The Price was Right: Grading Feltbot’s 2014-15 Season Win Total Wagers

Before every season, I like to peruse the Vegas NBA win-total lines, with an eye towards picking up lost money in search of a home. My record on these picks is 10-1-1 since I began posting them for readers three seasons ago. Let’s see how I did this season, when I gave you these three Western Conference picks, and these four Eastern Conference picks:   


I recommended these seven bets to my readers. The result is highlighted.

1) Rockets over 49.5 wins. Actual wins: 56.

2) Grizzlies over 49 wins.   55.

3) TWolves over 26.5 wins.  16.

4) Hawks over 41 wins.  60.

5) Bucks over 24 wins.  41.

6) Wizards UNDER 49.5 wins. 46.

7) Bulls record against the Cavs record, getting 4 games: Bulls 50 wins, Cavs 53 wins.

As you can see, my record on these wagers was 6-1, bringing my three season total record to 16-2-1.


Rockets: I was expecting a significant defensive improvement from the Rockets due to the Trevor Ariza for Chandler Parsons substitution. And I got it, despite the fact that the Rockets lost three of their best defenders – Dwight Howard, Terrence Jones and Patrick Beverley – for most of the season.

Quite clearly, this was a mispriced line. What would the Rockets’ record have been if they’d stayed healthy?

Grizzlies: Another clearly mispriced line, as the Grizzlies beat it by 6 games despite barely playing .500 ball since the All-Star break. Gasol, Randolph and Conley all wore down as the season went on, but they were healthier than the previous year, they were more comfortable with Coach Joerger in his second season, and that’s all it took.

Win totals lines are frequently set by the enthusiasms of fans. Who wants to bet on the Grizzlies? That’s why lines like this one are available year after year.

Timberwolves: Ouch. And I’m not just referring to my pain. The TWolves had a terrible injury season. Ricky Rubio played 10 games before getting injured, and played 22 games total. Pekovich played 31 games. Kevin Martin broke his hand, 39 games. Shabazz Muhammad was having a breakout second season, then got injured, 39 games. Thad Young suffered a concussion and a bereavement. Mo Williams got injured when they needed him most.

And then what I feared might happen after a slow start occurred: Flip Saunders started dumping his veterans and tanking. Thad Young, Corey Brewer, Mo Williams and JJ Barea were all given away.

I made this bet because the TWolves had a solid veteran core in addition to their youngsters Andrew Wiggins, Gorgui Dieng and Muhammad, and 26.5 wins is an extremely low bar. Was it a good bet? I’m not entirely sure, and we’ll never really know. But if it was a mistake, it’s the kind of mistake I’ll make again.

Hawks: I don’t have much to say about my easiest win, except that I am as baffled by this line now as I was before the season. All it took was for Horford to stay healthy.

Bucks: A lot went wrong for this bet — Larry Sanders melted down, Jabari Parker blew out his knee — and yet it crushed. A sign of a very good price, and a very good coach. I feel about Jason Kidd much as I did about Don Nelson: He will find a way to win with whatever roster you hand him. And I intend to bet on him whenever possible.

Wizards: It looked like I was going to lose this bet at midseason. Did I get lucky? I really don’t think so. In fact, I think I got unlucky in the Wizards’ hot start. I thought they were really going to miss Ariza and Bradley Beal to start the season, and I was right that Martell Webster and Otto Porter weren’t the answer. What I didn’t see happening was 35 yr. old Rasual Butler coming to the rescue with the hottest stretch of his career. He literally saved the early part of the Wizard’s season.

Other things I got wrong: Nene stayed healthier than he has in several seasons. Paul Pierce was actually better defensively at small forward than I believed he would be at age 37, a year after Jason Kidd had moved him to the power forward for defensive reasons. Proving again what a great champion he is.

What this came down to in the end was price. It’s really, really hard to get 50 wins in the NBA. This one was close, but I still like the bet.

Bulls vs. Cavs: This was my favorite bet of the season, for three reasons. First, because I liked the Bulls’ upside, but there was no way I could bet them against the Vegas line: 54 wins was a joke. Second, because I got to hedge the Bulls’ performance against a team that I thought was grossly overhyped and overpriced. And third, because I made the bet with a very good friend who happens to be a more sophisticated overall bettor than I am. Ship it, Corlan!

My preseason analysis was on the money: the Cavs were completely dysfunctional to start the year. And despite the fact that the Bulls had myriad injury woes, I was crushing this bet right up until the trading deadline.

Then it all fell apart. The Cavs found a sucker for Dion Waiters, and were simply handed a decent two-way starting center (Mozgov), a 3 and D shooting guard (JR Smith), and a defensive stopper off the bench (Shumpert). I’m not sure I’ve ever before seen a team fix so many major holes so quickly and effectively. And the Bulls, of course, lost Derrick Rose to add to all of their other injury problems.

Was I lucky to wind up winning this bet by one game? You might want to think that, but to me, when everything goes wrong, and I still wind up winning, it’s a vindication.

The price was right.

193 Responses to The Price was Right: Grading Feltbot’s 2014-15 Season Win Total Wagers

  1. The Chronicle pointed out yesterday the odds of the Raiders and Niners clashing in The Stupor Bowl are 675-1. I’m going up to Tahoe and lay out a couple hundred $ on some real long shots, then immediately write off the money, and hope a serious amount of cash falls on my head at some point in the future.
    Better odds than the Lotto, at least

  2. Felt,

    Concidentally, Pippen has this to tweet today.

    Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen hosted a Twitter Q&A today, and he was asked which current NBA player he’d like to guard: “I’d say LeBron, but I think Steph Curry might be the toughest player to guard in the league.”

  3. felt,

    lol on

    Steve Kerr just won the Professional Basketball Writers’ “Not Mark Jackson” award.

    I would say Monty won “Mark Jackson” award.

  4. When I gamble I really take the word at face value. Even when I was “investing” in the stock market in ’99, it was just reckless wagering. Of course I lost it all, but I wasn’t looking for an eventual 10 or 20 % return- I wanted to strike it rich. The thought of doubling or tripling your money overnight, the hope, is worth something in itself. Though I’d do things differently now.

    Have you ever read Fernando Pessoa, Feltbot? You may enjoy his stuff, dark as it is to some. He was a Portuguese writer in his beloved 1920s Lisbon. In “The Book of Disquiet”, he created a pseudo-autobiographical character, a Mr Soares, who was an asst bookkeeper in a dreary office, with a first person narrative that could have have come straight from the mind of the enigmatic Bartleby. Part philosophy, part poetry, and just plain excellent writing. As the back cover blurb calls it, exhilarating lugubrious ness

    “My life: a tragedy booed off the stage by the gods after only the first act.

    Friends: none. Just a few acquaintances who think they get on with me and would perhaps be sorry if I got knocked down by a train or it rained on the day of the funeral.

    Everyone everywhere has always treated me kindly. Very few people, I think, have had so few raise their voice against them, or been so little frowned at, so infrequently the object of someone else’s arrogance or irritability. But the kindness with which I was treated was always devoid of affection. For those who would naturally be closest to me, I was always a guest who, as such, was well treated but only with the attentiveness due to a stranger and the lack of affection which is the lot of the intruder

    Sad, in my quiet room, alone as I have always been and always will be, I sit writing. And I wonder if that seemingly feeble thing, my voice, does not perhaps embody the substance of thousands of voices, the hunger to speak out of thousands of lives, the patience of millions of souls who, like me, have submitted in their daily lives to vain dreams and evanescence hopes. On moments like these my heart beats faster simply because I am concious of it. I feel in my person a religious force, a form of prayer, something like a clamour of voices. But the reaction against myself begins in my intellect…I see myself in the fourth floor room in Rua dos Douradores and feel drowsy; on the half-written page, I observe my useless life devoid of beauty, the cheap cigarette, the old ink blotter. Here I am, in this fourth floor room, demanding answers from life! Pronouncing on what other souls feel! Writing prose…

    • read it thrice, ”the book of disquiet that is,, at first found it melancholic, then complex and complexious (what about passages of superior man and their need for no woman, since even a superior woman is fundamentally sexual creature) and humorous at last.

      this passage:
      “I, however, who in this transitory life am nothing, can enjoy the thought of the future reading this very page, since I do actually write it; I can take pride – like a father in his son – in the fame I will have, since at least I have something that could bring me fame. And as I think this, rising from the table, my invisible and inwardly majestic stature rises above Detroit, Michigan, and over all the commercial district of Lisbon.”
      gave me a thing to write, here:

      • Check out Martin’s site! Great stuff here, Martin.

      • We have different editions. There’s no
        mention of Detroit MI in mine
        Was your use of ‘humorous’ as an adjective derogatory, at all? This book is not exactly a barrel of Monkees

    • Yikes, guys. Lives of quiet desperation, WTF. This is America, where we can all be rich.

      Geez, if you enjoy being bummed out, read DeMaupassant.

    • Related: I watched “Patience: After Sebald” last night, a movie about Sebald which visits the scenes of his novel (?) The Rings of Saturn, which I picked up today.

  5. Felt, putting aside the Bucks record, what are you seeing in Jason Kidd’s coaching that stands out so positively to you?

    • Before anyone says it, I am *not* disagreeing with Felt.

    • Further to this, did you catch the MIL-CHI game 5 and can you breakdown what happened and how MIL won? I missed the game completely.

