305 Comments

The recent dominant play of the Warriors is a great reminder of just how tragic the end of last season was.

Chemistry aside, the starting lineup down the stretch was.... better than this year's??? Despite his tremendous improvement, Poole was deemed a defensive liability and came off the bench for Bazemore. Otherwise it's the same lineup!

Few would argue that Mulder and Baze make up for BJelly, OP3 and Andre, but Mulder was a reliable 3 point shooter who learned to fit in well in the rotation.

And lurking in the final slot, recovering from injury and waiting for his Finals emergence was.... GP2!

The Warriors went down to the defending champs' house, played them dead even and lost on a Lebron 30 footer as the shot clock ran out while he said he was "seeing three baskets" due to an eye-poke.

Keep in mind the Warriors played them dead even on the road WITH Anthony Davis.

In round 1 the Lakers split in Phoenix and were up 2-1 over the Suns when Davis went down. There's every reason to believe the Lakers would have repeated with Davis.

Hard to know how much the Memphis loss was due to over-exertion in the Laker game.

(And of course, were it not for COVID rules the Warriors wouldn't even have been in that backs-to-the-wall situation.)

Given the Warriors' earlier defeats of Phoenix, Utah, and Milwaukee, I think there's every reason to think they could have challenged for the title.

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We might've come out of the West. Steph + Dray at the 5 is enough to give us a shot in any series, and no team in the West playoffs last year was anything close to a juggernaut.

Remember, last year's non-Oubre, non-Wiseman iteration of the Dubs also had incredible, league-leading metrics.

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For reference, the Net Rtg for the Steph/Draymond combo is +17.1 currently. Last year, in 753 minutes with Oubre/Wiseman, it was +16.2.

These guys are great, and anyone thinking that they did not stand a chance against the goddamn Jazz/Suns is dumb. The Finals were a different matter (I don't see how we would've beaten the Bucks), but we definitely could've gotten to the Finals considering the injuries to AD/Kawhi/Conley/Mitchell.

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I don’t think we stood a chance against the Suns. I don’t care what Rtg, +- numbers, or record after whatever arbitrary date you want to throw at me.

We emptied the tank to even make it into the play-in game. With both Curry and Dray less than 90% healthy.

That might have been good enough to steal a game or two from the Jazz/Suns. But repeat after me: We. We’re. Not. Winning. A. Series.

And to throw it back at you, anyone who saw the lengths our team had to go to in even making those play-in games who think we stood a chance against a healthy Phoenix team that blew us out of the water twice out of three games (and only lost a squeaker at our place) when they had home-court advantage is not just dumb, they are absolutely delusional.

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This is not a serious argument.

We finished EIGHT GAMES ahead of the Pelicans in the race for the final Play-in spot.

In the first Suns loss, Oubre went 1-11 and 0-5 from 3. He, Wannamaker, Paschall, Mannion, and Wiseman combined for 87(!) minutes.

In the second loss, Curry and Green didn't even play!

Another reason the Dubs might have improved during the postseason is Damion Lee returning from COVID symptoms.

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We absolutely emptied the tank to make it into the play-in. We were on the bubble until the final 15-5 kick which got us all the way to the 8 spot, and with it a home game. Otherwise we play both play-in games on the road in back to back nights.

So all of a sudden you think we wouldn’t have played guys like Paschall and Oubre in the playoffs? What, were Steph and Dray going to play 48 minutes each game? And who plays 40+ minutes along side them if Paschall and Oubre don’t play? Looney? Bazemore? Yeah, that would have gone well, I’m sure. Hell, even Jordan Poole would have been abused on the defensive end in the playoffs last year, especially if he has to play 40+ minutes as well.

If my argument is not serious to you, your argument is beyond not serious to me. It’s closer to a total joke or a fairy-tale fantasy, and I’m not sure which.

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"What, were Steph and Dray going to play 48 minutes each game?"

Huh?

I would expect the minutes to look similar to what they were in the Phoenix win. Why wouldn't they?

