Sunday, February 26, 2012


Bobcats save $8.1M overall in this trade (huge for a small market team) and we get an additional $1M in cap space next season. The Bobcats are rumored to be considering using the amnesty on Tyrus Thomas, so they would be trading their perceived garbage for our garbage. The change of scenery could be good for both players. 

Tyrus is having the worst year of his career, so now would be a time to buy low. I see him as a rich man's Dominic McGuire - terrific rebounder, unbelievable athleticism, great length, and a knack for spectacular plays that get the crowd and team pumped (Nate Robinson-like via dunks and blocks). He could be a great compliment to Lee playing at C. Tyrus will also be able to cover up some of the defensive mistakes from our small backcourt. Thing is...if we do this, we go small, run, and we gun hard for the playoffs. Bye-bye lotto pick.

 PG: Curry / Robinson / Jenkins
SG: Ellis / Thompson
SF: D. Wright / Rush / Gerald Green*
PF: Thomas / McGuire / C. Wright
 C: Lee / Udoh / Tyler
* d-league call-up

 ESPN Scouting Report
6'10", 225 lbs, born 8/17/86 (25 y.o.) 
+ High-energy shot-blocker and finisher. Long, athletic but slender big man. 
+ Can make midrange Js and finish at rim, but makes bad decisions. Weak handle.
+ Mistake-prone defender.

Has great tools but not always in the right spot. While the Bobcats were busy starting Boris Diaw and Kwame Brown in the frontcourt, Thomas was leading the team in PER and had one of the best plus-minus marks on the roster, but he averaged only 21 minutes a game. Even missing half the season with injuries, this was easily his best campaign as a pro. Thomas averaged nearly a point every two minutes, showcasing for the first time in his career the requisite finishing skills to take advantage of his considerable athleticism. While Thomas shot well around the rim, it was equally encouraging to see him knock down 41.6 percent of his shots beyond 10 feet; these comprised half his shots and gave him a half-court role when he wasn't dunking on people. 

Thomas is still less than refined as a ballhandler. He catches the ball thinking only of scoring and doesn't see the rest of the floor, plus he's a weak dribbler and can get out of control. Only four power forwards had a worse Pure Point Rating, offsetting some of the scoring impact. Thomas also had trouble staying on the floor, as he fouled once every 7.6 minutes -- partly because his skinny build puts him in physical mismatches. 

However, Thomas did defend and rebound. While he makes mistakes at that end, he offsets them with his athleticism. Thomas blocked 3.07 shots per 40 minutes, ranking second among power forwards, and was also among the leaders at his position in steals and rebounds. The Bobcats gave up 5.25 points per 100 possessions less with him on the court, even though he was often playing out of position as a center. I still don't know why he wasn't starting, but Thomas clearly needs to play a larger role this season.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


It's one game, but this was a back breaker for me. How the hell did we lose to those guys? Without the Blazers best player, LaMarcus Aldridge, and playing at the back end of back-to-backs, the Warriors managed to squander an opportunity get their 4th straight win and remain playoff relevant.

This was as close to a sure win as could be and they blew it. I thought they were getting better with chemistry building and roles being established, but this loss illustrated just how fragile the lineup is. It seems as if everything has to go right for them to win even the most winnable games. The 'scrappy' Warriors did not show up last night, 3 point shots weren't falling, production from the bigs was absent, Monta was benched even when the offense struggled, and Mark Jackson's rotation pattern was questionable at best.

I set a goal of a minimum record of 7-11 for the homestand and they didn't make it. Barring an Ellis for bigman trade, they will likely fall completely out of the playoff race now that the 'easy' part of the schedule is out of the way and tough road games lie ahead.

As if all this wasn't bad enough, Jeremy Lin, our former backup PG, is lighting the sports world on fire. We had him, but let him get away.

If they couldn't beat the depleted and tired Blazers at home, I don't have faith that they can make a run for the 8th seed. It's time to call in the tanks and pivot towards keeping our draft pick. It's the only way to salvage an already dismal season in the making.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


With about a third of the season complete, it's becoming increasingly obvious to everyone that the core is severely flawed. I've been pointing this out for quite some time and I hope the front office finally has the guts to make a big move - namely trading Monta Ellis for whatever they can get.

