First Team All Defense: Warriors 101 Grizzlies 84

First Team All Defense.

No, not Tony Allen. Ron Adams.

Ron Adams, the Warriors’ brilliant defensive strategist, came up with an incredible defensive adjustment for this game, that turned this series on a dime: ZONE.

Yes, zone. The commentators and twitterverse read it as Andrew Bogut on Tony Allen, but that was just a by-product of the zone. This is what the Warriors were doing: Barnes and Green were picking up Gasol and Randolph, and FRONTING. Bogut was playing free-safety under the rim. Any entry into the post — not easy against a front — resulted in an immediate Bogut double team.

Tony Allen? Bogut wasn’t guarding him. NOBODY was guarding him. Because nobody has to guard him. He couldn’t hit a three pointer if you locked him in a gym overnight.

Tony Allen? Ron Adams’ defensive adjustment ENDED him. Because one-way guards have no place in NBA basketball. And genius coaches know how to enforce that rule.

First Team All Defense got a grand total of 16 minutes in this game. Andrew Bogut and Draymond Green stayed fresh and out of foul trouble. The Warriors offense gradually picked up steam, gaining confidence from a defense that had the Grizzlies on lock down. And then blew it open when the Grizzlies lost patience and started turning the ball over.

Thank you, Ron Adams.

First Team All Defense.

Stephen Curry: The Grizzlies can’t guard both Curry and Thompson at the same time. Cannot. Don’t have the defenders. Don’t have the length. Can we stop with the silliness now?

That means you, Matt Steinmetz. The idea that open playoff jumpers are tougher for Curry than regular season jumpers is beyond ludicrous. Did you happen to miss Curry in March Madness? In the first four playoff series of his career?

All great shooters have cold streaks. But Stephen Curry is one of those great shooters who lives for pressure. Feasts on it.

You want to point to the decrease in his playoff shooting percentage? He’s being triple teamed, for Pete’s sake. No one guards Curry in the regular season like they guard him in the playoffs. Simple as that.

In the playoffs, Curry’s percentage goes down. And Harrison Barnes’ goes up. It ain’t rocket science.

The Black Falcon: Because they hadn’t truly been challenged until now, it took the Warriors eight games to wake up to the fact that they’re back in the playoffs, which means Harrison Barnes is being left completely unguarded.

The nutcases are coming out again to rave about Barnes. OK, fine.

I predicted it.

Barnes stepped up his offensive aggressiveness in this game, no doubt as a result of the team’s extensive video session, and his coaches’ urging. But what has impressed me more has been his defense on Gasol and Randolph. The best part of his game in this series, if you ask me, and a key part of making the Warriors’ Nellieball lineups work.

The Thirty Point Line: Barnes + Green, 26 points. But they got to take the fourth quarter off. Do I get a pass?

Bogut: Showed up. Or was it Ron Adams’ scheme that allowed him to show up?

There has been speculation that Bogut injured his back in the first game. Possible, but I haven’t seen conclusive evidence of it.

One thing I’m certain of: In four playoff games against the physicality of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, Big Bogues has yet to shoot a free throw. Could you call this a form of softness? If so, there’s a special place reserved for Bogut in the Softness Hall of Fame.

Maybe cowardice is a better word.

The Ghost of David Lee: Gave the Warriors much needed, and successful, minutes. At center, his best position.

He was much better early on than he was late, when Marc Gasol steamrolled him on two straight possessions. I was disturbed by that, which I think is uncharacteristic of Lee when matched up against big men. He’s been uber-tough in the post throughout his career, rarely giving ground to anyone. (His weaknesses have been against quicker stretch-fours, and in giving help defense.)

I have a strong suspicion that Lee is once again playing injured in the playoffs. I don’t like what I see. Slow running the floor. Playing below the rim. No crispness in his moves. A lack of touch on his patented running hooks. One rebound. Getting steamrolled.

I’m really glad he’s getting a chance to contribute, particularly now that the Warriors desperately need his minutes. I think that he’s a great enough basketball player that he’s able to make a contribution even on one leg. But I don’t think we’re seeing the real DLee right now, and I doubt we will.

Kerr did throw Lee one bone during his 15 minutes of play, a throwback high pick and roll with a spread floor: Lee drove the lane, then threw a perfect dime to Iggy in the corner for a wide-open three.

Buckets.

228 Responses to First Team All Defense: Warriors 101 Grizzlies 84

  1. You are right on on Lee and adjustments. Half right on Barnes, his biggest contribution is just being active and unlike other playoffs, he is contributing without making 3 and playing excellent D. He starte game guarding Randolph.

    I don’t see Memphis win another game.

  2. Barnes now missed 7 consecutive 3 attempts. He is open on drives and did not finish a few. Overall, he’s doing what’s asked of him.

    DLee and Bogut looked like they’re playing hurt to me. Even so, they were effective.

    Warriors turned the ball over a lot. High P&R would sure help.

    Livingston disappeared again.

    I didn’t understand what Bogut was doing until I read Feltbots zone tweets, during the game. Indeed, a brilliant tactic.

    Thompson neutralized Conley, and Curry destroyed him.

    • I knew I left something out of my post that I wanted to mention, and you just did Marc: Klay guarding Conley the most important adjustment of the series. Amazed Kerr didn’t do it in Game 2.

      • I am not sure but was Klay on Conley when he shot his airballs? I can totally live with a slightly reduced output of Klay if he continues to freeze out Conley.

  3. re. the twit from a Mem source about opposing defenses playing five vs. four by ignoring allen, this is a reprise of joerger’s thoughts earlier in the season, when green started and allen made the sixth man. allen established his career playing for thibodeau in Bos as their sixth man.

  4. I was pretty worried about the Warriors team psyche going into this one but feel better now. I’ve been a GS fan to long to just assume things will be fine. They played an ugly game, lots of follies, foibles and F-ups (just like the Grizzlies), and still came out on top by 20, on the road, against a capable foe. So that says something. Exactly what, I’m not sure, but I’ll take it as a fan without too much psychoanalysis

    “Cowardice” is a bit strong of a qualifier for Bogut. His mind may be on a beach somewhere or his body yapping at him. Steph was Steph, Klay was Klay, and Liv was Liv. Leandro didn’t have a chance to be Leandro and that was probably a good thing, overall. DLee, like Iggy, was the real, present-day version of himself: a 10 yr+ vet who has Father Time perched squarely on his coat-tails. No need for excuses and making conjectures about injuries. I was happy to see him out there and hope he continues to get a few minutes and flash a few of his remaining skills.

    Harrison kicked in a few bucks for gas.

    Memphis can’t small ball and keep up with Da Dubs -Vince Carter got 24
    minutes(!) in this regard. He actually played OK

    • Speaking of psyches:

      In medieval times organized religion, or organized Christianity, presented each individual with a screen of beliefs through which the personal self was perceived. Portions of the self that were not perceivable through that screen were almost invisible to the private person. Problems were sent by God as punishment or warning. The mechanics of experience were hidden behind that screen

      The beliefs of Darwin and Freud alike have formed together to give people a different screen. Experience is accepted and perceived only as it is sieved through that screen. If Christendom saw man as blighted by original sin, Darwinism and Freudian views see him as part of a flawed species in which individual life rests precariously (kind of like David Lees career), ever at the beck and call of the species’ needs, and with survival as the prime goal- a survival however, without meaning. The psyches grandeur is ignored, the individual’s sense of belonging with nature eroded, for it is at natures expense, it seems, that he must survive. One greatest dreams and worst fears alike become the result of glandular imbalance, or of neuroses from childhood traumas..

      I’d go on but postin from my iPhone 4 while propping up this book ain’t easy

      • Sean Stehura

        I’m not sure you have David Lee’s career in the right perspective. He sits on the bench – gets a front row view of the best team in basketball – gets to play once in a while on the best team in basketball – and collects $17 million with another year on the books. I’ll take that job – anytime, anywhere.

        • S.S., that p.o.v. is probably pretty close to kerr’s, going by his sarcastic self criticism about dumb coaching keeping lee on the bench.

      • It’s a pickle, isn’t it?

      • rzz, enjoyed your thumbnail sketch on the history of conscience/self awarness with my morning cuppa tea.

        this connects to something rgg asked me about, a pbs series on the political organization of the very early believers/adherents of the Nazarene messiah. found out it was about nine hours long and couldn’t justify the time. you are not describing personal religious or spiritual experience, of course, but coherent teachings propagandized by organizations. as for freud or darwin, serious thinkers/researchers (darwin one of the most prodigious in a time of exploration and new studies) publish constantly, whether people of greater power and influence assimilate them and become influenced by them determines whether they change mass culture. if by darwinism you mean what he attempted to explain, how competition shapes our individual or collective development, that is our social matrix whether we consciously accept darwin’s hypotheses or not.

        you seem to be describing our collective alienation from the natural world. can’t ignore the role of tool making and technology, and how they co-evolved with human cultures and social organization. their roots go back to hunting and gathering, with the most revolutionary step coming with the domestication of plants, making a settled, partly agrarian option to nomadism possible. organized religions were the most efficient means of forming the political organization requisite for large scale, more permanent agrarian communities (ideal conditions in fertile river basins) and the rise of cities. written language or other means of recording information and transmitted it over distance and time, might not have evolved without larger scale, settled communities, and those became tools that sped the evolution of technology.

        when you speak of physiological deficiencies or neuroses, those are personal burdens if they don’t result in antisocial behaviour or withdrawn isolation. how those problems are perceived or treated gets defined by the size of the group the individual lives among, and how the individual adapts or maladapts to the his/her personal condition and social group.

