By employing little rats as ball boys, the Pelicans managed to come up with some bulletin board material for this series. It’s not going to matter. They’re going to get swept.
I know it’s fashionable to award the lesser team a game or two in making series prognistications, but I just don’t see it here. The difference in talent between the Warriors and the Pelicans is just too great.
And this Warriors team is unlike almost any other team we’ve ever seen in NBA history, in one important respect: They never take a game off. Literally never.
Led by the indomitable will of Draymond Green and the extraordinary talent of Stephen Curry, the Warriors will sweep the Pelicans out of the playoffs.
Here’s a few more of my reasons why, and one possible way in which Monty Williams could flip the switch: Continue reading
Golden State Warriors, best in the West. Atlanta Hawks, best in the East.
This should be a crazy fun game. Not just the two best teams in the league playing, but two teams that are very similar in structure and principles. Two coaches from the Popovich tree, stressing ball-movement and pace. Two teams built on Nellieball principles, with tough as nails stretch-fours and long three-point shooting wings. Two teams that play with high character and utter unselfishness. Continue reading
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
Posted in Golden State Warriors, Previews
Tagged Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, David Lee, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes, Jermaine O'Neal, Jordan Crawford, Klay Thompson, Mark Jackson, Stephen Curry
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
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
Posted in Around the NBA, Predictions, Previews
Tagged Jazz, Kings, Lakers, Mavericks, Nuggets, Pelicans, Suns, Timberwolves, Trailblazers
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
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
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
Posted in Golden State Warriors, NBA Playoffs, Previews
Tagged Andrew Bogut, Draymond Green, Greg Popovich, Harrison Barnes, Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, Tiago Splitter, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker
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
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