D. Green PF 37

K. BazemoreSF 31

A. WigginsSF 40

K. LooneyC 24

S. CurryPG 37

J. Toscano-AndersonSF 31

J. PooleSG 20

M. MulderG 21

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A sign of real maturity is personally insulting people who weren't even talking to you over a trivial sports disagreement.

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A sign of real maturity is adding your two cents into a conversation that involved you in no way whatsoever, especially when no one called for you in the first place).

(Besides, it wasn’t even a personal insult. Or at least it was no more of a personal insult than his own statement about who h called idiots for what…)

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Last year's team was good but this year is way better... not just individually but everything just fits from 1-15. We have more ways of attacking and not just relying on the two-man game of Steph and Dray and hoping guys like Wiggs, Oubre, and Baze could fill the holes with their chaos.

The defense is surprisingly even more versatile this year (I would not have predicted this) and is already more in sync now than it was at the end of last year.

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I don’t think the Warriors had any chance whatsoever at winning a title last year. Not with a less than 100% Curry and all the other injuries. I’ve heard all the arguments for that take, and I find them to be flawed and Pollyanna-ish at best, and outright idiotic and delusional at worst.

You consider it to be this great tragedy that the Warriors lost in the play-in games and didn’t go further?

I think the exact opposite: Losing in the play-in games was BY FAR the biggest BLESSING the Warriors could have ever hoped for.

I wanted no part of a doomed playoff run where one unfortunate play easily could have sidelined a not-totally-healthy Curry or Draymond for months to come (like Kawhi suffered). The one thing I wanted to avoid more than anything else was any injury that would ruin the prospects of a 2022 season where Klay Thompson would finally come back and complete the team.

Plus, thanks to the losses in the play-in game, we had a shot at getting two lottery picks in that loaded draft. We didn’t get #1 and #4, but even the chance at getting those (and the potential of Moody + Kuminga who we actually ended up getting) was far more valuable than whatever brownie points in the legacy wars were available in that doomed 2021 playoff run.

If the Warriors end up getting a title this year, and/or end up getting multiple titles in the years to come, the fact that they did NOT make it out of the 2021 play-in games will be, in my mind, one of the biggest reasons why, due to all the bullets the team didn’t have to dodge in making that run.

TL,DR: The 2021 playoffs were a poisoned chalice. One that Warriors fans should be grateful every day the team didn’t partake in, not lamenting it as a tragedy.

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How was Curry "less than 100%?" He won the scoring title and averaged nearly 40 points per game down the stretch!

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Are you just going to forget how Curry needed to sit on a special seat after every timeout because he was playing on a fractured tailbone still? And how the team outright said he was playing on a hairline fracture?

Or did you give yourself selective amnesia in your burning desire to try and prove to the NBA world that we were somehow a title contender last year?

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It wasn't affecting his game, he was playing great.

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You "find the arguments flawed" but haven't presented any valid counter-arguments.

Wow, losing added a 2.4% chance at hitting the lottery, big deal. I'm sure the Lakers wanted to lose to us to get those odds and were dismayed when Lebron hit that three.

The injuries to Wiseman and Oubre were blessings, and Lee and GP2 were on the way back.

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It was a FAR bigger deal than making some doomed playoff run we had no chance whatsoever to win, and had greater chance of suffering injuries to already worn-down/hurt stars. And for what? So you could turn around and tell people “See, Curry can carry a team by himself deep into the playoffs just as well as (insert other superstar here)!!!”?

And no, your Laker example is as flawed and nonsensical as the rest of your argument. First, because they only had their own pick, and not 2. But mostly because they didn’t have a superstar max-salary player who hadn’t and was never going to play a single second in the playoffs that year. That Laker team had all its players available, unlike us.

And neither Lee nor GP2 would have been all that playable in the playoffs (GP2 was a Tony Allen level black hole on offense last year, and Damion Lee was and still is a total defensive liability). So no, they don’t matter. We would still have been paper thin and hurt.

But hey, keep reaching for reasons to make yourself mad that Curry and Green didn’t get more brownie points in the “legacy wars” last year. I’m sure the players on the team and the people in the FO will all go to their graves lamenting the play-in losses last year as the biggest regrets in their lives…

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2.5% chance. That's really where you want to plant the flag?

