1980-81 Golden State Warriors Games Played/Started & Trnscs.

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1980-81 Golden State Warriors Games Played/Started & Trnscs.

Postby MCT » Fri Apr 29, 2016 2:13 pm

This is the 18th of a series of threads analyzing games played, games started and transactions for the 1980-81 season. Before reading any further, see the introductory thread below:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4961

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS – PART I

SEASON OVERVIEW

The Warriors had a 39-43 record. They finished fourth out of six teams in the Pacific Division, and seventh out of twelve teams in the Western Conference overall. The Warriors did not make the playoffs. They were the first team not to make the cut, one game behind the last two playoff qualifiers.

The Warriors used 17 different players for the season, six above the minimum.

ROSTER AND TRANSACTIONS

OPENING NIGHT ROSTER

*Tom Abernethy
Rickey Brown
Joe Barry Carroll
Lloyd Free
Bernard King
John Lucas
Sonny Parker
Clifford Ray
Robert Reid
Lorenzo Romar
Purvis Short
Larry Smith
*Rudy White

*placed on injured list 10/9/80

IN-SEASON TRANSACTIONS

In the list below, anything which is underlined is the subject of discrepancies or guesswork, or is the result of further research beyond my usual sources.

10/20/80 – Activated Rudy White from the injured list; placed Lorenzo Romar on the injured list.

11/3/80 – Activated Tom Abernethy from the injured list; traded Rudy White to the Sonics for future considerations.

12/12/80 – Activated Lorenzo Romar from the injured list; waived Tom Abernethy.

1/21/81 – Placed Clifford Ray on the injured list; signed Phil Chenier to a 10-day contract.

1/29/81 – Activated Clifford Ray from the injured list; placed Rickey Brown on the injured list.

1/30/81 – Signed Phil Chenier to a second 10-day contract.

2/8/81 – Signed Phil Chenier for the remainder of the season.

2/12/81 – Placed Phil Chenier on the injured list; signed Joe Hassett to a contract for the remainder of the season.

2/26/81 – Placed Lloyd Free on the injured list; signed William Mayfield to a 10-day contract; waived Phil Chenier.

3/9/81 – Signed William Mayfield to a second 10-day contract.

3/18/81 – Suspended John Lucas for the remainder of the season.

3/19/81 – Signed John Mengelt as a free agent.

3/21/81 – Activated Lloyd Free from the injured list.

NOTES/DISCREPANCIES

Injured list transactions:

10/9/80: Abernethy and White placed on the IL, the day before the start of the regular season. This was in the transaction column in the following day’s Globe, and is also in several other newspapers in the Google News Archive.

10/20/80: White activated, Romar on IL. This was not in any of my usual sources, including the Globe. The Google News Archive however has one paper reporting both moves in its transaction column on 10/21, the Ocala (Fla.) Star-Banner. In addition, the transaction column in the 10/21 St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times (also in the Google News Archive) reports White being activated, although it does not mention Romar being placed on the IL. This move occurred following the Warriors’ fifth game of the season, which was the earliest a player who started the season on IL could be activated.

11/3/80: White traded, Abernethy activated. I have no documentation of Abernethy being activated, but by all appearances this must have been done on or shortly after 11/3, to fill the roster spot that opened up when White was traded to the Sonics on that date. Abernethy, who had started the season on the IL, made his first appearance of the season on 11/8, which was the Warriors’ second game after 11/3. White’s trade was reported in the transactions column in the following day’s Globe, and is also in a number of other newspapers in the Google News Archive, but none of these media sources indicate what the Warriors did to fill the roster spot. This move reduced the number of players on the Warriors’ injured list from two to one (Romar).

12/12/80: Abernethy waived, Romar activated. This was in the transaction column in the following day’s Globe. This got the Warriors down to just an 11-man active roster, with no one on the injured list.

1/21/81: Ray on IL, Chenier signed. This was in the transaction column in the following day’s Globe, and is also in several other newspapers in the Google News Archive. From this point through the end of the season, the Warriors would always have at least one player on IL.

1/29/81: Ray activated, Brown on IL. I have no documentation of these transactions, but these moves must have been made on or about this date. Ray, who had been placed on the IL on 1/21, has to have been activated in between the games on 1/28 and 1/29. He could not have been activated before the completion of the game on 1/28, because that was the fifth game since he had been placed on the IL, which was the minimum stay; he must have been activated before the game on 1/29, because he played in that game. By all appearances, the Warriors made room for Ray by placing Brown on the IL (every other player on the roster appeared in either the game on 1/29, or the next one after that). While I have no documentation of Brown being on the IL, after 1/21 he does not appear in any TSN box scores for the remainder of the season. The only source I found explicitly stating that Brown was injured is a game report in the 2/11/81 Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald covering the previous night’s Warriors-Hawks game. The report, which I found in the Google News Archive, mentions that Brown was “out after knee surgery”.

2/12/81: Chenier on IL, Hassett signed. Hassett signing with the Warriors on this date is well-documented, but my source for Chenier being placed on the IL is articles in two 2/13 newspapers in the Google News Archive, probably sourced from different wire service reports. Both articles are primarily concerned with Hassett’s signing but also mention that Chenier was placed on the IL (Chenier did not appear in any games after 2/7). One article, from the Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald, states “Phil Chenier, who was injured Sunday [2/8], was placed on the injured list”. The other article, an AP wire service story from the Spokane (Wash.) Spokesman-Review, states that Hassett “replaces Phil Chenier, who suffered a hamstring injury Sunday [2/8] and has been placed on the injured list for the remainder of the season.” This move increased the number of players on the Warriors’ injured list from one to two. The transaction column in the 2/13 Globe reported the Warriors signing Hassett but did not mention Chenier being placed on the IL.

2/26/81: Free on IL, Mayfield signed. Mayfield signing with the Warriors on this date is well-documented, but my source for Free being placed on the IL is articles in two newspapers in the Google News Archive, a transaction column in the 2/26 Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News and a UPI wire service story in the 2/27 Lodi (Ca.) News-Sentinel. Free had been out of action since injuring his hand in a collision with the Kings’ Phil Ford in a game on 2/22, as reported in several newspapers in the Google News Archive (Ford was also injured in the incident, and would miss the remainder of the regular season and the first two rounds of the playoffs as a result). Note that the transaction column in the Tuscaloosa News, which reported both Mayfield’s signing and Free’s placement on the IL, was in the 2/26 issue. This would suggest that these moves were made on 2/25. Other sources show both Mayfield’s signing and the possibly related waiving of Phil Chenier as occurring on 2/26, however. The article in the News-Sentinel also describes Mayfield’s signing as having happened on “Thursday”, which would be 2/26. Based on that, I am sticking with 2/26 as the date for both moves. But if they happened on 2/26, how could they have gotten into a 2/26 paper? I don’t have an answer. One possibility is that the News was an afternoon paper, but I have been unable to verify that. The Globe reported the Warriors signing Mayfield in its 2/27 transaction column, but the column did not mention Free being placed on the IL.

3/21/81: Free activated, filling the roster slot opened up by the expiration of Mayfield’s second 10-contract. I have no documentation of Free being activated from the IL, but he must have been, on or shortly before this date. Free, who had not played since 2/22 and had been on the IL since 2/27, has to have been activated on 3/19, 3/20, or 3/21. He could not have been activated before the completion of the game on 3/19, because that was the final game Mayfield appeared in (he had signed his second 10-day contract on 3/9, exactly ten days earlier); he must have been activated before the Warriors’ next game, on 3/21, because he played in that game. I’ll guess 3/21.

Rudy White:

Modern reference sources show that the Warriors traded White to the Sonics for a 1981 4th round pick, but articles and transactions columns in several 11/4/80 newspapers in the Google News Archive show that White was traded for “future considerations”. What the Warriors would receive for White may have been contingent on how long he stuck with the Sonics (the Sonics released White in December, and he never played in the NBA again after that). The 1981-82 NBA Register, published just a few months after the 1980-81 season ended, was already showing the 1981 4th round pick, so the determination had been made by then.

