by Christian Liliedahl-Allen ( C-Train)

“Easy” EP… Eric Paschall!

please feel free to interact with/contact me on twitter : @christian97701

gmail: liliedahlallenc@gmail.com

How’s it going, Dubs fans? This hasn’t been the most… inspiring… season so far . The season has gotten off to a tank-ish start, but not only have some team members shown progress, but there are also very intriguing options for the future. First, I’m going to go over some general impressions of the season so far, then I will outline multiple ways in which the team can improve for the future.

Tidbits from the Warriors first 10 games :

Chase Center… I initially wrote a ridiculously long rant about how Warriors fans weren’t rocking the Chase Center, but after watching a few games, that would be a lie. The thing I love about Bay Area basketball fans is that they have a true passion and knowledge for the sport (and it shows). Growing up in the East Bay in the 80’s and 90's, my family didn’t really have disposable income. I watched every Warriors game on TV (usually at least once), but never got to go to a lot of games. The games that I did attend though, were memorable, because I always felt like I made friends. It was so cool to go to Warriors games; it’s like ,during the 90’s post-Webber trade days, Dubs fans were part of the freaking rebel alliance. It peripherally looks like the culture is still there at Chase, (despite the new location and higher ticket prices), and that really warms my heart.

Jordan Poole- Good effort and quick hands on defense, but my man, don’t be hesitant to shoot the rock immediately. Too many times, Poole gets caught in a no mans land of sorts; he would have an open jumper initially, but then would either hesitate or pump fake. You are here to shoot the ball, to exchange. Bottom line though, for every 2 to 3 missed jump shots in a row, he needs to drive to the hoop and either get a point blank look or draw a foul and gain momentum through his great ft shooting.

Steph- Get better, champ. I really hope Steph takes an extended leave of absence. I think he should be there for every game as a mentor, but man, rest and rejuvenate your body. Steph takes an awful lot of abuse, and he’s not the biggest of players.

Draymond- Mr. Green, Mr. Green… Draymond is really going to have to embrace his role as teacher on defense. Teams have done whatever they wanted against the Dubs. The miscues though, the wide open dunks time and time again… the onus is on you to lead that d and keep them engaged.

Paschall- My last article outlined how “Easy” EP ( and by the way, “Easy” is like, infinitely better than “Pachanimal” and you all know it) had a great drive from the wing to the key, complete with powerful jump stop that creates space. He has shown that , however still needs to finish more effectively. I believe that , sports science wise, if Eric goes glass on more of his shots instead of floaters to rim, the ball inherently has a greater chance of going in. Implementing this may be difficult, but this is something he could train . Bottom line is, work on that finish… or keep on getting to the line. His outside shot looks great. I hope he doesn’t put on any more weight ( I would love him to lose maybe 5–10 pounds). It’s not like he’s ever going to get pushed around; make it easier on your joints long term, young man!

Chriss- Go straight vertical with your hands when challenging the smaller player. He’s leaving his feet and giving away fouls. Definitely flashing though…

Spellman- I’m really rooting for him to break through. In my last article, I express that he essentially needs to be in playing shape; the trimmer, the better. He has clearly shown the ethic to slim down, and I truly believe he has the skill set and motor to hopefully become an effective role player for the Finals push next year.

Willie Caulie-Stein- I check out Willie’s social media once in a while ; it seems like he is putting the work in with regards to the physical side. He’s so tentative at times though, so indecisive. I think that the evidence can be found on film ; he has a tentativeness to his game that is really holding him back from being a force. From a person who has played and coached sport at the college and semi-professional level, I would seriously recommend he see a sports psychologist.

Ky Bowman- Based on my last article, I stand corrected Mr. Bowman, you’re an Oak. If Ky Bowman can continuously hit the jumper and pick up his man full court, he could absolutely be an UDFA steal.

D-Lo- Great offensive performances so far this year. That was never going to be an issue, however. D-Lo will always be able to get his, and is a fantastic and talented passer! I’m going to cut to the chase with D-Lo… I don’t think he is a fit long-term with the team for two reasons:

  1. His ball handling in Warriors offense doesn’t create gravity and slows down the motion offense. Part of the reason the Warriors offense has been so great over the last half decade is that when Steph had the ball, all defenders were keyed in on him. This allowed for easier buckets for other players. This is not the case with D-Lo; as a primary ball handler, he requires far less attention, allowing help defenders to play better off ball defense and thus mitigating Steph’s movement. This can’t happen; if there’ to be another “primary” ball handler and catalyst, they need to be able to move the ball, and push in transition, traits D-Lo lacks . It is far easier to score on defenses before they are set; with D-Lo, you aren’t going to get that.

