Quick thoughts as basketball heads to the home stretch and baseball gets ready to begin…
The Warriors are the best shooting team in the league, the best 3-point shooting team in the league, and the highest scoring team in the league. Offense will NOT be the problem in winning another title.
The constant talk about the “bench” is almost comical. In the postseason, the Warriors will always have two of their All-Stars (Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Stephen Curry) on the floor with reserves. And some of those reserves are named David West, Andre Igoudola, Shaun Livingston and Jordan Bell. What contender has that type of depth? Exactly.
So if you want to be concerned for the Warriors, focus on a few things that matter: the first quarter beginnings have been very poor. Constantly giving up nearly 40 points and then digging out of a hole every game is a bad habit that cannot continue into the postseason. Better beginnings are an absolute must. The final 24 games will be a better gauge in how the Warriors rectify this trend.
Also, ONE of the following players have to start hitting wide open 3 pointers: Igoudola, Nick Young or Pat McCaw. In the postseason when the Warriors run a pick and roll at crunch time, teams will not leave Steph Curry or Klay Thompson or Kevin Durant. Draymond Green will likely be the decision maker with the ball. As the defense rotates to him he will either have a defender jump at him or he will have to finish at the rim. Teams will be playing 5 on 4 and daring a WIDE OPEN player in the corner to make a 3 pointer. Igoudola, Young or McCaw has to hit this shot on enough of a regular basis to stop this strategy. Another reason to pay attention to the final 24 games and see which of those players find a 3-point rhythm.
Can Houston, San Antonio, OKC, Boston, Toronto or Cleveland beat the Warriors 4 times in 10 days? I think that answer will become obvious.
Baseball wants to speed up the game? Try enforcing rule 8.04 that already EXISTS stating that the pitcher has 12 seconds to deliver the ball to home plate with the bases unoccupied. If not a ball shall be called. This rule is NEVER enforced.
Try computerized strike zones in spring training and find out just how much better an accurate strike zone makes the game. Get feedback from players, managers and fans. The strike zone and the inaccuracy behind the plate and the various umpire’s individual strike zones are the biggest issue in the sport. Just imagine if an NFL crew gave first downs at 9 yards or NBA refs made 3 pointers 26 feet in certain games. Ridiculous.
Baseball players are mad that almost 100 players are still free agents? Try joining the real world and have a salary cap and a salary FLOOR. The stupidity of the current system allows teams to have $200 million dollar payrolls and $60 million dollar payrolls. Shockingly, half the teams have no intention of winning and just don’t spend money and pocket the profits. Player compensation is approx. $4 billion. Divided by 30 teams that is $133 million per team. Make the max payroll $160 million, make the minimum team payroll $100 million. The players don’t take a dime less than they make now but the sport becomes much more competitive. And teams will win or lose based on how they manage payroll, draft, develop, manage and sign players. Sort of like the NFL, the NBA and the NHL. New York competes with Green Bay and San Antonio can compete with LA. It isn’t just the checkbook in every other professional sport. Time for baseball to figure it out.