Revisiting Game #73: Warriors Owned By Sacramento, Again

Whatever momentum the Warriors had from beating the Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento came to town and took it.

The Kings improved to 3-1 against Golden State this season with a 105-98 win at Oracle Arena. The Warriors, which had won four of five, put together a performance that betrayed their talk of finishing strong.

They got outplayed and outworked by the worst road team in the NBA. The Kings were 6-30 and hadn’t beaten a winning team away from home all season.

On top of that, the Warriors missed a chance to put some distance between themselves and Houston for the No. 6 seed. The Rockets lost at home to Indiana, which means the Warriors missed a chance to move two games up. As it stands now, they are still tied with Houston the loss.

MARK JACKSON: “We did not play well from top to bottom. … Just glad we don’t have to face them in a seven-game series right now.”

More on Wednesday’s loss …

MVP: Andrew Bogut

He finished with 12 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks and 2 assists. He had a hard time with Jason Thompson early. But he recovered and was a force again. Wednesday, he gave the Warriors some much needed offense. His legs looked spry as he attacked the basket on multiple occasions, twice getting dunks and twice dropping in a runner. He played 27 minutes and you knew he was there when he was on the floor.

MDP: Stephen Curry

Could’ve easily been Klay Thompson. But Curry’s bad games hurt more. And he was largely responsible for giving up 31 to Isaiah Thomas. He couldn’t make shots, took a bunch of bad shots and lost focus too much on defense. No doubt, many NBA players wish their bad games come with 12 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 steals. But the reality is, the Warriors aren’t quite good enough to overcome bad games from Curry. They need him to dominate.

JACKSON: “Steph was not good. This was the first time in a long time that he hasn’t been good. He was bad. It’s going to happen. I don’t care if he played 30 minutes, then he had 30 minutes of bad basketball tonight. It happens. We’re not going to overreact.”

TELLING STAT: Golden State posted a whopping 68 points in the paint on 34 of 54 shooting (63 percent). You know what that means? They were 7 of 36 outside the paint (19.4 percent). They missed 19 of the 24 3-pointers they took.

With the success they had going inside, the natural question is why did they take so many shots outside?

The Warriors had 30 assists, which is a lot. They were 5-0 when reaching the 30-assist-plateau. When they moved the ball, they scored. When they stopped sharing the ball and taking quick shots, they struggled. More on this later.

YEAH, WHAT HE SAID: “There’s no excuse for it one-through-12. The coaches do a great job of preparing us, the fans are great, but we need to regroup the next two days. We have a tough road team coming in also competing for a playoff spot, we have to move on with it. We need to remember this one, there’s no excuse for it, especially at this point of the season. We’re playing for more than their team, so kudos to them.” — Warriors center Andrew Bogut

COACHES CORNER: Mark Jackson is a coach of the year candidate, no doubt. But his and his team’s flaws are going to get exposed on the big stage of the playoffs. Bottom line is, even with Bogut, the Warriors are a jumper happy team.

But unlike layups, jumpers have a lot of variables. Including fatigue, pressure, momentum. All that will come into play in the postseason. And I am not sure what the Warriors will do if their jumpers stop falling.

After the game, Jackson said he didn’t have a problem with Klay Thompson’s shots. He’s in the minority. He took back to back 3-pointers, both early in the shot clock, while in the midst of a horrible shooting night. True, Klay can and has hit those, and they have changed the tides of games. But what’s lost in the love affair with his shooting is his slow development in understanding how to get himself going. Even Curry sometimes forces himself to get inside or go to a spot when he’s struggling.

But here is the odd part, the Warriors relied on jumpers even though their inside game was working.

The Warriors usual inside guys — David Lee, Harrison Barnes, Carl Landry, Andrew Bogut — were a combined for 27 of 41 (65.8 percent). Those four players took one fewer shot than the Warriors guards — Curry, Thompson and Jarrett Jack — who went 12 of 46.

Not only do you not take transition jumpers when you’re ice cold. But you don’t take them when you have high-percentage offense clicking. Jackson has yet to figure out a way to make that a reliable part of the Warriors attack.

Jackson again shortened his rotation, which is a good thing. He is riding Curry hard, which is surprising with his recent ankle issue. But Curry and Lee and the like need to play more, and get used to playing well on heavy minutes.

But the days of the mass substitutions need to be over.

SERIOUSLY?!: Curry was in the right corner looking for an outlet. He saw Bogut on the weakside and threw him a lob near the rim. Now, I’m not sure if Curry meant it to be an alley-oop, but Bogut sure took it that way. He tried to catch it in the air and throw it down as if Timofey Mosgov was underneath him. Um, not the best idea. Bogut’s dunk lost a battle with the rim.

