Month: January 2014

Squeeze the Orange Roundtable

Layne Murdoch Jr./Getty Images

Layne Murdoch Jr./Getty Images

I had the great opportunity of participating in a weekly roundtable for an NBA blog, Squeeze the Orange. I answered a question (#3 on the roundtable) about the Golden State Warriors’ trade for Jordan Crawford and if I thought the Warriors would make another trade before the deadline.

Check out my answer and the rest of the rountable here!

LGW: Harrison Barnes Impresses on His BobbleHead Night

(Photo: Instragram account)

(Photo: Instragram account)

On his own bobblehead night, Harrison Barnes busted out his best game in over a month. In the Golden State Warriors’ game last night against the Denver Nuggets, Barnes finished with 15 points, six rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block in 31 minutes. He also shot 4-for-8 from the field, 2-for-3 from three, and 5-for-6 from the free throw line.

Besides his impressive stat line, he also played most of the fourth quarter and finished the game with the rest of the starters, as Mark Jackson decided to sit Andrew Bogut for the end of the game.

Jackson most likely played Barnes over Bogut so that Barnes could potentially get more isolation opportunities for post-ups against the small-ball lineup the Nuggets were using.

Regardless, Barnes had a great all-around game. Throughout the game, Barnes looked much more confident and smooth than in recent games.

Read the rest of the article on Let’s Go Warriors.

NFC Championship Preview: Is Seattle’s 12th Man Really A Factor For Road-Tested Niners?

Dec 23, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) calls out a play at the line during the 1st half against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated San Francisco 42-13. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

Many NFL teams claim that they have the best fans in the NFL. There isn’t one way to measure this claim. The San Francisco 49ers have always had a loyal, committed, diehard fanbase, so 49ers fans could easily be put in the conversation of best fans in the NFL.

The Seattle Seahawks seem to believe that the noise that their fans produce make them the best fans in the NFL. Seahawks fans in attendance of any home game in Seattle are collectively known as the “12th Man.”

There are several reasons why CenturyLink Field in Seattle is such a loud atmosphere. First of all, the architecture of the building lends itself to producing a lot of noise. Stadium architect David Murphy told Hank Gola of the New York Daily News that the Seahawks management hoped to create the same loud, disruptive atmosphere at CenturyLink Field that they had in their previous arena, the Kingdome or the Thunderdome.

“We had the legacy of the Kingdome, and while there were a lot of things that we were working to improve on that building, there were a number of things they held dear,” Murphy says. “The noise and the home-field advantage was one of them. So we worked real hard to get fans on top of the action. And then (Seahawks owner) Paul Allen had very fond memories of going into (the University of Washington’s) Husky Stadium as a kid and encouraged us at some of our first meetings to go out there and look at what made Husky special. He wanted to make sure the fans were covered. At first he wanted natural grass so he wanted an open roof. As we started looking at it, what makes it loud is that roof.”

Second of all, the fans produce a lot of the noise themselves. The fans start screaming and booing once the opposing offense heads into a huddle, and they don’t stop until the play is done. Then, they start up again at the next huddle or when the offense lines up again.

The 12th Man produces so much noise that they even set a Guinness World Record for crowd noise. On December 2nd, the 68,387 fans in attendance of the Seahawks’ nationally televised game against the New Orleans Saints notched a record-setting noise level of 137.6 decibels.

Dec 23, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) jogs onto the field during warm ups prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated San Francisco 42-13. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

NFL teams know they have to prepare for the intensity and noise in Seattle. Teams have tried using several different techniques to make the noise less of an issue. Some teams have given their offense custom-made earplugs. Some teams have created different hand signals that their offense can use. Some teams use big, booming speakers in practice to simulate the crowd noise.

No matter what tactic the 49ers decide to use in order to prepare for their matchup with the Seahawks in the NFC Championship on Sunday, the 49ers know they will have to find a way to adjust to the 12th Man.

In the 49ers’ past two meetings with the Seahawks in Seattle, they’ve played some of their worst football. On December 23, 2012, the 49ers lost to the Seahawks 42-13. Kaepernick was clearly overwhelmed by the crowd noise, because he looked flustered for much of the game. He finished 19 of 36 for 244 yards with one touchdown and one costly interception.

