Smallball versus Smallball: Warriors 104 Cavs 91 — 2015 NBA Finals Game 5 Recap

This game followed the Game 4 script enough that I’m not going to give a full recap. Here are my bullet points:           

— Brilliant counter by Blatt to pull Mozgov and go small, but the Cavs just don’t have enough bodies to sustain it. And wasn’t it a brilliant move by Kerr to force this adjustment? The Warriors can afford to take players off the board. The short-handed Cavs cannot.

— For my money, LeBron is the greatest player of all time. Do you realize that everyone he’s currently playing with is a bench player? What LeBron is doing is incredible.

— I don’t buy the narrative I heard after the game, that the Warriors’ smallball team is better than the Cavs’. What if the Cavs had just one more playable bench guard? The Warriors smallball team is DEEPER than the Cavs, that is the trumping factor in this series. That is what is allowing the Warriors to separate themselves in fourth quarters and overtimes, while the Cavs control play for the first three quarters.

We won’t get into a discussion of who would have the better smallball team if the Cavs had Kyrie and Love. That’s a question for future years.

— The Cavs blitzed Curry harder than they ever have — there were very few simple switches in this game. And for most of the game Curry really struggled getting the pass off. (A symptom of how little the Warriors ran high pick and roll, and played against blitzes, this season?)

But the Cavs ran out of gas in the 4th, Curry got iso’d, and the MVP made an appearance.

— David Lee was awful. I saw him give up an easy rebound early because he simply couldn’t get off the floor. He again couldn’t find the basket on his layup attempts. And I thought I saw him pull up lame after his last miss, which made me wonder if he’s not all there physically, or if he tweaked something. He was pulled immediately after. And when Festus was brought in against Mozgov in the 4th Q, that didn’t reassure me.

— By the way, if Bogut is truly healthy, why no minutes? Why Festus? Kerr is clearly fibbing again. As he should.

— Barnes was awful early, and lost minutes to Livingston. In the 4th quarter though, he redeemed himself with several key boards and tips.

— Blatt has one final adjustment to make, which I view as key: in the 4th Q, he has to defend the Curry ISOs with his best defender: Shumpert. Which means LeBron on Klay, Delly on Barnes.

Will he do it? Will the Cavs have enough gas left in the tank to do it?

Another short turnaround. The Warriors will be favored to close this out in six.

106 Responses to Smallball versus Smallball: Warriors 104 Cavs 91 — 2015 NBA Finals Game 5 Recap

  1. This game was settled in the fourth quarter and started with the score tied77-77 with 8 minutes to go. It was Curry v. James and Curry won, by going 4-6 from the field including making 3’3’s, and four foul shots for a total of 15 points in 8 minutes of play. James went 3-7, made 2-3’s, and made two foul shots, thus totaling 10 points.

    James had one of the greatest first half ever. No other player has ever put up his stats in scoring, rebounds, and assists in a half.

    The Cav’s were an atrocious perimeter shooting team missing wide open shot after shot. The Warriors perimeter defense was virtually no factor. And Lebron exploited the Warriors inside by the Warriors going small.

    It seemed to me that the Warriors would have had this game in hand if both Speights and Lee were on the court together. They weren’t so such is pure speculation on my part. While I predicted a game six victory one cannot say that with any certainty as the Warriors will continue to play small, and playing Barnes as many minutes he did with him having no clue whether to shoot or drive and making the wrong decision most time. But his garnering 6 offensive revounds offset many of his mistakes.

    would be a mistake to put down Lee’s performance as he played few minutes and was on the court with a terrible second unit.

    What is clear is that the Cav’s are a one man team and it’s difficult to see them winning based on that. But Kerr is doing everything he can in my judgment to give the Cav’s an opportunity to do so.

  2. I agree. Bogut’s and DLee’s seasons are over and possibly their careers.

    With Kyrie (never mind Love), it’s a different series, don’t know who would win.

    Rick Barry said before the game LeBron is the best 3 of all time. Wonder how he would respond if asked who is the best player of all time? I thinking how would say LeBron.

  3. iggy was what, 2-11 from the line?, finals game 5, and yet, I’m delighted with his performance. Crazy world. Big time on D, earnin his $$!

  4. Good thoughts Felt. I am expecting Cavs to bring Tristan off bench in favor of Lebron and Mozgov front court.

    • That was my first thought when they reported he may have been vomiting. Added to his periods of being almost spaced out, it does make me wonder. Scary if true.

      • There is no way to disprove it if you want to speculate lingering concussion, but what was described is quite consistent with dehydration.
        He plays the game high intensity non-stop in the sweltering arena, has a dozen interviews after, most under klieg lights. He’s hot and dry. Didn’t pay enough attention to immediate rehydrating. Muscles demanding blood flow to replete exhausted nutrients and to repair themselves, vessels dilated to accommodate, gets up from the presser and there’s not quite enough blood to go everywhere including the brain so he becomes dizzy, bends head down to equalize blood flow, feels unsteady and nauseated. Makes sense.

