Sauntering Down the Stretch — Open Thread

This is one of the oddest NBA seasons in memory. The number one seeds in both conferences have commanding leads with around 20 games left to play, but neither is the Vegas favorite to win the championship. The ninth-place team in the West, currently out of the playoffs, is tied for the third best odds to win the championship with the leader in the East. The Cavs are 11-5, Warriors 15-4 and the Thunder and Hawks are 7-1. In other words, its all over, but it’s wide open.

The Warriors regular season has lost interest. Their lead in the West is so commanding that Kerr can pull a Popovich and rest his starters whenever he feels like it. Their skill level is such that Curry frequently has to put on a third quarter exhibition of some kind just to keep the fans happy. They’re so good, that the clear MVP of the league is in danger of losing the award, for lack of fourth quarter playing time. Have you ever seen anyone lose the MVP because he regularly puts opponents away in the third quarter?

The Warriors are so good, that it’s a long, long wait between games that are interesting enough to write about. So like Steve Kerr, I’m going to rest my horses until the playoffs. Here’s a clean thread.

463 Responses to Sauntering Down the Stretch — Open Thread

  1. As an SFr, I wanna say that I’m not exactly rthrilled with the transBay move. If they had to move somewhere I guess I’m glad its here. I just hope the awesome Oracle home crowd experience isn’t lost in translation. Its a real advantage for the team, and we saw what happened when the 9rs moved..
    The Warriors represent the greater Bay Area, maybe even beyond, and I can see how the move would particularily irk people from Oakland and the EBay vicinity. I definetly don’t want to see the name remain anything but “Golden State”, which is a unique nickname and a nice little dig at the SoCal crowd becuz they know theyre excluded :) Enjoy the taste of Kobes u-know-what!
    Really, at times Oracle reminds me of the Roman Coliseum. The fans want blood and spectacle, and are appreciative when they get it from Steph and Co. When Steph puts on a Maravich-like move, the crowd roars like someones head just hit the ground. Of course, the commoners are excluded from all this. But we have that nifty invention called the TV.
    I watched a bit of the Cavs-Spurs game last week, turning it off with the Spurs up 8 late, thinking they had it. Kyrie is a fantastic ball-handler. But he really, really likes to dribble. Reminded me of grammar school as we had a guy who matured ahead of everybody and it was difficult to get him to share. Steph has at least just as skilled a handle, hes more economic, a better defender, shooter, and leader, in my opinion.

  2. Occured to me, and remember Felt remarking, why not offer Barnes and DLee for Love again? Maybe even include a pick? Maybe the Cavs would bite for the reasons Felt stated. Then Green gets moved to the 3 (my pet move), and Love can rebound like a MoFo and bury 3’s. Yeah!

    • warriorsablaze

      Great move if you want our #1 defense to tank.

      • Isn’t defensive rebounding part of defense?

        • Not with Love, he is hugely -ve contributor on D but makes up more than enough on offense. So, he can improve offense for many teams, not sure anyone can improve warriors offense which is already pretty good.

          May be Monroe to play both PF and C position though not a good defender either but think he is better.

      • I am continuously amused by people who think taking Barnes out of the lineup will hurt the defense. What is the evidence for that? Is that what happened last season?

        • warriorsablaze

          It depends on who he’s replaced with…

          • Actually, it doesn’t. As last season proved.

          • warriorsablaze

            Well, last season we had Iggy/Lee, and the defense was very good, but significantly worse than Barnes/Green have been.

          • And that has nothing to do with Dray starting, being in much better shape, and getting more minutes? Ron Adams v Mark Jackson? Bogut and Ezeli being healthy? Iggy being healthy? Livingston v Crawford? Mo being in better shape and playing great D? Literally half the stars in the West being injured all season?

            The idea that the presence in the starting lineup of the worst defensive small forward in the Western Conference has something to do with the Warriors defensive improvement strikes me as the least plausible explanation possible.

          • Felt, Barnes is rated very low among small forwards on steals and blocks, supporting your contention. On the other hand, he is rated highly in defensive rebounding. Do you have any other stat, such as ve? My observation is Barnes is not that quick to react (first step?) and thus has trouble defending Wings and does better defending 4s.

          • I’ve been relying on my eyes with Barnes since I first saw him, but his peripherals confirm what I see. As for his rebounding, I chiefly credit the Warriors coaches, who have given him a very specific assignment on both ends: run to the free throw line on all long shots, to be the first to long rebounds. But I also wonder whether the decreased rebounding % from the center and PF positions is padding his totals.

        • Less concerned with that than I am with the idea that Green is as positive a force offensively at the 3 than he is at the 4.

    • Recall Meshery saying — Curry and Thompson give opposing coaches a headache. Add Love and they have a migraine.

      Never-the-less WA, your point is well taken.

  3. Felt, I thought Warriors are LV’s odds on favorite to win championship this year.

    • you have a lot of thoughts.

    • the frequency that partisans bring up betting odds for their team leads me to wonder if they understand the wagering bidness isn’t based on the mathematical probability against/for the team winning the trophy.

      • Unless you’re betting a true dark horse, these are traditionally sucker bets. This is especially true this year. I wouldn’t bet any of the 4 favorites at these prices.

        The best bet I ever made though was on the Lakers at 10-1 the day after they acquired Pau Gasol. I bet it 1k at a time at the Vegas Hilton so as to hide the size of my interest, but the sports book manager didn’t care. He said to me “Gasol’s never won anything.” I gave him all he could eat, then laid it off against the Celtics in the finals getting +170. The biggest and most remunerative bet of my life.

        • Ugh. I wanna write about my experience betting on the 1999 NCAA tournament. Abject disaster. Its actually comical. But I’m too tired right now. Damn you Matt Santangelo

          I rely on the eyeball test too watching Barnes, Feltbot. The teams success really makes most fans gloss over his deficiencies.

  4. Since its Sunday and this is a clean thread Im gonna take some liberties and dirty it up. My brothers wife saw me drinking a can of Olde English 800 the other night and she gratuitously slammed it as “ghetto beer.” I wasnt offended because she drinks craft ales with stuff like cloves and pumpkin in that literally make me gag. But heres my revenge from my 1995 “Beer Lovers rating Guide” book (which is an excellent read):

    “Olde english 800 Malt Liquor:
    Very smooth; appropriately sweet; flavorable but unobtrusive with food; adequately balanced between hops and malts; surprisingly pleasant, warming finish; Gold Medal winner at the 1994 Great american Beer Festival. Good with roast beef or ham. 2.9 (out of a possible 5)”

    Of course, it also has kick. But its hard to drink more than one. Now heres the King:

    “Budweiser Lager:
    Crackly, thin and watery; sweetish rice flavor floats up immediately; visually bland, thin, and faded; head disappears quickly; no aroma or even a suggestion that hops are present; some bitterness is coaxed out by food; absolutely no nuance or subtlety, or for that matter, taste; thickens a bit at finish, very predictable at alow, superficial (or is it artificial?) level; blandness is so predominant that a negative taste or aroma sensation would raise the rating. It has to be the savvy ad campaign and not the beer that make Bud so popular- 1.1”

    Truer words were never spoken

    Chimay Trappiste Ale Red label gets a 4.7. Every now and then I’ll drop the 10$ and enjoy one. But for me its Miller Hi-Life Pilsener all the way. The book gives it a 2.4 rating. The 2.25$ 40-ouncer is one of the great buys in American consumerism, past or present.

    • beer drinkers who pay attention understood that budweiser was smothered with chemicals and crap since the 60s. ironically, after building its brand for decades as the quintessential amerikaner lager (they snagged the franchise supplying the military in the euro-pacific war, gaining a couple of generations of drinkers), the company was sold to a giant euro brewing conglomerate. wouldn’t surprise me if the overseas management reformed their brewing methods.

      if bud hasn’t alienated you completely from a pilsener style made with rice, you might try dark ‘beer Lao’. their brewmaster trained in the Czech republik, right around where the original budweiser started.

      • czech budweiser is still quite good, as some other czech beers
        but most of the time give me ipas and stouts.

  5. Enes Kanter 18 and 18 against Noah and Gasol.

    • on paper, NO has the slightly easier schedule down the stretch, but right now they’re having trouble on their home court vs. Den, and durant probably returns within the next ten days. relying on evans as a key contributor probably isn’t the most secure path to the postseason, either. it appears what karl said back then about how gallinari changes their team is still true.

      • The idea of playing Faried at 5 and Gallinari at 4 and running wouldn’t have occurred to Brian Shaw in a thousand years. Nor his mentor.

    • From the box score looks like Kantner played some 4 with Adams at the 5. Together Kantner and Adams were even with Noah and Pau scoring and significantly out rebounded them. And the Thunder won.

  6. Hey, rzzz!

    And maybe FB. (Since we’re sitting on our hands.) Have you ever read Thom Jones? If not, I think he’s your boy. And if you do read him, I want a report. Below, the opening two paragraphs of “The Pugilist at Rest,” from his collection of the same name. I mentioned this before.


    Hey Baby got caught writing a letter to his girl when he was supposed to be taking notes on the specs of the M-14 rifle. We were sitting in a stifling hot Quonset hut during the first weeks of boot camp, August 1966, at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. Sergeant Wright snatched the letter out of Hey Baby’s hand, and later that night in the squad bay he read the letter to the Marine recruits of Platoon 263, his voice laden with sarcasm. “Hey, Baby!” he began, and then as he went into the body of the letter he worked himself into a state of outrage and disgust. It was a letter to Rosie Rottencrotch, he said at the end, and what really mattered, what was really at issue and what was of utter importance was not Rosie Rottencrotch and her steaming-hot panties but rather the muzzle velocity of the M-14 rifle.

    Hey Baby paid for the letter by doing a hundred squat thrusts on the concrete floor of the squad bay, but the main prize he won that night was that he became forever known as Hey Baby to the recruits of Platoon 263 — in addition to being a shitbird, a faggot, a turd, a maggot, and other such standard appellations. To top it all off, shortly after the incident, Hey Baby got a Dear John from his girl back in Chicago, of whom Sergeant Wright, myself, and seventy-eight other Marine recruits had come to know just a little.

    • I’ve never heard of him rgg. I’m gonna look into this.

      I’ll be watching tonites game at my bros. I’ll probably usurp my nieces iPad and do a little live “tweeting”. Sure everyones delighted to know this.
      The Lakers punished us for so long I still enjoy these games, no matter how meaningless. The Kobe “MVP” chants at Oracle were hard to stomach, and frankly, baffling. Who are/were these people?

      • Do read him. I really think he’s your boy. And this is one of the best American short stories I’ve read.

        Incidentally, he goes from here to Schopenhauer, somehow. Maybe Martin can help us out.

  7. More and more I’m hearing the term “offensive rhythm.” There’s nothing new here. Nelson used the concept decades ago. The general idea is that by pushing the pace and working for early offense, players get more shots and better shots, more open looks. The more they shoot, the more they get into a physical groove. There’s a psychological advantage as well. It’s much easier to shoot, particularly a 3, when you know you’ll keep shooting and especially when you’re padding a lead rather than trying to catch up. The Warriors excel at this because of their turnover defense leading to fast breaks, early offense, and superior 3 point shooters. We saw an excellent example against the Knicks Saturday night.

    Which leads me to a point. The Warriors have the largest point differential in the league, +10. Actually it should be higher when you consider how subs have let huge leads erode in garbage time. But that number may be deceptive—and inflated. The Warriors might be the best team at building a large lead against weak to so-so teams, in fact most of the teams in the NBA. We’ve seen many blowouts. That doesn’t tell us however, how well they perform against stronger defensive teams, when they can’t push the pace and are better defended on the perimeter.

    I wonder if there’s some way to sort this out and make a comparison. I’m still wondering just how good they are.

    • Warriors won with >10 margin against some pretty good teams too, so not just weak teams. +10 margin is not misleading as you would like it to be. Some of the top playoff teams dubs won > 10 PPG,( some of those wins, multiple times).

      Clippers, Rockets, Chicago, Toronto, Dallas, Spurs.

      Good try to marginalize Warriors achievement, try again.

    • the secret in plain sight is the shallowness of the team’s persona as one of the best defenses. no question they’ve been effective, at times dominating. but unlike other teams in the past with stifling defenses, this team struggles when its offense misfires. mediocre and bottom feeding teams committed to defense who refused to get rattled have given them tough contests, like Ind and Bos. the huge performance differentials between curry on the court vs. curry off is a big indicator of how dependent their defense is on their offense. a fair number of partisans are concerned about how GS will defend Mem or OK, but the ability of those teams to defend will probably be more decisive. the health of the opposition and the seedings will probably deny us the best competition anyway.

  8. felt,

    “The idea that the presence in the starting lineup of the worst defensive small forward in the Western Conference ”

    You are wrong on many levels with this statement. How many more wins you think dubs would have had if Barnes is replaced by an average defender, 5-7 more wins for the season, I assume. So, warriors would have had 57-7 record or something like that at this juncture. See, how unrealistic that is, your statement is as untrue.

    • C’mon now, Harry. Barnes is the worst defender in the starting 5, and you know it. What’s more, he’s the worst defender of anyone on the team who could play SF, including Holiday and heck, even throw in McAdoo too. The only worse wing defender on the entire team is Barbosa.

      Barnes rarely gets stops or steals and almost never gets blocks, which, if you think about it, is pretty surprising for someone with a 39″ vertical leap.

      So Felt could be right. Barnes’ calling card is not D. Just how bad is he? Perhaps as bad as Felt says, one of the worst in the West.

      You can’t argue that he’s good. Not if he can’t outperform anyone on his own team at his own position.

      • Hmm, from my observation Matt Barnes and Chandler Parsons are worse defenders. If he is the weakest, it should have shown in the tesm’s record and it doesn’t. I see Harrison Barnes as atleast an avg defender, so agree to disagree.

        • Touche on Chandler. Barnes, maybe. He’s really fallen off this year.

          • Matt nearing 40 is still a way better defender than Harry at 22. As can be inferred from @haralabob’s recent tweet praising Matt. HV has millions invested in his numbers.

            Parsons’s peripherals aren’t great, but I would argue his length gives him an advantage over short-armed Harry on the perimeter. He also, like Harden until this year, has always played on a crap defensive team that doesn’t reward effort.

            But Parsons is a complete player and facilitator. Barnes is strictly a spot-up shooter, in whom a lack of plus defense is inexcusable. He couldn’t and wouldn’t be started on any team but the Warriors.

            I’m gearing up to post FFI’s on all the Warriors soon. I suggest you don’t eat for several hours before viewing Harry’s numbers.

          • The other worse SF is Ariza though a better defender but inconsistent one(from warriors games I watched him). And on offense, he is shooting 38% overall. Think I saw Ariza’s name here favorably.

          • Sefolosha is having an off year too, need to dig further but think Barnes is having better year than Sefolosha.

        • if parsons and the younger barnes played for the same wages, how many teams would prefer das Wunderkind. as for the older barnes, to me he’s earned some credibility as a tough competitor defensively and on the boards, can come through with a steal or a blocked shot, while the younger is less consistent in any of those areas. rivers has been attempting to find alternatives to the elder for several seasons, but his performance and competitiveness continue to earn him minutes. in contrast, when the younger was displaced by iguodala last season, it made a discernible team improvement on both ends of the court, while the reserves with barnes regressed compared to the previous season.

          • cosmicballoon

            Younger Barnes has gotten better on defense this season, while older Barnes has gotten worse. Das Wundekind’s peripherals are still terrible, but he doesn’t seem to be getting beat by his man, and he’s doing a decent job rebounding.

            I would argue that his presence on the court makes the starting unit’s offense less potent. I will try to find some numbers to back this up, but I think it’s sort of evident by the fact that the 1st quarter hasn’t been very friendly to the Warriors for many games this season.

          • Huh? Harry gets beat all day every day by his man, but the Warriors switching, and Bogut and Dray behind cover it up.

            When he gets moved to another team, he will be exposed beyond belief.

  9. And now Ibaka may have knee surgery. . . .

      • cosmicballoon

        Ibaka was playing through it, but the Thunder had to lean more heavily on him with Durant out. He played 40+ minutes in 2 of the 3 games prior to sitting out, further exacerbating the problem, I’m sure.

        I’m sure the trade/emergence of Kanter has opened the door for a minor surgery that will allow Ibaka the chance to rest and try to be ready for the playoffs IF they make it. I have some concern about Westbrook’s health. At the velocity he is playing, I would not be surprised if he starts some kind of problem, too.

        • if durant can return within a week, OK will have the option of playing without a conventional 4, which they have done in the past. they will have to get by with a rotation of kanter, adams (both starting recently), collison, mcgary, and hope durant will be a bigger plus than the minus of ibaka’s absence.

