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My problem with French depressing philosophy is that the whole thing is backstopped by insanely good bread, wine, and pastries. So how low can you get?

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Feb 6·edited Feb 6Liked by Eric Apricot

I was going to write a post about the Philly game, but ultimately, none of it has any meaning at all, so I skipped it.

I'm now smoking a Gaulois, drinking a pastis, and writing an increasingly self-referential letter with a lot of long words.

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Feb 8Liked by Eric Apricot

I can't resist this opportunity to share my new favorite webcomic's perspective on Mr. Curry's outbreak of existential nonchalance: https://falseknees.com/comics/266.html

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Feb 6·edited Feb 6Liked by Eric Apricot

I think my recalibration of my fandom is pretty much complete. I'm not worried about the Warriors' potential playoff seeding -- just enjoying watching the young guys grow while Steph Curry barely ages. And the cherry on the sundae of any Golden State win is E1P. Delectable!

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How Jonathan Kuminga Dominated The Paint On Both Ends Against The Nets (by Warriors Breakdown) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtDOnidW1PM

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Feb 6·edited Feb 6

My brother and I are having a conversation about Kuminga and Jaylen Brown. I think a good argument can be made that Kuminga ≥ JB now. Beyond that, he is way ahead of where JB was at his age. Of course, this all depends on what we've seen over the last 10+ games being who he really is, but I tend to believe in that.

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If even remotely true, one of the striking things is the pay gap.

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A lot of this is premature. JK has had an incredible Jan and Feb. the big question is what happens when the league adjusts and scouts him, treating him as the second option? Can he sustain this run over the rest of the season.

If he’s actually morphed into a 25 ppg , 33 mpg, 6/7 rpg regular contributor at high efficiency for the rest of the season, that’s totally different beast than having a career month and then reverting to something more along his season averages. That beast is arguably better than JB, but he needs to prove that it’s actually the new norm rather than simply a career month.

The NBA will adjust. We’re seeing it already. How JK adjusts back will be must watch TV over the rest of the season.

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Yes, but:

With Steph on the floor, how much adjusting is possible? The key thing about Steph is that he's a chaos monster, and demands 1 1/2 players be on him, essentially always.

Also, frankly, if they want to start hedging at JK, I'd be fine with it. Steph will get shots, Klay will get shots, Wiggs won't have anybody within the same zip code. Hell, Draymond in the corner, with no one on him, is viable low-usage offense now.

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JB is a better shooter outside 15 or so feet. Other than that….

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Feb 6·edited Feb 6

One good comp is that they are both prone to losing the ball in traffic although I think in time JK will have better handles

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I’m 100% behind Kuminga, but he’s not close to as good as Jaylen Brown. Jaylen Brown has been the #2 guy on a championship contender for years. Kuminga’s the #5 or so guy on a team not in the play-in. He’s putting up big numbers right now for sure, but he’s not at that level yet.

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You sure JK isn't the #3 guy right now, based on how he is actually playing, not résumés?

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I’m confident he’s behind Steph, Draymond, and CP3 in the pecking order. I’m pretty sure he’s still behind Klay in the pecking order. It’s a tossup whether he’s still behind Wiggins in the pecking order. You can argue that he should be higher, but I definitely don’t think he is yet.

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What does pecking order mean for you? Is it the same as a player's actual importance to the team's success? Not looking to fight, I'm just trying to figure out if you mean that JK is less important to the team's success, has a tighter rope than the others re: Kerr, or something else.

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Tough to describe, but its not a 1:1 of who the best players are, though it’s usually close. Its kind of like the representation of how the team as a whole consciousness views its players’ level of import. Leads to stuff like who’s getting the most shots/plays run for them/whose voice carries the most weight.

It comes down to the fact that if we’re not running small-ball in crunch time, I don’t think Kuminga’s on the floor. Draymond, and probably Wiggins are getting on the floor, and they’ll be flanked by Steph and either Klay or CP3 and one of Looney or Saric.

