This blog is intended to provide solution based commentary on the Golden State Warriors and other NBA teams. I could always complain, but what would that do for the Warriors and other teams that lose?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Are the Warriors an Illusion?

Tom Haberstroh of (insider only) wrote an article that caught my attention. He argues that the Warriors' 7-4 start is an illusion. Naturally, I beg to differ. 

The schedule has played a big role in the Dubs best start in years, as pointed out by Haberstroh. What he neglects to mention, though, is that the Warriors have played more road games than at home and haven't lost one that they shouldn't have, save for their first game on the road against the Pistons. They've won games without Stephen Curry and David Lee. Even the acquisition of David Lee was downplayed, as previously chronicled here on this blog.

What's the idea behind pointing out the Warriors' easy schedule? Did anyone expect them to be title contenders? If the playoffs started today the Dubs would be the 6th seed, just ahead of the Thunder and Trailblazers. No one is expecting them to beat the Lakers, Celtics and Heat.

The teams they need to stay in front of aren't powerhouses, are they? The Nuggets, Suns, Rockets and Grizzlies certainly all have flaws. Last I checked none of them have improved their defenses, and a couple of them have their best players on the trade block. It's safe to say that the Dubs can stay ahead of these teams and maybe even the Blazers due to the recent news about Brandon Roy and Greg Oden's health.

The Utah Jazz were cited as a quality victory, but the Dubs were also discredited for beating the Rockets. A team who was thought to be playoff worthy before the season started, the 5-0 home record was neglected information as well.

Finally, Monta Ellis, who an anonymous western conference GM states is "overpaid", was suggested as trade bait since this would be the perfect time to cash in on Monta's talents. If $11 Million a year is too much for the second leading score in the league and your best player, then I don't know who isn't overpaid.

So should Warriors fans take this early season start with a grain of salt and fall back to being cautiously optimistic? Personally, I felt the Warriors proved they can make the playoffs when they beat the Utah Jazz. They're playing real basketball, something that very few teams are doing. You know, rebounding, running when they can, and as mentioned, playing defense. 

They don't need to beat the Lakers on the road to prove they're a playoff team, they just need to continue beating the teams that they should and that continue to be conveniently placed in front of them. Like the Knicks on Friday. As it stands right now they're doing a pretty good job of staying ahead of the "contenders" for that 8th seed.

Warriors 7-4
Nuggets 6-5 (Will most likely trade Carmelo Anthony before February.)
Suns 6-6 (May trade Steve Nash and start rebuilding.)   
Grizzlies 4-8
Houston 3-8
Sacramento 3-7

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Appreciation Of David Lee

When David Lee was signed and traded to the Warriors last summer, the move wasn't received well by many Warrior fans. In asking my friends and casual fans about the the trade, most of them didn't even know who he was. Many Warrior fans were upset that the Dubs gave up Anthony Randolph in the trade and then gave Lee a 6-year $80 million contract. Some even compared him to Troy Murphy while his numbers (20.2 points 11.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists .545% FG's in 2010) were brushed off as being inflated due to the system he played in with the Knicks. Some even argued that the Knicks were a better rebounding team when Lee was off the floor.

Compare that to the other offseason signings of Carlos Boozer, Chris Bosh and Amar'e Stoudemire. All of which were met with great fanfare and media coverage while David Lee was simply pushed to the side, just like his numbers. Why? Seriously, leave a comment if you have an idea.

Now that the season has started we can take another look at those other signings in comparison to that of Lee's. Chris Bosh comes to mind as he and Lee's numbers were quite similar in 2010. When the Warriors signed Lee I tried to explain to others that he was just as productive as Bosh, and if the Dubs were signing Bosh everyone would have been excited, but none of that got through. Now that Bosh is struggling in Miami, no one seems to remember those once proud opinions of him.

At the time of writing this Bosh was averaging 14.8 pts and 6 rebounds a night while shooting .480% from the field, with his play being considered a disappointment by most. He has been criticized for lacking mental toughness, defensive presence and rebounding. His post game or lack thereof has also come under fire because now the whole country can see that he is purely a face-up power forward. 

Lee was similarly criticized for not having any low post moves and not being a go-to scorer down on the blocks. Like Bosh he also wasn't known to be a good defender. Now that Lee is playing in the Western Conference against tougher competition, his numbers have come down in the scoring department but his rebounding is still the same (14.3 points 11.3 rebounds .464% FG's). Who knew that less than 10 games into the season David Lee would have been a better fit with Miami? That may sound crazy now, but it shouldn't have been back in July. 

