Sansterre's Top 100 Teams, #26-28, 1989 DET, 2007 SAS, 2016 GSW

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Re: Sansterre's Top 100 Teams, #26-28, 1989 DET, 2007 SAS, 2016 GSW 

Post#21 » by sansterre » Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:38 pm

eminence wrote:

I'm still going to compile the pre-shot clock teams' rankings; I'm just holding off until I finish the full list.
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Re: Sansterre's Top 100 Teams, #26-28, 1989 DET, 2007 SAS, 2016 GSW 

Post#22 » by eminence » Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:41 pm

Very cool!
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Re: Sansterre's Top 100 Teams, #26-28, 1989 DET, 2007 SAS, 2016 GSW 

Post#23 » by kayess » Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:47 am

Spoiler:
Warriors Analyst wrote:Well now that it's time to relitigate 2016 for the millionth time, a few thoughts I have:

I find it amusing that when people discuss the Cavs missing Love and Irving in 2015, they ignore that the Cavs blew out the Warriors without Kevin Love in Game 3 of the Finals. I don't think this is a coincidence. Love going down forced Lue to downsize and the 2016 Cavs were deeper than the 2015 Cavs with the addition of Richard Jefferson who was a very effective player at the 4 (this is deeply ironic to me as a Warriors fan who watched him bungle Game 1 of the 2013 WCSF against San Antonio due to Mark Jackson playing him exclusively at the 2).

My memory of the first two games of the series was that the Cavs trapped Steph quite a lot and the Warriors absolutely carved up the Cavs' defense with passing. In Game 1 Steph went 4/15 and Klay went 4/12 but we got 12 points from Iguodala, 20 points from Livingston, and 11 from Barbosa. In Game 2, Steph only played 24 minutes and scored 18 points, but Draymond put up 28 points and we got a balanced scoring output from the bench. I think it's pretty clear that the Cavs couldn't defend the fully healthy Warriors with Kevin Love playing significant minutes. In Game 3, the Cavs blew out the Warriors.

In Game 4 when the Warriors go up 3-1, Love plays 25 minutes off of the bench. In Game 5 with Draymond suspended, Love plays nearly 33 minutes and only scores 2 points. In Game 6, Love plays... 11:55 minutes for -6 and R-Jeff plays 31:52 minutes for +15. In Game 7, Love plays 30 minutes and scores 9 points and has a +/- of +19. Jefferson plays 25 minutes and has two points and a +/- of -8.

I don't think that Love's play is an absolute barometer for the Cavs, but I do feel pretty confident that if Love didn't miss Game 3, the Warriors probably sweep the Cavs by virtue of Lue not stumbling into smaller lineup configurations. But alas.

As for the Warriors side of things... I think this series is the mother of all outlier series. Between Draymond's insane three point shooting, Draymond's suspension, Iguodala's back injury that had him jogging like geriatric, Bogut's injury, Kyrie and LeBron putting up Rushmore playoff performances three games in a row, and Barnes going 5-32 over the last three games of the series. I think if you simulate this series 1000 times, the Cavs win it maybe 5% of the time. But lots of things went wrong for the Warriors, some of them avoidable and some not.

The Bogut injury had downstream effects. In game 5, the Warriors played Ezeli, Speights, Varejao, and McAdoo a combined 35 minutes. Obviously one of the memorable moments of Game 7 is Vareajo playing significant minutes in the 4th quarter and Ezeli biting on the LeBron pump fake. Without Bogut, Kerr didn't trust Speights for some reason, which is frustrating because lineups where Speights replaced Bogut and played with the starters or Curry/Klay/Andre/Dray performed incredibly well per net rating in the regular season. Of course, the playoffs are a different beast, but I think Kerr has always been a bit too concerned with defense in high leverage minutes in the playoffs and not nearly concerned enough about the ability to create open looks.

And that brings me to the Barnes part of the discussion. 5-32. 15.6% FG. It's unforgivably bad. We got 83 minutes of Barnes in those final games of the series and he was as bad as I've ever seen a player crash in high pressure moments. When he stopped hitting open shots, the Cavs defense gave him the Tony Allen treatment and he couldn't even score on layups where he had a full runway from the three point line. The Warriors spacing got all messed up as a result and the Cavs were able to sell out on Steph and make it very hard for the Warriors to get clean looks in the lane and Kerr didn't react fast enough.

What should he have done? I for one will always maintain that he should have given Brandon Rush a shot. Rush was a consistent 3P% shooter and a solid defender. Probably didn't have the footspeed to keep up with Irving on switches, but it's not like Barnes was really great on D in any capacity other than taking a beating against bruiser 4's. Iguodala's back injury also really messed things up. Once it became clear Barnes was a pumpkin, it would have been ideal to play Iguodala more minutes and try and cobble together minutes at the 5 with Speights or Ezeli, but Iguodala was very passive and physically limited in the final games of the series. In retrospect, I understand to some extent why Kerr felt like it made sense to try and keep riding the OG Death Lineup, but I would have had a much quicker hook with Barnes.