          NO has yet to prove it has the moxie for a competitive season close out for a playoff seed, an obvious difference between them and OK.

  10. (8)harry, apparently kerr agrees with you on the younger barnes’ defense. in a close game, barnes didn’t see the floor at all in the fourth quarter until they needed a situational sub to deter 3 pt. attempts, and he came in for two possessions, bogut reentering as soon as the LA possessions resolved in foul shots. parsons, his inferior at defense also in a close game, put in 38 min. compared to barnes’ 23, with 31 pts. on 14 shot attempts (a robust 2.2 pts. per attempt), reentering with 6.30 in the fourth and helping Dal close out with six points. carlisle actually used r.jefferson as as situational defensive sub in the fourth quarter, relieving der Dirkster.

    • moto, Warriors have better options to close at SF than Barnes like Iguodala. So, I am not in favor of Barnes closing the game, unless he is really hot on offense. While talking about D, you are comparing Parsons offense with Barnes. Barnes like 4th or 5th option on offense on most line ups but anyway Parsons is more accomplished offensive player and he is getting paid like one too. Barnes not there yet.

      • we agree that the game occurs on both ends. even if your guess that lacob’s Wunderkind has an edge over parsons defensively is accurate, parsons’ coach sees his overall impact more essential to Dal’s success than kerr perceives barnes’ for GS. if barnes makes a significant contribution defensively, it’s not enough in other words for him to be an impact player or difference maker. whereas parsons is considered to be one, by at least two teams, probably more.
        hypothesizing that parsons would have less significance on a team with a diversified offense is moot, because so few teams like that exist. GS partisans would like to think their genius coaching staff has erected one a la SA, yet defenses from teams like Ind or Bos, let alone Cle or Atl demonstrated otherwise.

        • moto, you won’t get argument for me if you are saying Parsons is better overall player than Barnes, that is quite obvious.

          Against Ind, bos, cle and atl, warriors offense need to be on their best to beat them. They were some times and they weren’t some times.

  11. Ask yourself, where did Jon Barry get that story that Warriors fans preferred Monta to Curry…?

    Another entry into my Joe Lacob ledger.

    • those days, followed that topic fairly closely in the two high-traffic blogs, incl. g.s.o.m. of course. at best, it was close to a 50-50 split, at worst, .60 in favor of the older guy. the ellis advocates convinced themselves he was tougher, stronger, better at creating his own shot, a better ball handler because he was more aggressive and a little faster with the ball, not granting due importance to court vision and three point shooting, and undervaluing curry’s team defense. opinion swung fairly rapidly in the first full season after the ellis trade ; the younger barry’s take would be plausible when both were playing under smart, the coach who himself seemed quite ambivalent.

    • Every blog or forum I visited have 70-30 split in favor of Curry. So, think Jon Barry has no idea what warriors fans preferred or not.

    • warriorsablaze

      As Moto says above, there was a pretty even split…. if not in Monta’s favor… in the first few seasons. GSOM had near daily 1000+ comment debates on this topic for almost 2 years. Keith Smart’s failures certainly didn’t help convince the average fan that Curry was a future star.

      Not to mention Steinmetz, the beat writer and main Warriors guy at CSN at the time was notoriously meh on Curry… which he now gets mocked for mercilessly by the Warriorsworld guys on twitter.

      Not sure what angle you’re inventing for your Lacob obsession, but Barry’s impression isn’t really wrong and didn’t need to be fed to him by Lacob for some dark purpose.

      • don’t forget the lacobite agit prop campaign to get ellis named an all star. when he was given his public initiation as the owner during half time in the mullin jersey ceremony, he felt compelled to rationalize and spin it, attributing his decision to trade ellis as a principal cause of dissatisfaction. apparently he was organically incapable of simply admitting he’d failed to put a winner on the court, or understanding it was his arrogant style provoking the reaction, rather than deflecting the cause of the fans’ ire onto the loss of a favorite (heavily marketed) player.

  12. Phew!


    • Pretty succinct recap of this one rgg. I actually fell asleep during the 4th, which is pretty rare for me, but I am about to hit 50..

      Me and my brother got to reminisce about tournaments past, though. We both agreed Phi Slamma Jamma was a seminal college hoops team. It wasn’t just the Dream and Glide, either. Larry Micheaux was a bruising power forward and Michael Young a versatile swing player. There was also a skilled 6’7″ sharpshooting white guy off the bench whose name we couldn’t recall.
      The final 4 game where the Cougars took on the McCray brothers and Louisville was one high-reel dunk after another. Louisville had Milt Wagner and a host of other athletes too. It was just after Dr. Dunkenstein had left for the pros.

      Maybe a month ago I went to a USF game. They played Santa Clara. I was going to comment on it but now my mind is utterly empty (its 4 in the morn too) The floor was pretty bereft of talent. It was almost impossible to even form an opinion of coach Rex Walters and his philosophy. But the university must like him becuz they keep bringing him back.

      Without going into a treatise on college recruiting, ethics and education, I wish USF could land a big-time recruit or two. Every year I read about their new players and my ears perk up a little, but nothing ever happens. Why do all the best players go to Kentucky? (thats rhetorical) To me it would seem pretty attractive coming to a school like USF and dominating the Wcc and single-handedly tuning the program around. U could literally be king of the hill. I’m sure Kentuckys got some some nice southern belles but SF has a lot to offer also. If youre that good you’re going to the Nba regardless of which school you attend.

      When I was a kid it cost a nickel (!) to take the bus and we would go unsupervised to catch a Dons game. Things were different in the 70s. I saw the team with bill Cartwright, Winfred Boynes, Marlon Redmond, and James Hardy when they were ranked #1 in the country. Believe Norte Dame knocked em off and don’t remember what happened in the tourney. Takahito from up the street went with us. Boynes was drafted first round by the New Jersey Nets but didnt stick. I got to see Quentin Dailey drop 40 on Pepperdine one night and the gym was really loud. Later, there was a guy named Ken Mcalister, who played with Wallace Bryant, a 7 ft monster who went on to the NBA for a spell. Mcalister went on to play I linebacker in the NfL without ever playing a down in college ball.
      I witnessed Dominique visit the hilltop with the Bulldogs one day long ago. The gym was also buzzing..
      The last recruit I can remember getting excited about was a guy named Darryl Tucker. He was a 6’9″ kid out of Oakland, possibly from MyClymonds. Moto may recall him. I was excited becuz Kentucky was beating down his door but for whatever reasons he picked USF. One night the Dons took on Rhode Island, the year after Lamar Odom left, and Cal transfer Kenyon Jones had 30 and Tucker 20 as the team took sole position of first in theWCC in an exciting game. Honestly, it’s been all downhill since there, and Tucker’s career was a disappointment.

      One year my parents took me to my grammar schools St. Patrick’s day dinner dance. I don’t know why or where my siblings were but I spent most of the nite hangin out in the kitchen. A bunch of USF players were catering the party and I ended up tossing balled up napkins and refuse into the garbage cans with em. One was especially cool to me and my mom had to drag me out of there by the ear, crying. Her and my Dad argued long after I went to bed.

      The next year I got to watch the same player on national TV as he helped lead the Warriors to the Nba championship. His name was Phil Smith and he was a great player. Both him and Keith Wilkes averaged about 10 pts a game as rooks and really were an essential part of that team. Keith had that crazy shot every kid tried to emulate on the schoolyard, and Phil, in my opinion, had some Klay, and a bit of The Iceman, in his game. He was a broad shouldered 6’4″ when 6’4″ meant u really were a big guard. He had a nice jumper but could also get to the rim and finish with some smooth flips and finger-rolls. The year after the championship he averaged a flat 20.0 per, but one nite collapsed in a heap( I was listening with my transistor radio under the pillow) with a torn Achilles and was never the same. RIP to a largely forgotten tho great player.

      A few years later I got to work with one of Phil’s brothers. We were stock clerks and it was us against them in the store, so we bonded together, and shot hoops a few times in the panhandle, and caroused at night. A couple months ago I was walking down Fillmore St and someone called my name. I ran into the street and shook hands with my old friend. We chatted til the cars started honking, as he drives for Muni and Fillmores pretty busy…

  13. The Lakers game reminded me of NFL preseason games. They guys weren’t quite into it, were off, and careless. As in the NFA games, it’s a setup for injuries. Klay’s ankle turn looked pretty serious; apparently Curry’s wrist is OK. I wouldn’t be surprised if Klay sits out for a few games.

    The Warriors could have scored inside all night against the Lakers, if they had front court scorers, or if they had made proper use of the one front court scorer they have.

  14. Feltbot mentions in this post the oddness, the reversals in the West. Much of this could be attributed to injuries to a handful of key players on two teams, both at the top last season.

    I’m just looking at teams stats and subtracting games played from total games. Some missed games might be days of rest, but note that players who have sat out may have played hobbled before going down and needed more games to get back in form, so the injury effect is larger.


    Durant 40 games missed and counting. Westbrook, 15. Adams, 12. And Ibaka has looked off all season, as has been noted here, and may be going down.


    Leonard, 18. Parker, 14. Mills, who has played important minutes as a backup PG, 31. Splitter, 24. Duncan has played most games, but looks like he has slowed down. I don’t consider these as a serious fluke, however. Age has to catch up with the starters some time. Right?


    Howard 34 and counting. Beverley, a good defensive player, 14. This one depends on how much you value Howard. I still have the Warriors over them when full strength. The loss here, however, is that Houston does not have a good backup center after trading Asik.


    Has really played close to full strength and it shows in the standings, though Zack has missed 11 games. Other injuries, fairly minor, depend on how you value those players.


    Aldridge has missed only 7 games, but you have to wonder about his injury. Lopez has missed 23. And Matthews, of course, is out.


    Nowitzki just looks like he’s dragging his feet for Dallas, plus other trade issues. Clippers, 18 for Blake, 10 for Crawford and counting. Also other players are showing wear and the team has just not looked right much of the season. Davis has missed 12 games for NO.

    That’s a lot of injury and wear and tear.

    Our resident nattering nabobs of negativism will say I’m disparaging our team. I’m just trying to make an accurate appraisal of the scene.

    Whatever happened to Spiro Agnew, anyway?

    • Don’t sleep on Terrence Jones, a great young player who didn’t play in any of the four Warriors games. The Rockets are close to undefeated when he plays.

      In the upcoming Hawks game, the Hawks will be without Kyle Korver and Mike Scott, the stretch four the Warriors couldn’t guard off the bench.

      • Jones has missed 43 games this season.

      • 16-7 when Jones plays this year, so not exactly close to undefeated. Close to undefeated is if team is like 44-7 when that player plays. That is Andrew Bogut’s record.

        That said, agree that Jones does make Rockets better.

      • Its getting maddening thinking about all this while waiting for the playoffs to start. Just hope the Warriors can go into the playoffs healthy. We’re gonna have to go thru the Spurs, but I know we can do it. The coaching staff will also have to be “healthy”, mentally!

        Tomorrow nites game will be entertaining. Oracle should crank this as revenge on the Organ (not a virulent link. Just Youtube):

        • Toughest route to championship ever, I think.

        • if SA makes it up to the fifth(or fourth) seed, they might indeed be the second round opponent. otherwise, the winner of 2 vs. 7 gets the survivor from 3 vs. 6 in the second round. the draw remains fixed, like tennis ; upsets don’t change it. the lacobites probably hope to watch Mem vs. SA in the first round, but either way, no one is surprised if one of them reaches the third round. the powers that be and big entertainment will just have to eat their dollars if two of the three mittel-amerika teams, OK-SA-Mem are in the third round. should that go down, and Atl prevails in the east, we could have an all-bible belt finals, hoo-ray.

          • If health issues remain, this could be the easiest route.

          • Your comments make way too much sense Moto!

            That’d be like eatin luke-warm oatmeal when you could have Lucky charms. Too wholesome and fundamentally sound to be much fun

  15. CSN reports Klay Thompson out for at least a week, due to a sprained ankle. Start Livingston, Holiday, Barbosa, or Iguodala?

    • preliminary indications from the termite mound, holiday. he’d be able to take similar plays on offense because of his shooting range, and has significantly more length for defense than barbosa.

  16. For Barnesphiles—

    Or why I don’t take Bill Simmons seriously:

    “Harrison Barnes: No ESPN employee is allowed to say that Steve Kerr’s coaching staff has been SIGNIFICANTLY better than Mark Jackson’s coaching staff (for obvious reasons). So let’s just say that, after looking like Marvin Williams 2.0 last season, the 22-year-old Barnes is suddenly good at basketball again. Maybe it’s a miracle.”

    It’s just hard to pay much attention to national writers or announcers about anything or anyone, as they just don’t watch that many games. Everything they say is comprised of talking points passed down, some of which have to come from the teams’ organizations.

  17. Barnes D from 2 years back as someone actually compiled it in you tube.

    • youtube video clips are fine demonstrations of two important variations of bias we should all be conscious of, sampling bias and confirmation bias.

    • OK, I’ve watched this 4-5 times. If these are defensive highlights, Barnes truly is a bad defender. Only the first play, the harried shot, is noteworthy. The steal fell into his lap, etc. What you’re seeing is that Barnes can keep with the flow of a moderately paced offense, something a high school player should be able to do. What he can’t do is anticipate changes or react quickly when the tempo picks up or a player makes a sudden move, as FB’s youtube shows in the extreme. Even in the first play, he had plenty of time to get into position. He can jump, and he had time to time this one. A quicker shooter, and he’s lost.

  18. Tonight should be educational with Klay out. Of course Kerr could start Bogut, Lee, Green, Iguodala, and Curry, and try to get Livingston, Mo, and Holiday going with the subs, with minutes from Ezeli to spell the centers. That would add experience on the floor and inside scoring to offset the pressure on the guards. But equally of course Kerr won’t do that.

    Or he could start Bogut, Green, Iguodala, Curry, and Holiday, which would give better ball movement, better defense, and a better offensive option with Iguodala. Still plenty of options with the subs.

    Either unit could beat the injured Hawks and provide options to consider for the playoffs.

    But of course Kerr is going to stick with his plan and replace Klay with Holdiay, as moto said, and keep the starting lineup otherwise as is. Their limitations and inexperience will show. Barnes, indirectly, will determine the outcome of the game. My prediction:

    • Thats a LOL there. I got a new measure of respect for deAndre.

      Sometimes I feel like a teenage girl helping to reduce the English language to grunts and tweets using these acronyms, but “LOL” is a keeper. Concise.

      I’ve read some more Thom snippets. Its good stuff. But I have to admit I do have blinders on and rarely read other peoples recommendations. I’m too selfish and theres too much on my stack already without enough time to make much of a dent in it. But hopefully someday, before I die. The Orenda also. Lao Beer more likely to happen though ;)

      My brother turned me onto “Beau Geste”, starring Gary Cooper, and ever since then I’ve had a fascination with the French Foreign Legion. “Legionnaire”, by Simon Murray, is a riveting tale of life in the Legion. And Douglas Porches “theFFL” is an extensive history of the force, from Africa to Indochina, abit pedantic at times, but equally good.

      One legionnaires take: “I soon realized two things upon ingression. That I had made a mistake, and that I needed to get out. At any cost.”

      I gotta leave the revu of Miller Hi-life, cuz he nails it.
      “Attractive, clean smell, with no grit that might make it interseting; on the other hand, its clear, inoffensive, and devoid of chemical taste; no intimations of adventure, but no signs of danger, either; compared to other mass-produced beers, this at least has the beginnings of complexity; stays restrainedly refreshing and mildly interseteing with food; tissue-thin dusting of foam stays on top of the liquid, while some adheres tentatively to sides of glass; very faint, grainy odor at end; one of the better of the mega-brewed products. Try it with a bacon-wrapped filet mignon and tossed green salad.”

      I’ll be drinkin acouple during the game tonite. Probably with abacon wrapped jumbo Jack though.

      • I hate recommendations, too, and almost always ignore them. Whenever I follow them, I enter the story indisposed to favorable reception. Always better to discover on your own.

        But seriously. I got you pegged. You gotta read this story. I read it again last night and it sent me shooting in a hundred different directions without tying anything up, which I like and is what good lit is supposed to do.

    • “Barnes, indirectly, will determine the outcome of the game.”

      lol, making it a Barnes thing even before the game started. Barnes doesn’t have that big of a role to play in wins or losses but interesting to see how you will revert back once warriors win this game.

      • The Ws need major minutes from Iggy in this game. If Barnes plays more than 30 min., the Ws lose. Unfortunately, I’m not confident that Kerr will play to win. He might cede the game (play Barnes a lot) so as not to disrupt his lineups.

