, Holiday or McAdoo, you have to demean Barnes to praise those guys, not healthy. Did you ever criticize a bar Green’s game. I know, we are all biased in some ways, but come on..

          • Lacobites are also the same guys who tried hard to trade Lee+Barnes for Kevin Love. Would they put that offer on the table, if they are blindly in love with Barnes. In comparison, FO resisted deals for Klay for Harden and then Kevin Love.

  30. Couldn’t hear your MVP chants Feltbot, although we heard your cheering during that stretch of Curry-Lee PnR leading into garbage time.

  31. cosmicballoon

    I never thought I would say that Dwight Howard is a defensive liability, but he wasn’t able to defend the PNR last night. Curry turned the corner several times because Howard wasn’t able to hedge correctly, nor quick enough to alter the shot.

    • Howard is not right. He was -28 last night!

      Ditto for Motiejunas. 4 pts. 3 rebounds to Draymond’s 18 and 6.

      Bogut seemed much more healthy last night, and completely outplayed Howard. 5 blocks (!), several of them on Howard.

      So once again the Ws had a different defensive look last night. Harden went off for 33 points thanks largely to 14 made FTs, but our bigs squashed their bigs. I suspect that even Houston was surprised.

      • ps don’t look now, but Lee recorded another block last night. After seemingly going whole seasons without any, it’s great to see Lee energized on the defensive end.

        I wonder if the difference in Lee’s D is at least partly due to his reduced playing time. Under Jackson, Lee was always among the league leaders in minutes played, especially among bigs. With a reduced workload, he has energy to spare.

        Also, congrats to Lee for his 10,000th point! A great milestone for a deserving player. Lee is a class act and a true professional.

        • warriorsablaze

          Lee gave a lot of props to Ron Adams in a recent interview I read somewhere… Perhaps it’s as simple as someone taking the time to point out and correct some bad habits and Lee buying in.

  32. The Houston game last night was hard to believe. Everybody expected a comeback, at least a hard fought game. Instead the Warriors cruised to victory, seemingly effortlessly. The players, of course, and they looked relaxed and confident. But I don’t think we realize how well engineered this team is. They talked about how Ron Adams charts defensive results on a variety of plays, manages the switching off, etc., and I suspect there is much more going on we don’t fully see. Defense is a total team effort, tailored for efficiency and max energy from everyone, not brute matching up of players, well coordinated with the offense. And they don’t have to be that big.

    But you have to wonder about Houston, especially about how they largely rely on Howard and Harden for offense. And Dwight Howard isn’t Dwight Howard. But Bogut did his job on him last night, and looked completely different from a few days ago. You have to wonder if something isn’t bothering him we don’t hear about. It’s been mentioned that travel bothers his back.

  33. Props to Bogut, great effort. As rgg noted, he’s at the point in his career where he feels a lot better at home.

    If this is where Howard’s health is truly at, then he’s at the end of his effective career. No lift at all, and at 6-10 and the brain of a small lizard, he’s useless.

    Can you imagine if Joe Lacob had achieved his heart’s desire, and maxed out this moron?

    • I was thinkin about that last nite. Glad he didn’t actually want to come here. Kinda the same as the Stoudamire, and maybe to a lesser degree, the Love flirtations.
      Harden had the ball in his hands just as much as Steph last night. He’s a very good player but he isn’t capable of affecting a game the way Steph is. No one is right now.

    • One of the big advantages the Ws have this year is that the players all buy into an ego-less team attack. By all reports, that’s not an option with Howard.

      On the other hand, if it were possible for Howard to bury his ego for a team’s benefit, he could be a good C. Even at his current state of health. Even for the Ws.

      Probably not much longer, though. All injuries are cumulative, and Howard has certainly gotten pounded a lot over the last 10 years.

  34. Sometimes it’s hard to picture just how strong Draymond is. He’s “small,” right? But in his hands last night Curry looked like a Raggedy-Ann doll. Wow.

    Don’t know if this link will work:

    http://i0.wp.com/espngrantland.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/no-chill-for-curry.gif

    but this will:

    http://grantland.com/the-triangle/nba-shootaround-mr-westbrook-goes-to-washington/

  35. 6 rbs for Green. Getting treatment on his back on the bench. Same issue he had in playoffs against Clippers….