As for Steph... this series will always bum me out. The turnover at the end of Game 7, the dubious foul trouble in Game 6, and his mediocre numbers. Was Steph injured? Probably. He came back about a week early off a sprained MCL and then played 9 games over the course of the WCSF and WCF before going to the Finals. It doesn't take a doctor to assume that a player's knee won't magically recuperate, and in fact, may get worse over time when the player comes back early from an injury.

But with that said, Kerr and Curry didn't do themselves any favors with their game plan. In the first few games of the series when the Cavs were getting carved up by the Warriors passing, things were fine and dandy. But when the Cavs started shifting their lineups and defensive strategies, I don't think it was all that wise to keep going off-ball with Steph. Lue and the Cavs figured out, correctly, that you can manhandle Steph offball and the refs will be reluctant to call it and you can muck up the Warriors' offense. Once Barnes went pumpkin, the Warriors' offball actions were pretty limited between cramped spacing and Barnes inability to create anything for anyone. I think I would have liked to see more Steph ISO's and let him go 1v1 (although with his knee, that probably wouldn't have been great either) instead of PNR's to avoid bringing a secondary defender into the play who would try to force the ball out of Steph's hands.

But as for the regular season, what magical year it was. That was as much fun as I've had as a basketball fan. Every game was appointment viewing. I was studying abroad in Cuba for the first 1/3 of the season. I missed the 24 game win streak and I had to spend 3 bucks to buy an hour of internet every few days or so to keep up with the Warriors. Coming home and getting to watch the Warriors night after night was a thrill. That team really was greater than the sum of their parts. In a vacuum, I don't think the surrounding talent on that team was all that. But Steph put together a GOAT contender season and most teams didn't have the personnel to go small or outshoot the Warriors.

In today's NBA are you really all that scared of this lineup?

Livingston
Barbosa
Iguodala
Barnes
Speights

In the modern NBA, that's one total non-shooter at the point guard and a point forward who is a reluctant and inconsistent shooter. But only 5 years ago, that lineup was pretty solid for the Warriors because most teams didn't have the personnel to deal with Barnes at the 4 and Mo Speights bombing threes at the 5, which then let Livingston go to work in the post in single coverage because teams were worried enough about the Warriors' shooting that they wouldn't double the post.

I think if you look at most of the 65 + win seasons in the NBA, you'll find that they're the result of a player putting together a legendary season and a whole bunch of other things breaking the right way. That absolutely happened for that Warriors team. I only wish that Curry had stayed healthy throughout the playoffs. If that happens, we probably sweep Houston and Portland. OKC probably still goes 7, but the Warriors come into the Cavs series with less nicks and bruises and Draymond doesn't rack up 6 tech's and doesn't get suspended and so on and so forth...

But I do sometimes think the more interesting scenario is the Warriors winning Game 7 by virtue of LeBron not making the block or Irving not hitting his shot. In that scenario, the Warriors win by the skin of their teeth, Draymond probably gets FMVP, and now the Warriors have to figure out WTF to do in free agency. In Ethan Strauss' recent book, he mentions an anecdote where he asks West in the regular season about re-signing Barnes for more than $20 million. West says, "buh-bye" in a mocking voice and waves his hand in response. So you'd imagine that there'd have been even less enthusiasm for bringing back Barnes after his disaster of a Finals and there'd also been whispers, via Draymond's mom's Twitter that Barnes had nursed his injury early in the season to protect himself for a new contract, so it really doesn't seem like it would have been feasible to bring Barnes back into that locker room. What does that Warriors team look like the next year? We'll never know, but part of me wishes we did.


100% forgot Love went down in game 3. And holy **** - is Jerry West an **** IRL?? He always came/comes off as so magnanimous
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Re: Sansterre's Top 100 Teams, #26-28, 1989 DET, 2007 SAS, 2016 GSW 

Post#24 » by Warriors Analyst » Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:15 am

kayess wrote:
Spoiler:
Warriors Analyst wrote:Well now that it's time to relitigate 2016 for the millionth time, a few thoughts I have:

I find it amusing that when people discuss the Cavs missing Love and Irving in 2015, they ignore that the Cavs blew out the Warriors without Kevin Love in Game 3 of the Finals. I don't think this is a coincidence. Love going down forced Lue to downsize and the 2016 Cavs were deeper than the 2015 Cavs with the addition of Richard Jefferson who was a very effective player at the 4 (this is deeply ironic to me as a Warriors fan who watched him bungle Game 1 of the 2013 WCSF against San Antonio due to Mark Jackson playing him exclusively at the 2).

