Break the Blitz: Warriors v Cavs NBA Finals Game 4 Preview

You saw it, right? The way that David Lee at center, playing all-out pick and roll with Stephen Curry for literally the first time all season, simply demolished the Curry blitz?   

David Lee is one of the best pick and roll centers in the league. A two-time All-Star for that exact reason. And Stephen Curry could be one of the greatest pick and roll point guards in history. IF GIVEN THE CHANCE.

This Cavs team is the best defensive team the Warriors have faced all season. And they couldn’t lay a finger on the Curry-Lee pick and roll. It is absolutely unguardable.

If you don’t blitz Curry, you’re dead. But if you do blitz him, then Lee gets the ball in the lane in a 4 on 3 situation. And Lee’s skills in this situation are extraordinary. Sag into the lane to defend the rim, Lee finds Iggy in the corner for an open three. Give him a sliver of daylight? Lee darts to the rim for the And One.

Kerr has been unwilling to use the Draymond Green at center lineup against the Cavs. For very good reason. First, because it appears that Draymond has worn down, particularly since that hard fall in Game 2. But also, I suspect, because Kerr realizes that his super-small lineup simply doesn’t match up well with the Cavs small lineup. Does a Draymond, Barnes, Iggy front line have the edge over Thompson, LeBron, Shumpert? I don’t see it.

No, the best frontline against the Cavs small lineup is Lee, Draymond, Iggy. That’s a lineup that can not only score at will, but can hold its own on the boards. And, whether you believe it or not, it can play defense.

This last point continues to elude people. The mantra that you constantly hear about Lee is that he gives up just as many points on defense as he gets you on offense. I heard Greg Papa say it on the radio today, the day after Lee put up a +17 in 13 minutes.

+17 is not giving up as many points as you get, Greg Papa. +17 is outscoring your opponent by 17. +17 is outscoring LeBron James’ Cavaliers by 17. In the fourth quarter. In the finals.

Last season, David Lee had one of the top ten plus/minuses in the league. Is that giving up more than you get? And the frontline of Lee, Draymond and Iggy — which was played only in crunchtime, against the toughest defense — was the best Warriors frontline of all by plus/minus. Is that giving up more than you get?

Last season, and the season before that, the Lee, Draymond and Iggy frontcourt beat the World Champion Heat’s frontcourt of Chris Bosh, LeBron and Shane Battier. Twice. In crunchtime. In Miami. Is that giving up more than you get?

Check it for yourself. Go to NBAWowy.com and run the Lee, Draymond and Iggy frontline from last year. What you will find is an offensive efficiency of 1.165 ppp, and a defensive efficiency of .984 ppp (right in line with the Warriors league-leading defensive efficiency this year). Is that giving up more than you get, Greg Papa?

How this utter fallacy has managed to persist and thrive despite all evidence to the contrary simply confounds me. It’s a testament to the power of an ignorant, lazy and biased press.

Last night, out of sheer desperation, Steve Kerr reached for and found a blueprint to win this series.

Break the blitz, Steve Kerr.

And win.

The LeBron Defense: There is another way to break the Curry blitz, which is to speed up the tempo of the game, and to get Curry and Klay shots in early offense.

Easier said than done, right? The Warriors have found it impossible to run against this Cavs team that is holding the ball deep into the shot clock and pounding the offensive glass. The Warriors got a total of 4 fast break points in the last game.

The answer might just be to change up the defense on LeBron. The Warriors have been single covering him as much as possible, and staying at home on the Cavs’ three point shooters. And this defense has worked to a certain extent: both LeBron and the Cavs have a miserable offensive efficiency.

But what this defense has also done is allowed LeBron to completely control the pace of the game. He posts up and pounds the rock until the clock has completely run down. He is succeeding in taking the air out of the ball, and significantly reducing the number of possessions in the game. Great for the short-handed, reliant on defense Cavs, terrible for the Warriors.

I think the Warriors should reverse course. Do everything they can to get the ball out of LeBron’s hands with double-teams. Yes, this will leave shooters open. But what it will also do is speed up the tempo of the game. Make the ball start moving before the clock runs down. Make the shots come quicker. Bring turnovers into play. Make the offensive rebounding opportunities less predictable. Scramble the game.

And give the Warriors a chance to get out and run.

The Gunslinger: One thing we saw the Warriors do to open Game 3 was to isolate Curry against Delly up top, instead of inviting the blitz by bringing a screener to the party. This was smart.

It just didn’t work. Curry was successful getting into the lane and finding the open man, but it led to nothing. And he was successful getting his shot off, but missed. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good strategy. Yet the Warriors went away from it.

I have a theory why Steve Kerr didn’t like Curry’s body language in Game 3. Kerr’s motion offense wasn’t working, Curry knew it, and he was impatient. The Cavs’ MVP was isoing every play down, but the Warriors MVP was in chains, imprisoned in a failing system.

Before the game, the broadcast showed Curry warming up. What was he practicing? 30 foot threes. Now I’m guessing that is part of his regular routine, but it seemed to mean something in the moment. I wondered on twitter whether he had come up with an adjustment of his own for the Cavs’ defense. We never saw it in the first three quarters, but lo and behold, there it was in crunchtime, with the Warriors staging their desperate run. 30 foot threes! Splash!

Stephen Curry jacking up shots in the teeth of a blitz is arguably selfish. The correct play there is to hit the open man. But Stephen Curry firing quick-release long-range bombs over the surprised face of an isolated defender? That’s not selfish. That’s what he does, with unparalleled efficiency. That’s the MVP.

