Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Annual Golden State Summer League Spectacular

By Justin Taylor

Klay Thompson's perfect stroke has been on full display

Once again Warrior fans are justifying their title as the best fans in the league whether the team deserves it or not.  I’m well aware that some other fan bases may take issue with that statement but I could care less.  When their teams bottom out for years at a time and their fans are still packing gyms in the desert in mid-July we’ll put their case in front of a judge.  It’s almost 115 degrees outside and the stands are packed every time the Warriors take the floor; it could just be that there is just really good AC in that building that gets shut off when the Kings team is playing.

The PR department may be very happy that we’re one of the top attractions in Las Vegas right now but having half of your roster in the summer league is nothing to be proud of.  It could be worse I guess, the Cavs and Bobcats have their entire starting line ups active; that is until Kyrie Irving pulled a Gus Frerotte and broke his hand punching a padded wall in practice.

The worst thing about summer league is that only the crappy teams care.  Lakers and Heat fans probably don’t even know the have representatives in Vegas right now.  The competition level is worse than D League basketball and more pointless then intrasquad spring training baseball games.  All I can hope for is that Bay Area basketball fans can approach summer ball like the fans of other good teams do in the coming years.  The fact that the Warriors dominate here every year is more embarrassing than encouraging and having standout players at this time of year is nothing to hang your hat on. 

Projecting anything based on a performance during the summer unless it’s for Team USA is absolutely useless.  Instead of making any bold statements or predictions based on two meaningless games I’ll post my observations from days one and two and our rookies “professional debuts.”

Klay Thompson:  From what I’ve seen so far there is no over player who is more out of place in these games.  He went from being a kid trying to earn his stripes against the best in the world playing for the USA Select squad to being an NBA player in a rec league game at the Y the next day.  I think that second game is the last we’ll see him until training camp begins in a few months and that’s a good thing because this teams catches injuries like the flu.

Barnes has shown he's got the J so now he just needs to show us some D

Harrison Barnes:  I was more impressed by his performance in the second game when he had a poor shooting night and still found ways to be effective with his defense and rebounding then I was with his game one shooting exhibition.  We all knew he could shoot coming in (I’m really excited to see the ball go into the post and come back out to Curry, Thompson and Barnes…That’s a murderers row of knock down shooters).  The questions are whether he can make plays for others and bring a consistent level of intensity in locking up his man and crashing the boards.  That’s all I’m looking for in the last few games later this week.

Pete Myers:  I’m assuming that he’s coaching this team because Mike Malone is busy getting turned down for head coaching positions left and right.  Maybe I’m the only one but I found it funny that Myers pulled Thompson and Barnes out of the blowout against the Lakers after three quarters.  Quick tip: You’re not coaching the score, this isn’t an NBA game here, this game was just as pointless at when it was 2-0 as it was when we were up by 40 coach.  If you don’t want to take any chances getting these guys hurt just send them home (which, like I mentioned, I’m happy they did with Klay).

Charles Jenkins:  What’s not to like about Mr. Mid Range? (Courtesy: Steph Curry)  Even when he wasn’t doing much during the first game he was still controlling the flow (he did have a +/- of +35).  He just looks like he belongs in the league and in the second game he was knocking down jumpers like he was playing Pop-A-Shot.  I felt from day one that keeping him over Jeremy Lin was the right thing to do and Lin’s $25+ million contract has only made me feel better about the move.

Festus Ezeli:  I have a feeling that this guy is going to be a fan favorite very soon.  He lives to rebound, defend and knock people on their asses.  We’ve needed that presence forever but we’ll probably have to be patient unless Andris Biedrins gets locked up for tax evasion in Latvia in the coming weeks.  He may be raw but he’s already better then Patrick O’Bryant ever was; who by the way, is on the Phoenix summer league team.  Just wanted to point that out since I’m sure no one will notice. Kind of like how no one will notice when he’s back playing in Eastern Europe somewhere next week.  Anyway, the kid is a true center and figures to anchor the second unit defense very soon.

Chris Wright:  I’m not sure if Wright has officially been cut but he did leave the team to play for the Raptors summer squad.  Either way it’s not a good sign when you can’t get minutes during the summer.  I hope he can latch on somewhere else but he’ll have to do more then bring energy and highlight reel dunks wherever he ends up.