My memory of the first two games of the series was that the Cavs trapped Steph quite a lot and the Warriors absolutely carved up the Cavs' defense with passing. In Game 1 Steph went 4/15 and Klay went 4/12 but we got 12 points from Iguodala, 20 points from Livingston, and 11 from Barbosa. In Game 2, Steph only played 24 minutes and scored 18 points, but Draymond put up 28 points and we got a balanced scoring output from the bench. I think it's pretty clear that the Cavs couldn't defend the fully healthy Warriors with Kevin Love playing significant minutes. In Game 3, the Cavs blew out the Warriors.

In Game 4 when the Warriors go up 3-1, Love plays 25 minutes off of the bench. In Game 5 with Draymond suspended, Love plays nearly 33 minutes and only scores 2 points. In Game 6, Love plays... 11:55 minutes for -6 and R-Jeff plays 31:52 minutes for +15. In Game 7, Love plays 30 minutes and scores 9 points and has a +/- of +19. Jefferson plays 25 minutes and has two points and a +/- of -8.

I don't think that Love's play is an absolute barometer for the Cavs, but I do feel pretty confident that if Love didn't miss Game 3, the Warriors probably sweep the Cavs by virtue of Lue not stumbling into smaller lineup configurations. But alas.

As for the Warriors side of things... I think this series is the mother of all outlier series. Between Draymond's insane three point shooting, Draymond's suspension, Iguodala's back injury that had him jogging like geriatric, Bogut's injury, Kyrie and LeBron putting up Rushmore playoff performances three games in a row, and Barnes going 5-32 over the last three games of the series. I think if you simulate this series 1000 times, the Cavs win it maybe 5% of the time. But lots of things went wrong for the Warriors, some of them avoidable and some not.

The Bogut injury had downstream effects. In game 5, the Warriors played Ezeli, Speights, Varejao, and McAdoo a combined 35 minutes. Obviously one of the memorable moments of Game 7 is Vareajo playing significant minutes in the 4th quarter and Ezeli biting on the LeBron pump fake. Without Bogut, Kerr didn't trust Speights for some reason, which is frustrating because lineups where Speights replaced Bogut and played with the starters or Curry/Klay/Andre/Dray performed incredibly well per net rating in the regular season. Of course, the playoffs are a different beast, but I think Kerr has always been a bit too concerned with defense in high leverage minutes in the playoffs and not nearly concerned enough about the ability to create open looks.

And that brings me to the Barnes part of the discussion. 5-32. 15.6% FG. It's unforgivably bad. We got 83 minutes of Barnes in those final games of the series and he was as bad as I've ever seen a player crash in high pressure moments. When he stopped hitting open shots, the Cavs defense gave him the Tony Allen treatment and he couldn't even score on layups where he had a full runway from the three point line. The Warriors spacing got all messed up as a result and the Cavs were able to sell out on Steph and make it very hard for the Warriors to get clean looks in the lane and Kerr didn't react fast enough.

What should he have done? I for one will always maintain that he should have given Brandon Rush a shot. Rush was a consistent 3P% shooter and a solid defender. Probably didn't have the footspeed to keep up with Irving on switches, but it's not like Barnes was really great on D in any capacity other than taking a beating against bruiser 4's. Iguodala's back injury also really messed things up. Once it became clear Barnes was a pumpkin, it would have been ideal to play Iguodala more minutes and try and cobble together minutes at the 5 with Speights or Ezeli, but Iguodala was very passive and physically limited in the final games of the series. In retrospect, I understand to some extent why Kerr felt like it made sense to try and keep riding the OG Death Lineup, but I would have had a much quicker hook with Barnes.

As for Steph... this series will always bum me out. The turnover at the end of Game 7, the dubious foul trouble in Game 6, and his mediocre numbers. Was Steph injured? Probably. He came back about a week early off a sprained MCL and then played 9 games over the course of the WCSF and WCF before going to the Finals. It doesn't take a doctor to assume that a player's knee won't magically recuperate, and in fact, may get worse over time when the player comes back early from an injury.

But with that said, Kerr and Curry didn't do themselves any favors with their game plan. In the first few games of the series when the Cavs were getting carved up by the Warriors passing, things were fine and dandy. But when the Cavs started shifting their lineups and defensive strategies, I don't think it was all that wise to keep going off-ball with Steph. Lue and the Cavs figured out, correctly, that you can manhandle Steph offball and the refs will be reluctant to call it and you can muck up the Warriors' offense. Once Barnes went pumpkin, the Warriors' offball actions were pretty limited between cramped spacing and Barnes inability to create anything for anyone. I think I would have liked to see more Steph ISO's and let him go 1v1 (although with his knee, that probably wouldn't have been great either) instead of PNR's to avoid bringing a secondary defender into the play who would try to force the ball out of Steph's hands.