        • I think Kerr and co earned the confidence for this season that they will do the right thing to win the game. If Warriors lose, it probably be because of Klay’s absence as team just not used to play without Klay, so Holiday will be key there. As per Barnes, he might play more than 30 minutes because of Klayu’s absence but only 10-15 mins at SF and rest as stretch PF. Like to see Barnes or McAdoo at PF backing up Green. McAdoo brings so much energy and his energy can be contagious. As backup C, usually I like Speights for offense and Ezeli for defense except for this game where I think Lee as backup C against Horford would be better match up.

          • cosmicballoon

            If Barnes ever doesn’t start, I predict at least a 10 point lead at the end of the first quarter. His energy is the opposite of contagious to start games. He really eases into every game, not wanting to rock the boat at all. When was the last 1st quarter dunk by Barnes? I sure can’t remember one. How about the last time he made a statement foul in the first. Never. Sometimes these things come later in games, most of the time, not.

          • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

            The performance by Barnes tonight was a big FU to cosmicballoon. Keep the hate coming. Barnes just keeps producing.

          • cosmicballoon

            He played well. Best game of his career? Definitely the best of this season.

  19. I’m reposting this because I feel it was overlooked.

    Liv cant hit the three, but the other 4 can at a high enough rate to render this mute. What he adds with playmaking, basketball IQ, and overall efficiency onD make this the best smalls unit, IMHO (ugh).

  20. halftime of the SkyHawks-Dubs

    Atl may be the quickest squad in the league. Even more so sans AshtonKorver. Demare Carroll +++. Theyre well-coached and hounding Steph. Steph has been kinda stubborn, pounding the ball. Kerr and Co a little lax in countering, perhaps.
    Iggy decided to show for the half. HB with a quiet 11. Draymond the man, goin coast 2coast like Magic. He has a rare rough matchup guarding Millsap. Looking forward to the rest…

    • Joe the emporer Lacob gets some screen time. Whooping it up as Harrison soars at the rim! His dreams of world domination coming to fruition.
      Great game to watch. Iggys recent play bodes well for the future. And Festivus rose.

      I do wanna point out harrison had at least 2 wide open 3 balls, and Steph hasn’t had a glimpse of the rim..

      • this game will be the new edition of ‘look what barnes did in his rookie playoffs.’ he lost the ball on two consecutive first quarter possessions, yet only one turnover was credited him, virtue rewarded. Atl clearly lacking firepower without two of their top seven, shot distribution drastically shifted and not to their advantage. korver returning fairly soon, but scott might be the loss that keeps them from the finals this year.

        • You’re not going to be kicked out of the club, Moto. 11-13, 25 points. Just say nice job, and go about your business.

        • hmm, first quarter, wasn’t he 4-5 and assisted Curry’s 3 just from my memory. Oh, may be he was guarding Milsap who scored 10 pts in the quarter, Oh, may be warriors could have gone up by 10 if not for Barnes after 1st quarter.

          Guess, hurts to give credit where it is due.

      • Of course you do.

        • Can’t wait to hear everything bad rgg will point out. (I know he’s secretly thrilled.)


          • How long have you been a Wubs fan, if u are, Mary? You’re a very singular voice on this blog, and its intriguing.

            It is amazing. Its been amazing for a while now. Hope its amazing through the playoffs..

          • Let’s just say 2015 will be my second gsw championship.

          • Since you’ve been alive or since you’ve been a fan?

            Joking. I’ll be in the same club.

          • Im not sure if u guys are seeing what im seeing but sorry. I copied a URL from youtube- John Cougar Melencamps Cherry Bomb.I’ve pasted before from youtube with no problems

            I’ll refrain from any more links Feltbot. This pisses me off as much as u

          • Actually they won the year I was born. Age doesn’t bother me–if I were younger I’d have missed the sixties and how tragic that would have been. It’s more fun to worry about Barnes’ flubs (not).

          • Well, that’s pretty darn funky anyway, rzz. Internal Server Error is what I read.

          • Internal Server Error classic Orwellian Doublespeak. But I’m gonna turn me computer off so no one gets infected. And I do have Norton AntiVirus on Windows 7, so I’m”safe” and can sleep easy.

  21. FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

    Warriors are 31-2 at home this year. It is going to be tough for any team to beat the Warriors twice at the Oracle in a playoff series which is what it will take to knock them out.

    • Only have to beat them once in a seven game series.

      • Don’t the Warriors have the second best record on the road? Unlikely to get swept.

        • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

          Warriors are tied for the best road record so it is highly unlikely that they will not win at least one game on the road which is why it will take 2 home losses to take them out.

  22. This should bring the Barnesophiles out, just as soon as they change their pants. Never mind his offensive production was poor to dismal for months. Never mind he was set up for most shots. Never mind he flubbed many attempts. The question is how long this will last in their minds—and Lacob’s, and I guess Kerr’s. Just enough performance to keep the wish alive and stall any chance of a change in the lineup or a trade. What a tease.

    I started out on Comcast, saw the dork-in-a-box ad, so switched immediately to ESPN and was happy to see they were covering the game. The had an interesting stat—and I’ve forgotten it—about how well they played with Korver, even though he only averages 12 ppg. Spacing is part of it, but there are other factors.

    And this game was nowhere near the caliber of the last game. Atlanta is jogging now and was slow and dull. We’ll have to wait until the playoffs to see both teams in top form.

    I don’t see how they can do it if Bogut doesn’t attempt to score, especially against a smallish lineup. It means they’ll have to depend on Green hitting 3s—but, hey, he hit them!

    Iguodala is looking sharp however. I am encouraged. Saving his minutes should pay off.

    • How many attempts could he have flubbed if he was 11-13? Lame.

      • The ones that never became shots. On only a few was he moderately covered and came close to creating. Many flubs were embarrassing.

    • mot0 and/or Feltbot—How did Barnes get so open anyway? With Holiday and Bogut in, he should have been an easy cover. Was Carroll on him? I lost track.

      • mr. barnes had an estimated .7 of a defender on him, average. credit the offense for anticipating how open he’d get when he had .5 of a defender minding him.

        • Wasn;t that the case with anyone not named Curry. You guys are getting desperate with Barnes hate after a night he has just had.

    • warriors won because Atlanta was dull and slow.

      Barnes phobic has a lot to say after crediting Barnes for the result before the game. Pathetic attempt.

  23. Lol first sentence. Youre an original, rgg

    • I swear, I want the team to do well, but it makes me angry. Once in a blue moon Barnes hits some shots and all the hysteria returns—and Barnes stays put. I hate to think what Lacob is thinking. Remember the first playoffs, remember his performance all the next season.

      • Yeah, it’s much more soothing to expect and HOPE for him to fail. Nice viewpoint.

      • You are the one first one to bring Barnes here before the game started and after the game ended. You are obsessed with Barnes.

      • How much Lacob thought of Barnes after 1st playoff ? He went on to get his replacement as starter and also offered him for trade. Only ones obsessed with Barnes are here.

        He helps your favorite team win, that is all matters.

      • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

        It isn’t hysteria. It is calling you out for your stupidity.

        • The genius FFG. How many times in nearly three full seasons, two of them as a starter, has Barnes showed anything close to real promise or brilliance? This is true hysteria, and I don’t understand it.

          Does anyone really believe this game represented anything close to Atlanta’s potential? Look at their percentages tonight. Look at their percentages for the season.

          Now go change your pants.

          • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

            What is ridiculous is that you don’t see that we are not saying Barnes is a superstar. We are just sick of morons like you rgg saying Barnes is garbage. You would think you would have learned a little bit about basketball living in North Carolina. All we are doing is defending the guy. I don’t really care how many commercials he is in. What I care about is the Warriors are track to having won of the greatest seasons in NBA history. If Barnes were as bad as you say he is that would not be happening.

    • Barnes best work (4th Qtr, look at PopCorn) was at the 4. He also played well from the 3. I’m back in my hopeful mode.

      • Marc, at important stages like 1st quarter, Barnes did well. I remember when the score was tied 13-13 in 1st quarters, Barnes scored 5 pts and had an assist to Curry’s 3. He scored at important times in the game.

        • Barnes, Green, Livingston, Iguodala, Thompson, Holiday, and McAdoo are kind of “positionless” guys.

          I saw Barnes shoot over Carroll twice, which to me was encouraging. Barnes was in the game flow last night, more than filling a role. I’m hoping for continued improvement. I posted before that seems Barnes a slow learner. Perhaps he did not get sufficient coaching in high school and college. I am thinking the slow first step reported by the scouts pre-draft is not a physical thing and is simply recognition, which is learnable. Hoping for the best. Could use the 15 points/game Felt analyzed.

          • Barnes is a slow learner but age by his side. What were Green and Klay were doing at 22 ? He has length, athletism, and a 3 PT shot, enough to get minutes on NBA best team and improve on. Who knows, how good he will become one day with hard work over summer. He adds so much value in current NBA with his ability to play SF and stretch PF. He has become a better defender, defending PFs while switching on D with Green. At the start of the season I was in favor of same start 5 as last year, but can see now what Kerr and coaching staff saw. We change opinions when facts change and the fact is that everyone including Barnes in the rotation is helping team to new territory.

  24. I’ve been getting ready to predict what Barnes will do in the playoffs, and this is a foretaste. He will have many similar games when the blitzing starts for real.

    He will need them. I think he will need to average over 15 a game for the Warriors to win it all.

    • How can he average 15 when he is like 4th or 5th option on offense. Not complaining, but just saying that averaging 15 ppg is tall order for anyone not named Curry or Klay in the team.

      • Harry, at the risk of infecting you with multiple viruses, Harrison has to go above and beyond statistically, because his intangibles are nil. If he keeps doing what he did tonite, great. I like guys who average 20 pts a game on 85% shooting.


        • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

          When all 5 starters start the Warriors are 42-5. His intangibles are so awful that he drags down the starting lineup.

          • Replace Barnes with Iguodala or just an average SF, warriors would be 47-0, that is what barnes haters are selling.

        • May be Barnes intangible is to fit in with other four starters and help team win, doing just enough.

    • Could happen. Barnes is shooting .487 this season, .418 from 3s. Like everyone, he has ups and downs. Unlike most, he’s doing it at a very high level – better overall shooting than Curry and Thompson.

      For comparison:

      Klay: .463/.435
      Steph: .480/.420
      Draymond .443/.347

      Last night Barnes even created his own shot a few times, not just catch-and-shoot. Granted it was on busted plays, but still, last night he sank shots that he almost always missed in his first two years.

      I’m hoping it’s a trend. Barnes does still seem to be getting better, on both ends of the floor. At this point, his biggest offensive weakness is that he can’t seem to get open to become an outlet for when Steph gets trapped. Klay, Dray, Iggy and even Barbosa can, but Barnes is very rarely the outlet for some reason. And, no, Barnes fans, he’s still not very good on D. Barnes was +1 on the night, tied with Holiday for worst among the starters.

      A couple other observations from last night: It was the first time I’ve ever seen the team run plays for Draymond. They did it a couple of times to get him that shot at the top of the arc. It paid off last night.

      As predicted (wished?), Iggy had a monster game, doing all the little things. +26 on the night. Against freakin’ Atlanta. Go, Iggy.

      • +1

        On Barnes D, think he is putting effort but becoming consistent atleast as an average that end of the floor.

      • Hat, you remarked previously something about what can be learned, and I think the pre-draft scouting report on Barnes slow first step might be court recongition, not a physical thing. In general, he needs to be more court aware and react better/faster, make better decisions, which are learnable. Perhaps he recieved insufficient high school and college coaching. I’m back in Harrison Barnes hopeful mode after last nights contest with the Hawks.

        • I’m hopeful too.

          I hate to reference rgg because he’s nuts, but he has made (repeatedly, endlessly) one valid point, that we’re probably stuck with Barnes. If that’s the case, it’s OK only if Barnes can continue to develop. Last night was promising. Heck, this whole season has given him wings. Let’s see if he can keep improving. Maybe someday he’ll even play a team game.

  25. Detroit beat Memphis this week.

    The Knicks beat the Spurs.

    And last night, the Warriors, in what I thought would be a fairly contested game, blew out the Hawks without Klay, without scoring from their center, without much scoring from Curry, Atlanta themselves, a high octane offense, shooting miserably.

    I’m having reality problems. I think I’ll go to a monastery until the playoffs begin.

    • Knicks beat spurs, worst team wining against champions is not same as best team winning against 2nd best team in the league. Yes, you do have problems.

      • U r an idiot, Harry. Your comments here have been the worst test of reality.

        • Worst test of reality, speaking of yourself. Reality check for you, warriors are best team in the league, they are not Knicks. Here is another reality check for you, warriors as close to unbeaten at home than you can ever get. You are unable to deal with winning and incapable of being happy. Here warriors 40 games over .500 and you are a debbie downer, enjoy your little depressing world, jeez.

          The Warriors are now outscoring opponents at home this season by 15.3 points per game. That would be the fifth-highest mark in a season in NBA history. Only the early 70s Bucks teams with Kareem and Oscar Robertson, Jordan’s Bulls in 1995-96 and the George Mikan-led Lakers in 1950 had higher marks in a season. Three of those four teams would go on to win the NBA title. [+]

        • Before the game started:

          ““Barnes, indirectly, will determine the outcome of the game.””

          After the game, warriors won and Barnes played really well:

          “Never mind he was set up for most shots. Never mind he flubbed many attempts.”

    • Let us pray…

      • I stopped “praying” over 30 yrs ago. Now I just fervently hope stuff like GS wins occur.

        You made a sharp comment on your John Cougar artists’ debate a couple weeks ago, Hat. Comparing Lovecraft to S. King. One is a true artist, the other writes books. And lots of ’em.

        Lovecraft, Blackwood, and Le Fanu are my Holy Trinity of horror authors. Everybody, read the novella “The Willows”, preferably late at night. If it doesn’t spook you check for a pulse.

        Jon Carroll wrote an excellent article in the sf Chron this morning. He expounds on “mansplaining” and I think most men are guilty of it.

        • the carroll column is part of the content they charge a tariff to see. did read how ‘mansplaining’ originated on, and how the internet essentially diluted it to apply to any commentary from a male gendered source. males are fully capable of infusing their rhetoric with implicit authority and power, influenced by their gender’s favored position in many cultures, when they address anyone. the condition is probably incurable until women are in the majority in positions of power and authority. our country is likely the only major western democracy never to have a femme head of state, and the large concentrations of wealth are probably much more reluctant to see women in charge. the decline of the bussies can probably be attributed to the patriarch’s insistence that his son take charge of hoops operations, when the daughter had been proving her qualifications and acumen all along.

      • It was a joke of ambiguity. I’m “praying” rgg enters a monastery. Preferably one with a vow of silence.

  26. This Green YouTube is worth studying. It is a textbook study of all the ways a good facilitator can make this offense work. Green is working out of the 4 on many, but on many position doesn’t matter and he could have done the same out of the 3. He pushes the pace, penetrates, sees the court, and finds openings. No one thought he could do any of these things when he was first drafted. (The assists to Lee hurt—what if?)

    And none of these things can Barnes do, even after 3 full seasons at heavy minutes. Maybe I am old school after all. Green had to work his way into the rotation and prove himself. Nothing was given to him. His development has been a steep line upward. And if Lee hadn’t gone down, there’s a chance he still might not have been a starter.

    Barnes was handed a starting position right off the bat, based on nothing. His first season he got 25m pg over Green’s 13. When he floundered on the bench last season, he was moved right back into the starting lineup so he could be supported. Barnes’ learning curve has barely budged.

    It’s unlikely we’ll find another hidden gem like Green, but note what he represents for the team and its future. Similar players, merely good, not great, who are sharp and aggressive and continue to improve in all aspects could make the Warriors contenders for the years to come.

    Yet everyone gets excited when, once in a while, Barnes hits shots that have been set up for him. Apparently the world is ruled by a sense of entitlement after all.

    • Again with your stupid Green Vs Barnes comparison. They are two completely different players. Green is better overall player than Barnes but in his rookie year, Green was out of shape by his own admission and shot 33% from the field. He is lucky he got that many minutes. He is in better shape and much improved now from when he was a rookie.

    • Very old ground, rgg. We’re all well aware of their differences.

      BTW, Green played point-whatever extensively at MSU. It wasn’t new to him at the NBA level. The diff this year is that now his coach asks him to do it.

    • Livingston, Iguodala, Barnes, McAdoo, Thompson, Holiday, and Green are kind of “positionless” players, so positional distinctions might not always be helpful to analysis.