Carlos Boozer-who also has similar numbers to that of Lee-has yet to play a game for the Chicago Bulls after breaking his hand in a fall at his house.

Amar'e Stoudemire and the New York Knicks just gave up a 30 point, 30 rebound performance to Kevin Love, the first of it's kind since 1982. That resulted in a loss and dropped the Knicks to 3-6 in the process. While Stoudemire has outproduced Lee so far this season, he has not proven himself to be an upgrade over Lee in the same system that the Knicks run.

The Warriors have a better record than all of these teams through the first 9 games of the season and are reaping the benefits of Lee being able to fly under the radar. Has there ever been a more underappreciated player in the the biggest city in the world than David Lee? He had proven to be mentally tough having played very well in New York for 5 straight seasons, amidst chaos, turmoil and the most unforgiving media market in the NBA. 

What about the other teams that should have gone after Lee but didn't? The Phoenix Suns are still trotting out Hedo Turkoglu at power forward where he continues to struggle for his new team as well. Grant Hill is their leading rebounder at 6.5 per game.

The Milwaukee Bucks were very concerned with Andrew Bogut's health heading into this season so they decided to spend their money on Drew Gooden, John Salmons and trade for Corey Maggette. Any thoughts on how a Lee, Bogut and Brandon Jennings trio would look now?

Even the Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz should have gotten into the mix. Both had gaping holes at power forward and while the Jazz have been successful with Big Al, it is safe to say that Lee's passing and ability to play the pick-and-roll with Deron Williams could have improved the Jazz a bit more.

For the Thunder, imagine a starting lineup that featured David Lee at the four and Serge Ibaka at the five with Jeff Green sliding over to the small forward spot. With such great length at every position, the Thunder would have greatly increased their chances at contending with the Lakers this year.

David Lee is only averaging 14.3 points and 11.3 rebounds per game this year, but he clearly has had the biggest impact on his team when compared with the other power forward signings thus far. The Warriors are off to their best start in years and the best part about it is that Lee hasn't even started to show his scoring prowess yet. Sure he's not the most glamorous name and you might think he's a bit overpaid, but, why? I have no idea and no one else has been able to give me a good reason. I'm just glad everyone besides Larry Riley and the Warriors felt the same way.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Warriors Improve to 5-2, Monta Ellis Injury Not Serious

According to, Monta Ellis' back injury is "not serious" and is being classified as a back strain. 

The Warriors lost Ellis to a hard fall in last night's win over the Toronto Raptors, after he had scored 28 points in helping lead the Warriors to their first road win of the season. Stephen Curry finished with 34 points and plenty of big shots in the 4th quarter to finish out the victory.

The Warriors don't play again until Wednesday when they will face the New York Knicks.

Game Time: 4:30p.m. Pacific Time.

TV: CSNBayArea

Monday, November 8, 2010

Warriors Stall In Detroit, Lose to Pistons

Stephen Curry had an opportunity to send the game to overtime but missed his 3rd attempt from the three point stripe which led to the Dubs second loss of the season, 102-97 to the Detroit Pistons. 

The Dubs looked a little flat in this game but still had plenty of opportunities to win it. Their defensive rotations were not as crisp as they have been at home. They surrendered plenty of open jumpers and the Pistons made them pay. A few careless mistakes late in the third quarter and an inability to put together a string of baskets in the fourth is what ultimately did them in.

The Warriors continued to struggle from the perimeter in this game and their rebounding didn't save them like it has early on this season. They finished tied with Detroit at 46 rebounds apiece and the Pistons also shot better at 45.1% to the Warriors' 42.9.

Curry is visibly laboring, showing limited quickness and mobility while still trying to play with his sprained ankle. A healthy Curry probably would have been the difference in this game as he finished with only 10 points on 3 for 12 shooting.

David Lee also continues to struggle in finding his rhythm within the Warrior offense, scoring only 11 points and still not having much of anything drawn up for him. As one of the best finishers off of the pick and roll, we still have yet to see the Dubs truly run it with him on a consistent basis. In a game where the Warriors were struggling to put up points, this would have been the perfect opportunity to do so.

Nonetheless the Warriors are still 4-2 and will play in Toronto against the Raptors tonight at 4:00p.m. pacific time. A very winnable game.