      • I saw the 4th Qtr. Henson played really well. I thought he out-played the Bulls bigs. The Greek Freak blocked some shots down the stretch. And the tall PG, really young looking guy, played well too. It also looked like to me the Bucks had more energy and were quicker over all.

        • Kidd is a dynamic strategic coach. He fits his system to his roster, not the other way around. He understands the matchup game, understands different styles and speeds, understands and uses Nellieball, and is completely fearless in making adjustments. He is not afraid to make changes to his lineups and rotations, even in midseason. His first year in New Jersey he fired a rigid thinking associate head coach who couldn’t understand his approach, less than a month into the season. Moved Paul Pierce to the four, Shaun Livingston to the three, played pick and roll with a spread floor, and bingo, turned the situation around. That team had to play slow to win. His Bucks team plays fast.

          Like the best in the business, Don Nelson, he’s a “point guard whisperer.” And like Nellie, Carlisle and Pop, he gameplans to win every single game. Last night, he exploited one of the Bucks’ biggest edges against the Bulls: the size and finishing ability of MCW against the defensive liability that is Derrick Rose. That will be a theme going forward.

          As for the Bucks-Bulls matchup, the Bucks have an extraordinary defensive team. Yesterday, MCW locked in on Rose. But whenever Rose penetrated, Henson or the Greek Freak were there to protect the rim. Even Middleton and OJ Mayo are stepping up their defence. Jimmy Butler isn’t getting as much bullying done in the playoffs as he did in the regular season.

          On offense, Kidd has a challenge, as the Bucks’ shooting is below par. Kidd’s approach has been Nellieball, with the Greek Freak and Jared Dudley at the four, to spread the Bulls out. That helped open the floor for MCW to get into the lane.

          The biggest problem the Bulls have is age and injury. They look like a really tired team. The young Bucks look fresher every game.

          If Jabari Parker comes back strong, the Bucks are going to be a lot of fun to follow. A potential contender.

          • Very fine, Feltbot. A comparison is invited, if you’re up to it later.

            In many ways, so much about basketball and strategy and players has been revealed and reinforced this season, if anyone can see through the confusing and ambiguous results.

          • Thanks FB.

            The Bucks have certainly got a lengthy team on their hands, in the same manner as the W’s. They need Shaun Livingston and Justin Holiday to complete the set of lengthy players that need to eat more.

            Will be curious to see their Vegas odds next year. I expect big things from the Bucks next year.

  6. Congrats on your wins, Feltbot. Only now does it occur to me I could use the blog as a source of income—too late!

  7. One team I may put a little wager on for next season is the Magic, who are my pick for the EC sleeper
    Check out their starting five- it oozes talent. Only Vucevic, at 24, is over 22 yrs old. Which is part of their problem. If Payton can develop at the point, the playoffs are a real possibility
    I need to see all the odds, though

    • Probably a lot depends on who their next coach is.

    • Payton has a .262 3pt percentage, .551 on free throws. Oladipo is better, with a .327 3pt percentage, but still, not exactly an outside shooting threat.

      Can a team succeed with two poor-shooting guards? They don’t get my bet.

      • I’m also very skeptical of Payton unless he can figure out how to shoot. Without that, isn’t his upside basically Rondo or Rubio?

    • Those are good points. A team so young can only be so competitive, as NBA history dictates. Hard to keep all 5 together also, if it eventually does work
      I was impressed with Payton. He’s 6’4″ with the requisite point skills, and defends too. As for his shot, I think of Corey Brewer. At Florida and his first NBA stop he had an atrocious jumper, but he’s developed a serviceable, though still ugly, 3. ( I’m not checking #s. Just my simple eyeball test. So rip into me, if warranted). I believe Payton only took 40 threes last year. Oladipo, Harris, and Vucevic all put in 17 plus per game, add in a healthy Gordon , a high pick, some decent vets for guidance, top it off with a nice hire…

    • My two cents: Both Payton and Oladipo are strong defenders, which is great, but both lack playoff length, which is bad. Payton can’t shoot at all, which is horrible, Oladipo is “streaky”, which is not great. Harris and Vucevic are tremendous offensive talents, not much going on defensively.

      One very real problem with this team: they have a lot of young talent who are looking for contracts. Who is the alpha dog? Who gets the shots? I can see the chemistry never working with this group.

      Who are the wise vets to provide guidance? Who will the coach be, perhaps the most important ingredient of all. Harris is an stretch four, the frontline is weak defensively, the guards can streak…. this team clearly needs a Nellieball coach and the fastest tempo in the league.

      I’m skeptical pending further developments.

  8. Kevin Love likely out for the playoffs.

    The whole NBA could be reviewed in a case study of Love—how he is valued, how much he is overvalued, how good he is, how he is played, what he can do, how he should be played, who he should play with—and how injuries trump all discussion.

    And we’ll never know, not this year. I understand that shoulders, once dislocated, tend to keep popping out. Fatal attraction—now Lacob has to go after him off season, if he can figure it out.

    • My doc says that Love’s reported damage is very serious and at least partly irreparable. It will get better, but will never be 100%.

      Depending on the details, Love may require surgery and it’s questionable whether he could or should return to the court this season at all.

    • cosmicballoon

      Chandler Parson’s might need microfracture surgery on his knee. These are definitely symptoms of the 82 game season.

      I bet a bunch of players would benefit from going back to the 70 game season. I know we’ve had this debate before, but I think the number of injuries to high profile players makes it worth bringing up again.

      • cosmicballoon

        Love’s injury was different, but the majority of these injuries are from overuse.

      • They are not going to reduce 82 games season, but more likely cut down pre season, start the season early and stretch the season longer for 82 games.

      • Lots of alternatives have been proposed to alleviate the pounding of an 82-game season, but most point to loss of revenue, which no one ever votes for.

        One alternative I’ve heard that is kind of intriguing is to use the upcoming expanded TV revenue to simply fund bigger rosters. The last CBA moved somewhat in that direction, setting higher minimum roster sizes and minimum total salary payout.

        What would happen if the roster minimum were set at, say, 17 players? Could a team then build a roster designed for total team substitutions, and just run like hell? Could it revolutionize the NBA game, and make it even quicker? If they hired new players specifically to run, run, run, the right coach could figure out pretty quickly how to use all those extra bodies.

    • I had a bad shoulder dislocation, it came completely out of the socket, when I was 22. The doctor said it would heal, it never did. That same doctor performed a Magnusson Repair on it, after I insisted it was not healing. He told me after the surgery, “you were right, it was a bloody mess in there and never would have healed”. Since the repair, never had a problem. Actually, I think it was stronger than before. Maybe a slight amount of residual flexibility impairment.

      Love can make a complete recovery, if he will choose surgery. With today’s modern rehab/physical therapy, even more so.

      But you are right. Without the surgery, the damn thing is popping out again and more pain and downtime.

      • Didn’t Chris Webber have surgery on one or both shoulders for this?

        • webber first dislocated his left shoulder in Dec ’94, did not have surgery, returned later that season after missing 19 games. he reinjured it the following Oct, but didn’t decide to have surgery until early ’96, and played just 15 games in the ’95-96 season. the surgery was successful, and the injury that defined his career later was the a.c.l. rupture and subsequent attempt to address it with microfracture surgery.

      • Love had the surgery (good decision) and will be out at least 4 to 6 months. If he’s smart, and he is, he’ll do a complete physical therapy rehab for at least 6 months before attempting hoops again. And then work back into B-Ball slowly. He’s still young enuff.

  9. “Winners and Losers in the NBA Playoffs” (Grantland Zach Lowe)

    “You can’t run an offense through Draymond Green, but you also can’t exploit him in any way. He can keep the machine moving on offense, and he’s one of the half-dozen best defenders in the league. He’s a max player this summer, especially since any long-term max contract signed in July will only take up something like 15 percent of the cap once it leaps into the $100 million range in two years.

    One thing Green can’t do: play center full-time. The Warriors will always need a bigger guy next to him, and they’ll eventually have to pay Andrew Bogut’s successor. But their cap sheet is structured so that every time someone is due a raise, another big deal comes off the books. The Dubs can max out Green this summer, re-sign Stephen Curry to a $30 million mega-max deal in two years, and — if they play their cards right — still have enough money to nab a big free agent at some point during that process. It may cost them Harrison Barnes, but that’s a trade-off the Warriors will make if they have to.”

    • I read that article and had just one minor quibble.

      I’d say you can’t run an offense SOLELY through Draymond Green. In practice, Dray’s the effective point guard on quite a few possessions, especially when he pulls down the defensive rebound.

      • When the opposition blitzes/traps Curry out on the perimeter, Kerr countered this by running Green out to catch a Curry pass in the mid-range. Green then ran the offense from there — either driving to the hoop or passing during driving, or passing right away to a cutter, or passing back to an open Curry or Thompson for a 3. Multiple options, which Green with his excellent court vision, feel, and high IQ is very effective running the offense in that set.

        Have you noticed he is kind of getting better at running a fast break as well?

        • Yeah, he’s better at finishing, too.

          At MSU, Tom Izzo put the ball in Dray’s hands a lot, playing point-forward (or point-C?). Good things happened to the offense that way. The incomparable Mark Jackson never figured that out, but Gentry/Kerr did right away.

    • I think earlier in the year Lowe didn’t see Draymond as a max guy. I guess he changed his mind.