You have to dance with the MVP who brung you, Steve Kerr.

Unleash the gunslinger.

The Wagering: I like the Warriors to win Game 4. Bogut and Draymond are badly beat up, but the Warriors have more warm bodies than the Cavs, and the Cavs are beat up worse. Particularly Delly, who suffered severe cramping after Game 3, and spent last night in a hospital hooked up to fluids. The short turnaround is going to be real tough on the Cavs. This is the point in the series where the Warriors depth will begin to tell.

Plus it’s Game 4, which means its time for the Warriors to roll out their adjustments.

Before the series started, I advised not betting the Warriors to win the series, laying 2 to 1. I hated that price, particularly before we knew whether Kyrie could play. And I hoped to find better opportunities to bet the Warriors later in the series.

This is that opportunity. If you like the Warriors in this series, this is the game to bet. Unfortunately, the Warriors are a bigger favorite to win this game than they were the last, at -2.5.

I won’t be betting this game, at this price. The public has the same opinion I do, and I don’t like betting with the public, at the public price.

But I’m not adverse to rooting.

119 Responses to Break the Blitz: Warriors v Cavs NBA Finals Game 4 Preview

  1. Your stuff is fun to read. Thanks yet again.

  2. I suggesymted that Lee be playing
    before game 1. Why you waited to make
    the same suggested till before game three.
    Such hesitancy is difficult to understand
    given that you know Lee is an excellent
    pick and rollplayer. Plus you knew Lee
    destroyed the Cav’s in the regular season.
    Moreover, given Bogut’s and
    Green’s limited skill set in the half court
    your reluctance to do so is even more
    puzzling.if Kerr had followed my advice the
    Warriors would be 3-0.

    And even now you don’t have it right
    in calling for Green to play with Lee
    and Iggy. With Green’s offense in the
    toilet and the Warriors scoring under
    10o points the Warriors need not only
    Lee to add to the offense but Speights
    as well. Speights, lee and Iggy would
    be the Warriors best front line.

    And it took to after three games and the
    Warriors down 2-1 to now to call for early
    offense. You should of said that as I did
    before game one or at least after
    game one.

    And your wanting to double team
    Lebron to get the ball out
    of hands can be accomplished by
    simply picking him up at half court
    or trying to prevent him from
    Getting the ball. A double team would
    Leave someone wide open to shoot. You
    May not realize but Lebron shot a very
    low percentage in the two games the
    Cav’s won.the problem in that he’s killing
    us at the foul line which you don’t even
    seem to be aware of.

    You have been a few steps behind as
    has Kerr and still are. But as you recognize the Finals
    are still salvageable.

    • Feltbot liked the idea of MoS with DLee, IF Kerr/Gentry would pull Mo out of the lane, camp him out on the perimeter, and allow Curry-DLee to run a spread floor high P&R offense, pulling one of the opposing bigs out of the lane. Mo can shoot. The other forward can shoot. And the shots would be in rhythm.

      Problem: Kerr won’t do it. He doesn’t understand. (Gentry does, but how much does Kerr really listen?)

      If DLee is at the 5 and Green at the 4, then it should be easier. Green likes to camp out at the 3-pt line. And Green will give the D and hustle.

      I was very surprised to see DLee in the game. (Major kudos to Feltbots prediction.). And how did suddenly Curry and DLee start playing high P&R, when previously, Kerr had DLee standing on the Wing waving the ball over his head (Hats description) in some kind of “triangle elements” offense. Did they go against the game plan?

      I was thinking same as Feltbot — Curry was disgusted with Kerrs lack of flexibility and stubborn denial of reality out on the court and was communicating. Curry should from here on out, as team leader aware technically, get into it with Kerr like Draymond does.

      Draymond is an emotional leader. Curry needs to be the technical, strategic leader. The sum of their leadership together equals The King.

      Curry had better step up, if the Warriors want to win.

      • That Curry became a bit hero ball and polluted with iso is also a result of watching every Cavs play beginning and ending with Lebron. It’s infectious. Steph knows he’s the best player on his team he wants to have the same impact that Lebron is having for the Cavs.

        Tonight’s game is going to be the game that Curry will punish Delly. Delly is biting at that first fake and Curry isn’t hitting that quick push 3 that follows right after (and I think he’s releasing a feather quicker than he wants to) but you see his body language and I know he is practicing that shot and ready to make the right pass if Lee is wandering free under the rim.

        Other points of success which we should see more of are that staggered Draymond, Lee screens for Curry at the top; Iggy kept camping the corner 3 whilst Klay was off-ball and I can see that changing to Klay in the corner. Other things of note Feltbot has covered meticulously well above.

        Felt’s note on tempo is important. Although I think it will speed up the shot clock, I think it will also mean Cleveland will reap many offensive boards. I’m not as confident about the rebounding of the Lee, Iggy, Draymond lineup.

    • Frank, if Felt is always so wrong, why bother reading?

  3. One can only hope that
    Green and Barnes can hit
    some three’s tonight.

    • Frank, yeah, that would be real nice, but the Warriors can’t depend on that. What they can depend on is Curry and Klays shooting.

      • Good point. Treat Green, Barnes and Iguodala’s shooting more as a bonus than a game plan to win.

  4. We’ve seen very little of Gentry’s varied
    up-tempo half-court offense in the
    Finals. Hopefully,tonight we’ll see more.

    Curry went to the locker room shaking
    his head. Believe such was in response to
    the turnovers he made, not dissatisfaction
    with Kerr.