I'd rather see the team that beat the Bucks, Jazz, and Suns down the stretch make a playoff run.

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Yes, that is where I want to plant the flag.

It’s a FAR better place to plant it than in a situation where you are asking a paper-thin and limited team whose stars are already playing with injuries to try and make a playoff run where those stars play 40+ mins every night because only play 7-8 guys overall. And all for what? To try and prove something?

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Why not just repeat the minutes from the Suns game above?

I mean sure, the NBA playoffs are about "proving something," that's why they play.

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There's always a non-zero chance but agreed otherwise... I didn't lose any sleep over missing the play-ins the moment they announced Steph was playing with a hairline fracture... and I am certainly not losing sleep given how this team looks now and is poised to look in the near and long-term future.

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All of what was responded to here plus: addition by subtraction. As much as we want to believe in Wiseman, he was a net negative. Ditto Oubre. Just having them not play and having a guy like Iguodala in there, Otto, Belli makes so much difference.

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But that's the point, by the end of the year we were no longer force-feeding minutes to those guys.

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And playing the same 7-8 guys 30-40+ minutes a night.

Not a recipe for success, especially when two of those guys are Bazemore and Paschall. Plus Looney, who for all of his virtues, is not a guy who should be seeing 30+ minutes every night in the playoffs on a supposed title contender.

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Cmon man, Paschall had been benched for months.

The 8 man rotation was very solid and DLee and GP2 were recovering.

I'll grant you the ONE guy who was getting overloaded was Looney. Yet we're destroying teams now with basically no additional bigs beyond Bjelica, and JTA was a very serviceable replacement.

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Ok, I give you the Paschall thing. Still, I think he would have been pressed into service in a playoff run, and he was not in a position to be a benefit there.

So take his minutes and apply the same concept more to Bazemore and Michael Mulder. Because somebody needs to play those 30+ minutes that still need to be played, even if you assume Steph/Dray/Wiggs play 40+ mins, and Poole/Looney 35+ mins (and that minutes distribution is already insanely top-heavy as it is).

(And yes, Poole will need to play 35-40+ minutes in your scenario. Because you literally had no other healthy guards available aside from Steph (already playing 40+ minutes) and Michael Mulder. Maybe Damion Lee comes back, but even if he does, would his offensive inconsistency and defensive failings make him that much more of an appealing option than Mulder? I say no.

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Why ignore the minutes distribution I listed above from the Suns victory?

Plainly, Poole did not play 40 minutes in this important game. Maybe in a elimination game he does.

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They were a good team last year and could have made the playoffs and imo upset the Jazz with just the slightest of reinforcements from the organization.

Lee and Oubre were supposedly close to returning, if they had made the playoffs who knows.

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We were a much different team though, and I think an underrated part of that is GP2, both because of better spacing, and because Kerr’s finally figured out how good he is. He’s been a guy who has changed the complexion of games when he’s been inserted, including against the Lakers.

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GP2 was on the roster at the end of last year, recovering.

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I know. And thank goodness because now we have his early bird rights and can probably retain him. The difference, as I said, is the better spacing and Kerr’s finally figuring out what he has

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I think it’s a stretch to say the starting lineup last year was better. Every returning starter has arguably improved from last year. Steph 2021 defense > Steph 2020 defense. Dray 2021 > Dray 2020, Wigs 2021 >>> Wigs 2020. Poole 2021 > Baze 2020 > Poole 2020, and looney Is better too I think.

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The team is playing with it's best chemistry since the championship years, no doubt.

That said I think it's a reach to say that Curry, Green, Wiggins, and Looney are significantly improved at this point. I do think Draymond has added a little wrinkle on offense.

Poole's biggest jump was mid-year last year, he was already in "secret weapon" mode by postseason.

The argument is "couldn't they have made these same strides as a unit in last year's playoffs?" After all, we're only 19 games into this season, roughly the length of a WCF run.

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No, they could not have.