    • 39 of 44 made baskets were assisted. So it is safe to assume that some of Green’s, some of Iguodala’s, some of everyone’s were “set up.”

      • warriorablaze

        Klay literally LED.THE.LEAGUE last season in percentage of baskets assisted… you’ll hear no criticisms of him needing to be “set up”, of course.

        • I don’t know, I see Klay drive and finish quite often, that’s not an assist in my book. Barnes not near as much. Barnes has trouble finishing, adjusting his shots, and finding the right angle, like he don’t see the court and situation near as well as Klay. Part of that is handles. Barnes can learn these, and Klay been in the league 1 more season than Barnes.

          • Klay did lead league in baskets assisted last year. This year, he added driving to the hoop, but still his go to shot is 3PT shot which is almost always has to be assisted. Klay had trouble finishing at the hoop last three years but he turned that to strength this year, in his 4th year. If you are so much of a threat at 3PT as Klay, it will be easier to drive to the hoop or for mid range shot. Same with Curry, he is showing that driving and finishing inside part of the game this year which is his 5th year more than ever.

            rgg’s point is different though, not basketball related.

  27. Tar Heels routed the Crimson Tide.

  28. Does it seem like to anyone else the Warriors are starting to get the foul calls?

  29. Ethan Strauss @SherwoodStrauss

    The lineup of Curry-Klay-Iguodala-Green-Bogut has a D-Rating of 88.3. Opponents have shot 39.9% from the field, 26.6% from 3.

    • How does this compare with the starting lineup?

      • It’s off-the-scale awesome. I’ve posted the comparison before. Look it up on NBAwowy.

      • rgg, check my work, because not sure what all the abbreviations mean, or if I read the charts right:

        ONSTOV. 88.0. (Is that the D-Rating?)

        Opponents shooting 42.6% FG and 36.7% 3-pointers.

        This for Bogut-Curry-Thompson-Barnes-Green.

        • Marc,

          What is it for Livingston replacing Barnes, may be small sample but thought that line up did very well too.

          In the end, warriors can put 3 or 4 very good line ups out there with stifling D. No line up will work same against all the teams plus no line up can play all 48 minutes. Coaching staff has luxury to mix and match.

          • I thought of checking for both Livingston (his D seems to be getting a lot better lately) and Holiday (who is an amazing defender), but have to agree the sample sizes are small. In any case, yes, Kerr/Adams can throw a bunch of capable 6-7 guys out there, keep them fresh, and really clamp down on an oppenent.

        • Marc, using NBAWowy, go to the “Opponent” tab to get defensive stats. There it says ppp=DRTG/100. That gives the starting lineup a DRTG of 97.1.

          I looked up the above lineup, too, substituting Iggy for Barnes. That gives a slightly different number than ESS’s, a DRTG of 90.5, but it’s still a HUGE improvement in D.

          Leave Iggy in for Barnes, replace Bogut with Livingston, and the DRTG drops further, to 87.5. It’s hard to imagine why that works, but it does seem to. It seems to me that that smallball lineup has been the Ws closing lineup lately, but NBAWowy shows that it has totaled only 20 min this season. Hmph. And while the D rating is superb, the Ws own ppp drops to .950. That sucks. Livingston really hurts the offense. Proof:

          In a smallball lineup (Green at C), replace Livingston with Barnes and DRTG rises to 91.9 (a total of 87 minutes played this season). But its ppp rises to 110.1. That’s 110.1 points per 100 possessions, as opposed to 95 with Livingston. The point differential (our points vs. opponents’) for 100 possessions rises from +7.5 to +18.2. That is an unfreakinbelievable point differential, and it says our best smallball lineup is Curry/Thompson/Iggy/Green/Barnes.

          By these numbers, Livingston reallyreallyreally hurts the offense.

          • “By these numbers, Livingston reallyreallyreally hurts the offense.”

            Though it has to be said that I looked at a very unusual lineup, it’s a very small sample, and Liv probably doesn’t actually suck in all ways.

            Liv or Iggy at the 4 doesn’t work as well as Barnes at the 4. That’s easy enough to understand, and it’s more fair than simply saying Liv sucks.

          • To me, that’s very illuminating analysis, showing both D and O need to be considered and shows Iguodala is still a big impact player.

          • “it says our best smallball lineup is Curry/Thompson/Iggy/Green/Barnes.”

            Awesome find. For me, Warriors best line up includes combination of those 5 players and Bogut. Livingston does hurt on offense, though off bench, he would be good.

  30. I thought Memphis was going to make a charge. They have (had) the easier schedule, but they’re 5-5 last 10. Anybody know what’s going on with them?

    • Jeff Green. Good skills, but coasts a lot. Takes one of the league’s most talented defenders, Tony Allen, off the floor.

    • Mem’s schedule was actually rated as the toughest among the top western teams for the final two months. you might be looking at the opponents you’ve underrated, like UT or Bos, who are no patsies, or leaving out the relevant variables of travel, back to backs, and home court. the recent losses have been on the road, one came with gasol and randolph getting rested, conley has also missed a couple of games with injury.

      • moto, not sure about over last two months, but for last month to end the season, warriors seem to have the toughest schedule. Though, it matters less with warriors leading by so many games for w conference lead.

  31. Nice take on “mansplainig” Moto. Carroll had a good one too. I had never heard the term before but some truths to it.
    Some “warriorsplaining” on this blog, fer sure. And that’s a good thing.
    Nother good game tonite. Pecuns need it so should be rather intense

  32. I’m not a Barnes hater. Just a huge Warriors fan. Let’s see how he does next couple games. Inconsistency has been the one constant of his 3 year

    • I ponder over whether people are too negative on Harrison. Chemistry is obviously an “intangible” and this team has it in spades. And someone else pointed out you can’t have an all-Star at every position. If the Dubs go all the way even rgg has to be relatively satiated, right?

      In terms of re-signing HB and for how much, I don’t wanna broach that issue right now, and rain on this parade of a season

      The ’74-75 title team had a player who drew my older brothers’ wrath on the road to the Championshiop. Guard Charles Dudley. Besides his pedestrian name, he was a very average NBA guard at best, prone to foibles, and the teams 13th man. I followed my bros lead and disliked Dudley too, focusing on his weak points. He was a small, fairly unathletic backup point who rarely saw the floor as rookies developed, and bench competitor CJ was a more veteran and tougher player also. But he stepped up and and actually made a couple nice plays in the playofffs. Now I just remember him as part of that title team.

      The Warrioors two-headed Center tandem wasn’t that great either. Cliff Ray made Andrew Bogut look like Oscar Robertson. But he was a 6’8 guy who would bang, scowl and intimidate. Every now and then he managed to throw the ball thru the hoop. Backup George Johnson was a spindly 6’11’ with a 7’4″ fro. He could run the floor and block a shot. But neither was that skilled, and I’m optimistic re; Bogut and Ezeli when I compare them as a unit. If there were an internet back then, I’m sure these guys would have been trolled a fair amount. But they were champs.

      • rzz, chas. dudley name-wise isn’t that pedestrian in n.b.a. terms — very few dudleys in general through the years, compared to the johnsons, but he had a nickname no one has come close to, grasshopper. this was before david carradine put the moniker into mass popularity, and fans of d.simon’s The Wire know how that turned out. dudley was the equivalent of fourth string on the championship team, and relative to his counterparts at the time, wasn’t a weak link. can’t be compared to the late charles johnson, exceptional athletically and competitively, who started many games and was an significant role player on another champion soon later, the team GS beat in ’75. the ’75 team was exceptional defensively, and their center tandem as well as reserves like dudley were very much part of it. they had so much scoring and shooting from guards and wings, including the late phil smith you mentioned earlier, the bigs didn’t need to do much on that end of the court except set picks and know when to cut to the rim or hit the offensive boards. chas. johnson became the starter with the bigger, better shooter j.mullins on the bench because of his speed and defense.

        • U schooled me a bit. CJ was tough. He reminded me of a lumberjack. And you pulled Grasshopper out of the recesses of my mind. Hey, I was only 9 years old. But I remember the Magic.

          Derrick Dickey also RIP. That makes 3, at least.

          Moto, my brother just this minute texted me a trivia question. Rick Barry was drafted in #2 in ’65, I just learned, by the SF Warriors (according to him). Do you know who went number 1, off the top of your head? I believe this is a knotty one. I have no idea who he is/was..

          • the name that popped into my mind with your query, Fred Hetzel, turns out he was picked ahead of barry, but on a technicality. the team owned two consecutive picks, the fourth and fifth in the first round, and another one further down, Keith Erikson, who also had a pretty decent career. the 1965 draft produced a number of players with solid careers, including the Bos hatchet man who’d relieve russell, toby kimball, and two back court partners with the big O, flynn robinson in Cin (formerly the Rochester team, now Sac, with KC in between) and jon mcglockton in Mil ; casual fans would most likely remember jerry sloan, goodrich and bradley (picked 2 and 3), bob love (nickname, ‘butterbean’, something you won’t see in present times), jerry sloan, billy cunningham, the van arsdale twins (tom and dick, no harry), dave stallworth, and bob weiss whom some might recall as a coach.

          • Damn. If you didnt have to consult an electonic device for all this muchos Kudos. Oracle-like. Or, like I said , ancient!
            I’m guessing his nicname was the”Pretzel”?

            Feltbot, I’m offended by your tweet. I was one of the million morons applauding Harrison, at least mentally.

    • Agree on inconsistency. Klay’s absence for few more games will be a good test for Barnes on how he will do in bigger role. But, in smaller role with Klay, he is doing fine.

    • I don’t understand the sensitivity about Barnes. There isn’t a single player who hasn’t been trashed here until he performs. Barnes gets a pass? No one is weeping over sending two all stars to the bench.

      And what Barnes represents is the Warriors’ putting the best team on the floor—or not—and a chance at a title. And yet everyone is OK with his being with the starters and moving others to the bench.

  33. unfortunately, the hoops gods might really be favoring the woeyrs this season. erasing durant makes the western seedings considerably simpler to navigate, combined with SA’s health-related inconsistencies, and Por losing a key starter.

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      How is that unfortunate for the Warriors?

      • It’s unfortunate for rgg. I think the ashram is calling!

      • my statement was clear that it favored the lacobites. it’s unfortunate from my selfish perspective, because it takes the partisans further down the road of entitlement and hubris, the stuff they used to whinge about LA fans. gave up following gigantes beisbol (they relocated here a few years ahead of the Phi n.b.a. team and had seniority in my personal history as a sports observer) because of their corporate style and fans, and the lacobites will probably be taking a similar route on my quite subjective road map.

        • So, let me get it straight, you want lacobites to lose to prove your biases.

          • nein. would like to see competition at its highest potential level, which means match ups between healthy teams, or comparably impaired teams.

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      The fact that Durant is being shut down and unlikely to return this season is unfortunately bad news for the Thunder but great for the Warriors.

    • One despairs of seeing competitive basketball. If an opponent’s planes crashes during the finals, will people here be happy?

    • If the Warriors get the title without beating the tops teams, such as Durant’s OKC, the playoffs are close to meaningless.

      • OKC is NOT the top team this year.

        • clearly. granting curry and green immunity, how would your team of destiny fare this season if bogut, iguodala, thompson missed the same games as westbrook, durant, and ibaka.

          • When all the three were playing, even for brief time, they didn’t look like the team they were when they reached finals. They were missing Sefolosha and had huge chemistry issues with Reggie Jackson.

          • BTW, health as you mentioned is also the reason that they are not top team, they really couldn’t get into rhythm and just having all the bodies just in time for playoffs, wouldn’t have helped them.

      • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

        Last I checked the Spurs won a few titles by beating teams that were not 100% healthy or had players suspended. I don’t see you diminishing any of their titles.

  34. With Durant out, and Ginobili hurt, you’d think our ticket to the Finals would already be printed.

    • Yeah, we’re sittin in gravy. A walk in the cake. Slam dump.

    • Health and rest has become the biggest priority for warriors team to end the season.

      I think Houston and Clippers will do better in the playoffs, probably better than OKC with Durant. Big 3 of Spurs are showing their age this year(duncan having first zero point game of the career is no coincidence) plus big 3 never won 2 championships in a row anyway.

      West is still not easy.

    • the marketing now is aimed at getting consumers onto the priority list for this year’s post season tickets, by putting themselves on the waiting list for season tickets. the unstated goal of course will be to have the waiting list (nearing six figures, so they say) exceed the capacity for their SF venue. long time supporters of the team will be squeezed out of the new venue, just as multi generation SF n.f.l. partisans were squeezed out of the santa clara venue.

      • moto, you seem to think pro sports are a public resource, like a utility.

        Fact: voters mostly like having pro sports teams, but most don’t feel they should have to support them with gov’t handouts (FWIW, I am in total agreement with that). That makes the Ws a for-profit enterprise, and as such, its management is REQUIRED to attempt to maximize profits.

        Too bad about the tix prices rising, but that was predictable years ago, as soon as Lacob started making the team a winner, started building a fancy arena, etc. Again, LACOB DOESN’T HAVE A CHOICE. He’s REQUIRED to maximize profits.

        You think cities should run sports franchises to keep ticket prices in reach of the average sports fan? I’d be fascinated to learn how you think that would work out.

        • concur, lacob has no choice, he’s true to himself. character defines the plot. for-profit enterprises don’t all define ‘maximize profits’ the same way. it doesn’t have to be his way, or dan gilbert’s either, for that matter, but my attitude toward lacob would be rather different if he had put 10 k. jobs and $1.5 b. and rising into oaktown, as gilbert has done to Det. your dogma works great for you, and feeble humans like me have no defense against your indictment.

          • Excellent comments, moto. I love this: character defines the plot.

            And good points, hat, though it would seem by your logic, Jed York has no responsibility for creating a gang of thugs.

            (sorry if this posts twice. I think I was just wordpressed.)

          • Lacob, of course, can buy all kinds of things with the VC money that fell in his lap. He can pay expensive players to play for him. He can build an antiseptic, trendy, and tasteless new stadium to make himself stand out in the city of San Francisco. He can spend millions to promote his team the way he wants it promoted and hope he finds followers. And nowadays, he can find enough people to pay large sums to watch his production. Sometimes we see here, a few who even admire him.

            He cannot, however, buy character—he has none. He cannot buy love or understanding of the game. He cannot buy the game itself, which belongs to the streets and playgrounds and gyms of America—and to the hearts of Americans who cannot pay his prices but are deeply attached to the game.

          • You guys don’t get it. You’re public employees, right?

            CEOs have LESS freedom of action, not more, than anyone else in their organization. I won’t go into all the reasons why an SF arena made more sense than Oakland, but I can guarantee Lacob is simply doing it “by the numbers.” It has nothing to do with character. Blame capitalism if you want.

            FWIW, my friends call me a leftie, because I believe the public benefit outweighs the goals of corporations – and corps should be regulated to serve the public interest.

            My friends get it wrong. I’m a realist with principles. In reality, demonizing a player for playing his game well is inaccurate, at the very least. At worst, it’s petty and childish.

            Give Lacob different rules to play by, and he’ll still be a very good player.

            If you don’t like the Ws move to SF, blame the city of Oakland. They’re supposed to understand reality too. They blew it.

      • correction, the waiting list for season tix is nearing five figures. a prospective buyer on another blog confirmed the lacobites require a $200. deposit up front to get onto the post season priority list and the season ticket waiting list.

    • The Thunder has those 2 young 7 footers (Kantner and Adams) who can run and jump and are quick and athletic. They’ll give Bogut and Greea headache. Durant out gives Westbrook more of a chance to kick ass.

  35. Davis may be out tonight. Turned his ankle last night.

    Why don’t they just give the Warriors the championship?

    • two other NO starters, asik and evans, are listed as questionable with injuries for tonight’s game. another regular season win is nearly meaningless, if no one gets injured of course. should the trend hold, kerr’s disadvantage coaching relative to several of the playoff teams won’t be nearly as much a factor.

    • Staying healthy is one of the challenges. It’s probably the main reason Cohan’s training/PT staff was fired by Lacob ASAP.

  36. Almost everyone in the team has improved this year for warriors, yes, including Barnes.

    Tim Roye @warriorsvox
    Harrison Barnes has improved his shooting more than any other player this season.He shot 39.9% in 13-14 and is shooting 48.7% this season.

  37. Zach Lowe writes about OKC >>>>>>>>>>>>>

    “There’s no real drama there. If the Thunder make the playoffs, they’ll likely get curb-stomped by the Warriors and keep the first-round pick they owe Philadelphia (via Denver); that pick is top-18 protected, and if the Thunder snag the no. 8 seed, they’ll likely finish right in the 18th spot — provided the no. 5 team in the East keeps its lead over the Thunder.

