Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Warriors Offseason Success Won't Kill the Demons

By Justin Taylor

With Landry and Rush officially in the fold the roster for 2012-13 is set barring an 
unforeseen trade or Andris Biedrins getting put out to pasture

The Warriors roster is finally balanced in a way that we haven’t seen since the days that Joe Barely Cares roamed the paint.  That doesn’t mean that the minds of some tortured fans have found that kind of stability yet.  If you’ve seen the message boards or comment sections on Warriors Facebook posts you’ll see that there are plenty of people who don’t believe that all of the positive movement over the past year means a damn thing.  There is no disputing that the roster has improved dramatically but I still can’t fault anyone who doesn’t see this as a 50 win team (god bless anyone who does) or anything more then an 8th seed in the Western Conference.  Until we see our starting five walk onto the court on opening night (and pretty much every night thereafter) the doubters will have plenty of ammunition.  No matter how great the picks, trades and signings have looked nobody can be right until October at the earliest.

As excited as I am for this season there is a lot of scar tissue on my heart and on the ankles of Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut.  We’re tougher and we’re deeper but we’re also still young and fragile.  I’m trying my hardest but my own ankle problems make it impossible to jump in with both feet.  I’m warming up but we’ve been to the second round of the playoffs twice since 1990 and have been derailed by injuries, egos and idiots more times then I care to count.  It seems like we’ve weeded out the idiots and the egos but the triage unit is still open for business and thriving.  

I was having this conversation with a life coaching guru and Warriors fan that said your conscience is what keeps you positive and moving forward while your sub conscience (what is referred to as your Gremlin) is the voice that tries to remind you why things can’t or won’t be done.  I thought that analogy applied to my own internal struggles as a Warriors die hard so I tried to add up all of the points from my conscience and my Gremlin.  It wasn’t pretty but part of growing is recognizing what is holding you back.  Check it out:

Don't get your inner Warriors Gremlin get wet or let him control your thoughts

Conscience: This is the deepest, most balanced team we’ve had in as long as I can remember.  We’re two deep at every position, we've got experience, we’ve got youth and we’ve got character.  This is easily the most likable team since the We Believe Warriors!

Gremlin: I’m glad you’ve got likable guys at every position but that isn’t going to get you anything more then an 8th seed in the playoffs if that!  Having great character doesn’t trump all of the talent that’s still out west.  When anything goes wrong, and things always go wrong for this team, you’ll be crying about Utah owning your lottery pick next year.

Conscience: The perimeter of the offense is absolutely lethal!  With David Lee and Andrew Bogut; two of the best passing big men in the game; down on the blocks, teams are going to have to pick their poison when we get the inside out game going.

Gremlin: Typical Warriors fan.  I’m glad you’re so excited about the offensive side of the ball but don’t forget about the other 50% of the game.  You’ve got exactly one above average defender in the starting line up and you’ve never even seen him in a Warriors uniform but you have seen him in the training room a lot.

Conscience: Bogut and Steph Curry have had a ton of time to properly heal and every report I’ve heard to this point has them being ahead of schedule in their recoveries.

Gremlin: You must have gotten hit in the head with a Hoop Troop T shirt cannon!  Has there ever been a report of a guy being behind schedule?  You think the PR department would tell you if they weren’t?  Ever heard of a chronic injury? Cause that's what Curry has got; the guy can’t even slide his feet on D without rolling over his ankle and ending up back in rehab.  Bogut’s injury may have been a freak accident but 7 footers usually aren’t the same after multiple surgeries on their feet and ankles.  Right now they’re trying to sell you season tickets and mini plans so don’t expect anything but glowing news coming out of Oakland for about a month and a half.  Even Andris Biedrins will be showing “major improvement and incredible dedication” until the cameras turn on and they can’t bullshit you anymore.

Conscience: I’ve seen videos of Steph looking great in workouts and tweets from Bogut saying he is feeling great.

Gremlin: You’re a bigger sap then I thought.  Did you see the tweet about the lingering swelling in the Aussie’s ankle?  I would forget about that one too if I were you.

Conscience: Klay Thompson spent his offseason working out with Team USA and got a ton of praise from Kobe and LeBron afterwards.  The following week he made everyone in the Summer League look like a bunch of scrubs before the Warriors shut him down to avoid an injury…He’s going to be a STUD.

Gremlin: First of all, he spent five or six days playing with those guys and I’m sure those gushing Kobe and LeBron interviews were Raymond Ridder Productions.  I bet the Kings, Wizards and Pacers posted similar videos about DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall and Paul George the same day.  It’s called NBA marketing 101.  Second of all, the Summer League is a bunch of scrubs!

