Friday, August 01, 2008

Holy Mother of Sarunas*!

*I was going to use the former Warrior's last name, but realized that: a) I was too lazy to try and spell it, and b) I was too lazy to go to Google and see if I could search out how to spell it.

Caught myself wandering over to this site, and check out the sidebar -- look at the difference in those faces from a couple of years ago! Only Monta Ellis and Andris Beidrins are left from that team, those of the shiny new $60+ million contracts.

Maybe I ought to update the roster, huh?

Monday, March 13, 2006

How could you tell?

Okay, so perhaps this season wasn't the best time for me to start a Warriors blog.

Between a lack of time and my teeth-grinding frustration with the team, this is the first new entry on this site in 2006.

Sad. Not Flavor Flav reality-show sad, but sad nonetheless.

But, good things I'm taking away from this season:
  • Jason Richardson is all growed-up. To say he isn't one of the premier off-guards in the league is a denial of reality. Sure, he still has holes in his game, but the things J-Rich does well he does very, very well, and the holes in his game aren't as large as they were two or three seasons ago. Many thought he'd never blossom, thought that he'd fade somewhat since Baron Davis' arrival, but no -- it's Richardson's team, now.
  • Here's to hoping Mike Montgomery sees the writing on the wall, and stops screwing around with Andris Biedrins' minutes. Let him play, because the franchise needs to hope that he'll be an answer to their big-man woes either in 2007 or 2008. While starting him might be a bit much, realistically it wouldn't hurt a thing. At least, as long as Andris stays away from the free-throw line. Yech.
  • Monta Ellis is going to be a player. It's just a matter of when. Hopefully, it coincides at the exact moment that Baron is no longer with the club, whenever that might be.

We all were jumping the gun with the optimism for this season, obviously, but hopefully Chris Mullin can see that Baron, Richardson, and Mike Dunleavy aren't going to be the new version of Run TMC, and go out and fix the problems the team has (which mostly revolve around bench depth and the center position).

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Way to start the road trip

The next six games will be a big test for the Warriors. If they can manage it 4-2, or at least 3-3, maybe we won't have to panic over the two manhandlings the non-awe-inspiring Nets and Celtics put on Golden State in their last two games. But...

Three of the six are at Detroit, at Dallas, and at Philadelphia (no, Philly isn't awe-inspiring, either, but the Warriors have just dropped two in a row on the road to this kind of team, remember). They play Boston again, and they also play what must be an ever-increasingly desperate Denver squad. Throw in an improving, although now Yao-less Houston team, and there is a lot of potential for the Warriors to start January right about .500 if they aren't careful.

The other problem they have is that everyone else in the division is playing better (well, except Sacramento, but I'd hesitate to count them totally done yet). The Warriors have to clean up outside of their division (especially in the East), so that losses within their division won't hurt so much -- and believe me, with the way they looked against Phoenix and the Clippers earlier this year, each divisional game will be a dogfight.

Oh, and by the way, Mike Dunleavy is making me nervous again. For those of you (yes, I mean YOU, Pops) who wanted to compare and equate Dunleavy to the Pistons' Tayshaun Prince, there is no comparison at this point. Go look at Prince's sparkly, pretty stats, then go look at Dunleavy's dull, uninteresting statline and tell me how the two compare -- keeping in mind, of course, that Prince plays much better perimeter defense in addition to having the statistical edge...oh, and that Prince is doing it for what is currently the best team in the NBA, too.

Well, alright, the difference isn't night and day, but Prince is playing much better than Dunleavy is to this point, which was my point.

C'mon, Mike. Play better. Please.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Anybody queasy?

I mean, besides me?

Why am I queasy, you ask? Well, it's because I am now convinced the Warriors are indeed a good team after winning their fourth straight last night, 113-106 over the used-to-be-nemesis Sacramento Kings.

Don't get me wrong -- I could still go my usual pessimistic route, citing that of Golden State's four straight wins, none were against teams over .500, and none of those wins came on the road. I could state that I still see the team having trouble putting teams away, and that the team still has rebounding and shooting percentage issues (shooting percentage issues largely stemming from the team's gratuitous use of the three-point shot).

But while those things are indeed true, I actually have found the ability within myself to withstand these barrages of negativity, and counter them with well thought-out counterpoints (a technique called "talking to oneself" by the uneducated).

The Warriors should have been favored to win these last four games against mediocre competition (well, mediocre and whatever the Raptors are, exactly, I dunno), and they should have won those games. And...they did. It took them a half, but they handled the Raptors and won convincingly, and they controlled the game vs. the NOK Hornets (New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets, to be exact, but that NOK thingie is catchy).

Also, I'm not convinced we've seen the best the Warriors can offer on a game-to-game basis. Mike Dunleavy can obviously play better than he has so far this season, and coinciding with the Warrior win streak, his game seems to be coming around a bit. Baron Davis, while he's done his job in running the team from the point, has obviously started very poorly in the shooting department, something that I just can't see continuing.

So...dreaded optimism, and a feeling of queasiness that comes along with it, fearing I could be wrong in my assessment that the Warriors are currently the 4rd or 5th best team in the Western Conference, depending on one's view of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Oh, and on other thing...


Nevermind that they are still in 2nd place by percentage of wins, but when you look at the standings, the Warriors have that little dash to the right of their team name where one is usually accustomed to seeing a very large and insurmountable number for the majority of the season. To a Warriors fan, being kinda sorta tied for 1st place is just as good as 1st place -- which usually means, for me, that some sort of loud, raucous celebration cheer is in order. For instance, the following phrase was written by yours truly, and goes a little something like this:


And for those that would like to point out that I had already written that very thing only a paragraph previous in this body of work, I'll point out that the first one was merely a trial run. Gotta see how the words rolls off of the tongue before officially committing them to the air for all to hear (and Laker fans, especially).

