94 Comments

There are of course many theories as to why the Warriors did not play to their presumed potential this regular season; and multiple theories can be true at once. But to my mind the most compelling one is mental exhaustion.

Honestly, even I get a bit tired rooting for a team through tight games, tense moments, playoff series. You know, just a bit. And I'm just a fan, not responsible for anything. The players? Steph, Klay, and Draymond have been to six Finals, extreme high pressure moments that lasted months. In particular, the last few years have required incredible mental fortitude to persist and prevail through Klay's two devastating injuries, covid, being a terrible team, reacclimating to new teammates, contract issues, media chatter about them being done; and somehow scaling the mountain again in 2022.

It's just human nature to not be able to get up for every regular season game the following year. In every profession, doing a thing for a decade with top focus is asking a lot.

Yet this also gives me great hope, because of the "turn it on in the playoffs" concept. We have the players, we have the coach, we have the talent, we have the experience. What we need are the focus, and hey, some road wins.

There is no other current team as able to coast in the regular season and turn it on in the playoffs. Because to do that, you have to have a core that has gotten it done many times before and can throttle the intensity back up. Of course we don't want the Dubs to do this to themselves, to be fighting for some ignominious "hope I don't play-in" spot. But if they show their true selves in the playoffs, I will once again be walking away with the Larry O'Brien for my fandom efforts.

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I experienced no stress regarding the Clippers-Blazers game this afternoon by getting involved in doing something else & totally forgetting about it until a few minutes ago. Would that I could treat the Dubs-Blazers game the same way tomorrow...

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Apr 8, 2023Liked by Eric Apricot

Thanks EA, I have such a big grin on my face watching that CA! I would love some more "pause the video and predict the next move" type scenarios to test the BBIQ acumen you are helping me build too 🤓🙏🏽

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If we beat the Kings round 1 and Lakers end up 7th and beat the Grizzlies we'll actually have homecourt advantage for a series, just a thought

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That would be hilarious. But I would rather the Ws be the ones to eliminate the Grizz when the time comes.

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Apr 10, 2023·edited Apr 10, 2023

I'm fine letting the Lakers beat themselves up doing it, personally. Grizz have sharp elbows.

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Also, it is possible that the Dubs could get the Kings (3), Clippers (5), and then Lakers (8) in the western playoffs and not have to leave the state until the finals.

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The way for this to happen is lakers round 2 and clippers to beat suns then likely Denver for us to face off in the wcf

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Would need Lakers or Clippers at #7 seed to do that

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Ah, boo. Well, maybe that is still mathematically a possible scenario, but since I can't figure out brackets in my head, I'm not going to try to determine what game results might get to a seeding that works.

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Lakers are a bad regular season match up. Playoffs, not so much, particularly with Wiggs back.

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We really can't "avoid" anybody now. We have to beat Portland to be sure we can avoid the play-in. Otherwise, it's out of our control. So it is what it is.

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And Champions don’t avoid anybody anyways. Gotta go through the second best team at some point.

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Apr 9, 2023·edited Apr 9, 2023

champions always avoid 26 of the 30 teams.

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or they avoid champions

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The NBA has announced Hawks vs Celtics and Laker vs Jazz as their nationally televised games tomorrow. Probably should showcase Pels vs Wolves, since both have something to play for. Whoever wins that game, wins the tiebreaker if the Wolves hold their big lead on the Spurs.

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Apr 8, 2023·edited Apr 8, 2023

Blazers up 70-64 over the Clippers at the half. Kawhi is -8 in 17 minutes.

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Clippers remember they care, up 114 to 97

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So do we want the clips to lose today? If they lose we're less likely to end up in the play in but more likely to end in the 5 spot. I feel like best case scenario is that clips/lakers/dubs/pels all win out and we stay in 6...

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Nuggets starters are getting smoked by the Jazz so far.

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What's going on with Jokic? He's taken five shots so far in a game that's nearly over. Anyone watching?