Conscience: I don’t care what you say about the competition, Harrison Barnes and Charles Jenkins looked great this summer.  We had a great draft and even if it doesn’t happen right away all of these young guys will contribute this year.  Barnes will start at small forward, Festus Ezeli will start taking Biedrins minutes immediately and the team just gave Green a three year guaranteed contract so they must see something good there.

Gremlin: So let me get this straight, you’re pinning on your hopes on a couple of overrated injury prone guys and a bunch of guys who aren’t even 23 yet?  Let me know how that works out for you.

Conscience: This team is so deep that we’re not really even relying on the rookies.  With Jarrett Jack, Brandon Rush and Landry coming off the bench our second unit is as deep as any in the league before you even get around to the kids.  You may have had a point if Jeremy Tyler was our back up power forward but he’ll most likely be getting his minutes in Santa Cruz.

Gremlin: Your whole bench is essentially playing on a one year deal so enjoy it while it lasts. 

The Gremlin doesn't think we can hold on to our bench since we couldn't even keep our mascot

Conscience: One year deals mean these guys will be playing there asses off like Rush and McGuire did last year.  I’d rather have guys playing for their next contract then bunch guys playing not to get hurt.  The fact is that the crowds at Oracle this season are going to push these guys higher then any of them have ever been while management continues to pull strings and make sound decisions.  I do plan on enjoying it and I appreciate your concern!

Gremlin: It’s obvious that I can’t kill your spirit just yet but when the season starts and they are under .500 at the All Star Break you’ll be right there with me begging them to fire the coach, bench the rookies and trade Curry.  You’ll be back and I’ve got nothing but time…

I think that pretty much sums up the debate in my head and the one taking place on the internet between other members of the Dub Nation.  This is a battle between the angel on one shoulder and a little devil on the other.  That means the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle where the head is and it’s too early to get overly excited.  I’ve liked preseason rosters in the past and gotten burned, badly.  I’m so hyped for training camp to start that little gremlin in the depths of my mind has been getting his ass kicked.  From what I hear the key to keeping him down is to acknowledge his existence but not to let him control your thoughts because he will always be there.  All I know that is going to be easier said then done if Bogut and Curry aren’t ready…ahhhh, it never ends!


  1. Replies
    1. My apologies for anyone who hasn't seen their comment post right away...stupid spam filter keeps acting up as if anyone has spammed this site even once...

      That being said...Great signings is right!

  2. this is the most perfect Warriors take I have ever read... I love the demon vs. the angel take. Damn I don't even know if I could argue so hard vs myself as you just did. You covered it all. I got some more to this a bit later. Rock on, and thanks I got the t-shirt, its perfect.

    1. Thanks Shawn, I tried to sum up alot of arguments that I have with myself and many fans have with each other. Sorry it took so long to get that shirt out your way, I already need to get more printed. Gotta say I was a little disappointed WarriorsFan84 didn't want one after he actually won the contest on the

    2. I thought I sent you an email

    3. Last I heard you said you'd let me know if your son wanted one...maybe I need to check the spam files again...damn thing is a little over zealous...If you emailed and i failed to respond I apologize.

  3. ok, this is the next thing I have... something I posted on CSN Bay Area to titled Warriors finalizing their roster and in direct comment to Matt Steinmetz on his short answer to the question "what does this all mean?" This was posted just after the final 15 man roster signing of Rush. I love Steinmetz when he feels like thinking like a Warriors fan, and I hate him when he feels like an overworked Jounalist... We can all tell the diff.

    Mattie, comments like yours here on the final signing of the 15 man roster are why I get upset with you. You stated the obvious while giving nothing else. At a minimum I would expect you to discuss the fact the Nate was signed by the Bulls (good riddance) and the fact that McGuire may not be back... To your credit, you do discuss these items in other places.
    What I would really like to hear as an answer to "What does this all mean?" (super open-ended bad question that it is) was OK... what are the expectations now that they have 15 on the roster? and give us your answer to that. Incuded ought to be the Warrior's chances at the playoffs. You have also answered this in other areas and you seem to feel that unless a superstar is signed here, you expect a sub-playoff team until it happens.
    Fine. Say it. Don't be afraid. Please don't give such short answers to such short questions. Or maybe Dave Benz (was it him in this video, I think so) needs to ask you more pointed questions. BTW, love you on 95.7 recently. Thank you for doing the shows there. Cheers.

    1. Next time you rip Mattie a new one and finish it with a compliment please send the regards from Trapped in Golden State because I like him on 95.7, Chronicle Live and Warriors Pre and Post games...the guy that needs to go (not even touching on Fitz cause I've got a full article ready to go for him) is Gary St. Jean!