    The Warriors, by the way, are a big winner here. It sounds crass, but that’s reality in the NBA. Almost every champion needs a bit of injury and matchup-related luck along the way, and injuries large and small have affected almost every playoff season. Don’t listen to any asterisk talk, ever. Look at league history and you’ll find that an injury tilted the championship odds at some point damn near every May or June.”

  38. NBA Lockdown >>>>>> ESPN podcast with LOTS of Warriors talk, HBarnes included.

  39. New Orleans—

  40. FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

    Barnes leads the Warriors in scoring tonight on 9-13 shooting while only playing 20 minutes. But according to rgg he shouldn’t be playing in the NBA let alone starting for the Warriors.

    • I just hope neither rgg nor Feltbot damaged their TVs in fury over Barnes leading the Warriors in scoring for the 2nd straight game.

      Hatred is such a dangerously crippling emotion. :)

      • It is highly likely that Barnes will lead the Warriors in scoring in the playoffs. Highly likely. Why in the world should that upset me?

        It’s also highly likely that his rebounding totals will explode. For similar reasons. Should I be upset at that, in advance?

        If I’m right about this, will it mean he’s a different player than he’s been all season long? Or will it mean exactly the same thing that it meant during the playoffs of his rookie season?

        Take a look in the mirror. If anyone is afflicted with hatred and fury in the Barnes discussion it is his partisans, and especially yourself. To the point of personal, belittling ad hominem attack without regard to the actual discussion, which is your constant MO, on Twitter as well as here.

        Cue the cloying, condescending, sociopathic response beginning “oh felty” in 3,2,1….

    • Dion Waiters scored 26 on 11-18 against a much better defensive team tonight.

      Good player?

      There is a very strong analogy to be made between Waiters’ performance in this game, and Barnes’ in the last two. For those who have brains to think.

      FFI update: After his statistical upsurge (limited strictly to points, of course) in the last two games, Barnes is now the 134th ranked player in the NBA. As a point of reference, there are 150 starters in the NBA.

      Carry on.

      • Dion Waiters hasn’t backed up his occasional scoring outbursts with excellent efficiency over an entire season.

        Barnes and Waiters were both gifted the opportunity to play on offensively stacked teams. One of them recorded a TS% of .468 and other .585.

        Yes, Waiters takes more shots. I don’t buy for a second that if Barnes took 5 more shots a game his TS% would dive 100 points.

        Give Barnes some damn credit. He isn’t better than Iguodala but he is a damn good prospect at 22.

        • Barnes age 22 is not fully informative of his prospect. He’s also been in the NBA 3 seasons and 27.4 min/game.

    • Without a doubt the next Jordan, as Fits often points out.

      I’m awake and bored right now. I’m open for questions :)

  41. (33)felt-guv, casual fans probably remember two SA titles in which their opponents had some unfortunate injuries or suspensions, but their fortune turned in the conference finals against western teams. one was nelson’s Dal team, when he refused to play der Dirkster after an ankle sprain. the other, horry mugged nash on the Phx team w. d’antoni, diaw, stoudemire, leading to suspensions and Phx getting eliminated.

    (32)rzz, hetzel came into my head without looking anything up, and remembered bradley was in the same class as barry (he held a grudge against bobby knight for picking bradley over him to play on the u.s. olympic squad), checked on their draft class and recalled all the names from my adolescent viewing days. you’d remember toby kimball if you ever watched him, he was the anti-russell who subbed for the great oaklander. butterbean love was sloan’s teammate of course when Chi was the scourge of the western conference, van lier, walker, boerwinkle, and how sloan learned the flex offense now adapted by kerr. if pretty boys curry or thompson played back then and set those back picks the offense is known for, they’d get their teeth rattled and curry might keep his mouthpiece where it belongs.

    • Thank you, Moto. For some reason, I was only considering cases like the Thunder’s, where a clear preseason title favorite was destroyed before the playoffs by injury. Not cases like the Spurs’, where they were twice helped by injury/suspension in the middle of a series against a superior opponent. You are correct, and the Spurs have been remarkably lucky indeed.

      Allow me to remind you of something: It was a knee not an ankle sprain, and allowing Dirk to play could have cost him his career. Don Nelson sacrificed not only his one shot at an NBA title (the Mavs were clear favorites when the injury occurred) but also his job (his relationship with Mark Cuban never recovered) to safeguard Dirk’s health.

  42. It is astonishing to me that people can still muster outrage at my observations about Barnes, when I have provided them with the only utterly accurate predictions of his career arc in existence, at every step along the way.

    I predicted his mediocrity on both sides of the ball — with no prior knowledge of him, nor prejudice — after viewing one summer league performance (the same game in which I first noted the exceptional qualities of Green and Ezeli, and predicted their worth).

    I predicted before he ever played a game in the NBA, that he would be a much better stretch-four than a three. And thus forecast his rookie playoff performance.

    I predicted a return to mediocrity at the three his sophomore season (and oh the howling and teeth gnashing and sociopathic behavior that brought out in the comments!)

    I commented all last season that Mark Jackson was using Barnes absolutely incorrectly, by putting the ball in his hands and asking him to make plays. And I predicted that his game would improve dramatically this season by returning him to the starting lineup, and taking the ball out of his hands.

    Now I am predicting that he will once again have a huge playoffs. To the point where he could actually lead the team in scoring.

    And when that happens, and it will, the Barnes partisans will come screaming out of the woodwork, to let me know that I was wrong all along.

    Was I wrong all along? Or has Barnes been the exact same player I saw in the Vegas summer league throughout the vicissitudes of his young career? The exact same player, made to look different by changes in usage, and role, and position, and teammates, and the playoff tactics of opposing coaches?

    He’s the same player, my friends. The same. The 134th ranked player in the NBA, statistically.

    • Barnes is not the exact same player he was coming into the league. He is a significantly better rebounder and spot up shooter than he was as a rookie.

      • All players improve, good, mediocre and bad alike. They become more good, less mediocre and less bad.

        Very few players ever break out of the mold that is identifiable immediately upon their entering the league. Mr. Barnes is not one of them. He was predicted to be a good spot up shooter, and little else, in the Glen Rice mold. That has proven very accurate. He was also predicted to require motivation to hit the boards. Also very accurate.

        And every single other flaw in his game that NBA scouts identified, and I confirmed for myself on viewing that summer league game, has persisted. And will persist. The poor court vision, poor handle, and poor passing skills. The flawed shooting motion, made evident by his FT%. The lack of instinct for the game, made evident by his indecision on offense, poor off-the-ball movement, and frequently blown rotations on defense (this last got him yanked early in last night’s game). His lack of true defensive desire and ability, made evident by his league-low steals and blocks totals.

        All these will show some slight improvement, and more importantly, will be masked and minimized by clever coaches and the right role. But they will persist, because Barnes is who he is.

        Currently, the 134th ranked player in the NBA, statistically.

        • “…frequently blown rotations on defense (this last got him yanked early in last night’s game)”

          This is the assertion that had me laughing at you on Twitter last night. Iguodala came in for Barnes just after the 6-minute mark of the 3rd period… which is the time he routinely comes in.

          I was surprised that a pompous GSW know-it-all like yourself was so unfamiliar with Kerr’s typical substitution pattern. But I guess it’s just another case of your hatred for Barnes blinding you to simple, normal facts.

          • Barnes’ skills or lack of them hardly seem like the battleground they’ve become here. Whatever he’s doing or not doing doesn’t negate 55-13. What I don’t understand is why you would come into someone’s “country” (Felt’s blog) and insult him. But I suppose, somewhere, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld are insisting……

          • Excellent point, that I missed. Barnes was due for a substitution regardless.

            Now: Did he or did he not blow the rotation?

            And: Is it my “hatred” of Barnes that makes me think he is the 134th ranked player statistically in a league that has 150 starters?

            Or is it your hatred of rational analysis and inherently vicious disposition that have blinded you to that “simple, normal fact”?

            P.S. Thank you, Mary

          • I don’t regard your fantasy-bball rankings as proof of anything except that perhaps you shouldn’t choose Barnes for your fantasy basketball team.

            Personally, I prefer real basketball. Kerr has chosen Barnes as a starter for his real basketball team, and the results have been overwhelmingly successful.

            And you know who completely failed to see that coming? The person who wrote on this site last June that “I simply can’t conceive of Barnes as an NBA regular on a winning team.”

            Barnes is currently 4th in minutes on the team with the highest winning percentage in the NBA. Hard to imagine how you could be more wrong on that prediction.

            And yet, after that and all of the other wrong predictions you’ve made about Barnes — do I need to do the work of compiling a list? Do you really think your readers don’t remember? — you’re brazen enough to claim you’ve been nothing but right about him.

            Mary thinks it’s odd that I don’t treat you with more respect. But when you act with such bad faith toward your readers, how much respect do you deserve?

    • I suppose, somewhere, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld are insisting they got the invasion of Iraq completely right, too.

    • Lou Amundson scored 12 points and got 17 boards in a win against the former world champion Spurs. We saw him make a bank shot. Does that mean we were wrong about him?

      If Barnes has good games in the playoffs—and I’m skeptical—it won’t speak to his talents but to the talents of the rest of the team. Specifically opponents will pressure the guards with their top defenders, put less pressure on Barnes, and leave him with open shots or easy match-ups. This is what happened against the Spurs a few years ago (and his performance against the Clippers was unimpressive).

      In the last two games, Barnes got many shots and shot at high percentage, last night against the NO bench, before that against an Atlanta team that looked like the Warriors in their last game against the Lakers. Atlanta has a monster lead in the East. They have been playing with high intensity all season. They will have let ups—and they did against us.

      In both games he wasn’t guarded heavily, mostly had open looks and only in a handful of cases did he create a shot or shoot one of moderate difficulty. But even so, his high percentage is an aberration. NO player can keep up that accuracy. And he has been AWOL in similar situations almost all season.

      So adjust the percentage down. All we have is a player who can score fairly well in easy circumstances ONLY when he is surrounded by the top players in the game and who is at best a mediocre defender and a very poor facilitator on offense. Yet this makes the Barnesophiles swoon.

      And no one asks the question: how much better could the team be if they simply had a better—not great—all around player, especially one who is versatile, who could be effective at several spots (FB sees Barnes value only at 4), who could perform well in a variety of lineups?

      Nor have we found out how much better the team would be if Barnes went down and they simply used the rest of the roster, both during the regular season and during the playoffs. The option hasn’t been explored. But all the evidence points to a better team, especially in the playoffs, when, presumably, Iguodala will play more minutes, or should.

      Everyone said that playoff series showed that Barnes had arrived, that he made other players expendable, especially Lee. But look who else helped carry the Warriors in those playoffs, Jarrett Jack. An average defender, perhaps a bit slow on the fast break, but he is clutch and can facilitate and make all players better. He can lead the team and get Curry off the ball, giving him some rest from PG strain and better looks for his shots. Just look at his numbers:

      17 points average for both series, 5 assists 4 boards. And he had huge games throughout. Look at his game log, above. Both series would have been definite losses without him.

      But did anyone, Lacob most notably, see the value of a good backup point guard of the caliber of Jack and make that a priority? No, all he could see was Barnes and his supposed potential.

      And that is why I’m somewhat skeptical about the playoffs. They don’t have anyone comparable in the lineup to Jack to support the team and provide relief to the guards, unless Iguodala really steps up. But by all appearances, the competition will be much lighter than the past two years, certainly in the West, and they might get away with it.

      Go change your pants, Swopa.

      • rgg, all of Felt’s notes about Barnes’ limitations are provably correct, but that only leaves Barnes a fine role-player, who (this year) does make a contribution with his skill set. Every championship team has role players. Mario Chalmers, Bellinelli, etc.

        You don’t need to “prove” anything about Barnes. You don’t need to worry about Lacob’s hopes and dreams about him. Lacob doesn’t select players now, he doesn’t call plays, he doesn’t mess with success when it’s in progress. Check his record.

        Barnes isn’t responsible for Livingston v. Jack.

        Swopa funs Feltbot. So what?

        Are you FB’s wingman now? He doesn’t need one.

        What’s your point, rgg?

  43. Am I the only one who noticed that Barnes only had 1 3PTA last night? Do any of us want Barnes (or any other player on this team not named Curry or Klay) shooting so many mid-range jumpers?

    • 79% on 14 mid-range jumpers the last two games. Sustainable? Hardly.

      • 79% on any kind of shot is unsustainable. But Barnes had been in a relative slump in terms of FG% since the All-Star break, so the last couple of games can be seen as the proverbial regression to the mean.

        • there’s a quantitative mean, but don’t overlook qualitative variables. all GS opponents have tough choices to make in defensive resource allocation. we’re still waiting to see barnes hit his shots consistently when the game hangs in the balance or the team is behind in the fourth quarter. the team has generally lacked any such games recently ; a couple of weeks ago he was subbed into the fourth after their usual dominant quintet brought the team back from a large deficit, the team still behind two possessions, he misplayed two balls in the paint, and they lost with that last gap never closed.

          • Still hating Barnes??

            Every player commits couple of mistakes in a game and ur focus on couple of bad possession while missing big picture is, simply narrow minded. I am sure you are better than that.

      • Perhaps more to the point, with Klay out, and both Curry and Holiday shooting poorly, what shots would you have preferred the Warriors take? More isos for Draymond at the 3-point line? More Bogut post-ups?

        • How about some DLee P&R with Curry (or Livingston) with MoS camped out on the 3-pt line? MoS made that one effortlessly last night.

        • Not sure you’d be singing this tune if Barnes goes 4 for 14 instead of 11 for 14. I could be wrong.

          • On the other hand, Green and Curry got the ball to Barnes for a reason, and I’ll go with their judgment on that. Barnes delivered. 22 points in 20 min.

            Is that sustainable? Of course not. But do you expect Curry to go 2-10 on 3s? On a night when the Pellies covered the 3-pt line very well (partly due to the absence of Thompson), Barnes made good choices and shot well. So what’s the problem?

            Re Curry-Lee PnRs, that seems to be off of Kerr’s to-do list. Lee is essentially off the roster until Bogut goes down.

          • I’m not singing any tune. I asked you an honest question, which you chose not to answer.

            Incidentally, I’m not sure I understand your definition of “mid-range jumpers”. Several of Barnes’ shots last night were on drives into the paint, where he released the ball just outside the restricted area. Are you classifying those as “mid-range jumpers”? If so, that seems misleading.

          • 4-14 would be a bad game and 11-14 would be an excellent game, simple as that.

  44. Possibly germane to today’s discussion: Draymond Green today told Ros the stats he cares about: “Steals and blocks because they show effort. And assists because I helped a teammate. After that, I don’t care.”

    Hmmm. Sounds a lot like a Barnes “hater” to me. Surely he knew when he said this that Barnes is at the literal bottom of the league for small forwards in all three statistical categories. The absolute bottom.

    Barnes fans, please direct your rage and hatred accordingly.

    • ++++

      • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

        rgg your nose is brown

        All I care about is wins!!!! 56-13 No matter how ignorant you are rgg you don’t have an argument against that record with Barnes in the lineup. So please STFU and enjoy it. I have a feeling that if rgg won the lottery he would whine and complain about the money.

        • rgg, moto and other haters never going to overcome their bias on Barnes, they are emotionally invested to the belief that Barnes sucks.

          • don’t really know you harry, but appreciating nuance is often avoided by those of a more partisan persuasion. mr.barnes’ supporters wish to see him either already outside the fat .60 of the bell curve, or ineluctably pulled by his ‘high ceiling’ into the upper tier in the near future. some of us see him as mediocre, and if he is better than half of his peers, but not in the top .20, he’s still in that fat part of the curve. if partisans consider shooting well in half of his games enough to put him in that .20, it’s their prerogative of course, but differing standards is a weak basis for dismissing others as biased.

            mediocre players are the bread and butter of the association, whose season is based on eliminating .47 of its 30 members before the playoffs. with a healthy .26 of the teams reaching the second post season round, it’s really reaching the third round that a team shows it belongs in the top tier. again, the partisans will see a first round winner as a serious contender.

          • If all the horned “haters” in here didnt hate on Barnes, what would all the ‘philes get to bitch and hate on. Its pretty much “tic-for-tac”, everyone getting something out of it.

    • Wasn’t it reported Green was yelling at Barnes? If so, probably about D and rebounds. Then again, I understand he gets into it with everyone, including Kerr. Curry said in a interview, that’s Draymond.

      • Green treats Barnes as his little brother or as it seems from distance. Green will make sure Barnes will improve and Barnes seems to be taking criticism well.