    • Yeah. Playing above one’s weight class is rough on a fella.

      • Ouch, he needs more rest than anyone outside Bogut in the team.

        BTW: your avatar has google hat.

          • Just saying, not sure if you are aware, that it is ‘google’ hat. nothing more than that.

          • Interesting, but I still don’t understand. My avatar looks like a propeller hat to me. Maybe your browser blocks Gravatar?

          • harry, this old fool is fascinated, but at a loss as to what’s up in this discussion.

            30 years of experience with interns in Silicon Valley leaves me worried for most of them.

            It doesn’t take genius to be successful, I’m proof of that.

            Success is mostly about being lucky or savvy enough to find work with people who value what you value – and keeping your promises, even if it means demolishing yourself to do it. Most interns interact with people who haven’t achieved success. They work with last year’s interns. They don’t learn about success.

            FWIW (admittedly not much today), Google’s entire business plan is anathema to me. I value privacy and freedom. I believe in personal growth and change. Google makes a business of publicizing private info in as barely-legal manner as possible, and it capitalizes on every mistake everyone ever made in their life. They can and literally do assign $ values to each and every data point you’ve ever let slip out into the Internet.

            So, hey, are we talking about my avatar image here? It’s something that looks like I’m associated with Google? If so, that makes me sad. Or maybe this old fool just doesn’t get what you’re talking about.

          • Hat, lol. Nothing to discuss my friend, google is first thing came to mind when I saw ur avatar and shared that thought with you.

          • Oh. OK. Whew. Thanks! Guess I’ll shut up now.

    • There you go again: Dainty Draymond had trouble last night because of *only* 6 rebounds?! Are you kidding us? Is this a big put on?

      This is going beyond comical….

      • Green is an underweight/undersized 4 playing against some of the best – and biggest, and nastiest – athletes in the world. It’s reasonable to assume that that’s rough on a feller.

        If you’re waiting for a medical report from the Ws, LT, you’ll wait forever.

    • Lee was featured on offense while Mo got minor minutes. You have to wonder if Kerr isn’t getting ready to at least spell Green. While Green has played about the same minutes as the others, he’s done a lot of heavy heaving. It was doing the same that most likely led to Lee’s injuries. Something’s gotta give somewhere.

      Kerr is managing the season and the players, a relief.

      Mo was camped in the corner for that last 3. Man, last second, and the shot was smooth. Sign of things to come?

  36. More praise for Speights:

    The season is about halfway done, and look at what Speights has done so far—

    1. He has provided scoring punch for the lethargic second unit, keeping the team in the game so others can rest, as well as for the team in general, in several games turning the tide with huge scoring.

    2. He has allowed the team to play without Lee, then bring him back slowly, providing scoring and heft up front.

    3. He has provided a backup center with Ezeli down.

    4. He has provided a backup starting center with Bogut out (6-2).

    His scoring efficiency is off the charts, both in terms of bfb (bang for buck) and ppm (points per minute).

    Who could ask for anything mo’?

    • warriorsablaze

      It’s not going unnoticed, either… high praise for multiple Warriors in SI’s midseason awards:

      http://www.si.com/nba/2015/01/22/nba-midseason-awards-predictions-stephen-curry-james-harden

      • Fascinating article. Some of the experts got it right, but it’s surprising how many get paid for max-level dumbness.

        It’s great to see Speights recognized. He’s been great! But let’s look at that for just a sec. If you could choose to play (healthy) Bogut, Lee or Speights right now, where would Speights rank? Is Speights the 6th man of the year? Compared to Ginobili this year or ANY year?

        Even only within the Warriors, comparing Speights just to Iguodala, Speights isn’t even in the discussion.

        Another point: Per the article, the biggest name traded before the deadline: According to some guy named “Dollinger” it’s David West. “…if the team slides in the second half it might be time to unload its veteran leader…”

        It’s hard for this old fool to keep up nowadays. I guess this Dollinger feller is some kinda voice on these matters. But one thing is for sure, whoever this Dollinger guy is, he didn’t grow up in the Midwest. As a native Mid-American, I can entirely guarantee that David West ain’t going nowhere nohow. And if you want proof, simply reference Joe Dumars. The Pistons stuck with Dumars even after he destroyed the team, just because he’s-their-guy-end-of-story.

