The Warriors Bet

OK, so we have Stephen Jackson trying to force a trade, a  disgruntled Monta Ellis even more disgruntled by the drafting of new kid on the block Stephen Curry, Brandon Wright out for the season, again, with a dismembered wing, news that Rony Turiaf is playing with a torn cartilage, and our lone remaining power forward on the roster, 225 lb. stringbean Anthony Randolph, already pulverized to a pulp and doubtful for the season opener.  According to rumor, our starting point guard is a rookie, and our starting power forward is a 6-6″ small forward.  Am I leaving anything out?

Oh yes: we have a snarling pack of Bay Area sportswriters circling Don Nelson like arctic wolves around a wounded bull moose, hoping for a big kill to swell their circulations.

Could this possibly be the time to consider betting on the Warriors?              

Yes. Yes, yes, yes, absolutely yes.

The NBA season win totals have just come out, and the over/under on the Warriors’ wins this season is 34.5.  I am jumping on this line with both fists. Betting the OVER. In other words, that the Warriors will win 35 or more games this season.

Crazy?  I’ll let you decide.  Here are my reasons:

1) All of the reasons I have previously outlined in my Warriors season prediction, and my analysis of their last preseason game.  The Warriors have several nice big pieces who I pray remain healthy, but even if they don’t, I believe the Warriors small unit rivals the RunTMC Warriors in talent.  Take a look at how many wins that team put up, with NO BIG MEN at all.  With Monta Ellis healthy and Stephen Curry joining him in the backcourt, this Warriors team is finally primed to RUN.  That spells wins.

2) The line is artificially depressed by the Stephen Jackson blowup and a hateful press.  Brainwash yourself for an instant, and pretend that Jackson and Ellis were happy, and that the press weren’t out for the blood of Cohan, Rowell and Nelson.  What would the Warriors line be in that case?  We are getting this bet at a substantial discount.

3) This team won 29 games last season.  A year in which the team was stunned by losing Baron Davis.  A year in which Monta Ellis was out virtually the entire season.  Biedrins was injured most of the season.  Jackson played through injury most of the season.  Maggette was out to start the season. Harrington was penciled in at power forward during training camp, then penciled himself out at the last moment.  Jamal Crawford was in, then out.  Anthony Morrow and Anthony Randolph were clueless rookies, not ready to contribute for most of the season.  Nellie “rested” his veterans down the stretch, and the Warriors stumbled to the finish line with a roster of seven players.  Seven.

Can this team win 6 more games than last year’s team?  Yes, even if many, many, many things go wrong.  The line affords us a considerable cushion.

4) Stephen Jackson.  Yes, that’s right.  I happen to think that Stephen Jackson is a great player, and right now the Warriors have him. I am willing to bet that even unhappy, he gives everything he has to help the team win. I think that’s just who he is.

I am also willing to bet the following: If Jackson is traded, it will likely bring reinforcement on the front line. Given this team’s depth at the wing behind Jackson, that may result in a net positive for the team. And even if disaster occurs, and Jackson quits or blows up or goes into the stands at Madison Square Garden, the Warriors will have enough to get 35 wins. This team has a surplus of very good wing players.

5) Don Nelson.  It is astonishing to me that so many NBA writers are ready to write off the only man in NBA history who has built four franchises into playoff teams starting from scratch. The vultures are out in force against Nelson right now. The most corrupt and vicious among them, like Kawakami and Bucher, are peddling re-hashed (and still uncorroborated) stories of a greedy Machiavellian. And even the rare independent thinkers, like Bill Simmons, fear that Nelson may be playing out the string, and disinterested.


The hallmark of Don Nelson is a fierce determination to win basketball games.  Whatever you may read about his personal qualities and motivations, you do not build four franchises from scratch into playoff teams by letting your personal ambitions get in the way of your ability to put a winning team on the floor.  Don Nelson wins.  He wins everywhere he goes, with players that no one else thought were any good.  He wins to the consternation of other coaches.  He wins to the consternation of the NBA pundits.  And more to the point, he wins to the consternation of the bookies.