  45. Snyder has done a good job with these guys. You have to wonder how good they might be in a few years if they had a Dragic caliber point guard, another shooter, and some filler.

  46. the kid has been playing hard & with pretty good confidence. made a nice cut to the middle & finish tonight and seemed to be moving his feet on d. i’d like to see him get 4 fouls a game, to show he’s bodying up. still smh when he loses a ball in the open court, or clangs one off the backboard on a drive.

    thought i noticed kerr playing him a bit more with the 2nd squad the last 8-10 games. anyone else?

    iguodala looking healthy & 3s looking good, i’ll be suprised if he isnt the starting (for sure finishing) 3 in the playoffs. concerned about his (and bogut’s – fb) freethrows in the playoffs. and barnes, and green for that matter.

    really, really happy holidays benching for a while there does not seem to have damaged his confidence too much. see him slinking thru screens tonight? and hit a big 3 with a big man closing out on him. keeper.

    really happy with barbosa’s 3 pt shooting, did not know he had the capability. sustainable? not buying the chitty chat about him improving his defense. is who he is & thats ok.

    still smh at all the livingston postups and pullup j’s. too many. and i like him. when those dont fall, you made all your teammates run down the court, and then used none of them on the play (some of whom are good shooters) for an iso play thats low %.

    that said, man do i love that play he runs when he comes under the basket baseline trailed by the defender and stops for a sec like he’s going to post up, then spins back baseline and dunks. wow.

    PNR seems dead in this offense. too bad bc even the livingston-mo pick and pop was fun and seemed high-ish %

    maybe kerr & coaches surprise us in the playoffs…

    • We’d have seen Iguodala with the starters by now if he were going to start playoffs. no?

      Have enjoyed your comments.

    • Holiday has a nice mid-range game. I noticed he catches around the cheat or head level and in 1 smooth moves elevates (a lot) into his J, whereas on 3’s, he has a bit of a wind-up. Maybe he could learn from Curry and Klay how to shoot 3’s without any wind-up.

  47. “Pretty boys” slighted gratuitous Moto. They’re both fairly tough players, as far as the current ones go.

    But you’re right. There’s definetly a generation gap and refs really used to swallow their whistles. I remember the tail end of that ornery Bulls team, and Barnett sounds like Sloan still scares him. And I was shocked to learn the Van Aarsdales combined for almost 30k NBA points. That’s a lot.

    Someone here implored HB along the lines of “Good God. You’re 6’8′ and 22 yrs. Drive to the hole”+++ Hes been more assertive. Things were parting like the Red Sea vs NOrleans, however. And the Warriors would have at least 50 wins with Luke Babbitt starting at SF. He’d be averaging 10-12 pts a game….

    I’m really more concerned with Mr Lacob than Harrison. This blogs gotten to me with its conspiracy theories. Not yours, Frank.

    Cliff ray and Goerge Johnson weren’t true skill players, but they were indispensable to the team. Andrew is a skill 5. Last night he was isolated on GHayward 15 ft from the hoop on the baseline, and he just stepped over and completely blocked the baseline, giving Hayward only way one to go, with 3 guys hovering around the lane. Boguts heady and just does this stuff instinctually. He also tossed in 3 smooth lookin hooks.

    As far as injuries, terrible situ for KD, they’re unfortunate and don’t make me “happy”, but they are part of the game. Last year we were sans Andrew, festivus and DLees come playoffs, with no one shedding tears for us, so I won’t shed any now either.

    Kung fu was a neat little TV show. Hokey but it worked. It was like a teenage Sergio Leone was cutting his chops as a budding director. Me and my brothers alternately mocked Kwai-Cheng (?) and ate it all up.

    • “Slightly gratuitous”. I got my nieces hanging off each arm

      I was gonna call Gobert Anthony Davis Jr. But I’ll hold off on that and stick with “Rudy” That actually wasn’t a bad movie, starring Sam the Hobbit

  48. On Barnes, from how I read the posts, I don’t think anyone is saying Barnes is a failure. For a 7 pick, he’s doing fine, even though lower picks maybe better and/or more potential.

    From what I see, I don’t think he will become an AllStar, but who knows? He improved this year and can (has to?) improve further. He is a heck of a good guy, and in his interview the other day seems fully aware of his capabilities and what he needs to work on.

    Another thing is Green will sign for max or near max (with the Warriors hopefully, though I don’t see that ensured) and could sign Harrison for considerably less.

    I remember Matt Steinmetz said shortly after the draft that Barnes upside is Caron Butler. Did Butler ever make an All Star team?

    • Marc,

      You read it wrong, there is a group that calls Barnes good and there is a group that calls him mediocre. Felty made up a star to show that he is almost worst starter in association. moto calls Barnes couple of fumbles with no mention of his good shooting, rgg just needs brain surgery. Barnes is hated here. So called Barnes lovers don’t even see him as more than a just a good role player filling his role.

    • Butler is a low-mid-level player, current salary $4.5M. Career 14.4 pts, 5.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, .3 blocks, 1.4 steals.

      Barnes stats this year only (his best season): 10.5 pts, 5.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, .2 blocks, .7 steals.

      So in his best season yet, Barnes isn’t as good as Butler, a career journeyman who has changed teams NINE times in 15 seasons. Oh, and so as not to offend Barnes lovers, I’ll add the word “yet.” Barnes isn’t as good as Caron Butler “yet.”

      • If Barnes played as bad teams as Butler, Barnes would average 14-16 PPG, ain’t it ?

        • there could be a team or two where mr.barnes averages 20+ per game, and its partisans talk about all star candidacy. shipping him to an eligible candidate been my suggestion since his beginning, for his fans who latched onto the ‘potential all star’ marketing tag.

        • How were Barnes’ numbers when he was put in a position to lead last year?

  49. moto, you said ‘if partisans consider shooting well in half of his games enough to put him in that .20’

    I call it, he is filling his role and may be step up in few games. He is like 5th or 6th or 7th most important player on the team. It is not like he is top 3 pick to call him a bust. Geez, if he

    • my word was ‘nuance’ earlier harry. on this team, as on most, there’s a pretty fair gap between the fifth and seventh best players. you could make a good argument that mr.barnes is in the top four or five in one category, shooting when assisted by a teammate. overall court skills including court movement with and without the ball, setting screens, passing, grading him generously he might get as high as seventh. if thompson, iguodala, bogut in any order are 3-5, the gap between five and seven is considerable (livingston is six).

      • moto,

        I respect your opinion but I feel like Curry, Klay and Green are like tier I for this team and there are like 5 players that all belong to Tier 2, not much talent difference with each bringing strengths and weaknesses.

  50. Probably enuff Barnes talk for one day, but we’ll see. Hat, u mentioned Hendrix v Malmsteen. I forgot about the Swede, but check out this Hessian. Give ’em a minute and a half…😎

    It’s a safe link

  51. This is insightful stuff listening to Al A. and Rick B. comment on the’74 team and season, on CSN.

    And it would be fascinating to see Barry and Co. take on the Splash Brothers, if Stephen Hawking or somebody could invent a time machine.
    JBarnett always raves about the superiority of todays athletes, but these guys aren’t exactly chopped liver, and it would be a hell of a game to watch. Maybe in the next life. Steph, as the consummate PG, might give them an edge. 2 deep rosters. Draymond on Barry? Klay taking on Phil Smith? I’d pay to see that.

    George Johnson, for one, looks like your prototypical sprightly big man, cerca 2015.

    • the vintage version would have the option of assigning either johnson or smith onto the demigod curry. beard or barry or smith on thompson. any of those three, or mullins or wilkes on barnes or iguodala or livingston ; wilkes, barry, or dickey onto green. bogut, speights, lee might find the going a bit tough. (wilkes, dickey, bridges, geo. johnson, ray).

      • Moto,+++.

        That was classic and I dont care who I annoy by jabbering on about it. I got to spend two hours texting w my bros over the season, the team, acquaintances from our youth, and life in general. Priceless.
        And I was planning on doing my taxes tonite. Oh well, its just the 1040EZ..

        Walkin my nieces around the lake in GGPark this morning, I bumped into my grammar school BFFs parents, both in their 80’s. We later became mortal enemys when we went to rival high schools, but I got to reminisce on my post game celebratory phone call, which lasted until my Dad ripped the phone out of my hand. It was actually attached to the wall with a cord back then…

        I do think the 3 is an addition to the game, probably influenced by the fact the current team has Steph and Klay.

        • 180* viewpoint, who’ll guard Barry? Gotta be Dray. Barry and Larry Bird were similar players, in some respects, talent level being one of them. Harrison would be toast.

          re: Steinmetz tweets
          Kawaii can only shut down 1 player at a time, be it Klay, Dray, or Steph. The Ws are dead-even with the Spurs right now, if not better, with home court. And thats it, til playoffs

          • d’mond is the only player who could slow down either barry or wilkes. thompson or iguodala would be over powered. mr.barnes might learn how to give some hard fouls. if players like barry, wilkes, smith had been shooting 3’s since grammar school, making their defenders more vulnerable to their drives, it could open some eyes how curry’s and thompson’s games lack diversity (going inside and drawing fouls) in comparison.

          • mullins was another player who probably thrives if 3’s had been in the game when he developed, $$ on open perimeter shots. was a blue devil all american forward, physical on the boards and capable of defending 3’s, very smart, handled the ball well enough to play combo guard.

          • I was thinkin the current squad would take their ancestors, largely because of CJ and the rook PSmith (and whomever else) trying to contain Steph. But you ‘ve muddled it all up with excellent points. I’ve gotta stop thinkin about this hypothetical clash and focus on the mundane reality of Mon. morn work.
            Getting thru teams like the aforementioned Bulls couldn’t have been easier than playing teams today, no matter how ‘evolved’ the players.

        • The points on Steph and Klay and the 3 ball are opening a serious can of worms, in my mind at least. If the 3 had never been implemented Steph and Klay, guys like Korver, would have to change their games, to varying degrees. Are they softer as a result of the modern emphasis beyond the arc? Did that make the older players better drivers, tougher, and more skillful? Barry would have that many more options- and points. Its kind of like debating Franks scenario involving Bill Bradley as the #1 pick today. Impossible to answer but real food for thought.
          Regardless, its Darwinism in effect and todays game is just as enjoyable to watch

  52. The Cavs made a real steal signing Smith and Shumpert.

    • Don’t forget Mozgov. These trades completely saved their season. Not just total giveaways, but perfect fits for their roster. Big man in the middle, 3 and D on the wings, versatile stopper in Shumpert. Exactly what they needed.

      • Do you think they are contenders though ? I feel like their D is not at championship level, still should be favorites to come out of east now.

        • What’s up with the Hawks losing these games recently?

          • long season, still have time to get back to track. Isn’t it amazing that dubs have not lost 3 in a row, the whole season.

          • Exhaustion. Thin bench. Long road trip. Nothing to play for.

          • budenholzer has a long term project ahead in terms of building a roster with reserves who don’t hurt the level of their play, one of the most difficult parts of the SA system to replicate. keep in mind the ownership squabbles in Atl with d.ferry the g.m. the activity level demanded on the players, both ends of the court, takes its toll, as we are seeing with the inconsistency now in the woeyrs’ play. we probably won’t see kerr attempting rigourous selection and development for the bench in GS, because he probably isn’t committed to it, necessary of course for myers and lacob to buy it.

          • It may seem like something minor, but I think the loss of Mike Scott significantly damaged the Hawks chances. You may remember him as the stretch four who gave it to the Speights-Lee frontline from outside, and then to Harrison Barnes inside in the first Hawks game.

            Short minute guy, but major loss. Without Scott, the only way the Hawks can rest Horford and Millsap is with Antic or Brand — you see the problem.


    Kanter returned and started alongside Adams.

    37 points and 22 rebounds between them.

    I continue to fear these guys will present a problem to the Warriors in the 1st round, and the Thunder are a threat with or without Durant.

    Is Inaka returning for the playoffs?

    • I caught a glimpse of Westbrook whiz a pass through his defender to Kanter who dunked it for an easy 2 – a great assist. Its scary seeing Westbrook play like he wants to distribute the ball – he’s as dominant as he wants to be.

  54. Feltbot, I left an emoticon yesterday because sometimes I just cant control myself, and i apologize for that. I think theyre safe because they are part of the actual built in keyboard that comes with Apple products. But that doesn;t mean they aren’t annoying. FYI, it shows up in the thread on the Apple pad and phone, but not on my work computer, which runs windows 7. Just a little blank box..

    I just got a SEO optimzation Book, For Dummies. Do you make $ from clicks? Seems like a Sisyphean undertaking, getting the eyeballs.

    • This blog runs at a significant deficit. :)

      • The thing i left is actually called an Emojicon, not emoticon, I learned later.

        I tried skimming thru the book this morning, it didn’t go well. In the words of the immortal Tyrus Thomas, I was hopin for some “free money.” But a blog, and all this e-tail, seems like too much work

  55. GooseLosGatos


    I know you’re a ‘big’ fan of Stan Van Gundy – liked him for the Warriors job. I realize you have a lot of questions directed towards you on the site but would be curious as to your opinion/appraisal of Reggie Williams (like myself) & if Drummond can be an a premier center under Van Gundy’s tutelage????

    • When Nellie had Reggie, I thought he had a real future. Certainly better than Anthony Morrow’s. He was versatile between 2 and 3, could shoot threes and also beat his man off the dribble, great passer, good rebounder. Only weakness was his defense.

      What happened to him since is a bit of a mystery, as with Ekpe Udoh. Both of them got injured, and haven’t really played since. I don’t know if that’s the reason, but injuries can ruin careers, as we’ve seen with Biedrins and Rush. And Azubuike, who’s out of basketball completely.

      As for Drummond, the rebounding and shotblocking are there, which is a good sign, especially for a 21 yr old. It’s a cliche, but it’s going to come down to his IQ and his work ethic. SVG is a great coach, but he wasn’t able to teach Dwight Howard much.

      • Howard is extraordinarily dopy, though.

      • if Hou doesn’t pull off a significant remodel in the next few seasons, probably a coaching change included, howard might learn that van G. took him further than any coach he’s had since, and that Orl roster was no powerhouse. with howard though, it could become true without him noticing or remembering.

        • Howard doesn’t like his Orlando self where he was DPOY over last two years. That surprised me thought that is one thing he can be counted on to play D.

  56. I was wondering what was up with Gordon Hayward when he played the Warriors — didn’t look anything like himself. Turns out he was playing on a sprained knee. He’s sitting out now.

  57. Feltbot—

    You got me thinking. What was your system for analyzing players on defense (FDS?)? Add steals and blocks?

  58. sorry harry, the hoops gods must want me to remain skeptical about mr.barnes, or biased, according to the great majority of the team’s partisan following.

    literally tuned into the game just to check the score and watched about six minutes or so in the third quarter. mr.barnes snagged a long offensive rebound, about 17-18 feet from the hoop, long 2 pt. range and generally discouraged early in the clock if curry or thompson aren’t on the back of the shooter’s jersey. he paused a second with the ball, launched and missed. barnett’s comment, that’s a bad play with thompson open for a 3. hope his fans who like seeing his confidence in shooting this season enjoyed it.

    • Harrison was active last night. Rebounded well, played better D than usual. He missed a couple easy ones but he was aggressive. Yea, the deep two with 24 seconds was ill advised, but he was unguarded and has been hot from that range lately.

      I’m willing to admit I am biased when I watch the Warriors. I want all of their players to be the best possible versions of themselves. This sometimes causes me to overvalue good performances and explain away bad ones.

      Now, are you really not willing to admit that you’re extreme skepticism, focused almost entirely on one young player, is bias? As part of a comment drawing conclusions based on a single bad shot in a game you admit you didn’t even watch?

      • +1

        Everyone biased but this is case of extreme bias and biased on wrong side of truth for a fan of team that is winning like never before.

      • this was a random viewing sample, and explicitly admitted its sampling bias. mr.barnes no doubt should get 22/240 credit for the dominating win. if barnett is insufficiently homerific to suit your tastes, please contact the lacobites.

        • A step forward though, admitted bias or skeptical on Barnes.

        • You didn’t admit to being biased. When you say “biased, according to the great majority of the team’s partisan following” you are deriding the idea that you are biased by suggesting that only “partisans” would think that.

          And I agreed with JB’s comment, that is why I called Barnes’ long jump shot with 24 on the clock a “bad shot.

          • You have a perverse notion of the meaning of the word “bias,” “Name.” moto is easily the most informed and careful commenter here. Whenever scouting reports, notes of faults and failed performance are brought up here, which speak to a consistent and obvious pattern, the blowhards scream hater and bias. Yet these same expect us to take their word for horribly unsupported claims.