        My theory does not rule out a concomitant post-concussion syndrome, if you wish to keep that one going.

        • don’t want to keep anything going. Just trying to make sense of what’s happening.

          • My thought is that common things occur commonly and look for the simplest explanation first.
            Sometimes the explanation turns out to be deeper.

            The old saying goes, “If you hear hoof beats it’s probably horses. But it might be zebras.”

          • That’s very sensible. And how common has it been for us to hear of Stephen Curry being stricken with dehydration after a game? Of being light-headed and nauseous?

  5. Funny how things work out.

    “Remember November?… Whether the Warriors would contend for a title seemed to hinge on one condition: “If Bogut can stay healthy … ”

    Seven months later, the Warriors are the favorites to win it all — as long as Bogut doesn’t play. ”

  6. Boiling down the last two wins
    to simplest of terms the Warriors
    won by playing small ball as other
    then James, Cleveland has no perimeter
    players capable of consistently
    taking it to the hoop and scoring, which
    Is necessary to defeat small ball. And
    Such is compounded by their perimeter
    players hitting their outside jump shot.
    As a result the best Cleveland could do
    is score in the low 80’s and 90’s the
    last two games.

    And by the Warriors playing only
    offensive players they were able to
    break 100 points the last two games.
    But unlike Cleveland the Warriors shot
    well from the perimeter. But like
    Cleveland they also don’t have players
    that can exploit small ball defenses by
    taking it to the hoop. We have no Monte

  7. The view from the other side:

    He notes injury and exhaustion in the Cavs:

    “But what choice do the Cavs have? How the hell are they going to run an offense without LeBron doing everything? Delly is gassed and apprehensive, Shumpert’s clearly hurt, and J.R. Smith is playing with his head up his bum sometimes.”

    And questions Warrior foul play:

    “The Warriors have returned to 1995, when hand-checking was legal, especially on LeBron and guys coming off screens, and the Cavs seem to be playing by rules that govern basketball in this millennia. I’ve seen Klay, Iggy, and Draymond all get away with holds on screens on offense, and holds on guys coming off screens on defense, not to mention the jersey grabbing, the over-the-back fouls, the pushes, and the moving screens. Draymond Green might get away with using his hands on screens and box-outs more than any other player in the league.”

    Game 6 is scarcely a given. An adjustment on Barbosa and some cold shooting could turn the tide. Also the Warriors starters are logging heavy minutes themselves, especially Curry. And they haven’t performed well with Curry off the court. -11 in 4 minutes last night, if I calculated correctly. Look at the graph the minutes Curry rests:

    I’m reminded of formula one racing, late in the race. You’ve decided to skip the final pit stop even though you’re low on gas and your breaks are hot and your tires are bald.

    I’m running on fumes myself.

    • “brakes”

    • Cle looked pretty spent physically in the fourth quarter, and it was probably a major contributing factor to the spike in GS performances, particularly curry and barnes. as our guv noted, decreasing mosgov’s minutes puts a greater burden on the depleted Cle bench, particularly on thompson, who was usually a reserve when love was healthy. dellavedova has already hit a dehydration wall, and probably curry has as well ; smith appears his mental and motivation reserves are shot.

      with only one off day before their final home game, the Cle tank might hit empty before the fourth quarter tomorrow night.

  8. Spot-on Felty observation: “For my money, LeBron is the greatest player of all time. Do you realize that everyone he’s currently playing with is a bench player?” All I can compare it to is Tom Brady winning four Super Bowls with nobodies as his receivers and running backs (Gronk at tight end this year is the exception).

    Someone criticized Kerr for not playing Mo Speights. Are you kidding me? Don’t you see how much weight Mo gained in his rehab? Didn’t you see him lifting off for that dunk attempt like he had “trained” at Everett and Jones, alternating “sets” of forkfuls and mugfuls?

    • Don’t short Mo- he probably had numerous spoonfuls too

      You forgot to mention Brady playing with his under-inflated balls.

    • 1-4 on dunks in post season, ouch. That said, when he makes that jumper as a stretch C, he helps team immensely, even for short spurts. Not a major minute player but ideal bench player against most teams.

  9. Barnes 4th quarter stats:

    6 rebs, 3 off, 2ast, 2 stl, 1 blk, 1-1 FG, 1TO and 1 PF

    I think he did better than good, did better than anyone but Curry.

    Blatt though thought did a mistake and probably gave warriors a break by subbing Mozgov with TT in 4th quarter. Cavs looked good with Moz in 4th quarter.