I have made a lot of money betting on Don Nelson over the years, in the regular season and in the playoffs.  I made the nicest basketball score of my life betting on him and his band of NBA rejects against the Squeaky General and his #1 seeded Mavs at the price of 12 to 1.  And I am going to keep betting on him, in the right spot, and at the right price, until the day he hangs up his spurs for good.

Some of you may agree with me, but feel that the Nellie I am writing of is a thing of the past.  He was good, but he’s given up the ghost.  He’s simply counting the days, and the dollars, until his retirement in Maui.  To you I offer up these thoughts:

1) Don’t you know what an NBA lifer looks like when you see one?

2) In his recently published depositions in his case against Mark Cuban, Nellie revealed that his most cherished ambition was to become the godfather of the Mavericks, like his idol and mentor Red Auerbach was of the Celtics.  That didn’t work out with the Mavs, obviously, but who’s to say it won’t with the Warriors?  Nellie recently offered to coach the Warriors for FREE for the year after his contract runs out, in order to give something back to the franchise.  What motivation do you think lies behind that extraordinary offer?

Nelson wants to spend his “retirement” as the godfather of the Warriors franchise.  And everything, EVERYTHING, rests on how he shepherds this young team through the next two years.

3) In Stephen Curry, Nellie just found his next Steve Nash.

Feltbot recommends betting on Don Nelson.

See also:  Important Update on the Warriors Bet

11 Responses to The Warriors Bet

  1. This blog was a good move. The added real estate makes you a much better read. I disagree with the Stephen Jackson bit though. This is a young team that needs to move forward. Morrow and KA are poised to make a splash and I’d like to see them play Jackson’s minutes. Apart from the pick and roll, Jackson just doesn’t look for the open man often enough. Too many bad shots.

  2. Finally…a blog that’s actually not depressing to read!
    Feltbot, wish I had known about your new blog sooner. I gave up posting and reading the garbage over at Adam’s site a long time ago. The last time I read it, all of the usual fools like Oracle were crying about the Belinelli trade, as if Anthony Morrow didn’t exist.
    Oh my, have you seen Marco in Toronto? It was so bad the other night when the played the Celtics that Tommy Heinsohn said, “um, i wonder how long Belinelli is gonna last in Toronto?” I’m sure they hated the Curry pick, too, like they hated the Randolph pick, overlooking all of the obvious reasons why it was a solid pick, even if Curry wasn’t developing so quickly as a PG. Straighten me out if I’m wrong on that one.

    Anyway, agree with pretty much everything above. If this team can stay relatively healthy, this will be a fun season. Over 40 wins. I think they’re going to have a great home record. The road? That’s still gonna be tough. Has Nellie said how deep the rotation is going to be? Looks like he might go 10 deep.

    Gotta run…there’s a bet I need to place immediately.

  3. Very nice post. I have been trying to argue many of these same points throughout last season and this preseason.

    I don’t get why people still say Nellie is only interested in getting his record when he clearly refused to give up the Warrior’s future point guard in a trade to land a legit big man that would have ensured more wins this year.

    I don’t get how Bucher says Nellie just washed his hands of Randolph and isn’t couching him because he was Mullin’s guy and was denied the ability to trade him. Was he completely unaware that he traveled to visit his parents in order to try and understand him better. Or was that info disregarder because it didn’t support his bandwagon reporting.

    I don’t get why Kawakami says he kills rookies and messes with there heads which stunts there development. Still says it after his prognosis on the Nellie/Randolph/Kurz situation blew up in his face after Randolph clearly benefited from the tough love approach. Randolph is light years ahead of were he would be if Nellie would have just handed him his minutes last year rather than make him earn them. Can Kawakami name one player out there that has been washed out by Nellie like Diagu or O’bryant who are flurshing with other teams. I can’t. Bucher has the nerve to say that Randolph can’t be great while in the Warrior orginization. What a crock!

    I don’t get why everyone has unanimously decided that Nellie is not fit to couch this young team. who else out there is better? Like you said he has built 4 teams from scratch. Nobody has done that better. He walked into Dallas and traded Kidd, Jackson and Mashburn while bringing in Nash, Finely and Dirk. I believe that team was and still is a perenial playoff participant.

