Harden Answers: Rockets 128 Warriors 115

Whew. It was great just to see Steph get to his feet, let alone return to the game, after that Jerry McGuire moment. Although I’m not a fan of the decision to let him return. Doctors are not infallible, the game was totally meaningless and the deficit already big. I would have liked to see Warriors management step up like adults in this situation. It reminded me a bit of Mike Shanahan destroying RGIII’s career, although the injuries of course are not at all similar.

It seems kinda pointless to analyze a game like this, a give-away game in which the give-away was interrupted by a frightening injury to the MVP, but Houston made quite a few interesting adjustments in this game that I’d like to mention:

The Three-Ball: As the incomparable analyst Ray Ratto will no doubt remark, the biggest adjustment the Rockets made was hitting their threes.

But there was an adjustment involved here. The Rockets pushed the ball much more in transition, which always results in open players, and were unhesitatingly taking every open three they got. They also went completely away from looking for Dwight Howard, particularly in the post, focused more on cutting, screening and ball movement, and actively hunted open three point shooters in the halfcourt offense.

The rate at which they hit the three is obviously unsustainable, but this is the way the Rockets need to play to beat the Warriors.

The Harden Defense: There was some controversy in the last thread over whether the Warriors actually made an adjustment on James Harden in the last game, other than switching Harrison Barnes onto him. I posted a clip there, but if you want to see another example of what I saw, check out 10:40 3rd Q: The Warriors are in a box and one zone, in my opinion, and the reason that Harden can’t drive by Barnes has nothing to do with Barnes himself. It has to do with Draymond Green and Klay Thompson pinching in, ready to trap any penetration. Harden sees the trap, because he’s a really smart player, and the Rockets reset in a 1-2 pick and roll, in which Barnes gets screened by little Jason Terry, and Harden beats Livingston (a much better defender than Barnes) on the drive. (By the way, if you want to see Barnes get totally hung on a screen — a regular occurrence — there is no better example than this.)

You saw that box and one a lot in the last game, but actually very little in this game, because the Rockets made several adjustments. The first, as I already mentioned, was beating the Warriors’ defense downcourt. They also set a lot more high picks for Harden up top instead of isoing him, and those picks were generally 2-1 or 2-5, not the idiotic 2-4 picks that have brought Draymond Green into the play in previous games. The Rockets’ targets in the high screen in this game were principally Barbosa, Bogut and Ezeli. And presumably Curry in the next game. Harden has no problem getting his three-ball off against those guys.

Another very clever adjustment the Rockets made was posting up Harden at the free throw line. Check out 8:48 3rd Q: Barnes had no chance to defend that drive, first because the clever Harden put him on his back, and second because the Warriors help wing defenders were out of the play. The spot where Harden caught the ball was already inside the defense. That’s one good way to beat a zone: penetrate it with a pass.

Another good way: Have James Harden on your team. I don’t think Warriors fans have any doubt now what a great player he is.

The Stephen Curry Problem: Obviously, the Rockets don’t have an answer for this yet: there was Jason Terry again, both starting and finishing on Curry.

There was one interesting wrinkle though: When Terrence Jones came into the game, he picked up Curry on several possessions. And his length at 6-9″ clearly bothered Curry.

In this game.

Klay: Did you see him explode when he became the first option? Funny how that works. He’s been out of rhythm all series against Ariza’s tough defense, so hopefully this gets him going.

You also have to give credit to the Rockets’ numerous shotblockers: Klay has been largely unable to get to the rim or draw fouls on his drives.

Bogut: The longer this series goes, the tougher it’s going to be for Bogut, who was only able to give 21 minutes. One good reason among many for the Warriors to take care of business in Game 5.

He ate another bagel in this game, and presumably can no longer whine to the media about the flu. My reason for it is simple: the Rockets did a much better job containing penetration, Howard didn’t have to help, Bogut wasn’t wide open under the rim. He has no other way to score against Dwight Howard.

Draymond Green: 21 and 15, 4 assists and 5 blocks.

I don’t think I need to add anything to that.

The Give-Away: It was pretty clear that the Warriors weren’t ready to compete at the opening bell. Either that or the Rockets’ commitment to a much faster tempo took them by surprise, and got them on their heels. This game reminded me of Game 1 in that respect, when the Warriors went through an adjustment from the Grizzlies tempo to the Rockets.

But they didn’t quit, did they? I have been saying since these playoffs started that the Warriors don’t have any give-up games in them. They tried to give it away, but they just couldn’t go through with it.

Draymond Green wouldn’t let them.

269 Responses to Harden Answers: Rockets 128 Warriors 115

  1. St Jean said the Warruors were in a box and 1. Barnett said the Rox ran back door cuts to open up the Warriors in the 1st Qtr.

  2. What if the Warriors drafted Terrance Jones instead of Harrison Barnes? A Bogut-Jones-Green starting front court?

    • stay on script, Marc. mr.barnes had that remedial session with west to put him back on track to stay with the core of ‘home grown talent’. there was a ‘tell’ from his coach in this game, however, when curry went missing. it was much too early in the game to concede, and kerr had seen the score go in the wrong direction all season in most of the minutes barnes was playing without curry on the court with him. there were scant minutes for mr.barnes without curry in this game.

    • or what if Warriors got Drummond which seemed like a more clear pick. Terence Jones was under radar. Rockets picked Royce White and Jeremy Lamb before picking Terence Jones. Draft is more of a crapshoot after first 2 players or so. Glad, warriors didn’t pick Thomas Robinson. Warriors picked Barnes, Ezeli and Green and they are all helping team in championship quest, that 2012 draft was really good by warriors.

      So, can’t fault warriors draft choices that year. About 50% of 2nd round picks don’t even play a single NBA game and warriors picked Draymond Green at 35 in the second round. This year’s team success is direct result of drafting good NBA talent.

  3. Very sharp, Feltbot, and thanks.

    Curry must have fallen about six feet. I feel like I fell a thousand. Not just Kerr and the team. We all depend on Curry, too much. This was one of several falls on his head, and I’ll feel better tomorrow if his head is clear.

    The whole Houston crowd fell into silence, and the Rockets were affected as well. You see the point. It’s not about winning, but winning against the best and proving yourself. Similar motivation has been behind the many reservations expressed here over the season. And I was glad Harden was able to redeem himself, at least for one game.

    Several here, however, won’t get the point.

    Bogut was successful in one thing, almost getting Howard ejected. I’m glad he wasn’t. Horford shouldn’t have been ejected either.

    • “…the many reservations expressed here over the season…”

      By you alone. I’ve never met anyone else so concerned with the purity of the competition. For the rest of us, it simply is what it is. And it’s only a game, not life itself.

      You’re glad Howard wasn’t ejected? Why? What Howard did was dangerous, it could have broken Bogut’s face. It’s also the 2nd time he’s been hit with a foul for a high forearm/hand against a defender.

      Howard should have been ejected, suspended AND fined. Bludgeoning people in the had and face is not part of the game. Even if it was accidental (which is questionable), the NBA should make every attempt to make sure it never happens again.

      • More muddle, Hat, and I’m scarcely alone. I saw your little spiel the other day. It’s a common ploy, projecting one’s ineptitude and mediocrity into some kind of passion and smearing it on others. You’re in good company. Days past, others would call it moral probity. Your words were passionless and incoherent, per usual.

        • Damn. So sorry to hear it was muddied, passionless, and incoherent. If you hadn’t explained, I would have sworn hat’s words made perfect sense to me.

          • No response to that, Mary. Glad you enjoyed it.

          • I’m sorry I overreacted but you are so good at expressing yourself and your perceptive insights. And then insults temporarily negate all the good. In my opinion, anyway. It’s like boxing to me, I suppose, or an intentional elbow to the head. A mode of sport or communication that really should be irrelevant in this day and age. Of course I was just as guilty as you so I apologize.

          • You are the last person who needs to apologize here, Mary. I’ve never had good luck with people who tell me how we’re supposed to behave, and quite frankly question their motives. Getting called an asshole or having my professional integrity questioned by someone who doesn’t understand it just gets old. I’ve tried to keep my distance from Hat, but he keeps coming back, like a wart. I should know better.

    • Similar to the foul which got JR Smith suspended recently during the playoffs. Smiths was worse, because his hand was in a fist, as I recall, whereas Howard’s was a slap. Both were nominally “no look” swings.

      Horfords was not only deliberate, it was also a full look blow.

      All-in-all, I think the refs in all 3 instances probably got it right.

  4. Felt, NBA will agree with you and do not upgrade Howard’s foul to flagrant foul because that mean Howard will be suspended. Like you, NBA want to see Howard play. But, above the shoulder, should be automatic ejection, IMO.

    • The blow was clearly intentional, but I think the fact that Howard was trying to disengage his arm and run down court is a mitigating factor. Steve Javie argued for a fluid interpretation involving the totality of the circumstances. It’s obvious that Joey Crawford could see Bogut’s hook on the replay, and rendered a Solomonic decision. Flagrant 1 seems about right.

      Horford case is tougher for me. I hate Dellie throwing himself at people’s knees, but in this case it actually looked to me like it was Horford initiating the extracurriculars from start to finish, pulling Dellie down with him as he fell. And then he clearly loaded up and landed a serious blow that looked to me like it could have caved in Dellie’s face if it landed directly.

      Two super tough calls, but given Steve Javie’s guidelines, they might have gotten both right. I am strongly in favor of giving the on the court ref the discretion to interpret the action, as Javie argued. There can be no justice if you don’t acknowledge that the black and white letter of the law is frequently a myth.There is a color called gray.

      • Good take Felt. Refs use the context but the problem with leaving to refs would result in inconsistency, that is where the problem lies. It is tough to interprete. It was Howard’s stupidity too like Horford, they can’t have this kind of outbursts given how important they are for teams. And, I agree, Horford deserves it. I too like Howard to not get suspended so I can enjoy Howard against Bogut+Ezeli.

        One thing that bothered me is that like technical fouls, teams should have option to send anyone to shoot FTs, warriors didn’t get anything out of that flagrant foul.

      • Felt, got this from NBA.com, if NBA has to go by rules, I think they will have to upgrade it to flagrant 2.


        “Flagrant Fouls: These fouls are considered unnecessary and/or excessive. There are two types of flagrant fouls, 1 and 2. A flagrant 1 is unnecessary contact. This is usually when a defensive player swings and makes hard contact with the offensive player or makes hard contact and then follows through. A flagrant foul 2 is unnecessary and excessive contact. This usually has a swinging motion, hard contact, and a follow through. Both fouls carry a penalty of two free throws and the team that was fouled retains possession. A flagrant foul 2 also results in an ejection of the player committing the foul. A player also is ejected if he commits two flagrant foul penalty 1’s.”

      • I can’t believe the NBA didn’t discuss the Horford ejection and regretted it, an influence last night. I also suspect words were spoken about Delladedova, and that we might see subtle changes there. Remember what happened in the Denver playoffs a few years ago.

      • Yes, there’s a color called grey, but there’s also a concise measurement available in this case, and Howard broke that limit. Above-the-shoulder hits are unacceptable. Violent retaliatory hits are too.

        I totally disagree with your take that on-the-court refs should take precedence. Bogut could have had his nose, jaw or cheekbone broken.

        As dirty as Bogut plays sometimes (he fouled Howard first), I don’t think I have ever seen him smash someone’s face. If he had done that to Howard, there’s no question that it would have gotten him ejected.

  5. I saw a movie the other night I strongly recommend, Whiplash. It won the prize at Cannes, is extremely well made, and has one of the best endings I’ve seen in a movie, exhilarating and ambiguous. The student is tremendously engaging and might remind you of someone. He might also remind you of yourself. (moto? I’d be curious for your opinion.)