        You think a Midwest guy would trade David. Friggin. West? You ever seen a Midwest riot?

        You know nothing John Snow/”Dollinger.”

        • Spot on, speights may not even be 6th man in this team, I wouldn’t take him over Iguodala.

          • cosmicballoon

            The national media is just slow to pick up on things. Speights was a great 6th man candidate for the first 25 games or so, and the national media began to recognize this.

            His game has tailed off since Bogut’s return. Additionally, it has only been in the past 15 games that Iggy has rounded into usual Iggy form.

  37. It’s surprising they didn’t play McAdoo last night, given the huge lead. I’m curious what Kerr is up to. What’s the deal, moto, call ups can have two 10 day contracts then have to be signed or are thrown back in the water?

    • when the lead shrank rapidly with reserves on the court (rush given a chance to keep his roster spot), so did mcadoo’s chances to get into the game.

      they can only sign him to one more ten day, after which they must offer a guaranteed, partial season, rookie minimum contract or let him re-enter free agency. if they wish to keep him and think he’s more viable for the post season than rush, any other roster addition means waiving one of the vets — rush is guaranteed through June ’16, with his salary counting against the woeyrs budget until another team takes him ; barbosa is guaranteed through this June.

      barbosa was signed when livingston was still out from his toe surgery. will they want both as reserves through the playoffs. very different skills of course, and defensively barbosa is probably one of the team’s biggest minuses.

      • cosmicballoon

        Rush hasn’t shown anything. He can’t seem to hit the three, and he looks a step slow. He doesn’t deserve a roster spot, unless the Warriors know something that the rest of us don’t.

  38. Aldridge out 6 to 8.

    • time for the rise of SA and OK, if their main guys stay healthy of course.

      • just after posting optimistically on SA, saw how thibodeau’s guys played magnificent defense at home and quieted their skeptics for one game anyway.

  39. Just tried to watch some of the Clips Nets game. Besides being uninteresting in the extreme, it looks like a different sport from the bball GS plays. Almost like its in slo-mo, primitive in ways, with most players planted there, ” hi-lited ” by the unguarded blake or deanndreJ dunk. CP3s a nice PG, and theClips are up 70-35 or so, but its all relatively unimpressive, to me. Guess i’m spoiled.

    • Sounds like the kind of team Lacob wanted when he first took over. Remember he went after Jordan. How much $ is Prok going to make when he sells the Nets, anyway?

      • The recent Clips sale established the price tag for a franchise in a large metro area. The Nets, while stinky, will go for a couple of bills. In addition, construction cost for their new arena came to another $1 billion. So the Nets price tag is $3.5 billion or so.

        Wanna go Dutch on that, rgg?

        • Incredible. Weren’t the Ws had for 800 million?

          Certain industries have been crushed by the web, others maxed out and exposed to the extreme Branding more important than ever.

          You guys would make classic co-owners

          • Franchises are valuable only as long as multi-billionaires want this toy and tax break. NO had trouble finding an owner, not that long ago. I would bet the profits aren’t that good, that many lose money. And while they might be a good investment for resale, this value declines when billionaire egos lose interest. You have to wonder if this value isn’t inflated.

            Profit margins are probably much, much higher in Russia for Prok, where he doesn’t have to play by the rules. Just amazing how bad a job he did trying to build the team. Actually, no surprise.

          • I think Prok has probably lost his ass in this oil and commodity collapse. Perhaps one reason he’s exploring a sale.

          • You hit it, FB. It’s time for Prok to cover his leveraged debt.

  40. Throwing a ball through a hoop is a primal act and an inherent challenge of human nature. You could hand a cro-magnon a ball and point at the rim and he’d catch on pretty quick. Toss him a football and he might take off running in fear (Or else he’s a natural wide receiver). So guys like Dwight aren’t limited in this sense. But since hoops is a team game, conceptualizing and being creative on the court are vital. And the Warrioirs are lucky to have very astute players like Steph, dray, Andrew, and crew

    This season has been a real treat for me. As I’ve gotten older my enthusiasm for hoops has been a bit leveraged. I wonder why I feel so passionate watching a game when something in my own life can leave me feeling rather blase. But if you’re a fan, you’re a fan, it’s part of you..

