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Know thy Enemy: Golden State Warriors

Golden State Warriors

Last Season: 29-53 (.354, 3rd in the Pacific Division, 10th in the Western Conference)Scream

Key Additions: Drafted Stephon Curry. Also brought in Acie Law, Speedy Claxton, Devean George  and Mikki Moore, but if any of those guys become "key," the Warriors will have officially crossed into a realm scary enough to be the setting for the next installment of Saw.
Key Subtractions: Jamal Crawford, Marco Belinelli

(You just think the lil' guy is watching Warriors highlights from last season... Amazing how the color palate matches, though.)

The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Joan and Christina Crawford. The Nazis and the French Resistance. All examples of relationships functioning at a more harmonious level than the Golden State Warriors. While the assembled hoards in El Segundo spent Media Day desperately trying to prove the circus had come to town in the form of Ron Artest's social media smorgasbord and Lamar Odom's E!-tastic wedding, the real McCoy was taking place upstate, short only dancing bears and bearded ladies. Monta Ellis welcomed Curry to the locker room by declaring the Warriors wouldn't be able to win says there's no way the Warriors can win with both the two of them on floor at the same time. Stephen Jackson wants out, because, and I'm paraphrasing only slightly here, it's exceedingly obvious the team is run by nitwits, and the chances of him ever being on a winning squad in Oakland appear as likely as Paris Hilton being named Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Hard to believe Captain Jack has already been suspended, thanks to his actions against the Lakers at the Forum. Two preseason games missed, something that, as an angry 10 year vet, I'm sure tore him up inside.

Of course, this is after the Warriors offered and Jackson accepted an extension ("Who's going to turn down that money? I'm not stupid.") that'll pay him over $10 million in 2013-14, when Captain Jack will be, if my math is correct, about 35. Good luck moving that for anything useful, Larry Riley.

All the discord is merely the second (maybe third, perhaps ninth) act of last year's mess of a season. Injuries played havoc with Don Nelson's rotations, not that anyone necessarily noticed given the often bizarre lineups he fielded and the way players entered and exited his doghouse. These were the semi-surprises to go along with what everyone knew going in: Golden State doesn't play any defense. 112.3 points allowed per night, most in the NBA, and the league's third worst defensive rating.

Also expected were big offensive numbers (108.6 ppg), but it wasn't like they had some finely crafted offensive plan. As John Hollinger notes in his season preview for (Insider required, sad emoticon), the Warriors may have scored a lot, but they didn't pass much:

Last season Golden State assisted on only 53 percent of its made baskets, the second-lowest rate in the league. While one of the main offenders of the me-ball attack, Jamal Crawford, was exiled to Atlanta, there are plenty of other single-minded scorers ready to take his place. Ellis played only 25 games a season ago, but he's a shoot-first point guard who needs a lot of work finding the open man. He'll often team with Curry, another guard far more accomplished at shooting and scoring than at seeing the floor.

Here's a shocking stat: Only three Warriors in this season's likely rotation finished in the top two-thirds at their position in assist ratio last season. Two of them were centers who moved the ball a bit better than their peers but had little impact on the team's overall assist rate. Only Jackson, who ranked fourth among small forwards, is a legitimately good passer. Wright, Ellis, Morrow, Watson, Maggette and Azubuike all finished in the bottom 15 at their positions in assist ratio, while Randolph didn't fare much better.

To re-enforce the point, Nellie's gang attempted 7,055 field goals (3rd in the NBA), made 3,231 (3rd again), but finished 13th in FG% (.458) and 15th in assists (1,711). Golden State's effective field goal percentage of .497 was 18th in the NBA. Basically, when the Warriors managed to get a rebound (they were dead last in defensive rebounding percentage), someone got up the floor super fast and chucked. It wouldn't surprise me if "Run up the floor and chuck" was actually what Nellie wrote on the white board before games. And, of course, since the Warriors lack both size and guys up the floor fast enough to grab them, they were a bad offensive rebounding team, too. The Warriors may have piled up points, but were very one dimensional in how they did it.

