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
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
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
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
Wrote this list of 2013-14 fantasy basketball sleepers and busts up off the top of my head this evening. It’s possible I’ll add to it towards the end of training camp, so fantasy visitors might want to check back.
As always, all of my opinions are price sensitive, ie. directly correlated to where the players are projected. Continue reading
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
The great flurry of activity surrounding the draft and the opening of free agency has now died down, and I think the Warriors have emerged clear winners. They have not only addressed every single critical hole or misconstruction in their roster that I have been harping on since the advent of the Lacob era, but by doing so have also given strong indications that the guiding philosopy of the franchise has changed radically as well.
Well, I guess I was a little optimistic with that Warriors in Six prediction, wasn’t I? Who would have thought that the Spurs could beat this red-hot Warriors team, with a half-dead Manu Ginobili? Gregg Popovich and the Spurs, that’s who. The Spurs showed their championship pedigree in this game. Starting with the head of the snake, their head coach, who demonstrated once again why he is one of the best to ever stalk the NBA hardwood. Continue reading