    It’s about an aspiring jazz drummer at a top music school in NY combatting against yet following a well over the top demanding instructor. You have to live with the assumption Buddy Rich was a great drummer, as well as with the jazz scene now, out of context, in concert halls replaying old standards, and largely a matter of polish and perfection, not originality and passion. Then again, I think there’s a statement here, that we live a culture moved to perfection distant from the sources, without great feeling or purpose.

    Maybe there’s a flaw in the premise, or maybe it’s in the instructor’s head, that a master is needed to push a performer to reach the next level. I’m sure he missed what really happened when Jo Jones threw a cymbal at Charlie Parker’s head. The greats are moved by the love of and obsession with what they’re doing and push themselves. Then again, it’s not at all clear that’s what the film proposes. The instructor pushes, but does not inspire, and the student may have used only that to propel himself. Yet he seems more concerned with being the best, not great. I still can’t decide how good his solo is.

    Of course a comparison is invited. It’s been hard watching the Warriors play this season with a plodding bass and indifferent horn. Think what they might have done had some agendas been put aside, better minds brought into play. But otherwise we’ve got some of the best original talent in the game.

    • Off topic, but your words “the jazz scene now, out of context, in concert halls replaying old standards, and largely a matter of polish and perfection, not originality and passion…” are so on the mark. The Marsalis model, all suits & ties like the old days but playing at Lincoln Center & Zellerbach-like places rather than in smoky clubs with glasses clinking and people talking. I remember a long interview w/Miles from about 30 years ago. When asked why he wouldn’t play music from his past he growled something like “that’s old sh*t man” as he chewed on nuts and spat out the shells. But I digress and look forward to a better result from Dubs adjustments tomorrow night. And why was Howard not tossed for the shot to Bogut’s face while Dellavedova managed his third take out of the playoffs? He really is a better “defender” than Irving, if a bit unorthodox in his style.

      • Watch the movie and give an opinion, if there’s time? From your comments, I think you will enjoy it. It is very well made.

        I think the main problem is that jazz has simply lost its local base and our culture has moved away from it. A loss. Then again, I wonder if it simply hasn’t played itself out, that everything that could be done was done. The same has happened in literature.

        • That’s bleak Rgg. You don’t think future generations of mankind have anything to offer, literature-wise? I don’t believe it’s a complete de-evolution. Technology’s hurting us, in some ways. Dilutes the value of the word.
          I like to think the little nuggets I drop here have some literary merit. You probably feel the same way about yours..

          I wanna recommend one last book. ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ by Nordhoff and Hall. If you like the Patrick O’Brian genre you’ll love this. 17 yr old Roger set sail as a grumete on the Bounty, and his observations on Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian, his unfortunate involvement in the mutiny, life in Tahiti, and trial back in England– Hollywood cant write better stuff.

          • From everything I’ve seen, talking to and listening to agents and editors, the move is towards consensus, general acceptance, and standardization. But lit was given an incredible run back during the days of jazz, which I sorely miss. And many now have turned their back on it, in fact there has been a backlash. I can cite many examples from our supposed leading literary lights themselves.

    • i watched the movie and i liked – though not the part about becoming great musician – which i think was alegorical rather than depicting the jazz scene – many a jazz musician said it’s sad that this movie perpetutates the myth that music is like sports, in other words nobody teaches music like that.
      and nobody gets their hands blood while playing drums.
      i liked the movie becaus of it’s premise – that to become good/civilized/accepted etc. is a violent process.
      in other the better angels of our nature are nurtured through and with the evil ones.

      on a side note – besides this banging/beat oriented virtuosic drumming there many forms of drumming/percussion approach (my favourite being gammelan) and it reminded me of a very peculiar drummer, recently passed steve reid, who played drums, even hard snares, with certain softness and lightness

  6. ” It’s been hard watching the Warriors play this season. Think what they might have done had some agendas been put aside, better minds brought into play.”

    Felt, look what you have done, you took the fun out of a warriors fan by making him believe in non existent hidden agendas, conspiracies and all :-)

    • Brave words from someone who shows little evidence he watches the games or understands them. Your comments have been the most depressing I’ve seen here.

      • Really, rgg, please ease up. Your POV is no more worthwhile than Harry’s. Being the most obsessively prolific poster doesn’t give you any special place here.

        • Brave words from the blog’s obsessive censor.

          • Just letting my voice be heard. I hate bullies. So maybe you could stop with the hostility against people who don’t see things as you do. Embrace the differences. It’s fun.

          • Taking sides here, Hat. I get tired of bloggers throwing their bodies at my feet, which has happened often. I didn’t throw an elbow in his face, however.

  7. Felt,
    Great analysis this one and the last one except for Barnes where you are only half right.

    Question for you and others, do you guard Josh Smith at 3 PT line next game ?

    • No. Or very loosely.

      jVG has stated numerous times during the series that Festus can start for an NBA team , which is probably true, only because many teams have below-ave bigs or just plain stiffs at Center. But his hands will always limit him a bit on O, and he flubbed away a couple easy ones last night
      He’s been having a nice series though.

      Harrison got abused by Terrence Jones on one play. Had him pinned on the baseline straight under the hoop, jones just backed him up two feet like he wasn’t there and scored.
      We gonna get the superstar Harden tomorrow nite or the more pedestrian version? I’ d say it’s 40/60

      Drank way too much beer this weekend. Kinda glad it’s over

      • There is hope on Ezeli. If he stays healthy for an extended period like 10 months in a trot expect him to become a starting caliber C. His hands have improved a lot. He is a very smart guy, think he will find ways to stay in NBA for long time.

        Remember that play you are mentioning about Barnes getting burned by Jones, agree with that. After 1st quarter, I think Jones more than anyone else helped Harden. Promising player and I think moving him to the bench saved Rockets in Clippers series.

        I would leave Josh Smith open from 3 and infact give him tony allen treatment.

  8. During the first three games, Thompson
    made ill advised decisions to go to the rim
    where he was thwarted by a bevy of defenders.
    Felty, to bad you failed to see that.

    Also in third game, Adams only twice in
    the decisive first half placed both in front
    of Harden. Harden still managed to get to
    the foul line, His missing jump shots in that
    game had nothing to do with Adam’a nor
    Barnes defense.

    And maybe you didn’t notice, by
    throughout the game, Thompson,
    at times guarded Harden.

    What Adam’s zone defense did do
    was allowed for Houston to shoot
    3’s which they missed. Just banked
    on Houston missing which the did.
    An effective defense in that game,
    but hardly imaginative.

  9. In game 5, will the Warriors employ
    three frantic fast-pass offense that we
    witnessed in games 1 and 2? Or
    a slow-paced offense seen in game 3
    that resulted in only one turnover
    in the first half? Or some combination
    of both?

    • I thought that in games 1 and 2 the Warriors rushed everything, especially their passes, which resulted in numerous turnovers because they didn’t see the defenders that were waiting to jump the passing lanes. I wouldn’t call the game 3 offense slow-paced. More deliberate, yes, but not slow-paced. They did score 115 points after all while putting up 97 shots. As a basis for comparison the W’s also put up 97 shots last night and turned the ball over nearly the same number of times and I think most would agree that yesterday’s game was pretty fast-paced.

  10. More than you may want to know about concussions:

    “The possibility of a delayed onset of concussion is the big issue here. The Center for Disease Control breaks concussion symptoms down into four groups – physical, cognitive, emotional and sleep-related. You might not see these symptoms on the initial concussion survey. There is a very, very defined concussion protocol in the NBA and all pro sports leagues, so it’s relevant that the team physicians labeled Curry’s injury a contusion and not concussion. The team physicians will do an initial assessment for concussion, a Sideline Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT), and if the symptoms are high enough, he won’t be allowed back in the game and it will trigger treatment protocol. It takes about a week to 10 days to go through that protocol of rest and assessment.

    “So, Curry’s SCAT was not significant and he was allowed to go back and play. But, you still need to be vigilant about a delayed onset of concussion. He might not have demonstrated symptoms initially, but 24-72 hours later, he may manifest symptoms of concussion. That’s because if the brain matter and neurons are injured, they undergo chemical changes to create a lower electro-chemical threshold for exercise or cognitive challenges to create symptoms of concussions. So because that threshold has been lowered due to the brain trauma, you may see the concussion symptoms come down at a later date on a delayed basis due to cognitive or physical challenges. The key thing is even though he’s not diagnosed with a concussion now, the team physicians and trainers need to be very vigilant and keep a close eye on hoe he’s doing physically or cognitively. If he were to start demonstrating any of the red flags, they might have to re-assess the injury and re-label it as a concussion.”


    • cosmicballoon

      Yes, this is an issue. However, Curry did not land directly on his head. He landed on his back and then bumpes his head. Even with a minor concussion, he will be fine to play. If he hits his head again…then it’s a story.

      • I dunno. He was down for minutes and woozy getting up. One thing was certain: the team didn’t err on the side of caution, especially at a time they could have afforded to. Steph, I’m sure, had a major say in his return, but all the more reason for discretion from others to step in.

  11. Absolutely agree that Curry shouldn’t have gone back into the game. I didn’t think it was worth the risk.

    Regarding Barnes I actually thought that he defended Harden very well. Harden likes to dribble, dribble, dribble, while making numerous feints, trying to get the defender to react. As soon as the defender makes a move, Harden would then counter and go in the opposite direction whether this be driving toward the hoop or stepping back for the jumper. I recall at least one instance when Barnes stayed home on his feints and Harden eventually was forced to give up the ball.

    I also didn’t think that the Warriors doubled Harden enough. They doubled him aggressively several times in the 4th quarter and in most of those instances it disrupted the play and/or forced a turnover. But in crunch time with less than 4 minutes in the game I don’t recall seeing a lot of double teams on Harden.

    I don’t really understand the negativity regarding Bogut. He wasn’t making excuses for his play in game 1. He acknowledged that he played poorly and needed to do better. If he plays very little I think it bodes well for us because the W’s have the best small line-up in the league. But when he’s in the game he gives the W’s tremendous rim protection. He even blocked a few of Howard’s shots which you wouldn’t think could happen given Howard’s athletic superiority. They don’t need Bogut to score but it’s nice to know that he can do so if Howard over-commits.

    • the demigod curry had an opportunity to demonstrate leadership after the game, by making it completely clear to the media that he felt completely satisfied with the repeated tests and results after his injury, and made it explicit to the coaches he was ready and more than willing to return to play. for anyone who took in the post game interviews — did that go down ?

      the team, particularly thompson and iguodala, barbosa as well, responded strongly when curry was removed and his status uncertain. they missed an opportunity for a potentially big psychological boost, if curry remained sidelined while the game became closely contested. they’d be in a no-lose situation giving curry a cautious rest, because at worst they give their owner another home playoff date to sell out, and a chance to win the conference title in front of their home fans.

      • I saw a video of Curry’s post game interview and he did make it very clear that they took their time with the concussion tests to make sure that he did not exhibit any symptoms. He also stated that he felt pretty good after going back to the locker room and walking around a bit, that although this fall was the scariest he’s ever experienced he actually felt better this time than a couple of other instances in which he suffered physical blows of one type or another. He also stated that after going through the battery of tests he was ready to re-enter the game to try to help the Warriors pull out the win. Despite all of this I would have been OK if they kept him out the rest of the game. Also, it took a bit of time to re-integrate him back into the flow of the game and I felt the W’s actually lost a bit of momentum during this period.

        • we learned something about kerr. for me it reinforced my impression from his near-obsession with regular season wins after it was clear their seeding was secure. he chose the easy course, let the experts make the evaluations and give the franchise star the other portion of responsibility.

    • I’m still queazy about Currys fall and head bump for the reasons stated in the rgg quotes above @ 10. Hope he don’t have a delayed reaction and is OK before he steps on the court again. I really wanted him to sit out the remainder of the game.

