Are we being had by Kerr/Lee?

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» Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:44 am
Is it possible that Steve Kerr and David Lee are in cahoots about saving Lee's legs for the playoff run?

I know it sounds ridiculous off the bat, but hear me out:

What do most fans of other teams say about the Warriors in the playoffs? That we're a jump-shooting team with no real low-post threat and that jump-shooting teams usually go out early in the playoffs. So what if Kerr has been keeping David Lee's spirits up by reassuring him that there will be a place in the rotation for him, come playoff time? After all, he is EASILY the best low-post offensive player in Golden State. There have been PLENTY of nights, the past 4 years, where Golden State could simply throw Lee the ball against a favorable matchup and watch him work his way to a 25 point night. If the Warriors draw New Orleans, you can certainly play Lee alongside Draymond Green or Mo Speights, because Anthony Davis is not a traditional center and Asik (like Bogut) is a bruiser who can only play so many minutes. If Lee gets some run against New Orlean's B-squad bigs - Ryan Anderson, Luke Babbit, or Dante Cunningham - it would be straight BARBECUE CHICKEN on these fools. There's no backup PF on either OKC or New Orleans that can hope to contain Lee, offensively.

Another thing to consider: What's the hardest play in basketball to defend? The pick-and-roll.

It wasn't so long ago that Lee and Curry (2012) combined to make one of the most efficient and dangerous pick-and-roll tandems in the game. Today, Curry prefers to take his screens from Andrew Beergut... and for good reason. Bogut's size and massive frame create the maximum amount of space for Curry to loose an open J in the defender's face. But Bogut doesn't actually "roll" on those plays, nor does he pop. If anything, he stands pat as a bailout passer in the event that Curry can't shake free. But, offensively, teams have begun playing Bogut for the pass, knowing that he's not looking to score himself. Lee is another story completely. Sure, his screens aren't brick walls, like Bogut's, but Lee is no slouch, himself in that department... and the roll game DLee has is by and away better than anyone else on the roster. He has terrific hands, can score with contact, passes the ball extremely well, just makes all-around good decisions when he's involved in the offense. I've always believed that Lee does to the Warriors' offense what Bogut does to their defense; he makes it better just by association. With Lee in tow, suddenly bigs can't cheat to double Steph or Klay off the screen - the way they can with Bogut and Draymond. Just a thought, since traditionalists claim that "jump-shooting teams can't win in the playoffs" and you have to believe that Kerr has heard this mantra at least a couple times throughout his multi-championship career as a player. The fastest way to get better on offense INSIDE the 3-point arc is integrating David Lee. That's just reality.

Anyway, this is all just a theory that I've developed watching Lee sit and somehow keep his cool about falling off the face of the planet. Could it all be a ploy to completely screw with the defensive game plan of a potential playoff matchup? Only time will tell. But one thing is for sure: if Golden State decides they need to find easy baskets inside the 3-point line and closer to the cup, there's nobody more suited for that role than David Lee.

Thoughts?
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» Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:46 am
I mean, THIS was not a million years ago. This was January 2014. Last season. And look how good the Warrior offense looks when Lee is integrated:



Listen to the 2 comments made after 2:30 in the video: both are made by Steve Kerr and he's praising the Warriors' play when Lee is apart of the offense.

And more recently, Lee's highlights from the playoffs last year, where he averaged 13.9/9.1/2.6 shooting 53%:

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» Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:02 pm
Hah hah, this is so ironic how you came up with this. I would be happy if it were true. But like Monte Poole said, Lee is playing like he's from a foreign planet. You really think Kerr would tell Lee to slack off now? What if the team has not adjusted to Lee by then?
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» Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:42 am
I don't believe Lee has been intentionally playing poorly, but I do believe that a lack of playing time and integration into the new offense can make him look worse than he really is.

With Lee, we've learned one thing: playing time equals production. Last night, in 20 minutes, Lee produced 7 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, and only 1 foul, shooting 3/4 from the field. Not to mention, he still managed a +1 plus-minus, despite playing til the buzzer amongst a lineup with McAdoo (-6), Brush (-7), and Holiday (-9).

I'm just saying: if Kerr wants to completely throw the other team for a loop, nothing will do it faster than reintegrating Lee into the offense. You could plainly see it last night; the defense jumps past every screen in an attempt to run shooters off the 3-point line. With bigs like Draymond and Boges, who don't look to score, or even Mo (who just looks to shoot), the defense has a chance to recover. With Lee last night, rolling to the bucket, the Warriors were much more dangerous. And the vast majority of the time, the team didn't even look to get him the ball.