  10. “Andrew Bogut is the difference-maker for this year’s Warriors”

    • If I had to pick one guy, I’d say Kerr was THE difference maker this year. All of last year’s players have all made big improvements this year (except Barnes and Lee), and they’re all difference-makers to some degree.


    For the regular season, the team went 37-12 (.755) with David Lee in the lineup and 30-3 (.909) without him (with two of those losses coming in the second week of the season and the third coming back on December 16th). That’s right, when Lee DNP’d, the team hasn’t lost since December 16th.


    Playing more minutes hasn’t helped. The team went 16-5 (.761) in games where the former All Star played more than 20 minutes, 4-3 (.571) when he topped 24 minutes, and 0-2 when he played 30 or more minutes. On the flipside, the team is 5-0 when Lee plays, but less than 10 minutes.

    The team hasn’t depended on Lee to play well in wins either. His TS% in wins was .527 on 19.0 USG% in 18.2 minutes. He averaged 7.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in those wins. In losses, his USG% increased to 21.0, and his TS% climbed to .575. He managed to raise his counting numbers too, posting 9.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per loss.

    Occam’s razor says that the more the Warriors use Lee this season, the worse the team plays. And he is the highest paid player in team history (until Klay’s contract kicks in next season), before tax penalties.

    A little creativity from Warriors GM Bob Myers and the Warriors could conceivably have full use of both their MLE and the bi-annual MLE. Would they still be a tax paying team? Yes. But paying 5-10 million in taxes is not remotely the same as $50 million to keep a player that doesn’t translate to wins. And the team might be able to lure in a pretty good player with that MLE.

    • I think an important point made in the article is one Felt stated a few months ago — the Warriors will have to give up their 2015 1st round pick, if they want to move DLee and not take back another players large salary.

      I don’t think the Warriors will want to do that, and DLees core injuries are well known at this point.

      As for Harrison Barnes, not sure he has much trade value, because he has not put up the numbers to be valuable in the trade market and is more of a role/support guy, though I think a pretty good Stretch-4.

      • 22 year old role player who is also starter of 71-15 team so far will have lot of trade value, you will be surprised irrespective how each of us personally feel about him. Plus, the fact that he can play SF and stretch4, invaluable for many teams. You don’t want to dump your #7 pick for many reasons, not when he had also been starter of two successful teams with two playoff series wins to date.

        • Sorry Harry, completely disagree with you on this point. It’s not my feeling that counts, it’s simply he has not put up the numbers after 3 NBA seasons. The GMs around the league are sharp, and I dont think they would trade for Harrison only on potential at this point.

          Hope I’m wrong about HB and DLee trade value.

          • mr.barnes has much more value than the team’s coming first round pick, as far as the dumping fee for lee’s contract. among the team’s many accomplishments this season, they must include destroying lee’s market value. they never exhibited any equivocation about it, and a significant factor was their priority on reviving mr. barnes into a competent role filler. with bogut on the bench, under the preacher they’d use lee/green ; this season kerr loved green/barnes (iguodala was the 3 in both configurations).

            by itself, the team’s first round pick won’t be worth much as a dumping fee. teams will not assume they’ll find a butler, ezeli, or d.lee (himself, in his draft class) at the bottom of the round, or even a d’mond, millsap, parsons. the first round pick UT chose for biedrins’ fee hasn’t done much there, especially relative to the guy the lacobites passed over a few picks later, gobert.

            from the great lacob’s rhetoric on mr. barnes, he’d be loathe to part with him. t.schenk mentioned in an interview that he’d never give the owner an honest assessment on one of his favorites, and it probably wasn’t green or curry schenk meant. it took west indicating he’d quit if thompson were dealt to Min to convince lacob, but no one in the council will make any such commitment behind a lee trade proposal.

          • Not just for potential, they know what they get with a chance for getting more. So, not a risky move for a team as they know what minimum they can get from the player. He is very valuable as stretch 4 and who can also play 3. We have differing opinion and we may never know who is right unless he gets traded.

    • I assume you find this piece to be cogent and convincing. Perhaps you can explain how?

    • It’s always important to view a player’s contribution in context.

      Lee played 712 minutes without Green (i.e., with the 2nd unit), and the team results were awful. ppp of 1.058 v the opposition’s 1.070. On average, our 2nd team was outscored.

      Lee played 191 minutes with Green. team ppp of 1.137 v the opp’s 1.050. That was last year’s best front line, and it was damn fine this year too.

      • Hat,

        Agree with you on last year;s Lee. Last year’s version of Lee may be history now, just speculating though. Just thought it was informative article and pasted it here. As always with every article, they come with some bias.

  12. LaMarcus Aldridge, the biggest guy on the court, prancing around the perimeter like he’s Kobe or MJ. Chris Webber II.

    • cosmicballoon

      Haha, he’s tired of banging with Gasol and Randolph. Aldridge is in his 10th season and he has developed into CWebb 2.0 without the passing ability. I wouldn’t touch him with a 10-foot pole if I was a team looking to pay big in free agency. He’s proven with his jump shooting ways (but no 3-point shot) that he’s not a cornerstone piece for any franchise.

    • Couldn’t agree more. Have always hated LA’s game, he has zero heart. Chris Webber is a great comparison, except LA even lacks Webber’s high post passing ability.

      One of the most overrated players in the league. I would avoid him like the plague.

  13. I think that this Spurs-Clips series is starting to bring something into focus- the Spurs are vulnerable. I’m expecting the Spurs to move on. They’re behind 8 right now in game 5.

    I’ve never been enamoured with Aldridge, all the way back to the LongHorns

    Houston bumping off Dallas is more of a reflection on the Mavs shortcomings than the Rockets superiority. I ripped the Rondo trade the day it dawned. “Threadbare” bench..

    Mil and the Magic are alike, talent-wise. The magic are even younger, but neither team has sharp-shooting smalls. They’re not that far apart, as dregs of the East. I think Olidapu and Harris can be sharpshooters, though I read Harris is a bit of a Diva. Which isn’t good at 22. But you can’t believe all you read

    A big earthquake anywhere in the world always brings my psychosis about tremors to the forefront of my conscious mind. The last earthquake I experienced in SF, no joke, was during a Warrior opening season game. They were in LA, getting squashed by Kobe and Co, Dunleavy and Troy Murphy were starting, and the lamp and other assorted flotsam was rattling. I can see how people suffer heart attacks during quakes. It’s terrifying waiting to see how they play out..

  14. So it’s looking like Spur-Rockets and then Warriors-Spurs as we’ve feared all along. Luckily this is not the same team that broke up LeBron and Co. last year as Parker and Splitter are playing with a broken wheel and Green is a shell of himself. As a result, Pop is forced to apply Leonard to wherever the offense is hurting and increase his usage rate as a result. Leonard has been phenomenal as of late but there are consequences to this change in game plan. First, Leonard is a role player and not a super star, even if the media would like the fans to believe otherwise. He just happens to be an amazing role player, by far the best 3 and D wing in the league who is capable of playing the 4 for short bursts. But tonight he was 5-16 (-10) with most of his shots coming out of post-ups and midrange pull-up jumpers. I think it’s a mistake to use Leonard like this, but given the team’s struggles I don’t have any alternative ideas to remedy the Spurs’ shortcomings. Hopefully the Warriors can take advantage of this lesser version of the 2013-2014 Spurs.

    • You’re probably right, but I’m not convinced. This is tough because it’s hard to know what Parker can do—33% FG so far, no 3’s. Crawford only has to get hot two games in a row to tip the scales. Howard is showing life—Houston won’t be a pushover for either team.

    • cosmicballoon

      Really a fascinating game last night between the Clips and Spurs. LA proved once again that they can’t really execute down the stretch unless CP3 is taking the shots. Reddick can’t get open, Crawford is hot and cold, and Blake seems to get into his own head rather than make smart plays in a close game. Barnes is a shell of his former self and DJ’s free throw shooting takes him off the floor. Barkley (I think), said he thinks the Clips should be playing Spencer Hawes when DJ has to come out of the game. The Clips have some serious flaws when they are not shooting well.

      That said, San Antonio is having to expand a ton of energy in this series. Even if they get past the Clippers, I believe the Rockets are going to beat them simply because of the tired legs/injuries the Spurs are dealing with. The Rockets are a better defensive team than the Clippers, so SA might have trouble keeping up if the Rockets shoot a decent percentage from 3.

      • CB, you might be right. I thought SA would dominate this series, and they’re just not right. Even if they get past the Clips, they’re in for big trouble against Houston if they don’t step up on both ends of the floor.

        Shooting .346 from 3pt, .445 overall. Parker a half-step slow. Baynes useless. Forcing the ball to Leonard, not letting the offense flow naturally.

        A strange series. With the Clips bench as poor as it is, theses games should not have been so difficult for the Spurs.

    • “First, Leonard is a role player and not a super star, even if the media would like the fans to believe otherwise. ”

      He is definitely an all star and greater than a role player but not super star as you have pointed out. Speaking of superstar, I think I can categorize only below players as super stars.

      Lebron, Durant, Curry, Davis and Harden.

      Ofcourse, everyone has their own definition for super stars.

  15. The bad man blocked my shot!

    Ooo, I’m Blake Griffin and I can’t get up!