  12. SonnyParker


    I noticed in one of your earlier petulant contretemps with Hat that you claimed to have “proven” your purported logical abilities “from Stanford on down.” I thought it quite odd that a simple affiliation with Stanford can prove any such thing, especially pertaining to an ability to understand professional basketball. Having worked at Stanford a while I was curious to learn precisely what your connection to the university was–and how exactly you “proved” your logical capacities while there.

    • I said nothing of the sort, nor have I ever claimed to have superior logical abilities, especially in basketball, in fact have often expressed my regrets here. I believe the context was I mentioning experience in reading and evaluating texts, where I do have great confidence and experience. I was probably responding to a feeble ad hominem, which have a way of proliferating from your source.

      You are quite correct, however. It was a mistake mentioning Stanford, only part of my broad experience, and a brief one. I was dropping names. I am much prouder of my work with community college students, a richer and more varied body of students, from whom, in a few cases, I have seen exceptional work.

      And I can tell you this, that I have maintained a profound humility both before students who are honestly trying and the established writers who push the curve. It has sustained me for 30 years.

      • SonnyParker

        I appreciate your honesty rgg. I am not taking sides at all and was curious about your Stanford affiliation. The words quoted were direct. Fully agreed that working with CC’s is a noble cause. Keep up the good work!

        • Then I grossly erred. Appeal to authority, like name calling and claiming high moral or other ground, is a feeble ploy. My apologies for the flare up.

          And I’m curious about your connection with the school and your impressions, if only generically. My experience was slight and long ago, my contact faint now. Criticism has been made of the top schools that students have become proficient but lack the ability to think independently and have lost their conscience and perspective. By a Yale prof, who got a lot of attention. I’ve forgotten his name and will have to dig it up. The book store, once very good, looks like Barnes and Noble.

          Teaching at cc’s is not commendable, but rewarding (as well as exasperating). At Stanford I did enjoy walking into a class of 13, not 30, being able to get to know the students quickly and well, and not having to tackle their self-doubts. They weren’t that good, but they had confidence and believed they had a place there. I liked them a great deal.

          Teaching college, of course, is utterly brutal now for so many.

    • I believe you’re taking sides here SP. Have a Hat on your back for years and see how you respond.

  13. (5) appreciate the information on the movie, rgg, and everyone’s comments on the state of musik and music instruction that followed. a proper response, without having viewed the movie itself, requires a degree of thought and writing, so here are some very preliminary thoughts.

    on studying the art of jazz drumming itself. before considering serious, conservatory-level, professional instruction, an aspiring ‘jazz’ drummer has to do a couple of things for a foundation. (s)he has to play for dancers, or in a church tradition where moving the whole body is part of making the music, like gospel. listening recommendation, with playing at least at the rudimentary level extremely useful — proper African and Afro-caribbean/afro-latin drumming. the elements of the modern drum set (aptly termed ‘battery’ in French) are in west African drum ensembles which include cowbells, which are inseparable from the region’s dance.

    jazz was closely associated with dance right through the preeminent popular dance music of the 60s/70s, motown — the instrumentalists who created the motown sound were all from the Detroit jazz scene, which also produced one of the preeminent and most influential drummers of the 40s-60s jazz revolution, Sir Elvin Jones.

    what is generally termed ‘swing’ as in ‘aint got that thing’ is the result of African and Afro-latin rhythms inoculating and infusing proto-jazz forms including the blues and ragtime, with the cultural crossroads of n.o.la. as the geographic nexus where the lower Mississippi delta meets the Caribbean. [temporally this occurred within the same late 19th cent. continuum as the discovery of xrays and atomic physics]. by the time the musicologists got to so called classic Mississippi delta blues, they weren’t hearing the music in its primal, nineteenth century (or earlier) form, so there’s no definitive case that jazz would/could evolve from the blues without NO or another similar place. as for ragtime, it was so much a derivative of nineteenth century European forms, players who’ve never been exposed to jazz can render recognizable performances from ragtime scores. jazz can’t be rendered from scores by players who’ve never heard it, ’cause it won’t have that swing.

    • And that fertile mix of music and life styles in red light Kansas City, way back when. I can’t resist, because I’d like to get opinions. Below, his drum solo, which I find proficient but dry, in fact without swing. He’s closing out “Caravan,” of which I am quite fond. I heard Sonny Fortune play an exhilarating version of the tune decades ago at the Village Vanguard, though we’re still at the end of the period.

      • k.c.mo., we’ll never know if bebop and what followed would have found a different town for its earliest evolution, probably, because the swing bands provided livelihood for a critical population of proficient improvisors and the medium for their cross pollination, right out of the paradigm for a scientific revolution. (the Billy Eckstine band one obvious example). a bigger mystery, would Parker (good to hear from Sonny) have picked up his moniker Bird in another locus.

        before the old district in KC was ‘renewed’ into a heritage district with the Negro baseball museum, was able to attend a few after hour sessions in the old musicians’ union hall at 18th and Vine Sts. enjoyed the overall vibe in KC more than where we resided at the time, the east coast-wannabe St.L.

        as far as this solo from the movie, it could pass for Buddy Rich himself — perhaps a pastiche adapted from his stuff ? what we saw on camera though wasn’t particularly convincing, compared to what we can see in actual live performance. a question for fans of Frank Zappa especially his earliest recordings with the Mothers, was there not a reference in either their first or second Verve recordings of a drum solo in ‘Caravan’ ? is that how the writer of this script chose that particular classic ?

        • Jo Jones, late in his career, same Caravan solo. Effortless and incomparable:

          • would never put b.rich anywhere close to jones as a percussion artist. both swing band players of course, but after the revolution in the music post-1945 jones showed he could play with anyone and rich became a nostalgia act. the most obvious difference in the solos, technical proficiency aside, jones plays the song the entire way, retaining melodic and rhythmic motifs through his variations and expansions. your clip also demonstrates my point, that an actual proficient solo is more interesting to watch than what they staged in the new film.

            answer to the Zappa trivia question, in the lyrics of ‘America drinks and goes Home’ from the Freak Out album, the vocalist trails off as if he’s taking requests from the audience, and he confirms a request, ” ‘Caravan’, with a drum solo ? “

        • You have to see the movie to appreciate the young drummer’s appearance. It was a great scene in a very fine movie. I watched it again with my son last night. It’s just not a movie about jazz, or, to the extent it is, they had to take what is available now.

          • The movie also provides a good context for what we’re doing now, watching the series, one reason I mentioned it. All kinds of questions are raised about being driven, at what price, with what rewards. And we are very much on the edge of a charged but ambiguous climax.

          • The student drummer, in fact, reminds me of Klay Thompson, a favorable comparison.

          • without seeing the film, could only respond to the clip of the drum solo for what it was. here are two of my favorite films about musicians, one fiction, and worth considering for aficionados of late Beethoven quartets, or the work of P.Seymour Hoffman and C.Walken (one of his best performances i.m.h.o.), the other a documentary/biographical portrait. “A Late Quartet” ; “Richter the Enigma” by Bruno Monsaingeon. if martin’s characterization is appropriate, that ‘Whiplash’ looks at the ordeal of becoming a true musician, these films are about living that life.

    • beautiful, moto. thanks.

      • moto, Miles refused to play the old stuff not because of its age, but because he was only interested in new territory. Exploration was his goal. To him, exploration was jazz was exploration, and anything “reminiscent of” was relegated to the cheap imitators. It bored him.

        With Bitch’s Brew Miles re-invented jazz and made way for the mindfuck that was Mahavishnu Orchestra (with the awesome Billy Cobham on drums), as well as fusion jazz, with, among others, Weather Report leading the way into uncharted territory.

        Miles’ Kind of Blue is like an old friend. But today it’s not even jazz, it’s a “classic.”

        So what’s jazz, and what’s good jazz drumming? Not the old stuff, repeated to the point of stylization. Not according to the foremost authority, anyway.


  14. Barkley said to rest Irving, because the Cavs are going to face a bit bull over at Golden State. I believe Barkley was referring to Draymond Green.

  15. Moto: Saw Buddy Rich playing the
    drums at a residential party in
    South Florida sometime in the
    60’s. Could tell he loved what
    he did. Received terrific reception
    by people as Rich was legendary.

  16. The Warriors had no idea whether Stephen Curry had a concussion last night:


    Brilliant final sentence.

    • The Warriors couldn’t know.

      No pain? Mentally acute? Wants to play? He plays. What other choice is there?

      • As Felt tweeted, the grown ups let us down. The choice was to order Steph out of the game.

        Really interesting article, Felt. Scary stuff. Thanks for posting it as well as the great commentary above. Love to see the game through your eyes?

        • As Curry himself said later, the fall looked worse than it felt.

          In situations like this, the only authority for how a player feels is the player – as the article said (did you read it?) external analyses cannot be more accurate unless there is a gross injury. Which there was not.

          I’m the first in line to decry the use of athletes as meat for entertainment, but bumping your head does not equal a concussion. Most of Curry’s landing was absorbed by his arms and shoulders. He wanted to go. He tested out fully lucid and physically capable, and he went on to prove it in the game. So while we all love the guy and worry about him, etc., we’re not his moms and there wasn’t a problem. So why trash his and the Warriors decision to play him?

          • Ever hear of Natasha Richardson? Even Curry said he was “in shock” for a bit. I know he meant from the overall experience but is that the best state of mind to make a decision? I’m guessing he’ll be fine but my point is that no one could have know so quickly. It was a guess. Educated or not, a guess.

            Head stuff aside, I wonder how sore he is and how that might affect his play tonight.

          • Yes. My own brother suffered a similar brain injury in HS football, and almost died from it. Later that same season I suffered a hard knock (I saw stars) and my parents put me in the hospital for observation.

            BUUUUT… a bump on the head is not a concussion. I have tons of scars on my face and head from all the knocks I’ve received over the years, but I’ve never had a concussion.

            Agree that it’s a tough call, Mary, but Curry did demonstrate that he was OK before they let him back on the floor, and he has access to the best medical advice money can buy. His own mom was happy to see him return to the court. I’ll go with her take on that.

          • When he came on the court, she buried her head in her hands and appeared to be praying! It was one of the strongest images of that game for me. I wondered what would happen to her and Dell if something bad had happened and she thought he approved it. Anyway, I’m sure you’re right. Well, pretty sure :) Glad your brother was okay.

          • I saw the same thing, Mary, and my reaction was exactly the same as yours. That was a mother’s fear and dismay. If she stated afterwards that she was glad to see him back on the court, that was either putting a brave face on for her son, or not wanting to create a media controversy.

  17. Felt tweeted on Barkley’s take on Howard’s flagrant foul. Can someone share what Barkley said on the topic.

    • He dared to suggest I was wrong.

      • I would side with Barkley on this one then, a rare agreement.

      • Totally with Harry on this. NFW it’s OK to bash someone in the head or face. Noway, nohow. No exceptions, no mitigating circumstances.

        • Brent Barry was asked whether the player who had his arm hooked should wait politely to be released. He admitted bafflement.

          The league recognized that Bogut instigated, that Howard was trying to free his arm, that Howard reacted excessively, but that he hit Bogut with an open hand, not an elbow, not a fist, on a flail. His little slap did zero damage. If there had been any force behind it at all, Bogut would have had a fat lip or bloody nose. Taking in the totality of the circumstances, and giving deference to the ref on the floor (the league office standard, not mine), Flagrant One.

          Contrast that to Horford: He was the hooker, not the hookee. He loaded up an elbow, and looking directly at his target, lowered the boom, hoping to do damage. Flagrant Two.

          This porridge tastes just right.

          • This is it, and you’re right about Horford. Ultimately you have to ask why the rules exist in the first place, and it’s to prevent a brawl and serious damage. Stick to the letter of the rule, and you have arbitrary decisions. If they called fouls strictly in the playoffs, and they don’t, we would see a three hour parade to the free throw line.