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Hard to get up with nothing to play for, I guess

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With a Dubs win against the Blazers tomorrow, they can go 8-2 in their final 10 games, marred only by their last minute choke against the Wolves and by their loss in Denver where Klay's 3 in the last couple of seconds didn't fall. So they're not all that far from a 10-game winning streak to enter the post-season. And I hear this Wiggins fellow is a pretty good basketball player. Momentum, anyone?

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Coincidentally, Warriors Breakdown video focused on Looney as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=By1vr5lYAJc

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I have never quite understood what "protected" means, in the sense of a trade involving draft rights, but I have never been gutsy enough to admit it. If Dallas owes the Knicks a "Top-10-protected pick," what does that mean? Does it mean that if Dallas is among the 10 worst teams, they don't have to send that pick to the Knicks? Or the opposite, that they do? And if they don't have to send it, do they have to send something else?

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I think a couple years back when the Warriors traded D’Angelo Russell to the Twolves for Andrew Wiggins and a first round top three protected pick? Everyone was sitting around barely breathing waiting to make sure the T Wilson did not draw the pick 1 to 3 which was protected so they could keep it. They did not, they got the number 7 pick which then conveyed to the Warriors. The Warriors chose Kuminga. Yes, people were saying that in exchange for D’Angelo Russell the Warriors got both Andrew Wiggins and Jonathon Kuminga. Pretty good trade.

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And Oubre

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We got Oubre from OKC for a couple of 2021 second round picks and a trade exception. One of those picks, I believe, came to us from the Wolves, which is probably what you're thinking of. Oubre left here as a free agent.

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Pretty sure that was a separate deal.

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It means, in your example, that if Dallas gets a top 10 pick in that draft, the pick does NOT convey to the Knicks, and Dallas keeps it. Then a secondary provision for that scenario kicks in, which is negotiated as part of the deal. For example, maybe if the original pick does not convey, the Knicks get Dallas's 1st round pick the following year instead (which may also be protected, though not necessarily top 10), and if that pick also doesn't convey because Dallas again got a pick within the protected range, maybe the third year the Knicks will get several future 2nds or an unprotected 1st.

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Apr 8, 2023·edited Apr 8, 2023

My question is a little different. I know it is possible to pay money to move up in the second round. GSW paid $ to move up to get RRollins………who?

Is it possible to pay money to move up in the first round? So you have the number 7 pick, can you pay team Gruesome a bunch of money in order to get their number 2 pick? And has the NBA established how much each pick should cost? Like if you wanna buy a #2 pick from someone you have to pay them $20,000, or whatever, depending on what pick they are receiving from you?

For example, could Mark Cuban with a number 7 pick pay to get the first pick and thus buy Wemby-bama?

.

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if the other team agrees to that trade, sure, but most teams value first round picks enough more than second rounders that you don't see straight cash deals much in the first round

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The problem for the Dubs is that in the new CBA, we're over the new second-level tax threshhold, which precludes us from buying picks as I understand it. Correct me if you know more about this and think I'm mistaken.

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Has it ever happened, do you know offhand?

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Apr 8, 2023·edited Apr 8, 2023

I did some googling and the Suns basically did this in 2007. They traded one of the players they selected in the first round that year (Rudy Fernández) and James Jones to the blazers for cash

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A trade is not the same thing as buying a first-round pick. I'm pretty sure the rules are different; if they weren't before, they are under the new CBA. That Suns deal included a roster player too.

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Thnx

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author

In case you are wondering about the possible playoffs outcomes this weekend, the NBA clarifies the situation with this simple 64-row table https://twitter.com/nbapr/status/1644761679404605440?s=61&t=P_FoYb59qpl6sz-fj5Z51g

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It looks like a genome map. I will just wait until tomorrow.

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Simple is for Warriors to win tomorrow.

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Aside from the general inscrutability, to the extent you can figure it out it is highly misleading. Most relevant to us is it makes it look like the Warriors have about an equal chance to be the 5 seed as they do the 6 seed. However, that would require the tanking Blazers to beat the Clippers on the road and unless the Clippers really prefer to be the 6th seed (they might) that isn't going to happen. But who knows, maybe the Clippers will run a Westbrook, Preston, Moon, Coffey, Diabate lineup out for 48 minutes.

