Preview and Chat: The Golden State Warriors

Kurt —  February 25, 2007

What I’m rooting for today. Flags of Our Fathers to win the Oscar for best sound mixing (my brother-in-law is nominated).

The Tao of Shammond. There wasn’t just a Shammond sighting against the Celtics, he was the first guard off the bench. Followed by McKie. I see a couple of things here.

First is a message to the team — specifically to the other guards — that playing time is up for grabs and has to be earned. The defense has been bad, particularly on the perimeter, the offense has fallen off and it looks to me like Phil put everyone on notice he willing to look at just about anything to shake this team up right now (he said Saturday he would have done the same things with the bigs if he had the manpower). For one night at least, it worked.

Second, Shammond played pretty well, he certainly earned some more playing time. Unlike his stints early in the year, he looked far more comfortable in he point guard role, both running the offense and on defense. He was 3-3 inside the arc but 0-2 beyond it and finished the game +7. A few people on this site were all but ready to give him the starting job — relax folks. It was one game, against the worst team in the league. He earned minutes for another game or two, nothing more. Play like that consistently and against better competition and we’ll talk.

No Smush? Shammond may also get more time because Smush injured his ankle in practice yesterday. It was not supposed to be serious, then again I’m not sure how much I trust the Lakers’ staff’s ability to judge the severity of an ankle sprain of late (see: Walton, Kwame). Smush is supposed to be a game time decision.

Farmar theory. I went to the game Friday night with a friend who just moved back a few months ago from the Bay Area and has been an avid Laker fan for years. He had an interesting theory on Farmar’s development that I’m passing along for conversation.

At the start of the season Farmar was playing good defense and getting a few points but his shooting was streaky, while Smush continued to shoot well and score plenty but his defense was weak. Phil decided to go with Smush, essentially saying he was willing to go with the 10 more points a night that 3 or 4 more stops a night, Farmar took from this the message that scoring was more important and tried to change his game, but the result has been him being thrown out of synch at both ends. He just needs to get back to what he was doing at the start of the season, focusing on defense and letting the offense come to him, and he’ll start to look like the Farmar of old again.

Other things from the game. A couple things were probably pretty clear to you guys at home, too. First, Odom was more aggressive than he has been since he returned. The other thing, when Kobe wants to take over a game, man it is a thing of beauty to watch (Pierce was on him at first and he laid back because Kobe is to quick for him, the result was three threes in a row).

Phil has seen this before? Regarding “okay, I was snowboarding” Radmanovic: Remember that in the 96-97 game Luc Longly missed more than a month after separating his shoulder while body surfing. I expect Radman’s punishment by the team will be a slap on the wrist, but we’ll see.

About the Warriors.
Due to an Internet connection issue I haven’t been able to do any research. I suggest checking out the very good Golden State of Mind.

Also, Golden State will be wearing very cool “The City” throwback jerseys.

As for the Lakers, they need to play like they did against Boston. This is the perfect game, a step up but from the Celtics but not an elite team. Let’s see how the defense looks.

to Preview and Chat: The Golden State Warriors

  1. I think that we’ll see as a result of the shortage of small forwards, the very real emergence of Mo Evans. He was a solid contributor against the Celts.
    I actually think that if we were starting him, and the mind set for him and the team, was that he is a starter, and he’d been a starter since the start of the season, he would’ve developed into one of the better small forwards in the league. (Caron Butler type)
    remember, we got him cheap because Detroit was stacked in that position, and he couldn’t get PT, just because he was cheap, doesn’t mean he’s a reserve player. Let’s see how he progress’s now that the depletion of forwards will mean much more PT for him. I hope Phil gives him the start again, I want to see what he’s capable of as a starter. Anyway, after such a long layoff, there’s no way Luke comes back in his starting role, so we have the luxury of easing him back in, giving Mo even more PT. I really like his game, he hustles on D, runs the wing like a wild man, crashes the boards, and when he has the opening, is NOT afraid to dunk! when I think back at how strong our second unit used to be, in the first half of the season, maybe it was Mo who was the catalist??
    I keep geting the feeling that we are one surprise away from turning the corner, like a player who comes into his own, becomes the “X” factor…maybe it’s Mo Evans…


  2. I’m with ya chris henderson… I’ve become a huge fan of “Mr.Mo” as well lately. The guy plays his ass off and has a ton of talent. He plays with a very good mindset when he plays and he never lets down. I think we should have him start at SF for a while. Luke is not going to be back for a couple more games it looks like and even when he does come back, hes not gonna be 100% for a while (look at Lamar). That leaves the door wide open for Mr.Mo to be a very significant contributor for us. I think our biggest concern with starting Mr.Mo is that he was one of our scoring punches for the 2nd unit. I think if our 2nd unit starts holding it down then we can afford to start Evans


  3. re: longley and radmanovic: does this mean that after phil leaves the lakers again, he’s going to spend a winter snowboarding sarajevo with radmanovic?

    go lakers. go flags of our father. go your brother-in-law. and say hey to your missus for me, willya? it’s been awhile!


  4. She says hi Dan and we should get together someday

    I just wish my connection got me in the Oscar parties

    And im with you on Mo, remember this summer we said he could be better than Radman


  5. Promoting Shammond to the first team may not be so much about how good he looks as what the current starter has to offer.