        • Thnx Moto. I enjoyed that and am gonna read it again when I’m not on public trans with some guy eating potato chips next to me

          I was intersested in your view of the afterlife- do you think it’s The End, or do things go on? I recall you classified yourself as a Pagan, and wondered about your intuitions on this, nothing dogmatic or philosophical, but your own thoughts and “expectations”, if you have strong ones. Don’t feel obliged to answer this soon, or anytime

        • just a little thing – physiological deficiensces might be natural, right, while neuroses are socialy determined through and through, so antisocial (isoliation is probably the most antisocial behaviour there is – even violence is a form of social fabric, yet being alone and withdrawn from humanity is being outside society) behaviour most of the time is a part of what we call becoming civilized (civil) or social. it’s an antinomy of political-social-civic life.

  5. Allen was so utterly destroyed by this adjustment which indeed was a great one that it was almost sag to witness.
    I agree with Marc and think that both Lee and Bogut are playing injured. The question will be if they can sustain a fine enough level playing through these injuries. Hobbling Bigs against the Clips might prove to be a sad affair. What was really good to see was Lee’s fine hands even in traffic. Some more high P&Rs would absolutely be a welcome sight.
    Throughout the game I time and time felt again that especially Curry rushed his shots. They ended quite a few possessions early with meh shots when there was no need (i.e. too much D pressure) to not continue moving the ball. So overall I am confident that we shall see even better offense on the next game.
    Livingston continues to madden me.

    • My biggest fear is that McHale might teach Jordan how to shoot free throws.

      • How about Rick Barry? I never understood why more players wouldn’t at least start to try and implement the underhand free throw. Guess its the herd mentality. Biedrins really comes to mind- I know Barry suggested it to his relevant “peoples” but Andris never gave it a shot. Maybe he was just too stubborn, or proud, or a non-believer. Really no logical excuse not to try, if you want to be the best you can be and a team player.

        There fewer moving parts with the underhand toss, if you can get the hang of it. Rick helped 74-75 team-mate George Johnson go from 55% to over 70% at the stripe- nothing to sneeze at, specially for a 6-11 C.

        • I remember the fruitless pleading for Biedrins to do ANYTHING to improve bis constant embarrasment at the freethrowline. Obviously even the biggest suffering won’t trigger the willingness to change things up.

  6. cosmicballoon

    All the defensive adjustments are nice, but the fact that Iggy and Green hit some threes was probably the real difference maker. When Green makes threes the Warriors are nearly unstoppable. Those shots are always there because of the attention to Curry.

    • My thought. I’m not lighting a cigar yet. If they don’t get going 1st. quarter and get help from Iguodala, it’s a different game. The talent of the team has been its ability to work a leading margin into a larger one. If they don’t get it, however, the offense stumbles.

      The question is whether Memphis can work some kind of adjustment against this defense. If they can’t, we might see some ugly wins. Which I’ll take.

  7. Maui Nellie

    A “new” Harrison Barnes starting to emerge? Interesting comments (and sound effects) after the game.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/golden-state-warriors/post/_/id/575/defensive-adjustment-tenacity-spark-warriors-return-to-form

    • cosmicballoon

      Maybe so. Feltbot predicted Barnes didn’t have any heart. He seems to be growing up — he’ll never be a star, but he seems to be taking on a challenge, which is more than can be said for much of his career. I never thought I would say this, but he was really solid last night. The midrange jumpers and drives were there, and he was hustling after rebounds and loose balls.

      • Barnes was given minutes last 2 years in playoffs as a stretch4, this year playoffs though, his 3 not falling, not much a of a stretch4 but his D on bigs, this nobody could have predicted including Felt.

  8. Speights said he felt a pop in his calf when he went up for that layup before he went down. That doesn’t sound good. But it might be a blessing in disguise, as it forces Lee into the lineup.

    We have no idea what’s going on with Lee or what he can co, other than his back a few weeks ago. Maybe he has lingering injuries, but he’s also going to be rusty and out of shape. He just hasn’t had gametime experience or conditioning.

  9. Felt,
    About Barnes left unguarded, I think Iguodala, Bogut and Green are left more ‘unguarded’ than Barnes. Barnes didn’t make them pay for leaving open at 3PT line but somehow still produced with his midrange game. But, agree that his major contribution is on defensive end.

    That begs the question if Barnes is able to defend and shoot better than Lee, Kerr is right to relegate Lee to bench and spot minutes and giving Barnes minutes over Lee. Lee is just out of sorts in new system, more defense emphasis and not being 100% healthy. We have to say, we have had the pleasure of enjoying his best seasons.

    Next game if Green won’t make 3 and if Barnes won’t make either, it will come down to 1 or 2 possession game and that too only if cut down the TOs. They will crowd the lane and guard Curry+Klay. When Green makes 3, I haven’t see warriors lose a game.

    • One moment in time in last nights game, not trying to relate it to anything other than itself, on Harrisons’ first qrt dunk where he got a pass in the right corner, briefly pondered a three before realizing he was on an island, and waltzed to the rim for the flush, he was absolutely untouched by Grizzly paws or even fur. The phrase “blown assignment” was uttered by my brother, who likes HB a tad more than I do. (He’s a good-natured point of contention between us).

      Harrison contributed to the victory last night, and does seem to be at least making his way in the general direction of the Emerald City and the Great Oz. Hope he sticks with his quest. Games like this can only help him next year in the regular season, when he faces the likes of the TWolves and Sixers, and need to show real fire and growth.

  10. One last comment then I gotta get some work done. Fitz, Brooks and Kolski were really gushing over Andrew. “Terrific”, a “Rooster in a cock fight(?)” and ‘stalwart” were some of the accolades they tossed his way.
    And when he’s not planted to the floor watching the action, i think they’re partially right. They said he was +20 last night. He does bring some undeniable intangibles with his game, and size, although I didnt think he was great last night (certainly not in game 3). But I don’t think he’s a coward.

    • I’m searching for the right word for a 7 foot 260 lb. center who is unwilling to help his team by attacking the basket, because he is afraid of getting fouled. IN THE PLAYOFFS. A 7 foot 260 lb. center, who in 8 playoff games has gone to the line exactly once, and zero for the last 6 games.

      Help me out. What’s the right word?

      • performance anxiety. bogut is hardly the only one who’s afflicted in one specific type of social performance.

        • Well then, if you put it that way, perhaps I’m looking at this the wrong way around. Perhaps I should stop looking cross-eyed at Bogut and Iggy, and start commending DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard for their extraordinary courage.

      • perhaps playing and helping his team within his limits. He knows he might hurt team if goes to the line.

      • He is also concerned getting injured. He went for X-rays after the last Griz Game 4, because Gasol kicked him in the ribs, same way Gasol injured him previously, from the reports. Luckily, the X-Rays were negative, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t hurting and mentally affected. And he strained his back in the 1st Griz game. I would guess the most vulnerable moment for a guy, especially a less agile big, is driving to the rim. Lobs are a less risky proposition.

        • Fear of injury is certainly a factor, particularly on the more athletic moves. But it doesn’t account for Bogut’s fear of holding the ball, let alone pump-faking, when right under the basket. That has strictly to do with his fear of going to the line.

        • cosmicballoon

          I agree 100% with Feltbot that Bogut is afraid to go to the line.

          It’s simply amazing to me that guys like Bogut and Iggy — supposedly the smartest players on the team — are reluctant to take an open shot. Bogut in particular avoids any kind of contact on the offensive end when he’s moving toward the basket. The only shot he takes is that push/flip shot from the middle of the key. He has abandoned any attempt at low-post footwork and never tries to impose his will on opposing bigs on the offensive end. I have never seen a big play the way he plays. It’s kind of sad, actually.

          And for Iggy. 2 qualms.
          1) He hasn’t delivered a hard foul during the playoffs. If the Warriors are accused of being soft, it’s because Iggy isn’t willing to deliver a strong foul, even when it’s clear he should. He always goes for the steal, and more often than not. his man has ended up with an easy layup or an and 1. Also, his complaining to the refs is getting tiresome. (So is Steph’s for that matter)
          2) Iggy doesn’t ever drive to the hoop in the half court — nor cut back door for an alley-oop. He too is afraid of shooting free throws.

          • Andris Biedrinch? Pretty similar “offensive” games at the end of their careers. Not that that’sa complement to Bogut
            I just don’t think “cowardice” is the best word to sum up Boguts lack of impetus on O. But it is hard to think of an adequate word. Demure, maybe? He does often play stronger at Oracle, but man, he did stink in game 3

      • Bogut, in fact, has taken 42 total free throws this season, compared to hundreds while with the Bucks:

        http://espn.go.com/nba/player/stats/_/id/2747/andrew-bogut

        He has scarcely taken any in the last two months—look at the game log.

        When Kerr early said he intended to close with Bogut, he may have used this as a push to get him to work on his free throws, and he did. There was also a more concerted effort to get him to move to the basket, but this has tailed off as well.

        I don’t think health is the issue.