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» Sat Mar 21, 2015 6:42 pm
Playing David Lee in the playoffs pretty much will guarantee an early Warrior exit.

Just look at last year's playoff series against the Clippers and how David Lee refused to run the floor on defense and pretty much allowed whomever he, Lee, was guarding would get down the floor before Lee, set up, and get an easy basket.

Kerr is doing what M. Jackson refused to do; Kerr is playing his best players and sitting Lee and his "no-defense-playing-a$$!" And, for that, I am a big believer in this past offseason's move to change coaches from M. Jackson (aka, "I don't want to hurt David Lee's feelings and his fragile ego by sitting him.") to Steve Kerr.
Last edited by uptempo on Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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» Sat Mar 21, 2015 7:47 pm
uptempo wrote:Playing David Lee in the playoffs pretty much will guarantee an early Warrior exit.

Just look at last year's playoff series against the Clippers and how David Lee refused to run the floor on defense and pretty much allowed whomever he, Lee, was guarding would get down the floor before Lee, set up, and get an easy basket.

Kerr is doing what M. Jackson refused to do; Kerr is playing his best players and sitting Lee and his "no-defense-playing-a$$!" And, for that, I am a big believer in this past offseason's move tot change in coaches from M. Jackson (aka, "I don't want to hurt David Lee's feelings and his fragile ego by sotting him.") to Steve Kerr.



I agree. Lee has been awful this season and Kerr is doing what has to be done in not playing him. If Lee turns it around, Kerr might well play him more.
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» Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:09 pm
I really wish you were right 32, but the reality is that Lee hasn't looked good versus Green looking like a near max-money player, and Speights filling in as a better backup big - offensively and defensively. It's easy to get caught up in the idea that jump-shooting teams don't win championships, but that's such a gross mischaracterization of what the Warriors are this season. I'm not accusing you of this specifically (of course, you're smarter than that), rather all the idiot commentators out there like Barkley.

First off, no matter the sport, defense wins championships. Maybe that's less true in the NBA, but it's still vital to a team's success and we all know we're in a different league defensively (especially when compared to your typical jump-shooting team). What's probably the bigger nullifier of the whole jump-shooting notion is the fact that we're 4th in the league in points in the paint. Of course our jump shooting helps makes that possible - when the entire defense is chasing Curry or closing on Klay on the perimeter, it's easy to get the freebie in the paint - or more importantly, our no. 1 D has given us an almost unbelievable advantage in the fastbreak. Let's also not forget that we're dominating the rest of the league in assists.

A little off topic, but I constantly lol at fans of other teams that excuse the loss because coincidentally they had their worst shooting night of the year against us.

Bottomline is that I refuse to describe the Warriors as a jump-shooting team, sure it's more important to us than most, but we're a defensive team first and foremost. It's for that reason that Green will continue to dominate playing time and Lee will struggle to get anything outside garbage time.

It's similar to many old-heads refusing to believe that good ol' post-up basketball is dead, but it is. Earlier this year, I would have agreed that we need a more consistent inside scoring threat, but I no longer do. We need to keep playing D, let that feed our offense, and not turn the ball over - imagine how ugly that Hawks game would have been had we not committed a week's worth of unforced TOs in the first half! I believe it was Gentry at halftime the other night that when asked about our offense he basically replied with, "it's all about our defense."

I don't try to pretend to know nearly as much about basketball as many of you, but IMO, Lee getting any serious PT in the postseason would be an insane M. Night Shyamalan twist.

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» Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:06 pm
If David Lee could get his head out of his a$$ and make the effort to play defense, I could see Steve Kerr giving Lee some playing time at center, especially when the team goes to its small lineup. However, it is absolutely a given that David Lee cannot and will not run the floor on defense, always allowing for his man to beat him (Lee) for uncontested and easy baskets.

At power forward, David Lee is an even bigger liability on defense, where he cannot rotate quickly enough and is basically useless when playing "help defense."

David Lee is the perfect player for a bad team (where bloated offensive statistics help keep the fan-base interested in a bad team), but a horrible player for a good-great team (where defense has more of a premium).
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» Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:41 am
Effort isn't why I think Lee is so horrible on D; I think it's the opposite actually, he tries too hard and to do too much...
uptempo wrote:At power forward, David Lee is an even bigger liability on defense, where he cannot rotate quickly enough and is basically useless when playing "help defense."