  18. Maui Nellie

    Curry to wear a protective sleeve on his shooting arm for tonight’s game.


  19. Greg Papa, on the pre-game show, said Bogut still has the flu.

    • cosmicballoon

      FLU, huh?

      Fear of free throw shooting
      Legs that have seen better days
      Unfounded fear of attacking the basket

  20. Music to get pumped up for tonight’s game. Max Roach sublime drum solo at 5:00.

  21. Bad coaching. Should have pulled
    Thompson before last foul. Thompson
    not brightest player. Jackson seems
    to agree.

  22. OK, scotch and Our Team. Throw some tomatoes. In the first playoff series, Barnes was largely a spot-up shooter, lightly covered, who shot with uneven percentage. Tonight he stepped up and found some openings when they needed him.

  23. Think I’ll combine my recap with my Finals preview. Not much new to add.

    But shoutout to Harrison Barnes who stepped up when the Warriors truly needed him, and gave a glimpse of the player his fans believe he can be.

    And also to Festus Ezeli, whose play against one of the best centers in the league kept Bogut on the bench. And Andre Iguodala, who stepped up as the Harden stopper, and the Warriors’ true backup point guard. This was their game.

    • cosmicballoon

      My favorite play of the night: Draymond picking Harden and then getting tackled by the beard.

      Props to Barnes for a great stretch in the third quarter. First time he’s taken over a game for this entire season.

    • Iguodala though played huge part in 3rd quarter and controlling the game. I know Barnes played really well, but for me Iguodala’s influence on the game was as important so was Ezeli’s.

      Great substitutions by Kerr.

  24. Curry played with 1 arm, according to Papa, St Jean, and Barnett.

    Is Iguodala’s shoulder hurt? Hope it’s just a stinger.

    That was a deliberate knee.

    • Do u still wish warriors drafted T Jones? Rockets fans not happy with him.

      • Yeah, I do.

        • Respect your opinion Marc bur for me it is the case of ‘grass always greener other side’. I wouldn’t take Jones over Barnes. I would take couple of players over Barnes who are picked later than Barnes but Jones is at best a push.

          Here is what Rockets blogger say about Jones, sounded very familiar to me.

          “Terrence Jones has spent the last two series getting completely roasted by two elite offensive power forwards, and Josh Smith hasn’t done much better.

          Let’s talk about T-Jones for a second. He has been a train wreck for large portions of this series, getting outmuscled on the boards by Green, and not preventing Green from doing anything. On offense, he is pounding the ball and forcing up shots in the post. He commits to scoring incredibly early, and the Warriors know it, sending double teams at him that he wildly flails against. How do you think Dray got five blocks? He has to be willing to pass out of the post and take advantage of the help that’s being sent at him.”


          • I will change my opinion, if conditions warrant, such as HB continuing to perform as indicated by yesterday’s numbers. I did not check his D, as Feltbot did. I recall Monte Poole writing about the same. This is an area HB can improve himself.

            HB said after the game last night at the podium he came into the league not knowing how to play. I contended he got inadequate coaching prior to Kerr/Gentry/Adams.

            Yesterday’s game put me back in hopeful mode.

          • if you wish to make an even-handed comparison, please consider how mr.barnes would fare on the Hou roster and getting coached by their staff — would mchale and cohorts have given his development the same priority he benefitted from in oaktown. before moving to Dal, parsons would have kept barnes on the bench, for one thing.

    • I don’t know about deliberate, but Ariza absolutely knew how to protect himself from experiencing what he inadvertently inflicted upon Steph. As a goalie that’s how I was taught to go in the air after a ball: “Knee up.”

    • I also think that knee was deliberate. You could see it on the replay. At the very least, he had the opportunity to swing the knee away and avoid the contact altogether. But I see a deliberate intent to guide the knee into Klay’s head and deliver a blow.

      Reckless – Flagrant One.

      Intentional, causing grievous bodily injury – Flagrant Two and suspension.

      • +1. Agree the knee was deliberate or atleast could have controlled to make it lesser blow. He made no effort to control.

  25. Western Conference Champions.
    Congrats !!

    Houston beat themselves with
    Harden’s turnovers and lack of shooting.
    Won first have by dominating
    the offensive boards.

    Howard easily won the ShaqN Fool award
    with his two passes to nowhere.

    • I want to see the reports as what was going on with Harden. Surely, can’t all be Warriors D.

  26. Howard one of best centers in NBA?

    • He was yesterday Frank. 1st quarter he reminded me of Shaq. But, gladly that lasted only one quarter.

      • That’s the problem with Howard, it never lasts. With his physical abilities he *should* be much better. He has freakish athleticism. But he must be lazy and/or just unmotivated because he never developed any real basketball skills or any basketball IQ. How can someone that big and strong and agile manage to get his team at least 1 point only 1 out of every 3 times they post him up down low? He’s a defensive presence due to his athleticism but that’s it. He’s DeAndre Jordan only with a more inflated ego. No offense to Feltbot but I think people who say he’s a Hall of Fame center is nuts.

        • His problems are mostly mental. Too big of a ego, never takes responsibility and gets too defensive. He might actually is bad influence to Harden.

  27. If you are a warriors fan or fan of good basketball, enjoy this ride, very rare unselfish team. Fun series ahead.

  28. I’m just not that impressed by Dwight. Whether it’s his knee, his head, or some other body part he doesn’t have the impact on the game that the great ones have. Or even the pretty good ones. Harrison Barnes had more influence on this game.

    The Centers the Wubs faced in rounds 1 & 2 are both better pivotman (Anthony Davis is a 5)

    Cool pic of Cliff Ray, feltbot. Every kid and many Nba players had a pair of the basic white Nikes with black stripes. Before Nike (and apparel merchandising) blew up, leading to hundreds of different styles of a damn tennis shoe. One of the alternatives were the suede “Dr Js” made by converse, with the crescent moon and star symbol, really popularized by the Doctor. They were alternative coolness

  29. (My comments are being held up in moderation for some reason, so not sure this will go through.)

    Wow, what an ugly game. I’ll take it. Harden and Houston’s breakdown is still incomprehensible, despite Iguodala’s defense. I wonder why they didn’t move the game more to the other players and bring it back to him, as they did in game 4. Then again, they weren’t knocking down their shots. Jason Terry played a very fine game, though—his last? Good note to end his career.

    OK, scotch and Our Team. Feel free to throw tomatoes. Barnes his first playoff series was largely a spot-up volume shooter with a lot of open looks, and his shooting was inconsistent. Last night he found openings and stepped up when they really needed him. If he does the same the next two weeks, feel free to throw watermelons.

    And am looking forward to your preview, Feltbot. I’m curious, if you have time. How would Cleveland compare with the Miami teams the previous two season? I’m not sure in some ways they aren’t better. But the playoffs, because of injuries, didn’t give us a good picture of the team.

  30. Thompson indeed showed signs of concussion last night, after the game, and will have to go through the protocols.

  31. I wasn’t bothered at all by the decision to bring Curry back in Game 4. While I thought the Dubs looked fine enough in his absence, I was confident that if the medical team gave the A-OK and Steph wanted to return, he must have been healthy enough to do so. After this Klay-concussion debacle, however, I am no longer so confident. It boggles the mind that the injury was initially described by Doris (who must have been parroting the company line) as an “ear laceration.” Klay’s temple bore the whole force of a jumping man’s KNEE and all that happens is he scrapes his ear!? Shortly after returning, Klay begins to spill blood from his ear canal and has to be rushed back to the locker room simply because he “needed stitches” to shore up that dern bleeding. Unbelievable.

    • The laceration and the concussion were two different injuries, as I’m sure you realize. The point is that concussions are invisible, and not always diagnosable immediately after injury.

      That’s why the decision to play Curry was stupid and reckless. Or calculated and greedy, take your pick.

      • Or maybe, to give them the benefit of the doubt, they realized they acted too quickly and were more careful with Klay. But I’d pick greedy.

        • They rushed Klay out too, Mary. It was only the bleeding that kept him off the court. The concussion symptoms manifested after the game.

          • Two “different” injuries caused by the same knee to the head. Point is that how could anyone watch him take that hit and then surmise that he was okay to return to the game? The same people that made the decision to let Klay almost-return let Curry return to the floor the previous game.

        • mary, it was apparently Klays team mates that help put the kabosh on Klay returning to play. Draymond after the game said he told Klay, he man what do you think you’re doing, or something to that effect.

          I hope he’s OK. That was a heck of a blow. I could see Ariza lining it up on the replay.

  32. I don’t want to be an alarmist, but there is nothing cut and dry about recovering from a concussion. I expect Klay to be restricted from basketball activity for 7-10 days until he can pass the NBA’s concussion protocol.

    (I think the Warriors were highly conscious of the NBA’s protocol when they rushed Curry back to the court. They didn’t want there to be any question regarding Curry’s diagnosis.)

    In some cases, concussion symptoms can linger for months. Been several sports cases like that in recent years. Justin Morneau being a high profile example.

    It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that this injury will impact Klay’s availability and/or performance in the Finals.

    • Regarding Steph, I believe he had the ultimate say on whether or not he wanted to return to the game after his fall. It’s not the staffs decision to make. They just run through their “protocol.” I was happy he felt well enough to return yet agree it seemed unwise given the circumstances

      BTW, that brutal looking flying knee to the head Klay took is celebrated as a legal manuever in MMA, even a coup, often leading to a fight-ending knockout, if a competitor is skilled enough to land it. Not a good look on the hardwood, however.

      • Giving the player the ultimate say is just foolishness. Even if they knew what was best in the heat of battle, which they couldn’t possibly, there is a stigma attached to a player asking out of a big game.

        It’s a call that is strictly on the grownups. And by that, I don’t mean “the staff.” I mean the GM, Joe Lacob.

        • Felt, obviously head trauma can be serious and it’s hard to diagnose. But are you saying Ws management should have held out both Steph and Klay regardless of the condition they reported?

          If so, how would that work out?

          Some teams and some players (Dwight, Ariza) try to physically intimidate opponents, it’s part of their game. If they can injure opponents “accidentally,” would the NBA have to take them out of the game too, to make sure they didn’t benefit from hurting people?

          • How dangerous is it to play basketball with a concussion? I don’t know, and I don’t have all the answers. I just know that in my current state of ignorance, if I were the owner/GM — (Bob Myers would never make this call without consulting with Lacob. He’d be risking his job.) — and I had a player suffer a head injury severe enough to take him off the court and go through the protocol, I would not let him return to the court for that game. I’d err on the side of concern for my player’s life, rather than glory or the almighty dollar.

            Don Nelson once made a similar decision in a Conference Finals regarding Dirk Nowitzki, where the stakes were just a knee, not brain trauma. The decision cost him his one real shot at a title, and his job. But earned him the undying respect of a select few.

          • I absolutely understand your point.

            Ariza caused both of the “accidents” that knocked out the Ws two best players.

    • Klay threw up twice when he got home. Klay couldn’t drive, too woozy, his father drove. I would have a nurse with him or what the heck, hire a doctor at $1000/hour or whatever is their hourly rate.

  33. It’s really a stretch to say that The decision to allow Steph to re-enter game 4 was strictly Joe Lacobs call.

    Steph coulda squashed the whole thing with a No. There’s no stigma to sitting out after a fall like that. I was expecting to see him again. But since he evidently wanted to return, the coaches, staff and medical guys had to consult Lacob too, as the final protocol? In this case he really is a “hands-on” owner. Or he’s got an incompetent staff.

    Maybe Lacob ordered Steph to return. Regardless, there’s no way Klay shoulda contemplated a return to the floor after having his brain rattled in its cage like that. Hope Klay and Kyrie heal up.