There was no depth last year. Those 4-5 guys you mention would have had to play 40+ minutes a freakin night in the playoffs. In Curry, Dray, and Wiggs case, closer to freakin all 48 minutes a night, actually.

Please tell me how you see Looney becoming a scorer in the postseason, or how he doesn’t wear down from banging in the post 40 mins a game.

And while you do that, please tell me how your “secret weapon” Poole keeps being a secret when he has to also play 40+ minutes a night (since he’s the only other guard you are willing to play) and gets repeatedly exposed on the defensive end like he has at times even this year?

We are better this year because we obtained depth in all areas and developed our young players over the summer. No amount of fantasizing is going to magically give us anything like this year’s team in last year’s playoffs. It’s delusional to even consider it.

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You keep saying "40 minutes" like it means something.

The Warriors had very balanced minutes distribution and it was working.

Nobody was playing over 30 minutes besides Draymond, Wiggins, and Curry.

And that includes Poole. Again, Bazemore started for his defense, and Lee was recovering.

Yes, for sure, the team is clearly better this year. In fact it's better than every other team in the NBA and it's not particularly close.

All I'm saying is given the mediocre play of the other contenders, last year's Warriors had a shot at a deep run and it's a shame they didn't get to at least have a 7 game series to prove it.

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Yes, it freakin’ means something. Not everybody is Lebron in his prime who can play 48 minutes a game in a playoff run and not be worn down or straight up break down.

And you wanted to do that with stars who were already playing injured and/or suffer from chronic injury concerns?

That minutes distribution was nowhere near balanced. It had Steph/Dray/Wiggs playing 40+ minutes, Poole almost 40 (check that Memphis playin game) and two of JTA/Bazemore/Looney over 25 depending on the matchup. Unless you want to argue they should have played Michael Mulder more (LOL).

Bazemore was a defensive liability and unreliable on offense. He was a walking weakness who would have sunk us on both ends in the playoffs. Ditto for Damion Lee (especially on defense).

I’d rather have had the lottery picks and the benefit of avoiding the potential injury pitfalls of that 2021 playoffs. It’s not a shame at all that they didn’t have the chance to “prove” anything to anyone.

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The Memphis game was an elimination game. Different minutes rules than a 7-game series.

You say Bazemore was a defensive liability, yet virtually everyone agrees Poole is worse on that front and the Warriors are 18-2.

Every year brings a chance for injury in the Playoffs. We're talking about picking 14 vs maybe 18.

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Looney’s rebounding has gone to the next level.

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His per-minute stats are definitely improved, especially on the offensive glass. Rebounds is a weird stat, though, greater numbers for an individual can be totally a function of external factors, like the opposition having to pay more attention to the perimeter, which wouldn't surprise me this year.

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Could the LOLakers hire M Jackson please.

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Kuminga was god-awful in the G League last night, the team was significantly better with him on the bench. Constantly losing the ball, threes way off, didn't defend the rim. Almost like he's pissed to be there and throwing a fit.

Moody was ok.

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I watched some of the highlights and there were multiple times he didn't bother boxing out either. He worries me as a prospect, not gonna lie. Will he be willing to continue to be a role player until/unless his skillset has caught up with his ambitions? Or is he going to start chucking up shots next season after he "pays his dues" as a rookie?

Regarding Moody, it's extremely odd to me that he only played 21 minutes with only 2 fouls. Injury?

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I heard this as well and it’s probably the most alarming thing that I’veheard vis a vis Kuminga thus far. His ticket towards achieving his potential is putting his head down and working his craft. I get the pride, but yipe

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Don’t look now: Dubs on a 73-win pace, sound familiar? (Of course it can’t and probably shouldn’t last, right?)

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We’re now T27th for easiest schedule. (Phoenix brings up the rear). Doesn’t mean this team isn’t great! But yeah, 73 wins seems unlikely ;)

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the 'easiest schedule' argument is kinda bogus. The winningest team is going to have the built-in advantage of not having to play themselves. If you catch my drift.

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Yeah, being able to play with yourself is a big advantage.

Sincerely,

A Primate

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Plenty of felines and canines play with themselves.