            You’ve done nothing to establish your credibility here, btw.

          • oh no… we have to establish credibility?

          • rgg:
            Please explain what is perverted about my understanding of the word bias.

            Your appeals to authority don’t impress me. Chill out with the internet police stuff. I am arguing using logic, not reserves of anonymous comment thread credibility. I don’t care who moto is or what he has said in the past.

            How does Barnes taking and missing a single bad shot “speak to a consistent and obvious pattern”? I agree with a lot of what is said here with regard to Barnes’ defensive instincts and court vision. However, the numbers suggest he generally takes and makes good shots.

            Being biased isn’t such a bad thing. Like I said I am consistently overly optimistic when it comes to predicting the future performance of young prospects on my favorite sports teams. I just think it is important to admit to and be aware of your bias. Laughing at the idea that you are biased and then cherry picking one bad play from a good performance that supports your previous conclusions does not make for good analysis.

          • You might start by looking up the word.

            The case against Barnes has been built up here carefully and thoroughly over years.

            With no effect.

          • rgg:
            I don’t need to look it up. I know what it means. Just saying I’m wrong over and over again is not an argument. If you don’t want to argue with me thats fine, but don’t act like I’m the one being unreasonable.

            Barnes is not on trial. He is a basketball player. Whatever was said about him last year was probably true then. He is a better, more efficient player now.

    • Lame, Moto. But on the plus side, prolix as usual.

    • when he shot well, you and felt pointed to his lack of steals, assists etc.. This game. he shot poorly but did everything else.

      Biased for sure, if your focus is only on what he had not done. Warriors winning better than 80% with him. You can’t deny that.

    • We can be certain the coaches saw that, moto, along with other muffs and passive play last night, and will use it in their season-long assessment to make decisions for the playoffs. In close games against good defensive teams, such mistakes can be critical.

      I believe it was last night as well that Barnes went for a drive on a fast break and completely missed Thompson wide open for a three, Barnes maybe getting fouled or just missing—I’ve forgotten. If not, he has done similar the past three seasons, missing the better opportunity.

      There’s a pattern here. It’s what the mistake represents: the inability to see the court and other players in quick tempo play. Some think this ability to see and act quickly can be learned, but I’m not sure what that’s based on. Perhaps it can be improved, but there has to be a ceiling. I suspect it’s more related to the way a player is wired. Either you got it or you don’t.

      • “Either you got it or you don’t.”

        lol, that settles, Barnes is mediocre player and will remain one.

        • He’s improving, but I’m not jumping to conclusions about his future. We’ll see. In the meantime, hes doing fine performing his assigned duties.

          • Exactly, keep the open mind and hope for better. When the facts change, change your opinion. All criticism of Barnes warranted last year, not this year.

  59. That was an impressive 360′ windmill from Justin
    The fact that it came in a “real” game makes it even more so, vs a Dunkcontest dunk. More spontaneous

  60. That wasn’t just a win last night, that was a complete shaming of a quality team. One FG in the 3rd, 7? total points in the 4th? Wow.

    • Was is 40-31 in the east, a fair description of mediocrity, this was their fourth game on a four game road trip, and they were just pasted by 23 the night before in Sac. recently, a model of inconsistency, with four consecutive wins against western teams (three were in the district, one in UT) before three losses in a row on this road trip.

  61. “That was some beautiful second quarter triangle basketball. -7 with twice the talent the Wizards had on the floor.”

    Maybe you should rewatch the second quarter.

    11:35 – Pick and roll
    – Lee Bad Pass Turnover
    11:01 – Transition offense and ball swings to Lee – Drive from the elbow
    -MISS Lee 2′ Layup
    10:05 – Triangle entry pass to Lee
    – MISS Lee 17′ Jump Shot
    9:41 – Pick and roll
    – MISS Lee 5′ Jump Hook Shot
    9:23 – Pick and roll
    – MISS Livingston 9′ Jump Shot
    – Lee MISS easy put back
    8:49 – Pick and Roll with Klay and Lee
    – Andre hits a 3
    8:05 – Motion Cuts
    -Klay hits jumper from Mo’s assist
    7:33 – Pick and Pop
    – Mo hits Jump Shot – Klay assist
    7:00 – Double high picks – Klay drive & Mo lingers at the top of key
    – Mo hits jumpshot –Klay assist
    6:31 – Wizards D is asleep (Andre casually drives to the baseline from the backcourt)
    – Mo hits jumper from Andre’s pass
    5:56 – Triangle entry pass to Lee
    – Lee assists Speights hits 17 footer
    5:26 – Pick and roll
    -Lee bounces it off his knee
    4:25 – Cut from Thompson at the start of the set
    – Klay misses the 3

    Lee is pulled.
    – Lee had two turnovers off P/R
    – Lee misses a layup off P/R
    – Lee misses easy put back during P/R
    – Lee missed contested iso jumper off entry pass
    – Lee missed a layup created from transition offense

    13 offensive trips.
    -5 pick and rolls & 2 pick and pops
    -2 triangle sets
    – 1 Lee missed contested jumper
    – 1 easy jumper made by Mo
    -1 motion set & 1 quick cut to start set
    -1 transition offense
    -1 No wizards defense

    8 minutes of David Lee oriented sets– the offense gets 13 points
    4 minutes of starters – 12 points

    Take the blinders off. Lee had a bad quarter. Lee hasn’t been the P/R threat he was since he hurt his hip flexor and lost his jumper.

    • Lee was the worst player on display yesterday. system has little to do with it. He just seemed to regress or just not the same this year. The Lee I remember would find ways to contribute on offense while continue to be bad on defense. He contributed under many bad coaches and bad systems.

    • “…and lost his jumper.”

      I’d add that Lee has had almost zero playing time lately, and he looked rusty. He still scooped up 9 rebounds, played D better than Speights and was +4 overall.

      Re Lee’s shooting, everyone not name Curry had a poorer-than-usual shooting night. Check the box score.

      Lee did not look good – but it is a team game, and his minutes say he’s almost not on the team. That’s kinda rough on a feller.

      • Lee is still averaging 20 mins per game. Remember the impact Landry made couple of years back. For me, he is not right, last year Lee would have made an impact.

        • I’m inclined to agree with Hat on this — Lee’s effort was there; he just had a really snakebit stretch in the 1st half. And as Hat notes, everyone besides Curry (and Speights) seemed out of sync. Kind of weird that getting Klay back seemed to throw the team’s rhythm off more than losing him.

          • Agree on effort, Lee is putting better effort, which is great news but unfortunately not able to put in good games.

    • DLee looked awful to me. However, on his P&R, there was Festus guy sitting there waiting on him on the 2 or 3 I saw. DLee twice had to force a pass inside to Festus, which he should not have attempted, too tough a catch for Festus.

      • This gets to the heart of why Lee doesn’t play much. He’s a defensive liability against almost anyone (not due to lack of effort, but because he’s just not physically well suited for D), but if you pair him with a big rim-protecting center, you take away from his ability to contribute offensively. Meanwhile, Barnes is more effective as a small-ball PF due to his 3-point shot and ability to switch defensively.

        And as a small-ball center, Speights spaces the floor more effectively due to his better jump shot, and Draymond can run the 4-on-3 after Curry is trapped on a P&R almost as well while providing vastly superior defense.

        There are just very, very few opponent matchups — if any — where Lee is the best choice. And you can see this in how carefully Kerr picks and chooses the games where he plays: “OK, Washington plays Drew Gooden at backup PF? Lee won’t kill us there.”

  62. FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

    Since a few people here are so negative and clearly don’t appreciate what we are watching this season with the Warriors I took a closer look to see how the 2014-15 Warriors compare to other dominate NBA seasons. The Warriors are currently winning .814 of their games. Fourteen NBA teams have finished a season winning at .800 or higher clip. Of those fourteen teams ten won NBA titles.

    Only seven teams have finished the NBA season with a double digit point differential. The Warriors currently are winning by an average margin of 10.7 points. Of those seven teams six of them won the NBA title. Only ten teams in NBA history have won 67 or more games and eight of those won the championship. The one team that did not win the title the Milwaukee Bucks lost to another double digit point differential team the Lakers.

    – Half of the last 10 NBA champions have won the point differential crown.

    • from my limited sample of games audited or viewed, and reading about contests elsewhere, there’s been a lack of parity this season due to injuries to many of the principal starters on teams, and meaningful success for GS has yet to be determined in the post season.

      • How about enjoying the best regular season. Health and injuries always average out.

        • if you looked at the health and injury factor in detail, there are a couple of things in the woeyrs’ favor that aren’t covered by ‘always average out.’ they depend less on high mileage vets for heavy minutes than many of their rivals — bogut, iguodala, lee, livingston are not the players seeing heavy usage. and the players more vulnerable to injury are often high usage guys on teams that repeatedly make extended post season runs — james has sat himself to minimize his risk of making smaller hurts bigger, and the brevity of bryant’s season can’t be separated from his many, many post season minutes. the GS vets with high mileage don’t have anything close to der Dirkster’s post season minutes. if not for popovich’s meticulous minute management of his high usage guys and SA’s serious investment in medical and training care, their vets would probably have burnt out before now, and they’re probably too frayed to make another deep run, fortunately for their competitors.

          • moto, great points, but all somehow validating the warriors depth because of talent GM acquired and coaches management of minutes, still points to teams excellence more than factors warriors couldn’t control like health of other teams. Why should warriors apologize for depth. Didn’t warriors lose last year series in playoff because Bogut didn’t play and Lee the year before. Warriors play on the floor and management off the floor including may be new medical staff, all should have contributed to team’s success.

            I won’t accept the injuries of other teams as having played much of a factor. If warriors didn’t have depth, the games missed by Bogut, Lee, Ezeli etc.. could have resulted in more losses as the losses for the teams missing players.

      • I gave a list of injuries in the West earlier, days lost by key players. It is substantial, in fact incredible. I’d be curious to see a comparison.

        • Injuries are obviously part of every season in every sport, but what I’m not seeing, other than OKC, is a significant (injury related) negative reflection record-wise to the current top 8 seeds in the Western Conference. Excluding the Warriors, the combined won/loss record of the other 7 current playoff teams in the West is 315-195, or a cool 120 games over .500. That would seem to indicate a very strong and competitive conference, regardless of the active rosters on any given night. (BTW, the Warriors are 14-4 vs those current playoff teams and have beaten all those teams at least once when the opposition was at full strength. They are 0-1 vs Memphis, but FWIW the Grizzlies were at full strength while the Dubs were without Bogut. Meeting #2 this Friday and again in Memphis.)

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      The Warriors point differential is more double that of every NBA team but the Clippers. They are almost double the Clippers.

  63. Matthews out, Batum and Aldridge doubtful. I doubt it will have much effect on Portland’s performance tonight, however.

  64. Great discussion on Lee, agree with those saying his jumper’s gone — his stroke is clearly wonky, evident from his abominable FT%, if not that airball he secreted last game — also agree with those saying he should rarely if ever play for this team, but NOT necessarily on the reasons. I’m writing a post in my head about both Draymond and Lee that I’d like to get to within a week. Stay tuned, and apologies for lassitude, I’m actually pretty busy with work stuff.

    • Not getting shots doesn’t help, but we had this question last year. Hard to believe Lee wouldn’t work on this, and maybe get help from the staff. He certainly is capable and has been for years.

      • Lee worked on his shooting mechanics a lot during the offseason. Some details on that here:

        Tiny sample size, but his jumper looked excellent during the preseason. I don’t know enough about shooting to say what he was doing differently, but his shots had a higher arc and they were falling. Unfortunately, I don’t know where to get shooting stats categorized by distance like those found on Basketball-Reference for preseason games.

        I guess after the second hamstring injury he’s getting no help from his legs and the new form doesn’t work anymore.

    • Work is the curse of the blogging class.

    • at michigan st. green earned comparisons to earvin johnson, with his leadership and versatility. though obviously not a point guard, he’s actually a bit shorter than johnson. they’re much different players — offense the strength of one, defense for green, but with green given more handling duties and leading fast breaks, as professionals the comparison is no longer a completely fantastical stretch.

  65. Kanter 25 and 16.

    • And he started at the 4

      Kantner and Adams together 41 and 26.

      • Zach Lowe with a less than glowing appraisal of Kanter’s defense.

        “No wonder Utah was anxious to give Rudy Gobert more minutes. Kanter is a sieve against the pick-and-roll. He runs around and shifts his feet, but his timing and footwork are all wrong, and any top-level ball handler can blow by him into the paint. Several teams have already run the “go at Kanter on every possession” crunch-time offense, and that would figure to intensify in the playoffs. Oklahoma City is allowing 109 points per 100 possessions with Kanter on the floor, even worse than the league’s worst defense.”

  66. As far as I can tell, this Warriors defensive strategy of “channeling” your guy to Bogut or Ezeli flat out don’t work.

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      As far as I can tell the Warriors playing in a back 2 back just beat the 3rd best home team by double digits. We should ignore 58-13 the defensive strategy does not work according to you.

      • Por didn’t reach the third best home record while playing without three starters including their co-m.v.p.

      • Never room for improvement? I saw numerous dunks by Boguts guy resulting from this tactic, or Bogut laid off to guard his guy and the driver went in for a easy lay-up.

        • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

          Marc- Warriors are #1 in defensive efficiency while running the most efficient offense with the fastest pace in the NBA. They are on pace for the 6th best record in NBA history. They also have the 6th best point differential. But this isn’t good enough and you think the Warriors could do better.

  67. GS 37 assists, Por 23. mr.barnes 35 min.+, zero assists, d.wright 20 min.+, 2 assists. must be nice having one’s starting spot assured ; wright has had to earn each minute on every team he’s been on.

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      I get it you are an idiot and you dont understand. Everyone has a role and they seem to be doing it quite well considering that with 11 games to play they are on pace to have the 6th best season in NBA history. But let the nit picking continue.

    • I need hugs…

      • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

        Warriors win again playing their 4th games in 5 nights despite 0 assists from Barnes how is this possible?

    • DWright had to earn minutes. Well, he didn’t earn any in Miami and was awarded starting SF by default at warriors. I get it, you think every tom and dick is better than Barnes or more deserving.

      • Once again last night, Barnes had 0 assists, blocks or steals. He also had only 3 rebounds and 6 shots in 36 minutes (2nd only to Draymond in minutes because Livingston was MIA).

        If Barnes could get open more he’d be able to contribute more of what he does best, scoring. Let’s hope that’s on his training agenda, along with passing, dribbling and D.

        Other than making so little contribution on the court, Barnes is fine. He’s a live body who doesn’t hurt the team too much because he’s not permitted to handle the ball much, just shoot it. On D, he’s little more than a speedbump, but an active, mobile one. That’s…OK, but there’s lots more to being a GOOD defender. Obviously.

        So let’s give it a rest on Barnes. He’s got a good shot, gives lots of effort, but lacks court vision, a real intuitive feel for the game, and some basic skills which can be learned.

        As FFG says, the Ws don’t need Barnes to be great or even NBA-average. He’s honestly not even average, but it’s OK. He does make a contribution, and it’s enough for a team that is so loaded.

        All that said, I’d like to see Barnes hit the floor for a loose ball once in awhile, or really FIGHT for a rebound, or do, well, ANYTHING that showed he was really trying to have an impact on the game instead of just trying to stay out of trouble. No one else on the team simply “disappears” on the court like Barnes does.

        • 7 rebs, 2 assts and 3steals are his numbers for the game before and he did hit the floor for loose ball on couple of occassions that game. Don’t understand why he can’t do it consistently in every game.

          So, yes, if you are saying Barnes need to improve that aspect of his game, he does need to improve and become consistent. Ball handling is not his strength and team doesn’t want him either, you can see Barnes get rid of ball if no scoring opportunity faster than he did last year. He is improving and has lot to improve. BTW, he is average, well if he is not average he will take the team down with him given the minutes he plays and so far can’t attribute Barnes as the primary reason for any dubs losses.

          • harry, I’ve only ever seen Barnes hit the floor for a ball he personally lost.

            Two losses I attribute to Barnes this year: @ Cleveland and @ Clippers Dec. 25. But I don’t BLAME Barnes for the losses, it’s on coach Kerr how he used Barnes.

            If Barnes isn’t as good as Caron Butler – and he’s not – he’s below average.

      • harry, can agree that mr.barnes is probably a better player than wright (who started only because batum is sidelined, and certainly would not start on the current woeyr team). but is mr.barnes starting on merit, or because the coaches don’t want his uneven skills exposed as a reserve. what of iguodala’s play, should the guy put on the bench to provide mr.barnes starts continue to see more minutes than mr. barnes.