In their most recent game in Seattle on September 15, 2013, the 49ers again lost to the Seahawks 29-3. In this game, Kaepernick appeared even more flustered than in the first game.

He finished 13 of 28 for 127 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions. This was his worst passing game as a starter. He finished with a total QBR of 14.0, which is the lowest total QBR in any start in his career.

In these two games, Kaepernick clearly struggled immensely, mostly because of the crowd noise. The 12th Man’s noise has made him flustered and disorganized, and the 49ers can’t afford to have him play that way on Sunday.

Normally, Kaepernick plays well on the road. In his career, he has a 92.3 quarterback rating and a 59.38 completion percentage on the road. He’s shown that he can play in freezing temperatures, in the rain, etc. He’s yet to prove that he can play well in front of the 12th Man though. The 49ers will only go as far as Kaepernick can take them.

The 49ers are currently on an eight-game winning streak, so they certainly have momentum going into this tough road game. They are also 8-2 on the road this season, including the playoffs. The 49ers haven’t had trouble away from Candlestick this season, but Seattle is a whole other beast.

The 12th Man is certainly a factor in this week’s NFC Championship game between Seattle and San Francisco. The 49ers will have to overcome record-setting noise levels on Sunday, but they still might be able to pull off a win.

LGW: Seth Curry Santa Cruz Warriors Update: Focused On Improving As a Point Guard

(Tim Cattera/NBAE/Getty Images)

(Tim Cattera/NBAE/Getty Images)

On January 9th, Seth Curry returned to the Santa Cruz Warriors after a short stint with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Curry was called up by the Grizzlies on Christmas Eve, but he only made one appearance with them in a game against the Detroit Pistons. He was waived after the game.

Curry made his return to the Warriors in their second and final game of the annual D-League showcase in Reno, Nevada.

In this game, Curry burst back onto the D-League scene and finished with 27 points, seven rebounds, eight assists, and three steals on 12-for-22 shooting.

Behind Curry’s strong performance, the Warriors beat the Rio Grande Valley Vipers 127-115.

Curry looked confident in his first game back with the Warriors, and he showed how much he has improved as a point guard. In fact, Curry told that he has focused on improving his point guard skills since he first joined the Warriors.

“That’s what I’ve tried to show from the beginning of this D-League season, that I can play the point and run a team well and get people involved and score in different ways,” Curry said. “I think I’ve been able to do that so far, and I’m trying to keep that going.”

Read the rest of the article on Let’s Go Warriors.

LGW: Marreese Speights Showing Improvement off the Bench for the Golden State Warriors

(December 28, 2013 - Source: Mike Lawrie/Getty Images North America)

(December 28, 2013 – Source: Mike Lawrie/Getty Images North America)

Marreese Speights has had a rocky start to his time with the Golden State Warriors.

In the offseason, the Warriors signed Speights to a three-year deal in the hopes that he would replace Carl Landry‘s production from last season. Unfortunately, that hasn’t quite happened…yet.

Last season, Landry, along with Jarrett Jack, was one of the most important players off the bench for the Warriors. In 81 games with the Warriors last season, he averaged 10.8 points and 6.0 rebounds in 23.2 minutes per game, and he shot 54 percent from the field.

In 37 games this season, Speights is only averaging 5.4 points and 3.5 rebounds on 38.7 percent shooting and in only 12.2 minutes per game.

To be fair, Speights and Landry have completely different skillsets. Speights is more of a mid-range jump shooter than Landry was, and Landry has more success with post-ups than Speights does. Although neither one is known for their superior defensive ability, Landry held his own in that department last season.

With that being said, Speights has recently started to play more like the player the Warriors hoped they would get when they signed him in the offseason. He’s playing with more energy, and he appears more confident out on the court.

Read the rest of the article on Let’s Go Warriors.

Golden State Warriors: How To Best Take Advantage Of Chris Paul’s Absence

Oct 31, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul (3) and Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) go for the ball in the first half of the game at Staples Center.Clippers won 125-115. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

The Golden State Warriors are playing dominant, near perfect basketball right now. They just had a 10-game winning streak and went 6-1 on their significant seven-game Eastern road trip. The Warriors are close to unstoppable right now and they continue to move up in the Western Conference standings.

