Tag: Hilton Armstrong

Aaron Craft

Warriors sign Aaron Craft to partially guaranteed contract


With a strong top eight players – Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, David Lee, Andrew Bogut, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes and Shaun Livingston – and a mandate to improve on last season’s playoff berth, the Warriors could use a little more back-end depth.

It hasn’t been a banner few days for Golden State’s reserves. Marreese Speights was arrested for DUI, and Nemanja Nedovic fractured his foot.

So, the Warriors will seek a boost from another source.

Diamond Leung of the San Jose Mercury News:

Undrafted point guard Aaron Craft signed a one-year, partially guaranteed contract with the Warriors on Wednesday after playing for their NBA Summer League team, according to agent Lance Young.

Golden State had only a minimum contract to offer, which is all the undrafted Craft could have commanded anyway. That partial guarantee is key, a real signal the Warriors plan to keep him. With Hilton Armstrong getting waived, they now have 14 players under contract.

Craft, who spent four years at Ohio State getting praised for his leadership, was a lockdown defender in college. But it’s unclear whether his clutching and grabbing will fly in the NBA and how well he can defend without those tactics.

The bigger question: Can Craft contribute at all offensively? He’s a notoriously shaky shooter, and at 6-foot-2, he needs to show point-guard skills he never did with the Buckeyes. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Craft spend a lot of time in the D-League, but fortunately for him, he’ll be doing so on an NBA salary.

NBA Playoff Preview: Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Clippers

Stephen Curry, Blake Griffin, David Lee, Chris Paul


Golden State Warriors: 51-3, six seed
Los Angeles Clippers: 57-25, three seed


Andrew Bogut, Golden State. He has a fractured rib that has him out indefinitely, certainly for the start of the series and, if reports of the severity of the injury are to be believed, likely all of it. This is bad for Golden State — their defense is two points per 100 possessions better when he plays (going from elite to just pretty good) and their offense improves by 4.5 per 100 when he plays. That’s 6.5 points per 100 better when he is on the court, and he will not be on the court. Their other starting four with Jermaine O’Neal playing for Bogut has looked good this season but only played 62 minutes together, and now Hilton Armstrong and Marreese Speights will need to have huge series for the Warriors to have a chance.

OFFENSE/DEFENSE RANKINGS (points per 100 possession)

Los Angeles Clippers: Offense 109.4 (1st in NBA), Defense 102.1 (7th in NBA)

Golden State Warriors: Offense 105.3 (12th in NBA), Defense 99.9 (3rd in NBA)


1) Can David Lee slow Blake Griffin? David Lee does not have the reputation of a defensive stopper. To put it kindly. Yet matched up on Blake Griffin this season he has had surprising success — Griffin has shot just 38 percent in the 21 minutes they were matched up this season (according to the NBA’s SportsVU camera data). Griffin had a breakout season, the kind of year that’s going to earn him some MVP votes (bottom couple spots on the ballot of five, but still). He needs to carry that over to the playoffs for the Clippers to be the contenders they think they are, if David Lee can neutralize him it would be huge for the Warriors. Also, Lee could see some time at the five if the Warriors try to go small ball on the Clippers for stretches and then his defense becomes even more important. Look for Draymond Green to get a lot of time on Griffin as well (especially if Lee struggles).

2) Warriors three point shooting vs. Clippers defense. The Clippers were the best team in the NBA at defending the three point line this season, allowing opponents to shoot just 33.2 percent (this was one of the biggest changes from the Vinny Del Negro era, the Clippers were 26th in the league last season). Yet Stephen Curry had success against the Clippers this season, hitting 17-of-29 (58.6 percent). With Bogut out and the Warriors playing more small ball (and their defense suffering because of it) Curry is going to need to be in video game mode, as is Klay Thompson, and they are going to have to rain threes as a team on the Clippers to win the series. They are capable of that for a game or two, but can they do it consistently?

3) Chris Paul vs. the world. Chris Paul is the best point guard in the game today, the best game manager yet a guy capable of taking over games, and he averaged 28 points a contest against the Warriors this season. He carved up the Warriors in their meetings, with Klay Thompson often drawing the defensive assignment. CP3 not only got around Thompson (a pretty good defender) but also got Thompson in foul trouble at times. Doc Rivers did a masterful job this season convincing Paul that the Clippers are better when he gives up the rock a little more and trusts his teammates to make plays, but this could be the exception to the rule — an aggressive Chris Paul could and should own this series.


Clippers in five. Maybe six, the Curry/Thompson combo can get hot for a couple games. This is going to be one of the most fun series to watch because there is real bad blood between these teams — expect one fight by Game 2. They hate each other, plus there is that whole Nor Cal/So Cal rivalry added in. With Bogut in the lineup the Warriors starting five gave the Clippers fits (+19.2 per 100 possessions), but the struggled without him this season and in this matchup (-15.9 per 100 when he sat vs. Clippers, via John Schuhmann of NBA.com). For the Warriors to have a chance they will need monster series from Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green — the small ball strategy is going to have to thrive. I just don’t think it will, not enough to win four of seven games. This is a series where one injury changes everything.