The transactions columns in several 11/4 newspapers in the Google News Archive report White both being traded from the Warriors to the Sonics, and signing a one-year contract with the Sonics. I assume that the Sonics signed him to a new contract upon acquiring him. Confusingly, however, several papers in the Google News Archive have an AP wire service story on the 11/3/80 Sonics-Cavaliers game which report White being “signed” earlier in the day, with no mention that he was first acquired from the Warriors in a trade. A reader unaware of the earlier transaction might assume that White had been signed as a free agent after having been waived by his previous team. Along similar lines, the transaction column in the 11/4 Globe included White signing with the Sonics, but not being traded there from the Warriors.

Phil Chenier:

Chenier originally joined the Warriors by signing a 10-day contract on 1/21/81. This is reported in numerous sources, including the transactions columns in the 1/22 Globe and in several other 1/22 newspapers in the Google News Archive. The NBA Register simply shows Chenier signing outright with the Warriors on 1/21/81, with no mention of it being a 10-day deal, but as we’ve discussed in previous installments in this series, the Register typically wrote things up that way whenever a player who initially joined a team on a 10-day deal stuck around for longer than that (which Chenier ultimately did). The Register shouldn’t be read as inconsistent with other sources that show a 10-day contract.

The Warriors Media Guide reports that Chenier signed a second 10-day contract on 1/30/81. pst.com also has this, although it was probably sourced from the Warriors Media Guide. b-r.com reports that Chenier’s signing on 1/21 was to “the first of two 10-day contracts”, but it doesn’t show a date for the second one. Other sources are silent on the matter; there was nothing in the Globe transactions column, and I couldn’t find anything in the Google News Archive either. Chenier obviously signed some type of new contract once his initial 10-day deal expired, because he continues appearing in box scores beyond that point.

Since Chenier apparently continued with the team beyond the point when a second 10-day contract would have expired, he must have signed another contract at that point, although I can find no documentation of this. It could have been a contract for the remainder of the season, or a regular free agent contract. Lacking any better information, I am taking a guess that Chenier signed for the remainder of the season on 2/8.

Several sources show Chenier being waived by the Warriors on 2/26, including the NBA Register, b-r.com, pst.com, and the Warriors Media Guide. Somewhat oddly, I cannot find this in any contemporary media sources. There was nothing in the Globe transactions column, and I couldn’t find anything in the Google News Archive either. This happened on the same day the Warriors signed William Mayfield and placed Lloyd Free on the injured list, but media reports of those transactions that I have seen make no mention of Chenier.

There are two things about Chenier’s 1980-81 transaction history, as outlined above, that are a bit odd. First, an article cited earlier in the discussion of injured list transactions indicates that Chenier suffered a hamstring injury on 2/8, and he doesn’t appear to have played in any games after that. Articles reporting on Joe Hassett’s signing on 2/12 suggest that Chenier had been declared out for the season by that time; Chenier was placed on the IL when Hassett was signed. If the Warriors signed Chenier to a contract for the remainder of the season (or longer) following the expiration of his second 10-day contract, that signing would have taken place right around the same time as Chenier’s injury. That timing is odd. I assume that the Warriors wouldn’t have signed Chenier to a new contract if they knew he was out for the season. Did he sign the contract right before he got hurt, or perhaps right after, but before its severity was understood? Had the Warriors signed Chenier to a new contract earlier, before his second 10-day contract even ran out? Are the sources showing Chenier signing a second 10-day contract wrong, and he actually went right from his first 10-day contract into a contract for the remainder of the season?

Second, why did the Warriors waive Chenier on 2/26? They had known he was out for the season at least as far back as 2/12. He was presumably no more unable to play on 2/26 than he was on 2/12. The contract guarantee-deadline for the season had long since passed, so waiving him wouldn’t have saved the team any money. In addition, I have found reports indicating that Chenier was back in training camp with the Warriors in the fall of 1981 (he was cut before the start of the regular season). So the Warriors waived him in February, then brought him back again during the off-season. Why bother waiving him in the first place?

I can offer a theory, which was mentioned in the introductory thread to this series. Prior to the NBA-ABA merger, teams were allowed to have two players on the injured list. For the 1976-77 season, this was increased to three. When I first began studying 1980-81 transactions, I was under the impression that the limit had remained three for as long as the injured list existed. (The injured list was replaced by the inactive list in 2005, but even today, the most players a team can have on its inactive list is three.) As I began working through 1980-81 transactions, however, I noticed that no team seemed to ever have more than two players on the injured list simultaneously. I wondered if the IL limit was reduced to two at some point during the period when the size of active rosters was reduced from 12 to 11. I checked the Google News Archive to see if I could find a contemporary media report confirming what the limit was in 1980-81, but came up empty. I did find evidence suggesting that the IL limit was three during the other seasons when the 11-man active roster limit was effect, so if it really was cut back to two in 1980-81, it may have been a one-year thing.

I eventually found one team that briefly had three players on their IL simultaneously during the 1980-81 season. That team was the Bullets, for a 10-day period in January. While that arguably disproves my theory that the IL limit was two, they remain the only team I’ve come across with three players on the IL at the same time, which I find very odd. Other teams started the season with two players stashed on IL, but none with three. Other teams with two players already on the IL appear to have had a third player get injured, but none of them ever placed a third player on the IL and signed a replacement.

Today, the NBA will sometimes grant hardship roster exemptions to teams who suffer a rash of injuries, allowing them to temporarily carry an extra player. Is it possible that this process existed back in 1980-81, and the Bullets were carrying three players on their IL because they had such a hardship exemption? I have no documentation that this is what happened, but it would make a certain amount of sense. Of the two players the Bullets had on the injured list to begin with, one would miss the rest of the season (Carlos Terry), while the other would not return until March (Bob Dandridge). In addition, in an era when teams typically carried only two players whose primary position was center, both the Bullets’ regular starting center (Wes Unseld) and the player who would typically start at center if he was unable to (Rick Mahorn) appear to have been injured. The Bullets also carried three players on their IL for ten days, which is consistent with modern procedure, where the NBA will typically issue exemptions for a period of ten days.

What does this have to do with Phil Chenier? If the IL limit was in fact two, that would explain why the Warriors waived him on 2/26. On the same day, they placed Lloyd Free on the injured list and signed William Mayfield to a 10-day contract to replace him, but they already had two players on the IL (Chenier and Ricky Brown). If they were only allowed to have two players on the IL, they would have needed to dump one of the two players who were already on IL in order to make room for Free. In that scenario, waiving Chenier suddenly makes a lot of sense. He wasn’t going to be able to play for the remainder of the current season. His contract was guaranteed for the remainder of the season, but he was probably owed little or no guaranteed money beyond that. His future value to the Warriors (either as a player or as a trade/free agency asset) was minimal. That Chenier could be released with little downside may have played a role in the Warriors deciding to place Free on the IL and sign a replacement to a 10-day contract in the first place. If both of the players already on the IL were too valuable to release, the Warriors may not have placed Free on the IL, instead playing shorthanded while he was out. This is presumably the situation faced by other teams who had a third player get injured while they already had two players on the IL, explaining why those teams didn’t place the newly injured player on IL and sign a replacement.

If the IL limit was three, on the other hand, that leaves us back where we started; I don’t see any obvious reason why the Warriors decided to waive Chenier when they did.

In any event, it would be nice to find some media articles to nail down exactly what types of contracts Chenier signed with the Warriors, when he signed them, and why the Warriors ultimately waived him.

Joe Hassett:

It seems pretty clear that, when Hassett signed with the Warriors on 2/12/81, it was to a contract for the remainder of the season. This is indicated in the Warriors Media Guide, pst.com, b-r.com, the transactions column in the 2/13 Globe, and articles in the Google News Archive in two different 2/13 newspapers, the Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald and Spokane (Wash.) Spokesman-Review.