  4. also from mattie's chat transcript... can you list 8 teams in the western conference who are better than the Warriors? No, I cannot. But I can list 6 teams I believe are better than the Warriors: OKC, SAS, LAL, LAC, MEM, DEN. Some might take issue with Denver, but I still think they're deep, talented and have experience. Dallas, to me, is vulnerable because if Dirk Nowitzki realizes early that Dallas might not be that good, I've got to believe it's going to affect his commitment level. And you could almost say 'Rightfully so.

  5. So, I am interested in what fellow GSW fans like myself and you, JT think about Matt. I love him, I hate him. He finally seemed very positive in the 8/1 chat quote I posted above. That made me very happy. He is the "debbie downer" that puts us in our place, lol. He answers questions he feels like answering and he mocks questions that he thinks he can mock. He is very intelligent as a BBall fan and writer, but he may be right about our Warriors' fate.

    I am preparing my own Western Conference Playoff writeup that will focus positively on the Warriors.

    I personally believe that the Mavs, Suns, Blazers, and Jazz are definitely below the Warriors in the standings this year. Now I see OKC, the LA teams, Spurs, and Grizz making it for sure. That leaves 3 more... Yeah, the Dubs can get in...

    The only thing that sucks... we have to wait til October for the next news of any kind for the most part. Such is life... at least we don't have to wait til Xmas this year!

    1. Personally I'm a fan of Matt Steinmetz. He knows his stuff and he's the anti Fitz when he tells it. Not trying to be controversial but not trying to be a homer either.

      I see the 6-8 seeds as attainable IF IF IF IF...that's one if for each Curry and Bogut

    2. interesting the antiFitz... yeah I don't really like Fitz either, lol. Fitz has the double clutch going in his play by play, what does that mean? Seems like a double pump, but I can't tell the diff between loosing the ball and a pump fake. Fitz is as odd as I am... lol. Mattie as the antagonist is a good spot for him as long as he is proud to be it. Sometimes he is and that ticks me off to no end if he gives no support to his position.

  6. If Lacob ownership group wasn't involved I wouldn't be speaking as boldly as I have. Our 3 drafted + get rid of our defensive prodigy Wright & the sleuth at #52 for J.J.? Then sign Rush & Landry to solidify the bench? Brilliant work, maybe brass of the year. There's many reasons why I feel strongly about our growth. I base my thinking on: Our summer league game plan displayed along with other sensible strategies used recently will change the character of this franchise. Our improved talent spells wins to me. Well... maybe not 50. LOL. Last season is history. The only issue is what educated thinking will Malone & Jackson employ? Hopefully not the same that was displayed last season. Anyway,if they do as Meyers did during this summer I see it as:
    Golden State seems to have come to its senses about playing both ends of the court. Our summer league displayed tight mam to man D & the ability to rebound successfully with proper rebounding techniques. Our court transition seemed to be more in sync with our abilities of getting higher % shots & better 2nd efforts to score easy put backs. We maintained our group of quality 3 point shooters. We need to live at the free throw line!!!
    2) Personnel
    The combination of this seasons draft coupled with the Ellis trade brought needed value for GS. Our increased size with bulk will do wonders for our possibilities of protecting the most important real estate on the court, the paint. The return of Rush & acquisition of Landry should strengthen the GS bench dramatically. Our youth are young but as talented as any I saw.
    Now discuss the best here. Nothing to say negative against Thompson or Lee. Now to Curry & Bogut. I've forgot the injury issue. When I played I got hurt more often worrying about that crap rather than just playing on. If they get hurt they get hurt, what can you do? This was the issue in the Bogut trade going in & we just have to hope he doesn't get hurt.
    We have quite a compliment of good players this season. I agree with Bob Myers, we should have some horses to run the race with so lets race & win more often. We're not elite but we're not shit either. This puts us is in the middle of the pack somewhere. Most important, teach our youth good tricks not the shit from last season. Play common sense basketball & execute teachings for a full 48 min. We're going to get our asses handed to us many times by the better so lets learn from the lumps.
    Too bad great things don't come from loosing, we'd be at the top of the shit heap.
    I'm a optimistic person. If GS looses 72 games & 5 players show on the dead list again no big deal, I'm used to it. So no worry's. Face it, to be a lifetime W's fan you have to be acclimated to being shit on, kicked & ripped off. Do as many W's fans do & just go get some medicine( as Dave put it) at the liquor store or whatever dispensary you're near. This is not directed towards latest management. I have no issues waiting a few more seasons to be elite. I just want to win another championship before I die. So make it soon. I really hadn't planned on viewing the championship from the cheap seats with the Dipper himself. I'm sure he'll supply the beer & women. If he asks, I'll throw in. Any true W's fan would. S

    1. I think we're of the same mind all around. We haven't seen anything but minor mistakes made in the last two years. We're building a direction, we're building assets and most of all a real team.