    • This is actually why Ezeli is really growing on me. Did you know he averaged 7.6 FTA per 100 possessions this season (78 FTA)? That’s second only to JMM who only had 25 FTA.

      Ezeli only took 76 shots, so he had almost a 1:1 FTA:FGA ratio.

      • And he shot 63% which isn’t that bad for a center these days.

      • That begs the question, why is that Ezeli not getting minutes. I think Kerr preferred Lee’s offense over Ezeli’s D in the last game, but Lee’s 2-5, 5 pts, 1 reb in 15 minutes didn’t justify his selection since Ezeli can score the same in 15 minutes while being inside presence and better defender with size. Curious to see Kerr’s rotation choices today. Kerr is not hesitant to cut anyone’s minutes even if they put good numbers like he did with Barbosa.

  11. The question is how will Memphis adjust on the Warriors—and maybe get Bogut off the court. Can Gasol not play off Bogut more and roam the lane? We’ve seen this done by other teams.

    • Yes, why would anyone guard Bogut at all? Concede his occasional lob.

      • one obvious lesson we see reinforced over and again in the postseason, in nearly every series and round, the opponents aren’t created equal. if the opposing big ostensibly assigned to defend bogut is smart and mobile, or has excellent coaching, his close coverage will be very selective and possibly reduced to occasional moments. but that leaves .75-80 of his opponents who would struggle to figure out where to best boost the team defense, while bogut is at liberty to handle the ball and pass unobstructed, or slip into the paint for offensive boards if he’s not comfortable with catching it inside for a cripple.

    • I think this has been written about, though I can’t remember by who (and I’m too lazy at the moment to search for it).

      IIRC, the problem with leaving Bogut alone is that if Curry or Thompson curls around him on a screen or dribble handoff, you’re conceding an open shot for a deadly shooter. You’re also giving him total freedom to pass without being contested (and sitting in the paint like Bogut/Dray did vs. Allen doesn’t help if he’s finding Klay or Steph on the perimeter).

      • I guess a Bogut screen should allow a double team on the Warrior Bogut is screening for. No need for anyone to guard Bogut on a roll, unless Bogut demonstrates the willingness to take it to the rim.

      • plus, the defender has to be smart enough to not get defensive 3 seconds violation while not guarding anyone.

    • Then, of course, there’s Hack-a-Bogut. . . .

  12. Again, very tough for me to recap tonight’s game – am out of town and likely to miss most of it. Hopefully we’ll get a continuation of Game 4 — Joerger on the horns of a dilemma between a Tony Allen who can’t score and a Jeff Green who can’t defend.

    • warriorsablaze

      Saw yesterday Allen is questionable due to a hamstring or something. Joerger may not have to make a decision.

      Allen out kills their defense, but also kinda kills our funky zone from last game.

      • Seems like a good point, WAB, but Allen was out for 2/3 of the last game and it turned out OK. Maybe that only shows how lame Jeff Green is.

        I’d actually take Harrison Barnes over Jeff Green. Better shooting, boards, and, amazingly, better D.

    • FWIW, this was always my issue with your “Lacob’s Cube” shtick. Teams like Memphis really do have a Rubik’s cube-like problem, where it’s hard to find the winning combination of players. (So did New Orleans, in choosing between playing Omer Asik or Ryan Anderson alongside Anthony Davis.)

      The Warriors’ roster doesn’t have every imaginable type of good player — no one in the NBA does — but it has *lots* of winning combinations.

      • “Winning combinations” against who? That’s always been my issue. Against a completely healthy Spurs, Thunder or Cavs team? Or against the mangled survivors and second tier teams of this current postseason?

        My job was to point out weaknesses on the Warriors that could be exploited come playoff time. The fact that no one would be alive to exploit them when the playoffs rolled around was beyond my ken.

        • This year’s better teams are Rockets, Clips and Hawks and not Spurs and Thunder for various reasons like injuries, talent drain and old age. So, I would argue ‘winning combinations’ against better teams of the season.

        • Small quibble: How far past that game 7 win over the Warriors would the Spurs, dependent on so many old/high mileage guys, likely to be completely healthy? Seems that while the team has been very fortunate to avoid major injuries to this point, the fact that the main guys had so many 24-30 minute games perhaps makes them “less mangled” than some of the opposition.

      • I think there is something to it with regards to not having a back-up PG who can shoot. Nothing wrong with Livingston as a Wing, IMO.

        A “standard” PF is also missing, either as a starter or back-up, now that DLee is either thru physically and/or don’t fit.

        • Green has set a new standard for ‘PF’ that will be hard for anyone to match. Green is PF for this team for near future or until this team is done with the run they are going to enjoy for some time.

  13. Think Bogut is smart, not cowardly, not
    attacking the rim off his dribble. I guess
    he’s the only one who realizes he’s not
    a good foul shooter. It’s fine with me
    That others attack the rim or take
    shots that Bogut would have taken.

    • Frank, if Bogut is running toward a dunk, he can be fouled but no one can actually stop him cold and prevent a basket. In that case he doesn’t need to make the and-1. He scores, hangs a foul on an opponent, and simply lives with the embarrassment of missing a FT he doesn’t need.

      Bogut’s refusal to attack the rim is a serious failing in a big man. The team needs him to create foul problems for opponents. It’s part of a big man’s job description. Bogut is a sissy.

      • He certainly has more than ample opportunity to attack the rim off of the roll with as many good screens as he sets. If he would roll and attack the rim, that would be an asset for the Warriors.

      • Looks like Bogut read your post hat !!

  14. Maui Nellie

    David Thorpe talks about the Warriors/Grizz on TrueHoop TV.

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:12879229

    • Wow. Just saw that video. A superficial dumbass like that earns actual dollars for his dumbass opinion. What a world.

  15. Has to be maddening to take on the Warriors. The Grizz come out, play pretty well, the Dubs play like shat- 7 TOs in the first 12 minutes- but MVP Steph throws in 4 3s, and Mem looks up the scoreboard, down one after one..

  16. OK, so Lee is healthier than I thought? Finding it very difficult to judge between rust, fitness, poor system fit, and physical disability.

    • He’s healthy enough to be on the floor, medical report notwithstanding.

      If you wanna critique him objectively, he played, and looked much better than game 4. He’s crafty and knows how to make himself available around the hoop, tho he’s not 22 anymore. He stills boards and is wiling to battle- a nice bench piece
      I don’t like to bemoan other teams injuries. For me, the glass is 3/4 full and the W’s can be the seasons best and most exciting team

      You were a little hard on HB tonite, tweet-wise. I actually credit his limber-ness

      • DLee worked in well with Iggy, Green, and Curry cutting and passing. He worked a nice 2-man game with Livingston, freeing him for a baseline jumper. Looked like to me those guys just knew how to play together. And DLee was tuff as nails on Gasol.

        Did you notice where Livingston set-up in the high post at the FT line, Curry passed the ball him from outside the arc, Livingston pivoted, faked, and made a nice pass to someone (can’t remember who) for a basket. Neat play. Or was it just those guys doing what they are good at?

        • Everyone seemed to relish playing with Lee, that is a big plus. Hopefully, Lee’s game will stay for rest of playoffs.

    • I can’t tell either.

      To me, he is not jumping well (though better tonight), and his legs are not in his shot.

    • Lee was surprisingly better today. If he plays like this, warriors become even more dangerous.

      Also, Barnes+Green<30 pts, may be time to put that theory to rest.

      Next game won't be easy win for warriors.

      • Of course they won’t reach 30 when the game is a blowout in the 3rd quarter and they don’t play the 4th quarter. It’s obvious to me that their production — and their role in the offense — has greatly increased in the last two wins. And should be obvious to you as well.

        One of the major themes of this blog has been that stats lie. And what is my 30 point line but another stat? Stats require sound interpretation to be meaningful. It’s OK to open your mind to thought and reason, Harry. It doesn’t hurt, much. Give it a try.

        • Felt, my point was there is always someone else like Iguodala or Barbosa or Lee or Speights waiting in the wing to score so Barnes+Green don’t need to score 30 pts together. I am open enough to admit Lee was a factor yesterday, didn’t see that coming. Open enough to acknowledge good or bad games by Barnes. I saw Kerr didn’t treat this game as a blow out until like 2 minutes or so left. Barnes sat out 4th but Green was there till then. It was also amazing to me that warriors blew out an opponent in the game Green went like 0-5 from 3 and Curry scored 0 Pts inside 3. Lot of surprises in this game. Like to get your take on these anamolies.

  17. Adams/Kerr countered and exhausted ZBo and Gasol by spelling in DLee, Ezeli, and Livingston for Bogut, Green, and Barnes and by stabbing long 6-7 guys down on them all night. I don’t know if ZBo and Gasol have anything left for Friday.

    And Klay is in Conleys jersey all night. It’s amazing Klay had the energy left to be the games high scorer.

    • They are also learning how to play the Clippers, if I may be permitted to look ahead.

      Kerr, postgame, said the guys didn’t play championship caliber defense the early games. He keeps doing this, deflecting responsibility. What mattered was the adjustments the coaching staff made, not the players. They also got off to a rough start, though in part because Klay was off in his shooting. They may have to make adjustments in offense as well. They got away with it against Memphis, who couldn’t find a way to score. They won’t have that luxury against the Clippers, who have many perimeter players who can step up and score.