  16. Kerr on Barnes performance in 1st round

    -Q: Do you think Harrison really thrived at the 4 in this series? Do you expect more of that going forward?

    -KERR: Depending on match-ups. We like to play Harrison at the 4. If we can get him 10 or 15 minutes there, it changes our look; it makes us smaller on offense but pretty lethal with just the perimeter game, the drive-and-kick game.

    Harrison’s so strong, he’s generally able to hold off the 4 man he’s guarding, too. So we like that a lot.

    -Q: How do you assess his first round?

    -KERR: I thought Harrison was solid. He had a really good Game 1 and played some huge minutes in Game 3 in the fourth quarter. All in all, though, very solid series; nothing spectacular but very reliable.

    • Link for the above, some good takes by Kerr on Green too.

    • I’m not especially shocked that it wasn’t noted here, but in the last two games –for the first time all year, IIRC–Kerr had Barnes down the stretch of a close game at small forward, rather than Iguodala (in OT of game 3, and bringing Barnes in for AI midway through the fourth quarter of game 4).

      Also, if only for the sake of accuracy, it should be mentioned that Barnes (not Klay) was the primary defender on Tyreke Evans during the first half of game 4, including blocking Evans’ shot on the Pelicans’ first possession of the game.

      • I thought it was interesting that Kerr sees the same thing in Barnes and I have been. No, Kerr don’t BS like MJ. Iguodala had a forgettable series in the 1st round with Barnes and Livingston getting the minutes otherwise Iguodala’s. Team does need Iguodala to come back strong and finish games though.

    • Harry, luv ya man, but pleasepleaseplease give up on this Barnes bullshit.

      Barnes has everything he needs to be a monstrous player, except for one teensy little item: an absolutely unwavering need to succeed. Feltbot calls it heart. I call it the only difference between success and failure in any walk of life.

      Without THE NEED, Barnes will never be more that OK no matter what else he brings. The NBA is the most extremely competitive forum for any professional athlete. Barnes doesn’t want it badly enough. He’ll always be… OK enough, barely. He will NOT be counted among the best. He doesn’t want it badly enough, and it shows in every single game he’s ever played.

      • Hat, Just linked the comments thought that was interesting. If the comment was about Green being great, well we already knew that. But, got my attention on Barnes since we all talk about his role. Kerr’s comment on 10-15 minutes of Barnes as stretch 4 etc.. Kerr said barnes is ‘solid’ and I agree with that. That is what he is in current juncture. May be have a career like ‘solid’ role player or not, I am not going to jump into conclusions.

    • this is the normal confectionary stuff with very limited nutritional value ; kerr shows the chops that won him the prize from the pro hoops writers. the team’s favorable draw will protect mr.barnes from getting seriously tested until the third round.

    • I agree with Hat on the heart aspect.

      Seems like to me HB hasn’t learned the game very fast; that is the IQ part — quick reactions, off the ball movement, finding an open spot, passing. The “he’s only 22” argument expressed on the B-Ball blogs is logical. He’s 23 in a few days, so next season we should expect a big year from him, whether he stays with the Warriors or is traded.

      I think at this point he might very well be a better choice at the 3 than Iguodala or Livingston and is certainly the team’s best Stretch-4 along with Green, although Kerr likes Livingston more and more at the 3 alongside Curry and Thompson.

      I think the real test will come against the Spurs. Pop will leave Barnes, Iguodala, and Livingston open, smothering Curry and Thompson.

      • Marc, Pop is not going to leave Barnes open, but hopefully we get to see that.

        • Pop will do everything he can to stop Klay and Steph, giving Barnes, Livingston, and Iguodala opportunity and perhaps incumbent they perform well offensively in order to beat the Spurs.

          As you say, we will see. I’m hoping those 3 guys perform. I think they will need to, to beat the Spurs.

        • My friend, Pop routinely hides his worst defender on Barnes.

          Two years ago, Barnes was “guarded” by Parker, and we’ve had to listen to the bullshit about Barnes’ “amazing breakout playoff performance” ever since. Yeah, right. Those were some pretty ordinary-looking numbers. And who won that series?

          This year we’re not hearing so much bull about Barnes, but if we face San Antonio, it’s Parker on Barnes. Again. Still. And it will still be Pop’s best option because, frankly, a teensy but determined little guard is all it takes to stop Barnes from playing offense.

          • cosmicballoon

            Thankfully the emergency of Green has made Barnes a role player. He won’t play 35-40 minutes like he did against the Spurs two years ago.

          • Hat, yes, Pops will put his worst defender among swing players on Barnes. That is different from leaving him open like leaving Bogut open on the perimeter. Last time around Pops did leave someone always open as he resorted to blitzes on Curry leaving MJ clueless on how to handle blitzes. This time around, Kerr has a cure for blitzes. I say, bring on those blitzes, Klay, Barnes and Green are ready to launch open 3.

  17. Here’s a stand-in for all of you who don’t have the money for and/or interest in Saturday night’s fight. I don’t. My son has a friend who bought the fight and is going to watch, which got me talking about days past. It’s the Hagler vs Hearns fight, all 8 minutes of it.

    Boxing went downhill most concede and for many out of sight when it moved to closed circuit and pay-per-view. Money has corrupted it. The NBA hasn’t gone that far and probably won’t, but it’s headed in that direction. Seat prices have escalated and still soar, and few games are broadcast publicly. Cable TV is a serious bump for a lot of people.

    I always respected sports growing up as a roughly democratic activity, which I gave equal status with many other institutions. They are also a fair representation of what rough things democracy and this country are. And they provide a rough model of what both might be.They give people who come from less advantaged backgrounds and have personalities and skills that aren’t rewarded well elsewhere a chance to compete and excel and be recognized. Sports then weren’t just for the participants, but also the viewers from the same ranks, for whom access was once relatively inexpensive and easy. As a middle class kid, I always felt sports belonged to them and that I was a onlooker without privileged position. Look at the crowds now. I think that’s what I find so offensive about the Warrior’s Authentic Fans section. It’s token recognition, and it reminds me of the Peanut Gallery in the Howdy Doody show, way back when.

    My other thought is that I realize now my objection to much of the physical behavior in the playoffs. Basketball is a physical and aggressive sport but not a combative one. Much of the behavior we’ve see is designed to hurt or intimidate, not gain strategic position and advantage. Much of it—the trips, the hooks, the elbows—come from the blind side. My only point here is that if you want to fight, be up front, turn around, face off and have at it.

    And this fight is pure and (mostly) honest expression of such aggression. Seriously, if you don’t know this fight, watch it.

    • Wrong link—don’t know what happened.

      • rgg, boxing is stylized/formalized/legislated to the point that a “real” fight is not at all similar to what we see in the ring. Pure aggression is not a sport, it’s highly dangerous. Boxing is a simulation.

      • Nice link Rgg. I saw that one
        I think MMA is a bit of a natural progression for boxing. I loved watching the big fights- Larry Holmes, the Hitman, Mike Tyson, Boom Boom, Irish Pat Lawlor vs Duran (jokin on that one; Pats an acquaintance of mine). For the younger generation MMA holds more appeal than boxing; if your gonna put two guys into a ring might as well let em go all out. I love the sweet science, but the dearth of the heavier classes is another reason not to watch. Seeing two monsters clash was always more compelling than the Lightweights..

        Cuba had a great Olympic heavyweight, Teofio(?) Stevenson. He was a technician and a great boxer. But the best fight I ever had the privilege of watching was the Buster Douglas upset of Mike Tyson. I wandered into a bar in Acapulco one sultry summer and there it was, free on TV. It was kinda like watchin the We Believe Wubs beat the Mavs, concentrated into a slugfest

        • I said boxing was aggression, but it is still a sport, contained within its raw and forceful art. But MMA is artless to me and I have no interest. Guess I’m getting old. Remember Stevenson. But he never got to fight outside the Olympics, did he? Certainly no prize fights in the U.S. So we really never knew how good he was.

          Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Norton, Liston. . . .

          • Stevenson may have gotten to fight in Europe, I think, but he was past his prime.
            I’m not a huge MMA fan, but I can appreciate the pure competition. When someone’s really good at what they do, it’s often hard not to watch. Andersen Silva was like that

            Boxing is going the way of the Dinosaurs, and I don’t see it coming back. It’s a little sad

            I’ll be 50 by the time the weekend ends. I was trying to visualize the world 50 years from now. Will pro sports be around?

        • I went to the CA Golden Gloves in SF in 1980, I think. This was an event. The big name was a heavyweight—Mike Gans? I’ve forgotten. But we never heard from him again.

          • My grammar school PE teacher fought in the Golden gloves. His names not neccesary but he was knocked out in 20 seconds! Kids can be mean and we gave him some flack. He’s a nice guy and still teaches PE there, 40 yrs later

      • Imagine a world where men (or women) don’t have to beat each other silly so other people can pay to watch and pretend it’s sport. It’s incomprehensible to me.

        • There is an artistry to boxing, Mary, as rgg mentioned, along with the competitive factor. Thats where the nickname, “the Sweet Science” came from. I hate watching golf, or woman play basketball (sorry), -Golf I really question labeling a ‘sport’- but I don’t want to imagine a world without em-
          I just don’t watch em!

        • I’m with you, Mary. It’s why I don’t watch football anymore either, even after having played it once upon a time.