Draymond Green:  We have heard more about Green then we’ve seen out of him so far but that isn’t too concerning.  The Matt Steinetz article on him pretty much sums up the intelligence, work ethic and skills that will help him carve out a niche in this league regardless of his height.  He is going to work his ass off to take advantage of the opportunity that this next guy just might be (literally) fumbling away.
Jeremy Tyler:  Maybe I’m just too hard on the kid but I feel like he has done nothing to take advantage of a golden opportunity to make a case for the spot behind David Lee.  Tyler looked to be equal parts wild, lost and ineffective against the Lakers rec league team in game one and had no business being on the same floor as Kenneth “The Manimal” Faried in the Denver contest.  I wasn’t a fan to begin with but he’s not helping his case with his stupid fouls, lack of rebounds, fade away jump shots and of course, his Pennzoil hands.  

In a Rusty Simmons interview he said, “I came in believing that I was already all-everything. Now I know that there are a lot of guys who are better than me. Once you start respecting the skill in this league, you start getting a lot better."  I stretched that out of context a little but my first reaction to the complete statement was, “Dude, you haven’t been the best player on the floor since your junior year of high school!”  If you want to see him play this season I think your going to have make the trip out to Santa Cruz.

This is the best "Bench Mob" in the history of summer league

Rest of the team: It’s too bad no long shots are going to make the opening day roster because this team has a lot of candidates to fill the “chemist” role.  That is Bill Simmons’ name for the guy the doles out the best high fives, waives his towel the hardest and spends the most time on his feet deliriously cheering on teammates from his 12th man spot on the bench.  It’s amazing how enthusiastic the bench has been considering that they all know they’ll be searching for a job next week.  Klay’s shooting clinic seems to have some of these guys thinking they might get a contract by cheering the hardest.  As Bob Fitzgerald likes to point out no matter how bad the team looks or how bad their record is, “These guys genuinely like each other.”  I guess being 2-0 in any league is a pretty cool thing, I just never thought we’d see this much energy from a group of people that are about to be unemployed.

Marco Bellinelli set Vegas on fire in his debut but no one would take him over Klay Thompson.  Anthony Randolph set a record with 42 points a few years ago that was broken a few days later when Anthony Morrow dropped 47; Festus Ezeli might not shatter any records but he has a position and Charles Jenkins might not be able to shoot from half court but he can get his deadly mid range shot off whenever he wants.  These kids aren’t just wingspans, twigs, tweeners and specialists; they’re all basketball players that can be expected to fill a role, not save the franchise.

There is no way around the fact that the level of basketball sucks in summer league but I highly recommend checking it out for yourself.  Following good kids like these from their first steps as NBA players until the day the Warriors trade them unceremoniously is what makes being a fan so much fun, for me at least.  I don’t think I’d be such a fan of Monta Ellis or Jason Richardson if I hadn’t followed them from quiet teenagers in the summer league all the way through to the true professionals they’ve become.  I used to love going down to the Pyramid in Long Beach in the summer and being able to say, “I was there from the beginning.”  As with this team, it’s what makes the end result (hopefully winning this time around) so much more meaningful.

22 comments:

  1. wow JT good stuff... how do these players fit into the current scheme?

    Barnes has the potential to immediately be better than D Wright at the 3... so D Wright is gone, that's great, seriously. That is what the Dubs franchise is betting on. Not a bad bet. R Jeff or if we keep him, Brandon Rush has a chance to start ahead of Barnes for a short time, but I believe Barnes will be the starter for at least 2/3 the Warriors games this year after coming of the bench for the first 20 or 30 at the most.

    At the 2, Klay Thompson is the starter. There are enough props coming to Klay right now from the USA Select team that says whatever happens in summer league doesn't matter.
    Klay elected to play in summer league to create chemistry against the team's early wishes, and he has been stellar. This is a good time for Klay to shut it down and rest.

    David Lee at the 4 has been a workhorse. Do we want him to continue that as he adds years onto his age? Tyler still is a question mark even in these summer games.

    Festus Ezeli on the other hand has outplayed Tyler from what I have heard. Festus could be the perfect player from which Tyler could learn. Look at the weaknesses, and the growth of both. Look at where they came from. This could be the best component to Ezeli's and Tyler's growth... or they could hate each other.
    I believe Ezeli's relationship with Tyler could be the key to a deep playoff run sooner rather than later... or a sub-par mediocre year being repeated in Golden State.

    Is there a man we could still bring in to bridge the gap between Ezeli's youth and the potential hole that a Bogut injury could bring? It's not Biedrins. Hell, he could be in the Latvian Prison.