But as for the regular season, what magical year it was. That was as much fun as I've had as a basketball fan. Every game was appointment viewing. I was studying abroad in Cuba for the first 1/3 of the season. I missed the 24 game win streak and I had to spend 3 bucks to buy an hour of internet every few days or so to keep up with the Warriors. Coming home and getting to watch the Warriors night after night was a thrill. That team really was greater than the sum of their parts. In a vacuum, I don't think the surrounding talent on that team was all that. But Steph put together a GOAT contender season and most teams didn't have the personnel to go small or outshoot the Warriors.

In today's NBA are you really all that scared of this lineup?

Livingston
Barbosa
Iguodala
Barnes
Speights

In the modern NBA, that's one total non-shooter at the point guard and a point forward who is a reluctant and inconsistent shooter. But only 5 years ago, that lineup was pretty solid for the Warriors because most teams didn't have the personnel to deal with Barnes at the 4 and Mo Speights bombing threes at the 5, which then let Livingston go to work in the post in single coverage because teams were worried enough about the Warriors' shooting that they wouldn't double the post.

I think if you look at most of the 65 + win seasons in the NBA, you'll find that they're the result of a player putting together a legendary season and a whole bunch of other things breaking the right way. That absolutely happened for that Warriors team. I only wish that Curry had stayed healthy throughout the playoffs. If that happens, we probably sweep Houston and Portland. OKC probably still goes 7, but the Warriors come into the Cavs series with less nicks and bruises and Draymond doesn't rack up 6 tech's and doesn't get suspended and so on and so forth...

But I do sometimes think the more interesting scenario is the Warriors winning Game 7 by virtue of LeBron not making the block or Irving not hitting his shot. In that scenario, the Warriors win by the skin of their teeth, Draymond probably gets FMVP, and now the Warriors have to figure out WTF to do in free agency. In Ethan Strauss' recent book, he mentions an anecdote where he asks West in the regular season about re-signing Barnes for more than $20 million. West says, "buh-bye" in a mocking voice and waves his hand in response. So you'd imagine that there'd have been even less enthusiasm for bringing back Barnes after his disaster of a Finals and there'd also been whispers, via Draymond's mom's Twitter that Barnes had nursed his injury early in the season to protect himself for a new contract, so it really doesn't seem like it would have been feasible to bring Barnes back into that locker room. What does that Warriors team look like the next year? We'll never know, but part of me wishes we did.


100% forgot Love went down in game 3. And holy **** - is Jerry West an **** IRL?? He always came/comes off as so magnanimous


He did go to the White House to accept a Presidential Medal of Freedom from Trump, for whatever it's worth.

I don't think West liked Barnes at all. In the days leading up to the draft, a few Bay Area reporters said that West loved Dion Waiters. I laughed it off at the time and when the Cavs took Waiters at 4, I really thought that West pulled a fast one on the Cavs by goading them into picking Waiters above his projected slots.

But when Strauss' book came out, the Waiters thing comes up again. So there's probably some truth to that.

But back to Barnes: I went to the Warriors home opener in 2012-13 as part of a local Warriors blog's night. Tickets were discounted, t-shirts given, and there was a Q+A with Jerry West after the game. Brandon Rush, who'd had a breakout year a season prior and was pushed into a bench role to accommodate Barnes, tore his ACL that night. The life got sucked out of the building and Memphis beat the Warriors handily.

After the game, West still did the Q+A. He got asked about how Rush's injury would affect Barnes and the Warriors' depth and West basically said that Barnes had a long way to go to be a good NBA player, but he was going to be forced into minutes now. A few years later during the Kerr years, Bay Area media made a big hoopla of Barnes asking West if he could work out with him and be mentored by him over the summer. Of course, the improvements Barnes made were marginal to the point of being nonexistent, but the workouts/mentorship made for some good media and it provided this absolutely hilarious quote:

Once Barnes got to the rim, West wanted him shooting the ball underhand. Barnes resisted. “I said, ‘Jerry, I shoot my shots overhand.’ He said that’s why you’re always clanking your layups off the rim. You have no touch. You have to get used to finishing underhanded, with spin on it.”


In Strauss' book, West is also quoted saying that Barnes' feet are "all f'd up" in regards to his footwork. So I think it's fair to say that as much as West may have appreciate Harrison Barnes as a person and his desire to get better and work hard, West really didn't like his game, and for good reason.

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