  18. On the Sports Center segment a few nights ago, Monte Poole said Iguodala is worn down, that he could tell by watching him play, and could really use the week off. Poole said Green could really use the week off as well, that he’s had his knees packed with ice daily for the past 2 or 3 weeks, and his shins are hurting as well.

    I think I would play Barnes more than normal at the 4 against the Griz to take some of the physical pressure off of Green.

    To me, Green is playing more like a 3 on offense and a 4 on defense, if one can even catorigize the Warriors positionally this season.

    • “I think I would play Barnes more than normal at the 4 against the Griz…”

      Not gonna happen. Barnes v Randolph? Really?

      In the last game it was Bogut on Randolph, Green on Gasol. It worked out.

      • Barnes on Gasol?

        • How about Barnes on the bench and more Ezeli? Don’t we have plenty of firepower against these guys?

          • I think Bogut and Ezeli should guard ZBo. If Bogut and Green gets the boards and Green hits couple of 3s, setting up the fast pace, ZBo will hit the bench. If warriors go down though, then think they will switch to small ball with Barnes at PF to set the pace.

        • harry, barnes isn’t setting the pace at any position — when he’s playing the 4 and they’re thriving, most often it’s d’mond at center that makes the pace uncomfortable for the opponent.

          • moto,

            If Green is at C, who would you play at PF.

            Barnes as stretch 4 works with either of Draymond at C or Bogut at C though Draymond+Bogut is way better than Barnes+Bogut. The small ball that is creating problems for opposition with Green at C needs Barnes at PF. Of course, small ball works because of Green doing so well at C.

  19. Observation — why don’t women wear loose yoga pants? (Not that I’m complaining.)

  20. Whew. Gentry would have been great for OKC, but they chose a college coach instead.–florida-s-billy-donovan-finalizing-deal-to-become-thunder-coach-155535958.html

    Let’s hope all the other teams who will need a coach this summer make the same mistake.

    • it’s presti and his decisions at the helm of the OK freighter. we’ll see if he keeps kanter — a continuing and significant role for him in itself would put a very different kind of team on the floor than we’ve seen with brooks. presti has probably formed an opinion on all the established/retread n.b.a. coaches like gentry, and we shouldn’t be surprised if OK gets right back into the tussle even with a rookie, non-n.b.a. coach.

      • You may be right, but the NBA game – and the NBA locker room – is vastly different from even Division I college ball. For one thing, Donovan won’t be working with slave labor.

        It almost always takes some time for a college coach to adapt to the bigs, and it’s surprising how many can’t even make the adjustment.

    • One of the dumbest signings in sports history. The Thunder are going to lose Durant over this.

  21. good to see SF being true to itself, and pushing back the lacobites on their plans for further overdeveloping the waterfront. the proposal puts what they call ‘twin towers’ adjacent to the arena, but only planned 900 or so parking spots. they’ve also assumed that the med school campus surrounding the site would assimilate everything their project would bring, but UC has concerns about access for the ambulances and emergency services, with 81 beisbol home games already loading the grid nearby. the lacobites of course hope to keep their venue bustling year round, but even during hoops season there’s a two month overlap at least with beisbol. the med school has invested quite a bit of planning and renovation as far as access and parking, but they could hardly be expected to know a heavy traffic development would be shoehorned on their flank.

    • Yeah, in the end, that oft-repeated phrase “no public investment” in the new arena will only turn out to mean “no public return on investment.”

      OF COURSE the Ws will get some public-sector buy-in – in parking and other infrastructure development, as well as traffic planning and enforcement during events.

    • This is not grassroots, neighborhood opposition:

      “An anonymous group of what organizers describe as big-bucks donors to UCSF hired an imposing cast of consultants — including former UCSF Senior Vice Chancellor Bruce Spaulding and, for a time, Chronicle columnist and former Mayor Willie Brown — to block the plan for the arena and adjacent twin office towers in Mission Bay near the waterfront. Also on board, and working without pay: Jack Davis, once the biggest political consultant in town and still a force to be reckoned with in semi-retirement.”

      Maybe Alcatraz?

      I’m confused about the last sentence. Does it mean people who are considering semi-retirement will have to contend with Jack?

      • This is a Big Deal, and it could force Lacob & co. to have to pay closer to the full price of their development (including creation of the proper amount of parking).

        It won’t affect the arena in the end, but it could force a redesign or purchase of parking space. Lacob’s arena bill just went up.

      • the neighborhood as such isn’t principally residential — the campus is the neighborhood, and it is rational for the vested interests with the school/medical/research facilities to resist a big surge in tourism and competing use of public facilities like the transportation grid.

    • If the stock market turns down from here into a bear market, the Warriors continue in Roaracle.

      Valuations very high, credit spreads widening, and illiquidity rising. The initial decline could be a crash.

      • Marc, I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here, but the stock market is highly unlikely to affect Warriors Inc. much, if at all.

        The plan is to shrink the arena from 19k+ to around 16k seats, and include a large percentage of upscale box seating, 90+% of which will be paid for by corporate entertainment budgets. Tix prices have already risen to the point that a normal middle-class person has to think of attending a Ws game as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. They’ll be even higher in SF.

        The only people who got hurt in the last crash were mom-and-pop investors. That will be true of the next crash too. Luckily (for the Ws) those people aren’t the ticket-buying fan base they’re targeting.

  22. Your statement that the UC campus IS the neighborhood sums up the whole issue Moto. Is it possible to house another team on its borders? Only one way to find out, if your insistent on trying.

    From the peanut gallery, one of the problems with the whole area is just the narrow single lane streets and relatively short blocks with plenty of traffic lights. If you feel youre going to avoid it all taking the “backstreets”, its invariably a crawl and i gave up attempting it long ago. And if you think youre going to discover a shortcut and find street parking, um, no, unless you like to walk. For Giants games i dont go any closer than Folsom street and then hike it over, if i bother driving.

    I read the article the morning it came out and the 900 parking spaces comment left me wondering who thought that was too many and who thought it wasnt enough. Are more parking spots supposed to alleviate game tine traffic or increase it? If youre able-bodied, the new arena is a nice stroll from Embarcadero Bart, just as for Giants games. The Cal Train stop is also a very do-able walk. I dont know, maybe everyones taking it for granted the new target audience doesnt like to walk. Which could be right. Oracles got that doorstep stop, which is nice.

    I dont want to see the organization and Joe Lacob given carte blanche to do whatever they desire, without pretty thorough foresite. So the article, while overall a bit confusing, was nice in that respect.

    • Ok, just reread and assimiltated that the 900 spots are for the ‘twin towers’ (yikes!), whatever they include, and not the new taj mahal. Glad i live out by the beach

    • Agree that it’s a nice walk, I’ve done it a few times from the UCSF campus in the last few months. But it’s a long walk and don’t think the target audience will be doing it. Maybe a helicopter landing pad could be added to the plans, perhaps that’s what the original toilet seat cover design had in mind. Or maybe Lacob & Co. can build a new exit ramp off 280 so their peninsula pals/customers will have easy access. Oh I forgot, doesn’t the city want to tear the highway down? (Probably won’t happen w/UCSF being the big player it is.)

  23. So Clippers force Game 7 and slow down the Spurs some more for the Warriors. I’ll take it. But at what point do we call out Pop for misusing Leonard? Another abysmal game for Leonard, who went 3-15 (-19, team worst). Like I said, not an offensive superstar in today’s league. Just an amazing role player.

    • It’s not just Leonard. Green, Parker, and Ginobli aren’t shooting well. And without a balanced attack and an outside threat, the pressure is put on the remaining players. Diaw and Belinelli almost bailed them out. But post game Pop complained they were soft. They’re not containing the Clipper front court well.

  24. @17 I got invited to a big fight-watching party at the home of Filipino friend. Forced to decline. I hate funerals.

  25. The chief problem for the Spurs is on offense, and that begins and ends with Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, their two playmakers. Tony Parker is completely crippled, to the point where maybe he should just sit in favor of Patty Mills. Ginobili is completely washed up. He can’t even stay on his feet on defense, let alone drive around his man.

    The Spurs poor shooting has to do with their playmakers being unable to penetrate, draw the defense, and find them open looks. Kawhi and Green have been forced to look for their shots off the dribble, which is totally not their game.

    • Who do you have for game 7. Can clippers win 2 in a row or would Spurs lose 2 in a row ? They are making too many dumb plays to win the series, I think.

    • cosmicballoon

      You know how NBA pundits are always talking about the miles that LeBron has on his treads? I wonder what Tony Parker is at. That guy has been playing PG since 1999 professionally. (France for two years before entering the NBA draft in 2001). Lebron entered the draft in 2003. Including playoffs, I bet Parker’s body is about 40 years old. He’ll never fully recover. Ginobli is similar, except he is actually 37, with a bunch of playoff mileage. The fact the Spurs had to play hard down the stretch didn’t give these guys a chance to breath, let alone get health.

      The Spurs have the wildcard, Leonard. But unless he is able to dominate in some fashion, I smell a Clippers win.

    • Ha. I only have a couple quibbles: he wasn’t the GM at time of Bogut trade, he had nothing to do with drafting Draymond and Ezeli, and he was in favor of trading Klay for Love.

      Oh, and he’s still not the GM.

      I do give him full credit for backing Joe Lacob’s decision to draft Harrison Barnes though. And backing Kirk on the European Derrick Rose and Cosmic Onion.