This. You're right, he doesn't have the quickness (defensively), athleticism, or talent to play good help defense. I've always thought he's an average 1-on-1 defender, but bigs are required to guard more than just their man. It's almost like he's too stupid defensively to be effective playing help D - he'll either play help when he doesn't have to and leave his man wide open, or he'll completely ignore his responsibility to help. People have always said he has high basketball IQ, but it doesn't seem like it, not defensively at least.

Green is so effective because he has such an amazing feel for defense, but he's smaller and probably less athletic than Lee. I don't think it's really a motor thing (another worn out cliche that's often used to describe a player that lacks a more tangible attribute for their success), but a better sense of the game. I just really wish Green was 1"-2" taller.

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» Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:07 pm
JREED wrote:Effort isn't why I think Lee is so horrible on D; I think it's the opposite actually, he tries too hard and to do too much...
uptempo wrote:At power forward, David Lee is an even bigger liability on defense, where he cannot rotate quickly enough and is basically useless when playing "help defense."

This. You're right, he doesn't have the quickness (defensively), athleticism, or talent to play good help defense. I've always thought he's an average 1-on-1 defender, but bigs are required to guard more than just their man. It's almost like he's too stupid defensively to be effective playing help D - he'll either play help when he doesn't have to and leave his man wide open, or he'll completely ignore his responsibility to help. People have always said he has high basketball IQ, but it doesn't seem like it, not defensively at least.

Green is so effective because he has such an amazing feel for defense, but he's smaller and probably less athletic than Lee. I don't think it's really a motor thing (another worn out cliche that's often used to describe a player that lacks a more tangible attribute for their success), but a better sense of the game. I just really wish Green was 1"-2" taller.


Great analysis.

Running the floor and not allowing for your defensive assignment/man to beat you down the floor is all about effort, something that David Lee lacks on defense. Yes, he, Lee can finish the pick-and-roll on offense; however, his defensive effort (or lack of effort) is truly offensive!

Green and Barnes, both, have proven to be much better than Lee at the power forward position, especially how both players rotate well on defense, stretch the floor in the half-court offense, and are always playing with a high motor.
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» Wed Mar 25, 2015 4:15 pm
I think we're exaggerating Lee's inability to play defense. He's bad, but he doesn't transform otherwise winning basketball into automatic losses by being on the floor.

Yes, he is especially slow when moving side-to-side. Because of that, it's tough for him to stay in front of ball-handlers and it makes him slow on the rotation... however, Bogut has the same problem - and, what's worse, Bogut refuses to leave the paint, and nobody cries about the fact that he usually surrenders big nights to stretch 5's. Apples and oranges? Okay, fine. But I'm just saying: you play a guy towards his strengths. Lee is more comfortable defending inside the paint, rather than away from it (like Green).

He's also always been decent at putting a big body on post players inside and, this year, has made much more of an effort to be a rim protector. In fact, his blocks per minute are 3x his career average this year (per 36, he's blocking 1.2 shots a game, with a career average of 0.4). By the way, for those of you singing Mo Speights praises about being able to defend the rim, he's at 1.1 blocks per 36 this year, so Lee is doing an almost identical job as Mo when it comes to playing center on defense.

Look, I know it's a long shot - a really, really, REALLY long shot - to try and claim that Lee might be Kerr's playoff surprise against a team predominantly comprised of scrawny, stretch big men (like New Orleans), but it just seems like too obvious of a matchup advantage for me to ignore. David Lee has proven that he is easily our best offensive big in the pick-and-roll scheme and if you run into a team that would rather charge the backcourt and surrender the inside buckets (again, like New Orleans... or Houston, OKC, and San Antonio, for that matter), than I believe a player with Lee's skill set can be an asset and if Kerr is the numbers wizard we all know him to be, you better believe he knows it, too.

I'm not saying that David Lee is going to get 35 minutes and start in the playoffs. But if the backcourt gets blitzed again - like they did when Poppovich knocked them out of the 2nd round two years ago - than David Lee is LITERALLY your only bailout option out of all the bigs on the roster. Bogut looks to pass, Green and Speights will loose a long jumper, but Lee is the only player we have willing to push the ball inside for easy scoring. If the matchup dictates that the Warriors need an offensive big to keep their guards in the game, than David Lee should be that guy.

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» Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:45 pm
32 wrote:I think we're exaggerating Lee's inability to play defense. He's bad, but he doesn't transform otherwise winning basketball into automatic losses by being on the floor.

Yes, he is especially slow when moving side-to-side. Because of that, it's tough for him to stay in front of ball-handlers and it makes him slow on the rotation... however, Bogut has the same problem - and, what's worse, Bogut refuses to leave the paint, and nobody cries about the fact that he usually surrenders big nights to stretch 5's. Apples and oranges? Okay, fine. But I'm just saying: you play a guy towards his strengths. Lee is more comfortable defending inside the paint, rather than away from it (like Green).