  5. Felt,

    Everything you said is spot on and hopeful your Lee diagnosis prove to be correct for one more game.

    Where do you bet?

  6. Felt,

    What role u see Livingston can play, perhaps handle ball to get looks for splash bros.

  7. I am nowhere near the David Lee advocate that Feltbot is, and in most cases, I prefer Bogut over Lee, but given the matchups and strategies in this series, Bogut and Ezeli should have little to no role the rest of the way. A huge problem of the Green-Bogut/Ezeli frontcourt is that the Cavs can aggressively trap Curry with no fear of the ensuing 4-on-3s (or 2-on-1s if their wings don’t leave the Warriors’ wings behind the three-point line). When Bogut is on the floor, he’s rarely involved in the ball actions, which means that whenever Green sets the pick for Curry and receives the ball, Mozgov can essentially stand under the basket and zone the Green-Bogut 2-on-1 given his sheer size. When Ezeli is on the floor sets the pick, the Cavs just completely ignore Ezeli, because who’s really afraid of a wide-open Ezeli (who can’t dribble and never passes) with the ball at the foul line? The Green-Lee frontcourt would allow whomever Mozgov is defending to set the pick for Curry, and if Mozgov traps, Lee/Green can then go 4-on-3 with Tristan Thompson as the interior defender and both Lee and Green can finish much more easily against Thompson than against Mozgov. Furthermore, the defensive dropoff from Bogut/Ezeli to Lee is nowhere near as significant as it would be in other series. Iguodala has done a masterful job against LeBron in isolations, and so Bogut/Ezeli’s rim protection is not as important. And I’m not really that scared of the LeBron-TT PnR against Lee; I’d honestly prefer that over the LeBron-Dellavedova/Shumpert/JR PnR against Curry, which either gives LeBron a head of steam to the rim or gives the screener wide open catch-and-shoot 3’s. Like Feltbot, I don’t expect the defense to be much worse with Lee instead of Bogut/Ezeli playing next to Green and Iguodala, while I expect the offense to be significantly better.

  8. I left a lot of stuff out of my post that I wanted to mention. Here’s one thing. You may have noticed how much more physical this series has been than any other in the playoffs. My theory: The Cavs are down to 6 good players. If the refs started blowing their whistle, the nation would be watching the geriatric unit shuffle up and down the floor. Not the advertisement for the game that the NBA wants the Finals to be.

    It does cut two ways though. The Warriors chief beneficiary? Andre Iguodala, who is absolutely mugging LBJ on every drive.

  9. Another thing: we learn the officiating crew for tonight’s game at 9 AM. I predict Scott Foster will be on it.

    • WheresMyChippy

      Joey Crawford, Mike Callahan and Ken Mauer.

      • Hmmm. Well it won’t be as blatant as I thought, but it will certainly be fun watching Joey Crawford. Draymond better bite his tongue.

        Will this be Joey’s last Finals?

        • WheresMyChippy

          I don’t think we’ll need the help of the whistles to win this game. Hoping it will look a lot like Game 4 against Memphis.

          With Crawford and Mauer in there this will probably be the best called game so far.. As long as Draymond keeps his mouth shut.

  10. Taking James out of the equation,
    the Cav’s have one scoring threat and
    that’s Mosgov, not Thompson. Speights
    can match Mosgov in points. Lee will
    demolish Thompson inside.

    Green can’t do anything inside.
    Haven’t you seen enough of Green to know
    that? Just hope he hits a few threes when
    He’s in there. We need some height in the
    front line and players who can score.
    Lee and Speights can provide that.
    They open up the court for Curry and
    Thompson.

    Only Felty would want two short guys.
    Green and Lee, playing in the front
    court against the Cav’s. If so, James,
    Mosgov, and Thompson would be licking
    their chops, and would break a record
    for offensive rebounds.

    If Lee and Speights play a lot, the
    Warriors should exceed 100 points
    with ease and run the table.

    And if Adam’s would only have Curry
    And Thompson play in your face defense
    We would win going away. But no,
    the defense will set up inside the foul
    Blatt is not as stupid.

    I sense paranoia setting in with regard
    to the refs by our esteemed bigger.

  11. Maybe Lacob will axe Kerr and hire Frank. :/

    How come no new conspiracy theories lately?

    For my own wacky idea, I wouldn’t mind seeing Lee and JMMcAdoo start. Lee for all of Feltbots previously cited reasons, and MacA just to shake things up, hustle, throw his body around and give two or 4 fouls, if he has to. The one thing he has shown is a willingness to bang in the paint, and he’s mobile and can run the floor. Even if it’s only for 6-8 minutes- just keep him on a short leash. The Warriors are getting out-athleticized. Bogut and Barnes would be on the pine, of course, as they haven’t brought the requisite energy to open the games. Id like Kerr to go deep into his bench and attempt to run this Cavs team ragged. If a combo is working, stick with it, be it Lee, Speights, or even a couple minutes of Justin. But he’ll probably go the “safe” route and just stick with what has gotten the team 80 wins (and slow starts in playoff games)
    I’m gonna crack my first beer at tip-off, instead of at the half. This games calls for throwing out all the stops

  12. It was just reported that Jerry West threatened to resign his position if the Warriors traded Klay Thompson.

    That’s how close it came.