The NBA Register simply shows Hassett signing on that date “as a free agent”, with no mention of it being a contract for the remainder of the season. Taken at face value, this makes it sound like he had signed a regular free agent contract, not a contract for the remainder of the season. We’ve previously seen that when a player who initially joined a team on a 10-day deal stuck around for the remainder of the season, the Register shows the player signing as a free agent on the date of his initial signing, with no mention of it being a 10-day deal or of any subsequent 10-day/remainder-of-season contracts. Showing Hassett signing “as a free agent” on 2/12 is probably just a variation of the same policy, and shouldn’t be read as inconsistent with other sources that show a contract for the remainder of the season.

Even if his initial contract was only for the remainder of the season, Hassett must have re-signed with the Warriors during the 1981 offseason, because he would be back with the team in 1981-82. As I understand NBA free agency rules in this era, the Warriors would have held a right of first refusal over Hassett following the 1980-81 season. This may have made it difficult for him to go elsewhere, even if he wanted to, if the Warriors wanted him back.

William Mayfield:

It seems pretty clear that, when Mayfield signed with the Warriors on 2/26/81, it was to a 10-day contract. This is indicated in the Warriors Media Guide, pst.com, the transactions column in the 2/27 Globe, and a UPI wire service story in the Google News Archive from the 2/27 Lodi (Ca.) News-Sentinel.

The Warriors Media Guide reports that Mayfield signed a second 10-day contract on 3/9/81. The only other source I can find this reported in is pst.com, which likely sourced it from the Warriors Media Guide. There was nothing in the Globe transactions column, and I couldn’t find anything in the Google News Archive. It would make sense that Mayfield signed a second 10-day deal, though, because he continues to appear in box scores beyond the point where the first 10-day deal would have expired.

The NBA Register’s handling of Mayfield’s stint with the Warriors features a few oddities. First, there is no mention of what he signed being a 10-day contract, no mention of a subsequent contract, and no indication that Mayfield subsequently left, implying that he was with the team through the end of the season. As we’ve seen previously, this is how Registers from this era typically handled things when a player initially joined a team on a 10-day deal but was eventually signed for the remainder of the season. From the sources that we’ve already looked at, though, we’ve seen no indication that Mayfield was ever signed for anything beyond two 10-day contracts. Further, all of the games Mayfield appeared in were within a period of approximately 20 days from when he signed his first 10-day contract, and the player he replaced (Lloyd Free) returned to action just a few days later, leaving no room for Mayfield on the active roster. Why would the Warriors have then signed Mayfield to a longer-term contract? It’s also worth noting that we’ve encountered one previous case where the NBA Register wrote up a player this way, but it was clear from other evidence that the Register was wrong, and that the player had only been with the team for a pair of 10-day contracts (Gus Gerard with the Spurs). Maybe the same thing is happening here with Mayfield.

On the other hand, while we have no other source indicating that Mayfield remained with the Warriors beyond the two 10-day deals, we don’t have any source explicitly stating that he didn’t. Under similar circumstances, the Blazers signed Geoff Crompton to a “multiyear” contract, and appear to have stashed him on the injured list. They presumably did this as insurance against the player Crompton had been filling in for getting hurt again, and to keep Crompton under contract for at least the next season’s training camp. Could the Warriors have done something similar with Mayfield?

For the 1980-81, 1981-82 and 1982-83 seasons, the team-by-team statistics in the annual NBA Guide designated players who didn’t finish the season with a team by placing an asterisk before the player’s name. (While this convention was dropped after 1983, the asterisks remained in the stats for these seasons until the NBA Guide was reformatted around 1992. If you crack open an NBA Guide from that era, and flip to the stats for one of these three seasons, you’ll see the asterisks.) I checked the 1981-82 NBA Guide, and Mayfield’s name doesn’t have an asterisk in front of it, indicating that he finished the season with the team. For what it’s worth, though, Mayfield is absent from the Warriors team roster published in the Guide, which probably reflects the offseason roster as of late August or early September. That goes against the “sign and stash” theory. In addition, John Lucas’ name has an asterisk before it in the 1980-81 stats, which isn’t really accurate, as he was still with the team at the end of the 1980-81 season. He was suspended at the time, which may be why the editors of the Guide gave him the asterisk, but this raises the possibility that Mayfield and Lucas may have gotten mixed up.

One additional note on the Register: it doesn’t state that Mayfield “signed as a free agent” on 2/26, as you might expect, but that he “re-signed”. Not “re-signed…as a free agent”, just “re-signed”. The previous line in his transaction history shows him being waived by the Warriors in the preseason, so the term “re-signed” is apparently a reference to the Warriors then bringing him back and signing him a second time. I understand the logic behind using the term “re-signed”, but the Register did not typically write up transactions this way. A player who is waived by a team and subsequently signed again is usually shown to have “signed…as a free agent”, not “re-signed”.

b-r.com shows Mayfield signing “as a free agent” on 2/26, with no subsequent transactions. This implies that he signed a regular free agent contract on that date, and remained with the team through the end of the season. This is likely based on an interpretation of the information in the NBA Register.

That’s all as clear as mud. I am writing Mayfield up as having been with the Warriors only on two 10-day contracts, then being let go, because I think that’s the most likely scenario. There is some doubt in my mind as to whether we really know that’s accurate, however, and exactly what happened could certainly stand to be nailed down better.

John Lucas/John Mengelt:

The Warriors suspended Lucas for the remainder of the season on 3/18/81. This was in the transactions column in the 3/19 Globe, and is reported in several 3/19 newspapers in the Google News Archive. Lucas was suspended because he had been absent without permission on six different occasions. It isn’t clear to me if he had been absent from six games, or if some of his absences may have been from other team activities like practices on non-game days. By my count, at the time he was suspended, there had been eight games Lucas had not played in. It is well known today that Lucas battled substance abuse issues for years. That may have been what was going on here, but none of the articles mention any explanation for Lucas’ repeated absences.

I’m not sure how things worked in 1980-81 as far as a team’s ability to replace a suspended player on their active roster. According to Larry Coon’s Salary Cap FAQ, the current rule is that a player suspended by his team may be transferred to the Suspended List after three games, if he is suspended for four or more games, while a player who is suspended by the league may be transferred to the Suspended List after his fifth game, if he is suspended for six or more games. (Players suspended by their team may be moved to the inactive list, while players suspended by the league but not yet eligible to go on the Suspended List must remain on the active roster, forcing the team to play a man short.) The rule must have been different in 1980-81, because the Warriors were able to replace Lucas on their active roster after a gap of no more than one game. Media articles indicate that Lucas’ suspension was announced just before the start of the game on 3/18, and the team signed John Mengelt as a replacement in time for their next game the following day. The Warriors used 11 players in that game, including all of the players who had been on the active roster aside from Lucas, so Mengelt has to have taken Lucas’ roster spot. I assume that Lucas was moved to the Suspended List, although I haven’t seen anything explicitly saying that, just that he was “suspended”.

The NBA Register and b-r.com both show Mengelt signing as a free agent on 3/19/81, then being waived on 4/1/81, a few days after the season ended. pst.com shows Mengelt signing on the same date, but to a contract for the remainder of the season, and makes no mention of him being waived after the season. The Warriors Media Guide also shows Mengelt signing for the remainder of the season, with no subsequent waiver transaction, but has the date of the signing as 3/18. Mengelt’s signing was in the Globe transactions column in the 3/20 issue, suggesting a 3/19 date, but did not specify what type of contract Mengelt was signed to (just that he was “signed”). I couldn’t find anything at all in the Google News Archives.

Which of these sets of information is right? Who knows. For the date, I’ll go with 3/19. I don’t usually worry too much about one-day discrepancies in dates, but 3/19 intuitively makes more sense to me. From media reports of Lucas’s suspension, it’s clear that his suspension was announced shortly before the start of the game on 3/18, so if the Warriors signed Mengelt on 3/18, it had to be after game time (3/18 was a Tuesday, and the game was played on the West Coast, in Oakland). It’s not impossible that it happened on 3/18, but 3/19 seems more likely.

