2014-15 Golden State Warriors Preview with Dubs Aficionado David Barnes


Golden_State_Warriors_2010_04

Fill-in-the-blanks

Andrew Bogut will play ___ games this year. (65)

Due to better team ball-movement, Wardell “Steph” Curry II will lower his turnovers from 3.7 to ___ per game. (2.5)

Due to better team ball-movement, Klay Thompson will increase his 3-point % from 41.7 to ____ (47.7)

Short Answers

How much credit can we prematurely give Alvin Gentry for the fluid ball-movement? Does dividing the credit between Kerr and Gentry really matter? If we’re honest, they will be sharing the duties, especially in Kerr’s first year as a coach.

Kerr’s relationship with Gentry will be significant enough to land him a head-coaching job somewhere else next year and Kerr will fully support that. Don’t forget that what we’re seeing develop here is a hybrid triangle/Suns “shot every 9 seconds” offense. And don’t forget Ron Adams and his impact on not only continuing to develop the Dubs defense but to make it even more effective.

Spread the love for Shaun Livingston.

Size, smarts, basketball IQ. He’s a difficult match-up as a starter, impossible as a backup and he gives them one more rebounder who can grab and go.

Is it possible Livingston becomes as beloved as Draymond Green?

Nope. Expectations for Livingston are already pretty high (and hyped) and “Money” Green is one of the better stories in all of the NBA over the last few years.

What do you enjoy about Leandro Barbosa?

He’s fast and fearless.

What about Mark Jackson’s coaching will you miss?

The team always played hard for him and he defended his guys like few others.

What about Mark Jackson’s coaching will you NOT miss?

Endless isolations, heartbreaking home losses, leftover timeouts at game’s end.

***

Longer Answers

Does it matter that Warriors owner Joe Lacob knew and trusted Steve Kerr through playing golf with him? Is Joe Lacob aware of the perception of “exclusive club membership leads to bad hiring practices?” Should we consider the issues with “exclusive” kinds of friendships?

Doesn’t particularly bother me and in the Bay Area, where so much happens through connections, it’s fine with me especially because Kerr also comes with an impeccable resume. Lacob already hired his son and put him in an important role so as long as he’s willing to bear the weight of that and they produce, I’m fine with that. I also compare that with the previous ownership/management group which was insulated and insular so taking a chance on guys with upside no matter where the relationship came from works for me.

I happen to think Kerr will make a great coach, especially because, as you say, he’s surrounded by two excellent assistants. The rational part of me knows that connections are often part of the hiring equation, in regard to coaches/managers. The desire for equal consideration to all coaches makes me wonder if enough front offices give a spectrum of candidates a fair shake. Obviously, there were aspects of Jackson’s coaching that were questionable at best. To make things worse, he didn’t handle being questioned in a mature and realistic way, and handled himself defensively with the media. Back in May, Marcus Thompson’s take on the Jackson situation was fantastically well-rounded (cultural, political, personal issues colliding with front office). At the end of this Warriors preview, you can find the beginning of that piece. Ultimately, I think Lacob would have been wise to consider the optics of highlighting the golfing-connection. Recently, several NBA front offices have been spotlighted for their issues (racism, myopia, entitlement, etc.)

It’s not to say that two white men can’t get to know each other on a golf course. However, when that leads to one of them being hired to coach in a very desirable NBA city, without previous coaching experience (though he was the GM in Phoenix for several years), it comes into sharper focus. Many fans simply don’t want “golf course exclusivity” to be anywhere near hiring practices. I am one of those fans. Of course, I’m not a fan of golf courses and what happens on them for a variety of reasons.

***

What are you most looking forward to about the 2014-15 Golden State Warriors?

Watching a beautiful team play a beautiful game. Hearing the loudest arena in the league get louder. Seeing Steph take yet another step forward and a top-4 finish in the Western conference, followed by a lengthy playoff run.

What makes you most nervous about the 2014-15 Golden State Warriors?

Health. If they stay healthy, they play with anyone and yes that includes playing for a championship.

Other thoughts?

In terms of players, coaches, management, this is on paper the best team they’ve ever had. And they’re not only good on court, they’re good on the eyes which should translate to more than one player on the all-star team. Expectations are and should be high and they should embrace those moments knowing the reward will be beyond understanding. This team wins a championship? They’re going to blow away the Bay Area.

I like that final thought.

***

The opening of Marcus Thompson‘s examination of last May’s Warriors front office situation, “Warriors, Mark Jackson, and the Question of Race,” from May 8:

First let me say this: I don’t think for one second that when members of Warriors management decided to fire Mark Jackson, his race even cross their mind. I know Bob Myers more than all of them, I’d say, and if he is prejudiced then he is also a great actor. There is no evidence, hard or anecdotal, substantiated or rumored, that Joe Lacob harbors any such negative feelings about people of color.

I do not believe Jackson was fired because he is African-American.

With that said, race and culture is indeed a factor here. I don’t believe it was the primary factor, or a top factor. But I’m so amazed, even in the light of the Donald Sterling situation, that this element is being written off as a non-factor.

I’ve discussed this on Twitter and hesitated to elaborate outside of that medium because people get weird when you bring up the realities of race. And quite honestly, I don’t have the energy to be Marcus Garvey right now. But Scott Ostler’s conclusion in his column — “let’s keep talking” — prompted me to suck it up and chime in to the discussion. If you are tired of race and NBA discussions, fatigued by the Donald Sterling mess, be warned that’s what this post is about. I’ve already written extensively about Jackson and the other reasons. You will have no problem finding them on our website and this blog.

If you are already foaming at the mouth, furious this black writer is bringing up race again, you should stop reading. Actually, you should keep reading, because you really need to be part of the discussion. But it requires an open mind, a willingness to see other perspectives and a willingness to dialogue civilly about undergirding topics. But you probably can’t do that if you’re all riled up. However, you will probably see your this-is-not-about-race response in this post if you decide to keep reading.

Proceed if you so choose.

http://blogs.mercurynews.com/thompson/2014/05/08/warriors-mark-jackson-and-the-question-of-race/

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One thought on “2014-15 Golden State Warriors Preview with Dubs Aficionado David Barnes

  1. Fan says:

    funny, but I can hear David’s voice while reading this. 😀

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