Let’s try to be problem solvers, though. Without further adieu, here are some solutions that, come 2020-21, will greatly increase the Warriors chances of competing for a title.

When making a trade, there are many factors and variables that one needs to take into account. My man motto is “Get the best overall player”. Even if it entails giving up depth ( and I do understand that a big reason the Raps won last year was the Warriors lack of depth), you have to get the best overall player in the deal. Basketball has only 5 guys on the floor at a time. In an extremely competitive game, only 8 players may play in the entire game. The modern NBA is trending for one year vet deals ( akin to what the Lakers are doing right now), with players chasing rings at the end of their careers. I believe that the starting lineup needs to be the best humanely possible, and that one year veteran deals can be had for quality, plus bench vets . That, plus the addition of a possible trade with the TE received in the Igoudala trade. An example of vets that I’m talking about are : Gay, Ariza, Javale, Avery Bradley, Andre Igoudala, Tyson Chandler, Jared Dudley, Wesley Matthews, old men Vince Carter and Jamal Crawford (though their D right now is more than suspect) . With that said, here are some moves that would greatly improve the Warriors.

Moves that will improve the Warriors:

2. Ben Simmons- THIS, ladies and gentleman, THIS is my light-years move! Simmons is easily one of the most talented players in the NBA. His versatility and passing ability is top tier, as is his ability to get in the passing lanes. Defense is a key to the Warriors; it leads to easy buckets and is a catalyst for the Warriors lethal transition game. The lock down D to transition game is vital for the Dubs; Klay and Steph finding open threes through the transition game is what helped the Dubs go on those incredible third quarter runs they are now famous for. Simmons excels at playing at least above average defense ( he had 7 steals a few games ago) What is Simmons weakness? Shooting. This is perfect for the Warriors, as a healthy team has the Splash Brothers (with an emerging EP). Simmons proves to be an amazing catalyst with the ball, and is at his best when pushing the pace. Please reference the 3:45 minute mark in the video above; observe how not only the announcers comment about how Simmons thrives at a fast pace, but also look at him when he’s in the open floor! I love to watch possible trade target’s games when they play against the Dubs. When a player consistently beat the Dubs at their own transition game, I then look further into their skill-set to ascertain if their is a potential match. Not only does Simmons have the vision to hit players for wide open threes in transition, but also he is able to finish at the rim! His range, although not ideal, is the reason the Warriors would even be able to approach a buy-low situation. I remember the Warriors getting a former versatile guard-forward who played for the 76ers early in his career… I think that worked out well . I love that the naysayers of this deal talk about literally the ONLY THING he can’t do (shoot the 3). Surrounded by EP, Steph and Klay (like, two of the best shooters, ever), there’s plenty of room for Simmons! When Simmon’s shot isn’t falling, he’s still doing everything else ! What makes this deal viable is that D-Lo on the Sixers is a total fit! D-Lo with an Embiid/Horford pick and roll would easily be one of the deadliest in the league. Additionally, Simmons has been maligned by Sixers fans for his lack of deep range; D-Lo completely solves that problem, as D-Lo, Horford and Harris will give them a more versatile offense. For Simmons, I would offer a package that includes any player not named Steph, Klay and Dray. If I were the Warriors, I would break the bank asset wise to get Simmons (D-Lo, Looney, Poole, multiple first rounders). If the Warriors want to become perennial contenders again, they will get Ben Simmons. Next year, a MDK lineup of Steph, Klay, Simmons, Paschall and Dray would be lethal! If they were to re-acquire Igoudala and Javale… Now we’re talking ! Two tips: If the Warriors want to absolutely steal the day, offer multiple picks for Matisse (the beast) Thybulle. He averages like, 2 steals a game… in 15 minutes ! Lastly, if Ben wants to sink in the rear naked choke on a player, he has to get hooks in the legs (lol) !