As for the type of contract, given how little time was left in the season, a contract for the remainder of the season would have made sense. But I could also see the Warriors signing Mengelt to a non-guaranteed contract that extended into 1981-82, allowing them the option to bring him back to training camp in the fall if they liked what they saw, then waiving him after they didn’t like what they saw. I’m going to write this up the way the NBA Register and b-r.com have them – note that b-r.com likely sourced this from the Register – due to the inclusion of the waiver transaction on 4/1. I don’t understand why anyone would have fabricated that transaction, and if that transaction is accurate, the contract that Mengelt signed must have been a regular free agent contract (it wouldn’t make any sense for Mengelt to be waived from a contract for the remainder of the season on 4/1, because the season was already over). It just seems like too much of a coincidence that all of that fits together. The “remainder of the season” reports, by contrast, could have been written by someone who just assumed that, given that Mengelt signed so late in the season and never played for the Warriors again. As I said earlier, though, who knows? Exactly what happened could certainly stand to be nailed down better.

GAMES STARTED INFO

MEDIA GUIDE

As far as I can see, the 2014-15 Warriors Media Guide has no games started information for the 1980-81 season. In the history section, games started information only goes back as far as the 1992-93 season. So for the 1980-81 Warriors, we will need to rely solely on the TSN box scores.

TSN BOX SCORES

Every TSN box score for the 1980-81 Warriors appears to list the players in “starters first” F-F-C-G-G order. This is the only the third team we’ve encountered where this has been the case.

NOTES/DISCREPANCIES

From the TSN box scores, I am getting the following games started totals for the season:

Carroll 80
King 79
Smith 70
Free 63
Lucas 57
Short 33
Reid 11
Romar 8
Parker 5
Brown 2
Ray 2

As with the other teams for which we have no media guide numbers, I’m pretty confident that the games started numbers I’m coming up with are at least good estimates. But without media guide numbers to compare to, it’s hard to hold my games started numbers out as exact.
Last edited by MCT on Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:11 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: 1980-81 Golden State Warriors Games Played/Started & Trn

Postby MCT » Fri Apr 29, 2016 2:22 pm

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS – PART II

PLAYER INFORMATION

Players are listed based on a snapshot as of mid-to-late February, after Joe Hassett was signed and before Lloyd Free went out with an injury.

The most marginal snapshot candidate here is Hassett, who wasn’t signed until February 12. But the roster spot he occupied was previously held by Phil Chenier, who played in only nine games, and Rickey Brown, who made no appearances after January, apparently due to injury. They aren’t exactly great candidates, either. As late as February 12 sounds, it’s no worse than a player acquired at the trade deadline. Hassett also quickly established himself as a rotation player for the Warriors, appearing in every game from 2/14 on and averaging over 18 minutes a game. And if you take into account the games Hassett played in for the Mavericks earlier in the season, he appeared in 41 games, which is half the schedule.

Note that, due to Free missing a lot of time towards the end of the season, there weren’t actually very many games that this 11-man roster was together for. By my count, there were only eight games that both Free and Hassett played in. From that point of view, this isn’t a very “typical” roster. But I felt Hassett was the best choice for his roster spot, for the reasons explained above, and I didn’t want to pick a time when Free would be absent.

LLOYD FREE

History: 2nd round pick of 76ers in 1975. Acquired in trade with Clippers, August 1980.

Games Played (Regular Season 65 G, 36.5 MPG): The 17 games in which Free did not appear were a single game on 12/30/80, three consecutive games from 2/17/81 through 2/20/81, twelve consecutive games from 2/24/81 through 3/19/81, and an additional game on 3/24/81. Overall, Free was absent from 16 out of 19 games from 2/17/81 through 3/24/81 (during this stretch he only appeared in one game on 2/22, and two consecutive games on 3/21 & 3/22). This 19-game stretch covers all but one of the 17 games Free didn’t play in this season. During that stretch, Free was on the injured list from 2/26/81 to approximately 3/21/81. While he was on the IL, the Blazers signed William Mayfield to a pair of 10-day contracts as a fill-in.

Games Started (Regular Season: 63): The two games the TSN box scores show Free playing in but not starting were two consecutive games on 3/21/81 & 3/22/81. These games were during the stretch in February and March where Free was absent from 16 out of 19 games (Free started the other game he appeared in during that stretch, which was on 2/22). Outside of that 19-game stretch, Free started every game except for the one he didn’t play in on 12/30/80.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as SG for all seasons of career, including 1980-81, except for one (1978-79, which is shown as PG).

BERNARD KING

History: 1st round pick of Nets in 1977. Acquired in trade with Jazz, September 1980.

Games Played (Regular Season 81 G, 36.0 MPG): The only game in which King did not appear was on 2/10/81.

Games Started (Regular Season: 79): The two games the TSN box scores show King playing in but not starting were two consecutive games on 10/29/80 & 10/31/80.

King normally started at small forward, but the TSN box score for the 3/11 game shows King in a starting guard position. Purvis Short, who had been starting at guard, is instead shown starting at forward in King’s place. If this and the other TSN box scores can be trusted, King started 78 games at forward and 1 game at guard. Short playing SF wouldn’t have been out of the ordinary, but King at SG seems a bit odd. It’s not impossible that the box score has King and Short erroneously listed in each other’s positions, but they do not appear on adjacent lines of the box score, so it isn’t just a simple matter of two lines being out of order.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward. Primary position is shown as SF for all seasons of career.

JOE BARRY CARROLL

History: 1st round pick of Warriors in 1980.

Games Played (Regular Season 82 G, 35.6 MPG): Carroll appeared in every game the Warriors played.

Games Started (Regular Season: 80): Based on the TSN box scores, Carroll came off the bench for the first two games of the season (10/10/80 & 10/11/80), then started every game from the third game of the season (10/15/80) on.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Center-Forward. Primary position is shown as C for all seasons of career.

LARRY SMITH

History: 2nd round pick of Warriors in 1980.

Games Played (Regular Season 82 G, 31.4 MPG): Smith appeared in every game the Warriors played.

Games Started (Regular Season: 70): According to the TSN box scores, Smith came off the bench for the first nine games of the season (through 10/28/80), then moved into the starting lineup on 10/29/80. At that point, there were 73 games remaining in the season. The TSN box scores show Smith starting 70 of them. The only games after 10/29 that Smith is not shown starting were three consecutive games from 1/23/81 through 1/27/81.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward-Center. Primary position is shown as PF for all seasons of career.

JOHN LUCAS

History: 1st round pick of Rockets in 1976. Acquired from Rockets in free agent compensation transaction, September 1978.

Games Played (Regular Season 66 G, 29.1 MPG): Lucas is credited with appearing in 66 regular season games, but I only noted him in 65 TSN box scores. b-r.com’s game log feature also shows Lucas in only 65 box scores. It is possible that Lucas was omitted from one box score in which he did not compile any stats that would have been shown in the box score.

The 17 TSN box scores from which Lucas is missing are 11/7/80, two consecutive games on 12/13/80 & 12/14/80, four consecutive games from 1/24/81 through 1/29/81 (last four games before the All-Star break), 2/8/81, 2/22/81, and the last eight games of the season. Lucas’ last appearance of the season was on 3/15; he was suspended for the remainder of the season on 3/18. The Warriors subsequently signed John Mengelt as a fill-in.

Games Started (Regular Season: 57): There are eight TSN box scores in which Lucas is shown as playing but not starting. These were 11/8/80 (Lucas is absent from the box score for the previous game on 11/7), 1/21/80, the four games whose box scores he appears in during the five-game stretch from 2/4/81 through 2/10/81 (the first five games after the All-Star break; Lucas is absent from the box score for the game on 2/8), and two consecutive games on 2/24/81 & 2/27/81 (Lucas is absent from the box score for the previous game on 2/22). The ninth game Lucas played in but didn’t start is presumably whichever game he played in but was omitted from the TSN box score (see discussion above).