    From listening to interviews with the Laker coaches, it appears that they publicly associate the guard problems with Farmar and Sasha, justifying the emerging role of McKie and Shammond. If they privately believe that, they are pure Disneyland Smushaholics.

    We don’t really know how anyone else at point guard objectively compares to Smush, since Smush has always played this season as a starter. He’s never gone down! It would be interesting to see alternations in which Farmar was with the starting group and Smush would come off the bench or vice versa for 20 minutes each for a few games.

    It may already be too late. As Kurt suggested, Phil appeared to look at defense oriented players like Jordan unfavorably to the Smusher. The message is clear: bust your butt on defense and sit on the bench; go playground or at least make some points and get PT. With Ronny and Jordan sitting on the bench watching Cookie and the Smusher, it is not clear that the Laker coaches really believe what they say about defense.


  6. i’m liking what Mo Evans is bringing tonight!
    he just hit the floor hard, but bounced up, good thing, can’t afford any more injuries.


  7. 26 points career high for Mo.
    shammond and mckie looking pretty solid too.
    anyway, boston and golden state are good teams to try out these guys and with the jazz coming up, good chance to see them compete against an upper tier team.


  8. Shammond looked pretty good, but he’s still a bit rusty. Give him more playing time and we may just have something…


  9. Shamu and Mckie have looked decent in spot minutes the last two games, but rest assured, barring an unforseen event, Smush Parker is the starting PG on this team. That said, I’d stick with the Shamu, Mckie backcourt instead of Sasha, Farmar. Shamu is a threat from outside and has better ball-handling skills than Sasha, and Mckie can still defend, when healthy. I’d also like to see Mo stay in the starting role so that the 2nd unit could be Shamu, Mckie, Luke, Cook. Kwame. That is a solid back-up unit.


  10. I think farmar has just hit his rookie slump. I don’t really think he is comparing what smush does to his game and adjusting. But think about it, the longest season he has ever had is that at UCLA. Well, they have well surpassed that. I also think he is adjusting to coming off the bench. It is a totally different mentality when you are a starter, you know you are going to get solid min. etc, but when you are on the bench and get inconsistent min. I think there is a lot of pressure to go out and be an impact player right away. And usually you are thrown out there with some interesting group of players, that isn’t consistent as well. It is not like how the five starters know eachother’s games because they play together so much more. When you come off the bench, you could be playing with anyone. I don’t know, I just don’t think we need to worry about it too much, he is smart, has great work ethic, and is really dedicated to making it in the league.


  11. We’re beginning to look at a recipe for success.

    Call the Smusher the starter if you want (9), so his feelings aren’t hurt, but his minutes dropped again tonight (to 19). His performance during those 19 shouldn’t bump him back up and could drop him down further. Shammond was at 18 (and looking great) and Farmar at 10 (a lot like Bynum last year).

    Turiaf’s minutes were at 19 and Bynum was reduced to 26 (and his stats were great).

    Evans won’t have 36 minutes when Walton comes back, but I hope it will stay near 20. He’s a real athletic complement to Kobe. Cook was at 17–not a bad number for him–and performance to match.

    I hope that they find ways to rotate Turiaf into the lineup at multiple positions when Kwame returns so that he can keep his minutes.

    It may not be vintage Phil, but rotating such a large number of guys as described above is, for better or worse, winning Laker basketball 2007.

    It appears that the coaches have wised up adjusted team minutes across the board–and joined Smushaholics anonymous.


  12. Was at the game tonight (that you, gf for my christmas present). Odom on offense either a) did nothing, or b) attacked the rim no matter how many people were guarding him. The latter happened only when he was out there with the second unit.

    Smush… Phil yanked his butt out of the game so fast at one point and just started yelling at him. Followed him to his spot on the bench. It was great.

    Ellis is really good, and he made it look easy. I’m surprised they didn’t go to him more.

    Kobe hit his first two (tough) shots, then they double teamed him every time he touched the ball, and he started forcing things. Turnovers followed, and a few 30 foot attempts. Not pretty.


  13. i know I’m sounding like a Mo Evans cheerleader on this page today, but I want to point out what I felt was a kind of disturbing trend in yesterday’s game, (sure we won, and D was a big reason why) but the offense seems to be ending up mostly with peremiter shots, attempts at a dive, rotate and kick out for a shot to someone hanging our around the 3 point line.
    back to Mo, the one nice play I saw that resembled a pick and roll, was Mo diving to the hole, drawing in Ronnie’s man, then mo gave a nice pass to Ronnie for a lay up. this is what seems to kill us, that we can’t defend a pick and roll, and on the converse, we sure don’t seem to do it much ourselves in our offense.
    I’m noticing that mo tends to find openings on his own around the basket when we’re on O, and sometimes he gets a pass, or sometimes he’s in a good position for a board, either way, what I’m liking about Mo is he’s not afraid to mix it up in the congested area close to the rim. I know Kobe also is a cutter and slasher, but most of his plays result in a long range shot(if he kicks it out).
    in those kinds of plays, we live and die by the shooting percentage.
    we need more guys cutting, somehow getting to the hole, and learn to rely less on good luck/bad luck of shooting bombs.