        • On Igoudala Vs Barnes, do you think Spurs had a better SF as starter than Ginobili ?

          If you think Barnes didn’t earn starting role, you may have a point but then you might not also like that most of the top 10 picks do start by default. It is about what team needs from particular player for the role team wants him to play, all else is just not important, in my opinion. For example, if Barnes were to shoot 33% from the field like Green in his rookie year, he wouldn’t have started the whole rookie season nor does he start this year.

  68. GooseLosGatos just posted an article article that polls NBA executives & coaches who ranked the top PG’s in the league (for some reason my IPhone can’t post articles).

    1) Westbrook (by a hair)
    2) Curry
    3) Paul

    • Can’t really argue the ranking. Paul has zero weaknesses, but his team isn’t great. Curry calmly leads the best team in the league. But Westbrook has been a complete beast.

  69. From Grantland’s NBA Trade Value >>>>>>>>>

    “Harden (signed through 2017-18) and Westbrook (signed through 2016-17) are max guys earning $16 million to $17 million per season … a paltry number in two summers when the NBA salary cap starts taking steroids and HGH, but still. Meanwhile, Golden State has Curry locked down for $10.63 million (this season), $11.37 million (2015-16), and $12.1 million (2016-17). He won’t make as much money over those three years as Marcin Gortat. Anytime someone can make $11 million per year and you feel bad for them, you know they’re a bargain.”

  70. Alonzo Gee defended Curry pretty good. Well, at least as is possible on Curry.

  71. hat,

    I found you butler comparison to Barnes intersting. From my recollection, Butler was better play maker and had better handles, Barnes is better in everything else. Barnes, biggest strength is to be able to play PF and Butler can’t. Lou Deng and Jeff Green are the players, I think are more apt comps for Barnes. At worst, he would still be the same player that he is, good enough role player to be starting SF of the best team in the league.

    • BTW, I am fascinated by how Kerr getting best of Speights, Ezeli, Barnes, Iguodala, Holiday, Barbosa etc., all having better year except for Lee. Some of those players would struggle hugely or heavily criticized if not playing for warriors(ofcourse, Barnes criticized here no matter what).

      Kerr sees Barnes as ‘glue’ guy in the starting 5, remember Kerr commenting something like that. A guy who don’t need to score but does other things.

      • that is a fascinating variation of the expression ‘glue guy’, whether kerr or you is the originator. auditing/observing the game for 50+ years, have nearly always heard the term applied to players like s.jackson or green, plenty of hustle plays, steals, hard fouls to prevent fast breaks or lay ups, being in the right spot on both ends at a critical moment. in this more traditional application of ‘glue guy’, mr.barnes probably ends up in the mediocre fat part of the bell curve.

      • a) If Barnes were a better 3, he wouldn’t have to play @ the 4 to have an impact.

        b) Barnes a glue guy? You must have misheard that. Draymond, Iggy, Curry, even Bogut. But Barnes? Not in any way. No assists, no help on Curry traps, no help defense, no hustle plays, no anything to make his teammates better or help the offensive or defensive flow.

        BTW, the Caron Butler comparison wasn’t mine, it started with Matt Steinmetz, who basically said Barnes could aspire to be Butler but isn’t there yet. That’s a pretty modest goal given Barnes athletic ability, but Butler has more impact on games than Barnes. That’s not opinion, that’s just by-the-numbers fact.

        Butler is a low-mid-level kinda guy. I would hope for more from Barnes. I’m sure everyone else on the Ws does too.

        • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

          Caron Butler does not have more of an impact. The real numbers that matter are wins and losses. Clearly the Pistons are not doing that great so I don’t no what numbers you are looking at. Butler is is shooting 39% overall and 34% from 3 point range. You clearly have no idea what you are talking about.

          • Right. Steinmetz and I know nothing but you do, Mr. Stats Guy.

            Butler is 35, pal. What is Barnes going to deliver at 35? Newspapers?

          • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

            You are the one that claims inserting a 35 year old Butler in Barnes place would be no drop not me. Don’t make a claim you can’t back up. Oh wait I forgot that is your specialty.

          • Bulter is a career 14.1 PPG in 15 seasons, including this season. During his prime had 3 seasons averaging 20 PPG. So I think the Stienmetz/Hat Butler comparison of Barnes upside has validity, based on Barnes performance so far.

        • “a) If Barnes were a better 3, he wouldn’t have to play @ the 4 to have an impact.”

          This argument is not true. Lot of great SFs of the league including Lebron and Durant play PF, because team needs them there, irrespective of team needs.

  72. Hou’s starting guard beverly has been sidelined until the mid Apr at best, possibly longer. harden will be more of a lead guard than he is already. should they drop one or two places in the standings (howard’s comeback imminent but an unknown variable at this point), they’ll be in the same half of the draw as GS for the playoffs and a possible second round opponent.

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      Houston can’t get out of the 1st round and they will get by the Clippers. The Clippers own the Rockets.

  73. Ofcourse, you don’t like anything +ve about Barnes, you are consistent on that. ‘glue’, originated from Kerr or this article.

    I saw you liked DWright’s 2 assists over Barnes 0 assists, did you also like DWright’s shooting over Barnes ? Sure, no mention of it.
    That’s where Barnes gets the ball now, cutting and moving more, both in the half court and in transition. Barnes has the athleticism but not the handles, so when he gets the ball on the move he can get to the rim (where he is getting more often) or to his spots and finish.

    Kerr also asked Barnes to be the glue guy among the starters — they’ve got plenty of fire power to score, they needed an athlete to defend and rebound. To play with a little edge. Barnes has loved that role and thrived in it.

    • C’mon, Harry, give it a rest. When the team is +1 bazillion, no one can say Barnes is holding them back.

      But he really isn’t a very good ballplayer. Plug in Caron Butler or any other mid-level SF player and the team is even better. Just go by the numbers on that.

      Can we let it go now?

    • harry, it’s o.k. we find different things in the games that interest us. my very first sentence raised how many assists GS had as a team relative to Por. it’s o.k. you do not consider it remarkable that the starting wing who played 35 min.+ didn’t get one of those 37, and take the coach’s term ‘glue guy’ at face value.

      • It’s not remarkable at all if you understand that different players on a team have different roles.

        Given the amount of assists GS churns out from multiple sources (Curry, Bogut, Iguodala, Draymond), it’s clear they don’t need Barnes (or Klay, whose assist ratio is nearly identical).

        Which gets back to the question of Barnes starting instead of Iguodala as an issue of who fits better. Andre isn’t quite a point guard, but he has considerable ballhandling/passing ability — which would largely go to waste if his role was mostly to stand in the corner to space the floor. This is very similar to why the Spurs start Danny Green instead of Ginobili.

        Having Iguodala lead the second unit gives him more opportunity to handle the ball and create. This was particularly demonstrated last night, where removing the redundancy of playing alongside Livingston gave Andre more freedom to make things happen. (I suspect this was part of the motivation in resting Livingston.)

        • *2nd paragraph should end with, ” it’s clear they don’t need Barnes (or Klay, whose assist ratio is nearly identical) to fill that role.”

        • in fifteen games this month, mr.barnes has had zero or one assist in twelve of them ; thompson has sat a few recently, but in his past fifteen games he’s had those numbers in two of the fifteen.

        • Livingston was hired to lead the 2nd unit. That was never supposed to be Iguodala’s job. Iguodala makes Curry and Thompson better and always the D better.

        • According to ESPN:

          Barnes A/TO = 1.50 and his STL/TO = 0.78.

          Thompsons A/TO = 1.46 and his STL/TO = 0.56.

        • I think the term “resting” is a euphemism. Livingston doesn’t play enough to get “rest.”

          Kerr benched Livingston’s ass, and since he doesn’t want to talk about it, they called it “rest.”

        • Really good point about the redundancy. I hope that wasn’t the only reason Iguodala shot and finished so well.

        • Iguodala is shooting 62% fg, 42% on 3s in the month of March.

          The assumption is that during the playoffs, with better defenses, the Curry blitz, they’ll need another scorer and facilitator. The 62% is not surprising: Iguodala can show and go, and drive with authority.

          It’s a question of how many minutes he can play. That the 2nd. unit will be considerably weakened shows the limitations of two players. It’s hard to see where Barnes would fit in other than spot resting for the talent.

  74. cosmicballoon

    Interesting piece on OKC’s front office, in particular how the Harden trade hurts their reputation.

    • And a great, contrasting article on GSW:

      The OKC article talks about the Harden trade aiming at a “10-year window” to win with Durant, Westbrook & Ibaka. That may yet prove true, but with those three starting to rack up injuries, patience and maintaining flexibility may not prove to be virtues.

      IMO, OKC’s mistake wasn’t trading Harden, but not getting a better immediate return in terms of talent.

      • Actually, I think OKC traded the wrong star. Even amidst Westbrook’s current MVP campaign, I think OKC should have parted ways with Westbrook (if we’re not talking about contracts). It took Westbrook’s injury last year for Durant to reach a new level of efficiency while dropping 40 a night. It took Durant’s injury this year for Westbrook to actually become a leader and make his teammates better. All this time, Harden is the top dog of a better team with inferior teammates. Westbrook and Durant need their own teams.

        On a side note, I don’t think there is a single thing Westbrook does better than Harden. Scoring, passing, defense, Harden owns all the categories over Westbrook

    • the writer makes a decent case that the poll for rating g.m.’s (GS ranked second in both front office lists, individual and group) was a bit harsh on presti. but those polls, which of course the partisans have been proud to mention, come from a ‘forecast panel’ of two hundred ‘experts’. they are all bloggers, pundits, paid employees affiliated with disney/espn.

  75. felt-guv, regarding the Harlan county, Ky milieu recreated and twisted by elmore leonard, did you read the original novel ? in terms of how the telescripts are plotted, boyd crowder, this season particularly, is the central player who initiates and catalyzes what the others do. he’s essentially part of an abel/cain dyad with the putative protagonist givens. for marketing purposes (and casting by type, with the actors establishing particular characters in Deadwood and the Shield, of course), givens has to be the show’s poster boy. for me the stories were more intriguing when the third major clan with the matriarch moonshine distiller/dope dealer was alive and kicking, putting givens at his greatest peril in the series thus far.

    • Concur, that was the truest and most entertaining season by far. I always get a kick out of Sam Elliot and Mary Steenburgen, but to me this season’s plot is bordering on the fantastical and the characters becoming cartoons.

      I’m particularly bugged by Timothy Olyphant. He was really good as the laconic Givens in early seasons, but now he’s mugging for the camera and uttering movie catch phrases. As if the showrunners have suddenly realized that the fantastic Walton Goggins as Boyd is running away with the show.

      Too late. That happened a long time ago. Boyd is the character I care about.

      • And yes, I have read almost every book that Leonard has written, and more than once. One of my favorite authors.

  76. I’m not willing to predict the outcome of tomorrow’s very low stakes game, but I am certain, regardless of tomorrow’s outcome, that the Warriors will destroy Memphis in the playoffs should they meet.

    I plan to recap this one.

    • the second and third place teams will be in the opposite half of the draw from GS. unless SA rises to the fourth or fifth spot, they are the likely first round opponent for the third place team and possibly the second round match against the second place team. there are just enough regular season games left to make the injury and health effects uncertain, but Hou, Por, OK are not likely to be able to overcome their roster impairments.

    • Wonderful interview, a lot of insight here. Thanks, MN.

      On playing bigs vs. smalls: “If you play half court, the bigs always win. If you play full court, the smalls always win.”

      On smallball: “Basketball the way it was meant to be played.”

      Warriors in the West, Hawks in the East. (Think that’s what I’ve been saying myself. But don’t think the Hawks can win without Mike Scott.)

      • initial report on scott, broken toe, out four to six weeks ; more recently, severe toe sprain, possible return for the last week of the regular season. the playoffs will certainly be a good test for budenholzer’s offense, which depends on multiple contributors rather than the more usual one or two dominators. if the conference finals come down to Cle vs. Atl, the contrasting systems go face to face.

      • felt, I think Cavs and bulls who seemed to be getting healthy right in time, should be more favored to come out of east. Atlanta, not played hard playoff series ever and think only Milsap has the playoff experience of competitive series.

  77. Bogut interviewed @ Thursday’s practice

  78. cosmicballoon

    This seems weird, but the fact that Houston is the 3 seed in the West, and only a game behind Memphis really makes me think that Harden deserves the MVP over Curry. Curry has had a tremendous season, and the Warriors would not be the #1 seed without him, but Harden has had an incredible impact on the Rockets. They are hardly a playoff team without him.

    • I know what you mean, CB. Harden on/off-court is day/night to Houston. If the MVP is about team impact, Harden is a strong candidate.

      But by that measure, there’s also Anthony Davis, Westbrook and Chris Paul. They’ve all carried their teams this season, almost single-handedly. Paul might actually be the best overall player of all, but he doesn’t even seem to be in consideration for the MVP title.

      The Ws with Curry out might not suffer quite as much. He has a huge impact in the +-, but as you say, while the Ws wouldn’t be first seed, they might still be in the hunt because they’re a strong team.

      Another way of looking at the MVP race is more about aspirations for the league. Select the MVP based on how you like seeing basketball played. On that basis, Curry wins, with Davis and Paul close 2nds.

      Like a lot of people I despise Harden’s game. It’s half about creating opportunities for others, and half about collecting ticky-tack fouls and cashing in on the FT line. It’s winning basketball, but it’s crappy basketball. Who wants to reward that?

      • May be Harden is what Bogut had in mind when he said this, bogut gets it.

        “”Most teams in the NBA can do it. It’s a matter of does your superstar player want to catch the ball at the top and swing it quickly to get a wide-open shot? Or does he want to catch it and dribble it 15 times and shoot a fadeaway because he’s the man on the team?””

      • cosmicballoon

        I also think the scattered MVP chants this season for Curry in Oracle are spot on. Warrior fans are very knowledgeable and Curry’s heroics have come in such bursts that the fans haven’t been able to feel that constant need to chant MVP in the way other MVP candidates have gotten.

        The Warriors have stomped so many opponents this season that Curry has not had a chance to show his 4th quarter heroics very often. MVPs are earned in the 4th quarter when your team is losing. Curry hasn’t had to deal with that scenario because his Q1 and Q3 performance has been so absolutely astounding this year. Kerr’s rotation has Curry playing most of the 1st, part of the 2nd, and most of the 3rd quarter. In that 2/3 of a game, Curry is absolutely crushing everything in his path. The 4th quarter has VERY often become an afterthought. The level of dominance has been astounding.

  79. Durant finished for the season.

    Pat Beverley likely done as well.

  80. Looking forward to the writeup, Feltbot.

    Finally, a serious game, full strength, but for Allen going down—and I’m guessing he was hurting before? I’m assuming both teams took this one seriously.

    What an utterly brilliant game by the guards. You see how they can put a good team in a hole and not look back.

    The playoffs, should this matchup happen, will be more physical and tougher, but I’m no longer worried about Memphis’ size. It is a game where I value Bogut, but also Ezeli was superb tonight and Lee filled in for Green very well. They didn’t miss a beat. Four bodies, and even Mo, to put on Memphis.

    The only downside was Livingston and Kerr’s whatever offense 4th. quarter. We’ve seen this too many times. If he’s going to run this thing, he’s got to put somebody else in to bail out Livingston, Speights or Klay.

    • Barnes could not handle either Randolph or JGreen. And he was slow switching on screens and late closing out shooters.

      • I wasn’t going to say anything. He was especially bad stint 4, 2nd. quarter:

        -9 in 3 and a half minutes. And he was passive once more on offense. Almost nothing. I’d rather see Igulodala go 1 for 11. At least he was aggressive, and those shots will fall eventually.

      • jeff green has one of the more interesting career histories in the association. john thompson at georgetown called him the smartest player he’s had. like barnes, a high first round pick, though green had the stronger college record. Sea liked him enough to use the pick from trading ray allen (a presti budget cut) to take him, and he began his career with durant for a rookie teammate. green showed plenty of promise in his first two seasons, but presti, thinking he had depth at wing and guard but lacked a big, shipped green for k.perkins (in turn recently shipped mostly for budget and roster economy). when presti shipped harden, again he tried to address size in the front court with the picks he received because perkins proved inconsistent. green has had to restart his career with a new team twice, as well as after serious heart surgery requiring an entire season to recover.

      • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

        Hey Marc the Grizzlies could not handle the Warriors. They got blasted by 24. I am sorry they didn’t live up to your standard.