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Dub Nation HQ Comments of the Week & Open Thread
First week post-summer league and commenters still have high plus-minus
"You can't do that in a video game" - Dray
Run_TMC (6 ♡):
I was going to write this in yesterday's open thread, but I'm glad I didn't because it fits so much better here:
There is a fair amount of uncertainty regarding what Klay will look like next season, with the most positive saying he'll be back 100% and the 2nd most negative saying he'll be old Kyle Korver (who, if you'll remember could shoot the lights out and then give up more points on D such that he was mostly unplayable). The most negative think he's done but I am not going to think about that.
Like anyone with a soul I have always loved the way Klay approaches the game (and life) and so I am dying to have him back at 100%. Based on what we know, even if that is possible, it seems unlikely that he will be there the first time he steps on the court. He won't have had nearly as much recovery time as KD and almost all other examples took a while to really get their seas legs back. The general consensus seems to be that, day one, he'll still be a great shooter with most of the concern revolving around his ability to play D and maybe to move off ball. If we accept that to be true, I still end up pretty optimistic that he will be a net positive even in the short term.
Offensively, last year's team just needed a guy who could shoot. If Klay he'd been standing still on the opposite side of the floor last year and just waiting for someone to pass him the ball, he probably makes the team 3 points better a game. Somewhere, somehow, even if it's with the 2nd string, punishing the other team's bench he's gonna make it a bit easier for this year's team to score even if he actually is old Korver and there is a lot fo reason to hope expect better than that.
Defensively, I just can't figure out how to project it. I mean he never relied on uber athleticism in the first place, so will he really lose THAT much? I guess it remains to be seen, but let's assume he can no longer contain the other team's best guard (at least for most of this season). It feels like this year's roster has some pretty good defenders and so it seems likely that the coaching staff can devise a system to pretty good defensively even with a reduced Klay on the floor.
Basically, in any scenario where Klay can play at all, I have a lot of reason to believe that overall, the team will be more effective over 48 minutes than they would be without him from day 1 (ok, maybe day 7) and a fair amount of reason to hope that, as he works his way back, he will add more and more to the team so that they are, as many of hope, really scary come playoff time regardless of seed.
And lastly, Warrior basketball is just more fun to watch when Klay is on the floor!
Klaymatic37 (6 ♡):
It isn't necessary for Klay to be as good as he was on defense. Wiggins should take up the role defensively that Klay use to. Although, if Klay does approach anywhere near 100%...WGBC!
Klay also has a ton of gravity on the court. Positioned correctly that’s one less help defender to rotate around. When you also have Curry’s gravity, it makes defenses much less flexible to cut off drives by Wiggins or Poole or even loading up directly against Curry. Remember KD’s free walks to the basket in the finals vs the Cavs? The trauma of one of those guys taking an open shot means more, and also having two guys like that is more than the sum of it’s parts in terms of defenses adjusting and loading up against various actions and threats. I don’t expect him to right away move like he did, but he’s a shooter on another level, and even if he’s not the ace defender he was, I highly doubt he’s going to be terrible/unplayable on defense. Korver was never a good defender even when he was younger/healthy so seems an odd comparison to make for someone like Klay who had great fundamentals prior to a likely decline from injury.
Daniel Hardee (4 ♡):
Great work Apricot!
bobbita (3 ♡):
Still crazy how Barbosa and Livingston are on the team lol
Peter Hood (3 ♡):
Well said. The static about Klay never being Klay or can he be 100% is just that, static. We know enough to project with a pretty high probability that he will still be one of the best shooters in the league, he will still space the floor, he will play good positional defense, he will build up his timing and strength over time, he won't be relied on to be the primary defender at POA, he won't be as good by this year's playoffs as he will be the following year when these injuries really get put in the rear view mirror, etc., etc. The problem is, we all get to caught up in his actual play and, in the meantime, forget who the hell we are talking about.
