BURN THE BRIDGES!
Game Time Start: 10:30 PM EST
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA
Officials: K. Mauer, D. Bavetta, K. Lane
Media Notes: Indiana Notes, Golden State Notes
Television: FOX Sports Indiana / Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
Radio: WFNI 1070 AM / KNBR 680 AM
NBA Feeds:*NBA Audio League Pass (available free to NBA All-Access members)
*NBA League Pass Broadband (subscription req'd)
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Season Records: (W-L) 8-8 Away: 4-6
9-6 Home: 5-2
Upcoming Games: Dec 04 Dec 05 Dec 07 Dec 09 at vs vs at 8:00pm 7:00pm 7:00pm 8:00pm
Projected Starting Lineup: HIBBERT WEST GEORGE STEPHENSON HILL Projected Starting Lineup: EZELI LEE BARNES THOMPSON CURRY
Danny Granger - left knee tendinosis (out)
Andrew Bogut - "left ankle rehab" (out)
Brandon Rush - torn left ACL and MCL (out)
Richard Jefferson - strained right calf (out)
Perpetually Disappointing to Trader Joe Minimally Relevant Video:
Golden State of Mind: Nate Parham: How are the Pacers coping with Danny Granger's absence?
The Golden State Warriors host the Indiana Pacers tonight at 7:30 p.m. PST at Oracle
Arena. Although the Pacers have been hot lately, a Q&A with SB Nation's Indy Cornrows
reveals that they still have some weaknesses that the Warriors can exploit.
I can't even believe I'm writing this, but the Golden State Warriors enter tonight's game
against the Indiana Pacers tied for first place in the Pacific Division game having won 6
of their last 8 games.
As Andy Liu wrote here on Tuesday, "With Danny Granger out and no special scorers on
the Pacers' roster, the Dubs should have no problems taking care of them." Add to that
the way the crowd at Oracle helped lift the Warriors to a win against the Denver Nuggets
on Thursday night and it's easy to imagine them adding another notch in the win column.
However, despite Granger's absence and the team's offensive struggles, the Pacers find
themselves coming to Oakland having won 5 of their own last 7, including a dramatic win
against the L.A. Lakers (no, I have no idea what's happening in the Pacific Division this
season either, but let's just go with this before someone wakes us up from this dream).
So what's going right with the Pacers? Who will maintain their momentum? For some
rival insight to counter our West Coast bias, I contacted Ian Levy of SB Nation's Indy
Cornrows with a few pre-game questions about Granger, the seeming emergence of
George Hill in his absence, and what the Warriors would have to do to stop the Pacers
from finishing their California road trip unblemished.
GSoM: I'm pretty sure that last time Tom Lewis & I did a Q&A it was in response to
flimsy trade rumors about the Warriors offering their #7 pick for the likes of Danny
Granger (and interestingly, Harrison Barnes has been compared to Granger once or
twice around GSoM). At that time, Tom wrote, "...the team needs to hang on to
Granger now and continue improving in other areas. They don't have anyone who
can fill in that 18-20 points per game with the ability to score 35..." Yet the Pacers
have won 5 of their last 7 without Granger and the two losses (at New York, vs. San
Antonio) are perfectly reasonable. What has the team been doing over the last 7
games to make up for the absence of Granger?
Ian Levy: They've been defending well, and getting just enough offense.
One of those games was the ridiculous Paul George 37 point effort, an scoring output
that he won't be duplicating on a regular basis. The Pacers have been talking about
new movement, both ball and player, that they've installed in their offense but for
the most part things look just as stagnant. They've been getting timely offense
contributions from David West and George Hill and that's helped them squeeze out
some games. Grinding out wins is a terrific change from where they were two weeks
ago, but there is still a lot more ship-righting to do.
With regards to Granger, the Pacers certainly miss his points. But the real problem
is the way his absence has pushed everyone to the fringe of their own offensive
efficiency. Everyone is having to do a little bit more, and in ways they are not
entirely suited for, which has dragged down the efficiency of the entire group. If and
when Granger returns everyone can slide back into the usage tier they're best suited
GSoM: I thought it was really awesome to see a Pacers team playing without their
"name" star beat a glitzy Lakers team with multiple stars in LA. For fans that don't
watch the Pacers too often, what might we be able to take away about the Pacers
from that big win in LA?