      I guess we have to concede Allen was hampered by his injury in game four. He does make a difference. We’ll have to see what he has left tomorrow. I don’t think Memphis has a way to counter offensively.

      Barnes is amazing in his own way. He fumbled the ball four times in the first half and didn’t finish well on his drives. Yet he stays within himself and last night knocked down his (uncontested) 3s, which were important. And I’ll also say this about Barnes. He has played heavy minutes all season and they got away with it. What this has done is keep Iguodala and Lee relatively healthy for the playoffs. If Kerr knows what to do with them.

      Lee and Iguodala have been kept in cages for the Livingston sideshow all season, straining against the bars, made to look bad. Let’s hope Kerr turns them loose for the rest of the games. The playoffs may depend on them.

      I don’t understand the Lee haters here and elsewhere. He didn’t do a lot last night, but he was stable. He does offer options. And he was savvy and energetic on both ends of the court. He has experience and confidence and leadership, and the starters responded to it. They have played with him for years, after all, and know what he brings.

      • Was I the only one impressed with Harrison doing the splits? Guys aren’t really supposed to be able to do those. And play NBA hoops afterward. Imagine Bogut doing that. He’d be in surgery having a new titanium groin put in

        The broadcast caught Kerr telling Liv that his work on D turned the series in the Warriors favor. I’m not sure about this, but it was a nice complement

      • Right rgg…an “uncontested” Barnes three is like a 2 foot gimme put, anyone could of made it!

        • Tony Allen could have sure made it. Vince Carter could have made it. Jeff Green could have made it. Or NOT.

          Everyone but Curry gets open 3s in warriors. Most 3PT attempts in the league are open 3s, not off the dribble like Curry’s.

        • You haven’t had much cause to appear here, scotch. Before last night, Barnes was 1-8. But I am praising his ability to come back and do what he can do. We’re counting on him knocking down those 3s.

          • From Felt after 4th game:

            “Barnes stepped up his offensive aggressiveness in this game, no doubt as a result of the team’s extensive video session, and his coaches’ urging. But what has impressed me more has been his defense on Gasol and Randolph. The best part of his game in this series, if you ask me, and a key part of making the Warriors’ Nellieball lineups work.”

      • I think that’s a fair point about Allen being injured during Game 4. Still, he can’t shoot.

        • Do you know when he was injured before game 4 or some time in game 4. He was effectively shut down for the game in the opening minutes of the game.

  18. Maui Nellie

    From a Grantland piece that deals mostly with last night’s Atlanta/Washington thriller.

    “The Warriors have a level they can reach, when everything is humming, that no other team left in the playoffs can hit. Their depth allows the team to shape-shift like a liquid-metal Terminator. Their defense and offense become a seamless feedback loop of devastation. At their best, they are a swirl of streaking bodies, passes, and baskets that, when amplified by their home crowd, takes on the irresistible force of an improvised tornado.

    At the center of it all is Steph Curry. Here’s the mark of a special player: You can watch every second of every game of every season of his career and still feel like you haven’t seen everything he can do.”

    http://grantland.com/the-triangle/nba-shootaround-forever-i-love-atlanta/

  19. “The playoffs is all about adjustments,” Livingston said. “It’s a chess match. So we made our adjustments. I’m sure they’ll come back and adjustment. But you know, I think we have our formula and our recipe for what we need to do to beat this team. So I’ll just leave it at that.”

    • felt, know you are busy and said you couldn’t do recap, but can you briefly write the adjustments you had seen yesterday, did warriors change anything for yesterday’s game ?

      • Marc did a good job @17.

        • Yes he did. I would add that Memphis can’t play both ZBo and Marc Gasol whole game. When, only one of them is on the floor which is for half the game, team double teamed and fronted them, especially Z Bo. With Lee not being a -ve factor for D, that helped too. But, did Memphis make any adjustments that caused Curry to score zero points other than from 3s.

      • Greg Papa informed me on the radio that the Grizzlies gave Iggy the Tony Allen treatment last night, guarding him with Marc Gasol. Not something I noticed myself. But if true, it does help explain Iggy’s offensive aggressiveness and explosion. Iggy is not Tony Allen.

        Other than that I didn’t notice much else. In what was clearly a give-up game for the Grizzlies with Allen resting, I expect Joerger didn’t want to show his hand.

  20. predicted to harry on the previous post, when they regained their mojo with such alacrity on the road, that the lacobites would close it in six.

    unfortunately for nonpartisans like me, the team might not fall behind two games or face an elimination game the entire post season. korver’s scoring has evaporated making it tough for Atl to break 100 pts, though he did come up with a key steal late in the game. gasol the elder is dinged, or his team and coach vs. the neophyte and his 3.5 players (5.5 if l-b-j counts as two) could extend or derail the gilbert leviathan. might be up to the rivers bunch to prove this is their year of destiny, like they’re crowing about, which is a pretty sorry state of affairs.

    • Korver still shooting 38%, I can see Atl gaining their mojo back too. I can also see Clippers winning one game in Oracle enough to make the series more interesting. Partisan in me though, loving the scenario in which warriors will win it all.

  21. my favorite piece of writing from the national hoops festival so far is a travel piece from ostler on sfgate.com, “Watching Game 5 in Lairs of the Bears”. forgot how that team used to play in a pyramid after they moved from BC and west was the hoops boss.

  22. Regarding Barnes’ splits: It’s odd to me that so many are praising him for his flexibility and ability to bounce right back from that pratfall, while literally no one is commenting on his proven inability to stay on his feet when guarding smaller, quicker players. This is the second time that Barnes has become an internet meme for falling on his ass in the playoffs.

    • Not basketball play, that split. But, my first instinct as many others is that he is hurt. Not often, we see a 6’8″ guy do the split. It was odd scene, hence the attention it is getting.

    • I was just comparing him to myself. I had to try that move during the next commercial break.
      And he did it pretty quick. I got a couple real-time texts, along the lines of Ouch!, and LOL

      • if you’re 23 yrs. old and had put in years of serious stretching, you’d expect to execute it and not get hurt if you were warmed up, which he obviously was. the average fan might benefit from watching more soccer, gymnastics, Hong Kong martial arts flicks.

    • They (TNT) said the floor was slippery for some reason. The remark was made several times.

      And I’ve been watching the other stations. I just can’t listen to Fitz anymore. Sorry, Jim.

    • See? All these comments further my point…

      • I think part of it is that it’s all been said about Harrison over the course of the year on this blog- pros and cons. I know I tend to gloss over some of the posts on his purported hoops abilities because it can be repetitive. Most “regulars” know where you stand on HB, feltbot, and I’m closer to your camp than the opposing one. But I’ve never seen a guy end up like he did on that play in 40 yrs of watchin hoops, so that was a novelty
        I do think that landing would’ve disabled a large percentage of NBA players, gymnastics/martial arts training be damned

        The partisans like myself will rejoice in a GS championship despite any mitigating factors. Someone’s gotta win it. It’s bigger than this year too. If the Dubs pull it off and are reigning champs, next year will be that much more exciting. Teams will have us squarely in their sites, and odds are it will be tougher to repeat. Unless the Warriors really are this good. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Just lookin forward to mañanas contienda

        • you could be right about the poor conditioning of n.b.a. players, and age is a big factor with flexibility. didn’t take up any sport myself until my mid-30s and arthritis already in progress, but even at the extremely low and amateur level of my competition (not hoops), some players were quite capable of a split and recovery like that. there are dozens of street dancers who put a full split with immediate pop up in their routines ; granted, the second part would be very tough for someone much taller than 6′, but barnes quickly rolled out of his extended position.

    • Odd that Kerr keeps emphasizing how strong Barnes is. What is he getting at?

      • Barnes Strong means he can guard PFs.

        • To add, most stretch 4s are bad defenders. Just the way when a team is categorizied as 3 PT shooting team, they are a bad defensive team. Both are wrong in warriors case. 3PT shooters and above par defenders.

          • Yes indeed.

            Kerr emphasis on this point leads me to believe Kerr sees Barnes primary value as a Stretch-4, not so much as a Wing.

            Green on the other hand, can guard 3’s and 4’s, heck even 1’s and 2’s, quite well. Harrison has trouble staying with Wings from what I see out on the floor. And conversely, opponents Wings guard him more effectively than do opponents 4’s.

  23. Dellanova, the Cavs B/U PG, had quite a game. 6 for 7 shooting. LeBron gave him recognition after the game. (Apparently, Irving had to leave the game injured.)

    moto, I thought you mentioned the Warriors had him in for a showing, he was across the street at St Marys, and then passed on him? Too expensive?

    • too cheap, plus he could shoot.

    • the lacobites conspicuously ignored dellavedova after he went undrafted, neither inviting him to las vegas for summer league nor to training camp. no way they hadn’t scouted him as a college star in literally their back yard, plus the Oz connection with bogut. they were all-in with their prized draft pick NN, attempting to makeover bazemore (who has made the top eight in the Atl rotation now), plus two very marginal combo guards. NN was either injured or in s.cruz most of the season, and the rest were essentially scrapped as they acquired blake.

      lacob had added west to his portfolio for credibility, and west can have credit both for drafting thompson and blocking the trade for love. everything else the heralded and hyped front office has done since myers was promoted was grunt work (clearing budget space to sign iguodala) and luck. they invested less in d’mond than they had in NN, and we won’t forget how much he was marginalized in mr. barnes’ favor (and behind the vets speights and o’neal on the bench) until bogut and lee were hurt last season (it still took o’neal telling jackson that green should start).