      As for Shaun Livingston, I have a sneaking suspicion Jerry West was a leading voice there.

      • If not for Myers himself, still the honor should be shared by the Warriors think tank that includes Myers, Lacob, West and now Kerr, don’t you think ?

        But, the surprising thing is Budz getting 3rd.

      • You forgot to give Myers credit for Rush, Douglas, Brooks, Blake, bringing in Bazemore to be a PG (I’d still like to see developing on this roster at the 2 or 3), then letting him go, and a half dozen or more players whose names I forget, who aren’t on the roster, who aren’t in the NBA. He has turned the bench into a revolving door. (How many players have the Spurs drafted, top to bottom, who still are with the team?)

        • wow!! Myers should be fired.

        • The Spurs have drafted 6 players who are still with the team (Anderson, Joseph, Splitter, Parker, Ginobili, Duncan).
          We can add Leonard to make it 7.

          The Warriors have drafted 6 players who are still with the team (Steph, Klay, Dray, Festus, Barnes, Kuzmic).

          You really seem to dislike the fact that the front office has built one of only seven teams in NBA history to have a double digit point differential, or that they oversaw a squad and coaching staff that became the first team to finish in the top 2 in offensive and defensive efficiency since the 96 Bulls.

          Or as you would frame it, the 96 Bulls and 72 Lakers were better.

          Guess that’s one way to live life.

      • felt, being a poker you know you can’t win all the hands, right ? What matters is the chips you end up with. With Myers and warriors, what matters is 71-14 for the season and possibly championship.

      • Rod Brooks, on KNBR (I only listen while in the car) just gave Myers credit for his two most important moves: signing Draymond Green and not taking Kevin Love.

        Sigh. I swear success is painful with this organization.

        A manager should be assessed for his abilities and knowledge as much as outcomes, and he reveals these in minor decisions as well as large. In fact the minor decisions often require the most expertise and judgment. We have no good evidence Myers knows what he’s doing or what is right for the team. He has no relevant experience in the field. Being an agent does not count. All his minor and small picks have been horrible. And they are (almost) all gone.

        But give him credit for Green—somehow. Did he have any idea what he was getting with this low pick or was able to predict his development? And who takes credit for retarding Green’s role and minutes with the team, who played much fewer minutes than Barnes even though he is more skilled and smarter, and showed these his first season? Or does Myers get a pass for that? Why?

        But it’s not at all clear Myers has had a major say in any large decision. The only time I can recall his speaking up was in favor of Love. Or was this part of some scenario Lacob cooked up to promote his dynamic brain trust?

        • WheresMyChippy


          Switch to 95.7 The Game during this time of day. Greg Papa’s show is hilarious and honest.

          Fitz and Brooks are nauseating.

          • Second, love this show, and only listen to them now.

          • Thanks, WMC, and I will make the switch. Is this sports 24/7?

            For some reason, I can’t listen to music or news or much of anything while driving. My car radio has been locked on KNBR for decades, back when Rick Barry made Rod Brooks sweat under the collar (I kind of miss that). Tolbert and Ratto are not a good team either. Tom has trailed off—I used to like listening to him and thought he’d make a good broadcaster.

            I have an old car. I assume it has FM.

        • myers is getting credit for the success of his cohort — the folks voting for him know it, and he knows it. perfectly acceptable in the grander scheme, because he did the bulk of the grinding and detail stuff. there were a number of hoops insiders who thought highly of green before the draft, including the much-derided local steinmetz, and myers probably talked to a few, definitely riley who probably watched more college hoops than anyone in the colony. my suspicion, however, they invested many, many more hours of examination, background review, und so weiter into the barnes pick, relative to the second round pick.

          we should also recall the rhetoric lacob and myers kept feeding the media at the time, about going after size, the significance of getting bigger, longer players. clearly they were packaging mr.barnes as a wing, and he will never be in the upper tier as a wing. he was hyped of course as a super athlete but his processing is so deliberate and self conscious he again looks average next to the truly quick wings (including his aging, diminished teammate iguodala). no accident that kerr’s recent comments focused on his role at the 4 — where the lacob/myers schpiel about size and length takes on a rather different context. they certainly weren’t looking at d’mond as giving them extra size at the 4/5 when they drafted him.

    • Thank Goodness for Jerry West. Without him, Klay would be in Minnesota.

    • Would like to know who really pushed Barnes over Drummond and Nedo over Gobert. Was that the GM of the Year?

      • the lacob cohort has generally favored the safe and conventional (a.k.a. following the biggest hype) course. drummond received some bad p.r. about his maturity and work ethic, stuff mr.barnes always scored high with. chasing after howard and love were in a similar vein — everybody wants those guys, so should we.

        my impression, purely from anecdotal evidence and the publicity they gave about k.lacob going to scout euro leagues, the NN and kuzmic picks were the equivalent of the younger lacob’s thesis project/experiment. he was also given the run of supervising the d-league team. they were trying too hard to prove something in granting both players n.b.a contracts instead of holding onto their rights as they played overseas, which reinforced my suspicions something out of the normal course was going on.

      • Marc, You can’t fault someone to make a bad pick at #30, just can’t.

        • I don’t fault anyone for a draft pick, because one can ever tell for sure the result. I would just like to know who was for and who was against. However, every draft pick and player acquisition is the responsibility of the GM. Felt seems to think Ownership is actually making the calls, and I happen to agree. Still though, its the GM responsibility any way you cut it. That’s just how a corporation works.

  26. mary,

    ‘so they can win real games?’

    more like go back to mediocrity. Myers and front office had done excellent job last 4 years, anyone who can’t see that is too drunk. Who cares if it is Myers or Lacob or Jerry West who is behind all the decisions, what matters is the front office decisions behind the success dubs are having and the award is to the front office, Myers is part of it.

    • Harry, I agree totally. I was being sarcastic. Though drunk sounds good too. 67-15!

      • +1, BTW, the record is 71-15, now.

        • Yeah, and Warriors FO, don’t you dare try to improve next season.

          • Huh? How about replacing Livingston with someone who doesn’t try to turn the Warriors into last year’s Nets?

            Speights has gained at least 30 pounds this season. One can only guess how rotund he’ll be next season. How about bringing in another backup big for some competition?

            How about moving Lee? As FB says, if you’re not going to play him (or use him well) trade him while he still has some perceived value.

            Yeah, it’s nice that Myers got the award, and it’s even kind of a vindication of the Ws “group-think” approach to player selection. But the team could actually be even better. Scary thought, but true nevertheless.

          • The award is for this season, next season, as every season, different challenges for team. I can’t believe anyone who is a warrior fan can complain about warriors front office and coach while being served best team for decades.

          • Just a little attempt at sarcasm Hat, not my strong suit.

        • harry, no complaint about the present. A GM has responsibility for the future as well, if I understand the job description correctly. Would not it have been nice to have Drummond or Gogert. Naw, 71-15.

  27. GooseLosGatos

    Warriors are rumored to pursue Kevin Durant ‘heavily’ in 2016.

    I don’t have the link but if you go to it’s one of the top four postings.

    Klay’s dad was behind the story as referenced in the article.

    Given the Warriors recent history of pursuing free agents agressivly, it’s not outside the realm of possibility…..

    Also, if you YouTube any of Steve Kerr’s 2015?All-Star game footage it’s clear Durant likes & respects Kerr.

    A long ways off but thought I’d post this anyway as it smells of ‘Dynasty’.

    • Would rather see the Warriors pursue Anthony Davis, though Kevin Durant is more than fine too.

    • My my. Kevin Durant. How nice.

      Believe it when I see it.

    • What’s the story on his foot, anyway? Though I doubt the full picture is out there.

      • the uncertainty about durant’s foot will probably make it easier for OK to retain him, if they play him conservatively next season with his health the biggest priority rather than productivity. very possible that he won’t be quite the same player again, but he’s so skilled he could adapt his game to function with less emphasis on high impact moves. why expect the full picture on any player’s injury, its diagnosis and prognosis — they have exceptional bodies performing exceptionally stressful tasks, and they’re protected by confidentiality as they should be.

    • Rejoice while you can, fellas. The prospect of adding a superstar in Durant sounds wonderful in theory but the usage rates won’t match. Curry and Thompson get enough touches at 29.1% and 27.4% because Barnes accepts his diminished role at only 14.9% usage rate. Should a high usage player like Durant land on the Bay, the Warriors will have the same growing pains Miami had with Bosh initially (who assimilated quite nicely the next few years, in retrospect) as well as Cleveland with Love. Expect one of Curry, Thompson, or Durant to have a significant drop-off in productivity from what you are accustomed to seeing.

      In additionally, Durant would be an enigma for many coaches in the league who will predictably struggle to maximize his potential. Brooks caught a lot of flak in the past because of his isolation heavy offense, but that is exactly the kind of offense Durant thrives in. Durant is Jamal Crawford 2.0, a player who takes and makes difficult shots but does so with impressive efficiency. You give him space to work and he will reward you. But he is so much more than a spot-up shooter and that is a blessing and a curse. You feel obligated to let him isolate because he is so offensively gifted, but you give up the flow of your team offense as a result. It would seem like a crime to play him like the Spurs play Danny Green, whose number is only called occasionally. But Durant has no vision, and once the ball is in his hands, you can only expect to get it back after he shoots it. This is hero ball, and it becomes predictable down the line and contributed to the Thunder’s downfall. It’s great when the shots are falling. But when they’re not…

      • You beat me to the punch, rod. I was wondering how shot rationing would fall, especially for Klay. Durant would be problematic.