IL: The big take-away was that for all the offensive problems they've had this season
the Pacers are still one of the best defensive teams in the league and have the pieces
in place to win some games primarily with their efforts at that end of the floor. The
Pacers simply cannot score consistently this season, but their effort level and
defensive intensity hasn't waned. However, needing a last second shot to win a 79-77
game, against the similarly...CONTINUE READING AT GOLDEN STATE OF MIND
Warriors World: Jack Winter: Starters Underwhelm for Warriors
The Oklahoma City Thunder are the NBAís modicum for patient, earned, and seemingly
sustainable success. Just three years removed from a 3-29 start and in-season coaching
change, OKC was a Finals participant last season in a closer-than-it-looked five game
series. The trade of James Harden not withstanding, they boast a young, versatile roster
with two bonafide superstars, a near All-Star big man thatís only getting better, and solid
ancillary parts that play their roles to perfection. Theyíve got a model lockerroom culture
and maybe the leagueís most passionate fanbase, too.
So for the perpetually downtrodden Warriors, most any comparison to the Thunder should
be welcome and a sign of encouragement. At 8-6 and currently sixth in the Western
Conference, that Golden State is even a potential playoff opponent of OKC after the
seasonís first month is worthy of a small celebration. After all, this franchise hasnít
enjoyed this much pre-New Year winning since the ďWe BelieveĒ days of 2006.
So before we get to the problem at hand, take a moment to appreciate where the
Warriors are right now and realize that the following is the type of nit-picking reserved
for teams with legitimate and meaningful longterm goals for this season. Basically, know
that the purpose of this discussion is good even though itís bad.
So other than the shooting woes of their young, star point guards, what do the Thunder
and Warriors have in common? Their starters are absolutely killing them.
This is an issue for Oklahoma City thatís well-known; you donít play in the Finals and
have players like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook without constant national
analysis and scrutiny. The Thunderís opening quintet of Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha,
Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, and Kendrick Perkins puts them in an unnecessary whole
almost every game, for the simple reason that they just canít score. The hope and
justification for this lineup is that that problem is offset by better play on the other
end, most notably influenced by the presence of Sefolosha and Perkins. But that
wasnít the case in 2011-2012 and certainly hasnít been so far this season either, as
chronicled here by the always must-read John Hollinger.
The Warriors suffer from the same affliction, and itís especially comparable to OKCís
because the supposed ďstoppersĒ Ė rookies Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli Ė play
roles similar to Sefolosha and Perkins. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and David
Lee are three of Golden Stateís best offensive players, and collectively present a net
negative on the other end. Lee is especially poor defensively, and Curry and
Thompson Ė though the latter is improving Ė are prone to foul trouble. So it makes
sense to pair that trio with Barnes, a wing with a rare combination of size and
quickness, and Ezeli, a great rebounder and paint intimidator.
The expectation, like the one back East in Oklahoma, is that less give-and-take on
one end or another would yield better balance and ultimately an early lead. But that
on-paper thought hasnít come close to materializing on the court, as the Warriorsí
starters have been awful on offense and merely average on the other end, a fact
best reflected by that groupís relation to the teamís offensive and defensive ratings
Letís bullet for emphasis.
- GS overall Offensive Efficiency: 100.3 (17th)
- Startersí Offensive Efficiency: 93.3 (29th)
- GS overall Defensive Efficiency: 100.4 (12th)
- Startersí Defensive Efficiency: 99.2 (seventh)
- GS overall Net Rating: -.1 (15th)
- Startersí Net Rating: -5.9 (27th)
Yikes. The trade-off that Mark Jackson anticipates just isnít there, mostly due to this
groupís complete ineptitude on offense; these guys just canít score. Part of that is
likely due to the shooting struggles of Curry and Thompson and the price of playing
two rookies simultaneously, but even if they come around on offense it still wonít be
enough. Golden State is much-improved across the board defensively this season, so
being better by mere percentage points on that end hardly justifies the minutes this
ill-fitting quintet is getting right now.
Want more evidence? Itís everywhere...CONTINUE READING AT WARRIORS WORLD