  10. felt,

    “That’s very sensible. And how common has it been for us to hear of Stephen Curry being stricken with dehydration after a game? Of being light-headed and nauseous?”

    100 games and playing heavy minutes, averaging 40 mpg in playoffs while also playing D unlike years before may be taking toll on Curry and he must have been dehydrated, IMO. One more game and then he should be resting for 3 months.

    • Maui Nellie

      “That’s very sensible. And how common has it been for us to hear of Stephen Curry being stricken with dehydration after a game? Of being light-headed and nauseous?”

      And how common has it been for Steph to be playing 40+ pressure packed minutes a game this season? The fact is, that even though Curry is averaging over 42 mpg in the Finals after 5 games he’s still averaging less than 40 mpg this postseason. Added to his 32 mpg regular season numbers and it’s not surprising to see Steph’s body “bark back” somewhat after a performance like last night’s.

      (An “Oh, btw” related to the subject of hydrating after a stressful athletic performance, LeBron was constantly taking swigs of his beverage of choice during his postgame media session while Steph brought no such liquids to his postgame presser.)

    • Didn’t Curry have 3 days off before last night’s game? And a week off before the series started?

      I don’t recall a single instance of Curry ever being dehydrated after a game, including long-minute performances on back to backs, or on the fourth game in five nights. Not one single instance. Do you?

      Now I’m not saying that isn’t what happened. But if you’re going to tell me that “common things occur commonly” as proof that he was dehydrated, I’m going to scratch my head.

      And if you’re going to tell me that the Warriors said he was dehydrated, so he must have been dehydrated, then I’m going to laugh. The Warriors are liars about the physical condition of their players. We have seen too many instances of that to even count. They are also willing to cover up a player’s concussion, and try to game the NBA protocols with statements to the press. We have proof of that as well.

      You are welcome to your certainty. I will keep an open and skeptical mind, thank you very much.

      • Maui Nellie

        Yes, Curry had 3 days off, a week off, etc, but that has little to do with becoming dehydrated. The amounts of liquids you consume leading up to an athletic performance is the key factor in the equation so if Steph happened to neglect hydrating his body in the proper manner leading up to Game 5, and that very much includes hydrating on the day of the game, he would be at risk for what reportedly happened last night.

        Have I ever read about Steph being dehydrated after a game in the past? No, but when was the last time the Warriors were covered by the media to this extent (Finals)? If what happened last night had instead taken place in the relative quiet of a regular season postgame lockerroom with a scant few media members present and the only evidence of the diagnoses being Steph drinking a bottle of some sports beverage, no one outside of Curry and the trainer would ever know.

        As for the Warriors “covering up a player’s concussion”, I see no evidence of that given what’s been reported by national media sources. When Steph took his horrendous looking fall vs the Rockets he missed approximately 1 hour of real time while doctors ran the protocol tests on him and only then was allowed to return after those tests reportedly revealed he did not suffer a concussion. That was 3 weeks ago, and assuming he was simply dehydrated last night (no contrary reports thus far), all signs point to a correct (non-concussed) diagnoses.

        As for Klay and his head injury, while doctors may have erred in allowing him to return to the bench shortly after checking him out in the lockerroom, they did report him suffering from concussion symptoms a few hours after the game ended which reportedly manifested itself from the loud music being played in the lockerroom. From there he was constantly monitored and tested per league concussion rules resulting in a shutdown from team practices until he was able to pass all league mandated tests. After being cleared, and to this day, Klay has appeared fine with no outward signs of any lingering after effects.

        The subject of team doctors as it relates to the care of pro athletes is filled with potholes and open for debate given the big money at stake as it pertains to the performance of these players and their teams. The Cavs never even tested LeBron for a possible concussion after he hit his head on that camera, and here he was hours after the game, during his media session, admitting he had a headache. Did Kyrie Irving receive competent medical advice from team and independent doctors (as long as you can tolerate the pain you needn’t worry about exacerbating the injury) before suffering his season-ending injury? Welcome to a very lively debate table which surrounds the world of pro sports and the medical community.

    • I researched dehydration symptoms and found vomiting is not a primary one listed.

      Sudden light headedness and muscle cramps are primary dehydration symptoms.

      Curry was not reported with muscle cramps.

      • Did Curry vomit yesterday ? I don’t think so even though vomitting can also happen with dehydration. I read discomorft and I equated that to dizziness which is common for dehydration. Here is from WebMD.

        • I heard so on CSN. It was also reported as simply nausea, which along with dizziness are symptoms in common it seems.

          To me Curry looked concussed. Delly looked dehydrated. Can’t really explain why.

          • Maui Nellie

            Nowhere on CSN’s web site ( does it mention anything about Curry vomiting, nor is it reported anywhere on ESPN’s site. It was also reported on another blog last night that Curry left Oracle in an ambulance, yet another supposed factoid that can’t be substantiated.

