Friday, July 6, 2012

Balz & Cam Discuss The Warriors

Cam parties with weirdos
Balz parties with hotties

 Dear Nextians,

It's OG Nextian Cam here.  Bilbo went AWOL on me. I think he's heavily into fantasy football, summertime cornhole games, and preparing for the greatest sloshball game of all time on July 14th.  So to get my Warriors fan fix I've had to get sucked into the Balzer Vortex.  And let me tell you: getting sucked in by Balz is very enjoyable.  OK, wait a second. that sounded really strange even though it made absolutely no sense. As you can see by Balz's picture above he is highly hetero.  Cam (me), on the other hand, posted a picture of the weird alien dude from downtown SF who is indeed gay (so they say).  Draw your own conclusions. I don't care. I am married and have one kid with another on the way and frankly don't have the energy anymore to fight such battles (or even edit this paragraph).  But I will talk about the Warriors as much as I can.

Balz and I started this chat the day after the 2012 NBA draft with the Warriors getting Harrison Barnes and his awesome hat at #7.  Enjoy:

Is he a conehead?

Cam: I love the NBA Today podcast on ESPN. This season the NBA Today's on Friday were great because Henry Abbot and David Thorpe broke the Association down. Thorpe is one of my favorite guys b/c he's a life long coach and a trainer of high level high school and college kids. He's trained a lot of guys who've made it into the NBA.  I say all of this because I want you to listen to this podcast. A few minutes in Thorpe starts to talk about Harrison Barnes and I know you will love it. Enjoy:

Balz: Wow, Thorpe is really big on Barnes.  His arguments supporting why he thinks Barnes will thrive in the NBA seem reasonable.  I imagine that Summer League will tell us quite a bit about that.  As far as I'm concerned, the real missing element for the W's is leadership.   They really haven't had a guy who challenges his teammates since Baron Davis walked.  Seriously, I think we can agree that the talent level of Curry-Thompson-Barnes is higher, but would you pick them in a match-up against Davis-Richardson-Jackson (as they were in 2007)?  Not me.  Way too soft mentally.   I assume Myers and Jackson expect Bogut to lead, but that's another wait-and-see item.  Outside of him, the next closest thing to a leader on the current roster is probably David Lee.

I hear they're bringing Brandon Roy in for a workout... He's a pretty tough dude who can defend & rebound his position as well as anybody.  If the knee is healed, I really like him as someone to push Thompson for minutes at the 2 and occasionally handle the ball.  

Gotta retain Rush, imo, and it would be cool to get Kwame back.  Doubtful there's any chance to move Beidrins and RJ, but they are clearly the most expendable/least likely to contribute anything guys.

Cam: They've been leaderless for a very long time. I think that Bogut has the leader gene but I'm not sure about anyone else. Lee is good with the press and with saying the right thing to Dubs Management but I don't think he inspires anyone he plays with other than making them laugh on the bench. Steph can lead with his play, sort of a D-Rose type, but he's not going to be making any speaches. Klay looks asleep all the time and is still young.  But I do love this topic because leadership is one of the key things that takes a team to the elite level. Look at the focus and work ethic of the Thunder.  Los Spurs are full of leaders from coach through the big 3. The Celtics have the best warrior in the game (KG) and one of the better coaches in the game today. Even the Heat seem to have a good albeit strange team dynamic. Love how LeBron roots for his teammates and never really roles his eyes when they mess up like many stars do.

Roy would be fun to have but I've heard that someone (and I could see Lacob doing this) is going to pay him the full mid-level.  For a guy who has no knee and who's production was seriously limited in his last somewhat full season, this could be a mistake. It would be great to have Roy on this team...but at the right price of course.  I'd rather have Oden though. Ha!

I'm as high as you on Rush and Kwame. People like to hate on Kwame but he is a really big dude and can defend the hell out of the post.  Rush is just awesome in that second unit/heat check guy (more minutes if he is feeling it in a particular game).

I think they're gonna keep Maguire too.  And Jenkins and Tyler will be there, which is a decent bench (and who knows what Tyler can develop into?).

This will be a legitimately fun season to watch at least for a while to see what identity they want to have.  So much better than the Biedrins garbage every fanboy (including Owner) was throwing out there last summer. Ugh. Only 4 more months to go!

