Congratulations, Joe Lacob: Heat 106 Warriors 84

“We know our best offense is before the defense gets set. You can’t teach speed, you can’t get back on speed.” — Lebron James, two nights ago, after beating the Jazz in Utah.

“We didn’t want to play half-court offense against a defense that good.” — Andre Miller, last night, on pushing the tempo to beat the Magic.

“The Warriors have to stay away from half-court offense. They need to learn how to run.” — Jim Barnett, tonight, pre-game show.

Keith Smart apparently doesn’t agree with Lebron and Miller and Barnett. Keith Smart apparently believes that the Warriors, quite possibly the fastest team end-to-end in the league, should walk the ball up the court on every possession.          

:24 1st Q: Lebron rebounds, wheels and hits Wade over halfcourt for a breakaway layup.

8:40 3rd Q: Lebron rebounds, wheels and hits Wade over halfcourt for a breakaway layup.

3:56 1st Q: David Lee and Biedrins are all alone under the Warriors board to rebound an errant Heat jumper.  David Lee rebounds the ball, wheels  and… there is Monta Ellis, walking back to receive the handoff.

Get the picture? Keith Smart apparently doesn’t believe that the Warriors, quite possibly the fastest team end-to-end in the league, should be a fastbreak team.

In case you don’t get the picture, here is Keith Smart in a recent interview:

“We can’t leak out because we’ve got to get that rebound,” Smart said. “We’ve got to get that rebound. What good is it to leak out and you’re down there by yourself with a hand up waiting for the ball?”

At 9:00 3rd Q occurred what to me was the greatest humiliation of this game. Zydrunas Ilgauskas beat Andris Biedrins down court for a Lebron feed, and free throws. It happened because Lebron pushed the ball upcourt.

Get the picture?

“The Warriors are doing the defense a favor whenever they post up Biedrins or Lee.” — Mark Jackson, during the game, for the second time this season.

Keith Smart apparently doesn’t agree with Mark Jackson.  He thinks posting up Biedrins, no matter who his opponent, should be an integral part of this Warriors offense.

10:25 3rd Q:  Smart posts Biedrins up against the 7-3″ 300 lb. Ilgauskas, resulting in an airballed jump hook that misses by 5 feet.

The Miami Heat played either the ancient, lumbering Ilgauskas or the ancient, lumbering Eric Dampier all 48 minutes in this game.  And Keith Smart got the Warriors all of 84 points against these centers.  This, to me, is absolutely shameful. Do you remember what Don Nelson did to Eric Dampier during We Believe?  He ran him completely off the court. Do you remember what Nellie did to Ilgauskas whenever he played him? Same damn thing. He ran them off the court with Biedrins.

There was one television cutaway to the Warriors huddle in this game.  Keith Smart was exhorting the Warriors: “To win this game you have to win the rebounding battle!”

Seriously? With the Warriors playing half-court basketball against Ilgauskas and Dampier? Seriously? Has Keith Smart learned anything during his many years as an NBA assistant coach? Does he have any kind of understanding of the roster he is commanding? One of the fastest, most highly skilled, best passing, best shooting, most undersized and least powerful rosters in the league?

Has he completely suppressed the memory of We Believe? Does he feel he learned absolutely nothing of value from Don Nelson?

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that with either David Lee or Stephen Curry out, this phenomenally gifted Warriors team has no choice but to eat 20 point losses on their home court to the better teams in the league. Last year, with a skeleton squad fleshed out by rookies and D-leaguers, Don Nelson lost twice to Lebron’s 61-win Cavaliers: in Cleveland by 6 points, and at home by 3 points.

I felt ashamed watching this Warriors performance tonight. I felt the players’ humiliation. It wasn’t their fault. They were never given a chance to compete.

Congratulations, Joe Lacob.  Don Nelson handed you the keys to a shiny, new Maserati.

And you filled it up with regular and put Grandma behind the wheel.

36 Responses to Congratulations, Joe Lacob: Heat 106 Warriors 84

  1. couldn’t agree more, i hate this team right now. slow mo wtf (has not happened) offense

  2. due to debt payment, Joe Lacob looks to unload some contract to reduce payroll.

  3. Man – this is unwatchable. Compare the talent on this team to the talent Nelson was coaching last year??? Remember Nelson’s trip to Texas with 6 players on the roster who could play and mostly d leaguers. I can’t remember if they beat Dallas but both games were exciting to the finish. Last year Lebron had to a game winning 3 pointer at the buzzer… 20 point blow outs are becoming routine… As Lacob says, “Something really exciting is happening here.. ” oops.