This couldn't have been what Ronny Turiaf signed up for.

The Warriors don't lack for good players. Ellis can score with most any guard in the NBA. Andris Biedrins averaged a double-double in only 30 minutes of burn a night. Need someone to draw fouls and get to the line (and not much else)? Corey Maggette is your man. Anthony Randolph showed incredible potential when given minutes and will likely start at power forward, whatever that position entails in a Don Nelson scheme. Anthony Morrow and CJ Watson were pleasant surprises. Curry looks far better as a pro than I thought he would. Overall, though, the parts don't fit together very well (everyone can score, not nearly enough dudes do anything else) and to say there's a lack of direction by the Bay is an understatement.

Add in shoulder surgery for up-and-comer Brandan Wright, on the same shoulder that forced him to miss 37 games last season no less, and the picture gets worse.

Golden State has too many explosive players to go completely into the tank and not enough or the right mix of them to make a serious run at the playoffs. Instead, they exist in a sort of basketball purgatory, except it's probably more like hell for their very loyal, very boisterous fans.

Plus, they lose points for going with this when the classy roots of this are readily available.

Prediction: 33 wins, 4th in the Pacific, 12th in the Western Conference.

Local Coverage:

Blog Coverage:

Previous Season Previews:

Comments () | Archives (29)

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Funny, I just got done reading about Captain Jack is "resigned" to playing with the team that offered him a contract well beyond his market value on ESPN.

Being sick really does afford one the luxury of indulging oneself.

Thanks LakerTom for the heads up on double spacing no longer being a necessity. I couldn't stand the crunched upedness of the posts.

This team will have some nights when everyone is so hot they can't miss. Their only hope is that the NBA keeps the replacement refs and they can use Corey Maggette and his super-free throw generating powers to give them an edge in that dept. Dwayne Wade doesn't get the benefit of some of those calls. Corey will jump side ways into an opposing big, get the call, and repeat. That is his skill. Other than that he's an average, ripped-looking small forward and I would rather have Luke Walton, thank you very much.

My biggest question is will Don make it to seasons end? Will his liver?


Damn. Your analyses are so thorough that we hardly have anything to add. An excellent job as usual in assessing what a joke the Golden State Warriors are.

As a long time Lakers fan living in NorCal, I have followed the Warriors travails in the local press for years. When I was very young, I once worked for an old Jewish gentleman who taught me a lesson about business that applies in spades to the Warriors. He told me when a fish stinks, it stinks from the head. In other words, if a business has problems, the solution is usually to cut off the head. In this case, the problem is Chris Cohan, the incredibly stupid and ineffective owner of the team. He has basically taken what was once an honored franchise and turned it into a joke. He and Don Sterling have to be the worse two owners in the entire NBA. No wonder so many Californians are Lakers fans.

Add Don “NO DEFENSE” Nelson as coach and you have the perfect recipe for screwing Warriors fans, who can only dream of the days of greats like Wilt Chamberlain, Nate Thurmond, and Rick Barry, who should be given a shot at coaching the Warriors. Who can blame Captain Jack for wanting to jump ship. I just hope he doesn’t end up back in San Antonio or Cleveland. He is the only player on the team who can play defense as well as pass the ball. Too bad he can’t be a Laker. I’d trade Sasha, Ammo, and Luke in a heartbeat to get a guy who can play all three perimeter positions.


AK & BK,

Great to see the LA times fix the formatting. Hurrah!

Of course, now all of us have learned to double space our posts. LOL.



I've been slamming you guys for covering the bottom dwellers but monta ellis transcript was pure fun. And somehow stephen jackson managed to top it ...

I wouldn't take what jackson was saying literarily because he's definately in "F U, you hate me, I hate you" mode. Ellis seemed to be in a "I'm smart enough not to say I hate you but we both know I do" mode ...