        My whole thought about the Warriors is that with the talents of Klay, Steph, and now Green, along with complementary and varied players down the bench, somewhat like the Spurs, they could become a full team and formidable opponent—and beat any team Durant or James was on. As I keep complaining, this hasn’t happened. Not enough.

        But that isn’t Lacob’s MO. He said from the start his plan was to build the team around stars, three big players, build a sexy arena in a glamorous city—SF—to attract them, and have a slick GM who has experience in the mechanics of free agency to work out the details. I doubt he’ll give that up.

        At any rate, I’m sure he’ll make a play for Durant. It’s consistent with his previous behavior. The details of a full, complementary squad just haven’t engaged much of his attention. Who gets left behind as he puts all his attention in landing another big player will be the question.

        • rgg,

          Lacob and Myers publicly stated they want size at each position.

          Even if Barnes were to be traded, who would play the 3 and the 4?

          At the 4, Durant? Green? I don’t think either is in the Warriors plans as a starting and permanent 4.

          If that is correct, do you start Barnes at the 3 over Green or Durant?

          More of Lacobs Cube than I can deal with.

      • The problem I have is that in my opinion, Durant and Dray play the same position: small forward sliding to stretch four.

        Have you seen/heard the reports of Dray icing both knees for a month now, suffering also from shin splints, sprains and back tightness? The league may be changing as Steve Kerr says, but I think there will always be enough big fours in the league to shorten Dray’s longevity at starting four.

        The same way it shortened Lebron and Melo’s.

  28. @26 To be clear re the Bob Myers award, I do think the Warriors front office, led by GM Joe Lacob, deserves the recognition. There is no arguing with the result, even if you poke fun at how the sausage is made.

    I just like to keep it real here, and nothing could be realer than that Bob Myers is not the GM, and he’s not in the least responsible for the decisions that got the Warriors where they are today. (He wasn’t even responsible for hiring Steve Kerr, was he?)

    Bob Myers is the recipient of the “(looking down the list) Gee, who do we give it to over there?” award.

    (As was Coach Bud — Danny Ferry more than deserves that 3rd place recognition, or higher, and it’s a joke that he wasn’t named.)

    • felt, Joe Lacob is the owner, Myers is the GM and their partnership of owner/gm is working really well. Can’t imagine Lacob can construct the moves like getting Jarrett Jack, Iguodala, dumping of Biedrins etc.. Ofcourse, there are mistakes done, but the idea is to more correct than mistakes. Anyway, if you think Lacob is the GM, then he is a very good GM.

      • By your reasoning, Larry Riley was the GM when the Bogut trade was made. So why is Myers getting credit for that?

        We have enough information to understand the true roles of all the Warriors executives under Joe Lacob. My job is to put it out there.

        • GooseLosGatos


          let’s get down to the ‘SALIENT’ point here….

          You don’t want to give Bob Myers credit…

          You don’t want to give Joe Lacob credit….

          You don’t want to give Larry Riley credit…

          You think Jerry West is overrated…

          You want to give yourself (Feltbot) credit…..

          If the 2015′ Warriors are indeed the NBA Champions……………

          I assume it was all luck…….

          Looking forward to your reply & possibly a ‘little’ or even ‘tiny’ piece of credit for someone/anyone three years removed from the Golden State Warriors being the perennial laughingstock of the NBA….

          Oh I forgot, you don’t give ‘credit’ & this was all ‘luck’…..

          • You apparently have a reading disability. I just got done giving credit to GM Joe Lacob for this team, this coach and this season. And I have ALWAYS given credit to Larry Riley, who’s an extremely savvy personnel evaluator, strictly responsible for Dray and Ezeli. And I have ALWAYS given credit to Travis Schlenk, who is the Warriors’ capologist. Jerry West is responsible for drafting and keeping Klay, which I have always credited him for. What does that leave for Bob Myers to do?

            Bob Myers is Joe Lacob’s receptionist, spokesmodel, back slapper and fall guy, with no prior NBA experience at any level, who occasionally meddles disastrously in filling out the bench.

        • nelson and riley added their long time colleague Larry Harris to the GS staff back in those ‘dark days’, and harris had a hidden but crucial role, along with other elements of riley’s network, in the bogut trade.

        • If you want, u can give credit to Riley for Bogut’s trade but Myers was already on payroll and u can guess who of Nyers or Riley were more in control. Here is a clue, warriors were mediocre with Riley as GM. Myers got more things right than wrong, ‘more’ as in having his stamp in every player like extending while taking a calculated risk of extending Bogut and Curry, miraculously getting Jack and Landry to just name few moves. Hindsight Drummond, but Barnes is not a bad pick for #7 even with your bias. Myers played a big part for team ‘s success. Think you have problem admitting the obvious and being delusional.

          Think enough said.

          • Not sure who gets credit for Bogut, more likely Riley looking at the time line, but I agree Barnes is not a bad pick for a #7, or even higher, if we consider MKG and Dion Waiters in the same draft class.

  29. GooseLosGatos

    And BTW, if the Warriors do win The 2015′ NBA Chanpionship Title…..

    I’m hoping, praying that you (Felbot) might give a ‘tiny’ or even ‘minuscule’ piece of ‘credit’ to our horrible, incompetent & ‘uncool’ venture capitalist owner – Joe Lacob….

    But I absolutely agree with you….

    Three years removed from the Warriors being the ‘laugingstock’ of the NBA, the Golden State Warriors would have been much much much much much better off with another owner… How unfortunate that Joe Lacob bought this team…

    In that scenario, he would deserve no ‘credit’…………………………………………..,,,,,,,,,

    • GooseLosGatos

      More than happy to ‘refesh’ your AUDIENCE with your older posts here….

      Talk about Revisionist History…….

    • Goose, do you think many red white blue citizens of the u.s.a. give much credit to chairman mao for leading a huge, impoverished, devastated nation into independence and to the doorstep of world domination. China is now a superpower. we can respect the chairman, or the great lacob, for what they accomplished ; just my take, will have more affection for mao or stalin than for the great lacob.

  30. GooseLosGatos

    And BTW, let’s spell it out very clearly…..No misunderstandings whatsoever…..

    If the 2015′ Golden State Warriors do win their first Championship in approximately 30 years….

    How would you (Feltbot) approximately/exactly appropriate the ‘credit’ for this incredibible resurrection nearly three years after the Warriors being the laughingstock of the NBA?

    Myers 5%?
    Lacob 15%
    Riley 40%
    West 25%
    Luck 100%%%%%%

    Curious and not to put you (Feltbot) on the spot or anything but how you’d break it down?????????

    • would propose one model of examining the quotas : accomplishments are measured in the context of competition. the opponents are .50 of the competition equation. the lacobites have little influence over the health and composition of the opponents’ rosters or coaching staffs (they did provide the replacement for adams on the Bos staff, and subtract rivers’ best assistant from his gang). this suggests to me that a significant chunk of luck (the condition and competence of the opponents) lies in the realm of .25-.50.

      • ZGooseLosGatos


        come on man…..

        This site is ‘allergic’ to the idea some very bright people made some very smart decisions….

    • Should I provide this analysis before or after the Clippers, Spurs, Grizzlies, Bulls, Cavs, Hawks and Thunder (RIP) lose another complement of their contributing players?

      I hadn’t really considered the luck factor in any of the above, but if forced to think about it, a season in which this Warriors roster was the healthiest by far out all the other contenders would have to be considered at least somewhat lucky. No?

      But winning a title nearly always takes a little luck. There will be no asterisk. And as de facto GM, Joe Lacob deserves all the credit.

  31. Maui Nellie

    It’s been interesting reading all the “who gets the credit?” posts today. In looking back I think it’s safe to say that many people have been involved in making the key moves/decisions that ultimately (along with some timely good luck ie the coin flip with Toronto) has propelled the Warriors into the elite of the NBA in a very short time.

    Here’s an interesting question to ponder, just for the fun of it. Had it not been for the Spurs would Draymond Green be a Warrior today?

    Let’s revisit March of 2012. The Warriors traded Monta, Udoh, and Kwame Brown to the Bucks for Bogut and Stephen Jackson. The trade that followed was very possibly one of the most (positively) impactful trades in GSW history, and that trade was with the Spurs.

    The Warriors wanted to dump “Stack Jack” and fast, but they needed to find a trade partner who was willing to take on Jackson and his often volatile personality. Enter San Antonio. The Spurs had won a title with Jackson on their roster (so they obviously figured they could handle him) but more importantly they were looking to get rid of the ghastly contract they had signed Richard Jefferson to. Enter Golden State.

    The Warriors would wind up trading Stephen Jackson to the Spurs for Richard Jefferson AND the Spurs first round draft pick, which wound up being #30 in the 2012 Draft.

    So here’s where the speculation comes into play. If the Warriors don’t trade for the extra pick their next pick after #7 (Barnes) would have been #35. Assuming Ezeli would have still been on the board @#35 who would the Warriors have taken, Ezeli or Green? Since they did pick Festus ahead of Draymond you could easily make the case for them going with the “big” instead of the “tweener” ie DGreen. Thank you, San Antonio (who eventually would release Stephen Jackson).