  4. Hey feltster
    Nice take…

    I understand your wolfing & hyperbole (“most skilled team”) to make KS look bad & Nells, well you know.

    But you’ve said this so often I need you to ‘splain it to me, “fastest team end-to-end in the league” Huh!

    I’ll give you Monta of course & maybe Lou (don’t forget BW – eh -eh), but who else on this roster fits your description?

  5. I agree with cooperativist (what the hell kind of name is that? Must be irony? Am I too old for irony?) in that I just don’t see the speed roster that feltbot sees.

    What I do see is a boring style of play. So boring that I am considering NOT attending the Warriors sole visit to Portland to sit in the rafters and be annoyed at what we lost when Nelson was shown the door. I hung around for as long as I could stomach the boredom hoping to catch Udoh’s appearance but even that wasn’t enough. I turned off the game and read a book. (I hope Udoh was impressive.) I would like that last line to get to Joe Lacob. When a diehard like me who lasted through the Cohan years turns off the game to read a book…

    By the way, isn’t Nelson still on the payroll? Take the risk of pissing off all the oh-so-intelligent bloggers who in their wisdom thought the smart thing to do was blame one of the best coaches of all time for the team’s woes and get on the phone. Who do you want pissed off at you, Lacob? Those idiots or guys like me, the backbone of Warrior fandom. Man up Lacob; get Nelson back.

  6. oregon, lacob made quite a few statements prior to his gaining full legal title to the team that he had more than a little animus against either nelson personally or nelson’s conduct and style. after his final approval from the league, he almost seemed proud to admit he was reprimanded by stern for changing coaches before it was 100% kosher.

    just one bit of circumstantial evidence pointing to that animus — lacob had never met nelson personally before he won the auction for the team, and didn’t meet with him until just before the firing. that’s in context with nelson’s stature as a coach, his retired number for the team lacob previously owned, and lacob’s long time season ticket holder status w. access to meeting nelson.

  7. Clearly this team needs be more explosive offensively. It’s obvious now that this is not a grind it out team. I agree that the Warriors should push the tempo. However, speeding up the game takes more engergy and a deeper bench than the Warriors have. So we are stuck with trying pace Monta, Dorell and Steph (when healthy) so they can be on the floor 40 minutes a game. It really is a Catch 22 because the starting 5 are all better offensively when playing at a faster pace. We are paying the price for heaping too many minutes on our key players in the form of injuries, turn overs and decreased effeciency. The problem lies in the dead weight of expiring contracts who do absolutely nothing to make this a better team. The question is will Riley patiently wait, making the fans suffer or actually do something to fix this roster?

  8. Smart needs to go and the roster needs to be blown up, not necessarily in that order. Keep Curry so we can at least start the rebuild with a good young pg. Keep Udoh until we can see how good he is. Everyone else who has value is for sale. Go OKC on this. Get as many high lottery picks as we can stockpile in the hope of drafting the elusive difference making 4 or 5. In the meantime, we’ll also be able to pick up a very good young 2 or 3 in the draft at some point. It won’t take that long to build this thing right as long as we act smartly. Which begs the question–Riley is not the right guy to preside over such an overhaul so which good basketball mind do you get to do it? That should be Lacob’s first move, and he shouldn’t waste much more time.

  9. I was against Lacob firing Nelson and knew that the Warriors wouldn’t be as good this year with Keith Smart given that is his first head coaching position in the NBA. Since Lacob didn’t realize he had a goodcoach , not without deficiencies I may add, and was stupidly set on firing Nelson, I believed that Smart should get the job for at least he would keep Nelson’s up-tempo pressing half court defense and up-tempo offense in place. Instead, Smart has run away from Nelson, possibly at the direction of Lacob, and now we have a product that is just awful to watch. I knew even with the Warriors playing even with Miami in the first half that they would get their heads clocked in the second half given the style of play. And while Smart has increased offensive rebounding from our deficit of 5 per game last year thus giving the Warriors more possessions, he has taken us from near the top of the league turnovers advantage of 3 per game, to now having turnover deficit in our opponents favor. So much for garnering more possessions per game.

    When you match Smart’s crappy coaching and ill advised substituitions with Riley’s moves of not resigning Morrow, Tolliver, and Watson, you just knew the Warriors were going to have a weaker bench this year and few decent outside shooters. And D. Wright has not exactly matched Maggette even given Maggette’s deficiencies on defense, as D.Wright can’t make 2’s. We should at least get some outside shooters from the D.League and drop Lin and Carney, and buy-out Bell as well.