Flaw Rankings
1. Lack of complimentary front court mate for David Lee
2. Small backcourt a defensive liability
3. Potential star in Stephen Curry being stunted by Monta Ellis' game
4. No true proven point guard on the roster
5. No exceptional talent with two-way ability (offensive and defensive dominance)
6. A front office-by-committee that cannot get itself to commit to a rebuild

The remedies to these flaws can be easily addressed by eliminating whoever is holding back the front office from making big trades from the decision process and committing to moving forward with an eye towards the future, not short term, marginal improvement. If by the end of Wednesday's match-up with the Trail Blazers, they do not have a record of 12-14 or better, they should pivot from an all-out push to the playoffs to insuring that they retain their 2012 draft pick (top-7 protected) at all costs. This could mean playing the prospects (Thompson, Tyler, Jenkins, and Chris Wright) big minutes, resting Curry and his gimpy ankle every other game, and playing Biedrins lots of minutes to pump up his trade value if he does well or contribute to losses if he doesn't.

The biggest remedy to the flaws is to use Ellis as trade bait to get draft picks, veteran help in the front court, expiring deals, underrated prospects or some combination of all four. This move is a must, whether they have a pulse when it comes to the playoffs race or not. The front office should not overvalue Monta and demand equal value back, they should accept the best offer in order to move forward with a proper re-build of the Golden State Warriors.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Perhaps one of the most controversial decisions of this lockout shortened offseason was the non-amnesty of Andris Biedrins. It seems that the overwhelming majority of fans are angry that the Warriors decided to use it on Charlie Bell who was an expiring $4M contract. Those fans desperately wanted to use it on Biedrins in order to clear out $27M in cap space over the next 3 years.

In all honesty, if it were my decision, I would have probably done the same thing.

Biedrins is only 25 years old. He's an agile 7 footer (a rarity in the NBA), who has monumental confidence problems - correctable to a degree under the right conditions. Mark Jackson has a way with players, so if I were Lacob, I would put faith in Jackson to build Biedrins back up into a tradable asset worthy of a roster spot on a contender desperate for center depth. There should be a market for him if he can show that he is over his confidence issues and if a team believes that all is needed is a 'change of scenery.' The 'process' of reclamation is underway and it seems to be slowly heading in the right direction.

Using the amnesty on Bell was acceptable in my view, given the situation. Bell, who just appeared drunk to his DYI court hearing, was an unwanted player who had no chance of contributing to the team. Biedrins, on the other hand, was their only viable center option currently on the roster at the time. Jeremy Tyler was not ready and Udoh is undersized for the job as full-time center. At the very least, Biedrins would give them solid backup minutes and 6 fouls a night. The Warriors needed just enough cap space to make a good offer to their number one target, Tyson Chandler. Amnestying Biedrins' contract in order to offer an even higher amount would have been a mistake that the organization would likely have regretted given Chandler's age and limited contributions on the offensive end. Their offer to Chandler was generous enough, and if it weren't for the Knicks amnestying Chauncy Billups to clear cap room, he would probably be a Warrior, albeit an overpaid one. Had the Warrior amnestied Biedrins while losing out on Chandler, they would have had serious depth problems at Center, writen off $27 M over 3 years, and be forced to pay for a starting center and a solid backup as well.

By going hard after DeAndre Jordan next, the Warriors showed that they were not afraid to spend, but at the same time, were not going to be reckless with the cap space they had. Biedrins was supposed to be the backup Center, but it did not happen according to plan. They settled for Kwame Brown, but unfortunately, he got injured early and we are back with Biedrins as the starter. Thankfully, the Brown deal is only for 1 year just like the other free agent signings that rounded out the roster.

Since Biedrins spoke to the media after the January 29th loss to OKC Thunder, he seems to be playing with more passion and energy. Mark Jackson has increased his playing time and he is responding. Although the boxscore doesn't underscore this, he is playing good defense, altering many shots, rebounding, fighting for position, blocking shots, deflecting balls, and tapping missed shots to others for offensive and defensive rebounds. He's having a net positive affect on the game even though he is still not able to contribute in the scoring column. I would like to see more of him in the 4th quarter when the Warriors are fighting to keep leads.

I'm rooting hard for Biedrins and I hope he can get back. If he does, he becomes tradable, allowing the Warriors to shed some of his salary while getting surplus talent or less defective players in return. If we're lucky, perhaps we can get a 2nd round pick and expirings.

Related Links
Rusty Simmons: Andris Biedrins 'not satisfied' with his season
Golden State Warriors: Biedrins Post Practice Interview (1:40)
Marcus Thompson: 5 Reasons the Warriors Won’t Amnesty Biedrins
Tim Kawakami: Warriors amnesty: Should be Lee, could be Biedrins, but probably will be Charlie Bell
Tim Kawakami: Joe Lacob on the Warriors’ 5-11 start, Mark Jackson, the amnesty decision and more