    In the end, the Warriors essentially traded Monta, Udoh, and Brown for Bogut, Ezeli, and Draymond Green. Not too shabby.

    • Didn’t the Warriors spend two first round picks dumping Jefferson and Biedrins on Utah? Your accounting needs another entry.

      • Maui Nellie

        My revisit was to point out the importance of getting that extra 2012 draft pick, a pick that ultimately allowed them to choose BOTH Ezeli and Green instead of just one of the two.

        As for the trade with Utah that you mentioned, that occurred roughly 15 months after the trades with the Bucks and Spurs, and was all about their pursuit of Igoudala:

        “Just when it looked like the contracts for Jefferson and Biedrins would prevent the Warriors from “taking the next step” in the postseason hierarchy, Golden State managed to dump both and acquire an All-Star caliber talent in return. The two first-round picks are a real cost, one that prevents this from being an A+ deal, but they are a reasonable expense to make this serious talent grab. Also lost in this shuffle are Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry, two key role players during last season’s playoff run, who agreed to sign with Cleveland and Sacramento, respectively, once the Warriors went all-in on Iguodala. The Warriors surely entered the offseason knowing they couldn’t keep the whole band together, and they acted swiftly and creatively to make sure they didn’t regress.

        Iguodala is a player worthy of the costs mentioned. One of the league’s elite perimeter defenders, he is also an excellent finisher in transition and should mesh well with his new Warriors teammates. He helped the Nuggets markedly improve their team defensive numbers in his one season in Denver and he joins a Golden State roster that’s teeming with offensive talent and that can always use another stopper. Between Iguodala, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes, the Warriors now have three versatile wings that can defend multiple positions and that can be used interchangeably. Offensively, Iguodala should be able to get in where he fits in, allowing Stephen Curry and David Lee to remain as focal points.”

        • Iggy was a free agent, not part of a trade. The point was, getting that second round pick from the Spurs came with a very real and crippling cost. Jefferson had a longer contract than Jackson, and getting rid of it eventually cost the Warriors a first rounder.

          Did it work out well for the Warriors in the end? Hell yes, Draymond turned into one of the best players in the league. But the true analysis is this: since they got so little use out of Richard Jefferson, and then later had to rid themselves of the millstone of his contract to pursue Iggy in free agency, the Warriors actually traded a first round pick in a later year for that second round pick.

          • Maui Nellie

            Igoudala was a free agent but in reality he was traded to the Warriors by Denver as part of a 3 team trade.


            Also, you need to get your facts straight on the trade with the Spurs. The Warriors received the Spurs first round pick in the 2012 draft (not a second round pick) which they used to draft Ezeli. Draymond was chosen with the Warriors own second round pick.

          • Wait, the Warriors sent FOUR picks to Utah to dump those contracts? Ok, I’ll correct my mistake about the Spurs trade, if you recognize it then cost the Warriors BOTH a first and a second to dump Jefferson.

            Iggy was signed in free agency. The only thing Denver got out of doing a sign and trade was a trade exception. And the only reason the Warriors agreed was because they needed ANOTHER pick to get Utah to take those contracts.

            The Dray selection wound up transforming this franchise. But your cost accounting is off. Just keeping it real.

          • Maui Nellie

            Felty, btw, the Dubs first rounder traded to Utah for the 2014 draft turned out to be pick #23 which the Jazz used to draft Rodney Hood.

          • Is that right? I like Hood, and so did his coach at the end of last year. Playoff length, good defender, savvy, decent shot.

  32. Maui Nellie

    AL wrote this back in January and gives many kudos to Bob Myers. Regardless of ones opinion on Myers, there’s some interesting tidbits of info in this piece which includes the following:

    “If the 2012 draft were redone today, there are only 4 players most teams likely take over Green (Davis, Lillard, Beal, Drummond). Green fell into the classic draft trap of not having an obvious position (big 3? small 4?), but the Warriors focused on his basketball strengths, not the questions over his future position. Not only did Myers and his staff make a terrific pick, but they doubled down on it by signing Green to a three-year deal. That third year is crucial not just because it helped keep Green on a cheaper deal this year, but because it grants the Warriors Bird rights to re-sign him next year.”

    The decision to go 3 years on the Green contract makes Green “restricted” this offseason instead of UFA, virtually assuring that Draymond will be a Warrior (and making lots of $$$) for years to come. And along those same lines (and pointed out in Zach Lowe’s recent Grantland piece) the Warriors have many favorable contract situations on the horizon which will enable them (along with the new TV money/salary cap expansion) to reload on the fly and keep their roster around their core group strong and formidable in regards championship contention year after year (providing their drafts, trades, and FA signings continue to be more worthy of praise than criticism).

  33. There is no end of delight and wonder in the way some invest so much energy in defending marginal players like Barnes and the management, the authority of the organization. The two are related, as the latter is responsible for the former. But also it is by praising the lesser one can show the superiority of those on top, which seems to be the main interest, praising hierarchies. History and the Bible are filled with parallels.

    A distinction needs to be made. It is one thing to give credit when the awards come around, and this always go to the people on top by default. They also automatically take the blame when the team fails, though Lacob has a way of passing this off, as we have seen documented here several times. Or many simply don’t care. Like Reagan, Lacob is the teflon owner.

    But it is another thing to recognize their competence by analyzing their experience and knowledge and demonstrating cause and effect by showing how these lead to results, such as a winning season. Good managers care about every decision, and they reveal themselves in every one, large or small. This kind of recognition is what I care about, not credit. It builds confidence and gives hope for the future. Myers’ 15 minutes with Rush is especially a sore point, but only one example. A versatile 2-3 who can shoot would have done wonders for the bench this season.

    No one has ever done this for Lacob and Myers in particular, and if they took time to analyze their words—they never do—they wouldn’t find much. Simply pointing to wins as proof is an example of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, for those of you keeping score at home.

    If you want to give credit for the winning season, first credit goes to Stephen Curry himself, for his talents and his incredible work since his early years to improve them. It is impossible to imagine the team as good as it is without him. But also give credit to his mom and dad, especially Dell, a model, and his coaches as he developed. And give credit to Nelson and Riley for seeing the potential in a smallish player six other teams passed on, whose position was not a high priority for a size-challenged team, and whose drafting led to all kinds of conflicts and needs for regrouping, which eventually came. Absolutely give credit to Nelson especially for bringing him out in a system that worked to his talents, which most other teams would not have done. Then hold your breath as Smart, Lacob’s choice, put him on a leash, and review the ways the brain trust thought he should be played, which fortunately have been put aside.

    Next credit goes to Green and Klay, and again factor in their character and work and all the people who brought them along, Klay’s father, their coaches, especially Izzo, although in Draymond’s case we’d better give the bulk of the credit to his mother else we’ll hear about it.

    But after that?

    Iguodala, a major choice, one of few, still raises questions among everyone, especially his health and his offense, which has tailed off since he got here.

    Bogut, the other major choice, has missed some 100 games, including a playoff series. He did not come as billed on offense. His health still remains a question mark. Last season and even this, there were many games where he looked hampered by some complaint and didn’t move with energy and conviction. But he has performed well in his reduced role this season. He was spectacular in the first game against NO. The last games, not so much. If he doesn’t show up in the series against Memphis, however, this trade was not worth it, not when you factor in other players who might have taken his place. Memphis is the reason they got Bogut.

    Then there’s Barnes. He did not develop well at UNC, nothing like Green, or Curry in just his first season, and was a sore disappointment. He just doesn’t have the requisite skills and still isn’t showing them. But Barnes was Lacob’s project, and Lacob I’m sure thinks he can make him a star regardless of his shortcomings just by promoting him and putting him in with the starters—a position he has note earned—thinking that is enough. Hold your breath time again.

    And after those players, there just hasn’t been much to say, though building a full team with good complementary players should have been a major goal for years. It wasn’t and hasn’t happened.

    I can live with an owner who boosts his ego by buying a team, gets good people on board, then steps back and takes credit, though do so uneasily. But not an owner whose goal is to put his stamp on the organization and control it. And this has always been Lacob’s behavior. His influence in all major decisions is clear and has been documented here extensively. He wanted to cleanse away the “sins of the past”—his words, not mine—and nearly cleaned the slate so he could take over. He takes us back to stories in the Bible.

    My favorite owner is Peter Holt, of the Spurs, about whom I know nothing except that when the trophy was presented last year he pointed back to the coaches and players and said the credit goes to them.

  34. Spurs got hosed.

    The clips ran moving screens, couldn’t seem to foul, got a favorable “inadvertent whistle,” and even fouled Leonard on the final play (no call).

    Spurs got hosed.

    • I wonder if Chris Paul feels any remorse at all for flopping on his beloved “mentor” to win the game. Hosed indeed. If I believed in hate, I’d hate the Clippers. Great game though.

    • FeltbotsFakeGirlfriend

      Stop whining hat!!!! The Spurs are filled with floppers. For years other teams have been hosed by the refs when they play the Spurs. Sorry but you were wrong the Spurs will not derail the Warriors season.

      • Actually quite happy to see the Spurs go down, I just hate seeing the refs choose sides.

        Watching this whole series, the Spurs didn’t seem like the Spurs. Last year’s team wouldn’t have broken a sweat against the Clips.

        By the way, FFG, did you notice Griffin fouling Leonard on that last play? He pushed him in the back.