Warriors 112 Raptors 103: Doctor Jekyll and Mister Jackson

Mark Jackson joked in the post-game that his role in this nearly historic Warriors comeback victory against the Raptors was nothing more than “spiritual advisor.” And the players and media pundits I heard credited the victory to the Warriors simply coming out in the second half with more fire in their belly, and playing hard.

I think we all know that’s not true. Mark Jackson’s decision-making was central to the outcome of this game. Jackson was instrumental in digging the Warriors a 27 point deficit, and he was equally instrumental in allowing his best players to dig their way out. Continue reading

Warriors 115 Kings 113: Notes on Barnes and Bogut

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

Thunder 113 Warriors 112: Jackson Vindicated

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

Grizzlies 88 Warriors 81: Hero Ball

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

Warriors 98 Jazz 87: Wandering Thoughts

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

On Culture Change and the Sacramento Kings

Mike Malone has been going beserk in Sacto, trying to instill “culture change”. He’s been calling his players out in the press, and in the last game benched his starters for good in the third quarter, for lack of defensive effort.               Continue reading

Warriors 116 Thunder 115: Jackson Blows Game, Iguodala Saves It

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

Grizzlies 108 Warriors 90: Growing Pains

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

Warriors 106 Timberwolves 93: Give Lee Some Love

As measuring stick games go, this Warriors road win against the Timberwolves was pretty intriguing. The Warriors not only beat a well-coached and extremely talented upcoming young team on their home floor, but they did it in convincing fashion. This might prove surprising to some pundits, particularly those at ESPN, but the Warriors are a far superior team to the TWolves, and will remain so for the forseeable future.

I can think of quite a few reasons for this, but the two most important are these: Continue reading

Warriors 98 Kings 87: Poetry in Underwear

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