BEFORE YOU GO: That win by the Kings was the first this season against a winning team on the road. Sacramento is 7-30 on the road, worst in the Western Conference. … Also, Curry hit his 600th 3-pointer early in the third quarter. The only other Warriors to hit as many 3-pointers was Tim Hardaway (602) and Jason Richardson (700).

Marcus Thompson

  • Dan

    MJax has done a good job in many ways, so I’ve got to give him credit. But he still lacks some basic common sense. He says Curry was bad. True. Then what’s the point in playing him 46 minutes on a bad ankle? Even in the playoffs, the best teams don’t play their horses 46 minutes. They give them some rest so they’re fresh at the end of the game.

    And yes, with Bogut rounding into form, he and Lee are a pretty impressive inside scoring (and passing) duo. The more the Ws can start to take advantage of that, the better.

  • deano

    Bogut is GSW’s safest and smartest passer. MJack should have ordered all of his guards to get Bogut the ball asap, and let him decide what happens next. Throughout the game, there were isolated examples of this strategy. It worked well. It just wasn’t used enough; which was a coaching crime given that Steph and Klay were shooting poorly and that Cousins was quickly in foul trouble.

  • a42

    Mark Jackson saying he has no problem with Klay’s shot selection even after last night is a huge red flag. There is no way they will make noise in the playoffs if Jackson won’t rein in the guards when the inside game was that strong. Sure they’re the best players on the team, but they clearly weren’t last night. As cliche as it might be, this is where the criticism of being too much of a player’s coach does have some truth to it. Sometimes you just have to step on someone’s foot to get their attention focus in the right way. And if Jackson didn’t feel he needed to do that last night, there are even bigger problems.

  • OaklandWarrior

    What concerns me most is not just Coach Jackson’s X’s and O’s — but even his motivational capabilities…

    Its obvious to assume that Jackson’s motivational skills are his best asset — but how can we explain that the Dubs come out flat and unmotivated in far too may games?

    The Kings kicked our butts the entire season and again showed more effort last night while playing on the road, when their season is going nowhere… Unacceptable.

    Would it kill Coch Jax to get a technical foul once in a while to strategically attempt to wake his team up? You know…Stuff good coaches do.

    We have a team of mild-mannered, laid back guys. Jackson needs to understand there is a time and a place to sing Kumbaya — and a time and place to raise your voice and bust some chops.

    Keith Smart outcoached him all year. Isaiah Thomas had Stef Curry for lunch last night, and it was infuriating to watch Warriors guards going under the screen over and over again when Thomas was killing us from deep and at 5’9 is no threat to drive to the basket.

    Freakn basketball common sense. When Bazemore went under the screen late in the 4th to give Thomas a wide open look at a three to seal the game, I lost it.

    Jackson needs to show more intensity and more fire because these uninspired stinkbombs are unacceptable for a “playoff” team with the talent the Warriors have.

  • Stan

    Well,the Warriors had a nine point lead,I change the channel,comeback and Bogut and Lee aren’t in the game and Sac was on a 14-2 run or so..and in the lead.
    Jackson does have a real weakness to read momentum. He’s slow to call a timeout when the other team is on a run,slow to get the Warriors best lineup back in there when the scrubs have blown a big lead.
    But the Big Eucalyptus is resembling those highlight films Comcast would run preseason.

  • Stan

    I think,he thinks no timeouts is “Tough Love”. But its mostly bad strategy.

  • Chan

    Jackson needs to utilize Lee and Bogut and dominate inside more so that leave pressure off Curry and Klay. They were doing well compared to our backcourts. At the least, they can post, draw people and dish out to klay, curry

  • Ewok

    There’s too much reliance on the shooting skills of Barnes and Thompson and i actually understand that.. but these kids are young.. a rookie and a soph! Coach Jackson should be able to create decoys or different game styles and approaches. In this case, we could still run but make plays for fast break slashers, if the look is not there then we can easily post up with our biggies.. If the shooters are not clicking, then we need fresh legs for that matter.. RJ, Bazemore and Green…

    This was a coaching error.. Nevertheless, I still like Coach Jackson and i still root for him to make Coach of the Year..

  • bill

    give Dominic Mc Guire a contract

  • Niners in 2012

    seriously, if winning is important they need to bring in Dom.

  • Stan

    And MT2,Whats the deal with “floater” shots? Team wide its caught on. I would rather the Big Eucalyptus learn the skyhook then a running floater..that screams another broken ankle with 7′ of him floating around.

  • Stan

    This teams theme song? “Love Rollercoaster”..we love em,we hate em,we love em…on and on..