  13. Here’s the piece on Jerry West from which the above info was drawn. There is much, much more in here, a fabulous, must read article:

    http://www.si.com/nba/2015/06/11/jerry-west-nba-finals-golden-state-warriors?page=3&devicetype=default

    Of note for this series:
    — The player whose knee West is worried about must be Bogut. Our eyes have not been deceiving us.
    — West predicted early in the season that the lack of a third shooter would be an Achilles heel for the Warriors, and got in Myers ear about it. I believe a certain blogger did as well.

    • thanks. it seems that west was the first coach who bothered to point out to mr.barnes how flawed his technique and footwork is in his lay ups.

    • Apparently West was a driving force behind the Bogut trade.

      My favorite quote:

      “To Lacob and co-owner Peter Guber, West provided them, as they called it, ‘the cover of darkness.’ Explains Lacob: ‘Our feeling was, even if we made some mistakes, at least if we had Jerry West involved, how much of idiots could we be?'”

  14. You really think the refs are trying
    not to call fouls on the Cav’s because
    they have a limited bench.

    I remember someone from the
    Timberwolves saying they had
    a deal in place and the Warriors
    pulled it off.

    It’s still not clear whether the deal
    should have gone thru. If the Warriors
    win the title there’s a stronger argument
    That the Warriors did the right thing.
    But if we lose, it would not have been nice
    assuming Love signed with us, to have both
    Love and Martin next year. Or, how would
    like the Warriors playing Cleveland now
    if Love was healthy?

  15. Hope we blow the Cav’s out
    like we did Houston in one
    game on their court.

    • it’s not complicated. both teams have two home games remaining, and Cle has just as much pressure on them as the visitors, knowing they’ll have but one home game after tonight.

  16. (Forgot to do this the last two games)

    TIME TO GET PUMPED UP!

  17. I don t know…

    The statements out of the Warriors camp are about executing their standard offense better, minimum adjustments.

    Again, the justification is their record this season, including the playoffs.

    Hope Kerr is right.

  18. Iguodala starting!

    • Like i been saying — Boguts knees are done.

      • when bogut went into the game, the pace immediately reverted to what Cle prefers.

        • And of all the guys a 7 footer could useful, it’s defending and rebounding against Mosgov.

          Bogut could hardly walk much less play NBA basketball.

    • d’mond with five fouls goes back in to close the game, their pace immediately quickens and Cle concedes. bogut barely saw the floor for the game, ezeli and speights nada until the game was decided.

  19. Feltbot, they found their 3rd shooter/scorer. It just took starting him.

    Now if Kerr would just start DLee instead of Barnes…

    But that can’t happen. The choice always been between Barnes and Lee, as you stated for quite awhile.

    • The oddest part of the box score is seeing Iguodala with 0 assists. They needed another scorer to step up, and he did.

      • Barnes started at the 4, better than him starting at the 3.

        • barnes can keep up defensively with more 4’s than he’s able with wings. the roster is versatile enough that they can flip him in and out to minimize the opponents identifying mismatches unfavorable to him, and how to exploit them.

    • I wondered about that as well. Lee could do a better job against Mozgov, and that puts Green at 4. I don’t think Kerr has permission to bench Barnes.

      • “I don’t think Kerr has permission to bench Barnes.”

        lol, you never give up, don’t you ?

  20. Game 4:

  21. That Tim K is a real…dumb ass, sorry.

  22. But for the 4th quarter of game 3, the Warriors struggled offensively the previous two games. You have to wonder why Kerr didn’t make this adjustment sooner, as if he felt he had to win this series defensively.

  23. Iggy again! He’s been huge in each of our victories.

    Shauns caught flak in his awkward role as back up PG this season. But he’s an asset and I like him handling when Stephs on the floor, as he’s a point forward who is a much better player than a certain Wubs season long starter..

    I still don’t know why DLee can’t return next year. Please enlighten me someone!

    • lee himself made a low key remark to a beat writer that he didn’t expect to be around another season. lacob likes to talk about his willingness to go into luxury tax, but he has yet to face a serious bill for one. if myers can slide off part of lee’s salary in a deal (could easily require more than one team, similar to unloading biedrins and jefferson) they probably choose $$ over the insurance lee would give them on the roster. they’ll be asking themselves, do they really need both lee and speights, when neither defend more mobile players well nor shoot 3’s, so lee might stay if there is no market at all for him, while they drop speights.

      but that is looking at the situation from the owner’s chair, not as the player and his agent will see it. he wants to continue his career at an above minimum pay scale after his deal expires, but why should he trust the coach to maintain his viability and effectiveness ? he could sit down with ex player’s agent myers in late June, hey didn’t make any complaints about being dumped by kerr for most of the season, so find a team that needs me to play if kerr plans more of the same for me. lee’s been perfectly professional and discreet, but are you positive he won’t see kerr as ruining his post-GS future.

      • I would be much more concerned with Bogut.

        He can hardly run or jump because of his knees, can’t shoot because of his elbow, and makes $12M/year.

        Does he make more next season?

      • I’d be very surprised if Lee is a Warrior next season. As you say, moto, it would be terrible for his career, and since Kerr does not want him on the floor it’s a waste of the team’s salary budget.

        I don’t get that last bit, but it is the way it is. Last night he only played as a sub for Draymond. He did well (9 pts, 5 rebounds, 3 assists in 15 minutes and GREAT box-outs on D), but name another backup in the league who earns Lee’s kind of salary.