3. Brandon Ingram- Ingram’s stock is definitely on the rise, and I fear the Warriors may have already missed out on the opportunity to get him ( with their hard-cap status, it’s not like they’ve been able to just, make moves). Ingram is, as Jim Barnett would put “looong”. He provides a little bit of everything, and has developed a mid-range game that, dare I say, could be KD-esque! . Please observe the 3:46 mark in the Pels-Rockets match-up; literally his ability to push (even without the ball) is what I’m talking about ! His ability to run the floor is what opens up the floor and lanes for others. Ingram would be deadly with the Splash Brothers, however I don’t see the Pelicans liking what we would have to offer ( D-Lo). The ONLY way I could see New Orleans trading Ingram for D-Lo and change is if they were sold on a D-Lo/ Zion pick and roll more than the current points that they have. I do question his defensive productivity, but unlike D-Lo, I don’t question his overall competitiveness on D.

4. Andre Drummond

I know… I know ! I actually initially put Drummond on my “Wouldn’t fit on the Warriors” list, but I actually sat down and watched extensive film on him and came away extremely impressed ! A couple of things really impressed me, including his passing ability, motor , hands and dexterity for a big. Check out the pass at the 1:22 moment in the video above… check that, just watch the video UNTIL the 1:30 minute mark. Drummond, time and time again, makes great, Bogut like passes. Igoudala has repeatedly talked about how teams more want to beat up the Dubs; most teams deem that strategy the real way to take down the Dubs. Imagine a lineup of Steph, Klay, Paschall, Dray and Drummond. That mix of personnel would not be easy to intimidate, regardless of who they are playing. Drummond also has amazing quick hands on defense, as well as providing elite level screen play with verticality on offense. I really didn’t think that I would like Drummond when I initially scouted him; after watching the footage of him, regardless of a relatively high usage rate to low fg% on offense… I was STILL incredibly impressed with him.

Players I don’t see as fitting in the Warriors system:

Aaron Gordon- I don’t know whether he’s put on too much muscle or what, but he looks bogged down in his play this year. Strong pass for me, even if they included Bamba ( who I really like). I really wanted to like Gordon, but he doesn’t move the needle enough… at all. Man… I soo wanted to like this Bay Area native… he’s like 24 and already lumbering (in my opinion) due to an overbuilt body… such a shame.

Steven Adams- Adams would provide a low post presence that hasn’t been there seen since Bogut. However, at his price tag, I don’t think he would see enough time on the court the way the Dubs like to run.

Kevin Knox- Unless the Warriors get something else in exchange for Knox, I don’t see the Warriors trading for him.

Andrew Wiggins- He shoots a lot (Wiggins loves his shots)… and misses, a lot. Wiggins has always had immense talent and potential; I don’t see him as necessarily value added when one takes into consideration defensive effort and a hefty contract.

Robert Covington- If the Warriors swing D-Lo for a Covington caliber of player, they are downgrading talent wise and shooting down, not up.

Players who are “probably” out of reach:

Joel Embiid- On name brand alone, Embiid is probably untouchable. I love the guy (I mean he was a soccer player) , but he really dominates the ball like Cousins. I’m not sure I’m down for that for this team.

Luka Doncic- Common sense… he is a bad, bad man!

Spicy P- I would LOVE Siakam on the Warriors. He would tie the room together like no other with Steph, Klay and Dray… No chance of getting him.

Jayson Tatum- With the signing of Kemba Walker ( along with Marcus Smart), the Celtics have no need for a D-Lo.

Finally, I’ve done some homework on draft prospects to watch, however… D-Lo, a healthy Looney ( I get he’s a Meyers and fan favorite), WCS , GR3 and Burke would definitely be on my short list of players to trade out for assets.

Bottom Line:

If the Warriors are able to acquire more size and defensive stability to add the Steph, Klay and Dray core , they have a very high probability of success, and vastly increases the chance of a championship run for the next three to five years.

Wait…. What about the DRAFT ?!? You didn’t actually think I would leave you hanging, do you ?! I’ve been able to watch at least two hours each of consensus (ESPN, DRAFTEXPRESS, NBADRAFT.NET) top players in the draft. So far, here are my top overall players,in order, that I would pick for the Warriors.