            To me Curry did not look concussed during his postgame media session, but like yourself I’m not sure what “concussed” looks like.

          • Marcus Thompson tweeted the vomiting. But maybe Steph was bending over from being lightheaded and people assumed he was nauseous. Amazing how fast things get passed around! And how quickly stripes can be painted on a horse.

          • Marc,

            A person who is concussed can’t handle that much work load and will look disoriented., IMO.

          • Still– I have to add Steph hasn’t looked “right” since the fall, at least not to me. Could be nerves or anything but something’s been off.

          • This is what is said by MT, nope he didn’t tweet that he vomitted. BTW: not blaming you or trying to prove anything but just amused how misinformation is passed on to us.


            Marcus Thompson ‏@ThompsonScribe 22h22 hours ago
            Stephen Curry is in the training room with his mom and wife after feeling ill. He was doubled over in the hall like he was going to vomit

          • Agree, Harry, but MT’s comment was preceded by one saying Steph was nauseous. Natural progression. I’m glad he’s ok– I was worried.

  11. More GSW (management) praise from ESPN.

  12. Surprised that know one points out
    that Speights would provide more
    interior defense then anyone in
    the present starting line-up.

    • Speights works up a sweat walking downcourt. The dude is in un-playable condition. He’s been gaining weight all season and now he’s a blimp. He’s eating/drinking his way out of the NBA. If he doesn’t clean up his act, he won’t even be a Warrior next season.

      • I don’t understand how one can gain weight during season. I thought he looked like gained weight during all star break. He was overweight last season and was missing dunks all the time. This season at the start, he looked in much better shape.

        • things you don’t know about speights, going by your comment : how much activity does he maintain if he’s not seeing more than token game minutes, and does he change his intake according to his activity level. has he ever consulted an internist and endocrinologist on what kinds of foods are best for his system and then get a dietician to plan his meals. if he hasn’t done the absolute minimum of cutting his carbs, sugars, and harmful fats way down, and his system is typical for many well fed americans with varying stages of insulin resistance, those calories turn into fat.

          • Speights is a drinker.


          • “things you don’t know about speights”

            You mean, things we don’t know about Speights, I guess. I don’t know anyone players except for what I gathered through reading and listening.

          • hat, it was his birthday and he was at .1. I’m sure many of us were there at 27 but didn’t get stopped.

          • He’s also a black man who was driving a nice car, in Florida.

          • Riight, y’all. I don’t have evidence. More just a feel. It would explain a lot of Mo’s career.

  13. After watching the finals and thinking about it, I have to draw the conclusion DLee is probably done.

    At this point, he is able to make uncontested lay-ups, grab uncontested boards, and pass. These abilities were useful to get the Warriors moving again in Game 3. In Game 4, the Cavs contested him more and in Game 5 more again.

    He just doesn’t have his legs anymore, due to the previous core injuries/surgeries and hamstring injury, which I believe is related to his core injuries thru the sciatic nerves.

    This is reflected in not being able to get up sufficiently to make contested lay-ups and drives like he used to, lost his reliable mid-range J, and impacted his FT shooting.

    His ability to contribute like he did in Game 3 and 4 is limited and probably does not allow him to continue a successful NBA career.

    Hope I’m wrong, and he makes a recovery in the off season.

    • if the execs on other teams and lacob’s guys (at least the union, al davis, and the bussies have/had a woman exec) see what you see, not at all unlikely, lee might go down the same road as boozer, stoudemire, josh smith.

  14. the kroenke dynasty demonstrates how things get done in their post-karl reboot. one of their execs leaves to revive Sac, undermines malone and helps get him fired. karl, shown the door by the kroenkes, gets hired to revive Sac, d’Alessandro made redundant by divac and karl then exits Sac, finding refuge back with the kroenkes, who now hire malone. we’ll see if d’alessandro’s plans change again after the new hire.

  15. Marc: totally disagree. He’s blown
    Lay-ups but not because they were
    contested. He was 7-11 shooting
    in games 3 and outscored the
    Cav’s in those two games with Lee playing.
    And I believe he was 1-3in game 5. He
    had 3 point assists
    passing to Iggy and others. And he
    Has thwarted shots inside. Also, he’s
    Positions himself well and is our smartest
    Interior defender. True professional just
    like Iggy.