    • Team will try to dump Lee’s salary with Green’s contract impending. Look at this way, if you give Green 12-15 mils a year, warriors will be over cap and probably have to pay 2.5 times. So, keeping Lee and signing Green can cost warriors some where 25-35 mils per year just in lux tax. So, in a way dumping Lee’s contract will save team something like 25-40 mils a year. IF you can’t dump Lee’s contract, waiving like Josh Smith is another option for team. Lee knows this and seemed to have accepted the fact that he has to move on over in summer.

      Aside from salary issues, Lee probably would like to start or get major role else where.

      Disclaimer: I am not an expert in the cap situation.

      • Harry, think you are spot on. Kerr would not play Green and DLee together, as Hat notes above.

        The starting line-up of DLee, Green, Iguodala, Thompson, Curry is most likely to succeed against the Cavs, IMO.

        Speights would be my 2nd choice over Barnes, if he wasn’t out of conditioning and over weight.

        • Green and Lee as PF/C can work but it to work, Green has to hit a 3 or else problems with spacing.

    • Here in what would cost dubs if Lee comes back next year, good informative article, not sure about accuracy.

      http://www.goldenstateofmind.com/2015/4/28/8477149/golden-state-warriors-2015-david-lee-roster-free-agency-offseason

    • Was a great move to start Iggy. Props to Steve Kerr for giving credit to one of his backroom staff. Shows what kind of guy he is.

      http://www.si.com/nba/2015/06/12/warriors-steve-kerr-nick-uren-andre-iguodala-andrew-bogut-nba-finals-cavaliers

      http://www.csnbayarea.com/video_content_type/kerr-warriors-video-coordinator-raised-idea-start-iguodala

      Bogut 3 mins, Mozgov 33 mins despite 28 minutes tells you all you need to know about Game 4! Fun game.

  24. Jim Barnett said the Warriors doubled LeBron sometimes.

    • They doubled James a LOT. As soon as he put the ball on the floor, they sent help to make him pick up the dribble. Just as Felt suggested.

  25. Feltbot, you (and Hat) early in the season, or was it pre-season, predicted Bogut could not finish the play-offs. Well…you were right.

    • It wasn’t exactly a prediction. More like a probable contingency based on his history.

    • Don’t think felt or hat had warriors in finals in mind when they predicted it. It is just a bad match up for Bogut. If Bulls or even Hawks were finalists, Bogut would have still been starter. No one could have predicted Bogut to play 80 plus which he did. Iguodala and Lee accepted bench roles and now Bogut accepted the same, the sacrifices is what makes this team a great team and favorite to win it all.

      • Back in November I predicted 65 wins for the Ws, an insane number. Yeah, I definitely saw them in the finals.

        But I never bet against Bogut, because ALL of his injuries have been situational, not systemic, and his one chronic problem, the ankle, can be somewhat alleviated with limited playing time. Kerr nursed Bogut’s minutes all season long to get him to the finals.

        You’re right, Harry. Mosgov/Thompson has been difficult for Bogut. Not surprising and not his fault, but there it is.

        OTOH, the Cavs have a great coach, and I don’t expect him to stand still after last night. We might see the return of Bogut sooner rather than later.

        • Props to you hat, 65 wins prediction is a great prediction. I think Ezeli actually matches up better with Mozgov though Mozgov might still get his.

          On Lee, I think if Barnes and Green didn’t hit 3s, I could imagine Lee and Barnes minutes swapped yesterday or perhaps even seen Mo Speights. When Barnes and/or Green hit 3s and play stretch 4, it becomes much easier for team to space and that is how you find Iguodala open, Curry has room to drive etc..

          • Wish I could claim genius, but my early wins prediction for the Ws this year was fairly simple-minded.

            After seeing the Ws blow out the Clippers twice in the preseason, it seemed to me that the Ws were easily 10 wins better than last season. When they did it again in their first regular season matchup, I added a few more wins. The Ws won 51 games last season.

            Kerr/Gentry/Adams was so obviously, vastly superior to Mark Jackson & co. that I didn’t see how the team could win less. The only Q was how many more they could take.

        • I remember that Hat. I thought 65 wins was a very optimistic, if not unrealistic, forecast. I had no idea of Kerrs high competency.

        • I thought the coaching can only make a different to up to 4-6 more wins per the season, good enough to get home court and warriors going to western conference finals. I am pleasantly surprised.

          • The diff. between competent coaches probably is 4-5 wins or so.

            Jackson was completely incompetent. He couldn’t even manage a staff of 6 coaches, let alone provide detailed preparation for his team’s games.

            It is possible that Mark Jackson could coach again someday. If he does, he’ll play iso ball in today’s Warriors-ball era. Because he’s an idiot, and he never learns.

  26. Aaaahhh.

    Finally, at the end of the game, Mark Jackson quit talking up the Cavs.

    Jackson LOVES iso ball. “Put the ball in your superstar’s hands and make him make plays!” By Q4, even that brickhead figured out that the Ws had James’ number. I am soooooo glad Jackson is not coaching the Ws.

    Now if we can just get him to STFU more in the announcer’s booth. “Hand down…” Gawd, if I never hear that stupid noise again, that would be really, really fine.

  27. Just want to acknowledge the
    insightful observations made
    by rgg, Marc, rzzmark, and Moto.

  28. When Livingston has the ball up top on half-court sets, often there’s not a defender within 15 feet. Dellavedova, however, has to be covered everywhere, at all times.

    Do we know Bogut is injured? There has been no announcement. He’s disappeared in many games this season and the past two, and we’ve had to speculate. And if he can’t cover Bogut, why did they get him?

    Iguodala provided much last night in terms of spacing and pace. But he was also a primary scorer, and I don’t know they can count on this the remaining games. They may still need another option.