Without knowing much I'll place this @ Nelson's feet simply because it's widely believed he gets to call the shot in the warriors organization ... that's not to excuse the players behaviors but you don't treat grown men disrespectfully and then act all confused when they talk back ...

LoL I dont really know what to say ... feels like watching a really bad car crash and thinking that flip looked really cool as oppossed to omg, will the passengers be ok ...


Come on. Stop pulling punches. Tell us what you really think.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.



Though I thoroughly enjoyed your write-up, one part has me confused.

So you're predicting that the Warriors will IMPROVE from 29-53 last season to 33-49 this season? You're write-up sounds like they've fallen off the cliff as a franchise, but when all is said and done you're actually predicting that they will improve from last season... which seems odd to me.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


I really feel bad for Ronny.

You said it BK, that CAN NOT be the situation he wanted or was hoping for.

Hope he's back in the Golden Armor before it's all said and done.

Question of the Day: Who's better? Ronny Turiaf or Josh Powell?

I love Ronny Turiaf, but I'm kind of thinking (especially for the money) that Josh Powell is a better player. Also, while Ronny's dancing and good-vibe enthusiastics were incredibly entertaining, I wonder if they're really reflect the seriousness and focus of a Championship caliber team.

Anyhow, Ronny, we miss you, but we're glad Josh "The Kraken" Powell is here.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


Another question: Which fans are more diehard? Warriors or Kings fans?

I WAS thinking that Kings fans were more diehard, but they seem to have lost their fire over the last few years.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


That Stephen Jackson is pure class.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.


Jamie - you'd rather have Luke?

Watch out - you're opening yourself up to a lot of hate posts.... :)

(I would too, especially over Maggette, but I'm smart enough not to post that....)

Rick Barry has as much chance of coaching in the NBA as Kareem.

It's a sad day when we have to avoid saying that we'd rather have Luke than Corey Maggette for fear of arousing the haters. I'm going to go out on a limb and say i'd rather have him than Speedy Claxton, Devean George and Mikki Moore, too.

Heck, Luke would probably lead the team in every stat category except scoring and blocks. I guess Biedrins might get some rebounds. But that is a heck of a one dimensional team.

They're all only diehard, loud & crazy when playing against us. Cuz they think it's a rivalry. Of course it's not, but try to tell THEM that.

Just when you thought it was safe start to the season, I hear this:

Lakers forwards Pau Gasol and Luke Walton missed practice today because of injuries.

Gasol didn't practice because of a strained right hamstring and Walton didn't practice because of a sore back.

Gasol said his hamstring was hurting after practice Monday. "It was a little bit sorer today than yesterday," Gasol said. "I decided not to go."

Walton had been talking about how good his training camp had been because he was healthy. Now comes this injury. "But I'll be good to go soon," Walton said.

Both missed a lively scrimmage in front of season ticket holders at the team's practice facility.

Nellie may call a lot of the shots but I predict he'll be gone before the end of the season. He's the kind of guy who'll get himself kicked out of a game by the refs if he's disgusted enough. Given the way things are headed this early on, he may just decide to get himself tossed by the owner.

AK and BK,

Has the Times come up with some wacky policy where we have to have a new thread every 3 or 4 hours, so we can't have a continuous conversation about anything? With all due respect, some of these threads seem like a reach.