This past Friday, the Warriors were presented with an opportunity to gain a commanding lead in the Pacific Division. On Friday, Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers suffered a separated right shoulder after being fouled by Monta Ellis in a game against the Dallas Mavericks.

Paul will not need surgery and is expected to miss up to six weeks. Paul is so much more to the Clippers than just their point guard. He’s a superstar in the NBA, he’s the vocal leader on and off the court and he’s their floor general.

Darren Collison, the backup point guard for the Clippers, will have to pick up some of the slack in Paul’s absence. Paul thinks the Clippers will be fine without him, but it’s doubtful that the Clippers will be able to fully make up for the impact that Paul has on the team on a daily basis.

Obviously, Paul’s injury doesn’t directly impact the Warriors at all, but how can the Warriors take advantage of Paul’s absence? The Warriors can’t control how the Clippers respond to Paul’s injury, but the Warriors can control what they do with this kind of opportunity.

The Warriors can start to secure a lead in the Pacific Division. Paul is expected to return before the NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans on February 16th, so, until then, the Warriors need to, proverbially, keep their feet on the gas pedal. They need to continue to play as dominantly as they are now, and most importantly, they need to continue to play stellar defense.

In addition, they need to ignore what the Clippers are doing. They need to focus on their own schedule and not worry about how the Clippers are playing.

The Warriors will only face the Clippers once during Paul’s absence. They face off at Oracle Arena on Jan. 30 and this will surely be an entertaining matchup that the Warriors should be able to win.

Dec 25, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors small forward Andre Iguodala (9) celebrates with point guard Stephen Curry (30) after drawing a charge for an offensive foul against Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul (3) during the second quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

With Paul out of that game, Stephen Curry should be able to dominate. Usually in Warriors-Clippers games, Paul and Curry go head-to-head in a feisty, competitive battle all game long.

Paul knows how to disrupt Curry’s shooting. Paul is quick so he can keep up with Curry and stay close to him, and he forces him into taking tough shots. With Paul out, Curry will be able to score more freely and also not have to worry about guarding Paul at times.

In addition to Curry potentially dominating in the Warriors’ next game against the Clippers, Curry will also be able to gain some ground in the NBA All-Star voting. In the second returns of NBA All-Star balloting for 2014, Curry received the third most votes out of all Western Conference guards, behind just Paul and Kobe Bryant.

Paul and Bryant will both miss a significant amount of time before the All-Star Game this year, so this is an incredible opportunity for Curry to not just make the All-Star team but to also potentially start the All-Star Game. Curry was snubbed from last year’s All-Star Game, so all Warriors fans would love to see him start for the Western Conference this year.

Russell Westbrook is also expected to be out until after the All-Star break after having his third knee surgery since April on Dec. 27. Because of the competitive nature of the Western Conference, it’s always difficult for guards to make the All-Star team, especially for the first time. However, with Paul, Bryant and Westbrook all out, it seems as if this will finally be the year that Curry will make the All-Star team and possibly start.

Paul’s injury doesn’t directly impact the Warriors, and his absence should not affect the Warriors’ play at all. His injury only affects the Warriors in the sense that they now have an opportunity to build a bigger lead in the Pacific Division.

With Paul’s injury, Curry also has an opportunity to finally go to and potentially start for the Western Conference in the 2014 All-Star Game. Both Curry and the Warriors need to take advantage of these opportunities.

LGW: Goin’ Back To M’Waukee: Andrew Bogut Squad 6 Was As Rowdy As Warriors’ #Roaracle

(Photo: Lance Iversen, The Chronicle)

(Photo: Lance Iversen, The Chronicle)

Andrew Bogut will return to Milwaukee today for the first time as an opponent since being traded to the Golden State Warriors on March 13, 2012.

Bogut was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the first overall pick in 2005.

Although his scoring has decreased since his Milwaukee tenure, he’s still showing how valuable he is to the Warriors as their defensive anchor.

Read the rest of the article on Let’s Go Warriors.