We are talking about Klay (insert expletive here) Thompson. We forget what happens when Steph, Klay & Dray are on the floor at the same time. Those three together are far greater than the sum of their parts. And it's those three together that unlock the offense that dominated the NBA for years, be it with HB, KD or soon-to-be 2-Way Wiggs. Klay has a value and meaning to the team that transcends "how many minutes will he play", "how well will he defend?", etc. Klay is the 3rd leg of the magical basketball tripod that helped transform the NBA. And he will transform the team the minute he steps foot on the floor.
While his body may take time to recover, be assured: Klay is gonna Klay, because that is who Klay is and that is what Klay does. SPLASH! It's more than just 3 points. Infinitely more.
WARNING: Rambling DNHQ Slack transcript ahead
Goofus (15 ♡):
Abaddon shared Kevin O’Connor and Marcus Thompson podcast this earlier, but I’m sharing it again because, holy shit, it’s great and so relevant to this discussion!: https://www.theringer.com/2021/8/25/22641952/are-the-warriors-back-inside-the-title-race-and-potential-trades-with-marcus-thompson
A couple of points MT really underlines (that I think supports my A- grade):
- Steph and Dray are bought in. Steph wants a team that can compete during his entire contract, not just one swing. Draymond was all in on Kuminga and Moody. Klay was stoned out on his boat and couldn’t be reached.
- The core didn’t want to gut the team. MT said they liked the idea of getting another star player not not if it was going to leave them with just them. I think this speaks to the confidence they have to essentially say “We’re a championship core when we’re together. Give us a good surrounding cast and we’re good to go.”
- Last year, Steph and Dray had to be leaders on the court, the sidelines and in the locker room, which is a burden that’s easy to underestimate. With Klay and Iggy back, adding vets like OPJ and Bjelly and JTA emerging as a leader as the season progressed, there’s a lot more leadership to carry that load. (I’d add that we’re seeing examples of Looney and Lee becoming leaders in their own right.)
- They still have the flexibility to do a deal down the road, but standing pat looks pretty good as well. MT said there’s no way they’d include Kuminga and Wiseman in a trade and would be reluctant to trade either.
- A lot comes down to Wiseman and the team is high on him, but they’ll be asking less of him and he’ll be surrounded by more offense.
- They both like the pics and can see them getting run and contributing.
Captain Jack (15 ♡):
This was always my ideal offseason honestly. My top choices were Mills and Batum but BeElitez and Porterhouse weren't too far behind. Iguodala was a no brainer. I was never really a fan of gutting the team for whoever was available during the time so I'm glad nothing was enticing enough for them to pull the trigger. As far as the draft goes they managed to snag my guy Moody while taking a swing for the stars in JFK and that's looking pretty damn good so far. I am very excited about this upcoming season and beyond. If someone travelled back in time to before the draft and told me this was the outcome I'd take it every time. There's no way this team bombs barring significant injuries to the big 3. #WEREBACK
Sleepy Freud (13 ♡):
Regarding the Warriors’ supposed failure to add rebounding, Otto Porter Jr. boarded last season at a much better clip than (for example) Marc Gasol, Paul Millsap, and both Lopi. And Bjelly was right with those guys.
Reb per 36:
9.0 Porter Jr.
Also, fwiw: GP2 pulled 9.9 boards per 36 last season in the NBA — in a tiny sample, but he also averaged 9.1, 10.7, and 9.4 in his last three g-league seasons.
Peter Hood (12 ♡):
Today's show was brought to you by the letter "A" and the number "30". -- Count Dracula.
You can't just judge this off season in isolation. Despite minor issues with FO that have been blown out of proportion recently, Durant put his body on the line for the team and in free agency did the Warriors a solid by agreeing to the sign & trade for Russel who turned into Wiggins & Kuminga. Hell, you could go back to the FO outsmarting the league by clearing the path to snatch KD in free agency after Player's Union chose not to smooth out the giant spike in Payroll over 3 years as proposed by the league. At this juncture, after resigning Curry, the Warriors greatest need is restocking the empty pantry and fridge. You can't cook without ingredients and the Warriors cupboards have been bare of internal, controllable depth.