    • I wasn’t expecting Steph to return after his fall

    • lacob would say the decision whether to put dinged players back out on the court is kerr’s, after the required specialists do their thing. myers was involved because kerr was engaged with the game during curry’s treatment, which means of course lacob’s eyes and ears were taking part. lacob has the prerogative to overrule kerr, but his rhetoric has strongly indicated he lets his experts and specialists do their jobs, so that would be a significant shock to all concerned.

      commented earlier that kerr from my perspective could have shown more independence and conviction both in this decision re. curry, and during the regular season. everyone concerned was extremely lucky that circumstances rather than kerr’s discretion kept thompson from returning to the game. there was also a significant blunder when they allowed thompson to keep playing after his fourth foul.

      mr.barnes’ revival during thompson’s absence has happened before. one suspects he is also getting extended one on one coaching when he gets pulled out of games for extended minutes. when lacob drafted barnes, it was far from clear that he would become a primary option at the 4, and it seemed to me a vote of no confidence in thompson. not so long ago, in the summer before barnes’ second year, there was extended discussion from the coaches whether barnes or thompson would be assigned the ‘sixth man’ role, but the preseason injury to the younger player, who went on to his worst season, resolved the issue. thompson could miss a game or two in the beginning of the next series, or have to play with reduced effectiveness or minutes. but after l-b-j, the team again gets to face an opponent with limited options defensively at wing.

  34. Maui Nellie

    “In order for Thompson to suit up, he has to clear the NBA’s concussion protocol, which states: “Once a player is diagnosed with a concussion he is then held out of all activity until he is symptom-free at rest and until he has no appreciable difference from his baseline neurological exam and his baseline score on the computerized cognitive assessment test. “The concussed player may not return to participation until he is asymptomatic at rest and has successfully completed the NBA concussion return-to-participation exertion protocol.”

    Following Wednesday night’s victory, the Warriors issued the following statement:

    “Klay Thompson was evaluated by the Warriors medical staff immediately after suffering an injury during tonight’s game and was put through a concussion evaluation. At the time he did not show any concussion-like symptoms. After the game he began to not feel well and developed concussion-like symptoms. He will continue to be evaluated by the team’s medical staff tonight.””


    • Maui Nellie

      If you’re a Giants fan you undoubtedly recall Brandon Belt suffering a concussion last season after being hit in the face with a thrown baseball. In his case, he missed almost two weeks and then after returning and playing for about a week he had to return to the DL when his concussion symptoms returned. He remained on the DL for OVER A MONTH before being activated a second time.


      From Wikipedia:

      “Belt was activated from the disabled list on July 4 (broken thumb) only to return to the disabled list on July 21 after suffering a concussion while fielding during batting practice. Belt was activated August 2, but was placed on the DL again August 8 when his concussion symptoms continued. Belt was reactivated from the disabled list on September 15.”

      This is just one example how tricky and unpredictable head injuries can be to deal with (and diagnose). Just going by what happened to Belt Klay could miss none, some, or all of the Finals.

  35. A lot of people seem to get great pleasure out of Harden’s embarrassing effort last night. Most people seem to hate his game and I think I know why. He’s like an able-bodied welfare queen who spends all his time trying to find legal loopholes to exploit in order to collect welfare from the government. He’s obviously a highly skilled player but instead of using those skills to score he prefers to try to find ways to get to the “charity stripe”, even if those ways require deception. Adding to this narrative is the perception that he’s “lazy” and doesn’t play defense. His success in getting to the free throw line may be viewed as a “skill” in the same way that a con artist is “skilled”.

    • A quick political note then agreement with your gist:

      True fact: today the incidence of welfare fraud is currently lower than the incidence of corporate bank fraud.

      “Welfare Queen” is a myth. Anyone who thinks there are people living high on the hog at the government’s expense is mistaken. The maximum SNAP (food stamp) benefit is $6.46 per day per person. Think that’s great? You try it. I for one couldn’t make it on that.


      Since Reagan, it’s been politically popular to beat up on poor people. Today, the sum total of all the benefits the poor can get from the government add up to gov’t supervision, a crappy life, malnutrition, and an early grave. Poverty. It sucks, even with gov’t assistance. There is no such thing as a welfare “queen.”

      Whew, now I’m off the political podium, yeah, Harden’s style of play smells like scamming the rules. Which is why he never had a real chance to be MVP over the Golden Child.

    • if harden had remained in OK his defensive reputation would be considerably different. among other things his minutes wouldn’t be as stretched with westbrook on the roster. put thibodeau, just fired, on the Hou bench, beverly healthy, and sign butler as a free agent, harden would become one of the better defenders at his position. consider how strongly he rebounds when his team needs it.

      • Scary thoughts, moto.

      • Thibs can absolutely make Rockets better but do Howard want to be coached, I can imagine Howard clashing with Thibs.

      • Steph obviously respects Harden and that says a lot to me. He just looks so cold.

      • cosmicballoon

        Harden is almost impossible to stop when he’s having a good game. Surrounded by shooters he is an absolute monster because his court vision is quite good. My sense is that he had a left hand problem. Almost all of his good dribbling last night came with his right hand.

  36. marc,

    Check defense on Harden yesterday. Not just on Harden, Barnes played good D but Barnes was not alone in playing good D though. Barnes didn’t send Harden to line like others.


  37. That’s a joke waiting to happen but I wouldn’t dream of going there.

    I was wondering where you were!

    • that’s for rgg

    • When editing his music posts by request, I accidentally got him stuck in my spam filter. Mea culpa, and I’m an internet imbecile.

      • II or not, I’m dreading the day you stop posting. :(

        We’ll all be sucked in to the AL abysss.

        • Thanks Mary. It might be amusing to see all the regulars here suddenly storming ALs site tho!

        • mary you are very kind. a music professor on the other blog whom they esteem highly paid me a high compliment (earlier he characterized my comments as ‘obscurantism’) with a mocking query if my posts were put through google translate before submitting them to the mercies of their ‘disqus’ apparatus.

          • I took a poetry workshop with Jane Hirshfield once. Someone complained about reading poems that were long or not instantly understandable. She said something like if you can’t bother trying to understand something a bit out of your comfort zone, you might as well deep six your brain (totally paraphrasing). Always appreciate your posts even if I have to read more than once.

            (If you mean Col, I actually like his comments usually)

          • Ditto.

            Thanks, moto, for all the thought-provoking over the years.

            I’m going to miss this place.

  38. One of the posts that got deleted is that I told scotch and Our Team to feel free to throw tomatoes. Barnes did step up last night, in ways he hasn’t before. If he does it again the next two weeks, feel free to throw watermelons.

    • Games with “one friggin” rebound & games with 24 pts…something for everyone ‘eh rgg? I ain’t going to change u & u ain’t going to change me…won’t be launching any tomatoes tho…Go Dubs!

      … and what in the world could “U” have posted that ‘guvnor felt’ woulda deleted?

  39. I’m not saying anyone would change their mind, but Klay of Steph falling in the seventh game of the finals would complicate the debate about concussions. After all, boxers take similar blows and go on to fight many rounds. Both could have recovered in the months that followed. Maybe.

    The Warriors’ staff may have followed the procedures carefully and correctly. The problem is it can take hours—or days—for symptoms to appear. It is also possible that Klay may be held back from a couple of games unnecessarily. I’m hearing that Klay may be okay, and that his symptoms may have come from a combination of things. I’ve also heard debates about the procedure being unduly complicated and inaccurate.

    Or he and Steph may have run the risk of further serious damage, without cause.

    I simply have no idea.

    When you follow the letter of the law, you run the risk of missing the point. And the point is that players not get seriously hurt. I agree fully with Feltbot about the Flagrant 1 for Howard. There was no risk of damage. He simply slapped Bogut upside the head with an open hand, and he was provoked. Bogut’s holding action, however, is not categorically different from Kelly Olynyk’s awkward hold of Kevin Love, which led to a dislocated shoulder.

    I won’t push the point, but I could argue that Ariza’s knee to Klay and Howard’s arm thrust at Iguodala—below the head—are ambiguous, and could could construed as common fouls, as they were. In Ariza’s case, I can’t decide. There’s nothing illegal or necessarily malicious in raising your knee as you go into another player. It’s a way to be aggressive and protect yourself at the same time. It’s only at the last split second, when he raises his knee an inch more toward Klay’s head, that it perhaps it becomes a Flagrant 2. Intent, of course, doesn’t matter.

    But for me the point is moot. Klay had blood running out of his ear, chucked his supper, couldn’t drive home, and may have suffered serious damage. Yet he might have suffered the same had he run into a somewhat innocently raise knee. The real point is that you can’t charge with raised knees, and it will be hard to make a rule that prevents that.

    But of course he shouldn’t have gone back in.

    The truth of the matter is that retaliation is supported in the game, by low elbows and bumping and holding and hard fouls. In the last, the only penalty is a common foul. My own preferred method is to go on a shooting tear. Playing well is the best revenge.

    In Curry’s case, I can’t see anything other than Ariza protecting himself by ducking and, if you want to be a good Samaritan, not helping Curry avoid a fall. Fat chance. Really the problem for me is that Curry overextended himself by leaping in the first place. It’s the same with his ankles. His problem was that he kept reinjuring himself by stepping on feet, etc., until his ankles couldn’t support much. He has corrected this.

    The NBA has been rendered nearly meaningless this season by injuries, most having nothing to do with flagrant fouls or bad intentions. Point guards from Rose on down may be the worst casualties. They simply have been put in precarious spots by pushing themselves too hard and by the way they’re asked to play. There has to be some kind of talk to preserve them, and it starts with owners and coaches. Curry, btw, has been well taken care of this season.

    There also needs to be serious discussion about what is OK and what is not. Moral suasion can have influence. Certain things are OK and others are not. I don’t accuse Delladova of being malicious nor think a flagrant is called for, which wouldn’t have much effect anyway. But you can’t throw your body at other player’s feet. It is dangerous. And you can’t throw raised elbows. The list can be extended. If the TNT crew talked it up, there would be changes. It’s something else we can talk about here, what constitutes acceptable rough hustling and what does not.

    But by all means step back from Klay and Steph and see the larger picture, which Peter Guber gives us (from Andande’s piece at ESPN, and we haven’t heard much from him):

    Warriors co-owner Peter Guber, who has written about and frequently tweets testimonies to the power of storytelling, said of the Warriors narrative: “The story is the magic of team, not a collection of players but a great team, led by a great leader, Steve Kerr and his coaching staff, great general manager in Bob [Myers], great president in Rick Welts. When you put all that chemistry together, golden things happen.”

    There. I feel better. Don’t you?

  40. For the Cavs let’s cross match HB on TT and Draymond on LeBron, and when the Cavs go “small” with LeBron at the 4 and TT at the 5, let’s counter with Green at the 4 and Ezeli at the 5.

    JR Smith and Shumpert can give the Warriors’ Wings and Curry a headache on both ends of the floor.

    It’s gonna be one hell of a series, if all are healthy.

    • “let’s counter with Green at the 4 and Ezeli at the 5.”

      That’s what I’ve been thinking.

    • Please don’t bring up headaches.

    • I think Iguodala will do very well too guarding Lebron. We especially want Iguodala and Green get into the passing lanes and take out Lebron, the play maker.

  41. Am looking forward to your preview, Feltbot. Must feel strange writing about the Warriors this late in the season. Again, I’m curious if you or the others have an opinion about the Cavs vs. the Lebron Miami Heat the previous seasons.

    My sense is the Cavs are deeper, better at some positions, notably point and center, less so at others, but still better overall, and more cohesive. Or maybe Smith and Schumpert revert to form. Controlling and staying in the game, knowing they have Lebron behind them, makes it easier to shoot. Maybe better defensively and maybe Blatt has had influence here. Lebron has his posse together, and they seem to be in sync. He’s not knocking down outside shots, however, which may be key.