As a fellow Laker fan living in the Bay Area, I get a first hand look at the atrocity that is the Warriors. You were pretty spot on with your analysis BK, but rather than looking strictly at the players and how the don't mesh together, AT ALL, people that follow this team look directly at ownership. It has to be one of the worst ownership groups in sports. Chris Cohan fired Chris Mullen, who deserved to get fired because he made some horrible trades and acquisitions, and hired Larry Riley. Riley thinks he's calling the shots but he really isn't. Don Nelson has this team in a stranglehold; he really runs this team and he's absolutely horrible at it. His coaching has got him many many wins and accolades of being a good coach but I never quite understood why. He's been coaching for 33 years and has made it to the finals zero times. He's gone to the Conference Finals four times, three of which came in the 80's and one in 2002. In my opinion, that's not a very successful career considering he's in the business of coaching teams to win championships. The argument of him not having the talent to do so is bogus as well; he's had the talent a handful of times but didn't deliver. The only time he did deliver was in 1994 at the World Championships with the second Dream Team when they won the Gold Medal. His coaching style has got him on the track to be the coach with the most wins in NBA history but nothing more. The coaching is a major problem for the Warriors but it doesn't end there with Don Nelson; he's been acting as the GM since he was hired back for a second stint in 2006. The mess that is the Warriors is as much Don Nelson's fault as anyone else, besides Cohan who won't fire him. He's had his hand in all the personnel decisions. Trading guys that he didn't get along with away, having lottery pick after lottery pick come up as busts because he doesn't give them the time to develop, holding grudges with players and putting them in his proverbial "doghouse," trying to be the alpha male when he should have just done his job (by this I mean he saw how the Warriors had no direction when he first arrived and he took advantage of that by gaining as much control as possible and then pissing that responsibility right down the toilet), and so on and so on. This team will remain in the cellar as long as this odd hierarchy (where the coach has, what seems to be, final word) and the current roster remain in tact. They will win games because Don Nelson is good at doing that and has talent on the squad but much like there next door neighbors, the Oakland Raiders, the Warriors are completely dysfunctional and need MAJOR overhaul to get things moving in another direction, hopefully up.

LakerTom & DKWSFO -

Sorry for such a delayed response to your question late last week, I got sick and went M.I.A. for a couple days. Yeah, I know numerous places we could go to and watch the game. It all depends on what we're looking for. There's places that will have sound available for the game while others won't, places with both good food and drinks and other where it's just drinks, busy places compared to not as busy, etc. DKWSFO mentioned Jillian's which is cool, I'm pretty sure they don't have audio available though. Also, I don't know when the world series is gonna be on but if there is a game on Oct. 27, we might have a problem. There will be plenty of TV's where ever we go but we may not get the exact set-up we'd like, but that's just nitpicking. Depending on how many people are coming, parking is always an issue. If there is a high number, which I hope there is, we can go somewhere parking friendlier than other places, unless no one is driving (I know I'll be driving and I'll assume you are too). DKWSFO mentioned searching for a "Lakers Bar" and not finding one; I've gone around and there isn't a place owned by a Lakers fan where all the games are always on, that would have been awesome! If you want to ask those that are coming what there preferences are, I'll get back to you with a name and location. If there aren't any preferences, let's see how the scheduling works out and then we can decide after that. I can give you some names of places right off the top of my head though: Jakes's Steaks (Philly Cheesesteak place owned by Philly people who are great folks), The Blue Light (great bar and good food at a great price), Bus Stop (great bar where they serve no food but you can bring your own from a restaurant or home or have things delivered directly to you), Knuckle's (bar and grill on Fisherman's Wharf), the previously mentioned Jillian's and many more. Let me know what you think. Maybe we can get an email going with those that are coming and figure out the details that way, it's probably easier to communicate all together. Let me know if I can help in any other way, I'll gladly do so.

phred - I'll see your team of Luke's & raise you a team of Kwame's.


“As Phil Jackson mentioned afterwards regarding the full court run, Adam Morrison continued to shoot the ball well, Andrew Bynum was at times dominant and Shannon Brown offered his usual assortment of ridiculous dunks.”


Stephen Jackson and Kobe Bryant mix it up
By Kelly Dwyer
In case you missed it, Y!'s Adrian Wojnarowski absolutely laid waste to Golden State's pathetic ownership, executive, coaching and, um, on-court personnel the other day. Absolutely, rightfully, destroyed that miserable lot that has helped ruin Bay Area pro basketball for a decade and a half's worth of fans that certainly didn't deserve it.