Now I get it. You can only have 5 guys on the floor at the end of the game. But neither can you play 5 guys 48 minutes a game. So the play, in my mind, is build the depth across the roster, build the chemistry, and hope one or more of the young guys can move into the 4-8 slots in the overall depth chart. And this doesn't need to be done in year one.
OPJ, Belly & Andre all on minimums? C'mon. That's solid.
Not using the TPMLE? Save that card for later. Smart move.
Losing Traded Player Exception for Oubre? That old salary slot is no longer needed as we now have 3 lottery pick salary rates to eat up those dollars on the roster.
"The Varriors vill vin the vest." - Count Dracula. (His opinion, not mine.)
Goofus (11 ♡):
So do we grade your guys grades? 😁
I think we really should be grading Myers and what he built given the hand he was dealt by ownership (which are the exact parameters I would have given him if it was my team).:
- Highest payroll in the NBA, but a $400 million spending limit
- Preserve/build the future of the franchise unless there’s a “can’t miss” opportunity
- Keep the core happy
Now let’s look at Myers handling of the task:
-He started with a team that finished last season 15-5 with 8 players: Curry/Green/Wiggins/JTA/Looney/Poole/Mulder/Bazemore
- Subtract Bazemore and Mulder, but add returning players Klay, Lee, Wiseman*. Can we agree that’s an upgrade? (In my book it’s fair to look at the Warriors returning from injury/illness because those are real world factors in their decision process.)
- Now add veterans Iggy, OPJ and Bjelly. We’re now up to a 12-man rotation. That’s enough that guys can miss games for rest and occasional bumps and bruises and they can still field a good team, so Duby’s fear of relying on rookies seems misplaced.
- I think there’s general agreement that the draft was 👍🏼
So next year’s team could (should?) be much better, and they stayed within their (reasonable) payroll constraints, kept the core happy and have a future core of 25-and-under guys in Poole, Wiseman, Looney, Wiggins, Moody and Kuminga that gives us long-term Warriors’ fans a very bright potential future.
That’s an A- in my book.
Peter Hood (9 ♡):
A thought on Wiseman. If he develops along the lines of an Ayton, no mega-star, but not a bust, I think Wiseman will pay great dividends over time and prove to be the right pick. Just because the Warriors best closing lineup is typically small (Dray @ 5) doesn't mean they don't need a center. Bogut, Looney, Zaza, West, McGee, etc. all played vital roles in the Chip runs. And skilled Bigs are having a resurgence across the league. We know that there are limits to being short-handed at the 5 and resorting to heavy minutes for Dray at the 5 in the regular season is not what they want to do. We have seen the Warriors carry up to 4 centers on the roster and use different match-ups based on different skill sets.
So here is where Wiseman can become a great asset. We can't just keep reshuffling the deck for the centers on the roster, looking to sign one after another on veteran minimums. What Wiseman offers is a super-athletic Big who could be above average (or better) at all the different skill sets you hope to get with your centers. In the past, we have Looney for defense & screens, McGee for rebounding and lob threat, West for high post passing and solid mid-range game, and go down the list. All our previous centers had shortcomings in one area or another. Thus the history of carrying up to 4 centers on the roster. Wiseman has the potential to check all of the boxes, all of the areas of skill you could hope to get out of your center, to do it with length and athleticism, for 30-32 minutes a game ... for the next 12 years.
If you factor in the long term return, the sum value of his minutes at the 5, how this can extend Dray's career by limiting his regular season minutes going head to head with Joker/Embiid and Company, then I believe Wiseman was the right pick from a roster construction stand-point. It may have not been the sexy pick, but its the girl next door, one you were smart to marry pick.
And can we go through one free agency period without having to sift through all the centers in the league who might take a Vet Minimum? That process is getting old.
I agree, the kid is green. But I do believe the sum of his career, and how it impacts the roster and other things on the court like Dray's long term health, will ultimately justify his pick at #2. Just a thought anyway. ;-)
Richard (9 ♡):
Before you can argue the grade you have to agree on how you grade. Are we talking this season or the future? Are we grading against past glory or balance of risk/reward? Do we take into account the budget or do we just ignore that as an OPM (other people’s money) problem? As a grader, what do I personally care about - a decent season with 82 fun games, or am I in the ‘ring or utter despair’ camp?