    But injuries and erratic play by their opponents, especially during the playoffs, make the Cavs hard to evaluate. Then there’s the question of Irving, and we’ll all be holding our breath on Klay.

    The high water mark for the Warriors for me is still their solid defeat of Miami at Miami last season:


    They kept the offensive pressure on, start to finish, which is what the Warriors will need to do against the Cavs. And they went small—only 18 minutes for Bogut. 32 points by a player named David Lee. Curry found his shots and made them.

    Jackson did coach good games. I have to confess I’ve enjoyed his commentary as much if not more than the others. Saw your tweet. He is informed and has genuine appreciation for (most) Warriors. I was as vocal as anyone against him, but I have to confess I still kind of like him.

    Mama, there goes that man.

    • “My sense is the Cavs are deeper”

      How are they deeper? They go 8 deep. They literally have 3 guys, Delladova, JR Smith, and James Jones coming off the bench. Miller, Marion, etc hardly play at all.

      Iguodala and Festus alone, not to mention Lee are more valuable players. Much more.

      • I stand corrected. Maybe deep enough. Again, the comparison is with the Heat last year. Our bench size and experience is a big plus.

      • And none from that bench can play a lick of defense. Cavs going to miss Varajaeo in this series.

    • I hate to say it, but this is a really bad line. If you like the Warriors in this series, don’t bet it, you’ll do better betting games late in the series. If you like the Cavs, jump on it.

    • Also, if you ever wondered what I meant by referring to Stupid Lakers Money in every year’s preseason predictions, read this article.

  42. Maui Nellie

    Rockets’ Dwight Howard suspended one game for flagrant foul
    by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com

    (11:14 am ET) Rockets center Dwight Howard will be suspended for the first game of the 2015-16 season after the NBA upgraded a common foul in the fifth game of the Western Conference Finals to a Flagrant 1. The league said Howard made unnecessary contact with his forearm to the neck area of Warriors guard Andre Iguodala.
    The foul happened in the fourth quarter with 3:35 remaining in Wednesday’s game. The Rockets lost the game, 104-90, and were eliminated from the playoffs.

    The NBA also announced Friday that Howard and Golden State center Andrew Bogut had technical fouls from Game 5 rescinded. The technicals were handed out with 3:19 left in the second quarter.

    • I’m guessing it’s only because it was to the neck that it became a Flagrant. But the real damage was to his shoulder, right?

  43. Maui Nellie

    Finals ticket prices skyrocket as the Warriors popularity league-wide(led by the new face of the NBA, Steph Curry) has grown exponentially.


  44. Woj behind the scenes on the Thibodeau firing. Story sounds familiar.


    Of note:

    “They fired one of the NBA’s best assistant coaches, Ron Adams, because it didn’t like his disposition.”

    “Finally, the Bulls have the clear path to hire Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg. Forman has been obsessive in his desire to hire Hoiberg, and it will be only a matter of days until the Bulls’ make-believe search ends and this back-door process is over.”

    So it goes.

  45. Maui Nellie

    The (Zach) Lowe Post >>>> Lots of good Warriors (Finals) talk during the first 15 minutes of the podcast. Recommend.


  46. “Following extensive examinations over the last two days — including neurological tests earlier this morning — Warriors guard Klay Thompson has been diagnosed with a concussion. He will not return to the court until he is symptom-free and cleared under the NBA’s concussion protocol guidelines,” the Warriors said in a statement. “He will be evaluated daily and there is no timetable for his return.”

    • Wow. I was so hoping this wouldn’t happen but I was afraid it would after the throwing up. Poor Klay. Hope he gets into the finals. And I hope The Senator continues to step up.

      • It has to be by committee. Barnes, Barbosa, Livingston and Iguodala all needs to step up. I would actually like to see Holiday for some minutes.

        That said, Klay might be cleared in two days, you will never know.

        • I hope so too harry, but man that was no ordinary head blow. I’m praying and chanting for the best.

    • Forget the playoffs, just hope he recovers completely. I like it that NBA is super cautious on concussion matters.

    • But his agent said he didn’t have a concussion!

      Why can’t we give the player the final say? That’s why.

  47. Curry was out 5 days last year, missing 2 games, when Marvin Williams landed on his head in the Utah game, causing what was labeled a “mild” concussion. His shooting was spotty the first two games, when he returned, though not sure that was an influence.

  48. Jalen Rose sez Kevin Love to Rockets.

    Obviously, not a lock but it would be a nice fit.

    • completing the biggest collection of players no one likes in the league.

      • my guess, harden’s peers respect and like him. the great lacob likes howard and love, but won’t have the cash this summer without a miracle lee deal or letting d’mond free. just going by the whinging from the local partisans, even ariza has a low approval rating.

        love only needs two organizations interested this July, to maintain his standard of living. what is the likelihood that gilbert inc. wants to keep him around. if Cle finishes second, will the pundits and bloggers start playing exit music for the coach again.

    • If Love couldn’t fit with unselfish player like Lebron, how will he do with a selfish mini-bron who dominates ball more than Lebron and who doesn’t play D. Think, it is a misfit. For Rockets, Chris Bosh would have been a great fit, IMO.

    • Per Feltbots tweet, it’s possible the Cavs would want Barnes and want to move Love, even if it meant taking back DLee’s contract. Would not like to see Ezeli included and maybe don’t need to?

      I’ll defer to moto, but I would think DLee’s salary would partly offset what it would take to sign both Dray and Love, although Lacob would have to go into the tax.

      From the Cavs perspective, I guess Barnes would not be a starter at first, and would be seen as an eventual LeBron replacement? Or start alongside LeBron.

      • I wouldn’t want to do this trade myself. I’m just speculating about what the Warriors and Cavs will do this summer. Both have to move their big contract PFs. They seem like natural trading partners, because I can guarantee LeBron would see the value of David Lee on that team. If they can scoop Festus and a pick (better than Barnes) as well, I think they’d jump on it — especially because Lee is in a contract year. They’d basically be picking up Festus and a pick for free, assuming Love doesn’t want to re-sign there.

        Would Joe Lacob be able to pass on Kevin Love for a second straight year in this spot? Hard to imagine, if it’s basically just costing him Festus. The Warriors will be desperate to dump Lee in the offseason, this trade would look like a godsend, right?

        I could definitely see this deal happening.

        • I can see it happening, but not if it includes Barnes. Believe it or not, Barnes is a better shooter than Love. Barnes also fits the Ws switch-everything defensive scheme better. The only thing Love does better is rebound.

          Barnes aside, Love’s D would be the sticking point for any trade with the Warriors. His numbers say he’s basically DLee with more shooting range, or a Draymond without the defensive intensity. That makes him not a clear plus.

          Give up Festus? I’ll bet the Ws try to keep him. He’s effective, he’s cheap, and he’s necessary. So despite how little you think of the Ws front office, Feltie, I don’t see the Ws jumping at Love if the Cavs ask for anything more than Lee.

        • No way that is happening after finding about this team. Love pursuit was before knowing how good this team can be.

          • IMO, there are many faulty assumptions behind this faulty trade:

            1. The W’s aren’t going to be desperate to unload Lee. In fact, given that trading him would require attaching an asset or taking back substantial future salary commitments, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him still on the roster next season.
            2. Some people in the front office (e.g., Jerry West?) didn’t want Love. Those folks haven’t left the organization, as far as I know.
            3. More broadly, the decision last summer was to bank on continuity, chemistry, and internal development of the roster, rather than shaking things up & bringing in a major piece from outside. That bet paid off better than anyone could have imagined. So it’s likely they’ll want to stick to that successful strategy.
            4. Specifically, the W’s will want to keep Ezeli and Barnes.
            5. Also, neither the W’s nor Draymond have any desire to move him to small forward.

          • (*first line should be “… faulty assumptions behind this hypothetical trade.” But you probably guessed that already.)

          • I was thinkin along the same lines Swopa. Lacob may be tyrannical and meddlesome but he hasn’t shown a penchant for making capricious deals. He seems like a guy who firmly buys into the adage of ‘why mess with success?’

            Why do the Warriors have to move DLee this summer? I still haven’t heard why this is anything more than conjecture. I think he could still fit and contribute. Unless he absolutely wants out, or someone wants him out. I haven’t heard any actual statements from the parties involved to this effect. Just rumblings on this blog

      • speculation about the market price for d’mond this July shows annual numbers quite close to d.lee’s closing salary on his current contract. past their high rhetoric about developing their own draft picks, can we really tell how much they value mr.barnes or ezeli, considering they’ll need a center other than d’mond for 15-25 min. every game, not including bogut’s inactive dates. with green’s salary essentially replacing lee’s, they’d still be considerably into lux tax if love’s typical demands get met (the only way the deal can go down). without ezeli, they’d still have to find a reserve center capable of spot starts, if they’re not 100% confident in speights. declining speights’ option would give them a bit of wiggle room whether ezeli stays or has to be included as part of a trade. the lacobites would probably prefer to offer speights plus a first round pick, over shipping barnes.

        it should be obvious that l-b-j is a much better perimeter player than mr.barnes, so if Cle plans to start barnes they’re comfortable with him as a four who can shoot 3’s, in contrast to their t.thompson. but barnes hasn’t shown he can rebound as well or consistently as love or thompson. are other teams that thrilled with mr.barnes once the curry effect is absent, or is the blog chatter inflated based on a small sample size of mr. barnes’ greatest hits from his rookie and third year playoffs.

        • Maui Nellie

          There won’t be any trades involving Kevin Love, the guy apparently will be opting out of his contract and become an UFA.


          The only question is where does he want to go? My fascination with the Warriors offseason will be to watch who they go after for their next starting center for the future? Lots of intriguing upcoming free agent possibilities at that position, players that the Warriors don’t need to trade for, just sign outright. The Dubs, like all teams, will have money to spend in 2016 when the new TV money skyrockets the salary cap ceiling, so the chances of a big name free agent center becoming a Warrior in the near future is more likely than not.

          Speculation has it that some 2015 free agents will sign 1 year deals so they will again become free agents in 2016 and thus reap the financial windfall caused by the influx of TV money into the salary cap after next season. Under that scenario could the Warriors entice a Marc Gasol or DeAndre Jordan to sign a free agent deal this offseason?

  49. I hadn’t actually looked at the Warriors line today before I tweeted, which was dumb. It has moved in the Cavs favor since yesterday, now down to Warriors -190 Cavs +165. You can take a guess whether that’s smart money, or adjusting for the Klay injury. I don’t know.

    What the bookies are telling you is that this is a pickem series. The line reflects the fact that the Warriors have one more home game, not an actual edge in the series.

  50. Went to my first Giants game of the year last nite (along with Steph) and I have to say the team is playing very crisply. Despite serious questions on the pitching staff, and losing the Panda, they’re in first place. They have an excellent home grown infield and I wanna see how Duffy handles the hot corner
    I recall you summarily dismissed Bochy as being in the right place at the right time, Moto. Once maybe, but three times? I strongly disagree. That Pads team he took to the series was an underdog also. Boch is a laconic guy and gives terrible pressers but the way he’s handled the rosters he’s been given every year has been excellent, in my opinion. The pitching staff management and minor-league call-ups have been criticized as heavy-handed and conservative, but go back and check the results. He even squeezed blood out of BZito when it mattered..

    As far as the new park and scene, sometimes it’s useless to beat your head against the wall, as change is inevitable. It’s a nice park, and the team as made it a strategic advantage. But I often think of Candlestick and the minuscule crowds with nostalgia. I still have a home run ball hot by “The Taste.”
    It’s just commercial entertainment, but so is a lot of the human experience. When a guy devotes his life to something and is good at it, props to him.

