Warriors search for lineup options

By Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com

VIDEO: Clippers vs. Warriors: Game 4 preview

OAKLAND – The coach had something of a threat.

Mark Jackson, his team down 2-1 and unable to stand up to the Clippers in play or intensity, said Friday he was considering a change to the Warriors lineup for Game 4 on Sunday afternoon, hoping to find big men who will at least match the aggressiveness of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.

“I could make a change,” Jackson said. “I won’t say whether I will or with who. But it’s possible. We’ve got to figure out a way to present some resistance. I think things are going a little too smoothly right now for Blake.”

The starting power forward had a guarantee.

David Lee, given a quick hook by Jackson in the third quarter of Game 3 for defensive failings as Griffin asserted his will without a Golden State stand, took ownership of the showing and pledged a response in the matinee at Oracle Arena.

” … I know other guys guarded him, but to start the game, I need to set that tone,” Lee said. “I’ll be better on Sunday, I can promise you that. I can promise you he’s played two games in a row, but this series is not over. I’m a guy that’s going to keep battling, that’s for sure.”

The Warriors spent Thursday on adjustments, both strategic and mental, to at least slow Griffin (83 points in 93 minutes) and Jordan (averaging 15 rebounds a game). It’s not quite desperate times calling for desperate measures, but did Hilton Armstrong just come up as a possible solution?

Among the problems: Golden State doesn’t have many options. Injured center Andrew Bogut has yet to return to practice, let alone get close to game action. Lee is saying all the right things, but approach and attitude have never been the problem and he was saying all the right things a week ago before the Griffin avalanche started.

The splashiest adjustment would be a change to the lineup. Maybe Lee out and Draymond Green in. Green, after all, helped spark the comeback that fell short in Game 3. Maybe Jermaine O’Neal to the bench, Lee to center and Green elevated to starter that way. But something.

Something all the way to possibilities that could include Armstrong and/or Marreese Speights and maybe even Ognjen Kuzmic. They have six fouls each to spend, and Jackson needs someone who can so much as break Griffin’s rhythm. So there will be some thought given to reaching deep into the bench at a time when all options must be on the table.

“Some serious thought,” Jackson said. “Especially the fact that some of those guys are better defenders. So there’s some thought to it and we’ll figure it out and look forward to Sunday. There’s some serious thought to it.”

They wouldn’t be expected to stop Griffin, just lean on him a few times, maybe fall down and become a human speed bump. Something. Anything.

“It’s been strange because we’re winning the points in the paint battle and winning the rebounding battle, but it seems like I’m seeing the same you are, that we’re having trouble attacking DeAndre at the rim,” Lee said. “And obviously defensively [from by the Warriors], Blake and DeAndre both had a good Game 3. It’s something that we need to continue just to attack and get to the body.

“Whether we’re getting calls at the rim or not, we need to continue to attack and do a better job, whether it be a guard driving or one of the bigs being aggressive. We just need to continue to attack, attack, attack. I feel like we’re letting DeAndre, especially the last game, be too much of a presence in there and deter too much of what we’re doing. It wouldn’t be as much of an issue if we were making a bunch of jump shots. But I think at this point we need to attack first and go from there.”

Adjust first. Then attack.

17 Comments

  1. Corry says:

    Ezeli??? is he ready to go?

  2. rcast says:

    GO CLIPS

  3. ivica says:

    Blake is probably the third best player in the league, Sir Mark Jackson!

  4. It says:

    Blake is playing out of his mind and Deandre Jordan is closing out the paint, the L.A. Perimeter D is closing out on shooters and has the splash bros in check. Mark Jackson might want to hire a realtor.

  5. Savoir-Faire says:

    A team that lives by the three plays the #1 three point defense in the league and the results are quite predictable . The Warriors haven’t beat a good team in about 3 weeks prior to game one and still was not playing that well when the season ended despite feasting on non playoff teams . How can anyone forget Mozgov and Faried dominating them just over a week ago the same way Jordan and Griffith did last night and they had Bogut against the Nuggets .

    The Warriors are a playoff team no doubt but that team wont be going much farther in its current form.

  6. Gillsy says:

    I agree Bogut changes the complexity of the series. But Golden state are back to asking the same questions as they were last year. 1 What do we do with Barnes, he was ok as a starter but terrible of the bench and cant hit a barn door. 2 Lee isn’t really a premier power forward, really last year he got injured in the playoffs it didn’t really make any difference. 3 A new one, has Iggy been a success. Other than hitting a few buzzer beaters during the year has he warranted giving up some bench players like Jack to pay for his contract. I don’t know. Unless someone plays some defence on Griffin and the Splash Brothers find a way to get open looks it will be over quick. And Jackson I doing an ok job, but if they do fire him try to get someone better and loose the whole plot like Denver.

  7. Ginobili!!!! says:

    If Bogut was healthy the Warriors could win this series but once he got injured their playoff hopes went out the window. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mark Jackson loses his job. His motivational mumbo jumbo sounds good during some in game “wired” segment but wont win you playoff games. On another note I’ve been hearing a lot of praise for Blake Griffin this post season. He’s been going off and what not. But against who? Griffin’s going off against David Lee and i dont even know who else but i know they can’t play defense. Warriors lose in 6 and the Clips will get spanked in the next round by the Grizzlies.

  8. TJ says:

    The Warriors don’t have a chance

  9. Johnny says:

    The Warriors need to box out in the paint. Don’t wait for the ball to clank off the rim. Always get a body on Blake and Jordan even before the outside shooters get the shot off. Box out, get inside position. Rebounding is a game of position.

  10. nba finals says:

    Draymond Green does good jobe on BG.

  11. AK24 says:

    Hard to guard Griffin when just looking at him gets you a foul.

    • Caldron Pool says:

      Oh boo hoo. Plenty of fouls are getting called both ways. It’s just hard to guard Griffin without fouling him because he is good. Keep on hatin’.

    • Common Sense says:

      yeah..that’s just hating man. You can say that about every power forward in the business. If you actually watched the games you would know what actually happens. Refs can’t call every foul on Griffin because it happens too much. So they let it build up and build up and then they have to make a call and when they do, it may be a ticky tack foul or even a possible no call or 50/50 call, but trust me, it’s well deserved. It’s like Lebron and Shaq, they always get fouled, but eventually the refs have to blow the whistle