I’ve figured out how to recap Warriors games going forward: Ignore the coaching, and focus on the players. There’s just so much teeth gnashing I’m willing to do, and, I assume, you’re willing to read. It is completely clear by now that Jackson is committed to playing big all game every game. Even if it means denying his core of supernaturally talented offensive players the system they were born to play in. Even if it means feeding the best-shooting team in the league 16 point first quarters and 22 point third quarters, regardless of opponent, from now until eternity. Even if it means reaching for an NBA reject big man in his first game up from the D-League, without an ounce of experience in his system, to match up with a 6-7″ center on defense, and plug up the middle on offense, in crunchtime.
Mark Jackson is committed, as Adam Lauridsen would ecstatically put it, to playing “the right way.” It’s pointless to argue differently. It’s time for me, as the adage has it, to “lay back and think of England.”
And Thank Jesus for Stephen Curry.
Oops, reading over that, I see a little recap of the coaching leaked out.
On to the players: Continue reading
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
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
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
As I predicted, the Warriors shot up Andrew Bogut’s crippled, arthritic ankle with painkillers before last night’s Game 6 against the Nuggets. And the result was spectacular. We’ve all seen the stats: 14 points, 21 rbs., 4 blocks. This coming after two straight 5 rebound games. And a grand total of 2 points in his previous three halfs of basketball. Continue reading
It’s official now. Stephen Curry has been great for most of this series. But with that 22 point outburst in the 3rd quarter of this game, Curry officially joined the ranks of NBA superstars. 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
What do you call Chris Bosh at center and Lebron James at power forward?
What do you call David Lee at center, and 6-6″ Draymond Green at power forward? Continue reading
Do you think that I’m shocked that the Warriors are playing so well? Me, who was so skeptical of Bogut playing this season? So carefully noncommittal on the Warriors’ prospects? Continue reading
This was a tale of two games for Klay Thompson, and for the Golden State Warriors as a consequence. Against the Orlando Magic, he was forced to guard Aaron Afflalo and Josh Reddick, and got lit up like Burning Man. The Magic attacked him so relentlessly that Gary St. Jean was forced to comment at half time: “They’re going straight at Thompson and feeling good about it.” Continue reading