For me, the tally is: 70% this season/30% the future. Reasonable acceptance of risk. And the cost is a real consideration for the FO, and every FO, so I take it seriously. I care more about a good season with many hours of winning entertaining basketball, ideally with at least a bit of post season joy, far more than a ring.
Overall this nets me out to A-. They did pretty darn good within the constraints they had. I love the rookies, so that is a big factor for me despite me thinking that they are irrelevant for this season. I think the only realistic way to be better would to have convinced a seriously impactful veteran (like a David West) to come on the min. Instead we got the high risk OPJ/Bjelica.
Andre SC (9 ♡):
The off-season’s effect on next season is 99% going to be determined by whether or not the Warriors play the majority of their C minutes with Looney, NB, & Green or if they plan to give big minutes to Wiseman over the 1st half of the season. If riding Wiseman coming off an injury is the plan the off-season’s effect on this season is a C- at best.
Not pulling a sign and trade off for Oubre was a failure. And it’s too early to grade the draft picks.
That being said.
Signing Iguodala addresses the floor balance of players who know what the heck they are doing out there in a hugely positive way.
The other FA minimum guys can both shoot and play multiple positions.
Poole was playing like an all-star at the end of last season, so not signing a Wannamaker type to steal his minutes was another huge plus.
Overall, this off-season showed a ton more self awareness than last and leaves the team as a legit small ball powerhouse, and somewhere the gods who forced Nellyball to be small are smiling.
They do have a timeout, decide not to use it...
OGG Gurl (8 ♡):
Excellent work! I’ll watch this 10 more times tomorrow.
Goofus (8 ♡):
Holy shit, this is so well done, Apricot! And that’s high praise coming from YouTube’s #1 purveyor of gorilla pornography.
Couple of thoughts:
1:49 Maybe it’s angle, in the huddle Varejao looks taller than Bogut. I thought Bogut was at least a couple inches taller.
2:50 Chelsea Lane’s popped collar in an important supporting role
8:50 Adams’ going boneless: Priceless
13:48 Roberson does a great job of hustling back on defense and sets up to guard Curry 5 feet behind the 3-point line and then is like “Holy shit, you’re gonna shoot it from THERE?”
g8tgod (6 ♡):
It never gets old. The international calls are the best.
The thing people today have a hard time imagining is that Curry's shot was absurd at the time. We're used to seeing it now, and other guys can shoot from those longer distances now, but at the time, he was the only one. To launch from 38 feet... no defender could have guessed that he'd put it up from there. It just seemed impossibly great.
Re-watch of two big games late in the season
Eric Apricot (10 ♡):
Moody on podcast.
But when it comes to who No. 14 overall draft pick Moses Moody says he has learned the most from so far, it's none of them.
"Right now, it's really been [Damion] Lee," Moody told NBC Sports Bay Area's Kendra Andrews and Grant Liffmann on the Dubs Talk podcast. "He's been a guy I've been talking to a lot. He's been telling me a lot of game, behind-the-scenes type stuff, and really how to approach the league coming in as a young guy."
Goofus (14 ♡):
That right there is why it’s important to bring in high character players. A lot of guys in Lee’s position would look at Moody as a potential threat to their livelihood and cold-shoulder him. It’s pretty obvious to anyone who follows the team that Lee isn’t wired like that.
Sleepy Freud (8 ♡):
It’s also low-key another good reason to pick 18-19 year olds like Jonny K and the Grumpy Prophet over a 24 year old grown man like Duarte. Preserves the natural pecking order and gives a clear mentor/student relationship, whereas with Duarte v DLee you’d create a minutes conflict pretty much from day one.
Dan goutz (8 ♡):
Man looking at those 3 units, it's easy to see how talented the team is top to bottom. I predict "the kids" will be ranked tops in terms of garbage-time units (if there is such a thing). They might even make 4th quarters interesting in games the dubs are getting blown out. F*ck, this is gonna be a fun season, I can feel it