He's also always been decent at putting a big body on post players inside and, this year, has made much more of an effort to be a rim protector. In fact, his blocks per minute are 3x his career average this year (per 36, he's blocking 1.2 shots a game, with a career average of 0.4). By the way, for those of you singing Mo Speights praises about being able to defend the rim, he's at 1.1 blocks per 36 this year, so Lee is doing an almost identical job as Mo when it comes to playing center on defense.

Look, I know it's a long shot - a really, really, REALLY long shot - to try and claim that Lee might be Kerr's playoff surprise against a team predominantly comprised of scrawny, stretch big men (like New Orleans), but it just seems like too obvious of a matchup advantage for me to ignore. David Lee has proven that he is easily our best offensive big in the pick-and-roll scheme and if you run into a team that would rather charge the backcourt and surrender the inside buckets (again, like New Orleans... or Houston, OKC, and San Antonio, for that matter), than I believe a player with Lee's skill set can be an asset and if Kerr is the numbers wizard we all know him to be, you better believe he knows it, too.

I'm not saying that David Lee is going to get 35 minutes and start in the playoffs. But if the backcourt gets blitzed again - like they did when Poppovich knocked them out of the 2nd round two years ago - than David Lee is LITERALLY your only bailout option out of all the bigs on the roster. Bogut looks to pass, Green and Speights will loose a long jumper, but Lee is the only player we have willing to push the ball inside for easy scoring. If the matchup dictates that the Warriors need an offensive big to keep their guards in the game, than David Lee should be that guy.


The biggest problem with David Lee is how he refuses to work hard, always allowing for his defensive assignment to beat him, Lee, down the floor, and gives up easy-not-contested-baskets on a regular basis.

Even on offense, Lee cannot help with spacing the floor, has no 3-point range, and only serves to slow down the flow of the half-court offense.

Let's face it: David Lee is an expensive stiff who really should be on a bad team where he can entertain fans with his offensive statistics.
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» Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:56 pm
32 wrote:I think we're exaggerating Lee's inability to play defense. He's bad, but he doesn't transform otherwise winning basketball into automatic losses by being on the floor.

You're right, but I doubt we're a top 4 seed if it's him starting over Green. You can't really isolate one or the other, when you talk about Lee, you must also discuss Green, or vice versa .

32 wrote:Yes, he is especially slow when moving side-to-side. Because of that, it's tough for him to stay in front of ball-handlers and it makes him slow on the rotation... however, Bogut has the same problem - and, what's worse, Bogut refuses to leave the paint, and nobody cries about the fact that he usually surrenders big nights to stretch 5's. Apples and oranges? Okay, fine. But I'm just saying: you play a guy towards his strengths. Lee is more comfortable defending inside the paint, rather than away from it (like Green).

First, that's a better and more knowledgeable assessment of Lee's D than mine. Second, you said it, "apples and oranges."

32 wrote:He's also always been decent at putting a big body on post players inside and, this year, has made much more of an effort to be a rim protector. In fact, his blocks per minute are 3x his career average this year (per 36, he's blocking 1.2 shots a game, with a career average of 0.4). By the way, for those of you singing Mo Speights praises about being able to defend the rim, he's at 1.1 blocks per 36 this year, so Lee is doing an almost identical job as Mo when it comes to playing center on defense.

You don't think that Speights and Lee haven't been used differently? I feel like I see Lee playing more of that back-to-the-basket, rim-protector D than Speights. You might be right, maybe Lee is a much better/effective player, but I think one thing to really consider here also is their salaries: $15,012,000 - $3,657,500 = $11,354,500 = Draymond Green's contract.

We're definitely picking up Speight's team option, while we'd probably like to move Lee before we go into negotiations with Green. Of course all that depends on how much the salary cap goes up.

32 wrote:Look, I know it's a long shot - a really, really, REALLY long shot - to try and claim that Lee might be Kerr's playoff surprise against a team predominantly comprised of scrawny, stretch big men (like New Orleans), but it just seems like too obvious of a matchup advantage for me to ignore. David Lee has proven that he is easily our best offensive big in the pick-and-roll scheme and if you run into a team that would rather charge the backcourt and surrender the inside buckets (again, like New Orleans... or Houston, OKC, and San Antonio, for that matter), than I believe a player with Lee's skill set can be an asset and if Kerr is the numbers wizard we all know him to be, you better believe he knows it, too.