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The long and short of it is: if MIN and LAC win tonight as expected, the Clippers could still fall into the play in, and if the Warriors lose to the Blazers, they need lots of help to stay out of the play in.

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Lol… that needs to be a sortable table for people to use it

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How very simple indeed

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1. No disagreement with any point regarding Looney's excellent work on the boards, but it is worth adding that this is yet another example of the gravity of Steph and Klay. Looney secures a lot of rebounds because big men who could be in prime position to fend him off are caught up in the Warrior offense, the threat of the outside shot, the switching, and often Looney times it so he's got prime position for a rebound amid all the chaos.

2. The Warrior with the best rebounding instincts has got to be DeVincenzo. Swear to God as soon as the ball goes up he's racing to the spot where the rebound is going to be.

3. You may be asking, "Why don't they teach Kuminga these skills, since they want to make him more of a rebounder?" Answer: they keep trying, but he keeps asking "Why not just jump over everyone?" And no one has a good answer for that.

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Kuminga does need to improve on his rebounding though. Steph usually has more rebounds than him.

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Kuminga totally does need to improve, but two things: 1. Does Steph have more rebounds per minute, or in absolute terms? Because he plays more. 2. Kuminga has been doing a lot of defending on the perimeter, guarding the point of attack, and it's harder to come back for a rebound at that point. It's not impossible, Steph does that too, but I think that there's a tendency to presume that since Kuminga is pretty sizable and a great leaper, pretty much a power forward, he should have power forward rebounding numbers. But he doesn't have traditional power forward positioning.

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Kuminga averages 7.7 rebounds per 100 possessions while Curry averages 8.3 rebounds per 100 possessions so he is slightly better. Curry also defends the perimeter (arguably more often) but he gets more rebounds than Kuminga. This is a weakness of Kuminga's that needs to be addressed.

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Wiggins, already an elite perimeter defender, described the moment when he realized he could be a rebounder. He said it just came to him that he could be good at it and after that he became a rebound and blocking menace. I hope Kuminga has one of those moments.

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We need Wiggins to act more in a mentoring role with Kuminga moving forward (into Summer/next year).

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Apr 8, 2023·edited Apr 8, 2023

Steph is rebounding better *per minute* this season than JK: 6.3 to 5.9 boards per 36. Despite spending a higher percentage of his time guarding small guys on the perimeter.

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Kuminga is 12th on the team in rebounds per 36 but that's a bit misleading because it includes the departed JW, as well as Quinones, PBJ, and RR, who have barely played. Still, JK is behind of course Looney but also JMG, GP2 (small sample size but we know he can board), Draymond, Lamb, Steph, and DDV. He is slightly above Wiggs per 36.

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Jordan's uncle* with better-written-than-usual ode to Looney: https://www.nbcsports.com/bayarea/warriors/kevon-looney-cemented-warriors-stabilizing-shadow-centerpiece

* No, not really

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Apr 8, 2023Liked by Eric Apricot

Rookie Quinones learned a valuable rookie lesson about championship celebrations. I expect his skills to ramp up in the playoffs.

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Clearly they need another coach, the CEE coach for celebration and ecstasy. But for that Chase Center will have to be re-configured for additional Warriors’ coaches.

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author

LQ is not eligible to PLAY in the playoffs, but I believe the Warriors can still bring him to games for bench celebration support. Chiozza was on a two way, but he can be seen in my video on Finals Game 6 https://dubnationhq.com/p/2022-top-10-warriors-celebrations

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Apr 8, 2023·edited Apr 8, 2023

Along with LQ, we need an elf lord on the sideline, too. You never know when some Memphis orc is going to cross the center stripe.

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Apr 8, 2023·edited Apr 8, 2023

I think GP2 might be our elf lord. He's not physically large but he's mighty and magical and can leap great distances no human can match. He can shoot too!

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I counter with: Ty Jerome's ears and chin.

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Maybe the difference between an elf and an elf lord!

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Apr 8, 2023Liked by Eric Apricot

Love E1Ps like this that pick a new specific part of the game like OREBs and focus in, awesome work as always EA!

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Apr 8, 2023Liked by Eric Apricot

So helpful to us neophytes.

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