  16. I’m not a doctor and I’ve never played one on TV. But in my 20s my mates and I enjoyed playing tackle football and going out and getting rambunctious, and I suffered from what I believe were (at least ) two serious concussions, where your brain is compressed against the skull due to sudden impact. Of course I didnt go thru protocol, just got stitched up in one incident, but the effects lingered and were obvious. In the mornings especially I remember being off, and the second one triggered a spate of migraines (always preceded by a visual aura), which lasted a couple of months. The person most capable, in my simplistic viewpoint, of knowing when things are back to normal is the person who has suffered the concussion. Because the subtle indications are most noticeable to them , and them alone.
    That being said, it’s better to err on the side of caution, and the protocols are a measuring stick to follow. But all concussions and effects are different, and receiving a diagnosis of “concussion” is as vague as it is definitive. If you pass all the protocol tests are you cured? Not if you don’t feel right.
    Im sensing Currys bigger headache (til last nite) may be Dellavedova. There haven’t been too many guards who have stayed him with like this. Combined with the trapping, Stephs getting overwhelmed at times. He’s not Bron and can’t barrel his way out of these traps, or even pass out of them easily, if he waits too long. Delly was a brute at StMarys too and his intensity set the tone for a couple of Tournament teams. Ekpe Udoh and Baylor knocked em out one year in a game I remember watching on TV- Delly was maybe a Soph and they had him on Baylors hot shot shooting guard- Latavious(?) somebody. I recall the Baylor guard getting ticked off at him. Baylor rolled and Udoh looked pretty good

    I noticed the Clippers just traded for Lance Stevenson. That’s a gamble worth taking, for them. Couldn’t we have enticed the Hornets with Harrison? Especially after his picturesque dunks last nite.

    • just a guess, stephenson isn’t close to the value lacob and gang place on mr.barnes — it’s very possible he reached his peak under vogel and having strong, steady ‘mates around him in Ind. rivers hopes he can see a return to that level of play. the lacobites believe barnes is still on an upward trajectory. just as significant, or probably more for the neo cons in oaktown, the stephenson reputation and how his personality is perceived, stat conscious and not particularly team first.

      • I realize it’s probably crass to discuss dealing Barnes on the possible eve of a championship, but what the heck. I actually watched parts of Mia-ind last pkayoffs, cuz I liked the Pacers. Stephenson played very well. Harden-esque, at times

        • stephenson did play some outstanding hoops in his last season in Ind, which remains his peak. he was also blamed for the team coming down from the outstanding opening months they had before the all star break, thinking too much about bird’s disappointing offer for a contract extension. if you believe he’ll become that player once more, an excellent perimeter defender, combo guard with ability to shoot 3’s and serve as the back up point guard, that is a pretty rare and valuable player. lacob talked himself into believing howard and love are franchise cornerstone players, remember, so it’s hardly a stretch that he would choose to believe mr.barnes is just as valuable, rare, and still improving, while stephenson’s personality wouldn’t blend/complement kerr’s choir boys.

        • Warriors will lose depth at PF if Barnes is dealt.

      • I’m pretty sure Stephenson is considered toxic. He won’t be a Warrior.

        • +1

          There is a reason Pacers shipped Stephenson plus he is coming off a very bad season coinciding with getting big dollars.

          Some here though likens everyone over Harrison Barnes.

  17. I take Ethan Strauss’ tweet to indicate that he too suspects something’s up with Curry.

    • Seems you do want to keep it going. Strauss is referencing a guy who had major facial trauma and fractures. How does that connect? There isn’t evidence that Curry even had a head injury (besides bending over the other night in view of the press, I guess). You may think that the Warriors front office lies about the extent of injuries. Do you also think their neurologists turn their back on the Hippocratic Oath and professional integrity (and lawsuit liability)?

      • take it up with Ethan.

      • Not sure why curiosity is so offensive to you, Gnossos, especially with that name.

        • I’m not offended at all Mary. In my original post I allowed that lingering concussion may or may not be present, although I personally believe that it is hugely more likely that dehydration explains everything the other night. Occam’s razor tells me we that the simplest explanation is the best. Especially when there is no evidence that Curry even had a head injury.

          I am just puzzled as to why these smart guys are looking for a more sinister shady tale. No intention to offend anybody.

          And Feltbot, you used the word “too” in your retweet post to align yourself with ESS. So I thought my question to you was not offsides.

          • In my opinion, something has been “off” in Steph’s play and his demeanor since the fall. It might not be a concussion. It might be an undiagnosed concussion. Steph may be the only one who knows if he is or isn’t “off”. The team and Steph may chalk up anything odd to finals nerves. They may well be correct. I do think there’s a lingering impression that there is more to the story. Who knows? I’m curious. I’m somewhat worried about Steph. All that is simple to me. Can’t speak for anyone else but I don’t think anyone wants sinister to be involved.

            Anyway, agree to disagree is a big part of this blog thanks to Felt.

    • I remember the first time I ran cross country, back in high school. When I reached the finish line I was exhausted and threw up.

      I can’t imagine how much Steph has on his plate. In addition to facing the major thrust of defensive efforts from all the playoff teams, he has also had to uphold the image of MVP in the nation’s eye and make all manner of appearances—that would probably make me throw up again.