    It’s just hard to run an offense with a non-scorer in Bogut and passive scorer in Barnes.

  29. I assume we will here from our blog master presently. He’s been talking about this game for the past five years.

  30. Terrific strategy by Kerr last night:

    1: He inserted Iggy into the lineup and took
    Bogut out to allow him to defend the wings
    better. And he added to that by have the
    perimeter players defend the three ball, and
    he took Curry off of Della (best thing in the
    world) for most of the game and placed him
    on Shumpert who can’t shoot. Smart. More
    importantly he he had his perimeter players
    pick up their men above the three point line
    while I’ve been so hoping he would do.
    Result: Cleveland shot 4-27 on three’s and
    Della shot 3-14, Shumpert 2-9, Smith 3-12,
    Jones 0-3 and James 7-22.
    In return,

    By playing a smaller line, Kerr wittingly or
    unwittingly allowed the Cav’s to shoot 2’s inside
    and to score at a high percentage as Mosgov
    and were combined 15-26 from the field, and
    Mosgov scored 10-12 from the foul line.

    If Kerr had played Speights for Barnes, almost
    positive the Cav’s would not have shot a high
    percentage inside nor dominated the boards as
    Mosgov and Thompson by themselves combined
    for 12 of the Cav’s offensive rebounds.

    Maybe have given up a few more points outside
    with Speight’s but overall I think we would have
    been better off.

    Kerr is playing with fire by not playing Speights
    as Green was murdered under the defense boards.
    One reason that the Cav’s took early leads in both
    the first and third quarters.

    Will write more about the offense and players later.

    Do think Warrior will sweep the next two games
    if Kerr doesn’t screw it up.

    • Shumpert career fg% .396, 3-pt .342
      Dellavedova career fg% .386, 3-pt .388

      Neither is a lights-out shooter but they’re not that different, and because of his size Shumpert should have more success against Curry than Dellavedova. He should have eaten Curry alive.

      I think the reason Curry was on Shumpert wasn’t for defense. It was to make Curry harder for Dellavedova to find on the other end of the floor.

      Mo is overweight and out of shape. He can barely play. 2-3 min. at a time. Barnes played 33 min. last night. That’s not even possible for Speights.

  31. Failed to mention that Lee playing
    helped the Warriors immensely on
    defense last night as he was our
    only inside defender and did a great
    job rebounding.

  32. Kerr didn’t play for offense in any of the first three games. They didn’t break 100 in regulation in any. And this is how they beat Lebron and whatever team he plays for.

  33. Am enjoying MJax’s commentary. He made a comment about players willing to accept a bench role and step up, referring to Iguodala, and those who wouldn’t or couldn’t. Guess. Both he and SvG have talked about the difficulties of playing 4 on 5 with Bogut on the court. There were other comments in this regard.

    • Boguts really hard to figure out. Some games he justifies his 2nd team All-NBA defensive selection, and then, as in the last two games, he’s glued to the floor and looks like D-Leaguer. Last night his best tactic was grabbing handfuls of Cavalier jersey. As has been noted here, he often perks up and plays better at home. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him play better next game. But that wouldn’t be too hard because he was shitaecious.
      He’s just one of the question marks the team will ponder over in the off-season. How big a roll can he be counted on for next year? I like him for 16-24 (max) minutes a game, seeing as he’s under contract and probably untradeable.
      Maybe he can work on his flexibility or core or whatever would make him a little springier next year, if he has the desire and/or this is even possible
      If Harrison isn’t hitting his open shots he’s a glaring minus.
      Anyway, we’re back in the drivers seat, as badly as the Splash bros have been playing

      • I think Bogut is playing hurt more than he has in the past. And this is why he doesn’t play when he’s hurt.

      • The Warriors have to get off to a good start and play a strong first half. They can’t allow the Cavs to get into a rhythm and have to play catchup.

        Bogut isn’t going to give any points or provide offensive options. The evidence is clear, and has been all year. And his value as a facilitator has been neutralized, as Lowe noted in his recap of Game 2.

        Put Lee on Mozgov. He’s nobly fronted bigs his entire career.

        • That’s why I don’t want to give Kerr too much credit on his decision to sit Bogut for Iggy. It wass a no-brainer, unless he liked the way games 2 & 3 started..
          Starting DLee at the 5, with Iggy and Draymond, is something my layman’s eyes wanna see too. But now we’re not in dire straits, so this won’t happen.

          • Thompson and Mozgov got 40 points, over twice their regular and post season averages. Put Lee and Green in. They’ll both do an adequate job against the two.

            #BenchBarnes

  34. Won’t be able to write anything until tomorrow. Still recovering.

  35. I’m not clear what Blatt was trying to do last night. Obviously he was trying to get the other players going and then come back to Lebron. But it wasn’t working well, and I’m not clear why not, though Warrior defense is a large factor.

    I think it’s harder for the others to score when the pressure is on to keep up or catch up. And they showed it last night in their shooting. The first three games, Lebron was able to keep the team even or build early leads.

    And it has to be confessed, Delly and Lebron looked tanked.

    • In a nutshell,

      Warriors shot 46.8% overall, 40% from 3.
      Cavs went 33% overall, 14.8% from 3.

      Yes, it was the Ws defense, specifically their wing D. As noted elsewhere, Draymond had a rough time but while Mozgov shot 56% for 28 points and Thompson shot 60%, everyone else tanked. JR Smith 2-12, Shumpert 2-9, Delly 3-14.