    Kenyon Martin seems to be the man. Bringing back McGuire and or Rush in addition to Martin could be a nice move.

    What does that mean to me? The Warriors are willing to put some money in numerous players that have had injury issues.

    It also means, lastly, that I think they could guarantee a playoff berth this year by going a small amount over the tax...

    Martin, Rush and McGuire would likely take us a couple of mil over the luxury tax this year.

    If we listen to what Bob Myers said about the luxury tax, he said the Dubs would likely not do it, unless it was for a difference maker. Wow... Do you remember Lacob saying that he thought JJ(Jarett Jack) was a difference maker?

    That means to me that rounding out the rest of the team could include a player who was already in Lacob's "basket" ie a Martin or Landry and would take the team into the luxury tax ought not to be an issue for Lacob and the Dubs. lol. LMFAO. who knows. GO Dubs!

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    1. Thanks Shawn, I do expect Barnes to be better than Wright this year unless Doug Collins lights some sort of fire under him in Philly this year. I don't expect him to start right away but hopefully he overtakes Jefferson in the rotation sooner then later. That will be an interesting battle from the start.

      Lee is getting paid like a workhorse si say keep doing what you're doing there and Tyler shouldn't factor in at all...He's D league material for this year at the very least. I don't even think he'll be helping in practice right now, especially if he starts sulking after his minutes are completely cut off.

      Ezeli looks raw but he looks like the potential to be a solid defender is there. It's going to take some time so bringing in Martin would probably serve to help him more then any other FA. He's known for solid one on one defense and defensive rotations.

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    2. Along w/ the good... I posted the outside info below regarding Ezeli in another trapped article.

      It's only 3 Summer League games, but could Ezeli be rid of the dropsies?

      ------------------

      http://www.nba.com/news/features/david_aldridge/big-board-centers/index.html

      One NBA executive compared Ezeli with Nazr Mohammed, the longtime vet currently with the Thunder. But Mohammed could score a little earlier in his career, and it's going to be hard for Ezeli to ever be a factor at that end of the court.

      "Bad, bad mitts, man," one general manager said of Ezeli. "That really scares me."

      That came up with more than one birddog. One scout said Ezeli has to have both feet together before you can even think about throwing him the ball -- and there's no way you want to throw him no-look passes.

      "His hands are pretty shaky," another scout said. "He doesn't have a good feel for the game. He has a horrible assist/turnover ratio ... his hands, he had trouble catching the ball at critical times. I think he rushes. I think he gets excited. I don't think his instincts are good."

      Still, Ezeli will get a look.

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    3. For Ezeli I'm thinking that the comparison might be a slightly hungrier Adonal Foyle. If Adonal was the 30th pick and a reserve instead getting picked ahead of McGrady and expected to start would we have given half of the amount of shit he took? Minus the ridiculous contract I think we're stoked if we've got Foyle coming off the bench.

      I saw when you posted those comments before and it gave me the same thoughts but I was getting drunk on Kool aid at the time and couldn't think realistically. The Nazr comparison is probably a good one too but I just wanted to bring it a little closer to home.

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    4. Shawn, what's your address for your sports page again? Went there once & lost the address somehow. Since you have been here at TIGS I feel a need to investigate your page. Reply please so I can get a decent volume of reading. Comcast & others seem to put out limited amounts of articles about the W's which bore's me & I'm looking for other locations for entertainment. Might as well stop over to a W's fan's page. I will be checking back for the address. Thanks, S

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    5. Just click on his user name in his comments SRG. It's shawnkfrasier.com

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    6. Done & did. Give a W's fan a few minutes. W's fans need to stick together. I always have time for a W's fan. Always have, always will! If you ever see me with a Lakers jacket on(which you never will!) just pull the trigger & make sure you tell me I told you to do so! Anyone wearing one of those garments needs to be shot anyway. S

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    7. I wouldn't do that, if i saw you in a laker jacket (same goes for me) I would assume that a very twisted bet was lost or there is some weird hostage situation going on and will be looking for the guy with a gun pointed at you.

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    8. I think someone posted that Ezeli appears to be much more of a true C than Foyle and I’d agree w/ that statement so far. Festus also looks like he's much stronger & more aggressive in the paint than Adonal. It’s hard to know for sure until an 82 game season against real NBA talent.

      The point of re-posting the negative scout reports on Ezeli was to say that they don’t seem accurate... Maybe it's just during crunch time that he gets the drops.

      It’s safe to say GS was expecting Foyle to keep getting better or at least to not regress when they paid him big $$$ after a career year. It doesn't always work that way.