First. Place. Baby. Oh. Yeah.

Now hopefully that won't be rendered untrue in the next couple of days.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


That's about how much of the season has been played. Ten games, in other words. Not a lot, but enough games that stories are beginning to develop, and the season is beginning to take shape.

2004 - 13.4 points/game, 2005 - 7.1 points/game
2004 - 5.5 rebounds/game, 2005 - 4.2 rebounds/game
2004 - 2.6 assists/game, 2005 - 2.1 assists/game
2004 - .451 field goal % (.388 on threes), 2005 - .276 field goal % (.235 on threes)

Folks, that's the shape Mike Dunleavy's season is taking, and I don't like it. Every single statistic of his is down from last year except blocks. Every. Single. One. If a stat or two is down through 10 games, I don't bat much of an eyelash. But all of them? After 1/8th of the season? For eight million plus per year?

If the Warriors want to make the playoffs, this player must get better. Right now, this is by far the weakest link in the starting five. While I have seen some defensive improvement, it gets engulfed in the offensive problems he's going through.

The Official Mike Dunleavy Fidget-O-Meter is getting a boost from 3.5 to 5.0. No, it isn't panic time yet, but another 10 game stretch like this one and I'm going to start to wonder if he should even start. Mickael Pietrus is playing seven minutes less per game, but plays better defense, is averaging four more points a game than Dunleavy, and shooting a much better percentage.

While I personally think Pietrus at this point is still a bench player, there isn't any doubt that he's playing much better than Dunleavy through 10 games. If this trend continues, the Warriors will have to ask themselves if they're hurting the team by starting Dunleavy, 44 million dollar contract or not.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Sorry for the lack of posting recently, but I neglected to tell you all that I had to take a trip to Reno for my new job, and thus wouldn't be posting for several days.

The trip went okay, although Reno is quite boring to me. I'm not one for shows, and there isn't any snow yet, so I fail to see why anyone would go there willingly -- yes, there's gambling in Reno, but there's gambling all throughout California before you ever have to cross the state line into Nevada.

Ah, well. Nevermind.

I did see the game last night. The only comment I'll leave is something that's probably becoming a familiar song by now; I see just enough bad things out of the Warriors on most nights (even during wins) that it's difficult to get behind these guys at the moment. The only difference between teams of the past several years and this one so far is that this year's team manages to win some of the games where they could lose, whereas previously they would find a way to lose almost all of the close ones. That isn't a better team, it's just the law of averages finally tipping the way of Golden State for a stretch.

But I'll not go into detail at the moment.

Tomorrow's my first day at work, in the sense of my first day at the location I'll be working at for the next month and a half. I'm going to BART into the City for the first time in a long time, and I'm even going to use public transit to get to BART, which is a big-time change for me. Wish me luck in my elbow-exchanges with the commuters.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

A win, great! Maybe.

The Warriors are 4-2 behind a win last night over the New York Knicks, 86-84.

It's a win, yes. But, should we be happy about this? There's the normal reaction from me, reacting from a win from a team that has been losing for 10 years -- I'm happy after any win.

However, there are expectations of this team, and there is the simply fact that the Warriors could have a 1-5 record, a 6-0 record, or anything in between.

I could depend on one's opinion of the Knicks. If one believes the Knicks are a decent team that has just been unlucky to go winless in seven games thus far, then one is fine with the Warriors record and believes it indicates a good team. If one believes the Knicks are a poor team (like say, I do), then one might realize that three of the Warriors four wins have come against teams who have yet to win a game.

Two against the Knicks, one against the Hawks. Let me tell you why I'm a little apprehensive about the Warriors right now:
  • Way too many three-pointers being shot. The Warriors lead the league in three-pointers attempted by a full shot over the second place team (the 1-4 Supersonics), and by almost six shots over the third place team, the Suns. Why? They're 14th in percentage of made threes, and have never been a big-time three-point shooting team. This means there are too many guys sitting on the perimeter waiting to cash in from penetration, which usually only comes from Baron Davis.
  • They're getting outrebounded by an average of five rebounds a game, and are 26th out of 30 teams in giving up offensive rebounds. Only four teams are worse than Golden State in giving up offensive boards.
  • They're 28th in free throw shooting percentage.

Now, on the flipside, they are playing good team defense, but those offensive rebounds they're giving up will negate that to some degree. They're first in the league in turnover differential at +.8, meaning that even though they're turning over the ball too much for my liking, they're getting almost a turnover more from the other team.

I've been getting the feeling that the Warriors are better than all the teams they've played against, but for whatever reason, they let the inferior/poor teams hang around too much, either because of turnovers, poor free throwing, letting the opposition have too many offensive rebounds, or taking too many three-pointers.

Let's call it: playing to the level of their competition. They were getting smacked around by the Hawks in the first half of that game, and played a hell of a second half. They had no chance to rest against the Bucks because Milwaukee was playing good basketball in that game. That's when we've seen the best out of this team -- when there's been no choice. In the other games, the Warriors haven't had to play their best basketball because they other teams (the Bulls and the Knicks), weren't a real threat to pull away. They did just enough to win against the Knicks, and just enough to lose against the Bulls (and I'm skipping the Jazz game because of Davis being out that game).

So we'll see something tonight, I think. On the road against a high-scoring team again, a team in Phoenix who has had more problems than the Warriors in rebounding, and plays almost non-existent defense. It will certainly be interesting, but I think the Warriors really need this win to back the Milwaukee win up -- two victories against quality teams on the road instead of just one will solidify their current standing of second in the West.