  18. Per Dan McCarney’s tweet, it looks like another long night for LeBron.

  19. More on Stephenson to the Clippers:

    It’s the end of the Matt Barnes Era in Clipperville. Barnes is 35, coming off a relatively poor year, and he was never an especially talented guy. But nobody has ever played with more heart, passion and sheer nasty attitude, and I think the Clips will miss him more than they think they’ll miss him. Every team needs at least one MoFo. Maybe Charlotte will buy him out, and the Clips could get him back for cheap.

    Surprised that the Clips gave up on Hawes, especially with DJordan’s contract situation still unresolved. Hawes didn’t play much this year so it’s hard to say, but it seemed he could play, while adding another dimension to the Clips’ offense.

    I wouldn’t bet my team’s future on Lance Stephenson, and I think Rivers will live to regret it. To date, no other coach has been able to reach the guy, and he’s a locker-room problem.

    Maybe Rivers will be able to make him work out, or maybe Doc the GM is screwing over Doc the Coach once again.

    • I think u can trace the Clippers 2nd rd collapse directly to Barnes physical decline (he sprained an ankle on top of everything else). He was their lone wing defender.

      • Matt Barnes was probably the worst starter in the whole league, he was that bad this year. If Clippers had a GM like Cleveland’s and able to add some talent at trade deadline, they would have been in conference finals.

        • Show me a game this postseason from Harry that matches Matt’s Game 1 against Ariza of the Rockets. As for their defense, Harry is not in the 35 yr olds league. You think Matt would let LeBron stuff him into a baby carriage and stroll him under the basket?

          • Harrison is getting schooled by Lebron. That I can agree with and necessiated Iguodala to start the game.

            Barnes had many good performances in playoffs including 4th quarter of last game(6 rebs, 3 off, 2ast, 2 stl, 1 blk, 1-1 FG, 1TO and 1 PF)

            Barnes guarded the respective team’s first options of Harden and Zach Randolph and did well and you are pointing to defense on Ariza, the third or fourth option of a rockets team.

            And this:


            “1. Harrison Barnes was the difference

            Thompson left the game with his ear injury with 9:30 left in the fourth quarter and the Warriors up eight. With Thompson out and Curry struggling, this could have been the Rockets’ chance to make a big move. Instead, Barnes took matters into his own hands by scoring those nine straight points, providing the key secondary scoring that often makes Golden State unbeatable by getting buckets in a variety of ways.”

            Kerr’s system of switch on everything on D is successful because of Barnes ability to defend PFs.

            Also, of course HBarnes is not playing in 35 year old league, may be MBarnes should be playing in over 35 league.

      • Yeah, I guess at 35 we can use the word “decline” instead of “injury.”

        Barnes has had a great career, and it is going to have to end sometime in the next couple of years. A 3-and-D guy with a bum wheel can’t contribute much, and the Clips can find better young players to replace Barnes.

        Stephenson isn’t one of them, and I’m not sure how he’ll fit with the rest of the team. He plays street-ball in an NBA team environment. Huge talent, huge ego, and a peanut for a brain. The only worse choice for the Clippers might be Swaggy P.

    • One of the reasons I like mulling over these theoretical trades that won’t happen now is because I’m a GS fan and I want to see the team get better. There’s been a lot riding on Stephs shoulders this year and the Cavs have exposed this to a degree. I’m not enamoured with Harrison the player and feel that he is fortunate to be playing with the Warriors as opposed to say, the TWolves or Kings, where he and his occasional spectacular dunk would be regulated to the back pages (just like fellow high pick Derrick Williams). Harrison has contributed this year, however, and for now I’ll just leave it at that

      The odds for next year have been plastered all over the net and I can’t say I really disagree too much at this premature point. The Cavs could very well be back in the Finals (EC gauntlet not given the respect the West is), and the Thunder look just as formidable on paper as the Warriors do. Which is why I would consider trading HB for Strphenson. He’s a more skilled player when his head is screwed on right. Of course, he sounds more volatile, SJax was also labeled a problem who fit in with the right crew. Before proving he really was a bit of a problem

      As I Dubs fan I’ve grown used to viewing our glass half empty, and concurrently, other teams mugs more often than not on the fuller side. This is a hard habit to break and when I look at the Clips, they just improved themselves. LanceS fell off a cliff last year but as third fiddle to CP3 and Blake I could see him reviving his career. He’s exactly the type of wing player they need. If you can’t play with a guy like Paul or Curry maybe u really are a cancer. Provided the Clips fill out their roster a bit they’ll be a tougher team than this year

      Im taking it a little for granted that the Warriors will one of these last two games, I guess. It’s hard to believe this whole thing started in October. It’s been a long road

      • Great aquisition for the Clips IMO, perfect for them. I would take Stephensen over HB in a heart beat. I also think this team chemistry, can’t have a guy like him on their roster, is way over rated, though perhaps that’s a big factor for Lacob, as Hat points out.