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Feb 6·edited Feb 6

Timpf is now off the Warriors needing to make a trade and saying getting guys back and Kuminga’s emergence is the influx of talent that gives them the best chance for improvement. He doesn’t think they should trade JK and need to determine whether he can be the #2 option this season and beyond. https://youtu.be/fGZFGsXieok?si=ZWRj-EbDz_fVTmeL

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Yeah, does he watch his videos from a month ago? I guess not. I'm generally okay with JT, but was annoyed when he was on his "they gotta trade JK" kick, glad he got over it.

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he addressed this by pointing out (rightfully) that Kuminga has substantially upped his game in the past month. Totally legit to change your opinion based on new information.

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Totally legit to change one's mind; but for a lot of us he had the wrong information in the first place -- meaning that he wasn't evaluating Kuminga's potential accurately, and that potential has now materialized. Kuminga has upped his game some, but he's mostly had his minutes upped, and plays run for him, and that was always available.

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Feb 6·edited Feb 6Liked by Eric Apricot

So Steph gave a Sartre pick so that Kuminga could go Søren high?

(Okay, Kierkegaard is Danish, not French, but still existentialist.)

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I Sartre what vous did there.

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This is exactly the kind of content I Camus here for.

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Feb 6Liked by Eric Apricot

From my new series “Audit the Celebration Audit”:

Gui’s conversation with Jerome Robinson might’ve looked like a rookie mistake, but he was telling him that Kuminga was about to unleash a thunderdunk and now would be a good time to stand up and look like something more savvy than a measly 2-way guy.

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Feb 6·edited Feb 6

I thought Robinson looked reasonably natty there (OK, better than I do when I'm wearing a suit).

Props to the guy.

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Feb 6·edited Feb 6

It looks to me like Kerr is starting the process of dialing Klay back. Not only has he been absent from a couple closing lineups, but he talked in most explicit terms yet about Klay’s decline after the game last night, mentioning both his injuries and age. He went on to say that as guys get healthy, they’ll be be playing Klay less minutes and have him play just one game of B2B’s.

Like with the Chris Paul starting question, I expect Kerr to do it as gently as possible so as to soothe Klay’s ego as much as possible, but it looks like that ball is rolling. We’ll see if the end result is being removed as a starter and not-re-signed, but there are certainly signs that they’ve lost hope in his getting dramatically better.

Kerr’s comments start at 5:00 in this video https://youtu.be/YDD26nMCF0E?si=_YEtv6Zkbb6o-bIJ

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I think it ends with Klay finally accepting reality and excelling in his new role. Our Dubs will come out of the ASB with a vengeance.

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I like your optimism! Even if I don’t agree. I fear Klay just cannot change into not-Klay fast enough and is gone after this season.

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This is so sad. I love Klay.

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I think it would be less sad if Klay was more self-aware and we didn’t have to worry about his feelings or ability to accept a Kyle Korver role.

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This is the truth. I love Klay. I want him to stay with the Ws and eventually, to retire as a W.

He can still contribute to winning. He just needs to accept that it will be in a different role than when he was prime, pre-injury Klay. That's true for all of the guys not named Curry (and really, even he is different -- he's just got a great old man game). It was true for Andre. It was true for David West. It was true for Andrew Bogut. It was true for Shaun Livingston. There's no shame in that.

Be the spark off the bench. Be instant offense and determined defense. Rain fire on the nights when you're hot. Show the young guys how to play the right way, to move the ball and let it find you for a good shot; teach them to make the plays that contribute to winning. Celebrate their growth and achievements. Be encouraging and supportive as they are ascending.

You've already succeeded, Klay. You've got rings, stories, and a fanbase that celebrates you. Don't muck it up by closing out your career as a stubborn, self-centered, wouldn't-accept-reality former star.

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It would be great if Andre is having honest conversations with Klay about all of these changes. A top guy taking a different seat from what he's accustomed to is always a transition, especially for elite athletes.

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Feb 6Liked by Eric Apricot

I thought Jerome Robinson's celebration looked like Ironman when he's flying.

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Last 6 games Draymond has averaged 33 MPG and Kuminga has averaged 36 MPG and both almost exclusively have played in the frontcourt. Wiggins also gets some time as a 4 when healthy and Klay can as well, let's say like 8 frontcourt minutes between the two which might be wildly inaccurate. That leaves about 19 minutes of frontcourt minutes available, with Looney, Saric, TJD, and even perhaps Santos still to account for.