      27 shots at 14.8% doesn’t get it done. 33% shooting doesn’t get it done. Especially when the Cavs won the rebounding battle by only 5 boards.

  36. Kerr did everything right on offense last night.

    He played early offense, increased the tempo,
    and ran. I predicted that his doing so would
    increase the Warriors FG percentage which
    rose to a respectable 48 percent, and we shot
    40 percent on three’s. All on the road. Moreover,
    by quickening running and having Green do
    stop and pops or floaters, we got to the foul
    line more and there was only a 1 point
    differential in foul shooting I said would happen.

    As far as players who played, Kerr decided
    to go with virtually all offensive players as Bogut
    was only on the court a brief period of time. All
    had fairly decent shooting nights.

    Surprisingly, the shot distribution was off as
    Thompson played 39 minutes and only took
    7 shots. He needs to do more.

    The big surprise on offense was both Iggy
    and Green. Iggy went off on three’s and
    converted on fast breaks. His insertion into
    the starting line-up for Bogut was tremendous.

    Green also had a good offensive game scoring
    17 points by doing stop and pops and floaters.
    And he drew fouls in doing so. He didn’t try
    to force himself inside and when the one or
    two times he did he thankfully got a foul
    call on the opposing player.

    The Warrior outscored the Cav’s again with
    Lee on the court. When he’s in, he’s the team
    glue. He shot three for seven from the field and on
    one of those shots he missed the Warriors got
    the offensive rebound. He’s the only Warrior
    who can get to the hoop in traffic. Being rusty,
    (Kerr’s fault) he missed there easy lay-ups. But
    for two games he’s 7-11 from the field. He was
    the only inside defender we had last night.

    The Warriors outscored their the Cav’s last
    night with Barnes on the court but did so
    by the lowest margin of any starter an indication
    he should not be playing anywhere the number
    of minutes he has been playing. Speight would
    give as much offense and certainly more defense
    inside that the Warriors desperately need.

    Must add that Kerr the worse making adjustments
    during a game.

    All in all, terrific offense last night.

    • Lee rusty—

      I will never understand this. But for the last two games, he hasn’t played much at all in the playoffs. And but for a few exceptions, he didn’t play significant minutes regular season, either. Many of his minutes were in garbage time.

      I wonder about his back injury against NO. Lee has never backed down from playing while injured. There’s a story here we’re not getting, and the last person to tell us is David Lee. Harrison Barnes, however, didn’t mind telling the national press that he didn’t think MJax’s isos were appropriate for him (recall MJax’s comments last night).

      • Boy, do you hate anyone else more than Barnes ??

        Your wish of benching Barnes may come true but not for the reasons you hate him for.

        • we don’t know any of these players personally harry. partisans get sentimentally attached to their guys for various reasons, but the lack of sentimentality is not the same as ‘hate’. please recall one of curry’s m.v.p. award conferences, the one he mentioned nearly every teammate — he said he’d vote for mr.barnes running for any office.

          barnes knows how to pitch his spiel to please his audience. right after he was drafted, he expressed confidence in being able to play better in the n.b.a. than in college, because it suited him better, including one on one/isolation hoops like his role model, the arrogance. it was a sale pitch for his new career. what do you think he was selling to the preacher, when he had those plays called for him. he changed his pitch after he failed to convert his plays and read all the negative reviews about his performances. almost every n.b.a. player does this role playing for the public and media in their own way of course, but barnes’ style is so transparent that his peers have teased him about being a politician since his school days.

  37. Lef out my man Livingston. He was terric
    last night. The Warriors were a plus 25 with
    him on the court. He made 4 assists, made
    his shots and played terrific D. Should also
    note that Lee had three assists in only 15
    minutes on the court.

    • He was. I really like his game. Like to see him go straight up
      On those turn around Js or 1 or 2 dribbles at most.

  38. That twit to the Chippy guy Onion article got a laugh out of me Feltbot, and I don’t laugh out loud at too much when reading things. I was frequently the ToddMeier.
    I had a sales job once and it quickly de-volved into an exercise in covering my ass and hanging on to my job for as long as possible (it was salaried-selling “industrial strapping solutions”.) I learned to form alliances and the chippy dude everyone hated became my best ally-til he turned on me. But I was ready to leave.

    • For our weekly 8 am sales teams video-conference sessions I would sit in my bed with a shirt and tie on, in my underwear (they only saw u from the chest up), and feign being chipper

  39. I like Barnes. Not for benching
    him. Just know we need help
    defending inside and believe
    Speights can do that.

    With Love and Irving out
    the Cav’s are a crappy tea.
    Have only two good players-
    James and Mosgov. After
    two losses, that never should
    have occurred, is Kerr
    slowly figuring out who should
    play and how they should play.

  40. Scoring first quarter/slow starts:

    Game 1 (OT win)
    Cavs 29
    GS 19

    Game 2 (OT loss)
    Cavs 20
    GS 20

    Game 3 (loss)
    GS 20
    Cavs 24

    Game 4 (rout)
    GS 31
    Cavs 24

  41. Maui Nellie

    “Small-ball guru Don Nelson lauds Warriors’ big-time move”

    http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Small-ball-guru-Don-Nelson-lauds-Warriors-6324953.php

    • Damn paywall.

    • “Kerr’s the MVP of the Finals, if we win. I’m going to give it to the coach. First time in history that the MVP goes to the coach. Because this move is what’s going to make us win, I think.”