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Looking at results so far and sorting by margin of victory:

-4 (@CHA)

-3 (MEM, OT)

+2 (LAC)

+3 (@DET)

+7 (@LAL)

+8 (@OKC)

…and that’s it, the six out of 19 games we did not win by 10 or more points. Four of those six came in the first five games of the season, and one came sitting Steph & Dray. The other came on the road against a Charlotte team that is now 13-8 and 5th in the East.

Yeah, this team is good.

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73 wins? That's almost my goal. Shhh...don't say anything...

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My point of view is a little different. Quick, who won in 2009? 1987? 1979? 1952? Don't know? I'd have to research it too, if I cared. Who has the most wins in a season? How many wins? That's only one team and only one number and it spans all 75 years of the NBA. So which looms larger, a championship to go with the 75 others and quickly placed out of mind, or the most wins ever? The 73 win season is something to treasure. Image how you'd feel if they only won 71 that year instead--and didn't get the championship because a commissioner put his thumb on the scales. Well thank heavens only one of those things happened that year. And the Golden State Warriors might just go to their graves proudest of that singular achievement. 74 for me, baby!

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Most said Wiggins won't be making the all star game this year, but I think he has a legit shot at it if he keeps it up. Last year in the West we had Kawhi and Zion taking up spots who are both injured this year so that frees up 2 forward spots. This leaves 2 spots for Draymond, Wiggins, Kat, Ayton off the top of my head.

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KAT is a forward? I thought he was a C.

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All centers for all star are considered forwards because they removed the center position from it some years ago

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I think it’s comparable to Steph making All-Defense; unlikely even if deserving because it requires a 180 degree turn of the narrative that took years to build.

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23.3 pts per 36 on **.602 True Shooting** while locking down the other team’s best scorers night after night is hella legit.

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What I'm afraid of is the voters mostly just look at counting stats, so I won't be surprised if lets say Porzingis makes it over him which would be a travesty

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Some other notable high-volume scorers ranked by TS%

.602 Andrew Wiggins

.574 LeBron James

.564 Ja Morant

.562 Anthony Davis

.558 Devin Booker

.539 Anthony Edwards

.535 Paul George

.530 LaMelo Ball

.529 Damian Lillard

.527 Donovan Mitchell

.523 Luka Doncic

.519 Bradley Beal

.518 Russell Westbrook

.511 Jayson Tatum

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Looks like Tatum shouldn’t be a high volume guy with that success rate.

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Selective endpoints, but if you count only since the MIN game you get much higher. Check my post below, but last 10 games, he’s been better than Steph(at much lower volume)

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@stopnpop. I put off reading this MT2 article on GP2 till now, and it’s great - pertinent to our discussion. Maybe the rule changes help explain GP2’s success this year.

https://theathletic.com/2962095/2021/11/24/thompson-gary-payton-ii-the-warriors-revelation-explains-his-old-school-mindset/?source=user_shared_article

Here are some relevant passages:

He’s always touching his man, so much so that his hand often gets knocked away. He’s always up on them, just enough space for them to make a mistake but not nearly enough to feel comfortable. And he knows it’s working when the ball-dominant guards do one particular thing.

“When they see me, and they tell somebody else to come bring the ball up,” Payton said, explaining his defensive approach as the Warriors prepared to face the Nets. “You don’t want the ball? That’s what I want. When they’re like ‘I’m not trying to bring it up. I’m not trying to deal with this guy.’ Then I did my job.”

“The league already made it where guys don’t like to be touched,” he said. “So I’m just gon’ touch ’em. It’s that simple. As you can see … a lot of guys don’t like to be touched.

“Nobody touches them. Nobody’s in their face,” he continued. “They let them do what they want to do. I’m not about to let you sit here and size me up, get in your package. No. I’m not about to let you do that. You gon’ go one way. If not, you gon’ get up off that ball. And it’s gon’ be hard for you to get it back. By the time you get it back, you gon’ be tired and you gon’ settle. Let’s go.”