That's the math for why TJD isn't playing much, since people keep bringing it up. Draymond moving to center has changed the calculus of the team. Now that Saric is back from his illness it's even more crowded than it's been the past few games (although this same math opens the possibility of Saric being traded, I think).

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of guys with >50 3s this season, saric's 3pt% is tied for 1st with steph.

saric is 6th in minutes, 3rd in made 3s, 5th in total points, 4th is ts%

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In other words … by all that is holy (and unholy stuff too) don’t trade Saric!

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Some people might equate suggesting someone might be traded with criticizing their play, but I am not one of them. NBA is a business and trades can happen for all sorts of reasons.

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I have a hard time understanding why the Dubs would trade Saric. What could you get for him? He's on a vet minimum so salary matching would only bring someone else on a vet min. And he's worth a lot more than second round draft picks.

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I like what you're saying, but I doubt Saric gets traded because of his 3 point range.

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I doubt he gets traded because they signed him to a minimum promising he'd get a chance to showcase his game after an injury. Twould be a crappy thing to do, and impact future vet signings.

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> promising he'd get a chance to showcase his game after an injury.

Exactly. He played 5 minutes last night. He and Moody were probably on unofficial minute limits but I doubt his limit was 5. The reason they might trade him is because it's possible they are no longer able to fulfill that promise to him that you highlighted.

His minimum salary would probably be a complicating factor in a trade not made for draft capital, though.

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They could just waive him, if the goal is to let him go to another team to play more. I guess that could happen. I kind of think they would keep him. He could be useful later on.

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They already waived him, he waives 225 pounvs.

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There's no chance they will waive him

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Because he won't get the minutes he was promised for taking the minimum? And he'd be valuable to other teams?

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Basically, yeah. I don't think I'd bet on it but I think it's definitely a possibility now whereas I didn't see that possibility like a month ago.

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Watching the Klay postgame locker room interview again and can't stop laughing. Draymond defending his teammate and then proceeds to sing his heart out in the background for the rest of the interview. What a character that guy is lol

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Feb 6Liked by Eric Apricot

Spacing. In the 4th there was a Kuminga iso on the block where the whole team was outside the 3 point line on the weak side. But the Nets ignored Santos so Kuminga was about to get doubled. Santos moved from the 3 point line to the dunkers spot and his defender moved to cut of the passing lane to Gui allowing Kuminga to get his shot off over only one defender. The timing and danger of the cut created more space for Kuminga than standing around as far away as possible. What really leads to spacing?

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For spacing you need astronauting.

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What? No, you just need that wide key at the bottom of your keyboard ...

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What leads to spacing? Everybody off ball being a threat that needs attention.

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Feb 6Liked by Eric Apricot

Eric, you "slay" as my 12 year-old niece would say.

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Head tap, the gesture, I have questions. We know that it is used to signal that particular play, and we know that it’s used in celebration. But I thought that the celebratory gesture meant “ careful don’t hit your head on the rim you high flyer” rather than “you have dunked on someone’s head.” I now face the cruel possibility that I have been wrong all along. Can anyone save me from such a fate?

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author

Here is the evidence that would prove my interpretation wrong and yours correct: examples of NBA players doing the head pat celebration on a dunk which has no defender.

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This begs the question: where does one get video footage, or is that classified?

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author

If you really wanted, you could look at some YouTube dunk highlights and collect data on when the head pat celebration happens.

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Useful but not conclusive. I wish we had a true insider here like maybe Anderson Varejao. He was always good for some celebration energy.

And little else

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well he's not gonna comment here with that kind of welcome!

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Would it help if I reminded him he made my pre-season jersey count-down with his own entry as #18?

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Oh, but you think he's not here -- how can we know that for sure? I think it's TwoRing

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Feb 6·edited Feb 6

Technically, I think to be Anderson Varajao, I would have had to have made at least one bucket somewhere along the way.

Other than abusing my brother when we were teens (he was 10 x the athlete, but I was 5 inches taller), I can safely say I've never sunk a bucket.

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Varejao doesn't have two rings tho…

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