Golden State Warriors 92 Final
Recap | Box Score
94 Sacramento Kings
David Lee, PF 41 MIN | 6-13 FG | 8-8 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 20 PTS | +2

When Lee is patient and chooses his spots offensively he’s a better player and the Warriors are a better team. The shooting numbers don’t show it, but for the most part Lee let the game come to him tonight. Most notable were several show-and-go moves he made to score easy baskets and get to the free throw line. Defensively, though, there’s just nothing to be pleased about here. Lee was consistently out of position and late on rotations, at one point prompting a primal yell from Bogut in the process. The Warriors were beat handily on the glass, too, an area where Lee is supposed to make his mark.

Harrison Barnes, SF 30 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 6 PTS | +2

The first six minutes of the game were Barnes’ busiest of the season, a development unsurprisingly met with both good and bad. He started the game missing an easy layup on the break and air-balling a three-pointer on the Warriors’ first two possessions, but stayed active on defense and off the ball to create easy scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates. That’s the type of game he needs to play right now – one rooted in energy and enthusiasm. He doesn’t have the comfort, confidence, or skill at this point to be the isolation scorer some thought, as evidenced by two early failed opportunities.

Andrew Bogut, C 19 MIN | 5-7 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | +2

This was Bogut’s most encouraging performance of the young season from an all-around standpoint, with Golden State’s early success and late, ultimately futile run coming with him on the floor. He scored four straight points to cut the Dubs’ deficit to three with a minute left, then blocked an Aaron Brooks layup – off a switch, by the way – on the other end that led to two Klay Thompson free throws and a 93-92 score. It’s easy to imagine that type of impactful two-way play over the course of a full game as the season progresses.

Stephen Curry, SG 39 MIN | 3-15 FG | 4-5 FT | 6 REB | 8 AST | 12 PTS | 0

Curry shot the ball horribly tonight but found other ways to contribute. He missed his first eight shots from the field – many of which were very, very makable – and was generally out of sync offensively. He missed a long, contested three-pointer that would have won the game, too. Curry ran the team ably for the most part and found his teammates for several easy buckets, though, and really exerted himself on defense. Still, he needs to give the Warriors more than this.

Klay Thompson, SG 39 MIN | 7-17 FG | 5-6 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 22 PTS | -2

It’s a credit to Thompson’s talent and his reputation within league circles that he can score such a quiet, understated 22 points and do so with efficiency. Combine that with seven rebounds, three assists, and a single turnover and you have the makings of bonafide star. It’s a double-edged sword, though, and that his imprint on the game didn’t support his impressive line in the box score deserves some criticism. Basically, he can do more, and it seems as if Mark Jackson is encouraging him to try. The next step is gaining the comfort and confidence to do so. Still, another encouraging performance from Thompson.

Carl Landry, PF 20 MIN | 2-4 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -8

Landry was bound to come back to earth after consecutive twenty-point outings and it happened tonight. It was more due to lack of touches and opportunity than effectiveness, though; for whatever reason he wasn’t a focal point offensively like he was Golden State’s previous two games.

Festus Ezeli, C 16 MIN | 1-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | 0

Selected 30th overall in June’s draft, by now it’s clear the Warriors got a steal in Ezeli. Players with his size, strength, quickness, and energy level are rare, and tonight he exhibited all of those traits. Unfortunately, the rookie also displayed why he was available that late in the draft in the first place – a decided lack of finishing ability in the paint. Ezeli, for now at least, has one of the worst pairs of hands in the league. If he improves on that, he’ll easily be one of the conference’s top backup centers.

Jarrett Jack, PG 18 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -4

A bit like Landry, Jack regressed to the mean after three overwhelmingly successful games as Golden State’s backup point guard. Until a good late third/early fourth quarter spurt, he was one of the Warriors most ineffective players all night long.

Three Things We Saw

  1. Perhaps with the success of the season’s first three games in mind, Golden State opened the second half with Barnes initiating the offense on several occasions. With Curry and Thompson running around screens and catching on the wing, it was basically a version of the team’s small backcourt with Barnes in Jack’s stead. It didn’t yield many positive results, but it’s no doubt something the Warriors will come back to when they’re struggling for offense.
  2. Watching Bogut and DeMarcus Cousins push, shove, and fight on the interior was a joy. Only if every NBA game contained such a contrasting matchup of talented centers. When these two meet again, this is the matchup to keep an eye on.
  3. Draymond Green received a few minutes in the third quarter at small forward. He has the skill and nuance to play on the perimeter on offense, but lacks the quickness to defend opposing wings. While none of that showed much today, it’s something to remember as Golden State tries to find ways to cope with the injury to Brandon Rush.