As Payton talks, with such matter of factness in his tone, it is clear he is championing a philosophy. He’s 28, and 87 games into a career that finally has some traction. But he’s a relic from a bygone era. A time when the NBA was a two-party system and defense had its side of the aisle.

The NBA took a step towards recognizing that end of the court by cracking down on offensive players drawing fouls. The league has told officials to not reward non-basketball moves, a crumb thrown to defenders in a system set up for scorers.

Gary Payton II is not going anywhere. He’s going to be right there. As soon as the ball is inbounded. In their face. Touching them. Making them feel him. Making his man come off the ball, one way or another.

“That’s just how I play defense. I’ve been around it too long. Watching guys in the league, seeing how guys play and handle everybody, and everybody just lets everybody be comfortable. I just try to take the comfort away.”

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I was thinking that same thing watcing last night’s game.

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I feel he's been getting called once or twice every game for ticky-tack touch fouls so I can only imagine what it'd be like without the rule change lol

But yea... rule changes have definitely affected offenses. I certainly wasn't implying otherwise but it just feels like there's more to it than that (eg. 9-year low on Open 3P%).

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That was awesome! It's pretty much what I see when I focus on GP2 defending, but to actually read him explaining his process was like poetry

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One last nugget of info about that Lakers-Kings triple OT “instant classic” tonight:

Lebron, AD, and Westbrook just combined for over 150 minutes played tonight.

That’s right, the Lakers Big 3 basically played playoff minutes… and lost in triple OT to a Kings squad missing 2 starters and who lost a third starter midway through the game.

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A pleasure to read about this game, but I couldn’t bear to watch a second of it.

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And in the three OT periods, they looked gassed (except Westbrook, who seemed to be the fastest player out there). Of course the Kings offense didn't challenge the Lakers much - they just let their three guards (Fox, Hield, and Halliburton) move around outside the arc with dribble handoffs and then put up a bad mid-range or contested 3 when the shot clock got down. Fox got hot from the mid-range, but he wasn't getting quality shots. The OT periods were definitely painful to watch, and the announcers decried the awful first half of the game that ended in a 43-43 tie.

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It's the little things.

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So glorious

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In the meanwhile, the Tridents had a lot of fun: win over Ignite with 2 FT of Dowtin at 2" from the buzzer, and some terror defence plays from Demon Kuminga.

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Plus a jumpshot Draystyle block at 00” by Moody. Worth watching

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Dray on Klay's verklempt moment:

https://youtu.be/-goMYJ96nfU?t=150

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Forgive me for the sad lapse, but anyone has news of Norman Powell? It saddens me terribly to see the first serious injuries of the season occur, and after Sexton and Dozier I wouldn't want another one on the Chase hardwood :'(

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thigh contusion

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Whew :)

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Nov 27, 2021Liked by punk basketball

Mostly all good stuff from that game (what has gotten into Wiggins?) but Bjelica not look good defensively against that team imo. Gotta hit his shots to justify being out on the court against the guard heavy teams, I remember he barely played against the Kings too.

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Bjelica (and to a lesser extent, OPJ) are both completely matchup dependent players.

Most of our bench guys are - JTA, GP2, Iggy for offensive reasons (hard to play them against teams like the Clippers) and Bjelica/OPJ for defensive reasons. That's not an inherently bad thing - us having a ridiculous number of 2-way wings from 2014-2019 is not something that basically any team has had since then (apart from maybe the 2019 Raptors?). It just requires some more creative coaching and matchup dependent decisions.

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I’m fine with Bjelica. Not a good matchup. Portland defenders have good hands and someone like Bjelica rumbling to the rim well that’s not a recipe for success. People want him to start uncorking these 3s but I saw two opportunities tonight where he was wide open and he missed both shots. It happens but teams are starting to body him up at the 3 point line.

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Different looks for different teams. He is great against bigger teams, and Kerr will save him for those.

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And he is making the most of it.

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Nov 27, 2021Liked by punk basketball

We're almost 20 games into the season. The league is shooting 34.4 3P% at 35.7 3PA. Prior seasons:

'20-21: 36.7 3P% @ 34.6 3PA

'19-20: 35.8 3P% @ 34.1 3PA

'18-19: 35.5 3P% @ 32.0 3PA

Is it better defenses? The new ball?