But buried deep inside the connected haymakers was this little line, one that had me laughing out loud:

"Jackson flipped on Friday night in Los Angeles when Nellie let him stay on the floor to pick up five fouls and a technical inside of 10 minutes. Jax was at wit's end when he started clinging close to Kobe Bryant(notes). One source on the court says Kobe addressed Jax as ‘Young Fella,' and for some odd reason that pushed Jackson over the edge. Soon, Jackson was cursing Nellie and storming to the locker room on his way to a two-game preseason suspension."

Oh, Kobe.

I'm sorry, that's such a jerk move, but I can't help but love it.

Bird would have done that. Magic would have done that, Michael Jordan probably did that, and each of the members of the "done that" community would have known exactly what they were doing.

Known that the "young fella" in question was actually the same age or older. And, yes, you guessed it, Jackson has four months on Kobe.

Don't blame this on Kobe missing the transactions wire. Missing the news that sent Jackson to a community college while Kobe went straight to the pros, or forgetting that he bounced around, played in New Jersey, suffered with the Spurs, before showing up to guard Bryant in the 2003 playoffs.

A playoff turn that, if you'll remember, saw the Spurs bounce the Lakers. Ah.

Kobe remembers this stuff. Just as he remembered that Raja Bell(notes) was an integral late-season addition for the 2001 Philadelphia 76ers, a team that gave Kobe and his Lakers fits in that year's Finals. And that Bell played tough D on Kobe for years, over several different teams, before Kobe called him "kid" while talking about Bell to the media in 2006.

Bell is, of course, two years older than Kobe Bryant.

No, this isn't Kobe Bryant acting as a fair-weather fan, unaware of Jackson and Bell's presence until recently, thinking them some up-and-comer. He knows exactly what's going on and how to get them off their game.

And boy did it send Jackson off his game the other night. Five fouls and a technical in the first quarter alone. Enough frustration to take an already teetering situation with the Warriors and "coach" Don Nelson, and send him over the edge.

Does Bryant need to do this? Hell no.

Are the Warriors any threat to come near the playoffs this year? Of course not. Does he need to plant that seed in Jackson and Golden State now, in order to take advantage of that frustration in the spring? No way. Even if Jackson were shipped to a Western contender, does he need that edge on Jackson? Not even close.

He's just that much of a competitor. Some might think, "get a life," and I wouldn't blame them. But I'm thinking that this is a guy that reminds of a player who played in an era before elaborate pregame kiss-and-hug sessions.

I'm not saying this is a good thing. Not telling you that the game is worse these days, now that most players are able to chill out and actually make a clear distinction between proper adult tact and competitive zeal, with that distinction shifting once the opening jump ball goes up.

What I am saying is that Kobe is one of the last of a rare breed, and that I can't help but love it when he pulls junk like this.

Related: Raja Bell, Stephen Jackson, Kobe Bryant, Philadelphia 76ers

Hope this clears as not a long article and cut and paste is easier than copying link going to tinyurl and then posting.


Thanks for the good feedback. It sounds as if you have the best handle on possible sites. Since it seems as if I am the only one in Marin, I don’t mind having to drive a ways. I would be a blast to meet other Lakers Bloggers in the Bay Area and have a few brews as we watch the team get their rings and crush the Clippers. So far, here is my list of NorCal Lakers fans who are interested in meeting.

LakerTom – Mill Valley
DWKSFO – San Francisco
Tushar Patel - San Francisco
Kobefan in Cupertino - Cupertino
boba – City?

Let’s see how many fans we get and where they all live and what the World Series schedule is. I need to make sure to watch my Yankees take out the Dodgers, too. LOL.

Looks like we both have followed the same tattered history with the Warriors. Ironically, way before I moved to Mill Valley from Long Beach (I grew up in SoCal), I was actually a Warriors fan because Wilt was my favorite player at the time. The original Triple Towers had Wilt, Nate Thurmond, and Wayne Hightower. Unfortunately, my Warriors stint was pretty short because they traded the Stilt to Philly and I became a 76ers fan. Finally, the Lakers traded for Wilt and I have been a Lakers fan ever since.