        • Stephenson career #s:

          FG: .444
          3-pt: .297
          FT: .669
          Assists: 3.3
          Steals: .7

          Those are basically Harrison Barnes career numbers, with similar amounts of playing time – except Barnes is a far better 3-pt and free throw shooter.

          So while LS is a far better ball handler than HB, Barnes net contribution is actually greater.

          Does ANYONE really need a guard who doesn’t shoot 3s AND doesn’t really excel in any other way? Calling Charles Jenkins…

          • Similar amounts of playing time? LS hardly played his first 2 years, and is only 1 year older than HB.

          • when mr.barnes takes on the opponent’s no.1 or 2 scorer to defend, game after game, then we might usefully compare the ‘net contribution’ of the two players.
            we’ve heard often enough that rebounding is one of barnes’ strengths, and harry has consistently objected to wings being compared to him, because mr.barnes has been defending against 4’s. the folks who choose to believe barnes to be a strong rebounder might benefit from looking at the rebounding numbers per 36 min. in the last two seasons for stephenson.

        • Stephenson is an all world defensive 3, who can take the challenge against superstars. That’s why Doc wants him. He’s also a gifted offensive initiator, a point forward who can give CP3 a break off the ball.

          Are u suggesting HB offers the same, Hat?

          • btw Hat, if Harrison Barnes EVER has a statistical season like Stephenson had at age 23 in his last season with the Pacers, I’ll eat your hat, and my shorts.

          • Yeah, Lance is a good defender, but 13.8 points per game? .491 shooting? .352 3-pt shooting? Those aren’t tremendous numbers. I’m impressed with 7+ rebounds/game from a 2-guard, and 4.6 assists/game is fine too. But not superstar numbers for a 35-min. player.

            Barnes this season is averaging 10.1 points/game with lots less playing time and usage. He shoots 3s better than Stephenson, too, which is a wonderful thing. In fact, Barnes is the BEST shooting SF in the league this year. Efficient.

            So I’m not sure what the hell you’re talking about here, Feltie.

          • T minus 7 minutes –

            Harrison’s game is as exciting as tapioca pudding. The only thing, numerically, that stands in his favor (besides 67 wins) is his FG/ 3pt %. But you can qualify these by pointing out he is ALWAYS wide open on his threes. He never has to create off the dribble, nor is he the focus of the others teams defensive efforts. His numbers aren’t as impressive in that light.
            This will my last comment ever on Harrison. Unless this blog is around next season

        • Aside from being a nut case, he played well in his contract year and sucked big time after getting paid. You would be smart to stay away from the likes of those players. Warriors used to have that kind of players and were called Cancer.

          You want to take Stephenson over HB, seriously ? Can Stephenson play PF or guard PFs. Stephenspon and HB are not even same players, one is SG and the other is SF/PF. HB is also a 23 year old in rookie contract.

          How bad a character Stephenson is, his ex teammates from Indiana pacers were against Stephenson becoming a pacer again and opposed that trade when Indiana was considering to bring him back. That should be all you need to know.

          • Stephenson is mental, but the same could be said for world champions Dennis Rodman, Metta World Peace and Stephen Jackson. And Rajon Rondo, whom Doc was successful in shepherding.

            Despite his listing at SG, Stephenson has played just as much at SF in his career. The Pacers frequently put him on LeBron. Which means he’s a stretch-four as well. At 230 lbs, he outweighs HB. He is, in fact, very close in size to Draymond Green. He will start at SF for the Clips, and will move to PF when Durant and Kawhi move to PF.

            Stephenson’s all-around talent dwarfs HB’s. If it weren’t for that, he clearly would no longer be in the league. It’s just a question of whether Doc and CP3 can control him. Doc is rolling the dice for a badly needed championship piece.

          • I think Draymond, Iguodala, et al would work things out with guy.

          • It’s risky but if the Clips really do have Championship aspirations it’s a chance they needed to take. Standing pat with Matt Barnes, Hawes, Big Baby and Hedo didn’t get them over the hump the last couple years, nor would it next season. There’re stuck in Limbo like the Grizz, just good enough to make the second round every year

            If Stephenson played with the Dubs last couple seasons, his numbers would’ve been shinier, with more assists and open looks. He’s got talent in areas HB can only dream of, and if he does implode, the Clips didnt give up much for him

  20. mary,

    Curry is averaging 25, 5, 5 in finals. Think he is okay. Until, some facts come out, I am going with he is ‘okay’. Here from ESPN:

    His NBA Finals averages: 26.2 PPG, 5.0 RPG and 5.8 APG. Since 2000, the only other players to average 25-5-5 in the Finals: LeBron James (3 times), Kobe Bryant (2 times), Russell Westbrook and Dwyane Wade. (via Elias)

    • One thing for sure, Curry will be drinking lots of water before, during, and after the game today. I’m sure the team doctor and trainer, if not Kerr himself, will insist on it. (And probably some champagne after the game as well.)

