Our buddies Abe and Nancy sprang a nice surprise on me and the Thaiblonde at the Kings’ game yesterday: floor seats! Great seats, great game, great company, great day. Thanks Abe and Nancy!
You’ve already read game recaps by this time, so I’ll restrict my comments on the game to a few notes on Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut. Continue reading
Brutal. Is it just me, or have the Warriors had more ridiculously unlucky last second losses than even imaginable in the last 5 years? I remember a Lebron three, a banked in three (Also the Thunder? Jeff Green?)…. Continue reading
Don’t have time for a full recap of this Warriors overtime loss to the Grizzlies, but here’s a few things I think are worth noting: Continue reading
The Bogut-Lee Frontline: Another dominating performance from Bogut and Lee against the golden boys of Utah, Favors and Kanter. This time in their home gym. If you think that’s easy to do, you haven’t been following Jazz boxscores.
And in general, this furthers the point that I made in my Thunder recap. Bogut and Lee are at their best when playing against big lineups. They are far less effective playing together against smaller players who stretch the floor. When the Warriors are facing small lineups like the Thunder’s, Mark Jackson should rethink his rotations. Continue reading
The Warriors played too well against the Thunder last night to get screwed by Mark Jackson’s decision-making down the stretch. And yet that’s nearly what happened. Continue reading
Not going to recap this Warriors loss to the Grizzlies, as I found it to be a relatively uninteresting game. All those who are feeling pangs over these last two losses should bear in mind that they were practically pre-ordained to be losses — even before Curry got injured. First of all, I consider the Spurs and the Grizzlies to be the cream of the Warriors opponents in the West this season — the second and third best teams in the conference. Tough veteran teams that already know exactly what they want to do when they take the court. They have a huge edge this early in the season against teams that are working in new players and new systems. And that’s what the Warriors are, in spades. The Warriors are working in two new players in the first unit — Iggy and a healthy Bogut, who still has played fewer than 50 games in a Warriors uniform, and only 7 of those “healthy.” The second unit is of course brand spanking new. As is, to my eye, much of the offense the Warriors have installed to accommodate their new players. Continue reading
There’s nothing like a Jermaine O’Neal injury to make Mark Jackson a better coach, is there? The Warriors played big virtually every minute of the first two games. But in this game against the Kings, Jackson was forced to give major minutes to Speights and Lee at center, and to Draymond Green at power forward in the second and fourth quarters.
Accidentally causing the Warriors to explode. Oops!
I have nothing against the Warriors playing big, particularly in the first and third quarters. Those are the quarters to meet size with size, force with force. And to save the bodies of your most gifted players for crunch time, and the playoffs.
And — in principle — I have nothing against the Warriors playing big with their second units, and in crunch time, either. Just so long as by doing so they are putting their BEST team on the floor.
As this game indicated, those big teams need to be pretty darn good if Jackson prefers them. Because the Warriors smallball units of Lee or Speights at center, Green or Barnes at stretch-four, Iggy at free safety, the Splash Brothers, and a sprinkling of Toney Douglas on top, are going to be absolutely extraordinary.
As good a smallball squad as exists in the league. Continue reading
Before this game even started, the Clippers put a halt to the joint chapel session that last year the Warriors and Clippers players attended together. Separate chapel sessions were scheduled instead. If that’s not a declaration of open hostilities, I don’t know what is.
The bad feelings carried over into the game, quite obviously. DeAndre Jordan took exception to a Bogut hard foul. Blake Griffin intentionally stood on Mark Jackson’s foot while taking the ball out (ever seen that before?). Matt Barnes got into it with the Warriors bench while shooting free throws. And newcomer Jared Dudley leveled Curry on a three point shot.
There was bad blood between these two teams already, that began with the Warriors dominating the matchup, and celebrating that domination, last season. But now that hard-nosed Lakers-banner-covering chapel-hating Doc Rivers has taken the reins of the Clippers, and both teams are expected to contend for the Western Conference crown, the hostility between the two teams has exploded.
This is WAR. Continue reading
Anyone who tells you they know exactly how the West is going to shake out this season is deluded. This is probably the most wide open the top of the West has been in over 20 years. I give 5 different teams a legitimate chance (10% or better) to finish with the best record. It’s Open Season.
So when I tell you my pick for the top team in the West, you should understand that I’m only giving that team about a 20-25% chance of actually finishing on top. That just happens to be a higher percentage than I’m assigning any of the others.
What might be more interesting to you are my picks against the Vegas Win-Total lines. I’ve had a pretty good record with these historically, including last year, when I went 5-1. These lines are among the very few all year that the Vegas bookies can get egregiously wrong. Mainly because the preseason enthusiasms of the fans can have an outsized effect on them, but also because of the difficulty the experts have in forecasting the effects of new rosters and new coaches.
In reverse order (because, drama), here are my picks for the top 6 seeds in the West: Continue reading
Posted in Around the NBA, Golden State Warriors, Predictions, Previews, Wagers
Tagged Clippers, Grizzlies, Rockets, Spurs, Stephen Curry, Thunder, Warriors
I managed to catch the Kings game at Oracle last night. Here are some of my impressions from the first two preseason games, beginning with the burning question of whether Harrison Barnes should start over Klay Thompson: Continue reading