Category Archives: Previews

Warriors v. Clippers Playoffs Preview: Raise the Variance

Although I have been a vociferous proponent of a more Nellieball approach for this Warriors team, I don’t for a second believe that the Warriors are actually better off without Andrew Bogut. Just want to state that up front for the benefit of those who are determined to misunderstand me.    Continue reading

Pre-game Jitters: Warriors @ Suns

The surprising Phoenix Suns present a nightmare matchup problem for the Warriors. I have no idea how the Warriors win this game if Mark Jackson refuses to match up small, as he did in Charlotte.   Continue reading

Western Conference Forecast — Part Two

Here are my picks to contend for the 7th and 8th seeds in the West, and a quick analysis of the cellar dwellars. (Check out my analysis of the best six teams in the West here, if you haven’t already.)                 Continue reading

Best in the West: Feltbot’s 2013-14 Western Conference Forecast — Part One

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

Nellieball III: San Antonio Spurs v. Miami Heat

The Spurs and Heat are ready to rumble, and to my mind it’s Nellieball III, the third straight all-Nellieball Finals we’ve been privileged to witness. Some may disagree, pointing to the Spurs conventional starting lineup of Splitter and Duncan. But I think the Spurs will spend the greater part of every game playing a Nellieball lineup with a stretch-four alongside one conventional big man. There are 6 three-point shooting fours in this series: Bonner, Diaw and Leonard for the Spurs; Lebron, Bosh and Battier for the Heat. And two of those players have seen major minutes at stretch-five: Diaw and Bosh.

So there will be stretching.  Continue reading

Pre-Game Jitters: Warriors v. Spurs — Game 3

How the Spurs can Win: Greg Popovich has a big problem. The first two games have made clear that the Warriors are by far the more offensively talented team. Curry, Thompson and Jack are far more talented than Danny Green and the aging and injured Parker and Ginobili. Draymond Green is far more talented than Bonner. And so far at least, there hasn’t been a significant difference in the play of Barnes and Leonard.

Tim Duncan is still one of the great offensive big men in the game, but Bogut and Ezeli’s ability to guard him one-on-one takes away a lot of his value to his team. Now he’s just a semi-efficient scorer of two point buckets, and not the team facilitator of layups and open threes that he can be when double-teamed.

What can Popovich do about this? What is the correct strategy for a team that is facing a major deficit in offensive talent?   Continue reading

Golden State Warriors v. Denver Nuggets Playoff Preview

There are some difficulties in forecasting this Nuggets – Warriors series. For one, Andrew Bogut didn’t play against the Nuggets this season. And, in another indication of just how lucky the Warriors were in their schedule this year, they played the Nuggets three times in the first month, and then on Jan. 13th, and not once after that date. The Warriors managed to avoid the period when the Nuggets had their full roster and were clicking on all cylinders — and beating the Thunder on their home floor — towards the end of the season. So even if the Nuggets were at full strength, which they are not, it would be hard to apply the lessons of the regular season games to this playoff series. The Nuggets got better as the season progressed, while the Warriors, with the addition of Andrew Bogut, got objectively worse. Continue reading

Pre-Game Jitters: Lakers at Warriors

After much waffling, it now appears that Steve Nash is a GO tonight. Going to be so fascinating to see how D’Antoni puts this oh so complicated puzzle together. Continue reading

The Soreness Element: 2012-13 Golden State Warriors Preview

There’s a soreness element….  – Bob Myers

I’m going out of town this weekend, and just realized I won’t have time for my typical preseason Warriors forecast. This might upset me more if I felt like I had something useful to say about this upcoming season. But I actually don’t.

Joe Lacob has created a team that is utterly hostage to the ankle situations of Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry. Everything about this season is currently up in the air, starting with who will play, and ending with what style of basketball they will play. (Assuming of course, that the Warriors’ style of play will be influenced by the players they have available. That has never been a given for Joe Lacob’s amateur coaches.) What could I possibly say at this point about the 2012-13 Warriors that isn’t rampant speculation? Nothing.

So I’ll just let a few numbers do the talking for me. These three numbers, to be precise:

52.5

60.5

36.5

These three numbers express the future of this season’s Golden State Warriors far more eloquently than I can. Do you know what they are?

Jump for the cold, hard math:            Continue reading

Nellieball Supreme: 2012 NBA Finals — Miami Heat v. OKC Thunder

For the second straight season, Nellieball will rule the NBA finals. This season, it ruled even in the conference championships. Those series were played almost entirely without centers.  Joel Anthony, Greg Stiemsma, Tiago Splitter, Dejuan Blair — and even Kendrick Perkins at times — were all sent to the bench, revealed as regular season cannon fodder. The power forwards — Serge Ibaka, Chris Bosh, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett – were shifted to the middle, and the small forwards – Durant, James and Battier, Pierce, Leonard and Jackson – became Nellieball power forwards.

The Nellieball four is now supreme in the NBA. Is it a coincidence that the last two NBA finals have featured the three greatest Nellieball fours to ever play the game? Dirk Nowitzki, Lebron James, Kevin Durant.

At a time when Joe Lacob is trying to turn back the clock, and turn the Warriors into a 1980′s style halfcourt team, the NBA is moving in a completely different direction. At a time when Joe Lacob is insisting on “changing the culture” of the Warriors back to the Ewing Knicks and Smits Pacers of coach Mark Jackson, the culture of the NBA is moving in the opposite direction, towards the vision of a crazy man with a penchant for Dewars and fish ties.

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