    Valuing the colors of a jersey are what make sports to me. Without a rooting interest watching sports would be a complete waste of my time. Instead of just a partial waste ;)

    • I think it’s undeniable that Bochy is a great manager.

      I have another overarching theory about the Giant’s success, though: it’s about the ballpark. Now that Petco has been neutered, it is by far the worst hitters park in baseball, and with smart management, that has created a huge advantage for the Giants.

      Here is what I believe happens: Giants management focuses on pitching, and not overpaying for big hitters. The Giants spend the entire regular season scratching and clawing for runs in ATT, learning how to get it done in this awful park. In the playoffs, the opposing contenders come swaggering in with their home run bombers, and get completely swallowed up by the park. Remember that Texas Ranger team? Nobody can hit it out in October, and these teams have no ability to generate offense any other way. They never played move the line baseball during the season.

      The reason why the Kansas City Royals were such stiff competition? They have exactly the same model.

      • This stuffs just as good as your hoops posts. And I thoroughly agree. You have to rely on fundamentals

        At the time I didn’t like the 100 million $ Pence re-signing. But he’s a winner

      • This has been said before—the Giants are also winning because the competition has leveled across the board. I suspect something may happen in the NBA, when Lebron and Durant wear down. There is a tremendous window of opportunity now.

    • I love this, rzz!

  51. Klay was the sticking point in the Love trade. Or have you guys decided he won’t be able to return? Lacob wants him. How many times did he go after Howard?

    There is no reason to think Kerr will do any more with Lee next season that he did this. I’d rather see Love on the floor than Lee on the bench. The trade, however, would leave the bench thinner than it is now, and with Bogut and Speights at center.

    Or Kuzmic! They still have him next year, right?

  52. Speights says he plans to be ready for the first game of the finals. (CBS)

  53. Regarding the fantasy Lee etc. for Love trade discussion @53:

    1. The Warriors are almost certain to try to unload Lee. There is no way an AllStar player like Lee will be happy with another year sitting on the bench, particularly in a contract year. No way.

    Just as there is no way the Warriors will want to continue with $15 million locked up in a completely unproductive bench warmer. It’s idiotic, when you have title aspirations. They need to replace Lee with a player that Kerr will play.

    I see only one scenario by which Lee remains with the Warriors: They move Harrison Barnes instead, reinsert Lee, and slide Draymond over. That scenario has gotten less and less likely as the season has unfolded, and now seems to have a probability of zero. It would be management sticking a thumb in Kerr’s eye.

    2. Neither Jerry West nor Steve Kerr had an objection to Kevin Love. They had an objection to trading Klay Thompson, and breaking up Thompson and Curry. If they had been offered what I just proposed last season, they would have fallen all over themselves rushing to push the accept button.

    I’ve already said I wouldn’t do this deal myself. But then, if I were running the team, I would find a way to incorporate DLee in a profitable role. That’s not going to happen under Kerr, so a deal must be made.

    3. Continuity etc. is obviously ideal, but is a complete pipedream in the NBA. You just have to look at the Thunder giving up James Harden to realize that. Or the Suns losing Joe Johnson at their peak. When you have too many high-priced players, someone’s gotta go. This is what the Warriors are facing: Dray’s going to get paid. In a couple of years, Curry’s going to get paid. That’s three max players. You’ve got Bogut and Iggy at $12+. Festus is going to get a BIG payday. He’s worth more than Bogut right now, imo. Harrison Barnes is going to WANT a big payday.

    If you think the Warriors two years from now are going to look like this current Warriors team, you’re smoking. I think it is highly likely that big moves get made this offseason, and I’m just speculating on possibilities.

    4. As for Ezeli and Barnes: I have no doubt that Joe Lacob WANTS to keep Barnes. I have a lot of doubt as to whether he has the room to keep him. And even a little doubt as to whether he is stupid enough to keep him against the advice of his basketball people. (See, I do give Joe Lacob some credit.)

    Ezeli is a gold mine. An extremely promising player who fits the Warriors far better than Bogut: He runs the floor, can hedge pick and roll, can actually finish a pick and roll himself, is not afraid to pump fake under the rim and get to the line, is not afraid to attack the rim, can get you a post-up when times are tough. I would never trade him. Just as I would not do this deal. I think it’s a trap.

    A trap I don’t think the Warriors are smart enough to stay out of, if it gets offered. And it doesn’t get offered without Ezeli, imo.

    5. Wrong on Joe Lacob and Jerry West: they believe in size and rebounding. As for Draymond Green and his agent, we shall see. You must recognize the political situation that would keep them from opening their mouths about moving to the three, even if that were their heart’s desire. There is, and always has been, a lottery pick ahead of him, the apple of the owner’s eye.

    This put up or shut up summer will be the first time in Dray’s career that Harrison Barnes won’t matter. He, not Joe Lacob, not Steve Kerr, will be holding the hammer.

    • I’ve been wrong here too many times before, but it’s hard to believe Lee will be attractive, not with his salary, not with injury questions, not with what scouts saw this season.

      But Lacob will at least go through the motions of a “transcendent” deal. He has every season. And that effort will derail needed minor moves.

      • If I were Cleveland and LeBron, and Love wasn’t returning, I would jump at the chance for Lee. Particularly on a one year deal. (You forget his salary is attractive on his last year, not a detriment, for a team that will actually play him.)

        Basically all Cleveland runs is pick and roll. D’oh! And they could badly use another offensive initiator. Irving is basically a two guard, LeBron their only point. Lee would be a fantastic fit for them.

      • lee said something very low key to r.simmons a couple of weeks ago, that in a matter of a few weeks or months they wouldn’t be meeting again unless it happened on the road or in the visitor’s dressing room. he’s going to finish next month a loyal company guy to the end, but surely kerr and he know that the coach has virtually nothing in his plans with lee doing anything significant. lee will probably plead very privately with myers to find a team where he can play again.

        he’s probably made a friend for life with curry (jeremy lin as well). and d’mond’s mother said lee was the first established vet on the team who told her how great a future green has, expressing nothing but the highest hopes for green’s success.

    • Hope they keep David, Festivus, and even HB. It’s called quality depth- just look at what happened to so many teams this year. Could happen to GS next year
      Sometimes when you move on you find the grass isn’t greener. Harden got the spotlight, but he might have had a couple rings if he stayed in OKC
      I would imagine he could’ve recouped his $ on championship endorsement deals too. Anyway, even if the W’s stand pat, next year should be more shits and giggles

      • Not one of the players you mention will be content with being organizational depth going forward, no matter how good the team is now. PT and money are realities, even for world champions.

    • How about exchanging DLee for a PG who is also highly paid? Any such guys out there?

  54. The line keeps dropping. Now Warriors -180, Cavs +160.

  55. Latest, just finished it, an essay, and it may not be of interest to anyone here:


    I put things up like this to step outside. It’s a ritual. I’ll come back to it in a month and recheck before I send it out.

    In part, it’s about my brother, long since past, and his world. But it touches on much that has happened the last 50 years, and then some. I had you in mind, Feltbot. In many ways you and he are cut from the same cloth—sharp, aggressive, broadly read, and he got his training at Harvard, business (Harvard Trade School, he called it). You both are/were your own man. And I know he would have gotten a kick out you and this blog, were he still around and followed b-ball.

    It’s dense and oblique, but I think can be read quickly.

    I’ve been working on this the past months, and sometimes it colored my comments here. The reverse also happened. Comments welcome if anyone has time, likes it, and is so disposed.

    • This is ambitious work, Gary. You’re working with some interesting and complex metaphors, and your originality of thought and expression is impressive. But most of all, I found this piece moving. I’m sorry for your profound loss, and hope you found some solace in writing about it.

    • (Not sure if you wanted comments here or on the page but I’ll follow Felt’s lead)

      I really enjoyed the piece, Gary. It feels intricate yet somehow simple, or plain, like the painting: impossible to decipher but something you know you’ve always understood. Your words weave around your brother just as Pollack’s splashes weave around some truth of his. A fascinating trip–it feels like a literal trip, a moving through explored and unexplored landscapes. As Felt said, most of all it’s moving. I can feel your loss, and your brother’s loss, and Pollack’s, yet you manage to stay away from sentimentality. Which of course allows me to feel my own loss.

      A couple of things that came up for me: I wished I could see your brother more clearly. I know there are places where you describe him but I lose the image and would like to see him throughout, just as I’m sure you see him in your mind. That would keep me more grounded in the story even during times the words start swirling with ideas.

      Also, I absolutely love the last line–perfect. (vintage rgg!) However when I got to the scene about the hike and the hills and memory, that felt like a natural ending of sorts to me. I was a bit irritated to have start reading about the painting again. Not because it isn’t interesting–it is–but because… well, I’m not sure why. The arc of the piece seems disrupted or thrown a curveball. Either way, I’d end with the lines you ended with. I might also suggest (and will!) that the first paragraph be just a tiny bit tighter so the reader viscerally feels what standing there in front of that particular painting, with that particular loved one, feels like. But that’s quibbling.

      Many congratulations and good luck with it.

      • thoughtful criticism, right on point, Mary. I felt the same as you about the transition back to the painting after the hike. Gary, I think I get what you are trying to say about trying to deal with loss through abstraction and appreciation, rather than the hamster wheel of ratiocination, but the heart of your piece for your readers is your relationship with your brother. A conundrum.

    • feel very fortunate, and grateful, to have access to first rate writers in the persons of professors Rubin and Garvin, and equally fine readers and responders like mary, rzz, martin, and the other usual suspects.

    • Quick question, Mary and Feltbot (and others): regardless of however much you may have gotten distracted, even bored, did the piece move you well enough from start to finish? I mean in some basic sense, and this is what I most want to know.

      OK, who’s in Japan? I just got 14 hits there.

      Largest and warmest thanks, guys. I’ve been encouraged by everyone from The New Yorker (faintly) on down. Just getting read is a struggle nowadays. I’ve had about a dozen pieces published in the small print mags, all fine, two quite good, and got more responses today than I have from the other work.

      According to Michael Lewis in Liar’s Poker, 40% of the Yale graduating class in 1986 applied to First Boston. And in the same book he tells us analysts were at the bottom of the totem pole in investment banks, which tells you something about the industry and what happened later. First Boston, however, since declined after a merger with Credit Suisse—I haven’t kept up. One of my regrets is that my brother didn’t get out of this grind. I believe you have, FB.

      One thing I’ve always liked about this blog is that it tries to maintain reality and reach a bit, and does so with an edge. I simply don’t know many people who are broadly read, and I’m an English instructor. And this is a loss.

      The pain is long gone. My reference to grief is only literary. The question is what you replace it with and your take on where you are now, as I suggest in the intro. Writing this was a tremendously restorative act.

      Your opening comments are just wonderful, Mary. I couldn’t ask for a better response and am delighted. And deepest thanks both for your time.

      About the comments, and thinking out loud here, not arguing—

      What you have both done, at the least, is allow me to make a break from the essay so I can go back later. And you have set a baseline of expectations, quite good, I may yet need to consider, even if I stick with what I have, which may well happen, though I may need to make some adjustments. This is very useful to me.

      Bringing the brother out is the first expectation, and I may need to rethink this. Or maybe that frustration is what I need. Really, it isn’t an essay about him at all. But also character is best revealed through actions and words, and there’s no room or place here. The narrative movement, such as it is, lies elsewhere, in contexts and U.S. history, which I take to unusual and questionable climax. Raising questions of all sorts about contexts is the major thrust. He had a tremendous wit, however, and I regret not bringing that in.

      The essay begins and ends with AR, and I think I’ve done exactly what I want, though may need to restore a set-up line in the section that precedes the final description. I love the ending. Part of what I’m doing here—it’s implied—is challenging the conventional esthetic, much in ascendence now. A Pollock painting certainly invites that. The essay will have no more neat closing or sharp narrative structure any more than an abstract painting can have perspective. I feel odd saying that, though, given all that has been done before. And maybe I’m gambling and limiting my audience.