    • What hurts is seeing athletes get old. I was watching the game the other night with my son, when Bill Walton was interviewed. He is my age when I saw Walton in his prime. I tried to explain—

      Watching games now helps us forget all that, at least for a while.

    • +1 rzzmark. I’ve never felt so alive as when playing games, starting in childhood with baseball and basketball and board games… which no doubt is a reason I’ve played games for a living for most of my life.

      If you’ve had that feeling, then I think you’ll always have the passion to watch great teams play. And we’re watching great players grow into a great team playing at the highest level imaginable, just months after being introduced to their new system. If you can’t lose yourself in this season, there’s something wrong.

      • Did you play chess? I have a friend who, as a teenager, beat Bobby Fischer. It was one of those competitions where Fischer took on 50 opponents. He looked at the board and conceded. “Nice game,” I believe were his words.

        Fischer is probably one of the top 10 competitors this country has produced.

        • I took up chess in my 30s out of an excess of competitive zeal. Two of my buddies were engaged in regular blitz chess wars, and I wanted to participate. A couple of months later, another friend visited, and found me sitting on the couch poring over a chess board, surrounded by open chess books.

          Friend: “Damn, man, how good do you want to get at chess?”
          Me: “Just good enough to beat my friends.”

          • I got good enough to beat my oldest brother, a Wall Street wiz, my mentor, who got me into reading and other forms of dissolution. That was good enough for me.

  41. John Updike, on an ex-basketball player:

    Once Flick played for the high-school team, the Wizards.
    He was good: in fact, the best. In ’46
    He bucketed three hundred ninety points,
    A county record still. The ball loved Flick.
    I saw him rack up thirty-eight or forty
    In one home game. His hands were like wild birds.

    Full poem here:

    http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/172264

  42. According to Snowden, the
    US govt has abused our right
    to privacy. There’s no real recourse
    In the courts, as one can’t protest
    what one doesn’t know. Moreover
    the conservative FISA rubber stamps
    Govt requests for warrants.

    Razmark mark points that if one has
    clean hands they have nothing to worry
    about. It’s that point of view that allows
    our Bill of Rights to be reduced to
    rubble. And more scaring, such view is
    widespread.

  43. I understand your point of view Frank. I don’t doubt that there are abuses by our government either. Or any government in the world. I also haven’t personally experienced any unjust govt persecution, as far as I know, but have traveled extensively, and often felt very happy to return to the USA safe and sane. The world is becoming much smaller and the nature of the beast is that alot of this infringed-upon privacy is private only in a world that no longer exists. I don’t like it but I don’t like living like a frightened and cynical citizen either.

    I do know the Feds will shut you down in a heartbeat if you violate their international business laws, only some of which are actual Law.

    Snowden may be an altruistic person but he his whole MO was laughably naive, especially given his background.

    • rzzmark: you miss the point for the NSA surveillance. Why does the government need all this data? Very little of it goes for actual Homeland Security purposes.

      It is conducted for economic espionage on behalf of corporations, and blackmail material on anyone who threatens to ‘rock the boat’ for the industrial complex.

      All in the name of fighting terrorism. At a time when it is the US government conducting illegal wars, human rights violations as well as other terrorist acts around the world.

      ps…Each post and ip address is stored for this site as any other. Hopefully the guys and gals in Fort Meade and Bluffdale are Warrior or NBA fans.

    • There are several ways to look at the government eavesdropping:

      1. Is it a violation of the Bill of Rights? I can’t believe it isn’t. The Bush admin had to go around the justice department to get it in place.

      2. Is it ethical and just plain old decent? Who knows anymore? These words have lost meaning.

      3. Practically speaking, has it produced any results in the war on terrorism to justify this infringement? Well, they say it has, but I’m tremendously skeptical it has done much of anything. But of course such information is classified.

      4. Related, is it worth the billions that have been spent and will continue to be spent? Again, I’m tremendously skeptical. Wouldn’t the intelligence agencies have been more productive if they just gave their agents Arabic primers and sent them out into the field instead of holing up in a big building somewhere near Washington?