I'm not saying that David Lee is going to get 35 minutes and start in the playoffs. But if the backcourt gets blitzed again - like they did when Poppovich knocked them out of the 2nd round two years ago - than David Lee is LITERALLY your only bailout option out of all the bigs on the roster. Bogut looks to pass, Green and Speights will loose a long jumper, but Lee is the only player we have willing to push the ball inside for easy scoring. If the matchup dictates that the Warriors need an offensive big to keep their guards in the game, than David Lee should be that guy.

I completely get what you're saying. With that said, I don't think this has all been a rope-a-dope by Kerr, but I do think Lee could have significant value in the post season. I'd actually like to seen him get more PT, but right now Ezeli is our no. 1 priority for squeezing in. I'll unfortunately, probably get my wish when I head down to see games 80 & 81... My only games of the season. :banghead:

I also think that Lee critics have been a little too harsh this season, and they're quick to not consider that it can't be easy for him to have missed that time early on and see everyone steal his PT. How many minutes does he have with > 1 starter?

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» Thu Mar 26, 2015 6:29 pm
JREED wrote:I also think that Lee critics have been a little too harsh this season, and they're quick to not consider that it can't be easy for him to have missed that time early on and see everyone steal his PT. How many minutes does he have with > 1 starter?


David Lee does not have any critics, and that is the problem.

We Warrior fans have for so many years been fed a diet of offensive statistics and entertainment and are only now tasting some sense of expectations and success.

David Lee is horrible and Steve Kerr is honest enough to admit it by sitting David Lee's sorry a$$ down! Mark Jackson would rather have had a harmonious locker room of choir boys reading "The Purpose Driven Life" than playing his best players. In the Denver playoff series two seasons ago, Harrison Barnes proved himself to be a better power forward for the Warriors than David Lee; yet, the following season Jackson sat Barnes, played Lee, and got ousted in the Clipper series primarily because of David Lee's poor defense.

The team now has a coach who is not afraid to play his best players and sit the team's prima donna, David Lee and that is why Steve Kerr is leading the team to its best record since 1975-1976.

Isn't it ironic how no team stepped up to be a suiter for David Lee before the trade deadline. GMs are not dumb; there are not a whole bunch of Chris Mullins and Larry Rileys out there in the NBA looking to bring in "stat-machine" players just to entertain fans. GMs around the league know what Steve Kerr knows: David Lee is a stiff.
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» Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:08 am
uptempo wrote:
JREED wrote:I also think that Lee critics have been a little too harsh this season, and they're quick to not consider that it can't be easy for him to have missed that time early on and see everyone steal his PT. How many minutes does he have with > 1 starter?


David Lee does not have any critics, and that is the problem.

We Warrior fans have for so many years been fed a diet of offensive statistics and entertainment and are only now tasting some sense of expectations and success.

David Lee is horrible and Steve Kerr is honest enough to admit it by sitting David Lee's sorry a$$ down! Mark Jackson would rather have had a harmonious locker room of choir boys reading "The Purpose Driven Life" than playing his best players. In the Denver playoff series two seasons ago, Harrison Barnes proved himself to be a better power forward for the Warriors than David Lee; yet, the following season Jackson sat Barnes, played Lee, and got ousted in the Clipper series primarily because of David Lee's poor defense.

The team now has a coach who is not afraid to play his best players and sit the team's prima donna, David Lee and that is why Steve Kerr is leading the team to its best record since 1975-1976.

Isn't it ironic how no team stepped up to be a suiter for David Lee before the trade deadline. GMs are not dumb; there are not a whole bunch of Chris Mullins and Larry Rileys out there in the NBA looking to bring in "stat-machine" players just to entertain fans. GMs around the league know what Steve Kerr knows: David Lee is a stiff.

What?

David Lee is the ONLY Warrior to have a local beat writer (Kawakami) follow him around and harp on him since he got here. Nobody has had a media gnat in his face like Davie Lee has since he's come here. Nobody since Biedrins, in fact. He absolutely has critics; more than any other current player on the roster, easily.

And the bit about Kerr thinking Lee is a bum? Not sure I buy that either. I can't remember the last time a coach who thought a guy was a bum was giving him 18 minutes a night. I know Lee has fallen victim to a string of DNP's lately, but Kerr has claimed that it's mostly to get Ezeli up to speed for the playoffs, and I'm not in a position to call Kerr a liar right now.

It's pretty incredible to me how a player largely responsible for bringing this franchise back to relevance (don't forget, Lee was our first all-star in 20 years!) is getting thrown under the bus by nearly every fan we have. My, how quickly they all forget.

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