    As a result Riley’s ill-advised moves our offensive FG% is down from last year, and our opponents still shoot at a ridiculuously high %, verifying that Biedrens, D. Lee, and whoever else we put out there, other then Udoh, provide no interior defense.

    To waste this year, after the last two disastrous injury plagued seasons is unconsiounable.

    For all those bloggers who have trumpeted getting rid of Nelson and dropping Morrow, Tolliver, and Watson, enjoy the pain year that you helped encouraged.

  10. In reading Rusty Simmon’s piece in the Chron today, I couldn’t help but think how Don Nelson would have been crucified for saying exactly what Keith Smart said about the bench players getting inconsistent minutes because they haven’t distinguished themselves, and implying that they are a bunch of spoiled brats. I doubt it is only the bench players who are not impresssed with the coach. How I miss Nellie! If only Keith Smart coached the way he was taught, we would have a team on the floor worth watching. So much the worse if Joe Lacob is in Keith Smart’s ear giving him advice. Back to the Giants replay games!

  11. Nellie over Smart was and is an easy call.
    And now we know for sure that the Warriors simply cannot attract legitimate coaching talent for the next generation like Thibodeau.

    This ownership took Robert Rowell’s talk points and personal agendas as their business philosophy. Wow. WORSE than Cohan?!

    No one could Believe it.

  12. What changed to make Mark Cuban think the Heat are the NBA’s best team? Read on:

    Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban isn’t ready to crown King James and Co., but he believes the Miami Heat deserve to be considered the NBA’s best team right now.

    That’s the same Heat who lost by double digits in Dallas a little more than two weeks ago. The Heat haven’t lost since a lengthy players-only meeting in the American Airlines Center visitors locker room that night, reeling off eight wins in a row.

    “They’re pretty damn good,” Cuban said. “Just the way they play is different than anybody else. That’s a big adjustment. They’ve got those guys that can finish. They get out like the old [Steve Nash] Suns, but they don’t stop at the 3-point line. They just try to dunk over you. That makes it tough.

    “They’re playing a lot different than they did. They were walking the ball up. Now they’re not.”

    http://sports.espn.go.com/dallas/nba/news/story?id=5912973&campaign=rss&source=NBAHeadlines

  13. I don’t think Adam gets anything, Ape. Not one word about the lack of running. Why? Because Adam has been the biggest media proponent of walk-it-up basketball over the years. He understands nothing else.

    His biggest complaint against Smart in his article? “Favoring offense over defense.”

    If only.

  14. WheresMyChippy

    It’s looks to me like the Warriors need that same type of players only meeting that the Heat had. Steph Curry seems to have learned more from Don Nelson in one year than Smart did in four. He and Monta and David Lee KNOW this team can win if they run, they just have to do it.

    Also, an interesting story about Donald Sterling heckling Baron Davis:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AraVN.96ZSQ9BsVy1kPVid.8vLYF?slug=mc-davisclippers121210

    These bits stood out to me:

    “You look at it and say, ‘Why isn’t he doing the same things that he was doing at Golden State? Why isn’t he doing the same thing he was doing before? What’s different about his game?’ ” Davis said. “I just got to be a little more free when I’m out there. I’m just trying too hard. So far, it’s just not really getting that flow. I got to get in that flow. The flow is messed up, man.”

    “I believe in the talent we have on this team,” Davis said. “I believe in the pieces, and I know I’m an integral part of it. I just believe this could be one of the most exciting teams to watch in the league if we can develop that style we all want to play.”

  15. Thanks for quoting that WMC, I read it too and had the same reaction I think you had.

    Bad coaching can make very good players look like bad players.

    Great coaching can make very good players, like Baron Davis, look like all-stars.

    Let me pose the question here that I posed on twitter yesterday. The Knicks are now 16-9, and have won 8 straight games. Do they really have a better roster and team than the Warriors?

    Or do they have a better coach and a better system for the players they have?

  16. D’Antoni early leader for COTY, with Pop and Carlisle right there.
    (I know it’s early)

  17. Basketball for Dummies

    Gee Fitz was ranting (Whining) on his show the other day that coaching is ONLY 10%.

    “It’s the players”!

  18. BfD–

    It’s the players if you let them play.

  19. The latest Riley interview to hoopsworld is concerning. He praises Smart–what he’s done with the offense and defense. He also seems to contradict what Lacob has said he’s looking for in terms of a low post difference-maker. Is he in touch with reality? Sorry, but you can find the link at fastbreak if you want to read it. felt: I’d be interested if your take is similar to mine on this.