      • I saw him on the Hilltop and Moraga and he really stood out as the best player on the floor. WCC status hurt

        absolute last comment on the splits, it’s one thing for a runner, dancer, whomever to warm up and then perform a premeditated manouver, another thing to slip and find yourself forced to perform

    • Can’t defend and switch everything D will not work with Dellanova. Dellanova can shoot better but over all Livingston is giving more than Dellanova can ever give for this team.

      • What’s wrong with having both of them? Livingston by and large is contributing to the Warriors as a 3 and point forward anyway, not as a B/U PG. This young Aussie can shoot the lights out and according to LeBron is the toughest guy on the team (ex-rugby player).

        • That Lebron’s comment, first I heard and huge compliment. That said, he is listed as SG, not PG but having great season. Cavs are lucky to get him. Like Hassan, great find for respective teams. You can’t fault a FO for not finding those though. Don’t know how he plays D because that is essential to get minutes for warriors team.

          • Apparently, he can handle well, because he was subbed in for Irving, after Irving was injured in the 1st quarter. LeBron also said the guy is very teachable (not exactly in those words).

            Looked to me like he was hustling and sticking on guys defensively, but I really don’t know.

            But you are right, those type of guys like him and Hassan sometimes slip thru everyone’s grasp.

            (Hopefully, the injury to Irving is not too serious.)

      • the lacobites are selling places on the waiting list for tickets, and they’re still paying 2013 rates on thompson and green, so they’re not whinging about $$ yet, but most teams wouldn’t choose to pay two limited vets, livingston and iguodala 15 m. combined to fill substantially overlapping functions on the bench. and as Marc notes, a player just like dellavedova on the court with either makes them better.

  24. Prediction Alert:

    Warriors will make Finals

    If they beat the Grizz

    • I think so too.

      Griffin is prone to emotion and both Green and Ezeli get in his head. Kerr probably puts Bogut on him too. And now a more healthy and conditioned DLee. Could be some long nights for señor Griffin.

      In tonight’s game against the Rocks, the ESPN announcer said Paul was played in 5 minute stretches because of injury. I think its a hammy, not sure.

  25. Amazing. Harden sits—is he still sick and/or was this the plan?—and Houston comes back. Harden is a team killer. MVP?

    • My thought as well. The ESPN commentator (Barry?) said maybe he had the flu. McHale after the game said Brewer and the other guys were doing so well together he didn’t see a reason to sub Harden back in. McHale also said the spell on the bench gave Harden some rest, and Harden would be ready for Game 7.

  26. Feltbot, regarding your tweet on Lacobs failure to sign Dwight Howard, take heart, LaMarcus Aldridge is a free agent. (Naw, he wouldn’t.)

  27. The very nature of sports is unpredictable.
    A team that should easily sweep Memphis
    loses two playoff games to the them. The
    same for Houston demolishing the Clippers in
    fourth quarter without it’s star James
    Harden being on the floor. Harden is not a team
    killer. Would take him over Thompson any
    day of the week. Love guys that live at the foul-
    line.

  28. Bogut attacked the rim
    and scored without dribbling. Also
    played terrific defense.

    Livingston came up huge in big game.
    Thwarting Z at the rim,making
    Conley miss, getting offensive
    rebound, crucial assists, and scoring.
    Right guy at right time.

    • In one possession, Livingston challenged Gasol at the rim, warriors got the ball. He can play D.

  29. Unless Vice Carter goes off or
    Green, Iggy, Barnes and Thompson
    don’t produce, this series is over.

  30. I simply can’t believe the Rockets came back in that game. I turned it off after Blake’s 180 no look layup. Rockets were down 20, bickering, taking spite fouls, and simply looking terrible.

    Looks like Josh Smith came up big, on both sides of the floor. He’s reviled now, but he was a heck of a player in his prime.

    Interesting that the other “MVP” sat out the comeback. Very interesting.

    Truly a bad break for the Clippers, who badly needed the rest for Paul (hamstring) and Matt Barnes (ankle).

    This loss could be to the Clippers what the last game of the season loss to the Pelicans was to the Spurs.

    And yet one more magical break for the Warriors on their road to the title.

    • Barnes shoulder was all wrapped up too.

      Smith tossed in a crucial 3 over Jordan, blocked Griffin, and all of a sudden Howard started defending as well, even running guys off the 3-point line.

      Corey Brewer is heck of a good player as is Trevor Ariza.

  31. Felt says:
    So the Warriors are going to get Pelicans without Holiday, Grizzlies without Conley, Clippers without Paul, and Cavs without Kyrie Irving?
    —-
    My take:
    * Warriors are not getting Memphis without Conley.
    * Holiday played though half fit, but wouldn’t have matter anyway against this warriors team.
    * Do you expect Cavs win without Kyrie ?
    *Clippers are without Paul ?? I thought I saw him play yesterday night. * Warriors now might get Rockets.

    Memphis, Rockets/Clippers and Cavs/Hawks, doesn’t matter who suits up are tough series for anyone.

    • * Warriors got Memphis with 1/2 Conley, Pelicans with some fraction of Holiday. Lucky breaks for the Ws, since their offense mostly hasn’t been *on* for some time, it just makes spot appearances.

      * A 100% Conley or Holiday would definitely have made a difference.

      * Cavs absolutely can with without Kyrie. When LeBron goes into Godzilla Mode, Kyrie’s just a spectator like everyone else. Kyrie’s a great player, but LBJ doesn’t really need him. They tend to take turns on offense, rather than play together well.

      * Chris Paul is tremendous, but the Clips were successful without him for large parts of the season. Hate to say it, but Griffin is a great (offensive) player. It’s easy to predict that the Ws go full-on “goon mode” (Draymond’s term) against him if they meet in the playoffs.

      * The Ws owned the Rockets during the regular season, but never met the full-strength version of the team. If they meet in the playoffs, yeah, the Ws will get past them. But it won’t be a sweep like the season series.

      • Just some random thoughts, not a rebuttal.

        Warriors won one game at home without Conley, you can call it a break but warriors I would think no matter what would have split first two games at home which has happened anyway. I could argue Conley in game 2 was greater than 100% for all intangibles he brought, inspiring his teammates and with the mask while referees treating him with baby gloves. Game 3 they won, so doesn’t matter if Conley’s healthy or not. Last 2 games, didn’t look like Conley was less than 100% and frankly wouldn’t have mattered much. But, Conley can make a huge difference today for Memphis at home. Memphis lack of 3PT shooter to take advantage of the best front court is too big of a weakness against warriors but Conley can help by hitting couple of 3s.

        With healthy Holiday, Pelicans might have won one game so they got the break there. Wish that happened and warriors more tested in 1st round. You could argue that Clippers increased level of play is due to tough series they played against champs where they are challenged to fullest. Warriors could have been better team by now if Pelicans played to their full strength.

        Warriors did meet Rockets at full strength for couple of games and dominated them but agree with what you are inferring, Rockets will be better team than regular season team just because of the make up of the team plus some veterans with championship experience in the team.

        Agree on Cavs, they can make to finals because of Lebron. Lebron is by himself capable of winning one or two games to make any series closer.

        Griffin seemed to play great first 3 quarters, so they don’t really have anyone but Chris Paul or Jamal Crawford to even willing to take shots in 4th quarter and in close game, that is how it looked yesterday. Griffin will still be handful for warriors, can get Green into foul trouble. But, with Lee showing signs of improving, we might be able to overcome by putting Lee if not Ezeli or Speights on Jordan and Bogut on Blake. Warriors depth will triumph over Clippers lack of depth.

        The warriors team is just too deep for any team, depth along with some luck and minutes management by coaches is the reason the team stayed healthy. All that though is how it looks on paper for me but they still have to fight through one of the all time toughest western conference, IMO. So far, so good.

        • you sound like you’re translating the win totals of the western playoff teams to mean that it was one of the toughest ‘all time’. a lack of parity would also lead to big win totals. as we’ve noted repeatedly, the woeyrs were the only top team not to lose a starter or principal rotation player for significant time (unless you count lee as a starter, when obviously losing green for two months would have harmed them far more). not difficult for me to conceive that the conference should have been tougher, with greater competition to reach the 55+ win level all the top seeds attained.

          • you can sure keep that opinion. In my opinion, when the playoffs started, Warriors, Spurs, Clippers, Rockets, Memphis, Cavs and Hawks looked legitimate contenders. Also, warriors did lose a starter for 15 games and over all 3 rotation players in Bogut, Lee and Ezeli for significant amount of time.

            Agree to disagree.

  32. Allen playing tonight, and he rates himself at 60%.

  33. Hey Moto

    Remembered your tip and just ate in Torta Gorda. Had the chile rellaño and mi amigo the pierna enchilada (puerco). Pretty good food and atmosphere
    Also walked past the long-gone El Trebol. Its now a place called Paprika

    • oui, TG’s low key diner ambience is a welcome alternative to the harsher tacqueria joints. Paprika is somewhat off the normal too, have not tried it, supposed to have a good selection of central euro brews and Czech-Hungarian eats.

    • For wonderful dishes and a fun environment try La Fonda’s on Solano Ave in Beserkley. Mexican tapas kind of menu with a touch of Argentine.

