It may take the Dubs all the way.
BTW this is a cut down holiday version from the sleepy fishing village of Toorbul, Queensland, Australia, the World. Not much is happening here and that is the way I like it. Back to the Dubs.
The Golden State Warriors are loaded this year! Mark Jackson took them to the playoffs in consecutive years and the powers that be deemed they could do better with first year coach Steve Kerr. Massive, massive call! They decided not to sell the farm (aka Klay Thompson + Harrison Barnes) for Kevin Love, a move which is paying immediate dividends. This has been the hallmark of their new owners. These are not your Father’s Dubs but they might just be your Grandfather’s Dubs. One of Kerr’s first moves was to recruit very experienced assistant coaches in Alvin Gentry and Ron Adams. So far, so good. Once he got his feet under the desk, he threw out Mark Jackson’s much maligned iso-heavy offence and installed a new offence which borrowed heavily from his playing days including the Triangle (learned under Phil Jackson in Chicago), increased ball movement (a nod to his time at the Spurs under Gregg Popovich) and getting out in transition at every opportunity (like Phoenix, for instance, where Kerr was GM from 2007 to 2010).
Another pertinent change is his early season game plan for Andre Iguodala. Fans of the Dubs will remember the promise shown by Harrison Barnes in the 2012/13 playoffs (his rookie season) especially after David Lee went down injured. Barnes made the most of his time with the first unit that season and most people thought he would make the Big Leap in the 2013/14 season, even after the recruitment of Andrew Iguodala, which forced Barnes into the role of scoring leader on the second unit. This never materialised with the second unit putting up fairly paltry numbers and many people questioned whether the regression of Barnes was an indicator of a lower than expected ceiling. With that conundrum to solve, Kerr has kicked off the season with Andre Iguodala starting on the bench as captain of the second unit. Andre Iguodala had hitherto started all 758 games of his rather distinguished NBA career so we are going to call that a Massive Call as well. Even though Iguodala is still finding his feet in that role (watch this space – he is way too good not to eventually dominate if his knees will let him), it is safe to say Barnes has thrived. Ditto Draymond Green in place of the injured David Lee.
What we have here is the million dollar question, especially in the NBA where only 5 people can get on court at one time. How will team chemistry play out? Does team chemistry even matter? Will Iguodala, Green or Lee take one for the team?
Team chemistry is an elusive thing and means different things to different people. For some people team chemistry means everyone gets along. For others team chemistry means the synergy between the complementary abilities players have leading to optimal performance. It can also mean whether players will accept the roles their coaches have for them, even if this results in lesser playing time.
I think team chemistry is like corporate governance. A business won’t be successful based only on sound corporate governance, however, poor corporate governance can eventually sink a company no matter how good its strategy, services or products are. Likewise, a team cannot be successful without top line talent, however, a lack of team chemistry can kill a team despite loads of talent. So can bad coaching and poor strategy come to think of it.
This Dubs have the talent. Whether they have the right coach, the right strategy and enough team chemistry to hold it all together, only time will tell.
I’m betting if the Dubs don’t win it all this year, they will come awfully close. I can only see injuries derailing them. If they don’t win this year then they probably have at least a 3 year window with the same core. They’re building a dynasty in Northern California.
What was sweeter than Jelly Bread?
- India are looking up for the challenge this season for their test series against Australia but they will be up against it in Australian conditions. Mitch Johnson will be menacing.
- The Kiwis are doing better than Australia in the UAE. Winning the toss and batting first helped but they almost levelled the series in the second test. They won’t be happy about losing the toss in this third test though.
- The All Blacks. Doing nothing to curb their early favouritism in the World Cup.
- Brisbane Roar. Sacking a premiership winning coach this early in the season is not a good sign.
- The Wallabies. Rebuilding and competing well in the Northern Hemisphere, however, the losses are mounting up. Michael Cheika must be given time to shape this team in his own image, however, I don’t know if there is enough time to mount a serious challenge in the World Cup.
EPL Tips Match Day 13
West Brom vs Arsenal – Arsenal 2-1
Burnley vs Aston Villa – Burnley 1-0
Liverpool vs Stoke – Liverpool 2-0
Man U vs Hull – Man U 3-0
QPR vs Leicester – Draw 1-1
Swansea vs Crystal Palace – Swansea 2-1
West Ham vs Newcastle – Draw 1-1
Sunderland vs Chelsea – Chelsea 3-1
Southampton vs Man City – Draw 1-1
Tottenham vs Everton – Draw 1-1
Match Day 14
Burnley vs Newcastle – Newcastle 1-0
Leicester vs Liverpool – Liverpool 1-0
Man U vs Stoke City – Man U 2-0
Swansea vs QPR – Swansea 2-0
Crystal Palace vs Aston Villa – Crystal Palace 1-0
West Brom vs West Ham – Draw 1-1
Arsenal vs Southampton – Arsenal 2-1
Chelsea vs Tottenham – Chelsea 3-1
Everton vs Hull – Everton 2-0
Sunderland vs Man City – Man City 2-0
I’ve adopted the scoring system utilised by Mark Lawrenson on the BBC (a correct result (picking a win, draw or defeat) is worth ONE point and picking an exact score THREE points) and even though he wouldn’t know me from Adam we are going head to head all season long. It’s on like Donkey Kong (unless I get a letter from his lawyer or Donkey Kong’s lawyer and then I’m tipping against myself again).
Last week – Me – 11 (5 from 10 with 3 perfect scores) and Lawro – 4 (4 from 10 with no perfect scores)
Season so far – Me – 93 and Lawro – 87 (Finally caught a break)
Fantasy Premier League
Transfer of the week
Mile Jedinak for Stewart Downing – This is really just an injury move. Half my team was struck down with the injury bug so had to pick the next best value for money purchase. Still will be struggling to field a team.
BTW is it just me or did everyone’s whole team get injured in one week.
My team this week
Forster (Southampton), Bertrand (Southampton), Ivanovic (Chelsea), Baines (Everton), Chadli (Spurs), Tadic (Southampton), Sanchez (Arsenal), Sigurdsson (Swansea), Jedinak (Crystal Palace), Berahino (WBA) and Aguero (Man City) with Jakupovic (Hull), Sakho (West Ham), Duff (Burnley) and Wisdom (WBA) on the bench.
659,925 from 3,367,429
Dropped 100,000 places just like that. Injuries are killing me.
Stay tuned for the next exciting episode on Thursday, 4 December 2014 titled ‘T20 the World Series Cricket of our generation’