>>> much like there next door neighbors, the Oakland Raiders, the Warriors are completely
>>> dysfunctional and need MAJOR overhaul to get things moving in another direction,
>>> hopefully up.

Ironically, you could almost say the same thing about every Oakland team – Warriors, Raiders, and A’s. At least the Warriors once could call themselves the San Francisco Warriors. Cohan’s first decision after purchasing the team was to kill any hopes of the team staying in the City and dooming them to the nightmare of Oakland sports franchises. Oakland and the East Bay take their hits like
Brooklyn and New Jersey do as second citizens to the Big Cities but don’t have the fan base or momentum to change that status like the Jets and Nets seem to have. Sad days for East Bay sports.


"Question of the Day: Who's better? Ronny Turiaf or Josh Powell?"

Jon I'd choose Ronny over Josh almost 9 out of 10 times.

Josh may have a better jumper and has the will to rebound more but otherwise Ronny is superior to him all aspects, plus he can play center much better than Josh could and while Ronny does have foul problems he is much better at defending than Josh is.

My two cents on that.


No question, the management/ownership deserves a huge helping of grief here. They've really screwed things up. There are some burly personalities on the roster, no question, but the Warriors are among the worst teams in the league in terms of organizational strength and competence.

Jon K.-

The reason I gave them more wins is because of health. With Ellis playing a full season, they'll be better and win more games. I can picture them going as high as the high 30s, but not high enough to make any difference. That's why I consider them in hoops purgatory. Too good to completely suck, too bad to be a playoff team. Plus all the chaos.


The mandate is actually a post every hour, but we try to space them out. I kid, but as we've explained before, we post things when we think there's something interesting to post. It's not a chat board, but a blog. And there's nothing to prevent you or anyone else from carrying on a conversation with another poster if we put up a new thread. It's not like each thread constitutes its own little universe, where everyone stays on topic. Comments always range over different subjects, no matter what it is we're posting about or how often.


"At least the Warriors once could call themselves the San Francisco Warriors."

Tom, the only significant in my opinion about the Warriors is that they had to be one of Wilt Chamberlain's teams. Otherwise while they had some "fun" times like Run TMC and the brief "We Believe" Warriors the team from Oak town has a terrible owner and GM for a LONG time. Sad you had to be up in the Bay but then again you also are a 49ers fan (which is better than the 1-4 Oakland Raiduhs) so I guess it works out for you.

So I have a question for y'all knowledgeable types:

Will Kobe's scoring & assists go up this year?

My knee-jerk reaction is "of course not". He just won a title and regardless
of the brown-nosing, stat-pumping journalists say ... everyone knows Kobe
is the most skilled & ruthless player in the game. That is a long winded way of
saying: he's the best.

However, can you really afford to triple-team Kobe after Pau's success last
year? The general consensus is that Artest is better "offensively" than Ariza.
Will teams really leave Artest alone to double-team Kobe?

I find myself wondering if Kobe's efficiency will go up ... I'd love to see
Kobe avg 30 pts & 6 assists this year.

Early recording for the podcast this week. Send any questions in via the blog, email ([email protected]) or Twitter (latimeslakers).


"It's not a chat board, but a blog. And there's nothing to prevent you or anyone else from carrying on a conversation with another poster if we put up a new thread. It's not like each thread constitutes its own little universe, where everyone stays on topic. Comments always range over different subjects, no matter what it is we're posting about or how often.


Posted by: Brian Kamenetzky | October 13, 2009 at 05:11 PM

Hey! That’s not necessary, BK. We here at this site dedicated to the five plus year running dialogue “Luke Walton and Andrew Bynum; do they suck?” have always been patient with you and your brother interrupting our conversations with your little bits of ‘witty’ commentary about that one NBA team, but don’t get cocky.

Actually, Rick, it seems like the Bros K get more flak if they don't come up with a new thread than they get for having extras. Can't please everybody, I guess.



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