  34. Not surprising that Houston came
    back from being down 20 in
    third quarter. With the Clippers
    going cold and subs draining
    three’s, Houston came back quickly.
    .

  35. Green + Barnes 29 points. Maybe I should lower my line to 28?

    Not as pretty though.

  36. You guys are so desperate to try to prove to yourselves you know something about basketball that you can’t admit what is clear as day: Harrison Barnes, the just turned 23 year old, is developing into a heck of a player. He’s having a tremendous playoffs. Hahahaha. Most of you said he shouldn’t even be a starter in the NBA. Watch it and weep, fellas. Tata….

    • You’re full of crap.

      First of all, Barnes doesn’t turn 23 for another two weeks.

      Second, the geniuses here didn’t even think Barnes belonged in an NBA rotation (maybe even on a roster), let alone being a starter.

      ;-)

    • Harrison Barnes scoring and rebounding during the playoffs so far:

      11.1 points per 48 minutes and 7.6 boards per 48 minutes.

      Shooting 50.6% overall from the field and 30.4% from behind the arc.

      • d.carroll has been in the d-league and was cut by two n.b.a. teams before catching on with UT, then signing with Atl with his better known ‘mate millsap. this post season per 36 min. 17.5 pts (mr.barnes 12.1), 2.2 asst (2.0), 7 boards (5.7), true shooting pct. .644 (.571), .39 in his 3’s to barnes’ .30

        DC-leonsis made stopping korver a top priority ; korver shot 0-7 in 3’s in their clincher but carroll played one of his best games. james considers carroll one of the toughest defenders he faces.

        • Carroll is a great story, kind of players that come against all odds.

          But, how is Carroll not getting drafted has anything to do with Barnes. Barnes as #7 is on par with the performances you can expect from a #7 pick. Most picks past top 5 don’t even last more than 5 years in the league. Barnes toughness is on display when he defended Memphis bigs.

    • I’m curious, OT and swope. What exactly did you see?

      • rgg, et al…stay the course

        I’m sure meir still thinks Curry has a “nice shot” but at best is a small two & maybe a good sixth man…

    • Our Team, Swoopa, Harry —

      Do you guys think Barnes is a future All-Star? Or will he improve from here, though not to All-Star level?

      I don’t believe he will attain All-Star consideration.

      I would like to see him on a team where he is first or second scoring option, in fairness to him.

  37. Bird was better than Michael Jordan.

    And Stephen Curry is better than Bird.

    • Apples and Oranges on Jordan and Bird

      Rick Barry was up there

      • barry lost a third of his career in his prime years by sitting out to gain free agency and playing in the a.b.a., where he also severely injured his knee. he didn’t go into the paint nearly as aggressively when he returned to GS, and the knee contributed to his relatively early retirement. with an uninterrupted n.b.a. career barry would be regarded as the superior player to bird, equally smart and skilled as a passer and far quicker with or without the ball.

        • I only got to watch Barry in a handful of games when I was a kid, during the Finals against the Bullets, on a neighbor’s TV, but he made a huge impression on me. You may very well be right.

          Of course, no one is as good as Playoff Barnes…

  38. Maui Nellie

    Hubie Brown after the Dubs finished off Memphis.

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:12896675

  39. That 62 footer was a practiced shot, according to Curry and Green.

    • Kerr, postgame, said that’s how the team begins practice, heaving long shots. It’s a way to loosen up, and I like it. The best shooters? Steph and Mo.

      • Curry said at the podium with Green: “I practice that shot ev-er-y day, and that’s no lie.” Green was shaking his head yes.

        What amazed me was how smooth he shot it. Not throwing the ball in the least bit.

  40. Barnett really ripped into James Harden on the radio yesterday:

    https://soundcloud.com/warriors/jim-barnett-on-957-the-game-51515#t=2:09

    “I don’t see how he helps that Houston Rockets franchise with the way he plays one-on-one.”

  41. After a little talk about his 60 footer, a beat writer reporter asked Steph what he thought was the most famous shot inNBA playoff history. Steph hesitated and then said that was really puttin him on the spot. He mulled it over a bit more and settled on an Alonzo Morning bucket to beat the Celtics. But he admitted his bias. He was at the game. As a 5 year old. And his Dad had the assist on the hoop. Can’t blame bias like that

    Rick Barry, man, trying to think of shooter with his range and touch, Steph comes to mind, and I don’t feel the comparison does an injustice to either player.

    • Maui Nellie

      “Rick Barry, man, trying to think of shooter with his range and touch, Steph comes to mind, and I don’t feel the comparison does an injustice to either player.”

      Actually, Rick Barry was a mediocre perimeter shooter early in his NBA career. His game was driving and slashing inside. Later, after injuring his knee, he made himself into a very good outside shooter as he changed his style of play. A great, great player, but there’s no comparison between Barry and Curry in regards their shooting prowess from anywhere and everywhere on the court.

      Speaking about Rick and shooting, he was a great free throw shooter but not in the traditional manner. Here’s a great read on that subject.

      http://www.sbnation.com/longform/2012/12/13/3758698/rick-barry-underhand-free-throw-nba

      • I didn’t start avidly watching the Warriors.til 74-75, when I was nine, so I missed his mediocre perimeter shooting stage. But the Barry I saw was a great outside shooter, with a feathery fingertip release and Klay like range. I’ll gonna stand by memories of him tossing in 30 pts a game, many nothing but net from long range. Without the benefit of the trey.
        You could make a case no one compares to Steph

        This morning I was browsing Ricks wiki page, and he really is overlooked today. 35 points a game his second year, 40 thru the finals, even with that mediocre perimeter shot. Didn’t know that the Dubs andd Mueli actually forced him to sit out an ABA season due to litigation. Kind of a bunk move, tho I don’t know all the ins-and-outs of the matter, so Barry watched all that seasons games as part of the Oaks broadcast team. Despite being a winning team the Oakland franchise only drew 2800 a game, and eventually moved to Wash DC. Barry’s take? “If I wanted to move to Washington, I’d run for president”. The next year the team moved to Virginia and Rick balked, saying he didn’t want his offspring raised with Southern accents! He was prickly. He also said he wouldn’t return to the NBA unless they paid him a million $s, but more litig forced him back to the warriors when he came back. Luckily

        Even his second -to-final year Barry collected 500 assists for the rockets. I believe the article said he was only the 3rd forward to reach that number, and this was 1979. Bird and Bron and a few others may have done it since

        I didn’t know Pat Boone was the Oakland Oaks owner either. Some of the youngsters here will have to google him, or may remember his daughter, debi Boone, who had a huge pop hit with”u light up my life”. She was pretty in a real wholesome way. I remember watching a big screen technicolor version of “journey to the center of the earth” (good book by a great writer) starring a young Pat. It was a good movie in a very bad way

        Barry had a reputation of being a dick. I think he just held himself, and others , to a very high standard. And was candid to a fault

        • Oh boy. I was reading the public posts/reviews of the ’59 flick “Journey to the Center of the Earth” on IMDB. It’s got rave reviews for the most part. Words like ‘classic’ and phrases like ‘the golden age of Hollywod ‘ are being bandied about. One guy even said the cinematography was ground breaking. Just wanna make it clear after reading the book and enjoying all the serious research JVerne always included in his tales, especially that one, that was just my opinion.
          There was an annoying duck, Aflac -style, making the movie version journey with Pat and crew

        • chamberlain called barry the best athlete in the n.b.a., and he didn’t mean speed and jumping high, like the combine scouts today, not that barry lacked in either capability. in that era part of being a great athlete was routinely playing over forty minutes in games, and chamberlain was also expressing his respect for refined skills and defensive impact. if barry had played point guard, he would have been in the top tier in many of his seasons in assists and steals, not just points per game.

          • That jarred my memory and I went back to check. He led the league with 2.9 steals per game 74/75..

            “In Barry’s second season, the Warriors extended the mighty Philadelphia 76ers to six highly competitive games in the Finals, something that Russell and the Boston Celtics could not do in the EC playoffs That 76ers team is considered to be one of the greatest in nba history” -wiki

        • Maui Nellie

          rzzmark, “mediocre” was the wrong way to describe anything related to Rick Barry the basketball player. Barry was a great player, one of the very best ever at his position. The biggest difference between Barry and Curry was their shooting range at the start of their respective careers. As mentioned in my previous post, Barry’s game was slashing and driving to the basket with an accurate shooting range of around 15 ft. If you go watch his old highlights on YouTube you’ll be hard pressed to find footage that shows him “bombing away from Steph Curry territory” for the simple reason that was neither his game nor strength as a shooter early in his career. Later, after his knee injury, he worked on extending his range and eventually became a much more accurate shooter from long range. Steph’s range from Day 1 (college & pro) was off the charts, and I guess that was my point of comparison. Rick was a great scorer out of college whereas Steph was a great (long range) shooter.

          From Wikipedia:

          “Upon Barry’s return to the Warriors and the NBA, the cumulative effects of knee problems were taking their toll. Barry gradually moved his game away from the basket, becoming more of a perimeter shooter and ball distributor.”

          From NBA Overtime: Rick Barry 1975 (YouTube):

          “Barry is one of few elite players who have altered their games without losing effectiveness; he broke into the professional ranks as a rebounder and all-purpose points machine before he morphed into a primary ball distributor and lethal perimeter threat.”