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as PG for all seasons of career, including 1980-81, except for one (1976-77, his rookie season, which is shown as SG).

PURVIS SHORT

History: 1st round pick of Warriors in 1978.

Games Played (Regular Season 79 G, 29.2 MPG): The three games in which Short did not appear were three consecutive games from 1/7/81 through 1/11/81.

Games Started (Regular Season: 33): The TSN box scores show Short starting 33 games, including 19 at guard and 14 at forward. Most of his starts were either in the first three weeks of the season (which accounts for most of his starts at forward) or the last month and a half of the season (mostly at guard). Further details, according to the TSN box scores:

--Short started the first six games of the season (through 10/21) at forward, opposite Bernard King. For the next two games, Short went to the bench, and rookie Rickey Brown started instead. Short then returned to the starting lineup for the next three games (10/28/80 through 10/31/80). The first of these starts was opposite King. The second and third were opposite rookie Larry Smith.

--After 10/31, the Warriors settled on a starting forward tandem of King and Smith, and Short would play mostly off the bench for the next three and a half months. Short did make a handful of starts during this period, however, all at forward. He started three consecutive games from 1/23/81 through 1/27/81 in place of Larry Smith. Smith played in those games, so it isn’t obvious to me why Short started them. Short also started on 2/10/81 in place of Bernard King, who didn’t play in that game.

--In late February, Short was inserted into the starting lineup at guard, and would start 20 of the last 21 games of the season. His first start in this stretch was on 2/18/81, when regular starting SG Lloyd Free was out of the lineup. Free had been absent from the previous game as well, but Billy Reid had started in his place. For the game on 2/18, the Warriors turned to Short instead. Short also started the next game on 2/20, but Free returned (and started) in the following game on 2/22, sending Short back to the bench. After that one game, however, Free would disappear from the lineup for an extended period (he was placed on the injured list on 2/26), and Short returned to a starting role. Free would finally return to the starting lineup on 3/25, with just three games remaining in the season. By that time, however, starting PG John Lucas was out of the lineup due to a suspension. The Warriors consequently kept Short in a starting guard role alongside Free.

The TSN boxes show 19 of the 20 starts Short made from 2/18 onward at guard. The box score for the remaining game, which was on 3/11/81, shows Short starting at forward, with regular starting forward Bernard King starting at guard. Short playing SF wouldn’t have been out of the ordinary, but King at SG seems a bit odd. It’s not impossible that the box score has King and Short erroneously listed in each other’s positions, but they do not appear on adjacent lines of the box score, so it isn’t just a simple matter of two lines being out of order.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward-Guard. Primary position is shown as SF for most seasons of career, including 1980-81, but is also PF for one (1978-79, his rookie season) and SG for another (1987-88).

SONNY PARKER

History: 1st round pick of Warriors in 1976.

Games Played (Regular Season 73 G, 18.0 MPG): Parker is credited with appearing in 73 regular season games, but I only noted him in 72 TSN box scores. The ten box scores from which Parker is missing are 10/25/80, two games in a three-game stretch from 1/7/81 through 1/11/81 (missing from 1/7, present on 1/10, missing from 1/11), and seven consecutive games from 2/7/81 through 2/17/81. b-r.com’s game log feature also shows Parker in only 72 regular season box scores. It is possible that Parker was omitted from one box score in which he did not compile any stats that would have been shown in the box score.

Games Started (Regular Season: 5): The five games whose box scores show Parker as a starter were 11/7/80, 12/30/80, and three consecutive games from 1/27/81 through 1/29/81. All show Parker in a starting guard slot, and all are games in which regular starting guards John Lucas or Lloyd Free did not play. Free didn’t play in the game on 12/30. The remaining four are games Lucas didn’t play in.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward-Guard. Primary position is shown as SF for most seasons of career, but 1980-81 is shown as SG. This is the only season of Parker’s career not shown as SF.

LORENZO ROMAR

History: 7th round pick of Warriors in 1980.

Games Played (Regular Season 53 G, 13.7 MPG): Romar started off the season by playing in three of the Warriors’ first five games (10/10, 10/11 and 10/19, which were the first, second and fifth games of the season). He was then placed on the IL on 10/20/80, where he would remain until 12/12/80. When he returned, the Warriors had 53 games remaining, and Romar played in 50 of them. The three games after 12/12 in which Romar did not appear were on 1/21/81, 3/12/81, and 3/25/81.

Games Started (Regular Season: 8): The eight games whose box scores show Romar as a starter were three consecutive games from 2/22/81 through 2/27/81, and five consecutive games from 3/18/81 through 3/24/81. All of these were in place of regular starter John Lucas, who is absent from the box scores for most of these games. The second group of games came after Lucas was suspended for the remainder of the season on 3/18, with eight games left on the schedule. Romar started the first five games, with Purvis Short in the other starting guard slot. For the final three games of the season, Lloyd Free returned to the starting lineup (Free had missed an extended period due to injury, and had only recently returned to action). Romar did not play in the first of those three games (on 3/25), then came off the bench for the other two.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as PG for all seasons of career.

CLIFFORD RAY

History: 3rd round pick of Bulls in 1971. Acquired in trade with Bulls, September 1974.

Games Played (Regular Season 66 G, 12.7 MPG): Ray is credited with appearing in 66 regular season games, but I only noted him in 64 TSN box scores. b-r.com’s game log feature also shows Ray in only 64 box scores. It is possible that Ray was omitted from two box scores in which he did not compile any stats that would have been shown in the box score.

The 18 TSN box scores from which Ray is missing are 10/25/80, three games in a four-game stretch from 12/3/80 through 12/7/80 (missing from 12/3 & 12/5; present in 12/6; missing from 12/7), five consecutive games from 1/21/81 through 1/28/81 (Ray was placed on the injured list for these five games), seven games in an eight-game stretch from 3/4/81 through 3/18/81 (the only box score Ray appears in during this timeframe is for the game on 3/6, the second game in the stretch), and two consecutive games on 3/28/81 & 3/29/81 (last two games of the season).

Games Started (Regular Season: 2): The TSN box scores show Ray starting the first two games of the season (10/10/80 & 10/11/80), then going to the bench in favor of Joe Barry Carroll.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Center. Primary position is shown as C for all seasons of career.

JOE HASSETT

History: 3rd round pick of Sonics in 1977. Signed to a contract for the remainder of the season, February 1981.

Hassett started the season with the Mavericks, but was waived in November. The Warriors signed him to a contract for the remainder of the season on 2/12/81, as a replacement for the injured Phil Chenier.

Games Played (Regular Season 24 G, 18.1 MPG): When Hassett signed with the Warriors, they had 25 games left in the season. Hassett didn’t play in the first game after he was signed (the day after, 2/13), but he played in every remaining game after that (starting with 2/14). Hassett had appeared in 17 games for the Mavericks earlier in the season, before they waived him. Between the Mavericks and the Warriors combined, he appeared in a total of 41 games.

Games Started (Regular Season: 0): The TSN box scores do not show Hassett starting any games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as SG for all seasons of career.

BILLY REID

History: 9th round pick of Warriors in 1980.

Games Played (Regular Season 59 G, 10.1 MPG): Reid is credited with appearing in 59 regular season games, but I only noted him in 58 TSN box scores. b-r.com’s game log feature also shows Reid in only 58 box scores. It is possible that Reid was omitted from one box score in which he did not compile any stats that would have been shown in the box score. Those box scores that Reid does appear in suggest that he was used most heavily during two periods. The first was from the start of the season through 12/17/80, when he appears in 29 out of 32 box scores. The second was from 1/24/81 through 2/18/81, when he appears in 14 out of 15 box scores. For the rest of the season, outside of those two stretches, Reid appears in only 15 out of 35 box scores.