  21. felt,
    You haven’t explained why Hornets who struggled to put 5 NBA caliber players on the floor couldn’t get anything out of Stephenson. You would sign a mental case only if you are desperate and warriors are not, thankfully. BTW, I happen to think Steve Clifford is a good coach. I disagree on Lance becoming a good trade for Clipper and I would never trade HBarnes for Lance. Warriors have better SGs and SFs who behave. Wish we can revisit this topic in two years.

    • We should re-visit for sure.

      I would like to see HB as a teams 1st or 2nd scoring option someday in his prime. With the Warriors, won’t happen, and not for LS either on the Clips, so a comparison next season should be interesting.

      • was expecting rivers to go after a top perimeter defender, with players like j.butler and d.carroll entering free agency. the best candidates for western rivals next season are probably rivers’ guys or Hou, and stephenson will definitely help even things up with the guards and wings. morey faces a bit of a chore in Hou but he likes complex acquisitions. kerr is too much a SA alumnus for them to be a rival the same way.

      • Next season, Lance’s usage rate will be much higher. Barnes teammates have no complaints about playing with Barnes. If Lance can earn his teammates respect, he might be a better overall player at SG. Barnes can bring more value even if he is not better overall player than Lance as a stretch 4, as a likable teammate and with rookie salary.

        Felt’s comparison of Lance with Rodman and others is also off base. All those players are well liked by their teammates, unlike Stephenson, his pacers teammates didn’t want him back in the team.

    • I don’t know if Stephenson is an ax-murderer or a complete A-hole, but I’ve also heard unflattering things about the “divisive” Roy Hibbert, who disappeared for key stretches vs the Heat in last years EC finals

      As Harry pointed out, the Hornets this year struggled to fill out a competent roster, and Stephenson, being more of an ancillary player than bona fide star, also looked bad

      Who the hell else are you going to get for Barnes and Hawes, anyway? Kawaii Leonard? So they got him at a discount, thanks to the risk factor, with a nice potential pay-off

  22. Any reason Blatt should start Mosgov?

    How about starting JR instead?

    That was LeBron can D up Klay, the Shump on Curry, Delly on Barnes, JR in Iguodala, and TT on Draymond.

    I know this might tire LeBron, too bad, this is it.

  23. curry misses the 3 at the end of quarter one by an inch or two. if that goes in, the Cle goose is probably cooked. if the home team can’t revive before the half, they’re done.

  24. Cav’s playing smart ball. Completely
    changed their strategy over the last
    two games. Playing big that keeps
    Warriors field goal percentage down. As
    a result also winning the battle of the offensive

    Cav’s being being not shooting three balls.
    Only took 7 there point shots. Instead, attacking
    the rim against small ball and thus getting to the
    foul line 17 more times than the Warriors and
    shooting 40 percent from the field which is way
    better than last two games.

    Turnovers and missing foul shots have hurt
    Cav’s. Time for Speights to play to provide
    inside defense. Kerr being out coached.

  25. Kerr counters in third quarter by increasing
    tempo and having team run.

  26. Poor David can’t get up in the air, probably tweaked something.

  27. Warriors go big in third quarter
    by inserting Ezeli who go off
    on both sides of the ball. Who
    could have seen that coming.
    By going big and running the
    Warriors score 28 points, the
    Cav’s 18 points. Game virtually
    in the bag as the Warriors likely
    to score near 100, and Cav’s would
    need to score 39 points to get to
    100. Not happening. Get the
    champagne bottes ready and the glasses
    out. Stay big Steve Kerr.

  28. Woo hoo! Congrats to all dubs fans!

  29. impressed with how calm and patient iguodala’s young son was on national t.v. and plenty of mayhem around him. great game for both of the smart guys who cover for everyone on defense and take care of the humble chores on the court, iguodala and green.

    • Well deserved MVP award for Iggy

      Being a Warriors partisan has been trying, but tonite capped off a magical season. This team was a treat to watch, and a deserving champ. The future is bright.

      My 50 yr old best friend asked me if I wanted to go out and cruise around like we did over 30 yrs ago in 1984, after the Niners won. I told him to just kick over a garbage can for me. I have to work mañana.

      • the m.v.p. vote was seven to four. l-b-j got votes from van gundy and grantland’s z.lowe, with a couple of other national media heads. curiously, simmons from sfgate also had a vote, as did a writer from akron, OH, and both voted for iguodala.

        • Both candidates were worthy

          Steph was the best player on the court the last two games, I feel. The overall seasons’s MVP