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More and more people are taking "low quality" off the dribble 3s as opposed to straight catch and shoots so more attempts and lower quality attempts =lower %

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New rules that allow defenders to defend.

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Probably! At least some of the change has to be from not bailing out non-basketball moves with a whistle—those are misses this year, and I'm really curious what the 3P% numbers look like year over year if you include 3P shooting fouls make/miss.

I doubt that explains it all though.

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Wow. If this percentage holds, this is the lowest 3P% since 1999 (33.9 3P%). Since that season, the league has been above 35% except for two seasons.

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And Steph is still on pace to destroy his old records!

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And to be clear: 1999 as in '98-99

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Nov 27, 2021Liked by punk basketball

Last year with no public?

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better defense, IMO. The new foul rules have made a big difference.

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I can buy the former. But the latter only affects like 10 players at most out of nearly 20k 3PA in total...

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I think it affects a lot of people.

Defenders have a certain mindset in how they play that carries over to everyone they guard. Good defenders do change how they guard specific players to take away certain things, but I think there's still an ideal level of physicality they get used to, the sweet spot between good defense and too many fouls. For example, if you can suddenly crowd guards going around screens on the perimeter while knowing they can't just jump back into you and pretend to shoot a 3, suddenly the basic moment to moment level of physicality you play with on defense goes up. And that can affect players who don't constantly jump into people for fouls, too.

Also, when you're not spending a ton of prep time figuring out exactly how to hold your hands behind your back to hopefully not give Harden 15+ free throws a game, you have more time for actual basketball, like scouting how to shut down each team's perimeter game.

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OK I can see this. A ripple affect of how defenders can play /anyone/ and not just the typical shot-hunting culprits... still, this is a pretty big gap. We're talking lowest % since the '98-99 season... that's like 15 years before Harden.

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*foul-hunting

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Nov 27, 2021Liked by punk basketball

NAH. IF you think about it, fouls down across the league, some of the plays that used to turn into 3 foul shots are now non-calls. 3PA only went up 0.5 last year, but this year, it jumped up 1.2. Why? I bet a lot of those 1.2 are shots that used to end up as whistles and FT's. Now, they become recorded 3PA.Those shots are among the most difficult 3 pt shots to make. I'd expect those same shots to go in at less than a 10% rate. Including those in the totals will immediately bring 3P% down.

Let's just assume that 3PA would've gone up by 0.5 attempts per game, same as last year. That means 0.7 extra 3PA came from fouled shots that are now non-calls. If those go in at a 10% rate, then your new 3P% would be:

[35.1 3PA * .367]+ [0.7 3PA * .100] = .361

Then leaguewide, the foul rules have just allowed defenses to become more physical, and FG% for both 2's and 3's have gone down. So, add that in to the base reduction, and that's the difference.

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I'll cede the rule changes argument after reading a few replies... I still feel there's a pretty big gap unaccounted for...

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This is one area where listening to the talking heads is actually informative. They've been talking about the rule changes A LOT in this early season. And they've commented again and again that defenses are much more physical this season, and that it's causing FG% to go down across the board, and that offenses have been struggling as everyone adapts to the new normal.

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Yea it's kind of how I ended up in this rabbit hole. Shooting is definitely lower across the board but eFG% and TS% are still around 2015-16 levels... 3P% got smacked back to the late 90s.

I'll leave one last interesting tidbit.

On Open attempts (4-6 feet)... meaning on shots where the defense isn't close and shouldn't (?) be affected by the new rules, the league is shooting 32.8 3P%. This is the lowest in the last 9 years (no prior data).

In the last 9 years it's only dipped under 34% twice (33.9%, 33.5%) and hit 35+% four times.

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So I won't even assume anything and just play with some numbers.

We're expecting that some 3PA that would've resulted in FTs last season are resulting in non-calls this season.

There have been 6840 3PM and 19950 3PA. For your theory to hold, there are basically 1300+ extra shots this season that resulted in non-calls (to get the league back around 36%).

