“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.