Reid’s drop in usage in December coincides with the point where Lorenzo Romar joined the rotation (Romar had been on the IL for most of the season up to that point). I don’t know if there were injuries involved, or if Reid simply fell down the depth chart, but either way it looks like Romar took over a lot of the minutes Reid had been playing. Reid’s return to the regular rotation in January may have been prompted by an availability issue with John Lucas, as Reid replaced Lucas in the starting lineup for a number of games around that time period. Reid seems to have dropped out of the rotation again by late February, however.

Games Started (Regular Season: 11): The eleven games whose box scores show Reid as a starter were 11/8/80; two consecutive games on 12/13/80 & 12/14/80; two games in a three-game stretch from 1/21/81 through 1/24/81 (started on 1/21, absent from box score on 1/23, started on 1/24); five consecutive games from 2/4/81 through 2/10/81 (first five games after All-Star break); and 2/17/81. Most of these were in place of regular starter John Lucas, who is absent from the box scores for some of these games. Until February, the TSN box scores show Reid as by far the most frequent fill-in when Lucas didn’t start, starting 10 of the 14 games Lucas hadn’t (the other four games were started by Sonny Parker). By late February, however, Lorenzo Romar seems to have displaced Reid from that role, and Reid made no further starts in place of Lucas. Reid’s final starting appearance on 2/17 was in place of the Warriors’ other regular starting guard, Lloyd Free, who did not play in that game.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as SG; this is the only season that Reid played in the NBA.

INJURED LIST:

RICKEY BROWN

History: 1st round pick of Warriors in 1980.

Games Played (Regular Season 45 G, 12.9 MPG): Brown is credited with appearing in 45 regular season games, but I only noted him in 43 TSN box scores. b-r.com’s game log feature also shows Brown in only 43 box scores. It is possible that Brown was omitted from two box scores in which he did not compile any stats that would have been shown in the box score.

Brown does not appear in any TSN box scores after 1/21/81, presumably due to injury. As discussed earlier, while I have no documentation of this, I believe that Brown was placed on the injured list in between the games on 1/28 or 1/29 (so that Clifford Ray could be activated), and remained on the IL for the rest of the season. The last box score Brown appears in, on 1/21, was the Warriors’ 47th game of the season. The four TSN box scores before that date from which Brown is missing were two consecutive games on 10/11/80 & 10/15/80 (the second and third games of the season), 11/8/80, and 12/20/80.

Games Started (Regular Season: 2): The two games the TSN box scores show Brown starting were two consecutive games on 10/23/80 & 10/25/80, both at forward. These games fell during a stretch early in the season when the Warriors’ starting forward situation was apparently unsettled. The team would eventually settle on Larry Smith as the starting power forward, and Brown started no further games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Center. Primary position is shown as C for all seasons of career.

PHIL CHENIER

History: 1st round pick of Bullets in September 1971 supplemental draft of “hardship” early entry players. Signed to a 10-day contract, January 1981.

Chenier neither started nor finished the season with the Warriors. He initially joined the team by signing a 10-day contract on 1/21/81. While he filled the roster spot vacated by placing Clifford Ray on the injured list on the same day, over the longer term Chenier would effectively replace Rickey Brown on the active roster. As discussed earlier, there is a lack of clarity in Chenier’s transaction chronology following the expiration of his initial 10-day contract, but it appears that he eventually ended up under contract for at least the remainder of the season. After appearing in just nine games, however, he got injured, was placed on the IL, and was subsequently waived on 2/26/81.

Games Played (Regular Season 9 G, 9.1 MPG): Chenier is credited with appearing in 9 regular season games, but I only noted him in 8 TSN box scores. b-r.com’s game log feature also shows Chenier in only 8 box scores. It is possible that Chenier was omitted from one box score in which he did not compile any stats that would have been shown in the box score.

The eight TSN box scores that Chenier appears in are eight games in a nine-game stretch from 1/21/81 through 2/7/81. These are the last six games before, and first three games after, the All-Star break. The only box score he is absent from during this stretch is 1/29/81 (last game before the All-Star break). An article cited earlier in the discussion of injured list transactions indicates that Chenier suffered a hamstring injury on 2/8, and it seems clear that he didn’t play in any games after that. So if he really did play in nine games, the ninth game was likely either 1/29 or 2/8.

Games Started (Regular Season: 0): The TSN box scores do not show Chenier starting any games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as SG for all seasons of career.

NO LONGER WITH TEAM:

RUDY WHITE

History: 3rd round pick of Rockets in 1975. Signed as a free agent, July 1980.

White started the season with the Warriors, but was traded to the Sonics for future considerations on 11/3/80. He was one of two players who started the season on the Warriors’ injured list (the other was Tom Abernethy); while both players would spend some time on the active roster, the Warriors ultimately got down to a basic 11-man roster in December by getting rid of those two players.

Games Played (Regular Season 4 G, 10.8 MPG): White spent the first five games of the season on the injured list, then was activated on 10/20/80, when Lorenzo Romar went on the IL. Between the time White was activated from the IL and the time he was traded, the Warriors played seven games, four of which White played in. These were three consecutive games from 10/23/80 through 10/28/80 (the second, third and fourth games for which White was on the active roster), and an additional game on 10/31/80 (sixth).

Trading White to the Sonics allowed the Warriors to get their overall roster down to 12 players (11 on the active roster, 1 on the injured list). After the trade, White played in an additional 12 games for the Sonics, giving him a total of 16 games played for the year. The Sonics waived him in December.

Games Started (Regular Season: 0): The TSN box scores do not show White starting any games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as SG for all seasons of career.

TOM ABERNETHY

History: 3rd round pick of Lakers in 1976. Signed as Veteran Free Agent, July 1978 (compensation owned to Braves/Clippers).

Abernethy started the season with the Warriors, but was waived on 12/12/80. He was one of two players who started the season on the Warriors’ injured list (the other was Rudy White); while both players would spend some time on the active roster, the Warriors ultimately got down to a basic 11-man roster in December by getting rid of those two players.

Games Played (Regular Season 10 G, 3.9 MPG): Abernethy appears to have been activated from the IL when the 11/3/80 trade of Rudy White opened up a spot on the active roster. Between that point and the time Abernethy was waived, the Warriors played 17 games, ten of which Abernethy played in. These were on 11/7/80, four consecutive games from 11/12/80 through 11/19/80, 11/22/80, three consecutive games from 11/30/80 through 12/5/80, and 12/7/80.

Waiving Abernethy allowed the Warriors to get their overall roster down to 11. A few weeks later, Abernethy was signed by the Pacers, and would finish out the season with them. Including his 29 games with the Pacers, Abernethy played in a total of 39 games for the season.

Games Started (Regular Season: 0): The TSN box scores do not show Abernethy starting any games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward. Primary position is shown as PF for three of his NBA seasons, SF for two (including 1980-81).

NOT YET SIGNED:

WILLIAM MAYFIELD

History: Eligible for 1979 NBA Draft but was not selected. Signed to a 10-day contract, February 1981. (Note: Mayfield had no regular season NBA experience prior to the Warriors signing him.)

Mayfield had been with the Warriors in the preseason, but was waived in training camp and did not start the 1980-81 season on an NBA roster. He was brought back on a pair of 10-day contracts starting on 2/26/81, while Lloyd Free was on the injured list. As discussed earlier, there is some question as to whether Mayfield was let go after the second 10-day deal or signed for a longer period, but all of the games he played in were within approximately 20 days of when he signed his first 10-day contract, and he certainly was not on the active roster any time after 3/21/81.

Games Played (Regular Season 7 G, 7.7 MPG): From the time Mayfield signed his first 10-day deal until his final appearance, the Warriors played 11 games. Mayfield appeared in seven of them, which were 2/27/81, five consecutive games from 3/6/81 through 3/12/81, and 3/19/81. If Mayfield was only with the team for the term of the two 10-day contracts, the first and last of those games have to have been the first and last games Mayfield was on the Warriors’ roster. The four games Mayfield didn’t play in during this stretch were the two games immediately following his first game with the team (2/28 & 3/4) and the two games immediately preceding his last game with the team (3/15 & 3/18).