Balz: If you want your team to have the identity of being tough-minded, you need to have guys who will scrap and defend. Rush does that- better than any of their other perimeter guys. If they let him walk, they basically admit to being full of shit when they talk about defense.  Same goes for Maguire.

When I hear Meyers talk, he makes me feel like he gets it.  I'm more encouraged by him than anyone else in that organization, actually.  Whether he's on KNBR, or at a press conference, or doing Chronicle Live, he comes across as very matter-of-fact.  And he doesn't shove mindless catch phrases down our throats.  Maybe that's not a good quality in a GM, but I like it.

Rose is more of a leader than Steph imo, if only because he's more physically tough. Physicality may not be the end-all be-all of the equation, but if all other areas are equal, it gets the nod.  As his teammate, you may not know that he's going to make a play in crunch time, but you know that he's physically able of winning his match up, regardless of who it is. Can't say that for Steph.

The roster is looking pretty cramped. More moves will have to be made.  Try to get something for D-Wright? Cut C-Wright? Dump Gladness? Let Nate walk? I like all of those guys, but I don't love any of them...

Cam: Yeah in no way was I comparing Steph's style of PG play to D-Rose. Rose is a beast and Steph is a flitty elf. But Steph can find open shots with pull ups and floaters. His rhythm with the ball keeps the defense on their heels while defenders literally bounce off of Rose.  Steph is also an outstanding passer. So I think that both of these guys can find points to score and set their teammates up.  D-Rose is better at it, obviously (MV-frigging P). D-Rose actually can play defense with his strength and Steph can only go for steals. But both of these guys are quiet leaders. Heck, I think D-Rose is a mute.

I totally agree on Rush and Maguire. They have to keep these guys.  If they let either of these guys go (without signing someone like Darrell Arthur) then it proves that management's preaching of "defense" was bullshit.

If I had to guess I'd say Gladness, C Wright, and Mikki Moore are gone. Especially Mikki Moore. I can't even believe that guy made it on the hardwood. Almost as big of a mistake as trading Stack Jack for Jeffersen. I kid.

Myers is a good dude. I met him once when he was just signed on as assistant GM and heard him speak a few months back. He's very down to earth and is actually overly humble. Being a former agent who started from zero after UCLA and became successful, he can relate to the players really well. Plus, he is an incredible baller (played at UCLA) and was a Bay Area star in High School.  Lastly, he's friends with Mark "Mad Dog" Madsen and that's just awesome.

Balz: I don't share your well-cultivated dislike of Mikki Moore, but I honestly haven't been paying much attention either.  All I see is an energy guy with limited skill, but I freely admit that I haven't been looking closely.  If it was my call, I'd get rid of him if for no other reason than so you can be pissed off at someone else. Hehe.

Maybe someone like Miami will give us a draft pick for Dorell?  At the very least someone would probably pick him up off waivers ?  With the roster we have, his salary may be more of a burden than his play is a blessing.  I'd like to be wrong in this assessment, though, because he seems like a nice enough dude. 
Cam: There's no need to get into a discussion on Mikki Moore. He's that terrible. But I forgot to speak about Dorrell! He's a mystery to me and I have no idea what they'll do with him. I'm sure he is being shopped and I hope they can get something for him. Wright had every opportunity to man up last season and just crumbled. I think he'd just be a bad egg on the roster of someone who had such a great year two seasons ago but no longer deserves more than 12 minutes a game. Remove the stank with heavy brillo pad scrubbing in hot shower!

I hated at the time and still hold deep seeded angst that the Warriors stooopidly used their amnesty provision on Charlie Bell so that they could be a pawn make a terrible RFA offer to DAndre Jordan last off season. That was hands down the worst move that this new front office made.  Such a killer.  Imagine having Biedrins off the books? A close second was trading Stack Jack for RJeff's huge 2 year contract. The luxury tax is no joke now and making a mistake like that is what mediocre/bad teams do. Seriously, how bad could Stack Jack have been when he's trying to land a new deal? And with an expiring contract he would have definitely had value RIGHT NOW. Lacob n' crew listened to the dumb message board chatter on Golden State of Mind and the franchise (and the fans!) are going to pay for it. Heck, at least every move isn't terrible like it used to be under the Cohen era.  Man, our fan expectations (fanspectations?) are really low.
Balz: Do you think that the current roster can get either a 7 or 8 seed in the west?

Cam: Only if I place money on them to not make the playoffs.

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