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    9. Just noticed this comment got marked as spam for some reason...I guess the filter doesn't like the Foyle comparisons...lol...So far I've seen alot of similarities but Fez is much quicker laterally and that should make a big difference. Haven't seen enough of a sample size to judge the hands yet but I don't see how they could be on the hard as stone level of Adonal. I'm hoping they're better then Tyler's though because if he can just catch and finish on the run I'll be happy with his offense. He's got alot of work to do but it seems like he's aware and willing to put in the time and that's half the battle.

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    10. I will let you & the other fans here shit on me while I lie on the ground before I would wear Lakers apparel (or any other for that matter). You won't have your chance till our possibilities are better as again I go by the stats. But those times are nearer. L.A.'s misery started as soon as Phil Jackson left the house. Give them Howard. I'll take the poor man's "Howard", Mr Ezeli. Cheap with ton's of upside & value oozing as I see him. He's big & strong & has proven he can give others fits just as he did A.D when they met last season. I hope there's a fist fight the first quarter when we play against Howard to show him & other idiots that the past B.S around the hoop is not acceptable in GS anymore. Biedrins is gone now, so there's cookies to eat. NBA T.V. says the W's draft selections were the best made this season. I totally agree. What teams win yearly? Teams which give 100% on the D & 80% on the O win. Why? LOL, if you play the D the way it should be you won't have the energy to give 100% when you get the ball back unless you did your homework on getting in supreme shape to compete prior to the start of training camp. And when your tongue is being stepped on then just put up your hand & we will then sub in a player to give the same effort & do just as you have. When our infants drafted this season climb out of the children's walker & begin to walk look out. We will have true options as the 49ers possess on offense. My only question is if Rush or McGuire will be on board. Any news? Will we have the financial ability to sign both? Or even one of them? Regardless I have no complaints about the way our front office has acted. They have rolled the dice to win & have done what other ownership groups should have done years ago. I stand up for the W's controlling group which seems to be headed by Myers. I don't again expect us to win it all but I do expect us to play the game as it needs to be played to climb the ladder of success. One key thing I saw with our defense in the summer league which brought me to my feet was our theory of completely taking the dominant side of the offensive player guarded away & forcing him to our teammates help!!! Consistent switching & covering of players as this leads to great team rebounding as then there are no unattended assignments just walking to the hoop for a uncontested layup as last season. Is this Jackson, Malone, Meyers? I don't give a crap who initiated this but start doing these winning ideas MORE!! Today, not later! Great job GS!! S

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    11. Finally got back to my own blog, lol. Ty S. I've been checking for Dub's news and been continuously disappointed by the lack of it. Oh well. Seriously, the Dubs are not the team that spent 10 mil for 2 years on Kirelenko (sp?) and that's a great thing. Also, if the Lakers want Jamison, that's not much of a loss at all. The other players left are Laundry and KMart. That is a difficult choice. I am starting to lean towards Laundry. I would like to have a player that is still in his prime, not KMart, and who is not going to miss a ton of games to injury. Although Laundry has been injured a bit too. Why not bring in a PF that can score? Next to Ezeli or Bogut, Laundry would be a half way decent defender. I am going to place a new post on my own blog this morning as well about +/- especially referring to McGuire that is not so complimentary... I am surprised when I look at his recent stats. They are not what some of us including me, thought they were.

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  2. Hey, JT, thanks for the heads up, mate. Nice article with good info well articulated.

    I, along with most of the fans I suspect, are the most thrilled with this team and its prospects this year than in many, many past. We essentially had 3 first round draft picks this year...still puzzled as to why Green fell to #35.

    Would have loved to have been able to keep Chris Wright and see if he will become more than a slam dunk highlight reel. I have seen good things in print about Burrell ... perhaps he could land on the team if Tyler heads to Santa Cruz like he should for the year.

    All we seem to need to fill the team out would be to pick up a vet PF to back up Lee whilst Green is maturing. Martin, Landry, ... ? I trust the front office to do the right thing here as they did with Jack. I would never wish for bad things to happen to anyone, but if Andris is found guilty, I for one, will not shed too many tears. Sad to see anyone fall from his glory days of being a double double machine to ineptness and now to this !

    Gotta believe we will be in the fight for the 7th-8th playoff position. Just stoked, man !