      Or maybe I’m wrong and crazy. Who knows anymore?

      In the event this is of interest and while I’m taking up space, there is a novel about him, or a fictional rendering of him, with character and plot, sort of. What I discovered is that capturing someone you are close to is impossible. Instead, we write about characters and at best make hints.

      A prize winning writer, whose opinion I trust, said this about the novel:

      Autumn Rhythm is brilliant. I kind of can’t believe I know who wrote it—not to make it sound like I undervalued your talent—but it’s the kind of book that doesn’t seem to emanate from a merely human intelligence, can’t quite picture a mere person getting it right. I thought, damn, this goes to the heart of America and America can’t take it or deserve it. (If you drop a bomb on America and no one notices, are you still a terrorist?) Someone has to publish this.

      Ecco, a well respected independent, who once published the less than conventional said this:

      It is quite unlike any other to cross my desk. Your prose has a wonderfully visual sensibility; reading AR is indeed a bit like standing in front of that Pollock. And the story you tell is at once familiar (in its essence) and unfamiliar (in its delivery). All in all a remarkable novel.

      And I got praise from agents. But Ecco has been absorbed in a conglomerate and has tamed its lists, as is the case with others. There’s just no market now for such work.


      • Quick answer back off the top of my head: knowing this is a novel changes everything. Not sure where or how this excerpt fits in (sorry if I missed that). So my quick answer is no on being involved from start to finish. I felt like there was so much to get that I had to force myself not to read ahead looking for the parts that really got me– the parts where I felt the brother and the narrator and Pollock. If I were doing a more formal critique, I wouldn’t have responded without reading twice. I’ll try to read again if I find time. So much is personal taste though. I’m a Carver devotee–hopefully that explains the taste issue. And I believe you hate Franzen, one of my favs.

        Those editorial responses can be both motivating and discouraging, the awesome feedback too often followed by a “however”. Ecco was a close one for me too.

        Did you see Kerr just finished All The Light We Cannot See and has started on Goldfinch? I love him!

        I’d also point out pain is never long gone or one wouldn’t feel compelled to write about it. What you replace it with is indeed a story, but what is being replaced is also the story. And the undercurrent of it here is a part of what makes this piece special. Just my opinion.

        Most of all, thank you so much for letting us read this. Truly.

        • No, this is an essay and shouldn’t be seen as part of anything and should stand on its own. I just wanted to put some part of the novel in essay form. (Maybe with the vain hope someone might be interested in the novel.)

          And thanks for your response, honest and fair. The parts that most engage me will put others off and they will just bounce off them. That’s fair and honest, too. There are sentences here that will take essays to unpack, if anyone is so disposed. But, as I said in the essay, they touch on things my brother and I did when we talked. The essay reflects that discussion. (I may need to make that clear.)

          I think the real point is we do what makes sense to us and moves us. We’re not getting published either way. When did you approach Ecco? When I approached them with my second novel, they said get an agent. And agents won’t touch my work.

          Kerr went up a notch.

          Point well taken in your last paragraph, and correct. One of the things I planned but didn’t put into the essay was the Kuber-Ross 5 stages of grief, which I wanted to counter. Never accept anything.

  56. Maui Nellie

    More Steph vs LeBron numbers.


  57. For me, the last two games clearly
    Demonstrate that Houston players’
    Howard and Ariza were ordered to not
    only told to foul and injure Warrior
    players. There was no reason for Ariza to
    being his knee up when Thompson
    was driving to hoop or to knock Bogut
    down well after he set a pick other then
    to injure. Same for Howard. Team’s penalty
    should be fo forgo all revenue from playoffs
    and for Ariza and Howard to do the same.

    • No offense but in my opinion, that’s total BS. McHale might play hard but he’s a player, for the love of god–he’s not going to order the Rockets to hurt the opposing team.

  58. Now is not the time to talk
    about warrior off-season
    trades as we’re in The Finals,
    not eliminated. Nor is it the time
    to make predictions without
    knowing Thompson’s status.

  59. Watch the plays Mary.

  60. The only other explanation is the
    players decided to so. Even so I would
    Pose same penalty even if they did so
    out of frustration. Came close to
    to paralyzing Thompson.

    • the partisans are getting their $$’s worth out of the video replays and slow/stop motion views. watching the pictures over and over gave them all they needed to know, and a legion from the usual blogs is incensed after convincing themselves of ariza’s malicious intent. for me, this is a symmetrical response to the fuss about mr.barnes’ great athleticism in doing the splits and not getting injured ; the jersey colors are about .50 of the judgment.

      barnes’ split (sustained less than a second before he rolled away from it) was certainly an athletic feat, but to me within expectations for a well prepared, young professional. with ariza, are there other reasonable explanations for him bending his knees while he’s elevated, and my response would be affirmative. the knee bend while airborne is a self preservation reflex — it greatly reduces his vulnerability to getting spun or flipped out of control, or having his feet or legs tangled or caught. we know a little about mr.barnes, he puts in plenty of time with preparation and conditioning. those who are assuming the worst about ariza don’t seem to have any perspective on who he is, yet assume he would transgress what his peers and profession expect of him.

      • if you saw the way he lowered his shoulder and knocked Bogut into the stands, moto, it’s not a stretch to infer that he had malice in his heart, and was prepared to do damage. I agree with your observations about bending knees, etc., and I realize the difficulty in accurately judging reaction time, and especially intent from the video… but: I see a great athlete staring right at Klay’s head in mid-air, with time and ability to lessen the blow, who at the last moment adjusted his knee to the left to deliver an even more devastating blow. When coupled with that previous play against Bogut, I have little doubt of his intent.

        • Ariza was looking right at his knee and Klays head, aiming the blow.

        • Or maybe he was just frustrated and out of control. But again, he does lift his knee at the last split second, which could have been prevented and caused the damage.

          Kermit Washington, when he crushed Rudy Tomjonavich’s face, said he didn’t know what he was doing. He just reacted in a tense spot. And he wasn’t a vicious guy. The event upset him greatly.

          Intent can never be measured accurately and is beside the point. The point is finding ways to prevent such collisions in the first place. Flagrants won’t help Klay or Iguodala now.

          And I assume Iguodala is OK? He was in great pain, but said he just had a stinger.

        • Not to mention Ariza’s bump on Curry in that in-season game, which earned him a technical foul.

          I think Ariza is a tremendous, entirely single-minded defender, much like Stephen Jackson. Do anything possible to stop the opponent, including getting into their heads, or getting physical. The difference is that Jackson never intentionally hurt anyone.

          Ariza makes opponents fear for their safety, and he’s fine with that. That’s a huge difference from Stephen Jackson, and it’s a difference that will hopefully get Ariza ejected from the league before he does too much more damage.

          Ariza obviously could have tried to avoid kicking Thompson in the head but didn’t make that effort; the Bogut tackle was unnecessary violence; he didn’t need to launch Curry into the air to collect a shooting foul. He could have simply stayed low and lofted the ball toward the hoop.

          In all those cases, Ariza CHOSE to do damage. In his mind, I suppose it’s all part of the game, or at least a part of his game. But it should not be allowed to continue. I hope the NBA reviews Ariza’s season-long play, in detail, and takes appropriate action.

        • “malice in his heart” nice catch felt.

          Was wondering why no one had mentioned that play of Ariza slamming into a screening Bogut with no attempt at avoidance.
          Flagrant 1 worthy, but no review?

          Bottom line it said all you need to know about Ariza he was out to deliver punishing blows whenever he had a chance. Part of the game or dirty I’ll let greater minds decide…

  61. Putting rzzz and Mary together, and reaching out a bit—

    Raymond Carver studied for a while at Chico State, no? I was also surprised to see he once lived where I lived now. Impossible to imagine.

    Have either of you read the Carver stories from the Gordon Lish editing, and the stories after, when Carver tries to expand? There’s a debate here. I’m not sure I like either now.

    One of my nightmares is having Gordon Lish for an editor. A friend and very fine writer did, while Lish was at Knopf. I even got a letter from Lish—don’t be impressed—while he was editing that quarterly.

    • where I once lived—Cupertino

    • Well, not to clutter up the board too much, I’ll just say this about Carver: I’m a firm believer in editors. I’ve used them. We’re not all as good at editing as we are at creating. Or maybe it’s as simple as not having solid feedback unless you pay for it. So whatever Lish did, he found the heart and I wouldn’t have What We Talk About any different than as published. The title story is my second favorite short story of all time. My first favorite is Cathedral, which I don’t believe Lish edited (though I’ve always wondered if Carver knew the Dead song “Comes A Time”).

      Ecco: had an agent

      AR essay: dunno…it seems to lend itself to a longer form–the novel made perfect sense.

      Believe Carver taught at CSU, not studied. Taught and drank and wrote and lived the writer’s life. I’ve always had a huge crush on him.

      Apologies to all the readers looking for a dub-dose. So am I!

      • As in my essay, there is no center here, not one that I know of. So digress! Yes, Cathedral, great story, sans Lish. That’s my point. Lish went too far, Carver overdid it in the stories he later rewrote (which was the one about Scotty?).

        The Ecco you approached is not the one I knew. Am debating another novel and know what I want to do. I don’t think I can deal with agents again, not now.

    • I’ve never heard of them, Rgg I don’t have a wide range of literary expertise, but I know what I like, and I’m gonna read your essay

      I’m excited about the finals. The word “legacy” comes to mind. If Bron can lead this rag-tag bunch to the top, his legacy will be up there w Jordan as the recent best. Kobe had Shaq, even MJ, Pippen, but James right now, nothing. And the Warriors are a better team

      I think the Wubs may expose the Cavs

      Stephs is already compared to the best sharpshooters, but he can start a different legacy with a Crown.

  62. After each of the fouls discussed above,
    neither McKale nor his players appeared
    contrite.McKale did not scold his players.
    And it should be noted that when McKale
    played, at times, he committed cheap

    • Can’t really compare McHale’s playing era with today’s. The NBA is far more strict about unnecessary violence now, to the point that relatively minor expressions of annoyance (a shove, a chest bump) can earn a T. In McHale’s time, whole teams had well-earned reputations as headhunters. Detroit, for example, thought nothing of punching out opponents, it was just a part of the physical intimidation they thrived on.

      That said, you’re right, Frank, the Rockets were not contrite about the violence they committed throughout the series. Dwight committed numerous above-the-shoulders blows throughout, and had at least half a dozen illegal screens too. Ariza bumped, slapped and sneak-punched everybody he came near.

      That happens when some players get desperate. Maybe they thought it was the only thing that would keep them in the games.

  63. Sunny Parker:The proof is in the pudding. In
    the first game Green only made
    four hoops out of 13 taken in 39 minutes
    on the court. He garnered only 6 rebounds.
    He missed the three 3’s
    he took. He could do nothing against the
    Mosgov and Thompson and no reason to
    think such will change. Such is predictable.
    Surely, Lee would have done much better on
    both sides of the ball. Lee can score inside,
    Green cannot.One can only hope Green
    hits his three’s next game. His success has led
    his big mouth getting exponentially worse. Wish
    the coach would rein him in.

    I’m not saying that Lee is better than Green. Depending
    on the circumstances,do think
    think that Lee could be sub’d in for Bogut, Green, and
    others, and out perform some players that are being
    played instead including Speights.
    think he would outperform Green if he was on the

    Do think this still remains a very competitive series
    and now is the time for some Warriors players who
    played outstanding during the season and during
    some of the playoffs to show they are Finals worthy.

    Agree that Irving probably had an undetected
    hair line fracture of the knee before the game.
    The pain he was enduring was masked by his given
    cortizone shots.