Preview& Chat: Golden State Warriors

Kurt —  March 25, 2007

Going for five. Really, it’s becoming hard to keep coming up with ways to describe Kobe’s brilliance the last four games. Today I get a little help from Rob L., who has been keeping a lot of Laker stats on the season.

When Kobe has been on the floor this season, he’s averaged using 24.6% of the team’s possessions (meaning when he was on the floor basically one in four Laker possessions ended with a Kobe shot, him getting fouled, or a turnover; that would put him in the top10 in the league). He scored 114.3 points on every 100 possessions he used (called his offensive rating), a very good number considering how much he has the ball in his hands (for comparison, as a team the Lakers score about 105 points per 100 possessions).

Then came the last four games: Portland he used 38.5% of the possessions with an offensive rating of 144.3; Minnesota he used 37% of the offense and had an offensive rating of 113.9; Memphis was 38.9% of the offense with a rating of 134.4; then against the Hornets it was 32.8% of the offense and a rating of 136.1%.

As Rob pointed out, only against Minnesota did he play “down” to his average and he did that carrying a crazy amount of the offense.

We Got KG. In the hypothetical world of True Hoop’s Kevin Garnett derby, the Forum Blue & Gold submission won the public voting. If only the real world worked this way….

Getting team play. While Kobe has been amazing, there has been good play from the other Lakers. Since his return, Lamar Odom is shooting 55.2% (but has yet to hit a three, the shoulder clearly giving him some problems), plus he is pulling down 10 boards a game. Luke Walton is shooting 51.4% (eFG%) and is averaging 7 assists per game. There was even some good off the bench play from the “hope for the future” combo of Bynum and Farmar.

Ready to run. Golden State plays at the fastest pace in the league, averaging 97.2 possessions per game — that is three more possessions per game than Phoenix (and almost six more than the Lakers, and they are eighth in the league.

That’s a lot of chances for Kobe…

Hot and fast. Not only is Golden State fast they are hot, having won seven of their last 10. They are just one game back of the Clippers for the chance to be the first Golden State team to make the playoffs in more than a decade.

Great guard play. Leading the charge for Nellie’s Warriors is the two guards that are finally healthy at the same time, Baron Davis and Jason Richardson.

In the last 10 games, Davis is shooting 60.5% (eFG%) and 28% from three, averaging 20 points, seven assists and five boards a game during that stretch. At the same time Richardson is shooting 52.4%, 39.4% from three.

Great team play. The other thing that has driven the Warriors is quality contributions from other guys. Al Harrington is scoring 17 a game shooting 59.5%, 52.5% from three in the last 10 games. Monta Ellis is shooting 52% and chipping in 13 a game in that spann. Andris Biedrins is shooting 63% and is giving them 11 points and 11 boards a game of late.

Worth reading. Golden State has one of the better NBA team blogs out there in Golden State of Mind, which drew 350 people to a game last week the promise of the chance to hang out with other like-minded geeks to watch some hoop.

What to look for tonight: Bet the over (which is at a whopping 222,so maybe not).

Can the Lakers defend enough tonight. There were flashes of defense in recent games, even from Smush, but flashes will not be enough against the streaking Warriors. I’m not sure this is a game where the Laker offense can bail out the defense.

to Preview& Chat: Golden State Warriors

  1. “Bet the Over” would make a great Golden State Warriors t-shirt.


  2. Smush will probably not play alot tonight. Either because he cant cover Baron Davis or he will get in major foul trouble. Look for Farmar and Williams to see some big minutes tonight. Thats my opinion. And by the way, Kobe will score 57 tonight.


  3. Has anyone considered having the lakers go after J.O. instead of K.G.?


  4. Will the Smusher be used a lot tonight? He’s started for 151 straigth games, so there is a strong chance that he will start.

    He has played the entire game with limited substitutions recently. I’d like to see him used for about 20 minutes off the bench, in a two or three way rotation with Farmar and Williams. along lines suggested by Kurt–go with the “hot hand” or “strong D.”

    The Lakers recently have seemed to be a bit more ambivialent about Smush’s role, so anything might happen tonight.

    Like wise with their use of the bench. For example, I’d like to see Turiaff used for more minutes in multiple roles

    I do not understand Laker substitution patterns


  5. 222, that’s all they had to cover.


  6. Kobe went a bit cold there in the 3rd (3/10 shooting). A couple more of those threes and he would’ve hit the half-century mark again.