      We're still a few years of good decisions away and I don't blame those that are hesitant to jump in head first or don't drink to cover your other

    2. I have to laugh S. LOL an another losing season so we can draft the best and yeah I got dibs on the babes, lol. I am quite sure we all believe we are beyond this quagmirish whatchamacallit purgatory, yeah that's the word that we don't want to hear. We are now better than that... On the other hand... should we sit down Curry at the earliest hint of trouble and sit Bogut for the year as soon as he gimps off the court? If that gives us an 10-72 record, is that what we want? No. None of us want to wait. On the other hand, if we have 5 players who are on the IR for the majority of the year, I don't know that we miss the playoffs. It depends on who they are. If its Curry, then Jenkins and Jack could have a great year, and hopefully Curry is ready for the playoffs. If it is Bogut, then we can pray it happened after Ezeli had a chance to learn to be a huge shot blocking presence in the middle, maybe 40 games in. I still think Ezeli could be a Serge Ibaka type in a year or two. There are just too many oportunities for growth in this team to expect a terrible season no matter what. Worst case scenario is just missing the playoffs, which is the worst of purgatory... We are better than that.

  7. Landry isn't exactly what the W's need but he's a better player than K. Brown.

    Sure hope Ezeli can be 'The Big Answer' to 'The Big IF' & 'The Big Stiff' at C.

    1. I'm not sold on Ezeli being an answer to anything (right away at least) but I'm completely sold on your't worry, if I use them in a column they will be accompanied by full attribution (Trademark- All Rights Reserved-Copyright: J.R.)

    2. Use away, I probably took them from you or someone else :)

      Hate to be name calling but we all know Biens pay in combo w/ his recent lousy play have been a huge prob. The worst part is that he used to have game...

  8. I think that the 7th and 8th seeds are up for grabs. As others have said I think the top 6 seeds are spoken for(LAL, LAC, SAN, OKC, MEM, DEN). That leaves 8 teams besides ourselves to fight for the scraps. I think we can write off Sacramento,Phoenix, Portland, and Houston off right away. That leaves us with 4 teams(Minnesota, Dallas, new Orleans, and Utah). Nawlins looks a good 1-2 years away from being a playoff team and Dallas is probably going to tank the 2nd half of the season so they can add a top 10 pick along with some big name free agents. Now we're down to 2 other teams for the last 2 spots. I honestly think we're more talented than either Utah or the wolves but I still wouldn't say we're a lock. Minnesota has the best power forward in basketball and a top 5 coach. Utah already has a winning culture and always plays better than they should. I think we'll end up with one of the last 2 spots and Minnesota will be the odd team out

    1. Like the W's, all of those teams are one or two injuries from dropping down in the ranks.

      The W's have a pretty good home court advantage so I wouldn't be surprised at all to see GS as high as 4th or 5th if things fall into place.

  9. Hey, JT, just now read this article for the first time, mate. Sorry, I guess I have relied on your personal email notifications and not checked out your site periodically.
    That being said, I am un-retiring and starting to put together quite a number of rather large projects in the field of entertainment here in Cambodia (and beyond) and have been quite full on since Aug 1st.

    I absolutely LOVED the way you did this article ! Wow ! Take it from a comedian, actor, dancer, your angel/gremlin on the shoulders would be an outstanding stand-up routine in a one man piece. I have done similar things and the response has always been quite brilliant. Hey, wanna come here next off season and do it in front of a bunch of rich dudes from SE Asia, China, Australia/NZ, Russia, Korea ,etc. ? Just lemme know and it's a done deal !

    And, as my English ancestors would say, Hip Hip Huzzah ! Well done, mate !

    1. Thanks Mr. Mean...I figured many could relate to the internal struggle as a Warrior fan or any other aspect of life. I wanted to make sure that people knew that even though it might sound like I'm riding the fence or airing on the side of caution it's really not the case. I'm optimistic as ever but I'm also quite cynical from years of menial and emotional abuse from putting so much stock into my favorite team.

      Asia, NZ, Australia? That would be any other Warrior fan over there with you? Never done any performing but I can be funny as hell to watch a game'd love to hear more about it. My wife tells me all the time how she wants to go to all those places and it's usually when I'm trying to relax and watch the game. HA!

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