      “I’m so glad Kerr did what he did,” Nelson said. “He’s flattening the defense out a little bit for Curry, which I like a lot, like (Gregg Popovich) does with (Manu) Ginobili. That way the other team can’t double-team him all the time. (Curry) made a couple of baskets on that first-quarter set. I like that a lot.”

      “So for him to make that move was really important, as far as I was concerned. I thought it needed to be done and he did it, and it worked.
      “Now there’s hope again, we’ve got the home court back. … He’s just such a good young coach. I’m just really proud of him. We’re just so lucky to have him in Golden State, just so lucky to have the guy.”

    • I do hope the irony is noted. Lacob’s first action was to fire Nelson. His first priority, up until this season, was to go big.

      • Kerr is clearly his own man. He’s earned Lacob’s respect, and maybe more importantly, Jerry West’s.

        I know Felt used to rail about Lacob being the de facto GM, but I think it’s pretty clear going forward this is Steve Kerr’s team.

        • Not quite—

          And they still don’t have good scouts.

          • Riley is not a good scout ??

          • Riley has had no influence since Ezeli and Green. Look it up. The rest since are Myers and K. Lacob joints.

          • Honestly, rgg, you don’t actually know how much influence Riley has had, or will have in the future. You don’t even know the names of the other scouts, do you?

            Re the “irony” of firing Nelson,

            – I’m Nelson’s biggest fan but he looked completely burned out in his last season coaching Cohan’s scraps and leavings.

            – Nelson’s reputation was that of a cantankerous, arrogant, Machiavellian who manipulated management as much as he cooperated with them, and he left multiple owners unhappy with the results. Brilliant and talented yes, but he truly was not a guy who could fit Lacob’s consensus-driven management philosophy. In my view, Lacob handled the firing as poorly as possible, but he was right. Nelson definitely was not the guy for the job Lacob had in mind (Mjax wasn’t either, of course, though I’m sure Lacob thought he could turn his rookie coach into a team player).

            – Nelson had an eye for talent, but wasn’t great at player development, or, for that matter, even working with players. How many players forced themselves off of Nelson teams, or even forced Nelson out (a la NY Knicks)? Can you imagine Iggy coming off the bench for Nelson? Can you picture players demanding an exit from Kerr’s team?

            rgg, your continuing quest for perfection is admirable in its way, but let’s not re-write history to make Nelson a saint. Like everybody, he was a mixed bag.

  42. On Game 5 related note, James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett are doing the National Anthem. Stoked!

  43. rgg: Good point you make regarding the
    importance of the first quarter. The small
    starting line-up basically just held their
    own and no more at the beginning of the
    game as the score was tied 20-20 when
    Lee entered with 3 minutes to go. With
    Lee on the court, the Warriors extended
    the lead to 31-24 at the end of the first
    quarter. So in 3 minutes the Warriors scored
    11 points and the Cav’s only 4 an indication
    that the Warriors played better on both
    sides of the ball with him in there. Given
    the importance of the first quarter, such
    is a good indication that Lee should start.

    It should be noted that that the Warriors
    outshot the Cav’s 46 percent to 26 percent.
    Such produced approximately 30 more
    points. It was offset by the Cav’s scoring
    8 more points then the Warriors by garnering
    9 more offensive rebounds.This is another reason that
    we need to get bigger inside as one cannot
    expect the shooting percentage
    disparity to be the same in Sunday’s game. And Lee
    and Speights are good shooters.

    Warriors have to continue to have it’s perimeter players
    extend and defend the perimeter and not help out
    inside and have to run to the three point line. And their
    cheating inside has had no virtual effect anyhow. Watch
    Sunday to see if three point shooters are left wide open.

    • Getting out to a good start is a major reason the Warriors have been so successful this season. Look at the box scores. They build leads that put opponents on their tails and often carry them the rest of the game. I’ve forgotten—how many 4th. quarters has Curry been able to sit.

    • It just makes sense to start Lee, Green, Iguodala, Klay, and Steph. Lee will do a better job on on Mozgov. Green can take on Thompson, and since he is a limited scorer, play off and pick up Lebron. Or they can better work their switches. They can’t count on Iguodala to score. Lee gives them another scoring option and another facilitator and another good head. Barnes, who seldom scores 1st. quarter and doesn’t facilitate, can sub in all game at 3 and 4 to keep the players fresh.

      And it won’t happen. I can’t think of any good reason why not.

      • our reviewer thought the article on mr.barnes he linked above was fascinating and sympathetic, and if not all that, it’s still a couple of thousand words indicating the main ‘good reason’ lee won’t start. it’s clear by now that kerr and management firmly believe barnes does more for them as a two way player than lee, and there is considerable reluctance in kerr to increase lee’s role. even returning from injury, speights probably stays in front of lee in the rotation if Cle hadn’t successfully imposed its pace in the first three games and taken a short lived 2-1 advantage in games.

        • Everything we’ve read in the local and national press and even Kerr’s own words tell us Barnes is receiving special dispensation. It’s hard to believe Kerr isn’t under pressure, if not order, to start Barnes regardless.

          The brain trust, I’m guessing, are confident they will be able to deal Lee and his contract next year—but why?—and have decided there is no point in giving Lee significant minutes this year. I’m sure, too, they have taken the evidence of the regular season, ambiguous as it is, as “proof” Barnes belongs there.

          There’s no other explanation.

  44. Pingback: The Full Nelson: Warriors 103 Cavaliers 82 - 2015 NBA Finals Game 4 Recap - Feltbot's Warriors Blog