December 13, 2009

GSW @ DET 12/12/09: PostThoughts

For fuck's sake.

Stellar game from Monta, strong game from Maggette, decent games from CJ and Curry. Really, I don't have a beef with how any Warrior played. That's not to say that they all played well... Vlad and Morrow were both really bad, and Mikki, Randolph and Hunter combined to give us one rebound in 38 minutes. Still and all, this was the second half of a road back-to-back, a game you shouldn't expect to win. I can't fault the effort of the players.

The coaching -- hoo, boy, I can fault the coaching. This was smallball as ignorantly stubborn as any Nellie has ever foisted upon us. We luck into playing the Pistons to a draw on the boards in the first half, and Smart takes that as a sign that we need to get even smaller? Is it written somewhere that the end of days will descend upon the earth if the Warriors actually outrebound somebody? Did we really just finish a close game -- on purpose, mind you -- with Vladimir Radmanovic protecting our rim?

Smallball got us outrebounded 24-10 in the second half, and what did it give us in return? Maybe the one sequence where C.J. tied up Austin Daye? Yippy goddamned skippy, Smart -- that is not a good trade. You don't just cede the glass unless you're dramatically profiting in other ways, and for the 105th straight game, we didn't. We don't get a bunch of extra three-point attempts off because we're small... we're still below-average in that department. We don't rack up steals because we're small... we rack up steals because we have players who are good at racking them up. We don't succeed on the fast break because we're small... we succeed on the fast break because we're fast and can finish. It's not like Monta's basketball powers are neutralized if there are two tall Warriors on the court.

Smallball sometimes nets us an extra steal or two in the first halves of games, as wings aren't used to Watsonian levels of pressure. But in second halves, teams have become used to our peskiness, and they just start destroying us; once they've adjusted, smallball is worthless to us. And yet the sideline directive always is the same, no matter the shape or color of the coach giving it: "Shrink 'em down!"

I don't know which coach is responsible for which parts of the decision-making "process" here, and at this point I don't really care. It's not even about wanting to see more Anthony Randolph, either. It's about wanting to see some basic understanding of basketball on the part of our coaching staff. Smaller is not always better. Rebounds and shot-affecting really do help you win, and you should not give up on them without having a really good reason. Vladimir Radmanovic is not a good fucking reason.

Right now, I can't muster much appetite for the prospect of Keith Smart coaching this team. I'm sure the team would be more energetic and functional under him, and who knows -- maybe left to his own devices, he'd be capable of assembling sane lineups. But right now, it feels like he'd just be dishing out warmed-over Nellieball, and the thought of that is not only appalling, but embarrassing. How much more misguided smallball do we have to sit through? How long does it take to realize that the mismatches you're creating are working against you?


FreeZarko said...

This is the best Warriors blog I have ever read, and it rivals any of the Truehoop blogs. I sometimes post on GSoM out of boredom, but I'd like to post here if ever you two are starved for content. My email's

warriorsscore110 said...

Owen great post. Your one of the few people on GSOM who deciphers basketball well and writes to a level to make your point come across really well. (I can only do the first, and even that is debatable). Just wanted to say I love the blog here and it is now one of the 10 or so Warriors daily reads I make in the morning.

While I share your opinons, in general, about small ball and how we are playing at the moment, my bigger problem is the lack of big picture for the Warriors. We don't have the horses to go 500% when we are healthy and as injured as we are at the moment, any game we win is a borderline miracle.

Smallball and the run and gun system isnt working. But if your Keith Smart and can only work with the 7-9 players that you got, what else it the answer? Not Mikki Moore. Chris Hunter logging 25 minutes? An out of control, up and down Randolph playing 35 minutes? With out changing the roster, the only thing we can do is wait till Biedrins and Turiaf get healthy. It won't make us a good team by any stretch, but maybe a better team.
email is

Owen said...

Hey, thanks much to both of you guys... we appreciate your reading and the kind words. We're not yet looking to up the frequency of our content -- we want to see if we can even keep this snail's pace going before we make any grand plans. But we'd love for you guys to stick around and make noise in the comments section; hopefully we'll evolve to the point where we can make room for more posters.

Owen said...

Whoops, accidentally sent that one in midstream. We're not so good at these... these computers.

> Smallball and the run and gun system isnt
> working. But if your Keith Smart and can only
> work with the 7-9 players that you got, what
> else it the answer? Not Mikki Moore. Chris
> Hunter logging 25 minutes? An out of control,
> up and down Randolph playing 35 minutes?

It's true -- Smart has an undeniably hard task right now. There's no alignment of the nine available guys that wouldn't have some significant issues. I don't really expect us to be winning much these days.

Having said that, it wouldn't be hard to have some baseline levels of size on the floor at all times. We could eliminate our worst defensive sequences just by following a few simple ground rules:

1) Try to have either Randolph or Hunter on the floor as often as possible, as they're the two bigs that have shown some ability to defend near the basket.

2) If that's not possible (due to foul trouble, injury, a Randolph spaz-out, whatever), align the remaining players in a way that will minimize our deficiencies on the glass. If you have to have Vlad and Mikki out there together (shudder), try to put Maggette out there too. Use Monta, Curry and CJ together only under extreme circumstances.

3) Only play Vlad if and when you have a good reason to think he'll help you on *offense*. He is a defensive liabilty, no matter how many balls he slaps at.

4) If our opponent goes on a ten-point run against a small lineup -- 10-0, 13-3, 21-11 -- make the lineup bigger, because they've figured you out.

warriorsscore110 said...

If we do roll with Vlad and Mikki, + Maggette, we will lose the game. Maybe we don't get crushed on the glass (we still get out rebounded) but we get crushed on the scoreboard. I do agree that if small ball is not working than to pull it immediately. I think we agree that small ball should be a change of pace, or a gimmick that we use for spurts not an offensive gameplan.

One other quick question, can you check how many people visit this blog. Because If I dont see any comments I am less inclined to leave one myself. But I hope that you guys see that there might be many people who come read but don't leave comments here.

Owen said...

No question, Mikki/Vlad/Maggette is still a very dicey frontcourt. But at least it slows the rebounding damage and, more importantly, allows Maggette to pla to his strengths.

As for your other question, we can see some general numbers on how many people are reading... it seems that we have a consistent li'l (very li'l) audience. I hope that people will grow more comfortable with the idea of commenting, as we love feedback, but fear not -- we will keep babbling, even if the comments are few and far between.