          • Maui Nellie

            This was a typical scoring game from Barry. Lots of points from free throws (which doesn’t happen when you’re shooting 20-25 ft jumpers) and medium range jumpers.

  42. Tell me you weren’t concerned after game 3.

    Allen, in fact, injured his ham game 3. I understand Conley was dealing with another injury—ankle?—as well. We saw what they could do at their peak.

    But without a perimeter threat, the series proved to be no contest. The Warriors were allowed to move 3-4 players on Zebo and Gasol. They still didn’t have much scoring presence up front.

    Everything will change the next series.

    Or, the way this season is going, maybe not.

  43. The FB Pet Department:

    http://www.bayareasportsguy.com/joe-lacob-dribbling-against-dogs-video-instagram-kirk-lacob-golden-state-warriors/

    Catch the video. If those are his dogs, they are John Galt and Howard Roark, named after characters in Ayn Rand’s novels.

  44. Rick Barry an outstanding perimeter
    shooter in college and the pros.

    Barnes upped his game this year by
    changing his jump shot and being
    more explosive player going to the
    hoop. Now more consistent when
    open.

    Livingston outstanding last two
    games shooting the mid-range, dunking,
    taking it to the hoop, and getting free
    on dunks. Passing and defense also
    terrific. Has sped up his game and
    that’s enhanced his game.

    Lee and Green both suck playing center
    if opponent seeks to exploit.

    Team defense now playing at new
    level. That and Curry making the
    difference.

    • As I recall, DLee played Howard tuff.

      Let’s hope Barnes keeps his mid-range game improving, and Livingston will continue to be aggressive.

      I have a hunch Iguodala is just getting started. They’ll need him.

      • When Lee could hit outside jumper, he would have been net positive against Howard, unfortunately Howard would be a bad matchup. But, against rockets backup Cs, Lee can do well. He has atleast one or two good offensive games he is capable of putting before the season is over.

  45. Warriors want to face players with
    good perimeter as opposed to good
    interior players. Therefor, either
    Houston or the Clippers are just the
    type of opponent we want. Love we’ll
    Be facing either Howard or Jordan,
    both sub par players. That’s why we took
    both to the cleaners during the regular
    season. We have have the length with
    Iggy, Barnes, Livingston, Thompson,
    and Livingston, to keep in
    check the three -ball.

    Either Atlanta or Cleveland are our next
    big challenge.

    • You said you’d trade Klay for Harden any day of the week, tomorrow being Sunday you can rest and reconsider if u want, and see how that series ends up. I think Harden had the perfect role in OKC, now he’s in Houston, looking down the barrel of a Mano-a-Mano match up with Klay, if he’s lucky. Klay is undeniably a better Defender, and arguably (it’s a pretty strong case) a better marksman. Which are huge to the Warriors scheme
      I never thought Harden was an MVP-caliber player. But I only watch him when the Rockets play the Warriors

  46. bloodsweatndonuts

    I’d rather face the Rockets simply because I am concerned about the Clippers intentionally injuring a key Warriors’s player.

    • In many ways he is a professor’s son.

      I’m trying to think what it must have been like growing up with a philosophy professor for a father. You must have had some exquisite fights.

      There were three things, growing up, I would not forgive my father: growing hair in his ears, having a bit of a belly (not really), and, on the rare occasion he did grocery shopping, buying store brands, e.g. Safeway “Crunchy Rice” instead of Kellogg’s “Rice Krispies.” We fought all the way through.

      I haven’t caught up with the ear hair yet, but I outweigh him by a good 15 pounds when he was my age and I buy store brands with a passion, sometimes when they are not cheaper.

      • the problem with most store brands is the use of high fructose corn syrup and other products made from genetically modified organisms. the corn syrup contributes to insulin resistance in your body, and the cultivation of g.m.o.’s comes with heavy reliance on a proprietary herbicide that contributes to species extinction, including the monarch butterfly (and probably long term health issues in humanoids,yet to be determined).

        • Backyard horticulture as a source of food production is really becoming a lost art. Even on the smallest plots plenty of healthy produce can be grown, if a person has the inclination. It’s a means of empowerment against the ruling classes/companies, in a small but powerful way

          Gardening is a true combination of art and nature

          I don’t like those single-use Kuerig coffee bullets. All in the name of convenience so your average shlub can save a minute of time. Is it that hard to make coffee? Over one million manufactured and tossed daily in the USA now

          In terms of the hoops, I wouldn’t trade Klay for Harden. Why would you? Would it make the team better? They’re pretty damn good. Also, you said Howard has the brain a small lizard, Feltbot. So I think Bogut can outsmart him. Maybe leave a trail of tempting dead bugs on the floor. I don’t think Dwight is a better C than MGasol, overall

          Steph and Barry the 2 best GS players I’ve been lucky enuff to see

  47. rzzmark: While you think Harden is
    not a caliber worthy
    MVP candidate, thankfully the
    sportswriters do. Thompson is nowhere
    in Harden’s category. When Thompson
    gets to the line 8 times per game, let me
    know.

    Barnes makes his wide open shots and
    shoots a high percentage. That makes
    him a damn good player Felty. Only the
    nut guys don’t get that. Same as they
    don’t get Livingston. And bloggers who
    foolishly thought we would not exceed
    the over.

    But you did a great job predicting how
    other teams you don’t know as well would
    do.

    There should be an over-under on
    how many Howard plays are ShaqN
    Fool plays. I say three.

    Kevin McKale not going to be smiling
    many times during this series. He
    should enjoy his victory over the
    Riverless Clippers.

    • “Barnes makes his wide open shots and
      shoots a high percentage.”

      Barnes shot 57% TS on 15% USG this season. That’s extremely average production. Not what I would call “damn good”.

      • EvanZ, sincere question, do you have stat of another wing with similar usage and better shooting numbers.

        • Yeah, Korver. 67.6% TS on 14% USG.

          • Thanks Evanz, may be that is why Korver is an all star and Korver feels like more as an exception to me. How is Barnes compared to someone like Ariza or Carroll or other 3rd or 4th options in their teams ? Or may be you can just point to me as how you are checking that stat. When they gave MIP award to Butler, it was pointed that he took 2nd highest jump in shooting %ages wise with Barnes as 1st. My perception is that Barnes was mediocre in shooting last season and above average this season.

  48. Postseason 3 point percentages

    Houston:
    Harden 38 %
    Ariza 33 %
    Terry 41 %
    Brewer 33 %
    Smith 36 %
    Team 34 %, 28 per game

    Warriors:
    Curry 41 %
    Thompson 48 %
    Green 29 %
    Barnes 30 %
    Iguodala 33 %
    Team: 39 %, 30 per game

    • Green, Barnes, and Iguodala need to leave the 3-pt shooting to Curry and Thompson? All 3 of them can do other stuff very well.

      • Marc, the offense needs others to shoot 3s also. Barnes and Iguodala are shooting well and Green in some games too. They all need to take open 3.

        • I am encouraged by Barnes recent mid-range game, and by Livingston’s recent aggressiveness.

          I noticed Barnes is spotty finishing lay-ups, and he fumbles the ball sometimes. Does he have poor hands? I expect he will solve the lay-ups, much like Klay did.

          • He fumbles because he rushes too much. The game has not slowed down for him yet. He is improving though. As per your other question on either he will be all star, in my opinion, that is mute point. You an be a winner without becoming an star. It is upto him either he wants to continue as a winner with warriors or try to become the man in other uniform. Hopefully, he will stay, his ability to guard 4 and play 3 are invaluable.

  49. We’re going to be hard pressed to learn anything from the four games against Houston this season. Howard missed the first two and was obviously injured in the last, only two days from going down for a long time.

    The third, however, is interesting, a rout:

    http://espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?id=400578895

    Note Beverly and Montiejunas played. Not much of a shooting night for Harden—anybody remember why? Was Klay on him?

    Game flow:

    http://popcornmachine.net/gf?date=20150117&game=GSWHOU

    Note the stint the last half of the third quarter, when they really took off, with Curry and Lee on the floor. A very good night for Lee, 18 points 8 boards. Speights did well also. Scoring bigs made a difference.

    Not much from Bogut, who played 20 minutes and didn’t do much anything. I see Feltbot’s tweet. I wondered if McHale might employ hack-a-Bogut, but I realize he’ll want to keep him on the floor.

    • Maui Nellie

      rgg, here’s the highlight package from that January 17 game you linked when both teams were completely healthy. One of the biggest differences between these two teams all season long was their respective defenses. The Warriors have the best defense in the league and the Rockets definitely don’t. If anything, Houston’s defense is overrated.

      Dallas (Round 1) averaged 110 points a game vs the Rockets in the series but had no chance because they played little to no defense themselves. The Clippers averaged 113 points a game but their lack of depth and defense (along with a dash of choking) led to their demise. The Warriors will get plenty of open looks and score a lot more points in this series than they did vs Memphis.