Games Started (Regular Season: 0): The TSN box scores do not show Mayfield starting any games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward. Primary position is shown as SF; this is the only season that Mayfield played in the NBA.

JOHN MENGELT

Mengelt signed with the Warriors on 3/19/81, filling the roster spot vacated by the suspended John Lucas. He finished out the season with the Warriors.

History: 2nd round pick of Royals in 1971. Signed as a free agent, March 1981.

Games Played (Regular Season 2 G, 5.5 MPG): When Mengelt signed with the Warriors, there were seven games left in the season. Mengelt played in two of them, which were on 3/19/81 and 3/24/81.

Games Started (Regular Season: 0): The TSN box scores do not show Mengelt starting any games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as SG for all seasons of career.
Last edited by MCT on Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.
MCT
 
Posts: 895
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Re: 1980-81 Golden State Warriors Games Played/Started & Trn

Postby MCT » Fri Apr 29, 2016 2:24 pm

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS – PART III

PLAYERS BY POSITION

STARTERS

The Warriors had a stable starting lineup throughout most of the season: Carroll at center; King & Smith at forward; and Free & Lucas at guard. There appears to have been some uncertainty over who to start at forward in the early part of the season, and both starting guards missed some time (Free due to injury, Lucas at least in part due to a series of unexcused absences, and later suspension). As a result, Short managed to accumulate 33 starts, split between forward and guard. But for the season as a whole, and during our snapshot period in particular, these five guys were clearly the regular starters.

At forward, b-r.com has Smith as the PF and King as the SF, and at guard, Lucas as the PG and Free as the SG. All of that seems pretty clear cut.

Four of the regular starters averaged at least 31 minutes a game, led by Free at 36.5. Lucas was the only starter below that, at 29.1. Short actually averaged slightly more mpg than Lucas did.

RESERVES

The reserve who played the most minutes, by far, was Purvis Short (29.2 mpg). His mpg numbers are probably inflated a little due to spending some portions of the season as a starter, but I think he would have been the most heavily used reserve by a wide margin no matter what. One could probably label him as the Warriors’ “sixth man”. Short’s primary position is shown as SF, but he also clearly played some SG, and maybe even some PF.

The Warriors’ second most important reserve was probably Sonny Parker (18.0 mpg). Parker played some combination of SG and SF. b-r.com shows his primary position this year as SG, but it was SF every other season of his career. Note that these are more-or-less the same positions that Purvis Short played. The Warriors seem to have been a bit overloaded with SFs and SGs, at the expense of PFs and SFs.

Joe Hassett actually averaged more minutes than Parker did (18.1 mpg), although in a much smaller sample size. Hassett, an SG, wasn’t signed until February, just barely making the cutoff for our snapshot. He seems to have quickly established himself as a key part of the rotation. At least one of the Warriors’ two regular starting guards was out of the lineup for almost the entire portion of the season Hassett spent with the Warriors, however, which probably gave him more playing time than would have been the case otherwise. Hassett effectively filled a roster spot that had been previously occupied by Phil Chenier and Rickey Brown. Note that Brown, who apparently got injured in January, was a big man. So it looks like the Warriors deliberately shifted this roster spot from the frontcourt to the backcourt in the middle of the season.

The snapshot roster is rounded out by Lorenzo Romar (13.7), Clifford Ray (12.7) and Billy Reid (10.1). Romar, a PG, only played in 53 games, but most of the games he missed were during a lengthy stay on the injured list in the early part of the season. Outside of that, he was nearly an everyday player. Ray, a center, played in 66 games. He was the oldest player on the team, and in what would turn out to be his final NBA season. His games played patterns suggest that he may have been bothered by nagging injuries throughout the season. Reid was an SG who played in 59 games. At times, he was an everyday rotation player. At other times, he was not, and fell into a “last player on the bench” status.

POSITION NOTES

Center-Forwards

The Warriors had two players listed in their old b-r.com headers as playing both center and forward: Joe Barry Carroll and Larry Smith. Carroll is shown with a primary position of C for every season of his career, but is listed as a C-F in his old b-r.com header. Smith is shown with a primary position of PF for every season of his career, but is listed as an F-C in his old b-r.com header. Note that while Rickey Brown is designated exclusively as a center, the TSN box scores indicate that he started two games at PF.

The three players on the Warriors whose primary position is shown as center (Carroll, Ray and Brown) played 391 more minutes than would have been available at center. This suggests that players with a primary position of center averaged 4 or 5 minutes a game at forward. Based on b-r.com position data, Carroll would seem to be the most likely candidate to have played these minutes, although I would have thought of him as more of a pure center, especially this early in his career. Brown also clearly spent at least a little time at forward, given that he started two games there, even though his b-r.com position data doesn't show him playing forward at all.

My initial reaction was that there would have been little need to use Smith at center, since the Warriors' center corps played more minutes than were actually available there. But there were a number of games Ray was absent from, and after the point when Brown went out with an injury, someone has to have served as the backup center for these games. Based on that, Smith probably did see at least a little playing time at center.

Forwards-Guards

The Warriors had two players listed in their old b-r.com headers as playing both forward and guard: Purvis Short and Sonny Parker. Both are listed as Forward-Guard in their old b-r.com headers. Short is shown with a primary position of SF for most seasons of his career, including 1980-81, although he has single seasons elsewhere in his career shown as PF and SG. Parker is shown with a primary position of SG in 1980-81, but is shown as an SF every other season of his career.

If you add up the minutes played by every other player on the Warriors whose primary position was in the frontcourt, and you add up the minutes played for every other player on the Warriors whose primary position was guard, you’ll be left with 1916 minutes at forward and 1710 minutes at guard. This is probably a rough approximation of how many minutes were available at each position for Short and Parker to collectively play. It’s not clear how the two split these minutes, however, in terms of how much each played at each position. b-r.com designates SF as Short’s primary position and SG as Parker’s. While it’s hard to say definitively, b-r.com’s conclusions intuitively make a certain amount of sense to me. Short is the only one of the two who has any seasons of his career shown with a primary position of PF, which makes him seem like the “bigger” player, more likely to be deployed at forward more often. In addition, Short started 14 games at forward this year, while Parker made no starts anywhere other than guard. While Short also made 19 starts at guard, all were in the later part of the season, while one or both of the Warriors’ regular starting guards were out of the lineup. So that may not be indicative of how he was used up to that point; it’s possible that Short was used more heavily at forward for most of the season, then was shifted to guard to cover when Lloyd Free went out with an injury in February. Looking over both players’ stats, I notice that Parker's rebound numbers for 1980-81 were on the low side, which is consistent with his playing further away from the basket.

PFs and SFs

The Warriors’ forward corps seems to have been very SF-heavy. Larry Smith is the only player on the team shown with a primary position of PF. Taking Smith’s minutes (2578), plus the minutes presumably played at power forward by players with a primary position of center (391), leaves more than 900 minutes in the PF slot that had to be played by someone else.

Looking at the group of SFs, I’m struck that several look like “combo forwards” who may have been able to fill a PF-like role for stretches. Purvis Short is shown with a primary position of PF in his rookie season of 1978-79. Bernard King is shown as an SF for every season of his career, but he pulled down 751 rebounds as a rookie in 1977-78, 669 in 1978-79, and 551 in 1980-81. (Note that there were a few short stretches of the season where Short and King actually started at forward alongside each other.) Sonny Parker’s rebound totals also make it look like he may have been capable of serving in a PF-like role in a pinch, and short-termer Tom Abernethy has some seasons elsewhere in his career where his primary position is shown as PF.

Overall, I am getting the impression that when Smith wasn’t on the court, the Warriors were often playing two forwards who were more natural SFs than PFs, but some of these players were capable of taking on somewhat of a PF role when needed.