4 Responses

  1. Kay

    Nice assessments. Curry, Jack, Landry were all non-existent. Klay Thompson had a real rough shooting night especially from the arc. Bogut had to sit most of the game. Yet, they still could have won the game if a couple of late good looks went in. I believe this tells you that they are quiet talented – at least much more talented than a team like the Kings where their main players like Cousins and Thornton were on. Frustrating game to watch, but also encouraging if you take a step back.

    On another note, Tyreke Evans looks more like his brother Reggie Evans right now. He is not fitting into that system right now.

    • Gonzalo

      Hey Evanz, I’ve enjoyed some of your gsom posts and delevd into some on your site here. I just read a nice book on randomness and stuff (The Drunkard’s Walk by Mlodinow) and it spurred me to drop you a line i realise this probably isn’t the best place for it, feel free to (re)move.I had a few thoughts. Firstly, given the highly uncertain nature of pro sports, there are two ways to improve successful outcomes. The first is to increase the true’ probability of success, something all teams obviously officially try to do in various ways. The other is slightly counterintuitive, and that is simply to increase the number of trials’ you perform. Even if your success rate is poor, by repeating often enough you will get more successes (and failures). Now playing more games won’t cut it, but as soon as I thought about this I was reminded of Jerry West’s (and Joe Lacob’s?) professed desire for risk taking. What was formerly a nice sounding piece of business mumbo jumbo suddenly became an obvious way for increasing positive outcomes. Cut more deals and some of them are bound to come off, right? This assumes that the bad deals don’t unduly cripple the team, but I couldn’t help but think of the team’s gunshy history, where trade deadlines pass through Oakland like tumbleweed. (Perhaps my impression is amiss, and the Warriors have actually pulled the trigger more than other teams?)Another point, in any random process, over enough trials long strings of success (and failure hello, Dubs!) are likely. Yet we regularly infer talent from success and a lack in those who fail. In fact we tell great stories explaining what may amount to a run of 10 heads in a row. The author makes the jarring point that in all fields where people strive for success, we should judge them by our estimation of their talent, not their success. I like this idea, because I am talented but unsuccessful! Kidding. But it did make me think of those who weigh NBA championships very highly in player (and coach) evaluation. My other thought related to the difference between probability and statistics i.e. predicting outcomes based on known likelihoods vs inferring likelihoods from known outcomes. Assuming there is a true’ probability of NBA success, no one can tell you what it is (although in the case of Golden State we might be confident it’s not that high!). That leaves us with reams of data from which we might guess such a thing, and it struck me as something you’re trying to do. I think that’s a worthy and admirable goal.But it’s a real challenge because on the face of it, data loses usefulness with age (doesn’t it?) and although it seems copious, when you drill down to certain measures I don’t know whether sample sizes are really big enough to draw inferences from. The last thing I wanted to mention was the NCAA point shaving scandal. I didn’t follow it at the time, but it struck me as a beautiful use of the normal distribution of errors, to discover that in certain classes of games the margin sat closer to one side of the spread than it should have (did you know that Poincare found out a dodgy baker by analysing the error over time in bread loaf mass? Hilarious.). I’d love to see more analyses like this out there.Anyway, apologies for such a long winded comment, and all the best.Cheers,Hammertime.

  2. FeatherRiverDan

    Cousins pushed Bogut all around the court and Bogut was no match….both big men thought the ball was a hot potato…where is the warriors coaches,MJ just stands and watches like a stiff board and talks to the officials, doesn’t call time outs when needed to stop other teams runs, just what is he there for?Is there a team worst then Sacramento in the league, I guess the warriors are…they play small way too much, use that 9 million dollar man….

  3. J-RIDAH

    Curry deserved an F. I still think the team needs a real PG. Steph is nothing more than an undersized two. He can not control a game. He turns the ball over too much. Great sooter but NOT A PG!