      5. If thousands of people and billions are spent pursuing such behavior, which can only grow, and grow exponentially, how are they affecting the culture and the way we think about things? I think we are going crazy, and this helps.

      5. Personally speaking, is there a chance my private emails and files have or will be monitored? It appears there is.

      6. Should I change my behavior? I’m again skeptical anything could ever come of that, but the thought irritates me.

      7. Do I want to live in this kind of a world? Not especially.

  44. I was trying to respond to Franks assertation that my point of view is causing the Bill of Rights to be reduced to rubble. I always thought that pov’s and clean hands were what the Bill helped to protect. I never knew the George Washington and Co were so twisted. I guess I’m educated now. Thanks. Bye.

  45. Krazy!! U wanna talk konspiracys talk about Klay bein left off the all-stars!

  46. Holy cow.

  47. My Goodness.

  48. That was nothing. Love would have dropped 70 had they made the trade.

  49. Curiously, Kerr was fed up half time and didn’t call any plays second half but told the guys to figure it out themselves.

    • it was pretty clear that curry, green, and thompson took leadership of the team in the third quarter, making sure every defensive stop immediately phased into a controlled break that left the Sac defense completely exposed, possession after possession. the energy level of the defense seemed to kick up a notch after holiday replaced barnes.

      • Holiday was +18 in his 4:28 stint to close the quarter. Lee was in as well.

        It certainly was a vindication of transition defense and early offense. About 9 of Klay’s 13 shots came only 7-8 seconds into the shot clock. This team was built to run.

        You have to wonder how Malone would have coached 3rd. quarter for the Kings.

        • He would at least have called a couple of time-outs just to break the rhythm. My gosh, does Cousins deserves a better organization.

  50. Klay Thompson Superstar!

    All hail Feltbot, who predicted it years ago, back when Thompson was making boneheaded plays and shooting Klayups.

  51. Cool pic of the Splash bros on the green section of the Chron this morn. Two kids having fun!
    One of the things that makes watching the team so impressiveis is how they now dictate the game. They don’t seem to care too much about the opponent. If the opp wants to run-n-gun with them, like Sacto last nite, bring it on. There’re more concerned with their own game. I think this is the sign of a champion.
    Fitz believes the Warriors just aren’t good at throwing the lob. I smile every time they try it, hit or miss.

  52. What impressed me most about Klay from day one was his steel determination. You never thought he would give up or stop trying to improve. Hit or miss, he never changed expression, though often you could see the strain on his face. But you never thought he would break.

    The idea when they drafted him was to get a tall guard who could complement an inside out game with a big. This was said. That’s not what he was built for. What he was built for is what we’re seeing now. It’s the system that is turning Klay loose.

    • Stating the obvious, it was the up tempo offense that allowed Klay to get into a rhythm. Almost as startling as his accuracy was the speed with which his points came, 18 points in 3 minutes.

    • You also see the limitations of lumbering bigs. I like Bogut in the Cousins matchup because he can get into Boogie’s head and keep him away from the basket. But no one can stop Boogie 12-15 feet out, where he scored. 5 boards.

      • Do you think 5 boards is really that bad in only 24 minutes? He’s still averaging about 13 rebounds per 36 this season. His line last night per 36 was 12 pts, 7.5 rebs, 5.5 ass, 3 blks.

        You’re the biggest cherry picker on this site mate.

    • Great point about the system. It is next to impossible to defend Curry and Klay in transition.

  53. Bazemore getting minutes now that his injury fully healed. Very athletic hi-lite dunk last night. Felt said the Warriors could find a 3 & D Wing in the D League, and they did — 2 of them — Bazemore and Holiday. Hope they hang on to Holiday and don’t need to find a 3rd. Can McAdoo learn to bury the 3? Barnett seems to think so.

  54. felt gov, if you witnessed the game Wed vs. Hou, how did barnes put up five personal fouls ? was he possessed, or were the officials ? noted earlier how much defensive energy and coverage holiday brought last night when he subbed for barnes in the third. his former tar heel ‘mate mcadoo will probably be able to provide defense and boards equivalent to das Wunderkind if he were shipped, and barnett is convinced the younger and longer player is a legit n.b.a. player who will improve his three point shooting to become a contributor.