      One key element to the Warriors game is how fast they play each game, from start to finish. Their style wears teams down, especially (interesting when you think about it) when the other team has to play them over and over again in a playoff format. GSW lost Game 2 to Memphis because they played in an “MVP fog”, but Game 3 was easily the Grizzlies best performance of the series? Why? Because they had 3 days (Tuesday-Saturday) to rest and prepare, with emphasis on “rest”. After that (along with the Dubs defensive adjustment) the series was every other day the rest of the way, with long plane flights thrown in for good measure. Memphis simply wore down and were one exhausted group by the end of the series. The postgame interview session with Marc Gasol told it all as he could barely get up out of his chair when the Q&A session ended. The Warriors make you work to guard them with their constant movement AND they make you work to try and score on the other end. And now the West Finals will leave their opponent potentially searching even more to “catch their breath” as the entire series will be played in an every-other-day format.

      BTW, yes, once the Warriors started playing Klay on Harden the real MVP (in his mind only) suddenly started looking more like the MOP (Most Overrated Player). There are a couple of Klay guarding Harden highlights in this package.

      • Thanks, and good stuff. Bogut got in early foul trouble this game, 2 in the first quarter, which sent him to the bench, and another quick one second quarter, when he sat for the rest of the half. But that turned out to the team’s advantage, as they were able to get the others going and push the pace. Odds are good it will be hard for him to stay out of foul trouble. But the Warriors have others to fill in, and should have double team schemes ready.

        I’m wondering if McHale won’t try to slow the game down. Theoretically he has the tools—a penetrator and shooter in Harden, a dominant center who can score, and outside shooters. I have a picture of Harden driving, drawing fouls, slowing down the tempo and forcing the Warriors into a half court sets, where their front court offensive weakness will be exposed.

        But that doesn’t seem to be in McHale’s DNA. Also, in Harden and Howard, he has odd pieces. And giving the game to them will not let the others come into play.

  50. Is McHale dumb enough to start Jason Terry and play him significant minutes? Surely McHale won’t try and guard Curry with Terry?

    Start Brewer and put him on Curry, Ariza on Thompson, and Harden on Barnes.

    Just now saw Feltbots tweet regarding Howard-Bogut. That hadn’t occurred to me, but heck yea, that’s a concern. (Capella looks promising to me.)

    The Rox displayed an interesting small ball look today — JSmith and TJones at the 4 and 5.

    • the Hou guard-wing defensive rotation you’ve raised is probably the best demonstration how much their loss of beverly limits their chances against perimeter oriented teams. conley’s revival for Mem gave the woeyrs pause for two games. beverly won’t be returning, but inspired, rejuvenated efforts from harden, smith, terry, a couple of more peaks from ariza, would give them a chance for a six game series. mchale switched things up with jones and smith vs. LA, which helped his bench. kerr might not have speights, but ezeli was minimally used vs. Mem. the reserves might provide competition vs. kerr’s bench that the starters vs. starters can’t, especially if terry starts and brewer is the relief. the latter has shredded the woeyr reserves in the past.

  51. I remember Howard playing for another
    team and scoring at will against the
    Warriors with the Warriors still outscoring
    his team when he was on the court. Why?
    Because Howard is a crappy defender.even
    This year, his opponents shot 51. 5 percent
    against him. Also, he’s often late in providing
    weakside help.

  52. If Dwight is somehow better or more healthy than he looked in the regular season, Festus will have a big role to play in this series, seeing as Bogut can’t go more than 25 mpg.

    • +1. More Ezeli please.

    • EZ, if you get a free moment, could you tell me where I could go to find player v. player performance history? I suppose I could use nbawowy by limiting the date ranges to specific games, but that’s more pencil work than I want to do.

      I generally think team results are most informative even when evaluating individual player results, but the Q has come up here about Bogut v. Howard, and I thought it would be interesting to see where their personal competition stands.

      My impression is that Bogut has been very competitive in head-to-head stats against Dwight, and of course even better in team results. But I haven’t done the numbers.

      • http://stats.nba.com/vs/#!/?PlayerID=2730&VsPlayerID=101106

        I think that’s as close as you’ll find.

        • Cool, but not a head-to-head comparison. If it were, they’d have the same number of games played.

          Could some future release of NBAWowy permit the user to select players from two different teams to do an on-court+on-court comparison? The NBA.COM stats seem to be giving us a Boolean OR, not an AND.

          • Look again at those stats I linked. It’s hard to read, but it does have what you want.

            The first couple of rows show GP = 2. That’s what you want. Then it shows overall (ignore that).

      • You can throw out any stats for the last 3 years. Howard wasn’t remotely healthy. Until right now.

        I have a preview coming shortly.

  53. I’m finally going to be able to enjoy Blake Griffin’s ads, or at least stomach them, the ones where he sits or stands in a Kia, leading his men to victory.

    • I’ve never minded the ads. It’s all the on-court whining that bugs me.

      On the other hand, that doesn’t seem to be just Blake, but more a “team culture” thing, starting with Doc Rivers and CP3.

      A couple of thoughts about the Clips before we wave by-bye for the season:

      * I don’t see any way they let DJordan get away in free agency.

      * Say goodbye to Matt Barnes. Possibly out of the league. His numbers were depressed all season.

      * If Ballmer has a noodle in his head, he’ll bring in a layer of management over and around Doc Rivers.

      * The Clips lost because they ran their starters more than any other team in the playoffs. Because their bench reeked. Because Doc the GM destroyed Doc the Coach.

      • rivers used his two cap exceptions on farmar and hawes. paul’s expiration date isn’t that far off. no surprise should we see rivers returning to broadcasting in another season or two.

  54. Looking ahead—

    Durant hinted at an interest in returning to DC. What if he did go to the Wizards? Think what that would do to the conferences next season.

    • Durant will be with OKC through next season unless he forces his way off the team, which doesn’t seem like his style.

      After that, while Washington did surprisingly well in the playoffs, there are far more appealing teams for Durant to move to than the Wizards.

      For example, Golden State.

      • Durant is smart and knows he wouldn’t get better teammates than Curry and Green(outside Lebron who plays the same position as him). But, he seems more like a guy who will stick with his team, kind of Dirk like. But, It would be amazing to see Durant with Curry+Green.

      • But don’t Durant and Green play the same position, as Feltbot pointed out? I would rather pursue AD.

        • IMO, Green can never be as valuable as SF as he is at PF. At PF, he is all NBA defender who can seemlessly switch on D to a C or SF. His offensive skills also more suitable as PF than SF. I loved the way Green was taking the ball all the way to the hoop and finish when guarded by big guys. He is the point PF, Nellie always dreamed of. See how well Green+Barnes working as forward duo, with Durant, that will be unstoppable.

          Anthony Davis will be as good or better player than Durant but Durant is ready to win now and more probably available while Davis will play through atleast his first contract with Pelicans.

          Anyway, the chances of either happening are very slim but will not be for of lack of trying by Myers.

          • “IMO, Green can never be as valuable as SF as he is at PF. At PF, he is all NBA defender who can seemlessly switch on D to a C or SF. ”

            I agree. I mean, at SF he’s much less valuable than Kawhi. Kawhi can’t play the 4 (let alone 5) nearly as much as Draymond can. With Draymond at 4, his value is comparable to Kawhi at the 3.

          • I suppose I could live with Draymond and KD on the court together in Warrior uniforms. -;))

        • “But don’t Durant and Green play the same position, as Feltbot pointed out? I would rather pursue AD.”

          1) Durant and Green could *easily* co-exist. Not even a question.

          2) AD will be an RFA, so unless something extraordinary happens, it’s unlikely NOP won’t retain him in the end.

    • nike reduced the attraction of a MD/DC homecoming when they matched and surpassed the bid made by the rival shoe/apparel company based there for durant’s endorsement deal, a year ago when his initial nike deal expired. he’s pulling in $30 m. per annum from nike now, more than any max contract from an n.b.a. team will reach if he chooses free agency.

      durant has spoken only as a loyal company employee would so far in re. to remaining with the team that drafted him (still in Sea then, of course). and he’s been positive in his reactions to the new coach (based only on his conversations with successful n.b.a. players who played for donovan who include Hou’s brewer). donovan has just added a former head coach, williams x-NO, for his staff.

  55. Regardless of whether the
    Warriors win the NBA
    championship most of us
    were dead wrong advocating
    that Bogut not be resigned.
    Don’t expect all to now agree.

  56. Maui Nellie

    Odds of Dubs winning it all? ESPN analytics says “overwhelming”.

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:12907207

  57. No Mo tormorrow.

    • You’ve been slandered for the negative tone of some of your posts, but this one – pure nihilism!

  58. Maui Nellie

    “Longshot: The Journey of Steph Curry”

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:12891392

  59. Felt i enjoy reading your blog but the bias re Bogut /Lee is laughable. Are you actually Lee’s mother ?

    Odds of Dubs winning without Bogut, no longer favorites.
    Odds of Dubs winning without Lee, unchanged.

    Bogut is a smart player that doesn’t care about stats, in a lesser team he would score more but that’s not smart when you have Klay & Riley’s dad and Bogut can pass. You also underestimate the impact of the injuries he’s had. He doesn’t have full movement so can’t shoot naturally. As a junior he could shoot 3s and if not for injuries would be likely be doing that now. The Bucks days he was only getting started.

    The last thing Bogut is, is soft or a coward. He’s come through horrific injuries ( that were just bad luck ) and significant pain to be a vital piece in hopefully a championship team. He also is more than happy to mix it with Howard, would you ?

    I like Lee but his D is an issue and Kerr has the runs on the board to show he knows more than any of us.