A place for me to talk about San Francisco Bay Area sports.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Excitement returns to the Warriors

Wow, this is probably the first time I've been truly excited as a Warriors fan since probably when Webber was traded for in the trade (ironic that the player he was bypassed for, Shawn Bradley, has been working for Nelly for, like, 7 years now). Baron Davis had a great first outing for the Warriors and played basically a full game, 29 minutes, despite his Achilles' heel still not 100%. 10 points and 8 assists is not a bad start given that. He was 3-11 from the field (2-4 in 2-pointers and 1-7 in 3-pointers). Cabarkapa played 10 minutes and Biedrins even got 2 minutes. Foyle even contributed, 6 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocked shots in 35 minutes.

Hopefully, though wins are nice, figuring how how Davis works with the core group of players and developing key future players like Cabarkapa and Biedrins will be emphasized for the rest of the season despite Baron's desire to win and win now, as espoused in today's Merc. The Warriors are too far back to do anything anyway, so they may as well write off the season (and improve the odds of a high pick) and work on developing the team for next season.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

GSW: A Medical Term for What Has Happened to the Warriors Since Cohan Bought Them; Plus Royalty Comes to the Warriors

GSW. I recently was watching ER and realized that they were repeatedly saying GSW, which is the acronym that the Golden State Warriors have been using. It is also a medical synomym for what has happened to the Warriors since Cohan bought them: Gun Shot Wound. As in shooting yourself in the foot:

  • When Cohan bought the team via basically a hostile takeover, that conveniently disrupted Finnane's (I think, can't remember the other owner's name) negotiations with Webber for a long term contract.
  • Trading down from Chris Webber to Tom Gugliotta to Donyell Marshall to Danny Fortson to, what, Popeye Jones? to nothing.
  • Traded down from Tim Hardaway to Kevin Willis to nothing.
  • Traded down from Latrell Sprewell to John Starks, Chris Mills, and Terry Cummings to Billy Owens and Avery Johnson to nothing.
  • Losing a variety of other useful players and getting nothing in returnMoved down from Don Nelson to Dave Dwardzik to Gerry St. Jean

When will it end? I have been hopeful with Mullins (though I was rooting for Rick Barry to get either the GM or coaching job). He engineered a number of trades to clear out players and contracts and did a good job, I thought, with them. But then he signed Richardson, Murphy, and Foyle to those big contracts, plus Fisher. I liked the Murphy one, was hopeful on the Richardson one, not sure, could go either way, on the Fisher one, but, like most Warrior's fans, had a big "?" on the Foyle one, and so far that is how each has played out.

Now the big trade for Baron Davis. This one will either make or break Mully. I don't remember all the numbers but he pushes the Warriors way over the cap for the forseeable future, making it impossible for the Warriors to try to sign a low-post big man during that period (good-bye Yao-Ming...). However, there is a huge question over whether Baron will be healthy enough to fulfill the remaining 4 full seasons on his contract at a reported $63M (uninsured) since he has been hampered by a number of injuries over the past three seasons and hasn't appeared in many games this season (only 17 before the trade out of 54). Mully said that he expects a physical to allay his and the team's concerns about Baron's health but isn't that kind of late in the game to figure that out for sure? That's a $63M gamble.

But at least the Warriors got some buzz out of the trade and upgraded via a trade for once. And even got royalty (Baron :^). The Warriors at least will be interesting to watch over the rest of the season and hopefully they can figure out whether Dunleavy is worth keeping or if they need to trade him plus give Biedrins more playing time so that we can get a good look at how he plays. I hope the Warriors prioritize more on figuring out these two players (plus perhaps Zarko Cabarkapa) and fitting in Baron Davis than on winning.

I noticed that Baron's FG% is woefully under .400 this season and under that mark for the past two seasons, though his career figure of around .420 before then is no great shakes either. That got me thinking that he's not that great a shooter.

But then this got me to thinking about something that has bothered me since the 3-pointer began: why don't the stats look at a player's true shooting percentage? They always use the combined shooting percentage, blending in 3-point shots along with the normal shots. However, taking a results-based view, the 3-point shots are worth 50% more than normal shots. So shouldn't the player have instead an equivalent shooting percentage?

For example, let's take Baron Davis. If you take out all his 3-point shots, I see that his shooting percentage is not as bad as I thought: .456. His 3-point shooting percentage is .327, which is why his overall percentage is so low. If you adjust that percentage to account for 3 points instead of 2 points, the percentage is raised to .468 overall because the .327 is equivalent to a .491 shooting percentage for normal shots. Not great still, but not as lousy sounding as his .410 career shooting percentage. It is hard to compare player's shooting abilities looking at only the blended rate and not at either the two separated (.456/.327) or equivalent (.468).