    Another great performance from Lamar, though, with basically a 20/20 game. Andrew, Ronny, and Sasha also combined to provide 22 points, 17 rebounds, and 4 blocks from the bench — a real boost.


  7. Good offensive game from the Lakers, but how many wide-open threes did Golden State miss?


  8. chris henderson March 26, 2007 at 12:02 am

    40 plus points is still a very respectable point total, and the Lakers pulled out a “W” against a determined team in the playoff hunt. no losers for us tonight, and I’m glad this streak business is out of the way, (at least the Kobe 50+ streak) the team can carry on with their streak, let’s hope for a strong finish to the season, with the guys getting into playoff conditioning, playing time together. feels like the coaching staff is figuring out the rotations for the stretch drive, and it was good to see Ronnie and ‘drew getting some minutes. we can have a formidable team with Kobe and Lamar, Luke, and the center combo or Kwame and Andrew, with some solid players coming off the bench. we might very well surprise a team or two in the playoffs.


  9. 27+ Minutes for the Smusher minimized the damage.

    Smush did not play for the last 3 minutes of the game.

    Turiaff saved the day

    Lakers actually played some crtedible D toward the end.


  10. Does anyone know what the occasion was for them having international flags on the trim of the jerseys?

    Kobe’s run of 50 might be over, but for all you streak enthusiasts, he still has a streak of 40 points or more going.


  11. Too many mistakes made by our team on offense and defense, that wont cut it in the playoffs.

    On a positive note, solid contributions from Ronny, Andrew, Sasha, Lamar, Luke, Smush and Shammond.

    I’m interested to see how Phil plans on using everyone once Mo Evans comes back. I hope they keep playing Ronny at PF and C. We have a lotta options again with a full roster.


  12. Does anyone ever reply “Boy I’m glad this winning streak of 13 is out of the way, it is WAY too distracting?”

    Come on Chris, greatness is greatness and you want it to go on no matter what.


  13. When was the last time we beat a team with rebounding? Ever?

    Though I have to say the rebounding stats being quoted aren’t accurate. In terms of rebounds pulled by individuals we outrebounded the warriors by 30, but in terms of total rebounds the edge was “only” 23.

    I only mention this because this was the first game I came to understand that shadowy stat known as the “team rebound.” At some point in the first quarter I think the warriors had more of those than rebounds pulled by a player.

    Facinating, I know.


  14. The Lakers defense has not been good for a long time. This is why 40+ out of Kobe and 20 and 20 out Lamar barely yields a victory against Golden State. What can Jackson do to whip these guys into shape?


  15. chris henderson March 26, 2007 at 11:47 am

    CTDeLude, I think you need to differenciate between a personal streak verses a team winning streak. honestly, I thought that Kobe’s streak was hurting the team, and I am glad to see it end for the sake of the team and them getting ready for the playoffs.
    of course I was rooting for Kobe to get another 50, and the team get a W, but i noticed more than once when Kobe’s teamates passes up on a good shot only to pass to Kobe who was triple covered, resulting in a TO, or at least a shot which would have been better off taken by the more open player.
    I’d be much happier pulling for a team record winning streak.
    don’t get me wrong, Kobe is greatness, and history in the making, and I totally enjoy watching him play.
    but, I’ve been a Laker fan since the early 80’s, and it’s time for the TEAM to get back to the level of greatness they once had.
    I’ll always remember having floor seats one Sunday against the Malone/Stockton Jazz, and when our team walked out onto the floor for opening tipoff, they seemed to be in slo-mo, like that scene in “Resevoir Dogs”, and the Jazz were like, “Oh man, we gotta play these guys…”
    of course, we kicked their butts, back in those days a loss was so rare, the whole city had the blues the naxt day…it’s been a while since we’ve had such domination, time to get it back!


  16. Great article on ESPN.Com Page 2 on Kobe…

    Kobe will win the MVP…sometime…he will do it.


  17. Boy, Lamar was incredible!

    he won that game for us down the stretch with all of those offensive rebounds.

    but Kurt, you’re right. the uncontested 3’s by GSW made the game a little less appetizing. we scraped by again!


  18. Cary D,

    What won us the game was Kobe shooting us into the huge lead and into the game again in the 4th.

    Odom is playing great but he needs to show up for 82 games not just a few games here and there. He’s starting to look like a true sidekick of Kobe and not just a guy collecting his paycheck.