PGs and SGs

Similar to the situation at forward, the guard corps seems to have been SG-heavy. The only players shown with a primary position of PG are John Lucas and Lorenzo Romar, and there were quite a few games that only one of them played in (along with a few that neither played in). Who was covering PG?

My sense is that starting SG was Lloyd Free was enough of a combo guard to cover the PG role when needed. Free’s primary position is shown actually shown as PG for one season of his career, which was 1978-79. Free started a few games this year with Purvis Short in the other guard slot; I would assume that Free was the PG in that lineup.

Though listed with a primary position of SG, I also have to wonder whether Billy Reid was a combo guard who could play PG. For much of the season, Reid would often replace Lucas when Lucas was out of the starting lineup. It also looks like Reid may have been in competition for minutes with Romar to some degree.

TRIVIA

Oldest Player: Clifford Ray, born 1/21/49 (age 32 at start of season, turned 33 in January).

Played in ABA: none. The Warriors are only the second team we’ve encountered who had absolutely no ABA vets on their roster during the season. The first was the Pistons.

Longest continuous service with team: Clifford Ray, with the team since the 1974-75 season.

Highest original draft position*: #1 overall – John Lucas and Joe Barry Carroll.

Lowest original draft position*: William Mayfield was not drafted at all, one of only a handful of players in the NBA this year who could make that claim. Back when the NBA Draft used to run 10 rounds or more, very few undrafted players ever made it to the NBA. Among players who were actually drafted, the lowest picked in terms of both round and overall pick position was Billy Reid (9th round, #182 overall). Another very low pick was Lorenzo Romar (7th round, #141 overall). Reid and Romar were both rookies who had been selected by the Warriors in the 1980 NBA Draft.

Youngest Player: Lorenzo Romar, born 11/13/58 (age 21 on opening night, turned 22 about a month into the season). From youngest to oldest, Rickey Brown, Joe Barry Carroll and Larry Smith were all born earlier in 1958; unlike Romar, they had already turned 22 by the start of the regular season.

*Which player was chosen with the highest/lowest selection, by round and/or overall pick, with no regard to whether any players may have been drafted under circumstances not reflecting their “true” value (e.g., player was a junior eligible who had not committed to turn pro right away, player was already under contract to ABA).
Last edited by MCT on Mon May 02, 2016 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1980-81 Golden State Warriors Games Played/Started & Trn

Postby wojoaderge » Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:23 pm

MCT wrote:Note that while Rickey Brown is designated exclusively as a center, the TSN box scores indicate that he started two games at PF.

Those B-R positions are wonky. For example Jeff Wilkins is listed as exclusively as C for his whole career, even though he split time on the 1984-85 Jazz with Mark Eaton, Rick Kelley, and Billy Paultz.
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Re: 1980-81 Golden State Warriors Games Played/Started & Trn

Postby MCT » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:27 pm

A while back, Mike G. posted some material in the Spurs thread, with position information for 1980-81 sourced from Neft & Cohen’s NBA Encyclopedia. I recently posted about this in the introductory thread to this series, noting that I planned to post and comment on this data on a team-by-team basis. See the eighth post in the introductory thread for more information.

Here’s what Neft & Cohen have for the Warriors:

Mike Goodman wrote:
Code: Select all
tm    player          pos   Min     
GS   JoeBarry Carroll  C   2919         
GS   Bernard King      F   2914         
GS   Larry Smith       F   2578         
GS   Lloyd Free        G   2370         
GS   Purvis Short     fg   2309         
GS   John Lucas        G   1919         
GS   Sonny Parker     gf   1317         
GS   Clifford Ray      c    838         
GS   Lorenzo Romar     g    726         
GS   Billy Reid        g    597         
GS   Rickey Brown      c    580         
GS   Joey Hassett      g    434         
GS   Phil Chenier      g     82         
GS   Rudy White        g     43         
GS   Tom Abernethy     f     39         


MCT wrote:The Warriors had two players listed in their old b-r.com headers as playing both center and forward: Joe Barry Carroll and Larry Smith. Carroll is shown with a primary position of C for every season of his career, but is listed as a C-F in his old b-r.com header. Smith is shown with a primary position of PF for every season of his career, but is listed as an F-C in his old b-r.com header. Note that while Rickey Brown is designated exclusively as a center, the TSN box scores indicate that he started two games at PF.

The three players on the Warriors whose primary position is shown as center (Carroll, Ray and Brown) played 391 more minutes than would have been available at center. This suggests that players with a primary position of center averaged 4 or 5 minutes a game at forward. Based on b-r.com position data, Carroll would seem to be the most likely candidate to have played these minutes, although I would have thought of him as more of a pure center, especially this early in his career. Brown also clearly spent at least a little time at forward, given that he started two games there, even though his b-r.com position data doesn't show him playing forward at all.

Neft & Cohen have Carroll and Brown as exclusively centers. I am a bit skeptical of this, as based on my analysis above, it seems like someone (Brown?) has to have swung from center to power forward for enough minutes to be worth mentioning. If Brown and Carrol split those minutes, though, it’s possible the end result was a situation where both saw a little time at PF, but neither played there extensively enough to justify listing it as a secondary position. Ultimately, I can’t definitively say that Neft & Cohen are wrong.

MCT wrote:My initial reaction was that there would have been little need to use Smith at center, since the Warriors' center corps played more minutes than were actually available there. But there were a number of games Ray was absent from, and after the point when Brown went out with an injury, someone has to have served as the backup center for these games. Based on that, Smith probably did see at least a little playing time at center.

Neft & Cohen have Smith as exclusively a forward. Again, I am a bit skeptical. After Brown went out with an injury in January, there were about a dozen games Ray didn’t play in. To cover those minutes, it seems like someone (presumably Smith?) must have been used as fill-in at center enough to be worth mentioning. On the other hand, similar to what I said above about Carroll and Brown, it is possible the Warriors structured things in such a way that no one player really played extensively enough at center to justify listing it as a secondary position (e.g. Carroll played heavy minutes, multiple players each covered smaller portions of the backup center role)? The sheer number of games involved, and the lack of obvious candidates other than Smith to play backup center, make me more skeptical here than I was with Carroll and Brown. Again, though, I can’t definitively say that Neft & Cohen are wrong.

MCT wrote: The Warriors had two players listed in their old b-r.com headers as playing both forward and guard: Purvis Short and Sonny Parker. Both are listed as Forward-Guard in their old b-r.com headers. Short is shown with a primary position of SF for most seasons of his career, including 1980-81, although he has single seasons elsewhere in his career shown as PF and SG. Parker is shown with a primary position of SG in 1980-81, but is shown as an SF every other season of his career.

If you add up the minutes played by every other player on the Warriors whose primary position was in the frontcourt, and you add up the minutes played for every other player on the Warriors whose primary position was guard, you’ll be left with 1916 minutes at forward and 1710 minutes at guard. This is probably a rough approximation of how many minutes were available at each position for Short and Parker to collectively play. It’s not clear how the two split these minutes, however, in terms of how much each played at each position. b-r.com designates SF as Short’s primary position and SG as Parker’s. While it’s hard to say definitively, b-r.com’s conclusions intuitively make a certain amount of sense to me. Short is the only one of the two who has any seasons of his career shown with a primary position of PF, which makes him seem like the “bigger” player, more likely to be deployed at forward more often. In addition, Short started 14 games at forward this year, while Parker made no starts anywhere other than guard. While Short also made 19 starts at guard, all were in the later part of the season, while one or both of the Warriors’ regular starting guards were out of the lineup. So that may not be indicative of how he was used up to that point; it’s possible that Short was used more heavily at forward for most of the season, then was shifted to guard to cover when Lloyd Free went out with an injury in February. Looking over both players’ stats, I notice that Parker's rebound numbers for 1980-81 were on the low side, which is consistent with his playing further away from the basket.

Consistent with the above, Neft & Cohen have Short as “fg” and Parker as “gf”.
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