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  3. Nice to see that GS gave Thompson the night off. What does he have to prove but just be placed on the injured reserve list. Green laid a egg last night but his value is with his rounded game play, not his scoring. GS should play inside out as many have stated. Ezeli has shown me he's not afraid to whack someone (Hopefully Howard) in the head when they wish to get in the cookie jar as our recent past seasons. Everything seems on the way upward, Rebounding & Defensive improvement, Fast Break transition, gotta love this stuff. Maybe the greatest game to watch when played correctly. Into Lee, Bogut, then pass out to Curry, Thompson, Jack, Barnes( possibly Rush I hope). Jenkins? Looks like last season's playing time paid dividends. We have the BEST passing big's in the league. I am now getting off the "injury" bandwagon. Lacob hasn't lied to me yet so I back his words said just as I did Harbaugh. Enough of the past, now lets plan for the future. Our luck is changing for the better. Great days for W's fans coming up! The three people who consistently comment here(J.R. not in the mix yet) are at the keys expressing their opinions & dedicate their time to complain or praise & these fans need to be commended for their efforts to will the W's back to success. True basketball,W's fans. NBA net. even states that we have the best fans in the league & I totally agree. Yes we have been miserable in the past but forget the word "past". Those days are behind us & the train seems to be moving in the right direction. Thanks Lacob for acting & not talking. I feel this new "Brass" at the top making these decisions have done a wonderful job!! Do we have the ability to perform miracles as the 49ers did when Harbaugh entered prior to last season across the bay? Not sure but I feel the excitement I had when Jim was hired. All say Jackson,Malone truly are pushing "Defense". Gotta Love It!!! This year will be as GS advertized last season: "A Great Time Out!" I love this shit!!! Preseason results have shown me that our freshman class has not only talent but have done their homework. Execute the "D",Rebounding & turn it into high % fast break uncontested high % shots? Little of this done last season. This is the way the game of basketball should be played & we have been getting better at it!! To the multitudes who read this page: What moves or what do you like about these new Warriors? I always listen to all suggestions. The improper suggestion is the one you don't make. Could just be what gets us to the top. I truly feel someone within the organization has their ears on this site so open your mouth! My advise to Malone, Rush. Don't leave before the party starts!! Great Nights out are coming soon to Oracle folks! Believe me when I say I'm just as stoked as you! S

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  4. The optimism around here is just over flowing nowadays...I agree on your point (SRG) on management making moves, focus being placed in the proper areas and that the roof on Oracle needs to be tightened up because we're coming to blow it off this season. I still give a conservative outlook every chance I get because I have seen a playoff team on paper before that went up in flames because it's such a delicate balance when your dealing with youth, health and inexperience in coaching and in philosophy.

    Even my conservative outlook mirrors Mr. Mean (and Dax) when he says we should be battling for the 7-8 spots and that alone has me geeked up and ready for the season to tip off. When JR weighs in me and Mr. Mean will probably look like pessimists but either way the scales are tipping big time...I feel like we should just shut the summer team down and send anyone on the roster home because the only thing of significance that can happen at this point are injuries. Maybe we can leave Green in Vegas so he can keep working on his 3pt. range though...lol...

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  5. Can' help it! I'm stoked & if if you're a true W's fan you should be! My nightmares are going away by the day. I have enjoyed this summer league more than the regular season we put up last season. Thanks for all of the hard work you put in! Where else can a true W's fan get any response? We get personalized service here!! Thanks! S

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  6. Good article, don't think I could have said much of anything better myself, you really lay it out there w/ no sugar coating, I appreciate that about you.

    About the whole "best fans in the league" thing... I've always thought that it wasn't a coincidence that all the "most loyal fans" just happen to live in one specific area.

    I feel like it's more a product of the style in which our team played basketball. Nellie-ball--whether you thought it would be an effective strategy or not--was very entertaining. Our team had a chance to win against every team in the league every night we played because all we had to do was have a couple of players get real hot from the outside.

    It'll be interesting for me to see if attendance dies down at all under Jackson's grind it out mentality/gameplan.

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    1. Considering how many people came out to support a team that had a shot to win on any given night. I can only imagine what will happen when the team is expected to win (since I haven't seen it in about 20 years).

      The only question is what will happen when we're expected to win and we don't...Jackson will need an exit strategy if that happens. I like that expectations are building though, that's a big step for Bay Area basketball fans.

      Thanks for the feedback PJ. If you come back one day and find a sugary frosting on one of the articles please don't hesitate to call it out. The every column should be written from the perspective of a real fan who has heard every little piece of BS that could ever hit the airwaves, the newspapers or the interwebs.