That comes out to 2.28 calls per game that would've normally resulted in a 3-shot foul. The league peaked at 0.59 3-shot fouls Per100 possessions* -- or 1.18 Per100 for both teams combined.

That just accounts for half the attempts (1.18 vs. 2.28)... and this is assuming ALL 3-shot fouls are of the "lean-in-and-draw-contact" type... ignoring the fact that there will be landing space fouls as well. So this discrepancy is even larger.

* https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-fouls-you-wont-see-on-3-point-shots-this-season-and-some-you-still-will/

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Like I said above, it's only part of the effect. League wide FG% are down for both 2's and 3's. That's due to increased phsicality in D due to the new rules, but part of it is indeed this.

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So it’s 50/50. And it’s 100% awesome.

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* 2.28 shots per game

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In the West, the .500 teams begin in 6th place with Portland holding down that spot. It is going to be a battle for those teams to make the playoffs this year and clearly, there are few dominant teams this year. We just happen to be one of two in the West.

In the East, the better teams are all near the top! Brooklyn leading the pack but the next 6 teams are only behind by 3 or less games! This is going to be an interesting year, I think, for basketball. Injuries will probably be a factor at some point for many teams as the pace has picked up and the competition has become fierce. I hope our guys don't succumb to major injury that will effect our rotations and efficiency. We are deep and will be deeper soon, but strength in numbers becomes more of a reality in this climate.

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2 years ago, the Lakers had a historically good duo in LeBron and AD and good supporting pieces in Danny Green, Caruso, KCP etc.

Then, they traded a great role-player in Danny Green for Schroeder. Then proceeded to get a non-spacing, non-defending big in Harrell. Still, they had a competent team and lost in the playoffs due to injuries (they probably win the West if AD stays healthy).

Then they go out and trade KCP, Kuzma, Harrell and a first for Westbrook. Remember, they could've easily had Lowry or Derozan, but they went for Westbrook. Then they go out and sign DeAndre Jordan and let Alex Caruso walk.

It's a masterclass in wasting a great hand. You had 2 of the league's top 10 players, good supporting players and the advantage of being in the best market in the league so that FAs almost always choose you. Yet, they've come to this. Bravo.

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This is exactly one of the things that is fascinating about the league. It has been like the Lakers have been operating under a completely different theory of basketball after initially putting AD and Lebron together on their team. Two years ago, it seemed like they would be dangerous for years with their core. Then they kept doing things that did not make sense to me (but must make sense to the Lakers).

Makes me wonder what their thoughts were. Is there something they know that isn't obvious to outsiders?

It seems like they must get better from where they are now but how much potential do they have given their current players. Is the return of their current injured guys really going to transform them?

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Oh wow the trade sounds so much worse in juxtaposition to the Lowry and de rozan trades. What a gift to the league. Even more so if this was masterminded by LeBron. Although the Spurs don't really like trading pieces to the west so maybe DeRozan was never possible. But missing on Lowry wow.

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Letting Caruso walk will prove to be the final nail in the coffin. (Hopefully)

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Im not going to lie, Im not liking how many minutes Curry has been playing lately.

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The new rotation pattern (starting each quarter and sitting 3 minutes in Q1, 2, and 3) allows Curry to play the entire 4th quarter if needed and still stay below 40 minutes. And with blowouts, his minutes in the 4th can be very limited or cut entirely.

I'm still a little surprised to see him out there in the last couple of minutes of a 20 point win such as the Philly game on Wednesday.

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There’ve been a couple of games where he stayed in the game a few extra minutes to hunt milestones like 40 points.

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Or making sure he outscores his brother....

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He was off against Detroit and he’s probably resting against the Clippers all of 4th quarter on Sunday

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Are you saying GSW blows LAC out?

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Yeah especially with the noon start on Sunday, but they needed him out there and if they lose the Clipper game because of that so be it

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The more people come back from injury the more it can help that cause. Racking up wins early probably gets them some more rest days they can afford for him too, but yeah, hope they can keep the wear down as much as possible

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