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
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
No, our eyes didn’t deceive us last game. The newly Nellieball Golden State Warriors are a better team than the San Antonio Spurs.
Jump for the reasons why: Continue reading
“Height is a blessing, but speed kills.” — Reggie Miller
“RunJCT.” — Shaq
A defensive shotblocker in the middle. (
Alton Lister, Shawn Bradley, Andris Biedrins, Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli.)
A three-point shooting stretch four.
Four shooters on the floor at all times.
The two point guard backcourt.
Matching up smaller than your opponent, but with more talent.
Outlets to half-court.
Early offense pick and roll.
Running the opposing centers off the floor.
Playing for three points with the best shooters in the league, while your opponent is playing for two.
“Gimmick defense.” Packing the paint. Zone. Gang rebounding.
What’s it called? C’mon, I know you know the answer.
NELLIEBALL. Continue reading