Bad news in Bay Area: Andrew Bogut out indefinitely with fractured rib

Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors

This is bad for the Warriors. Potentially very bad.

Golden State will be without starting center Andrew bogut indefinitely due to a fractured rib, the team confirmed Monday night before the team took on Minnesota in their penultimate game. (Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports tweeted it first.)

Bogut is out for the final two regular season games for sure and if and when he can return during the playoffs remains to be seen. But it does not sound like he will be back soon.

The injury appeared to occur from an inadvertent elbow from LaMarcus Aldridge during the Blazers win Sunday night.

When Andrew Bogut is on the court the Warriors allow 98.8 points per 100 possessions — the Warriors have the third best defense in the NBA this season largely because of him and Andre Iguodala (the Warriors allow 1.8 more per 100 when Bogut sits). More importantly Bogut’s post scoring and skilled passing out of the post boosts the Warriors offense 5.1 points per 100 possessions when he is on the court.

If the Warriors end up facing the Clippers in the first round of the playoffs (not a lock but likely) they would sorely miss Bogut in trying to defend DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin in the post.

This would mean a lot more Jermaine O’Neal for Golden State. With David Lee back at the four it could mean more Marresse Speights and some Hilton Armstrong.

But all of those guys are a big drop off from what Bogut brings. If he is out for the playoffs, or plays but is a shadow of himself, it’s hard to see Golden State getting out of the first round of the playoffs.

Report: Warriors’ Andrew Bogut out 4-7 days with hip injury, could be longer

Andrew Bogut, Blake Griffin

The Warriors need Andrew Bogut if they are going to get out of the first round. They outscore teams by 8 points per 100 possessions when he is on the court — he anchors their defense, which is a little better with him playing, but his presence in the paint also helps their offensive spacing (the Warriors offense is 4.8 points per 100 possession better with Bogut on the court).

Which is why the bruised pelvis he suffered Friday night, which led to an MRI on Saturday, had Warriors fans a little nervous.

The news could be worse, but it’s not ideal either, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports.

That means no Bogut Sunday against the Knicks. Golden State beat Memphis largely without Bogut and David Lee, a formula they need to continue for a while (Lee has a hamstring issue but should return in the coming days).

Expect to see more of Jermaine O’Neil and Draymond Green in the short term. The Warriors have signed Hilton Armstrong to a 10 day contract to add some depth up front for now.

The Warriors are in the middle of a battle for playoff position. They are currently the sixth seed, one game back of five seed Portland (who was slumping but got LaMarcus Aldridge back) and 1.5 up on seven seed Phoenix. They could use Bogut to try and climb the ladder, but more importantly is not to have this linger, to have Bogut healthy for the playoffs come mid April.

Tuesday And-1 links, or how Kevin Love = Bill Laimbeer

Kevin Love, Tim Duncan

Welcome to our morning look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT).

Lamar Odom thinks Kevin Love is the Bill Laimbeer for a new generation.

Dennis Rodman is going to coach a topless women’s basketball team in New York. I don’t even have a joke here.

Andre Miller and Ty Lawson are making a very nice backcourt tandem in Denver.

DeMarcus Cousins issued a statement saying he has never demanded a trade. Sacramento is a mess right now.

Great read about North Carolina high school legend JamesOn Curry trying to make it to the NBA.

The Rockets are about to send Marcus Morris to the D-League.

D.J. Mbenga, Hilton Armstrong, Solomon Jones and Dan Gadzuric were in working out for the Clippers, who want some depth at center. They chose Jones, who is expected to sign with the team soon.

An impressive list of the social media surrounding the entire NBA (players, writers, bloggers and more)

Amare Stoudemire may well be back with the Knicks Wednesday.

Break down the numbers and the NBA is color blind — ethnicity has no impact on winning.

Josh Smith is playing through swelling in the knee. He had 9 points on 12 shots against the Heat Monday.

Foster the people — Jeff Foster may make his Pacers return tonight.

Why Caron Butler is key for the Clippers this season.

Everyone loves Greg Stiemsma!

Looking back at the 2009 NBA draft — I still don’t get the Jonny Flynn pick.

Charlie Villanueva made his season debut for the Pistons on Monday. Hope you didn’t blink, you might have missed it. He played just 38 seconds.

Kirk Hinrich has surgery to remove a cyst from his shoulder and it will be another month before he will be back on the floor for the Hawks.

Kris Humphries is having an MRI on his knee and will not travel with the Nets to face the Celtics. He could be out for a little while.

Pape Sy is on his way back to France and will sign with Gravelines-Dunkerque.

RIP Jim Huber.