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  7. "(Ezeli) lives to rebound, defend and knock people on their %$!@#$%."

    Finally! A Knock Down Center! :D

    I was seeing stars on the last minute shot from Barnes in the 3rd game. 15-18 points, 5-8 rebounds, solid D, & knock down big-shot ability is exactly what GS needs from the SF. So far so good except for the efficiency but that's not a concern yet.

    It's always easy to say from the couch, but Barnes seems a bit too predictable inside the paint. The good thing is that's easily remedied over time with smarts, experience, & talent.

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    1. Defend tho cookie jar! I say this again: Blood loss, no big deal! Winning doesn't come without a little sweat & blood! Stop these other idiots from just coming in the front door. When you do, you win, consistently. Let the trolls decide who will score 40 points. I don't care who on GS scores. Value to me? Steal the ball 10 times & score 10 lay up's is at the top of my list i.e McGuireball!!! Even maybe a few "+1's"! Pancake someones ass when the come in for more until they stop!!! Show me the shit when you play the D, play both ends of the court. Defensive ideas seemed changed illustrated in our Summer League play. All swarming on D! All that matters to me is WIN. Obviously you realize worth in players. The three Myers & son drafted seem game ready. Not game tested but none are when they visit the men in action for the first time. I have told many that winning basketball doesn't come from elite players. Elite execution of proper technique & philosophy is where it's at. Understanding winning basketball concepts to me is the key & when executed properly you WIN! I loved when NBA T.V Sat. night mentioned that they didn't have Ezeli on the team roster & Jackson set them straight! Hopefully Jackson & Malone stick together with the approach Meyers took in the summer league this season. I loved the way Ezeli kicked the ball out quickly to the wing to initiate the fast break. I see these things showing up on the Warriors side: High % shots, opponent's foul trouble with our ability near the basket, Great uncontested looks from 3 point range & closer with our big men's abilities of passing the ball, rebounding on both ends of the court, & so many more reasons we will win! GS, penetrate & dish or hit the hole. Both will be open now! At the end of last season I stated that all I expected was from the W's to understand how the game is played, attempt to play the game the right way & see competitive enjoyable basketball this season. Seems these three subjects have been addressed to the best of their ability & now it's the players turn to perform. To me now the burden of worth is on the shoulders of the players to execute their teachings. We have talent now. Again anything up & beyond is icing as I see it. Jackson stating how winning these summer league games to get the winning mindset showed me value. You have to win in the mind prior to winning on the court. With Jackson's thinking exercised playoff bells may be ringing in Oakland next season. I buy on the W's possibilities this season. All need remember the improvement by all NBA West teams coming up this season. There will be no cake walk to the title in the West! We're not elite yet not shit either! Rather than just settling for the playoffs lets bank on consistent quality improvement yearly to be in the elite someday in the near future. Loosing in the 1st round of the playoffs sucks! This thinking brings trophy's rather than just moments of enjoyment. Was here when the W's walked proud in 1975 & boasted loudly. Now 35 years later all I ask for is improvement on playing the game correctly & by doing this to eventually win it all again? I don't feel this is too much to ask for as a true W's fan. Remember this, you will talk trash to your friends after a elite season. I did. The problem is we won in 1975 & since all that's happened is I've taken tons of shit & tired of it.! I prefer giving not taking. So my time may be coming. Therefore maybe I can give a Laker buddy of mine a little shit for Christmas. I always felt it was better to give than receive! Especially to a Laker fan. S

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    2. I LOVE the statements here SRG. I've been waiting for years to rub a Lakers fan's face in to a season where we make them look bad. It won't be this season but our time is coming (unless they get Dwight Howard which pisses me off just thinking about it. Either way the proper foundations and fundamentals seem to be getting laid down and all of the fractures in the fan base will come right back together once we start winning. That's the only thing that matters and I think everyone can agree on that. I'm working on my next article right now and it's going to echo some of your point and bring up some other angles that have many fans going against each other right now. I'm not worried about it cause once we get back to the playoffs I'm sure everyone will be getting along again.

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    3. Ezeli is a beast as I figured he would be... Now the only thing to wait for is what he does in the regular season. I just have a feeling that with his limited basketball history and his work ethic, his ceiling is higher than most project for him. Seriously, do we have an Ibaka on our hands? We won't know for a few years. I'm sooooo happy we did not draft Drummond... he is the same player athletically if you look at the draft combine results, and is a much harder worker. Go Dubs!

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