    One last thing. I don’t get why everyone praises Mullin as the only legit front office person. I like Mullin and think he did and decent job as GM. But Hello, Nelson has been in the NBA winning a championship as a player when Mullin’s momma was still wiping his ass. give the man some credit.

    The Warriors had a terrible season last year. I have been a strong proponent that they have the most exciting collection of youthful talent I have ever seen this team have. Everyone in the national media wants to talk about how good OKC is gonna be or how good the Blaizers gonna’ be while not even mentioning the Warriors. To me thats just egregious.

    By the way. Nice job by Rato to slam the Warrios today stating the national media is now catching on to what us local writers have been preaching for twelve years. No doubt he read Bucher’s interview with warriorsworld and saw him praise Kawakami and Thompson for there diligent unbiased fan carring reporting and felt he should’ve been named so he stepped it up. What a meat head. It just goes to show Bucher doesn’t know what he is talking about since Thompson is the lasiest of all the bay area bloggers and rarely reports anything based on conjecture like Kawakami.

  4. hey feltbot

    where do you bet on warriors?

  5. just wanted to take the time and say how wonderful this blog by feltbot..all of my years in the bay area i was never interested in this warriors team untill don nelson came back to couch again …just look at monta how he is going to become an all-star player and this will be because don will get him there other couch will help monta like don will …don’s new wolf pack in the back with ellis and curry will win against houston…and don should set his eyes to win his first away game against phoenix then this should excite jackson…the team will start calling him captain jack again….this will make don the talk of the nba …feltbot i think you will win your bet again…warriors in the playoff …abbaby61

  6. Thanks for the comments guys, good stuff. I hope you join the discussion here on a regular basis. I’d like to turn this blog into a forum for people who love discussing NBA basketball, rather than the latest venomous rumor.

    Michaeld, how do you reconcile your point about Jackson with his 10 assists last game he played?

    DrPOB, glad you found me! Look forward to your posts. Did Heinsohn really say that about poor Marco? Uh oh.

    farid, not sure of the propriety of me recommending an online site. An internet search should find you some good candidates.

    J-Walk, now that is a feltbot-style rant! I could not agree more with the points you make. And nice catch on Ratto, I don’t think his columns have added anything of value to the discussion, just more lazy piling on. We could use your voice on this blog.

    And my good friend abbaby, thanks for the shout out :> You’ve laid out the blueprint for getting Jack on board and getting this Warriors train rolling. From your mouth…

  7. “Don Nelson wins. He wins everywhere he goes”

    Stop reading this garbage from that point.

    Nellie is a freaking .500ish throughout his life. That’s about flipping a coin for every game and to see heads and tails evenly distributed throughout his whole freaking coaching long career.

    you call that winning? I call that mediocrity.

  8. Yes, Heinsohn really did say that and it’s clear that Toronto has already abandoned their plan to make him their starting 2.
    (Are there still people saying we “gave him away” and crying about it?)

    You’ll love this one: C Webb isn’t sure that DN will get the win record this year-he thinks the W’s are that bad.

    Thanks again for the well-written blog.

  9. Great to see a positive place for fans. A relief that most of the script isn’t about hating Cohan/Rowell/Nelson and name calling/ insulting those that disagree with the pack.

  10. Nicely written FWB
    On with the show!

  11. Bhsiao, did you say “mediocrity”? I guess even feltbot’s site, which, BTW, I’ve enjoyed immensely since coming here the other day, lets the idiots in every once in awhile. LOL Here’s a good link that reveals the true “mediocrity” of Don Nelson’s career. It’s a shame that Nellie has never won a championship as a coach, but players win championships. How many titles has Phil Jackson won minus Jordan or Kobe? For all the games and players that Nellie has coached, which 2 players were closest in talent to Jordan and Kobe? Nelson doesn’t take a backseat to any head coach in NBA history, title or no title………..Feltbot, great job! This site is a great escape from all the nonsense that’s posted elsewhere. You obviously have excellent knowledge of the NBA and it’s players. I look forward to reading your thoughts during the upcoming season.