  20. maestro felt, NY has an edge both in their roster and coach, but particularly how the players were put together for their coach. the disparity between the two teams’ records is exaggerated with the significant difference in schedule strength — NY would probably be around .500 if it had had the woe-yrs’ slate.

    the NY roster has a bit more talent in the bench, and overall gets more from their recent high draft picks. their starting guards complement each other to a greater degree, in no small part because they have size at the 2, and they have more perimeter shooters to give them flexibility on offense. the gap is wider however between the coaching than between the rosters.

  21. Moto, I have a hard time believing that a starting lineup of Stoudemire, Gallinari, Chandler, Landry and Felton is more talented than Biedrins, Lee, DWright, Ellis and Curry. I think that D’Antoni could take the Warriors and THRASH Keith Smart coaching the Knicks.

    I will grant that injuries and difficulty of schedule have played a part in the difference between the two teams’ records. And the Warriors did beat the Knicks in MSG. But I believe one team is playing to its strengths, and the other is not.

    Here’s the Hoopsworld interview of Larry Riley:
    http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=18175

    I’m not sure what to make of it. I am very much afraid, though, that if the Warriors struggles continue up to the trade deadline, then Lacob will trade Monta Ellis for someone like Andre Iguodala.

  22. maestro felt, it’s not a matter of talent in the abstract but how the ensembles play together, which isn’t separable from coaching of course. also, we’ve seen a significant difference in the pre- and post- puncture/tear d.lee, and until he regains full function (it could linger the entire season with the continuing abuse), the team’s potential is truncated. udoh still has to count as ø until smart uses and develops him. with non-scoring centers and limited shooters beyond curry and ellis, the team has little flexibility and adaptability on offense.

  23. Not going to recap this mess with the TWolves tomorrow, tho I’m tempted. But I’d just be repeating myself. Leave it like this: this would have been a completely different game if coached by Nelson.

    But hey, we won the rebounding battle!

  24. Not because I disagree but because I have to gear myself up to watch the rest of the season (or not):

    Those missed free throws, Lee’s health, no Curry, and they will have a better bench when Curry returns and if Udoh pans out–still it wasn’t a bad performance against at very good team at their house.

    Is there that much loss playing other guys more minutes (I don’t know)? Man what a second team we put in.

    And why is it called a motion offense? I see guys standing around, or passing to bigs standing in the paint already covered.

  25. Brandan Wright: The Name That Dare Not Be Spoken?

  26. lacob has ordered rowell to draft up GSW business plan for the next five year with emphasis on accelerated debt repayment. rowell is putting together anew marketing plan and the new overall payroll projection.

  27. Marcus Thompson twitter update on Brandan Wright:

    Strained lower back. He isn’t talking. Team is mum. I’m told it’s really a back injury RT @feltbot BWright – name that dare not be spoken?

  28. Since it seems next-to-impossible these days to get excited about watching the current brand of Warriors basketball I found myself completely mesmerized watching this again. Talk about what now seems like ancient history it seems weird these highlights aren’t in black and white.

  29. Smart’s idiocy made explicit:

    http://www.ibabuzz.com/warriors/2010/12/14/warriors-posting-up-what-to-do-with-reggie-ellis-on-edge/#more-2118

    Expect more Biedrins and Lee post-ups in the teeth of the defense. That’s what you do with with undersized, mobile big men, right?

  30. Read that MTII blog entry and couldn’t stop laughing. We’re going to keep going inside to our two non-inside-scoring big men on O to stop Utah’s fast break? Huh? How about trying to get the ball to our guys who can make some shots to slow down Utah’s fast break? We probably outrebounded them because we missed so many inside shots and we got some O rebounds. And since when are we worried about Utah’s fast break, anyway? (Since ours disappeared?)

  31. Praise some guys tonight, FB. We need it. I was impressed with Acie Law and feel better about games to come. (What to do with Lin now?)

  32. well, it appears there’s at least one team that’s more inept at d than the woe-yrs.
    the visitors have some other similarities — players who can put up decent superficial numbers while losing. love is getting plenty of hype but got shut down by amundson ? will udoh ever get more minutes than the two serbs ? can law perform like that against middling competition, or will he fit in with the bottom-feeding smart gang ?

  33. rgg– should lin be sent east to Reno, he’d be at the tender coaching mercies of ‘musselhead’. lacob will probably veto it, believing in the value of practice against major leaguers and getting better tutoring from the bigger staff in oaktown.

  34. Basketball for Dummies

    TWolves, little more than a scrimmage.
    felty could score on Luke Ridinour…or not :>