1 (a) Cole Anthony- Super! Sensational! Scintillating! In the words of a legend, Anthony is “ Awesome baby with a capital A!”. There are so many elements to Anthony’s game that I absolutely love; even though Steph is my favorite Bay Area athlete of all time, I would STILL draft Anthony above any other player if he is still on the board. Don’t listen to me though; let’s watch the tape ! The shots at the :25 and :45 second mark in the film above shows an amazing touch off the (high) glass. His activity on the boards shows an incredible engagement to all elements of the game; this is absolutely critical to me when scouting. Motor… the ability to play end to end at a consistent plus level, is critical when assembling a championship team. I also love the fact that Greg Anthony is his pops; he has a hard nosed, New York professional pedigree to his name ( this is essentially peripheral, but in the end, everything counts when evaluating talent). His one handed pass at the 1:45 mark was inch perfect and right in the pocket for the shooter. His inlet pass at the 2:59 mark is perfect, however I must add that his enthusiasm for another player scoring was almost as important to the play. His competitive edge creates a sustainable emotional contagion. The article below further illustrates how dynamic Cole Anthony is; it helps put a bow on his immense talent… The article speaks of how , AT AGE THREE, Anthony was inconsolable after barely losing a foot race to his neighbor… AN EIGHT YEAR OLD. When stress, pressure and tension arise at the highest level, I expect Anthony to do what he knows best… to do what he’s always done… compete with absolutely everything he has. That’s all I could ever ask for from a player.

1(b). Anthony Edwards- LORD ANTMAN! Second on my list is Anthony Edwards. If I were drafting Edwards, sure, I’d like it if were more on the 6'5'’ with a 6'10'’ wingspan side, when honestly it’s going to be an inch or two shorter. What I love about Edwards is that I believe he can successfully guard 3 positions in the NBA, and if he watches some Marcus Smart video, possibly four! This works perfect for the Warriors switching, chaotic defense (when they’re at their best). The first 2:00 in the video show a couple of great steals showing active hands. Look at his sequence that starts at the 2:10 mark… doesn’t matter that it’s against the Citadel… that works against anyone at any level…come on ! What class and talent at such a young age! Talent wise, there isn’t anything he can’t do on the floor. He’s the type of player that I think Draymond could actually really have an amazing influence on. I like his defensive potential, and offensively he’s just so freaking advanced ! I didn’t link the footage, but in his first college game he literally jumped from like a step inside the three point line and ended up at the rim. Good. Grief. Ant… freaking… man!

3. James Wiseman- I know, I know, Wiseman? At 3?! He probably won’t go lower than 2, however after watching a lot of footage, I cannot in good conscience rank him higher, and if I were the Warriors, I would absolutely draft one of the two higher ranked players above Wiseman… and I fully understand his ridiculous size and skill set. I wanted to like Wiseman even more than I already did. The play at the :10 mark is ridiculous! At 7'0'’, the handles and coordination are top notch ! Wiseman has shown the ability to dominate at the college level; he put up 28 points in his debut, and can pretty much be as good as he wants to be. The issue I see is with his effort. It bothers me that against Oregon he was indecisive. If he is as passive as he was for long spurts against Oregon, he will get decimated in those spurts in the NBA. That’s not to say that he isn’t an amazing player, but this is something that needs to be considered when making such a big investment. My buddies know a couple players on the Oregon team, and expressed to me that Oregon players weren’t overly impressed by Wiseman’s motor; he was easier to contain than they had imagined.

4. Deni Avdija- DENIIIII!!! I love Deni Avdija! What jumps out when watching Deni is his effort and fire. He has this competitive mindset; he’s the type of player that you could put in a starting lineup and know that your team is going to be plus with him on the floor. To me, it all starts with his defense. He is an amazing shot blocker/challenger off of the ball. Watching his footage in the FIBA U-20 championships, some of his weak side blocks legit reminded me low key of how KD would do it the Dubs championship years ( 1:00 into the tape above). He also runs really hard in transition, able to bring the ball up in transition with ease. His movement off the ball on offense reminds me a lot of Tyler Herro when I was scouting him last spring; that’s a compliment! He shows consistent movement on offense, which can really wear on defenses in time. I only rank him 4 because I have so much respect for Wiseman’s immense potential, but if I were a coach, and I had to win a big game right now, I would absolutely pick Deni over Wiseman. There’s a great ESPN article on him, talking about his competitiveness. Again, it’s not like I’m out here grading players solely on effort, but in the NBA, you need to assert your competitiveness on both sides of the ball; doing any less will turn you into a liability. Deni does turn the ball over at a higher clip that you’d want, but I’m actually not too worried about that; a lot of times he’s trying to do a little too much, and I don’t know if that’s necessarily a bad trait… it shows that he has belief.