    • With Harden on the floor, you have to guess reach-in fouls or similar. This is hard to figure out. McAdoo has to be a work in progress, who will need more time in the big show, who may not be ready this year. I’m sure that shot will take a while. But then they have to take him on the roster now (or after the next 10 day contract) or risk losing him. And with Barnes guaranteed next year, hard to believe they won’t keep both, assuming they keep McAdoo, bringing him up slowly or else letting him go if he doesn’t pan out. If he does work out, then there are questions about how to best market and trade Barnes—the guy a D-leaguer replaced?

      • the lacobites have succeeded in ‘replacing’ iguodala with barnes, and as long as their prize is on the roster, no d-leaguer will be ‘replacing’ him. if they get a good offer for him (his youth and perceived ‘pedigree’ of development going back to chapel hill perceived as positives), possibly one that includes a couple of draft picks, they might be confident that the other role fillers can provide what he does when he gets shipped. do they really count on the committee of ezeli, lee, speights as back ups for bogut against playoff level opponents and coaching ; it probably end up that way for lack of alternatives, but it might not be their preference if the right player is available on the market.

    • McAdoo can’t play SF. He’s a four. And I’m not sure the Warriors have plans for him. They’re short handed at practice right now.

      As for Barnes fouls, Kerr put him on Harden early in the 1st to keep Klay out of foul trouble. I think that’s where he picked up his first two. He was also outplayed by Brewer later, which may have contributed.

      • understood, re. mcadoo’s position suitability. barnes has played the four part time, and it might be the only portion of his role-filling that holiday can’t perform as well or better. the starting three getting out played by brewer, not a shabby role filler himself, is not exactly a high grade.

  55. MUH-TAY-ZIK | HOF-FER is the ad agency in SF who does the Warrior ads we’ve seen the last two seasons (Is anyone else getting tired of the guy in the fast food van? And I assume we’re going to see more of him.):

    http://mtzhf.com

    Their mission:

    “At MUH-TAY-ZIK | HOF-FER our aim is simple. We want to help you do something better than you would have done without us. Having done some of the most iconic work in the industry, we bring the strategic, conceptual, and executional craftsmanship it takes to make brands famous – no matter the media opportunity. TV, digital, ambient, product development, identity, sites, webfilms – we’ve spent our careers connecting brands and people in innovative ways.”

    And they have rules:

    “1 First, do no harm.
    2 If everyone gets out of the box, get back in.
    3 Make the world 0.000001 percent more beautiful with everything you do.
    4 Weird works when you do it right.
    5 Great creative and great strategy are inseparable. We have a distrust of companies that believe you can have one without the other. Weak creative is bad strategy. Weak strategy is bad creative. Sorry for ranting.
    6 You have a brand, like it or not. Even if it’s the nondescript guy in the corner.
    7 Brands can change very quickly. Incrementalism is for fraidy-cats.
    8 It’s a visual culture. It really is. :-)
    9 All those great decisions you make along the way are felt by people who don’t notice them. That’s OK.
    10 We believe in the clarity provided by the Oxford comma.”

    Gosh, inspiring, I guess, sort of. I guess, too, they are behind the “authentic fan” concept, those fans who sit in Section 212 and wave banners and get interviews and even free tickets (50 of them). Cf. Potemkin village.

    But I have to ask:

    What does that make the rest of the fans who fill Oracle?

    What happens when the term “authentic” is used unauthentically and what does that mean?

    Is the Oxford comma all they know about grammar?

    • apparently, some of the team’s most die hard fans, the g.s.o.m. crowd, got shut away by the lacobites this season from getting a game for one of their love-ins [group ticket purchase, a free throw shooting contest, other promotional items at the fans’ expense and not the team’s]. these are fanatics who qualify for the root meaning of ‘fan’, and apparently the ‘authentic’ fans have taken the demand for seats to the point that marketing considers the g.s.o.m.’s superfluous.

  56. https://twitter.com/MadeInGoldenSt/status/558863508427653120/photo/1

    Two things: Curry is absolutely delighted, and Barnett is up and screaming along with everyone else in the arena.

    What a great photo!

