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
I’m guessing this was just Mark Jackson experimenting in the preseason — hoping that’s what it was — but this loss was a simple case of playing the wrong lineup in the fourth quarter. It’s really as simple as that. Continue reading
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 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.
A sad but somehow fitting way to end this injury-marred season. I hope neither Harrison Barnes nor Andrew Bogut are badly hurt, and wish them both as rapid a return to health as possible. That obviously goes for David Lee and Stephen Curry (and Brandon Rush) as well. This Warriors team left absolutely everything on the court, and they and Mark Jackson can be very proud of what they achieved this season. Continue reading
David Lee just might be the healthiest star on the court.
You could choose from any number of story lines to describe this Game 4 Warriors win against the Spurs. Mark Jackson’s was this: “I’m just so glad that a national TV audience had an opportunity to see exactly what’s been taking place in this area.” The Warriors’ PR department’s preferred story line was “Barnes Shoots Lights Out!” Buried deep in the sports section, you might find something about how Jarrett Jack put the Warriors on his back and carried them when they absolutely needed him. You’ll find something about Bogut’s defense and rebounding against Tim Duncan. And the fact that the crippled Curry and Lee gave everything they had. Continue reading
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