Other players I watched film of-

LaMelo- I think that I may honestly suffer from Ball fatigue (lol). LaMelo doesn’t dig in on defense, something that I cannot get past. He does a good job on the boards and has good vision, but he isn’t amazing in transition (surprisingly). His shot is pretty funky, but so was Kevin Martin’s (although obviously Martin’s was more accurate). I hope he makes it in the league, but his lack on contact courage at the rim and inability to defend at a high level really hurt his chances of reaching the level of impact necessary to put the Dubs back in contention. I have coached for about 19 years (albeit soccer mostly) at the elementary, high school, collegiate, and semi professional level. Long story short, if a team is a family, that team needs to be in an incredibly strong situation to invite a Ball into that family. I would absolutely not take that risk. (With that said, watch the Spurs get him and somehow tear apart the league lol). His team is currently 2–8, he doesn’t D up, his shot doesn’t have a guide hand, and he doesn’t use the glass effectively.

Isaiah Stewart- He has one heck of a motor, that’s for sure. He get’s an A for on floor effort, however I actually think he’s already bordering on overbuilt. He’s athletic, but I see some fluidity issues to his game, (he can be clunky like Dampier was) especially on offense.

Random tidbits from around the league- (RANT WARNING, RANT WARNING!)

What the heck is this ?! You’re telling me… that the Warriors like, cheap skated their amazing trainer who kept the team healthy (for all intents and purposes) enough to make consistently deep playoff runs and championships? If this is true (if), shame on the Warriors… they are practically printing money at this point… come on gents! The real thing that gets to me is that their new trainer was a soccer guy and still cleared Durant to play ( I get it, he was cleared by multiple docs). Here’s the thing ( and I get that this is almost allegory at this point).Google a picture Kevin Durants feet. Take a long look… he has either falling arches, or pronation (a the least) that is apparent, as well as foot injury issues in his past. Having played college, semi-professional (and trained pro in South America) soccer, and having similar looking feet to Durant (eek , I know ) , I have had my share of lower body injuries. My former podiatrist (who is one of the best in Oregon and has worked with the Blazers in the past) would always tell me that I needed to rest twice as long as the doctor ordered with lower leg injuries. Long story short, with wonky ass long, flat feet, your achilles is prone to injury when faced with lower leg injuries. The past is the past, but as I have never really commented on the injury front. Also ( this is crazy past tense) I never talked about Michael Crabtree when he was having lower leg issues after having foot issues in college and early pros, and he tore his achilles as well. Long story short: if someone has messed up feet, the achilles (because of lack of elasticity generally) is the first thing to go when compromised with lower leg injury. KD was probably going to play regardless of doctor(s) approval(s), but I had to get that off of my chest…Rant Over. I am not a doctor.

Reporter: What do you think about your new “Space Jam” movie?!

LeBron: The Warriors were never my friends; I only lost to them when they cheated.


Lebron: Steph and Klay can’t really shoot; they’re phonies and took advantage of injuries to MY team.

Sure thing Bron. Clearly, he isn’t my favorite…

  • Steph was recently asked about his favorite movies ( or books, I can’t remember) He answered with “ The Count of Monte Cristo”. Good… GOOOOOOOD! Remember all the hate, all the naysayers. Then next year… Revenge.
  • The Broadcasting team- Does anyone think Kelenna sounds like Fitz when he’s excited ?! Wow, it’s like there are two Fitz’s now! That’s what we all wanted when they sent Jim Barnett to radio, I’m sure.

This is from 2014, when Embiid was still in college. This evidence that I know at least a (little) bit about scouting and projecting, as Embiid was definitely not the shoe in for #1 pick, and was far from being the NBA’s best center (I mean obviously if he’s still in college). For reference ( and please don’t contact or harass my friends, I don’t know how to blot out names) , my buddy has worked in the NBA and played pro ball.

Much love, and as always… GO WARRIORS!



SOU Grad. Lover of (Bay Area) Sports, Music and Movies!

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