  57. Piece on Shaun Livingston: http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2015/01/24/shaun-livingston-unsung-contributor-for-league-best-warriors/Huvt23QlkH9PXgbUoPwW3M/story.html?event=event25

    Note that Livingston himself details one reason why he’s a bad fit with the Ws: “slower, methodical….”

    And of course, “could do more.” ie., with the ball in his hands, running PNR.

  58. Sorry bout this but there’s another worthwhile look in the Chron this morn- an article headlined “the art of dribbling”. I think all this stuff is on their website. Usually the sports items in SFs daily are pretty standard stuff but this one has some meat on it. Steph has been very diligent on working on his ballh-handling and employs some unique drills in this regard. As I lifelong hoops player the article was interesting to me because dribbling was always one of my weak points. I developed an odd mental bloc that really hampered my game. Of course I never practiced at it, and over the years the fact that I could was just capable of having fun andparticipatng in a game helped me improve a bit.

  59. Davidson, Steph’s alma mater, recently beat #22 Dayton, with a little help from its fans:

  60. http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/gamecast?gameId=400578949&version=mobile&src=desktop

    Whitehead 12 blocks and 13 rebounds against the Bulls. Where did he come from?

    • over the summer of 2014 according to the player, he called every n.b.a. team for a try out. if true, the lacobite brain trust passed on him. only Mia gave him an opportunity, and he’s said whatever he can do is a repayment for getting the opportunity to play.

      whiteside in his single year of college at Marshall proved he has the talent to be one of the preeminent shot blockers in today’s game, breaking the freshman ncaa record formerly held by a nelson favorite, s.bradley. from there, he was picked in the second round by Sac, went through a knee tendon injury, and was cut by Sac in the summer of ’12. his pro experience continued in Lebanon and China, leading his Sichuan team to the championship and getting named the finals m.v.p.

      at this season’s beginning whiteside was in the d-league, but if he wasn’t on Mia’s roster of fifteen at that point, another n.b.a. team could have signed him. of course, he didn’t stay long in the d-league. execs in the n.b.a. will often say that patience is needed to develop bigs in particular, and the regime in Sac prior to the team’s sale to ranadive made more than their share of blunders. and as far as the woeyr bigs ezeli and kuzmic, neither has accomplished what whiteside did at Marshall or for his Chinese championship team.

  61. David Lee only had one point on 1-4 shooting. He’s clearly done as a scorer.

    Andre Iguodala only had one assist in 29 minutes. I think we need to accept the fact that he can non longer pass effectively.

    • warriorablaze

      David Lee… the inventor of the one point shot?

    • das Wunderkind barnes again demonstrating he belongs among elite defensive wings, starting and playing 25 minutes without getting whistled for a personal foul.

      • It’s really bizarre that you appear to seriously consider this a legitimate analytical angle regarding who is or isn’t a good defender. Justin Holiday only committed one foul in 15 minutes… was he slacking off tonight?

        Meanwhile, the Celtics had several players who committed 3 or 4 fouls. Was that a sign of their superior defense? Was Barnes’ 5 fouls vs. HOU the other night an indication of Tasmanian devil-like defensive ferocity?

        • the few occasions granted me to watch solid stretches of the games have mostly confirmed that barnes is less assertive than the team’s top perimeter defenders. didn’t see the Hou game when he got whistled for five personals, so asked the guvnor how that happened. because my viewing opportunities are pretty random, chances to see end of rotation players like holiday are also scattered, but he looked very active and aggressive vs. Sac on Fri. my amateur approach is not to rely on single game samples, but look at foul rates per minutes played over the season, and to check how rare something like a zero foul game is for a starter like barnes [not unusual for someone averaging 2 personals per 36 min. played, zero foul games aren’t that rare for him].

  62. The defense wasn’t that good, either, especially from the second unit. Look at their first stint, first half:

    http://popcornmachine.net/gf?date=20150125&game=BOSGSW

    Against at team like Boston, I’d like to see the bench cut loose. They’ll need scoring there later. Bench players, after, is who they were essentially playing. If they’re going to keep what they got, I’d like to see Iguodala, Holiday, Barbosa, and Lee run the unit, pushing the tempo, using different sets. I guess stick in Barnes. Speights could be interspersed with with the starters and subs to see if he can get going.